Welcome to Tuning My Heart Quilts to all of those visiting for Jen's 2019 Color Challenge. Lime Green is this month's color and I had to go searching in my stash for just the right greens for this one. This block goes together really quickly and I will share some of my tips with you for this block-that is just what I do. Jen chose Spider Mums to inspire our color choice this month.
I love how we have a such a range of tints and shades of our lime green all in one flower.
After searching through my stash of greens I came up with a couple that work really well-I thought I might have to run out to my local quilt shop, but finally found some scraps in my greens basket that hit the lime green perfectly.
Now for some of my tips to make piecing this block a breeze. When I need to mark a diagonal line for sewing I place my fabric on a piece of very fine sandpaper that I picked up from the hardware store. I have it attached to a clipboard which I keep handy.
The sandpaper keeps the farbic from moving as I draw my line.
I always sew with my needle in the down position and I begin and end my piecing with little scraps of fabric. This eliminated those long threads that need clipping and also means I get a crisp start to my sewing. Notice in the first photo that my needle is down and I have moved my pieces into position.. I actually stop my machine, lift the presser foot, and place my pieces right up next to the needle before I begin sewing them together. I get a nice straight start to my piecing this way and never any puckering or a wobbly few beginning stitches.
One part you need to be careful with on this block is the trimming. Be sure and line up the diagonal line of your ruler with the diagonal seam line. This is an important step in achieving the sharp points we all desire.
Because Jen's directions have us pressing to one side these seams then lock together very nicely which also aide in giving us sharp points in our finished block.
When the seam is facing towards my needle as it approaches-as shown here-I very rarely bother to pin it. As I sew, those seams will just naturally be pushed together and I end up with nice sharp points.
I do however pin when a seam is facing away from my needle. I will sew right up to the pin, stop with my needle in the down position and carefully remove the pin, then continue stitching. Never a pretty picture to break a needle sewing over a pin so I just try to avoid it altogether.
To get your copy of this month's pattern head on over to Jen's blog: Patterns by Jen. She has even more tips and how-to's for you. You can also sign up to get email updates when each new pattern is released. It has been rather fun to focus on a different color each month. My fabric stash is definately heavy in some color areas and sorely lacking in others so I have enjoyed working with some new colors as a focal point in my blocks.
To see what some other bloggers have done with this month's block be sure and visit:
Linda Pearl -Note: Linda's is not available unitl May 6th
And if you are looking for another free BOM to keep you busy I hope you will consider joining me on my current one-Just Desserts-which can be accessed here.
Block 3-Blueberry Pie
Growing up in the Pacific Northwest I loved berry season. It meant family trips out to the nearby farms to purchase berries by the crateful. Strawberries, raspberries and blueberries were my favorite. Oh, the anticipation of that first blueberry pie fresh out of the oven. My pie crusts have improved over the years, but my mom was an expert at the flaky crust.
I have a few little tips to share with you about this month's block. I picked up a bag of scrabble letter tiles and use these to label my pieces as I cut them out. Labeling is especially important for this month's block.
Another label I rely on are small sticky notes. We have several combinations of Half-square Triangles to keep track of with this block and this really helped me to keep them organized.
When drawing lines on the back of fabric as I prefer to do when needing to sew a diagonal line, I use a piece of very fine sandpaper that is attached to a clipboard. This keeps the fabric from slipping as I mark it. I know that a lot of quilters just eyeball sewing those diagonal lines, but I find I like the precision I get with taking the time to draw the lines.
As I made the Half-square triangles I worked with only one combination at a time. This kept me from mixing up which one was which. I do like my Bloc Loc rulers and this one works great for trimming these units to size. With a regular ruler you just need to make sure that your seam line is lined up with that diagonal line on your ruler as you trim. This will ensure that your Half-square Triangles come out perfectly halved with the two different fabrics meeting at the corner.
As I mentioned, I worked with just one combination at a time and made sure to label as them after trimming.
This really helped when it came time to put the various units together that make up this block.
I have given very precise pressing directions for this block which will aide in having all of the various seams work with each other to allow this block to go together nicely. Whenever possible having "locking seams", seams that go in opposite directions, really helps in achieving those sharp points we all desire in our work.
The drawback is that we can end up with some bulky seams to sew over. My tip: sew very slowly over those seams and pin as necessary. I always place a pin when my top seam is facing away from needle as shown here. These are the seams most likely to get pushed out of alignment as I sew.
However, when the top seam is facing towards my needle it will tend to get pushed into the seam underneath and things usually line up quite nicely even without pinning.
Sometimes it also helps to use a stiletto to hold down that seam as it goes under the needle. Again, sew slowly over these bulkier seams to keep your stitches nice and straight. Learning to slow down as I sew has had one of the greatest impacts on the precision of my piecing.
All of these tips are the things I do to end up with units that come out nicely when several seams meet up. I hope they are equally helpful to you as you make your own version of Blueberry Pie. Be sure and join me on my Facebook Sew Along group page to share photos of your blocks, ask questions, and sew along with a really fantastic group of quilters with all levels of experience. Request to join that group here.
I am blessed with some amazing pattern testers who enjoyed this one too. Here are some of their blocks to further inspire you.
To get your copy of this month's pattern click here: Blueberry Pie pdf pattern
For previous patterns in this series click here.
Now for this month's recipe:
Visit BetsyLife's blog for her Classic Blueberry Pie.
I have a bag of wild hucklberries from last summer that I may use instead...
Until next time...
Happy April 1st! We enjoyed Spring Break here last week and laughed about our "spring" weather of snow, hail and rain. When the flowers finally do come they should be gorgeous after all of the moisture. I hope you enjoy this month's block as much as I did. Flying Geese and Half-square Triangles make up this one. You can download a pdf of the pattern by clicking here.
My testers had fun with this one too. With or without the snowmen they all look great.
It's hard to believe we are nearing the end of this BOM. Next month for those that are doing the 12 block version it will be time to finish your quilts, the rest of us have Block 13 to look forward to that will be featured in the center of our quilt.
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