Stash Build – July

That dang Craftsy sale gets me every time. I gave in and ordered another Free Spirit Fat Quarter bundle box. It’s such a beautiful sight to see when you get that box open and remove the plastic.

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This one had a few repeats from previous boxes. There was more Chicopee by Denise Schmidt:

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Which was being admired by the quality control engineer. And more Enchanted by Kathy Davis:

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But then there were these pretties:

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Wildflower by Kathy Davis. I love both of these prints. The trees are Pretty Little Things and there is no selvedge for the orange one or the butterfly print.
One of my local quilt shops had a clearance sale with 40 to 70% off selected yardage. I grabbed this print – Rainforest Buzz – for less than $4 a yard. I think it will make a great blender.

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I also stopped at a local cross-stitch store and picked up these patterns. I may have a little something up my sleeve…

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The only sewing I did this week was on this:

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The fake leather cover of my bible was toast so I took some leftover Boho mini charms and some of the Polka Dot Stitches fabric that I got last week and went to work. They blend together so well!

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I also added a few more ribbons for page markers in the book binding space. I think it turned out great and was exactly what I had in my head!

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Paper Piecing Tips

I’ve been working on a Paper Piecing Pattern and thought I would share some of the tips I use or have come across. These are a few paper pieced blocks that helped hone my skills.

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First up – Paper!

I use copy paper. My first pieces came from a ream that was purchased for a teenager’s school project. He needed certain colors and a ream full of those colors is what I bought. He used about 5 sheets of paper and I had a full ream left in some really pretty colors that I would not ever use for anything. Instead of using my good copy paper, or buying foundation piecing paper, I decided to use this ream while learning this technique. It’s 24# so it is actually pretty thick.

I have also used 20# that I got during the Back to School sales that are happening right now and that is definitely a thinner stock and tears a bit easier that the 24#. You want the paper to tear pretty easily since it is attached to your stitches. The easier it tears the less your stitches get pulled during the removal of the paper. If you will be doing a lot of paper piecing and like to use copy paper then I would suggest stocking up during these Back to School sales on the cheaper copy paper that is thinner and tears easier.

Now you have to prep the paper for easy removal later. There are a number of ways to do this. You can score the lines by sewing with an empty needle on the paper itself, basically puncturing it to create the little holes prior to actual sewing. I hate to do the same thing twice so I just score my lines by folding it on the edge of one of my rulers and then pressing the line with my fingernail to secure the fold.

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A wavelength pattern piece with folds:

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Second – attaching that first piece of fabric.

When I first learned paper piecing, I learned to pin that first piece to section 1 and that worked pretty well to keep that piece from sliding around. But, recently I came to possess a Sewline Glue Pen and I love it for paper piecing! Just a small streak on the paper and attach it to that first piece of fabric to keep it pretty secure.

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It’s also repositionable, which I really like, and keeps the fabric nice and flat. It goes on blue but dries clear and the fabric is easily removed from the paper after stitching is complete.

Third – sewing – this is really where the precision comes into play.

If you get off of that sew line then it throws the precision off. I will admit, that even as a Virgo, I am not that precise in my assembly. This type of piecing helps me overcome the lack of skill I have sewing a straight line or keeping my points nice and pointy. Now, that only works if I can stay on that sewing line. Take piece 2 and lay it right sides together, with the seam allowances aligned, on piece 1. Flip the entire unit over to prepare for sewing on that line.

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The stitch length should be smaller than what you would use for normal piecing. This helps later on when removing the paper from the fabric. Sew on the line per the numerical order written on the pattern. I backstitch at the beginning and end of the line to secure the stitches. This is especially important when attaching smaller segments.

Once the first piece is attached to the pattern, fold the paper on the line between piece 2 and 3 and trim with a ¼” seam allowance.

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I trim with a rotary cutter that I use exclusively for paper piecing as I don’t want to take the chance on dulling all of my rotary cutting blades. Line up the 3rd piece of fabric with the seam allowance and then flip the unit over and sew on the line between 2 and 3 on the paper. Fold where piece 3 attaches and trim with a ¼” seam allowance and continue until all pieces in that section are attached.

Trim around the whole section using the ¼ inch seam allowance by lining up the ¼ inch marker of the ruler on the outer line of the block section.

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Also trim those strangely shaped points on the end of some of the patterns.

20140726-190957-68997704.jpg This will help line up the sections when piecing them together later.

I remove my paper prior to piecing all the sections together. I find it more difficult to remove them after the sections were joined to each other. When removing the paper be sure to also hold on to those first stitches so they don’t stretch or pull out. I make a small tear on the end, hold those first stitches, and remove that section.

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When sewing any pieced sections together make sure to match up those little end pieces. It will help with the accuracy of your piecing.

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I love how paper piecing blocks look and I enjoy the process of putting them together. It does, however, create quite a bit of trash.

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Here’s a peek of my Crop Duster pattern that I hope to post soon.

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I’m loving that section where all my points line up! And I am falling more and more in love with this fabric as I piece it all together. The main print is called Aubrey and it’s so pretty.

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Sunday Stash – May

Well – I gave in once again to a big Craftsy sale. They had that Free Spirit Fat Quarter Box at a great price and I snagged one up.

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There was a wonderful selection of Chicopee in this one:

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Along with London:

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Pretty Little Things:

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And a few other randoms:

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I ran out of the green print from In my Room by Jenean Morrison and was able to locate it (and a few more prints) at Fabric Fly:

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Pink Castle Fabrics had some great blenders and stash bundles that I just had to have:

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They also sent a Cotton + Steel Trading card. I love the sentiment on this one!

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That should do it for this week.

Be sure to click over and sign up to be in the running to receive the Traveling Stash Box by Friday June 6th. I’ll be doing the drawing that night. Here’s what I added to the box. It’s all packed up and ready to head to it’s new temporary home. 🙂
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Diamond Delight Done!

My first self-designed modern quilt is done! I just adore this quilt!

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It started out as a quilt kit that was ordered through Craftsy for me as a Christmas gift from my parents.

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The kit came with a design that I did not care much for but the fabric I loved! It is High Street by Moda and also came with some Bella Solids in Zen Grey and Clementine. I took the same basic design idea – striped triangles – and flipped it around and played with it a while in Electric Quilt until I came up with something that I thought was extremely cool. The strings of diamonds remind me of 70s doorway curtains made of beads. (I think I may be showing my age here.) Anyway, it’s sparkling and shimmery and colorful.

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The big diamond breaks up those smaller strings a little but doesn’t take over the whole quilt.
I quilted an echo around the small diamonds and also in the center of those quilt lines. This look is exactly what I was going for.

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I continued that same quilting into the big diamond as if the regular diamonds were there. It keeps both front and back quilted symmetrically without weird lines going everywhere.

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I have some extra fabric so I am planning to make an accompanying pillow cover with smaller diamonds so the effect doesn’t get lost. I think the inverted diamonds, that I added to the back – using the scraps from the original triangles, look great so I will add some of those to the pillow as well.

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That Bella Solids Clementine binding is superb!! I wasn’t sure as I was cutting the binding strips but it really pulls all the colors together so well.

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I cleaned up my sewing space and am ready for my next big project – Wavelength by Lee Heinrich at Freshly Pieced.
Here’s a sneak at the fabric selection:

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Surprise Packages

I did not get much sewing done this week. My sewing machine was quiet until Saturday. I spent some time organizing my fabric, doing a fabric pull for the Triangle Quilt Along that starts later this month, and tweaking the design of a quilt I am about to start.
Saturday came and I pulled out the March Sugar Block pattern and went to work. Amy Gibson named this one Explore with the ‘Beyond the Block’ challenge to try something new or something that is not in your normal schedule.
Here’s my block:

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My background fabric choice is the dark olive rather than a white or cream. I enjoy experimenting with color placement and creating combinations that really pop but still play nice together.

I also accepted an invitation to join a friend for an activity that I would have normally said ‘No’ to without any additional thought. I enjoyed myself even if it wasn’t my cup of tea. There are a few more activities this month that I would previously have shied away from but am planning on doing anyway. It’s a good way to expand my horizons and create new experiences.
In Saturday’s mail was a package from Craftsy.

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I was pretty sure that I was not expecting any fabric – not from Craftsy anyway. So, I just had to see what it was. Turns out that Craftsy sent me this canvas tote bag and a sweet note.

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I think I may be shopping their fabric sales just a little too much these days. It’s definitely a sign to cut back. 🙂

Fabric Fast – #fail

In this post from February 8th, I made the following statement –

After all that splurging I am planning on taking a buying break. Let’s see if I can fabric fast until the end of the month.

That ‘break’ did not last very long. I was home sick on the 13th with IPad in hand and went on a search for some more fabric for the backing of the Virtual Quilting Bee quilt. I had laid it out and did not have enough and a pieced back wasn’t going to work for this project. It is Belly Laugh Turquoise from the Ticklish line by Me & My Sister designs and it’s perfect for the back of that quilt.

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Then through #thegreatfabricdestash I found the perfect backing for my Floral Pop! quilt. And a few charm packs that I just had to have.

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It’s Comma!! I just could not resist those sweet little squares. I blame Molli Sparkles for introducing me to that line. 🙂
Then, Craftsy decided to have a huge fabric sale. I was able to pick up a Mystery Fat quarter box for a little over $40! Fifty designer fat quarters for that price was a steal.

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Here are some close ups of what that box contained:

20140301-112214.jpg What a cute little monkey – Hanging Around by Michael Miller

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20140301-112716.jpg The box included Dreamcatcher, Bonjour, Lydia, Fairy Frost, Focus II, and a bunch without selvedge so I can’t identify them. That orange one is more of a linen weave. So, I’m not sure how I’ll use it.

I’m not even going to try and put in a fabric fast plan for March. That would be plain silly. I might be starting the month with a trip to a local quilt shop that I’ve not yet been to. That could be dangerous. 🙂

Sunday Stash – February ’14

I’ve been a very,very, very bad girl by continuing to buy from #thegreatfabricdestash on Instagram. I received this lovely piece today.

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The selvage states 2009 as the year of production with a Disney copyright. This Mirror, Mirror design is a great addition to my textie prints.
Another cute little package came earlier in the week, also courtesy of the destash.

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Me and My Sister makes the cutest designs. These Charm Packs will make wonderful baby or spring themed quilts.

Then I used a 40% off coupon at Craftsy and picked up the 2013 Block of the Month fabric kit at a great deal. Looks at all those gorgeous dots!

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There are open dots:

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Small dots:

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Inverted dots:

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And medium dots:

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Some Kona Snow also came with it. The kit totaled 12.5 yards of fabric!
After all that splurging I am planning on taking a buying break. Let’s see if I can fabric fast until the end of the month. Baby Steps. Wish me luck. I’m pretty weak where fabric is concerned.