Wednesday, August 24, 2011

STARS Quilt Along - Block 3

**  NOTE  - This post is part of a series of post for the STARS Quilt-A-Long.  If you would like to join (and have a chance to win a $50.00 gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop ) you can find a list of the post links here :)

Alright, So let's get to BLOCK 3


As a reminder, for the Queen size, you will be doing 6 blocks each of 6 different star pattern blocks.  You can pick any combination of the below sizes you want for your blocks.   (If you are doing a smaller size, it is probably best to divide the total number of blocks you want by the 6 different blocks we will be making and then make that many Block 3's in varying sizes, or all the same if you wish :)

So, once you have decided on your star sizes you can use the following chart as your cutting guide.  I know this is small to see but if you click on it, it will open in a new window much larger :)

Once again, I am not going to go over cutting out the yardage again in this tutorial.  If you need hints on how to best cut your yardage please see the STEP 1 of the Block 1 tutorial.  It is the exact same process :)

So for 1 star block you should have cut from your yardage  1 Goose Square, 4 Corner Squares, 2 long sashings, and 2 short sashings. (of course in the designated chart sizes :)

Now for your prints.    So referring to the chart above you will cut 4 squares for your Center Square, 2 from  a fabric of your choice (referred to as fabric A) and 2 more from another fabric (referred to as fabric B).   You will then cut 4 squares that will be used to make the star points, 2 from your previous first choice fabric (referred to as fabric A) and 2 from your previous second choice fabric (referred to as fabric B) .


This process is the same as we did for Block 2 so I will be condensing the instructions.  Please feel free to refer to Block 2 Step 2 if you need further clarification.

Get your four center squares and lay them out as follows, taking care to alternate fabrics.  Sew the pieces together to make 2 rows by laying the left hand square onto the right hand square in each row with right sides together.  Pin along the edge.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge.  Press your seams in opposite directions so they will nest.

You should now have 2 rows that look like this :)  Now sew the 2 rows together by laying the top row onto the bottom row with right sides together.  (Double check  that your prints are lying on the opposite print :)  Now go ahead and nest your center seam and pin that first.  Then go ahead and pin the edges.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge.  Clip your threads and press your seam open.

And your center square is completed.  You can set it aside for now.

**NOTE - The remaining steps are done in the same way as we did  Block 1.  Therefore I will be going over them in a condensed version.  If you need extra notes or clarification on any of the remaining steps, please feel free to see the Block 1 Tutorial STEPS 2 - 4 that will further explain these steps.  


With right sides together, lay two of your smaller print squares onto your large background square as shown.  *** It doesn't matter which of your prints you use just make sure to have the same print for both squares. Using your ruler, draw a pen line diagonally from the top left corner to the bottom right corner.  Pin both sides of each square adjacent to that drawn line.  Stitch a 1/4" seam along both sides of the drawn line.

Clip your threads and then align your ruler along the drawn center line.  Cut your pieces apart along that drawn line.  Then press each piece towards your print fabric.

Grab your two print squares in the other print and align them on your two pieces as follows with right sides together.  Once again, draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of the print squares from corner to corner.  Now go ahead and pin each piece and then once again, stitch a 1/4" seam along both sides of the drawn diagonal line.

Clip your threads and then using your ruler aligned along the drawn line, once again, cut your 2 seperate pieces apart.  Press each  of the four pieces towards the print.

Lastly, trim away all those little corners and WhaLa!!!  You have 4 perfect flying geese with alternating fabric sides.


Now you have all of the pieces you need to put your block together.  Grab all of your pieces except for the sashings and lay them out as follows.  Make sure that your star point fabrics match your center print fabrics.  We will be stitching these in rows first and then putting the rows together.

So start by stitching your rows together.  Lay the left hand pieces onto the center pieces with right sides together and pin.  Then lay the right hand pieces onto the center pieces with right sides together and pin.  Stitch a 1/4" seam along all 6 of those pinned edges.  Clip your threads and press.  Press the second or center row open to avoid bulk.  The first and third rows press out.

And this is what your block should look like now. And now you can sew the rows together.  So lay your first row onto your center row with right sides together.  Make sure that you match up your seams first, and pin.  Then lay your third row up onto your center row with right sides together and pin the same.  Sew a 1/4" seam along both pinned edges.  Clip your threads and press (once again, I pressed seams open.)

And now you should have a beautiful block that looks something like this!!  Isn't if just fun how this is the same pattern as Block 2 but by changing the fabric layout it gives it a totally different look!!  Way to go, now you just have one step left :)


To make the block wonky we first have to add the sashings.  So grab those sashings that have been sitting aside and lay the short sashings on the top and bottom and the long sashings on the sides.  Lay your sashing onto the top and bottom of your block with right sides together.  Pin the edge.  Stitch a 1/4" along the top and the bottom of your block go ahead and clip your threads and then press out towards the sashing.

Now you can add the sides the exact same way as you did the bottom.   Pin, stitch, clip, and press :)

And your block is sashed and ready to be cut wonky style.  Grab your 12 1/2" square ruler or template and lay it on your block.  Find the angel you like (remembering to alternate angels on blocks) and trim the excess outside the template or ruler.

And Ta Da!!!  You have a finished 12 1/2" x 12 1/2" Wonky Block 3!!!!

Now you can go back and make 5 more (or how ever many you want for your size quilt)

And don't forget, we all want to see your progress, so be sure to post your first set of Block 3's in our Flickr Group :)  Everyone's blocks are looking so great, I am getting so excited for these quilts!!!

And as always, should you have any questions, please don't hesitate to email me at happyquiltingmelissa (at gmail (dot) com!!
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Monday, August 22, 2011

Snug as a Bug!!

I have been doing some more baking!! (and it is so much fun!!!)

 Introducing . . .  Snug As A Bug :)

This quilt is a variation of a stacked coin quilt with some wonky thrown in for fun and some applique added for cute!!  It is a super easy quilt to put together and goes really fast (like in a day or two).  Which makes it a perfect little project to whip up for yourself or someone you know who might be having their own little "bug".

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 printer friendly version here :)  

2 Oops-a-Daisy Charm Packs by Keiki
1 1/4 Yards Bella Solid White
Heat N Bond cut into 5" squares.
   1/2 Yard of your choice of a Coordinating Binding Print - I used 32485-11 

   1 1/4 Yard of your choice of Coordinating Backing Print -I used  32480-12  


We will get started with cutting the sashing needed from our white yardage.  Layout your white yardage along your mat, aligning the folded edge along the 0 Horizontal line of your mat.  Align your ruler along the last line of your mat and trim a straight edge. Measure in 5", align your ruler along the mark on the top and bottom of your mat and cut.  Without moving your fabric, slide your ruler over another 5"  and cut and continue repeating until you have four 5" strips.  Set your remaining yardage aside.  Trim the selvage edge off of the top of the strips.  

Layout the remaining yardage the same as before (aligning your last cut edge along the straight edge of your mat).  Using the same method, cut 5 strips that are 1 1/2" wide. Set your remaining yardage aside and don't move your fabric strips.  Now we are going to subcut those 5 strips horizontally.  Align your ruler along the horizontal mat line at 16 1/2 inches. If you don't have a 16 1/2" line on your mat, line your 1/2 mark on your ruler with the 16" line on your mat. This should make your ruler edge now at 16 1/2". Cut across all 5 strips.  When unfolded you will have five 33" x 1 1/2" strips.   Now slide your ruler up the 21 1/2" line and align as directed before and cut.  This will give you an additional ten 5"x1 1/2" strips.  

Lastly, we need to cut a whole stack of 1 1/2" x 5" strips.  So for the last time, align your remaining white yardage along the side of your mat.  The amount of sashing will vary depending on the desired "wonkiness" but I found about 9 strips to be just right.  Cut 9 more 1 1/2" strips and set the remaining yardage aside for scrap.  Now we need to subcut those 9 strips into 5" pieces.  The easiest way to do this is to cut along the horizontal 21" line.  This will give you a starting point and trim the selvage edge.  Now measure down 5" to the 16" horizontal line, align your ruler and cut.  Continue this process cutting every 5" down to the 1" line.  You should  now have an additional 64 1 1/2" x 5" strips.

Now that the sashing is done, we can move onto cutting up your charm pack.  Once again, the exact amount of pieces needed will vary depending on your wonkiness but I found 44 charms to be just about right.  I started by removing the doubles in my 2 charm packs and pulling aside any prints in particular that I wanted to use for applique.  Then I selected 37 random charms.

Now cutting the charms is the fun part.  There is no set measurement.  You can make it as wonky as you like.  I used measurements varying from 1 1/2" down to 3 1/2" down and everything in between. I didn't want to go smaller than the sashing so that is why I stuck to those measurements but you can do what you like.   So just pick a size for that particular charm pack, measure down (or up, it really doesn't matter) that said measurement and cut.  Switch it up within your charms so that you end up with a stack of completely different sized charms.  (*NOTE* I found while sewing that some of my charms ended up just being a stem or something that I didn't necessarily like the look of... in those cases I would set that aside and just cut a new charm to replace it :)

And that is the entire cutting.  To review, you should have four 5" x WOF Strips, five 1 1/2" x 33" strips, 74ish 1 1/2" x 5" strips, and 74ish 1 1/2" to 3 1/2" x 5" charms.  Are you there?  Great, lets move on :)


Now that everything is cut, you are ready to start sewing.  Grab a cut charm piece and a white 1 1/2" x 5" sashing piece.  Align them right sides together along the top or bottom (either way works) .  You will want to watch here that if you have a directional print you are aligning them all the same direction.  So always add sashing on either the top or bottom :)   Sew a 1/4" seam along your aligned edge.  

Just keep aligning your pieces and chain stitching them.   Meaning, don't cut your threads between each pieced set, just keep feeding them through your machine until you have sewn all 74ish sets together.

Now you have a large pile of pieced sets.  Go ahead now and clip your threads between each pieced set.  You can press them now but it isn't necessary.  I just finger press for a while :)

Now you are ready to start sewing your rows together.  You will be repeating the following process 6 times to make 6 rows.  (Or if you are confident, you can chain stitch 6 sets to make all 6 rows as once :)   Grab 2 pieced sets.  (try not to worry to much about what you grab, just keep it random :)   Align them as follows so that the white sashing is next to a charm print.  This is where I do a little finger pressing to make it easier to work with my pieces.

Lay the top pieced set onto the bottom pieced set with right sides together and then sew a 1/4" seam along the edge.

Finger press your seam open.  It should look like the bottom.  Now grab another pieced set, you are going to add this the same was as before.

Lay your pieced set onto your now sewn together pieced sets with right sides together.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the edge.  Now repeat, repeat, repeat :)

Continue adding pieced sets until your strip measures more than 33" when laid out.  Make sure to pull it tight when you measure since you haven't been pressing.

When you reach more than 33" you are ready to press :)  I found it easiest to press my white edges out :)  Press as you are most comfortable :)

Now, just one more trim.  Align the edge of your strip along the 0 vertical line of your mat.  Now you are going to trim your strip down to 32".  Make sure when trimming this that you are trimming through a charm block.  You want to have a charm strip, and not a sashing strip, at the top and bottom of your strip.  If you are going to be cutting through a sashing, trim the top a bit to adjust.  (If you didn't chain stitch, repeat the process 5 more times so you have 6 rows total).


Grab your 6 pieced rows and your five 33" sashings and lay them out as follows.  Play around with your row alignment until you have a look that is pleasing to the eye.

We will start with sewing the sashings onto the pieced rows.  Lay your 5 sashings onto the 5 rows to the left of the sashings.  No need to pin, you can just align as you go. Sew a 1/4" seam down the aligned sides, trim the excess sashing and press.

Now that your sashings are attached you are ready to start sewing your rows together (this is just like piecing the rows but on a much larger scale).  Lay your first row onto your second row aligning the edge.  This time you will want to pin to make sure your tops and bottoms are aligned properly.   Sew a 1/4 seam along your pinned edge (and remember to remove pins as you sew. Press your seam.

Lay your third row onto your new sewn together first and second row. Pin to align the edges, sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge and press. Continue this process until you have sewn all of your rows together :)


You will start with the top and bottom border.  As these are WOF they will be a little long but no worries.

Lay your top and borders onto the top and bottom of your quilt top and align the edges.  Once again, no need to pin, just align as you sew.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the edge.

Now, using your quilt as a guide, trim the excess sashing.  (Make sure your quilt is completely flat when doing this so you get a nice straight edge).  Press your seams.

Add the side borders.  You will use the same method that you used to add the top and bottom border.

And your piecing is complete!!  Isn't it just adorable?  Now onto making it super cute with some applique :)  (Note . . . If you are not a fan of applique you can skip the next step and finish your quilt top like this :)


Grab the charms that you set aside earlier for applique.  Using the manufacture's directions, iron a 5" square of Heat N Bond to the wrong side of your charm square.  Now using the templates from the "Printer Friendly Version" of this tutorial, trace the desired applique onto the paper side of the Heat n Bond.  (Make sure to do the letters backwards, as you can see, I forgot that when I took this picture :)  Cut out the traced applique.  Repeat this process until you have cut out all of your applique pieces.

Play with the layout of your applique until you get a design you like.  This is my layout.  Once you have a layout you like, it is best to take a picture to refer to as you will be moving your quilt around to iron it and so will have to replace your applique.

I like to do one set of applique at a time.  This just keeps it from starting to come off when you are moving the fabric around so much in your machine while stitching it :)  I started with the letters.  I use my ruler as a guide to make sure that I am aligning them straight :)  Once again, using the manufacturer's directions, press your applique to your quilt top fusing it to the top.

Stitch around your applique to secure it.  I choose to use brown thread for my applique and did a blanket stitch around the entire applique.

In the center details, I did a very close zig-zag stitch to give the details dimension.

Repeat this process until you have secured all of your applique :)  And your quilt top is done!!


So now it is time to turn that finished quilt top into a finished Quilt ;)  Time to  Baste It, Quilt It, and Bind It!!!  Which is a whole lot in one little sentence.  If you are new to quilting, you can see my Finishing Your Quilt Series of video tutorials that will walk you through Basting, Quilting, and Binding step by step ;)

One super adorable 41 x 41 baby quilt ready to be loved by a little one in your life :)

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and if you make your own Snug as a Bug Quilt I would love to see it!!  You can email me a picture at, post it to social media with #happyquiltingwithmc  or or add it to my flickr group here ;)  I can't wait to see your Snug as a Bug Quilts!!!
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