Sunday, September 25, 2016

STATE BLOCK CHALLENGE WEEK 3 ARKANSAS

Welcome back. My hand is healing well. I appreciate all the wonderful get better wishes. Luckily I kept it in ice for about 8 hours and have very little blistering!

I had such wonderful blocks from Alabama and Alaska! I was so impressed with them. I did finally figure out an easy way for you to vote on the blocks. I do have winners from the Alabama blocks. You will get to vote on the Alaska blocks by clicking on these links.
Alaska Block A. Alaska Block B. Voting is closed on the Alabama blocks.

I thought I'd share a couple different blocks in case you didn't get a chance to see them. One of the quilters told me that she had difficulty with curved seams so she machine appliqued the curved pieces. Quilters are very resourceful!


Here are the winners:
Beth Caldwell won with this wonderful Block A! I wanted to know something about Beth and why she joined this blog challenge. She chose my Mosaic Magic pattern. Here is what she said.

"I entered because I like your patterns and met you when you did the workshop for the Hannibal Piecemakers Quilt Guild, which I have been a member of for about 10 years.  It was when I joined the guild that I became a much more serious quiltmaker. I first made a couple of baby quilts for my sons in the 70’s.  I have been sewing since I made doll clothes with a needle and thread because I was too little to treadle my mother’s machine. I live on a farm in rural Monroe City, Mo area a few miles from where I grew up on a farm.  I am a retired registered nurse. I thought entering the challenge, would be a “challenge” to  try something new."
This block is Mary Steimle's! As soon as she sends me some information about herself, I will share it with you.
On to blocks 3A and 3B from the state of Arkansas. (I know, I skipped Arizona. We will do that one next week.) Remember, this is your project so it does not have to look like mine and you can choose to fussy-cut different pieces of the blocks. I decided that I needed to give you both cutting directions for pieces that can be rotary cut and the templates so you can make your own for the sections that you want to fussy-cut. Don't forget to send me a message through the contact form on the top left of the page to get the templates.

Block 3A is a simple block with squares and half-square triangles. I chose my dark and light main fabrics, and a light, medium and dark coordinating prints.
 

CUTTING INSTRUCTIONS:
Main print(s): (8) 3 1/2" squares (I fussy cut four of each)
Light print: (2) 3-7/8" squares; sub-cut into (4) half-square triangles.
Medium print: (2) 3-7/8" squares; sub-cut into (4) half-square triangles.
*Tip: If you prefer, cut the squares at 4" with the fabrics right sides together and then cut into triangles. They will be ready to sew. Then trim squares to equal 3-1/2".
Dark print: (4) 3-1/2" squares.
PIECING INSTRUCTIONS:
Step 1. Piece the triangles to create (4) half-square triangle units. Press to darker fabric.
 Tip: For faster pressing, layout the patches all at the same time and press across all four.
 
 Step 2. Layout the (4) half-square triangle units, (8) main 3-1/2" squares, and (4) dark 3-1/2" squares as illustrated. Sew the patches together across the rows, chain stitching down. DO NOT CLIP SEAMS APART Press seams in opposite directions.
Step 3. Sew rows together matching seams. Press seams in any direction. I usually try to press towards patches that have less seams.

Block 3B is more complex. It is a Kaleidoscope block. Originally it had inset seams so I adjusted it so you do not have to sew those. I took the diamond and cut it in half, then fussy-cut the same patch from the fabric for both parts. I chose both my dark and light theme fabrics and a medium light fabric for the background.

CUTTING INSTRUCTIONS:
Main print dark: (8) template A.
Main print light print: (4) template B.
Medium light print: (4) left and (4) right template C. To get the left and right sections, cut them at the same time with the fabric wrong sides together. You will make 4 cuts.

PIECING INSTRUCTIONS:
Step 1. Sew a left and right template C to a Template A patch. Edges of the patches will match so there is no guessing as to where to place them when sewing. Press to template C. Make four.

                                                                                                                                                       
Step 2. Layout the template A and B patches as shown.
 



Step 3. Sew a template A patch to a template B patch. There is no guesswork as to where to place the patches. Just match the ends. Press seams open. Make four. Be sure to keep the same patch, whether it is A or B on the same side when piecing. (If you sew with the A patch on the right, then always keep it on the right for the four sections.)




Step 4. Sew two sections from step 3 together to create a half block section. Press seams open. Repeat for the other half.
 



Step 5.  Sew the two halves together, matching center seams. Place a pin on each side of the seam to hold the center seam together when sewing. Press seam open. To get the block to lay flat, spray with water and press seams. Use tip of iron to get the center seam to lay nice and flat.






Step 6. Sew the sections from step 1 to each corner of the center section.



Sew opposites sides on first, matching seams. Press seams towards the outer corners.
I do hope that more of you choose to share your blocks so that they can be viewed by other quilters. I think all of the blocks that I have seen so far have been wonderful! Please tell your friends to join along. They can enter the challenge at any time and do as many or as few blocks as they want.

I would like to know if you would prefer that I do 2 blocks every other week instead of every week. Please use the comment section below or the contact form to give me your opinion. I will do what the majority of people want.

Looking forward to seeing more wonderful blocks! Please email me at tlischko@yahoo.com with a flat photo of your block. You can take it with your phone. Just tape it to a wall with good lighting so you can get a nice flat shot.

I think I found an application that might work for the pdfs! Please let me know if any of the links in the blog don't work.

Here is what you have to do to open the pdf: Click on the links below one at a time. It will open a page that says download. Click on the download icon and a box will open asking you to either open or save. Save the document (remember where your downloads are). Once you have downloaded it, you can click on the document and your Adobe will open it. I hope this works!!!! Let me know if it doesn't. Thanks

Arkansas Block A pdf 
Arkansas Block B pdf 

As always; Do what you love and love what you do. Thank you for reading. Toby Lischko


Friday, September 16, 2016

SORRY, DELAY ON STATE BLOCK

This wiil be short!

I have to apologize  There will be a short delay (probably 1 week) in getting Blocks 3a and 3b out. I burned my hand cooking dinner tonight (Friday) so I will be out of commission for a few days. I'm hoping it won't take too long to heal. Please check back on Sunday, September 25 for the next 2 blocks.

As always, do what you love and love what you do. Toby


Sunday, September 11, 2016

STATE BLOCK CHALLENGE WEEK 2 ALASKA

Sorry for getting this out so late. Sometimes life gets in the way!

I'm thrilled that I have so many quilters participating! I have seen such wonderful blocks. I will be posting them on a site so that people can vote on them. If you have not sent me the images you still have time. I will be posting them on Monday. Please email them to tlischko@yahoo.com. I'm hoping you will share no matter what you think they look like.

Today you will get instructions for the two state blocks of Alaska. I found two blocks, one easy and one more challenging. I decided this time I will give you templates for both blocks. You may choose to fussy cut a part of the block that is different from mine. You will need to send a message again through the contact form to get the pdf of the templates.

If you are doing this for the first time, go back to the previous postings to see the general instructions for fussy cutting and establishing an accurate 1/4" seam allowance. 

Just for fun I wanted to see what the first two blocks would look like in a quilt.



BLOCK 2a



FABRICS
Fabric 1 Theme
Fabric 2 Light.
Fabric 3 Dark or medium dark.

CUTTING INSTRUCTIONS (These are what I did, feel free to change the fabrics and fussy cut other sections.)
Fabric 1: Fussy cut four Template A.
Fabric 2: Cut four Template A, four Template B, and one Template C.
Fabric 3: Cut four Template B.



PIECING INSTRUCTIONS
1. Sew a Fabric 1 triangle patch to a Fabric 2 triangle patch (Template A). Make 4. Press to the darker fabric.


2. Sew a Fabric 2 rectangle patch to a Fabric 3 rectangle patch (Template B). Make 4. Press to darker fabric.



3. Layout the four half square triangles, four rectangle units and one Fabric 2 square patch. (Template C)


4. Sew the center sections to the left sections. Chain stitch but do not cut apart. Press to rectangle sections. Then sew the last row to the center row. Do not cut sections apart. Press to rectangle sections.




5. Sew rows together. Press to center.

BLOCK 2b


FABRICS
Fabric 1: Theme
Fabric 2: Dark 1
Fabric 3: Dark 2
Fabric 4: Light

CUTTING INSTRUCTIONS

Fabric 1: With Template A, fussy cut four left and four right sections. Turn the template upside down to cut the left sections.
Fabric 2: Cut four Template B.
Fabric 3: Cut four Template D. Cut two Template C.
Fabric 4: Cut eight Template C. Cut two Template E. Cut two Template F.


PIECING INSTRUCTIONS

1. Sew two Fabric 4 Template C patches to each side of a Fabric 2 Template B patch. Make four. Press to Fabric 4.


2. Sew a left and right Fabric 1 Template A patch to the section from step 1. Pay attention to the direction of the fussy cut piece to make sure it is in the correct direction on all of the sections. Make four. Press to Fabric 1.



3. Sew a Fabric 3 Template C patch to a Fabric 4 Template E patch. Make two. Press to Fabric 3.





4. Sew the section from step 3 to the bottom of the section from step 2. Make two. Press to Fabric 4.


5. Sew two Fabric 3 Template D patches to both sides of Fabric 4 Template F patch as illustrated. Make two. Press to Fabric 3.

 







6. Sew the section from step 5 to the bottom of the remaining two sections from step 2. Press to fussy cut fabrics.
                                                                                                                                                                           

7. Sew a section from step 6 to a section from step 4 as illustrated. Press to the left. Make 2.


8. Matching centers, sew two halves together.

Tomorrow I head for Des Moines, Iowa to film a segment for Fons and Porter's Love of Quilting show! I am so excited. As soon as I find out when the segment will be aired I will let you know. It is broadcasted on PBS.

Good luck and be sure to share your finished block. I can't wait to see what you come up with this time!! As always, do what you love and love what you do. Thanks for reading and feel free to share with your quilting friends.


Sunday, September 4, 2016

STATE BLOCK CHALLENGE WEEK 1 ALABAMA

By now I am  hoping that you have picked out your fabrics. If you are having problems, feel free to use the "Contact Form" on the top left side of this blog and I will try to help you. You will also use that contact to let me know that you have finished your block, so I can give you instructions as to what to do with the image, so that you will be in a drawing this week. 

Keep in mind when making the blocks, my fabric suggestions are just that, suggestions. Feel free to shake things up and use your own fabrics in unique ways. This block challenge is for you to get out of your normal quilting mode and try something new. The possibilities are endless!

All instructions will be contained in the blog. I think you can print out the blog to save the instructions. If you can not let me know. Until I figure a way to attach a pdf to this blog, you will have to share your email address (through the contact form) so I can email any templates that you need to print out. If any of my blog followers know how please tell me!!! Print the templates out with "no" scaling or at 100%.

For a video of how to establish a perfect 1/4" seam, check out my YouTube. (Please let me know if this link does not work and I will email it to you.)

  BLOCK 1a

PREPARATION:

Determine where you want to put the fussy cut fabrics.
Make a template for the section that you want to fussy cut out of heavy template plastic. I used the corner stones for mine so I cut a square that is 1-7/8" x 1-7/8". Using a permanent marker draw your shape accurately on your template material and cut out. Follow the instructions from the previous blog to cut your repeats.

FABRICS:
Fabric 1: Overall print for fussy cutting.
Fabric 2: Light
Fabric 3: Medium
Fabric 4: Dark

CUTTING INSTRUCTIONS:
From Fabric 1:
Fussy cut (17) 1-7/8" squares. I cut four repeating sets of four different designs and one single design for the center.
From Fabric 2 cut:
* (4) 1-7/8" x 1-7/8".
* (4) 1-7/8" x 7-3/8".
From Fabric 3 cut:
* (4) 1-7/8" x 4-5/8".
From Fabric 4 cut:
* (4) 1-7/8" x 10-1/8".



SEWING INSTRUCTIONS:

Make a nine patch by sewing the four 1-7/8" Fabric 2 squares, five 1-7/8" Fabric 1 squares.
1. Chain sew the center column to the first column. Press to Fabric 1. Do NOT cut patches apart.
2. Chain sew the last column to the center column.  Press to Fabric 1. Do NOT cut patches apart.
3. Matching seams, sew top row to center row matching seams. Press seams up.
4. Matching seams, sew bottom row to center row matching seams. Press seams down.


 

5. Sew a 1-7/8" x 4-5/8" Fabric 2 rectangle to the left and right sides of the nine patch. Press to fabric 3.
6. Sew a 1-7/8" Fabric 1 square to each end of a 1-7/8" x 4-5/8" Fabric 3 rectangle. Make 2. Press to Fabric 3.
7. Matching seams, sew the sections from step 6 to the top and bottom of the nine patch. 
Press to Fabric 3.


 


8. Sew a 1-7/8" x 7-3/8" Fabric 2 rectangle to the left and right sides of the block.  Press to Fabric 2.
9. Sew a 1-7/8" Fabric 1 square to each end of a 1-7/8" x 7-3/8" Fabric 2 rectangle. Make 2. Press to Fabric 2.
10. Matching seams, sew the sections from step 9 to the top and bottom of the nine patch. Press to Fabric 2.




11. Sew a 1-7/8" x 10-1/8" Fabric 4 rectangle to the left and right sides of the block.  Press to Fabric 4.
12. Sew a 1-7/8" Fabric 1 square to each end of a 1-7/8" x 10-1/8" Fabric 2 rectangle. Make 2. Press to Fabric 4. Matching seams, sew these to the top and bottom. Press to Fabric 4.




13. You will need to square up this block to 12-1/2" square. Using a square ruler place the ruler so that the 7" horizontal and vertical lines are on the bottom right corner of the center square of the block. Trim off the top and right sides of the block. Turn the block around, lining up the 12-1/2" marks on the left and bottom of the block, trim off the top and right sides to equal 12-1/2" square.






BLOCK 1b



FABRICS:
Fabric 1: Overall print for fussy cutting.
Fabric 2: Dark
Fabric 3: Medium

CUTTING INSTRUCTIONS (Be sure to put some rolled up tape on the back of the templates so they don't move while you cut.)
 
Fabric 1: Cut four repeats with template A.
Fabric 2 and 3: Cut four left and four right with the template B of each fabric. Place the fabrics wrong sides together when cutting, you will get a left and right of each at the same time. You will make four cuts of fabric 2 which will give you 4 left and 4 right patches and then repeat with Fabric 3.



SEWING INSTRUCTIONS 

1. Sew a left Fabric 2b to a right Fabric 3b. Make 4. Press seam open.
2. Sew a left Fabric 3b to a right Fabric 1b. Make 4. Press seam open.







   
 
 Layout pieced background and template  A making sure to keep the same color
 backgrounds on the same side.












3. Starting with one side, with the concave (inward curve/smile!) on top. Match centers and ends. Pin in the center and on each end. I weave the pins in to hold the edges together better. Put the last pin in perpendicular to the end pin to create a "T".

  Only 4 pins needed!                                                                              2 pins make a "T"
 



   







4. Sew a couple stitches and place your needle in the down position. Grab the center pin with your right hand and tug slightly to the left. Use your left hand to manipulate the fabric so that the edges are aligned. Sew to the center. 

5. Place your needle in the down position and grab the end of the seam. Give it a slight tug and line up the raw edges. Continue to sew the seam to the end. When the pin that is pointing towards the needle gets close, put your finger on the head of it and hold it down lightly on the machine surface. As you are sewing, the pin will come out. This helps stabilize the corners so that they do not get skewed. (Because my right hand is taking this photo it is not touching the fabric. You will need to hold that center point until your needle gets to that position and stop. You can see that the raw edges are together and I did not need extra pins.) Sew both sides.

Here is a short video on sewing curves. (Please let me know if this link does not work and I will email it to you.)

What your section will look like with both sides sewn. If you find that your section sticks up in the middle, spray generously with water and press from the center of the block out to the edges and corners. This will flatten it out. The sections should equal 6-1/2" square.
 

6. Sew the four sections together. Press seams open. The center seam will be very thick. I use a small mallet or hammer and hammer it into submission! It will flatten it out! The spray the whole block and give it a good pressing. Be careful not to distort the block. You can block it at 12-1/2" square or trim it to size if it is too big. 

Out of curiosity, before I started piecing I wanted to see what the block would look like with the lighter purple in the center so I layed out the pieces. I liked the dark in the center. What do you think?


 Good luck! I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with. Don't forget, you have to use the "contact" form on the top left of the page to get the templates for Block 1b and to send me your email address. 

As always: Do what you love and love what you do. Thank you for reading and be sure to share with your quilting friends. Toby Lischko 



 


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