Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Fun with Fat Quarters

Over the years I have made numerous quilts of the type that I call my Fat Quarter Quilts.  The quilt pattern is based on one found in M'Liss Rae Hawley's 1999 book called Fat Quarter Quilts.  In it are several patterns but one, Mystery Quilt, has always resonated with me.


What appeals has always been the fact that you can use anywhere from 5 or more fat quarters with one 2 yard minimum focus fabric and 1 yard minimum background fabric.  It can be one background fabric or more.  The focus fabric can be a floral print, a batik, a border print, a directional print as long as it is a fabric that serves to stimulate your creative fabric choice juices in terms of choosing fat quarters.






In making the units of this quilt, you work with the fabric you have to make 5 inch blocks.  They are triple rail, four patch, nine patch, half square triangles and a double four patch. Any fabric will do for each element, but I usually choose a strong color for the double four patch.  I like the way it can produce a strong visual line in the finished top.

  




The above example uses multiple background fabrics rather than one piece of yardage.

Your cutting skills can be challenged to make accurate cuts that measure 5 3/8 inches, 2 3/4 inches, 2 inches, and 1 5/8 inches.

You need to sew an accurate 1/4 inch seam.

And you need to design out of your comfort zone.

I have a quilty friend who absolutely cringes when she sees these quilt tops.  They are too random for her and play havoc with her sense of balance and symmetry.  She can make the various elements, but she needs to put the quilt into one that is more traditional and not so random.

These quilts are still a challenge for me. I find immense satisfaction in producing a quilt top that uses what I have in my fabric stash and allows me to produce a quilt that can be pleasing to the eye but uses a different approach to design.

Fun with Fat Quarters or Designing out of Your Comfort Zone is a fun and different way to approach your stash and make a quilt that is uniquely yours.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Update on Student Quilts

Open Sew days have been busy in the classroom at "Piecing with Poppers Quilting Center" in spite of the weather and in spite of the sidewalk heaving and the door not opening as a result.  Through it all we have had great parking so the students have been coming to sew.

Some of the now finished tops include the following...


Marie's modified Chinese coins quilt top.  This used almost two complete jelly rolls and additional yardage (approximately 3 yards) for the sashing, borders and binding.  It is displayed sideways on the design wall since the design wall is not wide enough to pin up the top as it will display on a bed.  You can tilt your head sideways to get the correct view!


Carol's blue and white Jacob's Ladder quilt.  She used one jelly roll each of blue solid and white from the Moda Bella Solids line that Sharon is carrying in the shop.  It is a 20 block quilt and is destined for the football field this fall as a lap quilt for her cheerleading granddaughter.


Dottie is machine quilting her Bargello quilt.  She is using a combination of free motion and quilting in the ditch on this quilt.  All quilting is being done on her domestic machine using either the darning foot or the walking foot. She is doing a great job on this, her first machine quilting project!



I have been busy working on this Maze Quilt which is a free pattern I found on line at the Windham Fabrics website.  I am using several charm packets from Quilting Treasures, called Lola Textures and Ombré Dots for the squares as well as a darker blue Moda Marble for the sashing and borders.  All of these products can be found at the shop also.  Although there is a charm packet that I picked up elsewhere recently (and I can't remember where!) also included in the mix.  Unfortunately no stash busting on this project!  The backing will have to take care of that requirement. There are borders still to be applied before it can be declared done, but the bulk of the top is now completed.

There are lots of other projects going on during Open Sew classes. Why not stop by some time and see for yourself?

Join us for an Open Sew session at the classroom at Piecing with Poppers Quilting Center.

Enjoy your Tuesday!  Get your errands done this morning so you can sew this afternoon.  I hear it is going to snow later today, AGAIN!






Monday, March 2, 2015

Seasons on the Deck - March 2, 2015


It has been awhile since I did a "Seasons on the Deck" installment, so I thought why not now?


Just now from inside the house,


Last week from inside the house


March 2, 2013 - where's the snow?


April 22, 2014

I know April 22 is still a month and a half from today, but somehow I don't think all of this snow will be gone by then. 

Let's see what happens.









Friday, January 30, 2015

New finishes for January 2015

Here are some new finishes for January 2015.  I am trying for one finished quilt or a finished top each week this year.  So far so good!


January 15 back from the long arm quilter.  The binding was put on shortly after that and completed on the 25th of January. I don't have a picture of the totally completed quilt yet, but it is completely finished now!  The first completely finished quilt of 2015!


January 24

Almost finished, just needs one more border.  This could be a top, but I have decided to add a pieced  checkerboard border.  It should be finished fairly soon.


January 28, back from the long arm quilter.
Sorry for the blurry photo, but this is another finish.  Needs the binding though.


January 30, another one back from the long arm quilter yesterday.  Binding put on today.
Getting there!

Four quilts for January, not too shabby!

Oops! Forgot the fifth one!  No photo yet, but it is a brown Blooming Nine Patch.  It is still waiting for it's binding and that will be put on tomorrow.  

All in all a great start to the year.  Hope I can keep it up!







Saturday, January 24, 2015

Quilters's Weekend Retreat - Saturday afternoon update

We have been busy working today.

Sally completed her paper pieced Mariner's Compass.


Joan completed a quilt top for a new baby.


Lynn completed another row of her foundation pieced log cabin blocks.  Each log measures 1/2 inch finished!


Chris is making good progress on her paper pieced project.  This will be awesome when finished!


Sue finally completed a block without any reversed pieces!  She claims she is the master of unsewing after this project.

Also going on .....

Kate is working on "Anita's Arrowhead" blocks


Mary is working on nine patches.  Each square will finish at 1 inch.


Angela is adding to her pile of blocks.  Only 66 more to go!


Donna's scrap log cabin blocks pieced on muslin foundation fabric available at Folk Art Quilts located in Wakefield, Rhode Island.


Betty is hand quilting this two color quilt.  I couldn't get a good close up, but her quilting is wonderful!


Another block for "Plain and Fancy", a block of the month program available at Piecing with Poppers Quilting Center, West Greenwich, Rhode Island.


Ginny's needlepoint project.


Nancy's blocks which are part of a project that she purchased at Cobblestone Quilts in Townsend, Massachusetts.

The afternoon was topped off by our chocolate tasting party sponsored by Chocolate Dreams of Coventry, Rhode Island.  Christine brought us a variety of fruits and snacks to dip.  A wonderful break in the afternoon.


It snowed earlier today and continues to be grey, overcast and often drizzling.  The snow will return later we are told, but for those of us on retreat at the Hampton Inn in Coventry, Rhode Island, the weather outside can be frightful, but the sewing inside is delightful!

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Until this evening....


















Friday, January 23, 2015

Quilters' Weekend Retreat - Day 1


Here we are back again for the Second Quilters' Retreat. Many of the quilters were here last year and couldn't wait to return this year.   Below is just a very small sampling of ongoing projects and projects completed thus far.  I am sure there will be many more pictures to come.


Carol's quilt top was our first show of the weekend.


Angela has one block finished and seventy more to go.  How many will she finish this weekend?


Half of Sally's paper pieced Mariner's Compass.  She completed all but one section later in the day.


My Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt saw all four of its borders sewn on tonight.  Although I have been busy today, I have at least finished this top.  Now to decide which binding to use before it is quilted.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's photos of our progress.





Monday, December 29, 2014

Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt Update

I have been steadily and industriously working on Bonnie Hunter's latest Mystery Quilt, Grand Illusion.

I have completed all of the parts!

Part 1



Part 2



Part 3



Part 4



Part 5




Part 6 will be out on Friday this week, the first day of the Post Holiday Quilters' Retreat!
What perfect timing!

I hope the next clue is something I can diligently work on over the weekend.  But, if not, there is always Celtic Solstice to finish

Stay tuned....