Fibonacci – A Simplicity spin-off pattern part 2

Fibonacci - Rainbow

All right, here we go! The fifth Simplicity quilt block Fibonacci deserves its own pattern, because I just love it. As concluded in part 1 of this spin-off thingy, of course the pattern foundation can be used for any quilt based on 12.5-inch blocks.

Fibonacci in Rainbow

I’ll start with the Rainbow colourway first, as the quilt is larger and hence more complicated. You will need nine Fibonacci blocks made with my tutorial, which is part of the Simplicity quilt. Cut the following pieces:

  • Sashing: six (6) pieces 3.5” x 12.5”, and two (2) pieces 42.5” x 3.5”
  • Border: two (2) pieces 5.25” x 42.5” (for left and right sides), and two (2) pieces 52” x 5.25” (for top and bottom)

The assembly diagramme looks like this:

Fibonacci - Rainbow - Assembly

Start by piecing with a quarter-inch seam allowance each of the three rows of blocks with sashing in between, and press seams open. Add the two horizontal sashing pieces in between rows, and press seams open. Add the left and right border pieces, and add top and bottom border pieces to finish the quilt top.

The theoretic size of this quilt top is 52” x 52”, which means you will need 208” binding to cover the perimeter of it. Assuming the fabric you’ll use is 40” wide (width of fabric, WOF), the following calculation will give you the amount of 2.5-inch WOF strips to cut: 208” / 40” = 5.2. You can’t cut 5.2 strips of fabric, so we round it up to 6. To figure out how much fabric you need for the binding: 2.5”/strip x 6 strips = 15”.

The batting and backing fabric need to be a tad larger than the quilt top, around 2” larger on each side, if not more; 56” x 56” in other words. Baste, quilt, square up the quilt, and bind either by machine or hand depending on what you prefer.

Fibonacci in Sombre

Fibonacci - Sombre

This smaller quilt needs the following to finish the quilt top:

  • 4 Fibonacci blocks
  • Sashing: two (2) pieces 1.5” x 12”, and one (1) piece 25.5” x 1.5”
  • Border: two (2) pieces 3.25” x 25.5” (for left and right sides), and two (2) pieces 31” x 3.25” (for top and bottom).

And the assembly diagramme:

Fibonacci - Sombre 31x31 - Assembly

For binding calculcations, the perimeter of the quilt top is 31” x 4= 124”. To figure out amount of strips needed: 124” / 40” = 3.1”, which we bump up to 4. To figure out how much fabric we need: 2.5”/strip x 4 strips = 10”. Next, follow the advice posted for Fibonacci in Rainbow.

Questions, comments? Please share and I’ll do my best to help you.

Simplicity – Block 5 Fibonacci

NM Patterns - Simplicity - Block 5 Fibonacci main 2015-07-01

NM Patterns - Simplicity blog button 2015-05-18After quite a few hickups, I’m finally ready to present the fifth block, Fibonacci, of my Simplicity quilt to you. As revealed yesterday, there is a spin-off pattern for two quilt sizes – which of course can be used for any other 12.5”-block or combination of such as well – but this post is about making this single block only.

Let’s take a look at the graphic version of the block first. Leonardo Bonacci, also called Fibonacci, was an Italian mathematician and reading of his life gives an interesting glimpse into Medieval times. The Fibonacci sequence (click here for a nice introduction on Wikipedia) starts with either 0 and 1, or 1 and 1. The following number, increasing in size, is created by adding the two previous numbers together. In other words, the thinnest stripe in my block has the relative size 1. The next number is 1+1=2, and once we add those together, we get 3. Then there’s 2+3=5, and finally 3+5=8.

NM Patterns - Simplicity - Block 5 Fibonacci graphic 2015-07-01

Perhaps you’ve alrady figured out that the thinnest stripe, corresponding to 1 unit needs to be a quarter inch wide for the block to accomodate as many as 8 units in the widest stripe?

Cutting pieces

  • Background (yellow):
    • Two (2) pieces 12.5” x 1.75”
    • Two (2) pieces 1.75” x 10”
  • Lighter stripe colour (light orange):
    • One (1) piece 0.75” x 10”
    • One (1) piece 1” x 10”
    • One (1) piece 1.25” x 10”
    • One (1) piece 1.75” x 10”
    • One (1) piece 2.5” x 10”
  • Darker stripe colour (dark orange):
    • One (1) piece 0.75” x 10”
    • One (1) piece 1” x 10”
    • One (1) piece 1.25” x 10”
    • One (1) piece 1.75” x 10”
    • One (1) piece 2.5” x 10”

Since the narrowest stripe pieces are so thin, if you’re unsure about accuracy, I suggest you cut them slightly wider, sew in place, and trim down to the correct size. In the case of the thinnest stripe, this could be a piece slightly wider than one inch, trimmed down to 0.5” (0.75” minus 0.25” in the seam allowance).

If you’re using directional prints, please recall that the first length of a piece is the width on the x axis (horizontal), whereas the second one is on the y axis (vertical). If print direction doesn’t matter, as usual cut two pieces of the same size straight away.

Block construction

The Fibonacci block is constructed by creating the middle section with all the stripes, including background fabric, first (altogether 11 seams to sew), and only then adding the top and bottom pieces of the background. As usual, use a quarter-inch seam allowance.

NM Patterns - Simplicity - Block 5 Fibonacci construction 2015-07-01

Piecing tips

Use pins, in particular if your fabric is by different manufacturers, in other words slightly different weight (threads per area unit). I can’t tell you how often two layers of fabric by different manufacturers kind of slide at different speeds under the presser feet, if it makes any sense.

Usually I favour pressing seams open, but in this particular case it makes more sense to press all the seams in one direction. When attaching the background panels, also consider the feed dogs in the sense that you want the pressed seams pointing at you rather than the needle. This will minimise puckered-up fabrics.

In both cases below, you see the seam allowances pointing away from the presser foot.

NM Patterns - Simplicity - Block 5 Fibonacci piecing 1 2015-07-01

NM Patterns - Simplicity - Block 5 Fibonacci piecing 2 2015-07-01

The finished Fibonacci block

This block with its narrow stripes is the most technical of the Simplicity blocks so far, but if you keep the fabrics stacked up neatly (and possibly your cutting mat, too) next to the sewing maching, it should come together rather quickly.

NM Patterns - Simplicity - Block 5 Fibonacci finished 2015-07-01

What do you think? Would you make a whole quilt of this block? I think I would. The thin stripes are really challenging to get just so and even pressing wasn’t the walk in the park that it usually is. I’ll post the quilt construction post a bit later today, so stay tuned!

Fibonacci – A Simplicity spin-off pattern

Fibonacci - Rainbow My oh my, I have a boiling brain currently, and not from doing sewing-related things, but because my computer decided to waltz to greener pastures. I’ve spent two days sorting things, updating, calling support because the backup I had wouldn’t work straight away (naturally), and so on. Technology and I are BFFs as long as said tech works nicely, is on my side at all times, without making too much fuss of itself, but I believe my new setup is now working as it should as per a moment ago. This, however, means that there is no block yet to show nor a tutorial written. June has been a busy, too busy, a month for me, and my blogging has been just in time rather than scheduled well in advance the way I prefer it. I will have something for you tomorrow, though, because I *need* to sit at the sewing machine again. Oh, and what’s that thingy up on top, you ask? Well, it’s Fibonacci. Who? Fibonacci, you know the math guy. If you look closely, you’ll see the series in the stripes: 1, 1+1, 1+2, 2+3, and 3+5. It’s magical really, so wonderful that this block deserves its own quilt. Will it be a lap-sized quilt pattern only, you ask? Nope. While laps are nice things to keep warm, apart from a 52” x 52” size I’ll also do the math for you for a baby-sized (stroller or such) or wall-hanging quilt of about 32” x 32”: Fibonacci - Sombre 31.5x31 This darker colourway I’m calling Sombre and it came about because not everyone wants girly, cutesy stuff :) But there’s Rainbow to pick also, should one’s heart flutter for all teh colours. You will see the whole shebang here tomorrow. Apologies once again! In the meantime, do tell whether you like this one or not!?

UPDATE: Here’s part 2 with the pattern. Enjoy!

Simplicity – Block 5 announcement

Dear friends, my darling iMac of year 2006 has displayed some really strange graphics earlier today, after which I was unable to start it up again on a few attempts. Currently I’m doing extra backups, of the manual kind, even though I have automated backup options available as well. I’m not 100% it will start again, once I turn it off, and while one can never be certain of anything related to computers, I’d just rather work on not losing anything at all. It’s never had problems like this before, so I fear the end is approaching at some point in the not-too-far future.

Unfortunately, this means I need to postpone publishing of the fifth Simplicity block until Tuesday – but as a consolation prize there will be a quilt design for free, using that block only as foundation. Please hold tight until then!

Saturday evening ramblings

Hello everyone, I was supposed to post some helpful stuff about WordPress today. I will post it another time, but then I got this urge to write about foundation paper piecing (FPP), to which I have an introduction cooking. In fact, have had boiling for quite some time already.

There’s a pattern coming out, soon, and it will be free. I will walk you through a process that many seem to shy away from still. This may sound completely insane, coming from someone, who has actually only ever finished one FPP project, but I’m unusual in my learning process. First I like to learn the academic way about what it is that I’m trying to learn, and only then do I jump in, properly, in a glorious fashion.

So while I have only a bit of practical experience, I still know what I’m talking about. Because I also do my research. I have lost count of how many blog posts I’ve already skimmed through, written by others on the same subject, and then I haven’t even talked about a couple of great Craftsy classes yet.

Why write yet another article then? Because nobody has explained it my way. I also love to write The Ultimate Whatever kind of posts, when I finally get around blogging about something. It should be worth my time as a learner and teacher, but certainly also worth yours for being a loyal reader in a place, the blogosphere, which people seem to be leaving en masse. (I don’t get it. Nothing can replace blogs.)

Lately I’ve also been thinking about my voice as a blogger. There’s a constant balance to keep between not sharing enough, and sharing too much. There’s a reputation to maintain and care about. There’s also the part where I have to decide whether to bring in humour or not. I can be extremely sarcastic if need be, but usually it isn’t bringing out the nice parts in me, and so I choose to ignore the urge that surfaces from time to time. My humour is slightly dorky, in the scientific/medical kind of way, which isn’t always well received, and so it may be easier not to unleash it at all. It is there, though :)

From my reader stats I can tell that I’m still a tiny fish in the pond, but numbers are constant unless they show sudden surges like on Monday/Tuesday after posting the newest block of the Simplicity sampler quilt. Maybe you are making it but choose not to share your progress? That’s totally fine. I’m posting the blocks for selfish reasons; to push myself, to learn new things about my craft and myself, to send good karma out into the world. Selfish, I told you.

I made my first video tutorial some days ago. It is a short video how to make one’s own natural cleaning solution to use in a spray bottle and I made it for my family only. Craftsy classes have made me see how joyous teaching a craft can be and my family members seem like the perfect lab rats to practice video tutorials on. I loved it! The only annoying part was where I had to hold the iPhone in one hand and focus on the verbal message whilst mixing things with the other hand.

Apart from some minor hickups, I truly enjoyed it and wasn’t nervous at all, despite getting a case of bad nerves when having to perform in public. There was no script either, but I winged it from start to finish, and after having listened to myself a few times, I think teaching “strangers” could be rather fun. In that sense, I’m a typical INFJ; talk endlessly about something meaningful, but go cold after a minute of forced chit chat. Can’t stand the latter, ugh. So maybe you’ll see me post a video here sometime, because to me it isn’t ever about boosting myself (apart from the occasional tiny ego trip of course, like everyone experiences), but I simply love sharing what I have learned.

Anyway, this is a completely pictureless post and, yeah, I like words, too. Speaking of words, reading, writing, being creative and so on, I warmly recommend Twyla Tharp’s “The Creative Habit.” Have you read it yet? Now it’s nearly bedtime for me, but I wish you a lovely weekend wherever you are in the world!

Simplicity – Block 4 Tunnel

NM Patterns - Simplicity - Block 4 Tunnel main 2015-06-22

NM Patterns - Simplicity blog button 2015-05-18Today’s block of the Simplicity quilt is Tunnel, which sort of came about when I was working on a QDAD design. This block is inspired by my Paintings in the Museum design, with a spark from a museum in Paris. In Tunnel, there is the same idea of rectangles layered on top of each other, but without the “frame” (was a thin stripe along only the top of the “painting”).

As you see from the graphic version, the perceived tunnel effect will work only if the smallest rectangle is the darkest, so bear this in mind when choosing your fabrics.

NM Patterns - Simplicity - Block 4 Tunnel graphic 2015-06-22

As for colours, I think it will work best if you choose a somewhat monochromatic scheme in this block, but switching things up isn’t a bad thing at all. I thought I had enough violet and purple fabrics, but a closer inspection showed they wouldn’t suit this particular design at all, hence the  dragonfly-patterned lovely Kate Spain fabric in the background.

Cutting pieces

  • Background:
    • One (1) piece 12.5” x 5”
    • One (1) piece 12.5” x 2.5”
    • One (1) piece 3.5” x 6”
    • One (1) piece 2.5” x 6”
  • Light “rectangle”:
    • One (1) piece 6” x 2”
    • One (1) piece 2” x 6”
  • Middle “rectangle”:
    • One (1) piece 4.5” x 2”
    • One (1) piece 2” x 4.5”
  • Dark rectangle:
    • 4.5” x 3”

If you’re using directional prints for the light and middle “rectangles”, please recall that the first length of a piece is the width on the x axis (horizontal), whereas the second one is on the y axis (vertical). If print direction doesn’t matter, as usual cut two pieces of the same size straight away.

Block construction

In this block, there are no opportunities for chain piecing, but the construction begins from the darkest rectangle onto which pieces are added. Use a quarter-inch seam allowance and press seams open as you go, before adding more pieces.

NM Patterns - Simplicity - Block 4 Tunnel construction 2015-06-22

Piecing tips

This is a good block to practice piecing without using pins, because fabric sticks together quite a lot, as long as you pinch the two layers together at the end of the “seam”. The only seams where I pinned anything where the two last ones due to both their length and the several seam allowances on top to drive neatly under the presser foot. Since there’s more bulk in such places, the fabric tends to shift a bit otherwise, at least on my sewing machine.

The finished Tunnel block

Here’s my finished Tunnel block and I think it’s my favourite so far!

NM Patterns - Simplicity - Block 4 Tunnel finished 2015-06-22

How do you feel about these diagrammes? Are you a visual person? Or does the written word help you more?

I’m extremely visual and find a picture vastly superior, in fact sometimes reading endless amounts of texts has me completely overwhelmed, when trying to dig out the essence into a distilled version the way a diagramme could have conveyed in a quick glance.

Enjoy making your Tunnel block!

Quilt Design A Day – Days 36-56

Ahem, this is slightly embarrassing, but I have been incredibly busy lately, which has led me to neglect QDAD horribly for a few weeks. This week, however, I’ve played major catch up, and today I’m finally at normal speed again.

Honestly I was contemplating skipping some days, but then decided against it. You should never look a gift horse in the mouth, as my wise dad tells me, and inspiration may or may not come where you least expect it. Turns out I have made a few designs that I genuinely feel fond of, to an extent that I might turn them into patterns later.

Also, it’s my week as per today to post a daily spark for the group, and so I’ve fiddled a bit with that as well, whilst getting back in the groove of looking at colours and shapes. There might even be a fabric palette in my near future, yay! Here are my designs from days 36-42:

NM Patterns - Quilt Design A Day - Days 36-42

I wish you could see the original sparks, too, because the designs make so much more sense then. Or maybe it’s better that you can’t see them? It is my interpretation after all, and it is as correct an impression as any other subjective experience. Moving on to days 43-49:

NM Patterns - Quilt Design A Day - Days 43-49

It’s funny how I’m beginning to feel warmly about some, neutrally about a large portion, and negatively about a small minority. One of the latter is the top left one above, because I just threw it together. Maybe it was design fatigue or something, but I just didn’t click with the shapes at all.

And then again other photos have had me stunned until I start improvising something, allowing myself to delete if it looks too bad (which usually loosens up my mind quite effectively). An example of such an unexpectedly growing fondness is the top right with the triangles on green background. I think I need to re-visit that one later. Finally, days 50-56:

NM Patterns - Quilt Design A Day - Days 50-56

Here we have several designs that I really like. Today’s spark had me create one on this last collage, and the origins looked like this, a collage photo I put together of Helsinki Central railway station, designed by Eliel Saarinen about 100 years ago, as well as a photo of a then construction site outside of Tennispalatsi, the “Tennis palace”. Why it is called a palace I have no answer to, but back in the day people used to play tennis there, until it needed to generate more money money money, and so it was made into a centre of film theatres. Its facade was in need of renovation a while ago, which is when someone took the opportunity to spray paint quite nicely one of the railway-station men. My first QDAD spark:

QDAD 2015-06-21 Spark - Helsinki Central railway station

Six more days of sparkle! Enjoy the new week, when it begins where you are!

WordPress tutorial series – Part 2 Naming blog photos

Nina With Freckles - WordPress tutorial series 2 2015-06-20

We have arrived at the second part of my WordPress tutorial series and today on the menu is SEO out of the blog-photo perspective.

SEO means search engine optimisation and WordPress uses several places to enhance your chances to be found by the search engines. This only works if you do your part of the deal, though, and a logical place to start is the title of your blog post. Make it as specific as possible.

Use categories well. In other words, name them specifically, and remember to use them correctly.

Use tags well. Not only does this affect SEO, but you can also be found when WordPress users do specific searches.

Scatter keywords throughout your blog post, too. Use the same words as you have used in the title, category, and tags.

And finally, name your photos specifically. This part is what people seem to know the least about. Not only will it help you find your photos on your computer later, should something happen to your blog, or you want to resize something, etc., but it will help rank your blog higher in Google and similar searches, thanks to SEO.

An example is the graphic I’ve added to the top of this post. It is “Nina With Freckles – WordPress tutorial series 2 2015-06-20″, the date of which is the publication date, and for my own use only. In the past, I’ve used NWF, but have decided to type the whole thing now. When I post project photos, I always make them as specific as possible, too.

See, perhaps you didn’t realise, but I walked you through SEO in a quick 101 fashion without even telling you first. Why? SEO seems to freak out people quite often. Admittedly, I’m a complete beginner at it still, but I see its value when people have found me through various search engines, and hopefully you picked up a tip or two to help you in your own WordPress blogging.

Questions? Comments? Happy Saturday!

Simplicity – Block 3 Cards

NM Patterns - Simplicity - Block 3 Cards main 2015-06-15

NM Patterns - Simplicity blog button 2015-05-18Is it Monday again!? Well, here’s the third block, Cards, to add to your growing Simplicity modern sampler quilt. There’s more cutting than before, but seams are as straight-forward to sew as usual.

Let’s start by looking at the graphic version of the block first. The idea is of course to create a transparency effect of the two cards placed on top of each other, but you can achieve this also when using a monochromatic scheme.

NM Patterns - Simplicity - Block 3 Cards graphic 2015-06-15

I wanted to make my block with warm colours, and the easy thing to do was to pick yellow and red as starting points, with orange being the blender in between. I’d love to see what you come up with, though!

Cutting pieces

  • Red (card 1):
    • One (1) piece 3” x 6”
    • One (1) piece 3.5” x 3”
  • Orange (overlap section): 3.5” x 3.5”
  • Yellow (card 1):
    • One (1) piece 6” x 3”
    • One (1) piece 3” x 3.5”
  • Pink (background):
    • Two (2) pieces 5” x 5”
    • One (1) piece 8” x 2.5”
    • One (1) piece 2.5” x 8”
    • One (1) piece 3.5” x 2.5”
    • One (1) piece 2.5” x 3.5”
    • One (1) piece 3” x 2.5”
    • One (1) piece 2.5” x 3”

Please note that I’m using the standard from mathematics, first x axis (horizontal) and then y axis (vertical), when stating piece sizes. This can be useful if you are using directional prints with a direction that you wish to keep in the finished block, which is why you see on the cutting list two pieces of the absolute same size as their own listings.

Block construction

Sew with a quarter-inch seam allowance. Press them open as you go, before adding new pieces. To help you in sewing your block, here’s a construction diagramme with suggested piecing order:

NM Patterns - Simplicity - Block 3 Cards construction 2015-06-15

Piecing tips

Lay out all the pieces according to the construction diagramme above, then pick up pairs for chain piecing, if you don’t want to sew in chronological order as pictured.

NM Patterns - Simplicity - Block 3 Cards pieces 2015-06-15

For increased accuracy, remember to pin through the seam allowance first, just like we did in the first block, at meeting points along longer seams.

The finished Cards block

My fabric stash is a bit limited in the tone-on-tone section still, and I want to avoid using the lovely Jewels by Lizzy House everywhere all the time, so the orange overlap piece became darker than the red and yellow. Works a bit like a log-cabin effect as well, I think!

NM Patterns - Simplicity - Block 3 Cards final 2015-06-15

Questions? Comments? Enjoy the new block! The fourth one will be up again in a week, Monday 22 June.

WordPress tutorial series – Part 1 The blog photo and its URL

Nina With Freckles - WordPress tutorial series 1 2015-06-13

Welcome to a WordPress tutorial series in six parts! The tips will be short, but hopefully sweet, and today we begin with looking at what happens to the blog photo when you “Add Media” without changing the automatic settings.

The automatic attachment settings

This is a recent screenshot of what it looks like in Firefox when I am writing a blog post and have uploaded a picture via “Add Media” without having finished by “inserting into post” yet:

Nina With Freckles - WordPress tutorial series - Blog photo URL 1 2015-06-13

The automatic setting in “Link To” is “Media File”. If you don’t change this, your photo or picture will be a live link to the original URL of this uploaded blog-post attachment.

Unlink your photo

In other words, when a reader hovers above this photo, it will look like something that can be opened or a link to follow elsewhere, and so, when they click on the photo, it will open in the same tab or window. The only way then for the reader to get back to your blog post is by clicking back.

To prevent this from happening, you need to do the following:

Nina With Freckles - WordPress tutorial series - Blog photo URL 2 2015-06-13

Choose “None” from the drop-down menu next to “Link To”.

Make a live link

However, if you do want the reader to be able to find the original source of for example a “borrowed” photograph, and you indeed do want the photo in question to be a so-called live link, do this instead:

Nina With Freckles - WordPress tutorial series - Blog photo URL 3 2015-06-13

Choose “Custom URL” and add this address to the field below. It is good practice to link to a specific blog post rather than a general blog URL or a specific photo URL.

Do you have questions or is this crystal clear? Did you perhaps know this already? Comments are welcome as usual!