Saturday, 25 June 2016

Free Mini Block Pattern - Churn Dash

I'm back with another free mini quilt block pattern. This time, it's the Churn Dash. I've also got some mini block sewing tips for you, so be sure to read through.


I made several of these churn dash blocks to try to find the best way to press the seams. A bit time consuming, but I aim in all my patterns - even the free ones - to figure those things out so that you don't have to! So, it's worth the time.

In most mini blocks the seams are bulky no matter which way you press them. You can deal with and reduce the bulk in a few ways:
  • Use thinner fabrics and avoid bulkier ones;
  • Make sure those seams are pressed as flat as you can get them. Finger pressing first can help get the seam 'set' before ironing and will make ironing the little pieces easier. I press with my fingers first, then use my finger nail to get a good crease. 
  • Don't be afraid to press some seams open and some to the side, but make sure your quarter inch seam allowance is adjusted accordingly if necessary. (In my experience, a seam that is pressed open will take up less fabric than one that is pressed to the side, so I sew a slightly narrower seam - a scant quarter inch - when I press to the side than when I press open. Test it out for yourself and see if you find the same thing.)
  • Trim seam allowances down to an eighth of an inch after sewing and pressing.
  • Use spray starch or a starch alternative. You can starch all your fabrics lightly before you begin cutting, then spray again if you need to after sewing the seams. Be sure to press the seams first to get the block or unit as flat as you can, then spray lightly and press them again. 

Here is another mini churn dash with the seams pressed differently to the pink:


You can get the free pattern by clicking the button below, which will open the file for you in another page, ready to download. Or, head to my Craftsy Pattern Store for the free download.
Happy Sewing!

Hope x

Friday, 10 June 2016

Free Mini Block Pattern - Friendship Star

I've got another free mini block pattern for you! This itty-bitty version of the Friendship Star block is quite straight forward to sew - just four half square triangle units and five squares.


You only need the smallest of scraps (the largest pieces needed are just 1.5") so why not give it a go? Click the button below to open and download the PDF pattern for free.

The block finishes at a very cute 1.5" square (2" unfinished). It's the same size as my other free mini block patterns which means you can easily mix and match to create your own mini sampler. I've got another mini pattern in the works too, just some pressing directions to iron out and it's good to go. Check back soon for more, or sign up for my newsletter to be notified as soon as it's available.


Piecing on such a small scale can be fiddly, but if you take it slow and double check the accuracy of your cutting and seam allowances, it will go together more easily. There's not a lot of room to 'fudge' so accuracy is key to a happy sewing experience. That being said, you need only use scraps so it's worth a try - what have you got to lose?


Now is a great time to give tiny sewing a go. Make Modern magazine are running a Mini Mini Quilt competition. Just make a quilt 6" square or smaller, post it to Instagram with #MMminimini and tag @makemodernmagazine and you'll be in the running to win one of many great prizes including patterns (from myself and other great designers), notions, gift vouchers and even the services of a professional quilter! You can enter as many times as you like up until 20th June. Check out all the details over at the Make Modern website

Happy sewing!

Hope x