Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wonky Star Quilt Block Tutotiral

Yesterday a good friend asked if I would show her how to make a Wonky Star Quilt Block.  I figured, while I was showing her I might as well show here, so I took some photo's along the way :)  I tried to make this really in depth, as I know the "wonkiness" of this block can scare people away.  Follow along, and you will see just how easy they are to make ;)

So to start, you are going to needs some squares for your background (normally neutrals)  and some squares for your star (normally colors).  We choose to use 2 fabulous charm packs, Kona Sunset and Kona Sandcastle.  I love how adding a range of neutral colors in the background adds a little something extra :)

Aren't those just so pretty!!!  I love the Kona Palettes Robert Kaufman puts together!!!    Now, you don't have to use Charm Squares, you can use any size square, just so long as they are all the same size to start.  (Although if you got to small, it would be a little difficult ;)  Just know that whatever size square you use, your finished block will end up being the size of your square times 3 and then less 1 1/2.  So for example, with the 5" charms the block will be 5 x 3 = 15 - 1.5 = 13 1/2" Square.  (so if you want a 12" block start with a 4 1/2" square :)

For each block you will need 8 Background Squares and 5 Color Squares.  Cut 4 of the Color Squares in half diagonally.   Note - If you are making more blocks than 1 you can add more variety by mixing the print triangles from other blocks so you have 8 colors instead of 4.

Start with a Background Square and a Color Triangle.  Place the Triangle onto the square with the edges of the triangle hanging over the square at least a 1/4" on the bottom and side.  Note - Here is where you might want to take into account the "overlap" of your star points.   If you want to have the overlap when you put your star together to be opposite on top and bottom and side to side (as mine is above) do all of your first triangles on either the left or right.  Don't alternate.  If you want your overlap to be the same direction all the way around the star, do half of your triangles hanging off the left and half hanging of the right.  If you want to add to the overall Wonkyness, just don't stress about it ;)

Stitch a seam a 1/4" from the edge of your Color Triangle.  You will see that I stitch from one edge to the other, which isn't necessary as the ends are being stitched together, but it makes chain stitching your pieces a whole lot easier.

This step is just to double-check.  Once you have made a bunch, you will start to really feel confident and will cut this step out all together.  But for the first few times, go ahead and finger press the seam and check that the Color Triangle is completely covering the background square on the side and bottom.

Fold the Color Triangle back down onto the Background Square and using your ruler, align the 1/4" mark on the ruler with your stitched seam.  Cut along the edge of the ruler trimming off the excess and creating a nice little 1/4" seam.

Press the seam towards the Color Triangle.  (You will see that in this picture I actually pressed towards the Background Square but father down the line I was wishing I would have pressed the other way ;)   Now just repeat this process to make a total of 4 for the 4 sides of your star.  And as you can see, you can really vary the angle of your triangle to create some super fun wonky points.   (Oh, And if you are doing more than one block, repeat for however many blocks times 4, this is where chain stitching can really save you some time ;)

Now it is time to add the second point to your star sides.  This process is the exact same as before.  Place a Color Triangle on the opposite side of your pieced unit with at least a 1/4" hanging over the side and bottom.

Stitch a 1/4" seam along the edge of the Color Triangle.  Once again, chain stitching at this step can save you a lot of time ;)

Now check to make sure the side and bottom are covering the background square by finger pressing the seam.  (And sometimes it might be a tiny bit off, that will be okay, just remember this is wonky, no need to stress :)

Now place your Color Triangle back onto the Background Square and align your ruler 1/4" over the stitched seam.  Cut off the excess along the edge of the ruler creating a 1/4" seam.  You will be cutting some of the first Color Triangle when you do this ;)

And once again press the seam towards the Color Triangle.  And you can see again, there is a lot of different angles you can try out.  It doesn't have to have a lot of overlap, just a 1/4".   Repeat this process (if you weren't chain stitching) to make a total of 4 star side units.

And now it is time to trim the star side units.  You will be trimming the units to the same size as your original square.  So I will be trimming back to 5" square.  Align your quilting ruler so that the 5" mark aligns with your raw edges on the three sides of your background square.  Trim along the 2 sides.

Now rotate your block 180 degrees and align your 5" marks with the two trimmed sides and the top of the Background Square.  Trim along the remaining side.  And you have a fabulous 5" Wonky Star Side.

And if you want to add a little more variety in your cutting, you don't always have to align right along the top of your Background Square.  On blocks that have a lot of Colored Triangles crossover on the bottom, you can align anywhere from top to bottom, as long as the the whole block fits within the 5" marks.  Still use the sides of the Background Square though to align the sides.  You will need to trim 4 sides doing it this way ;)

Trim all 4 Wonky Side Star Units.  Don't they just look so fun!!  (and once again, if you are doing more than one block, go ahead and trim them all now ;)

Now grab your Units and your remaining 4 Background Squares and 1 Color Square.  Lay them out as shown.  This is where you will want to watch your overlap if you were planning on it being a certain way.
But once again, don't stress to much here, it will add to the overall Wonky effect if you just want to place them however ;)

So now, you can start sewing your block pieces together.  Start by laying the center square in each row onto the first square with right sides together.  Stitch a 1/4" seam along the edge of all three pieces.  I didn't bother with pins here as you aren't needing to worry about seams.  Press the seams towards the non-pieced blocks.

Now place the last square in each row onto the center square with right sides together.  Once again, sew a 1/4" seam along all three edges, aligning as you go.  Press towards the non-pieced squares.

And you should now have three rows like thus that are all going to "nest" together perfectly because of the pressing.  Let's do it ;)

Place the top row onto the center row with right sides together.  This is where the pins need to come out.  Nest each seam so they they are right next to each other and pin in place.  I like to pin either end as well so they don't shift when sewing.  Stitch a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge.  I like to press this seam open to reduce bulk.

Now repeat for the bottom row.  Place the bottom row onto the center row with right sides together, nest and pin the seams, and then stitch a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge.  Press the seam open.

And you have a fabulously Wonky Star Quilt Block!!   See, easy right :)  Now go have some fun getting your Wonky Groove on :)

I hope your enjoyed this tutorial and if you make some of your own Wonky Stars I would love to see them :)  You can add them to my Flickr Group here ;)   I can't wait to see what fun projects you come up with using this awesome Wonky Block ;)

Have a Happy (Wonky) Quilting Day!!!
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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Basting on my Knees

The last few days, I have felt like I am running around in circles.  I know it's that time of year and all, but I  was just feeling like I have been spending so much time thinking about it all that it is keeping me from doing any of it.  (Please tell me this happens to you as well ;)  So this morning I decided to stop.  I picked out one thing that I wanted to get done, (not necessarily had to get done, but I know it will make me feel real good when it is done) and that is what I am doing today.   And that one thing I decided on was decreasing the number of tops waiting to be quilted ;)

And since the Star Value quilt was on the top of the pile (and happens to be the smallest of the three :)  it was the lucky winner.  Now, I love the long arm, but I decided I want to quilt this one on my home machine.  Quilting on my home machine is a skill I put a lot of practice into acquiring and I don't want to lose it ;)  And besides, it is always fun to mix it up a bit :)

And on top of that, I am pretty sure I promised a video on quilting swirls on your home machine a while back that I still haven't gotten to.  That is just one more thing floating around up there, so why not knock out 2 birds with one stone.  So ya, consider it Coming Soon :)

Now I am off to go crawl around on my knees on the hardwood floor to do some basting.  I sure do like basting for the long arm better than this method. (as do my knees).   Oh well, it will give me a good excuse to listen to my book on Ipod for the next hour or so :)

Have a Happy Quilting Day!!!
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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Sew Mama Sew Winner!

Oh my goodness, oh my goodness, Can I just say I was blown away by all of the comments for Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!!  My, that was a lot of fun!!!  So now, I need to choose a winner ;)  And the lucky, lucky reader that will be taking home this beautiful rainbow of goodness courtesy of The Intrepid Thread is .


Congrats to Angelia Lanouette!!!  I have sent you an email :)  And thank you to everyone for stopping by for Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day.  It is always so much fun and I am looking forward to the next one :)
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Friday, December 13, 2013

Rainbow Ironing Board Cover Tutorial

I finished up my little Christmas present to myself . . . A new Rainbow Ironing Board Cover!!! Squeal!!!   Ohh, I can't tell you how much I love this.  It makes me want to press all day!!!  And for a little Christmas present for all of my wonderful readers, I snapped some pictures of the process and have a fun new tutorial for you ;)  Yippee :) So if your ironing board cover is in a sorry state, and you happen to love rainbows as much as I do, you just might find this very useful :)  So let's get to it :)

To start you are going to need 8 Rainbow Fat Quarters or Fat Eighths if you have them.  I mentioned on Wednesday that I was playing with my Jenean Morrison True Colors bundle for this and boy did I have a fun time choosing my 8 Fat Quarters :)   Along with the Rainbow Fat Quarters you will need some long scrap batting pieces, a measuring tape, and a pack of thin elastic. (pretty much whatever you have on hand will work :)

Lay your 8 Fat quarters out in the order you want them on your ironing board cover.  Note - The first fat quarter is not going to show up on the top of the ironing board cover, it is just for underneath.  Hence why mine is the grey one ;)

Start by cutting each of your fat quarters into Fat Eighths.  (If you are already using Fat Eighths you can just skip this step.)  You don't have to be perfectly precise, I just cut mine along the fold line so that I wouldn't need to bother pressing yet, we will get to that later :)

Take your first two Fat Eighths and place them right sides together with raw edges aligned (I didn't pin but you can if you like.)   Turn the stitch length dial down to a small stitch, like 1, so that when the cover is pulled tight over your ironing board frame you will have strong seams ;)  Stitch a 1/2" seam along the long aligned edge, backstitching at the beginning and end of the seam.

Continue adding Fat Eighth's to the strip in the same fashion, remembering to stitch a 1/2" seam and backstitching at the beginning and end.

Keep this up until you have stitched all 10 Fat Eighth's into a row.

Now, take your row over to your sad shabby ironing board and press each of the seams open (you don't want any bulk on your pressing surface) and press the Fat Eighths flat ;)

Once your pressing is complete, you can take the cover off of your ironing board.  This was quite easy for me as mine was already falling off.  Can you see how badly this is needed ;)

Place your ironing board frame onto your rainbow row centering it from side to side and having the back end 3" away from the edge of the final Fat Eighth in the row.  (Sorry, I somehow forgot this picture :)
Now using your measuring tape, measure 3" out from the frame and mark your fabric.  Do this all around the way around the frame, taking care to really mark around the curves.

Now freehanding the curves and using a ruler on the straightaways, connect the dots to draw a full ironing board frame line 3" away from your ironing board.

Now cut along the line.  Yes, you will be cutting off most of that first Fat Eighth :)  Set your beautiful rainbow aside for a minute.

Now grab your long scrap batting, you know, the pieces you cut off the end or side of a quilt ;)  I like to have double layers of batting so go ahead and spray baste or pin baste (but straight pins not safety pins) your two layers together.   Just a light spray will do, this only has to be a very temporary hold ;)

Place your ironing board frame on to your basted pieces of batting.  We are going to repeat the same process only smaller ;)  Measure the side of the ironing board frame from the top to the little lip on it.  Mine is 1".  That is your measuring guide ;)

Now, just he same as before, use your measuring tape to mark the 1" all the way around the ironing board frame.  Connect the dots and then cut along the traced lines :)

Your batting should now be just a bit larger than the size of your ironing board.

Now, grab your rainbow row again and your basted batting and head to a machine.  If you have a serger, great, if not, you can use your machine :)  Serge or zig-zag stitch all the way around your rainbow top and all the way around your basted batting.  This creates a finished edge on both and holds the batting together ;)  Set your batting aside :)

Now, to create a casing on your rainbow top.  Starting at the bottom center of your cover, fold your edge over 3/4" to 1".  Start stitching along the edge of the serger line backstitching a few stitches at the beginning.

As you come to the first edge, ease in the curve.  You can pin this in place or just ease as you go.  Remember, this is going to be under your ironing board so it doesn't have to be perfect by any means.  Just be sure to keep that 3/4" to 1" opening, otherwise threading the elastic can be a pain, doable, but a pain :)

The straight away sections are a breeze and you can tell that you are right on with the "easing" process if your seams match up when folded over :)

Continue to create the casing all the way around the cover.  When you get back to the bottom, leave a 1 1/2" gap open (to feed the elastic) and backstitch at the end.

Now, grab your elastic.  Put a safety pin (the larger the better) though the 1 1/2" gap you left in the bottom of the cover.  Feed the elastic through the casing.

If you haven't done this before, you just bunch some fabric up along the safety pin, then hold the top of the safety pin and pull the fabric back over the elastic.  Keep doing this, bit by bit.  Every once and a while you will need to hold on to the safety pin and push all of the fabric back over the elastic, it tends to bunch up ;)

Oh, and when you get to the seams, you need to be sure to go right through the center, otherwise your pin will get stuck behind your open seams.  I like to push down slightly on the seam to "open" it in the middle, this seemed to aid in getting the pin right through the center ;)

 Once you feed the elastic all the way through the cover and out the opposite end you will need to stretch out your cover.  See how it gets all bunched up.  I find the easiest way to do this is to pin the safety pin to myself, that way you don't have to worry about it sucking back into the casing.  Then just smooth the fabric over the elastic until all the bunching is out ;)

Now, pin the two ends of the elastic together and cut the extra elastic about an inch away from the pin.

And now it is time to put it all together!!!  Lay your finished batting on the ironing board.  Make sure it is centered by finger pressing the ends over the edge and ensuring that they reach the lip on the side of your frame.

Now, without shifting the batting, place the rainbow cover over the top of the batting and allowing the elastic casing to curl under the edge of the ironing board.  I found that it is much easier to start on the pointed end of the iron, it doesn't shift near as much as the other end, and if you have a second body to hold the batting and cover on that end while you move your cover over the bottom, way easier ;)

 Now all that is left is to grab that elastic under your ironing board and pull, pull, pull.  Pull on the elastic until the cover is pulled taught under your frame.  Pin the two pieces of elastic together and then allow it to ease into that gap in the casing. (sorry this picture is blurry) I just left my extra elastic hanging (just in case my pin ever pops and I need to re-thread it :)

And now your beautiful Rainbow Ironing Board Cover is finished and you are ready to get pressing!!!

I pressed for two hours last night and loved every minute of it.  You just can't help smile when looking at such a pretty rainbow ;)     I hope you enjoy this tutorial and if you make your own Rainbow Ironing Board Cover I would love to see it.  You can add it to my Flickr Group here ;)

Well, I am off to do some more pressing.  Eeekkk, I just squeal every time I walk through the sewing room now.   I love, love, love it!!!

Have a Happy Quilting  (and Happy Pressing!!!) Weekend :)

Linking up to Sarah's and Amanda's
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