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Jul 17, 2017

Hoop Quilt Along Week2: Half-Square Triangles

Jul 17, 2017
Pin It Hoop Quilt Along Week 2 by AnneMarie Chany
It's Week #2 of the Hoop Quilt Along.  We had a nice slow start - perfect for those long lazy days of summer.  Last week, we began with Gathering Supplies and Choosing Fabric.  Hopefully, you have some fabric to start playing with, even if you haven't picked up a hoop yet. This week we are making the mother of all classics - the Half Square Triangle.

To join the HoopQAL, go here (to get the Free Coloring Sheet) and get the Pattern here.
(It's never too late to join in btw.)


Week 2. HALF SQUARE TRIANGLES

Last week, we picked out fabrics to work with for the project.  If you are using a charm pack like me, you may need to narrow down how many prints you will use within the piecing in the center of the hoop.  It's really up to you..... ultimately, you could make all your half-square triangles (HSTs) from just one fabric and a background.  OR you can choose up to 16 prints/colors.  In my case, I wanted my prints to fit into 4 basic color groupings.  I didn't have enough yellow prints, so I am using 15 prints instead of the full 16.
True Colors Charms for Hoop Quilt Along by AnneMarie Chany
The charms I am using are 5" square to start, but I didn't need squares that big for the size hoop I am making (I'm using the 12" hoop piecing instructions).  So after selecting my fabrics, I cut the charms down to size (listed in the Cutting Requirements chart) and cut my white background squares.
Charms cut to size Hoop Quilt Along by AnneMarie Chany

I use the common method of making HSTs from squares that yield 2 identical HST units.  If you are not familiar with this method, you can watch the video tutorial below to see the details.  I love this fundamental piecing skill - it's so versatile.  Our hoops only require 1 of the 2 HSTs you make.  You can save the extra HST for another project (read: hoop #2 - cause I know you're gonna get addicted!)
SQUARE UP
Be sure to trim your HSTs and square them up after sewing.  I oversize my cutting instructions so you'll be able to square them up at the end.  I find it's the most important thing I do to make my block measurements accurate.  The units sew together so much better when they are squared up prior to piecing.

I love to use this Quilt-in-a-Day HST Square Up Ruler while doing this.  It allows you to trim each block to size before you press it open.  Genius!  I have this ruler in both the 6" and 9" size.  :)
HST Square Up Ruler Hoop Quilt Along by AnneMarie Chany Here they are looking pretty.  That's all for this week.  Easy peasy.Finished Half Square Triangles Hoop Quilt Along by AnneMarie ChanyTo join the HoopQAL, go here (to get the Free Coloring Sheet) and get the Pattern here.

Let me know if you have any questions or if I left any details out.  Remember to share! #hoopquilt  #hoopquiltalong 



HOOP QUILT ALONG LOGO 2017
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Jul 15, 2017

Improv Fabric Hoop Quilt

Jul 15, 2017
Pin It Improv Hoop Quilt Echinacea field by AnneMarie Chany
Amy Friend, of During Quiet Time (and one of nicest people you'll ever meet), has released her first fabric line with Benartex called Improv.  I was honored and excited when she asked me to be a part of the blog hop to celebrate her collection.  And you know it's all HOOPS up in here, so of course, I brought some hoopy goodness with the Improv collection.
Improv Hoop Quilt on wall by AnneMarie Chany
Improv's palette shows such calm and gentleness with great modern prints.  It's a contrast from so many modern fabrics that scream at you with intensity.  Amy's prints beckon you to play with the soft palette that reads as solid from afar.  I always love tone-on-tone or tone-and-white prints, so these fit perfectly with my quilt personality and stash.
Improv Hoop Quilt piecing detail by AnneMarie Chany
The organic feel of the Improv collection led me to think of nature.  I decided to shape the HSTs in the HOOP QUILT in the shape of an octagon.  The earth.  An orb.  I rather like how it came out.  The four distinct colors with in the orb remind me of the four elements: earth, air, fire and water.
Improv Hoop Quilt label detail by AnneMarie Chany
And to top off that theme, I used one of these labels I've had in my stash for years to emphasize the renewal of nature. (It's from the Sweetwater Label Club - slightly changed now from what it was back in the day.)  In addition to sewing and quilting, Amy is a talented gardener and she often showcases her lovely flowers and garden on her IG feed.  I thought this sentiment on the label perfectly captured the feel of Amy's art and Improv.
Improv Hoop Quilt close up label and flowers by AnneMarie Chany
Follow along with the Improv Blog Hop:
Wednesday: Sharon @Color Girl Quilts
Thursday: Charise @Charise Creates
Friday: Nicole @Wild Boho
Saturday: AnneMarie @Gen X Quilters

There is a giveaway of a bundle of Improv FQs at the Benartex blog Sew In Love.
Improv Hoop Quilt Enchinacea by AnneMarie Chany
I found this beautiful park, perfect for picture taking.  I didn't realize until I walked up, it is a restored cemetery.  No wonder it's so calm and picturesque.  And a little creepy?
Improv Hoop Quilt cemetary by AnneMarie Chany

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Jul 10, 2017

Hoop Quilt Along Week1: Choose Fabric

Jul 10, 2017
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HOOP QUILT ALONG LOGO 2017
Welcome to Week #1 of the Hoop Quilt Along.  Are you joining us?  We are just getting started on this laid back summer quilt along.  I promise we're going to take it slow - keep it nice and relaxed during the sweet summer.  We're going to kick it off today with Gathering Supplies and Choosing Fabric.

To join the HoopQAL, go here (to get the Free Coloring Sheet) and get the Pattern here.


Week 1. GATHERING SUPPLIES AND CHOOSING FABRIC

HOOPS

If you don't already have a hoop, I feel like finding a hoop is the biggest question everyone has right off the bat.  The pattern instructions allow you to choose from a 12", 18" or 23" hoop.  This allows you a lot of leeway depending on where you plan to hang the hoop and how much wall space you have.
HOOP QUILTS Hoop Sizes
Dreamy model in the background is for your reference on scale :)
When choosing what size to make, think about your wall space and how big or small you want your piecing to be.  Bigger hoop, bigger piecing.  Smaller hoop, smaller piecing. I found I like 14" or 18" best.  If I use the 14" hoop (wooden block screw type), I follow the instructions for making a 12" hoop and then add more fabric to the borders to make it big enough. *You can see the Half-Square Triangle sizes under the section HALF SQUARE TRIANGLES #3 of the pattern to consider the size of your piecing.  
HOOP QUILTS Hoop Screw Mechanism Style The bigger hoops (those intended for hand quilting, 14"+ diameter) tend to have a wider thickness (usually 3/4" deep) of the hoop and a wooden block screw mechanism.  The smaller hoops (12" diameter and smaller, used for embroidery) tend to have only a 1/4" thick hoop and brackets without the block for the screw.  I personally like the wooden block exposed - but the smaller size is an option for you if you need it.
HOOP QUILTS Hoop Thickness WHERE TO FIND.  Ask your local quilt shop about hoops.  Perhaps not all shops will have them though.

Hobby Lobby carries many sizes.  12" and smaller Embroidery hoops .  And Larger 14"+ Quilter's hoops are available online.  Don't forget to use a coupon!

Amazon also carries a ton of course.  I like the Darice brand.


FABRIC

Hoop Quilt Me + You Indah Batiks One of the best parts of starting a new project is picking out your new fabric palette.  Best. Part. Ever.  I really love the Hoop Quilts pattern because it is based on a charm packs (5" squares) or scraps.  We really don't need very much fabric for this project.  That is super budget friendly.  I'm sure many of you can pull fabric for many Hoops strictly from your stash and scrap bin.

COLORFUL PRINTS/CHARMS.  Look at the size Hoop you are making and the what size squares are called for under 'Colorful Prints' in the CUTTING REQUIREMENTS chart in the pattern.  You may not even need a whole charm depending on your size.  The pattern calls for 16 prints - but the number of prints you use inside your circle is really up to you.  You may definitely use less if you prefer.

BACKGROUND.  I pretty much always go with white/off-white or a low volume fabric here.  You really do want it in the background so you can showcase your prints from the charms.

OUTSIDE RING FABRIC.  For the Outside Ring Fabric, I gave some pointers for you in the Free Coloring Worksheet (sign up and receive it here).  Thinking ahead about how you may want to finish your hoop will help you choose what fabric to select.  Do you want a colorful print?  A solid?  A texture?  A small print?  Will you embellish, big stitch or embroider on top of this fabric?  Make sure the color you choose here will show (instead of hide) any embellishment you plan.  Think about what thread colors will show up for embroidery and stitching.  I have also added appliqué, buttons, and doilies to some of my hoops.  Other possible embellishments include ribbon, pom poms, lace, beads, and any other items you can think of!

Also, do you want 2 or more different fabrics in the Outside Ring?  The pic above and top right pic below show 2 different fabrics in the Outside Ring.  You could choose up to 4 prints here.
Hoop Quilt Embellishment Collage
HOOP QUILT Stitching, Embroidery and Applique Ideas
BINDING.
Lastly, choose your binding fabric.  Pick something that will really POP as it frames your hoop.  Most of the time, I choose one fabric for binding for ease of assembly.  But it can be fun to change colors also.  Give it a scrappy look.  In the photo above, you can see an example of scrappy binding on the bottom left.  

I am starting with a charm pack of Anna Maria Horner's True Colors.  There are more than 16 fabrics, so I will have to pair it down somehow.  That's actually part of the fun for me!  I also have two options for binding.  I'm going to wait until the project comes together a bit before choosing.  I have a soft off-white/cream for my background and a dark navy blue grunge print for the Outside Ring Fabric.  I like to see what shades of DMC floss I have already that match the project before I begin, but that's definitely not necessary right from the start.
HOOP QUILTAlong AMH fabrics


FUSIBLE FLEECE OR BATTING

Because this is a small project, you can choose to quilt your top a couple different ways.  If you want to quilt it like you would any quilt or mini, you can use your favorite batting as the second layer of this mini quilt.  You can always add hand stitching on top of your normal quilting.

I actually prefer to add big stitching and embroidery in lieu of quilting on my hoops.  I feel like we are better able to focus on the fabrics and embellishments in the small project.  To keep the two layers together while stitching, I use fusible fleece as the second layer.  Because the layers are fused together, I can add as much or as little embellishment as I want without worrying about shift.

*Note:  There are only 2 layers in our quilt sandwich.  Even 2 layers is a lot to frame up in the hoop.  3 would be incredibly bulky.  But 2 gives the fabric some nice weight behind it.

To join the HoopQAL, go here (to get the Free Coloring Sheet) and get the Pattern here.

I can't wait to see what fabrics you are using!
Let me know if you have any questions or if I left any details out.  Sorry for the wordy post, I hope this helps you in thinking about your selections.

Remember to share! #hoopquilt  #hoopquiltalong  
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