Tuesday, November 17, 2015

And To Top It All Off

This week, I'm making quilt tops.  It has been fun to see these come together.
This is the Falling Charms top I've been working on for a while.  The pattern is from a Missouri Star Quilt Company video.  For the pattern, click here:  Falling Charms Tutorial
This is so easy!  It's just 5 in. charms, bordered on two sides by 2.5 in. (cut) strips of white.  Most of the fabrics in this top came from the amazing rummage sale of donated fabric at the museum last summer.  I just chose light blues, yellows, and soft greens from the stash.
The best part is, I don't have to quilt it!  This is a quilt for charity.  Our wonderful long arm quilters will take care of the quilting, and I'll bind it when it's done.

On Veteran's Day last week, I started a star quilt.
This will be eventually presented to a veteran, as a thank you for serving our country.
There are 20 blocks, which finish at 12 in. square.  The sashes are cut 2.5 in. wide, and the borders are cut 3.5 in. wide.  When finished, the quilt should measure 60 in. x 74 in., which fits the guidelines for Quilts of Valor.
The pattern is similar to an Ohio Star.  I haven't found the exact pattern in any of my books (yet), but it is a simpler version of #1674 in Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Quilt Patterns, where it is called Crow's Nest.  I'm calling it Veteran's Star.
I don't have to quilt this one either!  A long arm quilter will take care of it, and again I'll get it back to bind.

I made this quilt using my Accuquilt cutter.  I used the Accuquilt to cut the triangles, and just rotary cut the squares.  Below is a tutorial if you'd like to make one, too.

You will need two Accuquilt dies:  the half square triangles that finish at 4 in., and the quarter square triangles that finish at 4 in.

1.  First, cut 80 half square triangles from red.  (You need 4 for each block.)  When I do this, I cut my fabric in strips as wide as the die (in this case, 6.5 in.), and then feed the strips through the cutter.
In most cases, you will want four of the same fabric for each block, but if you don't have enough you can mix and match.  I did that for some of the blocks, and I actually like them better.

2.  Next, pair up strips of red prints and background prints for the quarter square triangles.  You will need 4 of each for each block, which works out to 80 of each for 20 blocks.  This goes pretty fast because the die cuts 8 of each of these in each layer of fabric.

I only used the Accuquilt cutter for the triangles.  I cut everything else the "old-fashioned" way, with a rotary cutter.

3.  Cut 20 blue squares 4.5 in. for the star centers.

4.  Cut 80 background print squares 4.5 in. for the star corners.

If you're setting the blocks like I did:

5.  Cut 31 sashing strips, 12.5 in. x 2.5 in., from blue.
6.  Cut 12 cornerstone squares, 2.5 in. x 2.5 in., from red.
7.  Cut 8 strips 3.5 in. wide from blue for borders.

Okay, cutting all done!

Here's the block layout:
Nothing has been sewn yet in this picture.  I just wanted to get it straight before I started.  It is possible to mix this up, so keep your wits about you.  I sewed one block at a time, just because I like to do it that way.

1.  Sew the small triangles together to make a larger triangle.  I stacked them like this,
and put them through the machine like this.  Sew them all exactly the same way.  (If you don't, you will end up with some triangles that won't work for the pattern.)
When you press them, they will look like this.  Press toward the red.
Now add the larger red triangle.  I fed these into the machine with the pieced triangles on top and the white going first.  The Accuquilt-cut pieces are easy to line up, because the corners are blunted.
Here are the finished sections.  Press toward the large triangle.

The rest is just a nine patch.  Press seams either toward the red or toward the blue, just be consistent.
Make 20 blocks, and set them together as in the photo further up the page.

We owe a great debt of gratitude to our veterans.  I was really touched when I read that they often say, when receiving their quilt, that they didn't know anybody cared.

Lots of us care.  Some of us can say it with a quilt.

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