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linda@surroundedbyscraps.com
Portland, OR

503-997-8958

Handmade quilts and home accessories by fiber artist Linda Nussbaum. See samples of past projects as well as pieces available for sale and inspirations for custom orders. To see what is currently available for sale, please visit my Etsy Shop.

Blogger Archive

Filtering by Category: diamonds

Blogger's Quilt Festival

Linda Beth

As many of you know, I am not always on top of the blogging and often come late to the party.

Last spring some time I checked in on my blog feed and noticed a whole bunch of the blogs that I follow had posts titled "Blogger's Quilt Festival" followed by some beautiful stories written about even more beautiful quilts they had done recently.

But this time, I'm just under the wire for Amy's link up at her blog, Amy's Creative Side.
Amy's Creative Side

I didn't have to think too hard about what quilt I want to share here. It's the Jewel of Friendship, a collaborative quilt done with the members of the Friends + Fabric {a modern stash bee} through Flickr.


This bee is kind of special to me, in that it represents a group of very talented women whom I've never actually met, but feel quite close to. The organizer of the group, Jenn {SunnyInCal}, is a member of the LAMQG and first brought together an online quilting bee via flickr at the beginning of 2011, of which I was fortunate enough to become a part. As that bee was wrapping up for the year, she extended an invitation to continue in a new year with a new group of quilters (and a fair amount of overlap). Our group for 2012 is an inspired, creative, adventuresome crew, which made me want to challenge them with an inspired, creative, adventuresome block!

Last fall or winter I spotted a group of bee blocks done by Jill Stemple {fallingforpieces} that I just fell in love with, pictured here. When I was revving up for my month with the F+F bee, I asked her if she had any problem with my using her blocks as a jumping off point, and was thrilled to hear back that she had no problem at all and had not used a specific pattern, just improvised it. PERFECT.

I played around for a bit, using a specific Alexander Henry print as my inspiration piece and came up with a few sample blocks.



As I was working on these I put together a little online tutorial, which can be found here, and made it available to the other bee members through my blog. And boy did they run with it!!


Once I got the last of the blocks and worked out a pleasing layout I ended up having to scurry to finish the quilt, having committed it to be entered at the annual Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show in July. I auditioned a number of different fabrics for the backing:





and ended up choosing a Kaffe Fassett shot cotton in Bluejeans, with a strip of stripe going through it. Have I mentioned how much I love using these shot cottons on the backs of quilts - they show off the quilting beautifully!


I quilted on my home machine, mimicking the wonky diamonds in the blocks, but trying not to match too closely as to seem off on any one of the blocks and bound the quilt in another great stripe fabric.


I truly would not and could not have completed this quilt without the help of the following talents (and certainly wouldn't have had such a wonderful variety of fabrics and styles and personalities to the blocks even if I had tried):
Jennifer (sunnyincal)
Maria (mpress studio)
Karen (capitolaquilter)
Lee (Mimi Lee2)
Eileen (bluebirdluxe)
Nicole R. (idreaminfabric)
Brianna (bribaby2007)
Petra (Petra Rosa)
Emily (CanyonGurl {Emily})
Nico B. (woodbines creep)
Nichole R. (n.ramirez)

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart, and this quilt deserves its title Jewel of Friendship.

Photo taken just this evening, with this quilt bringing me warmth and comfort while I await a replacement furnace!!

Quilt Measurements: approx. 55" x 65"
Special Techniques used: improv log cabin
Quilted by: me, myself and I on my Viking Lily.
Best category: Group or Bee Quilt, Scrap Quilt, Throw Quilt
Entry #500

Friends + Fabric Bee = Something Stunning!

Linda Beth


This is what has arrived so far from the very talented ladies in the Friends + Fabric (A Modern Stash Bee). In late February I posted a tutorial for these wonky diamond blocks, and not only have my bee-mates taken a running leap with it, but their selections of fabrics blow me away! ISN'T THIS LOOKING FABULOUS??

There are a few more blocks that have popped up on the group pool in Flickr which are yet to arrive, but I think that once they are all accounted for, I will be super eager to jump right in and start putting them together!! If all goes well, and the various creators have no objection, I might even try and get this in our guild's portion of the Sister's Outdoor Quilt Show this summer... Oh the possibilities!

WIP Wed - a little catch-up

Linda Beth

As I sit here after a lovely dinner of mac 'n' cheese from a box, watching the last disc of Project Runway Season 1, I am trying to take stock of the activity of the last week or two. And then I'll be linking up with Lee at her blog Freshly Pieced.

I managed to get my tutorial up for the March round of the Friends + Fabric Stash Bee, a wonky diamond log cabin block

Also, along with finishing the quilting on the wall hanging I'm making for the For the Love of Solids swap on Flickr, I whipped up a small set of coasters from some of the scraps

And it has occurred to me that I have somewhat neglected my Etsy shop in the last few weeks. At the small craft bazaar that Saskia (the lovely and creative environmental chemist behind Base Natural) and I attended in December, I was asked if I had a wider selection of pot holders, and since then I've sold a couple of sets, so it's about time I replenish.


And as for continuing projects...
I finally basted and have started quilting the November quilt for the Bliss circle of do. Good Stitches

I've also added another quilt top to my growing pile of quilt tops awaiting quilting (though I suppose we can call it even with the previous project coming off of that pile!) - the Encapsulated quilt that I had started several years ago in a class with Portland quilt artist and teacher Lee Fowler.


And now there's the big sigh of relief. Coming in JUST under the wire is the already too often mentioned Tangerine and Wine quilt! Complete! However, not quite finished... I have it posted to the Flickr group for the Tangerine Tango Challenge but have been struggling with the photos for the MQG call for entries for the 2012 Fall Quilt Festival in Houston. Their photo requirements are strict! And I'm sure I'm overthinking it, but that's my nature. So, I have Wednesday and Thursday to get a couple of good photos of this quilt, with the perfect lighting and not needing any color correction (I've already taken dozens of photos, both full shots and details) in order to make that deadline.


So the final tally (and this actually spans a bit more than a week, since I missed last week...)
New - 3
Completed - 3
In Progress - 4 or 5
Unquilted tops - 14

Thanks again for showing interest! And if you haven't already, it's time to check out the other bloggers linking up for WIP Wednesday!
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tutorial - wonky diamond log cabins

Linda Beth


A few months ago I came across this photo on Flickr, by Jill (falling for pieces). Ever since I spotted those blocks it's something that's been on my to-do list. And, as March is my month for the Friends + Fabric stash bee, I figured this is a great block to play around with, and hope that my bee mates think so too!

So, a few days ago I wrote Jill and asked her if she had worked from or made up a tutorial for her blocks, and if not, whether she would mind my posting them for this bee. She graciously responded that she had not done so - just worked improv style, and gave me the go ahead to share.

Following is a step-by-step tutorial for how I made these guys, but in all honesty it's a basic log-cabin construction just at an odd angle. I found that the trickiest part is at the end, adding those corner pieces in order to get the right sized square (which I have to admit I did not, but more on that later!) So, please follow along if you like, or just play around on your own!
Beware! This is a LONG tutorial, and gets a little convoluted at the end. I apologize in advance if you have trouble following - but if that is the case PLEASE let me know and I'll try to make clarifications!

Starting out
Begin with your center diamond - perfect for pulling from your scrap basket and just trimming a couple of corners off willy-nilly! The size of these is completely up to you, though I wouldn't start with anything so small it's hard to sew onto, nor so big that you finish up your 12 1/2" block in 2 rounds (that will make more sense as you read further).

And you're going to want an assortment of "logs," or strips of coordinating fabric, ranging from 1" to about 3 1/2" wide. I am using 3-4 different fabrics per block, with at least one repeated at some point. These don't need to be straight cuts, in fact a little wonkiness is preferred, but they can be trimmed once you've sewn on each round.

Next...
Start sewing on your logs. Starting with one side of the diamond, trim your first strip, being sure to add extra length to accommodate the angle of the corners.
(note how you can follow the line of both that lower left edge and the upper right all the way across that strip)

Flip the strip over Right Sides Together, and stitch using a 1/4" seam allowance.
Press open with seam allowance going toward the outside (the "log").

Continue going around the diamond in the same manner. Once you have sewn the next strip, trim the tail from the previous log even with your seam allowance before pressing open.



and keep doing this for each side...


until you have a complete frame around your center diamond.
(I was working on all 4 blocks simultaneously, using my favorite method of chain-piecing, which might explain the switcheroo of blocks mid-description. I hope that doesn't confuse anyone too much)

Trim all of the tails (and now would be the time to add any wonkiness if one desires).


And now for round 2
Which is pretty much like round 1, though perhaps with slightly wider logs (though totally not necessary!)

Oh, and this round is a good time to throw in a high contrast coordinate!


Again, trim those edges before starting on round 3! Also, keep in mind your finished block size. For this bee I was aiming for a 12 1/2" block (before piecing), and a couple of my blocks after round 2 had reached the desired length from top point to bottom. I went ahead and trimmed those corners to the finished length to indicate that I didn't need to continue going around the whole corner in the next round (avoiding wasting just a little bit of fabric in the final outcome).



On a couple of my blocks for round 3 I chose to return to the same fabric that I had used for the center diamond, when I could. Again, not necessary, but it adds a little continuity in the block, and we all know that a *little* repetition in quilting is not a bad thing! One could also wait until the outside corner pieces and choose from any of the previously used fabrics.

Okay - now for finishing these blocks!
Honestly, this was a challenge for me, so I hope that my explanation is clear enough! I started out by laying out my diamond on my gridded cutting mat, centering it within the indicators for the 12 1/2" dimensions (my desired finished product).
(oh yeah, and if you have a 12 1/2" square ruler (or even a 15" square) that helps TREMENDOUSLY.)

Then I made a note of the measurements from each of the points on the diamond out to the corners of my 12 1/2" guide. More often than not the measurements on diagonally opposite corners were close enough to assume I could use the same sized rectangle split diagonally to finish those corners. For instance, in the photo above, the top left corner and the bottom right corner each show dimensions of approximately 3" wide by 6 3/4" long. From those dimensions I rounded up about 1/2" - 3/4" to get my cutting dimensions for the rectangle I would need.
Now, as it turned out, I still fell short, since the angles of that final seam weren't consistent, so my advice is round up even more than you would think. My suggestion is to add at LEAST an inch to both dimensions. And of course, if your opposing corners are close, but not exactly the same, use the greater of the two measurements as your initial guide.

Cut rectangles from the fabric based on those rounded-up measurements. Then you are going to slice them diagonally. Be sure that you take into account which corners you're cutting for, and make the diagonal cut in that same direction (in this example I'm working with my top left and bottom right corners that I was talking about above, so I want to cut from the bottom left corner to the top right of the rectangle to get those pieces.) Since your dimensions on the opposite pair of corners will likely be different, this DOES matter.


make the diagonal cut

lay out the triangles with your block, using a guide to be sure they will square up to your desired size.

Flip RST and stitch with that 1/4" seam allowance.

Trim the excess before pressing open.

Once pressed, square up to desired size!


Ooof, I commend anyone who actually managed to make it through this cumbersome explanation - thanks for sticking with me!!

*An added note for the Friends + Fabric bee members: as I alluded to, I did NOT hit my target size on all of these blocks, so they ended up measuring 12" square once trimmed. That said, please aim for 12" blocks (before piecing together) as opposed to the usual 12 1/2". The benefit of these blocks is that you totally don't have to worry about matching points, or even KEEPING all of the points... trim as needed! Thanks for your flexibility!