Sunday, July 25, 2010

Square in a Square

ADVANCING ON II with the SQUARE IN A SQUARE technique / Jodi Barrows

This is a workbook for the Square in a Square technique system for Options #1-17. It replaced the original “Advancing On” book.

DSC07938Book, Fabrics

I had seen this technique demonstrated on TV many years ago, and thought… this is something I want to learn. However, as time passed, many other things and quilting techniques distracted me.

So, when I was looking through my own quilting books, realizing that I was soon to run out of books I hadn’t tried yet... I picked this one up. I decided it was time to try it…

Time to reveal my next project... I choose: “In the Garden with Tumbling Blocks” on page 69. It is labelled at an intermediate skill level project.

As I considered what I could make, this project felt like the best option… as I knew, I wouldn’t be able to try all 17 options this time; but if I tried just a few, I’d see how FUN this was!!

The project was for making a 48” x 55” sized quilt. It was going to have to be downsized for my challenge. So, as I turned the page, there was my answer that I needed… a tumbling block chart and diagram showing 12 blocks. Perfect size!!

So, I was going to finally:
          1.) get the opportunity to use that special ruler and try out two of the options (#1, #3) in this project!
          2.) do it by making a true tumbling blocks quilt. Some, say it is a difficult block to make!

Take a look… let me show you how easy it is to make when using the SQUARE IN A SQUARE technique.

Well, you know… there is ALWAYS something that seems difficult when trying out new techniques! Choosing your colors for a new project could be one of them, right? But, wait… To even make this simple, just pick a LIGHT, MEDIUM, and DARK fabric.

OKAY, ready!!… here are my fabric choices:

LIGHT: selvage block--MEDIUM: yellow--DARK: black



After I had made my center blocks (using selvages), I was ready to construct the required blocks. I also needed to make sure my words would face in the proper direction.

First, two (yellow) pieces are sewn to opposite sides of the light color block (selvage block). Next, two (black) pieces are sewn to the two remaining sides of the center block.


Then, using the Square in a Square ruler, each corner is cut to produce the finished block, below.


After the individual blocks were constructed; they were sewn into rows of four blocks each. Shown below are two rows ready to be stitched together to make the 12 block square.


Close-ups… of the tumbling blocks. (Front & Back)



To complete the quilt…

I considered many options for finishing this 12-block piece. One goal I did have was to make something that didn’t end up square. To accomplish this, I cut off a piece of the bottom row and then added a white border. Now, what?

Here is one of the layouts, that was considered. I’d add a black border, all around; and a yellow/black strip on each side.

But… it didn’t seem very exciting, at this point. With the center of the block done with selvages, it seemed to need more.


So… I added more color to the sides!

The decorative strips on each side were made from fabrics used in the tumbling blocks. I continued adding pieces until I had the desired length. I even added pieces of the selvage block cut from the 12-block square. For more, I added mock piping, as shown below.


Now, that looked more like it!! I think I’ll stop there. As one can see, quilting is a very creative art. And, fun it was!!

DSC08199Binding with Mock Piping

If you find some blocks difficult to make, it may be time to try the Square in a Square technique and see if you agree with me!! 

These tumbling blocks just “fell together” easily. Thanks Jodi for such a great way to construct quilt blocks!!

My Finished Quilt
DSC00055 (5)
(Finished size: 18” x 33”)

During the making of this quilt, I thought it would be fun to give all the Options in the book, a try.  In my opinion, that would be a great project for a sampler quilt. Also, check out Jodi’s website for more options, videos, and other fun stuff.


So, it worked out that I got to do tumbling blocks, after all, using a new twist! And, that is why quilters have so much fun with fabric!!

Why not start today… and unlock your own potential to begin producing wonderful discoveries of your own?

Selvage Blocks

To create the selvage block centers, I’ve posted an entry on my other blog, entitled: “Look, No Pins”. Otherwise this entry may never have ended…

Thanks for reading…

Sunday, July 18, 2010

That Wonderful Stuff

When I planned this 2010 Quilt Challenge... I knew I wouldn’t be able to buy more fabric for quite sometime. I needed to utilize the supplies that already filled my sewing cabinet. This challenged me to select colors from what I had and made me realize that I did have great colors.

Browns, Yellows, Oranges

Those organized shelves of fabrics really did inspire me to try to stay true to my quilting goals for this challenge. The one thing I did need to buy was batting for finishing the quilts.
I do believe that most quilters already have an abundance of fabric and sewing supplies. So then what should we do with it all?

We could start by…

donating books to libraries or charitable causes
when no longer needed,
playing with our fabrics.. to try out more new techniques,
sharing our resources with new quilters or participating in a local quilt guild,
simply loving the inspiration those beautiful fabrics provide,
and stop feeling guilty!

It is my personal intent… to use those books that have previously just decorated my bookshelves and that fabric that looks so pretty in my cabinet; to use more of it and allow it to become…

Beautiful Quilts

What About This…

Have you ever read about or heard someone saying that you should “save for a rainy day”? Or, grown up with the idea that we need to save and store up supplies for that day when we may not have the resources or ability to buy more?

This may be fine for you, but it seems to me… that for the most part, it ends up being “stuff” we are constantly trying to keep organized, with little success.

And then, recently, I was at a huge personal fabric sale from a long time quilter that had recently passed on. No, I had never meet her or even knew her quilting style, but my guess was... that she had loved fabric!

Yes, it was indeed a great place to check out quality fabrics at low prices!  And this time, I was able to buy some pieces… and will look forward to adding them into upcoming projects! I chose mostly lights and darks so I have fabrics for those background colors I didn't have in my cabinet.

My new fabrics from that sale!

As I know that each of our life’s journeys is unique, it still makes me curious about…   I still wondered what she would think now of all that fabric that she wasn’t able to utilize? Would she have done things differently, if she had known the outcome?

It really does become apparent to me that there will be many times when our attempts to follow through on chosen projects will be challenged. So... my recommendation would be to seriously consider what you'll do with those great fabrics you have, this year!

Some Things to Ponder…

When we understand and have the belief that we create our own reality by our thoughts, we really can reshape our own existence to live a more joyful and happy life.

Those beautiful fabrics and books we own, hopefully, will inspire and teach us how to become more creative and expressive. Instead of excuses of “I can’t”, or “I don’t have time”, or “I don’t have enough” or “I don’t have money to create from what I have”, etc. you can turn those around, by affirming:

“I do have enough and whatever I require will always
show up in my life, right on time.”

In my own challenge so far, this year; I have learned to stretch my abilities to... use colors together that actually work from my supply, tried new techniques, and continue to focus on creating projects that I can share on this blog.

So why not find your own purpose and discover that you do have the ability within… to move ahead.

Cross that Bridge Today!


My twelvth project will be shared next week...

Advancing On II with the
Square in a Square Technique/
Jodi Barrows

More Book Titles...
If you wish to see more quilting books you can also check out my website for more details. Also, to check out the books that will be featured this summer.

Enjoy your summer… and continue being creative in making time to create beautiful stitches !!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Redwork Stitchery

QUILTING for the first time/ by Donna Kooler

Time to reveal my next project... I choose: Project 4 in the Beyond the Basics section of the book, "How do I frame needlework with a lattice-strip border?"

For any new quilters, this book is a great place to start!

All of the projects are small and need very little time to complete. Here you can find simple projects that will be a great beginning to discover if quilting is what you wish to pursue, under three sections: Quilting Basics, Basic Techniques, Beyond the Basics.

Book, Fabrics

I decided to try the redwork stitchery to see how I liked it. As, is usually the case, one doesn’t wish to spend much time, money, or resources to see if a new technique will work for us.

Embroidery was the first technique I learned when I was a young person. I really enjoyed it and liked sewing with lots of different colors. So, I thought this project would be a good choice for trying out if I liked stitching with only one color.

Also, this project was done about the time we learned that we’d be moving, so a small project definitely helped me stay focused and get it completed quickly.

 Penciled design on fabric, red embroidery thread

Stitchery completed

What I discovered was that I still love color, so found it not as exciting as if I had used more colors. However, it was quick to stitch the small design and put it together. I also found doing the embroidery stitches easy and fun. I would however, use a different hoop and perfer working on a larger design!

Once the lattice-strips are sewn together and then added to each side, the tabs are attached. Then the layers are assembled and stitched, leaving a small opening. It is turned with right sides out and the opening is stitched closed.

Adding the tabs to the top

Layering the top, batting and backing

The following photos show the finished results. If it had been a school project, I would have lost marks as one of the borders was cut incorrectly. However, my results were to see how I liked redwork stitchery and that was accomplished.



My Finished Quilt
Approx. Size: 9” X 10” (doesn't include the tabs)

If you wish to see what books are being featured this summer, you can also check out my website for more details. Next project (July 25) will involve using selvages... using the Square In A Square technique.

Enjoy your quilting journey in 2010!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

My Button Reveal

What is it about buttons? Are they just practical, decorative, beautiful, colorful or all of these? Or does this photo explain it all?

If so many of us love to collect them, why are they stashed in simple boxes or bags to not be seen, until needed for a project? Hopefully, we aren't embarrassed that we have so many, or else... perhaps it's time to have a button party and share them with others!

I recently blogged about the book, “Turning Twenty... Again” and was honoured to receive such a wonderful email from the author. And when I checked out her weblog, I found she displays her button collection in such beautiful containers, I thought I'd include the link to that particular posting. So, if you wish, go take a look and see if they inspire you to do the same with your buttons!!

Yes, it definitely takes a lot of buttons to fill all those fancy containers….

This inspired me to get my buttons out of their various sizes of ziploc bags and out of that worn old brown box they were stored in and out to where I could enjoy them. I found out that I don't have near as many, but why not display them, anyway!

Two Simple Jars

Buttons On High

I do realize that it will be much harder to get to those on the bottom, but for now they are available to view. And it will be delightful to pour them out into a tray or baking dish when I wish to make selections for that next great project.

Seems to me… that running my fingers through an assortment of buttons is as delightful as playing in the dirt when doing a gardening project. So, there you go…

Enjoy your buttons and all those cool items that make creating so much fun!!

quilting for the first time

My eleventh project will be shared next week...
Quilting For the First Time/ Donna Kooler

More Books...
If you wish to see what books are being featured you can also check out my website for more details.

Enjoy your quilting adventure for... 2010!!