The numbers don’t lie

The other day while I was at the gym…..tell me if you have heard this one!!! HAHA……

Seriously, while I was on the treadmill, I was watching a Youtube video from “OnPoint-TV” as she presented the formulas for calculating the setting triangles for a quilt set on point. Interestingly, I found that I needed those exact calculations less than 24 hours after watching the show!!

So, in case you might need them…..

For the top and side setting triangles…..

Start with the FINISHED size of the block….multiply by 1.414…..add 1.25…….round up to the nearest 1/4 inch.

For my quilt, the calculations looked like this…..

That square is cut across both corners, making 4 setting triangles…..

Calculating the corner triangles…..

The calculation of the corner triangles has one additional step……

Start with the FINISHED size of the block…..multiply by 1.414……divide that number by 2…..add .875…..round up to the nearest 1/4 inch……

This block is then cut diagonally to provide two corner triangles…..

In the past I have figured out the size of these triangles by trial and error. It was freeing to be able to do the math and not have to guess!!

Pinwheel proceedings…..

Since I am only getting to work in my studio on Saturdays, progress on the pinwheel quilt has been slower than I wished!! But, last weekend I worked on setting the quilt together…..NOT an easy task!!

The first step was to piece the “stem” blocks, adding 1/2 square triangles to each side of the check strip and then trimming them down to the needed 5-inch size.

After I trimmed the first one, I knew that I needed some way to easily position the ruler so that the “stem” split the block perfectly. To fix that issue, I took my square ruler and drew guidelines on it using a water-based marker…..

Having this simple guide-line made all the difference in prepping these blocks.

Next, it was time to lay the quilt out and figure out exactly how I was going to piece it…..

There is NO straightforward way to piece this quilt so I finally just picked a few pieces and started sewing them together. It has been a slow, slow, slow process with me piecing one seam at a time and then adding it back to the design wall. As the pieced quilt got bigger, it became easier to work on the floor rather than on the wall…..

At the end of my sewing day, unfortunately, I discovered that I had cut one or more of the background pieces at 4-3/4 inches rather than 5-inches. AND, of course I am running out of the background fabric….ARGH!!!!

As I wait for next Saturday to come around, you can be sure that I will be thinking about how I am going to fix the problem, maybe even leaving the last row off……

Keep your fingers crossed!!!

Photo courtesy of valueresearchonline.com

Aussie Dreams

In today’s “look back at the past”, I wanted to talk about using Australian fabric!!

For those of you who don’t know our history, Michael and I lived in Australia for 6 years back in the 1980’s and then returned for a visit in 2008. While we were visiting in the Tuross Lake area, Michael found this amazing granite mortar and pestle that he just had to have…..

As we discussed how we would transport it back home (it weighed a TON), we decided that we would purchase a small suitcase and take it back as a carry-on. Michael looked at me and said “We really need to pad it up. Do you have anything that would work for that?”. My answer was simple….”Let’s go back to the quilt shop!!!”

So, I purchased TONS of Aussie fabric and used it to pad and protect the kitchen tool….we were BOTH happy!!

Now, I needed to figure out what to do with the fabrics.

For many years I had owned the book “Vivacious Curvy Quilts”….

….and REALLY wanted to make a quilt of curves!!! I decided that the Aussie fabric was the perfect place to start.

I talked a bit about the process in THIS POST from 2014.

….and I even made a video of the curved piecing process……

The final quilt turned out great…..

…and I used up EVERY LAST BIT of Australian fabric making the back……

This quilt is on our bed and we both enjoy snuggling under it every cold night!!!

An OLD Lemoyne Star

As I have mentioned on this blog before, my mother quilted. So did my grandmother and my great-grandmother. And, I fully expect that if I went back further, I would find many more quilters!!!

This is a story about a Lemoyne star quilt.

My grandmother (named CHESTER!!!), pieced this Lemoyne Star quilt back in 1957 and gave the top to my mother who was supposed to quilt and finish it……

The purpose of this quilt was to keep ME warm at night!! Well, apparently I was NOT an easy child and my mother never got around to finishing the quilt……until she had a granddaughter!!!

Although it never kept me warm at night it was a part of my daughters life for many years.

I love to look at some of the individual blocks in this quilt because it tells me that my “Granny” made do with what she had!!!

Most of the blocks are made in this style…..

….with two fabrics in the star and the gray fabric being consistent thru most of the blocks.

But then there are a few that have two or more fabrics in the alternate points….

And then there are a few where the grey fabric doesn’t appear at all….

In today’s world, we might freak out because we had run out of one of our fabrics and might even make a hurried trip to the quilt store but I love that Granny didn’t do that. Instead she just used what she had available, knowing that the quilt would keep her loved-one’s warm!!

That is the kind of quilter that I want to be……

That block is TOO small!!!

On Monday, I posted about my lemon block in the 2021 Monthly Color Challenge…..

When I first made this block using the quarter-inch foot on my machine……

…….it was well over 1/4 inch too small!! Mind you, there were FORTY-EIGHT seams in the 6-inch block but that just meant that I had to be much more accurate!!

I started working with the Bonnie Hunter’s Bonus Buddy Ruler….

To use this, you put your needle in the 1/4″ hole and the edge of the ruler marks the 1/4 inch seam allowance.

In my case, I used a stack of painters tape to form a ledge against the ruler…..

I figured that this would do the trick so I started over on the block, carefully sewing the strip sets and pressing them SUPER carefully, using my fingers first and then doing it again with the iron…..

And guess what, they were a bit too big!!! How did that happen!!

Then I started thinking about the rulers that I use and the way that I set them on the fabric before I cut and decided that the problem was starting there…..

I played with it some more but couldn’t figure out exactly where to hold the ruler to make the cut perfect. Finally, I decided that I wasn’t going to try to change my 25+ year method of cutting and instead change the seam allowance.

It took a few tries but I finally figured out where I needed to hold the fabric edge to make it the PERFECT size…..

It was easy to sew the blocks together, using the tape edge as my guide……

I seldom pin when I piece but decided that, for this intricate of a block, I needed to….at least in all of the matching seams……

The result was a block that was ALMOST the perfect size (may 1/8th inch too small)…..

Two other comments about this process…..

For my normal piecing of a large block with a normal number of seams, the 1/4-inch foot works just fine. The difference was simply the number of seams in such a small block!!

Although the painters tape ledge works well, you can use other things instead. I have used a magnetic marker (only for non-computerized machines), or a simple stack of Post-It notes……

It was frustrating to have to make the block a second time, it was a great exercise to figure out how to sew a PERFECT (or close enough) seam!!!

Geese Opt In