Saturday, July 27, 2019

Three Cheers For the Red, White & Blue! --- Part 4

I had noted in a previous post that I purchased a used straight stitch machine.  I wanted it primarily for quilting my quilts and need to get comfortable using it.  I've made one mug rug with it and pieced the last QOV top with it but want a chance to quilt another project a little bigger than a mug rug before moving onto working on some of the layered or flimsie lap quilt projects I have outstanding.  So what better step up from a mug rug than a table runner!

I have a sideboard in my dining room (really an old dresser) that right now is still sporting a Christmas runner (gasp!).  I had planned to make a Spring runner for it but got way laid so why not a summer runner to honor Memorial Day and July 4 --- even if they have already passed!  Ok, so it'll be ready for Labor Day.  The good news was that the fabrics came from what still remains from the stash collected for the QOV top.  As of now the top and backing for the runner are finished:

It's the "Star Spangled Banner" (free) pattern from American Patchwork and Quilting (and not to be confused with the "Star Spangled" runner I made for our terrace table back in 2013 -- has it been that long?!?).  This was another Accuquilt Go! project for me since I was able to cut the block strips with their Log Cabin die.

Accuquilt has enough of a variety of dies that it's possible to cut just about any project out with one.  While I often examine a potential project to see if I can use the die cutter to make most of the cuts for it, there are times when hauling out the cutter and dies for a project isn't worth the effort.  However, for log cabin block strips it is so worth it!  I cut all of the blue strips with the die from the leftovers from the recent QOV project.  I also cut some of the light strips from that stash too but was also able to use a few light strips already in my Log Cabin Strip Storage Box.

This was an idea I got from Mary Johnson over at Making Scrap Quilts From Stash (and unfortunately, I can't link to the exact post --- she changed her blogging platform in 2018 and the 2016 post I got the tip from is not on her current site).  Ingenious, huh?!?   Mary makes a lot of charity quilts for Heartstrings and always has a ton of projects in the works so obviously knows a lot about keeping things organized.

APQ's original runner design featured white wool stars appliqued on but I did mine in a gold cotton print.  For some reason, whenever I am looking at QOV designs, I always want to add either a touch of gold or gold stars to the design.  And while this project isn't for a QOV, I'm still in that mode right now so that's where my mind went.  The stars were also cut with the GO! with fusible attached although I still have to fuse them down to be stitched in place.  The central panel in the backing will be the label area and written on when the runner is finished.  I've always said that the easiest way for me to ensure that a quilt gets labeled is to make sure the label (or a space for it) gets put into the backing. If I have to add it later, it might never get done!

So next step is to get this quilted!   To that end, the shininess you see on the top is the plastic preview paper I have over it as I audition stitch designs:

I have a few more books to look at for ideas specifically related to log cabin blocks/quilts before I choose the final design.

It should also be noted that I'm also collecting the parts for another table mat:

This is another APQ free pattern.  I'm making it smaller than patterned to go on a table in our living room.  Can't use up too many of these RWB scraps though, have to save some for future QOV projects!

Linking up on Pat's Sloan's latest UFO check in.  Go see what everyone else is working on too!

Friday, July 12, 2019

Three Cheers For the Red, White & Blue! --- Part 3

When I started working on a QOV top from my R/W/B stash, I had also hoped to make some more projects from the stash when it was done.  The good news is that I had a good reason to do so and another good cause to apply it to.  I learned about Kat Drinkwater's Covered In Love charity quilt drive back in February and donated String blocks to her January/February drive and Star Flower blocks to her March/April drive.  Kat spends May and June catching up on finishing up the quilts from earlier block drives.  When she announced that the next drive was to be in July, I figured I'd be ready to participate by then.  I want to do all the drives this year and since she has traditionally asked for the July blocks to be made from R/W/B fabrics, you know I was in!

This year's drive is called "Oh My Stars".  Kat's looking for 12-1/2" (12" finished) Star Blocks this time around.  Given the "Star" prompt, this also seemed like a good time to play with some new block designs or block making techniques I want to try out.  A themed drive like this is also a chance to make some blocks with some of the quilty piecing gadgets you don't get to use often.  Here were the ones I chose:

One of the first patterns I found was for a star block that was part of a quilt along project.  An ombre fabric had been used to achieve the gradient effect in the Double Sawtooth Star blocks in the quilt from Bernina's "Summer Sparkle Quilt Along". 

I tried to acheive the same effect with my fabric choices.  I'm not sure I was as successful but it was fun to try anyway.  The block as designed was only 10" fnished so I added a border around mine to bring it up to the size Kat needs.

Another block I wanted to make was the Split Ohio Star blocks from Judy Laquidara's "Road to Brownwood" quilt.  This quilt has long been on my "I Want To Make That" list.

However, I had also looked for stars to make in other places.  In my "QOV Ideas" file, I had this McCall's booklet:

There were quite a few interesting star blocks in this one --- including the Split Ohio Star (for Massachusetts).  I also decided to make the Mississippi block too.

Speaking of getting to use those quilty tools:  for the middle units in the Mississippi blocks, I was able to make those quicker by cutting the shape with the Accuquilt Go! Signature block die:

When combined with 3" finished HST triangles (also cut with the Go!), the units finish at 4-1/2" (5" unfinished) so after sewing them up, I trimmed them down with the 4-1/2" square on the Value die.  So with that, I've now got four blocks to mail out to Kat!

Seeing as how I originally found out about "Covered In Love" from a post linked up at "Finished or Not Fridays" on Myra's Busy Hands Quilts blog, it's only fitting that I link up my latest blocks there as well!  I'm joining Cynthia over at Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework who also posted her July CiL blocks and bring some more attention to Kat's great cause!
Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts

Three Cheers For the Red, White & Blue! --- Part 2

In my last post I had been playing in my R/W/B stash to finally make up the last of three QOV tops that I hope to get quilted for distribution this year.  When you finish a project there are a couple of options open to you.  You can:
  1. Just put all the leftovers back in your "stash storage system" of choice.
  2. If  you use a Scrap Users System, you can start cutting up the scraps into the precut sizes you prefer depending on the amount of each fabric you have left.
  3. Or you can ask yourself:  is there enough of anything here that I can apply to another project?
As my sidebar will attest, I am guilty of acquiring many "Squirrel Projects" as I read through all the quilty blogs and websites that are around.  Pat Sloan's site is one of my favorites and she also does posts for other companies (although I was sorry to hear she'll no longer be doing the podcast for American Patchwork & Quilting).  One of the companies she does posts for is Aurifil Threads, hosting their "Designer of the Month Series".

For June, the featured designer was Annette Plog, one of the "19th Century Patchwork Divas".  I love reproduction quilts so know the work and books of this group of women well!  For Aurifil's DOM series, Pat interviews the designer about her interests and quilty journey and the featured designer will offer a block designed around the year's theme.  For 2019, the theme is "Traditions" and the block Annette offered was this one:

What's cool is that if you make the block and link it up (this month's deadline is July 15), you have a chance to win an  Aurifil thread prize.  This was one of those times when I saw the block and could visualize how I wanted to work it up (and you can see another time I did that here).  So I downloaded the instructions with plans to make up a block once I had finished my QOV top.

This was the block I made:

I did make one change and made the center square a "Square In A Square" unit instead.  Seems good right?  Except that when I went to link up and looked at some of the other blocks, something seemed amiss.  It didn't take long to realize what it was:  I had made my block following the picture in the instructions:

However, if you compare that to Annette's block earlier in the post you can see the difference, LOL!  I don't feel bad because if you look at the blocks submitted, you can tell who worked from the blog post and who worked from the pattern instructions!  It was funny, after I had my block made, I thought it had looked a little different than what I had visualized!  I was going to just upload it as it was but then I wanted to see what the block would look like in the original design so I made another one up.  Here's that one:

Just goes to show what happens when you play with color position in a design!  I think I'll upload both of them.  More entries, more chances to win, right?!?  I'm not done with this stash yet, there is still more R/W/B fun a comin'!  Stay tuned!

Three Cheers For the Red, White & Blue! --- Part 1

Well, I'm about half way through the month and for a change feel like I got a few things accomplished!  As the title notes, all the things are related to the color stash I'm working from:  Red, White & Blue fabrics.  I've been attracted to R/W/B quilts since I began quilting and have made a few quilts in that color scheme as well as a few tops still waiting to be quilted (and to see them, click on the "R/W/B Quilts" label on the sidebar).

When the QOV mission was founded, I just knew I had to join in both to contribute and for the chance to make more R/W/B blocks and quilts!  Years ago I donated blocks for MODA's "Just One Star" block drive and I already have one R/W/B QOV top waiting for quilting.  Well now I've got another:  "What Goes Around Comes Around" is a flimsy!

When I started this one (after seeing it on a post on the Katy Quilts blog), I didn't know its origin so I called it the "Garlic Knots QOV" because it looked like one of Bonnie Hunter's Addicted To Scraps blocks:

However, I eventually found out it was actually the pattern "Patriotic Patchwork" by Debra Finan from the Love of Quilting July/August 2012 issue.   I was pretty sure I had that one since I have a few other issues from that year (I had a LOQ subscription back then) and I saw another quilt in that issue that I recognized.  I couldn't for the life of me remember where I had put it until I finished the top and began looking around to see if I had any large backing pieces.  When I had started on this round of QOV work, I had actually gone through and organized all the  R/W/B stash.  I remembered from that inventory of the stash that I had a few large cuts of fabric and had also put aside some fabric bundles for potential projects.  So of course what's the first thing I find?  This bundle:

....with this on top!  This is the quilt I remember seeing when I had done a web search for the issue.  And sure enough, here's the original "Patriotic Patchwork" pattern in it!

So it turns out the design was right under my QOV nose the whole time and hence the quilt name!  I also had a whole lot of that stripe print in the bundle so some of it will become the backing for this quilt.  So now I have the three QOVs I wanted.

They all are now (approriately enough) stored in this bag:

It's one of the C&T Publishing Eco Totes that I got a few years back when they were promoting the Island Batik "Quilted In Honor" fabric line with quilts designed by C & T authors.  These bags are great for storage or carrying around at quilt shows.  They are eco-friendy too since according to the C & T site, they are made from recycled water bottles.

So now that I have a stash of tops and backings, I need to plan to get them quilted by September so I can offer them to the local VFW for distribution in November for Veteran's Day.  However, that was not the end of the R/W/B fun.  More to follow in the next post!