Background First

The first project that I worked on at my guild retreat was the Monarch Challenge that I had started at home. You can read about the process up to this point in this post…..

When I left you, I had started making thin strip strata and cutting them into squares. My first step was to finish this process…..

I liked how it looked, so went back and started adding the 1/4-circles in each of the corners…..

You can note here that each block layout matches the design that I had drawn.

I THOUGHT that I done a good job of pinning each circular part in the correct corner of each block, but apparently, that was NOT the case.

When I finished piecing I couldn’t get them back into the same orientation, so this is what I finally decided on…..

I was very frustrated that I had messed up the piecing, but finally decided since much of it will be covered with other designs, that I wouldn’t sweat it too much.

Personally, I blame the camaraderie of the retreat but, honestly, I would have probably done the same thing if I was sitting in my studio by myself!!

As I said “goodnight” to my fellow quilters, I was already starting to think about the next steps!!

Come back tomorrow for more……

Challenge piecing….

On Thursday I told you about the start of my “two for the price of one” challenge!!

When I left you, I had cut and pieced the first set of duet strips for the background squares…..

But, I wasn’t happy with them.

I wanted the blocks to have lots of strips in them to add interest….

…and these were simply TOO wide!!

So, I started cutting the strips down and re-sewing them together again.

I knew that this would use even more fabric so at this point…..

Please tell me that you do this too!!

I kept adding strips one at a time…..

….until I had a strip set that was the width that I needed.

Now it was time to cut the squares and this took a bit more planning…..

The unfinished squares need to be 5.5 inches and I am going to piece a curve in the corner. Since I know that I may lose a bit of size with piecing the curve, I wanted the squares to be a bit bigger than needed.

BUT, since I am working with fat-quarters and still want to make the best use of the fabric, I needed to know the maximum number of squares that I could get from my strip set.

That number was 3 squares out of the “almost 18-inch” strip.

Since the strip wasn’t quite 18-inches, I settled on 5-7/8’s inch squares.

Yes, that is getting a bit picky, but the sizes need to be exact to produce the needed 20-inch quilt!!

And it got even crazier after that as I started adding the curves…..

Come back next week for more!!

If you have an interest in ruler quilting, check out this online course…..

Click HERE for more information

I’ve made a start….

Last week, I posted about my idea of turning two challenges into one quilt…

…and this week, I have made a start!!

The first thing that I needed to do was make the strip sets for the background blocks…

I only had 3 fat-quarters in the needed greens so I knew that I was going to have to be VERY precise in my cutting and planning!

I trimmed a minimal amount to even up the edges…

….and cut a set of strips out of each fabric. They varied in width from 1-inch to 2-1/2- inches.

I matched the fabrics into duets….

….and sewed them together, being REALLY sure of my 1/4-inch seam allowance…..

I even chose to piece with a Bottom Line thread which is 60 weight thread. I have never used this before but it seems to be working well.

OKAY….the first set of strips are sewn…..

Am I happy with them?

Not so much!!!

Come back on Saturday to see the next moves!

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Those pesky shadows!!

A couple of weeks ago I received my judge’s comments from the quilt that I showed at Quiltcon…..

Normally, I am pretty sure of what the judges are going to say and this time it was no different.

I received “exceptional” marks in the Visual impact with comments of “Good depth, great design, and strong piecing”!!

Well, THAT was encouraging!!!

Then they hit the problem area…..

“Shadowing of dark fabrics and threads under light noted and is very distracting”.

OKAY…..I agree!!

If there was one thing that I was frustrated with it was the shadows!!

I talked about them in this post about basting the quilt…..

….and even showed what I trimmed out while basting…..

Even though I clipped a bunch of these there were several that I missed…..

I then talked about the thread that was trapped under the top and was driving me crazy!!!…..

But even more distressing were the seams where the dark blue fabric could be seen behind the seam allowance…..


SO….this past week I was watching YouTube videos in the gym and came across this one from Karen Brown of Just Get It Done Quilts…..

And she has the BEST solution…..

At 6:33 minutes into the video, she suggests that, if you have to press to the light fabric, trim a minuscule slice off the seam allowance before you press…..

Yes, it would add time to the piecing but in some cases, it would be worth it!!!

Karen has lots of other great ideas for working with white fabric so you might check out the entire video!!

So, NOW I KNOW!!! Hopefully I can remember and use this idea going forward…..

AND…..if you are wanting to get started with Ruler Quilting but don’t know where to start, check out this short course…..

If you have an interest in ruler quilting, check out this online course…..

Click HERE for more information