2016 Cloud 9 Fabrics New Block Blog Hop

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Welcome to the first day of this new block blog hop! Be sure to check out all the other block tutorials (there will be more than 70 released over the next few days). I always love this challenge and was happy to be asked by @quiltingjetgirl @latenightquilter and @meadowmistdesigns  to participate again this year.

It is hard to believe September is already here! Life has gotten crazy with back to school in our house and both my husband and myself work outside the home. Currently we both have some big life decisions to make. This led to the inspiration behind my block for this hop that I’ve named Crossroads.

Crossroads Block
Crossroads Block

It did make me laugh to look at my block for the last Blog Hop. Apparently I do a lot of my thinking in the car! I hope you enjoy this block. You can use it in various ways. I again challenged myself to use all of the colours.

The Cloud 9 Fabric Cirrus solids are gorgeous in their depth of colour and feel. If you like to work with a stiffer fabric I suggest using starch when you press the fabric before making your cuts. I did not, but my Block would have benefited from it.

The gorgeous Cirrus solids
The gorgeous Cirrus solids

This block is both simple and complex! The simple part is that you first make 4 half-square triangles (HSTs) – two at once – so it’s super fast!

I’ve divided this 12.5″ unfinished block into 4 – 6.5″ blocks that come together to make it. Once you have pressed your four main fabrics simply cut out of each a 7″ square which will give 6.5″ HSTs if you are a super precise piecer.  I left myself plenty of wiggle room by cutting out 7.5″ squares and then trimming down.

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I love my Fons & Porter HST ruler!

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You simply draw lines on either side of it (I love my Frixxon for this!) and then sew on the lines.

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If you do not have one just draw a line in the middle and sew lines on each side 1/4″ away from the centre line.

Next you cut them through the middle, press (I prefer to press open) and then square up to 6.5″. I always place the diagonal line on my ruler across the diagonal seam when doing this.

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Trim off the access. I actually save these scraps for my small studies – yes I’m THAT crazy fabric scrap lady!

Now you need to cut out your crossroads. I simply made myself a template. You need 8 of these triangles. Cut the triangles at 1.5″ on one end and 3/8″ at the other end. The straight edge is 6.5″ long. I used my ruler to line up the first one. See diagram.

Creating your template
Creating your template
I use one to trace out the rest
I use one to trace out the rest

To sew these to your HSTs you will line up using the 1″ Mark.

Line up at the 1" Mark from edge and join points. Ensure 90° angle is edge that you are not sewing on.
Line up at the 1″ Mark from edge and join points. Ensure 90° angle is edge that you are not sewing on.
Remember to trim the extra piece you have now off before pressing seams open.
Remember to trim the extra piece you have now off before pressing seams open.

I find this easier than paper piecing and less fabric wasting but some of you may prefer to do this one by paper piecing and one certainly could easily do it that way.

Square up to 6.5"
Square up to 6.5″

Now you can add the other triangle crossroad.

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Again square up to 6.5"
Again square up to 6.5″ after trim excess

Now you can sew two 6.5″ blocks together. Ensure you have the HSTs rotated correctly for how you want your block to look. I usually layout all my cut pieces at the start to avoid mix-up! (Which sometimes still occur..)

These pieces can shift if cut on the bias so pin!
These pieces can shift if cut on the bias so ensure to pin!
Press in the middle repeatedly to create a smooth seam
Press in the middle repeatedly to create a smooth seam.

Finish the other two 6.5″ blocks in the same fashion and sew together to create the other half of the 12.5″ block.

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The two halves
The two halves

With this block you want to ensure you press well as there is a lot of bulk in the middle seam. You can even “hammer” it – I used a Pelligrino bottle to give it a good smack!

The last step is sewing the two halves together. I lined up the seams of the triangles, the crossroads, as well as pinned a lot. When I reached the middle bulk while sewing it together I slowed my sewing and did a couple of stitches just using straight up and down a couple of times with my foot pedal.

My points could definitely be sharper in this block but I am happy with the overall effect and from a distance it even appears as though you are looking down a road.

Crossroads Block
Crossroads Block

It would be a great block to use even just two colours in all of the HSTs or even just using a solid 6.5″ piece and adding the crossroads to them. I hope this sparks someone to create and experiment as that is what this is all about. I like the organic look to this one but if you prefer a precise block you can draw out a paper pieced 6.5″ block using my measuremets above then multiply x four. Most importantly just have fun!

I hope if you are ever at a crossroads in your life you can look at it as an opportunity to grow – just as this block was for myself.

Continue reading “2016 Cloud 9 Fabrics New Block Blog Hop”

2016 Paintbrush Studio New Block Blog Hop

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THE HIGH ROAD

I am excited to once again be a part of over 30 bloggers participating in creating 12.5″ block designs from a bundle of fabric mailed out to us. The new line of solids is called Ocean Sunrise and included six different fabrics: White, Coral, Peach, Daydream, Midnight and Bordeaux.

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The challenge was to design  a 12.5″ unfinished block using at least three of these fabrics. I challenged myself to use all six, just as I did on the previous New Block Blog Hop with Modern Popsicle.

I took my inspiration from one of our many drives home from our mountain cabin.

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On these drives there is no cell nor satellite service for hours. We talk. And think. A lot. The colours reminded me of the sunsets we see as we get closer to the city; but, also the road ahead and how these talks always keep us on track ensuring we take The High Road no matter what life is throwing at us.

I took my image and created a geometric abstraction so this block is easily recreated and one can easily use some fussy cuts and focus fabrics as the light (the white) as it functions like a window frame.

FABRIC CUTTING MEASUREMENTS

I like to press my fabrics with Flatter before cutting as it gives just a little stiffness to the fabrics which is helpful in keeping a perfect 1/4″ seam when sewing the 1 inch pieces. Fig is my favorite Flatter but there is also Unscented for those who are sensitive to smells.

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I also LOVE my Creative Grids rulers – one of the square rulers makes quick work of this cutting list!

Creative Grids

Cut the following out of each fabric listed:

Coral  2   4.5″x 4.5″ pieces

Peach  1  3.5″x 4.5″ piece

White 2  4.5″x 1″ pieces

1   4.5″x 2.5″ piece

1   1″x 12.5″ piece

Daydream 2  4.5″x 2.5″ pieces

Midnight  1  2″x 12.5″ piece

Bordeaux 1  4.5″x 12.5″ piece

THE HIGH ROAD BLOCK PIECING INSTRUCTIONS

Lay your fabrics out according to this picture:

 

Block Layout
Block Layout

This block is perfect for chain piecing. I am a “pinner” – it is up to you to pin or not to pin!

If you approach this block as having five horizontal sections it is easier to piece each of the five rows and then attach these rows together. Follow my diagrams to see the order of chain piecing that I did to make this come together quickly.

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I also ensure I have a true 1/4″ seam that I am sewing having tested this on my machine before and I have a little Owl washi tape that I can nest the fabric against to ensure it stays true.

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Chain piece away!

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I press all my seams – with steam – and there was no trouble with these fabrics.

 

Press seams
Press seams

 

I like to press all my seams open – then I don’t have to commit to how I will join future blocks and I also love how flat blocks will lay when pressed open. I just move my index finger of my non-dominant hand in front of the iron as I go to help prop the seam open. It goes quickly.

 

Open Seams
Open Seams

 

Continue joining the rows – I do use the marks on my cutting mat to ensure that the pieces are lined up properly and did not get a small wiggle when I sewed my seams. I then use these lines to align the next piece on top pre pinning.

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Pin Overload!!! It’s just my way….

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When you get to the last two section to join together you can either use a ruler and Frixon pen to mark a line through to ensure it stays lined up OR use the mat how I have again.

 

Frixon pen
Frixon pen
Using the mat to line up
Using the mat to line up

I have heard stories of Frixon pens showing through again when quilts get cold so if you are going to use and mark do on the back side not the front to be safe.

And voila The High Road is finished.

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There are various ways you can use this block – I did play around with it a bit on the photo collage app to see if you turn it around and join it assorted ways you can develop some fun patterns.

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I would like to try it with some Fussy Cuts in the “window panes” such as some Charley Harper. It is always the way – one project creates another one in your mind that now I just have to do!

Please check out all the other bloggers on this three day tour. Today’s host The Late Night Quilter @thelatenightquilter has the list of today’s bloggers with all the new releases as well as the past couple of days.

Have fun and hopefully you pick up a pointer or two!

And here is to always taking The High Road 👍👍

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Until next time,

K

Fabri-Quilt New Block Blog Hop

A picture taken in Calgary over lunch today
A picture taken in Calgary over lunch today

Wow wow wow more excitement over here today! I was delayed posting this over lunch today as we had a Tornado alert here in Calgary. Not something you tend to see right in downtown Calgary. So the blog post had to wait, as I had not pre-scheduled this one.

My other big excitement today is being able to tell you all that I will be participating in the Fabri-quilt New Block Blog Hop which will be happening August 31st to September 3rd, 2015. Even more so, I am excited that the colour palatte I voted for was chosen! Apparently it was very close; but, I so love this Watermelon Summer Colour Palette by Fabri-Quilts. It includes Chartreuse (who doesn’t love chartreuse!!), Turqouise, Coral, Aqua, Lapis Blue, and White.

Fabri-quilt Watermelon Summer Colour Palette
Fabri-quilt Watermelon Summer Colour Palette

I will be designing an original 12 1/2″ by 12 1/2″ (unfinished) block and writing a tutorial for how to make my block. I am so kicking myself right now that I did not sign up for the EQ7 drop on Mass Drop! I have put a request for it to come back though…pretty please Mass Drop! All finished blocks made by the bloggers in this hop will be sent out to be put together into charity quilts. My mind has already been churning ideas and the pencil crayons are out. Yes, there a few other projects to finish first but the excitement is taking over. I hope you all check back in at the end of August start of September to see the blocks that everyone on the hop creates.

Random Things About Me

So here are another five:

1) My favorite movies growing up were Rocky, The Terminator and The Lake House. Just a few weeks ago I’ve added the movie The Best of Me to this list

(I am a sappy romantic, and considering my DH is my first love and we reconnected later in life, it so feeds this in me). I could watch any of these over and over and over…

Favorite Movie - The Best of Me
Favorite Movie – The Best of Me

2) My favorite book is and will always be Watership Down. I had a pet rabbit I named Fiver in University – I taught him how to fetch sponge balls.

Favorite book - Watership Down
Favorite book – Watership Down

3) I do not like tomatoes, raw tomatoes, but I love salsa and pico de gallo.

4) My husband and I often say the exact same random sentences at the exact same time – it makes us both smile.

5) I’ve known my DH since we were both 12. We started grade 7 together and now our kids go to that same school and they have the exact same French teacher we had. It kinda freaks him out as he was not very good at French so Parent teacher night gives him a little PTSD!

Blogging Tip of the day

One tip I have read, and have seen in action, is asking questions of all of you. It is important to be relevant and to post things that YOU actually care about and want to know about and spend your valuable time reading – so what do you care about? What draws you to a blog? And why do you subscribe to a blog vs. one that you just read now and then?

Quilting Tip of the day

A big thing for me has always been to spend 15 minutes minimum creating daily. My tip is to have quilts in various stages. The ADHD in me loves this; but, frankly, it is also a necessity in my world. With an intense job, a husband, and four kids, there are days when I cannot physically get to my sewing machine; but, I could do a fabric pull for a project (I use the clear plastic scrapbook containers from Michael’s to store each project in and stack them in my “fabric closet”) or cut some pieces for another, do some EPP, sew on a binding, surf for ideas, doodle projects. Just something creative. It exercises the mind and keeps my creative flow going. There is a lot you can actually get done in 15 minutes. My caveat to this is I admit I do NOT clean up after my 15 minutes, I am a messy creative 100%, so I have not added clean up or set up in that 15 minutes! It is amazing how much chain piecing you can get done in 15 minutes when you do not clean up! Clean up I reserve for certain days. Yes, it happens. Rarely. But it does.

Tomorrow I am posting on Swaps and Why Do I Swap?

It is also the last day of the #TULAYAH swap sign ups!

Until then,

K

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