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!!!

Chinese Coins

A few weeks ago, I had talked about a stack of 6-inch squares that I had received from our Charity Bee. I was excited to see exactly what those disparate blocks would inspire!! The first quilt was the Pinwheel and was a flying success!!

Now it was time to use a few more of them….

Last year I had stumbled onto http://www.maryquilts.com and found many fun patterns with free pdf downloads. One, in particular, caught my eye…. an Easy Chinese Coin Quilt …..

Quilt calculations are never pretty!!

I wanted to make this as a charity quilt so knew that I would need to change the size of the quilt to something like this…..

I remembered this idea when I was cleaning up scraps and carefully put aside any 1.5-inch strips that were in the 2-inch to 6- inch range. I also cut up 30 of the 6-inch squares to supplement my scrap stack…..

Now the fun started!!

I began by pairing up the strips and soon had a nice stack of “doubles”…..

I wanted this quilt to be completely random, so I threw the strips into a box and made my self look away when I picked the two strips sets that were to be sewn…..

Very quickly, the 2’s became 4’s…..

…and the 4’s became 12’s.

At this point, I stopped and trimmed the strip sets down to the 5.5 inch size that I wanted……

After I had plenty of 5.5 inch sets, I started working on the 1.5 and 3.5 inch sets and, without a lot of thought, I had the coin strips all finished…..

I auditioned several fabrics for the setting columns but the navy blue was the ONLY way to go.

I LOVE this top…..

….and hope that it will make the recipient smile!!

It was super easy and fast to make but has a pleasing complexity as well.

There will DEFINITELY be more of these in my future!!

I LOVE my pinwheels

I finally was able to get upstairs and put the finishing touches on the Pinwheel Quilt……

The first step was to trim the sides down…..

…and it was extremely helpful to have the 45 degree lines on the ruler to match up to the angles in the blocks.

Once trimmed, it was time to think about borders. If you haven’t figured this out yet, I really love to use a bright yellow inner border and this quilt just called out for one…..

Now it was time to audition some outer border fabrics…..

I momentarily debated about making a scrap border but then remembered my resolve from Monday’s POST to start using my yardage and not keeping for a “better” quilt!!

I chose the yardage and happily cut it into border strips and even made the binding as well!!

Here is the final top which will be donated to our Guild charity bee, quilted out, and presented to a Women’s shelter that needs twin-size quilts…..

If you have been following the making of this top, you know that it started out as a way to use some donated 6-inch squares. There were 200 to start with….I used 4 for pinwheel practice and 63 in the quilt so I still have 133 to play with……

I have LOVED learning to make the pinwheels and want to do more quilts with this pattern. I feel sure that some of these remaining scrap squares will end up spinning away!!!

Pinwheels…. continued

Yesterday, I talked about the confusing nature of pinwheel blocks. Today I want to continue a bit further down the road of this journey.

Now I was ready to sew my first 4 pinwheel blocks together.

At QuiltCon I had listened to a lecture by May Chappell called “Tips of the Trade – Perfecting Piecing”. It was RAPID fire tips for the first 40 minutes followed by 20 minutes of Q&A.

One of the tips that she shared was “pre-sewing” certain areas of the blocks where the matching of seams was important but tricky…. ie….the center of the pinwheel…..

So, following her suggestion, I lined up the blocks and sewed about 1/2-inch on each side of the seam….

I opened the block up and discovered that I had MISSED the point…..

So I unpicked that small amount of stitching (rather than the entire seam) and re-sewed. The results were infinitely better…..

Now I could sew the entire seam from top to bottom and be sure that my points would match….as long as I stayed on the original stitching line. I did match the seams opposite to my stitching line just for better alignment at the end of the seam…….

The result was two nicely pieced blocks…..

Next I started working on two blue pinwheels and two pink/orange pinwheels……

One other tip that I had learned was, when you are drawing the line down a block, first hold the pencil in the exact corner and then butt the ruler up against it. I am not sure if it helped but it probably did……

So, at the end of the session, I had 6 pinwheel blocks finished…..

In the next session I will make more and start thinking about how to lay them out!!

Come back for the next installment!!