Archive | June 2019

A Better Hour Glass Block

A friend asked me to go to her house this past week for a quilting lesson.  She is in a BOM (Block of the Month) club with our local quilt store, Scrappy Quilter.  She had her fabrics all laid out, cutting mat, ruler, rotary cutter, and pattern book.  All was good.  She said she was really struggling and ripping out more than she was sewing so I had to see what the problem was.  Well, I tell you what.  It wasn’t all her.

The first step on this month’s block had her make an hourglass block by cutting two larger squares into eight triangles and then sewing them all back together on the bias.  ACK!!  The odds of getting a nice finish using this method is down around zero. Three seams must be sewn and everything has to be just exactly right.

I’m in the middle of a BOM myself and had to make some hour glass blocks for the most recent installment.  However, the method in my pattern had me put two of the large squares – a print and a solid – RST (Right Sides Together) and draw a diagonal line down the middle point-to-point.  Then I sewed ¼” away down each side of the line.

You cut on the line to create two HSTs (Half Square Triangles) so the HST is half print and half solid.  Open them up and finger press.  

Pin the blocks together, RST, and nest the seams so that they sandwich nice and tight. You want color on the top on one side and on the bottom on the other. They must be nested in opposite directions for this to work. Mark the center line on the other diagonal and sew down both sides of the line as before.  Then cut on the line.

The result is not only the same, it is BETTER!  You get a perfect center of the hourglass every time, your block isn’t all stretched out, and you still have hair left in your head when you’re finished! Oh, and no ripping involved!

If you ever come across a pattern that calls for the first method, stop.  Life is hard enough as it is and this crazy hobby is supposed to be fun.   No change of fabric cutting measurement is required to do this alternate method.  My friend was ecstatic at how pretty hers turned out and she thanked me profusely.  Totally not necessary my friend.  🙂

Do you have any favorite block short cuts? Let me know in a comment below!

#RowByRow Taste the Experience

During the Sizzlin’ Summer Shop Hop that I went on a couple of weeks ago, many of you commented on wanting to get the pattern and the kits for the quilt that was designed by Julie from #2ChicksQuilting in Ganado,Texas.

Here is a list of shops in Southeast Texas that are participating in the Row by Row Experience and they will all have a kit to make a block of this beautiful quilt.

  1. Beefore It’s a Quilt in Port Lavaca
  2. Quilter’s Cottage in Richmond
  3. Quilter’s Patch in Victoria
  4. Two Chick’s Quilting in Ganado
  5. It Seams to be Sew in Sugar Land
  6. Seams Like Home in Yorktown
  7. The Square Quilter in Shiner

Here is the video that shows the quilt that Julie designed.

Contact info for all the stores is on their websites. Get the kits before they’re gone!

DIME Trapunto Seashell Table Runner – Supplies

Designs in Machine Embroidery (DIME) has been so gracious to allow me to do an Embroider-along with you featuring a free table runner pattern that is featured in the May/June 2019 issue of the DIME magazine. The only catch was I had to wait until July 1st to share with you how to get the freebie machine embroidery patterns. The embroider-along will be like Embroidery 101. We will go slow with learning how to thread your machine and getting familiar with the parts of it. I want you to go dig around and find the manual for your machine. Yes, you have to take the machine OUT of the box! Then I want you to read that manual like you would a book. I guarantee you’re going to learn something. You spent a ton of money on this thing and it deserves better than remaining in a box. You have powerful tool in your hands and it’s time to learn how to use it.

Now, I CAN give you the list of supplies you will need. This particular pattern is for hoops larger than 5×7 however, I’m going to search for some free designs that can work in smaller hoops. No promises, but I’ll do what I can. I will post where you can get the free designs on July 1st and I’ll also post a .pdf of the directions on my blog then.

Here’s the supply list from the article. The links below are Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase from Amazon using these links, I make a few pennies. Don’t feel obligated; the legal beagles make me tell you this. If the specific product name isn’t mentioned (like the painter’s tape, needles, and thread) those are my Amazon choices vs. coming from DIME).

  1. Floriani Wet & Gone or OESD Aqua Mesh Water Soluble Stabilizer
  2. 1 yard Pellon Shape Flex
  3. Six 6″ squares of batting (I’m using 80/20 White & Natural)
  4. Six 6″ squares of different pastel fabrics for the seashell applique
  5. Six 2.5″ x 6″ different pastel fabrics for accent rectangles
  6. 1/4 yard background fabric (42″)
  7. 1/2 yard backing fabric
  8. Quilter’s Dream Blend Batting (craft size)
  9. 1/4 yard binding fabric
  10. Painter’s tape
  11. Mark-B-Gone water soluble pen
  12. 75 embroidery needle
  13. Embroidery thread

Now, if you don’t have those special battings or that particular brand of WSS (water soluble stablizer), use what you have on-hand. I will be using my Sulky Solvy for my WSS. This is a learning exercise for newbies and I don’t want you to feel like you have to rush out and spend scads of cash on specialized products. However, for the best results or if you’re not sure, use what DIME recommends.

A note on the thread linked above. That thread is recommended for many machines and used to be called Embroidex. I have a couple of boxes of it and I’ve had good results and it gets good Amazon reviews. I originally bought it because name-brand thread is so expensive and I wasn’t sure if I would like this whole machine embroidery thing so I bought it to keep my initial investment to a minimum. Yes, I’ve had thread breaks, but I’ve also had thread breaks with Madiera. I’ve not had any thread breaks with Isacord but my quilt shop carries that for about $6 per spool. You use or buy what you have on hand or can afford.

OK, this should be fun! Again, I’ll post where you can get the free designs on July 1st! You have homework:

  1. Take your machine out of the box.
  2. Read your manual.
  3. Find fabrics you want to use.
  4. Choose your thread colors. You will need 3-4 per shell (see below) and one that disappears on the background fabrics to create the trapunto effect.
  5. Take a deep breath…YOU CAN DO THIS!! If you have questions or get stuck, comment on the post in this blog for that part, and I’ll respond. I’ll write it out and give a video demo if need be.

Also, DIME has provided a discount to my subscribers if you want to subscribe to the magazine so you can get TWO years for the price of ONE! YAY!! Here’s the link. No coupon code required. It is only good until July 31, 2019.

So excited!! We start in 2 weeks. This will be fun!