Catching up

It’s been a busy, difficult few weeks. My uncle, who was diagnosed with throat in August (see this post about the week from hell), passed away. He declined rapidly in the last few weeks, and I’m both sad that he’s gone and glad that he didn’t suffer for long. Over a ten-day period Mom and her sister, Mickey, made a couple of matching hug quilts for my uncle and his wife. I don’t have a picture of Mike’s (we were in a hurry to get it to him), but this is the one we made for his wife. Mike’s quilt has a light gray background and is in shades of blue, green and brown. His daughter has claimed it, which makes us happy.

Judy's Hug Quilt

It’s based on this quilt from Needle in a Quiltstack, though I didn’t follow a pattern, just made it up in EQ7 and started cutting.

Before that, I committed to an art project that nearly did me in. I play with other artistic things – I enjoy drawing, and have slapped paint decoratively on furniture several times. I’m just good enough not to embarrass myself. You can see some of it in this dresser:

After 2

Makeover Step 1 Nearly Done

(See the Botanicals BOM Rosebud block on the table?)

A local botanical garden (Rotary Botanical Gardens in Janesville, WI) is celebrating their 25th anniversary, and they are doing an art fundraiser. Their volunteer made Adirondack chairs, which the Gardens sold to local artists, school classes, dilettantes like me – basically anyone who wanted to participate. We painted the chairs then returned them to the Gardens. They had them clear coated by a local auto shop and the chairs are on display throughout the Gardens until September, at which time they’ll be auctioned off. Here’s my chair:

Painted Chair 1

And since it isn’t quilting if a cat isn’t involved:

Painted Chair 2

If you look closely at the girl’s arm, the edge of the quilt, and the arm of the chair you can see a row of ants marching. They continue under the arm and down the leg. I do face painting at the Gardens when they have children’s events, and the ants are my favorite thing to do for very small, fidgety children because they’re super fast. They’ve sort of become my trademark, so of course I had to include them here.

Finally, Mom has been working away at the Fractalish quilt for my cousin’s wedding. I can’t lie – I really haven’t done much on this, though it will be up to me to quilt it. The thing is so large, the only place we had room to lay it out was the garage. The yard was just too wet. We put a tarp down on the garage floor, but even that wasn’t quite big enough. This photo is before all of the sections were sewn together – it’s a top now, measuring something like 108″ or 110″. Really, really big.

Fractalish on garage floor

Botanicals BOM Block 3 – Rosebud

Here’s the Botanicals block of the month that I owe you from April 1. Shame on me, though it’s been a busy (and difficult) month. I’ll report more later. In the meantime, here’s the Rosebud block.

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This is a pretty simple block, but there are a couple of things to keep in mind. As with all of my tutorials and patterns, I like to sew the components (like the half square triangles) larger than needed then trim them to size. The parts of the block that have 7/8″ measurements must be cut accurately, however, because they are not trimmed later.

As with all of the block in this BOM, it finishes at 12″ (12 1/2″ unfinished). You will need:

Fabric 1 (blue): Cut (4) 3 1/4” squares.
Fabric 2 (pink): Cut (2) 4 7/8” squares. Cut diagonally once.
Background (white):
Cut (2) 6 7/8” squares. Cut diagonally once.
Cut (4) 3 1/4” squares.
Cut (2) 2 7/8” squares. Cut diagonally once.

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Place each 3 1/4” background square right sides together with a fabric 1 square. Draw a diagonal line on the back of the lighter squares, and diagonal lines 1/4” to either side of the center line. (I only drew the two outer lines.)

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Sew on the two outer lines, then cut on the center lines.

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Press to the background. Trim the resulting (8) half square triangle units (HSTs) to 2 1/2”.

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Sew the HST units together in pairs, then sew the 2 7/8” HSTs to each pair.

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You will have four sets like this. Press to the light.

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Sew each unit to one fabric 2 triangle to create four units.

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When you place the fabric in your machine, the two ends should form a notch. The center of that notch should be at your 1/4″ seam.

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Use the intersection of the threads to guide your seam. It should a hair outside the point created by the threads.

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Press to the large triangle.

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Trim the point from the middle, then place a large background triangle right sides together with each unit – they should be the same size and shape.

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Line up the short edges, then sew along the long diagonal edge. As before, use the thread intersection to guide your seam to avoid cutting off points.

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Press to the background. You will have four units.

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Lay out the four units as you would a four-patch block, rotating each unit to form the pinwheel shape.

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Sew the top two sections together, then the bottom two sections. Press toward the background.

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Sew the top and bottom sections together. Turn the block over so you’re looking at the back and gently separate the center intersection, finger pressing to the background on each side. This will cause the sections to go in opposite
directions, revealing a tiny pinwheel at the center, and allowing the seams to lie more flat.

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Press with the iron to finish.

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Any questions? Click here to download a “short version” of these block instructions in PDF form. (The pressing instructions for the HST units are wrong in the PDF – you should press to the background.)

Please visit the Botanicals BOM Intro post for optional settings with fabric requirements and links to all blocks that have been posted so far.