Monday, June 18, 2018

Hand-piecing bliss

I'm in love with my blocks and the process of creating my blocks.  Six blocks done and I've started on the 7th.

Elm Street quilts Double Wedding Ring

The process of hand-piecing is just wonderful.  Every step is relaxing from marking the seam lines, to lining up the pieces to taking each stitch.

The inspiration for the block came from the fact that Tara Faughnan is coming to teach at my guild in June. I loved her double wedding ring class on Creativebug and am using her block pattern to create my templates.  (My blocks will be set differently than from the quilt from the class.)   The fabric is Sunprint 2018 from Alison Glass paired with a gray from Painter's Palette solids.

I am even in love with the back of the block!



*** Please note - blogger has made changes to how I am notified of new blog comments which is making it difficult to reply via email - your comment shows up in my inbox as a no-reply blogger which means I can't respond!  Until another solution is available, I will reply directly to the comment on the blog . ***

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Delightful Desert - A finish


I am just in love with this quilt!

These sweet animals decorated my design board for weeks.   While I love the cuddly bunny.....


..... the crane might just be my favorite.


For the quilting, I went with an all over FMQ design of loops, done on my domestic machine.  I briefly thought about custom quilting each animal but decided I wanted something that was playful.  The quilt is backed in the softest flannel and I'm hoping makes a baby happy. 

This was my very first commission quilt - I've always wanted to make a pattern by Elizabeth Hartman so was thrilled to tackle this one.


I'll be linking up my finish with  Freemotion by the River,   WIP Wednesday's,  Let's Bee SocialMidweek Makers.  Needle and Thread Thursdays, and Finished or Not Friday.

*** Please note - blogger has made changes to how I am notified of new blog comments which is making it difficult to reply via email.  Until another solution is available, I will reply directly to the comment on the blog . ***

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Monday, June 11, 2018

Conquering the HRT - half rectangle triangle



At a quick glance, constructing a half-rectangle triangle (HRT) might not seem much different than constructing a half-square triangle (HST).  The end objective is the same for the finished block - seam lines intersecting each corner.  But construction and trimming are a bit different.
HRTs can also face two different directions - the seam can run from the upper left to the bottom right (like the red HRT in the illustration) or the seam can run from the bottom left to the upper right (the yellow one).   As you cut your fabric, cut right side facing up whenever possible -  it avoids getting your brain all twisted up!

This HRT tutorial will focus on creating a HRT with a finished size of 2 x 4 '' , oriented like the red HRT in the illustration. 

There are 3 basics approaches to creating a HRT:

  1. Cut and trim the final block to the size you want. (My personal favorite)
  2. Cut precise pieces and no trimming required.
  3. Paper piecing (best choice for precision)

Let's get started!

Option 1: Cut and trim the final block.

To begin, cut two (2) rectangles each 3 x 5''.    Want a different sized HRT?  Start with the desired finished dimensions - add 1'' to the width and 1'' to the height to calculate cutting size. 

Place fabric RIGHT sides up, put a small mark 1/2 '' in the upper left corner and in the bottom right corner.  (Shown in photo A by the pen and the ruler.)  I cut my fabric in pairs, drew the marks on the top fabric and then stacked (right sides facing up) and cut.  Want your HRT to face the other way?  Place fabric RIGHT sides up, put a small mark 1/2 '' in the upper right corner  and in the bottom left corner. 

Align ruler against the dots and carefully cut. (photo C)  The cutting line is illustrated in photo B.


Place both parts of the HRT next to each other (photo D).  Flip one and place them right sides together (photo E).  The top fabric will overhang a small amount at the top and the bottom fabric be visible on the bottom.   Sew together with a 1/4'' seam.  Be careful not to stretch since these are bias seams.  (photo F)  Press.


At this point, your HRT will be roughly 2 1/2 '' wide and about 5'' tall.

If you are lucky enough to have a specialty ruler just for HRTs, you can start trimming your blocks to the correct size.  But if you don't keep reading!

Before we trim, let's go back and look at the angle of the seam line.   We want our seam line to intersect the corner in our finished block but this means it will NOT intersect the corner in our unfinished block - the block size we are going to trim to.  (Scroll back to that first illustration with the green HST and the red HRT side by side - can you see the difference in the angle?)

Let's look at this up close.  (The solid line is the finished size and the dotted line is unfinished.)

Since the seam line doesn't intersect the exact corner of the unfinished size, you need to be careful how you place your ruler.

Our unit currently measures 2 1/2 x 5'' and we want to trim it to be 2 1/2 x 4 1/2 ''.  Roughly this means a possible sliver trim on each side and 1/4'' from both the top and the bottom.

Position the ruler so a 1/4'' from top and left side of the ruler hits the seam line.  If all is perfect*, the seam line should also intersect the ruler at 2 1/4'' from the side and 4 1/4'' from the top.  (Tip - I put a piece of washi-tape near that point to help me find this point consistently.)  Trim and then flip around to trim so the HRT measures at 2 1/2 x 4 1/2"

* Things will never be perfect.  The block will likely not align perfectly. When this happens, I did my best to align things as evening as possible.  For my** quilt, things don't have to be perfect.  If I wanted perfect, I'd paper-piece these!

** It is your quilt.  You get to decide how perfect you want things to be.



You can also make two at once - similar to HST - but this involved making dots on both pieces of fabrics and lining those dots up with pins.  I tried it a few times and decided it was too much work.

This method yields two IDENTICAL HRTs.


To make two at a time, place your two pieces of fabric side by side.  One should be right side up and one should be wrong side up.  On the right side up fabric (the gingham print below), place your marks 1/2'' from the top and bottom corners.  For this tutorial, I placed my dots in the upper right and bottom left.   On the wrong side up fabric, place the dots in the opposite corners.  (photo A)

Place right side together, using pins to align the dots.  (Photo B) Sew 1/4'' on either side of the line. (photo C).  Cut apart between seam lines and you will have two identical HRT (above photo.)

I found this method to be too time consuming - lining up the dots to pin was too fiddly for me and was just an extra step.  It did not produce more accurate results.


Option 2: Cut precise pieces and no trimming required

There are a number of specialty rulers on the market that can help you create just about any block you want.  The HRT is no exception - the Tri Recs ruler can help you achieve that perfect HRTs every time!

To get started, you'll need a strip of fabric that maps to the unfinished dimension.  For this example, we need a 4 1/2'' fabric strip.

Fabric right sides up, align ruler along left edge and carefully cut along the diagonal.   Rotate the ruler 180 degrees and align along diagonal edge.  Cut along straight edge.  This ruler has a little corner cut out in the upper left.  It is important to cut that as well.

Once your pieces are cut, place both parts right sides together.  This cut corner allows you to align your pieces without any guess work.  Sew along the diagonal seam and press.   If any trimming is needed it will be very minor.


This is a great construction method if you don't mind spending time on prep work.  It is ideal for yardage and generates zero waste!

Option 3: Paper Piecing


The advantages to paper piecing HRTs - or any block - is accuracy.  It can generate more fabric waste than other methods but nothing beats paper piecing to get nice looking HRTs!


Want to give it a try?  Check out my paper piecing tutorial and download a paper piece HRT sheet.


Hopefully one of these techniques will map to your interests.  Since I am primarily dealing with charm squares, I'm going with the first method.

I'm making lots and lots of HRTs for my quilt and while many of them are turning out close to perfect, a bunch of them are not.  I've decided to embrace the wonkiness of this block.  If the seam isn't perfectly aligned, I am not redoing the block - I'm leaving it in.

Are you ready to tackle a HRT?

I'll be linking my tutorial at Tips and Tutorials at Quilting JetGirl and Meadow Mist Designs.

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Friday, June 8, 2018

My scrappy HRT quilt


And the pile grows!

I pulled all the Sweetwater based charm square packs piling up in my stash and am making lots and lots of HRT - half-rectangle triangle blocks.

Each block is trimmed to 2 1/2 x 4 1/2 ''.  (I'll post an overall tutorial for HRTs on Monday!)


I really want lots of variety in this quilt so will work to resist assembling blocks until the HRTs are all done.

How many will I need?  If I go with a small lap sized (48 x 64''), I'll need 384.  Slightly bigger (and more practical) 60 x 72 '' sized would need 540.  If I go big and make a queen size (90 x 108''), I'll need 1,215.  (Yikes!)

I've got 160 so far.   I think I'll keep going until I'm tired of making them or I run out of charm squares and Sweetwater scraps.  And then decide.

I couldn't resist making one block though - this block is 16 1/2 '' square unfinished.


*** Please note - blogger has made changes to how I am notified of new blog comments which is making it difficult to reply via email.  Until another solution is available, I will reply directly to the comment on the blog . ***

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Pick Up Sticks

I love quilting challenges.  A prompt, a deadline and then hoping the creative juices flow.

Pick Up Sticks is my latest mini in response to the Curated Quilts challenge for June.


The prompt was Connect and the colors included cream, yellow, mustard, navy, moss green and gray.

This was my third or forth attempt at a design.  I love the final result.  The 'sticks' are fusible applique.  I had fun with the straight line quilting on the sticks and micro stippling everywhere else.


Now all I need to decide is which side is up!  Right now, I'm loving this view as the top!



I'll be linking up at Curated Quilts here.  I've submitted an entry for each of their challenges - the competition is really amazing.  Fingers crossed.

*** Please note - blogger has made changes to how I am notified of new blog comments which is making it difficult to reply via email.  Until another solution is available, I will reply directly to the comment on the blog . ***

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Monday, June 4, 2018

May temperatures


A hexie a day!

It only takes a few minutes (6 actually) to attach a pre-made hexie onto temperature quilt.


The first row (of color) on the top is January 1 through 15, next column January 16 through 31 etc which means the last row on the bottom is May 16 through May 31.  (May 31 (85+ day) is the orange one on the left in that bottom row.)   I'm using a low volume fabric to fill in months that don't have 31 days plus surrounding the overall temperature quilt as you can see surrounding the quilt on left edge, top and bottom.

The quilt measures roughly 32'' x 16''.

May brought us a couple of days in the 90s and plenty of days in the 80s.  There are actually two shades of oranges in there.  The color difference between the two is a bit easier to see in person.

Here is the mapping of color to temperature range - I'm using the high temperature for the day and sourcing the data from here.  



I'll be linking up my wip with  Freemotion by the River,   WIP Wednesday's,  Let's Bee SocialMidweek Makers.  Needle and Thread Thursdays, and Finished or Not Friday.

*** Please note - blogger has made changes to how I am notified of new blog comments which is making it difficult to reply via email.  Until another solution is available, I will reply directly to the comment on the blog . ***

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Friday, June 1, 2018

One Monthly Goal - June Goal Link-up

Welcome to June!  We had 110 projects linked up in May - let's see what this month brings!

New to One Monthly Goal?  Welcome!  To join, share a photo of your project, some words about what you want to accomplish in a blog post, an Instagram post (tutorial) or a post on Flickr and add that photo to the link-up.  Return at the end of the month and share your results.  You can read about the event and the rules on the main event page.

We have wonderful sponsors this month - three (3) winners will be randomly chosen from those that link up in both the goal and the finish event.  Plus anyone linking up will earn an entry for the bonus prize.  (Bonus prize to be awarded in July - you can earn up to 3 entries by joining the link-ups April through June.) 


Fat Quarter Shop offers a tremendous selection of fabric, notions, books and just about anything you will need for your project. Consider their Sew Sampler box to receive a monthly surprise delivery of fabric and fun.  Fat Quarter Shop is offering a $25 gift certificate to one lucky participant.

Make Modern is a digital magazine launched by a collaboration of quilters based in Australia. Their magazine is filled with modern quilt designs and a wonderful source of inspiration. Make Modern is offering a 6 month subscription to one lucky participant.


Green Fairy Quilts  is a wonderful online quilt store that offers precuts, patterns and notions at prices that can't be beat.  They are my source for precuts! Shipping is fast and the selection is wonderful. Green Fairy Quilts is offering a beautiful fat-eighth bundle of Puzzle Pieces by Moda for the 2Q bonus prize.

I am very excited to introduce our designer sponsor for June - Wendi Gratz of Shiny Happy World (Isn't that just the best name!)  Her patterns are so delightful - puppies, forest animals, monsters, bears, whimsical houses - each with a personality that you can't help but smile when you see them.  And now there is a new pattern available called Fancy Doodads - hats, bow ties, glasses - anything you might need to dress up your bears, dogs and cats! 

Wendi designs quilt patterns for beginners and creates videos of all the techniques required to complete the quilt to make sure the beginner quilter has everything they need to be successful.  

I love how Wendi focuses on breaking down the quilt making process into easy to understand steps.  Her focus on fusible applique and the quilt as you go (QAYG) method of quilting help a quilter create something fun and fast. Wendi offers a free class called Let's Make a Quilt which is perfect for beginners and more experienced quilters too.  

Her latest pattern Bunches of Bears can be found with the rest of her patterns in her shop.



Photo and quilt credit to Wendi Gratz, used with permission
Cuddly Cats, Playful Puppies, Scary Squares, and Bunches of Bears.
Wendi is offering a $25 gift certificate to her shop to one lucky randomly chosen winner.  You can visit Wendi on her blog, on Instagram, on Facebook and in her pattern store.

My goal for June is to make a total of six of my double-wedding ring blocks - 3 to go!  I am hand-piecing these and really enjoying the process.


Now it is your turn to link up - what is your goal for June?  (A goal could be to finish a quilt but it could also be to attach a binding.  Whatever it takes to help you move forward and make progress on your projects!  And as long as the project involves a needle and/or fabric, you can link up!)

Make sure you visit the One Monthly Goal event page for the specific requirements for links and social tags. 
 Your blog post (or Flickr post) must contain a photo of your project, a clearly stated goal and a link back to Elm Street Quilts.  Your Instagram post must include a photo of your project, a clearly stated goal and the tag #onemonthlygoal.  (Entries which don't contain the required information may be disqualified.)

And remember, to be eligible for the prize(s) by random drawing you must linkup at both the goal setting and the accomplishment linkup in a given month.   (The One Monthly Goal accomplishment linkup will be available on June 24.)

Make sure you add a link to this OMG post so others can find the OMG link-up from your blog.  Let's make that easy -  just paste this into your post: 

 






Thanks for linking up!



*** Please note - blogger has made changes to how I am notified of new blog comments which is making it difficult to reply via email.  Until another solution is available, I will reply directly to the comment on the blog . ***

Have a wonderful day! Patty