Blog Hop · Feature

Making Connections Blog Hop

I Can’t Believe I’m Machine Quilting!  That is the title of my quilting story. When Dorie Hruska of Forever Quilting first asked for people to help her promote her new book through a blog hop, I was a bit hesitant because I am not a fan of machine quilting and thought I would just be embarrassing myself.  Well something clicked, and it’s like a light bulb went on in my brain on how to think about machine quilting. So here is my journey…

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weekly update

Happy 1 year Blogiversary to me!

Can you believe it’s already been a year?  For those of you who have been reading since the beginning, I very much so appreciate you, and thank you for reading! (I also appreciate those of you who may have found me during the last year as well!)  You may have noticed about 2 weeks ago, there were a few days that my blog wasn’t online or you were getting to a page that was under construction. I decided to migrate my blog from being hosted on WordPress.com to a self hosting WordPress.org site.  This post is dedicated to all my fellow newbie bloggers that may run into some of these same issues as they decide to go to a self hosted site.  If you are here for just my quilting adventures, skip to the end of the post for a quick weekly update and what I’ve been up to this past week.

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Blog Hop · Feature

S.W.A.K. Revealed (Piece and Quilt with Precuts Blog Hop)

S.W.A.K. is the 4th quilt in the Piece and Quilt with Precuts book by Christa Watson.  I am so happy to finally be able to share my finished quilt after all the sneak peeks on my Instagram!

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This quilt uses Charm Packs for the half square triangles (HSTs).  So keeping with the spirit of the precuts theme, I decided to use Airmail (quantity 2), Modern Background Ink (quantity 2), and Bella Solid White (less than 1) Charm Packs.  Here is the first lesson:  Not all Charm Packs are the same size! Seriously. You’d think they should all be 5″ square, but with the pinked edges the square is sometimes larger or smaller.

I used my Frixion pen to mark the diagonals on all the lines and centered the two pieces the best I could.  However, it didn’t help with the finished size of the HST.  The pattern calls for 4-5/8″ HSTs, but mine were so inconsistent due to the charm pack size that I made the decision to trim them to 4-1/2″.  So I then started my long process of trimming all 168 HSTs.

I used my design wall to lay out the entire quilt before I made the blocks.  I realized with the Red and Blue blocks I could make the fun Xs and Os in different colors.

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Because I trimmed my HSTs, the final version of my quilt is slightly smaller than what is listed in the pattern, but it’s crucial to have consistently sized HST to have a square quilt!  I tried spray basting this quilt for the first time!  Christa gave a demo of spray basting in her Start Up Quilting Craftsy class, and I was definitely intrigued. I must say, I think I have fallen in LOVE with spray basting. It makes quilting so much easier without having to take out pins all the time.  I followed the square spiral walking foot quilting instructions in the book, and I can only imagine how hard that would have been if there were pins!

So what are my overall thoughts about the pattern and the book?  It’s a great book that goes from piecing instructions to how to quilt that specific design.  Christa has great instructions and great tips throughout the book to help build your skills.

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You can purchase a signed copy of the book from Christa’s Shop or you can purchase a copy using my Amazon Affiliate link.

Don’t forget that the blog hop continues through August 30 so be sure to check out all the other amazing designs and quilters!

Blog Hop Schedule

Last but not least, since I spent all weekend migrating my blog to be self hosted and now can have Rafflecopter giveaways… Here’s a giveaway for an E-copy of Piece and Quilt with Precuts!  The giveaway is open until the Midnight CDT on August 31.  Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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weekly update

Buying Fabric and Sewing are Two Different Hobbies

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That was a quote photo on GoGoKim‘s Instagram earlier this week, and it could not speak the truth anymore clear.  I finally got a new cutting table that is the proper height rather than my plastic table set up.  I got a kitchen island from IKEA like the ones I had seen at the retreat center.

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Because the cutting table doesn’t fit in my current sewing room, I am now permanently taking over the spare room next to the craft room. I started resorting all my fabric since it’s gotten way out of hand.  Kayla, who I met at the retreat a few weeks ago, took inventory of her fabric over the Christmas holidays and is keeping track of her purchases and usage.  I feel as if that is something I should do to help manage my stash.  I am still a little gunshy at actually trying to inventory my stash. Maybe later right? (…Or maybe I should buy more pretty fabric)

The best package came earlier this week for me!  3 of my quilts came back from Rhonda: the Modern Building Blocks, the Modern Heritage BOM, and my Vintage Modern hashtag quilt.  I am busy getting binding on all 3 quilt tops (plus on PBQ103 sample).  Do you machine bind or finish the binding by hand?  Up until now, I have always finished the binding my hand, but I am questioning that decision with so many quilts to finish up at one time! Do you have any tips to share for machine binding?

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I also got a package for Month 2 of the Long Time Gone BOM I am participating in.  This block looks way harder than it actually is to make.  I also love using my design boards to help me lay out my block without losing track of how all the units are supposed to be laid out.

I also wanted to remind everyone that the Piece and Quilt with Precuts is coming up and starting on August 17, next Thursday!  There are going to be a several bloggers each day that showcase a different pattern in the book as well as giveaways along the way!  Make sure to check it out.  I’ll post a reminder next Friday to check out the other bloggers/quilters!

Piece and Quilt with Precuts Blog Hop

That’s all I have for now, have a spectacular weekend!  See you for the #IWishYouAMerryQAL Block 2 release on Tuesday!

8/11-8/18 Weekly Goal:
Available time for quilting:
Saturday AM, Sunday PM, travel week

Projects I want to work on:
I Wish You a Merry QAL
PBQ104
Peacock EPP
PBQ105

Goals for the Projects:
I Wish You a Merry QAL: Block blocks and more blocks!  Block 2 next week!
PBQ104: Get the Quilt Top sent out!
Peacock EPP: Get sections sewn together on the plane
PBQ105:  More design work, hopefully choose the next pattern!

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Tutorial · weekly update

Barn Quilt Block Tutorial

I have no idea what this quilt block is called, but this is what I came up with for the #BCBarnQuiltSwap4 quilt for my partner.  It is made using Half Square Triangles (HST), a single Hourglass block, and no waste flying geese blocks.

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Here’s how you make the 16″ finished block with the colors referencing the block above:
Cutting instructions:
Dark Blue:
Cut 1 – 3 3/4″ square
Cut 10 – 2 7/8″ squares

Pink:
Cut 4 – 2 7/8″ squares
Cut 4 – 2 1/2″ squares

Red:
Cut 1 – 5 1/4″ square
Cut 4 – 2 7/8″ squares

Light Blue:
Cut 6 – 2 7/8″ squares
Cut 1 – 3 3/4″ square

White/Gray:
Cut 2 – 5 1/4″ squares
Cut 8 – 2 1/2″ squares
Cut 12 – 2 7/8″ squares

HST Quadrant:

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  1. Layout of all the squares cut.
  2. Draw a diagonal across 8 white 2 7/8″ squares and 4 pink 2 7/8″ squares.  Match up 4 white with 4 dark blue, 4 white with 4 light blue, and 4 pink with 4 dark blue.
  3. Sew a 1/4″ on either side of the drawn line and cut on the drawing line.  For the white/dark blue, press towards the dark blue; for the white/light blue, press towards the light blue; for the pink/dark blue, press towards the pink.
  4. Trim the HSTs to 2 1/2″ square* and lay out the 9 block quadrant with the 2 1/2″ squares.  There should be 4 total quadrants.
    *Please note there should be minimal trimming.  If you cannot accurately sew a 1/4″ seam, you may want to use 3″ squares rather than 2 7/8″ to give space for trimming.

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Sew each row together and press seams in opposing directions as shown above.  I used the webbed piecing method to do this.

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Sew the rows together and press the rows in the direction shown above.  Repeat to make 4 identical blocks.

No Waste Flying Geese

This method works to make 4 identical flying geese at a time.

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  1. Draw diagonal lines on 4 red and 4 white 2 7/8″ squares.  Place 2 red 2 7/8″ squares on the white 5 1/4″ square as shown.  Repeat for the 2 white 2 7/8″ squares on the red 5 1/4″ square.
  2. Sew a 1/4″ on both sides of the diagonal line and cut the piece apart.  Press the half triangles open.
  3. Using another 2 7/8″ triangle, place it in the corner of the piece as shown.  Sew 1/4″ on both sides of the diagonal line.
  4. Cut on the diagonal line, and press the triangle open.  Make sure to trim the piece to 2 1/2″x 4 1/2″*

*Please note there should be minimal trimming.  If you cannot sew an accurate seam, this method may give you issues.

You should have 4 of each type of flying geese, 8 total so far.

No Waste Different Flying Geese (not sure what to call this)

Since the middle 4 flying geese have 2 of each color, you cannot use the above method. Instead you will cut each of the pieces and make the flying geese with parts.

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  1. Cut the 5 1/4″ white square on the diagonals, so you have 4 triangles.
  2. Cut 2 of the light blue squares and 2 of the dark blue squares in half.
  3. The blue squares are the wings of the flying geese as shown.
  4. Sew the blue triangles to the white triangles.  Remember to trim your pieces to 2 1/2″x 4 1/2″*

*Please note there should be minimal trimming.

Combining the flying geese:

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Sew the flying geese together so that the red makes an arrow and the white makes a square as shown above.  Press all the seams towards the tip of the red arrow as shown in the photo above.

Single Hourglass block

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  1. With Right Sides Together of the 3 3/4″ light blue and dark blue squares, cut across the diagonal.
  2. Sew a 1/4″ seam on the outer edges of the square across from each other as shown.
  3. Press the triangles open with the seams to the dark blue.  Sew the two triangles together to create the hourglass block.
  4. Trim the block to 4 1/2″ square using the diagonal on the ruler.

Sewing the Block together

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Layout the block as shown and sew the rows together.  I pressed seams away from the flying geese and towards the hourglass block as shown.

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Sew the rows together to make the final block.  I pressed the seams away from the center row as shown above.

Ta Da!  There you have it!

The methods I’ve shown here on how to make the HSTs and the no waste flying geese are methods I also used on the Moda Modern Building Blocks quilt I talked about in my last post.

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In other news, I really am getting lazy with the Quilter’s Planner block since the requirement is only one block a month!  That is no way to keep me accountable, but my life is about to get really busy soon.  I finally decided to scrap my 103 pattern for a new one! The new and improved 103 pattern is in the works and hopefully will be done within a month!  I’m really excited I finally decided to make the decision to move on.

I am also participating in Christa Quilts‘ blog hop in August to celebrate her new book release! How cool is that!  I’m going to be showcasing her S.W.A.K. pattern.  You can pre-order her book from her website.  I am also allowed to share sneak peeks of my project too so once I get more than just a stack of fabric I’ll make sure to share!

Piece and Quilt with Precuts Blog Hop

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6/27-7/4 Weekly Goal:
Available time for quilting:
Friday PM, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday (I love holidays!)

Projects I want to work on:
Quilter’s Planner Block
BCBarnQuilt
PBQ103 New
S.W.A.K.

Goals for the Projects:
Quilters Planner Block: Complete this week’s Block
BCBarnQuilt:  Quilt the block
PBQ103 New: Pick fabric and start making some blocks!
S.W.A.K.: Using as my ender and leader project.

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Tutorial · weekly update

Web Piecing Tutorial

I am participating in a blog hop in a few weeks with some very awesome ladies in the Stitching Stars Blog Hop next month.  The grand prize giveaway is going to be a quilt made from blocks from the participants.  Such a great giveaway prize, I can’t wait to have everyone see the finished product.  Here is a sneak peak of the blocks I made for the quilt!  The strips on the side are my contribution for the binding.  The whole quilt will have a scrappy style with so many different contributors!

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I used the large star to demonstrate how to do Web Piecing.  This technique is what I used for my Mega Man quilt top last week with all 744, 1.5″ squares.  You can definitely use this method to make blocks rather than an entire quilt too.  So after I completed the half square triangles (HST), I laid out my block into the 16 square grid.  Also, notice how I labeled the columns.

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When you start sewing the blocks together you will sew block B onto the block As.

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Chain piece all the squares and do NOT cut them apart after you are finished.

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Next, you will continue to add block Cs to the strips of A and B.  Chain piecing in order of the rows and again do NOT cut the strips apart.

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Continue with each column adding to the strips and chain piece in order.  In this case, I only had one more column to do.

Once you are finished, you will have webbed strips.  If you hold it on one corner, you will be picking up the entire piece.

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Now, you will iron each of the seams on the strips, alternating the direction of the seams on the strips.  So the top strip, press the seams to the left.  The next strip, press the seams to the right.  So on and so forth.

Taking the strips and pinning the seams, sew the rows together.  *I forgot to take photos of the pinning portion on the first row, so the photos are of the second horizontal seam.

Repeat this process for all the rows until you finish the block/quilt.

Then press all the horizontal seams to the bottom of the block (or according to the pattern).

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When you have very small pieces like I did with the Mega Man quilt, I had a hard time ironing my seams since they were so small.  A tip is to have the rows you didn’t want to iron sitting off the edge of the ironing board so you will only iron the row you are working on.  Comment below if that doesn’t make sense, and I’ll try to get another photo.

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I should also mention that I’m absolutely horrible at keeping secrets I’m excited about so it’s very difficult for me to be keeping my next pattern secret.  I am so excited about it that I’m already planning on submitting it to the State Fair and Quilt Con for next year (and any other event I can think of!).  Since I personally make the entire quilt myself (sometimes multiple times) prior to releasing a pattern, I’m not quite sure when the pattern will be completed.  Anyway, follow along here on my blog or on my Instagram to catch some sneak peaks!  The featured image on today’s post is the sneak peak of the colors I’m using for the quilt.

I finished the Quilter’s Planner block this week called Flying Kisses by Josie Heron of Avocado Quilts.  She uses the no-waste flying geese tutorial for the block.  I’ve used this method before, but I still don’t think I like it all that much.  The definite benefit is the reduction in waste, but I don’t think I get the same accuracy as I do with the traditional square in the corner and sew on the diagonal.  I should note that the same accuracy is relative because I know it’s a user error sort of a problem!

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Anyway I hope everyone is adjusting to the Spring Forward!

3/14-3/21 Weekly Goal:

Available time for quilting:
Wednesday PM, Saturday and Sunday

Projects I want to work on:
Quilter’s Planner Block
Modern Building Blocks
Powered By Quilting PBQ103
Chic Country

Goals for the Projects:
Quilter’s Planner Block: Complete this week’s block
Modern Building Blocks: Complete 8 blocks (I’ll eventually get back to this)
PBQ103: Make more blocks… or block pieces!
Chic Country: Finish piecing the top (I need my design wall space for PBQ103!)

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