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WIP Wednesday: Grumpy

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
Okay, feeling a little crabby over here this morning. It’s been one of those weeks when there have been too many distractions and not enough sewing. I’m behind on my SewOff skirt, behind on another quilt commitment, and I’m not going to Quilt Market. Hmmmph.

Well, I’ll probably get over it. Eventually. Honestly, I’m kind of glad/not glad that I’m not going to Market. Because I do love Market, but there’s so much hassle that goes along with getting there. I’ll just need to remind myself of that frequently when the Instagram pictures start pouring in. LOL.

Anyway. What am I working on this week? Or maybe the more apt question is what should I be working on this week, but for one reason or another am not? Sigh.

Let’s start with this: The Fair Isle Sew-Along kicks off tomorrow! Yay! And it seems like a whole lot of you are joining in! Super excited to get started and can’t wait to see how my new version turns out with the red background. (It’s not too late to join us! Click here to pick up the pattern and you can be cutting with the rest of us tomorrow!)

Sew-Off skirt? Well, I started it. I’m loving how it looks so far, but just wish I would have gotten farther on it. (And taken a picture of it while it was still daylight out—sorry for the crummy lighting!)

Quilts? I’m working on one right now. Let’s just leave it at that. : )

This WIP Wednesday has been brought to you by the one-and-only Fat Quarter Shop. Who doesn’t love the Fat Quarter Shop? It was one of the first places I bought quilt fabric and it’s still one of my favorite online shopping stops, 7-plus years later. They’ve got everything, my friends. Everything. So go show them some WIP Wednesday love.

Giveaway: The Fat Quarter Shop wants to send you this fat-quarter bundle from Frances Newcombe’s new Utopia line from Art Gallery Fabrics! And it’s a good thing they’re not sending it to me first, because I might drool on it before I put it in the mail to the winner. Just comment on this post for one chance to win, and/or link up your WIPs below for a second chance. Good luck!

I can’t wait to see what YOU’RE working on this week! Here’s how to link up:
1. Link up any blog post or Instagram photo from the past week that features an unfinished work-in-progress (WIP).
2. To link an Instagram photo, click the Instagram icon at the bottom of the link-up screen, and use the URL of your IG feed as the link (for example, my URL is www.instagram.com/freshlypieced). Please hashtag #wipwednesday and mention me, @freshlypieced.
3. If you are linking to a blog post, please link back here to my blog somewhere in your post.
4. Comment on at least a few of the other WIP Wednesday links, either IG or blog—commenting on the two or three links directly before yours works well to make sure everyone gets comments!

 

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Fair Isle Sew Along Starts Oct. 23

It’s official: I will be starting my Fair Isle quilt pattern sew-along beginning Oct. 23! We all just need a little motivation to finish a project like this by Christmas, right? Well, join up with the sew-along and let’s knock this one out together. : )

So we’ll kick things off next Thursday, and then I’ll be posting about it each Thursday after that until we finish the quilt.
Schedule:
Nov. 6: Make the Fir Tree Blocks
Nov. 13: Make the Reindeer Blocks
Nov. 20: Make the Red Zig-Zag Rows
Nov. 27: Make the Pink Checkerboard Row (this is Thanksgiving, so I tried to pick the easiest section for this week)
Dec. 4: Assemble the quilt top and make the back
Dec. 11: Baste, quilt, and bind
Just eight weeks to a completed Christmas quilt! I’ve even given you a couple of weeks before Christmas to just enjoy it. (Or catch up if you’re behind.) Of course, the idea is to have fun and enjoy this, so don’t feel too much pressure to keep up! It is the holidays after all, so give yourself a break here and there.
The first thing you’ll need for the sew-along is, of course, the Fair Isle pattern. You can order a PDF version here or a hard-copy paper version here.
Got the pattern? Awesome. Now just gather up your fabric and you’ll be ready for next Thursday!
 
Yardage requirements:
• 4 yards white solid (background)
• 1-1/3 yards poppy red solid (Kona Poppy is a great choice)
• 7/8 yard Flamingo Pink solid (I used Free Spirit Designer Solids in Flamingo, but Kona solids in Punch or Melon would be great choices too)
• 3/4 yard chartreuse solid (I used Free Spirit Designer Solids in Chartreuse, but Kona Chartreuse would be wonderful as well)
• 5/8 yard fabric for binding
• 4-3/8 yards fabric for backing
The color choices above are to make the quilt in the color scheme I originally used, but I could see this quilt in plenty of other colorways as well. In fact, for my sew-along Fair Isle, I think I’m going to do a red background, and the design elements will be white, light gray, and maybe pale blue. Fun!
Pattern Update
One final note: Some of you who bought your pattern soon after its release should have received an email telling you that the pattern has been updated, and to please download it again. Please take a moment to download the new version and discard any older versions you may have. I made several changes to the pattern—in one of the diagrams under “Make the Red Zig-Zag blocks,” the colors were inadvertently reversed, so I fixed that. There were also two cut pieces that were left out of the cutting instructions, so those were added. And since I was making changes to the file, I decided to tweak the layout so that the PDF page sizes were larger, allowing me to make the quilt top assembly diagram larger as well. I apologize for any confusion, but I hope you’ll find the PDF pattern easier to follow now that I’ve made all of these tweaks!
If you bought your pattern prior to Sept. 26 and did not receive an email asking you to download it again, feel free to contact me and I can get you a link to download it. (If you bought your pattern before Sept. 26 but you haven’t yet attempted to download it, you’re fine—when you’re ready to download it, just use the link originally emailed to you, and you will automatically get the most recent version. And anyone who purchased after Sept. 26 already has the most updated version.)
Thanks all! See you next Thursday for cutting, cutting, and more cutting!
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Chandelier Quilt

 I know lots of you have been looking forward to this, and I sure have too—today’s the day that my Chandelier Quilt-Along starts on the Bernina blog, We All Sew!
I really love this quilt and am so happy with how it turned out. And I promise it’s easier than it looks. : ) It uses the Emmy Grace fabric line by Bari J., which is a beautiful line that I enjoyed using (and it just happens to be on sale at The Intrepid Thread!). This quilt has a lot of half-square triangles and the square-in-square piecing technique, but I’ve got a few tips to make that easier. And all the instructions are completely free on the Bernina blog!
Here’s the schedule:
Oct. 20 – Making the blocks
Oct. 27 – Assemble the quilt top and quilting
I’ve also got a really fun and easy technique for getting the scallop quilting I used on this quilt—no free-motion required! So follow along over on We All Sew, and have a wonderful Monday!
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WIP Wednesday: Convergence

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
Happy Wednesday! Here’s what’s happening in my studio this week.

I’ve been putting the finishing touches on my next We All Sew project for Bernina’s blog—a quilt-along using Bari J.’s lovely Emmy Grace fabric line.

You know, sometimes a fabric line and a quilt design converge in the best possible way, so that each compliments the other perfectly, and I think this is one of those times. I can’t wait to unveil the completed quilt. I’ll be posting the full pattern in three installments over on We All Sew, starting next Monday. I hope you’ll follow along and make this beauty!

And my first Sew-Off garment is coming along nicely! (Click here to read about the clothing-making challenge I’m doing with my friend Jemellia during the month of October.) My Tiny Pocket Tank is almost done, I just have to add the binding to the neck and armholes (which admittedly might be the trickiest part). So far, I think I really like it. But I’m reserving judgment until that binding is on!

Today’s WIP Wednesday is brought to you by Stash Modern Fabrics. Stash is currently having a Flash Sale of 20% off all Moda fabric, through Oct. 9, and Lizzie House’s Pearl Bracelets (one of my all-time favorite blenders) is 20% off all month long. And for the entire month of October, Stash is accepting orders for quarter-yards! How awesome is that? Very few shops offer the ability to order less than 1/2 yards. Plus free shipping still applies on orders over $50, so hop over to Stash to take advantage of some great deals.

I can’t wait to see what YOU’RE working on this week! Here’s how to link up:
1. Link up any blog post or Instagram photo from the past week that features an unfinished work-in-progress (WIP).
2. To link an Instagram photo, click the Instagram icon at the bottom of the link-up screen, and use the URL of your IG feed as the link (for example, my URL is www.instagram.com/freshlypieced). Please hashtag #wipwednesday and mention me, @freshlypieced.
3. If you are linking to a blog post, please link back here to my blog somewhere in your post.
4. Comment on at least a few of the other WIP Wednesday links, either IG or blog—commenting on the two or three links directly before yours works well to make sure everyone gets comments!
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WIP Wednesday: A Solid Plan

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
Whew, for the first time in weeks, I’m finally feeling relief from a hundred deadlines breathing down my neck. In fact, I might actually be getting caught up. Maybe. Knock on wood.

This week, I spent some time planning my Modern Solids Challenge quilt, using Denyse Schmidt’s Modern Solids for Free Spirit.

After a lot of hemming and hawing about my design, I’ve finally got a plan and I’ve started cutting fabric. More on my Modern Solids Challenge quilt tomorrow!

My Flower Power quilt in Heather Ross’s Far Far Away 2 fabric line is coming along nicely. This quilt has been promised to my 5-year-old, but as I said on Instagram, I am mighty tempted to steal it away from her! Hop over to my guest post yesterday on Sara’s blog, Sew Sweetness, for more details about this quilt, which is from the book A Quilter’s Mixology by Angela Pingel.

And finally, I’m thinking about doing a sew-along for my newest pattern, Fair Isle. What say you, blog peeps, any interest? Would that motivate you to finish it in time for Christmas? : ) At any rate, today is the last day the Fair Isle pattern is on sale! Tomorrow it goes up to its usual price of $7.99 for the PDF pattern (hard-copy patterns are coming soon). So if you’re interested in a potential sew-along, don’t miss out!

Today’s WIP Wednesday is sponsored by Cuts of Cotton. Be sure to check out Cuts of Cotton’s amazing Bundles page! They’ve got a super fun Halloween bundle here, Elizabeth Hartman’s new seasonal Kona Solids bundles (Summer, Autumn, and Winter—all so yummy), and much more! And did you know that Cuts of Cotton is now on Instagram? Follow them @cutsofcotton.

20% OFF COUPON CODE: Cuts of Cotton owner Emily was kind enough to share a 20% off discount with all my readers, now through Sunday, Sept. 21! Just head over to Cuts of Cotton and enter code “pieced” at checkout to get a bargain on all those fabulous bundles. Now go show Cuts of Cotton the love for helping make WIP Wednesday possible!

And now, what are you working on this week? Here’s how to link up:
1. Link up any blog post or Instagram photo from the past week that features an unfinished work-in-progress (WIP).
2. To link an Instagram photo, click the Instagram icon at the bottom of the link-up screen, and use the URL of your IG feed as the link (for example, my URL is www.instagram.com/freshlypieced). Please hashtag #wipwednesday and mention me, @freshlypieced.
3. If you are linking to a blog post, please link back here to my blog somewhere in your post.
4. Comment on at least a few of the other WIP Wednesday links, either IG or blog—commenting on the two or three links directly before yours works well to make sure everyone gets comments!
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Vintage Quilt Revival Block-Along, Coming Soon!

Vintage Quilt Revival Block Along

Happy new year! I have an exciting announcement this morning: My friend Sukie of Don’t You Know Who I Am is hosting a Vintage Quilt Revival Block-Along!

Sukie’s going to do all 20 blocks from Vintage Quilt Revival —she’ll be doing 2 blocks a week starting Jan. 21. You can make all the blocks for a sampler, make just one or two for a smaller project, or anything in between. There will be a linky party for each block, so you can link up your own version. There might even be some prizes in the offing. Knowing Sukie, probably several of them, in fact. : )

Sound like fun? Head over here to read more about it, grab a button, etc. Then buy your copy of the book, if you haven’t already!

Oh, and you really should know who Sukie is, if you don’t already, since she’s hosting what promises to be 2014’s most rockin’ sewing party/retreat. Sewtopia will be held Nov. 6-9, 2014, in Salt Lake City. My fingers are crossed that I’ll be able to make it! Click here for more details.

Have a wonderful 2014! Oh, and … Go Michigan State, 2014 Rose Bowl champions!! (Sorry, couldn’t help myself.)

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Bloom Bloom Pow: Finished Quilt!

It’s time! Time to finish your Bloom Bloom Pow quilt and show it off! : )
Bloom Bloom Pow - doneI’m so pleased with how this quilt turned out! It really did come out exactly how I pictured it. That doesn’t happen all that often. : )
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And I want to thank everyone who quilted along with me! It made it even more fun than it would have been. And I am SO very impressed with the Bloom Bloom Pow quilts you guys have come up with! Here are just a few of the gorgeous quilts that have popped up in my Flickr group recently:
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Butterfly Bloom Bloom Pow!
Top done
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Top is pieced

Close up of my quilt

As always, I love seeing how a pattern of mine served as a jumping off point for others’ creativity. : )

Thank you again for making this quilt-along so much fun. Enjoy your Bloom Bloom Pow quilts!

Quilt-Along Posts:

 

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Bloom Bloom Pow: Almost There!

I can’t believe we’re already on the last step of the BBP quilt-along. It went crazy fast, didn’t it? But that means it’s time to quilt! You’ll have a finished BBP in no time!

The first step is trimming the excess from the edges in order to square up the top.
Bloom Bloom Pow: Quilting and finishing

To do this, I took my longest ruler (24″) and lined it up along the edge of each block. I just made sure the edge of the ruler intersected with the narrowest point of each block along the edge of the quilt, while the bottom raw edge of the quilt top remained perpendicular to the edge I was trimming (as shown). If your piecing was accurate, this method should give you a nice square quilt top, but you will probably want to square up again after quilting either way.

Once the top is trimmed, it’s time to make your quilt back. This is a great opportunity to use some of the scraps from your Bloom Bloom Pow bundle! (Although I think the Pearl Bracelet prints are great scrappy additions to other projects as well, so they might be worth saving and stashing for future use.)

Bloom Bloom Pow triangle cutting
You could also incorporate into the back any extra blocks you may have made, or maybe even the zig-zaggy waste scraps that were created when you cut out your triangles (shown above). They would probably have to be appliqued onto the back, but it is an option for the really ambitious. : )

Now you’re ready to baste and quilt.

Bloom Bloom Pow: Quilting and finishing
When it comes to quilting a top made up entirely of triangles, I don’t think anything can beat the look of straight-line quilting that follows the angles created by the triangle seams. And with the busyness of the piecing in this design, I thought simpler would be best. So I quilted straight lines about a quarter-inch out from each side of the triangle seams—just like I did with my triangle baby quilt a few months back.

Bloom Bloom Pow: Quilting and finishing
For straight-line quilting, you’ll want a walking foot, and I think the quilting gloves normally used for free-motion quilting are very helpful for straight lines as well. Straight lines also require a good grasp on the quilt, and the gloves make that a lot more comfortable!

Bloom Bloom Pow: Quilting and finishing

I started by quilting along the horizontal seams created when the rows were joined. Roll each side of your quilt up toward the center, so that you can start quilting in the center and work your way out toward each edge.

Bloom Bloom Pow: Quilting and finishing

Once you’re done with those horizontal rows, quilting from the center out isn’t quite as important, since you already have evenly distributed quilting that holds all the layers in place. So when quilting the angled seams, roll the quilt from one corner, following the angle you’ll be sewing. Re-roll the quilt each time you start a new seam.

Bloom Bloom Pow: Quilting and finishing
From the back, this quilting makes a very cool hexagon/honeycomb pattern.

If you like a more densely-quilted look, another option can be found today on Lady Harvatine’s blog. She’s currently running her own Log Pyramid quilt-along and is showing another great way to echo the triangle piecing, which would work just as well for Bloom Bloom Pow as it does for her Log Pyramid design. Check it out!

The final step, of course, is to bind. I haven’t made it that far yet, but I’m currently trying to decide between a scrappy binding (made up of my Pearl Bracelet leftovers), or white to match the background.

Bloom Bloom Pow: Quilting and finishing

Next week I’m going to do one final round-up post, featuring a few pictures of some finished Bloom Bloom Pows from the quilt-along, and a linky so that you can explore all of each others’ creations! That will be next week, Thursday, May 9—and no, you don’t have to have a finished quilt to link up. Feel free to link up whatever stage of completion you’ve reached by then. Or wait and link up later, whenever your quilt is done. Whatevs, it’s your call! And hopefully I’ll have better, completely finished shots of my quilt by that time. It’s another windy, gray day around here today, not at all conducive to quilt photo shoots, but maybe springtime will make it’s return by linky day. : )

And thank you, everyone, for quilting along with me, it’s been so much fun! Can’t wait to see all of your finished (or almost finished) quilts next week!

Quilt-Along Schedule
March 28Design strategy (we’ll just be talking about the big picture here, so you won’t need your fabric yet for this post)
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Bloom Bloom Pow: Finishing the Top

Welcome back to the Bloom Bloom Pow Quilt-Along! Today’s an exciting day, because we’re going to take all those triangles we cut last time and sew them together into a finished quilt top! You’ll finally get to see some results after all this work, which is always a good moment. : )

 

Bloom Bloom Pow Triangle Piecing

The very first thing we’re going to do is sew like-colored triangles together into groups of three. We’re going to do this before we worry about our layout, which is unusual, of course. But like colors will be together in the final quilt layout anyway, so by piecing them into groups of three first, we’ll have fewer pieces to worry about when we put the quilt up on the design board (or down on the design floor, in my case).
Piecing equilateral triangles really isn’t hard once you get the hang of it, and if you know a few tricks, which fortunately I’m about to share with you today. : ) So grab a group of three same-colored triangles and let’s jump right in.
Piecing the half-hexagons:
IMG_21Bloom Bloom Pow Triangle Piecing00
1. Arrange the three triangles so that the darker “petals” radiate out like spokes, as shown.
Bloom Bloom Pow Triangle Piecing
2. Working from left to right, pair up the triangle on the far left with the middle triangle, right sides together, as shown. Just line up these first two triangles neatly, corners matched.

Bloom Bloom Pow Triangle Piecing

Any time you’re matching up a pointed corner with a notched corner, it should look like the picture above. The sides of the pieces should still line up—the pointed corner should just look like a continuation of the notched corner.
Bloom Bloom Pow Triangle Piecing
3. Sew a 1/4″ seam along the right-hand side of the matched-up triangles, as shown.
Bloom Bloom Pow Triangle Piecing
4. Press seam allowances open. Now it should look like this. You’ve sewn your first two triangles together!
Bloom Bloom Pow Triangle Piecing
Hey, see these little triangles that are sticking out, now that you’ve sewn the first seam? They’re called dog ears. Don’t trim them off! I know it’s tempting, but you’re going to use them as a guide when you add the next triangle.
Bloom Bloom Pow Triangle Piecing
5. Next, add the third triangle by laying it on top of the middle triangle, right sides together, as shown. You’re going to line up the bottom corner of this triangle with that lower dog ear.
Bloom Bloom Pow Triangle Piecing
6. Sew a 1/4″ seam along that right-hand side, just like we did for the first seam. If everything was cut and aligned correctly, your 1/4″ seam should go right through the intersection where the dog ear meets the straight edge of the first triangle, as shown above. See that? If your seam hits right at that sweet spot, your triangles will line up perfectly. (If your seam didn’t quite make it to that spot, no worries. This is actually a pretty forgiving block, since there are so few seams that actually need to line up. Close enough is good enough!)
Bloom Bloom Pow Triangle Piecing
7. You should now have a half-hexagon that looks very much like this. These half-hexagons will be sewn together in straight horizontal rows to make up the quilt top. So whatever you do, do not piece these triangles together into full hexagon groups of 6! You’ll make things a whole lot harder on yourself if you do—half-hexagons allow you to piece the top together in rows, while making full hexagons would require Y seams. Nobody wants that. LOL.

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So just keep sewing those triangles together into groups of three until all the triangles have been turned into half-hexagons. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to actually lay out your quilt top!
Piecing the rows:
Bloom Bloom Pow: Piecing the Triangles
This is the fun part! You’re going to take all those half-hexagons and come up with a final layout. This part is really up to you—if you’re using Pearl Bracelets, you can follow my color scheme above, or you can do your own thing. It’s up to you!
Whatever you do, here are a few guidelines for deciding on a layout:- There’s no wrong answer! Much like the light and dark value/color pairings that you decided on earlier in the quilt-along, this part of the quilt-along is entirely personal preference. The ideal layout is the one that you like. : )
– I tried to distribute light/dark values and warm/cool colors as evenly as possible across the quilt. I also tried to keep like colors from touching each other. That’s not always possible, but I tried my best!
– Take a picture and convert it to black and white to check value placement—much like we did in the design strategy post when we were deciding on our light/dark value pairings. Darker and lighter blocks should be scattered evenly across the quilt top.
1. Once you’re satisfied with your layout, it’s time to sew the top together! (You might want to snap a picture of your layout before you start, just in case the layout gets mixed up, your dog walks across it, etc.) You’re going to work your way across the quilt, piecing straight horizontal rows.
Bloom Bloom Pow: Piecing the Triangles
2. To piece two half-hexagons together horizontally, it works very much the same way as piecing the triangles did earlier. Grab your first two half-hexies from the top row.

Bloom Bloom Pow: Piecing the Triangles
3. Lay them out, right sides together, along the seam to be sewn, as shown. Again, align the corners of the triangles and sew a 1/4″ seam along the raw edges (where the pins are in the photo above).

 

Bloom Bloom Pow: Piecing the Triangles
Again, your seam should hit right where the straight triangle edge meets the dog ear. Sometimes, if you’re dealing with a notched triangle edge (as is the case in the photo above), there won’t be two dog ears to line up, but it still should be fairly obvious where the dog ear would have been if it weren’t for that notch. That spot is where the seam should go through.

 

Bloom Bloom Pow: Piecing the Triangles
4. The pair of pieced half-hexagons should look something like this when you’re done. Keep on piecing those half-hexagons together to create the horizontal rows.

 

Putting the rows together

Bloom Bloom Pow: Sewing the rows together

Now that your rows are pieced, all you have to do is put the horizontal rows together to create the top.

 

Bloom Bloom Pow: Sewing the rows together

1. Put two rows together, raw edges aligned, right sides together. When the two rows are neatly lined up, I pull back the top layer just a bit at each place where seams come together in a point, as shown above. I do this to make sure points are matched up, as shown above. Ideally, you want your points to touch, and when you sew the seam, your seam should go right through the point. Pin right through the points when everything is lined up the way you want it.

 

Bloom Bloom Pow: Sewing the rows together

2. I highly recommend using a walking foot or dual-feed foot to sew your rows together. There are two reasons for this. One is that you’ll find there is a lot of seam bulk in certain spots along the rows, so a walking foot or dual-feed foot will help you get over that bulk. The other reason is that a walking foot doesn’t push the fabric as you sew, which makes it easier to force seams to line up in certain places along a long seam like this. I have the quarter-inch dual-feed foot for my Janome 7700 and use it for piecing in situations like this all the time. Another hint is to leave the pins in place as you are sewing, taking them out at the last minute (or don’t take them out at all—I sew right over pins and have never had a problem with it).

 

And that’s it! Keep sewing those rows together until you have a completed top. Next week, I’ll show you how to trim the top so that it has straight edges, and we’ll talk about different quilting, finishing, and binding options. And that’s it for this QA! I can hardly believe we’re already almost done already!

 

It’s been so much fun quilting along with you lovely people, and I can’t wait to see all of your finished creations. In fact, I’m planning to feature some of your projects here on my blog—I may run photos of finished tops and quilts, or I’ll host a linky so that people can show off their work and check out others’. I haven’t decided exactly how to do it just yet, so if you have any thoughts, please share! In the meantime, enjoy piecing your triangles, and I can’t wait to see you all back here next week for the final QA post! : )

 

Quilt-Along Schedule
March 28Design strategy (we’ll just be talking about the big picture here, so you won’t need your fabric yet for this post)
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Bloom Bloom Pow: Cutting the Triangles

Aaaand we’re back to the Bloom Bloom Pow quilt-along—it’s time to cut your triangles!

Bloom Bloom Pow blocks
This is the fun part (I think). : )

First, you will need either a 60-degree equilateral triangle ruler or this template. I highly recommend investing in a ruler—any 60-degree triangle ruler with finished triangles up to 7″ and a vertical center line will work (but I love this one right here). You’ll be cutting a lot of these triangles, so if you use the template, edges may get shaved off as you cut, eventually distorting the triangle shape. And I promise you will use a triangle ruler for plenty of other things, not just this quilt-along! Triangle quilts are very popular right now, after all. So think about picking up a ruler before you start.

If you are going to use the template, click here to download the template. Download it to your computer from Google Docs before you print it. Open the file in Adobe Acrobat and print out the template with no scaling. (Make sure “Actual size” is checked or “Fit to Page” is unchecked, or set scaling to 100%—and don’t print the PDF directly from Google Docs, as the size may not print accurately). Cut out the printed template and adhere it to cardboard, or trace it onto template plastic and cut out the template plastic. (One advantage of template plastic—and, of course, a ruler—is that it is transparent, which will come into play in just a moment when we start cutting.)

Bloom Bloom Pow - Piecing
Okay, now we’re ready to start cutting! Get out one of your pieced blocks.

Bloom Bloom Pow triangle cutting
Place your ruler or template on the far right side of the block, as shown above.
• The 7″ mark of your ruler (or the bottom edge of your template) should be aligned with the bottom raw edge of the block.
• The center vertical line that goes down the middle of the triangle ruler or template should be aligned with the vertical seam in the block—a colored background piece should be to the left of that center line, and a white piece should be to the right of the line. (This is where a transparent template, such as a ruler or template plastic, becomes very helpful!)
• As you can see from the photo above, the tip of your triangle ruler or template does not need to touch the darker petal strip at the top of the block.

Bloom Bloom Pow triangle cutting
Now take a deep breath and cut around your ruler or template. : ) Yes, it’s an awkward angle for cutting, but there’s really no way around that. You can always turn the whole thing (both the pieced block and your ruler or template) in whatever direction works best for you.

Bloom Bloom Pow triangle cutting
When you’re done cutting that first triangle, simply turn your ruler or template upside down and move it to the left, to the next vertical seam over. Place the ruler or template on the fabric, this time aligning the 7″ mark on your triangle ruler with the top raw edge of the block, and the center vertical line on the ruler or template with the vertical seam.

Bloom Bloom Pow triangle cutting

And turn your ruler/template over again to cut the third triangle. Continue in this way, working your way across the strip-pieced block, from right to left. From a full pieced block (made from 25″ strips), you should be able to cut 6 triangles (which together will make one full Bloom Bloom Pow block).

Bloom Bloom Pow - cutting the triangles

One thing to note—see that little notch cut out of the lower right corner of the triangle behind the ruler? You will get that as you cut these triangles—but don’t worry, that little notch is completely fine. As long as it’s not much bigger than what you see in the photo above, the notch will be caught in your seam allowances later and you’ll never even know that it’s there. It’s similar to the tip of the triangle being cut off on the ruler. No worries!

Bloom Bloom Pow: Cutting the triangles
But this is something to worry about. As you’re cutting your triangles, do NOT continue the cut straight across the block and off the other edge. Go completely around the ruler or template with no excess cuts, as I did in the orange blocks above. I didn’t do that in the picture of the blue block here, and you can see that the results are problematic! If you cut them that way, when you turn the ruler around and try to cut the next triangle, you will end up with a big chunk missing from a lower corner of the triangle (as shown in the photo above). Which means you won’t get enough triangles out of your block sets.

Bloom Bloom Pow triangle cutting
If you have the shorter fat-quarter-friendly pieced blocks, the cutting works the same way, except that you will only get three triangles from each pieced block instead of 6. As you can see, once again you’ll get a bit of a notch cut out of the lower left corners of some of the triangles you’re cutting. This is fine—the notch will be caught in the seam allowances later.

I think that’s it! From each full block set, cut 6 triangles, and from each shorter block set, cut three triangles. Be sure to keep your triangle sets together and organized, since they’ll be sewn together into blocks next week. So exciting! Be back here same time next week. : )

And don’t forget, you can post pictures of your progress and check out everybody else’s Bloom Bloom Pow quilts in my Flickr group! It’s a big part of the fun of a quilt-along, so get over there! : )

Quilt-Along Schedule
March 28Design strategy (we’ll just be talking about the big picture here, so you won’t need your fabric yet for this post)