Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Ohio Star Quilt Block

I'm working on a new to me quilt block, the Ohio Star.  This pattern has been around since at least the early 1800's and is another of the quilt blocks that is great for using up scraps of fabric.  I'm not using scraps though!  I just got a new fat quarter pack of Winter Northwoods Artisan Batiks from Robert Kaufman from here.  

But before I get on to the star tutorial .... remember the kitten rescue escapade last spring?  (From here and here)  Well, the kittens live in the house with us now and are getting bigger and sassier every day!  We think they're about 12 weeks old and they're about to be introduced to our older cat, Raven.  Poor Raven - she's had glimpses of them and has done the requisite hissing.  Tiger is the smaller one.  He's feisty and the bravest of the two, the first one to explore new areas of the house and to investigate new toys.

Felix is more thoughtful.  He lets Tiger barge in first and then follows if Tiger looks okay!  Such a sweetie.

Okay - on to the Ohio Star!

To make the quilt block at the top of this blog, I'm going to refer to the fabric as the dark fabric and the light fabric.  It's been working better for me to make the star square pieces larger than I want it to be and then trimming them down, so I'll show you how I do that.  I want to end up with a 9 inch finished size block (9.5 inches with the 1/4 inch seam allowances).  I cut 2 pieces of dark and 2 pieces of light that were 4.5 inch squares.  This is the 3 inch finished size of the star squares plus 1.5 inches.  Then I cut 1 piece light fabric and 4 pieces of dark fabric that were 3.5 inch squares.  These will be solid pieces and are the 3 inch finished size plus 1/4 inch on each side as a seam allowance.

Take one light and one dark 4.5 inch square and put the light square on top of the dark one, matching the edges.

Draw a line from one point to the opposite point on the light square.

Sew 1/4 inch on each side of the pencil line and then cut along it to get two halves.

Repeat with the other two 4.5 inch light and dark fabric.  Iron open all the squares - I pressed the seam toward the dark side.

On the wrong side of two of the squares, draw a line from the point of the light fabric to the point of the dark fabric, across the seam.

Place one of the squares you've just drawn the line on on top of one of the other squares - put right sides together, make sure the dark side of the fabric matches up with the light side of the top square, and match the seams.

Sew 1/4 inch on each side of the line and cut in half along the line.

Repeat with the last two pieces and press all four squares open.

To trim the squares, you need to find the center of the square.  Since we want these squares to be 3.5 inches, the center will be at 1.75 inches.  Put the 1.75 inch mark in the center of the square and trim the right edge.  Rotate and repeat with all edges.

Repeat with all the squares.

To make the large quilt block, you'll be putting the 3.5 inch squares together into strips as below.  Attach two solid dark squares to one of the star squares - make sure that the light fabric forms an hourglass.  Make two of these strips.  For the center strip, attach two star squares to the solid light square - make sure that the light fabric forms an hourglass on its side this time.

Sew together (making sure to match the seams) press open, and you have your first block done!

I'm busy putting more of these together and will show you what I'm up to soon!

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday Inspiration - Summer Themed Fibers

Here are some summer inspirations!

Around here, July means the Queen Anne's Lace and Fireweed are both in full bloom.  I'm in love with this gorgeous embroidery by Jo Van Kampen that really captures the delicateness of Queen Anne's Lace.  And the beads add great texture!

Hoffman released a beautiful Fireweed fabric a couple of years ago - a quick Google search shows it's still available in a few internet stores.  I really like the depth it has!

And these two summer themed quilts are fun!  The watermelon quilt is on Jane Allen Quevedo's blog - what a good way to use up red and green scraps.  A Day At The Beach, by Cindy Grisdela can be seen here.  It has great free motion quilting!

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Raspberry Days

Mmmm .... I love this part of summer!  Warm days, cool nights - and raspberries!  We picked a flat and a half today, just in time as our last batch of raspberries is gone except for one last piece of spongecake with raspberries and cream cheese frosting.  

Tomorrow will be filled with jam making!

And maybe some raspberries that will last .... I'm thinking of  beaded raspberries (instructions here)

or maybe some embroidered raspberries canes based on the blackberries from a past post.

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Friday, July 11, 2014

Friday Inspiration - The Road Goes Ever On

There's a new virtual exhibit up on the SAQA (Studio Art Quilts Associates) website that's definitely worth the time to look through.  The Road Goes Ever On (taken from a JRR Tolkien quote) was curated by Eileen Doughty and reflects her thoughts and emotions as she transitions from one stage of her life to another.

First Moment - Gay Lasher

I find myself particularly especially drawn to two pieces - First Moment by Gay Lasher and Skating on Thin Ice by Rose Rushbrooke.  While the perspective really could go either way, I find First Moment makes me think of laying on my back and looking upwards - maybe through tall structures that small glimpses of the sky peek through.  

Skating on Thin Ice - Rose Rushbrooke

Skating on Thin Ice reminds me of all the fractal sketches I made years ago, but never worked with.  Hmmm .... time to pull them out!  I love how the reds just jump out of the gray and white background.

If you enjoyed this virtual exhibit, there are others on the SAQA site accessed here.

Happy Creating!  Deborah