Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Iridescent Star plus My Favorite Quilt Block!

Made with Made with Confetti & Crayola Cotton Basics from Riley Blake Designs
Iridescent Stars, 60" x 60" Lap Quilt

I'm happy to be sharing my latest quilt today, for a couple of reasons!  First, to showcase these fabrics from Riley Blake Designs, and second, to share my favorite quilt block on the Favorite Quilt Block Blog Hop hosted by Carla@Creatin'intheSticks.

First, about the fabric.  When I began quilting, it was difficult for me to put two prints together.  Then as I kept making quilts, my mind did a turnabout, and now I have a hard time using solids.  But once I finished a certain QUILT a few months back, I have been dreaming about making one with solids and not in double-knit polyester!

Riley Blake carries around 200 colors of this luscious, beautiful, soft-to-the-touch "Confetti Cotton" and "CrayolaCotton" solid color fabrics.  I only used 27 colors for this quilt.  And quilting it was like quilting through butter - love the feel of it.

Now, about the block.  As it turns out, my favorite quilt block happens to be whatever I'm working on at the moment!  I do love anything with triangles, so apparently, a half-square triangle is my favorite block.  Today, that is.

My beginning quilts were all made with half-square triangles (HSTs).  When I first realized that I could cut out squares to make triangles, instead of cutting out each individual triangle, that was a game changer.  Then I learned some tips, tricks and tools that really opened my eyes and made the process of quilting so much fun.

Pair * Mark a diagonal line * Stitch * Cut * Press
TIP:  Quilter's math formula to calculate the size squares needed to make two HSTs:
Desired Finished Size (FS) + 7/8"(.875) 

Another TIP:  Round the .875 up to 1 inch for a little "fudge factor" as I call it, then trim to the exact size once it's sewn.
FS + 1"

TRICK:  You can make 8 HSTs at the same time!  Just double the formula:
(FS + 1) x 2   See my TUTORIAL<<

Pair * Mark an X * Stitch * Cut + and x * Press

TOOL:  One great little tool that I probably use daily and can't live without to make practically perfect pretty points.  See my TUTORIAL<<

Made and trimmed the 184 HSTs for this quilt in no time, then it was fun to lay it out.  I stitched the blocks together into 4-patches, which made them easier to manage.

Then I freemotion-quilted with my favorite echo swirl overall design and added the binding and label by machine.

I'll probably use this quilt as a sample of machine binding for the class I'll be teaching next Friday at the Utah Quilt Guild Quilt Festival.

Oh, I think we are going to enjoy this quilt!  The pattern is forthcoming.  A big thanks to Riley Blake Designs for their wonderful fabrics, and to Carla for hosting this hop!  You can see a master list HERE, see a sample of everyone's favorite blocks on Carla's PINTEREST page, and visit those on the list below to see today's installments!

GIVEAWAY:  Win a bundle of RBD Confetti Cottons!  What is your favorite quilt block?  I'll draw a winner on Monday, Sept. 16th. 

UPDATE:  We have a WINNER!!  Congratulations, Kathleen, your squishy package is on it's way!


Monday, August 26, 2019

A Riley Blake Designs Quilt Kit: The Duke!

Here's a fantastic kit of my favorite cowboy, John Wayne!

John Wayne was an iconic movie star - making nearly 150 movies over four decades.  Here are a couple of fun facts I learned:  His nickname, "the Duke" stemmed from his dog named Duke.  Folks would refer to  them as little Duke and big Duke.  He based his trademark walk and talk and persona after Wyatt Earp, who happened to be a personal acquaintance.  And as Wikipedia put it, John Wayne personified for millions the nations's frontier heritage.  Yep.

Instant Blocks: Flying Geese

Here is my preferred way to make  my flying geese!  It's a "no-waste" technique, which makes me happy.  These "Instant Blocks" only require one background square plus four small print squares to produce FOUR flying geese at the same time.  Oh, I love that!

On my most recent quilt, it was a choice between cutting 312 squares and rectangles, or 130 large and small squares.  I went with the latter technique.   It was easy enough to adapt the pattern.  I checked the chart in my handy Quilter's Bible, giving me the dimensions of the squares to cut.

  Time-Saving TIP:  For 2" x 4" finished flying geese, it only requires one 5-1/4" square and four
2-7/8" squares rather than four 2-1/2" x 4-1/2" rectangles plus eight 2-1/2" print squares to yield four flying geese units.
  Precision Piecing TIP:  Try rounding the small squares up to the nearest 1/8-inch, creating a fudge factor so that even if the seams aren't exactly exact, this makes it slightly bigger so the block can be trimmed to exactly the perfect size.

  Quick no-mark TRICK:
❶ Slide a ruler under the needle along the 1/4" line.  Lower the presser foot to hold it in place.

❷ Adjust ruler so it is straight, then position some painter's tape or washi tape along side the ruler, 1/4" from the needle.  I have a supply of cute RBD washi tape  by Lauren Nash that's perfect for this!

❸ Layer two of the small squares with right sides together on two diagonal corners of the large background square.  (This technique really needs an extended tray or table for your sewing machine, otherwise you will be drawing a diagonal line on all the small squares).

➍ Pin in place if desired, then snip the ends of the small squares where they overlap.  Now you are ready to stitch!

❺  Insert the fabrics under the presser foot with the top point aligned at 1/4" from the needle (edge of the foot), and the bottom point aligned at the edge of your washi tape.

❻  Keep the point aligned with the tape as you stitch down one side, then flip the unit around and stitch on the other side.  If you are sewing a bunch, chain piece.

❼  Cut between your stitching lines, then press the small triangles away from the large triangle.

❽  Next, add another square to each of the remaining pieces as pictured, and proceed in the same manner as before, stitching on both sides.

❾  Cut between stitching lines, press.

❿  Trim to size, making sure  you have 1/4" seam allowance.

This is one of my favorite blocks to make with flying geese!  The large ones finish at 2" x 4"
and the small ones are 1" x 2" finished.  See them in my most recent quilt HERE.

Do you have a favorite trick or tool that makes you happy?  Let us know~
Happy Sewing!


Monday, August 19, 2019

Baby's Blessing Dress

A special little dress for a precious little girl; my granddaughter!

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

A Riley Blake Designs QUILT KIT!

Time to Haul Stash!
Kelly Fannin's "Haulin' Stash" quilt pattern, 78" x 80",
featuring CAT® Buildin' Crew fabrics - CATERPILLAR® - Licensed - Fabrics 
for Riley Blake Designs;
made by Debbie Proctor and quilted by Deonn Stott

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Something's Fishy!

This "Gone Fishing" Drawstring Backpack was a fun, simple project to make for summer!  

2 Fat Quarters, coordinating prints (approx. 18" x 21" each)
3 to 4 yards of Cording (or shoelaces)
Buttons or Felt circles for eyes
Matching thread
🐟 🐟 🐟

We've been testing out a pattern for my daughter @ThimbleChaser.  You may have seen mine in a sneak peek on a previous post on a beach in Hawaii.