Sunday, January 17, 2010

Catching Up with Bee Commitments

Scraptastic Bee

Scraptastic Bee 2

Scraptastic Bee 1

Jennifer wanted straight log cabins. She sent us the bird fabric. I added Katie Jump Rope to bring out the blue, green, and orange of the birds. I like the Mondrian looking outlines.

Nittany Block Party

Nittany Block Party 2

Nittany Block Party 1

Wanda wanted scrappy log cabins with a people fabric as the center square. I didn't have many people fabrics, so I chose a chicken instead (Metro Market, I believe).

A Spider Bee

A Spider Bee

Anna sent us the tea stained muslin as the centers and also a bunch of her scraps. She asked us to add from our own scraps to finish the 8 blocks. Don't know if you can tell, but I like saturated colors ;)

ORB Breast Cancer Awareness Charity Quilt

For ORB-Dana's Charity Quilt; The center flower is actually raised. The pattern is from the book Fantastic Fabric Folding by Rebecca Wat. There is a little bit of french knot embroidery in the center too.

Breast cancer awareness quilt block 3

Breast cancer awareness quilt block 2

Breast cancer awareness quilt block 1

Bob Perks Charity Quilts

Yep, there were two :) Thanks to everyone who contributed a square, or two, or four.

#2 Bob Perks Cancer Assistance Fund Charity Quilt: Front

#2 Bob Perks Cancer Assistance Fund Charity Quilt: Back

#1 Bob Perks Cancer Assistance Fund Charity Quilt: Front

#1 Bob Perks Cancer Assistance Fund Charity Quilt: Back

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I Am (Sorta) Featured on We All Sew

A little while ago I was contacted by Erika over on www.weallsew.com. She wanted to feature my Flickr photostream on her site. I felt honored that she would include me on her site.

We All Sew has lots of sewing related information; from free patterns and videos on sewing techniques. There is also a section, Sew to Serve, that has links to how to sew for charitable causes. Go over and check it out.

Today, I am officially posted on the site. Under the section Favorite Photo Galleries :) Thanks, Erika!


Sunday, January 10, 2010

ORB Round 4: String Block and Appliqué Circles

Appliquéd Circles

Okay now before we head down the path of cutting all your beautiful fabric into strips for your string blocks, let’s quickly talk about your appliquéd circles.

I have seen two different approaches to appliquéing circles: fusible interfacing and some kind of template you iron around to tuck your edges under.

Anna Maria Horner has a tutorial on how to use a template and foil to iron those pesky edges under for a perfect circle.

While I have done this method successfully with appliqué, I had been searching for an easier way to do them in mass. I found that using the fusible interfacing method not only gives you nice edges, but it also allows you to fuse the appliqué to the quilt top and not have to do a lot of pinning while sewing the appliqué.

Kris, over at Summer At Grandma’s House, has an excellent tutorial on how to do the fusible interfacing method on circles.

Now you are all thinking that is all fine and dandy, but how do I make the template or mark a perfect circle on a piece of fabric. Well, there are several methods.

You could:
  • go out and purchase on of those handy dandy Olfa circle cutters like the one Dena DeeRoo won.
  • use plates, bowls, glasses and lids as a template to mark around. Everyone has these items in their kitchen.
  • use a thumb tack and a piece of string tied to a pencil to make a compass to draw your circles.
  • purchase a ruler compass from Dick Blick. Though I had a hard time finding a ruler that the darn thing fit on. I ended up using a metal yardstick ruler from Micheal’s.
Any of these options will get you perfect circles. The kitchen items and string/tumbtack options are the most economical. But if you want to invest in the Olfa cutter or the compass ruler, have at it. Be warned though, the Olfa cutter only gives you circles up to 8 1/2” in diameter. We need 15” ones.

Regardless of which tutorial you choose to follow, you will need to make circle templates. In Anna's you will use the template to iron around. In Kris', you will use it to mark a sewing line for the edge of your circle.

Materials you can use for templates are the heat resistant template plastic you get at your local quilt shop, posterboard, or paperboard, like frozen pizza and cereal boxes. A really thin piece of cardboard would work too. I like using the posterboard. It is easy to come by and it comes in a variety of sizes. Get the white kind though, since we don’t want any dye leaching onto your pretty fabric now would we. Also the plastic template stuff only comes in 12” X 18”; certainly not big enough for our largest circle.

In the end, what you need are three different sizes of circles for you appliqué. I suggest using whatever you have laying around your house to make your templates. Just make sure there is enough size difference between the three for visual impact. My design has a 5” difference between each size.

Options 1, 2, and 3 all have the same number of appliquéd circles. So follow this chart for the size of quilt you are doing. Option 4 doesn’t have appliquéd circles.

6X7
(2) 15" Circles
(6) 10" Circles
(8) 5" Circles

5X6
(1) 15" Circles
(4) 10" Circles
(4) 5" Circles

4X5
(4) 10" Circles
(3) 5" Circles

You will want to cut out a square that is a 1/4” larger that the ending circle size. So for our 15” circles, you will want to cut out a 15 1/4” X 15 1/4” square.

Then follow the tutorial of your choice to make your appliquéd circles. Set them aside and we will sew them on a little later.

Stings

Check out the breakdown pdf to get the number of string blocks you need to make.

Here is a tutorial from the Sometimes Crafter, Christina, on how to make string blocks using paper piecing. Now don’t freak out about the paper-piecing bit. It is super duper easy. No fretting, okay.

The only deviation from the tutorial we will make is for those of you making Option 1. Since this design uses curved piecing you will need to make your sting blocks a half inch larger, 13” x 13”, to accommodate the curved piecing step. Options 2 and 4 should make their string block paper-pieces just like Christina does in her tutorial: 12 1/2" X 12 1/2".

Walmart, Staples, and other stores with office supplies have paper on a roll that you can use for your paper-piecing. They come in a variety of widths. Just make sure that the weight of the paper is a small number. The larger the number the heavier the paper.

Heavy paper = harder for your needle to punch through when sewing = harder to tear the paper away from your fabric when you are done :)

String Prototype

My prototype above uses 2 1/2” strips for the string block. But you could use various widths of fabric if you like to give it more variety. The longest strip you will need to go across the diagonal of the block is 18 1/2” long for the 13" X 13" block and 17 3/4" for the 12 1/2" X 12 1/2" block.

If you would like to make your strings with 2 1/2” strips you will need the following sizes for each block:

(1) 18 1/2” X 2 1/2”
(2) 16 1/2” X 2 1/2”
(2) 12 1/2” X 2 1/2”
(2) 8 1/2” X 2 1/2”
(2) 4 1/2” X 3”

Those last two strips are bit wider to make sure that you do not have a seam right at the corner. I wanted to eliminate bulk here to make it easier to sew later on.

Happy Sewing! And as always, post any questions you may have to this thread.