I took a much-needed break from all kinds of technology last week and used that opportunity to take a break from writing a post as well. We had no wi-fi or electricity, so we hung out, read books, drank lots of tea, played games and at night we looked at the stars outside while keeping ourselves warm with a log fire. I can’t say I didn’t enjoy the simple life. That ties in with what I am going show you today, my vintage-themed quilt blocks.
When I picked up four fat quarters of Grandma’s House last year, the only thing I was sure of was that I wanted to make vintage-style blocks without using the usual vintage quilt patterns. Then, very recently, while browsing through knitting patterns, the perfect idea came to me. I made four quilt patterns inspired by the knitting designs and history. This is the Argyle Star, I don’t think introductions are needed for this design. I love the little points at the end of the crossed lines.
Pattern on Etsy and Craftsy
Of course I couldn’t help but play with the colours a little bit.
This is the Vale Star, inspired by the Yorkshire Dales knitting tradition. I wanted to keep this block very simple to represent a simple life. Simple, but full of activity because this block also makes me think of roads leading in and out of the center square.
Pattern on Etsy and Craftsy
Here’s my colour-play with the Vale Star.
These are so easy to make and there is hardly any aligning of sections. I am almost done with the other two blocks and can’t wait to show them to you. I am making a mini with these already-made blocks for my kitlets to snuggle on during cold nights. I am planning on making a quilt with solids for the bipeds in this house. These stars are also going to appear on my Halloween quilt. Versatile, don’t you think?
Until next week,
It has been often said that your enemies define you. “My best enemy” is also my best friend. She has always been a stubborn little thing who can be very distant at times, but her sweet nature can also cast a charm that is very hard to ignore. We had a rocky start because of our hotheadedness but our relationship evolved into a strong bond over the years. We have been known to annoy each other the most and also to love each other equally. I have found my biggest strengths through her and utmost weaknesses because of her. To me, She will always be a Winter Rosebud trying to bloom amidst snow.
If you haven’t guessed it already, this wall hanging is about our friendship. I mirrored this photo to show what the quilting looks like from the front. I started with quilting our initials – S and P – written together in the centre. I am glad of the hourglass shape, which was a complete coincidence born from my doodling, adding that extra touch of everlasting friendship through time. The stars in the night sky also seem to last forever, and I have always dreamt of seeing them a little closer. So I quilted the circles around our initials as though she and I are travelling together through the stars. Finally, I added “Universe and Us” in Gallifreyan within our initials.
Since travelling through space requires a ship, I borrowed the idea of The Doctor’s Tardis. It is so much more romantic than any earth-rocket!
I can take on the Universe with her beside me and she would come along just to be with me!!
Update – I got a few enquiries about the Winter Rose quilt pattern. The pattern can be found on Craftsy & Etsy. Thank you so much!
Credits – “My Best Enemy” is the title of a musical piece composed by Hans Zimmer. Tardis is the spaceship used by The Doctor in BBC’s television show Doctor Who.
Few years back we contemplated moving away from California, but I just could not make myself do it. Despite being aware of the risks of earthquakes, I still want to continue living here. Then a big earthquake came last weekend in the middle of the night right where we live and gave us a strong jolt. I cope best by drowning myself in work, so next morning I went into crisis mode and took care of everything methodically. However, I was shaken up nonetheless. Even though it still didn’t make me think of moving away, I needed a strong reminder of how much I love the parks and the land here.
I had been planning on showing this little bear cub made by Pam Brown this week and, strangely enough, the timing could not have been more perfect. Talk about coincidence! Pam made this wall hanging from my bear cub quilt pattern and entered it in the Sonoma County Fair. This darling little bear cub was entered in the theme celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the California State Parks and Smokey The Bear. Her bear won the 1st prize AND the Best of Section!! How amazing is that!!
I told Pam that California Parks are very dear to me and I was thrilled to hear that she entered the bear cub in that theme. I can’t thank her enough for emailing me and reminding me that even though nature shakes us hard now and then, it also offers us a lot of happiness every way it can. The little bear cubs are part of my vivid memories of time spent in the California Parks. I am looking forward once again to enjoying the California outdoors that I love so much!
We moved to this city earlier this year. I am so thankful for the kindness of everyone around here, the unexpected visits from people who came to check on us and the emails from my online friends. This was my sewing room after the quake. The room is put back to normal now and you would never know that the quake hit it this hard. I am actually sitting right inside this room while typing up this post, slowly trying to focus and get back to normalcy.
I am not ready to sit at my sewing machine just yet. I have a few designs and hand sewing projects that I can work on and this wall hanging is amongst them. I still need to finish cleaning up the threads from the circles and then I need to hand sew the binding on it.
I am working on a custom pattern for an extremely brave group of people – the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD)/Bomb Squd, such a special project!
I am also one of the girls lucky enough to get a set of fabrics for the upcoming Black Cat Crossing Blog Hop and I am designing a quilt for my most favourite holiday. Here are a few clues for you – it contains a cat, leaves and seven stars!
One of the many things that made me smile this week was The Sew Cute Tuesday Link Up at Blossom Heart Quilts. This is one of the first Linky Parties I joined and I am thrilled to be one of the guest hosts. Make sure to drop by there to see my Rock Music quilt top and three of my picks from the last week’s link-ups. I promise you will laugh out loud!!
Have a very safe week, everyone!
I love Fair Isle knitting, but my knitting skills are currently not up to par to knit anything as fancy as that. So earlier this year I made a very quick Fair Isle star quilt pattern and made a block with that very shortly after. I wanted to make a fabric basket with it, but unfortunately it sat among a pile of orphan blocks until very recently.
Making a fabric basket with a paper piecing block entails working with four individual side pieces that join to the bottom base piece with corners. I don’t like guesswork, so I was determined to find a formula for creating good, perfect corners every time. In the hope that someone else might find the method helpful as well, I wrote up this tutorial. This is more of a tutorial for sewing perfect corners than a tutorial for a fabric basket. I can definitely see using this method for sewing the pieces of a bag together.
My fabric basket is made with a 10″ square paper pieced block. You can of course mix and match the outer fabrics for the other three sides or even patchwork the sides.
Note - This tutorial uses the example of making a 10″ fabric basket with 0.25″ seam allowance.
Material For The Fabric Basket -
1 x 10.5″ square paper pieced block
4 x 10.5″ squares of outer fabric – for the other three sides and the bottom
5 x 10.5″ squares interfacing
5 x 10.5″ squares of lining fabric
Fabric Marker of your choice
Cut the corners of the interfacing pieces and iron them onto the back of the outer pieces.
Sewing the lining -
Step 1 -
First we are going to sew the two side pieces to the bottom piece. Start sewing 1/4″ from the top and finish with 1/4″ to spare at the bottom. I used 1/4″ on both sides because that’s my seam allowance. I would probably use 3/8″ seam allowance for sewing bags, so I would start and end the seam 3/8″ from the top and the bottom. So match the measurement with your seam allowance.
I marked the start and end points of my piece with red lines in the photo. If you need to, you can use a fabric marker to mark the start and end points before you start sewing. After you finish sewing, iron your pieces. You will have three consecutive stitched pieces. The middle piece is your bottom piece.
Check Point - I pinned the piece back in this photo to show you how I started stitching the pieces together 1/4″ from the top and ended 1/4″ from the bottom.
Step 2 -
Now let’s join the back piece to the bottom piece (the one in the middle). Note the seam line between the bottom(middle) piece and the side piece. We are going to use that seam line as a guide.
Place the side piece on top of the bottom(middle) piece, lining up the top and the corner, right sides facing together. Now feel the seam line from the previous photo and draw a small line right behind the seam using a fabric marker. That’s your start point.
Step 3 -
Fold the side piece down and pin it out of the way. That’s the left side prepared.
Step 4 -
Repeat steps 2 and 3 for the right side – feel the seam between the bottom(middle) piece and the side piece, draw a small line right behind the seam using a fabric marker and pin the side piece back out of the way. Those are our start and end marks for sewing the bottom and the back piece together. Stitch those two pieces together starting at the top mark and ending at the bottom one.
Step 5 -
Repeat steps 2 – 4 to join the front side. Iron them flat. Now you have all four sides sewn to the bottom(middle) piece with open corners.
Check Point - This is what the corners should look like. All the sides should be stitched to each other with 1/4″ opening at the corners.
Step 6 -
Now we are going to start sewing the sides to each other, starting from the bottom corner and sewing toward the top.
Line the corners of two sides together at the bottom, moving and pinning the bottom(middle) piece out of the way. You can see how I moved the bottom(middle) piece out of the way at the top corner. Make a small line with the fabric marker on the top piece perpendicular to the stitching line of your bottom and side pieces. You can see that in the picture here. I made that mark so that I know not to stitch behind the start point of that stitching line. You want to sew your seam to the immediate right of that line, and take care not to cross it. That creates a really perfect corner. So once you have that marked, make sure the bottom piece is out of the way and stitch the two side pieces together all the way to the top opening.
Check Point - This is what the corner should look like once you line the two side pieces together, moving and pinning the bottom piece out of the way.
Here’s your perfect corner! Repeat this step for the other three sides of the lining.
Sewing The Basket -
Repeat steps 1-6 to make the outside of the basket.
Sewing The Pieces Together -
Now put the lining inside the basket with the right sides facing each other. You will see the wrong sides of both pieces. Line up the corners of the two pieces and then start with pinning the corners together. Then pin rest of the top together. Sew all the way around leaving a 4″ gap. Turn the pieces inside out through the gap. Put the lining back inside the basket and iron along the top seam. Then run a 1/8″ stop stitch all around the top, that will close the gap as well.
Here is my finished fabric basket which is already filled with yarn. I had always wanted to make a fabric basket using one of my paper piecing blocks. Now that I have formulated a method for sewing corners, I am pretty sure I will be making more! I hope you found this tutorial helpful!
I find knitting scarfs to be the perfect way to learn new techniques for a novice knitter like me. Since the knitting pattern uses exclusively SSK and K2TOG, I have mastered them with this scarf. I even learned how to figure out the stitching order of the next row based on what the stitches looked like in the previous row. You can’t believe how excited I got when I figured that out!! I was making a lot of mistakes before then, but after that it became super easy to knit this scarf with the help of a few stitch markers.
During my search for a generally easy pattern, I came across the Sock of Kindness pattern on Flickr. I fell in love with the pattern and I thought this yarn would complement it very well. It’s a sock weight yarn I got last year during our visit to Bergen, Norway (it’s a beautiful city, by the way). I love the transition of the warm and cool colours along with the simple addition of the design in the scarf. I used 4.00mm (US 6) knitting needles and 40 stitches to make this scarf. Now I am on the hunt for my next knitting project; I love keeping my hands busy!
Craftsy and Etsy
Recently I also sorted a bunch of my orphan quilt blocks and the fair isle star was among them. I always wanted to make a fabric basket using one of my paper piecing blocks. Since the day I made the fair isle star quilt pattern, I knew that’s the block I wanted to use for a fabric basket to store some of my knitting supplies. It couldn’t be more perfect. I love it so much! I also learned how to make perfect corners with this project. I am writing up a tutorial on that which I am hoping to share with you next week.
I also have the giveaway winners from college days blog hop – Mary, Kathleen, and Makatrin. Congratulations! I will contact you soon, so we can mail you the prizes!!
Until next time,