Snowball Flower Block tutorial and a Peanuts Finish

You might like to sit down and take a few deep breaths as I am announcing another finished project :-O I know! That’s three in three weeks! But don’t worry, normal slow progress will be resumed very shortly!

Snoopy Baby Quilt finished front by Allison Reid

The finish I’m sharing is this very cute cot quilt commissioned by a friend for her Granddaughter’s first birthday. My friend found the cotton pillow cover with the Snoopy picture on the front and the saying, ‘Sleeping is an art’ printed on the back. The rest was up to me πŸ™‚ I just happened to have some scraps of the text print ‘Friendship’ backing fabric lying around. It looked so good with the Peanuts cartoon style and as friendship is a key theme running through Schulz’s little world the fabric seemed the perfect choice for the background of the patchwork blocks. Fortunately the bolt was still available at Purple Stitches so I bought another metre to use for the backing of the cot quilt too πŸ™‚

Snoopy Baby Quilt finished back by Allison Reid

Snoopy Baby Quilt flower fabrics by Allison ReidIt took me a little while to plan the quilt. Obviously the Snoopy picture needed to be the centre panel. I thought bright cartoon-like flowers would make a good border for a girls quilt. I hope the blocks look like flowers? With the help of my daughter we chose fabrics with bold colours that worked well with the bright red of Snoopy’s dog house roof. These are mainly 1930’s repro fabrics with ditsy patterns.

I spent some time with squared paper, pencil and eraser figuring out block design and size. It was a bit tricky trying to stretch the design into a rectangle (I guess it’s no surprise that patchwork blocks readily create square quilt tops but often need a bit of persuading to arrange themselves into a bed sized rectangle?). The most suitable finished block size was six inches. I cut the Snoopy panel down to 22″ by 18″ and spaced the two styles of flower blocks (Snowball and Eight-Point Star) around it using 2″ borders and either 1″ or 2″ sashing strips.

Snoopy Baby Quilt test snowball block by Allison ReidThe ‘Snowball Flower’ blocks are each made of four Snowball units. I made a test block as I have a history of issues with distorting Snowball corners. The test block is by no means perfect but it did help me to develop strategies to improve accuracy:

  1. Draw the diagonal stitching lines on the little corner squares with a very fine marker pen rather than an ordinary pencil.
  2. Switch from a general needle plate on my machine to a single-hole needle plate. I found the machine needle was pushing the fabrics down into the machine at the start of the stitching line causing them to get a bit ‘chewed’ and the stitching line to shift away from the central diagonal I was aiming for. This didn’t happen when the single-hole needle plate was used. Single hole needle plate by Allison Reid
  3. I could have starched the fabrics to further reduce distortion but I was reluctant to do this as I wasn’t planning to wash the quilt before handing it on to my friend.

Having figured out these strategies to improve accuracy I thought I’d share them with you and also write a Snowball Flower Block pattern that you are welcome to download and use.

Here is the link to the Snowball Flower block instructions: Snowball Flower Block instructions pdf – Sept 2019

To complete the quilt I pieced the back and used Quilters Dream Green wadding (I really like the smooth texture of this polyester wadding made from recycled plastic bottles). I machine quilted in the ditch around the Snowball Flower blocks, echoed quilted the Star Flowers and then used black thread to follow the outline of Snoopy and his roof. I finished with a bit of free-motion meandering in the white background surrounding Snoopy. Finally I machine stitched a double binding around the quilt.

Snoopy Baby Quilt Snowball Flower, binding and Backing by Allison Reid

I really enjoyed designing and making this bold and bright quilt. I hope it proves a long-term winner with it’s young recipient and her family.

Linking with Michelle for the Beauties Pageant and with Sarah for Can I get a Whoop Whoop? Michelle is swooning and Sarah is making a waddle of penguins πŸ™‚

Allison

Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (77)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. Bring along your projects to a virtual sewing day and enjoy sharing in the conversations initiated by other members of the World Wide Quilting Community. Please do add your thoughts, comments and links to the reply box at the bottom of this page. Thank you! πŸ™‚

Square in a Square finished on fence by Allison Reid

Kingston Lacy, Duncan and Daniel by Allison Reid
My quilt holder-uppers at Kingston Lacy

I am going to begin with a ‘show and tell’ as I actually have a finished quilt to bring along with all my WIPs! I completed hand stitching the binding to the first of the Square-in-a-Square quilts last weekend whilst staying in the wonderfully comfortable Harbour Lights B&B in Weymouth. On the way home we stopped off at a National Trust property called Kingston Lacy and I persuaded my faithful quilt holder-uppers to do the honours in the beautiful parkland.

 

 

 

Square in a Square front at Kingston Lacy by Allison Reid

Square in a Square back at Kingston Lacy by Allison Reid

Square in a Square quilt label by Allison Reid
The quilt label forms part of the pieced backing to the quilt.
Square in a Square binding, border and backing by Allison Reid
Salmon pink border, green binding and creamy yellow backing.

Snoopy Snowball Flower block by Allison ReidThe second Square-in-a-Square quilt needs to be quilted but before that I have a baby quilt commission to work on. Through the past week I’ve been battling with Snowball blocks to make these ‘Snowball flowers’. The finished blocks are 6″ square and will form the border around a central panel. All will be revealed once the quilt has been gifted πŸ™‚ I don’t think I’ll be giving too much away if I share with you my choice of fabric for the background and backing of this quilt. My go-to fabric of the past few months is the Friendship text by Windham Fabrics. It’s one of the extra wide fabrics stocked at Purple Stitches.

 

 

Friendship text fabric (4) by Allison Reid

So my bring along project for Saturday Quilting Bring & Share is to create a pieced back for the baby quilt, cut fabric strips to make the binding and maybe cut a piece of wadding too…

Now to a few links into the Worldwide Quilting Community:

Rachel’s thinking deep, splashing paint about and preparing some beautiful pieces for an exhibition πŸ™‚ Reading her blog posts makes me feel comfortable to call myself a crafter and not an artist – unlike Rachel who uses nature and sometimes rusty old buildings as inspiration to create and develop the most amazing series of textured, mixed media art works. Fascinating!

Meanwhile another Rachel has teamed up with Viv of Purple Stitches. Read a review of the Shop in Rachel’s Stitched in Color blog post πŸ™‚

Myra at Busy Hands Quilts has published a striking quilt pattern called ‘Liberty Lake’. She’s teamed her bold design with a range of pretty fabrics called ‘English Tea’ by Connecting Threads.

The My Favourite Quilt Block blog hop is underway and Cindy shares her love of Star Blocks along with some piecing tips πŸ™‚ and historical information.

Melony made the most of a brief span of time to revamp her sewing room. The flooring needed attention so all her equipment, stash and furniture had to be moved out! Imagine! But so worth the effort πŸ™‚

Linking with Alycia for Finished or Not Finished Friday. Alycia is sharing her favourite block and some lovely quilt pics.

Happy Stitching!

Allison

PS. Here is a photo of the beautiful house at Kingston Lacy. Built in the mid-1600’s – after the Monarchy had been restored – by a Royalist family who had experienced their former home (Corfe Castle) being destroyed by Cromwell’s troops.

Kingston Lacy house by Allison Reid

 

Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (72)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share πŸ™‚ Bring along your projects(s) and share in the inspiring conversations and helpful tips doing the rounds of our Worldwide Quilting Community. Please do add your thoughts and links using the comments box at the end of this page. Thank you!

Just a note on this ‘Worldwide Quilting Community’ thing: I’ve followed Rachel Hauser’s blog Stitched in Color for several years. She and her young family recently moved from USA to the Netherlands. Rachel is a longarm quilter and to promote her business she took a trip to The Festival of Quilts, Birmingham UK. Her blog post about the Festival features photos of some of the quilts that caught her eye and one of the traders she chatted with. Well! What-do-you-know? That trader just happened to be Viv of Purple Stitches:Β My local quilt store and the place where I have been teaching for several years πŸ™‚ Just goes to show the virtual and actual Worldwide Quilting Communities are one and the same thing!

I had hoped to baste one of the Square in a Square quilt sandwiches but (as usual) I underestimated just how long it would take me to baste and quilt the secret sewing quilt! Anyway here we are, 5pm on Saturday, the secret sewing quilting is done and the binding is machine stitched to the front of the quilt.

Ready for hand stitching by Allison Reid

So I’m bringing hand-stitching-the-binding-down to our virtual sewing day. I’m looking forward to a bit of hand stitching but even more I’m looking forward to beating the deadline on this project and moving on! (The extra-wide backing fabric is by Whistler Studios for Windham Fabrics and is called ‘Friendship’ – purchased from Purple Stitches).

Up on my design wall are all thirty of my Jelly Roll Waves QAL blocks. I will aim to stitch this top together next week as well as getting that Square-in-a-Square quilt top basted. πŸ™‚ Looks like there are quite a lot of seams to match up – a good opportunity to try out using glue rather than pins to achieve accurate alignment?

Jelly Roll Waves blocks on the design wall by Allison Reid

And so to some of the inspiring conversations and helpful tips being shared by the Worldwide Quilting Community this past week:

Triangles and pieced hexagons… Emily Dennis has some of her lovely patterns on sale.

Cynthia at ‘Quilting is More Fun than Housework’ has used muted shades of blue-grey to make a scrappy Tumbler quilt. To my eye it is restful and very attractive.

Suzy has recently shared a very comprehensive How to Sew Curves tutorial. I find it’s always handy to have picture heavy tutorials to hand when using an unfamiliar technique. This one is definitely going to find a place on my ‘Curved Piecing Patchwork’ Pinterest board πŸ™‚

Quite a number of patchwork quilters are dipping their toes into the mysterious (to me) art of dressmaking. Irene is obviously well beyond beginner dressmaking in the way she has adapted a pattern while Leanne is gainingΒ  confidence by making several versions of each pattern she uses – her latest is a tank dress.

Hmm! Decorative selvages… I’ve never really got the whole using selvages to make patchwork blocks, bags etc. But Amy Friend’s ‘How to Work with Selvages’ video tutorial has changed my thinking! From now on I will be saving selvages…. along with scraps and stripy scraps and goodness knows what else I already squirrel away! πŸ˜€

Happy Stitching!

Allison

Strip piecing and keeping up with the Jelly Roll Waves QAL

I am glad I chose to make Myra’s Jelly Roll Waves quilt using the instructions for strip piecing fabrics from Fat Quarters rather than the 2Β½” strip version. I would definitely have fallen behind if I’d been cutting and piecing all

Read moreStrip piecing and keeping up with the Jelly Roll Waves QAL