78 Degrees and… Quilt

Living in San Diego, you’d think it was always 78 degrees and sunny. Unfortunately, it isn’t… but this quilt makes it feel like it is! So I named it “78 Degrees and…” Not to be mixed up with “98 degrees and…” because that is way too hot! 78 is perfect for a beach day… or a hammock day!

78 Degrees and... Quilt Modern Improv Dresden

I made this quilt using the new Dimensional Dresden ruler that Nancy’s Notions sent to me to play with. I’ve played with other Dresden techniques before, like in my Roots and Wings quilt and Watermelon Coasters. I also made a Dresden Plate in Block 7 of the Technique Block of the Month.

Dimensional Kaleidoscope Dresden Template

The Dimensional Dresden ruler does much more than the average Dresden Plate template. First, it is HUGE! It can make a petal 10″ – which means you can make a Dresden Plate that is over 20″ across! You can use it to make curved ends, pointed ends, and flat ends. Also, it comes with a detailed instruction book. Not only telling you how to make a traditional Dresden Plate – but how to kick it up a notch. Making layered Dresdens. There are so many examples of how to layer the pieces by inserting them into the seams in different ways. The possibilities are completely limitless! Plus, it is on sale right now! Any ruler less than $20 is usually a good deal – but less than $10 is a steal (and since it is on sale, you can avoid the bad karma from actually stealing).

If you want to make a quilt similar to “78 degrees and…”, you’ll need:
Lots of assorted yellow fabrics (about 6 yards)
Nancy Zieman Dimensional Dresden template Regularly $17.99 – now $9.99 through July 31st!
6 1/2″ square ruler
Rotary Cutter and mat
Scissors
Seam Ripper
Blue wash-away marker or chalk pencil
Sewing machine and matching thread

I was feeling like I needed a little sunshine, so I grabbed my entire stash of yellows, pulling out anything that felt too orange or too brown. Leaving just the pieces that could read as solid from a distance. I might have given myself permission to head to my local quilt shop to add a couple yellows. Just to round it out.

fabric selections

Spoiler Alert: I used it all. Or, pretty close to all. I have a healthy bag of yellow scraps… and an excuse to shop for more buttery and sunshiney yellows. I might have a thing for all yellow quilts.

Using the ruler, I cut lots of wedges. First, I cut a strip the height of the wedges I wanted, then cut the strip up into pieces using the wedge ruler. No waste at all!

cut wedges

Lots and lots of wedges.

lots of wedges

I cut different sizes. More than half were 8″ or 9 1/2″. These would be my big background pieces. I also cut lots and lots of small 4″ pieces, and a variety of pieces in between.

All the smaller pieces, and some of the larger pieces, were stitched along the top to make dresden points.

stitched dresdens

And then pressed.

press all the pieces

There is a handy template that comes with the ruler for centering the seam on the back. So smart!

pressing points

Once I had all these points created, I used the instruction booklet to stitch together partial dresden plate blocks.

Pressing was sometimes tricky with all the bulk in the seams. I found that inserting a wooden point turner into the front of a tucked-in dresden helped. I could press the back seam open without pressing creases into the tucked in dresden. A round wooden chopstick would work well, too.

press open with stick

Three 8″ wedges going the same direction, and then a fourth going the opposite direction was enough to trim to 6 1/2″ square. For the blocks where I wanted the seams more diagonal, I used 9 1/2″ wedges.

big enough

I just used my 6 1/2″ square ruler to trim them up.

trim up the block

I kept the scraps to stitch to the sides of other blocks that needed a little more width to make it to 6 1/2″ x 6 1/2″

On some, the inserted dresden extended beyond the edge of the 6 1/2″ block. I didn’t want to cut off the points – I wanted to keep the dimension!

I cut the sides that didn’t have the point. On the last side, I marked using a blue water-erase marker.

I carefully cut both sides with scissors, all the way up to the seam allowance. I ripped the seam on the part that needed to be removed, and removed it.

Then I pulled back the point, and cut into the dresden at an angle, towards the crease. I got to almost 1/8″ of the crease.

This allowed me to pull the point up and away from the side of the block, leaving plenty of room for the seam allowance. And all these raw edges will be protected when the point is appliqued down.

I repeated this process, making 47 blocks. The 48th block was special.

For this last block, I made a full Dresden with lots of points sticking out. Some sticking very far out!

Of course they wouldn’t fit within my 6 1/2″ square. I traced around the square.

I carefully trimmed each side like I had with the regular blocks – but this time I needed to trim all four sides.

Carefully moving all the points out of the way for cutting.

Or cutting right up to that seam allowance like before.

Cutting on all sides.

Once I cut in, I was able to pin the points out of the way.

pin out of the way

Then it was time to lay out the blocks.

lay out blocks

I made sure to have more points to insert in the seams.

pressed under

Some I stitched together.

stitch together

All of them I pressed 1/4″ in on each side to tuck in the raw edges.

press seams

I pinned themĀ  so that the raw edges of the bottom extended beyond the edge of the blocks.

pin in place

And pinned them all over the quilt.

pin all rays in place

Then I stitched the blocks into rows… and the rows into a quilt!

finished quilt top

Then it was time for quilting. I used a walking foot to make rays out from the center. Then quilted the rays.

Swirls and pebbles, mostly.

Swirls mixed in with wavy lines.

I might’ve snuck in one feather.

Technically, she isn’t done yet. I want to hand-applique down all the points so they still have lots of dimension, but all the raw edges are tucked away and protected. And it isn’t bound yet. I’m undecided on if she will get a traditional binding, or if I’ll add a facing instead.

What do you think? Binding or facing?

Oh – and be sure to grab that Dimensional Dresden while it is still on sale! I have a couple more fun projects planned that you might be tempted to make!

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8 Simple Free-Motion Quilting designs – using ONE basic motion

Last year, I created this video showing 8 simple Free-Motion Quilting designs that you can make using one basic motion. If you learned cursive writing as a child, chances are your teacher started you off writing cursive ls or cursive es. Using this same looping motion, you can create 8 simple quilting designs that can be used as quilting fills and border designs.

You might not be able to have this video handy at all times, so I’m sharing a handout that goes with this video. I created this handout for a basic free-motion quilting class that I taught at my local quilt shop. You can download the PDF of this quilting printable here.

8 simple quilting designs from one basic motion

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How to Prepare your Quilt for Quilting

After you’ve pieced your quilt top, it is time to quilt it! But how do you prepare your quilt for quilting? I’ve teamed up with Fave Quilts to make this video showing you how it is done!

If you are sending your quilt to a long-arm quilter, you’ll want to make sure you have your quilt top and quilt back ready to go, so your longarmer can get your quilt done and back to you for binding. If you’re quilting it yourself, you’ll need to baste it. Spray basting is fast, easy, and my favorite way to baste a quilt. I’ll show you how to baste together your layers so that they don’t shift while quilting.

I use Thermoweb SpraynBond Basting Adhesive to baste my quilts. You can find it at JoAnns, many local quilt shops, and online.

Check out all the details on how to prepare your quilt in this post on the Fave Quilts site. And be sure to check out the Fave Crafts YouTube Channel for more fun quilting videos!

How to Prepare your Quilt for Quilting

 

How to make a T-shirt quilt from start to finish

It has been a couple years since I filmed my how to make a t-shirt quilt series.

Time for an updated video! I got together with my friends at Prime Publishing to show you how to make a T-shirt quilt from start to finish.

 

To make your quilt, you’ll need a few supplies:

T-shirts
Press Cloth (an old dishtowel will do)
Lightweight Fusible Interfacing
Border Fabric
Rotary Cutter, Mat & Ruler
Iron and Ironing Board
Sewing Machine.

In the video I take you through all the steps of making your t-shirt quilt. Learn the best way to cut your shirts so that your whole design fits on your blocks, and tips for how to center your design. What do you do when you have different sized shirts to incorporate into your t-shirt quilt? Add borders, of course! I show you what bordered blocks look like.

Stitching together stretchy shirts can result in puckers and blocks that don’t line up correctly. Adding a light-weight interfacing to your quilt blocks (I love and use Thermoweb brand interfacings) keeps them from stretching while cutting, sewing, and quilting your quilt.

Quilting your quilt is easy using a walking foot, or you can send your t-shirt quilt to a professional long-arm quilter to quilt it for you.

To finish your quilt, add binding and a label!

 

 

 

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!

 

 

Glory: Scrappy Flag Quilt Pattern

Happy 4th of July! A couple weeks ago, I had an idea for a Scrappy Flag Quilt. I went to my fabric stash and pulled assorted reds, then pulled out my Tumbler English Paper Piecing shapes. I had plenty of both, and a long car trip perfect for some hand-stitching time, so I got to work!

This quilt is part hand work (the red stripes are hand-stitched using English Paper Piecing), and part machine-stitched (the background is stitched together by machine, and the EPP is machine appliqued and machine quilted). All the beauty of handwork, without being crazy time consuming!

You can buy the pattern on Craftsy here.

Glory: Scrappy Flag Quilt Pattern. Uses English Paper Piecing and traditional piecing techniques.

Tumblers aren’t the most popular shape for English Paper Piecing, Hexagons are the most popular, followed by Diamonds. Both of these shapes have angles that can be tricky to piece, making paper piecing a great choice. Tumblers can be fairly easily machine pieced – but they are so satisfying for hand sewing! The edges line up nicely, and you can get this great zig-zag effect from alternating the directions of the tumblers.

Scrappy flag quilt - simple to make, easy to follow pattern with EPP instructions

The quilt makes a great wall hanging for any room. You can use it as a table topper. You can hang it outdoors for a picnic – or use it on a picnic table or picnic display table.

fun and scrappy flag quilt pattern

I had lots of fun quilting this one… I think my favorite part is the quilted stars in the 13 white tumblers!

close up of Glory scrappy flag quilt

Buy the Digital Download pattern here.

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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!

DecoFoil Projects

I’m on the Thermoweb design team, which means I get paid to work with the fun products that Thermoweb carries, and create all kinds of stuff… and hopefully inspire some of you with my creations! I’ve been working on quite a few things, and though I’ve shared some of them on Instagram, I don’t think I’ve shared many here… so I thought I’d share some of them…

 

The coloring book craze is alive and well! This quilt was made with Coloring Book fabric that I used Decofoil liquid adhesive, and foils on. I quilted with black thread on the lines in the foiled squares, and did free-motion quilting in the white space with white thread. Quilting this one was a LOT of work, but had a fun effect!

tow-coloring-book-quilt

This quilt was made for QuiltMarket, and was the showpiece in the Thermoweb booth at fall market. It is about 4’x5′, and was a labor of love. So much time went into this (and more than a few tears). It was a technique that nobody had tried before, so I jumped in with two feet (is there any other way to jump in?), and did my best. I’m really, really proud of the finished result! The pattern is based on “Modern America” by Indygo Junction, and you can make it using traditional applique if you don’t want to do foil.

tow-foil-USA

If you love the foil look, and want a fun project, but these big quilts intimidate you… check out these foiled birthday seals. I have a printable and all the instructions over on my 30 Minute Crafts site.

finished seals

Quilt Coloring Pages

I’m heading off to QuiltCon in Pasadena next weekend. If you can’t go, or are inspired by quilts but aren’t ready to take the plunge into actual quilting, I’ve got a treat for you! I made these fun Quilt coloring pages!

FREE Quilt ColoringPages

I’ve made lots of different designs for you to play with… but the best part is that you get to completely customize them yourself. You could print the same sheet dozens of times… and get dozens of different looking quilts by using different colors, or repeating the colors in different areas. It is such a fun way to play with color and intensity!

colored quilt from quilt coloring book pages

You can even change the colors as you go along… it is completely up to you… you can make a very pattern-focused design, or go completely scrappy!

coloring quilts on FREE quilt coloring pages

Crayons, markers, colored pencils, or all of the above – pick your poison as you dive down the rabbit hole of coloring quilts!

Bling
Braided Diamonds
Diamond Star
Diamond Weave
Diamonds and Crosses
Double Double
Millions of Melons
Plaid Braid
Starry Diamonds
Stars Out
Traditional Stars
Woven Diamonds

free downloads of quilt coloring pages

That one time I got to Mingle with Midge and Madge!

I spent the weekend with friends, both new and seasoned, up in Denver, Colorado at the Create – Make – Celebrate Retreat hosted by the fabulous and talented Laura Kelly Walters. I got to learn some new crafting techniques, brush up on some that I’ve played with in the past, and even teach one of my favorites… English Paper Piecing!

The wonderful folks at Prym-Dritz sent kits for me to share so that I could teach the class. I was so excited to be able to share my passion with all these awesome creative gals!

Learning to English Paper Piece

Some of the gals tried it, and it wasn’t for them. But others… others really took to it! I saw ladies doing EPP in our group pow-wows throughout the weekend, and it warmed my EPP-loving heart!

epp-in-the-laura-kelly-stud

epp-at-retreat

playing-with-hexies

Two of the amazing ladies at the retreat – Midge and Madge – have a crafty YouTube series, and invited me to be a guest (WHAT!?). I had a blast chatting with them… please watch the video below!

In case you’re wondering, the quilt shown in the video is “25 Hexies” and the pattern is available for purchase on Craftsy.

25 hexies image small
And I did take a quick photo of Madge’s flappy EPP before she fixed it. This is too cute!
the-epp-faux-pas