Friday, June 7, 2019

Sunday, May 19, 2019

June Block Lotto

Hi Everyone-

This month’s Block Lotto is super easy and sews up quickly. That means more time to head outside and enjoy the great weather that’s finally arrived here in New York!  As I write this, the sun is just starting to peek through the clouds. I can't wait to get outside and work in my garden.

This month’s block is The Disappearing Nine Patch. I’ve used 5” squares - this is perfect for using up those leftover fabrics from charm packs.  If you're not using charm packs, simply cut 5 inch squares from larger scraps.

We will use nine 5-inch squares for each block. Four will be low volume and five will be bright colors that contrast well with the low volume fabrics.

Lay them out in three rows of three each, starting at top left with a brightly colored square and alternating with the low volumes.

Stitch the squares together in three rows, pressing seams toward the darker fabrics and then stitch the rows together for a large finished nine patch block.

That's all there is to it!  

Although the next step in the Disappearing Nine Patch process is to cut this large nine patch into four pieces, please don't cut them up.  Bring the blocks as is to the meeting so that the recipient can decide how to cut the blocks.  (This also reduces the chances of one of the four pieces going missing!)

Have a great Sunday everyone and enjoy your Memorial Day Weekend!  See you at the next meeting.


Saturday, May 11, 2019

May 2019 Meeting Recap

An Inspiring Presentation!

Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill from Whole Circle Studio shared her quilting journey, with lots of eye candy!

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

April 2019 Block Lotto

Spring is finally in the air!  That means spring cleaning, which for a quilter often includes cleaning out the fabric stash.  So, lets make a dent in those scraps!  This month's block is a scrappy flying geese design on a low volume background.

For each block you will need:
Scraps:  6 rectangles 3 1/2" x 2"
Low Volume:  12 squares 2"
                         2 rectangles 9 1/2" x 3 1/2"

To make the flying geese:

Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of each 2" square.

Place one low volume square on the left side of each of the six scrappy rectangles, right sides together.  Be sure that your diagonal lines are going from the lower left corner to the upper right corner as shown below.

Stitch just to the side of the drawn line (toward the corner) to allow for turn of the cloth when pressing the seam open.  You want to be sure that the it lines up to a 3 1/2" x 2" rectangle when finished.

All six are stitched:

Note:  This step is optional.  If you want to use those leftover triangles, now is a good time to sew them together.  Draw another line a scant 1/2"  away from the original diagonal line (toward the corner) and sew a second seam just off that line, into the seam allowance.  I then cut a scant 1/4" away from the diagonal line, which should be roughly in the center of the two lines.

Now you have a small half square triangle to use in another project!

After sewing all six pieces, trimming the seam allowance and pressing the seams, you will have six rectangles like this:

For the second part of sewing the flying geese, you will place the remaining six 2" squares on the right side of the sewn rectangles.

As we did on the left side, stitch just to the side of the drawn lines, toward the corner.  Leaving a 1/4" seam allowance, trim away the excess (stitch that second line now if you want) and press the seams open.

Sew the six flying geese together to create one row of geese.  I sew them together two at at time, press seams to one side and then sew those three together to get a row of six.

I like to sew with the triangle facing up towards me to ensure that I don't sew past the tip of the triangle.

Now you have a row of six scrappy flying geese!  Next, we will sew the two 9 1/2" x 3 1/2" low volume rectangles to each side of the row of geese.

Pin one 9 1/2" x 3 1/2" low volume rectangle to one side of the row of geese.

Stitch a scant 1/4" seam and press seam towards the low volume rectangle.

Pin the remaining 9 1/2" x 3 1/2" low volume rectangle to the other side of the row of geese.

Stitch a scant 1/4" seam and press seam towards the low volume rectangle.

That's it!  Your block should measure 9 1/2" square and will finish at 9" square.

Have a great weekend and happy sewing!


Saturday, February 16, 2019

Block Lotto for March: A Scrappy "Rocky Road to Kansas"!

Here's a scrappy stash-buster block for Block Lotto!  Please consider doing this block in pairs - 2, 4, 6, 8 blocks.  Pairs are not required, but will make it more fun and flexible for whoever wins them all (which might be YOU!).  Each pair of blocks makes half of a larger four-pointed star.

It is foundation pieced and I've included both a PDF foundation to print and instructions for fast-drafting your own, if you can't or don't want to print.  Before you begin sewing, please measure and make sure that what comes out of your printer is 7" square!

(Click here for link to PDF of foundation)

To draw the foundation yourself: (see photo below)  Draw a 7" square.  Mark a point 3" from one corner on each of its adjacent sides.  Connect the two points to make a right triangle.  Then connect the two points to the opposite corner.  Then improvise the scrappy section lines yourself.  The lines on the PDF foundation are only suggestions - just eyeball it. 

The printed PDF foundation & A handrawn version - Both are fine!

Note:  The foundation has a 1/2" seam allowance around the outside edge.  Having assembled several collaborative quilts - in which lots of different people have pieced the blocks - I've learned that it's really helpful to have enough around the edge to square it up yourself.  

Please use white or off-white fabrics for the larger (background) triangles on the sides. 

Scrappy section: the fabrics are up to you! So that we get some consistency: think colorful and contrast - not all neutrals or a single color.   Also, you do not need to follow the lines on the foundation paper; you can improvise so long as there are at least 5 different fabrics.

If you know how to foundation piece, just go for it!  It's a single foundation: Start at the small right triangle, do the scrappy center section, then finish with the large triangles on the sides.

If you want to watch a basic video about foundation piecing: How to Foundation Paper Piece with Angela Walters (4 mins)

Here are photos of how I made my samples:

For each pair of blocks, you'll need one 4-1/2" square of fabric, cut in half on the diagonal.  This will make 2 matching pieces for your center/corner triangles.

Pin one triangle to the non-printed (front) side of the foundation, right side out.

Lay a strip of contrasting fabric along the edge of the small triangle, lining up the edges.  Flip the foundation over, holding the strip in place.  (You can pin it, but I find that the small pieces grip the fabric pretty well.)

Sew through the foundation along the line.

Fold back the foundation along the sewing line and trim the excess to 1/4".  If you have an Add-a-Quarter ruler, that's a great tool to use.  (I often just trim it by hand, because I'm too lazy to get up and find my ruler.)

Flip over the foundation to the front, fold back the second strip along the seam line and press open.

I hold my foundation up to the light to align the next strip, but you may choose to trim the extra fabric, as shown in the video link above.  
Repeat the process of sewing the strip on through the foundation paper on the back.  In the scrappy section, you don't have to follow the lines exactly - they're just a suggestion. (You can see in my samples that the strips are not at all identical.)

Keep folding back the foundation and trimming.  Here is a close up of my hand-trimming: once you get the hang of it, you don't always need the Add-A-Quarter.    

Foundation piecing is sometimes called Flip-and-Sew, because you're sewing on pieces and flipping them open before adding more.

After you finish sewing on the pieces for the scrappy center section, flip the foundation over.

Background Fabric Shortcut:  If you are using a reversible white/off-white fabric - such a plain - cut a 7" x 10" rectangle.  Cut it in half diagonally from corner to corner.  This will make two triangles generous enough to cover the side triangles without wasting a lot of fabric.  Note: This shortcut only works with reversible fabrics.

Align one triangle on the front of the foundation, covering the sewing line.  Pin 2-3 times along the line before sewing, as this piece is bigger and will shift. 

Here is the first side triangle, sewn on, as seen from the front.

Fold back the foundation.  Gently pull it back until the fold is along the seam line.  You will have to tear the paper away from the scrappy strip seams in order to get to the triangle's seam line.

Trim the excess fabric from the scrappy strips.  Fold open and press.  

Repeat with the other side triangle.  

Trim the foundation to the 1/2" edge seam allowance.  Do not remove the foundation paper.

This is one block. 

Once you get going, they're easy to do assembly-line style!

The traditional layout for four blocks, making a Rocky Road to Kansas star.
An antique Rocky Road to Kansas quilt.

My Rocky Road to Kansas quilt, made with the help of the Lucky 13 Bee, c. 2016.