Thursday, August 4, 2016

Summer Solstice Quilt-A-Long - Drunkard Path

**  NOTE  - This post is part of a series of posts for the Summer Solstice Quilt-A-Long.  If you would like to join (and have a chance to win $100.00 Gift Certificate and Fat Quarter Bundle grand prizes sponsored by The Intrepid Thread and Fat Quarter Shop ) you can find a list of the post links here :)  Here is the schedule

August 4th - Drunkards Path (Today) 
August 18th - Building Blocks
September 1st - Piecing Top and Grand Prize Linky
September 15th- Summer Solstice Parade and Grand Prize Winners

Now, first off for this week, we need to pick a winner for the Half Square Triangle Assignment.   And great job to everyone on their wonderful piles of Half Square Triangles!!!  I know that was a whole lot of piecing and trimming, and you all did so fantastic!!!

The Half Square Triangle assignment winner who gets a  Moxi Charm Pack by Studio M for Moda from The Scarlet Thread Quilt Co. is . . .
#22 - Little Bunny Quilts!! - Congrats :)

So I know lots of you are going to be trying something new today and I am so super excited for you ;)   Just a quick note to remember, Relax and have fun with it ;)  The more you can relax, the easier curve sewing will be!!!   So let's get to it :)    Oh, and If you are just finding this QAL now, it's never to late to join in the fun, the tutorials will always be on my blog so you have lots of time to join in :)


Just a note before we start.  We will be making a slightly modified Drunkard Path blocks as the "crust" section of the block is skinnier than your traditional Drunkard Path blocks.  This way our Seams from the blocks will line directly up with the seams in our surround and there won't be that little gap :)  So that this means, if you have Drunkard Path templates at home already, you might want to double check before using them as they are most likely for traditional blocks ;)


Alright, Let's get our Curved Piecing on!!!  To start, you will need to print off the Drunkards Path Template for your designated size block.   You can find the Drunkard Path Template by clicking right here.  Depending on your size block, will depend on what size template you need.

                              2 1/2" Finished Modified Drunkard Path Template is for the 20" Block
                              3" Finished Modified Drunkard Path Template is for the 24" Block
                              3 1/2" Finished Modified Drunkard Path Template is for the 28" Block
                              4" Finished Modified Drunkard Path Template is for the 32" Block
                              5" Finished Modified Drunkard Path Template is for the 40" Block

And be sure to double check that the 1" square on your printed page is a true 1" square ;)   Now  cut out the two template pieces.   I made a note on my templates what size starting square I was using and the finished size, just so they wouldn't get mixed up ;)

From here, we are going to use our paper templates to make a sturdier template ;)  So whatever supplies you got at the beginning to make your template on, it is time to pull them out.  I am using Extra Thick Plastic Template Sheets .  Place your two templates onto the corner of your template material and trace around them.  The reason I do it is the corner, is because that is two fewer sides I now have to cut ;)

Now, go ahead and cut out your two permanent templates.  And I know you all know this, but it never hurts to remind, Don't use your fabric scissors to cut these out.  They will ruin them.   (But if you happen to have a pair of fabric scissors that your children have used on paper and ruined them already, feel free to use those :)


Now you have your templates ready and you are all set to start cutting out your Drunkard Path units.  So, go ahead and grab your stacks of DP (Drunkard Path) squares.   These should be the only ones you have left, but just in case, the sizes of them are listed below.  I will be showing your first how to cut out the pieces, and then explaining what parts you need in the quilt, so be sure to keep reading on before you start actually cutting ;)

We start by cutting the Concave piece, or what is easier remembered as the "Pie".  Align the Pie Template so it is flush in the corner of the square and the sides are aligned.  Now, holding the template in place, gently cut along the outer curve of the template.  This is the easier of the two curves to cut, just try to stay relaxed and let your blade follow along the outside arch.

And now onto the Convex piece, or the "Crust" as we will refer to it.  Start by rotating your square 108 degrees as shown so the cut is more natural for your hand.  Now place your Crust Template onto the remaining piece of square so that is flush in the corner and the sides are aligned.  Start by cutting along the top and side edge of the template to square it up.  Then, holding the template in place,  gently cut along the inner curve of the template.   Again, Gently is the key here.  This curve takes a little practice to get used to, but just relax and you will get it.   The key is when you are coming out of the curve to not press so hard that you cut into your template.  Relax and just let your cutter glide along the edge.   I had to keep reminding myself to relax my hand and let the cutter do the work ;)   But no worries, by the end of cutting your pieces, you will be a pro!!!

For each square you cut, you will have a Print Pie and Crust piece an a Background Pie and Crust piece.  You will alternate the Pie and Crust so that they match up with a Background Pie and Crust as shown below ;)

Once you feel that you are getting the hang of cutting, you can speed things up a bit by stacking up 3-4 squares at a time.  Be sure that your blade is sharp so that it will go through all the layers, and again, practice on single squares before you jump into this.  But once you feel confident, this will save a lot of time.


So now you know how to cut them - Let's go over how you will sew them together.  Once again, the 1 x 1 Layout is going to differ from the 2 x 2 , 3 x 3 , or 4 x 4 Layout.

 So let's start with the 2 x 2, 3 x 3, or 4 x 4 Layouts.

If you are doing any of these layouts, the easiest way is to cut both pieces (Pie and Crust) from all of your Drunkard Path squares as explained above, and then place them into two large grouped sets.  One group will be the Print Pies with the Background Crusts, and the other group will be the Background Pies with the Print Crusts.

With that said, when you start sewing up your two groups above, you will have some extras when you are done.   For each block you need 4 Background Pie/Print Crust blocks (Used in the Center Star)  and 8 Print Pie/Background Crust blocks (Used in the Surround).  This means that you have 4 Extra Background Pie/Print Crust blocks times how ever many blocks you are making.    These are great practice and wonderful "oopsie" blocks . . .  So what  I would suggest is sewing your entire group of Background Pie/Print Crust blocks first.  This will give you lots of practice on your curves, and you can go through this pile later and pull out the best 4 of each print from the group to be used in your Summer Solstice quilt, and save the "learning" 4 from each print in the group for another project, or scrap.

So now, onto those doing the 1 x 1 Layout

If you are doing the 1 x 1 Layout, you should have (8) squares from your Surround Fabric, (4) Squares from you Center Star Fabric, and (8) Squares from your Background Fabric.   And I know, it has been super confusing that there aren't the same number of squares, but it will all make sense now ;)

Once again, the easiest way is to cut both pieces (Pie and Crust) from all of your Drunkard Path squares as explained above but now you are going to be grouping them a little differently.

You want to make the following sets to make your blocks.
 (4) Background Pie/Center Star Fabric Crust sets.
 (8) Surround Fabric Pie / Background Crust Sets.

And then you will have some extra pieces ;)  I suggest making these extra pieces into the following sets.
   (4) Center Star Fabric Pie/Surround Fabric Crust Sets
    (4) Background Fabric Pie . Surround Fabric Crust Sets.

I would highly recommend sewing these extra sets together first to use as practice on sewing with curves.  Once you feel confident in your curved sewing move onto the sets you will need in your quilt.   You can use the Extra blocks in another project or for scrap :)


So now that we know how our pieces all go together, let's learn how to sew them together!!!  I will be showing the process with one block, but or course, you will be making lots and your fabric layouts will be different on about half of the blocks.  Just be sure to keep the groupings that you made above.

And one last note before we get into it, I like to use 3 pins when sewing curves.  Some people use 1 and some people use a ton :)  If you find you want more than 3 pins, fabulous, if you find you like 1, wonderful!!  Do what works best for you :)

Okay, to start, we need to find the center of our pieces, so to do this, fold your pie and crust in half and finger press the crease.

Now, with right sides together, place the Crust onto the pie aligning the two creases.  Pin the two pieces together along the crease.

Now, grab the end of your Crust and align the two sides with the two sides of your Pie.  These should align perfectly, just like if you were sewing a square together.  Pin in place.   Just be careful when you are pinning not to stretch your fabric to much as these are cut on the bias.  And I like to pin pretty close to the edge so that that alignment won't shift on me.

Then repeat for the other end, again making sure that the two sides are aligned perfectly, just like a square and pin it in place.   And your block is pinned and ready to sew.   (And like I said above, if you get going and find you want a few more pins great, that can especially be helpful if you are doing some of the larger size blocks.  Just center another pin between your current pins and again, be careful not to pull the fabric to much as these are cut on the bias)

And now you are ready to sew.   Now before we start sewing take a deep breath :)  The more relaxed you are, the easier curves are to sew.  If you get frustrated and tense, it just gets harder, so remember, this is all about having fun :)

The biggest key I have found when sewing curves is to only worry about what is directly in front of your presser foot.  The rest of the block won't line up until it gets there so don't stress about it.   Just keep focused on what is about to go under the foot.

Using a 1/4" foot on your machine, Align your pinned edge with the foot and begin a few stitches.  I like to backstitch 2 stitches once I have started.  This isn't necessary, but I just like to where I pull on this piece when sewing a little more than traditional square blocks.

Now just try to imagine that you are sewing just like sewing straight lines.   I like to use the finger on my right hand to keep the two edges of my fabric aligned and the fingers on my left hand to smooth or pull out any bubbles that are in the way.   Just smooth those outward, you only have to have a 1/4" of flat sewing space.  And again, just worry about smoothing out your sewing patch right before it goes under the presser foot.

Just keep aligning with the right hand and smoothing with the left hand.   The fabrics will ease into position right where they should be as long as you be sure to keep the edges aligned.   Every once and a while, you might find that you need to lift your presser foot to smooth out a stubborn crease and that is all good, just be sure your needle is in the down position.

When you get close to the edge, I find it helpful to slightly pull down on the edge, this just helps to pull out any last creases, especially when you are dealing with 1/2" width on the crust piece.

And just like starting, I like to backstitch a few stitches on the end.  Again, it isn't necessary, I just like the idea of holding that bias seam in place ;)

Now, I just went through that super fast, and I know, it can be hard to tell from the pictures, but just remember, slow and steady and try to relax.   Practice, practice practice and trust me, within a few blocks you are going to be flying through these ;)


And just fyi, Chain Piecing is the way to go here.   It will super speed things up if you sit down and pin a whole bunch of blocks first.   I actually took mine to girls camp and pinned early in the mornings with the birds chirping, so relaxing.  But a good flick will do the trick as well ;)

Then you can chain stitch your blocks, just keep feeding them through your machine one after another.   And yes, you will note that I don't take my pins out, but rather sew over them.  I don't like my ends shifting, so I just be sure to slow down when I get to a pin (and I only had one needle strike through my whole pile and the needle didn't even break)   With that said, I know I should never recommend sewing over pins so do what you are comfortable with ;)

Once your blocks are all sewn. go ahead and clip the threads between blocks and remove the pins if you sewed over them.


And now, you are ready to press your blocks.  We will be pressing towards the Pie piece.  And I know, it seems like it would be easier to press towards the crust, but we press towards the pie so that when we sew these Drunkard Path blocks into our Summer Solstice Blocks, we don't have 4 layers of bulk right where we only have 1/4" of fabric to sew in :)

So, begin by grabbing the corner of pie with one hand and gently pulling it outward and at the same time pressing the center of the crust seam inward.  Pulling gently will just ensure that we don't have any little bubbles in our seam.

Then, adjust your pulling finger to pull upward and turn your iron point towards the side.  Really be sure and use the point of your iron to press into that seam and keep it nice and flat.  Again, pulling gently will help pull out those bubbles.

And now again, change the direction of your pulling to pull outward and rotate the point of your iron into the renaming corner, being sure to use that point to help get right into the edge of that seam.   It really gets fast when you get the hand of it and you won't have to lift your iron or let go with your other hand, it is just shifting the way are pulling as you go.

Finally, I like to flip my block over and give it a nice press from the front, just as a double check that I didn't get any little bubbles in my seam allowance ;)


And that is how it is done!!!
If you are doing the 1 x 1 Layout you will end up with 12 Drunkard Patch Blocks,  You will have (4) Background Pie/Center Star Fabric Crust blocks and (8) Surround Fabric Pie / Background Crust Blocks.  And then your extra practice blocks that are now another project or scrap.

If you are doing the 2 x 2, 3 x 3, or 4 x4 Layouts, you will have 4, 9, or 16 piles of (8) Background Pie/Print Crust blocks and (8) Print Pie/Background Crust blocks.   Now you can go through the piles of each of your fabrics and pull out the maybe not so great (4) Background Pie/Print Crust blocks that can be now be used in another project or scrap.  And you will have 12 Remaining blocks (or two fabric layouts) in each of fabric piles.

And with that, you are ready to now enter to win the weekly prize :)

The Weekly Prize is sponsored by Kimberly's Fabric Stash and a huge thanks goes out to them for their support of the Summer Solstice Quilt-A-Long.

This weeks prize is for a super fantastic Fat Eighth Bundle of the new Kim Diehl Fabric, Welcome Wagon!!!!  Aren't those prints just so happy ;)

So what do you have to do for a chance to win the Fat Eighth Bundle?  Simple . . . Just link up your stacks of Drunkard Path Blocks :)  You can link to a blog post or a flickr picture, or whatever.  Just make sure to link up by the morning of Thursday August 18th when I will be announcing a winner in the next post :)

If you don't get your Drunkard Path Blocks done by August 18th you can still link it up :) (just not in time for the prize :) The linky will remain open until the end of the Quilt-A-Long.  So if your out of town, or just had a busy week, no worries!!!  Just link up when you can :)

And Don't forget to add your beautiful  to the Happy Quilting Quilt-A-Long Flickr group and to post it on social media with using #summersolsticequiltalong.    I am so excited to see all of your Durnkard Patch Blocks in their curvy goodness!!!

So let's get our Curved Sewing On!!!!   Oh, and if you have questions, don't hesitate to email me at  Have a Happy Quilting Day!!

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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Posy Garden Hop And Quilt!!!

Note - If  you are looking for the Layer Cake Checkmate Quilt Post, you will find it here ;)

A little while back I was asked by the wonderfully talented Carina Gardner if I wanted to play with some of her beautiful Posy Garden prints as part of the Posy Garden Tour.  It took all of about two seconds to say absolutely yes!!!!  I love Carina's  beautiful style and use of rich colors.  And, the blog hop just happened to line up with my Riley Blake Design Team post, So . . . that means tutorial as well!!!!!  So, Today I am super excited to share my new Posies Quilt for the Posy Garden Blog Hop and a full tutorial for making your own Posies Quilt as well ;)

So can you see the Posies??  When I initially designed this quilt I didn't know that it would be for this fabric line, but as soon as I saw the fabric, I knew it was the perfect fit!!!!  I just love how they look like little flowers with the stems opening up to allow the blossoms to bloom ;)  Perfect !!!

So . . . Let's get right into that tutorial ;)

What you will Need:
(18) Fat Eighth's from Posy Garden
3 1/2 Yards of Snow Shades for Background
2/3 Yard of Asphalt Shades for Binding
4 1/2 Yards of Matching Print for Backing


We will start with cutting all of our fabrics.

From each of the 18 Fat Eighth's cut (3) 6 1/2" x 6 1/2" squares, for a total of 54 Squares.

From your Black Yardage cut (8) 2 1/2" X Width of Fabric Strips to be used for Binding.

From your White Background yardage cut:
           (10) 3 1/2" x Width of Fabric Strips
           (8) 3 1/2" x Width of Fabric Strips subcut into (22) 3 1/2"x 12 1/2" Rectangles
           (5) 6 1/2" x Width of Fabric Strips subcut into (30) 6 1/2" x 6 1/2" Squares

Then from your remaining White Background yardage cut (1) 21 1/2"  x Width of Fabric Strip.    Subcut the strip into (2) 21 1/2" x  21 1/2" Squares (it is okay if there is a little bit of selvage in them as they will be trimmed at the end ;)   And finally, Subcut the (2) Squares in half diagonally twice to yield 4 triangles per square and a total of 8 Triangles.  


Before we can start sewing, we need to do a little fabric organizing.  We will by grouping our Print fabrics into two groups, a Group A and a Group B.  Group A represents the "posies" in the quilt and Group B represents the "stems " in the quilt.   Because of that, I used the more floral prints in Group A and the more basic prints in Group B, but you can divide them as you like.   Place 9 prints (3 of each) into a pile for Group A and 9 prints (3 of each) into a pile for Group B.

Now, we are going to group each of the 9 "posies" in the quilt.  Layout your Group A prints, keeping the 3 prints of each together.   Then, choose a print from Group B to compliment the Group A print.  Place 1 Group B print with each set of Group A prints to make a total of 4 squares in each set.   Set the remaining Group B prints aside for the moment.

And now, we are ready to start sewing Four Patches.   Layout a set of 4 squares that you have just created as shown below.   (and I am sorry, somehow I forgot to take a picture of this next bit, but I am sure you can figure it out :)   Place the right hand squares onto the left hand squares with right sides together and stitch a 1/4" seam along the edges to sew the two rows together.

Press the seam allowances of each of the two rows in opposite directions.  This will allow them to nest.   Place the top row onto the bottom and Nest (and pin if you like) the center seam.  Sew a 1/4"seam along the edge.

Press the seam allowance open.  And your Four Patch is done :)  Repeat the process for the remaining 8 sets of 4 squares to make a total of 9 Posy Four Patches.  They should measure 12 1/2" x 12 1/2".   (and you can always chain stitch this process if you want to speed things up a bit ;)


And now, we are ready to make the "stems".  Layout your 9 Posy Four Patches with space between them as shown below.   If you have a designated space to do this that is best as it helps to just leave these laid out on the floor ;)

Now with your remaining Group B print squares and your White 6 1/2" x 6 1/2" squares, fill in between the "posies" by laying out 4 Patches as shown below.  Take care to match the print sides to the bottom of the "posies" so that the "stem" is all the same print.   You will be laying out 12 Additional "Stem" four Patches.

Once your layout is all correct, gather the additional "stem" four patches.  (leave the "Posy" Four Patches where they are.)    I like to stack them up next to my machine so I can chain stitch them and save time, but you can do them one at a time if you prefer.  Using the "Posy" Four Patch instructions, Sew these additional "Stem" Four Patches together.

When completed, you should have 12 Additional "Stem" Four Patches that will measure 12 1/2" x 12 1/2 square.

And now, you can place them back in between the "Posy" Four Patches as shown below.  (this is why it is nice if you can just leave the laid out ;)


Now with the Four Patches all done, you are ready to start sewing them into rows.  For that, we are going to need our small 3 1/2" x 12 1/2" Rectangles or Sashing Strips.  Place a Small Sashing Strip between the Four Patches as shown below.  Take note that there are not sashing strips at the end of every row as some of them will be trimmed.

Place the small sashing strips onto the 4 Patches with right sides together.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the edge of each set.   (I find it is very helpful to take a picture of this step before picking them all up so you can remember where everything goes back ;)

Press the seam allowances towards the sashing strips.  Now gather  5 of your large Setting Triangles and lay them at the end of the rows as shown below.   (Yup, one got away from me for a few pictures so I had to add him in digitally ;)

Now you are ready to sew the rows together diagonally.   To do this, place the sashed Four Patch or Setting Triangle of the row onto the second Block/Triangle with right sides together.  Stitch a 1/4" seam allowance and then press towards the sashing.  (shown in first row).  Then, place the third Block/Triangle onto the now sewn together first and second units with right sides together.  Stitch a 1/4" seam allowance and then press towards the sashing (shown in second row)  Continue in this fashion until the row is all sewn together.
 NOTE - When adding the setting triangles:  For Row 1 and Row 2 (or top rows) Align the bottom edge of the triangle with the bottom of the row.   For Row 4, 5, and 6 (or bottom rows) Align the top edge of the triangle with the top of the row.

Continue in this fashion until you have sewn all of the rows together.  Then press all of the seam allowances towards the sashing strips.  Trim the "dogears" that are hanging out on your triangles even with the rows.


And now, you are ready to add your long sashing strips and sew the rows into a quilt top.  Start by sewing all 10 of your 3 1/2" x Width of Fabric strips End to End to make one giant strip.   (I like to trim the selvages of my strips before sewing them together ;)

Now lay the giant strip between each of your sewn rows and trim  a piece of the sashing strip to size.  They don't have to be perfect, just close.   Notice, you don't need a sashing strip along the bottom row of the quilt.

And now it is just like making the rows, only on a larger scale ;)   Place the sashing strips onto the rows with right sides together.  You can pin if you like or just align as you go.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the edge or each row.

Press the seam allowances towards the sashing strips.  Add 2 remaining Setting Triangles (there will be 1 leftover that is scrap)  to be used for the two Top Corner Triangles.

Place the Corner Triangles onto the top row and the end of the third row with right sides together as shown below.  If the end of your Third row is not even with the sashing, just trim it nice and even.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the edge of the triangles and press the seam allowance on your Corner Triangles towards the sashing.

And now, you can start sewing the sashed rows together!!! Place the bottom row onto the next row with right sides together.  Take care to align your sashing strips and pin them together.  (this means you will have to sort or peek between the strips to assure they are aligned)  Sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge and press towards the sashing strip.

Next, place the now sewn together first and second row onto the third row with right sides together.   Once again, align the sashing and pin it in place.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge and then press towards the sashing.

Continue in this fashion sewing the rows together.  I find it easiest to sew half of the rows together from the bottom.  Then to stop and switch to the top of the quilt and sew half of the rows together. So then you have two halves that look like this.

Then all that is left is to place the bottom half onto the top half with right sides together.  Align the sashing strips and pin them in place.  Then sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge and finally, press towards the sashing strip.

And now your quilt top should look a little something like this and is all ready to be trimmed nice and sqaure ;)


To trim your quilt top, place a cutting mat under your quilt top.  You will be trimming the sides of the quilt different than the top and bottom so be sure to note that!!!  Along the two sides of the quilt, align your long quilting ruler so that it is 1/4" over the points of the print "stems".  Trim along the edge, removing the excess background fabric.

Along the top and bottom of the quilt, align your long quilting ruler so that it is 2 1/2" over the points of the print "posies".  Trim along the edge, removing the excess background fabric.

And now your quilt top should look something like this.   You can be done here if you like, but I like to have all of the posies appear to be "floating" so I decided to add two side borders.   The other thing that is super nice about this is that it uses up some of that "trim" and less wasted fabric is always better ;)

So grab that extra that you trimmed off of the top and the bottom of the quilt.  Cut it into a 3" strip.  Then you will need to cut a few additional 3" strips from the triangles you cut from the side.  If you cut just right, you can get this from the sashing part and not the pieced square part ;)   Sew the strips end to end to make 2 long border strips.

Place them along along the two sides of the quilt.  If they are a little short, add some additional trim pieces ;)  Place the two side borders onto the quilt with right sides together.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the edge.  Trim the excess strip and then press towards the border strip.

And there you have it!!!  A beautiful Posies Quilt Top all ready to be finished up :)


So . . . Let's finish it up ;)  Time to  Baste It, Quilt It, and Bind It!!!  Which is a whole lot in one little sentence.  If you are new to quilting, you can see my Finishing Your Quilt Series of video tutorials that will walk you through Basting, Quilting, and Binding step by step ;)

I had a lot of fun quilting mine with one of my favorite all over fillers.  A beautiful Feathered Swirl ;)  I just have so much fun quilting this design, it is so very relaxing and looks so pretty!!!

And I just love all of the gorgeous texture it gives the quilt.  Doesn't that just make you want to snuggle up with it!!!

Use the remaining (8) 2 1/2"x 42" black strips for binding the quilt.  And your Done!!!


And now, just sit back and enjoy your beautiful Posies Quilt!!!  It finishes at 68" x 70" so it is just the perfect size to snuggle up with and enjoy a good book or a little nap!!

 I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and if you make your own Posies Quilt I would love to see it!!  You can email me a picture at or add it to my flickr group here or post it to social media with the hashtag #happyquiltingwithmc ;)  I can't wait to see your Posies Quilts!!!

 Thank you so much to Carina Gardner for allowing me to play with her goregous fabrics!!!!   And for more Posy Garden fun, be sure to follow along all week with the Posy Garden Blog Hop!!!  You will  find all of the details of the Hop over at Carina's blog ;)

Thanks for stopping in today to share this tutorial.  I hope you have a very Happy Quilting Day!!!
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