threaded quilting studio

Snowflake QAL: Week Four

Jessie ZeiglerComment

Hellllllllllllo, Club 129! How is it going?

Just joining our adventure? Catch up on the first three weeks here:

Week One

Week Two

Week Three

As for this week, here are the specifics:

Snowflake Sampler: Boders & Bonus Stars

Star Flurries: two 12" No Y Seam Feathered Stars

Feathered Star Blizzard: Borders & Bonus Stars

 

Star Flurries participants: You know what to do! By now, you're an expert!

Snowflake and Blizzard patterns:

Go ahead and cut everything in the Putting it all together cutting section toward the end of your pattern, even though we will not use all of the pieces this week. 

As for the first sewing assignment, complete the instructions on the bottom of p. 64 (Sampler) or p. 46 (Blizzard) under the Inner borders section. Don't worry, it's two tiny seams and some trimming. Piece of cake!

The bulk of this week's work will be completing pp. 65 & 66 (Sampler) or pp. 47-49 (Blizzard).

We will be using the Magic 8 method for making half-square triangles as detailed in the pattern. I just wanted to mention here that the HSTs are intended to be a little oversized and trimmed down to exact specifications.

As you're sewing the larger squares together, try to align the outer edges as best as possible, but don't worry if they end up like the next photo. I don't pin the squares together or go to any other heroic measures, the trimming step will make them perfect!

I set my stitch length is a little shorter (2.2) than what I normally use to discourage unraveling after all the cuts are made.

I set my stitch length is a little shorter (2.2) than what I normally use to discourage unraveling after all the cuts are made.

Stacks on stacks!

Stacks on stacks!

This week of the QAL is sponsored by Tara Curtis of WEFTY!  If you have not seen a WEFTY needle before, you neeeeeed to check it out! There are crazy-amazing designs that can be accomplished with these small but mighty tools!

Tara is generously awarding a prize pack of WEFTY needles, her Woven Stars variation pattern, an EZMiter AND the EZMiter baby quilt pattern! Basically, she's spoiling us! Thanks, Tara!

Follow her on Instagram for innovative and inspiring projects!

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Would you believe that we've had our first top finish?!?! I know!!! Donna Barrieau shared this in our Facebook group! Isn't it incredible? And not to mention that she got this accomplished during Week Three! Beautiful work, Donna! Thank you for inspiring us... and making us envious at the same time! :) HA!

Wishing you a productive week! Don't forget to join our Facebook group to connect with other QAL participants!

Snowflake QAL: Week Three

Jessie ZeiglerComment
12" No Y Seam Feathered Stars

12" No Y Seam Feathered Stars

Here we are! Week Three is already here! Your challenge this week:

Snowflake Sampler: two 12" No Y Seam Feathered Stars

Star Flurries: two 12" No Y Seam Feathered Stars

Feathered Star Blizzard: four 12" No Y Seam Feathered Stars

Let's talk totals for each quilt. The Sampler & Blizzard folks will be tackling all of their 12" blocks this week. The Flurries people will do two 12" blocks this week and two 12" blocks next week. If you are printing templates and cutting fabric this week, you might want to do all that prep at once.

By now, you are a PRO at constructing the No Y Seam Feathered Star blocks! The 12" blocks go together in the same way as the 16" or 20" NYSFS blocks (depending on what you completed in the previous weeks). 

Remember to remove papers as you complete your blocks! I got into the habit of sewing by day and then removing papers by night in front of the tv. It makes the job more bearable, I think. Paper removal is not my favorite part of the process! ;)

I hope you're all experiencing the excitement of having the 129 fabric pieces come together to form each star! I'll leave you with this fanstastic 16" star made by Julie McLane!  What a great example of coordination and contrast! I love how all of our quilts will look so amazingly different and special when we're done!

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This week of the QAL is sponsored by Kate Basti of Quilt with Kate.  Kate is a graphic designer tuned quilter extraordinaire and is the author of some pretty great paper piecing patterns! She will be emailing a bundle of THREE pattern PDFs to the winner. Please refer to the weekly QAL email for specifics with how to enter this drawing. Make sure to check Kate out on Instagram, too: @katebasti.

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Have a great week! Don't forget to join our Facebook group here: Friends of Threaded Quilting Studio.

Snowflake QAL: Week Two

Jessie ZeiglerComment
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#ClubOneTwoNine! How is is going!? What do we think of these stars so far? Hopefully you're getting the hang of how they are sewn together.  

This week's challenge is to complete:

Snowflake Sampler: two 16" No Y Seam Feathered Stars

Star Flurries: two 20" NYSFS or Fierce Feathered Stars (method is up to you)

Feathered Star Blizzard: three 16" No Y Seam Feathered Stars

If you did your printing, cutting, and prepping last week, this week should take less time! If you haven't yet made the first two blocks, check out the Week One post for lots of tips!

Pattern error/typo! It's nothing to get too excited about, but the color guides on pages 22 & 23 of the Sampler & Blizzard patterns show incorrect square measurements. YOU DO NOT NEED TO RECUT ANYTHING! To update the pattern, I've just eliminated the specific dimensions because the only thing that matters is whether to use the bigger or smaller squares in each unit.

TIP!!

If you've had a little trouble with your points (like the spines) not being as pointy as you'd like, try this:

  • Aim to sew on the far edge of the last sewing line (last in sequential order for the unit). You don’t want to deviate too much from the line, but you might be able to fudge it a bit.
  • Realllllllllly open that last fabric piece out and finger press it "aggressively" after it’s sewn. Get way down into the crease! It helps so much.

 

It has been an absolute joy to see these stars coming to life in your very capable hands! Here's one I'd like to show you, made by JessicaQuilter. If you'd like to see more, come join us in our Facebook group! For even more photos, check out the #featheredstarqal hashtag on Instagram. Did you know you can follow hashtags on Instagram now? They'll pop up in your feed whenever a new photo is posted with a specific hashtag!

I also have a Pinterest board called Feathered Star Obsessed you should check out.

Made by JessicaQuilter, click image to visit her on Instagram.

Made by JessicaQuilter, click image to visit her on Instagram.

JessicaQuilter sponsored our first week by giving away FOUR of her Selvage Bookshelf Quilt Patterns!  Congrats to Melanie for winning! Each of these patterns is available on JessicaQuilter's  Craftsy site as a bundle here, and individually here.  These patterns were inspired by a love of books, and a desire to integrate selvages into a pattern.  They can be made to fit any size quilt, and leave room for the quilter to add personal touches in the final design. 

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Thanks so much for sponsoring, Jessica, and for sharing your creativity with us!

For all the QAL'ers, check your email each week for the weekly photo prompts to be eligible for the prize drawings!

Week Two is sponsored by Amy Friend of During Quiet Time. She'll be sending the winner a copy of her pattern Flitter (foundation piecing!) and a charm pack of her Improv fabric!

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Amy is the author of two quilting books (Amazon affiliate links below) and tons of amazing patterns, you should definitely check out her PDF shop for some ADORABLE pp blocks!

Keep up with Amy on Instagram for more quilty inspiration. She's @duringquiettime.

Have a wonderful week! I look forward to seeing the magic you create!

Snowflake QAL: Week One

Jessie ZeiglerComment
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*** Minor, little baby pattern errors found! ***

Special thanks to Jan Kaye for spotting this error, it affects the 16" blocks for both the Snowflake Sampler and the Feathered Star Blizzard patterns:

Pages 22 & 23 referenced incorrect square measurements in the color guide, it's not material to the pattern, but it could be confusing, so my apologies! NOTHING NEEDS TO BE RECUT! To update the pattern, I removed the exact dimensions on the color guide, all you really need to know is whether to use the bigger or smaller square sizes where referenced.

 

We've FINALLY arrived! Week One is here!

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to make:

Snowflake Sampler: two 16" No Y Seam Feathered Star blocks

Star Flurries: two 20" No Y Seam Feathered Star blocks or Fierce Feathered Star blocks*

Feathered Star Blizzard: three 16" No Y Seam Feathered Star blocks

*Star Flurries people: any time I refer to the 20", please know that you have the choice of constructing the blocks with paper piecing (NYSFS) or conventional piecing (Fierce Feathered Star). Use whichever method makes you happy and since there are 9 blocks, maybe you'll get bored and want to try both ways!

Let's begin, shall we?!

Printing: You'll need to print the paper piecing sections onto your preferred foundation paper. I use regular printer paper, but please use what you're most comfortable with. The most important thing to remember is to print at 100% or "actual" size, making sure your print dialog box is not set to auto-scale. A test square of 1 inch is provided on every page so that you can ensure accuracy.

You may want to get all of your printing out of the way at once or you may just want to print one week's worth at a time. For me, I printed one star at a time so that I wasn't emotionally overwhelmed with ALL THE PAPER! :) You do you, as the kids say.

TIP! If all of your blocks will have the same coloring, you may want to print one set, note the colors on each section and then make your required number of copies.

TIP! Using a marker or colored pencil to note the section also works well (not really applicable before making copies unless you're using a color copier).

Cutting unit templates: Make sure to cut around the templates outside of the dashed line. The space between the solid line and the dashed line is the seam allowance. I use a dull rotary blade to cut my templates apart.

Cutting fabrics:  I've written the cutting instructions by block so as to not overwhelm you with ALLLLLLL of the fabric cutting at once, but again, this is your preference.

There are a few square sizes that are very similar, it might help to label them. 

Sewing: If you've never foundation paper pieced before, I highly encourage you to watch my video tutorial series that will show you step-by-step how to complete this pattern. If this ain't your first paper piecing rodeo...  well, giddyup! ;) You should be just fine following the instructions in the pattern.

USE A SHORTENED STITCH LENGTH! Sorry to shout, but this is important. I'm using a 1.2 stitch length which is tiny, tiny, tiny. Anything 1.5 or smaller is okay. I'm also using the aforementioned regular copy paper which is kind of thick. I also use a strong poly thread, so I don't have thread breakage issues, and I use a 90/14 Microtex needle from Schmetz. Feel free to adjust any of these factors until you're happy with sewing and how the papers tear away.

Does your sewing machine have a thread cutting feature or button? If it functions properly: USE IT!!! I paper pieced for years before I started using mine and it was a game changer! The nature of paper piecing is sewing a bunch of small lines, starting and stopping frequently. You could chain some pieces together, but it's a little awkward. When you use the thread cutter, you don't have to hold your threads as you begin the next seam. That is a wonderful thing! You'll end up using less thread, too.

I could stop now and say "Go for it!", but... I want to do everything to make this super-enjoyable for you so I have in-progress pictures + captions from last summer's QAL.

While it doesn't really matter which order you sew all of the units (21 total), if you're just getting back into the groove of paper piecing, you may want to start with Unit I (as in igloo) shown in the next photo.

I used a dab of fabric glue to secure the center square positioned in the center of the template, covering the seam allowances on all sides. Place your folding aid (an expired insurance card here) along one seaming line, fold the paper back , align the Add-A-Quarter ruler and trim before adding your triangle accent pieces. It makes the alignment of the triangles a bit easier.

I used a dab of fabric glue to secure the center square positioned in the center of the template, covering the seam allowances on all sides. Place your folding aid (an expired insurance card here) along one seaming line, fold the paper back , align the Add-A-Quarter ruler and trim before adding your triangle accent pieces. It makes the alignment of the triangles a bit easier.

When aligning a triangle piece along its bias side as illustrated here, imagine a straight line traveling from the corner of the area you will be covering, with the right angle of the triangle you're adding, like shown above. Use this technique with all applicable units.

When aligning a triangle piece along its bias side as illustrated here, imagine a straight line traveling from the corner of the area you will be covering, with the right angle of the triangle you're adding, like shown above. Use this technique with all applicable units.

Unit A (but this applies to all units that have pieces adjoining on 2 sides). Try not to stitch into section A8 (where my stiletto is pointing) because it'll affect how you fold and trim when the time comes to add the fabric for A8.

Unit A (but this applies to all units that have pieces adjoining on 2 sides). Try not to stitch into section A8 (where my stiletto is pointing) because it'll affect how you fold and trim when the time comes to add the fabric for A8.

BEWARE! Avoid lining up fabrics as shown above. This is Unit A, but it applies to most units. When adding a lighter fabric, make sure that it completely covers the dark piece beneath. Otherwise, you'll get shadowing (dark fabric in the seam allowance is visible from the quilt top through the light fabric). If the piece shifts while you sew and you do experience shadowing: Before sewing the next piece, carefully trim small amounts of the dark fabric away until it no longer extends beyond the lighter fabric on top. Watch a quick video showing this.

BEWARE! Avoid lining up fabrics as shown above. This is Unit A, but it applies to most units. When adding a lighter fabric, make sure that it completely covers the dark piece beneath. Otherwise, you'll get shadowing (dark fabric in the seam allowance is visible from the quilt top through the light fabric). If the piece shifts while you sew and you do experience shadowing: Before sewing the next piece, carefully trim small amounts of the dark fabric away until it no longer extends beyond the lighter fabric on top. Watch a quick video showing this.

YES! This is the same piece from the previous photo sewn successfully. This is what you want. :)

YES! This is the same piece from the previous photo sewn successfully. This is what you want. :)

When I'm piecing spines, I think in terms of covering the "upright" triangle (outlined in red dashed lines). I make sure the new triangle is "leg-down". Also, it's important to note that I'm making sure I cover the 1/4" seam allowance on both the right (unmarked) and left side of this spine.

When I'm piecing spines, I think in terms of covering the "upright" triangle (outlined in red dashed lines). I make sure the new triangle is "leg-down". Also, it's important to note that I'm making sure I cover the 1/4" seam allowance on both the right (unmarked) and left side of this spine.

Once it's sewn in place and finger-pressed, you can see how it's in perfect position.

Once it's sewn in place and finger-pressed, you can see how it's in perfect position.

Most units will use the sewing sequences shown thus far. The exception would be Units J, K, L & M. I have a quick video here showing how to align those fabrics quickly and easily. For some reason, it's easy to get turned around in this unit.

Once all units are sewn, they'll need to be seamed together. Refer to the diagram in the pattern to arrange and seam the pieces together. Here's one short video tip showing how to avoid a common mistake when sewing the units together.

PIN!

Assembling sections: Pinning is important, if you're into accuracy. There's no other way around it. I've made sooooooooo many stars over the years and I still pin (a lot) every time. I promise it's worth it. Adequate pinning can make ALL the difference in not having to unpick seams. And let me tell you: It's not fun to unpick stitches sewn at a 1.2 length!

I start pinning at the point-matching places from one unit to the next. There is also a photo of what my pinning looks like in the pattern. I run a straight pin on and through the solid, black seaming line of one unit and match it up at the exact point on the other unit. I'll match several pins running straight through the pieces before I'll readjust them in order to sew.

Alright, this makes more sense watching it, so here's a very quick gif showing what I mean. 

If you'd like to see the regular speed version of this along with the verbal play-by-play, check out this video (at the 2:25 mark).

If you'd like to see the regular speed version of this along with the verbal play-by-play, check out this video (at the 2:25 mark).

Removing papers: I used to wait until a top was all assembled before removing papers because I liked using the solid black lines to expertly assemble a whole quilt top in the most precise manner. But now, I trust in the accuracy of my 1/4" seam allowance without having to sew on the line and papers are a lot easier to remove in a 8", 12" and 16" square rather than having the weight and bulk of a whole twin-sized top in your lap. So go ahead and remove your papers after you complete each block, I think you'll be glad you did!

Press: After papers are removed, give each block a good pressing. I tend to let the seams fall to the side they want to go. 

Hop on over to my closed Facebook group to join the discussion, share pictures, ask questions, get encouragement. We are a community and we'd love to help you out!

NEW baby quilt pattern added to shop!

Jessie ZeiglerComment
Nine X quilt - baby size 42" x 42"

Nine X quilt - baby size 42" x 42"

How refreshing to knock out a whole quilt in just a day or two!

This quilt was designed to use a mix of fabrics for a scrappy look. It's a series of easy-to-sew nine patch blocks set on-point.

The pattern illustrates the step by step instructions in case you've never done an on-point setting before. I promise it's not scary!

Fabric Requirements:

Fabric 1 (background) - 1 3/4 yards

Fabric 2 (assorted pinks) - 1/2 yard

Fabric 3 (assorted grays) - 1/2 yard

backing - 1 1/2 yards

binding - 1/2 yard

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Click here to buy the PDF pattern and have it delivered by email instantly for only $5!

QAL FAQ

Jessie ZeiglerComment

Here we are less than one week away from beginning the next quilt-a-long! I wanted to answer a few questions that have come up. I hope this helps you! If you have any additional questions, please leave a comment or get in touch with me through email: threadedquilting at gmail dot com.

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1. How will the QAL work?

Each Sunday beginning December 31 (this Sunday!) and lasting for 10 weeks, I will email a new challenge out to the participants. I consider anyone who bought one of the three new patterns to be a participant. The email will have a challenge for that week. Depending on the pattern, it'll be about 2 stars per week. I will also post the challenges publicly here in the journal section of my site.

2. What if I can't keep up?

This is a fairly fast-paced QAL, participate as you're able. My goal is to provide support and fun along the way. The last thing I want is to create added stress in your life! No need to apologize for not keeping up! This is meant to expand your skills, challenge you to sew and create, provide community. There will be no guilt-tripping!! :) 

3. Are there prizes?

YES! I can't wait to feature other pattern designers as we go! Most of these designers will be known to you, but if not, I can't wait make an introduction! Since paper piecing is kind of "our thing", I focused on designers who have paper piecing patterns for giveaways!

Prize winning will be based on a mix of general participation and completing specific weekly challenges. I will rely on social media posting on Facebook and Instagram to see who is participating. Please make sure your posts are "public" so that I can see them!

4. The fabric requirements seem like a little much. What's going on?

The Star Flurries and Feathered Star Blizzard patterns can be exclusively paper pieced and because of this, more waste is involved than with conventional sewing methods. This is a reality of paper piecing. 

If you plan to use the Fierce Feathered Star method for sewing the 20" stars instead of the paper pieced versions, you can expect to use slightly less fabric. For the patterns that give you the choice, I listed the fabric requirements assuming one would paper piece the stars, just so there would be no shortage.

5. What's with all the shades of blue?

This winter QAL uses fabrics to make the feathered stars resemble snowflakes! I thought it was easier to classify the fabrics by shade (light, medium dark, etc.) but perhaps Fabric 1, Fabric 2, Fabric 3, etc. would have been easier! My apologies if you find it difficult to keep track. I'd encourage you to use the "my swatch" pages preceding each star size to help you stay organized.

6. What size of needle to you use when paper piecing?

I use Microtex Sharps either a 90/14 needle or 80/12 needle. Using the larger (90/14) needle, may help papers better perforate and tear away if that is an issue. I reach for whatever one is new and sharp and haven't had an issue with either size.

Amazon affiliate link:

7. I've paper pieced a few stars to get used to the pattern and have dulled the points of my spines. Any suggestions?

Two (or more?) things could be happening. Pressing could make a difference. I actually only use my fingers to press while I'm constructing. Sometimes it looks like the very end of my points are gone, but after I *really* get in there to crease the fabrics with my fingers, it looks better. Use the pressing method that will yield the best results. You might want to experiment with finger pressing, using a wooden iron, using a mini iron or using your regular dry iron to find the method that works best for you.

Another thing to consider is that when you're adding your last piece of fabric to a unit with spines, sew on the outside edge of the black line to give yourself a smidge more space.

8. What about a two-fabric quilt? Would that look good?

Oh heavens yes! I think two-color quilts are amazing and I think this pattern would look outstanding in two tones.  (We want a picture if you do this!)

9. Do I need to buy any additional lessons?

Nope! The pattern is thorough and complete on its own. The patterns are advanced and assume knowledge of foundation paper piecing. I will add supplemental tips to my weekly emails and to my journal entries as we progress, but there are no further costs involved.

Buy your pattern here in my shop if you haven't done so already!