Sunday, January 27, 2013

Christmas Doll Quilt

Every year I try to make a few things for my little dolly.  I still have the doll from my childhood in the 1950's, along with all the clothes that my mother made for her.  I never gave her a name, isn't that interesting?  Anyway, she needed a new quilt this year and I started this one before Christmas, but my machine was on the fritz so we have had to wait until now to finish it.

The gals in the quilting class have expressed an interest in making the twister quilt.  This will be a good small example of the technique.  I used random 5 inch squares to make this quilt.  A charm pack would be perfect.  Or for a larger quilt, a layer cake.

Those socks do not match!

I'm working on a little Valentine's Dress for her next!  This is one I made a few years ago...

Isn't my husband great, holding up all her little things so I can take photos?  I love him!  He totally indulges me.

Well, off to bed, it's a work day tomorrow.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sugar Block Club BOM #1

This was a fun block.  I'm planning this quilt to use a variety of aqua and gray fabrics that I have collected.  I am planning a small bit of some additional color in each block as a light focal fabric, not intense though...the feel of this quilt will be very soft.  I like the white background, it's crisp and this fabric has a subtle white on white print which is very interesting to me, it has a flowing feel to it.  This is a sharp contrast from last years BOM which featured a variety of bold Kaffe Fasset fabrics.

The fabrics I will be selecting for this quilt will have subtle graphic appeal, you will look and then look again because something is calling you to look closer.  It will be calming.

Results of the First PPP BOM Meeting!

So proud of all the great work that was done Friday.  We had 10 gals in attendance and another will join us at our next meeting.

Random fabric strips were given to each person and they all made exactly the same block!  Yes, that is right, they all made exactly the same block.  You can see several variations based on either fabric placement or the turn of the block to create a different focal point.  

I had a wonderful time teaching this class, the gals caught on really quickly and it will be fun to see how they do with the next challenge.  

A lot of the gals from last year and a few fresh faces!  Great Fun!!!
Looking forward to our fabric store excursion this next Friday.  We will meet at the LDS Church at 9am and car pool over.   

Please join us on Flickr, the group is Paper Piecing Perfection. 
We would love to see your blocks added to the groups as we go along.  I will get button posted on the side for a quick link to the group.  Please feel free to comment, questions and suggestions are welcome!   For those of you new to Flickr,  Flickr is a FREE website on which you can post your personal photos, create sets and groups, you can participate in other groups besides ours.  Once your join, just put our group name in the search box and search for our group, join the group and then you are free to post your blocks and contribute to our discussions.  Again, there is no cost to join Flickr or our group, it's just a means of electronically sharing our work.  Come join us!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Paper Piecing 2013 Block #1 Constellation

Class will Start on January 18th at 9am until noon.
We will meet at the LDS Church in the Cultural Hall
20895 Todd Valley Rd, Foresthill, CA

Bring your lunch and any unfinished projects, we can work on those in the afternoon.

Materials List:  Bring your sewing machine, your power cord and foot peddle, a power strip if you have one.  Fabric for the first class will be provided.  Bring, rotary cutter, mat, 6 x 12 inch quilt ruler, glue stick, scotch tape, scissors, bobbin and thread, extra sewing machine needle, in case yours breaks.

Paper Piecing, why do we do it?  Paper piecing allows you to easily sew blocks that would otherwise be very difficult.  Can you imagine trying to get perfect crispy points with out it?  I can't.  

What is it?  Simply put, it's the use of a foundation upon which fabric pieces are sewn in a particular order.   Once completed, the paper is torn away.

To start this first block off, you will need 4 fabrics.  Fat Quarters are fine, you are only going to use a strip off each one, so you'll have plenty to make several blocks with just 4 fat quarters.  

This is our pattern for our first block, it is called Constellation.  Each block will be 6.5" square and when 4 are sewn together that finished block size will be 12.5 inches square.  It will finish to 12 inches in a quilt.

(copies will be provided in the class you do not need to print out the pattern) If you are printing your own, make sure that your printer is set to actual size and print one sample first to make sure the little square = 1 inch.  You will need 5 copies to make one block.  (yes, I know that there are only 4 blocks in a square, we will be using one for a pattern to cut our fabric)  Cut your 5th block into pieces, they are numbered.  Find #1 and cut 4 pieces of fabric 1/2 inch larger on all sides than your pattern piece.  Always give yourself extra.  You can trim it away easier than you can add to it!

Take four of your blocks and cut them out along the outside square, a 1/4" seam allowance has already been added.  Stack your squares.  We are going to remove the thread from our sewing machine, bobbin thread also and we are going to stitch along all of the lines, including the outside lines.  Please stay on the line.  If you are having difficulty holding your paper together, try a little piece of tape over a couple places.  You can clip through it after you are finished.  Make sure you sew all the lines to pre-perforate your paper.

I like to use a glue stick for the first piece, you can use any paper glue stick, or a fabric basing glue stick.  A tiny dab will do, we are just securing the fabric to the paper so it doesn't move.  Put your little dab in the middle of the section, not on the perforations.

I have a light box, which will allow me to see my fabric under my paper, if you don't have one then just hold your piece up to the light or a window to make sure that it covers the stitching lines by at least 1/4 inch all the way around.  (you can get one of those inexpensive small florescent lights that you can plug in near your machine and lay flat on the table to use as a light box, even a small battery operated one will work)

You can take your pattern piece #2 and again, cut 4 pieces that are 1/2 inch larger than your pattern piece.  

Your piece should be large enough to cover the next segment in the block and still have plenty to trim off.

lay your square with the fabric, right side up and the printed side of your paper should be down.

Place your next piece right on top of your first piece RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER.  Take a small piece of tape and place it where shown.  Keep it far enough away from your seam that you will not be sewing through it.  (some people pin, I don't like to pin because you are sewing on the opposite side, it's bulky and you chance hitting a pin with your needle.  Tape makes for easier and more accurate piecing)

Carefully, Flip your square back over...we sew on this side, on the printed lines.

Start from the outside edge and stitch in on this first line.  

A shortened stitch length will help your paper tear off easier but it also makes it very difficult to tear out a the paper really makes a difference here.  Make sure you stitch on the line.

End your stitching just past the line three stitches or so.

Fold your paper back along the perforated line to expose your seam, if you taped it, remove the tape before you do this.

Trim your seam to 1/4 inch.

Open your paper back out, turn it over, open out your fabric, press.

This is an optional step for lining up a directional fabric.    This method will let you use a directional fabric and have all of your pieces exactly the same on each part of your block.  First cut out the pattern piece and placed a couple pieces of double stick tape (like you use for scrap booking) on the back of the pattern piece. This will hold it in place on your fabric.  Put the fabric on the light box, right side down.  Carefully line up the center of the directional piece so that it looks the way you want it in the finished block.  The tape will hold the pattern piece in place, you can move it to your cutting board and cut it with a 1/4 inch seam allowance all the way around.

Before proceeding, you would again, fold back your next stitching line and trim your fabric to 1/4 inch away from that edge.  Line your next piece up with right sides together.  Again, use the double sided tape as you can see above and place the next piece, right sides together lining up the seam.  The tape is back from the stitching line, so you are not stitching through the tape.  Stitch from the printed side, along the line on the paper going from the large edge of the strip to the pointed end.

Fold your piece out and press.  Fold back the next seam line and trim your fabric to 1/4 inch beyond that, just as you did before.

Do the same for the last piece and you should have 4 squares finished, trim them to the outside line of your pattern, which will provide you with a perfect 1/4 inch seam when you put them together.

Lets looks at some of the ways that we can put this block together!

I love Stars...totally my favorite!

Windmill is always fun

This would be an interesting border for a quilt I think, or a very modern block.

Another star.

Below are multiples, created in mosaic maker to see what they might look like as a quilt.

You can see how this might be an attractive border piece as well...

Paper Piecing, the possibilities are endless!

Beggars Block, Vintage Block Quilt Along #3

This is my third block in the Vintage Block Quilt Along, created by Charise Creates and hosted at her blog site which is  You just need to click on the Vintage Block Quilt Along tag at the top of her blog and you can download all the patterns and instructions for FREE!

If I were to do this block over again, I would use a lighter fabric for the butterfly centers that are dark right now.  My eye is going to those first.  But I think in the overall scheme of the quilt it will be just fine.  

This block is also referred to as the Spool Block or the Butterfly Spool Block.  It is from the Kansas City Star Newspaper circa 1929.  Here is a clipping from the newspaper "  This interesting block harkens back to the neighborly custom of begging one's friends for scraps of their frocks or old neckties to put into a quilt."

These are examples of what those patterns looked like when they were clipped from the newspaper.  I imagine how excited women would be in anticipation of the arrival of a new pattern in their newspaper.  Not having rotary cutting or the plexiglass templates of today, some of these patterns would have been a real challenge.

Well, I was excited about the Beggar's Block pattern, because it is a paper pieced pattern and I will be teaching a paper piecing class this year.    There are some changes that I would make to her instructions for this block.  

1. The first change would be to take your paper pieces, 4 at a time, stacked neatly and put them under your sewing machine needle (having removed all of your thread, including bobbin) and just stitch each of the sewing lines.  This perforates your paper, making it easier to fold and easier to remove.

2. The second change that I would make to her instructions:  instead of  initially pinning each piece of fabric to the block I would use, either a paper glue stick or the sticky adhesive tabs that you can purchase for paper scrapbooking.  This eliminates the bulk of a pin while holding your initial piece of fabric firmly in place. You only need a tiny dab.  It is easily removed once the project is completed.  Make sure what ever glue stick or dot you select it is archival quality, acid free.  

3. The third change:  Make sure you have ample fabric surrounding your block, she does not include the seam allowance in her pattern, so you need to make sure that you have sufficient fabric surrounding your block at all times to be able to trim it back to a 1/4" seam allowance all around.  

4. The fourth change:  I would not recommend pinning the additional pieces (background sections)  If you need to hold them in place, use the scrap book sticky tape even a small piece of scotch tape placed outside of the seam line would work.  You don't want to be stitching over your "sticky" stuff, but the bulk of pins underneath your project will not lead to accurate piecing.  Using the tape method, eliminates that bulk.  I found that I did not need a pin or tape for these pieces, they were pretty easy to handle under the needle.

She doesn't talk about removing the paper.  For this pattern, I would not remove the paper until you have stitched the blocks together into your main block, then carefully remove your paper.  

I like this pattern and will probably redraft it with my EQ6 to allow for the 1/4 inch exterior seam.  I think that would make for a bit more accurate piecing at the finish.  So excited to see what the next month will bring!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Rose Dream Vintage Block Quilt Along #1

Rose Dream - Block #1

Finished my first block in the Vintage Block Quilt Along by Charise Creates.  This was a bit of a challenge with the curved seams, don't look too close, it's far from perfect, but it will be fine looking at it from a galloping horse, as my friend Brenda love to say.  This block is from the Kansas City Star Newspaper circa 1930 and Charise promises that you will be an expert at curves after making this block.  Pins and Starch are her recommendations!  She also did a lot of fussy cutting in her block which made it interesting.  Next block, I will pay more attention to that detail.

The fabrics I am using for this quilt come from the Three Sisters line for Moda.  I purchased them several years ago, so they may or may not still be available.  I actually purchased them to make a completely different quilt, which I made several times, got bored with and decided to save this fabric for another project.  Here we go! On to the second block, I am catching up.  

Night and Day - Block #2

If you would like to quilt along on this Vintage Block journey, you can follow her tutorial and download the pattern free at  just click on the link for the "Vintage Block Quilt Along" at the top of her website.

Playing with options...what does it look like if you combine these two blocks in a quilt.

Wouldn't this be adorable for a baby quilt, done in pretty pastels.  Love the x and o effect.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2013 Time To Reflect and Plan

Wow, I just noticed that I had not posted a photo of my finished Craftsy BOM on my blog!  Well, here it is, I have it pinned to the batting and backing, just waiting for my machine to get out of the shop for the quilting!  So happy with how it turned out, I love the blue batik for the sashing.  Not sure about the binding until I get it quilted, then I will sort that out.  But absolutely delighted with it.  

Here is a picture of the backing fabric.  No one can say it doesn't grab your attention!  I picked out a very royal plummy purple.   This will be fun to snuggle under!  The other quilt top that is ready to go is my take on the Swoon.  I will be sashing and bordering with black.   

All my UFO's...just waiting for my machine!  I Hope They Hurry!!!

I have decided that along with teaching a quilting class this year, I want to do a couple of BOM's for myself.  I have two selected and a possible 3rd and 4th.  I will be doing the 2013 Sugar Block Club.

This is a subscription that will come via e-mail from the same instructor that taught the Craftsy BOM, Amy Gibson from  Amy just had twin boys and has two other children as well...I don't know how she manages to be so very creative!   She has a wonderful blog and I enjoy her work.

The next one that I am doing is a Vintage Block Quilt Along with Charise Creates.   Charise also has a wonderful blog at Each of these blocks are absolutely delightful and challenging.

I am also toying with making the Camelot Quilt.  It's hand pieced, we will see how my temperament and my hands hold out.  Here is a picture of the pattern, it is absolutely lovely.  The pattern cost about $45. US dollars, so it will have to wait for a payday or two.  I get excited looking on Flickr at all the work that others are doing on their blocks!
I will be teaching paper piecing this year, and I did see a new pattern by Amy Ellis called Dancing Stars.  Very clean and modern. The pattern is free and would be a GREAT way to use up some scraps that are about.  So I may undertake that one as well...we will see.  Pattern is downloaded and ready to go.   Amy also has a wonderful blog at

So it's going to be an exciting year!  Let's all pray that everyone in my family can remain upright this year, no scraped knees or broken arms and we will be doing great!  Can't wait to see all my gals at the first class this month!