Quiltmaker 100 Blocks

Quiltmaker 100 Blocks
My block is in the November 2015 issue!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Random Observations

I think I'll call these "Barb's Laws of Quilting".  They are kind of like Murphy's Law, but specifically for Quilting.

1. The smaller the amount of a particular fabric that you have for a given project, the more likely it is that you will make a cutting mistake. Conversely, if you have lots, you can slap your ruler down anywhere and the cut will come out perfectly.

2. No matter how cold it is, wearing flannel or fleece while you are quilting is a bad idea. Besides the threads that magnetically attach themselves all over you, small pieces that you've cut for your quilt end up sticking to your forearms and/or elbows. Then you can't find them when you're looking for them.  This fact is in no way associated with #3, below. 

3. If you lose a piece that you've cut, it will not turn up until after you've already cut a replacement.  Or changed the whole design because you don't have enough fabric to replace it. (See #1...)

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Curve Ball #1

I was making really good progress on the raffle quilt.  Really, I was.  As I've probably mentioned, I am making a raffle quilt for the Knights of Columbus international convention, which is going to be held in Philadelphia this August. I'm making it in Red, White and Blue. Each block is the same basic 8 inch star but the fabrics, placement of the colors and the centers are different for each one.  I'm going to make one block for each jurisdiction where the Knights are active.  The idea is to convey the fact that all the jurisdictions are equal, but different.  Up until about a week ago, there were 72 jurisdictions.  Easy, right? Nine times eight is 72, so, I planned a quilt that would be 64 X 72 before borders.  A week ago is when the curve ball arrived.  

My dear husband nonchalantly mentioned that one of the jurisdictions had been split into two. WHAT????  Now what the heck am I going to do? Seventy-three is not an exactly an easy number to work with!!!  He looked at me like I had gone crazy.  I guess I really did go a little off the deep end...

That night I was trying to figure out possible layouts and thought that the only answer would be to use a diagonal setting, since the rows are offset and usually add up to an odd number. It seemed that I could up with everything BUT 73!   Doing all that math before going to bed was not a good idea.  I had nightmares all night long about diagonal settings, adding numbers together wrong, wonky angles and an end product that looked really, really stupid.  I thought about making one of the blocks a label and putting it on the back, but then I figured that someone could be offended because they might think that I thought one of the jurisdictions wasn't good enough to be on the front.  Sigh.  

After another two days of angst and two more sleepless nights, a reasonable solution finally came to me!  I am going to do a 9x9 straight setting, and use eight blank 'filler' blocks!  So the first row will be 9 stars, the second will be 7 stars and two fillers, etc. until the last row is 9 blocks again.  Once I have all the blocks done, I'll figure out where exactly the fillers fit in best.  I'm thinking probably on the ends of the 7 block rows, but now that the big problem is solved, that will be a minor issue!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Oops, I did it again!

The Scrap Addicts got an email the other day, telling us that Bonnie Hunter is going to be in Golden, Colorado in August to shoot a couple of online video workshops for Quiltmaker.  The videos will be based on the blocks in Bonnie's Addicted to Scraps column from the first three issues this year. 

The January/February block is called Pinwheel Fancy, the March/April block is Twirl Around and the May/June block, which is in the issue that just showed up in my mailbox yesterday, is called Idaho Square Dance.  Aren't they cute? If I did things right, clicking on the name of the block below pictures will take you to the Quiltmaker website that has a quilt pattern with a suggested setting for each block.
Pinwheel Fancy   Twirl Around   Idaho Square Dance
Pinwheel Fancy              Twirl Around                Idaho Square Dance

If you are interested, you can find pictures of all the Addicted to Scraps blocks at the Quiltmaker site - here.  The blocks go all the way back to January/February 2010, so there is quite a treasury of blocks built up by now!  

OK, back to the videos - the best part is that they want to use the quilts that are being made by the Scrap Addicts in the videos! I don't know a lot of details, but our editor said that we would get credit for our work.  I don't know if that means that she will just show our quilts and or that our names will scroll up the screen at the end, like the names of the gaffer and the key grip and all those other people who work behind the scenes in the movies ;->.  

So the people who are making quilts from the first three issues are supposed to send the quilts to Quiltmaker in July so that they can use them for filming in August.  The only hitch is that Scrap Addicts weren't formed until after the January/February issue was published, so there is only one person making a quilt from that first block.  For each of the other blocks, there are two or three quilts being made. However (sad face), neither of my assignments are from the first three issues, so my quilts weren't going to be in the video.  (Note that I used the past tense - more about that in a minute). I was disappointed, but the more I thought about it, I realized that I have three projects due in the same July-August time frame as the video shoot.  So in that way, I was a bit relieved. And I rationalized that maybe they would do another video shoot later for the other three blocks. Still disappointed, but trying to be realistic. Then I read the end of the email... our editor casually mentioned that if anyone else wants to make a quilt from the Pinwheel Fancy block,  they would include it in the video.

Talk about conflicted emotions!  On one hand, I have those three big projects due.  On the other hand, I REALLY wanted to be included!  I decided to sleep on it.  Well, THAT was a bad idea.  All night long, I had setting ideas and colors and fabric choices running through my head, so sleep wasn't happening.  In the morning, I opened up my copy of Quilt Design Wizard (mentioned in my last post) and started playing around with the block.  I came up with a really cute (if I may say so myself) idea!  And if I only make a small one, I'd have time, right? Did I ever mention that I am really good as justifying things that I shouldn't do? Anyway, I took a deep breath, and sent an email to the editor volunteering to make a baby quilt from the block.  I was half hoping that she would say that they could only use big quilts, and had myself talked into not being disappointed.  She replied almost immediately that a small one would be great! 
Woohoo!  I only have 10 more blocks to do from my first Scrap Addicts project, then I am going to whip up that baby quilt!  This is going to be fun!  

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Progress on my Scrap Addicts projects and Quilt Design Wizard

I've been on a cutting and sewing binge lately.  Today, for example, I cut out 8 blocks for my first Scrap Addicts project, and I sewed together 11 blocks.  So I have 69 blocks sewn, and 13 more cut out and ready to sew.  Woohoo, only 18 more to cut!  I don't know if I mentioned that my first project will have a 10 x 10 block layout, and there are 14 pieces in each block.  That's 1,400 pieces. I'm REALLY glad that I didn't figure that out until I was about halfway done, or I would have never tackled it!   

I also started my second project, and it is going together a lot quicker than the first one. It'll probably end up smaller than the first project. I was playing with layouts in Quilt Design Wizard, and I think it will end up as a nice couch sized quilt.  I tend to use Windows Excel to play with quilt blocks and designs, but when I'm using a block that is already in the program, it's sometimes easier to just use Quilt Design Wizard.  For those of you who aren't familiar with QDW, it is made by the same company as Electric Quilt.  If you think you'd like to try quilt design software, but aren't sure you want to dive into a complicated program like EQ,  QDW is an inexpensive way to get your feet wet, so to speak.  Here is a link to the website: