Sunday, June 19, 2022

Sewing together and playing with the Drunkard's Path Block!

Hope you are all doing well today!

I have been busy sewing together Drunkard's Path blocks. They are a bit tedious to sew but do go together fairly easily. The pinning is the tedious part! Here are the steps I took to sew them together:

(Note: I cut out my blocks using the 4 1/2 inch Drunkard's Path die from Accu-Quilt. The finished size after sewing is supposed to be 4 inches, but I ended up squaring them up to 4 inches. The finished size after sewing will be 3 1/2 inches)

1. Match center tabs on the cut dies. Pin at center with the larger piece (concave piece) on top.

Pin at center tab from larger concave side.













2. Using a Hera marker, I made creases to mark the center spots between the edge and the center tab (pin). You could also finger press or use your fingernail to make the creases. Do this on both sides of the block.

Mark creases with Hera marker
 or finger press





3. Place a pin from the concave fabric piece through the creases, matching up the creases on the smaller (convex piece) back piece. Don't finish pinning through the creases completely at this point.

Place pins at creases from larger concave side.













4. Pin the ends, placing a pin on the edge to sew, matching the corners. I also place a pin on the side to help keep the block straight while sewing.

Pin the ends at both sides.















5. Place pins in the in-between spaces. Complete the pinning of the creases, too.

Place pins in the in-between spaces.
Complete pinning at the creases.












That's a lot of pinning! It is worth it, though, to get a good result.

Then sew together with the larger piece on top. Sew a quarter inch seam. I use my quarter inch foot for sewing, and also line up with the marks on my machine. I sew off of a piece of scrap fabric to get started. Pay attention to your starting and ending spots, to make sure the corners align. If they are off later, you can put them aside to re-sew the corners (something I have had to do a bit). You can chain piece blocks together at this point to save some time.

Sew together with larger concave piece on top.


Chain piece if you like to save time.


































Press blocks to the darker fabric. I set the seam first with the iron (setting from the side you wish to press towards). I used my mini-Oliso iron, and it works great! 

Press your seam to the dark side
 (this photo was taken after squaring up the block,
see below how I squared up the blocks)














Press toward the dark side!













Then to have nice square blocks, I squared them up using a ruler and rotary cutter. Square by using the smaller convex block as your guide. I decided to square to a 4 inch block size before sewing. I put some washi tape on my ruler to make it easier to line up the blocks.


Square off using the smaller convex piece
as your guide and starting point.













After edges on left side have been trimmed.













Rotate your mat and trim the other 2 sides.









The squared off block, squared to 4 inches x 4 inches.












I haven't decided on a final layout, but here are some photos of what I've arranged on the design wall so far. I am leaning towards the circular arrangement, with maybe some blocks or strips placed between the Drunkard's path block. May let myself play with it a bit first!


Diagonal arrangement













Circular arrangement











I had put off trying out this die! I will bravely sew curves now and will continue to add them to my projects! Hope you will give it a try too!

Blessings,

Denise A. Buchwalter-Losczyk

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Final Project Season 13 Project Quilting

 Hi!

I haven't posted in a while! I guess it was a bit of a blogging vacation. My last post was about Season 13 Project Quilting. At the time there was one challenge left! Here is what I created for the final challenge:


Confused Geese - Flying Geese Challenge for Season 13 Project Quilting


Detail of Confused Geese










It is titled "Confused Geese". The final challenge was to use flying geese to make a small quilt design. It was a good challenge for me, since I hadn't made any Flying Geese blocks before, but have always wanted to try it. 

I used a "Quilt in a Day" flying geese ruler set to make my geese blocks. I have had this set for years and hadn't tried it! It was fun, the process is a little strange feeling, and the resulting blocks kind of felt like a magic trick to me.

I later added buttons as an embellishment to my little quilt, hoping this will keep it from becoming confused as a pot holder or mug mat! I finished the edges with a turned envelope finish. I would have liked a binding, but I was in a hurry to finish my entry!


Confused Geese mini quilt with buttons added.




Quilt in a Day mini ruler set for Flying Geese blocks
and a fussy cutting ruler included.











And other fun news! I won a prize in the previous challenge. 2 Benartex fabric charm packs, Gathering and Spring Song. 


5 inch charm pack prizes from Benartex and Persimon Dreams.
 Love the sticker from Persimon Dreams too!














I have already started using them to make a version of a "Drunkard's Path" quilt. I am combining the fabric with Benartex solid fabric charms and also with a Benartex layer cake I had in my stash. I may add black and white fabrics and some other solids to, as I work on the design. I am creating it as an improvised quilt design, rather than planning it all out ahead of time. Thank you to Benartex and Persimon Dreams!

I used an Accu-quilt Go! Drunkard's Path die to cut out the patches. It is a little fussy to sew together the curved blocks and I am squaring them off a bit too. It isn't difficult, just a little fussy! Not sure I will want to be making these all the time, but it is a nice accomplishment.

Cut out AccuQuilt Go! Drunkard's path block pieces on my design wall.


















Hope you enjoyed this little update! 

Happy quilting and creating everyone!

Many Blessings,

Denise A. Buchwalter-Losczyk


Sew What? Episode 129: Red, White & Cute (shared sewing show!)

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Fun online quilting challenges - Project Quilting

 I can't seem to resist entering quilt challenges. Lately I've been participating in online challenges. They are a great way to connect with others and help challenge you in your creative process.

Currently I'm participating in Season 13 of Project Quilting. Here is a link where you can read more about the challenge and join in if you like! Project QUILTING (kimlapacek.com)

About every 2 weeks they have a series of quilt challenges. For this season, I missed the first 2, but have managed to enter weeks 3-5. Here are my entries so far:

Week 3 - Kitchen Quilt Challenge, "Lemon Kitchen Quilt" (approximately 6 x 6 inches)












Week 3 was a last hour entry for me. I made this little "quilt as you go" quilt the morning of the last day to enter! I am using it as a mug mat in my studio. This little one inspired some Valentine's day potholders which I made for us to use in our kitchen. My husband had asked for new potholders, which I usually don't want to sew, but they did come out nice! I will share those in a later post with some easy instructions!

Week 4 Challenge - Diamond Composition #1 (approximately 8x8 inches)


Week 4 was a challenge to use diamond shapes. I chose diamond background fabric and played with diamond shaped embroidery stitches on my Bernette B79 Sewing machine. It was a fun way to try out my stitches. I folded the center square origami style, then found a button in my collection which matched the same shape. 


Week 5 Challenge - Rhythm and Repetition - "Winter" (approximately 8 x 8 inches)













Week 5's Challenge was to use Rhythm and Repetition. The requirement was to repeat an element at least 3 times. My mini quilt was inspired by my entry from Week 4. I used the same binding and background fabrics. I played with my metallic threads for quilting the triangle shapes. Triangles seem to turn into trees, and I added some scrap book embellishments I had purchased but not used yet.  I had a little trouble getting the greens to match in the photos, when processing in Photoshop. I've noticed I sometimes have trouble working with greens when designing, my eyes have difficulty matching the differences in the greens a bit.

It has been a fun challenge so far! I will try to keep up as much as I can.

There are random prizes given out each week of the challenge, which does help motivate you to enter. It is also fun to see the projects other quilters create.

Happy quilting and creating,

Blessings,

Denise A. Buchwalter-Losczyk 

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Part of a Quilt Mystery solved!

 Part of a mystery solved! I have always been curious about the main block in my mother's yellow quilt. I kept looking at flower names for blocks, but nothing matched it exactly. I have thought about recreating a version of the quilt, and even tried my hand at drafting it in the EQ8 quilt design program. 

Recently I purchased the updated BlockBase+ quilt program by Barbara Brackman. I searched for Basket quilts and found the block very quickly! Here is a bit of the information I found in the BlockBase+ program: The top name listed is Basket of Diamonds, published by Kansas City Star 11/11/1936 (it seems like an obvious name!). Other names are Flower Basket, 1935, Cactus Basket, 1930s and Rainbow Cactus from the Mary McElwain Quilt Shop in Walworth, Wisconsin in the 1930s. The Rainbow Cactus version was a mail order pattern that may have been included in batting. 

I printed out the pattern for the block from BlockBase+ and plan to try it out in the future. Perhaps I will make a small block before beginning a larger quilt. It was very close to the version I had drafted in EQ8 based on my mom's quilt.

Following are some detail photos from her quilt. 

Quilt detail
A detail from a quilt made by my mother - one of my
early quilt inspirations.











My mom's block used a solid fabric at the base of the basket, then added a matching solid underneath the block, which gives it a very different appearance, than when using a contrasting white at the bottom of the block. Perhaps it was the Cactus Basket version? Or something she created herself. Now I have more questions!

quilt detail
A section of my mother's quilt - the quilt includes fabrics
from the 30s and 40s, I believe











It was one of my first quilt inspirations. I believe this quilt was made out of 1930s and 40s fabrics. Yellow was my mother's favorite color. I remember sleeping under it when I was younger and being fascinated by the many small cotton prints on the quilt. I think they may be feedsack or dress prints. 

I now have a better idea where the pattern came from. I'm looking forward to trying my hand at sewing this block in the future.

Thank you to Barbara Brackman for her amazing research. You can find the Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns and the BlockBase+ quilt program on the https://www.electricquilt.com website. They are fun resources! I haven't gotten the Encyclopedia yet, but I am enjoying the BlockBase+ program.

Blessings,

Denise A. Buchwalter-Losczyk


Monday, February 14, 2022

Disappearing Nine Patch AQS quilt

 Another of the projects I have been working on. I have completed the top and purchased wide fabric for the backing. I'm working on other projects in the meantime, but I will be quilting this one on my longarm frame with my Qnique 14+ machine.

The quilt top was pieced following instructions for a free "Disappearing Nine Patch" quilt pattern I found on the AQS website (American Quilter's Society). I usually use my own designs to create quilts, but I thought this one looked like it would be fun to make. I also like to have lots of tops on hand, so I can have projects to practice my long arm quilting on. I added a border on the sides of the pattern. I made the fabric choices for the quilt using fabrics in my supply stash. This will be a gift!

Here are some progress photos of the quilting:

Nine patch quilt
Nine patch quilt pattern before it disappears!











Progress photo #2 Starting to disappear!



















Progress photo #3



Progress photo #4 (rearranged a bit)



Final top with borders added!


Detail of fabrics and blocks

Another detail of fabrics and blocks



I had fun sewing and cutting and sewing this together! I'll post an update once the quilting is complete.

I tried to find a link the pattern on AmericanQuilter.com, in their blog section, but it looks like they took it down when their website was updated. Basically, it involves sewing nine patch blocks in dark and light color, then cutting the squares into 1/2 square triangles, sewing them together, then cutting again into 1/2 square triangles. 

It was a fun process and a great way to use up your fabric stash. A fairly easy quilt to sew, also. I used some fabrics from mask panels I had purchased on sale to add interest to the quilt. (The unicorn and typewriter print in photos above.) If you search Disappearing Nine Patch, you can find other variations on the idea, which starts with a simple Nine Patch quilt block.

Hope everyone is well, wishing you a fun time creating!

Many Blessings,

Denise A. Buchwalter-Losczyk