Showing posts with label paper pieced house blocks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label paper pieced house blocks. Show all posts

Monday, 11 February 2013

a little house

Ooooh February how I dislike you! I'm fed up with the cold and the snow! I find myself longing for a sandy beach somewhere tropical and warm, dipping my toes in the sea.
Alas it's not the case and I've been busy with lots of things that I can't blog about because they're:
1. a surprise or 2. plain boring ( shortening curtains anyone? I didn't think so!)

I have managed to steal a little time away from it all to sew up this itty bitty house block. It's only 4", so cute!

itty bitty house block
And I made a couple more Schoenrock Cross blocks, I thought I had six so I was happy to find I had done 8 already!
SRC blocks progress copy

They're in random order now, I love playing with the arrangement of blocks as I go along.
The promised tutorial on how to sew the blocks with an inset corner square is postponed, I'm sorry if you've been waiting anxiously for it! I do intend to eventually add it to the QAL, just not making any promises as to when :P 

Stay warm my friends!

x Leila

Thursday, 6 December 2012

two more bee blocks

These are my last two bee blocks for Cocorico.

First up is Erin who has a little one on the way and asked us for nursery rhyme blocks. I settled on twinkle twinkle little star. I used Lynne's ET phone home block because I loved how the stars in this block also look a bit like a brilliant cut diamond 'like a diamond in the sky'...

Erin's block completed. It turned quite soft with a sort of vintage feel, I like it. Hope Erin will like it too!

I took a snap shot with my new toy, isn't Instagram the best!

This block has a very soft vintage sort of feel to it, which is exactly what I wanted - result!

Next up is another house block for Kerry. I used a pattern from Patchwork 163 (I got my copy here) it's a lovely book I'm dying to make so many more of these blocks!

House block for Kerry #cocorico

I tried to incorporate as many cute fabrics as I possibly could without it becoming too busy. There's little fussy cut pieces of Kumiko Fujita and Shinzi Katoh for the door and windows, a bit of Suzuko Koseki for the main body of the house and some Denyse Schmidt for the roof. House blocks are possibly my very favourite thing to sew!

With these two last blocks I've finished a years worth of Cocorico blocks. I think a mosaic is in order don't you?!

Cocorico blocks for 2012

I sure hope we will be doing another round in 2013!!

x Leila

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Ringo Pie May

I am done catching up on bee blocks- yay! Now the question remains if I can manage to make this month's blocks on time but best not dwell.

May was Kerry's month in Ringo Pie and she asked us to make a schoolhouse style block with spotty borders if needed, expressing creativity in our fabric choices.
It all sounded simple enough but leave it up to me to take a simple assignment and turn it into a complicated task, of course I started stressing over how uncreative\creative my fabric choices should be!

Ringo Pie May - house for Kerry

I seem incapable of choosing obvious fabric and colour combinations, I had to combine quilting cottons, vintage cottons a bit of voile with a bit of tana lawn and linen, no less.
I fussy cut a K and G for the chimneys, Kerry's initials and in case she missed those (she didn't) I fussy cut her surname over the entrance of the house.
There is a very stylish looking Suzuko Koseki lady peeking out of the doorway, no idea who she is ;)
  Perhaps Katy came over for a visit to inspect the quality of Kerry's Tana Lawn, lawn ( I love my own little jokes! feel free to ignore them)

It will be winding it's way to her as soon as I can find a minute to go to the post office.

Only two weeks of school left till summer holidays start, this is always such a busy but exciting time of year!

x Leila

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Paper piecing tips & new pattern coming soon!

I have been working hard on turning my White Picket Fence bee block into a new paper piecing pattern. These things are always slow progress for me as I spend a lot of time working through all the little details trying to get them just right. Redrafting, sewing up samples, fine tuning, a healthy dose of self doubt- it all takes up a lot of time!
white picket fence

But I am pleased with the changes I have made especially to the fence, opening it up has really enhanced the illusion of depth and space.
Finishing at 10" square this block would make a lovely center for a cushion or tote bag as well as a substantial sized block for a quilt. I am hoping to wrap this one up and have it available in the shop soon!

Although there are no 'Y' seams or curves to this design aligning all the pieces can be a little challenging. I pin a lot and take it slow. I find there is no quick way to sew these blocks they really demand your full focus and time to get it right.

We have been discussing ways to improve our piecing skills in Cocorico lately and I thought I'd share three of the tips I found most helpful.

Pinning & marking
I mostly use pins to match up seams, I pin into my seam allowance and peek inside to see if the seams match up before I push the pin through. I insert my pins vertically so I can sew straight over them. The 1\4" guide gets in the way a bit sometimes, just go slow and lift the presser foot, with needle down, to help lift it over the pin if needed. I made some photo's to show you how I pin. They are just for show I had already finished my block and just needed to sew one final seam over my basting stitches -but you get the idea ;)
push pin in and check inside the seam

flip over and check if the pin hits the seam right

push pin through vertically
sew straight over the pin

 Another helpful trick to matching up pieces properly are tick marks. Kerry did a great tutorial on how to use them here She is such a clever bean using tick marks for paper piecing, I had never thought of them outside dress making! I find them especially helpful matching up sections.

After pinning and aligning my tick marks I sew a line of basting stitches. I use a very small stitch length for paper piecing (about 1.5) which makes ripping seams a nightmare.  I set my basting stitches to about 2.5-3 on my machine, but your settings may be a bit different. You want your stitches large enough so if you get it wrong ripping that seam will be easy without putting strain on the fabrics, but not so large your seam starts to gather.
When I am happy with the way things line up I just stitch over the basted seam with my regular small stitch length. Added bonus of basting when foundation paper piecing is you're perforating the paper at least twice which makes it very easy to peel off in the end.

Leave the paper on till the end!
This is something I don't do consequently enough. My freezer paper templates usually start flaking off after handling them for a while and rather than ironing them back on I just take them off. I don't enjoy digging under seams to peel off bits of paper when foundation piecing so generally I start ripping bits off half way through.
Leaving your templates on till the very end adds sturdiness to your block, it makes your fabric shift less which is a good thing. The templates are your guide for pinning and aligning sections and also show you exactly where the seams should hit. The Cocorico girls say, leave them on till the bitter end! I will let you know how I get on with that :)

Hope you found these tips helpful!

 x Leila

Sunday, 20 May 2012

One down two to go - Cocorico April

I am behind on my bee blocks - yuk! But best not dwell on that at least I caught up with one.
 April was Charise's month and she chose houses as her theme. Much to my delight, as it may be no secret that I love paper pieced house blocks! Here's what I came up with.

Cocorico April - House block for Charise
There's a fair bit of spring cleaning going on inside this white picket fenced house. I wish those lovely ladies would come round my home sometime.

One down, two more to go!

Have a lovely Sunday,

Leila x

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Sunday Sewing ~ sampler quilt

How is your weekend? We have had a glimpse of spring here - yay!
I spent a few happy hours on the sofa watching dvd's and hand stitching a few blocks for my sampler quilt to be.
I made two granny squares.

Weekend sewing - Granny Square
  I drew the block in Photoshop rather than follow the tutorial, because I wanted my blocks to finish at 6". I simply traced the squares and triangles on some freezer paper added seam allowances and hand stitched them together. 
Weekend sewing - Granny Square
There is no real reason for hand stitching them other than I felt like it!

My sampler of course needs a + & x block, I followed the same method as with the granny squares to make a 6" block. I find it easier to just make templates for these blocks than doing the maths.

Weekend sewing - + & x

And I made two cute little house blocks following Kerry's latest tutorial, machine pieced this time. After working through several blocks from Patchwork 318 those y seams do not scare me much anymore so I chose the version that included them. But Kerry has made templates for piecing the block without y seams and foundation paper piecing as well - she is kind like that!

Kerry's mini house
They finish at only 4" isn't that sweet?! I am not sure if they will end up in the sampler because they are a different size but for now they are included. I can imagine a whole quilt of these would be fab! You can find the free pattern for this block on Kerry's blog here

So feeling that I had been rather productive I spread all my precious blocks out on the floor in happy anticipation of seeing the quilt grow.
Sampler quilt my blocks so far
The house blocks were made for me by Ayumi, Kerry and Charise in Patchwork 318 the bee.

  Well, the amount of blocks may not be that impressive but they sure are pretty together don't you think?

Did you sew anything good this weekend?

x Leila

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Bee blocks November/January ~ Houses ~

It's been all about the house blocks for me lately. I am sure it is just one of those crushes that will pass eventually, but for now it is all about houses!

For Melinda's month in Cocorico we're making vintage Christmas blocks. I decided on a gingerbread house. Not quite finished yet, it needs to be a bit bigger, I will add a border of some sort to get it up to the right size. But I am letting it sit for a while as I could not decide exactly where to go next with this.

Vintage Christmas for Melinda - Cocorico January

Meanwhile in Patchwork 318 the bee, three amazing ladies made the most beautiful blocks for my "Home sweet home" month. Seriously my heart skipped a beat each time one of these blocks appeared!

First up is Kerry's block, full of vintage style as only she can. I love the Dutch people curtains and the lady in the doorway, it even has my house number on it!

Next is Ayumi, she made the sweetest ABC house block, she is so clever! And it is very appropriate as I am still in the midst of getting the little man back up to speed with school, the ABC song can often be heard here ;-)

House Bock for Leila ~318 Bee ~
Charise blows us all away with her interpretation of a Marken house filled with buttons, pincushions and sewing goodies!

Marken House for Leila
I am sooooo thrilled with each one of these blocks, they are full of wonderful personal touches that make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside - thank you so much ladies!!

In other news, I got invited to the mother of all bee's and I am both thrilled and petrified!!
We don't start the next round till March so I have time to prepare myself for the bee with a name like a rockstar.. ;-)

x Leila