Friday, 3 November 2017

Fussy Cutters Club Blog Hop: Crouching HST, Hidden Churn Dash

My friend, Angie, has written a book! Fussy Cutters Club, by Angie Wilson, is your complete guide to using your stash to express yourself.  Full of bright projects and beautiful styling you'd be justified buying it just for the eye candy. But really that's just the start. It's loaded with information on using fabric with intent, both in traditional and improvisational piecing and will teach you to fussy cut with precision to create interest in your work. There are 14 great projects ranging from a simple weekend make to large detailed quilts.

Some of my favourite projects from the book include the Super Star Coasters, the 1-2 Sucker Pouch (I made one for my mum for her birthday - super quick and cute!) and the Improv-able Dream Pillow.

images courtesy of C&T Publishing

When Angie asked me if I would make the last project in the book for this blog hop, I really couldn't say no. The quilt is called Crouching HST, Hidden Churn Dash. It is literally full of churn dashes hiding in plain sight, but the clever construction makes use of the spaces between to highlight fun fabrics. It is genius!!

image courtesy of C&T Publishing

Angie used monochromatic blues for her version of the quilt. For something different I chose a broader colour palette in autumn tones. The low volumes I used for the background are pretty quiet, mostly greys and browns on white, which seemed to tie in with the autumn vibe.

This quilt makes use of improvisational piecing to create slabs that are framed on point. My improv skills are a little underdeveloped so this was a great chance to build some muscle in a new area. I'm a little obsessive about directional prints (all of my quilts have a 'right' way up) so I chose to cut my fussy cuts on point so they would be up the right way in my quilt.

As I pieced the flying geese for the edges of the quilt I saved the trimmings and sewed them up into extra half square triangles(HST), thinking I might make a matching pillow from them. I ended up being glad I did! I was just a few inches of backing fabric short and used my leftover HST to fill in the gap. This ended up being one of my favourite features!

As it is such a special quilt it was given the luxury of long arm quilting. It's the first time I've sent a quilt out for quilting and it really did make it extra special! These meandering flowers and butterflies were quilted by Raylee of Sunflower Quilting and they are such a great choice. I love how the quilting design echoes the prints I've used.

I really enjoyed making this quilt! The piecing is simple enough for a confident beginner but there's so much flexibilty within the design - espcially those large improv slabs - to make something really unique and personal. And as for Fussy Cutters Club? This is definitely not the last project you'll see me make from the book. Next up, A Flock of Seagulls table runner I think!

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Strawberry Block Tutorial - Stem Update!

At last! Here is the promised stem update for my ever popular strawberry block. I've had the step-by-step photos on my computer for 18 months! It's definitely time they were put to use.

Here are the two blocks side by side. The left is the original. The stem seemed a little thick and clunky so I modified it to create the thinner stem on the right. This new stem DOES take longer to make but I like the effect.

Please note: this is an add on to the original tutorial. You will need to reference that tutorial for most of the cutting and sewing directions. This stem modification replaces the two 2" squares in print C as noted in the cutting directions of the original tutorial.

Cutting Directions: omit two 2" squares in print C and cut as follows:

cut one - 1” x 2” in print A
cut one - 1” x 2” in print B
cut one - 1” x 3.5” in print C
cut two - 1” x 2.5”

This is what your pieces will look like when you've cut them!

Take the two white pieces and mark a point one inch away from the end using a removable marker. Make sure to mark the opposite side of each piece. 

You should end up with two pieces that look like this.

Using a removable marker and ruler, draw a straight line between the dot and the closest diagonally opposite corner. You are essentially marking a half-square triangle on the corner of the piece.

When you have marked the line on both pieces they should look like this. Notice they are opposite!

Place the white pieces and green pieces at right angles with the marked corner of the white overlapping the green.

Sew and trim the corner to a quarter inch.

 Press the seams (I pressed mine open) and you will have your two inner leaf pieces!

Using all the green half-square triangles (HST) and two white 2" squares as shown in the original tutorial, arrange your pieces as shown. Make sure you have the HST arranged so that they match the fabrics used for the inner leaf pieces.

Sew the piece together in three sections: the right side leaves, the stem and inner leaves and the left side leaves. You will have three pieces as shown.

Sew the three sections together to finish your strawberry top! Sew the body of the strawberry as shown in the original tutorial and attach to the strawberry top to complete your strawberry!


I know there are a few people who have been looking out for this stem update. Thank you for your patience. I hope you enjoy it! Feel free to ask any questions in the comments below so the answers can be helpful to others with the same question. And if you spot any errors let me know so I can fix them right away! Enjoy!