Quiltmaker 100 Blocks

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

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Scrap Addicts project #2

For my second Scrap Addicts project, I used the Pinwheel Fancy block from the January/February 2015 issue of Quiltmaker Magazine.     

                                           Pinwheel Fancy            Pinwheel Fancy blocks

You can find this block, and all the other blocks from the Addicted to Scraps column at this link:  http://www.quiltmaker.com/addicted_to_scraps/index.html

One bonus feature that I like on the Quiltmaker Magazine website is the suggested settings for the Addicted to Scraps blocks.  Clicking the block pictures will take you to a quilt pattern made using that block. The pattern for the block itself is in the magazine issue indicated, but on the blog, they give you a possible setting, including the instructions and yardage needed to make the pictured quilt.  Another bonus is that any of the same-size blocks can be interchanged into the different layouts.  For example, Pinwheel Fancy and Twirl Around from the March/April 2015 issue both finish at 6 inches. 

                             Twirl Around Twirl Around blocks

So, if you prefer the Twirl Around  setting better than the other, you can use it for the Pinwheel Fancy blocks, and vice versa.  Or, you can use any of the other 6 inch blocks!  

OK, that was a long detour around what I intended to write about today...  

Today, I want to give instructions for doubling the size of a block, and the fabric requirements and instructions for making the center block of my second Scrap Addicts project (which will appear on the Quilty Pleasures blog any day now...)

I decided to use the Pinwheel Fancy blocks as a border around a center medallion.  And the center part of the center medallion is a ginormous modified Pinwheel Fancy block.  OK, well, maybe it's not THAT big, but it is much bigger than the original block.  I  wanted a large center block, but just the pinwheel by itself did not make a good center block.  So I modified it by adding flying geese on the four sides and turned it into a star.   The finished size of the whole center medallion is 24 inches square and the center pinwheel is 12 inches square. 

This is a closeup picture of the center medallion.  You can see where I added the flying geese on the right and the left of this picture, but the top and bottom ones are cut off.  Use your imagination or wait until the whole quilt is posted on Quilty Pleasures ;->

The original Pinwheel Fancy block finishes at 6 inches. So I needed to make the block twice as big.  That sounds simple, but there are some things to take into account.  For example, the large half-square triangles (HST) in the original block finish at 3 inches, so you use typical quilt math and start with a 3 7/8 inch square.  You cut that in half diagonally and stitch it to another diagonally cut 3 7/8 inch triangle to get a 3 inch finished HST. But you can't double the cut size and start off with a 7 3/4 inch square because the resulting finished triangle would be 6 7/8 inches.  
The trick is to double the finished size of the HST piece and THEN add the 7/8 inch.  To get a finished 6 inch HST, start with 6 7/8 inch squares.   

Instructions for the center medallion:

Please note these instructions are ONLY for the center 24 inch block.  They do NOT include the fabric or instructions for the borders or the coping strips used to make the quilt shown on the Quilty Pleasures blog. 

From the Orange fabric
Cut 2 - 6 7/8 inch squares, then cut them in half once diagonally to yield 4 triangles
Cut 8 - 6 1/2 inch squares

From the White fabric
Cut 4 - 6 1/2 x 12 1/2 inch rectangles
Cut 6 - 3 7/8 inch squares, then cut them in half once diagonally to yield 12 triangles
Cut 4 - 6 1/2 inch squares

From the Black fabric 
Cut 2 - 3 7/8 inch squares, then cut them in half once diagonally to yield 4 triangles

Make flying geese from the white rectangles and the orange squares:

Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner on the 8 orange squares. Lay one of the orange squares on the right side of one of the white rectangles and stitch the diagonal from top left to bottom right.  In other words, start in the center of the rectangle and stitch along the drawn line to the bottom right corner.  Press the triangle in half along the stitching, making sure that the orange fabric is even with the white fabric along the sides.  Trim away the white fabric and the inside layer of orange fabric, leaving a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  
Lay another orange square on the left side of the white rectangle and stitch from the center to the bottom left corner.  Press the orange square in half along the stitching and trim away the white fabric and the inner layer of orange fabric, leaving a 1/4 seam allowance.

For the pinwheel center:

Sew the black triangles to a white triangle to make 4 HST.  Sew a white triangle to each side of the black/white triangle (on the black sides).  The resulting piece will be a triangle with a black center piece. Sew this triangle to a large orange triangle.  Trim as needed to make a 6 1/2 inch square.  Arrange the four squares so that the orange triangles form a pinwheel as shown in the picture. Sew together as a four-patch block.  

Final Assembly:

Stitch a flying geese block to the right the pinwheel block, lining up the center line of the pinwheel with the center of the goose block.  Repeat for the left side. Press the seams toward the center.  Stitch a white square to each side of the remaining flying geese blocks and press the seams toward the white squares. Stitch these to the top and bottom of the pinwheel/geese unit and press the seams to the outside.  

If any of these directions are not clear, please leave me a comment and I will try to clarify them.  

My next project with the blog is to learn how to insert diagrams!  

Saturday, September 12, 2015

6 weeks. Really?

Good grief!  I just looked at the date of my last post.  I knew that I needed to get back to posting, but life has been so busy that I just haven't taken the time to do it.  So I am going to try to do a little bit each day, and will hopefully be up-to-date by the time I need to travel again at the end of the month (spoiler alert - it involves the Pope!)

Since my last post, I have taken four trips and was only home a total of 9 days in the month of August!  

The first trip was to Philadelphia, for the Knights of Columbus international convention.  That's where my quilt was raffled off. I am very excited to announce that my quilt raised $1,500 for the Knights of Columbus charities.  I was sooooo thrilled.  And I have to admit that my head got a little big with all the compliments. ;->

I thought that it was amusing that some people liked the back better than the front.  I guess that it is kinda unique, because I used a panel in the center, then added border strips and corners.  But I didn't really plan it that way, it was a consequence of how I assembled the sections of the quilt. 

Here is a photo of the back.  I'm not sure you can see the hands, but I had my son and my daughter hold it up so I could take the picture.  The center is the panel, and it is surrounded by a small print with red and blue stars.  Then the corner sections are a bigger red and blue star print.

I did plan to use the panel on the back, mostly because I wasn't sure where else I would use it, and it fit right into the red, white and blue theme.   The center section of the front and back of the quilt were actually made with a straight set, then turned on the diagonal and the corners were added last.  Because it was getting so big (see the previous posts about how I had to keep re-designing it!), I didn't think that I would be able to quilt it all on my home machine, so I quilted it in pieces, then assembled it and added a binding.  

To assemble it, I sewed the sections of the top together with my sewing machine.  After that, the batting in each section had to be sewn together, then the backing had to be sewn.  I did the batting and the backing by hand, using a simple whip stitch.  

Here is the final product:

Some people asked me if I was sorry that I wasn't keeping it for myself.  I thought about that for a long time and decided that making a raffle quilt is kind of like raising a guide dog.  You love it, you care for it, but ultimately, you know that it is meant for someone else.  So even though I really like the quilt,  I am glad that it has a good home.  A nice lady from Northern California won it, and she told me that it will go into her spare bedroom, which coincidentally has a red, white and blue theme!  It was meant to be!

Next up - August trip #2 and  thoughts on "She who dies with the most fabric, wins"