Potter's Wheel Quilt Along WEEK SIX

It's here!  EASY WEEK!

How will you use this week?  Catching up?  Taking it easy?  Getting ahead?

No matter what, I hope it's a good week for you!

I've got my blocks up on my design wall, and my quilt is a puzzle nearing completion, as I decide which fabrics to fit into the spaces.  As I'd mentioned before, I'm doing a gradient and I decided the best way to approach this planned gradient was to sew the curves, then pin the pieces to my design wall, get an idea of what else I need, then assemble the blocks.  Each block will have a specific place in the quilt.  So I'm hoping the first half of the week will be catch up, and the second half of the week will be about getting ahead for me!

I'm so amazed at the finished quilt tops!  Some are even quilted already!  Incredible!

If you're still not sure how you'd like yours Potter's Wheel quilted, here's another option!  Dara from Stitched Quilting Co is also offering to take Potter's Wheel quilts as well.  Her speciality is free motion quilting, and any of my free motion quilted quilts have been done by her.  So, she's offering the same deal as Sheri - 25% off batting and 10% off  quilting - the only difference is this, Dara is able to quilt either a panto, or free motion quilting.

We'll have to wait until next week for pictures and more details, but here's what I can share about the final giveaways!  The Grand Prize is a fabric bundle from C+S that releases this weekend at Quilt Market, and since Cotton + Steel haven't shared a sneak peek of these fabrics yet, I still need to keep it a secret.  But I'll tell ya!  I'm SO in love with these prints!  You're going to love them.  You'll get them months before they're in stores, too!

How's that for motivation?!?  Keep on sewing guys!  You can do it!

Also, we have three other awesome prizes from three other inspiring sponsors so stay tuned for next week's blog post!

Have the best week guys!  Keep on encouraging each other, and thank you for all the kind words shared about the pattern!  You guys are the best!

Potter's Wheel Quilt Along WEEK FIVE

Lots to address this week!
First off!  Congrats!  Your creations are beautiful and so inspiring!  Keep it up!  Things are looking amazing!  

This week I'm sharing loads, so forgive the long blog post, but next week's will be a light blog post, (as will the Week).  Next week is Easy Week!

Your Pile of scrap fabrics is piling up I’m sure, so I have some simple patterns that you can make with the scraps left over from Potters Wheel Curves.

Also, perhaps you've started considering how to quilt your quilt.  I've shared my Free Motion Quilting favourites, my favourite Edge to Edge Quilting Pantographs, and a special offer for Longarm service from an excellent quilter here in Nova Scotia.  (If you're not in Canada, but in the US, considering the exchange rate, it could still be a great option!)

So, let's start off with options to consider for those scraps.  I'll be offering reduced prices on all these patterns exclusively for QAL members soon.  

Here’s Glimmering.  It's mostly a paper pieced pattern using 2 1/2” triangles.  Here's how I would make it with my neutrals.  It's available in print, and also in my Etsy shop as a digital download.  Please note:  Every triangle uses up 108 triangles, so you'll have to consider how many triangles you can get out of your scraps, depending on the size of the Potter's Wheel you're making.  Blocks are 18 1/2" finished, so you could easily make an 18" pillow with every block. (I'd add a 1 1/2" border, and once it's quilted, trim it down to 19", and use a 1/2" seam allowance to sew back of pillow to front.)

Here's how I would use my main fabrics, a few neutrals, and I couldn't decide on a background fabric:

Here's Best Dressed.  It's a mini pattern available, using small bits, too!  You can cut one tumbler piece from your main print scraps, and two from every neutral scrap.

Here’s another pattern I’m getting ready for you!  

Hearth Mini.  It measures 19" x 25", and I think it would make a great 18" pillow, by omitting a few rows!

The pattern will be ready Week 8 of the QAL!

Also, I thought it would be a great time to have a chat about how you're going to quilt it!  How ARE you going to quilt it, do you know?

Here are my FMQ favourites.  Free Motion Quilting is not one of my strengths yet, so I opt for FMQ options that are easy to be successful with.  Here are my go-to's from most easy, to more challenging, including how I do it.

Organic wavy lines.  I start from the side at the middle of the quilt, and work my way towards the top or bottom, then start close to where I began and finish the other half of the quilt.  No lines touch.  Waves are very mild.  Every line starts on the same side of the quilt. 

Organic wavy lines with a flourish.  I start from the side at the middle of the quilt, and work my way towards the top or bottom, then start close to where I began and finish the other half of the quilt.  No lines touch, but they sometimes echo each other very closely (1/4").  Waves look more stormy.  Every line starts on the same side of the quilt.
Ribbon.  I start from the side at the middle of the quilt, and work my way towards the top or bottom, then start close to where I began and finish the other half of the quilt.  At first the lines look very much like the organic wavy lines, but more spaced out.  I then go back to every line, crossing over, and filling in the space.  Every line starts on the same side of the quilt.
Ribbon Meander.  I start from the side at the middle of the quilt, and work my way towards the top or bottom, then start close to where I began and finish the other half of the quilt.  At first the lines are a very wide meander, with your hand (not stretched out) able to fit within the curves and between the lines.  I then go back to every line, crossing over, and filling in the space.   Sometimes I create a meandering line all the way across the quilt then go back to where the line started and go across the line again, but also since this is a meander, sometimes  even in the centre of the quilt, I loop around and work my way back across the ribbon.
Long Meander.  It's almost like an elongated stipple.  I know in the image there are sharp points, but they wouldn't be there in my FMQ.  I start from the side at the middle of the quilt, and work my way towards the top or bottom, then start close to where I began and finish the other half of the quilt.  I allow space between the lines about the width of my finger.  I quilt out a line, make a hook, and include a wide or a narrow S curve out of the hook.  I never cross over lines, and allow some areas to be denser then others.  I often will do large areas 3 ft square, then  meander my way into another area.  The quilting is a random sequence of lines, hooks, S curves, puddles (that's where I curve into a space and make a little oval, and curve back out again), and curvy meanders to the next space
Longarm Quilting Opportunity
Before I share my favourite pantos, I though I'd let you know I've made an arrangement with Sheri of Violet Quilts.  She's offering a great promotion to anyone in the Quilt Along on their Potter's Wheel Quilt.  She will quilt a Panto or Edge to Edge on your quilt for 10% off, and 25% of batting (Hobbs 80/20). Almost every panto I've had quilted on a quilt has been done by Sheri.  You'll love her.  She is guaranteeing these quilts will be done before Christmas whether you're dropping it off or mailing it.  You can contact her through her Facebook page.  It would be great to give her some notice, if you're planing to have her work on your quilt.

Pantos that would look great on the Potter's Wheel Quilt
On my first Potter's Wheel I used a modified version of Three Tours Wavy Stripe by Methodist Hill Quilt Studio. It's a free Edge to Edge.  It almost looks like a straight line, but it doesn't catch on the horizontal lines of the quilt, which I like.

This is Fancy Schmancy by Karlee Porter.  I've put it on three quilts so far, and love it!  She also has several Retro Tile designs that are brilliant! Check 'em out!

Three Sisters Baptist Fan is one I've been wanting to put on a quilt for forever, just waiting for the right one!  I think it would look awesome on a Potter's Wheel!

Wiggle Worm is another I've been wanting to try!  

Next week is Easy Week!  No assignments, you can choose on of these three options for the week - catching up, getting ahead, or doing nothing!

Potter's Wheel Quilt Along WEEK FOUR

We are in Week Four of the quilt along!  I’m am so inspired by you!  Your blocks are amazing and your colour palettes inspiring!

I love this "one colour per block" look Terry, @trowquilting!

All the heart eyes for these blocks by Gretchen @gollygwhiz!

This soft palette by Diane @d_bates79 makes me want to pull fabrics for another!  ;)

Did you see! We already have some finished quilt tops! Way to go Adrienne @seam_work, and Wendy @redlabelquilts!

Keep at those blocks, friends!  They’re looking gorgeous!  Before you know it, you’ll have a quilt top, too.  Share your quilt top using the #potterswheelqal, and I’ll enter you in the final giveaway!  I am dying to tell you about the giveaway, but I’ll keep it a secret for a little while yet! 

Remember, Week 6 (Easy Week) is the week after next!  You can use it to catch up, or take a break, or get ahead on your Potter's Wheel project.

This week is just like last week, our goal is sewing more blocks: 3 (Crib), 5 (Throw) 10 (Twin)

Next week’s goal is exactly the same: 3 (Crib), 5 (Throw) 10 (Twin)

A note:  If you happen to create a snag in your acrylic ruler by cutting into the edge of the curve with your rotary cutter this can easily be repaired.  File it down with a metal nail file.  (I have also had to do this on my Stripology ruler, and filing down the snag makes the edge smooth again so it doesn't catch the rotary cutter.)

Until next week, happy sewing!

Potter's Wheel Quilt Along WEEK THREE

Last week, WEEK 2 was so great!  High fives to all of you.  I loved getting to see your blocks come together.  I've heard multiple times, "Curved piecing isn't as tricky as I thought it was!"

Your eyes may be opening to the possibilities of curved piece quilting: Drunkards Path curves, Rob Peter to pay Paul curves, Improv curves; there are so many great curved piecing designs out there!

I have few other curved piecing quilt designs too, and I'll tell you about them another week!

Here are our goals for the week:
  • Sew your blocks 3 (Crib), 5 (Throw) 10 (Twin) blocks, or if you've decided to assembly line piece your quilt, I've included a plan below to keep you on track.  The biggest goal is to have your quilt top together by the end of Week 8 because, GIVEAWAY!!!  Also if you're interested in taking your quilt to a longarmer, I've got one on call for any of our Potter's Wheel quilts.  She would be happy to quilt an edge to edge pantograph from Week 8 onwards, and can guarantee Christmas delivery.  More info to follow. 
  • Share your progress using #potterswheelqal and tag me @briarhilldesigns. 
  • Check out #potterswheelqal and #potterswheelquilt, and cheer on your fellow QAL-ers!    
Next week (Week 4) will be much the same:
Sewing more blocks! 3 (Crib), 5 (Throw) 10 (Twin)

If your preferred approach to this QAL is more like an "Assembly Line" instead of, "Sew a number of blocks a week" here's a plan for you!

Week 2:  Cut all parts of the block and sew curves.
Week 3:  True up blocks and add strings.
Week 4:  Layout quilt (optional) and begin sewing one third of your blocks together.  Trim blocks.

Week 5:  Continue sewing one third of your blocks together.  Trim blocks.
Week 6:  Easy week.  This is a great week to catch up on blocks, or trim your blocks.  If you're all caught up, make your binding or prep your backing.
Week 7:  Sew the last third of your blocks together.  Trim blocks.
Week 8:  Assemble your quilt top.  I'll be sharing my favourite FMQ ideas for sewing on your domestic machine, and my favourite pantos.  Those of us who have assembled quilt tops by the end of the week will be entered in the final giveaway.

Potter's Wheel Quilt Along WEEK TWO

Big week!  Starting week!  Are ya ready?  Yes?  Awesome!!!

Anyone nervous to get started?  Some of you may be feeling what I call "The Wall" .

The Wall happens for me when I want to face something new, but I'm also really intimidated by it.  So maybe you're feeling nervous to cut into that fabric, or more likely, you're nervous about the curved piecing.

Here's what I have learned to do when I come face to face with that huge, intimidating, daunting Wall.

I tell it,  "Get out of here!  I can face intimidating things!  I can learn new skills!!!  Everything I'm good at was new once, duh!"

And then I get to it.

Give it a try, it will work on your Wall too!

Two weeks ago I was teaching the Potter's Wheel block to a group of students at Patch, and comments went from "I'm totally scared of curves!"  to "That was soooo much easier than I expected!" in a matter of 20 minutes.

What happened in that 20 minutes?  Starting happened.  After following the instruction, they sat down, took a deep breath and showed that Wall who's really in charge!

That Wall isn't really there anyway! It's smoke and mirrors, and we can face uncomfortable things and show them who's boss!  You can totally do this curved piecing thing!  Totally!


Here are our goals for the week:
  • Sew a few practice curves after watching the curved piecing video tutorials on You Tube.  Please note, they are also provided at the end of the Week One Blog post.
  • Sew your first  4 (Crib), 5 (Throw) 10 (Twin) blocks. 
  • Share your progress using #potterswheelqal and tag me @briarhilldesigns.  I'd love for us all to make some new quilty friends! 
  • Check out #potterswheelqal and #potterswheelquilt, and cheer on your fellow QAL-ers!
  • If you haven't yet introduced yourself or shared your palette, these are things you can do at anytime during the QAL.
Next week (Week 3) will be much the same:

Sewing more blocks! 3 (Crib), 5 (Throw) 10 (Twin)

I can't wait to see your blocks coming together!