Friday, September 2, 2016

Arrows - Bullseye!

Ready, Aim, Fire!

I had been sewing along on my Row By Row Experience 2016 quilt, keeping in mind that I wanted to add some arrows in between my rows. I had found Carla's tutorial early on, but when it came time to start making them, they were just not what I wanted. 
Before I go any further, I would like to thank Carla over at Grace and Favour for the inspirational blog: Arrows -- A How To. Click on the link to check out her blog.

Several major differences between my arrows and Carla's:

One, I wanted my arrows to all have the same background fabric.

Two, my feather fabric was truly small scrap fabric leftover from appliquè projects, some measuring no more than 4.5" long!

Three, I wanted a narrower tip for my arrow.

**Please note, if at any time you wish to see the images larger, just click on them...**

So, to start out, there are some things you will need:
Arrow Shaft Fabric: I used Modascapes Log Cabin -Brown
Background Fabric: about 5" x WOF
Feather Scrap Fabric: 4.5"+ x 1" - cut a bunch of 1" strips, it's okay if they are longer than 4.5" (some of my strips were cut at 7/8" because is was such pretty fabric and there just wasn't enough to make a whole inch)
Arrowhead Fabric: a dark grey 2.5" x 3"

Paper piecing paper & fabric glue stick: I used paper from the Misourri Star Quilting Co, but other types of paper work just as well (phone book paper, news paper, tracing paper, receipt paper, you get the idea...) Glue stick is optional, but I don't paper piece without it.

Tri Rec Tools (ruler): not an absolute must if you're okay with the wider arrowhead. This ruler allows you to make a triangle in a square - great for many other projects and good to have because it's just cool!

There are other things that make the whole process a lot easier such as a rotary cutter, long acrylic rulers, cutting mat, sewing machine, scissors, iron, fabric marking utensil - if you don't have them, they are a must for any sewing project!!! All seams are 1/4".

To start it off, I made you this cute looking chart of what to cut: the letter references what piece goes where in the image and the number is how many pieces to cut; ie. A-2 (piece A, cut 2).

The Feathers
First, I would like to cover the feathers. They are assembled in a string block fashion.

We want to cut out Two pieces of paper that measure 1.75" x 8" (it's a little longer than what we need, but that's okay we will trim after we are done).

Lightly glue the pre cut Fabric Piece A to one end of each of the papers. Use a ruler with a 45° angle line and line it up with the edge of the paper.. Line up the edge of the ruler with the edge of the fabric and draw a line on each of the fabric pieces. You want your lines to be a mirror image of each other.

Start with the H pieces (measuring between 1" and 7/8" wide) by placing one strip of fabric - right sides together - lined up to the left of your 45° line.

Using a short stitch lenght, my machine is set at a 1.2, Sew along the edge with a 1/4" seam. (A short stitch lenght makes it easier to tear paper off later)

Fold fabric over the seam and press. You could finger press, or use an iron to press, I like the crisp look the iron gives.

Take your next piece of fabric and place it - right sides together - on top of your previous piece, lined up to the edge of your previous piece. Sew 1/4" seam and fold fabric over the seam and press.

Repeat with additional strips until you have added 5 of them. If I had long strips. I left them long to trim after I sewed them on, it wasted less fabric.

When you fold the fabric over the seam, you want to make sure the edge of your fabric covers the paper. Here, I barely missed the paper, so I needed to rip out the seam and adjust my fabric before I sewed it back on.

A Note: if you're using pieces of different widths, check to see if the edge of your last piece added measures between 4" and 4.5". That way, when you add your B piece in the step below, it will fall between 3.75" and 4.25".

After you have 5 feathers sewn on, you want to sew on pre cut Fabric Piece B in the same way you attached the feathers.

Nice! Now we want to square up this mess, clean it up a bit... To do that, were going to flip it over to where the paper is facing up. Take our square ruler, line the top edge of the ruler up with the long top edge of the paper. We are also going to line up the right side of our ruler with the first feather seam line.

Use your rotary cutter and trim it up.

Rotate your piece and line up your new cuts with the 6.25" Line and the 1.75" line on the ruler.

Use your rotary cutter and trim it up. Flip it over and now you have a nice looking feather. Also notice how the seam of your first feather piece ends up right in the corner?

Repeat steps above for the second feather.

The Shaft
The arrow shaft is made using Modascaps Log Cabin fabric. The logs on the fabric happen to be about .5 inches wide and they do not run from selvage to selvage so you can make them as long as you want. If you fussy cut the fabric, you will be able to cut 1/4" on each side of a log and make a 1" strip. With this fabric, you would even be able to piece together two fabric logs to make a really long log. Keep in mind, this fabric is directional, dark on the bottom, light on top.

Sew together pieces D and E, press seam towards E. If you're piecing together two pieces of log, press the seams open so it will not be as noticeable.

Assembling the Shaft and the Feathers
Line up your feathers next to your shaft. You want piece A facing towards the tip and piece B facing away.

Sew feathers to pieces C and press seams open. Remove the paper from the feathers.

Now you want to sew the feather to the shaft. You want to press seams towards the shaft.

When attaching the second feather, you want to line up your C seams.

Make sure you sew the second seam in the opposite direction than your first seam so you do not have a bowed arrow shaft. If necessary, square up the shaft.

The Arrowhead
If you haven't already, use your Tri Tool and cut a triangle from your G fabric. Line up the 2.5" line with the bottom of your 2.5" tall strip.

With your F fabric folded in half, set your Rec Tool's 3.5" line on the bottom edge of the fabric. (yes, the top of the fabric stops short just above the 1" on the Rec Tool) Cut so that you have 2 pieces.

You know you have cut them correctly when you lay them side by side, the 2 pieces are mirrored reflections of each other.

One at a time, flip one F piece onto G and sew. You want to offset your pieces so that your seam will fall into the V created by the offset. 

Press seam towards F after each seam. Square up the arrowhead piece to measure 2.5" tall and 3.5" wide.

Attach the arrowhead to the shaft and press seam toward the arrowhead.

And just to recap, here are some drawings...

Seam Pressing Directions

And there you have it. <3 I hope you have enjoyed this little tutorial as much as I have loved making the arrows tutorial. I needed something to do, I'm waiting on more modascapes log cabin fabric in the mail!

These arrows go really well with this block too!