Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Long View

While I've been cutting my cream hexies I moved the small design wall with the hexies to the end of the hall so that I could gain some perspective on it and see if it was good as is or if that last plum hexie needed to be changed.

A picture says a thousand words. It's out, and for a couple of reasons. Anal as I am, I knew that having duplicate plum hexies would bother me. In addition, Kyle reminded me of why I had made a replacement for it in the first place - I am concerned that the cream border will disappear. I also wanted a lighter fabric - I had forgotten how much lighter the fabrics in the original quilt are and I like that look. I haven't been able to get my hands on enough toiles so this collection of fabrics will have to do.

So I started replacement number three. It's not with the blue rose print I showed you last time because the blue was just too clear - it needed to be something creamier to work with the other prints. I had a small remnant of this turquoise (it looks blue but it's soft turquoise) that sort of fell out of a pile at me (a sign?). I had gotten it from Jane's stash when I was looking for large florals to include throughout Candied Hexagons and had totally forgotten that there was any left.

I've got all of the border hexies cut and have started turning them under.

As I stitch I dream of this. Isn't it incredible? There are a couple of Brigitte Giblin designs to choose from and you can get it as a case for either an iPhone or iPad. I don't have a personal phone, just one for work, so that will have to wait until I retire, but I'm very tempted to buy one now so that I have it when I need it! Drool.....M

Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Final Four?

The last of the large framed hexies for the centre panel of Anna Levens are now complete, or at least I think that they are.

The pattern called for seven hexies but I've ended up with nine because I'm looking at a bit of redesign.

Square quilts aren't my thing usually so I'm toying with this arrangement instead.

It will mean modifying all of the remaining borders and spaces, but I'm okay with that. I was planning a slightly cleaner look for the outside border so it looks like the original pattern will be my muse and I'll go from there.

My concern is whether or not to use the hexies with the plum background and cream border that I originally rejected (the second version is at the top of the layout with a green border. It means that the plum print is the only large floral to be repeated.

I have this combination that I could use to replace it. What do you think? Do I stay with what I have or make the blue one?

While I decide I will begin cutting and prepping the cream hexies that will join all of these beauties together. I've got two options - the solid and a slightly lighter print. I think that the lighter version will win out.....M

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Look What I Got!

A little squeal of delight could be heard the other night when the Official Cookie Tester returned from his meeting of Parish Council with a bag tucked under his arm. The gals have finished quilting Martha's Star and it's just beautiful.

As much as I loved it before I sent it off, the quilting really adds that finishing touch, softening it and making you want to snuggle in its folds.

In designing the quilting pattern I wanted to avoid the ladies having to work around the red chain that crisscrosses the quilt and apparently they quite appreciated that 😉.

They track the number of hours that they put into each quilt that they do so that they know what to charge. I haven't got those numbers yet, but whatever it is, it is well worth it.

Now I need to find a binding that will work. I have a very little bit of the backing fabric left over (the cream floral at the top of the pic) but I would need to make the binding on the straight of grain and I tend to prefer a bias binding. It may be the best colour option, given all the different creams that are in the blocks, but I'll check the stash before making my final decision. In the meantime, I'm just happy to be able to gaze at it. Happy, happy, happy! Mom would be too....M

Monday, May 22, 2017

More Old Italians

Obviously I was a little hasty in putting together that mini tutorial that I gave you a couple of posts back on how to sew the Old Italian block as I had a question from a reader as to what size to cut the strips that create the crisscross, so here's a few more details.

My initial instructions suggested starting with one 8" block, but you really start with two, one light and one dark.

Cut 2" wide strips through both diagonal lines of the blocks, measuring 1" on either side of the line that runs from corner to corner. Here's a better picture of how to lay your ruler to get the first cut - the 1" line runs through the block from point to point. For the second cut just flip the ruler around and cut 1" away from the centre line of the block, or 2" from the first cut.

Repeat this cutting sequence across the second diagonal.

After you have cut the strips through the diagonal of the block in both directions they look like this, so with only four cuts per block you have all of the pieces that you need to make two blocks.

Now, just switch up the corner strips; the centre square and triangles stay where they are - and voila, two blocks ready to assemble. If you press all seams to the dark side they will nest together nicely to finish off the blocks.

This one still needs to be trimmed, but it doesn't take long before you have a nice little pile of blocks that will finish at 6.5" square....M

Sunday, May 21, 2017

A Perfect Day to Quilt

The gardens will have to wait just a little bit longer before I get out there and tackle the last of the spring clean-up because today is a wet and dreary day, so I'm going to return to quilting my Candied Hexagons instead.

It's a long weekend for us (Victoria Day weekend) so many of the neighbours are away, making it very quiet on the street, and somehow confirming that some quiet time at the quilt is the thing to do.

It's been a while since I've worked on it so it will be good to get back to it. Who knows, there might even be a Sunday afternoon nap on the schedule 😉. If this is a long weekend for you I hope that you are finding the perfect way to put your feet up and enjoy the break too....M

Tuesday, May 09, 2017


Maybe it was because I needed a change from hexies or maybe it was just my QADD (quilter's attention deficit disorder) kicking in. Actually, my trolling on Pinterest is probably partly to blame too. Whatever it was, I ended up playing with a new block.

It's called the Old Italian Block (isn't that just a lovely name?) and looked like it might be a good start for a charity quilt or table runner. If nothing else, it got me dreaming of far off Italy and enjoying a glass of wine in a café on the Amalfi Coast hillside, but I digress.

If you'd like to try to make a few yourself, here's a very quick tutorial that will give you a 6" finished block. Start with an 8" block,

make 4 diagonal cuts (the centre strips are 2" wide, cut 1" on either side of the diagonal lines that cut through the block),

switch out the four corner strip pieces with a dark print (or a light print, if you started with a dark 8" square), sew everything together,

and voila, a 6.5" inch block. Alternate light and dark blocks when laying it out.

I've seen a quilt done in this pattern that really caught my eye but wanted to try it out before committing to making it. It would be lovely with all of the light pieces in this Jacobean print and a variety of tone-on-tone blues - very much like handmade tiles.

But I think that making it scrappy has lots of potential too. Either way, it was a nice escape..M