Sunday, September 24, 2017

Four Patch Star Tutorial - Delilah Block 7

Month seven of the Delilah Quilt is another challenging block.  Just when you think it can't get harder it seems to. The Four Patch Star has more y-seams in its construction.  As long as you are patient, press open, and sew into the seam, you will be able to put this block together.  Keep your seam ripper handy and use it when necessary.  Ripping out a short seam and resewing can really produce a better end result.  Use starch if it helps you.  Refer back to last month's In Orbit Tutorial for help with y-seams.

Build the block according to the pattern directions until you get to the eight corner pieces. Remember to leave the eight points open a quarter inch in order to add the corners.  Mark the skinny point of each T28 piece to help you start/stop your stitching.

Add one corner piece starting at the square corner edge, pivot in the seam at the diamond piece and sew to the mark at the point of the diamond piece.  Leave that open a quarter inch, use the template to mark it.

Place the reverse corner piece on top and pin in place.  Flip over.  

Sew from the top of the point down into the seam (scissor point below), needle down.  Lift the presser foot.  

Pivot the fabric and line the top up with the bottom corner unit.  

Sew down into the open seam and stop (scissor tip), needle down.

Pivot, line up the bottom with the top square edge.  Sew down to finish the seam.

One finished corner!

Proceed with the next corner piece.

Pin in place.

Flip over, sew from corner down into open seam (scissor point), needle down.

Pivot and align top and bottom, sew down to marked point on diamond piece (pencil), needle down.

Pivot at marked point, align top and bottom and sew to finish seam.

Continue adding pieces in the same manner.

For this block I added on all four corners counterclockwise.  My block was a little wonky with this method. For the next one I'm going to add opposite corners first, then go back to the other two corners.  I'm hoping that will make the block straighter.  

I'll be cutting out pieces for the rest of these blocks this weekend.  Hope you have fun sewing your blocks too!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Blogger's Quilt Festival Fall 2017

Amy Ellis is hosting the Fall 2017 Edition of the Blogger's Quilt Festival.  This is a great place to see lots of inspiring quilt works.  There's so much eye candy posted, go check it out here.

I'm entering my navy and white modern quilt to the festival.  This was designed after a quilt made by Emily Dennis, you can see her version here.  I love how graphic this quilt is and the all over quilting really adds a lot as well.  

Thanks for stopping by my blog.  Enjoy the festival!

Machine quilting by AB Quilting Studio.   

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Delilah Quilt - Block 6

Month six of the Delilah Quilt is the In Orbit block, with a center perfect for fussy cutting.  If you are following along I discussed this block in my last post, including a short tutorial for inserting the center star into the block.  Here's the final roundup of all four versions.

My favorite is the top left, but I love all of the combinations.  It really is a lot of fun determining which fabrics to use in each one.  Now, on to the next block!

Linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social and Crazy Mom Quilts.

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...


...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 did this happen!  I know how it happened...I'm a controlling person and it shows in my quilt! 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 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.  

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

2017 Finish-A-Long Quarter 3

For Quarter 2 I finished two out of three projects.  I'll be keeping my list small again this quarter, adding my one leftover project, a new quilt, a project sample, and one mini quilt.

This Anna Maria Horner scrappy trip really is a work in progress.  I need a good chunk of time to get it onto my design wall and then sewn together, but other projects with deadlines keep getting in the way.  I don't want to rush this one, so I'll just keep adding it to my list!

I'll be working on this Carnival quilt with fabrics from Lotta Jansdotter.

I'm teaching a class on y-seams and the eight point star in October and have to make a project sample, so I'll be working on something similar to one of these below.

My guild has a rainbow mini quilt swap going on this summer so that will be a secret project until it's gifted in September.  Maybe a mini pow wow quilt or a star?

Good luck with your Quarter 3 projects, link up here to join in!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Follow My Lead

Although I'm not a fan of batik style fabric, the fabrics designed by Alison Glass in her handcrafted line drew me in.  The saturated colors called to me first, but the second benefit is the patchwork motifs in the designs. I choose the Follow My Lead pattern for these fabrics because of the flying geese in the prints and the pattern.

As I was making this quilt I realized that it was time to update my 6 year old son's bed with a new quilt, and so I added navy borders to the pattern to make it fit a twin.  He's super happy that he has his own quilt now. I love having handmade items for our home and was glad to get this on his bed.

This is my second finish for Quarter 2 of the 2017 Finish-A-Long.  You can see my original list here

Machine quilting by Allison Black of AB Quilting Studio.   

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Delilah Quilt - Block 3

Back for the third block from the Delilah Template of the Month from Jen Kingwell!  This was a fun one, glad for a break from the curves of the previous two months.  (I'm pretty sure curves are back on block 4...we'll see soon.)  Even though these are made of many different fabrics, I stuck to a consistent color scheme for each component in the block.  I made the center, star, square, and background in the same color within each block.

So far in all of my Delilah blocks I've used fabric from Cotton + Steel, Leah Duncan, Jen Kingwell, Anna Maria Horner, Denyse Schmidt, Basic Grey, Joel Dewberry, Victoria Findlay Wolfe, Dear Stella, Amy Ellis, Katerina Roccella, Carolyn Freidlander, and Kaye England.  Here's a recap so far:

Access sewing tips for the first two blocks by clicking on the block name links above, and be sure to check out this Delilah board for great inspiration.  If you are working on this quilt and would like to share your blocks, please link up below.