Thursday, September 1, 2016

HIve 4 - September Block Tutorial

Am excited that it is finally my time to be Queen Bee. I have been quilting for almost 40 years and
lately I have been producing lots of tops and slowly getting them quilted. I am in traditional and modern quilt guilds, and also belong to a quilting art bee. I just love working with fiber and textiles, was also a professional weaver in a former life. Also started knitting, but quilting is my favorite.

I have chosen the X Plus block and these are the two main colors, turquoise and purplish red (fuchsia, magenta or pinks), prints or solids, can be scrappy. Here are some suggestions

You will need:

 8 - 3 1/2 inch squares in low volume whites, creams for the corner triangles. Can be scrappy, solids or prints.

4 - 2 1/2 by 3 1/2 rectangles of a black and white print or gray print or solid for the cross edges. Please use the same for all 4 pieces.

Choose either the turquoise, any shade or the purplish red/pink, prints or solids as the main inner cross.

1 - 2 1/2 by 6 1/2 inch rectangles

2 - 2 1/2 by 2 1/2 inch squares

4 - 5 1/2 inch squares of the alternative color of the middle center cross

Draw a diagonal line on the 8 - 3 1/2 low volume squares. Place 2 of the squares on the opposite corners of the 5 1/2 squares. Sew along diagonal lines, trim excess fabric and press.

Sew 2 - 2 1/2 by 3 1/2 inch B & W (or gray) rectangles to the ends of the 2 1/2 by 6 1/2 rectangle and 1 - 2 1/2 by 2 1/2 square to the each to the 2 1/2 by 3 1/2 B & W rectangle.

Sew diagonal blocks to each center B & W with 2 1/2 sq.

Then sew top and bottom strips to center horizontal strip

Block will be 12 1/2 inches unfinished (12 inch finished)

Here are some I made.

Thanks in advance,

Gayle in Austin, TX

Hive 7 - September Tutorial

It's all about HST's this month.

The colours I would like are white, grey, and black solids.  And one bright orange solid.

If you are a Kona lover, as I am, I used the following colours:  Iron, Coal, Silver, Pepper, White, Charcoal, Shadow, and Tangerine.

You will need:

  • 17 (seventeen) 4.5-inch white/grey/black squares
  • 1 (one) 4.5-inch orange square

Let's make HST's!  Pair two squares right sizes together.  Mark a diagonal line down the middle of one of the squares.  Sew on both sides of the marked line with a 1/4-inch seam.  Cut the HST's apart along the marked line.  Press toward the dark side, or press the seam open.  Trim to 4-inches square.

I like to trim my HST's before pressing open.  You can check out a tutorial here if you are interested in knowing more about that technique.

If you prefer making larger HST's so you have some wiggle room for trimming, you can cut your squares 5-inches -- that will give you extra room to trim the HST's down to 4 inches.

You will end up with 18 HST's, but only 16 are needed.  Put aside one orange HST and one white/grey/black HST.

Sew the HST's together -- four rows of four HST's.  Sew together randomly.

The block will be 14.5 inches unfinished.

I hope you enjoy making this block as much as I did.

Thanks so much.

~ Anja

Hive 2 September tutorial Color Block

Good Day, fellow hive members!

I am a first time Stash Bee member and have been having fun making blocks for everyone. . . . .some of them have pushed me out of my comfort zone a little bit but I think all have been successful so far.

I live in NJ with my husband and one fur-kid. . . . . we recently lost our other pup and it has been hard for me to go into my sewing area without her. . . .she had been my shadow for the past 7 1/2 years.

Quilting has been part of my life for more than 30 years and it has taken me down some really interesting roads. . . . from collecting fabric, to collecting older quilts, to collecting older sewing machines (I think we own 13 machines now, including 2 treadles), to collecting quilting friends.

The quilting friends have come from guilds that I have been a member of and from students that I have had in classes I have taught over the years.

For September I thought it would be fun to do a color study type block.  Here are the details:

Size:   12 1/2"

Seam Allowance:  1/4"

Fabric needed:  8 pieces of fabric cut 3 1/2" x 6 1/2"

For the fabric please pick one color for your block (it can be any color) and cut 8 different pieces of that fabric color.    Please do not use all white or all black fabrics.

This is what you should have to start with:

Pick two pieces and sew them together lengthwise to create the center of the block. . . . like this:

Press the seam to one side.

Add a piece to both sides of the center piece:

At this point you should have 4 pieces of fabric left.  Make two pairs and sew them together on the short sides to create a longer strip, like this:

Press the seams to one side.

Add one of these strips to the top and the bottom of your block to create a square, like this:

Press your long seams to toward the outside of the block.  Your block should measure 12 1/2".

And there you have it, a completed block made up of 8 fabrics in one color!

Our guild did a block swap several years ago using a nine patch block done in a similar manner (each block being made up of one color) and I thought the idea was nice, but did not like the finished project because it looked too chunky.  I'm thinking that this will satisfy my desire for a "Rainbow" quilt but be a little less chunky.

If you have any questions please let me know.

Thank you for helping me make a fun quilt!

Best regards,

Sherry V.

Hive 6: September Tutorial: Checker Block

Hey, Hive 6ers! :) Judy here and I am SO excited about being the Queen Bee this month! Also more than a little happy that I was not on the front end of the list of Queens! This is my first bee experience and it has been awesome getting to make blocks for all of you. As I sewed I contemplated what the heck I was going to do when it was my month. . . maybe even stressed a little ;) I had decided on this block long ago but almost changed my mind this morning before I sat down to write this post. I talked myself right off that ledge, started pulling fabrics, taking pictures and making a couple of blocks :)

I've decided to go with Jess of the Eleven Garden's Checker Block. I fell hard for this block when I first saw her post. I fell especially hard for the very last quilt on Jess' post, the one Patti @retiredtoquilt made. My vision is to make a quilt something like Patti's. . . First, a picture of the blocks that I made:

Next, some pictures of the fabrics. I am not concerned with color except that I would like the 'background' fabric to be a solid medium gray. Here is a picture of various different colors of gray in the spectrum I am calling 'medium' gray:
Not sure why this picture flipped. . . but you get the idea. My stash is not 'neatly labeled' for the most part but three of the grays are labeled. Kona Graphite and Steel and Cotton Couture in Clay. I give you that information only to give you an idea of the hue. I do ask that whatever gray fabric you use, that it is consistent through the entire block.
OK, for the rectangles. Get funky with it! :) This is a prefect place to use those large prints. Floral, graphic, text, stripes, in whatever color. Here are some examples from my stash:

As you can see, no rhyme or reason in terms of color, just a LOT of it and big prints. This is the fabric from which you will be cutting two 4.5" x 7" rectangles. It is up to you as to whether or not you use the same fabric for both rectangles. I don't have a preference.
On to the HSTs! Again, I am not limiting these in terms of color. I am more interested in the type of print, smaller prints, read as solid, tone on tone, for example:
You'll need one 5" x 5" block and one 7.5" x 7.5" square. Again, your choice as to whether or not you want to use the same fabric for the 5" and 7.5" squares.

Dang, girl! Are you ever going to get to making the block?? :) Yes indeed, I am! :) Let's get started!

Cutting Instructions:

From the background (solid gray):
1 - 2" x 4.5" rectangle
1 - 2" x 7" rectangle
1 - 2" x 12.5" rectangle
1 - 5" x 5" square
1 - 7.5" x 7.5" square

From the large print fabric:
2 - 4.5" x 7" rectangles

From the small print fabric (for the HSTs)
1 - 5" x 5" square
1 - 7.5" x 7.5" square
Time to start sewing!
From the 7.5" squares and the 5" squares, make two HSTs (you'll have an extra HST of each since we are only using 1 of each size for the block). Use your favorite method. I have recently decided the fastest way for me is to cut the squares corner to corner and sew the triangles together. I spray my fabric with a LOT of starch prior to cutting. I haven't had an issue with the dreaded bias stretch yet.

Trim the small HST to 4.5" and the large HST to 7".

As you can see, not much to trim. If you want more to work with, cut your squares 5.5" and 8".

Arrange the pieces of the blocks as shown:
The gray part of the HST should attach to the sashing.
Sew the top row of 4.5" pieces together and the bottom row of 7" pieces together.
Sew the top row to the sashing.
Sew the bottom row to the sashing and you are finished! Your block should measure 12.5" x 12.5".

I can't wait to see what you talented women come up with! If you have any questions, let me know. I am not on IG (gasp!) but you can email me :)

In the caption of both pictures of the print fabrics, I mentioned that I did not care if you choose to use the same fabric for the small and large HSTs. Did I confuse you? . . . I might have confused only my "need to see it to visualize it" brain, in any case, here is another picture :)
This is four blocks. The top left and bottom right have the same fabric for the HSTs and the same fabric for the rectangles. The top right and the bottom left is a different fabric for the small and the large HST and a different fabric for the rectangles looks like. Both ways looks fabulous!
I have to admit, when I put the blocks up for this picture, I got really excited! This is going to be epic! :) I will continue to make blocks. I am going to donate this quilt to Covered in Love so I'll be doing 6 x 7 to bring the quilt up to a size that will cover a hospital bed nicely.

Have an awesome September (still cannot believe we are on the down hill roll to the end of the year!) and happy sewing!! :D

Judy @Quilt Paradigm

Hive 8 September Tutorial - Trail of Geese

I don't know how we've made it to September without a paper pieced block in Hive 8.  Well, the streak is broken.  We're going to do some paper piecing this month.  We will be using the Geese Trails templates from Piece and Press.  Daniel Rouse, the author of Piece and Press, gave me permission to use his templates for this month.  He asked if anyone shares their blocks on Instagram, to use the tag #trailsofgeese so he can follow along!  He uses 6 squares for a 12x18 finished block, we will just use 4, for a 12x12 finished block.  If you are new to paper piecing, I love this tutorial from Fresh Lemons Quilts.  If you prefer to use the freezer paper method, that's fine too -- you paper piece how works best for you.

Let's get started.  The templates have two pages - each a mirror image of the other. You will need to print 4 total pages.  Which combination of 4 you use is mostly up to you; my only request is that the geese make a continuous trail.  There are a few possibilities:

1.  Wandering trail - use 2 of each page

2.  Circle - use 4 of one page - it doesn't matter which unless you care if the geese are travelling clockwise or counterclockwise.  I don't.

3 - Geese coming into (or going out of!) a circle - use 3 of one page, 1 of the other.

Remember when looking at the templates that they show the back side of the block.

When printing, please make sure you do not have "fit to page" selected.  Each square should measure 6 inches.  Also, these templates do not have seam allowance lines drawn for the edges - please add them.  With the seam allowances added, each square should measure 6 1/2 inches. I prefer to draw the seam allowance lines on, and then trim about a quarter inch beyond that before sewing.  Then I trim down to the seam allowance line before joining the templates together.

On to our fabric selection.  For the background pieces (marked on the templates as 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9), please use a solid white, blue, or grey.  Please use the same fabric for all of your background pieces.

For your geese, we'll get creative.  I'd like your geese to transition from one thing to another. Maybe they start as light  and get darker:

Maybe they start as blue and end up green:

Maybe they have small polka dots that grow to big dots:

Maybe they want to go through all the colors of the rainbow:

These are just examples - don't let them limit you - let your imagination run wild.  Prints, solids, and batiks are all fine.  If you are nervous about paper piecing, choosing all solids is a good way to start, because then there is no wrong side/right side to worry about when piecing.  I would prefer each goose to be a different fabric, but if you need to repeat some, that is fine - please use at least 4 different fabrics.

I like to start by coloring in my templates, and labeling the geese.  It helps me keep track while I am sewing.  Here, I've labeled each template with either A, B, C, or D, so I know what order the geese go in.

I  like to set out all of my fabric pieces in the order I am going to use them (my labels aren't quite dark enough to see in the picture, but each goose is labeled with its template number and letter, and each background piece with its template number):

I've labeled my templates A-D, so the geese pieces are labeled 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, and so on.  The background pieces I put these in a pile just labeled with the template number.

I know many people cut their fabrics to match the template shapes (remember to include seam allowances!), but I find I am more confident of my piecing when I use larger rectangles.  Again, you do what works for you.  The bigger the pieces you cut, the more wiggle room you'll have, but it also creates more scraps/waste.  I cut pieces in the following rough sizes (I don't use my ruler to cut, just eyeball it from the cutting mat):

Geese x 12 (#1, 4, 7):  2 1/2 x 4

Background x 4 of each of the following cuts:

  • #2 - 4 x 3
  • #3 - 3 1/2 x 1
  • #5 - 5 x 4
  • #6 - 4 x 1 1/2
  • #8 - 3 1/2 x 7 1/2
  • #9 - 2 x 4
You'll notice that my geese rectangles in the above picture are all different sizes.  This is because I just grabbed scraps that were approximately the right size - no need to trim before paper piecing.

Start with the fabric for your first goose.  Fabric goes on the side of the template without the lines - you will sew on the lines, so you need to be able to see them.  Hold your template up to make sure the goose is covering the template shape.  It was rainy the day I did this one and my sewing room was a bit dark, so I used the light at the window.  On sunny days I can just hold it up in front of myself. Holding it up to a lamp also works).  Remember to include seam allowances all the way around.

You can pin, or clip your pieces. (After the first two pieces of any template, I just hold the fabric in place, but pinning is definitely more secure!)  Take one of the background pieces cut to fit template piece 2.  You are going to sew on the line between 1 and 2.  Place the fabric for 2 along this line, so that 1/4 inch extends into piece 2.  Be mindful of the template shape - after you sew on this line, you will flip the fabric over to cover the entire shape.  As you can see in the picture below, that means that the background fabric needs to extend down towards the bottom right corner.  If the piece were centered along the line between 1 and 2, when it was flipped it would not cover the whole part of 2.

Once you are happy with the fabric placement, sew along the line between 1 and 2.  Sew a bit before and after the line too, making sure you are sewing through the seam allowance.  If you shorten your stitch length, this will make removing the paper later easier.

I chain piece, rather than doing each page separately.  I find this goes much more quickly.  When I chain piece, I can sew all 4 templates in 45 minutes. Here are all four templates, with the first goose and background piece sewn on:

This step is optional, but cuts down on bulk, reduces the risk that the goose fabric will show through the background, and also makes it easier to see when placing later pieces of fabric.  Fold the paper template back along the line you just sewed.  Then trim the excess fabric off.

After trimming, flip the background piece over, and press, making sure it covers the entire template shape.

Repeat these steps with the remaining pieces of fabric, following the numbers on the template.  If you are using print fabric for your geese, remember that after the first one, when you are placing the fabric it will be right side down before sewing:

After you've added all the template pieces, they will look something like this.  Time to trim!

Flip the template paper side up, and trim along the seam allowance line.  Remember that there is no seam allowance line on the original templates, so either draw one on, or use your ruler to cut 1/4 inch past the template lines.

Once trimmed on all four sides, flip the templates over:

Place the four templates right side up and make sure your geese are on the trail you intended.  If one or two geese got out of order during sewing, no worries.  Channel your inner Bob Ross, and believe that there are no mistakes, only happy accidents.  Or call it a design decision, and move on!

Join the quadrants up to make the final square.  Please remove the paper from the seam allowance on the side that you are pressing down.  (If you like to press the seams open, please remove it from both sides.)

I like to remove the paper from the center where all the blocks join before sewing that seam too - it makes it a bit easier to move through the machine.

All done!

Feel free to leave the paper on when you mail.

I can't wait to see the what you choose for your geese!