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Saturday, May 9, 2015

100 Blocks Winner and Curves tutorial

I received such wonderful comments about my block. I even got suggestions on what other changes I can make.

One person suggested I rotate the triangle so that you get a diamond in the middle.

When you put it in the quilt you get this.

Another person suggested I put a small snowball block in the corner with the curve.

So when you put it in the quilt you get this.

Both are wonderful ideas! What fun. That just makes me want to play with the block some more.

Now to the winners. The two people who won a copy of the magazine are Kathy Harris and Lori (did not leave a last name). Congrats ladies!

The winner of the fat quarter bundle is Lisa Marie. I will be sending emails to each of the winners to get their addresses so I (and Quiltmaker) can mail the magazines and fat quarters to them.

Many of you said you liked the block but were afraid to do curves. So I am repeating one of my earlier posts about sewing curves.

I did this demo with my Glorified Nine Patch template set. This set comes in a 4", 6" and 9" set. They are available on my website Gateway Quilts & Stuff I also have other sets available including, New York Beauty, Chinese New Year, Hour Glass, and Yin and Yang.

Step 1: Crease the center of one edge of the concave (inny curve) piece and the convex (outy curve) edge of the other piece. Tip, crease one with right sides together and the other with the back sides together. The creases will fit inside each other. Place the convex piece on the bottom, curve and right side up. Place them, right sides together, with the concave piece on top. Pin at the center. I know it looks funny and doesn't look like the pieces will sew together. Pull the top ends to meet the bottom ends. All of the trimmed ends on the two pieces fit on top of each other (with my template sets).

Step 2: Pin the front end and the back end. This is very important. Because these are the edges that move while you are piecing, you need to weave the pin like you are sewing. This holds the edges together as you are sewing and won't twist when you begin and when you get to the end. I like to use Patchwork Pins by Clover that are 0.4mm wide (not long) that are available on my website. These are great pins that slide through the fabric like butter, especially batiks. I add one more pin. This one I weave at the back end of the strip along the seam allowance to create a "T" with the other pin. You can see it in this photo. The first pin is woven up through the two pieces (same on the front end) and the other pin is perpendicular to it and parallel to the seam line. You can also see that the ends of the bottom patch and top patch fit together perfectly.

Step 3: Sew a couple stitches, leaving the needle in the fabric, take the pin out and then grab the center of the block where the center pin is. This is another important step. Pull slightly on the center of the block where the pin is with your left hand. As you do this you can manipulate the fabric with your right hand so the bottom edge and top edge of the fabric are even. Sometimes you only have to do a minimal amount of manipulation. The edges will come together as you pull on the two fabrics. It is difficult to see here because of the dark sewing machine, but if you look carefully the edges are even as I tug slightly on the fabric. Do not "stretch" the fabric too much. A slight tug is enough.

Step 4: As you stitch down the edge, keep a slight tug on the fabric to keep the edges together. Stop sewing at the center pin and with the needle down, remove the center pin. Grab the end of the strip and repeat the tug pulling and continue stitching until the pin pointing towards the foot reaches the edge of the foot. Put your finger on the ball end of the pin and hold it down as you are stitching. The pin will come out as you are sewing. I place my left hand on the other pin to keep the edges of the fabric touching my mole foam (1/4" seam aid). (I couldn't show my left hand holding the pin because it was holding the camera!) If there is any time that it looks like you might get a pleat, simply put your needle down, lift the pressure foot and pull the fabric straight back to straighten it out and then continue to sew. Press towards crescent shape.

This is what it will look like when done. No pleats and a smooth curve.

Now you can do this method with any kind of curves. The only change would be if the curve is a tighter curve like a drunkard's path block, you will need to make small clips with a scissors on the concave piece about 1/4" to 3/8" apart.

I hope this encourages you to try to do curves. They really aren't that hard.

Congratulations to the winners again. I will be contacting you soon. Please come back again soon as I will be having more of my own giveaways with some P&B fat quarter bundles.

As always: Do what you love and love what you do. Thanks for reading, Toby.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Friday - It’s my 100 Blocks Volume 11 blog tour day!

Hello everyone! I have been negligent about keeping up with my blog, but today I want to share a special giveaway and block with you. I have a block in the Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Volume 11. It has been a while since I submitted a block to them (I have ones in Volumes 4, 5, and 6). They are having a wonderful blog tour with many of the talented quilters in the magazine and I get to be one of them!

Most quilters know that I love working with curves so I wanted to design something different with a curve. Pat Sloan had sent me her new fabric collection called The Sweet Life. Working on Electric Quilt 7 I came up with this block. As you can see it is simply made up of rectangles, squares, triangles and a simple curve. After you take my work shop on curved piecing you will see how simple it is!

Now it doesn't look like much as a single block. But when you put four blocks together you get this:

This is what it will look like in a quilt.

Now, I am never satisfied with my first version of a block so I had to play with it a little more. I decided to add a simple triangle in the corner.

Here is what it looks like, rotating the blocks in a group of four. 

If you combine the first and second blocks in a quilt you get this:

Now doesn't that look much more interesting!

The great thing about this blog is that I am giving away three prizes. I will pick two names to win a magazine. One that Quiltmaker will send you and one that I will send. I will pick a third name to win four fat quarters of Pat Sloan's, The Sweet Life batik collection. All you have to do is leave a comment on why you would like the magazine and if you think you would attempt to make my block at the end of this blog. What would you add to the block to create a secondary design?

To be in more drawings you should visit Quiltmaker's Quilty Pleasure Blog. You can go back to the beginning of the blog tour and check out the other blogs from the designers. If you are lucky enough to win a copy of the magazine, congratulations! If not you can purchase one here: Quiltmaker Quilt and Sew Shop.

Now to be in the drawing you have to leave a comment at the end of this blog. Tell me why you would like the magazine and if you think you would make my block. DON'T FORGET TO LEAVE AN EMAIL ADDRESS SO I CAN CONTACT YOU IF YOU WON. I can't tell you how many times I have drawn a name only to find out I can't contact them. So don't lose out. I do not share your email address with anyone.

Thanks for reading, good luck and as always: Do what you love and love what you do. Toby