Hoot Family

Monday, January 28, 2013

Rainbow Fabric Fun: BOM Stringy Stars

Hi there! Welcome to the 2nd ever Rainbow Fabric Fun Block of the Month Tutorial! Rainbow Fabric Fun is our little rainbowy quilting group on Facebook - we run swaps of rainbow fabric, swap ideas and tips on everything fabric related and some stuff that isn't! We run regular monthly swaps, so please feel free to pop by and say hi!

Alrighty! Let's get to it :)

What you will need:

- 4 x Template A
- 4 x Template B
- 16 x (1inch x 5inch)of each of 8 colours, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple,Pink, Black/Grey tone on tone fabrics (pssst... if you have spare charm squares they are PERFECT for this :) grab a minimum of 4 charm squares and cut 4 strips from each, or cut 2 strips from 8 different charm squares for a bigger colour mix)
- 2 x (2.5inch x 5 inch) of each of the 8 colours
- White Homespun cut as follows:
- 8 x (1inch x 5.5 inch)
- 4 x (7.5inch x 7.5inch) cut diagonally into 8 half square triangles
- 4 x (5.5inch x 5.5inch) cut diagonally into 8 half square triangles
- A spare full bobbin, to stave off bobbin rage. Trust me, totally worth the extra minute it will take you in your prep time to fill a spare bobbin! Nothing worse than running out when you are on a roll and having to stop and refill another bloody bobbin!

Firstly, cut out your templates, you should have 4 of template A and 4 of template B, don't forget NOT to cut of your seam allowance :) For the purposes of this tute, template A will be Yellow, Red, Pink and Blue. Template B will be Orange, Blk/Grey, Purple and Green. It can't hurt to write that on the template if that makes it easier to remember as you are piecing.

Now grab a template, a colour bundle and a 1inch white strip.

Place white strip and a coloured strip right sides together. Line white strip up with centre of template piece - ensuring centre of tip is lined up with centre of white strip. Pin in place with template at the bottom, white right side up, colour right side down.

Set your stitch length on your sewing machine to a short length. I use 1.8 but your machine. You want a nice tight stitch length - it will make tearing the paper out easier later - BUT you don't want it so short that it is painfully slow to sew or that it is so short that it cuts the paper for you - I like it 2 points above the minimum stitch length but your preference may vary :)

Using a scant 1/4inch seam allowance sew first piece in place. Finger press seam open and the place next coloured strip on the other side of the white and sew. Iron seams open.

Continue to place coloured strips at each end, ironing after sewing a piece to each end.

Once you have sewn 8 strips to either side of the white, grab a 2.5x5inch strip to cover the end, sewing the same as above. (I know you are going to ask me why not just continue with the one inch strips to the end like other strip piecing patterns do. Well the simple answer is becuase a bigger piece at the end makes it easier to piece together later on, less seams so close to the centre when you are trying to get 8 points to line up!)

Ta Da!! the front of your first piece!

And the back!

Now for trimming up :)

Your piece should now look like this from the back:

And like this from the front:

Remove the paper from the back of the block - I hate hate hate this bit. It is messy and there is inevitably little bits that just dont want to come out, but if you have made your stitch length short enough it shouldn't be too bad.

Now for the lather rinse repeat part of this tutorial. You need to repeat the above for all remaining 7 colours.

Sometimes, there is an opps. What happens if you tear the paper off when ironing?

Simple. Just pin it and sew the next one. It will be fine, do not panic!

And once you have all 8 diamonds done, sit back and admire your rainbow!

You have now completed the main part of your block! Piecing those pieces to make new pieces lol is next! We are now going to make each colour an eighth segment of our block, we are going to make them triangles.

Did you notice that both templates are the same shape? Well they are, but inverted. Remember how we wrote down earlier which colours belonged to which template? This is where we need that piece of information;)

Template A: Grab one 7.5inch HST and one 5.5inch HST. Your coloured piece, place it on the table in the same direction as a back slash - \ - place the 7.5inch on the left and the 5.5inch on the right as per the picture below:

Line up each triangle on each side. The triangles will be longer than the diamond side. That is ok. Because you will be folding them over so they will line up. Sew using quarter inch seam. For your own sanity, it is best to sew with the seams down! It will also make it all sit nicer!

For Template B: Grab one 7.5inch HST and one 5.5inch HST. Your coloured piece, place it on the table in the same direction as a forward slash - / - place the 7.5inch on the right and the 5.5inch on the left as per the picture below:

Sew using quarter inch seam. You now have two triangles, which you will now sew together to create a square!

Once you have your square, you can either make more squares or alternatively sew 4 pieces into a rectangle :)

I find it easier to work with two rectangles, you may find it easier with 4 squares, totally up to you!!

Once you have your two rectangles, pin your points and sew them together and you block is complete and ready for trimming!

Ok, this is where I have a confession to make. When making this block I miscalculated the size of the HST needed for the corners of each piece. I had it wrong. What that meant was that my centre points do not line up and the centre of my block is bowed somewhat. It makes a PERFECT cushion cover, but does not make a good quilt block. Rest assured the measurements of the pieces above have been corrected, you WILL get a nice smooth block. These things happen within the world of quilting, we call it "Shit Touch" though perhaps we should call them "Love Bumps" instead :)

I hope that you enjoy making this block as much as I enjoyed it. I have never proclaimed to be much of a teacher, so if I have missed anything, or you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Practically Paper Piecing Blog Hop!

When I first heard about Kristy from Quiet Play and her plans for a paper piecing blog hop I was a little aprehensive. I hadn't ever tried paper piecing like this before and thought to myself - maybe this is something I can learn? Then my dear friend Sally said she would show me how and I figured it might be worth a go. I believe I even mumbled something about my failure being a warning to others - so here we go ;) I found a little block I thought I might like to try - a little intertwined block that had almost a celtic feel.
THIS IS NOT MY BLOCK!! This is the one Sally made first to make sure she could show me how. It is made up of 4 pieces, which are then pieced together. I made 2 sections with Sal and then attempted the other two at home, all by myself.... Sal's block looks awesome - mine however is another story. So much another story that I am not going to show you, because it is kinda embarrassing just how badly I failed at it.... BUT I had signed up, so I needed to work out how to do this some how. I googled 'easy beginners paper piecing quilt block' and was blown away by the options, most of which really didnt look all that easy lol! I came across this on about page 5. I have a hubby who is mad on model aeroplanes and a little boy who wants to be just like his Dad (Bob help me!) so I figured an aeroplane I might be able to use somehow! IMG_3860 I did it!!! Ok, it has a few issues, like this: IMG_3889 (Let's pretend that I didn't mess that up ok?) So what to make with an aeroplane block? I considered a bag, pillow, quillow, quilt - all boring when it comes to original ideas for an orphan block. I don't really remember how it came about but someone suggested making it into a shirt. Then I wondered about a quilted vest, something to keep the little mister warm while flying with Dad. IMG_3883 A close up of the block and quilting - it could be worse right? I have only just finished hand sewing down the binding and my little boy is sleeping so an action shot will have to wait until morning (I will grab one in the morning and pop it up sometime tomorrow afternoon if you happen to feel like popping back to see it lol). But I had fun, despite my early 'mishaps' - thankyou ladies for the opportunity to try something new!!! And don't forget to check out tomorrow's stop on the Blog Hop Train - The Textile Diva!! Edited to add: Mr 8 is in a MOOD this morning and doesn't want to play, this is the best I could get lol! Will try for another when he is in a better mood! IMG_3913

Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Productive Sunday Afternoon

Stash. And scrappy bits. I have more than I should of both. So this afternoons sewing session was about using up some of the bits and pieces I have been meaning to do something with for a while. Firstly I completed some paintbox blocks for a friends quilt. I am not sure if I am doing them right, but I like them and I am hoping she will too! I also used up the last of my daisy yellow scrappy bits! It is only cot sized, but it is cute enough ;) One of hubbys friends recently had a little boy, I just need to find the right backing and quilt it. IMG_3556 And last but not least, nothing fancy, but a collections of reds and pinks. Like I said, nothing fancy but I do like half square triangles ;) IMG_3553 A productive afternoon! Oh and my machine sews like a dream after its service!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

I never thought I would do it...

But I made a mug rug. I know, I know. Why would I do that? Do people actually use them? And why? What purpose do they serve? Why do people use them? What is wrong with just putting your mug right there on the table? I will justify it by saying that it is for a swap on Ravelry. My partner has a thing for purple and I happened to have a few purple scraps lying about that needed a new home. Pieces that werent really big enough to do anything with on their own. It was a good way to use up a heap of little scrappy pieces :)
I used MadeByRae's tutorial for using the backing fabric as the binding and it was so easy, I will be using it again! Now I just hope my secret swap pal likes it!

Saturday, February 25, 2012


Thankyou Em and Tara and boys for the lovely morning sitting at the park. The boys played and ran and yelled and swung and slid and ran and ate and ran for a while, I hope they all had fun!

We had a few extras today, just wandering past;)