Category Archives: Foundation Blocks

Sampler Quilt – Courthouse Steps

Sewwitty's Courthouse Steps

Sewwitty’s Courthouse Steps

Well, true to my last post, I have been working on the sampler quilt. The above is my second courthouse steps sub-block – each block requires 4 and sometimes 8 sub-blocks. The blocks with rectangular pieces, like above, a much quicker to sew (not like the Bachelor’s Puzzle block). It is much easier to cut the right shape when it is a rectangle particularly when you stitch it down and then flip it into place. The number of times I flip it into place only to find the finished piece is too small!

 

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Bears Paw Block is Finished

Finished Bears Paw Block

Finished Bears Paw Block

This is the third of my foundation pieced blocks.

I can’t say I am that thrilled with my fabric choice, but I am determined to get this quilt finished.

Next up is Courthouse Steps.

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Bachelor’s Puzzle Block Finished

Finished Bachelor's Puzzle

Finished Bachelor’s Puzzle

This is my second attempt at this block. In the previous version the finished block was too small – I forgot about seam allowances when I digitised the block!

Two blocks down ten to go.

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Another Quilt Block Finished

A Finished Bachelors Puzzle Block

A Finished Bachelors Puzzle Block

I finished the block a few weeks ago, but it has taken me a while to photograph it (not sure why it really doesn’t take that long).

This block consists of 4 smaller sub-units and then each sub-unit consists of two smaller units – does that make sense?

I used my embroidery machine and the whole block took about an hour to complete – I am not sure if this foundation piecing by embroidery machine is such a good idea. Sure it is very accurate, but it is fiddly and time consuming and I can never work out how big to make each piece because you have to stitch and flip.

Next up the final version of Bears Paws – although I suspect there will be some procrastination in the way! After all I do have a sock to finish.

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And so it Begins …

Altar Steps Block

Altar Steps Block

So I have finally started the sampler quilt. The above is an Altar Steps block, which consists of four smaller blocks (see here). There will be five of these blocks in the quilt.

I’ve discovered it is quicker to cut all of the fabric for one smaller block before beginning the block. If in doubt the piece of fabric is going to be too small!

The final quilt consists of five of each of my sampler blocks (there are 12) and an extra 3 blocks ( I haven’t decided on the extras I suspect it will be the easier to make blocks!), so that makes a total of 63 blocks (5 × 12 + 3). Only 62 blocks to go …

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Bear’s Paw Block Finished

Bear's Paw Block Finished

Bear’s Paw Block Finished

I stitched this out yesterday and it worked the first time so rare!

This is the last block I wanted to digitise for my sampler quilt. Now it is simply a matter of getting on with it.

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Bear’s Paws Block Being Digitised as a Foundation Block

Today is the last day of school holidays. I like school holidays – not having to be anywhere by a particular time, much more relaxed mornings, but it is a bit more difficult to get any jobs done that require concentration.

I want to digitise one more block for my foundation block quilt. I’ve spent a bit of time considering different traditional blocks – Arkansas Star, Attic Windows, Birds in the Air, Fox and Geese, Jacob’s Ladder – and rejecting them as too hard or requiring too many stitch outs.

In the end I decided on Bear’s Paw, which requires two stitch outs.

Bear's Paw Block

Bear’s Paw Block

The above image is four bear’s paw blocks – with some extra bits in the middle.

My block is more like this …

Bear's Paw -  One Block

Although it is all straight lines and you would think easy to digitise, I did need to think about how to split it and then what dimensions to use to get this block to be the same size as my other blocks – I knew that maths degree would come in handy some time!

I split into two sections …

Bear's Paw Split

Bear’s Paw Split

And then used Embird Studio to digitise each stitch out (I did this separately).

BearPaw_01 BearPaw_02

And then joined them using the merge feature in Embird Manager. Once I had the numbers sorted, it was all relatively easy. Now I just need to test it out!

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Pinwheel Quilt Block Digitised

SewWitty's Pinwheel block

SewWitty’s Pinwheel block

What it looks like when there is four of them.

What it looks like when there is four of them.

This is my latest digitised block, a Pinwheel. I used paint to show you what it would like if there was four of them.

I need two more blocks to make 12 – I’m considering a Bachelor’s Puzzle, Water Wheel and New York Star – although I might think of another block before the end.

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Golden Wedding Ring Quilt Block Digitised

SewWitty's Golden Wedding Ring Block

SewWitty’s Golden Wedding Ring Block

This is another block that is only 1/4 of the final block. Check out a whole one here. It came together quite easily – I’m starting to feel more confident using Embird. As you can see in the image, I had a bit of difficulty cutting my pieces big enough, but this is just a practice run to determine whether my digitised design is OK.

I think I now have eight blocks: Log Cabin, Pineapple, Flying Geese, Courthouse Steps, Snail Trail, Iowa Star, Golden Wedding Ring, Hour Glass. My plan was to make 12 blocks for my sampler quilt, so only four more to go. Although at some stage I changed my template, so I need to double check the earlier blocks.

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Iowa Star Foundation Block Made with Embroidery Machine

Iowa Star

Iowa Star

The above block is 1/4 of an Iowa Star.  You need to imagine 4 of them exactly the same, but rotated to make a square in the middle – like this

iowa Star from Quilters Cache

Iowa Star from Quilters Cache

I digitised the block using Embird Studio and it came together quickly. I did cut some of the fabric pieces a little too small, but this block was just a test to see how well I had digitised the design.

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