Wonky Piecing & Easy Applique QAL – Week 2 -Wonky Piecing Made Simple & Cutting Out Your Animal Shapes!

Wonky Week 2 SlugWelcome back!   It’s Week #2 of our Wonky Piecing & Easy Appliqué QuiltAlong !  This week we’ll be creating our Wonky Piecing Strip Sets, fusing your animal shapes onto those strips sets and then cutting out the animal shapes.

If you’re just joining us this week, be sure to review Week #1’s Blog Post to find out how to purchase the pattern and what fabrics and materials you’ll need to gather –

READ WEEK #1’S POST BY CLICKING HERE

Also, just a friendly reminder!   If you want to join with other quilty friends and aren’t yet a member of our Facebook group, I invite you to join our free QAL Facebook group where you can ask questions, share your progress and of course, post pictures of your finished projects so everyone can share in the fun!  Also feel free to share this invite and any other QAL news with quilty buddies and invite them to join along in the fun!

JOIN THE COLOURWERX QAL FACEBOOK GROUP HERE

Let’s get started! —
I love ‘wonky piecing’!  It’s liberating, easy to do and best of all you don’t need to have an exact or even perfect 1/4″ seam.   First, gather your strips.

Lay out the strips near your sewing machine in a pleasing manner.  This can be in whatever order you think looks good and there is no right or wrong. I’ll be making a ModCat with you while we quilt along together so here are my strips laid out on the cutting board in what looks like to me a very pleasing manner.

Wonky 1

Follow the directions for wonky piecing in your patterns:  MiniModDog – Page 1; ModCat – pages 3-4; ModFish – pages 4-5.  In the pattern you’ll find fully illustrated diagrams to assist you.

But first I want to share a little trick that I like to do.  I like to “audition” the wonky angle before stitching 2 strips together. Begin your wonky piecing with the two bottom strips.

Here’s what I do to “audition” the angle before stitching:  I place the top strip Right Side Up on the other strip, slanting it at an angle or in the case below, slanting from top left to bottom right  – this allows you to “audition” the wonky angle before stitching it.

Wonky 2

Once satisfied with your “slant”, just flip the the top strip over on top of the bottom strip mimicking that angle so the strips are now Right Sides Together.

Wonky 3

Next just stitch the strips together and cut away the extra fabric beyond the stitching line as per your pattern instructions.

To add the next strip, just take the third strip in sequence, place it Right Side Together slanting in the opposite direction and “audition” the angle.  Looks good!  Ok – Flip that strip over so the strips are now Right Sides Together mimicking the angle and stitch to the second strip.

Then just continue on until your wonky pieced strip set is large enough for your animal shape.  Here are my (2) Wonky Pieced Strip Sets for my ModCat – one for the body and one for the head .

Wonky 12

And here’s an example of what some Wonky Strip Pieced Sets might look like for a ModDog or ModFish:

Now you’re done with your Wonky Piecing and the real fun begins…fusing your animal shapes onto the wrong side of the strips sets and cutting out your animal shapes out!!

First, Rough Cut Out Your Shapes From the Fusible Web —
This step seems to confuse some people. 

Simply put, it means to cut out your animal shapes from the fusible web 1/4″-1/2″ BEYOND THE DRAWN LINE NOT ON THE DRAWN LINE like so…

Rouch Cut

Next, fuse your shapes to the WRONG side of your wonky pieced strip sets.  Also fuse the other shapes to the your selected fabrics at this time:  for example, the dog collar, or let’s say the fish faces or cat eyelids, etc…

With a sharp pair of scissors, cut out the shapes on the drawn line – take your time here and be exact.   Here’s my ModCat shapes all cut out.

Here’s what your ModDog or ModFish shapes might look like after being cut out:

Just a word on scissors I love these Karen Kay Buckley Precision Tip scissors pictured below.  These are about 5″ long, easy and comfortable to grip and are the perfect little pair of scissors for precision cutting of applique shapes of any size.  There are my go-to scissors for just this kind of work and I highly recommend them!

You can purchase them at your local quilt shop or any online retailer.

Cut 2

Look for a little companion video on Week #2 – Wonky Piecing to be posted in a few days!

Yay!  🙂  That’s it for Week #2!!  Next week – Week #3: we’ll be machine quilting up the background fabric and I’ll show you a few different ideas that you can incorporate into your quilting!!

Until then, please be sure to email us at colourwerx@yahoo.com if you have any questions.  Or feel free to post progress pictures on our Colourwerx QAL Facebook Group.

Until your next colour fix and next week’s QAL post ~  happy and bright quilting always!    L&C xxoo

Paint Box QAL – Week #1 -Gather the Pattern & Materials

Hello!  And welcome to the ‘first week’ of our second Colourwerx QAL (quilt along) PaintBox Front Cover copywhere we’ll be making our super fun Paint Box Pattern!

First, I want to thank you so much for joining us here and on our Facebook Colourwerx QuiltAlong Page.  Whether you’ll be sewing up the pattern along side us or just observing from afar, we welcome you and are overwhelmed by your enthusiasm so far – so thank you, thank you, thank you!

Also, if you want to join with other quilty friends and aren’t yet a member of our Facebook group, I  invite you to join our free QAL Facebook group where you can ask questions, share your progress and of course, post pictures of your finished projects so everyone can share in the fun!  Also feel free to share this invite and any other QAL news with quilty buddies and invite them to join along in the fun!

JOIN THE COLOURWERX QAL FACEBOOK GROUP HERE

Look for a companion video to be posted later this week…..

So this is Week#1 of the Paint Box QAL –  First let’s review the schedule!

PaintBox QAL Slug

As you can see it’s a 5-week QAL this time, but please know that you can take it at your own pace and join in anytime.  All of the videos and blog posts will remain here, as well as be posted on our website and social media pages throughout the year.  It’s free to join and we’ll be making the 48″ x 48″ quilt top.   Feel free to hop in anytime!PaintBox Front Cover copy

GATHER YOUR PATTERN, MATERIALS & TOOLS —
Here’s what you’ll need though to join in on the stitchin’ fun –
• The PaintBox pattern by Colourwerx – use the coupon code QAL at checkout to save 10% off the pattern! Yippee!

PURCHASE THE PAINTBOX PATTERN – PAPER VERSION
PURCHASE THE PAINTBOX PATTERN – PDF VERSION

•  A strip roll (or jelly roll) – choose a strip roll containing (40) precut 2-1/2″ wide strips – alert!  you’ll need to cut each strip to 2″ wide!!   If you’d like to “bust your stash” – Cut (40) 2″ wide x 41-43″ long strips from your stash;

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•  Sashing Triangles & Binding  – choose two coordinating fabrics that match or compliment your strips – these fabrics make up the “sashing triangles” – the black and white striped triangles you see on the pattern cover.  You’ll need a 1-yard cut of each fabric.  Keep in mind that one of these fabrics will also be your binding.

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•  A Speciality 90 Degree Ruler  for Cutting the Triangles – the Creative Grids Quarter Square Triangle Ruler CGRT90.  I really like the Creative Grids brand of rulers – first, they have a non-slip surface so it won’t slip while cutting and secondly, the measurements are clear and exact on the ruler to assist you in lining up your strips seams straight and true while cutting the triangles. We have these available for purchase in our Colourwerx shop and again, if you use the discount code QAL at checkout you’ll save 10% – double yippee!

PURCHASE THE CREATIVE GRIDS TRIANGLE RULER HERE

CGRT90-1

•  Optional for the QAL – Backing Fabric : 3-1/2 yards

WANT A FABRIC KIT INSTEAD?? 
Both Colourwerx and our good sewing pal, Christa Watson from Christa Quilts have put together a special fabric kit for the Paint Box Quilt Along! Both of these kits are offered at a discount for a limited time!

PaintBox Designs copy

BRIGHT AND COLORFUL GRIDWORK KIT FROM CHRISTA QUILTS: Christa’s kit features her bright and geometric new fabric collection called “GridWork” (pictured on the left) and she’s offering a discount on this – use the code PAINT. (This kit does not include the pattern).

GORGEOUS JEWEL BOX BATIK KIT FROM COLOURWERX: If you love those jewelled toned batiks, then this Colourwerx Jewel Box batik fabric kit featuring Island Batik fabrics is the perfect kit for you.

 

PURCHASE COLOURWERX’S JEWEL BOX BATIK FABRIC KIT

START THINKING ABOUT COLOUR PLACEMENT–
While you’re gathering your fabrics, pattern and tools this week, it’s time to start thinking about color placement on the Paint Box pattern.  Part of the fun of making the Paint Box pattern is that when it is finally assembled and finished,  lots and lots of secondary designs pop up and its hard to figure out where the individual block starts and stop.

Here’s a quick slide show of the five Paint Box patterns I’ve made so far so you can see different colour combinations at work:

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When I start a new Paint Box quilt – I first start thinking about dividing my (40) fabric strips into five colour groups which will contain eight (8) strips each.

One of the easiest ways to figure out colour placement is to actually colour in a black and white diagram of the quilt top.   It may take a few passes but once you settle in on colour placement, the actual sorting and stitching together of your strips will go so much faster.

Here’s an example of how I planned out the Paint Box quilt  you see on the pattern cover.  This one uses Christa Watson’s of ChristaQuilts new fabric collection, Gridwork.

Paint Box QAL Colour Plan

Now it’s your turn to start thinking about colours.  Use this handy black and white diagram below  to assist you in planning your colour placement for your Paint Box quilt.  You can use crayons, colored pencils or markers – whatever works for you. I’ve shaded in the the sashing triangle fabric areas – these strips will be cut from your two complimenting 1-yard cuts of fabric.

DOWNLOAD AND PRINT THE PAINT BOX LINE ART HERE

Paintbox Layout

That’s it for Week #1!!  Next week – Week #2: we’ll be Sorting the Strips into Groups and Cutting – woohoo!

Until then, please be sure to email us at colourwerx@yahoo.com if you have any questions.  Or feel free to post progress pictures on our Colourwerx QAL Facebook Group.

Until your next colour fix and next week’s QAL post ~  happy and bright quilting always!    L&C xxoo

 

ColourMaze QAL – Week #2 – Sorting your Strips & Cutting

Hi guys!  We are in Week #2 of the Colourmaze QAL!  Welcome back!

materialsjpg.jpgJust to recap – Week#1 was all about getting the ColourMaze pattern (still available from our Colourwerx shop by clicking here) and also choosing your fabrics: A 40-piece 2-1/2″ strip roll and 1-3/4 yards of background fabric – you can of course cut the (40) 2-1/2″ strips from your stash too!  If you’re new this week, then just jump on in! You can review Week#1’s blog post here!

Also, our free Colourwerx QAL Facebook Group is really where all the action is and everyone is encouraged to ask questions, share  progress and of course, post pictures of  finished projects so everyone in the group can share in the fun!  We’re also doing weekly giveaways here too!  Click below to join the Colourwerx Quilt Along Facebook Group  or feel free to share this invite and any QAL news with other quilty buddies and invite them to join along in the fun!

JOIN THE COLOURWERX QAL FACEBOOK GROUP HERE

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Just like last week – Carl and I put together a little companion video to Week#2 QAL recapping this blog post along with tips and tricks.  You can view it on our  Colourwerx UTube channel so if you’d like to watch me ‘yak on’ instead of reading this post – you’ll find that video here…

Linda Video Wk 2

So let’s get started!   WEEK #2 – Sorting Your Strips & Cutting
To prepare you for piecing which is next week (and really, that’s the super fun part of this quilt, right?!?), you’ll need to cut your background fabric and strips this week!

  • Sort and Pair up the Strips! Unroll your strip roll and begin to group together strips into pairs.  Each pair of 2-1/2″ strips will make (1) ColourMaze block.    So if you want to make a couple of placemats, place together (4) pairs of strips for (4) placemats!   If you are making the 50″ x 70″ pattern cover quilt. group together (20) pairs of strips.  You may choose to pair your strips tone on tone, contrast or just random – whatever suits your fancy 😀.IMG_6988
    In Week #1’s post, there’s a slide show of different ColourMaze quilts showing the finished blocks so you can see that almost anything goes when pairing up the strips.
  • Screen Shot 2019-09-22 at 4.26.21 PMCut Your Background Fabric:  First off, before cutting – I really, really, really  like to starch my fabric.  Mary Ellen’s Best Press is terrific stuff but it its too pricey to use on larger pieces and when I need to starch several yards or a larger piece such as this background fabric, I use the Faultless Gold Top Firm Finish Spray Starch. First you can’t beat the price at like $1.99 a can – available at Target, Walmart, the supermarket, etc….  Secondly, I just happen to love the way it makes my fabric feel.  It gives the fabric a firm hand but not too stiff and makes my cutting and piecing more precise.  Use a hot dry iron (no steam) and definitely starch the fabric before you make that first cut as the fabric may shrink ever so slightly after the starch is ironed dry.

You’ll find all of the cutting directions and dimensions in the Colourmaze pattern on pages 1 & 2.CW Strips

You’ll see in the pattern that you’ll need to cut  lots of 1″ strips from the background fabric – in fact you’ll actually be cutting a few dozen 1″ strips.  The idea of cutting 1″ strips seems easy enough but these smaller width strips can be tricky,  especially when you cut strip after strip after strip after strip after strip after…. – well you get the idea, right?

So first, I encourage you to change your rotary blade to a fresh new one for extra sharpness, and always use a good quality rotary ruler to measure the strip widths and to cut against.

Week 2 Blade
Just a little sidenote before cutting your fabric.I know some people like to use their rotary cutting mat to measure the width of strips but I can tell you from experience that cutting mats are notoriously “off” – why you ask?  The measurements are ‘printed’ on the cutting mat and the super thick line on the mat can throw off your cut by 1/32nd or 1/64th of an inch.  Additionally those printed measurements can expand and contract with heat and cold and also with general day to day use.   This all leads to tiny inaccuracies in your cutting but compounds itself cut after cut after cut.   It’s ok to use the cutting mat for general measurements such as to quickly check if a block is measuring 9-1/2″ x 9-1/2″ but for super accurate cutting and squaring down please use a good quality quilting ruler to measure and cut against not the cutting mat- just mho! 😉

First Tip on Cutting the Background Fabric  – I like to reduce the distance I need to travel with my rotary cutter from the bottom of the fabric to the top.  Once I find the straight of grain of the fabric (and here’s a great tutorial if you need one), I then match selvage edges at the top with my fold at the bottom.   I then fold my fabric in half again  – this reduces  the distance my rotary cutter needs to  travel from 22″ to 11″.   Yes,  I am cutting through four layers of fabric instead of two, but my rotary cutter is only traveling the length of 11″ to cut a strip….therefore reducing the likelihood of my ruler slipping or sliding from side to side resulting in an inaccurate cut.  Additionally, less pressure is needed to hold the ruler in place therefore less pain or cramping in my wrist or hand  if cutting for longer periods of time.  A win-win!


Once you are ready to begin, be sure to always cut yourself a fresh clean edge before proceeding to cut your strips.

Clean Edge

Next tip 🙂  –  I have found that sometimes after cutting 8, 9 or 10 strips in a row, sometimes it becomes impossible to precisely line up the ruler on the edge of the fabric straight – it’s as if the fabric edge has been warped or skewed and the edge is generally not true to the line under the ruler (at least not like it was when you made your very first clean cut). This happens because as you cut strip after strip, you are placing a lot of pressure 1) against the ruler by holding it steady in place and 2) by sliding the rotary cutter along the side of the ruler as you cut consecutive strips (especially smaller width strips like 1″ strips).

Ruler Skewed
So it’s not uncommon to see this and its a good practice that after cutting 10 or so strips, to simply cut a fresh, new clean edge to ensure you are cutting accurately and of course, to line the ruler up against.

Next up…..IMG_7051

  • Cut Your Fabric Strips for the ColourMaze Blocks:  Again, you’ll find all the dimensions to cut your block pieces, on pages 1 & 2 of the Colourmaze pattern.  Every (2) 2-1/2″ strips will yield (1) ColourMaze block, and after cutting the block pieces, you may indeed have some generous offcuts – think about whether you might like to make more Colourmaze blocks or save those offcuts for a scrappy binding.  Make sure you UNFOLD each strip and then cut your block pieces so you will be left with a longer offcut to use for other projects.

Additionally, in last week’s post I mentioned that if you are making the  50″x70″ Lap Quilt there are actually (21) blocks needed and you might be asking yourself “Where do I get the extra 2 strips for that 21st block if I am using a 40-piece strip roll ?”  Well I have the answer…..

If your strip roll has at least 2 different fabrics that are duplicated within the strip roll then you can pair these 4 strips together,  cut them for efficiency and yield 3 Colourmaze blocks out of these 4 total strips.

So first things first – look at your (40) strips and pull out the strips that are duplicated .   You need to locate a minimum of 2 fabrics that are duplicated – pair up these fabric strips (so you should have 4 strips total, 2 from Fabric A and 2 from Fabric B).

Duplicate Strip

Unfold the first Fabric A strip, cut the selvage edge off and then cut the (4) pieces specified in the pattern for (1) ColourMaze block starting with the largest unit to the smallest unit.

Strip Cut 1

With the leftover from strip #1, begin to cut the 2nd block’s pieces, Cut the largest unit first, and then with what’s left cut the smallest unit.   In other words, you may need to go out of order from the pattern.   Use the whole strip up!

Strip Cut 2

Unfold the the second Fabric A strip (aka the same fabric as the first) and continue to cut the remaining units required for the second block. If all works out, you should be left with approx. 29″ – just enough to cut the units for a 3rd ColourMaze block (i.e.: the 21st block for the lap size cover quilt).

Strip Cut 3

Repeat the above on the matching Fabric B strips to pair up with Fabric A.   Keep in mind that not all fabric strips are manufactured at exactly the same length – some are 44″ long, some 43″ and some even 42″….so before making your first cut on the fabric strips, mark out the segments on the strip with a washable marker to make sure you can get all the required pieces to make (3) blocks.

I demonstrate this in the companion QAL video here.

So this week is all about cutting – take your time, and remember that old phrase – measure twice, cut once!  And if you have any questions or need any additional assistance, please email Carl and I at colourwerx@yahoo.com or message us on our Facebook Colourwerx or Colourwerx QuiltAlong pages.

Be sure to check back in next week – Week #3 for Piecing the Block where I’ll share my all time favorite tip and tricks to perfect your 1/4″ seam and precision piecing skills! 

Thanks again for joining in on the quilt along fun and I can’t wait to see everyone’s blocks soon!   Until your next colour fix~ L&C xxoo

 

 

 

 

Teaching at AQS Paducah!

Name BadgeA few weeks ago I returned from Paducah, Kentucky and had a great time teaching at the annual AQS 2018 Spring Quilt Week- Paducah.  If you’ve never been before – well then, place this city and the show on your list of must see adventures in the quilt world.

First, let me say how honored I was to be asked to teach two classes for AQS (American Quilter’s Society), and secondly, what a thrill to be teaching in Quilt City USA, Paducah, Kentucky!!

AQS and their staff do an awesome job of organizing the show, classes and other activities in the convention center and all around town.  There was so much to see – not only within the show but in the city as well.  Shuttle buses were readily available to take visitors in and around town to see all the sites available: The National Museum, Quilt in a Day & Hancock’s of Paducah quilt shops, more fabric shops and antique shops galore, historical and Civil War buildings and monuments, and the famed river wall murals along the edges of the great Ohio & Tennessee Rivers.

The show itself was fantastic and big…. staged in over four areas in and around the Schroeder Expo Center –  one of them being a huge tent as big as a football field known as the “Dome”.  And of course , lots and lots of quilts to see and lots and lots of vendors to shop from.

 

The exhibition quilts were fantastic.

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And adding to the excitement was the fact that my Dazzle Quilt (beautifully machine quilted by Teresa Silva- Quilting is My Bliss), was also juried into the show and on exhibit! Needless to say, I was beyond excited….

Dazzle

“Dazzle” on Display at AQS Quilt Week-Paducah 2018

The first class I taught was my Wonky Strip & Easy Appliqué Mini Mod Dog class.  Twenty four eager ladies awaited me – I was a bit nervous – but they were all so fantastic and gracious!  Everyone enjoyed the evening and finished their playful pups – what a great time!

The next day was a day off for me so I went sightseeing – my first stop was the National Quilt Museum.  Special exhibits included Japanese Quilters Who Have Influenced the World, Minature Quilts and a special exhibit of quilts using the BowTie block.  Unfortunately no cameras were allowed but you can see some of the fantastic quilts by perusing the museum’s website.

After that I hopped back on the bus and toured the city – The famed river wall murals, the downtown area….

Then I was off  Hancock’s of Paducah, where I spotted several of our patterns that we had designed for Free Spirit Fabrics using Kaffe Fassett Fabrics hanging in the shop and kitted up !

The next day I taught my second class : Appliqué Stitch Lab.  Another sold out class and another eager set of ladies ready to rock machine appliqué.   They all did awesome, as evidenced by my ‘action shots’ below.  I was so proud of them – diving in without trepidation, and wildly selecting decorative stitches to embellish their appliques! Wow!  They were all super students!

And then in a flash – my time in Paducah was over and I headed home….but what a great time!  Thank you AQS and Paducah!