Splendor QAL: Week #3 – Appliqué the Large Center Flower Block

SplendorWelcome back!  
It’s Week #3 of our Splendor QuiltAlong and it’s time to start to work on that bold, beautiful large center flower block!  And this week can also be a make up week – if you need it – to finish off the (12) small flower blocks from Week #2!    For more on that in case you’re joining us, check out Week#2’s Splendor QuiltAlong Blog Post right here!

I hope you are enjoying this quiltalong as much as I am!  Please don’t forget to post pictures of your projects over on the Facebook Colourwerx QuiltAlong page or send me your pics at colourwerx@yahoo.com!

Also, to view this week’s companion video tutorial , click on the link below!  Be sure to “Like” it and also drop us a comment on YouTube to let us know how we’re doing!!

View Week #3’s Splendor Companion Video Tutorial

On to Week #3 of Splendor —
1.  First arrange those (9) center squares and start to stitch them together to form a 9-patch.  Stitch blocks together to form (3) rows. 

Background 1

Then stitch the (3) rows together, pinning and matching the seams that butt together.  Refer to Page 1, Step 2 in the Splendor Pattern.

Background 2

Prepare your Large Flower Petals and the Small Flower Insets Appliqué Shapes–
You’ll be cutting out (1) each of the large flower shapes which also includes the center of the large flower plus (1) each the small flower insets shapes.

1.  First, gather the pattern page (included in the Splendor pattern) and following the directions on your adhesive fusible web, trace the larger and smaller flower inset shapes plus the center separately and apart from each other on the smooth side of the fusible web. Be sure to transfer all the numbers and markings from the Master Pattern Page.   Use a #2 pencil for tracing.

Make Shapes 1

Rough cut these shapes out at least 1/4″ beyond the drawn line.

Make Shapes 2

Again, I like to use the adhesive fusible web Heat ‘n Bond Lite.

Heat N Bond

2. Next select your flower fabrics, and fuse the shapes onto the wrong side of each fabric.

Make Shapes 3

Cut the shapes out neatly on the drawn line and be as exact as possible.  Use a sharp pair of scissors for this step.

Make Shapes 4

3. Continue on and cut out all the shapes.

4.  Once you have all (9) large (this includes the center) and (8) small inset shapes fused onto your fabrics and cut out, you are ready to appliqué.

Make Shapes 5

Just a note on the center of the large flower — Sometimes I like to “fussy cut” this center flower shape from a fabric that contains all the colors of my flowers so that it really pulls together the petals of the large center flower.  You could also choose a fabric that resembles the look of a flower center like a dark brown or black fabric that has little dots that might resemble the center of a sunflower.  Just a thought!

Center
Fuse (or Iron) Your Small Flower Petal Insets to Your Larger Flower petals and Stitch —

Whenever I have smaller shapes that are fused onto larger shapes (such as these small inset flowers onto the larger flower petals), I like to set those pieces up first and then appliqué stitch around just the smaller shapes BEFORE fusing that larger piece onto my background fabric.  That way I am only having to deal with the petal shape under my needle and not having to wrestle with the background fabric as well while appliqué stitching.  My appliqué stitching is much neater this way and of course, that makes me much happier!

  1.  So to begin – fuse the small flower insets onto their larger petal counterparts.  Be sure to leave the release paper on the wrong side of the larger petals shapes when fusing the small shapes onto them.
  2. Next get ready to appliqué stitch around the small flower insets.  Prepare  your machine up for appliqué stitching by changing your presser foot to an open toe foot and choosing some fabulous matching thread.   Set your machine to your desired appliqué stitch.  Again, I usually choose the Zig Zag stitch (#2) and set my Bernina to stitch width 2.5-3.0 and stitch length to just below 1.0 .
    Test, test test!  If needed refer to my previous Wonky Piecing QAL video for the how to’s on appliqué stitching right here at  Wonky Piecing and Easy Appliqué- Week #4 QuiltAlong here.
  3.  Appliqué stitch around each small flower inset shapes.   VERY IMPORTANT TIP AGAIN – Be sure to still leave the release paper on the wrong side of the larger petals shapes when you stitch around the small flower insets.  The release paper will act as a stabilizer for your stitching and once you are complete you will just peel it off.

Fuse (or Iron) the Large Flower Petals to the Center Background 9-Patch —
1. Referring to the Quilt Top Diagram on page 5, ‘eyeball’ and place the large petal shapes and the large flower center in place. If needed, I have found that that the petal edges at the top, bottom, right and left are about 5-5-1/2″ in from the outside edge of the background.  Peel off the release paper from the wrong side of each shape and fuse (or iron) the shapes onto the background 9-patch.

Fuse Large

2.  Place a piece of stitching stabilizer (like Sulky Totally Stable Iron On Tear Away Stabilizer) on the WRONG side of each of the Larger Flower Petal Shapes or over the entire background block.   The stabilizer will help to “stabilize” your stitching especially if you are using a zigzag, satin stitch or decorative titch around each of your shapes.

Stabilizer

Test, test, test before you begin. Once satisfied, applique stitch around each of the larger petals and the center on your large center flower.

Once stitching is complete, be sure to tear away the stabilizer from the backside and lightly press the 9-patch Large Center Flower Block.

That’s it for Week #3!!  Next week, our final week – Week #4: we’ll be stitching all of blocks together to complete our quilt top – woohoo!

Until then, please be sure to email us at colourwerx@yahoo.com if you have any questions.  Or feel free to post questions or 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

ModTV QAL: Week #4 – Personalize the Screen & Finish

Wowee!  We are almost complete with our ModTV’s!!  This is the final week of our quilt ModTV_CW110_FRONTalong and I do hope you all have been enjoying making these cute retro TV blocks!

This week – Week #4 – is all about personalizing the TV screen and finishing off your block into a pillow, wallhanging or make even more TV blocks for a fabulous lap quilt!  Here’s one of my customer’s ModTV quilt that she made for her husband.  She printed all of his favorite TV shows on photo fabrics, added a pocket for the remote control in one of the color bar blocks and voila! – he loved it!

Customer ModTV

Ok – so by now you should have made at least one ModTV block and it should be trimmed to 12-1/2″ x 12-1/2″.  If you need to catch up or need extra help, please refer back to the previous blog posts below.  You can also find a weekly companion tutorial video for each week on our Colourwerx YouTube channel !

READ WEEK 1 – GATHER YOUR PATTERN & MATERIALS

READ WEEK 2 – PIECE THE TV & LEGS

READ WEEK 3 – PIECE THE ANTENNA UNITS & COLOR BAR BLOCKS

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR COLOURWERX YOU TUBE CHANNEL

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So let’s get started and finish up those cute ModTV blocks!

Check out this week’s video!!  You can view the companion You Tube video for this week right here!

Personalize the TV Screen —
The very last piece to go on your TV block is the TV screen.  It is not pieced in but rather fused on with an adhesive fusible web (like Heat ‘n Bond Lite or Steam A Seam II Lite) and then appliqued stitched on. 

There are several different ways you can choose to personalize your TV screen and therefore make it truly a unique creation.  First know that whichever method you choose, you will need both a 5″ x7″ piece of the fabric (or photo fabric) and of the adhesive fusible web.

Iron

Once you decide what to do, iron the 5″ x 7″ piece of adhesive fusible web onto the WRONG side of the fabric (yes, even the photo fabric), and then trim the piece to 4″ x 6″.  You can even follow along in the pattern on page 5 and use a thread spool to round the corners of the TV  Screen. 

When you are ready, peel the release paper off the backside of the screen, and using a pressing cloth, iron (or fuse) the screen in the center of the TV unit. 

Iron 1

Iron 2

Zig Zag stitch around the edges of the screen to secure it to the block.  

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Here’s a few ideas for you to personalize your TV screens!

1. Use the same fabric as the background fabric or a similar fabric.  The easiest and sometimes the most graphic looking!  These blocks are totally fabulous and create the ultimate mid-mod statement!

ModTv Image 2

2. Use a fun stripe or zig zag fabric.  If you want to give the look of  static running across your TV screen , a fun stripe or colorful zigzag will do the trick!  I used this fun colorful wonky zig zag from the Kaffe Fassett Collective!

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3. Fussy Cut a Motif from a Licensed Fabric.  This is where I think most of us have a lot of fun – fussy cutting around a motif as if this scene is “playing” on the TV set!  And there are so many great fabrics to choose from these days:  Wizard of Oz!, Star Wars, I Love Lucy!, Star Trek, Cartoons, Cats, Dogs – you name it!

 

4. Use Photo Fabric for the Ultimate Personalization. I love this idea as it instantly creates a super fun memorial pillow.  There are many brands of photo fabric out there – but for me, I find these two brands EQ Printables or June Tailor Computer Printer Fabric to be the most reliable and both are available at your local quilt shop or Joann’s Fabrics.

 

ModTV Image 3

Here’s a block I made as a gift to Jenny Doan at the Missouri Star Quilt Company!

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Here are a few tips when working with photo fabric:

Resize your photo to a 5″ x 7″ – but make sure when you trim the photo to 4″ x 6″ that you have left ample head room to do so and you wont be cutting off someone’s head ! Also color correct it and “sharpen” it if needed with your photo app or photo program on your computer.

Before printing on the photo fabric, print the image on a paper – waste a lot of paper until you are sure you have the image correctly sized and framed within the final 4″x6″ margins!   Photo Fabric is very expensive and you usually only get 5 or so sheets in a packet.

When you are ready to print the image on photo fabric, do not print your image using the fine or photo settings on your inkjet printer.  This will lay down way too much ink on the photo fabric and your image will appear very dark and may even smudge as it comes through your printer. Just use the regular settings and the photo should print on the phot fabric just fine!

To heat set the image so the block can be washed,  follow the photo fabric manufacturer’s directions.  Each company is slightly different!  Full disclosure here – I don’t heat set my photo fabric as I don’t wash my blocks.  Many of the projects I make are samples or for display only. There are ways though to heat set so you may want to print a test photo and try it first before your final photo printing!

Complete Your TV Block into a Wallhanging or Pillow —

To Make Into a Wallhanging – Once the TV screen has been fused and stitched in place, just add some batting and a backing fabric square that is 12-1/2″ x 12-1/2″.  Then quilt the block as desired and bind to create a small wallhanging.

I like to use a straight stitch or even my serpentine stitch (#4 on the Bernina) to stitch lines about a 1/4″ apart.  It looks like radio waves or TV signals!

 

If you did not want to bind your ModTV block, you could frame it using a 12″ x 12″ record album frame from Michael’s Arts & Crafts!

To Make Into a Pillow – As above, once the TV screen has been fused and stitched in place, just add some batting and 2 backing fabric rectangles that measure 9-1/2″ x 12-1/2″.  Also purchase a 12″ x 12″ pillow form from your local shop.   Place the batting on the wrong side of the block and machine quilt the block using a decorative stitch as described above or just stitch around the TV shape to give the block some texture.

For the backing of the pillow – Turn and press only one 9-1/2″ outer edge (not the 12-1/2” edge though) of each backing piece 1/4” over twice to the wrong side to encase the raw edge. Topstitch down the edge to secure.

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Place the two backing fabric units RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER over the MODTV block and stitch around all sides. Turn the unit right side out and poke out the corners. Stuff with a 12” x 12” travel pillow form through the slit on the backside.

This now concludes our ModTV QuiltAlong – send me your pictures so we can see your cute and fun retro TV sets!

Thank you so much for following along and for your continued support!  Look for more Colourwerx QuiltAlongs on our Colourwerx Facebook page or on our website under QuiltAlongs!mouth21

Until your next colour fix – happy quilting!  Linda & Carl xxoo

 

 

 

 

 

 

ModTV QAL: Week #1 – Gather the Pattern and Materials plus Precut for One Block

Hello!  And welcome to the ‘first week’ of our fourth Colourwerx QAL (quilt along) where ModTV_CW110_FRONTwe’ll be making our super fun ModTV block (and or quilt)!

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 meet with other Colourwerx 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

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Look for a companion video to be posted in a few days!  If you’d like to receive alerts to when the videos are posted and other neat tutorials, then subscribe to our Colourwerx UTube channel right here!

You can watch our ModTV Intro Video by clicking here!

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

ModTV Slug

As you can see it’s a 4-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.  My quilt alongs are always  free to join and I’ll be making a 12″ TV block along with you over the next 4 weeks.  I’ll also show you other ModTV quilts I have made and ways you can personalize your ModTV block by changing out the TV screen shape to a licensed fabric or a fabric photo.  But first things first….

GATHER YOUR PATTERN & MATERIALS —ModTV_CW110_FRONT
Here’s what you’ll need to join in on the stitchin’ fun –
• The ModTV pattern by Colourwerx – and great news? – the ModTV pattern is now 20% off until May 31st!  Yippee!

PURCHASE THE MODTV PATTERN – PAPER VERSION
PURCHASE THE MODTV PATTERN – PDF VERSION

Fabrics —
•  To Make just (1) ModTV block –
— (2) Fat Quarters;
— 3″ x 6″ scrap for the TV Antenna;
— 5″ x 7″ Piece of Fusible Web to Fuse the TV screen in place (i.e.:  Heat n Bond Lite, Steam a Seam II Lite or Pellon Wonder Under;
**For each additional TV block you’d like to make just add a another pair of fat quarters and a fabric scrap for the TV Antenna.

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•  To Make the Larger 48″ x 54″ Quilt (16 TV’s plus (4) Color Bar Blocks) – refer to the cover of the pattern –
— (16) Coordinating Fabrics – 3/8 yard each fabric;
— Dark Grey (or Black) plus a White (for color bars) – 1/6 yard each;
— (Optional for the quiltalong) Binding – 1/2 yard and Backing 3-1/2 yards;
— 1-1/2 yards of Fusible Web to Iron the TV screen in place (i.e.:  Heat n Bond Lite, Steam a Seam II Lite or Pellon Wonder Under16 Fabrics

Also begin to think about whether you might like to personalize the TV screen with a piece of licensed fabric (like ‘I Love Lucy’ or ‘Star Wars’), or perhaps a fun zigzag print that looks like static, or a photo of a favorite person or family pet (photo should be sized to 4″ x 6″).
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If you do want to use a photo, be sure to purchase some photo fabric from your local quilt shop or at a Joann’s Fabrics or Walmart.  I prefer the brands EQ Printables or June Tailor Computer Printer Fabric.  Make sure you select the type for your printer at home:  InkJet or Laser.

 

Precut to be ready for Week #2 —
Screen Shot 2019-09-22 at 4.26.21 PMFirst off, before cutting – I really, really, really  like to starch my fabric.  Mary Ellen’s Best Press is terrific stuff but it it’s too pricey to use on larger pieces…so when I need to starch several yards or a larger piece, 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.

Next,  precut your fabrics to make (1) TV block –
•  If just making a single TV block:  gather your (2) fat quarters, or;
•  If making the pattern cover Lap Size Quilt, select (2) fabrics – 3/8 yard each fabric.

Follow all of the cutting directions and dimensions in the ModTV  pattern on pages 1 & 2.  In the pattern there is also a handy insert page which details and diagrams how to cut your pieces from the 3/8 yard cut or the fat quarter to ensure that you get all of your pieces from the yardage.

Precut1
And with all of these pieces, it can really get confusing so here’s my BIG TIP for the week!  –  be sure to label each of your pieces to keep them organized.  Each ModTV block is made from three sub units:  the TV unit,  the legs unit  & the antenna unit.  All three units come together on the final step to create one 12″ finished ModTV block.  The TV screen is ironed on after the TV block is together.

If I’m making just one block, I might just use post it notes or scrap pieces of paper to label each of my pieces.

But, if I’m making several blocks, I open up my word processing program (like MS Word) and choose the address label template …I type in all of my unit names and then copy those descriptions (X) however many blocks I am making.

Labels

I then peel these labels off and apply them to each unit.  This little tip keeps you super organized and ready to to start piecing for next week!

That’s it for Week #1!!  Next week – Week #2: we’ll begin slashing and sewing our TV sets together – woohoo!

Until then, please be sure to email us at colourwerx@yahoo.com if you have any questions.  Or feel free to post questions or 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

Wonky Piecing & Easy Applique QAL – Week 4 – Easy Machine Applique & Finish

Wonky Week 3 Slug 4Welcome back!   It’s our final week – Week #4 – of our Wonky Piecing & Easy Appliqué QuiltAlong !  This week is all about applique stitching your animal shapes to your background fabric and then finishing off your project into either a wallhanging or pillow!

I’ll also be sharing with you how to get your sewing machine ready for machine applique, how to do some basic applique stitches, sew in and out of points and some very  general “rules of the road” to perfect your own applique stitch!  So let’s get started!

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First off, my biggest tip to perfect applique stitching is: practice, practice practice….  Machine applique requires practice and alot of patience.  You may want to review this blog post, watch my companion video or subscribe to our Colourwerx UTube channel.  Then set yourself up with some basic scrap shapes like squares and circles on a background fabric and practice, practice, practice.

But first things first….

Set Your Machine Up For Success –
Here’s how I set my machine up for a day of applique:
1.  Open Toe Presser Foot – a must!  Notice that this foot  has no bars or metal in the middle of the two outer prongs – this allows you to see the “open road” ahead of you while stitching.  For me, it is a must have before I start any applique stitching;

Open Toe
2.  Schmetz 90/14 Quilting Needle – here we go again 🙂  but this size and type needle is perfect for applique stitching and allows me to switch from thread to thread regardless of the thread thickness as I applique stitch;

Needle
3.  Bobbin Thread – Regardless of the thread you choose for stitching around your shapes, I always use a neutral colored cotton 50 weight thread in the bobbin – usually the same weight and color thread that I piece my quilts with — something like a tan or light grey Aurifil 50 weight (look for the orange colored spool) works well.  Although the exception to this is that if the piece will be finished as a wallhanging and I have already pre-quilted the background fabric, I will match my bobbin thread to the backing fabric – again, using a 50 weight thread;


4.  Set Your Stitch to ZigZag – This is stitch #2 on my Bernina machine and my go-to stitch settings are: Width – 3.0, and Length – just under 0.8-0.9.  This seems to be good starting point for me.  Your machine may be slightly different and more than likely, you’ll need to adjust your settings as you practice and gain more confidence.

Machine 1
5.  Very Important:  Test Your Stitch & Adjust Your Tension – Once you have your machine set up, test your machine by stitching out a straight line of zigzag stitches.

Test 1

Check your tension –   common issues are these:
If you see the bobbin thread (gray) on top like this, adjust your tension dial to a higher number;

Test 2

If you see the top thread (orange) on the bottom of your stitches like this, adjust your tension dial to a lower number;

Test 3

If your stitches “caterpillar” like this – you’ll need to attach a stabilizer to the wrong side  of your background fabric.

Test 4

Sulky

Stabilizer is just as the name suggests:  it provides stability to your stitching and helps to avoid distorted stitches.  Any stabilizer (like you use with digitized embroidery machines) will work just fine and even freezer paper works in a pinch!  My favorite brand is Sulky Iron On Tear Away Stabilizer.  (Sidenote:  If you pre-quilted your background fabric,  you won’t need to add a stabilizer.  The batting acts like the stabilizer.) 

Iron Your Shapes On to Your Background Fabric –
Once your machine is set up, you are ready to go and it’s time to iron your animal shapes onto your background fabric.

Score the release paper on the back of your applique shapes with a pin and then peel the release paper off.

Score

Place your shapes in place on your background fabric – making sure that those shapes  that are overlapped by others are placed down first.  Once satisfied with placement, with a hot iron, press the shapes down applying at least 10-15 seconds of heat to the shape to secure it firmly to your background fabric.

Pattern Ease

You might want to make an overlay sheet for something like the ModFish which has several shapes overlapped on one another.  This can be made from tracing paper or a dress making interfacing product called Pattern – Ease which is sold at stores like Joann’s.  Pattern Ease is a non fusible, woven lightweight interfacing.  I like it because I can trace my pattern on it, place it over my background and then move the individual shapes into place under the Pattern Ease. Once satisfied, I can iron right through the Pattern Ease to secure the shapes in place.

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Additionally, I like to fuse the smaller shapes onto their bigger shapes and stitch around those smaller shapes before fusing that bigger shape onto the background fabric.  Great examples of this are: the ModCat head and eyes and eyelids, or the ModDog eyeball; or the ModFish eye, or ModFish fin on the belly! .

Small Shapes

Why make your job harder?  Take for example the ModCat head, once the eyes and eyelids are fused in place, I leave the release paper on the wrong side of the head as it acts as a stabilizer and then I applique stitch around those shapes…I only have to wrestle with the head and concentrate on making my stitching around the eyes perfect and not deal with the whole background fabric, etc.  Easy-peazy!

Applique Stitching “Rules of the Road” –
I’ll do my best to explain these here on the blog but if you are more of a visual learner than I would encourage you to check out my companion video to this week’s quilt along which is now posted on our Colourwerx website and Colourwerx UTube channel.

1. Starting: Whenever I start, I like to bring my bobbin thread to the top.  This stops all of those nasty thread nests from occurring as you start. Turning your hand wheel one whole rotation, lower the needle into the fabric and then all the way back up again.  Pull on the top threads and pop the bobbin thread up to the top.  Now hold onto both the top and bobbin threads to start stitching. Secure the start of your stitch by either engaging your “secure stitch function” (check your manuals) or taking a stitch in place.   You can also just start stitching and when you finish going around the shape, you can bring all the threads to the backside, knot the threads and tie off.

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2.  Start Stitching:  Notice the photos below – the needle is “zagging” just to the outside of the applique shape and then “zigging” back onto the shape itself.  The foot is NOT really positioned in “dead center” of the shape and the background fabric.  The foot actually rides more onto the applique shape itself .  This is where I personally like my zig zag stitch to fall when I stitch.

3.  Stitching Around Curves:  Again check out the companion video as that might help, but the general rule on stitching around curves is as follows:

if it’s an outside curve, stop and pivot on the on the outside edge:  to do this, stop with the needle down on the OUTSIDE edge of the applique, lift the presser foot with the needle still down,  pivot (or turn toward you) the applique piece ever so slightly, drop the presser foot and take a stitch or two until you feel you need to stop again and pivot to maintain your stitch quality and position on the edge of the applique;

 

…if it’s an inside curve, stop and pivot on the inside edge: just as above, stop with the needle down on the INSIDE edge of the applique, lift the presser foot with the needle still down,  pivot (or turn away from you) the applique piece ever so slightly, drop the presser foot and take a stitch or two until you feel you need to stop again and pivot to maintain your stitch quality and place on the edge of the applique.

When you are turning the corner and the stitch is falling on the outside edge of the applique, try to aim for the same exact point as you go around the corner (see the 4th picture where the purple pen indicates).

Straightaways are easy – curves and circles are not so easy because it requires patience and lots of stop and pivots , stops and pivots to stitch around the curve.  You might find that it will take you just as long to stitch around a small curve as it does for you to stitch the rest of the applique with straightaways. A great example of this is the top of the cat tail or the little paws on the Mini ModDog.   Be patient, slow down and practice.

3.  Stitching In and Out Of A Point: There are some really beautiful ways of stitching in and out of points but this requires dialing your stitch width down and up again as you keep stitching (meaning reducing your stitch width as you approach the point and then increasing your stitch width as you stitch out of the point)…this is a little like rubbing your stomach and patting your head at the same time and takes a lot of practice.

I prefer to do a more “lazy man’s” way of stitching in and out of points.  Stitch all the way down and directly over the point. Keeping the needle down, lift your presser foot and pivot the piece so that it is now at a 45 degree angle to the presser foot.  Take one, (sometimes two) complete stitches so the needle is again on the outside edge but on the opposite side of the point.  Again keeping the needle down, lift the presser foot and pivot the piece so you are ready to stitch down the new side.  Continue on stitching.   It’s appears a bit bulky but it works!

Now with that and a little practice – applique away!

Finish your Animal –
To Make Into a Wallhanging – Once all appliqué stitching is complete, trim your project down so the edges are neat and even.  Here are the approximate measurements of my samples to give you an idea:
•  Mini MoDog 12-1/2″ x 16-1/2″
•  ModCat – 15″ x 21″
•  ModFish – 21″ x 14-16

Bind the wallhanging as desired.

To Make Into a Pillow – Once all appliqué stitching is complete, trim your project down so the edges are neat and even. I’ll explain in detail below what I do for a Mini ModDog, but if you are making a Cat or Fish, you may want to find the appropriate size pillow form first and then cut the project 1/2″ larger than the pillow size and then size the backing fabric accordingly using the Mini ModDog examples below.

Trim the Mini ModDog to 12-1/2″ X 16-1/2″.

I use a Travel Pillow Form for my Mini ModDogs that measures 12″ x 16″.

Cut the Backing Fabric into 2 pieces: 12-1/2” x 14-1/2” and 12-1/2” x 12-1/2”.  Turn and press only one outer edge (not the 12-1/2” edges though) of each backing piece 1/4” over twice to the wrong side to encase the raw edge. Topstitch down the edge to secure. Place the two backing fabric units RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER over the Mod Dog and stitch around all sides. Turn the unit right side out and poke out the corners. Stuff with a 12” x 16” travel pillow form through the slit on the backside.

This now concludes our Wonky Pieced & Easy Applique QuiltAlong – send me your pictures so we can see your cute and fun Wonky Pieced Mod Animals!!

Thank you so much for following along and for your continued support!  Look for more Colourwerx QuiltAlongs on our Colourwerx Facebook page or on our website under QuiltAlongs!mouth21

Until your next colour fix – happy quilting!  Linda & Carl xxoo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wonky Piecing & Easy Applique QAL – Week 3 – Machine Quilt the Background

Wonky Week 3 SlugWelcome back!   It’s Week #3 of our Wonky Piecing & Easy Appliqué QuiltAlong !  This week we’ll be machine quilting the background fabric.

There are so many different ways you can machine quilt the background fabric and anything goes so don’t be afraid to use this little quilt along project to experiment:

•  you could practice your free motion quilting and simply stipple the background;
BG Quilt 1
•  you could practice ‘matchstick quilting’ – this is simply stitching straight lines about 1/4″ apart up and down over the background fabric; or,

BG Quilt 2
•  you could mark diagonal lines about 3″ apart, set your machine to a decorative stitch and stitch a crosshatch pattern.

BG Quilt 3

Really – anything goes, so have fun ….

But I’d like to share with you three of my favorite machine quilting patterns that look “artsy”, are pretty easy to do and imho, make a great quilted background for smaller quilts like these.  I’ll do my best to explain how to do these patterns here in the blog but if you are more of a visual learner than I would encourage you to check out my companion video to this week’s quilt along which will be posted on our Colourwerx website and Colourwerx UTube channel in a few days.

Linda Week 3

These are the three patterns I use most often:
•  The Wonky Slanted Line pattern – you see this most often in my Mini ModDog pillows and quilts, and if you have the Mini ModDog pattern, you’ll find instructions on how to do this pattern on page 2;

Wonky Slanted

•  The Curvaceous Quilting Pattern – easy to do and very relaxing!

Curvaceous

•  The Wonky Chevron Pattern – this is fun and  is wonderfully forgiving.

Wonky Chevron

Create the Quilting Sandwich —
First you’ll need to gather your Background Fabric (a fat quarter or a piece about 18″ x 21″) , and a scrap piece of batting or fusible batting of the same size.  If you’ve already decided to make your animal into a wallhanging, then you should also gather a fat quarter size of fabric to use as your backing fabric too. (If you are making a pillow, you don’t need to add a backing fabric unless of course you think you might wash the pillow in the future).

Place the batting on the WRONG side of the Background Fabric and secure.  You can do this by safety pinning the two layers together or using a fusible adhesive spray like 505 Temporary Spray Adhesive.  If you are making a wallhanging, go ahead and fuse (or safety pin)  your backing fabric to the other side of the batting as well.    You now have your quilting sandwich ready for machine quilting.

FuseWonky Slanted

Let’s get started with the first quilting pattern –

#1 – The Wonky Slanted Line Pattern —
When I quilt this pattern, I like to use a chunky thread – like the Aurifil 12 weight – and a variety of different thread colors – usually I choose 5-6 different colors.  But this method also looks very nice with any variegated thread or even just a lovely solid thread.

Also just a tip – if you are using a a chunkier thread, make sure you change your sewing machine needle to a larger size.  I prefer to use the Schmetz 90/14 Quilting Needle.  This size accommodates a variety of different weight threads with no problems.

schmetz-quilting-needles-size-90-14-184-p
The first step is to draw a few wonky lines on your background fabric.  With a iron off marker (or water soluble pen), just drop your ruler at a slant and draw a line.  Slant the ruler in opposite direction and draw another line.  You can also use a Hera marker to make these lines as well.  Hera Markers are sold at all quilt shops and actually just crease your fabric with the rounded edge – so no fear of a marker staining the fabric or never coming off.

Start with about 3-4 lines and with your first thread color.  Set your machine to a straight stitch, leave the feed dogs up and put your walking foot on (or engage your even feed system).  Also set your stitch length to about 3.0 so the stitches are a bit longer.   Stitch directly across those drawn lines.

Wonky 1

Mark another 3-4 lines.  Switch threads if you’d like, and stitch on those lines.

Wonky 2

Continue adding wonky slanted lines and stitching until you have filled the background fabric.


Voila!  Done And it looks super especially behind your dog, cat or fish!Curvaceous

#2 – The Curvaceous Quilting Pattern —
I really love doing curvy quilting – it looks very artsy and I love the movement it provides to the background fabric.  I use this pattern alot when making the ModFish as it gives the feeling that the fish are swimming with the movement the curved lines create.

To start, again set your machine to a straight stitch, leave the feed dogs up and put your walking foot on (or engage your even feed system).  Also set your stitch length to about 3.0 so the stitches are a bit longer.  Start in the middle of the fat quarter and just stitch straight stitches from the top to the bottom, gently ‘ungulating’ from right to left creating a curved stitched line.  Think of driving down a country road – no sharp turns.

Curvy 1

Move over about 2-3″ and stitch another curvy line.  Again move over another 2-3″ and stitch another curvy line.  Keep filling the background with curved stitched lines about 2-3″ apart.
Curvy 2
To fill in the background, next begin to stitch in between the stitched lines with more curvy quilting.  How dense you make the curvy quilting is entirely up to you.  I find that it really depends upon my mood – some curvaceous quilting is quilted quite dense and some not so much…again, anything goes and stop when it looks good to you!

That’s it – doesn’t that look great!?!?Wonky Chevron

#3 – The Wonky Chevron Pattern —
This is a fun pattern, looks great with a variegated thread and one that I use alot on my little ModCat wallhangings .  Once again, set your machine to a straight stitch leave the feed dogs up and put your walking foot on (or engage your even feed system).

The first step is to draw a few chevron-like lines across the center portion of your background fabric.  With a iron off marker (or water soluable pen),  just drop your ruler slanting it right and left and draw wonky angles or chevrons. Don’t worry about making the chevrons too even or regimented – in fact the more uneven they are the better!
Chev 1

Stitch directly on the drawn line  (it’s ok if you are not directly on the drawn line – it’s more of a guide for you to start from…)  Now move down about an inch and “echo” the same chevron pattern but don’t try to be too perfect – in fact, adding little changes or additional little chevrons to “mix it up” as you stitch along makes it look more artsy.

Chev 2

Keep echoing and stitching  out from the middle drawn first chevron until you reach the edge.  Turn the background fabric around and start to do the same chevron echo stitching from the middle drawn line out to the other edge filling up the background fabric with wonky chevron lines.   Check that out!

What fun!  🙂  I can’t wait to see what you guys come up with!  be sure to chedk out the companion video to this week’s blog coming out in a few days on the Colourwerx website and Colourwerx UTube channel .

That’s it for Week #3!!  Next week – our final week – Week #4: we’ll be machine applique stitching our animal shapes onto the background fabric and I’ll be sharing some tips and tricks with you!

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

Wonky Piecing & Easy Appliqué QuiltAlong – Week 1 -Gather the Pattern and Materials

Wonky Week 1 SlugHello!  And welcome to the ‘first week’ of our third Colourwerx QAL (quilt along) where we’ll be stitchin’ up Wonky Piecing and doing Easy Machine Appliqué – the fun part about this QuiltAlong is you get to choose which animal you’d like to make – A Mini ModDog, a ModCat or a pair of ModFish!

A BIG THANK YOU!!  —
First, I want to thank you so much for joining us here and for your ongoing support of our Colourwerx patterns and Colourwerx Shop during these unprecedented times – brighter days are indeed coming back soon but in the meantime since we are all still self isolating, the Wonky Piecing & Easy Appliqué Dog/Cat/Fish seemed like the perfect project!  The materials you’ll need are minimal and are likely sitting right inside your fabric stash or scrap bag.  The pattern can be purchased from our Colourwerx Shop and no matter which animal your choose (Mini ModDog, ModCat or Mod Fish), all are available in both a paper format or as a downloadable PDF format.

Regardless – Carl and I are so, so, so  happy you are here!!   Please know 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  and so appreciative of your support  – so thank you, thank you, thank you! 

WideeyedThriftyBarebirdbat-size_restricted

As you can see below it’s a 4-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 on my blog, as well as be posted on our website and social media pages throughout the year.  There is no fee to join the QAL or our Facebook Group page so feel free to hop in anytime you are ready!

Join the Colourwerx QuiltAlong Facebook Group:   Speaking of the Facebook Colourwerx QuiltAlong Group,  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…..

Linda Week 3

So this is Week#1 of the Wonky Piecing & Easy Appliqué QAL –  First let’s review the schedule over the next four weeks:

Week 1 (today-April 8th) – Gather Your Pattern & Materials
Week 2 (April 15) – Wonky Piecing & Cut Out Your Animal
Week 3 (April 22) – Quilt the Background Fabric & Prepare Shapes
Week 4 (April 29) – Easy Machine Appliqué & Finish

Wonky QAL Slug
Here’s what you’ll need though to join in on the stitchin’ fun –

GET THE PATTERN —
Choose Which Animal You’d like To Create and Purchase the Corresponding Pattern:
There are 3 patterns to choose from : the Mini ModDog, the ModCat and the ModFish – all of our Colourwerx patterns are now 20% off until the end of April so now’s a great time to stock up! Also our patterns are available in both a paper format or as a downloadable PDF format.

Click on the links below to purchase the patterns :
Mini_ModDog_PatternCover copy

PURCHASE THE PAPER PATTERN – MINI MODDOG

PURCHASE THE PDF PATTERN – MINI MODDOG

 

ModCat_CW109_FRONT

 

PURCHASE THE PAPER PATTERN – MODCAT

PURCHASE THE PDF PATTERN – MODCAT

CW127 ModFish Front

 

PURCHASE THE PAPER PATTERN – MODFISH

PURCHASE THE PDF PATTERN – MODFISH

 

GATHER YOUR MATERIALS —
Each animal has slightly different fabric requirements but as you’ll see below the “wonky piecing” is made from smaller length fabric strips (these strips can be orphaned jelly roll strips or cut from your stash or scrap bin).  Although the requirements below stipulate 2-1/2″ wide strips,  the strips can really be anywhere from 2″ wide to 3″ wide X 14″ in length (or thereabouts).

— For (1) MINI MODDOG, gather these fabrics: Mini ModDog
a. (10) 2-1/2” x 14” strips of coordinating fabrics
b. 1″ x 6” piece scrap fabric for dog collar
c. Scrap of black or 5/8” button for dog eye

ModCat

 

 

— For (1) MODCAT, gather these fabrics:
a. (20) 2-1/2” x 14” strips of coordinating fabrics or scrap fabrics
b. 4″ x 6” scrap for cat eyelids of coordinating solid fabric
c. 4″ x 6” scrap of dark brown or black for cat eyeballs
ModFish

— For a pair of MODFISH (using the Small Fish shapes), gather these fabrics:
a. (10-12) 2-1/2” x 14” strips of coordinating fabrics
b. (2) 9” x 4” scraps for fish bellies (can be the same fabric or two different fabrics)
c. (1) 6″ x 10” scrap of black for fish head/eyes
d. (1) 3” x 3” scrap for fish outer eyes (white)

•  Additionally, whichever animal you choose you will also need the following materials:
•  (1) Neutral Colored Fat Quarter (or an 18″ x 21″ piece of fabric) for the Background
•  (1) Fat Quarter (18″ x 21″) Size of Scrap Batting or Fusible Fleece (like Pellon 987F)
• 1/2 yard of Fusible Web (not to be confused with interfacing so please check to make sure you have a lightweight iron on advhesive) – Look for the brand names like Heat ‘n Bond Lite, Steam a Seam Lite II, Pellon Wonder Under etc…
• Your favorite threads for stitching the background fabric and for appliqué stitching around your animal shapes.

TRACE THE SHAPES ON THE FUSIBLE WEB —
To be ready for next week – ‘Week #2 – Wonky Piecing & Cut Out Your Animal’ – trace the animal shapes from the pattern on to the smooth side of your fusible web.    If you need to purchase fusible web and can’t do so for a few days , that is ok as you can make up this step in Week #2.

ScaleNOTE for PDF Pattern Users: If you purchased a PDF pattern before tracing the shapes, make sure that when you printed out your pattern page you maintained the correct scale for the pattern shapes.  You can do this by placing your ruler on the 1″ scale graphic included on each pattern shape page.  If it measures correctly, you are ready to start tracing.  If it measures less or more than the 1″ scale, then you will need to adjust your printer settings  to “Print Actual Size” and reprint the pattern pages until the 1″ scale measures correctly.

Follow the manufacturer’s directions for tracing you shapes and also:
•  Trace just one of each shape with the exception of the ModFish (trace 2 of each of the Small ModFish shapes).
•  Use a mechanical pencil or #2 pencil to trace the shapes;
•  Trace the shapes directly on the lines – you do not need to add 1/4″ seam allowance to any of the shapes;
•  Trace all of the shapes independently and apart from each other:
•  If a shape has a dotted line, include the dotted line when tracing your shape. Some of the shapes you will encounter here that have the dotted lines are:
•  Mini ModDog – Shape A – second ear
•  ModCat – EyeBalls (lower half of Cat Eye)
•  Mod Fish – Shape K (belly) & Shape M (top of fish) – when you trace Shape H – trace all the way out beyond the dotted lines to the solid line of the fish head shape.

Here’s a quick view of what my animal shapes look like when I’ve finished tracing them on the fusible web.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

DO NOT CUT THE SHAPES APART JUST YET – JUST TRACE THE SHAPES ON THE FUSIBLE WEB SHEET AND SET ASIDE FOR WEEK #2.

Yay!  🙂  That’s it for Week #1!!  Next week – Week #2: we’ll create the wonky strip piecing units which you’ll cut your animal shapes from.

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

Stay at Home and Hop – Let’s Hop To It! – Post #4

PrintHello friends!  Welcome back to our last post for the Stay at Home and Hop Virtual Designer Shop Hop!

I have one last list of designer links to share with you!  When you need a break from sewing or from the news this week, hop on to your Ipad or computer and visit my fellow friends and colleagues below.  In case you’ve missed my previous posts or lost the links, I’ve also listed ALL the shop links from my previous posts at the end of this blog post!

I hope you’ll take a moment from your day and pop in to see some of my friends!  The hop runs until Tuesday, March 31st!

And speaking of hopping – be sure to download my free pattern – the Easter Hip Chicks Table Runner!  This pattern will only be available as a free download for a limited time!   To download the  Easter Hip Chicks Table Runner, just click here to download the pattern for free!!

New Chicks 1

OK – LET’S GET HOPPIN”!!  Here’s the last list of links for you to visit from our Stay at Home and Hop with Us Virtual designer Shop Hop! Click on the links below to take you to that designer’s shop!

DaySpring Quilt Company
https://www.dayspringquiltcompany.com

Ms P Designs, USA
https://www.mspdesignsusa.com

Stitchin’ at Home
http://www.stitchinathome.com

Sew Joy Creations
https://www.sewjoycreations.com

Ships & Violins
https://www.shipsandviolins.com

Patti’s Patchwork
https://www.pattispatchwork.com

Your Sewing Friend
https://www.etsy.com/shop/yoursewingfriend

The Geeky Bobbin
https://www.geekybobbin.com

Colourwerx Designs (that’s me!!)
https://www.colourwerx.com

Kate Colleran Designs
https://www.seamslikeadream.com

mouth21Thank you for hopping with us, friends!  We all really appreciate your support at this time!  Happy quilting! xxoo L&C


And if you missed my Stay at Home & Hop previous posts this last week – here are those Designer shop links again for you to explore or share with your quilty friends:

Lone Star Pattern Works
https://www.lonestarpatternworks.com

Powered by Quilting
https://www.poweredbyquilting.com

Cottage Rose Quilt Patterns
https://www.cottagerosequiltshop.com

The Cloth Parcel
https://www.theclothparcel.com

Faith and Fabric
https://www.faithandfabricdesign.com

Linen Closet Designs
http://www.linenclosetdesigns.com

Designs by Sarah J
https://www.designsbysarahj.com

Rona the Ribbiter Quilts
https://www.ronatheribbiter.com

Quilt Fox Designs
https://www.quiltfox-design.com

Seam to Be Sew
https://www.seamstobesew.com

Studio R Quilts
https://www.studiorquilts.com

Toadally Quilts
https://www.toadallyquilts.com

From Blank Pages
https://www.fromblankpages.com

Cotton Street Commons
http://www.cottonstreetcommons.com

Puppy Girl Designs
http://www.puppygirldesigns.com

Phoebe Moon Quilt Designs
https://www.facebook.com/phoebemoondesgins

The Devoted Quilter
https://www.devotedquilter.com

Christa Quilts
https://www.christaquilts.com

Stitched by Susan
http://www.stitchedbysusan.com

Tamarinis
https://www.tamarinis.com

Bequilter   
https://www.beaquilter.com/shop

Presto Avenue Designs
https://www.prestoavenuedesigns.com

Cheryl Lynch Quilts
https://www.cheryllynchquilts.com

Love to Color My World
https://www.lovetocolormyworld.blogspot.com

Hissyfitz Designs
https://www.hissyfitzdesigns.com

Canton Village Quilt Works
https://www.cvquiltworks.com

Anjeanette Klinder Designs
http://www.anjeanettek.com

Pat Sloan – The Voice of Quilting
https://www.blog.patsloan.com

Said With Love
https://www.saidwithlove.com.au

Orange Blossom Quilt Design
https://www.orangeblossomquilt.com

 

PaintBox QAL – Week #6 -Machine Quilting Your Top

PaintBox Front Cover copyWelcome back !!  It’s the final week of our PaintBox QuiltAlong and this is the week to finish off your quilt top.

Last week we pieced the triangles and also stitched the rows together to complete your quilt top.  You can review Week 5’s post right here!

This week, I’m going to share some insights, successes and some fails (at least for me) into machine quilting your Paint Box quilt top on your domestic sewing machine.

Full disclosure now! – I am “the world’s worst free motion machine quilter” (at least that’s what I think) and because of that – I own a longarm machine and 100% prefer my quilt tops machine quilted on my longarm with an overall pattern or for something fancier, sent to a professional machine quilter like  Teresa Silva of Quilting is my Bliss for some of her gorgeous free hand long arm machine quilting – however, I know that not everyone can afford long arm services or a long arm machine or may just prefer their tops not to be longarmed, so hence this week’s blog subject about quilting your top on your domestic home machine!

However before moving on and in case you are taking your PaintBox quilt to your favorite longarm machine quilter,  pictured below is the pantograph all over quilt design I use on most of my PaintBox samples – it’s called Monsoon and I love it!

Pattern 1

On the other hand though sometimes a nice straight stitch will do the trick.

One of my favorite books out there for ideas on using your walking foot and  straight stitch machine quilting is Jacquie Gering’s “Walk” – I highly recommend this book as it’s a terrific reference on straight stitch machine quilting and is chocked full of different ideas and designs that you can quilt on your tops using just the walking foot and your straight stitch on your domestic machine.

The designs she offers range from very simple to very complex but all are accomplished with just a straight stitch and your walking foot (or even feed foot), and best of all no lowering of feed dogs or feeling totally out of control (my problem with the process).  Also the sequel to this best selling book, “Walk 2.0”will be released in May, so both books together would be a terrific reference pairing for your quilting library!

When I do choose to quilt my tops on my domestic machine, I prefer the control and regimented pace I feel when using my walking foot/dual feed foot, keeping the feed dogs up and just using my straight stitch across the top.  That doesn’t mean I don’t make a design though.  Here’s some “curvacious” quilting I just completed on this single ModCat wallhanging.  My feed dogs were up, I set my machine to the straight stitch and used my dual feed foot (which is similar to a walking foot).  I then gently moved the quilt top from side to side to create the gentle curves.

Cat Curvy
And some more quilting I did on a ModTiki – again nothing fancy – just straight stitch quilting and making a wonky chevron look.  Beautiful and looks fancier than it really is!
Tiki Chevron
First things first – Get a plan!

You should have an idea of what pattern or stitch you might like to machine quilt on your quilt top before beginning.  I like to have a plan before I begin quilting.  Instead of marking your top and then erasing and marking and erasing, why not take a picture of your quilt top and print out the picture on your printer.??

Now you can draw on the printout your ideas for patterns or lines across the quilt top and see how you might like to quilt your top.  You can do this just once or print more copies and try out a whole bunch of different ideas.  Penciling in your quilting ideas before beginning will give you an idea of what the design will look like on your quilt top and also provide you with at the very least a starting point – a good thing!  Here’s a few examples of the quilting ideas and plans I drew before starting to quilt my PaintBox quilt top.  The first one is just some simple straight up and down gridding…..

….and the second drawing plan had simple diagonal cross hatching plus a squarish design within the blocks…

Basting Your Quilt Top with the Batting & Backing Fabric
Next get ready to make your quilting sandwich – meaning baste your quilt top with the batting and backing.  For this project, I spray basted my batting to my backing fabric and then again, spray basted the top to the batting.  This was my first time spray basting a larger quilt like this and I  used the 505 Temporary Adhesive Spray .  It worked great – no safety pins needed.
Baste 1
It did take quite a bit of patience though and I had to roll the batting (and then the quilt top) accordian style and work on only basting about 1 foot at a time.   I just kept smoothing and smoothing the fabric or batting across the surfaces and then gave it a really good pressing before starting to quilt the top.

If you like using fusible spray to baste your quilt – please check out Christa Watson’s tutorial on basting your top.  She actually spray bastes small to queen size quilts with her method, and machine quilts all of her tops on her domestic machine with no problems!

WATCH CHRISTA’S BASTING YOUR QUILT TOP TUTORIAL HERE!

Marking and the First Stitches to Stabilize
I chose to diagonally cross hatch my quilt top referring to my 2nd plan above.  I wanted to stitch a 1/4″ to either side of the seam lines so that it would be like a double stitch line, but I needed to mark in some of these lines first.  I did use my Frixion pen to make the markings BUT BUT BUT – I am fully aware that my pen markings may reappear sometime in the future  as this is the chance I take when marking my lines with the Frixion pen.  If you are not ok with this, please do use a washable marker or water soluble pen. 

I also threaded my machine with a 90/14 Microtex Needle and King Tut 40 weight thread in the color of Alabaster.  This particular thread color is a wonderful variegated neutral and works marvelous with almost any fabric collection.

Since I don’t like to ‘fight’ with my quilt when I machine quilt I rolled up the sides of the quilt diagonally toward my first center seam lines to be machine stitched.  The first lines I stitched were what I call the “main veins” of the quilt.  Since I was cross hatching on a diagonal, the first seams I stitched were the long diagonal lines from top left to bottom right and vice versa thus stitching what you might call a large “X” across the quilt.

The main “veins” of the quilt have now been stabilized and I can now cross hatch and stitch my diagonal lines working always out from the center “main veins” of the quilt to the outer edges.

Stitch 1
And I kept stitching and stitching……

Stitch 2

…and stitching and stitching……

Stitch 3

…and then I decided to stitch 1/4″ to either side of the vertical and the horizontal seam lines….
Stitch 4

And I kept stitching and stitching……as you can guess, although simple to do, this process can take a long, long, long time.  Just cross hatching 1/4″ to either side of the seam lines on this 48″ square top took me almost 7 hours of straight stitching with just a few short breaks to stretch here and there.

Stitch 6
Next I thought I would try my idea to machine quilt the ‘square within the square design’  I had drawn on my quilt top photo (see below) —

Drawing 2B

I marked a center square in the middle and tried out my idea…..

Well – time again for another full disclosure!  I hated it!  It just didn’t ‘sing’ to me and frankly I was having a hard time keeping the stitched squares even with the sewn squares –  it just looked sloppy!  😦    So out came the seam ripper and time to reconsider what to do next.

Eager to finish the quilting as I was now in hour 8 of machine quilting, I decided to carry on with the diagonal and straight seam quilting and halved the distance between those lines I already stitched.

The results as you see was a nice effect even though some of my stitching was a bit wobbly due to the evening wearing on and I was getting tired!

Stitch 9
Life Lesson 101!  Which reminds me to remind you of one big life lesson – be kind to bekindyouyourself – I have to remind myself of this all the time!  We are our own worst critics!  But let’s face it – we are not perfect and guess what – your machine quilting will likely not be either….its only fabric and it is a handmade item.  Also believe me on this one – your quilt top always looks 200% better after you remove all of your drawn lines (that you may or may not have stitched on when quilting your top) and after the quilt is squared down and trimmed.

Once I was completed with my machine quilting, I trimmed the batting/backing edges square to the quilt top and cut the binding from my remaining sashing fabric and sewed it on.

Viola!  All done and ready to grace our dining room table…

Table 1

…or be taken on a nice picnic outside on this beautiful Spring day in our desert oasis!!

Outside 2

 

IMG_9836

This now concludes our PaintBox QuiltAlong – send me your pictures so we can see your gorgeous PaintBox quilts!

Thank you so much for following along and for your continued support!  Look for more Colourwerx QuiltAlongs on our Colourwerx Facebook page or on our website under QuiltAlongs!mouth21

Until your next colour fix – happy quilting!  Linda & Carl xxoo

 

 

PaintBox QAL – Week 5 – Quilt Top Assembly

PaintBox Front Cover copyHello again!  Whoop!  Whoop!  We are approaching the final weeks in our Paint Box QuiltAlong!  This week is all about assembling your quilt top and stitching it all together! Next week in our final week, I will be showing how I’ll be machine quilting my top on my domestic sewing machine!

But when last we spoke in Week #4 Blog’s Post, I mentioned that once I had laid out all my units on my design board, I was pondering whether I wanted to fiddle with the layout to play with the subtle color changes in this Linen Texture strip roll designed by Laundry Basket Quilts.  You’ll find the Quilt Top Layout Diagram on page 6 of the PaintBox pattern.

Here’s where we left off last week with my layout :

Layout 1

LAYOUT #1

I did fiddle with color placement  here and there and finally ended up with the new layout below –  do you see the difference?…Instead of keeping color groupings close together, I mixed up each quandrants’ units (for example the violets and pink palettes) to see if the colors would morph or “move” across the quilt top better.  Mmmmmmmm….

LAYOUT 2

LAYOUT #2

See the difference side by side??

Lol! After an hour or so of pondering this and some choice comments from Carl like “What’s that?!?  What happened to the first layout?” I decided to back to the first layout!  LOL!  Sometimes you first instinct is indeed the best!

Layout 1

LAYOUT #1

First Make Blocks!  So once you have decided on your layout, it’s time to start stitching, but first things first:   We need to make blocks out of those sashing triangles and colored triangle units so the quilt top goes together much more easily.  BIG TIP!  BE SURE TO SNAP A PHOTO FOR REFERENCE OF YOUR FINAL LAYOUT!  YOU’LL NEED IT!

Start with Row 2’s first sashing triangle and the orange colored triangle (note the yellow circle below and refer to the layout diagram on page 6 of the pattern).   Place these 2 units right sides together and stitch down the long diagonal edge.  TIP!  Sometimes I mark or crease the center of the colored triangle unit so that I can pin the center seams of the units together.  Remember these are triangles and the fabric has been cut on the bias so those edges can stretch out of shape very easily.  Having that center seam pinned aids you in placing the the 2 units together at their centers and then you also know that the outer tips of the 2 triangles have to meet as well when stitching!

Press the seam toward the coloured triangle unit and repeat until you have stitched all units together.  Referring to page 4 – Step 5 in the Paint Box pattern trim the blocks down to the desired size.  TIP! TIP!  Be sure to use  the diagonal line of your square ruler along the diagonal line of the block to aid you in squaring up the block to the appropriate size.  Note from the pics below that you probably won’t be trimming very much off – just a sliver here and there.

I usually sew these block units together quadrant by quadrant – meaning I pick up all the triangles from the top color  quadrant and sew those units together, then the second and so on like below:

Once complete, refer to your layout photo and return the blocks to places.

Now you are ready to start assembling the quilt top row by row.  Most of your seams usually end up nicely nesting together from block to block simply because of how you  rotated the ruler while cutting the triangles in Week #3.

Nest 4
However, you may find that some seams will need to be repressed in the opposite direction to make the seams nest before you stitch the blocks together. I found that I repressed about half of the sashing triangle seams in the opposite direction before sewing the triangle units together to form a block.

Again referring to the layout on page 6, notice that the rows are on point and you will be stitching block to block to block to form diagonal rows.  Sometimes (even though my diagram in the pattern shows this differently) I find it easier to toss aside the outer colored triangles that make up the top and bottom corner units (i.e.: Row #1) and just concentrate on getting the other rows together first. I usually stitch the top half together first and put it aside, followed by the bottom half and then join to the 2 halves together to complete the top.

Halves

When you join the 2 halves together – pin, pin, pin!!

Pin1

Again, some seams will nest and some will not.

I’m not the most patient quilter and at this point I am anxious to see my top done, so I usually pin at each and every seam regardless if the seams are nesting or not and stitch the top together.  Most times the quilting gods are with me and it works out beautifully! 🙂

Pin 4

Here is my quilt top with the corner units left off.  As a sidenote: You could indeed leave the quilt top just like this if you wanted more of a hexagon shaped quilt or were perhaps using it as a table topper of some sort. It’s kinda different looking!

Corners Off

Next stitch the 2 outer colored triangles together to form your corner units.

And to complete the top, stitch these outer corner units on!  Voila!  Just like that you PaintBox quilt top is complete!

Top Done

That’s it for this week!  Join us next week for Week #6 – Machine Quilting the Top where I’ll share how I am machine quilting my Paint Box quilt using my domestic machine, some straight line quilting techniques  and perhaps a few decorative stitches as well!

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

PaintBox QAL – Week #4 – Cutting the Triangles and Layout

Wow – can you believe we are already in Week #4 of our Colourwerx PaintBox PaintBox Front Cover copyQuiltAlong!  If you’re just joining us, you can catch up on Week #1-3’s blog posts right here:

Week 1 – Gather the Pattern and Materials
Week 2 – Sorting Your Strips Into Groups & Cutting
Week 3 – Stitching the Strips

This week is where all the magic happens and you begin to actually see your quilt top take shape!  First things first.  By now you should have stitched your strip sets together in groups as explained in detail in last week’s post – Week 3 – Stitching the Strips!

Now the fun begins where we cut the strips into the triangle shapes, and begin to play with our layout options.

Cutting the Triangles —
Gather together  the coloured strips sets and the Creative Grids Quarter Square Triangle Ruler CGRT90 .

First a word about why I love, love the Creative Grids Brand of rulers and no – they are not paying me to say this – I just happen to really like the brand. 🙂
1.  Each ruler has a firm non-slip surface so the ruler pretty much stays put on your fabric;
2. The markings on the ruler are clear and easy to read;
3. My favorite part:  each ruler has a QR code stamped on the ruler.

Yup, that little funny looking square is actually an informational code that when scanned with the QR Reader App (available for all smart devices through the App Store) will then automatically take you to a video of how to use the ruler, special tips and tricks and perhaps a free pattern or two to use with your new ruler.   This little QR code is on each and every Creative Grids ruler even the most basic straight rulers.  Just download the QR Reader app from onto your device…then open the application and your camera will appear on the screen – hover the screen of the camera over the QR code on the ruler and loike magic, you will be taken to the corresponding QR video!

Here’s a link to the tutorial from Creative Grids for the triangle ruler:

Now onto cutting your triangles!  Lay your first strip set across your cutting board and place the triangle ruler on top.  Place the top tip of the ruler aligned with the top edge of your strips – the bottom strip edge should align straight across the appropriate measurement of your ruler as diagrammed in the pattern on page 2.

Hold on though! – We can’t all be perfect piecers all the time so it’s ok if your strip set width is not measuring exactly to the desired size as specified in the pattern….a hair off here and there or a wobble in piecing between strips is perfectly ok.  You will need to cut (4) triangles from each strip set and you will find that you will have more than enough fabric to cut around your tiny imperfections in strip piecing.

TAKE NOTE THOUGH!! Next and probably the most important thing to remember about cutting the triangles is to keep the horizontal sewn seams from strip 1 to strip 2 to strip 3 to strip 4 running horizontally straight and true under the horizontal ruler lines – see page 2 Step 3 for detailed information on this step but the picture below also gives you a good idea of what to look for before making your first cut.   Cut your first triangle.

Rotate the ruler upside down and align the left diagonal edge of the ruler to the left diagonal cut edge of the strip set.  (Of course these instructions are for right handers – if you are left handed, you may be aligning on the right hand side of the strip set and then cutting from right to left).  Again before cutting make sure the horizontal seams of your strip set are running horizontally straight and true under the ruler measurement lines.

Strip Set 5

Many times you will find that after you line up the  horizontal seams of the strip set under the ruler, that the cut diagonal left edge of the strip set will not line up perfectly with the left diagonal edge of the ruler – that’s ok.  See the photo below for an exaggerated example…..

That’s ok – again, you have plenty of fabric to cut yourself a new diagonal edge.   Continue cutting the remaining (9) coloured strips sets into triangles.

Strip Set 8

Cutting the Sashing Triangles –
Gather the sashing strip sets and your triangle ruler.  Keeping the above notes in mind, follow along on page 3-4 and cut triangles from each of these strip sets.

Piece the Sashing Triangles – 
Gather the sashing triangles and following along in the pattern on page 4-Step 1-2, stitch (2) triangles together to form a larger triangle.   If you pressed each seam set in the same direction from seam to seam, you will find that when matching 2 triangles together that the seams will already go in opposite directions.

Sometimes you might have to toss a triangle in the pile to the side until a partner (with seams pressed in the opposite direction) appears in the pile.  Regardless, stitch the triangles together and press the seams in one direction.

Layout!
Now the fun begins!  It’s time to lay out all of the sashing triangles and coloured triangles in formation on your floor or design board – follow the Quilt Top Diagram on page 6.

If you colored in the B&W line art quilt top diagram from Week 1 , then this next step is easy.  If not, there’s still time and  you may want to download the line art below and have a little colouring session before  proceeding.  Believe me it makes a world of difference and at the very least give you a starting point when laying out your units.

DOWNLOAD AND PRINT THE PAINT BOX LINE ART HERE

Here’s my original drawing and my first layout….

I think I might leave this up on my design wall for a few days and ponder the layout.  Things look different after you let them ferment for awhile if you know what I mean.  And I may want to play around with the subtle color changes from strip set to strip set to see if something different happens. You can also take a photo and look at your layout from there.  It’s amazing how the photo gives you a slightly different perspective than being up close and in person.

Layout 2

As a sidenote, you may be wondering what my design wall in the above photo is made of and what it is attached to.  It is actually (2) 4′ x 8′ pieces of  lightweight foam insulation board (available from Lowes or Home Depot) and then covered in batting.  They are then attached with 3M sticky tabs to the sliding glass closet doors in my sewing studio. Viola!  Instant design wall and storage space in the closet!

That’s it for this week!  Join us next week for Week #5 – Quilt Top Assembly.  I’ll report back if I changed anything in my Layout above and then how to stitch the rows together to finally assemble your quilt top.

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