Sew Let's Quilt Along: Pin Cushion

Welcome back to Sew Let’s Quilt Along! It’s hard to believe we’re already on block 8. If you’ve missed any of the blocks, you can find links to all of them on my quilt along page. All of the block patterns will be free until the quilt along ends on September 24, 2019, so it’s not too late to get started.

This week we’re taking a break from piecing and doing a bit of applique! This week’s block is the most iconic pincushion of all - the tomato pincushion. It was designed by Sherry Shish of Powered by Quilting, so pop on over to her blog post to get the pattern.

Tips and Tricks

Adding a Table

I decided that I wanted my pincushion to rest on a table. I cut the table fabric at 4.5” x 13” and I cut the background at 9” x 13”.

Make Sure the Templates Print Correctly

Sherry has helpfully included a 1” test block on the template page. Check that the box is actually 1” before you start tracing. If you’re having trouble getting it to come out the right size, try downloading the pattern to an actual computer (rather than opening it in your internet browser or using a mobile device). When you print, make sure that “fit to page” isn’t checked. Depending on the settings you have available, you want to print the page at 100% scale or actual size.

Tracing the Shapes

My favorite fusible web is Lite Steam-A-Seam 2. It doesn’t gum up my needle, and it’s just a little bit sticky to help the pieces stay in place before you press. I always trace my shapes with a pencil so I can erase any mistakes.

Avoiding Stiffness

To help keep my quilt nice and soft, I like to cut away the center of the fusible for large shapes. In this case, I cut away the center of the tomato before I fused it to my fabric. Make sure you leave about 1/2” around the edge.

Peeling the Paper

Sometimes I find it pretty challenging to get the paper to peel off. This is especially true on little circles like we have here! If you score the paper with a pin, it makes it so much easier to get started.

Secure With Stitching

It’s important to stitch around your applique so you can be sure that it will stand the test of time. You can use any stitch you would like. Zigzags and blanket stitches are both popular options. Personally, I went for a simple straight stitch just inside the edge. For best results, choose a thread that blends.

Handling Corners

When I’m stitching down my applique, I always use the needle down feature and go slowly. When I get to a corner, I make sure my needle is down, then lift the presser foot so I can pivot the fabric. I do the same thing to keep the stitching going nicely along the round edges. These circles were so small that I only took one or two stitches at a time before lifting my foot and adjusting the fabric position. As long as you take your time, this part is easier than it looks.

Adding the Pin Shafts

I decided to make my pin shafts with a permanent fabric pen instead of embroidering them. My very favorite fabric pen is the Pentel Gel Roller for Fabric. I used a ruler to make sure my lines stayed nice and straight. I didn’t make all of my lines the same length, because some pins get stuck farther into the pincushion than others.

Important - If you use this method, wipe off the ruler between pins. Otherwise you may smear permanent ink on your block.

Trimming the Block

I wanted my pincushion to be perfectly centered from left to right. Since the block is a little bit over-sized, I just eyeballed it when I fused the pincushion in place, then made it perfect when I trimmed. To center the pincushion, I lined up the outer edges with the 2 1/4” line and the 10 1/4” line on my ruler.

Vertically, I trimmed most of the excess from the top of the block. I was happy with the size of my table, so I just trimmed the bottom a tiny bit to make sure it was nice and square.

Our Lovely Hosts

We have eight hosts for segment 2, and we all made our very own pincushion blocks. Be sure to visit all of the lovely ladies below for more tips and inspiration. If you like what you see, leave a comment! We all love a bit of encouragement from our fellow quilters.

Prizes

We will have a prize package at the end of every segment, as well as a grand prize at the end of the quilt along. The prizes are open to all participants that are at least 18 years old. If you don’t remember what I mean by segment, check out the intro post for a refresher on how this quilt along is structured.

How to Enter

To be eligible to win a segment prize, you need to make all of the blocks from that segment. Share a photo or photos of your blocks (in a single post) to be entered.

For segment 2, entries will be open from 12:00 am July 2 to 11:59 pm July 15, 2019 (Eastern time). There are three places you can share your blocks to be entered in the drawing:

Segment 2 Prize Package

We have a wonderful array of prizes for each segment! Here’s the prize package for segment 2:

Grand Prize

To be eligible to win the grand prize, you need to make all 13 blocks from the whole quilt along and turn them into a quilt or other project(s). Quilt tops don’t need to be quilted, but projects do need to be finished. Share a single post that shows all of the blocks in a quilt or project. It doesn’t matter how many projects or what projects you make, or how many blocks you use in each project as long as you show that you’ve used all 13 blocks in a finished project or projects.

Important Note

To keep the contest portion of the quilt-along fair and fun for everyone, only quilters that use all of the designers' blocks [in a quilt or project(s)] will be eligible for the grand prize. Likewise, our segment prizes will only be open to those that make all of the designers’ blocks for that segment.

Fabulous Sponsors

We are really lucky to have some amazing sponsors on board for this quilt along! Please check them out as thanks for supporting us. Bluprint, Dear Stella, Everything Mary, Island Batik, Paintbrush Studio Fabrics, Prym, Shabby Fabrics, Timeless Treasures, Warm Company Additionally, many of the block designers are donating their quilt patterns.

What’s Your Plan?

I thought the applique for this block was a really fun change of pace! I’m curious how you plan to make yours. Do you think you’ll add a table, or would you rather have your pincushion floating on the background? What about the pins? Do you love embroidery, or do you think you’ll use a fabric pen like I did? Whatever you decide, I’m sure your block will be lovely. I can’t wait to see what you make!

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Sew Let's Quilt Along: Iron

We’re officially at the halfway point of Sew Let’s Quilt Along! Of course, it’s not too late to catch up on any blocks you missed. Check out my quilt along page for all of the details and links to past blocks.

Block 7 is this fun iron designed by Karen of Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats. I appreciate that she has it ironing a quilt top and not clothes! I don’t know about you, but my iron only knows how to do quilts. Head on over to Karen’s blog post to get the pattern. Remember, all block patterns will be free until the quilt along ends on September 24, 2019.

Tips and Tricks

Seam Test

Any time a block has different sized pieces coming together, it’s essential to test your seam allowance. It’s the only way you can be sure everything will fit together nicely and your block will come out at just the right size.

To test your seam allowance, cut two 2" squares and sew them together. Press as desired, 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 Length

Some of the pieces in this block are only 1" square. To keep those short seams from pulling apart, I recommend using a pretty short stitch length. I set the stitch length on my Viking to 2.0, which is about 16 stitches per inch.

Lay Out Your Pieces

As soon as I had everything cut, I laid all of the pieces out where they would go in the final block. That made it so much easier to find the right piece at the right time, because I didn’t have to constantly measure everything between each step. Since the fabric sticks to my design boards, they were the perfect tool to keep things organized.

Stitch and Flip Corners

My favorite tool for drawing the diagonal lines is a Sewline ceramic pencil. They come in several colors, but I just bought one pencil and change out the lead as needed.

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.

Spinning Seams

I love spinning seams! It makes everything lay so nice and flat, and all of your pieces automatically nest together. For this block, I spun all of the seams in the nine-patch section at the bottom.

Would you like to learn to spin your seams? I made a video just for you! Follow the steps in the pattern to make your strip sets and sub-cut them into the nine-patch pieces. This video will teach you how to spin the seams once you start sewing those pieces together. Repeat the process after each seam, and everything will spin!

Trimming Half Square Triangles

Karen thoughtfully made the half square triangle (HST) pieces a bit big so we could trim them to just the right size. To trim your HSTs, line up the 45° line of your ruler with the center seam. Make sure some fabric extends beyond the 1” lines of the ruler, and trim the first two sides.

Spin your HST around, and line up the 1” lines of the ruler with your freshly trimmed sides. The 45° line of the ruler should still fall along the center seam of the HST. Trim the remaining two sides, and you have a perfect 1” square HST!

Pin Long Seams

A lot of the seams in these blocks are pretty short, so I skipped the pins. But it’s a really good idea to use them when you get to the long seams. It’s so easy for the fabric to shift on those longer seams, so the pins make a big difference in the final block.

Our Lovely Hosts

We have eight hosts for segment 2, and we all made our very own binding clips blocks. Be sure to visit all of the lovely ladies below for more tips and inspiration. If you like what you see, leave a comment! We all love a bit of encouragement from our fellow quilters.

Prizes

We will have a prize package at the end of every segment, as well as a grand prize at the end of the quilt along. The prizes are open to all participants that are at least 18 years old. If you don’t remember what I mean by segment, check out the intro post for a refresher on how this quilt along is structured.

How to Enter

To be eligible to win a segment prize, you need to make all of the blocks from that segment. Share a photo or photos of your blocks (in a single post) to be entered.

For segment 2, entries will be open from 12:00 am July 2 to 11:59 pm July 15, 2019 (Eastern time). There are three places you can share your blocks to be entered in the drawing:

Segment 2 Prize Package

We have a wonderful array of prizes for each segment! Here’s the prize package for segment 2:

Grand Prize

To be eligible to win the grand prize, you need to make all 13 blocks from the whole quilt along and turn them into a quilt or other project(s). Quilt tops don’t need to be quilted, but projects do need to be finished. Share a single post that shows all of the blocks in a quilt or project. It doesn’t matter how many projects or what projects you make, or how many blocks you use in each project as long as you show that you’ve used all 13 blocks in a finished project or projects.

Important Note

To keep the contest portion of the quilt-along fair and fun for everyone, only quilters that use all of the designers' blocks [in a quilt or project(s)] will be eligible for the grand prize. Likewise, our segment prizes will only be open to those that make all of the designers’ blocks for that segment.

Fabulous Sponsors

We are really lucky to have some amazing sponsors on board for this quilt along! Please check them out as thanks for supporting us. Bluprint, Dear Stella, Everything Mary, Island Batik, Paintbrush Studio Fabrics, Prym, Shabby Fabrics, Timeless Treasures, Warm Company Additionally, many of the block designers are donating their quilt patterns.

Let’s Get Sewing!

I hope you’re excited about this week’s block. And if you’ve never spun your seams before, I hope you’ll give it a try. I can’t wait to see what you make!

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Sew Let's Quilt Along: Binding Clips

Welcome back to Sew Let’s Quilt Along! We’re starting segment 2 today, but you can still get all of the previous blocks until September 24, 2019. Check out my quilt along page for links to any blocks that you might have missed.

I’m thrilled that we’re kicking off segment 2 with one of my very favorite tools - binding clips! When Jennifer chose this theme for her block, I really didn’t know how she was going to pull it off. I was floored when I saw the design. It’s absolute perfection! I loved it so much that I just had to make two of them.

Head on over to Jennifer’s post to get the block pattern.

Tips and Tricks

Seam Test

Any time a block has different sized pieces coming together, it’s essential to test your seam allowance. It’s the only way you can be sure everything will fit together nicely and your block will come out at just the right size.

To test your seam allowance, cut two 2" squares and sew them together. Press as desired, 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.

Choosing Fabrics

This is a great opportunity to celebrate a larger print. I usually use a lot of small pieces, so it was really nice to see such a big chunk of fabric. I started by choosing a focus print, then selected the rest of the fabrics to complement it.

I had two fabrics that I really loved, so I ended up making two blocks. You’ll notice that one of my blocks has a pattern to the clip placement, while the other one is completely scrappy. I love both looks!

Keep Track of the Clips

It’s important to pay attention to which way the clips on the edge of the block need to face. I got so excited sewing, I forgot about that part! It’s a good thing I keep a seam ripper handy. Hopefully seeing my mistake will save you from making the same one.

Design Boards

I love my design boards! They are such a convenient way to keep all of my pieces organized as I’m putting my blocks together. Since they’re covered with batting, the fabric sticks to them instead of trying to slide away. You can see how I made them here.

Pin Long Seams

Most of the seams in this block are pretty short, so I skipped the pins. But it’s a really good idea to use them when you get to the long seams. It’s so easy for the fabric to shift on those longer seams, so the pins make a big difference in the final block.

Our Lovely Hosts

We have eight hosts for segment 2, and we all made our very own binding clips blocks. Be sure to visit all of the lovely ladies below for more tips and inspiration. If you like what you see, leave a comment! We all love a bit of encouragement from our fellow quilters.

Prizes

We will have a prize package at the end of every segment, as well as a grand prize at the end of the quilt along. The prizes are open to all participants that are at least 18 years old. If you don’t remember what I mean by segment, check out the intro post for a refresher on how this quilt along is structured.

How to Enter

To be eligible to win a segment prize, you need to make all of the blocks from that segment. Share a photo or photos of your blocks (in a single post) to be entered.

For segment 2, entries will be open from 12:00 am July 2 to 11:59 pm July 15, 2019 (Eastern time). There are three places you can share your blocks to be entered in the drawing:

Segment 2 Prize Package

We have a wonderful array of prizes for each segment! Here’s the prize package for segment 2:

Grand Prize

To be eligible to win the grand prize, you need to make all 13 blocks from the whole quilt along and turn them into a quilt or other project(s). Quilt tops don’t need to be quilted, but projects do need to be finished. Share a single post that shows all of the blocks in a quilt or project. It doesn’t matter how many projects or what projects you make, or how many blocks you use in each project as long as you show that you’ve used all 13 blocks in a finished project or projects.

Important Note

To keep the contest portion of the quilt-along fair and fun for everyone, only quilters that use all of the designers' blocks [in a quilt or project(s)] will be eligible for the grand prize. Likewise, our segment prizes will only be open to those that make all of the designers’ blocks for that segment.

Fabulous Sponsors

We are really lucky to have some amazing sponsors on board for this quilt along! Please check them out as thanks for supporting us. Bluprint, Dear Stella, Everything Mary, Island Batik, Paintbrush Studio Fabrics, Prym, Shabby Fabrics, Timeless Treasures, Warm Company Additionally, many of the block designers are donating their quilt patterns.

Your Turn

I hope you’re excited about this block! I feel like I could make a whole fleet of them. Do you have a favorite fabric that you want to showcase? I can’t wait to see!

Bobbi's Signature.png