Monday, May 25, 2020

Hand Pieced QAL - Elizabeth



Having fun hand piecing?  It's time to get started on our block #9 - Elizabeth.  (And it is hard to believe  this is the last block!)

Elizabeth has more pieces than our last two blocks but the curves are easier to piece than our last block.  Take your time and enjoy the stitching!

Let's see how you like Elizabeth compared to her friends -
Evelyn, JanePenelopeLouisaCathy,  Jo,  Emma, and Claire,  Curved piecing (IMHO) is much easier to do by hand than it is by machine.  (See the tips for hand piecing curves.)

Still need the pattern for Book Club for the Hand Pieced QAL - grab yours now!  Book Club is a 9 block sampler and two block setting to make either a wall hanging or a throw sized quilt.  Did you miss the QAL announcement?  You can find more information here!  If you have any trouble ordering the pattern, please don't hesitate to email us at handpiecedqal@gmail.com - we'll be happy to help!


Tips & Tricks

There are six shapes needed to make our Elizabeth block, all of which need to be cut with templates.  Make sure you mark all your stitching lines on the wrong side of the units.  The Perfect Piecer makes it easy to mark sewing lines even on curves.   Please consult the tutorials for Using Templates and for Marking Stitching Lines if you need some tips.

Once the pieces are cut and prepped, keeping a visual layout in front of you will be key to success.  The fan wedges (shown in orange, blue and gray fabrics below) come from 3 different templates.   It is easy to get them confused so consider sewing those first! (I am using my wonderful wool pressing mat to keep everything organized.)


One technique when handpiecing small or complex curves is to cut a 1/4'' larger on all the straight edges in the template.  Mark your seam lines where they are supposed to be and sew on those original seam lines.  (See more tips on hand piecing curves.)

Sew the wedges together first.


Sew the quarter circle to the arch shape.  Always sew with the concave curve facing up.

Fold the quarter circle unit in half to mark the center and then aligned it with the seam between the two center wedges.  (If you look carefully, you can see the fold in the photo below.)

Note that the gold quarter circle is overcut on the straight edge - the white arch piece is not but only because I forgot to do so when cutting. The excess will get trimmed away at a later step but it gave me some piece of mind when dealing with small curves.


When you are sewing the fan wedges to the arch, pass your needle through those seam intersections!


Repeat the fold and crease of the outside concave piece and align with seam lines between the two center edges.   This curved seam is a little trickier to sew because you need to keep the concave piece on top while also making sure you sew through seam allowances (and not over them) at the bottom.  To make it work, I flipped the piece over each time I need to sew through a seam allowance.



The concave outer edge was also cut larger on each of the straight edges.  Once the block is pressed, align the 45 degree marking on your ruler and trim the block to 9 1/2 '' x 9 1/2 ''


The link-up for Elizabeth (or any blocks you make this week) will open on Thursday, May 28.  You can also add your blocks to the currently open week 8 link-up which closes Thursday right as the week 9 link-up opens.  If you share on IG, please tag your photo with #bookclubqal and #handpiecedqal.

Make sure you go visit Kristen and see her Elizabeth block!

The Book behind the Block

We are first introduced to Elizabeth as she arrives in a small wilderness town in NY to become a school teacher.  The year is 1792.  Elizabeth soon meets and falls in love with Nathaniel, a white man who grew up as part of the Mohican nation.  Their story (and that of their children) unfolds in the six book Wilderness Series by Sara Donati.  Into the Wilderness is the first book.

I enjoy this series of books for several reasons.  First, I love generational stories - they are my favorite!  Second, I also love stories where familiar characters from other novels are woven into the narrative.  Claire (our previous block) from Outlander shows up a few times.  Nathaniel himself is the son of Hawkeye and Cora, first introducted in the novel Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper and then dramatized in the movie (made in 1992).

We chose to name this block Elizabeth to represent how the story begins with Elizabeth and then flows out through time as her family grows.  (In fact, the author has started a new series - the first book is the Gilded Hour - which picks up in 1883 and feature grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Elizabeth!)



Stay in touch and join our community so you don't miss a thing! 


Have a wonderful day! Patty

One Monthly Goal May Finish Link-up

Ready to link up your May finishes?
Don't panic - this link-up is open until May 31 at 11:55 pm ET.




My goal for May was to quilt my hand appliqued circles quilt.  I tried a couple of different FMQ designs on the quilt and enjoyed the process.  The quilt is ready to be donated.  (Read more.)



Now it is your turn to link-up!

There will be three winners this month - Fat Quarter Shop is offering a $25 gift certificate,  ecopeco is offering a ecopeco® Quetzal Blue Combo Pack, and Paper Pieces  is offering a bulk pack of 1" hexies.




Visit the One Monthly Goal event page for the specific requirements for links and social tags. 

And remember, to be eligible for the prize(s) by random drawing you must linkup at both the goal setting and the accomplishment linkup in a given month. (
May Goal Setting Link-up.)

Make sure you add a link to this OMG post so others can follow where you are linking.   Let's make that easy -  just paste this into your post:  


Sign up to receive email notifications when the One Monthly Goal linkup is open.  Think of it as a helpful reminder!  Joining the link-up from Instagram -see the tutorial.



You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter


Have a wonderful day! Patty

Friday, May 22, 2020

Donation Baby Quilts

Our local MQG chapter decided to make and donate quilts in support of a NICU at our local hospital.  I've made 3 quilt so far and one more quilt top is sitting waiting to be quilted.

I've shared the first one already - a circle quilt created somewhat improv-like.


My next one was quickly assembled from a set of charm squares that had been hand appliqued with circles.  This slow circles project was something I worked on in 2016 (see the blog post *) and then packed away.


During this stay at home period, I've been searching through my stash and using stuff up.  I made this disappearing 9-patch quilt from scraps and charm squares.


These last two used scraps of fabrics from Moda Fig Tree.  I didn't have anything in my stash that looked right for a traditional binding so I decided to go with a faced binding instead!

Finally, using triangles of Me & You fabric that I picked up at Quiltcon in 2017 (!!!), I've made one more quilt top.  Now to quilt - I'm planning diagonal lines with my walking foot!


Now to wash and donate these 3 quilts!  I'll be linking up as part of Hands to Help!

* One benefit of having a blog is knowing exactly when I started - and in this case - abandoned a project!

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Book Club - Claire Link-up

Welcome to the week  8 link-up for Book Club - A Hand Pieced QAL.  We are so excited to see what you have made!  Read more about Claire and the book behind the block.


This link-up will be open for one week - until Thursday, May 28 (4 am ET/1 am PT).  You are welcome to share any and all of the blocks you completed this week.  When this link-up closes, a new one will open (magic!) so please don't worry if you fall behind.

This week's sponsor is Fat Quarter Shop!   One lucky participant will win a $30 gift certificate!


Fat Quarter Shop features high quality quilting fabric for quilting, sewing, crafters, and fabric lovers of all ages. They are always coming up with exciting new exclusives, clubs and quilt-along programs. Whatever fabric or notion you're looking for--chances are they will have it!

Photos can be shared from a blog, Flickr, or Pinterest and much include a  link to Elm Street Quilts or Simple Handmade Everyday.  Photos can also be shared via a public Instagram and must contain the tag #handpiecedqal and/or #bookclubqal 

Don't have a way to share?  You can also email them to handpiecedqal at gmail dot com.  Need instructions on how to link-up?  See the tutorial!


Blocks shared must follow the guidelines below to be eligible to win a prize.


We hope you take a few minutes to visit others and make new friends!

Please note - sharing a photo in the link-up gives Elm Street Quilts and Simple Handmade Everyday permission to feature a photo of your block on their sites.  Full attribution will be given.




You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter


Guidelines:

  • Blocks must be entirely hand-pieced.  
  • Block must visually match a block to the Book Club - A Hand Pieced QAL pattern.    Blocks can be made a different size.
  • Finished blocks can be shared in any link-up but can only be shared once.  Duplicates will be disqualified.
  • Multiple blocks created by one quilter may be shared in the same link-up.
  • Winners will be chosen randomly and notified via email.  Winners have 72 hours to claim their prize - if we don't hear back, we will draw another name.  Once winners have claimed their prize, this post will be updated with the winner's name.



For more information on the QAL including catching up with any tutorials you've missed, please visit the main event page - Book Club - Hand Pieced QAL.   

You can also join our Hand Pieced Quilt Along Facebook Group and / or subscribe to our newsletter so you'll be among the first to know about new block tutorials.


Haven't yet purchased the pattern?  Get your copy here!

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Monday, May 18, 2020

Book Club QAL - Claire


Having fun hand piecing?  It's time to get started on our block #8 - Claire.  (And it is hard to believe we've almost made all the blocks!)

Claire is all about the curve!  Take your time and you'll find you enjoy piecing this block!

Let's see how you like Claire compared to her friends -
Evelyn, JanePenelopeLouisaCathy,  Jo, and Emma),  Curved piecing (IMHO) is much easier to do by hand than it is by machine.  (See the tips for hand piecing curves.)

Just remember to take your time and pin, pin, pin.

Still need the pattern for Book Club for the Hand Pieced QAL - grab yours now!  Book Club is a 9 block sampler and two block setting to make either a wall hanging or a throw sized quilt.  Did you miss the QAL announcement?  You can find more information here!  If you have any trouble ordering the pattern, please don't hesitate to email us at handpiecedqal@gmail.com - we'll be happy to help!



Tips & Tricks

There are only two basic shapes needed to make our Claire block, both of which need to be cut with templates.  (Check out the tutorial if you need some reminders.)  Make sure you mark all your stitching lines on the wrong side of the units.  This specialty ruler - The Perfect Piecer -  makes it easy marking sewing lines even on curves.

The rotary cutting instructions (if applicable) for the units can be found in the bottom left corner of the pattern sheet.  Please consult the tutorials for Using Templates and for Marking Stitching Lines if you need some tips.

Once the pieces are cut and prepped, keeping a visual layout in front of you will be key to success.  It is easy to get those curved pieces flipped around. (I am using my wonderful wool pressing mat to keep everything organized.)



If you are not super confident on curves - and who really is? - consider over-cutting the straight edges of the concave piece by about 1/4''.   This will give you some extra 'wiggle room' when piecing and you'll end up with a nice square block at the end.

Once the unit is pieced, trim it up to be 5'' x 5''.   In the photo below (on the right), you'll see how the diagonal line on my ruler lines up tip to tip on the orange peel.  I shift the ruler until I get a 1/4'' of background on each corner.

While I am not recommending you trim from the wrong side, you can see in the photo below on the left what it would look like - still align the diagonal line.



To begin, fold each of the units in half and finger press the center line.  Align the creases and secure with a pin.  In addition add a pin at left edge, aligning seam interactions.  Then stitch towards the center pin.   

Once you can remove the center pin, go ahead and pin the right edge, aligning the seam intersections and sew.




Before you know it, you'll have your 4 units pieced and trimmed!


When you are ready to sew, be careful to fold back seam allowances to keep them from getting caught in the stitching.






The link-up for Claire (or any blocks you make this week) will open on Thursday, May 21.  You can also add your blocks to the Emma link-up which closes Thursday right as the Claire link-up opens.  If you share on IG, please tag your photo with #bookclubqal and #handpiecedqal.

Make sure you go visit Kristen and see her Claire block!


The Book behind the Block

When we first meet Claire in Outlander by Dianna Gabaldon, she is a nurse and just getting reacquainted with her husband Frank after being separated for years because of WWII.   Claire walks through a circle of stones (think Stonehendge) and finds herself in Scotland in the year 1743.  She meets and falls in love with a Highland warrior by the name of Jamie Frasier.    Currently, Outlander is a eight book series but Dianna is actually actively working on book 9 which will be titled Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone.  No word yet on the publish date.

Why did we call this block Claire?  Mild spoiler alert, Claire does eventually return to her natural time period but will also travel back and forth to the 18th century.  This block clearly represents the twisting world of Claire, one foot in each of two time periods.

I really enjoyed this series when I first read it and will likely pick it up again.  And, a bit of warning, some parts of a bit graphic.  If that bothers you, just turn the page to when the battle ends and the story picks up again!








Stay in touch and join our community so you don't miss a thing!   



Thursday, May 14, 2020

Book Club - Emma Link-up

Welcome to the week  7 link-up for Book Club - A Hand Pieced QAL.  We are so excited to see what you have made!  Read more about Emma and the book behind the block.



This link-up will be open for one week - until Thursday, May 21 (4 am ET/1 am PT).  You are welcome to share any and all of the blocks you completed this week.  When this link-up closes, a new one will open (magic!) so please don't worry if you fall behind.


This week’s sponsor is Stella Lighting!


One lucky participant will receive a Stella Edge Light.


The Stella Edge is designed for maximum durability and traveling capabilities. The Tri-Spectrum Technology which allows users to easily change their light from a warm spectrum similar to incandescent lights, to a natural white similar to sunlight, to a cool white similar to moonlight.  The 5-level dimming allows varying light intensities down to 10% of the maximum output.




Photos can be shared from a blog, Flickr, or Pinterest and much include a  link to Elm Street Quilts or Simple Handmade Everyday.  Photos can also be shared via a public Instagram and must contain the tag #handpiecedqal and/or #bookclubqal 

Don't have a way to share?  You can also email them to handpiecedqal at gmail dot com.  Need instructions on how to link-up?  See the tutorial!


Blocks shared must follow the guidelines below to be eligible to win a prize.


We hope you take a few minutes to visit others and make new friends!

Please note - sharing a photo in the link-up gives Elm Street Quilts and Simple Handmade Everyday permission to feature a photo of your block on their sites.  Full attribution will be given.



You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Guidelines:

  • Blocks must be entirely hand-pieced.  
  • Block must visually match a block to the Book Club - A Hand Pieced QAL pattern.    Blocks can be made a different size.
  • Finished blocks can be shared in any link-up but can only be shared once.  Duplicates will be disqualified.
  • Multiple blocks created by one quilter may be shared in the same link-up.
  • Winners will be chosen randomly and notified via email.  Winners have 72 hours to claim their prize - if we don't hear back, we will draw another name.  Once winners have claimed their prize, this post will be updated with the winner's name.



For more information on the QAL including catching up with any tutorials you've missed, please visit the main event page - Book Club - Hand Pieced QAL.   

You can also join our Hand Pieced Quilt Along Facebook Group and / or subscribe to our newsletter so you'll be among the first to know about new block tutorials.


Haven't yet purchased the pattern?  Get your copy here!

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Monday, May 11, 2020

Book Club QAL - Emma




Having fun hand piecing?  It's time to get started on our block #7 - Emma.

While Emma will build on the skills from our prior blocks (Evelyn, JanePenelopeLouisaCathy, and Jo), she also brings in curved piecing.  Curved piecing (IMHO) is much easier to do by hand than it is by machine.  (See the tips for hand piecing curves.)

Just remember to take your time and pin, pin, pin.

Still need the pattern for Book Club for the Hand Pieced QAL - grab yours now!  Book Club is a 9 block sampler and two block setting to make either a wall hanging or a throw sized quilt.  Did you miss the QAL announcement?  You can find more information here!  If you have any trouble ordering the pattern, please don't hesitate to email us at handpiecedqal@gmail.com - we'll be happy to help!



Tips & Tricks

There are just three basic shapes needed to make our Emma block.  Both the curved wedge unit and the half peel will need to be cut by templates.  The small center square can be rotary cut.  (Check out the tutorial if you need some reminders.)  Make sure you mark all your stitching lines on the wrong side of the units.  This specialty ruler - The Perfect Piecer -  makes it easy marking sewing lines even on curves.

The rotary cutting instructions (if applicable) for the units can be found in the bottom left corner of the pattern sheet.  Please consult the tutorials for Using Templates and for Marking Stitching Lines if you need some tips.

Once the my pieces all cut and prepped, keeping a visual layout in front of you will be key to success.  It is easy to get those curved pieces flipped around. (I am using my wonderful wool pressing mat to keep everything organized.)



Fold the curved wedge unit (my blue fabric) on top of the half-peel unit (my white fabric).  Start by aligning the corner seam intersections and then place several pins in the center.  As always, make sure your seams are starting and stopping 1/4'' away from the edge.



The Emma block will assemble in 3 pieces - the two outer corners and the center unit.


Pins are your friends when you are ready to attach the larger units together.  Aligning seam intersections, pin a the center and the outer edge before adds pins between.


Your pinned unit will look like this when you are ready to sew.


I really enjoyed putting the Emma block together.  (I actually made a second version because I realized I didn't take any in progress photos the first time!)


The link-up for Emma (or any blocks you make this week) will open on Thursday, May 14.  You can also add your blocks to the Jo link-up which closes Thursday right as the Emma link-up opens.  If you share on IG, please tag your photo with #bookclubqal and #handpiecedqal.

Make sure you go visit Kristen and see her Emma block!


The Book behind the Block


Emma by Jane Austin was first published in 1815.  It has been adapted into a movie multiple times and many novels have retold the basic story.  Emma is a young woman - beautiful, intelligent and very spoiled - who lives with her father.  She imagines herself to be superb at matchmaking and the story unfolds as Emma does her very best to interfere in the lives of people around her.

Emma is represented by the gold square in the center of our block as she works to spin around and orchestrate the lives around her!


Stay in touch and join our community so you don't miss a thing! 



Have a wonderful day! Patty

Friday, May 8, 2020

April Temperatures

After making wall hanging sized quilts to record the daily high temperatures for the last 2 years, I knew that for 2020 I wanted a larger functional size quilt and one that recorded both high and low temperatures for each day.

Here are the first four months of the year - each month is two columns (i.e. the 1st to the 15th and then the 16th to the 29th, 30th or 31st.)





Now compare this to my 2019 temperature quilt - I only recorded the high temperatures but you can certainly see that there were many more days in the 70s and 80s last year as compared to this one!


In the 2020 quilt, the low temperature is the smaller rectangle - vertical for odd numbered days and horizontal for even numbered.  The fabrics are all Painters Palette solids and I keep the color gradient at the top of my design wall so it is always available to reference.

I've made temperature quilts for 2018 and 2019.  Want to make your own temperature quilt - check out my tutorial!



That piece of white thread is there for a reason - it marks the only day of snow we had this past winter!



Have a wonderful day! Patty