Saturday, December 26, 2015

Best of 2015

How fun is this? Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs is hosting a "Best of 2015" linky party!

Here are my "best ofs."

  • Posts with the most views

This is an easy one. Far and above, the all-time most viewed post is "Susie's Magic Binding."

In the three-and-a-half years since the tutorial was posted in May of 2012, it has received nearly 650,000 views!

  • Posts with the most comments
Not surprisingly, the most with the most comments is the Susie's Magic Binding video tutorial. Posted on February 2 of this year, it's also the second-most viewed post. It's on YouTube, here.

  • Posts that provoked the best discussions
The most fun and lively discussions have been on "giveaway" posts. I loved the ideas followers had for using the Tonga Treats strips package given away on the 600 Followers post. The winner was Becky H., who planned a bargello quilt using the strips.

  • Posts showing your favorite 2015 finishes

Another easy choice!  My favorite all-time (not just 2015!) finish is the "Farmer's Wife" quilt. I used Marti Michell's templates for about half the quilt -- much easier than the templates in the book! I sent the quit to Idaho for a 50th anniversary gift to my brother and sister-in-law. 

  • Posts of your best tutorials

Since we've already celebrated Susie's Magic Binding, my second-favorite tutorial is another binding tute, Jean's Genius Binding.  It's perfect when you don't want the flange of Susie's Magic Binding. Plus, my nails look great in these photos.

  • Posts that are simply your favorites

The monthly UFO Parade posts are always my favs. It's so much fun to see what those participating in the UFO Challenge have made. But my favorite personal post is another tutorial, the one for the "Folded Corner Clipper." This is my favorite tool for making 45-degree angle cuts. So much more precise than drawing a line and sewing across it!

Linking up to the Meadow Mist Designs "Best of 2015" linky party.

Best of 2015 Linky Party

I counted the quilts I've finished since returning home from Texas in October. Eight!  I need to get My Little Sailor busy with the camera and write a "finishes" post! 

Happy New Year, and happy quilting!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Winter is Here! A Quilt Block a Day Tutorial

Happy First Day of Winter! I promised an easy peasy block for the winter season, and what could be easier than a 9-patch block?

I'm making my 9-patches from scrappy off-whites and reds. Festive, huh?

You may think it's silly to write a tutorial for a 9-patch, but not everyone has made 9-patches. Here are some tips for making a perfect 9-patch.

Start with either 2½ squares or 2½ strips. I used strips for the center three squares and scrappy squares for the outside rows.

This is a great chance to check your ¼" seam. Three 2½" strips sewn together should measure exactly 6½" -- if it doesn't, adjust your seam now before you sew more strips together!

To press, first "set" the seam by pressing with the dark fabric on top.

Next, press the seams toward the dark (red). Be sure to press to the thread -- in other words, make sure there is no little fold over the seam. 

Repeat for the second seam:

After pressing, I place a wooden cutting board over the strip set and wait for the fabric to cool. This ensure the strata is perfectly flat.

If you sewed strips, cross-cut into 2½" pieces. A fast way to cut is to start by making a clean cut at the left edge,using an 8½" ruler. Then cut a 7½" piece. 

Next, move your ruler to the left and line up at the 5" mark. Make the second cut:

Move the ruler to the left again and line up at the 2½" mark. Make the third cut:

Repeat until the entire strata is cut.

Because you pressed toward the dark side, the seams will nest nicely together. I don't even use pins!

I chain piece 2½" squares together rather than sewing off onto a scrap of fabric. By the end of a day of sewing, I have several blocks complete!

Try always to sew with the top seam aiming away from you. That way, your strata will always be lined up.

Add two strata with the dark (red) at the outsides to either side of the center strata. Press these two seams to the center.

See that the vertical seams are pressed outward, and the horizontal seams are pressed inward.

 Again, place the wooden cutting board on the block to flatten it.

Repeat daily to make 90 total 9-patch blocks!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Monday, December 21, 2015

Design Wall Monday

What should be my last UFO of 2015 is on the design wall today.

It's "Aunt Sukey's Sampler" from "Five is Fabulous" by Marti Michell.

This was the 2014 "Block of the Month" project at Ruth's Stitchery

As with many UFOs. now that it is nearly finished, I could kick myself for taking so long to finish it! As soon as I finished the last block, I put all the blocks on the design wall. And fell in love! Every bit I added to this quilt, I liked it more. And now that there is just the last border (the medium blue), I can't wait to get it to the quilter and onto my bed. I especially love the tiny gingham checks in the setting blocks and cornerstones. 

Here's a closeup:

Most of the other fabrics are from Maywood.


Shoot, I cut off the selvedge identifier when I cut the setting triangles. And I must have trashed it back then, because I don't have any left. I don't know who the manufacturer of this pretty border fabric is -- but I do know I bought it at High Prairie Quilts in Parker. They still had some left last week when I stopped by on my way to the airport to pick up my co-author.

My 2015 UFO list has 15 projects on it. And only TWO have been crossed off! How is your UFO list looking?

Come back tomorrow to see the new "A Quilt Block a Day." I promise, it's an easy one!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature