Monday, June 27, 2016

Quilt Math Makes My Head Hurt

So it's been a busy month -- making heart blocks for our #QuiltsforPulse quilt drive, making more heart pillows for our Hearts for Hope charity, and cutting up all my fabric for the queen sized bed runner that I'm making for my parents. Hooray for completing my one monthly goal for June.

The Missouri Star Easy Cathedral Window tutorial is, in fact, easy. That is until you need to figure out exactly how many squares are needed for the base, the windows, and the clever curves. I originally wanted to make the runner 30" x 84" so that it would be a layout of 10 squares x 28 squares, with 3" finished squares, but then realized that I didn't have enough fabric. Hmmmm.... maybe I could reduce the layout to 9 x 28... but no, I needed to stick with even numbers since the blocks are made with 4 patches. That's how I settled on an 8 x 28 layout.  Whew.  Now that I had that figured out, how many squares does that really mean? There are the bottom squares that make the foundation, all those background squares that are folded in half that will eventually make the curves, and then there are window squares that overlay at all the intersections!  It was enough to give me a headache.

The only way I was going to figure it all out was to put pencil to graph paper so I could visually count everything up.

As you can see in the photo above, there are lots of things crossed out, and my rendering was my original layout of 10 x 28 (even though it's written correctly). After lots of head scratching and counting of fingers and toes, I've come up with this:

Bottom Foundation Colored Squares = 224
Top Window Colored Squares = 95
Background Cathedral Curves Squares = 380

Since I'm using 6 different colors I'll only need 53 squares of each color (+1). No problem there. But those background squares (some of which I've already pressed into cute little triangles)... I've come up short. Thanks to all this quilty math I now know that I need to purchase another yard and a half of Bella snow. I guess it makes the headache worth it. Better a headache now than tears later.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

My Little Gift Maker

June came in with a whirlwind of activity and before I could blink the school year was over.  In my haste to get things done, I completely forgot to take photos of the basket my son and I made for his teacher.  This is the only photo I took.

I was so proud of him. He sewed the handles and the lining all by himself and then I put everything together. We lined it with teal paper grass (leftover from Easter) and filled it with some homemade muffins, homemade vanilla extract, an apple, and a handmade card.  Darn it for not remembering to take a photo!  

(This was also the last project for my 2nd quarter 2016 Finish Along, but I'm not sure if this counts without the completed photo).

Friday, June 17, 2016

Classroom Quilt Project

Looking for the post on how to help the Orlando shooting victims? Click here.

Way back in September, I started on a quilting journey with 106 fifth graders at my son's elementary school. Our goal was to make a large wall hanging with the school's motto on it by the end of the school year and present it to the principal as a surprise. We had to work around holidays, field trips, and the dreaded FSA testing (mandatory assessments) but we finally finished it.

I was so proud of the kids and it gave me so much joy to see how excited they would get when they would come into their art class to discover it was a sew day! You'll notice in the photo above that I'm nowhere to be seen. The quilt was presented in conjunction with the fifth grade awards ceremony and it was the one day that I was out of town for a wedding. That's why, on the last day of school, I got a photo with it and some of the kids.  

I look forward to seeing it hanging up in their media center in the fall.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Coming Together As A Community - How You Can Help Orlando Victims

“When something bad happens we have three choices: we let it define us, we let it destroy us, or we let it strengthen us."

~ Frank Langella, Tony award winning actor 

The tragic shootings here in Orlando have tested the strength and courage of its community. Yesterday as I watched the news coverage, all the while scouring the facebook safety check for friends, I felt at a loss on how to help. Even harder was how to explain this awful act of hatred to my 6 year old. Instead, my husband and I focused on showing our son all the people who were helping.  Seeing the sheer number of people waiting in mile long lines to donate blood, delivering cases of water to the various blood banks, and participating in candlelight vigils, many of whom I call friends, proves that we are stronger than we know. 

When it comes to community, the quilting community is one of the most caring and generous that I know which is why I'm asking for your help. We at the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild have heard from so many quilters asking how they can help so we're going to try and make enough quilts for the survivors and victims' families, and those directly affected by the shooting. If you want to help, please click on the graphic below for more information.  

Friday, June 03, 2016

Cathedral Window Mini & June Goals

I am just crushing on this cute cathedral mini that I made last weekend.

I used the Missouri Star Quilt Company's easy cathedral window tutorial and it couldn't be easier. This mini was a test run before I cut into these fabrics that I purchased for a queen sized bed runner.

I wanted to see see how the pattern looked with 3.5" squares (instead of 5" that the tutorial uses). It also allowed me to make little adjustments. I now know that I need to use a walking foot for all of the piecing because of the bulk. I also plan on using a slightly bigger seam allowance to make pressing easier.

This brings me to my One Monthly Goal for June:
  • Get all that fabric cut into 3.5" squares. 
  • Press all of the background fabric squares (bella snow, on the bottom) into little triangles
  • Figure out all the math and specific layout
I started looking at some of the math and it literally made my head hurt! Now that school is done for the summer, my sewing time is cut short so I'm keeping my goals realistic for the next few months.

Linking up to any of these parties.