Anne Marie Chany of the Gen X Quilters blog recently released a book entitled Sister Sampler Quilts. The book contains 3 projects with interchangeable blocks that are designed to be completed with the help of a sister or other partner. Each partner makes the blocks in pairs, one of which will be swapped. This results in a quilt partially made by another person.
Since I don’t have a sister or a partner interested in the project, I decided to go solo and make a smaller quilt. My plan is to make 12 to 16 twelve inch blocks from the book and see where it goes from there. I purchased a bundle of fat quarters called Imprint designed by Katarina Roccella for Art Gallery Fabrics.
To make the projects more interesting, Anne Marie is featuring the Bonfire quilt from the book in her Block of the Month Club 2016. Monthly drawings encourage participants to post their blocks on the website. The challenge started in January with the Moon and Star block. I confess I was not sure I could do the block successfully and put it off for a couple of months. I worked on the February block first (in March) and eventually finished January. Here it is!
The Button block was featured for the month of February. This was actually my first Sister Sampler block and my first attempt at curves in several years. It’s a little off but I’m happy with it.
March introduced the third and last block to feature curves. Time and Energy was difficult for me. In fact I was so frustrated with it that I gave up initially and altered it to resemble another block in the book called Mosaic No. 2. I didn’t even do it correctly, just wanted to get it done!
I eventually got my act together and produced this.
Next up – paper piecing!
Each year the Fat Quarter Shop organizes a quilt along to benefit a worthy charity. This year they have introduced Crossroads to benefit the March of Dimes. This was designed with the generous help of Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree & Co. and showcases her new Moda Fabrics collection called Strawberry Fields Revisited. A complete kit is available for purchase from the Fat Quarter Shop. I did not purchase the kit because I plan to make a smaller version of the Crossroads quilt. Instead I purchased a layer cake and some fat quarters. I plan to do 2 of each main block and probably 10 of the Chain blocks. My fabric choices may not exactly match the pattern suggestions.
Block 1 is the House block. I did the green one first and had some difficulty with it. I’ll probably do it over again. The yellow version was much better.
Block 2 is the Diamond block. I think they turned out nice.
The blocks are 8 inches unfinished. Mine are a tad undersized, especially the green House block. A new block is introduced on the 15th of each month (beginning last February). When you download the pattern for that block you are asked to donate $5 or so to the March of Dimes using the link on the Crossroads page of the Fat Quarter Shop website. This way they can monitor the amount donated through the project.
These blocks are on the intermediate level but with patience can be completed successfully. Experienced quilters may not even need the patterns as all the blocks are already pictured on the Crossroads webpage. Of course, donations would still be appropriate if you are able to work ahead.
Finished school in December.
Took a short break from everything.
Now I have gone off the deep end and started not one but four (maybe five) quilt alongs for the new year. The first one is Project 48. Linden and Crystal (I think they are in Australia) and 24 of their quilting friends have designed 48 nine inch blocks to be released over the next year, that’s one every Friday except holidays. I’ll be using Elementary by Sweetwater for Moda Fabrics for my blocks. I had a layer cake but tracked down a bundle of fat eighths just to make sure I had enough.
Block 1 is a traditional Churn Dash block.
Block 2 is what I call a Disappearing Nine Patch. Fabric choice is very important. It has an optical illusion thing going on and you want the emphasis on the right squares. I wish I had given more thought to the direction of the black and white print when I was cutting the rectangles and piecing the squares. I really wish I wasn’t so fussy about things like that.
I decided to skip Block 3. It was supposed to be a wonky version of Block 2 but I just wasn’t warming up to the results I saw on Facebook.
I believe there is a charge for joining the Project 48 quilt along after a certain date but the challenge of doing these blocks has been fun and would be well worth a small fee for the weekly patterns. I highly recommend the quilt along for those who like a little something different every week.
The family heirloom wallhanging is complete. It looks so small on the wall! The final measurements are 15-1/2 x 15-1/2.
The center block was hand pieced by my husband’s grandmother, Mary Lee Anna Mize Womack, who passed away in 1986 in Louisiana. The HST’s were made from Kona Denim, Windsor and White. The batting is Warm and White.
The backing is Blueberry Crumb Cake by Blackbird Designs for Moda Fabrics. It was machine quilted using Coats and Clark white for machine quilting. You know, I think I’ve had fewer problems with the less expensive thread. Imagine that.
I attached a sleeve to the back for hanging. I tried to use the corner pocket method for hanging but my machine said I was crazy to think he could handle that much fabric at once. I wonder if he knows he’s about to be replaced.
Here’s some more Sweetwater fabric I’ve been hoarding.
One thing is for sure – I need photography lessons.
Linking up to Freshly Pieced.
A few months ago my husband’s cousin contacted some family members and asked if they would be interested in some quilt blocks that had been hand pieced by their grandmother, Mary Lee Anna Mize Womack (1897-1986), affectionately known as Mama Womack. She had just enough of them to go around to all the first generation cousins so naturally I jumped on it.
My first thought was to feature it in a larger pinwheel sampler style quilt but the extremely small seam allowances would make it too delicate for everyday washing. I decided to make it into a wall hanging.
I checked my Kona Color Card for some similar solids. The closest I could find were Windsor, Denim and Evening so I ordered a 1/2 yard of each. After receiving those and playing with the block I decided to frame it in Kona White and do a row of White/Windsor and White/Denim HST’s around that followed by a solid binding, probably in Windsor. I did not want to do anything to draw attention away from Mama Womack’s hand work.
At the narrowest point, the block measured 9-5/8 by 10-1/4. I decided to make it a nine inch square. This would be the only way to make it even and center the points as much as possible. I hated cutting it down but for all we know that was exactly what she had intended to do all along.
The border was intentionally wide because I was doing this by trial and error. I wasn’t sure how much room I would need.
The white border is a tad off but I’m almost done.
Linking up to W.I.P. Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.
My points look pretty good – for the most part. A few need to be redone. It’s the seam bulk that is making me crazy. No amount of ironing seems to help. I would normally try to press each seam in the opposite direction of its “partner” seam so they lay together smoothly. That’s next to impossible with this pattern. I’m not sure how you quilt over this kind of bulkiness. Maybe I should try pressing everything open instead. Or maybe my old iron needs to be replaced.
I think I may take a break and work on a more cooperative project.
I had some reservations about Malka Dubrawsky’s ”a stitch in color” for Moda Fabrics. I’ve been a fan of her pillow designs for a long time but I generally don’t care for the bold hand painted look represented by her first line of fabrics. That is until I saw the pillow she made with them.
And as I look back through her preview projects, I’m really drawn to this mini quilt.
As is the case with her pillow, I used a package of charm squares and the same windows blocks but increased the size of the “frame” using Kona in Medium Gray. I think that may have been a mistake as it appears to have changed the overall effect of the pattern. I wish I could explain that but the words escape me right now. The finished size is 38 x 43. I’m still using Warm and White cotton batting. The backing is made with two of Malka’s prints, the same orange and blue used for the binding. The quilting is intentionally wonky. The thread is Mettler.
My bindings are looking much more polished.
My Singer machine has been behaving lately. It seems the more lint it traps the better it sews.
This was my second quilt using the Authentic line by Sweetwater for Moda. The Jelly Roll 1600 pattern can be found on numerous web sites and there are Jelly Roll race videos on YouTube. I can’t remember where I saw it first but it seemed like it would be a good project for getting back into quilting.
The finished quilt measured 48 x 55. The backing has more Authentic and some Bella Snow by Moda. I used both YLI thread and some Mettler. The batting was Warm and White.
I had more trouble with my machines than anything else on this quilt. The quilt was pieced using a 1970 Singer Touch and Sew which belonged to my mother. The other Authentic quilt was also pieced using that machine. They were both quilted using my Singer 52-61-2J purchased in 1997 or so. It worked great on the last two quilts but the tension problems returned with this one. I tried to finish the quilting on the Touch and Sew but with about 10 inches to go the foot pedal gave out. I ended up having to deal with the newer machine’s issues (cranky tension and skipped stitches) in order to complete the quilting. Switching thread brands did not seem to help matters and I changed needles (90/14) numerous times.
I’ve been whip stitching my bindings in place until this one. I tried a slip stitch on the last quilt but couldn’t get the hang of it. For some reason it worked well on this quilt.
This quilt was an unexpected challenge. It was based on a design we saw at Lone Star Quiltworks in College Station (Bryan really). The novelty fabric (four different prints) did not have as tight a weave as quilt quality fabric. I had a lot of issues with stretching, shifting and raveling. It’s a bit out of square but I think I did a fair job of hiding that.
The finished size was 45 x 47 which was smaller than I had planned but I was ready to move on. It was quilted with a zig zag stitch over white satin ribbon. I also worked in some Kona Medium Gray, White and Burgundy squares. The backing was made with more of the maroon and beige novelty prints with just a couple of seams. For the thread I tried some Superior King Tut in white, although I can’t say I could tell much difference from my usual YLI. The batting was Warm and White and the binding was Kona Burgundy.
It was ready just in time for Parent’s Weekend. Gig ‘em Aggies!