Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Village - paper piecing the hexagons tutorial

Hi All,

In case you haven't done any paper piecing hexagons, the following is the way I do mine. Undoubtedly there are many ways of doing it. The one thing though is that it is rather addictive!

In the Village quilt,( Liza has it for shipping now http://www.gloriouscolor.com/store.php?cat=574 ) there are quite a few hexagons. The Grandmother Flower hedge has hexagons which have 3/4" sides and the outer border have 1/2" sides. You will need to buy these hexagon paper pieces, check with your local quilt stores or order them from paperpieces.com, also, they have the acrylic cutting templates with 3/8" seam allowance. This is a better seam allowance for paper piecing than the usual 1/4".
If you would like to see the fabrics I've used in these hexagons, go to the Pinterest, the address is www.pinterest.com/km/0089/

There is this gadget made by Marti Mitchell which allows you to see what your hexagon or your star will look like when it is assembled. Put the template on the chosen motif or area of the fabric and then pop the 2 mirror sides snug on the template and look, voila!


It is amazing what you can find using this mirror.
choose the motif on the fabric, place the template, it has 3/8" seam allowance from Paper Pieces.
mark the motif on the template with texta pen so that you can find this exact area in the fabric, you will need to cut at the exact spot 6 times. the 7th one is the centre. the texta pen marking can be wiped off using acetone, the nail polish remover.
pin the paper hexagon to the fabric
sew across diagonally with the knot of thread on the RIGHT side of the piece for easy removal later.
fold down the seam allowance and stitch all the way around.
completed paper pieced hexagon.

As you are cutting the hexagons, thread a needle with a quilting thread and place each stack of 7 fabrics on this thread and knot each lot of 7 pieces, you won't loose them then.
do the same with the paper pieced hexagons
to assemble the hexagons, you might want to try this.
sew the outer hexagons to the centre first so that you can make sure that they are attached the correct way, then stitch the rest, on the wrong side.

So, there it is, have fun, K

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Village Quilt, hand piecing the house block

Hi All,

Now that Liza has the pattern ready to ship:

I'll go through the way I do hand piecing, of course the block is easily pieced by machine, I tend to hand piece as I'm not good with the machine.
If you would like to see the fabrics used in my quilt, please see in Pinterest:

So here we go, firstly, this is the block diagram:

Then you make the sewing templates (without seam allowance), I use the Mylar plastic, it is thin enough for easy cutting and firm enough to have the sharp pencil (2B) go aound the template.

I put notches on my sewing templates, these notches will be registered on the fabric when I'm marking the pieces with pencil, and later, when I'm sewing, I can line up the pieces easily, for example, on these:

and on the roof front, put a notch on the base of the triangle, the three sides almost look the same.
In the pattern pack, there is a chart for cutting up the pieces, follow that and cut up your selected fabrics. This chart includes the 1/4" seam allowance.
I would start by choosing a fabric for the largest piece, the roof and it might be nice if you can fussy cut this one.
Then choose the roof front. In many of my houses, I've used this same fabric for the H piece.
Then choose a fabric for the building, then the contrast. Don't over agonise when choosing fabrics, it will take too long and usually your first choice is the correct one anyway. I've kept the chimney and background constant. The background I used was Spot - in Apple Green, it's a brilliant fabric, it is a warm colour even though it is green, if that makes sense!

Using the sewing templates, mark all the pieces and lay it out and check that you have all the pieces.
( oops, the photo does not show the correct placement, but they are all there)
And close up, you can see the notches marked on the sewing lines:
to sew, place the pieces, right sides of fabric together and on the wrong side, put a pin through the two layers on the end points
sew, and check the other side that the sewing is on the line.
sew the A to B to C to B to A
then sew: K to M to L to D
Unlike sewing by machine where you sew over the seams, in hand piecing you leave the seam allowance loose.
Follow this method and sew the other pieces together,
All done, back view and from the front:
It's pretty easy isn't it. Also, I don't press hand pieced blocks, I've found that they tend to stretch. The block will  flatten out by itself when they are joined together into a a big quilt. You can press then, before you layer the quilt top with the batting and backing fabric ready to baste and quilt.Now, all you have to do is sew 25 of these little babies! Have fun and post your photos, I'd love to see them.
If you have any question, please let me know and I'll try and answer. Cheers, K


Monday, February 9, 2015

The Village Quilt


Hello Everyone,

Thank you to Liza for posting the preview of the Village Quilt, I'm sorry I haven't posted anything for a while, not sure where time went these last few months.


Many years ago, I found a photograph of an old quilt with houses and trees and the borders were festooned with swags and bows, I love that quilt. Now, after many many years, I decided to design a quilt with lots of houses and trees. Some of those trees look like flowers but they are meant to be trees, it's just that I can't draw that well. Tree pictures are usually full of detailed leaves and that is a bit of a hard thing to applique, so, my tree shapes are confined to more of an outline.
I thought I'd do a housing estate with trees and surround it with a fence of hexagon florets ( they are 3/4" hexagon sides) then this is further enclosed by a stone fencing to keep the wild things outside the fence, hence the village.

The Kaffe Fassett Collective fabrics are great for this quilt, you can fussy cut interesting bits of the fabric for parts of the block. The rest of the block are easily cut using the rotary cutter. In the pattern pack there is a chart showing what strips to cut and how many pieces. Basically, for each block you'll need to choose the fabric for the roof, the roof front and contrast fabric for the windows and doors, I've kept the chimney and background constant. First, choose the fabric for the background and keep this on hand when selecting the other fabrics, mine is the Apple in the Spots fabric line. Next, I'd choose the fabric for the roof as it is the biggest piece and it would be good if you can isolate the most interesting part of the fabric and fussy cut. The same for the roof front.  Many of my houses have the roof front and the large rectangle separating the lower parts of the house cut from the same fabric. Put your chosen fabrics on top of your background and see if they work.
I have hand pieced my blocks, only because my machine sewing skill is not that great.
If you would like to do some handpiecing, I'll be doing a tutorial on this in the next couple of days.

The original border was supposed to be four long ones, then I did a massive blooper in cutting. I looked at my lay out diagram and saw the previous border and then I forgot to add the corner mitred sections!! so the cut borders were mighty short. Memo to me: one must not talk on the mobile phone when cutting major pieces of fabric. I went back to the drawing board and re did the drawings, now it has 24 blocks with rather odd dimension. Actually, now, I prefer this configuration and I think it worked better as a whole, plus that now the quilt is totally portable during construction. To separate the rectangular blocks, I did strips of 1/2" hexagons in scrap fabrics with the middle hexagons done in the KF Collective Kim ombre stripes, I think it looks quite effective. If you can't be bothered to do these little hexagons, you might want to use 1" finished size strips in different fabrics. These hexagon strips were appliqued on after the rectangles have been joined together.

A week or so ago, my daughter set up a Pinterest account for me and she has placed a few boards showing photographs of this quilt and others with close ups of the fabrics. I'm still very new to the Pinterst and I don't really know how it works. This is the address on Pinterest :  https://www.pinterest.com/km0089/

Here are some close ups:


Will post the handpiecing tutorials soon, Cheers, K