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QUILT AS YOU GO...for Ms. Jean
This tutorial was written after my Mini Quilt Group decided to make this Quilt as You Go in honor of our Quilty Friend who passed away recently...Ms. Jean.  This was one of her favorite travel projects...so grab a Cup of Joe and learn how to make a Ms. Jean Quilt Project of your very own!
First...I chose my fabrics!  Depending on how large you want your Quilt as you Go Project to be will determine how much fabric you will need.  I happened to have this fabric line called Sentimental Journey by Robin Pandolf for SSI Fabrics. You can even go completely SCRAPPY...so pull out that huge bin of leftovers scraps you have hidden in the back of the Studio Closet and get cutting!
Cut your fabrics into 3 1/2" wide strips and then subcut each of those strips into 3 1/2" squares.  I did this with ALL of my fabrics from the line I showed.  My plan is to make a 15 X 19 block set...so I will be making a total of 285 blocks and each block will finish at 4 1/4" square.  My Large Lap Size Quilt should be approximately 64" X 86"...give or take.  Check back on my progress as I work on My Ms. Jean Quilt Project...she may turn into a placemat...LOL!
Now choose your Background Fabric...mine is White Kona Cotton by Robert Kaufman.  I LOVE this solid fabric!  Cut your Background Fabric the same way as your colored fabrics...3 1/2" wide strips and then subcut the strips into 3 1/2" squares.
Be sure to compulsively organize and stack your 3 1/2' squares in color coordinating piles...like I do!  Ok...you really don't HAVE to do this step...I'll forgive you if you don't!  Gotta keep it REAL here!
Making a Four Patch is Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy...layout your two color fabric squares with your two background fabric squares in this fashion.  Set up your sewing machine with cotton thread and set it to sew an accurate 1/4" seam allowance.
Here I have joined the top two pieces together...with an accurate 1/4" seam allowance and then press to set the seam and then press the seams toward the colored fabric.  Next you will join the two sections together...and because you have pressed the seams towards the colored fabric...the seams will nestle together easily with "opposing" seams.
Lookey how pretty your little Four Patch is...now wasn't that Easy?
Now take the bottom of your Four Patch and match it right sides together to the top half of your four patch and sew down each side with an accurate 1/4" seam allowance.  Click on the picture to enlarge it so you can see that I sewed both sides...from top to bottom.  DO NOT SEW ACROSS THE TOP!
This is how your little unit appears as you look down the top...that I just told you NOT to sew across!  Now...join the the opposing seams you see (the seam on the top and the seam on the bottom...at the palm of my hand).  Match the opposing seams and pin.
I pinned it all the way across the top.
You will need to leave a small opening where you are sewing across the top...for turning the right sides out.  I back tacked it at this section...for strength.  When you turn it right sides out those areas will become high stress points.  Be sure to click on the picture to enlarge it enough to see the detail of this section that my seam ripper is pointing to.
Be sure to clip ALL four corners!  I know...it's those THUMBS...again!
Turn your Hour Glass shape block right sides out through the "hole" you left open when you sewed across the top.  Be sure to push out the four corners so they are squared off nice...use something that has a rounded point...so you do NOT make a hole in your fabric.  Press it well on both sides.
Measure your Hour Glass Block...it will be around 4 1/4" square.  Cut your batting piece (I used leftover scraps of my Warm and White 100% cotton batting...as it is flatter and works really well for this project) slightly SMALLER than your Hour Glass Block...about 1/8" smaller.
Fold your batting in half to help get it through the hole and then smooth it out flat inside the block.  I have done this in many different ways...using a safety pin to hold it in place while I smoothed it out (Thank You Fannie!).  Simply try a few things to see which procedure works best for you.  You just want to make sure that it is laying flat inside the block and that it fills out the block into the corners.
See how pretty it looks...the batting is inside there!  Now you need to hand sew the hole shut!  Use a blind stitch so you don't see too much of the "threads".
Quilt the white triangle sections of your Hour Glass Block...any fashion your little heart desires.  I used my Walking Foot Even Feed System on my Ruby Jane to quilt it with White thread in a continuous sew sequence.  I started on the outside corner and continued in the triangle shape until I reached the center.  LOVE!  I only quilted in the white (Background Fabric) sections...but you can do what suits you best.  With your blocks quilted as you go...they are as pretty on the front as they are on the back.
Start laying out your blocks in the order you would like the blocks to come together.  I decide that I wanted the Hour Glass Shapes to butt up against each other in an opposite fashion...by having the background part of the block side by side with the color part of the next block...as in this picture.  However...once again, you can do whatever you like.
I joined the blocks together using a "ladder stitch" by hand...instead of the "whip stitch".  It was my personal preference, simply because I liked the way the ladder stitch allowed my blocks to lay "FLAT" when they were joined together and not have that "bumpy" edge you get when you join them using a small whip stitch.  This is up to you...do whatever method you like best, so you can achieve the look you want.  The Quilt Police will NOT visit your studio...I promise!

See how nice and FLAT your blocks lay on the cutting mat?  Now join as may blocks you desire to make the width you want in your quilt...or heck you can make table mats, placemats, table runners or a wallhanging if you so desire.  And then when you have rows made...you join the rows together in the same manner you chose for joining your blocks together into rows.  I plan to "bind" my lap size quilt when I am finished...but I have been told that it is not necessary!  However the OCD in me says to bind it!

I will blog and photograph my progress on my Ms.Jean Project as I go...so stay tuned and check back soon!

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 April 2014 08:56
 
MODERN PIECING...DEAR JANE BLOCK B-9

This Tutorial is a step by step of how I put my Block B-9 called Tinker Toy from the Dear Jane Quilt.  Please remember that the sizes I included in this Tutorial are for blocks that finish at 6" square...so if you plan to use any of this tutorial for your own Dear Jane Block, please plan accordingly.  Any questions please feel free to contact me!

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Begin by cutting an 8" square block from your background fabric.  If you double click on the picture above you will see that the right edge of this particular piece of fabric is a bit "rough", but that's OK...as I will be trimming the block later to the desired size.

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Now, using your rotary cutter and ruler cut the block corner to corner...in both directions.

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Right sides together the top piece to the left side piece and the right side piece to the bottom piece.  Sew, using an accurate 1/4" seam allowance.  Press to set your seams, and then break the rule of pressing and PRESS all your seams OPEN.  You will thank me later!

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After you have pressed the seams open...this is what the two halves look like.  Now, right sides together these two sections, making sure you match the center seam...pin if necessary. Sew, using an accurate 1/4" seam allowance...press to set the seam and then press that seam OPEN too.

 

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This is what the "pieced" background looks like now... BEFORE I trimmed it down.

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Now trim the block down to 6.5" square...be sure to use the cross hairs on your ruler and line them up on the seam lines to give you an accurate block cut.

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Here's the backside of the pieced background block...YES, I really did press all the seams OPEN!

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Let's do a little Modern Piecing and Machine Applique the pieces onto the background instead of hand piecing it all!  Here is a chunk of my light cream fabric already prepped with the Heat and Bond Lite adhered to the backside.  I know you are all JEALOUS of my big thumb...that looks like a big TOE!  Lol!

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From my prepped fabric piece (with the Heat and Bond) I cut two 1 5/8" squares and one 1" square.

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Cut your two larger squares from corner to corner to make four adorable triangles...just the RIGHT size.  No worries...I did the Math for YOU!

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Using your seam lines as a reference...place your square in the center, and press in place with NO steam.  Once again, you use the seam lines as reference as you place the corner triangles...you will also need to be sure that all tips of your triangles are 1/4" from the outside edges of the background block itself.  Once you have press all of the Applique pieces in place from the top, be sure to turn your block over and press it well from the back side too...this insures the BEST adheasion.

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See how pretty it is...all ready to start Machine Applique!
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Prep your applique work by placing a piece of mid weight tear away stabilizer on the backside.  Once again...my Big Thumb makes her debut!

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Sorry...this picture is a bit blurry.  I need to work on my handling of the camera with one hand and taking a picture with the other!  None the less...here are the needles I use for Machine Applique.  Schmetz Microtex Sharp Needles size 70/10.  I use this size needle because the shaft of the needle is thinner and it helps prevent fraying on the edge of your applique when your needle pierces the fabric.  Try them!  LOVE!

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I have set up my Ruby Jane (The Janome Horizon 7700) with a buttonhole applique stitch and then set my width at 2.0 and stitch length at 1.5.  I also lessened the pressure of my foot to 2.  This enables you a little more "freedom" in movement while you applique.  Play with the different applique stitches that YOUR machine has first and decide which one you like best...then write it down on your Dear Jane printout for reference later.

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I am all set up and ready to start appliqueing the pieces in place.  My Machine is threaded with a Rayon (or you can use cotton or polyester) embroidery thread on top and a cotton bobbin has been installed.  Be sure to do some practice stitches first to get your tension right.  Machine Applique is a "practiced art" and this is why I teach it per your machine in the classroom setting.  There is NO sense in learning it on a Janome if you sew on a Bernina at home.  Your skill improves greatly when you have been taught how to Machine Applique on your brand of machine!  Also...Good lighting is essential in your work area...so turn on the extra lights or use a "task" light near the bed of your machine!

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I like to use the OPEN toe foot on my Ruby Jane while I am Machine Appliqueing...it gives you complete visibility while you work and you can easily control your stitching to the edge of the applique piece.  Once again...please excuse my blurry picture, I will work on that... promise!

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After all my applique work is complete...I remove as much of the tear away stabilizer as possible...do NOT worry about what is "underneath" the stitching itself.

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Here is the block from the backside, after the stabilizer has been removed...it is almost as pretty as the front!

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Here she is folks...be sure to double click on the picture to see the pieced reference lines up close.  Any one interested in more Dear Jane Tutorials?

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 February 2017 10:38