Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Broken Panes Quilt Along - Strip Piecing

This week we are sewing our strips and sub-cutting.




For the beginners among us my tip is to slow your stitching speed down to the slowest speed. I don't sew my strips at the highest, I use the medium speed. The faster you the sew the more wibbly, wobbly your stitching can get. We want it to be a nice straight seam allowance for the next step.



NOTE! If you are using directional fabric for one or more of your color choices, please skip to the "Directional Fabric" portion of this post. Do NOT sew the strips together if you using directional fabric if you want it to be facing the right way. If you aren't worried about the direction, then sew away!

Strip Piecing





Since we cut our strips WOF and didn't trim them down to size we aren't worried about the ends matching up, we will trim them next.




When pressing long strips I like to finger press first. This means I flip open my strip and press the fabric over, the same direction I would if using the iron, with my fingers. Doing this keeps the strip from bowing and gives you a nice straight strip to work with. After I have pressed the whole strip with y fingers I hit it with a hot iron.





Once our strips are sewn we are going to trim off one edge. Line up a mark from the ruler along the seam line.




Trim off just a bit to give a straight edge to work with.




Rotate your strip. Now, lining up the needed measurement on the ruler on the straight edge of the fabric you just cut, as well as on the seam, cut. Repeat.




Continue to sub-cut your strips until you have the number of units you need. Place them in your storage bin, we're ready to assemble the block next!


Directional Fabric

If you are using directional fabric then you will be cutting the strips into squares and rectangles before sewing. First read through Assembly Step 1 in your pattern to determine how many cuts you will need. For example, if I was making the smallest quilt and my directional fabric was for the "red" color, I would cut the number of units needed for that step for both the color strip and the background strip. Since the strips aren't sewn together you just need the width, not the length.




Next take a look at the diagrams that show which side the background strip will be on. For the red I would look at Assembly Step 4 and see that they would be sewn to the bottom of each red. After pressing towards the "red" I am done and they can go into our storage bin.

If you have questions please feel free to email me patternsbyjen(at)gmail(dot)com

OR

go to the Quilt and Learn with Patterns By Jen group.


Important Links

Broken Panes pattern:

Etsy Digital

Etsy Printed

Payhip Digital



Sign up for email reminders

Schedule and supply list

Share in Quilt and Learn with Patterns By Jen Facebook Group

Use #brokenpanesquiltalong on social media.

Happy Stitching!
Jen



New to Patterns By Jen?


Find paper and digital patterns in my Etsy shop.

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Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Broken Panes Quilt Along - Cutting

Welcome to the first week of the Broken Panes Quilt Along!




We're taking it nice and slow for this quilt along, with a few weeks added in for extra sewing time. For the complete schedule and supply list see THIS POST.




This week we are simply cutting our strips. Our goal is to get good, accurate cuts. The Accurate Cutting post shows where to place the lines of your ruler on your fabric when cutting, there is also a helpful video.

Beginners  might find the Beginners Unite series helpful as well.




We start with cutting strips. WOF = Width of Fabric and simply means to cut from the fold to the seam allowance. Cut the required number of strips for each color. If you are using directional fabric, for this step you are simply following the instructions, there isn't anything to change yet.

In the photo above you can see that my selvages are lined up together but that the edge isn't straight any more. This is why it's so important to get straighten the edge first. I'll line up my ruler on that 17" mark and cut off the funky edge. Now I can start cutting my strips.




When sub-cutting the background strips I like to lay a few of them together to cut. Many like to layer a couple of strips on top of each other, but I prefer one layer for accuracy. Another one of those "personal preference" moments in quilting.




The instructions call for some of the strips to be cut in half. I simply use my scissors and cut on the fold. This cut doesn't have to be very accurate, because next week we will be strip piecing and trimming.




Once you have finished cutting the required amount of strips for the size you are making simply set them aside for next week. I like to use a shoe box sized tub for my cut quilts. You will be amazed how how much they will hold.

Still need the pattern?

Etsy Printed

Etsy Digital

Payhip Digital


Sign up for email reminders

Schedule and supply list

Share in Quilt and Learn with Patterns By Jen Facebook Group

Use #brokenpanesquiltalong on social media.

Next week we will go over strip piecing, sub-cutting, and how to plan for directional fabrics.

Happy Stitching!
Jen




New to Patterns By Jen?


Find paper and digital patterns in my Etsy shop.

Find fun PBJ merchandise at Teespring



Join the Quilt and Learn with Patterns By Jen Facebook page.

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Saturday, June 1, 2019

June Color Challenge - Orange

June is here!




If you are new to the 2019 Monthly Color Challenge you can hop over quick to read through the introduction and also see the colors coming up in the months ahead.




This month's flower inspiration is the Sundaze Blaze Starflower. Look at that beautiful, bright color! What is not to love? The best part of deciding to use flowers as the color inspiration is finding new-to-me flowers. I need these all over my yard.




Are you a beginner? For this month's blocks you might find these posts helpful:




For this months block you will need:

Mat
Rotary cutter
Ruler
Marking pen/pencil

Specialty rulers that are NOT required, but helpful:


A great group of bloggers joins us each month. Please make sure to visit each one and see their blocks and read their stories.





This is a great way to meet new quilty bloggers!




Ready for your free June Monthly Color Challenge block? Find it HERE. Remember there is a change this year and the block is available for free only through June 30th. Use #2019monthlycolorchallenge on social media so we can see your blocks.

**NEW** Each months set of instructions comes with a full video tutorial!

To get the block instructions delivered right to your email sign up HERE.

This will not give you any of the previous month's blocks, you still need to go to Payhip and download those, but from this point on it will come directly to your inbox on the first of each month. Make sure to add patternsbyjen(at)gmail(dot)com to your email address book.

Happy Stitching!
Jen

New to Patterns By Jen?


Find paper and digital patterns in my Etsy shop.

Find fun PBJ merchandise at Teespring


Join the Quilt and Learn with Patterns By Jen Facebook page.

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for daily sneak peeks and updates. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Broken Panes Quilt Along - Thread and bobbins

It's our last step in the quilt along prepping phase.




The last thing I want you to do is get your thread ready. I like to use a grey for all of my piecing. It's a nice nuetral color that is easy to see on dark and light fabric both. This is important if you have an opportunity for ripping out stitches. Those moments happen frequently for me and grey is the best choice for me.




I piece with Gutermann polyester, mostly because it is readily available at my LQS (local quilt shop), and have not had any issues with it after years of use in my quilts. I know I'm starting to sound like a broken record, but use what you like and what works for you. I'm sharing what I use, but many quilters only piece with cotton. Or just Aurifil, or Coats. I just want you to use what you want and have available to you.

Once you've decided on your thread, start winding bobbins.  I keep twelve bobbins filled for piecing. Once I go through all twelve I stop and rewind. I hate when I'm in a piecing groove and I have to stop to wind a bobbin. The more wound bobbins I have, the happier I am!

Many quilters use all kinds of colors for piecing, even using mismatched bobbins and spools, so that they can use every last bit. I have no problem with that, my only word of caution would be to try not to mix up polyester and cotton. Tension problems are not something we want to have in the middle of our piecing.

That's it! We're ready for the first week in our Broken Panes Quilt Along! Make sure you have the pattern and your fabric prepped and we will meet back here June 4th!


Find the pattern





Helpful Links




Happy Stitching!
Jen

New to Patterns By Jen?


Find paper and digital patterns in my Etsy shop.

Find fun PBJ merchandise at Teespring


Join the Quilt and Learn with Patterns By Jen Facebook page.

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for daily sneak peeks and updates. 

Sunday, May 26, 2019

May Color Challenge Link Up

It's time to link up your lime green May blocks!




We are nearing the half way point of the 2019 Monthly Color Challenge. Have you enjoyed the blocks so far? This year the link up is available just for you to share your gorgeous blocks, there are no prizes. You will need either an Instagram account, a Flickr account, or you will need to email me directly so I can put your block on my Instagram account and get you added. patternsbyjen(at)gmail(dot)com




If you haven't downloaded your May block yet, it is still free through the end of the month. You can find it in my Payhip store HERE. Each block now comes with a link to a full video how to!


You can also have the block instructions delivered directly to your inbox on the first of each month. Please make sure to add patternsbyjen(at)gmail(dot)com to your address book so you get the email.



If you are having trouble getting the link up to work please read THIS POST.




If you haven't already, you can join the Quilt and Learn with Patterns By Jen Facebook group to get inspiration for you blocks as well as tips, advice and encouragement from quilters sewing along with you.

If you missed the introduction post you can find it HERE. This post will be updated each month with a link to the new Color Challenge post, so you may want to bookmark it.

I can't wait to see your blocks! Thank you for stitching along with the 2019 Monthly Color Challenge!


Are you interested in a quilt along? The Broken Panes Quilt Along is perfect for beginners, I hope you will join in the fun!

Happy Stitching!
Jen

New to Patterns By Jen?


Find paper and digital patterns in my Etsy shop.

Find fun PBJ merchandise at Teespring



Join the Quilt and Learn with Patterns By Jen Facebook page.

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for daily sneak peeks and updates. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Broken Panes Quilt Along - Needles and Rotary Cutter

Prep week 2!




Last week we talked about fabric prep, today we're talking about needles and rotary cutters.

Needles

Quick question: When was the last time you changed your needle? If you can't remember then it's time to change it. I have found that a sharp needle can make all the difference in the accuracy of your stitching, but what size?




I use Organ needles size 70/10 (no affiliation).In the past I have used Schmetz quilting needles 80/20 or universal. I like the 70/10 size for piecing, especially batiks, as well as quilting.

I like to change my needle after a large quilt, two lap sized quilts, a few smaller quilts/projects or after quilting. As with all things quilting, everyone has their own personal preference and way of doing things. Choose what works for you.




For my needle storage I found this container (no affiliation). The spaces are adjustable and makes it easier to see the needles and if I'm running low. It also keeps my rotary blades handy.

Rotary Cutter

Can you guess what my next question is going to be?

When was the last time you changed your rotary cutter blade? If your cuts are sticking to each other a bit, change that blade. It can get frustrating trying to pick up your cut strips and having them stick and pull. A fresh blade makes the quilting experience so much more enjoyable.




I purchased these blades in October and so far I have had a great experience with them. (No affiliation.)




My go-to rotary cutter is from Olfa. I use the yellow for cutting fabric and use the pink for cutting paper. When the blades on the yellow one get dull I put them in the pink one. I requested the Martelli Rotary Cutter at Christmas, because my wrist is hurting when I do a lot of cutting. They have one for leftys, too! I still haven't had the courage to open it and try it.

Old blades get stored in a case marked old and needles (old and broken) get put in an empty prescription bottle. These go into a Sharps container when full.

To join the quilt along you just need to pick up a pattern and your fabrics, then come back to the blog for weekly updates!

Find the pattern





Helpful Links


Email Reminders

Next week we will be prepping our thread and bobbins.

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Happy Stitching!
Jen

New to Patterns By Jen?


Find paper and digital patterns in my Etsy shop.

Find fun PBJ merchandise at Teespring


Join the Quilt and Learn with Patterns By Jen Facebook page.

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for daily sneak peeks and updates. 






Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Broken Panes Quilt Along - Fabric Prep

We're getting ready for the Broken Panes Quilt Along!




Are you getting excited to start? Are you prepared? That's what the next three quilt along posts will be all about. This is going to be so much fun!

Before the quilt along starts you need to get Broken Panes:

Etsy Digital

Etsy Printed

Payhip Digital


Fabric choice




I chose to use Big Bang from Northcott.


For Broken Panes you will need a background choice and five colors. I chose to use a different fabric for the border and binding, so I am using seven colors total. Here are the fabric requirements. I'm making the 57" square. Navy is my "red" and yellow is my "blue."


If you want to change the color placement, or color completely, it's really easy to do so in the pattern. It's up to you if you want to find a focal fabric that you want to work off of, or the perfect background, first.




You can also decide to do a dark background and then choose light colors for the squares.




Or you could try a two tone color palette. Pretty sure I now need to make one of each of those options.

BUT!

What about those fabrics that you're not quite sure will give you enough contrast. My favorite tip is to take a picture of the fabrics next to each other and then change that picture to black and white. This will show you if you have enough contrast between the fabrics.

For more thoughts on color you can see this post or this post.


Fabric Prep

You've chosen your fabrics, now what?

Confession. I don't prewash my fabrics UNLESS I'm working with a red in a quilt that I will give away for someone else to wash and care for. Otherwise, I wait until the quilt is quilted and bound before washing.

This is a completely personal choice. You will find many quilters with very strong opinions on whether to wash or not. I choose not to, and I only tell you because some will ask or wonder, but if you are more comfortable washing first, please do so.




Now give your fabrics a good press. I starch all the things. Really. Before I cut anything, even strips that will just be sewn as strips, I starch. I use Best Press, but again, this is one of those personal choices. Note: If you do starch, you want to starch before cutting, because it will cause your fabric to shrink just a bit.

You don't need to starch, you don't need to buy the expensive starch, but you DO need to press. If you aren't using starch, get the tough creases out with a spritz of water. (Shhhh, I also NEVER steam.) Pressing now, and folding nicely, will mean less pressing when we get started on June 4th.




You'll want to fold with the selvages straight. Take a peek at this video to see how to prep your fabric so the grain line is straight for straight cuts when we start.

Next week we will talk needles and rotary cutters!




Don't forget your Broken Panes pattern:

Etsy Digital

Etsy Printed

Payhip Digital



Happy Stitching!
Jen



New to Patterns By Jen?


Find paper and digital patterns in my Etsy shop.

Find fun PBJ merchandise at Teespring



Join the Quilt and Learn with Patterns By Jen Facebook page.

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for daily sneak peeks and updates.