Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Block 2 - Year of Scrappy Triangles

It's been fun seeing the scrappy triangles people have made on Instagram this week. There are so many different looks depending on what fabric is selected. It's made me want to start another set, but I have resisted - so far. Click on over to see what people have been making and leave them some quilty love.

This week's triangle is divided into even more triangles. The center triangle is perfect for featuring a favorite fabric or fussy cut motif.

I love how the bee fills this center triangle. 

I can't wait to see what you guys make!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Block 1 - Year of Scrappy Triangles

Today is the first day of the Year of Scrappy Triangles! It is going to be awesome. Before we get started, let's go over a few things.

The basics
The scrappy triangles finish at 6" square and I will post a link to a new foundation template on this blog every Tuesday morning for at least a year. Please, share a link to my blog if you have any friends who would like to participate, but don't email or mass print the templates for others.

Where can I learn to foundation paper piece?
For a quick "how to foundation paper piece tutorial" visit Carol Doak's Corner. You can also take her Craftsy class here. (I don't get a kick-back for this, she is an amazing teacher.)

How can I be sure I don't miss a post?
There are a couple of options:
  1. Sign up to 'Follow by Email' (on the sidebar). It will send you an email notification every time I post on the blog (one or two times a week). 
  2. You can also sign up for my newsletter (on the sidebar). I will send out a newsletter every three or four weeks with links to the foundation patterns and other news.
  3. Follow me on Instagram @sewnbyleila. I will post pictures of the new scrappy triangle each week and provide a link to the pattern in my bio. 
Please, share pictures of your blocks on social media with the hashtag #yearofscrappytriangles. I would love to see them!

 Let's get started!

When printing the foundation, remember to disable the fit-to-size option. After printing, measure the inner square and verify that it is 6" square. Then get to piecing!

I love the line of small rectangles in the middle of this block. It reminds me of a fence, or railroad ties. The first time I made this block, I used the same pieces of fabric for the end triangles. Not a good look, in my opinion. I didn't bother to remake it because it won't matter in the overall quilt, but the next time I tried a different fabric placement.

I think alternating two fabrics looks much better! 

Then I alternated three colors. It looks scrappier, but in a controlled way. Of course, you could choose a different fabric for each section too. The sky is the limit!

One last thing, before you start digging through your scrap bins. When choosing the background fabric for the solid half of the block, remember to choose a fabric that contrasts well with the pieced half. Otherwise, the two halves of the triangle will bleed into one another. Not cool, unless that is what you want them to do. In this block, the long strip (A7) will need to contrast well with the large triangle (A9).

I think that is it.
If you have any questions, comment and I will respond both by email and in the comment section.


Thursday, October 5, 2017

Year of Scrappy Triangles

I have been playing around with these foundation paper pieced half-square triangles for a while and they are So. Much. Fun. I have made them in rainbow colors, full on scrappy, and low-volume scrappy. It is so relaxing to pick through my box of scraps to find the perfect fabric for each block. 'Cause that's how quilters relax. We play with fabric. (A bit odd, but productive and harmless.) And these triangles are the ultimate in fun, relaxing foundation paper piecing.

Not only are they fun to make, but they are very versatile. So many different quilts are made with just half square triangles. I could substitute these into any of them. So many options.

To keep me on track and to share the joy, I am going to post a link to a foundation paper pieced pdf pattern for a Scrappy Triangle every Monday Tuesday, here on my blog. (Sorry for the change, but Triangle Tuesday just sounds a lot more fun than Triangle Monday.) A different triangle every week for at least 52 weeks! (I have over 80 drafted, so I might just keep going....) To help keep us on track, we will have some link ups and prizes too.

I hope you will join me! 

Monday, October 2, 2017

Finish Along 2017 Goals

So, the Finish-A-Long is where you write down what quilts you want to finish in the next 3 months and for each project that you finish, you get an entry to win prizes from sponsors. Goodness knows I have a million work in progress quilts and could use a little motivation to get them done.

The first quilt on my list is the Sunshine Quirky Scrap Quilt (tutorial here). I finished piecing it last week (yea!) and hope to get it basted, quilted and bound in the next week or two. I have already pieced the backing so hopefully I can get it basted tomorrow.

I will also be basting this scrappy quilt made with Denyse Schmidt fabrics - with a few Cotton and Steel thrown in. It has been waiting to be basted for at least 6 months, if not 8. Ugh.

I can't find the picture of the pieced top, but I also have this 16-patch ready to baste. (Looks like I am going to be doing a lot of quilting.)

This foundation paper pieced beauty has been basted for almost a year and I just need to quilt it. I have been paralyzed by the fear of ruining it, but I just need to bite the bullet and start quilting.

This is another quilt top that has been sitting around for awhile. I started it Nov. 2, 2016 while I waited and waited and waited for the US election results to come in. I put a pieced border on it which has some issues (thus why I haven't touched it in months) but I would like to finish it before Nov. 2017.

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 I also have these improv curve blocks from a bee that I would like to get pieced in time to enter into Quilt Con. I'd better get moving on that!

And I just ordered some Tilda Harvest fabric that I want to make into a star quilt for my bed. But now, looking at my earlier list of things to do, I don't know if that is really going to happen --- unless I put something else off longer. :) So many quilts, so little time!

What are you working on? Any ancient projects? (I didn't even bothered to post my oldest - it's not going to get done anytime soon.)

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Heather Ross Mini Spool Quilt

Hello all!

This summer I participated in a Heather Ross mini quilt swap on Instagram. (You can follow me @sewnbyleila)  It was so much fun! I had wanted to make a thread spool quilt forever and this was the perfect excuse.

I wanted the quilt to have a loose "rainbow" order. So, I rummaged through my HR scraps, begged/traded some more scraps from friends, and got to work. The spools are improvisational pieced, which made the final piecing a challenge, but it made for a good variety of shapes and sizes.

I heavily quilted the background with swirls so the spools would stand out. (Swirls are my go-to free motion quilting motif.) It took awhile, but I love the look. Then I stitched around each of the spools and then quilted a few zigzags across each to mimic thread.

It was a lot of fun to make and I will have to make another one for myself soon!

(An outtake of my quilt holder jumping for joy!)

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

That Quirky Scrap Quilt - The Low-Volume-and-Pink Version

Last month I started another Quirky Scrap Quilt (link to tutorial here). I had been thinking about making another one, and when the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild contacted me and asked if their guild could use my tutorial for a scrap busting challenge (of course!), it was just what I needed to get me off my bum and sewing.

The Plan:  I thought it would be fun to do a low-volume version with darker fabric running on the diagonal through the 4-patches. After I got cutting it turned into low-volume oranges and pinks, but I think it will be ok. I also got a bit overzealous while cutting and now it is going to be twin sized instead of throw sized.

I started pinning the squares into groups of 20 after losing track (multiple times!) of how many I had cut. Now, I am caught up with the quilt along with my fabric cut and 4-patch units sewn! Yea!

Check out the #quirkyscrapquiltalong on Instagram to see what other people are making. There are so many fun color ways. And feel free to post your pictures and stash bust along with us.

Friday, April 7, 2017

United We Stand

At the beginning of the year 1A, a radio show, challenged listeners to use the 45 words in the 1st Amendment to make something artistic during the first 45 days of our 45th president's term. (Lots of 45's there.) This is what I made. I thought (for 2 seconds!) about foundation paper piecing all of the letters, but decided that printing the words on fabric was a more time effective idea. (Here's the tutorial I used.)

Adding background fabric to the text bubbles.

I chose different colors and shapes of text boxes and background fabrics to represent all of the different people in the US. We are all different, but that is OK. In fact, it is what makes America great! The 1st Amendment outlines some of the limits of government and protects all of us. All. Of. Us. 

That is why I think of this quilt it as my "United We Stand" quilt. Even with all the political discord, I hope we can all stand behind protecting 1st Amendment rights.

I continued the "we are all different" theme into the quilting. There is chunky hand quilting and machine quilting in circles, triangles, and rectangles.

After a lot of thought, I decided not to quilt the speech bubbles. If the quilt is handled to much (like when I was hand quilting) the fabric poofs, but it ironed down flat again. Since I am planning on using it as a wall hanging, I think it will be alright.

I really enjoyed making this quilt. It gave me time to think about all of the good that comes of having freedom of religion, speech and the press. Let's stand united in embracing our 1st Amendment rights and defending others' rights with the same passion. (Even if you do think they are dumb.) Eroding anyone's rights just erodes our own.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Hello, Patchwork Posse Friends!

This month I am a guest designer for the Patchwork Posse. It is an online quilt group with a great online forum, monthly guest designers and quilt alongs. Tons of fun! As part of being a guest designer, I designed a child sized quilt that I call "The One Yard Wonder". One yard of fabric with lots of cute variations. Only members can download the pattern (click here to learn more about membership perks), but anyone is able to listen to the podcast, where Becky and I chat about quilting. I like talking about quilting. :) I also wax eloquent on various quilting subjects in a written interview.

I have rounded up some pictures and links of things that Becky and I talked about in our chat for easy access for everyone stopping over from the Patchwork Posse. 

We talked extensively about my Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt. For a whole post with tons of pictures, including the back of the quilt, visit this post. We also talked about my new English paper piecing project, but I haven't posted anything about that since last December. I will post more pictures here soon. I have come a long way! I have been posting pictures on Instagram, however, if you want to check them out. I'm @sewnbyleila.

We also discussed my most recent finish: Go Big or Go Home. Lots of fun improvisational quilting. For more info and pictures, visit this post.


Over the years I have been blogging, I have written a few tutorials that I thought you might be interested in. Clockwise from the upper left hand corner: The Easy-Peasy two fabric blanket is the post that gets the most traffic on my blog. So simple, so cute! Emily's Pinwheel Star tutorial gives instructions for a 12" star block with a pinwheel inside. I love using flanges in my quilts and show how to make a flanged binding in this post. That Quirky Scrap Quilt is one of my favorite quilts ever. Bright and fun, the quilt is a great way to use up all those scraps.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Got Solids? A Solid Improv. Quilt Finish

Another finish! I really, really like this quilt. It started with a bundle of solid fabric I was given for a guild challenge. I added tons of other solids and it turned into this. 

I wanted it to be twin sized, so I added a gray border to get it up to size. By the end, I was running out of solids (and steam!) and a border seemed like the way to go. One of my big problems was squaring it up. Because of the improvisational piecing none of the sides or corners were square. I tried my, but I still don't think it is completely even.

I decided to mimic the improvisational squares and rectangles in the quilting. It is free motion quilted (vs with a walking foot) so the corners were easier to turn (because there was no turning) but it sometimes maked for some less than square lines and corners.

I decided to use a scrappy binding. It was a great way to use up some solid strips I had hanging around and fits in with the overall feel of the quilt. The binding is stitched down by machine and I decided to add to the "industrial" feel by accentuating the stitching instead of trying to hide it. I used a wide zig-zag with contrasting orange thread. It is super sturdy and pretty darn cute, in my opinion.

This quilt was going to be donated to the International Institute of St. Louis, but as they won't need it for awhile, I am going to donate it to a local women's shelter and the institute will get my next quilt. Its a super cute, super crazy quilt with lots of Denyse Schmidt fabric and color. Stay tuned and have a great weekend!