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Patched Strawberry

I finished this block from Farm Girl Vintage on the last day of June.  (Do you believe me?)  Call it a late harvest.

One of my childhood memories is Dad’s garden.  He always tilled and fertilized, seeded and watered.  We loved helping plant seeds, but I especially liked picking strawberries with Mom and Dad.  We would bring in the small ripe strawberries (The ones that we didn’t  eat right off the plant) and rinse them in our stainless steel sink full of water.   They smelled almost as good as they tasted.  Strawberry shortcakes and on ice cream were the best!  I don’t remember how many years we kept our small strawberry patch.   Eventually we didn’t have it anymore.  The story goes that dad become allergic to strawberries, even the artificial ones…   Too much of a good thing?

This patched strawberry is the only harvest I had this year.  I pieced it from 2 1/2″ squares cut from my grandma’s stash… again.  I love that I am able to carry fabric elements from her stash across so many quilts.  This strawberry is pink, so not completely ripe.  It was fun to scavenge the fabrics, so I might have to make another one in reds.

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My secret for managing small scraps of fabrics is my Sizzix Bigz dies.  I have basic squares in several sizes. It allows me to select scraps and then stack them to cut squares for my patterns all at once.  I can cut 6 – 8 layers at a time with the die.  Sometimes I have to trim a few strings that didn’t finish cutting, but it is faster than rotary or scissor cutting them individually.  I think, if I starched the scraps, they would cut more smoothly.

This block would be great in a table runner or top.  It might even be fun to change-up the colors to show a strawberry ripening, white / light green, pink, then vibrant red.. The only think we are missing is the dark green leaves and white flowers of the plant.  That would make a good quilting design!

My block for July will be the patriotic flag.  My stash of reds is not very big, so I might be adding some new fabrics that I picked up on my weekend road trip to Hamilton Missouri and MSQC with my mom!  It was a great way to spend a rainy day.  We shopped every quilt store, picked up some souvenir quilt T-shirts, fabric for projects, picked up our first Row-by-Row for the year, and ate at the local restaurant called “Blue Sage”.  I was surprised to see that a new bed and breakfast, Home Inn Hamilton,  opened up there too.   It might be a another great place to arrange unofficial retreats with some of my new quilting friends!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Curve it Up – Block 4 – Four Patch

After a month of stormy weather, broken arm blues, and family “vacation”, I sat down to complete the fourth block in the Curve it Up series.

The four patch block was one of the earliest “block” styles used by quilters.  It enabled them to use small “scraps” of fabric in their designs.  I could see this lending itself to the use of old clothing, especially dresses or shirts that were not being up cycled to other clothing use.  Can you imagine what early generations would think of our tag of “up cycling”.  They would think it is funny how much we simply dispose of!

The curved four patch is certainly not a simple stitching design due to potential stretching of the curves.   Attention to detail for matching your corners is important, as is pressing and squaring the final blocks.

No fear, the pattern designer did leave enough “extra” on the background sashing to allow you to square up the wonky final shape.  (Whew!)

Color Selection:
I selected colors from my previous block, turquoise/blue and purple, to help tie the designs together.  Funny, I must have picked colors for my mood, but even those are beautiful, life can’t always be rainbow!

Fabric Sizes:
The squares in the pattern are 4 1/2″ and the strips are 2 1/2″ wide.  This could be easily adjusted to be “charm pack” and “Jelly Roll” friendly. A whole quilt of this block would have sashing that looks like flower petals or leaves!
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Step One:  Cut your fabrics.  You will need 8 focus squares, and 8 background fabric squares.  You will also need 16 of the 2 1/2″ wide sashing background fabric.

IMG_6978  There are lot of ways to lay these out.  Pick oneyou like and stitch them together like four regular four patch blocks.

Step 2:  Sew the four patches and trim each edge of the blocks using the curve it up ruler.

IMG_6979IMG_6980 This is a great time to use a spinning rotary mat, the lazy “susan” of quilting.   Several manufacturers sell these, Olfa, Fiskars, Martelli to name a few.  I love them while working with small pieces and when cutting multiple directions. I used it for the initial curve trimming shown here and for squaring my blocks after stitching the sashing.

Step 3: Sew the sashing…

IMG_6983 Your block will not look like this (After trimming it will).

It will probably look like this!  IMG_6984  Breath!  You are fine.

It is important to sew the opposing edges (left/right , top/bottom) to help keep the curve edges stabilized. After each curve is sewn, press the seams open to help reduce the bulk at the points.

Step 4:  Trim each curved four patch with a squaring template. Use your seams to help center and align the block with the ruler.

Step 5:  Make a larger four patch with your new blocks!
Note:  I again used the Terial Arts – Terial Magic to give my blocks better shape hold and to help prevent fraying as I store them for the rest of the year!

Give this one a try!

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Curve It Up – BOM – (Coming Soon!)

This quilt pattern, “Curve it Up” by Sew Kind of Wonderful was gifted to me along with the “Quick Curve Ruler” .  Over the next year, I plan to post information about the quilt construction and use of the curve it up ruler.  Come learn with me!

Here are my plans:

Blog 1 – Curve it Up:  Pick your fabrics!  – Overview of Moda Palette Builder
Blog 2 – Block 1
Blog 3 – Block 2
etc.

Let me know if there is anything else you want to see! I’m new to blogging and don’t know what others would like to see yet.