Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Hive 10- January Tutorial

What is your name?
Hi everyone! I'm Stephanie, and I'm the hive mama for hive 10. 
My Flickr name is SewingByStephanie
and I Instagram at StephGranite

Where do you live?
I currently live in Corona, California, USA. I just moved here yesterday =^) 

Tell us about your family.
I'm very very happily married (and have been for 5 wonderful years) to my husband Andrew.  We have one beautiful little girl who is 6 months old, and three little dogs.

Tell us about how you got interested in quilting.
I've always been interested in sewing, and have been sewing since I was 7, but it wasn't until I was a newlywed that I tried my hand at quilting.  I can definitely attribute my interest to quilting to the online blogging community.  I started reading blogs about quilting and just fell in love with it.

How do you organize your fabric stash?
I normally have my fabric on comic book boards organized by color with special collections grouped together (see my blog post about it here).  Right now though all of my fabric is in boxes.  When I get all of my stuff unpacked at the new house I'll update this post with pictures of my new storage solution.

Who is/are your favorite fabric designers?
This is a tough one.  I always look forward to new Sarah Jane Studios fabric lines, and I love so many of Pat Bravo's fabric lines.  My favorite fabric line right now though is Fort Firefly by Teagan White.

What is one thing you have learned that you wish you knew when you first started quilting?
I wish I knew that the 1/4 inch seam guide on my sewing machine wasn't really 1/4 inch.  I've had to undo a TON of seams because my seams weren't accurate and I'm sure I've made a lot of bee mamas unhappy with the scant 1/4 inch seam I had been sewing for years.  Public service announcement: everyone check the width of your seams!

What is your favorite sewing/quilting tool and why should we all go out and buy it?
If you're interested in free motion quilting I highly recommend everyone going out and buying a Supreme Slider Teflon mat.  They are A-MAZE-ING! A supreme slider mat in conjunction with a good sewing table to use when quilting work wonders while free motion quilting.

Who is your favorite fictional character and why?
I've had so many favorites over the years, it's pretty impossible to pick just one.  One current favorite though is Doctor Who.  I can watch episodes with the 10th and 11th Doctors over and over and over again.  I'm currently re-watching the episodes with the 10th Doctor and Donna and I'm loving them.  

Now shall we get on to the tutorial? 

In the words of my favorite Doctor... Allons-Y!

I thought we'd start off 2014 with an easy block.  The tutorial I wrote is for one quadrant of the block.  I ask that you make 4 of these for me and sew them together any way you want to (I'm kind of interested to see how people choose to sew them all together).  If you don't want to sew the 4 quadrants together into one block then I'm okay with that too, you can just send the block in 4 pieces.

Oh, and if you could also send one 3 1/2-inch square of fabric (one of the fabrics you use in your block) with your name and location on it to serve as a signature block I would love to incorporate it into the backing of my finished quilt =^)  You can use this format:

Stephanie G.
Corona, California, USA

January Block- Hive 10: Scrappy String Block

Materials needed:
-Fabric scraps in bright fresh colors* (ranging in length 12 inches to 2 inches, and in width 1 inch to 2 inches)
-White fabric measuring 4 inches by 12 inches
-Glue stick
-Scratch paper

(*a note about colors: please keep away from dark or "autumn" colors.  No blacks, browns, or greys.  Think more "spring" and "jewel tone" colors)

We'll start our blocks by making our templates.  We're going to be sewing our fabric strips directly onto the paper and then tearing the paper away, so it's good to use a thinner paper.  I know some people like to use pages from a phone book since they're nice and thin.  I didn't have any phone books laying around, so I just used scratch paper.

Using your ruler draw an 8 inch square.  Draw a diagonal line through the square, and then draw a dotted line 1/2 inch above and below the diagonal.

Next cut your white fabric into 4 strips 1 inch by 12 inches long.  I used Kona white, but you can use any white or off white. 

Now for the fun part! Time to pull your fabric for the strips.  I went a little overboard and this is the pile I pulled.

I then ironed the scraps and cut the fabrics into strips ranging from 1 inch wide to 2 inches wide.  I think the majority of my strips were around 1.5 inches to 1 inch wide.  I didn't worry too much about the length of the strips, I just made sure some of them were at least 12 inches long.

Now grab some strips and arrange them over the template.  You want to make sure the fabric overlaps each other and the edges a bit.  One you have the strips picked out you can stack them in order and set them to the side.

 Now take your gluestick, your template, and one of your white strips... it's time to get started. 

On the template, zig-zag your glue stick along the diagonal, filling in the spaces between the lines.  Then lay your strip on top of the glue.  (you could, of course, omit the glue and either pin your strip in place or carefully hold it in place, but the gluestick works wonderfully)

Next, grab your first strip and lay it on top of the white strip, right sides together.   You'll want to make sure that the fabric strip you're about the sew is long enough that it goes over the edges of the template where the seam will be (1/4 inch from the edge).  Check your needle placement to make sure you have a 1/4 inch seam allowance, and shorten your stitch length (I set mine to 4, where my normal stitch length is 5), and you're ready to sew.  Sew down the edge of the strip, going back and forth at the beginning and end of the strip to lock the stitches.

 Now either finger press the seam open or press using an iron. 

Grab your next strip and lay it down right sides together with edges aligned.  Sew along the edge with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  Open and press. 


 Repeat until you've covered one side of the template.

Now grab your other stack of strips and start on the other side of the template.

Now that your template is covered it's time to trim it down to size (8 inches by 8 inches). I found it easy enough to flip the paper over and trim along the lines drawn on the front of the template.

I found the easiest way to tear the paper away from the block was to fold along each seam, and then give the block a tug to pull the paper from the seams.

The seams will all be pressed towards the outsides of the blocks as a result of pressing the block as you go.  Don't feel you need to press the seams open, having them pressed to the sides is fine.

 Now give it a good press with your iron and it's ready to go!


Now that you've made one, it's time to make 3 more!  Once you get the rhythm of how to make them down they go very quickly.  I ended up with six of them just because I had cut myself so many strips.

Now go ahead and change the length of the stitches on your machine to the longest stitch possible (your basting stitch) and sew the 4 quadrants together any way you like.

And you're done!

****Bonus Tutorial****
How to add a selvage edge to your quilt block:
On the sixth block I made I added a selvage edge.  I thought it was fun and added an interesting aspect to the block, so I thought I'd share how I did it.
Cut the selvage strip just like any other strip, but do not cut along the finished edge of the fabric, since it's already finished :-) (I probably didn't need to say this, but I thought I'd include it just in case there was any confusion)
Start your block just like any other block.  

When it's time to add in the selvage strip, instead of laying the selvage strip right side down on top of the template and matching the seam with the strip below it, you're going to lay the selvage strip right side UP and overlap the finished edge with the strip below it. 

Now sew down the strip as close to the edge as you can get.  In the picture below my needle is approximately 1/8th inch (or possible even less) from the edge of the finished selvage edge.

Once you've sewn down the selvage edge, just continue your block following the tutorial above!


Sarah said...

Looks fun! I love the idea of adding a selvedge. Can't wait to start!

Ruth said...

Great! These look like a fun make!

DoohikeyDesign said...

This will be a fun and easy block to so!