Downton Abbey Trimming Marathon


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Downton Abbey… Don’t you just love the characters!! Maggie Smith is a riot. She really has some deadly zingers.

I am new to this show. Oh, of course, I had heard of it. Just had never watched. How fitting is it that Season 1, Episode 1 begins with the Titanic sinking. And you know my obsession with the Titanic!! Got my attention right off the bat.

Anyhoo… back to the Trimming Marathon. The reason for my post.

I needed something to entertain me for several hours so I could trim the balance of my leftover half-square triangles. The little teeny ones. Didn’t wish to go wonky for them. So I needed to set aside several hours to go about the trimming. I have lots of DVD’s but wanted something new and fresh. Best Buy had Downton Abbey on sale. I bought all three seasons.

So, I assembled everything I needed….

Homemade template. Made from an old VHS cassette case.
Half-square triangles. Scissors.
Downton Abbey DVD’s.

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And got started.

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I hand trimmed over 600 HST’s and made it through each and every episode. All 3 seasons.

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I LOVE this show. Can’t wait until January 2014 to see what happens to Mary. New baby. Dead husband. All the characters are just too delish for words. Just the right tone, look and delivery. My one wish. That they hadn’t killed off the baby sister, Sybil. Well, two wishes. I wish Mary wasn’t so mean to Edith. Poor Edith.

Well, got to go. Need to decide what to do with these 6 1/2″ blocks. I am thinking surround them with HUGE sashing. Maybe. Maybe not. We shall see.

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Should have more to show you in a few days. Do come back.

But for now.. I am going back to Downton Abbey. Going to rewatch them all over again. :D


Do you watch Downton Abbey? Who is your favorite character? Which is your favorite episode? Do tell….


Linking to.

http://www.conniekresin.com/2013/06/linky-tuesday_18.html

How To Make A Wonky Half-Square Triangle Block


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Ever wish you could just sew and not have to worry about matching seams at every turn?

Well then… this Wonky Half-Square Triangle (HST) block is for you. A block made with different HST sizes. We all have them. Dog ears trimmed from the corners. Those Snowball block corners. Also corners trimmed from mitered strips for bindings. Many projects create left-over triangles or triangle-like scrap pieces.

Most of mine came from my Hugs and Kisses quilt.

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I had no idea what to do with all of them. But after tiring of looking at the overflowing bag, I started thinking of what to do without a whole lot of preparation. Minimal fuss.

That’s when I came up with the idea of using them AS IS. “Making them work”, as Tim Gunn from Project Runway would say. I would sew all the different HST’s together with no thought to size. With one exception. I would match up the center seam going down the block.

Want to make a few? OK. Here’s my 3 Step Preparation Process.

1. Go gather up any HST’s you have been collecting.

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2. Go through your scraps and pull out any pieces shaped like a triangle.

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3. And lastly, while sorting through your scraps, pull out any pieces large enough to cut a triangle.

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HOW TO MAKE ONE WONKY HALF-SQUARE TRIANGLE BLOCK

OK. Now. Cut your scraps into triangles. I cut mine between 2″ and 2 1/2″. Cut a matching white (or white-on-white) fabric. Right sides together. Sew triangles with 1/4″ seam. Chain piece to save time and thread. Sew one triangle after the other. Do not cut thread until all triangles are sewn.

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Cut thread chain. Press triangles open. Cut tips off the corners.

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Now you are ready to build your wonky block. You need 24 HST’s per block. Twenty to form the outside square and four for the center of the block.

Starting with the LEFT side. Select five (5) HST’s and line them up. Mix up the colors and patterns. No repeats in a block. (Refer to photos for placement.)

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TOP. Add five more HST’s.

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RIGHT SIDE. Add five more HST’s.

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BOTTOM. Add five more HST’s.

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CENTER. Add four HST’s.

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When all 24 HST’s are placed, your block should look like this.

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Next. Add White Filler Triangles along the sides.

Using white or white-on-white (WOW), cut strips of 2 1/2″ by WOF. Now cut the strips into 2 1/2″ squares. You will need a lot of these squares depending on how many blocks you make.

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Cut 2 1/2″ squares diagonally down the center.

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Place one white triangle in the empty slots along the block edges according to the photo. Eight per block.

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SEW HST’s TOGETHER

I like to pin each row so when I am sewing I don’t have to guess which direction the HST should face.

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Sew HST’s together by row. Press strips. Doesn’t matter which direction to press the seams since they probably won’t line up to abut anyway.

Trim strips using the “shortest” HST as your guide.

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Trim top and bottom of the strip.

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SEW ROWS TOGETHER.

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When sewing rows together, only be concerned with getting the center HST’s lined up. The rest won’t matter. They will be wonky if you used different sized HST and won’t line up with the adjoining rows. (They may look funny now but in the end, they will be ok.)


Now time to trim the sides of the sewn blocks.

Starting with the right side.

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This is the area you will trim first. See my pencils? That is your guide for ruler placement. Place your see-through ruler with the one inch marking on the edge of the “top” HST and one inch marking on the edge of the “last” HST in THAT SAME ROW. Don’t worry about any wonkiness. The one inch of white will balance it out and create a uniformity of white sashing throughout your quilt top. Go around the block and trim the four longest sides.

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You can also trim the shorter sides of the blocks. They shouldn’t be that much off. Just a tad.

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This is how your Wonky HST Block should look with all sides trimmed.

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One last thing to do to complete your wonky blocks. Add the corner triangles so blocks can be sewn together to form your quilt top.


ADDING FOUR TRIANGLE CORNERS

Select whichever fabric you wish for the four corners. I LOVE Polka Dots!! So that is what I used. Lots of colors.

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(Note: Depending on what size your block ended up, you may wish to experiment with ONE block first. Before you cut all the corners. Cut two. Pin them to your block. Finger press to make sure the corner triangle extends to the edge of your block. So you are NOT cutting into the block when trimming. I started with 4 1/2″ which proved too short. 4 3/4″ or 5″ would have been a better choice. BUT you experiment with one block to make sure your triangles are lined up with the block edges when sewn and pressed.)

Your corners will be added on the longer sides of the block. See my pencils.

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Sew and press corner triangles. Trim side edges as needed.

And DONE!! Repeat to make as many blocks as desired for your quilt top.


Arrange Wonky Blocks to your liking.

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As you can see, most of the wonkiness disappears and is not so noticeable when block is turned diagonally. Diamond shaped.

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This is my quilt top. It measures 56 1/2″ by 57″. I just need to quilt it.

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Hope you will make a few of these Wonky HST Blocks. And hope my tutorial was helpful. Thanks for following along. :D


Linking to…

http://www.conniekresin.com/2013/06/linky-tuesday_18.html

Stairsteps Quilt Top Is Finished AND It’s A Big ‘Un


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I knew this quilt would be a big one. But dragging on the floor!! 90″ by 78″. I ran out of design wall space.

Sashing was finished a while ago.

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But the Borders… Let me tell you.

I struggled a bit with the borders trying to make sure they were even on all sides. It took me longer than usual since I added two extra steps. When one side was slightly longer, I sewed a seam using the longest stitch on my machine (5) very close to the edge. That proved to be the equalizer it needed. And THEN I pinned the edges and ran another long-stitch seam connecting the border to the quilt top. As a test to make sure the measurements matched the cut borders. It worked. My sides matched up.

So glad to put this quilt top in the finished column. It looks exactly as I envisioned it would. I started cutting the squares and strips on April 8. Exactly two months ago. Not that I worked on it two whole months. But on and off in between all my various other projects.

Still lots to do though. Not sure yet for the backing. But I am not going to piece one. Will use yardage from my stash. Then have to quilt it. Thinking waving lines going top to bottom. The binding I will use you can see in this photo. Upper right corner. Sort of a striped brick and cream.

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And then… as luck would have it… I will have my matching pillow after all. I have enough leftover burgundy fabric to use for sashing. I already cut the strips and have the fabric squares in strips. Ready to sew. So happy.

IF it isn’t raining. IF the sun comes out. I will try to take a photo of the entire quilt top outside. So for now, I will leave you with this last image.

It’s A Big ‘Un. :D

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You can read more about the making of this quilt top here.

http://thisyearsdozen.wordpress.com/2013/05/02/its-spring-and-everything-is-growing/

http://thisyearsdozen.wordpress.com/2013/05/29/another-half-panel-and-let-the-sashing-begin/


Linking to.

http://crazymomquilts.blogspot.com/2013/06/leftovers-quilt.html

Another Half Panel And Let The Sashing Begin


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As you know, I bounce around a lot!! But I wouldn’t have it any other way. I get bored FAST and like to move from project to project. It takes longer to finish up but being able to revisit a project with fresh eyes seems to help me creatively.

That said…

Today, I bounced back to my Stairsteps quilt. Last time you saw it, I had three panels completed.

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Now there are four and one half. With one half to go and then I will begin sashing with my avocado fabric. Only have about two yards of it but that should be aplenty for sashing. 3-4″ between each panel and on the sides. I have been building these strips for a time now and am really excited to finally see the panels sewn together. If I don’t “bounce” around for the next two days, I just might get this quilt top finished this month.

The burgundy fabric I am using is just about used up. I am having to be very protective of it and carefully cut the sashing strips. No room for error. I already checked the web and wasn’t able to find it anywhere. I guess it is out of print. I am hoping I have enough for the border. A long and narrow pillow with the same strips and burgundy sashing would be pretty. But don’t think that is in the cards. I have my fingers and toes crossed that I have enough burgundy for my quilt.

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You can see how long the panels are (77″) in this photo. I am thinking with the sashing and borders, this is going to be a big’in. :D

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Wish me luck!!

I Need 22 More Wonky HST Blocks


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Each block takes 24 half-square triangles. 624 used.

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Hopefully I will have enough HST’s to finish. I am guessing I had about 1000 created from my Hugs and Kisses blocks. They are different sizes and I didn’t want to trim each one. So I am using them as is. In all their wonky gloriousness.

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I am so glad I took the extra time to sew the seam across the “dog ear” triangle before trimming. Otherwise I would have been left holding the bag. The bag full of individual triangles.

OK… back to sewing.

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Did you have a great Memorial Day? What did you cook? Send me some. :D


Linking to…

http://www.conniekresin.com/2013/05/linky-tuesday_28.html

And Now I Have Stars


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A bit of surgery and look what I ended up with.

STARS. Two giant stars. They aren’t sewn together yet but you can see somewhat how they are going to look.

I took one of my 25 patch blocks from each color set and sliced it diagonally down the center.

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I like the color arrangement of the star on the left. Not so much the one on the right. I think the green looks dull. Could use a sprinkling of some “pop.” I think I am going to redo the entire block. I have some more interesting green fabrics in my stash. Or I could use the yellow ones. Though I wasn’t happy with the color arrangement.

Now, I have to decide what to use to fill in the open spaces. I have a few ideas. We shall see where those ideas take me.

Stay tuned…


Linking to.

http://crazymomquilts.blogspot.com/2013/05/pin-cushions.html

Getting The Pillow Fever Again


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I have always loved making pillows. They are just so fun and relaxing to make. Especially when just piecing little squares. But be warned. They can be addicting.

This is my latest one. I spent a week on it. :D (I hear you. Stop laughing.)

Here’s what happened… Two weeks ago, I made a table runner from some of my leftover Hugs and Kisses blocks. The blocks were collecting dust in a pile in a corner. I always feel bad when I start a new project without finishing sewing some of the UFO’s. So I gave the X and O blocks a bit of my attention.

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Making the runner did not take long since the blocks were already made. Just needed stitching together, borders added and quilted. Simple quilting. Straight lines. Plus a bit of stippling. And done.

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Then I decided a pillow was needed to go with the table runner. But had to search high and low for the fabrics used in the X & O blocks. That took a day and ended up with me dismantling one leftover Scrappy Trip block for the exact peach fabric I needed. And then, wouldn’t you know it. I got some sort of stomach bug and ended up being all queasy-stomach sick for five days. Didn’t feel like doing much of anything. Certainly not sewing. At least not for long stretches. I would sew a border and then take a nap. That was my routine for days.

Finally yesterday, I was able to sit in the sewing machine chair longer than the loo chair and managed to work on my pillow. It is made with 2 1/2″ squares and several borders. One border is a strip of squares cut in half. Quilting is diagonal lines.

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I put binding all around the sides just as I would a quilt.

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My machine sewn binding is getting SO GOOD, don’t you think? I may never go back to hand sewing.

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Before I got sick, I had finished another doll quilt with matching pillow and a little handbag. Never got to show them to you.

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All inspired by one of my leftover Scrappy Trip blocks. I have so many of them left that I could turn each one into a doll quilt. One for each day of the month. But I won’t do that. I have other ideas for them. (Or I could send them to you if anyone wants them.)

I also finished sewing together ten Wonky HST blocks. They sit waiting for their polka dot corners.

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None of my other on-going scrap projects got worked on. Need to do that before month’s end. Got to show some progress, right?

Well, that is it for me. That’s all of my Show and Tell.

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What have you been working on? Do tell….


Linking to.

http://crazymomquilts.blogspot.com/2013/05/pin-cushions.html

http://www.confessionsofafabricaddict.blogspot.com/2013/05/can-i-get-whoop-whoop-lots-of-quilting.html

http://richardquilts.blogspot.com/2013/05/link-finish-friday-68.html

http://aroundtheblockdesigns.blogspot.com/2013/05/really-random-52313-portlandia.html

http://www.sew-much-ado.com/2013/05/we-did-it-wednesday_21.html

Doll Pillows and Purses…+ New Polka Dots


While I was waiting for my new polka dot fabric to arrive, I took a break from my wonky HST’s and worked on some doll pillows and little girl purses. I am making two pillows and two purses. They will go with the doll quilts I made.

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Want to see my new polka dot fabrics. Pretty, huh!! They arrived yesterday. Now I think I am all set to continue with the corners of my wonky half-square triangle blocks.

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Well, back to the grind. Just wanted to show you what I was working on.

Hope you are doing something you love.

Decision Made On My Wonky HST’s


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OK.

I have decided.

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This is how I will proceed with my Wonky Half-Square Triangle blocks.

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I thought I had enough polka dots. I have purple, hot pink, navy, orange, red, royal, kelly green, yellow, black, baby blue, gray and avocado. But now I am thinking I need a few more. Turquoise and white. Or aqua and white would be pretty. Baby pink. Maybe…

Seven more blocks are pinned and ready to sew.

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I have to use my walking foot to sew these. To get up and over the beginning “hump”. Otherwise I am sewing in place and making a thread ball.

How do you sew over bulky seams? Do tell.