I realized it’s been well over a month since I’ve posted anything so I thought I should get busy! I spent 3 weeks in the US seeing family and squeezing in some quilt-y sights. My daughter and I took a little road trip to Paducah to see the National Quilt Museum. It’s been on my to-do list for quite a while and it didn’t disappoint. Plus, just spending time with my daughter was so much fun.
I wish I could share pictures from inside but photos are not allowed. You just have to see it for yourself! And from what I understand, the quilts rotate and there are always new exhibits so there’s probably always something new to see.
While we were in town, we hit the Hancock’s of Paducah store which also didn’t disappoint. I probably made my daughter crazy going up and down each row and digging through all the remnants. I found some good stuff though!
While I was in Jefferson City visiting with my mom I discovered that the local nature center was having a nature themed quilt show.
Nature themed quilts – how cool is that?! Mom & I had a nice afternoon looking at all the quilts and walking on the trails around the Runge Nature Center.
I returned home inspired and ready to get back to some sewing and was excited to hear that my friend, Lisa, had finished quilting my Christmas-y Kansas City Star BOM quilt. I finished that quilt back in 2013 or early 2014 and I’m finally getting around to finishing it.
This was the block of the month project from the Kansas City Star newspaper in 2013. It’s called “Rubies, Diamonds and Garnets, Too” and was designed by Bernadette Kent. Since I used Christmas fabric for my sashing blocks, I’ll probably call it my Kansas City Christmas quilt. 2013 was a crazy year for me and this will always remind me of our short time in Kansas City. I loved that the newspaper published a block every month.
I looked forward to getting my Sunday newspaper and finding out what the block of the month was. Unfortunately, I don’t believe they do a block of the month anymore. I think 2015 was the last year so I guess this quilt is a little bit of history.
My pile of unfinished projects is getting smaller although I tend to add to it very regularly.
I finally have the Kansas City Star 2013 block of the month quilt top done!
Yea! And just in time for the new block of the month although I’m not sure if I’m going to do it. I’m definitely ready to move on to a new project. I’m putting this quilt top away in hopes that someday soon I’ll have my own long arm machine to finish it with. I’m probably kidding myself since I’ll have 2 kids in college this fall BUT a girl can always dream. When I do get my own machine, I’ll have lots of tops to practice on.
My next project is a baby quilt or several. I always get asked if I have some to sell so I thought that would be a fun project. I just picked out some fabrics and can’t wait to get started…
The final 2013 Kansas City Star block of the month was in the newspaper last week and I was ready! I got it put together quickly.
I’ve been hard at work on all those sashing blocks but still only have half of them done! For some instant gratification, I went ahead and put the center part of the quilt together.
I just keep working on it. I’m more than ready to finish it up and move on to the next project. I think it’s going to be a really pretty Christmas-y quilt.
I jumped right on this month’s block as soon as I finished reading the Sunday paper!
I set aside one whole day for sewing and got caught up. Well, sort of. I got this block done and all the hourglass corner blocks and 2 more of the sashing blocks with all the tiny triangles.
Only one more block next month! I’ll keep working on those sashing blocks and I MIGHT be done by the end of the year. I thought I would time myself yesterday while I worked on one just to see how long they actually take to make(with all the little squares already done ahead of time). Of course I turned one row upside down & had to rip out seams and put some of the little triangles backwards and had to rip out more seams so I really don’t know how long it takes. It took me forever.
So sorry to all the people in blog land. This has been on my to-do list for awhile but I’ve had craziness in my life lately. My husband is working away from home which is good for my fabric buying budget but bad for my free time. The leaf raking is now my job & it is time consuming. My boss has been having health problems so I’m working more hours and my daughter is in a musical AND a beauty pageant in the next two weeks. Most of the sewing I’ve been doing lately is of the alteration type and that is just not very exciting.
I have been working and thinking on these blocks though. The directions for the last two blocks have also included directions for the blocks or sashing pieces in between the main blocks so by the end of the year, we could have everything we need to put it all together. My big dilemma has been what fabric do I use for those connecting blocks to bring it all together? There’s a lot going on with this quilt and I don’t want to overwhelm it.
Here’s the September block:
And here is the October block; which I made twice because the first fabric I used was just too pinky & bright to match well with the other blocks.
That’s the problem with trying to match fabrics. You would think that a red is a red is a red but there’s always big variations in a color. You might not be able to see the color differences in my two blocks with my terrible photography & lighting in my house but when I had the old block (on the bottom) next to the other blocks, it was just too bright. I guess I’ve been using darker reds.
I got those blocks done and then ordered some red fabric with green Christmas trees on it to make the middle blocks. The reds worked but everything together was just too busy. I definitely will be able to use that fabric for the 3 million little half triangle squares that you can see up in the corner. OK, there are only 864 of those little blocks, it just feels like 3 million!! So, I went back to my fabric stash and pulled out something that I’ve had forever and didn’t know what to do with. I think this dark green Christmas-y print will work nicely.
I started with those 864 triangles last week and have made a very tiny dent in them. I think I might have 200 so far. Enough anyway to test out one of these sashing strips. I also put together one of the corner blocks which I’m making in dark green.
Nice, right? So I only have to make 35 more. Yikes! The directions for these actually have you cutting 1 7/8″ squares and then cutting in half before sewing but I like to cut the squares, put together with a matching white square, draw a line diagonally on the back and sew on either side of the line. Maybe this is more steps but I find it easier to chain sew the squares rather than tiny triangles. With all these little pieces, there’s lots of room for error. Trim everything up (the squares should measure 1 1/2″) and be very gentle with the iron so you don’t stretch things out. Also, be very careful of the direction your triangles are going when you sew together. I feel like there’s bound to be some wrong direction triangles in my finished quilt because I get easily distracted. I always tell myself that adds to the character of the quilt. I tried extra hard on this sample to show you but I can’t promise anything with the rest of the sashing.
This month there were two block patterns! I was happy to find out that they were easy blocks so no problems putting them together. My biggest problem was deciding which fabrics to use in my dwindling supply of reds. I looked at the picture of the entire quilt and I think there are only 4 more blocks; obviously since there are only 4 more months left in this year. So I think I’m going to be able to stretch my red fabrics out until I finish this quilt. I can’t wait to see it all together.
Well, I’ve dragged myself back to the sewing machine! It’s been a busy summer here with work & family things going on. I wanted to keep up with the block of the month though so here is the July block. After taking a look at it in the paper, I was worried it might take me all month to finish this one. It was a challenge! I’ve never put together a block in this way. I’m noticing in the picture that my center star didn’t come out all the straight but it’s not too noticeable in the actual block.
For this block, the center part was made first, then the outside star arms were put together and attached with partial seams to the center portion. Hard to describe and I was just not sure if I would be able to figure it out but I followed the directions and after a couple of the star arms were attached, I got the hang of it. Despite a little crookedness, I think it looks nice. I was so happy to use up some of that dark red, which is a Christmas print that someone gave me with little Santa sleighs on it. I have probably 2 yards of it and it needs to be used up.
Here are all the blocks together:
This is pretty much all my sewing for the last week. It’s hot and I’m just not feeling it. I did get this month’s block done though. This one, called “I Do”, went together quicker than I thought it would. There were some templates and some inset seams but everything went smoothly.
So there are 6 blocks now and we’re halfway through the year! I’m wondering when we’re going to get the instructions for the large center block and if I’m going to have enough of my red scraps to finish. Yikes! I think I have enough of the white so that will tie everything together and most of my red tones match so I think it’ll all work.
Also, today, I’m putting the binding together for my Farmer’s Wife quilt. I have about 2 feet left to quilt on the last side of my border. I can’t wait to get this thing done.
Here is the May block of the month from the 2013 Kansas City Star quilt. I have one thing to say about this month’s block – inset seams. I don’t like them. I understand how to do them in theory but somehow, they never work out for me. This block came out a little crooked and my seams were not very match-y; maybe it was because of the inset seams or because I was in a hurry. It was just one of those days. I don’t think it’s too obvious so I’m hoping that when I put the whole quilt together, it won’t be noticeable. I’m really liking how all the blocks look when they are put together though – all the red and white is so pretty.
Here’s the Kansas City Star’s April block of the month. This is block #4 and it’s called “Ruby Slippers”. It looks more like spools to me but whatever. This block called for using a template from the newspaper so we’re mixing it up a little. I think they look really pretty together. I’m not sure if I mentioned this before but I’m going to make this a Christmas quilt and try to add some green fabrics in somewhere.