Community Sampler Week #9

Community Sampler Week #9

BG0A5093.jpg

Can you believe it, we're on week #9 of our 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 can't wait to see your block.

CS Promo banner 2.jpg

There are eleven blocks in our quilt and each Wednesday will be a new PDF block release or finishing step for the quilt. Today we start our third and final column of blocks. 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 Morning Star block. Download the free PDF on the Sew Along page.

BG0A5060.jpg

Although this week's block is all review for patchwork techniques there's a lot of moving parts to the Morning Star block and accurate cutting, seam allowance sewing, and trimming will be the key to keeping all those points crisp and everything going together nicely. 

We need to make eight Flying Geese units for this block so if you need a refresher on how to piece the No-Waste Flying Geese method, read an earlier tutorial on this technique. 

Also, if you're concerned about keeping directional prints in line, here's a tutorial for controlling those bossy prints. don't forget to cut that center square on-point if you're concerned about the print's direction.

BG0A5480.jpg

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. 

BG0A5147.jpg

I thought these spring greens and golden honey solids helped this block live up to it's name and I love how it turned out. 

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!

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 also on Instagram. Maureen will be hosting the giveaway this Friday and you'll be instructed how to enter at that time.

Community Sampler Week #7

Community Sampler Week #7

BG0A5624.jpg

My co-host and sister Art Gallery Fabrics designer Maureen Cracknell and I are so happy to have you sewing with us on this block-of-the-week sew along.

CS Layered Sharon.jpg

It's April already and we're over halfway done with our blocks! 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 Squaredance block. Download the free PDF on the Sew Along page.

Our block this week is a relatively easy one that uses squares and Flying Geese units. If you need to review how to make No-Waste Flying Geese, revisit my tutorial from week #3. Also, you may want to review the directional fabric tutorial if you want to control the way your prints lay in your Flying Geese units.

There'll be no new tutorials this week but instead I will give cutting information for making block variations because I ended up turning this easy block into a big production.

Since I'm sewing my sampler in only solids, that large center square intimidated me and just felt too expansive. I knew this may be an issue for me when I was designing this quilt but felt that those wanting to showcase a large print would love this opportunity and space. I ended up making seven different versions of this block and who knows, I may still may end up making more by the time I have to set them into a top. I'm still not in love with my block but thank goodness it's an easy one. 

BG0A5619.jpg

Squaredance Block Variations

You can treat this block as your wild card block and really have some fun making it your own. An 8” finished square center (8-1/2” square unfinished) is basically a nice size for a block by itself. You can utilize any of the techniques we've learned so far to make an 8-1/2” unfinished block center (maybe even look back at the Sewcial Bee Sampler blocks), work on something completely new, or stick to the pattern and make it as written with a 8-1/2” cut center square.

Now, I think all the versions I did are pretty nice so don't get me wrong, there's not an option that's right or wrong or better than the other, it simply comes down to personal choice and what works in the quilt. 

Variation 1

My first instinct to make that center square less intimidating (see block #1 in group photo) was to put a print in it. I used my Art Gallery Fabrics Tiny Dancer print from Sketchbook since it's a non-directional and organic print with colors went well with my solids in my quilt. But, with the rest of the quilt being all solids the print option just wasn't working for me and brought even more attention to that center square.

Blocks #2 and #3 are done like the pattern calls for as well but use solid fabrics for the center. I'm pretty sold on #3 and it's still in the running for making the final cut for the quilt. It was my original vision for this block and sometimes that turns out to be the best choice. That large solid center wasn't looking so bad after all and it was just a matter of the right balance of colors for me. 

Variation 2

Block #4 uses four 4" finished Half-Square Triangle (HST) units to make up the 8" finished block center. You can review how to make HSTs from the last weeks Fairground block and use those exact measurements for cutting in Variation 2. 

In my variation I cut:

  • two 5" squares of peach
  • one 5" square off-white
  • one 5" square gold

I paired a peach square with each of the other colors to make a total of four HST units. I trimmed my units to 4-1/2" square before sewing them together into a Four-Patch center square that measured 8-1/2" square. I then used that pieced center square to take the place of 8-1/2" square in the instructions.

Variation 3

The Triple-Square Triangle units we made for the Ribbon Star block were just the right size once sewn together (Four-Patch style) to make an even more elaborate center for this block. Use the sizes given in that pattern and make four TST units.

Blocks #5 and #6 in the group photo show how I ended up making two different pieced-center blocks version. One with five different solid colors and another with four different solid colors. Just by switching the color placements and number of colors it created two very different looking blocks. This could be a neat block to explore in a quilt just of these blocks. I really love the gold and pinks block but it just wasn't right for my sampler.

My Block...for Now

BG0A5652.jpg

I ended up selecting the HST Variation 2. I kept seeing a sunflower shape in this block with petals and a large seed head center. The golden solid for the petals and the darker center of this block makes this block shine. 

BG0A5645.jpg

Above are my Art Gallery Fabrics Pure Elements solids selections for this block served up on the perfect plate that Van Gogh would completely approve of this palette. 

BG0A5624.jpg

There's lots of ways to dress up this block if you wanted to. If you're thinking of adding embroidery be sure to oversize your square to at least 9-1/2” square to start. Center your design and leave a good 1'' around the edges for trimming to size and the necessary seam allowance. Do any handwork to the square before it's assembled into a block. Press it well and trim to 8-1/2” square then proceed as you would for making the block. 

The same would go if you're doing improv piecing, or creating a label on this center square. Start larger than needed and trim to the required size. Don't forget to put your design on-point as the block will be set on-point once sewn together in the quilt top.

Thank you for making this sew along so special I love seeing all the blocks being posted and can't wait to see what you do with this wild card block. 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 also on Instagram. Maureen will be hosting the giveaway this Friday and you'll be instructed how to enter at that time.

Flight Quilt

Flight.jpg

On a side note, I've just published the PDF pattern for my Flight quilt first seen in Modern Patchwork magazine March/April 2017 issue. I had to wait a year for it to be out of contract before I could publish it as a stand alone pattern but it's now available on my Craftsy pattern page

Photo courtesy of All People Quilt

Photo courtesy of All People Quilt

This fun and easy quilt design was pieced with all Art Gallery Fabrics Pure Elements solid fabrics. The design for the quilt was inspired by a floating staircase and I used some color theory and artsy tricks for fabric placements.

First I wanted to create the illusion of depth so I placed the vibrate saturated colors in the foreground (bottom of the staircase, closest to the viewer) and used muted, dustier tones at the top of the stairs to make them appear further away. That's the same way you create depth in landscape paintings. 

By separating the diagonal sides of the quilt into light and shade it was not only another excuse to use another fabric color but again added weight and a light and shadow effect to the design. 

This quilt is a departure for me but I had a lot of fun with it and is one of the three all solids quilts I mentioned at the beginning of the Community Sampler sew along. I've not worked with solids exclusively very often but each time I have it's always turned out well. 

View all my patterns for sale on my Pattern page. They are all available on Craftsy and selected patterns are available at Connecting Threads and UpCrafts Club.

Community Sampler Week #6

Community Sampler Week #6

BG0A5269.jpg

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.

CS Promo banner 2.jpg

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.

BG0A5144.jpg

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.

IMG_5318.jpg

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

Fairground 1.jpg

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

Fairground 2.jpg

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.

Fairground 3.jpg

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.

Fairground 4.jpg

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.

Fairground 5.jpg

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.

IMG_5336.jpg

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.

BG0A5475.jpg

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. 

BG0A5347.jpg

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

Sponsors Graphic Use-01.jpg

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

Bloc-Loc Ruler Sets Graphic.jpg

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! 

Designer Collage.jpg

Community Sampler Sponsors

TODAY'S FEATURED COMMUNITY SAMPLER SPONSOR IS Bloc_Loc!

Bloc Loc Banner.JPG

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. 

Bloc-Loc Ruler Sets Graphic.jpg

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