Tuesday, March 3, 2015

A noodle for the birds and a eureka fabric!

I shared my diagram of the first round of hexagon rosettes for my Birds in the Loft hexagon quilt. This is it and you can read my post here.

Since that time I stitched the hexagons and backgrounds together into one long "noodle". Here you can see the round of rosettes pinned to the design wall.

I stitched the "noodle" but didn't stitch it into a ring because it would make it more difficult to attach to the medallion. The "noodle" was sewn to centre medallion and here it is! At this point it is measuring roughly 51" by 69". If you are new to my blog I'm using 1" hexagons to make my quilt.

Birds in the Loft Medallion by Karen H

The next step is to finish sewing the remaining 180 pairs of hexagons and add five backgrounds to each. All of the rosettes are cut out and in various stages of basting and sewing but the background hexagons have to be cut and basted so I've got lots of work to do. Where I thought I had enough fabric I'm now not so sure so I might have to add a third background fabric!

Once all of the rosettes are all made I'll be sewing them into larger chunks that can be stitched to the medallion. When I have my diagram ready I'll share it with you. Until then I thought I would share my latest completed rosettes!

The design of Birds in the Loft calls for pairs of rosettes but sometimes you just don't have enough fabric to make a pair. I had only enough taupe fabric to make the top rosette and the hexagon in the middle was a 2 1/2" charm square so what I did was make a second hexagon rosette from similar fabrics. The hexagons will be in opposite sections of the quilt so the slightly different rosettes will work just fine! You can see the layout plan for the rosette pairs here.

I have a small piece of fabric that I've had for years. I put it somewhere safe but for the life of me couldn't remember where that safe spot was. I had a pretty good idea but couldn't find it and I've been searching for weeks. Finally the other day I was looking for something else and there it was....neatly folded and tucked away in the general area of where I thought I had stashed it! Eureka!!! I just love this print and wish I knew who made it. I have long since lost the selvage and have only a small piece of fabric left. If anyone knows what it is called and who made please do tell!

My eureka fabric - who manufactured it and what is it called?

I carefully cut out two of the rosehips and used them for centres in the following pair of rosettes. Once again I didn't have enough fabric to make two rosettes so I added a second fabric to make the second one.

There's snow in the forecast today so it will be a good day for sewing and I've got lots to do so it is time for one more cup of tea and the I shall sew, sew, sew!

If you are looking for some inspiration check out The Needle and Thread Network where Canadian bloggers share with others.

Until I post again, happy sewing!
Karen H
p.s. I reply to every comment so if you don't hear back from me it means you are a no reply blogger and I have no way to contact you.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The New Hexagon Millefiori QAL- Rosette 2 the next six hexagons

I made my fabric selections for the next round of hexagons for my Rosette 2 in Katja Marek's The New Hexagon Quilt Along. Rosette 3 is now available so I had better get #2 finished!

So what should I add to my little wren in the middle of the block?

I want to add warm tones so I've picked four fabric that I think work well with the wren and this is what I came up with. The blue flower picks up on the blue in the wren's background and the bands at the top and bottom have some of those warm caramel colours I so love. The band at the bottom was fussy cut so that the rust is at the bottom and the taupe at the top. The cream pieces on the sides are also fussy cut but the top band isn't but it will work just fine!

Need some proof that it will work fine? Well here it is! I am always amazed at the secondary designs that appear with a little fussy cutting. Look at the partial stars that are created by the cream fabric!

So what's next? I have to make five hexagons so I'll start pulling fabrics for cutting, basting and sewing!

Until I post again, happy sewing!
Karen H

Friday, February 27, 2015

The New Hexagon Millefiori QAL - the beginning of Rosette 2

I am so far behind in this month's The New Hexagon Millefiori Quilt Along by Katja Marek but there was a good reason! I couldn't make my mind up about fabric choices and the colour in particular. I've been back and forth about working with a strong colour emphasis versus making each rosette different. This was my version of Rosette #1. It is a big piece and measures roughly 36" across!

My Rosette #1 in The New Hexagon Millefiori QAL

The second pattern in the QAL was released at the beginning of February but I haven't been able to decide what to do. Time is passing and the next Rosette will be available soon so I have to get going. I just started searching for a fabric that would work well for the hexagon in the middle of Rosette #2. Going through my stash I came across this fabric and decided to use it as the jumping off point for my Rosette #2.

I selected a little wren for the centre hexagon and framed her with the grey-blue fabric with gold and olive. It was a perfect fit! The sides of this hexagon measure 3".

Now I have to pull more fabric to make the six hexagons that will surround this one! I think I want this quilt to have a warm feel so I'll be looking for fabrics with rust, caramel, toffee and crimson.

Until I post again, happy sewing!
Karen H

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A path for Birds

On Monday I wrote about making the round of rosettes that will frame the medallion in my Birds in the Loft hexagon quilt. I neglected to mention that the units made of three caramel prints will also need to have a path fabric added in order to fit everything together. There are eight of these units so the sewing will go quickly.

In the past I've written about constructing the path for a hexagon quilt. Hexagon rosettes will surround the medallion in my Birds in the Loft hexagon quilt and they will be separated by an off-white path. The easiest method of constructing the path is to sew together five hexagons and then these hexagon unit is stitched to the rosette. My thread colour will match the path hexagons.

I'll need to cut and baste 900 hexagons. The cutting will be fast and easy. I'll start by cutting 2 1/2" strips of path fabric and then I'll quick cut the fabric using the method I wrote about here.  So how many strips will I need? I can cut 18 hexagons from each strip so I'll need fifty strips which translates into 3.25 meters or 3.5 yards of fabric. I sure hope I have enough but if not I'll pull something similar and add it to the mix! I will need to prepare more path hexagons to finish the outer edges of the rows of rosettes but I'll write about it when I get to the point where I need them.

I will attach the path units of five hexagons to 180 of the rosettes. The remaining 20 rosettes will surround the medallion and many will require a different number of path hexagons. They are attached to the caramel connector units that go around the medallion will also need the path hexagons attached to them but they will need different numbers of hexagons depending on their position in the ring around the medallion. In the following diagram you can see the medallion with the rosettes. Inside each rosette I've indicated the number; it corresponds to the diagram that shows the placement of the 100 pairs of rosettes. Beside the rosette I have placed a number and it tells me the number of path hexagons that need to be stitched to the rosette. From this point on the rosettes with the path of five hexagons shown above will fit perfectly around the medallion. I'll explain how in an upcoming post.

For now how about another rosette or two? Well your wish is my command so here we go! I struggled with selecting a centre for this rosette. I just set it aside and every now and then I auditioned it on different fabrics until I found a good fit!

The dragonfly in the middle is cut from the same piece of fabric that I used for the four bees in the medallion. I really think it is a good idea to repeat fabrics in this way to control the scrappiness of the quilt.

Time for me to do some cutting and basting so until I post again, happy sewing!
Karen H

Monday, February 23, 2015

Birds in the Loft layout of plan for the rosettes

I sketched the layout of the hexagon rosettes that will surround the medallion in my Birds in the Loft quilt. I will need a total of 100 pairs of hexagon rosettes for a total of 200 rosettes. If you look closely at my diagram you can see I've numbered the rosettes from 1 to 100 starting in the upper left corner moving left to right. When I got to 100 I moved to the bottom of the quilt and started in the lower right corner and numbered the rosettes from 1 to 100 moving from right to left. By mirroring the hexagon rosettes in this way I hope to add symmetry to the quilt (or that's the plan).

In the following diagram you can see the rosettes that will frame the medallion. The number 57s are opposite one another at the top and bottom. Number 100s are opposite on another on the side.

I think the red star hexagon rosette is dramatic so it will be number 57 which means it will be positioned at the top and bottom of the medallion.

Number 100 will be this brown hexagon which is also dramatic.

There will be a caramel filler piece between each of the coloured circles in the diagram above. Before sewing them to the rosettes they will need to have background fabric added to them so I will sew three background hexagons together and then add them to each of the eight caramel strips.

Here you can see the four hexagon caramel pieces with the background fabric added to my diagram.

The last thing I will share is a pair of rosettes. Sometimes I don't have enough fabric for two complete pairs as was the case with the following two rosettes. I had nine hexagons in total so I made one rosette with six of them and I added a second fabric to the remaining three hexagons and it works. I'm sure that there will be  others where I run short so I'll add something similar to complete the block!

The next step will to develop the plan to divide the background of rosettes into manageable sections to make the sewing easier.

If you are in need of more hexagon eye candy I encourage you to visit Hilda at Every Stitch. She has just posted pictures of her finished quilt Stars Meet Hexagons. It is a real beauty and exactly the kind of quilt that makes me want to sew, sew, sew!

Until I post again, happy sewing!
Karen H

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Working on the final medallion pieces for my Birds in the Loft hexagon quilt

The beast (Jinxie) is sleeping but not on my sewing table so I was finally able to cut the strips of caramel fabric for the next sets of hexagons on my Birds in the Loft hexagon quilt. This is the diagram of the quilt with the caramel hexagons.

If you look closely at the diagram you can see I will need twelve strips made of four hexagons and eight curved units made of three hexagons. This is what they will look like. I've given careful consideration to the placement of the hexagons so that there is some flow to the red vines. For the post part they move horizontally. Taking this extra time has produced better results.

I will sew these units and then I plan to add to them. They will eventually become the final  border but I am making it off the quilt. Once it is constructed I will sew it to the medallion. This final round will include some of the hexagon rosettes I've made. I'll need ten pairs of rosettes and they are ready and waiting!

I've stitched more hexagon rosettes for the area that surrounds the medallion. Many of those I've already made are reds and here is yet another. I adore this Malvern Hill print because it allows me to create stars so easily. It is the same fabric that I used for the olive border in the medallion.

I had mentioned that there are a lot of red rosettes in the pile and I'm trying to expand the colour palette to give more variety. This one still has some reds and pinks but the aqua will be a nice addition. I love fussy cuts, even if they are just the middle of the rosette. They add pizzazz!

In the next few days I will have to work on the overall design of the quilt and break it down into manageable sewing sections. I've also got the beginnings of a border design in mind and will have to work on those ideas to be able to finalize the plan for this quilt. That's lots of work for me but so much fun.

Time to get going so until I post again, happy sewing!
Karen H

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Girl interrupted

I had planned on cutting more hexagons so I could make rosettes but this girl has been interrupted by you know who......Jinxie! He is about 8 months old and I'm hoping he'll settle down soon and that I'll be able to reclaim my sewing table.

So the cutting may have to wait for another day. Instead I stitched together the pieces of the medallion for Birds in the Loft. I also added to my diagram for the next round. There will be a round of off-white hexagons all around the medallion. I already had them cut and basted so I stitched them together and added them to the medallion too.

This is the Birds in the Loft medallion stitched together. It is now larger than my design wall so I'll have to start taking pictures outside but it is way too cold and there is far too much snow for that! For now this picture will have to do!

The next round will involve one final print but it will not completely surround the medallion AND best of all I can start adding some hexagon rosettes to the quilt. I've been through my fabrics and have pulled so many different colours and prints. What I finally settled on is a toffee coloured print that looks like a woodblock print. There is nothing on the selvage so I can't tell you anything about the fabric other than I've had it for several years and I quite like the look of it.

The caramel tones and deep crimson will work well with what I've already got in the quilt. I'll cut some 2 1/2" strips so I can make the hexagons if you-know-who wakes up and gets off my sewing table!

Until I post again, I hope your sewing is uninterrupted!
Karen H