Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Halloween 3D Pinwheel block tutorial

Hi quilters! I've been searching for a design idea to use on my Spooktacular Mini Swap quilt and recently came across this cute block tutorial at Little Thunder Lizard.  This is a great way to use your pre-cut 5 inch squares. I love the movement of a pinwheel block and the 3D effect in this block takes that movement to a whole new level! Ashley Eaton wrote great instructions for creating this block.  She created some darling baby quilts with it. So pop over and read her tutorial - or stick around and see how I made a fun Halloween mini quilt using the same technique.

Here is what your finished 3D pinwheel block will look like. 

I started with a charm pack of Monster Bash by Moda. I knew I wanted a 2 by 2 arrangement of this block for a mini quilt so I chose 16 of the charms and arranged them in 4 rows of 4.

Then I chose 16 charms for the pinwheel blades. These each need to be pressed on the diagonal:
And then pressed again on the diagonal to create a quarter square triangle.
Now place these on the edges of your charm squares to create a pinwheel. The 4 raw edges of the triangle will line up with the edge of your charm square.
Unless you are using all the same fabric for the background charms and the same fabric for the pinwheel blades, this is a good time to snap some quick phone pics to keep track of which charm/blade goes where.
Now use a couple of pins to secure each QST to its charm. Even if you are not normally a pinner for small seams, you're working with 5 layers of fabric here so the pins are helpful. Set your needle position to give you a smaller than 1/4 in seam allowance. Then sew the blades on the charms. Now adjust your needle position back to a true 1/4 inch seam. When you sew the charms into blocks your seam should lie just outside the previous seam.

 Ashley recommended pressing seams open but I found that too difficult. The seam wants to lie in the opposite direction than the pinwheel blade is pointing. (So that thick QST is actually lying flat rather than being bent back onto itself.) But pressing the seams this way ends up giving your abutting seams when you sew the block together so it works nicely.

When joining blocks together you can easily press the seams open because you won't be dealing with any pinwheel blades in those seams.

Four joined blocks will finish at 18 inches square. I'm planning on adding a 2 inch border of one of the dark fabrics before quilting and binding it.  This one has to be done and sent to my partner by September 20th. But I've got several other projects with deadlines coming up so I'm hoping to finish it up soon. Thanks for stopping by today. I hope your projects are going well.

Linking to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
and Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation

Thursday, August 13, 2015

"Don't Block Me" Text Me Mini Swap

My friend Vicki of Orchid Owl Quilts and I have been running a mini swap on Instagram this summer. It's been a fun and educational experience. And way more work than we initially thought it would be. We've reached the point in the swap where the shipping deadline is fast approaching so both of us have been forced to turn our attention from the administration of the swap to participation in the swap. In other words, we needed to get off the computer and get sewing!

The rules were simple. A mini created with a minimum of two fabrics which depicted letters, words or numbers.

I'm still in love with the Figures line by Zen Chic that I used to create the Eleplay mini for the favorite designer swap. And fortunately, that line has several fabrics with numbers and text. I added just one fat quarter of a text fabric and some plain white and created this:
I loved the idea of stacked blocks in both the piecing and the quilting. And the double meaning of blocking a text sender so I named it, "Don't Block Me."

I used some of my wonderful Bicycle fabric from Turkey, which also has text on it, for the backing.

 I used clear bobbin thread when I was quilting with the coral and navy thread on the front. I'd never used clear thread before but it worked out quite well. I like that all the quilting blends well on the back.

I also cut my binding on the bias to avoid the difficulty of the text not running exactly parallel or perpendicular to the quilt.

I still need to make something handmade for an extra and decide what store bought items I will add to the package. But I have until September 1st so I'm not panicking (yet).

Today I mailed Eleplay off to my Favorite Designer Swap partner.  She had asked that I spend my time on the project rather than extras so I just added a few snacks and some bobbin minders. But there is one fun surprise that you might spot. It's not available to buy for another month or two so mums the word. I'll only say that I have my sources. And that I hope my partner will like it.

Linking up with:
 Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation
Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? at Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts

Friday, August 7, 2015

Oliver FMQ Practice Mini

Here's a small finish I've managed this past week. The last of a set of three sibling/practice FMQ minis. 

I went 6 days without even turning on my machine. An unintentional quilting fast that did not make me happy! But life is busy. And life as a mom is super busy. This past week we started our birthday season (4 birthdays and our anniversary within 5 weeks)-
Starting with the baby who turned 9.
-and cramming all the last minute dentist appointment, eye exam, haircut and shopping that it takes to get this gorgeous girl ready to go back to college for her sophomore year. 
So going to miss having her home. ... And I think she wins at selfies.  
But amidst all the craziness it was nice to have a small project to work on and finish. Honestly, I didn't really try to stretch myself with this project. I just let the name take center stage and used the surrounding negative space to practice and improve some favorite designs. 

The quilting just melts into the busy, colorful back.
As I said, this is the last of a set which will go to a group of siblings. Oliver has a younger sister named Violet and a younger brother named Henry
Collectively, they have a new baby brother named Teddy who will be getting an Elephant Baby Quilt if I ever get it quilted. 

Right now in my machine is another mini - this one for a Instagram swap using text fabrics. Here's a sneak peak.
I'm loving these tiles ala Angela Walters but undecided on how to quilt the print squares. Why is it that I'm better with negative space than the actual quilt blocks? Hmm... no idea. 

Hope your summer is winding down in a joyful way.