Sunday, February 26, 2012

Patchwork Pinwheel (A Tutorial)

Well one of the goals on my list for 2012 was to write a few tutorials for my blog.  The problem is most of the things I make are from a pattern, or quilt along, or are very heavily influenced by someone or something I have seen.  Well I had this idea floating around in my head for a while for a patchwork pinwheel but didn't want to take the time to figure out all the little triangles and I mean really who wants to spend all that time cutting anyway.  So I came up with a quick and easy patchwork pinwheel block for a round robin bee I am in and decided I would take pictures and share with you all.  Now this is the very first tutorial I've ever written so please bear with me, but if you have any questions just ask.  Also because blogosphere is so big I'm also sure I'm not the first person to do this.  I've never seen it done but I also didn't search all over the Internet either.  Okay now that all of those bits are out of the way lets get started.

Patchwork Pinwheel

I made my block to finish at a 5 inch square.  But you could very easily use this method to make a much larger or smaller block.  To start you want to cut an assortment of squares.  For my block I started with 2 inch squares, if you are making a larger block you may want to increase the size.  For the 5 inch block I started by sewing a simple 4 patch.  You will need two(2) 4 patches for each block.  If you are making a larger block increase your four patch to a six or nine patch for a larger size.  Or increase the size of your squares from 2 inches.

Star by making two(2) 4 patches.

Next you will need to cut 2 squares of you solid (alternate) fabric.  Now draw a line on the back of your solid block from corner to corner and sew 1/4 of an inch seam on each side.  I use this handy tool called a Magic Wand that I picked up a few years ago.  It is a 1/2 inch wide with a laser line down the middle and I use it to make all of my Half Square Triangles.

Mark your sewing lines on the solid
Now you want to cut on the line you drew and press your half square triangle units.  Then trim to size.  For my 5 inch finished block I used a 3 inch HST.  Another handy tool I recommend having in your quilting arsenal is a ruler made for squaring up HST units.  Mine is the Tucker Trimmer and it works for HST units as small as 11/2 inches all the way up to those that are 61/2 inches big.

Cut your blocks down the middle after sewing

Square up your HST units

HST Unit once it is squared up
Then layout your HST units into the pinwheel that you want.  I played with mine a lot until I got the symmetry I wanted since I had repeated fabrics in my two four patches this was a little more tricky then it probably should have been.

Lay out you block how you like it. Sew your blocks into 2 rows and then sew your rows into a finished block.

Sew your two squares into a row and then sew your two rows together into a finished block and woo hoo you have made a easy peasy patchwork pinwheel.  If you make one I'd love to see it.  Leave me a comment with a link so I can check it out.  And remember if you have any questions just ask, I'd be happy to answer them.

Press your finished block and enjoy!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Out of Focus

Things around here have been a little crazy lately.  Bertha went to the spa for her annual visit and while she was gone I worked on my 5 Year Project (hexagons).  But now she is back and I've been wanting to sew.  Trouble is I just can't seem to focus on anything.  My mom and I went to the Midatlantic Quilt Show yesterday and I expected to be showing off my goodies and to be inspired and excited about a lot of things.  Truth is I expected to be out of focus because of overwhelming amounts of inspiration.  But instead I was pretty disappointed with the show this year.  There weren't very many quilts, and some of the ones that were there I wasn't a fan of.  I have to say I think when entering a quilt into a show you should at least make sure your seams haven't popped and that there aren't loose threads covering the quilt.  Just a little pet peeve of mine.  There were a ton of vendors but an overwhelming amount who didn't have fabric.  It was just less than impressive to me.  I came home with a box of pins and a charm pack of Walk in the Woods.  No major goodies like last year's discovery of Swell.  It's okay though now I can do a little online shopping knowing I'm not missing out on a great deal at the quilt show.

Hexagons that are sewn together.  It's getting bigger!
Now that Bertha is back and I can sew on my machine again I took the opportunity to catch my Farmer's Wife Blocks back up.  I made three blocks so far this weekend but I imagine I will make a few more tomorrow.

Block 52 Hovering Hawks
Block 90 Storm Signal
Block 28 Duck and Ducklings
Last I picked back up my blocks from the Summer Sampler.  I had been putting off this project because as you know if you have read my blog before, I don't know how to paper piece and the rest of the blocks require some paper piecing.  Well there was one that didn't so I made that one first and then I actually tried paper piecing and I made a block.  It's not perfect, it's a smidgen small, and I think I have some extra fabric in my blue on two of the pieces but I tried it.  It took me a long time and I'm not very good at it but at least I can say I tried.

Summer Sample Series-Star

Summer Sampler Series- Lucky Pieces

So while I'm looking for my focus and my sewing mojo I'd love to hear what you all are working on.  Maybe you can spark some inspiration for me.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

WIP Wednesday-Down on the Farm

The first 55 blocks for the Farmer's Wife Quilt Along

After having the cold that kicked my butt for almost 2 weeks straight (made me lose my voice and everything) I finally felt like sewing this past weekend.  But the only thing I managed to work on was my Farmer's Wife Quilt Along project.  I had gotten a little behind on these blocks and then the group decide to take a break over the holidays.  I imagined I would get caught up during that time but instead I worked on other projects and so with the group kicking it back into gear today I felt the pressure to use this weekends sewing time to get caught up.  Get ready for some pictures in no particular order.

Block # 25 Cups & Saucers

Block #56 Maple Leaf

Block #51 Hovering Birds

Block # 2 Autumn Tints

Block #103 Whirlwind

Block #107 Windblown Square

Block # 23 Country Farm

Block #98 Waterwheel

Block #108 Windmill

Block #73 Rainbow Flowers

Block #111 Wrench

Block #29 Economy

Block # 1 Attic Windows

Block #83 Spider Web

Block #31 Evening Star
 Yup I made all but three of those on Saturday and Sunday.  One of the blocks (Windmill) was done but it had a block turned the wrong way.  Turns out I had to rip out like 7 seems on Sunday to fix it but now it's made the right way.  The other two blocks (Maple Leaf & Hovering Birds) I sewed together Tuesday night.  I had cut out all the pieces for Hovering Birds in between commercials on Sunday (you know the real reason to watch that thing called the Super Bowl).

Be sure to head over to Lee's and check out what everyone else is up to this week.