Monday, January 30, 2023

Calico Garden Sew Along - Week One!!


Welcome to week one of the 
Sew Along!
Join me here each week 
when I will be doing tutorials
 on the blocks for the quilt.

Of course because we are all sewing 
from all around the world  
we all have different time zones...
But I will be posting each Monday 
right here on my blog 
and you can follow my tutorials 
any time each week that 
 is convenient for you.

We are making the 
Calico Garden Quilt
90" x 90"
I've been prepping like crazy
so that I will be all ready
when it's time to begin...
and now that time is here!!

The quilt is made with my latest fabric
 collection called Calico...

I hope that you all have all 
received your 
fabric kits by now...
 and that we are all ready to begin!!

If you still need one ...
just do a quick google search for 
"Calico Garden Quilt Kit"
to find shops who still have some left.

We are also using the
Calico Garden
Sew Simple Shapes

I have already posted the
 post which details all of the supplies
 for the sew along and how it works.
I have also given the link there 
for the free PDF Download 
of the Sew Along Guide

to download the sew along guide
if you have not downloaded yet.

As per the sew along guide 
cutting instructions
 you should have everything for your
  Coneflower Blocks 
 all cut and ready to go!
*A note about fabric prep before cutting:
Of course this is all personal preference
 but I often get asked the same 
two questions
 so I thought I would answer them
 here again for you.
1. Do you pre-wash your fabrics?
Answer - No...I don't.
I used to years ago 
(I have been sewing for a long time lol)
but these days we have such 
good quality fabrics available to us 
that I don't find it necessary
 to pre-wash and I've never had any
 problems by not doing so.
2. How do you starch your fabric?
Answer - I lightly starch my fabrics
before I cut them for 
piecing or for applique.
I use Mary Ellens Best Press
and mix it with a little water in my 
spray bottle and spray my fabric 
right before I iron it flat to cut it. 

So in other words all of my starching
 takes place during my ironing process
 right before cutting.
And yes...
I always use vintage irons.
If you would like to know why and
 how I find them and use them...
to watch my YouTube Video
where I tell you all about it!

As per usual for week one in my 
Sew Simple Shape Sew Alongs
 the FIRST week tutorial is a video.

Because I now have my own  
 I have posted the 
 Blue Coneflower Block
Tutorial there.
to visit my channel and watch the 
tutorial and I hope that you love it!
Pretty please leave me a comment
over there and let me know:)

If you like what you see 
and my other videos there...
click on subscribe and click on the bell
 to be notified whenever
 I post another tutorial:)

Here's my Blue Coneflower Block 
that I showed you 
how to make in my video:)
It's all ready for applique!!!

The Purple Coneflower Block 
is almost identical to the Blue 
and so I'll show you how I made mine
 and give the necessary particulars!

Here is my Purple Coneflower Kit
 Everything is all cut...
all traced and ready to go!

Here is a list of the
  Calico Garden 
Sew Simple Shapes 
needed for this block:
1 - O-44
2 - O-58
2 - O-64
1 - O-85
1 - O-86

You will also need to cut
and prepare 1/4"
straight bias strip for the stem: 
1 - 5" long 

Cut your background  
10" x 10"
as it says in the guide
and press it in half for 
centering the flower and stem 
when pinning and glue basting:)

*Take note that on shape O-85
 that this mound will be the short one
 so that it fits on the block...
so just trace the top curve of the shape
 down to the line and then across
 like I showed you with the pot shape 
in the video for the Blue Coneflower.

All of the shapes were sewn...
trimmed...turned and shaped
just like I showed in my video.
Don't forget to clip the cleavage areas
 in the flower before turning.
Now I'll show you all of the 
measurements for this block 
after I glue basted and pinned it:)

7 1/4" - 7 1/2" tall

Large leaves are 7 1/2" wide...

And small leaves are 5" wide.

Purple Coneflower Block 
all ready for applique:)

Afterwards I will 
press from the back and then 
I will use my 8 1/2" Trim-It Ruler
to trim down the block before 
I sew it into the quilt.
I just love these rulers!
One reason is that I love to use 
during layout to make sure 
everything is centered:)

A few days ago I posted the tutorial
on how to make the
to read my blog post 
for those instructions:)

Thanks so much for sewing with me today
 and for joining me 
 for the very first week of 
Calico Garden
Congratulations on 
making your first blocks:)
YaY You!

I'll meet you right back here
on my blog next week for the 
Morning Glory Block tutorial...

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Calico Garden Sew Along - Calico Star Flower Block Tutorial!!

Hello quilty friends:)

I'm sew happy that the 
Calico Garden Sew Along 
will begin on Monday!
If you need all the info
on this sew along
to read my Bee Prepared Blog Post:)

I've been prepping like crazy 
and have been cutting cutting cutting
 and working a few weeks ahead of you.

I have sewn 13 of the 
Calico Star Flower Blocks so far...
and I thought that I would surprise 
you all and post the tutorial 
for these blocks five days early!

There are 23 total of the 
Calico Star Flower Blocks 
and they all go in the border 
of the quilt along with a few 
appliquéd flower blocks in-between.

The 23 Calico Star Flower Blocks
 are all rotary cut and machine pieced
 with the addition of an 
applique circle in the center.

I have been enjoying each step 
of the preparation and I am
 sew loving each print of 
while preparing each of the blocks:)

A big thank you for all
of your kind words
and excitement about this collection...
you certainly know how to make
my designing heart happy!

Of course you will find the cutting
 for these blocks inside the
 Calico Garden Sew Along Guide
if you still need to download

I had made 6 of these blocks 
back in November so that I could
 show you during the filming of my 
and so that left 17 more 
blocks for me to make.

Here they are...when they were
 all cut and ready to sew.

I also cut and traced 
17 more circles for the centers 
using the O-6 Sew Simple Shape
from the Calico Garden Set.

I used the red number stickers 
from my Sew Handy Stickers set to
 keep track of which blocks I have cut.

Just so that you know 
how I numbered the blocks...
I started with number 1 on the 
top row left (green block) 
and going clockwise...
I continued all around the quilt 
ending on the top of the left side border
 with that gray block being number 23.

This is Calico Star Flower Block 15 
and you can see in the quilt photo 
that it's place in the bottom border 
exactly in the center.

Each block measures 
8 1/2" x 8 1/2"(UNFINISHED) 
and all are sewn the same way.
 I'm going to take you step by step
while I make this block
so that you can see how I do it!

Here are all the fabric cuts for 
Block 15 on my design board.
All cutting is in the guide but 
I'll break it down for ONE block here:
From Background -
(A) Cut 12 - 2" x 2"
(B) Cut 8 - 1 1/2" x 1 1/2"
(C) Cut 1 - 2 1/2" x 2 1/2"
Top Print -
Cut 4 - 2 1/2" x 3 1/2"
Bottom Print -
Cut 4 - 2" x 3 1/2"
Cut 4 - 2" x 2"

Start with the four 2" squares and
 4 of the (A) background squares.

Sew them together like this.
Make sure that you are using an 
accurate 1/4" seam allowance 
throughout sewing this entire block.

 Press your seams open.

Now add the rectangles 
from the same print 
onto the right side like this.

Make sure that the background square
 in your previously sewn segments
 are on the bottom...

Like this:)

Press these seam allowances
 towards the rectangle.

Now it's time to add the 
Easy Corner Triangles
using the remaining
 (A) 2" background squares.

Place onto the right side corner 
(lining everything up evenly) like this
 and sew from corner to corner.

Use the center line on the 
Seams Sew Easy Guide 
or mark a line from corner to corner.

Now do the exact same thing
 on the opposite side...

So it looks like this.

Trim off the excess leaving 
an approximate 1/4" seam allowance.

Press toward the Easy Corner Triangles
 that you have just added.
Your four segments should look like this
 and should each measure 
3 1/2" x 3 1/2"

Now you are going to add 
Easy Corner Triangles onto the top
 of these remaining 4 rectangles using the
 (B) 1 1/2" background squares.

Sew one side first...

 trim away excess...

And press towards the 
Easy Corner Triangles.

Now you will be able to sew
 the second Easy Corner Triangle
 onto the other side...

Like this.
Press these in the same way.

Now all of the segments are complete...
you can lay your block out onto your
 Design Board for sewing together.

Sew together like you would
 sew together a 9 Patch...
which is first into 3 horizontal rows.

Press these seams open like this.

And now sew these three rows together.

I like to use my 
Double Pretty Pins 
like this... to match the seams
 that need to line up.

Press these two seams open as well.
The seam roller and clappers both
 really help to get your seams open flat...

like this:)
I think it's really important to have 
any pieced block lie as flat as possible...
not only for accuracy but also especially
 when you are going to applique 
on top like you will be on these.

Now it's time to 
glue baste the center circle...
but first let me show you
 how I sewed the circles
and we will get back to this:)

I simply place each traced circle 
onto a fabric square...both with 
right sides up and sew directly 
onto my traced circle line...

Trim leaving an approximate 
1/4" seam allowance...
cut an "X" in the interfacing...
turn...shape and press.

If you have never done my 
Sew Simple Shapes Applique
 method before now...
save this part until you watch my
 week one video in a few days:)

All of my circles are now ready to go!!

Okay...back to this:)

Your block needs to be on a Design Board
 as you will be pinning directly into it.

Place a few dots of Sue Glue
 onto the back of your circle.

Use a ruler to center your circle onto
 the block and pin it into place....

Like this:)

After it dries for a few minutes...
remove the pins and place an 
8 1/2" Trim-It Ruler onto your block.

This accomplishes two things:
One is to make sure that 
the circle is centered...and if not
 you can gently pull it off...
adjust it and re-glue.
Two is to make sure that your
 pieced block measures 8 1/2" square 
and if it's not ...trim it to 8 1/2" 

And here you go!!
It's so cute!!!
Just hand applique or machine applique
with matching thread before
sewing your blocks into the quilt.

I kept sewing mine until I had 10 left...
I'll work on these here and there
 over the next few weeks
 and get them all sewn!

Here's my 13 blocks again...I love them!

I hope that you do too 
and that you can relax and have fun
while cutting and  sewing your 
Calico Star Flower Blocks together.

Remember that it's not a race
 and this sew along will last 19 weeks! 
Hopefully that will give you time 
to get them all sewn by the end:)

I will meet you right back here on 
Monday, January 30th
for Week One of the
Calico Garden Sew Along!

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