Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Fundamentals Sew Along - Week 30

Hi Everyone:

      I have just found my new very favorite block!  It is this weeks block.  If you look closely you will see that the Stonehenge version has a stronger value change between the center square and the surrounding triangles than the 30's version.  Both are so pretty!

      This weeks block is called Variable Star.  Assembly line piece squares and triangles.  Stitch 2 quarter square triangles together to make pieced triangles, then sew 2 pieced triangles together to make quarter square triangle squares.

Assembly Line Piecing

Then piece together 4 four patch blocks and 4 quarter square triangle blocks and assemble according to diagram below.

Variable Star Block Segments
 Your finished blocks will look like this.

30's Variable Star Block

Stonehenge Variable Star Block
Happy stitching everyone, see you next week!

Thursday, July 19, 2012


We've always had a lot of hexie love here at the store and when we saw Sue Daley's English Paper Piecing technique for making a Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt we had to try it. 

Judy and Carol were put to the task. Judy is a veteran at hand sewing and English Paper Piecing. Carol... not so much! :) We have to admit that Carol was a little hesitant when this project was first offered to her but decided it was now or never! So after a quick lesson with Judy she was all set... and converted for life! 

If you've always done hexagons you'll find this method fun and easy to do. If you've never made hexagons before or done any hand sewing... you will be addicted.

Especially to the fantastic Bohin Temporary Glue Stick Pen for Fabrics! No, you won't be sniffing it but you will use it to baste your fabric onto the paper pieces. It drys quickly and leaves no gunk like a traditional glue stick so there is no mess involved at all!

And with our ready to go kits you'll whip them up in no time. If you come into the store look for this little cup cake stand when you enter and take these cute little packages home with you. Each package has all the 1" hexagon paper pieces and 2.5" fabric squares you need to make one flower. You don't have to measure, you don't have to cut, you simply have to get going! Or shop online here to get them. They're only $4.00!

We went a little bit country and a little bit rock n' roll with our fabric choices. 
Judy is making hers out of the classic 1930's Reproduction Fabrics and Carol is making them out of brights. 


Here's a quick tutorial on making the hexies.

You will need:

Place the hexagon in the center of the 2.5" square on the wrong side of the fabric. Rough cut along the sides of the hexagon about a quarter of an inch. Be sure not to trim down too much or as Judy says, "You will regret it." Cut a little more than a quarter of an inch if you're a beginner so you don't have too small a seam allowance. 

With your Bohin Temporary Glue Stick Pen for Fabrics glue the sides of the hexagons. The pink glue makes it easier to see but disappears when it dries so it won't show. 

Fold the seam allowance onto the paper pieces folding the corners over as you go.  

Press Down.

 And you're done.

Now you need to Whip Stitch your hexagons together. 

Make your first stitch on hexagon 1 close to a corner and under your seam allowance
so you can hide your knot.

Hold the two hexagons together so that the points match. 

Whip Stitch by taking your needle over onto hexagon 2 and sewing through both hexagons as shown.

Take your needle over hexagon 2 and make another stitch close to the the first one. Go through to hexagon 2  and pull.  It's important that your stitches are snug but not too tightly pulled.  

Repeat the stitch to the end of the hexagon. Work from the same direction with each stitch, sewing them close together and keeping them tight but not too tight. Hold the hexagons in place. If they shift bring them back into position and hold them firmly. 

Once you have done the first two hexagons of your flower you can start adding the others. Start at the outer corner of  a hexagon and Whip Stitch along both sides of the hexagons. It's very simple. 

When you're done this is what your flower will look like from the back.  You can remove the paper pieces from the centre hexagons by simple peeling open the seams and gently removing the paper pieces. These can be reused for when you need to make your borders should you choose to set them in hexagons too. 

                                                                And this is the front! 

We have two kits available and will be releasing more in the coming weeks.
These are the 1930's Reproduction Flowers.
Shop online here or come into the store and get them.

And these are the Brights.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Fundamentals Sew Along - Week 29

Hi Everyone; 

   I can't believe how quickly this summer is flying by.  I hope everyone is enjoying it so far.  I am looking forward spending  a few weeks at the cottage  in August.  Don't worry I will still be posting every week.
     This weeks block is Called Ohio Star.  I have always loved this block.  We did some quarter square triangles in block 24 and 26.   Make sure when you are sewing the first 2 triangles together that you sew along the shorter sides, ending up with a  2 colour triangle.  If you sew the long sides together you will have a square.

Quarter Square Triangles Sewn Into 2 Colour Triangles
You will make four squares just like these.

Quarter Square Triangle Blocks
Lay out your squares making sure that the pink triangle is closest to the centre.
Block Layout
These are your finished blocks.

30's Ohio Star Block
Finished Ohio Star Block Using Stonehenge Fabric

     Ann, who does all the cutting for our kits and bargain lovers programs has a great tip. When she makes her quarter square triangles, she cuts all of her squares 1/8" larger than the pattern calls for. This gives her a little wiggle room if her seam allowance is a little off.  She will never have to worry about her squares coming out too small.  She stresses that you must be prepared to square up your quarter square blocks to their required size.
     Have a great week everyone.  Bye for now!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Fundamentals Sew - Along Week 28

Hi Everyone;

       I hope you are all getting as much quilting done as you would like.  I was at the cottage this weekend and had a small mishap.  I was lifting a heavy wooden chair ( teak Steamer Chair) from a floating dock to a stationary dock.  As I was lifting it onto the dock it closed on my hand, and at the same time the floating dock started drifting away, pinching and twisting my hand harder and harder.   After I managed to get free and saw how terrible my hand looked and how much it hurt, I wondered whether it was broken.   I burst into tears!  It wasn't because I wasn't going to be able to cook or do laundry.  All I could think about was, I have 2 quilts to quilt this week, and I have to work three days this week cutting fabric, with a hand that was throbbing and getting bigger by the minute. After a visit to the Emergency Room I was please to find out it was only bruised. Phew!! I am pleased to report other than looking a little purple my hand is on the mend, and life is back to normal.

     This weeks block is called Grandmother's Favorite.  It is a large pinwheel surrounded by smaller pinwheels.  The nice thing about this block is the only matching you have to do is the center of the pinwheels.

Assembly for Grandmother's Favorite Block

Your finished blocks will look like this.

Grandmother's Favorite Block (Stonehenge)

Grandmother's Favorite Block (30's )

      Thanks for you comment "Betweens" I am glad you like the store.  It is really starting to take shape.   I  am excited about how the blocks are coming together too!

     Happy stitching everyone.  See you next week.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Fundamentals Sew - Along Week 27

Hi Everyone:

     I hope you are all staying cool.  My sewing room is in the basement which at this time of year suits me fine.  As you probably know we are expanding the store, so things are a little turned upside down lately.  It will be worth it in the end as it is going to look beautiful!  In the mean time I carved out a place in the classroom to work on this weeks blocks.

Fundamentals Factory
This weeks block is another easy one.  It is called Magic Box.  I wish I could take credit for giving you the easy blocks on the days that we have heat a  wave but unfortunately it's just happening that way.  If you are using Thangles or any of the other paper piecing papers, use the 2 1/4" finished size half square triangles.   Assemble in the same fashion as the diagram below.

Magic Box Segments
Your finished blocks should look like this.  

Finished Magic Box Blocks
See you next week!

Expansion Update!

This is how the Baldwin family spent their long Canada Day weekend. 
Emptying shelves, moving furniture, drilling holes and laying a new floor!
Our products are finding new homes and we're really excited to see what it will look like when its all done. 

Re-stacking the shelves. 
Some things stay the same. Some don't. 

Looks bigger all of a sudden eh?

A whole new clearance section!!!

The Book Nook 

Lot's of shelving to do...

Gosh! We have a lot of fabric! 

Fabric and Notions everywhere!

Progress at the end of the day! 

No notions these!