Friday, February 14, 2014

Mister DJ - A New MBS Tutorial

Today I am so excited to share a new Moda Bake Shop Tutorial.  The tutorial actually went up a few days ago but there was a bit of a scheduling mix up and I am just being able to post about it today.   Anyhow , The design for this quilt was inspired by music equalizers (those little bars you see when watching music that jump up and down) .  So I decided to call the quilt Mister DJ.  It is a super easy quilt to put together, in fact, I never used a pin :) 

This quilt is made with 2 jelly rolls and 2 yards of Bella Solids.  The fabric I used was Sphere by Zen Chic.  I loved how easy I could use Low Volume and High Volume contrasts which really was a huge part of the design.  It also has such a fun modern vibe and this quilt was being made for a certain someone who thought it was "awesome".

You see, my oldest son is the only person in the family that did not have a homemade bedspread.  It has been put on hold because he was insistent that he wanted to have one made of "cool" fabrics. When I showed him Sphere, I was given the go ahead approval. As mentioned, the design was based on a music theme and I choose that because my son loves music (of all varieties and volume)  He is super excited to finally have his homemade bedspread and I am super happy to check that off the list :)


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 :)  

So let's get going!!! 

To make a twin sized 70" x 89" Mister DJ quilt you will need:
2 Sphere Jelly Rolls
2 Yards of Bella Solid Grass
5 1/2 Yards of Backing


Begin by separating your jelly roll strips into 2 piles, one of Low Volume (or light) prints and one of High Volume (or dark) prints.

From the High Volume Strips cut 21 of each of the following strip sizes:
2 1/2" x 11"        2 1/2" x 10"          2 1/2" x 9"        2 1/2" x 8"           2 1/2" x 7"
2 1/2" x 6"          2 1/2" x 5"            2 1/2" x 4"        2 1/2" x 3"           2 1/2" x 2"
I found the easiest way to do this is to stack up 4-5 jelly rolls and cut all the even sizes from each strip and  repeat the process for 21 strips so you have a total of 21 pieces of each even size.  Then do the same for the odd sizes.  (You will have to cut a few from the scraps as you will have 40 strips and not 42)

From the Low Volume Strips cut 21 of each of the following strip sizes:
2 1/2" x 11 1/2"        2 1/2" x 10 1/2"          2 1/2" x 9 1/2"        2 1/2" x 8 1/2"           2 1/2" x 7 1/2"
2 1/2" x 6 1/2"          2 1/2" x 5 1/2"            2 1/2" x 4 1/2"        2 1/2" x 3 1/2"           2 1/2" x 2 1/2"
Once again,  stack up 4-5 jelly rolls and cut all the even sizes from each strip and repeat the process for 21 strips so you have a total of 21 pieces of each even size.  Then do the same for the odd sizes.

Now, pair each High Volume piece with the opposite size Low Volume strip.  So the 11 1/2" goes with the 2" and the 10 1/2" goes with the 3" and so on down the line.  Set these aside for the moment.

From the Bella Solid Grass yardage cut the following:
(9) 2 1/2" x wof (width of fabric) strips to be used for binding
(10) 1 1/2" x wof strips - Trim the selvage and sew 2 strips end to end to create (5) 1 1/2" x 84 strips.
(210) 2" x 2 1/2" rectangles


Now with the cutting done you are ready to start assembling the blocks.   Grab the first set of your grouped fabric strips  (The 11 /2" Low Volumes and 2" High Volumes).  You will be sewing these into a row by first sewing the Solid Grass rectangle to the Low Volume strip and then second, adding the print strip to the Solid Grass Rectangle.

The easiest way to do this is by chain stitching.  (Meaning, not clipping your threads after each strip but continually feeding strips through the machine until you are done with your pile.)  Start by placing the Grass rectangle onto the Low Volume strip with right sides together.  Chain stitch a 1/4" seam along the edge of all 21 of your sets.  Clip the threads between your strips.

Now, you can add the High Volume strip.  Place the High Volume strip onto the Grass rectangle with right sides together and again chain stitch a 1/4" seam along the edge of all 21 strips.  Clip your threads.

Now repeat this process for each of your (10) grouped sets of 21 strips.  In the end you will have 210 pieced strips total.  You want the Low Volume print to always be on the top.   Press your strip sets.


With your strips all set, you are ready to start sewing your blocks together.  So take all of your strip sets and mix them up in a large pile.

Now, grab 2 random strips and place them right sides together taking care that the Low Volume print in both strips is on the top and the High Volume print is on the bottom.  Sew 1/4" seam along the side of the strip, aligning the edges as you sew.  Chain stitch 30 of these to make 30 strip sets of 2.  Clip the threads between the 30 sets.

Now, you are going to add a third strip to the sets of 2.  Align another randomly chosen strip along the side of the second strip with the Low Volume prints on top and sew a 1/4" seam along the edge, aligning as you go.  If you happen to have randomly chosen a strip where the Grass Rectangle is in the same spot as the strip set, take care to match the seams.  You can just align these with your fingers as shown.   Chain stitch all 30 sets.

Clip your threads between your sets and you are ready to add a fourth row.  Continue this process until you have added a total of 7 rows in each set.    Clip the threads between sets.

So now you will have 30 blocks each consisting of 7 vertical rows that have the Low Volume prints on top and the High Volume prints on the bottom.

Press the seams in the blocks to one direction.  They should now measure 14 1/2" square.


And now you can put your quilt top together!   Layout 6 rows of 5 blocks.  Play with the layout until it is pleasing to the eye.  Once you have layout complete mark the blocks so you remember which row is which :)  Now, sew the blocks into rows.  To do this, just place the second block onto the first with right sides together and sew a 1/4" seam along the edge.  The place the third block onto the now sewn together first and second block with right sides together and sew a 1/4" seam along the edge.  Continue in this fashion until all 5 blocks in the row are sewn together.  Repeat for all 6 rows.

Now place a Grass Sashing Strip that you made clear at the beginning onto to the top of rows 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 with right sides together.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the edge aligning the fabric as you sew.

Press all of the seams towards the sashing.  Trim the excess sashing at the end of each row.

Now sew the rows together.  This is just like making the rows only on a larger scale.  Place row 1 onto row 2 with right sides together.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the edge.  Press the seam towards the sashing.   Now place row 3 onto the now sewn together row 1 and 2 with right sides together.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the edge.  Press the seam.  Continue in this fashion until all the rows are sewn together.

And your quilt top is complete!!!  Great job!!!


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 ;)  

When it came time to quilt mine, I quilted this up with a fun "firework" all over design.  It is a little hard to see in the pictures as the grey thread really blends, but just think along the lines of the "pow" and "smash" graphics from the old batman series and you are pretty close :)  It was a super fun design to quilt and really matches the overall theme of the quilt.

You will use the 9 strips you cut and set aside at the beginning to do the binding.


And you are done, and have one ultra modern, High/Low Volume  70" x 89" Mister DJ twin sized quilt. Mister DJ measures 70" x 89", perfect for a twin size bed with some wonderful overhang.  So if you have a young tween who might like a little pizazz in their room, maybe it will be the perfect fit, it certainly was for my little guy :)

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and if you make your own Mister DJ 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 Mister DJ Quilts!!!

Linking up to Sarah's, Amanda's, and Fort Worth Fabric Studio's :)
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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Kitchen Stitches Winner

Thank you so much for your sweet comments on the Kitchen Stitches book and the fun camp apron I made ;)  You all are so sweet!!!   And now, I need to send someone a little Valentine's Day Goodie :)

The winner of the Kitchen Stitches book is . . . .

Who just happens to be . . .

Congrats Josie!!!  I will be sending your book along ;)  And sounds like I need to get that meatloaf recipe ;)

Have a Happy Quilting Day!!!

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Star Light Star Bright - Half Square Triangles

**  NOTE  - This post is part of a series of posts for the Star Light Star Bright Quilt-A-Long.  If you would like to join (and have a chance to win one of 4 of the $75.00 Gift Certificate grand prizes sponsored by The Intrepid Thread and Fat Quarter Shop ) you can find a list of the post links here :)  Here is the schedule

Feb12 - Half Square Triangles
Feb 19 - Building Block Centers
Feb 26 - Building Block Sides
Mar 5 - Building Block Corners
Mar 12 - Piecing Top and Grand Prize Linky
April 2- Star Light Star Bright Parade and Grand Prize Winners

Before we get to this weeks assignment, we need to pick a winner for the Flying Geese Assignment.   And great job to everyone on finishing that assignment, I am so glad so many of you found this method of making flying geese to be enjoyable ;)

The cutting  assignment winner who gets a $25.00 Gift Certificate to Cotton Bliss is . . .
                                                            #66 - Malia!!! - Congrats :)


So now, onto this weeks assignment ;)  If you are just finding this QAL, it's never to late to join in the fun :)  You don't have to sign up or anything, just start following along with the weekly assignments ;)


Half Square triangles are fun and fast and probably the most versatile building block in all of the piecing units you can make.  (At least in my opinion :)

Start by gathering all your squares for the HST's.  These are the second cut or red highlighted squares from the cutting assignment.  As the sizes are different I will lay it out by block size :)    You will have squares of your print fabrics as well as well as a big old stack of background fabrics.

16" Block - 3" squares
20" Block - 3 1/2" squares
24" Block - 4" squares
28" Block - 4 1/2" squares
32" Block - 5" squares
40" Block - 6" squares
48" Block - 7" squares
72" Block - 10" squares

Now, for each block you have in your quilt you will need 32 squares matched into the following 16 pairs.  (2) Star Fabric 1/Diamond Fabric pairs, (2) Star Fabric 2 / Diamond Fabric pairs, (2) Star Fabric 1/Background Fabric pairs, (2) Star Fabric 2 / Background Fabric pairs,and (8) Diamond Fabric/Background Fabric pairs.

Which means, we have come to the point where you need to make some layout decisions.  just as clarification, the "Star" fabrics are the 2 you will choose to make the center star in the block and the "Diamond" fabric is the one you will choose to make the diamond that surrounds the center star.

If you are doing a 1 block project then you have already made your layout decisions.  In the cutting chart the "Main" color is what the Diamond and the 2 "Star" fabrics are the Star 1 and Star 2 in this layout.

EDIT - I know, trying to figure out this layout can be a little tuff.  I am adding this image to try and help.  Each red highlighted box is a half square triangle.  And from each pairing of squares you make, you get 2 Half Square Triangles.  So to do the top corner, you need to make a pair of the blue star fabric and the grey diamond fabric.  Does that make sense??  Hopefull this helps :)

If you have not already decided on the layout of each of the blocks in your quilt, I have made some "coloring sheets" that you might find helpful.  Just save the image and print it out and then color in your fabrics where you want them ;)

So go ahead and group 16 pairs for each of the blocks in your project and place them with right sides together in piles for each block.   You will want to keep your squares grouped in these pairs throughout the entire sewing process.  One last note on grouping - You will have the same print fabric in 3 different piles, (2 star layouts and 1 diamond layout) so don't stress when you put your first grouping together and have leftovers of each fabric :)

And now with your piles all made, you are ready to start making your Half Square Triangles.  To save time, I like to do each of these steps in assembly line fashion keeping a break between each block grouping, however, most of the pictures will just show one or two pair at a time being done.

On the wrong side of the darker fabric square in your pair, using your ruler, draw a pen line diagonally from the top left corner to the bottom right corner.   Like mentioned, draw all of the lines for all the squares but still keep the pairs grouped in block sets.

Lay your print square on your background square (or your two print squares) with rights sides together.  Pin both sides adjacent to that drawn line, be sure to place them far enough out to leave room for your presser foot to stitch on by.  Depending on the size of the square will determine how many pins you want to use. (if you use any at all :)   Stitch a seam 1/4" from EITHER side of the drawn line (the black lines represent your stitching lines :)

The easiest way to assembly line stitch is to chain stitch the 1/4" seam on the right hand side of the line first.  I liked to chain stitch these in block groupings, but feel free to do them how you like, 2 blocks at a time, 4 blocks at a time, all of them at once . . . just make sure you keep track of which squares go in which blocks.

  Then clip the threads between the squares.  Now, go ahead stitch the 1/4" seam on the left hand side of your sets.  And now you have some super long square snakes :)  Clip the remaining threads between the squares and place your squares back in their block groupings.

Next, align your ruler along the drawn center line.  Cut your pieces apart along that drawn line, creating the 1/4" seam on both sets of triangles.  Once again, once you have cut, put your pieces back in block groupings.  (do you get the feeling that keeping them in block groupings is important ;)

Now Press.  Take care when pressing that the edges of your fabrics don't get creased, they tend to want to fold in on themselves.  I press my HST's towards the darker fabric.  And recently I found I prefer to press them from the front rather than the back.  Do what is comfortable for you :)

And now the fun part, trimming.  You will be trimming your blocks to 1/2" smaller than their original size.  So that means trim to the following sizes :

16" Block - 2 1/2"" squares
20" Block - 3" squares
24" Block - 3 1/2" squares
28" Block - 4" squares
32" Block - 4 1/2" squares
40" Block - 5 1/2" squares
48" Block - 6 1/2" squares
72" Block - 9 1/2" squares

 This example has 4 1/2" HST's that are being trimmed to 4" square.  Start by aligning the 45 degree line on your square ruler with the seam line on your half square triangle.  Make sure that the raw edges of the half square triangle are over the 4" line's on your ruler.  Trim the 2 sides along the edge of the ruler.  There won't be a whole lot to trim.

Now spin your block 180 degrees.  Once again, align the 45 degree line on your ruler with the seam line on your half square triangle.  Align the raw edges of the half square triangle under the ruler on the 4" lines on your ruler.  Trim the 2 sides along the edge of the ruler.

And you have perfectly square Half Square Triangles.  They are just so pretty!

Now, when I trim, I like to do some massive assembly trimming.  So I lay out as many blocks from 1 block grouping as I can fit on my large cutting mat.  I whip out my trusty Bloc Loc HST ruler (My favorite!!)  and trim the first two sides on all of my HST's.

Then, I rotate them all 180 degrees, not worrying about all of the previous trims, they can be picked up later.  Now I trim the remaining 2 sides on all  the HST's.  Now just shake them off, and stack them up in a block grouping.

It took me two sets of trimming to finish each block grouping, laying out 16 at a time.  Once you are finished you should have 32 beautiful HST's for each block grouping :) 

And that is how it is done!!!  A pile of 32 HST's for each block in your project.   Now, I want to throw in a quick note here.  I know just how much trimming this is, a ton!!!  Especially if you are doing the 3 x 3  or 4 x 4 layouts.  So if your piles for linking look a little like this  (aka not trimmed) that is totally okay.  You can continue to trim over the coming weeks as you need your HST's for piecing.  Don't go making your hand unusable for 5 days because you trimmed all at once.  And please link up your untrimmed blocks if you cant finish your trimming.   Linked untrimmed piles are just as perfect as linked trimmed piles.  

Oh, and in case you don't have a square ruler you can see the end of this tutorial on how to square up your HST's using a rectangle ruler.  It takes a second longer but still works :)

And that's it!!    And now you can enter to win the weekly prize :)

The Weekly Prize is sponsored by The Scarlet Thread Quilt Co.   and a huge thanks goes out to them for their support of the Star Light Star Bright Quilt-A-Long.

This weeks prize is 2 charm packs, 1 Happy Go Lucky and 1 Simply Style.  Don't you just love charm packs, they are so much fun!!!

So what do you have to do for a chance to win the charm packs?  Simple . . . Just link up your stacks of HST's :)  You can link to a blog post or a flickr picture, or whatever.  Just make sure to link up by next Wednesday morning as I will be announcing a winner in next weeks post :)

If you don't get your HST's done (trimmed or untrimmed)  by next week you can still link it up :) (just not in time for the prize :) The linky will remain open until the end of the Quilt-A-Long.  So if your out of town, or just had a busy week, no worries!!!  Just link up when you can :)

And don't forget to add your Flock to the Happy Quilting Quilt-A-Long Flickr group!!!  I can't wait to see them all ;)

So let's get sewing and trimming!!  Oh, and if you have questions, don't hesitate to email me at  Have a Happy Quilting Day!!

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