Scrappy Nine Patch

Well, this is sort of a good-news-bad-news post. The good news – I’m making some bright, fun scrappy nine patches! I wanted to work on something sort of simple for a while and this hit the spot. I was really inspired by the colors in the Flea Market Fancy reprint. I’m not sure how many I’m going to make, but I plan on sashing them when I’m done.

The bad news is, as I was making these fun little blocks, my sewing machine ran into an issue and it is now at the Bernina doctor. I don’t think it’s anything serious, probably just my own fault for not keeping up with the proper servicing. The thread is catching at some point inside and it is not pulling through during stitching. One stitch everything was working and the next it wasn’t. I’m so sad, because this weekend I have plans to go to a sewing day with some really super cool people.

I do have a back up machine. I haven’t used it in 2-1/2 years and it’s pretty basic. So hopefully I can find all the pieces and get it going for Saturday.

In any case, I may be Bernina-less for the next week. I think I must have looked really sad when the nice lady at the store told me, she sympathized. Crossing my fingers for a quick-servicing miracle though!

I will leave you with this picture of a rooster from my weekend trip. Because, well, I may not have many sewing pictures to share for the next week!

The Traveling Quilts

The Traveling Quilts - Constellation

Phew – it has not been the best few days. I was out for the count with the flu. I guess I learned my lesson about not getting a flu shot! I’m happy to report that I am now well into recovery mode and was able to spend a bit of time at my sewing machine today.

The Traveling Quilts - Constellation

I am very excited to share these star blocks that I made before getting sick. They will be my start to The Traveling Quilts. This is a new bee of 11 quilters. We each start our own quilts with a theme of our choice and then mail the blocks to the next quilter in the rotation. They add to the quilt, only posting a sneak peek, and then mail everything to the next quilter on the list. The last person to receive the blocks does the final quilt top assembly and quilting and in a year, you receive your surprised finish quilt back! Obviously this is a sort of bee that you would want to do with people you know pretty well. :)

The Traveling Quilts - Constellation

It’s really fun to think about the journey across the country these blocks are about to take – from here in Illinois to Vermont to North Carolina to Hawaii to California to Oregon to Oregon to Oregon (Ha!) to Washington to Colorado to Illinois and then back home to me! PHEW!

The Traveling Quilts - Constellation

The theme I chose was “Constellation” and I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with. I used some great tutorials online for my blocks: Scrap Jar Stars, Lone Starburst and Wonky Stars.

The Traveling Quilts - Constellation

Along with our quilt starts, we are sending journals for everyone to add to as they grow our quilts. I found this great one on Etsy – the front is a map of the midwest. How appropriate is that?

The Traveling Quilts Journal

Have fun on your travels little quilt! See you next year!

Solstice Stars Series : Two Colors Star

Welcome to week 5 of the Solstice Stars Series! This is our last star and I really hope everyone has enjoyed the series. Don’t forget you can catch up on all the previous tutorials by clicking on the Solstice Stars Series tab at the top of the page. Later this week I plan on posting some ideas for quilt tops, just to get those creative juices flowing.

Today we will be making the Two Colors Star. This star is from Barbara Brackman’s book The Encyclopedia Of Pieced Quilt Patterns,page 454 and the original source of the design is Comfort, a periodical from Augusta, Maine that was published from the late 1800’s to the mid 1900’s.

I had several thoughts when deciding how to make this star. In the end, I wanted this block to be accessible to all skill levels of quilter, so I opted for half square triangles (HSTs) and squares. I know this adds more seams, but again, I think this was the best method to reach everyone out there, including beginners. Let’s get started!


Two Colors Star Quilt Block Tutorial

Please note, all seams are 1/4″; Final block size 12.5″ unfinished

Step 1. Cut your fabric. When cutting fabric for paper piecing, you will be cutting rectangles that will be larger than needed.

Pattern Piece Fabric
Corners Cut 4 4.5” x 4.5″ White/Background
Background Cut 6 3” x 3”, cut
diagonal
White/Background
Star Color 1 Cut 4 2.5” x 2.5” Color/Print 1
Star Color 1 Cut 4 3” x 3”, cut
diagonal
Color/Print 1
Star Color 2 Cut 4 2.5” x 2.5” Color/Print 2
Star Color 2 Cut 2 3” x 3”, cut
diagonal
Color/Print 2

Step 2. Take your white/background half square triangles (HSTs) and your print HSTs and sew them together into squares.

Step 3. Trim your HSTs to 2.5″ squares. Tip: Use the diagonal line on your quilting ruler as a guide down your seam. This ensures an equal trim on all sides of your square.

Trim first two sides:

Turn and trim other two sides:

Step 4. Layout your star as below:

Step 5. We will now assemble the tiny squares into larger squares, creating a nine patch square. Sew the sets of four, 2.5″ x 2.5″ squares together. This will create 4.5″ x 4.5″ squares as seen below.

Step 6. Sew your blocks together into rows.

Step 7. Sew your rows together. You’re done!

Be sure to post your block photos as well as any questions in the Flickr group.

For the Love of Solids ~ A Work in Progress

FTLOS Blocks

I’ve started work on my first item for the For the Love of Solids Flickr swap. After spending some time studying my secret partner’s inspiration mosaic, I decided to embrace the improvisational, liberated sewing technique. I made these blocks using just my rotary cutter and no ruler. This photo shows the blues more accurately:

For the Love of Solids Blocks

Part of the swap involves posting work in progress photos and getting feedback from your partner (without them knowing it’s their project). I’m now trying to decide on whether or not my partner would like blocks pieced directly together or maybe off centered in some sashing… We shall see!