weekly update

Friday Finishing Update!

Happy Friday everyone!!!

Surprise! There’s now going to be posts on Friday for my weekly updates!  I decided I will keep my Tuesday post for feature posts, and Friday will be my time to give an update on what I’m working on or what I’ve finished that week! Since I didn’t have an update this past Tuesday, this post covers about a week and half of happenings.

Summer Games Done Quick finished last Sunday with a whooping $1.78 million raised for Doctor’s Without Borders!  That is such an amazing amount of money raised by people watching others speedrun video games.  It was also super amazing to see my quilt on Twitch.tv.

I got the first month’s kit for the new Long Time Gone Quilt Along hosted by Serendipity Woods!  Pam sent us a project box with all the fabric to keep us organized during this journey.  She is always so thoughtful with her Block of the Month Participants!  Here are my month 1 blocks, the bowtie blocks!

Since I finished the PQB103 quilt top, I’ve taken a little detour in other things that aren’t ordinary machine piecing for quilts.  I had 4 more remaining 16″ zippers, so I decided to make 4 more tiny zippy bags.  I have made 6 of these so far and realized they are the perfect size for traveling or storing items.  They are so cute and are complete minus the bias binding on the inside.  The pattern, Tiny Box Zippy, is by Michael Ann Made.

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I also decided to start on an English Paper Piecing (EPP) project.  I used to do quite a bit of EPP last summer, but haven’t really touched anything in over a year.  EPP is a method of basting fabric to a piece of cardstock aka wrapping the fabric over the cardstock, then sewing pieces together with a whip stitch.  Violet Craft came out with this BEAUTIFUL peacock pattern, and I just had to make it.  I’m using Me and You batiks by Hoffman Fabrics for my colors.  With batiks, there isn’t a “right” side to the fabric, so I’m able to better utilize the fabric.  I’ve gotten quite a bit of progress on this peacock!  This is typically a much slower process for me since it’s entirely hand sewn.  I started with the numbers that are printed on the papers, but abandoned that idea when I realized the pattern could be sewn together in “strips.”

As I mentioned a few week’s ago, I am also going to be participating in the Christa Quilts Pieces and Quilt with Precuts Blog Hop.  These pieces have been my enders and leaders for the last few weeks, and I have a sneak peak of all the Half Square Triangles (HST).  I was putting them on my design wall in a chevron pattern to count how many I have created thus far.  I still have a lot more to go, but I can’t wait to see how this turns out.  I’m using Airmail by the Comstocks, Modern Ink Fabric by Zen Chic, and White Bella Solids.

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I used to cross stitch in my life before quilting.  It’s a great portable craft to bring while traveling.  I have been working on these Mario Kart sprites for my husband for quite some time now and I only have Donkey Kong and Koopa left.  I finished all but the last 4 stitches of Donkey Kong in April and just finally decided I should finish him on my work trip this week.  Koopa might take me another 5 years to finish…

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I am so pleased to be announcing the “I Wish You a Merry QAL” that is going to be starting August 1.  I will hosting AND designing a block!  More information to come on Tuesday, and I hope you decide to join us!

Image uploaded from iOS

PBQ104 Status:  I started learning EQ7, so I can digitally simulate the quilt designs.  Hopefully, I’ll pick a design soon to start working on it!

Last but not least, a HUGE shoutout to my sister @sanhawaii08 for finishing her first quilt top!!! It’s the Ombre Gems pattern by Emily Dennis.  I am so proud, and I love this so much I should probably think about making one. (Or just “borrowing” it from my sister, 😛 haha)

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7/14-7/21 Weekly Goal:
Available time for quilting:
Saturday, Sunday, and Monday PM

Projects I want to work on:
I Wish You a Merry QAL
PBQ104
S.W.A.K.

Goals for the Projects:
I Wish You a Merry QAL: Start working on the QAL blocks to prepare for hosting!
PBQ104: Finalize the design and pick fabric for sample
S.W.A.K.: Using as my ender and leader project.

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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

Moda Modern Building Blocks Quilt Tips and Tricks

I finally finished this quilt top! I have a very strong love/hate relationship with this quilt top for many reasons.  Before I started, I had already heard this quilt pattern wasn’t the easiest to follow and that it was wasn’t the easiest of quilts to make.  This blog post is dedicated to my assessment of the quilt, the quilt pattern, and any tips and tricks for assembly.  If you’ve made this quilt before and have things to add to my list, please comment below, and I’ll get this post edited for future readers!

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So here it goes…

Skill Level:

  • Advanced Beginner/Intermediate

Pattern:

  • Each of the block patterns are shown with the finished block, semi-exploded diagram of the block to help show how the block is sewn together, and then cutting instructions.

Block Cutting Tips:

  • The cutting instructions are such that you *shouldn’t* need to trim the blocks if you have an accurate and consistent 1/4″ scant seam.  If you would like to trim blocks, make sure to add 1/8″ to each of the squares that require a single diagonal cut.
  • Square up all the flying geese and Half Square Triangles (HST) before assembling each block. Because I was lazy (at least I admit it), I used the exact cutting instructions thinking I could get away without squaring the block.  Nope, I’m not that consistent with my seams, and it was very apparent on blocks with lots of seams.
  • There is a google doc sheet that shows the full cutting instructions for the block from Liz Harbour.  However, there are a few minor mistakes in the sheet from typos so be on the look out for those.
  • Always cut the largest blocks first.  If you don’t, you may not have enough fabric left.  If you bought the kit and cut the largest blocks first, you’ll end up with a nice stack of Bella Solids to use as scraps in the end.

Sewing Tips:

  • Instead of cutting all the HSTs apart before sewing them back together, look at which HSTs can be made with the method of sewing 1/4″ on both sides of the diagonal line, then cutting the HST apart.
  • For some of the blocks, the flying geese can be made with the no waste method.  So there is no need to cut the different sized triangles in the cutting instructions.  This is if there are 4 flying geese that are identical and have the same colors of corner triangles in the block.
  • Nesting seams takes some extra planning ahead.  Make sure to mark which directions the seams should go for easier assembly.  If you do not want to think, press the seams open to avoid them being bulky.

Pattern Corrections:

  • Block 7: This block is overall TOO small.  If you sew it with the cutting instructions, your block will end up about 18″ square, rather than 18″ finished (18 1/2″ square).  You can fix this by cutting the E pieces 5 1/2″ squares rather than 4 3/4″ and the F pieces 5″ squares rather than 4 3/8″.  After the block is finished, trim the block to size.
  • Block 8: the A piece is too small.  Piece A should be 4 3/4″ rather than 4 5/8″

**There may be other corrections, but those were the ones that were obvious or really off that needed correcting!

Did I miss anything?  Comment below!  Thanks!

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Here are some of the assembly photos of the quilt.  I really do love how this quilt turned out, and it’s the largest quilt top that I’ve made finishing at 84″x96″.

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So I didn’t work on anything this week other than finishing up this quilt top.  I also realized not having to post a Quilter’s Planner block each week has give me validation that I can skip blocks for which I’m just not feeling it.  Maybe I’ll do this week’s block, but we’ll have to see!

6/20-6/27 Weekly Goal:
Available time for quilting:
Friday PM, Saturday AM, and Sunday afternoon

Projects I want to work on:
Quilter’s Planner Block
BCBarnQuilt
Designing for PBQ

Goals for the Projects:
Quilters Planner Block: Complete this week’s Block
BCBarnQuilt:  Complete the quilt top/block
Designing for PBQ: Work on new block designs, making a design a day.

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weekly update

Perspective

First, I’d like to thank everyone that gave me their thoughts on how to get over my quilter’s block. I think Pattern 103 is just going to go on hold for a little bit as I work through it.  I apologize in advance if this post gets to be too personal.  Last Wednesday, one of my good friends I’d fallen out of touch with in the past few years committed suicide.  I found out Thursday via a Facebook post of a mutual friend, and this has since altered my entire perspective on life and subsequently quilting.  A couple things on where my head is at now:

  • If you have thoughts of self-harm or can’t trust being around yourself, reach out to the Association for the Preservation of Suicide–www.afps.org–or go to the emergency room. Please seek help!
  • Life is much too short.
  • I need to keep better in touch with the people who matter.
  • I never thought I’d want to see my high school yearbooks so badly before.  (Thanks to my mom, who is sending them in the mail to me)
  • You should enjoy life as much as possible (See point about how life is short).
  • Quilting should be fun, and I should work on fun stuff.

So I decided that I wanted to make a Mario quilt from Super Mario Brothers.  I used a fusible grid that is pretty much a super light fusible interfacing that has grid lines printed on them to show where you put your squares of fabric.  I took enough photos to write a tutorial for next week.  Anyway, he turned out super cute!  I was a little concerned when I did the color matching that some of the colors wouldn’t look right, but he is pretty perfect!  Now to put on a border to stabilize the quilt top, do some quilting, and bind it!

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This week’s Quilters Planner Block was Hourglass at Sunset By Kim Soper of Leland Ave Studios.  I picked out my high school colors to make the block given the nostalgic mood this week.  Purple and Gold, go Eagles!

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After that, I decided I really needed to finish a quilt. Seeing as I thought I’d work on the Modern Heritage Block of the Month quilt last week, I started digging in since I was only 3 months behind plus a redo month. This is what the quilt layout looked like before I started making blocks this week. It’s missing Month 5, 7, 8, and 9.

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I completed the Month 5 blocks as you may recognize from my paper piecing tutorial a few weeks ago.  At the time, I only made the one block for the tutorial and left the other two untouched.

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These are month 7’s blocks.  These are 6″ finished blocks, so the pieces are fairly small. I think this quilt has taught me I really like big blocks!

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5/30-6/6 Weekly Goal:
Available time for quilting:
Friday PM, Saturday and Sunday afternoon

Projects I want to work on:
Quilter’s Planner Block
Modern Heritage BOM
Mario
Show and Tell Tote

Goals for the Projects:
Quilters Planner Block: Complete this week’s Block
Modern Heritage BOM: Finish Month’s 8 and 9 and assemble quilt
Mario: Add borders, quilt, and bind.
Show and Tell Tote: Make one.  (I ordered interfacing, it’ll get here Thursday.  I can’t wait!)

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weekly update

Aloha Maui!

Surprise!  Double post this week because of the fabulous blog hop I’m taking part in!  See yesterday’s post for my introduction and to visit the other awesome bloggers who are also a part of the post.  Also forgot to mention yesterday that there are some giveaways on the host’s blogs from some amazing sponsors!  What fun!

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Last week, I missed my regular Tuesday post due to my 30th birthday vacation in Maui. Like any trip I take these days, I went in search of fabric stores to grow my collection.  The first shop I went to was Fabric Mart in Kahului.  They specialize in Hawaiian fabrics, but also have some Japanese, novelty, and a great selection for garments.  The Hawaiian fabric was priced very affordably compared to the other shops that I went to on the island.  The next stop was Sew Special also located in Kahului.  I found some of my favorite print of Central Park by Kate Spain still being sold, so obviously I bought the rest of the bolt.  I think the ladies thought I was a little insane, but I have to feed my Kate Spain obsession, right?!  The shop overall had a great selection of fabric and definitely worth a visit.

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A few days later, I visited The Maui Quilt Shop in Kihei.  This shop was fairly small and there were lots of customers.  I think this type of set up actually overwhelms me quite a bit.  However, they still had a great selection and had bolts everywhere.  I ended up feeding my cute whale obsession as well as getting their 2015 Row by Row quilt kit and a fabric pineapple that was made by a local artisan.  Looking at the pineapple, it looks like it’s made with a similar technique as the styrofoam covered balls I made as Christmas ornaments – using folded fabric and a lot of pins.

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Waiting for me when I got home was the Maker’s Birthday Bash present from Anna of Rosewood Cottage Creations!  Look at all these great goodies she made and sent me.  This has been a great swap, and I’m very happy to have participated.  A shout out to the host Amista Baker for organizing.

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After I opened all my happy mail, I set out to complete the Maui Quilt Shop’s Row by Row and will eventually turn it into a table runner.  I used raw edge applique with a zigzag stitch.  I still haven’t found which stitch I like the best with raw edge, but this technique is much quicker than turned edge.  On a sidenote, I own a lightbox, and it’s amazing for tracing applique patterns.

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Here are some other things that I’ve been working on.  These are the 2 Quilter’s Planner Blocks from the last two weeks.

Beary Goosey By Jan Ochterbeck of The Colorful Fabriholic

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Equis By Stephanie Palmer of Late Night Quilter

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There comes a point where my ender/leader project becomes a project I just need to finish.  The Basket Case quilt was one that I felt the urge to go ahead and make the blocks to finish. Thanks to my husband for helping me layout all 42 blocks! I didn’t plan the layout of the fabric beforehand which actually makes creating a “good” layout difficult.  Good meaning none of the same types of prints or main colors touching each other.  It’s like one big puzzle to solve, but I think this layout will work out just fine. This is made from one of my favorite fabric lines, Vintage Modern by Bonnie and Camille.

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Also for those that live in the Twin Cities area, don’t forget this Thursday – Saturday is the Shop Hop!  I can’t wait to visit all the local area quilt shops again.

5/2-5/9 Weekly Goal:
Available time for quilting:
Wednesday PM, Thursday PM, Saturday PM, and Sunday

Projects I want to work on:
Quilter’s Planner Block
Basket Case
PBQ103

Goals for the Projects:
Quilters Planner Block: Complete this week’s Block
Basket Case: Finish sewing the quilt top
PBQ103: Finish 3 blocks. ( I noticed not having a quantifiable amount meant I haven’t made much progress)

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weekly update

When In Shanghai…

I’ve been in Asia for work since the last post and am not leaving until later this week. So obviously during the weekend I searched for a quilt shop to buy fabric, because I don’t own nearly enough. I wasn’t having much luck finding a quilting shop, but I was able to find a fabric market. The fabric market was this huge mall of tailors who would make clothing to order. A large majority of shops also had different types of silk, cashmere, wool, and linens on display for people to pick from for their garments or to purchase the fabric, but no quilting cottons. I didn’t end up buying anything while I was there, but I did find a stall that had my name up in lights! The suits and dresses below were items that they display advertising their tailoring services.

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I eventually found a quilt shop, but their hours were during the day Monday through Friday. I won’t be able to visit due to my work schedule so it looks like no fabric purchases for me this trip.

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Since I did not bring my sewing machine on this trip, I came armed with lots of handwork projects. The first one I finished on the plane ride over was the binding on my Farm Girl Cake Block mini quilt for my sister. Her birthday was in March, but I figured since I wouldn’t see her until later this month I’m technically not late! This has been updated on my Completed Quilts page.

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I also brought the applique for my Modern Quilt Guild Fabric Challenge sponsored by Riley Blake. The challenge is to use the Creative Rockstar line of fabric with any Confetti Solids to create something quilted. I wanted to create a piece that encourages my inner sewing rockstar and to hang it over my machine in my sewing room. The devil horn hand symbol is commonly used at rock concerts to rock on. So the design is modeled with that in mind, but with “Sew On” as the saying.

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Now to get it quilted and finished after I get home at the end of the week, then submitted before the April 30th deadline!

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My life prior to quilting included cross stitching little figures on hard plastic so I can create some magnets. I created 6 of the 8 Mario Kart sprites for my husband finishing the last one in August of 2016. Since then, most of the times I’ve travelled my cross stitching box went with me. It’s taken me months to get where Donkey Kong is almost finished! I just now realized I’m missing a color of thread in my traveling box so it’ll need to be finished later. Only one more left to go!

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At one point I thought cross stitching was fun so I purchased the 2015 and 2016 cross stitch along by Clouds Factory. Cross stitching is so tedious! I bought the kits thinking that I’d actually have time and enjoy making them, but I have not started them nor do I have plans to get to them in the near future. Funny enough, I tend to do this with quilt kits! Purchase and hoard them, but never actually create the final product.

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4/18-4/25 Weekly Goal:
Available time for quilting:
Friday PM and Saturday AM (other time for hand work projects)

Projects I want to work on:
MQG Fabric Challenge
Quilter’s Planner Block
Windswept
Cross Stitch

Goals for the Projects:
MQG Fabric Challenge: Finish the quilt!
Quilters Planner Block: Finish this week’s block and next week’s block
Windswept: Work on applique of the Dresden pieces
Cross Stitch: Start on Koopa, the last Mario Kart sprite

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Tutorial · weekly update

Paper Piecing Tutorial

Today, I was going to talk about the design process for this Diamonds quilt I made for the Maker’s Birthday Bash swap.  However, I realized it might be better to talk about how to paper piece first before going into designing a paper piecing pattern!

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I’ll discuss the design process of this quilt in 2 weeks after it’s in the mail to my partner!  It’s my finish #5 of the year and has been updated on the Completed Quilts page.

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The example I’m using for paper piecing is the Month 5 block of the Modern Heritage Block of the Month, which is the Mingle block from Amy Ellis’ book Modern Heritage Quilts.

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Items that you will need to make a block:

  • 8 background pieces and 8 color pieces (sizes are listed in the pattern of the book)
  • Ruler and Rotary Cutter
  • Scissors or an Add-A-Quarter Ruler
  • 4 copies of the A and B blocks copied at 100% from the book.
  • Paper scissors

The first step to any paper piecing pattern is to rough cut the paper pattern with your paper scissors. For this block, I laid out the pieces so I am looking at final layout of the block.  The key is to remember: this is the BACK of the block.  I’ll say that again, the printed side of the paper is the BACK of the block.

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So as you lay fabric out onto the block, remember this will be mirrored when you are finished.  The left photo is fabric right side up, the right photo (the correct way to do it) is the fabric right-side down to simulate the back of the block.

One key point to note specifically about this block pattern, the As and the Bs don’t really matter.  The number is what signifies the order in which the fabric is added to the block.  The correction I would make to the pattern is to swap the A1 and A2 locations.  When I was making this block for the tutorial I also swapped B1 and B2; this is WRONG, do not do that.  Swap ONLY the A1 and A2 locations.  This will help your seams nest better when you sew the block together in the end.

For the A blocks, the background fabric is the first fabric you will add onto.  Place the paper pattern over the background fabric making sure the seam allowances are within the inside of the fabric.  Remember to include seam allowance for the side that is going to be sewn to the next piece.  It doesn’t matter if there is more than 1/4″ of seam allowance, just don’t have less. Once you’ve checked the seam allowances have fabric underneath, pin the paper to the fabric.

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Next, flip the piece upside down so the paper is on the bottom.  Fold on the seam line so the paper for next piece to be added is on top.

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Now open the folded paper and add the next piece of fabric Right Sides Together (RST) to the bottom fabric.  The bulk of the piece should be over the fabric of the piece that was pinned, not over the paper.  Refold the paper to crease the fabric to simulate your seam line.  Check the seam allowance on the outer sections to make sure there is enough fabric to cover that piece once the seam is sewn.  Then open the fold and check the inside seam allowance.  Is there at least a 1/4″ seam?  If not, adjust the fabric so there is a 1/4″ sewn seam and the outer edges of the piece will fit within the seam allowance.  The last step once you get the fabric adjusted is to pin.  (*I don’t pin this part, I just hold it while I sew.  However, for beginners it would be best to pin.)

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Shorten the stitch length on your machine to approximately 1.5mm.  This will help perforate the paper to remove later.  Sew on the line.  Make sure to start before the line and end after the line.  This will create the sewn seam allowance like you would normally have piecing fabric. This will be important when you have more than one seam line. Once you’ve sewn on the line you can remove your pins. Take the A2 section and fold on the seam line to the A1 side as shown in the photo.  The fabric and both sides of the paper should be to one side of the seam.  The only part left is the seam allowance.  Now you have several options to trim down to the 1/4″ seam.  You can use an Add-a-quarter ruler or a plain ruler that has a 1/4″ marking.  The other option on smaller seams is to just use your scissors to cut the seam by hand.  (This is my preferred method as long as the seam isn’t longer than 2-3 inches.)

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Now you iron the seam.  Placing the paper side DOWN on the ironing board, iron the seam then open the piece.  Always have the seams going to the piece that was ADDED.  One of the key points here, do NOT iron the paper side.  If you printed with a laser jet printer, you will get ink all over your hot iron and it’s messy.  (Guess how I know?!)  If you iron the paper, you are doing it wrong.  You will only be ironing on the fabric side.

To trim the piece, it is good practice to always use your ruler.  Measure 1/4″ off the edge of the piece to trim away the excess after the seam allowance.  Do not blindly trim the printed seam allowance line. Getting into the habit of trimming with the ruler will allow for you to increase and decrease the block size from the copier while maintaining a 1/4″ seam on the piece.

Do not rip off the paper yet.  Now repeat the above steps for the rest of the pieces for the block. For the B blocks, the color side is the first piece and you are adding the background.  For other patterns, if you have more than just 2 pieces, repeat starting with the folding of the seam line to add the additional pieces.

Once all the pieces were completed and trimmed, I laid out the block.  Notice how this is the mirror of what was originally laid out above.

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For this block, I sewed the triangles together to make the 4 squares in the block.  Again please note, you should NOT switch B1 and B2. I figured that out when I sewed the squares together.

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I open the triangles to make sure my seams are aligned.  Since I did switch the B1 and B2, all my seams were to one side and it did not nest well.

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Now to rip out the paper.  I typically only sew two pieces together that are paper pieced and no more.  After two are sewn together, the paper gets pretty hard to remove.  So here are my tips on removing the paper.  Always remove the paper from the inside to the outside (outside referring to an edge of the block).  So for this case I start on the inner most seam and rip that apart.

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With that part of the paper ripped, I fold the shorter seam allowance in and then rip the paper.  Once that is removed the A2 triangle only has one side that is still attached.  I fold and rip to take that out.  Followed by A1, and lastly by the seam allowance next to A1.  For all of the pieces I start ripping from the inside to the edge.  Repeat this for the B side on the back and then for all the other pieces.

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With all the paper removed, line up the blocks so they are oriented the same way. Because this is a square and will form a pinwheel, you will want to press the seams all in the same direction.  Once you have pressed the blocks into squares.  Change the stitch length back to normal on your machine. Sew the top two blocks together first, then sew the bottom two blocks together.  Press seams in alternate directions and sew the top to the bottom.  I pressed the center seam open to get rid of the bulky center for this particular block.

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Ta Da!

Common FAQ for paper piecing:
What is the difference between Foundation Paper and Copy Paper?

  • Foundation paper is thinner and more like newspaper.  It is easier to remove, but it’s more costly than normal paper.  I actually prefer to use Copy Paper because it’s readily available.  There are also other methods to help remove paper from paper piecing that I’ll go over another day for more complicated blocks.

Is an Add-A-Quarter ruler necessary?

  • No, it is not necessary.  Some people swear by them.  I got one in a kit that had paper piecing in it, but honestly, I don’t use it much.  Like I mentioned above, I actually use scissors to hand trim short seams because it’s faster.  For longer seams, a ruler does just fine.

Oh no, I messed up and I need to rip out a seam.  How do I do that so I don’t rip the paper?

  • Always rip the seam BETWEEN the two layers of fabric.  If you happen to tear the paper, use a small piece of scotch tape to tape the tear.  The paper should still be able to be ripped out later.

Anything else you want to know, comment below!

~*~*~*~*~*~

Short recap on the week because this is a crazy long post:

Here’s the Quilter’s Planner Block from last week, Sunrise Stars By Chelsea Huckins of Patch the Giraffe.  This one was pretty quick to do.  I’m not the biggest fan of the flying geese with HST combo because I kept getting confused which direction things were going.  However, in the end I realized it didn’t really matter!

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Lots of design work going on, but I seem to be running out of time to actually get those design into quilts.  Definitely more to come in the future!  Here’s what I have done so far for the Modern Quilt Guild (MQG) Fabric Challenge:

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3/28-4/4 Weekly Goal:
Available time for quilting:
Wednesday PM, Thursday PM, Saturday and Sunday afternoon

Projects I want to work on:
Quilter’s Planner Block
Powered By Quilting PBQ103
MQG Fabric Challenge
Blossom Project

Goals for the Projects:
Quilter’s Planner Block: Complete this week’s block
PBQ103: Make more blocks… or block pieces!
MQG Fabric Challenge: Finish the design for the text and start applique
Blossom Project: Finish quilting my project for the blog hop next week!

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