Sweet Sixteen: A FAIR Quilt

Sweet Sixteen was completed Sunday night and delivered to the local fair on Monday.

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We’ll see how they like it, but I LOVE it regardless.

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There are 1344 colored squares and nearly every one is unique.

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The quilting is mostly a simple cross hatch pattern, but with some flowers scattered here and there for surprises.

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The backing is as happy as the front.

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Yes, I love this quilt.  It was my 2016-early 2017 leader-ender.

Irish Star Quilt Along Part 4: Irish Star STAR Block TUTORIAL

Welcome back to the Irish Star quiltalong.  If this is your first visit, or as a refresher, refer to the IRISH STAR QUILTALONG tab above for previous posts and general information.

Today I am sharing the STAR block for our Irish Star quilt.  The construction is a little different and took me a few tries to get it right.  Please feel free to ask for clarification at any step of the way.  Some readers have decided that they are going to make the STAR blocks their main project and let the Chain blocks be their leader ender–works for me!

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I look forward to seeing all your quilts grow!

NOTE:  below the first measurement given is for a 1-1/2″ base square quilt.  In parentheses are the sizes for the 2″ and 2-1/2″, in that order.

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MATERIALS–FOR ONE BLOCK (29 pieces in all):

*4 base size squares 1-1/2″, 2″ or 2-1/2″–from your scrappy squares

*For star center and points- 8 base size squares 1-1/2″ (2″, 2-1/2″) and 1 center square 2-1/2″ (3-1/2″, 4-1/2″)

*From background– A) 4 1″x1-1/2″ (4 1-1/4″x2″, 4 1-1/2″x2-1/2″); B) 4 1″x2″ (4 1-1/4″x2-3/4″, 4 1-1/2″x3-1/2″); C) 4 1-1/2″x2-1/2″ (4 2″x3-1/2″, 4 2-1/2″x4-1/2″); D) 4 1″x2-1/2″ (4 1-1/4″x3-1/2″, 4 1-1/2″x4-1/2″);

CONSTRUCTION

  1. Attach one base square to one A background piece.  Repeat a total of 4 times.DSC00617
  2. Normally I am not obsessive about pressing direction and just let things go as they will, but this time, PRESS OPEN.  You will thank me later.  Particularly if you are using 1-1/2″ base squares. DSC00618
  3. Arrange your base square-A units around your star center.  NOTE:  The colored square will be UP and OUT from the center.  The background pieces are IN and DOWN/TOWARDS the star center.  Place your background B piece next to them. Keep this reference point in mind. DSC00620
  4. Complete your corner sections by attaching the B background piece to the base-A units. Repeat a total of four times.
  5. Now you are going to build the points of the stars using your background C pieces and the Star Point base square pieces. You will use the stitch-trim-flip method.  I recommend you add the star points by stitching from the middle diagonally towards the point.  This reduces the likelihood of the fabric being “eaten” by the machine.
  6. Attach one to each background piece.  Stitch-trim-flip and iron open.  Then add the second point piece to each background C.  Stitch-trim-flip and IRON open.
  7. Time to complete the star units by adding background D to the TOP (pointy part) of the unit you just created.
  8. Lay out your star parts–you should have 9 small units to assemble.  Double check that the corners are correctly aligned with the colored base squares UP and OUT compared to the star center.  Check again. Avoid your seam ripper. 🙂DSC00647
  9. Finally, assemble the block 9-patch style, one row at a time.
  10. Ta-Dah!  You have created an Irish Star block.  YAY!  Now, how many more do you have to go?  Only 180 for me!!!20170807_142936

Let me know how it is going and if you see any errors (especially that) or if you have any questions.  I am so happy with my growing collection of blocks.  It is going to be a beautiful quilt.DSC00655

You can start to see the chain effect, though it becomes much more noticeable when the blocks are assembled. DSC00653

Jolly Times

In between everything else, my Jolly Christmas quilt has been progressing.

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All the blocks are complete and sashing is next.

Then borders. Five of them.  I think.

Have you noticed that lately I am building quilts with alternating blocks and multiple borders?  Hmm…another stage in the evolution of this quilter.

Pre-loved Quilt Seeks New Home: A GIVEAWAY

*****Nancy is the lucky winner.  This giveaway is now closed*****

The O-Kaffe top is a flimsy–pictures coming soon.  To celebrate our redecorating adventure, I have decided that our previous throw quilt and pillows deserve a new home.

It is a This and That quilt by Aunt Em’s Quilts.  I built it while pattern testing for Emily in 2012.  The quilt finishes at about 56″ x 73″  Included are the covers for three matching 14″ throw pillows (not the forms–too bulky to ship efficiently).

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Here is a picture of how they looked in our room.

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The quilt has been loved and washed, I think, three times–it just came out of the dryer for this picture.

If you would like this quilt to come and live at your house, please let me know in the comments below.  The giveaway is open until this Saturday night, August 5.  I will notify the winner (determined by random drawing) and announce it here on the blog Monday morning.

Maybe it is strange to give away a pre-loved quilt.  But if you don’t mind having one that is pre-loved, I am happy to share it with you.

 

*****

Why Kaffe?

I have never sewn with Kaffe before.  Those who read my blog often are possibly wondering what happened.

Well, remember that we are redecorating.

Husband picked out throw rugs, curtains and a duvet set for winter.  This is not a picture of the actual rugs, but a similar one–ours have a strong chevron pattern, but close to the same color scheme.  “I like color,” he said.  Who knew?  After all, I have only been married to the man for 22 years.

My mother believes that my quilting has had an influence on him and slowly but surely drawn/pushed/led him in this direction.

Anyway, with all that luscious color, Kaffe fabric seemed appropriate, with some solids and white to give stability and organization.  All of this was scraps gradually accumulated from gifted bags over the years. I had sorted them with the vague idea of doing something someday.

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All blocks are complete–assembly follows.  And border decisions.

ps–The tutorial for the Irish Star blocks will be posted early next week.  This Kaffe quilt (known as O-Kaffe) has distracted me from verifying the measurements on the different size blocks.  I will have them done soon.  Promise.

 

Irish Star Quilt Along Part 3: Triple Irish Chain Block TUTORIAL

Welcome to The Irish Stars Quilt Along Part 3:  Triple Irish Chain Block.  If you are new or nearly new, you might want to check out the IRISH STARS QUILT ALONG tab for more information.  Don’t worry.  You aren’t late.  You got here right on time.  It is THAT kind of quilt along.

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The Triple Irish Chain block is just a  lot of squares.  It is the arrangement that makes all the difference.  Remember that this tutorial is for a single block.  Refer to Irish Star Quilt Along Part 2: Size and Scale to decide how many blocks you need to make for your quilt.  The number will vary between 4 and 180.  Yep, really!

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MATERIALS–FOR ONE BLOCK:

21 base squares 1-1/2, 2 or 2-1/2″

4 background squares to match the size above.

CONSTRUCTION:

  1. The only thing you HAVE to do in making this block is to make sure your background squares (white in my case) are correctly positioned:  in the CENTER position on each side.  DSC00576
  2. Grab 2 squares and sew them together.  You will do this a lot of times.  I keep my stack of squares to the right of my sewing machine in a little space where they are very handy but out of the way of my regular sewing.DSC00574
  3. I get asked how I make the decision of what to sew together.  Basically I try to keep good contrast between colors and not have the same fabric appear twice in a single block.  That is about as far as the “theory” goes.  Trust yourself and keep it lively.
  4. You will make 2 rows in the pattern: color, color, BACKGROUND, color, color. DSC00579
  5. You will make 1 row in the pattern: BACKGROUND, color, color, color, BACKGROUND.DSC00581
  6. You will make 2 rows of  color, color, color, color, color.DSC00585
  7. Lay them out in order as shown and sew together, nesting seam allowances in opposite directions.DSC00588
  8. Cut accurately. Press diligently.  Watch your seam allowance.  That is all that is really needed to be successful in working with small pieces. DSC00590
  9. Ta-dah!  You have completed a block.  Remember that your base square size determines the size of your block:  if 1-1/2″ then a 5-1/2″ block, if 2″ then 8″ block, if 2-1/2″ then a 10-1/2″” block. This is size-as-created including the seam allowance.  They will each be 1/2″ smaller when finished
  10. I am storing mine in a perfect size container.  It is very satisfying to watch them pile up.  The nice thing about scrappy leader-ender quilting is that it is practically FREE!  Other than the time to cut the squares, you are using thread you would have thrown away and fabric you would have thrown away. How worthwhile to make a quilt instead!DSC00592