Monday, August 31, 2015

Fabri-Quilt New Block Hop & A Giveaway!

Hello Everyone and welcome to my stop on the Fabri-Quilt New Block hop! Fabri-Quilt was very generous to sponsor this hop and provide all of the participants with the fabric free of charge. When it came time to design a block, that turned out to be much harder than I thought. Oh the choices! Lucky for me I have EQ7 and after playing around a bit I've decided to show you how to make 2 blocks!

The one on the left is a paper pieced block and the one on right is standard pieced block. Let's get started, shall we?


I'm calling it the Dutch Windmill Block because the large triangles look like the sails on a windmill. What I really like about this block, though, is the secondary pattern the emerges when you make an entire quilt with them. I love that it gives you the illusion of curves.

This block is paper pieced but it's a pretty easy one. Anyone who's followed me for a while knew that I had a fear of paper piecing less than a year ago, and look at me now -- opting to create a paper pieced block! Who knew, right?  If you are a seasoned paper piecer skip the rest of this post and find the PDF pattern here (it's no longer housed on Craftsy print out the Windmill Block pdf on Craftsy to get started .  Be sure to print out 4 copies as you will need 4 smaller blocks to make the full 12.5" block).

Since there are so many great tutorials online, I'm not going to reinvent the wheel by making another one. I recommend these two tutorials - they are the ones I used  to learn paper piecing.

The Ellison Lane Paper Piecing Video Tutorial by Jennifer Mathis
Fresh Lemons Paper Piecing Tutorial by Faith Jones

You'll need the typical supplies for quilting such as a sewing machine, thread, iron, rotary cutter, scissors, and a quilting ruler with 1/4 inch markings. I also recommend the following:
  • A rotary cutter used for paper only (helpful when trimming your block to size)
  • Paper scissors to cut your pattern down to size and to make templates
  • glue stick, to stick down that first piece of fabric to the paper
  • Add-A-Quarter straight edge. Definitely not required, but it's awesome for paper piecing.
Remember, In order to make one 12.5" block, you need to make 4 smaller blocks and sew them together. 

Helpful Tips
  • Print out 5 copies of the Windmill pattern. When printing, be sure to set your printer to 100% (not scale to fit), so that it prints out to the proper size. You might also need to set it to print in landscape.
  • Make a template. The pattern states to print out 4 copies but I always print out an extra and cut out each individual number, making sure to include the seam allowance line where applicable. I use these as templates to cut out my fabric so I don't accidentally have a piece of fabric that is too small. 
  • Another thing I like to do is on each pattern template, I write the color of the fabric that I intend to use, just so I don't make any mistakes when piecing.

  • Remember when sewing, shorten your stitch length to make it easier to remove the paper later.
  • As you're stitching and you reach the seam allowance line, it's okay to sew into that area. In fact, I encourage it. That insures that you won't have any loose stitches by the time you actually sew those seams together.
  • My last advice when paper piecing - don't trim your outside edges until your block is completely constructed. That way you can trim it down to size, just to be safe.

Fabric Cutting
I like to cut out all my fabric at once, so the numbers below are enough for all 4 printouts. 

Template A1 (white) = 4 pieces, triangular in shape
Template A2 (coral) = 4 pieces, approximately 3" x 5"
Template A3 (aqua) = 4 pieces, approximately 3" x 7"
Template A4 (lapis blue) = 4 pieces, triangular in shape
Template A5 (white) = 4 pieces, triangular in shape

The dimensions on the rectangular shapes are very generous, but that is how I ensure I have enough fabric.

Here is what one of your finished sections will look like:

Make 4 more of these blocks. Once you sew 2 of them together it will look like this:

Finally, once you sew all 4 block together, you'll finish with this:

Here is another color variation with the other Fabri-Quilt fabrics:

Now, if you're still with me, ready to tackle the second block I made? Great!


I'm calling this one the Parasail Block because while we were on a recent cruise, I saw so many parasailing chutes that were coral, green, and white They just stood out against the brilliant blues of the Caribbean.  They were close to these same colors, I wish I would have taken a photo of them. Here's a few examples of what this would look like in a quilt. This first one has every other block rotated:

This second variation has every other block rotated and flipped (meaning that you actually sew one of the strips upside down). I like this one because of the basket weave effect it has.

A few things to note before we get started -- all of my seams are a scant quarter inch and for this block I pressed them all open. Okay then, let's do this!

Parasail Block Tutorial

Fabric Cutting
This will make one 12.5" block (12" finished).

Aqua:  4 squares 3.5" x 3.5"
Turquoise:  2 rectangles 9.5" x 3.5"
Coral:  2 rectangles 6.5" x 3.5" 
White: 1 square 4" x 4"
Chartreuse: 1 square 4" x 4"

Step 1: Half Square Triangles
Place one white and one chartreuse square right sides together.
Draw a line diagonally from corner to corner.
Stitch a scant 1/4" on both sides of the draw line.

Cut on the drawn line.
Press and trim each HST down to 3.5" square.

Step 2: Construct Center of Block 
Sew 1 aqua square to each of the half square triangles, sewing along the white edge.

With solid aqua squares opposite of one another, place both pieces right sides together and sew. 

You're almost finished with the middle section of the block. Add the coral rectangles on either side and then you have this:

Step 3: Construct top and bottom rows of block

Take your last 2 aqua squares and sew them to the turquoise pieces.

Step 4: Attach top and bottom to middle section

Lay out the block so that you have the aqua squares in the upper left, and the lower right corners. 

Sew, press, square up, and you're done!


Want a chance to win your very own half-yard bundle of Watermelon Summer fabrics? Be sure to head over to the Inspired by Fabric blog and today's host Yvonne's blog Quilting Jetgirl for 2 chances to win. 
If you are one of the lucky winners, I want to recommend that you prewash your Fabri-Quilt Prairie Cloth Solid fabrics with like colors.

Also, don't forget to visit all the other participants of the hop:

Monday, August 31st
Host – Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl
Kelly @
Quilting it Out
Martha @
Once a Wingnut
Irene @
Patchwork and Pastry
Cassandra @
The (not so) Dramatic Life
Andrea @
The Sewing Fools
Bernie @
Needle and Foot
Silvia @
A Stranger View
Wanda @
Wanda’s Life Sampler
Sandra @
Musings of a Menopausal Melon
Vicki @
Orchid Owl Quilts
Jess @
Quilty Habit
Diana @
Red Delicious Life - that's me!
Chelsea @
Patch the Giraffe
Margo @
Shadow Lane Quilts
Renee @
Quilts of a Feather

Tuesday, September 1st
Host – Cheryl @Meadow Mist Designs

Wednesday, September 2nd
Host – Stephanie @Late Night Quilter

Thursday, September 3rd
Host – Terri Ann @Childlike Fascination

Monday, August 24, 2015

Back to School = Back to Sewing!

Today was the first day of school for my little guy. He started kindergarten so that means buses and a full day without me having to go back and forth to get him during lunchtime (which was last year's scenario). Despite his nerves of starting a new school, he was pretty excited once he saw all the other kids waiting at the bus stop.

Once he was on the bus, I was excited to get back into my sewing room to catch up on some projects. First up, was my August assignment of making flying geese for the Midnight Mystery Quilt Along.

I got my geese all sewn (still need to clip the dog ears and trim them down to size) while watching the current season of Orange is the New Black,  and even went out to lunch with my husband. Overall, it was a wonderful day. And judging by the excitement of my son (and the blur of him running to greet me), I think he had a good day too.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Friday Finish

Despite all the things on my plate right now, I managed to finish up the borders on my niece's quilt top and I couldn't be happier with how it turned out.

I'm feeling really good about how well August is going so far. Just a few more smaller projects to finish up and maybe I can get to quilting this soon.  Have a great weekend!

Sunday, August 09, 2015

August Stashbee - Cathedral Windows

Ever since I started quilting 3 years ago, I always wanted to try making a cathedral window block. This was my lucky month since that was what we were asked to make. I was so excited and pleased with how deceptively simple they are to make, that I made 2.

Plus, check out this great tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Company on a different way to make them. If you go to the end (around 11:45) you'll see a gorgeous quilt made with 2.5" squares. I think this is the perfect way to use up scraps making it a bit bigger with 3 or 3.5" squares. And the bonus - it's a quilt as you go project!

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

August Is Heating Up

Yes, I live in Central Florida, so it's always hot but that's not what I mean.  August is a jam-packed month on our calendar. On the home front, we have a new car purchase, an upcoming Disney cruise, the start of kindergarten with all the back-to-school activities like supply shopping and meet-the-teacher events, and we have a trip planned to Holiday World in Santa Clause, Indiana.

On the sewing front, there's lots on my plate as well. I'm participating in the Meadow Mist Designs Midnight Mystery Quitl Along, and I have yet to even cut out my fabric which was our July task. I also have my August StashBee block that I need to tackle, something completely new to me and on my bucket list - a cathedral window! I can't wait to get started on that. I'm also excited to announce that I'll be participating in the 2015 Fabri-Quilt New Block Blog Hop that will be kicking off on August 31st. I'll be designing a block using this gorgeous palette of Fabri-Quilt prairie cloth cotton solids:

I already have 2 blocks designed but need to test them out on practice fabrics first, and then write up the corresponding tutorials.

As you know, I've been working on my niece's quilt. I made a bit of progress in getting the top and bottom borders figured out but I'm still trying to work out the side borders.

Given all the other things on my plate, and knowing that I still have my little one at home until August 24th, this project is going to have to be put on the back burner so I can focus on the above mentioned projects that all have August deadlines.

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Good Concepts & Poor Math Skills Don't Mix

{Alternate Post Title: Why I'll Never Be A Quilt Designer}

So I've been working on making my oldest niece a quilt. She'll be 15 in less than a week but I remember the day she was born like it was yesterday. Her favorite color is pink and a while back I made an impulse buy of a layer cake by Stella called Flirt. I showed her a photo of the fabric and she loved it and we decided to pair it with solid gray. Coming up with a pattern proved to be more difficult than I anticipated. Every layer cake friendly pattern I found required more 10-inch squares than I had. This layer cake only comes with 18 squares. So I played around in EQ7 to figure out a layout that I liked and decided upon this:

After I constructed all of the blocks and decided on this layout I realized that I constructed too many with the gray corner in the wrong place. That was error #1. To correct it, I purchased 2 different fat quarters that I thought would coordinate well and made a few more blocks. But it was barely big enough for a baby blanket and I wanted it to be bigger. I had a slew of leftover half square triangles so I tried to figure out how I could incorporate those into the design.

Enter the border idea:

I decided to add a solid border and then a houndstooth border with all of the HSTs, with a solid square of gray in each of the corners. Of course, if I could actually do math, I would have realized that I made my gray border too small for that idea to work. So I found yet another fabric from my stash and made a few more HSTs so that they would go all the way around the border like this:

Enter my next math error - the gray border is too big for this new idea to work because I'm just a bit to short at the other end:


I've only pieced together one side of the houndstooth border. I'm going to piece together the opposite side with the exact same number of squares as well as a 3rd side to determine how many squares I'll need to connect both of the sides. I have a feeling I will end up trimming down the gray border to make all those blocks to work.

But there you have it in a nutshell - if I could do math, I might not be in this predicament. And it's also why you won't see me designing a full quilt with complicated borders.