Kansas City Star Block of the Month

When we moved here last summer, I started getting the Kansas City Star newspaper and was excited to see that they continue to publish quilt projects.  Who doesn’t love free quilt patterns?  Their 2013 quilt project is called “Rubies, Diamonds, Garnets, Too..”  It’s a red and white quilt designed by Bernadette Kent of Calgary, Alberta and contains 13 blocks.  I guess there will be two blocks for one month.  The first block was in my Sunday paper a couple weeks ago and I finally pulled out my red and white fabrics and got started!

KC Star 2013 Block 1

The blocks are fairly big at 12 1/2 inches and this one was easy to make.  The directions were easy to follow and there were lots of pictures.  If aren’t able to get the Kansas City Star newspaper, you can find the directions on their website.  You can also buy a copy of the block as a pdf download at http://www.PickleDishStore.com.  I hope you can make this quilt with me.

Cool Sewing Statue!

I’ve been trying to get out and see the sights in my new city when the weather cooperates.  Kansas City is known for it’s fountains and it’s sculptures and  I had to check this one out especially since it celebrates the old garment district and something near & dear to my heart – sewing!

Kansas City Garment District statue  This button & needle statue is near the corner of 8th and Broadway downtown and is in the heart of what used to be the garment district.  Apparently, from World War I through the 1940’s, the garment district here in Kansas City employed nearly 4000 people.  There’s even a Kansas City Garment District Museum (which I wasn’t able to visit because it’s only open on Friday afternoons).  According to their website though, during the heyday of the garment district, “1 out of every 7 women in the U.S. purchased a garment designed and made in Kansas City”.  Pretty cool little piece of history.

Kansas City button & needle statueIf you’re in the area you have to stop by and see it.  It’s right off I-70 in downtown Kansas City.  There just aren’t enough sculptures/ statues that celebrate sewing!

Double Wedding Ring Anniversary Quilt

50th Anniversary Quilt

I finished the Double Wedding Ring quilt this past week!  Just over one week before the big anniversary celebration.  I wanted to make something special for my in-laws 50th anniversary and I’ve always wanted try a double wedding ring quilt.  I started this last March and after I started it, I got lots of advise about how long these things can take.  I wanted it to be a full size bed quilt but with our move last summer and my general slow-ness, it kept getting smaller and smaller.  It’s just a very tedious quilt to make with all the tiny pieces and all the curves.  It was a nice challenge.  Like I talked about in my earlier post, the Sharlene Jorgenson book and templates were easy to use and follow.  If you decide to make one of these quilts, I recommend getting them and you can watch her videos on youtube.  Just be sure to give yourself plenty of time.

I wanted to thank my friend, Blanca Nelson, for doing the lovely embroidery on the quilt and Sharon Wilson for her gorgeous quilting.

Quilting detail on Anniversary quilt.

I got ready to do the binding and was a little afraid.  I’ve only done a bias binding maybe once before.  I didn’t really think I had enough  fabric for the binding (have I mentioned that I never plan these things out?).  I wanted to use the same fabric that I used for the middle pieces as the binding but I only had a little over a half a yard left.  Of course I bought the fabric back in Germany and I looked at two quilt shops here in Kansas City and couldn’t find it.  I tried ordering online but it wasn’t the right shade.  I looked all over the internet for help and asked the ladies at the quilt shop down the street for help.  They suggested not folding my binding in half and that might use less fabric.  Finally, I just decided to go for it and see if it worked.  I am always amazed at how much binding you can get from a little piece of fabric if cut the right way!  I think I would have had enough to fold and that might have been easier.  It was a pain on the corners because the instructions just said to “pivot the fabric”.  It felt weird but everything came out OK.

Sewing the binding to the corners.Anyway, it’s done and I don’t know if I’ll ever do another one!  I do really like the double wedding rings that are scrappy or I hear that people use pieces of clothing from a bride and make something really sentimental and I like the thought of that.  We’ll see…

50th Anniversary Quilt

Rocky Road finally finished!

Rocky Road to Kansas CityI started this quilt 2 years ago when Bonnie Hunter came to our quilt guild in Germany and I attended her workshop.  It’s actually called Virginia Bound and it’s from her “Scraps & Shirttails” book.  I changed the border around a little and re-named it “Rocky Road to Kansas City” since it’s the rocky road pattern and we we in the process of moving to Kansas City.  I loved the idea of using up all my scraps and I really thought this quilt would make more of a dent in my bag of scraps but it really didn’t.  I have plenty more where that came from!  Bonnie’s workshop and scrap organization methods really opened up new worlds of quilting for me and I hope to make a lot more scrap quilts.

Virginia Bound block

Making the blocks was a little tedious.  You paper piece all your little scrap pieces onto tracing paper and then tear away the paper.  That took the most time.  The blocks are big though and once they’re all pieced together, you have a huge quilt.  I shrank the pattern down to make 4 smaller blocks for the outer border corners.

quilting detail on Rocky Road quilt.The quilt was machine quilted by Sharon Wilson who is a member of my new quilt guild here in Kansas City.  She did an all-over pattern in variegated thread.  For just a scrap quilt, I think it turned out beautifully.

Baby quilt

My brother-in-law and his wife are having a new baby next month but we don’t know if it will be a boy or a girl.  I was racking my brain for what kind of quilt to make and in what colors.  I was inspired by a quilt in last year’s McCall’s Quilting Scrap Quilts magazine by Gerri Robinson called Le Jardin Cerise.  I loved the pinwheels inside of  scrappy blocks.  I shrank the blocks down from 8 inch to 4 inches to make a smaller quilt and made it in blues and yellows with red pinwheels.  I couldn’t decide what  exact size it should be so I added a couple of borders.

Baby quilt.

Pinwheel Baby quiltThe really great thing was that I didn’t buy any fabrics to make this!  I used the fabrics I had which actually wasn’t too  hard because someone gave me a whole box of 30’s reproduction fabric fat quarters a few years ago and I just haven’t had the occasion to use them yet.  Some of them had cute little cats and ducks on them so I thought they’d be great for this project.  I did buy the flannel for the back which is white with yellow & blue polka dots.

flannel back for the baby quilt

The more I look at the quilt though, the more I think it would be better for a boy than a girl.  I always think of pinks for girls but I guess we’ll see.  I figured I could always make another quilt after the baby is born if it is a girl.  I could even use this pattern and just change out the colors.