Tuesday, September 18, 2012

3 in 1

I'm not quite sure where I got my idea, other than wanting to do a block of the month lap quilt that we could all finish before Christmas. That meant, if I wanted to do 12 blocks, that we had to do 3 blocks a month. Not just any 3 blocks a month, but 3 blocks a month during a busy time of the year.

I fiddled around with designs, and slowly one took shape. What if we did something that took about the same amount of time as making one block? The secret to that would be in easy cutting and mass-production sewing. That means that you need all the same block. Three of the same block is a bit dull, so to change it up, I figured that at least the fabrics should be different.

We had 4 months. That meant 3 blocks per month. So therefore, we would cut 3 blocks' worth of layers at the same time. I figured that we could layer different colors, and therefore come up with different blocks--in this case, 3 colors for 3 blocks. As long as you have a sharp rotary blade, cutting 6 layers of fabric is no big deal.

I wrote up the instructions, and then began cutting and sewing. I decided to do not only a Christmas one, but a bright one as well. I'm happy with both of them so far! Cutting out each one took no more than 15 minutes, and sewing all 6 blocks took a little longer than 2 hours. As I sewed, I wasn't quite sure what I would get, so part of the fun was in the mystery.

So far, here's what I have for the Christmas one:

And the bright one:

(You'll only like it if you like pink!)

There is still time to join in, given how fast this quilt makes up. Kim and I can fix you up with the instructions and fabrics.

Stop by anytime, and we'll help you choose your fabrics!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Being in a Quilty Mood

I've been in a quilty mood lately. So for fall, I decided to do a quick block of the month. I was trying to figure out something that was bigger than a table runner, but that we all could get done quickly. It is fall. We are all busy at this time of the year.

I'm not sure how I came up with the idea, but I decided to do a star quilt that had an interesting element of construction: Each star would be made up of 3 colors of fabrics, and we would make 3 stars per month. To cut the fabrics, all you would need to do is layer all three, cut the pieces, and voila! Three blocks cut out in the same time that it normally takes to cut out one!

For example, if you were doing red, green, and gold as your three colors, you would layer those fabrics and cut all your pieces from them. Then after, say, you had cut out the star tips, you would have one red-tipped block, one gold-tipped block, and one green-tipped block.You choose four quarter-yard pieces of fabrics for each of the three colors; this gives you some variety and some shading.

I called it a Christmas Block of the Month, but you can choose any fabric you like. I'm actually making two of them--one Christmas and one brights. Let me remind you of the design first:

See how the star-in-star blocks on the lower left, upper right, and lower center look similar but have different colors? That's the idea. (I reserve the right to change out every star as we go along, but I promise that I will stick to all stars!)

While I didn't draw it this way, I thought it would be fun to have a print inner border where the red is, and to have a more plain outer border--but of course you can do it however you'd like. 

Here's my Christmas one:

I substituted black as the background for the stars rather than the white of the picture above. Last-minute change today. I love black! And the birds on black will be my inner border.

And here's my bright one.


Here, the pink color is my background, the large orange print will be my inner border, and the blue will be my outer border. I'm shivering with excitement over this one. It has pink and blue in it!

I did my cutting this evening. I discovered a few cutting tricks by the second set, and it took about 10 minutes to cut out three blocks! In the instructions, I'll give cutting tips to make yours go just as fast, if not faster, then mine.

We begin Monday, and as is usual for block of the month, have sessions all day long. The class is free if you buy our fabrics, or $25 if you use yours. I hope to see you there! Give us a call to sign up (814-238-4151)!

In the meantime, I suppose I should actually sew the blocks now, huh?