Sunday, June 29, 2014

Fibonacci block {do. Good Stitches, July}

This nicely complex block is a WHOLE lot easier to make than it looks.
(Edited to add: See the finished quilt here!)

It's July, and I'm so excited that it's my turn to host again in the Nurture Circle of do. Good Stitches!  This month we are all going to be making blocks based on the Fibonacci sequence.  The Fibonacci sequence is a mathematical concept that was discovered around 200 BC.  In fact, it's been around even longer than Fibonacci, who it's named after, but he introduced it to the western world, so he got the credit.
The sequence is a series of numbers where each number is the sum of the two previous numbers.  Traditionally the sequence starts with 1, but the numbers themselves aren't actually what is important, but the ratios between them.  The cool thing about this is that this sequence of numbers, these ratios, show up all over the place. 

The Golden Spiral for instance is made from boxes whose sides lengthen following the sequence.  This spiral shows up a lot in nature.

But it's not just nature, it's architecture, art, even web design.  The golden spiral is very pleasing to our eye.

Many trees have branches in combinations of the Fibonacci numbers and even in the bumps in their bark. Sunflowers and some other flowers have petals according to these numbers. It is nature's numbering system, for reasons that we don't entirely understand, but it is without a doubt both aesthetically appealing and efficient.  

I have been fascinated by the Fibonacci Sequence even since I learned about it in high school.  You can see in the image above how the sequence is used in this month's block.  With nature itself on our side we can't help but make a beautiful quilt, so let's get started!  This technique makes 2 blocks at a time, which is all I am asking you for, but in order for the design to look right I really will need a 6x6 layout (36 blocks). I am planning to make the extras myself, but if anyone wants to send extra I would appreciate it!

For this quilt I am thinking of colors similar to this quilt we did before. You will each need to choose 2 complimentary solids with a decent amount of contrast between them. (No pinks or purples please, let's keep it boy friendly.) Cut a 14" square from each solid.

Slice each of the squares into strips, (2) 1" wide, (1) each of 1.5", 2", 3", & 4.5". (There will be a narrow strip leftover which you can toss into the trash or your scraps.)

Swap every other strip between the sets to make 2 complimentary, inverted strip sets. Be careful to keep the strips in the right order.

Sew the two strips sets together into 2 new blocks and press toward the darker fabric. It's easiest to press as you go along, after adding each strip. (Normally I am not a stickler about pressing but in this case it is important. If one of the fabrics isn't obviously darker, just pick one to press toward, but keep it the same for both blocks.)  You might check your measurement here. At this point the blocks should measure 10.5" in their shorter dimension.

Square up one end of the strip sets.

Then slice off strips going crossways in the same measurements as before: (2) 1" wide, (1) each of 1.5", 2", 3", & 4.5".  Again there will be a bit leftover, but probably not much.

Again, swap every other strip between the two sets to create 2 complimentary blocks.

See how the seams nest? (Yes, sorry, the fabrics changed colors.)
 Sew these together carefully.  The pressed seams should nest, allowing you to get really crisp intersections without pinning (but absolutely do pin if you need to!)  Be careful that the ends line up; this time we don't have any to spare.

You can press these seams all the same direction, to whichever side you want.  Please do run a line of stay stitching around the block about 1/8" from the edge to protect seams from splitting in shipping or assembly.  You blocks should measure 10.5" square, but trust me I know how hard it is to stay precise with this many seams. As long as you are within a 1/4" or so don't stress and send what you've got.

Thanks so much for being an awesome group, Nurture Circle! I look forward to our finished quilt!

(Edited to add: See the finished quilt here!)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Finished Split Nine Patch Quilt

Another Friday, another finish :)  This is the Split Nine Patch I have been working on for a few weeks.  It was based on this one from a do. good Stitches circle.  It has already been gifted and is in use at its new home!

This is the second quilt I have made with this color scheme (first was the Squirrely Triangles quilt) and I am starting to run low on these colors.  I still haven't grown tired of it, though.

This quilt includes one of my favorite prints of all time, this one from Tula Pink's Saltwater collection, along with a lot of scraps from Hawthorne Threads scrap packs.  Happily, all the white in this quilt was gathered from scraps!

I quilted it with what is rapidly becoming one of my favorite FMQ designs, the square spiral from Angela Walter's book.  It makes a good alternative to stippling for equally dense and quick quilting.

The quilt finished at a little over 65" square.  I had initially intended to make it bigger but thought better of it, so the last 3 nine patches ended up on the back. I think I like the back almost as well as the front!

It's bound with a yellow solid, washed, dried and ready for use.

Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it Friday.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

West Texas on the Design Wall

We've made it to West Texas in the Texas Quilt Along!   The Crumb Jar Nines quilt was well received by its new family, thanks for the sweet comments on Friday's post :)

Linking to Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Crumb Jar Nines Finished!

It's a happy Friday to have a finish again! This week it is the mini nine-patch I have been working on from my crumb scraps.

It is bright isn't it? Not my usual style, but I like it nonetheless.  All of the nine patches were made from fabric scraps in my "crumb" jar. These are scraps below about 3" square.  The little mini-nines measure 4.5" square.

I used solids from my stash for the asymmetrical sashing.  Lots of fun fabrics in these scraps. This kind of quilting is my favorite, when I am using "leftover" pieces and turning them into some thing useful and beautiful.

For the borders I pulled from my string box and did sort of a continuous "Trips Around the World" a la Bonnie Hunter.

The border got dogwood, or orange peel, style quilting while the body of the quilt got a large loose stipple.  I had a really hard time deciding what thread color would be best and ended up just choosing white.  There wasn't anything that would have blended on ALL those colors, but I think our eye tends to glance over white since it is sort of a "non-color".

The back is a nice grey and aqua print I got at Hancocks.  I am a generally a big believer in using flat sheets, or whatever is available, for quilt backings, but I have found that when I do FMQ I have much less thread breaks and skipped stitches using actual quilting cotton for the backing. Live and learn (I still have no problem using sheets for straight line quilted quilts.)

This quilt finished at 54"x69" and will be a wedding gift for a coworker of mine and his new wife. I hope they will enjoy it!

Linking up to Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

WIP Wednesday Goals

Happy Wednesday! I am off work for a few days and feeling very productive. At the moment I am working on quilting the Crumb Nine Patch quilt

My goal is to get this one quilted today.  The borders are getting the dogwood style quilting, the rest will get a stipple.

I have already been busy today.  Six new half pints of pepper jelly are cooling on the table.

And of course the supervisor is standing by to make sure I don't work too hard :)

Linking up to WIP Wednesday.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

The WIPs are multiplying (again!)

It's design wall Monday, time to take account of the WIPs!  There are two projects currently swapping out on my design wall.  First off is the Texas Quilt Along.

I made a rose block for Tyler this week. The next city block, for Fort Worth, will be up on the 12th.

I am also working on this split nine patch for a friend's house warming party.  This one is based on a quilt I saw at do. Good Stitches here.  I have 3 more blocks to go on this one.

Linking to Judy's Design Wall Monday.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Dallas {Texas Quilt Along}

The Texas Quilt Along is under way and the first city block was posted Monday, Dallas Texas!  It's a paper pieced block of the famous fairgrounds Ferris Wheel.  I was actually in Dallas today and saw the wheel from a distance, then came home and pieced the block tonight :)  Looking forward to more city blocks in the future.

Linking to WIP Wednesday.