Friday, September 19, 2014

EZ Dresden Ruler X Block Tutorial aka Hummingbird Block



Earlier today I posted a beautiful scrappy quilt designed and made by Squares and Triangles.  Below is the photo of that quilt.



She created this quilt using the EZ Dresden Ruler and a paper piecing method.   I will demonstrate a method different from hers to create your own scrappy quilt!  You will of course need The EZ Dresden Ruler shown below.


I am using two Over the Rainbow Batik Charm Packs by Moda from the fabulous FatQuarterShop.com 


I have made some little video clips to demonstrate how to do this. Sophie, our kitty, decided she needed to get in the picture so there is a bit of a break between one and two, but I think you will pick it right up.

If you are making a scrappy quilt, gather up your bits and cut yourself some 5" squares.  Light in one pile and medium and darks in another.  You will need four of your light 5 inch charms and four of your medium or dark 5 inch charms.  This will make 2 blocks that will measure 8.5" when complete and will finish in your quilt top at 8".

TIPS:  

1.  Draw a line with a permanent marker down the center of your ruler, this will help line things up perfectly.  

2.  To keep it from sliding around, I use paper crafting adhesive micro dots on the bottom of my ruler .  It's very important to line your ruler up properly and not allow it to slip as you cut your fabric. There are lots of adhesive micro dots out there, you probably have some in your crafting supplies.  I like the micro dots because they are not overly sticky and yet they do the trick.  You can see a sample of the dot size on this photo below.  You may have another solution that works for you and that is fine.  The goal is to make sure your ruler does not slip.


3.  Do not stack and cut more than 4 charms at a time.  You will lose your accuracy if things are forced or are sliding around.  Be sure if you are cutting 4 pieces that you take the time to line them up carefully.  A little attention to detail makes for easy piecing later.




To square up your blocks you will lay your block as shown below, line your ruler up with the outside squares and trim off the excess with your rotary cutter as shown.  Each block should square up to 4.5".  

Tips for lining up your block:   

Line your ruler on the outside edge of the pinked edge of the charm square. (when you purchase charm squares they often come with a pinked edge which confuses people...cut to the outside edge and when you stitch, use that pinked edge as the point you measure from to get your 1/4" seam allowance.) 

Position your block as shown below and line your diagonal line on your ruler up with the upper right and lower left corners, then trim. Turn your block completely around so that the large end of your wedge piece is now in the upper left.  Again, line up your square on the diagonal, check to make sure that you have 4.5" showing on your ruler on both the upper left and lower right corner, then trim away the excess.  

Take your time with this process.  Getting a nice squared up block will help you piece things together accurately as you go along.   Chain piece all your blocks at one time, one side, then press that seam open and proceed to chain piece all your blocks on the other side, again press them all open at the same time.  Then, take your blocks, get comfortable, turn on the tv, some music or a quilting video from Youtube and get all your blocks trimmed.  Then you will be ready to stitch them together without interruption.  Quick as a wink you will have your quilt top finished!  



There is very little waste with these blocks, you can see the tiny bit of trimmings below. 


Now sew the top two blocks together and the bottom two blocks together and then press them with the seam going in opposite directions.  Now stitch your top two blocks to the bottom two blocks and press your seam open.  Should look like below.


I am playing on the design wall with some blocks today...Love the Fall Harvest feel of these fabrics.



I hope you enjoyed this tutorial!  We are giving away the EZ Dresden Ruler this month as our Monthly Quilt Tool giveaway.  Just leave a comment below or on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/sisterofthedivide to be entered into the drawing.  There is nothing to purchase.


Thursday, September 4, 2014

UPDATE! #Giveaway! EZ Dresden Quilt Ruler and "Hello Fall" Charm Pack


UPDATE!!!  New Giveaway!  We will be giving away the "Pine Fresh" charm pack by Sandy Gervais for Moda from the FatQuarterShop.com  Drawing will be held when we reach 900 LIKES on our Facebook page.  www.facebook.com/sisterofthedivide  Don't miss out!  The last one went really quickly in under 24 hours!!!  You must LIKE our page, Comment on the post and SHARE with your friends.  It's really that simple!  Leave a comment on this blog post for an additional entry. Good Luck!  Check out FatQuarterShop.com for the NEWEST fabrics!



UPDATE!!!  THE WINNER OF THE "HELLO FALL" DRAWING IS CAROL HAYNES!   Be sure to check out FatQuarterShop.com ... If you are looking for a bargain...Oh My Gosh, their Flash Sales cannot be beat!  They have all the latest fabric collections from the Major Designers, great tutorials, fun ideas, free quilting patterns. They really are SEW MUCH MORE THAN FABRIC!


The WINNER of the $35.00 Gift Certificate to FatQuarterShop.com is Denise Essex-Mitchell!  Congratulations Denise!!!
* * *

Our Monthly Quilter's Tool Giveaway is for the EZ Dresden Ruler.


As I go along this month, I will post links below that I have featured on our Facebook page, so you will have one blog post to have as a reference point for fun things to do with this ruler!  There is just so much you can create and I think you will see that in the links below!  Keep checking back, I will add to the list as the month rolls along.




Quilt by Jenny Cameron












The Seasons, by Sarah Fielke from her book Material Obsessions 2
Photography by John Doughty

Sarah Fielke Inspiration


By Kelly Biscopink

Kelly Biscopink's Take on Dresden

















I'll be adding more...be sure to check back

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Sparkling Star Quilt - Part One - Block Tutorial


This is part one of two tutorials for our Sparkling Star Quilt.  I will be showing you how to construct the block and giving you tips as we go along. 

First some specifics about the finished quilt:  

Fabric Requirements:

For the colored portion of the HST's you will need a total of 2 yards, you can mix this up anyway you want.  You can use scraps or Fat Quarters like I did.   For Fat Quarters you will need 8.

Background color (I used White Kona Cotton, but you can use whatever you wish, could even be a print!) you will need 5 3/4 yards.
* * *
Block Components -  You will need:

240 Half Square Triangles (HST)
From 4" strips cut 120 pieces to 4" x 7.5"  (You can usually get 6 pieces from a 4 x 44" strip.  Check the width of your fabric and remember to cut off the selvage, you don't want that in your quilt.)

* * *

The blocks are 14.5 inches square and finish to 14" in the quilt.
The finished quilt size will be 82" wide by 98" high, 5 blocks across and 6 blocks down.  
Sashing is 2.5" wide which finishes in the quilt at 2".
Corner Stones are 2.5" square and finish in the quilt at 2" square.
Borders are 2.5"  or your option.

Here is what your finished quilt will look like:


Colors are your choice, you can go scrappy or if you want to whip this quilt out quickly... you can select several fat quarters, as I have done and use the HST stencil from Sunday Best Quiltworks to make up your HST's fast, easy and accurately.


For this quilt, I used their 3.5" HST stencil and a selection of fat quarters from the Technicolor line designed by Emily Herrick for Michael Miller.  These were purchased at a "Flash Sale" at FatQuarterShop.com .  You have to check out their website, great fabric selection, good prices and their sales are amazing!  


To use the stencil, place your focus fabric and your background fabric right sides together like so: 


Place your stencil on top and mark as instructed on the stencil.  I used a Marks-a-Lot with blue on one side and purple on the other. Marking the cutting lines in blue and the stitching lines in purple.  



Stitch as instructed on the stencil, press and then cut apart.  You will cut on all the solid lines, trimming the outside edges first, then cutting the squares apart, then the diagonals...all without moving any of it.  Here is a quick video from Sunday Best Quiltworks to show you how easy it is.  Took me 14 minutes from start to finish to have 18 PERFECT HST units completed and pressed.  No re-trimming necessary.



The 3.5" stencil makes 18 HST's and you will need 240 to complete the top as shown.  8 HST's for each completed block.

Tips for pressing:  Stack your HST's on your ironing board with just enough offset to see the stitching, as shown below, and give them a quick press to set all the seams.


Then, starting with the one closest to you, lift up the fabric and press open.  This is the time to make sure you are pressing properly. If you cannot open the seam completely with your iron, finger press it open first and then press, don't scrub.  You will have more accurate piecing by opening your pieces completely and pressing them properly.  Once it is pressed open, move it to the side and repeat the process for the remaining HST's.


In no time at all you will have a nice stack of HST's to work from. DO NOT TRIM OFF YOUR "EARS".  We will use these to match things up and will trim them later.  


Now we are going to construct our block. For each block you will need: 

8 HST's 
4 strips of background fabric measuring 4" x 7.5"

Starting with your HST's, place them in a stack side by side as shown below, make sure your fabric stacks look exactly as shown below and then take the right one and flip it over the left, you are ready to stitch using a 1/4" seam allowance.  If you have them lined up right, you will have a "tip" pointing right at both the top and the bottom of your piece (look at the picture of them going into the machine and you will see how they should look):


Okay, here is where you can really bust a move if you want to crank this quilt out quickly.  Chain piece your sets, until you have all of your HST's pieced together.  You can layout colors later, right now, just get your HST's chained.  Chain piecing lets you construct the same component over and over again, without breaking thread, you just feed the next one in and continue. Once you get the hang of this, you will look for ways to do this in all of your quilting.  Efficiency = Time Savings = More Quilting Time!


This is what will be hanging out of the back of your machine, lovely piles of chained HST's!  Now take your rotary cutter and carefully just cut them apart from each other.  Stack them and you are ready for the next step.


Is that about yummy or what?  Lookie how fast those went together!


Okay, now we are going to trim off ONLY those two little tips that are hanging off the seam that you just stitched, leave the other tips alone, you will need them later.  Stack them up and crank them out, using your rotary cutter, you will be done in minutes.


Take your stack to the iron and press open the seam as shown.  Oh, I know, it's freaking you out not to press one direction or the other. Just press this seam open, it will help eliminate bulk in this block and will help you seam correctly for your points later.  


When you flip it over to the right side it should look just like this below.  Yes, you should have a natural little offset on each side, this will be in the seam later on.  You did good!


Okay, now, just like before, do the same thing to all of your sets, press them all open and you'll have a nice stack just like this!  See how fast this goes?



Now if you are smart you will have a stack of your 4" x 7.5" strips ready and we will set them up next to our machine with a stack of our completed HST components as shown below:


Flip the right piece over top of the left piece, right sides together so that it looks like the photo below and then stitch along the right edge using a 1/4" seam allowance.  You will chain piece these until you have all of your HST components stitched to a strip. Remember the offset part on the HST set?  Now you will see it disappear in the seam.  As you stitch close to it, make sure that you stitch 1 thread to the right of that intersection for a perfect outcome.  See below:








Get that chain piecing going again, you can replicate the same thing over and over until you have them all pieced.  Then go to the next step and do the same.  



Press your seams to set them and then press away from your HST component toward the strip.  You will need four of these components for each block...now would be the time to put your colors together the way you want them to be in your final block:


Lay your components out next to your sewing machine as shown below.  If you want to chain piece all your blocks, just lay out the next one right on top of this one and so forth until you have them all stacked, then just work off your stack as instructed below, till you reach the bottom.


Make sure you like your color arrangement.  Then flip the right side over the left side and stitch each one using a 1/4" seam along the right edge.  


Now we will trim off ONLY that little tip that is sticking out on the right side, the side that we have stitched.  Leave the other two in place.



Press to set your stitches and then press open with seams in opposite directions.  Your remaining tips should look like this if you did it right:


This will let us "nest" our seams when we put the two halves together.  So flip the top of the block onto the bottom half and nest your seams.  Use a pin through the intersection where your seams meet and then put it through the other seam that is nested behind it.  Keep this pin perpendicular and carefully place a pin to the right and the left of that perpendicular pin before you remove it.  See Below:




Now remove the perpendicular pin only and stitch your seam from end to end using a 1/4 inch seam allowance, making sure that when you get to the pinned part, you stitch just a thread or two to the right of the intersection.  That will give you a perfect point in the center.    Now trim off the two remaining tips and press your seam to set your stitches.  I personally like to press this seam open from the back rather than pressing it to one side, to eliminate bulk.  


Our block is finished and should measure 14.5" square.


I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.  Part two will be sashing and assembling our quilt top.

If you found this tutorial valuable, please leave a comment below, I would love to hear from you!