Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Against the Grain Quilt Along - Strip Piecing

 It's time for one of my favorite quilting steps. Strip Piecing.



Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains Affiliate Links. When purchases are made through these links I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Your purchases help support my small business and keep my husband's head from exploding every time a new quilting notion arrives in our mailbox. Thank you for that. Find out more about Affiliate Links Here.


For this step we are using the strips of Background and Color 1 fabrics. Since we are using long strips of fabric to start with there is a chance of bowing of our strips. Following are tips to keep that from happening.



The first step to sewing strip sets without bowing is rotating the stitching. If you are sewing two colors together like in the April Monthly Color Challenge block, sew with the same color strip on top.



If you are sewing multiple strips together, mark the end you started stitching on with a Wonder Clip or pin. This will help you remember which end you started on so you can rotate and start stitching on the other end for the next strip.



The next step is pressing. I highly recommend finger pressing your strip before coming back with a hot iron to press. Finger pressing gives you more control over the seam and keeps you from inadvertently stretching the fabric with the iron when pressing.



Once we are done sewing our strip sets it's time to trim off just a little bit off one end. This gives us a straight edge to work with as we start sub-cutting out units.



Rotate your trimmed strip and, using the seam lines and your ruler to keep your cuts straight, begin sub-cutting your strip sets.





With our Background and Color 2 squares make the number needed for your accent block. Then we will see you back here April 21 to assemble our blocks!

That's it! You are done with this step of the Against the Grain Quilt Along.


Here's a Youtube video showing my tips:



Make something Extraordinary!

Jen


New to Patterns By Jen?

Don't forget to sign up for the Bites of PBJ newsletter while you are here!




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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Thursday, April 1, 2021

April 2021 Monthly Color Challenge

Hello April and a new quarter for the 2021 Monthly Color Challenge!




The dark, shiny red skin of the cherry is our color inspiration this month.


Picture from: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/health-benefits-cherries


I love a good cherry, and could sit and eat them until I had a very impressive pile of cherry pits. At least they are healthy!

Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains Affiliate Links. When purchases are made through these links I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Your purchases help support my small business and keep my husband's head from exploding every time a new quilting notion arrives in our mailbox. Thank you for that. Find out more about Affiliate Links Here.





This block looks like it might be more difficult, and if you are making the 6" finished size those seams are awesome ha, but with some strip piecing and careful pressing you will be done in no time! Don't forget the recipes the 2021 Monthly Color Challenge bloggers share, too. It's going to be a great month!

**Reminder! Each month there is a How-to Video included at the bottom of the instructions. Simply click on the link provided to watch.**


April Bloggers


Ashli - Quilt2endalz

Sarah - A Quilted Diary

Crystal - Daybrook Designs

Andi - True Blue Quilts

Raylee - Sunflower Stitcheries and Quilting

Joanne - Everyone Deserves a Quilt 

Sheila - So This is Kentucky

Kris - Scrap Dash

Kathy - Penny for my Thoughts

Don't forget: This year two block sizes are offered, you can choose to make the 12" finished blocks or the 6" finished blocks, or both! If you have enjoyed the Monthly Color Challenge, but are looking for a bit more of a challenge, the 6" blocks are for you!



Quarter 2 Sponsors

There's a new group of sponsors! The Monthly Color Challenge has a great group of sponsors who have given generously to make this year an amazing year for you. Winners are chosen quarterly; April 1, July 1, Oct 1 and Jan 1, 2022. To enter you simply add your block to the Link Up at the end of each month. One entry per quilter and it needs to be the block from the current month. Finish each month and you will have 3 entries each quarter!





Bea Quilter - PDF Pattern

For the Love of Geese - PDF Pattern

True Blue QuiltsBook: Monochromatic Quilts Amazing Variety*

Make Modern Magazine - 6 month subscription

Island Batik - Fat Quarter Bundle*

Benartex - Fabric Bundle*

Quilters Dream Batting - 60 x 60 Dream Poly*

The Warm Company - 90 x 108 Warm and Plush 100% Cotton

Appliques Quilts and More - $10 gift certificate

Fat Quarter Shop - Gift Certificate

DayBrook Designs - 2 PDF Patterns

Patterns By Jen - Tucker Trimmer 1® ruler*

Those marked with * are for US residents only. Prize laws vary throughout different countries.





Tips

Here are my top tips for keeping those pieced strips straight.



When strip piecing always sew the strips in opposite directions. In this case I sew with the same color strip on top every time, that way I know my stitching is going the opposite way each time. This keeps the fabrics from bowing. See more in this month's How To Video included with the instructions.




Once you have sewn your strips together, set the seam with a hot iron, then open up the strip and finger press before finishing with the iron.




Trim as little as possible for your starting cut.




Line up the lines on your ruler with the seams when you sub-cut your units. Do not use the outside edges.




If your stitching on your corner is off and doesn't' come to the corner. . . 




. . . it will effect the look of your center unit. Use your seam ripper and stitch that line accurately for a nice center.





Ready to get your pattern? Go to Payhip and download it now! The block is free for the month of April.

To have the block sent directly to your email sign up HERE.

It's too late to have the January through April blocks emailed to you but you can download them from Payhip and get ready to have the rest of the year arrive in your email inbox.

Make something Extraordinary!

Jen

New to Patterns By Jen?

Don't forget to sign up for the Bites of PBJ newsletter while you are here for early releases and sales just for subscribers!




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. 

Thursday, March 25, 2021

March 2021 Monthly Color Challenge Link Up

 It's link up time!




You all are rocking this years Color Challenge! It has been so much fun to see these blocks just come to life. It's so amazing!




 If you are on Instagram follow #2021MonthlyColorChallenge and #MonthlyColorChallenge to see all of the blocks.




Quarter 1 Sponsors


Bea Quilter - PDF Pattern

Love to Color My World - PDF Pattern

Designs By Sarah J - Fabric Bundle and Book*

Cherrywood Hand Dyed Fabric - Monty Fabric Bundle*

Benartex - Fabric Bundle*

Quilters Dream Batting - 60 x 46 Dream Angel 100% Flame Retardant Fibers*

Quilters Dream Batting - 60 x 46 Dream Wool*

The Warm Company - 55 x 60 batting 80/20*

Appliques Quilts and More - $10 gift certificate

DayBrook Designs - 2 PDF Patterns

Patterns By Jen - PDF Pattern

Those marked with * are for US residents only. Prize laws vary throughout different countries.





The Link Up is open through March 31st. If you have a problem linking up, please use the "question mark" button next to the log out button. If you are trying from your phone, try it from a laptop/tablet if you have one.

The first set of winners for the 2021 Monthly Color Challenge will be chosen April 1st!




Good luck and thank you so much for stitching along with me!

Missed the block? Find it HERE!




Make something Extraordinary!
Jen


New to Patterns By Jen?

Don't forget to sign up for the Bites of PBJ newsletter while you are here!




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. 


Please make sure to add your first name!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Against the Grain Quilt Along - Signature Blocks

 We're moving right into the stitching part of our Quilt Along.



The next two weeks you get to work on your Signature Blocks and bonus HST units if you choose.


During our Fabric Cutting session we also marked the diagonal line on the squares we will be using for the corners of our Signature Blocks.




If you are making the bonus HST units, you should have also marked a second line 1/2" inch from the first. The Quilter's Magic Wand® is a great tool for marking both of those lines. I did a (really) quick block post on how to use the Quilter's Magic Wand® HERE.



Once your lines are marked it's time to sew. I like to stitch right next to the drawn line instead of on the line. Later, when I press that triangle over it will match up better, instead of hanging too far over or not far enough.



If you are making the bonus HST units keep your chain pieced blocks together and stitch next to the second drawn line.


Here is a YouTube video that shows how I chain piece my Signature Blocks and bonus HST units.




Once you're done sewing simply cut 1/4" from the stitches and press. Repeat on the opposite corner and you are done with this step of the Against the Grain Quilt Along.



Making the Bonus HST units? Press toward the background fabric and then trim to 1 1/2" square. I'll have a bonus pattern for you at the end of the Quilt Along!

Make something Extraordinary!

Jen

New to Patterns By Jen?

Don't forget to sign up for the Bites of PBJ newsletter while you are here!




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. 

Monday, March 22, 2021

Using the Deb Tucker's Studio 180 Design Quilter's Magic Wand®

 I was recently asked "How do you used the Quilter's Magic Wand®?"



I thought this would make a good blog post, because there may be more than just one person asking that question. Please note, I am NOT a certified instructor for the Deb Tucker Studio 180 Design rulers. That is something I've looked into, but the dates have yet to work out for me to be able to apply. Some year.



Before we start I want to make sure to point out that the Quilter's Magic Wand® is NOT a cutting ruler. As you can see it is very thin and using a rotary cutter with this tool would be very dangerous. This is for marking only.



I use the Magic Wand mainly to mark Signature Block corners for that extra HST. Line up one edge of the Quilter's Magic Wand® from point to point.



Draw a line on both sides of the ruler. The 1/2" width is perfect for marking quick lines to sew on and leaves space to cut the units apart and have a 1/4" seam allowance.



Many use it to mark HST units as well. Line up the etched line on the Quilter's Magic Wand® on each point, mark the lines and you now have easy lines to sew on and that 1/4" seam allowance.



Deb Tucker shares more ways to use the Quilter's Magic Wand® on her YouTube Channel.



You can find the Quilter's Magic Wand® in my Etsy Shop.


Make Something Extraordinary!

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, March 14, 2021

A look into my sewing room

 I did an "Instagram Takeover" of the All People Quilt Instagram feed March 5 - 7th. During the "takeover" I shared photos of my sewing space and thought I would share them here as well.




My sewing space is large and I am thankful for it in our 3 bedroom ranch style house that also shares space with our family and my day job. However, it is in our laundry room, in the basement, in a windowless room. I've (lovingly) named it "The Dungeon" and it's where all the PBJ stuff happens.

I dream of having a space that is filled with natural light and fresh breezes coming in from the big open windows. Someday maybe that will happen for me and I don't begrudge those who have them. I just think that sometimes those of us that don't have that yet, need to share, because I know we are not alone.

Our rooms may not be bright and airy, but they are good rooms where good things happen. 



The tour will happen counter clockwise. When you first step in the door, to your right is the tv. You may know that I watch Lord of the Rings whenever I have deadline work to do, but I will also watch YouTube videos on all things business. I watched all the Baby Lock videos available on the Brilliant before I even opened the box as well.



Next is my photo tent, printer, paper etc station. In the cabinet below is where I store my printed patterns, rulers, etc. Find the photo tent here. (Not an affiliate link.) The kanban board behind it all helps me keep my work flow from backing up.



Straight on from the door is my fabric storage area. If you don't "Instagram" you missed my fabric confession. I don't keep a lot of quilting cotton on hand, it's in the first shelf of bins, but knit fabrics. Ouch. Someone really needs to get sewing all the planned clothing pieces. I left the bucket of socks so you can see it really is a laundry room.



Next to the fabric is the comfy chair I sometimes take short naps in and/or my family comes down to sit and share time with me. When it isn't full of unfolded laundry.



My ironing board set up isn't awesome awesome, because it has to be moved when I'm doing laundry, but I like having it set up a few steps away from my cutting mat and sewing machine. I think it's really important to get up and stretch every now and then, and this helps me remember to do that.



The first half of my cutting counter has my extra cutting mat, wool pressing mat and bins with projects I'm currently working on. The second mat comes in handy when I'm cutting out clothing patterns and need the extra length. Which, when you look at the stash of knits I have going, I'm obviously not putting to good use right now.



Then my main cutting station. My rulers are hung on hooks, I also have rulers off to the side that don't have hang holes as well as some "seamstress" rulers.



Above the cutting area I have cupboards for more storage. One half stores the laundry soap, dryer sheets, etc. The other half has sewing notions, including this handy contraption. It's an old contact holder my uncle gave me when he retired and closed his office. The drawers are perfect for holding elastic, bias tape, glue for the glue gun, etc.




My L-shaped teacher's desk finishes off my space. The sewing machine sits on the higher part of the desk facing into the room and towards the tv, laptop on the shorter part ready for use.




The most important part of the sewing desk is the snack drawer. It's never pretty, but always yummy. 😉




It's important to note, my sewing space NEVER looks this clean and organized. With all of the projects I have going on there are always multiple piles taking over. I do try to do a quick pick up Saturday mornings to start off my weekend right, but it tends to pile up pretty dang fast. Even this picture is pretty clean looking compared to 2 weeks ago. Ha!


My favorite part of my space is the extra long cutting station, especially when it's cleared off and ready for the next project. What is the favorite part of your space? Even if you sew in a dark corner hiding from the rest of the household, what makes you excited to go there and create? Share in the comments and then....


Make Something Extraordinary!

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.