Friday, 27 November 2015

Block Tutorial for Block 39: Grandma

Welcome to Daydreams of Quilts! Today I am pleased to bring you a quick little tutorial for sewing block 39 of the Farmer's Wife 1930's Sampler Quilt in the Quilt Along hosted by Gnome Angel and Fat Quarter Shop.

I am (so far) building all my blocks the same way by using the paper templates that come on the CD in the book. I printed all my template sheets out ahead of time so they would be ready to go whenever the mood to sew struck or, more often in my case, the time became available to sew. When printing your sheets make sure your printer settings are set for 100% (no scaling, do not fit to page) and check the 1" line on your print out to make sure it measures one inch.

Block 39: Grandma - I must have Christmas on my mind.
This Grandma block has 36 pieces. To speed up the cutting process I layered my fabric into four layers. I laid my paper template on top keeping the right angle of the triangles with one side on the grain line. This way I can cut four triangles at once. I cut two sets of four and then opened my fabric to be two layers for the remaining two triangles needed of the "B" triangle. Then, while I still had just two layers of fabric I cut the two triangles needed of the "A" triangle. I make sure to cut off all the little notches on the corners exactly as the template is printed as this helps in lining up the pieces when sewing together the block. I repeated the process for each of the three colours in the block.

Paper template on four layers of fabric.

I line up my quarter inch line on my ruler with the solid line on the template to make my cuts.

Lay out all your pieces referring to the diagram in your book. The diagram shows how to piece the triangles together to make the block.

To make this simpler for myself I broke the block up into steps:

Step 1: The sets of three triangles around the outer edges. I sewed all of those together first. When sewing, continually check the diagram in your book to make sure you have your pieces in the right layout. The green triangle at the top of these photos is in the wrong place and I caught that before I went to my sewing machine because I looked at my book first.

Step 2: All the sets of two triangles for the corners of the block.
Step 3: The sets of two grey and red triangles for the centre of the block.
Step 4: Sewing the larger grey and red triangles together and the larger green to the pieces from step 3.

Then Step 5 is to sew the four centre squares together, add the sets of three triangles to the sides of the centre square and finally add the four corners made up of the grey and red triangles sets from Step 2.

A note about pressing:
To speed up the process a bit just finger press the seams in your sets of two and three triangles around the outside instead of taking them to the ironing board every time.

To facilitate quickly piecing this block, as my 14-month-old will only tolerate being in the Exersaucer in my sewing room for so long, I finger pressed my seams during step 1 and 2 and then pressed them with the iron when they were all sewn together. This also saves on possibly distorting your pieces due to the bias edges.

Another way to save time and still press with your iron if you prefer is to have your ironing station right by your sewing machine at table height so you can just turn in your chair to press your pieces.

When I had two sets of two centre squares sewn together I pressed the centre seams in opposite directions to create nesting seams. When I added the sets of three triangles to the to the sides of the centre square I pressed away from the centre square. Likewise for the corner triangles. In the end I had all the seams toward the outer edges of the block. Pressing your seams open would also work well.

Please check out Lisa's tutorial and Gnome Angel's Tutorial for their take on putting this block together.

Thank you for visiting my blog today. Happy Sewing and Farmer's Wife-ing!

Book Information:

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Farmer's Wife Block 80 Patricia Tutorial

Hello! Welcome to Daydreams of Quilts. If you are visiting today from the Farmer's Wife 1930's Sampler Quilt - Quilt Along hosted by Gnome Angel and the Fat Quarter Shop I am so glad to have you here. I am very happy to bring you my first tutorial in the Quilt Along - Block 80 "Patricia". This was a nice simple block and my approach to my Farmer's Wife blocks has been to keep it simple and try not to over think it.

Here is how I made this block. I first knew that I wanted a fussy cut in the centre of the block so I looked at my fabrics to find something that would fit nicely in the centre square.

This strawberry looked like it would fit right in nicely.

I put my rough cut paper template from the book over the strawberry and quickly lifted each side to make sure it was positioned correctly. I lined up my quarter inch line on my little 1 x 6 inch ruler with the solid line on the template and made my cuts. Normally I am not one to cut a hole in the middle of my fabric but for this quilt I make an exception. :)
 When cutting your piece try to move your ruler and not your fabric. Cut slowly and carefully double checking that your fingers are safely away from the ruler edge as sometimes it can be awkward cutting all the sides. Or, use a rotating mat if you have one to turn your piece without lifting your fabric.

For the triangles I was not as concerned about fussy cutting so I just folded my fabric into four layers and placed my triangle template from the book on top to cut in the same way I cut the square by putting my quarter inch line on the solid lines of the template. This way I got all four triangles cut at once.

Layer your fabric to cut multiples of one shape.

Lay out your pieces to match the layout in your book. It may be helpful to snap a photo of your layout with a digital camera or phone so you can refer to it while sewing your block together.
 When there are several of the same element in a block, in this case the half square triangles in the corners and the two rectangles on the sides, I like to chain piece to save a bit of time and thread. In order to keep from getting mixed up with how I originally laid out my block I take a digital photo to refer to as I am sewing pieces together so I can put them back where I wanted them after picking them up to chain piece.

After chain piecing this block becomes a simple nine patch block to put together.
 Once you have your triangles and rectangles sewn to each other this block becomes an easy nine patch. I pressed all my seams to the yellow fabric. When the rows were pieced together I pressed the top and bottom rows towards the middle and the middle square towards the outside of the block. This creates nesting seams when putting the three rows together.

Block 80 finished. That was a piece of cake! A piece of Strawberry Shortcake. Or Lemon Meringue Pie.

My block made me think of Strawberry Shortcake and Lemon Meringue because of the colours of the fabrics. I got the "Strawberry Shortcake" theme song stuck in my head while I was sewing. One of the perils of being a mother to little girls. "No task is too tall for Straw-ber-reee Short-cake"- not even Farmer's Wife blocks.

In this scenario clearly Lemon Meringue has fallen down a Rabbit Hole and eaten something she shouldn't have. Now Strawberry is rushing her to the hospital where they will have to give her a little bottle that says "drink me" on it. ;)

Thank you for visiting my blog today. Happy Sewing and Farmer's Wife-ing!

Book Information:

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Fabric Giveaway from Fridays Off Fabric Shop

Excitement is in the air today at Daydreams of Quilts because this glorious bundle of fat quarters arrived in today's mail from Fridays Off Fabric Shop.
November Le Club half stash bundle and the prize for this giveaway!

This bundle is the November Le Club half stash bundle. Le Club is a monthly fabric subscription program at Fridays Off. You have a choice of a half stash (6 fat quarters/month) or a full stash (12 fat quarters/month) bundle when you sign up for a subscription to Le Club. Shipping is free! There are "no duplicates, ugly prints or discount fabrics." Every bundle is carefully curated by Alanna and if you take a look around her shop you can see that she has great taste.
November Full Stash Bundle
November Le Club full stash bundle.

Fridays Off is now offering a gift subscription for Le Club. What an awesome gift for your favourite quilter in your life! I know it's on my wish list. The gift subscription comes in 3-month and 12-month options. The 12-month option is a great value because you get 12 months for the price of 11.

Here's a "coming soon" inside scoop for you too: Friday's Off is adding a Solids Subscription in January. You will receive a bundle of 8 fat quarters colour coordinated by Alanna every month. For a sneak peak of what colours you could receive click here.
November Half Stash Bundle
November Le Club half stash bundle.

Fridays Off has always given me great service and I am pleased to recommend them as a Canadian online fabric shop that I happily shop with often. They are generously giving a November Le Club half stash bundle to one of my readers! This is perfect timing because we are all ramping up our Christmas and Holiday sewing. What could be better than a beautiful bundle of Cotton + Steel Holiday fabrics to work with!?

To enter please use the Rafflecopter. If you do not have Facebook to sign in with you can sign in with your email address. This giveaway is open to Canadian and US addresses. The giveaway will close at midnight MST on November 17th and a winner will be randomly selected by Rafflecopter. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 26 October 2015

My Finished Halloween Houses Quilt Top

The Halloween Houses Quilt Along ended on Saturday. I actually did it! I finished my quilt top before the end of the quilt along. It was finished on Saturday at 10:30 in the morning. :)

Halloween Houses. A free pattern and Quilt Along by Daydreams of Quilts.
 The only person to link up their finished top in my link-up was Anita Sharp. She automatically won the $25 US gift certificate to Fat Quarter Shop. Thank you so much Anita (same name as me! :) ) for quilting along with me and keeping me on track with my Halloween quilt.

So here is my Halloween Houses quilt top on the front of my own Halloween House. We finished decorating this weekend so we are all set for the big night on Saturday.
I am so happy with how my quilt turned out. It really show cases the fun fabrics. The one street with the green sky is the street where all the spooky witches live. All their spells going up their chimneys turned the sky green. I love the two cul-de-sac blocks breaking up the overall houses too. :)

I am going to take a break from blogging for a couple of weeks but I will be back with a couple of projects that I am working on for Fat Quarter Shop in November.

Monday, 19 October 2015

The Halloween Houses Quilts Along Link Up!

Hello Halloween Houses Quilt-a-longers! :) Today is the day that the linky opens so you can show off your quilt tops or completed quilts that you made using the "Halloween Houses" quilt pattern. (Free pattern from my Craftsy shop.)

You have until Saturday October 24th to link up your finished tops. Or, finished quilts if you've made it that far! Quilts and/or tops can be any size. If you've made more than one project you can link up more than once. A random winner will be chosen on October 25th to receive a gift from Daydreams of Quilts of a $25 gift code to the Fat Quarter Shop.

I am still working on mine! I have been swamped with sewing for a Craft Show coming up soon in my town but I am determined to finish my Halloween Quilt before Halloween and before my linky party closes on Saturday. Positive thoughts sent out to me that I get it finished are appreciated. :)

Okay, so fingers crossed that I did all this correctly - it's my first ever link party on my blog! Please link up an good luck!

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Dog Gone Cute Quilt Along Blog Hop

Today is my day in the Dog Gone Cute Blog Hop. I am a bit late getting my post up because I was thinking tomorrow was my day. Today is certainly better than waiting until tomorrow though because I am so excited to tell you about Lorna from Sew Fresh Quilts! Since it's high time I put the spotlight on another Canadian Pattern Designer for my "Spotlight on Canadian Pattern Designers" blog series the timing is perfect.

Lorna is a fantastic Canadian Quilt Pattern designer. I mean really, really good. She is one of my all time favourite pattern designers. Her "Dog Gone Cute" pattern is my most favourite pattern so far. I am a major dog lover and this is just adorable. The pattern comes with eight dogs in two sizes (small and large) but the possibilities for different dogs are endless. You can sew them with ears up or ears down. Change up your colors. Use solids or prints. It's so much fun! Each dog has very clear diagrams and instructions every step of the way. They are actually quite easy to put together and I haven't had to unpick a single seam. All the pieces are named with a letter so I use "Alpha bitties" from The Fat Quarter Shop to keep everything straight and that really speeds up the process for me.

Dog Gone Cute dogs 1, 2 and 4.
 My sewing time has been quite hectic and stressful lately. Not relaxing as it should be. I am disappointed that I only have three dogs sewn up to show you but I am very pleased with these three. My plan is to make a baby quilt for my dog loving baby girl and hopefully a large quilt for my sister too.

The first dog I sewed was dog 4 because he looks like my old Jack Russell Terrier that we had to put down last June.
Morey, the crazy Jack Russell Terrier, panting after chasing his ball.

How you use your fabric can make the dogs look like different breeds as well. There were a few comments on my Instagram feed about what dogs people thought these were.

Dog Gone Cute dog 2.
So far all my fabrics are Kona Cottons but I think I will change it up and add in prints for some of the other dogs. Some of the dogs I've seen made with prints in the hashtag on Instagram - #DogGoneCuteQAL - have been so cute!

Dog Gone Cute dog 1.
Make sure you click over to Lorna's blog Sew Fresh Quilts to see what the other bloggers on the hop are up to and visit her online shops to get your copy of the pattern. And speaking of Lorna's shops. Oh my goodness! I cannot rave enough... you've got to check out her other patterns. I've bought four of them so far I think but I want them all! The Elephant Parade pattern is really popular and that is another one I plan to sew for my baby.

You can grab this cute Quilt Along button on her blog and put it up on yours to let everyone know you're part of the quilt along. There's still lots of time to join in as this is only day 4 on the blog hop.

Sew Fresh Quilts

Here is the schedule for the blog hop:

Tuesday, October 6
Karen of Run Sew Fun
Kris of Kris Loves Fabric
Anja of Anja Quilts
Kelly of Quilting it Out
Tish of Tish’s Adventures in Wonderland

Thursday, October 8
Carol of Just Let Me Quilt
Nina of Inchworming
Doris of The Quilting Queen Online
Brandy of Pampered Pettit
Leena of Creative Instincts

Tuesday, October 13
Ruth of Charly and Ben’s Crafty Corner
Tanya of Tanya Quilts in Colorado
Laurel of Quilts by Laurel
Kathy of Kathy’s Quilting Blog
Deb of New Creative State

Thursday, October 15
Anita of Daydreams of Quilts
Gina of Quilts and Cakes
Beth of Words & Stitches
Rachel of Quiltineering
Julie of Mack and Mable

Tuesday, October 20
Cathy of A Quilting Chick
Selina of Selina Quilts
Shauna of Shauna’s World
Gayle of Pedal Sew Lightly
Kathy of Kayak Quilting

Thursday, October 22
Sandy of Upstairs Hobby Room
Heide of Heide’s Quilty Hugs
Britt-Inger of Hill Valley Quilter
Judy of How ART You?
Louisa of Sewmotion

Tuesday, October 27
Teje of Nero’s Patch and Post
Stephanie of Jak and Will
Valerie of Val’s Quilting Studio
Ellen of Georgia Florida Studio
Cristina of Pretty Little Quilts

Thursday, October 29
Abigail of Cut & Alter
Magdalena of iloveneutrals
Jenn of A Quarter Inch from the Edge
Anne of Batiks by the Bay
Susie of Susie's Sunroom

Tracy of Tracy’s Bits N Pieces

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Time is Fluid and Hard to Grasp - A Halloween Houses Update

Well, here we are almost at the first Friday in October. I have been waiting to write a Halloween Houses Quilt Along post until I had some "good" photos but I am realizing that I will never get a post up if I do that. Please pardon the iPod photos in this post but I didn't want another week to go by without checking in with my Halloween Houses Quilt Along peeps. :) If this is your first time hearing of this Quilt Along please click the "Halloween Houses Quilt Along" button in my sidebar to find all the posts. The introductory post has the link to my free pattern.

I have been so busy since the start of school. I knew being the volunteer Hot Lunch co-ordinator at our school was going to be a big job but I didn't fully understand the amount of time I would be putting in. I think I have things running smoothly now though so should be able to get back to more blogging.

So here is where I am at with my Halloween Houses blocks.

I couldn't even get them all in the frame despite standing on a chair (as you can see in the bottom of the photo). I have decided to do 9 rows of eight with two cul-de-sac blocks (which would equal four houses once the two inch border strips are sewn on). I just need 8 more houses and one more cul-de-sac. Fingers crossed I can get them finished before the long weekend. :) It's Thanksgiving here in Canada this weekend so "Happy Thanksgiving!" if I don't get another blog post up. :) I am thankful for all of you and I am thankful that I get to sew so many fun projects. I am also thankful for my Mom who is cooking Thanksgiving dinner.

Another project keeping me busy has been the Polaroid block swap that Johanna and I started over on Instagram. If you didn't get in on that but would like to make your own Polaroid blocks you can click here for an image with the cutting measurements. This is a handy reference that Johanna made for our swap participants. Below is a photo of some rainbow Polaroid blocks that I made for Jaclyn in my Canuck Bday Club. She was the September birthday girl and she likes Heather Ross so I made these into a rainbow "Skinny Mini". (And there's my thumb in the bottom of the photo.) I will post a finished photo as soon as I get if off the memory card in my DSLR (digital single lens reflex) camera. (The one I'm supposed to be using for blog photos. *wincing face*)

Speaking of rainbows, this gorgeous sight was something to behold from our back deck during a "sun shower" we had recently. How fantastic!

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you have seen these photos already so I hope you don't mind seeing them again here. As I eluded to in my title, time has been escaping my grasp these days. Since I need more time to finish my Halloween Houses quilt I am going to guess that you do too. I will host my first ever Linky Party here on the blog from October 19th to 24th and you can link up your Halloween Houses (or Christmas Houses or whatever theme of houses) for a chance to win a prize. I will tell you what the prize will be when the linky opens (I'm not quite sure what it will be yet.)

Please leave me a comment and let me know if you are quilting along and planning to link up. Also, please give me suggestions for a prize. Would you like a book? A handmade gift from me? A shop gift certificate code?