“Start spreading the news. I’m leaving today. I want to be a part of it….” I bet you can fill in the rest! That is where we are heading this week, New York. This well loved song by Frank Sinatra is a classic! I have spent MANY hours driving across this state to go to quilt shows and visit family and friends. It is quite a haul!! I have favorite spots along the route…seeing the Erie Canal and the locks…side trips to Niagara Falls…and the wine country with all the grape vines! The New York block is from Kathryn LeBlanc of Dragonfly’s Quilting Design Studio. Click on New York to see/get the block.
First! Thank you to the North Coast Needlers Quilt Guild in Ohio! It was great to be with your guild this evening via Zoom. My lecture was on….my favorite…Bindings! Bindings are NOT Boring. A new microphone (wireless so I can move around!!) and ton of samples. I had fun sharing many of my go-to ideas to make your bindings fun and BRILLIANT!
The Pinwheel Challenge is still under way. Yesterday was Sneak Peek #1 over on Instagram. You can find me at (@debbiewendtquilting). The photo I shared is below.
I love making the seams of a pinwheel have a pinwheel on the back, too! A simple snip of a seam line thread at the outside edge and you can twirl/swirl the seams to rotate. Why? To have a flatter, less bulky center of the block! The photo above is the backside of the block. Below is the front.
#1 – Clip a couple outside edge threads of your seam lines to make the pinwheel center to reduce the bulk!
We will have another Sneak Peek next Monday and then the reveal on April 26th. I’m excited about what I have designed. It is like nothing else I have seen and hope you like it.
Thank you to those of you who gave your thoughts on the background. I appreciate you taking the time to give your choice. I could NOT make up my mind. So, I switched to white (as you can see in the photos above). I may change my mind again before I get any further in making blocks. Argh! Any of the backgrounds would look great, decisions, decisions.
#2 – Sometimes you have to change a fabric mid stream. Don’t fret too long! Make the decision and carry on. (This is totally…… do as I say, not as I do…..sometimes!)
Happy piecing, quilting, designing, fabric shopping or whatever makes you QUILTY HAPPY this week!
PS- Last week’s post about the AQS Fabulous Finds….did you see the misprint? My website is spelled incorrectly in the last line. It should be wendtquilting (as in my last name, not went). Oops! I don’t get to see what they write until it is in print. Hoping the readers still find me. Typos happen.
New Hampshire is the next state north of me! Beautiful scenery! The White Mountains is an area I have briefly explored during “leaf peeping” season. Oh, the colors during Fall! Linda Pearl of One Quilting Circle designed the New Hampshire block. You can find it HERE.
AQ Magazine (American Quilter) an American Quilter’s Society publication has a Fabulous Finds section. I’m super excited to share one of the “fabulous finds”….Brilliant Bindings!!!!! I knew it was going to be highlighted but didn’t want to give it out before it happened. It is the May 2021 issue. I haven’t received my issue yet but several quilter friends have. Thanks to Kathy Beltz for sharing a photo on Facebook of the “find”. It is below. If you are an AQS member and get the magazine, you will have it!!
As said in the “find” this is the tool for binding for easy perfect mitered corners and finishing the tail ends. Plus I have 14+ patterns that use the tool as a cutting template. Brilliant Bindings is the original tool with this trapezoid shape for bindings. The BEST, if I do say so myself. You can find Brilliant Bindings on my website HERE. Full color instructions are included in every tool package. Do you loose your instructions for tools….tip…#1 – Keep it in the package with the tool it came with! Be sure to checkout my video on YouTube and I also have a few on my Facebook page. More videos to come later in the year.
On another front, I posted my fabric pull for the next Imagination Renovation April Block Challenge. This month we are focusing on the PINWHEEL Block. Take a look over on my Instagram page @debbiewendtquilting. My fabric choices are below. I love these Kaffe Fassett dots!
I could use your help, though. Which background gray would you use? I’d love to hear your vote in the comments. Lighter gray on the left OR medium gray on the right?? The difference in the two in the photo is very slight. There is a little more variation in person.
#2 – Sometimes backgrounds can be as important as the focus fabrics you choose.
I hope you you will go bind a quilt with Brilliant Bindings! And please, I’d love your opinion on the background.
I’m in love with this week’s US Tour block! My husband worked in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 2012 and I got to go visit for extended amounts of time. I never thought I was a desert person, but my time there changed that. Beautiful colors and amazing sunsets. We had the thrill of going to the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival early one morning. Plus I had relatives there and we spent a wonderful day seeing the balloons from their veranda. Wonderful memories!! You can find Windmill Quilts block HERE!! We even bought my Suburban out there and we had one of their cool license plates until we drove it home after my husband’s job was over.
Monday was the reveal of my Rail Fence Challenge. Imagination Renovation of a Rail Fence block. I decided to make my rail fence blocks with a background between each color and by turning them on point I got a zigzag that runs down the length of the quilt. Lightening!! While I was making the quilt, I kept thinking about the saying “Lightening never strikes the same place twice” So, I’m calling this quilt “Never Strikes Twice”. As simple as this block is to piece, the complexity comes in the color placement and arrangement. I LOVE it! Plus, I had a blast making it!
Take a look at the blocks close up!
In order to get the lightening to run the entire length of the quilt, I needed pieced side triangles to complete the strike. I made a strip pieced unit of Color 1 – Background – Color 2. I used a tool I got years ago from Kaye England that are called Rulers for a Cause, now Good Measure rulers. I used her Half Square ruler to cut the side pieced triangles. Technically, it need a quarter square piece to keep the straight of grain on the outside of the triangle. BUT, the half square worked for the pieced triangles I needed. Yes I have a biased cut on the outside edge. I will be careful when piecing, not to stretch it!! The two photos below are the two pieced triangles needed. One for the top and the other for the bottom. It worked nicely!
#1- A Rail Fence turned on point can have a NEW look!
#2 – Sometimes a bias edge of a triangle is on the outside edge. This worked for this quilt. I would make a habit of doing it this way. Remember the challenge Imagination Renovation…I used what I had to make it work in this situation with the strip pieced units I sewed.
Oh, this will be a new pattern this summer! I’ll let you know when it is available on my website.
For me getting to Maine is a short hour + drive. At the bottom tip of Maine, New Hampshire sneaks in there. Or I should say at the top tip of MA, NH sneaks in there and then you cross over into Maine. And…..LOBSTER! I love the seafood, small towns along the coast and beautiful views. Plus my new favorite show is Maine Cabin Masters!! Love the scenery!
This week’s Maine block was designed by Susan at QuiltFabrication you can fine the block HERE!
Keeping with the Rail Fence Challenge, I’m going to give some tips I do when working with strip sets. I realized I do some of these things without even thinking about it. First, lets look at Rail Fence blocks. The colors in the photo below is a bit off, but you can see the Rail Fence blocks next to other Rail Fence blocks. I’m not showing the end result. (That is next week on Instagram and then I’ll share here as well!!)
In making a Rail Fence block, typically we sew three (or more) strips together. My Rail Fence blocks are made with three rails and my strips are cut 2 1/2″. After sewing my strip set (we call strips sewn together a strip set). I square up one end. When squaring, use the seam lines, not the outside strip edges. Why? The seams are important to keep the block straight and square. As strips and blocks are ironed, the edges could be skewed a bit. So, focusing on the “straight” of the seam keeps the blocks constant.
The blocks were cut to 6 1/2″ square. Note the seam lines on the lines of the ruler and the outside edges of the fabric are a smidge off in a couple spots. I’m not talking about huge variances, but jut a few threads. That is “okay”!! A couple different strips sets are shown.
As you cut along the strip set, continue to square after cutting several blocks. Fabric moves!
I started by saying there are things I do that I don’t think about. It is part of how I cut strip sets…
#1 – Square by using the seam lines when possible. It helps keep the block straight.
#2 – Square your strip set after cutting several blocks. Fabric moves. Also, fabrics are different weights and can move and shift as you sew and as you cut and as you iron.
Have you made a Rail Fence Block? A Rail Fence Quilt? I’m looking forward to the reveal next week on Monday over on Instagram. I’ll show you my Renovation Imagination of the Rail Fence Block Challenge on Two Tips next week!
I’m not sure where Tuesdays go these days, but I seem to miss them. HA! I can think of loads of excuses but I won’t bore you with them. Tuesday is gone, so I’ll focus on giving you my Tuesday tips on Wednesday this week. Two weeks in a row, NO I will not make this a thing, if I can help it!
I posted over on Instagram (@debbiewendtquilting) for Sneak Peek #1 of the Inspiration Renovation Challenge for March of the Rail Fence Block. As I stated on Instagram, a Rail Fence Block is typically one of the first blocks we teach beginner quilters. WHY? Well, it is typically 3 or 4 simple straight pieces. The pieces are usually rectangles and it is a great way to test your 1/4″ seam allowances. They are also good to practice sewing straight seams, use good pressing techniques and quick success of block construction!! Accuracy does matter in quilting! We want all our blocks to fit together easily to end up with a “square” quilt. Not square as in shape (although some quilts can certainly be square) but square in that the edges are at right angles to each other. Sure, there are often variations, but most quilts have square corners. And so I have gone down a rabbit hole…….back to my post of the Sneak Peek….see below. Some days my designing happens on paper.
I’m excited about this simple little block and I hope you’ll follow me over on Instagram for another sneak peek next Monday and the reveal on March 29th.
#1 – Simple blocks can make stunning quilts. Not every quilt needs to be difficult!!!
Pointing out one of my favorite simple designs. Equidistant. This pattern is in my patterns section of my website and can be found HERE. This quilt has a different look depending on the fabrics you choose. The cover is in blues/teals and tans/browns and one of my samples is in brights with a gray background. Different look of the same design….and a simple 9-patch block!!
#2 – A change in color can really change the way a quilt looks. You don’t have to make it just like the pattern!