Delilah: Sew Along with HeartSong Quilts Month 2

Month 2 – Bells Beach, Make Two

Did you use a 28mm or 18mm rotary cutter for your first month blocks? If not, how did it work for you with the 45mm cutter?  Seemed harder to cut for me so I used the smaller 28mm cutter.

Once again, we have a lot of small curved pieces in each block.  I’ve added ½” to each of the straight sides of each piece.  Trim the smaller blocks to 5 ½” x 5 ½” before you piece them to finish the block.

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The directions for the borders are in the pattern.  They’re pretty straightforward.

Remember, you’re going to be getting new fabrics each month, so feel free to use fabrics from the previous month.

My finished Bells Beach Blocks:

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I’m getting excited about this quilt!  I hope you are, too.  Jen’s patterns are a challenge, but I love how they turn out.

Delilah: Sew Along with HeartSong Quilts Month 1

Hi everyone! I’m so happy to be making Jen Kingwell’s latest pattern, Delilah, with all of you.
If you’ve ever made one of Jen’s quilts before, you’ll remember that she has always provided patterns to trace, but you had to add a ¼” seam to each one. Easy enough for straight lines, but many of the blocks are curved. Jen is a hand piecer and hand quilter, so she needed the actual size of the units she was piecing, and the seam allowance wasn’t so critical. The templates in this project include the ¼” seam allowance and make for a quilt ideally suited to machine piecing.

So, my plan for this Sew-A-Long is to give helpful hints, and take lots of pictures as we go along. If you have questions, post them or email us and we’ll respond as quickly as we can.
Pre-constuction tip: In addition to any quilting tool you are using, I would suggest adding a 28mm or 18mm rotary cutter. The 45mm will work, but it seems to be easier with the smaller blade.
Okay, let’s get started with Month 1 – Rising Sun Block, make two.
1st Tip: This pattern has small pieces with curves. Before you cut out your pieces, I’ve learned a handy trick from Pam Goecke Dinndorf at Aardvark Quilts. When I made Pam’s Bouja, her very helpful advice when cutting pieces with curves was to cut the straight edges of the pattern pieces 1” larger than the pattern/template calls for. This gives you some wiggle room since everyone’s ¼” seam varies depending on the machine or other unseen reasons. Since these pieces are small, I think an extra ½” on the straight sides should be plenty. Be sure you trace the actual template on the fabric and mark the center of the curves to be able to make sure they match in the end. Trim the small blocks to 3 ¼” x 3 ¼” before piecing the rest of the block.

 

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Notice how I’ve left an additional 1/2″ on the straight sides of the template.

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Once you piece the curves, cut off the extra 1/2″ allowance you left.

 

The other templates that are all straight edges (squares, rectangles, triangles) can be rotary cut as you would normally.

 

These are my finished Rising Sun Blocks:

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Have fun!  See you next month.

Australian Sampler Gallery

Here is the gallery of each block, to show you the fabrics we used in our Australian sampler.

Australian Sampler

color wallWatch this space for Ann’s construction of her Australian Sampler.  We’ll get it posted the week of May 16, 2016.  If you’ve purchased the kit, or if you just want to give it a go with your own choice of fabrics, you should check out these photos for help and inspiration.

By the way, this photo is of the color wall that Ann put together in order to choose her fabrics for the sampler.  Ann knows color, that’s for sure.

Here’s the pattern for the quilt–Patchwork Sampler–which you can get by clicking here.

Patchwork Sampler pattern--NOT made with aboriginals. Wait until you see the difference.

Patchwork Sampler pattern–NOT made with aboriginals. Wait until you see the difference.

Midnight at the Oasis Final session

Session Seven

Border 5 – Courthouse Steps

 

For this border, I found it tedious to cut the various strips for the blocks.  It seems I did nothing but cut and sub-cut strips for several days.  Again, I like the contrast between the background fabric and the feature fabric to really stand out.             DSC_0653samllDSC_0654 small

 

I changed the background of my design wall.  Brian thought the red background overshadowed the quilt.  This is the quilt so far, with some of the courthouse steps. I’m liking how it is turning out.

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Here is the finished quilt, hanging up in my shop! I’m really pleased on how it turned out, and I hope you’re all pleased with your own.

 

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I’ve sure enjoyed this quilt along, and hope you have, too.  It’s amazing how unique each of our quilts are, using the same pattern.

Next Quilt Along will use the Green Tea and Sweet Beans pattern by Jen Kingwell.  We’ll give details in an upcoming newsletter.

Midnight Quilt Along Session 6

Border 4, Checkerboard

Well, the end is in sight (for me at least).  It’s been fairly slow going, but you’re all doing great.  I love seeing the photos you’ve posted to the Facebook Group page.

 

The pattern gives two options for the checkerboard border: You can cut (276) 1 ½” x 1 ½” squares of the secondary background and (276) 1 ½” x 1 ½” squares of a large variety of prints.

OR

You can cut 1 ½” strips of background and 1 ½” strips of prints and sew them in sets of three and sub cutting at 1 ½” increments.  If you alternate background/print/background and print/background/print, press seam to the background piece, these sections will nestle neatly together.            DSC_0647 v1

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After piecing the checkerboard borders, I actually had to remove one section from each border to make them fit my quilt so far.  Again, that elusive 1/4″ seam.  Remember, the pattern writer usually designs and makes the quilt while she is writing the pattern.  The measurements she gives are for her borders, blocks etc.  I would bet money that if we compared our finished quilt sizes at the end, we will have multiple variations.  Remember, no quilt police here.                  DSC_0651 v1

 

Next session is on February 2, 2015

Homework – finish Checkerboard border.

 

Midnight Quilt Along Session 5

Border 3: Churn Dash

Well, using  these blocks to make borders that need to fit really requires some finagling the end product, doesn’t it?

The best advice I can offer for the churn dash block is to make sure the value of your background is different than the value of the feature fabric.  Wherever possible, I kept the background fabric and feature fabric uniform for each block.  I also wanted the background to be lighter than the feature fabric.

I cut (2) 1 – 7/8″ squares of background, (2) 1 – 7/8″ squares of feature, (1) 1″ x 6″ strip of background, and (1) 1″ x 6″ strip of feature fabric, and (1) 1 ½”  square of background fabric.

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I made the corner pieces as indicated, but I sewed the 1″ strips together and sub cut into 1 ½” sections.

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Continue to make (52) 3 ½” blocks.

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Next Session is on     January 9, 2015         Border 4: Checkerboard

Homework: finish churn dash border.

Midnight at the Oasis 4th Session

You all said that I should post the next session even though most of you weren’t up to this point. I’ll keep the sessions up until everyone is completed.

4th Session

Border 2: Applique Vine

Before going farther, I need to confess that I had to adjust the size of my orange peel borders.  I have found in many patterns, my 1/4″ seam will vary from the pattern maker’s 1/4″ seam slightly.  Even if I vary as small as 1/16″ of an inch; with as many seams as we are working with, that 1/16″ can really add up.  No Worries, before you add a border, make sure you measure the section you are adding the border to three times.  When you are adding the left side border, measure the left side of the piece, the center and the right side.  Add the three measurements and divide by three.  This will give the average size and that is the measurement you use for the length of both side borders.  Add the side borders and then measure again: top, center and bottom.  Find that average and use it for both the top and bottom borders.  Repeat this for every border you add.

This may sound like an annoying extra step, but it will be well worth the effort.  This quilt has a lot of borders, and each border is made up of small blocks with many seams each.  Don’t be that quilter whose quilt is lop sided or doubles as a “D” cup bra when you lie it flat!

Having said that, begin by cutting (4) 5 ½” x 25 ½” strips (or whatever your sides and top borders measure out to be) of the primary background fabric.

The pattern calls for a 3/8″ bias tape maker.  If you don’t have one, you can press your 1″ strips lengthwise with wrong sides together and stitch a 1/8″ seam along the edge.  Press seam to one side on the back so you can sew it down with the seam hidden under the vine.

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Cut out the other applique pieces G, H, & I and the leaves for this border.  I made (10) G pieces, (20) H pieces, (55) I pieces and (15) leaves.

 

Arrange vines in a free form manner on the border background.  At each edge of the border, extend the vines an additional 2″ or so.  The vine on both ends of the borders  extend past the edge several inches so you can stitch these pieces of vine over the basket handles in the corners.

 

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Arrange the flowers, and leaves over the vines on border background and applique.  Save (4) flowers to put in the corner baskets.

The corner baskets call for (8) 1 – 7/8″ squares for each basket for a total of (32).  Cut each square in half diagonally and stitch them together randomly for a scrappy look.

  Once you assemble the baskets, cut (4) 5 ½” x 5 ½” square from the primary background.  Measure down from the top corner 1 – 1/8″ and mark.  Do the same on the bottom left corner.  Cut from mark to mark.

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Sew the basket to the background square.    DSC_0630 v1  Add a basket handle to the basket.

Sew a border to each side of center square.

Stitch a basket on each side of the top and bottom borders, then sew the borders to the top and bottom of the square.  The basket corners should be toward the inside.

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Once the applique borders are finished, add the tiny borders as before:

Cut (2) 1″ x 35 ½” strips }     Adjust if necessary.

Cut (2) 1″ x 36 ½” strips}

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The next Session is on    December 26           3rd Border : Churn Dash

Homework – finish applique border

Midnight at the Oasis Third Session

Hi Everyone:  Wow!  You guys have been doing awesome work.  There’s so much creativity and neat use of colors.  I hope you’re having as much fun and are as challenged as I am.  This quilt takes a lot of work!  Anyway, here goes for the third session.

Border 1: Orange Peel

I decided to use lighter fabrics for each background.  I chose 4 darker/medium fabrics in the same color family (whenever possible) for the orange peels.

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Cut (20) 4 ½” x 4 ½” squares

(80) F templates using various prints.  I found it easier to pin the four fabrics together and draw the template on the top one.  I could then cut all four at the same time.

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(I am using the same technique for applique for the whole project, so I won’t repeat those instructions again.)

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Once you add this border, add the tiny border strips.

Cut: (2) strips 1″ x 24 ½”

(2) strips 1″ x 25 ½”

 

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Next Session is on or about November 29 and will cover Border 2: Applique Vine

Homework: Finish Orange Peel borders

Midnight at the Oasis Second Quilt Along Session

Hi Everyone:

We’re back from our fabulous trip to Israel, and I’ve prepared the second session of our Midnight at the Oasis quilt along.  I hope you’ve all selected your fabrics, and are ready to get to work.  And this quilt is quite a bit of work, I must say.  Here we go!

Preparing templates for cutting:

The last page of the pattern are the templates that we’ll need to add 1/4″ seam allowance to before we use them to cut out the pieces.

 

I like to trace each shape onto template plastic with a Sharpie fine point permanent marker before I add the 1/4″ seam.  It is easier for me to add the seam allowance when I have it already on the plastic.

 

As I mentioned at the beginning of the sew along, I encouraged you to read the entire pattern ahead of time.  As I read about the center square, I decided not to cut the fabric of template E.  Instead of piecing E to the four pointed star, I would rather cut a 15 ½” x 15 ½” square, and applique the star on that.  This is my personal preference, if you want to piece, please do whatever technique you like best.  (Obviously, I will need a little more fabric if I’m going to cut a larger piece of the primary background than the pattern calls for.)

 

Once my templates are ready, I need to decide the fabrics that I’ll use in the Center Square.

-Primary Background – one 15 ½” x 15 ½” square

-64 of a variety of fabrics for template A                                        DSC_0572 v1

-Multi red for small borders – template B

-C & D, I’m not too concerned, as long as they look pleasing.

-8″ x 8″ square for circle appliques – secondary background

 

When I’m ready to applique the circles (and eventually the four point star), I don’t want to needle turn and I don’t want raw edge applique.  I have found a happy medium when I use a thin non-fuseable interfacing.  The finished piece has a little more depth than using raw edge applique with Steam-A-Seam.   Once you have your piece ready for applique, place it face down on the   interfacing,

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and stitch all the way around using a 1/4″ seam.

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On curved pieces, clip up to, but not past the seam, so when you turn it right side out, it will lay flat.     DSC_0575 v1                   Make a small slit in the interfacing, and turn right-side out.    DSC_0576 v1DSC_0577 v1                     Press so you can’t see the stabilizer.    DSC_0578 v1

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Begin assembly of center Section.

 

 

 

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Press lowest layer of A’s to left, next layer to right, then left again.  This will allow your triangles to nest together more easily.

 

When you are piecing triangles, one of the most difficult steps is ensuring the points meet precisely.  One way of doing this, is to insert a flat headed pin from the back of the second layer from the bottom at exactly the spot where the points of the triangles meet.       DSC_0583 v1DSC_0584 v1DSC_0585 v1 Insert the pin through the point of the triangle you are piecing it to.

DSC_0586 v1DSC_0587 v1DSC_0588 v1Pull the pieces together on the pin, and place a pin on either side of the seam to make sure it stays in place.   I also like to put a dot on the seam where I want to be sure my stitch intersects.   DSC_0590 v1DSC_0591 v1   I will use the same applique technique for the star points      DSC_0597 v1

 

After you have made the star points, you will be ready to applique the circles (B, C, & D) onto the 8″ x 8″ center square.    Find the center of your square by drawing diagonal lines from corner to corner.

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Trim square to 6″ x 6″ and attach a pieced triangle to each side.   DSC_0599 v1  This is the time where you piece E between the points, or applique the star onto a 15 ½” x 15 ½” square. DSC_0600 v1DSC_0601 v1

 

Once you have you star on the center square, add the tiny borders.

Cut 2 strips 1″ x 15 ½” and stitch to top and bottom

Cut 2 strips 1″ x 16 ½” and stitch to each side.DSC_0608 v1

Whew!  That was a bit of work, wasn’t it?

Next session is on or about  November 14 and will be about Border 1: Orange Peel

Homework: Finish Center Square