Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Sudoku Mini Quilt Wall Hanging

Somewhere, several months ago, I ran across a Sudoku quilt someone had created putting several puzzles together to make a full size quilt. I thought I had pinned it, but can’t find it now! Suffice it to say, it was lovely and inspired me to create a simple wall hanging based on the Sudoku pattern.

What is Sudoku?
Wikipedia describes it as a “logic-based, combinational number-placement puzzle. The objective is to fill a 9x9 gird with digits so that each column, each row, and each of the nine 3x3 sub-grids that compose the grid (also called “boxes”, “blocks”, “regions”, or “sub-squares”) contains all of the digits from 1 to 9.”

When creating this simple Sudoku Mini Quilt Wall Hanging, I encountered a few challenges: 
  • Selecting nine coordinating colors for the actual puzzle! Fortunately, I had my mother with me, an artist with a keen sense of color! The “tenth” color – I used a dark brown print - for the dark bold line separating the “sub-squares”.
  • I purchased 1/4 yard each. I decided to use one of the colors as the backing, so that color I purchased a full yard. (I’m thinking with this size wall hanging, fat quarters would have worked just as well – but don’t forget about the binding, too!)
  • Finding small prints to show up within the finished 1.5” square (the size I wanted)
  • Keeping the “number” color separate/identified

I began by drawing out the puzzle on a piece of paper, then color coding the squares to represent numbers 1 – 9.

Using “snack” size baggies, I marked a number on each baggie, to keep the individual nine cut squares – per color - separate. Then I began cutting out my squares!

What size individual squares do you want finished?
Whatever that is, add a half inch (for your quarter inch seam allowance!)

Following the diagram closely, I positioned each “sub-square” together,

then stitched the pieces together.

The three rows then went to the ironing board.

On each sub-square, I pressed the center row toward the center square. The two outside rows, press away from the center square.

Two sub-squares received the strip of dark brown, the “bold” line, on the bottom.
I learned quickly to immediately sew the strip on the appropriate line.

Always, always, always, as you go, check the placement before sewing the sub-squares together… I had to rip out twice when I placed a row up-side-down, which invalidated the puzzle!

Press Press Press (DO NOT IRON) - What's the difference? Read about it here!  
Clip away all dangling threads

Once the “top” is stitched together, and the puzzle complete/accurate, sandwich the batting between the top (right side up) and backing (facing down). 

I started out machine quilting (3.5 stitch length) simply around the sub-square. It didn’t quilt it enough for me, so I continued with a “stitch in the ditch” technique within each nine square.

I never can remember how to miter corners when binding. I now have saved the .pdf document HeatherBailey so generously provided showing/explaining the amazing directions!

Then I went in search how to prepare the quilt for hanging and found this delightful tutorial at PatchworkPottery. I did make my corners larger (7”) than what she suggested.


Happy Creating!

Monday, April 8, 2013

A Trashy Purpose

English Lavender
On January 21st of this year, I decided I wanted a new “flower bed” in a location basically worthless growing anything - even grass. The packed, hard ground was only conducive to growing Texas Size Stickers!


I envisioned an area outlined in English Lavender, with only one natural entry into this “space” then filled with rows of herbs and flowering plants to bring in the butterflies. I wanted the area is as far away from the house as I could muster – within the fenced in yard – away from the cows! Oh, and I also want a chair out there, one heavy enough to withstand the south winds, a place to sit and read during the quiet early mornings.

The concept of building a Keyhole Garden, layers of recycled materials to break down over time, is what I was going for when raking leaves, pecans/shells, and collecting cardboard boxes and newspapers. This slow “filling” process began. The plan to work on it a little bit at a time over the next month changed when –

my daddy died a week later.

I spent the entire month of February, and part of March, and some of April already, in Dallas with Momma.

Back home for a bit, while sitting on the front porch with hubby the other day, I mentioned I wanted to start working on the new area again. He looked down there and said something like, “Good. It is trashy looking.” I agree. I know, however, it’s a work in progress.

I got back to it yesterday! And, Oh, My, Goodness! It’s amazing how nice the dirt was underneath the trashy mess! It’s a good thing I left it alone for weeks, to let it “work” and do its magic. I wish now I hadn’t stopped covering & trashing it out back in January. I wish I had made the time to get the space totally covered, so all the area could start the “cooking” process.

It wasn’t meant to be. And, that’s okay. I’ll get it done. Maybe not this year, not like I have it envisioned, but I do have two Lavender plants planted, a chair (although I never know where it will be in the yard the next time I go out), and I do have a book!

Happy Gardening! Happy Reading!

How is your gardening/landscaping going?

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