Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Sew..I'm at it again!

Here's this week's newest quilt for linking up to WiP Wednesday at http://freshlypieced.com.

When I married my husband, almost 13 years ago, I decided that I would make a blanket for every new niece and nephew's baby blessing.  Understand that my husband came from a family of 9 (I came from 4) children (we were marriage #5), with each couple averaging 3 to 4-ish children...in short I've made a lot of baby quilts!  :)

My sister-in-law visited and saw my Lightning Bolt quilt and loved the Moda Marmalade fabrics and colors I used in it.  So....I went out and purchased a charm pack to create her newly born daughter a special quilt.  This quilt also used 1 1/2 yards salmon pink to create the half-square triangles.  42 five-inch squares were cut and then pieced into eighty half-square tirangles.  To view a tutorial on speed piecing these, go to my older blog post: http://moderntraditionquilts.blogspot.com/2013/01/two-more-quilt-patterns-hst-block.html

Using the above post's piecing directions and the fabric cutting directions, you too could re-create this quilt.  The photo provided may be used as a layout template.

 Other layouts can also be viewed by clicking on the PDF shortcut here:

Too many words!  Here's the quilt:

Now...my husband has torn apart my sewing and quilting room and office for good reason. He is re-doing all of the sheetrock and the celing.  Lucky for me, he put in recessed lighting to center on my longarm quilting machine.  Nice guy, eh?  I'm pretty excited, however it does make continuing projects a little crazy.  In short, my piecing sewing machine is crammed in front of my washing machine so there is no room to complete the quilt's layout from a design wall.  I thought it would be useful to see how this quilt was pieced from only the layout diagram.

Notice the washer & dryer in the back-ground?  I wasn't kidding about being cramped!
To do this, I printed off the layout I wanted to do in EQ5, then pieced all 80 of the HST units and chucked them in that little crazy pile to the left of the screen.  I then looked at the EQ printout and chain pieced the right hand column to the second column, paying close attention to each piece's orintation.  Now, this is important, DO NOT CUT ANY THREAD until you reach the end of all 10-pieces of the column!  You'll see why in a minute.   Then sew the third column on top of the second column and so on.  In the picture, I have columns 1-4 chain sewed together.  Because the columns have not been cut apart, all pieces and rows stay in the correct orientation thus "pinning" the next rows together.
In this picture, all 8 of the columns have been sewn together.  Now all that is needed is to press the rows in opposite directions so the patchwork nests appropriately.  There is no need to pin the adjacent rows together because the un-clipped thread has already done the job. 

I use this quick piecing technique on as many quilt tops as I possibly can.  It really makes scrap quilts and those without sashing come together precisely and quickly.  It also saves a lot of space in a pinch.

Additionally, I've finally updated my smocking blog to show how to modify a basic square-yoke dress pattern into a pattern suitable for smocking.

Enjoy the link!