Saturday, January 18, 2014

My newest quilt - it's no longer a "Mystery"!!

So, here is my finished quilt top. It is SO big that I had to enlist the help of my two sons to hold it up while standing on our stairs in order for me to be able to photograph it.

Now I just need to get a nice flannel backing fabric for it, so that I can load it onto my Gammill!! It was fun sewing it and figuring it out as I went along, just don't ask me to write a pattern for it :o)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

My "Mystery Quilt" #5 - the outer border

As I said before, I have a tendency to cut too many pieces when I am using my Accuquilt cutter, so it isn't surprising that I found myself with quite a few extra half square triangles. Instead of putting them in a small zip-lock bag and putting them away (with good intentions of using them some day - which I admittedly NEVER do) I decided to use them to make some blocks to put in my outer border. I was a little worried that the dark brown would be too much for the quilt, but by breaking it up with some pieced blocks, I thought it would integrate it into the quilt top more effectively. I had to cut a few more half square triangles of some similar fabrics in order to make a total of ten blocks, but I used up ALL of the leftovers that had initially been cut.

I was going to make all of the blocks the same, but had four flying geese units left over, so I made two 6" blocks with them and used the half square triangles to make an assortment of different blocks for the borders.

I cut my brown fabric into 6 1/2" strips and spaced the blocks along all four borders and put one in each corner.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

My "Mystery Quilt" #4 - flying geese

OK - I have to say that I LOVE making flying geese using the Accuquilt cutter. There is no marking of the back of the squares and no waste of fabric!! I ran out of time at the retreat, so I had to finish making the flying geese at home in between working and celebrating Christmas with my family.
After piecing the centre, I added a gold inner border then decided that I needed to buy a couple more fabrics to add more borders, to make the quilt the right size. I visited Garden Thyme Quilts and Gifts one day when we were in Kingston and found a nice dark orange and nice dark brown that would work well with the centre fabrics. I decided to add an inner border of the brown before my flying geese border in order to help tie in the dark brown outer border.
After adding these inner borders, I realized that I did not have enough flying geese units to go all the way around the quilt, so I bordered the flying geese with the dark orange and added blocks of the same fabric to the ends of the flying geese to make the borders the right size.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

My "Mystery Quilt" #3

After I had finished making my 42 kaleidoscope blocks I stayed up late on the Saturday night (with my buddy Trudy), arranged them on the floor of the work room and got to work sewing them together.

I wanted to quilt to be big enough for our queen size bed, so I knew that I needed to add borders. I still had to make the flying geese units, but wasn't sure how many I had cut or if there would be enough to go all the way around the quilt. That is the one problem with the Accuquilt cutter - it is SO easy to cut all of your shapes that I can sometimes get carried away and just keep cutting without knowing exactly WHAT I have cut!!

Monday, January 6, 2014

My "Mystery Quilt" #2 - The importance of pressing seams OPEN

When I got to the retreat and started to sew all of these pieces together into the kaleidoscope blocks, I quickly realized that I needed to press the seams OPEN or there was going to be WAY to much bulk at the centre point of each block. I ended up making 42 of these blocks and pressed all of the seams open. I will admit that the finished blocks do lay nice and flat BUT I also have to say that I HATE PRESSING SEAMS OPEN!! LOL
My friend Cherice presses all of her seams open all of the time - I've come to think that she may be just a little CrAzY!!! When I got to pressing the flying geese units I was a rebel and pressed all the seams toward the darker fabrics :)
 Here is my workspace in the middle of piecing.

Here is my stack of assembled blocks! I was halfway there!

Friday, January 3, 2014

My "Mystery Quilt" #1

Happy New Year!!!

When I am designing my patterns I usually plan everything out and think ahead to make sure that what I do will be fairly easy to explain in the written pattern. Sometimes however, it is fun just to make something for myself - and not worry about how I would explain it!
When I was organizing my projects to take to Nellie's quilt retreat in November I had nothing that I HAD to work on, and had no idea what I wanted to do. I looked at my fabric stash and decided to cut up a bundle of Moda flannel fat quarters that I had bought a Quilt Market years ago. I had some other larger pieces of flannel that I had bought at other times and they all seemed to work together.
I got out my Accuquilt dies and tried to decide what to do with these fabrics. I decided to use my Isosceles triangle die and my half square triangle die to cut the fabrics for some kaleidoscope blocks. With the left over fabrics from each fat quarter I cut as many half square triangles as I could and then used my GO! Quarter Square Triangle-6" Finished Square to cut the large triangles needed to make Flying Geese units. I had no idea what I was going to do with all of these pieces when I was done, but I had A LOT of sewing to do.
 GO! Quarter Square-6" Finished Triangle (Triangle-4 7/8")