Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Schoenrock Cross QAL - freezer paper piecing

Schoenrock Cross QAL
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Today I want to show you how I sew my Schoenrock Cross blocks. While it's easier to get accurate results with foundation paper piecing I prefer the freezer paper method because it wastes less of my precious fabrics.

This tutorial will only cover how to use the freezer paper method to piece the four corner blocks needed to complete one Schoenrock Cross block. Instructions on how to piece the centre cross section and how to piece the final block can be found in the foundation paper piecing tutorial here.

A few tips:

  •  Freezer paper piecing is much like assembling a puzzle. It helps to keep an extra copy of the templates next to your sewing machine for reference. 
  • The two halves of the corner blocks are the same but mirrored. I sewed pieces on the wrong way round for the first two blocks or so, after that I knew which piece belongs where.
  • It doesn't matter which side of the fabric you iron the templates on as long as you are consistently ironing them to either the wrong or the right side of the fabric.
  • I like to remove the templates before sewing them so I iron on the right side of the fabric. If you iron the templates to the wrong side of the fabric you can leave them on whilst sewing as a seam guide.
  • Cut 1\4" seam allowance around all sides of the freezer paper template. Cut your seam allowances slightly generous by placing the guide on your ruler next to the template instead of exactly on it. These blocks have a tendency to shrink a little. The little wriggle room in your seam allowances makes up for that.
  • Alternatively you can trace 1\4" seam allowance on the freezer paper itself which eliminates the need to add 1\4" when cutting your fabrics.
  • I press my seams open, this is a matter of personal preference. I find the seam that joins the two halves of the corner block together a bit bulky when the seams are pressed to one side. I get better results at matching up those points when my seams are pressed open and flat.
  • If you make more than one block you will lose a point tip here and there. With so many points to match up in one single block it's bound to happen, best to just accept that!

You will need:

Step 1 - Freezer paper templates

  1. Print the pattern templates. Check the 1" test square to make sure the templates are to scale
  2. Trace each template on the dull side of the freezer paper using a fine tip pen.
  3. Cut out each template with a scalpel or scissors.
  4. Iron the templates onto the fabrics.
  5. Cut around the the templates with 1\4" seam allowance on all sides using a transparent ruler and rotary cutter.

Step 2- Freezer paper piecing the corner blocks
  1. Sew section A in the order in which it is numbered.
  2. Sew section B in the order in which it is numbered.

3. Pin section A & B right sides together. Make sure the points of the kites match up.

4. Join section A & B

5. Sew three more blocks following steps 1-4.
6. Trim the blocks back to 4 3\4" if necessary.
7. Refer to the foundation paper piecing tutorial on how to piece the cross section and join the final block sections together.

All done!

If you have any questions or need help just ask here or on Flickr I will do my best to help you along!
 There have already been some beautiful Schoenrock Cross blocks submitted to the Flickr group pool,  don't forget to add yours too!

I will do one more short tutorial on how to piece the block with inset corner squares or Y seams, next.

x Leila

Monday, 21 January 2013

Schoenrock Cross QAL - foundation paper piecing

Today's tutorial is on how to piece the Schoenrock Cross block using the foundation paper piecing method.

First off a few general tips on foundation paper piecing:
  • Always remember you are working in reverse, the image on the paper template is the mirror image of what your finished block will look like.
  • Because of that I always keep an extra printout of the templates, or finished block design next to my sewing machine for reference. 
  • Use a very short stitch length and a larger size needle, this will make it a lot easier to remove the paper from the wrong side of the block.
  • I use regular (cheap) printer paper to print out my foundation templates.
  • Over estimate the amount of fabric you will need for each section, especially if there is a diagonal seam. The last thing you want to be doing is unpicking seams with tiny stitches because you came up short of fabric. Trust me I know it has happened to me many times!
  • If you hold up your pattern against a source of light you can check if the fabrics are in the right place before sewing them down.

Block Pattern Templates, click here.

Block construction:

Finished block size 10"

The block consists of four corner blocks and a centre cross section.
The cross section is made up of 2" squares (1 1\2" finished) and 2" x 3 1\4" rectangles (1\12" x 2 3\4" finished) Refer to my previous post on fabric choices for different options in making up the cross section. I suppose in theory you could paper piece the squares and rectangles needed but why bother when it is so much easier to just cut them. So I didn't include the cross section in the pattern templates.

Step 1 - Piecing the cross section.

For the centre cross section cut:
Four rectangles 2" x 3 1\4"
Four end squares 2" x 2"
One centre square 2" x 2"
  1. Piece two sets of 1 rectangle and end square. 
  2. Piece one centre strip in the following order (refer to the diagram below): end square, rectangle, centre square, rectangle, end square. 
Step 2 - Foundation paper piecing the corner blocks

1. Print out the Schoenrock Cross paper piecing pattern. You will need four copies to complete the block.

2. Place the first two fabrics for section A1 and A2 right sides facing on the wrong side of the template, hold up against the light to check if they are in the right place and sew.
3. Fold back the pattern template along the seam and trim back the seam allowance to 1\4"

4. Fold the foundation paper back and press the block on the fabric side.

5. Repeat steps 2-4 for the next two sections of block A.

6. Trim back all seam allowances to 1\4" on all sides of the block.

7. Repeat steps 2- 6 for section B

8. Join sections A & B, make sure to match up the points and pin them in place. I like to sew a row of longer length basting stitches first to make sure everything matches up correctly. This seam is easier to unpick should the sections not match up.

9. Foundation paper piece three more blocks.

10. Join the top two squares and centre strip.

11. Join the bottom two squares and centre strip.

 12. Join the long centre strip to one complete half of your block.

14. Sew the top half  to the bottom half to complete the block and remove all paper from the wrong side of the fabric.

Add caption

All done!

Don't forget to show off your blocks in the Schoenrock Cross QAL group !

Schoenrock Cross QAL
<div align="center"><a href="" title="Schoenrock Cross QAL"><img src="" alt="Schoenrock Cross QAL" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

I'll be busy working on the freezer paper tutorial next!

x Leila

    Thursday, 17 January 2013

    Schoenrock Cross QAL - fabric choices

    Wow such an enthusiastic response to my previous post I'm excited, lets get this QAL started!!
    Please feel free to jump in at any time, in any way you like whether it is to watch, make 1 block or a 100, all are welcome.

    As a start I would like to discuss fabric choices. The block consists of 41 pieces so naturally there are a ton of choices you can make when it comes to fabric. I can only show so many in one blog post so keep in mind that there are many many more options for you to choose from!

    The focus of this post is on the number of different fabrics needed to make up one block and how different layouts effect the overall look of a single block as well as how they will effect the secondary patterns that appear once the blocks are pieced together.
    I will not go into colour value in particular as we have covered this already in our previous QAL, but of course adding different values as well as different colours and prints will make your blocks really spectacular!!

    To make the most out of the pattern I believe a minimum of three different fabrics is best. This is just my personal preference so feel free to ignore me!
    Depending on the layout and colour value used you can make certain pattern elements pop or recede into the background and thus create a different effect with each block you make. Below are two examples.

    A beautiful example of the Schoenrock Cross using four different fabrics is this one made by Amy Badskirt. I love the colours she chose for her block, they are so striking!!

    Variant of Schoenrock Cross
    Schoenrock Cross block by Amy @Badskirt

    Also on Flickr, I found this amazing cushion made by Joanne. She used five prints for her Schoenrock Cross cushion. I love how the colour pallete of Amy and Joanne's block is the same but the effect quite different because of the way they chose to accentuate different elements of the block.

    Modern She Made Swap 2 Cushion Finished
    Schoenrock Cross cushion by Joanne @Jo Jo 33

     Lets add one more fabric to the mix, this is an example how the block can be made up with six colours\fabrics, there are many more layouts possible of course.

    This next stunning cushion was made by Jennifer I was very lucky to receive it in the pillow talk swap, I still love it to bits Jen!! Her block is made up with seven different fabrics and unlike the previous examples her block uses a different print for each set of kites in the corner blocks.
    PTS Received!!
    Schoenrock Cross cushion made by Jennifer @Sugar Stitches

    Most of my blocks done so far use seven prints as well but I used yet another layout with a fabric for each different pattern element. I plan to mix it up a little and do a few blocks with less prints as well.

    Sooo many options right?! I'm hoping these examples demonstrate how amazing this block really is. Whether you go for a minimal approach or take it to town they all look fantastic!

    One other thing to consider when choosing fabrics is the secondary pattern that appears once the blocks are pieced together.
    Notice how the corner stones make up a new square in the centre of the kites? If you would consistently make up the blocks with one background colour they will be a plain centre square in the secondary pattern. 

    But use two or more fabrics and they become a fun new pattern element to play around with.

    And with yet more different block layouts added to the mix the outer squares that connect each cross section of the block come into play as well.

    Well I think this is enough for today! I hope these examples will be of help with your fabric choices. Just have fun with it and pick some of your favourites to work with and I'm sure you will love the blocks :)

    I'll be working on getting those tutorials done as soon as possible, they take a bit of time to prepare so please be patient :) I'm aiming to have the first one up after the weekend.
    In the meantime please join me in the Schoenrock Cross QAL Flickr group, share your thoughts, plans and fabric choices with us. Don't forget to grab a button on your way out!

    Schoenrock Cross QAL
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    x Leila

    Tuesday, 15 January 2013

    Schoenrock Cross

    Back when we were working on the Value Added QAL I had intended to use the Schoenrock Cross block for my quilt. Due to time restrictions there was no way I could finish the quilt in time. I only got as far as two blocks which was enough for me to know I really want to finish this quilt!

    Schoenrock Cross

    Who would like a QAL for this one? I thought it might be fun if I do a few posts about the block and different ways to construct it as I work my way through the minimum of 30 blocks I'll need to make a decent sized lap quilt. (but I'm really hoping to make it to 42)
    Schoenrock Cross

    I'm making 10" blocks using freezer paper templates for the diamond and triangle shapes and rotary cut squares and rectangles. The template can also be used for foundation paper piecing for those of you that prefer that. I plan to do a tutorial for both freezer paper and foundation piecing plus a variation that includes Y seams for the overachievers ;)
    Schoenrock Cross

    Before we start though I have to be honest, piecing these blocks is rather time consuming and requires a fair amount of patience. If you enjoyed the Farmers Wife blocks, if you like paper piecing or just want a bit of a challenge to start the year off - this is it!
    For now I find the slow progress well worth the effort as the blocks are just so pretty and I can picture a quilt in the end that will rock your socks off!

    Schoenrock Cross

    So far I have only a small head start with four blocks completed, I still need to make the tutorials, and test the templates, make a Flickr group and blog button...well pretty much everything really!

    Schoenrock Cross blocks

    But I'm excited to get started! So let me know, are you in?

    x Leila