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.

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 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 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!

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.

Midnight at the Oasis Quilt Along

We’ve been wanting to do a Quilt Along for awhile, and we love Jen Kingwell designs, so this was a perfect match.  This will be the first quilt along we’ve done, so please be patient with us.

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This will be a fairly relaxed QAL (quilt along).  I will be posting about every two weeks about my experience and suggestions in constructing the center block, borders and finishing work.  Like every other project I tackle, there will be a lot of improvisation and throwing the printed instructions out the window.  You’ll find that I love to make beautiful quilts and I’m willing to try just about anything to make it work.  When I run into a technique I’m not sure about, I give it a try.  If it doesn’t work for me, I find an easier way to accomplish the task.  I’ll be sharing those tips with you.

How it works.  We’ll publish a series of posts detailing each step in the process.  You can quilt along with us, ask questions, and share your techniques and advice with others.  You can follow along at our speed or go at your own pace as posts will remain on this blog even after the quilt along has been completed.

Schedule of Posts

  • October 17th — Ann’s Overview and General Observations on the pattern, including Fabric and Color Selection.
  • October 31 — Constructing the center section including templates, piecing triangles,  applique of circles, and more.
  • November 14 –Border one.
  • Ann is still working on the pattern, so there will be additional posts for the other borders, etc.

Purchasing the Pattern

We have plenty of patterns available in our store.  You can shop online by clicking here

I’ve started a Flickr group so that we can all share our progress, and if you use Instagram, you can use the tag #midnightheartsong.

So, are you anxious to join us in making this amazing quilt? We would love to have you join us!