Saturday, December 29, 2012

Half Square Triangles

I recently finished my "leader and ender" project (check it out here) and I didn't have a plan for the next one.  There are a few patterns in Bonnie's books I'd love to try, but I was kinda feeling the need to spread my wings a little and try something different.  Don't get me wrong...I love Bonnie, but do you know how many Bonnie quilts I've made this year?  LOL  Lots of them.  :)

I guess this project is still technically a "Bonnie inspired" quilt, because she is the inspiration behind the leader and ender concept for me.  :)  

One of the sizes of scraps I cut are 3.5" strips.  Here is my bin....I think it's overflowing just a bit, don't you?  I either need to get a larger bin or start using them up!

This size (3.5") is the perfect triangle size, in my opinion.  You can pair it with 2" square "twosies" and 4 patches, which means endless design possibilities.  

I decided to start cutting for half square triangles with my handy Easy Angle Ruler.  I put a light and a dark fabric, right sides together....

Line it up and cut the triangles, leaving the two fabrics together as a pair....

I realized I "flip" my ruler for the second cut differently than Bonnie does, but I get the same result and this is comfortable for me...I tried it her way and I get really mixed up.  :)  It takes about 4.5" of fabric to cut two triangle pairs.  I always try to cut at least two pairs, so I don't end up with an angle on the end of my fabric...but I don't cut more than 4 of the same combination of fabrics.  Does that make sense?

Of course, if there isn't enough left to cut two triangles, I cut the remainder in to usable squares and throw them in to the appropriate leader/ender box!

 Here are all my triangles ready to be taken to my machine, where I'll sew them up as I work on other projects.  I have space under my extension table where I slide them out of the way (they are on a ruler).  Doesn't look like I made much of a dent in my bin of strips, does it?  Sigh....

A little while later...and they are all sewn up!  Now that I have a nice little stack, I decided to play with some layout ideas.  Pinterest or Google Images has tons of great inspiration!  This is just a straight layout....

 I love the movement in this layout...you just keep adding around that first center diamond.  I'm really liking this idea....

This one is called "Depression Block" from Quilter's Cache....but I think I have the color layout flipped.  This makes an awesome secondary design.

Simple diamonds...

More diamonds....

Stars!  Oh, my stars...I love star blocks...this one will be hard to resist....

Two stars...love it!  I see I have a triangle going the wrong way in one of the stars...

And a zig zag...oh, decisions, decisions!  All these options...and this doesn't even consider adding in a 4 patch or some other unit!

I sewed up all those triangles in the picture above...time to cut some more.  I haven't decided on a final layout...by the time I get enough triangles sewn, some other layout might catch my eye.  Which one is your favorite? 

Easy Street -- Step 6

Once again, Bonnie gave us an EASY clue for the Easy Street Mystery....and we are getting another clue on Monday!  She made it sound like she's speeding things up a little.

I'm hoping that Monday's clue will have us start assembling blocks.  My Easy Street bin overfloweth!

Apparently, I don't have that creative -thing- needed to start visualizing how these units will go together.  My mind just goes to mush when I try to figure out any design options.  Bonnie is doing a good job of keeping it all a mystery!!

Happy Quilting! 
Friday, December 28, 2012

I'm on a roll!

I am moving right along with these babies!  I got three more Hot Chocolate blocks assembled today.  I know the embroidery stitching part is going to still need a significant amount of time to accomplish, but I'm happy to be making progress on this OLD UFO. (click on the pictures for a larger view!)
Block 8 -- I just realized these guys don't have Hot Chocolate mugs like all the other snowmen. 

Block 9 -- this one has a gazillion pieces!

Block 10
I thought I might share how I do my fusible applique...just like always, there is no right or wrong way (well, usually) to do things, we all have our preferences, right?
I use Heat 'n Bond Lite...it still adds some thickness to the fabric, especially when there is many overlapping layers, like this project has.  I know there are lots of different fusibles out there, but this is my favorite.

I trace all the shapes with a mechanical pencil on to the fusible....
 
To reduce some of the thickness/stiffness from the fusible, I cut out the inside of the piece to about 1/4" from the traced line. Pieces smaller than about 1/2" stay as a solid piece.

 To save paper, I'll trace the smaller pieces inside the larger ones...I'm cutting out the center anyway.  I also label my traced pieces and note the color of fabric.  It sure helps when a pattern has lots and lots of shapes to trace, like this project does!

Tomorrow the next Easy Street mystery clue is released.  I might have to put my snowmen aside for awhile so I can work on it!

Happy quilting! 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Hot Chocolate BOM Progress


I made a little progress on this BOM yesterday.  These two blocks were half prepped (designs were already traced on the fusible, and fused to the fabric).  I just had to cut out the pieces and fuse them to the background fabric.
this one needs the fishing line embroidered on too!

I haven't done the buttonhole embroidery yet...I think I'm going to wait and do them all at the same time, which will cut down how many times I need to change the thread color.  I'll do all the browns, all the reds, etc.  That's the plan anyway!

I also got ALL the setting blocks completed from the months where I'd already finished the snowman block.  I did switch out a few of the fabrics that the shop sent.  I remember that was one of my complaints while receiving this block of the month...they sent a lot of "uglies."  LOL
Sorry for the nighttime, dark pictures...makes the colors a little off.

I just have 5 more BOM kits to go!  Today I'm tracing the applique patterns for block 8.

It's been crazy windy here last night and today...in fact, my husband said that the base recorded stronger winds last night than during either of the two hurricanes!!  It sounds like the siding is going to be pulled off the side of our house!  No snow for us here in Delaware, but it sounds like a lot of you did get some.  Sounds like a good day to stay in and sew!

Happy Quilting!
Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Oldie but Goodie

As usual, with the new year coming, I start to think about goals for the upcoming year.  Every year, I tell myself I'm going to finish up those old UFO's!  I generally do finish up at least a couple of them...but some of them slide by year after year!  

This Hot Chocolate Block of the Month is one of those.  I started this around 2006-2007!  I have five months completed and at least two other months that are traced and fused, but not fused to the background fabric.  I really do love this project....so I'm going to put it on my priority list for 2013! I think it would be a fun gift for someone with kids....but will I be able to give it away?  LOL

Month 1

Month 2

Month 3

Month 4

Month 5 -- this one doesn't have the buttonhole stitching yet.
There are also setting blocks...some are made, some are not.  Ugh...it's going to take some figuring to remember where I left off.

How about you?  Do you set new goals for the new year?  Do you have old UFO's like this? 

Happy Quilting!
Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!



Merry Christmas to all of you...wishing you all of God's blessings during this wonderful time of year!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Easy Street Part 5!

I did it...I finished part 5 today.  I am loving the assembly of this quilt so far.  The steps are not too difficult to assemble, but at the same time I have no idea what the end result is going to be!

Things are kind of quiet at our house...we celebrated Christmas with the kids a couple of days ago, and now it's just me and hubby.  We talked this morning about starting new traditions, just the two of us, as our family will be geographically separated more and more as the years go by with our future military assignments, our daughter staying put on the east coast for now and our son on active duty.  We both have a heart for the elderly, so we're going to look to how we might serve in that way for next year and/or in the future.  

Speaking of next year...I don't think I've mentioned on my blog where our next Air Force assignment is going to be.

This map is your clue....
do you like how the map matches the Easy Street colors?  :)

That's right!   We are going to Wyoming!  We are sooo excited!  It's a great location and we will be much closer to extended family.  We'll be moving sometime around the month of June.  Let the countdown begin!


Happy Quilting!  
Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Quilts

Christmas came a little early at our house...and now I can share the quilts I made for our two kids. It's so hard to keep a secret, but I pulled it off!

The first quilt is for Megan...it's made with a fabric line called "Meet the Gang."  Megan had been with me at a quilt shop about 6 months ago and pointed it out to me.  She usually doesn't show much interest in crafty things, so anytime she jumps in, it makes me happy!

The pattern is a freebie online called Sashings & Rectangles.  I think it was perfect for these prints.

I love the back too!

I quilted it with a grey thread and a simple pattern called "Curlz."  I think Megan was really happy with her new quilt!


Zach's quilt was made with some of his t-shirts from college.  This was my first attempt at a t-shirt quilt and I really enjoyed it!

Most blocks are made from the largest emblem on the shirt...these are the smaller pocket emblems from the front of the shirt.

Different sizes sewn together to make the blocks...

This large piece was from pair of sweats...the word "Delaware" was printed down the side of one leg.  I was so happy to be able to use it this way.  It was a bit thicker to sew and quilt through, but it still worked up nicely!

And because Zach spent 4 years in the Air Force ROTC program and is now active duty, I thought the Air Force fabric on the back was perfect.  I'm hoping this will be something he'll have to treasure the memories from his time at UD.

Hope you all are enjoying this Christmas Season and are able to take a little time to reflect on the Reason for the Season, your family, and the many blessings we all share.

Happy Quilting!