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

Today Is Quilting Day


Well, it had to happen some time, right?

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I cleared off one banquet table and got started. Or so I thought. I FORGOT TO MAKE A BACK!! Silly me. Had to put the sewing machine back on the table. Had to piece the material for the backing since it was only 45″ wide. Duh…

I guess that is what happens when you haven’t quilted any large projects for a LONG time. You forget what to do.

Anyhoo… back taped to the table, basting spray and pins in hand.

Whew!! I am plum tuckered out just from all that. BUT I will start quilting this quilt top TODAY. I thought about straight lines but I think I am going to stipple it with medium sized puzzle pieces.

OH. Forgot to tell you. I added the 28 additional blocks several days ago. Quilt top now measures 62″ by 62″. 14 blocks across and 14 blocks down. 196 total.

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I slowly sewed along the diagonal lines and the white strips in the center matched up much better this time.

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I know I can still do better so I am figuring out how best to make the next ones. I am not trying for 100% perfection. Just trying to better my percentage.

I have been working on some other things, too. Will show you in a few days.

Hope you are staying busy with your projects. Working on anything for Fall?


Go here for the tutorial to make your own Hugs and Kisses quilt.

http://www.littlemissshabby.com/2011/11/hugs-kisses-quilt-block-tutorial/

Soldier’s Quilt Top Is Finished And 2 New Umbrella Blocks


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I finished my Disappearing 9 Patch (D9P) quilt top two days ago but couldn’t get any decent photos on the inside. It was too large for my design wall. And I didn’t like any of the other photos I took in different places around the house. So I decided to take the photos outside yesterday. And wouldn’t you know it. The sun stayed behind the clouds most of the day. These are the best I could get.

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To-date this is the largest quilt top I have ever made. It measures 73 1/2″ by 91″.

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After it is quilted, it will be given to one of our wounded soldiers. Distributed by the American Hero Quilts program. Per their website, quilt top minimum measurements were 63″ by 87. So I hope it is OK that mine is a bit over.

I have really enjoyed working on this project and will be making a second quilt top. Squares are cut. Now I need to decide on a design. Something different. I have a couple patterns in mind. I will work on this next one in between other projects. So it will take longer. But that’s OK. There is always a need.

Go here if you are interested in volunteering your time and talent.

http://www.americanheroquilts.com/


Good news!! I made progress on my Umbrella Blocks Quilt.

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There are now six umbrella blocks. I made two more. Originally I was thinking a wall hanging. I guess it could still go on the wall. It isn’t THAT big. I figure after adding the sashing and border, it will measure around 75″ by 60″.

You know how sometimes you work on something off and on, seems forever!! And then the “dislike” starts to creep in. Well, I am still loving this one.

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Even with all the sewing of those little 1 1/2″ squares for the scrappy border.

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I am getting better at making sure the seams are even. Makes for an easy trim when the edges line up. At first I wasn’t sure if I was sewing a perfect 1/4″ seam. So when Fran in my Quilt Group posted a link to a test, I thought, HEY, let’s do it. Now I can make sure. I followed the directions, measured and IT WAS PERFECT!! If I say so myself, I have come a long way since first learning to quilt in January 2011.

Want to know if you are sewing perfect 1/4″ seams? Test yourself. Go here. Thanks, Fran!!

http://www.freequiltpatterns.info/video—the-perfect-seam-allowance.htm


This is what I am working on today. Something quick and easy.

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Need to get it finished and mailed off today. I can only show you the fabric since the person it is for reads my blog. But I will show you the finished item after she receives it. Sometime this week.

Hope you have a great week. Do something fun… Tell me what your crafty plans are for this week.

How Would You Quilt This?


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Whew!! Finished!!

Took a week of..

  • planning
  • cutting
  • designing
  • taking photos
  • changing
  • sewing
  • pressing
  • taking photos

But finally, the quilt top is completed and now hangs on my design wall.

It measures approximately 66″ by 76″. In case your monitor displays my “pop” color as red, it is orange. Tangerine.

In the above photo I have the quilt turned on its side just to get it all in for the photo.

This is what it looked like before adding the borders.

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After adding the borders. The bottom is the top. Sorry you have to twist your head a bit. :D
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I love this corner. The top right side. (Yes, I know. Another head twister. :D )

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Some areas could have been arranged differently. Even could have used full blocks instead of half ones in a few spaces. But hindsight just helps me on the next one. I am satisfied with how it looks.

Now I have to decide the best way to quilt it.

I could outline each square. Would take forever!! I could do straight lines inside each vertical column. One to the right of the seam and one to the left of the seam. Or I could outline each zig-zag section. Following up, down, all around. Or even diagonal lines, corner to corner?

After spending a week making the quilt top, I don’t really want to spend another week quilting it. I am so itching to get started on my next project.

Question to all you quilters out there….

How would you quilt my quilt top?


You can read my other posts about this quilt here.

https://thisyearsdozen.wordpress.com/2012/01/09/starting-the-new-year-with-black-and-white-and-stripes/

https://thisyearsdozen.wordpress.com/2012/01/10/sneak-peek-striped-zig-zag-quilt/

And another… :D

https://thisyearsdozen.wordpress.com/2012/01/13/ok-i-approve-ready-to-sew/


I am linking this post to “Finish It Up Friday” over at CrazyMomQuilts. Go check them all out.

http://crazymomquilts.blogspot.com/2012/01/finish-it-up-friday-week-11.html

All Quilted And Headed To The Finished Line


I made myself a promise the other day.

Only sew projects that fit inside the throat area of my sewing machine.

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Anything larger and my stress level shoots off the chart. My panic button gets pushed so often, it is completely worn out. Sewing is supposed to be fun. Relaxing. Not stressful.

I had dreaded starting on this quilt top.

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I knew I would be up to Excedrin #999 by the time I finished. And oh yes, did I ever struggle. It is only 54″ by 54″ but I had to push, pull, tug and cuss. Even with my quilting gloves with the grippers. (Cussing helped some. :D )

But… the quilting part is FINALLY FINISHED!! I worked on it off and on for a week.

If you look closely you will see that I appliqued the Dresden Plate wedges and centers by machine to the center of each 9 square block.

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Then sewed straight lines around each 9 square block. Next I stippled around the wedges keeping the stitches within each block and not overflowing to the next. My plan was to do loops inside the ivory border but decided to leave it as is. Then I stippled the brown polka dot border.

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Last step. I still have to sew on the binding.

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I am totally happy with how it looks thus far. I have it hanging in my newly organized “closet” for me to admire.

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Here’s the back.

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Notice my fabric stash. My reorg is looking great, eh? By color. I have little piles of each. Except for those fabrics with really busy prints in numerous colors.

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They got pushed into several Catch-All groupings.

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My charm packs are stored here in these fabric cubes.

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The whole reorg thing is still a works-in-progress. Slowly it is coming together like I want. Hopefully seeing all the neatness will inspire me to create more.

Three more quilt tops to go. All larger than this one. :( All made months ago. :( The brown and cream Log Cabin one, the purple and lavender Stair Steps one and the blue jeans quilt.

Got to catch up. And then I will keep reminding myself of the promise I made. If I can’t machine quilt it stressfree, don’t make it.


You can read about the making of this quilt here.

https://thisyearsdozen.wordpress.com/2011/03/20/a-plate-full-of-dresdens/

https://thisyearsdozen.wordpress.com/2011/03/25/going-small-with-the-dresdens/

https://thisyearsdozen.wordpress.com/2011/03/27/made-a-pieced-back-for-my-dresden-plate-quilt/

https://thisyearsdozen.wordpress.com/2011/04/04/the-new-back-is-finished/


Back-To-School Quilt Is Finished

This is where we left off. I was showing you the completed quilt top.

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It still needed to be quilted.

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And bound.

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Ok, let’s go. Lots to tell you. Show you.


I love it when I try something new (to me) or different and it works out ok. There are a couple of “firsts” in this quilt.

No 1: First time quilting with other than a neutral color thread. Tried black. I held my breath each time I arrived at a red section. And wouldn’t you know it, my hands got all wobbly and I messed up a few times. Intimidated by red!! But I left it as is, didn’t stop, rip and start over. I am learning that perfection is overrated.

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No 2: First time sewing the binding by machine. I sewed very slowly and stopped about every four inches to flip up the bottom to make sure I was sewing inside the binding area and not over the edge. I like the result and will likely do it again. For quilts this size or smaller.

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I had just enough of the alphabet fabric to make Dresden Plate wedges for a pillow. Had to piece two of them. So except for a few small scraps, that fabric is used up. Yay!!

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The pillow is different from any others I have made. I added a pocket. A secret hidden pocket. It is deep and the width of the pillow. I bet a child will be delighted to discover it. The intrigue of it all. It is deep enough to completely hide this notepad I covered with the ABC123 fabric.

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This set is perfect for day care. Use it at home or take it to Grandma’s. Nap time and playing school. A playmat. Quilt measures 42″ by 52″ and pillow is 12″ by 16″.

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I am finding I like black, red and white together. It is fast becoming one of my favorite color combinations.

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What are your favorite fabric color combinations? Do tell.


The Doll Days of August

Making quilts for dolls is a lot of fun. I get to experiment with colors and also use up some of those “cut but didn’t work” pieces from other projects.

These were made from the pink/purple scrap bin. Even used some of my Dresden Plate leftovers. Toss in some lace and you get what I am calling the Ball and Chain Series.

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The Pillow.

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So far I have five finished. Here are front and back photos. Twice the fun.

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And now some close-up’s.

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You are probably wondering why I named them Ball and Chain. This little ball and chain keeps the pillow matched up with the quilt.

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Next, I moved on to Zebras. Zebra fabric. I really love this fabric.

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I added the lace and different color fabric trim. Matching pillow, of course.

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I used the black and white zebra fabric for the back. Cuteness overload.

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Then I made this quilt I call the Red Flower quilt. I fussy cut the flower for the center.

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Used Michael Miller Clown Stripes as my starting Log Cabin border.

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Not only did I fussy cut the red flower but I also “fussy sewed” to line up the stripes.

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Then added my favorite polka dots.

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Quilting was done with a fast simple meandering stipple design.

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I knew I wanted to add lace and ribbon. Selected this double sided lace from my lace stash. Been there for YEARS. Happy to use some of it.

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Binding was done with the red and black floral fabric. I had hoped to fussy cut more of the red but this was the best I could get.

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This photo shows the fabric I used for the back. Didn’t want to go all wild with a lot of different fabrics. The front is busy enough. :D

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Red Flower quilt measures 24″ by 24″. Perfect for 18″ dolls and could also be used for a new baby.

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Hope you have enjoyed my Doll Days of August.

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My Back-To-School quilt is finished. Working on the pillow. Photos soon, maybe tomorrow.


Bittersweet… Quilting For Quilt #1 Is Done

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All Done!!

I finished the last of the quilting for Quilt #1 (Drunkard Path) this morning at 5:45 am. I had worked on it yesterday most of the day. Taking frequent breaks.

Most of the quilt was done with Free Motion Meandering stitches. Plus I did circles and straight lines to quilt the “pie” pieces.

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What saved my shoulders and arms from fatigue and pain was my new Janome extension table for my sewing machine. It supports the weight of the heavy quilt so I don’t have to hold it up. And it allows me to work with a larger quilting area, to smooth out the fabric before starting to quilt. It works great!!

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This is the last piece to be quilted. Before starting, I was overcome with joy and grabbed my camera to document the moment.

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You never forget your first. I certainly will never forget My First Quilt. It has character. I think that is what flaws are called. ;)

Next… the binding. Already cut and ready to go on.

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More photos tomorrow.

Finally… Quilt Top #1 Is Getting Quilted

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It had to happen… eventually, right? I just can’t keep making quilt tops without completing the process of actually quilting them.

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This is the first one I made. So, it gets quilted first. I struggled sewing it. Makes sense that I struggle quilting it. It took me about 3 hours getting the “sandwich” just so and pinning the layers.

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I haven’t purchased an extension table yet for my sewing machine so I had to improvise. My mini ironing board to the rescue. It actually is working out great.

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The fabric for the back is some blah brown print I got for half off several months ago. It is ok for the first one. And was just the right size. That is after I took 3 yards and sewed them side-by-side to another 3 yards. I had read somewhere not to put a seam down the center of the backing fabric. Too late!! But I did do a French Seam and reinforced the seam TWICE when starting it AND double stitched it again for the final seam. Nothing is going to pull out those stitches!!

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I decided to free motion quilt it using the stippling design for all around the outer part and in between the Drunkard Path circles. For the circles, I am going to attempt curved lines.

Here is what it looks like after two hours. I am showing you the backside so you can see my handiwork. I am half way around.

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My bobbin ran out three times. My left arm was getting heavy and my shoulder was starting to hurt. Break time!!

After I wind some bobbins I will get back started. Tomorrow. :D

Quilt Top Is Finished!! Making A Piano Key Border.

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Did you know the trick in preventing your long fabric strips from starting to curve is sewing one strip top to bottom and the next strip bottom to top? Keep alternating as you add more strips. I read this somewhere. And it works!!

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I had seen these Piano Key borders on the net and really liked them. I cut mine 1 1/2″ wide to the WOF. (Now I am showing off, LOL!! If you don’t know sewer lingo, WOF means Width Of Fabric. I am learning sooo much.) Sewed the fabrics together and then cut them into 5 1/2″ lengths. There’s 65 keys per quilt side. For a total of 260.

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Quilt top measures 80 1/2″ by 80 1/2″.

It completely covers a full sized bed with about an 8″ hang. If I make this design again, I will add two more rows. 15 instead of 13 so it hangs down a bit longer.

My silly camera won’t reduce small enough for me to photograph the entire quilt top. I need to be further back to get it all but the room is too small.

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Now I am going to make a few pillow cases with the left over lavender and white polka dot fabric. And maybe one in the dark purple print.

My next project is in the washer. Will tell you about it tomorrow. :D