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Kelly Pillow – finished

Another Christmas present.

I wanted to try this block for a while. I cannot find a link to a tutorial I saw about this block, but I believe it included drawing a layout on a foundation block (white) and then sewing the strips on top of it. I did not do that. I cut a bunch of 1.5 in strips and just sewed them together, cabin log style. I am not saying that’s the best way to go, I had some problems keeping things straight and all the block same size, but I managed in the end.. If I do this again, I will either do wider strips, or I will use the foundation.

Another pillow

And then I had one more problem… the last three blocks were made using the new machine, and therefore a new presser foot. I did  not have a 1/4 in foot on the old machine, so my seams were a bit smaller for the last three blocks. And thus, the blocks were a bit larger. So I had to do some fixing, trimming… not a fun part

Almost finished

This is after sewing the block together (excuse the poor quality – low light and instagram do not mix well)… The last three blocks are in the lower left corner. You can see they are bigger!

Pieced

I quilted it quite densely. I believe the distance between the lines is less than 1/2 inch. I like the look of heavily quilted quits/pillows, and since this is a small project I decided it would not be that bad. It wasn’t.

Densely Quilted

And here it is again. It was fun piecing this. Fun trying to pick fabrics. I would like to do a quilt using this pattern. Some time…

Would I do anything different? Yes, I would make the center square (orange here) larger. Or maybe a darker color. These little squares are really hard to see and do not “pop” as I wanted them too… I quite like it though.

Size 23 in x 23 in. For the back I chose some Ikea fabrics I had for a long time. Thick white/orange striped fabric. And I put in a zipper. With a flap! My new favorite thing for pillows. (This time I did not make flap out of a separate piece of fabric.)

One more to go…

An expensive Christmas present

I just bought myself a new sewing machine. I had my Singer Quantum for 13 years and it is a good machine but it was not made for quilting. It is too small, and doesn’t really do free motion that well. But it will still do well for other kinds of sewing… The new machine is Janome 6300 and it’s throat space at 9in is double what I have now. I read good things about it so, we’ll see…

half rectangle “triangles” -> chevron

How about some more chevrons with easy cutting and assembling?

But first, continuing with a previous post, let me just show you how the diamonds/chevron shape would change with an angle of your cut:

Pretty self-explanatory, right?

OK, now onto our main topic: Let’s say you want to do some chevrons that are “stacked together”, not separated by strips (like I did with my pillowcase #1). A good example is this quilt, by Tag Fur Tag:

Using the cutting technique I showed above (and described in more detail before), we could cut up some rectangles in different colors and stack them up… something like this:

Not too bad, but look at all the seams we need to do to sew these up. And I particularly don’t like those “bias” seams. OK, so hear me out. We will use a technique similar to half square “triangles”, to get these diamonds/chevrons. (I will call them triangles, but they will be triangles only if you cut diagonally across the rectangle.)

Start with two rectangles and draw in the cutting line like this (note that the lines are at the same “slant” for both pieces; it is important here to keep track of this direction – this will be clear later):

Next, match the two lines on the rectangles (both triangles facing in):

It is important to lay them like this – if you simply put one rectangle over the other, you would get two “kites” instead of two rectangles – which is what I did to make my Tolva quilt). Now, sew 1/4 in on both sides of the line, cut along the line and press open:

As you can see, you have one half of a chevron there in the middle. The drawback of this method is that you have to do some planning before sewing these pairs, because you will be sewing together adjacent rows.

Therefore, this is what you get with that one pair of rectangles. How do you make a full chevron?

Cut out another pair, but now draw the line with the opposite “slant”. This is important because these are rectangles and if you cut them differently, you will get different “triangles” – right and left. If you cut them the same, you will not be able to stack them into chevrons.

Repeat the sewing steps. And you can arrange your rectangles like this:

These two need to really be in one row, but that was impossible to photograph. These make one row, two half chevrons. to finish the chevrons (say the striped part), you need to repeat the two steps but now pair that fabric with the fabric that will be in the row above. Therefore, to make a row of two chevrons (like the example quilt above) you will need 4 rectangles of each fabric, except the first and the last half row).  With this method, you will always end up with two chevrons. I am already working on pillowcase #2 using these fabrics:

What I have been doing while I was supposed to be doing something else

If you sew those hexagons together without white strips around the hexagons, you get diamonds.

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You can see it better if you match up the triangles:

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Tolva quilt:: basted

I just realized I did not take a picture of the finished top. This is as close as I got when I took this picture. Close enough.

And today I basted it. And started quilting. I am doing free motion, just your basic random swirls. I am quilting it quite dense, because I think this quilt, with all the seam lines requires that. I want it to be nice and flat.

Tolva quilt:: final layout

Just briefly… I finished the last four hexagons today. And then I worked, and worked, and worked… on the layout. After a few iterations, here is the final layout:

I probably should have taken one in focus. Oh, well…

Tolva quilt

I have been thinking about Half Rectangle Traingles ever since I saw this post by asquaredw. More specifically I have been thinking about the little kites she created by mistake. But I liked them and kept thinking how I can use them. Then just before the holidays I got to try my idea and I created this mug rug.  And then on Friday I started working on a quilt using the same hexagon block made up of little kites… This is the first one I created (as you can see this quilt will be much more colorful than the mug rug!).

I like the way it looks, but there was a little problem. If you create a hexagon like this you end up actually with two and I did not want to repeat them in the quilt (these are quite large… unsewn like this one, it’s about 14 in from tip to tip). So what am I going to do with two of each? (why two of each – because to create each kite, you use two rectangles of the same color. when you slash the rectangles in two – you get two kites, two same kites).

Then I made this one:

Again, there are 6 colors – three yellow and three blue, but instead of cutting 2 rectangles from each color, you only cut one. then you sew one yellow and one blue together to get two-color kites). This one is a little busier, but does not create any leftovers. And… actually I like how it seems I cut 12 triangles to create this.

This is another hexagon I created. You can see what each 1/6 of the hexagon, or the “kite” looks like. To assemble this I will sew half hexagons first, and then when they are all arranged, I will add strips of white around every other row of half-hexagons, then sew together half-hexagons in rows and finally sew rows together. I am being very clear, I know…

I am getting out of my comfort zone here, creating such colorful blocks. I am much more comfortable with single color blocks or even single color quilts. I am a little afraid that it will be too busy, but hoping, of course, that it will all fall nicely together once all the blocks are finished.

This was the first arrangement (I like to do this as I go. I also don’t select all fabrics up front, I do it block by block.):

But I did not like it that much. So I changed it, and this is what is currently on my design wall (minus one more block I did after I took these pics):

I like this better. We’ll see how it goes. I am still not 100% sure, we’ll see.

Sometimes I like to take a pic out of focus. Helps me visualize what it might look after it’s done…