Pink Castle Blog

Adorn Fabric by Alison Glass is Here!

Posted by Katie Remski on Aug 10, 2017 9:20:36 AM
  

Adorn by Alison Glass

New in the shop this week is Adorn fabrics by Alison Glass! Alison is exploring new substrates with Adorn, including double gauze, tailor's cloth, and lawn, all of which can be used for both quilts and garments.

Adorn by Alison Glass Adorn by Alison Glass
Adorn by Alison Glass Adorn by Alison Glass

There are seven lawn prints in Adorn, four with a double border print and three with a scattered floral. Lawns make light, smooth quilts and garments with the perfect balance of softeness and structure. Like quilting cotton, it's a 100% cotton woven, making for simple washing and care of lawn quilts and apparel. 

Adorn by Alison Glass Adorn by Alison Glass

The line has two double gauze prints, both the same scattered floral in either charcoal gray or blush pink. Double gauze is soft and light, almost plush and airy from the two very light plys woven together. Double gauze makes garments that are amazingly soft and comfortable in all seasons (cool and absorbent in summer, warm in colder weather) and after snuggling under a double gauze quilt you may have difficultly returning to plain cotton. Double gauze also shows off quilting stitches like no other fabric. 

Adorn by Alison Glass

 The last substrate is tailor's cloth, which is similar to a cotton canvas but lighter and thinner. It's perfect for garments and accessories that need a little structure, like fitted dresses, jackets, and purses, and would also make beautiful home goods like toss pillows and storage bins. "Adorn Symbolic Tailor Cloth" comes in two colorways -- warm and cool-- which is also great for those who like to choose fabric  that best coordinates with their closets and homes. 

 

Adorn by Alison Glass

 

Shop Adorn by Alison Glass 

Topics: garments, Alison Glass, double gauze, canvas, garment fabric, lawn, adorn, adorn fabric, andover

Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along - Week 2: Foundation Paper Piecing Tutorial

Posted by Brenda Ratliff on Aug 5, 2015 10:49:00 PM
  

Hello! Welcome to the second week of our Ventana Quilt Along!

This week, as promised, I will take you through all the steps of paper piecing the blocks for the Ventana quilt! I've broken down this process and will take you through it little by little with TONS of photos along the way. Let's get started!

After last week's post, I hope you've chosen your fabric. I showed you my stack last week and I finally selected my background-- this Alison Glass text print. I wanted something that would read light and neutral and this does just that. Plus, I opted for the indigo on white as opposed to black so it wouldn't be too harsh and the indigo plays really well on the navy tones throughout many of my prints. Onward!

Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along.

Let's start the paper piecing. First off, it's always important to start with well pressed fabric. When I press mine, I use Flatter as a starch alternative to keep my fabrics pressed really well. Using a starch alternative to press your fabric also makes it a little easier to handle when you're piecing and it keeps things clean and precise. Plus, it smells so good. Yuzu is my favorite! Side note: the fabric I'm starting with as my main print is this one from Kim Kight's Cookie Book.

Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along.

After you've either copied your printed version of the pattern or printed out templates from the PDF, trim down the paper to just template. Make sure you use paper scissors to this so you don't dull your fabric shears. Or, save your old, dull rotary blades and use them in a specially marked rotary cutter for paper! That's what I do-- much faster than cutting things out by hand!

Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along.

Next, cut out your fabric. The Ventana pattern suggests cutting your main print into a 5" x 11" piece and two 4" x 5" pieces and the background cut into 4" squares and 3" squares. Then, cut the 3" squares into half square triangles which will reduce waste!

Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along.

Now, take your 9" x 11" piece and place it wrong side against the back of the center pattern template.

To keep such a large piece from shifting while you sew the coming seams, glue or pin the fabric to the paper. I like to use one of these fabric glue pens. These are formulated specifically for acting as a temporary adhesive to fabric-- the glue is totally water soluble and is super low tack so it's strong enough just to hold things in place but is easily readjustable. (These are great if you do English paper piecing too!)

Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along.

Next, we'll start sewing! Beginning at the section marked 2, take one of your half square triangles of background fabric and place it right sides together with the main print fabric, lining up the raw edge with the sewing line and accommodating for a 1/4" seam allowance. This is most easily done by holding fabric up to the light and making sure your seam allowance reaches over the sewing line. This is kind of tricky to explain so photos best depict what you're looking for.

Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along
Now stitch! Sew your seams with paper piecing at a super short stitch length (1.5 to 2, maximum) and preferably a slightly larger needle than you would normally use (Alison suggests 90/14). These larger holes placed closer together will perforate the paper more and make tearing paper out MUCH easier later down the line! Plus, a short stitch length keeps your seams strong when you're pulling against them to tear out papers.
Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along.
Next, you'll need to trim away the excess fabric from the seam allowance. This is pretty simple but be careful here! It's easy to make a mistake. To do this, place your piece fabric side down and fold back the paper along your stitch line. Line up the 1/4" mark on your ruler and cut away the excess. Be careful to make sure that none of the necessary fabric is on the wrong side of your rotary blade. Tearing out seams and restitching on paper only holds up for one or two tries.
Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along.
Now, fold the paper back into place and press your seam toward the raw edge! 
Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along.
Repeat for sections 3, 4, 5. You'll cover all four corners like this. It's okay if it's a bit wonky! It will trim down just fine. Note: it is important for the fabric to overhang the paper a little bit. You want to make sure all the paper is 100% covered otherwise, those short spots will eat into your seam allowance, if not the actual design. If it doesn't cover the design, you'll have a hole in your block!
Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along.
Flip your whole piece to have the fabric side down and trim away all the excess fabric right up to the paper, being careful not to further trim the paper.
Ta-da! The center section is done! Let's move on to the top section. Take one of the 4" x 5" pieces you cut and center it in the paper template like you did for the center piece. Pin or glue into place.
Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along.
Take one of your half square triangles and line it up to the 2 stitching line, just like you did with the corners of the center piece. Stitch in place.
Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along.
Fold back the paper, as before, and trim excess down to 1/4".
Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along.
Press the triangle toward the raw edge. 
Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along.
Repeat for section 3: align, stitch, trim, press. Again, note that it looks wonky. And it's fine. Don't stress about it being totally perfect.
Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along.
Next, take one of the 4" squares, place it right sides together with your main print fabric, and align with the vertical line on either side of the triangles, still accommodating for a 1/4" seam allowance by overhanging that stitching line. Stitch in place.
Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along.
As always, fold back the paper and trim excess down to 1/4", being careful not to cut pertinent fabric.
Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along.
Fold paper back into place and press your new seam toward the raw edge and outer sides.
Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along.
Repeat on the other side. 
Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along.
Just like with the center piece, place the top section fabric side down and trim excess fabric all the way to the paper, without trimming the paper template. 
Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along.
Repeat for the bottom section. If you're using a print with directionality, keep things consistent. 
Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along.
Now, layout all three pieces! You're going to attach all these together next.
Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along.
Take the bottom section and place it right sides together with the center piece, being careful to line up your paper templates, thus ensuring an even 1/4" allowance being taken from either piece. Stitch together.
Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along.
Open up your sewn pieces. Wiggle your seam allowance back and forth a few times to loosen it up-- it'll make the paper easier to tear out later and in the mean time, it helps your seam allowance lay flatter.
Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along.
Press your seam open!
Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along.
Repeat for the top section, give the block a good press and voil√°! You have your very first foundation paper pieced block!
Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along.
Now only 29 more blocks to go! Piecing all the center sections, top sections, or bottom sections in a row (like you do with chain piecing) can help speed the process along. These blocks come together pretty quickly when you're not stopping every minute or two to take photos :)
 
Let me know how it goes!! I welcome comments and questions below! And again, be sure to share your progress on Instagram and Facebook! Tag @pinkcastlefabrics or #ventanaQAL so we can see your progress!
 

NEXT WEEK!

Once all of our blocks are successfully foundation pieced, we'll talk about laying them out-- color arrangements, sewing them together, and tearing those pesky papers out!
 
July 30 - Week 1: Fabric Selection 
August 6 - Week 2: Foundation Paper Piecing (we just did that!!)
August 13 - Week 3: Color Mapping & Block Assembly
August 20 - Week 4: Wrap Up

Topics: Tutorial, Paper Piecing, Alison Glass

Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along - Week 1: Fabric Selection

Posted by Brenda Ratliff on Jul 29, 2015 11:18:00 PM
  

Hello, friends! Welcome to Pink Castle's Ventana Quilt Along!

We're so excited to start stitching together the Ventana quilt. This quilt is a brand new pattern designed by the lovely Nydia Kehnle and Alison Glass as part of the Skill Builder Series from Alison Glass Designs. The patterns in this series are designed to help quilters expand their repertoire of skills and even help first timers with their very first quilt.

Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along.

The Ventana quilt is foundation paper pieced with a top press technique. Included in the pattern are block templates and a block map to help you plan your layout. This pattern has the opportunity to look gorgeous in many different color palettes and that's what we'll focus on first: selecting your fabrics.

Fabric choices can make huge differences in quilts. That's part of why I'm so excited to host this quilt along-- so I can see what you all choose! If choosing prints is the most stressful part of a project for you, I can relate. I constantly agonize over what prints to include in my quilts, whether this shade or that shade is a better fit, or if my prints offer enough/too much texture. When I'm sewing with my mom in her studio, she always jokes that I "make a career out of pulling fabric" because it feels a HUGE decision! If you find yourself laboring too intensely over these choices, step away, and address it with fresh eyes.

I can imagine the Ventana quilt with so many possibilities: solid blocks with a print background, mixed low volume, prints with solid background, colored prints with neutral (or TEXT!) background, I'm starting to overwhelm myself just thinking about the choices. Whatever scheme you go with, you will need 30 fat eighths (or roughly 9"x22" pieces of fabric) for the blocks and 3 yards of background fabric. I personally love the sort of gradient of color with a clean background in the pattern cover quilt and have taken that as my inspiration.

These are the colors I've chosen for my Ventana quilt. I pulled ALL of these from my stash (something I almost never do anymore!) and yes, it is mostly Cotton+Steel plus some Carolyn Friedlander, some Pinhead Dots from Michael Miller, and a tiny coral gingham that ancient/unidentifiable/adorable. These colors, particularly the bright coral orange, mustard/chartreuse, and aqua, have been in almost everything I make anymore. Sorry/not sorry. They're gorgeous. The pink is an unusual touch for me but keeps things light and a little feminine and the navy just makes everything pop! I haven't decided on my background color just yet. I'm thinking a light grey but I'm not sure what. If you have suggestions, leave a comment!! I love a little bit of extra input!

Alison Glass Ventana Quilt Along.
I apologize for the low-quality phone photo. I promise more flattering photos next week!

If the options are just too endless for you, we've got great news: Alison and Nydia have both hand selected bundles with exactly the amount of prints you need PLUS they've chosen suggested background solids (though you could choose your own if you'd like). The guess work has all been taken out with these personally curated bundles. I think these ladies have pretty good taste.

I'm really looking forward to what you all pull together! PLEASE share your fabric pulls with us on Facebook and Instagram: tag us @pinkcastlefabrics and use the hashtag #VentanaQAL and we'll include a few in our next post!


NEXT WEEK!

We'll walk you through the process of foundation paper piecing using the templates in the Ventana pattern. As this is a skill builder series, we're approaching this as though you've never paper pieced before in your life. Fear not, first timers!
 
July 30 - Week 1: Fabric Selection (That's here, today!)
August 6 - Week 2: Foundation Paper Piecing
August 13 - Week 3: Color Mapping & Block Assembly
August 20 - Week 4: Wrap Up

Topics: Alison Glass

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