Chuck Nohara Quilt Top Finished!

We interrupt this tour of France and the European Patchwork Meeting to bring you breaking news: I finished the Chuck Nohara Quilt Top!

My husband held it up for me, but it’s big — about 80″ wide, and similar height.

Chuck Nohara Blocks_Final

Above are the Chuck Nohara blocks that Susan and I chose; we took turns choosing blocks to make–four a month, which sometimes about did me in.  I’ll have you know that she is ALL DONE with her quilt.  (I took this photo inside, the quilt smoothed up on my design wall, so all the blocks were visible.)

Chuck Nohara Signature Block SS

And then we made signature blocks for each other, to commemorate that year-plus of making weensy little fussy blocks. (How did we decide to do this?  Blame the Chuck Nohara QAL Instagram Feed.)  The above signature block is hers, surrounded by my tiny plus-sign blocks and the final star borders.  I have other posts tagged with “Chuck Nohara” so you can either click on the label at the bottom of this one to get more info, or do a search in the box to the right.Chuck Nohara Signature Block ESE

Here’s my signature block.  Do I love love this quilt?  Parts of it, most of it.  If I had another millennium, I might have tried something different besides the two borders, then star borders.  Let me rephrase that… I DID try a lot of different things but nothing clicked to me (now I have a lot of cut fabric for string blocks).  At some point, the old mantra clicked in my head:  “Better done, than perfect”  as well as  “The perfect is the enemy of the good.”

Sometimes it’s fine to have some good quilts.  I love so much of what I learned with this quilt–so many different techniques.  But I’m also glad it’s at this spot.  I’ll bring it back when I finish quilting it, but for now, I’m putting it up on the 200 Quilts List.

Riley’s Quilt

Red, White, and Blue giveaway info is at the end of this post.  Many thanks to all who entered!

RileyQuilt_8

If my grandchildren come to visit me long enough, we can crank out a quilt.  Last time it was Keagan’s.  This time, it was Riley’s.  I discovered last time that simpler quilts are best, so I started leafing through my BLOCK Magazines from Missouri Star, until I happened on her pattern titled Slice of Life, found in Volume 1, Issue 4.  You can get a download here.

Riley Quilt layout

Riley picked out blue and green prints from my stash (using your stash is also a good thing to do) and he ironed while I cut.  He arranged the squares on the wall into groups of nine.

Originally the book called for “layer cake” squares, which if you have a layer cake (or have the pre-cut sizes memorized), you are set, but I don’t.  I get grumpy when patterns call only for precuts, and don’t tell you what the actual dimensions are, so I’m telling you that I cut squares that were 10-1/2″ square. [Yes, I know they are bigger than a layer cake.] I narrowed the sashing, cutting it at 2″ (sewn in it will measure 1-1/2″ wide).  You make three of these giant nine-patches, then cut them apart like this.

RileyQuilt_3

I cheated a bit, and folded the giant 9-patch into fourths, and took a bare sliver of fabric off the fold when I cut–kind of like when the local quilt shop cuts fat quarters.  Then we arranged these new designs up on the wall.

RileyQuilt_Hallway

Sometimes Riley took a break with his little sister.

RileyQuilt_4

I sewed the giant pieces together, but sometimes Riley did.  I pinned it a LOT when it was his turn at the sewing machine, also teaching him not to sew over pins.

RileyQuilt_5

Everyone helped pin baste the quilt on the kitchen counter.  We would pin a large section, then shift the quilt.

Everyone helped quilt, even the littlest sister, as well as my daughter, mother to these three charmers.

Binding was next, again from the stash.  Late that afternoon, they went to the beach and my husband and I headed up the mountains to our church’s camp for the young women.  I sewed on the binding all the way up, and while we waited for the program to start. I finished it.

RileyQuilt_8aRileyQuilt_8b

Backing is Marimekko fabric.RileyQuilt_8c

He couldn’t think of a title, so I wrote a couple of details on the back.  I think this is the section that Riley quilted–I think it’s great that he helped in all phases.  This is Quilt #184 on my 200 Quilts List.

The youngest of these grandchildren is eight years old, so I imagine her turn will be next!  Baby Blues comic strip ran these this week, and I thought it fitting (although the sisters do quite well, too!)


Congratulations to Nancy S. who won the bundle of Painter’s Palette Solids!  I’ve been in touch with her via email and will get the bundle sent out to her.  I had the best time reading over all the comments about fireworks, from those who had a first date watching them (that happened to me, too, early in our courtship) to those who watched barges-full launch them into the air.  Thank you all for your wonderful responses!!

(This is for those who mentioned that they watched them over the Washington Monument.
I did too.)

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Red, White, and Blue Star

Welcome to Day 4 of the Patriotic Palette Blog Hop, hosted by Paintbrush Studios and Painter’s Palette Solids!

Red, White, and Blue Star • Quilt #183
25″ square, made from Painter’s Palette Solids

A couple of weeks ago, the fine people who make Painter’s Palette Solids sent me some fabric and asked if I would make something. At the end of this post, there is a giveaway so you can win your own stack of red, white and blue fabrics.

I’m part of a series of posts showing items you can make with just three reds, three blues and some white.  Here is the complete list and the days that they are presenting:

6/23: Jayne of TwiggyandOpal (@twiggyandopal)
6/26: Elizabeth of OPQuilt (@occasionalpiecequilt)
6/30: Cindy Wiens of Live a Colorful Life (@liveacolorfullife)
7/3: Stephanie of Peas in a Pod (@stephiepeterson)

The project I chose was a quick and easy mini-quilt, which finishes at 25″ square, and is perfect for a table top when you want to give a little patriotic flare to the kitchen.  I’ve written up a free pattern, available in my Craftsy shop for download (see button to the right), but the instructions are here if you need any tips and help with construction.

RedWhiteBlueStar_9

RedWhiteBlueStar_2

I was sent fat quarters in three shades of red, three shades of blue and a fat quarter of white.  The white needs special cutting: cut the long borders first (see chart on pattern), then the squares for the half-square triangles.  You may have enough the other way, but do it this way to be safe.  I also was tight on the medium blue, as I used it for the binding, too.  You’ll need to provide your own backing (about 3/4 yard, or pieced scraps).

RedWhiteBlueStar_3

I basically constructed this as a nine-patch, a favorite thing of mine to do with minis. I started by sewing four bright red triangles on the edges of the blue square, then pressed them all away from the center.  I squared this unit to 7 1/2″.  (This quilt is forgiving if yours is slightly smaller.)  I squared all my nine units to the same 7 1/2″ as then I wouldn’t have to square up (or true up, depending on how you refer to it) the finished quilt top.RedWhiteBlueStar_2a

Next was the construction on this corner, sewing the medium and dark red triangles together to make a square, then sewing on the dark blue triangles to make a larger triangle.

RedWhiteBlueStar_2a1

Sew on the medium blue triangle to make it a square; true it up to 7-1/2″ inches.RedWhiteBlueStar_2b

Now make the rest of the blocks: sew the triangles together as shown, then seam those together to make a square.  I always press to the side, if you are wondering.  Only rarely do I press open, so avoid that.

Lay out all your squares (as shown above, left), then sew them together like a nine-patch (upper right).  Measure the square; the sides should measure 21-1/2″.  Trim your long white border rectangles to measure.  Sew the darkest red blocks on each of two of the white rectangle borders.

Sew two white borders: one on top of the quilt and one of the bottom.  Press.  Then sew on the borders with the squares attached; press.  Admire your quilt top.

Let’s get quilting!

Here’s a picture of the quilt in the sunshine, showing my quilting stitches.  I always have the hardest time coming up with what to quilt where; yours may vary.  The “bandstand swag” arcs on the outside were a happy accident.

RedWhiteBlueStar_6

This was all done on my Sweet Sixteen machine, but that functions like a domestic sewing machine. I did do ruler work (which is probably easier on my machine than a domestic) but it can be done on your regular sewing machine.  Just make sure you have a thick enough hopping foot and thick rulers designed for this task (not your cutting rulers!); put grippy stuff on the bottom of your rulers, as you’ll use them to help you move the fabric under your needle.

Happy Fourth of July!

If you haven’t heard me tell you about Painter’s Palette Solids, made by Paintbrush Studio, you must be a new reader.  It is my FAVORITE solid: it’s easy to work with, has a nice hand, deals well when I need to unpick and re-stitch (I had to do that with the quilting, but you can’t see it, right?).  It’s a fairly new fabric to the market, but many brick-and-mortar shops, as well as online shops, are starting to carry it.

Giveaway Banner

Patriotic Bundle June 2017

from here

As is my custom when sewing for Painter’s Palette, I give away my scraps when I finish a project, so that some fortunate quilter can give this fabric a try.  BUT!  Paintbrush Studios has generously offered up a stack of the fabrics I used in this quilt — seven fat quarters — so you can make your own (giveaway is for domestic/US only).

To enter, leave me a comment telling me if you like fireworks, and why (or your most memorable).  I’m not talking the little things that are lit up down on street level, but those glorious bursting displays of color and light.  It will get us all in the mood for Independence Day.

Giveaway picking a winnerI’ll activate the Husband Random Number Generator and pick a winner, to be contacted by email.

Giveaway closed.  
Winner has been notified and will be announced in next post.  Thank you all!

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Sweet Land of Liberty

SweetLandLiberty_frontSweet Land of Liberty
Quilt #182
28″ squareSweetLandLiberty_upper border

I started this in January, prepping up the stars and beginning the hand-blanket-stitching a couple of days after my rotator cuff surgery.  This was a bright spot during that time, keeping me focused as I moved forward through different steps of what I was calling my “Liberty USA” quilt.SweetLandLiberty_stars

My friend Susan of Patchwork N Play, in Australia, is always hand-quilting her quilts, and I wanted to try that, too.

SweetLandLiberty_star

So I rustled up some patriotic colors of perle cotton from my Oh Christmas Tree quilt, and went to town…well, riding on a pony and all that, because it took some time to do this.

SweetLandLiberty_detail

I cut some fabric for the rod pocket this week and on the selvage, I saw this.  Perfect for my title, I thought!SweetLandLiberty_back

It’s up there, stitched onto the rod pocket in the upper right corner.

SweetLandLiberty_label

I listened to Hamilton, the novel, last year and one take-away for me was how imperfect our early Founding Fathers were, but what a magnificent thing they created as they pulled together and figured out our country and its laws.  They had patriotism in its purest form: e pluribus unum, out of many, one (our country’s motto).  I try to keep that ideal in my head every year as I celebrate our Independence Day.

And yes!  I finished the quilt by my self-imposed deadline of July 4th, so that’s great news.

RainbowGardensLiberty

(You’ve seen this photo before…)

This makes three red, white and blue quilts for me.

AQuiltingLife_RWBI’m way behind my friend Sherri, of A Quilting Life, who has over a dozen in this collection. Head over to her blog to get a tour.  I’ve got to get busy to catch up with her!

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Rainbow Gardens, redux

RainbowGardens2017_front

Rainbow Gardens (the original) was made for a swap back in 2015, and I always wished I’d kept it for myself.  So this week I did the next, best thing: I made a new one.

RainbowGardens2017_upper corner

I had all but one of the fabrics for this 18″ mini quilt still in my stash, as I pretty much hoard my Kaffe Fasset fabrics.  I tried to quilt it the same, too, using my favorite Magnifico Thread from Superior Threads. But the backing is different, as is the label:

RainbowGardens2017_backRainbowGardens2017_labelRainbowGardens17_corner

The backing is “pindar paisley” from Alexander Henry, from 2012.  The front of the quilt is all Kaffe Fasset fabrics, some new, some older.

RainbowGardens2017_angle

I also updated the pattern, trimming out this and that, and editing it more tightly, and it is up on Craftsy for sale, if you want to replicate this.  And even though it feels strange to say this, I’m going backwards and keeping  the number from the original make: this is quilt #148 of mine.RainbowGardensLiberty

I so rarely duplicate my quilts, that this feels a little odd.  I have plans to remake one more, but that will come later this summer.  After sending off these two quilts to their owners, I wised up and began duplicating everything I swapped from then on.  I rather like my quilts, I guess.  Have you ever swapped a quilt, and then wished you had it back?

I also finished another quilt this week.  Stay tuned.