Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Hive #3 - April Tutorial

I'm Afton Warrick, and I blog at quiltingmod.blogspot.com. I live in Albuquerque, NM with husband of eight years, Rob. We met in  high school, but didn't official date until after graduating from different colleges. He's an engineer, and I'm a stay-at-home mother of two. Before then, I taught elementary school. 

I have have two children; Bryce is 4 and Linnea is 1.

Tell us about how you got interested in quilting.
My grandmother was a wonderful woman, a dear friend, and a talented seamstress. Though by my time, she tended toward department store bargain hunting. She created a tied quilt as a graduation present for me that featured all my letter jacket letters. Inspired by this, I set about making my first quilt. Many years later, I discovered a local quilt shop where I learned the quilt-making process. Soon one quilt led to another, which led to more classes, guild membership, quilting friendships, working at a quilt shop, and teaching quilting classes. More recently, I have discovered Bloglovin', Craftsy, and Pinterest. I've joined the Albuquerque Modern Quilt Guild, a couple online bees and a round robin group. I love the positive impact being part of the online quilting community has had on my quilting.

How do you organize your fabric stash? 
If truth be told, it's gotten the best of me. I'm afraid someone is going to recommend me for one of those hoarder shows if I don't do something soon. I began my fabric accumulation before I discovered modern fabrics, so I'm trying to reorganize so I can spend more time sewing and less looking around my sewing space for the fabrics that inspire my newly-derived preferences. I have buckets that contain works in progress and fabrics organized by type (holiday, batik, children's novelty, etc.). I am admittedly jealous of those who have bountiful blenders wrapped on comic book boards and organized by color. Maybe I can do that too. I just need to find my shovel and dig out first.

Who is/are your favorite fabric designers?
Some of my favorites include Tula Pink, Lizzy House, Carolyn Friedlander, Lotta Jansdotter, Sarah Jane, Heather Ross, Kate and Birdie, Violet Craft, Patty Sloniger, and Lisa Congdon. My fabric loves tend to be equal parts modern and childhood whimsy.

What is one thing you have learned that you wish you knew when you first started quilting?
I've learned so much that I wouldn't even know where to start in describing the many things I wish I knew back then.

What is your favorite sewing/quilting tool and why should we all go out and buy it?
My favorite tool is probably the Add-A-Quarter Ruler. It's essential for paper-piecing, which I love to do. Also, I keep finding new ways to use it such as making straight lines when free-motion quilting, checking my 1/4" seam allowance,  cutting off the extra if I'm making stitch and flip triangles, keeping my binding 1/4" from the edge of a quilt when attaching it so there's some batting inside the binding...

Who is your favorite fictional character and why? (Could be from a book, movie, TV show, etc.)
I like Dorcas from Lark Rise to Candleford. She's a strong, independent businesswoman and wonderful mother who always speaks her mind, and somehow gets away with it.

I'm going to call my 15" block Focal Star, as it has wonderful potential for highlighting favorite prints such as this "Tree of Life" print from Tula Pink's Birds and Bees collection.


I even have a plan in mind for the blocks I receive.

Color Scheme

My color palette includes turquoise/teal, coral, orchid, and chartreuse. Some of the collections that feature the colors I speak of include Mormor by Lotta Jansdotter, Wee Wander by Sarah Jane, Pearl Bracelets by Lizzy House, Acacia and FoxField by Tula Pink, Waterfront Park by Violet Craft, Mirabelle by Joanna Figueroa, True Colors by Joel Dewberry, and Road 15 by Sweetwater. These specific fabrics are not required, but I figure it's easier to get an accurate idea of a color if you can compare it to something you can see in person.

I have Kona equivalents too, thanks to the Palette Builder on Play Crafts. If you haven't played with this, oh boy, I think I can fairly say you're going to want to.

It became very evident that I have an affection for these colors during my stash pull.

As for the background, I'm going with low volume fabrics. I adore the way these make such an interesting option for a scrappy background. My love for these fabrics has resulted in an entire Pinterest board.


Now, on to the cutting. You are going to need at least four different fabrics. 
Fabric A should be primarily turquoise/teal, coral, orchid, or chartreuse. Pick one. If you want to use a focal fabric, now's the time. Fabric B will surround Fabric A. Pick primarily turquoise/teal, coral, orchid, or chartreuse, so long as it's not the color you used for Fabric A (unless it is a very different value). Fabric C should be turquoise/teal, coral, orchid, or chartreuse. It doesn't matter if you have used the fabric or color for A or B, as it's going to be part of the quilt's secondary design. Fabric D is a low-volume print that has a much lighter value than A, B & C. It should read as a solid white or cream. This can be scrappy.

Fabric A (turquoise/teal, coral, orchid, or chartreuse--bonus points for a focal print):
Cut a 6 1/2" square. This will be the center of the block. I fussy cut my to look most beauteous. 
Cut a 4 1/4" square. Don't get attached to how intact this square looks.

Fabric B (turquoise/teal, coral, orchid, or chartreuse): 
Cut one 3 1/2" x 8 1/2" rectangle. If you have a directional fabric, make the height 8 1/2" and the width 3 1/2".
Cut four squares of each: 3 7/8", 2 3/8" and 2". 

Fabric C (turquoise/teal, coral, orchid, or chartreuse):
Cut four 3 1/2" squares. These can be from the same fabric or different fabrics (scrappy).

Fabric D (low volume with a white or cream background, can be an assortment of fabrics or all the same print):
Cut a 7 1/4" square, an 8 1/2" x 3 1/2" rectangle (If you have a directional fabric, make the height 8 1/2" and the width 3 1/2".), and four 5" x 3 1/2" rectangles (If you have a directional fabric, make the height 3 1/2" and the width 5".).


Enough cutting already. Let's break out the sewing machine and get to the piecing.

Sew one 8 1/2" side of the 8 1/2" x 3 1/2" Fabric B and Fabric D rectangles together with a 1/4" seam.

Yep, just like this.

Now press toward Fabric B (the darker one).

Ok, I lied. There's actually a little more cutting involved. Using the center seam as a guide, square up one 6 1/2" end. Now, flip the whole thing over so the fabric that was on top is now on bottom and the nice, straight edge is on the left (unless you're a lefty). Slide the ruler over to the 8" mark and slice. You should have chopped off a 1/2" or smaller sliver that you can dispose of or throw to the children playing on the floor (maybe that's just me). Without getting carried away and moving the fabric around, slide the ruler over to the 6" mark, whack, slide to the 4" mark, chop, slide to the 2" mark, snip, and NOW STOP! Tah-dah! You should now have four 2" x 6 1/2" rectangles.

Get out your Frixion pen or handy, dandy pencil and draw a diagonal line from one corner to the other on your 2 3/8" and 3 7/8" squares of Fabric B and the 3 1/2" squares of Fabric C.

It's Flying Geese-making time. Grab your 7 1/4" square of Fabric D and place the 3 7/8" squares of Fabric B as shown. Grab the 4 1/4" square of Fabric A and the 2 3/8" squares of Fabric B and do likewise. There should be an overlap in the middle. Your drawn line should go from corner to corner. Two sides of the smaller squares should match up with the corners of the larger squares.

To the sewing machine! Sew 1/4" on either side of the drawn lines. Press the triangles without cutting.

Thanks for being patient. Now you may chop from corner to corner.


Place the remaining 2 3/8" and 3 7/8" squares and place them as shown. Stitch 1/4" on either side of the line you drew. Press.

Then cut.

Viola! (Are you impressed with how many appropriate explicatives I can muster?) Now you have Flying Geese. Chop off those dog ears (the tiny triangles that poke out and make the geese un-rectangularish).

Ahhh! That's better.

Lay a 3 1/2" square of Fabric C on each 5" x 3 1/2" rectangle of Fabric D. These are going to make stitch and flip triangles in the corners. Be mindful of directional fabrics. This time stitch on the line! Sorry, I know we were on a roll with the 1/4" away thing.

Press matching one corner of the triangle with the corner of the rectangle.

Fold back over and cut a 1/4" seam. Oh how I love my Add-A-Quarter Ruler.


It's time to lay out the pieces. Start by adding a 2" square to either side of two of the smaller Flying Geese. Add a 5" x 3 1/2" rectangle with a triangle in the corner to either side of two of the larger flying geese. Stitch a 2" x 6 1/2" rectangle to either side of the remaining two smaller flying geese.

That's the way! Next, attach the flying geese with 2" squares to the large flying geese. Stitch the two 3 1/2" x 15 1/2" rectangular units to the 2" x 15 1/2" rectangles.

Now we have something that looks like this. Sew the flying geese units to the right and left sides of the 6 1/2" center square.

Attach the top and bottom portions, and you're done. Yeah for your beautiful block! 

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Hi Afton! It's fun seeing you on this stash bee after meeting at Quilt Bliss. Your block is beautiful!!