Posts filed under Quilt Alongs

Fall into a Quilt Along: Canning Jars

Welcome to block 10 of Fall into a Quilt Along! We’ve rounded into the home stretch of this quilt along with fall quickly approaching. If you missed any of the previous blocks, my quilt along page has everything you need. All of the patterns will be free until November 13, 2018.

Fall is harvest season, and for many of us, harvest means canning. Sandra Healy designed these wonderful canning jars for our quilt. Head on over to her blog post for the pattern.

Tips for Success

As a quilt along host, I’m here to make these blocks as easy as possible. I have several tips that will help this block go together like a dream. I even wrote a tutorial for adding a beveled shelf to the block!

Seam Test

I always recommend testing your seam allowance before you start. That way you can be sure your block will come out the right size.

To test your seam allowance, cut two 2" squares and sew them together. Press to one side, and measure the resulting rectangle. The rectangle should be 3 1/2" long. If your rectangle is shorter, you need a narrower seam allowance. If your rectangle is longer, you need a wider seam allowance. Adjust your seam and try again. Once the rectangle is exactly 3 1/2" long, you're good to go.

Stitch and Flip Corners

Stitch and flip corners are super versatile for making all sorts of blocks.  The secret to making a successful stitch and flip corner is to stitch just outside of the drawn line. The line you drew isn't the stitching line - it's actually where the fabric needs to fold! By stitching just outside of the line, you give yourself the extra fabric you need to reach all the way to the corner when you flip it over.

Just to be safe, I always test to make sure my corner is covered before I cut away the excess fabric from the back.

If you’re not careful, the fusible web can make applique blocks really stiff. To combat this, I like to cut away the centers of my pieces before fusing them to my fabric. It makes a huge difference! Just make sure to leave about 1/2” of fusible around the outside of each piece.

I wanted to get my produce close to the bottom of the jars without losing anything in the seam allowance. I pulled out a ruler to mark that 1/4” seam while I was placing my pieces. It would be a good idea to put another ruler along the left side since there’s another seam allowance there.

Note - If you end up making a shelf like I did, it may be easier to add that before fusing the produce in the jars.

Once everything was fused in place, I pulled out matching thread and did a straight stitch around the edges of each piece. It’s important to stitch the pieces down to secure them, but you can use any stitch you like.

Making the Beveled Shelf

Once I had finished my block, I stood back and took a look. The colors felt pretty light compared to the rest of the blocks in my quilt. It didn’t take long for me to decide I would really like for my jars to be sitting on a shelf. I was thrilled to find a maroon woodgrain fabric in my stash that was just perfect.

Would you like to make your own shelf for your jars? I’ve written a tutorial just for you!

Sewing the Shelf

Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner on the wrong side of both 3/4” background squares.

Place the squares right sides together with the shelf piece as shown and stitch just outside of the drawn lines. Stitching next to the line gives you the extra bit fabric you need to reach all the way to the corner.

Cut away the excess corner fabric 1/4” from the sewn lines.

Press the top piece towards the shelf, and the bottom piece towards the background, as shown.

Sew the 1 1/2” background square to the end of the shelf piece, and press towards the background square.

The shelf is finished and can be sewn to the bottom of your block. Press towards the shelf.

Trim the excess background fabric from the top of the block. Your block should measure 12 1/2” square.

Tada! You’ve successfully added a beveled shelf to your block.

More Wonderful Jars

I am joined by six other fabulous ladies that are hosting this quilt along. They have each made their own versions of the block. Be sure to check them out for more tips and inspiration.

Abbie Danahy at Sparkle On
April Adams at JANDA Bend Quilts
Bobbi Bridgeman at Snowy Days Quilting <--- That's me!
Jennifer Fulton at Inquiring Quilter
Karen Thurn at Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats
Sherry Shish at Powered by Quilting
Vanda Chittenden at Quilting with Vanda

Prizes

As always, we have some fabulous prizes this week. Anyone over 18 is eligible to win, including international participants. To be entered in the drawing, simply share your completed acorn block  by 11:59 pm Eastern time on October 1, 2018. You can share on Instagram with the hashtag #fallintoaqal, in the Partners in Design Facebook group, or in the linky party on Sandra’s post.

This week’s prize includes a free PDF pattern of the winner’s choice from Sandra Healy Designs. Sandra is our block designer this week. Be sure to support her by checking out her pattern store.

We also have a $25 Gift Certificate to Fort Worth Fabric Studio. Fort Worth Fabric Studio is an online-only fabric store based in Texas. They specialize in beautiful quilt fabrics & batiks for quilters and the creative seamstress.

Help us support our sponsors by visiting Fort Worth Fabric Studio to sign up for their newsletter for updates on new items and promotions. I took a look, and they have some fabulous sale prices.

At the end of the quilt along, we will have a grand prize drawing for anyone that has made a complete quilt top with all 12 blocks. There's no need to have it quilted for the drawing. To be eligible to win, finished quilt tops must be posted by 11:59 pm Eastern time on November 12, 2018.

Question for You

For some reason, the only things I remember canning with my mom are strawberry jam and tomatoes. I know we did so much more than that, because the basement shelves were always lined with jars and jars full of home-canned goodness. The memories I do have are fond ones, though. The best part was mashing up the strawberries with the pastry cutter. I was always a fan of the messy jobs. 😊

What memories does harvest season bring for you? Was canning a part of your life growing up? I would love to hear about it in the comments!

Fall into a Quilt Along: Turkey

Welcome back to Fall into a Quilt Along! I hope you're having fun sewing with us. If you've fallen behind, you can find links to all of the past blocks on my quilt along page.

This week, we have a patchwork turkey designed by Karen at Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats. Head on over to her post for the free pattern. Remember, all quilt along patterns will be free until November 13, 2018.

Tips for Success

As a quilt along host, I'm here to help you be successful. My biggest suggestion to acheive success on this block is to take your time. Being careful with your cutting, piecing, and pressing will make this block come out nice.

Seam Test

I always recommend testing your seam allowance before you start. That way you can be sure your block will come out the right size.

To test your seam allowance, cut two 2" squares and sew them together. Press to one side, and measure the resulting rectangle. The rectangle should be 3 1/2" long. If your rectangle is shorter, you need a narrower seam allowance. If your rectangle is longer, you need a wider seam allowance. Adjust your seam and try again. Once the rectangle is exactly 3 1/2" long, you're good to go.

Stitch and Flip Corners

My favorite tool for drawing the diagonal lines is a Sewline ceramic pencil. They come in several colors, and you can easily change out the leads.

The secret to making a successful stitch and flip corner is to stitch just outside of the drawn line. The line you drew isn't the stitching line - it's actually where the fabric needs to fold! By stitching just outside of the line, you give yourself the extra fabric you need to reach all the way to the corner when you flip it over.

Just to be safe, I always test to make sure my corner is covered before I cut away the excess fabric from the back.

Design Boards

A design board really came in handy for this block! I was able to lay all of the pieces out and carry it to my machine. The fabric sticks to the board, so I didn't have any problems with pieces moving around and getting mixed up. You can read all about how I made my design boards here.

Pressing

I much prefer to press my seams to one side any time I can, so I spent some time figuring out the best way to press all of the half square triangles in this block. If you would also prefer to press your half square triangles to the side, here's a pressing chart:

Spinning Seams

I'm a huge fan of spinning seams. It makes everything lay so flat! I explained how to spin seams in my tips for our pie block. If you prefer to learn from videos, this one from Adrianne Reid is excellent.

Adding an Eye

Once my block was finished, I took a look at it and decided it just didn't feel quite right. My turkey needed an eye! I decided a little bit of applique was in order.

First, I needed to figure out a template. I dug through my button jar until I found one that was just the right size.

I traced the button onto fusible web, then fused it to a bit of black fabric.

It can be really hard to pull the fusible off of a small circle! If you score it with a pin and fold along the score line, the paper will pop right off.

Ahhh. That's much better. Now my turkey is complete.

I just love how this little guy came out! There's lots of other ways you could add an eye, from embroidery, to a fabric marker, to using a button. Remember to wait to add embellishments like buttons until after your quilt is quilted, though. You don't want to run over them with the machine!

A Rafter of Turkeys

I'm always fascinated by the different names for groups of animals. It turns out that a group of turkeys is called a rafter! With all 7 hosts sharing their blocks and tips, we certainly have a full rafter of turkeys around here.

Abbie Danahy at Sparkle On
April Adams at JANDA Bend Quilts
Bobbi Bridgeman at Snowy Days Quilting <--- That's me!
Jennifer Fulton at Inquiring Quilter
Karen Thurn at Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats
Sherry Shish at Powered by Quilting
Vanda Chittenden at Quilting with Vanda

Prizes

As always, we have some fabulous prizes this week. Anyone over 18 is eligible to win, including international participants. To be entered in the drawing, simply share your completed Autumn Leaf block  by 11:59 pm Eastern time on September 3, 2018. You can share on Instagram with the hashtag #fallintoaqal, in the Partners in Design Facebook group, or in the linky party at the bottom of this post.

First up is two printed Vintage Blessings exclusive mini patterns from Shabby Fabrics - Vintage Pumpkin wall hanging and Vintage Schoolhouse table runner. You can visit Shabby Fabrics to request their latest mail order catalog or view the digital version.

The winner will also receive a 34" x 45" craft size Warm and White cotton batting from the Warm Company.

At the end of the quilt along, we will have a grand prize drawing for anyone that has made a complete quilt top with all 12 blocks. There's no need to have it quilted for the drawing. To be eligible to win, finished quilt tops must be posted by 11:59 pm Eastern time on November 12, 2018.

Link-Up

Since our block designer is on vacation, all of the hosts are doing a shared link-up this time. Link up your blog post below so we can all check it out. Remember to visit a few of the other blogs while you're at it. We all love comments from our fellow quilters.

Fall into a Quilt Along: Autumn Leaf

Welcome back to Fall into a Quilt Along! Are you ready for our next block? If you're missing any of the previous patterns, my quilt along page has all of the links you need to get caught up. Remember, all of the block patterns will be free until November 13, 2018.

I'm so excited about this week's block! Every fall quilt needs a leaf, and this one is just stunning. Jennifer at The Inquiring Quilter actually designed two leaves for us - this one, and one that's a little simpler for beginner paper piecers. You can find the pattern for both leaves on her blog post.

Tips and Tricks

If you've never paper pieced before, never fear! Jennifer has written a fabulous pattern that walks you through the process. And I have a bunch of tips that will make everything a little bit easier.

Preparing for Success

The first step is to choose your fabrics. It's important to make sure there will be plenty of contrast between each of them.

Since I chose different colors than the pattern, I decided they also needed to be distributed a little bit differently to look their best. I labeled each section on the front of the pattern with the name of the piece and the color I decided to use.

To avoid confusion, I also rewrote the labels on the template pages.

Since I mixed up the colors a bit, it was really helpful to color each of the piece names on the cutting chart. To be doubly sure that I didn't get mixed up while cutting, I also wrote the color of each fabric on the chart.

This block has a lot of pieces! As I cut each one, I labeled it. This made it quick and easy to sort everything by section and make sure I was grabbing the right pieces when I was ready to sew.

If you're making the Confident Beginner version like I did, you'll have to tape the G8 pieces together. First, cut the tip along the registration line.

Then line it up with the body. All of the printed lines should line up perfectly. Once you have the tip in place, tape both the front and back with clear Scotch tape.

The last step of preparation is to make sure you've shortened your stitch length before you start sewing. I set mine to 1.5. The short stitch length is essential to make it easy to remove the paper without tugging out your stitches.

Placing the First Piece

It can be a little tricky to line up that first piece. Rather than holding it up to the light, I find the easiest way to line it up is to fold along each of the seam lines that surround it. That way you can see exactly where it needs to go. Make sure the fabric overlaps each of the folds by at least 1/4"

A small dab of washable school glue will keep the fabric from shifting. Once you've placed that first piece of fabric where you want it, fold it back and put a bit of glue on the paper. Press the fabric back in place. The glue will hold it long enough for you to sew the first seam.

Adding More Pieces

A bookmark is one of my favorite tools for paper piecing. When you're ready to add the third piece of fabric, lay the bookmark along the seam line and fold the paper back. The bookmark will make sure you get a crisp fold right along the line.

Slide an Add-a-Quarter ruler up against the bookmark and trim the excess fabric. This gives you a straight edge to line up with the next piece of fabric.

Repeat these steps until you've finished piecing the entire section of the block.

Dealing with Difficult Angles

Sometimes the angles in paper piecing can be challenging. If you've ever been frustrated by guessing how to line up the fabric for these angles, this next tip is for you. I'm going to take away the guesswork.

All you need to do is fold the paper back along the seam line. If your next piece of fabric covers the paper when it's folded back, it will cover it after sewing. Here, I've folded the paper back in preparation for lining up the next piece of fabric:

In the picture below, the section we're about to sew isn't covered by the yellow fabric we're adding. That means it won't be covered after sewing, either. We need to shift the fabric.

Here, the fabric is lined up with the edge of the previous piece, and it covers the section of folded back paper. That means we're good to go.

Putting it All Together

Once all of the sections are sewn and trimmed, it's time to put the block together. To be sure my points line up perfectly, I pin straight through both sections that I'm about to sew. I make sure the pin goes right through the point on both the front and the back.

Once I've lined up the points, I pin sideways and sew.

I always remove the paper from each seam as soon as I sew it. It's really hard to get the paper out of the seams once they start crossing each other.

Since there's so many sections coming together in this block, I pressed my seams open between the sections. This makes sure I don't end up with too much bulk in my finished block.

The only paper I remove as I go is the paper in the seams. I wait to remove the rest of the paper until the block is finished.

Here's a peak at the back of my finished leaf. You can see just a few tiny shreds of paper that are caught in the thread. I don't worry about these. They're tiny enough to dissolve the first time the quilt is washed, so I 'd rather leave them than tug on my stitches to remove every last bit of paper.

Once the paper was removed, I pressed my block with starch to keep it from stretching, then trimmed it up. I just love this block so much!

The Leaf Pile

All 7 quilt along hosts have made their own Autumn leaves. Be sure to check them out for tips and inspiration! I've listed everyone by which pattern they chose to make.

Beginner:
Abbie Danahy at Sparkle On
April Adams at JANDA Bend Quilts

Confident Beginner:
Bobbi Bridgeman at Snowy Days Quilting <--- That's me!
Karen Thurn at Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats
Sherry Shish at Powered by Quilting
Vanda Chittenden at Quilting with Vanda

Both:
Jennifer Fulton at Inquiring Quilter

Prizes

As always, we have some fabulous prizes this week. Anyone over 18 is eligible to win, including international participants. To be entered in the drawing, simply share your completed Autumn Leaf block  by 11:59 pm Eastern time on September 3, 2018. You can share on Instagram with the hashtag #fallintoaqal, in the Partners in Design Facebook group, or in the linky party on Jennifer's post.

The prize for this block is a six month subscription to Make Modern Magazine. Make Modern is a digital magazine for the online quilting community, brought to you from a group of passionate modern quilters in Australia. Every issue includes 10-14 modern quilt patterns plus 10-14 feature articles by amazing quilters from all over the globe.

At the end of the quilt along, we will have a grand prize drawing for anyone that has made a complete quilt top with all 12 blocks. There's no need to have it quilted for the drawing. To be eligible to win, finished quilt tops must be posted by 11:59 pm Eastern time on November 12, 2018.

Bobbi's Signature.png