Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sunday Stash #204 - Vintage Fabrics

A Piece of Cloth - Images from RPQ on Instagram 
Early October my sister and I set out on a short road trip to A Piece of Cloth in Fyansford, Victoria (a suburb of Geelong - and about an hour from Melbourne CBD by car). A Piece of Cloth is a vintage and antique textile sourcing business with fabrics and quilt tops sourced internationally and for sale directly from the studio or online.

Our visit to the studio was very interesting and the store owner was knowledgeable and informative; happy to share all that she knew about the history of feedsack fabric and their use over the many decades.  I picked up a very nice selection of vintage fabrics in various sizes.  

*the bottom fabric (floral fabricwith blue background) is also a "new to my stash" feedsack fabric, but was purchased from an Etsy store.

My favorite purchases from our day trip are these gorgeous blue prints, they're so unique and despite their age the colors are still vibrant. Some of my fabrics needed a wash (and some a long soaking) but all have survived my challenging cleaning regime and are now ready for use.  We had such a great day that I am sure we will venture out to A Piece of Cloth again.

Completely unrelated to our day trip and purchased from LittleTeaWagon (Etsy Store) are these vintage pillowcases.  Again these are in great condition (perhaps the colors are gently faded), arrived freshly laundered, and ready for some sewing action.

Enjoy Sunday!

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Friday, October 25, 2013

A Finished Half Rectangle Quilt

A Finished Quilt in Pictures

My Half Rectangle Quilt is finished.  I am so very pleased with this quilt, and it has reaffirmed my love for simple traditional quilt blocks, solid fabrics and grid quilting. I don't work with solid fabrics often enough!

All solid fabrics are Robert Kaufman Kona Cottons
background fabric is Kona Cotton in Ash
The solid fabrics combined with the grid quilting has given this traditional quilt a modern look and a texture you just want to run your hand over. The intersecting quilting lines are spaced one inch apart and rather than mark lines on the quilt I prefer to use a quilting guide attached to the walking foot to trace seam lines and stitching lines. It works a treat.  

For the back of the quilt I have used a large scale print from the Glimma Collection by Lotta Jansdotter which nicely compliments the solid grey background fabric (Kona Cotton in Ash) and also adds a contrast in pattern.  

For binding fabric I have used Sunprint (Text) by Allison Glass, but rather than cut the binding strips from selvage to selvage I have instead cut strips from the length of the fabric thereby changing the direction of the text. 

This quilt is for sale. I have listed 
this Half Rectangle Quilt in my ETSY STORE.
You'll find the listing here:  Modern Patchwork Quilt

Half Rectangles - Work in Progress (includes quilt inspiration, and fabrics/rulers used).

Thank you for stopping by!

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Half Rectangles - Work in Progress

Work in Progress

This week's work in progress has been all about the Half Rectangle Quilt Block and very much inspired by the work of painter and drawing artist Carrie Marill (in particular the painting De Colores which you can see pinned here, and click through to Carrie's website for more of her works).

The Half Rectangle quilt block is not difficult to piece, particularly if you have on hand a nifty tool that comes with instructions to make blocks in 14 different sizes as well as cutting, sewing and trimming instructions.

The Bloc Loc Half Rectangle Rulers are perfect for the job and come in a mirror image set of two rulers. Again the instructions involve slightly over-sizing the block, then trimming to exact size using these rulers; with the diagonal channel hugging the seam allowance which makes for quick/accurate ruler placement. Over-sizing and trimming units is often my preferred sewing method so these rulers really suit my needs. I absolutely love using these rulers and am excited to see that all Bloc Loc Rulers are now available from the Fat Quarter Shop!

The fabrics used are all Robert Kaufman Kona Cottons including several of the new 2013 Kona Colors. The background (grey) fabric is Kona Ash. My finished half-rectangle blocks measure 3 inches x 6 inches.

I can't wait to start quilting - I think the quilting will transform this quilt and give it dimension and texture.

Thank you for stopping by,

Bloc Loc Rulers are now available from The Fat Quarter Shop
Flying Geese and Bloc Loc Rulers
Half Rectangle Quilt - A Finished Quilt 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday Stash #203 - Nesshome Fabrics

I like fabric. A lot. You probably already new that.  But I really like fabric that is bright, colorful and a little different.  So when I saw these fabrics by Nesshome they were ordered and promptly arrived on my doorstep.  Thank you, online shopping!

Nesshome - Tulip Festival
Nesshome is a Korean brand with both a Korean and a Japanese website, both languages with which I am not familiar and so my information about these fabrics is limited. The fabrics pictured are all a medium weight fabric - 55% linen and 45% - extra wide 55 inches, and with a pretty selvage. The above pictured fabric (Tulip Festal) features squares each measuring 3 inches and I image would look great as a whole or fussy cut in a project.

Nesshome - Flowers Chatting
The second fabric - Flowers Chatting - is again a cheater print with squares measuring up to 4 inches x 4 inches. This size is perfect for fussy cutting and combining with other prints.  And look how many different floral designs! 

Nesshome - Flower Feedsack Panel
The third fabric is a panel of eight different flower feedsack prints with each print measuring 15.5 inches x 13.5 inches.  Again I love the variety of designs and the saturated colors.  

Even though these fabrics are somewhat heavier than standard quilting cotton I look forward (and won't hesitate) to incorporate these designs in my quilts.  Different fabric weights can and do play nicely together.

Thank you for stopping by,

Nesshome fabrics are available and purchase from MissMatatabi (Etsy Store).

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Liberty Tana Lawn Pincushions

It's been a Pincushion kind of week!  I have made a a total of eleven pincushions this week, and ironically have been treated like a pincushion myself this week with tests, appointments, procedures and infusions.  Really, I would rather be sewing ...

These Log Cabin Liberty Tana Lawn Pincushions measure just 6 inches x 6 inches and are from the book Liberty Love: 25 Projects to Quilt & Sew Featuring Liberty of London Fabrics by Alexia Marcelle Abegg. (see my book review here).

Feeling inspired to keep going with the pincushion theme I made another six simple patchwork pincushions, again using Liberty Tana Lawn - cutting and sewing 200+ individual 1.5 inch squares.  A batch of pincushions is easy and fun to whip up and they make a great gift for quilting/sewing friends (and with only 66 days till Christmas now is a good time to get started).
All of the pincushions offered for sale have already been sold.  I know, that's good news for me, but disappointing if you were looking to purchase.  I hope to make a few more pincushions by the end of November and they will then be listed in my Etsy Store.

Well, I am grateful to be back on my feet and look forward to being more (sewing) productive next week.

Thank you for stopping by,


Saturday, October 12, 2013

A Finished Hummingbirds Quilt and EQ7 Giveaway!

My Hummingbirds Quilt is finished!  As promised I have made the Hummingbird Block Foundation Paper Piecing Pattern and I have written a tutorial.  The tutorial includes step by step paper piecing instructions with clear photos and instructions for successful project completion. 

(I have published the tutorial in a separate blog post.
 Please ask any questions you may have regarding
 the tutorial in the comments section of the tutorial blog post).

I have used EQ7 to draft the Hummingbird Quilt Block.  EQ7 is comprehensive Quilt Design Software for beginners and advanced users and quilters. I purchased EQ7 almost 12 months ago and I have spent some time learning the basics.  The software comes with a User Guide which I have thumbed, tagged, and annotated. It is my go-to reference when I need help, although there are many learning resources available such video lessons to watch, and lessons you can print (pdf files) within the software, as well as a whole community of quilters supporting one another at the Electric Quilt Forums.

I use EQ7 to help visualize quilt layouts, to alter block designs and most often play with color combinations. The software comes with extensive block, layout, fabric, embroidery, photo and thread libraries.  My use is generally limited to the block and quilt layout libraries and really the possibilities are endless. Once you have designed your block/project you can print patterns and choose to print rotary cutting instructions, templates and/or foundation paper pattern in any size.  All the math is done for you including fabric yardage requirements for your quilt.

Projects for which I have recently used EQ7 to design and print paper piecing foundations (and both these projects are also patterns available to purchase and download from my Pattern Store):

The team at The Electric Quilt Company like what I have been creating with their software and today are offering to give one lucky RPQ reader the EQ7 Quilt Design Software package!

All you need to do to be in the draw to win the EQ7 Quilt Design Software is leave a comment on this blog post. If you have any problems leaving a comment please email me and I am always happy to leave a comment on your behalf (redpepperquilts at gmail dot com).

The draw will take place on Tuesday 15 October 2013 at 10pm (Australia EDT) and the winner will be announced by edit to this blog post.  The winner will also be contacted by email.

Please note: The EQ7 Quilt Design Software is a PC program (although a Mac version will be released towards the end of this year).

Thank you Electric Quilt Company!!

Good luck everyone.
Hummingbird Block - Foundation Paper Piecing Pattern - TUTORIAL

The finished quilt is for sale and is listed in my Etsy Store:  Hummingbirds Quilt


The winner of the EQ7 Quilt Design Software is:

Congratulations Candace! 
 Candace has been contacted by email.

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Hummingbird Quilt Block Tutorial

As promised, a paper piecing instructions for a Hummingbird Quilt block.

 my online store here ($4.00):

This tutorial is quite lengthy however I have included photos of all steps required to successfully complete one Hummingbird block.  Do I think this quilt pattern is suitable for a beginner?  Probably not, however by simply trying this block you will learn so much!  One of my early quilts was a very involved foundation paper piecing quilt with lots of pieces, arcs and curves. I learned so much from simply tackling that project one step at a time.  You can do this.  Really, all you are doing is sewing on a marked line ...


Make one copy of the block foundation by printing the pdf file directly from your computer. One copy of the pattern is needed  for each block.  Print or copy as many foundations as blocks required.

Print the pdf pattern actual size - do not scale to fit.  

Cut the paper piecing foundation apart into the four separate foundations that make up the block. I like to allow another 1/4 inch or so around the outer edge of the pattern (in addition to the seam allowance) and use a rotary cutter and ruler to cut the paper foundation.  

TEMPLATES for cutting fabric - sacrifice one of your foundation paper patterns to make paper templates to cut fabric pieces. Mark an arrow on your template to indicate fabric grain. When cutting fabric pieces ensure that you place the arrow on the template on grain with the fabric.  In the top right hand corner (pictured above) are the templates that I have used to cut fabric for my quilt.

FABRIC REQUIREMENTS - for each Hummingbirds Block you will need:
  • BLUE:   3" x 5" cut TWO and use the diamond shaped template to cut the required shape.
  • PINK:   3" x 5" cut TWO and use the diamond shaped template to cut the required shape.
  • YELLOW*:  Cut a A 3.25" strip from the width of your background fabric and use the template to cut pieces, flipping the template as you go to minimize fabric waste. Cut 8 background triangles for each Hummingbird block.
* For the purposes of this tutorial I have substituted white solid fabric with a solid yellow fabric for ease of photographing.

I also found that with careful placement of the diamond template it is possible to use 5 inch charm squares - and cut 2 on grain diamond fabric pieces as is required.

Ready to go!
8 yellow background triangles
2 pink diamonds
2 blue diamonds
4 paper piecing foundations


1. Select a yellow background triangle and looking through the printed side of the foundation place the fabric behind the #1 area.  Check to make sure that the fabric extends at least a 1/4 inch beyond the #1 area.  Pin in place.  In case you are using a printed fabric ensure that the printed side (the right side) of the fabric is facing away from the foundation paper.

2.  Place the diamond shaped piece of fabric - right side down on top of the background fabric.  Align edges.  Pin if needed.

3.  Start at the red dot and sew on the line between #1 and #2.  You can extend your stitching into the seam allowance at the end of the stitching line (but do not stitch ahead of the red dot). Reduce the length of your stitches; this will make removal of the foundation papers a breeze and keeps your seams in tact after the paper has been removed.

4.  Check the width of your seam allowance:  with the lined side of your foundation paper facing up fold the foundation paper at the seam line you have just stitched.  Trim any fabric in excess of the 1/4 inch seam allowance. I have used an Add a Quarter Quilter's Ruler which has a specially designed 1/4 inch lip that conveniently aligns with the edge of the paper. Any ruler will however suffice.

5.   Press using a warm dry iron.

6.  With the lined side of the foundation paper facing up, place a sturdy card (postcard, stock card etc) on the line between area #2 and #3.  

7.  Fold the paper (on the line) over the edge of the card thereby exposing the excess fabric. 

8.  Again using a ruler and adding a quarter inch seam allowance - trim excess fabric.  You want to cut 1/4 inch away from the fold line.

9.  Place the second background triangle right side down on top of the diamond.  Align the edges.  Pin if required.

10. Turn over and with the lined side of the foundation up.  Start at the red dot and sew on the line between area #2 and #3. You can extend your stitching into the seam allowance at the end of the stitching line (but do not stitch ahead of the red dot).  Turnover and press the background triangle.

Again - as in step 4 - you may need to check the width of your seam allowance and trim if required. You will however find that as you have already trimmed the diamond shape to size in step 8 above that your seam allowance won't require further trimming.

11.  Using a rotary cutter and ruler trim both excess fabric and foundation paper.  Be sure to leave the 1/4 inch seam allowance all around.

12.  In exactly the same way - starting at area #1 and finishing with area #3 - paper piece the remaining foundations.  Four foundations are required to complete each Hummingbird block.


Join together a blue and pink foundation as pictured above.  You will notice that the seams of these two foundations nest together:

Carefully nest seams and sew as follows:

Start sewing at the red dot and sew on the line.  You can extend the stitching line into the seam allowance however do not stitch ahead of the red dot.

At this point remove foundation papers. Press the seam in the direction of the arrow, as pictured.  Both of these half units are exactly the same.

Sew the two half units together using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  Press seams as indicated by the largest arrows - opening the center point seams as pictured:

You'll notice that all seams are now pressed in a clock-wise direction.

Trim off corners.  Your Hummingbird block now measures 5.5 inches x 5.5 inches.


Sew blocks into rows - and because you have not sewn into the seam allowance during block construction you will once again be able to "twist" open the seam where the points meet.

Sew rows together into a quilt top.  Press seams in either direction or press seams open if preferred.
The finished quilt is for sale and is listed in my Etsy Store:  Hummingbirds Quilt


ANY QUESTIONS?  Please leave a comment and I will answer by reply comment - thereby helping anyone else who may have a similar question.

Happy Stitching!

Hummingbird Quilt Block - foundation pattern 
Hummingbird Quilt - Work in Progress

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