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The Storytellers Sampler Quilt - the Joy of Fussycutting

 by thequiltingpatch on 20 Jan 2020 |
1 Comment(s)
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.  

Take the Fuss out of Fussy Cutting

 by thequiltingpatch on 30 Oct 2017 |
3 Comment(s)
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!

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)

Sewing Curves in EPP

 by thequiltingpatch on 28 Aug 2017 |
2 Comment(s)
Sewing Curvy Shapes I knew as soon as we made the curvy cut out hexagon shape that instruction was going to be needed. Im sure if you have been EPPing for a while you have come across these curves before. For those of you who havent tried curves yet, take heart - it's really quite easy . First of all, cover your templates with fabric, using your preferred method. I have to say the glue pen is super handy here. Im sure you could baste the straight edges, but not much beats the glue pen for the curvy edges. If you are adamant about NOT using glue, I think the iron will be the next best thing.  Now you have done the prep, its time to sew them together.  You will be sewing more of a flat back stitch rather than a whip stitch on the curved edge so you need to hold the two pieces together while you sew. There are a number of handy tools to help you do this.  I like quilt binding clips, but my brainstrust EPP helpers tell me that a paperclip works,  as does a small bulldog clip. Play around and see what works for you.  Whatever you choose it just needs to hold the edges together firmly so that you can sew across the seam. Begin in the centre. ( you can hide your knot under the seam if you like) Pick up just a little fabric off each side - the template forms a nice hard base, making it easy to grab both edges. Continue out to the edge and repeat with the other side starting in the centre again.  I love my blending colour Invisifil thread and the colours Ive used here are perfect for the green,  but you'll find that this type of flatback stitch rarely shows on the front as you are grabbing the fabric at the back instead of at the side edge of the template.  I hope this little tutorial has been helpful for you.  

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  
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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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