Quilter's Academy - Volume 2 - Sophomore Year

Vol 3 - Junior Year

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Vol 2 - Project 11 - Star Chain

Hi fellow quilty people and thank you to those who left comments on my last posting - it's all really encouraging.

This next project introduces internal frames - here's Harriet's quilt............
Only 2 fabrics in this quilt - but I couldn't resist adding a 3rd - so I've made this with good quality black quilters muslin and 2 green hand-dyes.

Here's mine laid out, unsewn without borders..........

It's nice huh?

Yes it's a lovely design with pretty blocks and a nice layout.  Herein lies my problem...it's nice and I'm getting a little bored with nice so I decided to jazz it up with interesting borders.  But more of that later... there seems to be some issues with this quilt top which I want to talk about first.

There are 3 blocks which make up this top - one for the main body, one for the internal frame and one for the corners.  All are easy to do ....... check them out.
Main Block - Internal Frame Block - Corner Block
The main blocks I had no issues with and they came together easily.  There do seem to be instruction errors though for both the internal and corner blocks.  If you are going to make this project, look at the pictures and work out your own formulas and there should be no problems.  Here is what I found......

There are several units to the internal frame block which, when made up, needs to measure 5" square.  If you follow the instructions in the book you won't get this final measurement, you'll get a bit of a mess.  However, if you make the 4 patches as per instructions, then adjust the other units to fit, you'll be fine.  Let me clarify........

The 4 patch units need to be sewn to a plain piece.  The instructions suggest cutting the plain units 3" x 3 1/2".  If you do that, you'll get this....

Next, you need to make the little centre strip.  The instructions suggest you cut the middle strip 1" wide and the 2 side strips at 3" each and sew them together....

Uh oh - this piece is 6" wide - I don't think it's gonna fit!

But an easy fix to get your 5" block.

It's off to a good start but then the wheels fall off.  The instructions ask you to cut a 1" wide strip x 4" long and sew to each side of the centre unit.  Cutting the side strip 1 1/2 " wide  and 3" long would work better. 

3" square centre unit

To the bottom of this unit the instructions say to cut a dark strip 4 1/4 inches long and attach 2 x 1 1/2" coloured squares to each end.  Um  I see a problem here.......
A 3" strip would work much better.......... :)

I've notified Harriet and Carrie about the issues I had with this project but I've not yet heard back.  The errors could be a misunderstanding on my part and I'll leave it at that until Harriet has had a chance to take a look at it.  In the meantime, I suggest you look at the illustrations before cutting all of your fabrics as they are the best clue on how the blocks fit together.  I made a couple of 'test' blocks before making the rest which proved to be an excellent idea!  Anyway, even if you do cut incorrectly, they are easily fixed as they tend to be cut too large rather than too small.

This quilt has 2 borders added on - a narrow coloured on and a plain wide one.  Very effective, very nice.  Adding the first border is interesting as you have those angled corners to deal with.  Working from pictures of Harriet's quilt in the book it's not that hard to figure out how to do it (and thanks to Ali for her advice as well).

Leave long tails on the ends of the border...........
add a piece across the corner........
sew and press.......ta da!
Add the corner triangle and trim square

At this point I knew I didn't want to have simple plain black borders, I wanted something more interesting.  I played with the idea of adding prairie points and found a technique by Rami Kim which made continuous prairie points.

I made one small strip, decided I liked the way it curved and mentally added this to the border.  I then pulled out the scraps - the test blocks and left over strips and had a play with them.  This is the result...

The outer borders are different widths and a bit more interesting. 
I've re-named it "The not so nice quilt"

The prairie point band isn't stitched down, so I can quit around and under it.  I may leave it as it is or attach it down, I've not decided yet.

The quilting for this will have to wait, as it seems no one in Hobart stocks black batting anymore.  I've had to mail order from overseas and it'll be a bit of a wait.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Vol 2 - Project 10 - Carrie's Confetti

Another long time between posts - but despite distractions of Christmas and a bit of travel, I did manage another finish.  This one is for my next door neighbour Pauline, who chose the initial fabrics ages ago.  The project in the book is quite small so I've doubled the size, and Pauline has a quilt large enough to wrap herself up in.

Carrie's version

Project 10 is a strippy quilt with a tiny 'windowpane' strip running down the triangles.  Those strips are the biggest challenge for me in this project.

These are not the fabrics we used - changes were made!

Because I changed the size of the quilt I had to change fabrics.  The mauve became dark blue, the black became bright pink and some other fabrics were added to make the extra blocks. All the fabrics were based around the butterfly print.

After making the blocks, sorting out the size of the triangles is the first challenge - not an easy one for the mathematically disinclined.  Taking advise from the book, I used graph paper to sort out the measurements and where to place the small strip.

With the strip sewn in, cutting is really wasteful as you can't turn your triangle around and cut from top.  Carrie has a solution in the book for making a strip on both sides, which works brilliantly and saves heaps of fabric - but it's complicated to do the math.

Much more economical to do it this way and save on fabric

When I make side setting triangles, I like to make them a little large, then trim them back....
For this project, that doesn't work!  The triangles must be cut to fit exactly or those little strips will end up in the wrong place.  Using the Creative Grids side setting triangle ruler, I was able to cut the triangles down to the right size.  

I also had to unpick some of the practice triangles as I ran short of the blue fabric....sadly, some of these had badly stretched and had wonky stripes, but I had no other choice other than to use them. They are quite noticeable - sorry Pauline!

I've used a wool batting in this quilt which wants to shift around despite heaps of pins. Ditch stitching helped a bit.

You may have guessed, Pauline is a butterfly fan - she has butterflies all over her house - so the obvious quilting pattern to choose, is butterflies! 

I had a butterfly border stencil - perfect for a strippy quilt - I used it on the butterfly fabric with invisible nylon and of course it's invisible. 

For the blocks I decided on a simple cobweb design.

The side triangles also got the butterfly treatment - this time I used pink rayon thread.
Halfway quilted!


She likes it!

Over Christmas I was lucky enough to have family come to stay.  My daughter--in-law Cherie, wanted to make a quilt so I let her loose in my fabric stash.  They were only here for 2 weeks and had lots of things to do, so we only got the top finished...............

Good job Cherie - now aren't you glad I made you unpick those badly cut ones?