Saturday, June 1, 2013

Patched Works 100 Blocks of Summer - Block 1 & Introductions

Welcome!  Today we start off our adventure into Tula Pink’s City Sampler, 100 Modern Quilt Blocks.  100 Blocks in 100 Days.  I’m here to introduce Block 1 for each of our Patched Works Quiltie Ladies that will be playing along, their fabric selection and any tips they may have for this first block.

1 - Diane M - Kona DimensionsDiane M (aka “Downstairs Diane”) - Kona Dimensions Fabrics

Downstairs Diane says: I chose my fabric because I’m in a black and brights stage of my life. 

Diane’s Tip:  Using the Kona Dimensions fabrics for the first time, I was shocked at how they shrank when I sprayed them with Best Press, throwing off the blocks dimensions.  Lesson learned, I pre-washed the rest of my fabrics!

1 - Diane R - bright batiksDiane R (aka “Upstairs Diane”) - Bright Batiks

Upstairs Diane says:  I chose to do my Tula blocks in bright batiks because 2013 was the year to go out of my comfort zone.  I am using these blocks to improve on my quarter in seam allowances and as a color challenge.  I am usually a copy cat and I am enjoying the challenge of combining my beautiful, ever so bright and scrumptious batiks in a pleasing manner.

1Jen - Bright Batiks

Jen says:  I LOVE bright summery batiks and have been collecting them for about 6 years when I started attending Batik Club at Patched Works.  Since then I’ve picked up 1/4 yard cuts whenever I find a fabric (or a group of them) that inspire me.  Never having found just the right project, I decided now is the time, THIS is the project!  I’m going for high contrast blocks that make me happy to look at. 

For this block, I wish I would have had a little more contrast in the Color #4 location.

Jen’s tips:

  • When starting a large project choose your thread and needles wisely and use the same combination throughout your piecing.  I’m using a medium grey Aurifil #2605.  I decided to try Schmetz Microtex 60/8 needles for this project instead of my usual 70/10’s.  With the tight weave of the batiks I wanted to have my needle flying through with great accuracy.  Change your rotary blade too!
  • Even if you’re a quilter who knows their 1/4” seam allowance, it doesn’t hurt to check it out from time to time.  If you have a Single Hole Plate for your machine, put it on!  As many of the pieces are small or narrow, I bumped my stitch length down to 1.8.  This allows me to keep on piecing without backstitching as I don’t like the bulk that backstitching adds.  If you’ve changed anything up, make sure to write down your settings – right in the book. 
  • Decide if you’re going to iron seams to one side or iron them open.  Are you going to iron with or without steam?  Are you going to spritz with Best Press?  Whatever you do, just be consistent and this will give you accurate blocks throughout!!
  • Pin, pin and pin some more!  I’ve been using straight pins and fork pins.
  • Tula Pink has written her book so that we use it as a journal while we make the quilt…even asking us to name our own blocks.  On that note I call this block, “Whew, this isn’t Sylvia!”
  • I like to pull fabrics for multiple blocks as a time.  I put the fabric choices right between the pages and flip to the next page adding fabric choices as I go.  Shoot for 7 blocks.  Cut all 7 of those blocks before you start sewing.  I like to use zip lock baggies and I slip a block number inside.  When I’m ready to sew, I can concentrate on sewing.  Once you’ve cut your blocks, most only take 10-15 minutes to sew!

Block 1 - Julie - GhastliesJulie - The Ghastlies

Julie says:  I adore The Ghastlies by Alexander Henry.  I love the playful storyline behind the art.  Being able to feature one or two pieces into each of these simple blocks is my homage to the fictional family.

Julie’s tip:  Use a Sewline Ceramic pencil when plotting out the areas that you want to fussy cut.  If it’s not right you can erase the marks away and start again.

1 - Lisa - TraditionalLisa – Tula Blues

Lisa says:  We needed a more traditional representation for our 100 blocks and I had this great collection of indigos and navy blues in my stash from many of the older Sandy Gervais and Kansas Troubles Moda lines and even some old Thimbleberries.  I added some of the newer Jo Morton stars and I fell in love with Moda’s Indigo Crossing by Minick and Simpson.  I thought that a blue and white (tan) version could work with these modern blocks. 

Lisa’s tip:  Have your book spiral bound!

1 - Mary - Orange & PinkMary – Paisley Pop

Mary says:  I chose my fresh palette of pink, orange, green and aqua because it was already started for me!  My daughter had been collecting these prints to make a quilt for herself over the summer and I thought they would make super-cute Tula blocks.  Thanks Allison!


1 - Rhonda - Tula & Kona solids

Rhonda – Tula Pink & Kona Solids

Rhonda says:  Sew Tula Pink this summer!  She sketches out her designs, is free spirited, hardworking, sews samples and eats desserts when she wants – that is why I chose her fabric for this summers 100 Quilt Blocks challenge.  I had sew much fun picking out Kona solids to match her fabrics, even the names sound fun; aqua, salmon, pond, hibiscus, robin egg, coral, cactus – just to name a few.  Emerald was added to the starter pack because it is the color of the year and it seemed sew fitting.  If you went to her fun and informative presentation, the grab bag fabrics are a great start to the 100 Quilt Blocks.  My plan is to use white sashing around the blocks and to wash the quilt many many times so I separated the Kona darks from the lights, soaked them in Retayne and hot water, dried them and then lightly sprayed them with Best Press while ironing.  Have fun and remember to add some of your own story to the quilt and to write all over the book!  Happy Stitching!!

For Block 1 the Kona Colors I used were:  Ivy 197 & Azure 137

1 - Susie - Kaffe & Shot CottonsSusie – Kaffe, Shot Cottons & Solids

Susie says:  I chose Kaffe, Solids and Shot cottons so I would finally cut into my amazing collection and have an excuse to collect all the new ones that I have been admiring.  A little bit of Kaffe here and there is enough to create some beautiful blocks.  It’s time to cut the Kaffe!!

Susie’s tips:

  • The shot cottons have a looser weave, a little bit of Best Press on the fabric before you cut into it can be a big help.
  • If you’re going to be showing your blocks off to all of your friends you may wish to do a larger stay stitch around your blocks edges.  Make sure to do it close enough to the edge to not be an issue later with your 1/4” seam allowance.

We encourage you to take pictures of your blocks and upload them to our Tula Pink 100 Blocks of Summer Flickr Group. If technology isn’t your thing, bring your blocks into the shop and we’ll snap a picture of them and upload them on your behalf. 

You can also keep up with our progress in many places: here on our Patched Works Fabric Jules Blog, by visiting our website or by  Following us on Facebook!

It’s never too late to join the fun.  Stop in the shop to find out more about how to get started. 

It’s always a party at Patched Works!

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