Friday, August 28, 2015

Seams Sew Easy is Here and Farm Girl Friday Week 18 - YeeHaw!!!

I'm so excited to show you
 a brand new product that 
I have designed just for you!

It's a seam guide that you adhere
 (temporarily of course)
 to your sewing machine bed.

Introducing the 

I designed it and
produced it for me…and you!

I've been waiting
 a long time 
for them to be ready 
and I'm so happy that
 they are finally here 
and that I can 
share them with you
 on this weeks 
Farm Girl Friday:)

This is only one of the colors available...

It comes in these 4 happy colors
to match your mood or each of your machines:)

Personally I plan on keeping one 
with all of my machines
and in my sewing bag
so that I am never without one.

Each one comes with 4 of the
 1" round Stick-it's…
which are removable double side tape dots.

So now I'm going to 
explain why and how to use my
while I'm showing you the
 3 easy steps to set it up!

I have put the steps directly onto my seam guide for you.
First step is placing the needle into the dot.
This step is to ensure that
 the center line on the 
Seams Sew Easy lines up
 perfectly with the needle.

With these directions you are
 custom fitting it to your machine.

It's now 6 years later from when I originally did this post introducing my Seams Sew Easy.
It's now 2020!
Now they come with the rectangle already cut out and all you have to do is line up the center line on the guide with your needle.
Easy Peasy!
You can make sure it is going straight by using the lines on your machine and the grid lines on the Seams Sew Easy Guide:)

Un-thread your machine…
align needle with dot and 
insert the needle right into the center.

Then lift your needle and remove
 seam guide from your machine bed.
Step one done!

Now for step two…
See the dotted lines around the rectangle?
That's your guide for cutting out.
Don't worry if you 
go off the dotted lines
they are just there as a guide.

Your Seams Sew Easy will
 still work fine even if 
it's not an exact rectangle cut out
the most important thing is
 the needle placement within it
 and you've already done that!

Use some good sharp scissors…
or an X-Acto Knife
but NOT your fabric scissors!

Remember the reason that there is a rectangle there in the first place is so that you have your needle placement as a guide when adhering to your machine bed for correct placement of the three lines that will guide your sewing:)
Your machine can't sew fabric with the rectangle in place…so obviously it will need to be removed after sticking your seam guide to your sewing machine bed:)

The large punched hole is there so that 
you can use it to start your first cut.
It's sturdy plastic so 
it will take more time than just simply cutting paper…
but no worries!

Just start cutting towards
 the back of the rectangle like this.
Just use the tip of your
 very sharp scissors and 
go a little at time for 
cutting the sturdy plastic:)

The plastic is sturdy so that it will stick out and lie flat on those sewing machines that have a curved bed or not much space between the front edge of the bed and the needle like for instance my featherweight.
It is SO HELPFUL to have a larger working space on an otherwise short bed.
I purposely designed my Seams Sew Easy guide
with sturdy plastic to stick out a couple of inches on your machine when it's not flat in a table for this very reason:)
You can sew in this photo
 that using "washi tape" 
also works really well
to hold your Seams Sew Easy in place.
Washi tape is like cute miniature painters tape and can be found in the scrapbooking section of any craft store:)
You can use this instead of the sticky dots that it comes with.

After you have the top piece of
 the rectangle out…
simply cut down the sides
 until it's all cut out 
like this.
I am using the word "cutting" 
but keep in mind that it's really 
just clipping a little at a time 
with the very tip of sharp scissors.

Now put the seam guide back onto 
your machine bed!
Use the lines on your machine …
and the lines on the guide…
 to make sure it is straight...

And adhere into place.
I put a dot under 4 of the petals.
(it probably would be just as secure with 2)
I have a front loading bobbin on my machine 
so I don't really ever need to 
remove my seam guide for changing bobbins.
When my machine needs 
to be cleaned or moved etc
I just pull off the seam guide
 and stick it back on afterwards!
Depending on your machine
 and how you use it washi tape or 
stick it dots will work either way...
Easy Peasy!

Now it's time to remove the rectangle
 after your 
Seams Sew Easy is adhered.
Because you used the rectangle
 and had the needle inserted 
so that it wouldn't move
your lines on the guide 
(centered with needle and 1/4")
are exactly where 
they need to be
 for accurate piecing!

After you use it for a while you get to know where to place it pretty easily!

Now I have a cute little flower 
with lines to guide my stitching and I know that the center line is lined up with my needle…

No more tracing lines onto squares
 for easy corner triangles…
flying geese…snowballs etc:)

You simply start stitching on one corner 
and let the bottom corner line up
 with the CENTER line as you are sewing.
This center line is aligned perfectly 
with your needle so it works accurately every time!

Just like this!

I love it!!!

I have always used a guide for
 sewing accurate 1/4" seams as well.
I like to know where my seam is 
long before I get to the foot.
I find if you wait until you
 get to the foot to adjust to 1/4" it can cause
 "wobbly" seams…
and that not good for accurate blocks:)
I use the left of the center line 
as well and the grid lines on the
 center of the flower for 
things like hemming etc.

See? Perfect 1/4" seam…YaY!!!

You all should know by now that 
I use my Easy Corner Triangle Method
on any of my blocks that have angles at all 
(which is most of them)

So I'm hoping that you will love 
my Seams Sew Easy as much as I do!

If you follow me on 
have attended one of my 
Farm Girl Vintage Workshop/Retreats ...
 you know I have been using one
 on my featherweight.

Seams need to be accurate on retreat too!

Okay…so now onto our first block this week…
"Scrappy Maple Leaf "

You will find the pattern and instructions
 on page 58 of my book 

I love making maple leaf blocks!
I just had to make a bunch in both the 6" and 12" sizes...

For a swirly twirly falling leaves quilt:)
I used the Picnic Quilt setting 
on page 114 of my book.

I'm in the fall mood …
so I'm really looking forward 
to seeing all of your blocks!
Don't forget to use the hashtag;


Now let's talk about my 
Scrappy Strawberry block:)

You can find the pattern and instructions on page 59.

I know strawberries are typically
 in season during the spring 
but I love to decorate with strawberries
 so they are always in season at my little cottage!

When you make your blocks…
don't forget to use the hashtag

I think my scrappy strawberry looks great in red too...

So I stitched up a couple of the 12" blocks
and cut 18 - 4 1/2" scrappy aqua squares...

and pieced together a quick table runner:)
12" x 48"

I didn't get time to quilt it for you but you 
get the idea…right?
I think I'll bind it in aqua too:)

I like the size of this one…
it will look nice on the main countertop 
in my cottagey kitchen:)

to see this weeks guest bloggers 
and to view the schedule.

That's it for now!
Now go sew your blocks:)

Friday, August 21, 2015

Farm Girl Friday - Week 17 - Starters and Stoppers - and a New "Mash Up" block - Farm Girl Star!!!!

Well hello again cute
 Farm Girl Friday people!
Today is week 17 and I have a new 
Farm Girl Mash Up block for you:)

But first things first.
Let's grab our books…
(get your copy by clicking HERE)

And turn to page 56 where you will find
 the instructions for our first block;

Can I just tell you
 how much I love pinwheels?
Such a classic block 
that never goes out of style.

It plays perfectly with 
all of my other farm girl blocks:)

I love making scrappy pinwheels!
And I have several methods that
 I use to make traditional blocks...
and I try to show you
different options in my book.

One way that I make pinwheels is:
 I like to get into my 
scrappy stash basket 
and cut 4 matching squares…
then match them up with
 4 background squares of the same size.

I simply stitch a line from corner to corner...
Then just trim off the excess like this.
When I press open I have a half square triangle
for one segment of my pinwheel.

I just sew the four sections together
 to form my pinwheel block…
Easy Peasy!

That's how I made the pinwheels
 surrounding my
Farm Girl tractor 
for my Quilty Barn quilt label…
in John Deere green:)

But because I learned to
 drive on a red Farmall tractor
that's the kind I made for the book!

After all…
no farm girl book would be complete
 without a Farm Girl Tractor!

I decided to surround
 the tractor with pinwheels 
because pinwheel blocks
 show movement and
 I wanted to give the feel
 of the tractor
 in the middle of the field…
turning and turning 
the soil for planting:)

I named the quilt 
and you can find 
the pattern on page 96
of my Farm Girl Vintage book:)

Because there are so many 
pinwheels in this quilt
I show you another method 
on making them
 in the book using only
 one print square and 
one background square:)

I hope you try both methods
 and see which one
 suits you and/or your
 scrappy stash better!

Next up we have another
 traditional block called
"Postage Stamp"
on page 57 of the book.

This is the 12" block…
but next is the mash up part!

If you make the 6" Postage Stamp block…

And put it in the center
 of my 12" Simple Star block…
(instead of cutting a 6 1/2" square of pink fabric)

You'll end up with my
 farm girl mash up block called 
Farm Girl Star!!!
I've shown this block on my 
quite a while back because
 I have been making a lot of these 
Farm Girl Stars
for a super big quilt!

Although the block is super easy to sew together…
making several Postage Stamp blocks
 may seem a little overwhelming to you 
because there are 36 squares in each block…
and you might be wondering how you 
will cut all those scrappy squares!

My answer is 
I use all of my leftovers to make my
"starter and stopper" projects…
or what I have always called bonus quilting.
I LOVE to get something beautiful out of 
what might have otherwise gone to waste…
that's the farm girl way!

It's just not as hard to prepare for my
starters and stoppers as you may think.
Whenever I have leftovers 
from trimming off my easy corner triangles…
I just quickly cut them into a square
like this!

Sometimes I have quite a few leftovers…
depending on the project.
I cut up to 4 layers at a time…
and I cut a 1 1/2" square or a 2 1/2" square from them…
depending on how big the leftover pieces are.

They are super easy and fast to trim up
especially when using a rotating cutting mat.
My favorite is this round pink one 
by my friend Sue Daley:)

When my squares are cut…
I put them into my 
scrappy leftover strips 
basket that is the same size
 as the squares I just cut.

I have talked about my method of
 saving and using my leftovers many times.
Here is a link to one of my posts…
 if you haven't seen it before.

Once you have a bunch of squares cut
for your postage stamp blocks
you can just go ahead and sew it up
 all at once like you normally would…
and you can sew them a little at a time
 using the starter and stopper method:)

This is how I do that.
I have a container holding my squares
 next to my machine at all times.
(usually it's vintage because that's how I roll)

In this case its a
 pink oval melmac bowl.
When I'm sewing blocks 
for a quilt 
(such as several Welcome blocks from my book pictured above)…

When I come to a 
starting or a stopping point
 between chain piecing…
Instead of pulling out my
 last section that I just pieced ...
I pick up two squares 
and sew them together
and leave them there!
Until I sew the next segment
 of chain piecing for my 
Welcome block.
to see my tutorial on my 
Bonus Quilting method

I put all of my 2 squares
 sewn together segments 
back into the bowl.

Periodically I pull them out
 and press my seams open
 and sew them into rows
until I have a
 Postage Stamp block complete.

Then I simply use it for
 the center of a 12" Simple Star.

After a while it's amazing how many
 blocks you can complete
just by sewing these cute
 Farm Girl Star blocks using my 
starter and stoppers method!

Another bonus by 
sewing this way is that 
you NEVER waste any of
 your precious thread or
 you don't waste time 
trimming those long thread tails.

It also helps to keep 
your machine from 
when you are starting 
to sew each segment of a block.
No more or that!
Each piece goes under and through
 the feed dogs smoothly 
and that's important! 
(if you want your piecing to be accurate:)

Any of my 6" farm girl blocks will
 fit in the center of 
my 12" Simple Star block.
(I feel another sampler coming on!) 
My pinwheel block would 
be adorable inside one!

And remember back last year 
to when I showed you how 
to sew these 3" blocks from my 

and put them inside my
 6" Simple Star block?

Don't you just love it?
 It's all sew much fun!

These cute little
 "X" blocks are also in my
from 3 years ago when 
my fabric collection
Polka Dot Stitches came out:)

I also put my
 6" Great Granny Square block 
inside of my 
12" Simple Star block as well:)
Both the 6" block and 
the 12" block patterns are inside my 
Great Granny Squared book:) 

We did a scrappy square exchange in my June 
Farm Girl Vintage retreats and one 
of the things that we made with the
 1 1/2" squares were Farm Girl Stars.

I love doing mash up blocks for my retreats
 as well as Farm Girl Vintage companion blocks
 like Penny Pig and Apple Picking.

In other Farm Girl Vintage news…
I'm doing 2 more retreats in October!!!

Again hosted by 
Thimbles and Threads
 but at their new lodge in
 beautiful Draper, Utah. 

Sign ups opened for
 the second one yesterday…
to reserve your spot!

While there
I will be revealing my 
long awaited and requested
 Milk Cow farm girl block
 as well as a few other surprises!

to go to our Farm Girl Fridays sew along schedule 
to keep on track and to visit our guest bloggers:)

Have a Farm Girl Friday
 quilty kind of day!

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