Two And Four Quiltalong: FINALE!

It is time to share your finished quilts, tops, or progress so far.

Mine is being quilted, but isn’t there yet. Maybe next week. Sometimes life gets in the way.

In the meantime, visit Katy and put your progress in her link-up (if you have a blog), or send her (or me) a picture and we’ll have them to share.

Thanks for joining us, however far you are. This has been fun and we hope to do another one (together or separately) sometime soon.

North Star State Top COMPLETE

There were days I thought it would never end. When I saw Pat Speth’s North Star State Quiltalong I immediately knew I wanted to stitch along. But I also knew that the small scraps of 1930s repro (and some original) fabric that I had on hand would mean making the pieces smaller…much smaller. Yep, that star is 3″.

But, off I went, sure it was all going to be ok.

As I stitched, my ambitions had to be adjusted. NO, I wasn’t going to make a queen size quilt. Not even with borders. I finally decided that enough was enough and finished a throw quilt. It has 56 blocks, 97 setting blocks and 42 star cornerstone blocks, and it is only 60″ x 69″.

But, it is complete.

Hopefully quilted soon and a truly finished quilt.

I do still recommend the pattern, but maybe have the good judgement to follow Pat’s original recipe.

Two And Four Quiltalong: Top Assembly

Time to stitch all those strips into a top. So exciting!

I like to lay things out and consider my options.

This quilt has many prints and colors and it is probable that it will never be perfect, but I try to avoid color blobs.

When stitching long, pieced strips I don’t find it necessary to pin. Just stitch seam to seam, taking a moment to match them up.

The results will be beautiful in the end.

I love it when it all comes together.

Make sure to visit Katy and see how her version using larger pieces turned out.

And come back on October 12 to share and see finished tops from everyone.

Two And Four Quiltalong: Blocks To Strips

There are many different ways you could assemble your piles of blocks into a quilt, but for this quilt we’re going to assemble all those blocks into strips.

First, sort them out. Make 7 piles of 20 blocks each of the 4-patch blocks. Make 8 piles of 20 blocks each of the fence rail blocks.

And sew them together.

NOTE: FOUR of your strips of four-squares should have light squares in the upper left; THREE should have dark squares in the upper left. And, don’t worry too much if you make a mistake. It will be easy to find and fix with just a little picking out.

Nope, it isn’t complicated. You already did the hard part with the cutting and block creation.

Just don’t give up.

When you are done you should have 8 fence rail strips and 7 four-patch strips for a total of 15.

Assembly next week. Be sure to visit Katy and see how hers is coming along.

And, in case you are just joining us or missed a section, all previous steps can be found HERE.

FNSI Report

My Friday Night Sew In (FNSI),(Wendy of Sugarlane Designs) began with an hour of sewing Friday morning, and continued with more time Friday night. And, continued into Saturday. Between other necessary things, I was determined to get the last 13 setting blocks for the North Star State quilt finished.

YAY! All that are left are the friendship star cornerstone blocks. It is so good to see it finally coming together. It seemed like such a good idea to do the quilt in miniature…or at least much smaller scale. I am glad to have found a use for my smallest 1930s (and a few others) scraps, but it has been harder than I thought it would be. Ah, well, the end is in sight. Probably fairly soon. I am shooting to have a finished top by the end of the month. Maybe sooner.

Also stitched are the strips of rectangles for the Two and Four Quiltalong. You can check back here on Tuesday for the details.

Is it too early to be looking forward to next month? I enjoy the FNSI so much!

Two And Four Quiltalong: Fence Rail

How are your 4-patches coming? I hope very well. They are both endlessly interesting and a little mindless. Just chain piecing along…

This week we go to work on the rectangles. Make two piles–all the colored ones and all the backgrounds.

Piece one of each together. Repeat 160 times. Press towards the colored rectangle.

TIP: In case you didn’t know, pressing the seam flat, then pressing it open, helps prevent distortion. If you have noticed that your seams are a little wavy when you just open them up and press down, try this. It helps.

It is such a satisfying pile once you are finished.

Be sure to visit Katy and see how hers is coming along.

And feel free, too, to share our badge, created by a lovely person stitching along with us.

Join us again next week for the next step. And, feel free to ask questions. I’m right here.

Two And Four Quiltalong: Four Patches

After all that cutting you are probably itching to get stitching. I know I am!

First we’ll make 4-patches.

To create each 4-patch you need two colored pieces and two background pieces.

Stitch each colored square to a background square. Pause a moment and press the seam allowances towards the colored piece. It really does make a difference.

Next stitch the pairs together, putting the colored pieces on opposite ends and nesting the seams.

The next step of pressing has many options. I prefer to press this seam open. It gives the benefit of reduced bulk without the fussiness of pinwheeling the seams. If you haven’t tried this technique, you might want to on this quilt and see how it works for you.

Repeat over and over, watching your finished pile rise higher and higher until you have 140 4-patch blocks. YAY YOU!

We will be back next week to stitch together those rectangles.

Be sure to visit KatyQuilts and see her version using larger pieces. Enjoy!

Two And Four Quiltalong: Cutting Directions

Have you got your scraps gathered? YAY! Let’s get going!

These directions are for a quilt finishing at approximately 60″ x 80″. Useful on a twin size bed, as a throw or couch quilt, or as a donation quilt. Or, you can make it exclusively because it is beautiful and makes you happy. That might be the best reason of all.

  1. Divide your scraps into two piles: Colored and Background. My Colored is all red/blue. My Background is cream or coordinating low volume prints.

TIP: Generally, when cutting scraps, cut the largest piece you can/need first, then work down to smaller ones.

2. From the Colored fabrics, cut 160 2-1/2″x4-1/2″ rectangles. Also from the Colored fabrics, cut 280 2-1/2″x2-1/2″ squares. NOTE: It is nice to have some kind of color balance, but several possibilities will work. On Katy’s original quilt she cut all the rectangles from blue and all the squares from red. I am mixing my colors to match the fabric I had available. You can use more colors if you like.

3. From the Background fabrics, cut 160 2-1/2″x4-/2″ rectangles. Also from the Background fabrics, cut 280 2-1/2″x2-1/2″ squares.

4. Look at what you have accomplished and feel really great about it.

Thank you for quilting along with us. Visit Katy to see her progress on the quilt she is building. It is a similar size but uses larger pieces. Goodness, you might have enough scraps to do both! Now, that would be fun!

We’ll be back on September 7 with the first stitching step. Feel free to ask questions between now and then. See you soon!

Exciting Announcement: QUILTALONG!

Earlier this year, Katy shared a picture of this wonderful quilt.

I thought it was a great idea! A few weeks ago I cut out pieces to make a similar quilt. Katy and I got to talking and decided it was just too much fun to keep to ourselves, so we are inviting you to join us and build a Two And Four quilt of your very own.

I am building a version similar to the one above (based on 2-1/2″ squares and strips) and Katy will share directions for making a very similar quilt, but using larger (and therefore, fewer) pieces. 

You will have 1-2 weeks to complete each step before we move onto the next. This will run at a fairly leisurely pace. We plan to have tops finished and ready to share via a linky party by mid October. 

Your first assignment is to gather your scraps! You will need half light and half dark. Any color you would like! I’m using red, cream, and blue. Cutting directions will be posted August 24.

I hope you will join us for this Two And Four QAL. It’s a great way to clear out those scrap buckets!

Star Kissed 1-1/4″ Finished

The first quilt top created was the last one finished. That happens sometimes. But I am pleased with the outcome and look forward to sharing a round up of all of them (four sizes).

If you have a Star Kissed top/quilt you would like included, let me know. I would love to see how you finished yours.

The pieces in this one are SO TINY! It makes my heart happy.

For now it is staying here with the other three. I have some notion about doing a presentation of some kind on scale and setting options in quilts…I don’t know how that would work, really. But it might be fun.

In the meantime, I have a lovely throw to enjoy.