COLLEGE DAYS – SEAGULL (+ a raw edge applique tutorial)

Edited to add: I’m sorry to say I made a mistake about the date, so please think of this as a dress rehearsal for my blog hop post. My ‘real’ post – Monday was really not by Day – with a new block, is here

Welcome to Rainbow Hare for my stop in the College Days Blog Hop, hosted by Soma from Whims and Fancies who, as you probably know, is a queen of paper piecing. Soma always hosts amazing blog hops so I was delighted to be invited to join in. You can find the schedule here and if you’ve missed any of the College Days blocks so far, I recommend that you go straight to look at them here. They really are amazing!


College Quilt Patterns
My block, I’m afraid, is very simple and basic but, on the bright side, it’s also quick and easy and uses some techniques that could be used in lots of projects. You can find the tute at the end of this post but, first, I must tell you tell you something about my College Days!
I did my degree in English at the University of Sussex and, overall, I loved it.
Not the place as such. The campus is, for some reason, listed but, unless you are blessed with a special liking for a certain kind of architecture, you’d probably agree that it has all the charm of a sixties sink estate and a burnt out car or two wouldn’t look terribly out of place. And then there are all sorts of odd quirks that make it it generally uncomfortable. The Arts Lecture Theatre, for example, has no windows, which complements the general aesthetic but means it gets very hot and airless during the Summer.
As soon as you arrive, they give you a map, which looks as if it will come in very handy. But don’t be fooled. The campus is large and hilly and the buildings and roads are arranged in an interesting labyrinth that serves to make the place virtually unnavigable. You can walk along a corridor on the second floor of a building and find yourself on the ground floor of the next one without going down any stairs. You can follow your map up and down roads and round and round in circles for hours only to find yourself on a bridge going over the road where your seminar is being held…
But the books, the lectures, the seminars, I loved.
There were, of course, too many books. We had four modules a term, and for each we were expected to have read two primary texts and mountain of background material and an endless list of literary criticism every single week. But there was a very magical quality of becoming, for a time, completely immersed in an extraordinary diversity of other worlds. And there was the challenge of the essays with their intractable questions that have no right answers (but which you could fail!) and there was the amassing of evidence and expert opinions to be pondered and questioned and argued against and then, just when it seemed hopeless and impossible, suddenly a moment when everything would crystallise into an understanding – not of what is but of a possibility that could be expressed with coherence and persuasion.
And by now, if you’re probably wondering about the seagull so I should probably mention there were seagulls everywhere! It’s even the nickname of the local football team. One day I got into my car and there was a loud thud. A couple of boys were playing football in the car park and i assumed their ball had hit the car accidentally. Then there was another thud and another. I got out to see what was happening and there was a seagull jumping up and down on the roof – quite a lot bigger than a chicken and completely unfazed by my efforts to scare it off :)


To make this block, you will need:
A selection of fabrics
Iron on fusible web
A sewing machine
Erasable marker pen

Seagull block Template and Seagull Reverse Image Template.

The template sheets for this block are available on Craftsy and you can access them by clicking on the picture below. Please note that the actual block is square. It is a mystery to me why Craftsy has to distort the square into a rectangle like this but, after all the problems with linking to google drive, we’ll bear with it pending further information!



Step 1. Cut one 10 1/2″ X 4″ rectangle of sea coloured fabric and one 10 1/2″ X 7″ rectangle of sky coloured fabric and join them with a 1/4″ seam to construct a 10 1/2″ background block. Set aside.

Step 2. Cut out the whole seagull from the Seagull block template (see upper right, below) and set aside.

Step 3. Cut out each individual piece of the seagull from the Seagull block reverse image template (shown lower left, above). Mark the edges with blue lines as shown above. These edges will be overlapped. Do the same with the book and mortar board template pieces (not shown).

Step 4. Draw around your cut outs from Step 3 on the paper side of your fusible web indicating the edges marked with blue lines (see below).

Step 5. Iron your fusible pieces from step 4 (above) onto your chosen fabrics.

Step 5. Cut out your shapes using sharp scissors. Cut edges indicated by the blue lines 1/4″ away from the line. Cut all other edges on your line (see below). Set aside.

Step 6. Take your background block (made in step 1, above) and mark as shown below with your erasable marker.

Step 7. Remove the paper backing from your pieces. If you scratch the paper with a pin, it should tear off easily without distorting or fraying the edges.

Step 8. Position your 3″ book centrally with the top edge aligned with the horizontal line marked in Step 6 (above). Iron to fuse this piece into place and sew a scant 1/8″ from the edge along the sides and top.

Step 9. Position and iron on your 4″ book centrally. Overlap your 3″ book by a scant 1/4″ and sew as in Step 8 (above).

Step 10. Position and iron on your 5″ book centrally, overlapping your 4″ book by a scant 1/4″ and sew right around a scant 1/8″ from the edge.

Step 11. Take your whole seagull cut out (from Step 2, above). Position it centrally and draw around it with your erasable marker.

Step 12. Proceed to fuse and stitch your remaining pieces in the order shown below. Sew a scant 1/8″ from the edges that won’t be overlapped. At each stage, overlap by about 1/4″. You can use your whole template to check positioning if necessary. The wing piece and the top of the mortar board are stitched right around.






In this tutorial I have sewn with a straight stitch (because my applique foot and feed dogs were having an issue!). To make this piece more durable, especially if you expect to wash it often, I would recommend a small zigzag or satin stitch.

Alternatively these templates could be used for freezer paper applique. In that case, you should draw your shapes onto the non-shiny side of the freezer paper and cut them out, iron the freezer paper onto your fabric, ignore the blue lines and cut your fabric shapes with approx 1/4″ seam allowance right around. Please let me know if you have any questions :)

I hope you enjoy visiting everyone in this fun hop :)

Janine @ Rainbow Hare

15 thoughts on “COLLEGE DAYS – SEAGULL (+ a raw edge applique tutorial)

  1. AaltjeA says:

    Hi, I love your blocks, but I'm not able to download them. Google drive says: Unable to access folder with ID. Check access permissions on the folde'.
    Can you help me?


  2. krislovesfabric says:

    Oh, well done, you!! My block is also a fusible applique and you did an excellent tut!! Do you mind if I link back to yours when my day comes around at the end of the month? I have a small explanation but I think yours is loads better ;)


  3. Soma Acharya says:

    It's such a beautiful block, Janine!! I love the theme and the colours so much! Thank you for writing the tutorial. I may just have to get over my fear of applique and give this a go. I LOVE this blog post, such a fun read :)



  4. Sandra :) says:

    It's a good thing you were able to escape …. The Killer Gull!!! ;) Cute applique – I spent part of my morning prepping appliques (the fusible web kind) to go onto gift bags I have kitted ready to work on :) It's a great way to personalize projects!


  5. says:

    Isn't it funny how we call different things by different names. I always think of paper piecing as hexie style and where you sew it onto a sheet with a pattern, Foundation piecing, and yet here it's called something different… bizarre!

    I'm like you're handsome seagull though, his hat is just spiffing.


  6. Kim says:

    Love this post, Janine, though you have shattered all my illusions of English universities being wrapped up in wonderful architecture. Very cute seagull block and as ever a wonderful tute. I must say, I do love your style of writing!


I love to receive your comments and, where possible, I will respond by email and visit your blog. I will manually approve your first comment on this site to help avoid spammers :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.