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Checkerboards and Chelsea Sidecars

28 Apr

Fellow Quilters,

Yesterday was fabulous weather-wise – sunny and finally warming up.  I went for my first bicycle ride of the season, a quick 10km (6mi) spin, after which my legs felt like jelly.  I have a feeling that I may be somewhat sore later today or tomorrow.  Regardless, the bike ride justified the daily cocktail – a White Lady.

Our daily cocktail for our Stay-at-Home-and-Cruise was a White Lady, garnished with pineapple

Our daily cocktail for our Stay-at-Home-and-Cruise was a White Lady, garnished with pineapple

In our quest to finish up the last of the egg whites I requested that the resident mixologist find a recipe for an interesting sour.  He willingly complied.  Apparently a White Lady is the gin-based British version of a brandy-based Sidecar, and is also known as a Chelsea Sidecar or Delilah.  Delicious!

Are you ready for today’s block in the Time to Quilt quilt-along?

Block 21

Block 21

Block 21 has a checkerboard look to it and is somewhat similar to Block 10.  The easiest way to make that checkerboard is by sewing our light and dark strips together, cross-cutting into small units and reassembling them in a light-dark-light-dark 4-patch unit.

Today’s tip:  When I have long width-of-fabric strips to strip-piece, I lay each strip set on my cutting mat and pin it together in 3 spots – at each end and at the mid-point (approx. 21”). When I sew the strips together, I make them fit so that they are still perfectly aligned at each pin.  Now 21” is a big distance, so I hold the strip out in front of the machine (I’m leaning back in my chair for the first photo), and I pinch the strip set at the 10” mark and hold it with that pinch until I get close to the presser foot.

I'm holding my 15" strip so that the 2 strips are aligned at the far end

I’m holding my strip set so that the 2 strips are aligned at the far end, then I will pinch them together at the 10″ mid-point

Then I use my index finger, pressing on the table/machine front to continue to keep the strips aligned.

I press the 2 strips together against the bed of my machine to keep them aligned until they get to the needle

I press the 2 strips together against the bed of my machine to keep them aligned until they get to the needle

So, in effect, I am holding my strip set every 10” to keep the 2 strips aligned. The result?  Perfectly straight strip sets, critical for bargello quilts, borders or any quilt made from strip sets.  Perfectly flat quilt tops every time.  I never feed the strips through the machine without pinning, simply expecting the feed dogs on the machine to keep them perfectly aligned, because the strip set will be bowed (curved).  Now, I could pin my strip sets every 10” but I often do a lot of strip-piecing and I empty my pin cushion just by placing the pins every 21”.  I would need twice as many pins and my pin cushion is full enough as it is.

I chose not to follow the original instructions on Northcott’s, Banyan’s and FIGO’s Facebook pages (again!).  Instead I redrew the block so that the outer frame was made with a single piece of fabric on each side. I spun or twirled those seams in the checkerboard sections.

Spin or twirl the seams in the checkerboard section

Spin or twirl the seams in the checkerboard section

I found I could also spin the seams when adding the units onto the center checkerboard section – sort of. On the darker block I could press my seam toward the C unit while still spinning the seams.

I could spin the additional seams in the C-unit while still pressing the seams toward the C-unit

I could spin the additional seams in the C-unit while still pressing the seams toward the C-unit

On the lighter block I had to press my seam toward the block center to get the seams to spin.

On the lighter block if I spin the seams in the C-unit I need to press the seam away from the C-unit :(

On the lighter block if I spin the seams in the C-unit I need to press the seam away from the C-unit 😦

I think I prefer to press the seam toward the C unit and not spin the extra seams.  I quickly added those outer strips and my blocks were done 😊.

Block 21 is finished

Block 21 is finished

You can find my instructions for Block 21 here.

Northcott’s block and quilt today are made with The Joys of Spring, and Banyan has used Jungle Rose  – I like that puzzle pattern shown on the collection page!   Daphne came up with yet another way to make this block – see her method on her blog.

Whichever method you choose, have fun with today’s block!

Cheers,

Patti

Disappearing Blocks

27 Apr Our Very Berry martinis complement my hydrangea

Fellow Quilters,

My Stay-at-Home-and-Cruise continues as I cruise from the living room to the sewing room instead of spending the day in the Azores.  The cocktail du jour yesterday was a Very Berry Martini. Made with muddled blueberries, it was colorful and tasty.

Our Very Berry martinis complement my hydrangea

Our Very Berry martinis complement my hydrangea

After dinner Hubby and I watched a movie on Netflix called Contagion, released in 2011, depicting the outbreak of a novel virus.  It probably seemed far-fetched at the time.  So much of the movie parallels our current situation.  Just saying.

Time to Quilt logoWe are in the home stretch of the Time to Quilt quilt-along, with just 5 days to go.  I think Northcott has prepared some quilt finishing options, and I will see if I can squeeze in some time this week between pattern writing and magazine submissions to come up a few options as well.

I mentioned yesterday that I have a great hack for Block 20 so let’s get to it.  When I looked at this block I saw something other than 4 quadrants with small squares and short strips.  I saw Block 15 cut into 4 quadrants, and I thought I’d rather sew longer strips onto a larger square and just do it once for each positive and negative block.

Slightly modified Block 15 cut into quadrants to make Block 20

Slightly modified Block 15 cut into quadrants to make Block 20

Now, this works because we are doing a positive and negative block, because we need 2 quarters from each to make our finished blocks.

Today’s tip:  If your fabrics are non-directional, you can move your quadrants around so that you don’t have the seams abutting each other.  If your fabrics are directional, press the final seams on the block with the lighter fabric as the outer strip, toward the block center – by doing this, your seams will off-set each other (see the arrows in the diagram below).

If you have directional fabric use the diagram on the left. For non-directional fabric arrange quadrants to offset seams as shown on right.

If you have directional fabric use the diagram on the left. For non-directional fabric arrange quadrants to offset seams as shown on right.

As I was rearranging my quadrants I found another fun arrangement for this block – it looks like diagonal chains!  So many options.

Playing with my super-size Shimmer quadrants

Playing with my super-size Shimmer quadrants

Now it just so happens that I was flipping through the latest (May/June) issue of Love of Quilting magazine yesterday and saw a similar quilt, Next Steps, by Mary Ann Castrogivanni, created by cutting Courthouse Steps blocks in quadrants. In fact this issue has several quilts created by cutting blocks apart and reassembling them, and a Magic Block Show with a myriad of ideas for “disappearing” blocks, made by cutting easy blocks in sections to create complex blocks easily.ELOQ20003_cover

Once I finished rearranging my quadrants my blocks went together quickly.

Block 20 done :)

Block 20 done 🙂

You can find my instructions for Block 20 here.

Northcott is showing the gorgeous Shimmer black earth in the block today and Banyan has used Intaglio for their block.  Christina continues to make her rainbow blocks with Lucky Charms and is showing Block 20 in Book Club as well (the book mark print is adorable).  And have you checked out what my friend Daphne did on her blog today with this block?

I’m off to make Block 21 now.  See you tomorrow 😊

Patti

Our Stay-at-Home-and-Cruise Plan

26 Apr Pisco Sours with appetizers

Fellow Quilters,

Hubby and I were scheduled to be on a 3-week cruise right now.  Today would have been Day 7.  I think he is really missing it.  Hubby is a closet mixologist.  The other night I suggested that we choose a beverage of the day to pretend we are on the cruise, and perhaps make some gourmet dinners and desserts.

Pisco Sours with appetizers

Pisco Sours with appetizers

Yesterday’s cocktail was Pisco Sours because we had 6 egg whites left over from making last night’s epic dessert.  The dessert was tiramisu, and it’s best if it is made a day in advance.  Now, Hubby and I aren’t huge fans of tiramisu, that Italian dessert made with soggy coffee-flavored cookies and mousse-y custard.  Last year Son #2 requested it for his girlfriend’s birthday “cake” so I went online to find a recipe. OMG!  This recipe  by Chef Dennis Littley is the best!

The best tiramisu ever - easy to make and incredibly good!

The best tiramisu ever – easy to make and incredibly good!

Hubby and I whipped it up in less than half an hour.  Now we are fans. Hubby was picking up the ingredients on his weekly grocery run and called me – “Do we really need mascarpone cheese?  Do you realize it’s $10 for a small container?!?”  “Yes, we need mascarpone cheese.”  “Can we substitute cream cheese?” “No, get the mascarpone, it’s worth it.”

Are you enjoying the Time to Quilt quilt-along?  We are on the home stretch – Block 19 already.  It is a classic friendship star block, similar to Block 5 but easier – no fancy center unit.  No changes to the original pattern on Northcott’s, Banyan’s and FIGO’s Facebook page, except to include the make-it-mini and super-size versions.  Lots of the HST units, which we’re very good at by now.

Press in the direction of the arrows for flat seams in your friendship star block

Press in the direction of the arrows for flat seams in your friendship star block

In my instructions I have indicated the direction to press the seams so we can spin them.  Ta Da!  Done!

Block 19 done

Block 19 done

Today’s tip is a general quilt-making tip. I have and regularly use a variety of rulers, some of which adhere better than others to my fabric while cutting.

My collection of rulers that I use regularly

My collection of rulers that I use regularly

On the ones that don’t, I have applied some Onmigrid Invisi-Grip, a self-adhering clear plastic film, to the underside of the ruler.

Invisi-Grip is a thin film applied to the underside of rulers

Invisi-Grip is a thin film applied to the underside of rulers

There is enough on a roll to do several rulers.  Some of my colleagues have weakness in their shoulders and they swear by this stuff.

It is repositionable

It is repositionable

It doesn't impair my vision through the ruler

It doesn’t impair my vision through the ruler

It really does make a difference to reduce ruler slippage, the rulers stay flat (not wobbly like when you add the non-slip dots) and it doesn’t impair my vision through the ruler.

You can find my instructions for Block 19 here.

Northcott has used Rod & Reel in their block today (there are some terrific textures in this group), and Banyan has used Cherry Blossoms – pretty!  I wonder what Daphne is up to on her blog today.  I have a great hack for tomorrow’s block (I wonder if Daphne will come up with the same one 😊) so I’m off to make the blocks now.

Have a great day!

Patti

Another Great Hack!

25 Apr Then cut the blocks diagonally into 2 triangles

Fellow Quilters,

Today is a beautiful sunny day where I am.  I do believe that Spring is finally here – when I took a quick walk around the block this morning, I saw a long row of glorious daffodils brightening the side of the road.

Spotted during my morning walk

Spotted during my morning walk

Now, if you look in the upper left corner of this photo you will also see the snow-covered ski hills in our neighborhood, albeit with lots of brown patches.  Hubby put his heavy winter boots away yesterday, also a sign that Spring is here.

I’m so excited about Time to Quilt Block 18 – I think you’re gonna love it!  It is another great hack. I cannot take credit for this hack, however my online search for the clever creator of this split 9-patch came up blank.  If you know who did, please let me know.  Today’s pattern took a bit longer to write because I needed to do some extra diagrams and test my cutting instructions, but it is worth the wait.  Let me show you 😊.

Block 18

Block 18

For this block I did not follow the original instructions on Northcott’s, Banyan’s and FIGO’s Facebook page at all.  Instead of cutting and sewing all those half-square triangle units I cut rectangles.  Then I pieced each positive and negative block.

Sew the squares and rectangles together for the positive and negative blocks

Sew the squares and rectangles together for the positive and negative blocks

Then I cut the blocks diagonally into 2 triangles each.

Then cut the blocks diagonally into 2 triangles

Then cut the blocks diagonally into 2 triangles

 

Today’s tip: So, to cut the block we measure ⅜” in from the right edge along the top, and ⅜” in from the left edge along the bottom, then make a 45° cut connecting these 2 spots.  There are 2 super-easy ways to do this.  The first one is to position your block on your cutting mat so that the 45° line on your mat (almost every mat has one) is running through both marks.

Align the 3/8" marks with the 45 degree line on the mat and check that the block is square to the mat

Align the 3/8″ marks with the 45 degree line on the mat and check that the block is square to the mat

Is your block square to the mat?  Perfect!  Make the cut.  The other way method is to use a right-angle triangle ruler – we all seem to have a collection of them, so let’s use them.  When I checked my ruler stash, sure enough I had 2.

The tip on my Omnigrid ruler shows me where to align it

The tip on my Omnigrid ruler shows me where to align it

My Easy Angle II ruler also has a marked tip to show where to align it.

My Easy Angle II ruler also has a marked tip to show where to align it.

The point of these rulers is marked with a line that shows you where to align the ruler to get the correct seam allowance on the tip of your patch.

Then I sewed a positive triangle to a negative triangle.  Voila!  The blocks are done!

Block 18 is done :)

Block 18 is done 🙂

Isn’t that the fastest easiest split 9-patch ever?!?  Have fun with it!

Daphne has a slightly different way of assembling Block 18 on her blog today using some connector corners – pop over and check it out.  And also check the Northcott or Banyan Facebook page to see if you were one of the 5 winners yesterday (personally I think you’re all winners 😊).

Have a great day and I’ll see you tomorrow with Block 19.

Cheers,

Patti

My Forest Frolic Friday

24 Apr A close-up of the Forest Frolic cathedral window fabric in my quilt

Fellow Quilters,

Happy Friday!  I am behind schedule today because I had another project on my To Do list that needed to get done by 2pm.  That project is now done and on its way to a magazine.  Here is a teaser picture of my quilt, coming out in the September issue of Love of Quilting.

A close-up of the Forest Frolic cathedral window fabric in my quilt

A close-up of the Forest Frolic cathedral window fabric in my quilt

It is made with Northcott’s Forest Frolic collection, a happy “frolic-y” collection. I like everything in this collection – the colors, the motifs on the fabric, and especially the “cathedral windows” print.  It was the inspiration for my magazine quilt. Northcott has used Forest Frolic for today’s block!  Speaking of today’s block, let’s get to it.

Time to Quilt Block 17 is made strictly with half-square triangle units.  I didn’t alter the cutting instructions in the original pattern on Northcott, Banyan and FIGO’s Facebook page, however I did change the way the units are pressed.  So did Daphne as you can see in her post today.  The instructions in the original pattern have you pressing the seam in the half-square triangle units to the dark fabric.  When I went to assemble my blocks, I realized that my diagonal seams would stack on top of each other, creating lots of bulk.

Those diagonal seams are going to be bulky

Those diagonal seams are going to be bulky

To make the seams nest nicely I needed to press one seam to the light fabric.

Today’s tip:  I like to work through the steps or methods used in a block/quilt in my head beforehand because sometimes I can make small changes to make the block/quilt easier.  I thought a bit more about how the seams between the units would line up and decided to press the half-square triangle units in the center column to the light fabric.

The HST seam in the units in the center column are pressed to the light side

The HST seam in the units in the center column are pressed to the light side

By doing this I could spin the intersections of the units.  Now, as you can see from my picture of the back of my Midsommar block, 2 of the intersections have full spin – all the seams are spinning in the same direction.  The other 2 intersections have only partial spin – the HST seams are spinning the opposite direction of the seams between units.

The 2 intersections on the left fully spin whereas the 2 on the right partially spin (the HST seams are going the other way)

The 2 intersections on the left fully spin whereas the 2 on the right partially spin (the HST seams are going the other way)

Try as I might I couldn’t get all 4 intersections to fully spin.  No matter – the bulk of those intersections is dispersed.  I am really liking these spinning seams!  And just like that, the blocks are done!

Block 17 done :)

Block 17 done 🙂

You can find my instructions for Block 17 here.

It’s Prize Friday today, so please go onto the Northcott Facebook page to post pictures of some of your blocks.  You can also share them on Instagram and include #timetoquiltfigo for a chance to win some swanky swag.  I know it’s late, but you have until 11:59 tonight to post, and I have a feeling you’re not going to the movies/out to dinner/to a friend’s house tonight.  Good luck!

I’ll see you tomorrow – earlier than 5pm – I promise😊

Cheers,

Patti

My pressing experiment

23 Apr I trim a little square out of the corner on each end of the diagonal cutting line

Fellow Quilters,

Happy Thursday!  How are you doing today?  Are you managing to get outside for a walk around the block every day?  It helps keep the cabin fever at bay.  Despite the daily snow flurries, I think it is allergy season – at least that’s what my red itchy eyes are telling me.  Hubby says the maples are budding.  He must think that winter is over because he is switching out his tires this weekend.  I am happy to report that his visit to the Chez Patti Hair Salon was a success.  I’ve seen so many Facebook comments about emerging bad hairstyles – Covid hairstyles – as people grow out their regular style, and perhaps their regular color as well – just saying!

We are at Block 16 of the Time to Quilt quilt-along already – that’s 2/3 of the way through!  I’ve seen some great photos of design walls with blocks on them.  Don’t worry if you’re only on Block 8 or 9 – it won’t take you long to catch up.  Keep those photos coming!  Block 16 is straight-forward – I could think of no changes to the original instructions on Northcott’s, Banyan’s and FIGO’s Facebook page.  As I was piecing my blocks I was thinking what I could share with you for a tip.  We are getting REALLY good at those half-square triangle units.  I had a conversation yesterday with my quilting friend Betsey and we were discussing how much easier it is to sew half-square triangle units when we use squares and sew ¼” each side of the line vs. cutting the square in half first and then feeding a pair of triangles under the presser foot of our machine.  My machine, with its wide feed dogs (those teeth that pull the fabric along), want to pull the ends of the triangle units to one side, resulting in inconsistent seam allowances at the tips of my units.

Today’s tip:  I like to trim my triangle tips to reduce the bulk in my finished block, particularly for the make-it-mini size.  I was trimming them after I cut the square along the line and pressed the diagonal seam.  I had bitty triangles everywhere!  Then I decided to trim them as I was cutting along that diagonal line.  I cut a little square out of each end of my unit before I cut along the line.

I trim a little square out of the corner on each end of the diagonal cutting line

I trim a little square out of the corner on each end of the diagonal cutting line

I find this works better for me – half the number of bitty pieces and they’re twice the size of the triangles.  How do you manage the triangle dog-ears?  Pop me a line in the comments below to share your thoughts.

So, let’s talk about pressing.  I struggled a bit with determining the best way to press the seams in this block.  We can’t spin the seams like we could do in some of the earlier blocks.  Since I had 6 blocks to experiment with, I tried a variety of methods.  On the Midsommar blocks I pressed the seams in Rows 1 & 3 toward the center and Row 2 toward the sides, then I pressed the horizontal seams open.

Rows 1 & 3 pressed toward the center, then horizontal seams pressed open

Rows 1 & 3 pressed toward the center, then horizontal seams pressed open

On the Vino blocks I pressed Rows 1, 2 and 3 toward the center square.  On one block I pressed the seams to the top/bottom edges and one the other block I pressed the seams open.

Vino blocks - vertical seams pressed toward center, then one pressed top top/bottom and the other pressed open

Vino blocks – vertical seams pressed toward center, then one pressed top top/bottom and the other pressed open

On the Shimmer blocks, I pressed 1 block with the seams toward Rows 1 & 3 (as for the Midsommar blocks), then pressed the horizontal seams toward top /bottom.  On the other Shimmer block I pressed all seams open.

Shimmer - block 1 is pressed to the center, then top/bottom and block 2 is pressed all open

Shimmer – block 1 is pressed to the center, then top/bottom and block 2 is pressed all open

The result of my impromptu study is that I would recommend pressing all seams open.

You can find my instructions for Block 16 here.

You should see the cool quilts on the Northcott and Banyan Facebook pages – Northcott has used This Calls for Cake and Banyan is showcasing Daphne’s Tapa Cloth in the citrus colorway  Speaking of Daphne, it’s been fun seeing the quilt layouts that she has come up with on her daily blog posts.  Yesterday she came up with yet another way to construct Block 15.  And please send me your thoughts on those dog ears – I’m curious!

Cheers,

Patti

Wine-fabric Wednesday

22 Apr My jewelry roll made with Vino fabric - wine not!

Fellow Quilters,

Welcome to Day 15 of the Time to Quilt quilt-along.  Can you believe we’ll have made 30 blocks by the time we’re done today?!?

The stack of completed blocks is growing

The stack of completed blocks is growing

And that’s 90 blocks for me, since I’m making 3 different size versions.  I know – you’re thinking “There’s a name for you and it’s not complimentary”.  I have learned a lot in these past 15 days.  Have you?  One thing I hope you’ve learned is that you don’t have to make a block as instructed.  Let’s say you want to make these blocks following the original instructions on the Northcott or Banyan or FIGO Facebook pages instead of my modified version.  That’s okay, you won’t hurt my feelings.  I have developed thick skin – I have grown sons.  If you can think of another or a better or preferred way to make a block, go for it!  Spoiler alert – there are no quilt police.  This is supposed to be fun and we’re supposed to be enjoying this.  If we’re not, it might be time for another hobby.  Speaking of fun…  (haha – another segue!)

I had fun redesigning Block 15.  As I’ve mentioned earlier, all 24 blocks are based on a 9-patch or 3×3 grid.  Well, I looked at Block 15 and saw something else.  I saw a framed square, framed again.  I saw sewing strips onto that center square.

I saw a framed square instead of a 9-patch and eliminated 12 seams

I saw a framed square instead of a 9-patch and eliminated 12 seams

By making the block with a series of strip frames I eliminated lots of seams – 12 to be specific!  I did a quick calculation (full disclosure – I love math 😊) and determined that I saved 12 square inches of fabric by piecing the block using strips.  That’s a 3” x 4” piece of fabric per 9” block.  And lots of cross-seams that I didn’t have to match.  As a result this block was super-fast and easy.

Today’s tip:  When I am sewing a strip to a pieced section I sew with the strip on the bottom and the pieced section on top.

I sew with the seamed piece on top

I sew with the seamed piece on top

Why?!?  So that I can see my seams and I can make sure they go in the direction in which they are finger-pressed.

I can control which direction those seams go

I can control which direction those seams go

This reduces the number of seams that get errantly stitched down in the wrong direction and makes for a smoother flatter quilt.

Quick as a flash these blocks are done!

Block 15 added to the Done pile

Block 15 added to the Done pile

You can find my instructions for Block 15 here.

Northcott has used Cosmo for today’s block – the graphic details in this collection are ideal for this block.  Banyan is showing the juicy tempranillo colorway of my Vino collection, including my favorite fabric from the entire collection – the wine names 😊.  I LOVE that fabric!  It’s perfect for wine gift bags and roll-up totes for wine lovers, like in my Tote Bag Trio pattern.

My Tote Bag Trio pattern make these 3 bags

My Tote Bag Trio pattern make these 3 bags

I even used it for a jewelry roll because I love the color.

My jewelry roll made with Vino fabric - wine not!

My jewelry roll made with Vino fabric – wine not!

As for a wine-themed jewelry roll, wine-not? (why not) – it makes me smile when I use it.

Inside view

Inside view

Please also pop on over to Daphne’s blog to see her version of Block 15 and what she’s done with it.

Have a great day!

Patti

So Many Snowballs

21 Apr Soooo many tiny pieces in the make-it-mini version

Fellow Quilters,

It snowed again last night!  I’m glad I still have the snow tires on my car.  Hubby and I live in a snowbelt and our auto insurance requires us to keep our snow tires on until April 15th.  Almost every driver in our area has snow tires for the winter months.  How many of you put snow tires on your vehicle each winter?  How many of you do not get any snow in the winter?  So, all this talk of snow leads us to our block today (what a great segue!).

Block 14 has snowball corners!  There are no changes to the original cutting instructions found on the Northcott and Banyan Facebook pages, however I have some great tips for sewing the units and assembling the blocks.

This block takes more fabric than most because of those sew-and-flip snowball corners.  Here are the pieces that I cut for the make-it-mini version – they are really small!  I was not looking forward to sewing those corners.

Soooo many tiny pieces in the make-it-mini version

Soooo many tiny pieces in the make-it-mini version

Today’s tip:  When we sew these corners, I find I get the best results if I sew 1 thread thickness to the RIGHT of my diagonal line instead of on the line.

Sew 1 thread thickness to the RIGHT of the diagonal line

Sew 1 thread thickness to the RIGHT of the diagonal line

This gives my corner fabric room to flip and still make it to the corner.  I like to check that my triangle lines up perfectly with the original large square, then I trim the excess and finger-press it.

Check that the corner triangle lines up with the base triangle before trimming

Check that the corner triangle lines up with the base triangle before trimming

I was going to share this tip later in the series however I thought you might appreciate having it now since there are 18 snowball corners in each block today (since I’m doing 3 versions, that means I had 108 snowball corners to sew).

Tip #2:  I pressed both seams in each block toward ONE corner – this means that one of the snowball seams is pressed toward the center of the block.  Why?!?  Because when we assemble the units into rows, those seams will lock into each other and have a much better chance of matching.

Press the seams in each unit toward ONE corner so they nest together, and press seams following arrows when sewing rows

Press the seams in each unit toward ONE corner so they nest together, and press seams following arrows when sewing into rows

Tip #3:  Follow the pressing arrows when you press the seams in each row.  Originally I was going to press the seams in Rows 1 & 3 in one direction and the seams in Row 2 in the opposite direction but I changed my plan after I pieced the first block.  If we press Rows 1 & 3 toward the center and Row 2 toward the ends, we can spin the seams at the intersections of the block units.  See?

My mini block is perfectly flat because those 4 seam intersections spin

My mini block is perfectly flat because those 4 seam intersections spin

It makes the block lie perfectly flat!  You will be so pleased with the result.  Even my mini block is flat.  And just like that the blocks are done!

Block 14 is done :)

Block 14 is done 🙂

You can find my instructions for Block 14 here.

Northcott is using the ethereal Swept Away collection for today’s block (I used this collection in my Panel Pizzazz pattern), and Banyan has used Patio by Pat Fryer of Villa Rosa – love the colors!  Did you pop on over to Daphne’s blog yesterday?  She had some great layout ideas for Block 13.  I wonder what she’s done for today – check it out here.

Thanks sew much for playing along and I’ll see you tomorrow😊

Patti

Monday Musings

20 Apr

Fellow Quilters,

Good Monday morning!  I am enjoying a bit of raspberry sour cream coffee cake this morning with my tea as I write this post.IMG_2688  I had some sour cream languishing in the fridge, so what better way to use it than a coffee cake, sprinkled with languishing raspberries?  Quite a few of my Facebook friends are trying their hand at baking during this Stay-at-home period.  It’s fun to see their pics of freshly baked bread.  It’s a good thing the aroma isn’t attached to the pictures!

We are whipping through the Time to Quilt quilt-along – on Block 13 already.  I hope you’ve had time to work on the blocks, maybe spent some time over the weekend catching up.  Is anyone else working on the Make-it-mini size?  Please leave a comment on today’s post to let me know if you are.  Yesterday’s block was easy peasy.  Today’s is a bit more involved.  Are you ready for a bit of a challenge?  Then let’s get to it 😊.

I changed Block 13 around a bit to eliminate a couple seams.

Original Block 13 and my version eliminating some seams

Original Block 13 and my version eliminating some seams

I lengthened the strip-pieced units in the top and bottom rows and simply added a small strip to the end to complete the look of the outer fabric strip rounding the corner of the block.  Let’s talk about how we construct this block.  First we make that center pinwheel.  Are you becoming an expert at half-square triangle units?  Me too!  We spin the seams in the same direction as the half-square triangle seams – notice that the seams in the positive pinwheel spin in the opposite direction to the seams in the negative pinwheel.

Press the seams in the same direction as the half-square triangle seams

Press the seams in the same direction as the half-square triangle seams

The make-it-mini version is REALLY tiny – it’s mostly seam allowance!

You can see a mini pinwheel in the center where the seams spin

You can see a mini pinwheel in the center where the seams spin

Once we have the corner sew-and-flip units and strip-pieced units sewn, it’s time to assemble the block.

Today’s tip:  You may think you can’t chain-piece the units in a 3 x 3 grid like we discussed in Block 6 but you can – sort of.  I chain-pieced the first 2 units in Row 1, then the first 2 units in Row 2, then the first 2 units in Row 3.  It looked like this – note that the left edge of the whole thing is not aligned.  That’s okay.

The units are not aligned at the left edge after chain-piecing the first 2 columns

The units are not aligned at the left edge after chain-piecing the first 2 columns

Then I chain-pieced the third unit in each row onto the 2nd unit.  The block doesn’t want to lay flat – until I clipped the chains in the top right and bottom left.  I leave the top left and bottom right chains – this keeps everything connected so that the components are still all in the right positions.

Leave these 2 chains connected to keep the block components together

Leave these 2 chains connected to keep the block components together

Then I simply sewed the 3 rows together.  Done!

Block 13 done! Perfect pinwheels

Block 13 done! Perfect pinwheels

You can find my instructions for Block 13 here.

Northcott has used the Spring-like Chelsea collection in their block and quilt today, and Banyan is using Rough Sketch for theirs.  Pop on over to FIGO’s Instagram to see what Christina uses for today’s block, and Daphne has some great ideas on her blog.

Let me know how you’re doing.  Is the pace too fast or just right?  Are you making one of the alternate sizes (the make-it-mini or super-size)?  Leave a comment below – thanks😊

See you tomorrow,

Patti

 

Sunday’s Strip-piecing tip

19 Apr I stack my strip sets, offsetting them by an inch or so to cut multiple pieces at once - faster!

Fellow Quilters,

Today’s post will be quicker than most – I have another important job on my To Do list today.  I’m tasked with cutting Hubby’s hair.  I used to cut his hair when he was working and wore it quite short.  Now it’s a bit longer and he’s been using a local barber recently.  If all else fails, he has lots of different hats.  And hair grows – my bad styling effort is temporary.  At least we already have a hair trimmer – I hear they’re a hot commodity at Walmart these days.

So we are at the half-way mark of the Time to Quilt quilt-along – woo-hoo!

Block 12

Block 12

Time to Quilt Block 12 looks very familiar to me – I think it may also be known as monkey wrench, hole-in-the-barn-door and churn dash.  I found the picture below of a fun quilt using 3 sizes of this block – you could make something like this with my instructions since I include 3 sizes!

Barn Dance QAL from Justquiltin.wordpress.com's site

Barn Dance QAL from Justquiltin.wordpress.com’s site

Yet again my cutting instructions don’t vary from the ones on Northcott’s, Banyan’s and FIGO’s Facebook pages – I haven’t rejigged the block at all.  We’re making the half-square triangle units like we have for several of the previous blocks.  And we’re strip-piecing the skinny strips like we did in Block 10.  My tip relates to those strip-pieced segments.

Today’s tip:  When I have a few units to cut from strip-pieced segments, I stack the segments on my cutting mat so that I can cut lots at once instead of cutting them individually.  I lay the first strip set on a horizontal line on my mat.  Then I lay the next one on top, aligning it with a different horizontal line on the mat, checking that the seam allowances aren’t stacked on top of each other.

I stack my strip sets, offsetting them by an inch or so to cut multiple pieces at once - faster!

I stack my strip sets, offsetting them by an inch or so to cut multiple pieces at once – faster!

I can stack several strip sets, off-setting each one by an inch or so.  It makes quick work of getting those units cut.  This concept works well for rail fence blocks, and I even use it when I am cutting out diagonal segments for lone star quilts.

Next thing you know, today’s blocks are done!

Block 12 done

Block 12 done

You can find my instructions for Block 12 here.

Oh, by the way, I found 2 typos in yesterday’s pattern for Time to Quilt Block 11 ☹.  Sorry about that! I corrected the version on my blog shortly after I posted (the quantity of half-square triangle units should be 14, and the squares in step 3 were incorrectly labelled).

Northcott has used Material Girl in their block and quilt today (this collection speaks to me!), and Banyan is showcasing the elegant teal colorway of Vintage Chic. And I’m sure Daphne has some cool ideas on her blog today (we post around the same time so some days I post just before her and don’t see what she has done).  If you posted pics of your blocks on Friday on FIGO’s Instagram feed, pop over there to see if you’re a winner.

Have a great day and I’ll see you tomorrow 😊

Patti