Adventures in the life of a gorram nerd

Posts tagged ‘Charm squares’

Donated quilt tops

I have a tendency to see a new pattern or technique and “need” to make it, finish the top, see something new and go try that. I end up with a lot of finished quilt tops that I don’t love for one reason or another. When I lived in Tucson, the tops just accumulated in the quilt closet. When I moved to Seattle, I couldn’t take everything with me, so I went through a huge stash purge. I filled up my Beetle twice with quilt stuff, brought it to my Wednesday quilt group, and said “take what you want. I’m not taking anything back”. A lot of the group participants make quilts to donate (hospitals, women and children’s shelters, etc), so it made it easier to part with so many of my investments. Here are a few tops that were given away.

This first one was me testing out a technique where you make 4 at a time HSTs. You put two charm (5″) squares together, sew around the perimeter, then cut on both diagonals. Tada – 4 HSTs. The problem is that all of the edges are bias edges and stretch like crazy. If you do want to do multiple HSTs at a time, I recommend that 8 at a time method that I talked about here. You don’t end up with the bias edges. The quilt’s working name was “Bias Edges From Hell”. It was a pretty quilt, but I was so annoyed with it that I wanted it gone.

4 at a time HST Half Square Triangles Charm Squares

I spent a tax season working at H&R Block. During one of the trainings, I sketched out a quilt. I used a Shoo Fly block with the center also being a HST. With the colors and no sashing, it looks a lot more complicated than it was.

Blue one

I had been wanting to try the “Disappearing” blocks. The idea is you make something, cut it a certain way, turn certain things, and resew, and it looks complicated when it’s pretty simple. I started with the Disappearing 9 Patch. To do the D9P, you sew a 9 patch block (3 x 3 grid of squares) then cut it into quarters. You rotate 2 opposite blocks and have your D9P block.

Disappearing 9 Patch 9-patch D9P Quilt block technique How to Tutorial

I used 2 colors in this one to see how it would look. Usually you see more colors in the blocks.

Disappearing 9 Patch 9-patch D9P Quilt block

Next up, a Disappearing 4 Patch (D4P). With a D4P, you make a 4 patch (2 x 2 grid of squares) then make 2 (equally spaced from the center) cuts on each side to get 9 blocks (so basically the opposite of the D9P). You then rotate every other piece to create the effect. And if you vary the cuts, like I did, you get different looking woven blocks.

Disappearing 4 Patch 4-patch D4P Quilt block technique How to Tutorial

And here’s mine, playing with different shades of the primary and secondary colors.

Disappearing 4 patch D4P primary colors

Last one, I received a charm pack with instructions for making the hour glass block. It was another technique/trick quilt where you sew a few things first, then cut, and your blocks appear. It was so long ago, I don’t even remember exactly what I did.

Charm pack 5" squares Hour glass blocks Bow tie block

Graduation quilts

A few years ago I went through a year long class. For graduation, I made my 3 classmates and teacher each a quilt. I love the Wizard of Oz one since I felt like it symbolized our journey.

For the ombre quilt, it was Karen Combs / Blank quilting fabric where there were 4 shades on each piece of fabric (so there are only 3 pieces of fabric used in the quilt). With the extra, I reversed it so it went light to dark, added a little from other colors and made it a buddy quilt. This one ended up getting donated.

Karen Combs Blank Quilting Variegated Ombra Log Cabin

Quilts For Kids

Quilts are a source of warmth and comfort, so I try to donate regularly. These are quilts that went to the organization Quilts for Kids. They collect quilts from all over the country and donate them to children in hospitals. When the kids leave the hospital, they get to take the quilt with them. Friends and family donated some money to help me buy supplies, and these 7 quilts (plus a few my friend made) went to QFK.