Thursday, September 22, 2022

CHANGES COMING SOON

I’m sorry to report that Google is now requiring payment for blogging and I’ve been unable to set up the payment system. I’ve spent hours trying and have others working on it as well.

It is possible I will be unable to update this blog soon and lose all of the information here. If you see something you want, download it now!!!


EDIT: Etsy situation has been resolved! whew!!!

My Etsy shop may also be frozen soon as they are requiring banking information that my bank isn’t compatible with providing. So that may be inaccessible to me as well. 

My sincerest apologies for any interruption and know that I’m trying my best to stay connected with you! 

I will post updates and information on Instagram and Facebook if it becomes necessary. Step 3 for the SewAlong may be delayed. I’m so very sorry!

Diane

Thursday, September 15, 2022

A'MAZE'D Quilt Along STEP 2

 A'MAZE'D Quilt Along STEP 2


This step we will make the half square triangles (HST) that appear next to the four patches from the last step. The finished size will be 3 1/2 inches. The method I'm sharing is the one I always use and is detailed in both of my books. You may use any method you prefer but the yardage required may be just a bit different. This method is very efficient and precise and requires no trimming or squaring up.

Cutting for HST using Triangle Ruler


It is very important that you begin with pressed fabrics! If you are using wrinkled fabrics, this method may not have the desired results. Press your fabric and layer it right sides together. I am cutting directly from the bolt in the photo above, the folded edge is shown.


I cut the strips 3 1/2". If you are cutting from yardage, you will get enough cuts for 5 blocks from one strip. 

Next cut the ends to create a clean cut for the triangles. The photo shows an Easy Angle ruler but there are many brands that will work. The key feature to look for is the flat edge at the top of the angle. If the ruler is pointed at the angle, it will not create the seam allowance needed and the triangles will be too small. Refer to the photo below as well for a better view. 

Cut along the angled edge of the ruler and then rotate the ruler so that the blunt angle is facing you. Cut along the flat side of the ruler. Repeat cutting and rotating the ruler for the entire length of the strips.

Note that each triangle cut will have one blunt angle and one pointed angle. (Just like the ruler.) This will allow the triangle to be the correct size and only one corner will have tiny points from the seam allowance that need to be trimmed.

Sewing and Pressing the HST



Sew the triangles (right sides together) along the long edge of the fabric using a quarter inch seam allowance. 

Press the triangle open with the seams toward the darker fabric. The unit is now 3 1/2" square and has only a small triangle of seam allowance to trim at one corner. If your unit is not the exact size, adjust your seam allowance as needed.


Chain piece the units and snip the thread after removing them from the machine.

Each block requires 4 half square triangles and this photo shows the amount of fabric trimmed away. Pretty efficient huh? I started using this method years ago and it's the only HST method I use now.

Here is the number of HST you will need to make for each size of the quilt:

Throw- make 24 sets of 4 HST.

Twin- make 42 sets of 4 HST.

Queen- make 64 sets of 4 HST.

King- make 80 sets of 4 HST.

NOTE: If you are making a scrappy version, you can make all of your units different or you can make sets of 4, or you can make sets of 4 that are all the same color combo but different fabrics. Make a few and arrange them different ways to see what you prefer.

Now snap some photos and share on social media using #2022amazedQAL #butterflythreadsquilting

Congratulations! You are ready for next week!


Diane




Thursday, September 8, 2022

2022 A'MAZE'D Quilt Along Step 1

 A'MAZE'D Quilt Along STEP 1

SCRAPPY VS. PLANNED

This pattern lends itself to scrappy or planned versions. We are basically choosing lights and darks. Fabrics A, C & E are light and Fabrics B, D & F are darks. But you could always reverse that if you choose. If you are undecided, I would recommend printing out the copy of the block and coloring it in with several different ideas. You could always just lay out the fabrics as well. Please note these pieces (except for Fabric A) are small and will appear as a solid or color so large scale prints wouldn’t be the best choice for these blocks because they would appear differently in different cuts and might create chaos rather than repetition. So I recommend solids, small scale prints or tone on tone prints. If you want to use a busy print or pattern it would be best used in Fabric A in which an almost 6” square will be visible.

NOTE: We are sewing the smallest sections first, and you can decide as you go. We will make the tiny four patches first. Choose the colors for those, perhaps something you already have a lot of in your 2" strip bin? If you want to just choose 2 or 3 colors and stick to those, that would also work really well.



There are kits available if you would like to make your quilt exactly like mine. Binding is included and backings can be purchased separately. Click the link to see all the details about the kits.

Throw Kit

Twin Kit

Queen Kit

King Kit


GETTING ORGANIZED


Before starting any new project, I like to get organized. I have some tips about how to do that HERE and HERE. But I would suggest the following specifically for this quilt:

  1. Wind plenty of bobbins, change your needle, clean and oil your machine if needed.
  2. Clear off your cutting mat and check to make sure your rotary blade is sharp.
  3. Locate the rulers and supplies you will need (listed on the chart in the last post).
  4. If printing off these steps, choose a clipboard or folder or binder for keeping them in order.
  5. Designate a bin or tote for keeping all the supplies and fabrics together in one place.
  6. When cutting and sewing the steps, you may want to put them into baggies or use a binding clip to hold all of one step together.

Remember, the less time you spend looking for stuff and clearing off space, the more time you will have for sewing!


CUTTING NOTES


HINT:

Let’s talk about using the ruler for rotary cutting strips. I always place the line marking the size I want over the edge of the fabric. The mark on the ruler should rest on top of the fabric. This allows for the full measurement of the size I need and gives me room for the turn under after the seam is sewn.

TIP:

Okay, so now that we have those details sorted out. I always cut my strips parallel to the selvage. I trim off the selvage then I just continue cutting strips the same direction. When I do this with fat quarters my strips end up 18” long. This is the measurement I always use when working with strips. Longer strips tend to get unruly and shorter strips are usually tossed into the “bits” bin. To read more about “bits” and my scrap organization system go HERE. It’s okay, I’ll wait.


CUTTING 4 PATCHES

For each block you will be making a set of four identical 4 patch blocks.

Cut one light strip (Fabric E) and one dark strip (Fabric F) 2” x 17” (or longer)

You will need the following:

TWIN- 24 light strips 2” x 17”, 24 dark strips 2” x 17”
THROW- 42 light strips 2” x 17”, 42 dark strips 2” x 17”
QUEEN- 64 light strips 2” x 17”, 64 dark strips 2” x 17”
KING- 80 light strips 2” x 17”, 80 dark strips 2” x 17”


SEWING

Sew one light strip to one dark strip, lengthwise, using a ¼” seam allowance.


Cut the strip set every 2” to create 8 two patch units. There will be enough extra to trim the ends.


Open the units. Layer two units right sides together (light touching dark, dark touching light).

With the dark square on top, closest to the needle. Sew the units together, using a ¼” seam.

Repeat for each pair, making four 4 patches.


PINWHEEL PRESSING


When opening the 4 patch to press, flip the seam allowance so that the seams spin and a tiny 4 patch is created in the middle. 

Press from the back to ensure all seams are laying flat. Flip, and press again from the front.



Repeat until you have made all of the 4 patch sets needed for your size quilt.

Now snap some photos and share on social media using #2022amazedQAL #butterflythreadsquilting

Congratulations! You are ready for next week!


Diane

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Let's Begin the 2022 A'maze'd Quilt Along

 


Welcome to the 2022 A’maze’d Quilt Along! 

While this quilt is made up entirely of one block with only 3 types of units in that block, you choose the size, the fabrics you want (or buy a kit!) and the setting which is limited only by your imagination! Many of the setting options look like a MAZE so you will be able to design your own!

We will share the step by step instructions, tutorials, hints and tips for accuracy, as well as the design options and organizational tools to make this project a fun adventure. Whether you dive into your stash for inspiration, raid your scrap bin, or select a whole new fabric palette, this quilt will provide so many opportunities for creative play along the way.


12” Block: (12 ½” before being sewn into the quilt top)



Size

Throw (48 x 72)

Twin (72 x 84)

Queen (96 x 96)

King (96 x 120)

Number of Blocks

4 x 6 = 24

6 x 7 = 42

8 x 8 = 64

8 x 10 = 80

Fabric A
6 1/2" squares

1 1/2 yards

2 3/4 yards

4 yards

5 yards

Fabric B
3 1/2" triangles

1 yard

1 3/4 yards

2 1/2 yards

3 yards

Fabric C & D
3 1/2" HST

1 yard each

1 3/4 yards each

2 1/2 yards each

3 yards each

Fabric E & F
3 1/2" 4 patches

3/4 yards each

1 yard each

1 1/2 yards each

2 yards each

Binding

1/2 yard

3/4 yard

3/4 yard

1 yard

Backing

3 1/4 yards

5 1/4 yards

9 yards

11 yards

Tools:

Rotary cutter and long ruler for cutting strips

HST ruler (any 45 degree ruler will work) for cutting triangles

Sewing machine and lots of bobbins

Bins or baggies for sorting units

Binding clips or pins for keeping pieces together

Highlighter for marking the pattern size you choose (to prevent confusion)


*Please note that these yardage requirements will vary depending on method of construction used. This will be more than enough for the methods shown and will allow for errors. If you are using scraps, this may need to be adjusted depending on the size and shape of your scraps.


Buy a kit for this quilt top and binding here. (all size options available)

Buy the backing fabric here. (all size options available)

The schedule will be as follows:

9/9/22

Step 1: Sewing scrappy vs planned, getting organized, cutting for 4 patches, sewing and pinwheel pressing

9/16/22

Step 2: Cutting for HST, triangle ruler tutorial, sewing and pressing the HST

9/22/22

Step 3: Cutting for sew and flip corners, sewing tutorial, and pressing

9/30/22

Step 4: Block Assembly, putting the units together and pressing

10/7/22

Step 5: Layout options and ideas

10/14/22

Step 6: Sewing vertical rows into pairs, sewing pairs together

10/21/22

Step 7: Putting the row pairs together, catching up

10/28/22

Step 8: Quilting the Quilt, discount for longarming by me, machine binding tutorial

Don't forget to share your progress and see what choices others are making using the hashtag 
#2022amazedQAL on Instagram or Facebook

It's time to get really excited!

Diane

Monday, August 22, 2022

2022 A'maze'd Quilt Along


2022 A'maze'd Quilt Along


I've been playing in EQ8 with some ideas and while I still can't seem to get my fabrics inserted into the blocks at a consistent scale, it is fun to see what the possibilities hold!


I've decided I want to make a 12" block because I want a quilt large enough for my King Size bed. It will still have lots of detail, just won't require millions of little pieces.


Clearly I enjoyed playing with setting options. I mean, there are just so many, and I'm sure I will discover more as I keep playing with these!


What does this mean for you? You are welcome to sew along with your own fabrics, and make any size quilt you want. I will offer several options as usual.


We take it step by step, each week following the formula for the size you choose.


There will be kits and fabric available if you want to make your quilt exactly like mine using my Daisy Talk fabric line.


Or you can just watch the progress and see what choices others are making using the hashtag 
#2022amazedQAL on Instagram or Facebook or here on the blog.


 Folks who subscribe to my newsletter, (yes it's been awhile but I plan to dust it off!) will get discounts and information first! I will announce the schedule and the supplies needed and the options and all the rest of the details here on September 1st! That gives you plenty of time to run out of excuses!

Who wants to join the fun?

Diane

Monday, August 15, 2022

August 2022 Book Review

Oops! It's been 6 months since I've shared a reading list and I do apologize. I've been rather busy and haven't made as much time for reading as I normally do. I do have a few goodies to share and always, LOVE to hear about what you are reading in the comments!



Margaret Atwood never disappoints in my opinion. Her writing is as masterful as the stories she creates. I am so glad I found her through the college freshman reading assignment of The Handmaid's Tale. I've watched the series with fascination and had been looking forward to this follow up for quite some time. I finally read it on Kindle and flew through it! It was every bit as interesting and compelling and unpredictable as all of her books. If you liked the Handmaid's Tale, I would love to hear your opinion of this one. I truly enjoyed the characters, the conflict and the continued saga.



Kristen Harmel has quickly become a favorite author of mine in the historical fiction genre. She writes characters that feel really true to their time period and this one skips from current day to WWII and she masterfully captures the emotions and expectations of both generations. The story is one that is both fascinating from the war story to the love story as well as the intergenerational relations. I highly recommend this book and any other she has written.



I'll admit I had this in my Audible list for probably a year before I actually listened to it. I am glad I finally gave it a shot. It was a wonderful story of a therapist who goes into therapy and then discovers more about herself and her relationship to her patients and her therapist. It's interesting and not overly analytical as one might assume. It is about her life choices and her choices as a therapist that really reflect who she wants to be how she wants to help/serve her clients. I would highly recommend this book if you are at all interested in the dynamic of these relationships or just curious about therapy in general.


This is the origin story of my favorite bookshop in Paris and so I felt compelled to read it after having visited the shop Shakespeare & Co last year. It's a fascinating tale of the literary culture of Paris the early 1900's. It features many famous authors and performers of the time. The story feels true to itself and is well told, but as is often the case, reality is not as romantic as fiction. I loved the grit and determination and perseverance but if you are looking for the happy ending, it is not what you would expect. Obviously, the bookstore survives in another form still today, but this story proves that history once gone, cannot be remade.



Anne Tyler writes the most wonderful quirky characters and unexpected relationships in all of her novels, this one included. I had mixed feelings about this one though. The family featured in this book didn't seem to care for each other very much. Not that they were antagonistic as much as just apathetic. I did enjoy some of the relationships later in the book, that took place during the pandemic, but overall it wasn't my favorite of hers.



Isabel Allende was also an author I found in college and love to devour her gorgeous stories that are rich with detail, intrigue and passion. The family sagas almost always include some political drama as well (as does her real life) and I appreciate those connections. The perspective is always both intimate and encompassing. This is a story that has all the aspects you would expect from her, such a strong female family matriarch, lots of extended family members with their unique qualities, coming of age struggles, political strife, and love and loss and love refound. I would recommend all of her books!



I honestly only picked this one up on Audible because Stephanie Howell (most prolific reader and book reviewer on the internet! xo) recommended this one recently. It is as beautifully written as she described and the pages are filled with gorgeous quotes and observations of life and love and I honestly can't put it down. I do wish I had a paper copy and I would be highlighting the heck out of this one!



Full disclosure, I'm on my second attempt at this one. I tried to read it earlier this summer and it just stalled for me at about 100 pages in. It did leave me curious enough to pick it up again and I'm enjoying it this time around. It was probably just me. I love the strong characters that are intertwined with their spiritual selves and each other in surprising and unique ways. It is very magical and mystical, both things I enjoy, but it's also very realistic in some ways. It's just a fun convergence of real life and 'what the heck!' I would recommend it if you like that sort of surprise in a story.



This book was recommended by Cathe Holden on her Instagram video as she toured her creative library. I would highly recommend the video as well as the book. I do love all things Paris and collections and creations, and this book comprised all those loves. It is beautifully written and will be referenced many times, most especially before my next visit to Paris!
 


If you like to entertain and eat and visit with family and friends and eat or just chat and eat. This is a book for you! I love the gorgeous photos and the fun ideas and simple recipes in this book. Mostly I love the inspiration we get from it. This summer we have done lots of boards for both family and small gatherings here at home and this is perfect for when everyone is standing around in the kitchen with a drink and we all pitch in to make it pretty before we devour the yumminess! I highly recommend this and her previous book below...



This is the book that started us on our 'board' obsession! It's the reason I now collect beautiful cutting boards and wooden trays and cute bowls with an excuse! It a fun way to inspire not just eating but connecting! If you haven't tried this with your family or friends, you will be amazed!

Yes, I realize that this list is ALL OVER THE PLACE, but so has my summer! I've had a wonderful time just being with family and relaxing at home between house projects, work stuff and life. We have had our ups and downs but sharing the laughs and tears with those who offer the best hugs is really what makes life sweet, don't you agree?

XOXO 

Diane


The fine print: as always these reviews are linked with affiliate links which means I make a few cents off each purchase when you buy using them. Thank you so much for your support! Happy reading!

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Winging It

 

When I designed Daisy Talk I knew I wanted to create fabrics with fussy cut possibilities. I wanted fabrics that would be fun to use for patchwork but also fun to cut up and rearrange and collage or applique with. I had a blast doing just that making this butterfly quilt. 


 I wanted a patchwork background and that was easy. I laid out scraps and chunks and just started sewing them together. I also added some selvages and some smaller patchwork just for fun. 

I then sketched a butterfly on freezer paper and cut out the pieces along with the reverse pieces for the other wing. 


Freezer paper is great because it's cheap and sticks to the fabric when ironed on. And it is easily removed with no marks left behind.


The stitch fabrics were fun to fuse then cut into smaller segments.


The flowers were cut in groups and individual shapes as well as just parts of the flower for leaves or smaller bits. I also cut motifs and leaf shapes from the green fabrics as well.


I fused the fabric pieces to the stabilizer and then started filling in all the gaps between the pieces with the fussy cut bits from the large floral, the grey emoji and some of the green prints. I chose to leave some of the outside edges 'uncollaged' to create a crisp shape of the wings. 

Then all had to do was add lots and lots and lots of flowers and leaves and shapes to the background. I kind of imagined what it would look like if the flowers were blown in the wind. I might have gone slightly overboard but too much is never enough. Didn't someone once say that?


Speaking of too much, I created this layout in an app and think its fun a repeat of the design. I plan to make a smaller version of the butterfly because this one is HUGE. I also plan to create a pattern and a kit and offer it as a class if you are interested. Leave a comment and let me know what you think!

I think it turned out really fun even if I was just "Winging It"

XOXO

Diane