Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Jacob's Coat

Last week I actually managed to finish something which has been somewhat of a rarity around here this year. Back here and here I showed you the version of Jacob's Coat I was working on. Finally it is done and hanging on the wall!
It's not perfect - you are not allowed to look too closely at the points in the middle of the circles! Hey don't purposely look now that I mentioned it!

This is a quilt for which I use the famous quilters' saying, "If you can't see it from a galloping horse then don't worry about it"!

If you look at the back, you can see how I quilted the appliques - I just followed the basic petal shape, then outline quilted the rest.

I chose to paint the frame a fun bright green, and it couldn't have all come together more easily.I highly recommend using these frames for when you feel like a different way to display your quilts. It eliminates the need for binding - just some elastic on the raw edge helps keep the quilt in check...
I noticed once I put this latest quilt up, that I am running out of wall space for quilts in my living room!

Must be time to start on our bedroom...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Zig Zag Block Tutorial

This post is for the online block exchange groups I'm in, but the rest of you are of course welcome to enjoy it too!

The block I have chosen for my months (October for the Beatnik Bee, and December for Fresh Comfort) is the zig zag block. We really need a new quilt for our bed (the pretty lavender floral bear's paw quilt currently on there just isn't doin' it for me anymore!) and I've decided a zig zag quilt would be gorgeous!

So let's get started.

1) Cut your fabric. Bee members, I have pre-cut the fabric for you. Everyone else, for one block you will need:

(8) 6.5 x 3.5 rectangles of patterned fabric
(16) 3.5 squares of solid fabric
For my quilt I am doing alternating rows of Blue/cool fabrics and red/warm fabrics, so I cut 4 rectangles of blue fabric and 4 of red.

2) Sew a square to your rectangle, from corner to corner. ***(Because people have had trouble with this part, I am editing to say make sure you do HALF your pieces one way, and the other half the opposite way! See instruction #7 for more details)*** You can draw a line on the wrong side of the square if this makes it easier for you to get it straight.

3) Sew another square to the other end of your rectangle, corner to corner, and in the same direction as the first. It is similar to sewing flying geese, but instead of sewing them in opposite directions, they are the same.

4) Sew another line approx 1/2 inch from each of the first lines, on the side closest to the corners. I did mine a little narrower than 1/2 inch, so I could have larger 'bonus' squares (keep reading to see what I mean by 'bonus' squares!)

5) Cut between each of the lines. You now have extra 'bonus' half square triangles to use in another project!

6) Finger press your seams and this is what you have so far...(remember, we are only using the rectangular one for this block - the HST's are NOT used in this block - use them for something else!)

7) Now for the crucial part of making a zig zag quilt successful. In order for the zigs and zags to work, you need to sew half the squares the same direction, and the other half the opposite direction, as in this picture...Because I am doing red rows and blue rows, this means that for each block, you will sew two reds one direction and two reds the opposite direction, and two blues in one direction and two blues the opposite direction. Clear as mud?! Good!

8) Lay your pieces out and place them in an order that is pleasing to you...

9) Now sew them together and repeat for the blue row...

10) Time to press. Press the red row seams in one direction and the blue row in the other direction. This will make everything fit together nicely when you sew the rows together.

11) Sew the rows together with the reds on top, blues on the bottom, and you have finished your first block!
Look how fabulous just 4 blocks look laid out in different combinations...I think the last is my favorite :)

If you want to make a quilt for yourself using this method, you will need about 7 yards of solid fabric and the equivalent of scraps for the top of a queen size quilt. Kona cotton is a popular solid fabric with quilters, and I used Kona Chocolate. Just the name alone made me buy it!

Thanks Bee members for your work. Have fun sewing and let me know if you have any questions!

Tree Quilt Finished

Yes I know it's been too long since I last posted but I have actually done some quilting in that time! Remember this tutorial? I finished up my tree quilt and it's actually 'done-done' as in hanging on a wall.I played around with sashings and even sewed in red sashings. After sewing them in, I looked at them and thought, "hmmmm...do I really want it to look like Christmas year round in my house?"! I'm already half way there with green walls and red leather couches, so I don't need to encourage it any more than I already do!

However, I did notice that the sashing made it look a little like a window so I went with that idea, changed it to white, and called it a day. Quilting it was fun - I just echo-quilted around the trees.
Nancy from With Thread In Hand made a block using my tutorial which she turned into a pillow - I am in LOVE with it!
You can see her post about it here. I especially like how she fussy cut the tree fabric - amazing. And I like her leaves so much better than mine! It really makes me want to sew some tree pillows for the living room. Thanks so much for sharing, Nancy!

I'm posting a zig zag quilt tutorial in a bit, so you might want to hang around for a while!