Category Archives: Hexagon Quilts

The Road to OZ – OBW #78

I love the Wizard of Oz! I know it is a very controversial movie, either you love it or hate it! In 2008 Quilting Treasures came out with the Wizard of Oz fabric line. The first fabrics were in sepia tones. I have made many, many Wizard of Oz quilts from my extensive Wizard of Oz fabric stash. This Road to Oz is for me!

I used Studio 180 Design’s Star 60 Tool to enhance my One Block Wonder. Aside from cutting the equilateral triangles I will share how to cut Whole Hexagons, Half Hexagons and make a Half Hexie Braid for borders with the Star 60 tool.

This fabric by Quilting Treasures came out in 2009 and has a 23″ repeat. I’ve decided to use it as a panel on the quilt top. The width is a little over 43″. I need to determine what size finished hexie will fit evenly across the bottom & top of the panel. If I cut my strips 3 3/4″ wide they will produce 6″ finished hexies. If I trim my panel to 42″, I can fit 7 – 6″ finished hexies across the bottom and top of the panel. Note: I NEVER trim the panel until I have my hexies designed and verify they fit the way I want them to.

Strips are cut.

I used my Star 60 Tool from Studio Design to cut my equilateral triangles. Be sure the tool point just touches the cut edge of the strips. we want dogears to help lining up blocks and rows.

TIP: You know those pieces you have left at the of the strips that are too small for a full size hexie? One side is already cut at a 60 degree angle, if you place the tool edge on the straight side of the pieces, adjusting the edge of the tool to not include the selvedge and cut, you will have small hexie that can be appliqued onto your top.

My triangles are cut, stitched and sorted by predominate color.

Placing the panel on the design wall takes some thought and planning. My design wall consists of 4 closet doors 24″ wide, that are covered with flannel over insulation, so I have plenty of room. My goal was to create a path that would connect the yellow brick road on the right side with the yellow brick road on the top of the panel. I placed the panel so there would be more room on the right side and the top of the panel.

Remember, I can fit 7 – 6″ finished hexies across the bottom of the panel. The hexies are not finished yet, so they don’t fit well. They extend further than the panel. Keep this in mind to keep track of where your rows are so you don’t get confused. If 7 finished hexies will fit across the bottom, that means 14 half hexies will establish the width of the bottom section and the top section. I started at the bottom of the panel and then worked my way up the sides. You may start at either the top or the Bottom, it doesn’t matter.

First attempt at my design was close, but I didn’t feel the yellow hexies I had were creating a vibrant connecting path. I tried again surrounding my path with darker hexies & decided to create some Star 60 Units instead.

Cutting the Diamonds: To create a Star 60 Unit that contains a diamond with side triangles that would create a 6″ finished hexie I went to the Basic Shape Cutting Chart in the Star 60 instructions. I followed the cutting instructions for 2 1/2″ finished units. For my diamonds, I cut a 2″ WOF strip. Trim the first edge at a 60 degree angle as shown above. Locate the Diamond Sub-cut Guideline in the next column for 2 1/2″ finished unit which is 3 1/2″. Align those guidelines with the raw edges of the strip and the angled cut just made as shown above. Each hexie will need 6 diamonds.

Cutting the Side Triangles.: Checking the chart for Side Triangle Strip size, I cut my 2 1/4″ WOF strips. Align the mark near the top of the tool with the top of the strip and the horizontal line on the tool that corresponds to the width if the strip (2 1/4″). Cut the side triangles then rotate the tool and cut again. Each diamond will need two side triangles. Follow the Star 60 tool instructions for Piecing the side triangles to the diamond.

Trimming Star 60 Units: We will be trimming the flat end of the unit only! Align the Flat Edge trim lines with the seams of the diamond. For lefty’s, rotate the unit so the flat side is on left side. Six of these trimmed Star 60 units are the same size as a stack of 6 equilateral triangles cut from a 3 3/4″ strip. These Star 60 units can be made in 17 sizes.

I loved the way the Star 60 units created a vibrant path to connect to the Yellow Brick Road. You notice a very light block near center of the top. That is Glinda the Good Witch. She wasn’t on the panel but I had to add her!

Cutting Whole Hexagons: I wanted a block that contained the Emerald City. I forgot to take a picture while I cut it, so the instructions below use a different fabric.

The Hexagon Cutting Chart allows you to cut whole hexagons in 15 sizes. For a 6″ finished (6 1/2″ Unfinished) hexie, cut a strip 6 1/2″ wide. Fold the strip in half. Our Horizontal Guideline Placement is 6 1/4″. Place the 6 1/4″ line on the fold and cut both sides. You now have a 6 1/2″ unfinished whole hexagon.

Once I was happy with the block placement, I number my rows across the top and under the bottom section. I stitched the rows into four sections, left, right, top & bottom..

I decided to add the bottom section to panel first. I didn’t want to leave the points because they would cover up Toto, and I couldn’t have that, so I trimmed the top points only. I don’t trim the outside edges until the top is all stitched together.

Adding the bottom section allows me to line up and match the dogears of the rows on the right side.

Lining up the dogears

Pin and stitch the right side rows to the center section using a partial seam. I left a good 8 inches open to leave room for adjusting placement of the top section.

I decided to applique the top section to the panel by leaving the points on the bottom of the top section. I took stitches out about 1/4″ down between the valley of the blocks and pressed the edges under 1/4″.

Lay out the center and the partially stitched right side rows. Lay the top section next to right side rows, matching up the dogears. This will show you how far down the top section will overlap onto the panel.

Pin it well, assuring it is straight and top stitch the center to the panel. Now I’m able to finish the partial seam for the right side.

Adding the left is very easy now. Just match up the dogears and stitch together.

Once the rows are all joined, I trim the points off the top and the bottom of the quilt top. I added a border to the top. I’m thinking about adding a small black border.

Above is a closeup of the showing Glinda & the Emerald City whole Hexie. One more technique I wanted to share is making Half Hexagons. The Star 60 tool instructions have a chart for cutting Half Hexagons in 8 sizes. I thought about making a Half Hexie Braid for a border but my top was too busy.

Half Hexies Braid: I followed the cutting instructions for 1 1/2″ finished half hexies. I cut 3 different 2 1/4″ strips. In the chart locate the “Bottom Horizontal Line” for 1 1/2″ finished half hexie, which is the 4″ line. Place it on the bottom of the strip and cut both sides. Rotate the tool placing the 4″ line on the top and aligning the edge just cut.

Above, I laid out my half hexies alternating the 3 colors.

Pick up the first two right sides together, nudging the top half hexie 1/4″ from the point and stitch together. Press toward the first half hexie.

Add a third half hexie by centering it over the two stitched hexies.

Keep adding half hexies until you have the length you want. After the first two half hexies are stitched and pressed, the remaining half hexies are pressed toward the unit just added. I think this a cool inner or outer border that I will be using on another quilt.

Above are “Inside the Twister” and “Yellow Brick Road with a Twist”.

Ruca the Technicolor Cat – OBW #77

Last January I had the great joy of meeting my half sister Marti for the first time. I also acquired many new family members.

When I saw this panel by Chong-A Hwang for Timeless Treasures, I knew I had to make a One Block Wonder for my Great Niece Alexa. Alexa has a wonderful cat named “Ruca”, whom she has had since she was in college. I met Ruca, a very special cat.

Even though this panel states it measures 24″ by 44″, by the time I cut apart the panels and squared it up, it was more like 23 1/2″ wide. For my finished hexies to fit evenly across the bottom of the panel I would have to make some adjustments. If I cut my strips 3 3/4″ wide, my finished hexies would be 6″ wide, which is not evenly divisible by 23 1/2″. I could just add fabric to the panel to bring it up to 24″ wide and then hide the extra fabric with appliqued hexagons as I have done before.

But I decided to trim the panel to fit the bottom rows of hexagons instead. If I cut my strips 3 1/2″, my finished hexies would be 5 1/2″ wide which would be evenly divisible into 22″. I don’t trim the panel until I’m ready to add the hexies. You can see that four finished hexagons (or 8 half hexies) will fit across the bottom of the panel. Here are my tips for Using Panels for a OBW:

Ruca the Technicolor Cat, OBW #77 measures 62″ X 62″

I am so pleased with how this OBW came out. It was wonderful meeting you Alexa, thank you for your hospitality.

Northern Lights

The more you practice the better you get at something.  The same is true with quilting.  This quilt was supposed to be for my son Josh for Christmas (last Christmas).  Oh well, better late than never.  This panel is called Northern Lights by Abraham Hunter for Elizabeth’s Studio.  It claimed to be 36″ x 44″ but is was closer to 39″ wide.

I aligned my 6 panels, cut my hexagons and began designing around the panel.  I do not trim the panels before I align them.  Once they are aligned I can decide whether to use any of the borders or not.  I decided not to use the border in the blocks so when I guesstimated how much to trim off to even the edges , I included the borders.

I start by trying to get an idea of how many hexies will fit across the top and/or bottom of the panel. It is just like making a pieced border to fit around the center of a quilt. The width of the panel should be divisible by the finished size of my hexagon block.

You have two ways to make sure your hexagons will fit across the top and bottom of your panel. You can trim or add fabric to your panel and/or you can also adjust the size of your finished hexagon so it is divisible by the width of the panel.

Strip Width YeildsFinished Hexie Size
3.75”6.0”
3.50”5.5
3.25”5.0
3.00”4.5
2.75”4.0
2.50”3.5
2.25”3.0
2.0″2.5

I decided to cut my strips 3.75″ for 6″ finished hexagons and trim my panel to 36″ wide.  Six hexagons will fit across the bottom and/or top of the panel.

I kept playing with the design.

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Once I was satisfied with the design, I stitched the hexagons into four sections.

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I laid the top portion of hexies on the panel to help give me an accurate width to trim off.  I felt I would not lose an important part of the panel by cutting off the tree.

I trimmed the panel, Trimmed the portion of the hexies so it could be stitched to the panel.

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I discovered when the bottom set hexies were aligned with side hexies – I needed to add about 1 1/2″ of fabric.

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Now it all fit together wonderfully.  I just needed to hide the fabric I added and trim the top and bottom points.

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You can’t even tell where I added the fabric or hid it with smaller hexagons.  Next I will get quilted!

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No moose were hurt in the making of this quilt as Tucker was on duty supervising me the entire time.

The Heron

The Artisan Spirit, Water Garden fabric in this post was given to me by Northcott Fabrics for the Creators Club.

This is my 63rd One Block Wonder, and I love it!  It came out better than I had anticipated.  This OBW started as a 28″ x 42″ panel.

When choosing fabric for a One Block Wonder (OBW)  I look  for a large repeat and a large design in colors that I like.  OBW’s require 6 repeats of fabric plus more if you want to put the original fabric in the border.  With a panel, the repeat is pre-determined.  I bought 7 panels, one to integrate into the top of the quilt and 6 for the blocks.

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The process starts with aligning your repeats, evening up one end and cutting them into 3 3/4″ WOF strips.  With a 24″ repeat I get 6 strips, but this had a 28″ repeat. Bonus, I got 7 WOF strips.  I was able to cut equilateral triangles for  127 .hexagon blocks

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There are several 60 degree rulers out there.  I prefer to cut my triangles using a 6″ x 12″ Olfa ruler with a 60 line.

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Each stack of six triangles is a kaleidoscope giving you 3 choices on how to stitch your block together.  I have free, detailed video tutorials available here on my site and on YouTube that guide you through the process of making a One Block Wonder.  Plus you should check out Maxine Rosenthal’s books, One Block Wonder’s, One Block Wonders Encore, One Block Wonders Cubed and One Block Wonders of the World (2 of my OBW’s are included in that book).

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Usually I wait till all my blocks are sewn before going to the design wall.  I was so excited that every few blocks I had to start designing.  When constructing OBW blocks, you stitch 3 triangles together, pressing all seams open and then sew the other 3  triangles together.  DO NOT sew the center seam.  Simply overlap the halves at the center and pin it.  My goal with this panel was to design it so it seemed the colors were swirling right off the panel.

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Once you have a design you like it’s time to sew the blocks into rows.

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Un-pin the blocks one row at a time and sew into rows, press all seams open.  I love my pressing stick.  It makes it much easier to press all the seams open without disturbing what was previously pressed.

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Stitch your rows together.  I love my Clover Fork Pins.  They are thin and grip and hold the fabric in place.

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Did I tell you to press all seams open?  That pressing stick really helps.

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Putting together a One Block Wonder made using a panel in the quilt top is a little trickier than with just stitched rows.  I divided rows into four sections to attach them to the panel.  It is like making a log cabin block.  I wanted the rows to attach in certain places so color seemed as though it continued right off the panel.  I began by trimming the bottom section first and attaching it to the panel.

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I could now attach the rows to the right to the panel, using a partial seam and leaving room to adjust the top section of triangles and then add the rows to left of the panel.

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I trimmed the edges of the quilt to square it up.  I love it, but still wanted to soften the panel edges.

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I did not use all the blocks in the quilt top design.  I sewed the left over blocks together and trimmed them to make smaller hexagons.  I randomly placed them along the edges of the panel and appliqued them down.

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The finished quilt measures 60″ x 68″.  I did not feel it needed a border.  Thank you to Northcott Fabrics and Water Garden designer Ira Kennedy. I really love this quilt.

For OBW inspiration check out the Facebook page “One Block Wonder Quilt Forum”.  I am available to teach One Block Wonder Workshops. 

#northcottfabrics # Northcottcreatorsclub #oneblockwonders #OBW #Watergarden

 

My OBW Stash

I’ll show you mine if you show me yours…fabric stash that is!  There is a great group on Facebook called “One Block Wonder Quilt Forum” that has over 5000 worldwide members.  The group feeds the souls of us that are somewhat obsessed with One Block Wonders (OBW).  This process was created by Maxine Rosenthal.  She has produced 3 books: One Blocks Wonders, One Block Wonders Encore! & One Block Wonders Cubed.  All 3 are essential! (Rumor has it there is a 4th in the works!)

I was on Facebook a little while ago and we were talking about our OBW Stashes, how much was too much, etc.  Ann B. stated she would love a peak at mine. I proudly stated  I had at least 40 six yard pieces of fabric set aside for OBW’s.  Well, it’s a good thing we talked.,because my stash is dwindling…I only have 35 six yard pieces set aside!  Lord have mercy, I need to go shopping!

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Lotus Leaf in 3 colorways by Kaffe Fassett

 

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From left to right: Flowers of the Sun by Windsor, English Countryside by Sue Beavers & Martha Negley by Rowan & Westminster

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Memoirs from China by Robert Kaufman, Atlantis by Moda & Golden Jungle by Alexander Henry

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I love Cutting up People: Delivery by Timeless Treasures, Heavy Equipment by Alexander Henry & Au Natural also by Alexander Henry

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City Scapes by Benartex, Paris by Timeless Treasures & Fantasia also by Timeless Treasures

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California Fiesta by Alexander Henry, Holiday Flourish by Robert Kaufman & Historic Highway by Alexander Henry

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North by Timeless Treasures, Tigers by Exclusively Quilters & Nature Scapes by Hoffman

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Zebras by Exclusively Quilters, Bear Mountain by Exclusively Quilters & Lion Eyes by Alexander Henry

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Bewitched by  & Misty Jungle both by Alexander Henry

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Saturday Evening Post by Quilting Treasures.  I’m not sure what I’m doing with this one yet, but I have ideas.

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5 six yard pieces of The Wizard of Oz in sepia tones, I have a slight obsession with The Wizard of Oz!

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I only have 2 six yard pieces of this Wizard of Oz fabric left!!! Did I mention I have a slight obsession with the Wizard of Oz?  But I still have several tubs of The Wizard of Oz fabric.

Well, there you have it.  I’m willing to bet there is someone out there that can beat my stash!

For The Birds, # 58

Somebody stop me!  I need to be working on Studio 180 Design class samples. But I just had to make one more One Block Wonder.  This great fabric is Brazilia by Alexander Henry.  I wanted to try a different design approach.

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I like the unevenness.  Once I sewed the blocks together I bound the uneven edge with a burgundy fabric. I then laid the blocks over the original fabric and adjusted it until it was in a position I liked. I sewed the two together and then squared up the top.

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It is a very subtle edge, but I like the way the original fabric flows into the blocks.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere is a close up of where the original fabric meets the blocks.

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I chose another tropical bird fabric for the backing.

FTB on the Wall

You know, no quilt it complete without a label.

Yellow Brick Road With a Twist, #57

I’m making a fund raiser quilt for The Landmarks Society of Greater Utica whose mission is to promote the preservation and restoration of historically and architecturally significant buildings and sites. Through projects, community education, advocacy, marketing and planned activities, the Society engages its’ members, partners and the community in preserving the past and protecting the future.

I decided on a One Block Wonder because they are so much fun and visually interesting.  As I’ve said before I’m a self proclaimed Wizard of Oz freak, plus L. Frank Baum was born in Chittenango, NY in 1856 not far from Utica.  So I went to my Oz stash and chose my fabric.  It all starts with 6 repeats of fabric.  I decided to put one repeat on the back of the quilt because it was too large to use in the borders.

One Repeat

I cut my 6 repeats, aligned the fabric, cut my strips, cut my equilateral triangles and decided to start with a Yellow Brick Road.

First step

I began by using the yellow blocks to start the path.

Designed

I was pleased with the design except for one block.

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As I said earlier, the original fabric design was too large to use in the borders so I needed to pull from my Oz stash for the outer borders.  I had already sewn the rows together when I noticed one block in the lower left of the quilt that kept catching my eye.  I decided to embroider something in the block to tone it down.

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Monkey in the Moonlight, I love it!

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Borders on, now to quilt it.

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Locked and loaded.  I’m using Quilters Dream Orient Batting made from an exotic blend of bamboo, luscious silk and very soft cotton!  After washing, when I took it out the dryer it just draped in my arms.

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The shadows were in the way a little, but at least the sun is out on this beautiful April day in Central NY.

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This is the 57th One Block Wonder that I have made.

Just Hanging Around

I was searching Pinterest for different ways to store, show or hang quilts. If you haven’t checked out Pinterest for quilt storage you should, they have some wonderful ideas.  The ones I really liked required carpentry, ain’t nobody got time for that!  So I bought some curtain rods and went to work.

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I had enough room for a 60″ rod and if I folded the quilts just right I could fit 3 on a rod and I had room for a 2nd tier. I showed this picture to a Facebook group call “One Block Wonder Quilt Forum” and they loved it so I thought I would share it you too!

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Then I had to go buy 2 more smaller curtain rods to hang two more quilts.

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I couldn’t forget about the back of the couch.

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Of course I have my “Remember Me” obituary quilt on another wall. I guess this means I might not need to paint down here now!

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Upon entering the Quilt Zone I have Grandma Bessie keeping an eye on me.  How do you hang or show off your quilts?

One Block Wonders at Sew Nice

I finished up the design portion of a One Block Wonder class I taught at Sew Nice in Norwich, NY.  It was a great class with 11 wonderful creative women.  We had loads of fun!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I just want to dive into these blocks, looks like water to me.

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Barb had fun with her Cowboy Hat fabric.

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I Love how Bernie’s came out.

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06 Bernice 3

This does look like a big garden. Can you see the path?

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Alice  had a beautiful Asian fabric.

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Next to Alice is are gorgeous blocks from a sunflower fabric.

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Judy didn’t have all her blocks ready to design, but she had enough done to play.

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I absolutely loved Krissy’s fabric. I love grey and this came out so beautiful.

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Rebecca was not pleased with her fabric selection. I thought it was beautiful.

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Tara was making this OBW for her brother. I’m sure he will love it. Her blocks were so much fun!

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Do you see the twister?

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I Love New York…. & Sew Much More

I’m getting excited. Next week I head south to the Mid Atlantic Quilt Festival in Hampton Virginia.  I will be helping out Deb Tucker at the Studio 180 Design Booth, so please, if you are there stop by and say hello.  I’m sorry I will have to miss my local guild “The Mohawk Valley Quilt Club’s” 35th Anniversary celebration.  Congratulation to a great group of quilters.

I’m test driving my new Nolting quilt frame. It is pretty spectacular.  Having a commercial frame makes my mid-arm work better.  I have dreams of improving my quilt skills immensely.  I bought the frame from Delightful Quilting & Sewing. Joyce and Ron Blowers are Nolting Dealers and drove 3 hours to my house in a snow event and set it up for me. I really liked them a lot!  I need to take some lessons from Joyce.

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I usually finish my quilts in the order they are pieced, (just a little OCD) but I wanted to finish “I Love New York” to celebrate the mountains of snow we have, with more on the way.  There is a group on Facebook called “One Block Wonder Quilt Forum”.  Someone asked me how I quilted my hexagon quilts.  I meander mine, not just because that’s all I know how to do, but by going over every seam and center they lay nice and flat.

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I was trying to be arty and photograph my quilt out in the snow, but there is so much snow (close to 3 feet in parts of my yard) I had a very difficult time getting a good angle.

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So I gave up, scraped off mounds of snow and came inside.

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