Thursday, January 29, 2015

Dancing Butterfly - Binding Colors

In attempting to make the back of this quilt interesting to look at. So my color and thread choices were carefully considered. 

For the front sashing, I chose a dark cranberry fabric and thread. A light purple was selected for the back. They were cut, starched, and pressed.

Let me stop here to interject a plug for this pattern. If you've never done quilt-as-you-go, you should! I really like the process. Leah Day's pattern for this quilt (and for the Building Blocks quilt) shows every step in detail. Go to her store at and get the pattern! You'll definitely learn good stuff from it!

So, back to the post! :-D

One strip gets pressed flat and the other gets folded in half. 

Then you do a bunch of passes on the machine to set them in place. 

Here's what I had when I was done. Sashed blocks, all FMQ'd and backed. The cranberry strips on front....

And the purple on the back!

Well, I love how it's coming along. What are you working on this winter?

Dazzle Burst - Clue 5

This week is similar to last week's clue. You're practiced up taking squares and sewing them in a specific way. Let's do that some more!

Take all the squares we have done to now. Grab one of each and line them up this way -

Sew the center seams. You will have 84 blocks when they are all matched and sewn up. 

Now take two blocks and set them up like this -

Notice how all the yellow triangles are pointing in the same direction. That's important so make sure the look like that before you sew them!

Sew the seam across the middle. You will end up with 42 blocks that look like this -

That's all we will do this week. It will give a chance for some catch up sewing. I know I need it!

Leave a comment and let me know how you're doing. Be encouraged; we're almost done! Have a tremendous weekend!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

No finger zone!

If you think about it, we do our craft with dangerous equipment. Scorching hot irons, surgically sharp rotary cutters, long sharp pins, machine driven piercing needles.... 

Definitely all no finger zones!

Here's what happened. I was working on my mystery quilt, Dazzle Burst, so I'll be ready to show the next clue on Thursday. I need to finish putting together a pile of these pretty blocks so I was sewing away at them. My machine made a clunk sound at one point but after fixing the top thread, it was stitching up just fine again.

I had these two spools of thread sitting on the bed of my machine. Why? I don't know. They're for the binding strips of my Dancing Butterfly quilt so they were on the machine so I'd find them quick and easy. It made sense to me and they were out of the way.

Suddenly, while I was sewing along, the red spool fell off the back of the bed and made a loud noise when it hit the table..... 
which made me jump..... 
because I thought something happened to the machine again.... 
and my hand had a reaction which brought it towards the needle.... 

Then, I found myself in the bathroom pouring iodine over my snake bite looking puncture wound on my left index finger. The needle barely caught my skin. It didn't make a stitch in me. The needle didn't break in my finger, thankfully. It just bled for about a minute. I don't even know how it happened; it all happened so fast. 

The sewing machine had no problem continuing to sew. I did a few more blocks but then decided it was time to call it a night. 

So remember to keep your space nice and clean to prevent unexpected noises while you sew! And protect your fingers!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Dancing Butterflies Quilt - Main Block 1 of 12

In this project, there are three blocks in each set. A set of two smaller ones paired up with one large one that has the dancing butterfly on it.

Here is the first butterfly block.

And the back of it.

The pattern called for Ocean Waves to be stitched in the wings and border. When I started, I naturally gravitated towards Paisley in the wings. After one was nearly done, I realized that I did the stitching opposite of what the pattern called for but was quite happy with the way it turned out.
Stitching in the wings is slow going since there is fusible web in there. I could only sew backwards for one or two stitches before the thread began to shred. Once I adjusted for that, it went well.

In the words of Bob Ross, this block wound up being a "happy accident." The bobbin side reveals brown thread for the butterfly. That was on purpose!

Ocean Waves is a beautiful design that wound up mimicking the currents of the wind.

The bobbin has a soft white thread so it separates the butterfly from the sky.

I pondered over what color to use for the blue border. This purpley-pink seemed to fit the bill quite nicely. How can you not love the Paisley design?

In the bobbin, I chose a purpley-blue for this section. It's interesting to see various colors of thread on the back.

The next thing to do is to connect all three blocks together to make one complete unit. Look for the next post about what fabric I chose to join these blocks.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Dancing Butterflies Quilt - Set 1 of 12

This quilt needed a lot of prep work and thoughtful consideration of layout and thread color choice. Here is the first set of blocks that I worked on. 

The pattern on this fabric is so gorgeous, I didn't want the thread color to distract from it so I kept it a similar shade to the sky. The FMQ pattern is Paisley.

Since the back was plain, I wanted tis thread to show up more so the bobbin had a light shade in it.

The next block pattern is called Ocean Waves. I enjoy the movement in this design. And the light thread, which was the same used in the other block, shows up nicely on this dusty rose color. 

The back of this block has a pretty pattern on it that can still be seen among the stitches. 

If you want to give this pattern a try, you can purchase it at and make one for yourself!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Dazzle Burst - Clue 4 Video

Dazzle Burst - Clue 4

Guess what? We don't have to do any cutting this week! We're taking what we have and working with that!

But first, let's review.

In the Introduction, we discussed colors and shades that would work for our Mystery project.

In Clue 1, we made 168 2-1/2" squares with our medium shade of the cool color.

In Clue 2, we made 84 4-1/2" half-square triangles with our dark shades of both warm and cool colors.

In Clue 3, we made 168 2-1/2" half-square triangles in the medium shades of both the warm and cool colors.

That is where we left off last. How are you doing with the clues? Are you keeping up? Good! Let's move onto Clue 4!

This week, we are going to only work with the 2-1/2" pieces. Take all of the squares and half-square triangles and get them set up like this. Put the right square on top of the left half-square triangle (right sides together) for sewing along the right edge of the stacked pieces.

Sew up the pairs; you can chain piece them until they are all done. When you open them, they will look like this.

Press the seams towards the darker color. In my case, it is towards the blue square.

Now take all of your sets and match them up like this. We will be sewing that center seam closed.

I put the upper set on top of the lower set. The top edge is the one that will need to be sewn.

You want to make sure the center seams are matched up so the center points come out next to each other when they get sewn. When you put the seams next to each other, you can feel them butt up against each other. If you fold the top set back, you will be able to tell if they are lined up or not. These look perfect! You can pop a pin at that seam if you want.

When I take my sets to the machine, I will sew them all the same way - from this yellow point...

...all the way down to the bottom of the blue square.

Here is what the blocks will look like when they are sewn. Pretty! Almost like a butterfly!

When they are pressed, the best way to stop the bulk in the center is to "spin" the seams around so it looks like this.

I noticed that my edges were a little wavy so I trimmed the excess off. These blocks are going to finish at 4-1/2" square so I lined up the center vertical seam on the 2-1/4" line on my ruler for each side that was trimmed.

There it is! All done! Keep sewing these until all of your 2-1/2" pieces are all gone!

You should have 84 of these blocks when you are done!

If you want a visual of this process, I made a video for this clue. You can find it in the Mystery Projects tab on the top of this page!

I hope that you are inspired enough to keep going with the mystery! Please give me your comments below, links to your blog, or pictures on my Facebook page, Pamelyn's Postings, anytime! The mystery will be available for a long time so start it up anytime you want!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Dazzle Burst Progress

I managed to get my 168 half-square triangles all cut out tonight. Now I just have to sew them up!

How are you coming along on the mystery? If you want to start, open the Mystery Projects tab on the top of this page. I hope you are enjoying the pattern!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Dancing Butterflies Quilt - Phase 1

Before Christmas, I won a copy of the Dancing Butterfly quilt from a drawing done by the pattern artist, Leah Day. I was so very excited! 

But I had a lot happening at the time. I was doing Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt, Grand Illusion, on I was preparing to kick off my 2015 mystery quilt, Dazzle Burst on January 1st, in the Mystery Projects tab on the top of this page. The holidays took over. Needless to say, this project had to wait. 

Well, the waiting is over! Here's what happened  with it over the last few weeks. 

Early experimenting with fabrics. I was determined to use what I had in my stash! This was almost the way they would turn out. 

I changed up the look of the butterfly from the pattern because of the precut batik fabrics that I already had and chose to use. This was as big as the wings could be for me to get a pair out of those squares. 

Once the wings and body were cut, they were attached with fusible web.

Some of the blocks were to have the butterflies facing downwards. The way I could know which ones were to set up that way was by placing a pin in the bottom corner of those 4 blocks.

Butterflies need antennae! A simple template helped draw them in the same on each one. 

I had a huge spool of beautiful gray Isacord thread so that is what I chose to use for this project. It was a neutral that would match all of the butterflies and give the blocks a color connection. 

Appliqué requires satin stitching. I had four different width settings that I liked for the butterfly. The widest went around the wings. A narrower one went around the body. And two passes of the absolute smallest zig zag was perfect for the antenna. All of these setting numbers were written in the pattern book so I wouldn't forget how to make them the same on each block. The back of the block was covered with stabilizer to help keep the fabric flat. 

#1 of 12. So far, so good! The first one is always the hardest to get through. They were much easier to stitch after a few were done. A light press helped set the stitches and flatten any slight puckering.

Satin stitching one butterfly takes at least 20 minutes. This is not for the faint of heart! But the pile of them kept getting bigger and seeing another get finished motivated me to get them all done!

Here's my flutter! (Yes, I just learned that that is what you call a bunch of butterflies!)

Since there will be various free motion quilting on each of the 12 blocks, I wrote what design numbers  will go on each block in the upper left hand corner.

These numbers coordinated with the worksheets in the pattern book. 

All of the preparatory sewing is done. All 12 butterfly blocks are made. All 24 accompanying blocks are cut. Everything has been paired with backing blocks and made into quilt sandwiches and basted.

The next phase is practicing the free motion quilting designs so they become familiar enough to stitch onto the real blocks! That's when the magic really starts!

If you want this pattern, go to and buy it anytime you want! My mystery quilt can be found at the mystery projects tab on the top of this page. Happy sewing!