Monday, October 10, 2011

Whirly Gig Tutorial!!! (A Lil Twister Tool Tutorial)

Good Morning, Good Morning, Good Morning! 

 I just got back from The Sewing Summit last night and it was fabulous!!! I had so much fun, and I promise to post about it soon. But until then, I have another little surprise for today.  Remember when I promised a tutorial on how to make this???   We'll today is the day!!!  (You can also find this tutorial guest blogged at Sew We Quilt :)  

I have always wanted to make a "Whirly Gig" quilt (is that the technical
 name??) but always figured I would do it "someday" because cutting
 individual pieces with templates and then sewing on lots of angles just
 sounded like a project to put off.  And it continued to get put off.  That
 is until a few weeks ago when I was at my Local Quilt Shop and found
 the greatest little tool that in two days changed my  "Whirly Gig" quilt
 from the "someday" back shelf to the Display Shelf.  

And since I know there are many of you out there that probably would
 love to have your own "Whirly Gig" quilt that is fast and fun to put 
together, I decided to do a tutorial along the way :)  So let's get to it!!

2 Charm Packs or 80 5" Squares
1/3 Yard Print for the Whirly Gig Border cut into four 3" x WOF strips
1 Yard Print for Backing
1/3 Yard Print for for Binding  
A Lil' Twister Cutting Tool by CS Designs


Ironically enough, you start to make this quilt by making a basic 8 x 8 square
 quilt.  Now since this is the Wantobe Quilters campaign, I will be going
 through the individual steps of making a basic 8 x 8 square quilt.  If you are
already familiar with how to do this, please feel free to skip down to Step 2.

Choose 64 of your 5" squares and lay them out in an 8 rows by 8 columns
 grid, as shown below.  Go ahead and play around with the placement until
 you get a layout that is pleasing to the eye.  This won't be the final layout
 but it will help to keep good color separation   

Once you have the prints in the placement you like stack the rows up
 individually making sure to keep the first block in the row at the top of the
 stack. (see below)  Now label each row with a number 1 through 8.  I just
 use a scrap piece a paper with a pin stuck in it for this :)

And now you are ready to start sewing your top together.  Start with your row
 1 stack and the first two squares in the stack.

Lay your first square onto your second square in the stack with right sides
 together.  You can pin these if you like but it is not necessary.  Sew a 
1/4" seam along the edge of your two squares.  There is no need to get
 up and run to the iron just yet, we will get to that.

Open your now pieced together squares 1 and 2.  Lay square three onto 
square 1 with right sides together.  Once again pin if you like.  Sew a 
1/4" seam along the edge of squares 2 and 3.  Just keep repeating this 
process until you have sewn all 8 squares in the row.

Your row should look like this.  Now go ahead and repeat the process for
 all 8 rows.

Now you are ready to head to the ironing board.  You want to press your
 rows in opposite directions so it makes it easier to match seams in the next
 step.  So go ahead and press all of the seams in your odd numbered rows
 to the left and all of your seams in the even numbered rows to the right.
  (or vice versa, just keep the odd rows and even rows going in opposite
 directions :)

Now you are ready to start sewing the completed rows together.  Find your
 Row 1 and Row 2 from your pressed pile. You will know the start square
 in each row because it will have the label in it. (hence, why the labels are
 important :)

Lay your Row 1 onto your Row 2 with right sides together.  Now it is very
 important to pin and to pin properly. Start by matching the seams in your
 two pieces.  Remember, they are pressed in opposite directions so they
 should lay perfectly next to each other.  When you have "nested" (the term
 for having the seams lie next to each other" a seam put a pin in it.  Do this will
 all of your seams and then pin the edges of the rows.  It is okay if you have
 a little bubble here or there, that will work itself out.  It is far more important
 to make sure your seams are lined up then it is to make sure it lays perfectly flat.

When it is all pinned sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge, remembering
 to remove the pins as you sew.  It is a bad habit to sew over pins (I say
 this because I am still working on breaking it).  Once you have finished
 sewing go ahead and press your seam.  (I like to press this one open but
 you do what feels comfortable :)

Now Row 1 and 2 are sewn together and you are ready to move onto
 Row 3.  This is the same process as before.  Just lay Row 3 onto
 Row 2 with right sides together, pin your seams, sew your 1/4" and press.

And continue repeating that process until you have sewn all 8 rows 
together.  Yippee Skippee!!!  Your 8 x 8 Quilt Grid is now done and
 now you just have to add a border.


Grab two of your "Whirly Gig" Border strips that you have already pre-cut.
  Lay them along the sides of the quilt with right sides together and the excess
 overhanging the edge.  Once again, it isn't necessary to pin, you can just align
 as you go, but if you prefer to go right ahead.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the
 edge of the two sides and then trim the excess.

Now grab your remaining 2 strips and repeat the same process, this time 
adding the borders to the top and bottom of the quilt.   Give the entire quilt
 top a good pressing.

And your top is done and you are ready to cut it all up!!  Yup, that's right,
 you sewed this quilt together just to cut it up.  But trust me, it is a lot of
 fun to cut it up!!!


 Get out your Lil' Twister Cutting tool.  These can be found at just about 
every local quilt shop or on-line at just about any on-line quilt store.  They
 are super popular right now so it shouldn't be hard to track one down :)

Start up in the top corner of your 8 x 8 square grid quilt.  Lay your 
Lil Twister cutting tool so that the cross bars on the tool match up with the
 intersecting seams of your quilt top.  (as seen below)  Now using your 
rotary cutter, simply cut around the tool.  (you have a little leway around 
each seam so it is okay if you go over each edge 1/4" but not much
 more than that)

Lay your square just above your cutting area.  It is important to keep them in
 the same order that you are cutting them out :)  Now align your cutting tool
 onto the next intersection and once again, cut around the tool.

Continue this process across the entire first row.  You will have 9 squares 
when you are finished.  Now you can move onto cutting out a second row.
  Once again, align the cross bars on the tool with the intersecting seams
 on your quilt and cut out around the tool.

Continue until you have cut all 9 squares out of the second intersection row.
   You can trim off the little remaining center squares and toss them or scrap
 them. (Depending on how small of scraps you like to keep.)  Now go ahead
 and set your grid quilt aside for a minute.  (I found it best not to get to far
 ahead in the cutting so as not to create confusion on aligning my blocks.)

And you are ready to align your rows.  Simply twist each square about
 45 degrees so that your whirly-gig's line up and the color prints all match.
  Super easy and oh so super cute!!!!

Once you have your first two rows lined up it is just like quilting our square
 grid from before.  Start with Row 1 and lay square 1 onto square 2 with
 right sides together. Pin if you like, and then sew a 1/4" seam along the edge.

Continue adding square by square until all 9 blocks are sewn together 
creating your New Row 1.  Now just repeat with the other 9 squares to
 create your New Row 2.  And now you are ready to sew the two rows

Lay your Row 1 onto your Row 2.  Once again, make sure to align each 
of the seam sets and pin them so they "nest".  Once all the seams are pinned,
 sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge removing pins as you go.  And
 lastly press.

 Now you can just continue to repeat the process over and over.  Cut a
 row, Sew a row together, and then sew it on your "Whirly Gig" top.

And when you no longer have any of your 8 x 8 Quilt Grid top left you 
should have a top that looks similar to this!!  Yippee Skippee!!!  Wasn't
 that just so fun, and so very easy!!


Just about all done.  Personally, I like to use up most of my charms in a 
charm pack so I added one more border.  So . . . grab 15 more charm
 or 5" squares and cut them in half so they are 2 1/2" x 5".

Now we are simply going to sew them into a long line.  Just start with two
 pieces laid with right sides together and sew a 1/4" seam along the short
 edge.  Just keep adding pieces on to the end until all the rectangles are 
sewn into 1 long line.

Now, lay your border strip along the edge of the quilt.  (It doesn't matter 
which side you start with, just pick any old one :)  Measure the length 
needed to be equal to the length of the top and trim at the edge.

Now, lay the border along the edge of the quilt with right sides together.  
Pin along the edge and then sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge.  Go
 ahead and press your new seam.

Now grab  your border strip once again and this time you are going to align
 it up along the next side of your quilt.  So it will start aligning up along the 
border you just sewed on.  Once again, measure the length you need for
 that side of the quilt and trim the excess.  Then lay your border with right
 sides together along the edge of the quilt, pin, sew 1/4" seam, and press.
  You get the idea right.  Repeat for the final 2 sides.

And TaDa!!!  Your Whirly-Gig Top is complete!!!  Now just finish it up,
 whether you like to tie it, free motion quilt it, or sent it off to be done.  
Wasn't that just so much fun!!  Seriously, I had a blast making mine and I
 hope that you have an equally wonderful time putting your own
 "Whirly-Gig" quilt together :)

This completed top measures 30" x 30" and works perfect for a wall 
hanging or a quilt for a new little wee-one.  And the great thing about the 
Lil' Twister is you can make any size you want, just start with a smaller or
 larger Quilt Grid :)  Oh, and one last thing . . . If you want larger 
Whirly-Gig's you can use the big brother of the Lil'Twister called the 
Twister.  It uses the exact same method it just starts with 10" squares
 instead of 5" squares.

So that is is from Me :)  I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and it inspires
 you to make your own Whirly-Gig Masterpiece.  If it does, I would love
 for you to add it to my Flickr Tutorial group.  Have a Happy Quilting Day!!!
Pin It!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Sewing Summit!!!!!

It's here!!!  I am so excited!!!!  The next three days will be spent learning, laughing, and loving every minute.  I am just so excited to finally get to meet so many of my "virtual" friends. I wish I could stay up late with them all at the hotel but I will be going back to my kiddo's each night that are staying with there Grandma and Grandpa.  (And yes, the kids are super excited about that!!)

So, I figured since the Sewing Summit starts today it might be a fun day to show what I made for it.  Now, this is nothing in comparison as to what some of these ladies did before hand, but considering my last few weeks, I am feeling pretty good about getting these little things done.

First,  I have just about finished up the 3 quilts that I will be giving to Kate for the 100 Quilts for Kids Campaign. I just have to attach the bindings which I will be doing either at the conference or in the evenings :)

Second, I made this little name badge.  I decided to go for simple and clean and so I did some freezer paper printing and then just added a quick border.  I am super happy with how it turned out and more importantly how quickly I was able to put it together.

Third, I had this little bag made just for the Sewing Summit.  Now I say "I had this bag made" because I didn't make it.  A few weeks ago I was telling my mother that I wanted to make a bag for the Summit.  I really wanted to use my Aviary 2 fat quarters that I had stashed away for something special.  So that was the plan, however I was a bit concerned because A) Time Constrains and B) I don't do 3-D Sewing very well.  So, being the wonderful mother she is, she offered to turn my fat quarters into this amazing purse!!!  Isn't she the greatest!!  Seriously, I love you mom!!!!

So I got my name badge and my purse and I am ready to go!!!  First stop is the Shop Hop!!!  This is going to be so much fun!!!
Pin It!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Desperate Housewives Block

I am so excited for today's post.  Have you heard about The Desperate Housewife's Quilt???  It is being held by Quilt Jane of Want It, Need It, Quilt.  She is doing 50 different blocks in 50 weeks.  Hoolay!!!  And I was lucky enough to be asked to design and do a tutorial for one of these blocks.  Thanks again Jane for letting me be a part of this super fun Quilt-Along!!!

Okay, So when Jane asked me to do a design for the Desperate Housewives Quilt I immediately thought of the Brady Bunch.  Don't ask me why.  It is not like Carol was desperate, she had Alice to do everything around the house right :)  But I just kept thinking about it.  (Maybe it is the blonde haircut in the picture button above) And the more I thought about it the more I knew what my block was going to be.  You cant think of The Brady Bunch without thinking of the 9 Grid Square that they all stared at each other from :)  So here's our block . . . let's get to it!!!

To make this block you will need - Nine different 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" blocks
                                                      Twelve sashing print  2 1/2" x 1" rectangles
                                                       4 sashing print 8 1/2" x 1" rectangles

***(Note . . . please pay attention to the sizes listed above and not the sizes mine look in the picture.  I had a major pregnancy moment when putting this together and accidently did it a 12" block instead of the 8" block Jane requested.  So just use the sizes above and you will end up with your 8" finished block :)

Lay out your fabric pieces as follows.  Make sure to get your nine different blocks set out in a way that is pleasing to the eye.

We'll start by stitching the sashings to the squares.  Lay your first three sashings in each of the square rows onto the left hand side of the print squares with right sides together.  You can pin if you like but it isn't necessary.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the edges of all 9 sets.  Press towards the squares.

Your block should now look like this :)

Now lay your last sashing onto your last square with right sides together in each of the three square rows.  Also, lay your first sashed square onto your second sashed square with right sides together in each of the three square rows.  Once again, pin if you like, and sew a 1/4" seam along all 6 sets.  Press again towards the square prints.

And now your block should look like this :)

Now one last step to finish the squre rows.  Simply lay your last sashed square in each of the three square rows onto your now sewn together first and second sashed squares.  Pin if you like.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the edge and press towards the print square.

And now your block should look like this :)

And now you are ready to add the row sashing.  This is the same process just longer.  Lay the sashings along the top of the first and second square row with right sides together.  And lay the sashings along the top and the bottom of the third row with right sides together.  Pin if you like or just align as you go.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the edge and press out towards the sashings.

And now your block should look like this :)

So lay your first square row onto your second square row with right sides together.  Make sure to align your seams.  You can check this by pinning in the center of teh seam and then on the back side check to make sure the pin is aligned.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge being sure to remove pins as you go.  Press out towards the sashing.

And then lastly, repeat the same process laying your third square row along the now edge of the now sewn together first and second square row.  Pin, check the alignment, sew, and press.

And there you have it!!   A Brady Bunch Block!!!  Have fun!!!

Pin It!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Crazy WIP Wednesday!!!

So I am a little late posting this.  It has been crazy around here today :)  I will get to that in a minute   

So I mainly have 3 WIP that I am frantically trying to get done to take with me to the Sewing Summit so I can give them to Kate for the 100 Quilts for Kids Campaign.  

Quilt #1 is all quilted up and just waiting for a binding.  

Quilt #2 has just a tiny bit more to be quilted.  And yes, those are feathers on the green print.  I finally tried them. I will post more on them when I link these quilts up :)  (Just promise in the mean time not to look to close, this was my first attempt at feathers :)

Quilt #3 is basted and waiting to be quilted.  I am hoping to get to that tonight after bed time :)

And the big WIP that has kept me from getting to quilting these quilts today was packing!!!  See, I got up this morning ready to start packing for the Sewing Summit (I have to pack for 6 as the kiddo's are going to Grandma's.)  But before I got started,  I decided that I didn't want to wear maternity clothes to the conference so out came the boxes of my regular clothes.  To my ultimate frustration, I found that one of the boxes had been stored at some point in the move in a pile of water.  Half of my clothes smelled of mildew!!!  Ewww!!

 So what was going to be a load or 2 of laundry to get ready to pack turned into 5 loads :(  And just when I thought I was making some serious progress I came to find that one of the kids left a crayon in their jeans pocket and I learned that crayons melt in the dryer.   So a bunch of those  "Some day I plan to fit in these Jeans again" jeans ended up being trashed jeans.

What ya gonna do??  I can't tell you how relieved I am now to have clean clothes in everyone closest, and suitcases sitting out on beds.  Now all I have to do is put the clothes from the closet to the suitcases.  And I am here typing instead.  I wonder how long I will procrastinate packing???

Pin It!

Monday, October 3, 2011

VIBee Block for Angela

Yippee Skippee for being on top of things again!!! (at least for a day, right :)  Angela's month is October and here it is October 3rd and I already have my block done!!!  Okay, I admit, This is mostly due to the fact that I will get to meet Angela this weekend at the Sewing Summit and I plan to hand deliver it to her.  (I am so stinking excited for this weekend, hoolay smokes it is going to be fun!!!)

We spent yesterday as a family at my In-Laws cabin.  Autumn is in full-swing and it is absolutely breathtaking.  I just had to share!!

My five little kiddo's.  At least almost everyone was looking at the camera :)
Pin It!