Category — Blocks
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
Look how great my 6 year old holds a quilt!
This month the Naperville Modern Quilt Guild had a log cabin challenge. We were all asked to make a 36″ x 36″ quilt with log cabin(s) in a modern way. Last night was the meeting and everyone came up with such great designs! Really, no two were alike. It was a lot of fun seeing everyone’s quilts and the thought that went into all of them.
I decided to make all white log cabins with tiny strips of bright fabrics randomly incorporated into the logs. The logs are various widths, from 1-1/2″ to 1/2″ finished.
This quilt was pretty improvisational. Although I had a plan for the blocks in my head, I wasn’t really sure about how to put them together. At first I was thinking about 1 giant block. Then it changed to multiple blocks. Then I decided I needed some separation to define the blocks. Ideas floated around from using neutral tan to narrow strips of color, stacked. But in the end I decided on larger color blocks.
I quilted this in straight lines, about 1/2″ apart.
The backing is one of my favorite prints from designer Anna Maria Horner.
The binding was also something that changed at the last minute. I was planning on doing bright scrappy binding, but after it was cut it just seemed like too much. So I went looking through my stash and my eyes were drawn to one of my favorites from Violet Craft’s Madrona Road – the black text print. I worked in a couple spots of bright strips just to echo the design of the blocks.
And in an Arkansas Traveler update…I finished the quilt top! It looks great and the backing just arrived. I am still deciding on the quilting, but that will be the next large project to tackle on my list.
March 29, 2013 30 Comments
Very quick update today on my Arkansas Traveler quilt. I finished the blocks! Sewing the four quadrants together for the blocks actually went pretty fast. I think it took about 2 hours to assemble 24 blocks.
I’ve started laying out the blocks for the final top. Sorry about the bad phone photo! I still need to decide on a backing and order that, but things are coming right along!
March 25, 2013 18 Comments