Sapphire Fire – Block Four of the Dreamcatcher Round the Year BOM Quilt and some Paper Piecing Tips

Sapphire Fire Quilt Block - Round the Year Quilt
Sapphire Fire Quilt Block

Sapphire Fire
is the fourth block in the Dusk colourway in the Block of the Month Quilt, Dreamcatcher Round the Year. The templates and instructions for the other colourway “Rainbow” have already been posted last week.

Like the previous three blocks, this one is also paper foundation pieced and finishes at 18″ square with a 15″ inset circle. The pattern, fabric requirement and piecing instructions can be downloaded from the links at the end of this post.

I am yet to make this block in this colourway. I plan to use 4 shades of blue fabric from deep to light in this block, contrasted with 4 fabrics ranging from deep orange through light orange and gold to yellow. The background is planned in 2 shades of grey. Here is a look at some of the fabric I have been auditioning for the block! It is Fossil Fern by Benartex – I just love that fabric!

Sapphire Fire Quilt Block
Fabric for the Sapphire Fire Block

Meanwhile, I am utilising this post to list out of a few do’s and don’t’s to keep in mind when paper piecing the blocks from this quilt!

Templates

  1. Reminder – the templates for the Round the Year quilt blocks are printed mirror images.
  2. Check to see if the templates are to be printed in portrait or landscape mode – adjust the printer setting accordingly.
  3. Take print outs of the Template file with printer settings at 100% or actual size.

I often have people ask me if they can increase the printer settings to, say, 120% if a larger block is needed. It does not work that way, if you have the ¼” seam allowance added on to the template ( as is the case with the Dreamcatcher Round the Year block templates). You will end up increasing the seam allowance also to 120%!

4.    I hate all the paper wastage involved when printing the templates – often one template occupies one whole page! Where possible, I like to use my unthreaded sewing machine to needle punch up to 7-8 templates at a time from waste paper stapled to a printed template. Tissue paper works great!

5.  I like to cut the templates a bit larger on all sides and trim them after piecing. It may be just superstition, I don’t know! I just like the thought of some margin in case things go wrong somewhere!

Cutting Fabric

6.  This can never be stressed enough – starch and press your fabric! It makes all the difference between a block that looks like it has been pieced by an experienced quilter versus a beginner! Every minute spent on this stage will be well worth it!

7.   What I love about paper piecing is that you don’t have to be very accurate when cutting the fabric. All my fabric requirement charts give you plenty of margin. Personally, I like to keep a boxful of all the scraps from the quilt blocks to look into before I start cutting fresh fabric.

8.   After cutting the fabric pieces, I can save a lot of heartburn if I remember to pin the pieces to the respective templates! At this stage, I also get a chance to check if I have missed out on a piece or two.

Piecing

9.   I like to sort out the templates shape wise unless specifically asked not to. There is a possibility you can chain piece them and why miss the opportunity?

10.  Set your machine stitch length to 1.5 (or about 15-20 stitches per inch). You want to be able to tear away the paper, without getting the stitches all loosened up.

11.   It may sound obvious, but please remember to begin with piece #1 and #2 when you start piecing a template!

Now to the piecing itself:

  • Place fabric piece #1 with the wrong side touching the paper on the unprinted side. Hold it against the light to see that the entire area of piece #1 is covered plus a ¼” seam allowance.
  • Place piece#2 on top of piece #1, right sides together. ALWAYS – right sides touching each other. Align the edges of the two pieces at seam between #1 and #2 – overlapping ¼” beyond the seam line.

  • Pin the two pieces together before flipping to printed side of paper and stitching on seam line.
  • Trim the seam allowance to ¼”.
  • Press open fabric piece #2 and hold the template against light to check that it covers the printed area #2 plus ¼” seam allowance on all sides.
  • We are now ready to stitch piece #3…repeat as for pieces #1 and #2!
  • Repeat for all the numbered pieces – in the correct order, till the whole template is pieced.

12.  When all the templates are pieced and ready to be assembled, trim the templates to the right size – to the outer dotted line in the case of my block templates.

Assembly

13.  Each of the block patterns includes a Master Template, which is a guide to how the templates are to be assembled.
REMEMBER – The Master Template is also a mirror image and shows the printed side of the paper templates.

( You can also use the Master Template to try out your own colour schemes; use colour pencils! )

14. Unlike in the case of the templates, numbering or alphabetical order does not work here! So that it is not necessary that A is joined to B is joined to C etc…Follow the assembly instructions given in the pattern (Instructions File). In case of confusion – yes – refer to the Master template.

15. There are several alignment markers in the form of crosses and tiny lines cutting across the seam line. Use these to pin the templates together.

16. You can tear away much of the paper before you start assembling the templates, especially if it does not have any alignment markers!

17. What you need to be careful at this stage is which edges you join and which template is on top when it goes under the needle. How do I know? Guess!

I think I have listed all the things to be taken care of when paper piecing these blocks! In no time you should have a perfectly pieced and assembled block. If you can think of anything else, do share it here!

Before I forget, here are the promised pattern downloads for the Sapphire Fire Block! The files are huge, and may take time to download. You need Adobe Reader on your system(downloadable free online) to be able to view/ download these files. Happy piecing and quilting!

Instructions – for Sapphire Fire, Block Four of Dreamcatcher Dusk Round the Year Quilt.

Paper piecing templates – for Sapphire Fire, Block Four of Dreamcatcher Dusk Round the Year Quilt.

Please note that the downloadable patterns and instruction files for the Dreamcatcher Round the Year quilt blocks are being migrated to my store MadsPatch and will not be available for download for free from 15th November 2020 onwards.

BUY PATTERN HERE!

Next block on August 15th…and tips for the Dahlia block

Many of you who are doing the Dreamcatcher Round the Year Block of the Month Quilt got your fabric a bit late and there are still others who are beginners to paper piecing. I thought it would be a good idea to give you a full month’s time to complete your Dahlia blocks.
Paper piecing can be a bit confusing in the beginning, but once you get the hang of it, you would not want to piece any other way! Just remember a few basics
– Like in any other kind of piecing, “right sides together” is the rule.
– The wrong side touches the paper – or will touch the paper when pressed out.
– Keep your seam allowance approximately 1/4″ when piecing. Accuracy is not essential at this stage.
More tips when we piece the next block!
Next, the assembly is proving a bit tricky for some. Before you begin, please refer to the Master template and arrange your arcs in a circle…

20140801-093226-34346858.jpg

When joining the arcs, you need to stagger the arcs…So that the edge of section H1 joins not P5 but P4!
This picture might make it clearer. Right edge of D1 from the paper side is attached to left edge of L4; L5 is joined to E2 and so on.

20140801-093853-34733398.jpg
Hope that clarifies matters!
Meanwhile, I would love to see your completed ( and incomplete) Dahlias on my facebook page!

 Please note that the downloadable patterns with paper piecing templates and instruction files for the Dreamcatcher Round the Year quilt blocks are being migrated to my store MadsPatch.company.site and will not be available for download for free from 15th November 2020 onwards. 

The Dahlia Block Pattern and Instructions are available here!

Decoding the Piecing Patterns for the Dreamcatcher Round the Year Quilt

The A,B,C… and 1,2,3…of Foundation Paper Piecing For Beginner Quilters

I love foundation paper piecing! In fact, it is my favourite method of making quilt blocks – it gives such fabulous, accurate results and is so, so very easy. To let you into a secret, I feel like such a cheat every time someone goes gaga over my paper –pieced blocks! There are certain patterns which contain odd shaped pieces or are so complicated that you could possibly not piece them by any other method. Miniature blocks are also much easier to handle if paper pieced.

But I do know there are some of you quilters who have never ventured into the mysterious world of templates, codes, mirror images, the flip and sew method , yet excited about my Block of the Month quilt `Dreamcatcher Round the Year’. So, what is paper foundation piecing? It is like ‘quilting by number’. In a paper piecing pattern, you sew fabric pieces on to paper which is printed with an exact replica of a quilt block or portion of a block.  The pieces are numbered in the order in which you should sew the pieces.

There are several tutorials on the subject for beginners, out there on the big world wide web. Here are some great ones I found – I don’t think I can better these.

  1. http://ellisonlane.com/2013/08/beginningpaperpiecing.html
  2. http://www.mccallsquilting.com/content_downloads/Foundation_Piecing_Primer.pdf
  3. http://quilting.about.com/od/foundationpiecing/a/paper_piece.htm
  4. http://ajpadilla.com/tutorials/beginners-corner/paper-piecing-tutorial/what-paper-piecing-getting-started

” In order to learn to swim, you have to jump into the water. You can’t learn to swim by paddling on the floor of your room, no matter how long you practise. You need the courage to actually try it out.”

Tsunesaburo Makiguchi

As one of those tutorials mentioned, paper foundation piecing is one of those things which are much easier done than explained!

Method

By now,  you would know there are several ways to ‘foundation piece”.

  • We will be sewing directly on to a pattern printed on to paper – the most popular method.
  •  I will also show you how to use freezer paper for piecing,  in one of the later blocks. Here, instead of sewing on paper, you fold the seam line on the freezer paper and sew along the fold. The template is reusable. As freezer paper is not easily available to all quilters in India, this will be demonstrated as an alternative to the regular paper piecing.
  • There is great method to foundation piece using strips, which I picked up from tutorials available online. We will use this method, piecing much faster than you would think possible.

Know your templates

This post is also an introduction to help you `decode’ patterns for paper pieced blocks from the Round the Year Quilt.

  1. The paper foundation piecing patterns for the blocks will in the form of downloadable, printable files (PDF). You need Adobe Reader on your PC/ laptop to be able to view them; this is available free online.
  2. Each file contains 6-12 pages. Set your printer settings to 100% ( sometimes referred to as “No Scaling”.
  3. Some patterns are in `portrait’ mode and others in ‘landscape’ mode. Please ensure that your printer settings are adjusted accordingly. No, this has not been done to confuse you, but to minimize paper usage. Don’t forget to view the tip for saving on printing at the end of this post !
  4. Do you remember the colouring books you loved as a child?

    The piecing patterns are something like that!

    Each file contains a number of figures coded A, B, C etc, These are templates. Each template is pieced separately; the pieces are colour coded and numbered A1, A2, A3…, B1, B2, B3… and so on.

    In the picture below you can see templates G (flying geese in an arc formation) and templates L and M in the form of wedges. You can see that each section is marked with a small coloured square, with a number inside – this is the code number for that colour.

  5. If you look carefully, you will observe that  only the outermost seam allowance is shown on each template, marked with a dotted line. Cut out each template outside the dotted line. You need not be accurate at this stage; in fact, I always cut slightly outside the seam outline!

Instructions File

I would also suggest that you download the Instructions file provided with each Block pattern. This contains:

  • The Block design in full colour. Each colour is given a code number and usage is given for each fabric code. For example, in the design given below, the blues are coded 2, 4 and 5, yellow is coded 3, orange is coded 6.

    Fabric requirement of each fabric is provided with code for your convenience. So if in place of yellow you want green, just look up requirement for Code 3.

  • The “Master Template” which shows you how all the templates A, B, C… will be finally assembled to make up the block. Here is an example of a Master Template of a block that I designed and then scrapped because it was `too difficult’ for beginners!.

    It shows you how the pieced templates A to P provided in the Templates file will finally be assembled! If you are not doing the quilt in my colours, you need only a print out of the Master Template and a box of colour pencils to see how your final block will look!

    One thing can confuse you – the templates are all mirror images of your original pattern! In this block, the geese are flying clockwise, but in the in this Master Template, they travel anti-clockwise!

I did mention that I am using Quilt Assistant a great free quilt design software for these blocks, didn’t I?

TIP FOR SAVING PAPER

I hate wasting paper! This is what I was left with after cutting the 16 identical looking templates for Block One.

So, when I was making my next block, I used a method I learnt from a BHG quilting book.

I took only one print out of a template I was going to need eight of, two sets of 4 wedges – mirror images of each other.

I stapled it securely to seven sheets of waste printer paper (a good alternative is leaflets, old directory pages, tracing paper ) and took it to the sewing machine.

Unthreaded the needle and started sewing on the pattern lines! ( Good idea to keep aside an old needle for the purpose if you are going to be making several templates.)

In no time, the 8 identical templates are ready. All that remains is to code them with the template number, piece number and colour code on the correct side. That is 4 wedges on one side, the others flipped over and marked on the other side. Here, be very, very careful or you will be lost!!

One drawback of this method is that you miss out on the alignment markers ( the crosses and the small lines on the seam line) that help you when assembling the block, unless you take the trouble to mark these.

However, when needing several identical templates for simple blocks– eg when making a quilt with several rows of pieced flying geese, this is a very useful trick to save on your printer ink!

Tuesday, 15th July is when the pattern for the first block will be posted – in less than 48 hours from now! I do hope you have your stash sorted and are ready with fabric for the quilt? I would love to see your selection!

Meanwhile, if you are not following my blog, you just might miss out on some quilting tips and tricks I shall be sharing with you all…

GRO Jaipur

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GRO Jaipur

Natural, Fresh, Direct.

betukbandi

This and that....some rhyme, not all reason

twin hobbies

living with twin daughters

Lori Kennedy Quilts my m

From Doodle to Design

Trends and Traditions

Where Trendy meets Traditional Quilting, by Designer Heather Mulder Peterson of Anka's Treasures

Lorelle on WordPress

utorials about WordPress, blogging, social media, and having your say on the web.

Sew Frou Frou Quilter

Spreading warm wishes one quilt at a time...

DESI QUILTERS

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