Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Land of Magic Quilt Sew-A-Long Mermaid

What's more magical than a mermaid? Maybe a Unicorn is but we have to wait two more weeks on that one. Today for the Land of Magic Quilt sew along, we are releasing the Mermaid block. If you are new to the sewalong or missed one of the blocks, you can click on the links to learn more about each one here and catch up as you can: Crown, Star, Castle, and Dragon. To sew your own Land of Magic quilt using all of the Sarah Jane Studios new Magic fabrics, just as I designed this quilt with, you can purchase a Land of Magic quilt kit from the Fat Quarter Shop. There are limited quantities available - so get one before they are all gone. You can find all of the patterns in my Kid Giddy Etsy shop.

I designed this mermaid block based on two of Sarah's mermaids in her print, the one in the top left corner of my block and the one just below her hand with the crown on. There was not enough time to capture her wavy curls, but I tried best to capture the movement in the tail, and the sweet simplicity of their hands. I chose not to embroider the face as I feared ruining all of my hard work up to that point. I'm going to practice on some scraps though first and add it soon to finish her. 

The block I made and used (as seen above) in the final quilt was actually the second mermaid. The first one I sewed together didn't work because of the fabric shade I used for the mermaid skin. Do keep that in mind when choosing your mermaid's skin color and background. Before proceeding with the second mermaid, I decided to play with some scraps on top of the original block to see if there was a different color combo I might like better than the first. In the end I only changed her hair to solid white, but the exercise was fun.

Today's paper piecing lesson involves the seams. When paper piecing really small pieces, you'll have areas where there will be bulky seams - you may even deal with this on large pieces where multiple seams intersect. Once the paper is removed, it will help a little, but there will still be fabric that needs to be pressed certain ways to help it even more. As you are piecing the mermaid together, you'll have only two diagonal sections to piece together, and a few areas where bulk can easily be an issue.

Using the mermaid's waist line as an example, notice the skinny area in the center. As you are piecing these smaller areas, trimming the seam allowances is especially important.
Once sewn together, you'll see two seams, on the reverse side, with a section in the center. I have taken out the paper in the center so you can see the seams. If you were to press the two seams together, they will overlap and create too much bulk in the center area. The side seams here are not a concern either way, but because of the center bulk, in this case, it will be better to press the seams apart.Sometimes it will be better to press seams open, press to one side or the other, and when there are 8 seams coming together, you would press them in a circular pattern. Although you won't be pressing any seams until the paper is removed, it's important to consider which way you will be pressing them as you are sewing sections together. This will help prevent twisted seams in the end.
As mentioned in the dragon block tutorial, it's important to double check your fabric pieces within each section before sewing it all together. The white triangle piece between the mermaid and the crown in the picture below, is not supposed to be white. I truly didn't notice it was wrong until I put the blocks together with the sashing. I knew if I didn't go back and fix it I would be really bummed. I figured since I took all of these photos I would share that mistake so you wouldn't. 

The other two tips I wanted to share when piecing: in the photo above, you'll see a very small piece of fabric above the crown section that was a tad too small. My general rule of thumb is if it's at least 1/8" away from the seam, I'll leave it as is. If not, I will replace it. If you'll notice her arm pit on the right of the photo below, my piece of fabric just barely made it into the seam allowance. If it's too close, the seam will eventually come undone. It's of course easier to notice when the section is trimmed, but keep an eye on your seam allowances as you go along.
Lastly, always sew each seam all the way from end to end including the seam allowance. That means to sew at least 1/4" beyond the lines. When you do this - the pieces near the edges will stay in place and stay strong. This also helps to ensure your fabrics will be sure to extend in the seam allowance and not be missed.

There are two awesome mermaid bloggers to share today. Giuseppe (aka Giucy_Giuce) and Alisa (aka A Stitch in Between).
First up is Giuseppe's mermaid Amara. I love his story about her and you can check it out on his IG feed. Isn't she beautiful?!

Alisa made two mermaids - the original size and a smaller version too. You can read more about her mermaids and how she made the smaller mirror imaged one on her website A Stitch In Between. They remind me of my daughters and I can just imagine them having so much fun together!

For those of you playing along and sewing along with each new block release...we have an awesome giveaway from Michael Miller Fabrics. They are generously offering a fat quarter bundle selection of their Cotton Couture solids.

There are 150 different solids in their collection and the bundle will be a surprise collection of some of the colors. One of the sew a long participants that finishes their mermaid block and posts it on Instagram will have a chance to win the bundle. You must be following myself (@kidgiddy) and @MichaelMillerFabrics using the hashtag #LandOfMagicQuilt so I can see your block and will choose a winner. You will have until the Unicorn block is released in two weeks to get your Mermaid block finished and entered for your chance to win the bundle.

As always, please advise any questions you may have and thank you again for joining with me in this sew-a-long. Thank you again to all of my awesome Land of Magic sew-a-long sponsors too!


Disclaimer: I received fabric from Michael Miller Fabrics back in April to design this quilt for Sarah Jane Studios Quilt market booth. Opinions are my own, and there are no affiliate links. Thank you.


Lo Limits Fiber Arts said... [Reply]

I found you through the EQ7 website. I'm not into fairy tales and totem poles but your style is amazing! The color scheme really adds to the look.

Nancy in IN said... [Reply]

What is the QAL? My grand will love mermaid. So cute.

Nancy in IN said... [Reply]

What is the QAL? My grand will love mermaid. So cute.

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