Monday, February 21, 2011

New Project!

I cut some blue squares for the Centennial project, and then decided I needed some instant gratification. I pulled out a roll of 2.5" strips that I bought last summer, and started cutting for:
Boxy Stars, a Bonnie Hunter pattern. I like to make scrappy stars in rainbow colors. I need to do some quick math and then supplement from my stash because I'm planning this to eventually be a Quilt of Valor, and I want a 4 by 5 layout.

As I was sewing, I had the thought that this is one of the few times I have repeated a pattern! First, I was thinking it was the ONLY time I repeated, but then I realized I have made several Sudoku quilts. Those are such fun to plan! And, I've got plans to repeat another old favorite as a class sample...someday, when I get the sample done and have time to approach my LQS and get on their schedule, LOL. My brother's opinion comes to mind...he never re-reads a book since there are so many great books out there. What do you think - repeat a fun pattern or find something new and exciting?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

String Hearts

Here is the Centennial Project...700 squares put together, only 1312 more! Please contact me if you have any red, yellow or blue scraps that you are willing to donate.

February's Block Lotto Pattern is a Heart Block made from scrappy "strings." It is fun pulling random pieces together.

I goofed on the size for the first one, so I repeated the process, paying more attention to the directions!
I have a heart and a "bonus" block. This heart block is too small to enter in the lotto, so I'm working on another one. Third time's a charm, right?!? These strings would be a great leader/ender project, and there is a whole group dedicated to making string quilts for charity (google Heartstrings). They are definitely addictive.
Some things I noticed...
1. use big pieces to start the string piece, because most of it gets chopped off when making the heart.
2. I have a LOT of dotty fabric!
3. Strings should be between 1-2 inches wide.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Checking the numbers

I decided to work on my Arizona Centennial Quilt. I broke out the seam ripper today and switched the lighter blue section so that it was next to the gold instead of having a few darker fabrics create a line in the blue area on the left (refer to last post). You can barely see the glint of a pin marking the spot where I have an open seam to hand-stitch.
The process I am using is to lay out pieces according to my sketch......then carry them over to my machine and sew the groups together. I have been working from the center out. The top photo shows the center star, and I have been working out to the edges from there. It was easy to get the blue sections done just by laying out the correct number of pieces and squinting to check color placement. The red and yellow rays take more concentration, and I need to shop for more fabric - or do a better job begging people to share their scraps!!
Then I started counting squares on my sketch. The design is 40x50, and I will add 12 pieces in the border so that it matches the 2012 Centennial year for Arizona statehood. The center gold star was 14 inches square, and I am almost done with taking that out to the edge, so I will have 14x50 finished, which equals 700 squares! My twisted mind initially rounded that up to "almost halfway" - why yes, I am an optimist, LOL - and then I realized it's only 35% complete. I need to get my butt in gear. I'll work on the bottom first (650 blue squares) then the rays of red and yellow. I need 330 red and 320 yellow. By the way, I am working with 1.5 inch pieces.
Very soon after starting this project, I gave up on the idea of a true charm quilt where all the fabrics are different. I do want this finished for the Centennial celebration - my deadline is an August contest entry date. I've been purchasing fat quarters, but only cutting a few pieces from each. I started with 3-5 squares of any one fabric, but considering the deadline, I may need to double or triple that number. Even at that, I will need 20-30 fabrics in each color. Like it's that difficult to talk me into a shopping trip...