Saturday, September 23, 2017

Origami box


Folded box made of pages from Fons & Porter "Scrap Quilting".

I have been making these Origami boxes for a very long time. They are beautiful and elegant and very easy to fold. Start with two squares of paper of any size and by making the box twice, you have both top and bottom that fit easily inside each other. 

The Fons and Porter Love of Quilting TV series featured a box made of pages from a quilting magazine in the "Tips" section of program # 3001 titled "Diagonally Set Log Cabin Quilts". I thought this would be an excellent way to highlight these wonderful little paper boxes that are such a pleasure to create.

There is a very good video of how to create this box at "Classic Origami Box" on Instructables.com, and "Easy Origami Open Box".

I have shown my process here with a page from the Fons & Porter special bonus issue, "Scrap Quilts". I have developed a simple mnemonic to help me remember how to make this box. I say, "Make a blintz, and put it in the cupboard." Once you have done the blintz fold and the cupboard fold, you unfold the ends of the box and refold them into a 3-D configuration that creates the box. 

When this is done, put a piece of tape on the spot where the points come together and you have a very nice gift box, or trinket holder.

How to make an origami box 

Cut a square of paper from a quilting magazine page. An 8.5-inch square will make a 3-inch square box, 1.5-inches deep. Fold the square in half in both directions to determine the center point of the paper. Once the center point has been determined, fold each corner of the paper into the center point to make a configuration that resembles a blintz pastry.

Making the blintz. 

Completed blintz fold.

Fold the blintz in half, both horizontally . . .

. . . and vertically.

Then fold each edge into the center of the blintz to create a cupboard door on the left . . .

. . . and the right -- closing both cupboard doors on the blintz.

Open the cupboard doors and pull out the ends of the construction.

Push in the corners and fold the point of one end into the center of the box.


One end is folded.


Repeat on both ends of the box.

Tape the center points, to hold in position. 

Make two boxes of the same size and carefully fit one box inside the other to make a box top and box bottom.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Interlocked Squares


"Interlocked Squares" quilt block as used in the Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild logo

I found a version of the "Interlocked Squares" quilt block -- similar to the block used in the Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild logo -- on the Field Guide to Quilts site. The AMC Quilts site also had an "Interlocking Squares" piecing guide. The AMC site used a piecing plan different from the Field Guide site. The AMC site featured a snowballing technique that I thought simplified the piecing process for this block considerably. I used the snowballing technique featured on the AMC site to lay out a sixteen-inch "Interlocked Squares" block that exactly replicates  the block used in the GAAQG logo shown above. Here is a sketch of the block on 1/4-inch graph paper.

Layout for 16-inch "Interlocked Squares" quilt block as used in the GAAQG logo 

Cut pieces for one "Interlocked Squares" block

To make one "interlocked Squares" block, you will need:

Background (white in this demo), 45-inches of 2.5-inch strips and one 10-inch square. Cut 
  • four 8.5-inch long strips
  • four 6.5-inch long stips
  • four 4.5-inch squares
Dark contrast (dark blue in this demo), 46-inches of 2.5-inch strips. Cut
  • four 6.5-inch strips
  • eight 2.5-inch squares
Light contrast (aqua/green in this demo), 48-inches 2.5-inch strips. Cut
  • four 4.5-inch strips
  • twelve 2.5-inch squares
Layout for 1/4-block 16-inch "Interlocked Squares" as used in GAAQG logo. Graph grid is 1/4-inch. Entire 1/4-block shown is 8 x 8 inches square.

Make each quarter block

For each quarter block, divide each set of cut pieces into one-quarter block squares, as follows:
Background (white)
  • one 8.5-inch strip
  • one 6.5-inch strip
  • one 4.5-inch strip
Dark contrast (blue)
  • one 6.5-inch strip
  • two 2.5-inch squares
Light contrast (aqua
  • one 4.5-inch strip
  • three 2.5-inch squares
Graph of 1/4-block of  16-inch "Interlocked Squares" showing piecing layout and joining process. Grid is 1/4".
Individually stitch each one of five units -- numbered one through five in image above -- that make up one-quarter of the "Interlocked Squares" pieced block. Four of these identical, one-quarter square units, when rotated and stitched together, will make up the entire block as shown in the first diagram titled "Layout for 16-inch 'Interlocked Squares' . . . " pictured at the top of this article.

Unit #1
Sew two 2.5-inch dark contrast squares to one 4.5-inch light contrast strip as shown in diagram above. Lay one square, right sides together, on each end of strip, and stitch a diagonal seam in the same direction across each of the two squares. Trim seams to 1/4-inch and press open with seam toward the dark fabric.

Unit #2
Lay one 2.5-inch light contrast square, right sides together, on top left corner of of a 4.5-inch background square. Stitch diagonally across corner of square, as shown in diagram above. Trim seam to 1/4-inch, press open. (This is called "snowballing" the corner of the square.)

With right sides together, sew unit #1 to unit #2 as shown in diagram above.

Unit #3
6.5-inch dark contrast strip

With right sides together, sew unit #3 to top of completed set as shown in diagram above.

Unit #4
Snowball by laying one 2.5-inch light contrast square, right sides together, on top of right corner of 6.5-inch background strip. Stitch diagonally across corner of square, as shown in diagram above. Trim seam to 1/4-inch, press open. 

With right sides together, sew unit #4 to top of completed set as shown in diagram above.

Unit #5
Snowball by laying one 2.5-inch light contrast square to bottom of 8.5-inch background strip. Stitch diagonally across corner of square, as shown in diagram above. Trim seam to 1/4-inch, press open. 

With right sides together, sew unit #5 to left side of completed set as shown in diagram above.

Your quarter-block is complete.

Complete the entire block

Make three more quarter blocks. Arrange as as shown in the first diagram titled "Layout for 16-inch 'Interlocked Squares' . . . " pictured at the top of this article.

Right sides together, sew top left and top right quarter together. Press seam and set aside.

Right sides together, sew bottom left and bottom right quarter together. Press seam and set aside.

Right sides together, sew top and bottom half of block together. Press seam and set aside.

Your "Interlocked Squares" quilt block as used in the Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild logo is complete.

Twelve of these 16-inch blocks laid in a 3 x 4 grid without sashing or borders 
will make an approximately 46 x 62 inch quilt top.

Future updates

I plan to make the block and create an "interlocked Squares" mini-toot video to publish here in the future.

Resources

http://fieldguidetoquilts.com/0Frontmatter/Home.html

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Alisa made Jake a photo comforter with Minky backing

Jake's photo comforter showing Minky backing
by Linda Theil

In January Alisa ordered a "Collage Fleece Photo Blanket" from Walgreens online at a sale price of $15 plus tax with free shipping. She had the "blanket" printed with photos of Jake, and planned to give it to him as a present for his ninth birthday this month. 


Photo collage fleece blanket ordered from Walgreens online
Alisa decided to back the lightweight knit "blanket" with Cuddle Embossed Dimple Minky 60-inch-wide yardage in a dark gray "Ash" color. 
Cuddle Embossed Dimple Minky in "Ash" gray
We cut off the hems, measured the result, and cut a piece of Minky to the same size. With right sides together, we basted the photo top to the Minky backing and stitched a 5/8-inch seam around the perimeter, leaving an 8-inch opening on one side to turn the blanket through. We used a long, narrow, zig-zag stitch for the seaming. 

In one seam, we inserted a personalized label that Alisa ordered from Border City Quilts on Etsy.
Personalized label ordered from Border City Quilts on Etsy, inserted in edge seam of comforter. Also showing topstitching 5/8-inch from edge seam of comforter.
After turning the comforter right-side-out, we topstitched about 5/8-inch from the seam around the perimeter using the same narrow, long, zig-zag stitch we used for the seaming. Our finished comforter measured 37 x 55-inches. Alisa thinks the blanket she ordered was narrower than the 50 x 60-inch blankets currently on the Walgreens' website.

We had a difficult time fitting the back to the top because the Minky is so stretchy. I would be tempted to try adding some kind of stabilizer to the Minky if I ever tried this again. Or perhaps use a soft woven flannel instead of the super-luxe knitted Minky!

Walgreens 50 x 60-inch "Plush Fleece Photo Blankets" are normally priced at $60 plus shipping on their website. They are running a 75-percent-off special until August 19, 2017. Photo blankets are also available at online photo site Shutterfly. One word of caution: our photo blanket was very lightweight -- not of a weight I would normally expect in a blanket.




Apre-b'day:

Jake likes his birthday comforter.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Visit Old Economy Village in Ambridge, Pennsylvania

Eastern elevation of Harmonite buildings erected ca. 1825 at Old Economy Village on northern banks of Ohio River in current Ambridge, Pennsylvania, looking southwest across village garden toward bluffs on southern bank of the Ohio River, west of Pittsburgh, PA. Photo: Linda Theil, May 27, 2017.
Old Economy Village is once again facing existential threat if Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf's current budget cuts to the Pennsylvania  Historial and Museum Commission are ratified by the legislature. After the economic crash of 2008, Old Economy Village was briefly eclipsed, but clawed its way back from oblivion to its current, financially-diminished state, only to be faced -- once-again -- by disregard for its unique status as a cultural and historic asset to the citizens of the commonwealth of William Penn's vision and the entire United States of America.

Secured by the state in 1916, the Harmonite village of Economy -- a priceless architectural asset along the Ohio River west of Pittsburgh -- was placed in stasis, to be held in historical trust for all citizens of the commonwealth in perpetuity by the government of Pennsylvania -- a status verified by the National Register of Historic Places in 1966. The vital position of Old Economy in the history of the United States of America cannot be overstated. Old Economy Village is utterly unique and utterly priceless.

On Saturday I visited the site after many years absence, and toured the recently renovated -- 2013-14 -- homes of Harmonist leaders George Rapp and Frederick Rapp with historian David Miller. Thanks to Mr. Miller, docent Chloe Thomas, and other representatives of Old Economy, I enjoyed a magical interlude where, long ago, Swabian immigrants worked to create harmony. Plan your visit today. 

Eastern elevation of Frederick Rapp house and southern elevation of George Rapp house at Old Economy Village in Abridge Pennsylvania. Photo Linda Theil, May 27, 2017.

Southern elevation Frederick Rapp house facing village garden, and portion of Feast Hall in background. Photo Linda Theil, May 27, 2017.

Feast Hall, eastern elevation. Photo Linda Theil, May 27, 2017.

Espaliers on Feast Hall. Photo Linda Theil, May 27, 2017.

Entrance to Wine Cellar at Old Economy Village, Ambridge PA. Photo Linda Theil, May 27, 2017.

Northern elevation Rapp House, Old Economy Village, Ambridge PA. Photo Linda Theil, May 27, 2017.

Doorway garden, Old Economy Village, Ambridge, PA. Photo Linda Theil, May 27, 2017.

View looking east from grape arbor in garden at Old Economy Village, Ambridge PA. Photo Linda Theil,
May 27, 2017.

Interior, kitchen George Rapp House, Old Economy Village, Ambridge, PA. Photo Linda Theil, May 27, 2017.

David Miller, Educator, PHMC at George Rapp House, Old Economy Village, Ambridge PA. Photo: Linda Theil, May 27, 2017.



Monday, March 13, 2017

Making Moda Blockhead 1: Whirligig



Here is my second Mini-toot video tutorial. I made it to demonstrate the first block on Moda's new FaceBook site, "Moda Blockheads -- Public Group"

The block is "Block 1: Whirligig - Kansas Troubles Quilters, Lynne Hagmeier, Designer". A PDF file with complete directions can be downloaded from the Internet by clicking on this link.

This design is not optimum for a mini-tutorial, but since I wanted to make the block, I thought I might as well take the photos and use the free Adobe Spark application to make another video. I think my first mini-toot, "Cross Block", is really cute; and I am learning more about the video process as I go along.

I made the "Cross Block" mini-toot because it showed an improvisational block, and I wanted to make this "Whirligig" mini-toot because it uses a "layered" patchwork technique that I wanted to investigate. 

In this "layered" patchwork method of making the Whirligig block, instead of sewing the triangles to the rectangles, these instructions give an alternate "layered" method that just stitches the triangles right-side-up on top of the rectangles, then the rest of the process is traditional patchwork seaming.


"Layered" patchwork technique from L. Hagmeier's "Whirligig" how-to

I'm sure this technique could be very useful and interesting, but I can't say I found it all that compelling in this instance. The "Whirligig" block can be pieced in the traditional way, too. I think if I try it again, I will increase the block size (this one is 6.5-inches) and piece the design in the traditional way.


A new block comes out every Wednesday on the Moda Blockheads public group on Facebook; it's fun, and instructive, to see all the different blocks that readers make.

UPDATE 03/14/17: Lynne Hagmeier, the creator of this "layered patchwork" version of the Whirligig block, stitches her triangles closer to the edge of the fabric than shown in this video. Hagmeier's post on how to make this block is available on the Kansas Troubles Quilters blog at http://kansastroublesquilters-lynne.blogspot.com/2017/03/moda-blockheads-bow-1.html.

Resources
Whirligig mini-toot, https://spark.adobe.com/video/mtq31iLZbeeX5
Whirligig directions PDF, http://unitednotions.com/Block1LH_Whirligig.pdf


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

My first mini-toot video made with Adobe Spark



Modern, improv "Cross" block mini-toot by Linda Theil, created with Adobe Spark

The Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild recently announced that the entire guild is invited to make blocks for a quilt that will be awarded to a guild volunteer this year. They chose the "Cross" block because it is fast, easy, and beautiful; but also because it is a great example of a modern, improvisational block. When I saw Kathy Schmidt's post, "Modern AND improv -- Great!" on the GAAQG blog, wanted to try it right away. So I looked up all the links Kathy provided in her post -- there are a lot of tutorials out there about how to make this block. 

I thought wouldn't it be cool to to have one of those cute, short, video tutorials on how to make this block -- so I thought I'd try the Adobe Spark video option using photos I took while putting together my red and gold sample block. 

I could save and download the video I made, and could even get code to embed the video in this post. You can play the video from the screen above or play it on the Spark site at "Modern, improv, "cross" block mini-toot".