31 July 2012

Sharp Chevrons

Rainy days.

Perfect for watching old musicals, sitting on the couch with a cat or two, and some blog catch-up.

I've seen quite a few requests from you about how I made these very sharp, precise chevrons last year for the 4x5 Modern Quilt Bee:

Well, to make 'em, I sketched out quadrant templates on graph paper, and sewed together a bunch of 1.5" colored strips and .75" strips of white and trimmed (and trimmed), winging it a whole lot, holding the strips up to the sketch to check on positioning.

Halfway through, I wondered why I wasn't just using a paper foundation.  Too lazy and stubborn to go make copies,  I finished my blocks using the original method anyway.  Silly.

That's probably not your style, so I created a paper-piecing template, available for free via Google Doc! It's a little bit rough around the edges, but it's a pretty literal digital interpretation of my original sketch.  **If you access the templates via Google Doc, it will work best for you to download the pattern and access/print it via your pdf viewer.**

Notes on making your own: 

Print 2 copies (to make 4 units).

Printing Tips: Google docs isn't the best for printing templates, so I'd recommend downloading/saving the template to your computer, then opening it with your usual PDF viewer (Adobe has worked best for me) to print from there. Make sure that scaling is set to 100%, "Actual Size" or "none"' (so your comp doesn't try to "fit" it to a page), and measure the 1 inch scale line once printed to make sure it's EXACTLY one inch, no more, no less! Go the extra mile, and measure the short end of one of the templates, including the gray seam allowances.  It should be 2.5 inches.

I numbered the pieces so that seams will fall in opposite directions, making it easier to join the sections, and I'd also leave the paper on until the very end, but know that paper-piecing is quite personal ;) Join the sections into two A-B units, then join those two to make an 8"x8" finished block!  For the 4x5 Bee, I sashed them with 2.5" strips of white to bring the final size to 12.5".

(If you're not in to paper piecing, I also really love this tutorial for chevrons!)

I've written more about sampler bees I've been in here and here, and to refresh, each member of the group requests certain colors to receive, and then makes blocks in everyone else's colors.  So fun! 

As always, my favorite part is getting to test out all different color combinations! I think this block would also look great with a scrappy collection of fabrics (instead of making each row uniform), or with dark fabric in place of the white for the skinny rows.

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15 July 2012


Maine's state nickname is Vacationland. Really. One word.

Amidst my new summery life of boat rides, sunscreen, and beers in the backyard, I have been sewing, just a little. My current project has to stay secret for a little while, but here's a peek at how things have been going.

I always love to see people's before and after shots, so I quickly snapped this nice pair.  I keep my fabric in an old kitchen cupboard, and getting that thing up a narrow staircase is one of the best achievements of my move.


(Inspection, of course.)

And after:

(Likely the most organized --mostly by project, few by color-- this space will be for a good long time. Yep, this is neat, for me!)

05 July 2012

Did you know...

... that unpacking is just as hard as packing, but with less urgency?  We're settling in, slowly but surely.

Sewing supplies are getting unboxed this afternoon, to be set up in this little windowy nook!