Yearly Archives: 2021

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In July, Chris asked for blue and yellow blocks showing what summer represented for us.

My immediate thought was a hammock, because last summer my daughter and I spent many hours in the backyard hammock together reading. Eventually, I came around to making a book block for my second block. (Check back tomorrow for that block.)

The hammock was a tricky construction. It was created with improv piecing using smooth improv curves and slice and insert methods to put the frame in the right place. I used this reference photo of my backyard hammock (hello draught "lawn"!) as a guide for proportions and angles. I'm feeling quite pleased with the engineering feat of this block. Here's how I did it...

The grey strips for the frame may have been about 3/4" wide. I cut a bunch and laid them out in the orientation of the frame. I cut some blue 3/4" strips which would be needed to add onto the grey for some seams.

I cut my initial hammock piece freehand with a rotary cutter. This gave me a plan. Then I just had to figure out how to make it work to all go together.

In order to add dimension to the fabric portion of the hammock I pieced a second, darker yellow onto my initial curve. You can see that I left lots fo space to trim my final shape for my hammock.

Then I pieced on a large piece of blue for the background above the hammock. When I have no idea what I'm doing I use large pieces, because it's usually easier to trim down than to add on.

Next up was starting to piece the frame. These were mostly done slice and insert style. I just eyeballed the length of each piece of the frame to approximate the proportions from my photo of my yard hammock.

This was probably the trickiest seam. I had to piece in the blue background beneath the hammock, but one part of the frame gets pretty close. Here I'm using scissors to cut the same curve from my blue fabric to match the lower edge of the hammock.

Sewing a curve that went across a seam made this tricky. Not perfect, but pretty good. This might be the first evidence that I was going to have some problems in the top corners. I chose to ignore that for now and keep working on the frame.

I pieced more frame in the lower right and was thinking about how to insert the frame between these two pieces. I think I realized I should have added blue onto the grey and that piece in the lower right had to be rebuilt.

Auditioning grey strips for the length and angles needed for the side pieces of the frame.

Here I'd sewn on the base and side pieces of the frame, further exacerbating the problems in the upper corners. Again, ignoring that problem. I've also laid out the other three legs of the hammock. This helped me get the angles right.

Slice and insert to build the leg pieces.

Second leg attached. Again, I'm piecing on extra big pieces that I'll trim down.

Trimmed the lower left and right to continue the angle of the section above it.

Planning the slice and insert sections for the last two legs.

The hammock is built! But... I need to address those problem spots at the upper corners.

I lopped off the top corners at an angle that worked to not lose any of the hammock. My last two seams were to piece in background to fill those corners, nice and neatly.

The block finishes at around 12" square. I left it oversize for Chris to trim down as she put her quilt together.

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After a summer hiatus, Show Me Something is back! Thank you to everyone who showed us their quilts outdoors back in June.

There are many ways to use appliqué in quilting. This summer I took not one, but three(!) fusible appliqué classes! My very first appliqué blocks were three apple blocks I made for the block of the month at my very first quilt guild meeting, which I attended back in... 2002. (See first photo below.) I was so excited to participate and so disappointed when I found out the blocks were appliqué that month. But I powered on and made three blocks. They were hand stitched. I used freezer paper templates to fold the fabric over and press the folded edge before stitching. Some people love needle turn appliqué, but I've never given it a try. I'd love to hear about your favorite appliqué technique or tool in the comments. And please share up to 3 new or old quilt finishes for Show Me Something Appliqué. You have until September 30 to linkup, plenty of time to make something new if you'd like.

 

My very first appliqué blocks, circa 2002.

Sometimes just one piece of appliqué really changes a quilt, like this pumpkin leaf.

These are some of my fused appliqué blocks from Lisa Walton's Fantastic Fusion class this summer.

And this is my composition from Laura Wasilowski's class in July.

One more! A combination of fussy cut Nemo and Dory atop improv curves.

 

I look forward to seeing your finished quilts and where you've taken them!

Here are the linkup details:

  • The monthly Show Me Something quilt linkup will start on the first of the month and continue until midnight (PST) on the last day of the month.
  • You may linkup a maximum of 3 new or old finished projects that fit the theme.
  • You may linkup a blog post or Instagram post.
  • Participation in the linkup grants me permission to use an image of your project in a future blog post, with credit and a link back to your post.
  • If you linkup from a blog post, please link back to this post in your post. If you post from Instagram, you can tag me @sarahgoerquilts.
  • Visit others in the community who share their projects... and leave comments. :-)

 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


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In May, I took a virtual walking foot quilting class with Jacquie Gering with my local guild. Her class was a wonderful variety of walking foot skills. We filled 5 panels with quilting during the 6 hour class.

And... right at the beginning of the class she talked about open toe walking feet. Did you know that a walking foot can have an open toe!? I did not. Our class started at 9am that morning, and when the local sewing machine shop opened at 10am, I called up and asked if they had an open toe walking foot that would fit my 1982 Viking. I sent my husband to pick it up, and before noon it was installed. Let me tell you... game changer!

The walking foot on the left is the one I've been using for... over a decade. And the one on the right is my new, open toe walking foot. I can actually see where I'm sewing now! This allowed me to be really good at connecting points (see below).

Here are two of the panels we made in class. I had a couple quilt sandwiches left over from a previous quilting class, but for these two 12" x 18" panels I chose a least favorite solid color for the top and a print I was not likely to use in a quilt for the backing fabric. At the end of class, I had five quilted panels. I decided that my 18" x 18" panels would be great cushion covers (coming soon). Then I decided that these two with the printed backings could be turned into zipper pouches with the print side out.

I love the Open Wide Zippered Pouch by Noodlehead. I've made it many, many times. (This is one of my favorites.) It's so versatile. Previously, I have used fusible fleece on the outer panel to give it some structure and a quilted look. This is the first time I used a three-layer quilted panel for the outer portion of the bag. It's a lot more thickness, but it worked out well, with one minor adjustment.

I chose a coordinating fabric that isn't likely to make it into a quilt anytime soon for my lining fabric. Here's a peek. I'm pleased that I had a zipper that matched my outer fabric.

The Open Wide Zippered Pouch stands up on its own and... opens wide when unzipped. You may notice that my directional fabric is cut two different ways inside. We could call it a design element. Or a mistake. But really, it was the only way to cut the two panels out of the remnant of this print. I'm embracing the concept that "done is better than perfect" these days.

While the quilting is subtle on this one, the organic, overlapping curves is a great motif. It's easy to use in a lot of applications, both in walking foot and in free motion. My daughter helped me quilt a couple of the lines.

For my second pouch, my direction fabric ran the wrong way to cut panels large enough for another Open Wide Zippered Pouch, so instead I constructed this one in flat, rectangular panels. I love that the quilting is really a feature on this one. It also has a handbag feel to it with this shape. My panels were cut about 6" x 12".

I used the same basic construction (with the same adjustment) as the Open Wide Zippered Pouch and omitted the step to box the corners. I chose to use a remnant of my quilted panel to make the tab on the zipper. Since this was many layers of fabric (and batting!) I hand stitched the tab in place. It was way too bulky to get under the foot of my machine.

And for the one adjustment that I made. Since the bulk of the doubled layer of the quilted outer panel would have made topstitching around the top of the bag difficult, I simply tacked at the seams. In the photo above you can see my brown tack stitch (a simple zig zag stitch in place with the feed dogs down) about 1/4" below the top edge. I figure this is enough to keep the lining from popping up and getting in the way of the zipper.

I love the delightful whimsy of the children on the fabric. It worked out well that I got a variety of kids on the two panels I cut. (Today I saw this adorable quilt block which featured fussy cutting of another color way of this print.)

These pouches are part of my 99 Days of WIPs (yesterday was day 30), which I'm posting about daily on Instagram. I'm focusing on projects started in classes in the last 5 1/2 years. (2016 was the first year I took quilt classes, after quilting for over a decade!)

While they aren't perfect in numerous little ways, they are lovely, and finished, and will someday make their way to a new home with a friend or family member. I'd love to hear about your favorite, faster-than-a-quilt, gifts to sew or make.

Thanks for visiting!