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2018 Block of the Month - Row 5

 by thequiltingpatch on 03 Dec 2018 |
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It feels good to be on a roll with this project again. Im determined not to let it creep into 2019, as that year could be a whole new level of busy if 2018 is anything to go by. Row 5 is a fun border that could add a real zing to this quilt if you get the colouring right. Its meant to look 3D, so if that is what you want, make sure you colour the two main sections in a light and dark of the same colouring ( or close to) Here are the cutting instructions for the 3D Zig Zag border.. You will need 12 blocks for each row, 24 blocks for the quilt. Please take note of the further instruction on how to cut the angled main pieces as you'll need a left and a right for the block. The A pieces are straight forward. see the pictures below for the B and C pieces. The B pieces will be the darker of the two fabrics if you are making the 3D effect.  Begin by cutting the strip 1 7/8" inch as in the cutting instructions above - you'll need 2 strips of each colour to yield the 24 pieces of light / dark for the border. Use the 45 degree marking on your ruler to make an angled cut on the end of the strip, by placing the 45 line on the lower edge of your strip making sure the fabric is the right way up on your mat.  Discard the end piece and use your ruler to cut sections that are 2 1/2" in width. NOTE - the cutting instructions say this piece is 3 1/2", but they refer to the length of the bottom edge not the width of this section. Please cut it at 2 1/2 " as per the picture above.  The cutting for the C pieces is the reverse of what you have just done, making sure again the fabric is facing the right way up and you cut from the right edge of the strip, instead of the left edge. Now lets begin sewing it up... Lay your pieces out and do a test sew of the first block - its always good to know how its going to look before you sew up all your blocks. Begin by flipping the top triangles to the main pieces and sew with a scant 1/4 " seam Note the top corners are flush and the "extra" piece overlaps at the outside edge by a 1/4" Press the triangles back gently so as not to stretch them. Attach the bottom triangles in the same way except the "extra" fabric is now on the inside edge. Press again and trim back the block. Join the block along the centre seam, matching seams.  Continue making your Zig Zag blocks up and then join them into the two rows.  In the next set of instructions we will make the final row and put all of our rows together and add borders if desired. See you then!  

2018 Block of the Month - Row 4

 by thequiltingpatch on 03 Dec 2018 |
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Remember me?? Now is the time to apologise for my disappearing act. Something happened. I think people were calling it 2018. It just flew past me, and here we are in early December. On the upside, Im feeling so guilty about this project that I'm quite determined not to take my foot off the pedal until its done! I spent my weekend catching up with the sewing and now have more rows to add. I could be lazy and just assume the cutting instructions off EQ8 are correct, but I'm not built that way. I like to test drive all my patterns to make sure they are going to work for you.  So lets kick off this easy row ( and I'm sure you need an easy one after row 3)  Row 4 is a row of flying geese blocks. Most people look at flying geese as a rectangular block of one "goose", however a flying geese block is actually two blocks that make a square. That is why you will see them sized as 2 x 4, 2.5 x 5, 3 x 6 and so on.  We need to make 12 flying geese blocks for each row, so 24 in total for the quilt.  Here are the cutting instructions for the blocks Flying geese units are very straight forward. Take care not to be too heavy handed with your iron, just let the weight of the iron do the work and you wont overstretch them. I would usually chain piece these, attaching all the left edges first, then pressing the lot and them attaching the right edge.  Again you are looking to have a 1/4" seam allowance between the geese so you dont cut off the apex of the main centre triangle when you join goose to goose.  And its that easy. Make all the geese up ( 48) and make two rows for your quilt, each consisting of 12 blocks (24 geese)  See you at Row 5 very soon...  

2018 Block of the Month - Row 3

 by thequiltingpatch on 03 Dec 2018 |
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Hello Friends You'll be pleased to hear that after a bumpy and hectic start to the year I am actually caught up with this project. Hmmm, I should rephrase that. I have all my fabrics for the first two rows cut out and ready to take on a quilting retreat on the 1st June.  I did, however, cut up and sew a trial run of this next border last weekend and I'm quite happy with the way it has sewn out. So this time you are getting photos of my blocks as well as the usual insructions. This next row is made up of 6 picket diamond blocks ( so 12 to make as there are two rows) The block is a rectangle that should measure 8 1/2  x  6 1/2 inches. Its super important that you finish up with this measurement. My suggestion is that you make up one block as a tester and if it doesnt measure up do some investigation.  What to look for if its not measuring up.. 1. Have you cut it right? Go abck and check your measurements. 2. Are you sewing with a scant 1/4 inch? In patchwork we cut with a regular 1/4 inch off your ruler, but we sew with a scant 1/4". This measurement is slightly smaller than the 1/4" youll see on your ruler or tape.  Here is the cutting instructions for this row... PLEASE NOTE there is a section we are not going to piece on this block, rather we will add it as a plain strip in between rows.that is why this block ends up as a rectangle instead of a square.  Also with the A strips, there is no need to cut them back to 4 1/2", just cut them 1 1/2" by the width of fabric. This block is made of two sections - a strip set and a square in a square.  The top section is the strip set. There are two sets of four strips. each strip is a A piece ( 1 1/2" wide) I recommend only sewing strips of two together and then sewing the "twos" to each other, because if you sew 8 strips to each other youll find they start to twist.  Once you have a strip set of 4 strips, you can croscut them to 4 1/2" long. Measure your block of 8 strips - it should measure 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" The lower section is made up of quite small square in a square blocks. These can be fiddly, so take your time and enjoy the process. On that note... I have the same attitude to my sewing as  I do to cooking. Sometimes I'm making something simple and quick and its ok to be rushed. Othertimes I want a really good result, so I take my time and do each part of the task with care and precision.  This is one of those times. I'm going to run through these instrucions slowly, I hope it's not too annoying, but at the end you should have the skills to make a perfect square in a square block every time. This block consists of a centre square with 4 x triangles around it, tipping the centre square so that it sits onpoint. It sounds simple, and it can be just that if you take your time and follow a few rules. Then you'll end up with a block that hasn't lost its points. Step 1. Take a D square ( 1 7/8") and place a B triangle ( 1 7/8")  along one edge, centring it so that there is 1/4" hanging over each side. This excess needs to be spread evenly over each side.  Sew along this edge with a scant 1/4" seam. Important pressing instructions...  Press the seam CLOSED first. That means just pressing it how it is, without opening anything. Don't miss this important step - setting the seam is crucial.  Next, letting the weight of the iron do all the work, gently open the seam and press the triangle back.  Now we repeat that step with the opposite edge. The next step is to attach the remaining triangles to the remaining edges, still focusing on spreading the overhanging fabric evenly between the two sides. Note where my needle is when I'm sewing up this last seam. It is exactly where the two fabrics meet. Press gently again and then check your seam allowances on all four points of the centre square. Do you have a 1/4"? If you dont have a 1/4" of seam space, when you sew these blocks together, you're going to lose your points. Now is the time to fix it.  The next step is to join 4 of these units together to form a row. The seams can be quite thick, so I chose to press the seams open, rather than to one side.  Measure your block length. Does it measure 8 1/2"? Now you are ready to join this to the strip set you made earlier. Make sure you pin every seam junction. Measure your block - it should measure 8 1/2" x 6 1/2".  See you next time for Row 4!  
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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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