July 12, 2010

Simple Sampler Quilt Along -- Week 4

Hi Friends!  I hope you had a great weekend - I was a working double duty all weekend with Joe backpacking up in the Unitah's.  We had some special fun, a little bit of drama, and I stayed up late sewing too!  I have blocks sewn up, and a few rows pinned for a top, hopefully I can show it to you tomorrow.  

For now I have this weeks Sampler Blocks!  

Just in case you are starting now, these will catch you up -

Simple Sampler Quilt Along Details (includes a pic of the quilt)

Originally I had planned to put all the HST blocks at the end and work up to them...but then I decided we should slowly work through them, so I have one more for you this week.  I hope you aren't cringing - they really do get easier with practice, and that's just what we are doing!  Perfection is good and all, but don't forget to enjoy the process, and learn as you go.  And remember - I have been sewing for 20+ years, I've had a bit of practice with straight seams and working with my machine daily the last (almost) 2 years, it all makes a difference.  Please don't get frustrated, or down on yourself.

Our first block this week is a traditional favorite - Log Cabin.  You can make these so many different ways, I have one side in white and the other scrappy - feel free to play with color placement!
 Here's what you need:
From your solid - cut 2 - 2" strips and cross cut into:
1 - 2 x 11"
1 - 2 x 9 1/2"
1 - 2 x 8"
1 - 2 x 6 1/2"
1 - 2 x 5"
1 - 2 x 3 1/2"
From a variety of prints -
1 - 3 1/2" square - fun opportunity to fussy cut a favorite part of your fabric
1 - 2 x 5" and 1 - 2 x 6 1/2"
1 - 2 x 8" and 1 - 2 x 9 1/2"
1 - 2 x 11" and 1 - 2 x 12 1/2"
 For this block we work from the center out, one piece at at time, lay out your pieces like I did, and prepare to sew and press, and sew and press!
Lay the 3 1/2" length of white over your center square, pin and sew.
 Press your seam open, and working counter clockwise continue around the center block, adding the 5" length next.  Pin and sew.
 How's yours looking?  Now we start adding prints, still working counter clockwise, lay the 5" print length over.  Pin and sew.  Are you thinking I'm super anal?  always pinning..?  I find that if I don't pin, the fabrics have give and will shift under the needle without my knowing.  When adding these strips, I pin to keep the seam below in place, and two ends, just so that they match up nicely.  When we get to the longer strips I add another to keep things in line.
 Continuing on, add the 6 1/2" print length.
 Back to the white strips, add the 6 1/2" length.  Pin, sew and press open.
 Still in counter clockwise fashion, add the 8" length.
 Now add the print 8" length.  Pin, sew and press open.

 Now the white, 9 1/2" length.
 The final white length is 11".  Pin, sew and press open.
 Next add the print 11" length.
Add your final print length, at 12 1/2", to finish the block!
I've told you how much I like starch, but I don't think I told you that when I've finished a block I like to set it with a little starch.  When complete, AND ONLY THEN, (you don't want to shrink things before you finish) spray a bit on your seam allowances on the back to set.  And carefully press.  The seams lay nice and flat and I don't have to worry about things getting wonky as I wait to quilt.  Not necessary - but something I find helpful :)

Our second block for this week is a mosaic block, my software named it Mosaic, No.5...so uninspired!  Let me know if you have a good name for it - I think a quilt full of these would be really fun.
 Here's what you need:
From your solid - 8 - 4" squares.
From one print - 2 - 4" squares.
From a second print - 6 - 4 " squares.
If you aren't using a solid, look to the contrast of your fabrics - the difference of light and dark in your fabrics.

 On the wrong side of your white or light, mark the diagonal.  If you are having trouble, consider also drawing 1/4" away from your center diagonal, for a sewing line.
 Pin a white square to each of your printed squares.
 I thought I would share where I start things, and how I use my hands to guide the pieces.  These things take time to find what works best for you.  Having a friend/mom over your shoulder as you learn, reminding you of where your hands are is handy, even if trying in the moment :)
I like to start with my needle down with these blocks so that I can get it as close to the needle as possible before stepping on the gas.
 I hold my thread tight, and gently hold the square firmly in the direction you want it to go.
 I keep my hand in front of the needle, guiding the square.
 And when I reach the other tip, use my finger tips to steady the square as it moves past the needle.  Usually I use my other hand on the right side as well, to keep it straight.  And I go SLOW when sewing these HST's always.
 After sewing your seams on both sides, set with the iron, and cut on the diagonal.
 Press your seams open.  And trim to 3 1/2", using the diagonal as your guide.
 Here's the little pile of scraps, after the fact -
 Now we can lay out our block and sew the rows together!  Actually there's a lot of options for sewing these together - I have a couple more in the weeks to come - it's fun to play with the triangles and see patterns form.
 Lay your blocks over, carefully match the diagonals, pin and sew.

 Press your seams open, and lay out the block again to finish sewing the rows together.
 Carefully match seams up again and pin - notice that I flipped my top two rows over so that I have a running start to the bundle of seams.  It sews easier and things line up better (in my experience).
 Sew and press seams open.  Lay things out again.
 Match seams up, starting in the center, and working out, pinning carefully, the first row to the second, and the third to the fourth.
 Sew and press seams open.  Then repeat the last step to complete the block!
 I really love the effect of this one!  What do you think?
Here's my blocks so far - half way through the blocks this week!
**After you make your blocks, post about them on your blog, then post a link here:

Let me know if you have questions and I will answer them in the comments :)

Happy Quilting~

Next steps:
Subscribe to Amy's Creative Side
Shop with Amy
Follow Me on Twitter
Become a fan of Amy's Creative Side on Facebook
Email me


Sarah Craig said...

Amy, that second block looks like a variation of the Amish Diamond in a Square pattern.....

harleywife said...

YIKES !! a challenge for a new quilter ; I need to do these 2 and the snowball from last week ; YIKES !!!

Just JaiCi's Crafts said...

I love the "hawaiian-ish" fabric that you used! love, love, love it! I wish that I had started on time with ya'll...but had too much going! Can't wait to see what's next!

Terriaw said...

Love both of these blocks, but especially that mosaic! I love working with HST. I'm not sure I've seen that block. I think Mosaic is a good name for it. Someday I would love to try electronic quilt software.

Anonymous said...

I really love this weeks blocks. I hope I can find time to make them tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

i love both blocks, this will be my first log cabin style block and I am looking forward to it! Will be working on it maybe a little this afternoon but for sure late into the night when I get home! Can't wait to see everyones blocks this week!!

Allie said...

These are so pretty [love your fabric choices!] and you do such great tutorials, Amy!

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed working with the HST's this week. I really need practice with them so I am happy to have a few in this project :) Looking forward to next week! Thanks Amy, your the greatest!

Anonymous said...

De-lurking to say that this looks like a fun quilt along. I love all your blocks. Which one is your favorite block so far? Just curious... I like Mosaic #5 so far...

Brittany said...

I had a rough go with the HST this time. Some of them didn't line up right. Oh well! Mistakes fade into the background after quilting.

Melanie said...

Amy, great directions, as usual. Love, love the Log Cabin. Thank you for all the time you take with the tutorials!

Have a great day!

harleywife said...

I agree ! thanks for the great tutorials AND the vote of confidence ! I'll be taking my time on the 3 blocks I need to get done ! I DO HAVE A QUESTION : do you use a walking foot to quilt ? I do not have one , but will be shopping at a quilt store in the next few days and have been debating about getting one , since they are kind of pricey ! I will appreciate your thoughts on it !
thanks !

creativedawn said...

I love these blocks! Your fabric is gorgeous!


Lucy said...

From your solid - cut 2 - 2" strips and cross cut into:
I am not sure what this mean??? Sorry I am confused on cross cut into???


Amy - Park City Girl said...

Lucy! Cut 2 width of fabric strips in order to cut all these smaller rectangles -

1 - 2 x 11"
1 - 2 x 9 1/2"
1 - 2 x 8"
1 - 2 x 6 1/2"
1 - 2 x 5"
1 - 2 x 3 1/2"

Or just cut these the way that works best for you!

Does that help?

rayfamily said...

Help! I seem to not be getting how to trim the HST's. My ruler has a 45 degree mark on it, but not anywhere where I can line the piece up to a corner and trim. Should I line up with the 45, and eyeball it as I slide the ruler to where I can cut the corner? Sorry, not sure if it's my equipment or I'm just not grasping it. I want to get it right :)

Jill and Cameron said...

Just finished mine! Loved doing the Mosaic. SO FUN!! thanks Amy!!

rayfamily said...

Just fixed my problem after looking at some of the other ladies finished pieces. I changed to the square ruler you suggested (hadn't taken it out of the bag yet, oops). All fixed! Hope to post the finished ones this evening :)

Anstasia said...

I am having a blast with this quilt along! I love seeing all the differnt "personalities" coming out in the blocks!

Joanna said...

I loved doing this week's blocks, especially the log cabin. It's the first time I've made that block, and it is now my favorite.
I love seeing everyone else's blocks. It's amazing how the choice of color and print change the look completely.

Anonymous said...

I am excited. I finished last weeks yesterday and got this weeks done today.

Lucy said...

Quilt Block 7 done. It seems little crooked to me?

Anonymous said...


Once again, thank you for these wonderful directions. I am having a blast and my daughter will love this quilt!


Anonymous said...


Once again, thank you for these wonderful directions. I am having a blast and my daughter will love this quilt!


missknitta said...

Just posted mine! Thank you so much for the kind words about my blocks, Amy, and especially for all the encouragement to not give up. This has been really challenging and also really fun!

Anonymous said...

Missknitta: I really love your blocks. I couldn't post my comment on your blog so I thought I would try to reach you here.

Shannon said...

I have never made a Log Cabin before. That was fun. I will have to make more. I am finally caught up.

Heather said...

I finally got my post up and I'm having fun!

~quiltedbydawn~ said...

I finally posted about thie QAL. My 7 year old and 9 year old have been doing this as their summer project, and loving it. Me too - it gives me an excuse to play with fabric and my kids at the same time. Thanks so much!

Lucy said...

Yeah I did it......I can see a few little mistakes but I am really proud of my last block. I have completed my first 8 Block of a quilt ever!!! Triangles are not so bad anymore LOL.................

Quiet Quilter said...

Like I said on my blog....I am riding high what with catching up with the group. I am learning a lot and am satisfied with my progress so far...I know my color choices could have been better, but I will learn. Also using FQ so will have to term these as "scrappy blocks". It's what I needed right now; to push myself into the "unknown".

Anonymous said...

what's my URL? Mom...ladies she finally has me quilting! My first also. not sure how to blog; but I do Facebook. I'm really stretched quilting, but enjoying it. Have the first 6 done and like them mostly. My points don't match on some but do on others. Elise Shaw, Amy's mom

Amber said...

Just got back from vacation so I finished up my week 4 blocks and posted them along with week 3. So excited to start week 5 later this week :)