Tag Archives: Hourglass block

A Gift for My Brother

A few years ago my brother got married. Sister Cathie and I made a quilt for Brother and his bride. Alas, the marriage didn’t last.

But happier times are here. He recently bought and moved into a new home. I thought that a new home, new start, called for a new quilt. I built a quilt top of simple 8″ hourglass blocks. The block is fun to make and packs a lot of pow with its graphic simplicity and contrast. I used fabrics I still love but am not using much. I framed it with a triple border, and enlisted Cathie to help quilt and bind it. It’s big, about 94″ square, so quilting and binding is a big project.

Last Sunday we visited Brother in his new home and presented his new quilt. It looks even better on his bed.

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Hourglass Top Done … AND Giving It Away

You might have noticed I’m not quilting much lately. (Plenty going on, though — I haven’t been idle.) However I did finally finish the top to my hourglass quilt. It’s big, about 94″ square, a good size for a queen bed. And it’s too big for a photo while it lies on the floor. But here are a some shots to give you an idea of how it looks.

The blocks are 8″ finish in a 10×10 layout, making the center 80″ square. The borders add another 7″ on each side. I chose a 3-layered border because the lovely rusty red print was too busy to sit next to the busy blocks. It needed separation. The innermost border is very dark green, though it might read black on your screen. The narrow middle border is orangey-gold. I have a dark green with olive print to bind it.

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My sister Cathie will quilt it when I visit her in a few days. I’m looking forward to seeing it finished, and then giving it away. (I’m looking forward to see her, too. 🙂 )

In fact, I’ve sorted my quilts and picked a number of them to give away. I won’t miss them when they’re gone. Do you?

So Are the Days of Our Lives…

Naw, this isn’t about the soap opera. It’s about hourglasses. You know, “Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives.” I never even watched the show, but I can still hear the announcer’s voice.

A few days ago I started a new quilt. It’s a block quilt this time, not a medallion. Hourglasses are a favorite of mine, and they’re easy to make. I was ready for easy. I decided to make large-ish blocks, 8″ finish, to make a bed quilt. Using a 10×10 layout, that would give an 80″ square quilt, not including borders.

I chose old-fashioned pretties from my stash, things I still enjoy but am not using much these days. The darks are in reds, greens, teals, and purples. The lights are varied, ranging from creams to peaches to pale greens and blues. None of the fabrics are uglies or leftovers, and many of them are interesting in their own right.

I cut 50 light squares and 50 dark squares, and cut them on the diagonal twice to make the hourglass triangles. That gave me 400 patches. I paired them light and dark randomly and stitched, creating 200 pairs. Then I matched them again randomly. My only hard rule was to not have two purples or two reds, for example, in the same hourglass block. So each block has two different dark colors in it. I also randomized the lights so each block has two different lights, as well.

Today I’ve been sewing rows. Here is a taste of the layout.

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Rows not fully assembled.

As you can see, most of the blocks have red as one of the triangles. Using a dominant color helps create an anchor. When no color dominates or repeats enough, a quilt can appear chaotic. Well, this riot of scrappy triangles is chaotic enough! I also chose a dark red print for the border, to emphasize the reds.

As I write this, there are only 11 seams left. Of course they are the long ones, assembling the center and attaching the borders. But very likely this project will get put aside for a while. That’s okay as I’m not in a hurry for it. It’s intended as a gift and can wait until cooler weather to be given. I think the recipient will enjoy the fabrics I chose as much as I do.