Sunday, October 20, 2019

enchanted sal - celeste

Hi again and thank you for joining us on our third week of the Enchanted Sew Along. If you are new to our sew along, let me give you a quick recap. Each week a new figure from the Enchanted Paper Dolls booklet will be introduced and highlighted. I will be giving a few tips along on how to sew it together. You can purchase the booklet here or purchase the individual PDF's of the figures here.


This week we will be introducing Celeste. She has more delicate and ornate Fairy Godmother wings that end right before her shoulder rather than at the center of her back. I think this wing style also changes the look of the entire figure. I added the accent of purple to the bottom of each wing as well to really bring out the wings.


One of the really fun things about these figures is that they are all designed to be mixed and matched with each other. Just take a look at Celeste's segments below. You can take any bodice and any dress and exchange them easily. The heads, arms and feet will take a little bit more planning when using different skin tones, wing styles and hand positions.


Here are some fun design ideas you can do to change up Celeste if you wish.


As with all of my designs and images, I used the computer software - EQ8 by the Electric Quilt Company. It allows me to design and see instantly what my quilt and quilt blocks will look like before I sew them together. You can add your own fabric to the fabric library to get the best impression possible.


Once again, it is very important to work with a good contrast to allow her beautiful, outstretched arms to stand out.

After sewing each of the enchanted figures a second time, I have realized that all of them have certain fine points that take more time to sew. There isn't one particular figure that is "easy - peasy." On Celeste, the crown is more time consuming. I find those wrist segments a bit challenging as well, but totally worth the effort. The y-seam on this figure gave me some trouble as well. I am not exactly sure why, either. 

When designing her dress, I could have designed the dress in three horizontal segments as shown below. I decided against it, because I wanted to be able to use one solid, fussy cut piece of fabric for the main dress segment. I liked the ruffles on the outer sides as well that give you the option of changing the ruffle color.


Are you sewing along too? We would love for you to link up your figures below. If the link isn't there yet, it will be there shortly. Link up any or all of your figures on the corresponding blog post.


Agatha | Babette | Celeste | Daphne | Eva | Fiona | Gigi | Hailey | Jael | Isabella | Katharina | Lilly


Thanks again for stopping by. Please join us next week to see Daphne.

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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.


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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. 

https://www.etsy.com/de/shop/easypatchworkSHOP?ref=search_shop_redirect

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.

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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.


https://easypatchwork.blogspot.com/2019/09/kick-off-enchanted-dolls-sal.html

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!

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