Thursday, February 14, 2019

Hunter, Archer, Angler and Trooper

Krishna Janmashtami is Lord Krishna's birthday and is a significant festival for the Hindus.
How significant, you may ask?
It is a bank holiday, making it official that it is a day of feasting, temple visits and celebration.
My father was just 53 years old when he passed away. It was the day of Krishna Janmashtami.
For my family, the festival is no longer associated with Lord Krishna. It will always be dad's death anniversary.

A new quilt

Today is February 14 and most of us celebrate it as Valentine's Day but for the families who lost a loved one last year on this day, I believe that it will forever be a day of loss.

Binding in process

Losing a loved one on Valentine's Day must be especially difficult.
Of all the loves in our lives, our love for our children must be the strongest, purest and most selfless.
So the loss of a child must also be the most gut-wrenching of all losses. We love them even before we see them and keep loving them forever.

These muddled thoughts about love, loss and kids swirled in my brain - over and over again. 
So I did what we quilters do - turn to fabric for comfort and meaning. I made baby quilts.

This Lily and Loom charm pack had a campsite, outdoorsy theme with blues, greens and grays. 

Bear Mountain from Lily and Loom

I used fabric from my stash to cut additional 30 squares so that I had enough to make two quilts - each with a distinct personality. The greens went to Hunter and the blues went to Angler.

Here is Hunter.

Hunter - 31" by 31"

Hunter - Added squares from stash
Hunter - Dog in a Truck backing

Hunter - Green Pieced Binding

Meet Angler.

Angler - 31" by 31"

Angler - Getting Closer

Angler - Snow covered peaks

Angler - See the binding sliver?

Angler - Backing (same as Hunter's)

Angler - Light Blue Pieced Binding

The other Lily and Loom charm pack had an outer space theme with blues, grays, orange and yellow. 
Space Camp from Lily and Loom
Once again, I split the charm pack into two to make sure that the two quilts looked distinct from each other and added coordinating fabric from my stash to make sure I had 36 squares for each quilt.

Meet Trooper.

Trooper - 31" by 31"

Trooper - Astronaut

Trooper - Added Squares from Stash

Trooper - Pieced Backing

Trooper - Baby Elephant rules

Trooper - Bright Blue Binding

And here is Archer - she is my favorite.

Archer - 31" by 31"

Archer - Quilting Detail

Archer - Stash Squares

Archer - Wavy Stripes Backing

Archer - Bright Blue Binding

Archer - Completed

These four quilts were made for the Stillborn Bereavement Group. Instead of using my professional looking label, I chose a hand-written label sewn by hand. I believe that this deliberate act allows me to dwell upon each life lost as I pull the needle trying my best to conceal the threads.

Hunter - Label

Angler - Label

Trooper - Label

Archer - Label 

Today, as you hug those you love, send a kind thought to those who have lost a child, be it to stillbirth, gun violence, or just plain estrangement.

I will send these quilts to Sue in New York.
Thank you, Sue, for coordinating this effort.

I will be linking with all my favorite linky parties. As usual, a word from you is a world to me.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Neel Quilt - A tutorial

Following your requests, here is the detailed tutorial to make Neel Quilt - the blocks, the layout and the fabric requirements.

Fabric Requirements
For 16-patch blocks
1. Dark/Medium Blue Prints - 10 strips 20" by 2.5"
2. Light Blue/White Prints - 10 strips 20" by 2.5"
3. Dark/Medium Green Prints - 10 strips 20" by 2.5"
4. Light Green Prints - 10 strips 20" by 2.5"

For Star Leg blocks
1. Background Fabric - 4.5 yards (will also use for binding). I used this fabric from Joann Fabrics.
Other good alternatives are the Twinkle Twinkle and Midnight Sky both from Connecting Threads.
2. Medium/Light Blue Solids - Five different 1/2 yard cuts
3. Medium/Light Green Solids - Five different 1/2 yard cuts

Since we are using a dark/black background, we want to use medium or light colored fabrics. If the fabrics are too dark, they will  not stand out against the dark background. In other words, star won't pop. I bet you want the stars to shine and shimmer, hence err on the side of lighter fabrics for the Star Leg blocks.

The directions to make the 16-patch blocks are shown in the pictures below.

2.5" by 20" strips - One Light & One Dark
Place right sides together
Stitch using a 1/4" seam

Press seams open (my personal preference)
Cut in half. You should get two 10" sections
Rearrange the cut sections as shown. Place RST.

Sew using a 1/4". Press seams open
Cut into 2.5" sections
Rearrange the cut sections as shown. Place RST together.

Sew the two halves together
Press all seams open. Square to 8.5"

After all blocks are made, divide them into a green pile and a blue pile.
Number the blue stars - 1B, 4B, 6B, 9B, 11B, 12B, 14B, 16B, 17B and 19B.
Number the green stars - 2G, 3G, 5G, 7G, 8G, 10G, 13G, 15G, 18G and 20G.

Number each 16-patch

Star Leg blocks - Cutting Directions
  • From the background fabric, cut nine strips 2.5" by WOF. Set aside for binding.
  • Cut the remaining fabric into 8.5" strips. We need 16 strips measuring 8.5" by WOF.  Subcut each strip into 8.5" squares. We need 80 background squares.
  • From each of solid fabrics, cut two strips 8.5" by WOF. Sub cut into 8.5" squares. We need eight squares of each color.
  • You should have a total of 160 squares - 80 background, 40 blue solids, 40 green solids.

The directions to make the Star Leg block are shown in the pictures below.

Start with one background & one solid square 8.5" side
Set the background square aside. Cut color square in half diagonally
All fabric is right sides up. Align the corners of the color with the background square, as shown
Slide the color triangle (1.5 - 2") away from the corner, as shown
Pin along the diagonal. Let the points hang out.
Sew 1/4" away from the pinned edge
Cut the background triangle away. Discard (or save in your scrap basket)
Press seam open

Using the background square as a guide, trim to 8.5" square
We will add the second leg now, using the other color triangle.

Align the color triangle along the background square corner as shown

Slide the triangle away from the corner (1.5" to 2"), as shown

Pin along the diagonal edge

Sew 1/4" from the pinned edge. Trim the background triangle away

Press seam open

Trim to 8.5" square

Your first star leg block is complete.  For every 16-patch block, you will need four star leg blocks.
Make the other three star leg blocks from the same color. Pin them together. Set aside.

Stay organized - Centers+Matching Legs

After all star leg blocks are made, it is time to pair them with the star centers. Keep the star legs together with the matched/paired star centers.  See picture above.

My original sketch for Neel
The picture below shows a better layout for your use.

The layout shows the following:

  • Six Complete Blue Stars - 4B, 6B, 9B, 11B, 14B and 17B
  • Four 3/4 of a Blue Star - 1B, 12B, 16B and 19B (Four blue star leg blocks will be left over)
  • Use these remaining four blue star leg blocks in edge rows - one each in top, bottom, left and right.  
  • Seven Complete Green Stars - 2G, 5G, 8G, 10G, 13G, 15G and 18G
  • One 3/4 of a Green Star - 7G (One green star leg block left over)
  • Two Half Green Stars - 3G and 20G (Four green star leg blocks left over)
  • Use remaining four green star leg blocks in edge rows - one each in top, bottom, left and right.  
One green star leg block will be left over. You can discard that or add to your scrap basket.

Neel Quilt - Layout

Follow the layout and arrange the blocks on a design wall. Step away and take a picture.  Does everything look alright?  When you are satisfied with the layout, stitch the blocks together using 1/4" seams, first in rows and then in columns. If you ask a question, I will answer in the comment so that others can see it too.

Layer, Quilt, Bind, Label, take a picture, post a picture, and please include a link to this page if you share on the internet.

This tutorial is provided free of charge for personal use only.  Be nice. Do not copy and do not distribute. Please direct folks to this page. If you use this tutorial, in whole or in part, please acknowledge me and this tutorial. Use #NeelQuilt on Instagram.

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