|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on November 5, 2011 at 3:55 PM||comments (0)|
How to make Flying Geese units is something that is helpful to know when piecing certain blocks because it minimizes the number of bias-edge triangles you have to work with.
The King's Crown block is a fairly easy block to piece and once you've made your four Flying Geese, the block is about half done. You just add the squares to your four Flying Geese, join the three rows and that's it!
The cutting instructions and tutorial for the King's Crown block will be posted on the 15th of the month.
|Posted by email@example.com on October 15, 2011 at 2:55 PM||comments (0)|
It's October 15; that means the Walls of Jericho tutorial is up! This is block #2 of the Bible sampler.
|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on September 30, 2011 at 11:55 AM||comments (4)|
Block #1, the Jacob's Ladder block has been posted! Check back on the 15th of every month for the next one and to see what's new!
|Posted by email@example.com on August 23, 2011 at 5:35 PM||comments (0)|
My last dozen Farmer's Wife sampler blocks have finished at 6" instead of 6.5". I was mystified: my cutting is accurate, I've been very careful to press and not iron the seams and when I finally checked my sewing machine seam allowance, it was fine.
Here's a shot of the laminated template sitting on top of the paper template. Look at the size difference - it's at least an eighth of an inch.
So there's that mystery solved. My next question is, with eighteen of my blocks at an unfinished 6.5" and twelve at an unfinished 6", do I want to re-do the twelve and make them 6.5", trim down the eighteen and make them 6" (which will lose some nicely finished points), or add little borders to make the 6" into 6.5" blocks? (I did that with some early Log Cabin blocks and didn't like the result.) Half-inch discrepancy is too big to be able to ease the fabric successfully.
Alternatively, I could equalize the number of 6" with the number of 6.5" and just make two smaller, different sized quilts. That's another option and may be the option I go with.
At any rate, I've now printed off lizquiltz' 15-page template document and double-checked it and these templates are the right size. It's not a big deal to shoot over to Staples to get these ones laminated too.
("What's the big deal with the templates?" you may ask. Well, the CD that came with my Farmer's Wife book was broken, and although I've contacted Sharon Rustad for a replacement, I've not heard a thing from her. My guess is she's buried under requests for replacement CDs. Rather than fuss about it, I figure if I make a collection of semi-permanent templates, I won't need the CD.)
I'm linking to QuiltStory today. Check out the Fabric Tuesday eye candy over there! It's delightful!
|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on August 11, 2011 at 4:35 PM||comments (0)|
I did it. Less than a week after the twelfth of the twelve quilt along blocks was posted, I finished my last block. It's taken me all day to do it, but it's done. I did block #11 yesterday. Here they are:
|yesterday's block: Evening Star|
Making the kaleidoscope quilt helped me with these two blocks because they are made up of triangles that meet at a middle point. Pressing the seams open seems to be the trick to aligning everything at that mid-point. The seams laid flatter and it made all the difference in the world.
|today's block: Kansas Dust Storm|
I originally wanted Kansas Dust Storm to have more of the solid tan fabric in it, like Evening Star. Small problem: I ran out of it! By using the red floral fabric as my main print it had the desired effect of making it the predominant fabric in these blocks. Before I did these last two blocks, green and brown were dominant and I didn't want that; I wanted green and brown to be accents. I am now happy with the balance between all the colours and fabrics. Here are all twelve blocks:
The picture's not great because the design wall doesn't hang flat but it gives a general idea of what I wound up with. (I keep all my rulers and stencils behind my design wall.) The next decision will be what to do for my border and backing. Once my blocks are joined and the border is on, it's off to the LQS to have them quilt it with a gentle meandering pattern. I'll finish the binding myself when I get it back.
|Posted by email@example.com on August 9, 2011 at 8:50 PM||comments (0)|
Summer Sampler Series catch-up part 2: the Minnesota, Rocky Road to Kansas and Arkansas Traveler blocks.
All three of these blocks are paper pieced. Yes! I am almost a paper piecing expert, and that after one week's experience! And that is because...
...I made almost every mistake that's possible to make with piecing these three, and especially Arkansas Traveler.
No, diamonds such as are pictured below, are indeed NOT my best friend. The points are a pain, and it turns out there is a reason those numbers are on the templates. I sewed and ripped more on this block than any other to date for as long as I've been quilting (just over a year). It's one thing to turn your stitch length down to 1.5 to ease future removal of the paper by perforating it, but it is next to impossible to rip those teeny tiny stitches out of screwed-up seams. But having gotten that rant out of my system, I must say I do like the looks of this block.
Minnesota was the first block I paper pieced. It came together fairly seamlessly (ha ha!), which showed me that paper piecing does have some advantages when it comes to accuracy. I did not like the look of this block at first because of the colour combo I used, but against the other blocks that have brown in them, it looks fine.
Rocky Road to Kansas: my first attempt at a string block. I can now say I've tried the technique, and while I like the look of the finished block, I found sewing the strips together to be somewhat of a drag. It makes sense as a way to use up every conceivable scrap of fabric, however, which is what people had to do "back in the day."
|Rocky Road to Kansas|
I've now got ten blocks completed and no plans to sash this quilt top. No, what I'm going to do is alternate these blocks with at least eight filler blocks using the yard of coordinating fabric that I have. Then I'll put a border on it and decide from there on exactly how to quilt it.
|First ten completed blocks|
Two blocks to go: Evening Star and Kansas Dust Storm.
|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on July 28, 2011 at 5:25 PM||comments (0)|
KT left a very nice comment on yesterday's blog entry that got me thinking this morning. All she said was "Who needs paper-piecing when your blocks come out like this! Perfect!"
Hmm. KT gave me an idea....
I'm not generally as accurate as I need to be with my cutting to have my piecing align perfectly, but I was totally impressed with how accurate my piecing on the Six-Pointed Star block and Lucky Pieces block was. Maybe practice is having the desired effect of improvement?
"Well self," I said, "why don't we try something here? Let's try making the snazzy-looking Star block for this sampler with templates instead of paper piecing! Let's consider it a test of sorts, and a challenge as well! If it doesn't work, I can always redo it and try paper piecing it!"
I'd already printed off the paper piecing templates for this block, so to make my templates, all I did was cut one apart into the three different sized triangles and tape them onto a piece of sandpaper. Then I traced around them, adding the quarter-inch seam allowance to the sides that didn't have it, and cut them out.
I cut my fabric, paying attention to cutting pieces both from the right side and wrong side to get the pieces for both A and B paper piecing templates. They're mirror-image of each other.
Then I laid the pieces out on top of the respective paper piecing templates to get my seams aligned properly, left the paper piecing template on the ironing board and went back to my machine to do my sewing. When I pressed the mini-blocks, I made sure they were as close to the paper pieced template size as possible.
From there I aligned and sewed the four star point blocks. It took me all afternoon, but here's the finished result:
|Look Ma! No paper piecing!|
|Posted by email@example.com on July 20, 2011 at 12:20 AM||comments (0)|
For this week's blocks I did Buckwheat and Butterfly at the Crossroads. Buckwheat, pictured below, is the first piecing I have ever done on point and I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out! This turned out to be one of those blocks that looked more intimidating than it actually was, but it's also the first block I completely templated and I think that made the difference. Using the templates, all those triangles fell together like nuthin'. Wow, was that a relief! The block was done in brown in the colour combination in the Farmer's Wife book, but it turned out well in various shades of grey.
Butterfly at the Crossroads is one of my favourite blocks so far due to the colour combination I used, along with the fact I did the "crossroads" in a third colour. The original block only used two colours. It also lined up perfectly and I just think it looks really sharp! I also used the templates for this block. I had tried piecing the HSTs from squares, but decided it'd be easier to template eight pairs of triangles rather than trim them. I'm done sixteen blocks now and have been thinking about how big a quilt I want to make this. I'm not sure I'll do all 111 blocks since I don't plan on doing a queen-sized quilt. But I may, knowing that I don't have to use them all in the same quilt. I also may use a straight setting instead of finishing them on point. Typically, the blocks will come from the Farmer's Wife book, but what I do with the finished blocks will come from inside my head!
|Butterfly at the Crossroads||
|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on July 13, 2011 at 4:35 PM||comments (0)|
It's Wednesday and time for a work-in-progress update! It's been a couple of weeks since I've done one. I'm linking up today at Esther's Blog and at Freshly Pieced. Check 'em out and see what everyone else is doing!
I actually accomplished a fair bit this past week. I made my blocks for the Farmer's Wife Sampler and got ahead of the game in the Kaleidoscope quilt along at Don't Call Me Betsy's. Not only did I piece my twelve kaleidoscope blocks, I also put them together into the quilt top and just finished sewing the border on today.
The border I used is the rest of the border I'd originally cut for Elizabeth's Sampler. Just as the grey and pink made that quilt look extremely washed out, it had the effect of toning down the bright colours in the kaleido blocks. On the former quilt it had an undesirable effect; on the latter quilt it has a desirable balancing effect.
Now - what to do for backing? That'll be the next decision since I've already decided how I'm going to quilt it. I have enough fabric in my stash to use - it's just a question of seeing what exactly is there.
A few photos:
The triangles randomly laid out on the floor before sewing began.
A block sewn together: multiply by twelve. I'm glad I chose to do the baby quilt!
completed top with border sewn on
|Posted by email@example.com on July 12, 2011 at 3:50 PM||comments (0)|
|Birds in the Air and Bouquet||
Birds in the Air is a washout because of the fabrics I used. My second fabric was absorbed by the floral primary fabric, but that's okay because I wasn't sure how the points were going to line up anyway. Turns out they aligned not too badly, so that's a block I can always redo down the line if I want to. Otherwise, I'm sure the whole block will be absorbed by the other 110 blocks in the quilt. Bouquet surprised me. I thought it'd be tricky because of the weird template shapes, but it turned out really well!
Broken Dishes and Broken Sugar Bowl
Broken Dishes also surprised me because I thought it'd be a walk in the park to put together, yet it took me three tries to get those points lined up adequately! It goes to show you, you just never know. I did Broken Sugar Bowl one night when I was tired and not paying attention to the layout of the block pattern. It also took a couple tries to get all the colours and pieces in their proper spots, but once I finally did, I was happy with how it looked.
Calico Puzzle and Contrary Wife
I broke from making the blocks in the book's order with Calico Puzzle and Contrary Wife. I chose them because they were easy and I didn't have a lot of time. I'm going to start going in random order and crossing the blocks off my list as I make them. Some of the upcoming ones look tricky so I'll try to balance the harder blocks with the easier ones. There's no point inviting frustration! Contrary Wife is the first block I've done that I've used the same colour scheme as the book. It may well be the only one too.
|The first fourteen blocks|
|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on June 28, 2011 at 8:45 PM||comments (0)|
I've played catch-up and have eight blocks done on the Farmer's Wife Sampler quilt. I think I'm pretty much caught up and no doubt will get ahead in the next few weeks because I enjoy piecing and these blocks came together nicely! Being the observant individual that I am (insert tongue-in-cheek smiley here), I just realized the blocks are in alphabetical order in the book! Here's what I've got so far:
Attic Window got the FWQAL ball rolling for me and I was pleased with how it turned out. Purple and yellow is one of my favourite combinations.
|Autumn Tints and Basket|
Autumn Tints is one of my three favourite blocks in this group. It's all square and turned out perfectly, well, square! Basket was fun to put together until I got to the handle. It's not on there too straight because I hand-appliqued it and I had trouble getting it to lie flat. Steam helped, but I gave up trying to get that left side "just so."
|Basket Weave and Bat Wing|
Basket Weave is also known as Rail Fence and I've wanted to make one of those for a while. Rather than fiddle with the templates, I strip-pieced it and cut my four small squares, sewing them together in the prescribed directions. It was a breeze to put together. It's another of my three faves for ease of construction and the fact I made it all yellow. Bat Wing lined up better than anticipated, but not without first ripping one of the seams out because it was wayyy off-centre! And that was after ripping a seam out because I originally sewed the wrong edge of a triangle to the right edge of another triangle and it didn't look right at all. Once I got both right edges together, it looked the same as the picture and the edges aligned properly!
Big Dipper is the third of my three favourites in this group. It turned out square and the colour combination is sharp. Rather than use the templates, I sewed squares together and cut them to make the HSTs so originally the block was quite a bit larger than the finished 6.5". I carefully trimmed it and impressed myself with the finished product.
|Bow Tie and Box||
Bow Tie looked awkward to begin with but after taking a closer look at the templates, I realized it was one of the easiest to make. I like how it turned out. Box caused me some problems at first because I decided to sew and cut squares into half-square triangles as I did with Big Dipper. The only thing was I forgot to include my seam allowance, so the HSTs turned out way too small! Back to the drawing board and my lime green/lemon yellow block became sunflower yellow and dark green - the same green that's in Attic Window. I'm not impressed with that colour combo because I think it looks too dark, but I'm sure it'll blend well with the rest of the hundred-odd blocks left to make. I haven't yet sewn Birds in the Air or Bouquet. Birds in the Air is cut out and waiting to be sewn and Bouquet still needs to be cut out but since it has a lot of template pieces, I want to look at it and see if I can shortcut it somehow. I like to do what I can to avoid working with the bias edges of triangles. Next in line after Birds in the Air and Bouquet are Broken Dishes and Broken Sugar Bowl. They don't look too hard. I do love it when a plan comes together....
|Posted by email@example.com on June 22, 2011 at 2:30 PM||comments (0)|
After a couple of slow weeks, I finally made some great progress on my WiPs. I started block #2 of my Spring Garden embroidered quilt and have had to review a couple of basic embroidery stitches since it requires more than cross-stitch. I have a feeling I'm still doing the stem stitch slightly wrong, so I'll have to check a second reference with better pics to give me the feel for it that I used to have. I don't like the light blue cross-stitch in the ribbon because it's not overly visible. Hopefully the purple and green of the lavender will bring it out. If not, I'll change the ribbon colour on future blocks.
I also got the rest of my 55 yo-yos cut out! So now it's just a question of stitching them before I figure out how to do the rest of the pattern of this special project I'm doing. The project consists of eleven yo-yos in each of five different fabrics. I'm done two of the fabrics and below is pictured the raw materials for the remaining three fabrics, plus their batting.
I've spent a bit of time with EQ7 too, trying to figure out how to use it. I'm still in the experimental clicky phase but I'll watch the videos this weekend and see if I can't make better sense of it. The Bible quilt is taking greater shape in my mind, but it'd be nice to be able to transfer the ideas to the software since this will be a lengthy project. My plan is to release it as a mystery BOM.
And it appears I've officially gotten on-board with the Farmer's Wife Quilt Along with the completion of block #1: Attic Windows.
I'm using scraps from my stash for this quilt. I've printed off the templates for the first ten blocks which'll get me current to the end of June and I'll be on schedule with this QAL starting July. I'll also likely do weekly updates every Tuesday, in the fashion of Elizabeth (Don't Call Me Betsy) and Lee (Freshly Pieced). I also plan on doing these blocks in order because I'm an orderly, symmetrical type of girl!
I ordered the Farmer's Wife Sampler book online last Thursday and with the Canadian postal strike, Chapters sent it UPS instead, so it was here on Monday. It would've taken a week via Canada Post, so I guess that offsets the fact that I have six yards of fabric coming out of Ohio lost in the twilight zone due to the strike.
I'm looking forward to attempting my first Basket block with this quilt along and there are some weird-shaped templates in this book that I've never worked with before! So it looks like there'll be a certain amount of decoding involved with some block assembly because the Farmer's Wife book doesn't go into a whole lot of "how-to" detail. Basically: here's your templates, here's what the block should look like, have at 'er! Since I'm also a rotary-cutter type of girl, my accuracy could be touch-and-go using templates to begin with. It's a learning experience, but I don't really care how big my blocks are as long as they're consistent. Attic Windows is 6.25" because I lost a quarter inch squaring it up. That's no biggie, as long as none of my blocks are smaller than 6.25" completed size. I've run into the quarter-inch square-up discrepancy before!
I plan on attempting all 111 blocks (110 actually, since block 20 Churn Dash and block 111 Wrench are the same thing), but I'm prepared to scrap a block or two if they decide to be stubborn and give me too much grief!
Tomorrow Elizabeth posts the cutting directions for the Kaleidoscope QAL, which I'm also looking forward to. As if that's not enough on the go, I've printed a couple of basic knitting and crochet patterns off of Ravelry and am reviewing my knitting technique by making a purple dishcloth. How kewl is that? I now wish I hadn't gotten rid of all my knitting needles and crochet hooks! I had all that stuff when I was a crafting teenager, but got rid of it thinking I'd never use it again when my carpal tunnel was so bad in my 20s and 30s.