I have spent the last couple of weeks trying to get myself ready for my last teaching engagement of the year, and I am so glad I can breathe a sigh of relief!
I was in Utah this past week for a fabulous 4-day quilting event at Handi Quilter. It felt really good to teach some long arm classes alongside the best in the business – Kimmy Brunner, Angela Walters, Vickie Hoth, and so many others. What an honor to have been included!
One of my quilts, Snow Patch, is hanging in their quilt gallery, and anyone who visits the offices can tour the fabulous quilts they have hanging there.
If you’re looking for long arm classes, I think you should consider going to the 2016 Handi Quilter Academy. I think it’s one of the few places where you can get concentrated classes that focus on the long arm, and even if you’re new, they have Boot Camps the day before the retreat starts, so you can jump start your learning.
The other cool thing about going to the retreat is getting a sneak peek at the new products they have coming out. I was able to preorder these new feet for Buzz.
The colorful ones are echo feet, and the cereal-bowl shaped one is the help you glide beside or around 3D elements on a quilt like flanges or applique. That doesn’t mean I want you to start attaching buttons and such to your quilts before sending it for quilting, but it’s nice to have a tool to help manage some of those taller items without running them over.
Unfortunately I got back REALLY late, near midnight, and since I slept on the plane I wasn’t really tired. So I ended up staying up until about 5am this morning, and I fell asleep before getting today’s post up about Carousel! So if you’re following along, it’s time for those block instructions.
Carousel Fat Quarter Bustin’ Quilt Along
So in the last post, I just had you working on HSTs. Hopefully now you’ve got a bunch of HSTs (at least 8) and a bunch of 2-patch units (at least 4.) That’s what you need for one block. I use the same print 2-patches and the same print HSTs, but you can mix it up if you want.
Now I also try to chain piece my HSTs, because they are all the same, one print to one solid:
I don’t remember where I got this tool, but this cutting gizmo is a really fast way to cut apart chain pieced units. It’s essentially a razor blade encased in plastic, but it beats holding a pair of scissors between your knees. (C’mon… you’ve never done that?)
So once you piece all of your HSTs, press the seams toward the print. If you follow my pressing directions, I’ll show you how you can get your seams to nest and lay as flat as possible in the blocks.
This block confused me a bit at first, because I looked at it as a center pinwheel with a frame around it, but you’ll have a MUCH easier time if you look at it like a 16-patch block instead. That’s why I had you making 2-patches, instead of leaving the squares separate, or having you stitch squares to pinwheels.
So arrange your HSTs so they align with your 2-patches in this way. On the upper half, the print triangle faces the solid square, and on the lower half, the solid triangle faces the print. If you align all your HSTs in pairs like this and stitch them the exact same way, you’ll have an easier time keeping this block straight.
Once your HST pairs are stitched, press the seam toward the solid HST that’s next to the seam. Press them all like this.
Now you can stitch your HST pairs to the 2-patch units. (And I apologize; I flipped this around on you, but it’s the same – solid HST near print square; print HST near the solid square.) As you stitch these together, make sure you nest the seams at the center to give yourself a nice intersection.
Have you swirled seams before? Well you’re about to! If you followed all the pressing instructions, then you should be able to press your seams now all in a counter-clockwise direction. As you work your way around the block, the center will open up and form a pinwheel.
Sometimes this center seam is a little stubborn, but removing 1-2 stitches can really help that to open flat. It’s hard to explain this swirling thing; it’s something you have to DO. So work on your block and follow the pressing instructions. You will get it!
See how nice that center is?
So now that you’ve done that, make sure your 4-patches measure 4-1/2″. All you have to do now is lay out your four patches so that the print squares are at each corner!
Stitch these together in pairs, and press the seams so that the seam is toward the solid square next to the seam.
Once that’s done, you can stitch your two block halves together. You’re going to swirl your seams again, and this time, you’ll get a tiny little pinwheel in the center!
Press the block well from the back and the front. It should measure 8-1/2″ unfinished.
Now just make a bunch of those!
Carousel Quilt AlongBelow are links to all the posts for the Carousel UFO Quilt Along - so you can catch up on anything you've missed!
|Post Date||Post Name||Post Contents|
|April 22nd, 2015||Let’s Quilt Wednesday: Selecting Five UFOs and Deciding Their Fate||Announcing the Carousel Quilt Along|
|April 26th, 2015||Summary Sunday: Carousel Quilt Along and UFO Progress||Fabric requirements for the quilt, in five sizes|
|May 10th, 2015||Summary Sunday: A Bustle in the Studio, the Carousel Quilt Along||Cutting instructions, tutorials for strip piecing and making HSTs|
|May 24th, 2015||Summary Sunday: Working on Quilts, Carousel Continues||Making the two patch units|
|June 7th, 2015||Carousel Quilt Along – I Am Stuck, But You Should Keep Going!||Work on your HSTs|
|June 21st, 2015||Summary Sunday: Handi Quilter Retreat and Carousel Quilt Along||Making the pinwheel block|