Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Chic Country is a top!

Just a short post tonight, but I was impatient to share.  Chic Country is a top! 

I hoped the tweaks I made to the pattern to add the borders would make the circles pop, and I am not disappointed! I discussed those tweaks here.

Now I'm going to splurge and have a longarm quilter baste this for me so I can start hand quilting.  I really don't feel like basting but I really feel like quilting, and Liz has a very quick turn around time.  I'll have it back to get started on the quilting well before I would have talked myself into the chore of basting!

Monday, February 13, 2017

RSC butterfly block tutorial

Thank you for all the positive comments about my Rainbow Scrap Challenge butterfly blocks.  For those of you who asked, I took pictures while making last week's block so I could write a tutorial.

I'm going to share how to make the basic butterfly, without specifying how to make the wing markings.  I've just been playing around with my scraps, sewing scraps together then cutting down to the right size base sections J and I.  Go ahead and just play with your scraps and see what you end up with!

The block will measure 12" finished (12 1/2" unfinished).  For a single block you will need:

Background fabric:
  • 6 - 2 1/2" squares A
  • 2 - 4" squares B
  • 2 - 3 1/2" squares C
  • 2 - 2" squares D
  • 2 - 1 1/2" x 5 1/2" E
  • 1 - 1 1/2" x 4" F
  • 1 - 1 1/2" x 2" G
Brown (body):
  • 1 - 1 1/2" x 7 1/2" H
Wing base sections pieced from scraps:
  • 2 - 6" x 7 1/2"J
  • 2 - 5" x 5 1/2" I

Step 1: Draw a diagonal line, corner to corner, on the wrong side of each square.

Step 2: Sew F and G to the ends of H as shown below.

Step 3: Position squares A on the wing base sections J and I as shown below, right side down and with the drawn lines running across the corners. Notice that the right wing will be a mirror image of the left wing.  You'll need to keep track and make sure the squares are in the correct corners.  I didn't the first time and ended up wielding my trusty seam ripper.

Close-up view of A sewn to J

Step 4: Trim fabric from the corners, 1/4" away from the sewn diagonals.

Step 5: Press the background fabric into the corners.

Step 5: Position squares B and C on the wing base sections as shown below, right sides down and with the drawn lines running across the corners. Again, take care to make the wings on the right side a mirror image of the wings on the left side.  Sew along the drawn lines.  Now sew 1/2" away from the drawn line, on the corner side, to gain two bonus HST units.

Step 6: Trim away the corner fabric by cutting between the sewn lines.  The corner fabric will open up to a bonus HST square to use in another project.

Bonus HST units
Step 7: Press the background fabric into the corners.

Step 8:  Sew strips E to the sides of the lower wings.

Step 9: Sew each lower wing to the corresponding upper wing, as shown below.

Step 10:  Sew the wings to either side of the body to complete the block. 

This is the basic method for making my butterfly block.  You can choose to make the bases for the wing sections any way you choose.  

Just a few more thoughts about the two butterflies I've made so far.

Purple butterfly details

When I made the purple butterfly, I had a lot of assorted squares and strings.  I pieced squares in rows to make two sections a little larger than were needed  for the upper wing base sections, then trimmed them down to the required 6" x 7 1/2" size.  I sewed strings of assorted widths together to make base sections with the strings running vertically, and trimmed those down to the required size for the lower wing base sections. You'll notice I didn't pay attention to making the right side wings match the left side ones.

Aqua butterfly details

 For the aqua butterfly, I decided I wanted the wings to match.  This required piecing the base sections as mirror images of each other. The lower wing base sections were string pieced with the strings running diagonally, then trimmed to size.

I made the upper wings by sewing strips sets, subcutting them on an angle , shifting the sub-cut strips before sewing them back together then cutting my base section H out of that.  I actually had 5 colors in my strip set, but adding the background over the corners hid two of the colors.  From now on I will remember not to bother piecing anything interesting in 3 of the 4 corners, because they will just be cut off in the end!

Linking up with:
Linky Tuesday at Freemotion  by the River 
ScrapHappy Saturday at SoScrappy (a little late - sorry!)
Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication
Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Tweaking Chic Country

I'm using Sew Kind of Wonderful's Chic Country pattern for my daughter's next bed quilt, but I'm tweaking it.  The original pattern is for a throw, and I needed it to be big enough for a twin bed, so of course I needed to add blocks.

Just adding blocks wasn't enough however, because I needed another half block's width extra to get to just the right size, but adding just a half block interfered with the pattern repeat. One side of the quilt would look like the top of the first picture below, and the other side of the quilt would look like the top of the second picture.  One emphasizes the four petal block, the other emphasizes the secondary circular pattern. They wouldn't match and I'm a matchy-matchy kind of girl! Plus I really like that circular secondary pattern.

How about adding borders to make up the extra size?  The original pattern went for the modern no-borders look, so I wasn't sure how borders would look.

Meh. This isn't very exciting. What about giving up on circles on the edge?

This is, maybe, better, but still isn't very exciting.

Getting better!  I just changed the color of one piece in each of the edge units to make the circles stand out.

Oh yes! I like this!  Stay tuned!  I have just 7 more seams to pin and sew before I can add the orange border and call this a complete top!

Linking up with:
Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River

Saturday, February 4, 2017

RSC butterfly - aquamarine

This months color for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge is teal/aquamarine, what Angela called "anything between blue and green".  Here's my butterfly for the month, plus the four bonus HST leftover from construction.  By the end of the year I think I'll have enough of these bonus units to make a scrappy pillow to go with my scrappy quilt!

Aquamarine butterfly quilt block
February butterfly block and bonus HST

Since I'm only planning on making one butterfly block each month, I decided to play a little bit more with each block.  The basic shape is the same, but I'm going to try to come up with different designs inside the wings.

Last month I had a lot of squares, so I made the base rectangles for the large wings from a grid of squares.  This month I started with more strips and strings.

The strings were great for the smaller wings again, though I sewed them diagonally across the base rectangle this time. 

String block base for small wings

I pondered the strips for a little bit, then decided to make strip sets and cut them diagonally into strips to get parallelograms.  I shifted the strips a bit, sewed them back together, and cut my rectangles for the large wing bases out of the wonky pieces that resulted.  I don't have a picture of this because I meant to take pictures as I made the second wing, after I figured out what I was doing with the first one.  However, it then occurred to me to make the wings mirror images of each other, and I had some difficulty wrapping my mind around how to make the mirror image happen.  It involved a lot of seam ripping (but no grumbling, because this was playtime).  My mind was busy enough sorting this out that there wasn't any room for the thought "Take some pictures", so I don't have any.

I really do like how it turned out. Here are January and February's block together, waiting for next month's color to join them.

Though I missed pictures of the wing base construction, I have pictures of the basic butterfly construction, so I will have a tutorial for you by next Saturday's RSC linky party.  I hope you'll come back for it!

Linking up with Scraphappy Saturday at SoScrappy