Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Another Finish

Does this count?  I think it does.  It's not a quilt but it uses lots of fabric; I estimate busting 10 yards of fabric on this one.  I love it.  I actually made it for my laundry room but it took a better picture placing it outside the door.  It might be hard to tell but there are some really bright fabrics in it that make it sparkle.  My laundry room has pale blue walls and white cabinets, white tile flooring and white trim so I put some white and blue in the rug too.  It looks so happy in there!  I see it all the time because the laundry room door is across from the garage door and I keep the laundry room door open at least a little bit all the time.  I made it over the course of several months so I really don't know how long it took to make.  It's 30 inches in diameter.  The strips are cut 1" wide and crocheted with a size P hook.  I have another one in progress in dark colors, reds and browns yet still scrappy but is an oval rug that I'll use in a hallway when it's large enough. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The May Blocks Are Ready!

I LOVE this block!  I think it's my new most favorite block.  I can just see a beautiful quilt made from dozens of these. It’s simple and fast to cut and sew so I hope you love it too.

I made my blocks, one in my tester colors, pink and brown, and the other from my layer cake squares, both 8" finished in size; there's no little bitty blocks this time.  I'm pretty sure it would involve templates so I didn't work on that.  Here are the cut pieces for the Next Door Neighbor block:

Stack your three colors and cut (1) 5 1/4" square and (1) 2 7/8" square from each.  Cut the large square on BOTH diagonals and cut the small square ONCE.  How fast and easy was that?!  (You will need one more 2 7/8"square later, see below).

I like to lay all the pieces out before I start to sew:

Do you see the blue pinwheel in the block?  I like the way it stands out using the blue fabric in that spot but you could try other placement of your fabrics since all three fabrics are cut the same. 

Once you are happy with your layout, did you find out you were short 2 pieces?  Cut one more 2 7/8" square (cut in half on the diagonal) for the one you decided should be the pinwheel.  Those two pieces will fill in the remaining two corners.

Now we're ready to sew!  I sewed the middle block pieces together to make two halves and I continued by chain piecing the brown and blue units together and then finishing the center unit by sewing the halves together. 

At this point the rows will be sewn together-diagonal rows.  But, don't sew the (blue) corner pieces on just yet. 
When sewing the side triangles on to the brown/blue triangle units align the straight edges.  See the tips sticking out?  They should stick out 1/4".  The center row units should all be the same size. 

Sew the rows together. 

Add the blue corner triangles. Again, the points should stick out. Trim them off after giving the block a good press. I hope you enjoy putting this block together!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Spring Cleaning

I have do some major cleaning...the house kind, not the quilting kind, unfortunately.  I would much rather be cutting up fabric scraps and making piles of pieces for my next quilt but, I've ignored the house cleaning for too long.  Oh sure, I do the regular stuff; I don't want anyone to be grossed out or anything.  What I haven't done for awhile is the other stuff, like cleaning the baseboards and the cabinet doors and closet doors and that kind of stuff.   This is partially the result of a discussion that ended with something like this:  "well, you know, we have lived here for about 11 years, and it's starting to show"  Yikes!  He was right.  Well, I don't think 11 years is a very long time for a house and it was new when we moved in so that means anything that's happened to it is all on us.  So, it really is time for more than a spit shine. 

So, in case I have nothing fun to write about for the rest of the month you'll know why. 

I will pass on the recipe for the cleaner I am using for all our painted wood surfaces, tile floors, sinks, countertops (solid surface, not granite); it works fabulously on grime:

To a half a bucket of hot water add 1/2 Cup amonia and 1/2 Cup rubbing alcohol and a squirt (2 tsp?) of dishwashing detergent.  It doesn't need to be really sudsy.  

I do have pictures of a little paper-pieced daffodil block I made into a mug mat for my Mom for mother's day.  I'll try to get that up soon.  And, I did finish the quilt I made for my nephew.  And, I do need to make and post the May Layer Cake Blocks.  If anyone is in a hurry for those email me and I'll do my best to get to it. 

Hope all the moms out there are having a great day!