I was able to get back into my quilt studio today for the first time in several days as it doubles as the guest room. What fun to get to make Penny Basket designed by Lynne Hagmeier of Kansas Troubles Quilters. There are a few challenges with this block and I approached a couple of things in my own way. Overall I am happy with how it came out.
If you would like the pattern it can be downloaded by clicking on this link: Penny Basket
To begin I pulled out my Perfect Circle sets and found matches
for the two circle sizes in the pattern
I used the circles to trace onto a paper-backed fusible. Leaving a little extra I cut out the circles.
(My favorite fusible for machine applique is Heat N Bond lite, but there are many options out there. Be sure to follow the directions from the manufacturer for best results.
The fusible has been pressed onto the wrong side of my fabric and then I can cut out on the lines. The directions did not have you do the B circles like this, but I think it is easier than trying to fit the cut out fusible circle onto the cut out fabric circle.
I left the paper backing on the large circles for this step then peeled the paper off of the smaller circles and pressed them into place. I did not want to loose my little bee centers to the basket so folded the large circle in half to figure out where I would put the small circles.
Once again I folded the two circles that will be sewn into the basket and measured 1/4 inch from the fold and cut off the bottom of the circle with my rotary cutter.
And here we have them...
Now I need to prepare the large triangles that will make up the basket.
This is my C square being cut in half for the top.
The directions say to align the edges and leave 3/4" inch exposed on the ends...
this is how I did that.
A little tricky part here.
I am only pressing along the seam line so that the remainder of the circles will not
be attached yet. Again, follow the manufacturer's directions for your fusible.
With right sides together I am sewing the C and D triangles together.
Once, again I need to be careful when I press this open. I still need the circles to be free from the backing-unattached for now.
At this point my square needs to measure 4-1/2 inches
with the diagonal line running right down the middle.
This is where the ability to move those circles out of the way will come in handy.
First I attach one E rectangle. Notice that I made sure the circle is lifted as I sew this seam.
A little tricky to press this seam but I want to avoid touching that fusible.
Repeat this process to attach the F rectangle to the next side. After carefully pressing the seam I can now fuse the two circles into place. My measurement is now 5-1/2 inches.
In preparation for the machine applique I attach a piece of stabilizer to the back.
I love how the buttonhole stitch looks for applique. I have set my machine for a narrow width and short stitch length. (On my machine the settings are 2.0 width, 1.9 length) Before I begin my buttonhole stitch I do 5-6 straight stitches along the edge towards the place I want to begin the buttonhole stitch. (Stitch length is also 1.9)
You can see my straight stitches here. With my needle in the down position I pivot the material around to begin my buttonhole stitch. It will go right back over those straight stitches locking everything into place. ( I left my threadtail in here just to make it easier for you to see the stitches, I will cut it before I stitch over it.
I want the needle to fall right along the edge of the applique during the straight part of the buttonhole stitch. Whenever I need to adjust the fabric, as one does to go around a circle, I make sure the needle is in the down position before repositioning my work.
Having made it to the top of the basket I turn my piece around and switch back to the straight stitch to finish off with 5-6 stitches and a lock stitch. Since the stitch length on my buttonhole and straight stitch are the same the new stitches will lay right on top of the previous ones.
I have now fused the top circle into place and will stitch around it in a similar manner.
With the bulk I decided to move this one up a little higher on the basket so as
not to overlap the other flowers.
I start with a few straight stitches along the edge.
Then switch over to the buttonhole stitch and work my way around the circle. I will continue right over those first straight stitches I made.
When I reach the beginning of the buttonhole stitch I switch back to the straight stitch and finish off as before.
All the little middle circles are done in the same way.
I decided to add a little decorative stitch to the top of the basket at this time too.
This is where I changed things a little bit.
If you have been following my progress on the National Quilters Circle Challenge you have seen me make a lot of Half Square Triangles this way. I like it for the accuracy it gives me and I do not have to be careful about sewing on the bias which can easily become distorted.
For this method I cut one G and one H square 2x2 inches
On the lighter square I have drawn a diagonal line down the middle.
With right sides together join these two squares by sewing 1/4 inch from both sides of the drawn line. Using a ruler and rotary cutter cut on the drawn line to give you two half square triangles. We only need one for this block so the other will be saved for use in a mini.
Trim this unit to 1-1/2 inches. It is important to line up the diagonal line on your ruler with the seam line. Trim off two sides, rotate the unit and trim the final two sides.
All trimmed and ready to go. I will set this aside for now and work on the next step.
I am not going to cut my G square in half as the directions tell me to. Again, I avoid sewing on two bias edges together if I can so here is my method of joining pieces G and I. I start by drawing a line on G. Making sure I have my diagonal line running in the right direction I am going to sew along the diagonal line this time.
I find it works best to sew just to the outside of the drawn line- just a needle's width.
I can now trim away 1/4 inch from the sewn line, press,
and end up with a unit that is 1-1/2 x 2 1/2 inches.
With all of my pieces laid out I can sew the two units I just made onto the E rectangles
Time to add those sections to the basket unit. First one side and then the other.
My Penny Basket is complete! Just in time for the release of tomorrow's block!!!
Until next time...
Block 8 of the National Quilters Circle 9 week challenge is here. Wow-just one more to go. After spending some time last week working with Half Square Triangles
that measured 1 inch when finished this block was a breeze. You can find the pattern for this block by clicking on this link: https://www.nationalquilterscircle.com/video/
I have my 5.25 inch squares all cut, pressed and ready to go.
Pretty soon I may be able to sew Half Square Triangles in my sleep!
I drew a diagonal line on all of my light colored blocks. I also drew a line on one of the squares for my A/B combination and one for the C/A combination needed for this block.
Each pair of squares is sewn together 1/4 inch from both sides of the drawn line.
Cutting on the diagonal line will yield 2 Half Square Triangle units. After pressing these open I trim to the required 4 1/2 inches called for in Andrea's directions.
All of my units are sewn and ready to be put together. I just love how many different blocks you can get by simply rearranging these Half Square Triangle units.
Have you taken the time to play with yours before arranging them according to the directions? You might come up with some new blocks you love.
I took a close up off this unit to show off the fabric
that comes across as so dark in most of my photos.
It really was the perfect choice to go with my main floral fabric.
Now that my blocks are arranged in the correct order I begin sewing the rows together.
I pressed rows 1 and 3 to the left, and rows 2 and 4 to the right so that the seams will nest together when I join the rows.
Once the rows are sewn together I can join them together pinning at the seams.
This is how I pin so that I can easily pull them out when I come to them.
If all goes well my needle will hit right at that intersection of seams and
leave me with perfect points after pressing.
Here is my first version of the block.
And here is my snowman version. Yes, it was snowing again when I designed this one.
I am bouncing around a few ideas for how I might like to set these blocks in a quilt. There have been some great ideas shared on the group Facebook page already.
Well, until next time...
What could be better than a block that has both piecing and applique. I love combining the two. Block 6 was designed by Carrie Nelson and you can get the pattern by visiting Carrie's blog post which is linked here: http://blog.modafabrics.com/2017/04/blockheads-block-6/
Now that I am all caught up, it was hard waiting for the next block to be released on Wednesday. Of course that does give me time to work on some other things that were being neglected last week.
I am using Garden Notes designed by Kathy Schmitz for Moda with a cream Bella Solid for the background as the main fabrics in my blocks. This fabric line is the touch of spring to brighten my day here in the still cold and snowy Pacific Northwest. A sunflower will be a great addition to my garden of blocks. I did feel like this sunflower needed a touch of brown so found a perfect one in my stash that even has a bit of yellow in it.
I decided to begin with the applique circle. I have wanted to try a new method for some time now and this seemed the perfect opportunity. I traced the inner circle onto a piece of Pella lightweight interfacing and cut around it with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. I layered my fabric right side up and placed the interfacing on top.
With a lot of stopping and turning I stitched on the line that was drawn on the interfacing and then clipped around the curves.
Now I need to turn it rightside out;
a careful incision on the interfacing will allow me to do that.
A view from the back and the front after turning and pressing.
A sunflower just needed a bee in the middle.
I will set my circle aside now, while I work on piecing the rest of the block.
I have two D rectangles stacks as I decided I wanted to add another dimension to this block.
I cut 4 of each for my D rectangles.
First thing to do is join my A and B squares.
These units will measure 2 1/2 x 1 1/2.
Being careful about the placement of my A/B unit I need add a C rectangle to each.
These units should now measure 2 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches.
A little note about my machine settings. I like to use a small stitch length. On my machine a length of 1.9 equals 12-13 stitches per inch. I like this size because my seam ripper...I think I have decided to call him Jack like another quilter in the group... Jack will still fit easily into the stitch on those not so rare occasions that I need to remove some stitches.
And I love the needle down position!
Okay, back to the Sunflower block.
I use the remaining A squares to make the petal units. Whenever I need to sew on the diagonal I take the time to mark a line on the back of my squares. This is a line that will stay in the quilt so I use a pencil to make my marks as it does not show through.
Each D rectangle needs an A square added.
For these units to come out correctly all of the diagonals need to go in the same direction.
Notice where my needle is here and the way I have laid the unit for chain piecing.
It is important to have the needle land just to the right of the drawn line.
Before trimming off the extra bits I flip the triangle over to make sure it completely covers the rectangle underneath. If everything looks good I trim 1/4 inch from my seam line.
I wanted to show you what can happen when your stitching does not fall to the right of you drawn line. That little bit of black showing through shows how you lose fabric to the thread width and the fold when you try to stitch right on the line. Though it does not look like much, especially with these smaller blocks, it can be enough to throw off your finished size.
Back to our units:
These all get pressed towards the rectangle and should measure 2 1/2 x 1 1/2 inches.
Now I can sew my "petals" together.
I want all of my check fabric to be on the same side for the look I am going for.
I pressed these so that the point at the top would not be folded over on itself.
I like not having a bulky seam at that top point.
These units should also measure 2 1/2" x 2 1/2"
Now I lay out all of my pieces to start sewing the rows together.
If possible I like to sew with the side that has seams facing away from my needle as I approach. This is not always possible but when it is I go for it.
I have pressed the top and bottom rows so that the seams face towards the outer units.
The middle row is pressed towards the center square.
I used to try to get away without pinning but have found it is the best way to make sure my seams match. It is hit and miss for me without the pin. I place my pin about 1/4 inch in so that I am sure that where my seam will be is held together the way I want.
With the block all pieced I can pin my applique circle in place and stitch in place by hand.
I like using Kimono silk thread for hand applique as the thread just disappears into the fabric. (And I just happened to have the perfect blue for this on hand.)
Not yet sure what I am going to do with these tiny things. These are the triangles that I trimmed off of the petal units. I used them for my leaders and enders when I was chain-piecing.
Those are going to be mighty small, but I need to make another mini.
Until next time...
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