Christmas Criss-Cross Finished

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Christmas Criss-Cross, June 2019
Quilt #219 • 60″ wide by 66″ tall

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I started this for the 20th anniversary of a small quilters group I’d participated in, as we were given mini-charm packs of this print.  Of course, that only got my toes wet, as I soon ordered a Layer Cake.  Then yardage.  Then backing.

My quilter, Cathy Kreter, finished this up quickly and I put the binding on this past month (so, while I finished 12″ of the binding in June, technically it was finished in May, when I sewed the label on).

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It will be hanging out in my closet, waiting for the holiday season to arrive, a nice lap-sized quilt to use when watching all those holiday seasonal specials.  It doesn’t require a Quilt Ph.D to make this.  I walk you through the steps on an earlier post.  There are many variations of the block in my reference book, but I can’t give you a name for the block outright, as there are two basic blocks in this, both four-patch variations: one is cut on the diagonal and one on the straight.

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Get to Work Book 2019

In other news, my Get to Work Planner arrived and this time I ordered the elastic band to put on my old one, as I tape in all sort of things and the book has kind of expanded.

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Recently I had an interesting letter in my emailbox.  A young professor asked if he could use the image of this quilt in a project he was working on for his English class.  Since I’d taken it in to my class when I taught the short story Everyday Use, I quickly acquiesced.ESE Utlity Quilt_2

Yep, it’s pretty wonky.  It was designed that way in a class I took with Roberta Horton in Houston, eons ago.  I treasure the quilt for that reason alone.  It’s #37 on my Lifelong Quilts lists.ESE Utlity Quilt_3

I think at one point I wanted to put an epigram on every quilt label, but in a quick survey, this is the only one.

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Lastly, such happy news arrived with the announcement of Affinity Publisher‘s public release on June 19th.  I’ve been a Beta tester in my own weasley and squirrely fashion for the last several months, sending in comments and notes on using the software.  While not a difficult software, there is a learning curve which is when I searched their tutorials and forums for help.  I use this to write my patterns, and I’m currently working backwards through the MSWord versions, and converting them one by one to a more professional look.

The introductory discount is 20% off the price, and there are NO SUBSCRIPTIONS to deal with (you know which company I’m referring to).  So mark your calendars, if you’ve needed software that can help publish documents at a higher level than a word processing program.

Betty Crocker Takes up Quilting

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Betty Crocker Takes Up Quilting, quilt #199
36″ square

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It all begins with digging deep in the stash closet for fun, familiar fabrics…Betty Crocker Qlting_3

..with some quilting to show off the two different sections…Betty Crocker Qlting_4

…to make up another sample for a class I’m teaching in August, for the South Bay Quilters in Torrance, California.  I’m really excited to head out there to the coast in the middle of August, and to spend some time with their guild.  The smaller version is 27.5″ and the larger is 36″ square.

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We’d switched up our classes to this one, which is a Two-for-One class: a quilting/making component in the morning, and a free-motion primer in the afternoon.

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I will also be teaching at Valley Modern Quilt Guild this fall, with the trunk show/lecture on Monday, October 29th, with a workshop on that Saturday, November 3rd.  I’m excited to teach there, although they haven’t told me which workshop yet.  We have all summer to decide that, but here’s a quilt they may want to consider:

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Improv Appliqué, taught in a demo at QuiltCon 2018.  Or…

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Criss-Cross, which if done in these colors, is right in time for Christmas.  Or…

Sky Rocket Variant

Sky Rocket, using just eight colors to make up into a bold, punchy mini-quilt.

I love meeting new quilters, having a chance to talk to people, and later on, sitting in a room full of quilters intent on their projects, their sewing machines humming along.  Can’t wait!

Criss-Cross Christmas Quilt Top

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Criss-Cross Christmas Quilt, top finished December 2017
59 ” by 68″

It all started when my friend Leisa gave me a mini-charm pack of Merrily fabrics by Gingiber.  Then the Fat Quarter Shop had the fat-eighth stack, and then when my making dictated more, I scooped up a layer cake of the line, and I was set (and I still have some left).

I added Kona Snow, and got creative.

I’d seen a variation of this quilt in my Instagram feed, but I changed up a few things to use up all my ideas.  Basic construction was to take a 10-inch square, and cut it either way: into four squares or four triangles.

But then I wanted to use the mini-charm pack, so I bordered them in strips, then cut them at an angle.

The “criss-cross” filler strips are cut at 1-1/4″ wide, so they have some presence, but don’t overwhelm the structure.  I seamed two squares or two triangles with the filler strip, then seamed those units together into a block, as I wanted to have the “criss-cross” pieces be random–the best of improv quilting.  I trimmed up the block to 9″ square, making sure to “center” the ruler as much as possible, so they aren’t wonky at all.

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I ended up not liking that seamed-up business in the solid portion of my mini–charm square block, visible in the upper right block.  I discarded all those triangles, and just went with the ones shown in the lower-left, with no visible seams in the solid.

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Still wanting to use up more of the mini-charm pack, I made my own “squares” of fabric and let them stand in.

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I just started making…and putting them up..and making…and deciding to enlarge it…

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Then I moved around the blocks, making sure the light of the mini-charm-square blocks were balanced against the heavier “filled-in” blocks.  At some point I decided I was done.

I sewed them together, stopping mid-way to celebrate Christmas and get the flu. Because the flu shot is only partially effective this year, more people will probably get the bug.  The good news, though, that by having had the flu shot, the duration and intensity will be lessened.  I hope so.

I’ve got some year-end sewing to do!