BOM 2021: Star #4

Another fast and easy stars but with great impact.

Cut (all measurements include ¼ inch (0,75 cm) seam allowance)
1 square 3⅛ x 3⅛ inches (8,75 x 8,75 cm) in blue,
1 square 3⅛ x 3⅛ inches (8,75 x 8,75 cm) in pink,
2 squares 3⅛ x 3⅛ inches (8,75 x 8,75 cm) in yellow and
4 squares 3⅛ x 3⅛ inches (8,75 x 8,75 cm) in darkblue (background fabric).
Cut each of these 12 squares diagonally to get 24 triangles.

Cut
2 squares 2¾ x 2¾ inches (7,5 x 7,5 cm) in blue,
2 squares 2¾ x 2¾ inches (7,5 x 7,5 cm) in pink and
4 squares 2¾ x 2¾ inches (7,5 x 7,5 cm) in darkblue (background fabric).

Sew each blue, pink and yellow triangle to a darkblue one. Press and cut off the dog ears. Trim the squares to the size of 2¾ x 2¾ inches (7,5 x 7,5 cm) if necessary. Be careful to line up the diagonal line on your ruler with the diagonal seam.

Lay out the star as shown on the picture below.

Sew the squares together to make 4 rows. Be careful not to mix up your layout.

I do iron each row, pressing the seam allowances to the right in row 1 and 3 and to the left in row 2 and 4. So I can butt the seam allowances against each other and get nice corners.

Sew the rows together for the finished block.

Take 4 of the strips 10½ x 1 inches (28 x 2,5 cm) that you cut from the background fabric previously (see introduction to the BOM here) and sew 2 of them to opposite sides of your block. They are a little bit too long – shorten them to the block size. Sew the 2 remaining strips to the other sides of the block and shorten if necessary. Finished!

If you just found this BOM you can find the general instructions and the previous stars on the Free BOM 2021 page on top.

I would love to see your finished star-blocks. Please post them in the comments at TheQuiltingSpace’s Facebook page, tag me on Instagram @thequiltingspace and/or use the hashtag #thequiltingspace.

See you in May for star #5.

I’m linking this to Off the Wall Friday, Can I get a Whoop Whoop and to Brag about your Beauties.

 

Textile Artist Sheila Hicks

Sheila Hicks is an American textile artist. Since 1963 she lives and works in Paris. She is known for her innovative and experimental weavings and sculptural textile art that incorporate distinctive colors, natural materials, and personal narratives.

Hicks’ art ranges from the minuscule to the monumental. Her materials vary as much as the size and shape of her work. Having begun her career as a painter, she has remained close to color, using it as a language she builds, weaves and wraps to create her pieces.

Hicks’ work is characterised by her direct examination of indigenous weaving practices in the countries of their origin. This has led her travel through five continents, studying the local culture in Mexico, France, Morocco, India, Chile, Sweden, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Japan and South Africa, developing relationships with designers, artisans, industrialists, architects, politicians and cultural leaders.

The MAK (Museum of Applied Art) in Vienna dedicates a solo exhibition to Sheila Hicks’ work. Due to Covid the museum is closed. Bad for the museum but an advantage for us as the museum created a virtual 3D tour through the exhibition and therefore we all have the chance to see it.

Click here to stroll through the exhibition. Enjoy!

 

The 100 Days Project

For years now I’m discussing with myself if I should participate in the 100 days project. It’s about committing yourself to 100 days of doing something – painting a picture, cooking a soup, sketching a flower, … And of course a lot of quilters take part. The project usually starts in April but this year it was advanced to end of January. It’s a great way to work in series and to grow in whatever you are doing.

The last years I always had an idea about what to do but my inner monkey always told me about to much work, about not being able to finish and about a lot of other reasons not to start it. And in 2021, as in all the other years, I did not take part but looked at all the great projects on Instagram (#the100daysproject2021) with envy. I especially love the project of Wendy Gratz who does a patchwork bird every day (@wendygratz).

So today – without much thinking – I decided to do the 100 days project as well. As today is day 101 of the year it’s a good starting point with the project running from day 101 to day 200.

I wanted something easy and fast, something with one theme but different possibilities. And I chose leaves. One leaf each day. 100 leaves that may or may not end up in a quilt.

This is my first leaf

Each day I will post the leaf to my Instagram account (@thequiltingspace) and each Sunday there will be on overview of the week’s leaves here on the blog. Wish me luck and persistence.

 

Art quilts over the years

I found this video by Martha Sielman (executive director of SAQA) where she shows art quilts from 1960 up to now. It’s interesting how styles, fabrics and even sizes have changed over this time. The video itself runs for 50 minutes with another 15 minutes for questions and answers.

So grab a cup of coffee and join me watching …

Favorite Quilt

QuiltFest on Instagram asked for my favorite finish. That is an easy one for me because this quilt is the first one I ever made that I really love. I like most of my quilts but I usually see something I could have made better. Not with this one. It’s a Mondrian inspired quilt I designed myself – a gift for my nephew who’s an artist himself and enjoys and values quilts.

The big and medium blocks are log cabin blocks with different fabrics but in the same hue. Its machine sewn and machine quilted. Made in 2020.

 

 

Tutorial: Invisible Binding

When I was about to finish the Log Cabin Wedding Quilt I realized that the best binding would be no (seen) binding at all. So I attached an invisible binding – invisible referring to the top of the quilt. I did not sew the edges of the top and the backing together with an invisible stitch but made an easy binding which looks really nice at the back of the quilt. Here is how I did it:

Cut 4 strips for the binding, each one as long as the side of the quilt minus 2 inches (5 cm) and 3 inches (7 cm) wide. If your fabric is not long enough you have to join several strips to get the right length – in this case iron the seam allowances open so you don’t have to sew through to many layers of fabric.
Cut 4 squares 6 x 6 inches.

Fold the strips in half, left sides together, right sides out. Iron. Fold the squares in half along one diagonale and iron.

On the top of the quilt pin a triangle in the corner. (I basted the edges of the quilt because it was such a huge beast.)

Pin a binding strip along the side of your quilttop but start approximately 1 inch from the corner. The open side of the strip lies exactely at the edge of the top. The strip ends 1 inch from the next corner. Pin all sides and corners this way. The strips are always on top of the triangle.

Sew around the quilt. Don’t sew into the seam allowances at the corner. Sew up to a quarter inch, take 3 backstitches, take 3 stitches forward, leave the needle in the fabric, lift the presser foot, turn the fabric 90 degrees, lower the presser foot, take 3 stitches, take 3 backstitches and start sewing the next side. Take some backstitches at the beginning and the end of the seam to secure the thread.

Cut backing and batting to the size of the top. Cut the corners to reduce bulk. You can even cut the batting down to the seam to reduce bulk but I found that it made a nice “filled” edge when leaving the seam allowance of the batting.

Now turn the whole binding strip to the backside of the quilt. The seam should be exactely on the edge. Pin the strips to the back. When turning the corners be careful to get a nice 90 degree corner – use a thick knitting needle or a pencil to push the corner out.
Hand sew the binding strip to the back of the quilt. The color of the thread should match the color of the strip not of the backing.

Finished.

This is how the binding looks from the front …

… from the side …

… and this is the back of the quilt. I really like the way the backside gets a “frame”.

I hope you found this way of attaching a binding interesting. And maybe you can even use it on one of your next quilts.

By the way – this kind of binding is also called “facing a quilt” and is often used when finishing art quilts.

I’m linking this to Off the Wall Friday, Can I get a Whoop Whoop and to Brag about your Beauties.

 

Book of the Month: Artful Improv by Cindy Grisdela

Since I have been quilting for more than 35 years I seldom buy quilting books anymore. Most of them are no longer interesting to me – been there, done that. But browsing Amazon I discovered “Artful Improv” by Cindy Grisdela. I follow her on Instagram and love the quilts she makes and I liked the cover – all these bright and colorful blocks! I ordered the book and I can say it is one of my best purchases of the last year.

The book is a gentle guide to improvisational quilting. By gentle I mean that you start with blocks that still resemble traditional quilting – log cabin blocks, drunkard’s path and even houses. But when you insert angled strips, curved stripes and/or a lot of negative space you suddenly have a beautiful modern quilt.

The book is a treasure chest filled with an abundance of inspiration but also with very clear tips how to cut, sew, quilt and finish a quilt. What I like best are the numerous photos of quilts that show how much you can achieve with fabric and quilting lines.

This book opened up a new way of quilting that I thoroughly enjoy! (You can see my first improv quilt here.)

artful IMPROV
by Cindy Grisdela
C&T Publishing, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-61745-261-1

 

It’s Spring!

Finally! Today at 10:37 am spring arrived – even for the astronomers. For meteorologists and me spring starts with March 1st.

I decided that this will be the year when I make a quilt for every season. All will be approximately the same size and will be hung at the same place. This is a plan that I had for some years now but I never did it. But this year it will work out. Because of a book I recently bought: “Artful Improv” by Cindy Grisdela. I will tell you all about this book next Tuesday – today I will only say that this is the book I was waiting for. Colorful, graphical quilts with a lot of space for quilting, one more beautiful than the other.

I immediately started my first improvisational quilt with a simple improv log cabin block in the colors of the first flowers of the year (the yellow daffodils, the purple crocuses, the red tulips) mixed with some blue for the sky and some green for the fresh grass. I then surrounded the block with spring green fabric, quilted some wavy lines because spring is rather windy where I live and voilà my spring quilt is finished.

Spring quilt

 

I’m linking this to Off the Wall Friday, Can I get a Whoop Whoop and to Brag about your Beauties.