Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Guest # 37 with Jennifer presenting a Starflower Block Tutorial and a giveaway of.....

To say I'm thrilled to be guest posting at Sew We Quilt today would be an understatement! I'm so excited to be here sharing my starflower block tutorial with you. Thank you Madame Samm for having me!

In addition to this tutorial, I have several others on my blog including a great cross block quilt-along perfect for all skill levels! 

Today I am showing you how to make my starflower rainbow block.  I love this block because it looks modern or traditional, depending on the fabric you choose.  Also, my tutorial gives you two blocks for the price of one- gotta love efficiency!

This block looks complicated but it's not.  It would be perfect for all of you Wantobes and for more experienced quilters alike.

Let's get started!

To make 2 (12.5" finished) blocks you will need the following supplies: 

8 white squares measuring 3.5" x 3.5" 
8 white squares measuring 4" x 4" 
16 colored squares (8 colors, 2 of each color) 4" x 4"
rotary cutter & mat
3.5" square up ruler (very helpful)
optional: quarter inch foot

Special Notes:
  • Non-directional prints work best
  • Half square triangles are sewn together using a quarter inch seam. When you sew the blocks together, you will use a scant quarter inch seam
1. Lay out your fabric in sets grouped by size and color.

2.  Place your colored squares in a circle to see where you want them to go in your finished block. I chose a color wheel type of layout.
3.  Make note of their placements as you will need to know this later on. My colors go in the following order, clockwise: red, pink, orange, yellow, green, aqua, blue, purple.

4. Divide the 4" x 4" colored fabric squares into two groups- put one of each color in each group. Set aside four 3.5"x3.5" white squares. You will use all of these squares for the second block.

5. Now is the time to make half square triangles (HST) for your blocks. 
You can do it. It's easy!

6.  Keeping in mind your color order, place your 8 colored squares together, right side, to right side.  Place the following colors together: red/pink, orange/yellow, green/aqua, blue/purple.  You will now have 4 pairs of colored squares.

7.  Using your ruler and a pencil, make a diagonal line across the back of the fabric square pair.

8. Now, line up your presser foot with the pencil line so that you sew a quarter inch from the line. You do not need to backstitch!

9. After sewing on one side of the line, turn your square around and line up your presser foot again, sewing a quarter inch from the pencil line on the opposite side.

10. Now you should have stitches a quarter inch from the pencil line on both sides.

11. Line up your ruler with your pencil line and use your rotary cutter to cut along the line. This will produce two triangles that when open, are a square.

12. Press your seams open

13.  Use your 3.5" square ruler to trim your block. Be sure to line up the diagonal line of your ruler with the diagonal seam on your block.  Trim your block to 3.5" x 3.5."

14.  Repeat steps 7-13 with the remaining colored squares pairs (orange/yellow, green/aqua, blue/purple.)

15. Take the additional 8 colored squares and place them right sides together with the 8 white 4" x 4" squares.

16. Follow steps 7-13 to create half square triangles.

17. Great job! The hardest part is finished! You should now have a lot of half square triangle blocks.

18. Organize your blocks.

19.  Set aside one row of colored blocks and one row of colored and white blocks. These will be for your second starflower.

20.  Now, place your blocks in the appropriate layout.  

21. Take the middle two blocks on the top row, place them right sides together and sew them together using a SCANT quarter inch seam.  From this point on, you will use a scant quarter inch seam.  (A scant quarter inch seam is slightly less than a quarter inch.)  Be sure to line up your blocks carefully. 

22. Next, sew the middle two blocks together from each row.

23. Now, sew the outer blocks to the inner blocks on each row. 

Please note that while your seams will line up, it may look like your colored fabric doesn't line up. That is normal! 

You should now have 4 rows of 4 blocks sewn together. 

Press your seams open.  

24. Take the first and second rows and place them right sides together. It is very important to line up the seams carefully! Having pressed the seams open will help you line up your blocks more easily. 

Use several pins to make sure the blocks don't move. 

25.  Sew your two rows together using a scant quarter inch seam. 

Open your rows and examine your seams. Do they line up? If not take out the seam ripper and undo your stitches, then try again. (I've had to do this several times before!) 

26. Repeat steps 24 & 25 with the remaining two rows. 
27. Press your seams open. 

Remember the blue and green fabric that didn't seem to line up in step 23? 
All fixed! 

28. You now have a top and bottom set. Place the top set onto the bottom set making sure the seams line up exactly. Pin liberally then sew together using a scant quarter inch seam. 

29. Open your finished block and check your seams. 
Do they line up to your satisfaction? 

If so, press your block and admire you work! 
Congratulations- you've completed your starflower block! 

If you aren't satisfied with the finished product, get out your handy seam ripper and have a do-over. 

When I made these blocks, the first one didn't line up exactly even though I took the final row of stitches out three times.  And after three do overs, the red and pink are still slightly off point. 

On the second one, I paid extra close attention to the placement of my seams and it turned out perfectly. 

Either way, the blocks look fabulous and will be beautiful in a quilt! 

They would also make great pillows! 

No matter what you do with these blocks, don't let small imperfections discourage you. The more blocks you make, the more precise you will get! 

Happy Sewing! 

If you make one of these blocks, I would love to see it. 
Please add yours to the Ellison Lane Quilts Flickr Group. 

Thanks again Madame Samm and good luck to all of you in the giveaway!

 Flickr and my favorite time waster, Pinterest.

Editors note....OHHH my dear Jen...love this...
bright, cheerful, just like you...
SEW to honor you and your brightness
let's have this giveaway.....

OUR Giveaway today is for our QUILTERS

VERANDA by Amanda Murphy @
Robert Kaufman

9 (1/2 yard cuts)
as well as some of these matching
threads from Colonial Needle
Presencia Finca Perle #8
( my absolute fav's)


Oh please go to Jennifer's Blog  and follow her....
you will be sew  pleased you did...
Be a follower here...
leave a comment..that is it...

Big thanks goes out to JEN,
and Robert Kaufman, and Colonial Needle
and YOU, for being the cheerleaders you are
for our wonderful and delightful guests.
WE are all sew fortunate..
YOU really are kind, smart and IMPORTANT to US

#36 Winner of OLISO IRON...

WINNER iron is

( yes it is really YOU who won)
( take a peak
email sent to you)
( she wrote me back from JEN.....no it is you..
numbers all match up ...that is if you want this lol)

This is a Smart Iron by Oliso
and if blue is your favorite color and
you are in need of a new iron,
this could be YOUR day!

Big thanks goes out to NAN for her riveting over the top
tuts....we can always count on her...
To OLISO for another over the top SMART IRON...
and YOU, for coming by and getting almost
as excited at winning as we are in giving..
And TRUST me it is nice to be at this end to the hundreds
of emails of thanks for the goodies....
YOU are KIND, you are SMART, you are IMPORTANT..
to us...

Monday, September 19, 2011

Guest #36 Nan with her One Hour Iron Cozy! and a giveaway of an IRON!

Hi Gang!  Nan here, from Pots and Pins, back for another round of fun...or a reasonable facsimile thereof.  Thanks to Madame Samm (who's heart is three sizes too big) for letting me come back...and for all these weeks of fabulous prizes!  It's been so fun to be a part of it! 
Super Simple Iron Cozy!
Since today's giveaway is a fabulous iron...whoever wins is going to need an iron cozy!  Why?  So glad you asked!  If you've ever taken a quilting class where you've hauled your sewing machine, notions and your iron to class, then you know that after class, when it's time to load up and leave, it's always a pain to wait for the iron to cool down.  If you don't wait, and like me you carefully set the iron in your car, thinking it won't hurt anything and it's cool enough...well, you could be sadly mistaken because if it falls over, this is what you'll get:

Iron imprint on my car's floor mat!  And no, it didn't come that way!!
Oh, please ignore the dirty carpet...but I hope you can see the iron imprint that is now a permanent feature in the back seat of my car...actually, it makes me smile every time I see it - the mister?  Not so much!  It's been there for THREE years now and every time he opens the door to the back seat and sees the burn mark he explodes like Mt. Vesuvius!  You'd think the imprint was in HIS car or on his head...say, that's not a bad idea!  As you know, "stuff happens"...so I have a floor mat with the shape of an iron burned into it...there are worse things!  Since I want to be the only idiot with an iron imprint in her car, I'm going to share with you my One Hour Iron Cozy so you won't have an iron burn in your car!  Let's get started!

You will need:
2 pieces of fabric (front and liner) approximately 20" x 15"
1 piece of fabric (binding) 2 1/2" x 50"
1 piece of batting 15" x 15"
1 piece of Insul-Bright, Needled Insulated Lining 15" x 15" (available at fabric shops)  - Insul-Bright is an insulated lining, it keeps heat in and is great for hot pads, oven mitts, tea cozies, etc.
1 piece of heavy duty string, cording, ribbon, approximately 50" long
8 1/2 x 11" piece of paper for tracing your iron, if your iron is larger, just tape two pieces together

1.   On piece of paper, trace around your iron.
 2.  After you have traced the shape of your iron, draw a dotted sewing line 1 1/4-inches out from the solid line.
 3.  Place your iron pattern on top of a layer of batting and Insul-Bright, pin in place.
 4.  Cut around the pattern, on the dotted line, through batting and Insul-Bright.
 5.  Lay your batting on top of your fabrics and cut two-inches from edge, all the way around.
 6.  Just eye-ball it...this isn't rocket science.
7.  Round the corners as you go.

 As I was making my cozy, the mister walked in and asked what I was doing:

Me:  I'm making an iron cozy.

Mister: Oh for my clubs?

Me:  (I laugh, I picture him carrying around his imaginary caveman club) You have more than one?

Mister:  Yeah, my irons (golf clubs) - are you making me covers for them?

Me:  No, I'm making a hair-net for the iron.

Mister:  Sorry I asked.
(Anytime I want to confound or confuse the mister, I tell him I'm making something only a woman would use...like a hair-net or one of my favorites is to tell him I'm making a lingerie pouch...he practically runs out of the room when I say that! Hey, what he doesn't know won't hurt him!)

8.  Time to layer things up...with the right side down, place the batting on top of the piece of fabric that will be on the outside of your cozy, line up the Insul-Bright on top of the batting, place the lining fabric on top of the Insul-Bright and pin everything together - three or four pins is plenty.

 9.  Now, take your pattern piece and cut out the first line you drew - where you traced your iron. 

 10.  Center it on top of the inside batting and pin into place, through all 4 layers.
 11.  Sew around the pattern piece, right next to the edge.
 12.  Now sew 1 1/4-inches from the first seam, just on the outside edge of the batting, using your fingers to feel your way around...I call this Sewing By Braille. 

 13.  Trim everything up with your scissors, if it needs it.
14.  Above is the outside of the cozy, it's looking good!
 15.  Next, sew another seam, 1/2-inch away from the last seam, you are making a casing, which only needs to be wide enough to get a safety pin through.  Sew all the way around...don't leave an opening, even though my finger is pointing to one!
 16.  Cut your binding strips, 2 1/2-inches by 50 inches, depending on the size of your iron, you probably won't need that long of a piece, but you can trim it after sewing.
 17.  Measure out 1/2-inch from the last casing seam and trim away any excess fabric.  Using the tips of your scissors, make a small snip in the back of the cozy, where the back of the iron would go, into the casing area so you can thread a string tied to a safety pin into the casing.
 18.  Thread the string through the casing but do not pull tight, leave it loose for the next step.
 19.  Press end of binding over, then press binding strip in half lengthwise.
20.  We're in the home stretch!  Press raw edges of binding to the center fold, then press again.
 21.  Fold the binding over the edge of the fabric, and if you must, pin in place, but if you want to be through with this in under an hour, hold with your fingers and sew girl!  Use a zig-zag stitch and make sure your binding just barely touches the outer casing line.  Stitch all the way around.
 22.  When you get to the end, trim your binding, turn the raw edge to the inside, and stitch down...this is just like Project Runway, isn't it!?!  Well, without the tattoos and high heels!
 23.  Now you're ready to pull those strings! 
 24.  It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...think of all the friends you have that you can make a cozy for!!
 25.  Put your iron inside... pull the strings up tight and your cozy is complete! 
 It does look like a hair-net, doesn't it?  But I wouldn't recommend using it as one, the Insul-bright will hold in the heat and you'll think you're having a hot flash...not that I would know!
You can dress it up a bit by adding beads to the ends of your string or ribbon.  It's cute and it's functional...and really, everyone who takes a sewing/quilting class that requires them to bring their iron needs one of these!  It's a time and floor mat saver!
As I was finishing up this post, the mister walked into the nerve center (my workroom) and said, "When you get through with your iron maiden can we please eat dinner?!??  See, I told you he is easily confused!

Okay gang, come and visit me at Pots and Pins, be sure to click on the Quilts/Pin tab to see my Quilts and sewing projects, otherwise there's always something good cooking on the Pots page.  If you're not a follower of my blog, please sign up!  The mister and I have a bet about my followers...I told him I'd like to have a 1,000 followers and he said, "Well, IF you can get 1,000 followers then I'll do my laundry for a week!"  And he laughed.  He never does laundry.  Seriously.  He doesn't even know where our laundry room is!  He thought he was being so funny...no laundry for a week...that's like the Holy Grail to me...because I HATE doing his laundry...men, ahem, how should I put this...well, they have "issues,"  so when I do his laundry I do it all by itself...there is no co-mingling with my laundry and his, I KNOW you know what I mean!  (And by men I mean any male over the age of birth.)  So you see that this is a serious matter to me...I want followers and I need a break from his potty pants!  Help a gal in need, will ya!?  My humble apologies to all the men I have just offended...the thought of a week with no laundry has made me delirious.

Thanks Samm!  I'm looking forward to many more weeks of FUN!  xo, Nan

Editors note: OH my Nan, could you have come up with a more timely
tut...For your smiles and wit, what better way to begin yet another week
ON the theme of your cover, we just have to have a giveaway of an iron...
What say you ? I say yes we do....sew our..

Giveaway today is for both '
Wantobes and Quilters
It is an IRON of course!

This is a Smart Iron by Oliso
and if blue is your favorite color and
you are in need of a new iron,
this could be YOUR day!

What do you need to win..?
OHHHH goodness me if you have
not already go to NAN's place
and be her follower- ( she will be tickled to death)
and note, her mister has a bet, we can help her out with ..right?
Be a follower here of course
and leave a comment
why an iron, especially this iron
should find it self in your home...

Big thanks goes out to NAN for her riveting over the top
tut....we can always count on her...
To OLISO for another over the top SMART IRON...
and YOU, for coming by and getting almost
as excited at winning as we are in giving..
And TRUST me it is nice to be at this end to the hundreds
of emails of thanks for the goodies....
YOU are KIND, you are SMART, you are IMPORTANT..
to us...