Making it less boring

When I left you yesterday, I had made a bunch of Square-in-a-Square blocks and was bemoaning the fact that they were fairly boring when set side by side!!

However, I did like this arrangement better……

AND, since I had already cut a bunch more of the inside squares, the fillers HAD to include them!!

After thinking a bit, I decided to simply add strips around each side of the blocks, starting with one side…..

….pressing them out to the strips…..

….and then adding the opposite strips…..

I purposely made these strips a bit wider than needed so that I could trim the block down to the EXACT size!!

To help with lining them up, I used a water-soluble marker to modify my 6.5-inch ruler…..

I placed the ruler on the block, being sure to line up the diagonal lines to each of the corners of the inside square…..

Since my ruler was the exact size of the needed block, I simply cut around all four sides…..

….and my block was ready to use…..

I matched the two designs into pairs…..

…always pressing AWAY from the point.

Before I knew it, the quilt top was finished…..

I love the movement that comes from the on-point squares and the straight squares!!

It reminds me of some of the “jewel matching” games on my iPhone…..

Maybe I need to make one with LOTS of different jewels on it!!

BUT….now I am thinking about other ways that I can modify the alternating blocks….the wheels are definitely spinning!!!

Finishing the Whirlpool quilt

When I left you yesterday I had finished piecing all of the blocks for the Whirlpool quilt top.….

….so now it was time to put it together.

I laid all the blocks up on the design wall and stepped back to see if I saw anything that needed to be changed…..

The fun thing about making a scrappy quilt like this is that you usually don’t have to worry about block placement!!

Once they were all lined up, I pulled out my Numbered Pins and marked the top, starting with #1 at the top left corner, adding #2, 3, and 4 to the first row, and coming back to the left (2nd row) for #5…

Obviously, these were the leftmost blocks in the 3rd and 4th rows.

When using these pins, I always point the pin to the left side of the quilt.

That way, when I pick, up two blocks to sew together, I can easily tell that I have them in the correct orientation…..

Both pins are pointed to the left and the #2 pin is on the right.

They say that confession is good for the soul so here goes…..

When I pieced the above two blocks, I sewed on the wrong side and they ended up reversed!!!

Since it really didn’t make a difference, I left it alone!!

Because of having the positions marked with pins, I was able to take ALL of the blocks off of the wall and sit down at my machine without having to jump up as often.

Very quickly, the top was together and, after a bit of decision making, the borders were added and the top was finished…..

One of the things that I wanted to accomplish with this top was to practice piecing accurately and, for the most part, I am very happy with the results

Having said that, I am not exactly sure what happened to these two…..

Since this is a charity quilt, I am not going to re-do the areas, but it was interesting to see that I could also make BIG mistakes!!!

One final thing…..

When I was using the sew-and-flip method of making the diamond blocks, I added an extra line of stitching and ended with these extra half-square-triangle blocks…..

I will EVENTUALLY trim them down to 1.5-inch blocks, but for now, I just added them to my 1.5″ drawer……

This sits by my machine, just in case I get the urge to start a “Leader/Ender” project!!

Since they have been there for several years, it doesn’t look promising!!!

Charity Quilt Practice

Back in 1990, our guild decided to begin making quilts for the local battered women’s shelter. The idea was that the families often left home in a hurry, not able to bring any of their possessions with them. We decided to provide a stash of quilts for the safehouse so that the kids could pick a quilt that was theirs to KEEP…..FOREVER!!

I was SO excited about this opportunity and especially excited because it gave me a REASON to keep making quilts. You see, back then, I thought that I had to have a reason. Don’t worry, that idea has changed now!!

At the time, I was early in my quilting career and wanted to try some machine applique using a satin stitch. I found a cute pattern and WENT FOR IT……

It was one of the first quilts that we donated and I love to think about some scared and hurting child being comforted by this sweet quilt!!

Do you have a favorite charity that you make quilts for????

Super Fast Charity Quilt

During the middle of the pandemic last year, I made my way to the Guild’s Charity storage and grabbed a few things to work on. One of those had languished in my studio until my weekend quilting spree a couple of weeks ago.

I was presented with a stack of strips and other fabrics…..

….an 18 inch block started in a Courthouse Steps arrangement……

….and these instructions…..

It proved to be a great project for when I was tired and just wanted to sew!!

I enjoyed using the given fabrics and adding some more from my stash.

When it got to the width that I wanted, I started adding strips to the top and bottom and, very soon it was done….

The finished size was 36 x 44.

I think that it would be fun to do this in kid’s fabric or bright colors and would be a great use of all of those 2.5 inch strips that I have cut and organized!!!

Scrap Heaven….

I have continued to work thru the stack of 200 six-inch squares that I received from my guild charity bee, making two quilt tops so far.

Now I was down to some rather dull and uninteresting browns and reds!!

I started by cutting them in half on the diagonal…..

Then I sewed a 1.5 inch strip of light brown fabric to one edge…..

It was pressed to the strip and then another triangle was added to the other side of the strip…..

Now it was time to trim the blocks down to a usable size. I used a trick that I had learned when making the pinwheel quilt a few weeks ago….

First, I used a water-soluble marker to draw a line 1/2 inch on each side of the ruler diagonal…..

Now it was easy work to line the drawn lines up to the actual block…..

…and they were all quickly trimmed.

Next I did the same thing with the lighter fabrics, this time using a dark strip down the middle.

As I laid out the first few blocks, I KNEW what I was going to do with them…..

I pulled more squares, adding some green into the mix as well, and also added a few fabrics from my personal scrap square box.

After I had all of them made, I wanted to ensure that I laid out the blocks in a fairly random pattern so put them into plastic tubs that I would pull out of without looking…..

After I got it on the design wall, I made a few tweaks to the placement and started sewing.

As I sewed the blocks, I did notice two holes in one of the squares……

….so I had to do a bit of rip and replace!!

Before long, the quilt top was finished……

I love the depth that comes from the mixture of darks and lights and am super happy with this “Hugs and Kisses”….”Naughts and Crosses”……”Tic, Tac, Toe”…..quilt!!

For the record, I have used 142 of the 6-inch squares and this is what I am left with……

Hmmmm….wonder what will come next!!!