Friday, January 17, 2020

Scrap bag sampler week 2 - strippy curves

STRIPPY CURVES WITH @getahashtagkim

Don’t be scared, curves aren’t as tricky as you think!  Try this easy, no-pin way of making gentle improv curves. The Scrap Bag Sampler SAL is the perfect opportunity to give it a go, as we’re using scraps and making random blocks.

Cut four 9½ x 2½ inch strips. Lay four 9½ x 2½ inch strips in your chosen order.

Then take two strips and overlap them by about an inch as shown with pin markers. 

Using a small rotary cutter, cut through both layers where they overlap, making small curves. Go slowly to avoid shifting the two strips, pin them together at the far end if it helps. Discard the narrow scraps & admire your hills & valleys! Cut and sew each pair of strips one at a time to ensure the curves match. Those straight sides in the middle will be cut and sewn later.
Take one pair & sew along the curvy edge RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER using a narrow seam allowance, 1/8th inch is easier than trying for a normal ¼ inch, in my experience. You don’t need pins, trust me! Just go slowly, carefully lifting & turning the top layer as you go to align the edge with that of the bottom layer. Don’t pull or you’ll stretch the fabric. You may only manage a couple of stitches at a time before you have to leave the needle down & raise the foot to work around the curves and wriggle the fabrics but it WILL work. It’s trickier to explain than it is to actually do!  (Maybe I’ll be brave enough to post a video)  

Yes, I know it looks a mess right now but it will press flat, if you go slowly. Lay one strip flat on the ironing board, hold the other one up and gently nudge the tip over the iron along the seam allowance to press it over to one side.

Overlap then cut the remaining straight sides as shown earlier. Sew & press as before. Give the block a final press, with a blast of steam, then trim to a 4½ x 8½ inch block. Look forward to seeing
your curves!

This is a deceptively quick block to put together. I cut the block into a 4.5" square for the SAL bag. I suggest keeping it as one large unit until you decide on how to position your blocks.

Visit our designers on Instagram to see their versions of this block : @cotefleurie @getahashtagkim @JustSewSue @lisasew @metroquilter @picosailors @pippaspatch @quirkyhannah  @surfseasew @therunninghare


Friday, January 10, 2020

Scrap bag sampler week 1 - foundation pieced flying geese

Foundation pieced flying geese

Dip your toes into foundation piecing with this strip of flying geese designed by @justsewsue (me) to start this sewalong


2.5” to 3” squares of background fabric cut into triangles

Assorted scraps for geese measuring at least 2.5” by 4.5” but don’t cut your pieces down to this size as you will trim as you go

Foundation paper

Download the foundation pattern here. Print the foundation pattern onto paper. I use Jenny Doak’s foundation paper which I buy from Amazon. I buy the cheapest size and print in greyscale at actual size. Measure the 1” box before continuing. I then mark on the paper the colour fabric that I want for each goose. Don’t use a Frixion pen as you will lose the markings when you press your work.

Then cut apart the paper patterns leaving a good quarter inch around the dark cutting line.

You are ready to start sewing. The first section is potentially the trickiest but after that you just follow the numbers.

Take your first geese fabric and place it on the wrong side of the foundation pattern, face up. Pin on the right side parallel to the stitching line between A1 and A2. Fold back the foundation along the stitching line between A1 and A2. Trim the fabric ¼” away from the line of the paper.

Place a background triangle of fabric face down on your geese fabric, matching the edge of the background triangle to the geese triangle.  Keeping a firm hold of the fabric, turn over and pin perpendicular to the line between A1 and A2.

Turn your stitch length down to 1.6 as the paper will be perforated and much easier to remove. Stitch along the line between A1 and A2. Starting in the seam allowance and continuing into piece A4. Press the fabric away from A1 and double check the darker fabric isn’t showing in the background. If it is, this is the time to grade the seam by trimming the seam allowance of the darker fabric.

Now it’s time to repeat your actions for piece A3. Remember the mantra – trim, stitch, press, repeat.


Fold the paper back on the line between A1 and A3. You may tear some of the paper, but don’t worry that will make the removal of the paper easier. If you rip too hard, use a scrap of foundation paper and a glue stick to repair the tear, don’t use sticky tape, it won’t end well!! Trim the fabric ¼” away from the line of the paper. Place a background triangle of fabric face down on your geese fabric, matching the edge of the background triangle to the geese triangle.  Keeping a firm hold of the fabric, turn over and pin perpendicular to the line between A1 and A2.

Stitch along the line between A1 and A3. Starting in the seam allowance and continuing into piece A4. Press the fabric away from A1 and double check the darker fabric isn’t showing in the background. 

Instead of pressing you can use a wallpaper seam roller but definitely press with an iron once the unit is completed. Repeat the sequence – trim, stitch, press, repeat until you have sewn all twelve sections. This is a good leader and ender project.

Press the finished block and trim to 4½ x 2½ inches. Sometimes the paper shrinks slightly when pressing, so just make sure you cut to the correct size.

Wait to sew sections together until you have a better idea of what size you need, but this block would look great as a rainbow. For the SAL bag pattern, I used one 2 x 4” strip and one 2” x 6” strips.

Visit our designers on Instagram to see their versions of this block : @cotefleurie @getahashtagkim @JustSewSue @lisasew @metroquilter @picosailors @pippaspatch @quirkyhannah  @surfseasew @therunninghare


Wednesday, January 08, 2020

The stash buster challenge

The president of Caesarea Quilters posted a link to the Stash Buster Challenge for 2020. It is a simple block in three sizes and I can cut the necessary squares with my Accuquilt. I have committed to myself to make two quilts in 2020 for Quilts for Care leavers so I thought this was a perfect pattern as it has so many possibilities.

Here are my first four blocks.

I have realised:
1. Directional fabrics can be challenging
2. I don't have as many red fabrics as I thought
3. These blocks are addictive

They are also perfect blocks to sew at sew days and retreats or as leader and enders. I plan to prep ten blocks a week and then they're ready to sew. They only take about five minutes to sew so are a quick diversion when my current WIP or UFO gets boring.

Scrap bag sampler - timetable

Who's excited about Friday's kick off on the #scrapbagsampler sewalong ??? Block instructions will be published every Friday on our blogs and we will all be posting our own versions of the block on Instagram too. Keep checking that hashtag !! #scrapbagsampler 

Our first stop is with me also known as @justsewsue on IG  
Followed by :- 
17 January @getahashtagkim 
24 January @quirkyhannah who blogs Here 
31 January @metroquilter 
7 February @cotefleurie 
14 February @pippaspatch who blogs Here 
21 February @picosailors who blogs Here 
28 February @therunninghare 
6 March @Lisasew 
13 March @surfseasew 

Towards the end of March you'll have all the blocks and can get on with finishing your project. You could make the bucket bag which I have designed and will be shared with you on 20th March. 

My design needs a panel 30” by 8” (finished) and I have used :- six 4” squares, three 6” squares, one 2” square, one 2 x 4” strip and two 2” x 6” strips. 

Do you already have some small blocks which are unloved? Incorporate them into your design. You can mix and match, most of our blocks are variable in sizes. You can customise your favourite bag pattern, tote bag, project bag, how about a cute zipped pouch, a mini quilt, you could even make more blocks for a baby quilt or super size them up for a lap quilt. Use those scraps, they will just keep multiplying otherwise. The end of the sewalong will be 9pm GMT Easter Monday April 13th and please share your finished projects using the #scrapbagsampler hashtag. Myself and all the designers can't wait to see what you make and share our own finishes with you. Roll on Friday !!!

Monday, January 06, 2020

I slipped down a Prairie Schooler rabbit hole

I enjoy watching Youtube videos whilst I hand sew binding, do some knitting or cross stitch. I have recently started watching #Flosstube videos. Although I have done a few Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery patterns, I haven't tried any other designers. That is about to change. Many Flosstubers stitch the Prarie Schooler annual Santa patterns.

Whilst watching one video, I Googled the patterns and there wer a couple on Ebay. Click, click and they were purchased. Another Google and Peakside Needleworks in the UK have almost all of the patterns. I went wild in the virtual aisles, calmed down and took some out of my shopping basket and ordered linen and floss too.

I like the patterns but want to update the colours. I have chosen a grey linen fabric to stitch the patterns on and once my order arrives from Peakside, I will look at changing up some of the colours for a fresher more modern feel.

Any patterns that I didn't buy have now been sent to my family as suggestions for Mother's Day, birthday etc gifts. With clickable links so I get the right pattern. I will be stitching these for years to come so have added a couple to my Finishalong list. Whilst I wait impatiently for my order, I should sew up a project bag.

Sunday, January 05, 2020

Crescent tote complete

The number 1 UFO chosen for our guild 2020 challenge was for me the Crescent tote by Noodlehead- a great kit from Pink Door Fabrics. I planned it as a perfect retreat project as it's kitted up and ready to go. Yesterday I had a spare hour before going to a meeting, so I cut out all of the pieces and added the fusible fleece and iron on interfacing.

I lost my sewjo over Christmas so I was pleased to finish this project after returning from the meeting. If I was to make the tote again I would use Bosal instead of fusible fleece for a firmer bag and add a magnetic snap to the top of the bag.

 Inside the bag I added a piece of ribbon to hang keys from. Both the outside and inside pockets are a useful size.

My next job is some secret sewing for Friday's launch of the Scrap bag sampler.

Friday, January 03, 2020

Scrap Bag Sampler - Scraps chosen

Do you love a good sewalong but don’t want to commit to another large quilt, spend the £s on a pattern or buy more fabric? Then this is the sewalong for you. We are going to use the scraps that we have accumulated and make small blocks every week to make a panel for a bag. These small blocks are perfect as a leader and ender project and to try out new techniques. Think of it as a spring clean for your scraps.

The sewalong will commence on Friday 10 January, but join us on Instagram today to see what scraps we’ve chosen to use for the sewalong. Share the scraps you’ve chosen to use for the sewalong using the hashtag #scrapbagsampler

I chose to use the scraps that were already on my work table. This is my leftover fabric from my recently completed Perfect HST BOM. There are even a few HSTs already made which may come in useful.

Visit our designers on Instagram to see their versions of this block : @cotefleurie @getahashtagkim @JustSewSue @lisasew @metroquilter @picosailors @pippaspatch @quirkyhannah  @surfseasew @therunninghare


Thursday, January 02, 2020

Q1 finish along 2020

I have joined the APQS finish along and the Jersey Modern Quilt Group finish along so everything is photographed, labelled and ready to go. I have added a couple of other projects that I would like to make if I finish the project chosen for the month.

1. Crescent tote - a great kit from Pink Door Fabrics. a perfect retreat project as it's kitted up and ready to go. I have already photocopied the pattern pieces so I don't spoil / lose any pieces.

2. TQS BOM Sedona Star from Jan 2012. No progress was made in 2019. I am thinking I need to do a little work on each project in this list every month so that it is less of a shock when a biggie is chosen.

. Tula Pink butterfly from October 2017. I need to move a few blocks and then quilt it.

4. Carolyn Friedlander tote - just needs binding.

. My small world from 2016 which is pieced and partly quilted. 

6. Five impossible things - partly quilted and needs re-pressing and to be quilted, trimmed and bound.

7. Tate Modern quilt which I need to start drafting again. I had made some templates but some were wrong and I might be able to use a circle ruler instead.

8. Tula Pink Hex on the beach - about 2/3 of the blocks are finished and most of the fabric I cut out and basted.

9. Hoffman Dream Big Panel - I need to load this and practise my free motion quilting. I have bought the threads and have a backing, so it's ready to go.

10. The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery Squad Ghouls. Two complete out of four

11. Bits and bob blanket - pattern by Kay Jones - about 2/3 finished and then it needs an I-cord binding

12. Mr Domestic cross body bag - at the time of taking this photo, I couldn't put my hands on the pattern and was awaiting nickel sliders which were missing from an order. However now both the sliders and pattern are in the bag.

13. Linen dress
14. Rope basket - clothes line has already been purchased
15. Bowler bag - pattern by Mrs H which I won in a reent sewalong.
16. Scrap bag sampler bag 1
17. Scrap bag sampler bag 2
18. Libs Elliott sewalong - quilted and bound but it just needs some ends sewn in.
19. Christmas cross stitch
20. 2019 Prairie Schooler annual santa
21. 2018 Prairie Schooler annual santa
22. 1985 Prairie Schooler annual santa