Tag Archives: block

Tutorial: Phased circle block

I have been having fun with my new design “Phased Circles” of late. I will at some stage release the pattern for the whole quilt seen here. In the meantime, thought it would be fun to share with everyone, how I made up the individual blocks.

You will need the following materials.

  • Circle Rotary Cutter (cuts at least a 8.5″ circle)

Inner Circle

  • 1  5.5″ white cotton square
  • 1 1.5″ strip of white cotton and a colored solid of your choice (I used Kona skinny strips so I did not need to cut)
  • 1 5.5″ x 10.5″ printed fabric (dark/saturated print)

Background

  • 1 6.5″ square of four low-volume prints in monotone colors (as in my quilt) or four prints in a complementary color (as seen in this block) to the inner circle fabric selection.
  1. Let’s start with the inner circle.
    Sew your white and colored strips together for approximately 12″.  Cut excess and press seam open. From this strip, cut 2 5.5″ pieces and cut an additional 5.5″ single piece from the colored skinny strip. Sew these 3 pieces together to form a striped 5.5″ square – as in top right square below. Layout your pieces, the 5.5″ striped square, 5.5″ white square and 5.5″ x 10.5″ printed fabric. Fabric Pieced Parts
  2. Sew the striped square to the white square (as seen on the right) and press seam open. Then sew the this rectangle to the 5.5 x 10.5″ printed fabric to form a 10.5″ square as shown below.
    Pieced Circle Fabric
  3. Use a circle rotary cutter (I use Olfa Circle Rotary cutter which is available online and in stores) to cut a 8.5″ circle using the intersecting point in the center as the middle.Circle Cut
  4. Now for the background of the block.Layout the four square prints. Think about where the white fabric will be placed as you want the darker colors to be where the white is present in the circle you just cut. In my block that is on the right. This provides the best contrast.Background Pieces
  5. Sew each side together (i.e left side/right side). Press seams open. Then sew each of these two pieces together to form a 12.5″ square.Pieced Background
  6. Using the circle rotary cutter cut a circle that is 7.5″ circle.Cut Background Circle
  7. Overlay the background square on the inner circle. Match up the intersecting lines (there are 3 of them in this block). Pin them in place, add more pins if desired to hold fabric in place.Pinned circle background
  8. Sew a basting stitch at 1/4″ from the edge of the circle of the background fabric.
    TIPS: I use my 1/4″ foot and use the inside edge as a guide. My stitch length is set at 3 on my Janome. I sew at the slowest speed setting, on my machine, so I can turn the fabric.
    IMPORTANT: Make sure you stop and lift and realign frequently for best results. Basting Stitch
  9. At this stage, it is time to use a technique called Needle turn appliqué. The fabrics are in reverse, where the background is on top of the main fabric (inner circle in this case); normally the background is what you would be appliqué for pieces onto.
    • Start at one of the seams of the background square.
    • First off, select a matching thread to the background fabric….For this block use coral or off white thread.
    • Knot your thread.
    • Use your needle to fold the top under, towards the basting stitch. You are folding under here about 1/8″.
    • From the bottom (so knot is on the bottom), push needle through all layers and do a little hold stitch .
    • Now, sweep the edge under another 1/2 – 1 inch or so towards the basting stitch (again 1/8inch). Use your fingers to press and smooth out the line. Use an appliqué stitch to sew along the folded each.
    • Continue along about 1/2 -1 inch at a time.
    • Make sure you make a little hold stitch at the end and beginning of each fabric piece

    Here is what it will look like: NeedleTurnApplique

  10. Continue until the whole circle has been appliquéd. Finished Needle Turn Applique
    Here is a close-up of the finished appliquéd parts. Closeup Needle Turn Applique Complete
  11. Remove the basting stitch and you are all done. Square up your finished block – unfinished size for this test block is 12.5″ .
    Phased_Circles_Test_Block

The needle turn appliqué technique was shown to me by Carolyn Friedlander. I loved it, by the way this was my first time trying it. I actually took the project outside and relaxed while doing the hand sewing as it was portable. It meant, I did not have to be inside by my machine. So if you need something while the kids are playing sports/swimming, or need a travel project these would be great (once basted).

There are several versions of this technique, one version is shown in the Craftsy class by Sarah Fielke “Big Techniques from Small Scraps”. The reason to reference this class, is that this will show you the needle turn appliqué basics and appliqué/hold stitch basics. Differences to the above tutorial include; the focus on sewing the pieces to the background, glue basting instead of stitch basting and uses a 1/4 inch seam folds.

If you do not want to do this via needle turn appliqué, you could use a inset circle technique (uses the sewing machine instead of hand sewing). The Craftsy class by Cheryl Arkison “Inset and Appliqué Circles by Machine” is a good class for this technique.

There we go that is my finished test block and tutorial for “Phased Circles”. Let me know if you have any questions. Linking up with Amanda Jean @ crazy mom quilts for Finish it up Friday.

New star block design

I have been playing around in threadbias again today. Growing up in New Zealand gave me an amazing chance to be exposed to a lot of Pacific arts. One of my favorite arts are Tapa Cloths. Here is an example of what a Tapa Cloth is. Can’t you see a quilt design in there 🙂ed875c35d028d0c57343d0792073a8c4

Tapa Cloths use a lot of basic shapes such as triangles, circles and squares. Here is my new design inspired by this art form. This view is using some Lotta Jansdotter print to highlight the simple shapes.

LottaTapaClothStar

What about how it would look as a monochromatic block (1 color)….
GreenTapaClothStar

Tapa Cloths art form fills “in between” shapes with stripes and other fillers. For example, see above, the flying geese have all those stripes in the “in between” spaces. So, I took the same monochrome view of the star block and added some stripes to get this……
GreenStripedTapaClothStar

I am thinking of making these into paper piecing patterns. What do you think…paper piecing pattern or just a block pattern?

Linking up with Lee over at Freshly Pieced for WiP Wednesday.
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Yellow-eyed Penguin – paper piecing

Juliet @ Tartan Kiwi (her blog is here) has done another amazing job and created a new paper piecing pattern for the little Yellow-eyed Penguin.

The yellow-eyed penguin is one of New Zealand’s native birds, considered endangered and one of the world’s rarest penguins. I think he is very cute, I love the yellow eyes and the plumage coloring.Yellow_Penguin_Eye_to_Eye
(Photo/Image from http://mesh.biology.washington.edu/penguinProject/yelloweyed)

Here is how my 10×10″ block turned out. The pattern is 12×12″ and I used the 84% when printing. All the fabric I used were scraps taken from my scrap bin, except for the background where I used a fat quarter of “Hands on Deck, aqua”  by Maritime Modern for Riley Blake with solid scraps.

YellowEyedPenguin_FullBlock

The penguin was a delight to make up. Juliet’s pattern is not for a beginner and definitely offered a challenge, especially the A block – the head.YellowEyedPenguin_CloseUp

The head has several small pieces around the eye. You might be able to see it here in the close-up. Around the eye are 6 yellow pieces….this was the second attempt. I love the personality of this penguin’ s face.YellowEyedPenguin_Eye

She has a giveaway for her kea pattern if you want to go out check out her blog. Don’t forget to check out Juliet’s pattern page on Craftsy.

I plan making most of Juliet’s NZ native birds, here are some of the posts so far:

  • Kiwi
  • Kea
  • Yellow-eyed Penguin
  • Pukeko (underway)
  • Fantail (coming soon)

I am linking up with Kristy @ Quiet Play for her Paper-Piecing party.

Paper Piecing Party

Curiosity killed the…..Kea??

The Kea is the second native New Zealand bird pattern that I have completed from Juliet @ Tartan Kiwi. Along with each pattern, I want to introduce you to the wonderful bird’s she has based her patterns on. So the kea….

…Is a mischievous kea, is the world’s only alpine parrot and can be found in the forest and alpine areas of the West coast of the South Island in New Zealand. It is considered an endangered species.  If you are sight-seeing around Milford track/tunnel, you are definitely likely to see the naturally curious and intelligent Kea;  an olive green bird with an amazing orange plumage under the wings.

Kea

"The Kea is a parrot species widely regarded as the most intelligent in the bird 
world" photographer: Ian Trafford (cited from: www.travelwithachallenge.com)

A warning though if you are driving a car – all I can say is I hope you have good insurance, they have been known to tug and pull on car aerials, and peel off rubber door seals and chew through wiper blades.

Due its curiosity and mischievous behaviors, the kea is not as loved as many of the other native birds, in fact, it has in the past been considered a pest/thread of sheep stock which lead to its endangered status. It is probably one of 4 most recognized New Zealand birds (Kiwi, Tui and Fantail being the other 3, in my opinion) and is one of the 87% of New Zealand birds that are endemic to New Zealand.

Now, that you have some background, onto the paper pieced block. Juliet asked for testers of her new block series on native birds….I jumped at the chance. Her new block was the kea. This block was a lot of fun and definitely has intricate piecing if you are looking to improve your technique it is one to try. I loved how the block turned out. It shows off the prancing of the kea perfectly!!

Kea Block with an outside shotKea_Outside

Inside Close-upKea_InsideView

Her other paper piecing patterns for New Zealand Birds are available on Craftsy and include:

  • Kiwi (free pattern)
  • Pukeko (free pattern)
  • Kea (soon to be available)
  • Fantail (soon to be available)

Linking up with Janice for Sew Cute Tuesday @ Better off thread.

Better Off Thread
and Kristy @ Quiet Play, Paper Piecing Party.
Paper Piecing Party

Finish it up Friday – Paper pieced Kiwi

I am so excited on how my first paper piecing project turned out. On Wednesday, I shared with you  the little kiwi I was embarking on. Here is the finished paper piecing block – I’ve framed it ready to be the front of a 18 inch cushion cover….

KiwiCushionCloseUp KiwiCushionFullView

One of my March goals done – try a new technique, paper piecing. A big thank you to Juliet @ tartankiwi for the design and pattern, I had a lot of fun with it. I will definitely do more paper piecing.

Linking up with Amanda @ Crazy Mom Quilts for finish it up Friday.

First Madrona road block for mini quilt

Our quilt guild Madrona Road Challenge started last month and ends in May. I had seen so many wonderful Madrona Road finishes I really did not know what I could do that is original, until I received my March issue of Dwell Magazine (a modern architecture and design magazine), this month’s focus is on Interior Design. In the article, Industrial Designer,  it shows how a 200 year old factory was transformed into an modern style and inviting home (pages 86-93). It is truly magnificent.

What captured my imagination were the tiles that was used in this transformation. There are two designs I want to use as quilts, but the one I am hoping to put into a 9 block mini quilt are these floor tiles:

Page 90
Here they are again in the top two photos for the shower and bathroom, I am using the shower photo as my reference for my mini quilt :Page 92

The first block is finished, which I am calling “Checkers Board Block”  – this is my finish for the week (linking up with Amanda from Crazy Mom Quilts).
Checkers Board Block

I am excited about this project as I have not made a mini quilt before and I am trying some new techniques out along the way :-). This weeks technique, that was different than what I normally do, was how I pressed the blocks to get them to line up and fit well together – I pressed the strip seams in opposite directions to each other. I liked how it turned out.

If all the other blocks turn out, I will make an effort to create patterns and post them, in case someone is interested.