Tuesday, January 15, 2013

If you ask nicely...

Your friend's mom might make you Fox Mittens.

So I made Steph a scarf for Christmas and she posted a picture on Facebook of herself wearing it. With the required caption "My mom made it". The only suggested requirement  for acquiring a mom-made item.

Her friend saw it and wondered if fox mittens might be found in the Mama-Made-It box.
I had never tried fox mittens but figured there was sure to be a free pattern kicking about on the internet. Turns out there's not that I could find. So I looked at some mittens & scarves being sold and decided to give it a try.

Not bad!

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Stained Glass STACK n' SLASH. Quilt As You Go.

Quilt-Along {if you like!}

(Under construction. Pictures to follow ...as I go. My New Years' Resolve!)

My daughter Sara asked for a quilt-as-you-go lesson while home for Christmas break but it didn't happen. I promised to document my progress on the new Stained Glass Stack n' Slash Quilt I'm about to begin - like the one I did last summer. I'm making this one with smaller squares of fabric - using a 12 ½ inch square ruler to cut each square of fabric. I'm going to use the quilt-as-you-go method, but the steps for making blocks would be the same if sewing a quilt top to be quilted later.

For quilt squares with no 2 colors alike in each block you need 9 different fabrics
For 36 blocks (arranged in rows of 6 x 6) Cut 4 of each color and stack each set of 9 fabrics exactly the same
Each stack gives you 9 finished blocks. Number of blocks per row is up to you! Depending on how many stacks you make, there may be leftovers.

Make note of your 9 fabric squares' order from bottom to top and remember to stack them back in a pile the same way each time you sew the stack. DON'T SHUFFLE THE PIECES MOVED TO THE BOTTOM. LEAVE THEM JUST AS THEY ARE, RIGHT SIDE UP AS THEY WERE STACKED. After they are sewn back together with the stained glass strip, there's a "shuffle the stack" formula that keeps no 2 fabrics alike in each block.
Number of sections "shuffled to the bottom" is different for each step! Fingers crossed I get it right.

Helpful websites I use along the way will be listed here:
Stack n' Slash formula for cutting, re-stacking and slashing again - called Crazy-9 Patch on this blog. Does not include stained glass technique but formula for *slashing/sewing/stacking* (repeat!) should be the same. TESTING. Pretty sure this was the site I went to before when memory failed and 2nd batch of blocks went wrong.

PATTERN: (cutting guide - trial pdf)
Cut 12½ square from a brown paper bag and mark lines as shown. (coming soon!)
More or less. YOUR PATTERN WILL BE UNIQUELY YOURS. Not required to be exact.
Be consistent.

Cut (many!) 1¼ inch strips (width of fabric) for Stained Glass effect.
You'll probably need to straighten the edge of fabric once in a while so the strips don't go wonky on the fold. Width of strips for joining blocks will be wider... we'll deal with those later!

Folding paper pattern along the line you are about to cut and placing on top of the stack helps each cut be more or less the same. DO NOT CUT THROUGH THE PAPER!
It's not necessary for each block to be the same - in fact they will not be. Using the paper guide will show ruler placement to make cuts go faster, making blocks very similar. You can slide the paper away or not but be careful not to cut into it.

You'll be cutting through 9 layers PLUS seam allowances in some instances.  
Use a sharp rotary blade! BE CAREFUL ;)
9 fabrics stacked with cutting guide.

Fold pattern back on line showing where to cut.

Move 1 piece on left from top to bottom.
Sew sections together with strips.
Use guide folded back to cut next slice through all layers.

All 9 layers cut.
Move 2 pieces on right from top to bottom.

Sew sections back together with stained glass strips.

Rotate clockwise one turn.

Place guide as for 1st cut.  3 pieces on left moved from top to bottom. 
Last cut with 6 on right moved to bottom.