Sunday, October 13, 2019

enchanted sal - babette

Hi everyone! Thanks for joining us for another Sunday edition of our Enchanted Sew Along. Are you excited? I certainly am! I truly love sewing together the enchanted figures. This week is one of my favorites - Babette. Babette is French and means - my God is plentiful. It is a very fitting name for the second angel in our series. If you have purchased the pattern, you may have realized that the figures are alphabetized with Agatha and end with Lilly. Each of the figures has her own little story too.That surprise is awaiting you in the pattern booklet and PDF pattern. You can purchase both here on Etsy. Please keep in mind, if you purchase the PDF individual pattern, you do not need to buy the booklet unless you absolutely want to have the convenience of printing the pattern templates directly from your computer. You have the choice.


Before we take a look at Babette, I went ahead and made my Sunkissed Cross blocks and my sashing strips. I got a little confused when looking at my quilt layout. I thought I only needed 20 sashing strips. Following the advice of my friend, Katrin, I made a total of 31 sashing strips. You can get three sashing sets from one WOF strip. If you are making the quilt below, you will need to cut a minimum of 20 white and 10 purple strips. These will make 30 sashing strips. Use a leftover strip to make the last remaining sashing strip.

Are you just joining for the first time? That's wonderful! We are sewing along together. Each week a new figure from the Enchanted Paper Dolls booklet is highlighted and shown.

I proceeded to make the Sunkissed Cross blocks. These are REALLY fun to make. Directions for quick and easy strip piecing are in the booklet. When I square them up, I line up the 1 3/4" mark with the triangle point on the center on the first two adjoining sides that I will be trimming. I trim two sides - one right after the other to ensure it is square. In the worst case, it will be a parallelogram. I received those nifty little diamond stickers from a friend in a swap. Normally you can just write on your acrylic cutting rulers with an erasable marker, but these are good when showing in demonstrations.

I definitely had some leftover scraps from making the sashing strips and Sunkissed Cross blocks - my own design and creation. I might do a little Seminole piecing with them for the back of the quilt. I am still undecided if I want to make a mini of just Sunkissed Cross blocks.

This time I was right about the amount I needed. There are 20 Sunkissed Crosses.

Now onto Babette. I started making Babette and parts of Celeste as well. When I mocked them up in the quilt, I designed them both with the same dress and wing fabrics. This makes for easy mix and match options with the two figures when their skin colors are the same as well as the wing segments. I made a quick little video showing how you can mix and match the segments. We'll get that up and running soon.

Designing FPP

There is something I would like to mention about designing foundation paper patterns and templates. When sewing Babette together, I kept wondering why I chose the hair construction as shown below on the left side. [Please take a look at the yellow lines.] It started to disturb me when looking at the finished angel wing and using a fairly large print. The fabrics were almost too wild and stood out showing the construction of the block. If I had used the construction on the right (yellow line), the wing segment would have been one complete piece of floral fabric making for a nicer design.

So, I went back to the computer to figure out why I chose this method of sewing the templates. (This might be too too theoretical for you. If you fpp on a regular basis or even write patterns with fpp construction, you might know what I am talking about.) Anyway, the problem comes at the top of the head. Those two little patches of background fabric giving Babette a nice rounded head wouldn't have been possible without excess fpp segments. I couldn't see a way to reduce the amount of segments without having one or two single patches. When I design fpp templates, I try to place at least two patches of fabric on one segment. I try to narrow down the amount of segments as well.

AND this only stands out if you are using some type of large scale print or directional fabric which I mentioned in the beginning, you should not use! I did not follow my own advice! ; ) So I accepted the construction and moved on. What some may not even know, is how much time and thought that is put into designing fpp especially mix and match segments. Sometimes, I think I make it especially harder on myself, because I think about the littlest of details (and problems) and maximum amount of solutions just like those hair segments. I even think about how the "construction" of a block will change the look of the block. Two adjacent fabrics will create a line that will pull your eye into the frame. This may or may not be intentional. It may or may not look good.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

There is a line on Babette's wing that you can omit if you prefer. It is line between segment P4/P8 on the templates. I left this segment in just in case you were mixing with another figure and wanted the extra design element in. (Strong wink). Feel free to skip and add one whole patch of fabric for the upper wing. That is explained in the instructions when extending hair lengths.

The difficulty with this figure will be the lining up on the last section - Wings to the main section. You will have to match up three points - wing top, wrists and wing bottom. To ensure those three points lined up, I basted with larger stitches (2,5) , verified the accuracy, and then sewed with the shorter stitch length (1,5) over the entire seam when they lined up correctly.

All in all, I am extremely happy with Babette. I love her frilly dress and pretty halo. The construction also allows you to fussy cut the main section of her gown. I do love to fussy cut when FPP. Don't by shy and tell us if you discover more fussy cutting patches.

If you would like to make Babette or any other figure, please link up below or on the corresponding post with the figure you have sewn. We all would love to see your version. Feel free to mix and match with the other figures, because that is truly the fun part about these dolls - you can mix and match the segments!

Do you remember I said I was thinking about some prizes? We are going to narrow it down to two prizes:
  1. Cutest Ever
  2. Most Unique or Best Use of Mix & Match Templates
We'll talk more about that later. For now, you can link up your Babette below. I look forward to showing you my Celeste next week and seeing yours as well!

Happy quilting!

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Looking for the patterns? Click here.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

enchanted sal - agatha

Happy Sunday to you! Today is all about the angel, Agatha. She is the first figure in the Enchanted Paper Dolls series and our lovely autumn sew along. If you are new to our sew along, this will be a 12 part series highlighting each of the figures featured in the pattern booklet. You can buy the entire booklet or the single figure, Agatha as an instant download.

Before we begin, I would like to remind you to cut most of your fabric for the sashing strips and Sunkissed Cross blogs if you are making the entire quilt.

Did you miss the first post? Don't worry. You can read all about the Enchanted Paper Dolls Sew Along here.

Second, I find it a great idea to cut 3 3/4" wide strips which will allow you to cut most all of the smaller pieces. I like to cut strips of fabric when foundation piecing. From those strips, I cut the smaller patches.

Agatha is no ordinary angel either. Her detailed crown and hands make for a tricky combination. This might not be the best figure to start foundation paper piecing, especially if you are trying to sew quickly and your family keeps interrupting you. You might wind up with a figure below. Everything matches up perfectly, but oops! Something is not quite right. This was my conversation with myself while sewing. "Isn't she supposed to be wearing gloves? Oops! Oh, that's okay. You are flexible, Karen. This one has no gloves today. But wait a minute? You forgot her light blue wing segments too. Okay, when you have time by yourself (with no family interruptions), take her apart and redo the arms/wings."

I took her apart the next morning and re-sewed the bottom two portion of the arm segments. It probably would have been faster just to sew all three segments again, but I didn't want to waste the upper segments.

Now, she looks much better. Agatha put on her golden gloves and painted her wings a light blue.

I am really happy with the way she turned out in these fabrics. I think I finally have enough contrast going on. I thought the white background fabric might be too strong, but it really allows the color to pop. These lovely fabrics from Art Gallery are also the right scaling for these figures. I used some tricky fussy cutting on some of the patches. This is an advance technique when using and cutting directional fabric. I wouldn't recommend it for the background fabric though, but you can use it on the dress/wing sections. I am thinking about giving an advance FPP class showing these techniques. If you are interested in such a class, please drop me a note so I can organize one.

Another important tip I would like to pass on to you is about squaring up these blocks. When foundation piecing, it is a good idea to square up the block at the end and not always to trim the paper segments on the seam allowance lines. I generally like to square up and trim the segments just right before I sew on another segment. I use a real quarter of an inch too when trimming, just in case the templates are slightly off.

The outer pieces of these figures are usually filled with rectangle patches of fabric. I find providing a template for a square or rectangle a bit overdoing it. That's why I just fill with rectangle patches of a specified size. It saves on paper as well. And as you might discover below, I cut some of the patches oversized just in case the block shrunk due to too much pressing.

I used my big 15" ruler to square up the blocks. Yes, this ruler will get a lot of use in your sewing room if you don't already have one. This is one of the first rulers I bought, and it is so worth it. 12" blocks are a standard size block.

Looking closer at the markings, you can see the 6" line going straight through the middle of Agatha's dress. That is a great way to center and square. Since all of my blocks will have sashing strips in the final quilt, it doesn't really matter if the blocks have the exact amount of spacing at the top and bottom of the blocks. If you were to line up all blocks in a row without sashing, this might stand out more. But not in my case with sashing.

What more can I say about Agatha? I am in-love! The block came out exactly as I had planned it (with the exception of redoing the arm segments). The papers are left in for now. The blocks photograph a little bit better with the papers in. You can see on the sides where I filled with rectangle patches. The light shimmers through.

If you would like to make Agatha, please link her below. We all would love to see your version. Feel free to mix and match with the other figures, because that is truly the fun part about these dolls - you can mix and match the segments!

Do you remember I said I was thinking about some prizes? Well, I think we should have a link-up contest. What do you think? How about three different categories?
  1. Best Use of Fabric
  2. Cutest Ever
  3. Most Unique or Best Use of Mix & Match Templates
We'll talk more about that later. For now, you can link up your Agatha below. I look forward to showing you my Babette next week and seeing yours as well!

Happy quilting!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Sunday, September 29, 2019

kick off - enchanted dolls sal

Hi everyone! Thank you so very much for joining us today. We are starting with the kick-off post for the Enchanted Paper Dolls Sew Along. What is a sew along you might be asking yourself? Well, it is a great community builder where you sew a pattern along with other enthusiastic quilters showing and sharing what you have sewn. Instead of just sewing something by yourself, you get to meet new people. I highly encourage you to visit the other participant's feeds and websites. It is a very nice gesture that we do appreciate. So join us now until mid December for the sew along fun!


So let's get down to some important information. There are absolutely NO FEES for participating in the sew along! However, you will need to purchase the pattern booklet or at least one of the weekly digital patterns featuring one of the twelve different angels, fairies and princesses from the Enchanted Paper Dolls 64-page pattern booklet.

Hardcopy Pattern

You can purchase the pattern booklet from my Etsy shop or from your local quilt shop. These German patchwork stores carry the pattern.

If you don't see your store, ask them to purchase the patterns for their quilt shop. If this isn't an option, you can purchase individual figures each week as a digital download as they are presented. You can purchase the ones that appeal to you. However, if you decide to buy all 12 figures, it will be twice as expensive as the hardcopy pattern. So, please keep this in mind.

Digital Patterns

You will be able to download each individual figure as a PDF document to print right from your very own computer. There will only be one download per week in a DIN A4 (European) page size. This has the dimensions of 210 mm x 297 mm. This is not an American 8 1/2" x 11" which is slightly wider. When you go to print, please print "no scaling." If this does not work, you may be able to scale the page to 110%. Always check the scaling dimensions referenced on the page.

How long will the SAL last?

Well, there are twelve girls so the simple math tells me it will be at least 12 weeks. So this really is a fall sew along lasting right up until Christmas. : )

Sew Along Schedule

Week One
Oct. 6
Week Two
Oct. 13
Week Three
Oct. 20
Week Four
Oct. 27
Week Five
Nov. 3
Week Six
Nov. 10
Week Seven
Nov. 17
Week Eight
Nov. 24
Week Nine
Dec. 1
Week Ten
Dec. 8
Week Eleven
Dec. 15
Week Twelve
Dec. 22


How can you participate?

Each week, a new figure will be presented. That means, there will be some eye candy (photograph) highlighting that weeks doll featured here as a blog post and on Instagram. All you need to do is sew and linke up your figure for the week. There will be a link up below the post. Please only link up that week's figure or a mixture of templates using at least some elements of the weekly figure. Because, if you didn't already know, you can mix and match the segments of ALL the dolls! These are #mixandmatchfpp dolls! You can change up their heads, hands, dresses, arms, crowns, etc. How cool is that?!

Will there be prizes?

I prefer to have good clean fun in my sew alongs. I promise you this, I will be thinking about some really fun things along the way. I will be offering a goody to everyone who participates!

What are the fabric requirements?

I am making all twelve enchanted figures and want to set them off in a 3 x 4 block quilt. If you want to do that too, here are the updated fabric requirements using the same sashing and corner blocks as in the pattern booklet. There will be no instructions here for how to make the sashing strips and the Sunkissed Cross blocks. You can find those in the pattern booklet.

Fabric Requirements
2 x 2
40” x 40”
3 x 3
60” x 60”
3 x 4
60” x 70”
1 ¼
2 ¼
2 ¾
Fabric 1
1 ¼
1 ¾
Fabric 2
1 ⅛
1 ¼
Fabric 3
 *I do my best to ensure the measurements and requirements are accurate. It may be possible that a mistake occurs. Please forgive me for any indesprepancies. Do not hold me liable. : ) 

What will the layout look like with 3 x 4 grid of blocks and how big will that be?

This quilt is a very good size for a young lady in your family or as a cozy sofa quilt. It measures 60" x 75".
You can choose to make the scalloped borders explained in the pattern booklet or go for quick and easy border shown below. The outer border has been increased to 5" finished instead of 4 1/2".

Don't know if you want to commit to an entire sew along?

Some of you may only want to make just one block. That's perfectly fine. What can you do with one 12 inch block? Well, you can make an 18" pillow out of it. Add the sashing and Sunkissed Cross corner blocks listed in the pattern. Instead of making a flange, make piping on the outer edge of the pillow.

What fabrics should I use?

I've been sewing up these dolls for a couple of years now and have a few tips for you when choosing fabrics. It is very important to use contrast. That is my most valuable advice. If your skin tone is too light and the background is also light, you won't see your figure anymore. I love to use Kona solids and used the Sediment Fat Quarter bundle to make almost all of my dolls. I change up the colors sometimes. Great skin tones are TAN, SAND, WHEAT, RAFFIA, KHAKI & EARTH. Hair colors are EARTH, COFFEE, CHOCOLATE, SABLE & MOCHA. Add a bit of SPICE for redheads. I haven't found a blond color that I like yet. Maybe that would be MUSTARD.

Here's some more advice about fabrics - use smaller scaled prints and even tone-on-tone fabrics. They will show up the best especially on some of the smaller piecing. Verena at einfach bunt quilts put together some very nice ton-on-tone bundles here in Germany.

Pictured below are the fabrics that I will be using for the sew along. They are small to medium prints. I am using the largest floral blue print for the outer border. The same print in pink will be used for dresses and wings. See the mustard and eggplant colored fabrics? These are contrasting (complementary) colors. These will make the design pop. If you are looking for these exact fabrics, they are from Maureen Cracknell's Mystical Land Collection for Art Gallery Fabrics. I purchased them here in Germany at Kleinkariert. The Autumn Vibes Collection also from Maureen Cracknell would also rock for this sew along!!

Avoid a directional fabric for the background. It will cause you a lot of headaches. Go for a non-repeating small print, tone-on-tone or even a solid. It is extremely hard to work with diagonals and stripes when foundation piecing unless you are going for that look. Irregular, small dots are great to work with. Check out my Octoberfest Girls, Anna & Greta below. They both use little, tiny dot backgrounds. You can purchase these mix and match Oktoberfest M├Ądls digital patterns in my Etsy shop. You can exchange their segments with the Enchanted Paper Dolls too.

Although you can use as many different fabrics as you want, I feel narrowing down the fabrics give it a more unified look since all of the dolls are different to begin with. I experienced that with my last wall hanging. It was a little too loud for me in the end.

So now it is time to scout out your fabric fabrics and prints! Get your patterns and start planning! Next week we will be introduced to Agatha. She can be quite a challenge too with her smaller hand segments. Looking forward to seeing you then! Happy weekend!
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