I was very focused on my Hunter's Star veterans quilt this weekend at our quilt club sewing days. I learned several really valuable lessons about this pattern. I'm probably doomed to forget those lessons and repeat them at some point.
Hunter's Star is traditionally a 2 color, or 2 value pattern. Now I know that having a 2-color design makes pressing and assembly so much easier! I got about a quarter of the blocks together when I realized that I needed to press half of them differently so that the seams would nest properly when I put the blocks together. But the real challenge came when I was trying to put together the blocks. Not having 2 colors or light/dark, I had to pay out the blocks seam side up to make sure they nested properly. I arranged them in rows and almost got it all together. I have one row pinned in place and 3 or 4 more to add.
Those of you who have made this pattern will also notice that I should have the second row as the top row. That's not really going to matter because I think I'm going to have 11 rows so it will be "right" from one edge. I do have too much dark green on the right side but this is a scrappy quilt and I'm not going to worry about that.
I almost finished it when I came home but this is my quilt club project so it can wait until next month. I wouldn't get it quilted before then anyway. I do like it a lot and it will look great with a leaf quilting motif.
It's only going to take a couple of hours to finish that quilt so I needed to get another kit together. I started cutting this Hunter's Star last Monday with 2 Stash Packs. Then I dyed some pale gray for the "light side" of each block. I got those cut out last night. The darker gray in the middle is the binding. I'm all ready for next month and I'm confident that this one will be even easier and faster than the scrappy one.
The rest of the weekend was spent on chores and quilting the Groovy quilt. The photo in the right is the back. The back and sashing are green because that's the recipient's favorite color. Now I'll turn my attention to binding Patrick's quilt and Groovy. I'm going to hand stitch both on the back so it will take a bit more time.
Friday and Saturday sewing was a lot of fun this weekend and quite productive. I got to try out the new/used Janome 415 machine and it stitches beautifully. The 1/4 inch foot is more like a 3/8" foot so it's useless. I solved that with a piece of masking tape to mark 1/4" on the base. That worked just fine. The tension is perfect and I got about half of my blocks together. After about 50 blocks I realized that I needed to press the blocks in two different directions (out and up vs. in and down) if I wanted this quilt to go together without too much bulk in the seams.
I didn't plan any color arrangement so I wanted to see how it might looks so when I came home I spent about a hour putting all the blocks on the design wall. I love looking at my blocks through the camera. I think it gives a better perspective on how a quilt will look and I LOVE how this one looks. Even with the total "scrappiness" I think the stars stand out nicely. There will be lots more dark fabrics in the final layout. The dark fabrics are mostly on the bottom of the project box since they were cut first.
Using the GO! cutter die makes cutting and piecing very fast. Everything fits together perfectly since I took some time to verify (set) my 1/4" seam.
I did a few other things this weekend with my ice dyed blocks but haven't edited the photos yet. I'll get those shared edited and shared Wednesday.
It's not the most modern upholstery but it looks a lot better than the filthy blue that was on it before. I think I paid less than $50 for this chair many years ago and it's still my favorite, and most comfortable, sewing chair. (I'm not showing the underside.)
I also needed to get a project ready fast. Today is the monthly sewing days with Country School Quilters. I needed a new project to sew on with my new travel sewing machine! I'm looking forward to giving this one a test drive this weekend.
After the great presentation we had Tuesday about all the good that our veterans quilts do, I just had to start another one.
I've had this Hunter Star die for a while and it seems a fine one to start with.
In my stash I found a 3 yard gradient that I dyed a long time ago for another project that fell off the "to do" list. I needed about 6 yards for a veterans size quilt and I found some yellow, a couple of orange fabrics and a green fabric to go with the gradient. There's no plan for color placement. I'm just going to sew a bunch of blocks together and see how it goes. I did starch all of the fabric before I started cutting. I make my own starch with this recipe.
The Hunter Star die looks like this and 4" strips are the perfect size. One pair of strips can make 1 12" block. I run 4 strips through at a time. I can run 6 layers but I get less distortion with 4 layers and it doesn't really take that much longer. I don't know yet if I'm going to make 12" blocks of matching fabrics or make the whole thing scrappy. I'll make some 6" components and see how it looks.
By the time you read this I should be set up and sewing. I even had enough fabric left for binding.
Yesterday I said that I will only make the pet beds from free stuff.
Well, Tuesday night was our annual quilt club Trash to Treasure sale and someone brought a box of upholstery remnants. It didn't have any fragrance scent so I broke my rule and paid a dollar for the whole box! Last night I decided to go through it a precut it into pieces ready to stitch into pet beds.
The size of the bed is determined by the size of the fabric piece. Some are big and some are smaller.
I know that they wash the beds so I don't use fabrics like this that have some sort of backing. I'll probably give her those remnants because they can probably use them for other things.
Out of the whole box these are the only "rejects". Even if they end up in the landfill it's still less than half what was in there.
I also cut up a couple more of the double knit pieces. Someone commented yesterday that if you have double knit fabric that you might donate it to theater groups. They can use them for backdrops because that fabric can be painted. So there's another idea for a stash of double knit.
I'm all set for pet beds for at least a year! I know I'll be going through these at a good rate because 2 of our members recently visited the VA hospital unit where our veterans quilts are donated. It's a unit where people get things like chemo ports inserted. They told them how careful they are about giving the quilts out and how healing the quilts are. They use them a lot for patients that are too angry about their diagnosis to focus on treatment. They say that the quilts really help them to get the patients in a calmer state. I think that report motivated all of our members! I expect the veterans quit tops to start rolling in when I start taking them again in November.
And just like that I've cleared out another UFO and have 2 more quilts ready to quilt for our veterans project. I do need to dye (or find) some binding but there's no rush. I'm taking a couple of months off from veterans quilts so these tops will just go into the veterans quilt closet and be out of sight (and mind) for a while.
Here are the twins side by side. If you look at the diagram below you can see the breakdown of the sections. I knew what size each section needed to be and added strips to get the size right. There's no pattern at all to the way that I applied the strips.
Today my friend and I will be ice dyeing the fabric that we folded yesterday for our new quilt project! It's supposed to be the last hot day and the weather people promise that fall is coming soon.
I didn't do any sewing yesterday. I had my physical in the morning and met up with some friends for lunch followed up with errands and then a very lazy evening. But Tuesday I got started on the second sun print veterans quilt. First I needed more fabric and I found this pretty brown in my stash.
Here's the top half already sewn together!
By the time I went to bed last night I had finished the second "Paula" quilt top and also made the back (pieced from leftover fabric), binding and sleeve. I will be quilting starting tonight or tomorrow!
I also got 2 sections of the UFO veterans quilt done. These wen't together really fast and I think I'm going to like it a lot!
I'm glad I looked through my UFO projects again last month to see if I could find some easy things to work on while I"m making the "Paula" quilts. On that front the cat quilt top is together and I have the back, binding and hanging sleeve all done. I have made the blocks for the blue quilt so that's coming along too. I hope to be ready to quilt both this weekend. I have an idea for a third one but want to make sure to get these two done and ready first.
Meanwhile I've decided to tackle this pile of sun prints. I've been pondering these for a couple of weeks and I've settled on turning them into 2 veterans quilts. Each quilt will have 6 sun printed blocks.
I know that sun printed fabric can fade so I ran the blocks through a gentle wash to make sure they will not fade too much. Here they are after washing and they actually look better with the fabrics that I set aside to go with them.
I could have designed a quilt in EQ but graph paper was actually faster in this case. I followed the basic steps that I used for my Keepsakes Quilt pattern. I settled on a 3" grid so designed it using blocks that are on 3" increments and using 3" strips around the blocks. The blocks worked out basically to be 9 x 9 or 9 x 18.
I had set aside 4 Shades Packs to go with these blocks and I cut all of them into 3.5" strips. I have 4 shades in each of the 4 colors. I don't know if that's going to be enough for 2 quilts or not. I'll get one done and if I need more fabric I'll pull some from my stash for the second quilt.
Sure. This is going to work just fine.
Some of my sun prints aren't quite big enough to cut 9.5" squares so I took some of the waste fabric from my strips and sewed them onto these blocks to get the size I needed. I know, I could have just added one big strip but I think I'm already short of fabric so I chose to use my leftover bits instead.
Now I'll start sewing. I should be able to make pretty quick progress just sewing a few minutes every day. I love that I have 2 sewing machines. I have the Paula projects working on the Brother and this project working on the Juki. I can easily put time in on both every day.
Remember Monday when I shared the Maple Leaf quilt and mentioned all the quilts that Gwen has made with 4-patch blocks? Well, here's another and it's not the last one! I really like the on-point setting.
I complained about my thread selection Monday because it didn't show at all on either of those quilts. I corrected that with these quilts by using a bright gold! For this quilt I used a pantograph that I use often and I think it might be called Woven Wind, or something like that. I'm seriously too lazy to walk downstairs to look it up. I want to get this post done quickly before I leave for the monthly sewing days with my quilt club. Anyway, I like the texture it gave this quilt. Gwen has a lot of binding to do!
Occasionally I get a quilt that needs some "special" quilting. I just could not do a pantograph on this strong graphic one that Liz made. You know that I LOVE the gradient effect that she gave this quilt! The squiggly line quilting that I did on this one was really fast but it's a great effect.
Here's a close up of the quilting. You can't really see it but I did the same 2 squiggly lines in the print fabrics too. This one was a good one to end on. My goal of 40 quilts is done!
There are several more to quilt and Marcy and Denise are helping with those. I've told the group that I will not take in any more quilt tops for the time being. I may take some in November if I get some of my own projects done. But I don't feel any pressure to do it and the group is very nice and will not pressure me either. They are always nothing but grateful.
Here's the stack that I have ready to deliver this weekend or Tuesday at our meeting. You know what this means....there are dog beds to make!
I mentioned in my month end summary last week that I commit to quilt up to 40 veterans quilts each year. This year our group has been very prolific! It's August and by the end of this week I will be done with my 40 quilts. I also made 7 veterans quilts of my own....so far. These two quilts are numbers 37 and 38.
This one was made by Gwen. She's been making a lot of quilts with 4" squares. You've seen several with 4-patches on point and they all look great. With this one she started with a few leftover 4" squares and she built the maple leaf block around them.
I used my favorite Loose Leaf pantograph on both of today's quilts. I used an orange thread but I wish I had used a bright gold that might have shown up better in the big brown blocks.
This pretty 2-tone quilt might have been pieced by Betsy. It's certainly her style but we have several quilters would piece something like this.
It's the Jacob's Ladder block and that squiggly design on the light fabric completely camouflages the quilting thread!
The backing is a nice butter yellow. At least you can see the quilting on the back!
I want to get 2 more quilted by Friday.
I'm Vicki Welsh and I've been making things as long as I can remember. I used to be a garment maker but transitioned to quilts about 20 years ago. Currently I'm into fabric dyeing, quilting, Zentangle, fabric postcards, fused glass and mosaic. I document my adventures here.
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