13 November 2013

Pennies and Scraps

As I look around my sewing room, I am overwhelmed by the jumble of fabric, sewing machines and WIP's cluttering the space.  Fabric scraps from other projects litter the floor, having spilled out of the buckets and baskets meant to contain them.  This is a problem.  The entryway-turned-sewing room is the first thing anyone sees upon entering the house, and right now it's giving off a hoarder vibe. 

Things are in disarray because I've chosen to ignore the mess in favor of sewing.  By taking part in the Marcelle Medallion and Modern Maples fun, I've come out of self-imposed exile and find myself jumping into sew-alongs with gleeful abandon.  So before Marcelle Medallion or Modern Maples are even finished, I've already joined the Penny Patch Quilt-along at Stitched in Color.

I love the simplicity of design of the Penny Patch quilt.  It's squares upon squares- different sizes, but all squares, nonetheless.  This lends itself easily to power chain-piecing.  If you decide to join in the fun, Rachel has an excellent post about choosing a color scheme.  Because I kept waffling back and forth between color palettes and couldn't commit to just one, I'm going to make a scrappy version of the quilt.  Going through the scraps seems a perfect start to cleaning up the sewing room.

Linking up to the Penny Patch linky party at Stitched in Color and to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

04 November 2013

Improv Stripped Geese tutorial

November is my month to host the Love Circle of do. Good Stitches.  I've really enjoyed being a part of this lovely and talented group of quilters.  Many of the quilts we've made together are unique and original.  The quilts made in this bee are sent to the  Wrap Them in Love Foundation, which then sends the quilts to children in need around the world.

Inspired by the color palette of this quilt, the design of this quilt, and a love of flying geese blocks, I've chosen a design that mixes all of these things in one quilt.  Here's the method I used to construct the blocks.

Improv Stripped Geese

What you will need:
rotary cutter
cutting mat
8" strips of fabric, varying widths (I cut mine between 2.5" to 4")
one 4" square piece of fabric
one strip of fabric 4"x9.5"

All seams are 1/4."  Please press seams to the right unless otherwise noted.  Block measures 6.5"x12.5" unfinished. 

To make the improv geese unit:
Start with the 4" square.  With your rotary cutter and ruler, cut an improv triangle. 

Lay your triangle over the 4" x 9.5" strip, ensuring there is at least 1/2" clearance of the background fabric at the top of the triangle (to allow for seams).

Place your ruler over the right edge of the triangle and cut the background fabric with your rotary cutter.  Do the same on the left edge of the triangle. 

Flip the triangle over the right-side background piece, centering on the angled edge. 

Sew together and press seam towards the background fabric.  Trim the dog-ear at the top.

Place the newly sewn unit right sides together over the angled edge of the left-side piece.

Sew together and press seam towards the background.

Trim the top and bottom edges.  Set the flying geese block aside.

To assemble the improv strips: 
Take one of the strips and, with your rotary cutter and a ruler, cut the right edge at a slight angle.

Take another strip, align on the angled edge right sides together.

Sew together.  Press seam to the right.

With your rotary cutter and ruler, cut the right edge of the newly sewn unit at a slight angle opposite to the first angled cut. 

Take a third strip, align on the angled edge, right sides together.

Sew together.  Press seam to the right.

Repeat these steps, working in the improv geese unit somewhere in the block.  Stop when the block reaches 13" or so in width.  Trim block to 6.5" x 12.5."

Congrats- you've successfully completed a Stripped Geese block!  I hope you found this tutorial clear and helpful.

eta: To my Love Circle friends... please feel free to add more than one flying geese unit in each of your blocks!

Have a great week!