So are we having fun yet???? I am purposefully dragging this out a little as so that I can organise a bit of a head-start ... I have managed to finish off 7 blocks ... which will hopefully give me a good buffer should the wheels fall off while we are making this quilt!!!
I have had a couple of questions already about cutting such large expanses of fabric ... don't fret too much ... I can't cut a straight line to save myself!!!! The cuts that we make in the background fabric don't need to be precise you wont be piecing these squares! Providing you have the dimensions provided all will be cool! Make sure you read all of the directions in this section before you proceed.
I've also been asked about prewashing fabrics ... I never do this basically because I'm bone idol and can't possibly wait another minute once I decide I want to start on a new project! If you usually pre-wash then by all means do so! If you are worried that your coloured fabrics might run then prewash your fabrics ... better safe than sorry! There will be allot of time put into the making of this quilt ... the last thing you would want in the end would be to be sitting looking at the beautiful pink hues in your 'white' background fabric ..... wishing that you had prewashed!!!
Cutting your background fabric ....
Using a cutting mat, ruler and rotary cutter cut your fabric as follows ... I have listed the cuts for both 60" & 40" wide fabrics make sure you are following the correct one for the fabric you have purchased!!!;
For 60" wide fabric
Cut fifteen 12" strips across the width of your fabric. Further cut these strips into;
forty-nine 12" squares
thirty-six 12" x 6 1/2" rectangles
seven 12" x 10" rectangles
For 40" wide fabric (8 yards)
Cut twenty three 12" strips across the width of your fabric. Further cut these strips into;
forty-nine 12" squares &
thirty-six 12" x 6 1/2" rectangles
seven 12" x 10" rectangles
You will have some fabric left over ... always good to have a buffer .... just in case!!!! That's it for cutting. Set your remaining background fabric aside.
Making your applique shapes....
Collect your coloured fabrics, petal template (made previously), Stitch & Wash, mechanical pencil, sandpaper board (if you have one - this isn't essential), fine sharp scissors , iron & glue stick.
Firstly we will trace out the applique shapes onto the Stitch & Wash. Take a close look at the Stitch & Wash one side of the product is slightly shiny - this side is the adhesive side so make sure that you trace your shapes onto the other side of the product.
Position your petal template on the Stitch & Wash and hold it very still while you carefully trace around the outside of your template. Take great care to get the points correct. Make sure that you hold your pencil as upright as possible - when you hold your pencil on an angle the shape wont be accurate as the lead angles away from the edge of your shape distorting it.
Each block needs 12 of these petal shapes - so trace out at least enough for one block. Nest the shapes together carefully to avoid wastage while making sure that you allow a few millimetres between each shape to enable you to cut separate them without damaging either of the shapes edges.
Once you have finished tracing the petal shapes, roughly cut them out not on the line at this point - I like to cut my shapes out like this first as it is much easier to then cut the shape out accurately once you only have a small piece to manipulate.
Once the are all separated carefully cut out the shape accurately just along the inside edge of your drawn line. Once you are finished double check them for accuracy. The shapes are now ready to be fused to your fabrics.
Collect at least 12 different fabrics for your block. I tend to collect my fabrics in groups of two that work particularly well together. I then look for an element in one of the fabrics that I can then draw on to slightly change the tone in the next group of two fabrics and so on until I have 12 to work with.
I particularly love Kaffe Fasset fabrics for the diversity that they provide within a single piece of fabric. Using careful planning and fussy cutting I can often find several areas within one piece of fabric that once cut bare no resemblance to each other making my collection of fabrics appear much broader than it actually is.
I can move the applique shape around this gorgeous piece of fabric at least 5 times and find petal shapes that bear little or no resemblance to each other ...
Fussy cutting also allows you to focus upon a specific area of interest within a piece of fabric adding drama to your project.
Once you are happy with your choices, carefully position your Stitch & Wash shape, shiny side down on the wrong side of the fabric. Following the directions provided by the manufacturer ... use a dry, hot iron to fuse the shape to your fabric.
Allow the fabric to cool and then roughly cut it out leaving at least a 1/4" seam allowance around the entire shape. Now carefully cut the seam allowance down to slightly more than an 1/8".
... then trim off small amounts from the sides of the tips.
Lay your shape down on a scrap piece of paper and apply the glue stick to the seam allowances.
Fold the seam allowance over at the tips ...
.... then carefully fold over one side making sure that this seam allowance doesn't protrude into the seam allowance of the other side of the tip.
Then fold the other edge over creating a precise tip - hold it in place for a short time to allow the glue to hold.
Use this method to create all 12 petal shapes. I tend to make one block at a time ... I should have the patients to make enough petals for at least two blocks at once ... but because the actual positioning of the shapes and stitching is so much more fun I just can't possibly wait that bit extra time to get started ... ;)
I will stop here for today and I'll be back again on Friday with the positioning of the shapes and the ins & outs of the applique stitch .... then there'll be no stopping us!!!!
I appreciate everyone's goodwill in relation to this project. Please do not use this pattern for profit in any way ... this pattern & the directions are given in good faith and is intended for your personal use only and not to be reproduced in anyway.
There have been a couple of new retailers begin stocking my patterns in the past week or so. First up is a local Melbourne shop ... Sunspun ... they specialise in Kaffe fabrics and the most beautiful supply of wool ... everytime I visit I always wish I would take up knitting or something.
Next up is Volksfaden which is a terrific German based onlile shop. Linda, who heads up Volksfaden, has a spectacular range of contemporary quilting fabrics and patterns ... well worth a look!
As with all new retailers I will be very pleased to send off a copy of How does your garden grow to the first person who purchases one of my patterns from either of these two retailers ... you just need to email me with proof of purchase.
And just because I hate posts without photos of the kids in them ....
... here is our Harry Potter who was good enough to attend Joshua's kinder last Thursday to help them celebrate Halloween! Those scarves sure have been very useful ... thanks Lorraine!!!!
I hope you also had fun!