First Quarter Challenge–More from Blog Readers

15 03 2017

Just a little reminder about our First Quarter Challenge–make something with your secret stash of Fat Quarters or Quilter’s Candy (packs of 2 1/2″ squares) and share a picture to inspire others.

Kathy used her stash of Fat Quarters to make a darling 60″ x 68″ heart quilt which she may eventually give to her granddaughter. “The pattern is Blended Hearts by Judy Dohrman of Black Cat Creations. The pattern calls for 32 fat eighths but I used 16 fat quarters.”

It took me a minute to notice that the red hearts are right side up, while the pink hearts are upside down. Don’t you love the lime green heart? It adds fabric bling!

Maridee has been busily using Quilter’s Candy to good advantage. This table runner would look great with white dishes or blue pottery as well! (Maridee is unsure of the pattern info for these runners.)

A second runner by Maridee is equally appealing. Floating the Nine Patches on a light background certainly adds interest.

“I have 6 more Quilter’s Candy packs to use, but think they’ll get put on the back burner for now. I’m busy working on the bzillion charm packs I have!”
Thanks for the inspiration, Maridee. I sometimes wonder what substantial project I could make with the tiny package of squares I was tempted to purchase. You have inspired us with attractive table runner projects which stretch the minimum to the maximum.
Helga transformed a package of 2 1/2″ squares from Zen Chic into a modern wall hanging. For inspiration for this quilt for her brand new grandson, she turned to the October 2006 issue of McCall’s Quilting. Click here to see Lise Neer’s quilt, “Skyward Nines.” As you will see, Helga downsized the design by substituting 2 1/2″ squares for the Nine Patches Lise’s design calls for. The squares show up so nicely against dark blue solid linen.
  
Stephanie is working on a scrappy table runner. “On the Bright Side” is a free pattern from All People Quilt. “In keeping with the first quarter challenge, I pulled out two packages of Quilter’s Candy and used them for the Nine Patches.  If you want variety, it becomes a slight challenge.  This table runner requires 90 2 ½ inch squares. Each 42 piece package of Quilter’s Candy has 21 different fabrics.  With two packages, I ended up with four squares of each fabric.  There were several black fabrics ‘discarded’ from consideration.  There was a little cheating – I cut some squares from yardage.  The Churn Dash blocks are cut from Fat Quarters.”

“I may change the center block before quilting.  The light blue flowers on a white background blend in with the white background too much for my liking.  This table runner is a great way to use up an impulse purchase of Quilter’s Candy found on a sale table.”

Thanks, ladies, for sharing your projects. You have reminded us how fun it can be to accept the challenge!





My “Splendid Sampler”

7 03 2017

About this time last year, I decided to join the “Splendid Sampler” quilt-along hosted by Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson. Did you also sign up to receive the 100 emailed pattern instructions? They have published two 6″ blocks per week; over eighty quilt block designers contributed to the project. The official QAL is nearly complete, and you can still access the patterns online by clicking the “Splendid Sampler” button in the right hand column of this blog page.

At the outset of the QAL, Pat and Jane showed samples of their bright, modern fabrics and promised that a variety of techniques would be employed for the sampler blocks. You can read about my fabric selection on this blog post. As the weeks progressed, I began to realize that not all of the patterns were suitable for my muted traditional fabrics from the “Chocolat” line by Moda. At some point, I decided to make only the blocks that correlated well with my fabrics, and to include other favorite patchwork designs.

After making 56 blocks, I decided to set the blocks together. I am sure the desire to finish the project prior to moving into our new home weighed heavily in my decision. My quilting buddy, Karlene, suggested that I arrange the blocks with darker tan background all around the edges of the quilt. I really like the effect! The darker blocks act as a pieced border of sorts. After arranging and rearranging the blocks on my design wall, I sewed the vertical 2″ x 6 1/2″ sashing strips between the blocks in each row as you can see in the photo below.

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Tip (from my daughter, Trinity): Prior to joining the rows together, measure and sew the top border strip above Row 1, and sew the bottom border strip below the last row. This means less “heavy lifting” work when adding the borders after the rows are sewn together.

I added horizontal sashing rows and left and right border strips. Now to find the perfect print for an outer border.

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Later:  Again, my friend, Karlene, came to my rescue. She gave me a yard of paisley “Chocolat” fabric. Since it is a large scale print of muted colors, it doesn’t draw attention itself. The viewer’s eye is rightly focused on all the patchwork and applique blocks in the quilt’s center. I draped the quilt top over the kitchen porch railing of our new home. (We are hoping to procure the certificate of occupancy this week and move in!)

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First Quarter Challenge – Blog Readers Share

9 02 2017

I have challenged blog readers and myself to use pre-cuts this year. Between January and March, the challenge is using Fat Quarters and/or Quilter’s Candy. Several blog followers have shared pictures of their projects for your inspiration.

Ronda made a fun, mid-sized purse from two Fat Quarters – one for the outside, and one for the lining. Click on the collage to zoom in and read pattern information (michellepatterns.com). Ronda notes that the grocery bag size uses larger cuts of fabric.

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Maridee cut hexagons from Quilter’s Candy 2 1/2″ squares to make a charming table topper. “I used the English paper piecing technique.  I think it looks a bit summery -which is good since I have so many fall things. I need to branch out in my color choices.”

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Stephanie has several projects underway.

19087216b8014dda8d3c6baa7b0e92d5-1She is happy to report she has finished piecing the top of “Maridee’s Quilt.” (Stephanie admired a quilt shared by Maridee on this blog post and asked for construction specifics. Hooray for a fun Fat Quarter finish!)

“There were some delays. After the top was finished, the first time, it bothered me that the cats, flowers, and state names were sideways and upside down.  You have to rotate your blocks 90 degrees in order to make the pinwheel; something I did not initially consider.  I took the top apart and put it back together so everything would go in the same direction. Unable to locate the gold and coral Cotton & Steel fabrics, at a price I was willing to pay, I opted for a gold grunge fabric for my stop border and a small floral print in coral for the outside border. Except for quilting, this 2016 project is complete.”

c48d1577692e460491bd9846db9ac54bThe kit of fabrics for this wallhanging was in one of the goodie bags from the Loving Stitches retreat last fall.  Finishing at 2”, the squares for the half-square triangles started a smidgen larger than Quilter’s Candy.  Loving Stitches (in Fayetteville, NC) provided everything needed, including backing, for this fun project.  “Nothing fancy, I did quilt it myself.”

 

Sally made a Double Four Patch quilt adapted from an Eleanor Burns “Quilt in a Day” design (from her 2014 Block Party, available on YouTube). The soft gray/green and white background fabrics allow the Quilter’s Candy jewels to sparkle!

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Sally writes, “I made this with 2  mini-charm packs plus background and 2 1/2” squares cut from white strips.  It was lots of fun and very easy.”

Click here to link to My Sewful Retirement blog where Karla shows a very cute snowman wall quilt made from Quilter’s Candy and also a mat for the top of her washing machine (to catch all the drips from laundry detergent).

It’s not too late to jump on the First Quarter Challenge Band Wagon! I’d love to share a picture of your project (aby.quilts@gmail.com).





Inspiration for “Quilter’s Candy”

31 01 2017

Our “Use your pre-cuts” challenge for the first quarter is using Fat Quarters or Quilter’s Candy (2 1/2″ squares). Happily, I made my goal already! You can read about a quilt I made from Fat Quarters here.

But I’m thinking maybe some of you need ideas for using the deliciously sweet packages of Quilter’s Candy. To that end, I’ve searched my blog’s media library for examples of quilts made with squares. The photo roll begins with my latest quilt top finish – made with leftover 1930s repro 2 1/2″ squares. Imagine the quilty, home-y feel if muted or Civil War repro fabrics are used, and the blocks are set on-point for visual interest.

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Last June I made a quilt for Charlotte, my baby grand-niece. The quilt is made with 2 packages of Quilter’s Candy sewn into Four Patches. I framed the Four Patches with narrow white strips and inserted alternate squares of navy anchor fabric. My niece declares it coordinates perfectly with the nursery décor.

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“Aunt Sukey’s Choice” 12″ blocks are constructed from 2 1/2″ squares along with 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ rectangles for the “Flying Geese” units. This design would sew up quickly if you purchased coordinating Quilter’s Candy and a roll of 2 1/2″ strips from which to cut rectangles.

Postage stamp quilts are a snap to sew when the squares are already cut! Consider alternating print squares with plain white or ecru squares. Mini quilts such as the one pictured make wonderful gifts for wall or table.

A star block with ferns

DSCN7512You could make some color/fabric coordinated placemats. Those pictured were made from 3″ scrappy squares, 35 squares each. Adapt the design by sewing 63 squares in a 7 x 9 grid to yield 14″ x 18″ placemats.

My friend, Tricia, used small colorful squares as cornerstones when making this predominately blue and white quilt. Wouldn’t this idea stretch your tiny package (or two) of Quilter’s Candy into a lap size quilt?

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A sampling of quilts made from squares wouldn’t be complete without a “Nine Patch” example. Cindy made this with nearly solid mottled prints. Set on-point with alternate white background squares, the “Nine Patches” seem to float.

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DSCN6080I made this mini quilt for my sister from a Quilter’s Candy package plus a few fabrics from my stash. I paired each 2 1/2″ colored square with a tan background square right sides together. I drew a diagonal line on the wrong side of each tan square and sewed 1/4″ away from both sides of the line. Then I cut the squares on the drawn lines and pressed the seam allowances toward the darker fabrics. So petite and country, just as my sister prefers!

 

I hope the quilts pictured in this blog post have jump-started your creative ideas for using Quilter’s Candy. I would love to share pictures of your projects for Fat Quarters or Quilter’s Candy with blog readers. (aby.quilts@gmail.com)

 

 





2017 Quilt Alongs

12 01 2017

Recently I have been wondering if any quilters are offering Quilt Alongs on their blogs. Like I need to begin another project! But . . . it’s a new year, and it would be fun and motivational to join a new Quilt Along!

Quilt Fabrication is one of the blogs I follow. And, on January 7, Susan posted a list of free QALs.  Take a look, quiltfabrication.blogspot.com. For example Barbara Brackman offers “Yankee Diary,” an alternate grid quilt with various size blocks for Civil War Quilt lovers. Pat Sloan plans a 25 block Quilt, “182 Day Solstice Challenge.” And there are others.

Which QAL from Susan’s blog most appeals to you? OR Are you participating in a QAL in 2017?





First Quarter Pre-Cut Challenge, Fabric Pull

3 01 2017

If you read my post on January 1, you were invited to participate in the 2017 pre-cut challenge. Between January and March, I’m challenging myself (and you!) to turn some Quilter’s Candy or Fat Quarters into a quilt. At the moment, I don’t have any packs of 2 1/2″ squares, so I choose to make a quilt with several Fat Quarters purchased at the year-end sale of Loving Stitches, my local quilt shop. I’m sure I’ll add white fabric and colorful scraps from stash. The fabric with vehicles is for backing the quilt, eventually.

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Now begins my search for the “perfect pattern.” I’ve seen some intriguing ideas on Pinterest, favequilts.com, and Moda Bake Shop. What other online sites or books do you recommend for idea shopping?





2017 – Pre-cut Challenge

1 01 2017

Happy New Year! And with the new year well-wishes comes a new year abyquilts blog challenge. As a reminder, we had a monthly Fat Quarter challenge in 2016. Although I still have a container of unused FQs, I want to change it up a little, proposing a different challenge this year. After conferring with Maridee, a regular participant in the 2016 challenge, I’ve hit upon a pre-cut challenge for the coming year.

summer-breeze-pre-cuts

We are all tempted to buy Jelly Rolls (2 1/2″ wide strips), Charm Squares (5″ squares), Quilter’s Candy (2 1/2″ squares), and Layer Cakes (10″ squares), right? And many times they simply become colorful decorations on the shelves in our sewing rooms. This year let’s change our languishing pre-cuts into lovely quilts!

Rather than issue a monthly challenge, I’m issuing a quarterly challenge. Here’s the schedule:

January – March:  Quilter’s Candy or Fat Quarters

April – June:  Jelly Roll

July – September:  Layer Cake

October – December:  Charm Squares

Toward the beginning of each quarter, I’ll blog about my pre-cut choice and explain my intended project. When I finish the project, I’ll share a photo, and toward the end of each quarter, I’ll ask you to email me a digital picture of your challenge project.

Are you game? Do you have an idea already for the pack of Quilter’s Candy or stack of Fat Quarters that’s simply collecting dust in your sewing room? Game on!