Monday, September 29, 2014

Courthouse Steps Quilt - Part II

A Quilt in Progress.
Courthouse Steps Quilt | Red Pepper Quilts
Courthouse Steps Quilt 
Thank you for all of your comments on last week's post featuring my Courthouse Steps Quilt in progress. I have pushed on and added two extra rows (pictured as the top two rows in the above photo). More color and fabric play, more sewing, 16 blocks added, all of which took a lot longer in my mind than what it did in reality.

Courthouse Steps Quilt | Red Pepper Quilts

Quilt top measures 54 inches x 63 inches
72 Courthouse Step Blocks
and 63 different printed fabrics,
many more low volume fabrics.
918 patchwork pieces.

Courthouse Steps Quilt | Red Pepper Quilts
Courthouse Steps Quilt | Red Pepper Quilts
Courthouse Steps Quilt | Red Pepper Quilts

Now ready for basting, quilting and binding. The backing fabric that I have chosen is from the Sherbet Pips Collection by Aneela Hoey; a much loved and highly sought after fabric which is just right for this quilt. Use it or lose it, right?

Courthouse Steps Quilt | Red Pepper Quilts
Quilt Top, Batting and Backing Fabric.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sunday Stash #249 - Liberty Tana Lawn

Liberty Tana Lawn | Red Pepper Quilts

Lovely Liberty Tana Lawn ~ superior quality lightweight cotton. These stash additions are an accumulation from the last few months, including several purchases from last month's trip to the Festival of Quilts as well as monthly additions from my Liberty Club subscription from Westwood Acres.
Liberty Tana Lawn | Red Pepper Quilts
Some new to stash additions and also a re-stock of favorite classic prints. Twice a year Liberty release limited edition seasonal collections - Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter. The small scale printed floral designs (above and below) are from the most recent seasonal collections. 

Liberty Tana Lawn | Red Pepper Quilts

I usually buy fat eighths or fat quarters of Liberty Tana Lawn; for I am a patchworker and prefer a scrappy look, and enjoy using a variety of prints in my project. This seems to be just the right amount for me.

Liberty Tana Lawn - Betsy | Red Pepper Quilts
Liberty Tana Lawn - Betsy - not all colorways shown
Betsy. It is hard to choose and I have wavered but Betsy (pictured above) is quite possibly my favorite Liberty design. It is a classic print although available colorways have changed over the years. If I am working with Liberty fabric then Betsy is likely to be part of it.

Liberty Tana Lawn is available from:
Pink Chalk Fabrics  20% off all stock fabric, printed sewing patterns and notions. Prices as marked.
Pink Castle Fabrics  40% off fabric in the Super Sale section - use code SUPERSALE. 
Enjoy Sunday!
Rita

RELEVANT LINKS:
Red Pepper Quilts ~ Liberty Quilts and Projects

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Friday, September 26, 2014

Courthouse Steps Quilt ~ A Quilt in Progress

Courthouse Steps Quilt | Red Pepper Quilts

Here is what I have been up to this week. Piecing, piecing, piecing. And truly this is my favorite way to work; playing with color as well as low volume fabrics, and sewing blocks with small strips of fabric. It has been a good week. Busy. But good.

Courthouse Steps Quilt | Red Pepper Quilts
Courthouse Steps Quilt | Red Pepper Quilts
Courthouse Steps Quilt | Red Pepper Quilts

This quilt is my interpretation of my new(ish) IKEA rug (and yes I did have to vacuum the rug before taking this photo because I don't have any doubt that you would already know that it is usually decorated with threads). This quilt and the rug both say much about me. Although I LOVE color and I love working with color, my home furnishings and my clothing preference is much more reserved. Instead I add pops of color with my quilts and pillows, and in Winter a colorful knitted shawl drapes permanently around my neck.

Courthouse Steps Quilt | Red Pepper Quilts

This quilt is made up of traditional Courthouse Steps block. It is a simple block and is pieced from the center out, starting with the small - red with white polka dot - square and adding strips to both sides of that square, alternating color (light/dark) as you go. It was time consuming but I soon found my sewing rhythm. This quilt and layout also required some fabric/color planning as each Courthouse Step block is made up of two adjoining fabrics.

Courthouse Steps Block - Tutorial | Red Pepper Quilts

Here is what each block looks like. My block measures 7.5" x 7.5" which includes the seam allowances, and the fabric pieces are cut as follows - starting with the center square:

A 1.5 inches x 1.5 inches (red fabric with white polka dots)
B 1.5 inches x 1.5 inches
C 1.5 inches x 3.5 inches (square up block to measure 3.5" x 3.5")
D 1.5 inches x 3.5 inches
E 1.5 inches x 5.5 inches  (square up block to measure 5.5" x 5.5")
F 1.5 inches x 5.5 inches
G 1.5 inches x 7.5 inches (square up block to measure 7.5" x 7.5")

B D and F are low volume fabrics (low contrast fabrics with a light/white background).
C E and G are printed/color fabrics. I have chosen small scale designs for stronger contrast and color blocking.

I prefer to piece by slightly over-sizing units and trimming back. For example, I cut my strips 1/8th of an inch wider than the 1.5 inch requirement for units C - G and then trimmed back the block at intervals as noted above.

Courthouse Steps Quilt | Red Pepper Quilts
Courthouse Steps Quilt | Red Pepper Quilts

My quilt top isn't yet finished. I'd like to add another two rows each of 8 blocks. So it is back to the sewing machine for me.

Courthouse Steps Quilt | Red Pepper Quilts
Courthouse Steps Quilt | Red Pepper Quilts

Thank you for stopping by,
Rita

RELEVANT LINKS:
Courthouse Steps Quilt in Progress II
Courthouse Steps Quilt ~ A Finished Quilt

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Spools and Nine Patch Quilt

A Finished Quilt.
Spools and Nine Patch Quilt | Red Pepper Quilts

As promised a picture post of my finished Spools and Nine Patch Quilt. I do love how it has turned out; I love the bright colors, that the fabrics were pulled entirely from stash, and whilst in progress unplanned changes were made - adding the alternating nine-patch block -  that affected the final quilt layout and added so much interest to the design.

Spools and Nine Patch Quilt | Red Pepper Quilts

As usual the quilting has added minimal visual detail but that is not to say that this quilt is lightly quilted. I have ditch stitched all vertical and horizontal seam lines, effectively creating an overall 2 inch grid of intersecting straight lines, and thereby adding a hint of texture. I generally use a low loft cotton batting (Matilda's Own brand) which leaves the quilt with a lovely soft drape and a supple finish.

Spools and Nine Patch Quilt | Red Pepper Quilts

For the back of the quilt I have used a single red polka dot fabric on a white background from the Delilah collection by Tanya Whelan. This classic fabric has been in my stash for a while and I must have purchased close to a bolt of it as I have used it as a backing fabric a number of times.

Spools and Nine Patch Quilt - binding | Red Pepper Quilts
Spools and Nine Patch Quilt - binding | Red Pepper Quilts

And I have finished the quilt with a black/white stripe fabric and machine stitched binding. I am consistent and predictable.

Spools and Nine Patch Quilt | Red Pepper Quilts

This quilt was listed for sale in my Etsy Store. It has already sold. 

Spools and Nine Patch Quilt | Red Pepper Quilts

RELEVANT LINKS:
Spool and Nine Patch Quilt TUTORIAL
Spool and Nine Patch Quilt - Work in Progress
More scrap and stash busting projects
Spools and Nine Patch Quilt | Red Pepper Quilts
Thank you for stopping by,
Rita

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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sunday Stash #248 ~ This and That

I've spent the last day adamantly complaining that I have no Sunday Stash. Can you imagine?! And yes, there was much eyebrow raising from my family who are surrounded by my stash. So I dug deep and came up with some prints that I have selected from new fabric ranges and added to stash in the last few weeks.

Newsprint in Not Pink, Coral and Spackle ~ Paint by Carrie Bloomston
Newsprint - Paint by Carrie Bloomston
First up is Newsprint from the Paint collection by Carrie Bloomston (in 3 colorways - Not Pink, Coral and Spackle). My love for text fabric - in particular newsprint - continues. This design is a reprint from Carrie's first collection (Collage) which I have used as background fabric for my Liberty Checkerboard Quiltand I know many of my readers were keen on sourcing this print, (but is now hard to find).

Newsprint in Spackle - Collage and Paint Collection (a comparison)
Newsprint:  Collage on the LEFT and Paint on the RIGHT.
Click on image for larger view.
Whilst the design is the same the color of the Spackle colorway is slightly different: the new Newsprint fabric from the Paint collection is closer to a black/white print whilst the previous fabric was warmer, tinged with yellow and ever so slightly mottled. Both are great background fabrics and I've stashed yardage. Just in case. 

Paint by Carrie Bloomston is in stores now and available from:
Pink Castle Fabrics
Sew Me a Song (Etsy)
The Fat Quarter Shop
The Quilted Castle
Hawthorne Threads
Pink Chalk Fabrics
Stash Fabrics
Fabric Worm  $5 off orders $50+ with code redpepper
Sew Modern

Retro Floral Daisies - Yuwa
Yuwa - Retro Floral Daisies
(quilting weight cotton)
Classic Dot - Yuwa
Yuwa - Classic Polka Dot
These two fat quarter bundles, both by Yuwa, also arrived at my home in the last few weeks. The retro floral bundle (top image) is a quilting cotton weight (and has already been cut into) whilst the dot bundle is a lighter weight fabric; the thread count is higher and finer, but still suitable for quilting projects. Both these bundles are available from Westwood Acres as half yard or fat quarter bundles.

Westwood Acres:
Retro Floral Daisies
Classic Dot 

Enjoy Sunday!
Rita

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Spool and Nine Patch Quilt ~ A Tutorial and Templates

Two traditional quilt blocks ~ a Spool Block and a Nine Patch Block ~ are all that are required to make this quilt; neither block is difficult to piece however I thought I would share with you a tutorial, and provide templates for those of you who prefer not to draft your own.

Spool and Nine Patch Block ~ TUTORIAL | RED PEPPER QUILTS
Click on any Image for LARGER view.
Let's get started.

SPOOL BLOCK TUTORIAL

Fabric Requirements for each Spool Block:
1 center square 2.5 inches x 2.5 inches
2 contrasting fabrics for side pieces ~ each fabric piece measuring 12.5 inches x 2.5 inches
(which makes this block Jelly Roll friendly).

Step 1
Download, print and carefully cut out your templates or draft your own templates for a 6 inch finished block.
Spool Block Templates | Red Pepper Quilts

To assist in cutting the fabric pieces for a 6 Inch finished Spool Block I have made templates available for purchase (pdf file) from my Craftsy Store:


The pdf file is available for immediate download and includes Spool Block templates for a 6 inch finished block, a full color quilt layout, as well as a black/white line drawing of alternating Spool and Nine Patch blocks with which you can experiment and play with your own color palette.

Step 2
For each Spool Block you will need one center square and four side pieces (two the same pieces of each side fabric chosen ~ you can use solid fabric, printed fabric, or a combination of both).

Spool and Nine Patch Block ~ TUTORIAL | RED PEPPER QUILTS
Step 3
Spool and Nine Patch Block ~ TUTORIAL | RED PEPPER QUILTS
Mark (on the wrong side of the fabric) a 1/4 inch seam allowance along three sides of the fabric, as pictured above. (I use a 2B pencil with a 7mm lead as it is soft enough to lightly mark the fabric without breaking the lead).

Step 4
Spool and Nine Patch Block ~ TUTORIAL | RED PEPPER QUILTS

Align and center the first side fabric to be sewn on top of the center square (right sides together). There is no need to mark the center square as you can easily see if you have correctly centered the fabric by the matching the size of the opposite corners. With a short length stitch start sewing where the lines intersect and stop at the next intersecting point. Back-stitch at the start and end of the stitching line to lock the stitches in place.

Step 5
Spool and Nine Patch Block ~ TUTORIAL | RED PEPPER QUILTS

Repeat step 4  for the fabric piece on the opposite side of the center square.

Spool and Nine Patch Block ~ TUTORIAL | RED PEPPER QUILTS

Finger press the seams away from the center square. Don't use an iron at this stage.

Step 6
Spool and Nine Patch Block ~ TUTORIAL | RED PEPPER QUILTS

The third fabric piece is going to fit right in between the first two pieces. Line up the folded edge of the first side piece (the purple fabric) with the starting point (where the pencil lines intersect) of this third piece of fabric. Do not start stitching in the seam allowance of the purple fabric. Stitch one or two stitches, back stitch - and continue on till the next intersecting point.

Spool and Nine Patch Block ~ TUTORIAL | RED PEPPER QUILTS

Stop stitching at the point where the pencil marks intersect but again do not stitch into the seam allowance of the purple fabric.  If you have accidentally stitched too far use a seam ripper to undo those stitches.

Your block now looks like this. Finger press the seams away from the center square.
Spool and Nine Patch Block ~ TUTORIAL | RED PEPPER QUILTS
Step 7
Spool and Nine Patch Block ~ TUTORIAL | RED PEPPER QUILTS
We are now ready to sew the final four side seams of the Spool Block. With the right side of the block facing your fold over the center square diagonally in half (wrong sides together). The side seams that need to be sewn will lie flat together ready for sewing.

Spool and Nine Patch Block ~ TUTORIAL | RED PEPPER QUILTS

Start stitching at the intersecting point and sew all the way to the end. Back stitch at start and end to lock stitches.

Work your way around the block by re-folding the center square and sewing all four of the side seams. Your block will then look like this:

Spool and Nine Patch Block ~ TUTORIAL | RED PEPPER QUILTS

Step 8 Press your block.

Spool and Nine Patch Block ~ TUTORIAL | RED PEPPER QUILTS
Front and Back of Spool Block
Spool Block measures 6.5 inches x 6.5 inches (including seam allowances).

Press two opposing center seams in towards the center square and the other two seams away from the center square. The points where the fabrics come together will simply twist open. Gently press.

NINE PATCH BLOCK TUTORIAL

Fabric Requirements for each Nine Patch Block:
Nine 2.5 inch squares in two contrasting colors
Spool and Nine Patch Block ~ TUTORIAL | RED PEPPER QUILTS
9 squares
4 solid fabric squares :: 5 printed fabric squares
Arrange your squares in three rows of three ~
Spool and Nine Patch Block ~ TUTORIAL | RED PEPPER QUILTS

Using a quarter inch seam allowance sew squares together into rows of three squares. Then sew rows together. Press seams as desired. These seams won't require nesting or matching with Spool Blocks so direction of these seams is not important in this instance.

Spool and Nine Patch Block ~ TUTORIAL | RED PEPPER QUILTS
Front and Back of the nine patch block.
Nine Patch Block measures 6.5 inches x 6.5 inches (including seam allowances).

Arrange your blocks by alternating a Spool Block with a Nine Patch Block. Using a quarter inch seam allowance sew blocks together in rows. Press seams for each alternate row in opposing direction. Then sew rows together. Press final seams open or one side.
Spool and Nine Patch Block ~ TUTORIAL | RED PEPPER QUILTS
50 Spool Blocks + 50 Nine Patch Blocks
POINTS TO REMEMBER:
  • Reducing your stitch length will help you to stop on or before the point where lines intersect.
  • Back stitch at the start and end of all seam lines to lock stitches.
  • If you have puckers on the front of your block it is usually because your have stitched too far and into the seam allowance. It is not too late to fix this. Simply turn your block over and unpick those extra stitches.
  • Take your time to press blocks carefully.
  • Print templates ACTUAL SIZE.  Do not reduce or scale to fit.
If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask by leaving a comment, and I will explain/clarify as required.

Next up ~ a picture blog post of the finished Spool and Nine Patch Quilt.

Happy Stitching!
Rita

Spool and Nine Patch Quilt - TUTORIAL | Red Pepper Quilts

RELEVANT LINKS:
Spool Block Templates - RPQ Craftsy Store
More RPQ Tutorials
Spool and Nine Patch Quilt in Progress

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