On one of my "good days" last weekend I had a hankering to make something that didn't require my creativity but still allowed me a bit of a challenge. Turn to... something pieced.
Ya'll know that piecing is NOT my forte'. I'm an applique (wool or cotton) girl at heart. However, when I saw this sweet little mini-quilt, Flurry, designed by Gudrun Erla for Aurifil, I couldn't take my eyes off it. Isn't it just the cutest little mini?
|Image Auribuzz.wordpress.com ~ Flurry by GEQuiltDesigns.com|
Now grab a cuppa and work through this sweet mini with me. I'll share the tips that helped me out and approximate times it took to complete each step. It really was fun!
Don't forget... if you share your quilt top on the Aurifil Flickr group you're eligible to win a box of Auriful thread!! Woohoo -- you can NEVER have enough Aurifil thread.
After downloading the pattern I spent an hour or so pressing and cutting my fabric per the pattern instructions. Enter, this darling red print "Floral Gatherings" by Primitive Gatherings for Moda. I've had this little pretty in my stash for a bit -- it was time to put it to good use. Paired with that, I used "Indigo" by Moda and decided to reverse the colors as Gudrun originally designed.
Before we get too far, let's not forget to discuss the perfect thread. I used Aurifil 50Wt Mako Cotton in color #2370 (Sandstone). Aurifil 50Wt thread is fine, so it adds to the accuracy of your piecing... this applique girl could use all the help she could get!!
Here's a tip: It's really important to know that you have OR test your scant 1/4" seam allowance. I explained how to do this last year in the Redbird and Berries Mini Quilt recipe for the Moda Bake Shop -- you can see that recipe here. Pat Sloan did a similar post earlier this year - you can see it here. In summary, sew (3) 2-1/2" squares together side by side, set seams, press toward the outside, flip right side up, and measure your inside piece. It should measure exactly 2" wide. It's really important on this mini to have an accurate scant 1/4" seam allowance.
|Image from Moda Bake Shop - Redbird and Berries Mini Quilt|
Step 1 consisted of making 8 Half Square Triangles (HST) and trimming them to 1-1/2"... Feeling confident -- I can do this!! HST's made... now to press them open.
Here's a tip: The pattern calls for the HST to be pressed toward the red fabric. Did you know if you position your sewn piece with the upside being the side you are suppose to press toward that it makes it easier to "set the seam" and then press it toward that direction? Try it... for each step in the pattern, when you're suppose to press toward "xyz" make sure you lay the sewn piece with that side up. Press once to "set the seam" then use your fingers to fold the seam back and press again. It helps to remember that whatever side is showing is the side your seam will be pressed toward. Does this help?
Here's the image before I opened them -- after I "set the seam":
Here's a tip: If you have one, NOW is the time to use the mini rotating cutting mat to trim your HST's. This way you don't have to reposition your fabric to trim all 4 sides. My DH gave me one for Christmas 2013 -- finally -- a chance to use it (you see - I never piece).
Onto Step 2. Ok lets follow the pattern again -- sew the HST's to the solid pieces. That wasn't too bad -- I'm back to the "I can do this" mode....
Onto Step 3. Ok here is where I read twice and took care to position the pieces exactly as the pattern calls for - thankfully I did it right the first time.
Having fun again! Here is where I send an image to my sisters and say "Look, I'm piecing"... ha ha ha...
Onto Step 4: I had pre-marked the diagonal line on my 1-1/2" squares after cutting them so I was ready to align and sew out of the gate. (Yay!)
Here's a tip: Consider chain piecing when you're making these 8 pieces -- it allows you to be more efficient at your sewing, saves time and thread and that means saving money!! Here is an image after chain stitching 1/2 of this step. I did cut my pieces apart before I sewed and chain stitched the other side.
Onto Step 5 - sewing WOF strips, cutting and making 4 patch units -- I can do this ;) Here we go....
Here's a tip: This is another opportunity to chain stitch -- feeding each 4 patch unit in one behind the other - FAST!!
Onto Step 6... be sure to follow the directions as written -- I had to rip twice on this step (how did I do that ??) Anyhow... No pictures of this one.
Step 6: Total time 22 minutes (ripped twice ?? maybe to align my points ?? - I forget...)
Onto Step 7.... Now we're making some 9 patches... Humh.... I guess I can do this piecing thing if I just take my time, enjoy the process and pay attention to details. I'm not one to do a lot of pinning but:
Here's a tip: If you're aiming to improve accuracy - be sure to nest your seams and pin there -- it does make a difference, especially if you're a novice like me. Also, chain piece here too!
No pictures for Step 7 - I'm seeing the end in sight and getting excited -- way ahead of myself and forgot to take pictures :(
Step 7: Total time 30 minutes
Onto Step 8 - If you weren't sure of your seam allowance before, you'll be sure to find out with this step. If you pre-cut your pieces before sewing then they'll fit a perfect 1/4 " seam allowance or be too big or small otherwise. Fingers crossed...
Whew - worked out just fine... Step 8 done.
Onto Step 9 -- WOOHOO!! Happy Dance... I still have hair left on my head... Lets get this 3 x 3 sewn together now
Here's a tip: Pin, Pin, Pin -- there are a few seams to align -- I pinned mine. It only took a few minutes and was so worth it!! Someday maybe I'll graduate to big girl piecing but for now, pinning is my piece of mind.
Oh my gosh look -- I'm almost done -- I'm so happy and kinda proud that I could do this...
Onto the final -- Step 10. Adding those borders - here's another case where an inaccurate seam allowance will getcha.... I took a few minutes and squared my block before adding the borders. A 1/16 trim here and there and the whole block squared up nicely. Yay !
Oh my goodness I'm completely thrilled to have made this cute mini -- many thanks to Aurifil, Pat Sloan and especially Gudrun Erla for the awesome pattern and instructions. It was fun to make and total sewing, fussing, pressing time was under 3.5 hours!!
Be sure to get your mini quilt made -- and follow the directions on the Auribuzz blog for entering your mini into the Aurifil thread giveaway. There is no better thread for piecing, needle turn applique and dense quilting.
Happy Sewing and thanks for stopping by!