Friday, February 5, 2016

Two Finishes!!!

My teaching samples for the Lake Metroparks Farmpark Quilt Show are finished and will soon be hanging in the visitor center!!  I stitched the binding to my Glitter lap robe over the weekend at my retreat.  I love that I was able to finish it -- it's too pretty to become a UFQ!!
I'm very pleased with the Dresden Star sample.  It was made from an assortment of "layer cake" pieces of Moda's Good Karma that I won during an Instagram giveaway earlier this winter.
I decided I'd try an outdoor photo shoot once I arrived at the Farmpark -- lots of fences!!  By the time I arrived, there was a light dusting of snow -- made the photos even better!!

I used (almost) every bit of the stack of 10" squares.  For the border, I trimmed all the bits and pieces to the same width strips.
Then I used my Marti Michell 60 Degree Triangle Ruler to cut them up -- just pick any horizontal line and trim the right and left sides. 
Don't forget to trim off the corners of the "polygons" -- it makes matching them easy and keeps the row straight!  I joined them end to end randomly and made four strips for my borders.
It was my intention to make the pieced border the final one but it didn't "feel" finished.
Much to the astonishment of my stitching sidekicks for the weekend, I decided on one more border of white!  Surprise!!  It's works!
One of my quilting friends who finishes everything she starts in one continuous stream most of the time sat with me for a bit on Sunday and we imagined quilting designs so when I got up Monday morning, my brain was in gear!  After quilting the stars, I started to experiment with ideas for the background diamonds.
In the end, I stumbled onto a way to mark and stitch "mazes" that worked really well!!  And I'm going to walk you through it for two reasons -- first, so I can "remember" how to do it again and second, in case you'd like to try it.  First, you have to promise to let me know if this doesn't make sense -- if it doesn't make sense to you, it won't make sense to me in a couple months!!  And I'll have to edit this post!!

Sketch it out on paper first.  Begin with a drawing of the shape you are going to fill with the maze.  The first step is to divide the space into an odd number of segments.  This is trial and error -- I divided my diamonds by 7 and 9 -- decided 9 was too dense so went with 7.  I find it easier to do this with a metric ruler -- centimeters are easier to break down than inches. 
I made dots across the space and then parallel lines going both directions to make a grid. 
It worked best for me to stitch the inside of the maze and then around the outside -- my red line shows where I entered the diamond and the direction I traveled.
The markings on this diamond correspond to my red lines on the sketch above.
That was all I marked on each diamond.  I experimented with marking more but found I got confused about where I was going.
In this drawing, you can see the full maze.  I entered along the red arrows, then exited along the black pathway and back to the edge of each diamond.  Once I reach the edge at the end of the maze, I stitched in the ditch to the next diamond where I repeated the maze process. 
To mark the starter lines, I laid my small ruler on the sketch and noted how far from the seam line those first three lines needed to be drawn -- it was 7/8" from each side. 
I used my straight edge tool to keep the lines straight and kept the presser foot centered between the first lines and seams as I stitched back out of the maze.  After a few diamonds, the process became quite smooth and only having the first three lines eliminated lots of confusion about where to go!
I quilted this piece with Aurifil 40wt cotton, yellow -- you get the feel for it in this photo.
And these two quilts represent two finishes from my list of goals for the First Quarter of the 2016 Finish-A-Long!!  Wahoo!!   Three down and three to go!!  You can check out my original list HERE.

Number four is cut and patiently waiting for me in the studio!! 
I'm off to stitch!!

Mary Huey


  1. Your directions make sense to me! It looks like a slanted Greek key design, and it's very attractive. I just love that start quilt. There's definitely one of those on my "someday" list. and yours is so very inspiring and pretty in the colors you've chosen.

  2. Love the colors in that Dresden Star.

  3. It is great that you worked out that quilting design in the diamonds so that you didn't cross over any of the quilting lines! They are both beautiful pieces!!

  4. Yep, that first one is far to lovely to be a UFO! Love the jewel-like shapes it has.

    Love the dresden star, too! And the tip about quilting a maze is very handy, thank you. :)

  5. Love those quilts! Great colors, quilting and patterns!

  6. These are both such beautiful and inspirational quilts.

  7. What beautiful finifhes! Thanks for sharing how you poieced the border and quilted the"maze".

  8. Love both of these quilts. Thanks so much for the explanation of how you quilted that diamond. It made perfect sense to me and I look forward to trying it on a quilt.

  9. Congratulations on your two gorgeous finishes! And thanks especially for the tutorial - I like using the maze motif, am thrilled can be done in a diamond. Very well explained.

  10. You were absolutely right to add that second white border to the frames it perfectly! Your directions make perfect sense, and the quilting design looks so nice in the diamonds. Thanks for linking with TGIFF :)

  11. Gorgeous finishes and nice to see a bit of your process!

  12. Both quilts are beautiful Mary and you found a lovely location for photos complements Glitter very nicely. Your maze quilting works very well with Dresden Star, adding to a sense of movement.

  13. Both are lovely. I like how the extra white border on the Dresden stars allows the binding to pop.
    I am glad I am not the only one who writes herself notes on her blog. :)

  14. Beautiful! And your pictures show them off so well.

  15. Although your Dresden stars quilt is the one that attracted me to your blog (via your link on Oh Scrap!) and I love its colors and blocks and quilting (and yes, your quilting instructions make sense and are wonderful), I can't stop looking at the Glitter lap quilt. I went back and read your post about the construction and quilting and love how you kept to simple straight line and then emphasized the "ovals". Very attractive.

  16. Love your border idea. It looks great on your finished quilt. Thanks so much for sharing your pretty quilts with Oh Scrap!

  17. Two great finishes! Your scrappy 'glitter' quilt is really inspiring, love that secondary pattern thing-y that's happening there!

  18. I love seeing your Glitter all done! Fabulous! (Seeing yours makes me even more anxious to start mine!)
    Thanks for the very clear description of your maze quilting. (I leave notes for myself on my blog as well. Works wonderfully, doesn't it?)

  19. Congratulations on your two finishes!! I love your Glitter quilt; it looks fabulous! I wanted to make this one so bad, but I have to be realistic and need to finish a few things before I start another project. Oh, and that Dresden Star is really cute too!!

  20. Beautiful quilts, good for you for finishing them! Thank you for participating in the FAL, on behalf of the 2016 global FAL hosts.