What a fun day in The Quilt Rambler studio at today’s one day Land Locked Quilting Cruise featuring my Paradise Island pattern. I have so much fun sharing this pattern, which is truly simple enough for a beginner yet challenging enough to intrigue the most seasoned of quilters. All the units and blocks are made with the Tucker Trimmer I® from Deb Tucker’s Studio 180 Design.
I think my favorite part is seeing the different color combinations! I’ve made this quilt two and a half times…the original is with blues and yellows from Island Batik’s French Blue line. The pattern cover quilt is also made from Island Batik’s Twilight Chic signature line for Deb Tucker, both of these lines are in stores now! The “half” reference is to the “work in progress” being made in Island Batik’s Blue Moon, which in an earlier fabric line from Fall 2017 – meaning it may or may not be in your local quilt shop. Units from this fabric were my example parts and pieces for class today..
Enough about my quilts – on to the students!
Despite the rain, and the momentary loss of power, the four of us had a good time sewing together and making new friends. Lisa and Dianne have been in previous classes but this was Margaret’s first time to a Land Locked Quilting Cruise, and we all hope it won’t be her last!
The goal of the workshop was to learn to make half square triangles, combination units, and shaded nine patch units used to construct the quilt. Dianne is humble enough that she would want me to share that she has been working at home on her project and that she wasn’t really a smoking needle quilting circles around the others (grin). She is getting close to having all her units made and is now working on putting the blocks together.
One of our ah-ha moments today was when I shared how I put together a block or even a full quilt….I don’t do rows….nope…I don’t. I like to chain piece columns then join together other pieced columns until all the columns are made. Sometimes those columns run horizontal, sometimes vertical depending upon which way has an even number.
Here’s my feeble attempt to give you a visual using Dianne’s block as an example.
First lay out your block in the proper orientation. Determine if you will be joining horizontal or vertical based on which direction has an even number. Dianne’s block was 8 x 8 so it made sense to do columns vertically. The photos jump in after she joined column 1 to column 2…showing part of column 3 and column 4 construction.
Since we all sew with the fabric to the left and the needle to the right, place the right hand column units right sides together on top the left hand column units, working your way down the column. For the photo I used a pin to hold them on the design wall to place right sides together before picking them up. Pick up the matched pairs in order with the top pair being on top, then the second pair next behind it, and so on working your way down the column – being mindful to hold them in your right hand to represent the side you will stitch (I use a large wonder clip to carry to the sewing machine so as not to be confused).. With practice you will be able to just gather and pick them up as you go.
Next chain piece the units in the order you picked them up. It is most important to leave a few “chains” of thread between the joined units. Work your way down the column. DO NOT cut apart the chain. This is critical to keeping the units in the proper orientation. Open up and press ~ your choice here, if you like to nest your seams then alternate the direction of the pressed seam, or do like I do and just press everything open (grin).
I wasn’t able to get a photo of the next step…Dianne was really a smoking needle when it came to this part, and it was time to gather things up so I was a bit distracted making sure everyone had made their blocks before heading home….but here’s what comes next.
After pressing your preferred method, keeping the chains still together, flip the top joined units right side together to the adjoining units below them in the column….match seams and stitch. Repeat the process working your way down the column until you have the entire two columns joined together, press and place back on the design wall then repeat with the next columns. Eventually you will sew the columns together and tada! you have your block pieced! Or in the case of joining blocks, you have your quilt top pieced!
Try it. That’s what I tell my students, try it. You are here to learn and by the end of the day you will know one of two things – you learned a new trick or you learned that you will never try that again! Isn’t that the fun of taking a class? To learn new things!
I can’t wait to see these quilts come together! I am hopeful that they will be posted on Tucker Time With The Quilt Rambler, so if you haven’t already joined us there we hope to welcome you soon and see your creations!
Hope to see you in a future workshop, either at one of my Land Locked Quilting Cruise events here in The Quilt Rambler studio or somewhere on the road (or perhaps another cruise one day!). I love to share my tips and tricks with you!
This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler ~ Let’s talk quilts!