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!

Save

Save

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

Save

Save

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!

 

 

 

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.

Save

That one time I became an Award Winning Quilter

One of the most interesting and frustrating things I learned when working at a quilt shop is that quilters collect fears from other quilters. One quilter will look at a pattern and exclaim that it is “too hard” because of the inset seams or curves, and the other quilters within earshot will nod… and those originally contemplating the pattern will shy away.

I was determined that I wouldn’t take on the fears of other quilters – but then I did. Shortly after starting at the quilt shop, I attended the local quilt show there in Las Vegas. I asked a friend if she had any quilts hanging. She told me “Oh no! If you have more than one stitch in the corner of your binding, they mark you down!”

Wow. That sounded scary. So I didn’t enter my quilts. I took on a fear of quilt shows.

Ellipsis Quilt(If you’re interested, you can buy the Ellipsis Quilt here.)

After moving to San Diego, I decided to enter the quilt show here. For a small extra fee, I could get feedback on the quilt entered. I wasn’t looking for a ribbon – I was looking for honesty. As a quilter, I think my work is pretty good. But I’m not the best – and I can always use some constructive feedback from an expert. So I chose two quilts to enter. Including an unfinished quilt I (coincidentally) started about the same time I collected my fear of entering quilt shows. I would get these quilts finished, and I’d learn how to get better at my craft. That was winning.

The first night of the show, I went to see all the quilts. I was thrilled to see some beginner quilts hanging – they didn’t take on a fear of quilt shows! Good for them! I wanted to see which quilts had ribbons so I could see what I should aspire to – but none did. Yet.

After chatting with a few friends, the organizers started announcing the awards. When they came to the modern category, they announced my name as the second place winner. WHAT!? I wanted to shriek! But I knew almost none of the ladies there, so I stayed silent as I did a happy dance on the inside. I WON! What had I been afraid of this whole time? How many potentially award-winning quilts have I made, and not entered? Maybe none… but I will never know. Because I accepted my friend’s quilting fear as my own.

I’m so glad that I overcame my fear, and entered the quilt. I only wish I’d done so sooner!

Later that week, I picked up my quilt, my red ribbon, and a check. I also was given an envelope with feedback from the judge. Which told me I need to work on my binding. Maybe my friend was right about quilt shows – but that didn’t mean they were something to be afraid of.

Ellipsis close-up

If you’d like to make this quilt (it is SUPER simple to make, and uses 2.5″ mini charms and a jelly roll), you can buy the pattern in my pattern shop.

Polka Dot Double Cuddle Quilt

I was sent some of Shannon’s awesome cuddle fabrics to stitch up something snuggly. Included in the fabrics were cuddle cakes – 10″ squares of assorted colored fabrics – all deliciously furry! I used some of the cuddle cake pieces in making the Fairfield Block of the Month, but that left me with some unused squares. These were easily whipped up into this Polka Dot Double Cuddle Quilt!

Polka Dot Double Cuddle Quilt

It is double cuddle – both the front and the back are made with snuggly Shannon Cuddle fabric. Perfect baby quilt, or snuggle quilt for a child!

To make the quilt, you’ll need:
6-10 Cuddle Cake squares
Paper-backed Fusible Applique
Round objects – bowls, cups, lids, etc.
1 yard solid color cuddle
1 yard printed cuddle
Crib-sized batting of your choice
1/4 yard cotton fabric (for binding)

supplies for cuddle quilt

Start by fusing the paper-backed fusible onto the back of the cuddle cake squares. Trace circles onto the back in various sizes and cut out.

Fuse the circles onto the front of the solid cuddle. Don’t leave the iron in one place for more than 2 seconds to avoid damaging the cuddle fabric.

Don’t applique them down yet!

Baste the layers of the quilt – the top, batting and bottom. Use whatever basting method you prefer – I like spray basting.

Using your walking foot, stitch around the edges of the circles – this secures the appliques and quilts the quilt all at the same time!

You can add additional quilting if you like, or if your quilting is too far apart.

Trim and square up, and use the woven cotton fabric to bind the quilt.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Christmas Tree Half-Square Triangle Quilt

I was sent a fat quarter bundle of Robert Kaufman’s Holiday Flourish fabric for a fun challenge with the other Fairfield designers. When it came in the mail, I was excited, and full of ideas. But then deadlines came, and the bundle was pushed aside, and so were the ideas.

But, projects have a magical way of becoming important again when their deadline is due… and that’s what happened with this project! I went to Quiltmarket, and when I came back, I had to get started making something with these fat quarters. I picked up a fun half-square triangle ruler at market, and was excited to use it… so I thought I’d make a fun wall hanging that looked fun and scrappy with half-square triangles.

half square triangle christmas tree quilt

finished size: 30.5 x 30.5″

 

This bundle was perfect for making the wall hanging! And at 2.5′ square, this wall hanging is the perfect size for anywhere in the house.

 

To make the wall hanging, you’ll need:
4 black fat quarters
7 gold fat quarters
1 yard backing fabric
1/4 yard for binding

From the Fat quarters, make your half-square triangles. They’re all 2″ finished triangles. Use whatever method you like to make them. I used a ruler that makes 24 at a time – you can use triangle paper, or the old method of cutting squares, drawing a line diagonally down the center, then stitching on each side. If you do this method, your cut squares will be 2 7/8″ to make the 2″ finished HSTs.

For the quarter square triangle, cut 3 4″ squares – two gold ones and one black one.
67 black-on-black HSTs
22 black-on-gold HSTs
135 gold-on-gold HSTs
1 quarter-square triangle

quilt supplies

Once you have all the HSTs made, it is time to stitch them together to make the tree shape. You can lay them out on a design wall, or the floor, and stitch them one set at a time to make your rows. Or, you can cheat like I did!

Fairfield has a new line of interfacings that will be available in stores starting January. I pulled out the lightweight fusible interfacing, and drew a 2.5″ grid on the back. Then I fused the squares onto the grid to keep them in place. Once all the squares are fused in place, I was able to stitch down a whole row at once!

stitch down rows

Once the top was pieced, I quilted the top using Fairfield Superior 80/20 Blend batting. I used a walking foot for some simple straight-line quilting. The fabric was already so busy, I decided it didn’t need busy free-motion quilting.

Then I bound it, and the quilt was done!

christmas tree quilt from half square triangles

Umbrella Applique Wall Hanging

I was working on a freelance project, and needed some applique samples. I don’t keep a lot of samples hanging around, so I whipped up a couple fun applique projects – including this umbrella applique wall hanging. If you have the umbrella applique die for the Accuquilt GO!, this is a super simple project to make.

Umbrella applique wall hangning

 

Grab some fabric and the die. I used scrap fabrics I had on hand – these are all Art Gallery Fabrics.

supplies for applique wall hanging

 

Add fusible web to the back of the applique fabrics, then cut on the Accuquilt GO!. Iron on to your center block.

iron down applique umbrella

I ironed it on first, then cut it down. That made it easier for me to center. This is 10″ wide by 11″ tall. But you can go with whatever size works for you.

center block

Cut fabric for the borders and binding.

strips for borders and binding

Stitch on borders.

sew on borders

Before stitching down the applique, I put fusible fleece on the back, and then spray basted on backing fabric. I then used a buttonhole stitch around the applique. This appliqued down the umbrella and quilted the quilt at the same time.

applique down umbrella

Once it was quilted, I trimmed it down. Before finishing the binding, I tucked a triangle into each top corner. Just a square folded on the diagonal, and stitched to the top corners. These can be used in place of a hanging sleeve – just tuck in a dowel, and hang up the quilt!

hanging corners on wall hanging

 

Fast and simple – and fun to make!

wall hanging umbrella

 

Quilt as you Go Basics

Have you tried Quilt as You go yet? I have to admit that it is one of my favorite time-saving techniques. Quilt-as-you-go allows you to piece your quilt and quilt it at the same time!

Quilt as you go basics

I’m using Fairfield’s awesome Fusi-boo Bamboo batting for today’s quilt as you go demonstration – though you could use other batting, this batting is uniquely suited to the quilt as you go technique. Check out all the details in the video!