Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tessellating Pinwheels

Quilters just love cool gizmos and we can't get enough of them! They make easy work of complicated or intricate processes. At the August Choo Choo Quilters meeting, guild members enjoyed a program and demonstration on using the Li'l Twister template for making a tessellating pinwheel table runner.
The book that accompanies the template, Let's Twist, by Marsha Bergren, offers several ideas and projects for using the template.

For the table runner, a package of charm squares is sewn into two strips with a contrasting border fabric. The Li'l Twister template is positioned on the seam lines for cutting. After cutting each patch, it is important to keep track of its placement in the overall layout.

Members brought pre-sewn charm squares and had an opportunity to work with the template.

As each patch is cut and positioned in the layout, the pinwheels begin to appear. Contrast between the pinwheel fabrics and the border fabrics is an important aspect to the success of the tessellations.

Show and Tell
A jumbo Carpenters Wheel quilt

A sweatshirt jacket... ready for the perfect buttons.

And... wait for it...
Ta daaaah! The famous (or infamous) Blue Feathered Star quilt is finished at last! So, what will she talk about now???

Cross Stitch Store was Actually a Quilt Store!

We have been going to Hilton Head Island every year since we Honeymooned there 21 years ago.  A couple of weeks ago on our trip, we decided to try out a fancy donut shop which advertised wonderful-looking homemade donuts.  Upon arriving at the shop, however, there were at least 20 people sitting on the steps in front of the store, some eating and many not.  It turned out that you had to stand in a very long line, pick out your donut from the case, pay for it, and then wait for a while until a waitress delivered it to you.  (It reminded me of the soup Nazi episode on Seinfeld.)  Needless to say, that was too much aggravation for a donut on vacation.

If I hadn't walked up to the donut store, I would have missed the wonderful shop next door.  It was called Cross Stitch Junction, and beside the name in almost imperceivably small letters were the words "and Quilts too!"  Of course I went in, and was so excited to find the walls stacked 3-bolts-high of gorgeous fabrics, as well as perhaps 50 quilts and quilt tops displayed in a fairly small space.  I bought a pattern called Sweet Pea Manor, and just a teeny tiny itty bitty little bit of fabric, as well as a book on bargello quilts using novelty fabrics.  So if any of you vacation on Hilton Head Island, check out www.crossstitchjunction.com which is located in the Sea Pines Plaza near the Harris Teeter grocery store, beside the Pink Flamingo donut shop.  If you get a donut, let me know how it tastes!   --Deb

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Let's Twist Again!

Using a special template and instructions from the Let's Twist... pinwheels... fun, fast and easy! book by Marsha Bergren, Ginny will show us how to make a snappy 16 1/2" x 43" table runner at the August Choo Choo Quilters meeting. Choose Fall colors or match your own decor. The steps are simple but the outcome is impressive!
Come prepared with:
  • Charm Pack of 22 five-inch squares or assorted scrap squares that vary in color or shade so there will be contrast enough to show off the pinwheel pattern.
  • 1/2 yard of contrasting border/background fabric
  • Scissors, rotary cutter, cutting board
  • An iron and one sewing machine will be available for your use.  Feel free to bring another if you can.
Center Layout:
Lay out squares in 2 rows with 11 squares each. Arrange colors so they complement one another in each direction.
Sew the first row of 11 squares in a strip. Sew the second row of 11 in a strip. Place the two rows together lengthwise, matching seams and sew. Press seams flat in one direction.
You will have a unit of 5" squares, 11 across by 2 down.

Cut:
Three 3" x 42" (width of fabric) strips of the border/background fabric.
Sew these 3" strips to the center layout (from above), attaching to the long sides first, then the short sides. Press seams toward the border. (The finished unit should be the 22 five-inch square center with a contrasting 3" border strip all around it.)

Your unit is now ready to Do The Twist!

It will be worth the effort to come prepared with these steps completed. The special tessellation template will be available for you to use. It will also be possible to order the book and template at the meeting, if desired.

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Also remember to bring in your August Applique Heart Cuddle Quilt blocks and the July Greek Cross Cuddle Quilt blocks, and any completed quilts and quilt tops.
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Hearts & Crosses for Cuddle Quilts

What's black and white and red and pink, too? Our blocks for the Choo Choo Quilters Great Cuddle Quilt Quest! 

The August block pattern is an Applique Heart. The color scheme is red, white and pink. Here are the directions for making this block.
Applique Heart pattern. Color scheme: red/white/pink

At the August Choo Choo Quilters guild meeting, Monday, August 16, we'll be collecting quilt blocks with the Greek Cross (July pattern) and also the Applique Heart (August pattern). Blocks are 12" finished size (12.5" unfinished—raw edge to raw edge). These are the last two patterns that will be issued prior to the September Cuddle Quilt workshop.

If you have quilt tops or finished quilts, please bring them to the August meeting so we can tally the quilts and the points. We're making great progress on the Great Cuddle Quilt Quest. Thanks to everyone for your dedication and contributions!
Greek Cross pattern. Color scheme: black/white