Thursday, February 1, 2018

Wonderland Quilt Along Block #5: The Flamingo

Today the Wonderland Quilt Along features a paper-pieced flamingo. He's 1' x 2' and a beauty!

Even if you aren't part of the Wonderland Quilt Along Facebook Group or a blog subscriber creating the entire project, you might want to make some flamingo blocks. I think they'd pair nicely with these paper-pieced chair patterns from Cotton + Steel.

Snatch up the pattern off Craftsy while it's free! If you are newer to paper-piecing, check out the post from Block #4. I will give you a few more specific pointers this month, but I will not be covering the entire process. If you're new to the process, you might want to try out a Craftsy class to get down the basics. Craftsy now has a 7 day free trial of their subscription service, if you want to get up to speed without obligation.

For this month, I took advantage of EQ8's new ability to print foundation patterns in color. With the Select & Spray tool, it was really easy to swap fabrics for solid colors before printing templates. Now I can even rotate units within the Preview frame. If you haven't purchased or upgraded to EQ8, I heartily recommend it! I'm an EQ Influencer and the links above are affiliate links, but I only suggest purchasing the software because I think it's the very best fit for the job and well worth the investment.

I took an iPhone picture of my background fabric and scaled it so the proportions are correct on the Image Worktable. Hooray! Check out the #EQ8Top10 hashtag for more new and improved features of the latest edition.

Let's move on to the piecing particulars. Use an ever-trusty glue stick to hold your first piece in place. Don't get too carried away because you'll need to remove that paper later. If you are a little overzealous, a mist of water will help break the bond on paper that just won't budge.

Trim the seam allowance of the first piece to 1/4" on all adjacent sides instead of just the line between sections 1 and 2 to speed things up later on.

Hold your fabric up to the light to reveal the lines on the opposite side and make sure you have covered the section including seam allowance.

Since this block is on the larger side, I'm using the 12" Add-A-Quarter Ruler instead of the 6". Optimally, I'd use the Plus version, but I've had this one since before it was released.

The Plus version has a tapered edge to assist with folding on the lines. This is my 6" model. Here I've switched up the piecing order so the angles are less cumbersome. Remember to err on the side of caution when trimming fabric for each piece. You can always put the extra aside for smaller areas that will come up later on.

Here is an example of trying out the size and shape of a fabric before adding it. I have laid it down with a 1/4" overlap.

Then, I carefully flip it into place for stitching, making sure the raw edges are lined up.

Do a test flip to make sure that the piece will still cover and that pressing with cause the fabric to angle in the direction you anticipated.

Sometimes you can add more than one pieces during the same visit to the sewing machine before pressing--provided they are on opposite sides of the pre-existing pieces and you keep them out of the way of each other.

I like to work factory-line style, doing the first step for each unit at the same time.

If a corner is cut off from print margins, just extend the existing lines until they meet. Speaking of printing, always make sure your printing is scaled to 100" and that the 1" square on the pattern actually measures 1".

When removing the paper, pinch one side with your thumb near the line of stitching. Fold back and finger press along the stitch line.

Then pull the paper downward with the other hand. This helps prevent pulling out stitches.

 When you stitch the units together, keep the paper on. Then remove the paper in the seam allowances, press, and add another unit.

I prefer to press bulky seams open.

Don't forget to share on Facebook and on Instagram with #WonderlandQuiltAlong.

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  1. I love your flamingo! Awesome job, there. I looked up the changes for Mac users between EQ7 and EQ8. Apparently not many--not enough to justify the nearly 100 bucks they want. I'll wait for the next one, and keep on with my 7 (and QuiltPro, which works really well for Mac users).

  2. This is one of my favorite blocks from the quilt. Thank you so much for linking up with the Tips and Tutorials Festival!

  3. This is a great block and I'm going to suggest it to a friend whose daughter loves flamingos.