Thursday, January 27, 2022

Finally Finished the Last of the Baby Quilts!

Well, I finally finished machine quilting and binding the remainder of the ten baby quilts and here they are!!  I have gotten really good at machine binding with my own little interpretation of how to join the pieces.  I have tried other more common methods but I always end up with them not laying nice and flat.  This is a common rail fence.

The next three are the ones I showed the pattern for in a previous blog.

This and the next two are my own variation.


Monday, January 24, 2022

Finally Some Birds to Report!!

Before we get to my birds, here are a few of the many baby quilts that I have completely finished.  I should have the rest done today or tomorrow as the machine quilting is done.  I just have to attach the borders and then the binding.  My new approach to both basting and borders has made the process sooooo much easier for me.  

Now I baste on my design wall by putting the quilt top face down, spray, batting and the the backing.  This way, when I am quilting, any wrinkles in the top can be smoothed out and I get NO wrinkles in the back!  

Also, I have discovered it is much much easier to attach borders after the quilt is all quilted.  I just leave enough batting and backing around the outside of the quilt.  So no more measuing and pinning to make sure it lays flat.  It lays perfectly now!

All of these quilts are 40 x 40 inches.

This was my favorite and of course right at the end as I was trimming the edges, I managed to cut off a triangular piece in the upper left hand corner.  I pieced it back together and it looks okay but sad as I really wanted this one perfect.

I still have more of these blocks -- like a lot more!  I will do something with them though as I hate all the white which demands to be quilted a lot!

Locally, someone posted that they had seen Cedar Waxwings at a local lake -- Greenfield Lake.  As they are one of my favorites and I haven't seen one in a few years, I headed down yesterday.  I was disappointed not to see any but did spot this female Kingfisher on a branch over the lake.  The females have the distinctive brown on their chests where the males are more boring!

The full frontal view.  I also saw a Pied-billed Grebe with a fish almost his size as well as quite a number of Great Egrets and Great Blue Herons.

On the way home, I decided to stop at Carolina Beach Lake and was surpised to see this beautiful Marbled Godwit.  I hadn't seen  one in fresh water before and it has been a couple of years since I have seen one at all!!  There were also lots of gulls and Kildeer.

As I was in the car and had my camera, I deided to venture down to Ft. Fisher even though it was not low tide and was a weekend (therefore more people).  There was nothing much down there, but on the way back I noticed a large flock of robins and blackbirds flying back and forth across the road i was on.  It was such a pretty backdrop for the birds, I took a bunch of pictures until I was holding up a car behind me (there was no shoulder on the road where I was).  Imagine my surprise when I got home and was blowing up the pictures to discover Cedar Waxwings!!  One woman counted five in this picture but I am only sure of four for certain!!

Here is one of them closer up!!  So I got to see my Cedar Waxwings after all!  They are such beautiful elegant birds and one of my favorites for sure.  It was a very chilly day and I certainly didn't expect to see such early migrators!

The next three are just my common friends that I see frequently at the pier -- a Great Blue Heron here.

A Great Egret but I liked the background for this one!

A juvenile Ibis who still has a little brown in his feathers!


Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Still More Baby Quilts in Process!

I keep discovering bags of leftovers from previous quilts.  The leftovers used in this top are from a mystery quilt I did a couple of years ago.  They are 3 1/2 inches square,  so the four patches were again made with 2 in strips.  I had a bunch of white strips left over and cut down a bunch of 2 1/2 in strips left over from the disappearing rail fences I did last month.  I have actually used up most of my pre-cut green 2 inch strips in.   I had initially decided to make it 13 x 13 or 39 inches square but finally decided on 12 x 12 to which I will add borders.

This is the top as of this evening.  When I went to bed last night, it was partially done and of course a four patch was turned around in the middle so the first order of business was to rip out seams....All of these quilts are easy but putting them together leaves lots of room for mistakes as I have proven over and over!

Again, some more leftover blocks.  I didn't have enough of the green to make half square triangles for all the squares but think I like this better!  This is 40 x 40 inches so won't need a border.

Still more leftover 2 1/2 inch strips.  This was my first option for setting.  For some reason, I have never cared for this arrangement so I tried again with a more traditional layout.

So this will be the arrangement with which I will go.   It will need a border as it is only 36 x 36 currently.  I still have enough strips left over to do something else...


Thursday, January 6, 2022

A How-to Post Hopefully!

 I thought I would attempt to explain how to do a number of the recent baby quilts.  Several people on Scrap Quilt Enthusiast page on Facebook have asked for individual instructions for the different blocks and quilts.  The blocks are all fairly simple but arranging them properly is the difficult part.

The block for this and the following two quilts is the same.  It is made up of a four-patch in the center which is made with 2 inch strips and finishes to 3 inches.  The rectangles are cut from a light and a dark and measure 3 1/2 inches by 6 1/2 inches.  There are a total of 16 blocks in each of the quilts.  Without borders, they measure 36 x 36 as each block finishes to 9 inches.

You sew them together by the "partial seam" method which means you sew the first seam only halfway down and then work around the block.  At the end, you finish up that seam.

The trick is in the layout.  For each of these quilts, It is a recurrence of the four blocks.  I still have to look at pictures to arrange them properly.

Again, think of this one as recurring pattern of four blocks.
This is like the first but with the dark and lights reversed.

These next two are really variations of the above.  Instead of using straight rectangles, rectangles are cut in half diagonally.  The trickier part of this pattern is that you are dealing with bias along all edges.  You sew them together the same way as the above with the partial seams.  They also contain four patches that finish to 3 inches.

The Electric Quilt pattern with the measurements is below.  16 blocks also measure 36 inches square when done.

Instead of making the rectangles alternate color, I do dark, dark, light, light. The only trick in the cutting is that you have to cut all the pieces from right side up fabric so don't cut from folded fabric or you will get triangles going in two different directions -- ask me how I know!!

This was a pattern given out at our guild so I don't know the source.  It is made up of two blocks that are simple to make.  However, it is very very tricky to get the in the right order.  Again, it is best to think of the in groups of four.

The colored blocks are 4 1/2 finished so 5 inches unfinished in bright colors.  The 36 inch quilt requires 36 of these 5 inch squares.  The sides are made from 2 inch strips.  You cut 7 2 inch strips by the  full width of the fabric from black and from white.  You make 1 strip of black/white/black and one of white/black/white.  You then cut these to 2 inch widths.  You need 18 of each of these.

You take the remaining strips and make two strips that are black/white/black/white and then cut them to give you 36 strips.

You then sew the shorter strips to all the blocks, so you have 18 that have black at the edge and 18 that have white at the edge.  You then attack the longer strips, turning half one way and half the other way so you get the checkerboard affect.  You will then have two piles of completed blocks with checkerboards on two sides.  

This may look easy but it is not!  you really need a design wall of some kind and even then...

This is another super simple quilt.  It is made up of those same 3 inch finished four patches and rectangles that are 7 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches.  You need to make 52 of these blocks to make a quilt 39  inches x 40 inches.

Sunday, January 2, 2022

New Year and More Baby Quilts!


Not my usual clear fireworks shots because of a lot of fog!  Happy New Year though!  
This Snowy Egret was really posing for me one afternoon and may end up in a quilt!  I haven't done a Snowy Egret quilt yet.

These are two of the three baby quilts that I have made in recent days from leftovers from years past!  Of course, the reason I didn't finish them earlier was because I was short one or more of the components.  So cut I do and then I am short of some other component and I get bored, so the remaining pieces get stored away for another day when I rediscover them!

I don't usually promote products on my blog, but have to say that I love my Stripology XL ruler which is one of those slotted rulers for doing many cuts at once.  I have other rulers but like this one the best as it is extra wide and has a rough bottom so it doesn't slip.  I am in the process of making four-patches ind in this photo I have sewed many sets of scrappy combinations.  There are 11 strip sets overlapping in this picture, ready for the ruler.

Here I have done the cutting and now have 110 halves for the four patches.  I had another 8 strips to go so altogether have 190 halves which will make 95 four patches.  All this cutting took about five minutes and is  impossibly accurate!

I am auditioning sets here.  Altogether, there would be four of these to make up the baby quilt top.  (I do need to border these which I will do when I get the batting as they are only 36 inches square and need to be 40 inches square.)

As I have enough for six baby quilts, I am sure I will use this set for at least a couple and maybe turn the individual blocks around so that the darker ones are in the center!

This is another alternative which I have used before.  the blocks march in a diagonal across the quilt alternating between darker and lighter.  I have made this variation before.

I had a huge pile of the black and white fabrics stored away and hopefully these baby quilts will make a dent in that and also hopefully I won't have to cut more up!!