Monday, August 20, 2012

100 Quilts for Kids Blog Hop

So have you heard about 100 Quilts for Kids??  Are you participating???  Do you need some inspiration??  

 100 Quilts for kids is an annual charity quilt drive co-hosted by Katie Blakesley of Swim, Bike, Quilt and the DC Modern Quilt Guild.   They make it super simple.  Just make a quilt or 2 and donate it to a child in need, locally if you can.  Easy right!!!  Then link up your quilts anytime from now until Oct. 15th for a chance at some great prizes.  And best of all you can smile, knowing you used your skills for good. 

If you haven't guessed,  Today is my stop on the 100 Quilts for Kids Blog Hop. Yippee Skippee!!! And for my stop I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite "quick" tutorials.  These tutorials help in making adorable quilts  that will be treasured.  They also have the added benefit of whipping up in a day or 2 at most.  Perfect for those of us (most likely all of us) who are pinched for time.  

The first tutorial is Refracted!!!   This is my newest tutorial and it goes together super  fast.  Like as in I put this larger version's top together in 2 days, including cutting.

The only difference is that you wan't a kids version.  So instead of making 25 blocks, just make 10 with 10 fat quarters and sew them in  a 3 x 3 layout with an extra block to piece into the back :)  It might look something like these :)  Girl Version, Boy Version, or Rainbow.   Any way equals totally cute!!

The second tutorial  is Ribbons!!  Now obviously you don't have to use Christmas fabric.  Just pick your favorite Kid friendly Jelly Roll.  You can follow the tutorial exactly to get a slightly larger kids quilt or if you like just omit the solids and use just the 1 jelly roll.  The quilt will come out at appx. 50" x 50", perfect for a little one to cuddle up with.

The third and final tutorial is the Disappearing 9 Patch Variation.  This is a super fun way to create a sashed look without actually having to sash, which saves a ton of time. 

So if you haven't had time to make up a quilt or 2 for the 100 Quilts for Kids Project why not whip up one of these??  This is a wonderful charity event!!!  So what are you waiting for . . .  get quilting for the kids!!!  

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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Little Helper

I have been waiting to share this photo for a week now.  I had to wait until I had posted the tutorial.  Now that it is up, I get to share :)

This little lady loves to roll around in my sewing space and keep me company.  She can really get moving on the wood floors and laughs and laughs when she runs into the walls.  So you can imagine that it only took her about a one second delay moving from the wood floors onto my quilt.  Let me tell you, basting when you have to keep pushing your little helper out of the way every ten seconds is slightly more difficult, but totally adorable :)  Wouldn't you agree :)

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Friday, August 17, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me :)

Yesterday I turned 33.   It was an absolutely crazy day because it happened to be the first day of school as well.  But, we still managed to squeeze in cake and ice cream about 10 minutes before bed time. (hence the kids all being in their pj's).

I recieved 2 fabulous presents for my birthday. The first is this beautiful sewing machine case.  My new Bernina weighs a ton!!! So this little beauty is going to help me roll from place to place instead of lug :)

And no, my second present was not all the ziploc storage a person could use.  It actually replaced this ziploc storage.  You see, this is what my scraps used to be stored in.

And today I sorted them all into these lovely storage units!!!  I can't tell you how excited I am to have my scraps out of sandwich bags.  They are now neatly sorted, not wrinkled, and so easy to get to and use!!!  They are even on wheels so I can roll them right over to the machine when I am working on a scrap project!!  Yippee Skippee!!!

So ya, I am a pretty lucky girl!!! And now I am off to play with my scraps!!
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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Refracted for TNT

I am so excited to share this little secret I have been keeping.  Today I am guest blogging at Ucreate !!!  Squeal!!!  I have been following Ucreate since who knows how long,   so to be guest blogging there, ya, I am basically over the moon!! Thank you to Kari and her team for having me!!!

And this  is what I am guest blogging.  I have to say, I am in love with this quilt!!!  I call it Refracted because it reminds me of the way light comes out of a prism.  Isn't it just fun, and modern, and chic!!!  And it goes together super fast.  (Seriously, I spent less time to make the top then I did quilting it :)   So do you love it???  If so, you can see below for the complete step by step tutorial or pop on over to Ucreate to check it out there :)

***Note*** This tutorial is now available in a Free PDF Printable Format :)

To make an 85" x 85" Refracted Quilt you will need :

25 Fat Quarters - I used Lori' Holts Daisy Cottage line for Riley Blake
1 1/8 Yard of a solid fabric for sashing - I used Moda Bella Solid White


Start by separating the 25 fat quarters into 5 piles of 5 fat quarters each.  Be sure to get a good color and print mix in each pile.

Now, lay the first set of (5) fat quarters on your cutting mat stacked up and aligned as best as possible.  Cutting all 5 pieces at once is necessary so be sure to put a good sharp blade in your rotary cutter.  Cut your fat quarters as shown resulting in an 18" square and a 2 1/2" x 18" strip.  Set the 2 1/2" strips aside. (They will be used for binding.)

Now, you are ready to cut your angles.  Make sure to keep all (5) 18" squares stacked up.   First you need a start point.  Pick a point along the left hand side of your square that is at least 4" in from either end and place your ruler along it.  And now you need an end point.  Keeping your ruler along your start point, place the other end of the ruler a a point along the top of your square that is at least 4" in from either side.  Now simply cut along the edge of the ruler.  And your first pieces are cut.

Now, to create your second pieces, place the edge of the ruler at the same start point.  Now for the end point, align your ruler along a point on the right hand side of your square that is at least 3" down from the top and 9" up from the bottom.  Cut along the edge of the ruler to create your second pieces.

To create your third pieces place the edge of the ruler at the start point again and then pick an end point along the right hand side of the block that is at least 9" down from the top and 3" up from the bottom.  Cut along the edge of your ruler to create your third pieces.

Your final cut creates the fourth and fifth pieces.  Align the edge of the ruler at the start point one last time and then pick an end point along the bottom of the block that is at least 4" in from either side.  Cut along the edge of the ruler to create your fourth and fifth pieces.


 Now that the pieces are all cut you need to mix them up.  Create 5 sets of pieces that each have 5 different prints in them.  (This is a little like making a puzzle :)  Once they are all mixed up you are ready to sew.  You can choose to chain stitch your 5 blocks assembly line style or piece each block one at a time.  Whatever suits you best :)

Lay the first piece onto the second piece with right sides together.  Your edges should overlap 1/4".  Pin along the raw edge.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge.  Remember, you are sewing on a bias so be careful not to pull or stretch the fabric.  Press your seam up.  And if your edges don't line up perfectly, don't worry, we will be trimming :)

Now lay your third piece onto your sewn pieces with right sides together.  Once again, overlap your edges 1/4".  The tails at the start point will line up.  Pin and then sew a 1/4" seam along the edge.  Once again Press your seam up.  You will notice that the points are not perfect at this stage.  Don't worry, that is the way it is supposed to be.

Now, lay your fourth piece onto the sewn pieces with right sides together.  This time the bottom fabric will be overlapping on the right hand side and once again, the tails will all line up at the point.  Pin and sew a 1/4" seam along the edge.  This time press your seam down.  Note that now the white and grey angled come together perfect :)

And now, to the last piece.  Place the fifth piece onto the sewn pieces with right sides together.  This time, the overlap tails will not line up at the point.  Pin and sew a 1/4" seam along the edge and then once again press down.  Notice how now the white, grey, and pink points all come together, and then we will trim the block to make them all perfect :)


Centering your block on your mat, trim the top and the bottom so that the block measures 16" tall.  There won't be to much to trim so make sure before you cut that your block is centered and you can trim across the entire top and bottom of the block.

Without moving your block, align your rulers horizontal lines along the top and bottom of your block.  This will ensure your next cut is straight.  Now slide your ruler towards the left until you have aligned the center point (where the white, grey, and pink all meet up) with the 1/4" horizontal line on your ruler.  Trim along the edge of your ruler.

One final trim.  First though, you will need to align your block so the left side, top, and bottom of your block are all aligned with lines on your mat.  Now simply measure over 16" from the left hand side, align your ruler, and trim your block to 16" square.

If you were chain stitching and trimming assembly line then you will now have 5 blocks done.  If you are doing them individually repeat the steps to create the remaining 4 blocks in this set.

Now, repeat steps 1, 2, and 3 for the remaining 4 sets of 5.  Be sure when cutting your angles to select different start and end points.  This will add variety to your quilt.  When you are finished you should have (25) 16" square blocks.


 Cut the 1 1/8 yard of solid fabric into (26) 1 1/2" x WOF strips.  Then sub-cut 10 strips into (20) 1 1/2" x 16" strips.  The excess can go in your scrap bin.  Trim the selvage from the remaining 16 WOF strips.  Sew the strips in sets of 2, end to end, to create (8) 1 1/2" x 86" strips.   Set the sashings aside.  (Trust me, when you are ready for them you will be excited that they are ready to go.)


Now with your sashing and your blocks you are ready to put your quilt top together.  Start by placing your blocks in a 5 x 5 layout.  Spin your angles as much as you like to get lots of variety.  Play with the layout until it is pleasing to the eye.  Then add a 16" sashing piece between each of the blocks in the 5 rows as shown.

Now you can sew the rows together.  For those beginners, here is how I like to sew my rows :)  First, I place the sashing pieces along the right hand side of the blocks with right sides together and then sew a 1/4" seam along the edge.  I don't bother with pins, just align as you go (Picture in Row 1).  Next, I press my seams towards the sashing (Pictured in Row 2).  Then I place block 2 onto block 1 and block 4 onto block 3 with right sides together.  I sew a 1/4" seam once again not bothering to pin and then press towards the sashing again  (Pictured in Row 3).  Now place blocks 3 and 4 onto blocks 1 and 2 with right sides together and sew along the edge and then press towards the sashing (Pictured in Row 4).  Lastly, place block 5 onto the end of your row with right sides together, sew a 1/4" seam, and press towards the sashing (Pictured in Row 5).  Repeat for all 5 rows :)

Once your rows are made you can sew them together to create your top.  This is the same process as doing the rows, just on a longer scale.  Start by placing a sashing strip between each of the rows and at the top and bottom of the quilt.  Sew the sashings, press, and then trim the excess.  Now sew rows 1 and 2 together and rows 3 and 4 together.  The one thing you want to watch when you are sewing the rows together is to take care to align the vertical sashings.  You will want to pin the rows to ensure they stay lined up. Then repeat this to sew 1 and 2 to 3 and 4.  And then finally add row 5.  Make sure to always press towards the sashing.

And then all you have left is to add a sashing strip to either side of the quilt finishing your border.  Just place the strips onto the quilt sides with right sides together and sew a 1/4" seam aligning as you go.  Trim the excess and press towards the sashing.    And your top is complete!!!


Now to turn your quilt top into a quilt.  Make your quilt sandwich.  I find these easiest to do if you tape your quilt back to a hard surface.  Then baste your quilt sandwich.  I use pins to baste but you can use spray, whatever you fancy :)  Now on to quilting.  I choose to quilt each shape in the block with a straight line echo quilting using my free motion foot.  If you want to quilt yours the same way I did mine see the video tutorial at the end of this post for a quick rundown on how to do it :)  And last but not least,  use 22 of your remaining 18" print strips to create a binding strip and then bind your quilt.  And you are done!!!

Now just sit back and enjoy your beautiful Refracted Quilt!!!  It's perfect for summer picnics, a bedspread, or just to cuddle up with :)

And if you make your own Refracted Quilt I would love to see it!!!  You can add it to my Inspired by Happy Quilting Flickr Group here!!!  Until next time . . . Happy Quilting!!!

So TNT -  Obviously this new little pattern is what I did new this week.  But that wasn't all I tried new . . . I tried a new quilting technique as well!!!  Straight line echo quilting using my free motion foot!!!  It was so much fun :)  Although it took me a little while (as in 2 days to quilt this) because it is so dense, but it was totally worth it as I love the way it looks!!

And since so many of you said you would love to see how to do this  . . . here is a little video going over the technique I used to create this fun quilt design.  Enjoy :)

So that is what I have been Trying New this last week.  How about you???  Link on up :)

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Straight Line Echo Quilting - A Video Tutorial

This video walks you through the basics of creating straight line echo quilting designs using your free motion foot.  Straight line quilting is very popular in Modern quilting but it is not always practical to use a walking foot to do straight lines, especially in large projects.  Using a free motion quilting foot to do straight lines gives the same effect but with a more organic feel.  And it speeds up the process immensely!!  Enjoy!!!

Here is an example of the design :)

And here is the Video Tutorial :)

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