100 days – Week 6

Here are my latest leaves for the 100-days-project

If you are wondering what’s that all about – read my post here.

 

May is almost over. There were a lot of interesting things on the blog during this month:

The free Block of The Month 2021 has already 5 stars.

To avoid plastic I gave you a pattern for shopping bags.

I showed you how to trim half-square triangles

and as I really miss the buzz of quiltshows
I found a video about Quilt Week in Paducah and
I went back in time and celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Quilters’ Guild of the British Isles with a lot of quilts – all inspired by the number 40.

I hope you had as much fun and inspiration as I had.

If you don’t want to miss a post subscribe to this blog (it’s on the right side).

See you in June!

 

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

 

I am missing the Quiltshows

I am really missing the quiltshows! Although I like the online events and really loved some of them (thank you Modern Quilt Guild!), I miss the camaraderie, the exitement, the laughter, the friendship, the harmony, the emotions, the joy, the feeling of belonging together, ……… I could go on and on.

While browsing YouTube I found this great film made for the PBS Short Film Festival in 2020 about Quilt Week in Paducah and it brought all these feelings back to me. So much so that I was close to tears sometimes. It really shows very well what quilting is all about.

If you are missing all the great shows as well – here’s the video. Enjoy!

BOM 2021: Star #5

The last two stars of the BOM 2021 were fast and easy to sew. This one not so. This is partly due to its 57 pieces in a 10 x 10 inches (26 x 26 cm) block. Because of this many pieces you have to cut and sew really precisely to get a good result. But the resulting star is worth all the efforts.

Cutting
All the measurements include a ¼ inch (7,5 mm) seam allowance.

From the yellow fabric cut
3 squares 2½ x 2½ inches (7 x 7 cm)
2 squares 2 x 2 inches (5,5 x 5,5 cm)
Cut all 5 squares diagonally.

From the blue fabric cut
3 squares 3⅛ x 3⅛ inches (8,5 x 8,5 cm)
2 squares 2 x 2 inches (5,5 x 5,5 cm)
Cut these 5 squares diagonally.
Furthermore cut
2 squares 1⅝ x 1⅝ inches (4,5 x 4,5 cm)

From the orange fabric cut
4 squares 2 x 2 inches (5,5 x 5,5 cm), cut diagonally
In addition cut
4 squares 1⅝ x 1⅝ inches (4,5 x 4,5 cm)

From the darkblue background fabric cut
2 squares 2½ x 2½ inches (7 x 7 cm)
4 squares 2 x 2 inches (5,5 x 5,5 cm)
Cut these 6 squares diagonally.
And cut
4 squares 2¾ x 2¾ inches (7,5 x 7,5 cm)
8 squares 1⅝ x 1⅝ inches (4,5 x 4,5 cm)

Sewing
With all the triangles you have a lot of sewing on the bias. Be careful not to stretch the fabric. Press the units but be careful not to distort the fabric.

Join a small yellow and a small darkblue triangle along the long side. Make 4 units. Press. I personally cut off the dog ears.

Sew a small darkblue square to each unit. Refer to the picture for the right orientation. Press.

Join a small orange and a small darkblue triangle along the long side. Make 4 units. Press.

Sew a small darkblue square to each unit. Refer to the picture for the right orientation. Press.

Join a small orange and a small blue triangle along the long side. Make 2 units. Press.

Sew a blue square to each unit. Refer to the picture below for the right orientation.

Join a large yellow and a large darkblue triangle, exactely as shown in the picture below. Make 4 units. Press.

Join the yellow-darkblue triangle and a large blue triangle along the long side. Make 4 units. Press.

Join a small orange and a small blue triangle, exactely as shown in the picture below. Make 2 units. Press.

Join a large yellow triangle to the orange-blue triangle, exactely as shown in the picture below. Make 2 units. Press.

Sew together one of these triangles (orange-blue-yellow) with a large blue triangle, along the long side. Make 2 units. Press.

Now you have sewn all the necessay parts. Let’s put the block together. Lay out all the pieces as shown in the picture below. Lay them right beside your sewing machine so you can put them back when sewn as not to mix up the parts.

Sew together the 5 vertical rows. Be careful not to mix up the pieces and check with the picture above for the orientation of the pieces. It’s easy to make a mistake here (ask why I know).

I pressed the seam allowances between the different parts in one direction so that they will „nest“ together with the next row. As a reference for me the pin in each row indicates in which direction the seam allowances should be pressed.

This is your finished block.

Take 4 of the strips 11 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!

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 June for star #6.

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

 

Tutorial: Trimming half-square-triangle squares

After telling you to trim squares made out of half square triangles when publishing star #4 of the Block of the Month I got some enquiries how to do this the best/easiest way.

In a perfect world you would sew the two triangles together along their long sides, press them and voilà – you would have a perfect square in the perfect size. In real life you are sewing together two bias sides which will make for some stretching and/or shifting even if your cutting is absolutely precise. So especially when you have a lot of these pieces in your block it’s always a good idea to trim them all to the correct and same size.

Here is how I do it:

Sew your triangles along the long side to get a square. Press, pressing the seam allowance open or to one side as you prefer.

Put your ruler on the square.
The 45° line of your ruler should line up with your seam line.
Make sure that your square fits nicely or exceeds the final measurements of your square (don’t forget the seam allowance!). I stitched this square for this demonstration so I made it a bit larger to show the extra fabric beyond the ruler. My final square should be 5 x 5.
Remember: My square is stitched a little larger. Your square might fit exactely or you might have just a few threads exceeding your ruler.

Cut away the exceeding fabric on two sides.

Turn your square, align the ruler

and cut away the fabric on the other two sides.

And here is the perfect square.

I hope this will help you to always get perfect half-square-triangle squares. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask in the comments.

 

Sewing Shopping Bags

How about your New Year Resolutions? I believe that many of them got lost during the days of January – I definitely know that mine did (more or less). Except of one.

I decided to use less plastic and paper bags this year. To say “no, thank you” to plastic bags in the bookstore, in the drugstore and even when doing the groceries. That’s when I get out my “homemade” fabric bag to store the goodies I’ve bought.

Sewing these bags don’t take a lot of time (half an hour to be precise) and you can use any fabric in your stash. Although I confess that I did choose my fabrics carefully. I’ve got a bag for vegetables (that means groceries in general), I’ve got one for everything (the black and white one) and sometimes my bags just reflect the season. I am still searching for a fabric with books – yes, I do go to the bookstore rather often.

If you also want to avoid all those plastic and paper bags that fill up your home and the dumpsters – here is the pattern:

You need
2 pieces of fabric (might be different fabric) 18 x 20 inches (46 x 51 cm) for the bag and
2 pieces of fabric (should be the same fabric) 18 x 4 inches (46 x 10 cm) for the handles.

Take one piece of fabric for the handle and fold it in half lengthwise, right sides out. Iron and open up again. Bring each side of the fabric to the ironed line in the middle, iron again.

Fold the fabric again in the middle along the line you ironed in the beginning, iron once more.

Stitch the open sides of the handle together. Make the second one.

Take your two pieces of fabric for the bag and lay one on top of the other. If the design on your fabric has an up- and a down-side check that it runs in the same direction on both pieces. Fold over approx. 1 inch (2 cm) at the top of the fabric and iron, doing this with both fabrics at the same time. No need to fold exactly 1 inch (2 cm) as it will automatically be the same width on both fabrics.

Now work with one piece of fabric at a time. Pin one handle to the left side of your fabric 4 inches (10 cm) away from the edges of the fabric. The handle lies exactly on the folded part. Pin from the right side of the fabric.

Fold the upper edge of the fabric (with the handle) once again, same width as the first fold. Pin.

Fold the handle outward and pin it in place. Stitch this hem close to the fold and close to the upper edge. Make the second part of the bag in the same way.

Put the two sides of the bag together, right sides out (yes, that’s correct). Stitch the three sides of the bag together using a seam allowance of only 1/8 inch (4 mm). Backstitch at the beginning and at the end of the seam. Turn the bag left sides out and stitch the three sides again, this time using a “normal” seam allowance of 1/4 inch (7,5 mm). Turn right sides out.

See – it’s really easy. And fast. So why not make a few more bags? For yourself or as a gift. Or even as a gift wrap. Choose fabric you like or find the perfect novelty print if it is a gift.

Have fun and enjoy the feeling that you create something beautiful that helps the environment as well.

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

 

100 Days – Week 4

My leaves for the 100-days-project for this week:

What I learned so far:
I like freehand cutting the leaves.
Sewing a leaf per day seems like a small thing to do but it isn’t. I’m thinking about leaves, looking at them and collecting them on my walk with the dog. So the leaves are always on my mind.

If you are wondering what’s that all about – read my post here.

 

40 years – a Quiltshow

As we still can not travel (at least here in Europe) many quiltshows are cancelled at the moment. This is sad but understandable. But …… I do have several thousand pictures of quiltshows in my photo archive. So how about revisiting some shows of the last years?

In 2019 the Quilters’ Guild of Great Britain celebrated their 40th birthday with a quiltshow at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, titled “Spotlight @ 40”. The quilters were asked to interpret 40 in the most creative way. One side of the quilt had to measure 40 inches. The quilts were all made by British members of the guild and they went into the permanent collection of the Quilters’ Guild.

Here are some of the beautiful quilts:


“40 days and 40 nights” by Cag Tyndall
Artist’s statement: Work on this quilt began during the spring of 2019 when my mind turned to the 40 days and 40 nights of Lent. I wanted to celebrate the wonderful variety of colour and texture of different fabrics, as well as how they respond differently to dyes. Linen, cotton, silk, and mixed fabrics were all hand dyed. There are 40 appliquéd circles of each colour. The piece has been lightly quilted. 


“Circuit XL” by Marion McCrindle
Artist’s statement: Each year is a new cycle, hence there are 40 circles to represent 40 years of the guild’s life so far. Just as each year brings its own challenges and developments, so the circles have different patterns, colours and are made from a range of materials: paper, thread, fabric, wood and metal. Some years are good – some do not go as planned. In the life of the guild, some years have been highly successful, others less so. The circle has no end, something we hope for the guild. The circle of friends I found in the guild has a value above rubies. The circles represent a year—each different: some good, some bad, significant years, quiet years.


“40 Layers of Quilting” by Jo Avery
Artist’s statement: When I thought about the last 40 years of quilting and The Quilters’ Guild, I imagined them as layers of sedimentary rock as found in an archaeological dig. The resulting quilt shows 40 different layers of patchwork techniques including miniature log cabins and flying geese, plus layers of improvised and curved piecing. Appliqué, hand quilting and other embellishments have been added to some layers to represent as many aspects of quilting as possible. A fissure was created through the layers with the two pieces brought back together again with buttons representing the ‘make do and mend’ starting point of our patchwork tradition.

Jo Avery wrote a blog post about how she made this quilt and what a terrible mistake she made, which resulted in an even more interesting quilt. Don’t miss it, it’s a lesson in creativity.


“Belonging” by Lesley Brankin
The second line of The Quilters’ Guild Mission Statement reads: “We bring together quilters in a spirit of friendship and learning. We promote quilt-making in all its forms across the UK.” In the spirit of coming together in the guild’s 40th anniversary year, the maker invited fellow regional members to donate squares of cream/white fabric and provide a single descriptive word summing up what membership of the British Guild means to them. The squares were pieced together as a background and the tallied words featured in the ‘spotlight’.

 
“Spotlight on The Guild” by Anne Gosling
Artist’s statement: When I thought about the theme Spotlight@40, I decided to put the spotlight on The Guild, in particular guild membership, to celebrate the 40th anniversary. A crossword in guild colours seemed the most appropriate way to express all that the guild has to offer its members. The quilt is machine pieced but as I love to stitch by hand, the letters are hand appliquéd. The guild logo is the basis of the quilting design which is also hand stitched.

 
“Headline News” by Sabi Westoby
Artist’s statement: The theme was interpreted by focusing on world events that took place 40 years ago. For (british) quilters, the highlight of 1979 was, undoubtedly, the formation of The Quilters’ Guild and this work marks that exciting event. I also refer to other contemporary cultural, historical and political events that still seem significant to me 40 years later.  Red text, a reference to the ruby anniversary, was digitally printed on cotton sateen and the piece was stab stitched by hand.

 
“QGBI Excels” by Jeni Rutherford
Artist’s statement: The inspiration for this hanging is The Quilters’ Guild and how patchwork has evolved in the last 40 years. In 1979 contemporary work was unusual but now the Contemporary Quilt Group is one of the guild’s specialist groups. The hanging is in two parts: the front features QGBI, the guild’s ‘initials’. The back features traditional block designs—where the guild began—but the single colour blocks and quilting are contemporary. It represents all the people working away, in York and around the UK, who are generally unseen but make the guild what it is today. The motifs feature 40 in Arabic and Roman numerals. XL can be pronounced excel—what guild members try to do.

 
“40 Endangered in 40” by Melanie Missin-Keating
Artist’s statement: In the 40 years since The Quilters’ Guild began, the 40 animals, plants and insects shown in the quilt have become endangered to the point of extinction. Will they be extinct in the next 40 years? Can we save them? 


“Region 3 from the Air” by Grace Meijer
Artist’s statement: The landscape of Region 3 was the inspiration for this piece—the beautiful rolling landscape with its many colours, from the white chalk to the acid yellow rapeseed and the little hamlets and farms tucked into the hills. It is also the area where The Quilters’ Guild started; the first AGM was held in Winchester.


“Birthday Celebrations” by Aoibhínn Murray, Ciaran Behan & Aoife Behan
Here the 40th anniversary of The Quilters’ Guild is celebrated as a quilted birthday cake. The cake has three tiers, and each of the three Young Quilters involved designed and created their own section before joining them together. A sewing machine as the cake topper features a patchwork fabric flowing from it, displaying printed photos of 40 quilts from the past 40 years.

This is one thing that I like especially about the British Guild – it really fosters the young quilters. From 5 to 18 years the membership in the guild is free and there are special workshops for them. It’s really a great way to bring children and young adults to quilting. The above quilt is a perfect example of how much this pays off.

So this was our first, private, little quiltshow – with more to come. Come back to check or – even better – subscribe to this blog (enter your e-mail address in the box on the right) so that you don’t miss them.

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

 

Patchwork Pillow for Mother’s Day

Next Sunday is Mother’s Day. I hope you already have your present and the card for your  mother’s special day ready. But if not – don’t despair. Here’s a lovely throw pillow that can easily be done over the weekend. Get out your rotary cutter and raid your stash and soon you will have a pretty and self-made gift for your mom.

The finished pillow will measure 22 x 22 inches (50 x 50 cm).

All the measurements include a seam allowance of ¼ inch (0,75 cm).

If you are working in centimeters don’t compare to the measurements in inches (and vice versa). They are not the same because of the different pillow sizes available in the US and in Europe.

For the ninepatches you need
25 squares 2½ x 2½ inches (6 x 6 cm) in red and
20 squares 2½ x 2½ inches (6 x 6 cm) in green (or in whatever colors you choose).

For the flower patches you need
4 squares 6½ x 6½ inches (15 x 15 cm),
scraps in red, yellow and green for the flowers and
some fusible web if fusing is your preferred way of appliqué.

4 border strips (green for my pillow) 2½ x 23 inches (6 x 53 cm).

1 square 23 x 23 inches (55 x 55 cm) of thin batting
1 square 23 x 23 inches (55 x 55 cm) of thin cotton fabric

For the backside of the pillow 2 pieces 23 x 17 inches (55 x 42 cm).

And of course you need a pillow insert 22 x 22 inches (50 x 50 cm).

Make 5 ninepatches.

Download the pattern for the flower by clicking on the picture of the flower (left) and print it out. Check that your printer prints at ‘actual size’. Check that you like the size of the flower on your 6 ½ inch (15 cm) square but don’t forget that there’s a seam allowance all around the fabric. If you don’t like the size draw the flower a little bit smaller or larger (you might even add a leaf). Appliqué the flower in your favorite method.

Join the ninepatches and the flower blocks as seen in the picture above.

Sew two border strips on opposite sides of the pillow and shorten them to the right length. Join the other two border strips and shorten them as well.

Make a quilt sandwich out of the top, the thin batting and the thin cotton fabric. Quilt by hand or by machine (depending on your favorite method and even more so on the time available). I suggest to quilt at least in the ditch around the ninepatches and at the inside of the border strips. Cut the batting and the thin cotton fabric to the size of the top.

For the backside of the pillow measure your top and cut the 2 pieces 23 x 17 inches (55 x 42 cm) to the width of the top (that should be 22½ inches or 51 cm – a little bit smaller or bigger is ok as well).

On one 22½ inches (51 cm) side turn the edge ½ inch (1,5 cm) to the left side of the fabric, iron, turn another ½ inch (1,5 cm) and iron again. Machinstitch this seam. Do this on both backside pieces.

Layer top with right side up and the 2 pieces of the the backside left side up on top of it. Align the edges of the top and the backside pieces. The backside pieces will overlap in the middle – that’s where the seams are. Sew all around the outside of the pillow, backstitching at the beginning and the end. Turn the cushion right side out und put your pillow into your beautiful cover. Done!

I hope you like this idea for a perfect Mother’s Day gift.

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

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