Saturday, October 1, 2016

October UFO Parade

October already?  Time for my favorite holiday -- Halloween!  You know, 'cuz you get to dress up, knock on strangers' doors, and demand candy!

First of all, the October UFO number is:

Lucky #7

My favorite number!

Some great finishes this month. First up, three finishes from Kerry that I missed for the September UFO Parade.  I just hate it when I do that, but in my defense, my desktop crashed hard last month. So if I missed your UFO, please let me know!

I happen to know Kerry's first finish is quite an accomplishment -- because it was a BOM at my LQS, Ruth's Stitchery. "Freedom Rings" is a design by Paula Barnes -- and it's a big quilt!

I'm always so impressed by the Bonnie Hunter quilts those California girls finish (and they have day jobs, too!).  This is "Winston Ways," and I don't even want to count how many pieces are in each block!

After two "big" finishes, Kerry also finished this "mini," called "Drop" by Carrie Nelson of Miss Rosie's Quilt Co.

Read all about Kerry's finishes at her blog, Kerry's Quilting.

 Mary J is our overachiever for September -- she finished not one, but SIX quilts this month! They will all be donated to Ronald McDonald House. Mary, I'm sure they will be appreciated.

Here is just one, but you can see all six on Mary J's blog, Zippy Quilts.

Susan has another charity finish for September -- and a great scrappy quilt I want to copy!

Isn't that fun? It was her Leaders and Enders project for this year, and she's planning to donate it to an Aged Care home. Read the details on Susan's blog, Susan's Sewing Space.

I'm off to San Diego to greet My Little Sailor on his return from Japan! And, I get to attend Cozy Quilt's Strip Club next Saturday!

Happy October!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Friday, September 30, 2016

30 Day Quilt Prep Challenge

I did it! 30 quilts prepped for the long arm in 30 days!

Now, to be fair -- all but two or three of these were completed tops, "flimsies." The challenge was to prepare the backing and cut the batting, so each quilt is ready to be quilted.

And I did it!  Six of them have been passed on to various long-armers. I'll quilt the smaller ones myself, and probably all of the Bonnie Hunter mysteries. I love looking at the empty shelf formerly filled with tops waiting to be quilted. Four years of "52 Quilts in 52 Weeks" makes for a lot of flimsies!

Half the doors in the house have quilts/backs/batting hanging from them:

And here is #30, "Jelly Roll Jingle." (The batting and backing are downstairs on the cutting table.)

Jelly Roll Jingle is my original design. It will be a free pattern for all who attend the December Jelly Roll Party at Ruth's Stitchery and buy a jelly roll. Thanks, Pati, for your help in deciding on a name for this pattern!

I'm off to San Diego next week to meet my returning Sailor -- and two 52 Quilts followers!

Come back tomorrow for the October UFO Parade.

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

A Quilt Block a Day for Autumn

Or Spring, for my friends Down Under!

Did you miss doing A Quilt Block a Day this Summer? I didn't receive any requests for a BaD, so I decided to take a rest for the 90 days of Summer. But I have a fun design for Fall.

It's a scrappy foundation pieced block. I don't have a name for it yet -- maybe when I get some more made, a name will come to me! Here's what the half-block segment looks like:

I'm using "That Green," aka "Poison Green" or "30s Green" for the center of each segment. The print sides are 30s strip scraps in various widths. It's a great way to use up scraps!

Here's the tutorial for foundation piecing each segment. You'll need:

-- foundation paper or the lightest weight copy paper you can find. Some people use old telephone book pages for foundations -- whatever you have at hand!

-- washable glue stick. I use this kind:

but Elmer's school glue stick works also. Just be sure it's water soluble!

-- add-a-quarter ruler or acrylic quilting ruler and rotary cutter

Here are the instructions for making the paper foundations.

Start with an 8½" X 11" sheet of foundation paper. Draw a line across the page at 8½" -- or use your 8½" ruler if you have one.

Draw a line from corner to corner of the 8½" square.

Cut off the narrow rectangle. Then make marks at the folling points on the square:

3½" from two outside corners.
5½ in from the outside corner at the diagonal line.

Connect the dots do your foundation piece looks like this:

Next, cut the foundation piece in half on the diagonal line. Repeat to make as many foundations as you need. If you like, you can copy your original foundation in the copy machine before cutting off the small rectangle and cutting the squares in half on the diagonal line.

Apply glue stick to the center area of the unmarked side of the foundation piece.

Cut a piece of whatever fabric you're using for the center at approximately 5½" X 7" and stick to the unmarked side of the foundation.

On the marked side of the foundation, insert two pins at one of the lines. Poke the pin IN at the line, then bring it UP at 1/4" toward the narrow point, through both the paper and the center fabric.

Flip the foundation and the fabric over.

The pins indicate where you will line up the first strip. Place the strip of printed fabric on top of the center (green) fabric, line up with where the pins show closest to the narrow point of the foundation.

 Before stitching, I drop my stitch length down two "clicks" -- to about 1.5. I also use a larger than normal size needle -- size 14. This will make tearing off the foundations easier when stitching is complete.

Stitch along the line on the marked side of the foundation. Be sure to extend your stitching three or four stitches beyond the edge of the paper.

Fold the paper back toward the marked side, and using the Add-a-Quarter ruler, or the 1/4" line on your regular quilting ruler, cut off the excess fabric. Pay attention! Be sure you're cutting off the excess, not the center of the block!

Pin two more pins on the other line and repeat to stitch the printed fabric on the opposite side of the center fabric.

Press strips one and two away from the center fabric. Add additional strips until all the paper foundation is covered. The width of the strips can vary.

When the paper foundation is completely covered, trim off the excess fabric at the edges of the paper foundation.

And there is your finished segment!

If you decide to make "A Quilt Block a Day" this Fall, I'd love to see your blocks! Send an email with photo attached to Aunt Marti at 52 Quilts dot com.

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Blogger's Quilt Festival: Modern Quilts Part 2

I couldn't decide which of my recent modern quilts to enter in Amy's Blogger's Quilt Festival Modern Quilts category. Lucky for me, she allows two entries!  

This is great-nephew Luc's 12th birthday quilt. It's a modification of Rob Appell's "curved piecing" technique. So easy!

The fabrics are from my extensive (cough) collection of solids. Luc wanted yellows and oranges, and no prints in his quilt.

He loves lions, so the backing is a lion print.

Click here to see all the categories for the Festival. And here is the link for the Modern Quilts.

Thank you, Amy, for hosting!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Blogger's Quilt Festival: Modern Quilts

Every year, I look at Amy's "Blogger's Quilt Festival" on Amy's Creative Side and swear "next year I'm going to enter!"

Guess what? It's next year! And I have a fun quilt to enter in the Modern Quilts category.

This is "Crow in the Wheatfield." The spectacularly bright yellow is Kona's "Color of the Year," "Highlight." Remember the very first yellow highlighter pens? It's that yellow!  I'm so lucky to have a great boss at Ruth's Stitchery, who is willing to buy a fabric for the shop just because the staff likes it!

The 'crow' is Hoffman's black batik -- with just the slighted bits of navy blue, just like a crow's wing.

The pattern is adapted from Tula Pink's Houndstooth Check pattern. It's quilted in my favorite "Modern Figure Eight" design.

Here is a link to the main Blogger's Quilt Festival page. And click here to see all the modern quilts in the Festival.

Go take a look!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Tuesday Tutorial: Curved Piecing with Man Sewing

You've probably read that I make a quilt for each of my Mother's great-grandchildren when they turn 12. The youngest boy in that generation turned 12 last month (there's still one girl who isn't yet 12). 

Now, I don't normally allow much input as to which quilts I make. My theory is, "I make the quilts I like, and if you suck up enough, you get the quilt!" But since I let L's older brother choose the colors of the quilt, I figured L. should get a choice also.

Via his Dad, L. requested "yellow and orange with no print. And I really like lions."

Yellow and orange with no prints? Hmm -- I DO have a rather extensive collection of solids.

So I pulled out all the orange and yellow solids. Initially, I thought I would cut them to 2½" strips and sew them together randomly. Then I happened upon Rob Appell's "Man Sewing" tutorial on piecing free-hand curves.

It's a life-changer! Seriously, I haven't witnessed a new technique this revolutionary since I was shown Susie's Magic Binding!

As Rob advised, I made a practice block. His technique is so easy!

Have you notices all the exclamation point in this post! Can you tell I'm just a little excited?!?

Are you ready to see my finished quilt? Here it is:

Isn't that fun? I originally had the large (20") blocks arranged in a checkerboard as Rob does. The DH suggested they would look better all turned the same direction -- and he was right. 

Since L. said he loved lions, I searched for a backing with a lion print. It took some time, but I finally found the perfect backing fabric:

Thank you Rob, for the excellent tutorial! 

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Thursday, September 1, 2016

UFO Parade: September Already?

It's pretty clear August is holiday month for quilters -- not many UFOs got finished this month!

But first, the UFO number for September. It's"

The first to join the parade is a blue ribbon quilt by Katie from Wyoming. First place at both County and State Fairs!  Yay Katie!

Kate, log cabin quilts are my favorite, and you did a spectacular job with the layout on this one. Congratulations!

Sandi's August finish is one we did as a BOM at Ruth's Stitchery awhile back.

Here's what Sandi has to say about "Kavelry."

Kalvery used the Freedom Rings Block of the Month pattern and fabrics by by Paula Barnes of Red Crinoline Quilts.  It is a large project that is 88" x 88".  By the time Kerry and I started working on our individual projects finding the fabric line was near impossible. But with a bunch of searching around we gathered most of the ones called for.  The important fabric to get was of course the eagle and star panel.  Without it...well what can I is what pulls this design together.  My eagle and star panels fell just short of what I needed so I improvised a bit using pieces of the blue star border that were part of the panel on the top and bottom of each panel.  So this patriotic beauty is done and I am very pleased.
Here is where I talk about the finish on my blog
Seeing your quilt, Sandi, makes me wish I had participated!

Idaho friend Martha and her husband served with the Peace Corps at one time. She is busily making quilts for their fund-raising auction next summer. It is so fun to see her authentic African fabrics!

The first one she finished this month features fabric from when for a short time the Central African Republic became an Empire. More than 30 years ago. 

Here is another to-be-auctioned quilt. This one is 80" x 80" and will go at the Peace Corps auction. The proceeds go to Water for Good which digs wells in villages in the Central African Republic.

Here's a closeup so you can see the unique fabrics:

Australian Susan was lucky enough to retreat with her friends this summer (winter in Australia!). She writes:

I am not sure when I made this...I guess it was 2003.  It is not my oldest UFO…that one may never see the finish line! The pattern is “Donna’s Dream” and was designed by Donna Elkington  (who used to own a Quilt Shop here in Brisbane.) I particularly love the border on this one.

Me, too, Susan!

Read more about Susan's quilts are her blog, Susan's Sewing Space.

Melissa has two quilts and a unique finish to share this month. First, her quilts. The first is a scrap quilt made with Hawi'ian fabrics Melissa's folks brought her about 10 years ago. She says, "They found bags of cotton scraps for $10 a bag and when I said that was a good price they bought me 4! This is my 5th quilt from those scraps and I'm almost at the end."

"The other is a baby quilt with more scraps. I love using them up and making something useful out of them." 

I love love love the next finish! So fun, and I think the first finish by a man I've featured on the blog! It's not a quilt, but it's really cool!

Melissa tells me:

The big accomplishment this month belongs to my Dear Husband.  He makes models and this year I encouraged him to follow your monthly UFO picks into order to get some of his WIPs completed. And this month he did! It's the USS Buckley. 
I did a little research on the USS Buckley, and found it was a WWII destroyer with a storied history. Click on this link to the US Militaria Forum to learn more.

Speaking of the US Navy, My Little Sailor and 52 Quilts co-author re-enlisted for six more years of Navy life this week. I'm so proud he has chosen to continue his military career -- and delighted that his next assignment will be in San Diego!

We're coming up on a three day weekend in the US -- it's Labor Day. My sister Julia convinced her boys that Labor Day meant you had to finish all the projects you started over the summer.

Here's to finishing those UFOs!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature