Monday, April 27, 2020

A Finish & A Giveaway

One lucky reader (commenter) will get a free pattern - All the Diagonals, from Mell Meyer.
Just leave a comment, completing this sentence.  After the Covid induced coma is over, I will...

And now, let the eye candy begin.  You heard about Quarantina earlier and saw her glimpses on Instagram.  Here she is - my Covid Child (thus named by Rebecca of Cheeky Cognoscenti).

Paul is promoted to Model

You know when you cannot decide between cake and pie?
When you want both chocolate and strawberry.
When you don't want to choose between the ocean and the mountains...hold that thought.

Speckled FQ Bundle

Cool Ones

Warm Ones
The fabric of choice is Speckled by Ruby Star Society.
The cool blues and soothing greens were an obvious choice, based on Mell's pattern.

The first four blocks

21 out of 42 

But I wanted other half of the spectrum too. Why choose, when you can have both?
I made the remaining blocks in warm colors - pinks, orange, peach and yellow.

Almost Blocks

The choice of white background with cool blocks was easy. After mulling a bit, I decided on a black
background with warm blocks.

Design Wall

The exact layout - which blocks go where - took longer.  And the sashing was a bit of an issue due to the split white and black backgrounds.

Matching Seams

Trying to match seams

Matching seams (kinda sorta) took forever. I matched the border colors with the split layout. Flimsy was finished two days before the deadline.

Deadline Met
My toes :-)

Time to quilt :-O

Backing Fabric
Most fabric is 44" wide, except the wide backing that is 104" wide. Ikea used to carry 100% cotton fabric that was about 54" wide which was perfect for backing lap/throw size quilts. Used to. Not any more. Bummer.

Recently I discovered quilting cotton that is 63" wide. BINGO!!! The above backing fabric is from (no affiliation). Look for STOF.

The quilting was straight-ish lines using my walking foot. The binding decision was the last but not the least.

I had matched the border to the split layout and wanted to extend that design to the binding.

Should binding continue the split?

Me: I am thinking that the binding should match the borders.
Paul: How so?
Me: White binding in the top and left and black binding in the bottom and right.
Paul: Can you do that?
Me: It can be done. Whether I can match it exactly may take a few attempts.
Paul: Why not do the opposite?
Me: Like white with black and black with white?
Paul: Yes. Contrast binding.

I hadn't thought of it. Now I was battling with two difficult ideas.
In the end I chose an easy way out - striped black and white binding.

Striped Binding

I am not fond of paper-piecing. But I do recommend this pattern. It is very detailed (including coloring pages), well written and the size recommendations are generous. Even when I made a mistake, the generous size ensured that it worked.

Incorrect orientation of the corner triangle - still within the paper limits

Quarantina was delivered on April 18, 2020.  She has excellent complexion and measures 53" by 61.5" .  The baby is doing fine. The mother is neglecting her to take care of other babies.

Hello Quarantina :-)
Quarantina wanted to play in the sun. I agreed. A few more pictures.

Quilting Detail

Split White and Black

Love the Backing

Picnic with Quarantina

Isn't she lovely?

Labelled - Mine :-)

And one last look

I will be linking with all my favorite linky parties.  See full list on the sidebar.

Don't forget to comment if you wish to win a free pattern.

Here is my response (to the comment question)...
After the Covid induced coma is over I will spend an entire day in the spa getting spoiled. Manicure, Pedicure, Massage, Facial, Microdermabrasion... whatever that is. Sure, you can microdermawhatever my big behind.

Your turn...

Update on May 8, 2020 - The random number generator chose #24. The winner is KiwiKid.

The giveaway is closed.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Picket Star Quilt Block

Hello Quilty Buddies,

Here are the detailed instructions for making the Picket Star Block, named because the star points look like slats of a picket fence.

For the 17" finished block.

Picket Star Block

Fabric Requirements

Background - Two squares 3.5", Two squares 9.5", Four squares 2.5"

Fabric A - Two squares 3.5", two rectangles 3.5" by 9.5"
Fabric B - Two squares 3.5", two rectangles 3.5" by 9.5"

I am using medium pink and dark pink.  My recommendation is to use two fabrics that have some difference in value - not too close and too much contrast.  This will give the look of light and shade.


Step 1.
Stitch the two Fabric A squares (3.5") on either sides of the background square (3.5"), using a scant quarter inch seam.  Iron the seams open (personal preference) and trim to 3.5" by 9.5".

Stitch the Fabric A rectangles on either side of the above constructed rectangle, using a scant quarter inch seam. Press seams open and square to 9.5". Set aside.

Step 2.
Stitch the two Fabric B squares (3.5") on either sides of the background square (3.5"), using a scant quarter inch seam.  Iron the seams open (personal preference) and trim to 3.5" by 9.5".

Stitch the Fabric B rectangles on either side of the above constructed rectangle, using a scant quarter inch seam. Press seams open and square to 9.5". Set aside.

Step 3.
On the wrong side of the 9.5" background squares, draw lines (pencil or frixion pen), 1/4" from the diagonal.

Place one marked background squares RST with each of the squares completed in Steps 1 and 2. Pin in place.

Sew on the drawn lines. Cut along the diagonal.

You should have four half square triangle blocks. Iron seams open and square each to 9".

Step 4.
Snowball the fabric corners of the HST blocks.

Using the diagonal line on the mat to mark the squares

Place the background square (2.5"), RST, on the fabric corner of each HST block.  Pin in place.

Sew corner to corner. For accuracy, sew slightly (a thread's width) away from the center, towards the corner of the block.

Cut 1/4" away from the sewing line. Press seam open. Square again.

Step 5 - Final Step
Place the four HSTs (with snowballed corners) such that all snowballs meet in the center. Also make sure that Fabric A is adjacent to Fabric B.

Stitch using a generous quarter inch seam.  Yes, I said generous. I suggest moving your needle three clicks to the left to make a generous quarter inch seam. If you can eyeball it, power to you.

Default Setting on my Machine. (Default seam length is 2.4)

Needle moved three clicks left. (Seam length reduced to 2.2)

It is very important to sew a generous quarter seam because you want to preserve the points in the completed block.

Placed RST


Generous 1/4" Seams

In the pictures below you can see that the point is that much farther away from the edge.

Point is more than1/4" away from edge

Pin the two halves together for one last seam.  Make sure it is a generous 1/4".

Iron seams open and straighten the edges.

The resulting block is just shy of 17.5".

All picket star points are a safe distance away from the edge.  This ensures that the points won't get clipped when you put the blocks together, even when you sew a regular 1/4" seam.

Point is more than 1/4" from the edge

Although there are several steps to making this block, it makes a large block, finishing at 17".

You only need 12 blocks for a lap/throw size quilt (51" by 68")
And 30 blocks will make a queen size quilt (85" by 102")
If you just want to try, I suggest making 4 blocks. It will make a small baby quilt (34" by 34"). Add 3.5" borders to make it larger at about 40" square.

This is the block I am making for my Rainbow Scrap Challenge in 2020.  You can see the earlier blocks at the links below.

January - Green Blocks
February  - Orange Blocks
March - Teal/Aqua/Turquoise (all the colors between blue and green)
April - Light/Bright Blue

If you have any questions, please ask in the comments.  I will answer here so that all can see.

This tutorial is free but I do request that you give me credit and provide a link to this page when you make this block. On instagram, please use #PicketStarQuiltBlock and tag me using @SewPreetiQuilts