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


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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.