KQG Mystery Quilt Pt 2

I can’t believe it’s been a month since I’ve posted!  I feel like I should have a bunch of finished projects to share but…I don’t.  I have finished the second part of the mystery quilt though!  Talk about half-squares triangles!  This installment needed 96 HSTs – 1.5″ half. square. triangles. (Yes, that’s small)

If you have a bunch of half-square triangles to do, I suggest trying the Laundry Basket Quilts triangle paper.  This stuff is a life saver when it comes to large quantities of small HST.  It makes 32 HST in one go, amazing right?!  I mean there’s still the task of cutting but it makes it all super easy and quick.

I have another tip to share – chain piecing and the Cutting Gizmo.  Many beginner quilters don’t use or never heard of chain piecing.  This technique is basically stitching pieces together with one continuous length of thread without stopping in between pieces.  This saves time (and  thread) because you aren’t constantly stopping, snipping, and starting again.  I feel like I’ve mentioned this fantastic tool before (maybe?) but The Cutting Gizmo is a must have if you chain piece.  It makes snipping the connecting threads so easy and super quick!

I have just one more piece of advice to give to all quilters of all levels – NEVER BE AFRAID TO SHOW OFF YOUR WORK!  I started quilting in July 2016, joined 2 quilt guilds and have participated in almost every ‘show n tell’ in both guilds.  It doesn’t matter how talented you are (or how untalented you think you are), you are making works of art.  Your passion for what you do shows through in every stitch and whether you know it or not, you are inspiring other quilters to make their own masterpieces.

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Visions of Sugar Plums (Week 4)

I mentioned last post that the finishing instructions (final week) were published at We All Sew on November 28.  Last night I finally got around to finishing this awesome table runner!

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Sugar Plum Table Runner finished in time for Christmas dinner.

Like the sample in the quilt along, I was going to quilt straight lines to keep the modern look but….I can’t sew a straight line.  Instead I got to try a pantograph for the first time!  Here’s the story:  I have this other quilt (that I love but can’t show right now because it’s a Christmas gift) that I wanted to quilt with a pantograph.  Seeing how I had never done it before, I figured I should practice on something small(ish) before attempting to do a whole lap quilt. Enter the Sugar Plum Table Runner.  The pantograph was the perfect size and fit the modern/whimsical look of the piece.  I think I did a pretty darn good job as well.

This past weekend I enjoyed a mini retreat with Momma Bear and a friend.  I even got to try a Pfaff Passport 2.0!  Using the amazing little machine, I finished the table runner ‘pillowcase style’ as per the quilt along.  I really like the no border look and a pillowcase finish, while similar to a faced edge, is much easier to do on smaller projects.  I just need to add my label (always add a label!) and this table runner is ready for Christmas dinner!

I enjoyed participating in my first quilt along and would highly recommend joining one if you never have.  It’s a fun experience and having a set date for the next part to be available really motivates you to keep on track.

Visions of Sugar Plums (Week 3)

Week 3 of the Sugar Plum Table Runner is available and it’s the last two three blocks of the project (2 snowflake paper piecing blocks and 1 traditional piecing star block).

I was really enjoying my new journey in paper piecing…until this snowflake block. Not as easy as I thought it was going to be.  The actual paper piecing part was fine but then sewing those four blocks together to make the final block AND get the points matching was another story.  One block I had to unsew twice before getting the points to somewhat match.  The second block I only have to unsew once.  But I guess that’s what makes quilting fun because if everything was perfect every time it would be boring…right?!

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Modern Pine Tree – Golden Star – Snowflake – Poinsettia Flowers

The center block is a traditional pieced star block that I really love the look of. It’s my second favourite block of this table runner (the poinsettia is the first).  If you are doing this quilt along,  I would suggest doing the Magic 8 Method for the half-square triangles.  You need 8 HST so this way is much faster (and easier) than doing them the ‘regular’ way (as explained in the quilt along instructions).  For this block you need an finished size of 2 x 2″ which means to do the Magic 8 method, you will need to start with a 6″ or 6¼” block.  Continue reading

Visions of Sugar Plums (Week 1 & 2)

One thing about being a new quilter (or new at anything) is that there’s always a bunch of “firsts” – First time cutting fabric, first time sewing, first time “unsewing”,  first time doing a mystery quilt, etc.  Well I have two new things to add: first time doing a quilt along and first time foundation paper piecing.

A quilt along is very similar to a Block of The Month program except the instructions are usually provided weekly.  These are great multi-week “lessons” for quilters of all skill levels.  Fresh Lemons Quilts is hosting a quilt along for their Sugar Plum table runner at BERNINA’s We All Sew blog.  It’s a modern Christmas table runner with a mixture foundation paper piecing and traditional piecing.

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Colour palette for Sugar Plum table runner

I was a little hesitant to participate in the quilt along because this is my first go at paper piecing….which seems like a very intimidating method (especially if you look at Judy Niemeyer quilts).  Thankfully these aren’t extremely complicated blocks and the detailed instructions make it very easy to understand and follow…but that doesn’t mean you won’t have (user related) issues.  I had to “unsew” a few times because the pieces weren’t right (put on wrong, more than a quarter inch seam, etc.) and one block I just tossed in the garbage halfway through because it was looking terrible. Having done 12 paper pieced blocks so far, I really enjoy the process and the end result is amazing.  Everything is so precise and on point.

Check out BERNINA’s We All Sew blog to participate!  Week 1 has the fabric requirements, templates, and cutting instructions. Week 2 has the pattern instructions for blocks 1 & 2.