September 3, 2015

City Girl Sew Along-Block #29

Welcome back to our City Girl Sew Along. "Smoke Stacks" is block # 29 and features a very special guest designer: my niece Soraia who lives in Brazil. When I asked for her input on the City Girl Sew Along blocks she jumped right in. Soraia is 17 and is already an accomplished artist - her drawings are gorgeous...

What a talent! The textures on this lion beckon me to touch him... What an honor it is to have such an artist contribute to our sew along. Thanks, Soraia!

The choice of fabric for the sky (which Soraia noticed on previous blocks and suggested I repeat on this block) is important as it brings to mind smoke or 'particles' in the air. All fabrics used are by Riley Blake Designs.

Here is what you will need:
6" x 4" rectangles of assorted grey prints for smoke stacks
17" x 6-1/2" rectangle of grey dots/white fabric for sky
Erasable fabric pen
Neutral thread

From grey dots/white fabric: (4) 3-1/2" x 2-1/2" rectangles and (4) 2-7/8" squares
From assorted grey prints: (4) 3-1/2" x 2-1/2" rectangles and matching (4) 2-7/8" squares

You've asked me which neutral thread I use the most, and this is it. This shade of Aurifil 50 wt is perfect for every fabric combination. It works very well for paper piecing, too, and it is the one I used on the blocks in the paper piecing video tutorial I posted this week.

Get ready for this week's block tutorial:

Bring all your fabric pieces next to your sewing machine. Although you cannot discern well on this picture, the darker fabrics are a bit different from each other.

Begin by assembling the half-square triangles. Take a sky square and one of the smoke stack squares, RST, draw a line on the diagonal on the lighter fabric. Repeat with remaining 3 sky squares and 3 smoke stack ones. Yes, you will end up with four extra half-square triangles which you can save them for another block.

Stitch 1/4" away from the diagonal line on both sides, then use your rotary cutter to cut each block on the line.

Clip ears and press each block with seams towards the darker fabric.There are other ways to make half-square triangles, yet this is a quick one for this block.

Next, match 3-1/2" x 2-1/2" rectangles with their half-square triangles. This is what you should have up to now. Stitch each column, then sew columns together to form the block.

And here it is. I had missed piecing a block for the City Girl Sew Along as the previous blocks have all used machine applique. Stop by next Thursday to see block #30!

Have a fun sewing day...

August 31, 2015

Paper piecing-video tutorial

I made these paper (foundation) piecing blocks for a project that is not ready yet. When I paper piece I need to remind myself of the steps involved. This time I decided to create a video tutorial in case you also need a refresher, or for those of you who are intimidated by paper piecing. The video is short (4.11 minutes) but covers all the steps to make the block above, which are the same steps you will use for any other block.

Here are the tools you will need:
Add-A-Quarter Ruler
1. The Add-a-quarter ruler to trim fabrics as you stitch them.

Image result for aurifil images
2. I prefer to use Aurifil threads, either the 50 or the 40 wt. They are thin yet sturdy enough so stitches will remain intact when you remove foundation paper. I like the neutral colors for paper piecing.

Martingale - Papers for Foundation Piecing
3. Lately I have been using the foundation paper by Martingale, which is very easy to remove.

4. If you do not notice on the credits at the end of the video, the pattern for this block can be found in Carol Doak's book "300 Paper Pieced Quilt Blocks", which I mentioned on this post. I love the blocks in this book and am so glad I have it.

5. A piece of heavy card stock or a greeting card, an old credit card, or a hotel key card are needed for when you trim each fabric you add.

Finally, here is how we paper piece:

I hope this tutorial helps you. Have a great day!

August 27, 2015

City Girl Sew Along -Block #28

"Water Pipe" is the name of block 28 for the City Girl Sew Along. I almost used red on the fire hydrant but it would not have worked well with the fabrics I have been using. So, I chose the next best thing and my hydrant, sitting amidst a flower bed, is wearing a dotty outfit! A solid fabric would have outlined its features better but once I had the idea of using large dots I could not give it up.

Here is what you will need:
(1) 4-1/4" x 8-1/2" rectangle for the bottom (flower bed)
(1) 4-3/4" x  8-1/2" rectangle for the top (skyscrapers or sky)
(1) 6" x 8-1/2" rectangle of fabric for hydrant
fusible web (HeatnBond Lite is my favorite)
matching thread for applique' (I used Aurifil 40 wt)
sharp scissors

Maybe your fabric combination won't be as crazy as mine... but get it all together and get started.

Stitch bottom and top rectangles and press seam towards the darker fabric.

Trace template (to download template click here) onto smooth side of fusible web. Cut around the outline and iron it onto wrong side of fabric. Using sharp scissors, cut on the outline, peel backing and iron it onto background block.

Machine applique' with blanket stitch and matching thread, then press on the reverse side to set stitches.

28 down, a few more blocks to come. So... how are your blocks coming along? Send me pictures and I will post them with the next block.

I hope you get a lot of sewing done today!

August 24, 2015

Use all your scraps!

Martingale - Seems Like Scrappy (Print version + eBook bundle)Guys, it has been many weeks since I last purchased new fabric. I am not shunning them - just trying to use the fabrics I have as I am running out of room for storage, and moving into a larger house to accommodate my fabric collection is not an option. This is probably why I have been making more scrappy quilts than I have in the past.

I was so happy when I received for review the book "Seems Like Scrappy" by Rebecca Silbaugh. The patterns can be made with any 'scrap collection' you may have: modern, civil war, 1930s, novelty... Throughout the book Rebecca gives us 'scrappy tips' to help with and color fabric selection so quilts will be appealing to the eye instead of a 'hot mess' as she says it.

It took me a long time to venture into the scrappy quilt arena as I always preferred more harmonious colorways. However, one can still make a great looking quilt with assorted pieces of fabrics, and Seems Like Scrappy is an excellent resource if, like me, you are trying to use up fabrics you've collected for the past few years (to make room for newer lines, that is!).

These are some of my favorite patterns from Rebecca's book (all photographs by Brent Kane for Martingale):
Martingale - Seems Like Scrappy (Print version + eBook bundle)
Martingale - Seems Like Scrappy (Print version + eBook bundle)
Martingale - Seems Like Scrappy (Print version + eBook bundle)
Martingale - Seems Like Scrappy (Print version + eBook bundle)
There are some interesting new blocks and twist on traditional blocks which you will enjoy. Although her patterns feature precuts and fat quarters, the well written directions include equivalent measurements which is handy as you dig into your scrap bag.

Above all, this book has inspired me to 'think outside the box' and venture further along my scrappy quilt journey. It will likely inspire you, too!

Happy Monday,

August 20, 2015

City Girl Sew Along Block #27

Here is block #27 for the City Girl Sew Along called Up and Away. It sort of goes well with block #26 (The Hotel) and both were influenced by my recent trip to California. Super easy and simple as you can see, representing airports which are a part of big cities.

Here is what you will need:
(1) 8-1/2" x 8-1/2" square of fabric for background (sky)
(1) 7" x 4-1/2" rectangle of light grey fabric for the airplane
fusible web (HeatnBond Lite is what I always use)
matching thread for applique' (I used Aurifil 40 wt, which I am loving!)
sharp scissors

My background is one piece of fabric only, but you may piece it if you would like.

Trace template (to download template, click here) onto smooth side of fusible web (for details on how to work with fusible web, click here). Iron it to the wrong side of the fabric you chose for the airplane. Cut on outline with sharp scissors, peel backing and iron it onto background fabric (sky).

Machine applique' with blanket stitch. Press on reverse side to set stitches. Done! I thought of adding a drone to this picture, as they are popping up everywhere lately, but decided against it at the last minute...

If you are just joining us, you can find all the blocks with tutorials and templates on the City Girl Sew Along page of this blog. Alternatively, you can follow the Pinterest board by the same name.

Have a great weekend,

August 19, 2015

New patterns on Etsy

Phew! I finally sat down long enough to write a couple of patterns as I had promised. You can find the following patterns on my Etsy store Quilterly:

Snow Buddies Table Runner...

and Turkey Day Wall Hanging.

The PDF patterns are fast to download and easy to follow. So, if you would like to get started on your Thanksgiving and Christmas projects, check them out!

Come back tomorrow to see the newest block for our City Girl Sew Along. Until then, keep sewing...

August 17, 2015

Turkey Wall Hanging

Call me crazy, but I have already done my project for Thanksgiving! This wall hanging is 15" wide by 25" long and features machine applique with a simple pieced border. Although the colors on the picture are kind of funky (weather was not too clear when I took it), you can see they are fall colors with scrappy turkey feathers setting the mood.

The background is Osnaburg; I used a high loft polyester batting to provide high relief to the applique and quilting. That chocolate cake would taste so good right about now!

The blanket stitch around the applique shapes is one of my favorite parts of the wall hanging, as well as the free motion quilting, both done with Aurifil 40 wt. This pattern has been added to my Etsy store Quilterly.

I do like his facial expression: we 'sometimes' look like that on Thanksgiving Day, don't we? :-) I am linking up to Freshly Pieced and Esther's Blog on Wednesday, and to Crazy Mom Quilts,  Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Quilt Shop Gal on Friday.

Happy Monday!


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