“Garlic Knots” Hack

11 08 2017

I am a fan of Bonnie Hunter, the queen of scrap quilts. (You will find a link to her Quiltville blog in the right column of this blog.) I have purchased most of her books and have constructed nearly a dozen of her quilt patterns. Bonnie provides a mystery quilt to her blog followers each year in late fall, and she launches a Leader/Ender challenge in July. (This year’s design is “Rail Fence.”) Bonnie designs blocks for the bi-annual publication, Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks from Today’s Top Designers, and one of her ideas for blocks using scraps is regularly published in the “Addicted to Scraps” column in Quiltmaker magazine.

Currently, I am captivated by the simple block, “Garlic Knots.” Bonnie’s instructions for this block were published in the January/February 2014 issue of Quiltmaker. Click here for a diagram and explanation. You will find more photos on Pinterest and when searching “images of Garlic Knots quilts” online. In order to respect copyright laws, I will not publish detailed instructions for making this block. However, it is simple enough to figure out the math for yourself. If you want to make 6″ blocks, divide 6″ by the 4 squares in each row to reach the finished square size of 1 1/2.” If you want to use 2 1/2″ scrappy squares, you’ll end up with an 8″ finished block.

Instead of cutting oodles of 2″ squares for the blocks, I am using 2″ wide strips of Civil War reproduction fabric leftover from another project. The “hack” is strip-piecing 3 blocks at a time by cutting my 40″ long strips in thirds. To zoom in, click on the picture at the right. You will see that rows 1 and 4 are cut from the same strip-set. Row 4 is merely rotated 180 degrees. And Rows 2 and 3 are cut from the second strip-set. Similarly, row 3 is rotated 180 degrees. The 6″ blocks work up in a jiffy, and my pile of finished blocks is growing steadily. Several years ago I bought about 2 1/2 yds. of shirting which will be the background for all my blocks. When I use up all that shirting, I will quit making blocks, and my quilt size will thus be determined!

If you made a “Garlic Knots” quilt, what style of fabric would you use?





“Confetti” Progress

19 07 2017

Earlier this summer I posted about being inspired to make a “Confetti” quilt designed by Augusta Cole. Click here to see the original post. I pieced Four Patches from my bin of 2″ scrappy squares; I strip-pieced some two-sies for Four Patches; I attached white rectangles as leaders/enders while piecing other projects; and I attended my guild’s Sew Days for the purpose of making a dent in the patchwork.

Here are some pictures snapped at our Sew Day in early July. Drusilla, using 30’s reproduction fabrics displays a corner of the quilt, demonstrating that it is assembled in diagonal rows. Nancy generously shared squares from her scrap bin. And my little Featherweight bravely puffed along.

    

I have decided it is time to finish this 1000+ squares project, so I’m arranging the 99 blocks on my design wall. Here we go! Looks like I need to make a few more blocks . . . Stay tuned!

Remember that the 12 Days of Christmas in July blog hop is happening. Here are the list of blogs for your convenience. You’ll find all kinds of projects: overnight duffle bag, sparkly ornaments, table runners, fabric baskets, etc.

 Friday, July 14th
 Saturday, July 15th
 Sunday, July 16th
 Monday, July 17th
 Tuesday, July 18th
 Wednesday, July 19th
 Thursday, July 20th
 Friday, July 21st
 Saturday, July 22nd




“Born to Excel” Camp

2 07 2017

For the past several years Crossroads Church in Lillington, NC has educated and entertained youngsters from 9 to 12 a.m. the third week in June. The kids register in advance, each choosing two “tracks” of interest:  from Woodworking I and II, to Cooking, to Crocheting, to Fun and Fitness, to Dance, to Science experiments, to Drama, to Quilting. I volunteered to help with Crocheting and Quilting. Besides learning new skills, the children sang songs and studied the story of Ruth in the Old Testament. “Born to Excel” Camp is our church’s brand of Vacation Bible School, and it is open to the community.

Space is limited to about 145 campers, so it’s first come, first served for the tracks. The Quilting class has 8 slots which were spoken for the day registration opened. My friend, Michelle, designed a lap quilt project for the girls this year, and leaned on the Sew and Sews church quilting group for adult volunteers. She cut 2 1/2″  bright strips donated from our stashes and divided them into kits in preparation for camp. My protégé was Lydia, age 9 or 10. She was so excited to make her very own quilt! We adult volunteers had to keep the girls encouraged and on task during the daily 45 minutes sessions so they would finish their quilts by Friday morning.

As you can see, The quilts were “pillow turned” to avoid a lengthy lesson on binding, and minimal quilting around the cross and around the outer edge holds all the strips in place. Michelle embroidered each girl’s name on a heart and appliqued it in place after the quilt was completed. What a great memento of a fun week!

 





“Double Nine Patch” Gifted

17 06 2017

Prayers would be appreciated for my father-in-law, Harold, who began chemotherapy this week. I gave him a “Double Nine Patch” quilt for warmth during the chilly procedures.

     

Have you ever given or received a comfort quilt or crocheted/knitted prayer shawl? What exactly is it about a quilt/shawl that comforts during stressful times? I invite your comments.





“Postage Stamp” Quilt – a Graduation Gift

7 06 2017

My young friend Emily has reached a milestone – graduation from high school!

I love to make “Postage Stamp” quilts for graduates. All the tiny squares can symbolize the bits of knowledge they’ve crammed into their brains for the past 12 years. Amazingly, the bits and pieces combine together to make a beautiful and useful whole. I encourage young people to keep on learning.

“Postage Stamp” quilts are also a metaphor for keeping friendships alive by corresponding. Yes, it is an effort to keep up with friends long distance after graduation, but long-time friendships are worth preserving.

I made this quilt with 1 3/4″ squares that I cut from scraps and save in a box. My friend Linda made a portable design board for me by covering a sturdy piece of cardboard with batting and then with gridded flannel. As I lay out pieces for the wall quilt, my squares will easily stick to the flannel . . . unless I’m outside and it’s windy like on Memorial Day. In that case, I pinned each square to the design board, securing them until I sewed the squares into rows. I think alternating light and dark squares helps the eye to focus on the motifs of the dark fabrics. I arranged the 99 squares in 11 rows with 9 squares each. Click here to see a “Postage Stamp” quilt completely made with bright/dark squares.

The following picture shows how I pressed the seams so they would lock together when I joined the rows. Every other row is pressed to the right; the alternate rows are pressed to the left.

I obtained insider information from Emily’s mom for the border color; her favorite color is turquoise blue. I cut the inner solid border 2″ wide and the outer tone-on-tone border 3 1/2″ wide. The wall quilt measures 20 1/2″ x 23.” Straight line quilting with white thread in a cross-hatch design through the squares is simple, yet enhances the patchwork. I echoed the seam lines with white thread in the inner border and meandered with turquoise thread in the outer border. A congratulatory label on the back completes the gift.





Summer 2017 Projects

5 06 2017

It’s June, quilting friends. Summer vacation has begun! Although my life is no longer tied to a school calendar (my children have left college days far behind), I still anticipate carefree summer days. I always hope there will be more time for leisure pursuits like quilting. It occurred to me that I should write down my summer projects since lists of goals motivate me.

Recently I started two projects, one pieced and one hand applique. I am super excited about both! My extensive piecing project for the summer is a very scrappy “Confetti” quilt designed by Augusta Cole. After seeing several renditions of the design at the NC Quilt Symposium show the third weekend in May, my friend Nancy and I decided we had to make the quilt. We were so determined to put a dent in our scraps that we ordered patterns and organized a Sew Day for other interested Tarheel Quilters this past Friday. I’m happy to say that I’ve completed the 245 required “Four Patches,” and now I’m attaching white rectangles to all, leader/ender style.

My hand applique project is from stashed Civil War reproduction fabrics. Twelve blocks should make a nice lap sized quilt. The photo shows the basic layout. Even though I planned this as a take-along project for car trips, I’ve prepped all the Dresden Plates and have already appliqued half during these summertime evenings. I love how it’s turning out!

After hanging my “Summer 2017 Projects” list in my sewing room, I happened to glance at my clothes hanging rack of quilt tops that need quilting. Oh, yeah, I guess I should put those on my list:  Hubby’s retirement quilt (a mother/daughter effort), “Jelly Roll Mosaic Tiles” (for the second quarter challenge), “Hunter’s Star” lap quilt, “Splendid Sampler” of 6″ blocks, baby boy quilt. And then there are the UFO’s:  “Chopped” designed by Joan Ford, “Long Road Home” swap blocks, “House” swap blocks.

And just like that, my project list has grown from a manageable 2 to a challenging 10! Deep breath; here we go! One thing is for sure, I will not be bored this summer, and I’ll have something interesting to write in that back-to-school essay, “What I did on my summer vacation.”

What is on your Summer 2017 Project list?





Symposium Inspiration

24 05 2017

Have you ever walked through the campus of William Peace University in Raleigh, NC? It’s just beautiful and so peaceful, right in the heart of the city. The brick architecture is flanked by ancient shade trees, and brick walkways curve between the dorms, educational halls, and dining facility. Splashing fountain and twittering birds complete the serene picture. The college founder, in bronze, seemed a little cold, so I lent him my “Get the Point” quilt.

At the North Carolina Quilt Symposium this past weekend, I enjoyed chatting with “old” friends and meeting new ones. It was fun to share my favorite quick cutting techniques as a hands-on lecture. The evening programs, which all retreat-ers attended were entertaining, inspirational, and informational. Some of the quilters from my local guild (Tarheel Quilt Guild in Fayetteville, NC) met in our dorm lounge after hours to sew and chat together. Fun and laughter, all around.

Here are some pictures from the six hour workshop on “Get the Point.” (This block, designed by Carrie Nelson, was published in Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks from Today’s Top Designers, vol. 3. I modified the instructions so that 2 1/2″ strips are used throughout.) Since the 6″ quarter-block is shaded diagonally, half dark and half light, it functions much like a “Log Cabin” block with many possible layouts. For example, the blocks could be arranged as “Straight Furrows” or “Pinwheels.”

Gwen borrowed batik squares made by four workshop participants to plot an off-set hanging diamond on the design wall. And Marva chose a dark brown rather than a light (white) background. The quilters enjoyed  chatting and encouraging each other as they sewed together.

    

Durham/Orange Quilters, host of this year’s Symposium, organized a quilt show and vendors’ mall. When planning to attend a quilt show, I anticipate being inspired by a quilt or two. Sometimes I am awed by amazing quilting or motivated by an unusual yet pleasing color combination. Sometimes the story behind the quilt draws me in. This quilt show did not disappoint. While I admired many, “Confetti” most inspired me. My friend Nancy was also captured by the I-should-make-this-scrappy-quilt sentiment. In our enthusiasm, we planned a sew day for our guild to get started on the bazillion Four Patches required. If you live locally and wish to join us, we’ll be at the North Regional Library (855 McArthur Rd., Fayetteville) from 9 to 5 on Friday, 2 June. Comment below if you need more info.

“Confetti” was designed by Augusta Cole. You can order a pattern from her website augustacolequilting.com.