Thursday, June 15, 2017

Americana Sawtooth Stars - Tutorial - Photo Heavy

Think American Flag, true red, white on whites, and navy blue. Use your best fabrics, and the white on whites can be scrappy and mixed up. So can the blues and reds. This is meant to be a fun, fast, and easy block! 

You have to make 4 flying geese (FG) blocks for this star and here is a step by step photo lesson to make 4 in the Elanor Burns method. 

Remember, the LARGER block will be your STAR POINTS. 
Cut a 6" block of your star point fabric and layer, RST, your white on white background square that has been cut 4 1/2"  To use a quick method to center the white block, lay down your ruler at the 3/4" mark and line up your white block to the ruler.  Draw a line corner to corner and stitch 1/4" on either side.
Cut RIGHT on the marked line.

Press to the dark side and you will have two of these blocks

:Layer the blocks, RST, matching up the outside edges.

The center seams will NOT match up and that is perfect.

Draw a line, corner to corner and stitch 1/4" on either side of this line.

Again, you will cut right on the line.

Make a snip in the center of the seam and don't worry about going into the stitching line.

This snip allows your block to lay flat when you press to the dark.  The center will twist where you put that snip.

You should now have 2 blocks that look like this.  Right and wrong side of each.  Yup, that's my coffee cup photo bombing this shot!.

Now you need to cut out your two 2" x 3 1/2" FG from each of these blocks and you do NOT need a special ruler.  Just grab your 6" x 12" ruler and follow along.  Look at the pencil point for reference.
Using the 45 degree line as reference, lay your ruler to match up this grid line with the edge of the FG, making sure you have a 1/4" extra at the point of the FG for the seam allowance.   Remember, 2" x 3 /12" will be our measurement.

Once you have your ruler lined up with the 45 degree line, and the 1/4" extra at the point,  make sure you have some overhang so you can trim this to 2" 

Take the first cut to split your FG from the patchwork

Flip the block around and then using the cut edge, make your second trim to 2"
Easy, right?
Now you have to make the FG 3 1/2" wide and this is also super easy.  Look at the pencil point at the bottom right of the picture below.  It is lined up right at the edge of the white/red patchwork  and the ruler has been lined up along the top and bottom to make sure you have a straight cut.
At the same time, you can see below, that the left side also lines up at the 3 1/2" mark, and Bingo, that is what we want. 
Trim the right side, flip the block and trim the left side to give you a perfect 2" x 3 1/2" FG block
You will end up with FOUR.

Your center block is cut 3 1/2"  and your four corner blocks are cut  2" 

Sew together just like a 9 patch, because that's exactly what we have here.  Below is a two toned star,

Mix it up, I've shown several options.  Here the center is white and notice my white on whites are all scrappy.
A solid red star, you can't go wrong with this one!

Here I put in a liberated mini star for the center block. Just for fun.....

They will all finish at 6" when the quilt is built, so have fun. 
Any questions, just send me a message in the comment section and I'll get back to you asap.
Happy Stitching,

Monday, June 12, 2017

Vintage 1930's Textiles

I'm looking for any type of feedback/info/ideas as to what to do with some of the following pieces.  These came to my studio after being moved and stored for many years.  The owner is NOT a quilter and is looking for more information that I can offer her. 
First up, a DWR
with a very funky outside edge. 

Lots of puckering and tucks

Corner shows the funky edge.

D cup?  Biggest question, should this be machine quilted or is it just not worth that effort? or will it be an epic fail if I try to machine quilt with this piecing?

BOW TIES with signatures.  All make by workers at the Klink Packing House in Ivanhoe, CA
 circa 1950's
Some great prints.

There are 50 blocks approx 10" x 10" and I plan to trim, piece and turn these into a quilt.  Any info or knowledge of anyone who worked at this place in the 50's.  It's still operating, so this might turn into an interesting project.

Next up for this post, string stars foundation pieced on paper

a great variety of prints, but to put these into a top, the time invested would be great.

Looks like magazines rather that newspapers,

and I can find two dates, 1936 and 1940

blocks measure approx. 24" from point to point and I have 17 of them. 

Last up, a crazy patchwork that has been foundation pieced, but not in the traditional sense.

All the blocks have been topstitched, so the quilter turned under the edge of each piece, layered it on the block and topstitched it down.
Some fun prints, and a very different fabric was used in 4-5 colors.  There is blue in above photo, and burg in the top left corner of photo below.

This is a much heavier fabric and all colors have this gold colored thread woven through it.
Foundation backing, all in very good condition.
Here the sheen really shows up, a tie fabric?  Can't imagine it being a suit fabric.
Any thoughts or suggestions?  I will post more photos this week. 

Thanks, in advance, for any assistance or ideas. 

Monday, May 29, 2017

Alaska Cruise Part II

Many people were on the cruise as a way to see Alaska and all the beautiful scenery. Me, I was all about the cruise!
Here are a few pictures from our two ports, Juneau and Ketchikan

We were encouraged to take the tram in Juneau, and I'm very glad that we did. The vistas are amazing and it was certainly worth it. If you are a hiker, I would definitely recommend you do this and prepare to spend a few hours up on the mountain.
Look at this view, simply amazing

Photos don't do this justice, so if you find yourself in Juneau, take the tram.

Looking back, this is the entrance to the port.

The trees were really cool up here, the trunks all seem to bend at the base and then find their way up. 

There are lots of hiking trails and fantastic photo op's up here.  Many trails still had compact snow/ice and some were quite muddy.  I'm sure the summertime brings many hikers up here.  You could spend hours on the trails.

Back in town, the iconic Red Dog Saloon takes center stage on the corner of the main street.  The downtown was under major road construction, but I made my way to the quilt shop.  Jan couldn't have been nicer and her shop is fabulous.  A lot of variety, some fantastic local designer patterns and definitely worth a visit.

On our stroll back to the ship, we sat on the pier and soaked up the sunshine.  We had amazing weather all three days ashore.  I couldn't resist snapping a picture of the worn patina look on these old boards along the ocean.

Our third port day was Ketchikan. The skies opened up, washed the town, and then by the time I was organized to go ashore, I put back my rain hat and coat and headed out into the glorious sun. My guy stayed on the ship, so I wandered the town and around until I ended up in the local quilt shop. Then I found a wonderful Christmas tree ornament hand painted on bark by a local artist. I was pleased to make this purchase and headed back to the ship.

There are lots of totem poles in Ketchikan, and the flowers and trees were just starting to break out in bloom

I couldn't resist snapping a picture of this floor

There was also a bit of quilting inspiration on the ship.  The carpets also had some very cool Mariners star/compass motifs, but, I guess I was just too busy to take those pictures. 

Yes, the cruise, the Coral Princess ship.  Oh my, I've never been so pampered and overwhelmed with amazing service.  We LOVED every minute of being on the ship and the staff could not have done anything better or been more polite and friendly.  I was blown away by that.  Every person who works in any type of service industry should be sent on a 3 day cruise to see what good service looks like.  And these people are away from home, their babies, wives/husbands/family.  One guy had a new baby he hasn't seen yet............we were humbled by their attitude and generous spirit.

and yes, we have made a deposit on another cruise, but we have two years to make that plan.

I was so busy exploring and enjoying all that was on board that I only stitched 4 blocks.  They each take an hour so that's how much 'down time' I had.  Didn't even crack my book.
Keep stitching,