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Summer Sampler 2016 Block 3: Snow Cone

It’s week 3 of Summer Sampler 2016! This week we’re tackling curved piecing with the adorable Snow Cone block by Nicole Daksiewicz of Modern Handcraft.

First, I just want to give a shout-out to everyone doing the SS16 quilt-along, especially all the beginners! We have many people in the Summer Sampler 2016 Facebook group (open to Summer Sampler 2016 subscribers only) who have never done curved piecing before, and you guys are killing it! It does my heart good to see all of these people bravely taking on new skills and learning as they go. If that sounds like something you would like to do, there’s still time to join! New subscribers get immediate access to all three of the blocks that have been released so far, and then will receive all the future blocks each Monday along with everyone else. : ) Click here to subscribe!

At any rate, here’s my snow cone (and the rest of the blocks we’ve made so far). I think it must be lime flavor. : ) When I finished sewing this, I wanted a Slurpee, for real.

My tips this week:  

Don’t forget to print your templates from the PDF at 100% size, no scaling! This is something I’m constantly warning people about, and wouldn’t you know it, I made that very mistake on this block. (Fortunately, it’s easy to compensate with this block by just cutting the border pieces a bit larger.)

And if you’re new to curved piecing, check out this video by Angela Pingel. This is probably the best video I’ve seen showing how to sew a Drunkard’s Path block (which is essentially what the top of the snow cone is in this block).

I’m really enjoying seeing everyone’s progress! Don’t forget to check out #summersampler2016 on Instagram to see the twists other people have put on their blocks.

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Accurate Curved Piecing: A Video and a Giveaway

If curved piecing worries you (and let’s face it, it worries everybody), what you just might need is for somebody to talk you through it. And who better to talk you through curved piecing than Angela Pingel, author of the book A Quilter’s Mixology?

Angela has a new video class out from Interweave Publishing, “Sewing Techniques for Accurate Curved Piecing,” that will help you tackle those curves. Angela makes curved piecing feel remarkably easy with her helpful explanations and techniques, so she’ll have you piecing gorgeous curves in no time at all.

Cutting the fabric, pinning the pieces, sewing the units and trimming them are all covered in this video. I love Angela’s one-pin curve-sewing method from A Quilter’s Mixology, so it was great to be able to see that method demonstrated so clearly. And the hints Angela gives for making the curve-piecing process both faster and more accurate are invaluable.

Angela’s book focuses entirely on Drunkard’s Path blocks, so I was pleasantly surprised to see that her video class covers not only Drunkard’s Path units, but many other types of curved units as well. Among the units Angela teaches in this video are apple core and clamshell designs—both of which I’ve long had on my quilting bucket list for a long time.

Angela even covers improvisational curves and shows off a curved-block sampler at the end of the video. It’s really amazing how much this video covers, and it’s so fun and inspiring to see how versatile curved piecing truly is.

You can hop over to the Interweave store to purchase Angela’s video—it’s available as a download or on hard-copy DVD. I hope you’ll check it out, along with the other stops on the Curved Piecing blog hop!

 

Feb 1: Lynne Goldsworthy http://lilysquilts.blogspot.com/
Feb 5: Lee Heinrich http://www.freshlypieced.com/
And guess what: Angela and Interweave are giving away a copy of the DVD to one lucky winner. This giveaway is open to USA readers only. To enter to win a copy, leave a comment on this post. I’ll draw a winner next week. Good luck! This giveaway is now closed.
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A Quilter’s Mixology: My Flower Power Quilt

Hey there! I’m posting over at Sew Sweetness today as part of the Quilter’s Mixology Sew Along. Yes, I’ve been sewing curves! And I even liked it! Head over to Sara’s blog to read all about my “Flower Power” quilt from Angela Pingel’s book, A Quilter’s Mixology.

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WIP Wednesday: Christmas In September

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
I feel like I’m juggling about a hundred balls in the air right now, so let’s get right to it, shall we? : )

By the time you read this, my Nordic Christmas quilt will be D-O-N-E. (You can now buy the pattern here!)

And I really love how my Quilter’s Mixology quilt is coming together. A certain member of my family is going to freak when she sees this.

 

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, @lee.a.heinrich.
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: With Guest Host Debbie from A Quilter’s Table

On the first Wednesday of every month, WIP Wednesday gets a guest host! I’ve chosen some of my favorite bloggers and WIP linkers to take the reins for me on those days. -Lee

Hello! I’m Debbie from A Quilter’s Table, and it is certainly my pleasure to be guest-hosting W.i.P. Wednesday today! Thank you, Lee, for having me! Considering W.i.P. Wednesday was the first link-up I joined when I started blogging, I have a special fondness for it. Plus it helps keep me on track!

Ongoing projects
Modern Crosses quilt – I’m still in the beginning stages of this project, but have at least doubled the amount of blocks since last week.

Mod Pop Quiltalong – I’m kind of having to force myself on the piecing of the curves. The actual assembly should be alot of fun though, since the pattern is so striking!

Nametag for Sewing Summit – Patchwork is done and embroidering the details is in the works!

Weekender Bag – Oh my. This is where my time has gone lately. So far, so good, but the scariest steps are yet to come! I had a layer cake of Lotta Jansdotter’s Bella  that I cut up to make the patchwork which I’ve been straight-line quilting as I go. Alexander Henry’s Heath seemed perfect for the piping, handles, and lining. Next up is the zip!

Christmas quilt and Dresden projects – no progress.

Upcoming projects
* scrappy Metrolink – who knows when, but I still really want to!
* another frame purse
* use Polaroid blocks
* placemats
* Binary quilt using blocks from Modern Blocks Bee
* Sew Lux Challenge project
* UR Priceless Blog Hop project
* Christmas!

So what are you working on this week? Here are the linky rules:

1. Link up any post from the past week that features at least one unfinished work-in-progress.
2. Somewhere in your post, you must link back here to my blog. (Or grab my WIP Wednesday button for your sidebar.)
3. Comment on at least a few of the other WIP Wednesday links. If we each comment on just 2 or 3 other links, everybody will get so much comment love!

Happy sewing!

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New York Beautifying

Okay, is there such a thing as an Easter quilt? Because if so, I think I’m making one. Yes, my New York Beauty QA quilt is all bunnies and lambs and jelly-bean-bright colors. It’s either going to be extremely awesome, or it’ll look like an Easter basket exploded. (Or maybe it could be both? I’m hoping for both.)

About half of my fabric stack for this project is from Laurie Wisbrun’s adorable springtime-bright Modern Whimsy line, and the other half are prints I pulled from my stash to coordinate with the Modern Whimsy.

And here’s my first block. Just to mix things up a bit, I decided that all of my blocks will have solid white centers, and the backgrounds will all be different-colored ring prints from Modern Whimsy. I am seriously in love how Block 0 turned out. Kim of My Go-Go Life wrote a great tutorial and I urge you all to give it a try, even if you do just one block. Click here for the tutorial.

One tip for those of you quilting along: Kim strongly recommends pressing your seams open if you’re making a complete circle. Me, being the rebel that I am, decided to press mine to the side anyway. I thought it would make it easier to match up the curved seams. Bad idea. Listen to Kim! My ring seams do indeed match up well, but as you can see, the block isn’t laying very flat. Had I pressed my seams open, I think it would have made the difference.

The tutorial for our second block is up today at Sew Sweetness. And while you’re at it, go check out the quilt-along’s Flickr group for more inspiring New York Beauty blocks!

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Happy Mail!

Look what I got in the mail yesterday!!! That’s right, I got my swap goodies for DQS10. And I couldn’t have been more thrilled to find this little beauty, made by the delightful Jessica of SewCraftyJess.

I’ve been following Jess’s fabulous blog for a while now, and she regularly links up to WIP Wednesday, so I followed along with the whole process of creating this stunning quilt from start to finish—without ever once realizing that it was actually mine. Although I do think I begged her to be my partner at one point, because, well, who wouldn’t want this amazing piece? Here it is, already hanging in its new home above my machine. Doesn’t it look great? (Admittedly, at the moment it’s just stuck up there with painter’s tape. Anybody have a good, slightly more permanent way of hanging mini quilts?)

The curved piecing, the hand-quilting, the way all those prints work together so beautifully—wow. Every detail is just perfect, right down to the carefully chosen thread colors for the quilting. Believe me when I tell you that the pictures just don’t do it justice.

And that’s not all! Jess also made me this adorable matching pincushion. Would you believe that the only pincushion I owned (prior to this one) was a tomato that I bought at Joann? I know, how sad is that? And check out those adorable buttons! My daughter is already begging me to make her something—anything—with those buttons. I’ve already got several possibilities in mind!

Last but certainly not least—how flipping cute are these little pin toppers? Cupcakes! And an apple! And you guys, Jess made them herself! For real!

Thank you, thank you, thank you to Jessica for such a sweet package and amazing doll quilt. As beautiful as it is, it means that much more to me coming from one of my blog friends. It is the perfect addition to my sewing room. And be sure to check out Jess’s blog, if you haven’t already!

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A Mini-Finish

I finished stitching down the binding on my DQS10 swap mini-quilt last night. Hand-stitching binding was the perfect thing to do while watching my Spartans play a game of basketball that was, in turns, awful, pathetic, semi-okay, decent, amazing, incredible, infuriating, and heartbreaking. I’m used to watching these guys win come March. What am I going to do with myself now that I have no team to root for? Guess I’ll sew. : )

At any rate, my DQS quilt is now finished. I’m pretty confident that my partner is going to like it. I paper-pieced these blocks from a pattern that I created. It’s a fairly standard New York Beauty block, and there are probably dozens of similar paper-piecing patterns available online, but I had trouble finding any that were small enough for what I wanted to do, which is why I ended up creating one myself.

Normally, with a New York Beauty block, you would paper piece the entire thing—the rays, the background, and the center. But I wanted to fussy cut the centers out of a print from Tula Pink’s Parisville collection. Since NY Beauty blocks are pieced in quarters, that wasn’t going to work. So I appliqued the centers onto the completed blocks instead. Hey, it works for dresdens, right? I think it was a good solution.

I was a little stumped with the quilting, but eventually decided I didn’t want to put too much quilting on the New York Beauty blocks themselves. As you can see, I’ve got some busy fabrics going on in there, and the overall look is very ornate. I thought quilting over the top of that might just be a little too much. So instead I just did echo quilting around the outer circles.

I really love how it turned out and I hope my partner will like it too! It’s ready to be shipped and will hopefully be en route, along with a few little extras, by the end of the day.

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Single Girl Shapes Up

She’s shaping up!

Yes, all my quarter-blocks are sewn. I laid out the entire quilt on my dining room floor. (It’s the only room in my house with enough floor space—and that’s only after moving the table way off to the side.) I’m now in the process of sewing it together.

I have to say, laying out all of those quarter-blocks was one of the most satisfying moments I’ve experienced in quilting. This project came together exactly the way I had envisioned it. Plus, it’s king-size, and I’ve never done anything even close to this big before. To see a project this huge come together in its finished form made me feel like I’m really accomplishing something.

Also remarkable: The fact that I haven’t gotten sick of looking at the darn thing by now. Usually, by the time I get to this stage, fatigue has set in on the colors, prints, pattern, etc. But this makes two projects in a row that I have not been tired of by the time I’m done piecing. Makes me think my design decisions are finally on the right track.

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Three Generations Quilt

A few months ago, my 87-year-old grandma sent me five curved-pinwheel quilt blocks.

This adorable woman hand-pieced the blocks in the late 60s and early 70s, but never got around to finishing the quilt. When she heard I had taken up quilting, she wondered if I might want to put these blocks to use.

I did. Not only that, but I roped my mom into the project as well. Because, really, how cool will it be to have a quilt that was worked on by three generations of women, over the course of 40 or 50 years? I might even have to think of some small task I can give my 3-year-old on this quilt. Then we could call it the Four Generations Quilt.

I think the blocks are cute—I haven’t seen this curved pinwheel design around much. Grams also sent the cardboard templates she originally used and all of her leftover fabric. Some of the prints she sent look like 30s reproductions, and some are just plain dated, but some of them are actually very retro cool. Like the ones used in this block, which is hands-down my favorite of the bunch.

The only remaining issue was how to use these flower-like blocks in an overall quilt design. So I scanned one of the blocks and played around with it a bit before coming up with the above design. Along with my grandma’s five pinwheel blocks, my mom will make three, and I’m making four. That will give us a total of 12 pinwheel blocks. Then I’ll make the alternating blocks: A print square (not necessarily blue) in a white frame, and set all the blocks on point.

Something about having the blocks on point seemed to enhance the movement of the whole thing. When I look at this design, I see my daughter blowing on a pinwheel out in the backyard on a summer day. Or maybe I picture a farmhouse windmill lazily turning in the breeze, while hens fuss around nearby. Fitting, I think, for a quilt that had its genesis with a woman who was born and raised on a farm almost 88 years ago.