Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Hive 8 - January Block Tutorial

Hi Everyone!

This is my first time being part of Stash bee, and my first bee involvement in a while (I took 2013 off because we moved countries and I just needed a year out from swaps and bees) so I'm super excited to get started and "meet" you all.
Without further ado, here goes...

What is your name?


Hi, I'm Kat. I hang out on my blog as FlutterKat - www.flutterkat.com, on Instagram as Flutter_Kat, and Flickr as Flutter Kat (formerly Mummastimetocreate).

Where do you live?

(the view from my house)

I have just returned back to my home town of Wellington, New Zealand after nearly a decade away. We've spent the last 5 years in Perth, Australia but are thrilled to be back home to NZ and now live right near my parents and extended family.

Tell us about your family...



I live with my husband of 12 years, our 2 daughters (Hannah 5 and Abbie 3), our (well travelled) dog Izzy (7) and our cat Billy (1 - he was my 30th birthday present).

Tell us how you got interested in quilting...



When my eldest daughter was born she was gifted a quilt from a long time family friend. Before this I had never really considered quilting, nor had I really done any sewing (other than hemming trousers) since I was in primary school. I stared and stared at that quilt for hours trying to figure out how it was constructed, eventually admitting defeat and asking Barbara if she could teach me how to quilt when we came back to NZ on holiday one time.
I caught the bug, deciding to make Hannah a single sized quilt for her 2nd birthday. It didn't go all that smoothly if I'm honest as in typical Kat style I didn't use a pattern opting to wing it instead...


In the process of making this quilt however I discovered the online modern quilting world and I have never looked back...
I got the bug of sewing so badly that I now sew for business and just started a diploma of dress making and pattern making.

How do you organise your fabric stash?



My fabric stash has gone through many phases of organisation over the years as it has grown from nothing into "the local fabric shop" as my friends like to call it. I used to put all the fabric on coreflute to make "mini bolts" but that adds quite a bit of bulk so as my stash has grown I've removed those and now just wrap the fabric around my 6 inch ruler to create uniform piles.
Currently I have it sorted by size, then colour, then cut. For example I group all my fat quarters and scrap sized pieces at the top, sorted by colour. All my half yard pieces/quilting fabrics together then sort them by colour. Then my large cuts for dressmaking are all grouped together (although rarely do they get sorted by colour because they generally get messed up pretty quickly) and lastly I have an (overflowing) scrap bin which is (to the best of my intentions) bagged by colour. I generate scraps so quickly thought since I sew for business that the scraps rarely make it to the bags of colour these days. Oh I also separate the solids onto their own shelf.
Sometimes if I have a particular range or designer that I want to keep together then I leave those together on their own shelf.

Who are your favourite designers?
I love Sandi Henderson, Heather Bailey, Heather Ross, generally most things by Michael Miller and Riley Blake, Kokka or Echino. But those are just my absolute favs. I love loads of designers.

What is one thing you learned that you wished you knew when you first started quilting?
Sounds crazy but I wish I knew about different types of fabrics when I first started quilting. My first quilt(s) were a mish mash of poplins, polyester mixes and different weight cottons. Because I didn't take classes it took me a while to even learn what quilting cotton was. Oh how far I sunk into fabric addiction once I did LOL...

What is your favourite quilting tool and why should we all go out and buy one?
I'm sure you are expecting something much more exciting here, but I am a simple girl at heart and by far and away my most favourite tool is my rotary cutter. Even when I sew clothing I generally try and use it as MUCH as possible. I think if it was possible to surgically attach one to my arm I would (joking) (or am I).

Who is your favourite fictional character and why?
Hmmm I would have to say Jackson off Greys Anatomy. Why - have you seen him? That is all. ;)

So that's a little about me. Lets move on to the sewing part shall we...

This month I would love each of you to make me a Tonganoxie Nine Patch...
(a what now? Yes I did not come up with the name. My inspiration came from a book I have called 501 Rotary Cutter blocks although I have pieced it differently to save time).

(oh my I just now noticed that I clipped the block on the hanger in a different orientation to which I laid out the fabric - SORRY - I hope that doesn't confuse you too much!!)

I tried to make it a nice easy block for you this month since it's the holidays (schools here don't go back until February 4th so I have 2 children at home until then and time is short), so hopefully this should be a nice quick easy sew for you...

I am planning to make a lap quilt for my recently renovated living room with these blocks, so I have chosen my favourite colour scheme in keeping with the colour scheme of our room.

To make this 14inch unfinished block you will need small pieces of 10 fabrics:

2 x low volume fabrics which read white
2 x light grey fabrics
2 x light aqua fabrics
2 x dark aqua fabrics
1 x dark grey fabric
1 x blue solid

Here is a selection of fabrics showing what kind of fabric colour range I'd like...


I haven't done the white low volume print but that should be self explanatory. You can see the ones I've used in my example block photo.

Please use whichever blue solid you have which is close to the ranges of solids I've shown above. So light pale duck egg blue through to dark aquas or greeny midnight blue.

When choosing your dark vs light colours please make sure that they have enough contrast between the two shades so that the colours are definitely different from each other.

Here is a photo of the room the quilt is going in, to give you an idea of what types of prints will suit the theme...

Rather than use 100 billion 2 1/2 by 2 1/2 squares like the original pattern suggests I have strip pieced and then cut down to save time.

Here are the cutting instructions....



You should end up with this many pieces...


Except for your two light aquas, dark aquas and low volume whites should be different from each other because I changed my mind and decided the block needed more fabrics after doing the first layout...

Now take 1 light aqua strip, 1 dark aqua strip and 1 low volume white strip and piece them together like so...


Make sure it goes low volume, dark aqua, light aqua when you are piecing them...

Do the same for your other blue & white strips but this time make sure to alternate your strips so that they this time go low volume, light aqua, dark aqua.

Now take your 3 grey strips and piece them together in the same fashion but with the dark grey strip in the middle.

Next we need to trim each of these strip pieced units down into four 2 1/2 inch wide units like so...



I have allowed you 1/2 inch extra in the cutting instructions so that you can trim them up nice and straight.

Arrange the units into your block layout...



Please make sure that it is exactly uniform like this, so that for example all the same low volume pieces are in the middle and the other 4 the same are all on the outside. Make sure they aren't half and half/mixed up etc...

Piece your block together in the following order...


By now you should have a finished 14inch block - YAY!!

Don't worry about squaring up the edges of your block, I will do that when I sash them all together.

Let me know if you have any questions or if anything is unclear.

Thanks so much in advance! I can't wait to see how you all interpret my brief.

Kat xx

3 comments:

Jamie said...

Thanks for the tutorial and introduction. This is a great block and I can't wait to see the finished quilt!

seamesparkle said...

Love your block choice. Your post was awesome. I want to come live at your house and pretend my stash is as organized. All around adorable pictures. Looking forward to making your block.

Helen Lyman said...

Kat - The block was alot of fun to make. Hope you enjoy the blocks and let us see the finished quilt.