I am so close to having all the blocks made for the Trinket Quilt. I decided to do the 76″ x 92″ layout which is 19 squares x 23 squares for a total of 437 blocks – 218 of which are paper pieced! It was a lot to take on, especially since I wasn’t expecting to be sick for a few weeks and not have the ability or energy to sew, plus the last 2 weeks my main sewing machine has been in the shop for repair, so I’m using my old little machine. It’s been rough.
Anyways, as of this moment I am 40 blocks away from finishing the blocks. I know what you are thinking – so many people ONLY made 40 blocks total. I know – this is why I am kicking myself in this moment, but I think in the end I will be happy with my decision to create so many more. Plus we like the extra long quilts for the sofa – it really helps when you have to share.
When I decided to create this quilt a few months ago, I came up with a layout idea based on the 19 x 23 block layout, and using 36 of the 40 colors for the paper pieced squares. I will be using Raven for the background checkerboard squares, and apparently Charcoal for the backing – I accidentally ordered Charcoal instead of Raven so… there you go. Probably Raven for the binding too, as I want the focus on the squares.
I will share the specific block layout later (each color square labeled) but for now just the color overview. With my 36 selected colors, I would create six blocks of each as a Base Color (i.e. base color Cherry, base color Fern, etc.), with the last 2 colors having 7 each to make the total of 218. I am also making five of each of the 40 blocks, plus an extra 17 of my choosing, and the bonus ribbon block. Here is my color grid:
It won’t look exactly like this of course because each colorful square will have some sort of design, but I am hoping this idea transfers through. And I should mention that I took the Kaleidoscope colors, selected the closest Kona cotton colors, and used those Kona colors that I have saved in the computer to come up with this layout – these colors will NOT be exact to the final Kaleidoscope colors.
Be sure to check out the Trinket Sew Along page for each individual block and their colors if you are interested. I will have more detailed information posted soon. And I hope to have my blocks finished this week so I can start cutting the background squares and putting this whole thing together!
Hello! Happy Saturday… May the Fourth Be With You! I can’t resist – the Force is strong with my family! And I hope you have some plans for tomorrow’s Cinco de Mayo day.
I just wanted to let you know that I think the transition to the new site is complete – I have re-posted all of the blog posts that I think are still valid and relevant. I have pages for the Minecraft Quilt, the Tula Pink 100 Modern Blocks City Sampler, the Trinket Quilt, the Delightful Desert Quilt, and other pages of projects and quilts that I have created in the past, but didn’t seem to earn their own blog post – see the right sidebar for more page links.
I do have more blog posts planned soon, I just don’t have them ready to go quite yet. At this point I am frantically trying to finish up all of my 218 Trinket paper pieced squares to finish the quilt top in time for the Trinket Sew Along deadline. Wish me luck with that.
Check out the Trinket page for the blocks I have finished and photographed so far – I will eventually have them all up and labeled, as well as my layout plan and how I put it all together.
Also – I will be sharing my Wizarding World of Harry Potter surprise for my son’s 11th birthday. Again I just need to get everything together for that.
So just a quick hello, checking in. Thank you for stopping by and subscribing. I will be more active with blog posts soon – it was a big process to try and recreate all of the blog posts moving over to the new hosted site, plus we were out of town for spring break, then I was very sick for a few weeks, and now I am playing catch up. Thank you for your patience, and I will be back soon!
You may have noticed I have been doing a lot of machine embroidery lately, and I wanted to share a few of the tools that I use all the time – a few of my favorite things. My absolute favorite tool is the brother Multipurpose Screwdriver – it has three functions and I always use two of them during the machine embroidery process. I use placement 1 when changing the sewing machine foot and needle. And I use placement 3 to loosen and tighten the machine embroidery hoops. Placement 2 I have used when I needed to loosen the lower plate, where the bobbin sites, but I don’t do that very often. This tool is so handy, it should come with the machine, or at least the embroidery part of the machine! There is not a good way to get the embroidery hoops to tighten by hand, as well as you can with this tool that sits over the angled screen and perfectly sits in the groove to tighten as needed. And I love how it can easily switch to different placements. You won’t regret having this – a perfect gift for yourself or a friend! I have the Brother model (SAMDRIVER1) but there are generic versions as well.
Another tool I found to greatly help with my machine embroidery is the Hoop Grip Tape. I was having a problem with some of the thinner fabrics and/or stabilizers slipping and not staying taut when tightening, so I decided to try this gripper tape. I love it! While it’s not perfect and some fabrics are still slippery, it is a lot more stable. And the beautiful thing is it’s a once and done product – put the tape on the outer rim of the inside hoop and that’s it – it will stay on and do its magic until you remove the tape band. What you see below with the yellow – the yellow actually peels off, as well as an inside tape cover, and it’s a two-sided product. The sticky tape sticks to the inside hoop (outer edge where it aligns with the outside hoop), and the non-sticky side is covered in suction-like grippers that hold the fabric in place, but release when you are done and don’t leave any residue or bumps or any kind of damage. It’s a good temporary gripper for the fabric as you embroider, and it stays on the hoop forever!
And finally for this post, I love my Tula Pink Hardware collection. I have all the Tula Pink hardware pieces except for one pair of snips, but my favorite has to be the EZ Snip scissors – I had a different pair that I used for embroidery, to snip the embroidery thread while it was stitching but those kept getting bent and off track. This pair I have had for a while and so far so good. It’s a great tool how it is curved and can easily fit under the machine raised foot to snip the loose thread, and then keep the machine moving. Check out the rest of her collection too – you won’t regret it!
I found this llama design at Urban Threads and showed it to my llama-loving son and he HAD to have it. He requested it on a pillow, on his wall, and most importantly on the back of a zip hoodie jacket he can wear to school and everywhere else. So far I have only made it on the one zip hoodie, but it turned out so great!
He loves this design so much, he put in a request to Urban Threads for a companion piece, so we are hoping they will create and release that soon. We are also impatiently waiting on Red Panda designs – hint, hint guys! For now we’ll settle for his second favorite animal.
Some of you may be wondering what this fusible grid is that I keep referring to (and have listed in the supply list and patterns), or asking if it’s necessary to use when you could just sew the small squares together. The answer is no, it is not necessary, but the results do turn out better in the end. The reason is because it provides a solid, stable base when sewing the small squares together in rows, and sewing the squares together separately (standard piecing) the bias from the fabric comes into play, even though they are cut as a square – they are very small!
Take a look at these 2 images: The top image is my Minecraft Chicken Mug Rug top, sewn together without using fusible grid (and slightly smaller squares). The second is the quilt block using fusible grid. The white background helps the outer squares blend together, but you can see in the beak and tongue areas they don’t always line up exactly in the mug rug; using the fusible grid below it turned out much better.
So here is my method of using fusible grid to make the Minecraft Quilt Blocks. What I found at my local quilt shop was QuiltFuse 2″ fusible grid HTC-3240-White, 48″ wide:
Cut out the squares for the block, and the piece of fusible grid you are going to use – just cut on the grid lines and make sure you are only cutting through one layer. (There wasn’t much left on the bolt so they sent it home with me, it was folded double on the bolt).
Assemble the block squares on the grid, edge to edge. It should be close to the grid lines on the fusible fabric, but it may not be exact. Take your time to cut your 2″ squares exactly and you should be okay.
Iron all the squares in place on the fusible grid – glue side up, grid side down – hot iron, no steam. The glue isn’t that strong and the pieces may fall off before you are done sewing every row. That happened to me at least once every block, just make sure to iron that piece back into place and be careful moving the block back and forth to your sewing machine, ironing board and cutting table.
Step 4: Fold one row or column over, i.e. column 8 folded over onto column 7 and iron flat, like this:
I have found that the grid is a little slippery when sewing, so it is helpful to have a quilting glove on the left hand while I sew the 1/4″ seam to help guide the fabric through uniform and straight.
Step 5: Sew 1/4″ seam to connect these 2 columns:
Cut off just the edge of the fold, just enough to allow you to iron the seam open:
Fold the next column over and iron flat, column 7 folded over column 6:
Sew another 1/4″ seam and cut off just the fold. Iron open.
Repeat this process for the remaining columns.
Rotate the block and fold the top row down over the second row:
Iron flat and sew 1/4″ to combine these two rows:
Step 12: Cut off just the fold and iron seam open:
Repeat this process until all rows are complete:
Your block is done!
As you can see with this finished Minecraft Cow quilt block, the squares line up nicely, even if sewing it together using the fusible grid wasn’t the fastest method, or even the easiest. But it’s done, it’s solid, and it looks great!
I would love to hear if the fusible grid worked as well for you as it did for me, and share your blocks with me – find me on Instagram @myrainydaydesigns and use the hashtag #MinecraftQAL.