MINI BLOCK QAL | Block #9: Octagon Rosette

PATTERN SHEET:Β MiniBlockQAL – BLOCK9

It’s the last one, my friends. The very last block in this QAL! 😭

For our final block, we’re flexing our English Paper Piecing skills and taking a dabble in making octagons! (Something I’ve never done before!) Our sweet little 1″ octagons are then hand sewn into a circle, or rosette (another thing I’ve never done before!) to complete the block. Easy!

I then amped the skill level up a notch by using a directional print fabric to create a fun geometric pattern within the rosette. Such fun!

As I mention in the video, if you’re unable to source pre-made 1″ octagons, I’ve included a template in the pattern sheet for you to trace around and use. A basic lightweight card stock will do the trick as a paper template.

Also, you don’t have to use a Fabric Glue Stick like I have to baste your octagon templates and to applique your rosette to your fabric. There are plenty of other ways to do it and you’re more than welcome to do it the way you best feel confident!

I think one of the great things about this block is that there is such a freedom in how you choose to construct and finish it. For example, when sewing the edges of the rosette to the background square, you can do it either by sewing machine (straight-stitch, zig-zag stitch or something fancy and fun) or by hand (a buttonhole or blanket stitch might be nice!).

Whatever you do, I hope you enjoy making this block (It’s so much different compared to all of the other blocks we’ve made!) and you become more confident in your EPP skills! 😊

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So, the next video in the series will be the last tutorial…

I’ll be wrapping it all up by showing you how:

Piece in the sashing and borders

Sandwiching the top with a batting/pellon and a backing

Whizzing it through the machine with a few quilted lines here and there

Sewing on a simple binding

Attaching a rod pocket to the back

And then finally labelling the finished wallhanging

Phew! I definitely have my work cut out for me! It’s gonna be an intense tutorial to make! But I’m excited though!! I can’t wait to see everyone’s finished projects!!

REMEMBER: Keep on sharing those blocks! (#AmandasMiniQAL / @3and3quarters)

Happy Sewing, Friends!

xx

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MINI BLOCK QAL | Block #8: Cake Stand

PATTERN SHEET:Β MiniBlockQAL – BLOCK8

Can you believe it?!

We’re slowly getting to the pointy-end of the series with our second-to-last block to make!

Today’s block is another one of those traditional types that I’ve always wanted to make but just have never got around to doing it! Not anymore though! This sweet delicious little block is called Cake Stand and is sooo scrumptious and lovely, I just want to make a whole quilt out of it!

As I was coming up to the colour ‘brown’ in my own theme for this QAL, I just had to combine chocolate + cake to equal a yummy block design! The added pink and white are supposed to loosely resemble sickly sweet spiking icing on top of the cake. πŸ˜‹

So, my advice when making this block…

Be patient and take your time. And double check the position of all of your units more than once before sewing them together, just to avoid any stressful unpicking moments! (I know this from personal experience!!) This block can be deceptively tricky if you’re not paying attention!

Best of luck and enjoy making!

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So, yep! The next block to come will be the last in the series before we start sashing all of our beautiful blocks together!

I can’t wait to see what everyone’s will look like!!

Remember, if you want me (as well as all of the other equally talented and creative people joining in on the QAL) to see what you’re making, share them with us on Instagram using the hashtag #AmandasMiniQAL and tagging me with the handle: @3and3quarters πŸ‘πŸ»

Block 9 is a super-duper simple design. We’ll be using some techniques and tools that I’ve never used before in any of my previous QALs.

Should be fun, I think!! 😊

Until then…

Happy Sewing, Friends!

xx

MINI BLOCK QAL | Block #7: Dollhouse

PATTERN SHEET:Β MiniBlockQAL – BLOCK7

Who’s ready for block seven?!

On our slow descent to the final stages of this QAL, block seven is a real cutie!

This one is called Dollhouse (can also be called: Mini House or Little House) and features an array of many squares and rectangles. To add a bit of character to my block, I’ve added a red door (I’ve always wanted to have a real house with a red door!!) as well as a grey-scaled print to act like curtains for the windows.

In this tutorial, I break down the block into manageable sections for you to follow so that you don’t feel too overwhelmed by all of the different sized squares and rectangles! Just take your time piecing together each section, keep to a 1/4″ seam allowance and press, press, press!!

And don’t worry too much if your finished block turns out a bit wonky… Mine did. It just adds a bit of charm and character!! 😊

Enjoy making this little darling!

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We’re now in a race to get this lovely little QAL finished before Christmas (or by New Years Eve at the latest! But I promise, it won’t come to that!). Blocks eight and nine will be out before you know it! Each pattern is about 98% complete, I just have to film and edit them! Happy days!

Annnd, I know I keep harping on about it, but please keep on sharing your beautiful blocks with me! I love seeing how each one of you interpret the blocks with your choices of colours and prints! And your little Dollhouses are gonna be super cute!!! 🏠

The best place to share is on Instagram using the hashtag: #AmandasMiniQAL and tagging me @3and3quarters.

(You can also share them with me on Facebook too!)

Until next time,

Happy Sewing, Friends!

xx

MINI BLOCK QAL | Block #6: Single Irish Chain

PATTERN SHEET:Β MiniBlockQAL – BLOCK6

After a few weeks between drinks, so to speak, we’re back to it and ready to plunge into Block 6 of our Mini Block QAL!

This time around, we’re making the Single Irish Chain.

FUN FACT! I’ve never made this block before until now. I’ve seen bigger versions of it here and there on many social media places and a quilt made entirely out of this block is just simply gorgeous! I’ve definitely added it to my ‘Quilts-To-Make-One-Day-When-I’ve-Got-Nothing-Else-To-Do’ list! πŸ˜‚

This block, like most in this series, is super simple to construct and gives you a really great opportunity to practice and perfect your skill in nesting seams. (You should all be pros at it by now!! 😜)Β It’s a block that’s not too fiddly or stressful to piece and should take no time to finish!

I can’t wait to see all of the beautiful versions of this block that you’ll make! Enjoy!

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I’ll do my very best to try and not have such a gap of time between this block tutorial and the next! Block 7 just has to be my absolute favourite in this series and I can’t wait to get making it! It’s just the cutest!

Until then, don’t forget to share all of your blocks with me on the Instagrams using the hashtag: #AmandasMiniQAL and tagging me: @3and3quarters!

Happy Sewing, Friends!

xx

MINI BLOCK QAL | Block #4: Cain & Abel

PATTERN SHEET:Β MiniBlockQAL – BLOCK4

After navigating through winter colds, endless days/weeks at work and my terrible habit of procrastinating,Β block four is finally here!

Hoorah!

It may look tricky on the outside but once you delve into what makes this block tick, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by just how simple it actually is to piece together!

The only real ‘tricky’ bit to this one are the sizes of the pieces that make up the block. (But hey, that’s the whole point to this series isn’t it? Challenging our abilities to make gorgeous mini blocks out of mini pieces of fabrics!)

I’m 100% sure, like me, you’ll squeal and swoon over the wee 1.5″ HST blocks you’ll piece together and then stare amazingly at the intricacies of the finished block. (You can actually see me do this near the end of the tutorial!)

So like I always say when it comes these complicated looking blocks, take your time when making it; try to be as accurate as you can when cutting and sewing, relax and just simply do your best!

Made a mistake? Try again. Learn from it. Become better! πŸ‘πŸ»

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For block 5, we’ll be back to something a bit easier compared to this block. I promise!

It’ll also mark the halfway point in our Quilt Along!! (Can you believe it!?!)

Hopefully it won’t be too long between drinks (so to speak) until I can get that out to you!

As always, don’t forget to share your blocks with me using the hashtag: #AmandasMiniQAL on all the socials!

See you in the next one!

Happy Sewing!

xx

MINI BLOCK QAL | Block #3: Mini Hashtag

PATTERN SHEET:Β MiniBlockQAL – BLOCK3

Let me dive straight in and introduce you to the Mini Hashtag Block, our third in my Mini Block QAL!

You know, I actually never realised just how quick and simple this little block was to cut and piece together! It seems like I blinked and it was miraculously sitting in front of me! (Almost like a ‘I Dream of Jeannie’ type of situation!) You’ll know what I mean once you make it yourself! It’ll be a ten minute job, easy! 😜

Totally have fun picking fabrics for this little beauty! Try to choose two really stark and contrasting fabrics/prints/colours to really make that Hashtag design POP!

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Start preparing yourselves for the next block – we’re delving into trickier waters and playing with a block saturated with itty-bitty HSTs and squares! It’ll be fun, I promise!!

But before that, don’t forget to share your finished Mini Hashtag Blocks with me using the ‘official’ hashtag – #AmandasMiniQAL – over on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or wherever it tickles your fancy! (Also, include my handle: @3and3quarters and I’ll definitely see it! 😜)

Until then Friends,

Happy Sewing!!

xx

MINI BLOCK QAL | Block #2: Flying Dutchman

PATTERN SHEET:Β MiniBlockQAL – BLOCK2

Woot! Block two is a little beauty!

This darling orange filled triangle maze is called the Flying Dutchman. Made entirely of flying geese units, you can choose to make a statement with the centre triangles (make that pinwheel standout, honey!) or go real low-key and do all of your F.G units the same! (As always) The choice is yours!!

FYI, this block is slightly tricky to piece (obvs because of it’s itty-bitty size!) so be really aware of keeping to a 1/4″ seam each time you’re at the sewing machine and make sure to nest that middle seam as close as possible to get a really crisp pinwheel centre. Do your best, learn along the way and don’t be afraid to make mistakes! 😊

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Keep on sharing your blocks with me by using the hashtag:Β #AmandasMiniQAL or tagging me with @3and3quarters on Instagram and Facebook.

All of your first blocks were beautiful!! I love that everyone is doing something different while challenging and enjoying themselves along the way!! Yay!

Block three will be a fun one! I’ve already pulled my fabrics out for that one and can’t wait to share it with you!! (Here’s a clue for you: #) 😜

Happy Sewing, Friends!!

xx

INTRODUCING: A Mini Block Quilt Along!

Who’s ready for a new Quilt Along?!?!?!

MEEEEE!! πŸ™‹πŸ»

Yes! Quilt Along no.4 is here and ready to launch! πŸŽ‰

If you didn’t know by now, this time around we’re doing a Mini Block version! And I’m super excited to get it started!

Here are some of the deets you need to know:

Final Layout (This may change slightly…)

Firstly, all nine blocks in the Quilt Along will finish at approx. 5.5″ or 5″ once pieced altogether.

The theme of my Mini Block Quilt is rainbow! Each block will be colour blocked to a specific solid fabric colour so that the end result will look a little like the diagram above. (Fingers crossed!!)Β Please feel free to make yours any theme you want! Scrappy, matchy-matchy, black and white – anything! – the choice is completely up to you!

The blocks are 100% fat quarter, pre-cut bundle and meterage/yardage friendly! (Jelly Rolls and Charm Packs can work, but a few blocks will require bigger pieces of fabric than a 2.5″-5″ strips/pieces.) You will need additional fabric for the sashing & borders (I’m using a white solid), for the backing and binding along with a piece of cotton/bamboo/blended batting.

(NB: The following are estimated measurements and may slightly change as the Quilt Along progresses.)

For the blocks: any type fat quarter bundles etc will be perfect – prints & colours are your choice!

For the sashing & binding: 1 metre/1 yard x WOF* of a solid or print fabricΒ (112cm/44″) –Β again, the choice is yours!

For the backing & binding: 90cmxWOF* (35″xWOF)Β of each

For the binding: 30cmxWOF* (12″x44″)

For the rod pocket:Β 12cmx76cm (4.5″x30″) – fabric matching the backing

FINISHED MINI BLOCK QUILT SIZE: 80cmx80cm (31.5″x31.5″) estimate

The techniques I’ll be covering in the Quilt Along include: piecing (HSTs** and Flying Geese), English Paper Piecing, basting, quilting, attaching a binding, label and an optional rod pocket.

As always, each block tutorial will be accompanied by a pattern sheet featuring all of the measurement and cutting information that can be easily downloaded and printed out. There will also be a dedicated playlist for this Quilt Along on my YouTube channel that you can easily click and have all of the tutorials together in one place.

And finally, I want to take some space to acknowledge where I got my inspiration and details for each block… A wonderful book that resides in my Quilt Book library: ‘130 Mini Quilt Blocks’ by Susan Briscoe. I absolutely love this book! It’s full of sweet little block designs that range from the traditional, to the modern and to the real weird and a bit wacky! Most blocks in the book measure around the 5″ mark, a few are smaller while there are a couple that finish around the 6″-7″ mark. It’s a fab little book for inspiration and ideas and I’d definitely encourage you to check it out if mini blocks are your kinda thing!

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I think that’s everything I need to let you know right now…

I’ve decided not to promise on getting a new block tutorial out every week or anything as my work schedule is always up-in-the-air (the joys of casual work!) and I can never be sure of when I have the time to get content made etc. (Sorry in advance!)

If there are any questions you have about the series, what blocks we’ll be making, what fabrics and notions you’ll need – anything! – please don’t hesitate to send me an email to: 3and3quarters@gmail.com and I’ll do my best to answer you as soon as I can!

Also, I’ll be doing another hashtag on Instagram for you guys to use so we can all see each others blocks and spread some encouragement and positivity! Note this down lovelies – the hashtag for this Quilt Along will be #AmandasMiniQAL – real original, I know, but I wanted it to be something simple and easy to remember and type in! 😜

Block #1 will be up very, very, very soon!!!

I hope you’ll join in on the fun, learn some new stuff along the way and make a gorgeous little Mini Quilt that you’ll love!

Happy Sewing, Friends!

xx

*WOF = Width of Fabric

**HSTs = Half Square Triangles

PS. Here’s the intro video if you’re interested in watching that too!

An Update From My Sewing Room… #7

Oh boy, it sure has been a while since I last did one of these posts! I couldn’t even remember what number edition I’m up to! πŸ˜‚
But there’s lots to catch up on so let’s dive right in!

So, I know I’ve possibly over-shared this with you already but I made a quilt! A beautiful baby quilt for nephew no. 5 due just after Christmas! Visiting an all-time favourite patternΒ by Denyse Schmidt, I made this sweet Tribute Star Baby Quilt in a darling navy and turquoise blue colour-way paired with a light grey solid background. And I think it’s just perfect!

Making baby quilts for my nephews and nieces to-be have always been my most favourite to make! They’re made with pure love and excitement at the prospect of a new little life coming into our family. The thought process, the labour (pun not intended!) and then the end result is always the best. ❀️

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Polar-opposite to the start of the year, the last few months of 2017 have seen me do so much more sewing than I have in a long time! And I’m not complaining either – it’s been such a lovely respite from the hectic year I’ve had.
A part from my nephews baby quilt and my QAL quilt, another project I’ve been working on is my Pixelated Rose QuiltΒ by Riley Blake Designs.

My, my, my, is this quilt gonna be epic!! I’m currently just over half way into piecing the quilt top together. Out of 30 blocks, I’ve just completed no. 21. It looks a bit messy here on my design wall, but once all blocks have been pieced together it’s gonna look real schmick!


I’ve found that this quilt is so big that I’ve had to piece, lay-up on my design wall and then take down the first half of the quilt top to accompany the next half on my design wall. I’m dreading the day when I have to quilt it! My ‘patience pants’ are gonna have to be on tight that day! πŸ˜‚
Once this quilt is finished, I’ll hopefully do another post chatting through the process I did to successfully make it.

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November for my blog is a significant one because it’s our anniversary! Yep, six years ago on the 4th November, I wrote and published my very first blog post.
I always try and do a little hark back around this time reflecting on where I’ve started and how much everything has grown and evolved…

Six Years of Blogging Memories!

I’m gonna be honest with you, these past few years I’ve carried around so much guilt (completely placed on me by me and nobody else!!) that I haven’t been able to give my all and more to my blog and YouTube channel like I have in the past. I’m completely aware of how busy life is for all us and that’s just how it is. And because of that, things have had to be put into perspective of what is most important to keep my head above water… ie. heading back to work for a bit of much needed income!
Both my blog and YouTube channel are really important things for me. They’re like my little personal spot in the Quilting World where I can share my knowledge and love for quilting, sewing, craft as well as reaching out and connecting with other like-minded Quilty people all over the world.

I’m not really sure where I’m going with all of this but…

I think what I’m trying to say is that I’m actively planning on spending more time and effort on my ‘sites’ next year because it’s what I want to do. It’s what I love to do. And it’s what I want to put all my energy and passion into.

So heading into my 7th year of 3and3quarters, let’s cheers to a productive and successful year that I can look back on and be proud of!!

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Touching on YouTubes and things, are you caught up on the last few quilty videos I’ve put up?
The first being the one where I chatted though 10 of my favourite quilting tools.

I was inspired by another video I did a few years ago where I shared 5 quilting tools that I couldn’t live without. (It’s a bit of a cringe to watch – it was like the fourth video I ever filmed and uploaded on my channel!) This new one though is a bit more of an update of tools that I’ve found to be really helpful in almost any patchwork situation. I thought it was just a little bit of fun and I’ve loved that some of you have shared with me a few of your favourite quilting tools. I love how we all have our own different gadgets that we find we cannot live without when we’re sewing. It’s so fascinating!

The other tutorial is my most recent – a Hexie Flower Quilt Label!

I had quite a few request for this tutorial when I posted on my Instagram page the label for my Star Sampler Quilt (and Tribute Star Baby Quilt).

And I was more than happy to do one!
It was about time that I revisited a how-to video on making English Paper Pieced hexies and how to stitch them together. It again feels like a life time when I filmed my first Hexie How-To with my young pudgy face chatting you through the intro and ending. Another cringe watch!! πŸ˜‘
But I will always love making Hexie Flowers as quilt labels. It’s a great opportunity to use up scraps and bring a bit of the front of the quilt to the back. It’s just so patchwork!

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Whether it be a curse or a blessing, my hours at work have been significantly cut. 😦 This could change from week to week, but at the moment, it is what it is. It’s business, not personal…
So!!!! Christmas tutorial planning is a go! Yay!!!

Picture sourced from Pinterest

A modified Tribute Star quilt block (Christmas Edition) is in the works along with a patchwork-type Advent Calendar! (The latter is still in the very early stages of planning – measurements and other things have been sketched out, I just gotta do a trial run to iron out any wrinkles – HA! – and then I’ll be set to get filming it. It’s one that ideally should be finished before December 1st! Fingers crossed!)
I’ve also got a few other Christmassy ideas up my sleeve but I’m keeping mum on them for dramatic purposes! 😜

I’m also considering doing a thing called Vlogmas. It’s where I vlog everyday(-ish) during the month of December right up to Christmas Eve or in my case, I’ll include Christmas Day (and possibly Boxing Day too as it’s my middle brothers birthday and it’s usually a pretty busy and fun day). I thought it would be a great opportunity to show those of you in other countries how we celebrate Christmas in Australia during Summer!
No promises. But it is a possibility…

And that’s all I’ve got to share with you at the moment!

I hope you’re all finding some time to complete some of your own Christmas crafts and are gearing up for a busy holiday season ahead!

Happy Sewing, Friends!

xx

Star Sampler Quilt | Finishing Touches

After almost a year of getting the ball rolling, the end of my Star Sampler Quilt Along has come to an end! *insert sad/happy face – whichever one applies!*

In the final instalment of the series, I’ve jammed packed it full of all of the ‘finishing touches’ we need to do to have a completed quilt!

This time ’round there’s no pattern sheet to follow or to download, instead everything you’ll need to know is either in the video tutorial or listed here in this post…

So once you’ve finished piecing together your quilt top with sashing and borders, it’s ready to be backed and basted in preparation for quilting! If you’ve made your quilt with the same measurements as mine, you’ll need:

BACKING:Β WOF*x150cm (59″)

BATTING:Β 120cmx150cm (47″x59″)

For my batting I’m using a lovely Premium 100% Cotton Quilt Batting in an Autumn weight by a company called Bosal. To be honest, before receiving this, I never knew that batting was or could be available in ‘seasonal weights’. I chose an Autumn weight as it’s not too fluffy (or lofty) to sandwich between my quilt top and backing, while still being light/heavy enough to keep one warm on a chilly winter’s eve.

When it comes to basting your quilt, use the method that you feel the most comfortable with. For me, that’s spray basting. It’s quick, simple and equates to less time rolling on the floor pricking my fingers with pesky pins! πŸ˜€

The same advice goes for your choice in quilting. From the early stages of planning this QAL, I always envisaged this quilt to have a subtle mathematical grid texture to it’s surface. To achieve it, I used my handy Clover Hera Marker and long quilting ruler to mark a 2″ grid pattern across the top of the quilt, three lines at a time (ie. mark three lines, quilt, then mark another three lines, quilt etc.)Β until the entire quilt was finished.

After trimming away any excess backing/batting from around the edges of the quilt, it’s time to bind! To make your own quick and easy binding, you’ll need:

BINDING:Β WOF*x40cm (16″)

Cut this into x6 2.5″ strips and sewn end to end on a diagonal to create a long binding strip.

After pressing the binding in half, simply machine sew it onto the front of the quilt as shown in the tutorial, then bring it around to the back and slip-stitch the other edge to the back of the quilt. Too easy!!

Don’t forget to label your quilt with the month/year the quilt was completed, the name of the quilt as well as the name of the person who made it! My label is still to be made (oops, my bad!) but when I do, hopefully I’ll remember to come back to this post and upload a photo of it for you! πŸ˜€

FINISHED QUILT MEASUREMENT:Β 141cmx107cm (55.5″x42″)

*WOF = Width of Fabric

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I want to extend a HUGE thank you to the lovely ladies over at Dayview Textiles who so generously helped out with the fabrics and materials I used for this series. Without them I would’ve been able to have the pleasure of using such beautiful fabrics from the Printshop Fabric Range!

And of course, thank you to all of you who participated so patiently in this series! I’ve absolutely loved seeing all of your gorgeous blocks, quilt tops and finished quilts – you’re all so talented and amazing! Although the series is finished, keep on sharing them with me using the hashtag #AmandasQuiltAlong on Instagram as well as over on my Facebook page!

So now that the QAL is finished, it’s time to move on to some more ‘old-school’ content that you’ve been used to seeing! That means some new block tutorials, crafty sewing tutorials, flower based tutorials, some fun Christmas things as well as other usual stuff like Monthly Favourites, Vlogs, Hauls etc! Exciting times ahead people!! Yeah!

So while I go and enjoy my last week of being in my twenties (It’s my 30th Birthday this coming Sunday! Eek!), I hope you all have fun completing your gorgeous quilts!

Happy Sewing, Friends!!

xx

PS. Happy News! I now have a PO Box! If you would like to send me something lovely, you can using this address:

Amanda Rolfe
PO Box 1179
St Marys NSW 1790
Australia