Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Rainbow Rose QAL Week 2: Cutting & Piecing

Welcome back to week 2 of our Rainbow Rose QAL

First up congratulations to Olena who linked up a blog post and won our first prize of the QAL by linking up to last weeks post, a fat quarter bundle from!

You can link up any progress on the QAL every week to enter the draw for our brilliant prizes.  For our schedule, see the QAL tab at the top of this page and last weeks post on choosing fabric for your block here.  Over the coming weeks we are going to be exploring the colour wheel and making this block, the Rainbow Rose, in your choice of 2 sizes to make either a 40” x 40” baby quilt or a larger lap or bed quilt 80” x 80”.

This weeks post is sponsored by Giddygoats Craft who have sponsored a prize of 5 fat quarters of Tilda fabric to the value of €20 to a lucky winner who links up to this weeks post.  We are onto cutting your background fabric and piecing the middle sections of our Rainbow Rose!

To win this bundle beautifully modelled by The Tilda dolls, link up a photo, instagram or flickr image, or a blog post of your progress on the Rainbow Rose block by clicking the blue linky button at the end of this post.  Random number generator will choose a winner to be announced next week!  The linky will be open until midnight next Tuesday and the winner announced next Wednesday when we move onto piecing the corners of our block!

Ready to start cutting up some fabric?
Let's start with the 40" x 40" baby quilt!
Background Fabric - 1 yard
I've prepared this cutting chart to help make the most efficient use of the fabric.
We will need to cut our yard of fabric into strips along the width of fabric (WOF).
  1. Cut 2 strips 5" wide
  2. Sub-cut strip 1 into 8 squares 5" x 5"
  3. Sub-cut strip 2 into 6 squares 5" x 5" and 2 squares 4 1/2" x 4 1/2"
  4. Cut 5 strips 4 1/2" wide
  5. Sub-cut 1 of the strips into 4 rectangles 4 1/2" x 8 1/2"
The remaining strips will be used to make the borders. We will measure our finished block before trimming the borders to their final size but for now:
   6.  Take 2 of the strips and cut 1 square 4 1/2"x 4 1/2" from each of the strips and put the remaining aside.
If you are not working from yardage you will need the following:
   *minimum length given - we will trim borders to final size once block is complete and the average width and height is measured.

80" x 80" Larger Lap/Bed Quilt
I've rounded up 1/4 yard to allow a little room for straightening up the fabric at the beginning and during cutting to give yourself a clean line. The most efficient way to cut your background fabric for the larger quilt is given in the cutting chart.
  1. From one end of your yardage cut two strips 9 1/2" x Width of fabric.
  2. Sub-cut into 4 rectangles 9 1/2" x 18 1/2"
  3. To avoid piecing our borders we are going to use a traditional quilting technique of cutting along the selvedge edge!
  4. Cut 2 strips 10" wide by length of fabric.
  5. Sub-cut each strip into 7 squares 10" x 10" and 2 squares 9 1/2" x 9 1/2.  Total of 14 squares 10" x 10" and 4 squares 9 1/2" x 9 1/2".
  6. From the remaining fabric cut 4 strips 4 1/2" x length of fabric. Again we will measure our finished block before trimming the borders to their final size so put aside for now
If you are not working from yardage you will need the following:
*minimum length given - we will trim borders to final size once block is complete and the average width and height is measured.

Dealing with bias
So far all of the cuts we have made have been on the straight grain of fabric. We have cut vertically along the width and for the larger quilt horizontally along the selvedge.

To make the Half Square Triangles for the Rainbow Rose block we will need to cut our 5" and 10" background fabric squares in half along the diagonal and expose the bias edge.

imageAs every HST is different it would be quite tricky to try and make them using the drawn line method and containing the bias edge. Instead, cutting along the diagonal gives us pieces we can mix and match for our outer ring and inner 8 pointed star.
The bias edge is stretchy and should be handled as little as possible so as not to pull it out of shape before it is sewn to a matching HST. One thing that can help with this is starch!

Two years ago when we were cutting triangles for the Triangle-A-Long @ the Sassy Quilter we starched the fabric twice! Yes it was a little stiff but it worked! If you don't have starch or a starch alternative like Best Press just be careful in the handling and you will be fine! If you have starch on hand (bought mine at the local Centra for 2 Euro) spray your 5" and 10" squares and press with a hot iron.

To minimise handling we are going to cut the HST's as we go along!

To start with, let's have a look at the middle pieces which are each made up of 2 squares and 2 HST with background fabric!

Exploring the Colour Wheel
The colours I have chosen for my middles are Red, Yellow, Blue-Green and Purple.

For some reason quite a few people dislike purple and to be fair, it is one of those colours that can be hard to find for stash fabrics. It is considered the colour of European Royalty as the pigments used to make purple were very expensive and not everyone could afford them! In our Rainbow Rose block you need 2 -4 colours of purple. We are using it to bridge moving from blue to pink so a blue toned and a red toned purple would work perfectly!

Red and yellow are warm colours in the colour wheel. The other warm colour is orange. By contrast green, blue, indigo and violet are considered cool colours. However, you can get some warmth within a colour family. Green and purple being the closest to the warm colours can have lots of variation in terms of warmth & coolness.  There are some greens that look warm when next to a cooler version of green, but when compared with an orange, that same green will look cool again.  Colours interact with each other.  Warm colours advance towards you and cool colours tend to sit back. Some of my favourite quilts are those that  mix warm and cool colours in a quilt top (half square triangles and chevron quilts can be very effective using this type of colour palette). 

When talking about colour temperature, I’m always reminded of Trinny and Susannah  from What Not To Wear who said, if you are going to wear red, instead of pairing it with black – keep it hot! I’m not sure I’m up for a red/orange outfit but when it comes to red, a little can go a long way! It commands attention and is the reason it is used in safety signs the world over - think of the big stop sign at the end of the road!  Red is also one of those colours that can be hard to work with tonally. If you look at the colour card there are oodles and oodles of blue colours but not too many reds. We are not using red or yellow to bridge a gap so, as close to true red and yellow as you can get will be perfect.
Kona Cotton Solids Color Card

Yellow is another colour that can be hard to find both in traditional quilts and for stash fabric. The rich warm buttercup yellow is one I am particularly drawn to. The colder lime yellow is actually more eye catching than deep sunflower yellow and is used more on ambulances and emergency vehicles that want to catch our attention when we are driving, so we can get out of the way when needed!  Think of this the next time you want to add a pop of colour to your quilt or draw attention to a particular place in your design!

Finally, for Blue-Green you can use used a mixture of aqua/turquoise/cyan/teal depending on the green and blue colours you are using on either side. This is a bridge colour like the purples and we want to blend with the fabrics before and after.

Cutting & Piecing the Middle Section
1.  Take 4 background fabric squares, 5" for the baby quilt and 10" for the larger bed quilt.
2.  Cut in half along the diagonal to make 2 background triangles per square, 8 in total. 
3.  From the red, yellow, purple and blue-green fabrics you have chosen for the centre sections cut the following from each colour:
  • 2 squares 5" x 5" for the baby quilt and 10" x 10" squares for the bed quilt
  • 2 squares 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" for the baby quilt and 9 1/2" x 9 1/2" squares for the larger quilt
image4.  Cut each of the 5" or 10" squares in half along the diagonal to make 2 identical triangles and put one triangle aside for the 8 pointed star we are going to make later.
5.  Pair each of your coloured triangles with a background fabric triangle by placing right sides together and sew 1/4" seam along the diagonal edge.

6.  Press open or to the side as you prefer and trim to 4 1/2" square for the baby quilt and 9 1/2" square for the larger lap/bed quilt.
7.  Make 2 purple, 2 red, 2 yellow and 2 blue-green.

8.  Layout in rows as follows and sew 2 triangles to make row 1 and 2 squares to make row 2.

9.  Finally sew the rows together to complete middle pieces measuring 8 1/2" square for the baby quilt and 18 1/2" square for the larger quilt.

Put aside until we assemble the quilt block!

Remember to win the fat quarter bundle from Giddygoats Craft, link up a photo, Instagram/ Flickr image or blog post by clicking on the blue button below:

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  1. The reds were the hardest fabrics for me to find.

    1. I had a hard time with reds on a stash bee block and seemed to me to be obsessed with buying reds for a while - now I'm stuck on dark blues!

  2. Wow! Thank you Ruth, it's such a miracle - I never win in games of chance))
    Going to look for some spry starch tomorrow.

    1. Congrats! looking forward to seeing what you make with your win!

  3. I'm learning so much about color theory, Thank you!

    1. Thanks Mara! glad you are quilting along!

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  5. Am I supposed to cut four squares from four different reds, four different yellows, etc.?

  6. Thank you Ruth for the lesson in colour theory. I'm not quilting along, but I am enjoying reading the instructions. I'm thinking of reducing the size to make a wall hanging, but for that I need my mathematical quilting cap, which I have temporarily misplaced!


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