Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Hive 5 - February Tutorial

Hi fellow members of Hive 5!  I'm Kim and I live in Duluth, GA (a suburb of Atlanta) with my husband of 6.5 years and our 20 month old daughter Ellie! We also have an 8 year old lab mix that my husband and I adopted the week we returned from our honeymoon.  This is my 4th year participating in Stash Bee and I've really enjoyed making lots of different types of blocks over the last 3 years.  It is always nice to make blocks that are outside of your normal repertoire and sometimes you find new blocks to love!

Speaking of new blocks to love, the block I'm going to ask you to make for me this month is actually one I saw made by another hive last year.  Jen from Hive 6 designed her own paper piecing block and she's graciously given me permission to use her pattern for this year's Stash Bee!

Here is the link to a PDF file of her paper piecing pattern, Piastrella.  And here is her tutorial, just in case you want a second reference in addition to mine below.  I don't know how many of you have done paper piecing before but this block is relatively straight-forward so don't be intimidated if you haven't!  The final block with be composed of 4 of these templates.

Fabric Pull:
I'd like this block to be made with purple, teal, light grey, and black/charcoal fabrics, with specific colors being used for specific sections of the paper template.  I definitely prefer prints over solids and am not typically a fan of batiks (although I make an exception for the new You + Me batiks).  Here is my fabric pull:

Please use the same teal fabric for both sections 8 and 9 of your 6" block (but you are welcome and encouraged to use different fabrics for each of the 4 quadrants).  Same with the black/charcoal fabrics in sections 6 and 7 (same fabric within a given block but can used different fabrics for different quadrants).  Mix up as your light gray fabrics as desired; they don't have to match!

Fabric Requirements (per quadrant):
Section 1
  • Purple - 4.5" x 7" strip (a 5"x 5" charm square will also work if you line it up perfectly)
Sections 2, 3, 4, and 5
  • Light Grey - four 4" x 1" strips
Sections 6 and 7
  • Black/Charcoal - two 6" x 1" strips
Sections 8 and 9
  • Teal - 3.5" square, cut on the diagonal

*With paper piecing, your fabric pieces don't have to be exact measurements.  Just make sure they are at least the sizes listed above or they won't cover the entire section.  If you're newer to paper piecing, cut pieces a little bigger and the process will be easier!

Print out 4 copies of the block template page at 100% scale/actual size. If you don't pay attention to the scale, most printers automatically resize and your block will be off.  Before you start sewing, measure the block from the outside edges of the seam allowances to ensure it is a 6" square.  Then trim off the excess paper.

Take your purple scrap and pin or glue it to the paper template, wrong sides together (wrong side of fabric to blank side of paper). I use Elmer's washable school glue stick for this step.  Be sure the fabric covers section 1 completely plus the 1/4" seam allowance on all sides. You can hold it up to a light to double check it.

Next, fold the paper over on the seam line between section 1 and section 2.  Using an index card, envelope, postcard, etc is often helpful in making this fold.  You can now see the excess fabric beyond the seam line.  Trim this excess to your 1/4" seam allowance (I use an Add-A-Quarter ruler but a regular quilting ruler works too!).  Then unfold the paper again.

Now we're ready to actually sew!  Before we start, please shorten the stitch length on your machine.  The smaller stitch length makes it easier to remove the paper later!

Take one of the lighter grey scraps, and line up the edge of the scrap with the trimmed edge of the purple piece, right sides together.  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.  Press the seam open and make sure that your grey strip covers all of section 2 plus the 1/4" seam allowance on all sides.

Next, continue the same sequence of folding on the seam line, trimming the seam allowance, sewing on the next piece and pressing, making sure you add each section in numerical order (1 through 9).

Once you've sewn all the sections, trim the block to the 6" square represented by the paper template.  Repeat for the 3 other paper templates (or feel free to chain piece and sew them all at once if you're comfortable with paper piecing).

Please leave your 4 quadrants separate so I can mix things up a bit once I have all the blocks together!

Note: I don't love how to black and white fabric looks in my upper right quadrant block.  I don't think it has enough contrast compared to the gray prints.  Please err darker if you can.

Please let me know if you have any questions, especially if you aren't familiar with paper piecing.  I can't wait to see what you sew for me!

Oh - and I can't forget my two truths and a lie!

1. I've run 5 half marathons. - Truth
2. I've traveled to all 7 continents. - Lie
3. I've spent 1 week on a sailboat in the middle of the Caribbean. - Truth

I've done quite a bit of travelling but so far have only hit 5 of the 7 continents.  Africa and Antarctica are both still on my "must travel" list.  I wouldn't consider myself a runner but I have completed 5 half marathons.  I'm super slow but I still make it to the finish line.  And my husband and I are both SCUBA divers and one of the coolest trips we've taken involved sailing around the Caribbean for a week, diving every day!

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