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Showing posts from 2017

2 Appliqued Diamonds

You were supposed to see my final Lone Star next.  I made a cutting error and didn't discover it until too late; I had used all of a few fabrics.  So, it was back to the local quilt store.  
I was able to find the same, or similar, fabrics except for one - the red and white gingham.  I ordered that online (I hate to get fabric online because I want to see the fabric) and went on to the next blocks.  After working on the Lone Stars the piecing was easy.  I had put the blocks off because of the applique.  It wasn't fun and the points are not as sharp as I'd like, but they are done.

This block is the 2nd signature block in the quilt.  I haven't decided if I'm going to be adding the signature or not.

Now you can see the background fabric for the quilt.  The original blue wasn't quite this bright but it is the closest that I could find.  Who knows, the original might have been exactly this color and faded over time.  It is Bella Solids Bright Sky.

That's enough…

Lone Star #1

I finally finished a Lone Star!

As you can see, the corner blocks are pieced which is why accuracy was so important and I couldn't cheat.  
The points are going to be cut off a bit, but not as much as I was thought.  I wish I would have thought ahead and made the corner blocks one inch smaller.  Than I could have had sashing on all 4 sides so I could trim down if needed.
The most important thing is that this section is the correct size.  So, I won't have to adjust the blocks that go around it.
Next will be the Lone Star out of the traditional fabrics.  I'm going to be making each strip set a sliver smaller to make the star a little bit smaller.  Hopefully the points will remain intact that way.
To celebrate making it this far I set out all the blocks I've completed so far to see how they look.

There are still a few empty spaces.  The one on the left is going to be a scary block - scarier than the Lone Star.  But, I'm not going to worry about it until I have the ne…

More fabric for Lone Stars

I've got my plan for my real Lone Stars.  No more practicing!  I'll be using 2.25 inch strips of fabric using the entire width of fabric.

Most of the fabric I purchased was in the form of fat quarters and the yardage I had was mostly chopped up.  So, I had to go to the fabric store yesterday.

For the traditional quilt I needed whites.  Most of other other fabric in the star wasn't used or used sparingly in the rest of the quilt.

I was worse off with the modern fabrics and had to find four more fabrics.  And the background fabric.  I picked a very dark gray.  2 of the blocks that I've pieced don't work on the gray background so I may redo them.  That's what happens when I make up the quilt as I go.  Luckily there are easy blocks.
Today I'm prepping the fabrics so I'll be ready to go next weekend.
For the traditional quilt I'm following the colors in the original quilt so it was easy.  For the other star, I've rearranged the color sequence more t…

Still More Lone Stars

For the last few weekends I've worked 2 more Lone Stars.  I'm still using this tutorial from the Hopeful Homemaker.

I'm getting better but I'm still not 100% happy with the results.  My star points look good under the ruler but sewing them together and keeping them lined up and not stretching them is a challenge.

Actually, looking at these pictures help.  The obvious (to me) flaws disappear.

So, I've decided I'm close enough to tackle the real Lone Stars.  So, I'll be taking the instructions and scaling them up to a much bigger Lone Star with 16 diamonds per point instead of only 9.  I'm hoping the 7 additional diamonds aren't my undoing.
Stay tuned and don't hold your breath!

The Next Lone Star

I am continuing to practice lone stars.
This time I tried a different tutorial.  Each one I find is slightly different so I get to try different techniques and see which ones work best for me.
Since I've gotten better with points and the quarter inch seam allowance and need to work on keeping the diamonds from stretching I picked this tutorial.  It has fewer, bigger diamonds so it should go faster.  It also doesn't have the set in squares and triangles so it will be easier to finish if I choose to do so.
As soon as I started cutting the diagonals I realized I forgot the starch.  I just jumped right in and missed the main point of the block.  So, I decided to continue and focus on being as careful with the fabric as I could.  Guess what, my diamonds didn't stretch out this time!
I got some stretching when I sewed on the triangles, however the block still turned out OK.  A couple of points are slightly off but most of them are right on. There is a slight hump in the center …

Up next ... lone star

The cause of the delay has been a Lone Star block in the middle of my quilt.  I've been practicing pieced diamonds but I'm still not ready to attempt the real one.  So far, I'm a big fan of this tutorial.

At first, I had trouble with the quarter inch seam and getting the points lined up.  After a few really wonky blocks I had to pause to get some starch.  That helped and the blocks are getting better.
So, I started another strip set and another round of diamonds.  The points turned out much better this time.  So did the quarter inch seam.  Each block is 3.5 inches across and the center diamond has perfect 45 degree angles.

But, the blocks are not 45 degree angles on the outside so there is still some stretching going on. I'm going to have to work on my starching technique and/or mix up a stronger batch.
The good news is that I'm getting closer.  At first I thought I wouldn't be able to pull it off but I think I can with some more practice.  
So, I'm off to…

Vintage Stripes and Plaids

As I've worked at copying an old quilt the most difficult fabric to find was suitable stripes and plaids. This block had 3 plaids and one stripe.  I was only able to find 3 plaids so they all had to go into my reproduction whether I liked them or not.

I consider myself lucky to have found the stripe fabric that I did - it was from a collection of Christmas fabrics.  

I love this tan stripe with the leaves.  Of course, I couldn't find anything like it.  Wouldn't that be a great fabric in lots of different colorways?  

My modern block is boring in comparison.

Here's a Monkey Wrench block with different white and brown stripes.  I looked through the prior posts and didn't find it.  So, maybe I missed it.  I hope I didn't miss others.

I couldn't find any pictures of it and it's overcast and raining so all you get is a blurry photo.  I had to use the Christmas stripes again and have a passable brown stripe.  Still, I think the modern block isn't as exci…

Pieced by ...

The old quilt that I am copying has 2 blocks with information about some ladies that may have worked on the quilt.  I have no idea how reliable the information is but I have done some research.
First we have Ruth who was born in 1796 and died in 1864.

Obviously, this wasn't written by Ruth but the dates match what I can find online.  
Next is Sally who was born in 1789 and died in 1881.  Again, the dates match up with the records.

Her block  is said to have been pieced on April 7th, 1879.  What happened on that date in 1879 so that the date was remembered?  I found nothing on "on this date" lists so it must have been something local.  I need to do more searching and see if there was a birthday or a wedding on that date.  It's also possible there was a note with the block or a diary entry.
So, what do I know?  If these are to be believed the quilt was documented and assembled after both ladies died.  But when and by who? How many of the blocks did Ruth and Sally make…

not quite the same

These are my favorite fabrics from the original quilt that I'm copying.  They appear in many of the quilt blocks.

Stripes and polka dots in 2 different colorways!  I need this fabric.  Someone please print it again.

Here's what I managed to find:

I didn't have any luck at all finding any old-fashioned looking light blue prints.  I settled for this light teal calico.  I was able to find black prints and this was the closest I found to polka dots.

Here I used a black calico and a gray fabric with tiny polka dots.

And finally another dark gray fabric with small polka dots.  I did find a white fabric with red dots even if the scale is off.   Notice how I ended up with white, ecru and tan for the light blocks and how similar the light blocks are in the original?

Comparing Stars

I've been showing you blocks that I've been making  based on an old quilt I have.  Actually, it's not a quilt.  I think you would call it a coverlet.  The blocks are sewn together and the edges are finished but there is no backing or batting.
Since progress is temporarily stalled, I thought I'd start showing some of the original blocks and my reproductions.  
I think I did pretty good on this block and it's a mixed bag.  
First, the mustard yellow fabric is nearly identical to the old fabric.  The colors are slightly different but otherwise there's no real difference.  That did not happen very often.  I quickly learned that I couldn't be too picky when selecting fabrics.
At the other end of the spectrum is the black fabric with blue flowers that are the star tips.  I couldn't find anything even close and I tried and remained hopeful through the last quilt shop I visited.  I don't know if it was a striped fabric or a border print but I would love to…

Block 31 - Another Star

Here's the next block.  The quilt has been filled with 9 and 10 inch blocks so far.  This is the first and only 11 inch block.  It will not have sashing and therefore has to be accurate.  That's why I did the other Le Moyne stars first.
I've searched and haven't found this block documented.  I probably haven't looked at the right sources.  I found a Blazing Star which is a Le Moyne with the star points made up of 4 patch diamonds. And the Liberty Star is a Le Moyne Star with the star points made up of 3 strips like a Rail Fence.
The center of this block is a Le Moyne but the star is extended.  I pieced it just like I did the other stars, but I had to piece the diamonds first.  The proportions are different but otherwise it is the same.
My first one went to plan.  The second one did not.  With this block it's hard to tell until the very end and I got the results I was expecting when I did the first one.  The center sticks up like a mountain and the size is way …

Block 29 and 30 - Some Le Moyne Stars

These are the first of the blocks I wasn't really looking forward to: Le Moyne Stars.
I know I've made some of these a while ago.  I've made at least one by hand and I've also tried machine piecing and I'm not in love with either method.  So, my strategy has been avoidance but the quilt I'm reproducing has Le Moyne Stars so I'm making them.
To remember how to make them I've looked at books and searched through online tutorials and settled on this one from Artquiltmaker.  It's different from the usual method of piecing the star and then setting in the corners squares and edge triangles.
One of the stars had a circle pieced over the star.  I don't know if that was intentional or to hide a less than perfect center.  I started with that one in case I needed to hide a less than perfect center.
So, following the tutorial I took a deep breath, tried to respect the bias and not sew into the seam allowance and came up with my first star.

I actually didn…

Block 28 - Wild Goose Chase

Last week I showed 3 blocks so there's only going to be one this week.  It's called Wild Goose Chase.  Isn't that a great name for a quilt block?
When you look for images there are many variations.  Some look just like this one but others either have more flying geese units or triangles instead of squares in the corners.  Still others are completely different.  Here is my favorite Wild Goose Chase reference.
My Wild Goose Chase is a 10 inch block and at 41 pieces is complicated.  Imagine adding in 4 or more flying geese. However, the pattern that is created when the blocks touch each other are beautiful and would be worth the effort.

This is the last block in the quilt that is in my comfort zone.  The remaining blocks are going to stretch my limits and make me learn new techniques.  Luckily there's not that many left.

I'm also running out of completed blocks to show.  I have 2 for next weekend and I just started another block.  So, the rest of the blocks may not b…

Blocks 25, 26 and 27 - Baskets!

Next up are 3 baskets  
My first problem was the handles since it seems like a lifetime ago that I last did applique.  I don't really enjoy applique and usually avoid applique patterns.  But, the basket blocks look great so I must.  The raw edge fusible method which is the easiest doesn't really go in this quilt.  If I had more blocks to do, I would probably do machine applique but for the 6 baskets I decided to go by hand and it actually went faster than I thought it would.  
I know that I'd done freezer paper applique before but I forgot the details so I found Kim Diehl's Simple Applique which walked me through the steps.  I prepared the freezer paper applique using her methods but hand stitched instead of machine.  For the handles, I hand drew the shapes knowing that they wouldn't be perfect.  But, the originals weren't perfect either.  Each handle has it's own personality.
The first basket I'm cleverly calling Basket 1.  It's 9 inches square.