Thursday, December 29, 2011

TNT Thursday with a Diagonal Twister Tutorial

So this week's new thing was all about trying the Diagonal Twister for a second time to get it closer to what I had in mind.   This was a new pattern I was working with to try and get a diagonal look to the Whirly Gig created by the twister rather than a random look.  And since I was doing it for the second time, I figured I might as well take some pictures a long the way so that if you want to give it a try you can :)

So "Twister" quilts are always made starting with a grid of squares.  This is the design of squares you need to make in order to get the look above when you are done.  But before you go and cut out 144 5" squares go ahead and read on, there is a much faster way to strip piece it :)

Start by choosing your prints.  This pattern is a repeated 6 pattern so you will need 6 strips for each set of 3.  I choose to repeat one of my prints, you can to if you like or not ;)  (Wouldn't this just look awesome in a Rainbow pattern, that is on my list )  Cut three 5" x WOF strips out of each of the 6 chosen prints for a total of 18 strips.

Sew your 6 strips together to make a strip set.  You will be sewing 3 sets together and be sure to sew them all in the same order.  It doesn't matter if the ends don't line up perfect :)

Now fold your strip set in half taking care to align the sides.  Do not worry about the top lining up.   Place it on your cutting mat so that the folded line is just over the 0 Horizontal line on your mat.

Now you can cut out your square strip sets.  First cut along the 20" line on your mat.  This gives you a nice starting edge.  Now measure down 5" (to the 15" line) and cut across the entire strip set.  (I had to use two rulers aligned next to each other).  Continue cutting 5" down until you cut across the 0 Horizontal line.  This should give you 8 square strip sets, 4 on top and 4 below.  Repeat with the other 2 Strip sets so you have a total of 24 square strip sets.

Sew your square strip sets into sets of 2.  Make sure you always repeat the pattern exactly the same way.  You will now have 12 long square strip sets.

Now the fun part.  To make the diagonal pattern you are going to do a little unpicking.  I know it seems weird to unpick but trust me, it is way faster than stitching all of the squares individually.

So start by laying out 2 long square strip sets.  Those will be row 1 and row 7.  (I like to mark them now to avoid confusion)   Now lay out 2 more long square strip sets.  Unpick the first block in each long square strip set and at it to the end of the set.  Now mark these rows 2 and rows 8.  Now lay out 2 more long square strip sets.  Unpick the first two blocks in each long square strip set and at it to the end of the set.  Now mark these rows 3 and rows 9.  Seeing a trend here :)  For rows 4 and 10 remove 3 blocks and add them to the end.  For rows 5 and 11 remove 4 blocks and add them to the end.  And finally for rows 6 and 12 remove 5 blocks and add them to the end.

You should now have 12 rows that when lined up in order look like this.

Now simply sew your rows together, taking care to align your seams, and you have your square grid!!  Yippee Skippee.

***Note - The rest of this tutorial will be very brief as the intent of the tutorial is how to get the pattern, not how to use your twister.  If you need a more in-depth tutorial on how to use the twister tool please see this earlier tutorial.  Steps 2 and 3 will walk your through the remainder of the process in greater detail :)

Now simply add your 3" border :)

Cut out your whirly-gig squares using your twister tool :)

Sew your "whirly-gig" squares into rows :)

And then sew your rows into your quilt top :)

And you are done and have one adorable 42 x 42 baby blanket top :)  Just quilt it and bind it and it is ready to share :)   Wasn't that just so much fun!!!  I can't get enough of these twisters, I just have a blast!!!

So, what have you managed to try new during this crazy busy holiday week :)  Please share.

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  1. Great tutorial. Sometimes it's really hard to figure out how the color combinations are going to come out.

  2. I really like the planned look of this, have yet to bust out my twisty project yet, it's very random and I'm not loving it...

  3. Just wonderful, I love it and now I think I need to try it...

  4. I have the Little Twister but have yet to use it - this is very helpful and encouraging. May I ask how large this quilt finished at? It's gorgeous!

  5. GREAT idea to do the strip set sewing (and even the unpicking)!!! I'm going to PIN this on my Pinterest board so I can refer to it for the next twister top I make! Thanks!

  6. I like how you were able to do the strip quilting for the basic layout. Great idea.

  7. Great idea for using yardage instead of charm packs. Love the result. Thanks.

  8. Thank you so much for the tutorial on using strips I have the twistie tool and have enjoyed making these little quilts. Lots of fun have a great day sewing.

  9. very pretty! It looks so hard to make!

  10. love your tute! have put this on my list!

  11. Wow! This quilt is so pretty and it looks like it was a lot of fun to make. Great tutorial, Melissa! :)

  12. wow, that looks like a really cool method! now i want to pick one up at the shop :)

  13. Phew. That looks like a lot of picking and cutting. The end result is really neat.

  14. Wonderful tutorial Melissa! What size does this end up being if I follow exactly?

  15. This tutorial is WONDERFUL! I'm always looking for new ways and designs for the Twister tools. It is such a fun way to make quilt tops. 4.5" finished blocks 12 across and 12 down would be 54 inches square plus whatever border you put on it.

  16. What is the twister? Where can I get one plus the instructions for using it?

  17. Great tutorial. I have the tool and am MOST anxious now to make the quilt!

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  19. Thank you for this tutorial. It was EXACTLY what I was looking for :-)

  20. Love it. How do you do the math for the finished quilt size 8x8 in 30in 12x12 is 45in. do you have a chart?

  21. I was looking for a pattern for a pink, black and white quilt when I found this site. I am now sewing the twister blocks together. I love the result! However, when I measure my completed rows, they only measure 41 inches. Did I do something wrong?


Thank you so much for your sweet comments. I just love hearing from you!!
Have a Happy Quilting Day :)