Friday, November 30, 2012

Don’t let my quiet blog fool you!

Hi all,

We have had such a busy week!

Doing this -


And of course I forgot to take before photos…we are putting new carpet in our bedrooms, we have had a concrete floor in the main bedroom for about 4 years and the carpet in the boys rooms is about 30 years old so it is long overdue!


So these are the boys rooms. We think the house was an owner build because it is pretty dodgy…so we are redoing all the skirting and architrave boards. And then we need to paint before the carpet goes in.

This morning I meet mum at Spotlight and we used our $40 vouchers to get curtain fabric for the new rooms too.

It is all happening!

Quilt backing 

I have managed to squeeze in some sewing time though. This is the backing for my How far will you go? QAL quilt. Kind of an improve stacked coin look. It is a lot bigger than the actual quilt size and I still need to trim the edges.

I had to order some more fabric for my border so I thought I would make the backing while I waited. I ordered the fabric from Perri at Stitches from the Bush, she has a great little online shop. And I snuck in a Noteworthy charm pack, I am so in love with this range!

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Friday, November 23, 2012

Block 18 – Grandmothers Choice

Hi all,

Well this is the last block for the How far will you go? QAL….It is been an exciting and interesting 18 weeks. I can’t believe we have been doing this quilt for 3 months, it has gone really fast!

So originally the last block was Hayes Corner but it really was not going to work for a 10” block….so I chose a much simpler block for us to finish on!

Grandmothers Choice title pic

This block is basically the Crazy Ann block (week 13) but without the crazy, which can only be good! And I am so sorry I took the photos on my design board, the white background is not the best decision.

You only need to make one of these blocks.

Cutting Instructions

Cutting instructions

 Background fabric
4 x 2 7/8” squares cut diagonally to yield 8 triangles
4 rectangles 2.5” x 4.5”

Fabric 1
1 x 4 7/8” square cut diagonally to yield 2 triangles
2 x 2.5” squares

Fabric 2
1 x 4 7/8” square cut diagonally to yield 2 triangles

Fabric 3
2 x 2.5” squares

Making the block

Corner Units

Step 1

Using your fabric 1 and 3 2.5” squares and the background triangles. 

Step 2  
Piece the first triangle to one side of the square and lining up the straight edges, as pictured above.

Step 3

Piece the 2nd triangle to the square, lining up the straight edges, as pictured above.

Step 4 
It is a good idea to trim off the little dog ears, I was so excited to be on the last block that I forgot LOL

You should have 4 of these pieced triangle units, 2 of each colour.

Step 5

Join the pieced triangle to your Fabric 1 and 2 triangles. Press the seam over to the print fabric.

You should have two units with fabric 1 and two units with fabric 2 and 3. Four units all together.

The block

Step 6

This goes together like a nine patch block.

lay all your pieces out and sew it into rows first. I pressed the all of the rows seams to the background fabric.

Step 7

Next sew the rows together. Pin at the intersecting seams.

Press seams to the background fabric.

Completed block

You have now completed a Grandmothers Choice block! And the last block of the QAL!

It should measure 10.5” unfinished.

We are going to give you a couple of weeks now to catch up on your blocks and then we will post about putting the quilt together in two weeks, so the 7th December.

Don’t forget to upload your photos of your blocks to the flickr group, we are loving seeing your progress!

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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Blocks Galore!

Hi all,

I have been busy making lots of blocks….it is a pity a block is not classed as a finish for OPAM!


Block 17 of the HFWYG? QAL is called Arrowheads…The tute is here.


Block 11 of the QAL is Tippencanoe which is 4 foundation pieced 5” blocks….so cute! The tute for these is here.

Sept bee blocks

These are the blocks for the QCA Bee hive 2…September. I loved using some of my Spring Street stash for these!

October bee blocks

October. The blocks from this month will make one loud quilt I think!

Nov bee blocks

And November. These are big Polaroid blocks. Great for fussy cutting!

That is the Bee up to date now! And I only have two more blocks for the QAL to do – Crazy Ann and Pinwheel Skew. I have made the last block, just have to write the tutorial. It is really the Crazy Ann block without the Crazy….I hope that is okay, I didn’t realise they were so similar until I started working on the Crazy Ann blocks this morning.

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Thursday, November 8, 2012

QAL block 16 – Wandering Foot Tutorial

Hi all,

I have to admit this is probably my favourite block in the whole quilt….

Title block

This block does look a little scary but if you take your time I am sure it will work for you. And you only need to make one!

We are going to be using templates, doing Y seams and curves for this one. Because of the size of the finished block – 20”, the curves are quite large and gentle. There are a couple of key points to remember when doing the Y seams and I will go through them with you….this is a very photo heavy post because I wanted to try to be clear with the instructions.


You will need to download the templates from here.

Remember to print them with NO page scaling.

Note. Ignore the unit numbering, I tried various ways of editing the templates but my first attempt at this block did not work so I have resorted to printing the templates straight from EQ7 as a PDF. And my second block is almost perfect.

Joining Template A

You will need to join the large centre template. You will see that each page has a dotted line running down each side. To join the template cut along the dotted line on one of the pages (in the picture above I have cut along the dotted line on the right-hand page).

Joining Template B

Align the cut edge with the dotted line on the joining page, make sure the lines for the template match up to make a smooth curve. Sticky tape in place.

Cut carefully around the outside line on all the templates.

All templates cut

You should have one of each of the templates above (these ones are numbered differently to the real templates that you are using).

There are several ways of making templates. I have just used the paper templates and cut around them as you would with a dress pattern. If you don’t want to do it how I have you could trace your templates onto template plastic, cut out the shapes and then you trace around the edge of the plastic onto the fabric. Or you can glue your paper templates onto cardboard, cut around the shapes and trace around the edge of the card onto your fabric. But we are only making one block, if you use nice sharp scissors (I use dress-making shears) and use a rotary cutter and ruler for the straight lines you shouldn’t have too much trouble cutting the templates the way I have.

Cutting your fabric

Template grainlines

Okay, I know the above picture contains a lot of information…

Grainline – trying to cut your pieces with the grainline following the lines that I have “Use this line” written on will help to stop your block stretching around the edges. There are 2 shapes that I haven’t marked with a grainline, you may want to fussy cut these or just place the large floral fabric template square on your fabric and line up one of the long edges of the Flower diamond with the grain.

Cutting requirements – If you follow the picture and lay your pieces out as you cut them, it will be easier for you to see what you have cut and keep track of the pieces.

Using templates 1

Iron your fabric to make sure it is flat. Pin the template to the fabric, it is a good idea to use a few pins as you want the template to stay flat on your fabric and not bulge up as you cut.

Using templates 2

Cut carefully around the edge of the template, sticking very closely to the template edge. Note in the photo above that you can’t see very much fabric at all around the edge.

Unit A 1

When cutting the templates that require more than one piece make sure all the layers of fabric are facing up.

For example – If you leave your fabric folded over wrong sides together, like we usually do, one out of two pieces will be facing the wrong way.

When cutting the petals I cut 4 pieces of fabric bigger than the template, layered them together right sides up and pinned the template on so that the grainline followed the strip in the print.

Piecing Unit A

Unit A 2

Starting with a diamond flower and a petal. With the petal piece if you fold the template in half you will notice that one of the straight edges is longer than the other one. The short side butts up to the backing fabric and the longer side butts up to the flower diamond.

Unit A 3

Flip the petal onto the diamond, align the edges from the bottom point of the diamond. It is very important not stitch all the way to the edge on the end were the Y seam will be. Stop or start your stitching 1/4” in from the edge. And sew with an accurate 1/4” seam allowance.

Unit A 4

Finger press (I didn’t use my iron until the unit was complete) the seam over to the petal. And get your next piece ready.

Unit A 5

Attach this petal in the same way as the other petal. Remember to stop sewing 1/4” from the end where the Y seam will be.

Unit A 6

Finger press the seam over to the petal side. And get your next piece ready.

Unit A 7

Flip the background fabric over onto the flower diamond. Align the top points, at the bottom where the Y seam will be the background fabric should sit 1/4” over the existing seam. Stop/start sewing from this seam line, don’t sew over the seam line. Also be careful not to catch the existing seam allowance in your stitching. 

Unit A 7a

This is what it should look like after the seam is sewn. The background and petal fabric should overlap about a 1/2”.

Unit A 8

Fold the whole unit over and align the edge of the petal with the background edge.

Unit A 8a

Make sure that both of the existing seam allowances are out of the way of where your new seam line will be.

Stop/start your stitching from the existing seam lines. None of the 3 seams that meet at the Y seam should be sewn all the way to the edge. You will understand why when you get to the pressing stage.

Unit A 9

Repeat the process for the background piece on the other side of the diamond.

Unit A 10

Flip the background fabric onto the flower, align the top points and have 1/4” over the seam at the bottom. Don’t sew over the existing seam.

Unit A 11

The background and petal fabric should overlap.

Unit A 12

Flip the whole unit over and align the edge of the petal fabric with the edge of the background fabric. Make sure your existing seams are back out of the way.

Unit A 13

Open the unit out. It is now sewn together.

Unit A 15

Carefully press, try not to push the fabric around with the iron. Place the unit wrong side up on the ironing board. Notice in the picture above that the seams rotate around the junction of the Y seam. Gently press the back first to get the seams going the right way, then flip it over and press from the front.

Unit A 15a

This is how the back of the Y seam looks after pressing. This helps reduce bulk and helps the seams to sit flat.

Unit A 14

You need 4 of these units.

Piecing Unit B

Unit B 1

These are the pieces you need for Unit B.

Unit B 2

Find the centre of the curve on one side of the centre fabric and the centre of the curve on the background fabric. I fold the piece in half and mark the centre point with a pin.

Unit B 3

Place you background fabric right side up and place the centre fabric on top with right sides together. Line up the centre points of the curves and pin.

Next, line up the ends of each piece and pin together. Then gently ease the top fabric into line with the fabric underneath and pin, my pins are roughly 3/4” – 1” apart.

Carefully carry over to your sewing machine, try to keep the bottom fabric flat and hold the top fabric gathered up. Holding it all in position makes it easier to sew. Slowly sew around the curve using 1/4” seam allowance, trying not to tug or pull at the fabric as you go.

Unit B 4

Gently press the seam to the background fabric.

Unit B 5

Repeat the process for the opposite side if the unit.

And then do the top and bottom.

Unit B 6

You can see that there is starting to be a bit more bulk. Just gather it all in and keep pinning. Pins are your friend!

Unit B 7

Press all the seams over to the background fabric. Your unit should sit nice and flat.

Unit B 8

You now have a complete Unit B.

Piecing Unit C (the whole block)

Unit C 1

Now we are joining the flowers (Unit A) to the centre of the block (Unit B).

Unit C 2

Place the flower right side up. Place the centre fabric on top so they are right sides together. Line up the centre point of the flower, where the petals and flower all come together, with the point of the floral fabric on the centre unit. Pin together.

Line the edges up, keep the straight edges lined up. In the picture above you can see my edge pins have been put in to hold the edges straight together.

Gently ease the top fabric into position, and pin. Again my pins are about 3/4” – 1” apart.

Carefully carry over to your machine and slowly stitch around the curve. Be careful not to tug or pull on the fabric.

Gently press the seam over to the background fabric.

Repeat this process for all four corners.

Completed wandering foot block

You now have a complete Wandering Foot block! Yay! You can breath again LOL

This block should measure 20.5” unfinished.

If you have trouble understanding my instructions or have any questions please email me and I will do my best to help!

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