FINALLY FINISHED: FLOWERS & TUMBLERS (part 4)

This quilt started out as…well, not what it ended up. It is sections made of left-over parts from other quilts. However, it is finally finished: Flowers & Tumblers !!!!

FINALLY FINISHED: FLOWERS & TUMBLERS (part 4)

The machine quilting has been done for a couple months, but I couldn’t decide what color or fabric to bind it in. I finally decided to continue the left-over idea and go with making a binding of pieces of other bindings that there is not enough of to do any complete quilt.

Waste not, want not as the saying goes.

This quilt was machine quilted in a “meandering” or stipple design. Thread is a variegated gray.

Batting: 80/20 poly and cotton mix.

Finished size: 102″ square.

To see the progression of this quilt, please look at these posts:

Part 1:

There is also a PDF of the hexie and the tumbler for your use.

https://indianaquilter40.com/flowers-tumblers-or-scraps-are-taking-over-my-world-part-1/

Part 2:

https://indianaquilter40.com/flowers-tumblers-or-scraps-are-taking-over-my-world-part-2

Part 3:

https://indianaquilter40.com/flowers-tumblers-or-scraps-are-taking-over-my-world-part-3

This quilt was done in sections: the tumblers, the English paper pieced hexies, and finally the flying geese borders.

Close up of tumbler section of quilt
Close up of tumbler section – there is a total chaos of various scraps.

Tumblers:

Looking at the above photo of part of a tumbler section – there certainly is no rhyme or reason to the fabric scraps. This is what happens when a person just buys and uses fabric they like. If it is any comfort, my stash has the same kind of wide variety of fabric designs and colors too.

Don’t be afraid to follow your heart with colors, and designs of fabrics. Make every quilt you make so that you are satisfied and happy with it.

English paper pieced flowers using hexagons made of fabric scraps.
English paper pieced hexies “blooming” on a rick-rack “vine”.

English Paper Pieced Hexagons:

The above hexies are hand sewn and appliqued along the “vine”. I intended to add leaves but actually forgot about adding them until after I had already moved on to another project.

I made the “executive” decision to not add the leaves or stress about it. This quilt grew and changed as it was worked on.

Have fun with your quilts. If the direction of the quilt changes as you “birth” it that is just fine.

FINALLY FINISHED: FLOWERS & TUMBLERS
Flying Geese border. Notice the different fabrics that make up the binding.

Flying Geese borders:

So I decided to make the final border out of Flying Geese. Wow, did I mess up on the math! But rather than start over, or whine about it, I came up with a quick fix.

I sewed as many geese together as possible to make a “almost” complete border on each side. At that point my choice was sew another goose on and have to cut part of it off. Or I could add a piece of white backing to fit. The geese do not completely go around, but the solution looks like it was planned.

I tend to not ask other quilters about solutions to fix quilts. Why ?? Because once I come up with something, other folks generally think that was my intended design in the first place. They don’t see the mistake and that is a nice boost after a struggle to fix an issue.

The beauty of making quilts from simple shapes and patterns is that mistakes can be generally easy to fix. Put the quilt top where you can look at it for a few minutes or hours (or days). What fabric or design element can be added to fix the problem?

Get out magazine or quilt books for ideas. Look at Pintrest. Look at your stash. Think outside the usual box for this pattern. Ask other quilters or FB groups. You can do this.

Pieced together backing of this quilt,
The pieced together backing of this quilt.

Backing:

Because I made math errors, I had to add fabric to the backing. The small strips of toile fabrics at the ends are left-overs from other backings.

After piecing together this backing, I have seriously given some thought to doing at least one reversible quilt. After all, why should the front be the only pretty part of the quilt….

Thankfully this quilt is finally finished: Flowers & Tumblers (part 4). It is time to move onto the next quilt adventure.

Call to Arms:

I hope you will use the Flowers & Tumblers quilt to inspire you to make a quilt from fabrics or patterns you have never combined together into one quilt before.

Think outside the box, have fun, and enjoy the journey as your quilt comes together.

Some ideas for tumblers and hexies:

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pdox/tumbler-quilts/

https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2017/07/tumblers-galore.html

https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2019/07/colonial-times-2.html

https://www.mybluprint.com/article/what-is-english-paper-piecing

Clip art of pieced block

THE GREAT MIGRATION QUILT

The Great Migration Quilt is simply a combination of two sizes of Flying Geese blocks. The blocks are left-overs from two previous projects.

The Great Migration Quilt
Completed top – trying to get a photo between rain storms…

The “geese” started out as 5″ squares and 8″ squares that were sewn diagonally through the center to make two half square triangles (HST).

I sewed 10 of the bigger “geese” into three rows.

The two rows of smaller “geese” have 20 blocks in each. They did not quite fit right so I ended up adding about an inch of muslin to the end of each. Use those creative skills…

The small interior borders are simply three strips 1.75″ wide sewn together.

The burgundy exterior borders are 4″ for top and bottom, and 6″ for the two sides.

The top went together quickly since the “geese” blocks were already together or mostly together. I think it took me longer to add the borders. Simple and quick quilt.

HST waiting to be sewn into geese.
5″ blocks sewn into HST – waiting to be sewn into “geese”.
Flying Geese blocks.
Sewn into geese.

I did not buy anything for The Great Migration Quilt but the batting (even used a coupon). The geese blocks were left-overs from other projects. The borders were fabrics in my stash. The backing was the extra wide backing fabric that was already in my stash. It is a very satisfying feeling to know that I am using what is on hand.

Please don’t feel like you have to go out and purchase fabric for every quilt you make. Beautiful quilts can be made from the scraps and stash you already have on hand.

Https://indianaquilter40.com/flowers-tumblers-or-scraps-are-taking-over-my-world-part-3/

Https://indianaquilter40.com/night-flight

https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2017/12/birds-in-air.html

A ROAD TRIP AND BEAUTIFUL QUILTS

Clip Art - road trip with car and family

Today was a fairly nice day for early December in central Indiana. No snow, no rain, in the 40’s temp range, partly cloudy that eventually turned blue. I wanted to be outside but couldn’t think of a real reason to be there – I needed to be getting some fabric cut. Um….how about a road trip and beautiful quilts thrown in.

So six Christmas quilts got chosen to go along and get their photos taken outside and/or in an interesting location. Ended up in Sullivan County, Indiana with my trusty side kicks (AKA hubby and grand-daughter).

The first stop was the county courthouse which is listed as a National Historic Place. Has a really pretty roof (stained glass?) and marble pillars. https://www.cityofsullivan.org/sullivan-county-courthouse

Stained glass roof of rotunda at Sullivan courthouse.
Roof of Sullivan courthouse rotunda 12/06/2019
Staircase at Sullivan courthouse.
Staircase at Sullivan courthouse 12/06/2019

The below quilt is named “Lettuce Be Berry” and was completed in 2014. https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2014/09/lettuce-be-berry.html

Lettuce Be Berry (a green and red log cabin quilt).

The photo below is “Christmas Stars and was finished in 1999. https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2011/12/christmas-stars.html

Christmas Stars quilt

And here they are hanging together. People who were in the courthouse stopped and commented that they were pretty. I provided an unexpected quilt show.

Two Christmas quilts in red and green.

Next stop – The Sullivan County Public Library. It is a Carnegie library and is a neat looking building also with a rotunda and stonework exterior. https://www.sullivan.lib.in.us/locations/main-library/

This one is “Christmas Scraps” completed this year (2019). https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2017/10/christmas-scraps.html

Windmill blade quilt in red, green, and black.

Here is a “Christmas Stars completed in 2000 for our son. It still lives at our home. https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2011/12/christmas-stars_17.html

Black border, white stars, and red and green blocks.

This one is “Grandma Came for Christmas”, is hand quilted, and was completed in 1997. https://indianaquilter40.com/grandma-came-for-christmas-hand-quilted/

And finally a “Flying Geese” quilt that was finished in 1999. Flying geese quilts are so much fun and they look great in any color choice. https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2011/04/flying-geese.html

Flying geese are red and green with a medium blue border.

Taking photos of quilts is fun and honestly, who doesn’t want to show off the quilts they make? Look around for interesting places to use when taking photos of your quilts – it can be your own personal quilt show and a fun road show at the same time.

FLOWERS & TUMBLERS (or scraps are taking over my world) part 3

Quilt with tumblers, paper pieced flowers and flying geese border

Background of Flowers & Tumblers quilt:
FLOWERS & TUMBLERS (or scraps are taking over my world) part 3 – I have been trying to use only scraps to make quilts during 2019 and am making a dent in the two boxes of scraps. For this quilt I was inspired by a row quilt that I hand quilted for a customer this past summer and thought that some sort of row or section quilt would be fun. See previous posts:

https://indianaquilter40.com/flowers-tumblers-or-scraps-are-taking-over-my-world-part-1/

https://indianaquilter40.com/flowers-tumblers-or-scraps-are-taking-over-my-world-part-2/

Once the sections of tumblers and flowers were complete, I added 2.5″ strips of lightweight denim sashing around the sections. Now to come up with a border.

What to do about a final border? I decided on Flying Geese. So maybe I should change the name of the quilt from Flowers & Tumblers….No, I like the name. Anyway,   I wanted big geese so started with 9″ squares that I will mark down the center diagonally and then sew the foot width from each side of the line.  Those will be cut apart on the pencil line, turned and sewn together as geese.  The advantage of this method is that there is no stretchy side to deal with and they can be made any size.

I sewed 20 big geese blocks, but I wasn’t thinking about how each goose is 2 blocks so after sewing the geese together, I realized they were way too big (um….ever heard of measure twice and cut once?) so I just went thru the scrap bin again and pulled out scraps to cut 5″ squares that sewn together as geese will make 9.5″ geese (the correct width for this project).

How to make the flying geese for the border

I cut 5″ squares of white or cream muslin and cut 5″ squares of various scraps. Just FYI – making geese this way allows you to make the geese any size you want for any project.

Stack of muslin square and stack of scrap squares.
5″ squares

I drew a line from corner to corner on the light colored squares with a pencil. This line will allow me to sew a straight line beside it and use the marked line as the cutting line for a half square triangle (HST).

Square with pencil mark diagonally from corner to corner.
Sewing along beside the pencil mark in previous photo.

Below are the sewn blocks all ready to be cut apart and be ironed. I assembly line sew the geese all one way along the drawn line, and then sew them the other way. Here are the long line of blocks all sewn on both sides of the line.

5" blocks sewn on both sides of the drawn line.

Once I have sewn on both sides of the drawn line, then I cut the geese apart so they look like below. Now they are ready to be cut on the drawn line and ironed.

Half square triangles before being cut apart.

See below that the blocks are ironed and stacked by twos so I can match them and complete the “geese”.

Ironed half square triangles.

Here are two sewn geese. They are ironed and ready to go into a row.

2 matching HST sewn together and ironed.
The 2 matching HST sewn together and ironed. Now to sew all the geese into rows.

I sewed the geese together in pairs of 2, then those into pairs of 4, etc until I had the border the length I wanted.

Pile of "geese" ready to sew together into a row of "geese"

And that is how I make HST geese. It is time consumptive and I have no doubt others have methods that work just as well for them, but this is what works for me.

I came up a few geese short so I added white fabric to the borders to take up that space. I just wanted to be done with this quilt and move on to another one. Who says that the geese actually have to go all the way around the quilt border anyway?

Here is the PDF pattern for the exact size tumbler and hexagon I used:

I did some of this quilt while on a quilt retreat in northern Maine, see here for post about that:

https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2019/09/returned-from-trip-and-ready-to-go-again.html


What about the other Flying Geese blocks that were too big?


As for the blocks that are now complete but too big for this project, they are in the shoe box with the left over tumblers from this quilt.  I believe the next scrap quilt is already started.  I am starting to visualize a whole bunch of section quilts to use up the scraps.

I am already planning……

So what happens once the scraps are under control? At that point, I get to make a planned quilt.  I have an idea for one that will be Christmas themed. On hand, I have a black and white Paris themed fabric and if I combine it with red and green Christmas prints, I can make a quilt dedicated to my trip to Paris at Christmas in 1985.  My mind is already wandering to other possibilities……..



FLOWERS & TUMBLERS (or scraps are taking over my world) – Part 1

Colorful scrap quilt that has sections of tumblers, English paper pieced flowers, and flying geese blocks.

This Flowers & Tumblers quilt looks great, but it did not start as a cohesive quilt idea. It started out as an exercise in frustration because the scraps had gotten out of hand and were taking over my world. I absolutely had to do something to stop the flood of scrap piles on the floor, on the shelves, and generally in my way.

On Jan. 1, 2019 I went thru every single piece of fabric on the shelves and put anything a quarter yard or less in a box (ok, it turned out to be two). Then I started cutting 3″ blocks, 2.5″ strips, and hexagons in two sizes. Each type went in plastic storage totes.

The leftovers from this went in a “crumb” tub to make string or crumb blocks at some point in the future.

Large tub full of colorful strips and odd shaped scraps for making string or crumb quilts.
This tub stays below the cutting table – the odd shapes and too small stuff for the sizes I normally cut go to live in here until I get a chance to make “crazy” blocks.

The hexagons went in bags that I drug around on my job travels. The smaller size “flowers” are being appliqued to plain muslin blocks. The larger ones shown here got used in the strips in the photos – and yes, there are several more waiting for me to get back to them.

Am I the only one who comes out with leftovers from most of my quilts? Honestly, I never thought I was that bad at math….

One English paper pieced flower in blues.
Several English paper pieced flowers in various colors laying on grass.
Two muslin strips with vines and paper pieced flowers appliqued down.
The vine is left over rick-rack and bias tape. Photo taken on dock at lake in Maine.

So these two strips of English paper pieced flowers were the starting point for this quilt. I made the flowers while at a family reunion in July. I don’t sit well with nothing in my hands, so these were easy to pick up and put down with all the visiting and conversations.

PDF pattern for flowers and tumblers. These are the exact size off the plastic pattern pieces I used (print off on 8″ x 10″ paper). The flower will take 7 hexagons (1 center and 6 petals):

Here is a link to my previous blog about the quilt shown here, and it gives a basic idea of how to do English paper piecing. I will get back to giving more info and better directions in a later post here for Flowers & Tumblers.

https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2019/07/grandmas-flower-garden-or-take-along.html

In the meantime, have a great time on your quilt projects. You have got this……

Clip art of girl sewing red quilt top.

Please comment fellow quilters – do you like English paper piecing? If so, what is your most used shape?

NIGHT FLIGHT (or a Flying Geese quilt)

Flying Geese quilt with black background and bright colored geese.

I absolutely love Flying Geese blocks and making quilts with them. They can be arranged in other ways beside the traditional Flying Geese quilts. I like darker backgrounds, and thought that “Night Flight” was a good description of geese flying through a night sky.

According to a couple books in my personal library, this setting is called “Dutchman’s Puzzle”.

Close up of the flying geese

 All the “geese” in this quilt are Jinny Beyers fabric. I had a stash of them and thought this would make a really neat looking quilt if I used solid black for the background. I put a lot of hours into this quilt and it was finished from start to finish in 2008.

I started with 5″ squares. I drew a line diagonally and then sewed on each side of the line to make 2 half square triangle pieces that I matched and sewed up the center to make each “goose”. I know this is a time consumptive method, but I prefer the accuracy and working with smaller pieces of fabric.

In order to put the design together, I simply laid the pieces out like a magazine photo I had seen. The pieces in the photo were much smaller, but I like the bigger blocks and they were actually easy to work with.

I used to spend a lot of time working with triangles, but over the past 10 years or so I have gone to using the half square triangle method because of the accuracy, and the way triangles tend (for me at least) to really stretch out of shape, which is means a lot more squaring up to make the blocks fit.

Sometimes I show other quilters how to make these blocks, and this is always the method I teach them. The size can be adjusted easily to any size of triangles that are desired.

Another close up of the Flying Geese.

The backing is not a match to the front at all. In fact, I think it is a super ugly fabric (my own opinion), but it was on sale for a great price and is a good quality cotton. Also it is was on hand and the budget did not stretch far enough to cover another back, and the machine quilting.

Backing fabric for this quilt is large orange flowers with green leaves.

Finished size is 100″ square.

Machine quilted in an all over cloud design by RLM in July 2008.

The binding was 2.5″ strips cut from the leftover Jinny Beyers fabrics, sewn into a long strip, and ironed in half (1.25″). I machine sewed the raw edge down on the front, flipped it over to the back and hand stitched down. (I save my binding for the winter time when I can put in a movie and just enjoy the process of multi-tasking at my own pace).

Night Flight quilt outside

Here are two links to other info on Flying Geese quilts: https://www.fabric.com/blog/sewing-101-flying-geese-3-ways/ https://suzyquilts.com/flying-geese-quilt-tutorial/