Thank you for joining me today for my stop on the Happy Flower Quilts Blog Tour. I really am SO excited to share my make from the book. I have been a huge fan of Atsuko Matsuyama for many years and I have coveted collection of her pretty fabrics in my stash. It is true, I regularly do that classic thing of looking and stroking them rather than cutting in to them....you do know where I am coming from, don't you?! So you can understand when I say that I was extremely excited when I heard on the grapevine that Zakka Workshops were publishing an English version of the elusive 'pink book' and even more excited to discover an email from the lovely Lindsay at Zakka Workshop advising:
- That in addition to Lindsay, Kristyne Czuperyk from Pretty By Hand, (one of my favourite bloggers), is one of the technical editors....so I just knew it was going to be good
- That my Quilt Shop 'Pretty Fabrics and Trims' is listed as one of the resources in the book....and
- That they asked me....yes me... to be on the Blog tour
Before I share more information on my make, I just wanted to clarify that 'Sew Flower Quilts and Gifts' is the UK edition of the book and is, with the exception of the front cover, exactly the same as 'Happy Flower Quilts'.
As you can see, I chose to make the Windmill Passport Case from Page 23. I decided to embrace my inner Atsuko and with the exception of machine sewing the binding to the front and the lace trims, I hand sewed all of it, which was just so relaxing.
The first step was to make my templates for the windmill block. For those without a copy of the book, these are provided on pull out sheets at the back. Having run of template plastic at home, I simply traced these on to Freezer paper which I ironed on to a cereal box and then cut out. I then removed the freezer paper and in addition to labelling them (A, B,C & D) as per the pattern, I also marked the outer four right angle corners and finally their individual placement within the block (e.g on piece A, I marked the two inner sides that butted up against pieces B & C).
The hand sewing method requires you to draw around the template (which excludes the seam allowance) on to the wrong side of the fabric. Then you cut out and at this point include a 1/4" seam allowance..... I must admit that I eyeballed my seam allowance and cut out using scissors. I used a Frixion pen to mark. None of this process is difficult, but there are a couple things to bare in mind........
Remember that because the shapes for the windmill block are irregular, you need to make sure that the template is placed right side down on the wrong side of the fabric. This would not be necessary if for example, you were cutting out a square or a hexie where there is no obvious right or wrong way.
You also need to ensure that the template is placed allowing for the correct grain line of the fabric. On the Windmill templates I established this from marking the right angle corner on each of the four templates. Effectively what is either the right or left hand side of each template i.e above or below the right angle corner (marked by the circle) is what I used to position in line with the fabric grain/selvedge....hopefully these pictures and the explanation below will help...
On picture one, you can clearly see the markings I talked about, but the placement is wrong because the template is right side up.
On picture two, the template is right side down (correct), but it has been placed without thought for the grain line of the fabric (wrong).
On the third picture, the template is right side down (correct) and has been placed allowing for the grain line...see how one of the outer edge below the right angle corner (in the circle) is running parallel to the selvedge. I also allowed space around all 4 edges for the 1/4" seam allowance
The 4th picture shows the clear lines left by the Frixion pen which I used to draw around the template. You want to be able to see these lines when it comes to sewing the pieces together.
On the fifth picture I've turned the fabric to the right side, with the template on top so you can see how the placement on the third and fourth picture translates once you have cut out the shape. This also shows the added 1/4" seam allowance.
When it came to the pockets there were templates (minus seam allowances) provided for these too. With the exception of Pocket C, which has the curved upper edge, rather than using these, for the pockets that were simple rectangles, I simply measured the templates, added on a seam allowance and used my quilting ruler and rotary cutter to cut these out.
I couldn't resist adding a little fabric label which I made using a rubber stamp I had in my stash and stamping on to some linen. I ironed this to 'set' the ink and used light weight interfacing (Vilene L11 30) to turn it in to an applique.
All in all, it took me a couple of evenings and a Saturday afternoon when I got home from work to make and every stitch was extremely enjoyable. I can not wait to see what my fellow bloggers make, they're all so ridiculously talented.....here's the schedule which includes their instagram accounts and blog names:
23 Kristyn @prettybyhand prettybyhand.com
25 Lisa @aspoonfulsugar aspoonfulofsugardesigns.com
27 Sarah @prettyfabrictrims alittlehappyplace.blogspot.co.uk
30 Minki @zeriano minkikim.com
1 Heidi @fabricmutt fabricmutt.blogspot.com
3 Clara @claralovestosew Instagram Only
6 Ange @alittlepatchwork alittlepatchwork.wordpress.com
8 Erin @whynotsewquilts whynotsew.blogspot.com
10 Lauren @transientart transientart.com
13 Sedef @downgrapevinelane downgrapevinelane.com
15 Ayda @cafenohut cafenohut.blogspot.com
17 Renee @sewnwithgrace sewnwithgrace.com
20 Heather @vintagegreyhandmade vintagegreyhandmade.blogspot.com
22 Melissa @ohhowsweetco ohhowsweet.com
24 Greg @greydogwoodstudio greydogwoodstudio.com
27 Stacy @stacyolsondesign stacyolsondesign.com
1 Wynn @zakkaart zakkaart.blogspot.com
You can also search using the hashtags: #happyflowerquilts & #happyflowerqal
Oh and have you heard, there's going to be a Quilt Along starting on the 6th March to make the uber gorgeous Sampler Quilt from the book. The Quilt along is being co-hosted by Kristyn at Pretty by Hand, Wynn at Zakka Art and Melissa at Oh How Sweet .... so if you haven't got a copy of the book already, go and get one...you will not be disappointed. (Don't forget friends, there are copies on my website HERE)
In addition, Zakka Workshop are generously giving away a copy of Happy Flower Quilts by Atsuko Matsuyama, to my readers. To enter, simply leave a comment on this post and tell me 'what is your number one project on your wish list to make'......Big or Small I'd love to hear. The Giveaway is open Worldwide until the 17th February 2017* . The winner will be announced here on this post, (I'll also try to contact you by email, so make sure is poss that you're not a No Reply commenter) so make sure you pop back and check. Good Luck!
*THE GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED, THANK YOU TO EVERYONE FOR ENTERING!
I'll be announcing the winner on Moday...yay.
I hope you enjoyed reading this VERY long post and found it helpful. Thank you again for visiting!