Monday, June 9, 2014

Block Tutorial - Pick Up Sticks

Block Tutorial - Pick Up Sticks (Improv Block Making)

I am not normally a improv quilter. I like plans and maps and the orderly process of quilt making. Improvisation scares me, yep it does!
I know there are other quilters like me and I know that there are quilters who are thrilled to cut and sew with wild abandon. But sadly thats not me...

So to get over my fear and learn to love the freedom this type of piecing can bring, I decided to make a tutorial for all the 'uptight - like their rules - always needing a pattern' quilters like me :)

Start with a 13" square of solid fabric and strips from 1" to 2" wide strips (any size you have, but much longer than 13") of solid fabrics. Use as many strips as you want.

Now lay the 13" square on your cutting board. 
You are going to cut it ....and not use a measurement.
But do use a ruler to make a straight cut.
Make a cut - yea, go ahead and do it! I promise it will be ok!

Next take one of the strips and place it on the cut square.
Take it to the sewing  machine and using a 1/4" seam allowance sew it.

Press the strip and trim even with the original square.

Trim both ends.

Now line up the other side of the square.
Make sure you have at least 1/4" points on the top and bottom.

See here... the little point.
Sew and then press. 

Now you are ready to add another strip.
Cut as before, but make sure to have fun with it!!

Add another strip.
Keep going until you feel happy :)

Now you have an untrimmed block.
Press well 
Optional - I use spray starch, it helps with my uptight 'A' type personality ;)

Trim to 12.5" square.
All done and you did it!!
You just did improv block making!!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Fresh Flowers - Piecing the Top Together

We are almost to the finish line!!

If you want to learn more about this QAL see the introduction post here.

May 19th - Piecing the Top

With all our blocks complete, let's start making the rows.
To make the flowers dance we are rotating placement of the Sides A and B

Row 1 - start with the first block making sure the Side A is on top and Side B is to the left

With the second block Side A is to the left and Side B is on the bottom.

And continue adding blocks alternating with this pattern for your Row 1.

See them dancing :)

Row 2 - the first block in row 2 will have Side A to the right and Side B on top.

The second block in row 2 will have Side A at the bottom and Side B ro the right

And again continue adding blocks in this manner

More pretty dancing blocks :)

Depending on the size quilt you are making you will need to repeat these instructions.
  • Wall/Lg Pillow Size (2 rows of 2 blocks)
    • Row 1 (2 blocks)
    • Row 2 (2 blocks)
  • Baby Size (4 rows of 4 blocks)
    • Row 1 (4 blocks)
    • Row 2 (4 blocks)
    • Row 1 (4 blocks)
    • Row 2 (4 blocks)
  • Lap/Throw Size (6 rows of 5 blocks)
    • Row 1 (5 blocks)
    • Row 2 (5 blocks)
    • Row 1 (5 blocks)
    • Row 2 (5 blocks)
    • Row 1 (5 blocks)
    • Row 2 (5 blocks)

Once all the rows are done, sew the rows together to complete your new quilt top!

Let me know if you have any questions!!

Happy sewing

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Fresh Flowers - Completing the Blocks

If you want to learn more about this QAL see the introduction post here.

May 12th - Completing Blocks

Alright, this is the easy week...

Grab your blocks and the pieces Side A (10.5"x2.5") and Side B (12.5"x2.5").
Each block gets one of each side.

Sew Side A to the bottom of your blocks and press towards the Side A piece.

Sew Side B to the right side of your blocks and press towards the Side B piece.

Now your blocks are ready, its time to rest up for next week - 'Piecing the Top'.

Hope your having fun!! Your quilt is just about done :)


Sunday, May 4, 2014

Fresh Flowers - Assembling the Flowers

Now that we have the petals ready, let's get those flowers sewn together.

If you want to learn more about this QAL see the introduction post here.

To create a flower - gather 4 petals, 4 of the 1.5"x5" sashing strips and the flower center 1.5"x1.5" squares.

Place a sashing background with a petal, do this for 2 of the four petals. Place right sides together and sew.

Press towards the sashing. 

Now add the other two petals and sew together.

Now you have two sides to the flower.

Take two sashing 1.5"x5" strips and one 1.5"x1.5" center.

To make the center strip sew the center to the sashing strip and press towards the sashing strip.

With a top section, middle section and bottom section arrange so that the petals all point towards the center.

Sew the sashing/center to a set of petals. Press towards the sashing/center strip.

Do the same for the other petal set. Again press towards the sashing/center. This makes a flower :)

We are almost finished! Looking forward to seeing all the flowers blooming ;)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Fresh Flowers - Creating the Petals

Well, this post was a little delayed due to 'The Stash Bash Hangover'. More about that in another post, let's get those petals made this week!!

If you want to learn more about this QAL see the introduction post here.

May 12th - Completing Blocks
May 19th - Piecing the Top

This week we are using the petals pieces (5" squares trimmed to match the template) and the petal background pieces (the 2"x4" rectangles cut in half diagonally). For cutting instructions see the post 'Fresh Flowers - Cutting Fabrics'

Place the petal background pieces on the right side of your petals as in the photo above. Leaving a little point 1/4" out from the top of petal on both the right and left petal background pieces. (If using printed fabrics for your background make sure right sides are together)

Here is the reverse side showing the 1/4" point at the top of each side. The long points are fine, it is the top point you need a minimum of 1/4".

Using a scant 1/4" seam allowance sew the petal background to the petal pieces.

This is what it should look like at this point, kinda looks like a transformer face but I am geeky like that. :)

Now press the petal background with seam allowances towards the background fabric.

Then trim your petal to 5" x 5". Continue until you have all your petals ready for next week when we will assemble the petals into flowers.

Hope you are having fun!!

Kira xoxox

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