Quilt Petite & Sweet Orchard listed in my shop!

Last week I got my designer bolts for my first fabric collection, Sweet Orchard, and today I received my advance copies of my book Quilt Petite! Talk about happy mail!


One of the privileges of being a published author is that we receive a small number of copies before the books hit the shelves - and I have decided to share some of these with my followers by way of a 'thank you' for all your amazing support! If you would like an advance copy of my book before it's available worldwide (October in Europe, November rest of world), please pop over to my Etsy shop now. I am signing each book individually before I mail them out of course!


In addition to my book I have also listed a few bundles of Sweet Orchard in the shop. There are fat quarter bundles, fat eighth bundles, and bundles by colourway and by print. Currently the shipping on my fabric bundles is restricted to Australia but if you are overseas and would like to place an order please contact me and I will calculate postage costs for you (it varies so massively depending on where you are in the world). It's not a problem at all.


And I will be having a few giveaways of both my fabric and book in coming weeks too, and other goodies also - so keep your eyes on my social media, especially my Instagram account!

Sweet Stars Sew-along - Easy Corner Triangles


Today I'm the guest blogger on the Sweet Stars quilt sew-along, hosted by my lovely friend Peta from She Quilts A Lot who designed this quilt. You guys should recognise it - it was the star of the show in my Sweet Orchard booth at the spring quilt market in Salt Lake City. Here's a photo of me and Peta in front of it - we had to travel all the way from Australia to Utah to finally meet in person! And she is not only a terrific quilter but also a lovely sharing person with an incredible dry, Aussie sense of humour - we had a blast together in SLC!


The Sweet Stars sew along kicked off just a couple of weeks ago (so there is plenty of time to join in!). There are a number of blocks in this quilt which have 'easy corner triangles' - in other words a triangle on the corner of a segment - such as in the diamond blocks, and the flying geese squares and rectangles. Today I am going to make a diamond block to show you my easy corner triangle method and how I get perfect, crisp results every time.

~ My 'Easy Corner Triangle' Method ~

Step 1. Starch! Starch your fabric before you cut out your block segments. I cannot emphasise how important this is - your precision will improve tenfold when you are working on starched fabric. You can use specialist quilting sprays such as Best Press or Flatter (which I love!), or if you are on a budget just ordinary supermarket starch will do too. I have tried a variety of starch sprays from my supermarket and prefer their cheapest one as it doesn't leave stains like some of the more expensive brands can do.


Step 2 - Trace a diagonal line. Draw a line from corner-to-corner on the back of your corner square pieces. To do this place your quilting ruler on the square and align the 45 degree angle line along the top edge of the square, as shown in the picture. Note how I have positioned the ruler just 1mm to the left of the imaginary line going from one corner to the other - this is to allow for the thickness of the Frixion pen nib so your drawn line connects your corners precisely. I use Pilot Frixion pens for marking lines such as this which will be hidden in seams - you can use a pencil or a different quilt marker if you prefer.


Step 3 - Position & Sew. Place the square on the corner of the pink fabric right sides together and pin, then sew along the drawn line. When sewing, bear in mind the weight of your thread. If you are using 50 weight or heavier thread you may want to sew a fraction of a mm to the right of the traced line to allow for the thickness of the thread, so you get a precise result when you fold the 'wing' over later.


Tip: If you are sewing corners onto a large number of segments, I recommend chain piecing these i.e. sewing a corner onto a piece of fabric, then without breaking your thread sewing a corner onto the next of piece of fabric, and so on, so you end up with a long chain of pieces with one corner sewn on. Snip the threads, then repeat the process for the next corner on each piece.

Step 4 - Trim excess. Trim the excess material approximately 1/4" away from the seam. Note the positioning of my ruler - I use a scant 1/4" allowance for this so the seam doesn't show when I fold the fabric over in the next step.


Step 5 - Fold over & Press. Fold the 'wing' over and press towards the triangle. See how precise the corner triangle is, perfectly aligned with the edges of the pink fabric.


Repeat the steps above for the other corners to complete the diamond block.


And that concludes my little tutorial! You can find a full schedule of the sew-along on Peta's blog, and info about how you can win a bundle of my Sweet Orchard fabrics also (courtesy of Riley Blake there are two prize bundles)!


If you would like to join the sew-along, there are quilt kits available including the pattern and my Sweet Orchard fabrics. You can order these from Fabric Pixie and Fabric Patch in Australia, and Fat Quarter Shop in the US. Please use the hashtags #sweetstarsal and #sweetstarsquilt if you post photos on social media, so we can see everyone's progress!

Happy quilting!

Full Bloom Mini | Book & Fabric News

I haven't had much time for selfish sewing lately, it's been a busy few months of blog tours, magazine work, and of course the launch of my first book and fabric collection (which by an amazing stroke of luck, coincided). Finally I managed to get a few spare hours this weekend and made a new mini quilt for my sewing room wall.


This mini quilt is called 'Full Bloom' and it's a free pattern by Bridgette from The Family Hearth - I love all her work and her photography is incredible. I wish I could take photos half as nice as hers! As soon as I saw it I knew instantly that I wanted to use some of my prized Les Fleurs by Anna Bond for Cotton & Steel, which I had bought at quilt market. I paired it with the Cotton & Steel sprinkles in dark navy, which works so well with Les Fleurs.


This pattern is very clever and simple, consisting entirely of half square triangles and squares - so goes together very quickly, and is suitable for all levels of quilters. Thanks Bridgette for generously sharing your pattern with us!


In other news, this past week has been an incredibly exciting one! My book Quilt Petite has come off the printing press and two big boxes are on their way to me! It will be available worldwide from 1 November (a little earlier in Europe) and you can preorder it on Amazon, Book Depository, and Barnes & Noble. Or if you say you can't wait till November to get your hands on it, check my Etsy shop next week as I will have some advance (and autographed!) copies available! ;-)


Also this week I received my designer bolts of Sweet Orchard from Riley Blake.  They fit perfectly in the bottom section of my new floor to ceiling fabric cupboards (new sewing room update coming real soon!). As well as advance copies of my book I will be listing a few bundles of Sweet Orchard in my Etsy shop shortly!


Farmer's Wife QAL - Block 3 'Alice' Tutorial

Welcome! It's my turn again today as an official blogger on the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler quilt-along, and I will be showing you how to make the 'Alice' block (block #3). I was so excited when I found out that this was one of my assigned blocks as my daughter is called Alice! :)


TUTORIAL

For this block I used my Marti Mitchell templates and followed her conversion chart. If you are rotary cutting or paper piecing 'Alice' please be aware there is a correction for this block - you can download the corrected pattern here.

FABRIC SELECTION

The fabrics I used are some of my favourite florals from my stash. The pink is an old Lecien Old New 30s print but you may be able to find it on Etsy or ebay. The green floral is another old favourite from Cottonholic on Etsy. And the red floral is a Sevenberry print from Ministry of Fabric.

CUTTING

Before cutting, I always starch my fabric using spray starch - I spray it onto the fabric generously but without soaking, then press it with a dry iron until the starch sets. I make sure the iron is not too hot or it scorches the starch, leaving brown marks. The starch lends stiffness to the fabric which makes cutting easier and more precise, and the finished block looks a lot sharper than it would have been without starch. You can also use products such as Best Press and Flatter to get similar results. Starching is especially important when you are working with teeny tiny pieces such as in this block!!

Following the Marti Mitchell conversion chart you will see that there are three different size 'units' in this block, corresponding to the same size Marti Mitchell template: A-3 square units, A-6 small triangle units (corners), and A-4 large triangle units (sides). Cut your fabric following the instructions in the conversion chart. You will also need to print out the corrected pattern for this block and cut out the templates for 3I, 3J and 3K, then use those to cut your A-4 pieces.


PIECING THE BLOCK

In explaining the steps I will refer to my pieces using the colours in my block i.e. pink, red, and green. Replace these with your own colours when you are following the steps below. Use a scant 1/4 inch seam allowance, RST means right sides together.

Step 1. Draw a diagonal corner to corner on the reverse of the green squares. Place a green square RST on the bottom edge of a small pink rectangle (A-3 units). Sew on the traced line, trim excess fabric 1/4" away from the seam, flip the wing open and press. Make 4. Repeat the process to make 4 more mirror image pieces (by flipping the positioning of your green square). Sew together with a small red rectangle to make a square unit as shown. Check the finished unit measures exactly the same size as the A-3 template, trim if necessary (you will notice I also trimmed the corners as they help massively in the final assembly of the block). Make 4.


Step 2. Join the long pink and red rectangles and cut into three 1 1/4" wide pieces (you will have a little excess fabric left over). Combine with the two red and one pink squares as shown to make the centre nine patch unit. Check it's the same size as the A-3 template, trim if necessary.


Step 3. To make the A-6 size corner units, Place the pieces you cut as shown. You need four corner triangles, and you can either make them all identically (as I have), or if you want to be super precise make two as shown below, and make the other two mirror image by moving the positioning of the red square and long pink rectangle when you are piecing the units. Sew the red square onto the small rectangle, then sew the long pink rectangle to one side. Trim to size using the A-6 template. Make 4.


Step 4. To make the A-4 side triangle units, sew two mirror image green pieces to either side of a red piece. Check the finished piece is the same size as the A-4 template, trim if required. Make 4.


Step 5. Lay out all your units. To assemble the block we will sew the units together first in diagonal rows, as shown, and then sew each row together.


MY TIPS ON PRECISION

- Starch your fabric before you cut (I use spray starch and a dry iron (ie no steam) on medium-high heat).
- Make sure your rotary blade is sharp so it doesn't chew and stretch your fabric as you cut.
- Pin blocks together before sewing. The pieces we are working with are very small so it's easy to be tempted to skip this step - don't.
- Press seams that will intersect in opposite directions so you can 'butt the seams' when you are sewing the two pieces together. I pin the butting seams together using a single pin placed at a slight angle - push the pin down through one seam, and back up again through the other seam.
- Check sizes of pieced blocks before continuing on to the next step.
- If you do a lot of patchwork, invest in a 1/4 inch foot, which makes it so much easier to get that precise quarter inch seam.

If you aren't currently sewing along but would like to join the 7500 quilters worldwide taking part in this mega-quilt-athlon it's not too late! You can find all the information you need on how to join up and key links in my previous blog post. This is the book you will need.

 

** The Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt: Inspiring Letters from Farm Women of the Great Depression and 99 Quilt Blocks That Honor Them by Laurie Aaron Hird for Fons & Porter/F+W; RRP $28.99 – Click here to purchase. **

Happy quilting!


Lovely Little Patchwork Blog Tour + Giveaway!

Welcome to my stop on the Lovely Little Patchwork blog tour! I'm so thrilled to be a part of this tour celebrating the first book by Kerri Horsley (of Lovely Little Handmades / Sew Deerly Loved fame), whom I have been following since I started sewing back in 2012. Her style is so unique and inspirational - in fact she is one of the reasons I took up sewing in the first place!


This book is packed to the brim with eye candy and publishers Tuva (who are also publishing my first book Quilt Petite!) have done an amazing job of mixing Kerri's gorgeous photos with water colour illustrations. So yummy! So much so that I found it really difficult to pick just one project - hell, I wanted to make'em all! After much toing and froing, I settled on two projects.


My first project was 'Lemonade Jug Rug' which I turned into a cushion using my Sweet Orchard fabrics. They were a perfect match with their fruity theme and vibrant colours. Those visiting my booth at the spring quilt market may remember this cushion which was part of my display there. 


I had the pattern printed and sitting on my desk for a week before I made the cushion. So even though you are supposed to flip the templates when making the applique shapes I'd got so used to this mirror-image version that I just decided to replicate it as it was. I love how well the yellow dotty print works as lemonade and the red bias stripes are perfect for the straw.


For my second project I made the 'Heart Coasters' in three different colours. And guess what - I totally cheated here, but isn't that what cheater prints are for? Seriously these took no time to make at all, as I didn't have to do any patchwork. I enlarged the heart template in the book by 25% to make it a better scale for the cheater prints from Sweet Orchard, so my coasters are more of a mug rug size.


Courtesy of Tuva I have an extra copy of 'Lovely Little Patchwork' to send to one of you! To enter the draw just leave a comment below. Open worldwide.

Here is a full schedule of the tour so you can visit the other makers to see their fabulous creations. You can also follow along on Instagram with the hashtag #lovelylittlepatchworkblogtour. Thank you for visiting!

28.08.2016Sarah Edgar@sarahedgarprettyfabricsalittlehappyplace.blogspot.co.uk
29.08.2016Heidi Staples@fabricmuttfabricmutt.blogspot.com
30.08.2016Megan Jimenez@QuiltStoryMegquiltstory.blogspot.com
02.09.2016Cheri Lehnow@tinkerellentinkerwiththis.blogspot.com
03.09.2016Ange Hamilton@alittlepatchworkalittlepatchwork.wordpress.com
04.09.2016Sedef Imer@downgrapevinelanedowngrapevinelane.com
05.09.2016Kimberly Jolly@fatquartershopfatquartershop.blogspot.com
06.09.2016Samantha Dorn@aqua_paisleyaquapaisleystudio.com
07.09.2016Ayda Algın@cafenohutcafenohut.blogspot.com
08.09.2016LeAnne Ballard@everydaycelebrationseverydaycelebrate.blogspot.com
09.09.2016Sharon Burgess@lilabellelanelilabellelane.blogspot.com
10.09.2016Lauren Wright@mollyandmamamollyandmama.com.au
11.09.2016Kate May@thehomemakerythehomemakery.co.uk/blog/
12.09.2016Debbie Homick@happylittlecottage1happylittlecottage.blogspot.com
13.09.2016Wynn Tan@zakkaartzakkaart.blogspot.com
14.09.2016Kim Kruzich@retro_mamaretro-mama.blogspot.com
15.09.2016Jennie Pickett@cloverandvioletcloverandviolet.com
16.09.2016Veronica AM@VividFelicityvividfelicity.wordpress.com
17.09.2016Nadra Ridgeway@ellisandhiggsellisandhiggs.com
18.09.2016Amanda Woodruff@acraftyfox_amandaacraftyfox.net
19.09.2016Minki Kim@zerianominkikim.com
20.09.2016Sharon Yeager@daisycottagequiltingInstagram
21.09.2016Peta Peace@shequiltsalotshequiltsalot.com
22.09.2016Sarah Scott@piccolostudio_sarahpiccolostudio.com.au
23.09.2016Kristin Cobb@goobadesignsInstagram
24.09.2016Erin Cox@whynotsewquiltswhynotsew.blogspot.com
25.09.2016Kerri Horsley@sewdeerlylovedlovelylittlehandmades.blogspot.com

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