Community Sampler Week #6

Community Sampler Week #6

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Welcome to week #6 of the Community Sampler sew along where we not only work on our patchwork piecing techniques but also share our makes on Instagram and have fun with a like-minded community of quilters. My co-host and sister Art Gallery Fabrics designer Maureen Cracknell and I are so happy to have you sewing with us and look forward to spending the next few months with you.

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There are eleven blocks in our quilt and each Wednesday will be a new PDF block release or finishing step for the quilt. If you are just joining us, pick up the Introduction PDF on the Sew Along page and you'll get a material list along with coloring pages so you can get started planning your quilt. Then, work your way through the first Community Sampler post to the present.

Many of the patchwork units (like Quick-Corner, Flying Geese, Half-Square Triangle, and Square-in-Square units) used in this year's sampler have already been oversized to allow for trimming and squaring of units before assembling your block. Please cut your pieces EXACTLY as given in each of the PDF instructions because bumping up the size of the pieces from the measurements give will not bring great results in some cases. Take advantage of my in-blog tutorials for each of the different quilting techniques used in our sampler.

Accurate cutting and use of a true 1/4'' seam allowance is a must for successful patchwork piecing. All your blocks will measure 12-1/2'' square (unfinished). Review how to cut strips, sew with a true 1/4'' seam allowance, and other helpful piecing tips on my "Are You Ready to Sew" post.

Let's start sewing the Fairground block. Download the free PDF on the Sew Along page.

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Square-in-Square Unit Tutorial

Use the following link for review how to make Half-Square Triangle (HST) units and No-Waste Flying Geese units that we've already used in earlier Community Sampler blocks. There's a lot of moving pieces in the Fairground block and accuracy is always our goal. The more seams in a block the more even minor discrepancies will start to multiply into a big mess. Make sure all pieces are true to size as you work and you maintain an accurate 1/4" seam allowance when sewing and the pieces will go together beautifully.

If you're wanting to use directional prints for either the HST units or the Flying Geese units you may want to check out my tutorial for controlling directional prints that was posted during the Sewcial Bee Sampler sew along. 

To see how this Square-in-Square unit is created in a video, view the Bloc_Loc method for making this units in the Flying Geese rulers tutorial or follow along with my step out tutorial below.

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Cut the two 3-1/4” in half diagonally to make four HST pieces

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Fold the 3-3/8” fabric D square in half and press to crease.

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Stack two fabric A HST pieces with edges matched. Center and align the point of the stacked triangles with the vertical crease line and straight edge matching the edge of the square.

Trim dog ears of stacked triangles with edges of the square.

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Rotate the square 90° so crease line is now parallel with top edge of square. Place a trimmed triangle right sides together and edges matched to top edge of square. Stitch with a 1/4” seam allowance.

Press corner out. Repeat for the opposite side.

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Rotate the pieced section 90° and use the vertical crease line to center an untrimmed triangle. Stitch to section, noting how the stitch line enters and exits at the “V” where the two fabrics intersect. Press corner out. Repeat on the remaining side to make a Square-in-Square unit.

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Trim unit to 4-1/2” square, leaving a 1/4” seam allowance on each side. If using the Bloc_Loc 2” x 4” Flying Geese ruler to trim your Square-in-Square unit, trim one side at a time, rotating your unit 90° between each trim. Watch the Bloc_Loc tutorial for piecing and trimming of a Square-in-Square unit.

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I pieced my Fairground block with a slight variation from the instructions. Instead of cutting four 2-1/2” x 4-1/2” rectangles from fabric A, I cut those four rectangles from my blue fabric D. This gave the block more visual weight on the edges and created an octagon shape within the block.

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For my sampler I'm sewing with Art Gallery Fabrics Pure Element solids. I've been getting a lot of questions as to the exact colors I'm sewing with so I will start including a swatch image each week showing the sku number of each solid. Clockwise from the peach is Grapefruit, Creme de la Creme, Night Sea, and Pistachio Creme. 

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My completed block! I like it's playfulness and all the second and maybe third designs these patchwork shapes make. Have fun with your block and don't be afraid to add more or even less different fabrics into it to make it your own.

If you notice I had to pull out the seam ripper to correct sewing that top row upside down--oops. This stuff happens and I don't care how seasoned a quilter you are--that's why seam rippers were invented!

Community Sampler Sponsors

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Lady Belle Fabric  Omnigrid   Aurifil Thread  Art Gallery Fabrics 

Hobbs Batting  Dritz  Fat Quarter Shop  Bloc-Loc

My co-host Maureen Cracknell and I are continually amazed by the joy and excitement each of you bring to our virtual community. Thank you for making this sew along so special. Please visit Maureen's blog and see the progress she's making on her sampler quilt, using her beautiful AGF fabrics Love Story collection. Be sure to use the #CommunitySampler hashtag when posting your blocks to Instagram and tag both my @sharonhollanddesigns and @maureencracknell so we don't miss any of your beautiful work!

Don't forget that this Friday's a Giveaway Friday on the Community Sampler sew along. Maureen and I will take turns hosting a giveaway each week where one of our generous sponsors will be featured and offering amazing prizes both here on our blogs and also on Instagram. I will be hosting the giveaway this Friday and you'll be instructed how to enter at that time.

Happy sewing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Community Sampler Giveaway Week #4

Community Sampler Giveaway Week #4

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Each Friday that Maureen Cracknell and myself are co-hosting the Community Sampler will be a Giveaway Friday. We've coordinated special prizes with our amazing participating sponsors for a giveaway each and every week! If you've happened to miss the first Community Sampler posts, take a look back from the first post Community Sampler Week #1 to get caught up to the present. Feel free to start sewing with us at anytime--it's never too late to join in, and it's free! 

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Community Sampler Sponsors

TODAY'S FEATURED COMMUNITY SAMPLER SPONSOR IS Bloc_Loc!

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Bloc_Loc was created by husband and wife team, Paul and Janna. Paul, an Australian, was an aircraft maintenance engineer and Janna, and American, is a quilt designer and author of Courtship Quilts; Inspired by the Victorian Language of Flowers, published by Martingale & Co 2005. Now based in Loveland, Colorado, Bloc_Loc manufacturers, distributes, and sells their own patent pending products which are new and innovative. Their rulers are made of the highest quality materials by the old-fashioned standard of making products and are built tough enough to last from one generation to the next!

* Shop Rulers * Follow on Facebook * Follow on Instagram *

We hope you enjoy visiting Bloc_Loc Rulers

For this week's Community Sampler Giveaway, Bloc_Loc is offering the winner TWO sets of rulers that coordinate with the sizes of units used in the Community Sampler blocks. The sets included in this week's prize are the Flying Geese rulers Set #3 that consists of a 2" x 4" and a 3" x 6" Flying Geese ruler. The second set is the Half-Square Triangle rulers Set #2 that consists of a 2-1/2", a 4-1/4", and a 6-1/2" Half-Square Triangle ruler. That's five amazing Bloc_Loc Rulers you'll love! Be sure to visit Bloc_Loc for wonderful video tutorials on how to use all their products. 

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How to Enter

This giveaway is now closed

Congratulations to Beth L!

* Note * This giveaway is open to EVERYONE! If you're a "no reply" or anonymous commenter, please remember to include your email address in your comment--you can't win if I can't get a hold of you!

1. Simply leave a comment here under this post! (First comment entry).

2. Follow Bloc_Loc on Facebook and/or Instagram. Just let me know that you did by making a separate comment here to record that entry. (Separate comment - second entry). 

3. My followers get a third entry! If you follow via subscribing to my posts, through Bloglovin (or other service), or on Instagram, just let me know by making a separate comment here to record that entry. (Separate comment - third entry). Note: I'm no longer on Facebook.

4. Help spread the word!! I know that many of you already do, so I thought it would be nice to add that as another way to enter! Spread the word about the Community Sampler on YOUR instagram, facebook, tweet, pin, blog post, etc... (separate comment - fourth entry). 

That’s FOUR possible entries! Enter now through Monday, March 19th! The winner will be picked at random around 4pm Eastern. I will post the name of the winner on this post once they've been notified and responded to my email.

xxxx Sharon

Community Sampler Week #4

Community Sampler Week #4

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Welcome to week #4 of the Community Sampler sew along where we not only work on our patchwork piecing techniques but also share our makes on Instagram and have fun with a like-minded community of quilters. My co-host and sister Art Gallery Fabrics designer Maureen Cracknell and I are so happy to have you sewing with us and look forward to spending the next few months with you.

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There are eleven blocks in our quilt and each Wednesday will be a new PDF block release or finishing step for the quilt. If you are just joining us, pick up the Introduction PDF on the Sew Along page and you'll get a material list along with coloring pages so you can get started planning your quilt. Then, work your way through the first Community Sampler post to the present.

Many of the patchwork units (like Quick-Corner, Flying Geese, Half-Square Triangle, and Square-in-Square units) used in this year's sampler have already been oversized to allow for trimming and squaring of units before assembling your block. Please cut your pieces EXACTLY as given in each of the PDF instructions because bumping up the size of the pieces from the measurements give will not bring great results in some cases. Take advantage of my in-blog tutorials for each of the different quilting techniques used in our sampler.

Accurate cutting and use of a true 1/4'' seam allowance is a must for successful patchwork piecing. All your blocks will measure 12-1/2'' square (unfinished). Review how to cut strips, sew with a true 1/4'' seam allowance, and other helpful piecing tips on my "Are You Ready to Sew" post.

Let's start sewing our third block--Ribbon Star. Download the free PDF on the Sew Along page.

Triple-Square Triangle Units

I love how you can put squares together to come out with intricate patchwork units like this Triple-Square Triangle (TST). All the cut sizes have already been sized up for trimming and squaring. I'm using the 6'' HST Bloc-Loc ruler to help me keep my units square. You can see some great video from the Bloc-Loc site to better explain how to use their tools. 

If you're wanting to use directional prints for either of the following patchwork techniques you may want to check out my tutorial for controlling directional prints that was posted during the Sewcial Bee Sampler sew along. 

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Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of the lighter fabric of your 6" squares.

Place a marked square right sides together with a same-size square. Sew a 1/4" seam on each side of the drawn line. 

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Press to flatten. Cut apart on the line to make two Half-Square Triangle (HST) units. 

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Press open toward the dark print. I press my seams in one direction. Read more about pressing seams open on Maureen's blog post for the Ribbon Star block. Tip when pressing seams in one direction: Place the fabric you want to press toward face up on the ironing board. When you open to press the seam will automatically be pressed toward the desired fabric. 

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Trim units to 5" square. Since these HST units are oversized, the first trimming pass will cut off about an half an inch on the right side and top for a right hander. If you're left handed you will be trimming the left side and top. Notice the Bloc-Ruler is using the diagonal line to square the unit and the two sides not being trimmed on this first pass will still need squaring up as the 5'' marks of the ruler does not align with the outside edges.

Rotate the unit 180° and trim about 1/8" off the two remaining side to square to 5" square. Repeat on the remaining (untrimmed) HST unit. 

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Draw a diagonal line on each of the 5" squares. Pair a 5" square with a HST unit right sides together and the drawn line perpendicular to the seam line of the HST so the seams make an "X" (see first image below). 

Sew a 1/4" seam on each side of the marked line. 

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Press to flatten (you can see the seam line orientation of the HST unit creates an "X" in the pressing photo).

Cut apart on the line. Open and press toward the large triangle. Makes two, mirror image Triple-Square Triangle (TST) units. Make a total of four. Note: Be sure to pay attention to orientation of the TST units when assembling your block! 

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Trim the TST units in the same manner as you did with the HST units, using the diagonal seam line as a guide and taking care that all the points stays sharp. Trim only about 1/8" or less off the sides to trim to 4-1/2" square. Make a total of four TST units. 

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For my sampler quilt I'm using Art Gallery Fabrics Pure Elements solids. Using all solids is a personal challenge for this pattern designer and is not without it's own set of additional challenges. See my first week Community Sampler post for the inspiration behind my color palette. I've already made a few of the blocks for this sampler to work ahead and have found that I really need to bring my A-game for piecing because solids are very unforgiving and show every little missed point. Again, this is a good challenge even for a quilter that's been doing this awhile and I will need to take extra care in my stitching!

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Thank you for making this sew along so special I love seeing all the blocks being posted. Please visit Maureen's blog and see the progress she's making on her sampler quilt, using her beautiful AGF fabrics Love Story collection. Be sure to use the #CommunitySampler hashtag when posting your blocks to Instagram and tag both my @sharonhollanddesigns and @maureencracknell so we don't miss any of your beautiful work!

Community Sampler Sponsors

Don't forget that this Friday's a Giveaway Friday on the Community Sampler sew along. Maureen and I will take turns hosting a giveaway each week where one of our generous sponsors will be featured and offering amazing prizes both here on our blogs and a second chance on Instagram. I will be hosting the giveaway this Friday and you'll be instructed how to enter at that time.

Happy sewing!

Community Sampler Week #3

Community Sampler Week #3

Welcome to the Community Sampler sew along! My co-host and sister Art Gallery Fabrics designer  Maureen Cracknell  and I are so happy to have you sewing with us and look forward to spending the next few months with you.  There are eleven blocks in our quilt and each Wednesday will be a new PDF block release or finishing step for the quilt. If you are just joining us, pick up the Introduction PDF on the  Sew Along page  and you'll get a material list along with coloring pages so you can get started planning your quilt.   Many of the patchwork units (like Quick-Corner, Flying Geese, Half-Square Triangle, and Square-in-Square units) used in this year's sampler have already been oversized to allow for trimming and squaring of units before assembling your block. Please cut your pieces EXACTLY as given in each of the PDF instructions because bumping up the size of the pieces from the measurements give will not bring great results in some cases.  Accurate cutting and use of a true 1/4'' seam allowance is a must for successful patchwork piecing. All your blocks will measure 12-1/2'' square (unfinished). Review how to cut strips, sew with a true 1/4'' seam allowance, and other helpful piecing tips on my  "Are You Ready to Sew" post .

Welcome to the Community Sampler sew along! My co-host and sister Art Gallery Fabrics designer Maureen Cracknell and I are so happy to have you sewing with us and look forward to spending the next few months with you.

There are eleven blocks in our quilt and each Wednesday will be a new PDF block release or finishing step for the quilt. If you are just joining us, pick up the Introduction PDF on the Sew Along page and you'll get a material list along with coloring pages so you can get started planning your quilt. 

Many of the patchwork units (like Quick-Corner, Flying Geese, Half-Square Triangle, and Square-in-Square units) used in this year's sampler have already been oversized to allow for trimming and squaring of units before assembling your block. Please cut your pieces EXACTLY as given in each of the PDF instructions because bumping up the size of the pieces from the measurements give will not bring great results in some cases.

Accurate cutting and use of a true 1/4'' seam allowance is a must for successful patchwork piecing. All your blocks will measure 12-1/2'' square (unfinished). Review how to cut strips, sew with a true 1/4'' seam allowance, and other helpful piecing tips on my "Are You Ready to Sew" post.

Time to get to our second block, Dovecote. Download the free PDF on the Sew Along page.

Half-Square Triangle (HST) Units

Dovecote utilizes a couple basic patchwork techniques that we will be using over and over again in our sampler. The sizes of the pieces may vary from block to block but the technique remains the same and so does the need to cut pieces accurately and sew with a true 1/4" seam allowance.

If you're wanting to use directional prints for either of the following patchwork techniques you may want to check out my tutorial for controlling directional prints that was posted during the Sewcial Bee Sampler sew along. 

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Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of the lighter square as directed in the instructions. Place the marked square right sides together with a same-size square.

Sew an accurate 1/4" seam on either side of the line. Tip: Use the 1/2" wide marking ruler to mark sewing guides on either side of the center line, if necessary. 

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After sewing on either side of the line, press the unit flat before cutting apart on the line. 

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Press the units open. I press toward the dark fabric. Trim units to 3-1/2" square. One of the wonderful sponsors in this year's sew along is Bloc-Loc. In the first image, I'm using my 6-1/2" HST Bloc-Loc ruler to trim and square my HST. First I align the seam with the diagonal center of the ruler and trim the top and right side (not shown well in my first image).

Second I flip the entire unit 180° and trim the top and right side again to make the unit perfectly square. Watch more on the Bloc-Loc video for using the Half-Square Triangle ruler. 

No-Waste Flying Geese Units

Saving time and material is the beauty of fast-piece patchwork techniques. Start with accurately cut pieces according to the instructions and take care to use a true 1/4" seam allowance and you'll be rewarded with sharp points to your geese.

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Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of the four squares used for the geese background. Place a marked square right sides together on the corner of the fabric square designated for the goose. Place a second marked square (right side down) on the opposite corner, overlapping the squares in the center. 

Sew a 1/4" seam on each side of the drawn line. Press to flatten.

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Cut apart on the line. Open and press to make two Flying Geese sections.

Noting orientation of the drawn line and print direction if applicable, place a marked square right sides together on the section as shown. 

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Sew a 1/4" seam allowance on each side of the drawn line. Notice how the stitched lines start in the "V" created by the layered fabrics. Press to flatten.

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Cut apart on the line to make two Flying Geese units. Open and press. Repeat with the remaining section for a total of four Flying Geese units. 

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Trim units to a 3-1/2" x 6-1/2" rectangle, leaving a 1/4" seam allowance on each side. I've used my 3'' x 6'' Flying Geese Bloc-Loc ruler to trim the point and right edge of my unit and leave the perfect amount of 1/4'' seam allowance. I then rotate my unit 180° and trim the remaining two sides. Watch more on the Bloc-Loc video for using the Flying Geese ruler. 

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For my sampler quilt I'm using Art Gallery Fabrics Pure Elements solids. Using all solids is a personal challenge for this pattern designer because I love prints! If you follow me on Instagram @sharonhollanddesigns then you may have seen some of the Instagram Stories I've posted about taking better photos. So far I've been jumping around with topics and have covered a bit of information about taking photos of quilts in room settings and how to take better flat lay or close photography photos. Unfortunately, the Instagram Stories only last 24 hours so they're not something you can go back to reference. I only mention this because I do hope to make some dedicated blog posts to photography in the future and continue to make impromptu IG Stories as opportunities arise. Either way, keep watching here on my blog and Instagram as I will do more segments as time permits. 

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As I mentioned above, working in all solids is a personal challenge for me. I'm certain the finished quilt will be lovely but I'm craving to work with prints. So, a solution for me was to photograph this week's Dovecote block on a vintage Barkcloth drapery panel! After taking this photo I thought it would be fun to show a couple other flat lay (taking the photo from above) background options. For a detailed post about taking Flat Lay Photography, see an earlier post I put together just on that subject.  

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For the photo of the block on the vintage Barkcloth there was no need for any additional props. That beautiful fabric had enough going on to steal the show! For my second background option I chose a rustic wood panel as the backdrop and added a fresh cut flower and brass quail figurine. Here we know the block is the star and it shows it off well. The rough wood background and natural elements create a moodier nature-inspired scene. I also wasn't as concerned about eliminating all the shadows in this photo because in this case they added to the story. One thing to note when taking flat lays of objects of various heights is to decide where the camera will focus. Most cameras will focus on the object closest to the lens. In this case it was the brass quail. I wanted the block to be sharp so I had to make sure my camera was selecting that plane as the priority. 

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For each of these flat lay photos I had the block set up near a window for light source and used only natural lighting. That means no flash (gasp, never use a flash!) and no artificial light source. Only light from a window and an inexpensive white foam core board to bounce the light from the window back onto the subject. Doing this will reduce shadows and even out the look of the image.

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This last flat lay set up included a few sewing props on a simple linen background. I put the block on point to add extra interest and energy to the photo. All that I didn't want included in the photo was cropped out. Remember to use the grid guidelines on your phone or camera (can be turned on in the settings) to help you keep your camera squared up to your block. Any tilt of your camera will magnify in your flat lay photo and make your block look distorted and wonky. We didn't do all the sewing and squaring up for it to look wonky in our photos! 

Community Sampler Sponsors

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Lady Belle Fabric  Omnigrid   Aurifil Thread  Art Gallery Fabrics 

Hobbs Batting  Dritz  Fat Quarter Shop  Bloc-Loc

My co-host Maureen Cracknell and I are continually amazed by the joy and excitement each of you bring to our virtual community. Thank you for making this sew along so special. Please visit Maureen's blog and see the progress she's making on her sampler quilt, using her beautiful AGF fabrics Love Story collection. Be sure to use the #CommunitySampler hashtag when posting your blocks to Instagram and tag both my @sharonhollanddesigns and @maureencracknell so we don't miss any of your beautiful work!

Don't forget that this Friday's a Giveaway Friday on the Community Sampler sew along. Maureen and I will take turns hosting a giveaway each week where one of our generous sponsors will be featured and offering amazing prizes both here on our blogs and also on Instagram. Maureen will be hosting the giveaway this Friday and you'll be instructed how to enter at that time.