Hello and welcome to another Fabric Friday. This week I thought that I would try something different and see if anyone would like to take part in a sort of a sew-along with me.
I recently purchased a jelly roll and thought that I would create a simple foundation paper piecing pattern that we can all have a go at – and hopefully I will be able to share my finished piece, along side yours in a future Fabric Friday post.
To get things started I created a very simple pattern that will be suitable for all to have a go at.
Ok, I should let you know the tools that I will be using in case you haven’t done this before. I’ll also let you know alternatives as we go.
- Jelly Roll (you can alternatively cut 2.5 inch strips from a large 40 inch wide piece of fabric if you prefer).
- Rotary Cutter.
- Cutting Mat.
- The Pattern.
- Paper to print the pattern onto (lightweight copy paper, tracing paper or wash away foundation paper are all good).
- Add-A-Quarter ruler.
- A piece of card (a postcard is great for this).
- A couple of flower head pins.
- A finger pressing tool (bamboo or plastic are both equally good).
Here they are all assembled and ready for action.
To start with, I printed the pattern four times onto tracing paper.
I then opened the jelly roll pack and admired the colours and patterns …
After snapping back from the dreaminess I began “organising” my strips. First into colour groups, then into tones.
Then back again.
Then into different patterns.
Then I lost the plot and tottered off for a cup of tea.
Refreshed, I did manage to decide on five colour combo groups (five because I need five for the pattern that I created).
I trimmed some strips and checked the order of colours against the pattern …
From each of the five strips I cut the following.
- Two x 5 inch strips.
- Two x 8 inch strips.
- One x 10 inch strip.
From colour group 1 I took a 5 inch piece and put it over section 1 on the pattern, right side facing up and pinned it in place at the back.
I then took the postcard and lay it’s edge against the line between sections 1 & 2; folded the paper back over the postcard (to reveal the raw edge of the fabric) and then put the Add-A-Quarter ruler against this folded edge and trimmed away the excess fabric.
This ruler by the way is ace. I would highly recommend getting one if you intend to do this technique.
After trimming I folded the paper back and flipped the entire piece over.
Next I grabbed an 8 inch strip from colour group 2 and lay it over the last piece right facing down (onto the last piece and aligned with the edge that I have just trimmed) and secured both pieces with a pin.
I flipped the whole thing over again and, using the diagonal line between sections 1 and 2 as a guide, stitched along it from end to end.
After taking it out of the machine and trimming the thread ends I flipped the piece back over and unpinned it.
Finally I folded back the second piece of fabric and pressed the seam with the seam pressing tool.
With the first two sections in place I repeated adding each strip in this way until the entire pattern was covered.
If you are having a go at this, don’t forget to trim the raw edge between each section – this not only means you are neatening the back as you work but it also gives you a perfect alignment guide for your next strip.
Here is what mine looked like from the right and wrong side.
You can probably see that I also chose to tack down the raw edges by running a straight stitch around the outer edge within the seam allowance.
Finally, using a quilters rule and rotary cutter, I trimmed away the excess paper and fabric using the solid outer edge as the cutting line.
I then made three more of these but chose to “cycle” the colour groups so,
- For block 2 – Start with colour 2 and work through 3, 4, 5 and finish with 1.
- For block 3 – Start with colour 3 and work through 4, 5, 1 and finish with 2.
- For Block 4 – Start with colour 4 and work through 5, 1, 2 and finished with 3
Once I have finished making these I then pieced the top two together using a quarter inch seam allowance (the dotted line); then the bottom two together and finally joined the top pair to the bottom pair and ended up with this …
Although I liked the random style it did “worry” me that, because, I only made four blocks and have five strips, this doesn’t exactly make even usage of the strips so I then chose to make the next blocks with a repeating pattern/colour selection.
For this I re-sorted the strips so that I had eight “collections”, of five strips; each starting with a black running through three other colours and ending in a grey. This was intended to give me some interesting effects when the blocks are sewn together – let’s see if it turns out that way! Lol.
Anyway, from these I cut the following.
- From colour strip 1 – I cut four 5 inch strips.
- From colour strip 2 – I cut four 8 inch strips.
- From colour strip 3 – I cut four 10 inch strips.
- From colour strip 4 – I cut four 8 inch strips.
- From colour strip 5 – I cut four 5 inch strips.
*ALERT – BORING MATHS BIT!!!*
This meant that from a set of five strips I could achieve four of the single blocks or one group of four (as seen above).
This meant that from 40 strips I would have enough little pieces to make 32 single blocks or 8 groups of 4 blocks (like the one above). I might be able to get away with having nine if I reused the first one as a centre block. I’ll have to see when I’ve got the blocks made up.
Maths over – phew, eh?!
Anyway, here is the first batch of strips all ready to sew up.
But sadly I am going to have to break off here as I have to get the dinner ready (bacon sarnies!) and also sort the ironing out – booooo!
I’ll be stitching these blocks on Sunday so may do an update then if I can.
Anyway, are you going to give this a go? If so, what fabrics are you going to use for your version?
Thanks for visiting and ready – it’s always appreciated.
Take care, see you next time.