Thread Thursday 2: WIP Report Part 2

Two weeks ago, I started Thread Thursday with a first-half update on my WIP list. After 1,000 words and a lot of scrolling, I knew I needed to break things up a bit. For you as a reader and for me as an anxious person!! So here’s the second half of my list:

Projects by Hand

I fell in love with hand appliqué and English paper piecing several years ago and now have several projects going at once so I can sew on the go. They’re also great for nights I want to just sit in front of the TV but not be totally lazy about it.

Naturalist’s Notebook

This amazing project from Sandra Leichner has tons of tiny pieces, but it is so fun to keep layering them on to see the birds come to life. I’m finishing up the embroidery on the third block right now. I may put this project down for long stretches of time, but I’m always delighted to pick it back up.

naturalist's notebook quilt block Read More…

Sunset Isle Quilt Along

My name is Joni, and I’m a sucker for rainbow quilts. In fact, I’m working on so many right now I’m going to need to do something completely different soon to break out of it. That doesn’t mean I resisted joining in on the Sunset Isle quilt along hosted by Alyce of Blossom Hearts Quilts. And so here I find myself giving you a four-block update on my progress so far.

Before I get into the pretty block pictures, I’m proud that every single fabric in this quilt came from my stash! I’ve been working really hard to “shop” from the stash first, and I’m really happy with how this is going to look.

I just love it when I have all the perfect fabrics for a quilt just lying around in my stash!

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Stargazer Quilt Along

I’m quilting along with Rebecca Bryan from Bryan House Quilts for the Stargazer quilt. I really struggle with paper piecing, so I try to do a major project using this technique each year.

Rebecca has a genius method for doing it, and spoiler alert: I didn’t study it until after my first three blocks were done the traditional way. I felt like I was so far behind on my sewing and quilting after I moved that I didn’t think I had time to learn something new. I watched her video tutorial for the first time this week, and my mind is blown! To say I can’t wait to try it when the fourth block comes out later this month is an understatement. It definitely would have saved me the time I thought I didn’t have!

But for now, let me catch you up on my progress for the first three months.

stargazer quilt blocks 1 through 3

A bright sunny day meant a photo shoot out on my deck! Here are the first three months put together.

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How to Trim Half-Square Triangles Perfectly

When I first started quilting nearly 20 years ago, the method for making half-square triangles was pretty straightforward and limiting. Cut your squares 7/8-inch larger than the finished block, stack them together, sew a 1/4-inch seam on both sides of a center line, cut them apart, and press. You were supposed to have the right sized blocks following these steps.

Except I never did. Ever. It was so frustrating.

And while a number of novel ways to create half-square triangles have come along and the rulers – oh, the rulers! – make creating them clever, my favorite way to make half-square triangles is to make them bigger than I need to and them trim them down after they’re sewn.

half-square triangle quilt block

A perfectly pieced and sized half-square triangle!

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Perfect Half-Square Triangles Quilt Along: Blocks 1-3

Things are humming right along in my new studio, and I’m happy to share the first three blocks from the Perfect Half-Square Triangles Quilt Along.

When I join a quilt along, it’s usually because I thought the pattern was pretty. And who doesn’t like pretty things?! With Lee’s project though, this was all about learning a new way to piece half-square triangles. So I decided to use the same colors she uses in the sample on her site. Also, it’s a really pretty color way!

So without further delay, here are my blocks:

Block 1: Ridgeline Star

Ridgeline star block

Block one of the perfect half-square triangles quilt along, Ridgeline Star

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Conversation Sampler – The First Three Rows

The thing about adding a bunch of quilt along projects to your WIP list is feeling like you need to keep up with a certain schedule. With the move to the new house and things being crazy at work, I’m just now finishing up the first three rows of the Conversation Sampler. These were so much fun to do though, and I’m excited to share them with you.

Row 1 – Birds Block

The blocks for row 1 of the Conversation Sampler.

My birds block. One of the things I like about quilt alongs is that you get a little bit of the quilt at a time to work on, which means you can really take your time and perfect your technique. Just look at those points!!

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Conversation Sampler: Choosing Fabrics

For the past couple years, I’ve been in love with solids. If you want your pattern to appeal to me, make the cover quilt in solids. So when I saw the Conversation Sampler, I knew I was going to have a blast choosing fabric for it.

Conversation Quilt

Photo from AnneMarie Chany.

A few years ago, I subscribed to a Kona solids club with Stash Fabrics. Each month I got a beautiful bundle of fabric, and at the end of the year I had every color in the collection. When I first found this quilt along, I knew I’d want to use my Kona solids and had to convert from the colors in the pattern to Kona if I wanted a similar look. Which I totally did! Read More…

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