Sunday, September 3, 2017

In Orbit Tutorial - Delilah Block 6

Back to another installment for Delilah.  Well, we've made it to Block 6, In Orbit.  No curves, good news! Crazy y-seam block construction = another test of patience and precision.  If I can do it, so can you.


The directions that come with the templates are pretty light.  I think they assume a lot of prior knowledge and skill on the part of the person sewing.  It took me a bit to figure this one out and thought people might like some help.  Here's how I managed the y-seam to inset the four point portion of the block.  Just remember to press open and hit your needle into the seam and you'll be set!

Follow the included directions to create the corner quadrants.  Instead of creating the four point and square unit, only create two points and the square.

Inset the remaining two points in between two of the corner units each.  This will make two partial halves of the block.  Be sure to leave the top and bottom of the T25 piece open, so mark the top of the point and the bottom at quarter inch and sew from point to point.  Take the corner/point unit and place the other corner unit on top, lining up the T24/T23 portion, sew from the top down into seam at the bottom of the T23 piece. Seams were pressed open so you can see the seam and put the needle right into the seam at 1/4 inch.  Lift up the presser foot with needle down.  Then pivot the top to line up with the angle of T25 and lay flat, put the presser foot down and stitch.  Stop at the bottom marked point on T25.


Place the square/two point unit on top of the left half block unit.  Line up the square and pin in place.


Lower your presser foot and place the needle (use the hand wheel) right in the seam at 1/4 inch.  Sew from seam to seam, again dropping your needle right at the seam.  This should also put the needle in the bottom seam.  I like to take a stitch back and forth at these stop/start points.  Lift the presser foot with needle down in the seam.  Lift the top and pivot it to line up with the bottom of T22.  Sew to the point marked on T25.



Remove unit from the machine and turn it to the other T25 piece.  Pivot the fabric to match it to T22, flip it over and put it in the machine with the needle down into the seam, which will be the point on T25 underneath.     



Sew down into the next seam again, backstitch and stop in the seam.  


Remove and press seams open, now you have one seam left to sew to join the halves together.


Place right side on top of left and match at the top T24/T23 portion.  Sew each section across the seam, stopping in the seam with the needle down as before.  Each time you stop in the seam, lift the presser foot with the needle down and pivot the fabric lining up the pieces and sew down into the next seam.  Continue across the seam.  Press open again.  



The key to y-seams is to press open and put your needle right into the seam at 1/4 inch.  Pivot your fabrics and line them up flat then sew to the next seam.

Who knew what a BIG challenge this Delilah quilt would be.  These inset y-seams are (almost) making me wish for the curves again.  If you're participating, here's to the halfway point and on to the next half.  Take your time, relax and enjoy!

Linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Delilah Quilt - Block 5

Yes, it's August, but we're heading back to July for the next installment in the Delilah Quilt. Block 5 is the North Star block, measuring in at 9 inches finished.  This month required making five of these blocks.  While they were easier to sew than other months (no curves), the cutting was a little trickier. I'll explain.


There are three shapes to this block.  For each fabric you need to cut four pieces from that fabric if you are sticking to a less scrappy version of the block, which I am here.  These pieces are directional, so if you want to cut more than one piece at a time, you need to make sure all four pieces of fabric are one side up (right or wrong side).  The triangular shape of two of the pieces lends itself to using a rectangle to get four pieces out of two rectangles of fabric.  For each shape I estimated the size of the rectangle needed by laying the template down and then turning it to 'nest' onto the other side of the rectangle on its long side.   I cut two rectangles, laid the fabrics either both right side up or both wrong side up, cut the first piece (yield 2), turn the template to fit the rest of the rectangle and cut again (yield 2).  Now you have all four pieces with two cuts and little fabric waste. For the larger background shape I cut four rectangles of fabric and stacked them all right or wrong side up and cut four at once.  


You might be saying, what's with all the right and wrong sides.  Remember these are directional pieces.  If you stack the fabric and cut your set of four with the fabric right side up you'll get one set of shapes you need.  With the next set of fabric, lay the template down the same way, but turn your fabric stack all wrong side up and you'll get the opposite or reverse of the shape.  This way if you are using something sticky on one side of your template you don't have to gum up the other side of the template.  Flip your fabric, not your template.  


One last thing with these blocks.  I didn't follow the directions...what!  I sewed the first two blocks together following the directions exactly, and I had some issues with getting the block flat.  You are supposed to make each unit (three pieces) and its reverse and sew those together to make a square quarter of the block.  Then sew each square quadrant onto another and then each rectangle into the full block (think horizontal and vertical + quadrants).  I found it much better to sew each unit and its reverse along the straight side of the longer triangle piece, making a triangular quarter unit.  Then I sewed two of those together into half of the block on the diagonal, and then joined those two triangles into the finished block (think diagonal X quadrants).  It was easier to match seams and the whole block was much flatter.  


Went a little pink with these, but here's something different.  I'm happy with the additional variety of background fabrics I used on this set of blocks.  If you read my last post you will see what was happening previously with my backgrounds.    


Do you always follow directions or do you find yourself finding other methods that work better than what the pattern tells you to do?  

The blocks are adding up nicely!  Keep checking my Delilah board for more inspiration or follow along on instagram @sewsomesunshine.  See you soon for Block 6.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Delilah Quilt - Block 4

Block 4 of the Delilah Quilt template of the month program certainly made for a challenge.  If you've been following along, the first three months called for making two 12 inch blocks each.  For me, the biggest learning curve has been machine piecing the curved sections for each block.  For some tips, check back to the first block post here.  For block #4 - Fairhaven, the challenge went even further, make three blocks each with 16 very small curved seams!  I will admit to some frustration with the first block, but by the third one I was sewing with a lot more ease.  

This was the first attempt...


...second...


...and third...


With the first two I went with some color consistency in the star points.  With the third block, I realized I would get a pinwheel effect if I used the same fabric inside and for the points.  I like how the blades of the pinwheel go through the center motif with this fabric placement.  This is also the first time I introduced this lighter blue color to the blocks.  It doesn't quite go with the other ones I've made, but I will add some more into future blocks to see if I can make it work.  

All four blocks, nine in total, so far...


An interesting thing has occurred to me as I've been making these blocks.  As a quilter, I've never been a big fan of sampler quilts, they just aren't ordered, geometric, or symmetrical enough for me with all the varied blocks.  I'm also not a big fan of the sashing that is typical of a sampler.  I was drawn to this project by Jen Kingwell because even though a lot of her quilt designs have many blocks like a sampler, her blocks are typically scrappy, different sizes, and the quilt usually has an alternate grid setting.  I've been carefully choosing my fabrics and fabric placement as I've worked on these blocks, and I've kept the background very neutral.  So...I've made a sampler quilt...how did this happen!  I know how it happened...I'm a controlling person and it shows in my quilt work...lol! Anyway, I'll be trying to mix it up a little better as I make the next few blocks.  We're moving into the smaller blocks now, and I'm a few blocks behind, but I'm hoping to catch up in the next month.

What have you learned about your quilting lately?  Does your personality come through in your quilting? Would love to hear your insights.  

If you're working on Delilah don't forget to check out more inspiration here.  

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Fun Stuff

My mom comes from a big family, she is one of seven, which means that I am one of 21 first cousins on her side.  In the past year, I've had four of my cousins get engaged.  Since my mom also quilts, we decided to team up and get some handmade gifts going.  My Big Star Quilt recently went to my goddaughter, and my mom's version of the same quilt was given away this week at another bridal shower.  We're each working on another quilt for the next two cousins who are getting married next year.  Since we're splitting the work on a big quilt, we each also made some smaller gifts.


These were fun to make, especially the potholder, which is a total throwback. I highly recommend the Harrisville brand for their metal looms and cotton loops.  They even have a potholder pattern wizard, which is super fun.  Buyer beware...you will get addicted to looming!  The table runner is a cute brick pattern, called Two By Four's, that you can make with a charm pack, it's by Pieced Tree Patterns. And lastly, these microwaveable bowl potholders are super cute and useful.  

Linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts and Crazy Mom Quilts.