May 2017

2017 Block of the Month - June

 by thequiltingpatch on 29 May 2017 |
1 Comment(s)
JUNE?? Really? Where does the time go.... Before we go too much further, its time to remind you to make sure you have enough of your background fabric to use for the plain borders.  I did talk about this in the fabric reqs at the very beginning of this project - so this is just a timely reminder if you havent because you'll be running out of lenghthy background soon! Here's what I said...  "Fabric requirements... I designed this quilt to use scraps, fat quarters, etc. If you choose just 5 or 6 prints and a background, that will work too! The background will require around 4.5 m according to EQ7.  If you want to cut off the long borders first then cut off 2.1m of fabric  First border - cut 4" Second border - cut 6" Set these aside for later, you can now use the remaining background fabric in your blocks" This Months block is called Ornate Star. Here is the key and rotary cutting instructions for this block..  So reading off the "map" of our block  A - 2 7/8 " Squares ,cut once on the diagonal to yield 2 triangles  ( background) B - 5 1/4" Squares, cut twice on the diagonal to yield 4 triangles (background, main and accent) C - 4 1/2" squares ( 1 in accent colour) D - 3 3/8" squares ( 4 in accent colour) Putting this block together should be a breeze - you all seem to be coping really well with the general construction so far.  Its made in rows, like many of the other blocks.  Here is the layout.  Here are my sewing pics for the units .. These are made like last months block  - ( pin the edge you want to sew and you wont muck it up) Then join them together and your star points are made. Youll be making 4 like this. The other 4 blocks are "square in a square" blocks.  Once you have them made, grab your centre square and start making rows. And the finished block... Next months block is a similar construction. Heres a look at it.  Its the same block, without the detail in the corners.  Lets see who gets it made before I put the instructions up....  

A mini blog about mini's

 by thequiltingpatch on 14 May 2017 |
5 Comment(s)
It seems the thought of attempting the mini EPP project is high on the list of "things I'll do when Ive lost my mind". Im here to tell you its not all that bad. Once you've opened the packaging and had a little freak out about the size of the pieces, make a coffee ( probably NOT a wine) and gather your supplies. You'll need some fabrics and a glue pen. ( I use the Sewline glue pen)  If you are going to make the La Passacaglia Mini, the only pieces that are relatively easy to fussy cut are the largest pentagon and the 5 point star. I know what tenacious quilters are like though, so I can't wait to see who takes up the challenge and fussy cuts all the smaller pieces now that I have almost said it cant be done.  Separate all the pieces of your crazy puzzle, and place them with the scraps of fabric you are going to use. Ziplock bags are handy here.  Start by putting a dab of glue of the wrong side of the fabric and stick each piece down, leaving a seam allowance around the edge of each piece.   Give them a couple of minutes to dry. Have a sip of wine ( NO, I mean coffee ) Cut them out leaving a seam allowance around all three sides. Swipe a line of glue along one of the seam allowances and then finger press it to the plastic edge quite firmly, making sure you get a good sharp line.  Repeat the process with the other sides By now you'll be having one of those " I think I can actually do this" moments. The little star tips ( or isosceles triangles) that you see pictured are the smallest and  fiddliest pieces in the La Passacaglia Mini Kit. If you can cover those with fabric then you've done the hardest part.  Keep using the glue pen to cover the rest of your shapes.  You can see they fit quite well.  "But what about the sewing?" I hear your cry.. Well honestly I didn't do anything spectatularly different. I use a magnifying lamp to do handwork and that will help in this case, but it isnt essential.  The enormous amount of satisfaction that comes from completing one of these little gems far outweighs the few fiddly sewing moments involved in its construction.  And you can always look on the brightside - the seams are so much smaller that they take less time to sew!!! I hope this helps and that you have fun sewing your mini. xx  

2017 Block of the Month - May

 by thequiltingpatch on 03 May 2017 |
No Comment
It's well and truly cooling down here in Australia. May is here and there is a definite colour change going on all around us. My favourite colours are rusts, so I couldnt be happier.  Hopefully the cooler weather sees you all getting stuck into your sewing projects. This Months block is called Cross and Crown. Here is the key and rotary cutting instructions for this block..  Notice that I haven't numbered all the pieces? I have purposefully done this - my hope is that any of you who are beginners will by now be gaining an insight into how to "deconstruct" blocks and shouldn't need me to number every single section. So reading off the "map" of our block  A - 2 7/8 " Squares ( 4 background, 1 colour) B - 3 5/8" squares,  cut twice on the diagonal to yield 4 triangles ( 2 background, 2 colour) C - 5 1/4" x 2 7/8 " rectangles ( 4 background) D - 5 5/8" squares,  cut once on the diagonal to yield 2 triangles ( 2 in colour) Once you have all your cutting done, the first step in this block is to make the "BB" units that attach to the side of the corner A squares. Now I can't tell you how many times I have mucked up the sewing of this simple little block simply by sewing the wrong edge! So here is my trick.  Lay the pieces together for sewing and pin into the edge you are going to sew along. It seems like such a basic idea, but I can't rate it highly enough. Then when you pick the pieces up and sew you can't accidently turn them around and sew the wrong edge.  On this particular unit, sewing the wrong edge ( the long edge in this case) turns your finished unit into a half square triangle! Not what we want.  Instead we want these guys - and we need 4 of each colouring. ( 8 in total)  Congratulations-  you are now passed the trickiest part of this months block.  Next you grab an A square ( one of the background ones) and attach to one edge,  one of the triangle units we just made. Press the seam outward, trim any dog ears off. Now we use the second triangle block we made ( in the alternate colouring) and attach it to the adjacent edge  Ta Da!!! Ok the rest of this block is easy now. You simply attach the " D" HST units you cut in the very beginning to these newly made HST's. This creates the squares for the four corners. Throw in your sashings and a cornerstone an you have a block! As always yell out if you need help.  Until next month, Danni x  

2017 Block of the Month - April

 by thequiltingpatch on 03 May 2017 |
No Comment
Hooray! Its April... This Months block is based on the "square in a square" block.  Here is the key and rotary cutting instructions for this block..  Im sure you have noticed already that there are no letters on the HST ( half square triangles)  on the corners. They are all A pieces For a change we are going to make the HST using  the quick HST method, something we havent done yet.  So here are the cutting instructions  A - 2 7/8 " Squares( 6 background, 6 colour) DONT CUT THEM INTO TRIANGLES B - 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 " rectangles ( 4 background) C - 4 7/8" squares,  cut once on the diagonal to yield 2 triangles ( 4 in colour) D - 4 1/2 " square (1 in colour) E - 5 1/4" squares,  cut twice on the diagonal to yield 4 triangles ( 4 in colour) This is a fairly straight forward block to construct - it all starts in the centre of the block with the D square. This month, Ive taken photos of my block as it comes together.  So we begin by sewing two triangles (E) to the side edges of our centre square (D) Seems pretty straight forward? Here the important thing is to line up the triangle tips evenly over the edge of the square.there should be a little over a 1/4 inch poking over the edge. Once that is pressed, take your remaining E triangles and attach them to the other centre square edges.   So we now have a square in a square. Trim off the dog ears where the seams meet. Now we repeat that process with the C triangles, to get a square in a square in a square! Put that to one side now - we are going to make the HST units.  Take the 12 ( total) A squares and match each background square up with a coloured square.  On one of the pair, draw a diagonal line from corner to corner. I chose my black background as its easy to see. Now take the pairs to the sewing machine, facing the squares right sides together, sew a 1/4 inch away from the marking. Repeat with all 6 pairings. Now we turn those squares around and sew 1/4 inch away from the marking beginning at the opposite corner.  Once you have finished sewing you can cut on the sewn line. Each pairing will yield 2 x HST to use in your block. You need 12 x HST in total.  Putting the block together is quite simple.  The side edge units are made by attaching a HST to both short edges of the rectangle B Once you have these two made you can go ahead and pin them to the sides of your centre square in a square unit.  The top and bottom rows of our block are made in a similar way, except we need two HST units on each short end. Make sure that you have the HST colourings in the right place by using the colour pic as your guide. And Voila! You are finished with April.  You can spend the rest of the month catching up with the alternate blocks if you havent made them already!  
Our Blog

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
©2020 The Quilting Patch