Vermont Quilt Festival & Timeless with a Twist

Sorry all for the delay, it has been a busy week with my Godchild/niece graduating and then driving up to the Vermont Quilt Festival on Thursday!  I love this show.

They had a great awards ceremony, it is awesome to see Dave LaValle hand out all those sewing machines to the kids who entered the Children's Category.  Yesterday, I had a great class for Sparkle, Per usually, we had a great time!

Today, I'm actually teaching three quilts; Sparkle, Spring Bouquet and Bloom!  It is going to be a busy day.  Then tomorrow, I end with In Flight.

So many students came up to me either in Class, at the Preview or at last night's Show and Tell, to tell me what a great time they were having joining in my weekly fun of Timeless with a Twist series!  Many brought their blocks, which I was thrilled to see.   

With me busy this week being so busy, and late,  I'm going to give everyone a make-up week. 

I know I say this a lot, but this is really one of my top 5 favorites of the series, Block 4, the Straw Flower!  This block has 2 fabulous techniques.  If you joined the series later, you are going to love these techniques.  I've provided "cliff notes" from the original Block 4 blog post.
Block 4- Straw Flower - Michelle's Fabric Selection 1

The Straw Flower block is a variation of the block also known as the Hummingbird or Budding Rose.   This variation, Straw Flower, was in the Birmingham News, in 1932, with credit given to Nancy Page.  Just a few years later, Nancy Page, published a block extremely similar, as the Budding Rose.  The only difference; the Budding Rose used half square triangles in place of the shaded four patches.  I selected the Straw Flower block since I found it to be unusual and very striking.

For fabric selection 1; I went with a complementary color plan, selecting purple (15) and a floral with the purple and yellow-green (3).

Remember, the numbers I'm supplying are from the Color Wheel companion.  I have them available in my shop: Color Wheel Companion

Block 5- Straw Flower - Michelle's Fabric Selection 3
Bonus, I'm sharing my #3 fabric selections, a scrappy version.  I was worried the first two versions make not spark all the possibilities with this block, and I wanted to show you a different take!  I can't wait to see what you all come up with!

For this version,  it is all scraps with maybe a fat quarter here or there.  I'm going to talk about pulling from scraps a little more next week, since we have a few new techniques to talk through this week.

For my scrappy version, I went with a split-complementary color plan.   I love this magenta (17) and I went across the color wheel to green (5) and to the next tab spring green (4) for the light-medium.   Love it!

The Straw Flower is made up of Shaded Four Patches and Half Square Triangles; we are going to make both with our Tucker Trimmer!  That is right, you can make Shaded Four Patches with your Tucker Trimmer.  One tool, so many units!    I'm also going to share another neat trick for making eight half square triangles at once.  So, I'm going to jump right into these two techniques.

In the download, I've provided you with step-by-step instructions, for both of these techniques.  However, I have found with some techniques, it is much easier to follow with pictures.  Also, in the download, I've provided the measurements for this block.  However, if you fall in love with these techniques and want to know the measurements for multiple sizes, you can find the measurements on the Studio 180 Design's technique sheets; Shaded Four Patch for sizes 2"-12" and Eight at Once for sizes 1"-6".  Both are available in my shop: Sew on the Go Shop.

This Shaded Four Patch technique, from Studio 180 Design, is wonderful.  You are going to love it!

You are going to start off with 2 strips, one narrow for the patch, and the other a wide strip for the small triangles.   For the half square triangle, you are actually going to use a rectangle.  It will all makes sense in a few steps.  Trust me!

Sew the narrow strip (gray) and the wider strip (spring green) together on one side, right sides together.  Press the seam toward the wide strip.  Then you will cut the strip set in half.

Pair two of the pieced strips right sides together with the narrow strips on opposite sides so each narrow strip faces a wide strip.  Cut the matched strips the same width as the width of the narrow strip.

Then, stitch each pair of cut pieces together along one long side and snip the seam allowance at the halfway mark between the two squares all the way to the seam.  Press both seams away from the patch.

Next, with your Tucker Trimmer, use the 45° angle, place on the edge of the unit and draw a 45º sewing line from top to bottom, through the corner of the square where the stitching lines meet.  Draw a second 45° sewing line through the corner of the other square.


Place the marked unit right sides together with the rectangle (blue-green).
Pin and stitch on both marked sewing lines.

Cut between the two stitching lines and press the seam allowance toward the large triangle.


Then you are going to position your Tucker Trimmer™ on the unit so that it lines up with proper size diagonally seam line of the Shaded Four Patch. Position the common diagonal so it passes through the corner of the square at the center of the unit.  Trim your first two sides.


Then, rotate the fabric unit and line up with the proper cut size lines on the Tucker Trimmer with the previously trimmed raw edges.  Trim both sides.  TADA!  Isn't it awesome?

҉    If you love this technique, you can purchase the Shaded Four Patch Technique Sheet, with the measurements for 2”- 12” units!

The Straw Flower block as a set of 4 Half Square Triangles, that we are going to make the same way we made them the last few weeks.  Trimming them down with our Tucker Trimmer.  However, there is another set of 8 Half Square Triangles needed.  For that, we are going to use the Eight at Once method.

This Eight at Once technique, from Studio 180 Design, is such a time saver when you have a lot of Half Square triangles to make!

You will start off with larger than normal squares (sizes for this block are in the download - for additional sizes check out the Eight at Once technique sheet).

On the wrong side of one of your squares, you will mark two stitching lines ¼” on either side of the diagonal, just like you normally do, however, you are going to mark the diagonal in both directions. Use the Quilter’s Magic Wand™ for this step.

Then, layer your two squares right sides together, raw edges aligned and pin if desired.  Stitch on all the drawn diagonal lines.

Next, and you must cut them in this order, you are going to cut the square into 8 sections.

a. Once vertically at the halfway measurement of 3”.

b. Once horizontally at the halfway measurement of 3”.

c. On the diagonals between the stitching lines.        

Then, you are going to trim them down with your Tucker Trimmer the same way you always do!

҉    If you love this technique, remember, the Eight at Once technique sheet, from Studio 180 Design has the measurement from 1"-6" unit!

That is it for my tips and tricks for this week.  Go ahead and download this week's block.  Remember it is only available for download through Thursday, June 28th!   Download: Click Here

I have to get back to getting ready for my class today, but here is a photo of yesterday's Sparkle Class.

Don't forget to share your completed blocks in the Timeless with a Twist Facebook page.

Keep stitching!


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