I shared awhile ago about an upcoming quilt adventure I was excited to take part in. Jen Frost of Faith and Fabric put out a call for volunteers to join in her Sew Along. She has designed all of the blocks for a quilt called the Jesse Tree Quilt.
The blocks are 8 inches and they are all paper pieced blocks. I did not realize that when I signed up to be a few stops on the hop, but it has been good to get back into the swing of paper piecing. I will share a few tips with you later in this post.
Here are a few details from Jen:
OUR SHARED JOURNEY
What makes this so much more than just a quilt-along is what follows once the quilt is done. That’s because the journey doesn’t end on November 28th when we finish the last block. Instead, we shift our focus from a time of work to a time of waiting; the word Advent means “coming”, and is derived from the Latin word adventus. As we wait for the coming of Jesus’ birth on December 25th, we’ll spend each day of Advent taking the time to prepare our hearts and minds. Each day, from November 29 to December 25, you’ll receive a short devotion, reflection, and prayer. We’ll be looking in a new way at the blocks we created, focusing this time on the salvations story behind each and finding Christ each and every step of the way.
Here’s the quilt along schedule…with devotions beginning on November 29th as we begin the advent season.
It has been too long since I have done any paper piecing. I actually purchased a couple of classes through the old Craftsy and found them most helpful. Carol Doak in particular has a style that just makes sense to me. I had to re-watch a bit to remember how to go about the process, lol. But once I got back in my rhythm things went along smoothly. Jen lists this block as "advanced beginner". I've decided that is definitely me!
So here is my finished block:
I am glad I started with this one to get back in the swing of things. When paper piecing I set my stitch length to 1.5 on my machine. That is a LOT of little stitches in an inch. This allows the paper to tear away easily from the fabric after I have sewn everything. For my foundation paper I use plain newsprint that comes in 8.5" x 11" sheets, which are perfect for running through my printer to make the foundation pattern.
I found this video that Margo Clabo made for The Quilt Show where she demonstrates using the Add-A-Quarter ruler, which I love. This little trick took me from frustration to success when I was learning.
I have actually taped a piece of card stock to my ruler so that they stay together and I just flip the ruler back and forth as needed. You get a glimpse of the tape here while the ruler is flipped up out of the way.
Then I just flip the ruler down after folding my paper back and trim the seam allowance.
There is a tricky part that comes when you work on section B. Here I have the first piece laid out and trimmed.
But to get the next piece to lay straight across on the foundation paper you need to place it as shown below. (I moved it over about 1/4 inch from the top edge of my blue fabric.) I neglected to take a photo after pressing, but trust me it works. Another tip: instead of pins I use my glue stick and just put a couple of small dots of glue to hold the two fabrics together.
I am so glad I took Jen up on her offer make this quilt with her. And I am thankful that I did not realize when I signed up that it was foundation pieced or I might have skipped it and I would have missed out on a fun day in my sewing studio thinking about the promises of God and how faithful He is. Today was a day when I really pondered how I am not enough. I can never be everything others want me to be. I struggle often to be the me I think I should be. It is hard to let go of that and lean into God who makes up for what I lack on so many levels. I have found Him to be faithful and true in my life both when the rains are pouring down and when the sun is shining brightly.
For those who may be visiting for the first time I do have a free BOM happening now. Star Light, Star Bright is this year's theme. You can find all of the previous months patterns HERE. New blocks are released the first of each month which is almost here as well. Wow. The days are flying by.
I hope you have a blessed day
and Happy Quilting!
If you are looking for my It's a Garden Party Row Along post and pattern click on the photo below. My day came so close to my monthly release of our BOM block that I wanted to be sure you could find it. (And if you are a regular reader and did not see it be sure and check it out and get the pattern while it is still free-oh and there is a giveaway too!)
Now on to today's release of our next Star Light Star Bright block...
With the smokey skies our star gazing nights have been pretty limited. I confess I always get a thrill on a dark night when the Milky Way is visible. It can just be so stunning. I have named our 7th block Rigel-another bright star in our night sky.
For some of you there will be a new technique introduced in this block. I have never really liked sewing triangles. The bias edge is prone to stretching. But I do like the technique I am going to demonstrate to you now. Most of this unit is sewn on the straight edge rather than the bias which is a plus.
For this unit we start with the A and B squares. (The B squares have been cut on the diagonal.)
Line up the corner edges that are the straight of grain and sew along one side. See how we are avoiding that stretchy bias edge that is our diagonal?
After press we place the second triangle and sew in the same way as before.
I take a moment to trim of those little "tails" that stick out.
Now we lay the C triangle on top of our sewn unit, again matching the straight grain edges and sew along the bias edge. This is where I slow down as I sew and try not to pull on that bias edge as I guide it through my machine. It is the stretchiness of that bias edge that can cause trouble, so just take your time with this step.
Once pressed I check my measurement and trim if needed.
That's really all there is to it. With a little practice you will be sewing these up without any trouble. I do recommend that you do a couple of scrap versions first so you are comfortable with the process.
The only other tip I have for sewing this block is for when you join the rows together. I sew with the Flying Geese units on top. This allows me to watch and make sure that my needle hits at the tip of the triangle. I tend to use a stiletto to help guide those bulky seams under my needle. You have heard me say it many times before-slow down as you go over those bulky seams and you will see much straighter results.
I continue to make a block for the baby quilt as well. More fun fussy cutting that bunny fabric for the center square.
And finally the blocks my pattern testers created.
And now for the pattern. To get your copy of this month's block click on the link.
PDF Pattern for Block 7
To get all of the blocks in this series click on the link below.
Enjoy this month's block and...
I am just thrilled to welcome you to my day for the It's a Garden Party Row Along. This is my second year to participate and this year is even bigger and better than last year. A huge shout out to Marian Pena of Seams to be Sew who puts this all together for us-even when life throws in all sorts of wrinkles.
This year as we were deciding on a theme for the Row Along I had some thoughts in the back of my mind. With a Garden Party theme I could not help but think of a very dear friend who helps a small group of us celebrate our birthdays in style each year. We have party hats and necklaces and tiaras...she just makes us sparkle for our special day. This friend also happens to love flamingos. So my idea was to combine these elements into my row and I call it Party Time. Here is my finished stand alone version of my quilt. Yes, flamingos at a Garden Party.
One of my favorite fabric companies, Northcott, is very generous in providing all of us with a yard of fabric for our quilts. I just love their Essence collection-these are such great blenders and come in a wide variety of colors. I wanted some bold colors for this quilt and these just made my quilt pop. The orange is from another collection, Canvas, which has some texture to it that is nice.
You can view the entire collection no their website via the links below:
I am such a fan of the fusible applique method. Over the years I have learned a good bit about what works well for me with this technique. Below you will find three videos I have made to show you how I put my row together. These are filled with my tips; so whether you are new to fusible applique or have lots of experience I hope you find them valuable.
I am a teacher at heart and that is how I approach my quilting business; as a teacher here to help you be as successful as possible in your quilting endeavors.
This first video shows how to prepare all of your applique pieces.
In this second video I show how you can put the flamingos together to add them as one unit to the background fabric.
And the third video walks you through how I use my sewing machine to finish the applique process.
I really let myself out of the box on my sample and did some free motion quilting. I am usually a straight lines/outline kind of gal, but this quilt just called for a little more whimsy. And you know what? It was kind of fun, at least after my original trepidation eased and I let myself just go with it.
Click on the link below for the pattern, which is free until October 10th.
Party Time PDF Pattern
Marian has done an amazing job of rounding up sponsors for our Row Along. I am very pleased to be able to host the giveaway for a Fat Quarter Bundle from Timeless Treasures. I just love so many of their collections and enjoy using their fabrics in my quilts. I often pick up some yardage when visiting a quilt shop just because it inspires me. This FQ Bundle is a $20.00 value and ships to anywhere in the world, but please note that the winner pays shipping costs.
Be sure and read all of the rules. We are sticklers for them and comments are one of those requirements. Though I hope you will leave a comment even if you do not enter the giveaways.
One of our sponsors this year is Electric Quilt. Many of us, myself included use this software when designing our quilts. I do not know what I would do without it! It has sure simplified my design process. I still have sketches done on grid paper from back in the day. Though my applique designs are most often still drawn by hand EQ's software can even be used to draw those.
They are currently offering 20% off of any products except for EQ Academy during the row along. The coupon code to use is: GARDENPARTY20.
There is so much more fun to be had and patterns to be collected so be sure and visit all of the other designers/bloggers who are participating with me today.
Cynthia’s Creating Ark
Miss Loreen’s Schoolhouse
Moose Stash Quilting
Tuning My Heart Quilts-that's me!
Marian has links for all of the past posts in case you missed some of them. You can also enter giveaways via her website at www.seamstobesew.com/
For the complete Row Along schedule click here.
I wish you all
Here it is the first day of September. It has been a long journey of getting a working computer but finally last week I am up and running again. In the meantime, my vacation from tech encouraged some time away with my beloved hubby and we spent some nights in the woods, just the two of us and beautiful starry skies. There is something mesmerizing about looking up at the night sky far away from the hustle and bustle of life...the quiet, a little too quiet at times, and the Milky Way filling the sky as far as one can see. We had some perfect summer nights.
I also took advantage of abundant harvests and canned a lot of jam from our apricot tree followed by wild huckleberries and then some blueberries we were given. I may yet go out and pick blackberries as well. I tried something new with my apricot jam and added in Earl Gray tea to one batch and some lavender from my herb garden to another. Both are really quite tasty.
I was never able to post last month's block 5 on the blog due to my computer issues so let's start this month with a look at that one.
And here is the one that is going into my baby quilt. I worked to get the fussy cut rabbit in the middle.
Now for Block 6. I heard from some of my pattern testers that this was their favorite block for this quilt so far. All of the techniques in this block we have used in previous blocks so nothing new just more good practice. I will mention that try as I might not all of the seams will lock together the way I like which means we have a few rather bulky seams to deal with. So remember, sew slowly over those seams as it does help to keep things lined up. A stiletto to help guide those bulky seams under your needle will also be beneficial.
Every once in awhile I come up with a new streamlined way of doing things. This time I laid out several of these Half-square Triangles in a row and trimmed the first two sides at the same time.
The I rotated them all to trim the last two sides.
I don't know if it actually saved any time but it felt more efficient. Here they are ready to be sewn together into the Corner Units for our block.
I love it when seams go together so perfectly, and these diagonal seams do just that.
Because of the way I have pressed these I again have seams that perfectly match with one going one way and the other facing the opposite direction. This allows them to "lock" together as I sew. I rarely use pins and having that seam on top facing towards the top of my unit helps to "push" them together as I sew.
These units are looking good.
As I mentioned, we do not have any new techniques but I want to remind you to sew with the top little square pointing away from your needle. These little things do help.
We need to join our Flying Geese units together...
I sew with them arranged so that I can see the point. This way I can make sure that as I sew my needle will land right at the tip of that intersection (the "X" made by the seams.) This is where having that 1/4" seam allowance is so important since I want to achieve sharp points as I have in the photo above.
When it comes to the center unit I want to remind you to sew just to the right of your drawn line and not on top of it.
As I mentioned we will have some bulky seams that do not lock together well-the seams ended up facing the same direction. One way I try to deal with them is to flip the seam up and place a pin through the remaining layers to hold them together.
Then as I come to it I flip the seam back down and just before I get to the pin I go ahead and remove it carefully, while my needle is in the down position. When my needle is in the down position I can make little adjustments as the needle acts as a pin holding things in place.
Here is how my baby quilt version came out. The pink show brighter in real life. Since we do have those bulky seams I recommend pressing the final two seams open rather than to one side. I finger pressed the seams open before taking it to my ironing board. The pressed the back of the block on those open seams before flipping to the right side for a final press. All in all the block lays pretty flat with that technique.
And here are blocks my testers submitted. I am hard pressed to choose a favorite.
You can download all of the blocks in this series in my shop. They will be free until January 1, 2021.
Let me close by taking a moment to thank those who have checked up on my during my absence. Your care and thoughtfulness was such a blessing. And for those posting photos and comments on my Facebook pages; how truly wonderful it is to see my designs being made into such beautiful quilts; I am always amazed and honored when I see each one.
So, thank you and...
I love Christmas. It is one of my favorite times of the year. So when Carole at My Carolina Home suggested a Christmas in July event to all of us I was all in. Thank you Carole for putting this together and keeping us moving forward with this fun project!
My grandmother came to this country from Sweden. I have grown to appreciate many of the traditions that come from my Swedish heritage. There is a simplicity inherent in the decor that draws me in. And well, I do love a red and white color scheme which makes me feel a bit of connection to still to my ancestors. That was the inspiration for my collection of Christmas ornaments.
These little ornaments measure 3" x 3" when finished. Do not let the small size intimidate you. There are some tips and tricks to working with small blocks and I will share those with you. One of the things that really helps is to starch your fabrics before cutting the pieces out. For my samples in the photo above I used a Batik fabric for the red and found that the stiffness of Batiks lends itself well to these small blocks. I did not have to use any starch for the Batik, just my regular quilting cotton I had for the white fabrics.
Today I am sharing the Sawtooth Star ornament with you as my gift for our Christmas in July Pattern Parade.
For this block I used my favorite method of making Flying Geese; the No-waste method. If you are unfamiliar with this method it can feel a little odd so let me walk you through the process.
You will lay two of the smaller squares on the large square and draw a diagonal line down the middle. Then sew 1/4" from each side of that drawn line. I sew with the top square facing as shown to keep things nice and smooth as I sew over them.
Once sewn you need to cut them apart on the drawn line and press towards the small triangles. You will end up with two units that look like this.
Lay the remaining small blocks on top of these units and repeat sewing 1/4" on each side of the drawn line.
Cut apart on the drawn line and press towards the small triangles. And just like that we have four Flying Geese. I love the Bloc_Loc rulers for trimming these. If you need to trim with a regular ruler I made a little video to show you how to trim a perfect Flying Geese for the size needed in this block.
The other tip I have for you to help in putting these together is just to sew slowly. I mention in my pattern that I use a shorter stitch length-that too will help.
This one has some bulky seams so you may wish to press the seams open.
The finishing instructions in the pattern give details about quilting and binding. I have also have a couple of videos for those steps as well.
I am blessed with some pretty amazing pattern testers. So first of all know that these patterns have been thoroughly tested for accuracy. Secondly they often do wonderful things with the patterns they test. Take a look at how Susie made her blocks into a cute little table topper.
Isn't that adorable. (All of the blocks are available for purchase as a set in my shop.) She added a middle square of fabric from the Winter Whimsy collection from Henry Glass -which I will warn you is hard to find but still available. I have some ordered now, lol. Susie cut the sashings and outer border 1 1/4" (finish width is 3/4").
Then used a 2" binding strip to finish her quilt.
You can download a free copy of just the Sawtooth Star Ornament by clicking on the link below (it will be free until the end of July 2020:
Nordic Christmas: Sawtooth Star
I hope you have enjoyed your visit to my blog. It is a delight for me to be able to share my love of quilting with all of you. If you would like to stay in the know about what I am doing consider signing up for either my Newlsetter or Blog Upates in the upper right of the this page.
I hope you have fun visiting all of the rest of the quilters taking part in our blog hop today. The links for everyone are below. And a big thank you once again to My Carolina Home for hosting this wonderful hop.
Table Toppers, Home and Kitchen
Duck Creek Mountain Quilting
Cooking Up Quilts
The Quilted Diary
Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Morning Glory Designs
Days Filled With Joy
Tuning My Heart Quilts (that's me)
Prairie Sewn Studios
Puppy Girl Designs
Dragonfly's Quilting Design Studio
Traditional and Modern Quilt Patterns
Ms P Designs USA
Quilt 2 End ALZ
Cotton Street Commons
Brown Bird Designs
From My Carolina Home
Thanks again for visiting.
Have a blessed day and...
Welcome to the site of Debra Davis-a woman who loves the Lord and loves to quilt.
Would you like a free copy of the Log Cabin Block I am working on? Sign up for my newlsetter or blog updates.
My other blog where I share about my walk of faith:
Sitting at His Feet
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