Friday, May 23, 2014

Sew Along Week 2 - Wonky Plus Block

Welcome back!

This week we are going to be working on our wonky plus blocks.  In the original quilt, I did one positive and one negative block of each colour, except my orange.  Feel free to use any combination of colours in your quilt, remember there are no rules!!

Each block uses a 6" square and a 1" strip of contrasting fabric

Now take your ruler (or free hand if you're feeling brave!!) and cut your first two lines going in the same direction, but at any angle you like.  

Using your 1" strip, cut the approximate length of your block (it will be more than 6") and using your 1/4 inch seam, sew those strips in, remembering to press. (On this block it is helpful to press seams open)
Then, it's time to chop again!! Two more lines in the opposite direction, and then time to piece in two more 1" strips.
I like to put my strip on the bottom, so I can watch my seams and make sure none of them flip.
When it's time to match up my pieces, I take extra care, watching where the crosses intersect.  I will often approximate my quarter inch seam, and fold over and look at how it lines up.

Press open, and enjoy your block!  If it's really square, you can just trim your ends, if things didn't line up perfectly, trim your block to 5 1/2" square (remember if you trim one, trim them all!)
Try to make sure you have a variety in the directions and angles of your lines, it will make your quilt more visually interesting.

Have fun, happy sewing, I'll get to work on the next part!
Remember if you have questions, ask away!!  Share what you've been doing here, on our Facebook group or over on the flickr page!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Sew Along Week 1 - Supply list & improv basics

Welcome to the Northern Lights Sew Along!!!
I'm so glad you're here to join me in a little improv. adventure!  My name is Jill - and as a general rule, I say there are no rules in quilting, other than enjoy yourself.  I have basically two full time jobs, plus a 1 1/2 year old boy, so time is of the essence in my world, and time at my sewing machine is a premium.  At the same time, I want what I make to look fabulous - but be time effective - so I'm going to try to show you my tips for making it look good, easily!
Supply List:
- An assortment of fabrics, in fat quarter (18 x 22") or scraps - I'm using 8 Fat Quarters and a fat eighth in yellow.  Feel free to use solids, prints, whatever you have!
- Background - 1 meter - I'm using Kona Coal - although it looks like I originally intended it to be darker :)  (if you want a quilt larger than crib size, you'll need more)
- Whatever you usually use for quilting - I like a large cutting mat, and a 6 x 24" rule, along with my rotary blade

Okay - I've got my stuff, now what?!!?

Start cutting!!  - lets make our first "rainbow panel".  Here, I'm using my ruler to cut 1" strips of background fabric approximately 22" long.  You're going to need 8 of these (or cut 4 x width of fabric & cut in half)

Then, let's cut some wonky strips to fill in between that grey!  It's okay to cut them really wonky like this, as long as you remember to cut some nearby colours the opposite way to balance out your square (otherwise you end up with a "fan" shaped rainbow)

Then, sew a 1" strip of your background onto each of your wonky strips using a 1/4" seam

And press it open - I tend to press my seams open - I find it helps my piece lay flat, especially when there are a lot of seams in an area.  Then lay it out and admire your work.  Make sure you don't have the fan I mentioned earlier.

Then, following the angle/curve of your coloured strip, carefully pair up your strips, and sew, still using a 1/4" seam.  Press your seams open, and repeat, until you have an entire slab of fabric sewn together!!!

Once you have all your rainbow sewn together, we have the building blocks for many parts of our improv quilt! 

*** We will need 2-3 blocks for our crib size quilts***

 Please comment with questions, I will answer them all, and make adjustments to my tutorial

 - go gentle, remember this is my first attempt!!

 See you in a week or two!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Presenting.... A Quilt Along! With fishskin fabric

Looking to stretch your improv sewing skills? Play with colour? Have some fun sewing?  
Just need a new project?
Join us here, every week, for step by step instructions on how you can create your own version of the Northern Lights quilt.
This is my FIRST quilt along ever.  It's also my first tutorial.  I like to dive into things apparently.  So, to encourage me... I want you all to join in!  If you're going to join in the quilt along fun, post about your plans on your blog and be sure to include my fabulous new sew along button (below).  
I'll add you to the fishskin fabric quilt along blog roll, on the side on my blog.  Just add a comment here, or email me (Jill(at)fishskinfabric(dot)com) with a link to your post before 4/30 and I'll add you to the blog roll!

Also, anyone that finishes their quilt top before the end of the sew along on 7/31 will be entered in a giveaway for a fabulous CUSTOM 6 Fat Quarter bundle in your colour choice 

Also, make sure you hop over to flickr and join the Northern Lights Sew Along group.  You can post photos there of your fabrics as will as your progress throughout the sew along (and finished projects of course!!)

Week 1 - Supply list & improv basics
Week 2 - Rainbow stripe
Week 3 - Plus and reverse Plus
Week 4 - Wonky stars
Week 5 - Chevrons
Week 6 - "Northern Lights" (wonky stripe piecing)
Week 7 - Putting it together
Week 8 - Showing it off!!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Sneak Peek....

As many of you know... it take me a little while to get new fabrics up and running in the store - but our March order just walked in the door from Robert Kaufman and I wanted to share with you what's coming! If you are DESPERATE for some of the fabric in one of the photos, send me an email and I'll hook you up!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

thursday ramblings...

Happy Thursday to you!

It was CRAZY here this week & especially today. I was working on a quilting project for someone, and I used some coffee filters to make the minky slide through the machine better (it works awesome by the way - use a SHORT stitch when you do!) I was doing loop de loops and ended up spending about 4 unplanned hours picking bits of coffee filter out from underneath my quilting stitches. f.y.i.


And because this project was due today at noon, I was tweezering away at the back of this quilt like a maniac. There was coffee filter fluff everywhere! Looked like a massacre had happened. Then I had to quickly make up the drapes for my friend's rental house that I have had all month to do, and only did it on the last day in the last hours before my evening meeting of Pathfinders. So naturally I was late, and then gave friend's hubby a hand hanging them in the room, which made me even more late.

Moral of the story? Plan better. Don't procrastinate so much.

Thinking about doing 2 classes over reading week, one Wednesday, one Sunday - I'm thinking placemats on one day and the layer cake quilt on the other??

To Do/UFO List:
Christmas Table Runner
12 aprons for coffee shop
24 coffee mug holders (48? - icehouse?)
finish quilting Grannie's quilt
redo borders on mom's batik to finish top
Finish Quilt as You Go Tree Skirt

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Swap Project

Recently, I had the great opportunity to participate in a quilt swap, with a large group of modern quilters. I've never tried anything like this before, and thought it would be a lot of fun (and it has been!)

It's the For the Love of Solids Round 2 Swap (here's the Flickr Group) - what happens is we create a colour palette that we would like to see in our mini quilt, as well as an inspiration mosaic of different projects. We sent that in to our Swap Mama, and she shook us all up and gave someone else's mosaic. We are challenged to then use the colours chosen for us, to create some sort of beautiful project for our partner - in the form of a mini quilt, sewing machine cover, bag or what have you.

Because it's a blind swap, I don't know who has me... and my partner doesn't yet know that this quilt is for her (although she hopes it is, if her comments on Flickr are anything to go by!) It has to be ready to ship for the beginning of March, and I was able to finish the binding the other night.... I'm VERY happy with how it turned out...

I would love to be able to create a pattern for you to make your own... but because so much of it was improv piecing, it would be VERY difficult to translate into a pattern... but I'm thinking about creating a Modern Block sampler, quilt along for all you Seamsters out there... (you know, like a funky cool hipster but better!) What do you think??

The last two photos are a couple of "in progress" shots... the second you can see some changes in my layout, and the first, some of the method I used to get it all together.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Mid Winter blahs....

Sorry for the blogging absence again... you know... it's February.

What? I haven't posted since 2011? Oh.

Well... I've been busy... I swear! (even though it only takes 15 minutes to whip up something and throw it online)... Okay... umm... I guess I don't really have an excuse then.

i'm sorry :(

On the upside, I have LOTS of things to show you!!

The store is getting full, full, FULL! We've expanded to the second room in our basement, and could already use some more shelves. I'm pretty excited about the great line from Robert Kaufman, Fresco - it's a marble blender line, and there are some GREAT colours in it!