Friday, April 15, 2016

How Many Ways ...

How many ways have you used freezer paper in quilting?

When I was thinking about a way to make this month's paper-foundation-piecing block pattern for the Block Lotto in a non-paper-piecing way, my first thought was, "freezer paper."  I'll tell you what I did and how it worked for me, but first, some eye candy–my butterfly blocks for the Block Lotto (top three) and for my rainbow scraps sampler (bottom four).

7 Butterfly blocks

One of these butterfly blocks is NOT like the others ... because it wasn't paper pieced. 

I started by printing the foundation pattern on an 8 1/2 by 11-inch piece of freezer paper (which I had earlier cut and weighted to make it flat enough to make my printer happy.  

Then I carefully cut the pattern apart on the lines. 

Foundation printed on Freezer Paper Foundation Cut into Templates

Because the left and right sides of the butterfly are mirror images of each other, I only cut apart one side and the center.

I then ironed my freezer paper templates to the wrong side of the appropriate fabrics.  The fabrics that make up the two sides of the butterfly are folded right-sides-together. Using a ruler and a rotary cutter, I added 1/4-inch to each edge and cut all the pieces I need ... until I realize that one of the pieces I cut from background should have been orange. Oops.

Templates ironed to fabrics Adding 1/4 inch Seam Allowances

Pieces cut and ready to sewI sewed the pieces together in the numbered order–the same order as you would add the fabrics to the foundation, if you were paper-piecing the block.

Your mileage may differ, but I still managed to goof and sew the first two small triangles together the wrong way on one side.  I chalked it up to my spatial dyslexia.

Because I didn't trim the extended seam lines of the points, aligning some of the pieces was a little tricky and some caution was needed there, but the block went together quite quickly.

Ready to Assemble UnitsAfter each side and the center was sewn, it went together just as it's foundation pieced version.

The first block was probably more of an effort for me than just paper piecing the block and felt a little less precise than a paper pieced block, but when I was done, I liked the result, I liked having no paper to remove and I found myself thinking about making the blocks for my Old MacDonald's Mystery Sampler using this technique.

And ... I have now used freezer paper in yet another way for quilting ;-)

Traditionally Pieced Butterfly Block

Saturday, April 02, 2016

It's a Start ...

If you made it all the way to the bottom of the list of blocks I posted yesterday, then you have already seen my first scrappy orange blocks for this month. This is the "blocks in the wild" photo I took for the block pattern cover.

Butterfly Block Pattern Cover
The morning after I took this photo,  the backyard looked like this ... and the snow was still coming down.

April Snow

"You thought it was Spring?  April Fools!" says Mother Nature.

These are paper-pieced blocks and in the pattern, I included notes about how I approach cutting/trimming the fabrics for foundation pieced blocks to end up with a block that is on-grain and doesn't have any stretchy bias edges.

Next week, I plan to make more scrappy butterfly blocks for the April Block Lotto and get started on the blocks for my two samplers.

In the meantime, for those that are making one of the sampler quilts I designed of this year's Lotto block patterns, I put together a post with some information to keep in mind when choosing background colors for your Butterfly blocks and some alternative block ideas for those that are making one of the samplers but don't like paper-piecing and won't make this block for their sampler.  That's the great thing about quilting–there are always alternatives.   You can find it on here:

Sampler Saturday - Blocks and Options for Butterfly Blocks

Details for this month's Block Lotto–including the coupon code for the pattern–are here:

Orange You Ready to Try Paper Piecing in April?

It's just a start ... but I am joining the party for the first orange Scraphappy Saturday ... and looking forward to seeing what everyone else is making from their orange scraps.

Friday, April 01, 2016

The Many Blocks of March

This is my continuing monthly count of blocks made for for Prairie Moon Quilts' 350 Block Challenge.  Here's the list of the 130 blocks made in March. Added to the 49 blocks made in January and February, the new running total for 2016 is 179.

I made six Violet blocks for the Block Lotto.
You can find the free pattern here.
Violet Block Pattern Cover Image
Four more for my rainbow samplerFour Violet Blocks for Sampler
And eleven more for my Old MacDonalds Mystery Sampler (AKA OMMS)violet and snails trails blocks
I couldn't resist playing with all the bonus half-square triangle units that resulted from the violets, so I made 18 tiny pinwheels ...Tiny Pinwheels
Then used 17 of the pinwheels as one of the "fabrics" to make these eight improv pieced floating squares blocks–chunks really–which became Floating Pinwheels.Chunks on the design wall
I used the rest of the tiny bonus triangle squares in these nine Clover Blossom blocks9  Clover Blossom Blocks
I added these four scrappy blocks (and a whole bunch more HST units, made for the border) to complete the little quilt top4AlternateBlocks
I made this block for the "Everything Old is New Again" challengeCurvy Rails - On Point
Then played with the design a little and hand-pieced these four Wavy Gravy blocks4 Wavy Gravy Blocks
I pieced a bunch of letter blocks, including these nine (for a secret project)Alphabet Soup
And this complete subliminal alphabet (25 blocks), sewed it together and added borders–it's also ready to quilt.SubliminalAlphabet
While adding borders to some almost ready-to-quilt projects, a very old UFO caught my eye and I added 29 new Summer Vine blocks to the pile of 35 blocks made in 2002, for a total so far of 64 blocks.64 Scrappy blocks
And although I am a little behind on keeping ahead of the Block Lotto, I made two of these foundation pieced Butterfly blocks.

The block pattern for this paper pieced block (with tips for creating paper-pieced blocks with on-grain edges (to avoid those stretchy biases) is here:

Butterfly Block Pattern Cover

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