Category — Blocks
I spent a lot of time at the sewing machine this weekend, working on my Marcia Derse fabric blocks. I’ve decided to call this my Lighthouse quilt, since the design reminds me of the light coming out of one.
I am on a deadline to finish this quilt by Friday so I’ll have my nose to the machine this week. In fact, I’ve even moved my machine to the kitchen table so you know I mean business!
I still am planning to start a quilt along for this pattern. Most likely late September/early October. Keep an eye out!
I also was able to spend time Saturday with a handful of lovely quilters from the DeKalb County Quilters’ Guild. I taught Improvisational Log Cabins, which is a really fun introduction to improv.
It’s always great to see quilters “let go”, be wonky, and create as they go. Thank you for having me DCQG!
August 26, 2013 7 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
Last week I received a very fun package in the mail compliments of Andover Fabrics ~ Full Moon Lagoon by designer Mo Beddell. I have been so excited about this line ever since the little promotion logo thingy popped up on Pinterest (which I guess was 29 weeks ago!). If I could pick my favorite colors for one fabric line, these would be them.
Great bold designs…
Must-have blenders as well…
When the fabric arrived, I knew I wanted to use it to make a baby quilt. I spent a bit of time flipping through one of my favorite quilt block references, Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia Of Pieced Quilt Patterns. I’m so bummed this book is out of print now. You can still get used copies, but they are pricey. That said, I use the book all the time. You can see my original post about it here.
I selected a classic block that has historically had many names: Octagons, The Windmill, Will of the Wisp, and Kaleidoscope.
I’m using a variety of low volume prints for the background.
As you can see, I stained our deck between the first block photo and the second one. Although I like the color for my deck, I’m not sure about it for quilt block pictures. These are the things a quilt blogger obsesses about I guess?
I am paper piecing these blocks and thanks to chain piecing, I’m making swift progress. I can’t wait to share the top next week!
You can find Full Moon Lagoon arriving in stores now, currently in stock at:
Happy sewing everyone!
April 10, 2013 32 Comments