Monday, October 24, 2016

Knitty Sheep Quilt Finally Finished!

Congratulations to Cheri S. of Washington who is the winner of the fat quarter bundle of the Wings Collection (from last week). Thanks to everyone who chimed in to let me know what you drink in the mornings!

Below is a post I did for Benartex this time 2 years ago. The fabrics are so cute and I pulled out a tried and true technique for making Hourglass Blocks. I quilted it this past week and used the gray flannel for the back. I sent it to my 2-1/2 year old granddaughter for a cozy, snuggle-worthy winter blanket.

I share the pics of this FINISHED at the end. Hope you enjoy the tutorial!
It's natural for sheep to want to knit or crochet, right?
Knitty Sheep, Knitty Sheep: can you knit with wool?
No, ma'am. No, ma'am. I never learned in school!

What! That sounds so crazy. Did you skip classes just to play?
No, ma'am, I took a class to learn how to crochet!

Whew! Now that's what I'm talking about! I can't knit and can only crochet. It's refreshing to find wool bearing sheep who know what to do with their hair!

Benartex: Debby, why did you want to work with this collection?
Debby: I loved working with the Knitty Kitty Collection a few months ago and made a few items for my crochet supplies (see post here). And now the fabrics are also in flannels. I can think of some cozy things to make for my little grandsons using those.

And some flannels to stay cozy and warm . . .
Knitty Sheep flannels
Benartex: How long did it take for you to come up with your idea for our Technique Tuesday?
Debby: Well,  it usually only takes a day or two for the fabrics to convince me of what they want. Yes, they actually do start whispering once I rescue them from the mailing box. Then they get louder and louder until they convince me. But this time I think they were exhausted from their trip and it took over a week for them to talk to me.

Benartex: And can we see what you did?
Debby: Why not? Isn't that what we're all here for?

Debby: I wanted so badly to capture the sheep in a horizontal strippy type quilt. I measured and figured that I would be able to cut 4" strips without lopping off any important sheep body parts! I allowed 1/4" from the tips of their little sheep heads.  I was given 38" (basically a yard) to work with and the strip looks like this:

4" strip, allowing for 1/4" from the tops of their heads
(Important note: the line of sheep runs parallel to the selvedge. For a longer strip you need more yardage.)

Then I dug through my files and found a tried and true pattern for an Hourglass block using my quick piecing and cutting using a 45˚ ruler (NOT a kaleidoscope ruler).

I used Judy Martin's 45 Shapemaker:

Judy Martin's 45 Shapemaker
Omnigrid side setting triangle
 I'm able to get two full blocks from two contrasting fabrics cut 2-3/4" x wof. Always press toward the "solid" reading color so the seams will nestle when units are joined together.

Two strips cut 2-3/4" x wof. Off-set them by 2-1/2" as shown
I selected 3 companion fabrics from the Knitty Sheep/Kitty Collection and the perfect blue from a Benartex batik.

I wanted to make 12 - 16 blocks, so I cut:

** 2 strips EACH of 4 colors: 2-3/4" x wof (will yield four blocks)
** 8 strips 2-3/4" x wof of the novelty print from Knitty Kitty/Sheep as shown above

From the Knitty Sheep panel fabric, cut:
** Four strips 4" x 36/38". Take care to measure 1/4" from the tips of the sheep heads. This way you won't "intrude" on the heads in the next panel. Two strips are used for the quilt center and two are used for the side borders.
** Cut two wider borders from the two ends at the selvedges. Note that there is more of the gray background fabric on each of the ends. This makes them a natural for the top and bottom borders.

Use the ruler to cut perfect triangles, always aligning the ruler tip at the top of the strip set
Flip flop the ruler across the strip set until you get to the end. Notice that by offsetting the strips as we did at the beginning, it allows us to get ONE MORE cut, thus enough for two blocks per strip set.

Squeezing one more cut from the strip set
Let's see the block units:
8 triangle cuts from each strip set, enough for 2 blocks
And how do you arrange them?

Pretty nifty, huh?
Pair two together and sew the two block halves:
Two block halves. Always press in the same direction
You need for the seams to go in opposite directions from each other, so always press toward the same center triangle. Then you press the center seam open to reduce bulk.

Hourglass block with center seam pressed open

Now, can we see the other colors you used?

Four happy blocks in bright colors
 Now, let's see how you put the rows together. (Sorry. The lighting in my sewing studio is not good)

Rows of 4 blocks stitched together. Then joined to a horizontal sheep row.
Don't you love these two sheep from Poland? And that awesome wool with crochet hook?
Here are all the blocks and borders
Because I didn't have the inches I needed to cover the entire length of the sides, I cut rectangles from the gray background companion print (like the one used in the blocks). The patches were the size of the side borders (4") and the top/bottom borders (5-1/4" - 6"). Worked perfectly!

Quilt Size: 43" x 44"

Love these colors. And aren't they such happy looking sheep?
This is a very quick -and fun - block to make. And look at those Knitty Sheep in their rows. Love them all!

And now for the reveal!

Knitty Sheep Quilt (front, of course!)
Knitty Sheep backed with cozy gray flannel
I hope my little granddaughter doesn't stay awake "counting" all those sheep on the back. But then again, that should put her back to sleep, right?

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Taking Flight with Wings by Benartex and Giveaway!

We have a winner of the fat quarter bundle of Wings. Congratulations to Cheri S. of Washington!

Wings Collection by Jennifer Young for Benartex
Today I am the guest blogger at the Sew in Love with Fabric blog (Benartex) and I selected this gorgeous collection. Just to give you a sneak peek, here is something I used to fussy cut some of the bird fabric:

What's that freezer paper doing over that bird?
There is a fat quarter giveaway. Go take a visit to Sew in Love with Fabric and see what's happening with this collection. Then come back here and tell me what you put in your mug each morning: coffee, tea, Coke?

The GIVEAWAY is open until midnight Saturday, October 22. Then I'll pick my winner (and if I don't have a valid email address for you "no-reply comment" bloggers, I go immediately to another blogger). I only give you 24 hours to reply and then I go on to pick another person. Sorry, but we can't let these drag on for a week (and they have!). Just check your email Monday and Tuesday, please. And I appreciate everyone who visits and comments!

So, now go check it out: Sew in Love with Fabric.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Sneak Peek for a Wednesday Tutorial

Wings Collection by Benartex
Come back on Wednesday (after 9:30 am Eastern time) and see what I did with this delightful collection. There will be a tutorial at the Benartex blog, Sew in Love with Fabric. But in the meantime, this is what I did with some of the leftovers.

This traditional block is a Pinwheel and the inspiration came from The New Hexagon book by Katja Marek. I decided I didn't want to English Paper Piece this, but upsized it for rotary cutting. The block is 9" high and with the borders it finishes to 11-1/2". This will become a Mug Rug.

Pinwheel block, rotary cut and strip-pieced
Pinwheel with 1-1/2" borders

See you on Wednesday!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

2016 Adinkra BOM - October's Block

A little late, but hey, I'm still in October!

Our block for this month is TI KORO NKO AGYINA - “two heads are better than one”

But there's only one head in this pic. Go figure!

Ti Koro Nko Agyina
I used raw edge applique and batiks for the green. Very easy. Though, of course, you can use hand applique. Your choice.

I've had emails asking where past blocks are. They are STILL AVAILABLE on this blog. Go to my right side bar, scroll down to "LABELS" and you will see the 2016 Adinkra BOM link. Click it and you will find all the individual posts for the blocks from January through October.

Hope you have a wonderful October!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

2016 Calendar Girls: Blazing Autumn Leaves

Here it is October already! Wow - the year has flown by. The block represented in the free quilt pattern is Blazing Autumn Leaf. The block in the Quilter's Block a Day Calendar is 10". I combined 12 of these blocks with two Flying Geese vertical sashing strips.

Blazing Autumn Leaf, October 5 block
The Flying Geese appear again in two corners of the outer border.

Blazing Autumn Leaves: 55" x 59"
You can download this FREE 3 page pattern for the quilt, Blazing Autumn Leaves, and the helpful one page pdf October Newsletter with tips for making these different triangles. Remember, the pattern is written assuming you have a copy of the calendar. The pattern includes a coloring chart so you can audition your own fabrics and colors.
Quilter's Block a Day Perpetual Calendar

Monday, September 26, 2016

Thinking Hexagons Today

I am presenting my trunk show tonight on hexies. I call it: Turning 60, The Joys of Hex. Let's see one of my oldie-goldie quilts using a half hexagon:

Half Hexagon Flower Pots
Then I made another one for Windham Fabrics. This appeared in my 2012 Wall Calendar of Quilts. You can find it (and 11 other patterns) for only $10.

Dancing Flower Pots. 10" Blocks; 55" x 55" quilt
And I used this half-hexagon pot shape for one other quilt. The flowers were fussy cut from a happy Lakehouse Fabrics fabric motif. Isn't this such a happy quilt?

Pots of Blooms
And in a FREE pattern on my Craftsy page: Trash Basket Batiks (made in 2002). I rummaged in the trash cans during a guild sew-in and grabbed all the discarded batik scraps. I got the last laugh with these fun blooms. Go get the FREE pattern: Trash Basket Batiks.

Trash Basket Batiks

I figure I probably have another one or two creations around here using the half-hexagon for a flower pot. But for now, I hope you enjoy seeing all 4 of what I found so far.

Monday, September 19, 2016

3-D Folded Hexagon Flowers and FREE pattern

Yes, that's right. I began making these little flowers about 15 years ago when I was working with some origami shapes. I saw how Kumiko Sudo was doing this with circles, but that didn't make sense to me. I needed points of orientation and figured if I started with a hexagon I should end with a hexagon, right?

The first quilt I made using this technique is a bit wild and bright! I made it about 14 years ago. I used green gros grain ribbon, folded hexagons and dogtooth sashings. Pretty crazy, I think.

Bright Dragonflies and Flowers
Here is a picture of the hexagons before and after folding. I cut my hexagons using a 60 degree ruler. You can cut any size this way. I think I've shared this on the blog in the past. The handout/free pattern has a hexagon traceable template for you.

Folded Fabric Hexagons
My most popular trunk show these days with quilt guilds is "Turning 60: The Joys of Hex." It's G-rated, by the way! I pulled this little quilt to take with me on Monday because it hasn't been out of the closet for a long time.

Hexagon Folded Flowers
The flowers are folded hexagons. The leaves are prairie points. The center of the hexagon flowers are yo-yos. Lots of dimension in this little quilt.

I put one of those folded fabric hexagons on a bag I made in 2013 using the Rebecca Collection by Windham. This is a reproduction set of fabrics and I was very taken with that purple!

Simple fabric bag (for my yarn!) with a folded hexagon and a flower button in the center
I also had this as a class sample for my small quilt using two different sized hexagons. More prairie points. What do you think?

Folded Hexagon Flowers
Now, would you like the instructions for making these flowers? It's a 2 page pdf download from my web site. And the yo-yo. Practice on construction paper to get the idea. Then you won't be able to stop, I promise.

Enjoy! Folded Fabric Hexagons