Monday, 16 April 2018

Patchsmith Sampler Block 7 - Butterfly Garden

Block 7 - Butterfly Garden
Before I showcase this week’s block I just want to check that you all understand the need to safe any PDF pattern file (not just The Patchsmith’s) to your computer and ALWAYS work from the saved copy. The reason is that, when you click on the saved copy on your computer the pattern will open in your PDF reader and this will help you print the applique pages to the ‘actual size’. If you print from the download pattern without saving it, any applique pages will open in your browser and some browsers resize the printed pages EVEN IF you select ‘actual size’. (Find out everything you need to know about downloading and printing patterns here.)  Tip:  To view and print PDF files you will need a PDF reader - Adobe reader is the most widely used and is available free from Adobe.   

Each applique page has a print check box. The line in the box measures exactly 1” when the page is printed to size.   

This is really important as this week’s block uses a border that measures 6½” long. In other words, the border template on page 60 of The Patchsmith’s Sampler Blocks pattern book should measure 6½” long as it fits along the side of the 6½” background square. If you print it shorter there will be a gap in each corner (this doesn’t really matter as the block will still look pretty). However, if you print it to the correct size there will be a very small overlay in each corner and the lines on the tracing should match with the stitched seams of the patched borders.
The corners should overlap very slightly when printed to size. 

This week’s block uses my strip applique technique whereby we patch the applique prior to cutting it out. So for the border you will need sixteen 2” squares.  
I cut my border squares from four co-ordinating charm squares.

Follow the pattern to stitch the squares together in groups of four using a ¼” seam allowance and press the seams open.   
Join the patches into four groups of four
with seams pressed open
Next trace the scallop border template on page 60 of the pattern book four times.  Remember it should measure 6½” long.  Mark the dotted lines onto your tracing.  Cut out the four scallop borders roughly although you should trim the pointed ends exactly. 
Trim the pointed ends exactly to size. 

Next fuse a border onto the WRONG side of your four-patched strip matching up the traced lines with the seams.  The border will only just fit onto each strip as the patched strip and the border are the same length.  (To protect your ironing board you may want to place a scrap of fabric over your board before fusing the tracings in place. This is a good tip for all fusible applique.)
The tracing should measure the same length as the patched strip

Now you can cut out your tracings exactly and peel the backing paper from each strip.
Peel the backing paper off carefully so as not to pull the seams apart

Position one border along the top edge of the background square and another border along the bottom edge of the background square and fuse in place. 
Position the top and bottom borders first

Next place, and fuse, the final two applique borders onto the sides of the block. The borders should overlap very slightly (or at least butt up to each other) if you have printed to the correct size. If you have printed them slightly smaller then you will have a gap at each corner – don’t worry – the block will still look pretty.  Stitch around the inner edge of each border (there is no need to stitch the outer edge)..
Stitch around the inner edge of the four borders

You make the butterfly in a similar way using two rectangles patched together. 
Strip Applique Butterfly

Position the butterfly centrally onto the middle of your bordered block and stitch in place. 
I pieced one border in the wrong order - but it still looks pretty.

A really easy alternative is to create two butterflies and fuse them onto the background square.  (Leave at least ½" between the edges of the background square and the butterflies.)
Two butterflies fit neatly onto the background square.

If you like making butterflies this way then you'll love my Butterfly Patch mug rug.  It makes the perfect Mother's Day gift and is super quick if you follow my quilt-as-you-go tutorial.   
Butterfly Patch Mug Rug pattern - only $1.99

Next week we will be adding a Field Rose (Block 8) to our quilt.  Until then ........

Monday, 9 April 2018

Patchsmith Sampler Block 6 - Ladybird

Block 6 - Ladybird

This week we are making the first of the applique blocks from the book – Block 6 ‘Ladybird’.  Before I start though there is a small change to the cutting instructions: piece C should measure 5” x 3”.

Available for immediate download - just $12.99

All the applique blocks in the book are made using the quick-fuse applique method (sometimes referred to as raw edge applique).   You can find lots of hints and tips of the quick-fuse applique method here.

Applique blocks from The Patchsmith's Sampler Blocks 

For this method you will need fusible webbing which you may know as Bondaweb, Vliesofix, WonderUnder.  Fusible webbing has one side that is see-through paper and the other side is a glue based rough surface.  
Wonder Under for Quick Fuse Applique

But before we fuse our Ladybird into position you need to make two quick corners on the top of the background square. 

Make two quick corners on the top of the background square

Once your quick corners are done, trace the ladybird applique shapes from page 59 using a fine pencil or marker, by laying the fusible webbing with the paper side up, over the applique templates.   Next cut around the shapes roughly leaving 1/8” – 1/4” around the traced outlines. 
Cut out the tracings roughly

Fuse the cut outs onto the WRONG side of your chosen fabrics by placing them paper side up and the rough, glue side facing down.  Follow the instructions that come with your specific fusible webbing.

I lay a cloth over my tracings and then iron them.
This ensures the pencil markings do not transfer to the iron.

Cut out the shapes accurately along the traced lines and peel the paper from the back of the shapes.  This will leave a glue based side on the back of each piece. 

These simple shapes create the cutest ladybird.

Position the ladybird’s black body and wings with the glue based side facing down onto the RIGHT side of the background square.  I positioned the ladybird so that the tips of the wings were approximately ¾” up from the bottom edge and approximately ¾” in from the side edges.

Do not worry if the black body shows through the wings
as the ladybird's spots will detract from this.

Position the ladybird’s spots on top of the wings and once you are happy with all the pieces iron to fuse them in place.  
Fuse the spots onto the wings 

To ensure the pieces stay in place if the quilt is laundered it is recommended that you stitch around the wings, body and the dots by hand or by machine using any stitch of your choice.  I have a lovely blanket stitch on my machine which I use.

Finally use two strands of black embroidery thread and a running stitch to add antennae and two short lines down the center of the wings.  I used a Frixion pen to mark the position of the antennae and the short lines prior to hand-stitching them in place.

Hand stitched detailing adds the final touch

So there you have it – a pretty block using fusible applique.  If you've enjoy this method then you'll enjoy appliqueing smaller ladybirds and fuscia to make the perfect summer mug rug to keep or to gift.
Ladybird Mug Rug Pattern - just $1.99

You might also like this free Ladybird pincushion pattern ......
FREE Ladybird Pincushion Pattern

Next week we will continue with the fusible applique method as we make Block 7 - Butterfly Garden using my strip-applique method.  Until then I look forward to seeing your blocks on Instagram (#block6ladybird) or in the Flickr Group.  

Monday, 2 April 2018

Patchsmith Sampler Block 5 - Paths around the Square

Never a truer word printed!

This week’s block, the Paths around the Square block, requires little seam matching making it ideal for the beginner.  It doesn’t even matter if your paths are not straight.

What I like about this block is the fun you can add to it if you fussy cut the middle square. Fussy cutting is where you cut your fabric in such a way that you highlight a specific part of the fabric pattern. And I have two methods for fussy cutting, to share with you, that require little more than an ordinary quilter’s ruler.

For my Paths around the Square blocks
I used Lori Holt's Modern Minis fabric.

The pattern requires a center square measuring 3½” square so to fussy cut fabric you should initially cut your fabric at least 4” square with the highlighted design in the middle. 
If you wish to fit the complete emblem into the block the actual printed design should measure 3" square or less.

Method 1 –  the tape measure method is a really simple method.  You will need some sticky tape – it doesn’t matter which tape (washi tape is good) but it helps if it is not clear.

1.         Position two strips of tape onto your ruler to create a template that measures the same size as the required cut square – in this instance 3½”.
The blue square measures exactly 3½" square. 

2.         Position the ruler onto your square of fabric so that the fabric extends past the two cutting edges and the two taped edges and your chosen emblem/design is central.  Trim the left-hand side and bottom edge using your ruler.
Trim the left-hand and bottom sides.

3.         Next turn the ruler so that the taped edges align accurately with the trimmed left-hand and bottom edges as shown.  Trim the right-hand side and the top edge.  Your square should now measure exactly 3½”. 
Trim the right-hand and top sides.

Method 2 -  the eyeball method  involves a little bit of math. 

1.         Firstly you need to calculate half the width/height of the required square.  For Block 5 you need a square measuring 3½” so half of this is 1¾”.  This measurement is very important.  (If you struggle with math just enter the required block size into a calculator and divide it by 2.)

2.         Position your quilter’s ruler so that the half-width (1¾”) line marking is roughly in the middle of the design vertically as shown (click on the picture if you want to see it close-up). When you are happy with the position trim the right-hand side.
NOTE: It is important that the left-hand side of the fabric extends past the 3½” line marking on your ruler and the right-hand side of the fabric extends past the cutting edge of the ruler.  

3.         Line up the 3½” line marking on your ruler with the trimmed right-hand side of your fabric square and trim the left-hand side as shown.  Your fabric should now measure 3½” wide.

4.         Turn the fabric a quarter turn and line up the bottom of the ruler with the trimmed bottom edge of the fabric.

5.         Repeat step 1 by positioning the ruler so that the 1¾” line marking is central to your chosen emblem/design ensuring that the left-hand side of the fabric extends past the 3½” line marking on your ruler and the right-hand side of the fabric extends past the cutting edge of the ruler as before.  Trim the right-hand side. 

6.         Line up the 3½” line marking on your ruler with the trimmed right-hand side of your fabric square and trim the left-hand side as shown.  Your fabric should now measure 3½” square. 

I would recommend you try both methods and see which your prefer.  Although it appears method 2 is more work I find it just as quick as method 1.

Once you have fussy cut your center square it is a case of following the pattern to complete the block.  
No seam matching required - perfect!

Next Monday I will be 'ladybugging' you with a quick fuse applique method. 
Block 6 - Ladybird
Until then why not share your Paths around the Square blocks over on Instagram (#block5pathsaroundthesquare) or in the Flickr Group