Saturday, August 16, 2014

The alternating block for my brother's quilt

So, after cutting up all the fabrics for my brother's quilt, I finally figured out what it was about these fabrics that made me certain they were perfect for him.  Even though they are civil war fabrics, the green and brown striped and the blue fabrics remind me of silk foulard prints used for men's ties.  He's always been a fan of classic silk ties, so I think he will like the overall effect of this quilt.  It is masculine and the colors are rich and subdued.

In any case, I decided to sew up one of the alternate blocks just to see what it would look like.  I only have to make ten of each, so it should go fairly quickly now that the cutting is done.  I did find that I had to press the final seam open in order to reduce the bulk of all the flying geese points coming together in the center.  When I first tried to press to one side, the bulk created a definite bump which is not desirable.  

This is my first time making flying geese and it seems to waste an awful lot of fabric - the pattern instructs the quilter to cut a tan fabric rectangle 3.5" x 6.5" and then mark the red and blue squares with a diagonal line point to point.  Put one square on one side of the tan rectangle, sew on the line, then cut the excess away leaving 1/4", press, and repeat on the other side.  I'm thinking that there is a more efficient way to make flying geese.  I'll have to do some research online before I make these again.  In any case here are the two blocks that comprise the quilt center.

I'm done cutting and sewing for today, but at least now I'm ready to make some real progress the next time I get back to it :)

Have a great weekend!

Friday, August 15, 2014

The start of a new quilt for my brother

I have wanted to make a quilt for my brother for a long time, but had trouble finding the right fabrics and pattern.  It had to be something masculine and sort of "traditional".  I was at a quilting retreat earlier this year and we went to a quilt shop one evening.  While we were there, I spotted a quilt hanging on the wall.  It was made using civil war fabrics (definitely not my favorite), but the overall effect was nice and so I bought the fabrics and pattern.  The fabric line is Haversack by RJR.  The quilt is comprised of a series of windmill blocks in tans, blues, greens, browns, and reds.  Here is one of the blue, green and tan ones laid out on my cutting board.

When I made the first flying geese (flying goose - singular?), the fabric got sucked down the needle plate as I started to sew...grrr.  Normally, I just use a leader piece of fabric to avoid this problem, but didn't think it would work well since the seams are started at an angle.  Then I tried using a leader placed on the diagonal which works just fine, so now I'm on a roll.

Hope you get a chance to spend some time sewing this weekend :)