Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Nordic Mini Quilt Sew Along

Have you heard?  Julie over at Crafty Quilter is having a little mini sew-along.  Just three weeks and three little rows of Nordic fun.
Crafty Quilter QAL
Week one is an itsy-bitsy patchwork block measuring just 4¾" square when made.
Of course there is red gingham in my version!
I would be lying if I didn’t say that this was a challenging block to make.  It is not the putting together of the patchwork that is tricky but what to do with those seams.   I pressed them to one side, to the other side, open and shut – I pressed them any way I could to get the points as flat as possible. 

I have two tips for you when making this first row.  Firstly don’t use steam to press the seams on such a small block as you will burn yourself.  Use a dry iron or a little quilting iron.  Secondly – don’t go for perfection – it will make the process frustrating.  Expect a little bit of mismatch and remember that the finished product will still look good due to the fabrics you choose and the patterns you make – not the seams that you match!

Three blocks, sewn together with lattice makes a row measuring 14½” x 4¾”.  So how about it?  Are you in? 

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Patchiqué Blocks 60 and 121

This is the penultimate pair of blocks as we approach the end of the Patchiqué journey.  Soon it will be time to put all the blocks together, ready for quilting.
Block 60 from Japanese Taupe Quilts
This week's blocks were surprisingly easy.  I say surprisingly because block 60 ‘Yotsume guruma’ (quadruple wheel) uses a template for the patchwork and all triangles are cut on the bias – two of my least favourite ways to construct patchwork.  But it worked really well and the finished block is one of my favourites (you may know this block as Flying Kite).
Patchique Block 60 - Patchsmith Style
To make the finished 9½” block you first create four 5” blocks and then stitch them together.  My block is just shy of 9½” but the sashing should accommodate this small discrepancy.  As I am coming to the end of my fabric stash I had to pick fabrics where I had enough to cut the necessary pieces.  I love making-do and I am very pleased with how this block turned out.

Block 121 from Japanese Taupe Quilts
Next up was block 121 ‘Kaku kuyo’ (translated as nine squares).  This block combines patchwork and appliqué and I patched the block before adding quick-fuse appliqué circles.  Making the block in this way, I had to remember to allow for the block's seam allowance when placing the circles.  

However, the instructions suggest appliquéing the circles onto each patch before sewing the block together.  This is a better way as you can centre the circles without having to take into account seam allowances.  Even so, this is another block I enjoyed as it was very quick and very easy.
Patchique Block 121 - Patchsmith Style 
You will require 2½” diameter circles and I have produced a 2½” circle PDF for you to use.  I traced the circles onto the paper side of my fusible webbing (Bondaweb or Wonder Under) and then fused it to the back of my chosen fabrics.  As you can see I fussy-fused (is that even a term?) to make good use of the fabric print.

Next fortnight will be the last time I post two blocks for this quilt as they will be the last two blocks.  I have chosen patchwork block 38 and appliqué block 104.

Sew until then .............

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Snowman Mug Rug Hats and Mittens

What a difference a pair of mitts can make
This summer I was asked if I would do another Christmas pattern and article for the Online Quilting Magazine .  I love this magazine - it's full of useful information - so naturally I jumped at the chance.  And just to make my article a little different from last year, I focused on alternative uses for mug rug patterns.

It was whilst creating the projects for the article that I came up with some little additions to my Snowman Mug Rug – hats and mittens. 
All three snowmen are the same - it is just their attire that has changed.
Now you can dress up your snowman in top hat and mitts .....

..... or bobble hat and mitts .....
Buttons in place of bobbles - time-saving!
So for all of you who already have the Snowman Mug Rug pattern, you can now create two additional mug rug designs using the FREE Snowman Hats and Mittenssheet.  

(There’s no need to be left out in the cold if you don’t already own the Snowman pattern – it is included in my Christmas Mug Rugs book or is available as an individual Snowman Mug Rug pattern from my Craftsy store.)