The Storytellers Sampler Quilt - the Joy of Fussycutting

 by thequiltingpatch on 20 Jan 2020 |
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The story so far... Local quilter Cinzia White publishes an amazing book, The Storytellers Sampler Quilt. Eppiflex templates launches a Block of The Month called Telling Tales, featuring 60 upsized blocks from the book and I start sewing up blocks. Cinzia asks me to contribute to her quiltalong using blocks from the aforementioned book. I fall down the rabbithole of fussycutting. But let's talk about what this is really about... Addicted to sewing...addicted to fabric...addicted to starting new projects... and now addicted to fussycutting.  So what's the hype about fussycutting?  If you are already a creative soul and enjoying making pretty blocks by joining shapes together, fussy cutting is some next level crafty action. Do you remember those kaliedoscope toys we had as kids. I have no idea how they worked, they were just MAGIC. Who could get bored with the amazing patterns they made as you twisted and turned them. I was fascinated with them.                   "No you cant have a go yet, Im not finished" - I wasnt a good sharer being the youngest and most spoilt of my siblings. Ask my sister, she will back me up.  So fussycutting a beautiful fabric into an even more beautiful fabric block is a bit like making magic for me. Mirrors? Yeah nah. I know some people swear by them, but I don't want to know what it's going to look like. Why spoil the magic? That's like someone showing you a picture of the next kaliedoscope before you can twist the tube. Just let the magic happen. Embrace the unknown a little.  Waste of fabric?  This is what Cinzia says to me... but let's be honest we all have enough fabric to be a bit less frugal with it. I think quilters are the quintessential horders. Why else would we have so many memes about collecting fabric. Even the term stash says it all.  In fact in the current economic climate of a massive downturn in retail spending I think we all have a responsibilty to fussy cut more and support the shops before they disappear altogether.  So my little contribution to Cinzia's Quiltalong is "Blackberry Freedom" and it is English paper pieced. Thanks Cinzia for asking me to join in and for writing such a sensational book.  

2018 Block of the Month - Row 6

 by thequiltingpatch on 26 Dec 2018 |
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Well it's still 2018, but only for a week or so. Definately time to tie this project up. Our very last border is a foundation pieced border, something we haven't tackled yet in any of the Blog BOMS.  I hope to do the instructions clearly, but please don't hesitate to contact me if its a little confusing. I love foundation piecing - it means I can sew any crazy pointy angles without maths. There are many alternatives out there now and I'll leave the intricacies up to you. Some people prefer to use freezer paper and move the sections if needs be. Others will trace or print on to thin paper and then sew directly on to the paper. And then you can always trace the designs on to thin interfacing which will stay in the patches. I am sewing straight on to copy paper as I feel its something that everyone will have handy.  Regardless of which way you go about it, you'll need the pattern. You can download it from here Please make sure you don't resize it when you print it out. Measure the 1" square also printed on the page - if it measures 1", you are good to go. If it doesnt, check you printer settings. If you are sewing straight on to the copy paper like I have, you'll need to print out 8 copies.  There are 3 sets of patterns per page ( oops just realised I left out the number "5" on set 3) Each set makes 1 block. You need to make 12 blocks per row ( and there are 2 rows) so 24 blocks all up.  If you have printed out the pattern, by now you are wondering where the bottom section of the pattern has gone. Just like in Row 3 we are going to attach the thin and thick strips as whole plain rows later on, saving both sewing and cutting time. So this tutorial is just for the spiky looking mountain section. I believe there are two types of  foundation piecers. Those who prep and precut their fabric strips and those I loving call "chunkers". There is nothing wrong with chunking (roughly cutting chunks of fabric to fit the section as you sew.) BUT I'm a prepper. So I'll be giving you the size of strips to cut.  Using my finished block as a guide, Cut the main fabric ( red)  strips 1 1/2" x WOF, and 2 1/2"  squares (24 in total) cut on the diagonal once. Cut the background ( tangerine) into 2 1/2" strips x WOF Separate your patterns into two piles. The pattern sets are mirrors of each other. The 4,1 and 5 sections are all main fabric, the 3,2 and 6 and all background fabric.  As you have so many to sew up, I suggest you make one up completely so you know what you are doing and then chain piece them ( do all the 1 sections on every piece, then all the 2's and so on) Here goes!  Take a main fabric strip and place it WRONG sides down on to the WRONG side of the pattern, so that it completely covers the "1" area. It helps to hold the pattern and fabric up to the light to see through the pattern to where the fabric is sitting.  Sew ALL AROUND the "1" section, sewing close to but NOT on the lines. In my classes we call this perimeter an electric fence. Ok to get next to it, but not ok to touch.  The "1" section is the only section that is treated this way.  This is what the first section will look like on the underside. Note the fabric is RIGHT SIDE UP. Now its time to trim around the "1" piece. This actually helps with the placement of the "2" piece, so its important.  To trim, place the fabric side on to a cutting mat and fold the paper pattern along the sewing line. Trim the fabric, adding a 1/4" seam allowance. Flatten out the paper again and fold along the next seam line and trim, working your way around the "1" piece. Now its time to move on to the "2" piece, a background fabric. Like the "1" piece, the "2" fabric needs to cover the "2" area completely. This time instead of sewing all around the perimeter, you are just going to sew on the line that separates area 1 from area 2. As you have trimmed your piece, its easy now to work out where to place your 2 1/2" strip RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER with the "1". You can place a pin across the seam if that helps to hold it in place while you flip the paper over and sew on the line. Remember you are sewing this seam from the paper side. Press the "2" piece away from the "1" piece Repeat the trimming process as with the "1" piece. Continue on with the "3"  to "6" pieces using this trimming and sewing on the lines as you go. Don't forget to press in between additions. Once all the 6 pieces are on, flip the unit to the paper side amd trim it back to the dotted line When you have two sets made, they come together to make the finished unit.  There are twelve on these units in each of the two last rows of the quilt. The main fabric "spikes" of the border should attach to the previous row. ie facing in. Final Quilt Construction To help break up the patterns in the rows, this quilt has some plain rows. They can be joined if your fabric print allows an easy join. Otherwise cut the strips along the length of fabric. Here are the cutting sizes for those plain rows.. Every row in between the pieced rows are 2 1/2" wide. The last 2 rows that join on to the Mountains border ( Row 6) are a thin border of high contrasting colour which is cut at 1 1/8" wide.  The final border that sits next to this thin border is cut at 1 7/8" wide and could be the same fabric that you made the Spiky parts of Row 6 with. ( the main fabric ) To border or not to border? This one is a personal choice, there is no right or wrong. My suggestion is to lay the quilt top out and trial borders on it by laying the fabrics alongside the edge. TAKE PICTURES! Goodness this is what smartphones are made for arent they?  Sometimes borders are needed for size and that's ok, but just remember to keep the size of the borders proportinate to the quilt blocks. What I mean by that is rather than adding one border that is 8  inches wide, which is just WAY too big, consider adding 2 or 3 borders which will make up the 8 inches all around that you need.  eg Border 1 -  2 1/2" Border 2 -  1 1/2" Border 3 -  5 1/2" This will still give you the 8" you want on each side, without looking like a big chunk of fabric that takes your eye away from the main quilt design.  Well I hope you have enjoyed making our 2018 BOM. As always I'm interested to see what your quilt turns out like, so send me a pic via email on info@e-patch.com.au or post it to our facebook page.  Happy sewing Danni xx

2018 Block of the Month - Row 5

 by thequiltingpatch on 03 Dec 2018 |
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It feels good to be on a roll with this project again. Im determined not to let it creep into 2019, as that year could be a whole new level of busy if 2018 is anything to go by. Row 5 is a fun border that could add a real zing to this quilt if you get the colouring right. Its meant to look 3D, so if that is what you want, make sure you colour the two main sections in a light and dark of the same colouring ( or close to) Here are the cutting instructions for the 3D Zig Zag border.. You will need 12 blocks for each row, 24 blocks for the quilt. Please take note of the further instruction on how to cut the angled main pieces as you'll need a left and a right for the block. The A pieces are straight forward. see the pictures below for the B and C pieces. The B pieces will be the darker of the two fabrics if you are making the 3D effect.  Begin by cutting the strip 1 7/8" inch as in the cutting instructions above - you'll need 2 strips of each colour to yield the 24 pieces of light / dark for the border. Use the 45 degree marking on your ruler to make an angled cut on the end of the strip, by placing the 45 line on the lower edge of your strip making sure the fabric is the right way up on your mat.  Discard the end piece and use your ruler to cut sections that are 2 1/2" in width. NOTE - the cutting instructions say this piece is 3 1/2", but they refer to the length of the bottom edge not the width of this section. Please cut it at 2 1/2 " as per the picture above.  The cutting for the C pieces is the reverse of what you have just done, making sure again the fabric is facing the right way up and you cut from the right edge of the strip, instead of the left edge. Now lets begin sewing it up... Lay your pieces out and do a test sew of the first block - its always good to know how its going to look before you sew up all your blocks. Begin by flipping the top triangles to the main pieces and sew with a scant 1/4 " seam Note the top corners are flush and the "extra" piece overlaps at the outside edge by a 1/4" Press the triangles back gently so as not to stretch them. Attach the bottom triangles in the same way except the "extra" fabric is now on the inside edge. Press again and trim back the block. Join the block along the centre seam, matching seams.  Continue making your Zig Zag blocks up and then join them into the two rows.  In the next set of instructions we will make the final row and put all of our rows together and add borders if desired. See you then!  

2018 Block of the Month - Row 4

 by thequiltingpatch on 03 Dec 2018 |
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Remember me?? Now is the time to apologise for my disappearing act. Something happened. I think people were calling it 2018. It just flew past me, and here we are in early December. On the upside, Im feeling so guilty about this project that I'm quite determined not to take my foot off the pedal until its done! I spent my weekend catching up with the sewing and now have more rows to add. I could be lazy and just assume the cutting instructions off EQ8 are correct, but I'm not built that way. I like to test drive all my patterns to make sure they are going to work for you.  So lets kick off this easy row ( and I'm sure you need an easy one after row 3)  Row 4 is a row of flying geese blocks. Most people look at flying geese as a rectangular block of one "goose", however a flying geese block is actually two blocks that make a square. That is why you will see them sized as 2 x 4, 2.5 x 5, 3 x 6 and so on.  We need to make 12 flying geese blocks for each row, so 24 in total for the quilt.  Here are the cutting instructions for the blocks Flying geese units are very straight forward. Take care not to be too heavy handed with your iron, just let the weight of the iron do the work and you wont overstretch them. I would usually chain piece these, attaching all the left edges first, then pressing the lot and them attaching the right edge.  Again you are looking to have a 1/4" seam allowance between the geese so you dont cut off the apex of the main centre triangle when you join goose to goose.  And its that easy. Make all the geese up ( 48) and make two rows for your quilt, each consisting of 12 blocks (24 geese)  See you at Row 5 very soon...  

2018 Block of the Month - Row 3

 by thequiltingpatch on 03 Dec 2018 |
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Hello Friends You'll be pleased to hear that after a bumpy and hectic start to the year I am actually caught up with this project. Hmmm, I should rephrase that. I have all my fabrics for the first two rows cut out and ready to take on a quilting retreat on the 1st June.  I did, however, cut up and sew a trial run of this next border last weekend and I'm quite happy with the way it has sewn out. So this time you are getting photos of my blocks as well as the usual insructions. This next row is made up of 6 picket diamond blocks ( so 12 to make as there are two rows) The block is a rectangle that should measure 8 1/2  x  6 1/2 inches. Its super important that you finish up with this measurement. My suggestion is that you make up one block as a tester and if it doesnt measure up do some investigation.  What to look for if its not measuring up.. 1. Have you cut it right? Go abck and check your measurements. 2. Are you sewing with a scant 1/4 inch? In patchwork we cut with a regular 1/4 inch off your ruler, but we sew with a scant 1/4". This measurement is slightly smaller than the 1/4" youll see on your ruler or tape.  Here is the cutting instructions for this row... PLEASE NOTE there is a section we are not going to piece on this block, rather we will add it as a plain strip in between rows.that is why this block ends up as a rectangle instead of a square.  Also with the A strips, there is no need to cut them back to 4 1/2", just cut them 1 1/2" by the width of fabric. This block is made of two sections - a strip set and a square in a square.  The top section is the strip set. There are two sets of four strips. each strip is a A piece ( 1 1/2" wide) I recommend only sewing strips of two together and then sewing the "twos" to each other, because if you sew 8 strips to each other youll find they start to twist.  Once you have a strip set of 4 strips, you can croscut them to 4 1/2" long. Measure your block of 8 strips - it should measure 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" The lower section is made up of quite small square in a square blocks. These can be fiddly, so take your time and enjoy the process. On that note... I have the same attitude to my sewing as  I do to cooking. Sometimes I'm making something simple and quick and its ok to be rushed. Othertimes I want a really good result, so I take my time and do each part of the task with care and precision.  This is one of those times. I'm going to run through these instrucions slowly, I hope it's not too annoying, but at the end you should have the skills to make a perfect square in a square block every time. This block consists of a centre square with 4 x triangles around it, tipping the centre square so that it sits onpoint. It sounds simple, and it can be just that if you take your time and follow a few rules. Then you'll end up with a block that hasn't lost its points. Step 1. Take a D square ( 1 7/8") and place a B triangle ( 1 7/8")  along one edge, centring it so that there is 1/4" hanging over each side. This excess needs to be spread evenly over each side.  Sew along this edge with a scant 1/4" seam. Important pressing instructions...  Press the seam CLOSED first. That means just pressing it how it is, without opening anything. Don't miss this important step - setting the seam is crucial.  Next, letting the weight of the iron do all the work, gently open the seam and press the triangle back.  Now we repeat that step with the opposite edge. The next step is to attach the remaining triangles to the remaining edges, still focusing on spreading the overhanging fabric evenly between the two sides. Note where my needle is when I'm sewing up this last seam. It is exactly where the two fabrics meet. Press gently again and then check your seam allowances on all four points of the centre square. Do you have a 1/4"? If you dont have a 1/4" of seam space, when you sew these blocks together, you're going to lose your points. Now is the time to fix it.  The next step is to join 4 of these units together to form a row. The seams can be quite thick, so I chose to press the seams open, rather than to one side.  Measure your block length. Does it measure 8 1/2"? Now you are ready to join this to the strip set you made earlier. Make sure you pin every seam junction. Measure your block - it should measure 8 1/2" x 6 1/2".  See you next time for Row 4!  

2018 Block of the Month - Row 2

 by thequiltingpatch on 03 Dec 2018 |
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Hello friends...  This next row is made up of 8 friendship stars ( remember there are two rows to make, and for those making it even larger, you may have to make more to increase the width of your quilt) The block is a simple one, the trickery involved is in getting the points right ie not cutting any off. Perhaps those of you who have been quilting a while might like to challenge themselves to get ALL their points right.  Here is the cutting instructions for the blocks This cutting follows the basic rule that if you want to make half square triangles, you always cut the squares 3/8 " larger than the size they will end up.  What I mean by that is the square you see above is 2 1/2" inches. The half square measurement is 3/8" larger ( 2 7/8" ) When the half square triangles are made up they will be the same size as the squares - 2 1/2" To sew these guys together is quite straight forward. In fact we covered this in last years BOM, so here's the link. There are plenty of good pictures showing the quick and easy way to sew half square triangles. Enjoy

2018 Block of the Month

 by thequiltingpatch on 01 Feb 2018 |
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Welcome to the 2018 BOM from The Quilting Patch.. It has been such a pleasure to watch all the 2017 quilts come together this last month. I'm so impressed by the quality of work and beautiful colour combos you have all come up with. I hope you have learnt something from the quilt and have just enjoyed the journey. I can't wait to get all the quilts together for a quilt show!!! When we got to the end of 2017, everyone was asking ... "what's next years' quilt Danni???" To be completely honest I was terrified at the thought of trying to take on another monthly project with the year I knew loomed ahead. In the 11 years I've had my shop, I don't think I've ever had such a busy calendar booked as we do for 2018. With the program of shows and advertising we have organised for the Eppiflex templates, I just kept thinking " I can't do this!!!"  And it's not because I'm worried about running out of time, it's mostly because I don't want to let anyone down. The thought of starting something I can't complete terrifies me. I don't know why - I have a sewing room busting with UFO's. I am, in fact, a firm believer that if you finish all your UFO's theres a good chance you will drop dead.  I occaisionally meet ladies who say " I only work on one project at a time". I know I should think that they are incredibly self disciplined, but really I think they are the daredevils of the patchwork world, laughing in the face of death. If I were them, I'd be afraid to leave the house between projects.  On the subject of death, there's the bucket list, and then there's the quilters bucket list. When you start learning patchwork ( and quilting for that matter) you realise very quickly that unlike other crafts, in patchwork there is a curriculum that never ends. There is just so much to learn and do that a bucket list forms quite easily. Its little wonder that patchwork has been proven to keep dementia away. There's simply too much to learn - who's got time for dementia?? Having said all that, I think I've made a quilt that will keep you guys busy this year and not give me any headaches. And it's one that always been on my bucket list... A seminole quilt. As you can see from the picture the rows will repeat and are mirrored from the centre out. There are 6 different rows to build - but you'll need to make 2 of 5 of them. For the more complicated rows, you'll be given 2 months to complete them ( also taking the pressure off me!) The quilt as pictured measures  48" x 64"  which is what I would call a lap size quilt. If you want to make a queen size quilt, just double the width of your rows, making them 96" and either repeat any rows that you enjoy making and add them in OR increase the plain sashing strips from 2 1/2" to 3 1/2" and add borders.  Here are the fabric requirements for the lap sized quilt that is pictured at the top. If you are going queen sized you'll need at least double this, plus any border fabric. I've included at the bottom other colourings you could use. The chart uses yards, just buy the same amount in metres, there isnt much difference. # this assumes that you are going to piece together the long plain sashing strips. If you want to cut them in one long strip along the length of the fabric them you will need to buy more to accomodate that. This will depend on what width you are making your quilt.  We are going to start right smack bang in the middle of this quilt. So let's get on with it... Our quilt starts with a Five Patch Chain.  In the original lap sized quilt you would make 6 of these blocks and they should measure 8" finished ( 8 1/2" ) You can strip piece it, or cut squares and sew them back together. If you are going to make all your blocks the same colouring, strip piecing is definately the way to go.  Here's the cutting chart and piecing guide. I design in EQ8. If you love computers and patchwork then EQ8 just the best. So from the info above, you know what your strip width OR square size is - 2 1/8". You can go ahead and strip piece using the coloured diagram as a guide too.  If youre unsure, let me confirm the strip sets for you... No 1    x 2 rows for each block No 2    x 2 rows for each block No 3    x 1 row for each block ( its the centre row) If you are making 6 different coloured blocks then your strip sets won't start out very long as the most you will need to cut them is 2 1/8 x 2 ( lets go to 4 1/2" to be safe) Once your strip sets are formed it is simply a matter of sewing the rows back together again, then joining the blocks together to form the row.  AS ALWAYS, please do contact me if you're not sure what to do or my instructions don't make sense.          

2017 Block of the Month - December

 by thequiltingpatch on 29 Nov 2017 |
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Congratulations! You made it to the last block...  Below are the instrcutions for both Decembers block and the quilt construction. this months block is a called "Sawtooth 16 Patch" Here is the layout and cutting guide for the block A - 3 1/2" squares B - 7 1/4"  squares, cut twice on the diagonal C - 3 7/8"  square cut once on the diagonal D - 2" squares ( the quickest way to piece this is to cut 2" strips rather than individual squares - see below) Quilt Construction Arrange your blocks in their rows. You don't have to follow the original layout for the sampler blocks. You may find that dependant on your colour choices you need to move blocks around. My top tip for this job is to take a photo on a smart phone of your layout, then edit the photo to black and white. Straight away you will see if there are any places on your quilt with a build up of one tone (like a dark or light patch)  Sometimes this is just not obvious to the eye, but the camera lens never lies.  Once you are happy with your rows, sew them together using a 1/4" inch seam allowance. You can number them with little pieces of paper and pins if that helps - but again you could always refer to your phone.  Once your rows are made you are ready to join row to row. Dont forget to press your seams between rows, pressing to one side. Borders  ​DO NOT JUST SEW YOUR BORDERS ON AND TRIM OFF THE EXCESS - this is by far the worst habit I see in patchwork. I could rant on for ages about this one, but suffice to say that you havent just made precise blocks that you lovingly cut and pieced so that you could slap on borders that you havent measured at all. Just humour me on this one please. First border  is 4"  Measure the two side edges of your quilt with a quilters tape measure. Most likely there will be a small discrepancy. It is usually less than 1 inch. Take an average of the two measurements and cut your first border to this size.  eg   My two side edge measurements are 61 " and 61.5 ". If I add these together and then divide them by two, I get 61.25". Therefore I will cut my first two border pieces 61.25".  Attach the borders with a 1/4 inch seam. Press. Now repeat that step with the top and bottom borders, measuring, taking an average, cutting to that size and attaching. See!  Not that hard...  You have a beautiful flat border with no extra fabric in it, AND your quilt is now squared up.  Peeper border is cut at 1 1/2" Follow the instructions for the first border - you shouldn't have any discrepanicies now . If you do you need to address your seam allowances  - are you sewing nice and straight with both edges aligned? Second border is 6" Continue to follow the instructions for the first border, remembering to press in between.  WOOOHOOO, nearly done.  I'm going to use that age old instruction now ... Quilt as desired Binding Cut 9 strips of fabric WOF x 2 1/2" wide. Join on a 45 degree angle end to end. Press in half widthways, attach the raw edges of the binding to the front of you quilt, mitring the corners as you go.  Bring the folded edge to the back of your quilt and slipstitch in place.  I hope you have enjoyed making this quilt in 2017. I'm still pondering on one for 2018, but I can't make any promises. Our year looks to be a busy one with many quilt shows booked in already.  I would however love to have a display of the finished quilts, including a rolling didital display of the quilts made by the girls from the USA ( unless of course we can convince them to bring them over in person!) Please let me know when yours is all finished and we can look at a date. ( No Pressure!) happy quilting Danni xx  

Take the Fuss out of Fussy Cutting

 by thequiltingpatch on 30 Oct 2017 |
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Take the FUSS out of Fussy Cutting   One of the things I love about the clear Eppiflex templates is that they make fussy cutting your printed fabrics so easy. You dont need a separate perspex template to cut the fabric - you can use the template you sew with to make a "mask" of the fabric repeat you want.  This is something that we demonstrate at Quilt Shows, but I thought it was about time we got it on to the website so everyone can see how I do it.  I'm using one of the blocks from the gorgeous New Hexagon Quilt by Katja Marek. Im really enjoying making her design - the small blocks are just right for a busy person and most can be sewn up in just one session. In this block three rhombus meet in the centre of the hexagon. I want to put one flower right in the middle. I will need three of the same flowers to make this block. ie three repeats. You'll need the following basic supplies to give this technique a go. - a fabric with repeating pattern that you can fussy cut - a Sewline Stayer pen ( or any thin nibbed black marker that doesnt smudge - you dont want black ink on your fabric) - a water erasable marker ( I use the generic blue markers that come out when spritzed with water)  - your Eppiflex EPP templates - Scotch tape or masking tape ( sticky tape can be a bit painful to remove later) Firstly position your templates edge to edge in the pattern they will be sewn together. Flip them face down on a mat, keeping the edges together. In most instances face down will be the same as face up - but in my example here it isnt.  Place a small amount of tape across the edges to hold them temporarily together on the back of the templates.  When they are taped, turn the taped piece face up so that you can start to trace the fabric pattern  Place the taped piece on your fabric, over the particular design that you want to fussy cut. In this case - I want to put the green lotus flower in the centre of my 3 rhombi. When you are happy with the design thats showing through your "window" begin tracing with your pen, making sure you avoid the cut out circles in the centre of the Eppiflex. Youll need to trace quite a few lines of your fabric so that your mask is accurate and easy for you to use later. When you are satisfied that you have traced enough of the fabric pattern to find it again later with your template - separate your templates by removing the tape from the back. ( Now you can see why you need to tape the back and not the front. If you had taped the front all of your pen would come off with the tape) Now you need to find three of the same flower ( repeat) on the fabric. Each one will be traced around with your new "masks" that you have made with your templates.  Use the blue erasable pen to trace around the template as it will just wash off later. See how the black pen marks line up with the fabric design? Draw around all the  sides of the templates.  Once you have done this, cut your fabrics out, adding a seam allowance ( DO NOT CUT ON THE DRAWN LINES) Now you can attach the fabric to the templates using your preferred method. At this stage do not iron the fabrics or you will set the blue pen. The blue pen mark should sit exactly on the edge of your shape which will give you a perfect relica every time. Have a go at fussy cutting some shapes - youll never look at your fabrc the same way again!

Makers Photo Album

 by thequiltingpatch on 30 Oct 2017 |
2 Comment(s)
 ​NSW, Australia So here they are - all your blocks... Pretty impressive I think. I have put the first name of each maker under the block, and which country they are from.  Have a block to share? You can post it on our facebook page or email it to me January Blocks Amelia, NSW, Australia Anne, Georgia, USA Rachel, NSW, Australia Jo, NSW, Australia Jan, NSW, Australia Maribeth, Missouri, USA Marj, NSW, Australia Kim, NSW, Australia Lana, NSW, Australia Jayne, NSW, Australia Maggie, NSW, Australia Christine, NSW, Australia Sandra, NSW, Australia Sharanne, NSW, Australia Sue, NSW, Australia ( two blocks) Trish, NSW, Australia Jacqui, NSW, Australia Jan, NSW, Australia Carolyn,  NSW, Australia Patricia,  NSW, Australia Betty, NSW, Australia Elayne,NSW, Australia Janet, NSW, Australia Jan, NSW, Australia Kirrilly, NSW, Australia Linda, NSW, Australia Leonie, NSW, Australia Lynette, NSW, Australia Sandy, Florida, USA February Blocks lia Anne, Georgia, USA Rachel, NSW, Australia Jan, NSW, Australia ​Marj, NSW, Australia Kim, NSW, Australia Lana, NSW, Australia Amelia,NSW, Australia Jayne, NSW, Australia Sandra, NSW, Australia Sharanne, NSW, Australia Jacqui, NSW, Australia Jan, NSW, Australia Jo, NSW, Australia Judy, NSW, Australia Maggie, NSW, Australia Patricia, NSW, Australia Sue, NSW, Australia Linda, NSW, Australia Carolyn, ​NSW, Australia Elayne, ​NSW, Australia Jan, ​NSW, Australia Leonie, ​NSW, Australia Lynette,​NSW, Australia Sandy, Florida, USA Cherylle, NSW, Australia March Blocks Maggie, ​NSW, Australia Carolyn,  ​NSW, Australia Christine,  ​NSW, Australia Dianne,  ​NSW, Australia Elayne, ​NSW, Australia Jan, ​NSW, Australia Jo,  ​NSW, Australia Lynette,  ​NSW, Australia Lana,  ​NSW, Australia Rachel,  ​NSW, Australia Sharanne,  ​NSW, Australia Cherylle, NSW, Australia Jan,NSW, Australia Judi, NSW, Australia Judith,NSW, Australia Kim,NSW, Australia Kirrilly,NSW, Australia Linda, NSW, Australia Trish,NSW, Australia Sandy, Florida, USA Patricia, NSW, Australia April Blocks Christine, NSW, Australia Cherylle, NSW, Australia Elayne, NSW, Australia Jan, NSW, Australia Janet, NSW, Australia Jayne, NSW, Australia Jo-Anne,  NSW, Australia Judi, NSW, Australia Kirrilly, NSW, Australia Lana,  NSW, Australia Linda  NSW, Australia Lynette  NSW, Australia Maggie, NSW, Australia Rachel, NSW, Australia Sharanne, NSW, Australia Trish, NSW, Australia Anne, Georgia, USA Maribeth, Missouri, USA Sandy, Florida, USA Judith, NSW, Australia Patricia, NSW, Australia Kim, NSW, Australia May Blocks Cherylle, NSW, Australia Elayne, NSW, Australia Jan,  NSW, Australia Jayne, NSW, Australia Jo-Anne,  NSW, Australia Judi,  NSW, Australia Kim, NSW, Australia Lana,  NSW, Australia Leonie,  NSW, Australia Linda,  NSW, Australia Christine,  NSW, Australia Maggie,  NSW, Australia Patricia,  NSW, Australia Trish,  NSW, Australia Maribeth, Missouri, USA June Blocks Trish,  NSW, Australia  Sue, NSW, Australia​ Patricia, NSW, Australia​ Marj, NSW, Australia​ Maribeth, Missouri, USA Maggie,  NSW, Australia​ Lana,  NSW, Australia​ Kim,  NSW, Australia​ Jo-Anne,  NSW, Australia​ Elayne,  NSW, Australia​ Christine,  NSW, Australia​  
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The Storytellers Sampler Quilt - the Joy of Fussycutting

by thequiltingpatch on 20 Jan 2020
The story so far... Local quilter Cinzia White publishes an amazing book, The Storytellers Sampler Quilt. Eppiflex templates launches a Block of The Month called Telling Tales, featuring 60 upsized blocks from the book and I start sewing up blocks. Cinzia asks me to contribute to her quiltalong using blocks from the aforementioned book. I fall down the rabbithole of fussycutting. But let's talk about what this is really about... Addicted to sewing...addicted to fabric...addicted to starting new projects... and now addicted to fussycutting.  So what's the hype about fussycutting?  If you are already a creative soul and enjoying making pretty blocks by joining shapes together, fussy cutting is some next level crafty action. Do you remember those kaliedoscope toys we had as kids. I have no idea how they worked, they were just MAGIC. Who could get bored with the amazing patterns they made as you twisted and turned them. I was fascinated with them.                   "No you cant have a go yet, Im not finished" - I wasnt a good sharer being the youngest and most spoilt of my siblings. Ask my sister, she will back me up.  So fussycutting a beautiful fabric into an even more beautiful fabric block is a bit like making magic for me. Mirrors? Yeah nah. I know some people swear by them, but I don't want to know what it's going to look like. Why spoil the magic? That's like someone showing you a picture of the next kaliedoscope before you can twist the tube. Just let the magic happen. Embrace the unknown a little.  Waste of fabric?  This is what Cinzia says to me... but let's be honest we all have enough fabric to be a bit less frugal with it. I think quilters are the quintessential horders. Why else would we have so many memes about collecting fabric. Even the term stash says it all.  In fact in the current economic climate of a massive downturn in retail spending I think we all have a responsibilty to fussy cut more and support the shops before they disappear altogether.  So my little contribution to Cinzia's Quiltalong is "Blackberry Freedom" and it is English paper pieced. Thanks Cinzia for asking me to join in and for writing such a sensational book.  

2019 Block of the Month - Borders and Construction

by thequiltingpatch on 24 Dec 2019
If you've made it this far, you have sewn all your 12 flower blocks and the sun compass and are wondering whats next.. Here is where we are going to work with what you have, and not with what you should have according to this pattern. We are going off road! And let me explain why.. First of all, there's colour and fabric choice.. if you lay out your blocks exactly as the pattern above, it may not be the best layout your quilt could have. For instance when I laid my blocks out exactly as the quilt pattern, I ended up with 4 blocks of red flowers in a row. There was a real clump of red in one section and it looked aweful. So I've moved my 4 red blocks, placing one in each corner. I then took my 3 blue blocks and evenly spread them around, and so on.  It might take you a while to decide where your blocks are going. Take some photos with your phone along the way so you can decide on your final layout. Looking through you phone makes it easier for you to spot the "clumps" of colour or tone. Lets talk about how this medallion quilt is going to come together.  First of all we have our centre block - our sun compass. It's going to have a thin floral frame.  This is surrounded by a floral block border - these are the 12 floral blocks that you made. First we will attach two side border sections, made from 4 of our floral blocks. Next we will attach the top and bottom border sections made from our remaining 8 floral blocks. The pieced border is a border that features the scrappy floral prints we have used to frame our flower blocks. The last border is a plain border which is cut 3 1/4" wide Last is the binding - cut at 2 1/2" wide To frame the sun compass, cut your 4 frames 1 3/8" x 20 1/2" ( or whatever your compass square measures - mine was 20" so believe me there is wiggle room)  Cut 4 corner stones in the background fabric 1 3/8" Attach two squares to either end of two of your frames. Sew the first two plain frames to the sides of your compass centre Now add the frames with the cornerstones attached to the top and bottom of the sun compass Its now time to attach the side floral blocks to the framed sun compass. Make sure you pin the seam intersections so that your frames on your sun compass line up with the frames on your floral blocks.  The next step is to attach the top and bottom floral block rows, again making sure the seams line up by pinning them first.  The last bit of piecing from this quilt will be the pieced border. We are going to strip piece it, unless you are working with scraps and can't cut strips in any great length to strip piece.  If you are not familiar with strip piecing, check out my blog post from last year, in particular the first set of photos where I explain cutting and sewing the strips and then crosscutting them.  Your strips will be cut 2 1/8" wide. Sew one background fabric strip to a floral strip. Press well. Then crosscut this strip set to 3 1/4".  Join the sections of 3 1/4" together, topping and tailing them so that the fabric prints create a checkerboard pattern.  Each border has 16 units making up the checkerboard. You will need 64 units to make enough for the quilt.  Make and sew your border units together. Measure the length of these border units. Now cut 4 strips in the background fabric that is 3 3/4" wide x the length measured above. Sew these strips to each border unit.  ( ignore the seams in the picture below - your plain strip is cut in one length)  Now we need to make the 4 corner units. Once finished you will will attach two corner units to either end of 2 of your border units.  The corner unit consists of a four patch bordered on two sides by a mitred edge.  The four patch section consist of squares cut 2 1/8". The mitred edges are strips cut 3 3/4" x 7 3/8" and then trimmed on one edge at 45 degrees.     To sew this corner unit together, first make the four patch sections. Then pin and sew one mitred border from the straight side edge to the corner, stopping 1/4" short of the angled edge. Press.    Pin your second mitred border piece to the adjacent edge Beginning at the straight edge, sew towards the mitre, stop at the 1/4", lift the machine foot keeping the machine needle down to hold the fabric in place. Align the two pointy corner pieces and the mitred edge. Lower the foot and continue sewing to the end of the seam.     Your corner section seams should align with your border section seams. Attach two corner sections to the end of two pieced borders as below. You are now ready to attach the first two borders to the side edges of your quilt (the two without the corners attached.) Make sure you pin the borders and then sew. Press the quilt and then attach the second two borders (with the corners attached) again pinning first to align seams.  Phew!!! Nearly there!! The last border is a plain background border cut at 3 1/4", so it's time to press and measure your quilt, so you'll be able to cut the first two strips to the correct size. I would suggest measuring the quilt through the centre and cutting those 3 1/4" strips to this length, as a last effort in squaring up the quilt. Once you have the first two strips cut you can sew them on and press them. Repeat this step cutting the last two border strips to size before pinning and sewing them on.  Congratulations... if you are here with me now, you have a finished quilt top!! I hope you have enjoyed this years' challenging quilt - I think it is quite stunning and a credit to your sewing skills.  Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas! Have a safe and relaxing holiday season.  Much love Danni xx
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