Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Chatelaine- Free BOW Sampler Quilt Block 13

This weeks lovely block is called Goshen Star and while there are a few variations of this block, this one is my favorite. I love the little hidden star in the centre and if your play around with the colour placements, it will change the whole effect of the block.
As a suggestion, use some white homespun for the centre star, instead of the pink, and make the star really "pop". I'll be interested to see your interruptions of this one :)
To download this weeks block, just visit HERE.
Happy sewing :)

Monday, January 26, 2015

Free February 2015 Calendar

Well it's almost time to say goodbye to the first month of 2015; I swear January is the fastest month, because we are on holidays and happily enjoying a well deserved break. Regardless, its time for your free February Calendar:
This months featured quilt would have to be my personal favorite design from 2014, Fairground. You can read more about and see more pictures of this gorgeous quilt, HERE.
As with last month, from today until the end of February, the PDF file of this pattern will be available in my store HERE at the discounted price of $6.95.
To download this months free calendar, just visit HERE.
Even though February is a short month, it's going to be a very busy one for us. Wishing you and your family a great February and to my Aussie readers, I hope you enjoyed a wonderful Australia Day today :)

Friday, January 23, 2015

January's Fun Free Projects

Everyone loves a free project and there are so many wonderful ones being offered at the moment. For me, its a chance to work on a project without having to worry about all the brain work; designing, taking notes or trying to decipher my notes :), and pattern writing. I can just cut and sew and have some fun :)
This year I chose to participate in two of these projects and I am really enjoying these. The first is the Snapshots quilt from the Fat Quarter Shop and this is Block 1, "Let Them Eat Cake":
If you haven't seen this one yet, go and have a look, its such a gorgeous quilt and the money they raise in donations, is for a great cause. You can order kits for this quilt but I'll be using a mix of my Bonnie and Camille fabrics, in an attempt to cull some of my stash. Blocks are released on the 15th of each month and this one was quick to complete which makes it perfect when everyone's so busy :)
The intention is to make this quilt, just for me but I have a feeling that when Maddi sees the puppy block, she might grab this one :)
The second project I'm following along with, is called Snow Happy Hearts and its from the very talented Anne Sutton from Bunny Hill Designs.
On the 5th of every month there's a new snowman to stitch and this is January's. Isn't he cute? I chose not to stuff the heart as it is in the pattern because I'm thinking about tying these all together to make a garland for Christmas, our old one has seen better days :(
So in between all my "work" sewing, this is what I'll be sewing just for fun this year. Check out the links, they might be just what you are looking for as well :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Chatelaine- Free BOW Sampler Quilt Block 12


This weeks little stunner is called Crowning Glory and I think its my favorite block so far! I do love pretty star blocks and this one will be a lovely addition to our sampler quilts.
It's another quick and easy block to piece and I really love this colour combination :) I hope you enjoy sewing this block as well.
To download this weeks block, just visit HERE.
Don't forget to share your blocks on Instagram, using #chatelainebow, its great to see everyone's progress and how these quilts are coming together.
Happy sewing :)

Monday, January 19, 2015

Parfum

What woman doesn't love the aromatic scents of a gorgeous perfume and the confidence it gives her when she wears it? Perfume bottles contain a sense of magic, which is unleashed when the bottle is opened and a drop or two of the precious liquid is discreetly applied to our skin. The shape of the bottles seem to echo the mysterious properties within and were the inspiration for my very first paper pieced pattern, Parfum:
Robert Ricci from the fashion house Nina Ricci once said, "A perfume is a work of art and the object that contains it must be a masterpiece."
I remember quite vividly the gorgeous perfume bottles that lined my grandmothers vanity table. She used them sparingly and only for special occasions and after she was dressed, "fluffed" (as she called it) and out the door, that sweet familiar smell still lingered. I'm sure she would have loved to add this bottle to her collection :)
The centre block is paper pieced and I have added a simple but very pretty, pieced ribbon border to complete this lovely mini quilt. If you need and help with paper piecing, you can use my tutorials HERE and HERE.  It would be perfect to make and give as a gift for the "girly girl" in your life, or to hang near your own vanity table.
Patterns are available as a PDF file in my shop, HERE.
I hope you like Parfum as much as I do, it was a fun project to design and sew and I have plans for a few more paper piecing patterns in the future :)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Tutorial- Paper Piecing Part 2

In Part 2 of my paper piecing tutorial, I wanted to share my method, and some great links, for cutting fabric and sewing angles and also give you a practice block which is sectioned and then joined.
Download my pattern HERE, and use the following diagram, just as a reference for choosing fabrics:
This block would usually be paper pieced as one block, but I have divided it:
Patterns may look complicated but they are all divided into sections, worked in exactly the same manner as in Part 1 of my tutorial and then sewn together. Cut around the dotted line of each section of the pattern, as before:
Cutting fabrics for angles or odd shapes is a little trickier. So many times I have cut and sewn my piece and when I turned the fabric back, due to the angle, the section was not fully covered. Be generous when cutting your fabric to ensure each section is fully covered, including seam allowances as ripping out seams is frustrating. It is fabric consuming but I save all my usable scraps for future projects:
In this example, I have already covered sections A1 and A2 and I have cut a piece of fabric for A3:
To ensure that my piece fully covers the section I'm working on, I pin it into place first, then flip the fabric over, so it covers the section I'm working on and then turn the paper over:
When I fold the paper back along the other sewing lines, I can see that the section is fully covered and that I have a generous excess. If you need to make any adjustments, you can do it now. You could also hold it up to a light source, to check, if you prefer. Remove the pins and sew into position and continue as normal.
This step is particularly important when sewing angles. and although this is my method, there are many excellent tutorials that also share their solutions for sewing angles. You can them visit HERE and HERE or search for some video ones on You Tube. Choose whatever method is best for you.
Once you have covered all the sections in A, trim along the dotted line, including any notches as they help to line up your pieces when joining and paper piece the sections in B, in the same manner:
You are almost there; now just to join the two sections together.
When I'm joining sections, I fold back the seam allowances of each section prior to sewing and sew the fabric only. This helps to align the sections more accurately and it also means that you wont have to remove the paper from those seams which is beneficial. Pin the sections together and sew into position.
Press the seam flat and you have completed your block which should measure 6 1/2" sqaure :)
I hope this two part tutorial has helped a little with the basics of paper piecing. I will be back very soon with my first PP pattern; I can't wait to share this mini quilt, I think it's gorgeous :)

Friday, January 16, 2015

Tutorial- Paper Piecing Part 1

Paper piecing is a simple and traditional quilt making technique and once you have learnt the basics, sewing more complicated patterns will become easier and enjoyable. I love to paper piece and I am thrilled to have designed my very first PP pattern which I will be releasing very soon.
I have put together a two part tutorial so you can try paper piecing for yourself, if you haven't already. Both tutorials will include a pattern so you can sew along with the tutorial.
Firstly, lets talk about what you will require. There are several papers available to print or draft your patterns on, including some which will wash away after you have completed your project (which would be great for large quilts) but I use either the paper directly from the printer, which is a little harder to remove, or I trace the design onto baking paper, which removes a lot easier. Choose a paper that best suits you.
If you do choose to use printer paper, you can take the thread out of your machine and sew along the sewing lines before beginning to paper piece; this perforates the paper and make removing it a lot easier.
I have a separate rotary cutter for paper piecing and I load it with my older fabric blades. I also use a universal needle in my machine but just remember to change it after you have paper pieced, as sewing through the paper will blunt it. I also suggest using a smaller stitch, so you don't rip out seams when removing the paper.
Ok so starting on a pattern. Download and print my basic pattern HERE. Cut around the dotted line of the pattern (not directly on the line) and chose your fabrics based on the picture below:
Each piece of the pattern is labelled in numerical order (A1-A7) and we are working in that order. This particular block will be worked in one piece, but in Part 2, you will be making a sectioned block.
First we need to cut a square of red fabric for A1 and a square of pink fabric for A2:
When cutting fabric for squares and rectangles, cut each piece at least 3/4"- 1" larger than it measures on the pattern, so all seam allowances are generously covered. I always cut bigger, just to be sure; this becomes more important when cutting fabric for angled pieces (there will be more on this in Part 2).
Fold the paper back, along the line between A1 and A2. It's important to remember that when you are paper piecing, you are working from the back of the block. Place the red and pink squares together, right sides facing and position the squares at least 1/4" from the top of the fold.  The wrong side of the red square must be against the back of pattern and ensure that the squares are centred and there is at least a 1/4" excess around the section you are covering (holding it up to a light source helps to check this).
Fold the paper back and sew across the line between A1 and A2 only.
Fold the paper back and check your seam allowance and trim to 1/4" if necessary.
Turn the paper over and press the seam flat.
Fold the paper back along the line between A1 and A3 and trim the red fabric 1/4" from the fold.
Cut a square of pink fabric for the A3 square and with right sides facing, lay it behind the red square, aligning the exposed raw edge. Fold the paper back and sew across the line between A1 and A3 only. Fold the paper back and check that you have a 1/4" seam allowance, trimming if necessary.
Turn the paper over and press seam flat.
Fold the pattern back along the line between A4 and A1/A2/A3 and trim excess fabric 1/4" from the fold. Cut a rectangle of aqua fabric for A4. Place the aqua fabric behind, with right sides together and line up the exposed raw edge, ensuring all seam allowances are covered. Fold paper back and sew along the line. Fold paper back and check your seam allowance, trimming if necessary.
Turn paper over and press seam flat.
Fold paper back on the line between A4 and A5 and trim excess fabric 1/4" from the fold. Cut a rectangle of grey fabric for A5. Place the grey fabric behind, with right sides together and line up the exposed raw edge, ensuring all seam allowances are covered. Fold paper back and sew along the line. Fold paper back and check your seam allowance, trimming if necessary.
Turn paper over and press seam flat.
We are doing the same for the other side. Fold the paper back along the line between A6 and A1/A2/A3 and trim excess fabric to 1/4" from the fold. Cut a rectangle of aqua fabric. Place the aqua fabric behind, with right sides together and line up the exposed raw edge, ensuring all seam allowances are covered. Fold paper back and sew along the line. Fold paper back and check your seam allowance, trimming if necessary. Turn paper over and press seam flat.
Fold the paper back along the line between A6 and A7 and trim excess fabric to 1/4" from the fold. Cut a rectangle of grey fabric. Place the grey fabric behind, with right sides together and line up the exposed raw edge, ensuring all seam allowances are covered. Fold paper back and sew along the line. Fold paper back and check your seam allowance, trim if necessary.
Turn paper over and press seam flat.
Trim excess fabric and paper along the dotted line, on each side of the block. You have now completed your block which should measure 6 1/2" square when complete.
If this was the only block you were making, now would be the time to remove the paper. If you were making multiple blocks, leave the papers in place to assist in joining and then remove them once they are all sewn together.
I hope you enjoyed sewing this paper pieced block. I'll be back with Part 2 of this tutorial in a couple of days and this will cover sewing angles plus sewing and joining sections. :)