Welcome to Month 2 for our Block of the Month.
I hope my previous blog post was helpful, remember there is no obligation to keep up with each month. Life often gets in the way, so please don't feel any stress to finish the section for each month, it is more important that you enjoy the journey.
This months section is the pieced frame around the centre applique quilt.
Cut your pieces carefully, using a rotary cutter for extra accuracy.
You can arrange the fabrics however you like, you don't need to copy my placement exactly. One thing that is worth doing is alternating the light and dark fabrics - it creates an almost 3D effect.
The most important part of this section is adding the cream background to one end of each fabric rectangle.
As I have outlined in the pattern, when you place a cream fabric square on the end make sure you sew the diagonals in opposite directions on each adjacent piece. On my quilt, all the light blue rectangles have the angle going up from left - right. On the dark rectangles the angle goes down from left - right.
I have stitched these two in blue thread so you can see the way the diagonals go.
One way to stitch an accurate diagonal is to draw the it on the cream fabric with a ruler and pencil. You could even press the diagonal with the iron, but be careful you don't stretch the square. I think the pattern suggests the ruler and pencil.
I have since discovered a new product that I have been using and I have to admit it has changed my life! I know that sounds big, but it has saved me quite a lot of time and I am all for that.
Diagonal seam tape is my new sewing hero. It has been around for a while but I have not had the chance to experiment with it before. I started using it when I began working on the Moda Blockheads project. It is perfect for whenever you need to sew a diagonal or a ¼" beside a diagonal.
Flying Geese, half square triangles or just the diagonal lines we have been talking about earlier.
When you purchase the tape you get a long roll of it. I just leave mine on my machine until it starts to peel itself off. It is not a strong adhesive, which is perfect because it leaves no sticky residue; very important when using fabric.
When you stick it on your sewing machine, the red line is exactly in line with your needle. There is usually a marking on your tray table, making it easy to line up from your needle to the edge of the tray.
The dark blue lines are a ¼" either side of the the red line.
This photo shows me lining up the points of my square from my needle to the red line. I am pointing at the corner of the square on the red line.
As I sew across the square, I keep that corner on the red line. This makes for a nice straight line across the diagonal and I never had to draw the line on the square.
I then chain piece the next one until all my dark rectangles are stitched. I sew all the dark rectangles and then the light ones, so I make sure I get the diagonal directions correct.
In this section of the quilt we also have some half square triangles to make. Usually, I would draw the diagonal on the square and then sew ¼" either side. Cut along the line and press. Then trim the square to the required size.
Using diagonal seam tape I line up one corner of the square with the side of my ¼" foot and the opposite corner the blue line on the seam tape. My needle will stitch in line with the red line, which is ¼" to the side of my diagonal.
Once I have stitched one line I turn it around and repeat the process for the second line of stitching, ¼" from the diagonal. See how the corner of the squares line up with the blue stripe. The diagonally opposite corner was lined up with the side of the ¼" foot and I just keep the corner on the blue line as I sew across the square.
The trim through the centre, press and trim to the desired size in the pattern.
Once you have sewn all these pieces it is fairly straight forward to sew the sections together and piece them to your applique centre. Make sure you applique centre is trimmed to be 18 ½" x 18 ½".
In other news, our lovely dog Saffy passed away just over a week ago. She was 16 ½ years old and always happy to bark as customers entered the shop and then she would lay down, in her bed for a tummy rub.
Many of you have met Saffy at our shop, but we are sorry to say there will be no wagging tails to greet you now.
Our hearts are broken.
On a happier note, I have a new line of toweling that is now showing to stores. It is called Enamoured Toweling because it is red, and that is the colour of love.
This will be in stores in January, but all the projects I have designed are on the website and the patterns are available now.
Patterns available for this fabric line are Celebration Runner, Santa's Treasure Sacks, Nautical Pillows, Country Farm Pillows and Snowbird Tree Skirt.
Santa's Treasure Sacks
Snowbird Tree Skirt
Country Farm Pillows
Happy sewing everybody.