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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Scant Quarter Inch Tutorial + New Sew Along


Once upon a time, years ago, I made my hub this scrap quilt from a book called Quilts for Men, which I ended up naming Triangle Massacre because none and I mean NONE of the points worked out. Not that they just didn't match. More like they didn't exist at all. They were all chopped off in the seams. 



Along with that, none of the blocks were the right size. ??? They were a good 1/4" to 1/2" too small. I was baffled. I had taken great care to measure all of the triangle units and cut correctly. I was confused. Disappointed. I felt like a failure. I had tried to do EVERYTHING right. But nothing added up. It drove me crazy b/c I couldn't figure out why?

Finally, one day I randomly googled scant vs. regular quarter inch seam. A-HA! That was the missing link! I had thought the word scant in all of the instructions I'd seen just meant to be precise. Make sure that seam is 1/4" and no wider. Like this:



Nope. No no no. That's a regular 1/4" seam. 

SCANT 1/4" seam actually means a teeny bit LESS THAN 1/4". Like this:



Notice that the thread is just inside the 1/4" mark. Tucked right up next to the line. 

It made ALL the difference!!

Things suddenly turned out the right size (mostly). And (occasionally) I actually make perfect points now! Emphasis on the occasionally. haha I'm still perfect-point challenged, but it's no longer the seam allowance to blame. ;)


Fast forward to the Minecraft Sew-Along last year, and I got (and still get) the occasional email asking what a 'scant' 1/4" seam is, or asking why the blocks were/are turning out too small. So this has been on my to-do list for months; to write a post about the scant 1/4" and link it to the sew-along page.

So here we go: There are all kinds of tutorials out there that you can google, and different ways to go about achieving the perfectly scant 1/4" seam but I'm going to share my favorite way, the way that's easiest and works best for me.

Some people use tape or lasers as guides, but I like to use the edge of my presser foot as a fabric guide.



So what I do to get my scant 1/4" seam is this. I move my needle position to the right, sewing a short seam and measuring, until I have a scant 1/4" seam like in the pic above. Which on my machine means moving the needle to the 3.3 position. This takes a little bit of trial and error and a scrap of fabric but once you figure out your needle setting, then it's quick. Each time I sit down to sew, I just move my needle to the right until it is on the 3.3 setting. That gives me my scant 1/4" seam. Then I can sew along using the edge of my presser foot as the fabric guide. But whatever guide you like to use, you can adjust accordingly. 

That's it. That tiny bit of difference can wreak havoc on a quilt block that has lots of pieces. 

Reason being is that when you fold open the seam, whether pressing to one side or pressing open, the fabric has to lay over the thread which doesn't seem like a lot of thickness, but if your block has lots of pieces, those little slivers add up and it can make enough difference to throw your block size off by 1/4" or 1/2"! Not to mention what it does to the points.



Who knew?! Not me for a long time. I learned the hard way! How did we ever live before google? :)

But whichever way you choose, this will make a world of difference! I wish I had figured it out before I massacred all of those triangles on my hub's quilt all those years ago.  

Live and Learn! 

One more thing! Did I mention the Minecraft Sew-Along earlier? Well, stay tuned for this! Pokemon games are the rage in our house right now so Mr. 10 yr old has been helping me with blocks and is really excited about this. Coming soon! With some extra character options, too (like a really cute JigglyPuff -- I don't know what it does but it's cute!). :D


Thanks for popping in! Hope you're having a great week.

Happy Stitching!xoxo
Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Road Rally Giveaway Blog Hop ~ Beep, Beep!


A big hello, and welcome to my stop on the Quiltmaker 100 Blocks Road Rally! If this your first visit, welcome! To old friends, welcome back! I'm always honored to be included in the QM 100 Blocks issue (and even more so to be on the cover!), and excited to be on the blog hop where you can win prizes at each stop. And search for clues to enter a big grand prize drawing over at the Quiltmaker blog, Quilty Pleasures.



There are so many cute blocks in this issue! It's so much fun to look through each time and see everyone's creativity. 


I've done a few punctuation marks for past 100 Blocks issues, and this time, they requested another, so I give you Quilty Quotes. :)




For a bit of back story, I first made a punctuation quilt 3 or 4 years ago when I decided to do one for my nephew who was in his early teens at the time. It's been fun to come up with different punctuation marks -- 






Then I did one for 100 blocks, and that turned into a couple more, and maybe soon I'll have enough for a quilt of 12" punctuation blocks! Wow, I should have done some sort of texty background on the question mark, too! I dropped the ball on that one. :p





I've mocked a quilt up in some brights, b/c I love bright colorful fabrics! They make me happy! :) I love to sew the rainbow! Any day spent working with bright colorful fabrics, and listening to happy music, like maybe Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo╩╗ole is a good day. The ukulele gets me every time! I think if my blog had intro music, that would have to be it!



In fact, if you would like to enjoy some sweet background music as you continue, just click play. :D Then read on for the giveaway info!





As a thank you for stopping by, I have two prizes to give away.

One is a copy of this issue of 100 Blocks, courtesy of Quiltmaker..




..and one is a fat eighth remix bundle from Winter Creek Cloth.  



The winner will get to choose which colorway they would like. I love these bundles that WCC puts together! There are several colorways to pick from.  Here are a few just so you get an idea.

All you have to do to enter is click on the My Patterns tab at the top of this page, or click here, and then leave me a comment on this post letting me know your favorite of my patterns. Make sure to include your email address in your comment, so I have a way to contact you. 

I will choose two winners one week from today and if you are chosen, I will also include with your prize, a copy of the pattern that you chose in your comment. :)


Thanks so much for stopping by, and happy road rally-ing!


oxoxo



   
Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Happy Pi Day Block Tutorial

Happy Pi Day! 

My son LOVES math and science & so does my hub, so in their honor and in honor of all things pie, er.. I mean Pi, I designed a Pi block! It would make a really cute cushion, quilt, tote, etc. for a math major or someone really science-y. :) 



But first, some Pi facts:

-Here's a link to Pi to the 10,000th digit. Yikes. It makes my eyes cross!
-Pi is the most recognizable mathematical constant in the world.
-Pi is irrational, meaning its digits go on forever in a random format.
-In the Greek alphabet, the Pi symbol is the 16th letter. In the English alphabet, P is also the 16th letter.
-Humans have been studying Pi for over 4,000 years.

And a Pi joke: What do you get if you divide the circumference of a jack-o-lantern by its diameter? Pumpkin Pi. :D

Facts and jokes courtesy of Fact Retriever. Click here for more Pi trivia.

And now the block! It's super easy. 




(Done in Santorini, by Michele D'Amore for Timeless Treasures. I love dots!!)

CUTTING:

Background:

(1) 2 x 12 1/2"
(1) 1 1/2 x 12 1/2"
(2) 1 1/2 x 8"
(2) 1 1/2 x 2 1/2"
(1) 4 1/2 x 6"
(1) 3 1/2 x 4 1/2"
(1) 2 1/2 x 3"
(1) 1 1/2 x 1 1/2"

for HSTs:

(1) 2 1/2 x 2 1/2"
(1) 2 3/8 x 2 3/8"
(4) 1 7/8 x 1 7/8"

PI symbol:

(1) 2 1/2 x 7 1/2"
(1) 2 x 6 1/2"
(1) 2 x 6"
(1) 2 x 2"
(1) 1 1/2 x 3 1/2"
(1) 1 1/2 x 2 1/2"
(1) 1 1/2 x 1 1/2"

for HSTs:

(1) 2 1/2 x 2 1/2"
(1) 2 3/8 x 2 3/8"
(4) 1 7/8 x 1 7/8"


HST Making:

A: Place a 2 1/2" square of background and Pi fabric right sides together. Stitch from corner to corner diagonally. Trim, flipo and press open. You should have a 2 1/2" (unfinished; 2" finished) HST.


B: Place a 2 3/8" square of background and Pi fabric right sides together. Trace a line diagonally from corner to corner. Stitch a scant quarter inch seam on each side of traced line. Cut apart on traced line. Press open your TWO 2" (unfinished; 1 1/2" finished) HSTs.



C: Using the same method as in B above, but using 1 7/8" squares of background and Pi fabric, make TWO 1 1/2" (unfinished; 1" finished) HSTs. Repeat with each set of 1 7/8" squares, until you have 8 total HSTs. (You will have one spare.)




And it's a piece of pie! I wish. haha It's a block of Pi. Though I would prefer a block of Pie. :)

Happy Pi Day! Dots make me happy!

xoxoxo



   
Thursday, March 2, 2017

Minecraft Giveaway Bash / Show & Tell

A little over a year ago, I started a secret Minecraft quilt for my son, in hopes to do one block a week, and have it done for his 10th birthday. I decided to post each week's block tutorial, in case anyone wanted to join me and to keep me motivated. 




At first, it was just Anita in Canada, and Eileen in NJ, and me. But soon, it blew up and turned into a full fledged sew-along/the year of Minecraft, with Fat Quarter Shop selling a special FQ bundle...


Bundle is no longer available, but there is a printable list of the fabrics used on the Sew-Along page, or by CLICKING HERE.

..and people (and KIDS!) quilting along from all over the world. Thanks to all of you who sewed along with me and made it so much fun! Special shout-outs to 8 y.o. LuLu in Australia for being the youngest stitcher, sewing along on her Elna Mini...





...and Kristen who made FOUR. I know of a few of you that made multiple quilts! 


@jukeboxquilts on instagram

My hopes for surprising my son only lasted a few blocks in, when he saw a thumbnail photo on my computer that I hadn't closed out. :(  BUT it ended up being a blessing in disguise, as he requested and helped to design extra blocks. (He even drew out the big Enderdragon himself on graph paper!) He was happy to be part of creating his epic 10th birthday quilt. :)




The original 20 blocks turned into over 50 block tutorials and one giant Enderdragon, and a whole alphabet of Minecraft-font letters, much of which was requested or inspired by YOU, or requested & designed by my son -- who also made for really good quality control. :) A couple of you even designed your own extra blocks and were so kind to let me draw up the tutorial and share them with everyone, too, so it really became a group project. :) 

I saw pics of quilts/blocks done in solids, prints, and even batiks and civil war prints and they all looked great!


My son's quilt wasn't quite finished for his birthday as originally planned, but it WAS finished for Christmas. 


Here are few photos. It's ginormous but fits perfectly on his bed. And can grow with him when he gets a full sized bed someday. It's finished size is 84"W x 93"L. I used 2" vertical sashing strips and 3" horizontal sashing strips.







And I almost forgot -- his matching pillow sham. He picked which two blocks he wanted on the sham. He is still requesting a cube pillow out of TNT blocks, but I only have one TNT block done and am having some fun sewing non-Minecraft things at the moment.. so that might get put on hold for a bit. ;)




My friend Lisa (Upstairs Birdie Longarm Quilting) quilted this beast and did such a good job! I could have never gotten this done on my machine.



All along, I received so many encouraging emails, from moms/grandmas who made quilts for their kids/grandkids or sewed blocks with them, to kids sewing their own blocks and even a couple who entered them into the state fair and a 4th grade talent show! 


@mamamel781 on instagram

@squaredquilts on instagram


And I'll never ever forget this one message from Bobbie in Austin, TX! :) So crazy!




There were also a couple of quilts hanging out at the Temecula outdoor quilt show.. It's been nothing short of an amazing experience! All thanks to all of YOU!


prostitched_quilts on instagram



So cool and so fun to see them all, finished or in progress! So as a thank you, I've gathered up some prizes! Huge thanks to Fat Quarter Shop, Wintercreek Cloth, Timeless Treasures/Dear Stella Fabrics & Riley Blake Designs for their prize donations!


Prize #1: (picked out by my son) a fluffy soft stuffed Ghast, to maybe go on the bed of one of those Minecraft quilt recipients. :) 



AND for the quilter, a hand turned wooden seam ripper that I picked up at a wood-turning shop while on vacation last summer, just for this giveaway. I have one of this artist's seam rippers and I love it. He gets the ripper hardware from a German company, and then handturns the handles. They are beautiful. I think this one is maple? It is impossible to lose the lid for this one, which makes it my favorite, as I have lost the lid to every seam ripper I've ever owned. ;) And they're so pretty!







Prize #2: A $30 gift certificate from Wintercreek Cloth.




Prize #3: TWO rollie pollies donated by Riley Blake Designs/Penny Rose Fabrics. High Adventure & Strawberry Biscuit.




Prize #4: A $50 gift certificate from Fat Quarter Shop.




Prize #5:  Tonga Treat pack of their SURF line, donated by Timeless Treasures.




Prize #6: Tonga Treat pack of their PASSION FRUIT line, donated by Timeless Treasures.




Prize #7: This FQ bundle of Pin Dot Basics rainbow-y goodness from Timeless Treasures.




Prize #8:  This FQ bundle of Floral Daze from Dear Stella.




Prize #9:  This FQ bundle of Sea Breeze from Timeless Treasures.




To enter, just link up a photo of your finished quilt, or your quilt or block(s) in progress to the inlinkz linky below. That way you can see each others links and quilt pics. Don't worry if you don't have a blog to link up, you can link a pic from your computer or even from your instagram. (enter the URL of the IG pic you want to enter and it will direct you) Just follow the instructions and if you have any questions shoot me an email. :) I'm happy to help!

Please only enter once, UNLESS you made more than one quilt, in which case, EXTRA CREDIT, you can enter a pic of each quilt. :) Enjoy the party! (Hoping you all link up so I'm not lonely. ha! ;) Plus, there are NINE prizes!!


Thanks to all of you for coming along on the ride with me and making the journey to this completed quilt so much fun! I'm going to enter a pic just to make sure it's working since this is the first one of these I've done. Fingers crossed!

xoxoxoxxo

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