February 2018

2018 Block of the Month

 by thequiltingpatch on 01 Feb 2018 |
4 Comment(s)
Welcome to the 2018 BOM from The Quilting Patch.. It has been such a pleasure to watch all the 2017 quilts come together this last month. I'm so impressed by the quality of work and beautiful colour combos you have all come up with. I hope you have learnt something from the quilt and have just enjoyed the journey. I can't wait to get all the quilts together for a quilt show!!! When we got to the end of 2017, everyone was asking ... "what's next years' quilt Danni???" To be completely honest I was terrified at the thought of trying to take on another monthly project with the year I knew loomed ahead. In the 11 years I've had my shop, I don't think I've ever had such a busy calendar booked as we do for 2018. With the program of shows and advertising we have organised for the Eppiflex templates, I just kept thinking " I can't do this!!!"  And it's not because I'm worried about running out of time, it's mostly because I don't want to let anyone down. The thought of starting something I can't complete terrifies me. I don't know why - I have a sewing room busting with UFO's. I am, in fact, a firm believer that if you finish all your UFO's theres a good chance you will drop dead.  I occaisionally meet ladies who say " I only work on one project at a time". I know I should think that they are incredibly self disciplined, but really I think they are the daredevils of the patchwork world, laughing in the face of death. If I were them, I'd be afraid to leave the house between projects.  On the subject of death, there's the bucket list, and then there's the quilters bucket list. When you start learning patchwork ( and quilting for that matter) you realise very quickly that unlike other crafts, in patchwork there is a curriculum that never ends. There is just so much to learn and do that a bucket list forms quite easily. Its little wonder that patchwork has been proven to keep dementia away. There's simply too much to learn - who's got time for dementia?? Having said all that, I think I've made a quilt that will keep you guys busy this year and not give me any headaches. And it's one that always been on my bucket list... A seminole quilt. As you can see from the picture the rows will repeat and are mirrored from the centre out. There are 6 different rows to build - but you'll need to make 2 of 5 of them. For the more complicated rows, you'll be given 2 months to complete them ( also taking the pressure off me!) The quilt as pictured measures  48" x 64"  which is what I would call a lap size quilt. If you want to make a queen size quilt, just double the width of your rows, making them 96" and either repeat any rows that you enjoy making and add them in OR increase the plain sashing strips from 2 1/2" to 3 1/2" and add borders.  Here are the fabric requirements for the lap sized quilt that is pictured at the top. If you are going queen sized you'll need at least double this, plus any border fabric. I've included at the bottom other colourings you could use. The chart uses yards, just buy the same amount in metres, there isnt much difference. # this assumes that you are going to piece together the long plain sashing strips. If you want to cut them in one long strip along the length of the fabric them you will need to buy more to accomodate that. This will depend on what width you are making your quilt.  We are going to start right smack bang in the middle of this quilt. So let's get on with it... Our quilt starts with a Five Patch Chain.  In the original lap sized quilt you would make 6 of these blocks and they should measure 8" finished ( 8 1/2" ) You can strip piece it, or cut squares and sew them back together. If you are going to make all your blocks the same colouring, strip piecing is definately the way to go.  Here's the cutting chart and piecing guide. I design in EQ8. If you love computers and patchwork then EQ8 just the best. So from the info above, you know what your strip width OR square size is - 2 1/8". You can go ahead and strip piece using the coloured diagram as a guide too.  If youre unsure, let me confirm the strip sets for you... No 1    x 2 rows for each block No 2    x 2 rows for each block No 3    x 1 row for each block ( its the centre row) If you are making 6 different coloured blocks then your strip sets won't start out very long as the most you will need to cut them is 2 1/8 x 2 ( lets go to 4 1/2" to be safe) Once your strip sets are formed it is simply a matter of sewing the rows back together again, then joining the blocks together to form the row.  AS ALWAYS, please do contact me if you're not sure what to do or my instructions don't make sense.          
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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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