Wednesday, December 31, 2014

One Last Finish - Modern Dresden Wreaths

What a great way to finish the year...with a bright Christmasy modern wreath wall hanging.

The striped fabric had been sitting on or near my cutting table for a long time (like more than two years!). I knew I wanted to make something festive with it and had pulled a number of other stash pieces to go with it, and finally a couple of weeks ago, the urge to make some modern dresdens hit.

Interestingly enough, the original dresden, made from the stripe and a cream print, didn't even make it into the final project. I had peppermint candy in mind when I started, but as the bright lime greens and vivid reds took over, there just wasn't room for anything else. It was really fun to sew strips together, cut the dresden pieces, and sew, not being quite sure what the final result would look like. I can see someday making a bigger quilt playing with the possibilities. It was lots of fun.

Each one is raw edge appliqued to the background fabric using a machine blanket stitch. It needed a little something more so the lighter green circles were added. The quilting on this was fun although it was hard to decide what to do.

Each of the small circles was quilted with a snowflake and the big dresdens were quilted with an asterisk with lots of extra lines.

The stripes and the narrow background piece were quilted with straight(ish) vertical lines.

I wanted to quilt more on the background but I feared overdoing it so I stopped while things were looking good. The backing is a fabric that I considered ugly so I turned it over and used the wrong side. Take that, ugly fabric! I like the way the green thread looks on the back, although it looks a bit yellow in these pictures.

When I was growing up, I was always told that whatever you were doing on New Year's Eve is what you would be doing a lot of the next year. So I'm all set to create, experiment with design, and FINISH lots of quilts next year.

Hooray for a finish, especially a bright fun one; hooray for a blog to share it all, and hooray for readers like you who take time to read and comment. I am thankful for you all.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

House Quilt Tutorial

It's my turn to be in charge of our quilt for the Believe Circle of do.Good Stitches. Most of the time, we each make two blocks, but this month I chose a design that will be done in vertical strips. The inspiration comes from this quilt by Debbie Grifka over at Esch House Quilts. She graciously gave permission for our circle to use her design for our quilt this month. Thank you, Debbie!

If each circle member makes one vertical strip, we'll have a nice size quilt. We will follow the same color scheme of black, white, and bright. The darker colors should be toward the top and the lighter colors at the bottom. Have fun choosing a bright colored door for your houses. Each strip should contain two or three houses.

The squares that are not house blocks should be cut at 5 1/2" square. Cut seven or eight of these depending on the number of house blocks contained in the strip. For the house blocks, cut:
Background - two 3" squares
House - one 3" x 5 1/2" rectangle, two 2" x 2 1/2" rectangles, and one 1 1/2" x 5 1/2" rectangle
Door - one 1 1/2" x 2" rectangle

First, draw a diagonal line on the back of the 3" background squares.

Place one of the squares on the large house rectangle. Stitch on the drawn line and cut away the excess triangle.

Press the sewn triangle up and away from the house rectangle.

Lay the second background square right side down and sew on the drawn line. Cut away the excess fabric.

Press the sewn triangle away from the house rectangle.

Sew the 1 1/2" x 5 1/2" rectangle to the bottom of the roof.

Sew a 2" x 2 1/2" house rectangle to either side of the 1 1/2" x 2" door.

Sew the door to the house and the house block is complete.

Make either two or three house blocks and arrange them in your vertical strip to your satisfaction. When the strip is complete, there should be ten squares total, which includes the house blocks.

If you'd like to be creative with your house blocks and construct them differently, feel free to do so. It will be fun to construct a neighborhood with your creations.

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