Saturday, August 31, 2013

Comparing Trips

While I continue to play with the border I thought it would be fun to look at different trips. They've been posted before, but I like grouping smaller photos for easy comparison. Block choice really affects the quilt, as does fabric. Google search to find more examples.

A single-bed sized Trip Around the World quilt in oranges and blues.
Trip Around the World
Blocks of scrap fabrics are laid out as Mini-Trips Around the World
Mini Trips Around the World (layout)

Two alternate blocks laid out in Trip Around the Block format
Trip Around the Block (layout)
Scrappy Trip made of mostly green and pink fabrics
Scrappy Trips

Original Trip Around the World creates one large diamond. (If you don't want the diamond effect, Postage Stamps looks like one quadrant of the original trip.) Mini Trips Around the World are made with multiple smaller Trips... more trips but fewer rounds in each trip.

Scrappy Trip block is composed of squares laid on one diagonal like a mini postage stamp. Rotating the blocks creates diamond shapes and strong sides that disappear at block boundaries. But blocks don't have to be rotated. Look at Sujata Shah's gorgeous quilts for alternative settings. Asymmetrical blocks like Scrappy Trip have more setting variations than ones like the other trips. Bonnie Hunter has examples and instructions for these quilts on her site: Quiltsville Trip and Quiltsville Scrappy Trip. (Note: I didn't use her method for my first Trip; the rounds don't repeat regularly.)

Trip Around the Block uses two blocks to establish strong center diamonds and grids. Value variations occur at block boundaries again but are subtly different than Scrappy Trip.

Isn't it amazing the different quilts you can make with only squares?

Fret not; enjoy the day. Ann

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Trip Around the Block Border Ideas

The blocks are together. To make the quilt large enough I need to make another set of blocks around all sides or add a border. Here are some borders I've been considering.

A scrap of this border made a star center in the middle of one of the O-blocks and reminded me to look for this fabric in my stash. It influenced the direction of my fabric choices but the border is a bit narrow for such a large quilt. And there is not enough to complete the border. So I either need to find some fabrics to enlarge (and lengthen) it or save it for a lap quilt.
Auditioning brightly printed fabric for quilt border
Sawtooth border fabric
I bought this Henry Glass fabric recently because it looked like a perfect binding or narrow border. The colors actually blend with the sawtooth border fabric.

Auditioning striped fabric for a quilt border
Repeat stripe border fabric
This is a border I drafted using six-pointed stars. It's not pieced yet so the stars are still too large. If I use it the stars will be multicolored. The innermost fabric is an old Nancy Crow ombre stripe followed by a sweet pink random dot print. I love the black & white stripe but are there too many dots?

Auditioning six-pointed stars for a quilt border
Pieced star border
On graph paper the space between the stars is the same length as the star width. But what if the stars lined up with the X-block centers?

Arranging blue six-pointed stars for a quilt border
Pieced star border aligned with X-blocks

Fret not; enjoy the day. Ann

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Bullseye Quilt

My husband and I bought a California King bed for our California apartment. The quilts I had looked like toppers on this gigantic bed so I finally decided to make one to fit. Then I recalled this one - never quilted because it was so big (98" by 118".)

Bullseye blocks paired with alternating blue and brown fabric strips create an original quilt
Blue & Brown Bullseye Quilt
It was one of my 'brilliant' ideas. My sister and I make usually make a small project when I visit her home. Why not instead start a large project and put it in storage between visits? Great idea except... we couldn't remember exactly what-we-planned/where-we-stopped from one visit to the next. In 2004 I finally snuck blocks home to finish the tops.

We used her dinner and salad plates to cut circles from all our leftover fabric. (We were going to use the saucers too but the blocks were already very thick since we didn't trim behind the circles.) We cut the circles into quarters and topstitched them onto 5" finished beige blocks. At the end of that visit there were enough blocks to make three queen-size tops and a lap quilt. Yikes. Guess we forgot to count.
Two Bullseye blocks surrounded by light blue-dark brown or dark blue-tan sashing.
The two alternately colored bullseye blocks
I found the two 'cross' fabrics in my stash and realized they had the same colors with different backgrounds. The light one is a leaf print while the dark one is a Civil War reproduction. Those made 2" by 5" light and dark brown rectangles in the bullseyes. Then I paired a dark blue with a tan or a light blue with a dark brown to enlarge each bullseye to a 20" block. The border is a similar treatment. And that's how it got so large.

Detail of free-motion quilting on Bullseye quilt block
Quilting detail on Bullseye quilt
Last year I finally quilted this top. I stippled the beige areas, quilted Orange Peels in the blue/brown borders of each block and concentric circle patterns in the bullseyes. The only problem was that the orange peel grid had to be hand-drawn since it was on the diagonal of two-inch strips. Perhaps someone will make a linear stencil with a "square root of two" spacing soon.

All the quilting was done with Metler Fine Embroidery thread on my home machine - a Bernina 1230. The batting is Mountain Mist Blue Ribbon Cotton.

Quilt back highlights detailed quilting
Back and binding of bullseye quilt
This is currently on the California bed. But since we installed heavier drapes to dim the streetlights, the room is very dark. Now the room needs a lighter quilt... like the Trips Around the Block. Or perhaps I just need to make another excessively large quilt.

Fret not; enjoy the day. Ann

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Trip Around the Block: The X-Blocks

Here are the latest X-blocks for Trip Around the Block. A few more and it will be ready to put together.
X-blocks for Trip Around the Block
Fret not; enjoy the day, Ann

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Progressing Around the Block

I finished all the O-blocks for Trip Around the Block. Here are the latest ones, laid out like Mini Trips Around the World.
Mini-Trips Around the World made of scrap fabric
These blocks are set like a Mini Trip Around the World, but they are just half the blocks I'll use.

Fret not; enjoy the day. Ann

Saturday, August 10, 2013

A Quilt of Baby Clothes

Look what my sister made! A friend wanted to display her daughter's baby clothes so my sister made this wall-hanging. She framed the t-shirts squares to set them off and sewed some headbands on, too. Then she very cleverly appliqued the cutest outfits on the quilt, hand tacking the skirts to add dimension.
Baby Clothes quilt by my wonderful sister

And she added Texas Mink in pink. I snapped this photo at the quilt show last year and just found it again. 

Congratulations, Sis!


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Model T... T-Shirt, That Is

T-shirt quilts are highly individual but here's my basic plan, subject to all types of variation. A three by four grid of twelve-inch blocks with 3-inch sashing and a 4.5 inch border finishes 57 inches by 72 inches. I like wide sashing for three reasons: it adds color, it allows room for part-pieced/part-appliqued blocks and it gives more placement options for small applique pieces.
Twelve t-shirts with red sashing, blue posts and a border of multi-colored Texas Mink fringe.
University of Texas Delta Gamma t-shirt quilt
  • The sashing needs 31 rectangles cut 3.5" by 12.5". I buy 1.25 yards.
  • There are 20 posts cut 3.5" square. I buy a quarter yard or a fat quarter.
The sashing can be wider or narrower. Sashing on the pastel quilt in the Texas Mink post is much wider to include an entire bird while that on the Grumpy Cupid is slightly narrower (the width of one repeat.) Changing the size of the t-shirt blocks also changes the length of the sashing.

Borders with Texas Mink are 4.5" wide. Since the Mink covers the underlying fabric a pieced, un-mitered border will not be noticed. I buy 1.25 yards and cut seven strips the width of the 40" fabric. If you use a stripe or you don't want the lengths pieced you will need to buy more.
Default layout of t-shirt quilt. Border is not this wide.
Fret not; enjoy the day.


Saturday, August 3, 2013

More Trips Around the Block

Here are the blocks I finished yesterday. Just a few more to make.
O blocks for Trips Around the Block