Monday, April 1, 2019

April 2019 Block of the Month

It's time!  It's time!  I know you want to see the next block in our fabulously fun Block of the Month program we have building up our skills!  

Introducing the SAWTOOTH STAR!  This block had Flying Geese and this was something I really wanted to attempt.  I've never been brave enough to do it.  

I used my AccuQuilt fabric cutter and used the dies in my Qube to get my shapes.  I used die 1 - for the large square in the middle; die 2 - for the small corner squares; die 4 - for the large triangle on the sides; and die 5 - for the small triangles on the sides.  

Die 1 is the 4.5" (4" finished) Square. 
Die 2 is the 2.5" (2" finished) Square. 
Die 4 is the Quarter Square Triangle (4" finished square). 
Die 5 is the Half Square Triangle (2" finished square).  


The first thing I did was lay out my pieces in the layout of the block.

Then I sewed the Flying Geese (two small triangles sewn onto a larger triangle).  This was surprisingly easy since the dog ears are cut off in the AccuQuilt - you can easily see where to sew your SCANT 1/4" seam.

Then I sewed the corner blocks onto the Flying Geese on the top and bottom rows as you see here in this picture!


Your next step is to attach the last two Flying Geese to the large square in the middle.

When you do this, you will have your block in 3 different sections that make up your 3 rows to attach.


Take the top or bottom row and pen matching your seams.

Sew a SCANT 1/4" SEAM. 


Take the opposite row that is left and pen matching your seams. 
Sew across with a SCANT ¼” SEAM.  

Press open. 


Take the 2.5” strip of your neutral toned fabric and pin to the sides of your block.  You will sew it onto the block – SIDES FIRST.  Then sew across the top and bottom.  This will make the block 12.5” unfinished.  

This entire block takes 5 minutes to make!  Isn't that awesome?  

Recapping March-No April Fools Here!

It's April...finally.  March was about to kick my butt.  There were so many things that came up, but such is life, right?  Needless to say, I'm too tired for a good April Fools joke today.  So how about a recap?

This month was a whirlwind for my household.  I had 3 client quilts delivered, a 6 year old's birthday party - which included a quilt request of her own, mechanical problems with our car - which is still at the mechanic and this makes 3 almost 4 weeks there...the yard needed severe help with blackberry bushes taking over my flowerbeds...the list goes on...

With all of the world's problems and issues in society today, sewing and quilting and creating has become my stress reliever.  Sometimes just going to the local quilt shop - Quilters Crossing - and looking at all the fabrics can reduce my stress level greatly!  It's not my only stress reliever, but Quilters Crossing isn't open 24/7.  Maybe I could talk them into giving me a key?  LOL.  Oh, boy!  Wouldn't that be amazing!

My sewing tales for this month were heavily in playing with new blocks for my sampler quilt!  I'm ecstatic too that I found more wonderful fabrics in my quilt colors at another great quilt shop that just opened up in Chappell Hill, Texas - Carol's Quilt Shop.  I LOVE IT!  If you ever get a chance, go by and see Carol herself.  Tell her I said hi.  Or better yet - I'll meet you there!

You'll see my new fabrics in next month's block for Block of the Month!

I tried something new to me this month - Machine Applique.  I was really shocked at how easy it was...I may not have been doing it the proper way, but I figured it out enough and without even looking up YouTube!  That's got to be a huge accomplishment, right?  Everyone looks there now for help.

Did you see the deer wall-hanging quilt I made for my 6 year old?  Her request....for her deer themed birthday party!  She wanted all the deer to have horns/antlers but the colors were pink and purple.  No challenge there?

I dug into her fabric stash (yes she has one) and found some very bright and colorful fabrics (that she stole from my stash for her quilt).  I cut 2.5" strips with my AccuQuilt Fabric Cutter and then cut them again varying in sizes - but still in strips.  I sewed the strips together.

(**Depending on your fabrics, you may want to apply interfacing here to the strip set sewn together.  I found this helped hold the image stiff while I tried to sew it on the block.)

I found an image on Pinterest (free, of course) and cut it out by hand - NOT MY FABRIC SCISSORS!  I pinned the image/graphic to the strips that were sewn together and traced around using a Frixion (from Pilot) pen/marker.  This pen will erase when I put the iron back on the fabric.  Then I hand cut the image out with my fabric scissors.

I did pin the deer onto the fabric.  I thought about using fabric adhesive, but I couldn't do it in my space without getting the glue everywhere so I just pinned it to the fabric.  For the blue background fabric - I simply cut out a 12.5" square block.  I centered the deer as best I could with the help of a ruler and pinned as best I could.

I used Fanny the Featherweight to sew the applique onto the fabric and I was surprised at how easily she let me guide the fabric around, especially the antlers!  

I just tried to sew as close to the edge as possible, leaving a raw edge.  Before I knew it, I had it on!  

I made another 12.5" square block out of a marbled purple and then sewed the 3 blocks together.  Before I knew it, I had all 4 deer appliqued to the fabric and the quilt top pieced together!

I decided to do a checkerboard pattern with the blue and purple blocks.  I did also decide to use the extra strips to make my binding and used all of the different fabrics in varying lengths for it.  I think it turned out great!  And best of all, so does the 6 year old!

For an extra touch, you can quilt the blocks without the applique...I found these antlers online and wanted to quilt them into the blocks, but due to time...wasn't able to do them.

For this wall-hanging size quilt, I only did stitch in the ditch quilting.  I wanted to do more, but time was my enemy.  I only had two days to get this done and I barely made that deadline with Bailey running around me.

The marbled fabrics make it look more quilted than it is...but that's okay with me!  The binding isn't perfect, but it's done...and the 6 year old is very happy with it!  She told me she wants it to stay where it is, in the dining area.

I plan on taking it to my next guild meeting!  I'm pretty proud of it...

What were some of your sewing projects that you worked on in March?  Did any of them help relieve some stress like mine did?  Share your tricks and tips!  How's Block of the Month going for you?

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

I Like Big Blocks & I Cannot Lie!

I am really enjoying making new blocks with our new Block of the Month program.  I hope you are too! 

 I was checking out the internet searching for new ideas and inspiration when I came across the Hidden Wells Block by Connie Kresin.  Have you seen this block?  It's amazing!  I love it!  Immediately, I fell in love with it!  

Connie Kresin - Photo from her blog.  

One thing I really enjoy doing is reading and learning about the person who created the block or pattern.  Connie Kresin Campbell has her own blog and you can find a link to it here: Connie Kresin Campbell Blog.  

Connie is amazing!  You must check out her blog and read all about her!  Her blog is called Freemotion by the River.  Can you tell what type of quilting she enjoys?  

Her blog is a wealth of knowledge and tutorials for us quilters...FREE tutorials!  So it's a no brainer when I decided I had to share her with you.  

She's been featured in craft magazines, worked in craft shows, published on Craftsy, and even an ambassador for Island Batik, and she does monthly blog posts for AccuQuilt!  

In other words, she's amazing! She writes and sells her patterns too, so if you would like to see her in your local quilt shop - Tell them!  

This is the block I saw and I just had to try it.  I modified it a bit and made it larger, so my pictures show it larger than her directions.  I suggest reading them and seeing her example in batiks.  It's gorgeous!  Hidden Wells Block - Free Tutorial 

This block looks hard right?  It's not.  A beginner quilter can do this and easily!  It's 2.5" strips sewn together, cut up, and then sewn back together.

Here's my experience with making the Hidden Wells Block.

I wanted my block to be larger than what Connie's turned out.  Mainly because I had so many strips of different fabrics that I just had to experiment with it.  I just couldn't narrow down my fabrics to make the smaller block...It's hard to do when you have so many awesome fabrics!  

I sewed 6 strips together with a SCANT 1/4" seam.  

Then trimmed and squared up wi
th my 12.5" block template.  

I did this twice!  

Can you believe that's the hard part?  Already halfway there!  

You will leave one block on the table and then take the other block and place them right sides together - Only Turn the Top Block Opposite of the layout of the bottom block!  Pin them together all the way around!  

Sew a 1/4" Seam all the way around the block.  Yes, all the way around.  

Then cut it on BOTH the diagonals as the picture shows.  (TWO CUTS)

You are going to open up each one and it creates a smaller square.  Press those seams!  

Move the blocks around until you have a layout that you like and attach the quarters to make two halves with a 1/4" SCANT seam.  Then attach halves to make a complete block.  

**Only caution is to line up your seams to make the lines straight and consistent.  

Then....You have a finished block!  

It looks really great and really HUGE!  Mine measures 16 1/8" after trimming and squaring it up.  So making just 4 of these blocks can make a great throw size or baby quilt.  

I used these blues to make a charity quilt for my local bee.  I think they came out great!  Our charity bee loves the throw size quilts for donations so this will be a quick quilt top to put together.  Two by two blocks with a border and you're done!  

Overall, my experience with Connie Kresin's tutorials was wonderful!  I look forward to checking out more her tutorials and learning more quilting techniques and new quilt blocks!  Her instructions may be easier than mine, so please go to her site!  I have really enjoyed Connie Kresin's site and I suggest for any quilter to take a ponder and see what she has available.  She has TONS of FREE patterns!  

What's your favorite Connie Kresin pattern?  Post it in the comments! 

  Happy Quilting!