Getting back to retirement, my scrappy diamond quilt pattern

After being retired for about 15 months, I took a job. It was just a temporary job, just going to last a month. Three months later, I’m finally retired again, until July for a month. So today I slept in, til 7 a.m. Took the dog for a walk at 8 a.m. and worked on my tan at the same time (I live in AZ so walking early can get you a tan but not a burn). I bought a bunch of graphics from two sites since I’ve gotten into vinyl and sublimation, ran errands, finally sent a baby present to my niece, and got back in time for my granddaughter to take my car so she could go to work.

So this afternoon I got into the groove. Finished and trimmed down 48 blocks for my scrappy diamond quilt. I’m now just about out of 1.5 inch strips, hooray!

Tomorrow, sublimation!

Instructions (for confident quilters and up):

  1. Cut a bunch of 6.5 inch squares. I use white, but have also used black. You want to have contrast between the squares and the strips.
  2. Mark your squares with two diagonal lines, one down the center, and one 2 inches from the center.
  3. Cut a gazillion 1.5 inch strips. You don’t have to make this a genuine “charm” quilt, but having lots of variety is good. Hint: make this with friends and exchange strips for greater variety.
  4. Using the “flip and sew” method, align the first strip along the edge of the center diagonal and stitch using a 1/4 inch seam. If your center diagonal line goes from lower left to upper right, you want to put the strip to the right of the line. For the second shorter diagonal line, you line the strip to the left of the line. Confused? The end result is that when you flip the seams over and press them away from each other, there will be about 2 inches of background fabric between the strips.
  5. Continue sewing strips and flipping them. Each block will have 8 strips; 5 on the larger side and 3 on the smaller side.
  6. Once the blocks are done, you will trim them down to 6.5×6.5 inches.
  7. Remember, this is a totally scrappy quilt and your strips will not totally match. Don’t be concerned, this is normal.
  8. Arrange the blocks so that the larger blocks match. As you put together your rows, you will see that you have alternating  rows of larger diamonds and smaller diamonds. Stitch them together. This is where the magic begins.
  9. Add your sashing if desired.
  10. Borders using a fantastic batik will make the quilt pop.
  11. 36 blocks will be 36×36 inches before sashing and borders. 48 blocks (6×8) will be 36×48 before sashing and borders.
  12. Quilt as desired. (Don’t you just love this phrase?)
  13. Enjoy!

Hand crafted versus store bought

I went to a baby shower today. My friend and her husband are expecting their first child in just a few weeks. With about two dozen people in attendance, she got a lot of very nice things. And since she will be having another shower in two weeks, the baby will probably have so many clothes, that she won’t be able to wear them all before she outgrows them.

As big bag after big bag was being opened, I started feeling that my hand-made gifts would really disappoint her. She got several dozen onesies, minkee blankets, socks, mittens, a baby bouncer, and more.

I gave her a 36×48 quilt with pink princess blocks alternating with pink blocks with dots, two handmade pink heart bibs, and an embroidered bib with “baby diva” in pink. In addition, I included a little scrapbook that one of my fellow crafters had made. She said she really liked everything, but internally I feel like I didn’t do enough because I didn’t “buy” something.

How do you feel about getting or giving hand crafted gifts versus store bought?

I don’t know if there’s enough of us sewing or crafting now. I went to two Joann’s after the shower and they all have so much open space in them, which is quite a change from just a few years ago.

Let me know. I’m off to stitch out some designs from Urban Threads. For those you machine embroider, bunnycup embroidery has some cute Valentine designs.