Saturday, March 31, 2018

Try A Technique with Island Batik

The March Challenge for the Island Batik Ambassadors was "Try a new technique."

I chose to try the Quick Curve Ruler from Sew Kind of Wonderful and make the Fun Poinsettia table runner. Confession: I have had this ruler for two years. I asked my LQS to order it for me, I took it out of the plastic and then it sat. And sat. And sat.  I am so sad I waited to use this ruler.

My version of Fun Poinsettia. 

I used four of the fabrics given to me by Island Batik as part of their ambassador program; Eucalyptus (the fabric with a a little yellow mixed in), Ivy, Branches in Light Smore from the Mountain's Majesty line, and the flange is Bubbles in Raspberry.

I found the Quick Curve Ruler to be easy to use and very accurate. Cutting the units larger than needed and then trimming makes getting accurate units easy.. I have only made this one project, but I look forward to making something else. Truly that only happens if I enjoy the use of this ruler. 


To see a video of how to sew curved seams (and press them) see:

*I added the band-aids shown in the first picture to try and help the slipping, becasue I couldn't get to the store, but on the pieces I used for this challenge, you can see I've added clear medical tape to the backside of the ruler. This makes cutting and trimming so much easier when you don't have to worry about slippage.*

I like to mark my fabrics with Frixion pens, but I have seen batik quilts that have been marked with them, and had the color wiped out, so I did a little test.


Pressed. You can see the x's have now turned white and there was nothing I could do to get rid of them, or find my color. I haven't had this issue with other fabrics, but I also only mark cutting lines iwht my frixen pens, so I don't worry bout it too much. However, I wanted to test the batik/Frixion pen mix for you. As with all things quilty, do what works for you.

Onto cutting out the units. I find it is very helpful in keeping your accuracy, if you line up the pieces you are marking, with the straight lines on your cutting mat. When marking my cutting lines I made sure that my ruler lined up straight along the fabric line. It's easy to just start marking 1/2 inch willy nilly, but there can be a slight varience to the mark if the ruler isn't squared up, and that can make a difference in your cutting and then your sewing. (Yes, I used my frixen pen to make these marks.)

If you happen to be making the Fun Poinsettia pattern, it calls for an exact measurement, no need to mark the 6" line. I found that if I lined up the cutting curve so the fabric was at the top of the open line, my pieces lined up well when we got to the sewing part of the design.

Once you start sewing your units together you will see that there doesn't seem to be enough space for a 1/4" seam allowance. This is ok for this pattern.

Once sewn together you get this great point within the curves.

I found that my pins did not like going into the fabric once there were layers. I switched to using my Wonder Clips to hold the rows together instead of trying to force the pins in and possibly ripping fabric or breaking pins.

When I started quilting the table topper I had issues with my thread breaking.  I remembered that there had been discussion about this issue with quilting batiks and switched out my needle. I usually use an 80/12, but I switched to a 100/16 for the quilting and to add the binding. I didn't have a single thread breakage the rest of the time. Way less stress that way!

I used my walking foot and thread I received from Aurifil to quilt the table runner. The thread is 50 wt, number 2915, Very Light Brass. I really thought this thread was a light green, and when I looked up the number and saw brass, it turned to a very pretty brass color. It was green until then, I swear.

I also added a berry colored flange to the binding. I will have a tutorial in a couple of weeks on adding flange to your binding. Spoiler alert: the most important rule to adding flange - don't do the math on only 3 hours of sleep. You're welcome. Ha!

I truly feel that this ruler is worth a look. If you take your time and cut accurately, you will have success when using it.

Happy Stitching!

New to Patterns By Jen?

Find paper and digital patterns in my Etsy shop.

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

Don't forget to visit the other Island Batik Ambassadors!

Saturday, March 24, 2018

March Color Challenge Link Up

Who is ready to share their yellow makes?

Whether you chose to make one of the free blocks provided...

Or something else, you can link up your yellow make for a chance to win.

This month we will have 3 winners! Each one will win a 6 month subscription to Make Modern Magazine, based out of Australia.

The link up will run from March 24 - March 31st. 
**Due to Easter falling on the 1st, I will choose winners April 2nd this time around.**  
Good luck!

Happy Stitching!

New to Patterns By Jen?

Find paper and digital patterns in my Etsy shop.

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

Thursday, March 1, 2018

March Color Challenge

Welcome to the March Color Challenge!

Here is block three of the 2018 Monthly Color Challenge. Each month a new block is provided for free.

12" finished

Grab your free March block pattern HERE. Each pattern has cutting instructions for a 6" or 12" finished block. At the end of the year there will be a few different settings provided to you to finish your Color Challenge Quilt.

12" finished

6" finished

Visit these bloggers to see their March blocks, and to get a few extra free patterns.

The Prize

This month's sponsor is Make Modern Quilt Magazine. 

They have provided THREE 6 month subscriptions to their magazine. That means THREE winners! You are not going to want to miss out on this one. Finish something yellow this month and add it to the link up that will start March 24th.

Grand Prize

Plus, each month you enter the link up gives you an entry for the Grand Prize.

Jen at Dizzy Quilter is providing the grand prize! 

For every month you enter the link up, you get an entry for the grand prize.

The generous prize provided is you will get your top quilted by her (up to 90" x 90"),  a $202.50 value!

You must provide the backing, 8" longer than width and length. Batting can be purchased from Jen, for $20, if you like.

Return shipping is included for US residents only.
**Please note, the quilt will not be trimmed or bound, those services are extra**

Piecing Hints

Chain piecing is your friend. Even with Flying Geese. Feed them in one after the other and you will be done in no time.

Even after you have cut and pressed the first round, keep chain piecing. In this shot you can see I don't cut my thread after stitching the first seam, I keep the units together and feed them in as a chain.

Find trimming instructions for Flying Geese units HERE.

I stitch with the point of my goose facing up so I can watch where it is and keep all my points.

Before pressing your units, make sure to set your seams. Just a quick press with the iron is all you need, but it helps keep those seams flat.

6" finished block

What's next?

You've visited the bloggers, you've made the block, or something in yellow, and you're ready for the next step. Entering for prizes! On March 24th I will open up a link party. From March 24 - March 31 you can add your yellow "something" to the link up party. One entry per person, please. On April 2nd (April 1st is Easter this year and I will be with family) I will randomly choose a winner. 

**Remember! Every month you enter gives you an entry for the grand prize. If you enter all 12 months you receive 12 entries into the grand prize!**

Happy Stitching!

New to Patterns By Jen?

Find paper and digital patterns in my Etsy shop.

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