Saturday, January 20, 2018

Vegas Wedding Quilt Tips & Tricks - Part 3

I had an Instagram follower message me the other day asking for my opinion on a color scheme she was considering for her Vegas Wedding quilt. Because I am a dork, instead of just responding with "I love it!" (cause I really, really did!) I sent her six different versions of the quilt using the colors from her color scheme...I shared my dorky ways on IG stories which then led to requests for more color scheme suggestions for the Vegas Wedding quilt....so here you go!

I draw a lot of my color inspiration from images I see online, but another great resource that I always forget about is Design Seed! It's a treasure trove of gorgeous color palettes that you can draw a ton of inspiration from! You can also find four different color scheme suggestions on Page 9 in the Vegas Wedding pattern, but, if none of those catch your fancy, check out the suggestions below! 

So grab your Kona/Cotton Couture/<fill in the blank favorite solids manufacturer> swatch cards and start matching! πŸ’ƒ


Alright, let's start making Block Three! (Vegas Wedding Quilt Pattern is available HERE)

Block Three has a lot of similarities in construction to Block Two, so I won't get into as much detail as the previous post (You can view that post HERE) But, here are some additional tips I find helpful while making it!

After sewing the L pieces to the H/O/N and E/O/N units (H/O/N and E/O/N refers to the letters assigned to the cut pieces in the pattern), I like to trim my dog ears BEFORE pressing. With the wrong side of the unit facing up, I follow the raw edge of the unit with my scissors while trimming the dog ear. I then press the seams toward Piece L.


An example of what those units look like after they've been pressed is below.


This was already mentioned in the pattern, but I feel it is important to really emphasis how helpful it is to finger press the center of your Block Two template units and H/O/N and E/O/N units. Line up those center creases and pin or glue in place.


Following the tips I suggested in the second part of this series, make sure the edges of your Block Two template unit and H/O/N or E/O/N units intersect by 1/4". I've done enough of these type of units where I can pretty much just eyeball the 1/4" now, but if this is a new technique for you or you don't feel super confident about it, I recommend following the tips I suggest in the second post - where you mark the 1/4" seam allowance on your unit OR take a small ruler, after you've pinned the units together, and measure the 1/4" seam allowance to make sure it is intersecting between those two points (example pic below) before you sew them together. If it isn't intersecting perfectly, then adjust the units as necessary.



You might have some units where you have to adjust the units so much that you have some gapping after you've pinned them together. As long as the excess fabric that is causing the gapping is less than 1/4" in total, you can get rid of it by sewing your units with the gapping side face down on your sewing machine. I'm not sure the exact science behind it, but your feed dogs will work their magic and distribute that excess fabric evenly so you have no puckers or a lot of distortion in your block later on.


I'm not sure why it appears like my gapping issue is on top...It really is the bottom piece that
is face down on my sewing machine. I promise!


And here are all of my blocks laid out and ready to be assembled into a top! I have a fun tip I'm excited to share next week for matching up those angled seams! Stay tuned!

In the meantime, feel free to email me or comment below with any questions you might have about the pattern! Happy to answer them 😊

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Vegas Wedding Quilt Tips & Tricks - Part 2

Before I get started with this week's post, I have to share some photos from my talented and oh-so-helpful Vegas Wedding quilt testers!

First up are photos of my mom's (@gailzerbe on Instagram) fun & vibrant Vegas Wedding quilt! Love, love, love her floral background! 😍 I'm not biased or anything, right?? πŸ˜‰


Next is my friend, Meghan of Then Came June! The colors she chose are so dreamy and a perfect fit for this quilt!


And last but not least is Joanne's finished Vegas Wedding quilt top! Joanne did a beautiful job and was such a big help in getting this pattern perfected for you all!


In this week's post, I will be breaking down the second step of Block Two in a lot more detail! Block Two a little trickier to make than Block One, but if you follow the instructions in the pattern exactly and use the tips I share here, then it should come together pretty quickly!

The most difficult part of this block is sewing Piece K and the Block Two template piece together. It is SUPER important that the seam allowance intersects where the two edges of these pieces meet. If it doesn't then the two angled edges of this unit will be jagged instead of smooth and straight. Example of how this unit should look when it's finished below....


If you find these type of units difficult to make or haven't made one before, then I recommend utilizing the tips below to make it go as smoothly as possible...

Using a small ruler, make two tiny marks (within the seam allowance) that are 1/4" away from the top edge of the Block Two template piece with the right side facing up (Do this in conjunction with making a center crease as suggested in the pattern).


Now, layer Piece K and the Block Two template piece right sides together and using pins or glue (more about glue basting below), align the two pieces together so that two angled edges of Piece K intersects with the pencil markings on the Block Two template piece. Also make sure to line up the center crease. Pin or glue those edges in place.


If you are having issues with the seam allowance intersecting between those two points even after following the steps above, I recommend using some washable glue (I use Elmer's with a glue tip from Pile O' Fabric) to hold those two pieces in place. The glue helps to prevent ANY shifting while you sew. And you don't need a ton of glue to hold them together either. I like to place three small dots, exactly where I would have pinned the pieces together, and then either let the unit air dry as I glue the remaining sets together or heat set it with a dry (aka no steam), hot iron.


Since Piece K has a bias edge, you can also manipulate it slightly to making it larger or smaller so it fits with the Block Two template piece perfectly. Don't worry if you need to stretch Piece K slightly or vice versa to make it work! This will not effect the outcome of your block later on.


If your background fabric is darker than your ring fabrics, like in my sample above, you will want to press your seam allowance toward the background fabric for this unit and NOT piece K. You will need to trim the dog ears (pictured in the bottom unit of the photo below) on this unit before sewing the rest of the block together.


Follow the remaining instructions in the pattern to complete this block.

I hope these tips help while making Block Two! If you have any questions while making it, please email me at PenAndPaperPatterns@gmail.com! I'm happy to help!

Next week I will be sharing tips for making Block Three - which should be easy after you've mastered Block Two :) See ya next week!



 


Sunday, January 7, 2018

Vegas Wedding Quilt Tips & Tricks - Part 1

Are you ready to start making your Vegas Wedding Quilt??

Vegas Wedding Quilt pattern can be found HERE

** Before I start sharing some of the ways to make this quilt go a little smoother, make sure you either have your pattern printed out in color or viewable from a device nearby. To avoid potential confusion later, I do not recommend working from this pattern when it's been printed in black & white.

** Make sure you have the template on Page 7 printed at actual size or "Do Not Scale". Measure the 1" square on that page to double check it's been printed correctly. If it's even a hair smaller than your ruler, then you most likely will need to try printing the template again.

** Also, it's important to utilize the cutting labels on Page 8. And I know what you're thinking..."Do I REALLY need them??" Yes, yes you do (sorry, I'm a party pooper). I know it can seem like a hassle or a waste of time, but I really believe staying organized while making this pattern will ensure a less frustrating experience later.

** One last thing before we get started, I also recommend starching your fabric BEFORE you start cutting. Because this pattern works with bias edges, it is important to give your fabric as much body or structure as you can to avoid distortion later from cutting, sewing, pressing, etc. I like to make my own starch spray when pressing and the recipe I use for that is 1 part vodka (I buy whatever is cheapest) to 3 parts water. Vodka is made from fermented potatoes or corn so that is the starch component of this spray. It works just as well as Best Press or any other starch sprays I've used and so much less expensive too!

In this blog post, I will be covering tips for cutting & organizing your fabric and tips for making Block One....here we go!

Take your time, follow the cutting instructions on Page 1 and cut out and label all the necessary pieces. I sometimes find it helpful to bag the pieces together with the corresponding label to avoid anything getting mixed up later. If you are coming to my Vegas Wedding class on the 20th, then I HIGHLY recommend bagging all of your cut pieces separately before class.



Block One in this pattern is just a simple patchwork block and very easy to make.

I use the strip set technique to assemble Block One. I do not use pins when sewing my strips together, but I do pay extra attention to my edges staying aligned while sewing and I'm also careful not to pull on the top or bottom strip more than the other while feeding them through my machine.


Be gentle when pressing strip sets. It can be easy to distort the strip set by moving the iron around too much or too hard on the seam.


To speed up the cutting process, I like to layer two strip sets on top of each other and cut them at the same time. It's even easier to do this when your strip set seam has been pressed to one side. You can layer them so the seams nest together by flipping one of the strip sets in the opposite direction so that it is a mirror image of the strip set below it. Make sure your edges are lined up while cutting.


Also, you might need to square up the short edge of the strips after 3-4 pieces have been cut as shown in the photo below. Trim off as little as possible to avoid coming up short at the end.


This is the most the complicated part of this block and that's just making sure you pay attention to the orientation of the diamond/center block in relation to your ring prints. What I like to do to prevent any mistakes is to divide each pile of the various components for Block One in half as shown below.


It is important that your center diamond block keeps the same orientation for all 16 Block One's and that the ring pieces are a mirror image of each other for each set of eight blocks. Make sure the ring prints that are catty-corner to each other are not the same color. For example in the block below, the mint print is never next to another mint print. Notice that the ring prints follow an AB pattern around the perimeter of the block too. 


I like to sew all of the first set of Block Ones at the same time and then move on to the second set. It helps to avoid any confusion about the placement of the ring prints later.


And here are my two sets of eight Block Ones all together below!


I hope this post helps! If you have any questions, feel free to ask below or email me at PenAndPaperPatterns@gmail.com. Next week I will be going over how to construct Block Two in more detail! Lots of good tips for this one! If you're sewing along, get those pieces and the Block Two template ready-to-go!

πŸ’— Lindsey





Thursday, January 4, 2018

Vegas Wedding Quilt + Vegas Wedding Story

New year, new pattern! I am so excited to start 2018 with the release of my Vegas Wedding quilt pattern! This quilt has a lot of meaning to me - the most of any quilt I've designed actually!


The idea for Vegas Wedding was born out of my desire to make a Double Wedding Ring quilt and also my complete and total aversion to wanting to sew a bunch of curves (Funny coming from someone with a handful of Drunkard's Path patterns, right? πŸ˜‚)

I do plan to eventually make a Double Wedding Ring quilt, but in the meantime, I'm putting my own curve-free spin on it. The name was chosen not only because this is an easier version of the Double Wedding Ring Quilt, but also because my own wedding took place in Vegas over 17 years ago. (A brief story and photos about it are at the bottom of this post!)

Check out all of that amazing quilty texture courtesy of Jess from Threaded Quilting! 😍
The Vegas Wedding quilt measures 62" square, is 100% conventionally pieced and, based on the fact I'm currently working on my third one, is so fun to make too!

And while it is easier to make than the traditional version, I'm still categorizing it as an intermediate pattern. You will definitely want some experience with quilt making and sewing with bias edges before attempting this quilt.


For any AZ locals who are interested in getting further instruction for this quilt, I am teaching a class at Bolts N' More on Saturday, January 20th from 10am - 4pm! You can sign up for the class HERE (Class isn't listed quite yet, but I will update this link as soon as I can!). And for those who can't make it to the class, I'll be sharing a lot of tips & tricks for making the Vegas Wedding quilt on my blog over the few weeks too! Stay tuned!



Okay, now that the boring part is out of the way πŸ˜‰, it's time for the "Eloping in Vegas at Ripe Old Age of 18" part of this blog post...

Yes, that's right, I eloped in Vegas when I was 18. Did I mention I was also three months pregnant at the time? Or that only a handful of people knew about it? It was truly a "run off to Vegas and elope" situation.

A super condensed version of the story is my husband and I, who was technically my fiancΓ© at the time, (Yes, I was engaged at some point BEFORE I found out I was with child. My poor parents, right? πŸ™ˆ) found out we were pregnant during my senior year of high school. A family member on my husband's side was adamant that we marry in a chapel in front of family and friends asap. We really wanted to go the private ceremony route at the Justice of the Peace, but they firmly believed getting married in a chapel was in our best interest. Since it's very difficult to feel like you have any control over a situation like that when you're a teenager, we decided last minute to run off to Vegas instead.

We eloped at the Little White Wedding Chapel (definitely NOT the chapel my in-law had envisioned πŸ˜‚) and because we didn't pick the wedding package that also included a photographer, all I have is this grainy surveillance image to show for it. (Fun fact - At the Little White Wedding Chapel circa 2000, if you couldn't make it to the wedding, you were still able to watch your family or friends get married online via a grainy black & white surveillance camera. Thankful that my parents thought to take a photo of it all those years ago!)

Two of my uncles, who lived in Vegas at the time, was a huge support and help to us that day πŸ’— 

My husband and I at the reception my parents very graciously hosted after we eloped.

The good news is, despite all odds, we are STILL married! haha And that little baby I was pregnant with is now adult-size and nearly the same age I was when this all happened. Something that is so extremely hard to believe...

And about seven years ago, with family and friends present, we renewed our vows and had the wedding we wanted all those years ago - minus the teenage pregnancy and whatnot πŸ˜‰ So yeah, it all worked out and while I would never recommend going the route that we did, I also wouldn't change it for the world.

The End πŸ’—



I hope you all enjoy making this quilt as much as I have! The first Vegas Wedding Quilt Tips & Tricks post will go on Monday, January 8th! Get ready! πŸ’ƒ

πŸ’— Lindsey





Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Christmas Up North Quilt [Plus Wreath & Holiday Lights Tutorial!]


Thanks to one of my favorite longarmers, Julie Hirt, I was able to finish my Christmas Up North Quilt literally 2 days before Christmas. I was SO happy to be able to enjoy it in time for this year's festivities! And then, after enjoying it for approximately 36 hours 😁, I changed my mind about keeping the quilt and decided to gift it to my in-laws instead. And I'm so glad I did! They are two of the most amazing people I know, they really enjoy camping, hunting, etc., they own a little RV and are huge fans of Christmas! Oh, and minor detail, I've yet to make them a single quilt (daughter-in-law of the year πŸ†πŸ™ˆ) It just felt destined to be theirs and the odds of making another quilt more perfect for them was not going to happen anytime soon. Anyways, suffice it to say, they loved it and it made parting with it completely and 100% worth it 😊



I gave myself 5 minutes to take this photo, so apologies for the graininess and overall quality of it...

I did a tutorial for the snow-capped trees that you can find HERE, but keep reading below if you want to Christmas-fy (that's a real word, right??) your camper too!

The printable templates for the wreath are at the very end of this post!

To make the wreath you'll need a 4 1/2" square of both Heat N' Bond Lite (my favorite interfacing for applique) and green fabric.

Print the template below at 100% or "Do Not Scale" and trace the wreath shape with a pen or marker onto the paper side of the Heat N' Bond Lite. I find I'm able to see the shape of wreath perfectly through the Heat N' Bond without using a light source, but if you're struggling to see the wreath shape through the Heat N' Bond I recommend holding them up to a light source instead (a well-lit window is perfect!) and then tracing it.

Following the directions on the Heat N' Bond package, adhere the interfacing to the wrong side of the green fabric.

Cut out the wreath shape from the interfaced green fabric and then, with a hot, dry iron, adhere it to your camper block. I used a blanket stitch to applique my wreath to the block, but a zig-zag or straight stitch works too! Embellish your wreath as desired. I kept mine plain and only added a little red bow after it was quilted, but you could have so much fun adding details to yours!




 To embroider the lights onto the camper window, you'll want to position the template underneath the camper block window (this time you'll definitely want to use a light source to trace it) and with a water soluble pen, trace the lights onto the window. I did not use any stabilizer when I embroidered mine, but you might find it necessary when you are doing yours.

Using a straight stitch, I first embroidered the strand and did a quick satin stitch for the top of the lights as I got to them (hope that makes sense!). I used a satin stitch for the bulbs as well in a red and green embroidery floss. Oh and speaking of embroidery floss, I just used 3 strands of a DMC thread for all parts of the holiday lights.




Hope all of that ☝ makes sense! Comment below or email me at PenAndPaperPatterns@gmail.com if you have any questions!