Wednesday 19 July 2017

Fussy Cut Sampler - Block 30

Late last year, my friend Elisabeth contacted me to ask if I'd like to participate in a blog hop for her yet-to-be-released book, The Fussy Cut Sampler, cowritten with her friend Nichole. I love a good bit of fussy cutting, so I knew it was something I'd love to participate in - and I'm so glad I did. This book is absolutely brilliant! It goes way beyond just fussy cutting a square as a focal point in a quilt block - Elisabeth and Nichole talk in detail about how to use all sorts of different prints in quilt block. 

The Fussy Cut Sampler has been cleverly written, so that each chapter deals with a different type of fabric (ie stripes, prints with directionality, tossed prints etc) and how to best features these prints in the blocks, so that even simple blocks look amazing and different. Each chapter includes 4 different quilt blocks, with a total of 48 block tutorials in the book. There is a wealth of knowledge shared in here by Elisabeth and Nichole

The block I'm sharing with you today is from Chapter 8 - Prints with Directionality. Directional prints can be quite difficult to use in quilt blocks, as they can be trickier to cut and make any piecing errors quite obvious. This chapter appealed to the obsessive aspects of my personality - precise cutting and piecing are two things I really, really enjoy doing, and they are critical when dealing with directional prints. Elisabeth and Nichole share loads of tips for dealing with directional prints, as either a focal or secondary (and even background) fabric. 

It took me a while to decide on what fabrics to use for this block - and it actually ended up being a group I'd put together for one of my yet-to-be-made Ice Cream Soda blocks (another great quilt for  fussy cutting directional prints). I decided to use a couple of Tula Pink prints, which are always fun to fussy cut, along with one of my favorite prints from Jenean Morrison. All three prints I chose are directional - and I've used them as both a focal print (the Tula tiger in the centre), and also as secondary fabrics (for the two groups of triangles surrounding the centre square). 

I was very careful when I cut my squares for the the half square triangle units, and again when sewing them with the background fabric, so that the print runs across the block. It took a bit of thought when trimming them to size too - I had to make sure the ochre part of the print was trimmed at about the same point for each HST. I think it was worth fussy cutting to this level - although if I made this block again, I would choose to have more of the ochre part of the print visible in the block. 

There is a great quilt along happening for The Fussy Cut Sampler at the moment, with some fabulous prizes to be won along the way. If you check out #thefussycutsampler and #thefussycutsamplerqal on Instagram, there is loads of inspiration to be found! 

I hope you're all having a great week! I'll be back soon (I hope!) with the beginnings of a few new projects :o). 

xx Jess  

Friday 14 July 2017

Symphony Quilt

Today I'm excited to share a quilt I put together last month - the latest free pattern release as part of AGF Stitched, a collaboration between Art Gallery Fabrics and Fat Quarter Shop.

This was a really fast and fun quilt top put together - the blocks are big so it grows super fast. Plus, there are very few seams to match, so it's a very low stress quilt to make. I'd actually intended on only making one block and making it into a cushion, but I enjoyed making the first one so much I decided to make the whole quilt. I think this one will actually be for me to snuggle under on the sofa. And winter has hit pretty hard the last couple of weeks, so it would be nice to finish quilting it sooner rather than later ;o).

Quite a few of the fabrics I used are from Nightfall by Maureen Cracknell, a gorgeous collection that features the owls I've fussy cut for the centre of the blocks. I also used the owl print on the back - so it's virtually a two-sided quilt. The low volume Pandalicious print I used for the background was so fun to use - I ended up deciding to cut the fabric so the print runs in the same direction across the whole quilt. It's only noticeable close up, but I think it would've irked me too much to not do it ;o).

I have started quilting this one (which is why the pictures all feature basting pins), and I'm having fun with it. So far I've only done a bit of the centre block, and I've been playing with a few different weights of Aurifil thread. The ochre/yellow section is quilted with 28wt Aurifil - and I absolutely love the texture these heavier weight threads give it. I'm really looking forward to finishing this one off once I've gotten a couple of deadlines sorted out!

I really wanted to mention an awesome giveaway Fat Quarter Shop is running at the moment - a chance to win a Hello Lovely” Cotton + Steel B350SE sewing machine to give away, MSRP $1,899. Head over to the Jolly Jabber for all the details on how to enter - and it is open internationally!

Have a great weekend, I'm hoping to be back soon with the beginnings of a couple of new quilts!

xx Jess

Friday 7 July 2017

Wild Goose Chase

I'm sharing a quick little block with you today, one I put together earlier this week. This is a newly released pattern from Fat Quarter Shop, called Wild Goose Chase. 

The blocks in this quilt have been cleverly designed to incorporate Triangles on a Roll for making the flying geese units, and they make it so easy to put together. 

Although I've only had a chance to make one block, these colours are making me think a lovely summery quilt might be nice in the midst of winter. Apologies for a very brief blog post today - I've been in bed with an awful cold most of this week, and my head is still full of cotton wool! 

xx Jess