Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Baby Quilts and Great Blue Heron Progress

I made extra large half square trangles for this series of quilts.  I had a big bag of 4 1/2 in squares that I sewed into four patches.   I used 18 in squares of the fabric to make the 1/2 square triangles since the blocks needed to be 8 1/2 inches (8 1/2 + 8 1/2 + 1 = 18).  This was my first iteration where I just used random blocks together but I didn't think the same fabric for the half square triangles was enough to bring it together.

This was the second iteration where I used like colors but didn't like the pinks on the outside like I thought I would!

This was the final arrangement and the quilt measures 40 x 40.

This was the second quilt I finished.  They go really fast!

I made a few more four patches and took the ones I didn't use from the first quilt and came up with a third one.  So now I have 10 neo-natal quilt tops that have to be basted and quilted.  

Decided it was time to get going on the one block wonder quilt using the heron fabric  There are 98 blocks to be made!!

Have progressed further than this but will save for a future blog!  This one is a bear!!  The panel is 28 x 41 and the blocks on the shorter side finish to about 6 inches and about 7 on the wider side.  This was my first iteration set up like I set up the Canada goose blocks.  The arithmetic didn't work though as I would have to cut too much of the central panel away to made the blocks fit.  From the picture, you can see the straight along the vertical axis and the overlapping triangles on the horizontal axis.  I have since reversed that.


Sunday, January 17, 2021

Half Square Triangles - a Primer

I am a big fan of 4 patches as you may have guessed if you have seen posts of my baby quilts.  It is easy and soothing.  I have not been a big fan of half square triangles.  I have tried all the methods of making them and just got annoyed as you always have to trim them and I never could get it just right. 

I decided to try a method that I had not tried before.  The methods I have used in the past are (1) two squares sewn together down the middle - 1/4 from each side of the center marked area;; (2) just cutting two 45 degree triangles and sewing them together; (3) sewing two strips together, both top and bottom and then using a 45 degree triangle ruler and cutting them out -- this is super fast but results in all bias edges but it is super fast and (4) this method which I kind of guessed at and know I have seen done in the past.

The above is the first step.  Decide what size squares you want to end up with and multiple the width of the resulting squares by 2 and add 1 inch.  So if you want 4 1/2 inch (unfinished) half square triangles, Multiply 4 1/2 x 2 and add one inch or a 10 inch square.  Then mark the two diagonals.  Sew 1/4 inch from either side of the 2 diagonals.

Rotary cut along those drawn lines to get 4 triangles with stitching on two side.

Cut each of the above triangles in half.  I pile them all up together on the cutting board, making sure the long side is right on a horizontal line and the apex of the triangle is on a vertical line and then rotary cut through all of them.  I then open them up and iron the seam to the dark side.

This is the part that is probably obvious to all but wasn't to me.  Align the ruler so that one corner is on a corner where the two colors come together.  Then align the ruler so that the 4 1/2 is on either side and then trim.  

For some reason, I liked this strategy the best.  I only decided to try this because I had these leftover 10 in squares from the prize fabric and thought I would try something different with it as it was rather dark.  These squares have definitely led to a lot of experimenting. 

Here is a top using the half square triangles made from the 10 nch squares.

Here it is with borders so that it is the requisite 40 inches square.

This is the next quilt top I will be working on!!  This fabric was sent to me by my sister last year.  I had stacked it all before I left last year and today I cut the strips to make this into a one block wonder quilt.  I love the fabric.  Somewhere here I have another one block wonder top with Canada Geese but haven't located it yet so I can baste and quilt it!


Thursday, January 7, 2021

More Baby Quilts!

I won several bits of fabric during a quilt guild raffle in December.  One was a packet of 10 inch squares, most of which I wasn't crazy about.  I have been on a kick to try new patterns for the baby quilts (like the knot quilt from a few days ago).  Delectable Mountains is one I hadn't made before.  I have two lovely batik layer cakes saved in my stash but wanted to try out the block before cutting into them.  It turns out the block is super super easy which was a surprise.  The only trick is that you have to cut a left and a right side version.  Also the blocks are higher than they are wide when completed. This was the first iteration I tried  as I  had two each of the 10  inch blocks.

I like playing with new blocks to see how I can "scrappify" them sensibly.  This shows some real opportunity!

I decided on this as my first set.  You can see it is  higher than wide so I needed to put an additional 4 inches on either side and 2 inches on top and bottom to make it the requisite 40 x 40 inches for the neonatal quilts.

I miraculously found some fabric in my hand dyes to match these blocks and so here is the first of the finished tops.  

This was my favorite of the variations and it was made up of only one 10 inch square of each color and I managed to use all the light ones as well.  Had to add one piece from my stash which sorta matches.  I do like this one best.

This was the third variation and is  okay.  I have managed to find some borders for both of these which pretty well match.  I have two pieces of 1 meter long fabrics which actually match these tops (they were also part of my winnings) and so they will back two of the tops.  Hope whoever receives these likes the colors -- they are not my favorites!

Going through my bags of stuff, I found two more bags of finished blocks so this was the first to be put together.  I had thought this would be a good stack and whack fabric but it didn't have nearly as much variety as I thought it would.

A not very exciting layout for these blocks.  They all looked too much alike for my taste but it made a nice sized quilt (40 x 60) which will definitely be donated!!


Here are the two baby quilt tops finished.

This is the third and final quilt made from the bunch of posie blocks.  I really think the fabric was a really good choice for these.  I think there was about 120 blocks to begin with!

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

A Few Birds to Break up the Week!

Birds have been quite scarce down here this year, probably because of the great inlux of people due to the virus and the ability to work from anywhere.  This is one of the several Great Blue Herons fishing at Carolina Beach Lake last week.  They have let out a lot of the water so there have been a lot of egrets, ibis and herons.

Two of the many ibis.
One of several Kildeer feeding in the shallows.

It was very late afternoo but someone had spotted several Snow Geese down at the above lake, so I went to see for myself.  One of them graciously posed for me not too far away.  There were previously three blue morphs also but I haven't seen them and haven't seen the Snow Geese recently.  This was the first time I had seen one here.  He must have gotten lost among al the Canada Geese!


Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Miscellaneous Projects for the New Year

I decided I wanted to try to make some more comfortable fitted masks and found a template and some elastic ties that were adjustable.  I had some marbled fabric that really wasn't good for much of anything.  With either the ties or the mask pattern came a little baggie full of nose pieces.  Took me a couple before I got into the rhythm but then they only took about 15 minutes each and I ended up making about 25.  Husband and daughter both requested some and I am sending a bunch to my far away daughter as well.  Below is a closeup of one of the masks.


I rediscovered a bunch of triangles and blocks for kaleidoscopic quilts for neonatal but I thought they worked better as bigger quilts which will also be donated.  This was the beginning of setting one up.

I discovered this knot block online and thought I would try it out.  After making the first few above, I decided to not make the predominant pieces so scrappy.  Doing it again I would probably use a brighter more striking color as part of the knot instead of the green.  The block is really simple.
This is the fabric for the next stack and whack  While organizing on New Year's Day, I discovered two bags of already made blocks from last summer's sewing.
Much like another quilt I did, I surrounded each 4 1/2 inch block with different colors as i thought it was a bit dull.  Most are my hand dyes with a couple of old sateens (the pinks) thrown in!

Here it is done.  It is about 42 x 60 so will make a nice charity quilt.

Used some more of the kaleidoscocpe triangles to make one of my favorite versions.  I did a large one of these last year which my daughter grabbed  up!  This ended up about 40 x 60 also.

Monday, January 4, 2021

Finished Baby Quilts!

This blog just contains 10 baby quilts that I managed to finish before the end of the year!!

I am working on several more right now.  I got behind on blogs as I managed to exacerbate my old whiplash injury over Christmas so sitting and typing was problematic.  

I am hoping everyone  has a much better year than this last one.  

This was made from leftovers from another quilt made many years ago.