Saturday, February 26, 2011

Friendship Triangle Exchange Results

Two things: 
One, I apologize for the fact that the Triangle Exchange is Closed. 
Two, have I ever mentioned how terribly distracted I get?  All the time??  Which brings me to saying that I don't have my project ready yet for this month's Santa's Workshop :(  Sorry.

What I have been working on is sorting triangles for our Guild Exchange.  At some point I would like to write up my directions and a full tutorial based on what I learned from hosting this but if someone has a question or wants information in the meantime please leave a comment.  

The Basics:  Our exchange ran from September to February.  It was based on Edyta's book Friendship Triangles after she came to speak at our guild.  That gave our members plenty of time to get involved, get foundation paper, and get busy.  Some people turned them in as they completed their packets, others turned them in at the end.   Members were instructed to use Edyta Sitar's 2" finished Triangle paper which yields sets of 28 half-square triangle units.  They could make as many packets as they wished.  They used quilt shop quality fabric.  Since our guild meets 3 times each month at 3 different locations several guild members helped me collect packets each month since I did not go to every meeting.  Pretty simple, huh?

Here is part of what was turned in:




Several of us gathered last Thursday to sort them.  And, we had sorted some earlier in the month as well. 

Total time for sorting:  about 5.5 hours for a dozen volunteers
Total number of participants:  55
Total number of packets turned in:  700+
Total number of triangles exchanged:  20,000+

All I can say is, it was really, really fun to see it all come together.  Yes, it was a bit of work but, I really didn't mind it all.  A few hours here and there are all.  And, yes, I did turn some in myself, of course! :) So, now I have another UFO!  or, maybe I should call it a WIP... 

If you participated, I can't wait to see what design you come up with.  I plan to add a flickr page so we can share our progress and finished projects.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Do you want to make the 2" blocks?

So, while I have a moment I will tell you what to cut to make 2" finished blocks for the January and February Layer Cake blocks!
  
For a 2" finished Buckeye Beauty block cut:
From both the light and the dark fabrics cut a rectangle 1" x 4 1/2".  Sew them together along the long edge. Press to the dark fabric. This unit should measure 4 1/2" by 1 1/2".  Subcut it into (4) 1" segments.  Use these to make (2) four patches that should measure 1 1/2" square at this point.

From both the light and a medium cut (1) 1 7/8" square.  Draw a diagonal line on the WRONG side of the light fabric.  Stitch 1/4" away on both sides of the diagonal.  Cut it apart on the drawn line.  Press to the medium.  Each half-square triangle unit should measure 1 1/2". 

Lay out the four patches with half-square triangle units and sew pairs together and then half-blocks together.  Block should measure 2 1/2".  

For a 2" finished Cake Stand block cut:
From the light fabric cut:
 (1) 1 7/8" square, cut in half on the diagonal
 (2) 1 1/2" x 1" rectangles
 (2) 1 1/2" squares
 (1) 1 " square

From the basket (dark) fabric cut:
 (1) 1 7/8" square, cut in half on the diagonal (1 piece leftover)
 (1) 1 1/2" square, cut in half on the diagonal (footing of the basket)

From the medium fabric cut:
 (2) 1 1/2" squares

Pair the Light and the Medium 1 1/2" squares.  Draw a diagonal line on the WRONG side of the light fabric. Stitch 1/4" away on both sides of the diagonal. Cut it apart on the drawn line. Press to the medium. Trim each half-square triangle unit 1". Follow piecing instructions on previous post on assembling this block.

I hope you like them! 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Stash Report-February

I know February isn't over yet but I have a few minutes to post new numbers for my stash and with a little fortitude I won't bring home anything the rest of the week!  So far this month:

IN-7.65 yards
OUT- 2.78 yards

Year to Date:
IN-9.69 yards
OUT- 7.21

Quilts quilted YTD: 2  (got another one done today 2/23, so now I'm at 3)

So, I need to explain something...the best deal ever is getting a bag of scraps from Quilts Plus.  For only $12.95 you can STUFF a bag full of lovelies that need a home.  There was at least 5 pounds, I mean yards of fabric in there, of pieces I could kinda count plus smaller pieces that I couldn't.  So, that really bumped up my total yards IN.  I used some of it right away for sets of triangles for the triangle exchange and some more of it for the blocks I have yet to post and there's still a huge pile left but, they are so. much. fun. to look at!  You gotta try it. 

I'll be back real soon with more.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Plugged In and Loving It

This will be silly to most of you but I have a new-found love for my iPhone.  I've never used it that much for music; I really don't mind just plain quiet while I'm sewing or the normal street sounds when I'm out walking.  And, I do occasionally use the cd player while I'm sewing but, when someone (who shall remain Nameless) shares the sewing/tv/exercise area with you and is watching the most UNappealing shows Ever something must be done!  A simple comment at work today and There was my Answer!  Thank you Julie!  What a lifesaver!  I was beside myself trying to Work while listening to yuck.  Tonight I plugged in the earphones and cranked up the music and felt the Love.  And, back in that zone, I finished quilting the charity quilt top for breast cancer patients.  Much better!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Zippered Leaders!

Hi again.  I've had a busy week making blocks, teaching, working, buying yarn, etc., but the thing I'm so glad to have accomplished is to make two sets of zippered leaders for my longarm.  Now I can start quilting something without the pressure of having to get it done by the time I have a student scheduled.  And, if she needs more time to complete something...no big deal, she can come back another day without tying up my machine the whole time.  I've been needing to get these done for awhile and thanks to the good instructions over at Sunrise Quilt Studio I was able to complete them!  They are rather time consuming but, oh so necessary!  If you need to make some go to http://sunrisequiltstudio.blogspot.com/2009/06/zipper-leader-tutorial-part-1.html

So, now that I have those done, I loaded a charity quilt top tonight and have it half-way done.  I also made those 2" finished blocks for Blocks 1, 2, and 3 and will post pictures and cutting instructions later this week along with the full-size Block #3 for the Layer Cake Sampler.  If you think you'll want to try making these itty bitty blocks save all your scraps from your layer cake squares.  I'm thinking they will look mighty cute as cornerstones!

I'll have a stash report later this week also, although when you're making 2" finished blocks there's not much to report OUT.  And, I really haven't brought home much of anything, except what I used for the zippered leaders and that's all gone.  But, I'll write things up properly next time. 

Do you want to hear about my yarn purchase?  Hah, good thing I don't have to report that but I'm excited about it and so I started it already.  I am making a vest/top for spring out of Noro Silk Garden, Design 27 from their book Designer Mini Knits.  Isn't it cute?


I'll let you know how it goes.  Hopefully it will be finished for THIS spring, not NEXT spring.  Hope you all have a wonderful week!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Smaller Layer Cake Blocks

I promised I would give you the cutting info for the scaled-down version of the layer cake blocks.  I had posted the pictures of them earlier, and the assembly is the same. 

For a 4" Buckeye Beauty Block here's what you need to cut:

From the Cream (Background) print cut: 
(1) rectangle 1 1/2" x 6 1/2"  (this is slightly longer than needed but gives you room to straighten the edges)
(1) square 2 7/8" and draw a diagonal line on the wrong side
From the Brown (Dark) print cut:
(1) rectangle 1 1/2" x 6 1/2"
From the Pink (Medium) print:
(1) square 2 7/8"

Place the two rectangles right sides together and stitch a 1/4" seam on one long edge.  Open and press to the dark fabric.  It should measure 2 1/2" x 6 1/2".  From this pieced unit cut (4) 1 1/2" segments along the length.  Use these four pieces to make 2 four patches.  They should measure 2 1/2" square.

Place the light square right sides together on top of the dark square.  Using the line that you drew as a guide stitch 1/4" seam on both sides of the drawn line.  Cut the units apart on the drawn line.  Open and press to the darker fabric.  These should also measure 2 1/2" square.

Now you have the four units you need to make the Buckeye Beauty block.  Assemble them like a four patch refering the picture in the previous post.

4" Cake Stand Block:

From the Cream (background) print cut:
(1) Square 2 7/8" and cut in half diagonally
(2) Rectangles 1 1/2" x 2 1/2"
(2) Squares 1 7/8" and draw a diagonal line on each
(1) 1 1/2" Square

From Pink (medium) print cut:
(2) Squares 1 7/8"

From Brown (dark) print cut:
(1) 2 7/8" square and cut in half diagonally, using only one piece for this block, save the other
(1) 1 7/8" square and cut in half diagonally

Follow the assembly directions and placement picture from the previous post to make this delightfully cute block!

Now, I wonder if it would be even cuter as a 2" finished block...or is that just crazy talk?

The other two blocks I posted are from another project but are the same size.  I can't give you those measurements but I will continue to post two sizes for all the layer cake blocks.  So, here's the thing, in case you want to make more than 12 blocks total, there is plenty of fabric each month to make either two 8" blocks or one 8" and one 4"...you decide.  Remember I had a total of 14 groups of three fabrics so at some point I might even throw in a couple of extra blocks, either way you should have plenty of fabric.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

I got into one of my scrap drawers the other day, you know the ones, the set of three plastic drawers with wheels; anyway, I got in there and pulled out some, and then pulled out some more, and some more, and before I knew it, there was at least three times more than would ever fit back in there.  How did I get so many scraps in there?  I was so happy I had looked in there again and it set in motion some more small blocks and this little project.....

Well the sun is setting on this Valentine's Day so I guess I better get busy making the dinner I had planned....Hope you all have a wonderful evening and get to spend it with someone you love.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Layer Cake Block Two: Cake Stand




All pieces

Sorry to make you wait so long for this! I've got some pictures ready too.  

Scroll all the way down to see the finished block or, look at the previous post.  Be sure to read all the way through first so you can see all your choices.

In the first picture you'll see the block pieces cut plus all the leftover pieces.  This will give you an idea of much extra fabric there is.  We'll save these pieces for future blocks so keep them in a safe place!

From the Dark Brown: 
Cut (1) 5" Square and cut in half on the diagonal, set one aside
Cut (1) 2 7/8" Square and cut in half on the diagonal

From the Blue Floral:
Cut (2) 2 7/8" Squares and cut them in half on the diagonal

From the Cream Background:
Cut (1) 5" Square and cut in the half on the diagonal, set one aside
Cut (1) 2 1/2" Square
Cut (2) 2 7/8" Square and cut in half on the diagonal
Cut (2) 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" rectangles

Now here are two options for the smaller triangle pieces:  If you have an Easy Angle Tool you'll get better use of your fabric and you'll cut a 2 1/2" strips instead of 2 7/8" squares.   If you're comfortable using this tool or want to practice on some scrap fabric it's a neat tool for cutting just a few triangles at a time.  If not, no big deal, just stick to the cutting numbers above.
 
 OOOH,  here's another little twist!  Do you see the inside piece is a different fabric now?  Do you like that idea?  Just choose another layer cake square and cut a 5" square from it and cut it in half on the diagonal and use one of them for the center of the block.
Alternate Center Triangle

With those choices made it's time to start piecing.  This is what chain piecing looks like. Piece all the triangles into squares.  Also notice that when you piece the "feet" of the cake stand the brown triangles face in opposite directions.   Press towards the darker fabric.  As you sew units together try to press your pieces so that the tips of triangles can stay flat and not pressed back on itself.  Your block will lay better.


Chain Piecing

 Here they are; all the triangles are sewn to make squares.  Trim off the "ears" and check that they each measure 2 1/2".  Trim the large triangle square to 4 1/2".
  
Piece the Triangles

So the pairs of triangles together and sew one pair to one side the large triangle square.  So the small square to one side of the pairs and then sew that unit to the other side the large square unit.  The side pieces go on next; one to each side.  Check the picture so that you get the small brown triangles facing in the correct direction!


Lastly, add the large cream triangle to the bottom of the cake stand.  Fold the triangle in half and finger press a crease in it.  Line the crease up with point of the brown square and pin in place.   Also, see the points of the cream triangle extending beyond the edge?  That's the way it should look!  This time press towards the light.


Last Triangle







Finished!

I hope you enjoy making this classic block!  You'll see it so many quilts and now you'll know how to make it!  

Let me know how it goes!  




Thursday, February 3, 2011

How Do You Cut That?

I was asked again today, at work, how to cut a piece that is larger than any of your rulers.  So, here are a couple of pictures to show you how I do it.  I use a combination of rulers whichever ones make it easiest to measure the size and cut across the whole piece at once.  The pictures this time are from cutting the pieces you need to make the faux leather journal covers (see post below). 


The measurement I need to cut for the width is 10 3/8".  I trimmed the left side to get a clean edge (not pictured) using the long white ruler.  Now use that cut edge to measure over the whole 8 1/2" for that ruler plus another 1 7/8" for the yellow ruler for a total of 10 3/8".  The yellow ruler is long enough to provide an accurate straight edge; it doesn't have to be as long as the piece your cutting-the white-lined ruler will do that.  Now you're ready to cut the width!  Easy Peasy!  You can do this!



Now to cut the length of 16".  This time I chose to use the yellow ruler as my main ruler.  It's a 6" width so now I need to measure 10" with the white ruler to get a total of 16".  In order to make sure my piece is square set the 1" line on the yellow ruler and the 10" line on the white ruler on the edges I've already cut.  They should line up perfectly.  If not, one of those edges needs to be corrected; in this case I'd re-trim the end. 


Does that help?  I hope so! Now you can get those pieces cut with a little more confidence!  You might want to practice on some waste fabric first. 

Here's a quick stash report for January:

Fabric IN:  2 yards
Fabric OUT:  4 3/8 yards

Net Fabric Busted:  2 3/8 yards

Project Update:
Bound Christmas quilt (queen size, took a long time to hand sew)
Made a lap-size top for shop sample
Quilted one quilt on my long-arm
Completed project for January's Christmas Challenge
Completed three knit hats

I feel really good about having spent lots of time sewing even though I haven't spent as much time on my long-arm.  All things in their time.  And, making little blocks don't use up lots of fabric.  I'm not worried about that either.  Those little blocks are just too cute!

New Pictures Added!

I added more pictures to my post about the Journal Covers so check it out.  I hope it helps!  They come out really nicely.  It takes me a long time to get these pictures ready and uploaded for you but I'm sure I'll get better so thanks for bearing with me!


 
I've also made some more blocks...little ones!  These are 4" finished versions of the larger Block of the Month blocks plus a couple more!  oooh, do you spy a new block?  It's called Cake Stand and I'll be posting the cutting directions for it soon.  Do you like them??


 
arrange your squares into sets of threes


Here's something that you might want to do with your layer cake squares while you're waiting for me to post the next set of directions.  Here are all of mine divided into sets of threes.  Now when you're ready to make the next block you can just grab a set you like and begin to cut! 
I've used the table for my long-arm machine to do this.  This table has come in so handy so many times.  I started with the brown (darkest) fabric, then added the medium value fabric and then found something lighter than the other two for the light fabric.  I moved them around until I was happy with all the groupings.  The fabrics in my layer cake were evenly divided as it turns out and I ended up with 14 groupings.  Each group will make at least 3 blocks.  So if you liked the Buckeye block and would like to make another one from the first three fabrics you chose then go ahead!  It always good to have more blocks!

I'll be back with you soon!