Posted in classes, Storm at Sea Quilts, Uncategorized

Get out your colored pencils or markers!

When’s the last time you colored??  I don’t very often.  And I’m not sure why because I find it so relaxing and creative.  Oh, I’ve bought the adult coloring books and the colored pencils…… haven’t you?

Let’s have a little fun!  Start by printing out your FREE Storm at Sea pattern.

Get it here! –   Stress Free Storm at Sea pattern )

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Then find your colored pencils or markers..  Easy so far??

These are my favorite colored pencils!  You can get them at Michaels.

Using your favorite pencils or markers just start to add some color.  See how there are circles, intertwining shapes,  hearts, stars, medallions?  Freedom to play!  When’s the last time you did that??  You may want to look at my Storm at Sea Pinterest Board for inspiration and ideas.

What if you really like your design and want to make it into a quilt?  Print your free pattern HERE!

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The two units used are the Square in  Square and the Diamond Rects. Follow your design to make each unit.  For example, the Square Squared on the left side would be a blue center square, red triangles on opposite sides and blue triangles on the other tow sides.  The Diamond Rects on the left side would be made by using a blue diamond with two red triangles on the opposite sides. The other two triangles would be light blue and dark blue.

Next post – how to use your Square Squared ruler!

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If you have any questions send an email to: barbara@alleycatquiltworks.com – I’m happy to help! Also send pictures of your designs!!

Barbara Dann

Alleycat Quiltworks

Posted in classes, Piecing, Quilting, Studio 180 Design tools and techniques, Uncategorized

It’s always the last one………

I bought 26 fat quarters of Alison Glass Chroma fabric to use for my next project.  Yummy, right?

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And then the dilemma.  I need background fabric.  Lots of background fabric.  Do I choose white – safe but not a wow background?  Maybe black – I always default to black.  Tried both and blah, nothing exciting there.

So off I go to see Cynthia at Stitch Your Art Out for some inspiration.  We spent an hour trying various shades of blue, yellow, and gray.  Nope – all were ok but not “it”.  Then Cynthia pulled a beautiful dark brown and it looked great with the fabrics.  Made them pop and I liked it.  We continued to try a few repeats just to make sure brown was the one.

And then Cynthia said –  “Let’s just see how this purple looks.”

WOW!  I knew right away that was it!

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Here are some of my blocks so far:

Bubble Gumblock 1

Boutique Shimmerblock 2

Babbling Blueblock

Thanks, Cynthia for helping me choose a not boring background!  More blocks to come!

Do you have a go-to background or do you like to try lots of fabrics before deciding?

Happy Fall!

Barbara

 

 

 

Posted in classes, Piecing, Quilting, Studio 180 Design tools and techniques, Teaching, Uncategorized

Four Patches

Four-patches look like the simplest piece to make, right?

But getting them to be perfect isn’t all that easy.

Even after careful cutting, stitching and pressing, these units may not quite line up. That can be frustrating.

I’ve probably sewn thousands of four-patches over the years, and the truth is mine weren’t always spot on.

In fact, they were always a little wonky. But I was able to make them work by lining them up with the trimmed V-Block (or whatever) unit I was stitching it to.

When this tool was first introduced I wasn’t convinced that most quilters would need it. Then I started using the right tool for the job and it made a huge difference for me.

The Four Patch Square Up Ruler works like all the Studio 180 Design tools: You’ll make the piece a little bit bigger than needed, then trim it to perfection with the tool.

Here is what my four patches looked like before. Not quite big enough and not quite square.

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Here is what my four patches have looked like ever since I started using the Four Patch Square Up Ruler every time I make a four-patch.

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Being a little off here and there is no big deal. But if everything is off, all those mistakes start to snowball. After all that time, effort and money, the last thing you want is to be unhappy with your finished project.

Everything won’t always be perfect, but this tool is going to get you pretty darn close.

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GALAXY is a class favorite and one of my favorite quilts!  I love a quilt that looks difficult to make and it’s not!  Many Four Patches and V-Blocks create this stunning quilt!  And there’s no curved piecing! Would you like to have this class at your guild or quilt shop?

All the info is here – CLASS AND LECTURE INFORMATION

Have you used the Four Patch Square Up tool?  Do you struggle to get those
Four Patches perfect?

Until next time –

Barbara