Here is Sarah. Sarah was the most straight-forward of all my Farmer's Wife tutorial blocks to sew - there is a not a y-seam in sight!
You can sew Sarah without foundation paper piecing or templates - I rotary cut all the pieces, and worked out the quilt-maths to make the HSTs and flying geese star points all by myself! - which is a pretty massive achievement, as quilt-maths and I are not friends. As you know, I cannot share the measurements here as it would breach the author's copyright - but if you can figure out the size of the corner squares, knowing that the unfinished block is 6 1/2" square, you'll be off and running.
If you would like a little quilt-maths help for the HSTs and flying geese (they provide a MUCH better explanation than any I could share here):
For HSTs - click through to Alyce's very helpful tutorial.
For flying geese - click through to this Quilter's Cache tutorial. Of the three different methods shown, I like their 'Speed Piecing Method A' the most.
So let's get started
As mentioned, there are three basic units needed to make Sarah:
1. Corner squares.
2. Half square triangles.
3. Flying geese (star points).
In keeping with Sarah in the book, I chose only three fabrics. You will need:
Fabric A (navy lions)
1. Four corner squares.
2. Two HST squares.
Fabric B (low volume lemons + flowers)
1. Two HST squares.
2. Four flying geese bases.
Fabric C (orange)
1. Eight squares for flying geese star points.
Make your HST and flying geese units
Once you have cut all your fabrics, you will need to rule a diagonal line - I always just use a sharp pencil - on the back of all eight of your flying geese star point squares; and on the back of your two low volume HST squares.
To create your HST units, place your low volume + print squares RST, then sew 1/4" either side of your drawn line (refer to the pic below - you may need your glasses or to zoom in, as yes, I realise now it would have helped significantly if I had thought to use a higher-contrast thread for these tutorial photos).
To create your flying geese units, place one star point square on one flying geese base, with the diagonal drawn line running from a top corner to the bottom middle, as pictured below. Sew directly on the drawn line.
Once you have sewn all your HST + flying geese lines:
- for the HST units, trim directly ON the drawn pencil line. You will have four HST units. Iron the seam open. Trim each HST unit to the same size as your four corner squares (the navy lions in my block).
- for the flying geese units, trim 1/4" from your sewn line, being sure that you are trimming off the small outer triangles and not the flying goose base (in the pic below, you would place your 1/4" ruler line directly on the sewn line, with the outer edge of the ruler running 1/4" from the sewn line down to the right underneath). Iron your seams open.
Place your remaining four star point squares on the other end of your flying geese units, with the drawn line running from the top corner to the bottom middle, as shown in the pic below. Again sew directly on the drawn line. Trim 1/4" from the sewn line, being sure to trim off only the small outer triangles. Iron your seams open.
Block layout + sewing it together
Lay out all the units of your block as they will appear in the finished block, taking particular care with any directional prints, and ensuring that the fabrics in your central HST pinwheel are correctly oriented.
Sew the HST pinwheel together - join the top squares + bottom squares - this is one of the few times I iron seams to either side, to make sure the seams nest nicely when sewing the pinwheel together.
Sew your corner squares to the top and bottom flying geese units - iron the seams to the corner squares.
Sew your flying geese units to the central HST pinwheel - iron the seams to the pinwheel.
Sew your three rows together, taking care to match up your seams.
You are done! Here's a pic of Sarah on point - which will work equally well as squared, unless you are sewing with directional fabrics like I have :-)
Good luck with your Sarah - she is a dream to sew.
The book you will need for the Farmer's Wife sew-along is The Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt: Inspiring Letters from Farm Women of the Great Depression and 99 quilt blocks that honour them by Laurie Aaron Hird for Fons & Porter/F+W; RRP $28.99 - click here to purchase.
For all information about the Farmer's Wife sew-along, please click through to Angie's GnomeAngel blog - she has a separate tab for all the Farmer's Wife info, as well as a whole heap of info for her 2017 sew-alongs - it's definitely worth taking the time to make a cup of tea and have a good read through everything. And if you would like to sew Sarah using Marti's fabulous templates, please take a click through to Marti Michell's blog for all the info.
Thanks very much for joining me for all my Farmer's Wife tutorials - this is my last one! xoxo cat
Thursday, 19 January 2017
Thursday, 22 December 2016
Hello Farmer's Wifers, it's Posy time. I liked making Posy. My last Farmer's Wife block tutorial was for block 87 Prudence, who is still no friend of mine. Like Prudence, Posy involves y-seams but they are much gentler. Posy is definitely a much happier block to sew.
My tutorial is for foundation paper-piecing (FPP) Posy. I created a FPP tutorial for block 1 Addie, and have decided to create nearly-a-full FPP tutorial for Posy too (there aren't as many step-by-step pics for Posy as there were for Addie, so please click through to Addie if you need more detailed info).
And if FPP + y-seams aren't your happy home, Angie has created an alternate block this week - I've included the link right at the bottom of this post :-)
Preparing to FPP
1. The first step is to print off your templates, being sure to have your printer set to 100% (or 'no scale'). Check the one-inch line with a quilting ruler.
2. Decide on your fabrics and colour in or label your block diagram and the corresponding template pieces, so you can keep track of which fabric to sew onto which template piece once they're all cut up and don't make a lot of sense - I forgot to take a block diagram + fabric choice pic of Posy, so see below for a pic of Prudence (so nice of past-Prudence to step up and show a bit of kindness).
3. Use paper scissors to cut out all your template sections, just roughly around the outside, there's no need to cut directly on the dotted outside edge (note that the solid line is the line on which you will sew, and the dotted line is the outside edge, with the seam allowance in between).
Time to join fabric to paper
4. Work through all your template sections, and glue the first fabric piece onto the first template piece. I use a swish of Sewline glue pen to glue the wrong side of the fabric to the unprinted side of the paper template. To be sure you are gluing the fabric in the correct place, hold your paper template up to the light (a window or a light box if you have one) and position the first fabric piece over the first template piece, being sure to leave a 1/4" seam allowance around all edges of the template piece.
5. Work through all your template sections again, carefully pinning your second fabric piece in place. Place your second fabric RST (right sides together) with your first piece, with at least a 1/4" seam allowance extending into the template's second piece. Pin in place along the sew-line between the first and second template pieces, then flip your second fabric piece over to check that it covers the whole area plus seam allowance.
6. Take all your template sections to your sewing machine. Set the stitch length to 18-20 stitches per inch for your machine - on my Bernina, it's 1.5. I sew all my FPP blocks with the Bernina 1/4" number 37 foot - you need an open-toe foot of some kind, so you can easily see where you are headed.
7. Sew directly on the printed sew line. Be sure to backstitch at the start and end of your sew line. For sew lines that start/finish within the block, be sure to start/stop directly on the sew line. For sew lines that start/stop on an external edge of the block, it's fine to sew into the seam allowance (doing this just makes removing your papers later a little more fiddly, but it makes your block a little more secure).
Trimming + ironing
8. Once you have sewed the second piece to the first piece on all your template sections, take the sections to your cutting mat and lay them fabric-side down, being sure that your fabric pieces are still RST, and haven't flipped over - you don't want to trim off the piece you have just sewed. Fold template piece 2 down onto template piece 1, along the line you just sewed. Line the 1/4" line of your ruler directly along the fold line, and trim your seam allowance to 1/4". Do this for all your section pieces, and then take them to the ironing board.
Note that for the trimming step of all FPP patterns, you will always fold down the bigger template number onto the smaller template number, to trim the seam allowance - so be sure to always follow the numbered piecing order.
9. Flip over and press your second piece down flat - be sure to press down rather than swoosh the iron all about, so your fabric pieces don't shift.
10. Repeat steps 1-9 until all your template sections are finished.
11. Once all your sections are finished, press them flat with the iron, then trim around the external edges, directly on the external section lines - refer to the pic below under step 12.
Joining sections together
12. Now to join the sections together. To be sure your template sections meet up correctly, place pins through external sew line meeting-points - refer to the pics below as an example (joining section A to section J).
13. I then pop a Wonder clip or two between my pins, so that the section pieces can't move. Remove the pins + clips as you join each section together, sewing from paper-edge to paper-edge along the sew line.
As with all FPP patterns, follow the piecing order given in the book.
Just note - when joining the little triangles J-Q, be sure that all the letters read the right way up, then flip the little triangle over to join to the bigger piece (e.g. K to B in the pic below - see how all the letters + numbers are running in the same direction).
Add extra pins along the sew line as needed, to help the sections meet accurately - see pic below, where I have added pins either side of A2, as well as on the outer corners.
14. After you join each section to the next, iron the seams open - you can remove the paper within the seam allowance at this point.
Joining corner sections to the middle sections R + S
15. Once you have finished sewing each template section, lay out your block next to your machine, with the paper-side facing upwards and the fabric facing downwards. Check again that all the little triangles have the printed writing running up the correct way
16. It's y-seam time. Start on the paper-edge and sew along the long edge towards the smaller line (refer to the pic below, sewing S to AJ). When you get to the y-intersection, exactly where the pin is:
- lower your needle
- lift your presser foot
- pivot the block
- lower your presser foot
- continue sewing along the smaller line to the paper-edge.
It totally works fine, I swear! - just go slow and steady.
Joining the top + bottom sections to I
17. Take care when joining the top and bottom sections to I, as the fabric on the outer tips will want to shift - I used my Sewline glue pen to swish glue on the outer tips of I1 and I3, to ensure the fabric did not lift away from the paper as I sewed.
18. I'm not the world's best y-seam sew-er, so to make life easy, I started right in the middle of I2 and sewed out towards the end of I1, then followed the same steps within step 16 above to sew to the outer edge. I then repeated it all again to sew from the middle of I2 (overlapping my stitches a little) to sew to the outer edge of I3.
19. Press your seams open - and you are done! - hopefully all your seams will have matched up happily.
You have finished Posy! - block 84 is done.
Remember that all the Farmer's Wife info is on Angie's blog - which is home base for the sew along. The book you will need is The Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt: Inspiring Letters from Farm Women of the Great Depression and 99 quilt blocks that honour them by Laurie Aaron Hird for Fons & Porter/F+W; RRP $28.99 (though it's currently on sale!) - click here to purchase.
Did you see that Angie sewed an alternate to Posy this week? - block 84a Ruth - using Marti Michell templates (to avoid sewing a FPP y-seam block) - so if you'd prefer to sew Ruth instead of Posy, please click on through. Angie's post includes the links to Marti's chart + template info.
Angie's post also includes all the upcoming blog links for the remaining blocks - we'll be starting back again in the new year.
I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas, and a happy + relaxing holiday time with your family + friends. All the best for a very peaceful, healthy + content 2017. Thanks for stopping by xoxo cat
Sunday, 20 November 2016
|This is the block I made for today's block tutorial - are you loving the xoxo background! - scroll down to the end of the post if you would like to see all the 'With Love From' blocks I made|
My block is called 'With Love From' because much of my sewing is done for other people - for gifts, bees and swaps. I love the process of sewing for others, as they are on your mind during the whole making-process - from choosing the fabric, to cutting, sewing, pressing and finally wrapping. I always try to choose fabrics and blocks that 'suit' the person for whom it's intended, as I love to personalise things as much as I can and make each item its own little story. It really is a privilege and a joy, to sew for others.
'With Love From' is a foundation paper pieced (FPP) block - I know that FPP is a little daunting for some, so I created a little tutorial for you. Hopefully it will help make the process a little less mysterious - FPP really is a lot of fun.
Prepare your pattern pieces + choose your fabrics
1. Print your 'With Love From' pattern, making sure you set your printer to no scale/100%, so that it prints out at the correct size. Cheap photocopy paper is fine - there is no need to use paper created especially for FPP. Use a quilting ruler to check the one inch line on the paper pattern.
2. Decide on your fabrics, then colour in or label your pattern pieces. This is an important step, as once you cut out all your pattern sections, it can be tricky to remember which pattern piece + fabric will form which part of the final block.
In the photo below, A5 and C3 are coloured orange (or you could write 'orange' or whatever colour or fabric you choose), as they will form part of an x and o in the final block. I haven't coloured in A6, A7, C5 or C9, as they will form part of the background, and I know I am using the same fabric for them, so don't need a reminder. As for the star fabric - I used it to fussy cut a star for the centre of the 'o's (pattern pieces C1 and D1).
Once you have coloured in or labelled your pattern pieces, cut out the pattern sections, around the outside line.
Cut your fabrics, use your glue stick + start to sew!
3. Cut the first two fabric pieces for all your sections (or just do one section at a time, if you are more comfortable with that). Use a Sewline glue pen to glue your first pattern piece in place on each section. The first pattern piece in each section is always the lowest numbered piece (whether that is, for example, A1 or A5). To do this:
- hold your paper pattern section up to a light source, with the inked side facing you (a sunny window works fine, or a light box).
- place your first fabric piece with the wrong side touching the unprinted side of the paper and jiggle it until it covers the first pattern piece + seam allowance all the way around.
- once you are happy with your placement, carefully swish a stripe of glue on the unprinted side of the paper, and press down your first fabric piece (take care that the wrong side of the fabric is glued to the unprinted side of the paper).
4. And now for your second piece of fabric. Place your second fabric piece right sides together (RST) on top of your first fabric piece. The second fabric should, at this stage, cover the first pattern piece, and extend into the second pattern piece's seam allowance only. Pin the second fabric piece in place, on the printed line between the two pattern pieces (refer to the photo below).
Flip your second fabric over and hold the pattern section up to the light, to check that it covers the second pattern piece + seam allowance (refer to the photo on the right).
5. Move to your sewing machine. Set the stitch length to 18-20 stitches per inch - on my Bernina 430, this is 1.5. Use an open-toed foot so you can easily see the printed line on which you will sew - on my Bernina, I use my number 37 1/4" foot. The shorter stitch length makes it easier to tear off the papers when you have finished.
6. Taking care that your two fabric pieces are RST, sew directly on the printed line between the first and second pattern pieces. For internal printed pattern lines, start + finish sewing directly on the intersection or meeting point of the lines. For printed lines that start and/or finish on an outer edge of the pattern, you can sew all the way into the seam allowance. I always backstitch at the start + finish of every sewn line. In the photo below, note that I am starting to sew in the seam allowance, as the printed pattern line between A1 and A2 finishes at the outer edge of the pattern. I will finish sewing the line right where it joins the long line between A4 and A1/A2/A3.
7. While still at the machine, flip your second piece over to check that it covers the whole second pattern piece + seam allowance. Flip it back out of the way (or ... unpick, reposition your fabric and resew). Snip your trailing threads. As a side note - unpicking tiny stitches is not a fun experience, I definitely speak from experience! If you plan on doing a lot of FPP, it's worth tracking down a razor-type unpicker, such as the one recently released by Tula Pink. The blade slides right under the tiny stitches and it's much quicker and easier to unpick them.
Time to trim
8. At your cutting mat, lay your sewn piece fabric-side down/inked paper facing up, making sure your just-sewn piece is still lying RST on top of the piece to which it was sewn.
9. Fold your paper pattern on the just-sewn line - for this step, you always fold the bigger number down on to the smaller number - in the photo below, A2 will fold down onto A1. Note in the photo too, that the two fabric pieces are RST - the orange piece is A1 and the white background piece is A2.
10. Take your ruler and line the 1/4" line directly on the fold in your paper (the fold you just made in step 9 above). Use your rotary cutter to trim the seam allowance.
Time to iron
11. Flip the piece you just sewed over and press the section flat - note that a dry iron is best with FPP. If you prefer steam, that's totally fine - it will just make the paper curl a little.
Repeat steps 3-11 as you complete all sections of the pattern - take care at each step that your fabric is positioned correctly, and that you trim only the seam allowance and not the piece you just sewed.
Trim your completed sections
12. When you have completed a section, it will not look like a recognisable part of your block - refer to the photo below.
But never fear! In the next photo is the same section, with the pattern showing. Taking care that your section is pressed and flat, use your ruler + rotary cutter to trim the section on the external printed line - in all your pattern sections, the 1/4" gap between the external line and the pattern-section outline, is the seam allowance - so please be sure to trim on the external line.
Here is the trimmed section!
And so you can see the other side - here is the trimmed, printed side of the section.
And here is a section with both external and internal pattern lines, so you can see the difference between them.
Joining sections together
13. When you have finished piecing all your sections, it's time to join them together (in 'With Love From', you only need to join the 'x's together, as the 'o's are pieced in only one section). FPP patterns always include the order in which to join sections together - be sure to follow them, so you can easily 'build' your finished block.
To keep your sections in place when you join them together, stick pins in the outer corners of two sections, to 'match them up' - and then secure with a Wonder clip. Remove the pins only when it's time to sew the sections together. Carefully place the sections under the machine foot, and only then remove the Wonder clip. You will sew all the way along the section-line, from paper-edge to paper-edge (meaning, sew into the seam allowance at either end of the section line). Backstitch at the start and finish to secure your stitches.
14. Follow the same process to join the x's to the o's - pin your matching corners, add a clip, and sew along the section lines, from paper-edge to paper-edge (meaning, sew into the seam allowance at either end of the section line).
I totally forgot to take a photo of the finished xoxo strip, before joining it to the top and bottom background sections! So at this stage, yours won't look quite like this next photo - you'll have little tips extending off the top and bottom of your o's (like the right-side of the 'o' below) - don't worry about that, as they will disappear into the seam allowance when you add the top and bottom sections, E1 and F1. And of course, the little tip extending off to the right in the block below, will disappear into the seam allowance when you add sashing or join the block to another.
And another photo confession! - it's only when I have typed up this tutorial, that I realised I didn't take any photos of joining the top and bottom sections E1 and F1! - it's up to you whether you use the paper template or just measure it with your ruler and cut out the pieces. Here's what I did:
- I used the paper templates, and swished a stripe of glue onto the back of the paper, then stuck them onto the wrong side of the background fabric;
- trimmed around the external edge of both sections;
- used pins to match the outer corners with the completed xoxo section, for both E1 and F1, and secured the sections with a couple of Wonder clips;
- sewed all the way along the section line, from paper-edge to paper-edge; and
- ironed seams to the E1 and F1 pieces.
And NOW you are done! I hope you have enjoyed making this block - I'm looking forward to seeing your creations on the Facebook page. Here's a photo to end with - of all six blocks I made, just to show the different looks you can create. I have a thing for fussy-cutting, so loved choosing tiny motifs to go inside the 'o's :-) The bigger block, I copied at 150% - and then added borders all the way around.
Thanks so much to Pat and Jane for coordinating this quilt-along and hosting the community that it has created - it's been wonderful to see all the different blocks that everyone is making. xoxo cat