21 June 2021

Quick Patriotic Table Runner Tutorial

 If you are like me, summer rolls around and
red, white and blue starts calling your name.
So fun and cheery, so patriotic and so SUMMER!

If you are also like me in that you've waited till now
you weren't inspired till now to start making
some R,W&B decor,  I've got a quick project that
you likely can make from scraps or your stash. 
Even better, it's a batting-buster project!

(this slightly-longer runner was gifted)

I'm not a big tutorial writer so please be patient
with me.  I'm assuming you are familiar with the
quilt-as-you-go method so what I'm really providing
are some general measurements and directions.
If you are not familiar with this method please

I didn't feel the star block needed to be completely
quilted in so, I pieced the first sections traditionally,
then moved over to the quilt-as-you-go method.  

I don't have amounts for fabric requirements
 but you don't need much--you can eye it.
You could go real scrappy and use a different
fabric for each piece.  Whatever works.
For a longer (or shorter) runner, add (subtract)
strips as desired.  

~ a scrap piece of batting approx 12" x 30" ~
~ backing fabric approx 12" x 30 ~
~ fabric scraps: red, ivory (or white) and blue ~
~ 2 gold strips at least 11" or more long ~

From the blue(s) cut
(1) 5x5 square
(4) 3 3/8 x 3 3/8 squares*

*cut these 4 squares diagonally to make 8 triangles

From the red(s) cut
(8) 2 x 11 strips

From the ivory(ies) cut
(6) 2 x 11 strips
(4) 2 3/4 x 2 3/4 squares
(1) 5 3/4 x5 3/4 square**

 **Cut this square diagonally to make 4 triangles

From the gold cut
(2) 1 1/4 x 11 strips

Starting out with a little traditional piecing
for some of the star construction:

 Right sides together, stitch one ivory triangle and
one blue triangle together as shown.

Press seam to the dark side and repeat
with other side as shown.

Press open and trim.  Repeat to make (4)
flying geese sections.  Set (2) sections aside. 

Sew a 2 3/4" ivory square to each side of the
remaining (2) flying geese sections.  Press seams
outward (toward the ivory).

From here on, it's the "quilt-as-you-go" method.
Note:  I did not trim the edges of my scrap batting
to make them straight because I felt I had enough
space to allow for error
(or maybe I just like livin' on the edge?) 
but it would certainly be helpful to do so.

Place your backing on your table, wrong side up.
Find the exact center of your batting by folding both
vertically and horizontally and finger press in each
direction to mark the center. 
Repeat this with the 5" blue square.  
Center batting on top of backing.  With right side up,
line up the center of the blue square to the center
 of your batting, being careful to make sure it's 
straight horizontally and vertically.

Place one flying geese section as pictured,
right sides together, on top of your square.
Pin in place.

Stitch and press open.

Attach remaining flying geese section
to the bottom in same manner.  Press open.

Attach the longer geese sections to each side
in the same manner, pressing out as you go.

Place a gold strip, right sides together, on each
side of the star and pin; stitch & press out.
The gold strip is optional but I like the little
pop of color and definition it gives to the star.

Here's where I'm at so far with my two runners.

Continue to add strips in the same manner,
pressing out well as you go to ensure your
 strips stay straight.  I suggest even checking
the distance from points on your star.  

If you're not a pinner, (I'm usually not),
this is one of those times that you
should listen to that naggy voice that says,
 "Hey, Cheree, I bet it would be helpful to pin this,"
but I hope your voice calls you by your own name
and not mine because that would be really weird.

So anyhoo, keep on adding strips until
you've reached the length you want.

Lining your ruler up along the edge of
the star block, trim off all excess.  

I don't know about you, but I feel tidier already!
Bind.  And you're done!

I've been showing both runners so you could see
the slight difference in look.  Mine is a little shorter
and has the white (ivory) strips on the outside;
The red binding still gives it that dark edge.

This runner is yours to do with as you wish
personally (no selling) but please send some
love back by linking here for props.
Let's give credit where it's due, eh?

Now, go have an espresso martini with a friend...
which is exactly what I did after making mine!

Happy quilting and see you tomorrow
for the Tuesday To-Do link up!

14 June 2021

2021 Tuesday To-Do #21

A happy hello to the Tuesday To-Do'ers out
there, to Chris Knits for providing the
link-up and to everyone else.

Firstly, to you email subscribers:  I am sorry for the
double dose!   If you don't see a new email from
Mailchimp along with the old one, check your
junk mail.  If you still don't see it, you might try
subscribing over to the right.  To the best of
my knowledge (for whatever that's worth!), that
should now be switched to Mailchimp too. 
A word from anyone out there that it's working 
would be great since I'll be deleting the old
account in the next 24 hours.  (I am aware I
still have issues to iron out though!)

As we're nearing the half-way mark on 2021, I see
I've had some pretty exciting things going on.  I've had
some finishes, placed first in a quilt contest and made
some rewarding contributions to charities.  I've also
sold three quilts so far this year (proceeds to charity). 
 I keep this behind the scenes for the most part
but the latest one has me just so happy!

I received the kindest message of appreciation
and pics of my West Point Stars being used in
a soldier's home.
(Pics here are mine)
It has gotten the attention of friends/classmates
so he is referring them to me!  It's all a little beyond
words but I am incredibly grateful and so touched to
see my quilt displayed in the home of an Old Grad!

 This was a big moment for this quilt-maker:
to see a real appreciation of what I do!  I sure
struggle with that sometimes so God bless him,
and God bless him for his service!

It would sure be fun to make and give a quilt to
 every US soldier, but that's not exactly realistic so I
will just keep doing what I'm doing.  The proceeds
from this quilt are going back to West Point at least.
So of course making more West Point quilts
is again a priority on the to-do list.
For real this time.  ASAP!
(I just need more hours in the day!)

Alrighty, let's hit the weekly check-in:

Positivity QAL
Finish cutting out both
This has been really fun sewing and I've made a lot
of progress on my first one.  Even though I'm still
slightly questioning my scrappy negative space, I
do love the colors and how this whole project is
taking me out of my mostly-normal quilt zone.
I definitely enjoy getting out occasionally.

As I'm pressing seams, I'm taking the extra step
to press a crease in the center of my plus pieces
and using this to help align them more perfectly.

I just like a little extra assurance that those pieces
will sit exactly across from each other.  It's not a
new technique to most of you but maybe this
might help at least one QAL'er out there?

As for my progress, I am pretty close to finishing
the blocks for this one.  I was going to keep the
dark plus marks to only 5 but I could do 2 more?
This is not my final layout and I have two more
rows to add yet so...thoughts? 

For quilt two, I'm still playing around with my fabrics
for a black/ivory look.  The Les Poulets (by Windham)
collection gave me the inspiration but a lot of it isn't quite
 right--some tones are too cool, others the print too big.  
I have two sets though so pulling a few out of one
shouldn't hurt any future project(s) those go to.

Finish quilting:  Done.
Just needs binding.

HST Runner
Quilt:  Done
Just needs binding.

A side-note:  I'm completely caught up on all
long-arm quilting!   I have a to-bind pile instead.

 Project Re-Do the Front Flower Beds
Lots of work but the first section is done!  YAY!
Unless we get a nice cool spell, the rest will have
to wait till fall but I love how it's looking so far.
No pics right now.

Out in the veggie garden, I've called an end to
asparagus season and the strawberries are done.

Still getting lettuces/spinach and radishes; now
picking zucchini, yellow squash, cabbage, potatoes
 and beets.  The green beans will be ready any time.
There are lots of tomatoes on and the peppers
are blooming.  

My upcoming week looks to be above-average on
the activity level (appointments, housework, etc)
and my to-do list here is fairly aggressive but
maybe I can somehow make it all work.

West Point Quilt(s):  Choose design and pull fabrics

Positivity QAL:   Finish blocks; arrange on wall
Finalize other fabric selection and cut

HST Runner:  Finish (bind)

Placemats:  Finish (bind)

Patriotic runner:  
For entry table
Might just be a simple quilt-as-you-go.

Gardening:   Prep for fall crops--yes, already!

Good luck to you all this week.
Stay cool and sew lots!
Happy quilting!

07 June 2021

2021 Tuesday To-Do #20

Who let Tuesday in already?
I keep thinking one of these weeks I'm just
gonna kill it...but alas, not this week!
I have some bits to share so here we go:

Pull fabric, start cutting.

I love the new Smoke and Rust fabric line but I
want to stick to my stash so right now, I have these
cut out so far.  The pluses will mostly be dark rust
but the plan is to throw just a few black and/or
dark charcoal in for some added interest.

My fabrics are pretty scrappy and not very mod,
or perhaps even trickier is that they're a mix
of everything, so I'm not real sure how this will
turn out but...I like them so that's a positive sign.
I need to hit the LQS for a few more fabrics.

I've been thinking that two is better than one
so, why not?   It is summer after all!
I'll share the pull for a second one soon.

2) HST & Outdoor Sewing

Hallelujah I finally made it outside for some
outdoor sewing and you can read about it here.

 Most of these HST's needed trimming so that
did add some time but having them all made
up really made these blocks a lot of fun.

I finished the top of my runner but it's on the
longarm so no pic yet.  I'll save that for next time.
Along with the scrap HST's, this project also used
up some scraps and stash and scrap batting.
A win-win-win-win.

Last [dangerous] thoughts:  I'm not someone who
keeps every little thing but I really don't think
I'll ever toss another set of HST trimmings.

3) Three sets of Placemats
One Done.

I previously mentioned I'd be making a patriotic set
but I think these cover that well enough so that time
would be better spent working on other projects.

I played around with minimal quilting on these
but I plan on doing more on the next set.

4) Gardening
Prune tomatoes, peppersenjoy the bounty.
I know I'm stating the obvious but fewer plants
has really made this much easier than last year.

This is the time of year where I can't get enough of
my garden, especially when the weather cooperates!
Hubs was doing some pool maintenance so excuse
the backwash hose.  My timing.  Oy.
(Don't worry, it's not draining in the garden!)

Fabric Tracking
My efforts have had a positive effect, or rather a
negative one, depending on how you look at it.
In summary, this is where I'm at for 2021:

Purchases:  50.75 yds
Used: 54.06 yds
Net: -3.31yds

It kinda floors me that I've purchased that much
fabric but I had some unusual January clearance
purchases--this isn't normal so, eh, no biggie.
The good news is, it's all going the right direction
which is the purpose of this whole thing.  I do have
that Shop Hop in the fall so much stash-busting
is needed.  Luckily, that's my favorite Rx!

I'm sure you've already seen that Blogger is nixing
the email subscription option so, a couple notes:
I am on Bloglovin' if that works for anyone.
I also have been working with Mailchimp to try
to switch things over seamlessly.  Sloooowly,
because I despise dinking with stuff like that
when I could be sewing, or gardening or, frankly,
be cleaning the toilets because I'd really rather
do about anything than mess with technology.

Now looking ahead:

I'm taking a break from any HST projects for awhile.
So this week it's just:

Positivity QAL
Finish cutting both

Finish second set

The rainy days are over so time to water.  Also, I've
finally begun Project Re-Do the Front Flower Beds.
Our focus is more and more going to our backyard
haven, along with the veg garden so I'm looking to
make the front more inviting, sure, but with a simpler
look, and most especially a simpler upkeep.

Happy quilting!
Linking up to:

03 June 2021

Get Out!

 I've only been talking about this for months.

I finally did it!

The weather was perfect.

In just a couple trips from the house,
I had everything I needed.

My "travel" machine, iron and board, cutting mat.

This little travel iron rocks, btw.

If you follow me on Instagram, you likely saw
that I had a little visitor--he is no longer with us.

And what is up with this?
You all need to get outside!  On the right day,
I cannot rate this experience high enough!
(Though I will say I missed my higher-up rolling chair.)

I got quite a bit done until the sound of thunder
put a halt to it all.  That's just the way things have
been around here but at least I got out there.

Heartspun Quilts offered a free download last week
of Abigail's Doll Quilt so I used this as inspiration to
use some of my scrap HST's in making a runner to
go with the quilt that is currently on our bed.
Btw, Pam is hosting a sew-along for this cute pattern.
I'm not sure if mine counts as sewing along but
I'd love to get another one going because these
blocks are really fun.

(5 1/2" unfinished)

With a high of 81 and no chance of rain,
I may get out there again today.  
Try it--I'll be watching for your pics!
Happy outdoor, pool-side, garden-viewing quilting!
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