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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ColourMaze QAL -Week #4 – Assembly & Borders

ColourMaze Front Cover(1)Welcome back!  We’re in the last week of our amazing ColourMaze QuiltAlong!  This week is all about stitching the ColourMaze Blocks together to form vertical rows and then completing your quilt top by sewing those rows together!  If you’re doing placemats or a table runner – just refer back to the pattern on pages 5 & 6 for sashing and border directions!

As always, there is a fun short companion video to this post.  So if you’re more of a ‘visual’ person, then hop on on over to our Colourwerx You Tube Channel and subscribe to view the video!

LInda Week 4
Let’s get stitchin’!!  Once your ColourMaze blocks are complete, you’ll then stitch the remaining  1″ strips to the top edge of each block.  For tips and trick on sewing those thin little strips to your blocks, check out Week #3’s ColourMaze QAL here.  If you’re making the Lap Quilt – you should have (3) 1″ strips left – set those aside.

While you’re at the machine – just go ahead and stitch the sashing and outer border strips together too.  All of the directions are on pages 5 & 6 of the ColourMaze Pattern.

Next the fun begins – lay out on your design wall or floor the blocks in the order you prefer!  Notice that I bolded the words “you prefer” – that’s because there is no right or wrong way to do this.  I usually just choose a layout because I’m either pleased with how the order and colors flow from one block to another such as the Violet Craft Modern Classics sample below:

….Or I follow color wheel order like the Kaffe Fassett sample below….

Anything goes!  Once you’ve decided your order, stitch those remaining (3) 1″ strips to the bottom edge of the the bottom block in each row.   Now you’re ready to start stitching block to block to block to form vertical rows.   On my Violet Craft Modern Classics sample, here’s Row #1….
Row 1

And Row #2….
Row 2

And Row #3….
Row 3

Next, stitch the sashing strips on to one side of each vertical row!  Now  you”re ready to stitch the rows together to complete your quilt top.

Colourmaze Geo 1

Geo Pop on Black (purchase a kit from christaquilts.com)

But wait – I have a tip!  Sometimes when stitching these long vertical rows together, the top row may creep ahead of the bottom row thus causing those strong horizontal lines (which were/are the 1″ strips in each block) to look off kilter.  Part of the illusion of the ColourMaze design is that when all those little horizontal strips are lined up parallel across the vertical rows, it looks like a maze.  So wouldn’t it be rather maddening after all your work  to have them unparallel across the rows once the top is done? I think so!

So here’s what I do…. first, I place my two rows Right Sides Together.  I then pin as usual but when I come to a place in the pinning where the thin strips need to stay aligned and parallel to each other from block to block – I “sneak, peek and pin” –  🙂  yes,  a very technical term.  But here it is a nutshell:  I peel back the top row just enough so I can sneak a peek and realign the strips so that they are directly on top of each other.  I then fold back the top layer to match to up the edges and pin in place.  Works like a dream and almost always those thin little strips are aligned and parallel from each other from row to row!

Once you have the three rows stitched together – just finish off your ColourMaze quilt top by stitching the last outer border strip onto the remaining edge!  And now you are complete and ready for the big reveal to family and friends!  Great job!  Go celebrate!

And what to do with all of the offcuts from the strips – how about make some scrappy binding!  Here’s mine…I just sewed all the scrap strips together and made more than enough binding for my lap quilt!
Binding

This now concludes our ColourMaze QuiltAlong!  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

 

 

 

 

ColourMaze QAL – Week #1 – Choosing Your Strip Roll and Different Combinations

ColourMaze Front Cover(1)Hello!  And welcome to the ‘first week’ of the ‘first ever’ Colourwerx QAL (quilt along) where we’ll be making our super fun ColourMaze quilt!

First, I want to thank you so much for joining us for our first QAL.  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, we 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 QAL news with other quilty buddies and invite them to join along in the fun!

JOIN THE COLOURWERX QAL FACEBOOK GROUP HERE

I also have a companion video on or Colourwerx UTube channel so if you’d like to watch me ‘yak on’ instead of reading this post – you’ll find that video here…

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So this is Week#1 of the Colourmaze QAL –  First let’s review the schedule!
Colourmaze QAL 2As you can see it’s a 4-week QAL but 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 you can choose to make the 50″x70″ lap quilt, or just a few blocks for a table runner or placemats, or just even one block – it’s all your choice!   So feel free to hop in anytime!

Here’s what you’ll need though to join in on the stitchin’ fun –
• The ColourMaze pattern by Colourwerx

PURCHASE THE COLOURMAZE PATTERN – PAPER VERSION
PURCHASE THE COLOURMAZE PATTERN – PDF VERSION

MaterialsJPG•  Background Fabric – 1-3/4 yards – choose a coordinating fabric to the strip roll or a neutral color with perhaps a tone on tone texture;

•  A strip roll (or jelly roll) – choose a strip roll containing (40) precut 2-1/2″ wide strips.  If you’d like you can choose these other options as well:

— Bust Your Stash – Cut (40-42) 2-1/2″ wide x 41-43″ long strips from your stash;
— 6″ Design Roll – this is a roll containing 20 fabrics all cut at 6″ x WOF – you would need to cut (2) 2-1/2″ strips from each of the (20) strips to make (40) 2-1/2″ strips for the project;
— Fat Quarter Bundle – a Fat Quarter is (18″ x 22″).  Choose a bundle that has at least (21) fat quarters and you would need to cut (4) 2-1/2″ x 21″ strips from each of the Fat Quarters.

•  Optional for the QAL – Binding : 5/8 yard and Backing Fabric : 4-1/2 yards

I always think that seeing different color combinations with a new quilt pattern is helpful when choosing fabrics so here a few different color combinations we have designed using some of our favorite fabric designers’ collections…

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You can purchase fabric kits for most of these combinations here:

PURCHASE THE KAFFE FASSETT RAINBOW FABRIC KITS
PURCHASE THE VIOLET CRAFT MODERN BASICS FABRIC KIT
PURCHASE THE GEO POP FABRIC KIT FROM CHRISTAQUILTS.COM

Preparing Your Fabrics for Week #2:
1.  Once you’ve selected your fabrics, be sure to measure the precut 2-1/2″ strips for accuracy.  Flash – flash – not all strip rolls are cut exactly alike or are accurately cut by the fabric factories! Yup – it’s just the way the ball bounces here in the quilting world and there are inconsistencies on these precuts from fabric company to fabric company.

So go ahead and unroll that strip roll and measure the width of the strip.  You may find as I did, that some need a little tiny trim off the width to make them a perfect 2-1/2″ wide.  (And remember if your strip roll has a pinked edge, you would measure from the outer tip of the pinked edge).


2.  Next, feel free to starch your background fabric and the 2-1/2″ strips if needed.  However – warning – DO NOT PREWASH YOUR STRIPS.  The strips are pretty fragile and if you wash and dry them, there will be tears (literally) – The strips will shrivel up and be unsable – trust me on this one!

3.  Lastly, each ColourMaze block is made using (2) different 2-1/2″ strips plus some background fabric.  So to prepare for Week #2 and cutting, pair up your strips for each block you will be making.  If you are making (1) block, then you will need (2) 2-1/2″ x WOF strips; if you are making the 50″x70″ Lap Size, then  you will need  (20) pairs of strips….

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ColourMaze Front Cover(1)….which brings us to a burning question where the 50″x70″ Lap Quilt is concerned….There are actually (21) blocks to make and you might be asking yourself “Where do I get the extra 2 strips for that 21st block if I am using a strip roll that only contains 40 strips?”  Well I have the answer below…  As you group your strips together this week, start thinking about which option you might like to choose:

 OPTION #1:  If your strips measure aprox. 42-43″ long, there is a way to cut your pieces more efficiently from each strip in order to have the necessary fabric left over to create the 21st block.  In next week’s blog post and tutorial video, I will demo this for you so wait for the answer before cutting;
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OPTION #2:  Once we cut the strips next week, there will be generous offcuts of each strip left over…so you could choose to cut your 21st block from these offcuts and create a scrappy block that goes in the center or off to one side of your quilt.  You can also use these offcuts to make your binding strips (which is what I’m going to do) or to make scrappy placemats or a table runner at a later date.

OPTION #3:  If you wish to purchase your binding fabric this week, purchase as the pattern states 5/8 yard.  This 5/8 yard is more than enough fabric to create your binding strips and also allows you extra yardage to cut the extra (2)  2-1/2″ wide strips to add to your (40) strips to make the (21) blocks total.

Next week – Week #2: we’ll be Cutting Your Strips and Background Fabric – 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