Friday, December 12, 2014

ABC . . . Read With Me Quilt and Tutorial

Today I am so excited to share a finish that I have been keeping secret for a little while.  You might remember me showing letters clear back in March  and having a special little plan for it.  Well those letters made with Me and My Sister Designs Hubba Hubba line ended up in a different quilt.  So when I saw LOL by Me and My Sister Designs at market, I knew it was time for the plan to resurface.

And here it is all done!!!!   ABC . . . Read With Me!!!!   And because you all loved the idea so much back in March, I wrote a tutorial to go along with it!!  It can be found over at the  Moda Bake Shop ;)  It has easy step by step instructions for the entire quilt including the links for the free letter downloads, in case you don't have the Spell it with Moda Pattern Book ;)  EDIT - I also found a super easy way to look up all the letters.  Just copy and paste this link in            http://www.modafabrics.com/a_spellitwithfabric.pdf   and then change the letter after the .com/ to whatever letter you need ;)



ABC . . . Read With Me finishes at 80" x 84" :)  Yup, its a big one, perfect for the reader in your family or for a special gift to a school or library.  This one is hanging in the school my Twin Sister administrates ;)  She says the kids just love it and I can't tell you how happy that makes me ;)


And now that this Moda Bake Shop Tutorial has been published for a while, I can now post it here on my blog for your convenience ;)   So just follow along below for the full step-by-step tutorial.  And if you love it, you can get the printerfriendly version here :)  
1 Fat Quarter Bundle of LOL by Me and My Sister Designs

So let's get to making your own ABC . . .Read with Me Quilt. 

Here is what you will need :

3 3/4 Yards White Bella Solid
1/2 Yard of Black Bella Solid
5 Yards of Backing
2 Yards of Fusible Webbing
Spell it with Moda Pattern Book or Downloadable Pattern Sheets for each Letter

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STEP 1 - CUTTING

From the White Bella Solid yardage cut :

(8) 6 1/2" x Width of Fabric Strips
(20) 2 1/2" x Width of Fabric Strips
(3) 3" x 15" rectangles
(3) 2 1/2" x 6" rectangles
(3) 1 1/2" x 6" rectangles
(6) 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" rectangles
(24) 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" squares
(27) 1 1/2" x 2 1/2" squares


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Now from your Fat Quarter Bundle, select 26 Fat Quarters that will be used for your letter blocks and books.   I choose an assortment of prints that tended to read one color.   Then select 4 additional Fat Quarters to be used for a scrappy binding.   The remaining 10 Fat Quarters can be stashed away for a future project ;)  Press the 26 selected Fat Quarters taking care of those fold lines.


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Stack up 3-4 Fat Quarters on your cutting table.  Using the grid lines on your cutting mat, trim the Fat Quarter on the top and bottom and right hand side so you are working with nice straight edges.  Take care when trimming the top and bottom to trim tight to the edge so that you have you still have 21" vertically to work with.


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Cut 2 Strips 2 1/2" x 21" to be used for the books.  Cut  2 Strips 1 1/2" x 21" and then subcut them  into (2) 1 1/2" x 8 1/2" rectangles and (2) 1 1/2" x 12 1/2" rectangles to be used for the Alphabet Block Borders.  Set the remaining piece aside to be used for the alphabet blocks.  Repeat this for all 26 Fat Quarters.

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Once you are done you will have (52) 2 1/2" x 21" strips.   You will need 51 Strips so set one strip aside with the rest of the Alphabet Block pieces. Subcut the 51 strips as follows.
From (15) strips cut a 2 1/2" x 12 1/2" rectangle.  Put the scrap of the strip with the Alphabet Block pieces.
From (18) strips cut a 2 1/2 x 11 1/2" rectangle.  Once again, put the scrap of the strip with the Alphabet Block pieces.
From (9) strips cut the strip in half to create (18)  2 1/2" x 10 1/2" rectangles
From (3) strips cut a 2 1/2" x 6 1/2" rectangle and a 2 1/2" x 12 1/2" rectangle.  Scrap the remaining piece.
From (3) strips cut a 2 1/2" x 8 1/2" rectangle and a 2 1/2" x 12 1/2" rectangle.
From (3) strips cut a 2 1/2" x 9 1/2" rectangle and a 2 1/2" x 11 1/2" rectangle.
Sort all of the cut rectangles grouping by like sizes.  Set them aside.

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STEP 2 - MAKING THE ABC BLOCKS

It's time to move on to making some blocks.  I like to make the ABC blocks first as they take a little time ;)   For each block you will need to gather a 2 1/2" x WOF white strip and then the matching fabric (2) 1 1/2" x 12 1/2" rectangles, the (2) 1 1/2" x 8 1/2" rectangles, and the matching Alphabet Scrap fabric you set aside.

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Pull out your Spell it with Moda Fabric Book or Pattern sheet and start with A.   Cut the pieces needed according to the directions only reversing the Print and Background fabrics.   So the A is actually going to be made from the White background and the Background is made from the Print fabric.

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Once cut, group all of the pieces together for that particular letter and mark them with that letter so you can keep them straight.

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I found it easier to take some time focusing on cutting and cut out all of the letter pieces first.   There are 19 White strips so some of the letters you will be using leftovers from strips ;)

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Once you have all of the letters cut out, it is time to start piecing them.   I liked to piece 4-5 letters at a time chain stitching wherever I could.   Follow the directions in the booklet or print out to put the letter block together.   Once you have the letter block pieced, you will be ready to add the border to it.  The border makes it so the letter won't blend together :)

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Lay the matching 1 1/2" x 8 1/2" pieces along the top and bottom of the letter with right sides together.  Stitch a 1/4" seam along the edge  Press the seam allowances towards the border.

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Then place the 1 1/2" x 12" matching rectangles along the two sides of the letter with right sides together.  Again, stitch a 1/4" seam along the edge and then press towards the border.   If you are piecing 4-5 letters at a time you can save some time chain piecing these borders on ;)

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You will end up with a unfinished 10 1/2" x 12 1/2" block that will finish in the border at 10" x 12" :)

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Repeat this process until you have 26 bordered letters.   Aren't they so fun!!!   You can set them aside for the moment ;)

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STEP 3 - MAKING THE BOOK BLOCKS

And with your ABC's done, you are ready to move onto making some books.  We will start by making each of the individual "books" for the blocks.

ANGLED BOOKS

First, we will make 3 "angled" books.   Gather the (3) 2 1/2" x 11 1/2" White rectangles.  Cut them in half diagonally.   Lay a 2 1/2" x 11 1/2" rectangle onto the long triangle centering with right sides together as shown below.  Stitch a 1/4" seam along the edge.  Press the seam allowance towards the print square.   Place the other White triangle along the remaining side of the Print rectangle centering with right sides together as shown below.  Stitch a 1/4" seam along the edge and press the seam allowance towards the print rectangle.   Repeat to make a total of 3 books ready for the first trimming.

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Trim  your 3 books along the top and bottom of the print rectangle to make an even edge top and bottom as shown below.

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Place a 2 1/2" x 6" white rectangle along the top of the block centering with right sides together and a 1 1/2" x 6" rectangle along the bottom of the block centering with right sides together as shown below.  Stitch a 1/4" seam along the edges and press toward the white rectangles.  Repeat for all 3 books.

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And now onto a final trimming.
Using your ruler, align the left hand side of the block with the 4 1/2" marking on your ruler and the right hand side of the block with the edge of your ruler and the bottom right hand corner of the Book with the 12 1/4" mark on your ruler.  Trim the top of the block even with the top of your ruler.
Now, rotate the block 180 degrees.  Once again, align the left hand side of the block with the 4 1/2" line on your ruler and the right hand side of the block with the edge of the ruler and align the bottom of the block with the 12 1/2" line on your ruler.  Once again, trim the top of the block even with the top of your ruler.
Repeat the trimming for all 3 blocks.   These angles blocks are now done and you can set them aside.

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HORIZONTAL BOOKS

And now, you are moving on to making the horizontally stacked books.  You will be making 3 sets of these 4 books, for a total of 12 books ;)  Layout the Print rectangles and White rectangles as shown in the image below.  Place the white rectangles onto the ends of the print rectangles with right sides together.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the edge.  Press the seam allowances towards the print rectangles.

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If you were chain stitching you will have 3 books of each of the 4 sizes for a total of 12 books.  If you weren't chain stitching, repeat the above set 2 more times for a total of 3 sets.   Set these books aside for the moment.

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FILLER BOOKS

And lastly, it is time to make the books that fill up all the rest of the space.
Place a 1 1/2" x 2 1/2" white rectangle onto a 2 1/2" x 11 1/2" rectangle with right sides together.  Stitch a 1/4" seam along the edge.  Chain stitch 18 sets.   Press the seam allowances towards the print rectangles.
Place a 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" white square onto a 2 1/2" x 10 1/2" rectangle with right sides together.  Stitch a 1/4" seam along the edge.  Chain stitch 15 sets.  Press the seam allowances toward the print rectangles.

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Set the filler blocks aside, including the remaining 2 1/2" x 12 1/2" rectangles that will be used for filler books as well.

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ANGLED BOOK BLOCK

You will be making 3 Angled Book blocks for your 3 Angled Books.  Choose any 4 Filler Books and 1 Angled book and lay them out in any order you like, but just take care that the angled book is "leaning" up against a taller book, otherwise you will end up with a floating book ;)

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Place the second book onto the first with right sides together.  Stitch a 1/4" seam along the edge.

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Then lay the third book onto the now sewn together first and second book with right sides together.  Stitch a 1/4" along the edge.

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Continue in this fashion until you have sewn all of the books into a block.  Press the seam allowances in one direction.
Repeat to make a total of 3 Angled Book Blocks

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HORIZONTAL BOOK BLOCK

You will be making 3 Horizontal Book blocks for your 3 sets of Horizontal Books.  Choose any 4 Horizontal books and 2 Filler books and lay them out in any order you like.  You don't have to use 1 of each Horizontal book for each block, mix it up as you like :)

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Using the same technique as the Angled Book Block, sew the book rows together one at a time until the Horizontal Book Block is sewn together.  Press the seam allowance in one direction.
Repeat to make a total of 3 Horizontal Book Blocks.

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VERTICAL BOOK BLOCK

You will be making 6 Vertical Book blocks to finish your book case.  Choose any 6 Filler books and  lay them out in any order you like.  Once again,  mix it up as you like :)

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Again, using the same technique as the Angled Book Block, sew the book rows together one at a time until the Vertical Book Block is sewn together.  Press the seam allowance in one direction.
Repeat to make a total of 6 Vertical Book Blocks.

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STEP 4 - MAKING THE QUILT TOP

And now, with all of your ABC and Book Blocks done you are ready to put together your quilt top!!!

MAKING THE ROWS

Start by laying out 3 rows of 4 blocks.  I liked to have 1 Angled Block, 1 Horizontal Block, and 2 Vertical Blocks in each row but you can mix and match as you like.

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Place the second block in the first row onto the first block with right sides together.   Sew a 1/4" seam along the edge.  Then place the third block in the row onto the now sewn together first and second block with right sides together and stitch a 1/4" seam along the edge.   And repeat for the fourth block.

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Press the seam allowances open.   Repeat for all 3 rows.  You should be looking something like this ;)

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MAKING THE SASHING

Take the (8) 6 1/2" x Width of Fabric strips and sew the end to end, removing the selvages and pressing the seam allowances to one side.   From the long strip, cut (4) 6 1/2" x 48 1/2" strips.   Lay them between the book rows as shown below.

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ADDING THE APPLIQUE

Print out the Applique Templates from here.  Using the letter templates, black solid fabric, and Fusible Web, cut out the the appliques for each letter in Please Read With Me.  If you are new to appliqueing and need a bit more explanation on preparing applique, please see my Applique Basics Video tutorial that will walk you through the steps in detail ;)  Layout the applique on the two middle sashings as shown below.

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I like to use my ruler to make sure I am centering my applique on the strip.  Once it is centered, fuse the applique to the sashing.

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Secure stitch the applique in place.  I like to use a blanket stitch to do this.

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ADDING THE SASHING

Now you are ready to add the sashing to the quilt.  This is just like sewing the rows together only we are working horizontally.  Place the first sashing strip onto the first book row with right sides together and pin in place.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the edge.   Then place the second sashing strip onto the pieced top aligning and pinning the edge.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge.   Continue adding row after row until all are sewn into one piece.   Press the seam allowances towards the sashing strips.

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From the remains of your long White sashing strip, cut (2) 6 1/2" x 60 1/2" strips.   (you can cut exact or just measure it along the side of the quilt top)   Place the strips onto the sides of the top with right sides together and align and pin in place.  Sew a 1/4" seam along each pinned edge.

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Press the seam allowance towards the sashing strip ;)   Your top should now look a little something like this and you are almost done!!!

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ADDING THE ABC BORDER

It's time to pull out those ABC blocks you set aside.   Align 5 blocks along either side of each quilt and 8 blocks along the top and 8 blocks along the bottom of the quilt.   Play with the layout until you get a color plan that is pleasing to the eye.

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First you are going to sew the 2 side column's together.  This is just like sewing the rows of the quilt top together.  Use a 1/4" seam and sew each block at a time until all 5 are sewn together.  Press the seams in one direction.

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Now, you are ready to sew the top and bottom blocks into a row.  Once again, this is just like making the book blocks.  Use a 1/4" seam and sew each block at a time until all 8 are sewn together in a row.  Press the seams in one direction.

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And now, all you have to do is add the blocks just like you would a border.

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Place the 2 side columns onto the quilt sides with right sides together.  Align and pin them in place.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the edge.  Press the seam allowance towards the sashing.  Then repeat for the top and bottom, placing the top and bottom rows onto the quilt top with right sides together.  Align and pin them in place.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the edge.  Press the seam allowances towards the sashing.

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STEP 5 - FINISHING THE QUILT

And just like that, your quilt top is done!!!!  Now all you have to do is finish it up.  Time to Baste It, Quilt It, and Bind It.  I know, that is a whole lot crammed into one little sentence.  If you are new to finishing a quilt, you can see my Finishing Your Quilt Video Tutorial Series that will walk you through each of these three steps in detail.

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When it came time to quilt this one, I opted for a little custom work.  I outlined the letters and the books using my straight line ruler.   Then I did curly cues in the letter backgrounds and swirls in the white background ;)   I used my all time favorite 402 Pearl So Fine Superior Thread.  It really is the perfect blend on white ;)


I love all of the happy texture it created.   And I left the books blank because the kids at my sisters school get to write their favorite book title on a spine when they achieve their reading goal for the year   isn't that just so awesome!!  I know the next time I get to go visit I am totally going to cry.



STEP 6 - ENJOY

And now you have one adorable 80" x 84" ABC . . . Read With Me quilt.  This quilt is so much fun to make and is just perfect for that special friend who loves to read, your children or grandchildren, a library or school.  The list goes on and on :)

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Doesn't it just make you want to curl up with a good book and read under a quilt ;)  I sure hope so.  I hope you love this quilt as much as I do.  It will always be a special one for me because it was made for someone very special to me ;)   

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I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and if you make your own ABC . . . Read With Me Quilt I would love to see it!!  You can email me a picture at happyquiltingmelissa@gmail.com, post it to social media with #happyquiltingwithmc  or or add it to my flickr group here ;)  I can't wait to see your ABC . . . Read With Me Quilts!!!


Thank you so much for stopping by today ;)  I can't tell you how much I appreciate my readers.  I wouldn't be doing this if it weren't for you :)

Have a Happy Quilting Day!!

Linking this finish up to Amanda's and Sarah's :)  

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21 comments:

  1. I so wish I would have had a quilt such as this when I was doing reading time during grade school! Where were you YEARS ago!?!?! This is fantastic!

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  2. This is going on my "to make, someday" list. We are book lovers here, bought this house because it has a library, so this would be perfect. Thanks for sharing it. I bet it will be really special in that school. Oh, that's an idea. Give my kids reading goals for their homeschooling and then they can add a title...

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  3. I am teacher, so I am crazy for anything books. Well done!

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  4. Beautiful! I love this. It would make an excellent gift to my local library. Thanks for sharing a link to the pattern.

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  5. The quilt looks great Melissa!! Hugs, Helen

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  6. a great quilt for a library or school very nice

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  7. Oh WOW - this is soooo beautiful. I should make one for our local library! Thank You for sharing the tutorial - can't wait to see it at Moda!

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  8. You are a very,very special Lady Melissa!
    Thank you for all of generous, beautiful, incredible, superbly done, creativity,

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  9. Melissa ~ I bet your sis just loves hearing people talk about your quilt too. I really love this one with the added letters on the outside. Great job and awesome fabrics too.

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  10. Love it, Melissa. But I can't seem to find the pattern on Moda. Have they posted it yet? I did find a "version" from March, but not this one with the lettered border and different quote. Thanks.

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  11. I love the idea that the kids can label their books!

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  12. Awesome quilt. Great idea for the children to write on the spines! How cool is that!

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  13. What a wonderful idea. It turned out fantastic.

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  14. Que original y colorido quilt, muy bonito
    Besos

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  15. Your quilt is gorgeous and what an awesome idea to have the kids write the name of their favorite book on it when they reach their goal.

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  16. That is awesome! My favorite part would be seeing it filled in with all different books. What a fun reward, for children and quilters alike!

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Thank you so much for your sweet comments. I just love hearing from you!!
Have a Happy Quilting Day :)

Melissa