Monday, April 13, 2015

Podunk Posy quilt, Butterfly corner block tutorial

The butterfly corners was the most requested of all the options given in the original post about the Podunk Posy quilt.  I must admit it's my favorite option also.   The first two tutorials for the Podunk Posy quilt shown below can be found

What you will need for one butterfly block

(2) 8.75" squares
(2) 2" squares
(6) 1.5" squares
(1) 1" x 1.75"
(1) 1" x 1.25"

Top wings (pink gingham)
(2) 3.25" x 4"

Bottom wings (yellow print)
(2) 3.25" x 3"

Body (brown)
(1) 1" x 4.5"

Mark all white squares with a diagonal stitching line.  Layout your pieces as shown below.

Okay lets do the Stitch, clip, flip!
Stitch on the marked line on all squares then clip 1/4 of an inch away from the stitched line.  Then flip and press all seams open.  

The butterfly is slowly emerging from the cocoon, just look at her pretty wings starting to take shape!  Let's help her out by stitching the top wings to the bottom wings and pressing the seams open.

Lovely!  All she needs now is a sexy body to go with those gorgeous wings.  Sew together the last three body pieces as shown below and press open the seams.

Oh! her wings are starting to flutter, hold on tight while you put the finishing touches on her by attaching both sets of wings and pressing seams open.

Darling you look Marvelous!!!

In order to help this girly girl take flight we need to point her in the right direction.  So grab those (2) 8.75 squares.

Cut both in half diagonally.

Fold each triangle in half and make a crease in the center.  Place the center triangle mark with the center of the butterfly block and stitch.  I forgot to take a picture of them right sides together and pinned in place.

After stitching and pressing the seams towards the triangle clip off as shown below.

Fold the Butterfly in half to find the center of the side.  I matched up the seams of the first triangles then pressed a crease at the center point. 

Line up the centering crease marks, pin and stitch.  Press towards triangle.

This block is a little over sized, so you'll need to trim it to 12.5".

Now just do all this three more times for your 4 corners.

As always if you find an error in my directions please feel free to leave a comment or email me so I can fix them ASAP.  Thanks!  

~ Lea Anne ~
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Quilting Studio Reality

Hello quilty buddies!  Come on in if you dare.  Podunk is a busy place in spring.  Throw in a few quilt projects into the mess and this is the mess you get.  My design wall has left overs from the Lone Star quilt.  I was trying to come up with a way to use them when it hit me...NO TIME FOR PLAYING, CLEAN UP THIS MESS!  When my inner child is sick of the mess I know it's time.  She's also telling me its time to paint the walls and do some redecorating.  The painting and decor will have to wait until after my secret project is complete.  Oh yes I have a secret!

And the hidden mess behind the table on the floor.

I could give you excuses for every messy issue in here but really it's just an excuse for I'd rather do something other than be tidy in my studio right now.    It's a cloudy day with rain on its way so I might as well just dig in and get it done.   

Okay one excuse...this ironing table normally hides the boxes full of fabric, but I needed ironing table for quilting the Lone Star.  Surprised that there's boxes of hidden fabric in here, aren't you?

See you in a day or two with the Podunk Posy quilt Butterfly block tutorial!

 ~ Lea Anne ~
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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Getting the perfect picture

Yesterday morning I put the final stitch in the Lone Star quilt.  It's been washed and ready to be delivered today.  But first some pictures are needed.  I'm always on the look out for photo props.  This old wagon down the road looked like a good idea.  But the lighting was all wrong.

 I didn't have time to go on a road trip looking for the perfect spot, so I enlisted 
Mr. Podunk.

The wind wasn't as cooperative as Mr. Podunk.

 Finally a good shot

Oh but it's so much fun watching Mr. Podunk struggle with this quilt, lets take another just for giggles!

No!  Mr. Podunk the photo shoot isn't over, I need pictures of the back. 

He's such a good sport.

We better try a different lighting just in case...and because ...(snicker, wink). 

~ Lea Anne ~
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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Ready to quilt

I hadn't planned on writing a post today until one of my followers asked how I planned to quilt the Lone Star.  As a general rule I keep the quilting simple on all the Lone Stars I make.  Only one of them has custom quilt it death and that's because it's mine.
I've found that non quilters don't really care for quilt it to death quilts.  They want a quilt that feels like what Grandma used to make...cuddly, cozy, and comforting.

Even though the quilting is simple, it took me 4 hrs to get the lines drawn for quilting on the domestic machine.  Not because it was a hard design, it was because I kept changing my mind....Imagine   Surely not!  

The corners and triangles will all have 7 quilted lines, those were easy to draw.

I'll stitch in the ditch on both sides of the dark blue frame border.   And the star will be straight lines that follow the seams.  Simple and as quick as possible.  

~ Lea Anne ~
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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Moment Of Truth

In every quilt there's a moment of truth.  The truth of how well their peiced.  Sometimes it's when we add the next piece to the block....oh that tricky quarter inch can cause some hair pulling moments.  And then there's the truth when adding borders.  And I think the one that is the most disappointing is when it's all done and being loaded to a longarmers quilt frame only to find out our quilt is a longarmers nightmare.  As a long time quilter I've had all of the above happen.  But with each one a lesson was learned...  ACCURACY at all times.

With the Lone Star the truth isn't when it's on the wall but when you lay it on the floor.  Holding my breath I toss it on the floor....Perfection!  No mushrooming center! Yeah she's laying flat!   I can breath now and add the borders.

So I thought today I'd share my process for accuracy when piecing a Lone Star.  It may seam like a lot of work but really it's not.  Remember I just started this quilt a few days ago, and one day was spent in the garden and one day shopping with mom.  
I can't stress enough that before cutting your fabric 
STARCH YOUR YARDAGE...STARCH THE DAYLIGHTS OUT OF IT.  Mine is so stiff it feels like paper.
When cutting your strips make sure to line up the fabric at the top and bottom with the horizontal lines  on your cutting mat.  Don't worry about the far corners(red arrow) they never line up, and they are scrap anyway.  After every second strip cut, you need to make an accuracy cut.

To make an accuracy cut just line up the 45 degree lines on your ruler to the lines on the cutting mat, don't forget to check your fabric at the top and bottom to make sure it's still lined up with the horizontal lines on the mat.

Here's what I cut off.  Quite a bit of difference from the top to the bottom.  This would make a big difference in the quilt.

Now that my strip set is trimmed I can cut another strip, careful not to shift the fabric.  

After making the cut I move my ruler over on top of the remaining strip set to keep it from shifting, then I pick up the cut piece.

With any ruler that has a quarter inch line I mark the seams with a small mark a quarter inch in.  I like using a smaller ruler because with the larger one I was trying to line up all the seams at once and stretching the fabric.   Notice the quarter inch line is setting outside the fabric.  The red dot's and lines show where to place your marks.  Some quilters will make these marks on the back side of the strips.  I get more accuracy by making them on the front.  They never show  because I sew over them.  If I can see them it means my quarter inch stitching was wrong.

With right sides together I put a pin in the marks.

That pin will keep my marks together as I slide another pin in at an angle.  Now I can remove the first pin.   This step my seem silly but it's very important.  If I were to just pull the first pin down and pin it, the fabric would shift about a 16th of an inch or more.

For the corners put a pin through the middle of the crossed lines.  Sometimes this takes more than one try to get it right, it could be my old eyes!

Again the first pin is just there to hold my seam markings accurately.  The second pin is slid in at an angle as close to the first pin as I can get.  

One last tip
  PRESS ONLY with a light hand.  
The more you handle these pieces the wonkier they will get.  I don't even smooth them on the design wall, I press them in place.  
Hope this has been helpful without being overwhelming.  It may seem like a lot of work but it's worth every extra pin!

~ Lea Anne ~

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Monday, April 6, 2015

Color Explosion!

Happy Monday Morning quilty friends!  It the start of another wonderful week.  I've so much planned for the Studio and the garden this week.  The to-do lists are growing faster than the tulips in my yard.  Yesterday was sun up till sundown Studio time due to the muddy mess in my yard, although it was a beautiful sunny day.  Now today I get to plant potatoes and finish putting together this beautiful Lone Star quilt.  

The Lone Star is by far my favorite quilt pattern.  They look intimidatingly hard, but really if you follow some simple rules they can be fairly easy.  The most important rule is PIN PIN PIN PIN!  You can't get to many pins when working with the stretchy diamonds.  Even at this stage in my quilt it's still quite stretchy.  And there's enough starch in the fabric to stiffen a limp noodle.
Since we're talking about the tricks of this amazing pattern here's a great tutorial found at ModaBakeshop on how to make a  Lone Star using precut Jelly Roll. 
The Jellied Lone Star by Terri Ann Swallows  has some great tips on marking and pinning.  And if you don't like inset seams this pattern has NONE! 

You really don't have to look very far to find a free Lone Star pattern.  And you know me...I'm all about learning for FREE.  RJR Fabrics has the largest selection of free Lone Star Patterns.  Big Stars, Little Stars and many other great patterns that don't even have stars.  Here's a few of my favorite FREE patterns you can find at RJR Fabrics.

Oh I love this one!

So your still intimidated?  Okay here's the quickest and easiest way to make a Lone Star.  QuiltSmart is a product that makes it super easy.  Its a fusible interfacing that uses NO diamonds and no strip piecing .  My first Lone Star quilt was made using Quiltsmart and it made me feel smart enough to make one with out it.  It comes with very clear instructions and there's a instructional video on their website that I found most helpful.  You really cant mess up this one!  Unless your like me and you don't prewash those bright reds.  Oh my goodness I cried!  My red fabric bled all over the place.  That's a story for another day....DISASTER OVERLOAD!

So after that little(big) mishap I decided to venture out of the comfort zone and try to make one without Quiltsmart.  So I did a little research and found this book at Diane's Native American Quilts.  It's a great book with all the tips you'll ever need to make a Lone Star.  It was so great I gave it to a non quilting Lone Star quilt loving friend that said she might like to make one someday.  Nowadays I use EQ and the helpful tips I've learned over the years.

So your still not sold on making a large Lone Star?  Okay.. how about a small wall hanging?  I found this free tutorial over at Hopeful Homemaker.  Jennifer has put together a excellent tutorial for this darling little quilt.   And her over sizing of the inset pieces makes insetting easier....just trim away any UH-OH's!

Well are you ready to start a Lone Star Quilt?  What's the worst thing that could happen?  

~ Lea Anne ~
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