Thursday, June 9, 2011

Criss Cross Stars

I decided to use more of the many half square triangle blocks that I made over Memorial Day weekend as a border on my I See Stars quilt. I call the new version, Criss Cross Stars.

I think the borders add alot of interest so I'm glad that I used 64 more of the half square triangle blocks and arranged them like I did in my Triangles Askew quilt.  The inner border was made from strips that were in my stash also.  Now, I just need to piece the backing and off to my long arm quilter it goes.  I'll post again when it's quilted and bound but now it's time to head off on vacation!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

I See Stars quilt

I See Stars quilt top
I had a four day weekend on Memorial Day weekend and was able to sew every day at least part of the day.  I spent my time sewing piles of nickel squares into 4 patch blocks and half square triangle blocks in an attempt to use what I have and reduce my fabric stash.  Did you know that 2 nickel squares will make 2 half square triangle blocks that are 4 1/2" square or 2 four patch blocks that are 4 1/2" square?  I figured I couldn't go wrong by sewing up a bunch of these blocks since they end up the same size and both are common units in many larger quilt blocks.

I sorted some nickel squares into piles of 20 of 8 different colors and paired a nickel square of light fabric with each one. These squares became 320 half square triangle blocks. I sorted more squares into piles of 25 of 8 different colors and paired those with a light fabric to make 400 four patch blocks.  I wonder how many quilts I can make out of these blocks!

My first quilt to use these blocks is titled I See Stars and used 96 4-patch blocks and 96 half square triangle blocks.  Can you see the stars?  Each row is made of star blocks but there is also a secondary star pattern.  Here's the star block-

Look at all those ugly fabrics used together!  The contrast of light and dark is what's most important to this quilt design.  The star block is made of four smaller units that are four patch blocks made from two half square triangle blocks and two 4 patch blocks.

To make the half square triangle blocks, I just draw a line from corner to corner on the back of my light nickel square, place it right sides together with the dark nickel square and sew 1/4" from each side of the line and cut down the middle on the drawn line.  I do square up each block even though I don't like taking the time to do it.  It just makes the piecing more accurate and faster in the long run.
I use the June Tailor Perfect Half and Quarter Square Triangles Ruler to make my blocks this way.

This quilt is not quilted yet as my long arm quilter's son is getting married next weekend.  Can't wait to see how she quilts this one!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Triangles Askew quilt

One of the primary reasons for me starting this challenge is that I have alot of fabric that I would like to use.  My fabric stash spans many years of quilting and buying fabric so I have quite a bit of fabric.  The biggest problem for me is that as fabric has changed so has my taste in fabric.  Now I have a room full of fabric that I'm not that crazy about. I figure the best way to use it is to make scrap quilts which fits well with my challenge of creating quilts from nickel (5") squares of fabric.  For the most part, I have used fabric from my stash for this challenge but I seem to keep buying backing fabric.  I really need to start making the back of my quilts scrappy also. As if the challenge of creating 55 quilts using 5" squares isn't enough, I'm now challenging myself to not buy more fabric until I use what I have.  We will see how long that lasts!

On that note, I am proud to say that my Triangles Askew quilt was made entirely of fabrics from my stash! I have been wanting to design a masculine quilt and asked my husband if he thought the border fabric (see photo below) was masculine.  He said,  "Well, those are dartboards", referring to the pattern on the fabric. Don't know why I didn't see that. 

The fabric used in the border became the inspiration for the color scheme.  After pulling coordinating 5" squares from my many stacks of nickel squares, I chose the tan fabric for my background and decided to make half square triangle blocks.  My Triangles Askew quilt is the result.  It has not been quilted yet and I am still working on piecing the back.  I'll post the finished quilt and be sure to show the back.