Sewvivor – A Thousand Needles – Allegory


I was rather exicted to see that this year’s Sew-vivor was quilting themed. It’s hosted over at the lovely Family Ever After Blog .

For my audition piece, I’m picking my Indelible Beauty Mini Quilt that I just finished up because it is a piece that has made me the happiest this year (I almost thought about using my Patchwork Weekender).



This mini quilt measures 26″ square and features fabrics from Indelible by Katarina Roccella for AGF. It was foundation pieced using templates designed by Dan at Piece and Press.  It was pieced and quilted this month (July of 2014). The quilting is pretty minimal (for me) with lines echoing the backgrounds in each arc as well as one full circle echo. I simply loved the hand of the Art Gallery base cloth too much to layer on quilting lines. I do love how the light quilting and the circle echo give the center piecing just a tiny bit of lift:


I always forget just how much I love foundation paper piecing until I get a new project started. This first inner arc already had me falling for this quilt:

Indelible + Paper Piecing

For those of you new to my creative chaos here’s a little about me:

My name is Allegory and I feel there are two things you can never have enough of: Halloween fabric and gummi bears. I have far too many English Paper Piecing WIPs and while I used to hate hexagons I’m slowly becoming convinced that they might be the best shape ever.

Also…I really want an Alpaca farm.

I think I covered all the key points there.

Thank you to Rach for hosting this great event! And thanks to y’all for stopping by to take a look at my entry!

Good luck, y’all!


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Indelible Beauty |Indelible Blog Hop|

indelible blog hop

I think I’ve made it pretty clear by now that I’m in love with this line. From the first moment that I saw it at Market I knew that it was everything that I didn’t even know I wanted in a fabric line. Each time I look at a piece from this collection I feel like I notice something that I didn’t notice before.

I’m so glad to call Katarina my friend now and couldn’t resist joining in on the blog hop for the release of this line.

My ideas for what to make for this hop have run the gambit from a Cathedral Window (my bolts of background are still on order) to English Paper Piecing pillows. Then I decided it was time to cross something off my “quilt dreams” list and ensure that it was size appropriate to live on my studio walls.

And I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out…

This mini quilt measures 26″ square but I’ve arranged all the background text pieces for it to be displayed on point.

The New York Beauty foundation templates came from Dan at Piece and Press.

For that bottom corner, I’ve used the same prints in the alternate color-way from the collection and I love how it emphasizes different sections of the design.

The quilting was very minimal on this piece simply because I love the hand of the fabric and wanted to leave out a lot of quilting texture. The backgrounds of each arc are quilted to echo the points and there’s an echo line of the whole circle. It’s bound in an Art Gallery Fabrics Squared Elements because I can’t stop using that line to bind things.


I’m not really a purple girl but I want to roll around in that background print. It’s rich and saturated and has so many layers of text and lace and objects on it that I never feel it’s “just purple” when looking at it. I made a point to tell Katarina at Market that this print is everything I’ve ever wanted in fabric all at once…and I still feel that way two months later.



I haven’t found the right spot to hang this in my studio yet so I’ll leave you with one more outdoor shot. I think I might take everything down from the wall behind my machine and rearrange it to feature this mini.

Indelible is out now and I think you should really run and grab some before I just buy all of it. I’ve already reordered more of the Doiland Gloss (the background print) in plum because I chopped my current yardage up into bits to get all the prints going just right in this piece.

Looking at how it turned out, I regret nothing.



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Churn Dash : Starter Block

Churn Dash



I’m rather excited for this month’s featured block. When I first started thinking about this series and was asking opinions on blocks, Churn Dashes were the 2nd most popular block mentioned!

Traditionally, these blocks are made of two fabrics, your feature fabric and the background fabric. I couldn’t resist using a focus fabric for the center and a bit of scrappiness for the rest. It seemed silly to make a different style for the tutorial when I’m already using these fabrics for a project anyway!



Let’s Make One: 

Block size: 12.5″ square

In this tutorial I’m going to be referring to the sections of this block as follows: Color A (the Churn Dash color), Color B (background fabric) and Center Block (traditionally in the background color). You can make your block scrappy like mine or use only two fabrics for a more traditional look.

Materials Needed:

  • One 4.5″ square for your Center (green for me)
  • Two 5″ squares of Color A (orange for me)
  • Two 5″ squares of Color B (black/white backgrounds)
  • Four 2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangles of Color A
  • Four 2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangles of Color B
  • Marking pen/chalk

Strip Piecing Note: If you are using two fabrics for this block then you can strip piece the rectangles. You’ll need a 2.5″ x 19″ strip of each fabric. Sew them together with a 1/4″ seam and sub cut into 4.5″ square sections (you’ll have a scrap leftover because the strips are longer than needed just in case of errors). 


  • First step will be to make the Half-Square Triangles (HSTs) for the corners. You’ll need your 5″ squares of Colors A and B. Place one Color A square and one Color B square right-sides together. Using a ruler and a marking pen/chalk, draw a diagonal line down the center on the wrong side.



  • Sew two lines down the center 1/4″ away from your marked line.



  • Using scissors or a rotary cutter, cut down your marked line and press your HSTs open.
  • Repeat these steps for the second 5″ square of Color A and B.
  • Trim your HSTs to 4.5″ square. You’ll have four total.


  • Take one 2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangle from Color A and Color B. Place them right sides together and sew with a 1/4″ seam. Press open. Repeat with your other three rectangles of each color. You’ll have four units that each measure 4.5″ square. (This step is already done if you started off with the Strip Piecing Note in the cutting section.)
  • Layout your churn dash block following the diagram below.

Row One: HST – Strip Square (Horizontal) – HST

Row Two: Strip Square (Vertical) – Center – Strip Square (Vertical)

Row Three: HST – Strip Square (Horizontal) – HST



  • Sew each row together using 1/4″ seams to join squares.
  • Join rows with 1/4″ seams being sure to align your center seams in each section.



  • Press open and repeat, repeat, repeat (because you can never make just one Churn Dash).

Cutting instructions for the smaller Churn Dash: 

Block size: 6.5″ square

  • One 2.5″ Center square
  • Two 3″ squares in Color A
  • Two 3″ squares in Color B
  • Four 1.5″ x 2.5″ rectangles in Color A
  • Four 1.5″ x 2.5″ rectangles in Color B

Strip piecing notes: Again, if you are just using two fabrics and not scraps you can strip piece those rectangle sections. You’ll need one strip in each color that measures 1.5″ x 11″. Sew together with a 1/4″ seam, press open and sub-cut into four 2.5″ squares. 

Piecing the smaller blocks is the same as piecing the large. You’d start by making HSTs with the 3″ squares. Trim those town to 2.5″. Then piece your split squares. Join units together in the same layout as above!

I love Churn Dashes because I feel like they look incredible in absolutely any fabric combination. I’m going to be digging through my stash of Heather Ross fabrics this week to cut more centers and see how many I have. There might have to be a bit of Etsy shopping happening so I can make a whole stack of these!

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|MHT| Pumpkins and Blackbirds

MHT 1.1

I’m a bit behind on Club #1 for Mysterious Halloween Town but I’m still hopeful that I can have this step finished before the second clue releases. I’m just shy of halfway as you can see above.

I thought today I’d show off some of my favorite bits that are happening because I’m using Weeks Dye Works for the whole project.

Primarily the pumpkins are turning out super lovely. My choice of WDW Copper gives them this shaded feel that I’m quickly falling in love with:

MHT 1.2


The blackbirds have a green stitch to fill in their eyes but I’m currently resisting filling that in. I really think that I’m liking it far more with just an open space.

How are y’all coming along with yours?

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Little Finishes




While I didn’t get much time in the actual studio the past few weeks, I did duck in whenever I had the chance to work on some little things that had been cluttering up various desk corners.

I draw out patterns whenever it strikes me…on whatever sheets of paper happen to be near. This leaves a nice little jumble of papers throughout that now have their own binder to live in:

The tiniest felt donkey. With little pants.

An embroidery for the Mister, everything was picked out by him and all I did was stitch it. It’s currently hanging on the fridge (which accounts for the weird lighting). I think that’s a strange place for an embroidery but I don’t think I should move it.



Small finishes that didn’t really deserve their own post but I didn’t want them to go unnoticed. I’m strangely excited to work with felt again and have slotted in a few more projects over the summer.


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Equilateral Triangles : Twist



So this Twist might seem simple in comparison to some of the previous months. I’ve been itching to make a String quilt for awhile now and lately everything I make needs to be blog/pattern related.

Thus we have some Scrappy String Triangles!

I’m piecing mine onto a foundation of muslin. I prefer this method when string piecing because then I don’t have to rip out any paper. After my recent Feathers quilt top, I’m not all that keen on ripping out foundation papers.

Let’s Make One: 

You’ll need:

  • Foundation Triangles in a size of your choice (mine have 6″ sides)


  • A big ol’ bucket of string scraps


To start, you’ll need one of the foundation triangles and a single string scrap. I just pulled a random scrap from the bucket. You can start anywhere in the triangle. You’ll just need to make sure that scrap extends past the edges of your triangle.

Place this string scrap right side up on your triangle (you can pin in place if you like, I didn’t):


Pull a second string scrap, again making sure that it is long enough to extend past the side edges of your triangle. Place this one right sides together on top of your first string:



Sew the two strings together using a 1/4″ seam and press.

Keep adding string scraps, sewing with 1/4″ seams and pressing after each addition.



Last strip at the top (2.5″ squares work perfectly for this part):


Here’s what my triangle looks like before trimming:


Flip the triangle over so that the foundation piece is face up and trim away the excess:


Repeat, repeat, repeat:



What do y’all think I should use these triangles in? A floor pillow? A mini? I think I’d like to cut a larger foundation piece to do a full quilt but it’s certainly something I can see myself making in the future.


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Brief Update

Hey y’all!

I really should have posted this sooner but I honestly didn’t get a chance to really think about it until today.

I’ve had some family situations come up that have needed all of my attention the past couple of weeks. Everyone in the immediate family is fine and healthy so no worries there.

I’m hoping to still get this month’s twist up tomorrow…even if it’s only partially finished. Things should hopefully be back to normal next month so that I can get back in the studio.

I’m sorry for the silence!

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Equilateral Triangles : Piecing Tips

Triangle Piecing Tips

I feel like everyone develops their own groove for piecing equilateral triangles. There’s certainly more than one way to approach it so what I’ve put together for you today is a set of pictures showing how I do it with some tips for making triangles less stressful.

After I’ve determined my layout for my project, I break sections down into diagonal rows. This feels more natural to me over piecing in a horizontal or vertical. Today I don’t really have a set layout, so I’m grabbing triangles and joining in a diagonal.

Start near the middle of your row with two triangles that sit on top of each other:



Place the triangles right-side together and join with a 1/4″ seam:


Press seams open. Open seams is the most important part of my process.


Next, I add a triangle that goes to the upper right of the first triangle that I started with:



See that corner point of the purple triangle above? I use that to line up my next piece. So I’ll flip my blue triangle right-sides together with the orange. The next picture shows the back and I’ve pointed out the part I use to align.


By pressing the seams open, I’ve given myself a line of the 1/4″ seam allowance that was used for piecing all the other triangles. So using those extra corners (that normally would be cut off) ensures that I’m keeping points intact later.

In the next picture, the blue triangle has been sewn on with a 1/4″ seam and seams have been pressed open again. The next triangle to add is the one that is lower left from that first pair. The arrow in the next picture shows the point that I use to line up my next triangle (it’s from the open seam of the orange one):



I continue to piece all my triangles following the steps above, adding triangles to the top and bottom until my diagonal is long enough. Since I’m piecing on the diagonal, rows will shorten out as I move away from the middle.

The last thing I use to align is when I’m joining those rows together. I pay the most attention to the triangle points that are already set from previous joins. These are the points that you *don’t* want to lose in your quilt. So when I’m setting my rows right-sides together before sewing, I make sure that these points are touching along the row (the arrow below shows the point I’m paying attention to):


Those are some of the tips that I have for piecing Equilateral Triangles.

I know that this method may seem unclear to some of y’all so please feel free to leave me any questions that you might have!

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Equilateral Triangles : Starter Block (Cutting)






I think that Equilateral Triangles are the perfect choice to feature this month for the A Year of Traditional Blocks series.  I know that some of you don’t consider these a “traditional” block shape but they were one of the first patterns that I ever learned when I started studying quilt blocks, only under a different name.

Thousand Pyramids is how I know the traditional equilateral triangle quilt. A little research dated this pattern to 1929. Depending on fabric selections, an equilateral triangle quilt has also been referenced under the names: Red Shields and Pyramids. 

Whatever name you know it under, equilateral triangle quilts have a ton of design potential but the shape can be intimating to some quilters (all those points!).

For this month’s Starter Block, I’m breaking the posts down into two sections: Cutting and Piecing. This is so I can include a lot of photos and helpful tips without worrying about cramming it all into one page space.

Today’s focus is Cutting…WITHOUT a specialty ruler!

I’m including two options:

  • Cutting using a 60° guideline on a ruler
  • Cutting using a 60° guideline on a cutting mat (for rulers without angle lines)

For either option you’re going to want to start with a strip of fabric. The width of this fabric is determined by how TALL you want your triangles to be.

I’ve chosen 4.5″ for mine:


Option One: Using the 60° Line on a Ruler: 

Obviously, for this method you need your large straight edge ruler (6″ x 24″) to have 60° marked on it. I’ve run a piece of washi tape underneath the line on mine so that it’s easier to see in the photos.


To start your triangle cuts, align the 60° mark with the BOTTOM edge of your strip, placing the point of your ruler at the corner:


Cut the first angled edge, the piece you cut off can go off into the scrap bin:

Without moving the fabric, flip your ruler over to the wrong side (I’ve used a different type of washi tape to easily distinguish between the back and the front of the ruler). You can see in the picture below that my numbers are backwards, but this also means that my 60° line is going in the opposite direction. Align the 60° line with the TOP edge of your strip, the point of the ruler will be in the top corner now and cut along the ruler’s edge:


Continue to flip your ruler along the strip, alternating between aligning the 60° line with the top and bottom of your  fabric strip:


I will say here that this is my preferred method to cut equilateral triangles. I like not moving my fabric and after a couple of minutes I can settle into a natural rhythm of flipping the ruler.

But I’ve found while teaching classes that not everyone’s favorite ruler has that 60° line on it so the next option uses the line on your mat instead.

Option Two: Using the 60° Line on your Cutting Mat: 

For this option you can use any long straight-edged ruler that you’d like. Your reference line will be the 60° line on your cutting mat:


To start you’ll need to align the corner edge of your fabric strip with the 60° line on the mat. I like to set my fabric somewhere where the 60° line intersects with one of the inch lines. Set your ruler along the 60° line and cut your first angle:


My mat doesn’t have two sets of 60° lines that cross so we need to flip the fabric in order to get an angle going in the opposite direction. Turn your fabric strip so that it is WRONG side up. Set the bottom corner on the 60° guideline. Align your ruler with the guideline and cut:


Here’s your first triangle:

Flip your fabric back to the RIGHT side up. Again, the bottom corner gets set touching the 60° guideline.


Place your ruler along the 60° guideline and cut.

Repeat these steps above until you reach the end of your fabric strip.


Both of these cutting options work with strips of any width which is one reason I prefer to cut this way. A lot of times I’ll work on projects that mix different heights of triangles together but I never have to worry about changing lines on a specialty ruler.

I’ll be back on Monday with my tips for piecing equilateral triangles. If you have any questions, send them my way and I’ll work them into the post (or reply by email if it’s lengthy).


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|Quilt| Courthouse Diamonds


The smart thing to do would have been to wait until the afternoon when the light was better and there were fewer shadows.

I couldn’t wait.


This little quilt is unlike a lot of the things that I’ve been sewing recently and I think that’s the thing I love about it the most. The colors are soft, there’s sparkle fabric and the binding is so skinny it almost disappears (I tend towards chunky binding).

Then there’s the shape. I couldn’t resist this off-square layout that forms a trapezoid that is *almost* a diamond with each side measuring 34″.

It makes an interesting table piece:



I’m looking forward to moving later on this year so that I can have a proper dining room table set up for displays. Once that happens, I could see myself building a little display on top of this quilt. Some mason jars stuffed with white flowers to start maybe?

I don’t know…..Can you tell that I really want a table, y’all? The one above is a hideous thing taken from a warehouse I used to work in that has become the “dangerous/messy/giant project table” because I don’t care that much about scratching/burning/melting it.

Right…enough about my ugly table.

For now, I’m going to hunt down a lonely space on the wall to hang this up. Possibly in the bedroom since I believe that’s the only space left that I haven’t covered.

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