Filtered by tag ('english paper piecing')

The Octo Organiser..

 by thequiltingpatch on 04 Sep 2017 |
3 Comment(s)
The inspiration for this cute little book of plastic zip lock wonderness came across my counter from a lovely EPPer called Marjorie. She was in the shop topping up her collection of templates and she just casually flipped out her organiser like a millionaire flips out a card wallet at a swanky restaurant.  ​I was, of course, impressed and full of questions all at once.  ​I had been using one of those plastic boxes you buy from the hardware shop, with all the sections in it, but I found that my templates kept sliding under the fence. Escapees!! ​Having given the contraption a good looking over, it was just a matter of minutes before I was raking around in my stash and rabbiting through the kitchen drawers.  ​I decided to use octagons as the main shape - I had recently posted some out for our road test in  Septembers issue of Quilters Companion Magazine - but I hadnt as yet used them.  ​They are not as versatile as the humble hexagon, despite having more edges to play with! Their main co-ordinating shape is the square and right angled triangle, having 90 and 45 degrees in common with the octagon. Having  cut some crowns for an order for Jukejemas Quilting Barn, I was tempted to combine the two shapes and I just kept thinking about "King Octopi" - that's an octopus with a crown. ( Yes I really do run a business - hard to believe isnt it) So here it is... the Octo Organiser, made to separately store your EPP templates. ​The sewing of the feature applique is of course all done by hand, using your preferred method of EPP. If you are new to Eppiflex, check out Preparing your patches with Eppiflex templates. ​When your applique is ready to be sewn in place, prepare a piece of fabric that will act as the booklet cover, by sandwiching it with some wadding and quilting it. I started with a piece that was 9.5" x 20".  I love free motion quilting so it was a great opportunity to practice. But crosshatching or just some wavy lines of quilting would look great too.  When you are done quilting, fold the quilted fabric in half lengthways and pin your completed applique to the front cover, making sure you centre it. Sew it to the background now using your preferred method ( for me thats an invisible hand applique method like needleturn applique) Cut a fabric lining the same size as your quilted outer edge. This is the piece you will be sewing your ziplock bags to. Fold it in half so that you can mark the spine either with a pin or pen. Your last two ziplock bags will be sewn at this centre marking and then covered with a ribbon trim.  I have used 8 bags in my organiser but you might use less or more.  ​ Continue sewing in the ziplock bags, pinning them about 1cm (1/2") closer to the spine each time. (This measurement worked for the number of bags I had - make adjustments as you need to) Repeat this process with the left side of your book, again beginning with the far left bag and working toward the middle.  Finish off the inside by pinning a length of co-ordinating ribbon over the inner "spine" of your book. Sew down both sides of the ribbon, close to the edge.  The rest of the construction is easy peasy as you are simply connecting outer book to lining with a binding. I cut my binding 2 1/2" the same as I would a quilt binding. I hope you enjoy making your organiser - its a lovely quick EPP project , and I have to admit its something I use everyday ( but dont tell Richard, he thinks Im doing housework)

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  

Starch Now, Sew Later

 by thequiltingpatch on 05 Mar 2017 |
2 Comment(s)
At The Quilting Patch, we have developed a technique we like to call "Starch Now,Sew Later". There's lots of reasons to do this -  here are a few... Going on holidays? One hour spent prepping your templates at the ironing board will mean youve got them all ready to sew when youve got a little sneaky sewing time. You can even sew in the car / train / cruise ship. Having lots of appointments? When was the last time you turned up to a drs appointment and the receptionist said " you can go right in"? Never? Me too.  Having your templates prestarched means no more wasted time in waiting rooms flipping through magazines you would never read otherwise. Sewing tin too heavy? If youre hesitant to take your project with you because its too cumbersome, this little step will change your mind. If youve prestarched your templates, all youll need to take is a needle, thread and small pair of scissors. ( and the templates of course! ) I carry mine around in a small zippered bag. It fits nicely in my handbag, and Im never held hostage in waiting rooms with nothing to do.  What you'll need... Eppiflex templates Fabric ( or scraps that fit the template + seam allowance) Fabric Glue pen ( eg Sewline) Starch - premade or home made Iron Our Eppiflex templates are made from heat resistant film, which means they are safe to iron on a medium heat setting. Caution : Continued high temp ironing will buckle the templates, they will still be usable but youll lose the accuracy you've come to love! OK... so with the caution done, set your iron on a medium heat setting. We mostly use 100% Cotton for patchwork, but it will still iron well on a less than "cotton" heat setting.  Make up some fabric starch or grab your favourite premade starch. My favourite is "Best Press" but when I dont have any I make my own with "Silver Star" Starch which is still available in IGA stores in Australia. The recipe is on the side of the pack. Follow it AND THEN WATER IT DOWN BY HALF. The regular starch is too strong and will leave white flecks on your fabric and bits on your iron. You can easily store any leftovers in clean jars.  (I also like to scent mine with essential oils so if you have some, add around ten drops to a 750ml -1000ml spray bottle of starch) Time to grab your fabrics, Eppiflex templates and glue pen... I am using hexi's in my example.  On each wrong side of fabric  ( or scrap)  dab a spot of glue and then place the template on the glue, centreing it, as in the pic below. Trim your seam allowance to 1/4 " or 3/8" if you like a little extra.  Lay your prepared hexi on the ironing board and give it a little spray of starch and leave for a minute to let the fabric absorb the starch. If you iron it straight away all you'll do is iron the starch off the fabric  The starch wont hurt the template, they wash up great.  Now fold each edge over  pressing as you go. I find this just gives the edges an even sharper line.  Your shapes are good to store for later use. The starch will wash out, but for now it means you can throw them into your sewing kit and pull them out at the next sewing stop, be that an appointment or holiday destination! Will they still need to be tacked??  This is a question I get a lot, and the answer depends on how you are going to sew them together.  If your sewing method requires you to bend the templates in half, then I would say YES to tacking. While starching holds the edges well it wont keep the templates from popping out under pressure! If your sewing method means you hold the templates flat at all times ( eg ladder stitching) you may not need to tack.  My suggestion is to give it a go and find what works for you.   
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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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