2014 In Review

One of the best things about blogging is that you can start a post and save it as a draft and add to it before actually posting it. I started this post, in note form, on January 2, 2014. I have added to it over the course of the year so that I have a pretty decent picture of my quilting year. Let me share it with you.

The first project I worked on in 2014 was the Christmas Celebration Tree Skirt for my eldest daughter. I had started it last year, but, as you can see, it was a complicated project.

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The first projected I actually started in 2014 was the Disappearing Pinwheels quilt. I’m still working on making the blocks as I have plenty of other projects that I’m working on simultaneously. I have serious Quilter’s ADD.

We began the church auction quilt in February by cutting the fabric and passing out block kits to several people at church. The goal this year was to make a quilt that would fit in almost any color scheme. We put together enough block kits to make a king sized quilt, but they didn’t all come back finished and several had to be redone, so we settled for a queen-sized quilt which I began assembling in May.

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I took part in my first charm swap in May (yes, I am late to the party!), and I have definite ideas of what I’m going to do with those 1 1/2″ squares, but I’m trying to hold the Quilter’s ADD in check and finish a few things first.

I completed a potholder (my first!) in June. I used a block from my 120 blocks project. This was also my first finish of the year. I did it to enter Very Lazy Daisy’s contest.

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As I had promised our youngest daughter and her husband, I completed the Wedding Quilt in July. The finish coincided with their first anniversary and their move into their first house. (By the way, the room where this picture was taken is now their theater room and the walls are red.)

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I completed Falling Charms a week later. It had been waiting for a binding for a month or so after returning from my favorite longarm quilter. The binding was even already made.

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Another first for this one is that I pieced the back. As a hand quilter, I don’t usually do this, because in hand quilting I prefer as few extra layers (like seam allowances) as possible to quilt through. I think I like the back every bit as much as I like the front of this one.IMG_1954

We began quilting the church auction quilt in August. We got together in my basement a few times a week to work on this.

I attended AQS Grand Rapids in August. Last year, I learned I really didn’t like going for just one day. I like the chance to drop in on the show several times during the week. I took four classes! And I learned two things about that. First, I don’t want to take four classes that start early in the morning. Second, four classes are too many. Maybe a class or two and some lectures would be better. And maybe a couple of mornings to sleep in a bit! I started two new quilts at the quilt show during my two Kimberly Einmo classes. IMG_2229

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At the quilt show, I had a great time with Nonnie and Carole. We got to spend a little more time together than last year. (Actually, Carole and I got to spend a lot more time together. Nonnie, I hope you get to come for more days next summer!)

IMG_2256Here we are in front of Katie’s Corgi Fairy Tale quilt.

I completed Christmas Celebration Tree Skirt top in September and sent it out for machine quilting. I got it back and bound by October 7, making it finish number four!

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Immediately after sending off the above tree skirt, I began Carpenter’s Star Tree Skirt in September. After all, the younger daughter and her husband deserved a Christmas tree skirt also! They chose this pattern and it went quickly. I sent it out for machine quilting also and got it back and bound by October 29 (finish number five!). I was able to give both the tree skirts to their new owners when we got together to celebrate our eldest daughter’s birthday at the end (literally) of October.

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We finished church auction quilt November 25, and it was auctioned off on December 5.

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Shortly after that, I got the itch to play with some Christmas fabrics so I made a Jelly Roll Race and added some blocks to it. It is just waiting for me to take it to the longarmer, but I need to figure out a back for it first.

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I have also worked on some old BOMs this year, getting to the seventh blocks in both the 2011 and 2012 Fat Quarter Shop Designer Mystery BOMs. And I started the 2014 Fat Quarter Shop Designer Mystery BOM with my friend Amy. I am hoping to completer the American Beauty BOM top before year’s end so that it can be my first finish next year.

The last UFO that I worked on this year is a tumbler quilt kit that I bought a few years ago and started a few years ago and wrote about here. I found it last week and started a push to finish it. So far 8 of the 14 rows are together:

IMG_2483Yep, those are not my usual colors, but they do look kind of masculine, don’t they? My son-in-law’s birthday is on January 9 and if a miracle happens, this will be a birthday gift.

So, I am apparently using this quilt top to avoid finishing the American Beauty BOM. Why do I not just get that one done?

Happy New Year and

Quilt on!

Double Windmill Block

My next block is called the Double Windmill in Marsha McCloskey’s Block Party: A Quilter’s Extravaganza of 120 Rotary-Cut Block Patterns (Rodale Quilt Book). I have found the same block called a few different things, and, of course, a few places where the Double Windmill name has been attached to different blocks also. Some links are below. (Note: I am at work where I don’t have access to my Jinny Beyer book and therefore have not yet researched names. If anything interesting comes up once I get home, I’ll add a short separate post.)

Not ours –

Ours

My block was made with some templates, although those pieces really could have been (and are in some patterns) replaced by half square triangles and squares. Knowing how much I prefer not to use templates, you may already have imagined what my feelings are on that subject!

I also actually started it yesterday. This is how far I got yesterday:

I also pinned together the pieces for the picture below. All I needed to do today was to sew them together. There were four.

Next I sewed the blocks together in pairs.

Then the pairs were sewed together to make the final block below. (Yes, only finger pressed so far, but I’m quite satisfied with the matching of corners and points! Yep, bragging!)

Double Four Patch

In case you didn’t get the idea from the block name, this was a very quick and easy block to piece. According to The Quilter’s Album of Patchwork Patterns: 4050 Pieced Blocks for Quilters, the Double Four Patch is also called Carmen’s Block (Nancy Page, Nashville Banner, July 11, 1933 or December 4, 1934;), Autumn Leaves (Delores A. Hinson in A Quilter’s Companion, 1973), and Four Patch (Carrie Hall and Rose G. Kretsinger, The Romance of the Patchwork Quilt in America, 1935). Nancy Page called a slightly different block with half square triangles in place of the large squares Double Four Patch.


You can find patterns for these blocks (some with coloring variations) at the following locations online:

  • http://quilting.about.com/od/quiltblocklotto/ss/january07_lotto.htm
  • http://quilting.about.com/od/blockofthemonth/ss/orange-and-pink-four-patch.htm
  • this video: http://video.about.com/quilting/Make-a-Double-Four-Patch-Quilt.htm
  • This one shows you how to make the blocks using charm packs and how to arrange them into a quilt: http://crookedseams.blogspot.com/2011/01/double-diamond-4-patch-tutorial.html

Now on to my very Christmasy Double Four Patch!

First, I sewed together the eight squares in pairs. I’ll bet you can guess what comes next.

Yep, next I paired up the pairs to make squares! And look, each square has four patches! A double four patch, except it does not make a block yet.

So, I add the glitzy gold squares…

And then I sewed those together – and a block emerged!
You can see how you could make an attractive quilt using just Double Four Patch blocks!
Quilt on!

Productive Day!

Today I completed Block 10 of the American Beauty BOM. It went very smoothly, and I do like way it looks now. (Pictures following below.) I also completed the main body of a baby quilt for some friends (no pictures until later) and finished sewing together the last of the batik strips for my Split Rail Lattice quilt. And I cut the pieces to sew together the Double Four Patch Block, which is the next block in the 120 Blocks project. I had a very quilty day! On to the pictures!

First the good news pictures – the block assembly. The half square triangles I made last week and sewed to the squares were joined to make new squares.

Next, the squares were sewn to the lovely pink and white strips.

The green strips which were paired with the other pink and white strips were sewn to the yellow and green center section.

 And last, but not least, the three resulting strips were sewn together to finish Block 10. I think this is a very attractive block. I might even make it again some time.

Now for the bad news. My machine is still acting up. I kept sewing with it anyway, hoping that the new needle and a fresh bobbin would help, but although it looks better, the stitches are still not right. What you see in the following pictures are the bobbin side of the seam. Yes, I had changed the upper tension, but it does not seem to make much difference. Sigh. I guess I may not be trying to quilt either of the baby quilts on my machine. Sigh.

Progress But No Finish

 I did make some progress today at work on this Block Number 10. However, I didn’t have a finish because I actually had work to do at work today, and a meeting to go to, and that just kind of prevented much sewing. I do, however, have pictures of what I did get done. You may remember that I mentioned that this block has 40+ pieces, so it does make some sense I’m not done yet on it yet. On to the pictures!

I’m still getting used to using my iPhone’s camera, so these are still not very even. I think next week I will attempt to use something other than my desk as the background and see if that helps.

Oh, look, half square triangles sewn together to make squares!

And joined to checkered squares!

Also, some are joined to some green squares.

Next I will put it all together, either here at home or at work next week. I am anxious to see it all finished. Then I will put together the next of the 120 blocks, Double Four Patch. That should be a quick one!

Double Dutch Finish

I actually finished this at work yesterday, but I just didn’t have time to post it then. So here it is in all its glory, the last few steps.

Yes, the small Flying Geese all mated to become the units you see above.

And I got to sew together some half square triangles!!!!

They joined to the small Flying Geese units and then…

the new units were joined to the larger Flying Geese units to make four of the above units.

Those units were joined into two strips of two of the units as seen above.

And those were joined to make the block as seen above here. Remember, this is a nine inch (finished) block. And, of course, it was only finger pressed and, apparently, not on a flat surface for the photo.
Frustrations with this block:
  • The pressing instructions did nothing to aid the piecing! Usually the pressing allows the two seams to butt up against each other nicely because the seam allowances are pressed in opposite directions but it seemed like every time I joined the larger sections here the seams were going in the same direction. My sewing machine would have hated it. And of course, the seams don’t meet quite as well.
  • Maybe I should have switched the two mediums – the gold and the branches. Or maybe one of them should have been less vibrant.
  • This is a busy block! I can’t even imagine using this in anything other than a sampler. Can you picture a whole quilt, even wall hanging size, made with this block?

On the other hand, I really like the pinwheely (that is a word, right?) action in the center of the block.

The next block looks much less busy and stressful, but I will probably do Block 9 of the American Beauty BOM first. Or maybe not. We’ll see what the cutting looks like this weekend. My eldest is coming to visit so cutting may not happen until late in the weekend…
And I have a baby quilt to finish!

Beginning Double Dutch

Yes, today I began to piece Double Dutch. Last night I cut these pieces:

Yes, lots and lots of triangles. I don’t know about you, but this many triangles spells trouble to me – and Flying Geese. So today I pieced 12 Flying Geese Units. Grrrrr!

These are the biggish Flying Geese:

In spite of only being finger pressed, those don’t look too bad because they are larger. The next two batches are smaller and obviously there are some Flying Geese that are waving in each of these pictures.

Tomorrow I still have some half square triangles to sew together and the assembling of those with all of these Flying Geese to finish the block. I’m thinking I would have named this block pattern something else like Vexing Geese or Cranky Quilter or Wild Geese Take Over the World. When I finish it tomorrow, you can let me know what you think it should be called. (Cooked Christmas Goose?)
Quilt on!

Double Dutch

I have cut out the Double Dutch block and hope to make some progress assembling it tomorrow. Obviously, pictures will happen tomorrow.

One would think, or expect, that a block named Double Dutch would have some historical background. I haven’t been able to find any information about it, so I think that maybe, just maybe, this is another block original to this book, Marsha McCloskey’s Block Party: A Quilter’s Extravaganza of 120 Rotary-Cut Block Patterns (Rodale Quilt Book).

So, look for tomorrow’s post.

And, quilt on!
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Another Day, Another….

Yesterday I did not quite finish Block 8 of the American Beauty BOM. But I’m down to needing to sew only two more seams, so that is a good thing! It’s amazing how huge this block seems to me. I guess when you have been working with 9 1/2 inch blocks, 12 1/2 inches really is large! So here are the pictures.

The above picture is not of the same pieces as I posted last week. These are the reverse of those!

Then I added little white squares (above) and then added those to the four pieces I had assembled last week so that I had four of the squares in the picture below.

Next I made the four strips above. And joined two of them with another light green square to make the long strip below.

The other two were used to join two of the pieced squares pictured above so that I have two units like the one in the picture below.

Today I will (hopefully) put it all together and be done with Block 8. I may even get a chance to post a picture of the finished product later. (And, if I get downstairs to cut some before I go to work today, I may even get a chance to start the Double Dutch block.)
Quilt on!

The Rest of the Block

Yes, I was able to finish the block yesterday. I think maybe I should have reversed the two light fabrics I used and put the patterned fabric in the corners and the Fairy Frost in the four-triangle blocks. Also, my dark should have been darker, but what is done is done. Here are some pictures:

You may have guessed from yesterday’s pictures that the nine patch above was coming. (Sorry about the curling – no iron here!)

And, of course all the pairs of triangles were joined like this.

Now it starts looking a little all the same color to me and kind of muddy. Next time I’ll go for way more contrast!

Ah, here is some contrast!

And here is the unpressed finished block. 
I hope you enjoyed it!