Sunday, February 26, 2012

Twist Along Week 3

Now that you have your 36 patch with borders on and have best pressed or starched it, it's time to start cutting. As I mentioned before, It's a good idea to be able to cut all 49 pieces at the same time. It makes keeping track of your piece placement easier.

The Twister ruler is a square ruler with lines drawn a little wonky. These are the lines you will be lining up on the seams.

Starting at the top left corner, place the ruler along all 3 seam lines. You will only have 3 here because the border is sewn on without any seams. Make sure there are no bumps under the ruler. It's easy to get bumps since the ruler is on 'stilts'. Then cut around all 4 sides of the ruler. Be sure to no go more than a 1/4" past the sides or it will cut into the next piece.

Remove the square from the cutting table and put onto a design wall or table.This is what the 36 patch will look like now.

Here's the fun part. Twist the block clockwise until the block is a straight square.

Repeat for each square, remembering to line up the lines with the seams. On any piece that has a border included there will only be 3 seams to line up with and on all the rest there will be 4. This is what it will look like after 2 squares are cut. 

Keep cutting and adding squares to finish the first row. Notice how you can see the twisted pinwheels forming.

Then start on the 2nd row. This is what it will look like after the first two squares of the second row are cut. You can see the first twisted pinwheel now.

After you have all 49 squares cut out then sew them back together just like you did for the original 36 patch, but you will have 7 rows of 7 this time. Remember not to pull the fabric when sewing it back together because it is cut on the bias and has extra stretch.

Now I just need to give this a quick press. Next week we will be adding an outside border or 2 if you want. I have some of the black Sassy with the little paisley print for the border, but an thinking of doing a turquoise for a first border.

Don't forget to link up your twister quilts on the flickr page.


Friday, February 24, 2012

Twist Along - hints

Hi Twisters! I hope you all have your borders on your 36 patch now, but if not there's still time to catch up. I wanted to share a few hints for when we start cutting the twisted squares out.

1. I strongly suggest starching or using best press before cutting the twisted squares out. This will give it some body and have less stretch when cutting on the bias.
2. Don't start cutting the twisted squares out until you have a block of time to get it done. It took about 45 minutes to cut all 49 of my twisted squares out.

Jane from Quilt Jane has some great hints for whenever you cut on the bias:

Stretching or distortion can occur as the fabric gives. Some pieces and blocks will have bias edges and will be prone to stretch. Give the fabric a tug lengthwise, across the grain and on the diagonal (bias) and see the different ways the fabric responds.

1. When you can follow the grain line on the pattern piece. This is not always possible on scraps so give the fabric a tug and work out where you can place pattern piece to minimise bias.

2. Minimise distortion by pressing with dry iron and not attacking block.
3. Use starch to stabilise the block
4. Sew a stay stitch (longer straight stitch which can be unpicked later) around the edge of the block. I made a quilt with large setting triangles so I stay stitched around triangle to keep it in shape.
5. Handle with care. Don’t keep pressing and handing pieces and blocks unnecessarily. The more you handle the fabric, the more likely stretching will occur.

So your twister homework for today is to starch the 36 patch with borders. Then on Sunday you will be all ready to start cutting and sewing the quilt top back together. Here's a sneak peek at the doll quilt top I made. Its made with only a 16 patch (4 rows x 4 columns) and the border. Its the perfect size for a doll quilt.

Don't forget to start posting your pics on the flickr page.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Valentine Voting

Do you remember when I kicked off the Valentines Day Showcase at the beginning of the month? Well it's now time to vote for your favorite projects in the Valentine Showcase After Party.

I have 2 entries in the contest

Love Braids Tablerunner

and a Valentine Goodie Bag

I would love your vote. Click here to go to the voting page. My entries are numbers 9 and 32.

Voting closes tomorrow so please hop on over to the Valentine Showcase page and vote :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My First adventure with a Long Arm

Yup you read that right...I got over my fear of ruining a quilt when quilting it and with a little help from my friend Angela (and a little push) I was successful!

I decided to stipple this quilt and even though I looked tense and at times oblivious to the outside world (or the 6 others who were in the room at the time) I was as relaxed as I get.

I was petrified that I wouldn't know where to go with the needle and would have a quilt full of points when I changed directions, but that wasn't the case at all. Once I got my rhythm the curves followed. What do you think? Here's 2 close ups of the quilting.

I have to tell you that this was by and far the easiest quilt I ever finished. An hour or 2 to quilt it and then all I had to do was bind it. Here's the finished quilt. It's a Jelly Roll Race Quilt made from a Veranda jelly roll I won from FatQuarterly during a Talkin' Tuesday chat room. If you haven't check out these great sites you really should.

What are you working on this week? Believe it or not I am going back to the Long arm machine (my new favorite thing in the world) and finishing another quilt, just trying to decide which one to do.

Till next time

Monday, February 20, 2012

Grand Baby Quilt

A good friend of mine just became a Grandma for the first time and what's a quilter to do? Make a baby quilt of course.

The pattern is from the Spring Quilt Along, you can find the info here. The pattern is by Kate Spain and the fabric is from the Grown With Me line.

Here's a pic of the back of the quilt, I just love how the pattern looks on the back.

Here's the original quilt I made during the Spring Quilt Along. This was my first successful QAL, the first one I finished 100%.

I think this is going to be my go-to baby pattern for this year. I think it's a good way to keep track of which baby in a family has which blanket. This way if I forget which blanket I made for each baby in a family there won't be any duplicates, since there will be a different pattern used every year.

Till next time


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Twist Along Week 2

Are you ready to work on your Twister Quilt some more? If you missed week 1 here's the link to that post.

This week we will be putting the borders on the 36 patch you made last week. Then later in the week we will be cutting the twister squares.

If you are using 10" squares for the 36 patch you will need to cut 8 - 6.5" x WOF strips then sew 2 strips together to make 4 long border strips.
If you are using 5" squares you will need 4 - 3.5" x WOF strips

Here's a short tutorial on how to sew strips together with a bias seam.

Here's a technique I use when putting borders on my quilts. I used to sew a strip of fabric onto the quilt that was bigger than the quilt length and trim the overhang off to be even with the quilt. But that just got me a wonky quilt. The secret is to cut the opposite side borders the same length and then make the quilt fit the borders so both sides are even.

1. Lay your quilt top out on the floor and take 2 of the border pieces. Pin them to the middle of the top part. Have a helper hold where the fabric is pinned together or put a pin cushion or something else that has a little weight to it on the spot where the pins are. The middle of the quilt is the most stable and least wonky part.

2. Now smooth out the 2 border pieces over the quilt, trying not to pull the border strips or the quilt.

3. Trim the ends of the border strips off where the bottom edge of the quilt is (I use scissors). These 2 borders are for the sides of the quilt. If you cut the pieces a tad bit wonky you can straighten them up.

4. Fold the quilt top in half along the side. If the half way mark is not on a seam then finger press a crease or use a pin to mark the center.

5. Fold the border piece in half and fold to make a crease or use a pin to mark it.

6. Line up both the half way marks and pin.

7. Now pin the border to the right end of the quilt. I find it helpful to pin along the top and then one pin along the side edge to prevent any part from stretching. If it is a tad bit to small or big you can spread out the problem throughout the entire side so it won't even be noticeable. This is how you fix a too big or too small side. Now pin half way between the 2 pins and so on till the entire right half of the border is pinned. I usually like to have a pin at least every 3 inches.

8. Repeat with the left half until the entire border is pinned.

9. Repeat for the opposite side so you have both borders pinned on.

10. Sew using a 1/4" seam. Then press towards the border.

11. Repeat for the top and bottom parts.

Walaa! Borders on the quilt that have right angles for the corners!

I'd love to see your progress, don't forget to post them on the flickr page for the Twist Along.

This should keep you busy for a while. Later in the week we will start cutting the twister squares and sewing them together. That part will take the longest so I have allowed a few extra days for it.

Till next time

Friday, February 17, 2012

It's a Mystery

What is an average quilting day like for you? If you are anything like me at least a little bit of my time is spent ooogggling the great fabric and patterns at The Fat Quarter Shop. I can get lost in all that fabric and since I am the ultimate planner, I plan future quilts that way. I am always adding fabric and patterns to my cart.

One thing that I have my eye on is the 2012 Designer Mystery Block of The Month. It's made with Bonnie and Camille's newest fabric line Vintage Modern, which is just delish! Here's a sneak peek.

The blocks are designed by a bunch of great Moda fabric designers including Aneela Hoey, Bonnie & Camille, Blackbird Designs, Cosmo Cricket, Fig Tree Quilts, Me & My Sister Designs, Kate Spain, Minick & Simpson, Pieces from My Heart, Primitive Gatherings and Sweetwater. I am sure theres' a few of your favorites in that list somewhere. I am already Craizee about the block we can see.

There's also a finishing and backing kit so you have everything necessary to make the quilt.

I don't know about you, but I have just found the quilt I will be making with Modern Vintage!  I will be blogging my progress every month so why not join me? 

Till next time

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

I am really running out of cute blog post titles for when I am announcing winners, if you have any cute ones please let me know :)

The winners of the Nifty Notions Cut For The Cure rulers are

Here are your random numbers:
4 5
Timestamp: 2012-02-17 23:19:47 UTC

Congrats to Richard and Lisa! I have emailed you!

Till next time

Go! Ahead & Show Some Love

Have you seen the Go! Ahead and Show Some Love Blog Hop? Paulette from Sweet Pea Quilting and Creations is hosting it in conjunction with the Quilters With Modern Tools group. This months blog hop is all about the color red, Valentine Day and the Accuquilt cutting system. And today it's my turn on the hop!

The project I made for this blog hop is my Dresden Love hot pad. It's kinda big for a mug rug, but kinda small for a table topper, but is the perfect size for a hot pad.

This is a simple dresden fan using a 22.5 degree ruler. For those of you that are new to my blog, I do a monthly series on Nifty Notions rulers and the ruler of the month in January was the 22.5 degree wedge. Check out all the ruler tutorials I have done for you here.

You will need
1 - 2.5" x WOF red fabric
1 - 2.5" x WOF pink fabric
1 - 5" square red fabric
1 - 8" square white fabric for background
1 - 1.5" x WOF pink fabric for border
2 - 2.25" x WOF red for binding
1 - 12" square red fabric for backing
1 - 12" square batting

To make this hot pad you will first need to figure out what size fan pieces to cut. 

1. Decide on the size of the fan/plate you want. For this project I wanted the fan to measure 7" across the diameter. For those of you who failed HS geometry the diameter is the size of the line drawn thru the center of a circle. 

2. Once you know how big of a fan/plate you want you can figure out what size pieces you will need. It's a pretty easy formula:

Take the diameter and subtract 2 and then divide by 2. So if you want a 7" plate/fan it works this way... 7 - 2 = 5/2 = 2.5. So the strip you cut your wedges from need to be 2.5".

3. Now that we know what size strips to use it's time to cut the strips. If you are using 2 different fabrics for the plate/fan cut your strips the desired size and then lay them out one on top of the other with right sides together. Place the ruler on the strip with the Logo face up (so you can read it). Line up the top edge with the line that corresponds to the size of the strip. Trim the left side and cut along the right side to make your first wedge.

4. Then flip the ruler over so the small edge is at the top. Line the left edge of the ruler with the left edge of the strip and cut along the right side of the ruler.

5. To figure out how many pieces to cut divide 360 by the degree of the ruler. In this case
360 ÷ 22.5 = 16. So you will need to cut 16 pieces or 8 sets of wedges. This formula applies to any wedge you are using.

You will now have 16 cut pieces like this. 

6. Once you have all your wedge pieces cut you will be sewing them to make a point at the top. Here's how:

Fold the wedge in half like so.

7. Then sew using a quarter inch seam along the larger straight line

 8. Then turn the piece right side out to form a point. You can use a stiletto or other pointy object to push the point out. Here's what you will have now

9. Then sew the pieces together. Start at the part closest part to the point and sew using a quarter inch seam to the bottom. Sew them in 2's, making sure the same fabric is always on the top.

10. Continue sewing pieces together, pressing the seams open as you go till you have a full circle (made with 16 wedges).

11. Now it's time to put it all together. You will need the 3" circle die, some double sided web interfacing (I use Steam-a-Seam). Following the directions affix the Steam-a-Seam to the back of the piece of fabric you will be making your circle with. In this case the red fabric.

12. Using your Accuquilt cut a 3" circle out. Also cut a 5" circle out of the Steam-a-Seam alone.

13. Affix the 5" circle to the back of the dresden fan. Then take the paper backing off press the dresden fan onto your background fabric.

14. Peel the paper off the back of the 3" red circle and affix it to the center of the fan.

15. Cut the border fabric into 2 - 1.5" x 8" and 2 - 1.5" x 10" rectangles.

16. Sew the 8" strips to the top and bottom sides of the background fabric and the 10" strips to the sides of the background.

17. Make a quilt sandwich with the backing face down, the batting and the top face up. Pin to keep it together.

18. Using a blanket stitch on your machine sew around the circle to finish the edges. Or you can hand sew a blanket stitch if you prefer.

19. Quilt and bind. I quilted in the ditch between the background and the border until I got to the corners. I marked 1" in from each side and used painters tape to show the line to sew on. This gave it a slightly framed look.

There you go a Dresden Love Hot Pad.

I hope you like this tutorial. Be sure to check out all the other blog hop stops in the Go! Ahead and Show Some Love Blog Hop.

If you are looking for the Accuquilt cutting system and dies they can be found here.

Till Next Time

Thursday, February 16, 2012

2 QSTs + 1 HST = Turnstile Block

Do you know what this is called? I didn't until I checked on EQ7 and saw its called a Turnstile Block. I always called it a Double Pinwheel, which it might also be called. If you know of any other names for this block please let me know.

This block uses 2 QSTs and 1 HST and is very simple if you follow all these directions.

1. You need to know what size your finished squares will be. A square in this instance looks like this.

I want to use these squares on the next border on my Swoon quilt. Since it's currently 64.5" x 64.5" I decided that I want the blocks to be 4" once sewed together and onto the quilt. This is your finished square size.

Once you know the size you want to make these squares you can figure out what size strips you need.

For the HST add .5" to the finished size, which is 4.5".
For the QSTs divide the finished square size in half, 4/2 = 2. Then add .5" to that number, which is 2.5" 

So you will need a 4.5" strip of the fabric for the HST (purple) and a 2.5" strip of each of the 2 QST fabric (pink and orange).

Cut the HST's and QSTs by following the tutorials I have already posted. If you missed them you can find them on the Ruler Series Tutorial page here.

2. I find it helpful to layout the pieces so I know what part to sew. 

3. Sew the 2 QST's together along the short sides as shown above. Press open. You have just made a HST out of 2 QSTs.

4. Place the 2 HST's next to each other before you sew to make sure your sewing on the correct line.

5. Sew along the long diagonal line, as you would any HST. Be sure not to pull the fabric or it will come out wonky. Press towards the purple.

6. These can be used to make a Turnstile block or as a border (like I am planning on doing).

There you go another way to make this block without drawing on the back of the fabric or having to square anything up.

Don't forget to enter the giveaway for 2 Nifty Notions Rulers. Click here to enter.
Note - you can link anything up, but leaving a comment isn't an entry so please link up.

Till next time,