Welcome to the first month of this year's BOM. Our first block is one that may be familiar to you. Ohio Star. I made two versions of the first row in our quilt. One that just is full of the colors of the rainbow with my batik scraps. And the other with a Christmas theme using some fabric from my stash. This quilt is mainly going to be red and white with hints of green and grey thrown in.
For my rainbow version I used eight different fabrics plus the background fabric and cut out the pieces to make one star from each, then mixed everything up after putting the hourglass units together.
And my Christmas themed version.
Whenever I begin a new quilt series I like to review some of the basics that will help us all be successful with our piecing. With a number of identical pieces to sew this is a good time to make use of Chain Piecing. This is my process for sewing the Half-square Triangles:
When I add subsequent pieces to be sewn I lift my presser foot and place them so that they butt right up to the needle. (I always so with my needle in the down position so that when I stop sewing my needle is down as shown in the photo.) I have lined up the edge of my 1/4 inch presser foot with the drawn line as well.
With these Half-square Triangles I place them so that the seam is facing up-towards the needle-which gives just a little help in pushing those two seams together.
When I have finished sewing all of the pieces I use an "ender", in this case just a scrap of fabric.
That "ender" then becomes my "leader" when I begin sewing the next step.
For this month's row of Ohio Stars we will be making Hourglass units to create the stars. I ordered a new ruler to try for these that was recommended by another quilting friend. All I can say is, where has this ruler been all my life. Aside from being simply the best ruler for this purpose it also is reasonably priced. So let me introduce you to the Quilt in a Day Triangle Square Up Ruler. I have zoomed in on the ruler here so you can see the lines and markings. One side has the markings for working with unfinished 1/2 inch sizes and the other side is for working with whole inch sizes.
In this case, for my hourglass units, I want the trimmed size to be 2 1/2" so I place the 2 1/2" red line on one seam and the green line along the other seam. Now I trim just like I normally would.
Next, I simply rotate my hourglass unit, realign the lines on my ruler and finish trimming.
And look at that perfect Hourglass unit with the nice sharp points in the corners.
This is so much easier than trying to get things lined up with a regular ruler. But for those who need that information you need to lay the diagonal line of your ruler on the seamline, placing the 1 1/4" mark at the center.
Now, for the other nifty thing this little ruler can do: It makes trimming Half-square Triangles a snap. Before you press them open, simply lay the ruler on top so that the trimmed measurement line is on the stitching. In this case I want to trim my units to 3 1/2" so that line is right on top of the stitching. Then I just trim both sides.
I will have these little triangles to trim away, but as you can see I have a perfectly trimmed HST ready for sewing.
If you decide to purchase the Triangle Square Up Ruler I would like to encourage you to use the affiliate link I provide below. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases, which helps support my efforts on your behalf. I believe this is a win-win for each of us. You get a fabulous ruler and I get a little support. As you know, I only share products that I truly think are wonderful and at a price of around $15.00 I think this ruler is one of those rare bargains.
Now back to tips for making this block. I found it best to press open the seams, as indicated in the pattern, when joining the rows that make up the block. Then when I go to join the blocks into the row I can actually nest the seams a bit by turning the blocks as shown below. Even though the one seam is pressed open, there is enough of a ridge to lock the two seams into place just as if they were pressed in opposing directions.
Here you can see how the seams nest together.
I checked the alignment before pinning in place.
Then just pinned right at the seam, with my pin going through the point on both sides (front and back) All is ready to be sewn together now.
My pattern testers had fun making their blocks as well. Susie chose to make eight different stars for her row.
Jeanet wrote that she will be using several different backgrounds for each of her blocks to accent a variety of dark prints. I am looking forward to seeing how they all come together.
To get a copy of the pdf pattern just click on the photo below to download it from my shop.
I will close with up-close looks at my Ohio Star blocks.
Thanks for joining me on this joyful journey. Be sure and join me and many other quilters on my Sew Along group page on Facebook to share your finished row. I LOVE to see what you all make with my patterns.
Today's subject for our writing challenge is "First Project". Well since I consider my first two quilt projects as cross-stitch projects that started me down my quilting path I have to go with a Log Cabin quilt. I do not have a photo of it but this is the setting I used for it.
I chose the Log Cabin pattern because it looked beginner friendly. And I thought our bed needed a quilt. Since my beloved is red-green colorblind, blue is really the only color he can see. So I do a lot with blue for our home. Except at Christmas-Christmas is all about my red and white.
I have a hard time imagining life without all of the colors that I take for granted. Ken says that he thinks I may get closest to his vision at dusk, when the light is fading and colors loose their vibrancy as they take on a tonal quality.
The main time our difference in viewing color comes out though is at sunset. He will exclaim how beautiful it is and when I look I do not see much color. I of course call him to the window when I see an incredible sunset and he does his best to see its beauty.
I guess that is one of the things that continues to draw me to quilting. The ability to play with color to express myself. It is also such fun to see how we each interpret a pattern with the color choices we make. Oh, and by the way, I have made several more log cabin quilts playing with different settings and flourishes too. It remains one of my favorite quilt patterns to explore.
You can enjoy many other bloggers doing the challenge by visiting Cheryl Sleboda's page for links to everyone that is participating at Muppin. com
I hope you have a blessed day!
Today's writing prompt is "Favorite Tools". Oh, where do I even start. When I began quilting all those years ago my tools consisted of scissors, as rotary cutters where not yet widely available, sewing machine, hand sewing needles, thread, quilting frame and pencils for drawing templates. Oh and many types of thimbles were in my tool box as well while I experimented with the one that would comfortably help me achieve the results I wanted when quilting by hand. I still have the set of plastic templates I purchased that I thought were the bees knees for cutting out accurate pieces for my quilts.
You may know by now that one of my favorite tools is my rotary cutter. Kind of on a par with getting indoor plumbing.
Another favorite is my iron. I have an old workhorse Black and Decker but mainly use my Panasonic cordless iron now. It is so nice not to have to work around a cord. It is also much lighter than my old iron and I appreciate that more and more. Combined with my wool pressing mat I am getting excellent results. It was pretty pricey but I saved up the points on my credit card from all the fabric I buy and only spent 24.00 for it. I know Santa, I can't believe it either.
Another real time saver for me and truly one of my favorite tools are my Bloc_Loc Flying Geese rulers. I have used these for several years now and they are my go-to for cutting accurate Flying Geese units to size. My most often used sizes are the 1.5" x 3" and the 2" x 4".
How about you? Do you have a favorite tool in your quilting toolbox? Let me know in the comments and as always thanks for stopping by. I hope you have a blessed day!
Click on the photos for links for tools I mentioned in this post.
Welcome to the site of Debra Davis-a woman who loves the Lord and loves to quilt.
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My other blog where I share about my walk of faith:
Sitting at His Feet
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