Cricut Maker Block of the Week Quilt: Block 5 – Economy Patch

Today for Week 5 of our Cricut Maker Block of the Week, we’re going to be making the Economy Patch block! And, I have a surprise for you! I’m showing you two different ways that you can make this same block! I love teaching new quilters. To me, teaching new quilters means breaking down the process of quilting into manageable steps while introducing new quilters to tips and techniques. You don’t have to know how to execute every quilting technique to be successful. But knowing about the different techniques out there will help you explore new projects you might want to try next. And knowing which technique to use, and why, is always helpful!

That’s why I’m showing you how to make the Economy Patch Quilt Block with both traditional piecing as well as using Foundation Piecing (also known as Foundation Paper Piecing, but NOT to be confused with English Paper Piecing, which is a whole different technique). I have two videos that will take you through each step-by-step process, as well as step by step photos below for the traditional pieced method for the Economy Patch Block.

Cricut Maker Block of the Week - Week 5 - Economy Patch Block

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If you’re just joining in, make sure you check out the Cricut Maker Block of the Week Reference Page. You can start from the very beginning and follow along there.

If you would like to learn the traditional way to piece this block, you can watch this video, or follow the steps below.

 

If you would like to learn about foundation piecing this block, you can watch this week’s bonus video.

 

The new products in the video include Thermoweb Foundation Papers or Traditional Foundation Paper, the Cricut Bright Pad (buy it on the Cricut site or on Amazon), the Fabric Glue Stick, and the Finger Presser or Finger Iron.

To make the block, start by cutting out all the pieces on the Maker, just as we have in the past weeks. Use the Cricut Maker Economy Patch Design Space File. If you’re making the Foundation Pieced block, you’ll also want the Cricut Maker Economy Patch Foundation Paper Design Space File.

Lay out the pieces.

lay out pieces

This block might look a little like the diamond in a square. That’s because it is! The size is different, and it has an extra border of triangles around the outside. So this is a square in a diamond in a square! And we’ll be making it the same way we made the diamond in a square.

Start with your middle piece. Stitch on the two opposite sides.

add sides

Press. Then add the other two sides.

Cut off the dog ears.

cut dog ears

Press.

finished first layer

Fold the second layer triangles in half to make sure the placement is correct.

fold to find center

Stitch in place.

add sefond layer

Add the triangle on the opposite side. Press.

Keep going, adding the third and then the last piece.

third piece

Press one last time – you’re done!

add last sides

finished economy patch

Come back next week to make week 6 of our Cricut Maker Block of the Week!

 

Cricut Maker Block of the Week Quilt: Block 4 – Broken Dishes

I’m so excited to share week 4 of our Cricut Maker Block of the Week with you! Today’s quilt block is called Broken Dishes. I’ll show you step-by-step how to make this quilt block. And, if you watch the video, I’ll show you how a quick twist turns Broken dishes into a Pinwheel block! Two blocks using the same simple steps!

Cricut Maker Block of the Week: Week 4 - Broken Dishes

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If you’re just joining in, you can start from the beginning by going to the Cricut Maker Block of the Week Reference Page.

 

You can follow along the photos and written instructions below, or you can watch this week’s video:

 

You’ll start by cutting the fabric, just as we have in weeks past. You’ll want to start by opening up the Cricut Maker Block of the Week Broken Dishes file. Note that you can only open this on a laptop or desktop computer, clicking the link from a tablet or mobile device doesn’t work. However, once you’ve opened it, you can save it to Cricut Design Space, and open it on any device that you can log in to Design Space on.

 

If you feel super comfortable with your 1/4″ seam at this point, you can turn off the pen using the little toggle switch on the left. I’ll be keeping mine on, though.

turn pen off

Lay out your pieces.

lay out pieces

Grab two triangles (which make a square – that’s where the term “Half Square Triangle” comes from), and stitch them together along the longest edge.

stitch triangles

Repeat for the other 3 sets of triangles. Press all the seams towards the dark side.

press seam

Lay out your block again. Now we have a four-patch made of half-square triangles.

half square triangles

Stitch the top to half-square-triangles together, and the bottom two together. Press the seam allowance towards the darker side. This will automatically make the top seam allowance go in the opposite direction of the bottom seam allowance.

stitched pairs

Put your top row on your bottom row. “Nest” the center seam – this means that you feel with your fingers so that the seam allowances butt up against each other. When your seams are nested, your points will match perfectly.

Turn the block over. You’ll see that the two seam allowances are going in opposite directions. In this case, they go clockwise. Press the other two seams so that they follow. In my case this would mean all my seams are going in a clockwise direction. On your block, it might mean that all the seams go in a counter-clockwise direction. Either way is just fine.

stitched together

When you do this, you’ll be able to swirl the center, where all the seams come together. Swirling the center means there will be less bulk in the middle – which you’ll appreciate when it comes time to quilt!

swirl seam

Press the swirl flat, and your quilt block is complete!

broken dishes quilt block - part of the Cricut Maker Block of the Week series

I want to add a little comment here that will help out the new quilters. See how the points match, but thy are not all the way on the edge of the fabric? At first glance, you might think that is wrong. That nothing lined up the way it was supposed to. But fear not! You should have 1/4″ between the points and the edge of the fabric. This is your seam allowance for when you put the block into the quilt.

To make sure you’re doing it right, just flip your block over. You’ll see that your points line up with the blue seam allowance line on the back.

seam allowance back

That is it for this week’s Broken Dishes block! Next week we’ll be on to block 5!

 

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Cricut Maker Block of the Week Quilt: Block 3 – Diamond in a Square

This week in our Cricut Maker Block of the Week Quilt, we’re working on Block 3, the Diamond in a Square! You’re going to be so excited by how easily this block stitches up. There are a couple new things I’m showing you this week. The first is the bias on triangles. The second is using Snap Mat to conserve fabric.

If you’re just joining in, let me help you catch up! I’ve designed a small quilt that is cut entirely on the Cricut Maker. I’m showing you start-to-finish how to make the quilt, teaching you a new step each week. At the end, you’ll have a completed quilt, and learned all the steps for making your quilt! To get started from the beginning, check out the Cricut Maker Block of the Week Quilt Resource Page.

Cricut Maker Block of the Week Quilt - Block 3: Diamond in a Square

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To make the Diamond in a Square, start by opening up the Cricut Maker Block of the Week Diamond in a Square file in Cricut Design Space. If you use a mobile device to connect to your Cricut Maker, you will first need to log in to Design Space on a laptop or desktop computer, then click on the file, then save the file to your Design Space files. From there, you can open it up on your mobile device or tablet.

You can watch the step-by-step video here, or follow the instructions below.

Cut out the pieces, just like we have been doing on the last 2 blocks. To conserve fabric, select mat 2 (the mat with the 4 triangles), and move the triangles over to the right. In the video, I show you how to use Snap Mat to do this.

Lay out your pieces.

lay out block

Your triangles are going to look WAY bigger than your square. This is the way it should look. I promise. You are doing it right.

When stitching triangles, you want to be extra careful that you don’t stretch the fabric. Triangles always have at least one edge that is cut “on the bias.” “On the bias” means that the fabric is cut at an angle. This cuts across all the threads, which makes that side much more stretchy. We want our fabric to keep its shape, so try not to stretch any of the sides.

Place one triangle on top of the square, with the long side of the triangle lined up with the square. The blue lines on top should line up with the blue lines on the bottom. If you need another reference point, you can fold the square and triangle in half to line up the midpoints.

line up

Stitch this side in place.

stitch

Stitch the opposite side in place.

stitch second corner

Press the seams, so that the triangles lay flat. Line up a third triangle, and stitch in place.

stitch the other corner

Stitch on the final triangle. You’re almost done! This is such a quick block!

Trim off the “Dog Ears” before you press these last two triangles. Dog ears are the extra points that are left over when sewing triangles.

trim dog ears

Press the triangles. You can trim the second set of dog ears now, or wait until you square up the block later.

trim dog ears

Block 3, the Diamond in a Square Quilt block, is complete!

finished diamond in a square quilt block

 

Floss Fairy DIY

Looking for a fun project to make with the kids in an afternoon? This Water Floss Fairy is part of a set of 3 different fairies that are simple to make. All the felt and vinyl is cut on the Cricut Maker, and then you put it all together to make a sweet fairy in her own little fairy pocket!

DIY Water Floss Fairy - small winged fairy made with embroidery floss

To make the floss fairy, you’ll need all the supplies listed in the instructions in Cricut Design Space.

supplies for floss fairy

Cut out all your pieces on the mats as indicated.

cut pieces

Cut the pipe cleaner. Fold the longer piece in half.

pipe cleaners

I’m using a slightly smaller bead, which has a fairly small hole. To make it easier to push the pipe cleaner in, I pulled out some of the  pipe cleaner fluff from the top. The twisted wire then easily fit into the bead. Secure with glue.

Twist on the arms.

Tie your “skin colored” floss to the middle. I chose white because I’m using a faux pearl bead. You can use whatever color you desire.

If you have pipe cleaner fuzz, sticking out, now is the time to tuck it under with the thread. This take s little practice.

When you get to an end, fold the end over, then wrap it tight. Add a drop of glue to keep it secure.

wrap to end

Wrap the whole body.

Wrap the hair colors around two fingers. When you have enough, tie a piece of floss tightly in the middle.

wrap thread

tie bundle

Fold in half on the line it was tied, and trim the floss to make it a uniform length.

trim hair

Add the heat-transfer glitter vinyl to the wings.

peel back transfer tape

Glue on the skirt and wings. Allow to cool and dry.

glue on skirt

Whipstitch the pouch together while you’re waiting for the glue to set.

stitch pouch

Add on the eyes. I lifted and placed them with tweezers, but tansfer tape is another option.

add eyes

Glue the hair on top.

glue on hari

Your Water Floss Fairy is complete!

cute water floss fairy

Want to check out the other 49 FREE projects included with your Cricut Maker?! Click the pictures below to see how some of my blog buddies created these projects with their Maker!


Want to make these projects but don’t have a Maker yet? Enter through the widget below to not only win the new Cricut Maker but also the HSN bundle being released tonight at midnight!

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Woven Top Zippered Pouch

I’m not much of a scrap quilter. I often pile my scraps into a box until it overflows, then mail it to a friend who likes to quilt with scraps. But every now and then I’m inspired to get scrappy… like with these Art Gallery Fabrics Scraps that I wove together to make a zippered pouch! I took photos along the way so you can use my method to make one of your own!

Woven Top Zippered Pouch Tutorial

I’m showing you how the weaving of the top panel was done, and giving basic instructions for finishing the zippered pouch. If you want more detailed zippered pouch instructions, check out this zippered pouch tutorial.

Start by cutting a piece of background fabric a little bigger than your small scrap strips. Lay the short pieces down, parallel to one another. Stitch across the top to secure in place.

stitch down short pieces

Weave a long piece through the short strips.

add cross strips

Keep weaving long strips through, until you get to the bottom.

weave strips

Using a walking foot, stitch diagonal rows across to secure all the strips in place. You can use a ruler to make sure the first row is at a 45 degree angle. Then use the edge of the foot to line up subsequent rows.

stitch down woven rows

stitch rows

Stitch at a 90 degree angle, to create cross-hatch stitching that secures all the strips in place.

Make a second panel the same way you created this first, and trim up the edges.

trim up top

Cut bottom pieces the same width as the panels, and as long as you need to make the size bag you want.

stitch top and bottom pieces

Press open the seam.

Add fusible fleece to the back of each piece. Cut lining pieces the same size.

Add the zipper.

Box the corners.

Your zippered pouch is complete!

 

Camper Hoop Art

I love stitching up mini hoops for friends. Much quicker to whip up than a quilt, doesn’t take much space in the recipient’s home, and still a fun sentiment!

This camper hoop art isn’t a full-and-fancy tutorial, just some photos and a few steps to get you on your way to stitching your own fun hoop art!

Cute Trailer Hoop Art

To make your hoop art – camper or otherwise – you’ll need:
Background Fabric
Needle
Embroidery Floss
4″ embroidery Hoop
Rubber Stamp (optional)
Color Box Erasable stamp pad (optional)
Water-soluble pen (optional)

 

If you’re using a stamp, you can stamp your artwork to give yourself an outline. If you want to make “changes” to the stamp, use the water soluble pen to mark these changes. I wanted my stichery to look like my friend’s Eileen Hull’s trailer that she has named “Scotty.”

stamp on image

I traced the hoop to make sure the words would fit inside. It wasn’t as centered as I wanted, so I re-centered when I hooped.

Hoop the image in the embroidery hoop, and start stitching.

When you’re done, use a damp towel to “erase” away the water soluble markings.

finished hoop art

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Blithe Blog Tour

I’m so excited to be part of Katarina Roccella’s Blithe Blog Tour! I’ve been a long-time fan of her whimsical fabric designs, and I have been a fan of Art Gallery Fabrics even longer! Katarina’s new line, “Blithe” is in stores now… I know it is at my local shop Cozy Creative Center… check to see if your shop is carrying these fun fabrics!

Blithe Fabrics EPP Pillow

Katarina asked if I would be part of this fun blog tour, and of course I said YES! I already had a project in the works… which is a funny story.

I attended Houston Quiltmarket in October. It was my third time going, and I really enjoy seeing what is new in quilting. I went to sample spree, hoping to get my hands on Katarina’s next line, “In Blue”. They didn’t have yardage yet, so instead I bought some Blithe. Which is equally beautiful. Really. The gorgeous colors and nature prints are just so inviting. And Art Gallery Fabrics always feel so nice, they are a pleasure to sew with. I don’t know what kind of fairy dust they weave into their fabrics – but if you’ve never touched AGF, you’re in for a treat!

I flew home after market was over, and was at the airport waiting for my flight. I had supplies with me for English Paper Piecing because I always have EPP supplies with me (and I had taught an EPP class that morning and done EPP demos while at market). I pulled out my Blithe and started stitching. I didn’t know what it would become… but my hands like to stay busy.

EPP at the Airport

By the time I’d gotten home, I had a message from Katarina. We have chatted via Instagram in the past – I created a quilt sample for a past line of hers. She asked if I’d like to turn what I was making into a project for her lookbook.

Of course, yes. I had a project that might get finished eventually. But now, it had a deadline. I was off and running.

finishing up EPP

English Paper Piecing is my favorite. I don’t knit or crochet, so this is the handwork that I can tuck in my bag and take wherever I go. When waiting at the doctor’s office, when waiting to pick up kids from school, in the evening in front of the TV… I love to pick up my handwork.

If you’ve never tried EPP, here is a video of me at Quiltmarket, showing
how easy it is:

You’re hooked already, right? Grab some papers and a glue pen, pick up your needle and thread, and start stitching!

Of course, once you’re done stitching, you have to finish your project. Since this was going to be a pillow, I pulled out the papers, ironed on some of my favorite Thermoweb Fusible Fleece, and did some simple straight-line stitching with my walking foot.

quilting EPP

You’ll notice I stitched to the side, and not “in the ditch”. English Paper Piecing doesn’t have a “ditch” to stitch in – the seam allowances are essentially pressed open. So quilting has to be done across the surface of the fabric.

Yes, I would love to have hand-quilted this piece. But time.

I did manage to put together another quick project for the lookbook… a simple clutch.

Stupid Simple Clutch

This is my “Stupid Simple Clutch” pattern that I’m still working on writing up. I’m hoping to release it this spring. Fingers crossed!

Those are the simple projects I created for the Lookbook, and for the Blog Tour… I hope you’re getting inspired to play with some Blithe yourself! Drop me a comment below and tell me what you’re planning to make!

 

 

Pokemon Halloween Costumes

I thought I’d share our family Halloween Costumes this year. My boys, in all the Pokemon Craze, decided they wanted to be Pikachu and Raichu for Halloween this year. I figured they would be easy enough to make out of fleece. I went to JoAnns to get fleece in the colors I’d need, and looked for a basic pattern that would be easy to adjust with a tail, stripes, ears, and such. I found McCall’s 6106, and it was perfect!

I spoke to my SIL who lives here in San Diego. Her boys wanted to be Pikachu as well. Making 4 costumes really isn’t much more work than making 2, so I whipped up all the costumes and had them done by mid-October. Pretty much a Halloween miracle, as I’m usually finishing costumes the night before. So of course I took to Facebook to brag a little.

Pikachu and Raichu Costumes

Karma. Karma, karma, karma.

My other SIL, who lives in Northern California has a couple Pokemon-obsessed kiddos as well. 3 of them. She asked if I could whip up some costumes for them as well. I’m never going to say “no” to making costumes for my nieces and nephews, and by this time I was a Pikachu expert, so of course I said yes.

And then discovered they didn’t want Pikachu.

They wanted Charmander, Nidoran, and Squirtle.

This was going to be more challenging than I originally planned! But a challenge is just a solution away from genius, so I bought more fleece in different colors, and started stitching. I used the same pattern, just with more adjustments.

more pokemon costumes

My SIL took these photos of the kids in their costumes:

Charmander and Nidoran costume

Squirtle Costume

Kids traveling to Halloween parties often need to hop in and out of car seats or Booster seats, and I didn’t want their costumes to get in the way. So I made the tail, spikes and shell detachable with magnets (these are traditionally purse clasps).

squirtle shell

Since I was already making a record number of costumes, and we had a good Pokemon theme going, I told my husband I’d make him a Snorlax. He was game!

Snorlax Costume

That’s how 2016 became the year that I made 8 Halloween Costumes. From Scratch.

I’m thinking it is also how 2017 became the year that we bought our costumes instead of making them! Ha!

picachu costumes

R2D2 Quilt

My kids are crazy for Star Wars, and their favorite droid is R2D2. Which is why I made them this fun R2D2 quilt to hang on their wall. It is very simple to make – no curved piecing, no fancy quilting – just straight stitching and quilting using a walking foot.

Star Wars R2D2 Mini Quilt - easy to make in an afternoon!

To make this mini quilt you’ll need:

Fat Quarter Grey Fabric
Fat Quarter White Fabric
1/2 yard backing fabric
Thermoweb DecoFoil Hot Melt Adhesive
Thermoweb Decofoil in Blue, Red, Black, and Pewter
Fairfield Cotton Batting
Thermoweb Basting Spray
Iron and Ironing Board
Sewing Machine with Walking foot and grey thread
Rotary Cutter and Ruler
Needle to Bury Threads

Cut your fabric. You’ll need a 12×12″ piece of the white fabric and a 12×10″ piece of the grey fabric. Put the rest of the fabric aside for the backing and binding.

Sew the two pieces of fabric together along the 12″ side.

Press seam towards the dark side (see what I did there? The “Dark Side”? hahaha!)

Measure 6″ in on the seam, and 1.5″ up. Mark this point. Use this as the center to mark a half-circle along the top. supplies for R2D2 mini quilt

Cut the Hotmelt adhesive. You’ll need:
2 – 1″x2″
2 – 3/4″x2″
2 – 1″x1″
1 – 1″x6″
2 – 1″x4.5″
1 – 2″x4″ with 1.5″ boxes cut out of the middle
1 – 2″x3″
1 – 3″x4″ cut into a trapezoid
1 – 2″ circle

Place the HotMelt pieces onto the fabric according to the photo. Fuse in place. Allow to cool, then remove the paper backing.

If you’d like your R2D2 Quilt fully quilted, base the mini, and quilt around all the hotmelt adhesive now, before adding the foil. This will ensure that the foil isn’t scratched by the walking foot later. I skipped this step, because a wall hanging doesn’t need a lot of quilting.

Cut a 2″ circle from the black Decofoil and a 1″ circle from the red DecoFoil. Place on top of the HotMelt. DO NOT FUSE YET. This is my layered foil technique.

Cut a square large enough to cover the 2″ circle out of the Pewter, and put in place. Cut the blue DecoFoil to cover all the other pieces.

cover with foil
Fuse the DecoFoil in place according to the instructions on the package.

Allow the adhesive to cool COMPLETELY before peeling off the DecoFoil, removing early or not fusing completely will result in incomplete coverage.

Baste the batting, backing, and top together with the basting spray, or your preferred method of basting.

Using the chalk marking pencil, draw the additional un-foiled panels on R2D2, using the placement of the foil pieces as your guides.

With your walking foot, stitch around the additional side panels to define them. Tie off the threads, and bury them.

Trim the curve along the top with scissors.

Bind, using two-colored binding if you prefer. Make sure to use bias-cut binding along the curve.

My boys were absolutely thrilled with their mini R2D2 Quilt, and couldn’t wait to hang it in their room! It goes great with the BB8 Pouf that I made for them as well. You can whip up this R2D2 quilt in an afternoon – the Star Wars fan in your life will love you for it!

this R2D2 Quilt really shines - and is super easy to make!

Working with Multiple Colors of DecoFoil

As a member of the Thermoweb Design Team, I’ve been working with the iCraft Decofoils since before they were available to consumers. I’ve had lots of opportunities to play with them, test them, and try out different techniques.

How to work with Multiple Colors of iCraft Decofoil

With many of the different projects I made, I wanted the iCraft Decofoils to be right next to each other. There are lots of projects where you don’t need this, but for projects like the Modern America Foiled quilt, and the R2D2 Mini Quilt I’ll be sharing later this week, two different foils touch one another.

The reason this is a challenge is because when you apply the foil, you melt the adhesive. As the adhesive cools, it bonds with the foil. When you apply a second foil next to the first, the first melts as well, which makes the foil lose its shiny surface. This isn’t the end of the world – the twice-foiled area looks a little more vinrtage-y, but it IS possible to get multiple colors next to one another, and still have a mirror-shiny surface!

I’ll take you through the step-by-step in this video. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments section below.