I want what I want – Color Story

I want what I want – Color Story

Few things are sew humbling as ripping out stitches.
I wasn’t going to blog this because it’s a fail, and who wants to share their failures?
Then, I realised that some people need to see others failures to learn from it, or maybe just feel like they are not alone when they fail.

I was once at an all day sew, and a lady was making a jelly roll race quilt. You know the one when you sew all 42 strips end to end and then take the two ends of the really long strips and sew them together, and on and on? Well, this lady sewed her first two strips right side to wrong side. About 1600 inches of stitches had to be undone.

I kept this in mind as I unstitched the quilt top I had just finished.
Oh yeah, I said “Finished” but in reality I hadn’t added the borders yet.
Here’s my “OCD much?” story:

 

SBS_RIP_Jack_And_Friends

 

I have been wanting to make a nice lap quilt out of the Sunbonnet Sue blocks I got about 5 years ago. They are all wonderfully hand turned, and I bought them from a lady at her garage sale. She had made them many years ago, and sashed them, but gave up on it. I also bought some of her oil lamps, which I love. She may never know that part of her legacy will be with me in those oil lamps and this quilt – if I ever get it done.
I removed the sashing because I wanted the quilt to be bigger.
On and off for 5 years, I have thought about how to make a quilt out of these blocks.
EQ7 allowed me to make all kinds of alternating blocks, and see them before sewing them.
I finally decide on a block that would complement all the Sue’s, then moved on to the fabric selection.

Oh the fabric selection!!!
Of course I needed 30’s prints, and I auditioned many. I ended up chosing primary colors, because I like them. Yes, not many primary colors in 30’s prints, so what I really wanted was tiny prints, and I don’t care what era they are from.
Yellow was the hardest. I went to my local quilt shop for it, and couldn’t find a suitable small print yellow, but found a darling green with little yellow flowers in it, and a turquoise I couldn’t say ‘no’ to. I bought 2 yard of the darling green, and 1 yard of thr turquoise, then later bought another yard of each incase I wanted them for borders.
I started piecing the alternate blocks, and was fine until I got to the part where I would snoball all the Sue’s with . . . what color? I cut so many possible squares to audition that I could make a whole ‘nother quilt out of them. and I’d have to, because they are 2 3/4″ square and I sure ain’t cutting all those blocks down to a more usable 2 1/2″
I was back to needing yellow. What I had in mind, and the stores, nor my stash would indulge me, was a yellow with a bit of red in it.
So, I finally just picked a tone on tone yellow out of my stash and snoballed all the Sues, then sewed the whole top together. It was pretty nice looking.

 

 

 

 

Then on my way home from work Sat., oh did I mention I was stupid enough to volunteer to work saturday? Why, yes, yes, I was. but there is pretty fabric calling my name . . . .
I decide to double the batting, and to be cheap, I will get a king size piece, and use my coupon. It was already half off, but with a $20 off a $60 purchase coupon, I could increase my savings.
It was there, at a store I’d been to many times, that I found my yellow print.
Oh damn.

SBS_Snoballs

I bought it, and the 30’s print flannel backing, and it was probably my slowest drive home.

Sew, while I sit here removing stitches,  lets explore the may ways stitches can be removed, shall we?

There’s the “pick and pull” which I almost always start with.
It is the most gentle, yet the most time consuming, but it does leave the pieces clean, and ready to be resewn.

SBS_RIP_PickPull

Then for speed, I move on to the “Pull and Poke” where you pull apart the layers, and poke the threads with your seam ripper. One pull after a poke will get you several stitches farther than the pick and pull.

If you place your elbow on the fabric at the edge of a table, you can undo a 45″ row of stiches in about 10 minutes. Good to know, right?

SBS_RIP_PullPoke_02

or the even faster, but more dangerous “Spread and Slice” which is like the pull and poke but uses a blade to slice through the threads. If at least one of the fabrics is expendable, you may consider it – at your own peril.

 

SBS_RIP_Spreadandslice_01

They make a tool for this, but I prefer my #2 size exacto.

SBS_RIP_Spreadandslice_02

Most of these leave messy edges.

 

SBS_RIP_Threads

While I am on this subject, do you know what that ball on one end of all the traditional seam rippers is for? It’s to put down in the seam to be able to push with the pointy part sticking up so it doesn’t catch on the fabric. I don’t trust it. I put the pointy part down to pull up the threads I am removing, so that I can see it isn’t catching the fabric.

 

SBS_RIP_Jacks_Ball
and then I caught a miserable cold, no actually brochitus, which lasts weeks, so things moved very slowly.

Finally, all 48 little triangles have been carefully seperated, and replaced with the better yellow, and now I have moved on to obsessing about the borders . . . .

 

#RIP #SunBonnetSue #AlmostHome

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Texas Gets More Love

Texas Gets More Love

My  Texas Gets Red Bandanas – and some love quilt was sew much fun that I had to do it again. and again.

“Bob and Weave” seemed like it  wanted a yellow binding,

Bob_Weave_Finished

with a geometric backing.

Bob_Weave_Finished_Back_02

Stitched in the ditch of course

Bob_Weave_Finished_Quilting_02

with a little top stitching on the background to sweeten it up a bit.

Bob_Weave_Finished_Quilting

The plaid S Block is a Man’s quilt! Ladies and children can enjoy it too, possibly reminding them of their dear ol Dad?

Sblock_Finished

Not a huge fan of pieced backings – unless it looks like it was done on purpose – which this was. The navy has a very nice – soft, yet sturdy – hand to it, and I gave it a cuddle before taking it my friend’s to send.

Sblock_Finished_Back

Straight line stitching in the ditch, where there was one. I first used Navy thread in the bobbin, and after stitching all the lines that had the navy on the backside, I switched to a tan, and then did all those.

Sblock_Finished_Back_02

Here is our  latest shipment. Both husbands are holding them sideways, but Sue and I, aren’t saying a word.

Quilts_4Texas_Sue3

A Fire Chief gets some love . . .
Quilts_4Texas_4

#BobandWeave #Sblock #QuiltsForTexas

OMG challenge x3

OMG challenge x3

So, here it is, time for the One Monthly Goal again, and this time I am making it in, under the wire.
Sept 2nd, I endeavered to make 3 quilts for Texas. I finished one, and started the other two, and then we have had to work every stinkin Fri to date.

I did a couple things unusual for me: I used a pattern, and I did not alter it. AND I used a good Jelly roll! * Gasp*

Book_StripYourStash_BobWeave

Yes I,
#1, successfully resisted the urge to alter a pattern.
#2, opened up the “Hop, Skip and a Jump” Jelly roll by Moda, and recklessly used it!

I know some of you were waiting to see what I would do with some of my “over 50” Jelly rolls, and if I would use any “good ones” since all my previous posts were using up the ugly ones . . .

BobWeave_Piecing

Of course being me, I did make a very modern design out of 30’s prints, because it’s just my nature to go against the common grain.

Bob and Weave is being quilted right now.

Bob_Weave_Basted

S Block [not M block]  which I did alter, to use only 3 sizes of 2.5″ strips. All done in plaids.

Sblock_NotM

S block is quilted, and awaiting binding. Only the top is shown here. I got creative with the back, which will be shown in another post, since I have only until midnight to get the OMG post done, and I got obligated, through no fault of my own, to go to a birthday party tonight.

Sblock_wBorder

and here is one of the [12] Sunbonnet Sue blocks I bought 5 years ago at a garage sale from a sweet lady who made them. She is needle turned applique, and I’ve been wanting to give her a home for quite some time now. I finally designed and started making the blocks that would show her off and result in a nice size quilt to wrap myself up in.

SBS_Blocks02

She got shelved back in September, when I embarked on the Quilts for Texas project. Not knowing  who these would go to, I made one patriotic, and wanted to make one girly, and one manly. As soon as those are finished, I will resume these blocks, and Sunbonnet Sue will take her rightful place in my lap – by the end of October!

SBS_Block2

At least that is my goal. Can I do it? Even if I have to work every stinkin Fri?

The good news is that all Fridays are overtime, and we know what that means . . .  MPF!

More Pretty Fabric!

PS I still have over 50 Jelly rolls because a Kaffe Fasset one went on sale, and I never pass up a Kaffe precut at 50% off.

#OneMonthlyGoal #QuiltsForTexas #MorePrettyFabric

Texas Gets Red Bandanas – and some love

Texas Gets Red Bandanas – and some love

I recently saw Missouri Star’s Rhombus Star video. It looked like fun to me, and I already had the template, but I had been waiting for them to come out with the smaller Rhombus template. When I saw the video, I noticed the smaller template was now available, so I got it.

I was working on a quilt for myself at time, so when it arrived, I put the template away for later.
Later came sooner, when some friends of mine who have family in Texas said they were going to make quilts to send. Their family is part of the rescue team, and they would be handing out the quilts directly. Of course, I shelved little Sunbonnet Sue, got out that template, and brought in my tote of patriotic fabric.  I opened it, and said “Talk to me”

Our sewing play date was the next day, so I gathered up the pieces that spoke up, and took them with me.

Having no pattern for the small ruler, I would just have to make one block, and measure it to see what size it would be, before I could figure out how many to make for a quilt. This concept totally freaked out my friend at the “PlayDate with a Featherweight” sewing group.
“What are you making?”
“A quilt to send to Texas”
“What pattern?”
“I am making stars”
“What’s the pattern?”
“I have to make a block and see what size they are first”
“But what’s the pattern?”
“I guess it’s Stars”
“You don’t know what it’s going to be?”
“Yeah, it’s gonna be stars”
“So you have no pattern?”
“I am pretty sure these are gonna be Stars. I just need to cut a few more, and then I can start sewing, and see what they will measure out to”
“You are crazy!”
“Ok then, which of these reds should I include? I don’t know about this bandana fabric.”
“Oh the bandana has to be included. It’s SOOO Texas!”
“Alrighty then. Texas gets red bandanas!”

In the video, Jenny makes hers into half blocks, sewn one pointing up and one pointing down in rows. I want to sew mine in squares, so I am making mine square-ish.

Each block contains
3 blue Rhombus shapes from large scraps or FQ’s.
3 red Rhombus shapes from large scraps or FQ’s.
12 triangle background pieces from yardage.
4 setting triangle background pieces from yardage.

To start, I laid the template down on the fabric, against a longer ruler, and cut strips. Note that this template is an odd size – 3 5/8 wide. Later I added a strip of orange glo-tape at that point on my ruler. If you don’t have glo-tape, just use the template every time. For accuracy, I slide the template all the way to the end, and make sure it is dead on at both ends before cutting.

Rhombus_Star_Cutting_Shapes_From_FQ_01

The rhombus shaped pieces were cut first.

Rhombus_Star_Cutting_Shapes_From_FQ_02

If using a FQ you can get 4 on the short [19″] side, and 5 on the long side [22″] making 20 total. 20 doesn’t divide by 3 if you want to use an alternate color pattern like mine, but 18 does. So one FQ will make 6 half blocks. 2 FQ’s in 2 different colors will make 6 blocks of alternating colors.

Rhombus_Star_Cutting_Shapes_From_FQ_03

A scrap strip that is almost 15″ long will make 3 of these.

Rhombus_Star_Cutting_Shapes_From_Scraps

The triangle background pieces, when measured from the flat tip of the point to the line that says “line up edge of fabric strip here to cut triangle” turned out to be the same width [3 5/8] of fabric. So, you can use it to cut the strips like I did for the rhombus pieces.

Rhombus_Star_Cutting_Triangle_Background_01

Spin template for each cut. Don’t forget to cut the tiny corners at the bottom. Remember these are 60 degrees, so you will have to cut on both sides. One side will only be a sliver, though.

Rhombus_Star_Cutting_Triangle_Background_02

One strip will make 17 pieces. I cut mine with strip folded in half, so the 8 you see is really 16 pieces.

Rhombus_Star_Cutting_Triangle_Background_03

The setting triangle background pieces were cut from 3 7/8 wide strips, subcut 7 1/4 long, and then cut in half diagonally. One 3 7/8 wide strip cut the length of fabric makes 6 rectangles that will cut into 12 setting triangles, and therefore complete 3 blocks.
*You can round up to 4″ on the width since you will be squaring the blocks before assembly.
** This is piece will not be 60 degrees, even though I am attaching them to a 60 degree angled piece, for 2 reasons. 1 It’s easier to just make a diagonal cut from a rectangle, and 2 because I will be squaring up the block anyway.


I could have used my Super SideKick Ruler [which is 60 degrees] to make more exact setting pieces, but I was throwing this together as quickly as I could, and I didn’t feel like cutting these one at a time. For anyone wishing to make this, if you have the Super Sidekick ruler, use it to make your setting pieces, and your blocks will be more square.

These half blocks, made with the small ruler, measure 14.75″ on the long side by 6.5″
When completed as one whole block, they trim down to 12.25″ by 13.5″

Rhombus_Star_Sewing_Half_Block_Length_14.75Rhombus_Star_Sewing_Half_Block_Width_6.5

Now that I know what size these are, I will do a 4 block by 4 block quilt.

I am doing 16 square blocks, but leaving 2 of them as half blocks [for offset] so I will need:
48 blue diamonds [3 FQ’s]
48 red diamonds [3 FQ’s]
192 triangle background pieces from 11 1/2 strips cut 3 5/8″ wide. Yardage = 45″
64 setting triangle background pieces from 5 1/2 strips cut 3 7/8″ wide. Yardage = 24″
Basically, you’ll need about 2 yards of background fabric.
* I started with a 3 yard piece of background fabric, and after adding a 4″ outer border, I ended up with 1/2 yard left over.

The inner border is from scrappy yardage. The piece I used only had one selvage edge, and was about 38″ in some places, so I can’t give you exact yardage for that.

Tools I used:
Rhombus template
6″x24″ or other long ruler
15″ square ruler
Glo-tape to mark ruler for strips
G-Easy Ruler Stickers to use when squaring up blocks
stilletto [to poke the pieces under the needle when chain piecing, so they don’t shift]
seam roller [to press seams at your sewing machine when chain piecing]
Optional: Super Sidekick or other 60 degree ruler

 

Chain piecing time!

Rhombus_Star_Sewing_Seams_First

Because of the shape, I have found it goes together better if the 1st seam, which is a triangle on the botton right of the rhombus piece, is pressed to the rhombus piece. I use my clover seam roller for this.

Rhombus_Star_Sewing_Seams_First_PressClip

Trim the tiny ears, then sew the second triangle pieces on.

Rhombus_Star_Sewing_Seams_Second

Press the second triangle back to itself.

Rhombus_Star_Sewing_Seams_Second_Back

As you begin sewing these together, the seams will nest nicely.

Rhombus_Star_Sewing_Big_Block_Layout

Arrange in groups.

Rhombus_Star_Arranging_Groups

When sewing the setting pieces, be sure to over hang the triangle. I pin these to make sure they stay put. I don’t pin much, but I pin here, and anywhere I need seams to match.

Rhombus_Star_Sewing_Setting_Pieces

After all the halves have the side setting pieces, I sew all but 2 of the half blocks together, and then begin squaring them up.

Rhombus_Star_Finished_Block_Needs_Squaring

I marked the ruler to be sure the top and bottom star points all ended up in the same spot, because the points almost touch when assembled.

Rhombus_Star_Finished_Block_Needs_Squaring2

yeah, my setting blocks leave a lot of trmming. Use your Super sidekick if you have one.

Rhombus_Star_Finished_Block_Squared

Turned out pretty though, didn’t it?

Rhombus_Star_Finished_Block_Squared_Back

Lay out time! I  have a design bed.

Rhombus_Star_LayOut

Finished! With a 2.5″ [cut size] inner border, and a 4″ [cut size] outer border, this quilt measures 58×63.

Rhombus_Star_Finished_Frontside

I was a bit short on the binding, so I added some red pieces at 2″ intervals, and placed them in one corner to look like I did that on  purpose.

Rhombus_Star_Finished_Pieced_Binding

Once again, I stitched in  the ditch, and then did a diamond shaped figure 8 following the stars.

Rhombus_Star_Finished_Backside

The lables I ordered came in, and this is  the first quilt that gets one!

Rhombus_Star_Label_Backside

One final note:  If you have an old house and an awesome vintage percolator that  along with your iron excedes the amperage on that one circut, and you’re waiting for what seams like an extraordinarily long time for it to finish so you can turn the iron back on,

. . . please check to be sure Hubby put the lid on before plugging it in. Then send the picture to Hubby’s phone in the shop. Sew much nicer than the words I was thinking.

Rhombus_Star_Text_Picture_Failed_Coffee

I will make a couple more for Texas, and then get back to Sue. Sunbonnet Sue has waited 20 years to find her home in a quilt, and she can wait a few more weeks.

This quilt was a record for me, making it in just 7 days.  That means I missed the One monthly goal sign up date of Sept 7th. but some things are more important.  At least a dozen folks in Texas will feel our love.

My friend Sues quilt shown above with mine, was made using Bonnie Hunter’s Forth Of July pattern. and no, she was not the one pestering me about my lack of a printed pattern.

 

For those who watched Jenny’s video, and are having trouble making their quilt square, it is because Jenny forgot to mention that you have to add a ‘setting piece” to the ends of your rows. I used the small Rhombus, so I can’t give you the mesurements for the large one, but maybe these pictures will help you.

This is what Jenny did.

Rhombus_Star_EndOfRow_Setting_Pieces01

Option 2 is what I did. [I did it to each piece, but you only need it on the ends of your rows] Lay your piece on a grid and measure the “void” [shown in purple] then add 1/4 seam allowance. Then you can sew this piece on to your ends, and trim.

Rhombus_Star_EndOfRow_Setting_Pieces02

#HelpTexas #TexasGetsRedBandanas #RhombusStar #CheckCoffee

Quilty Top – Sleeveless shortcut

Quilty Top – Sleeveless shortcut

I learned this shorcut many years ago when making dresses to send to Guatamala. It was a way for us to make many dresses quickly, and without having to add binding/trim/edging ect. to the armholes. I made 30 of them in a week, so I know it works!
These dresses did not have a gathered front, like the top I made here, but the concept is the same.

I found this    Sleeveless Top Pattern    in a “free” box at an all day sew, and thought I’d make a quick summer top long enough to cover my hiney while sitting in those stacking chairs with the holes in the back that churches and banquets often use. When I got home, I scanned my pile of not-in-use quilt fabrics, and saw the fabric I wanted to use. A floral piece that was 50% rayon – sitting out because I didn’t know where to put it, and a left over batik from my office curtains. I am calling it my quilty top.

When I read the instructions, I imediately thought, oh no! I have to fuss with those armholes? I’m not ready for this! and then I remembered all those dresses I had made way back when.
The only difference is that, the top part that includes the armholes is in two pieces, so I would have to sew it first, then make a pattern piece for the lining from that. If using a pattern that includes the entire arm hole in a single piece, most of the work is already done for you. You can make your lining pieces from that.
After gathering the bottom piece of the front, and sewing it to the top piece, I added a cute top stitch. Gotta get my money’s worth outa that fancy machine!

 

I ironed it well, and laid it out on a piece of paper that often comes wadded up and stuffed in shipping boxes. Yes, I did iron the paper, too.
Then I traced around it, and cut it out.
I measured 3 1/4 of an inch down from the arm pit, and cut it off there.

I then matched it to the top of the pattern to make sure I got it right.

 

Pin to fabric, and cut.

Quilting_Top_Cut_Lining_Pieces
Hem each of these lining pieces at the bottom. I used my tiniest hemming foot. More gettin my money’s worth – this time with fancy feet.

Quilting_Top_Hem_Lining_Pieces

Now for the fun part.
I lay out the lining piece I made on top of the shirt piece right sides together, and sew the arms and the neck holes – but NOTHING else!
Repeat for the back.

Quilting_Top_Front_Sew_Lining_OnxQuilting_Top_Front_Sew_Lining_On_02

Clip the seam allowances on the curves, being careful not to clip into the seam.

Quilting_Top_Clip_Curves_To_Seam

Leave the back in the right sides together position. [inside out]
Turn the front right sides out.

Quilting_Top_Back_WSO_Front_RSO

Now insert the front “strap” part into the “strap” part of the back. Do this for both sets of straps.

To do that, pull it  through . . .

Quilting_Top_Back_Straps_Inserted_01

You want to make sure the seams line up nicely. Get your fingers in there and wiggle the fabric round, or whatever it takes, and pin it closed.

Quilting_Top_Back_Straps_Inserted_02

Pin and then sew across the top. It should look like this.

Quilting_Top_Back_Straps_Inserted_04

Remove some bulk, and turn inside out.

 

 

If it’s still bulky, turn it back, and trim more of the seam allowance.
If it looks a bit square in one spot, you can turn it back, and stitch a little closer on the sides.
I usually get it on the first try, but in case that doesn’t happen, just know that it ain’t over until it looks nice.

Quilting_Top_Back_Straps_Inserted_07Quilting_Top_Back_Straps_Inserted_08

Once that is done turn the shirt inside out, but not the shoulder seams [those are done], and sew the lining and the sides of the shirt together in one swoop! OK, make that two swoops!

Quilting_Top_Sew_Sides

Either fold seam over and top stitch the sides, or zigzag to prevent fraying. I was lazy.

Quilting_Top_Overkill_Or_Lazy

Turn right side out, and stitch around each arm hole, plus in the ditch right under the arm pit to hold the lining in place, and you’re ready to hem!

 

Quilting_Top_Finish_Arm_Holes
I fold my hem a 1/4, and machine baste, then turn a half inch and sew with matching thread. Nothing fancy there.

Finally, you  must wear it to your favorite fabric shop to see if anyone notices the bolt of fabric that matches your new quilty top!

 

Quilting_Top_Finished01

I like it, and it was  free because I didn’t buy anything for it. I saved the lining pattern pieces, so I can churn these puppies out whenever I’m in a new quilty top mood now.

#NewQuiltyTop #SleevelessTopHack #FinishedArmHoleHack #SurpriseYourLocalQuiltShop

One Monthly Goal

One Monthly Goal

I never joined groups before because I didn’t have time. The short version is that since I’ve changed jobs, I do have time, and I’ve been having more fun too!

One quilty project a month seams a  bit daunting, but I’ve been doing it pretty much all year sew far. I mean 5 quilts, a set of curtains, dish mat, tool bag, and even a shirt made out of left over quilt fabric [with a pattern I got at an all day sew], sew I guess I really have been doing it all along. Why not join the OMG group? Sure, maybe I’ll join and then fall apart.  but I’ll try again. Sew here we go . . .

One Monthly Goal 

and something else I’ve recently joined because I didn’t have time before was the  fabric Shop Hop
which gave me quite the tour of internet fabric shops. It took me a week, but I found all of those elusive wabbits!

I can hardly wait to see what I come up with next!

Oh, and I’ll be posting a shortcut for making sleeveless tops out of quilt fabric soon . . .

Hint, my shortcut eliminates binding the arm holes.

but if you need to look at something pretty for now, how about this stock pile of KFC [Kaffe Fasset, Brandon Mably, and Philip Jacobs] fabrics for an upcomming Back To School project . . .

KFC_NotTryinToQuiltBuyin

#FunStuff #BackToSchool

Ugly Jelly Part deux Gets Prettier – Baby Quilt

Ugly Jelly Part deux Gets Prettier – Baby Quilt

Sew, when I last posted, I had a pile of scrap strips sets left over, from the Ugly Jelly Part deux – Baby Quilt, waiting to be made into a quilt for the other Twin baby. At first, it didn’t look promising.

Stripped_PinWheel_Fabric_Leftovers

I really liked the Arkansas Traveler block and had it on my todo list. There are several versions, of this 4 patch diamond in a square block, but they are all put together with the diamonds touching in the middle, making a striking pattern.

Arkansas Traveler Block that inspired me is located here.

Looking at it for the first time, I already knew there had to be a way to make it with strips sets, and skip the paper piecing. I filed it away in my brain to make it one day.
After about 48 hours of contemplating how to make a quilt out of the scraps from yet another ugly jelly quilt, The part of my brain that had stored this pattern, and the part that was looking for a pattern finally lined up. This could be the perfect block. They were in strip sets already, and I wanted to make this block in strip sets, so why not?

As it turned out, some ladies I met at my first all day sew, spied my featherweight, and told me about a new FW [Do I have to keep spelling out Featherweight?] group that was to meet the first Fri of the month, and even though I had to work that Fri, I went after work. For an hour. I usuallly don’t work on Friday’s but sometimes I do. [Can you say “more pretty fabric?”] Why not check out this group for an hour instead of being stuck there all day possibly feeling uncomfortable, right? I mean, I have never been in any sort of sewing group before. I hoped it wouldn’t be like school where people form groups simply to exclude other people. I really like my FW, but it’s just a sewing machine. It doesn’t make me better than anyone else. It turned out that they were all very nice ladies, and no one gave me that first day at high school impression. Yay!
Being ya’ll don’t know me that well yet, I’ll just tell you I am very curious. I like to know how stuff works, and won’t stop until I find out, and I poke around in stores, just to see if they have anything that looks either pretty or handy. Seeing I didn’t have any time to sew, I did just that. Low and behold, I found June Tailor’s “Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend” 60 degree slotted ruler! Oh yeah, I’m a ruler junky, too. “I need this” I announced. I probably startled somebody, but was too excited to care.
I had already made a few cuts in my strip sets, but it had been slow going. Too much time aligning the ruler for one cut. Ugh! I rushed home with my new toy, and unwrapped this baby quickly. Easy to line up,  make 3  cuts, and get 2 at a time.

Then I paired up my 2 piece diamond strips, and began sewing them together.

That was the easy part. Oh, it wouldn’t have been, if I had to cut each diamond and make 4 patches out of them. Thank you June Tailor!

Now to take that paper piece template, cut the 2 pieces a little bigger than neccessary, and cut those from strips instead of using larger cuts to paper piece. I used 2.5 by 9 inch long strips for the small pieces, and 2.5 by 11 inches long for the large ones. Any left overs were cut into 2.5 by 2.5 squares for other quilts.

I taped the template piece to my ruler, and lined it up at and angle to cut.

Then I chain pieced one semi-triangular piece to my 4 patch diamonds at a time. These don’t have to be perfect because like the paper piece pattern, I will be trimming each finished block.

The other Arkansas Traveler quilts I have seen, all have the 4 blocks sewn together points tounching, to make the larger blocks.  One quilt I saw has these large blocks alternate with the same size block in the background fabric, which I liked the look of, but a baby quilt is too small for the alternate pattern to show up, so I had an idea.

Arkanasa_Traveler_Blocks_SquaringUp

Instead of sewing all 4 of the diamond blocks together to make one block, I would sash them and use cornerstones that alternate the color and background fabrics.

Arkanasa_Traveler_Block_Assembled

No matter where your eyes fall on it, the blocks join their neighbor to make the bigger block. It also looks a bit like butterflys.

Arkansas_Traveler_Top_50x57

I hadn’t put a border on the matching pinwheel quilt yet, because I want to make these quilts the same size. Which turned out to be a good thing, because this quilt was too long. Ugh! First I removed a row. Then it was too short. So I unsewed the row in half, then turned it to match the pattern, and sewed the half row back on.

The pinwheel was quilted with straight lines in the ditch outlining the pinwheels. Then I read the quilt spacing specs for the batting I was using [2 to 4 inches – who DOES that?], and after kicking myself for buying this batting, I had Emmy Lou do her serpentine stitch through the middle of each one.
This Arkansas Traveler was quilted in the ditch down the sides of the long sashing pieces first. Then I came in on the sides following the sashing, and stopping at every 4 patch diamond, and did a sort of figure eight encasing two of the diamond patches.

Arkanasa_Traveler_Quilting

That was a lot of turning, but I like how it looks, and I think I made my 2 to 4 inches.

Arkanasa_Traveler_Quilting01

After borders, I had 50×55 [with a 4 inch border] for the pinwheel and 50×57 [with 2 inch border] for the Arkansas Traveler and I’m calling it close enough!

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They both got the same binding, washed up nice, and are boxed and ready to ship.
I really like these twin quilts. It almost looks like I know what I’m doing.
I am really done with pink now.

#ArkansasTraveler #TwinQuilts #DoneWithPink #UglyJellyQuilt #UglyHasATwinSister #IfItsStillUglyYouDidntCutItSmallEnough