Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Save the Scraps!

Do you remember this stack of "discarded" half square triangle units from my Flock of Flying Geese II Quilt made earlier this month?  Waste not, want not. Right?

So I made a quilt.  I first spent some time trimming the above stack, with most Half Square Triangle (HST) units comfortably measuring 3 inches x 3 inches. There were however numerous HST units that were smaller and didn't make the 3 inch cut. Those units were trimmed to measure 2.5 inches x 2.5 inches.

I tried not to over think the layout and was immediately happy with the somewhat alternating rows of large and small half square triangles units as well as the color play.

 Quilted with an overall 1 inch grid.

For the back of the quilt I have used a text print from the Love Notes collection by Echo Park (Andover Fabrics) - words to live and love by. For the quilt binding I have used a fabric from the very recently released Florence collection by Denyse Schmidt - it is called Four Dots in Carnelian.

I have listed this quilt in my Etsy Store.
All of the listing details here: Modern Patchwork Baby and Toddler Quilt

Not only are some of the fabrics used for this quilt reclaimed vintage linens but as discarded/leftover scraps they have once again been re-purposed and ready for a new adventure. Reclaim, recycle, re-use.

Thank you for stopping by,
Flock of Flying Geese Quilt II - the finished quilt

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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday Stash #196 - Japanese Import Fabrics

This bundle of fabric arrived earlier in the week and was promptly cut into for my Economy Block - I Spy Quilt. 

Peek-A-Boo Dot by Suzuko Koseki

Suzuko Koseki is a quilter, teacher, author, and fabric designer from Japan. Suzuko's work is great source of inspiration and I seek out her fabrics from far and wide.  

The Peek-A-Boo Dot collection (dots measure approximately 2.5 inches in diameter) is a more recently released range by Suzuko Koseki and is currently available from:

From top right:
Soap and Perfume Labels in Black/White by Suzuko Koseki
Yuwa Sixty Eight Collection - Sewing Notions in Red
Yuwa Live Life Collection - Labels
Yuwa Sixty Eight Collection - Cross Stitch French Bonjour
Yuwa Live Life - Shoes and Hats
Yuwa Sixty Eight Collection - Sewing Notions in Black

I also couldn't resist this bundle of text fabrics. These text and notion prints are 100% quilting cottons and are great low-volume fabrics as well as stash basics.  I just love the current availability and variety of text and notion fabrics.  There's no such thing as too much fabric! 

Enjoy Sunday!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Economy Block - I Spy - Quilt

Economy Block Quilt
80 Blocks
720 fabric pieces
200+ different fabrics

I am so pleased to have finished my Economy Block Quilt.  I have loved working on it; working from stash and patchwork piecing really are my favorite way to spend my "working" hours. The quilt consists of 80 Economy Blocks (Square in a Square Blocks) with a center fabric that features a fun novelty such as an animal, creature, accessory, notion or otherwise ~ some of these fabrics are now hard to find and sought after. There's a lot to see and there are stories to tell.

For the back of the quilt I have used a print from the Geekly Chic collection by Amy Adams (Riley Blake). This quirky fabric features a range of glasses in black and white and complements the I Spy theme of this quilt.  The image below also shows the quilting grid. I have stitched horizontal, vertical as well as diagonal quilting lines, some of which have been stitched in the ditch (in the seam line).

And although I did audition several binding fabrics this scrappy quilt was screaming for a black/white stripe binding fabric.  I couldn't ignore it. It just had to be.
I have listed this quilt in my Etsy Store.
You can see all of the listing details here:  Modern - I Spy - Patchwork Quilt.

Thank you for stopping by,
Economy Block Quilt in Progress and Tutorial
Red Pepper Quilts Etsy Store

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Economy Block Quilt in Progress & Tutorial

This week I have been busy making Economy Blocks.  It seems this traditional patchwork block is well known but perhaps not as an Economy Block but rather as a Square in a Square block.  Either way it is a fun block to make!

I have pieced my blocks by rotary cutting the pieces, slightly over-sizing the triangles and trimming for accuracy. I thought it might be useful to share with you a tutorial for this process.  

ECONOMY (or Square in a Square) BLOCK TUTORIAL:

These instructions are for piecing a 5 1/2 inch Economy Block (including seam allowances).
For each block you will need:
  • ONE 3 inch center square
  • TWO 3 inch squares for inner triangles
  • TWO 4 inch squares for outer triangles
Step 1 Cut squares for the inner and outer triangles in half on the diagonal.

Step 2 Using a 1/4 inch seam allowance sew a small triangle to the top and bottom of the center square. Press seam allowances away from the center square. Trim off excess fabric.
Step 3 Using a 1/4 inch seam allowance sew remaining inner triangles to the remaining sides. Press seam allowances away from the center square.
Step 4 Trim the unit to measure 4 inches x 4 inches. Place the 2 inch line of your ruler directly on top of the center point of the unit adding a quarter inch allowance all around:

Step 5  Using a 1/4 inch seam allowance sew the outer triangles to the unit  (in the same manner as described in step 2 and step 3 above).
Step 6 Trim the unit to measure 5 1/2 inches x 5 1/2 inches by placing the 2 3/4 inch mark of your ruler on what will be the center point of your unit (where the seams intersect), adding a quarter inch all around (see the black arrow). You will notice also that the center square is framed by the 1 1/2  inch and 4 inch lines on your ruler (see the red arrows).

And now you have a perfectly pieced 5 1/2 inch Economy block.

Of course there are other ways to piece this block including by cutting the exact size triangles and therefore avoiding the trimming process however I tend to prefer over-sizing and trimming units, especially when it comes to triangles.  There is no right or wrong way, do what works for you and what you are comfortable with.

The Economy Block can also be paper-pieced. Foundation Paper Piecing is easy and very accurate. In case this is your preferred piecing method I have made the Foundation Paper for this block available as a PDF file available for $2.00 from my Pattern Store. The download is ONLY for the 5 Inch Foundation Paper Piecing Pattern and does NOT including any paper piecing or assembly instructions but be sure to over size your pieces so ensure easy fabric placement : ~ 

I have made 80 Economy Blocks in the last few days; a fair amount of fussy cutting center squares, pulling out fabric from stash to work with, and sewing.  The best of times really.

And so my quilt top is finished  - the blocks pieced together into a quilt top without any stress. I am now ready to start basting and quilting.

If you have any questions regarding the tutorial above please don't hesitate to ask by leaving a comment and I will clarify by reply so as to benefit everyone.  

Thank you for stopping by,


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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sunday Stash #195 Waterfront Park by Violet Craft

Waterfront Park by Violet Craft for Michael Miller

Waterfront Park is the latest collection by fabric designer Violet Craft.  The collection pays homage to her hometown Portland, Oregon.  Waterfront Park consists of 35 fabrics - 8 different designs each inspired by life on and near the water including bridges and boats, twinkling waters, birds in flight, as well as some great fabric stash basics.  (I also love the inclusion of several true navy color fabrics which are often hard to find!).
Waterfront Park - Flight
The fabrics featuring birds in flight as well as the Domino Dots (pictured below) are among my favorites from this collection and both are great fabric stash basics; mixing and matching readily with prints from a range of collections.
Waterfront Park - Domino Dots
Waterfront Park by Violet Craft is now available from:
Waterfront Park - Half Square Triangles and Union Station
Enjoy Sunday!

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Quilt As You Go - Tiny Tinker Tote

Tiny Tinker Tote - Back
I made another Tinker Tote!  This time though I reduced the size of the pattern by 25% for a smaller bag; not so much a carry-all tote but more like a handbag. Printing the pattern at 75% does not alter the construction process and although I was fairly familiar with the instructions I did refer back to the online class several times just to re-acquaint myself with some of the steps, in particular the zip pocket instructions.

Want to see inside?
Fabrics Used:
Flea Market Fancy and Katie Jump Rope by Denyse Schmidt (from stash).
Original size Tinker Tote (at the back) and Tiny Tinker Tote.

Notes for the reduced size Tinker Tote:
~  Reduce the width but not the depth of the pockets.  My pocket is only a few inches deep and a little bit more depth would have been handy for a useful pocket.
~  The binding on the original size bag is a little awkward.  On the reduced size bag it is a lot more awkward.  Lifting my sewing machine up and out of the sewing table insert would have helped (I didn't think of that at the time and it probably would have saved me from muttering a few choice words).

Thank you for stopping by,

Quilt as You Go Patchwork Bag - original size Tinker Tote
Tara's Craftsy Class:

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A Flock of Flying Geese Quilt II

The Flying Geese Quilt is finished and considering the number of flying geese units made I am pleased that I can still say that I have loved making it.   All negative thoughts about flying geese units have been dispelled.

The weekend was spent basting, quilting, and binding.  I am a pin baster and baste my quilts on the floor - a hard wooden surface - which involves crawling around on hands and knees. It is a task which I dread and spent more time thinking about and deferring than actually doing.

When I posted this image of my basted quilt on Instagram I was asked what my secret was for a flat quilt, and why so many pins?  I am afraid that I have no secret.  I suspect that basting is a technique you get better at over time as you get a feel for how tight to tape the backing and batting, and how firm to pin the quilt top onto those layers.  I do pin the edges of the quilt top first which makes filling the remainder of the quilt top with pins much easier, and I use a lot of pins - every 3 to 4 inches.  I have used a few extra pins for this quilt as I knew I was going to be quilting a 1 inch grid onto it which isn't so forgiving if there is excess fabric in either the quilt top or backing fabric.

I almost exclusively pin baste my quilts - very occasionally I will get out the spray baste for a small project like a pillow cover.  This technique works well for me and I therefore continue to be a pin baster.  I am however a strong advocate for doing whatever works for you.  Don't change something that isn't broken but don't be afraid to try a different method if you are having difficulty.
I love the 1 inch grid of lines and although quilting it is a little laborious it is definitely worth the effort.  The visual effect is so appealing that you can't help but reach out and touch it.

For the back of the quilt I have used a beautiful Japanese import fabric 
by Suzuko Koseki - Paris Daisy in White/Aqua.
And for binding I have used a white/pink/brown stripe from the Color Basics collection by Lecien.

I have listed this quilt for sale in my Etsy Store.
You can see all of the listing details here:  Modern Flying Geese Quilt

Thank you for stopping by!

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