Tuesday, 23 February 2021

SHOW YOUR STRIPES BLOG HOP

 Stripy String Quilt




A little while ago Carla from Creatin in the Sticks put a call out to those of us that love stripes - any size any way, striped fabric, striped binding, strips of fabric to make stripes (here's where I come in) literally anything goes! 

There are so many fantastic bloggers taking part over the week(schedule at the bottom) and a whole host of different projects, ideas and inspirations that you can read about and try out - I hope you will join in and show me your stripes!




If you have read by blog for a while or follow me on Instagram you will know how much I love scraps and using them for scrap quilts, you will also know how much I love Tula Pink and that every single tiny piece gets saved 'just in case' and that curating fabric pulls for quilts is one of my favourite things!! So when the opportunity came up to do all of this together plus add in my favourite technique of foundation paper piecing - I squealed out loud!!

Above is a quarter section of a String Quilt block measuring 7.5 inch square, this is what we will be making together using the Foundation Paper Piecing (FPP) method. FPP is a popular technique in patchwork for making quilts, done by sewing fabric to a printed paper foundation, although we will be doing something simple together the possibilities are endless and there are some absolutely amazing FPP patterns available.

There are many free templates available, but for ease you can download the template I made here if you want to make your own in a different size it's super easy - decide on the size of your block and draw it out, add 1/4 inch seam allowance all the way around and then draw in your sections. 

** Please note you will need FOUR of these to make ONE whole block **




Step 1 Preparation

Decide on your fabrics and cut your strips. I cut mine 1.5 inches wide but you can have skinny stripes, fatter stripes or a mix of all of them. The length will vary depending on which stripe you're sewing so my advice is make sure they are at least as long as the longest section on the template and then trim accordingly after sewing!

You will be tearing the paper out at the end which can cause stress on your seams, for this reason I usually reduce my stitch length and make it shorter, either to 1.8 or 2 - it's not essential just personal preference. 

You my also find it helpful to trim down the template (whichever you are using) to slightly bigger than the seam allowance, as it can be a bit of a fiddle trying to manoeuvre the paper and fabric at times.





Step 2 Sewing the first stripe

For these blocks I always start in the middle with the longest stripe and then sew everything on one side i.e. the left and then everything on the other side. As these templates aren't specifically numbered there is not 'right' way to do it, it's simply personal preference.

Starting with the longest section down the middle, place your chosen fabric stripe right side (patterned side) up over the whole section, it should extend 1/4 inch over the lines as this is creating seam allowance.  Place your second fabric stripe directly on top of it right side down. You can put a pin in it to keep it secure if you wish, then flip it over so the fabric is underneath and your paper template is on top.




Sew directly on that line from one end to the other and then finger press your fabric open.




Step 3 Complete the block

Place your next piece of fabric right side down, lining up the edge with stripe 2, on top of the template as shown below. Flip and stitch down the line as before.



Continue in this way until all stripes have been sewn, you will end up with something that looks quite odd due to the excess fabric. 




Step 4 Trimming the quarter blocks




With the paper template side up, trim down your block to the seam allowance line - DO NOT cut off the seam allowance!

I find it easiest to use the 1/4 inch line on my ruler and match this up with the lines around my template and block as shown below.



Trim off all the excess fabric on all sides until your block is square - if you're using my template it should measure 7.5 inches square.






Step 5 Trimming the quarter blocks

When all four quarters are pieced and trimmed, they can start to be assembled to make full blocks and this is where the fun begins!

Depending on where you have placed your fabrics and how you lay the sections/blocks out will change the over all look of the quilt.

Below are a few of these options.








You will start to see secondary patterns emerging when you lay multiple blocks out together, these can be highlighted with a bit more careful planning, depending on your fabrics choices.




I really hope you've enjoyed sewing along with me, if you make a block or 4 or more please let me know and share them with me, I love to see your creations. 

You can see all the other bloggers in this fantastic blog hop below


Show Your Stripes Blog Hop Schedule:

Sunday, 27 December 2020

KEEPING DOLLY COZY

Quilted Sleeping Bag






Quilted Sleeping Bag Tutorial:

1.When your baby sister asks Santa for 'blankets for Dolly' you do what you can to help the big guy out! There are several ways this can be done, this is simply the way I made them and thought you may find it useful if you have small people who also want to keep their Dolly warm.







Cutting:

All squares are 2.5 inches the amount you need will vary depending on the dimensions of the doll you are making for. Dolly is 18 inches tall and is similar to the American Girl type dolls so the below is what I needed to accommodate her size and dimensions.

Front Panel
56 squares for top
Binding (1) 2.5" x 15"
Backing (1) 18" x 16"
Wadding (1) 18" x 16"

Back Panel
77 squares for top
Binding (1) 2.5" x 75"
Backing (1) 24" x 16"
Wadding (1) 24" x 16"




I wanted a scrappy look to mine so I raided my stash and found fabrics I knew the small person would like and would be appropriate for Dolly. You can literally use anything to make these.


Assembly:


1. Sew the squares together using a quarter inch seam, I alternate pressing my seams to the left or right for each row which makes it easier to nest my seams. You can use whichever method you prefer.





2. If you are using 2.5" squares and making the same size I am, your Front Panel should measure 16" x 14" once the rows (I did 7 rows by 8) have been sewn together. The Back Panel should measure 22" x 14" once the rows (I did 11 rows by 7) have been sewn together.






3. Layer the Front Panel with the wadding and backing and quilt as desired. Repeat for the Back Panel. 
Personally I use pins and NOT glue to baste as it gets stuck in the needle and machine parts - obviously use whichever method you prefer.





I kept my quilting simple by doing straight lines on either side of each seam line, keeping them 1/4 inch apart by using my 1/4 inch foot. There is a mini tutorial on this in my Instagram Guides.






4. Trim down the Front Panel to your desired finished size, for me this was 16" x 14", using the binding strip 2.5" x 15" bind one short edge of this panel leaving 1/2" hanging over each side.






Putting the sleeping bag together:


1. Trim down the Back Panel to your desired size, for me this was 22" x 14" and then place it right side DOWN so your patchwork/top will be against your worksurface. Place the Front Panel right side UP on top of the Back Panel.



 

2. Match up the bottom corners on both panels and pin in place. 





3. At this stage you can either sew an 1/8" stich line around the whole of the sleeping bag to hold the panels together and then bind as normal OR as I did, pin the panels in place and go straight to binding them together.

Both methods work in the same way, so it makes no difference how you finish off this step, it depends how confident you feel.






Repeat to make as many sleeping bags for Dolly as needed! 

If you need any help working out sizes or number of squares for a different doll, please get in touch and I'll do my best to help you.



Wednesday, 9 December 2020

IT'S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR!

Especially when you get Great Presents!

It's no secret I have an addiction to fabric - so this is always a sure win when buying a present for me, but as a quilter I quite often get asked what 'good presents' to buy are. So I thought I'd put together a little list of things that have caught my eye recently or that I generally can't do with out in case anyone was struggling with what to buy for the quilter/sewer/crafter in their life.

This is not sponsored or affiliated in any way, simply my opinions on things I like, thing I use regularly and things I would recommend to others.


1. Wonder Clips/Clover Clips/Quilt Clips

I'll be honest I was quite late to the party with these and had been quilting for around 6 years before I actually bought some of these to see what the fuss was about - game changer! I honestly don't know why I didn't see sense sooner, they really are a 'wonder' when binding and make the job so much easier. You can pick them up from just about anywhere.




2. Wool Pressing Mat

This was one of my new purchases this year, I love it and it's permanently set up in my sewing room. They come in a variety of sizes so you can get whichever would suit your needs - my advice would be to get the biggest one you can accommodate on your work table! Far easier and much less cumbersome than having to set up the ironing board all the time. Again these can be purchased from several places, but I got mine here.


3. 1/4 Inch Quilting Foot with Guide

This is an absolute God send and one of the very first things I treated myself to when I first started patchwork and quilting 'properly' - most brands of sewing machine have them but they are brand/machine specific. You will need to know the exact sewing machine the person you're buying for has, to make sure it'll fit the machine and work properly.

4. A Block of the Month Program

There are so many out there, it can be really tough deciding which one to go for so my advice is think about what you want to gain from it - do you want to learn or try something new or do you want to expand a certain set of skills? Then have a look what is out there that'll help you achieve that goal. I've looked at so many at one point they all blurred together but for next year I've decided on The Pattern Club by Quiet Play.




5. Replacement Rotary Cutter Blades

Never underestimate the power of a new blade! They really can make all the difference when a project requires lots of cutting, or even just replacing it if you've had the same one on for a little while - you'd be surprised how quickly they can become blunt. You will need to make sure the blades you buy are the correct size for the Rotary Cutter you've got/the person you're buying for has but you will find that they are widely available from a variety of places.




6. Seam Ripper and Stiletto Combo

The discovery of this is one of my favourite things to come out of 2020, I was able to shop small and support a local craftsman by purchasing this fantastic little device - they come in all manner of colours and designs all hand crafted and just beautiful! One side is a seam ripper, the other is a stiletto perfect for feeding tricking points and sample pieces through the sewing machine, both tuck neatly away to avoid any stabbing of fingers when not in use. Pencole Pens and Turnings is the place to go for one of these beauties.





7. Fabric Gift Vouchers

As I said I'm a fabric addict - you can never have enough and buying it is a totally separate hobby to actually using it! Pretty much everywhere does vouchers of some kind but some of may favourite smaller places to support are the following because I've always had excellent above and beyond customer service, super fast shipping and just general loveliness!

- Cow and Giraffe
- Olive and Flo Handcraft
- The Crafty Mastermind
- The Fabric Fox
- The Purple Stitches
- The Eternal Maker





So there you have it, a little guide of happy shopping for the Crafty person in your life. 

If you've got any recommendations for things you can't craft without I'd love to hear about them you can get in touch in the usual ways.

Happy Quilting
Kerry xx

Tuesday, 21 July 2020

DISAPPEARING ACT



Disappearing Nine Patch 




Disappearing Nine Patch Tutorial


These blocks work really well if there is a contrast in the colours and fabrics you choose, ideally you want to have light, medium and dark fabrics. It's ok if you don't though as it's perfect for scrap busting.


Cutting:


Square size can vary depending on the size of block and/or finished quilt you want - as long as all squares are the same size it doesn't matter. For the purpose of this tutorial, I used a couple of charm packs so my squares are 5 inches.

Cut 9 squares, each 5" x 5"

  • (1) dark
  • (4) medium
  • (4) light







    Arrange the squares into three rows with three squares in each. Place the dark square in the block's centre position. Place the your feature fabric squares (medium) or those you wish to highlight in the block's four corners. Fill in the gaps with the remaining squares (light).


Assembly:


1. Sew the squares together using a quarter inch seam, I press my seams to the dark side, but you can do whatever you prefer, I also like to nest my seams so they lay flatter and line up perfectly.







2. If you are using 5" squares your block should measure 14" square when once the rows have been sewn together. You're then going to cut this in half vertically, so you have 2 units each measuring 7" x 14"


                                 





3. Cut each unit in half horizontally, so you have 4 units each measuring 7" square and then the fun begins.









Putting the block together:


1. There are a variety of different ways these blocks can go together, have fun and experiment to find a layout you like and then sew the rows together.










2. This is the one I went with, the feature fabrics will stand out more due to the borders around them, which is what I was after for this particular block.




Repeat to make as many blocks as you need for your quilt. I intend to have 4 rows of 4 so will need 16 blocks, this will give me a finished quilt of 54" square.