29 October 2014

A Little Happy Patchy Heart Quilt Along ~ Week 1 Cutting and 4 Patches



Thank you so much for joining me for part one of the Patchy Heart Quilt Along.  As I said last week, this is a totally achievable quilt for first timers, alternatively its a a fun and enjoyable quick quilt for the more experienced. 

Just in case you missed them, you find the materials required list HERE.

Cutting

Before we get cutting, here's a few notes for you.  All instructions from now on use imperial measurements rather than metric.  I personally use a Rotary Cutter, Quilters Ruler and Cutting Mat. If you do not have them, you can still make this quilt by marking out the pieces on your fabric using your favourite fabric marker and cutting out with scissors.  You just need to ensure that you mark accurately and that your angles are true.

From each of your 15 'mini' pieces, cut out:
Four x 4" squares.

PLEASE NOTE It is very important that you cut them as positioned on the graphic below, to ensure that you will have sufficient fabric left over for the scrappy heart, which we will cut next week. (The pink represents each 'mini' piece and the fabric should be placed landscape, cutting the four squares from the bottom left hand side.  The fabric to the right, where we will cut out the heart should be at least 5" across)


From the Kona Cotton, cut out:
Fifteen x 7 1/2" squares
Four x 2 1/4" strips, full width of fabric

From the Binding Fabric cut out:
Four x 2 1/2" strips, full width of fabric

'A little happy' tip on cutting if you're using a cutting mat and quilters ruler.....


You should now have a beautiful stack of perfectly cut pieces ready to piece together.

Sewing

Before we get stitching, a few notes on piecing your fabrics.  A few years ago I invested in a 1/4" foot for my sewing machine, which is the standard seam allowance used for patchwork....... however (purists look away now)  if this is your first quilt and your machine does not have a specific quilting foot, do not worry, simply use your standard machine foot, BUT whatever you do, ensure that you use a consistent seam allowance throughout.  The larger seam allowance will mean that your quilt overall will end up slightly smaller, but rest assured it will still look gorgeous!

Right are you ready, lets get sewing........

Gather up all your 4" square's that you cut from your 'mini size' pieces, there should be sixty squares in total.  The first step that we're going to do is to randomly pair up the 4" squares and stitch together. Now it has to be said I am not terribly good at random, but I simply kept picking my squares, trying to ensure that I didn't have the same colour or patterns where possible touching, but honestly just keep going and it will look super!

Chain stitching speeds up the process no end, which basically means that you take your first pair of squares and stitch together, once you get to the end of the square, do not break your thread, stitch a few more stitches and then insert your next pair of squares and so on.  You can read more about chain piecing HERE.


This is what your chain looks like.....

Take your chain of squares (2 patches) over to your ironing board and then press the sewn seam as shown on the picture below, this sets the stitches.  Snip the thread in between the squares and then open out the squares, but do not press the seam open at this stage.

A little happy note on pressing.... rather than a gliding motion that you would use for pressing clothes, use more of a gentle downward pressing motion, this prevents the fabric from distorting.  It is also where possible better to use your iron without steam.

Take your 2 patches over to your work space and now match them up into pairs, these will become your 4 patches, there will be fifteen 4 patches in total. When matching mine I made sure that I used four different fabrics for each 4 patch and tried to get an even distribution of the colours.
Once you're happy with your pairings, carefully take them over to your ironing board to be pressed open.   The idea is that you press the seam on each pair in alternate directions, this enables to them to nest together when you join them to form the 4 patch.  If you prefer you can also press the seams open.


This is what it looks like after pressing



Repeat for the remaining sets, then stitch along the pinned seam, chain sewing as you did before.

Press the seam to set the stitches and snip the thread in between the blocks.
Open out the 4 patch and press the seam to one side.  Your 4 patch should measure 7 1/2" square.
This is what the back of the 4 patch should look like......
and on the front you should have a lovely neat join where the 4 squares meet.....however sometimes despite all your best efforts this isn't always the case,  so grab your seam ripper and try again.

That's it for this week you should now have fifteen very pretty 4 patch blocks.   As always, if you have any questions, please do pop me an email or leave a comment below and I'll do all that I can to help.

Next week we'll be working on the heart blocks and stitching the quilt top together, so I look forward to seeing you then and don't forget so that I can take a peek, if you share any pictures on Instagram or Facebook please do use the hashtag:

#alittlehappyqal

Happy Quilting!

5 comments:

  1. Very useful tips - I must remember them!

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  2. I am quilting too. I am cutting 400 half triangle squares!!! but I am enjoying the process of it so that is a good thing. Jo x

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  3. This QAL is going to improve my novice skills so much! I'll be cutting my fabrics after Halloween, and for the first time *ever* I'm looking forward to ironing...so I can try the technique to get those perfectly aligned corners. Brilliant! Thank you for this! Chrissie x

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  4. Although I am not making this quilt, I am interested to read all your hints and tips, so thank you for these, I found the nesting of the seams very useful as I couldn't quite understand how that worked before, but your pictures make it so clear and easy. Thank you so very much Sarah. xx

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment, it really does make my day! If you have a question, please do ask away and I will do my very best to answer. Sarah xo