Quilt Block Masks

Ever since I learned that it was not only going to be socially acceptable to put fabric on my face, it was actually going to be mandatory, I have been wanting to make some quilt block masks. Because if people can’t see my smiling face, then at least they can see some happy quilt blocks! Which isn’t quite the same, but for now we’ll just pretend that it is fine. Because that’s kind of what 2020 is all about … pretending that things are fine. And also wearing quilt blocks on our faces. I’m going to make that a thing.

Making a quilt block mask is pretty easy if you have some small-ish orphan blocks lying around (which I do). I grabbed a 3″ finished star that I made with the Strippy Stars Tool when I was working on the Patriot Ruler of the Month (I have a video on how the tool works if you click over to the Patriot Ruler of the Month quilt). I made the second mask using a pineapple block I had leftover from the Who Wore it Better Ruler of the Month. You can go check that one out as well for details on how to use the pineapple trim tool.

So, grab your orphan block (or make a block using the instructions linked above) and a Fat Quarter of fabric.

You’ll also need a mask pattern. This technique works with lots of different styles of masks, so if you already have a favorite pattern, you can use that one. If you don’t have a favorite mask pattern (those are words I never thought I’d be typing out and yet here we are…), I used the Craft Passion Mask for mine.

Add fabric to all four sides of the block to make sure it is big enough for the pattern. Add more than you think you’ll need. You won’t regret it.

Line up your pattern over the quilt block. You can make some choices – do you want the block more towards the front or the back? Remember you have a seam allowance on all sides.

Cut out the block according to your pattern.

Cut out the other side of the mask, then the lining pieces, and sew up as indicated on the pattern for the mask style that you chose. No other changes need to be made … and now you get to wear a quilt block on your face!!

As long as we’ll be wearing masks … they might as well be cute, right?

Summer Sew Camp!

I am so excited to announce a project I’ve been working on for weeks and weeks… Summer Sew Camp! This is a week-long set of projects designed specifically for teaching kids how to sew.

Summer Sew Camp

First of all – YES! Adults can play along as well (of course!) But I have designed this with kids in mind. Before we get down to things, let me answer a couple of questions I know you’re going to ask:

How much does Summer Sew Camp cost?

It is free. The instruction pages are free. The videos are free. And they will stay free. It is my pleasure to pass on my love of sewing to the next generation.

How old do kids need to be to participate?

That is up to you. With 100% support from an adult, I think a child as young as 6 would have fun “helping” to make these projects. And older kids will be able to make them with little or no help. If children can operate a sewing machine, wield a hot iron, and are comfortable with scissors and pins, then they can make all of these projects.

What about rotary cutters?

No rotary cutters. I made all of these project instructions and videos without using a rotary cutter. Yes, really.

When does it start?

It is all live right now. You can scroll down to watch all the videos in the playlist. Or, if you prefer, you can subscribe below to get daily emails for a week with all the links you need!

I’m sure you have more questions … I answer lots of them in this video:

If you’d like to get started, you can download the introduction and get a detailed supply list by clicking hereyou’ll also find the full instruction packet here.

I also made a quick video just for kids … so if you’d like to show your child this video (it is less than 3 minutes long) to find out if Summer Sew Camp sounds like fun to them, check it out here:

You absolutely don’t have to subscribe to access Summer Sew Camp. You can head to the link above to download the files, and head to my YouTube Channel to watch all the videos.

However, if you’re like me, your email inbox helps you organize your life. If you sign up below, I’ll send you an email with links to the supply list and intro details, and starting on Monday, you’ll get an email each day with the two lessons for that day. When the week is up, you won’t get any more emails from me unless you subscribe to my main mailing list.

 

Summer Sew Camp!

Sign up below to get notified about all things Summer Sew Camp. You will NOT be added to our main email list.

Welcome!

I always recommend buying supplies at a local quilt shop, whenever possible. Local quilt shops have experts right behind the counter who can help you with just about any project. Every place we have lived, finding my LQS (Local Quilt Shop) has been as essential as finding the grocery store and a new dentist! However, if you need a quick link to a couple of the supplies I mention in the video, you can use these affiliate links:

Pins at the Fat Quarter Shop
Fabric Scissors at The Fat Quarter Shop or Fabric Scissors on Amazon
Fabric Marking Pen at The Fat Quarter Shop or Fabric Marking Pen on Amazon
Rectangle Quilting Ruler at The Fat Quarter Shop or Rectangle Quilting Ruler on Amazon
Square Quilting Ruler at The Fat Quarter Shop or Square Quilting Ruler on Amazon
Sticky Back Velcro for Fabrics on Amazon
Sew-in Magnetic Snap on Amazon
Heavy Weight Interfacing on Amazon
Fusible Fleece at The Fat Quarter Shop or Fusible Fleece on Amazon
Polyfil Stuffing on Amazon

If you’d like to watch the whole series, it is all in this playlist. There are 13 videos and it is over 250 minutes that teaches over a dozen projects. I don’t recommend you binge it all in one day!

Or you can head to my YouTube Channel and Subscribe there.

How to Calculate Quilt Sizes

When designing a quilt, one of the most important elements is understanding how to calculate quilt sizes. How a quilt will be used is significantly impacted by its size. A small quilt that is less than 18″ square will likely be a wall hanging or table topper for a small table, whereas a quilt that is 108″ x 108″ is best suited to cover a large bed. 

This means, when calculating quilt sizes, you need to keep two things in mind. You need to know what size your quilt blocks will be, and what the purpose of the quilt will be. The size of the blocks will determine if the size of your designs meets up with the purpose of your new quilt.

To calculate quilt sizes, start with your quilt design. A quilt design is most commonly made up of a grid of quilt blocks. For example, your grid may be 4 blocks wide by 5 blocks tall. There are alternate-grid quilt layouts and on-point quilt layouts, but for now we’ll just focus on a standard grid.

Determine what size your blocks will be in the quilt. Don’t worry about seam allowances, we are just thinking about the “finished size” which is the size that the block will be when the quilt is finished. Common quilt block sizes are whole inches, often a multiple of 2 or 3, but you can choose any size you want. For our example, we’ll choose 12 inch blocks in this example.

Multiply how many blocks across (4) by the size of the blocks (12″), and the math will tell you that your quilt design is 48″ wide. Repeat this process for the height (5 blocks) and you’ll calculate a height of 60″. A 45″ x 60″ quilt is a good throw quilt, but not big enough for a bed quilt. If you’d like your quilt to be big enough for a queen sized bed, you’ll need to either increase the size of your blocks or increase the number of blocks in your quilt design – or a combination of these two. Another option would be to add borders to increase the size of your quilt.

If you’d like a worksheet outlining how to simply calculate the size of your quilt, along with general sizes for making bed-sized quilts, sign up for our newsletter. We’re offering a free printable that takes you step-by-step through calculating quilt sizes. You’ll find the sign-up form below.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Get a free download of our “What size is my Quilt?” Worksheet!

Thank you for subscribing!

Introducing QuiltMath!

I invented QuiltMath – an easy way to calculate yardage requirements for quilts… that doesn’t actually require any math! Use the simple QuiltMath Pages to easily see how much yardage you need to create your quilt designs.

I have been quilting over half my life. And while I do love a good pattern, I also love creating my own designs. Sometimes, pulling out the graph paper and colored pencils is just the best way to get creative. But then having to calculate the yardage requirements is the worst. And when I want to make the project with my stash, having to re-calculate and re-calculate to figure out how to make it work with the fabric I have on hand is enough to make me give up!

That’s why I created QuiltMath. A simple way to figure fabric yardages without using a calculator.

You can watch this quick video that shows you how it works:

Or, if you’re not into watching a video, here are the basics:

First, draw your design. As you create your design, figure out the scale of your quilt – how large will each block be.

Once you have your quilt sketched out, count how many squares and half-square triangles there are of each color.

Using the chart, find the finished size of each block along the top, and the number needed along the left. Using your fingers, follow where that column and row meet up. Here you will find the yardage needed for that color.

Repeat for each color in your quilt, and then you’re ready to buy your fabric!

If you’re working from stash fabrics, and discover that you don’t have enough of one of the fabrics, you can easily re-color some of your units to use another fabric, or you can change the scale of your quilt – making the blocks smaller will use less fabric.

It is important to note that the yardage requirements are exact. This means that if you’re purchasing yardage at a quilt shop, you’ll want to buy at least 1/4 yard extra to make sure that you have enough fabric for squaring up. If you tend to mis-cut, you may want to buy a little more. After all, having too much fabric is never a problem – it is running out of fabric that is the issue!

You can get your QuiltMath sheets at QuiltMath.com, or scroll down!

If you want to get your QuiltMath sheets, you can click the “add to cart” button below:

Custom Fabric Letterboard

Have you ever wanted a letterboard that fit your decor perfectly? One that wasn’t just made from plain felt? Do you have a favorite fabric that would make a perfect letterboard but no idea how to make it happen? Well, here you go! Step-by-step on how to make your a custom fabric letterboard out of your favorite fabric!

I do want to mention that it is the texture of the felt that helps keeps plastic letters in place. Using a quilting cotton like I have here makes them more likely to slip out if the board is hanging up. But it is still perfect for flat-lay photos.

To make your custom fabric letterboard, you’ll need:

1/2 yard of main fabric
1/2 yard of fusible fleece
1/4 yard of border fabric
Cheap or old letterboard
Hot glue and hot glue gun
Rotary cutter and ruler
Marking tool
Plastic cards such as gift cards or hotel key cards

Start by taking apart the old/cheap felt board. Usually they are just glued together, so it is pretty simple to do.

Once you have removed the frame and felt, you’ll have a wooden board with grooves on it. If you have access to a woodshop (or access to someone who has access to a woodshop) they could probably make one of these base boards for you. But, for most of us, just buying a cheap letterboard and taking it apart is easier.

Cut your chosen fabric 1-2″ wider than your board. You want to give yourself a little room. Keep the length of the fabric, don’t trim this down. You can trim it down at the end.

Then back the fabric with fusible fleece.

Then, start tucking the fabric into the grooves. I found this was easiest to do with a plastic card – you could use a gift card or a hotel key card or a store loyalty card. Just something sturdy that will help press the fabric down into the crease.

Keep going, inserting the fabric into each crease. I found that holding the previous crease in place with one card while pushing in the next crease was most successful.

Keep going, inserting the fabric into all the creases.

You may find, if you always start from one side, that the fabric starts to “creep” in that direction. To prevent the creeping, alternate the directions in which you make the creases. Crease one from right to left, and the next from left to right.

When you’re done, trim off the excess around all four sides.

Glue down the edges with hot glue.

Use a fabric marking tool to mark a border around the letterboard. I went with a 1/2″ border, but you can choose what feels right for you.

Measure from this border line all the way to the back, with a 1/2″ overlap. Then double your measurement. This is the width you need to cut for your border strips. Cut a strip this width. Fold the strip in half so that it is just as long, but half as wide (as you would for quilt binding).

Cut a length of this strip as long as the side. Glue this strip to one side of the felt board, with the fabric fold right on the line you drew marking the edge of the border.

Wait for the glue to set, then wrap the strip around to the back. Glue in place. You’ll need to glue down both layers. You can trim the corners on the back to reduce the bulk.

Repeat for the other side. Then repeat for the top and bottom. If you like, you can fold the edges of the top and bottom in to create more finished corners.

That’s it! Your custom fabric letterboard is complete!

Make a custom fabric letterboard in whichever fabrics suit your mood! Once you know how to make it for yourself, it will be hard to make just one!

Double Zipper Pouch

If you’re looking for a fun twist on the basic zipper pouch, this is it! This double zipper pouch really doesn’t take much more time to make than a regular zippered pouch, and it gives you the perfect place to stash extra stuff! The smaller pocket makes a great coin pouch, or place to stash some cash or lipstick. And the larger pouch is big enough to hold a cell phone or notebook. You’ll find so many reasons to make (and gift) this great zippered pouch!

This project is part of the Little Gifts series that Underground Crafter put together. Every other week, she or one of the other participants is sharing a fun project you can stitch up with a few fat quarters of fabric. Each of these projects is small enough to fit in a stocking. So, if you follow along, you’ll have over two dozen stocking stuffers ready by Christmas time!

To make this double zipper pouch, you’ll need:

2-3 Fat quarters of fabric
2 zippers (8″ or longer)
1/4 yard of medium or lightweight interfacing
ribbon (optional)

Cut the fat quarters as follows:
Outer fabric: 2 – 8″ x 6.5″
Lining fabric: 2 – 8″ x 6.5″
Outer pocket: 2 – 8″ x 4.5″
Interfacing: 2 – 8″ x 6.5″, 1 – 8″ x 4.5″

Fuse the interfacing to the back of the two outer fabric pieces, and the back of one of the outer pocket pieces.

Grab your two outer pocket pieces, and the outer pocket zipper. Place the two fabric pieces right sides together. Put the zipper between the two, with the zipper flush with the long edge, and the zipper top facing the fabric that has the interfacing fused to it.

Pin in place.

With the zipper foot on your sewing machine, stitch right up against the raised part of the zipper. Your stitches should be at least 1/16″ away from the raised part of the zipper.

Press both fabrics away from the zipper, so the right side of the fabric is now facing out. Top stitch along the top of the fabric to secure in place, and give your zipper a nice finished look.

These are the basic steps for adding a zipper. We’re going to do these steps two more times, but first we’re going to stitch the zippered pocket we just made to the front of the zippered pouch.

Lay a piece of the outer fabric on your cutting mat, right-side-up. Place the pocket on top. Then move it so that the ends of the zipper line up with one of the lines on the cutting mat (see where I’m indicating with my finger).

Then flip up the pocket so that the bottom of the zipper now lines up with these lines. Pin, and stitch in place.

You’ve now added the front pocket. Pin it down on the edges to keep it secure for now.

Place the second zipper on top, right side down, and then a piece of lining fabric on top, right side down.

Pin. Then stitch using the zipper foot. Just as before, press the fabric away from the zipper, and then top stitch.

Repeat for the other side of the zipper. This time you’ll have the lining fabric right side up, then the zipper (which has one side of the pouch stitched to it already), and then the other outer piece of fabric.

Pin. Stitch using the zipper foot. Press fabric away from zipper. Top stitch.

Your double zipper pouch is nearly complete! Before you move on to stitching it all together, open the second zipper halfway. This is super important and what makes it possible to turn the pouch right side out later. Make sure not to skip this step!

With the zipper in the middle, move the fabrics so that the the two outer fabrics are right-sides-together, and the two lining fabrics are right-sides-together. Pin all the way around.

Starting on the bottom edge of the lining, stitch all the way around. End a couple inches before where you started, leaving a 2-3″ hole along the bottom for turning.

Clip off the extra zipper ends and clip the corners.

Turn right side out through the hole.

Find the hole in the lining.

Stitch closed.

Tuck the lining inside the zippered pouch. Your double-zippered pouch is complete!

If you like, add some ribbon to the zippered pulls.

Check out all the other fun projects in this Little Gifts series!



Pizza Pillow

If you’re looking for some fun and whimsical decor, whip up this fun pizza pillow! It is super fun to make, and super comfortable to lay on!

These steps will give you the basics of how this pizza pillow comes together, but you’ll need some basic sewing skills (or a friend with some basic sewing skills).

You’ll also need a giant circle pillow, fabric for your crust, cheese, and pepperonis, matching thread, some plain white fabric, and fusible web.

Use a water soluble pen to draw a slice on your pillow.

Cut into the pillow. Once you’ve cut the lines on the top, you can remove the stuffing and cut the bottom layer to match.

Use the wedge and remainder of the circle as templates to cut the crust pieces.

Measure the edges of the wedge to determine how large your strips need to be. Cut two from the white and two from the crust. These create the depth on your wedge and circle pieces.

Re-create the casing piece for your wedge. Make it 1/2″ larger than the original wedge. This makes up for the seam allowance that will get used up on both the wedge and the main pie.

You can use a can lid to curve the edges to prevent sharp corners.

Put fusible web on the back of the pepperoni colored fabric. Draw circles, and cut out.

Cut the cheese the same size as the top crust, then measure in and trim off the extra.

Fuse the cheese to the crust.

Fuse on the pepperoni, Make sure to fuse them onto the slice as well.

Overlap the slice (which is a 1/2″ larger to make up for the lost seam allowance, and place the pepperonis accordingly.

Applique stitch on the cheese and pepperoni.

Now add the strips to create the depth for the wedge and main pie.

Finish up the casing as well. Fill the casing. The outer layer you can either stitch up by hand or add a zipper to make it easy to remove and wash.

Cricut Embroidery Hoop

When I first started playing with my Cricut Maker, I was super excited that I could use it to cut fabric. But then I learned that when they added the rotary blade, they also added another tool to the Cricut arsenal – the water-soluble pen! This pen can be used with any of the Cricut machines with a pen adapter (so the Explore and Explore Air certainly qualify), and is perfect for drawing lines to make your own embroidery designs!

I used this Jen Goode Butterfly design that I thought would be perfect, but you can use whatever line-art style art you like.

Use the water soluble marker to have the Cricut machine draw on your fabric.

Then you can stitch on your design.

When you’re done, just rinse of the ink under the sink and let the fabric dry.

Super simple, and super cute!

Quilting made easy with Riley Blake and Cricut – Part 2

I’m excited to share part 2 of my “Quilting Made Easy” series with Riley Blake and Cricut. When Cricut offered to send me a Riley Blake quilt kit of my choice to share with y’all, and show you how easy it is to whip up a quilt when Cricut takes care of the bulk of the cutting, I was excited! I love sharing innovative ways to approach quilting, and these quilt kits are a fantastic way for both beginners and experienced quilters to put together quilts that look beautiful every time!

Last week I showed you how easy it was to pick out a fun fabric kit, and to pick a pattern to go with it. Today I’m opening up the pattern and doing all the cutting.

quilting made easy with Riley Blake and Cricut - part 2 of 3

If you’d rather hang out with me while I go over all the details, I put together a video where I take you step-by-step through the cutting process. You can pause, rewind, and watch at your own pace. I’ve put the video here:

 

If you’d like to read through the steps, I have you covered as well.

First, let’s talk tools. Cricut has some great kits that are perfect for doing all the pre-cutting needed. They have a rotary blade, ruler, and mat set that is exactly right for cutting those large 12″ wide strips needed for the Cricut mat. Be sure to check out the Cricut cutting tools – they are the experts when it comes to sharp blades that cut well!

Cricut tools for quilting

Start by removing the fabric from the zippered bag it came in (by the way, this zippered bag becomes an awesome shoe bag for traveling!), and pull out the paper it came with as well.

planning the quilt

I also printed a screen shot of the cutting instructions, since those are not available as a PDF. I put all the fabrics in order – fabric 1 through 11. I removed fabric 11, which was the 3/4 yard piece of fabric. Beware, it is the exact same as fabric 4, which is a 2/3 piece. Make sure you’re setting aside the 3/4 yard piece which will be used for the binding later.

From fabric 1, cut two 12″ wide strips.

rotary cutting fabric

Cut fabric 4 into two 1/3 yard pieces (1/3 yard is 12″, so you’ll be cutting it in half to make two 12″ strips).

Then from your inner border fabric (fabric 3) cut 5 strips, each 2″ wide.

cut inner border

From the outer border fabric, cut 5 strips, each 5.5″ wide.

cut outer border

 

I know what you’re thinking – this is supposed to be all about how great the Cricut machine is for cutting fabric, and we haven’t even pulled out the Cricut machine yet! Yes, that is true. The Cricut Maker is great for cutting fabric. But for some projects, a little pre-cutting is needed. There are 11 fabrics in this kit. We have pre-cut 4 of them, and put a fifth aside. Now we are ready to pull out the Cricut Maker to do the rest of the cutting for us!

Start by placing the fabric on the mat. Float the fabric over the pink mat until it is lined up on the edges, and the top edge is above the top cutting line, but below the top edge of the mat. Then press it down. You can use the brayer to secure it if you like.

place fabric on mat

Now you are ready to get cutting! For most cuts, you can use a single strip of fabric for 2 mats. The first mat is a 12×24″ mat. Place the fabric on the mat. Then trim off the extra fabric from the bottom. Put this on a 12×12″ mat (or on a 12×24″ mat – you can always use a larger mat) for the second mat of that fabric.

If you didn’t print out the screen shot of the cutting instructions, I’ve got you covered! Here you go:

Fabric 1 – Mats 1 and 2
Fabric 2 – Outer border – was cut into 5.5″ strips in an earlier step.
Fabric 3 – Inner border – was cut into 2″ strips in an earlier step.
Fabric 9 – Mats 3 and 4
Fabric 6 – Mats 5 and 6
Fabric 5 – Mats 7 and 8
Fabric 4 – Mats 9 and 10
Fabric 8 – Mats 11 and 12
Fabric 7 – Mats 13 and 14
Fabric 10 – Mats 15 and 16
Fabric 11 – Set aside for binding

You probably noticed that all those fabrics are NOT in number order. This is because we want to make sure that our light and dark fabrics are balanced in the quilt. Each quilt has those lights and darks set up in a different order, so the cutting order for the fabrics can change.

Once you have your first mat ready to go, you can start cutting the rest of your fabrics! It is lovely to cut it with the Maker, because once you have the mats and fabric in order, you can let your mind wander. When cutting with a traditional rotary cutter and ruler, I have to be vigilant and remember to “measure twice, cut once” or risk a mis-cut! A miscut can mean a waste of fabric – possibly running out of fabric if the miscut is bad enough! I didn’t have that issue with the maker. I kept feeding in the mats in order, and could even hold a conversation with my 6 year old while getting all the mats cut – and I never had a miscut!

cutting fabric with maker

I’ll be back in TWO weeks with the third installment of this quilting journey. Next week I’ll be off at the Cricut Mountain Make-a-thon teaching a class on “How to Design a Quilt Block like a Pro” as well as learning from some of the other fabulous ladies (and gentleman) who are teaching at the event!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.


 

No Sew Mini Quilt with Cricut Patterned Iron-On

If you’ve been following along with the Cricut Maker Block of the Week, you know that you need a Cricut Maker to cut the fabric for the quilt. One of the top questions that I get about the quilt is – can it be made using the Cricut Explore series of machines? Unfortunately… no. Only the Cricut Maker cuts non-bonded fabric. All of that changed when Cricut offered to send me some of their new Patterned Iron-On! I couldn’t wait to use it to show you how you can make a “cheater” version of this quilt. Even better… it is a no-sew project to put together the quilt top!

I’ve put together a step-by-step video to show you how easy it is to “quilt” without sewing a single stitch! Check out the video below!

No Sew Mini Quilt

This post contains affiliate links which help support this site at no extra cost to you.

12″x24″ Cricut Cutting Mat (blue or green)
EasyPress
Cricut EasyPress Mat
Device with Design Space
Water Soluble Pen
Scissors
Weeding Tool
Fabric (cut at least 20″x20″)
Cricut Patterned Iron-On
2 Rolls of colored Iron-On (12″x19″)  or 1 roll of SportFlex (11.8″x24″)
Your Cricut Machine (Maker or Explore series)

supplies for No Sew Mini Quilt using Cricut Patterned Iron-On

You’ll need the Cricut Design Space file I created with all 9 quilt blocks. Cut every color with a different pattern or color of Iron-On, except the purple. You don’t need to cut the purple at all, as you see in the video.

 The Patterned Iron-On is so fun to use – it is like fusing on fabric designs! There are 9 different sampler packs, each with 3 different designs – that’s over 25 patterns to choose from! You can use a single pack, mix and match packs, or mix in solid colors like I did here!

Remember, when you cut any Iron-On material, always cut it with the “pretty” side facing down, and click the toggle in Design Space that tells your Cricut Machine to reverse the design.

cut your patterned iron-on

As you weed the layers, match them up. This will help you keep track of the pieces, and make sure that you get each weeded properly.

layer the blocks as you weed

Make sure to peel off the transfer sheet before adding the next layer. Don’t remove a transfer sheet until you need to – you want to keep them on to protect the Iron-On while you’re still using heat! Without the transfer sheet, the Iron-on can melt under the heat of the EasyPress.

add layers removing transfer sheet

When you’re all done, you’ll be amazed at how much it looks like a real quilt – yet you didn’t sew a single stitch!

finished quilt top

You can use your faux quilt to make a pillow cover, you can quilt it to make a quilt, you can use it as the side of a large tote bag… there are so many ways you can use this faux quilting technique!

 

If you want to make the shirt I wear in this video, go check out the details for the Shoo Fly Quilt Block Tee!

Simple DIY Quilt Block Tee

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.