When you visit other stops on the tour, you’ll get firsthand project ideas featuring Sizzix fabi dies as well as projects made using the newest Bigz Pro Quilting collection with designs by the artist, author and quilter Victoria Findlay-Wolfe.
Sizzix will also be giving away a GRAND prize! You can find out how to enter below. But before we get to that, let’s take a look at the project I want to share today.
If you’re a quilter like me, at all, then I know you’ve got a stash of fat quarters. Some of these fat quarters are just loose – you pick up a couple each time you go to the quilt store – and others are wrapped in a lovely ribbon or grouped by collection. You keep meaning to do something with them, and yet secretly you know that you’ll never pull off that pretty ribbon and cut into them.
So as I was looking around the studio, trying to find a new place to display/store/stash/hide my newest acquisitions, I decided that I would sacrifice one of those packs and figure out a way to use them without making me sad that I had taken off the pretty ribbon and cut them up.
Enter the Sizzix Wave die!
For this project, I used 14 fat quarters, and the quilt top is approximately 50″ x 52″. The fat quarters are part of the Downton Abbey Downstairs Collection by Andover Fabrics. The prints are so adorable, but these colors don’t often make it into projects of mine. Still, I love this collection and I was glad to find a way to use them.
I’ll show you how to use this die to get the most from your fat quarters; you’ll hardly waste anything, and get a cool shape that’s easy to stitch. You can have this project prepped, cut, and assembled in just a few hours. (This die is compatible with the Sizzix Big Shot Pro, and with the AccuQuilt Studio/AccuCut GrandeMark with the appropriate adapters.)
The first thing I do when I get any die is outline the blades, then add registration lines 1/4″ away from each blade, and then I measure the area to determine the size of fabric needed to cover the shape. In this case, an 8-1/2″ square will do the trick!
I also had the idea that I wanted to assemble the wave shape differently than what is shown on the package, and end up with squared edges at the end without wasting too much fabric. So here’s how you need to cut each fat quarter:
You’ll cut (2) 8-1/2″ x 18″ strips and (1) 3-1/2″ x 18″ strip. The 3-1/2″ strip is then subcut into (2) 3-1/2″ x 8-1/2″ rectangles.
After you get the 8-1/2″ strips cut, fold them in half and arrange them on the die with the fold toward the rollers, up to 8 layers, and cut the wave shape. Don’t forget your top mat! You’ll get four full wave shapes per fat quarter.
Not much wasted here! Next, let’s lay out our 3-1/2″ x 8-1/2″ rectangles.
We’re using the rectangles here to cut partial wave shapes. These will have one curved edge and 3 straight edges. Separate the rectangles you cut from each fat quarter so you get a front and back of the wave.
Cut all your fat quarters this way. With the 14 fat quarters, I got 56 full wave shapes.
To get variety, I alternated color and print and laid them out on my design wall. Here is the start of the layout:
Notice how I’ve got the wave shapes offset. Due to this offset, we need to stitch the curved shapes first, but once you stitch the curve, it’s straight seams from there. And the best part of this layout is that the seams don’t have to match!
In the complete layout, there are 8 waves in each row, and 7 rows. You could easily increase the size of this project by cutting more fat quarters. You get approximately 6-1/2″ for each wave across, and approximately 7-1/2″ for each wave row; each fat quarter yields 4 wave shapes.
After laying out the full wave shapes, you can then go back and fill in the start and end of alternating rows to finish them off. You’ll have extras of these.
I marked my units with stickers to help me keep the pieces in order as I stitched.
Whenever I stitch curved shapes, I always start with the outer curve on the top. This curve is so gentle that it’s pretty easy to stitch without pins, but you have to get the hang of aligning the shapes first.
At the beginning of the shape, you want to offset the wave by 1/4″ – with the pointy part of the bottom piece peeking out. Also, align the first inch or so of the shape.
When you start sewing, your needle should fit right where the two shapes intersect. Stitch 1-2 stitches to secure the piece before you start sewing in earnest.
I thought this part was best demonstrated with a video, so here’s a quick 2-1/2 minute video to show you the piecing:
Once you get a row pieced, press the seams all in one direction. They like to lay flatter when you press them outward. Press it well from the back, and then again from the front to make sure you haven’t pressed in any pleats.
After I got the first row done, I moved my stickers and started on the next row.
As you go along, you can start to square off your rows – but don’t do this until you are sure your quilt is as big as you want it to be. It’s easy to add more waves before you square it off.
To square these off, just align your ruler along the wave at the point where it’s no longer straight, then cut off the excess.
Here’s what it looks like with the first two rows squared off:
Continue piecing this way until you have all your rows pieced.
From there, it’s just a simple straight seam to attach the rows together. I love not needing to match the seams here, and it just gives a different look to the wave shape.
Of course, I had hoped to completely finish this project and have a fun little lap quilt to use in the living room, but then I remembered that I don’t have leaders on my long arm, so I can’t load this project right now. It’s probably for the best, because I have some extra pieces left over from the fat quarter cutting, which I plan to add into a pieced back. Also, I’ve got some extra yardage laying around, so I might add some borders to make this a little longer since I like to tuck quilts under my feet. 🙂
Blog Tour and Giveaway
Here are all our participants and the dates you can visit their super fabulous blogs to see what quilted pretties they’ve made for your viewing and reading pleasure. You can also enter to win the giveaway from Sizzix!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
January 16th Jamie Fingal
January 16th Tracy Mooney
January 17th Elizabeth Timmons
January 17th Nicole Daksiewicz
January 18th Ebony Love
January 18th Holly Hughes
January 19th Marni Weaver
January 19th Leslie Jenison
January 20th Karin Jordan
January 20th Sue Bleiweiss
January 21st Jenny Doan
January 21st Victoria Findlay Wolfe