Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Hive #2--September 2014 Tutorial

What is your name and where do you live?

My name is Jessamie and I live in Derby in the UK – this is in the county technically the furthest place from the sea in the whole country – a whole 70 odd miles!!

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

I live with my boyfriend Jon (we debate how we should call each other on a regular basis – most descriptions just sound ridiculous) my 6 year old daughter and our very fluffy ginger cat Ben – which we all share until the rubbish jobs such as changing the litter tray comes up when he’s mine!

Tell us about how you got interested in quilting.

Sewing has always been part of my life – mum made so many of our clothes but also machine embroidered, hand embroidered and generally made things as well as a number of quilts. I mostly did cross stitch and some clothing and curtains / blinds. As happens in so many cases it was after I had my daughter that I considered making quilts and discovered the quilting making blogland world! It was massively inspiring and I started off slowly making bags; some patchwork and some not, but all the time in the back of my mind I was planning my first quilts. Finally I made a pair for our living room – with straightline machine quilting – but different gaps depending on the colour – I hadn’t even thought about the fact all the ends would need tying off and burying!! That took a very long time to finish!!! 

Somehow I have a number of quilts on the go / in planning and trying to prioritise is possibly driving me nuts however the most important one to finish is my daughter’s ‘Nightime sky’ quilt using Fresh Lemons Starfall II quilt pattern as a base.

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

Now that we have finally managed to finish the Reading room / crafts room all my quilting fabric is now in the most beautiful crates: planned projects not yet started, plain fabrics, patterned fabrics. I keep meaning to properly line them to protect the fabrics from being damaged but my to do list is so long I can’t see it happening.

Who is/are your favorite fabric designers?

I love Bari J and Joel Dewberry, also Valori Wells is a massive favourite of mine, and then AMH and lots of others who I like bits of. I am not massively into tiny vintage prints etc and have a love hate relationship with Batiks - I have them and use them if they fit but I wouldn’t go out and buy them. I am also massively in love with Oakshott cottons at the moment having got to try them at the Fat Quarterly Retreat 2014.

What is one thing you have learned that you wish you knew when you first started quilting?

Squaring off I think but also glue basting – it’s amazing!!!

What is your favorite sewing/quilting tool and why should we all go out and buy it?

I love my rotary cutter – it has revolutionised my cutting out and I now hate using scissors when cutting any kind of fabric project out.

Who is your favorite fictional character and why? (Could be from a book, movie, TV show, etc.)

I have struggled with this! I read so much and watch a fair amount of tv and I still just can’t quite decide – can you come back another day and ask me please?

Right my block like everyone nearly I have dithered over this – there are so many cool things that could be done, but I do know where I want this quilt to go and I wasn’t sure what would really fit that room. Finally I have come back to Flying geese – I have really wanted to play with these but they thought of doing enough for a whole quilt is daunting!! So taking inspiration from these quilts:
I am asking for Blocks up to 16” square but at least 16” along the longest side with flying geese in any shape or form.
The colours I have chosen have vaguely been chosen to match / complement these curtains, which are in the spare room. They are the only colour in the room and I feel the bed needs perking up a bit!!

My fabric pull looks like this:

I have discovered a massive gap in my stash – I am incredibly low on neutrals so if you have them I am aiming for them to be on the more oaty side of things and no stark whites, they just don’t work with this. It almost looks rainbowy but aside from the orange I think I mostly avoided the ‘true’ versions of each colour and there’s no purples…
I have chosen to paper-piece mine as I find them so precise and I am on a bit of a paper-piecing binge at the moment. I found templates at Fresh Lemon Quilts, which I printed off in all sizes and then randomly made some of each before playing with the colours I had in different layouts. 
Instead of showing you how I put the whole block together I will show you the paper piecing technique as a review or tutorial in case you haven’t tried it.
There are different ways to approach paper piecing and cutting out fabric, following my weekend at the Fat Quarterly Retreat I have started just making strips of the right depth and then sewing with that as it is somewhat more efficient and results in a little less fabric waste I think.

So here I have added an inch to the depth of piece 2 and then cut an entire strip of it. Piece 1 ( the triangle) I happened to have a hst of the right size from an earlier block so I put it to use J

Next the pieces need lining up so that piece 1 is wrong side to the back of the template, and then piece 2 is right side to piece 1 and lined up so that they go a ¼ inch at least over the line in to 2.
I find it helps to glue piece 1 down rather than pin, but whatever holds it in place is good.

Next reduce your stitch length to 1.5 – 2 as this helps remove the paper after, and sew from outside the ¼ inch allowance along the straight line to the opposite edge.

Fold back the template along the stitched line and trim the seam to ¼ inch. Turn over the template and press the fabric flat. Trim the strip and take the leftover piece.

Line it up so that it is rightside to the triangle piece 1, and over line 3 by at least ¼ inch and then sew in the same way as the first 2 pieces.

When you come to trim this one you’ll find that the overlapping cross at the top gets in the way, so I just fold it as best as I can and trim at least some of the spare fabric away.

Trim around the edge of the 1\4 inch allowance and there you have it one flying goose…

Repeat as many times as you like, in different sizes if you fancy, I made all of the sizes, and had a go at the flying geese and swan block I mixed up where there were colours or my attempt at neutrals in the middle and generally had fun.
My Instagram account has lots of pictures of my playing around jessamies
Here is the block I finished:

Here are links to tutorials for flying geese including a non paper pieced version for those of you who prefer not to.

I love this and have been working out my own variation of it with the help of Jon and Auto CAD which he uses for work: http://www.lemontreetales.com/lemon_tree_tales/2013/04/fab-little-quilt-swap-3-flying-geese-ribbon.html

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