Thursday, 9 November 2017

I learnt a new trick

Seeing as it is was the beginning of the month I decided to get my bee block commitments made and posted early so I can concentrate on getting my Gypsy top put together.

First up was my block for Paige from Quilted Blooms who is queen for Bee Inspired this month.  Do you know Paige?  When you see her work you will want to, she designed her chosen block, Planted Pines.

This is the mock up of the blocks and,

this is the quilt, isn't it lovely?  Paige sent us all enough fabric so we could make two blocks, I really enjoyed making these.

This is the new trick I learned, to make fast work of all those flying geese.

First I cut all the pieces for the flying geese and marked the centre line with a Hera marker and another line a half inch away to get bonus triangles.

Then I used painters tape to mark a straight line using my needle, forget about a seam this is directly in line with the needle, use your ruler and any markings on your machine to line it up.

Line up the marked line with the painters tape and stitch.  It's so fast, and you get a nice straight seam too.

I chain pieced them quick as a flash.

Then I guided them all through again and lined up the mark for the bonus triangles.

After pressing and trimming off the bonus blocks I fed them through again for the second side.

At this point of course I should show you a pile of flying geese and another of half square triangles but I got carried away with the momentum and I forgot, though I expect you know what a pile of finished flying geese looks like.

And here they are stitched together in the blocks.  I got a bit carried away and made an extra one, then I remembered I didn't have any more ground fabric so I sent it to Paige in two pieces for her to add the ground as well as the bonus half square triangles in case she wants to do a feature on the back of the quilt.  The background on the left is a linen look, a pale sort of creamy coloured fabric and the one in the middle is an Alison Glass fabric, none of them have photographed very well so you will have to take my word they look a lot better in real life.

Now this is where you say you already knew how to do this and how I must be one of the few quilters who don't use this trick.  I was just so impressed at how a piece of painters tape can make the job so fast and easy, and so much better than stitching on a drawn line, my stitching usually ends up wonky when I do that.

If you want to get the block tutorial you can find it on Paige's post.  I'm looking forward to seeing the finished quilt it will be a lovely autumn winter quilt I think.

I made another bee block too, my last block for Stash Bee 2017.  The tutorial was for a circle of geese block, wonderful, but it's paper pieced and very intricate, and I'm not what you could call a paper piecer, it would have taken me days to make and no guarantee i would have made a very good job, and I hate the thought of sending off a block which isn't made to a good standard.  Fortunately there was a link at the bottom for an alternative block as strictly speaking the circle of geese broke the rules, blocks are supposed to be doable in 1 1/2 hours.  I followed the link and found

This wonderful block, it's called Zig Zag Path at Piece N Quilt.  If you follow the link it takes you to the tutorial which has an illustration of two different quilts made from the block, one looks like it has an optical illusion.  I love this block, straightforward to make and very effective, the perfect bee block in my opinion.

Oh I haven't shown you my Gypsy blocks for this week,

Here they are, square in a square.  Yes it is a lot and no it's not all of them, there are sixteen here, Gypsy contains 35 and yes I have made them all.  They are mostly in two sizes with just a couple in odd sizes so I chain pieced them.   I cut centre squares and outer triangles from lots of different fabrics and just mixed them up.   I didn't follow the piecing instructions in the pattern I used the Bloc Loc chart instead, it gives cutting instructions so the block turns out with a bigger seam allowance which can be trimmed down to the exact fit, but as you can see I haven't trimmed mine yet.  You can find the free cutting chart here and you don't need to use a Bloc Loc ruler to use it either.

That's all I have to share with you this week, I'm having my kitchen painted next week so I don't know how much time I will get to sew, I will be camped out in the sitting room with my overactive girls Ella and Indi and I won't be able to leave them for a minute to nip to my sewing room, the last time Indi chewed a hole in one of my favourite cushions and no I still haven't got around to repairing it yet.  Still, last time the decorator was here I ended up camped out in my bedroom, so at least it's an improvement.

Until next time,
With smiles from,
Kate x

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  1. Oh Kate, I love your blocks! And thank you for making extra! I will happily add the ground! What nice grouping of blocks, all of them!

  2. good trick with the tape and I love your trees

  3. I use the tape also, very handy. Love the Zigzag block, being 12 inches and that they can all be made from charms. The star twist layout is amazing! Thanks for sharing it.. Hugs.

  4. I knew about the tape trick, but it never occurred to me to use my Hera marker to make the two sewing lines. Thanks for that bit of inspiration! I usually just sew the center seam then kind of eyeball the second one for the bonus triangles, and it's always wobbly and inaccurate.

    Very smart to use the Bloc Loc chart to make your square in a square blocks. I've heard the big complaint about GW is there's no wiggle room at all on the blocks, so good to use a wiggle friendly method.

    Paige's trees are very cute! I do follow her blog, she's brilliant!

  5. It's always good to learn new tricks. Looks like you had a busy week. Love the bright colors in your Economy blocks. That's going to be a very colorful quilt.

  6. I, too, love your blocks! The tree quilt is going to be so cute. Great fabrics.

  7. Love, love, love your tree blocks! I like that quilt layout also. I have used the tape method before, but what I like even better is using the Fons and Porter flying geese ruler, no waste triangles with that method.

  8. The tree blocks are very festive, but I really love those fun square in a square blocks! They're so cute and cheerful. Thanks for all the block links, too. So many possibilities!

  9. Love your blocks and seeing your progress each week!

  10. I am one of those quilters who haven't tried the painters tape trick yet so thank you! I have been meaning to and forgot all about it! :) And once again, I am in love with the colors of your Gypsy Wife quilt. It is going to be A-MA-ZING.

  11. You did some amazing sewing this week so I'm hoping you're feeling better and back to your wonderful sewing ways. Paige's quilt is going to be gorgeous. I love your Economy Blocks and I can't wait to see your GW finish. Happy Re-deocrating!

  12. Great tree blocks, they look great!

  13. I see your blog daily, it is crispy to study.
    Your blog is very useful for me & i like so much...
    Thanks for sharing the good information!

  14. Kate, anything that makes fast work of flying geese is something of a godsend. Such pretty blocks as a result, too.

    Your Gypsy Wife block is delightful. I can't wait to see the whole quilt all put together and quilted. I don't understand how you gals can make that sort of commitment! But I do admire you!

  15. Nice work with all your blocks Kate! I had a look at the Circle of Geese block you opted out of and my first thought was holy mulloley! It does look daunting!

  16. Great blocks! Paige does amazing work, and that quilt is going to be fabulous.

  17. I have always loved Paige's work. How lovely to be in the same bee as Paige, her quilting is inspiring

  18. Lovely collection of blocks! The trees are great!

  19. Those trees are adorable. I've heard about the tape method, but haven't tried it. I keep forgetting to make a second line for the bonus, and then I just can't be bothered later. Have to remember next time.


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With smiles from,