Sunday, January 29, 2017

Westering Women BOM

Today I finished sewing the last blocks for the Westering Women BOM from Barbara Brackman, on the Civil War Quilts blog.

This is the November block - Bear's Paw.

This one is the December block - Road to California.

I even finished putting together the quilt top!
I decided that I wanted the quilt to be a bit smaller (to fit a 60" wide plush backing I have), so I used 2" sashing and 5" for the outer border. The quilt top is 54"x68". The blocks are 12".
The patterns for this BOM will only be available online for a few more months, then they will be a paid pattern. The new block of the month (Yankee Diary) started this week on the Civil War Quilts blog, so now I can start that one, but first I need to finish quilting my Medallion quilt.

Lately I have been working on appliqué because yesterday I taught an appliqué class to a local quilt group - I thought every one did so well, I had such a good time and met such wonderful ladies.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Another Table Mat!

This week I made a table mat, and thought I would share the process in case some one wanted to make something similar.

This has pieced Log Cabin blocks and simple appliqué. 

It is about 14"x25" - the centre is 10"x15" using six 5" blocks.

The 5" Log Cabins are made up of 1" strips and are a great way to use up small pieces of fabric (I got out my bowl of leftover pieces of fabric).

To make things easier for myself I place masking tape labels on the the cutting table to make sure I cut out all the pieces I need.

Log cabin blocks are my favourite to make (I love the cutting, the piecing, the different ways they can be laid out....).
I am slowly learning that they look best with a strong contrast in light and dark, also with a good mix of print sizes (scale of the print), with some odd 'zingers' of fabric thrown in for fun (someone wise once told me that if I didn't like a fabric it was because I hadn't cut it into small enough pieces - this is the perfect time to use odd fabric).

These blocks have 1/2" finished 'Logs' with 1" finished centres. Cut the strips parallel to the selvage (if you are using scraps you can snap the piece and it should make a slight 'ping' noise and have little/no stretch). Some people like to make Log Cabins without pre-cutting all the pieces, but I find it easier to have them all pre-cut.

For each 5" Log Cabin Block Cut -

1+1/2 square for the centre (all mine are the same fabric).
The logs are made with 1" cut strips, cut to the following lengths -
           1+1/2" light only, for the following both light and dark are needed - 2" , 2+1/2", 3",
           3+1/2", 4", 4+1/2", 5", and from the dark only 5+1/2".

Cut out 6 of each size for the 6 blocks.

If you wanted to have the centres cut to 1" like the Logs, then decrease all the strip lengths by 1/2" and the finished block will measure 4+1/2".

I like this Creative Grids ruler for cutting out the Logs.

The pieces will be chain pieced in this order.

Chain piecing in progress.

When I was cutting out the fabric I tried to only use the same fabric just once or twice, because there were only 6 blocks I laid out the strips I was going to use before sewing to make sure one block didn't use the same fabric twice.

Once all the blocks were finished I sewed them together in a Fields and Furrows layout - there are other options for layouts, especially if you have more blocks.

I wanted a long and narrow table mat for my coffee table so added uneven borders -

2+1/2' and 5+1/2" borders for mine,

It would be great with even borders too.

For the appliqué I used my favourite invisible machine appliqué technique - link to my tutorial.

I opted for simple circle appliqué pieces (this is a handy circle template from an office supply store), traced straight on to some freezer paper. I used 2+1/4", 2" and 1+1/4" circles with a couple smaller ones for the flower centres.

For the leaves I used a circle (1+3/4") with a V added to shape it into a leaf.

All the leaves were the same size, so I only drew out one, stapled it to a few layers of freezer  paper and cut them all out together -

This worked the same for the circles.

To make things easier when pressing the fabric to the freezer paper I basted around the shapes with a small running stitch to gather the seam allowance evenly to the shape.

 The appliqué pieces all ready for stitching.

Now comes the fun part of deciding how all the pieces will go.

I chose a simple layout in the large side border.

Stitched down the first layer,

cut the backing and removed the paper,

 before adding the next layer of pieces.

For the appliqué stitching I used Invisafil by Wonderfil thread - a 100wt thread that blends beautifully,

and really becomes invisible.

I have made quite a few quilted items with this appliqué technique, and am amazed how well it stands up to lots of use and washing - the fabric has shown signs of wear with no change to the appliqué stitching.

I used Aurifil 50wt thread top and bobbin for the free motion quilting. Parallel lines in the dark sections of the blocks, and feathers in the light sections of the blocks. A chose a wavy 'parallel' line for the borders. Embellished the leaves with 'veins' and stitched spirals in the flowers. Since this is a table mat I like a lot of stitching to make sure that is flat so mugs and glasses aren't tippy on it. I used 2 layers of batting (this time one silk and one cotton, just because I had the right size leftover pieces).

More Log Cabins on the couch, well one is a Courthouse Steps, but close enough.

If you decide to make something similar please send me a picture so I can share it here.

This is my Mother's version - no appliqué and simple walking foot quilting.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!
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