Friday, August 31, 2012

QAL Block 6 - Windblown Square

 Complete Windblown square

If you are making the full size quilt which is a “Twin” size you will need 3 of these blocks.

This is very similar the last weeks block so you should find it fairly simple to piece. But it isn’t exactly the same so be a bit careful!

Just a note on the pressing….I will be the first to admit that I have been reluctant to cross over to the “open seam pressing” movement. I am kinda old-school I guess! But I definitely found that my 2nd and 3rd blocks finished much neater with the open pressing method. But it really is personal preference so press whichever way you like!


Cutting Instructions

Background fabric - 16 squares 3”x3”

Pink 1 - 2 rectangles 3”x5.5”

Pink 2 - 2 rectangles 3”x5.5”

Blue 1 - 2 rectangles 3”x5.5”

Blue 2 - 2 rectangles 3”x5.5”

Piecing the Units

Part A

Step 1

Start by drawing a line diagonally across all 16 background squares.

We are making 4 of the diamond (that’s what I call them anyway) rectangles. You did these last week only smaller!

Step 2

Place a background square over one end of the pink fabric. Make sure these run the same way on each pink fabric.

Sew along the line. Cut your ¼” seam allowance and press as desired. If you aren’t open seaming press toward the pink fabric.

Step 3

Place a background square over the other end of the pink fabric. Make sure your line is running the same way as the first line. This will make the diamond shape.

Sew along the line. Cut your ¼” seam allowance and press as desired. If you aren’t open seaming press toward the pink fabric.

Step 4

You should now have 4 rectangles (2 of each pink fabric) measuring 3” x 5.5”.

Part B

Now we are making 4 flying geese rectangles!

Step 5

Take your background fabric and lay it over one end of the blue fabric. Make sure it is the same way on all your pieces.

Sew along the line. Cut your ¼” seam allowance and press as desired. Either open or towards the background fabric.

Step 6

Lay another background square over the other end of the blue fabric. This time have the line coming to meet the other seam at the top. This is will make the flying geese.

Sew along the line. Cut your ¼” seam allowance and press as desired. Either open or towards the background fabric.

Step 7

You should now have 4 flying geese rectangles (2 of each blue fabric) measuring 3” x 5.5”.

Sewing the block together

Step 8

I like to lay all my pieces out now. Making sure they are all pointing in the right direction.

It is a good idea to use a pin wherever you have intersecting seams!

Take a pink diamond and a blue goose (that sounds funny!) Sew together as in the picture below.

Step 9

Do this for all four sets. These squares should measure 5.5” square.

Lay them out again, I had one set pointing the wrong way so it is a good idea to keep checking!

Step 10

Sew the top 2 together and the bottom 2 together. Press.

Join these together then give a final press and you have completed your block!

Complete Windblown square

Your block should measure 10.5” square unfinished.

These are my other two blocks….

Complete Windblown square 2

These went together a lot neater when I pressed the seams open.

Complete Windblown square 3

If you have any questions feel free to pop me an email.

Also, if you haven’t already check out the flickr group. There are quite a few putting photos of their blocks up! It is really great to see everyone’s progress!

I am also putting links to the block tutorials on my facebook page so if you are regularly on there you might like have a look.

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Friday, August 24, 2012

QAL Block 5 is ready to go!

Hi Everyone,

Just letting you know that the tutorial for Block 5 – Jack in the Box is now up on Jess’ blog!

Go take a look HERE

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I am crazy about Scraps!

Hi everyone,

I have to admit that I am kind of crazy when it comes to scrap collecting….I have shoe boxes, drawers and shopping bags full of scraps!

Probably only half of these scraps are actually from my own projects, I have adopted scraps from my mums stash and multiple friends stashes too!

Today I came across Bonnie Hunters new leaders and enders challenge….Tonight I have started preping!

Leaders and enders prep

I love leaders and enders! It should put a dent in my scraps (hopefully) and it feels like you are making two quilts for the price of one!

Now, what do you do with those little triangles that get cut off when you are making Flying Geese and similar units?

Well I know it is crazy but I save them….I have heaps of tiny Half Square Triangles sewn together from the X and + blocks.

And I have some from the QAL we are doing at the moment….

Scraps used

This is a block I made with the HST’s I made from leftover triangles from Jess’ Pieced Star blocks. Plus a couple from an earlier block too. The corner squares are cut from the scrap rectangles from my St Louis Star block.

This block will be 8.5” finished. I think I will hold onto it and see what other scraps come out of this quilt!

Nothing is wasted!

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Friday, August 17, 2012

QAL Block 4 – St Louis Star

Hi all,

Today is my day for a How far will you go? QAL tutorial.
We are doing Block 4 – St Louis Star.

If you are doing the full quilt you will need 1 of these blocks!


Please read the whole tutorial before you start!


Download the pattern from here. I recommend downloading it before you print it. (I couldn’t adjust the page scaling when I printed it straight from Box.)

The foundation pattern is on 4 pages. When printing make sure to print with NO page scaling.


The foundation patterns should measure 5” along the finished line as shown above. Or 5 ½” if you include the seam allowance. (Sorry about the glare!)

Trim around all the foundation pieces, I leave the seam allowance plus about 1/8th of an inch around the edges.

Fabric cutting Instructions


Note before you cut – if you are new to paper piecing you may want to cut your pieces ½” or so bigger than what I have, just to give yourself some more room for playing!

Background fabric – cut 8 rectangles 3 ½” x 2 ½”

Back Star fabric – cut 8 rectangles 4 ¼” x 2”

Fore Star fabric 1 – cut 4 rectangles 6 ¼” x 2 ¼”

Fore Star fabric 2 – cut 4 rectangles 6 ¼” x 2 ¼”

Outside Corner fabric – cut 8 squares 4 ½” x 4 ½”

Piecing the foundations

Note – The way I am showing you here is a bit different to the youtube video, I use pins to show me where the seam line will be rather than holding it up to the light. It lets me be more accurate and have less wastage because I can cut my fabrics a lot smaller in the beginning. However, you can still do it the way Craft Gemini shows you in the video, it just a matter of personal preference!

Start with unit A.


Lay paper printed side down, lay background fabric right side up over paper in the corner marked A1 (so your paper and fabric are wrong sides together). Line the fabric up with the edges of the paper. Pin to secure.


Flip paper over, poke a pin through the layers at either end of the first seam line.


Flip over again, the pins are your guide on the back, so you can see where your seam will be. Just to show you more clearly I have drawn a line to show you where the seam will be sewn.


Lay your Back Star fabric at right angles to the background fabric. The seam is on the 45’ so the fabric will flip over on that angle. A bit confusing but it will all be clear once this piece is sewn and ironed.

I use the imaginary line between the pins as my guide for where I place the fabric and getting the ¼” seam allowance.


Using the same pins secure the fabric. I have put the line just so you can see approximately where the seam is going to be sewn in relation to where the fabrics are.


Flip the piece over and sew along the first seam line. Sew from the edge of the seam allowance. Stop sewing right on the edge of the next sewing line.


Fold the paper back, and trim fabric ¼” from sewn line.


Press Back Star fabric over into position.


Repeat the process now for piece 3. Pin through at either end of the seam line.


When you place the fabric down, check at each end to make sure you have allowed slightly more than ¼” for the seam allowance.


Bring the pins to the top and secure all the layers. I have drawn in the line so you can see where the seam will be in relation to the fabrics.

Flip the piece over and sew along the seam line.


Fold the paper back underneath and trim the seam allowance to ¼”.

Press fabric over into position.

Repeat the pinning process for piece 4.


Line piece 4 (outside corner fabric) up with the pins.

Secure as before and sew along seam line.

Fold back paper and trim fabric to ¼” seam allowance.


Press piece 4 into position.


Trim around the edges. Using rotary cutter cut along all the outside lines. (Do not cut on the finished line, which is the bolder line, make sure to cut on the very outside line.)

You have now got one complete segment.

Repeat this process for the rest.

I started with unit A and worked my way through them all the way up to H. Use the 1st Fore Star fabric for A,B and E,F. Use the 2nd Fore Star fabric for units C,D and G,H.

Piecing the block

Tear the paper off the back of all the units.


As you tear the paper off lay the units down in the correct order ready for sewing. Starting with A at the top left hand side and working clock wise around the block.


Sew the units together as you would a 4 patch block. Sew A to B, C to D and so on.

I really recommend pinning at all the adjoining seams when you join all the pieces together. Press all these seams open, there is going to be a lot of bulk and I think doing this will really help.


You can see in the picture above that I have put the pins in along the seam lines and at the top corner. Often with paper piecing the fabric ends up with bias or close to bias edges, the pins help with any stretching and also keeping it all lined up.


Sew the top units together and then the bottom units together. Keep using your pins!


Then sew both rows together. Do I need to say … PINS? There is a lot of bulk at the centre point so you will need to go slowly over this section.

There are 16 seams coming into that centre point! With this much bulk it is very difficult to get the points perfect.


This is my points, as you can see they are not perfect. I guess with some unpicking and fiddling I could get them a bit better but I am pretty happy with how the block has turned out which the more I think about it I might have to do! Ughhh!


I just wanted to show you a picture of the back of my block so you could see the bulk in the middle and how I have pressed the seams.

Well done! You now have a St Louis Star!

It should measure 10 1/2” unfinished!

If you have any questions please pop me an email, leave a comment here or in the Flickr group and I will do my best to help!

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

QAL Block 2 Weathervane, Take 2

Hi guys,

I am so sorry for all the trouble you are having with block 2, Weathervane!

I thought I was making it easier by not doing it foundation pieced….but maybe that is the best way to do this block after all!

Finished Weathervane Block

So, I am not going to give you a complete tutorial on how to paper piece (I will be showing you how I do it for Block 4 which will be released on Friday).

But if you haven’t paper pieced before I highly recommend you watch this video I found for you on Youtube! She explains it really well, it is well worth a look!

Now, you can download the PDF Foundation Pattern here.

You can print it straight from Box but I would download it and then print it.

Tip 1 – You will need 4 copies of the pattern. Make sure when you print it that you have NO page scaling.

The pieces should measure just shy of 3.875” across the unfinished width. And just shy of 3.325” across the finished width.

Tip 2 – Remember to shorten your stitch length to about 1.5 when you are sewing through the foundations. It really does make it easier to tear the paper off.

Fabric cutting

Unit A and B
Background fabric - 12 x 2 1/2” squares
Print fabric – 12 x 2 1/2” squares

Unit C
Background fabric – 8 x 2 1/2” squares
Print fabric – 4 x 4 1/4” squares

Centre Square
Print fabric – 1 x 3 7/8” square (make this the same size as the foundation squares)

Fabric placement – On the pattern the white sections are the background fabric.

The shaded sections are your print fabrics.

Piece the foundation units in the same manner as demonstrated in the video linked to above.

Piecing the block

Remove the paper before joining the units together.

Units A and B get joined together the make the corner segment. You need 4.

Piecing Units A and B for corner patches

Unit C is the middle segment. You need 4.


Piece your block as per the original block assembly.

Block patches laid out

Sew your units into rows first. I really recommend using pins where each seam meets, I find pins are my best friend when it comes to getting the seams lined up!

Block patches sewn into 3 rows

Then join the rows together to complete the block.

Finished Weathervane Block

You now have a complete Weathervane block. Measuring 10 1/2” square unfinished.

You only need one of these for the quilt!

If this is your second block of this one feel free to make your first block into something else so that you can go in the draw for the “Small quilted Item” category.

Hopefully this works better for you! If you have any questions please leave a comment, email me or post it on flickr so the whole group can benefit.

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