Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Hold the Pickle Quilt Block Tutorial

As I promised last week here’s my quick and cheap tutorial for the Hold the Pickle block.

The block is effectively a  Pickle Dish Variation variation and once I modified it to remove the Drunkards Path units it lost its dish shape. I’ve named the quilt I’m making already as my Hold the Pickle Quilt, thus these are Hold the Pickle blocks.

I’ve given myself some parameters for fabric choices that you can ignore completely for your version. I’ve decided that I’m trying to achieve a sweet and pretty vintage effect so I’m using pastels for the backgrounds (B1 and B2) for the simple quarter log cabin units (not sure what to call these bits), low-volume prints as background for the star sections (B3) and checks, dots, and small scale florals for the focus prints in the centre (F). Star points are S. That’s what you’ll see in the photos.

I’m also using a tri-recs ruler these days to cut the fabric for the triangle in a square unit but I started out doing them as paper-pieced. You can find a pdf here from Generations Quilt Patterns for paper-piecing templates and paper-piecing cutting templates.

For this block we make 3 inch finished units.

So now that we’ve all got our templates ready we can start cutting.


For the triangle-in-a-square units, start with strips of your chosen fabric (S and B3) wide enough to fit your templates on and cut 8 star points and 4 background triangles. 

Cut two 3 ½” squares from the B3 fabric.

From the B1 and B2 backgrounds cut one each
          3 ½” square
          3 ½” x 6 ½” rectangle

From the F fabrics cut a total of four 3 ½” squares


This part’s pretty easy.

(Notice how suddenly my fabrics have gone all wrinkly? That’s because a gust of wind blew them all over the garden and I had to chase them and grab them quickly in my sweaty little hand. Thoroughly annoyed I took the photo ANYWAY. Notice also that I have the far left star point section upside down - don't do that.)

Sew the B1 and B2 squares to two F squares, then attach the B1 and B2 rectangles to make the quarter log cabin units.

Lay out the star points S around the B3 triangles to make sure you’ve got everything lined up okay and then stitch together.

Arrange the different bits to make sure everything’s pointing in the right direction. Sew together two triangle-in-a-square units to the two B3 squares and two triangle-in-a-square units to two F squares (black arrows). Sew these two sections together (red arrows).

Sew the sections together like a four patch and *ta-da!* one block done! The block is 12" finished.

I hope this all makes sense to you. If you have any questions or need some clarification, please comment and I’ll endeavor to fix it.

I’ll be linking this up to Cheryl’s (Meadow Mist Designs) and Yvonne’s (Quilting Jetgirl) new quarterly tutorial link up.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Making Progress #1

I have made a start and finished the flimsy for my Regatta Quilt Along project. The QAL is being held by Roseanne over at Home Sewn By Us. This is a Quilt Along with a start date but no set finish so you can pick it up whenever you like. I need a seaside inspired cushion for my front lounge room and this is the perfect design (front lounge sounds very formal but it functions more as a casual neat (rarely used) study slash storage room than lounge since it has only one over-sized lounge chair in it, a desk and lots of shelves). I downsized the pattern by making the strips only 1 inch wide finished and reducing the number. I love the stripe variation this pattern gives. The free pattern is by Block M Quilts and is available here.

Modern Plus Sign Quilts book, co-authored by Paige from Quilted Blooms and Cheryl from Meadow Mist Designs is out NOW(!!!) and I can show you a smidge of what I’m working on for an upcoming blog hop. Yep, it’s got plus sign blocks in it. I love them! And if you do too, you should definitely check the book out.

I have made another two Hold the Pickle Quilt blocks. 

I’ve had a bit of interest in these blocks and I’m in the process of writing a tutorial. I’ll be posting that next week.

I’ve included a photo of the pattern for my latest knitting project to avoid confusion ;-). So far the shaping (I think it’s the rabbit’s stomach) is looking very suspect and I think by the time I come to knit the head and nose area it should be hilarious. I’ll keep you updated. My aim is to finish this by Easter which should be very do-able even for someone who knits as little as I do. The pattern is available for free here and uses DK yarn.

And finally. I have a product recommendation for you if you come across fabric that bleeds. This stuff, Retayne, really works. I had some dark purple good quality well-known brand solid that was bleeding like a haemophiliac (yes, I’m a confirmed pre-washer). I was thinking I was never going to be able to use it until I came across this product – it really works wonders! In Australia I bought it from Punch with Judy. You can buy it from a lot of on-line stores but you can’t post it internationally, well not to Australia anyway. Perhaps it’s explosive.

Happy sewing

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

January 2018 Bee Block Round-up

I’ve stayed with both my bees from last year again. I really enjoy the variety of sewing challenges being in a bee brings every month. All my other bee mates from Bee Inspired have stayed on in the group and Sharon at Yellow Cat Quilt Designs has started us off in January with the Blossom Hearts Quilts Bee Hive version of the Quatrefoil block. This one is designed by Clover and Violet. Sharon is making a quilt for Project Linus and asked for pink, green and blue with a white background. I love the way this block turned out and wanted to keep it, it’s so sweet.

I have changed hives this year in Stash Bee. Diana (@reddeliciouslife) has organized everyone into hives based on preferred communication platform, either Instagram, Facebook or blog and email, and it is working out superbly. I have gotten to know my fellow bee mates quickly, although I already knew Jen from last year (@jentexas06), Velda (Freckled Fox Quiltery) from 2016 New Quilt Bloggers Hop and the Bee Inspired group and Jan (Cocoa Quilts) from the 2017 New Quilt Bloggers Hop. Everyone seems right friendly.

Hive Mama Cyndi (@thegrinch1964) chose the Sparklers Quilt block from Jedi Craft Girl in shades of pink, navy and grey on a low volume background. I made two blocks because I put the first one in the post without adding a stamp (forehead slap) and I’m not 100% sure it will ever make it across to her.

I’m participating in the 2018 Monthly Color Challenge with Jen over at Patterns by Jen this year. All the details are here. Jen and Jen from Dizzy Quilter are both designing blocks for a sampler quilt but you can link anything in the colour of the month. I’ve decided to make simple 16 patch blocks. The upcoming colours are listed in advance here and Jen at Dizzy Quilter has colour coded her list. I used my snipping tool to turn it into a picture and sent it to my phone for quick and easy reference. I’ll be linking up for the end of month check in.

What about you? Have you joined any of the many QALs or bees?

Happy sewing