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Partial Seam Blocks: A Tutorial and more...

Partial Seam Blocks: A Tutorial

Buzzworthy Partial Seam Tutorial

Confession time: I LOVE partial seam blocks.  I love how they echo the infinity symbol, with no clear beginning and no clear ending.  And I LOVE LOVE LOVE that they are actually easy.  As in EASY.  E.A.S.Y.

Buzzworthy logo

I was working on a new pattern in this amazing new fabric line, Buzzworthy from Benartex, which just happened to use a partial seam block, and I thought it would be a GREAT opportunity to share a tutorial with you, walking you through the steps to sew a partial seam block.  And FYI if you want to see more about the full fabric line AND see some great projects, head over to Benartex's website.  You'll see it really is a buzzworthy group of fabrics (hahaha - see what I did there?!).  But seriously - check it out.  It is a terrific line with a fabulous range of prints and the fabric has an amazing feel!  I'm so excited for this project!

Before we jump in, a few disclosures:

  • The block I'm using is strip pieced.  The method works with any type of units - solid pieces of fabric, strip pieced units, paper pieced units, curved piece units....you get the idea!
  • This block is LARGE (about 15"), but this method works with almost any size block.  I will say that larger is MUCH easier than super small.  Having said that, I do have a pattern that has a 1" cut center - a bit tiny, but super adorable and yes, doable!

Ok, ready to see how the magic of partial seams happen?  Great!

Buzzworthy Partial Seam Block Units
For the purpose of our tutorial, we will work with a standard square block.  Our block has five units - a square center and four side units.  For the remainder of the tutorial, the side units are numbered to help you keep track of how we are moving around the center unit.

Buzzworthy Partial Seam Start Sewing

All sewing will be with RST (right sides together).  Place the center square RST, matching up the raw edge of the top left corner of Unit One with the raw edge of the center square.  Sew from the far right to about half way across the center unit.  You can stay stitch when you stop which will help prevent the stitches from coming out.

Buzzworthy Partial Seam First Press

I strongly recommend pressing AWAY from the center unit.  This will create a long straight edge that will EXACTLY match (isn't math wonderful?!) the length of Unit 2.

Buzzworthy Partial Seam second seam

So that's exactly what you are going to do - sew Unit Two to the long end of the center/Unit 1.  Again, press AWAY from the center unit.

Buzzworthy Partial Seam third seam

Continue working your way around the block.  Sew Unit Three to the long edge created from sewing Unit Two to the long edge from your first seam.  Yup - press AWAY from the center unit.  Guess what you do next?

Buzzworthy Partial Seam Fourth Seam
You are ALMOST done!  Fold back Unit One (see the picture above) so that you can sew along the full length of Unit Three and the center unit.

Buzzworthy Partial Seam fourth seam with fold back

Here is a close up of Unit Four lined up, ready for sewing!  Stitch along that full length.  Press AWAY from the center square. Just one more seam to go!

 

Buzzworthy Partial Seam fold back
Note that the first unit (Unit One, where we started) is now lined up with Unit Four.  Match up the unsewn edge of Unit One with the raw edge of Unit Four.

 

Buzzworthy Partial Seam final seam

To complete the block, start sewing at the end of the partial seam you made at the beginning.  I generally advise overlapping those stitches just a bit (start sewing on top of the end stitches) so that the seam is secure.  Fold back your completed block and press AWAY from the center square.

Buzzworthy Partial Seam Final Block

Here is the block from the back.  Pressing away from the center square allows the center to lay nice and flat, and really does make it easier to work with the partial seam!

Buzzworthy Partial Seam Block

Ta-da!  You have mastered the partial seam!  Go you!  Go forth and happy stitching!

If you prefer diagrams, I have a nice little partial seam tutorial you can find here on my blog.

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Following is one way to demonstrate your interest in my projects, patterns, and partnerships.  Your comments are also GREATLY appreciated, and provide valuable feedback regarding what inspires you, as well as what you'd like to see explored in future posts.  

 

Exploring the Basics: Strip Star

ETB Strip Star Block Badge

 

The Strip Star is a relatively new quilt block (ie you won't find it in 150 year old quilts - usually!).  What makes it fun - I think - are the design possibilities that come from simple changes.  

Let's look at the block first and break it down.

Strip Star

The traditional Strip Star block is square.  At first glance, because it is square, strip piecing usually comes to mind - and you COULD strip piece it.  But let's look at the individual units of the block before you break out the strip sets!

Strip Star Block

Ah, so when we start to pull the block apart into units, a few elements come to light.  First, you may notice that the block is made up of FOUR rectangles and a single center square.  Second, when you start to look at construction of the block, you'll see that it uses a partial seam method for assembly.  

Now, don't run screaming out of your sewing room - the partial seam construction is actually very easy!  I've explored partial seam blocks in the past, and you can find an easy little tutorial here.  Oh - and I'll be doing another tutorial with some fun new Benartex fabrics on Thursday, so come check that tutorial out as well!

Ok - so rectangular units made up of angled strips and a center square, all put together using partial seam assembly - got it.  So why not strip piece?  Well, take a look at the angle of the strips - that would make using a straight strip set a bit challenging.  

Great....sigh.  So what other options do you have?  You could use a stitch and flip method, which is pretty easy and relaxed.  I explore the stitch and flip method in a post last year.  You can find it here.  No, I didn't address this block specifically, but the post will give you a general idea of the method if you are unfamiliar with it!

Well, gee - stitch and flip doesn't look like it's always accurate - so.....any other options?

I'm so glad you asked!  There is my FAVORITE method for accuracy - paper piecing!  Nothing beats paper piecing for accuracy!  And yes, I've explored paper piecing as well.  You can find my blog post on paper piecing here!

But if you need just a bit more - here are two of my YouTube videos where I give some basic paper piecing starter tips!

 

                                                   

 

                                                   

                                                   

 

Feeling a bit better about paper piecing the block?  Great!  Guess what?!  As a special thank you for visiting this blog post, here is a pdf of the paper piecing pattern for the Strip Star block.  Just click: Download Strip Star Easy Foundation Pattern!  Give it a try!  Please share your Strip Star block with me by posting a picture on my Facebook page!

This month as part of the Imagination Renovation Monthly Block Challenge, I explored the Strip Star block for myself (in fact, several designers did and you can find our exploration pics on our Instagram feeds.  Just search #stripstarblockchallenge for some inspo!).

IMG_6573

I decided to use rich Island Batik solids for my Strip Star exploration project.  I love the crisp, strong contrast with these colors!

IMG_6578

Once I figured out my block dimensions, I determined the individual sizes for all of the paper piecing (yup, I paper pieced the project!).  FYI - I decided to stretch my Strip Star - so I took it from a square block to a rectangle to exaggerate the star and the strips around it.

In the picture above, you can see I've got my strips laid out by size.  I love to do this when paper piecing because it makes it SOOO much easier to grab the right size fabric as I go.

IMG_6583

The other thing that really speeds things up is to strip piece all of your units.  This is where organizing your cuts by size and color helps tremendously!

Strip Star removing paper

While I love paper piecing and the accurate blocks it yields, it DOES have a few drawbacks.  That paper foundation that you've been stitching to has to be removed.  Tedious and messy!

Strip Star trimmings

And then there's the trimming.  I prefer to use squares and rectangles for the bulk of my paper piecing, but the downside of this is that I have a large pile of trimmings (or waste as some would call it, but hey - I think it is a fair trade, trimming for accuracy!) when the project is done!

Strip Star Layout 1

Once I had my blocks pieced, I had another decision to make - which way to lay out the blocks!  Here is one layout option, with the blocks on their long sides laid out in one long row.

Strip Star Layout 2

Option Two was to put the blocks into pairs, which creates a fun secondary diamond in the center design!  Fun, yes - but I opted for Layout One.

IMG_6832

Here is the final project - ready for a visit to the quilter!  I really like how it turned out, and intend to play with the strip star block more in the future!

Head over to Kate's blog to see her insights on the Strip Star block too!

Like what you see here, and want to hear more from Tamarinis?

Like me on Facebook, follow me on Instagram, and sign up for my newsletter at www.tamarinis.com!  PS - I'm trying to get to the next milestone number on Facebook and Instagram (I am trying to get 2000+ followers) and would REALLY appreciate your help - so please click and follow!  Thanks so much!

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Following is one way to demonstrate your interest in my projects, patterns, and partnerships.  Your comments are also GREATLY appreciated, and provide valuable feedback regarding what inspires you, as well as what you'd like to see explored in future posts.  

 

Peacock Plumes Virtual Blog Hop Day One

Peacock Plumes Virtual Blog Hop (1)

 

I am so excited to share the release of my latest signature fabric collection for Island Batik, Peacock Plumes.  It lives up to everything the name implies - rich, gorgeous colors, fantastic motifs, and the projects - well, they are great too!

16 other designers are joining me this week to share with you all the possibilities this collection holds - and hopefully inspire you for your next quilt project!

Each day this week (September 27th thru October 1st), different designers will showcase their unique and fabulous designs, mocked up in this extravagant fabric line.  The full schedule is at the bottom of the post - so be sure to bookmark this post so you won't miss a single post or picture!

But first, let's look at the collection.  Drool alert - it is amazing!

Peacock Plumes-1

Aren't they lovely?  I love all of the rich jewel tones and the bits of spicy cinnamons that give this collection so much range.

Peacock Plumes Individual Fabrics

In case you have a favorite - or three! - here are the individual fabrics and their sku (think part number), in case you want to request them from your favorite local or online quilt shop!

But what about the quilts?  Ah - I've got you!  First, I want to share the projects I created for this very special collection!

Peacock Plumes - Daydream - Hi-Res

Daydream

Tradition with a twist, and using a technique I love to incorporate into projects whenever I can - gradation of color in the blocks.  I started out with the rich dark reads-as-a-solid green at the top and then gradually introduced lighter colors as the blocks moved down the quilt until the blocks vanish, and there is nothing but background!  Soft and elusive as a daydream!  Yes, you can find it here on my website!

 

Peacock Plumes - Dripp - Hi-Res

Dripp:

Do you love working with precuts?  Or like scrappy quilts?  Either way, this is your quilt!  If you like precuts, Dripp uses 20 10" squares (half of a 10" square stack) - or you could go scrappy and bust some stash!  It also uses the Studio 180 Corner Pop III tool to easily cut and trim those fun long triangles.  Don't have the Corner Pop III tool?  There is a template shape in the pattern to help with cutting, but honestly - the tool is awesome, and FAR more accurate!   You can find Dripp here in my shop!

Peacock Plumes - Flint - Hi-Res

Flint:

Do you ever wonder where the names of quilts come from?  It varies - but for this quilt, the pieced triangles reminded me of arrowheads - and Arrowhead seemed, well, OBVIOUS, so I went with Flint.  Flint was the material many made into arrowheads way back in the day.  So many things are favorites of mine in this quilt - paper piecing, fun color mixes (don't you just LOVE that bright pink with the rich gold??!!), a somewhat symmetrical setting with a bit of interest.  You can find Flint here in my shop!

Peacock Plumes - Jester - Hi-Res

Jester:

Inspired by the colorful caps worn by jesters, the original professional clowns with the sole job of entertaining members of the royal households. Jester is a surprisingly easy lap size project that is precut friendly, made even easier when using the optional (but STRONGLY recommended) Studio 180 Wedge Star tool. This one uses half of 10" square set (hey, you could make Daydream AND Jester from one 10" square set!) and half of a 2 1/2" strip set, plus background and an accent color!  You can find Jester here on my website!

So that's what I created - but wait, there is SOOOOO much more.  As in 16 designers more!

All of the designers participating in this hop are going to be sharing digital images, or mock ups, of projects using the Peacock Plumes line.  Please visit their websites to see more of their amazing work and available patterns.  Where can you find the fabrics?  So glad you asked!  Island Batik fabrics are carried by independent quilt shops - so check with your local shop, and if they don't currently have Peacock Plumes, you can always ask them to get it for you!

Oh....and you might, just maybe, want to check out everyone's Instagram and Facebook feed.  A little birdie told me some of them are sharing pics there too!

Want to win some of these lovely fabrics?  I'm giving away a selection of fat quarters from this rich collection to ONE lucky winner (US residents only).  How do you win?  Leave a comment here on the blog and I'll choose one winner from all of the comments posted through the end of the day on October 2nd, 2021.  Good luck!

Here is the line up of amazing designers for the week:

Sept 27:        Tammy Silvers - Tamarinis (hey, you are here!)

                      Jen Frost - Faith and Fabric

                      Geeky Bobbin  

Sept 28:         Leanne Parsons - Devoted Quilter

                      Laura Strickland - Orange Blossom Quilt Design

                      Sara Flynn - Offbeat Quilts

                      Pamela Boatright - Pamela Quilts

Sept 29:         Swan Sheridan - Swan Amity Studios

                      Lisa Ruble - Love to Color My World

                      Claudia Porter - Create with Claudia

Sept 30:        Laura Piland - Slice of Pi Quilts

                      Raija Salomaa - Quilter's Treasure Chest

                      Kathryn LeBlanc - Dragonfly's Quilting Design Studio

Oct 1:            Kate Colleran - Kate Colleran Designs

                     Sherry Shish - Powered By Quilting

                     Becca Fenstermaker - Pretty Piney Quilts

 

Like what you see here, and want to hear more from Tamarinis?

Like me on Facebook, follow me on Instagram, and sign up for my newsletter at www.tamarinis.com!  PS - I'm trying to get to the next milestone number on Facebook and Instagram (I am trying to get 2000+ followers) and would REALLY appreciate your help - so please click and follow!  Thanks so much!

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Following is one way to demonstrate your interest in my projects, patterns, and partnerships.  Your comments are also GREATLY appreciated, and provide valuable feedback regarding what inspires you, as well as what you'd like to see explored in future posts.

 

Holiday House Hop - Week Six

Holiday Hop Banner

A few of my quilting friends have gotten together to offer some fun holiday themed goodies for you: eye candy quilts, favorite Christmas songs, and even yummy holiday treat recipes.  Posts will go live each Thursday, with a different designer offering holiday awesomeness.  The full schedule is at the bottom of this post.  Sadly, this is the last week of the hop. 

Laura of Orange Blossom Quilting will be sharing her amazing holiday projects with you!  Be sure to check out her blog.

If you missed any of the earlier posts, here is the schedule of Holiday Hop posts.  Go back and visit those that you missed, and get inspired to start your holiday stitching!

September 9 - Tammy of Tamarinis
 

Like what you see here, and want to hear more from Tamarinis?

Like me on Facebook, follow me on Instagram, and sign up for my newsletter at www.tamarinis.com!  PS - I'm trying to get to the next milestone number on Facebook and Instagram (I am trying to get 2000+ followers) and would REALLY appreciate your help - so please click and follow!  Thanks so much!

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Following is one way to demonstrate your interest in my projects, patterns, and partnerships.  Your comments are also GREATLY appreciated, and provide valuable feedback regarding what inspires you, as well as what you'd like to see explored in future posts.

 

Holiday House Hop: Winter Holiday Pattern Tour

Week 6 Tamarinis
Welcome to my week on the Holiday House Hop!  I'm so very excited to share with you some of my favorite holiday and winter patterns!  It is still REALLY hot here in the sunny south, but perhaps these frosty patterns will help you keep cool and inspire some pre-holiday sewing!

First, let's look at some (ok quite a few!) holiday projects, and then I have a yummy cookie recipe to share with you!

Celebration Slices

Celebration slices

This is the Christmas Tree from my Celebration Slices pattern.  The pattern offers three different celebration themed banners - Birthday, Halloween and Christmas!  I love this little paper pieced pattern because it not only offers up three options, but because it is quick (one simple paper piecing pattern) and easy, and the fused applique offers a fun way to embellish and make it uniquely your own.

I came up with this pattern because I was trying to create a small wall hanging to fit a narrow space in my home.  I thought - why not do more than one project for different times of the year that can fit in the same space?  Ta-da - Celebration Slices!

 

Christmas Cactus

Christmas Cactus Hand dyed

So...it has "Christmas" in the title, and yes, it is named after the plant of the same name.  Christmas Cactus typically bloom at....wait for it....Christmas (!), hence the name.  But, fun fact, did you know that there is a Thanksgiving cactus as well?  I know - color me surprised!  I found an article on the difference between the two versions here on the BHG website.

The Christmas Cactus version you see above is the first one I made a long LONG time ago, when I was first making hand dyed fabrics.  It is actually the first quilt (ok, table topper, but still.....) I designed.  I created the design because my mother had gifted me a REAL Christmas Cactus plant - a huge lovely she had nurtured for years.  And my lack of a green thumb did it in.  I felt terrible.  Really.Terrible.  So...I created this fabric version for her instead.  I love the soft almost Victorian feel of this one.

Christmas-Cactus-2

I remade Christmas Cactus again a few years ago in some brilliant Island Batik fabrics, and I love this version as well.   It kinda has a night blooming tropical plant vibe, doesn't it?  I think the rich dark blue background contributes to that feeling.

 

Christmas Cheer

Christmas Cheer Lap Quilt

Christmas Cheer is one of my newest patterns, and it has some of my favorite pattern features: large blocks, easy paper piecing (ok, no I don't JUST do paper piecing patterns, but I do like to paper piece!), and a fun layout that reminds me of ribbon wrapped around presents!

I like Christmas Cheer because often time the charming Christmas fabrics we love so much have fairly large scale prints, and this really showcases them in a simple layout!  And I really love the slightly retro vibe of this festive Free Spirit fabric!  The line is called (appropriately!) FaLaLa by Maude Ashbury.  Isn't it charming?!

Forest Frame

Forest Frame

Forest Frame is a panel based quilt pattern, so if you don't have this adorable panel (it is from the folks at Timeless Treasures, and the line is called Rebel without a Claus.....I know!), then it might not have the Christmasy vibe - but I wanted to include it in case you DID have a holiday panel.

Yes, it is paper pieced (ok, now that I think about it, I do think almost ALL of my holiday patterns are paper pieced!), but it is worth it to create those fun spikey evergreen branch blocks!  And those modern interpretive blocks are the inspiration for the name - Forest Frame!

Homestead

Homestead Winter Spice Final

Homestead is the perfect example of how a FABRIC can make a project a holiday project.  These simple log cabin blocks aren't REALLY Christmas - but when stitched up in these cozy spicy prints from Tim Holtz, they make the whole quilt Christmasy!  I call this one Christmas Spice.

Homestead Mint Chip Final

But the line had some cool crisp colors as well, and I couldn't resist pulling one together in those icy fabrics as well.  I call this one Mint Chip.  It makes me think of mint chip ice cream or peppermints.  Yummy!  Oh - and hey - guess what?!  Homestead is NOT paper pieced!  Woot woot!

Lovely Woods

Lovely Woods

Lovely Woods isn't TECHNICALLY a "holiday" quilt.  But....it is a winter quilt.  Shh...don't tell my other quilts, but this one is a secret favorite of mine.  It makes me think of snow covered woods, icicles, and the hush after a snowfall.

Holiday quilts don't necessarily have to be stitched up in holiday fabrics.  Sometimes it is the look or the feel of the project, or the memories it evokes. And just imagine it in some fun Christmas fabrics!  I'm actually recoloring this pattern in an upcoming Michael Miller Christmas line - and it DEFINITELY has a holiday vibe in that fabric!

Off Center

Off Center TH Christmas Final

Off Center is another of those quilts that isn't holiday themed by block, but rather because of the holiday fabric used to make it!  Like Christmas Cheer, I like that it has big easy pieces to showcase those amazing holiday fabrics.  Plus, because the pieces are big, it will sew up in a hurry so you can snuggle under it while humming Christmas tunes and sipping hot cocoa!

Steppe

Steppe 51x72

Steppe is our last stop on the Holiday project tour.  It uses a whimsical fabric line from Patric Lose, all done in narrow bands to create skinny blocks.  I was thinking of holiday ribbon candy when I designed this one, and it makes me think of that every time I look at it!  Now that you know the inspiration, can you see it too?

We've looked at my collection of holiday and winter patterns.  I hope you enjoyed the tour, and are inspired to start your holiday stitching soon!  I'd like to leave you with two things - my favorite Christmas song, and my family's favorite holiday cookie recipe!

My favorite Christmas song?  It was really REALLY tough to narrow it down to one, but if I had to share one, it would have to be Good King Wenceslas.  Why?  Hmmmm....maybe because to me it captures what we feel at Christmastime and hopefully strive for the rest of the year - being kind and considerate to our fellow human beings.  I found a rendition by Bing Crosby and it is beautiful.  Listen for yourself!

Can you guess what our family's favorite holiday cookie recipe is?  Hint - it is SUPER easy!  Every year, my husband and my daughter gather in the kitchen and make no-bake cookies!  It is so popular they have to make a double batch every time!  Here's the recipe so you can whip up a batch with your family.  And you don't have to wait until the holidays to make them - they are amazing any time of year!

IMG_6531

Here's the dynamic duo from a long ago Christmas!  This is swiped from a little memory book I created for that Christmas (I still love looking back at it!).  Not to worry - I've typed up the recipe in it's entirety for you so you don't have to try to read hubby's hand writing!

No Bake Cookie Recipe (1)

 

For a PDF, click to Download No Bake Cookie Recipe.

There's just one more stop next week - Laura of Orange Blossom Quilts.  But in case you missed any earlier posts, here is the schedule of Holiday Hop posts:

August 5 - Laura of Slice of Pi Quilts <---That's me!
September 9 - Tammy of Tamarinis
 

Like what you see here, and want to hear more from Tamarinis?

Like me on Facebook, follow me on Instagram, and sign up for my newsletter at www.tamarinis.com!  PS - I'm trying to get to the next milestone number on Facebook and Instagram (I am trying to get 2000+ followers) and would REALLY appreciate your help - so please click and follow!  Thanks so much!

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Following is one way to demonstrate your interest in my projects, patterns, and partnerships.  Your comments are also GREATLY appreciated, and provide valuable feedback regarding what inspires you, as well as what you'd like to see explored in future posts.