Monday, March 30, 2015

Brought to you by the letter M

Today's Monday Sewing Adventures are brought to you by the letter M.   First and foremost, that Must get done in the sewing room today is the Mending.   Please tell Me I am not the only one that procrastinates this.  My dear husband often reminds Me how ironic it is that I can spend hours a day pressing and sewing, but I can't find 5 Minutes to sew on a button or add a patch to a pair of pants.  I know, it is absolutely crazy, but Mending always seems to get pushed to the bottom of the to do list.   (Probably because it just isn't near as fun, right ;)  But this Monday, Mending is on the top of the list.  (That promise to My husband as he went to work this Morning that I would put a patch in his shorts before I started sewing will hopefully help it to actually happen :)

Next up, My March Mini Challenge needs to be quilted up and bound.  I only have 2 days left of the Month so I can't procrastinate it Much longer ;)  I can't wait to share this one with you.  It is a Mini that I Made up from one of the quilts in My new book!!!  So fun!!! 

And Maybe, just Maybe, if I Manage to finish up everything above, I Might just have time to whip up My March Bee Block ;)  I love Making this scrappy crossroads blocks so it should be a fun treat at the end ;)

So what about you???  What are you Making today??

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Friday, March 27, 2015

Four Square - A Tutorial and Giveaway

It's another Friday and I have another finish to share ;)  This new quilt is called Four Square and I think it is pretty obvious where it gets the name ;)

When I was asked a few weeks ago if I wanted to participate with RJR Fabrics, Cotton Supreme Solids What Shade Are You Blog Hop I was all for it.  I have been playing with solids a lot more lately and am loving it!!!

I played around a lot with different designs that I wanted to use to really play up beautiful solids, but in the end, I just loved this super simple, and super chic 4 patches sashed with beautiful crisp white.   The 4 patches are made with Fat Quarter Strip Pieced Strips and then sewn into a 4 patch block to make the construction a super quick and super easy ;)
Here's how you make it :)

To Make your own 63" x 78" Lap Size Four Square Quilt you Will Need:

13 Fat Quarters in Assorted Solid Colors
2 1/4 Yards of White Solid for Sashing
2/3 Yard of Black Solid for Binding
4 Yards of a Favorite Fabric for Backing

When trying to decided from all of the amazing Cotton Supreme Solids which 13 colors I wanted to use, I finally opted to use some beautiful jewel tones.  I love how these colors go together nicely, but yet, they each pop on their own.   So fun!!


Start by pressing all 13 of your Fat Quarters and your White and Black Solid Yardage.  

From each of the 13 Solid Fat Quarters cut (5) 3 1/2" x 21" strips for a total of  65 Strips.
          You will use 64 of these strips , so 1 strips can be put in your scrap bin.

From your White Solid Yardage cut:
           (9) 2" x Width of Fabric Strips
           (45) 2" x 14" rectangles
           (40) 2" x 6 1/2" rectangles

From your Black Solid Yardage cut:
            (8) 2 1/2" x Width of Fabric Strips


We'll start by sewing the strip sets that we will use to sub-cut the 2 patch units.   So place one strip on another with right sides together.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the edge.

When stitching these,  I like to use a slightly smaller stitch length so that they don't come unraveled when you sub-cut the strips.

And after you are done stitching your first set, don't stop there.  Just continue feeding strip sets through your machine, aligning them as you go.  Continue Chain Stitching until you have sewn all of your strips into strip sets.  You should have 32 sets.   Now go ahead and clip your threads between each of the strip sets.

Now, take your strip sets to your ironing board.   I pressed my seams open so that when I go to put them together I have more color placement options, but you can just as easily press the seam allowance to one side.  Do whichever you prefer.

And now, you are ready to sub-cut your 2 patch units.  Align 3 strip sets on your mat using the horizontal lines on your mat as a guide.   Place your ruler along the edge of the strip and align it with the first vertical line that the strip sets are over.  Cut along the edge of the ruler to create a straight edge on all 3 strip sets.

Now, measure in 3 1/2" inches of your strip sets.  You can double check your measurements both on your cutting mat and along the cut edge of your strips, they should align with the 3 1/2" mark on your ruler.  Cut along the edge of the ruler.

Now it is just rinse and repeat ;)  Once again, measure in 3 1/2" using your mat and ruler as a double check on your measurement.  Cut along the edge of your ruler

Continue in this fashion until you have cut (5) 2 Patch Units per strip.  You will have a bit of scrap left over at the end that you can add to your scrap bins ;)

Now repeat this process for all 32 strip sets.  In the end you will have 160 2 Patch Units.  So fun!!


 And now, it's time to turn those 2 Patches into 4 Patches.  To do this, you just place one 2 Patch onto another 2 Patch with right sides together.  Align and pin the center seam and then sew a 1/4" along the edge and then press the seam open.

But of course, we don't want to make them one at a time.  So start by pinning all of your pairs.  I like to put on a good movie while I do this ;)

Then once again, you are going to chain stitch all of your pairs.  Just keep sewing 1/4" along the edge of each set and sew, sew, sew.

And once you have finished sewing all the sets, clip the threads between your sets, and move to the ironing board.  Press all of the seams open.  This is a good time to turn that movie back on if you didn't have time to finish it when pinning ;)

And now, you have 80 beautiful 4 Patch Units!


So the next step is to turn those 4 Patch Units into a 4 Patch Block.  We will start by making the rows of the units.   So separate your 4 Patch Units in half with 40 on one side and 40 of the other side of your 2" x 6 1/2" Sashing rectangles.  Place the sashing rectangle onto the left hand side 4 Patch Unit with Right Sides together.  Aligning as you go, sew a 1/4" seam along the edge.

And you now what's next, don't clip your threads, it's time for more chain stitching ;)  Continue to add the sashing rectangle onto all 40 of the 4 Patch Units, sewing a 1/4" seam along the edges. When you are done sewing, clip the edges and press the seam allowance towards the Sashing Rectangle.

And now you are back to your original row and it is time to add the second 4 Patch Unit.  Place the right hand side 4 Patch unit onto the sashing rectangle with right sides together.  Aligning as you go, sew a 1/4" seam along the edge.

And continue chain stitching all 40 sets.  Then clip your threads and press the seam allowance towards the sashing rectangle.

Now, divide the Rows in half with 20 Rows on the top of your Block and 20 Rows on the bottom of your block with 20 2" x 14" Sashing Rectangles in between the 2 rows as shown below.

We will start by sewing the top row to the sashing rectangle.  Place the sashing rectangle onto the top row with right sides together.  Aligning as you go, sew a 1/4" seam along the edge.

And you've got this down now ;)  Continue stitching the Sashing Rectangle to all 20 top rows using a 1/4" seam.

Once finished, clip the threads and press the seam allowance towards the sashing rectangle.  And now all you have left for the block is to add the bottom row.

Place the bottom row onto the top row with right sides together.  Align the center seams.  You can check this by slightly lifting the bottom row at the center and double checking that the seams are lined up.  Once aligned pin in place.  Pin all 20 Blocks.

Now, for one last time, chain stitch a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge of each of the 20 blocks.  When finished stitching, clip your threads and then press the seam allowance towards the sashing rectangle.   And your blocks are done and you are ready to make your quilt top!!!!


Layout your blocks in a 4 x 5 grid as shown below.  This is the time to really play with the placement of your colors.   I like to take a picture of my layout and then look at it on my tablet or computer.  That makes it easier for my eye to see all the blocks and once and know where I might need to do a little rearranging.  It is also a great reference when you start to sew these together ;)

Once you have a layout you like, you will be adding a 2" x 14" sashing rectangle between each of the blocks and at the beginning and end of a row as shown in Row 1.   Place the sashing rectangles onto the blocks with right sides together.  Sew a 1/4" along the edge, I just align as I go but you can use pins if you like.  And I find it easiest to stack up one row and take it to my machine and sew one row at a time so I don't mix them up.  Repeat this for all of your rows and then press the seam allowance towards the sashing rectangle.

Lay your blocks back out as shown in Row 1.  And now with the sashings attached,  you are ready to sew your blocks into rows.   To do this, place Block 2 onto Block 1 with right sides together.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the edge as shown in Row 2.  Then Open the sewn blocks and place Block 3 onto Block 2, which is now sewn to Block 1, with right sides together.  Sew a 1/4" Seam along the edge as shown in Row 3.  Then repeat this process one last time adding Block 4 as shown in Row 4.  Repeat for all the rows and then press the seam allowances outwards, towards the Sashing Rectangles as shown in Row 5.

And now your quilt should look something like this.  All that is left is to add the Horizontal Sashing rows.  So exciting!!!

Gather your 2" x WOF Strips.  Trim the selvages and then using a 1/4" seam sew them all together at the short end to make one very long sashing strip.   Sub-Cut them into (9) 2" x 65ish" sashing strips.  Place them between the Block rows and at the top and bottom of the quilt.

Now this is just like making the rows only on a bigger scale.  Place the sashing strips along the edge of the Block Rows with right sides together.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the edge.  You will have a little extra at the end of the row.  Trim the excess.  Press the seam allowance towards the sashing strip.

And now, you can sew the rows all together.  Place Row 1 onto Row 2 with right sides together.  Align each of the center sashing strips just like before, by lifting the top row just slightly to ensure that the seams are aligned.  Then pin them in place.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge.

Layout your now sewn together  Row 1 and 2 and place Row 3 along the bottom with right sides together.  Once again, align the center seams and pin them in place.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge.   Repeat this process until all of the rows are sewn together and then press all of the seam allowances towards the sashing strips.

And just like that, you have a completed 4 Square top!!!   Wasn't that so fun!!!


Now all that is left is to Baste it, Quilt It, and Bind It :)  Yup, a whole lot in one little sentence.  If you are new to finishing quilts you can see my Finishing Quilt Video Series here, it will walk you through each of the 3 steps in great detail :)

When it came time to quilt mine, I opted on a Superior Threads Rainbow Thread, because you just can't have a ton of rainbow patchwork without a rainbow thread right ;)  This one is called Carnival and I love the way it pops off of the patchwork in an array of colors.  So fun!!!  In fact, I loved it so much I used it to machine tack down my binding and it adds the perfect finish to it!!!

I was having a hard time deciding what to quilt in the squares, so I flipped through my Shape to Shape book by Angela Walters and found this super fun square design.  I think it worked just perfect and I love the alternating grid work of it  to create a fun secondary criss cross in the quilting design.

Four Square finishes at  63" x 78", just perfect so snuggle up in ;)  I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and if you make your own Four Square quilt I would love to see it!!  You can email me a picture at or add it to my Flickr Group here ;)

And be sure to pop on over to RJR Fabrics Facebook Page and check out all the other amazing What Shade Are You Cotton Supreme Solid Projects.  There are some super fun ones!!!

And remember how I mentioned Giveaway in the title!!!  RJR Fabrics has graciously offered to giveaway a custom bundle using My Color Bundle to one lucky reader!!  So one of you are going to be all set to make your own Four Square Quilt!!!!


You have two entry chances, the second being optional, and please leave a separate comment for each.  All Entries are welcome, including International Entries.  Please just be sure to leave an email address if you are a no-reply blogger ;)  

ENTRY 1 - Simply leave a comment that tells me what is your favorite color??

 ENTRY 2 - All Happy Quilting Followers can have a bonus entry, just leave a comment here of how you follow  i.e.  BloglovinEmailPinterestInstagramFacebookTwitter :) 

And that's it ;)  The giveaway will be open until next Tuesday, March 31st, and I will announce a winner Wednesday Morning, on April 1st :)

Thanks so much for stopping in today and Have a Happy Quilting Weekend!!!

Linking up to Quilt Story ;)


And the winner is . . . Mom C!!!!  Congrats!!!

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