Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Starbright progress

Finally got the time to work on the Book of the Month project, which I'm calling StarbrightThe block is called Carolyn's block from Carol Doak's 40 Bright and Bold Paper Pieced Blocks, (affiliate link) and boy, is it bright!  But I think it's going to look awesome, even before the quilting!

So, here's the start, with all the pieces ready to go, and some pieces sewn on the paper.  
I have to admit that I used the freezer paper technique on this one, just so I could compare it to the traditional sew-through-the-paper technique.  If your not familiar with freezer paper piecing, here's a quick tutorial.

A big roll of freezer paper is found in places such as Target, Walmart, the grocery store etc.  When taking it off the roll, I iron it lightly, because it does shrink.  Doing this helps the blocks from ending up a bit too small.  

I cut the paper into 8 1/2" x 11" pieces to print foundation patterns from EQ7.  I use an inkjet printer to print on the dull side and have had no problems putting freezer paper through.
Before starting any project, I always print a test block to check the measurements of the block.  I know that my printer makes the length short, but I compensate for that by adding .05 to my block height measurement when setting up the block size to print in EQ7.
Once your blocks are the correct size, print away!  Remember to check the 'mirror' button because the sewing happens on the other side of the printout, which is the mirror image of the block.  Sometimes that matters, and other times it doesn't--just double check that mirror button!

Now for the fun part--sewing!  Set the iron to a temperature that is warm enough for the fabric to stick to the freezer paper, but not extremely hot.  Starting with the first piece and the freezer paper shiny side up, lightly tack down the fabric with the iron tip, avoiding contact between the iron and the shiny paper.  Be sure to leave a seam allowance on all sides.
Turn the unit over and fully iron down the piece.  Hold it up to the light to double check the area is covered and there is ample seam allowance.  (And yes, I know I didn't follow the number sequence here!)

Using a cardstock or a postcard as a straight edge, fold on the line for the next piece.
Keeping the paper folded, place a 1/4" ruler on the fold edge and trim the seam allowance to 1/4".
Line up the seam allowance edge with the next piece of fabric.
At the sewing machine, with the freezer paper side up, place the needle just to the right of the fold.
If you find the foot is dragging on the folded back (shiny side) piece of freezer paper, place a plain piece of paper over it for the foot to ride on.
Using a 2.0-2.2mm stitch length, stitch beside the fold.
Open up the fold, and from the fabric side, press the seam and lightly press the new piece into place.  Flip the unit over and press the paper completely onto the fabric.
To finish the block, continue folding on the seamline, trimming the seam allowance, sewing the next piece, and pressing the new piece into place on the freezer paper.

And the result is a pretty block!
Hope you have enjoyed this lesson and give paper piecing a try, either with the freezer paper method, or the sew through method.  Either way, I highly recommend Carol Doak's books, and especially her Mastering Foundation Paper Piecing at  Carol does an awesome job with hints and tricks to make the whole process easy!

Happy Quilting!   

Friday, April 12, 2013


This is my latest creation, Daisies, from Carol Doak's Blueprint class, Mastering Foundation Paper Piecing.

Isn't it pretty?

I started the quilting last week, and then life got in the way of my quilting!  But hey, the good news is that I've finished all the petal/leaf units that I was chain hand appliqueing!  Yeah!

Then finally got back to this one yesterday and finished up today.
Here's some detail shots:
 There was a lot of ruler work in this one but I wanted contrast with the freehand leaves in the diamonds, and the curves in the daisies.
 The combination of straight lines and curves provides interest, and helps define what it is that should stand out in the piecing.  Think of it as foreground and background.
And even though the border design was time consuming because there was no piecing to follow, it adds unity to the quilt.  Just a few things to think about when designing the quilting--it really does make the quilt!

Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Ripple Effect

Announcing my newest creation, Ripple Effect!
Some quilts inspire others, and some create leftovers for another, creating a chain reaction or ripple. Remember those leftover curved pieces from the Glorified 9-Patch, Oh, Baby Baby?
Couldn't let them go to waste!  So I designed Ripple Effect with a bit of a modern flair, not only in it's design, but also it's quilting.

I'd been itching for a few months to do modern style quilting after taking Angela Walter's 'Machine Quilting Negative Space' class on      
I used to be terrified of negative space--I would avoid Snowball blocks at all costs!  I just had no idea what to do with all that empty area. I designed this quilt specifically to quilt some negative space!

Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Freehand Fills

I wanted to learn freehand fills, and made this Blue Heart quilt just for that purpose.  They aren't perfect, but it was all about the learning!
Click on the fill Titles to go to the specific tutorial page.




 Curved Spikes

 Double Circles

Feather Whatever





 Swirls and Circles



Monday, April 1, 2013

April Book of the Month

It's time for the new Book of the Month selection!  Carol Doak's
40 Bright and Bold Paper-Pieced Blocks wins this time!
I've done paper piecing in the past, but have to admit there were a few things I didn't know that I learned in her class to make it a lot easier. 

So my first project is the Black Eyed Susan from the class, though I'm making mine white like a daisy.  I've printed out the blocks, gathered the fabric, and since I enlarged it, made new measurements.  Now to cut the pieces and start sewing!

After that one is done, I have 2-3 projects from the book picked out.  Let's see how far I get...

I hope you'll join me in paper piecing.  And if you've never tried it, I really recommend learning the technique from her class,
She is a great teacher, and well experienced about her topic.  She's also a lot of fun to watch!

Happy Quilting!