Archives for posts with tag: sewing

A few days ago, I took us all back to basics with a post on trimming Half Square Triangles. Except, right in the middle of it I taught you how to cheat! The cheat instructed you how to trim HSTs without rotating for every side, essentially saving a little bit of time by cutting two sides at a time and only rotating the piece once between the second and third trim.

I did include a warning regarding the danger of the method, as its more likely to result in losing control of your rotary blade. What’s the worst that could happen, you ask? Well you could accidentally slice into the piece you are trying to trim, rendering it useless. Or even worse, you could accidentally cut yourself. Trust me, I have done it and I’ve seen other skilled quilters and sewers do it as well.

Today, I would like to redeem myself as a teacher, and show you the safest way to trim HST. So, let’s try again, this time without cheating. Imagine you have already pressed your HST and you are all set to cut. Once again, you will align the diagonal line on your cutting ruler with the diagonal seam, careful to protect (under the ruler) more than what is needed for your final dimension. I always start with my diagonal running from lower left to upper right ( like a forward slash / ). You make the first cut.

HST Trimming

The first cut will trim the excess grey fabric to the right of the ruler using the / diagonal.

Then rotate 90 degrees clockwise, realign the ruler with the diagonal running from upper left to lower right (like a back slash \ ). Once again you will cut on the right side of the ruler. Notice that the first cut now aligns perfectly to the bottom edge of the ruler and the diagonal points directly to the corner. Make your second cut.

HST Trimming

The second cut will trim the navy floral using the \ diagonal

Once again rotate the fabric 90 degrees clockwise. This time you will align the diagonal ( / ) as well as the left edge of the fabric with your final cutting dimension. So in this case, I aligned the left edge at 2 1/8″. Make the third cut.

HST Trimming

Ready for the third cut, trimming the navy floral print using the / diagonal

At this point it’s easy to see that you have one side left to trim in order to square the piece at 2 1/8″.

Notce the extra lip of grey fabric past the lower point of the diagonal seam.

Notice the extra lip of grey fabric past the lower point of the diagonal seam.

After a final 90 degree rotation, the diagonal ( \ ) alignment should direct your edge alignment to the final cutting dimension. Make the fourth cut.

The fourth cut, after rotating again we are once again using the \ diagonal.

The fourth cut, after rotating again we are once again using the \ diagonal.

So today’s Back to Basics lesson used exact steps to carefully and precisely trim your HSTs. Again, the additional rotation is a wise move when you are concerned with maintaining control of the rotary cutter and ruler as you will always cut directly away from your body, instead of across the body.

HST Quilt Trimmings
Happy trimming!

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Modern blocks book

One project that is continuing into the new year is the And Sew We Craft Modern Blocks Quilt a Long. This month’s block was selected by Alyce of Blossom Heart Quilts. You can find a tutorial for the Everything Equal block on her blog here.

Alyce’s Block

Alyce mentioned that she specifically chose this block as an opportunity to use some of the smaller scraps that remain after cutting the previous nine blocks. I did manage to use a few of these scraps, but I also wanted to use this block as an opportunity to integrate all of the prints into one block to help tie the quilt together. I know normally in these posts at this point, I would share a fabric key. But this time I am going to be a little lazy, because instead of 2-4 fabrics this one has all of the Juliana Horner prints that I own (yes, I am missing 3 prints from the Rosette line). So instead I’m just going to skip to the block reveal this time!

I am pretty happy with my fabric placement and construction, but it was a simple block… I did have to use a few of the prints more than once, but it all seems to balance out nicely.

I haven’t decided on a layout yet, and we still have three more blocks so there is plenty of time. I think I will definitely add sashing and cornerstones between the blocks. I might remake a few of the blocks too (second row right, and third row center). Or I might even make a few extra blocks so that it’s 16 or 20 instead of 12, who knows?!?! I’m really happy that I have joined in on this particular quilt a long, the monthly block allows enough time to enjoy the process free of stress. Make sure you head over to the linky party to see everyone else’s block!

xo,

Erin Myone

I finally finished cutting the fabric for the APQ Tone it Down quilt a long! I really tried to space out my cutting sessions a little due to my arm, but I was getting FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) watching images pop up on instagram so I pushed the limits a few nights and finished it up.

But as soon as I finished cutting I felt the need to stay up and start sewing one of the blocks. So I put in an hour of sewing, staying up until 2 am before sleep got the better of me. But I did wake up bright and early, excited to start sewing again and finish it up! And about 3 hours later I did. Can you believe it? About 4 hours for a single block! This is definitely the most intense and time consuming quilt block I have ever attempted.

I did some more math and figured out that each block has 97 individual pieces! Yikes! But I feel so accomplished having completed one, I can only imagine how I will feel when I finish the remaining 19! I really took my time , but it turns out my 1/4″ seam allowance was closer to 5/16″ so in the end I had to do some careful trimming to make up for this in order to align my corners — if I am consistent with this seam allowance through the entire quilt it won’t be an issue and the blocks will all come out the same size.

So. I have no idea how long this quilt will take me, since each block is so time-consuming. But this might be a year long project! Are you participating in the quilt a long? Did you stick with the neutral background and bright foreground? Have you checked in on the lead bloggers progress or seen a really stunning version by someone else? Let me know in the comments!

 

xo,

Erin Myone

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I know it’s been a while since my last post, but that story is for a different post all-together. Today, I want to tell you all about the American Patchwork & Quilting Magazine’s Tone it Down quilt along.  Below, I have shared an image of the Tone it Down quilt designed by Lissa Alexander of Moda Lissa.

AP&Q Tone it Down

So here’s MY backstory on this project… I follow a number of quilter bloggers using various methods of social media including Instagram (follow me @erinmyone), Bloglovin (find my feed to see who I follow, erinmyone), and Facebook. A few of the bloggers I follow are Camille Roskelley of Thimble Blossoms and Sherri McConnell of A Quilting Life.  Little did I know that both of these ladies had been invited to participate in a very public quilt along, that is until Camille started posting about it back in November. The tricky thing about all of this was that the quilt is featured in the February 2014 issue of APQ, and you know, it was November! But because magazine world is kind of funny the issue went out on newsstands on December 3rd, for those of us who aren’t subscribers.

So I waited patiently, kind of, it was really hard to see Camille posting all kinds of beautiful photos on Instagram of her progress but not have the information available to get started myself.  And then, I noticed that Sherri was also getting geared up to quilt, still a few days before the magazine was even available so I was getting a little anxious and itchy to start. But, I was starting to get an idea of what I wanted to do with my own quilt, since each of these ladies was putting a different spin on it.

However, one thing I hadn’t realized from their updates was that there are two versions of this quilt. The first version, the original designed by Lissa that is, is the Super Scrappy Block Variation. The second is the more prominent method described in the magazine, a strip pieced method that saves some time in the cutting and piecing stages by minimizing the background variation within the individual blocks. I honestly couldn’t help myself… This quilt is the type of quilt you will keep forever and hand down in the family, I want it to be amazing and special, I want it to hold your attention as your eyes scan through the many variations of fabric within the blocks, I want it to take a long while so that it is worthy to last a long while… I chose to do the Super Scrappy Variation.

To really make the super scrappy variation, well, scrappy, I decided to cut all of my fabrics before I begin so that I can achieve a good variation in all of the blocks. Now, because I am working with assorted low volume prints for the background, all I really need to know are how many pieces of each size to cut, not how many pieces of each size for each print to cut. So I started doing some math, for the full size quilt there are 20 blocks, without giving away too much information this means from the Low Volume Prints, I need 80 pieces of cut A, 160 pieces of cut B, 240 pieces of cut C, and 560 pieces of cut D, and 49 pieces of sashing. These numbers are for the entire quilt, in the magazine they list what you will need for a single block, but because I  want an even distribution of my low volume prints across the entire quilt, I needed to know what to cut in advance for the whole quilt. Also, because it’s a scrappy variation, I can use different proportions of the different prints, so if I love a fabric I might cut a lot more of it than a fabric that I am less fond of. But how was I ever going to keep track of all of those pieces?

I created a cut sheet, the document I prepared is strictly for the Super Scrappy Variation and allows me to just highlight or mark through the pieces as I went, tracking my cutting progress. I shared a photo of my cut sheet on Instagram and have had a request for a copy of the document.

 

As much as I would love to share this cut sheet openly with everyone, I know that some of us are brilliant at reverse engineering a quilt, so that we can whip it up without purchasing a pattern. I know knitters who do it, crocheters who do it, and quilters who do it. I’ve even done it myself, but then my conscience kicked in and I remembered that somewhere out there a designer put in some time to figure this out, prepare it for publication, and put their name on the line to risk the sometimes expensive publication fees, so I went ahead and bought the pattern anyway and considered my momentary slip as practice for my own quilt design skills (truly I did.) I don’t want to live and try to work (as a designer/artist) in a world where we are all comfortable with skimming someone else’s work, and unfortunately our desire for an open online community sharing and pinning away we often make it that much easier to take someone’s work without paying any contribution for their efforts…

With that said, I would be glad to share this cut sheet with any of you who have already purchased the magazine (or if you haven’t yet you can purchase a digital copy here.) How will I know if you have purchased the magazine? Well my request is that you share a picture of your progress on the quilt so far. Maybe that is just a photo of the magazine, a stack of fabrics waiting to be cut, a bunch of tiny pieces already cut, or maybe even a finished block or two!  Just share your image in my Linky Library here, this link will take you to another website but you will be directed back here, don’t worry! Or direct me to your flickr, or instragram posts in a comment below!

One last tip!!! For the bright prints you actually only  need a 9×9.5″ cut of fabric. So if you want to cut down on expenses, share a quarter of a yard with a friend or two, or three, or four! OR reduce the number of prints you will use and cut multiple blocks worth of bright prints from a quarter yard and simply space your blocks pleasingly across the entire quilt.

Don’t forget to check out the other quilter’s progress on Flickr or Instagram, and don’t forget to tag your photos with #APQQuiltalong so everyone else can keep up with you too!

And check out the quilt along hosts and bloggers progress at these links below!

Okay, I’ve been sitting on this post for well over a week because it took me that long to scan my fabric key, but here it is folks! The November block in the Modern Block Quilt A Long hosted by And Sew We Craft. This month’s block is the Pogo Stick block chosen and instructed by Rosalyn of Sew Delicious. As a reminder, all of the blocks completed for this quilt a long are from the book Modern Blocks by Susanne Woods, which I finally purchased from Joann’s this week with my Veterans Day coupon. But you can find the book almost anywhere online, Amazon, Book Depository, etc.

Above is an image of Rosalyn’s block, and  you can find her tutorial for the Pogo Stick  block here. So every time I piece a block for this quilt a long, I always take a look at how the tutorial host has put it together, and also how Amy at And Sew We Craft has put her’s together. Viewing the other blocks really helps me make decisions about my own block, and as I didn’t own the book until now, I can only assume that they pieced their block pretty similarly to what is in the book.  In this case, they both pieced the foreground element in one print and the background either as a solid or a separate print.

Which, I think looks lovely on both ladies’ blocks, but two things occurred to me while I was deciding how I wanted to arrange my block. First, the block is called pogo stick, so what part of the pogo stick are we looking at here? Second, how can I use more than one print in my block, but also retain the solid background fabric that I have used throughout all of the others? So I decided to break the block into a few different elements of the so called “pogo” I separated the square from the side pegs and then separated the center pole and arranged my fabrics from lightest to darkest in an attempt to create depth. So my pieces looked more like this:

I kept my off white background fabric, then chose Posy Navy for the side pegs, Bouquet Sprout for the square, and Garden Main Floral for the vertical pole. All of my fabrics for the entire Modern Blocks quilt a long are from Juliana Horner’s 2013, Rosette fabric line designed for JoAnn’s Fabrics.

Now the question becomes, was I happy with my deviation from the two reference blocks? Yes, yes I am very happy! I actually love the outcome of the Pogo Stick Block. It was so simple to piece, yet came to be such an awesome modern graphic composition! This is one block I can definitely picture as an entire quilt! And with a little google searching, you will see that others agree, there are numerous full Pogo Stick quilts out there and maybe someday soon I will have made one of them!

Be sure to head over to the Linky Party at And Sew We Craft to view the other quilter’s Pogo Stick blocks! I really enjoy seeing the little twist everyone puts into their own blocks, and this month there is plenty of variation!

Happy Hopping!

Erin Myone

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. 😉