Sunday, January 31, 2016

A student's work and new patterns are coming

As many of you may know I've started teaching English paper piecing (EPP). My workshop is called Easier Than Pie & Beyond because my methods and techniques make EPP easier than pie! It is fun and exciting for me to see others get excited about the possibilities using my basic techniques combined with "made" fabric methods. It takes EPP beyond the basics and launches it to the next level. I've been using EPP to make quilts for 35+ years and developed my "beyond" methods in the late 1990s.  These are my class samples that demonstrate the techniques that I teach.

At the workshops I also sell booklets which each contain seven designs for English paper piecing. They are a big hit with students and I will soon be selling them in my Craftsy Store! I recently heard from one of my students, Lorna. She had made a medallion based on my class samples and then she applied what she learned along with some of my patterns that I sell at workshops and created her own masterpiece. Lorna tells me that she used some Christmas fabric that she had on hand to make this medallion. She plans to turn it into a wall hanging. Well done Lorna - I can't tell you how impressed I am and my hope is that you are as thrilled with what you've done as I am!

I hope to launch my patterns early next week and to kick it off I'll have a giveaway. There are five books, each of which includes seven designs so how about five giveaways? Check back next week to see my designs and to get details of my giveaway!

Until I post again, happy sewing!
Karen H

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Setting triangles and diamonds for Road 66

Anne in South Wales (sorry I couldn't reply to your message Anne but you are a no reply blogger) asked about the size of the little triangles which form part of the path in my Road 66 quilt top.The path is made up of little triangles and diamonds.

The hexagons used in Road 66 are 1 1/4". A hexagon has six sides each of which is the same length. When we talk about the size of a hexagon we are referring to the length of each of the six sides.  Thus a 1 1/4" hexagon’s sides each measure 1 1/4"”.

The measurement from point to point of a hexagon is simply two times the size of a hexagon. This means that the point to point measurement of a 1/14" hexagon is 2 1/2".

A hexagon can be subdivided into three diamonds each of which has four sides. In the case of a 1 1/4" hexagon each of those four sides will measure 1 1/4". This is the size of the diamonds that I used in the path for my Road 66 quilt.

The triangles in the path (where the blocks intersect) are simply a hexagon divided into six segments. In the case of a 1 1/4" hexagon each of those three sides will measure 1 1/4". This is the size of triangles that I used in the path for my Road 66 quilt.

You can also fussy cut your diamonds or triangles and then sew them together to make some fun and interesting blocks. Three fussy cut diamonds sewn together make this interesting block.

You could use three different fabrics, one dark, one medium and one light to make a classic tumbling block.

Six triangles fussy cut and sewn together make one big happy hexagon like this!
All of these blocks are part of my quilt Hexagreens.

Hexagreens by Karen H 2009

To read more about constructing, deconstructing and reconstructing hexagons you may want to read a post that I wrote back in 2013!

There's be no sewing for me today because I'm going to a party to celebrate a special occasion with some friends. Hopefully I'll be back at it tomorrow!

Until I post again, happy sewing.
Karen H

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Where did January go?

Where has the month gone? I've been very busy and in the process kind of lost my blogging momentum.  I taught two English paper piecing classes last week. The workshops were organized by the Rouge Valley Quilters' Guild and they were held at Log Cabin Yardage. It was fun to teach in a shop because I was able to pull bolts of fabric to demonstrate ideas. I think everyone had a great time and came away inspired to create. Many of us also came away with some new fabrics for our stashes!

I have a two week break until my next trunk show so hopefully I can get caught up on some projects including my QAL. I've got many of the components made and they just need to come together, Here is a sneak peek at some of the bits and pieces! It doesn't look like much right now but stay tuned because it is going to change and evolve. Part of the reason for the delay is that I am working from the outside edge of the quilt in towards the middle and that makes the math a little challenging but I'm getting there.

I've also managed to put together the rows of hexagon blocks for my Road 66 quilt. I'm really happy with how this quilt is turning out and can't wait to get some borders added to it. The quilt is made with 1 1/4" hexagons. The path that connects them is made with diamonds and triangles.

Now that the top is put together I need to get an accurate measurement of the quilt top. The quilt top design was featured in Di Ford's book Primarily Quilts and while there are measurements provided I never entirely trust them so I'm going to take my own measurements. Let me explain how I do this.

I have removed all of the papers from my quilt top except for those all around the outside edges. I keep them in the quilt until I'm ready to add the border. The paper stabilizes the hexagons and prevents stretching so I can get accurate measurements.

I place my ruler on the quilt top so that the left side lines up with the innermost V where the hexagons are stitched together (red arrows). I line up the 1/4" mark on the edge of the innermost hexagon along the top edge (green arrow). I measure each of the four sides. The top and bottom measurements should be the same and the side measurements should be the same. If there are any differences I measure again. If the variance is 1/4"ish I will either add that number to the opposite side or omit it from the side with the extra. I figure I can ease in 1/4" along the edge of the quilt. These measurements include the seam allowance.

Once I have my quilt top measurements I can position my ruler in the same way as shown above and any parts that are beyond the ruler are trimmed away to produce a straight edge. The last step is to release the seam allowances of the hexagons on the top edge (they are still basted to the paper). This will provide a long straight edge so I can add the border.

I've been hiding away my scraps and leftover bits in baskets and they are overflowing. Sometimes I cut them up and make 3" nine patches but I had lots of leftover hexagon papers so I've been chopping up the scraps and basting hexagons when I'm out and need something to keep my hands busy. They will all be tossed into a bag and when the inspiration to create hits I'll have them ready and waiting to be turned into something new!

Time for a cuppa and maybe some borders! Until I post again happy sewing.


Saturday, January 2, 2016

Lazy Girl no more

Happy 2016 my friends! I hope you found time to do a little sewing during the holidays. I did but nowhere near as much as I needed. I continue to work on my quilt for our quilt along. Now that the holidays are over I can work more diligently and get the top put together before I launch the patterns. While I do like surprises this is going to be a full size quilt so I think it is better that you see it beforehand; this means I've got lots of sewing to do before I can start the quilt along! The holidays are over so for me it is lazy girl no more!

If you've been following my blog you may recognize this quilt. I called it Lazy Girl because I used fast and easy methods to make it, including machine applique!

I made arcs with free-form cutting and sewing methods which you can read about here.

The arcs were machine appliqued them to the background and then four of these squares were sewn together. It was easier to cut four smaller squares than to cut one large square! I made twelve of these large squares. Then it was just a matter of sewing the twelve together to make the quit top!

The quilt was heavily quilted because there was lots of open space. I quilted feathers from top to bottom (the curled feather is either at the top of bottom of the quilt) and then I filled in the background with a mishmash of quilting designs.

Here you can see how I filled in the edges of the quilt.

I gifted this quilt to someone special. Her cat Rory has claimed the quilt as his own and honestly I think that he looks pretty good on the quilt! But then ginger cats generally look quite attractive on any quilt! I just adore his chubby little fingers!

If you would like me to put together a series of links to my blog posts so that you can make your own Lazy Girl quilt let me know and I'll add it to my "to-do" list!

Until I post again, happy 2016 and happy sewing!
Karen H