Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Land of Magic Quilt Sew-A-Long Castle

It's a new week and a new block for the Land of Magic Quilt sew-a-long. Today we are talking about the Castle block, and blogger Cristy from PurpleDaisies, as well as our sponsor Aurifil. I had so much fun designing this Castle block based on Sarah Jane Studio's Magic fabric "Castle Plans". As I designed this block, I took elements from Sarah's Castles like windows, turrets, towers and the cloud line that bounces across the block. I love the illusion this line gives, that there are thick low laying clouds or fog with the castle hanging around in the distance.

When I first designed the Castle block it was much wider than 8", and quickly realized it was the wrong width and wouldn't fit in my quilt plan. I was so bummed because I loved it (and finished it) - but took a deep breath, changed the width, and loved it even more. It became longer and skinnier and looked perfect (and of course it fit in the quilt).

The best part about the Castle block is that it doesn't have any angled sections to put together. All of the sections themselves are straight lines so the sections go together easily. The only time consuming part about this block is the fussy cutting for the background, and of course the little flag (I put the dragon on mine)!

There are two things to think about as you are piecing your Castle. The first is you'll use the same print (Unicorn Border) for the background from top to bottom. As you can see below, there are 5 different layers to use. The white with gold stars, greyish white with gold stars, light blue with tiny dot stars, deeper blue with tiny dot stars and of course the grass. As you piece the sections, be mindful of the lines and the fabric usage. 

The second part to consider while piecing your Castle block is the Navy Castle Plans and making sure the "plans" stay upright and not sideways or at an angle.

To make sure your directional prints show the way you want them to, place the paper piecing block pattern upright. Place the fabric right side down in the way you would want to see it. Fold the line of the fabric where you'll sew, and then move that piece under the paper. lining up the fold. Flip the fabric back the opposite way before sewing that seam. (photo shown below is from the making of the unicorn but illustrates my point perfectly).

I love the versatility of the Castle block. One of my pattern testers this past summer, was inspired to make her 'castle' into a Sand Castle block. I looks to me that she used the "sand" colored print on the sides of the base to "support" the structure. I love the concept she completely switched it to.
Photo courtesy of Angela from @thegreenapricot on Instagram
Shauna (@smoobug) decided to add a couple of extra lines. One extra line to add another layer of clouds (or fog), as well as a grass line to denote a rolling hill. I also love that she used a bright yellow fabric in the upper tower window. It looks as if someone is in the tower and the light is on. lol.
Photo courtesy of Shauna from @smoobug on Instagram

My awesome blogger friend for today's block is Cristy from Purple Daisies Quilting. Cristy decided to make her block look like Sleeping Beauty's magical tower, complete with little princesses in the window. Cristy is the queen of paperless paper piecing and taught me all I know about glue basting! You can find more about Cristy (@cristycreates) and see all of her amazing creations by checking her site Purple Daisies Quilting.

I'd like to thank our sponsor Aurifil for providing the prize for this week's block release. Aurifil is providing one #landofmagicquilt participant one of their small spool collections box (jealous!). For your chance to win Emily Herrick's (also a Michael Miller Fabric designer) Up and Away small spool collection, 1: be sure you are following Aurifil (@aurifilthread) and myself (@kidgiddy) on Instagram, 2: post pics of your Castle block and tag it with the #landofmagicquilt and tag myself and Aurifil so we can see it, 3: post and tag it prior to the next block release in 2 weeks. Winner will be notified when the Dragon block comes out.

Thanks so much for joining in on this sewalong. I really enjoy seeing all of your blocks and look forward to seeing more as the weeks progress. Please do let me know if you have any questions at all.


Disclaimer: I received fabric from Michael Miller Fabrics back in April to design this quilt for Sarah Jane Studios Quilt market booth. I have not received any product or monetary means from the sponsors of this sew a long for this sew a long or for their participation as sponsors. Opinions are my own, and there are no affiliate links. Thank you.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Observer Fabric Tour: Handmade Home

I'm so thrilled to be a part of April Rhodes Observer Fabric tour, and to get my hands on her newest fabric line Observer with Art Gallery Fabrics. I'm not sure what it is - be it the color palette or the prints - that make me want to associate leather, raw wood and plush yarns with April's fabrics, but it's always there. It all just plays so nicely with one another. Don't you agree?

I was so slammed for the past month and sat staring at this stack of fabric she sent me, itching to get started on this project, but couldn't. I had a few ideas in mind but couldn't settle on just one thing. I asked my family which they would choose and the vote was unanimous.

A couple of years ago I made my cousin and his beautiful bride a nautical themed table runner and place setting complete with cloth napkins. As I shipped it off, my daughters voiced their disappointment that we didn't have our own set of "mommy made" place mats. I knew someday I was going to have to make some - but when it's "just for me sewing", I don't get to do much of it. Finally the chance presented itself and I couldn't say no.

After finding some huge leather hides at a local discount retailer shop (for only $25 each - total steal!) I knew I had to work leather into the blocks with these observer prints.

 I didn't want to have blocks with multiple sections that would require a bulky leather seam so I kept them simple. The fabric inspired me to start with either a square or a triangle in each block. Each 7" block started with the leather piece and work outward with April's fabrics, so the leather remains flat. 

  I After trimming the blocks, I then added the log cabin style border The place mats are 12" x 17" finished, which is a fairly standard size for placemats.

I only quilted the top layer with batting and decided to quilt each one with a simple echo style fmq pattern based on the leather piece in the middle. I then added the backing, right sides together, turned them right sides out and top stitched the edges.

Eventually I will make some cloth napkins to go with them and some leather napkin rings.

I had so much fun making these and each of my family members are thrilled beyond belief that I don't have to mail these babies out to someone to be photographed or to keep. These will so happily live on our wood table for a very long time. 

I love April's sweet demeanor and her fabrics exude the same feelings. I hope you will all take the opportunity to place with it too and see what it inspires you to make. Thanks so much for stopping by and reading all about these placemats as inspired by April's Observer Fabrics. For more information or to find out where you can get some of April's new fabric, visit April's website (link above) or the Art Gallery Fabrics site. Holly from @hollygetsquilty is the next blogger up on the tour tomorrow.


Disclaimer: I received fabric from Art Gallery Fabrics to design these placemats with. Opinions are my own, and there are no affiliate links. Thank you.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt Along - Bride #17

I'm excited to share my third block (Bride # 17) for Angie (GnomeAngel) and Fat Quarter Shop's Farmer's Wife QAL. I decided to paper piece this Bride block because of all the smaller triangular pieces, and because it's just so fun and easy. If you are new to paper piecing, check out my Tracy block tutorial for some of my paper piecing tips as well as my own paper piecing tutorial I recently posted here for my own Crown and Star blocks. You can also check out Angie's Bride post in the which she has linked up many of the bloggers that shared full paper piecing tutorials.

I loved the story of the Bride that was getting married and moving from the City to the farm. Reminded me of my move from Long Island N.Y. to Maine more than 15 years ago. I picked the fabrics to represent a bridal bouquet. I think this Bride block could make a beautiful memory quilt for any wedding gift using the same colors and even prints as the bridal bouquets. Here I decided to use my new Rifle Paper Co floral prints because the flowers were just to perfect not to - right?! I always begin all of my paper piecing projects by coloring coding the pieces to keep things straight while sewing. It's even better if you color code it so the colors match the fabrics you are using, but I just grabbed a multi-colored pen, and a marker.

Once all of the sections are sewn, be sure to press them before trimming the edges. Once you have trimmed them all, this block goes together quickly and easily as 4 mini blocks. Sew the larger sections together, and then add the little corners on as directed. Sew two blocks together on both sides, then as a whole. This just might be one of the easiest in the book, with stunning results.  
If you want to check out my other Farmer's Wife block post, you can check out Malvina here. If you want to join in on the fun, you can find Angie's Bride tutorial on her website Gnome Angel, as well as grainline tips from Marti on her blog.
You can get the book and all your fabric needs from The Fat Quarter Shop and the Marti Michell templates from Marti's website! Thanks so much for stopping by. Show me your bride blocks by tagging me on Instagram @kidgiddy. I'd love to see them.


Disclaimer: Because I am a blogger in this quilt-a-long, I graciously received a copy of the Farmer's Wife book and gift card from the Fat Quarter shop (yes I picked up more Cotton and Steel fabrics for my quilt) as well as a full set of templates from Marti Michell. The links above are not affiliate links - because my state won't allow that. The opinions as always, as well as the tutorial and photos, are all my own.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Land of Magic Quilt Sew-A-Long: Star

Two Land of Magic Quilt blocks in one day? Yep! If you've finished your Crown block let's have some fun with the Star block. I designed this block to maximize the fussy cutting potential. I just can't help myself when there are cute little designs from Sarah Jane Studios fabric patterns. I also wanted to make sure there wouldn't be any Y seams. Before getting started - check out these two previous posts for all the sew-a-long details and the initial paper piecing how to's while making the Crown.

If you just arriving - check out the Land of Magic Quilt sew-a-long post for all of the details. Then visit the previous post for all the details on paper piecing and making the first block - the Crown.

Ready to make the Star? Begin making your star with a fussy cut piece of fabric in the center of section C. To prevent your fabric piece from shifting around, pin it in place.

Flip the paper section over and place the fabric right side down to ensure the fussy cut piece for C2 will be aligned. Fold the fabric on the same line where it will be stitched.

Place the fabric in the same place just underneath the pattern piece. Visually align the letters or design in the same area to be sure it will be properly placed. Use a light source to confirm placement. This same method can be used when dealing with directional fabric prints.

When each of the pattern sections are sewn, press each piece prior to trimming.

After trimming, connect section C to D. Prior to sewing these two sections together, pin them together.

Fold along the seam allowance to be sure the edge alignment is correct.

Press open sections C & D before attaching section B (bottom corner).

After sections B, C and D are connected, center section A to C and sew all the way across. The Star block (as well as the Crown block) is great for an entire quilt.

This sew-a-long is generously being sponsored by some awesome peeps and companies.

The first prize is a $25 gift certificate from the Fat Quarter Shop. For your chance to win the prize from our first block sponsor, be sure to follow me @kidgiddy and @fatquartershop on Instagram and share your crown and star blocks when finished on IG, tagging them with #landofmagicquilt as well. As each block is released - there will be a block sponsor announced and a prize from said sponsor. When the next block is released the winner from the previous block will be announced. The Crown and Star blocks are being released together (although in two posts) so there is one prize and one winner. When all is said and done, if you finish your Land of Magic quilt and post a pic on IG - your name will be in the running for the Grand Prize as a thank you for participating.

Thank you so much for joining in on the Magic. I can't wait to see all of your pics! If you have any questions - please let me know. I hope you had fun making your Crown and Star blocks. The Castle block will be released next week, so come back for more fun paper piecing with me!


Disclaimer: I received fabric from Michael Miller Fabrics back in April to design this quilt for Sarah Jane Studios Quilt market booth. Opinions are my own, and there are no affiliate links. Thank you.