Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Smoke Stacks my City Culture with Island Batik

Welcome to my day on the Four Seasons Blog Hop with Island Batik. City Culture--Waterfront and Industrial were the collections I was given by Island Batik to work with for the Hop. This collection should be arriving to your quilt shops in April--ask for them!! 

Though my suggested week is summer--it was really hard to focus on that when the temperatures  outside while I was making the quilt were dangerously below zero!!

During my design process I find it extremely helpful to have a "story" in mind. For this quilt I asked myself--what is the City Culture I live in?  This is the view looking out my kitchen window to the east.
The full moon is rising over my little town. The grain elevators glisten in the early twilight. Bare trees line the rivers' bend. All these things rolled through my mind while trying to come up with a quilt plan.

Just look at the gorgeous range of colors in this collection--I see the corregated metal of the grain elevators, the bare trees that line the river bank, and the soft colors of the early evening sky.

I used my 2 1/2" strip die from AccuQuilt to cut strips from all the colors. Layered up to six layers on the die...

..and ran the strip die through my GO! Big electric cutting machine!!

And just look at all those perfectly cut 2 1/2" strips!!

Sewed the strips together while the wind howled outside!!

A helpful tip when piecing scrap type quilts is to use either your floor or design wall to lay out the blocks--then take a photo of the lay out. It is sometimes easier to see if any colors need to be moved when looking at the quilt on a photo.

And there you have it--my quilt made with City Culture by Island Batik--I am calling it Smoke Stack.

Smoke Stack--answer to my question--what kind of City Culture do I live in?  An agriculture area where the Smoke Stacks of tractors plant and harvest grain in the fields. Smoke Stacks on the semi trucks that travel the black top road in front of my house. 

Smoke Stacks--check back for the pattern soon!!

Turquoise Love!!

So I leave you with a photo looking to a neighbor to the west--taken right after the full moon photo to the east!! 

Now for the giveaway--I have an almost full strip set called Mountains Majesty that I used in Frosty Times Four that I will send to one lucky winner!! Click to the left to see the fabric. Comment below--what is the view from your kitchen window and how might it inspire a quilt!!  Winner will be drawn on the last day of the hop.

Also don't forget to sign up for the giveaway on Island Batiks' blog and the other participating blogs!!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Block 1--The Quilter's Planner 2018 Sew Along...

I decided to take the plunge and try a planner this year. Then why not just go all the way to the top and get The Quilter's Planner. A beautiful book with inspiring quotes, coloring pages, multiple quilt planning pages--and of course weekly and monthly page spreads.

The weekly spread pages are being used to write out daily scriptures with my morning cup of tea.

Along with The Quilters Planner came a companion magazine that contains 14 amazing patterns plus a monthly sampler!! Way cool!!!

I am going to use these fabrics from Island Batik. The backgrounds and blacks are from the Solstice line--available now. The luscious teals to lime greens are from the City Culture line available soon!!
Check out the Island Batik blog hop going on right now here.

Last summer I started using the AccuQuilt Qubes to do my piecing. I really thought I was pretty good at piecing before--but this die cutting system has just blew me out of the water!! My accuracy has been greatly improved. Time saved has been overwhelming. Not to mention that the dog ears are already trimmed!! Well that is a long arm quilters dream!! I love the products so much--I have an affiliate link on the side bar of my blog if you are interested in purchasing.

The GO! 8" Mix & Match Qube will be used to make Block 1 which will finish at 12".

Die #1--rough cut a 5" square for block center
Die #3--rough cut a 5 1/2" x 11" colored rectangle and 5 1/2" x 22" background rectangle for HST
Die #4--rough cut a 5 3/4" square from background and dark accent for QST

Fabric can be folded on die up to six layers--so if the die will cut 2 HST--you can cut 12 HST at one time.  Watch how quickly that can happen!!!

Then it was just a matter of using the cut shapes and following the diagrams in the companion magazine to make Block 1!! I am still deciding on how to set the blocks--watch for that this summer.

The pre-trimmed dog ear corners make for super easy sewing!!

Using Quarter Square triangles for the smaller shapes and Half Square triangles for the larger shape, keeps the straight of grain along the outside edges of the block unit. I have not used this combination of shapes and colors in a block unit before--and I really like it. Many times in a block unit this will be pieced with a flying geese unit and a rectangle sewn to the flying geese unit. I am so going to keep this in mind when drawing up blocks!!

See--dog ears already trimmed!! And I didn't even have to do it!! I really dislike that job--all those little snippets of fabric flying anywhere they please!!

I am so looking forward to finishing this quilt--as they are the colors I decorate my home with. And don't judge me too much for still having my Christmas decorations still up!! I was a little late putting them out in the first place--plus the weather is bitter cold with snow here in Iowa yet!!

Looking from my long arm studio into the sewing room and then the house entryway.

Just thought I would show you the trimmings from cutting out this block. Many times I hear it said that die cutting produces too much waste!! Well I am finding that the waste is minimal compared to the accuracy and ease of cutting the shapes.

That is all for today. Make sure and check back around the 15th of every month this year and watch the 2018 sampler progress.