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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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!

 

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!

 

 

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!

BB8 Pouf

Is your family Star Wars Crazy? With a house full of boys, you can bet mine is! My 3 and 7 year old boys love Star Wars. And the adorable Droids in it. R2D2, Chopper, and BB8 are their favorite! So, when Fairfield offered to send me a foam Pouf to design with, I knew what I would make with it! It HAD to become a BB8 Pouf!!

DIY BB8 Pouf

Adorable, right? And really simple to make – I whipped this out in an evening – from sewing the cover to painting it. When my kiddos woke up in the morning, this BB8 was waiting for them!

You’ll need:
Fairfield 6″ tall foam Pouf (leave the plastic packaging on)
Pencil
Fabric – I used 1.5 yards of Robert Kaufman Outback Canvas
24″ white zipper
DecoArt Multisurface paint in Dolphin and Orange Sherbet
Paintbrush
Sewing Machine and thread

If you read that supply list and the word “zipper” scared you, don’t be afraid! Zippers are not hard, and I’m going to show you a very basic way to insert the zipper that doesn’t take crazy sewing skills. Also, you’ll be glad you have the zipper because white fabric in a boys’ room is going to need to be washed fairly often!

Start by cutting your fabric. Trace the pouf onto a double layer of the fabric with a pencil.

Then cut two strips of fabric – one 4″ and one 6.5″, both the entire Width of the Fabric.

cut strips

Cut the 4″ strip in half. Lay one on top of the zipper, and with your zipper foot on, stitch all the way down the zipper. If the zipper pull gets in the way, stop with your needle down, move the zipper pull, then keep stitching.

stitch on zipper

Flip the fabric over to expose the zipper, then top-stitch down to secure.

top stitch zipper

Repeat with the other side, then trim the fabric to the length of the usable portion of the zipper, plus 1/4″ on each side for seam allowance.

Trim the width to 6.5″

trim up

Stitch the two strips together on the short ends, to make one long strip.

attach side to zipper

Pin the side to one of the circles, then stitch on using a 1/4″ seam allowance.

attach sides to bottom

Stop stitching about 2″ from the end. Match up the two ends, trim, and stitch closed.

stitch closed side

Lay the top circle on the bottom, and draw registration points to line up.

draw points for matching

Use these registration points as guides to pin the circle to the edge of the side. This will prevent puckers.

pin top to sides

OPEN THE ZIPPER. Don’t forget to do this!! You’ll want to open the zipper partway before you continue, so you can turn it right side out in the next step. Then, stitch all the way around the circle.

Turn the cover right-side-out, and insert the Pouf with the plastic packaging still on.

insert foam pouf

Using a dinner plate, draw circles onto your pouf lightly, with a pencil.

draw circles

Paint them in. I looked up images of BB8, then free-handed the design based on what I saw, but you can use a ruler and pencil to sketch in your designs before painting.

paint circles

Allow the paint to dry. After it is completely dry, you can pull out the pouf, remove the plastic, and re-insert it. You’ll see that the plastic protected the foam from any paint that seeped through the fabric.

colors of paint

Your kids (of any age) will be so excited!

stitched-pouf-cover-painted

finished-pouf

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

Pin Cushion Dish

I grew up reading the Little House on the Prairie books. I’m so excited that Andover has come out with a line of fabric celebrating this fun series of books. They sent me some of their fabric to play with, so I made this fun Pin Cushion Dish. The dish is nice and deep so that not only can you hold pins and needles in the pin cushion, but the dish will also keep scissors, thimbles, and more corralled.

make this simple English Paper Pieced pincushion dish to hold your sewing notions

You’ll need:
Ramekin (these were 2 for $3 at Target)
LHOTP Fabric (at least 4 designs)
1.5″ Dritz English Paper Piecing Shapes
Fabric glue stick
Needle & Thread
Sewing Machine
Crushed Walnut Shells
Polyfil

supplies for pin cushion

Cut your fabrics with a 3/8″ seam allowance.

cut fabric

Baste the fabric onto the hexagons. I like to glue baste.

glue baste edges

Stitch the hexagons together.

stitch hexagons together

You’ll want to make a flower shape with 7 hexagons.

finished flower

Press well, front and back.

press-back

press-the-hexies

Remove the papers.

peel out papers

Press again, so seams are flat. Place onto a background fabric, and topstitch the two layers together. This is like quilting, but with no batting between the layers.

place-on-backing-fabricstitch-to-quilt

Draw a circle, and trim.

draw-circle

cut-into-circle

Trace the ramekin on spare fabric, and cut.

trace-ramekin

Pin the two together. ease the excess seam evenly all around.

pin-in-sections

pinned-pieces

Stitch down, using a 1/4″ seam allowance.

cut-hole-in-bottom

Fill with crushed walnut shells. Then add a little bit of Polyfil to vover the hole.This helps to have less walnut shells fall out.

stuff-with-polyfil

Stitch the hole closed, then tuck into the ramekin.

LHOTP-pin-cushion

Your pin cushion is complete!

finished-pin-cushion-dish

Stardust Quilt (Free Pattern)

This stardust quilt was made using Fat Quarters of Art Gallery Fabrics’ line “Playing Pop”, which can be found in stores now. I used the lighter prints as low(er) volume background prints, and the darker prints in to make the stars.

Free Quilt Pattern - "Stardust"Stardust Quilt: finishes 48″x48″

It makes for a fun, scrappy background quilt that looks a little more fun and planned!

For this quilt, you’ll need:

4 FQs dark or med/dark prints (stars)
5-7 FQs med/light prints
8-10 FQs light prints
Backing, Batting & Binding

Cut:
From *each* of the dark or med/dark prints:
8 – 4 7/8″ squares (cut in half diagonally)
1 – 4 1/2″ square

From the med/light prints (total from all):
45 – 4 7/8″ squares (cut in half diagonally)
14 – 4 1/2″ squares

From the light prints:
18 – 6 3/16″ squares
36 – 2.5″ x 8.5″ rectangles
36 – 2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangles

You can lay out the fabrics to make your design:

stardust quilt layout

There are 2 alternating blocks that make up the design. A diamond-in-a-square and a square-in-a-square. Stitch these units together, then stitch them all together to make the quilt.

If you want your quilt to look very intentionally scrappy, you can make the four square-in-square blocks using the dark fabrics for the center, then the 14 diamond-in-a-square blocks using 2 of the dark triangles on each, then make the remaining blocks using the remaining fabrics, and then stitch it together. Depending on what kind of quilter you are (and how much design wall space you have available), you can make this quilt using whichever method you like!

unquilted stardust quilt

Quilt as desired.

stardust quilt front

I pieced my back from the scraps and leftover Fat Quarters in the bundle. You can also see my quilting here. I used my walking foot to stitch-in-the-ditch around the stars, then did dense swirls in the space around them.

back of stardust quilt

Such a fun quilt to whip together!

photo of Stardust quilt