Hello Busy Bees,
Well this year has come and gone way too fast! It's already August, and suddenly, my turn to ask for a block and create a tutorial!
For my block, I've created my very own pattern! It's also the first paper pieced block this year for hive 6. My block is called Piastrella. Click on the link and download the pdf fie. It's inspired by hand painted Italian tiles and uses my two most favorite colors! It took me about 25 minutes to make, so hopefully even if you're new or rusty at paper piecing, it won't be too time consuming.
Okay, onto one of my favorite parts of starting a new project, the fabric pull. Am I the only one that way over does it in terms of pulling fabric? I mean I usually end up pulling about 3-500 times what I need for a project. I essentially pull everything that could possibly, some day, maybe be used for whatever the new project is. I also may or may not 'find' stuff I forgot about and get super excited about using it. Then, I figure I must order more, because if I'm gonna have more room I better make sure I have enough fabric on hand.... etc. etc. Anyway, here is my pull. It's essentially 4 main colors, aqua, fuchsia, black, and grey. I have a huge variety of blues and aqua so if yours tends more to the teal or blue side, that's okay as well. I also would love to see some fun novelty prints in the aquas and teals, but that is also not a requirement, as you can see with my pull, some are novelty, some are 30's, batiks are in the mix, and are some are something else entirely!
Hopefully my tutorial is not too difficult to follow. :) Keep in mind this is my first tutorial, so please let me know if you have any questions, or if something is unclear!
Part of what I love about this block is that you can use some of those impulse buys... You know what I mean, those daily deal pre-cuts that are so cute and on sale, and you just gotta have them. You add them to your stash, and love to look at them (my precious), but aren't sure quite when or how to use them, or is that just me? Anyway, charm squares, HSTs, 2.5" strips, 1.5" strips, are fair game for this one. So without further enabling of binge shopping, I'll just get to it.
Aqua - 1, 4" x 7" strip (a 5"x5" charm square will also work)
Fuchsia - 2, 3" HSTs
Light Grey - 4, 4" x 1" strips
Black/Charcoal - 2, 6" x 1" strips
*Remember this is paper piecing, so your cuts don't have to be exact, just make sure they are at least the sizes listed above...
1. Print out 1 copy of the template page at 100% scale. If you don't pay attention to the scale, most printers automatically resize and your block will be off.
* Note - yes, that is the famous, Dizzy, the laughing wolf.
*Also note, he is a siberian husky, not an actual wolf.
2. Before you start sewing, double check the printout. Measure the block from the outside edges of the seam allowances, it should measure 6" from the outside seam allowance (finished block will be 5.5").
3. Trim off excess paper, no need to be precise on this step, you can leave some paper past the seam allowance if you'd like to.
4. Grab your aqua scrap and pin, or glue it to your template, wrong sides together. I use elmer's washable school glue stick. They are usually less than a dollar each and are awesome for paper piecing!
You want to make sure the fabric is going to cover the entire section 1, plus the seam allowance. You can hold it up to a light to double check it.
6. Once you've got everything lined up, go ahead and trim using your rotary cutter. Trim all the seams around the center aqua piece. It doesn't matter what order you trim in, and technically you don't necessarily have to trim before you sew, but I tend to make less mistakes if I do, so in the end, it makes sense for me. Obviously, if you prefer not to, or have your own way of paper piecing, go for it!
7. After trimming, you'll have your aqua piece trimmed and ready to sew. Notice in the picture to the right, that the wrong side of the fabric is glued to the wrong side of the paper pattern. You'll be sewing on the lines on the right side of the pattern, so if you accidentally glue your fabric to the right side, you'll cover up the seam lines.
8. Now, we're just ready to sew our first seam! Take one of the lighter grey scraps, and line up the edge of the scrap with the trimmed edge of the aqua piece wrong sides together. You can pin or glue if you like, but I because I've already trimmed, I don't usually bother, unless I'm worried about my fabric shifting for some reason. *Also, a tip to help when I'm going to be down the line, is to set your sewing machine stitch length to somewhere between 1-2. Smaller stitches punch closer holes in the paper that act as perforation.
9. Turn your pattern and fabrics over, so the right side of the paper is facing up. Sew along the seam line between section 1 and 2. Flip the pattern back over, grab another light grey strip, line up and sew the seam line between sections 1 & 3.
10. Ready to see your handy work? Press the grey strips and admire your perfect seams!
12. Now, this time, before you press, you're going to trim off the excess from pieces 2 and 3. Grab your index card, line up along the seam lines between 1 and 3, fold, and trim off the extra little tabs.
13. Now, go ahead and press, and admire your perfect seams yet again!
14. What's next? You guessed it... More trimming. Flip your pattern over, line your index card up along the diagonal edges between sections 1 and 6, used your ruler to add the 1/4" seam and trim off the excess grey tabs. Repeat for section 7, and you'll be left with....
15. Now, you can use those black strips for sections 6 and 7. Line them up, right sides together with you previously trimmed edges from step 14, sew along the seam lines and press. Can you guess the next step? Yep, you got it!
16. Great guess, trim off the extra black, using your index card, ruler, and rotary cutter.
Below are some pictures of the blocks I've made so far in my color scheme of aqua/blue, fuchsia, black/charcoal and medium./light grey. The finished blocks are 5.5" x 5.5" but your trimmed blocks will be 6" x 6" I'm not completely sure about my layout yet, but I think it's going to be the ones shown below. I hope you have fun making this one, and I absolutely can't wait to see what everyone comes up with. Thanks again, and please let me know if you have any questions at all!