Bakers Dozen: Quilt Along With HeartSong Quilts Month 2

Baker’s Dozen Block of the Month

Month 2 – Another Star Block/Hand of Friendship

Hi Everyone!  Ready for more blocks?

This month, we are piecing twelve of the ‘Another Star Block’ found in the pattern booklet just after ‘8 Pointed Star’.  The pattern has an alternate layout that I also like, so I decided to make six of each.  We will also be making eight ‘Hand of Friendship’ blocks.  These will become part of the first ‘border’ around the center four blocks.  This way, you can build the quilt as we finish the blocks that go into each of the borders.

Another Star Block – make a total of 12.  I made six of the original pattern (page 5), and six of the alternate (page 7).

This block is not difficult, but the way it is pieced can be confusing.  Just take your time and make sure your pieces are where they should be before you stitch.  Check twice, sew once.

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In constructing the block. I pressed all my pieces away from the center.  The only section that I pressed toward the center was the middle section as I finished piecing the block.  I pressed toward the center so my seams would sandwich nicely when I added the two outside pieces.

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Here are the first six blocks:

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Another Star Block – alternate pattern

Once I started working on the alternate layout, I realized it would be a little more work as I had to line up the seam in the center piece with the point on the outside corner piece where the triangles meet.  I marked the seam allowance on the back of the center piece.  Then I inserted a pin at that mark from the back through the intersection of the triangles on the corner piece.  Now I am certain the seams will line up perfectly.

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Here are the second set of six blocks:

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Hand of Friendship Star Block – make 8

Some of the blocks in Jen’s original quilt used only three fabrics, sort of refreshing for a change.  I think I’ll do a few scrappier blocks because I only have small pieces of background fabric left.

Again, to avoid confusion and un-sewing, I highly suggest cutting the pieces for each block one at a time, and lay them on your work surface in the order you want them in in the final block.  If you have a cell phone, you might want to take a picture of each block as you work on it.  You can always delete these pictures when you no longer need them for reference.

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Just a quick look at the first two blocks I’ve finished.  I do like the scrappier block, so I’m going to try to use up my little pieces of background fabric.

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Here are my final Hand of Friendship Blocks:

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Thanks, everyone.  Have fun with these and I’ll be back next month.

Delilah: Sew Along with HeartSong Quilts Month 9

Delilah, Month 9–Sprinkled Delight, Make 9

Hello everyone, this month we are starting to make the 6” blocks.  We need nine Sprinkled Delight blocks, and they are small curves.

I am going to begin by saying, ARGH!

Okay, now that I got that out of my system, I can move on.

The first block, I pieced as Jen shows in the pattern.  Sadly, it came out lopsided.

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After several attempts, I finally decided to piece the whole center, half the circle, and half the outside of the block.

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It was easier for me to piece the larger curve in a longer section.

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Finally, I appliqued the center circle over the center of the block.

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I hope the purists will forgive me, but for me it is more important how it looks, not the process of getting there.  Especially when I would have had to un-sew as many times as I would have had to with this block.

I really enjoyed the fabric selection for these blocks:

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Thank you all, see you next time!

Bakers Dozen: Quilt Along with HeartSong Quilts Month 1

Bakers Dozen Block of the Month, 6 Month Program

Month 1 and Introduction; 11″  8 pointed star blocks–make 4

Hello all and welcome to our newest Block of the Month featuring the Fabulous Jen Kingwell’s Bakers Dozen.

The quilt requires a total of 8 yards of fabric for the blocks, 7/8 yard for the inner border and binding.  The breakdown of fabric for each month is as follows:

Month 1 ~ 2 yards : 8 fat 8ths, 16 fat 16ths.  7/8 yards for inner border and binding.

You will also receive your backing fabric if you ordered it                                                  when you registered.

Month 2 ~ 2 yards: 8 fat 8ths, 16 fat 16ths.

Month 3 ~ 1 yard: 4 fat 8ths, 8 fat 16ths.

Month 4 ~ 1 yard: 4 fat 8ths, 8 fat 16ths.

Month 5 ~ 1 yard: 4 fat 8ths, 8 fat 16ths.

Month 6 ~ 1 yard: 4 fat 8ths, 8 fat 16ths.

You will have a large variety to work with in the first 2 months.  I will post my blocks at the beginning of each month with lots of pictures and any helpful information as I make my mistakes and learn from them before you do.

Please join our Baker’s Dozen Facebook group (Bakers Dozen Sew Along with HeartSong Quilts) and show us your progress.  You’ll make some wonderful friends and get some great tips and advice.  Just asking for positive feedback.  We really want to encourage and praise each other!

Before we begin, I want to remind you that there is NO perfect ¼” seam.  Each machine is different, and each quilter is different.  As long as you use the same machine to piece every seam, your finished quilt will come together perfectly.  So please don’t fret if your block doesn’t measure what Jen’s does.  If each of your 8 Pointed Star Block 11” finishes at the same size, they will all fit as they should in the finished quilt.

 

8 Pointed Star Block 11”

I started by choosing the fabric for and cutting my diamond pieces.  Once they were pieced, I added the setting triangles.  Since this involves a ‘Y’ seam, I’d like to do a quick tutorial on partial seams.

Partial Seams & ‘Y’ seams:

There are templates printed on pages 36 – 39 in the pattern booklet.  You can make your own templates with plastic.  We also have acrylic templates available on our website.

If you are tracing the template onto plastic, make sure you mark the corners of the template.  I poke a hole through the plastic with a safety pin so I can also mark my fabric.

Start by piecing the center star. With your needle in the ‘down’ position (if you have that option) sew from the end of the diamond and stop at the first mark.  I like to take one backstitch to secure this point, and you don’t have so many loose threads flapping around.

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If you discover that you’ve overstitched, you can remove a stitch or two by pulling the last backstitch out.  Sew two diamonds in the first go round, and press all the seams the same way for each set.  Your seams will nest together nicely this way.

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Before sewing all my diamond sets together, I’m going to insert the triangle between each of the two points, using a ‘Y’ seam.  First, draw your seam lines on the back of each triangle.

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Lay the diamond set right side up on your work table, and fold the right diamond piece (including the seam) down and out of the way, securing it with a pin.

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Position the triangle over the left diamond piece, lining up the seams.  Lift up the bottom corner of the triangle (where we will stop sewing at the diamond set seam) and mark that seam on the triangle.  You can feel it with your marking pencil.

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Sew to this point, and take one backstitch.

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Take your needle out, press seam toward diamond and lay your unit on your work surface.  This helps you visually so you can fold the left diamond out of the way to sew the other seam.

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Now you see that the triangle is slightly larger than what I have actually sewn.  Does this bother me? Heck, no.  The left edge of my pieces line up, which is going to make the ‘Y’ seam lay flat.  If I try to even up both sides, I’ll distort that seam, and it will be puckered.

And Voila!

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Please notice in the close up photo, the edge of the triangle overlaps the diamond piece, but the seam lays flat.  Will my finished block be slightly smaller and consequently the final quilt be smaller?  Yes, but my blocks will be the same size if I continue to piece the same way, so I’m okay with that.

Set In Corner Blocks with Partial Seams

Mark the seam allowances on the back of the set-in square.  Using a straight pin, match the corner marks of the square with diamond set.

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Fold the right diamond piece and seam out of the way, line up the seams on the right edge of the square.  Look for the existing seam on the diamond set and mark it on the square.  Sew to this point and do one backstitch.

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Press seam toward corner piece, then lay it on the work surface to see how it will fit together.  Fold left diamond (and all seams) out of the way, and match edges to sew.

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And here’s the finished set-in corner block.

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For the corners of each block, I cut (16) 4 ½” squares of foundation paper to paper piece 4 blocks. As I was drawing diagonal lines on the third square I had a Duh! moment.  I started dreading the thousands of lines I would be drawing for the whole quilt.  I decided to draw two 4 ½” squares on a piece of paper and draw the diagonal lines on both squares, then make 8 copies!  That way you are only drawing diagonal lines for two blocks instead of 16!  Several of the blocks have paper pieced corners, but they are larger.  Let’s cross that bridge when we get there.

Before I pieced the corner pieces, I basted around the block to keep the seams from separating.

Here are my 11” Eight Pointed Star Blocks:

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Delilah: Sew Along With HeartSong Quilts Month 8

Delilah, Month 8 — Coloured Turbine, Make 4

Hi Guys!  Hope this finds you well.

Coloured Turbine has been problematic for me.  It took me three tries to finally get the color placement I wanted.  I kept trying different dark/light/medium configurations.  As a result, I cut LOTS of T34 and T34 reversed.  Instead of cutting additional T34’s I used the reversed pieces where the other pieces should be and vice versa.  So, some of my finished blocks will be a mirror image of the layout in the pattern.  In fact, looking at a picture of Jen’s actual quilt, all of her Coloured Turbine blocks are reversed from the pattern layout.

Having said all that, there is one important point that I want to make before we go any further.  T35 is NOT a 60 degree triangle.  Do whatever you need to do to make this obvious as you piece the block.  I put a heavy mark on the longer part of the triangle.
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I would also suggest that you lay out the pieces, then sew section by section.  This will be a much slower process, but you’ll be so much happier you did.  Un-sewing is not fun!

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Here are my finished blocks.  The top two are “reversed” from the pattern layout.

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Have fun!  See you next month!

Delilah: Sew Along With HeartSong Quilts Month 7

Month 7–Four Patch Star, Make 4

I love the first sentence of Jen’s instruction:  ”this is a relatively complex block…”.  What does she call the killers we’ve done before now?

That said, we can do this!

When I am sewing a ‘Y’ seam, I like to leave a ¼” seam allowance, and then take one backstitch.  I like to keep those seam ends sort of manageable.  If I need to, I just take a stitch or two from the end by pulling the loose threads out instead of seam ripping.

In the first section, T28/T29/T28 Rev, press seams away from center.
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In T27 squares, I always press toward dark.

For the next step, press seams toward center.  This may not make sense, but it was easier for me with the ‘Y’ seam to do this.

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Press center section away from center.

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Stitch the three rows together, leaving ¼” allowance at both ends.  Press toward center.

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Stitch the T31 pieces to main block first, then sew the mitred corner.  It makes it easier if the T31 pieces are in place.

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Here are my finished blocks:

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Good Luck, see you next month!

Ann

Delilah: Sew Along With HeartSong Quilts Month 6

Month 6–In Orbit, Make 4

Hi All!  At first look, this seems like an easy one, but it was a lot trickier than I thought.  I hope some of my mistakes and un-sews help you avoid the same mistakes.

I always start by selecting fabrics, and then arrange to my liking on my design board.  I suggest marking ALL corner points on each template.  * Template T22 is not a 60 degree triangle, so be sure to mark the starred point so you know which way to piece it in the block.
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Read through the entire post to see the two alternate ways to construct these blocks.

 

The first block I made, I pieced it the way the pattern is written.  I made unit T24/T23/T22 (press toward T22) and unit T24 rev./T23 rev./T22 rev. (press toward T24 rev.)  These seams I stitched all the way to edge.  I found it too messy leaving ¼” at seams, so snipped threads at edges and pulled one or two stitches of seams where I had to do a “Y” seam.

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Then I made the T25/T26 unit and inserted the corner units to finish the block.

 

For the second (and remaining 3 blocks) I pieced the corner units, and then inserted just T25 for both the top and bottom of the block.  I pieced a T25/T26/T25 unit and joined it to the center of the block.  This seemed easier to me.  On this construction, I sewed up to each seam to be able to make that “Y” seam work.

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Here are my finished blocks:

 

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Have fun!  As usual, if you have any questions, call Ann at 605-745-5330.  See you next month!

Delilah: Sew Along With HeartSong Quilts Month 5

 

Month 5 – North Star, Make 5

I am thrilled to tell you that this block is Easy Peazy!  Compared to the first 4 months, you can sew this one with your eyes closed (almost)!  Also, these will finish at 9” instead of 12” like the previous months.

I decided to go less scrappy with these blocks, and I really like the way they turned out.

 

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There is no need for special information on this one, but I wanted to remind you of a basic lesson from Pressing 101:  press each segment to opposite sides to make your seams sandwich perfectly.

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These are my blocks:

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Next month:  No curves, but no walk in the park, either.  Have fun!

Delilah: Sew Along With HeartSong Quilts Month 4

Month 4:  Fairhaven.  Make 3

Okay, everyone, another block with small curved piecing. On this block, I did not cut the straight edges of the curved template (T16, T16 rev.)  ½” larger because there are no straight edges on the T17 template.  It seemed easier to line up the edges and go slowly.

If I didn’t tell you before, I will tell you now that it is easier to piece curves with the concave curve on the bottom and the convex curve on top.

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To make it easier to piece each section,                             Press the                                   press the T16/T17/T16 units toward                                   T16 rev./T17 rev./T16 rev.           outside of block.                                                                  units toward center of block:

Unfortunately, there will be  sections where eight corners meet and there is very little you can do to decrease the thickness.  Definitely press these seams open, and unless you are hand quilting, be sure your quilter (either yourself or a long arm quilter) is aware of these seams.  Strong needles have been known to break on these kinds of seams.

Here are my Fairhaven Blocks:

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I don’t know about you, But I thought these first four months were pretty tough.  Good news, next month’s block is a snap!

Delilah: Sew Along with HeartSong Quilts Month 3

Month 3 – Shooting Star.  Make two

This block has lots of points to match up, so I think it’s a good idea to mark the points of each piece.  Sometimes, I skip this step if it looks like straight piecing, but this block screams for accuracy!

Also, pay attention to which way you press seams that will join as you piece the block.  After piecing the three pieces (T12, T11, and T12 rev.), press both seams toward the outside.  The next three (T14, T13, and T14 rev.) will eventually meet in the center, so press two toward center and two toward the outside.

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Attach T15 and T15 rev. to sides of T13/T14 piece.  Press these seams in the same direction that you pressed the T13/14 pieces in the previous step,

The seams will cross each other because they are all at different angles, but this keeps all your seams from being in one place.

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In the last two steps, you will join the four pieces to make the finished block, these seams will fit nicely together with the seams pressed the right way.

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Here are my finished Shooting Star Blocks:

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Next month is another challenging block, but then there’s a bit of a break in month 5.  Keep at it:  this quilt is worth it!