Category Archives: Quilts

Slice and Dice Piecing

I am working on a quilt with blocks that are based on a technique in Quilting Modern by Jacquie Gering and Katie Pedersen. The book has some great ideas and illustrations, but I thought it might help to see step by step photos.  The tricky part is matching up the first set of strips after the second set has been added.  I drew a seam line to help line things up when pinning.

My plan is to make a quilt with these blocks alternating with square in a square blocks.

 

 

One Kite and Three Triangles

Here is the latest on my Jane Blocks.

I finally decided to do one of the corner kite blocks.  My thinking is that I have enough triangles finished to justify this accomplishment.  A wonderful reward!.  This block has octagon pieces.  I glue basted the seam allowances to card stock templates, then used Best Press to set the seams before removing the templates.  The octagons were then hand pieced together and appliquéd to the background.  I am happy with the finished block.

The three triangles all have some hand piecing as well as machine piecing.  BR-9 needed to be adjusted because I cut the points off of the curved background pieces, so the bottom section is wider than it should be.  This happens sometimes when you cut out the Dear Jane templates exactly as printed from the Electric Quilt software.  I am not too upset about it and am not planning to redo this one.

My color scheme for the quilt has yellow for RS-7.  I used a yellow with pink to add some color, so the hearts are not as obvious.  The seams for the hearts were also glue basted to templates before setting the seams.

RS-3 was quite an adventure.  First the diamonds and middle triangle at the bottom are appliquéd to a 6.5″ x 8.5″ piece of background fabric.  The center circle started with a 6.5″ pinwheel block.  The melons started as 3.5″ squares with just the inside curve cut on one side of each square.  The curved edges were appliquéd to the pinwheel block resulting is a 6″ square for the center.  Then the block was reverse appliquéd over the center piece.  It was not my idea.  Pat K. from Quilters Common came up with this fabulous method and it is just about the same as the one used on the That Quilt blog.  It is time consuming but was not frustrating. I am happy with this one, too.

Piecing with Improvisation

Here are three quilt block tutorials that I put together for the Boston Modern Quilt Guild BOM.

These tutorials all have improvisational techniques, but they also let you be a little precise if you want to be.

This tutorial lets you practice curved piecing: Curves Ahead

Curvy

Curvy

With this one you can try paper piecing without worrying about things being too perfect: Playing with Paper

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And this tutorial lets you improvise with strips of fabric: Fenced In

October

This is a Reproduction Quilt

A few years ago I kept seeing this bright orange and red quilt top on eBay.  I am always drawn to orange quilts!  Finally I took a closer look at it.  It looked like it might be a turn of the century quilt top, but the description just said it was an old quilt top.  The starting bid was low so I went for it and won the auction.

I was pleasantly surprised when I received the top.  It’s in great shape, and some of the fabrics look more like mid 19th century, civil war, or even earlier, to me.  I love the fact that it looks contemporary or possibly even a bit modern.  But, if you are familair with antique quilts you know that the cheddars, reds, and greens were very popular with the Mennonites of Pennsylvania and Ohio in the late 19th century, so it is not surprising to see these colors together in an antique quilt.  The block is a traditional block called Chimney Sweep and each is about 13″ square. There was no information in the eBay listing regarding the provenance of this quilt.

I was originally going to quilt and use the top, but I want to preserve it in its antique state, so I decided to make a reproduction of it.  I collected some 1/4 yards of red reproduction fabrics and found a nice cheddar and cream solid fabrics.  Now I have a version of this quilt that will hold up better to day to day use!

They do look very similar.  Here is the original quilt top:

And my reproduction quilt:

Modern vs. Reproduction

I am in the middle of a Block of the Month at Quilters Common in Wakefield, MA.  Antoinette is offering 3 colorways: Blues, Brights, and Traditional.  I love reproduction fabrics, so I went with the traditional colorway, but I am also digging into my stash and making a set of blocks with my modern/contemporary fabrics.

This is what I have so far.  I have set up both colorways side by side on my design wall with the setting squares for a comparison.  For those folks who think traditional/reproduction is all browns and boring … guess what … it is not!!  Old quilts are often brown because the dye in the fabrics has faded.  The reproduction fabrics have brought back all the glorious colors that were in your great great (great?) grandmother’s quilts when they were new and they compare quite well with the modern fabrics.  Both quilts will be full of color.

My plan for both quilts is to use half blocks for an inner border and also a 9″ outer border.  The finished quilts will be 90″ x 90″.

Quilt Plan

Here is a 48″ x 48″ portion of what the tops will look like.  Notice two of the star blocks are the same pattern? I did not like the first one, so I made a second one. The top one will go in the quilt.  The other may end up on the back of the quilt.

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These will be WIPs for quite a few more months, but I’m glad I got a head start on the setting blocks!

Me and Jane, Jane and I

Jane and I are getting re-acquainted.  The group I am working with at Quilters Common receives the patterns and tips for 5 blocks each month.  Between one thing and another I found myself way behind … a year and a half behind!  So, this past month I was determined to get back to work on my Jane blocks.  I have established a new goal of 8 blocks a month, which I must meet if I want to have a quilt finished for the groups planned quilt show.

I was quite busy and so far I have 9 new blocks and I also redid 2 blocks. Click on the thumbnails to enlarge these photos. When finished viewing them click on the “x” in the upper left corner of the page to return back to this post!

This is my redo of F-5.  The original was a combo of machine piecing and hand piecing for the curved “melons”.  I was so annoyed with the result that in protest I designed a curve free version of the block which I discussed in a previous Jane post.  But, then I came across the “That Quilt” blog and redid the block using reverse applique for the melons.  I am now a fan of reverse applique!  The difference is very obvious (at least to me).  No more wonky squares in the corners!

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I redid H-10 because the color was wrong.  My scheme calls for this to be a purple block, but I did it in red!

I also came up with my own way of finishing I-10.  The sections are paper pieced and then I sewed them together by hand.  My method of sewing the pieces together was to treat the block like a very modified nine patch with three rows.  I am happy with the result.

That’s it for now … still planning to finish one more new block by the end of this week!

Improvising with Scraps

It certainly has been quite a while, but I finally have time to post again!  Back in March I brought my improvised scrappy blocks to the Boston Modern Quilt Guild Retreat and put a quilt top together.

I finished this quilt a couple of months ago on my long arm.

Improvised scrappy

The back of the quilt has a few of the blocks, too.

 

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I am still saving my scraps and sorting them by color, but maybe I should throw them all in together and try a different approach next time! No matter what, it is a great way to be thrifty and also environmentally green.  Reuse, recycle, and don’t waste any of your precious fabric!