2017 Block of the Month - December

 by thequiltingpatch on 29 Nov 2017 |
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Congratulations! You made it to the last block... 

Below are the instrcutions for both Decembers block and the quilt construction.

this months block is a called "Sawtooth 16 Patch"

Here is the layout and cutting guide for the block

A - 3 1/2" squares
B - 7 1/4"  squares, cut twice on the diagonal
C - 3 7/8"  square cut once on the diagonal
D - 2" squares ( the quickest way to piece this is to cut 2" strips rather than individual squares - see below)















Quilt Construction
Arrange your blocks in their rows. You don't have to follow the original layout for the sampler blocks. You may find that dependant on your colour choices you need to move blocks around.

My top tip for this job is to take a photo on a smart phone of your layout, then edit the photo to black and white. Straight away you will see if there are any places on your quilt with a build up of one tone (like a dark or light patch)
 Sometimes this is just not obvious to the eye, but the camera lens never lies. 


Once you are happy with your rows, sew them together using a 1/4" inch seam allowance. You can number them with little pieces of paper and pins if that helps - but again you could always refer to your phone. 

Once your rows are made you are ready to join row to row. Dont forget to press your seams between rows, pressing to one side.

Borders 
​DO NOT JUST SEW YOUR BORDERS ON AND TRIM OFF THE EXCESS - this is by far the worst habit I see in patchwork. I could rant on for ages about this one, but suffice to say that you havent just made precise blocks that you lovingly cut and pieced so that you could slap on borders that you havent measured at all. Just humour me on this one please.

First border  is 4" 
Measure the two side edges of your quilt with a quilters tape measure. Most likely there will be a small discrepancy. It is usually less than 1 inch. Take an average of the two measurements and cut your first border to this size. 
eg   My two side edge measurements are 61 " and 61.5 ". If I add these together and then divide them by two, I get 61.25". Therefore I will cut my first two border pieces 61.25". 

Attach the borders with a 1/4 inch seam. Press. Now repeat that step with the top and bottom borders, measuring, taking an average, cutting to that size and attaching.

See!  Not that hard...  You have a beautiful flat border with no extra fabric in it, AND your quilt is now squared up. 

Peeper border is cut at 1 1/2"
Follow the instructions for the first border - you shouldn't have any discrepanicies now . If you do you need to address your seam allowances  - are you sewing nice and straight with both edges aligned?

Second border is 6"
Continue to follow the instructions for the first border, remembering to press in between. 

WOOOHOOO, nearly done. 
I'm going to use that age old instruction now ... Quilt as desired

Binding
Cut 9 strips of fabric WOF x 2 1/2" wide. Join on a 45 degree angle end to end. Press in half widthways, attach the raw edges of the binding to the front of you quilt, mitring the corners as you go. 
Bring the folded edge to the back of your quilt and slipstitch in place. 

I hope you have enjoyed making this quilt in 2017. I'm still pondering on one for 2018, but I can't make any promises. Our year looks to be a busy one with many quilt shows booked in already. 
I would however love to have a display of the finished quilts, including a rolling didital display of the quilts made by the girls from the USA ( unless of course we can convince them to bring them over in person!)
Please let me know when yours is all finished and we can look at a date. ( No Pressure!)
happy quilting
Danni xx

 

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The Storytellers Sampler Quilt - the Joy of Fussycutting

by thequiltingpatch on 20 Jan 2020
The story so far... Local quilter Cinzia White publishes an amazing book, The Storytellers Sampler Quilt. Eppiflex templates launches a Block of The Month called Telling Tales, featuring 60 upsized blocks from the book and I start sewing up blocks. Cinzia asks me to contribute to her quiltalong using blocks from the aforementioned book. I fall down the rabbithole of fussycutting. But let's talk about what this is really about... Addicted to sewing...addicted to fabric...addicted to starting new projects... and now addicted to fussycutting.  So what's the hype about fussycutting?  If you are already a creative soul and enjoying making pretty blocks by joining shapes together, fussy cutting is some next level crafty action. Do you remember those kaliedoscope toys we had as kids. I have no idea how they worked, they were just MAGIC. Who could get bored with the amazing patterns they made as you twisted and turned them. I was fascinated with them.                   "No you cant have a go yet, Im not finished" - I wasnt a good sharer being the youngest and most spoilt of my siblings. Ask my sister, she will back me up.  So fussycutting a beautiful fabric into an even more beautiful fabric block is a bit like making magic for me. Mirrors? Yeah nah. I know some people swear by them, but I don't want to know what it's going to look like. Why spoil the magic? That's like someone showing you a picture of the next kaliedoscope before you can twist the tube. Just let the magic happen. Embrace the unknown a little.  Waste of fabric?  This is what Cinzia says to me... but let's be honest we all have enough fabric to be a bit less frugal with it. I think quilters are the quintessential horders. Why else would we have so many memes about collecting fabric. Even the term stash says it all.  In fact in the current economic climate of a massive downturn in retail spending I think we all have a responsibilty to fussy cut more and support the shops before they disappear altogether.  So my little contribution to Cinzia's Quiltalong is "Blackberry Freedom" and it is English paper pieced. Thanks Cinzia for asking me to join in and for writing such a sensational book.  

2019 Block of the Month - Borders and Construction

by thequiltingpatch on 24 Dec 2019
If you've made it this far, you have sewn all your 12 flower blocks and the sun compass and are wondering whats next.. Here is where we are going to work with what you have, and not with what you should have according to this pattern. We are going off road! And let me explain why.. First of all, there's colour and fabric choice.. if you lay out your blocks exactly as the pattern above, it may not be the best layout your quilt could have. For instance when I laid my blocks out exactly as the quilt pattern, I ended up with 4 blocks of red flowers in a row. There was a real clump of red in one section and it looked aweful. So I've moved my 4 red blocks, placing one in each corner. I then took my 3 blue blocks and evenly spread them around, and so on.  It might take you a while to decide where your blocks are going. Take some photos with your phone along the way so you can decide on your final layout. Looking through you phone makes it easier for you to spot the "clumps" of colour or tone. Lets talk about how this medallion quilt is going to come together.  First of all we have our centre block - our sun compass. It's going to have a thin floral frame.  This is surrounded by a floral block border - these are the 12 floral blocks that you made. First we will attach two side border sections, made from 4 of our floral blocks. Next we will attach the top and bottom border sections made from our remaining 8 floral blocks. The pieced border is a border that features the scrappy floral prints we have used to frame our flower blocks. The last border is a plain border which is cut 3 1/4" wide Last is the binding - cut at 2 1/2" wide To frame the sun compass, cut your 4 frames 1 3/8" x 20 1/2" ( or whatever your compass square measures - mine was 20" so believe me there is wiggle room)  Cut 4 corner stones in the background fabric 1 3/8" Attach two squares to either end of two of your frames. Sew the first two plain frames to the sides of your compass centre Now add the frames with the cornerstones attached to the top and bottom of the sun compass Its now time to attach the side floral blocks to the framed sun compass. Make sure you pin the seam intersections so that your frames on your sun compass line up with the frames on your floral blocks.  The next step is to attach the top and bottom floral block rows, again making sure the seams line up by pinning them first.  The last bit of piecing from this quilt will be the pieced border. We are going to strip piece it, unless you are working with scraps and can't cut strips in any great length to strip piece.  If you are not familiar with strip piecing, check out my blog post from last year, in particular the first set of photos where I explain cutting and sewing the strips and then crosscutting them.  Your strips will be cut 2 1/8" wide. Sew one background fabric strip to a floral strip. Press well. Then crosscut this strip set to 3 1/4".  Join the sections of 3 1/4" together, topping and tailing them so that the fabric prints create a checkerboard pattern.  Each border has 16 units making up the checkerboard. You will need 64 units to make enough for the quilt.  Make and sew your border units together. Measure the length of these border units. Now cut 4 strips in the background fabric that is 3 3/4" wide x the length measured above. Sew these strips to each border unit.  ( ignore the seams in the picture below - your plain strip is cut in one length)  Now we need to make the 4 corner units. Once finished you will will attach two corner units to either end of 2 of your border units.  The corner unit consists of a four patch bordered on two sides by a mitred edge.  The four patch section consist of squares cut 2 1/8". The mitred edges are strips cut 3 3/4" x 7 3/8" and then trimmed on one edge at 45 degrees.     To sew this corner unit together, first make the four patch sections. Then pin and sew one mitred border from the straight side edge to the corner, stopping 1/4" short of the angled edge. Press.    Pin your second mitred border piece to the adjacent edge Beginning at the straight edge, sew towards the mitre, stop at the 1/4", lift the machine foot keeping the machine needle down to hold the fabric in place. Align the two pointy corner pieces and the mitred edge. Lower the foot and continue sewing to the end of the seam.     Your corner section seams should align with your border section seams. Attach two corner sections to the end of two pieced borders as below. You are now ready to attach the first two borders to the side edges of your quilt (the two without the corners attached.) Make sure you pin the borders and then sew. Press the quilt and then attach the second two borders (with the corners attached) again pinning first to align seams.  Phew!!! Nearly there!! The last border is a plain background border cut at 3 1/4", so it's time to press and measure your quilt, so you'll be able to cut the first two strips to the correct size. I would suggest measuring the quilt through the centre and cutting those 3 1/4" strips to this length, as a last effort in squaring up the quilt. Once you have the first two strips cut you can sew them on and press them. Repeat this step cutting the last two border strips to size before pinning and sewing them on.  Congratulations... if you are here with me now, you have a finished quilt top!! I hope you have enjoyed this years' challenging quilt - I think it is quite stunning and a credit to your sewing skills.  Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas! Have a safe and relaxing holiday season.  Much love Danni xx
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