Sunday, June 1, 2014

Hive 4 - June Block Tutorial

What is your name? Carolyn Braun, Sweetboaterchick on flickr and Sweetboaterchik on Twitter.  And I blog over at  The name comes from my hobby of white water kayaking. 

Where do you live? I live in Lanoka Harbor, NJ on the Jersey Shore :)  I live just minutes from Barnegat Bay and it only takes 20 minutes (in no traffic) to get to some great beaches.  

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

I have an amazing supportive family.  I have 2 sisters, 2 awesome nephews and the most supportive parents ever who let me move back while I take care of some medical things. 
Katie, Cindy, and Me
Chris and Me
I also have the most fun 10 month old puppy ever, Maggie.  She is a crazy fluffy puppy who is afraid of everything, but the most loving sweet puppy.  We rescued her from a shelter and now I can't imagine not having her here.  

Matt, Maggie, and me
Tell us about how you got interested in quilting.
I made my first quilt in 1998 when I was working at a craft and fabric store in high school.  I couldn't help but fall in love with the fabric section there.  I kept quilting on and off over the years until three years ago when I became addicted again and haven't been able to stop :).  I was so excited when my mom decided to start to quilt with me and together we joined the Jersey Shore Modern Quilt Guild.  I have been lucky to have shown quilts at Quiltcon (where I placed first in small hand quilting), Lancaster Quilt Show by AQS, and the NJ Quiltfest.  

Modern Mini at Quiltcon
How do you organize your fabric stash? (Picture appreciated)

I am lucky to have a space in a spare bedroom to call my sewing studio, though some of my fabrics are stored in my bedroom.
 sewing corner
I fold all my fabrics around my 5 inch ruler and then fold them in half before putting them on my shelves, that is when they all fit on the shelves (I currently have some that don't fit, oops fabric diet time!)

They are mostly sorted by color, but I keep kid/I-spy prints and solids with in their own groupings.  My scraps are also sorted by color in zip lock bags and kept in a large bin so I can just grab the colors I am working with right out when I need them.  Pre-cuts are mostly on top of the dresser in my sewing space, that is other than my mini charm packs that are kept in a bin.  They are sort of my obsession.

Who is/are your favorite fabric designers?
I have never been big in to specific designers as I purchase fabrics.  I just buy what I love so I have a bit of everything.  

What is one thing you have learned that you wish you knew when you first started quilting?
When I made my first quilt I was so nervous.  I was afraid of messing up and it not being perfect, which it was far from.  I also didn't know I could quilt it by machine since it seemed that everyone quilted by hand that I knew of then.  Now I know that there are no rules, everything looks perfect when you follow the 5 foot rule, and I can quilt it however I feel like.  

What is your favorite sewing/quilting tool and why should we all go out and buy it?
I have fallen in love with Best Press.  I never used starch until they had a special at my LQS and it was $2.99 so I figured I would give it a try.  Now I can't sew without it!

Who is your favorite fictional character and why? (Could be from a book, movie, TV show, etc.)
This one is hard because I read so much so I can't choose just one so I will go with one from a favorite show that I just watched all the seasons of, Dr. Who.  I would love to travel all over with him.

On to the tutorial...
So now for the fun part, my block for the month.  It took so long to decide on what block to ask for this month.  That probably had something to do with the fact I am so indecisive, too.  But I decided to ask for circle blocks form everyone.  I love circles, I have put them on a few tree skirts and have thought a lot about about a whole quilt with them.  I know circles and curves aren't everyone's favorite, but I think this is a fun idea and I hope you all agree.  I would love the blocks to be anywhere from 8" to 16". 

For the background I have chosen low volume, light prints.  Texts and anything fun is great.  I would prefer something more white than cream and having a touch of color is just fine, too.  If you don't have them something along that line is good, just no solids please.  

For the circle fabrics I would like pink, light green, yellow, light orange, and bluish teal. 

To put a twist on the plain circle block I would love it if you could do something fun for the circle.  It could be patch work, strings, or anything your imagination comes up with .  For the background I would love it if that were a patchwork mix, too, if possible.  You can have one, two, or more circles in your block.  Really just let your imagination go wild and have fun with it.

There are different ways you can create your circle blocks so whatever works for you is perfect for me.  Here are a few options with links for tutorials and templates. 

1. Reverse Applique (6 min. circle video and Target Practice Block form The MQG)
     The video is great so I would totally suggest watching it or checking out the post from the Modern Quilt Guild.  Their instructions are much more detailed than mine. 
Here is a brief reverse applique tutorial.
1. Cut a circle from a piece of freezer paper. 
2. With shiny side down, press onto the wrong side of your background fabric.  Cut a circle from the center, leaving at least an inch around the inside of the circle.  Then snip the curve to about an eighth from the freezer paper. 
3. Run washable acid free glue around the edge of the circle of freezer paper and press the tabs back.  Press with iron to dry glue. 
4.  Run the glue around the pressed back tab and lay your circle fabric on top, right side down.  
5*. With right side up, lift the background fabric from the freezer paper.  Stitch in the crease around the circle.  
6. Press flat when done and trim to about a quarter of an inch. 

Tip* - I leave the freezer paper when I peel it off the background, but put it against the circle fabric, so that my presser foot doesn't get glue on it. 


2. Drunkards Path (Sew Mama Sew Quarter Circle template and Spring Blossom template)
You can use any template you have, these are just two I found.  Using this method makes creating a patchwork background easy.

3. Traditional Applique (Ellison Lane easy applique circle and
Using this method makes it easy to use any background and any circle without having to worry about seams.
You can use a raw edge applique, with or without heat and bond to hold it in place before you stitch around the edge.
Also, sewing your circle right sides together to interfacing, then snipping the interfacing in the middle and turning it right side out before fusing to the block and stitching is another great technique.

I created a Pinterest board with different ideas of circle blocks for added inspiration.  If you have any questions feel free to ask.  I hope you have fun creating these blocks.

Thanks all!  I am so excited to see what you create!

1 comment:

scrosske said...

So great to read this post!! My parents are from beachwood, and we are currently vacationing in seaside! Yay for beach quilters :)