Thursday, November 1, 2018

Hive 4 November Tutorial for Katy- Paper Crane block

Happy November all!  I am so excited to have gotten a place in Stash Bee this year (this is my first year, obviously).  I started quilting about 4 years ago right before I had my first daughter and I had so much fun I made another, and another, and another.  Before I knew it, quilting had become "my thing," and my fabric stash seemed to grow exponentially.  I usually sew during nap time; I purposefully try to run my kids around in the mornings so I can "get a good nap time" where I can quilt without interruption.  My oldest daughter (3) loves to sew with me; she sits on my lap and puts her hands on mine and we sew together.  I love getting to share something that brings me so much joy with her!  This photo below of her peeking through the sewing machine is probably my all time favorite photo of her ever. 

Another thing that makes me happy about quilting is that I am using my grandmother's sewing machine.  She gave it to me about 20 years ago and it sat pretty much unused for years and years.  She passed away a few years ago and I love thinking of her every time I use it.  She was too old to be able to teach me how to use it, so I watched a ton of Youtube videos, read a lot of books from the library, and bombarded anyone I could find who knew how to quilt with questions. So I guess I'm pretty much a self-taught quilter, but I love seeing how each quilt I make gets better and better, and that I can keep learning new techniques so I can challenge myself.  I spend so much of my free time reading quilting blogs and watching quilting videos and looking at pictures of blocks on instagram and drawing free motion quilting designs and oogling gorgeous fabrics online... my husband thinks I have gone insane... but what does he know, anyway?  Haha please tell me I'm not the only insane one here :)

On to my block for this month.   It is a paper-pieced Paper Crane block.  This is actually the block that led me to stash bee in the first place.  The block is one that was used by another member about four years ago and I came across it on Pinterest as I learned about paper piecing.  I wanted it on point, so I added just a little bit to it, after the paper piecing part is all done.  Read on and you will see what I mean.  This is my first tutorial ever, so please have grace, ask questions if something seems unclear, and forgive if I go into way too much detail or have too many pictures or something.  

I am hoping to complete a quilt made from these cranes by Christmas to make a quilt for my mother.  Last November, my mother with diagnosed with breast cancer.  She has had a very long road this year with radiation, surgeries, and chemotherapy.  Now she is about a year out from her diagnosis, and even though the cancer is gone, she has still been dealing with some of the side effects of the medications and radiation.  I have been wanting to make her a quilt all year but with two small kids to run around after my quilting time has been short.  This block seems so appropriate for her-- the legend of the paper cranes is that a person who folds 1,000 paper cranes will have a wish granted.  In recent years the paper crane has come to symbolize healing and hope.  If you want to know more about the legend of paper cranes, there is a great article by National Geographic here:

So, as you make this block, please say a prayer for healing and hope for my mother!

For my fabric choices, please choose a "happy" pink.  Since this is a breast cancer quilt, think bubble gum, ballerina, pink Cadillac, rosy cheeks, spring flowers, "girly-girl" pink thoughts.  Choose a single light or medium pink that makes you happy (bonus if you have actual breast cancer fabric you are willing to use!).  I would prefer no solids, and don't be afraid of a print as long as the majority of it is pink.  Using a print makes this pattern really fun!  I would like a white solid or white on white background.  Please stay away from dark burgandys, reds, or too-light pinks.  I would like there to be a little contrast with the white.  

Here's a quick fabric pull; as you can see, lots of fun prints, all will have contrast with white background.  Some of the prints have hints of other colors in there, but the majority is pink.  You don't really need that much pink fabric; One of the scraps I used for my crane started at 11 x 6 and I had fabric left over.  For the white, I used scraps from my stash, so I am not sure exactly the amount you will need.  In addition to what you will need for the paper pieced crane, you will need one white 9x9 square to set the crane on point at the end. 

***For the tutorial below, I used just printer paper.  If you know and would prefer the freezer paper method, feel free to do that instead but I will not explain that here.  

***Also, I am not going to go into a complete explanation of paper piecing, but I believe there are tutorials on Stash bee archive section which will help if you need a refresher.  Or you could check out this fun video tutorial on paper piecing a "storm at sea" block (a different block but gets you the jist of paper piecing).  Its a quick, fun refresher of paper piecing set to music (it's seriously worth a watch if you have a few minutes):

First step:  Print out the template found here: 

When you print out the template, make sure you print at 100%.  

There isn't a really good way to check to make sure you have the right size, so this is how we can check:  The bottom side of A1 should be 2 5/8 inches.  (see photo above).  

Step 2:  Color the pieces that will be pink so you don't get confused later (let's just say I have a little experience in that area...)  The pieces that will be pink are:  A4, A2, B2, B3, C2, D2, D3, E2.

Cut out the shapes on the outside line (the 1/4 inch seem allowance line).  After cutting, crease on every line. 

Step 3:  Pin fabric over the 1 spot.  Then right sides together, pin fabric for the 2 spot.  Be sure to remember to leave a seam allowance over the line so that when you sew on the line you have a seam allowance (again... let's just assume I have experience in this area...)  Also, be sure to have enough fabric that it will cover the entire 2 area when you flip it (lol please learn from my mistakes!)

Front and back before sewing.

Sew on the line in between 1 and 2.  Remember to shorten you stitch length to 1.5 or 2 to make getting the papers out easier.

Lastly, remember to stitch paper and line side up (if the lines aren't face up your crane will be backwards, and it will be harder for you to see where to sew).

Flip your piece up into place.
I always trim next; I will fold down the paper line between the next two sections (in this case section 2 and 3) and trim to a quarter inch.  Then I put the paper flat and then pin the next piece on the correctly trimmed line.  (see photo left).  I don't have a photo of this process so I hope that this explanation makes sense.  If you are confused about this step, I will again refer you to the video tutorial posted above, it is seriously a quick and great video and will show this step in more detail.
Then I repeat the process using the numbers to know what piece to attach next.  (Trim, pin, sew, flip).

Step 4: Trim the edges to the quarter inch seem allowance.

Ta-Da!!  One piece finished!! 

Step 5:  Repeat this process for the other sections.  There should be 5 total.  

Step 6:  Sew the sections together as shown in the photos. 

First the right hand sections, then the bottom left and the middle.  Next, the top left to the bottom left.  And last, the left to the right.

Step 7:  Remove all the paper from the back.  Carefully.  

Step 8:  Remember that 9x9 white square?  Cut it twice on the diagonal. 

Step 9:  Sew a white triangle on the top and another on the bottom.  

Then add the last two triangles to the sides.  And...

Voila!  You're done!  Don't forget to add your prayers and well thoughts for my Momma :)

This block took me about an hour to make, and I stopped to take photos along the way, so hopefully it won't take you too long either. 

I love seeing all these happy cranes, and I can't wait to see them all together in a quilt :)

Thank you in advance for all your cranes and prayers!


Gayle said...

I am willing to crash your hive and make a block for you. But can you please give the proper URL for that crane block? I copied and pasted the address listed but does not go to anything.

Unknown said...

Thank you!

here is the link again:

I just tried it and it worked for me. If you continue to have trouble but would still like to make a block, I would be more than happy to print a template on my computer and send it to you in the mail.

Thank you again,

Katy Morris said...

PS- I also just updated the original blog post so that it now has a hyperlink to the template. Again, works for me fine, but if it doesn't work for anyone and they would like to make a block, I would be more than happy to send a template in the mail.



Gayle said...

Great, now I am able to get the paper pattern, thanks!