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