Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Our guest Block(er) today is Rebecca with coordinated strip blocks

Have you ever had this problem?  A pile of beautiful coordinating scraps leftover from a project . . .

In this case, these are left from a quilt I made for my front entry.

I already tackled the scraps once and came out with three new cushions for my couch.

But that pile still remained.  So I made it my mission to use them up for this post.  I first took some of the bigger pieces and started cutting half square triangles.  You can make them any size, I chose to use my Baby GO! 2 1/2" die.

Then I played with layouts and used 8 triangles to make a square.

Then I picked through my scraps again and cut 2 1/2" strips to border my block with (you could cut a wider or narrower width if you like).  Notice how my pile of scraps is getting smaller . . .

And voila!  Here is my finished scrappy block . . .

Then I made a couple more of the same blocks . . .

And took all my remaining scraps and cut them into 2 1/4" width pieces and sewed them all into a long strip for the binding.  A little quilt sandwich, some diagonal line quilting, sew the binding on, and reveal this . . .

Ahhhh . . . so pretty on my table.  And much better than that pile of scraps that had been taunting me for so long!

Please visit me over at OurBusyLittleBunch to see more of my projects.  And there may just be a generous sponsored giveaway for 9 yards of batting from Pellon over there . . .

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Planning Ahead....for the next 4 months...

Thought I would share with you 
what is planned for the next couple of months..
and if you are interested in participating...

here is what is on our Calendar...

DECEMBER we are all booked for 
holiday tuts, easy gifts you can make in one day or two.
full calendar....thanks to all of our future guests.

January tools that you would
like to share with us that makes your life easier 
in your sewing room. Still have a couple dates
available for that..

February if you love the color RED.
This is your month...Do up a TUT using
red anything....Hands, Hearts, Balloons. Paper
piecing...as long as there is RED in it, we are

March have you made a runner...???
table runner in the round, oblong, rectangular...
This month will be a month of RUNNERS, 
sew get your camera out, and show us what
runner(s)  you have made....
IF any of these interest YOU let me know,
asap, drop me a line and let me know 
which  project you would like to do...

I am listening!

Friday, November 11, 2011

And Our 2nd guest today is Kathleen ( don't forget Marcia below...) Let's Play LeapFrog! ~

Hi ho! Kd from KdQuilts here!
Leaping lizards! I see you've survived my 
tutorial from back in September.

Good! Are you ready for some games? GOOD!
Let's play  LeapFrog!

LeapFrog is my new original paper-pieced quilt block design. 
It is made in four separate sections that are then sewn 
together to make the completed block. 
I warn you, this is a heavy weight bullfrog weighing in at 
12 inches by 12 inches
 (probably the wide guy on the left lilypad above, maybe?). :)
No, actually
looks more like this--
Kind of cute, don't you think?
Anyway, I hope you remember the game rules...
...the rules of paper-piecing, that is.
You DO, remember them don't you? No?
Well, then we'll do a quick review.
It's really quite simple.
All games are, when you know the rules!
to remember is:
Paper-Piecing is just a series 
of simple steps that are repeated 
over and over again.

is that the one special tool that
makes paper-piecing a breeze is:
The Add-A-Quarter Ruler
(Kelly has these Add-A-Quarter Rulers here)
It is manufactured with a special lip that makes
it easy to rotary trim fabric while adding a quarter
inch seam allowance. Then lining up the next
fabric piece to sew is a snap!
A technique I call Basic Steps 1-2-3 is used 
throughout paper-piecing to trim the fabric seam 
allowances with the Add-A-Quarter Ruler. 
Trimming with the Add-A-Quarter Ruler.
1) With the paper pattern facing up, 
fold the paper back along the line.
2) Place the Add-A-Quarter Ruler with
the lip against the paper fold.
3) Carefully using your rotary cutter, trim
the fabric away. Discard the excess.
Place the initial fabric piece with its wrong side against
the printed side of the paper pattern and centered so 
that the entire area of the pattern piece is covered.
1) Trim selvedge edge along the line using the Basic Steps
1-2-3 rules (above) and the Add-A-Quarter Ruler.
Pinned pieces ready to be sewn.
2) Pin the next fabric piece right sides together with the 
previous fabric piece with edges lined up along the line.
3) On the paper pattern side, sew along the line 
with your sewing machine.
The lines are easy to see and sew along.
4) Press the fabric away from the prior fabric
piece with a dry medium hot iron.
5) Repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat!
You'll need to print out 4 copies of the paper foundation
for my LeapFrog block. Head on over to my blog at
become a follower, and download the pattern.
There will be a choice of files to print the pattern on
letter or legal size paper. The pattern fits perfectly on 
legal size, but I realize the letter size paper will probably
be a more available option for everyone, so both choices 
are included. The pattern printed out on letter size paper
will need to be taped or glued together after it is cut out.
Not pretty, but it works. 
Letter size pattern to be taped together

Just line up the dashed line on the two parts of piece #13. 
Cut out each pattern with scissors along the outer solid line.
I chose two different background fabrics, one in a CAMEL 
color and the other in a lighter BUCKSKIN tan. Then I added 
four different ACCENT fabrics for the jumping frog triangles
with a different one in each of the four sections of the block.

HOW TO CUT THE FABRIC (right side up)
From the BUCKSKIN background fabric
 Cut two 5 inch squares
♥ Then cut each square diagonally to the LEFT like this
to form 4 "left" triangles for the #12 pieces.
Also from the BUCKSKIN fabric
♥ Cut two 6 inch squares and 
♥ Then cut each square diagonally to the RIGHT like this
to form 4 "right" triangles for the #13 pieces.
Pattern and cut fabric pieces.
From the CAMEL background fabric
Cut ten 3-1/4 inch squares, then 
Cut six of these diagonally RIGHT (as above) 
to form 12 "right" triangles for pieces #1, #6, and #10.
Also cut four of the squares diagonally LEFT (as
above) to form 8 "left" triangles for pieces #4 and #8.
Now, from EACH of the four ACCENT fabrics
Cut two 3-3/4 inch squares and cut them twice
diagonally LEFT and RIGHT like this
so that you have a total of 6 triangles for pieces
#2, #3, #5, #7, #9, and #11 (with 2 extras).
The rest is easy (and so much FUN)!
Sewing on the paper-side pattern line.
Following the order of the numbered pieces on the 
paper patterns, select the corresponding fabric piece
you just cut and paper-piece the middle section 
 on one of the LeapFrog patterns (see the Paper-
Piecing rules above). Begin with piece #1 and 
continue through piece #11.
Middle paper-piecing finished.
Line up and sew on the two remaining
background pieces #12 and #13. Press 
and trim the fabric close to the pattern 
around all the outer edges.
Completed section.
Repeat to complete...
...Sections 2, 3, and 4 with their accent fabric frogs.
With right sides facing, pin together the two short sides
of Sections 1 and 2 (there's only one seam to match).
Machine stitch together and press the seam open
on the back side. Sew together Sections 3 and 4 in 
the same way and press. Place the combined Section 
1-2 right sides together with the combined Section 3-4,
matching the centers, pin, stitch, press, ADMIRE.

You have now played 
Thank you so much,
And again        I would like 
to thank Madame   Samm for her
graciousness in allowing me to be a
guest blogger on Sew WE Quilt. Huge 
kudos to you, Madame Samm for all you
do and all the time and effort you spend
to make this blog possible and so suc-
cessful. Your hard work and commit-
ment to excellence have inspired
me to go places I'd only dream-
ed about. So I say thank
you once again,
my friend.

Its Friday and we have 2 as in 2 Block Guests...1st Marcia...."The Denim Block"

Madame Samm - Thanks for inviting me to join in the fun!
Hello! My name is Marcia from Crafty Sewing and Quilting. I am a free style long arm quilter. I quilt customer's quilts five days a week and mine on the weekends. 
I blog and share about a variety of quilting and sewing topics, free style quilting designs, tutorials, and "up cycling" quilt projects.  I also share ideas to step outside the "block" to create new twists on old patterns, including sewing construction techniques. I enjoy taking photos of quilts and quilting, colors in my world, my family, my dogs, and my container garden.
As a free style quilter, I manually move the long arm quilting machine to create unique quilting designs on each and every quilt.  It is all free hand - no patterns and no computers, thus resulting in special designs on each individual quilt.  
In the sidebar of my blog, I share photos of free style quilting designs to inspire other quilters with hundreds of quilting ideas.  The free style designs make each quilt unique.

One of my most selected quilting designs is the ribbon quilting with a twist. I quilted my "Up Cycled" Denim Quilt using two blue thread colors to create the ribbon quilting with a twist.
Today's block is the Denim Block. It is a free form block. The same sewing construction method is featured in my Texture Block Pattern. I chose a pair of plaid patchwork shorts as my focus fabric for the denim block.

I rotary cut my center blocks from the plaid at an angle.  Thus the centers are much more interesting. I used all reclaimed fabrics for the quilt top.  I chose a variety of denim shirts and denim dresses for the borders and lattice strips. 
Step 1
Cut squares in a variety of sizes from the plaid shorts - 2" to 4 ".
I cut 42 squares.
Cut strips in a variety of sizes -2"wide to 3"wide from light blues and medium blues.

Step 2 
Sew one strip on one side of each block. Press and trim. You may want to starch as you press. I starch as it makes it easier to work with the denim. Denim tends to stretch a little.
Step 3
Sew a second strip on another side of the center square, but not the opposite side. In the photo the top strip is the second strip. Press and trim.
Step 4
Sew a third strip on another side of the center square, but not the opposite side. In the photo the left side of the block is the third strip. Press and trim.  Adding the strips is similar to a log cabin cabin construction, but it wouldn't matter if you mistakenly sewed the third strip to the other side on a few blocks.
Step 5
Sew a fourth strip on last side of the center square. In the photo, I am sewing the fourth strip onto the block. Press and trim.
Step 6 --- Square up and sew more strips
At this point you have 42 blocks that have four borders with one center square.  I group them into piles of similar sizes --- Large, Medium, and Small.
The large should be about 8".  Cut 8" squares from those blocks.  The medium will be between 7" and 7 1/2" .  Cut 7"  squares from those blocks.  The small blocks will need another strip or two, sewed onto them, to make them either 7" or 8" blocks.
On the photo below, the block on the right needed extra strips. The block on the bottom left is a large block (8" square).  The bottom right was a small block and needed another strip on two sides to make it a large block (8" square).  If any of the smaller blocks aren't large enough, sew another strip onto them.  You can sew extra strips to make them into 7" or 8" square blocks.  
Step 7 --- Count your blocks 
I started with 42 center squares.  There will be 6 blocks across by 7 blocks down.  Which means you need to have 3 rows of 7" blocks (total of 21 - 7" blocks) and 3 rows of 8" blocks (total of 21 - 8" blocks).  In order to get the correct numbers for the rows you may need to add strips or cut down an 8" block into a 7" block.

Step 8 --- Lattice strips (darker and dark medium blue fabric - cut 3" wide)
Sew a lattice strip to the top and the left side of every 7" and 8" block.  It will look like an "L" on each block. I chain piece using long strips, as I don't cut my strips to the exact length. They stretch and pull a little. Press, starch, and trim.

Step 9 --- Sew the rows
Do not line them up evenly.  I trim an inch or so off the top of one row to make them uneven that way the seams won't line up.

Step 10 --- Add more lattice and trim the ends
You will need to add a lattice strip to the bottom block on each row. Also add lattice strips to the right side of the last row on the right.  You can put them on each block or just sew strips together in random order and sew it on all in one strip. Trim the top and the bottom of the quilt.

Note about the seam allowances:  a generous 1/4".  Press to one side or open. Whatever will lay best, depending upon the intersections.

Step 11 --- Add Borders
I used more dark strips, but do whatever you think is eye pleasing. I randomly sewed the leftover dark denim strips together and sewed them onto the sides and onto the two ends. On two of the sides I sewed an extra border. Do whatever looks best.

Step 12 --- Quilting and Binding - as desired.
I quilted my quilt with a two color ribbon quilting with whimsical daisy flowers.  I used medium blue and light blue thread to create a shadow effect with the ribbon quilting. I used a washable wool batting to make it a warm and cuddly quilt for this winter. The backing fabric on my quilt is a blue dyed extra wide fabric. I used the same blue dyed fabric for the binding. 

The denim blocks are easy to construct. It really makes it simple to "up cycle" clothes into quilts. 
The denim block is a free form block that could be constructed using new fabrics also.
You could make a wonderful, one of a kind memory quilt using a loved one's clothes.
The possibilities are endless!
I would like to invite you to hop over to my blog and check it out!
Enjoy your day!  

Thanks Samm for inviting me to share the Denim Block for the block party.