Friday, May 31, 2019

I'm the June Guest Designer for IAQ!

Every now and then, like once or twice a year, I need a good reason to make a blog post, and being the June Guest Designer seemed like a good one. I admittedly have not been good about blogging as, to be honest, it takes a lot more time to create a blog post than a social media post, and for a smaller audience on a regular basis, but for those who want to read, you get to have a whole lot more info than you ever thought possible about my projects, so that's the benefit! Today let's talk about my project, the Trefoil Tricks pillow - and let you in on the bonus Supernova block options!

As you may have already known or figured out, I love scrappy quilts, and I love using my Accordion Sewn HSTs™ method to create them. It's a fast, fun, innovative way to make half square triangles that don't have a match (if you don't want them to) and I thought this project would be a great little introduction to them for those who haven't tried!

There's my pillow, just sitting there relaxing on my deck in a chair that I could tell you I spray painted just to match it, but that would have been a lot of extra work. In truth, I chose the colors for this pillow because I recently painted my living room and no longer have any accessories that match anything in there. The red/teal combo has recently become one I enjoy, and it for sure brightens up the room. Unfortunately, not enough to get a good photo inside. So you get my deck, and yay for my deck chairs matching. Enjoy.

The Trefoil Tricks pillow is so named more because of the trefoil in the center and a lot less so because of any trickiness I intended, or didn't, in the directions, but also because I love me an alliterative quilt name. I suppose we could call the Accordion Sewn HSTs™ a trick, but I prefer the term "witchcraft," which was coined by a quilter who tried it for the first time, was amazed, and instantly became one of my favorite people ever.

Toward the end of the writing of my first book on the method, "Oompah! Jazz Up Your Scrap Quilts With the Accordion Sewn HSTs™ Method" (also available on Amazon), I started experimenting with Accordion Sewn QSTs™ as well. There's a snippet about them in the borders section of "Oompah!" and they are starting to appear in more of my patterns and design ideas, and will definitely feature prominently in book two, which is in process, nameless, and likely to come out early 2020. Self publishing is fun and means I don't have a true deadline other than those I make myself, so that's as accurate as I can be right now. ANYWAY, you no doubt noted that Trefoil Tricks used them, and hopefully if you hadn't tried them before, it was a nice little introduction!

When it came to the quilting, I surrendered to my signature "enthusiasm over talent" philosophy, quilting a chain of not-quite-touching circles around the outer edges of the trefoil and filling in the background with not-always-consistently-sized tight stippling. I chose to leave the actual HSTs and QSTs quilting free. This may or may not be because I just didn't feel like quilting them, but I also kind of like how they look all naked. Also that way I didn't have to choose what color thread to use, which is always a bit of a dilemma when quilting shapes that contain two or more very different colors. In any case, I love my cute pillow and hope you enjoy yours too!

Part of being the guest designer was partaking in the very fun Night Sky mystery. If you don't know about the mystery and how it works, here are the details, straight from IAQ:

Night Sky Mystery Designed by: Becky Jorgensen of
Patchwork Posse
.   Here are all the other wonderful people who helped. Including all the awesomeness at #6.
1.    DianeButterfly Threads Quilting

2.    Amy- amy barickman

3.    CherryCherry blossoms quilting

4.    Kelly-  My quilt infatuation

5.    Brooke- Silly mama quilts

6.    Beth- Eva paige quilt designs

7.    Becky-  Bobbin in quilts

8.    SherryPowered by quilting

9.    Amanda- Jedi craft girl

10.  JoThe crafty nomad

11.  JoanneCanuck quilter

12.  Diane & AudreyThe cloth parcel
IAQ details: 1 year from purchase- over 60 patterns + 2015 year to current
year patterns is included!

Finished projects: During 2019 there are 2 Block of the months -one is a sampler
the other is part mystery (the guest designers are helping this year!), 3 extra
projects, swaps, challenges, giveaways and more!

Skill level: Beginner – Confident Beginner.  Because of the community
atmosphere, you are able to get help if you are stuck, ask questions and share
a hint.  

Technique: Because of the guest designers and variety of patterns you will
be exposed to a rounded amount of different styles and techniques, including
applique, embroidery, paper piecing, patchwork, hand sewing hexagons etc.

Pattern Format: PDF files (download and save instantly)

IAQ membership format:  The group has an online community as well as a private facebook
group for members only.  There you can share your own projects you are
working on or have finished, meet and get to know the members from around the
world, download patterns, and participate in the group. Everything is in one
spot- simple and easy to use on your computer or on your phone.  

The IAQ starts the day you join.   The 2019
projects will be starting on January 1st and will be shared during the first
full week of the month.  During each month there will be two block of the
months, guest designer pattern, with the occasional extra project and rotating
swaps and challenges.  Each Sunday you will get an email from the quilt
group about what’s happened during the week- but the group online is always
open! You can share any time during the day.
When you join you will also
have full access to all previous patterns- both in the group and by the guest
designers.  There are more patterns than you have time! You will be kept
sewing all year long.
That's a lot for $120 a year, and it's fun!
Moving on to into the Supernova block I created for the Night Sky Mystery. I love this block so very very much. I don't know if it's the colors (it probably is) or the simplicity, but I just love it more than is decent, honestly. What I did not love was the breeze that kicked up IMMEDIATELY OUT OF NO WHERE when I went to photograph it. Honestly. It's like the forces of nature have something against quilters, right?
At least it kind of blends with the cherry blossoms. But for the love.

The best way to outsmart nature ended up being throwing a couple of blocks on the walkway in the shelter of a large shrub, saying a prayer, and hoping for a moment of no wind.

So check it out! The block using traditional HSTs, the one in the directions I gave, is on top. The same block using Accordion Sewn HSTs, is on the bottom. Look at how much scrappier that method makes it! That's what I love most! And as promised, here is the order to sew your accordion in order to make this block.

Note: First you'll need to cut your squares, which will be the same size and number as given in the Supernova block directions. However, instead of just using two yellows and two purples, I used eight of each (one square cut from each of eight purple fabrics, one square cut from each of eight yellows). I kept the background the same. Because the difference is way more dramatic that way, IMO.

yellow - stick a pin in this one so you know it is the first one

Tube it up, and cut down the square with the pin in it. Keep your HSTs in order as you trim and press, and then it should all lay out like a dream, starting with the yellow in the top left corner as shown in the photo above. 
Accordion Making on the go!

Intrigued but a little confused? Just want to learn more about my pretty cool, if I do say, technique? Don't forget that for the month of June, any order containing my cool little Accordion Lesson sheet is 15% off with the code HSTSROCK. It's a great little tool to prop by your machine, throw in your retreat bag, hang on the wall by your cutting table - even take to the beach with no fear of water damage if you get the laminated version, though I'm not sure it's the most practical use. But you do you.

Not to sound too salesy, but I wouldn't be me if I didn't also quickly mention the tool that makes Accordion Sewn HSTs ALL THAT MUCH MORE FUN, the Clearly Perfect Slotted Trimmers by New Leaf Stitches. Oh. Em. Gee. If you have not tried it for trimming HSTs of any kind, but especially for Accordion Sewn HSTs, you haven't lived. I mean, check it out. First, you can use the straight edge to cut apart your accordion.
Then, you line up the HSTs for trimming to size and using those slits on the sides to do the best thing in the whole wide world for bulk elimination - cut off those dog ears!

I NEVER used to cut off dog ears. It didn't occur to me that it would be important. Now I can't imagine not doing so. I also never ever ever liked HSTs because the trimming took 156 years. Now I've invented a technique to make them do all sorts of cool things and use them almost exclusively in my designs. When I say that the Clearly Perfect Slotted Trimmers changed my life, I'm not kidding.

If I totally hooked you, I hope you'll think about joining my "Postcards From Santa" QAL in July. Four weeks, four blocks, all using Accordion Sewn HSTs and QSTs. Make the blocks into a mini quilt or four mug rugs - totally up to you and totally adorable either way. I'll be taking signups starting June 25 right on my website

Thanks for stopping by checking out what I'm all about! As I mentioned at the top, I'm not terribly active on this blog at the moment, but I do have some pretty active pages and groups on FB - Check out EvaPaige Quilt Designs for my day to day stuff, Quilting Along With EPQD for my public group, and Teal Mini Swap for my annual swap to raise funds and awareness for Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance.

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