Friday, April 24, 2015

Funny Things #13

Seen at a museum in Virginia.
Thursday, April 23, 2015

Queen Bee Quilt Tulips

Here is the tulip block for my Queen Bee quilt.  If you have this book, please note that the directions/diagram for adding the leaves are WRONG!


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Tutorial for Sewing a Directional Cube

I have been making a greater effort to finish a bunch of UFOs this year.  I got a stitching kit during a shop hop around seven years ago and never finished it because I didn't like the assembly instructions. They seemed too hard.  I finally figured out an easier way to assemble the cube.  Here is how to do it.  The pattern is a free one that can be found at www.bloomingstitches.com. (As of 4/21/15 the domain is available, so the pattern is not.)

Anyway, you will need six squares.  Mine are 3" squares.

Lay out your squares in a cross formation. If you are using directional designs, the top of each design should be touching the center square.  The center square ends up being the top of the cube.  These are right sides down.

 Here's how it looks right sides up.
Place the top square and center square right sides together.  In my example, I am using the "Love" block and the printed fabric in the center of the cross.  Love should be right side up.  You can kind of see the shadow of it in the picture below.  Place pins at each end, 1/4" from raw edges.  You MUST be accurate with this step!!
Using a 1/4" seam, sew only between the pins, backstitching at each end to secure stitches. 
Press seam toward the printed fabric, which will be the top of your cube. 
Continue joining the printed/directional fabrics, marking 1/4" from each raw edge and sewing between the pins as shown in previous steps. 
Sew the bottom square to the rest of the assembled unit.  You should end up with a cross formation as shown below.  Before progressing any further, double check that all your directional blocks are facing the proper direction.  The top of each directional block should be sewn to your center square.
Next you are going to fold the cross up and to the left, forming a 45 degree angle with the center (top) square.  Notice that the square that was on the right side of the cross (Friendship) is now upside down and on top of the top (Love) square.  Line up the edges.  You are going to sew the seam that my seam ripper is pointing to in the picture below.
Again, mark 1/4" from each raw edge with pins.  Sew in between the pins.  You MUST be accurate with this seam.
Here is what the seam looks like on the right sides.  You're starting to form the cube!  Don't forget to press the seam.
Using the same process, line up the Friendship and Sewing blocks.  Pin, marking exactly 1/4" from each raw edge, as shown below.  Sew in between the pins.  Repeat this process to join the Love and Laughter blocks.
Here is what your cube should look like with three of the four side seams sewn. 
With right sides together, join the Laughter and Sewing seams, again marking 1/4" from each raw edge and sewing in between the pins.  Once all the side seams are sewn, you will have an open cube as pictured below.
Fold the bottom flap up onto the cube.  In this case I am attaching the bottom flap onto the Laughter side. Note that all stitch designs are upside down at this point. Pin the bottom flap to the Laughter panel, once again marking 1/4" from each raw edge.  Sew in between the pins.
Here it is sewn. 
Join, mark, and sew between the pins for one more side.  I chose to sew the opposite side from where I had already sewn, but it doesn't make a difference which one you sew.  Make sure that you are starting and stopping sewing EXACTLY at the marked seam.
You should now have a cube with only one open side remaining. 
On this remaining side, mark 1/4" from each edge.  This time you are just going to sew a little bit, leaving an opening big enough for you to turn the cube right side out, as pictured below.  (**Note--if you want to stuff your cube using a foam cube instead, do NOT do this step.)
Turn right side out.  Use a point turning tool to push out the corners nicely. 
 Here is my turned cube, ready to be stuffed.

 And here it is, stuffed.
My cube will be functioning as a pincushion, so it needs some weight.  I pushed a washer into the bottom, leaving a little stuffing between the washer and the fabric. 
Ladder stitch the opening closed. 
 Enjoy your finished cube!