Sailboat Block

Sailboat Block

You remember a couple of posts back I gave you a short video on how to construct this cute block. The possibilities  for what to do with the finished block included making a bunch more for a  quilt, making a toss pillow, making a pot holder and others. Well, I just finished making mine into a pillow, and here is the result! Basically, I added a 1-1/2″ border of darker blue,  then made a mini quilt of this larger block, using batting, backing, and stitching along all the straight lines, to make the sailboat stand out. The same blue was used for the backside of the pillow, two hemmed pieces overlapping at the center to provide an opening for the 14″ square pillow form. The pillow back pieces were sewn to the mini-quilt front, wrong sides together. The Abracadabra method of making bias binding was used to make 2-1/2″ wide binding from the same dark blue, and it was sewn on just like a larger quilt, mitred corners and all. Voila! My pillow is finished and I love it, don”t you?

Never feel overwhelmed by the thought of making a full size quilt. Start with something easy and cute like this sailboat block, find out how much fun it is, and you’ll be looking forward to trying something larger.

Happy Stitching!

 

 

Someday you may discover a beautiful fabric that you can just envision as a coverlet on your bed,
but feel is far too lovely to cut up for piecing.  I found just such a fabric!

The solution lay in getting accurate measurements of the size
coverlet I wanted (mine was for a king size bed so I needed three
lengths), cutting the fabric into those lengths, and seaming them
together lengthwise.  I then took this piece to a longarm quilter
along with the backing.  (You can purchase backing fabric
120″ wide, so I only needed one length of my backing fabric.)
I chose a fairly thin batting, blue thread and a lovely swirly pattern
for the machine quilting. Once it had been quilted, I brought it home
and finished it up with bias binding as I would have for any quilt.
Voila!  I love it!

So does Maizie!

 

This easy, fun seasonal sailboat quilt block is perfect for a summertime project! This block makes a lovely quilt, or, if you are short on time, you could just make one block and turn it into a fun pillow.

Springtime Glory quilt

Springtime Glory quilt


Close-up of Springtime Gloryt

Close-up of Springtime Gloryt


It seemed to take a long time to finish this lovely, not because of any difficulty factor, but because many other daily duties pushed it lower on the priority list. But here it is, and I’m tickled pink with the final result! About 20 fabrics went into the making of Springtime Glory, all scraps that I’d saved from other quilt projects. Working on this was a delight as it constantly reminded me of other quilts I’d made, and where they had found a home. I decided on a more neutral background with a pretty white motif for the backing, as there was so much going on frontside. The lovely finish quilting design really shows up well, making the back as fun as the front. (Enlarge the picture for more detail) This generously sized 72″X 63″ quilt is for sale, and can be purchased through this website (see the contact page) or through my etsy store, abracadabra quilting. Here’s to a happy summer and a quilt that just bursts with spring and summertime color!

Scrappy quilt top finished! Now, to have it finish quilted...

Scrappy quilt top finished! Now, to have it finish quilted…

A close-up of Springtime Glory

A close-up of Springtime Glory

My scrappy quilt, using only pieces from my stash, is finished, and ready to be taken to the long-arm quilter. I’m delighted with the way it turned out, and it was so much fun to construct! (The simple directions are found in the previous blog post.) What a great way to use up “bits and bobs” and feel satisfied that they weren’t just tossed away. Now, because I just made up this simple pattern as I went along, and wasn’t following anyone else’s directions, I think I get to name it. Looking at all the lovely floral prints that were used, I’m going to call it “Springtime Glory”. (Be sure to enlarge the pictures so you’re able to really see all the lovely fabrics that blend so nicely in this floral montage.) The next blog post will show the finished quilt, so stay tuned….

Happy Stitching to you all!

10-1/2" block with 4 patch center and log cabin frame using scraps

10-1/2″ block with 4 patch center and log cabin frame using scraps

001 So,you have all these marvelous bits and pieces of fabric left over from past projects, and you’re wondering just how they can be used in a fresh and oh-so-lovely way. Recently, I gave myself that little challenge, and here’s what happened…I just started piecing! I began with a four patch in the center, each piece 2″ (finished), using the Abracadabra stripping technique to save time (otherwise you have all these little 2-1/2″ squares to sew together separately). Then I decided to add 3-1/2″ log cabin technique frames. VOILA, a simple yet fun and colorful 10-1/2″ block. Now I’m going to add 2-1/2″ sashing between the blocks with 2-1/2″ squares at the corners. I’ve laid out four blocks on the carpet along with the sashing so you can see how it will look. I think I’ll go for four blocks across and five down, then add a zippy contrast 1″ border, and 6″ wide finish borders. I might even piece those so they have more than one fabric in each border. It’s so much fun to design as you’re going along, just letting your creative spirit move you. Give it a try!

HAPPY STITCHING!

King size quilt using the basic star quilt block-I call it Sea Star

King size quilt using the basic star quilt block-I call it Sea Star

Alrighty then, just how large should you make your quilt?? First let me mention that all Abracadabra Quilting patterns can be added to or made smaller, depending on the purpose of the quilt. You simply make more blocks (or less), or in the case of the Hugs and Kisses (which is put together in rows and not blocks), more rows. Larger quilts will require more fabric, of course. But a little time spent figuring should help you come up with the yardage.(It’s always best to err on the side of too much fabric rather than too little.) Then it’s going to depend upon how you’re going to use your quilt…a wall hanging, a queen size coverlet, a crib blanket?
Following are some basic guidelines for quilt sizes, depending on their use. (Much of this will depend on other variables such as how thick mattresses are, whether or not you’re planning on using a bed skirt, or the size of the wall space where you plan on hanging the quilt. Obviously, a measuring tape is going to come in handy as you figure out the dimensions you’re going to want.)
Place mats: 11″-12″ wide by 15″-18″ length
Table topper or runner: Depending upon the size and shape of your table, you can determine the size you’ll need. A typical square table topper might be 36″ by 36″, turning the quilt so that the corners are pointed towards the sides of the table. A table runner is usually 12″ to 18″ wide, running the length of the table.
Wallhanging: Your choice! Just make sure it fits the space.
Baby quilt: Usually 36″ by 36″ – 52″ depending upon whether you want it to fit in a crib.
Wheelchair or lap quilt: 36″ by 36″ – 38″
Personal size quilt: This quilt can vary widely in size, depending on the pattern chosen .
Twin: between 64″-72″ wide by 86″-96″ long
Full: between 70″-88″ wide by 88″-100″ long
Queen: between 88″-99″ wide by 94″-108″ long
King: between 94″-108″ wide by 94″-108″ long
A last tip on sizing quilts:You can always add wider or more borders to enlarge a quilt, or smaller borders to decrease the size.

HAPPY STITCHING!

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We layer our hair, we layer our clothing, why not layer quilts? The picture is of my king size bed. I made the quilt using the Garden Trellis pattern, but was disappointed upon its completion, because it just looked too skimpy. The solution? Layer it on top of another larger quilt! I found a sunshiney yellow backing fabric, 108″ wide, that looked like it would be perfect. Double the length plus a yard extra for the binding was purchased so that the quilt would be reversable. I cut off the yard for the binding and laid it aside. Then the large piece was cut in half across the width. I took those two pieces to Linda, my long arm quilter friend, and we chose a thin batting, a fun pantograph pattern, and yellow thread. She got busy, and soon the quilt was ready to trim and bind, according to Abracadabra instructions. Voila! I had a lively yellow quilt to layer underneath my skimpy but beautiful Garden Trellis quilt. I love the look, and have especially enjoyed the extra warmth when the temperature has dipped these winter nights.
I chose a yellow fabric with no pattern so as not to compete with the Garden Trellis floral. However, I can picture a little (or large) gingham pattern, or polka dots, or a plaid used as a layering quilt beneath a floral print, especially in a little girl’s room. As with most quilting projects, the possibilities are endless and encourage your creative juices and imagination! Have fun layering and enjoying the happy results!

Happy Cozy Winter Stitching!

DSCN0807DSCN0808DSCN0809DSCN0811DSCN0815DSCN0805So, what happens when a gifted mathematician becomes a quilter extrodinaire? Why patterns for Gordian (never-ending) Knots, of course. My Aunt Mary Whitehead was that gifted mathematician and quilter extrodinaire, and these are the glorious results!

These pictures are of a king size quilt top featuring Aunt Mary’s Gordian Knots, pieced by quilter Janet Coen from colorful batik fabrics. Aren’t the results dramatic and stunning! Far from the traditional countrified feeling of so many quilts, this quilt top is bold and exciting, inviting the admirer to come closer to inspect the intricacies of the patterns. Bravo Aunt Mary for pushing the boundaries of traditional quilt patterns, and thank you Janet Coen for sharing with us the glorious results!

Now the story behind Gordian Knots according to my Aunt Mary.

According to Greek legend, King Gordius of Phrygia was concerned by his lack of an heir. He went to an Oracle for assistance and was told to fashion a knot with no visible beginning or end. He was to use this knot on the yoke attaching his steeds to his chariot. Whoever proved clever enough, the Oracle stated, to undo this knot would then become his heir and the future master of all Asia. Many tried and failed. One day a bright twenty-year-old, failing to untie the knot, cut the cord with his sword. This young man went down in history as Alexander the Great.