October 2017

Take the Fuss out of Fussy Cutting

 by thequiltingpatch on 30 Oct 2017 |
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Take the FUSS out of Fussy Cutting   One of the things I love about the clear Eppiflex templates is that they make fussy cutting your printed fabrics so easy. You dont need a separate perspex template to cut the fabric - you can use the template you sew with to make a "mask" of the fabric repeat you want.  This is something that we demonstrate at Quilt Shows, but I thought it was about time we got it on to the website so everyone can see how I do it.  I'm using one of the blocks from the gorgeous New Hexagon Quilt by Katja Marek. Im really enjoying making her design - the small blocks are just right for a busy person and most can be sewn up in just one session. In this block three rhombus meet in the centre of the hexagon. I want to put one flower right in the middle. I will need three of the same flowers to make this block. ie three repeats. You'll need the following basic supplies to give this technique a go. - a fabric with repeating pattern that you can fussy cut - a Sewline Stayer pen ( or any thin nibbed black marker that doesnt smudge - you dont want black ink on your fabric) - a water erasable marker ( I use the generic blue markers that come out when spritzed with water)  - your Eppiflex EPP templates - Scotch tape or masking tape ( sticky tape can be a bit painful to remove later) Firstly position your templates edge to edge in the pattern they will be sewn together. Flip them face down on a mat, keeping the edges together. In most instances face down will be the same as face up - but in my example here it isnt.  Place a small amount of tape across the edges to hold them temporarily together on the back of the templates.  When they are taped, turn the taped piece face up so that you can start to trace the fabric pattern  Place the taped piece on your fabric, over the particular design that you want to fussy cut. In this case - I want to put the green lotus flower in the centre of my 3 rhombi. When you are happy with the design thats showing through your "window" begin tracing with your pen, making sure you avoid the cut out circles in the centre of the Eppiflex. Youll need to trace quite a few lines of your fabric so that your mask is accurate and easy for you to use later. When you are satisfied that you have traced enough of the fabric pattern to find it again later with your template - separate your templates by removing the tape from the back. ( Now you can see why you need to tape the back and not the front. If you had taped the front all of your pen would come off with the tape) Now you need to find three of the same flower ( repeat) on the fabric. Each one will be traced around with your new "masks" that you have made with your templates.  Use the blue erasable pen to trace around the template as it will just wash off later. See how the black pen marks line up with the fabric design? Draw around all the  sides of the templates.  Once you have done this, cut your fabrics out, adding a seam allowance ( DO NOT CUT ON THE DRAWN LINES) Now you can attach the fabric to the templates using your preferred method. At this stage do not iron the fabrics or you will set the blue pen. The blue pen mark should sit exactly on the edge of your shape which will give you a perfect relica every time. Have a go at fussy cutting some shapes - youll never look at your fabrc the same way again!

Makers Photo Album

 by thequiltingpatch on 30 Oct 2017 |
2 Comment(s)
 ​NSW, Australia So here they are - all your blocks... Pretty impressive I think. I have put the first name of each maker under the block, and which country they are from.  Have a block to share? You can post it on our facebook page or email it to me January Blocks Amelia, NSW, Australia Anne, Georgia, USA Rachel, NSW, Australia Jo, NSW, Australia Jan, NSW, Australia Maribeth, Missouri, USA Marj, NSW, Australia Kim, NSW, Australia Lana, NSW, Australia Jayne, NSW, Australia Maggie, NSW, Australia Christine, NSW, Australia Sandra, NSW, Australia Sharanne, NSW, Australia Sue, NSW, Australia ( two blocks) Trish, NSW, Australia Jacqui, NSW, Australia Jan, NSW, Australia Carolyn,  NSW, Australia Patricia,  NSW, Australia Betty, NSW, Australia Elayne,NSW, Australia Janet, NSW, Australia Jan, NSW, Australia Kirrilly, NSW, Australia Linda, NSW, Australia Leonie, NSW, Australia Lynette, NSW, Australia Sandy, Florida, USA February Blocks lia Anne, Georgia, USA Rachel, NSW, Australia Jan, NSW, Australia ​Marj, NSW, Australia Kim, NSW, Australia Lana, NSW, Australia Amelia,NSW, Australia Jayne, NSW, Australia Sandra, NSW, Australia Sharanne, NSW, Australia Jacqui, NSW, Australia Jan, NSW, Australia Jo, NSW, Australia Judy, NSW, Australia Maggie, NSW, Australia Patricia, NSW, Australia Sue, NSW, Australia Linda, NSW, Australia Carolyn, ​NSW, Australia Elayne, ​NSW, Australia Jan, ​NSW, Australia Leonie, ​NSW, Australia Lynette,​NSW, Australia Sandy, Florida, USA Cherylle, NSW, Australia March Blocks Maggie, ​NSW, Australia Carolyn,  ​NSW, Australia Christine,  ​NSW, Australia Dianne,  ​NSW, Australia Elayne, ​NSW, Australia Jan, ​NSW, Australia Jo,  ​NSW, Australia Lynette,  ​NSW, Australia Lana,  ​NSW, Australia Rachel,  ​NSW, Australia Sharanne,  ​NSW, Australia Cherylle, NSW, Australia Jan,NSW, Australia Judi, NSW, Australia Judith,NSW, Australia Kim,NSW, Australia Kirrilly,NSW, Australia Linda, NSW, Australia Trish,NSW, Australia Sandy, Florida, USA Patricia, NSW, Australia April Blocks Christine, NSW, Australia Cherylle, NSW, Australia Elayne, NSW, Australia Jan, NSW, Australia Janet, NSW, Australia Jayne, NSW, Australia Jo-Anne,  NSW, Australia Judi, NSW, Australia Kirrilly, NSW, Australia Lana,  NSW, Australia Linda  NSW, Australia Lynette  NSW, Australia Maggie, NSW, Australia Rachel, NSW, Australia Sharanne, NSW, Australia Trish, NSW, Australia Anne, Georgia, USA Maribeth, Missouri, USA Sandy, Florida, USA Judith, NSW, Australia Patricia, NSW, Australia Kim, NSW, Australia May Blocks Cherylle, NSW, Australia Elayne, NSW, Australia Jan,  NSW, Australia Jayne, NSW, Australia Jo-Anne,  NSW, Australia Judi,  NSW, Australia Kim, NSW, Australia Lana,  NSW, Australia Leonie,  NSW, Australia Linda,  NSW, Australia Christine,  NSW, Australia Maggie,  NSW, Australia Patricia,  NSW, Australia Trish,  NSW, Australia Maribeth, Missouri, USA June Blocks Trish,  NSW, Australia  Sue, NSW, Australia​ Patricia, NSW, Australia​ Marj, NSW, Australia​ Maribeth, Missouri, USA Maggie,  NSW, Australia​ Lana,  NSW, Australia​ Kim,  NSW, Australia​ Jo-Anne,  NSW, Australia​ Elayne,  NSW, Australia​ Christine,  NSW, Australia​  

2017 Block of the Month - November

 by thequiltingpatch on 27 Oct 2017 |
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Are we there yet?  Just one more block and we can start putting this quilt together. Have you began thinking about how you are going to quilt it yet? As you know I love free motion quilting, but on this one I'm a bit stuck. Thank goodness there are another 75 quilts on the go to keep me busy while I work it out! November's Block is called Strawberry Smoothie - although in my colourings, I'm thinking mango smoothie. I have always known this block as a type of Card trick - with the right colouring it can look very 3D. Here is the layout and cutting guide for the block A - 4 7/8" squares, cut once on the diagonal B - 5 1/4"  squares, cut twice on the diagonal C -  4 1/2"  square ( in either a colour OR a background fabric) Firstly make your quarter square triangle units and your half square triangle units   Put the half square traingle units ( on the left in my pic) to one side. Next use the quarter square unit ( on the right)  to make the finished quarter square blocks Trim off the dog ears on the corners. You now have all the units made to make up the block in three rows. Lay them out before you sew to make sure you dont flip anything around the wrong way. And that's it for another month. You'll be pleased to know life has settled down a bit. I'm going to update the makers album over the weekend, so keep an eye out for your blocks!  

2017 Block of the Month - October

 by thequiltingpatch on 12 Oct 2017 |
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So far on this BOM project I have made sure that the blocks were all ready to upload before the beginning of the month, but I think I can safely say that as today is the 12th October, I have failed! Please accept my sincerest apologies - I had the best intentions when we went up to Brisbane for the Brisbane Quilt Show. ( laptop in tow) There must be a thinning of the air in Queensland because my brain just couldnt get the laptop turned on. It may also have had something to do with the hundreds of quilters we served daily at the show - either way - well it just didn't happen. But here we are ready for the next block and just think ...by the time you are finished this one, November block will be on the blog too! This months block is a simple pinwheel star, made entirely of HST ( Half square triangles) and a square on each corner. Here is the layout and cutting guide for the block  A - 3 1/2 " squares  B - 3 7/8" squares ( you can either cut them in half or make easy HST's) I almost feel like this block needs no instruction what with the far more complicated blocks you have made so far. Hopefully you are also feeling a bit more confident putting blocks together.  Your main task is to make all the HST units first - they are easily speed pieced.  Remember to trim those nasty dogears off after you press each unit. Although you could easily construct this block in 4  rows, because the centre of the pinwheel is the focus, I like to piece it first and get the seam right If you didnt get the centre right first go, its much easier to unpick than if you have joined two whole rows of your block. Now you can attach the side units and make top and bottom rows, and then join them on. I hope you enjoy making this block and that you forgive me for its late arrival!  
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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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