Friday, May 5, 2017

RJR What Shade am I


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I have been designing quilts for RJR for a long time using their current fabric collections. I enjoy taking a traditional type fabrics and creating a quilt design that really shows off many of the different types of prints within the collection. I found it easy to choose blocks to compliment the various types of fabric themes.


When they asked me to design a quilt with their solids collection, I thought, this shouldn't be too hard. How wrong was I! I knew I wanted to use a traditional block just because I am a traditional quilter and I always refer back to those types of blocks, but I needed to change it to make it more "modern". The hardest part was picking the fabrics!


I really like playing with log cabin blocks. I have made quite a few log cabin quilts over the years, mostly scrappy with traditional fabrics.


With this log cabin block I wanted to do gradations of two colors. The difficult part was finding the exact gradation that I liked the look of. I could find 4 tones but then the 5th one didn't look right. Or I could find 5 tones and the 6th didn't look right. I'm just way too picky when it comes to putting colors together. If I have a large or main print in a fabric collection, it is easy to see what fabrics would go well with it. When I have solid colors, the challenge was, how do I choose which colors I like best together. I finally ended up with peach and aqua.


These are the colors I picked:

235 Paris, 278 Just Peachy, 338 Flamingo, 277 Elephantastic Pink, 339 Tropicana, 257 Amaryllis, 294 Cove, 274 Riviera, 292 Turks & Caicos, 354 Horizon, and 289 Proud as a Peacock. 



I work up all of my quilts on Electric Quilt 7. I can play with all types of shapes, layouts, and colors. This is the block I started with. It has one side of the logs larger than the other side which creates a curved effect.








Instead of having it as a square block, I decided it should be a rectangle. So it became this.

One of the challenges in making it a rectangle was if the small logs were consistently the same size, I couldn't make them fit together as they do in the square block so I had to put two logs that end at the same place towards the outer edge. (It's a math thing!)








I still wasn't quite done. So in the center to help make the transition from one side to the other I added a triangle.


Now I was ready to design the quilt. I could have just gone with a traditional setting so on my Electric Quilt 7 I started playing with different layouts. Some traditional....




And one sort of traditional but not completely balanced. This is the one I finally ended up with. I did discover something I didn't know about rectangular blocks like this. The block can't just simply be turned to create the layout. I had to make a left and right version of the block.



Now for the hard part, the quilting. I always stress about the quilting. I work so hard at getting all of the pieces just right, I think I am going to ruin it with the quilting! I was able to work with some motifs in EQ so I played with 3 different designs.






To make things easier on myself, I chose the last option. I'm not very good at grids, but even if they weren't perfect, it wouldn't be that noticeable. You know that sign that says "Plan ahead" and someone paints themselves into a corner? I did not use any tools other than a ruler to make the lines, all of which are not perfectly even. Well, I'm quilting along and realize that the lines have to match up in the center of the design. What if I didn't have the same number of lines on the left side of the quilt as the right side. I breathed a sigh of relief when it worked out okay, but realized that there was another area where they come together. Guess what? I had seven lines on the right side and eight lines on the left side. What to do? Take out a whole line (or lines) of quilting? Luckily one side I only had some short stitching lines that I could take out and divide the space into 3 instead of 2 lines. I used Wonderfil’s Invisafil thread so that the quilting was just an accent and not the focus of the quilt.
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As an afterthought, whenever I make log cabin blocks, I like to double (or triple) the size of the front blocks to make the backing. For this one I made the original front block 10" x 12" so the back blocks are 20" x 24" which made 4 fit perfectly with some off center borders.

The last think I thought about was whether to put a border or binding on it. I decided with neither and made a faced binding (folded to the back) for the first time ever. 

I call the quilt Sorbet. It just makes me think of cool iced deserts. I didn't have any fancy places to take photos like I have seen in previous blogs (like the beach) but I did have a nice sunny day to take these photos.













Thank you RJR for giving me this challenge. I loved working with the fabrics. They have a wonderful body and sew up so nice. 
 
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If you haven’t seen all the stunning projects that have been featured in the #whatshadeareyou series, hop on over to Instagram to check out the hashtag. While you’re there, visit and follow me (@tlischko) and follow RJR (@rjrfabrics) for two chances to win a FQ bundle of the solids I chose for my quilt!

As always: Do what you love and love what you do. Thanks for reading, Toby Lischko.






Wednesday, March 1, 2017

STATE BLOCK CHALLENGE/FLORIDA BLOCKS 9A AND B

I'm baaaaack! I apologize for the long delay in posting the next state blocks. If you saw my last post (in December) I showed you a photo of my newest family members. Two Belgian Malinois puppies. Well after that post, my husband and I were getting very little sleep! If you know anything about that breed, they are very high maintenance. Super intelligent and super hyper. They weren't difficult to train, but trying to keep up with all of that energy was exhausting. Even though some people thought we were crazy to get two of them, we found that to be a blessing, because they entertain each other to get rid of some of that energy. If we had gotten only one puppy we can't imagine how much crazier our lives would have been. Here is the most recent photo of them. They are now 6 months old.



We got them at 8 weeks. The largest one (Burke) back then weighed 11 pounds. He now weighs over 50! Hare was 9 pounds and he now weighs about 45. They still act like puppies, but they certainly don't look like puppies! We are enjoying them so much. Even though we still miss Lucy (our other Malinois) they do fill a big void that losing her left.

Now to get back to business. I had taken a break after that last block, because of the holiday and after the first of the year I fell into a quilting funk. I really had no interest in doing any quilting at all. I kept telling myself that I needed to get back to these blocks but I started watching the "Outlander" series with my new DVR with Direct TV and I couldn't stop. So I watched 26 shows in about 3 weeks! 

I'm not a big TV addict, but because now that I could tape whole series of programs I had never had a chance to watch, I started watching TV more. It almost became an addiction. It was just like when I start playing a new game on my iPhone or iPad, I can't put it down. It's a good thing that I'm not addicted to gambling or something that costs a lot of money. (I'm not including collecting fabric!)

It was really hard to find 2 Florida blocks that were doable. Block A has 69 pieces but they are all triangles and squares. Block B is a little more complicated but still not a hard block to make.

BLOCK 9A



I chose both light and dark focus fabrics, a light background, and a medium purple and medium green coordinating prints. 



Here is what you need to cut. Instead of making my own templates, I chose to use  Marti Michell Template set B and my Cutting Corners template set to cut out most of the pieces. Her template sets are available for purchase on my website. Sets A and B should cover most of the blocks that I have made and will be making because they are 3" and 4" sets which go with any 12" block. Some of the more odd shapes I still have to make my own. 

Fabric 1 - Light focus fabric cut:
* Either 16 similar repeats with Template A or two sets of 8 similar repeats with Template A. (I used Marti Michell's B13, from template set B.) You can get it here:

Fabric 2 - Dark focus fabric cut:
* Fussy cut one using template F. (I used Marti Michell's B10, from template set B.)

Fabric 3 - Light background cut:
* Four Template A. (I could use my triangle template from my Cutting Corners template set.)
 * Four Template C. (I used my square template from my Cutting Corners template set.)
* Sixteen Template E.

Fabric 4 - Purple cut:
* Four Template C.
* Eight Template A.

Fabric 5 - Green cut:
* Eight Template B. (Marti Michell B12 template set B.)
* Eight Template D.

BLOCK CONSTRUCTION

1. Make four half square triangle squares with the Fabric 1 template A sets. I have two different repeats. It is really hard to see the seams but they are there. Press to one side.



2. Make four half square triangle squares with the four of the matching sets of Fabric 1 template A and four of Fabric 3 Template A. Press to the Fabric 1.



3. Center square. Sew a matching set of the remaining four Fabric 1 Template A sets to a Fabric 2 Template F. Press to A.



4. Make four Flying Geese with the four Fabric 3 Template C and eight Fabric 4 Template A. Press to A. 



5. Sew a Fabric 5 Template D square to each side of a Fabric 3 Template E. Press to E. Make eight.

 6. Sew a unit from step 5 to each side of a Fabric 4 Template A. Make four. Press to Template A. 







7. Sew the unit from step 6 to the step 4 Flying Geese unit. Press to unit step 6. Make four.


8. Make a four patch with two Fabric 5 Template B squares, one pieced triangle from step 1 and one pieced triangle from step 2. Make four.


9.  Layout the sections as illustrated. Sew sections together across then sew rows together. Press to the side of the least number of seams.



When I started Block 9B I had picked out different fabrics and a different center for it. I wasn't happy with the color selection or the way the center looked so I changed it. Here is what it looked like before I changed it. It really changes the whole look of the block. What do you think?



BLOCK 9B




For this block I chose just the dark focus fabric, a medium pink, medium green and dark green.



Here is what you need to cut. If you kept the templates from previous blocks you will not have to make another Template D. Check through your templates and lay them on the paper images to find the right one.

Main Fabric 1 cut:
* Eight similar repeats with Template B.
* Four similar repeats with Template D.

Medium Pink Fabric 2 cut:
* Fold the fabric wrong sides together and cut out four left and four right Template A/C.

Medium Green Fabric 3 cut:
* Four Template E. 

Dark Green Fabric 4 cut:
* Four template F.

BLOCK CONSTRUCTION

1. Sew a left and right Template A/C to a Template D. Press to A/C. Make four.


 2. Sew two Fabric 1 Template B triangles together as illustrated. Make four. Press seams open.


 3. Sew the Fabric 1 pieced B triangles to the step 1 unit. Press to Template B.


4. Sew a Fabric 3 Template F to a Fabric 4 Template E. Make four. Press to E.


5. Sew two sections together from step 4. Press in same direction as the other seams. Then sew the halves together. Split the center seam and press in the same direction as the other seams (either clockwise or counter clockwise).

6. Sew the center section to each large end of the remaining two units from step 1. Press to center.


7. Sew the two units from step 3 to the sides of the step 6 section. Press seams out. (If the image looks funny, I started with a different center so I had to replace it but didn't take the whole thing apart.)


Here are the links to the templates. Remember to save them to your folder first then open them with Acrobat Reader. Let me know if you have any problems opening them.



Please feel free to leave a comment at the end. I would love to hear from some of you even if you do not participate. It is never too late to join in. You don't have to start with block 1. You can choose to make as many or few as you want. Also send me the images of the blocks when you get them done. Send them to my email at tlischko@yahoo.com. Be sure to take the photos as a "flat" shot. Tape it to a wall to get it straight on.

As always, Do what you love and love what you do.

Friday, December 9, 2016

STATE BLOCK CHALLENGE DELAWARE

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. I know it has been a while since I posted the blocks. I told you that we got puppies in October. I'm not as young as I used to be. They are wearing me down. I fall asleep at all hours during the day. If I am not moving or doing something, as soon as I sit down I end up taking a nap! I've got to figure a way to get them to sleep longer at night.

I went to Texas last week to teach at two guilds. I had such a good time. I stayed with two wonderful quilters who treated me like family. Here is a photo of the finished blocks from my Parfait class in New Braunfels. This class is from my new Kaleidostars book. Everyone looks happy!


I also got a chance to visit with my son in Austin. He took me to the Alamo and the River walk in San Antonio. It was a beautiful day and I had a great time with him. I don't get to see him that often. (Don't I look happy!)



I think I am behind picking winners for my blocks. I have decided to just draw names instead of having quilters vote because it seems that the same people are picked and I don't want to leave anyone out. So those who finished my Connecticut blocks, if you haven't sent the images to me, please do so I can draw a name next week. Please email them to me instead of sending them through Facebook or Messenger. It is easier for me to put your name to it when you do that. Send them to tlischko@yahoo.com.


Just thought you would like to see a recent photo of my puppies. In a month they have doubled in size!



This week's block is Delaware. I had some problems finding a second block but with perseverance I did find it.

Block A

This is a simple 9-patch with a Snowball block. I used the dark focus fabric, one light and one medium print. I cut up the large Snowball instead of having one large piece. That is what is fun about doing these blocks. It is a challenge for me to figure out where I want to fussy cut a simple block.


CUTTING INSTRUCTIONS


Focus fabric 1 :
* Cut two sets of four repeats with template C.
Light fabric 2:
* Cut (10) 2-1/2" squares (or use template A)
Medium fabric 3:
* Cut (8) 2-1/2" squares (or use template A)
* Cut (4) 2-7/8" squares; cut each once diagonally into (8) HST (or cut (8) template B).

PIECING INSTRUCTIONS

1. Sew the four Focus fabric 1 Template C together, then sew on Fabric 3 HST (template B) on each corner. Press to corners. Make 2.

                          




2. Sew the (5) Fabric 2 light squares (A) and (4) Fabric 3 medium squares (A) together to create a nine-patch. Press patches to medium fabric, then press rows to center. Make 2.



3. Sew the nine-patch squares to the Snowball squares. Press to Nine patch.


Block B

This block is a little more challenging. It's like a nine-patch that was cut on an angle. I chose the dark focus fabric for two different sections of the block. If you want to fussy cut just the center then that is okay. I also chose a light and a medium dark.


CUTTING INSTRUCTIONS





Focus fabric 1:
* Fussy cut four repeats with template C.
* Fussy cut four repeats with template B right side up. Place a small pin or use a marking tool to identify the straight of grain edge. (Marked on the template.)
Light fabric 2:
* Cut four template B with the template turned wrong side up, and cutting one layer at a time or have all four layers face up. (There is a left and right side of B so you need to make sure that 4 are cut with the template face up and 4 with it face down.) Place a small pin or use a marking tool to identify the straight of grain edge.
Medium Dark fabric 3:
* Cut four template A. Place a small pin or use a marking tool to identify the straight of grain edge. (Marked on the template.)

PIECING INSTRUCTIONS

1. Sew the four template A patches together.
 
                                  












2. Sew the light template B template C sections together. Make sure that the side with the pin on it is on the outside. Make 4. Press to C.


3. Sew the fussy cut template B to each end of step 2 as illustrated. Pay attention to the straight of the grain edge on template B. Make 2. Press to fussy cut B.


4. Sew the sections from step 2 to opposite sides of the center section, matching seams. Press to center square.


5. Sew the sections from step 3 to the other two sides. Press to center square.


I hope you have fun making these blocks. I really did. Here are the templates. Remember, save them to a folder then open them. Please let me know if you have any problems opening them.

Delaware Block A templates
Delaware Block B templates


Please feel free to share your blocks with me. This is the final block that I will do this year. (I'm sure you will need a break with the holidays coming up.) I will start up again on the first Monday in January. Thank you for participating.

Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, and Happy New Year!

As always: Do what you love and love what you do.

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