Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Land of Magic Quilt Sew-A-Long Castle

It's a new week and a new block for the Land of Magic Quilt sew-a-long. Today we are talking about the Castle block, and blogger Cristy from PurpleDaisies, as well as our sponsor Aurifil. I had so much fun designing this Castle block based on Sarah Jane Studio's Magic fabric "Castle Plans". As I designed this block, I took elements from Sarah's Castles like windows, turrets, towers and the cloud line that bounces across the block. I love the illusion this line gives, that there are thick low laying clouds or fog with the castle hanging around in the distance.

When I first designed the Castle block it was much wider than 8", and quickly realized it was the wrong width and wouldn't fit in my quilt plan. I was so bummed because I loved it (and finished it) - but took a deep breath, changed the width, and loved it even more. It became longer and skinnier and looked perfect (and of course it fit in the quilt).

The best part about the Castle block is that it doesn't have any angled sections to put together. All of the sections themselves are straight lines so the sections go together easily. The only time consuming part about this block is the fussy cutting for the background, and of course the little flag (I put the dragon on mine)!

There are two things to think about as you are piecing your Castle. The first is you'll use the same print (Unicorn Border) for the background from top to bottom. As you can see below, there are 5 different layers to use. The white with gold stars, greyish white with gold stars, light blue with tiny dot stars, deeper blue with tiny dot stars and of course the grass. As you piece the sections, be mindful of the lines and the fabric usage. 

The second part to consider while piecing your Castle block is the Navy Castle Plans and making sure the "plans" stay upright and not sideways or at an angle.

To make sure your directional prints show the way you want them to, place the paper piecing block pattern upright. Place the fabric right side down in the way you would want to see it. Fold the line of the fabric where you'll sew, and then move that piece under the paper. lining up the fold. Flip the fabric back the opposite way before sewing that seam. (photo shown below is from the making of the unicorn but illustrates my point perfectly).

I love the versatility of the Castle block. One of my pattern testers this past summer, was inspired to make her 'castle' into a Sand Castle block. I looks to me that she used the "sand" colored print on the sides of the base to "support" the structure. I love the concept she completely switched it to.
Photo courtesy of Angela from @thegreenapricot on Instagram
Shauna (@smoobug) decided to add a couple of extra lines. One extra line to add another layer of clouds (or fog), as well as a grass line to denote a rolling hill. I also love that she used a bright yellow fabric in the upper tower window. It looks as if someone is in the tower and the light is on. lol.
Photo courtesy of Shauna from @smoobug on Instagram

My awesome blogger friend for today's block is Cristy from Purple Daisies Quilting. Cristy decided to make her Castle block look like Sleeping Beauty's magical tower, complete with little princesses in the window. Cristy is the queen of paperless paper piecing and taught me all I know about glue basting! She shares some of her tips for glue basting the pieces backwards all at once, then sewing. It's crazy awesome! You can find more about Cristy (@cristycreates) and see all of her amazing creations by checking her site Purple Daisies Quilting.

I'd like to thank our sponsor Aurifil for providing the prize for this week's block release. Aurifil is providing one #landofmagicquilt participant one of their small spool collections box (jealous!). For your chance to win Emily Herrick's (also a Michael Miller Fabric designer) Up and Away small spool collection, 1: be sure you are following Aurifil (@aurifilthread) and myself (@kidgiddy) on Instagram, 2: post pics of your Castle block and tag it with the #landofmagicquilt and tag myself and Aurifil so we can see it, 3: post and tag it prior to the next block release in 2 weeks. Winner will be notified when the Dragon block comes out.

Thanks so much for joining in on this sewalong. I really enjoy seeing all of your blocks and look forward to seeing more as the weeks progress. Please do let me know if you have any questions at all and be sure to check out the Dragon Block post up in a couple of weeks!


Disclaimer: I received fabric from Michael Miller Fabrics back in April to design this quilt for Sarah Jane Studios Quilt market booth. I have not received any product or monetary means from the sponsors of this sew a long for this sew a long or for their participation as sponsors. Opinions are my own, and there are no affiliate links. Thank you.


Linda said... [Reply]

How can I join this sew along? I love it!!!

Live a Colorful Life said... [Reply]

I love that little tip on getting your fabric to go in the proper direction. The castle block is one of my favorites. :)

Swedish Scrapper said... [Reply]

I've just found this today and I wanted to thank you these super tips with the print selection and management. This is a beautiful series!

Swedish Scrapper said... [Reply]

I've just found this today and I wanted to thank you these super tips with the print selection and management. This is a beautiful series!

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