Saturday, January 23, 2021

My Favorite Color is Moda Sew Along - Cutting Tips

Ready to cut your fabric?

To get started, find a bin or tub to store everything in and put a new blade in your rotary cutter.

Here are a couple of helpful things I learned during the cutting process:

1. Baggies are a must. Get 20 baggies and mark each with a block number (1-20). I marked mine with a Sharpie and, even though this was completely coincidental, it made it easier to see numbers through the bags than a label would have done.

3. Use the biggest bags you have - within reason. If they're too small, you'll have to fold your pieces and have to re-press them before you can sew. At least 8" square would be ideal.

4. Rearrange your baggies in numerical order after cutting each color or they'll get so mixed up that you'll have a hard time finding the one you need.

5. Save your scraps.  You never know what mistake you may make when you start making blocks. I'm pretty sure I will need to cut at least one or two replacement pieces in this process.

6. PLEASE NOTE: The cutting instructions for some colors flow over 2 pages. Pay close attention.

7. To avoid cutting the wrong fabric, cover the side of the pattern you're not using with a piece of paper.

8. When you're done cutting, arrange your baggies from largest to smallest in your bin so you can just grab the next one each month. I'm ready to sew!

My Favorite Color is Moda Sew Along - Introduction

An introduction:

Moda is hosting a sew-along in 2021 using Bella Solids - the "My Favorite Color is Moda" quilt.

Kits are available in 6 colorways or you can purchase a pattern and use your own fabrics.  This would be so pretty as a scrappy quilt!

Aren't they beautiful?

I'm a little late in posting, but right now we are cutting our fabric and sewing hasn't started yet.  We start sewing on February 2nd. Moda will have a blog post with tips for each block every month and I will also post over here with tips and the link to the Moda blog posts.

Moda's Intro post is over here:

The quilt is 81" x 99" finished.

I have kits for all the colorways as well as individual patterns available on the website.

I will be posting regularly on Instagram as well as the Twiddletails Quilt Alongs Facebook group.

Friday, January 1, 2021

Temperature Quilt - Calculating Fabric Quantities

 Calculating the amount of fabric needed to make a temperature quilt is very hard.

It depends on the size & design of your quilt and blocks.

The easiest way is to buy a fabric bundle, but you will definitely have some fabrics that get very little use. In my experience no quilter has ever complained about having too much fabric though.

You will therefore just have to determine how much you need of the color/s you will be using the most.

Because I'm making an applique quilt again this year, albeit raw edge not needle turn, I'm hoping to do a little homework before I start.  This way, hopefully, the block making process will be a little shorter.

Historical data is very helpful here. See this post about how to get hold of historical data.

I requested just the 2020 data for my purposes. In order to determine how many days fell in each of my temperature ranges, I first sorted by minimum temperature and counted those, then sorted by maximum temperature and counted those.

Here's what I found:

I had 55 occurrences of the the 66 to 70 degree range which means this is the color I will need the most of.

If you know how much fabric each block requires, you can do the math from there.

My plan is to pre-cut a bunch of background squares and maybe even make a couple of blocks ahead of time.

I also used the data to see how many occurrences of specific temperature combinations there were.  Now I know I can pre-make at least 5 of quite a few. (The pictures are a little fuzzy, so hopefully you get the idea.)

If you're on Facebook be sure to join the Twiddletails Temperature Quilt Along group where a whole lot of sharing and advice can be found.  It's grown into such a fun group in the last year.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Temperature Quilt 2021!

Things are heating up on the Temperature Quilt Along Facebook Group! This means the New Year is almost here (and aren't we all glad for that this year?).

If you're new to this, I have a bunch of posts from last year to the right


I did change the fabric planning sheet for 2021. You can sign up to get it over here.

I also updated the calendar where you can record your temperatures. You can find it under "files" in the Facebook Group and I'll send it in an email to subscribers in the next couple of days if you're not on Facebook.

My design for 2021 is appliqued hearts. It'll be much like my 2019 quilt but I am NOT hand appliqueing these.  They will definitely be fused and raw edge.

The planning sheet document includes templates for the little hearts should you decide to use this design.

Be sure to join the Facebook Group and/or follow Twiddletails on Instagram. I post over there more frequently.

Here's a pic of my 2019 quilt:

Happy New Year!!!!

Friday, October 2, 2020

New: Stitch Pink!

 I've fallen a little behind on the Leaves in the Forest quilt. My apologies for not giving this quilt-along the attention it deserved.  If you have any questions or trouble making the blocks, please contact me and I will gladly help.

On to new things! Have you heard of Stitch Pink? It's a free block-a-day from Moda Fabrics to commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Many shops, including Twiddletails, are hosting quilt-alongs, which include a daily free block pattern.

It started on the 1st but it's never too late to sign up.  Even if you sign up a little late, you will still get access to all the previous blocks and other freebies.

The fabric used in Moda's quilt is Grunge Basics. I have kits available but you can also use your own fabrics or another colorway if you prefer not to make a pink quilt.

I have included a color planning sheet to help you make the shift to other colors. I'm working on a different colorway for myself, so stay tuned.

Be sure to follow Twiddletails on Facebook and Instagram to be the first to know about new happenings at Twiddletails HQ.

Friday, September 4, 2020

Leaves in the Forest Quilt Along - Tips for Block 2

In Block 1, all the triangles were right triangles with a 90 degree corner and 2 equal sides, which made using strips for piecing very simple.

Block 2 is a little different. When there are triangles with one corner greater than 90 degrees (obtuse triangles), I have found that cutting a fabric rectangle is the most efficient.

So, for the colored fabrics, we will cut 3" x 7" rectangles.

The above photo shows the last colored section but they would all be sewn the same way.

The background triangles still have a 90 degree corner but the sides are different lengths. To piece these, we will be using different fabric strips for the odd and even sides. It may sound a little strange but will make sense once you do it.

Fold the pattern back along the line between section 7 and section 8 and trim the seam allowance roughly.

Lay a 4.5" fabric strip right side up and lay the block on top, right sides together. Remember to check that you have 1/4" of background fabric all around the triangle.

Sew, trim, and press the seam.

Repeat for section 9, this time using another strip with a straight edge or the other end of the same strip.

If you used the same strip, it will now look like this.

When you sew the next background sections, you will see that one end will "fit" but the other won't. 
Block 2a!
This is all very hard to explain in words so please let me know if anything doesn't make sense.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Leaves in the Forest Quilt Along - last tutorial

This will be the last tutorial post to explain how I use fabric strips for piecing.  When we get to some of the other blocks without 90 degree triangles, I will add bits of advice.

The next section is section 4. In the diagram it will be sewn using 30150-322 (russet orange).

1. Lay your 3" colored fabric strip right side up.

2. Fold the pattern along the line between sections 1, 2, and 3 and section 4 and lay it on top of the orange strip as below. The blue lines show the outline of section 4 and the red lines the edges of the orange strip. Note how there is at least 1/4" of orange fabric on all sides of section 4.

3. Carefully open the pattern back up and slide everything under the needle being careful that nothing shifts. It takes a bit of practice and if it helps you can certainly pin.

4. Sew the seam along the bottom of section 4. Sew only where the line is drawn.
5. Fold the pattern back again (it will look exactly like the first photo) and trim the seam to 1/4".
6. Open the pattern up.
7. Press the seam toward the orange triangle.
Now just keep going the same way and, before you know it, you'll have a whole block.
Note: Sew the last two seams (sections 13 & 14) all the way into the seam allowance and backstitch the ends.
Here's your block!
Trim to size. Measure 1/4" from the seam line.  I never trim along the cutting line because I may have cut the pattern out inaccurately.
Remove the papers. My advice is to start with the last seam you sewed and remove them in reverse order.
My five block 1's!

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Leaves in the Forest Quilt Along - Continued

We ended the last post here:

Let's continue.

The next section is section 3, which will be in your background color.

We'll be using the 2.5" fabric strip we used for section 2.  It will now have a diagonal edge because of the way you trimmed section 2. Lay it right side up.

Fold the pattern along the seam line between section 1 and section 3. Place it on top of the fabric strip as below, aligning the diagonal edge on your block with the diagonal edge of the fabric.  Once again, be sure to leave enough seam allowance at the top and bottom. The blue lines are the edge of section 3.

Open the pattern back up and slide it under the sewing machine. Sew the seam between section 1 and section 3.

Fold the pattern along the seam line again and trim the seam allowance to 1/4".
When you open everything back up it should look like this:
Press as below.

At this point you know where section 3 ends, so you can trim it roughly. Fold the pattern as below and trim the seam a little larger than 1/4". I just trim it without a ruler.  We'll be doing exact trimming when we get there.

3 sections sewn! In the next post we'll sew section 4 and from there on we'll just repeat all the steps until the last seam.

Leaves in the Forest Quilt Along - Let's Sew!

We'll start with Block 1.

Foundation piecing is pretty much "sew by numbers", so we'll start with section 1 on your diagram and add section 2.

Reduce your stitch length. I think mine is about 14 stitches per inch.  This will make removing the paper in the end SO much easier.

1. Place a 3" fabric strip the color of section 1 RIGHT SIDE DOWN. This is the only time you will have your fabric this way.

2. Place the pattern with the printed side up on top of the fabric overlapping just enough to ensure that you have at least 1/4" on both straight sides. The red line shows where the fabric edges are under the pattern.

I like to pin the first fabric section to the pattern to avoid it shifting when I move everything over to the machine.

3. Cut the green (section 1) fabric along the diagonal a little outside the edge of the pattern.  You will trim everything at the end. (I forgot to take a photo of this part)

4. Fold the pattern along the folded line between section 1 and section 2. You should be able to see section 2 faintly through the paper or, if not, at least your fold lines. 

5. Lay a strip of background fabric (the color of section 2) RIGHT SIDE UP. I like to do this on the sewing machine so I don't have to move things and risk shifting the fabric. The background fabric strips will be very long in the beginning. If you find it too unwieldy you can cut them in half but don't cut them too short because using strips of fabric is what helps us not waste.

6. Place your pattern (with section 1 pinned in place), on top of the fabric as below. The section 1 (green) and section 2 (white) fabrics will be right sides together. You can remove the pins at this point but hold on to the fabric. Shifting is your enemy.
The blue lines are the seam lines of section 2. The red line is the edge of the background fabric strip.
Be sure to leave enough space all around for a seam allowance.
7. Carefully open the pattern back up and slide everything under the needle.  Be careful not to move the fabric or accidentally fold something under.
Sew along the seam line between section 1 and section 2. Do not sew beyond the line. You can backstitch on each end if you like.
Back on the cutting mat, fold the pattern back along the seam you just sewed.
Trim the seam allowance to 1/4" using your ruler or an add-a-quarter ruler.
Open the pattern back up and press.

Voila! You've sewn your first seam!

We're going to continue just like this, following the numbers and the pattern for fabric colors if you're using the fabric from the pattern.

If you have questions, contact me or, better yet, join the Facebook group because others may have the same question and everyone will be able to see my answer.