Friday, November 25, 2011

Time for a Give Away

Now that this new blog has a few postings it's time to get some followers.  Which can only mean one thing - time for a free giveaway!
These lovely prints are Australian designed from twomonkeys. I think they are just right for an I Spy but of course they can be used in any kid's project.  This quiltlet is made from 'Night Watch' using a Disappearing 9 patch.

I'm giving away two fat quarters from this range to the winner of the competition. To enter just comment on the question, "When did you make your first I Spy quilt?"  If you link the give away to your blog I'll give you a second chance to win. 
Which two fat quarters will you choose?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Talking Quilt

I bought a stack of old quilt magazines at a secondhand book sale. I was browsing through 'Country Quilts - Fall 1995' when I came across an article on 'The Talking Quilt'. It was an I Spy quilt made with 98 different novelty print charm squares. The author made square in a square blocks with each charm square, sashed with navy blue, and put the blocks on point with a wide border. It looked very nice, but the best part of the article was two pages of ideas for using charm squares.

Here's a few of the author's block ideas.   I used 6.5 inch charm squares that I sell at Two Bits Patches and made them up to 12 inch blocks.

Do you have a favourite pattern for a child's quilt? I'd love to hear your suggestions.

Cobblestones / 9 patch

Log Cabin / Pieced Star

Square in a Square / Antique Tile.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Two Blues and Borders

This is another quilt from 2009.  The pattern is a bit of an optical illusion.  The blocks look slighty staggered but are quite square - well, as square as my occasionally slapdash piecing allows.  I thought the pattern would work well with my I Spy scraps. I used two blues as you can see and with some quick strip piecing and lots of prints I put this top together. Everything was from the stash, so it's a free quilt.

 I put three borders on the finished top. I did the sides first - dark blue, random novelty prints, then another dark blue. When the sides were finished I did the same borders on each end. It's the first time I've sewn borders properly - you know, measure across the centre of the quilt, average the results, blah, blah, blah. I usually attach a border and cut off the excess. I did it properly because I was added three borders. 

Now when I do borders I spread the top out on the lounge room floor.  Instead of measuring the centre and then measuring the fabric for the border I just lay the border fabric across the middle of the quilt and cut it to match.  Much faster!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I Spy in the Pinks

I made this I Spy quilt, In the Pinks, early in 2009.  It's a really easy pattern. I used 24 6.5 inch I Spy prints for the centre of the blocks. The border for each block is 2.5 inch strips, 8 fat quarters are enough to do all the blocks.
I don't measure and cut the sashing pieces. I strip piece the blocks and sashings. I take a 2.5 inch strip and put one square on top, right sides together (of course) and sew.  When I get to the end of the first block I chose another block, place it behind the first block leaving a little gap and keep sewing.  If the strips are cut from fat quarters then 3 squares are sewn on each strip.
When I've filled up the first strip I chose another colour and sew squares onto it in the same way.  Take all the sewn units to the ironing board, press towards the sashing, then use ruler and rotaty cutter to divide the blocks.  Do the same thing with the opposite side of the I Spy square.
When you add the sides to the block you will only get two blocks attached to each strip.  When all the blocks are sashed you will have quite a few leftovers.  Don't put them away just yet!  Cut all the remaining strips into 2.5 inch squares and store them in a container labeled '2.5 inch squares'.  Then when you chose to make a scrap quilt you already have a box of useful squares.

I often quilt with diagonal lines, it's easier to ease the 'crossings' on the bias than on the straight.