Dear Jane and Foundation Paper Piecing… and a Geyser!

So you know how when you are doing a bathroom remodel, and your husband puts up a tiny new section of drywall to cover the plumbing pipes for the sink, and marks where the pipes are – and then puts a drywall screw smack dab in the middle of the copper pipe… do you see where I’m going here? Yup. Two days ago, my dear sweet husband was doing some repair work to prepare to paint the bathroom. He started to paint, but realized the color was not what we were looking for. Yesterday morning, I went downstairs to look at the paint samples in the daylight, and I noticed a small patch of water on the floor. Not really much of anything, but still, where did it come from?

He woke up a little later, after I had taken Riley to school. I had him go down to get his opinion on the paint swatches in the daylight. After we had agreed on a paint color, he started looking around closer for the source of the water. The drywall piece he had put up the day before was quickly ripped out. He started taking out drywall screws one at a time to see behind the drywall panel. When he took out the screw that was perfectly situated in the middle of the supply line – hello geyser! I was back upstairs cleaning up some things, getting ready to go get paint, etc. All of a sudden he started screaming. I ran downstairs to find water spraying everywhere – mainly hitting the bathroom door and shooting out onto the hallway carpet. I stayed in the bathroom acting as a human shield until he could get the water turned off. Luckily we had the wet/dry shop vac still in the bathroom from cleaning it up the day before. I was able to get the lid off while still being a shield, and get most of the water into the shop vac. My problem was “where do I dump all this water when it fills up?”. Luckily, he got the water shut off before my bucket was full. And it was FULL! Something about a 16-gallon tank… Doesn’t that sound like a fun Friday morning?

So… I called a plumber, and within 15 minutes, they were at my house. Yes – 15 minutes from the time I started the web inquiry, to the headquarters phone call, to a cell phone call with them saying they are 10 minutes out, to being in my house to look at the problem – 15 minutes. Amazing. And we were so thrilled that they responded right away when we told them what had happened. They were kind and understanding, and quickly fixed the problem. If you have a Beacon Plumbing in your area and have a plumbing emergency, call them – they were wonderful to work with!

After the pipe was fixed, we went to get the paint - Spring Leaf (a Glidden color) – was the selected color, and the first coat is on the wall. Still need to finish the drywall patchwork, and hope the carpet dries soon, but we are back in business, hoping to finish the downstairs bathroom soon!

Needless to say, this interrupted progress on my Dear Jane quilt project. And about a billion other things, but I had hoped to start Sweet Dear Jane this week. I have the Dear Jane software, and I have made PDFs from all the Rotary Cutting blocks. Yes, all of them – Letters A-1 through M-13 plus all the Corner Motifs and Triangles. So many pieces. I am currently in the middle of making the PDF Templates of all the blocks, and then will move onto create the Foundation Paper Piecing PDFs once I am done, and see how many blocks can be paper pieced. Hopefully a lot – this is a very detailed, very small block quilt, with the main blocks at 4.50″.

Dear Jane Quilt

I am doing the Dear Jane project through a Block of the Month program – and there is another group beginning in June 2014 if you want to jump on board, and start your own adventure! I do have a few recommended tools for you if you do decide to begin, and I will give updates as I continue through the program, and let you know how well they are working for me.

First, the Dear Jane book is a requirement, you cannot complete the quilt without it. Each month, instructions and an idea for how to complete the block will be given, but you really need to have the book for the layout and to see what the finished block is supposed to look like. You may also find it on Amazon from private sellers.

Second, I would highly recommend the software for Dear Jane. This will give you the Rotary Cutting instructions, the Templates for each block, and the Foundation Paper Piecing templates if available. You can also design your own Dear Jane and play with different layouts, fabrics, etc. It is possible to create the Dear Jane quilt without the software, but I am so looking forward to being able to paper piece many of the blocks!

The other 3 items I recommend at this time are the Dear Jane Templates, the Add-a-Quarter Ruler (available in 6″, 12″, 18″), and Carol Doak’s Foundation Paper. Three items I won’t be able to complete this quilt without – the Foundation Paper can be used for all of your Foundation Paper Piecing projects, and I’m sure the templates are diverse too, to be used in other future projects. The Add-a-Quarter Ruler is perfect for trimming fabric sewn to the Foundation paper to ensure proper size for the next piece to be added, and minimal bulk for these many-pieced tiny blocks.

My final recommendation is Carol Doak’s class Mastering Foundation Paper Piecing through Craftsy. I had a basic knowledge of foundation paper piecing, and was able to get through a few simple blocks, but Dear Jane is a lot more complicated than the basic foundation paper pieced block. I took Carol Doak’s class, and learned many new tips and tricks – including the fancy little trick using the Add-a-Quarter Ruler combined with using a postcard, and the foundation template. Carol is a great teacher – she really knows what she’s talking about, and gives you detailed information from how to do basic foundation paper piecing, tips and tricks on how to make it even easier, and on up to how to calculate yardage for a specific block if you want to do a whole quilt. I highly recommend this class – you can watch the videos over and over again, download course supplies (foundation paper piecing samples), take notes on the videos to refer to later, and watch it as many times as you want! You will definitely want to check out  this class if you are planning to do a Dear Jane, or a lot of foundation paper piecing projects!

Craftsy Classes On Sale – up to 50% off!

Save up to 50% on all Craftsy Classes!

Don’t miss out on Craftsy’s Endless Creativity Sale! Get ALL online classes at up to 50% off for a limited time only. You won’t see hundreds of classes with prices this low again soon. Hurry, offer expires March 17 at midnight MST.

Craftsy’s Endless Creativity Sale

Craftsy

 

Won’t you join me in Tula Pink’s new April Mystery Quilting Workshop with a fabric kit from her new fabric line Fox Field – starting April 15th!

Or learn to sew various types of texture with me in Vanessa Christenson’s Sewing Texture class.

I would love to know what your favorite Craftsy class is – or which class you will sign up for this weekend!

Project of the Month: Urban Pods

Hello, and welcome to the month of March! It seems like just yesterday it was January. Time sure flies fast with a young one (who will be 6 this month by the way) and I am itching to complete some projects this month!

March is one of my favorite months. Probably because I was born in March. And my son – we were born 10 days apart. A few years (okay many years) but just 10 days between birthday celebrations. So among other projects this month that I want to complete or make some progress on, the one at the top of my list is the Urban Pods Quilt – let’s call it a birthday present for me.

The Urban Pods quilt design uses the Quick Curve Ruler, and I have chosen to use the Elizabeth fabric line by Studio E Fabrics. Unfortunately, Studio E doesn’t seem to still have the Elizabeth fabric line on their website, so you’ll have to get an idea of the fabrics from my images.

If you are not familiar with the Quick Curve Ruler by Sew Kind of Wonderful, I encourage you to check it out – the ruler and associated patterns are deceptively difficult. At first glance the entire process looks tricky, but if you take the time to carefully set up your fabric, your cuts, and when sewing your pieces – it will come together in no time.

I have about half of my blocks done, but only 10 of them fully trimmed to the final size. The problem I ran into is I want to do several of these at a time, so that I can get into the right mindset and relaxation mode to sew all of these curves, perfectly of course! I just need to find the time where I can sit down and focus on finishing them, perfectly.

There are 2 curves to sew per block, and then you trim down the block to an even smaller size, so when you sew together the final quilt top, there is a very slim margin on that small curve piece. I am looking forward to finishing all the blocks and doing the layout so that I can sew the top together, and see just how small that small margin of fabric will be. And then I need to figure out how to have it quilted. Being a modern quilt design with mod fabric, it can’t be just any old quilting.

Here are my pieces in progress, and a couple examples of finished blocks, so you can get an idea. I think there are 98 blocks total so I have some work ahead of me, but I think I can do it, I think I can at least get the blocks finished this month. Wouldn’t it be nice to have it finished by next Sunday? Happy Birthday to me!

Urban Pods Pieces in Progress

Urban Pods Blocks Sample

So… go check out the Quick Curve Ruler. You will become addicted, and a master, in no time! Which pattern will you choose to complete?

Les Amis 9-Patch Baby Quilt from Fabric Strips

So… It’s been a while since I have been able to come into my office and cut or sew anything, or be able to sit down at a computer and work on anything at all. But I am anxious to get back to my projects in progress, as well as new projects that I want to start. And to do that, I will be going out of order and starting something new before finishing anything else first. Horrible I know, but I have to. See, it’s for my new niece Diana. I think all my other projects would understand.

What I am doing for her is a basic 9-patch with sashing, but the colors are so bright and fun I think it will turn out well. I found a fabric strip pack precut and bundled by my local quilt shop Gossypium with mostly Les Amis fabric, and a few others thrown in to round out the fabric selection to 20. From that, I am cutting 10 strips into 14 squares, and 10 strips into 13 squares, for a total of 270 squares for the 9-patch blocks, and then sashing in between.

Today I was able to accomplish step 1. Hopefully sometime this week I can sit down and start to sew all the pieces together. But it’s a start! And I have another set of fabric strips so if I like it, I can create another one!

Check out my progress with Step 1 below, and I would love to hear what you think!

Les Amis Fabric Strips 01

Les Amis Fabric Strips 02

Les Amis Fabric Strips 03

Les Amis Squares 01

Les Amis Squares – 2 sets of 14 squares each, 2 sets of 13 squares each

Les Amis Squares 02

Les Amis Squares

Les Amis Sample 9-Patch

Les Amis Sample 9-Patch

For the Love of Sewing Block Coloring Worksheet

As part of the course materials for the For the Love of Sewing Skill Builder, we were given a Block Coloring Worksheet for the complete quilt layout. It was a little tricky to try and fill in every white space, especially since my colored pencils don’t do justice to the final fabric selections, but here is my attempt at a color layout. And view my fabric color selection photo here.

For the Love of Sewing Coloring Worksheet

And again, my Kona Solids color selections are:
Wasabi
Lime
Breakers
Avocado
O.D. Green
Iron
Charcoal
Black and White as needed

I would love to know what you think – let me know in the comments below!

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