I decided to cut into my stash of Anna Maria Horner fabrics. I’ve been
hoarding collecting them for some time now and finally found a worthy project to make, and someone for whom to make it.
It was my birthday last week and one of my gifts was Elizabeth Hartman’s book, The Practical Guide to Patchwork. Elizabeth is the most amazing quilter – everything she makes is perfect and I have gone to her website for block ideas, free-motion quilting help, and just overall inspiration many, many times. She is also, incidentally, a member of do. Good Stitches, though she’s not in my circle.
I wanted to make a quilt for a good friend in Cincinnati who I’m going to visit in April (I know, I’m biting off a lot with little time to chew). My friend Gwyn and I are going together. We planned this trip back in November when Jo El was visiting during a rough patch for my family. Jo El is the kind of friend who will hop on a plane in a moment’s notice and will show up with laughter and love, and her friendship is truly a gift. She is also a world-renowned heart researcher. I am not kidding. She is impressive in many ways.
Gwyn and I made this trip 2 years ago for Jo El’s 40th birthday party and spent a fun weekend just hanging out together. We’re really looking forward to this trip again and I want to bring a little something as a thank you to J.
These are mostly AMH Innocent Crush with a few Good Folks in the mix. Missing from the picture is my all-time favorite, Filigree in Meadow. I’m not quite sure about the print 5 from the left, Good Folks Festival in Dusk. It doesn’t really go with the solid border so I might have to substitute for that one – I’ll make that decision later.
Selvages saved, organizer cards ready
One tip I really appreciate from the book is how Elizabeth suggests cutting the fabrics and grouping them right away onto organizer cards. It’s really a brilliant idea – it keeps everything together and there’s a real sense of accomplishment as each card is cleared and the block is completed. You can use anything for the organizer cards; I used old file folders that I tore in half.
A 12-card project is very doable; my mind doesn’t bend around a 64-card project. The pattern I’ve chosen is Kitchen Window. This is a 12-card project.
12 organizer cards, organized.
I finished cutting last weekend but didn’t have time to sew anything together until last night.
The solids are Kona Berry and Quilter’s Only Solids in Tea Dye. I hope I don’t regret the Quilter’s Only fabric (upper left). I’ve never used it and it’s a bit see-through, but just a bit. I don’t think that will be a problem. I hope not. Keeping my fingers crossed about that. Trying to convince myself that it will be OK. I just didn’t like the Kona neutral color choices available to me in the store and I really wanted a linen-look. I think got it with the Quilter’s Only Tea Dye.
I finished 3.
Six Nine more to go [I don’t know what’s wrong with my math!]. These are really big blocks. You can see one almost completely covers my cutting mat:
March’s do. Good Stitches block for the Faith Circle (organized by Alecia) was the Stashbuster Block from Material Obsession Two. To be honest, this was probably the most challenging bee block I’ve made. I won’t say it was a hard block, but it required a lot more of my attention than usual. Most of the time I can envision an entire quilt out of the bee blocks I make, but in this case, I am not so sure. My points weren’t terrible, but they certainly weren’t as beautiful as Rita’s inspiration quilt over at Red Pepper Quilts. To combat the points-not-lining-up problem the author suggests putting a doodad (yo yo, whatever) in the center of each block after the whole thing is quilted.
I scoured Red Pepper Quilts’ website for pointers (no pun intended) and realized that Rita didn’t use the pattern’s paper templates on her quilt; rather, she used a special acrylic template that she had on hand. I think that might have made all the difference in how beautifully hers came together. I think when cutting fabric using a paper template you eventually end up with uneven measurements. And we all know in quilting a little difference in seam allowances means a lot. That said, I’m sure Alecia’s quilt will come together very nicely because there are a lot of talented sewists in the group. And we’ve got good juju on our side.
Anyway, back to the basics. We were asked to make two of these babies. The finished size should have been 9.5″ according to Alecia. I made mine and they were relative monsters at 10.5″ unfinished. So I wrote to one of the authors of the book, Kathy Doughty, and she replied (how nice!) She said that her finished block was 10″ so I seemed to be on the right track. In the end I didn’t even trim the sides because Kathy said the blocks could really be any size (finished) as long as they were all the same size when sewn together. I’ll leave the final trimming to Alecia.
This is the block as first assembled. I sent this picture to Alecia in desperation because my measurements were so off compared to hers. After re-measuring her block and doing the math, Alecia decided that her blocks were the ones that were off. So she remade hers (of course, I wouldn’t be a Catholic if I didn’t feel guilty about that. Grrr.).
I tried but no amount of ripping and re-sewing could make those points come together nicely in the middle.
My blocks were finished last Sunday. I hope to get them in the mail today if I can get this post finished!
Stashbuster blocks without the doodad in the middle
Stashbuster blocks with the doodad in the middle