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Quilt Block Design: Many Fish

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At the start of the year I decided to start putting on paper my Quilt designs – in order to one day start publishing patterns.  Now I have over 30 Quilt Block Designs.  So before it gets too overwhelming to write tutorials for them all I have decided to write a Tutorial each week.  So today is the first one!

Coincidentally one of my favourite bloggers Alyce aka Blossom Heart Quilts has written an excellent eBook – DIY Block Design .  It has great tips that are invaluable to both the beginner and the experienced Quilter.  This week you get two tutorials from me, as I’m part of her Quilt Block Design Blog Hop !!  So look forward to another block on Wednesday !!

My First Quilt Block to share with you is MANY FISH.  I’m probably one of the few Quilters that enjoy making Half Square Triangles (HSTs), which is why they feature so prominently in my creations.  Yes the trimming does get tedious for a large Quilt – but I also find something therapeutic about the repetition also.  (I know truly weird !!)sewnbyleanne_manyfishes_quiltblockdesign

The Instructions below will allow you to create one 12.5″ unfinished Quilt Block.

Fabric Requirements:

Fabric 1. (you will have 1 spare HST)

5      2.5×2.5″ squares

8      3.5×3.5″ squares

Fabric 2. (you will have 1 spare HST)

3      2.5×2.5″ squares

5      3.5×3.5″ squares

Fabric 3.  (you will have 1 spare HST)

2      3.5×3.5″ squares

Fabric 4.  (You will have 1 spare HST)

1       3.5×3.5″ square

Background Fabric.

16    3.5×3.5″ squares

sewnbyleanne_quiltblockdesign_manyfishes

Step 1

The Making of 32 HSTs.  On each of the 16 Background fabric 3.5″ squares draw a diagonal line from one corner to the opposite.

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Pair each background 3.5″ square with the coloured fabric 3.5″ squares.  Sew these pairs together using a 1/4″ seam allowance on either side of the marked diagonal line. (Tip 1.  I tend to “Chain Sew” this step to increase the speed of construction and decrease the use of thread).

Then use your ruler to cut along the diagonal marked line.

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Trimming the HSTs is the longest part of the process.  I do this BEFORE pressing the seams open.  Using your smallest ruler, I place the ruler onto the FOLDED triangle and place the 2.5″ ruler marks onto the sewing line (NOT THE EDGE).

sewnbyleanne_quiltblockdesign_trimminghsts

Then trim the two sides.  Note:  you will have about 1/4″ extra on both sides of your ruler, if your sewing and cutting is accurate – this is because I still add an inch to the final square dimension I am after.  Most experienced quilters will add 7/8″ to conserve fabric, I tend to still use an inch as I find it improves my accuracy and allows for working late at night mistakes !

Once you have trimmed your HSTs to 2.5″ squares – press the seams open.

Through these steps you will turn the pile of HSTs from this:

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To this :  sewnbyleanne_quiltblockdesign_manyfishes2

Step 2.

I like to layout my block beside my sewing machine so I can see the placement of the blocks.

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Step 3.

Using the above photo as a guide to then sew the 2.5″ squares into columns using a 1/4″ seam. As pictured below.

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Press the seams in each column in opposite directions.  That way you can nest the seams together when sewing the columns together.

Sew the columns together using a 1/4″ seam – and congratulations you have finished your Many Fish Quilt Block.

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The following diagram vies you an idea what a Many Fish Quilt (50×50″) would look like with 4 different fabrics and with 16 Many Fish Quilt Blocks (created using EQ7).

sewnbyleanne_quiltblockdesign_manyfishes

Enjoy your Quilt Block Creations !!  Here I have used beautiful Kaffe Fassett Fabric – that is bold, colourful and bright.

Come and See my next blog post (7th of October) as it will tell you more about Alyce’s (aka @Blossomheartquilts)  great new book DIY Block Design – that will help you with all the Quilt Math that you need to design your own quilt blocks.

Have a great start to your week.

Leanne 🙂

PS  My last tip is to save your left over HSTs as you will soon have enough to create your own HST Scrappy Cushion Cover !!

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Machine Binding – why haven’t I tried this before ?!

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Machine binding

Machine binding a Quilt – Why have I not tried this before ???

A gorgeous teacher suddenly fell ill on Thursday – and her students and I set to work to create her a beautiful Quilt, for her to recover with !!

sewnbyleanne_machinebinding_tutorial_childrensquiltThe children set to work and each drew a picture for their lovely teacher on a nine inch square of white fabric.  I have bordered it with beautiful Kate Spain Charms.  While I was backing it late at night on Sunday – I decided to give machine binding a go !!   OMG !!  I am in awe !!  It is so quick and fast.  I have always hand sewn the binding to my quilts and this was lovely and such a great result !!  I have used the backing fabric in this case.

How did I do it you ask ??  Well after a lot of googling to see how – this is it !!  Try it !!

  1.  Trim the batting to the size of the Quilt top.sewnbyleanne_machinebinding_tutorial7
  2.  Using your 24×6″ Ruler trim your backing  to ONE (1″) past the Quilt top and batting.sewnbyleanne_machinebinding_tutorial1

3.  Fold the edge towards the Quilt top, and then again.  Creating a 1/2″ Top binding from the backing !!  I use my Wonder clips because I love them – but you can use hair clips, bulldog clips or pins.sewnbyleanne_machinebinding_tutorial2

4.  For the corners:  Double fold the edges up until the corner.  Take the top corner and fold to create a 45 degree angle – as pictured below.

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5.  Then double fold the next side of the backing towards the Quilt top – and hold with these fantastic Wonder clips !!sewnbyleanne_machinebinding_tutorial4

6.  Once you have completed the perimeter of the Quilt, then topstitch the binding.  Fantastic !! Result in no time !!
sewnbyleanne_machinebinding_tutorial5Within the quilting community, there are often many ways to do one technique – and this technique is no exception !!  This way has certainly worked for me !!  I thought I would be a hand binding girl forever, but I am converted – not totally but I would certainly use this method again !

Have a go !! If you need to finish a Quilt quickly I would thoroughly recommend it !

Leanne 🙂

 

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