Life is a Bowl of Cherries

It's that time of year - the time just before summer, the time for sour cherries. I just love those beautiful little orbs of tangy sweetness - they make the best pies, hands down - a favorite of my entire family - aren't they beauties!

Here is one of my cherry trees - all of 4 years old - and chockful of cherries this year.

When we were kids my Dad would take us to Ontelaunee Orchards to pick cherries by the bucket full. That was the easy part. Once you pick the cherries, you need to pit them. I remember sitting out on our back porch pitting those cherries for hours, by hand, my fingers all wrinkled from the moisture and my tee shirt irretrievably stained from the cherry juice.

I've become somewhat more sophisticated in my cherry pitting over the years. I use this little gadget - certainly simplifies the process somewhat. Cherry pitting is a serious task - miss a pit and you could cost someone a corner of their tooth - a sacrifice all true cherry pie lovers are willing to take.
Tomorrow I'm going to whip up some small cherry pies to deliver to family and friends - yum!

Keeping with the cherry theme I decided to use this beautiful red dot fabric to show you how I made my outside border on my baby quilt that I posted yesterday. I am making 4 1/2 inch blocks but because I am making a diagonal cut I start with a 5 inch square.

Here are my fabrics - I'm pairing up my 2 dots with solid blue.

Stack your fabrics in pairs - I'm working with 4 squares of fabric per stack - 2 dot squares, and 2 solid squares.

I iron a 5 inch piece of freezer paper onto the top piece of fabric onto which I drew a line at about a 30 degree angle - give or take a degree or three.

Cut the fabric on the line. From here on out I just use the one side of the freezer paper when cutting the remaining stacks of fabric.

From one stack of 4 squares of fabric you now have 8 pieces of fabric with two each of mirror image shapes. When you use a solid fabric you can use either side - this adds a lot of possibilities to this technique as you will see.

Here are my blocks sewn together - they are not square yet - you need to square them up before proceeding!

I'm aiming for a 4 1/2 inch square - my sewn blocks measure 5 x 4 1/2 inches.

I use a 4 1/2 inch piece of freezer paper to template my cut. THIS IS IMPORTANT - you need to remain consistent in how you trim your fabric. For this project I am making certain that the wide side of the dotted fabric is always to the left side. Sorry - it is difficult to see that in the photo below. If you alternate which side you trim you will not get matching seams.

Now - let's play around with our sample blocks - here is the arrangement I used in my baby quilt resulting in a nice wavy effect.

Let's mix up the fabric and the setting - here I've set them wide end to narrow end of the dotted fabrics. When you choose to set them in this fashion you can mix up the angle of the cut to add interest to the setting.

Here is a look at mixing up the fabric using the setting I used in my baby quilt.

Hey baby - love the lava lamp!

Yet another version achieved by alternating the solid / dot fabrics.

I'm playing around with this setting for another baby quilt.
Yes, I know there are many more possibilities but my cherry pies aren't going to make themselves. Give it a try and let me know what you come up with. You can make an entire quilt using this simple technique. I am dying to try a scrappy quilt paired with solids using this setting - I think it would look so contemporary.