Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Read Between the Lines {Block Tutorial}

Some time ago I made this mini quilt for the Modern Mini Quilt challenge and I always thought it would be fun to have a go at a larger quilt with a block like this.  I recently stepped up to fill in a quilter position in my do. Good Stitches circle, Haven, and November is my first month as quilter.  I really want to make a really cool quilt, but since November is a busy month I don't want to cause a burden for my bee-mates by having something uber complicated.  Enter the "Between the Lines Block."

Between the lines block for #dgs #havendgs November

You can probably figure this block out without a tutorial, but I'll make it easy if you are interested in making one (or a quilt's worth).

9 - 5" square blocks
6 - 14" x 1" strips of text fabric
cutting mat & rotary cutter (can be made without it, but this makes it much easier)

1.  Make a nine patch block using 5" square blocks, sewn with 1/4" seams.  Press everything nicely.  It should measure 14" square once you have them sewn together.

Between the lines block - step 1

2. Next we will be cutting each of the nine blocks in half vertically.  Since the blocks are 4.5" finished, you want to measure 2.25" from the seam.  Start with the center row and slice down the middle, 2.25" from each seam.  The outer rows have an extra 1/4" on the outside since they haven't been sewn to anything yet, so measure 2.25" from the seam, not the outside edge.  Now sew 3 of the 14"x1" text strips where you made the cuts and put the block back together like so:

Between the lines step 2

3. Now you just need to repeat step two, but this time make the cuts on the horizontal axis. 

If you make a block (or use any of the other tutorials on my blog) I would love to see it in the petit lyons flickr group!  

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Patchwork, Please {you need this book!}

Once again, I have long neglected this space.  To the point where it is overwhelming to try to catch up.  There has been no lack of sewing around here, if you follow me on IG you know I've been a busy bee.  As I perused my photos to try to decide where to start I noticed that an awful lot of my projects have come from Ayumi's book, Patchwork, Please!  This is not a paid post, or anything like that, I just love this book and keep finding more projects to make from it.

One of the first projects I made was table runner for a swap using the Swedish Blooms paper pieced blocks.  I would love to make a whole quilt with this pretty flowers!

One of the most often used patterns from this book has to be the envelopes! I'm in a flickr swap called SWAK swap (Sealed With A Kiss) that exchanges these blocks, plus some cute little postage stamps made from the tutorial on the Nana Co blog. Here are a few blocks I made for members:


 And here are some blocks that have arrived for me! I'm trying to make a quilt for Sean's woodland nursery, so the color scheme and critters are all based on that.

 Another project I've made multiples of (I think four) is the travel embroidery case.  The first one I actually made for myself!  The biggest change I've made to this pattern is to use up some of my Farmer's Wife Quilt Along blocks for the front.  It has been really fun to use them for these.

 Here are some pictures from the others I've made.  They are really fun to pick fabric combinations for since you can highlight so many without using large pieces.  For the vinyl I just cut up those zipper bags that sheet sets/mattress pads/etc. come in and it's been working great.  I put my scissors and floss in the vinyl pocket.  The slotted pockets on the right hand side fit a folded pattern piece perfectly.

Oh, and I've found the back is a perfect spot to use some of those cute stamps from the SWAK swap!

 Finally, the most recent project I've made from the book is a pillow using the Books for Baby pattern.  I was in a fairytale themed swap on IG and I had so much fun using some hoarded japanese prints (and a good excuse to add a few to the collection).

 Once again, I'd love to make a whole quilt of these blocks!  Add another one to my quilty bucket list!

I should be back again next week with an update post as I got tagged for the Around the World Blog Hop.  I figure if I have a few bloggy obligations it will help me to get back into the routine, as I do miss sharing here!  Have a fantastic weekend!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Sewing Tutorial - Patchwork Serger Case

This post originally appeared on Ellison Lane, where I was a guest poster for the Patchwork Summer Series.

Patchwork Serger Cover

*this can be made to be a cozy for most anything, from sewing machine to mixer

2/3 yards each of outer and lining fabric
1.5" fussy cut squares from scraps
coordinating thread/sewing notions

We will be making a cubish shape with an open bottom. First, we need to do the math to figure out how big to cut the pieces.  My serger is 10" wide, 12" deep and 12" tall.  We will make the box shape in three pieces, so the front, top and back are all one piece with two side pieces.  My front/top/back piece will be 10" wide and 36" long.  We'll need to add a seam allowance to the sides, making the largest piece "10.5 x 36."  The side pieces will be 12" squares, with seam allowances added to the top and sides, so 12.5" wide by 12.25" tall.  We will call the large piece Panel A and the smaller pieces Panel B.

You can go ahead and cut your fabrics and batting.  You'll need exterior, batting in lining in 1 10.5" x 36" and 2 each in 12.5" x 12.25."  Because these pieces will be quilted, you may wish to add an extra inch or so around the edges and trim them to the correct size once you quilt.
You also need about 50" of 2.5"width binding or bias tape.

Whew, now that the math is over we can get to the fun part - the patchwork!

Since my case is going to be 10.5" wide, I am going to do three rows of 10 1.5" squares, you can add more or less to fit your panel, or just add extra exterior fabric to the sides.  Lay the squares out in an order pleasing to you and begin chain piecing them into rows.
*handy tip - I like to start my chain piecing with a scrap (picture above) to make sure the entire seam is stitched.
** handy tip 2 - starch is your friend when fussy cutting teeny pieces, use plenty before you cut!

I am normally a fan of pressing seams open, but that can get fiddly with teeny pieces, so I press these to the sides, alternating direction on each row.  That way when you join the rows they lock together nicely and you don't need to pin!

Now let's join our patchwork panel to Panel A, the large exterior piece.  Take the 36" long piece and cut 3" off.  Sew the patchwork strip to the bottom of the 33" piece and then sew the 3" piece to the bottom of the patchwork strip.  (This will be longer than necessary now, but we will trim it down to size after we quilt).

Next, make your quilt sandwiches.  Each of your three sandwiches will start with the lining fabric right side down, batting and then exterior, right side up.  You will have one long panel and two squarish ones. You can spray baste or safety pin the layers together.  If you wish, mark them for quilting.  I used a hera marker which creases the fabric but doesn't use any type of ink to worry about.

Quilt your three sandwiches any way you like.  I used a diamond pattern and machine quilted it using a 3.0 stitch length.

Once you have quilted your pieces, trim them to size.

Mark the top two corners of each your Panel B's at 1/4" on the lining side.

Now line up one of the Panel B's (yellow) with Panel A (orange).  Sew a 1/4" seam until you reach the 1/4" mark at the corner, securing seam by backstitching at start and finish.

Wrap Panel A around the corner and continue sewing until the next quarter inch mark in the corner.  Repeat the process for the third side.  Repeat again, joining the other Panel B with Panel A.

You can finish the raw edge seams by sewing a wide zig zag stitch over them, serging them or wrapping them in bias or seam binding tape, if you wish.

Turn your cover right side out and press the seams toward the B panels.

The last step is to apply binding or bias tape to the bottom/open edge.  You can do this exactly how you bind a quilt.  If you have never bound a quilt, I suggest a look at this tutorial.  The one difference that makes it easier for this project is to attach it to the backside first.  I think this helps to keep everything lined up, making sure the seams go toward the side B panels.

Then I just turned the binding up to the outsides and sewed it down at a scant 1/8."

Now you have a beautiful new cover to brighten up your sewing space and keep your machine clean and lint free!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Celestial Star QAL

Come on over to From Blank Pages today to see my Celestial Star block made with cotton + steel fabrics.  I'm sharing some tips on paper piecing.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Heather Ross Mini for Handmade Birthday Club

Goodness, I am so behind on posting it is hard to know where to start.  So, I am in this group on flickr where we make a birthday gift for each other throughout the year.  My birthday is in April and I got an amazing haul of gifts.  I will share those soon, promise!  But today I am sharing a mini quilt I made for Sarah's birthday earlier this month.

It's not always easy to make something for someone you don't know without the direction of a swap that might have specific guidelines about what to make, but in this case Sarah happened to comment that linen and Heather Ross was her favorite combination.  I just happened to see that comment the day I was trying to find some inspiration for her present.

I had seen similarly constructed quilty items and I just decided to start with a hexagon and build it out, in rainbow order, log cabin style.

You can see that the yarn dyed essex linen gave me a little trouble with some stretching, but overall I love the design and all the fun Heather Ross fabrics.  In fact, I actually cut out two of all the pieces in an effort to make it easier to make one for myself some day!

I added some hand stitching around the princess :)

Well, I hope you are all having a lovely summer (or winter, depending which hemisphere you're in), and I promise not to be gone so long.  Almost back to school and routines, and more me time. sigh, mixed emotions!
xo, Courtney

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Long time, no post

Wow, I didn't mean to take a blogging break!  I think realizing how much I missed sharing here made the task too daunting.  So, we'll start small.  I made my mother-in-law a 241 Tote for Mother's Day.  I bought the orange floral linen from a friend on the IG #greatfabricdestash sale and the metallic linen was from a random listing on etsy.  This was not my first 241, and I love this Noodlehead pattern so much.

I even added one of my personalized buttons (flash sale on pickyourplum.com)  to the back.  I always use an elastic ponytail holder for buttons like this.  Easy and they come in every color you'd ever need.

Okay, that post didn't take so long!  I'll be back soon(ish) to share some more!  I have three (THREE!) quilts basted sitting on the floor next to my sewing machine (and a few more tops that need backs and batting).  I usually don't baste until I am ready to quilt; preferring instead to have a collection of quilt tops, not sandwiches. Someday when I finish with bee blocks, swaps, clubs, etc.  I will quilt and bind them!  

Oh, and she seemed to really like the tote!

xo, Courtney