Saturday, 5 January 2013

Jennie's Thread-Along: Block 1

I am so excited that you some of you want to sew along with me! Welcome along! If you have a Flickr Account, I'd love to see you over there, where you can introduce yourself, and post pictures of your blocks!

First of all, I wanted to take you through my plan - of course, you can do it differently! There are twelve months of the year and twelve blocks round the centre of the quilt. There are also twelve colours in a regular colour wheel. Alyssa has a great post about colour theory as part of her 2013 BOM (which I've also signed up for)! As I'm stash shopping for this quilt, I've had to tweak my colours slightly, as I don't have quite the range of blues/purples that the colour wheel requires.

Here is the layout of my quilt:

Each block is 10" x 10" (finished)and I plan on adding a border.

I have created a blank version of this for you to use to plan your own quilt. You can find the file here.

Eight of the blocks will follow this plan (though some will be mirrored). The remaining four (in the corners) will be different - in February, I'll share the first corner block with you.

I also plan to hand quilt this as I go. This plan may change.... but I'm thinking white perle cotton and fairly chunky hand quilting. Just as soon as I've made some progress on this, I'll share it with you, as well as my plan for putting it all together at the end. The advantage of this technique is that I can pick random fat quarters from my stash to back each block, and I won't need to splash out on a large amount of backing fabric - I am aware I have designed this quilt just a little bit too big to fit comfortably on the width of the fabric!

So, onto Block 1: I have chosen grey-blues for January - it seems to fit the weather we have here in the UK! I picked out six fabrics from my stash that I read as grey-blue. You will only need a small amount of each, so you can easily use scraps

You will create each block in five sections: Section 1 - Embroidery; Section 2 - Applique; Section 3 - Churn Dash; Section 4 - Evening Star and; Section 5 - stripes.

Section 1: Instead of writing everything out on my blog and making one enormous blog post, I have included the instructions for preparing the embroidery in a PDF. You can find the preparation instructions here.

Follow this link to find the embroidery design that you'll need to transfer. I had some real technical issues creating this PDF. I drew the design by hand, scanned it in then printed to PDF. And at some point in that process the scaling went. If you print the PDF with your settings for scaling on "none", the inch line on the design sheet will print at 1 1/8". This is absolutely fine! The design fits very comfortably in the space I created for it, and this extra size will make some of the most intricate parts less fiddly. If you do want to have the same size as on my original, I played about a bit and eventually found that scaling to 89% gave me an accurate inch line! I suggest saving the document to your computer and printing from there rather than directly from Google Docs

I created a separate PDF file for the embroidery instructions which includes information on why I've picked certain motifs, and what stitches I used to embroider them. Once you have completed the embroidery, you need to trim this block down to 7.5" x 7.5", keeping the embroidery central.

Section 2 is applique.

You can find the instructions here. Once you have completed this section, trim it to 7.5" x 3.5" then sew it to the bottom of the embroidery section. I pressed my seams open - there is a lot of layers with the interfacing and I found pressing to the side was quite bulky.

The final part of the block is made up from a traditional Churn Dash block, a traditional Evening Star block and a stripey sections. You can find all of the instructions for cutting your fabric and making up the blocks in this PDF document.

Once the side panel is complete, attach it to the right hand side of the embroidery.applique unit. Match up and pin at the seams and once complete press the seams open.

Stand back and admire your work, then take a photo and upload it to the Flickr group so we can all admire it too!

This is the first time I have done anything like this, so if all of the above is perfect it will be a minor miracle. If you have any problems or questions, please post a comment on this post, or in the Flickr Group and I will do my best to help!

I can't wait to see what you all make!

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