Friday, May 27, 2011

Block Testing for Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks, Volume 3

Yes, I did.  I tested blocks for Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks, Volume 3.  It was a blast.  I tried some new techniques, challenged my skills, and enjoyed seeing so many unique designs from a variety of talented designers.  Here's a look at the blocks I tested.  Scroll down to the end to see a quilt I made using nine of the blocks.

Party Frock by Kay Mackenzie, Block #206

This is the first block I tested.  I just loved this block.  It uses the quick and easy fusible applique method.  I used a tiny zig-zag to outline the patches, instead of a blanket stitch.  You could put together a whole dress shop quilt by using different fabric combinations.  

Horizon by Vanessa Vargas Wilson, Block #255

This block is paper foundation pieced.  It was a little tricky to cut the fabric large enough to cover the foundation correctly.  I did this one twice to get it right.  Multiple Horizon blocks make an interesting design when set together.

Winston Ways by Bonnie Hunter, Block #279

This block was fun to piece.  I gave it a scrappy look, and used up some of the small pieces I had.  There are 96 pieces in this block - it's like a quilt all on it's own.

Going in Circles, by Paula Stoddard, Block #252

This block had me spinning!  Paula used four different fabric combinations, but I decided to make 2 matching sets for mine.  I used freezer paper to make the templates for the rings.  I ironed the freezer paper right onto the fabric, marked it, cut it out and hand appliqued the rings in place before removing the freezer paper.  

Film Strip by Scott Murkin, Block #289

This block was fun to watch evolve.  It looked so different at each step.  You could make a really interesting quilt using this block and some variations from it.  My son Gavin, says it looks like a garden.

Desert Lily by Caroline Reardon, Block #248

This is one of my favorites.  I really like the color combinations in this block.  It is paper foundation pieced.  The small lilies in the corners were tough to keep in square.  The overall effect is glorious.  It makes me wonder, are there lilies in the desert?

Stepping Stone by Janice Averill, Block #228

I made my applique circle out of striped fabric and turned it the opposite way from the background stripes to make it stand out.  I did a hand blanket stitch around the applique circle.  This was my first time sewing a hand blanket stitch and it didn't come out as evenly as I would have liked.  The overall block went together smoothly.

Night Lights by Gina Reddin, Block #211

When I had all applique pieces cut out for this block I was a little daunted about how they would fit together, but it really went quite nicely.  My version of this block doesn't really fit the name, as I used a light background.  Gina's block has a black background and the colors really pop.  My block is more like Day Lights.

Spring's Best by Ann Weber, Block #214

What a pretty floral applique block.  The pieces are all fusible applique.  Each flower petal is an individual piece.  It was a little tricky to arrange them all.  The leaf veins are made from a separate piece laid behind the leaves.  I love the way this block came out.  I have this block turned sideways in my quilt.

Cactus Flower by Sue Beevers, Block #215

This block really does remind me of the cactus I have in my yard.  It's such an interesting plant.  It goes through so many changes every year that it looks different almost every day.  This block is paper foundation pieced.  It was difficult to get the four sections to line up properly after piecing the foundations.  I had to take the papers off and pin heavily.

Fantasy Flutterby by Jo Moury, Block #241

I challenged myself to make this block in a red, white, and blue color scheme.  This is the most intricate block I tested.  It was my first time making "Tiny Bias Stems".  Quiltmaker's method for this really worked well.  This block has piecing, applique, tiny bias stems, satin stitching, backstitching, lazy daisy stitches, and French knots.  

Spring Beauties by Rochelle Martin, Block #240

I kept to the red, white, and blue for this block also.  It was my first time making yo-yo's.  How embarrassing!  Everyone learned how to make them as kids, right?  I had a hard time with them.  My son Gavin pointed out that the pairs of leaves kind of look like bushy mustaches.  :)

Twister by Christina McCourt, Block #286

This block was fast, fun, and easy to make.  I wish I had done my color selection a little differently.  Christina's has a reproduction look to it.  Her's looks great.

Khanam's Surprise by Cinzia White, Block #299

The sections for this block had really unusual shapes.  They pieced together beautifully.  It really was a surprise to see the finished block.  

Lollipops by Jennifer Schifano Eutsler

Here's the quilt I made, using the nine of the blocks I tested.  The setting and borders are my original design.  I love the way all the colors and blocks pop out.  I call it Lollipops, because each block is a different "flavor".

Monday, May 23, 2011

Pinwheel X Pattern on sale now.

Be the first to own our very first pattern, Pinwheel X, pictured above.  This is a fast & fun paper foundation piecing pattern in patriotic red, white, and blue.  At 37" x 44", it's a great size for a lap quilt, baby quilt, or wall art.  Available now for purchase at