Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Quilters Recipe Box Variation for Triangle in a Square - Ninja Star

Welcome to another week of Quilter's Recipe Box!  Today I have for you a block of my own design.  I call it Ninja Star:

It's an interesting block, almost a blend of Churn Dash and Friendship Star.  My idea was to try out using the Square in a Triangle unit in the side position of the block to see if I could come up with something interesting, and this block definitely fits that description, whether or not you love it.  I'm kind of on the fence, but it was a good design challenge!

Cutting instructions (my fabrics were provided by Island Batik):

For one block you will need three colors, a light (blue), medium (green) and dark (purple).  For the triangle in a square units cut the following:  light fabric, cut two 3 7/8 inch squares and cut in half diagonally for four half square triangles; medium fabric, four 2 inch squares; dark fabric, four 2 3/8 inch squares, cut in half diagonally for eight half square triangle units.  For the corners, cut two 3 7/8 squares from medium and dark fabrics cut all in half diagonally for four half square triangles of each color.  For the center unit - Square in a square, cut one 3 1/2 square of light fabric and four 2 inch squares of dark fabric.  Mark the dark squares with a diagonal line on the back.

Start by sewing a dark 2 3/8 inch triangle to one side of each of the medium 2 inch squares for the square in a triangle unit. 
Have you heard of Leaders and Enders (Bonnie Hunter technique) or Thread bunnies?  Basically these are both units that you sew at the end/beginning when you are stitching units so that you don't have to cut the thread.  Well, I often use this technique when I am sewing my blocks together so that I don't have to keep trimming the thread.  So, when I finished sewing my triangles to the squares, I sewed one of the corner squares to my square in a square unit before snipping the thread at the end of my chain.

Press the Square in a triangle units, then sew on the second triangle.
Then snip the square in a square unit which is now at the beginning of the chain and sew the second triangle on the opposite corner.
Clip the Triangle in a Square chain off, press and trim to be sewn to the half square triangle unit:
After you sew these, snip the Square in a Square unit off and trim and press that so you can sew the next square on.  Now you are ready to sew the Dark/Medium half square triangles for the corners.
Snip the Square in a Triangle Unit chain from the end, then snip the Square in a Square unit off and add the last square to the final corner, making this the last unit in the chain.  Now you can press and trim all the units and you are ready to assemble your block!
This block works out perfectly so you never have to cut thread at your machine needle until you have all the units sewn.  I love working this way because you never have to worry about those pesky thread ends - though it might get confusing if you don't keep track of your units.  Lay out your block like this:
Then sew the units together and you end up with the final result:

It is an ok block by itself, but I think this one really shines when you put a set of them together into a quilt top:

This would make a cute baby quilt!  

Next week I'll be back with our final Square in a Triangle Unit - hope you find some time to do some stitching this week.  I'm a little busy with Thanksgiving prep, but I have a project waiting for me to go work on, even if it's only 15 minutes at a time - just that little bit of sewing really makes me happy, and I feel like I'm making progress, even if it's just part of a block at a time!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Quilters Recipe Box Variation for Square in a triangle - Aunt Dinah

Sorry to be running late with this post, my wrist was achy yesterday, making typing very difficult!  After a bit of rest it feels much better and I am ready to go with this week's block - Aunt Dinah.  This block uses Quarter Square triangle units along with the Square in a Triangle units.

You will need three fabrics for this block, a background, a dark and a contrast.  I went with green for my background and I love it!  The fabrics shown were provided by Island Batik.
(Sorry for the rainy day pictures.  I need to work on my lighting situation!)  For this block you will cut two 3 7/8 inch squares of your dark fabric (cut in half diagonally for four triangles) and four 2 inch squares for the square in a triangle unit.  Also cut four 2 3/8 inch squares of your background and cut these in half diagonally for eight triangles.

For the Quarter square triangles cut two 4 1/4 inch squares of your contrast, one 4 1/4 inch square of your dark and one 4 1/4 inch square of your background.  Cut these in half diagonally one way, and we will sew them in pairs.

For the center you need one 3 1/2 inch square of your background fabric.

Starting with the square in a triangle unit, sew one background triangle to each dark square. 
Press out.
  When you add the second triangle, notice how the points of the triangle meet and make a v shape?
Place your needle right in that V, which should be 1/4 inch away from the edge of the fabric.  Then stitch that seam, press toward the triangle and trim those doggy ears off!

Lay out with the center of your blocks like so:
Now, lets work on those Quarter Square Triangle units!

Sew a contrast triangle to each dark triangle and background triangle, press seams away from the contrast triangles.
Layer these right sides together in pairs, using one of each combination.

I placed the dark/contrast pair on the bottom and the background/contrast pair on top.  The contrast triangles will be on opposite sides.  Nest seams, and cut in half diagonally as shown.  Sew together, press seams as desired and trim dog ears - your units are finished!
Layout as shown below:
And sew to complete your block!

This is block #42, only 6 more to go!  Woohoo!  Make sure you check out the Quilter's Recipe Box tab at the top of the page to catch up with the previous blocks - thanks for sewing along with me!

Thursday, November 09, 2017

This weeks sewing list consists of pillows, drapery panels and a patch on a pair of corduroy pants.  Nevertheless, I snuck in some work on a shop sample as well :)  I was pretty pleased with the results, but something seemed a little off - then I took a closer look and spotted a square that decided to get turned around a bit!

So I suppose me and the seam ripper will have do a little fixing before I can put the borders on this!
This quilt is made from my Window Box pattern.  This is a really neat quilt to make for a holiday lap throw - just find a pretty Christmas print, add red and green plus a neutral and you can whip up a quilt in a weekend.

My goal is to get the cording sewn onto the pillows this morning.  I love how these are coming out - the fabric is soft and the gathering really gives them a wonderful texture:
I am looking forward to doing lots of quilting this month - I have lined up some really fun holiday projects to work on and am excited to get busy working on them!  All I need is for the mailman to bring me the supplies...and to finish this batch of projects. 

Enjoy your day - make some time to quilt!

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Quilter's Recipe Box 11 - Errata

Oops - Delaine found an error in my recipe card for Block 11 and let me know.  I have corrected the card and if you download it now it will be correct; but it you downloaded it on Monday, November 6 there was an error.  Instead of cutting your 2 3/8 inch squares of the background fabric in half both ways, you only cut them in half once!  Click the picture below for the corrected version. 

Download Recipe Card here
My apologies if you tried making the block with the incorrectly cut piece.  Please feel free to let me know if you ever find a problem with my instructions, I am only human and do occasionally make a mistake!

Carry on, and keep quilting!

Monday, November 06, 2017

Quilter's Recipe Box - Unit 11, Square in a Triangle

Here we are in the next to the last month already!  This year has flown by for me - so much going on that it's hard to keep up.  I an excited for another unit this month, so lets get to it!  This unit I am calling a square in a triangle.  It features a half square triangle with one solid half and one half that is pieced with a square in the corner.  Download the Recipe Card by clicking the image below and sew along with me!  It's really easy to do, and goes fast!  The block is called Star Shadow:

Download Recipe Card Here!
For this block you will need:

Focus Fabric, Cut one 3 ½ inch square

Color 2: Cut two squares 3 7/8 x 3 7/8. Cut in half diagonally for half square triangle units. Cut eight squares 2 x 2 inches. Cut four rectangles 2 x 3 ½ inches.

Color 3: Cut four squares 2 x 2 inches

Background Fabric: Cut four squares 2 3/8 x 2 3/8 inches. Cut in half diagonally both ways for half square triangle units. Cut eight squares 2 x 2 inches. Cut four rectangles 2 x 3 ½ inches.

Start by sewing one background 2 3/8 inch triangle to one side of each of the color 3 squares, like this:
Press the triangle out.
Then add the second triangle on the side with the point so that you end up with a triangle that has a square in the corner:
Trim off those dog ears and make them look nice!  Sew to the 3 7/8 inch Color 2 triangles.  I like to sew with the pieced half on top so I can make sure not to sew into the point of that square.
Press toward the solid triangle.
Lay these out as the corners of your block with the squares facing out.
Now sew your flying geese units.  You need to sew one with the background as the flying geese and one set with Color 2 as the flying geese.  Sew these into pairs so that Color 2 forms a chevron.
Lay these out as the sides of the block, with the chevron points facing the center.
Sew your block together and press.  See how the star in the center is framed by a shadow?  Pretty!

The fabrics are from the Island Batik Dotalicious line.  The background is an older Island Batik - I am sad to say that I am down to scraps of it now!  Sad to use up a fabric I love, but there are always wonderful new ones to try out for the next quilt.

Hope you enjoy making this block - and I also hope you will come back each Monday as I present more blocks using the Square in a Triangle Unit.

Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Creative Borders and Binding Challenge with Island Batik

Happy Halloween (I know, it's a little late, but better late than never!)  Isn't this package of strips perfect for today?  Follow along with this post to see what I did with them!  The Line is Pumpkin Patch, and you will love it!

This month the challenge that Island Batik gave all of us Ambassadors was to make a quilt with creative borders and/or bindings!  Oh, the ideas that I had.  I really wanted to do a series on a medallion quilt similar to this one that I made last year -

But my time has been so limited this month that I never even got started!  With a week left for the challenge, I decided to fall back on the strips to make a fast quilt with a creative border.

I started with a pattern I designed several years ago.  The original pattern only uses 21 strips out of a package and has a plain border.  I got to thinking, why not use the rest of the strips to make a nice Piano Key border?  And so I got started on it.
I got the center pieced, measured and did some math, then started sewing the rest of the strips together and adding them as borders.

I love it!
It really adds a great touch to this quilt, and I am working on rewriting the pattern to make it include this fun pieced border.  As a bonus, it uses up all the strips in the pack, so no leftovers!

I tend to make plain borders, so it was really fun to do something different and I think it adds a lot to the quilt.

Can't wait to quilt this.  I'll be using the peachy colored fabric for the binding as well...and maybe be a little creative with that as well!  Thank you Island batik for the fun fabric, and the great challenge!

What's your favorite creative border?

Monday, October 30, 2017

Quilter's Recipe Box, Star Flower Block, Variation of Split Half Square Triangle

Today's block not only uses a Split half square triangle, but it also uses a variation of the four path block.  I call this block Star Flower:

For this block I started with the following cuts:

Two 3 7/8 squares large star points (cut in half diagonally).  One 4 1/4 inch square for small star points (cut in half diagonally both ways).  One 3 1/2 square for center.  Four 2 inch squares green accent.  From Background cut four 2 inch squares, four 2 x 31/2 inch rectangles, and one 4 1/2 inch square (cut in half both ways diagonally).

Sew the quarter square triangle units together in pairs.  Sew all four of them facing the same direction as shown:
Sew the large half square triangles to these to complete your split half square triangle units.

Sew the two inch squares together into pairs, then pair them with the 2 x 3 1/2 inch rectangles and sew to complete the corner units and lay out as so:
I didn't like how dark the center looked, so I changed it out for bright yellow and was much happier with the look of it!

Sew together, press and admire your block!

Next week I'll have a new unit and block for you to make.  I hope you are enjoying this as much as I am - I can't wait to put my quilt top together- it's going to be so pretty.  Thanks for following along!