Friday, March 23, 2012

Granny Squares

I joined the Old Red Barn Quilt Along a while ago, but this is the first project on the site I have joined.  Granny squares - so easy yet so great looking.  If done as directed, the squares come out at 9.25 inches - which will finish at 8.75 inches.  I have completed 8 squares so far and will do at least 4 more.  I am toying with the idea of making 13 and arranging the blocks into the granny square configuration for the top.  We'll see....

Four of the 8.75 inch grannies

Not a bad size, but I wondered - as did someone else in the discussion group - what sizes were needed to create a 12 inch finished square.

So after doing a little math I came up with the squares have to be cut at 3.25 inches.  Since I prefer the set in triangle method for doing these, the corner triangles are cut from a 3.25 inch square cut once on the diagonal.  For the side triangles, I cut 1 5.25 inch square, which I cut along each diagonal into 4 triangles. (I actually had calculated more like 5.5 inches, but didn't realize I cut it short until I was well into sewing the block.  Since this was an experiment, I kept going.)

I  sewed it together - after trimming, I ended up with 12 3/8 inches, which is 1/8 inch short, but still enough to finish at 12 inches - you'd have to sew a very scant 1/4 inch.  I would recommend cutting the 4 side triangles from a 5 3/8 or even a 5.5 inch square.  Then I think you about guaranteed a 12.5 inch trimmed block.

12 inch Granny Square.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Workshop with Anna Marie Horner

One of my favorite local fabric stores, The Top Stitch, invited Anna Marie Horner to come to Spokane to teach a workshop on making her Prism Quilt.  While I am not necessarily very savvy of who is who in the fabric world, her fabrics are ones I am very aware of, so I jumped at the chance to meet and learn from her.  It was a great workshop.  I have been working on understanding the role of color and especially of value (shades and tones) in creating effective quilts.  Learning how to work with these elements with highly patterned fabrics was something I had barely worked with, so it was great having 20 minutes of her undivided time to show me how she looks at things.  There were 24 in the workshop, so it was a hectic day for everyone, but Anna took it all in stride, always showing genuine interest in each of us and what we were trying to do.  I came away very impressed and a fan!

Anna and me - she's a genuinely warm and fun lady!

The beginnings of my prism quilt - it's got a ways to go, but Anna and I worked on this part together.

On another note, as a result of that weekend, my scrap stash has exploded!  Time for more log cabins, since they are one of the best ways to use up these scraps.  I recently bought the book 101 Log Cabins from House of White Birches.  In it I found the “Drunkard’s Path Log Cabins” I had made templates for – goes to show, there’s very little out there that hasn’t been done before!
Anyway, I liked the Rolling Log block, but it was at 7 inches.  So I made new templates for 5 inches and 6 inches finished blocks.  I am making a rainbow themed log cabin quilt and thought these would make great corner stones.  I also think this would be an effective block if you used all one color, but either start dark and go to light, or the reverse.

I have WAY more scraps than I can use - but I'll find a way!

5 inch Rolling Log block