Wednesday, August 31, 2011

WiP Wednesday...Really? Already?

Isn't it funny how some weeks Wednesday comes and you stand boldly and proudly, surveying all the wondrous things you have created,... and sometimes Wednesday comes and you think, "Wha..? Wednesday? Nuh-uh! No way. Can't be. I have nothing to show for it!" Well, we'll have to see how this bodes for me and which one  I will say!
Don't forget little Lee over there, with all her little linky people to check out. Lots of progress going on out there in bloggy land!
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

New Projects:

Hmm,... what's new? Oh, well my Diamond Chains quilt along started and I'm currently 4 blocks in.
Yeah, I know, I could have done a better job fussy cutting those teal blue centers. But it's mine!
I also did a little shopping yesterday and picked up some fabric for the back of my Bottled Rainbows quilt...
I'm so excited to get started on this one! I also found the perfect backing fabric for my Japanese/Austrian baby quilt (in case you don't know, I'm making a baby quilt for a friend who is Japanese American and his wife's family is from Austria). The front will have Moda Hideaway to depict Austria and some Japanese fairy tale fabrics for the Japanese part. Then I came across this for the back.

The lime if for the sashing; the nursery rhyme fabric is for the backing. So we have nursery rhymes, fairy tales, and familial culture all represented in the same quilt! I can't wait to get started on this one.

Ongoing Projects:

I just finished block 6 for Embroidery 101...
I changed up the basket a little but I really like how it turned out.

I also finished block 9 for the Skill Builder Sampler. It's called a Double Star, though I did the alternate version where the outer star points point inward instead of out. I really love this block. I'm not sure my fabric choices were perfect but I still love the block itself.
I did some more on the center of the red and white quilt earlier in the week but I haven't been able to get back to it.
This filler is going to be the death of me!

Completed projects:
Yeah, um, nothing. Gotta do something about that.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Diamond Chains Quilt Along: Block Method 2/Geese & Squares

Today's the day! It's block tutorial day! There are two tutes so if this is not the one you want to use, scan the rest of the post to find the other option for piecing. I don't know which tute will pop up first in the post so I am starting both with the same information.

The second method consists of the following and I will be providing a tutorial for this method:
  • four flying geese
  • four solid squares
  • one square with 4 corner set triangles
My original version of the block consisted of half-square triangles only, but this time I chose fabrics that I wanted to "show off" a bit more, so I chose a different variation of piecing that allowed me to have less cuts in the fabric. When preparing the flying geese, there does appear to be a little waste but I provide a little "Waste Not" activity for you to use these leftovers either for inclusion in your backing, or for a different project altogether. This weekend I also came across this tutorial on quilter's cache for a similar block with slight differences (our corner squares are solid and there are some slight differences in the fabrics present in some of the other pieces) if you would like to refer to their tutorial for more information.

At one point during the tutorial I will refer to a 1/4" ruler. If you are unfamiliar with one of these, it is a great tool. Mine looks like a regular ruler with a raised side.

When that raised edge is placed downward flat and pushed up against a seam, it gives you a 1/4" from the seam so that you can trim away any excess fabric.

If you are unfamiliar with cutting strips from a piece of fabric, please refer to a fabulous one Rachel has here at Stitched in Color. Follow steps 1-6. When you get to the point where you are cutting your squares (step 7), refer to this tutorial to see what size squares you will be cutting.

Fabric will be cut as follows (measurements are based on 44/45" width fabric; images are not depicted as perfect squares but are only used to indicate how fabric is to be cut). Be sure to trim off selvages before cutting your squares.:

Center fabric

6.5” squares

Cut 6.5” strips Selvage to selvage

Get 6 squares on first strip

Get 2 squares on second strip

Diamonds Fabric
Cut into eight 3.5" strips. The blue pieces are cut into 3.5" squares, 32 total. The pink pieces are cut into 6.5" x 3.5" strips, 32 total.

Chain Fabric:
Cut into two 3.5" strips. The squares are cut into 3.5" squares, 18 total.

Solid Fabric:
Cut into four 3.5" strips. All squares will be cut into 3.5" squares, 48 total. 32 squares will be kept whole. 16 will be used for HSTs.

Here we go!!
Center/ Corner Set Triangles

1. We are going to start with the center squares, and a pile of smaller corner squares (Diamond fabric).

2. Take each of the smaller Diamond fabric squares and turn them face down. Using a ruler, draw a line from point to point on the back of each square.
I moved my ruler over to the side so you could see my line.

3. Place your first square on the corner of your center square fabric. Line up the fabric and make sure your line matches the direction shown. Pin in place. If you choose to chain sew your pieces, go ahead and set up all 8 center pieces like this prior to sewing.

4. You are going to sew ON THE LINE using a 1/4" seam.  I did chain sewing so I ran each of my blocks through the machine one at a time without stopping. That way I had one corner of all my blocks done before starting to trim.

5. Separate your blocks and stack. Take each block and trim away the excess fabric. I use a 1/4" ruler. I hope you can see how I place the ruler with the raised side down (on the right), then slide it over so that the seam is on the left side of the 1/4" edge and the excess fabric is on the right side of the edge. Then I trim away the fabric left over on the right. I just made a stack of all my triangular trimmings. DON'T THROW AWAY YOUR TRIMMED FABRICS! I have a WASTE NOT activity for us later with these.

6. Press your fabric down. I press mine so that the fabric goes under the corner piece. I know the picture doesn't look exactly like that but it was a set up shot and I didn't notice I'd tucked the fabric the wrong way!

7. Go back to your work space and set up the next square in the next corner for each center piece. Chain sew all pieces. Trim.  Press. Keep repeating until you have sewn all four corners onto all 8 center pieces.

8. Your center pieces are done! You should now have a stack of center blocks that are 6.5" square...

and a pile of triangles trimmed from your fabric.

*****Here's our WASTE NOT activity!!!****** You don't have to do it right now, but I wanted to make sure I didn't forget it! You will have trimmed off triangles from your flying geese as well.
You can work these into a pieced back or use them later for another project.
We are going to chain sew HSTs out of our scrap triangles. This is not the same method of sewing HSTs as I mention in the alternate layout instructions for this block, but it utilizes our triangular scraps. Sew 1/4" seam down the right side of each set of triangles (each set should have one triangle of each fabric you just used).

Press them (as long as you press toward the same fabric every time, you're fine).

Sew two HSTs together so the points of the triangles meet as shown. Sew a second set as pictured. Press. The centers can get bulky so make sure you press each set in opposite directions.
Sew both sets together until, voila! Pinwheels!

I would wait until you've finished these and have a general idea of the size they need to be before trimming.

Now, on to the outside of the block!!!

Flying Geese and Corner Blocks
1. I know there are tons of great tutorials out there for making flying geese, and if you can figure out the math for making yours another way, that's great. But for now and for my sanity, we're going to make ours like this.
We are going to use the 6.5" x 3.5" strips from the Diamonds fabric, and the 3.5" squares of both the chain and solid fabrics.

2. Draw a line from point to point on the back of the 3.5" squares. Then line up a square on on side of a piece of the rectangular Diamond fabric. Pin. Sew ON THE LINE. This works a lot like attaching the corner set squares onto the center blocks.

Trim away the excess fabric with your 1/4" ruler, press and start over with a block on the left side.

You will need two with Diamond/Chain fabric and two with Diamond/Solid fabric for each of seven of the blocks. Your eighth block will have four Diamond/Chain flying geese as it will be the intersecting block in the design.

3. You will now need 4 of the Solid 3.5" squares. Put all your pieces in the correct placement.
Sew the first row together, the second row together, then the bottom row together. Press, alternating the direction of the seams (top row seams go toward the center, middle row away from the center, last row toward the center).
4. Sew all your rows together. Remember, you will have seven blocks with this set up. Don't forget your eighth block will have chain fabric going both directions (sorry if I keep repeating but I don't want you to have to take it apart and do it over!).
Here is how mine will connect. My intersecting block looks completely different because I mixed up the fabrics, but I think it will look cool anyway!
Don't forget to square up your blocks to 12.5". Also, please post your fabrics and blocks in our flickr pool so we can see how everyone is doing! If I made any mistakes or you have any questions, please let me know!