Friday, 12 February 2016

Rural Squirrel in Brown Neutrals


Round and round and round they go....
These squirrels are playing in the snow!




One squirrel is running up a tree on the left.....


One squirrel is running down a tree on the right.....


And one squirrel is running across the ground on the bottom.



It was fun choosing fabrics from my  (my stash) for this quilt. Many of them have been in there for a very long time. Some of them are bits that I am feeling kind of glad to be using up, and yet kind of sad to be running out of. Like that darker birch tree fabric on the bottom left. This was purchased back when I made the Wolf quilt for my son, Russell. The birch print is called called Birch Tree, from the "North by Northwest" collection designed by Maria Kalinowski of Kanvas Studio for Benartex. Really I do love this print used as a binding. It was also used on this Winter Wolves quilt made for my sister. Incidentally, that was my very first time quilting organic wavy lines! Boy... You can sure see the difference a few more practices make!




I am pleased to say that all these fabrics were from stash. Cause you know I'm supporting that 2016 is the Year of the Stash! The backing has these cute little tan and brick coloured paw prints against a cream background. And the binding is a nice dark brown with even tinier paw prints! I was hanging onto these two.... Thinking I would love to use them someday to redo the Dog Gone Cute in some neutrals one day..... But I figured they'd make for some super cute squirrel paw prints, too!




In this post from Tuesday I announced the pattern release for the Rural Squirrel and showed a sneak peek of the Northcott version. You can find the pdf quilt pattern hereAt that time I also shared examples of a few more colourway samples just to give you an idea of the versatility of this pattern. Here it is in the Brown Neutrals using an Electric Quilt mock up.

Rural Squirrel in Brown Neutrals

This quilt is made using traditional methods and is not paper pieced. The pattern provides material requirements, cutting instructions and detailed step-by-step directions. And I still have one more colourway I would like to try out. Some cool solids with grey squirrels. Really it could work in any combination!

Rural Squirrel in Cotton Couture with Grey squirrels




"Rural Squirrel" in Brown Neutrals finished at approximately 50" x 60"
and was the 80th use of my 100 labels
ordered from Ikaprint.





On Valentine's Day I will be
Linking up to The Year of the Stash 2016 with 



AND....



Linking up to Finish it up Friday with 

Amanda Jean of Crazy Mom Quilts










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Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in my posts are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, 11 February 2016

My Perspective and Evolvement as a Pattern Writer

I made my very first quilt in late 2012. It was for my daughter and we worked on the design together. She loves books and she loves cats. The Krazy Katz quilt contained a pieced background that consists of a bookshelf. And three appliqued cats arranged around that bookshelf.



That was it. I was hooked!

It was soon after making that first quilt that I decided to begin this blog. And quickly realized that followers were mostly fellow quilters. It became obvious that blogging would not help me to promote the sales of any of the quilts I was making.

What can I do to earn money for more fabric?

I began to design patterns to sell to fellow quilters. And offered that first quilt design as a pattern.

Figuring out how to write a pattern was difficult. There are not many blog posts or tutorials out there on the subject. That's why I am so glad that Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs has tackled this subject and is now running a Pattern Writing Series on her blog. You can find the Pattern Writing Series page at the top of her blog, just below the blog header. This is an in depth series that will take you every step of the way through the process of writing a quilt pattern, complete with an example that will be offered as a free pattern at the end of the series. Check it out!


Meadow Mist Designs

What do you include in a pattern? I began by putting myself in the shoes of the prospective pattern purchaser. Do I include instructions for pressing seams in this direction or pressing seams open? Do I show a diagram of how I cut the pieces from each strip of fabric or just simply give the instructions for how many pieces you should be able to get from each strip? Do I assume that the fabric width is 40 inches or 42 inches? Do I provide the fabric requirements with a little extra fabric in case of miscuts or leave it up to the buyer to figure in a little cushion room?

So many questions. And so many options!

As I began to develop my skills as a quilter, my patterns reflected those changes and I started designing quilts that were mostly pieced and not so much applique designs. Those patterns were geared toward prospective buyers and I began to design simple patterns for new quilters. A line of KYSS quilts were developed. KYSS stood for Keep Your Sewing Simple.

Later I began to design patterns that were geared more in line with what I wanted to make and less toward beginner quilters. And from there I developed my own design style and found my niche. I had gained a lot of experience in so many different methods. I tried it all! And I found that I was really fond of the Stitch and Flip piecing method and wrote about my discovery in this post.

As my style changed so did my method of writing patterns.

Here is link to show how I wrote the instructions for making an elephant block in the Elephant Parade pattern. In this example, the written instructions describe the size and colour of each piece used in each step of the construction of the block. Quite wordy and perhaps a little difficult to follow.

For one large elephant block, as pictured below, you will need: 

Snow 9000-10 (off white)
1 @ 2.5" x 6.5" rectangle, 1 @ 2.5" x 4.5" rectangle, 1 @ 2.5" x 3.5" rectangle, 2 @ 2.5" squares, 4 @ 1.5" squares.

Slate 9000-93 (dark grey)
1 @ 4.5" x 5.5" rectangle, 1 @ 3.5" x 4.5" rectangle, 1 @ 2.5" x 4.5" rectangle, 1 @ 1.5" x 4.5" rectangle, 1 @ 2.5 x 3.5" rectangle, 1 @ 1.5" x 2.5" rectangle, 4 @ 1.5" squares.

Glacier 9000-910 (light grey)
1 @ 2.5" x 4.5" rectangle.



If you are making the complete quilt, you will need 5 of these blocks - 3 facing left and 2 facing right.


Press all seams open and press seams as you go.

Step 1:  Take the 1.5" x 2.5" dark grey rectangle and 2 of the 1.5" white squares.  Draw a diagonal line across the 1.5" white squares.  Place one of the white squares on the top of the dark grey rectangle and sew along the diagonal line, as shown in red.  Trim a 1/4" seam.  Press the seam open.  Place another one of the white squares on the bottom of the dark grey rectangle and sew along the diagonal line, as shown in red.  Trim a 1/4" seam.  Press the seam open.

Sew the 1.5" white square on top of the 1.5" dark grey square.  Sew this unit onto the right side of the first unit.  Sew the 2.5" x 6.5" white rectangle to the top of this unit. 






Currently, when designing a pattern, I use a diagram to label the pieces in the block using the alphabet, identifying each piece with a letter. And then add a chart to list the size and colour of each piece. This enables the written instructions to be less wordy and easier to follow. Here is and example of how I wrote the instructions for the Elephant blocks used in the Jungle Friends pattern.

Background
A
10 @ 2.5” squares
D
5 @ 2.5” x 4.5”
N
5 @ 3.5” x 5.5”
P
20@ 1.5” squares
Q
5 @ 2.5” x 8.5”
Dark Grey
B
5 @ 4.5” x 6.5”
C
10 @ 2.5” x 4.5”
E
20 @ 1.5” squares
G
10 @ 1.5” x 2.5”
H
1 @ 1.5” x 6”
K
1 @ 3” x 6”
L
5 @ 1.5” x 4.5”
M
5 @ 4” x 4.5”
O
5 @ 1.5” x 5.5”
Black
F
5 @ 2.5” x 5.5”
J
1 @ 1” x 6”

























Step 1:  Draw a diagonal line across the wrong side of the (A) square. Place the (A) square on the corner of the (B) rectangle and sew along the diagonal line, as shown in red.  Trim a 1/4" seam and press.





This pattern writing journey has been such an wonderful adventure.... So far! I am looking forward to seeing how things develop and where they lead me from here.

What about you?

Do you ever think about developing a pattern for sale?
Have you ever wondered how to get started?






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Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in my posts are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Ugly Christmas Sweaters QAL - Eccentric Star Block #4

Welcome to the next block tutorial for the Ugly Christmas Sweaters QAL!
Today's tutorial is for the Eccentric Star 6" quilt block.

Ugly Christmas Sweater with Eccentric Star

Eccentric Star 6" quilt block



Eccentric Star Block #4
Orange
A
1 @ 2.5” square
White
B
4 @ 3” squares
Orange
C
4 @ 3” squares


Draw a diagonal GUIDE line across the wrong side the (B) squares and place them on the (C) squares.  Sew ¼” on each side of the GUIDE line, as shown in red. Cut along the GUIDE line and press the seams open. Trim each HST to 2.5” square. Sew the HST and (A) squares together, making three rows. Sew the rows together.





I chose to display my Eccentric Star block using the Sweater #1 option, using the Watermelon fabric in place of the orange fabric. 


Sweater #1 Assembly Instructions:

White
A
2 @ 1.5” x 10.5”
Orange
B
1 @ 1.5” x 10.5”
White
C
1 @ 1.5” x 5.5”
Orange
D
2 @ 1.5” x 5.5”
Orange
E
2 @ 2.5” x 6.5”
Orange
F
2 @ 1.5” x 2.5”
Background
G
2 @ 1.5” x 8.5”
Orange
H
1 @ 2.5” x 12.5”
Background
K
2 @ 3.5” squares
Background
L
2 @ 1.5” x 4.5”
White
M
1 @ 1.5” x 4.5”


















Block finishes at 12” square


Step 1:  Sew the (A) and (B) rectangles together and crosscut into 2 units @ 2.5” wide and 3 units @ 1.5” wide. Sew the (C) and (D) rectangles together and crosscut into 3 units @ 1.5” wide. Sew the 1.5” wide units together to make a checkerboard that is 6.5” wide.




  
Step 2:  Sew the 6.5” wide (ABCD) unit to the bottom of the 6.5” feature block of your choice made in the previous steps of this pattern. For the Sleeves, sew the (E) rectangles to the 2 (AB) units @ 2.5” wide.



Step 3:  To complete the Sleeves, draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of the (F) rectangles, place them on the ends of the (F) rectangles and sew along the diagonal. Trim ¼” seam and press open. Sew this (FG) unit to the sleeve unit made in the previous step.





Step 4:  Sew the Sleeves onto the sides of the feature block unit. Sew the (H) rectangle on top. Draw a diagonal line across the wrong side of the (K) squares and place them on the corners. Sew along the diagonal lines, as shown in red.  Trim a 1/4" seam and press open.




Step 5:  Sew the (L) and (M) rectangles together to make the collar and sew on top to finish the block.



Don't forget!!! You can use the cut off corners when following the shoulder instructions in Step #4 to make these bonus 2.5" half square triangles! I cut first and then sew along the cut edge to make mine. But you could also sew a seam 1/2" away from your diagonal seam at the same time. And then cut between the two seams.





You can click here to go to the Ugly Christmas Sweaters Quilt Along page for all the details. On that page you will find the layouts and quilt sizes and also see the full schedule.




A quilt along is always more fun than quilting alone.
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Then grab a button below and share it on your blog!



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It is not necessary to purchase the pattern in order to participate.  But if you would prefer the convenience of using a printable pdf pattern, Ugly Christmas Sweaters is available for purchase and includes complete cutting instructions and a detailed guide to finishing the entire quilt in any of the four different sizes listed.  The pattern is available in my PayHip pattern store here.






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Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in my posts are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in my posts are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

This is a personal blog written and edited by Lorna McMahon. This blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship and contains affiliate links. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. I appreciate your support, which enables me to maintain the content of Sew Fresh Quilts. For questions about this blog, please contact me at sewfreshquilts [at] gmail.com.