Filtered by tag ('foundation piecing')

2018 Block of the Month - Row 6

 by thequiltingpatch on 26 Dec 2018 |
1 Comment(s)
Well it's still 2018, but only for a week or so. Definately time to tie this project up. Our very last border is a foundation pieced border, something we haven't tackled yet in any of the Blog BOMS.  I hope to do the instructions clearly, but please don't hesitate to contact me if its a little confusing. I love foundation piecing - it means I can sew any crazy pointy angles without maths. There are many alternatives out there now and I'll leave the intricacies up to you. Some people prefer to use freezer paper and move the sections if needs be. Others will trace or print on to thin paper and then sew directly on to the paper. And then you can always trace the designs on to thin interfacing which will stay in the patches. I am sewing straight on to copy paper as I feel its something that everyone will have handy.  Regardless of which way you go about it, you'll need the pattern. You can download it from here Please make sure you don't resize it when you print it out. Measure the 1" square also printed on the page - if it measures 1", you are good to go. If it doesnt, check you printer settings. If you are sewing straight on to the copy paper like I have, you'll need to print out 8 copies.  There are 3 sets of patterns per page ( oops just realised I left out the number "5" on set 3) Each set makes 1 block. You need to make 12 blocks per row ( and there are 2 rows) so 24 blocks all up.  If you have printed out the pattern, by now you are wondering where the bottom section of the pattern has gone. Just like in Row 3 we are going to attach the thin and thick strips as whole plain rows later on, saving both sewing and cutting time. So this tutorial is just for the spiky looking mountain section. I believe there are two types of  foundation piecers. Those who prep and precut their fabric strips and those I loving call "chunkers". There is nothing wrong with chunking (roughly cutting chunks of fabric to fit the section as you sew.) BUT I'm a prepper. So I'll be giving you the size of strips to cut.  Using my finished block as a guide, Cut the main fabric ( red)  strips 1 1/2" x WOF, and 2 1/2"  squares (24 in total) cut on the diagonal once. Cut the background ( tangerine) into 2 1/2" strips x WOF Separate your patterns into two piles. The pattern sets are mirrors of each other. The 4,1 and 5 sections are all main fabric, the 3,2 and 6 and all background fabric.  As you have so many to sew up, I suggest you make one up completely so you know what you are doing and then chain piece them ( do all the 1 sections on every piece, then all the 2's and so on) Here goes!  Take a main fabric strip and place it WRONG sides down on to the WRONG side of the pattern, so that it completely covers the "1" area. It helps to hold the pattern and fabric up to the light to see through the pattern to where the fabric is sitting.  Sew ALL AROUND the "1" section, sewing close to but NOT on the lines. In my classes we call this perimeter an electric fence. Ok to get next to it, but not ok to touch.  The "1" section is the only section that is treated this way.  This is what the first section will look like on the underside. Note the fabric is RIGHT SIDE UP. Now its time to trim around the "1" piece. This actually helps with the placement of the "2" piece, so its important.  To trim, place the fabric side on to a cutting mat and fold the paper pattern along the sewing line. Trim the fabric, adding a 1/4" seam allowance. Flatten out the paper again and fold along the next seam line and trim, working your way around the "1" piece. Now its time to move on to the "2" piece, a background fabric. Like the "1" piece, the "2" fabric needs to cover the "2" area completely. This time instead of sewing all around the perimeter, you are just going to sew on the line that separates area 1 from area 2. As you have trimmed your piece, its easy now to work out where to place your 2 1/2" strip RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER with the "1". You can place a pin across the seam if that helps to hold it in place while you flip the paper over and sew on the line. Remember you are sewing this seam from the paper side. Press the "2" piece away from the "1" piece Repeat the trimming process as with the "1" piece. Continue on with the "3"  to "6" pieces using this trimming and sewing on the lines as you go. Don't forget to press in between additions. Once all the 6 pieces are on, flip the unit to the paper side amd trim it back to the dotted line When you have two sets made, they come together to make the finished unit.  There are twelve on these units in each of the two last rows of the quilt. The main fabric "spikes" of the border should attach to the previous row. ie facing in. Final Quilt Construction To help break up the patterns in the rows, this quilt has some plain rows. They can be joined if your fabric print allows an easy join. Otherwise cut the strips along the length of fabric. Here are the cutting sizes for those plain rows.. Every row in between the pieced rows are 2 1/2" wide. The last 2 rows that join on to the Mountains border ( Row 6) are a thin border of high contrasting colour which is cut at 1 1/8" wide.  The final border that sits next to this thin border is cut at 1 7/8" wide and could be the same fabric that you made the Spiky parts of Row 6 with. ( the main fabric ) To border or not to border? This one is a personal choice, there is no right or wrong. My suggestion is to lay the quilt top out and trial borders on it by laying the fabrics alongside the edge. TAKE PICTURES! Goodness this is what smartphones are made for arent they?  Sometimes borders are needed for size and that's ok, but just remember to keep the size of the borders proportinate to the quilt blocks. What I mean by that is rather than adding one border that is 8  inches wide, which is just WAY too big, consider adding 2 or 3 borders which will make up the 8 inches all around that you need.  eg Border 1 -  2 1/2" Border 2 -  1 1/2" Border 3 -  5 1/2" This will still give you the 8" you want on each side, without looking like a big chunk of fabric that takes your eye away from the main quilt design.  Well I hope you have enjoyed making our 2018 BOM. As always I'm interested to see what your quilt turns out like, so send me a pic via email on or post it to our facebook page.  Happy sewing Danni 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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