Saturday, January 31, 2015

Some Finishes

It's been quite a while since I've posted, so there's a lot to catch up. I blogged about the Triangle Tangle quilt and the Poppers quilt in December. Both were quilted and finished last month.

This last one, finished this month, was a recliner quilt for my brother-in-law. I needed something masculine and relatively quick to make, and this fit the bill. The fabrics came from the Alpine Woods collection from Benartex, as did the pattern, Mountain View Lodge. I simplified the pattern and reduced the size of the blocks so I could have a little bit smaller quilt. I sure like how it turned out. I have one more panel and some extra fabric leftover, so I will probably make one similar for hubby or maybe one of the kids.


Tuesday's blizzard was a real doozy--winds gusting up to 50 mph, bitter cold wind chills; and as near as we could figure, we got at least a foot and a half of snow. I don't know if I've ever seen it snow that hard. Yesterday we had another storm that started in the morning and finally stopped about midmorning this morning, and dumped another 10 inches. Monday the weatherman is predicting 5-8 inches, and there's another storm rolling in Wednesday.

I'm glad the snow is happening this month instead of in December. My older son was not able to get home from upstate New York for Christmas, so we packed everything up and took Christmas down to him. Wouldn't have gotten to see him if we'd had all these storms.

The neighbors spent all morning digging out from yesterday's storm, and there is just so much snow everywhere. Hubby had to rake the roof, and now there's a pile of snow nearly 6 feet high in the back under the kitchen window.

My sewing studio is in the basement of our home, but I keep a small sewing table and a machine upstairs in the spare bedroom. In the spring and fall, I like to sit up there and sew, enjoy the breeze coming through the window, listen to a few tunes, or just enjoy the quiet in the neighborhood.

Tuesday I sat in front of the window and sewed and watched the storm. I worked on a couple sets of triangles for two different quilts. These triangles were waste triangles left over from my Bali Stars quilt that I finished last year. I had bunches of them, so I used a few to make this mini a while back. 

I continued to make triangle units with the rest of the waste triangles and sewed up a bunch of larger half square triangle units as well. The project languished because I wanted a different layout from the mini and couldn't figure out what I wanted to do. Finally this week I came across a small photo in an old quilt magazine that used the same units. It was some scrap quilt book by Fons and Porter; but I recently saw this same design on Pinterest, so I really don't know who to attribute it to. Anyway, I love it, so I'm using it. There will be a couple of narrow borders, I think.

On Tuesday afternoon I also worked on some triangles for a quilt I'm making by Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket quilts. She has gorgeous designs, and I have several of her books. In order to make a queen-sized quilt, I need 784 half square triangle units. I'm about halfway there, I guess, so lots of sewing left to do.
I have the Inklingo software by Linda Franz, and my new favorite way to make bunches of half square triangle units is to print out a grid on paper and sew them up. I could print directly to fabric if I wanted, but it's so much easier for me to see the lines on the paper, and I don't mind ripping the paper off after.

I think this must be the same thing as Thangles, but with Inklingo I have the ability to print out many triangles quickly and in multiple sizes. If you have neither Inklingo or Thangles, you could draw a grid yourself.

I layer my two fabrics right sides together, pin the paper to the fabrics, and then sew all the lines for the triangles.

The dotted lines are sewing lines, and the solid lines are cutting lines.

Once the triangles are cut apart, the dog ears are trimmed away, the paper is removed, and the triangles are ready to be pressed open. No further squaring up is necessary. Simple, precise, and fast.

Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2015 - January

Even though I haven't finished the blocks for last year's Rainbow Scrap Challenge, I'm going to do it again this year. I'll be making almost four times as many blocks each month this year, but they're considerably easier to put together. I managed to get another set of last year's Dakota Farmer blocks done a few weeks ago, in blues. Two more sets to go for 2014, yellows and oranges, and I'll be ready to put that top together.

I was very interested in Angela's Sampler for this year's challenge but felt I wanted something less complicated. I have two big quilts I have to get done before mid-April and was worried about getting behind, so I'm going to save the directions and maybe do it next year instead.

For this year's challenge, I'm making blocks for a quilt called Twisted Ribbons. It's from a book by Elsie Campbell called Nine Patch and Snowball Quilts. It's an older book, from 2003, but I've wanted to make this particular quilt for a long time. The color for January is blue, and these are the blocks for the first ribbon, made with 15 snowball blocks and 13 nine patch blocks. No borders per se on this quilt, so quick and easy.
Each ribbon segment is made up of one snowball block and one nine patch block. Both blocks will eventually have squares and triangles added to the opposite sides in a different color for an adjoining ribbon. There will be 12 ribbons, which will take me through to the end of the year, but I may change up Angela's colors a little bit. In the quilt in my book, the author combined yellows and oranges in the same ribbon, so I'm not sure what I'll do for that yet.

There's a Mr. Linky on Saturdays on Angela's blog so you can see what other quilters are working on, here.