Wednesday, January 25, 2012

{Tutorial} Morning Star Block 1

This is a picture heavy post .. lots of pictures showing you 
how I pieced and pressed this block.

Morning Star - Block 1

I know I promised to have this to you last week but those taxes HAD to be done ... I finally finished them last night ... phase one at least. There's another filing due but I'm rewarding myself this week and do "my thing" and will take the next batch next week - fair enough right?

So here it is ... my step by step for sewing the first block of Morning Star, Morning Bright - the basic "Morning Star."

1.1 Morning Star - the piecesYou'll start with cutting all your pieces:

   A  FOUR 3-1/2" squares
   B  FOUR 3-1/2" x 6-1/2" rectangles

   C  EIGHT 3-1/2" squares

   D  ONE 6-1/2" square

On the wrong side of all C squares, draw a line diagonally from corner to corner. I use a regular sharp or mechanical pencil. One good tip is to lay the square on a piece of fine sand paper so things don't scootch around. To preserve the markings on your ruler, apply one layer of clear packing tape and then trim around the ruler. Replace as necessary.

1.2 Morning Star - "Wasteful" GeeseNow you're ready to make the flying geese units for the block - you'll need four using pieces B and C.
1.3 Morning Star - Flying Goose and "Waste"

Referring to the handout provided with the block directions (click here) you'll place one C square even with three edges of a B rectangle and sew directly on the drawn line. Press and check before trimming - be sure to allow that 1/4" seam allowance.

Your seam allowance will be pressed toward the corner of the flying goose (see illustration on the left) and if you sew those "waste" triangles together you won't lose them because we can use them later. Repeat with the opposite corner ... and you'll have a flying goose plus two "wasteful" half-square triangle units.

Cleavage - unplanned :)"Wasteful" Flying GeeseIf you make a bunch of blocks you can end up with a pile of half-square triangle units. Some might accidentally be even just a tad funny.

Ok, I'm getting just a tad distracted here ...

1.12 Morning Star (reverse)1.10 Morning StarOnce you have your flying geese units, you are ready to sew the block together in rows.

Press all seam allowances away from the geese.

Then you can sew those rows together into a complete block.

Are you wondering 
how I pressed those "they were too bulky" and now they're "funny looking" seams?

Here's a closeup. 

First I work on the back side as I open and twist the seam at the same time and press just that corner with the iron.

Morning Star - the twisted seam

I try to keep the "open" part of the seam as short as possible because I really AM . NOT . A . FAN of pressing seems open. 

Then I flip the block over and press the rest of the seam from the right side. And yes, I always press from the right side so that I am sure my seams are completely pressed to the side.

Morning Star - twisting the seamSo there you have it. A completed Morning Star block. Did I miss anything? Don't hesitate to tell me and I'll do my best to explain it further. In the meantime I'm off to get block two ready for you!

Happy sewing one and all and to all a wonderful flight! xox J
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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Make Mine a Double Please!

Oh, it will feel so good to get caught up. There are some very niggling niggling things on my list that are driving me crazy ... but when you take off as much time as I did and just "hang out on the sofa" (doctor's orders) well, then some things are just likely to slide, right?

Make Mine a DOUBLE PleaseWell one thing I got right last week was to get my block designed, sewn and the instructions written for Konda's Fat Quarter Star Quilt Along which debuted today at Moose on the Porch. And guess what? Yep, it works perfectly with our very own Morning Star, Morning Bright Block of the Month. So you really should scoot on over there and check it out. You might not be ready to make the block but you can print out the pattern and put it in your Morning Star, Morning Bright BOM folder.

Oh, and while you're there check out Block One designed by Konda herself ... it fits right into our theme too!

block 1 tuteI did work very hard today on getting the tutorial done for Block One of Morning Star, Morning Bright but not quite hard enough to meet the deadline (ie. my hubby coming home and wanting dinner ... me too - I'm starving!)  But I did take a bunch of pictures, so here's a sneak peak and I promise to give you all the details tomorrow.

 So I'm off to the kitchen ... fresh salmon and sautéed brussel sprouts with cashew nuts tonight - I'm on a serious fish kick right now!  Yummmmeeeee!!!
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Quilt Happenings - a weekend update

Wow, what a great way to spend a Saturday. My darling husband chauffeured me to a sweet little quilt shop in Brielle, Netherlands. 't Atelier Quiltgebeuren (update: this shop has since closed) had invited me to their Bloggerday to show my GOT DOTS quilt and demonstrate how I make my even little dots. Little did I know what a wonderful adventure it would be ...

Bloggerdag at 't Atelier Quilt Gebeuren
L-R: Heidi, Ingeborg & her daughter.
't Atelier Quilt Gebeuren
Sweet, sweet shop! 't Atelier Quiltgebeuren
The shop is owned by mother and daughter-in-law team Willy and Janine. A lovely pair of amazing ladies ... I coulda shoulda taken more pictures but I was much to busy "babbeling" (nattering) with the their customers and a number of new-to-me friends. Janine blogs regularly so you should stop by and check out her beautiful work. She also offers a long-arm quilting service through the shop.

One of the first ladies to greet me was Heidi ... haha, Heidi ... seriously if I could convey the feeling I have every time I think about the weekend. We laughed, compared coasts, threw some punches - literally and laughed some more. It turns out Heidi is from New York ... most of you know I'm from Seattle ... the other ladies got a bit of a kick out of our (feigned) rivalry. Heidi blogs too Between Stitches ... her weekend report is here.

Also on hand was Jeanneke of Building Houses from Scraps fame. I'm sure I caught a few flies (or a couple of handfuls) when she said she's only been quilting 4-5 years! Pop over here and scroll down to the first pic - those are her quilts! Ok, I really must photograph all my finished quilts .. surely I have more than the five I manage to count when everyone asks me how many, how long, etc.

Els was lovely, snapping a funny pic of Heidi and I and writing a sweet description of us. Sadly it's in Nederlands but try google translator ... you'll probably still get the gist. AND she's got some fabulous pictures of the shop and classroom - yep, all those I didn't take.

Els' caption made me giggle "Hey Apple, what's up Seattle?"
Oh, and those quilts behind us are all from Jeanneke!
But I'm hoping to go back ... they're already talking about a visit to Kalken. I'm looking forward to another wonderful exchange of ideas and friendship.

So here's a recap of links you should definitely check out!
Heidi - Between Stitches
Els' Blog

There were so many wonderful ladies ... I wish I could have met them all personally and chatted longer but there was so much to see!  >> If any of you were there and you have a blog .. be sure to let me know I'd be very happy to link you in!

Ingeborg - Quiltswaen

As for me and my babes ... we slept like logs last night to make up for the 4 hours we managed the night before. So today I have the energy of a hundred. First up - taxes. Then the tutorial for Block 1 of our new Morning Star, Morning Bright Block of the Month. Pin It Now!

Friday, January 13, 2012

BLOCK ONE of Morning Star, Morning Bright

We're going to start off basic ... it's a simple 12" Morning Star block.

Every block we make in this quilt is based on this basic Morning Star which includes Flying Geese units. For this block I'm going to suggest the Quick 45° Angle Method (a handout is below) because you'll be able to use the leftover triangles later ... think of it as being one step ahead of the game.

Morning Star, Morning Bright BLOCK ONEYou'll Need:

   A  FOUR 3-1/2" squares
   B  FOUR 3-1/2" x 6-1/2" rectangles

   C  EIGHT 3-1/2" squares

   D  ONE 6-1/2" square

Use pieces B and C and the Quick 45° Angle Method hand-out below to make FOUR flying geese units.  Then you're ready to assemble your block.

I know some of you are very proficient in your quilting and others need a bit of help. I'm running out of time today but absolutely wanted to post this ... so on Monday I'll post a tutorial of the block ... with a picture of the back of my block so you can see how I press my seams.

Quick 45 Flying Geese
Tomorrow we're off to the Netherlands to the Quiltgebeuren to share my GOT DOTS quilt! I am so excited ... the owner asked for my permission to have a group of ladies meet up in her shop to work on my quilt together and a bunch of them are coming too. I am sure it will be a day full of chatter, show and tell and lots inspiration. I promise to take pics and will tell you all about it on Monday! Pin It Now!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Morning Star, Morning Bright

I haven't been sleeping well lately ... one of those crazy prego things that I'm just learning to deal with ... I crash and then am suddenly awake in the wee hours ... hence the name of a new Quilt Along!

So ... does this intrigue?

Red, White & Black
The block on the right is Block 1 from the Fat Quarter Star Quilt Along by Moose on the Porch Quilts.  The other two are just two of many many many for the Morning Star, Morning Bright Quilt Along.
This all started because right around the time I  signed up to design a block for Konda's Fat Quart Quilt Along we found out I was pregnant ... and boy, oh boy, the combination of the two. New ideas, hormones, stars, new ideas, more hormones - you get the picture right ? ... I couldn't sleep! So I got up and sketched about 20 different stars.  But she only needed one ... eleven other designers were taking care of the rest. 

But now my brain was abuzz and I couldn't stop so I thought why not? Let's do a Quilt Along here ... no major rules, a bit of unknown but fun fun fun ... are you in?

Here's what I know so far ...
  • ALL the blocks will finish 12" square (many of you know that's HUGE for me but trust me .. it's going to work AND be gorgeous!)
  • All the stars represented are variations of the "Morning Star" - that block you see in the middle
  • It takes 54 blocks to make a twin quilt with no sashing or borders, 72 for a queen and 90 for a king.
  • I will be posting at least one block or variation every single month. I promise. Sometimes there will be more! 
  • It will be fun
What I don't know ...
  • Exactly how much fabric we will need ... I started with a pile of reds and whites then threw in a few blacks and I'll see how far it takes me.  I'm guessing though that if you had 3 yards of one color group and 3 of another you'd get pretty darn far.
  • If you want a button to go on your blog? Yes? No? ... let me know!

So ... tomorrow I'll share the cutting directions for that great big gorgeous block in the middle and you should mark your calendar for January 17th to check out Konda's Fat Quarter Star Quilt Along at Moose on the Porch Quilts because the block I designed for her works perfectly here too!

And then start throwing questions at me ... what else do you need to know?
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