Cottage Quilting

We are enjoying a few days at the lake ... and I have some projects with me.  Sewing on the deck, in the dappled shade of the maples and pines, with a fantastic view of the lake.

I've been working on a HST design, using the "Well Said" line by Sandy Gervais for Moda, one of the beautiful lines of fabric that my friend Michaelanne offers in her shop, Stache Fabric & Notions.  We are working on making this in big and small.  This one is a mini - the HST's are 2" finished, 14" x 16".

This quilt is christened "Modern Poetry Mini Mini".

For this one, I used one of my favourite solids for the background, "grellow".  

The design uses 8 HST of seven different colours.  Perfect for the "Magic 8" HST method.  I love this method - it's easy, fast and accurate.  And all the bias edges are enclosed in seams.

Here is a quick tutorial on the Magic 8 method ...

These squares were cut at 7".  On the wrong side of one of the squares, mark both diagonals edge to edge.  As you do in traditional HST construction, sew 1/4" on either side of the diagonals.  I had 7 to do - they were all chain pieced.  

After sewing both diagonals, it is time to slice.  A rotating mat is really helpful for this step, as you want to keep the square all together until the final cut.  Safety first - always cut away from you.

The first cut is vertical - straight up and down, right through the centre of the marked diagonals and sewn seams.  If you can, line up your 45* angle on your ruler with one of the diagonals on the squares, and also check that your edges are straight, lined up with marks on the ruler.  Slice straight up the middle.

The next slice is horizontal.  Slice right across the middle.

The next slice is on the diagonal, along the marking and between the 2 seams.

The last slice is the other diagonal, again along the marking and between the 2 seams.

Press the HST's open, and trim!

I am a firm believer in trimming - even if it is only a sliver.  The blocks are much easier to sew together, and they fit!  

Admire that pile of HST's!

It was a bit breezy, so I was lucky to have enough time to snap a photo of the blocks all laid out, before they fluttered away in the wind.  

The next bit of magic is getting all the blocks into stacks so sewing them together results in the same design as we started with.  This method is one I learned in a great workshop led by Cheryl Arkison.  I love this method, it works so well!

I have made little post-it notes for each column.  Pick up the pieces one column at a time.  Pick the pieces up for the first column, starting at the top and holding the top of the block.  Pick up the next block, making sure its top is also at the top, and put it under the top piece.  Pick up each piece in this column, and make a nice stack.  Keep the orientation of each block as you had it in the layout.  When you have all of the blocks for the first column, pin that sticky note so that you know which edge is the top.  

Pick up the each column in this way, and pin the column number at the top on the first block for that column.

Back at the sewing machine for putting the top together, more chain sewing!

Starting with columns 1 and 2, I put these in front of the sewing machine.  I keep the column marker and pin right there so I can remember what I have.  Sew block 1 of  column 1 to block 1 of column 2.  Chain piece the entire stack of columns 1 and 2 together.

Press the seams - I press every other row in the opposite direction.

Gather the next column, and chain sew the blocks together.  

Press as you go - after each column.

If you are super-observative, you might see I had one HST turned in the wrong direction on the last column in my original layout.  It was still turned in the wrong direction when all the columns were together.  I found this when I held up all the chained columns and before I started sewing rows together.  The check at this point is great, only one seam to rip and resew.

Keep all of the chains intact - this will help in sewing the rows together in the right orientation.  Sew the rows together - I still press after each row, and press all rows in the same direction.

Ta-done!  Well, this step is done - will be fun to quilt this one :)