Monday, February 22, 2016

The Splendid Sampler-Block 3

I thought I'd do a post about my progress with the Splendid Sampler Quilt Along.  Block 3 has lots and lots of little triangles.  Melissa Corry developed this block and she gives great sewing tips on her blog about how to put together all of the itty-bitty triangles.    You can find her blog post HERE.  

I think this would be a very hard pattern to do on a sewing machine.  I am glad I did it by hand.  It took a really long time but I was able to make most of my points match because I was sewing it by hand.

Melissa's suggestion that you iron all seams open is a very good one.  This 2-1/2 inch block would be very bulky if the seams were ironed to one side or the other. In addition, it allowed for accurate placement of the needle when joining points.  Having the needle go in through the seam at the 1/4" line and come out the seam on the other side, helped keep those points together. 

I pushed my needle through a this point and did a stitch to secure the thread.  I then sewed to the upper edge of the block and secured the thread.

Next, I did the same thing at the bottom of the heart and stitched to the starting point of my last seam.  I'm just not a good enough quilter to start at one end of the block and go to the other and get all of my points right. 

The finished (really little) block

 I did all of my blocks this way.  Starting my stitching where the points met.  There was a lot of starting and stopping!

 Melissa recommends using pins when you put the block together.  I don't think you could really put the block together without pins.  Having the open seams really helps place the pins at the points.  There is no bulkiness, which helps your sewing needle stay in place as it stitches along the line.  

 This is my final block.  The fabric combination makes it a little muddy, but I like it because the muddiness hides the little imperfections.  

This block was challenging, and I feel very good about the way it turned out.  The Splendid Sampler Quilt Along is really stretching my skills.  

Linking to:
BOM's Away, Show Off Saturday, Sunday Stash, Oh Scrap,

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

14 Steps to Hand Sew Block 1 from The Splendid Sampler Sew Along

The other day while I was pinning away, adding pins to my Run'n Stitch board,  I found this wonderful mystery block sampler called 'The Splendid Sampler Sew Along,' by Pat and Jane.  I had to investigate.  This sew along was starting that day and I wanted to join so badly.  I am nearing the end of my 2 month camping trip and don't have my sewing machine with me so I thought I would have to wait until I return home in March to start the blocks.  What was I thinking, right?  How were quilts made in those dark days on the prairie?  Women were quilting long before sewing machines were readily available.  With renewed enthusiasm, I decided to use '30's reproduction fabrics and hand sew all of the blocks in this sampler.  Let's see how that goes.  I went to The Cotton Ball fabric shop in Morro Bay and picked up a spool of thread, an envelope of needles and 3 chubby eights to start my project.  This post is a step-by-step for hand sewing the first block in the Splendid Sampler Sew Along.

Click HERE to join the Splendid Sampler Sew Along fun. 

Steps 1-4
1.  Pick out your fabrics-easy so far, right.
2.  Cut your fabrics.  Again, easy.
3.  Draw a 1/4 inch line on two of your blocks.

4.  Place your blocks together, just as you would for machine sewing, and sew together using a running stitch.  I secure the beginning and end of the stitching by making 2 stitches in one spot.

5.   Press the raw edge toward the darker fabric. Draw a 1/4" line on the back of one of the two block strips.

6.  Put these two strips together.  I start my running stitch for this section with a couple of stitches at the point where the seams meet.  I start from the middle and work my way to the end.  I like my corners to match.  

 Steps 7-9
7.  Draw a line on the diagonal of all of your small squares.
8.  Use a running stitch to attach the squares to each corner of the block.
9.  Trim the excess and press in place.

Step 10-12-The appliqué-yikes!

 I have always used Kim Diehl's method for appliqué.  I don't know any other method, except raw edge.  I was in a pickle because I didn't have any freezer paper or glue and didn't want to buy any for this small project.  I also don't have my machine. I had to mimic Kim Deihl's process without the important ingredients. I did have paper, a needle and thread, so this is what I did. 

10.  Cut out the heart you printed from the pattern.  I cut the fabric to be sure there would be enough to cover the paper and then some. 

11.  Carefully turn the fabric over the edge of the paper and tack it down with a little basting stitches and then pressed it to make the edges crisp.

12.  Center the heart on the 4 patch block.  Measure to be sure it's right.  Baste the heart to the 4 patch block.

13.  Using an applique stitch, sew the heart to the block.  When you are finished, pull out all of the basting stitches.  But wait, this isn't the final step.

14.  Cut a small hole in the back of the block and pull out the paper heart.  

This may be the way hand appliqué is done, I don't know.  It was fun to figure it out though.  I look forward to the challenge of doing 100 blocks without a sewing machine.

(You might be wondering why I have a printer and cutting tools and not a sewing machine.  I have a fabric shop on Etsy and I take some of my fabrics to sell while I'm on the road.  I also bring printing labels and shipping stuff.)


Sunday, February 7, 2016

Jeni Baker

One of my favorite fabric designers is Jeni Baker.  I love her brightly colored vintage patterns.  Jeni designs fabric for Art Gallery Quilts.   Learn about Jeni Baker HERE.

These two tutorials are published on Jeni Baker's blog.  Click on the picture to go to the tutorial.

You can find these Jeni Baker fabric bundles in my shop.  Click on the picture for more information about each bundle.