Monday, May 25, 2020

hands 2 help - february quilt

Another week has passed (really? sheesh, they're going by fast!), so that means it is time for another quilt reveal!  This one is the Hands 2 Help quilt I made in February...and quilted a few weeks ago...

It started out as a random idea that popped into my head.  I had seen single-color versions of this block, but thought it might be fun to do with my stash of 2.5" squares.  I had a lot.

I blogged about the early parts of the process in early February, but since this is a final post, I'll recap some of that here...

I placed squares on my 12.5" ruler for easy transport between my cutting table and sewing machine...

...and the white square will be a star center, so I knew which squares to make into star points.

Of course I had help.

(She looks about ready to roll her eyes at me, doesn't she?!)

The first block came together nicely, though I did have to make an effort to make sure I knew which row I was adding squares to so they came from the right location.  It took a little more focus than some quilt blocks, but it wasn't all that hard.

I decided to move the star around in each block.  Rotating the blocks would put the star in the same position in some blocks, but I wanted to be sure I had a good variety at least.  So each block I made, I moved the star one spot.

Slowly blocks came together.  I put them on the floor individually to help me remember where the next star should go.  Of course, this attracted attention.

It was a sunny day, but for February, I am not going to complain about that.  Freddie, obviously, was also pleased.

Keep sewing!

Gabby also wanted in on the design floor action.  She seems much more pleased with this situation than the cutting table arrangement.  Probably because I wasn't making her move and was working around her instead?

And keep sewing!

I feel like there was a bit of maniacal sewing going on, as these were finished in a rather short period of time, but sometimes you just get the flow going and it happens quickly.

My stash of squares did well.  This represents 600 squares and only at the very end did I have to raid another stash of odds and ends to get a few pink squares to keep the blocks from having any duplicates within them.  And that stash is much depleted.  Yay!

Next up was a decision about a layout.  I wanted to make sure the stars were fairly evenly spaced and there were no glaring fabrics next to each other.  Sashing and cornerstones were planned, but I still felt I had a large enough variety of fabrics in here, I could make some effort.

Okay, this looks good.

This also served as help to make sure I did want sashing.  I went back and forth a bit, but decided it looked better with it.  There is a lot going on here!

But at this point, I wondered about that decision.  Maybe it was too broken up?  But I was NOT going to undo all that sewing.

The red cornerstones were all the same fabric - I had quite a few of those and they did get used in quite a few blocks, but since I still had a lot, I trimmed a few down for inner cornerstones and used full-size ones for the outer variety.

And this is where it sat for a few months.  I knew I needed to get it done, but it just sat there.

I even went so far as to find something for binding and get that made!

The quilt doesn't have much purple, so why not add a pop in the binding!

Finally, I stopped dragging my feet and this one got its turn on the longarm a few weeks back.  (Remember, I'm catching up!)

After some talk back and forth with a friend, I ended up deciding to do swirls over the whole thing.  The top is busy enough, whatever I did was going to get lost.  And swirls go fast for me.  They take a fair amount of thread, but that's okay.  My thread collection isn't getting any younger and I know it becomes more brittle as it ages, so I might as well use a little extra and get this done, too.

I took no photos in-progress.  It went well and I was in a zone.  The binding went on and then I hand-sewed it down in the following days.  (And since summer just arrived yesterday - all of a sudden - it wasn't all bad to sit under this and work on the binding!)

And then it was done!

What's on the back?  One of the purchases from my local quilt shop trip!

(Blowing in the wind a bit - it was a windy day on photo day, but this is okay as an action shot.  Not so much for the front if you really want to see it!)

The quilt measures about 60"x60".

In other quilty news, I promised photos of the front porch quilt show.  Since the hubby was helping set it up and is not one to stop and take progress photos, I have the before-we-hung-quilts-from-trees shot and after-we-hung-quilts-from-trees shot.  Since they are much the same, I'll share the after.

You can click on it to enlarge it some.  All the quilts hanging have been blogged about and all are quilts I really love.  They are mine.  They are not going anywhere.  What are they?

Left to right (including trees):
Cats (rainbow scrap challenge 2017 - never actually blogged about this one individually...oops!)
Twirly (pantone challenge 2019 - living coral)
Heart Stars (project quilting challenge bigger than a breadbox)
Modern Mini (Wisconsin quilt show mini challenge)
the Book Quilt (summer book club pattern quilt along 2019)

Most of them are fairly recent finishes.  Some are entirely from scraps.  Others are entirely from something I purchased just for them.  Some are a mix of the two.

I had about a half dozen quilty friends stop by.  They all stayed and visited a bit, but of course we kept our distance.  My parents came down, too, and we had a picnic lunch on the porch for a while as well.

Each of the two mornings, we started off cool and calm.  As the day wore on, the wind picked up.  Sunday the quilts were blowing down earlier than today (Monday), but both days we had to pick up a few.  And only the two quilts to the very right took off without permission off the porch.  They only made it to the ground next to the porch, so it wasn't anything too terrible.  And since the books quilt and mini are the only two that haven't actually been washed (and the books quilt only because it never made it to the top of the pile to get used since it was completed!), I wasn't worried.  The cats quilt took a dive and knocked over a drink and then must have felt bad because it fell into the puddle it made and sopped it right up.  No problem.  It will wash.  (But I think there was a collective holding of breath from everyone but me when they saw what happened!)

So it wasn't a complete bust.  The weather has been beautiful.  Wonderful to sit on the porch and read or bind that last charity quilt between friend visits.  (I'll blog about that one another day.)  And even the hubby wasn't too grumbly about the whole thing.  (Perhaps the beer I picked up for him was key?!)

But there is a lack of new kitty photos.  So here is one of Finn.  Watching birds.  Obviously.

Gabby walks the rails.  Freddie uses the table as a launchpad to higher things (that he should not be on).  Finn is just a big goonie with absolutely no finesse.  This is absolutely right for him.  (And yes, there is a curtain missing on the end.  I should probably just take them all down, for all the good they do.)

Time to go make the hubby some dinner.  We're both enjoying the last two days off together, but tomorrow the work week starts again.  His is shorter for having taken a few days off.  Mine is the usual - 3 shifts - but he will be happy to fill that time without me on one of his two boats, I'm sure.

Happy quilting!
Wash your hands!



---"Love" said...

Glad you got all those little pieces together for that pretty quilt! Just have to say the backing speaks louder than does my recent wall hanging over my bed! What a beautiful home you have, with a pretty porch, and all those gorgeous trees! It was a perfect place to hang and show a lot of your pretty quilts. I'm sure everyone who stopped by enjoyed it. Special recognition to your hubby too for all his help and hard work! It must have been a fun time for all! ---"Love"

A Left-Handed Quilter said...

What a great quilt show! You have a very nice home with a wonderful front porch and some nice big trees - big enough to hold quilts - and a beautiful day to boot! I'm glad you had quilty friends stop by and got to spend some time with your parents - sounds like you had fun - ;))

Frog Quilter said...

Love the stars quilt and the movement of the stars. Thanks for the eye candy this morning.

Preeti said...

I love this starry pattern. They make darling quilts. I have made a couple st least. Your scrappy starry quilt is so cheerful :-) Makes me happy. The backing fabric looks like fun too. Is that your DH in front of the cat quilt? You have a gorgeous house with the stones and the porch and the big trees.
Ooh the blue stars is a beauty and the sheep are ubercute!!! Stay safe, Katie. Hugs from afar.

Ruth said...

Great idea to put a star in each block! I have some blocks made (without stars) that I will use for a donation quilt - with the sashing like yours. I have made a few like that - I had cut a million 2.5" squares years ago. Your house looks so nice with the quilts hanging! I would love a porch like and large trees in the yard. We have one smallish tree outside our bedroom window and our neighbor has 2 large trees right on the property line almost, so it is like having them in our yard I guess. Plus there are real tall evergreen trees close to us. I just love trees!