Friday, February 17, 2012

Newby Quilting Bee - Class 2 Follow Up

We have completed class 2!  Many of you have brought your blocks to class to share and I thought it would be fun to put them all together in a 4 x 5 layout to see what a "quilt" might look like.  I didn't spend time "placing" the blocks in any order, they are just in the mosaic as they came up in my photo sequence.  Still, I think it gives you a little flavor of what may be.  This was created using Big Huge Labs Mosaic Maker, which is free and you can make your own by going to this link:  They are lots of fun to make and great for family photos too!

So in our class this past week, we talked about color a little bit and handed out color wheels.  You can see from the mosaic above all the different approaches to color that people in the class used.  You can see how certain parts of the block will become more pronounced depending on placement of the colors in your design.
We used a piece of batting hung up in front of the classroom to "audition" the placement of our components to determine just how we wanted to lay the block out.  Below are some examples of one students variations.

All the same fabric, all the same components, each a different look for the block.  I encourage you to practice your blocks at home, try out different layouts, different color placements, experiment.  We are only making 9 blocks in the class, so you will have room, if you want a larger quilt, to include your variations...and we haven't talked about the back of your quilt yet, you can always include a block or more on the back, that will be another class.

Remember, all of this is new to you, don't get frustrated...take your time, measure everything twice before you cut, make careful cuts, square up your components and work on that 1/4" seam.  As you go along you will develop your skills and your blocks will look better and better!  We all take baby steps to begin with, just be patient with yourself and don't give up!  Persistence will pay off in a beautiful block!  Call or e-mail if you get stuck or need help with something.

I love this picture.  The gal in the middle is taking a moment to review her instructions!  Remember to breathe, sewing and quilting should be an enjoyable, creative experience.  If it gets too tense for you, take a break and come back to it after re-reading the instructions.  Think of quilting as a marathon, not a sprint, it's not how fast you do it, take your time.  

Welcome to Mavis, our newest class member, who recently moved here from Wisconsin!  I love the rose in the middle of her block, very pretty.

Okay, so to recap, we have created 3 blocks now, all from pretty much the same components.  We have learned to make a Half Square Triangle Unit and a Strip Set.  In our next class, we are going to use that Strip Set concept again to create the middle of our next block, which is called "Monkey Wrench".  It may look complex, but this is a really easy, fast and fun block.  Think about how you would like your can make this with 2 colors, 3 colors or 4 colors.  2 colors will use the least amount of fabric and will be the easiest to sew, 4 colors will be very exciting and a little more challenging!  You decide!

Wait till you show your friends this block! 
They are going to think you are amazing!

Our Next Newby Quilting Bee Class will be held on 
Friday, March 9th starting at 9am.  

Bring a sack lunch, stay and sew in the afternoon!  Extra fabric will be provided if you would like to practice a block and donate it for a charity quilt.  

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Newby Quilting Bee - Block 3 The Greek Cross

Here we are!  Class 2 in the Newby Quilting Bee.  The  block we will make today is a review and refresher of Class #1 with a small twist.  We are going to make a strip set today and use it in the block.  We will be making a Greek Cross Block.

Materials:  You will need 2-3 fat quarters

Please follow the directions given in Class #1 for creating the 4 Half Square Triangle Units using two different fabrics.  Here is a brief refresher...

Cut two rectangles measuring 6" x 12" and mark as shown below, marking at 6" to divide the rectangle and marking the diagonals as shown below.  Use a marking device that will not bleed on your fabric.

Stitch  a 1/4" seam on both sides of the diagonal lines as shown below...

Cut on the solid lines that you marked, starting with the center line and then the two diagonals as shown below...

Take them to the ironing board, press to set your seams and then press open with the seams to the darker side of your set.

Square up each of your half square triangle blocks.

Cut two strips each of  2 different color fabrics,  they should measure at least 3" x 12" each.

We are going to sew one strip of each color, using a 1/4 inch seam allowance,  together along the long edge as shown below to create strip sets:

Iron, pressing your seams to one side, typically you will press your seam to the darker side.  Your strip set should measure 5 1/2 inches wide, it's okay if it's wider you can trim it down to 5 1/2 inches wide.

Next, take your ruler and measure off 5 1/2 inches, cut and repeat.  You should have 4 strip set units measuring 5 1/2 inches square.

When you have completed that, please cut one square of fabric to measure 5 1/2 inches square.

You should have the following components ready to assemble:

1- 5 1/2 inch square
4- half square triangle units
4-strip set units

As with the blocks taught in class #1, there are several layout options...Here are some layout options with this block.  You will notice, again, how different the blocks look depending on where you choose to put the components.  Play around and find what you like, then lay them out on your cutting mat next to your machine and we will proceed to sew them together as we did  in Class #1.

Changing color emphasis

Turning the block "On Point"

So we see that by combining a strip set unit, a half square triangle unit and a plain square, we can get a completely different looking block than the first two that we played with in our first class.  In the block below, I have fussy cut the center and the associated strips for a completely different look.

Okay, so that was great!  You remembered everything from Class #1 and you have quickly constructed another block for your quilt!   Here is a quilt made with only the Greek Cross can see how lovely it is.  This quilt was put together by Amy Friend with blocks made by many different gals.  It really turned out beautiful.

Any of the blocks that we have constructed so far will look lovely on their own, repeated to make a quilt.

Extras for today:   Some basics before you sew.  

#1.  Clean all of the lint out of your machine before you begin, take out the bobbin and use a soft brush to remove any fiber build up.  Remove the throat plate and use your brush again to remove any build up.  Make it a habit to do this each time you change your bobbin and you will have better results.

#2.   Use a new needle...they don't last forever.  Select the correct needle for the job.  Here is a great link with a wonderful needle guide.  I suggest you print it out and place it in your binder for reference.  and  Having the right needle in your machine will make a huge difference in your stitch quality.

#3.  Use the right thread for the job.  Again, here is a great link for you to check out

If you are quilting along with us online...Please be sure to post your blocks to our Flickr site at  I love to see your creations!  We will be uploading some more student blocks this weekend after class, be sure to check back with us!

Our Next Newby Quilting Bee will be held on Friday March 9th!

I hope you will be able to join us.  We will be staying into the afternoon so bring sack lunches if you are coming.  Donated fabric will be available for us to "practice" on.  All blocks created in the afternoon sessions will be made into quilts to be donated for those in need at our Harvest Party in October.  I'm hoping for a big stack to donate!  Let's have fun sewing together and create something that will surround someone in need with comfort and love.