Saturday 28 June 2014

8" Nested Churn Dash Blocks

The toddlers have grown into teenagers.  And just like all teenagers - one has to be different!  Two teenagers are wearing white cherry bars and one is wearing turquoise.  This is due to me using what fabric I have.

Just one more growth spurt into young adulthood before I group them together to make a (bright) table runner.  Sew until then ......

Saturday 21 June 2014

Patchiqué Blocks 25 and 125
I lost my way on the Patchiqué trail this week because I just couldn't see the path.  No matter how hard I looked I just couldn't see the pattern of Block 25 - 'Chigai igeta (staggered igeta).  I could see the grid but what I didn't realise, until I went to cut the fabrics, was that there were two different fabrics used in the grid, giving an additional pattern.  This was not helped by the photo in the book.  Can you see two different fabrics used for the grid?  I can't.   
Block 25 from Japanese Taupe Quilts
So I looked to the construction chart - but that didn't help because, it seemed to me the chart didn't differentiate between the two different colours either.  This led to an error (the circled patch should be dark brown)!
And I didn't even realise my mistake because I couldn't see the different patterns within the grid.  It wasn't until my daughter came in and said 'you've got that wrong'.  Phew - thank goodness for geeky, science-loving daughters.  She told me immediately that the pattern was two grids, one on top of each other and she labelled the construction chart for me so that I could place the fabrics correctly.
Patchiqué Block 25 - Patchsmith Style
Was it worth the effort?  I have to say Block 25 is not one of my favourites and I wouldn't make it again.  (I have used distinct fabrics so that you can see how the block should be.  The darker brown is Fabric A and the taupe is Fabric B. )

I immediately moved on to the applique block for this fortnight - block 125 - Kano rinpo (Kano treasure wheel). 
Block 125 from Japanese Taupe Quilts
And straight away I ran into difficulties. I could not understand what the construction details were telling me to do!  It reads "Cut out the larger circle.  On the cutout piece, mark and cut out a 5" circle around the petal applique. Insert the B circle into the A square.  Cut out a 4" circle from the block center and insert the circular petal unit".  I have reread it and I still don't get it.  To me the block photo looks quite straightforward - a cut out wheel with a flower in the middle and detailing around the outside of the wheel.
Patchiqué Block 125 - Patchsmith Style
So I traced a 7" circle onto the paper side of my fusible webbing (using a 7" side plate) and then I centred a 4½" circle (using a cooking cutter) within the 7" circle.  I cut out the circles creating a 7" doughnut.  I positioned the doughnut onto the background square, arranged the petals in the middle and tucked the outer wheel points under the circle.  Simple. 

It has to be said that this is the first week that I have encountered any problems with this book which is not bad at all seeing I have completed 32 blocks. 

So there you have it.  I may have been lost briefly on the Patchiqué trail but I am well and truly back on the path now.  Sew until next time when I will be tackling patchwork block 18 and appliqué block 109 .............

Friday 20 June 2014

4" Nested Churn Dash Blocks

My baby 2" blocks have grown into 4" toddlers.  And I've lost a little on some of the baby points.
But I guess that is to be expected when using teeny-weeny 2" blocks and sewing them up after a full day at work!  Besides, I'm not going for perfection - the overall look should more than compensate for a few short points! 

I had to improvise with the background check on this round as I ran out of the smaller mink check.  So two of the blocks have a different check for the half-square triangles.

But I love scrappy, happy projects and this nested churn dash sew-along is certainly that.

From 4" toddler to 8" teenager next ..... sew until then .......

Wednesday 11 June 2014

2” Mini Churn Dash Blocks

I’m joining in the Nested Churn Dash sew along and I hope to make a runner comprising three 16” blocks.   As ever I’ve made a small change already by constructing a 2” churn dash block (2½” unfinished) for the centre square.  They are a little fiddly but good fun.  Want to have a go?  (Click here for a PDF printable version.)  All seam allowances are ¼".

To make one 2” churn dash block (2½” unfinished) you will need:

One 1½” centre square
One 6” x ¾” strips from two different fabrics (total 2 strips)
Two 2” squares from two different fabrics (total 4 squares)

1.         With right sides together stitch the  6” x ¾” strips together along the 6” length.  Press.  Unit should measure 6” x 1”.  Cross-cut this strip into four 1½” x 1” units.
2.         Stitch one of the 1½” x 1” units to either side of the centre square.  Press seams towards the centre square.
3.         Make your half-square triangle units using the 2” squares.   Place the contrasting squares into pairs, right sides together and mark a diagonal line on the back of one of the squares from each pair.  This line will be your cutting line.   Stitch ¼” either side of the marked line.   Cut along the marked line and press each square open.  You should have four half-square triangles.  Trim each half-square triangle unit to measure 1”.

4.         Stitch a half-square triangle to both ends of the remaining 1½” x 1” units.  Press seams towards the half-square triangles.

5.         Finally stitch each half-square triangle unit to the top and bottom of your centre square unit as shown.  Press.  Trim block to 2½”.

I’ve made three of these mini churn dash units as the basis of my nested churn dash runner.  But there will be no more ‘Patchsmithing’ from here on – I will stick religiously to the excellent NestedChurn Dash pattern by Quilt Jane.
Mini Churn Dash Blocks
I will post pictures once these 2” babies have grown into 4” toddlers!
Sew until then ..............

Sunday 8 June 2014

Patchiqué Blocks 21 and 80
If patchwork and appliqué weren’t such fun it would be hard to think about quilt making on glorious summer days.  But fear not – this week’s Patchiqué blocks are both fun and very effective.
Block 21 from Japanese Taupe Quilts
Patchwork block 21 entitled ‘Kasuri juji’ (translated as Kasuri crosses) is made up of 49 pieces.  It sounds a lot doesn’t it?  But actually the block was fairly straightforward.
Patchiqué Block 21 - Patchsmith Style
The only thing I would say, something I seem to say each fortnight, is you must follow the construction diagram exactly.  Do this and you will spend little more than an hour on this block. One of the strengths of this book is the concise yet clear construction diagrams.

Block 80 from Japanese Taupe Quilts
Appliqué block 80 ‘Neji nioi ume’ was just as quick to put together, leaving me plenty of time to add a little bit of primitive embroidery (running stitch and French knots).  Susan identifies this flower as ‘plum blossom’ but all I could think when appliquéing this pretty square was ‘hibiscus’ but that could be due to the fact that I don’t think I have ever seen plum blossom.
Patchiqué Block 80- Patchsmith Style
Susan used a lovely graduated fabric for her block.  Not having anything similar in my stash I decided to go for a more patchwork approach, creating each petal from a different fabric.  Instead of a yo-yo I fussy cut a centre circle – like so many of my previous appliqué blocks.

This Patchiqué project is really honing my patchwork skills and I am often putting the patchwork blocks together without pinning.  It comes down to accurate cutting and using a scant ¼” seam allowance. 

Next fortnight it will be the turn of patched Block 25 (staggered igeta) and appliqué Block 125 (Kano treasure wheel).

Sew until then ......