Wednesday, July 25, 2012

 I put my other projects aside and began another quilt out of necessity. (That's what I'm telling myself anyway.)

I've been using my 4-4 Time quilt on my bed, but it's showing some wear because Pippi sleeps at the bottom of the bed. She has her own purple  quilt, but she spends a bit of time every night scratching around getting herself in juuust the right position before she settles down and I decided I needed another quilt to share the wear and tear. Preferably one that had minimal light fabric in it.

Surprisingly nothing already made seemed to fit that bill, so I had a quick scrounge around in my scrap bins and orphan units and made a start on Bonnie's Bargain Basement pattern, from 'Scraps and Shirttails'. I'd been thinking about this design, all I needed was an excuse to start!

It was blindingly quick, because I had a large amount of 3 1/2" strips and some squ in sq units as well as 4 patches in the right size.

 I tried this on the bed, but I want it larger all round, so I'm pulling more medium and dark strips  out to play with.
 It's been terrific fun, and there really is no right or wrong way to lay the blocks out, which I love. I may even make a pastel one to use up all the lighter strips I couldn't put in this.

So it's Pippi's fault I've made another top, and if this one wears out I'll just make another.
 This little face is worth it.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

 The first time I made these blocks I used 2 1/2" strips, cut at 6 1/2" widths, and a 2 1/2" square as a flippy corner. I still have all the trimmed triangles in a  box and haven't got around to using them.
 These shapes are easy to cut with the Easy Angle ruler. Just square up the end of the strip and then align the bottom edge of the ruler on the strip and cut along the sloping edge.
  Rotate the ruler and line the long edge with the top of the strip, and the sloping edge where you made the first cut. Trim at the side, and there you have two identical shapes, each sloping the right way. Do not flip the ruler over, just rotate it into place.

You can make these blocks sloping two ways and both are right, as long as you are consistent in the way you lay out the strips. Either have the strips ALL  wrong side facing  up, or wrong side facing down. As long as they are facing the same way, they will join up.  I lay a finished block on the cutting mat to make sure I was doing it right.
 I cut the dark pieces wrong side up,
  and also the light pieces.

However the triangles that go on the end of these strips I cut right side up, for the simple reason that then I could line up the points easily.

You can see here that I cut a strip that was folded in half .(I used the Easy Angle for these too)
The piece that faced up will fit perfectly on the larger piece,

but the piece that faced down has to be lined up with the top and sloping edge (no nice little point to match here) which seems more fiddly. Not wrong, as I can use both pieces, but if I can remember to cut them facing up I like it better. It's certainly easier to keep both pieces exactly aligned as you begin sewing, so to me it's worth it.
For each block you need the dark strip with a light triangle at the end, a 4 1/2"  dark/medium strip with a 2 1/2" square sewn on to one end and a light strip with a dark triangle at the end.
 Pretty easy if you've got them all sloping the right way.

When I press the strips I make the seam allowances go towards the small triangle. I don't care about pressing towards the dark fabric because I'd rather the seams nest at that point when the blocks are joined together.
Each block measures 6 1/2" unfinished and four of them together are 12  1/2" unfinished.

Now you just have to make dozens and dozens of these and play with the layout, they really are so easy to sew it's hard to stop.


Sunday, July 08, 2012

Remember Keryn's Half and Half quilt, from 2009? This is such a simple block, a sort of split nine patch in construction. She sashed and rotated her blocks and they make a wonderful pattern across the quilt, full of movement.

I was testing her instructions and decided to set my blocks together in groups of four which is a more recognisable split nine patch.

  I loved making these, and they used up a power of scraps from the 2 1/2" strip bin. The resulting quilt was donated to the bushfire cause, and I've been meaning to make another one to use up more strips.

  However I began  playing around to see if I could simplify the block even further, and came up with this.
  I started off making the pointed ends using 2 1/2" squares, flippy corner style but I quickly tired of that. I admit flippy corners have their place, but I can't throw away the cut-off bits and I have buckets of them already, so I don't need more.

I found a way to use the Easy Angle to cut this block, and I'll post some photos tomorrow. Even though this started out as a quick scrap quilt, I've also been playing with settings for the blocks.
 They can be used in any configuration that the log cabin uses, and I think I'll have to make a heap more to try them all out. I'm so easily sidetracked it's not funny....


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