Category — Pattern
The weather this past week has been pretty much glorious, so I won’t lie – I haven’t spent a lot of time sewing. I think after the winter that didn’t want to end, the kids and I have been taking full advantage of beautiful, sunshine filled days. Because we all know, here in Chicago it won’t last. lol
I recently received a little surprise package from the Dear Stella team, containing a 5″ charm of every print in their Spring 2013 line. How cool is that?
I went through the fabrics, it’s a huge variety of style and color. So when I started thinking of what I’ll end up doing with this stack, I knew it needed to have a simple, scrappy feel to it. I think I’m going to make an hourglass quilt, potentially with various shades of neutrals as the background.
Many of you probably know how to make an hourglass block already. But there are also a lot of new quilters here, and since we don’t come out of the womb knowing this block, I thought I’d share my technique with you today!
Hourglass Block Tutorial
Please note, all seams are 1/4″; Final block size 4″ unfinished
Cutting: We are going to make 2 blocks from (1) 5″ print and (1) 5″ solid.
1. Cut your (2) 5″ squares diagonally, leaving you with (4) half square triangles (HST). Pair (1) print HST with (1) solid HST.
2. Sew your HSTs together along the longest edge. Press your seams towards the print.
3. Square your blocks to 4.5″. Line the 45º line on your ruler up with the seam line.
4. Now cut your blocks diagonally in the opposite direction of your seam line. I like to line up the 45º line on my ruler with the edge of the block, as shown.
5. Take one of the halves from each of your blocks, and pair them together to form the hourglass. If you pressed your seams towards the print fabric in step 2, the middle seams should “lock” together, giving you a prefect match. Piece together.
6. If you are like me, you may need to trim up your blocks after you are finished to achieve the perfect 4″ block. Line the 45º line on your ruler up with the seam line. Make sure the 4″ markings on your ruler line up with the seam line in the opposite direction.
Congratulations! You’ve made your hourglass blocks!
June 20, 2013 8 Comments
It’s always a fun opportunity to submit a block for Quiltmaker‘s 100 Blocks magazine series. Volume 7 was just released and I’m very excited to have a design included on this round! It will probably come as no surprise to regular readers here that I created a paper pieced star design. I’m nothing if not predictable, right? (You can find my paper piecing tutorial here.)
When I was selecting the fabrics for this star, I was torn. Blocks can always look so different depending on fabric placement. I really wanted to showcase this variety by making another block with the same templates, but using another fabric layout. Over the weekend I created this block.
Same pattern, but the effect is totally different. Cool, right? These blocks have 8 paper pieced components. Here is one quadrant sewn up:
I hope you will check out the magazine at your local craft and bookstore! It’s also available as a digital download.
May 20, 2013 12 Comments
This tutorial is a long time coming. Last year at the Sewing Summit, I taught some of you how to sew partial seams. I’ve been using this technique quite a bit lately, between writing the Starfall quilt pattern and my upcoming book. I hope you will find this tutorial helpful – if not today, then in the future when you run across a block needing this technique.
My usual disclaimer…this is how I personally sew partial seams. I am self taught, I’m sure there are a thousand ways to do this. This is mine.
Partial Seams Tutorial
The partial seams technique allows you to partially sew one piece of fabric to another, and then come back at a later point to finish the seam.
For example, at first glance this block looks like a log cabin. But upon closer inspection, you see that each of the “logs” is the same length (and longer than the center piece). Using partial seams, you can easily sew this together.
If you’d like to work along with this tutorial, cut 1 square and 4 strips as listed below. (These are the cut sizes, not the finished sizes.)
Center Square – Cut (1) 4-1/2″ x 4-1/2″
Side Rectangles – Cut (4) 1-1/4″ x 5-1/4″
1. You can start on any side of the block. I started on the left side and worked clockwise. Place your left strip, right side together with the center block. Align the top edges. As you can see, the strip will hang off the bottom of the block.
2. Sew your seam down the block, stopping and backstitching about 1″ before the end of the square.
Your block should look like this so far:
Press your seams as desired.
3. When you lay your top rectangle against the top edge of the block, you should notice it is now the exact length of the block.
4. Right sides together, sew the top strip on as normal.
Press your seams.
5. Repeat this usual piecing process for the right and bottom strips.
6. Now we are ready to finish the original seam. Fold your unsewn left rectangle back over the sewn block, aligning the unsewn edge. Pin into place.
Starting where you backstitched in Step 2, finish sewing down the seam to complete it. Press your seams.
Congratulations! You just finished your first partial seam block!
May 8, 2013 43 Comments
Don’t worry, I didn’t just whip this quilt up in the last few days. (You probably figured that out based on the weather in the photo here.) Last December, I had the great opportunity to make a new, larger version and pattern of my baby Starfall quilt for Modern Quilts Unlimited, Spring 2013 issue. (See the bottom of my Publications page for pattern errata.)
I originally made this quilt for the class I co-taught at the Sewing Summit – Shapes and Angles. This quilt was an example of what you can make using the Partial Seams technique. (Speaking of…I do plan on *finally* putting up a tutorial for partial seams very soon.)
I fell in love, hard, with Denyse Schmidt’s Chicopee collection last year. So much so, that I made this second quilt out of the same fabrics. I mixed in a few fabrics from her DS Quilts Collections from JoAnns and one perfect green print from Anna Maria Horner’s Good Folks collection.
The finished quilt measure 60″ x 72″ and I quilted it with straight lines, 1/2″ apart. As usual, that took awhile but was more than worth it in the end.
I definitely recommend picking up the magazine – not just for my quilt but for all the others inside. It’s full of beautiful patterns by all sorts of names you will probably recognize (Rossie Hutchinson, Patty Sloniger, Patty Young, Elizabeth Dackson, Victoria Findlay Wolfe and many others) and a great article about Negative Space by Jacquie Gehring.
I believe subscribers already should have their copies, and you will be able to find it at shops soon (if not already).
May 2, 2013 38 Comments