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Row By Row – Amazing Map of Participating Quilt Shops!

I was browsing the MSQC blog, and they had a great posting about the “Row by Row” experience.  I saw some of the “plates” at the Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival this weekend, but didn’t know what the program was all about.

Yes I know, where have I been??

Anyhow, check out this link of participating shops.  It is fun even if only to see all the quilt shop locations across America!

Row By Row Participating Shops

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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 – Block 1 Churn Dash

I completed the cutting and sewing of the first block of the Curve It Up quilt pattern today.  This was also the very first time that I have tried the “Quick Curve Ruler”.

My color selection didn’t vary much from the pattern (this time), call me chicken!

IMG_6340Step 1:  Choose your fabrics
I plan to incorporate a mixture of solids and prints in my blocks.  I will probably carry over one of the fabrics to each subsequent block to attempt to tie everything together.

Step 2:  Precut your fabrics – What I learned… I precut my fabrics to the sizes suggested.  The sizes are supposed to be a little larger than the final sizes needed for the curved pieces.  However, no extra is given for the more traditional non-curve pieces.

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Step 3:  Sew your block per the pattern…
So far, the beauty of the “Quick Curve Ruler”  is that it gives you a slot to follow for cutting the curve AND after you have pieced your curve (and it isn’t perfectly centered) you can use the ruler to correct it by cutting it down!

This ruler doesn’t make it any easier to match the starting point of your curve.  You also still need to be careful during stitching not to tug or stretch the curve.  I found the blue concave piece the most susceptible to the stretching.

Here is what helped me:
1.  To center the blue concave curve piece and the background convex piece, overlay them, and then mark where they intersect.  (I used a pink friXion pen… it will disappear with ironing, and will be within the seam allowance.)IMG_6413

2.  Use a stylus to help feed the two layers under your foot while sewing the curve.  I found that my fingers tended to tug at the fabric more than a fine edge.  I’m trying out “That Purple Thang”, and it seems to do the trick. 🙂

Step 4:  Press and admire…
The finished blocks of this quilt are 16 1/2  x 16 1/2.

Selecting Coordinating Solids – Online, sight unseen!

Have you ever found a perfect collection of yardage fabric, fat quarters or other precut  and dreaded the process of taking them to the fabric store to find all of the coordinating solids?  (That’s me every time!)

I always see questions on quilting forums wondering what fabrics match certain lines.  For my latest project, Curve it Up, I decided to try out the Moda Palette Builder site.  I am in love!  I order most of my fabrics and supplies online as it leaves my spare time outside of work for my real hobby, sewing and quilting (not shopping)!  I am color challenged, and can use all the help I can get.

Step 1: Take photos of your print fabrics, either one at a time, or simply copy an image from a seller or manufacturer that shows the fabric or the whole line!

I purchased this line from Missouri Star Quilt Company!

True Colors – Anna Maria Horner Fat Quarter Bundle
by Anna Maria Horner for Free Spirit Fabrics

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 Step 2:  Check out this site and upload your fabric image(s), and follow their directions. 

http://blog.modafabrics.com/palette-builder/

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Move the white circles around your fabrics to select the colors you are interested in pulling out.  I know that I have enough fat quarters to use in two quilts, so I orders enough solids to coordinate as well.    (These are not my final color images, so the words are blurred, as this is not exactly what I ordered)  I am happy to share what I did order if you are interested.

When working with an entire collection of prints at once, I found it difficult to pick the smaller areas, but zooming in on my browser helped.

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You can add additional colors (up to 9) to your selection by clicking the  green (+) box.  This adds additional circles that you can move around.  DO tweak the shade selection until the “Bella Solids Shade” looks like it represents your fabric.
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I spent some time doing this, and ordered quite a few 1/2 yard solids.  I was very happy with the outcome!  What do you think?  I will be using these prints and solids for the upcoming quilt along.

Step 3:  Order your fabrics with confidence!

I think that the only fabrics that was not quite right was my white background.  There are so many shades of white, I wished that I had selected a slightly more off white fabric for this line of fabric.   I ordered the Bella Solids – Off White Yardage, and could have gone just slightly more to the cream side. I will have to pick up some fabric color cards one of these days.  (one for the wish list).  However, I’m going to go with it and see how it turns out!