Sunday, 14 February 2016

Wonky Stars and more at Flowerpatch

The February meeting at Flowerpatch Quilters was a Four Corners evening. Ellen, Dy, Dawn and I set ourselves up in different parts of the room to be visited in turn by members split into four groups.

Ellen showed us how to do partial seams. This is a link to Jinny Beyer where you can see how to do this. Such a handy technique to use in all sorts of situations and I can see that it might make calculating fabric requirements a lot simpler, too.

Dy encouraged us to think about the quilt we are going to make for a challenge organised by Jo at Cowslip Workshops. This is called "Through the Window" and lots of brilliant ideas were banded about and discussed. I do love talking quilts with friends because even if you have a pretty fixed idea of what you want to do, other people see things so differently and can improve or simplify your design or methods.

Dawn showed us how to make little folded Christmas trees. She brought along lots of 2" squares of fabric which were folded twice and then laid down in rows on a background fabric to make the tree shape. Each row is sewn down in turn, but at the meeting members assembled the whole tree on the glue sprayed background and this was then taken home by one lucky lady of each of the four groups, to finish off and decorate as she wished.

I introduced members to Wonky Star Blocks. These are some pincushions I made after seeing those on Crazy Mom Quilts. They are just under 4" square.

Such a simple nine patch block to make with no need for templates.
You begin by cutting 13 squares of fabric - 8 of background fabric, 4 of star points fabric and 1 for the star centre.

The star points squares are cut in half along the diagonal.

One star point is placed across the corner of a square and sewn down. 

When this is flipped over it needs to cover the corner of the square and you can see below that one of these is OK and one isn't. When you first do this it might be a good idea to pin the triangle at the points along the seam line and flip it over to check it's right before sewing. Saves on the hateful unpicking.

I could never decide whether to cut away the background fabric or leave it on so that the background is there to guide me when I trim up the square. Monica D came up with this brilliant solution. After sewing on the first triangle, turn it over and trim off any fabric sticking out beyond the background square. Turn it back up the right way, un-flip the star point fabric and trim off the excess background fabric. This way you don't lose your square shape to trim back to, and you can repeat the process after sewing on the next star triangle.

After sewing one star point to 4 background squares you sew on another triangle to each of these, sewing it onto either of the adjacent corners and you end up with four like this .......

These are all the squares laid out ready to sew into the Wonky Star block.

And this is a design using four wonky stars - suitable for a 15" cushion cover.
The squares for the larger stars are cut 3½" and for the smaller stars they are cut 2½".

Also here is a link to an instruction sheet for the wonky stars if you'd like more info or something to print out.

We were delighted that Ellen brought along some of the quilts that she and friends had made over a weekend Quiltathon in January. She had been so upset by the plight of the people in Cumbria who had their homes flooded this winter, and wanted to express her sympathy for them in some way.......... and being quilters we make quilts in such situations! Ellen was really pleased with the response from her friends and Flowerpatch members with 20 people cutting, sewing, pressing, making tea, etc etc. The resulting quilts are beautiful - made with love.

Lots more going on during the evening with Joy organising fabric sales; Chrissie in charge of the raffle and library; Karen supplying us with refreshments and Dy keeping us on our toes!

Finally, I have a photo of the "Cornish Cottages" charity quilt that we started to sew together last month. It's now in its layers and quilting has begun.

The next meeting is on Thurs 10th March when we will be making a small fabric picture of a harbour. Please bring along your sewing kit (to include a needle and tacking thread, pins and scissors) and also some small scraps of fabric.
UPDATE: All change for the 10th March meeting as Sue Watters will be joining us for her "Quilt Talk". We are so lucky that Sue is teaching nearby at Cowslip and has made time to fit our meeting into her schedule as well Come along to see her quilts and hear all about them.

Happy Stitching - Anita x

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