Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Hive 6 - October Block Tutorial

What is your name?
My name is Kim and I blog at Ties That Bind Quilting.  I'm 27 and work in an academic research lab studying multiple sclerosis.  I also love to play tennis and go SCUBA diving (in addition to quilting, of course!).

Where do you live?
Although I am originally from Indiana, I have lived in the Atlanta suburbs for the past 2.5 years.  I came down to Atlanta to go to college at Georgia Tech where I met my now husband (who grew up in the Atlanta area).  We bounced around after college for a bit because of my job (1 year in Los Angeles, 2 years in Dallas) before winding up back in Atlanta which is where we hope to stay long term.

Tell us about your family (Spouse, kids, grandkids, pets, etc.)

I have been married to my wonderful husband Kyle for over 4 years.  We also have a 5.5 year old lab mix named Khloe that we adopted from the shelter the week we got back from our honeymoon.

Tell us about how you got interested in quilting.
I've been quilting for just over a year now.  My mom got me a sewing machine for Christmas 2012 (I’d been asking for one).  But then I didn't really know how to use it so it sat in my closet.  That summer, my mom came to visit for a long weekend and taught me to use my machine by helping me make curtains for a few of the rooms in my house.

Now that I knew how to use my machine, I decided that I wanted to learn how to quilt so that I could make a baby quilt for my cousin’s new baby girl.  She had been born in July but the quilt I planned on making for her was her Christmas gift from me that year.  Needless to say, I caught the quilting bug badly and have been loving it ever since!

How do you organize your fabric stash? (Picture appreciated)

Organize?  That's a tough one.  I am normally super organized but since I don't really have a dedicated sewing space right now, that is a hard task.  For the moment, my sewing takes place in the middle of our living space.  I do all my cutting on the dining room table and have a folding card table that sits behind our couch with my sewing machine (but at least it lets me watch TV while I work!).  My fabric stash (small as it may be) is mostly in a few plastic storage tubs.  I have a couple tubs for specific longer-term projects too.  Definitely not the most ideal situation.

We are working on converting our office into an shared office/sewing room.  It is going to be tight but it will at least give me a space of my own where I don't have to constantly shuffle anytime we have people over or want to eat at the dining room table.  My husband and I built me a cutting table with lots of storage underneath and we've bought a table from IKEA that we're going to convert into a sewing table with a drop-in slot for my machine (but that hasn't happened yet.)  Hopefully I'll be able to put up a design wall in there too but for now, I work with what I've got.

Who is/are your favorite fabric designers?
I don't really have a definitely favorite fabric designer.  I'm drawn to a lot of different designers and frequently find that while I love one collection from a designer, the next one they release just doesn't do anything for me.  That said, I do find myself crushing on fabrics from Alison Glass, Joel Dewberry, Carolyn Friedlander, and Lotta Jansdotter more often than other designers.  I also love tone-on-tone type prints and the new Cotton and Steel Basics.

What is one thing you have learned that you wish you knew when you first started quilting?
How expensive of a hobby it is!  I feel like I am constantly spending money on new fabric or batting for my next quilt or a useful new tool.  It really can add up sometimes.  But then again, if I knew that before I started, I may not have gone for it and fell in love.

What is your favorite sewing/quilting tool and why should we all go out and buy it?
Elmer's Washable School Glue!  I have really taken a love to glue basting when I'm sewing and find it to be more accurate than using pins.  Just a little spot of glue to hold seams aligned and in place, heat set, and you're good to sew!

Who is your favorite fictional character and why? (Could be from a book, movie, TV show, etc.)
You know - I read a ton but I've never felt a strong draw to any particular character.  I've never had someone I would classify as a favorite.  But to avoid a complete non-answer, I'll draw from my current TV obsession with The Blacklist and say my favorite character is Red Reddington.  James Spader is awesome and Red is complicated.  He is lovable despite being a life-long criminal - such an anti-hero, I guess. 

Here's my block!
For my block this month, I choose to go with the Star Value block!

I originally found it through a great tutorial put together by Melissa at Happy Quilting Melissa but I've put together my own version for you guys here.  But if you have any questions, feel free to ask me or refer back to her original tutorial.  Here's Melissa EQ7 drawing to give you an idea of what the quilt will look like when all the blocks come together:

These blocks will finish at 16" (16.5" unfinished).  For the background, I'm looking for white on white fabrics (not low volume with color or prints that read too cream/tan please).  For the side diamonds, various medium gray prints.  Basically dark enough to stand out from the white on white background but not so dark that it starts looking like black.  If you don't have enough of either of these, please let me know and I'd be happy to send you some.

For the colorful star pieces, raid your scraps and choose fabrics that read as a single color and if you can, please try to make each star quadrant different (so 8 colors total).  Basically almost any color here is great from hot pink, light pink, red, orange, yellow, green, teal, light blue, royal blue, lavender, purple.  Just no brown, tan, or black basically.  I'm looking for bright and fun!  And the colors inside the gray diamond don't have to match any of the stars (if you do use the same color as a star, please use a different print).  Basically - I'm just going for bright, modern and scrappy.  Here's a cutting chart to help you put it all together:

Don't all those cut squares look lovely together?

Once you have everything cut, the first step is to make the half-square triangle (HST) units.  To do this, put together the following sets - 8 Star HST/white sets, 8 grey/white sets, and 4 Diamond HST/grey sets.

Then you can use the basic two-at-a-time HST method.  Draw a line from corner to corner on the wrong side of one of the squares from each pair and place the squares right sides together. You will then sew 1/4" on each side of your drawn line. Once each side is sewn, cut between the sewn lines on the line that you drew previously.  Chain piecing works really well here.

For pressing, I pressed the white and gray HSTs towards the gray, the white and color HSTs towards the color and the gray and color towards the gray.  Then trim all of the HSTs to 2.5" square (make sure to align the 45 degree line on your square ruler with the seam line on your HST).  You'll have 40 HST triangles when you are done.

I promise, you've just completed the hardest parts of this block!  From here on out, you are just sewing together squares!  Now you can lay out all of your squares and HST into the finished layout.  This helps make sure that pieces end up the right direction as you sew.

We'll start by sewing together the center star of the block.

First we're going to sew the squares into 4 quadrants of 4.  So start by placing the the first square in each row onto the second square and the third squares onto the fourth squares with right sides together and sew a 1/4" seam along all the edges.  I press seams open but feel free to do whatever you find most accurate for matching seams later.

Now place the top row in each of the 4 quadrants onto the bottom row and sew together, making sure to align seams.  It is times like this that I love glue basting but feel free to use glue, pins, etc to align everything together.

Now you should have 4 quadrants of 4 pieced squares that you can sew together to complete the center.

Here's a trick to help make sure you don't cut off points as you sew these quadrants (and many other parts of this block) together.  See the little white triangle created in the seam?  Make sure you cross your stitches right at the bottom of this little triangle and you will get a perfect point every time!

Now your center star should be complete!

Now you can sew the 4 corner quadrants together just like you did with the center star.  Just leave them as the 4 quadrants of 4 squares instead of sewing them together into one piece.

At this point, as you can see in our layout, you should just have the side diamond point pieces left to put together.

For the diamond points, you're going to use the same process you've been using to make the star quadrants.

Start by placing the the first square in each row onto the second square and the third squares onto the fourth squares with right sides together and sew a 1/4" seam along all the edges.

Now place the top row in each of the quadrants onto the bottom row and sew together, making sure to align seams.

Lastly, sew the two halves together (and don't forget the little triangle in the seam trick!)

Repeat this until you've made all 4 side diamond points.

Alright - the end is in sight!  Now we just have to sew each of these components together and finish the block.  Go back to your original layout and we'll start by sewing each row together, aligning seams.

Then sew the top and bottom row onto the center row again aligning each seam and you'll have a completed Star Value block that should measure at 16.5" square!

I know I can only ask for 1 block from each of you but I'll definitely love and use any additional if you enjoy making the block and feel inclined to make an extra!  Thanks ladies and I can't wait to see all of your blocks and color choices!


Yanick B. said...

This quilt is going to be aweseome!

Melodee said...

I love colorful! Can't wait to see what all our colors mix up into :)