Saturday, August 31, 2013

Dustin's Top

What has Dustin been up to???
You certainly have noticed his blocks over the past year.
Is there method in his madness?

When he volunteered to be a block tester he sent me this color sketch
for a medallion set. Good colors, I said, integrating three important symbolics shades
in the women's rights movement:
Purple, green and yellow.

But I still had little clue as to what was going on.

Then he sent this:
The Center.
Ooooh. All the greens together.

And all the purples together.....


Very, very nice.
Very innovative.
Very Dustin.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Vicki Welsh Has Finished Two Tops

Jackie's Choice
by Vicki Welsh

29 Australia Star by Vicki Welsh

You may have noticed Vicki's blocks on our Flickr page. She's been making two sets. Because today is Vicki Welsh day on two of my blogs she was motivated to finish the tops she's been working on.

"Through the process I also figured out the names. While working on them I figured out that each one really reflected the personality of my grandmothers. The symmetry one will be called Jackie's Choice and the shibori one will be called Lura's Choice."  

Jackie's Choice in progress

38 Nonsense

Vicki loves to play with the fabric, cutting this set in kaleidoscope design inspired by Paula Nadelstern classes.

Brick Pavement

EQ7 Sketch of the set for a wall quilt of 30 blocks.

Vicki wrote:
"This is the layout for the symmetry version. The cornerstones will be quarter-square triangle kaleidoscope blocks. The brown in the EQ sketch is actually a black fabric with brown and steel blue dots. I think it will create a nice transition from the blocks to the hand-dyed black background."

To read more see Vicki's blog here. Scroll down to read the post:

Some  other web sites for Vicki:
Flickr Photostream:

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Becky's Purple Grandmother's Choice

Becky Brown
Grandmother's Choice Sampler 2012-13
84" x 84" Finished Size
49 eight-inch finished blocks

For an encore this week we show you Becky's second version of the 49-block Grandmother's Choice sampler. This is the purple version. (The purple quilt has green sashing and the green quilt has purplish plum sashing--it can be confusing.)

She liked that appliqued Heroine's Crown block so much she put it in the center
and framed it with four different-colored cornerstones.
(Some people love to applique!)

Here is her original color card which she took with her when she looked for fabrics
(either in her stash or the shops). 

35 Granny's Choice

She writes:
"My fabrics for this quilt were more limited than with the Pink & Green quilt, so fabric selection seemed more challenging, however, my friend Vicki Welsh (  gave me a stack of her custom hand-dyed fabrics in a wide range of green and purple and they were a perfect compliment to my other fabrics. I used her fabrics through out the quilt. Vicki also sewed along with us each week, making two quilt spectacular quilts."

 (I'll show you Vicki's next week.)

27 Grandmother's Dream

Becky also did a lot of fussy cutting.

We have a completely different set on this one with bright stars pieced into the sashing.
Instructions below.

But after figuring this out as a pattern I have to tell you it is not a beginner set for three reasons:
1---there is a lot of piecing in it.
2 ---there are a lot of seams that need to be matched. You can't let the star points get off, so they must be very accurate and you need to do a lot of pinning in the sashing and border.
3---Both dark prints in the sashing strips and border are stripes, so you have to worry about directionality all the time. Becky says: "Keeping the directional fabrics going the right direction in this quilt wasn't really all that difficult."

If you love to machine piece and you are a confident stitcher with intermediate skills---You can do it!

  • 49 blocks finishing to 8"
  • Sashing strips and corner stones finishing to 2" 

The field of sashed blocks at this point finishes to 72 1/2" square (with seams).
For the sashing Becky used both green and navy prints.
The green is from my Civil War Jubilee collection (in shops now in summer 2013)

"Celebration" (#8252-14) in Challis Green---
a dark green with black.
Here's her navy print, a star and stripe.

Says Becky:  "It is Old Glory Gathering by Primitive Gatherings for Moda."  

For her white she used a subtle white on white print.

The pattern here gives you instructions for sashing pieced of one dark print and one light. The sewing and cutting instructions are for a stitch-and-then-cut method.

Fabric & Cutting:
For the light stars you need 2-1/4 yards of a white-on-white print.
Light Cornerstones: Cut 64 cornerstones 2-1/2" square.
Light Star Points: You cut these as squares and slice them into triangles after you piece (see Stitching below.) 
     Cut 448 squares 1-7/8"  x 1-7/8" (You need 8 for each of the 64 stars.)
Dark Strips: Cut 112 sashing strips 2-1/2" x 8-1/2" = This is the border fabric too and because it's directional I'd guess you need 3-1/2 yards of fabric 

Stitching the Sashing:

The sashing units finish to 8" rectangles.
Begin by placing a light square in the corner of the rectangle face to face as shown below.
Then stitch from corner to corner right on the diagonal.

If you have trouble stitching a straight diagonal at first you might want to mark the back of each white square with a diagonal pencil line. (You'll get real good at sewing diagonals after 448 corners.)

Leaving the pieces face-to-face cut a quarter inch OUTSIDE the stitching line through 2 layers.

Discard those pieces.

Press open and repeat in all four corners of each strip.

You need  112.

Create horizontal strips by alternating blocks and strips.
Make strips of 7 blocks ending on either side with a sashing strip.

Repeat this to make 7 strips of blocks.

For the sashing between the block strips piece the cornerstone squares between the pieced sashing strips.
Piece 7 strips and 8 cornerstones ending with corner stones on either side.
You need 8 of these strips.
Set the horizontal block strips between the sashing strips.

Notice that extending the sashing to the edge creates partial stars, a composition that's a little unsettling.

Here's how Becky finished the stars out into the border using a pieced border.
6" Finished border

The border is completely pieced of alternating rectangles.

The yellow lines here are seam lines. 

A finishes to 6" tall by 8" wide
B finishes to 2" tall by 6" wide 

From the same dark fabric as the sashing: 
A - Cut 28 rectangles 6-1/2" x 8-1/2"
B - Cut 32 rectangles 6-1/2" x 2-1/2"
      (Do notice that this fabric is directional; it has pinstripes. Keep your eye on the direction of the stripe as           you cut.)
C - You already have cut these star points as squares. You need 64.
D - Is the border corner squares, finishing to 6" square. Cut 4 of these from the dark fabric 6-1/2" x 6-1/2"

Stitching the Border
Add the C pieces to the B rectangles as you did in the sashing by stitching then cutting as shown above. You need only two C triangles for each of the B's.

Make 32 of these border units B.
For the  left side border join 7 rectangles A
alternating with 8 border units B.
The star points B go one either end.

The side borders should measure 72-1/2" long by 6-1/2" wide with seams.
Do the same thing for the right side.

Add the side borders to finish out the stars.

For the top border stitch a strip 
that begins and ends with a D square
and alternates 8 B units with 7 A rectangles.

This strip should measure 84-1/2" with seams.

Repeat for the bottom border.

Add the top and bottom borders .

And give yourself a pat on the back.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Becky's Finished Green Grandmother's Choice

Becky Brown
Grandmother's Choice Sampler 2012-13
86" x 86"
49 eight-inch finished blocks

Becky and I have been keeping this quilt a secret with a struggle. It looks so good I've been tempted to show it earlier, but then you'd know where we were going and it would ruin the surprise.

She began with the setting pattern here:

She added an inner border---see directions below.

Becky Brown
15 Centennial

Becky Brown
38 Nonsense

Every week we've shown two of Becky's blocks in a different palette. This one is the pink and green quilt. (We'll show you the purple version next week.)

She used a lot of chintz-style prints for her fussy cutting so when it came time to set it (early last year) she found some chintz prints in plum from my early reproduction line called Lately Arrived From London.

This line is several years old (2011) so it takes
 a little digital searching to find any.
But any dark, large-scale chintzes would do.


Lately Arrived from London
"Little Molly" in plum
The sashing strips are a small-scale chintz.

49 blocks finishing to 8"
Sashing strips and corner stones finishing to 2" 
         Strips: Cut 112 sashing strips 2-1/2" x 8-1/2" = 2 yards of fabric
         Cornerstones: Cut 64 cornerstones 2-1/2" square =  3/8 yard. 
The sashed blocks at this point finish to 72" square

She used pinks from Metropolitan Fair, last year's Civil War repro collection plus her stash for the cornerstone squares.


Becky added a 1" finished inner border to my pattern.
Inner Border:
     Cut 2 strips 1-1/2" x 72-1/2"
     Cut 2 strips 1-1/2" x 74-1/2"

"Old Curiosity Shop"
in Celery Salad Green
from Metropolitan Fair

The inner border is this rainbow or shaded print from Metropolitan Fair. 
EQ says you can get by on 1/2" yard if you piece the strips.

The outer border is from
Lately Arrived from London,
"Seaflower" in plum.

Becky did not miter her border. (She says, "Sometimes the easy way is the best way.")  If you use a stripe here you might want to miter. So I'll give you directions for both.

Border with straight corner seams.
Cut 2 strips 6-1/2" x 74-1/2".
Cut 2 strips 6-1/2" x 86-1/2".

Mitered Border
Cut 4 strips 6-1/2" x 86-1/2"
You need 2-1/2 yards to cut these parallel to the selvages.

For Mitering:
Add the inner green border first by piecing the sides and then the top and bottom. 
Do the same for the outer border

If you want to miter the border add all four sides and then stitch a miter. If you don't know how to do this do a web search for the words:
How to miter quilt border
You'll find lots of advice.

Becky---take a bow!