Road Trip Quilt Along: Montana

Ah, Montana.  No place I’d rather be in the summer than Bozeman, Montana.  My husband and I stayed out there for 7 weeks 2 years ago when he was beginning his Masters degree.  This year, he was finishing up and we spent another two weeks staying in Bozeman.

Being in one place for bit gave some time to explore, and we did a bit of hiking in the area.  My 4-year-old hiked the very steep M Trail (up to a large letter “M” on the side of a mountain) all by herself.

Quite the intrepid hiker, this one is!

We also visited Hyalite Canyon, which is just gorgeous: reservoir nestled between the mountains, wooded trails, hidden mountain lakes.  It’s a treasure.

We hiked a 4 miles trail that gave us views of 5 different waterfalls, and we have taken the trail for its entire 10 miles, we would have seen 11 in total, according to our guide book.

I took some creative license and slightly redesigned this block from the original source.  The source tutorial for the Montana block gives instructions to finish a 9-inch block.  For a block of this size, this 9-patch design works well.  For the patches that are divided in thirds, each third finishes at 1 inch.

However, I am writing these instructions for a 12-inch finished quilt block.  Thus, each of the 9 patches are 4 inches and those that are divided into thirds finish at somewhere between 1-5/16 and 1-3/8.  More complicated quilt math.  Not to mention, with the original design, the 4 flying geese are not the standard size, so they would have to be paper pieced.

If you care to stick with the original plan, 9 equal square patch, you go for it.  However, for some simpler quilt math and to finish this block without paper piecing, I just made one little change.  I decreased the center square from 4-inches finished to 3-inches finished.  Each of the corner half square triangles will now be 4.5 inches square and the sections even with the center piece finish at 3 inches x 4.5 inches.

Cutting direction for Montana quilt block

Center 9 patch
(5) 1.5 inch squares [fabric 1]
(4) 1.5 inch squares [fabric 2]

Flying Geese
(1) 4.25 inch square [fabric 1]
(4) 2.5 inch squares [fabric 2]

Extension from flying geese
(4) 3.5 inch x 2 inch rectangles [fabric 3]
(4) 3.5 inch x 2 inch rectangles [background fabric]

Half square triangles
(2) 5.5 inch squares [fabric 1]
(2) 5.5 inch squares [background fabric]

Assembly instructions for Montana quilt block

Create the half square triangles.  Use the four 5.5 inch squares.  More detailed directions for half square triangles can be found with the Maryland block.  Trim these HSTs to 5 inches.

Create four flying geese.  Use the 4.25 inch square of [fabric 1] and the four 2.5 inch squares of [fabric 2].  More detailed instructions for my preferred method of making flying geese can be found in the Virginia block tutorial.  Trim these geese to 3.5 inches x 2 inches.

Create the center 9 patch block.  Use the 1.5 inch squares.  Trim the finished piece to 3.5 inches square.

Put together the extensions of the flying geese.  Sew each of your flying geese together with one each of a 3.5 inch x 2 inch rectangle of [fabric 3] and one 3.5 inch x 2 inch rectangles of [background fabric].  Trim the piece to 3.5 inches x 5 inches.

Assemble the block.  Arrange your nine sections as shown below.  Sew the pieces into rows.  Sew the rows together.

Montana quilt block!  I apologize for the poor lighting in my sewing room at night, but this is all I have for now since I just finished this a little while ago.  I’ll try to get a better picture tomorrow as well as a photo of all the blocks we’ve finished so far.  It’s raining, though, so that depends on whether I can find a dry spot outside or not.

Purple penguin mug rug

My cousin requested I make a mug rug for her friend’s wedding shower.  The friend likes purple and penguins, and she showed me a picture she had pinned of something she liked.

I didn’t have the picture available, so I just (penguin) winged it.  This is what I came up with.

I practiced some free motion loops on the penguin side of the mug rug and outlined the shapes on the pinwheel side.

The back is more of the penguin fabric (aren’t those baby penguins darling?) and the binding is a purple from Riley Blake.

This was sent of by Priority mail earlier this week, so it should already be at its new home in time for the shower this weekend!

I’m linking up with Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday, hosted by Blossom Heart Quilts this week.

But do you know what’s not finished?  The Montana tutorial for the Road Trip Quilt Along.  I modified the block a little to eliminate some weird quilt math that resulted from sizing up the block from 9 inches to 12 inches, so it’s taken me longer than expected.  I hope to have it posted by the end of the day!


WiP: on Thursday

Well, if I would have gotten to this yesterday, I would have linked up with Works in Progress Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced.

As it is, I’m still not fully back in to my routine being home and I’m too late on this post for the link up.  Which means I miss out on the sharing aspect of linking my post, but I still thought I would let you, my two followers (on of whom is my mother), know what I’m up to.

My “To Do” List is growing back to it’s more normal (for me) size of around a dozen items, and here’s what is on my list this week.

1.  Road Trip Quilt Along Tutorial
1a. Montana for tomorrow
1b. Colorado for next week

2. Gathered clutches.  I have 4 already ordered and I would like to make several more to put in my future shop.
3.  Speaking of which, I actually started making some Luna Bags: the Essential Tote for this  very purpose.  I ordered my product labels (finally!) and I’m really excited to get them in a few weeks.

Insides of the Essential Tote

 4.  I joined a hoopie swap, and I’ve finished the paper pieced base of my design.  I hope to add some hand stitching, but admittedly, I’m a teensy bit scared since I’ve never done embroidery before and I think that’s holding me back.  Time to the bull by the horns.  Or the thread by the needle.  Or something.
 5.  Speaking of handwork, I finally chose a binding for my rainbow double staircase quilt.  It’s sewing on the front, and now I have to hand stitch to the back.  I originally thought I would go with read, but I had the binding all made and ready to go, and then when I put it against the quilt, I decided I didn’t like it afterall.
 6.  Be Free Bees free form quilt robin additions.  This is the last month for this project, and I will have two quilts to add to this month.  One is already here, and the other should be arriving next week.

7.  Draw sting soccer back.  Sierra will start soccer this fall and she will need a draw string bag for her shoes and water bottle and extra shirt and what not.  She picked a green soccer monkey fabric that should arrive any day.

8.  I actually have something for myself on the list (gasp!).  And it’s PINK (double gasp!).  I hope to make a skirt out of this super fun Crazy Daisy print.  Fun!
 Two tutorials that I would like to complete, but are on the back burner right now:

9.  Equilateral triangle hexagon quilt block tutorial

10.  Kid’s play oven mitt tutorial

{Double staircase}: A quilt block tutorial

This tutorial first appeared on A Girl in Paradise back in May for her Building Blocks with Friends series.  I thought it was time to bring it back to this space as well!

You will need:

Focus fabric:
Eight (8) 1.5-inch x 5-inch rectangles

Background fabric:
Eight (8)  1-inch x 5-inch rectangles
Four (4) 2-inch x 8-inch rectangles
Four (4) 2-inch x 5.5-inch rectangles
Four (4) 2-inch x 3-inch rectangles

Choose your focus fabric and cut out eight (8) rectangles, 1.5-inches x 5-inches.  You might choose 8 different fabrics or a combination of a few fabrics in your desired colors.  Since these pieces are 5 inches wide, this is great project to use some charm squares.

Now, cut out the fabric for your background.  For each 12.5-inch block, you will need 2 strips of background fabric 2-inches x width of fabric (WOF).

Iron the fabric (you can still see wrinkles in mine, but trust me, it lies flat) and fold it in half so the selvedges line up.  You might have to slide the fabric along the selvedge a bit so that the fold is even.  Place the background fabric on your cutting mat, lining up the fold with one of the guide marks.  Trim off any uneven excess perpendicular to the fold.

Now line up your clear ruler with the horizontal guide marks and cut two, 2-inch strips of background fabric.

Lie the two folded strips of background fabric on top of one another so that you now have 4 layers of fabric (two stacked strips, each folded in half).

Cut the stack of strips in the following lengths (you will have 4 rectangles of each size): 8 inches, 5.5 inches, 3 inches, 5 inches.  I love this block because with these two 2-inch strips, you get all the pieces you need with very little waste.  This is all that’s left at the end of the strips:

Cut the 5-inch strips in half lengthwise, so that you have eight rectangles that are 1-inch x 5-inches.

Now you have all your background pieces cut.  This is what you will end up with (the leftover is the little bit in the bottom right of this photo):

Match each of the eight 1-inch x 5-inch background pieces with one of the 1.5-inch x 5-inch rectangles of focus fabric and sew them together along the length.

When you’re finished, iron the seams either open or to the side.

Decide on the arrangement of your steps.  You can construct the block so it appears to have the same structure right side up or upside down.  In this case, the lower four steps will be arranged so that the background fabric is toward the bottom.  The upper four steps will be arranged so that the background fabric is toward the top.

Alternately, you can arrange the steps so that the background fabric on the steps is always to the same side.  With this arrangement, you will have the effect of a continuous staircase across several blocks, should you choose to put more than one together.

Add the rectangles of background fabric to the focus fabric.

I usually only pin the pieces with a rectangle of background fabric on either side so that all the pieces stay together.

Line up your pieces and chain piece them together.

When you’re finished, you will have to attach the other side of background fabric to those pieces with background on both sides of the “step”.

Iron the seam open or to the side and sew the rows together.

Between rows, I actually prefer to iron seams open for this block.  It makes the block lie flatter and you don’t have to worry about the direction of the seam if you are putting more than one block together.  I sew the rows together in pairs, then sew sets of pairs together, then sew the top half of the block to the bottom.  Trim to 12.5-inches.  Finished!

In the block I used to take the photos for this tutorial, I arranged it so that the background fabric with each step (the “space” between the steps) was toward the outside of the block.  The block has the same look  right side up or upside down.

In the blocks I made for this baby quilt, I wanted the steps to continue across the quilt, so the space between the blocks is always on the lower side of the focus fabric.

I made a mistake when I was putting the blocks together for this quilt.  Did you notice right away?  Can you see it now that I mentioned it?  (I’ll show you in a minute.)

I think I like the back of this quilt as much as I like the front.  Each piece of the rainbow solid has the addition of two charm squares in that color.

I quilted it by following the step pattern above and below as well as 1/4 inch into the white space in the border pieces.

Remember that mistake I mentioned?  Here it is.  On one block, I accidentally flipped the bottom half of the block so that there is no white space between those two steps when the quilt is put together.  I didn’t notice when I put the block together and I didn’t even notice when I put the quilt together.  I didn’t see it until I was actually quilting it, and there was no way I was going to take all that stitching out!

I love it.  I love it so much I almost want to have another baby who will use it.  Ha!  In any case, I don’t think I can give this one away.  I still need to bind it, though.  I’m thinking red.  What do you think?

If you’d like to see more photos of this delicious quilt, click back to May!

Sunday Stash: Floss but not for your teeth

I mentioned a couple of days ago that I decided to sign up for a “hoopie swap” even though my experience with embroidery is precisely nil.  Time will tell whether this was actually a good idea or not.

While I could design my hoopie entirely of fabric and quilt piecing, I decided that as long as I’m buying an embroidery hoop, I might as well go ahead and try some embroidery.  So, today, I stopped at Jo-Ann and picked out a selection of colors of bright and pretty embroidery floss and a couple of hoops.

I’ve watched a couple of YouTube videos about embroidery stitches, and one of my group members linked to this nice embroidery resource.  I feel like I have a slightly less vague idea of what I’m doing than I did a few days ago, so I guess the best thing to do is just to jump in and do it, starting with the easy stuff.  Wish me luck (and I hope my partner actually enjoys the finished product!).

Want to see some more sewing goodness?  Go check out the Sunday Stash link up at Finding Fifth.

Be a {Modern} Swapper: Angel blocks with triangles

Hey!  I suddenly realized that I had uploaded these photos and never shared these quilt blocks with you.  Too bad, because they turned out really cute.  Better late than never, right?

One of the members of another of the small groups in my Bee a {Modern} Swapper swap went missing.  Which meant, Shanna did not receive all her blocks in her queen bee month.  Our fearless leader asked for some volunteers to fill in the gaps, and I raised my figurative online hand.

Shanna wanted blocks with triangles as a component of the block in the colors yellow, aqua and gray.

For the second block, I was inspired by the addition I had just completed on Fiona’s Be Free Bees quilt.  I made six 3 parted equilateral triangles and put them together in a hexagon.  I love how this block turned out, and a tutorial has been requested.  I’m going to try and make that happen!

I’m interested to see what these look like with the rest of the blocks Shanna received!

Road Trip Quilt Along: Wyoming

Ah!  Wyoming!  That was a fun stop on our road trip.  Wyoming is the home of Devil’s Tower, which is where we stopped right after leaving South Dakota.

Wyoming is also the home of one of my most favorite places, Yellowstone National Park, which we had the pleasure of visiting on two different occasions while we stayed in Bozeman.

Now, when I first decided to embark on this quit along, the block I chose for Wyoming was one called Wyoming Valley.  However, when I posted my sketches and introduced the quilt along for Sew, Mama, Sew Giveaway Day, Jenelle let me know in her comment that The Wyoming Valley is in Pennsylvania!  Who knew!  (Jenelle did, obviously!)  So, to stay accurate and not look ridiculous to those who do know of Wyoming Valley, I found another block for Wyoming here.

This block should come together really easily for you.  There are half square triangles, and flying geese, both of which we’ve already practiced.  As such, I’m not going to go into detailed instruction on how to do those.  You can always check out the tutorials from the previous states, or feel free to send me an email if you have questions.

So, without further ado, let’s make a quilt block for Wyoming!

Cutting directions for Wyoming quilt block

You will need four fabrics for this block.

Center square: (1) 4.5 inch square [Fabric 1]

First round: (4) 4.5 x 2.5 inch rectangles [Fabric 2]
(4) 2.5 inch squares [Background fabric]

Second round: Half square triangles: (4) 3 inch squares [Fabric 3]
(4) 3 inch square [Background fabric]
Flying geese:  (1) 5.25 inch square [Background fabric]
(4) 3 inch squares [Fabric 2]
Corners:  (4) 2.5 inch squares [Fabric 1]

Let’s start out by using the 5.25 inch square of background fabric and (4) 3 inch square of fabric 2 to construct the flying geese.  Trim the geese to 4.5 x 2.5 inch.

Next, we’ll use (4) 3 inch squares of fabric 3 and (4) 3 inch squares of background fabric to put together eight half square triangle pieces.

When those two components are finished, it’s just a matter of lying out the pieces correctly and putting the block together.  You could sew your pieces into 5 rows and then sew the rows together to finish the block.

I chose to work from the inside out.  If you work from this angle, first sew together the center 9-patch block.

Trim the center square to 8.5 inches and sew the side pieces into rows.  Then add the side pieces to the center row you created.  Finish the block, and trim to 12.5 inches square.