Thursday, December 3, 2020

I Spy with my little eye something that begins with T and something that begins with W

Welcome to my stop on Kimie and Missy's Blog Hop for their new book. These two sisters have assembled a fantastic I Spy book of 100 everyday items to Foundation Paper Piece. Their vibe is totally modern and you can find them "On Williams Street" (here). I came to "meet" them through pattern testing. Their work is very creative, take the time to have a look at it. I used an e-copy of the book for my sampling for the Blog Hop as my hard copy is somewhere in the mail system. For both formats of the book you get a login and a password to access the templates for the actual patterns you wish to stitch. My next problem was decided from 100 choices which one or ones to do. I changed my mind many times. I settled on a Tulip and a Watering Can because right now our ground is covered in snow and thoughts of flowers and gardening are positive thoughts. In the hopes of doing something different with the pattern I made one regular size and one at about half size for my two selections. All the patterns in the book are scaled to be 6" blocks. Because you are accessing the pattern templates electronically it is super easy to scale them up or down when you print them. JUST REMEMBER your outside seam allowance gets scaled also you will have to adjust that once you have printed your pattern.
Each block has a dedicated page in the book with a full colour illustration, a level of difficulty, number of fabrics required, a line drawing of the block and an identification key for colour placement. That way when you print the actual template it is totally uncluttered. You can colour in your own version on make your own code for colour placement. Printing the template uses considerably less ink that way. My second block was the Watering Can.
The Tulip is a level one and the Watering Can is a level two. There are several smaller pieces on the watering can and once it was scaled down they were really small. From November 30 to December 16 you can get 10% off the book by using the code ISPYBLOGHOP Go to https//
Be certain to visit these other fabulous bloggers to see what they have spied. November 30: Kimie and Missy of On WIlliams Street December 1: Audrey Mann of The Cloth Parcel December 2: Jen Frost of Faith and Fabric December 3: Bea Lee of Bea a Quilter December 4: Sarah Goer of Sarah Goer Quilts December 5: Joanne Harris of Quilts by Joan December 6: Susan Smith of Stitched by Susan December 7: Simone Fisher of Simone Quilts December 8: Lissa LaGreca of Lovingly Lissa December 9: Catalina Barcelo of Amarar Creacions December 10: Laura Strickland of Orange Blossom Quilts December 11: Laura Piland of Slice of Pi Quilts December 12: Carolina Moore of Always Expect Moore December 13: Tammy Silvers of Tamarinis December 14: Kim Niedzwiecki of Go Go Kim Piecefully, Joanne

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Patterns by Jen-August colour challenge-PINK

Well this year has certainly held its challenges. But now for a little relaxation. 

This year Jen has selected birds as her focus for determining the colour of the month and it is no surprise to anyone who followers her that Flamingos made this list. So pink it is. 
I was thinking pink when I made this paper pieced flamingo designed by Janeen at Quilt Art designs. But it needed to translate into our themed block.
A wee bit of texture for feathers and a pink block was assembled. This year Jen has added the option of doing a two tone on tone block or using black or white for your background colour. I decided to try the black background and so far am liking it. 
And here are six of my blocks so far. We are well past the middle of the year so you should be seeing your blocks building up.
There are several bloggers showing their spin on the pink block this month. It would be a good one for a charity quilt as there are no points to cut off, just straight stitching. Please visit these bloggers to see how they have interpreted the August block. 

And if that was not enough there are prizes for linking up your finished block. Check these out.

And if that was not enough there are prizes for linking up your finished block. Check these out.

Sponsors July thru September

Quilters Chic - PDF Pattern
For The Love of Geese - PDF Pattern
Carole Lyle Shaw - Pattern and Grunge bundle
Quilters Dream Batting - Dream 80/20 - 60" x 60"
The Fat Quarter Shop - Fabric Bundle

Warm Company - Warm 80/20 - 55" x 60"
Warm Company - 1 yard Insul-Bright
Make Modern Magazine - 6 month subscription
Patterns By Jen - Superior Thread S-Fine 50
Patterns By Jen - Magic Wand

But most importantly visit Jen's blog (here) to get your free copy of this block pattern.

Piecefully, Joanne

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

The Storyteller's Sampler

As 2019 winds down here is one final blog hop entry from me. It is for The Storyteller's Sampler and unbelievable Hexagon quilt created by Cinzia White. She does not have a web site but is running the project via a Facebook page. This is the link if you care to join in on the fun.
Storytellers Sampler

The book contains pieced, paper pieced, embroidered and appliqued hexagons. So something for virtually every kind of stitcher.

I selected a foundation paper pieced hexagon just to show you how simple they are and how small they are.
These are my hexie components ready for assembly and with a ruler beside them for a size reference.

And once assembled it looks like this. These single hexagons are then assembled into groups. With each group featuring 7 unique designs.

The instructions are very brief but very clear. The introduction to the book has everything you would need to know about organization to start this project. The quilt itself is very large and there is no reason why an individual couldn't pick and choose they construction technique they want or to make fewer but larger blocks.
The publisher is C&TPublisher (here) and the book is available as both hard copy and in an ebook format. I hope you will have a look. It is a challenge but a good one.
Piecefully, Joanne

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Not Totally Witchy for the Witchy Stitchy Blog Hop

There are times when the best laid plans just don't fall into place and this would be one of them. My plan (as yet unrealized) was to create a table runner with my blocks. Indecision hit and I could not make a plan. Do I use the three blocks I have or add one more and make a square. So as I ponder this problem let me show you the blocks that are done.

The first is The Count or for some, Dracula. My number loving daughter would say The Count.

Next up is a Halloween Ghost. 

And then number three The Mummy 

When put end to end for a runner they might look like this. 

These delightful patterns were created by Rachel at One Last Stitch. She is on Facebook and Instagram. The patterns are foundation paper pieced and all finish at 10". She has only been designing for a short while but her style is unique and I must say I find it very appealing. 

So that's it from me this time. A partial fail but a partial win if you are working on your optimism. Piecefully, Joanne

Please take the time to visit these other bloggers on their special day and see how they interpret Witchy Stitchy. 

October 7

October 8

October 9
October 10

October 11

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Today marks the final day of The Back to School Blog Hop

There has been so much to learn this month. Thank you Sam at Huntersdesignstudio (here) for organizing this informative, interesting and diverse hop.

My topic for the final day of the hop is Using Leaders and Enders. To the best of my knowledge Bonnie Hunter of  Quiltville fame is the individual who came up with this term and I might add took the technique to new heights.

56 little windmill blocks made as Leaders and Enders become a small wheelchair quilt.
Let's look at Five W's and an H, Who, What, Where, When and Why and then finish with the How.

Who: Anyone can use Leaders and Enders, but I feel they are most effective for quilters who do piecing on a regular basis. If you chain piece your Foundation Paper piecing you might consider Leaders and Enders but do think about  the tiny stitch length you would be using for FPP.

What: A Leader/Ender is  purposeful fabric that is ready to put through the sewing machine when the sewer has finished the row of stitching for the primary project they are working on. I like to keep mine short, no longer than 3 1/2", but some people use string blocks as a Leader/Ender. A block for a quilt can be broken down into its components and then each component stitched in stages as a Leader/Ender.
Four brown and four orange rectangles (1 1/2" x 2 1/2") will make a nice windmill block.

Stitching the two sides of a waste/bonus triangle together is also an excellent type of Leader and Ender project. And some people stitch lights and darks together for future four patches. The options are as wide as your imagination.

Where: I like to keep mine to the right of my sewing machine, organized in a variety of ways depending on how big a project is envisioned. Some people organize their Leader/Ender projects in baggies. I like to use the small containers that deli's use for salad. These can be stacked as they are the same size with a recessed lid. A baggie would be easier to use if you were travelling with your sewing. Of course as soon as you say this is how I do it there is an exception.
This small pile is a Broken Dishes quilt in the works. I was gifted a huge bag of triangles. Note, not Half Square Triangles, just triangles. I had to first make them into Half Square Triangles, a good Leader and Ender exercise in itself. Then I squared them all up. These particular HST's were squared at 1 1/2" each. Then I need four that were either the same or played well together. I pinned them together in their groups of four and that is this pile. I have just over 100 little blocks done and these are the remaining block components.

When: You can use a Leader and Ender project when the seam for the  primary project is completed.  Instead of  pulling the thread out and cutting it you take your already prepared L/E project and feed it through the sewing machine without taking a break. This becomes the end for that first task and is in place for the start of the next primary seam to be stitched, hence the name Leader and Ender.

Why: The most obvious reason is to save thread but this strategy also helps to keep your machine sewing needle from coming unthreaded. It goes a long way towards preventing the bunch-up that sometimes happens at the beginning of a seam. Also when you are stitching from one piece to another it helps you to avoid that tail off that sometimes happens at the end of a long seam. 

How: There are likely several ways to organize for a Lender/Ender project. My personal preference is to have a short stitching project. I know some people who do string quilts as a L/E. I would not be able to do that comfortably because I like to audition my next string and make sure I am getting my best length and colour string in place. So I spend some time organizing before hand. I have a couple of favourite L/E projects. These require limited thinking once they are set up. the simple Windmills project shown at the top of the post with the orange windmills on a brown background is one great Leader and ender project. You can go completely scrappy or select a colour theme. I look for four blades that are the same and if you have a good value match the background can be scrappy. Think about how you organize your stitching and the types of projects you like to complete. That will give you some guidance in selecting a Leader and Ender project that will work well for you.

This is a finished Broken Dishes doll quilt. Started with triangles, then Half Square Triangles, then pairs of HST's then two pairs together. All tasks that work nicely as Leaders and Enders.

I hope my simple explanation of Leaders and Enders and some of their advantages has convinced you to consider them if you don't already use this approach. Thank you Sam Hunter for including me in this wonderful month of learning. Piecefully, Joanne

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Have you found your favourite quilt block yet?

I think I should really call this post my Current Favourite Quilt Block.

In the past I would say there is no question that my Simple Bricks pattern was my favourite. I have done tutorials for it and one can be found (here).

Picking a favourite quilt block is really challenging.  Each and every block has something to offer. My current favourite block is Broken Dishes. There is a reason for this. Actually there are a couple of reasons. First of all I hate wasting anything. So those lovely bonus triangles that so many quilters generate need to be made into something.

Secondly, somehow I have acquired a reputation at my Quilt Guild and people give me baggies filled with bonus/waste triangles.

These are just the very tip of the iceberg. So I have an endless supply and I need to do something with them.

Enter the Broken Dishes Quilt Block.

This is a finished broken dishes quilt. It is small, doll size in fact and was donated to the toy drive locally last year.

The Broken Dishes block starts with many, many half square triangles. Since I find I am usually working with bonus/waste triangles that need to be turned into Half Square triangles many of my Broken Dishes blocks are small blocks and I need a lot of them to make something usable. I did once start with yardage and made a table runner with larger components but the picture for that is long gone.

The steps and outtakes for a Broken Dishes quilt block

So for a Broken Dishes block you start with triangles. These are then stitched together with another triangle (background) to make a Half Square Triangle. Once you have four HST's you are going to stitch them together in pairs. The way I remember the orientation of the components that I am stitching together is I say "down and up" So the pattern portion of the HST is facing down and then up. These are stitched together and then pressed open.( I press these to one side myself).  This is a place where you can make an "error".  Note the direction of the seam in the middle of the green and white HST. If you consistently place this facing in the same direction before pressing then the resulting block, when all is said and done, will nest with the next block. For the light green one you can see at the bottom of the first column the seam is at the top and the angle of the seam inside the triangle is moving from upper right towards the lower left. When you press them open you get two segments that look the same (the pink ones). One needs to be rotated as shown in the pair of blue segments. Once stitched together they will give you a wee little block like the black and white one.
On the final column of components I show the "wrong" way to press and the result when you open it up. You can still make a Broken Dishes block but it won't nest nicely with your other blocks. Unless of course you do them all this way.

And finally a photo of three Broken Dishes quilt tops waiting for something to happen to them.
As I look at the photo I am not certain it shows what I am after. The grey top has added sashing between the blocks. The white top I tried to grade the colours from light to dark and the black background shows that they don't always work out the way you think they will. The red print had a lot of black in it and the black and red  sort of blend into each other.

I hope my little explanation has given you enough to go on and that you will look at your bonus triangles in a new light. Thanks so much for dropping by.  Piecefully, Joanne

Be certain to stop by the other participants in the blog hop this week for lots of quilt block ideas.

Monday, September 9th

Tuesday, September 10th

Wednesday, September 11th

Thursday, September 12th

Friday, September 13th