Archives for category: Sew Sew Sew

Well, I am at it again! I have just started another quilt a long. This time it is the Lighthouse quilt a long hosted by Faith of Fresh Lemons Modern Quilts. Faith has done such an amazing job so far detailing all of the fabric, batting, and template requirements for all different sizes of quilts. The math that she has put into this has literally blown my mind! I cannot be more thankful that she has taken the time to spell it all out for us!

So this past week was the test block week. I chose some fabrics from my stash, a few Denyse Schmidt prints that I had previously purchased from JoAnn’s Fabrics which I paired with Kona Bone. Here is my handy dandy fabric key, this time I sewed a scrappy dresden piece for the fun of it… (Dresden refers to the shape, typically you put a bunch of these “petals” together to make a lovely flower like shape with either round or pointed edges.)

So, the block itself is paper-pieced. Which is pretty easypeasy anyway, but I have a few tips to add to Faith’s excellent instructions.

First, I like to mark a 1/4″ seam allowance so that I have a line to align with the raw edges of my fabric, rather than eyeballing my seam allowance based on the stitch line that is already printed on the pattern.

From this point, I can easily align my fabrics and be certain I have a 1/4″ seam allowance. But I also have another trick before we do that! I lay my fabric out on a ruled cutting mat so that I can also be certain that my fabrics are centered.

In this case, I centered the 2 1/2″ print on top of the 4 1/2″ solid fabric –leaving me 1″ of solid fabric on each side of the printed fabric. Then I place the paper template and as you can see below, the newly marked 1/4″ seam allowance aligns perfectly with the raw edges of the perfectly aligned fabrics!

Now I am ready to stitch along the seam-line which was already diagrammed into the paper template! Bada-bam!

But, there is more! I have one more tip to share with you to further perfect our paper-piecing! Now that we can perfectly align the seam allowance and seam-line, we might also want to know that the paper template is centered on the fabric. This, my friends, is much much easier when you mark the center line on the paper template.

Now, combined with the ruled cutting mat and our carefully centered and aligned fabric, we are able to perfectly align the paper template to get the very best paper-pieced pattern EVER! OCD? Maybe, but isn’t that what paper-piecing is all about? (Don’t get confused, I am now using the second piece of the template.)

Okay, so if you’ve never paper-pieced before you do get to a point where you have this little mess.

Which is my least favorite thing about paper-piecing. It just seems so wasteful… So I’m going to ponder ways that I can reduce the waste produced when piecing my quilt blocks… Speaking of which, I bet you would like to see the finished test block!

TA-DA!

(Sorry for the fuzzy picture, I am working in our basement which doesn’t have the best light and as we roll into winter, I am certain I will be taking more and more photos in dimly lit settings! :S )

Check it out! Isn’t she beautiful? I know…

I do plan to construct an entire quilt but, my fabrics haven’t arrived yet, and I am going to be piecing a very special quilt for a very special project which I will tell you more about very soon! If you would like to participate in the Lighthouse quilt a long, be sure to visit Faith’s blog (the link is posted at the top of this post), to find the template and piecing instructions, as well as all of the wonderful calculations! And of course, share your progress on instagram, flicker or whatever platform you use!

xo,

Erin Myone

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Hi friends!

This month the Modern Blocks Quilt-a-long prize is going to be vote based rather than a random drawing. The prize this month is a: Fat Quarter Bundle of Cypress Acacia by Tula Pink for Free Spirit Fabrics. I sure would like to win, so if you don’t mind head on over to And Sew We Craft Block 6, scroll all the way to the bottom of the post and click on “Like” beneath block #2 by CollectCreateCirculate.com (which is my blog title). My block is pictured in this post, so just look for that on their website and click “Like” beneath it!
Don’t worry, you won’t receive a bunch of crazy emails for liking my block, your “like” is just one more vote for me to win some awesome fabric!

Recently I have been getting whipped by another block, so it’s time for a come back. I can only win this with your help! Show me the love! There are eleven days left to vote, and each day as my votes increase, so does the other block’s and somehow she always stays about 8 votes ahead. So if you can go back to the website a few times! You can only vote once a day from the same ip address, so I could use help from supporters of this blog to make up the difference!

Please, please, please, don’t make me beg! I would love to do some fun projects with the Cypress Acacia fabrics and share it here for all of you to see!

xo,

Erin Myone

And she’s on a roll!  And by “she” I mean me! The ladies of And Sew We Craft posted the October block yesterday! They are in Australia, so for them it was right on time (10/01), and for me in the Midwest United States it was a day early (9/30)– which was fine by me! This month’s block is the Best Friends block, it was hosted by Anorina over at the blog Samelia’s Mum. She gave a little background on the block, apparently the original designer is Angela Pingle who runs the blog Cut to Pieces. I have never come across Cut to Pieces, so I am excited to have another crafty blog to check out.

Above is Anorina’s block, she used a directional print so she utilized some special cutting instructions so that her elephants all run the same direction. Her tutorial for the October Best Friends block is here!

Amy at And Sew We Craft shared her Best Friend block in this month’s Modern Block Quilt a Long Introduction Post. She also cut her pieces with a directional print, and even fussy cut the adorable center piece to align the hula hoop girl!

I love what they both did with their directional prints, but In order to keep with my theme, I also wanted to maintain a similar use of my background fabric, so I cut the larger rectangles from my neutral solid. I was somewhat bummed to leave so much of the block blank when everyone else is employing such awesome prints for their blocks, but really this meshes better with my other blocks.

 Again, I used Juliana Horner’s 2013 Rosette fabric line which is sold exclusively at JoAnn’s Fabrics, which by the way I am in love with. It is so sweet with it’s blend of traditional and modern motifs and colors. This month I made it back to JoAnn’s and found another print (Ivy Tangerine) that had apparently arrived late at my local store, so of course I had to buy it and introduce it into my blocks!

So, the block construction was easy-peasy. It does include a partial seam, but really it isn’t difficult and from the front you can’t even tell which seam was the partial seam!

And since we are six months into the quilt a long, I decided to post a photo of all six blocks that I have completed so far! Half way there!

Are you working on any quilts right now? Did you join the Modern Blocks Quilt a Long? Let me know what you are up to in the comments!

xo,

Erin Myone

Bada-boom! I finished up the September 2013 Escalator block for the And Sew We Craft Modern Blocks Quilt A Long just in time! Phew!

Escalator Block Layout

 

This block was chosen from Modern Blocks by Cate at Life Behind the Purple Door. The escalator block was originally designed by Ann Haley. Like myself, Cate is still quite new to the quilting scene, but she did an excellent job explaining the cutting and construction of the block. Cate’s block is pictured below, and her tutorial for the block is available here!

Cate at Life Behind the Purple Door’s Escalator Block

When I first began constructing this block at the beginning of September, I had a real brain fart and couldn’t figure out what to do with the 2.5″ squares and the 2 .875″ triangles… My brain could not figure out what to do with the extra .375″. So I sat on my cut pieces for the rest of the month, without piecing them (not to mention the first time I started piecing them I had laid them out in the wrong order! displayed in the top un-pieced image above, this is the wrong layout. Don’t follow that image!) Instead, check out the illustrated tutorial I’ve shared below!

 

Cutting vs. Stitching Dimensions

 

Once again, I worked with Juliana Horner’s 2013 Rosette line for JoAnn’s Fabrics. And, like always, I constructed a little key to keep in my quilting notes.

Once I figured out the cutting versus stitching dimensions, the block was very easy to construct! And it was an excellent distraction from my academic work. I took my time to carefully align my corners and am really pleased with the finished block.

Be sure to check out all of the other participants September Escalator blocks at the Linky party!

We’ve completed five months of the twelve month Modern Blocks Quilt A Long, and the next block should be available very soon! Can’t wait to see what’s next from the ladies at And Sew We Craft!

xo,

Erin Myone

Remember all of those little triangles we trimmed off while making our flying geese in the block below?

Well, I got busy and started sewing those little triangles just about as quickly as I was cutting them to create teeny tiny half square triangles (HST). In this technique for HST, you begin with two equal triangles placed face to face, then you sew them down the long side to create a single square. See the brief illustrated tutorial below.

The Follow the Leader quilt block above has 16 flying geese, therefore 32 HST!. So once, I had all of these teeny tiny HST sewn, I started piecing them together into rows. Then sewing the rows together.

Once I finished piecing the tiny postage stamp sized HST together the finished block was a whopping 5″ x 6″!

By no means is this a perfectly pieced block, but really how could it be when the pieces are so tiny and individually pieced from tiny triangles!

But I do love my tiny little HST Postage Stamp quilt block. Maybe I will attach it to the Modern Blocks quilt backing when we complete the quilt a long!

Goodnight all, xo!

Erin Myone

Recently, I have become quite familiar with a piecing technique called “flying geese”. Flying geese are a common quilting element; they are often seen as an element of traditional and modern quilt blocks, or a repeating element across the entire quilt.

Above is an example of the traditional flying geese, you will notice that it is a geometric isosceles triangle (two sides and two angles are equal). Below is an example of a non-traditional flying geese, in this example the point is made in the same manner as those above, but the diagonals do not extend to the bottom of the colored block to create the triangle. Rather they meet the edge partway down the side and create a pentagram in the shape of a house.

 

Below I will explain how to make the traditional version of the flying geese block.

First, you will need three pieces for each “goose” you plan to make. For the traditional geese, you will want a rectangle where the length is two times the width (L=2W) .  For example, above I have illustrated a 4″x2″ rectangle . You will also need two squares, you will want each side of the squares to be equal to the rectangles width, so in this example the rectangle width was 2″ so each square will be 2″x2″.

Notice the dotted diagonal lines, these will be your stitching lines, and they will also create the short sides of your isosceles triangle (geese). Before you sew, it is wise to mark these diagonal lines on your squares so that you may follow the diagonal, in order to create a straight line. You may mark this line with a ruler and disappearing ink pen, colored pencil, or chalk.

 

Next, you will lay one square over the rectangle at a time, placing them face to face, and aligning the square on one half of your rectangle. Stitch the diagonal line that you have previously marked, with a short length straight stitch. I like to do a whole string of these at a time, before I move on to the next step!

You will now trim your seam allowance to the standard quilting 1/4″, as shown in the images above and below

Repeat these steps with each of your “geese”.

You will then press the pieces, with the seam allowance flattened towards the patterned or darker fabric. In the next image you will see the back and front of your piece thus far.

Here we go again!

Now, you will align the second square with the other end of the rectangle, be careful to align your marked diagonal so that it meets at a point in the center of your rectangle. Again stitch your marked line, trim your seam allowance, and press it towards the darker or patterned fabric.

Above, you will see an image that depicts the back and front of your flying geese. Notice that the point of your patterned fabric is about 1/4″ below the top of the rectangle, this will become the seam allowance when you sew your pieces together.

So there you have it! Your flying geese are ready to be put together into whichever block or quilt you like!

 

As you saw above in my example of a non-traditional flying geese, there are ways that you can modify these steps to change the shape of your pieced block. When modifying you may change the proportions of your length and width between the rectangle and the squares, just remember the length of the diagonal determines the depth of the point. You can easily choose a diagonal length that will stop midway down the side of your patterned piece to create the house like shape you saw in the Quatrefoil block above. Or choose to create a very shallow point by ending the diagonal only 1/4 of the depth of the patterned piece. There are so many ways you can play with the flying geese technique so be sure to try a few modifications and record your findings! Remember, quilting is all about geometry!

Now, if you are like me, you will have saved all of those little corners that you trimmed. In my next post, you will see what I have done with what would be fabric waste to many people. 😉

 

 

My second Amy Butler Cameo charm pack just arrived! Time for more half square triangles and then piecing it all together!

20130815-185459.jpg

So here it is! The Four Seasons Table Runner.

Now what did I do wrong…? Well, any of you who have been reading since I started this blog a week ago, might remember that the Four Seasons Table Runner is the first piecing project I have worked on recently. As I have spent more time sewing apparel recently, I am more familiar with a 5/8″ or 1/2″ seam allowance. However, quilters commonly use a 1/4″ seam allowance, do the math, that’s 1/4″ less than what I have been using recently. And 1/4″ less than what I began using when I began piecing this table runner.  Below, you can see how much this shortened the rows with the multicolored Half Square Triangles (HST), as compared to the solid brown strips between those rows. (ugh, the lighting in my basement art/craft space is terrible!)

I decided to square things off and sash the table runner per the patterns instructions. But the final length measurement of 50″ is 12″ shorter than the pattern suggested. So I lost a number of inches in the length also.

The question is, do I proceed to finish the table runner at this length? Or do I brainstorm other ways to increase the length before I bat, back, quilt and bind? Decisions, decisions…

Last summer, I purchased an Amy Butler Cameo charm pack (30 – 6″” pieces) from my favorite arts and crafts boutique, Urban Arts + Crafts in Kansas City, Missouri. I spent a good long while thinking about what I wanted to use them for… And then I jumped in and started piecing anyway!

I sandwiched together a 6″ print with a 6″ eggshell white square, face to face.

Then sewed the four edges of the square.

Then by cutting diagonally from left to right then right to left I created four small Half Square Triangles (HST)!

Each HST measured approximately: 3 7/8″ x 3 7/8″ unfinished,  or 3 3/8″ x 3 3/8″ finished. I might take off 1/8″ in both directions so that I have a nice round number to work with…

I did this with each and every piece of the Cameo charm pack, and now have 120 Half Square Triangles!

I have all of these pieces, and don’t yet have a plan for them… But after doing a little research I’ve found a few nice options to choose from.  The first option was actually blogged about by Cathy at Cabbage Quilts. On her blog she share a few variations by other quilters on the same design theme. Other quilters have developed this idea and created an off-center diamond/target like pattern that expands across the entire quilt.

Jeni, at In Color Order led a Half Square Triangle Sampler Quilt a Long in 2012, and her tutorials for the twelve blocks are still online.

We’ll have to see what I decide to do with these HST blocks, but one thing is certain, I will need another charm pack in order to fill up a good sized quilt. Any thoughts, or suggestions?

Woohoo! With this post I announce that I am all caught up in the And Sew We Craft  Modern Block Quilt a Long!

follow the leader

The first block of the Quilt a Long was this May: Follow the Leader block. This was the fourth and final block I needed to piece in order to get caught up, since I started 3 months late! Above I have shared Amy, at And Sew We Craft‘s, block. Amy has been kind enough to share the tutorial for this month’s block, and has been creating two blocks each month, one in solids and one in prints. I adore her print fabric selection (which is shown in the block above), the Little Apples fabric line by Aneela Hoey, too sweet! Amy also has done an excellent job of documenting her tutorial in photos so there is no possible way to get lost!

Anyway, on to my block! Once again I chose to work with fabrics from the 2013 Rosette fabric line by Juliana Horner for JoAnns Fabric. This line was only released on July 21st, so I am an early adopter of it’s wonderful blend of traditional country motifs with modern influences.  This line is one of four designer lines that JoAnns is producing as part of its Premium Quilts Collection, a wise response to the growing mass of young and modern quilters in the market. For this block, I chose to work with the Posy print in both the Navy and Sweet colorways, as well as, Bouquet Sweet and Ivy Lemon Lime. Below I have shared my handy-dandy fabric key!

This block was one of the more time consuming blocks of the Quilt a Long thus far, so I understand some of the frustration other participants voiced as they completed their blocks in May. For me, however, doing this block fourth made it seem quite manageable after completing the July and August blocks! I really enjoyed putting it together and practicing my Flying Geese. I did make a few mistakes along the way, but my patience seems to be growing as I work on these because I didn’t mind ripping out a few seams and correcting the major issue.

If you’re wondering what the major issue was, well you’ll notice at the center of the block you have each of your four colors represented. This occurs by alternating which color is on the right and left when you combine them into pairs (for example the Lemon Lime Ivy and the Navy Posy are a pair). On my first attempt at completing the block, I accidentally placed them in the same position both times and my finished block had two sets of navy geese in the center. This mistake was large enough I felt the need to rip out many seams to correct it, and then re-piece the block. Other small mistakes include some imperfect point alignment and cutting off the “beaks” of a few of my geese. These are seemingly minor mistakes though and since this project is just for fun I do not feel OCD enough to correct them.

Overall, I am quite happy with my Follow the Leader block. Though I am a little bummed to be caught up in the Quilt a Long, what will I do now?

Actually, I’ve already started working on something new, as suggested by Alyce of Blossom Heart Quilts on a previous post, teeny tiny half square triangles pieced from the scraps of the Flying Geese technique. This may be my first attempt at working in the Postage Stamp size category!

Also, I completed piecing the top of the Four Seasons table runner, but due to an early misunderstanding it is a littler shorter than desired! So I am brainstorming an attractive and modern way to change that (Photos and explanation to come soon!).

Anywho, on to the rest of the day, dog walks, research, and writing! Hopefully a bike ride or lap swimming too, if weather permits!

Erin Myone