Dream Sewing Room

When my friend Cheryl asked if I wanted to be part of her sewing room blog tour, of course I said yes. In part because I really don’t know how to say no to anything… and in part because I really needed a deadline. My sewing and crafting room has been in serious need of a facelift for months, and having a deadline would give me the motivation I needed to get it all put together. Read on to for the story of my new space, and be sure to check out the links at the very end of other fabulous sewing spaces!

Dream Sewing Room! Isn't this the dreamiest little sewing corner? Found over at www.AlwaysExpectMoore.com

For months I have been dreaming of my new sewing and crafting room. About four months ago, we had a flood in our kitchen. The drainpipe in the wall behind the sink in our 1957 Bungalow was made of cast iron, and had cracked. Water leaked into the walls, and soaked the floors. All the cabinets and flooring were going to need to be ripped up. Which was made more complicated because there was asbestos found under the living room carpet, and in the walls. And the glazing of the tiles was found to have lead in it.

The process ended up being fairly involved. My sewing room looked very much like it did the last time I did a sewing room tour in 2016. I had to pack up the closet, which meant my sewing room looked like this:

things pulled from closet

Then, I had to move everything away from the other interior wall so that the bathroom that shares that wall could be re-piped. So my sewing room looked like this:

things shoved in the corner

Before putting everything back, I re-painted the walls. They were a yellow-beige, and are now a soft blue-grey. And, I decided not to put everything back where it had been. My needs have changed since I first set up the room 3 years ago. I do a lot more typing at my desk, so need some real desk space. And I need dedicated work space for crafting. And I needed video set-up, preferably set-up that would work for crafting, and set-up that would work for sewing. I had two months to plan and dream up how my crafting space would look when I could finally move back in.

First, a dedicated sewing space. The machine could stay set up at all times. The ironing board is right behind the machine for easy access. And all my threads are close at hand on the wall. Plus, the backdrop of thread and mini quilts is great for filming video.

sewing corner

Second, a dedicated crafting space. Right up against the window for great natural light in the afternoons. A bright, white desktop for taking photos. This faces the sewing space, so I also have great eye candy.

crafting workspace

Third, a desktop space for typing at the laptop. With a great background for Facebook Live videos and for YouTube videos.

video background

This is flanked by large shelving on either side that hold papercrafting supplies, my Cricut Machine, and printers.

video backdrop

While I do feel a pang of envy when I see my friends have beautiful, all-white spaces with everything tucked behind cabinet doors, I find that this setup works best for me. I’m very visual, so open shelving means I get to see my supplies and be inspired by them. The spaces are all designed to be flexible, I can easily change out the video backdrop by removing the black bulletin board from the shelf it sits on. And above the bulletin board are curtain rods with clips I can use to hang quilts, streamers, or anything else I want to use as a video background.

And while I love having a clean space to start crafting on, it doesn’t always stay this crisp. As I cycle through projects and deadlines, you’ll find different projects on each surface…

This was when I was working on the pizza pillow for Fairfield…

This was when I was working on clay pot craft projects.

This was when I was finishing up my hot glue gun book (which will be out this fall).

And this is what it looks like now!

cleared space

I’m currently working on re-organizing the closet. Having a functional closet in this room will make such a difference in being able to manage the clutter in this space!

Thanks so much for joining me on this tour of my craft room! Be sure to check out these other Dream Sewing Spaces!

April 23 – Lori Crawley Kennedy – http://theinboxjaunt.com/
April 24 – Jennifer Thomas – http://curlicuecreations.blogspot.com
April 25 – Robin Koehler – http://nestlingsbyrobin.blogspot.com
April 26 – Andi Barney- https://www.andibarney.com/
April 27 – Misty Cole – http://www.mistycole.com/blog
April 28 – Carolina Moore- https://alwaysexpectmoore.com/
April 29 – Heather Pregger – https://heatherquilts.blogspot.com/
April 30 – Linda Bratten – https://lindabcreative.blogspot.com/
May 1 – Lisa Reber – https://www.dippydye.blogspot.com/
May 2 – Teresa Coates – http://www.crinkledreams.com
May 3 – Lisa Chin – http://www.lisachinartist.com/
May 4 – Jamie Fingal – http://www.jamiefingaldesigns.com/
May 5 – Sam Hunter – www.huntersdesignstudio.com
May 6 – Jessee Maloney – www.artschooldropout.net/blog
May 7 – Rhanda Parrish – http://www.sewartsyfartsy.com/
May 8 – Sarah Vedeler- https://meaningoflifedesigns.com/
May 9 – Jessica Darling – https://jessicakdarling.com/
May 10 – Melody Crust – http://www.melodycrust.com/
May 11 – Debby Brown – http://higheredhands.blogspot.com
May 12 – Cheryl Sleboda – http://blog.muppin.com

 

 

Cricut Maker Block of the Week Quilt: Week 12 – Quilting the Mini Quilt

Getting your quilt top finished doesn’t mean you’re done with your quilt! In the quilting world, we call a finished quilt top a “flimsy.” Which isn’t derogatory at all… it just means the quilt doesn’t have the batting and backing attached to it yet… and it is still, well, flimsy! So, this week I’m going to show you how to quilt your mini quilt. Which is really one of the first times you have options in making this quilt… and you have a lot of them! There are a couple different ways you can baste your layers. I’m going to show you the two most popular ways – spray basting and pin basting. And there are lots of different ways to quilt your quilt. I’m going to show you two different techniques – Walking Foot Quilting and Free Motion Quilting.

Cricut Maker Block of the Week - Walking Foot Quilting

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Basting the Quilt

First let’s talk about basting the quilt. “Basting” is a sewing term that basically means to temporarily secure layers together. I have used three different kinds of basting – Pin Basting, Spray Basting, and Thread Basting. I’m going to go over the first two here.

With Pin Basting, you use safety pins to secure the layers together. This is a fairly quick way to baste. Pins are placed at intervals (every 6″ or so is a great number) to hold the layers together. As you quilt through the layers, securing them permanently, you remove any pins that are in your way. Once you’ve finished quilting you remove any pins that have been left behind. The pros of pin basting are that it is inexpensive – safety pins are inexpensive to purchase, and reusable. Once you have a stash of pins for basting, you won’t need to buy them again. Also, pin basting is preferred over spray basting for people who are sensitive to chemicals. However, it can be tedious to pin across a large quilt. And, the quilt is only secured in the pinned spots. It could potentially shift in the spots between the pins. You’ll see me go over Pin Basting in the Walking Foot Quilting video below.

Spray Basting is my go-to method, because it is fast. I can spray baste even a large quilt in less than 30 minutes, and have it ready to quilt. It can be expensive – the cans are more expensive than safety pins, and when they run out you have to buy more. I have used all of the following basting sprays, and they have all worked well: Thermoweb Basting Spray, Dritz Spray Adhesive, 505 Temporary Spray Adhesive, and Sulky KK2000. If you are sensitive to chemicals, you might want to look at the label before using one of these sprays. They should always be used in a well-ventilated area. If I’m gifting the quilt to a baby or small child, I like to pre-wash the quilt before gifting to remove any spray residue.

Walking Foot Quilting

Now that we’ve talked about basting, let’s talk walking foot quilting. If you’ve never quilted a quilt before, this is a great option. You need a different foot for your machine. This foot is called a “walking foot.” With a standard sewing machine foot, the feed dogs on the bottom pull the fabric through the machine. When you have several layers, you want the whole thing (we call this a “quilt sandwich”) to feed through evenly. The walking foot essentially adds a set of feed dogs to the top that pair up with the feed dogs on the bottom. This pulls the whole quilt through evenly and prevents puckers or shifting.

Check out this video which shows you how to pin baste, and shows you how to use a walking foot to quilt your quilt:

 

Cricut Maker Block of the Week Free Motion Quilting

Free Motion Quilting

For Free Motion Quilting, you don’t use the feed dogs at all. You move the fabric around under the needle. To do this, you engage the lever that lowers the feed dogs. Also, you use a sewing machine foot that has less drag on the top of the fabric (and more visibility around the needle) like a free motion foot or embroidery foot. It can take a little practice to get even stitches while free motion quilting. You want to sync the speed at which you move the fabric under the needle to the speed at which the needle is moving (which is controlled by how hard you press on the presser foot). I liken this to turning a corner in a car. You want to turn the steering wheel at a speed that is in sync with how fast the car is going – once your foot, hands, and brain are all on the same page, turning corners is no problem!

Check out this video which shows you how to spray baste, and shows you the basics for free motion quilting your quilt:


 

That was a big week! We basted our layers together and quilted them! Next week we will get the quilt trimmed up and bound – which is the final step!

 

If you’d rather not bind the quilt, you can skip to Week 14. This is a bonus video that shows you how to turn the quilt top into a lovely large pillow, instead of a mini quilt!

Cricut Maker Block of the Week Quilt: Week 10 – Adding Sashing

We’re up to week TEN of our Cricut Maker Block of the Week! I’m so excited!! This week we get to put all those quilt blocks together into a quilt top, using the sashing that we cut in Week 1: Intro. So, we will have no actual cutting today! Just sewing and pressing as we add the sashing pieces and make our mini quilt top for our Cricut Maker Block of the Week quilt!

If you’re just finding this series, start by going to the Cricut Maker Block of the Week Reference Page. That has all the links and videos to get you started from the very beginning.

Cricut Maker Block of the Week - Week 10 - Adding Sashing to your quilt

 

Let’s get started on adding the sashing! No cut file this week, since we cut the sashing at the very beginning. The reason we cut the sashing first, even though we didn’t need it until now, was because there are such large sashing pieces. We want to cut these larger pieces first, and then our smaller pieces after. If we cut the smaller pieces first, there might not be enough room on our fabric to cut the larger pieces later.

If you’d like to watch the video, you can watch it here. Or you can follow along in the step-by-step photos below.

Note: In the video, I show you how to square up blocks. Ideally, your quilt blocks are all exactly the right size. When I stitched the version seen in the photos below, they were very accurate. The blocks I stitched for the video were less accurate (not surprising since I had my head off to an angle to keep it out of the camera frame, and my mind was focused on talking and filming instead of just sewing).

Grab thoe sashing pieces that we set aside. Leave the border pieces. We’ll be using the border pieces next week.

Lay out all nine blocks, and the sashing pieces. You don’t have to use the same layout I did. Depending on the fabrics you chose, your quilt might look better with a different layout. And even if you chose the exact same fabrics, you might like a different layout than mine. There are no wrong choices here.

lay out quilt top

If you’ve been following along, you know that each step builds on the previous steps. This step builds on past steps. Because this part of the quilt looks remarkably like something else we have done before…

lay out the block

That’s right! The nine patch! Putting together this quilt top is just like a nine patch… but with adding the sashing pieces between the blocks. Which is easy.

Start by stitching your sashing and blocks into rows. Press the seams towards the sashing strips.

press rows

Lay the quilt back out.

finished rows

Now stitch the sashing to the top and middle rows. It helps to pin the sashing on each end, and then in the middle. This ensures that the sashing is even along the length of the whole row. Press the seam allowance towards the sashing.

sashing on rows

I don’t have photos of this step, but you can watch in the video. What we want to do here is line up each vertical sashing strip with the sashing strip above/below it. That would be easy to do with seam allowances. But the horizontal sashing doesn’t have seam allowances. Use a ruler (or any straight edge – the edge of your mat will do) and your blue water-soluble marking pen from the Cricut machine to extend the seam allowance lines down across the back of your sashing pieces. Then match up the rows, pinning where the seam allowance from the bottom row matches up with the line that you’ve drawn. Then stitch the rows together.

finished sashings

Press all the seam allowances towards the sashing, and you’re all done!

Next week we’ll add the borders. And the week after we’ll get to my favorite part… quilting!

 

Cricut Maker Block of the Week Quilt: Block 9 – Mother’s Dream

The final block in our Cricut Maker Block of the week! Today we’re making Block 9, the Mother’s Dream. But don’t worry, we won’t be stopping here! Next week I’ll show you how to put the blocks together with the sashing we cut in Week 1: Intro, then we’ll add borders, quilt our mini quilt, and I’ll show you how to bind and finish the quilt!

If you’re just getting started, head over to the Cricut Maker Block of the Week Reference Page. There you’ll be able to start from the very beginning, with all the videos and links to get you started in making the quilt!

Cricut Maker Block of the Week - Week 9 - Mother's Dream

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If you’d like to watch this week’s video, I’ll show you step-by-step how to put the block together. I’ll also show you a slightly different way to piece this block in the step-by-step photos and instructions that you can find by scrolling down a little further.

 

Start by cutting out all the pieces. Here is the Mother’s Dream Quilt Block Design Space File. Lay out all the pieces like this:

Look at rows

Yes, we’re laying out the pieces in diagonal rows. But before we can put the rows together, we have to stitch the two rectangles together to make squares. Sew each set together, and press towards the dark.

lay out block

Now we can start stitching our rows. Sew the three pieces in row 2 together. And the three pieces in row 4. In row 3, go ahead and just stitch together the three center pieces.

For rows 2 and 4, press the seams out. For row 3, press the seams in. This will allow everything to nest beautifully when you stitch the rows together.

press

Stitch row 1 to row 2, and row 4 to row 5.

stitch side

Then stitch these sides to the middle. Press.

All that is left is to stitch on the other corners.

stitch on corners

Go ahead and clip off the dog-ears now. Your quilt block is finished! Next week we’ll combine it with the other 8!

finished mother's dream quilt block

 

Cricut Maker Block of the Week Quilt: Block 6 – Hourglass Block

We are on Week 6 of our Cricut Maker Block of the Week! Almost halfway through this series, and I’m so excited!! Today I’m showing you the Hourglass Block. We have made half square triangles before, and we have made a 9-patch before, so you will find that this block goes together easily.

Cricut Maker Block of the Week Quilt - Week 6, Hourglass Quilt Block

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If you are just joining in, you’ll want to head over to the Cricut Maker Block of the Week Reference Page. There you’ll find all the links, files, and information you need to make the quilt – all in chronological order.

You can follow the photos and instructions below, or you can watch this step-by-step video where I show you how to make the Hourglass Quilt Block.

 

To make this week’s block, you will need the Hourglass Cut File for Design Space. Remember that you have to download this on a Laptop or Desktop computer, then you can save it to Design Space. Once you have saved it to your Design Space files, you can use any device you’re logged into Design Space to cut the file.

Once you have cut the pieces, lay them out.

lay out pieces

It looks a lot like a 9-patch, but with different corners. Two of the corners are half-square-triangles, and two are a different fabric.

Start by stitching the half square triangles.

stitch half square triangles

Press the seams to the darker side. Clip off the dog ears.

finished triangles

Stitch the pieces together into rows.

Press the seams on the top row in towards the center. This spreads the bulk of the seam from the half-square-triangle. The center row is then pressed out. And the bottom row is pressed in.

finish rows

And now you can stitch the rows together to make your block! As you put your rows together, be sure to “nest” the seams. You can feel with your fingers where those two seam allowances line up.

Press the final seams in, and your block is complete!

finished block - Cricut Maker Block of the Week Block 6 - Hourglass quilt Block

Be sure to come back next week… I can’t wait to show you Block 7!!

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

Lay out the pieces.

lay out pieces

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

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

add sides

Press. Then add the other two sides.

Cut off the dog ears.

cut dog ears

Press.

finished first layer

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

fold to find center

Stitch in place.

add sefond layer

Add the triangle on the opposite side. Press.

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

third piece

Press one last time – you’re done!

add last sides

finished economy patch

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

turn pen off

Lay out your pieces.

lay out pieces

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

stitch triangles

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

press seam

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

half square triangles

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

stitched pairs

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

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

stitched together

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

swirl seam

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

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

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

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

seam allowance back

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lay out your pieces.

lay out block

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

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

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

line up

Stitch this side in place.

stitch

Stitch the opposite side in place.

stitch second corner

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

stitch the other corner

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

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

trim dog ears

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

trim dog ears

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

finished diamond in a square quilt block

 

Cricut Maker Block of the Week – Week 1: Nine Patch Quilt Block

As promised, here is the first quilt block for our Cricut Maker Block of the Week, the Nine Patch Quilt Block! Each week I’ll share with you how to make another part of this quilt, until we have the whole quilt finished. The fabric is all cut and marked on the Cricut Maker machine. If you want the details, check out my Introduction to the Cricut Maker Block of the Week. If you want to join in and don’t know where to start, check out the Cricut Maker Block of the Week Reference Page. It will get you current, and give you all the information you need.

Cricut Maker Block of the Week - Block 1: Nine Patch

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Before you start here, you need to have followed along on the introduction, borders, and sashing instructions. Make sure you’ve done that before you continue.

You can watch the video here, or follow along the steps below.

Cut the fabric for the Nine Patch Quilt Block

Open up the Cricut Maker Block of the Week Block 1: Nine Patch in Cricut Design Space. You need to do this on a desktop or laptop computer with Design Space installed. From there, you can save the file, and open it up in Design Space on whatever device you like best.

Nine Patch Quilt Block in Design Space

We are using the fabrics you chose to be your “pink” and your “white” when you labeled your fabrics. Place them on the mats, right side down. Make sure to rub down the sides of the mat, as that is where the rollers can catch the fabric, and lift it up.

Press “Make It” in Cricut Design Space. You will see the two mats with the blue lines.

mats for nine patch

Press “Continue.”

select material

Select Material as “Cotton.”

load machine

Install the Cricut Fabric Pen. I like to put the cap on the back of the pen so I don’t lose it. Install the rotary cutter. Place the mat up to the rollers, and press the flashing arrows key. The mat will load into the machine.

Cut both mats. Peel away the extra fabric, and you’ll have something that looks like this.

cut on mats

Use your tweezers to remove the squares, and lay them out to create the block design. It will look like a checkerboard.

lay out the block

Sew together the Rows of your Nine Patch

Take the first two pieces in the top row – the teal and the red as shown in this image (the white and pink as labeled on the fabrics). Put them right-sides-together, with all the edges lining up. Stitch them together using a 1/4″ seam allowance. You can stitch right on that blue line, going all the way across from edge to edge.

sew rows

Congratulations! You’ve sewn your first seam! This quilt is officially underway!!

**pause for a happy dance**

first seam

Lift up that teal fabric, exposing the red. Put the other teal on top of the red, and stitch down. You now have a teal piece on each side of the red stripe. YES!

Repeat with the other two rows, making sure to keep the checkerboard design.

Press the seams to the side. Have all the seams go towards the “dark” fabric, whichever one that is for you.

press seams

Finish the Nine Patch Quilt Block

Here you can see the back of the block, with all the seams pressed. If you watched the video, you’ll notice that the seams are in the exact opposite directions from in the video. That’s because in the video the pink was my dark, and here the teal was my “dark”. If you’re not sure which of your fabrics is darker, just choose one. It won’t matter too terribly. I pinky promise.

What IS important is that if your seams go out in one row, that in the rows above or below it, they are going in. And vice versa. This allows your seams to nestle into each other, which helps your points match.

press the rows

Place your top row on top of your bottom row, right sides together. Stitch down one side… making sure it is the correct side (the side they are supposed to meet up on).

layer two rows

Then repeat, stitching the bottom row onto the other side.

last seam

stitch last row

Press these seams (I like pressing out, but it won’t make too much of a difference), and your block is complete!

finished nine patch quilt block

YAY!!

Make sure to come back next week. Each week I’ll be sharing another step in making this quilt. Next week we’ll make an uneven nine patch, using three colors! So fun to see what a difference a slight variation makes!

 

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Cricut Maker Block of the Week – Week 1: Introduction, Supplies, Border, Sashing

I’m so excited to share with you this project that I have been working on for weeks and weeks! As I mentioned in my last post, Cricut gave me one of their new Cricut Maker machines to play with. It has a special rotary blade attachment designed for cutting fabric! As a thank-you, and to pay it forward, I designed a FREE mini quilt pattern that is cut entirely on the Cricut Maker, and I’ll be sharing it step-by-step each week so you can make it yourself! I have recorded videos if you learn best by watching, and I’ll have step-by-step instructions here, if you like to read the instructions at your own pace.

Cricut Maker Block of the Week - Week 1 - Introduction, supplies, borders and sashing

This post includes affiliate links. These links pay a small commission back to me, at no extra cost to you.

Here are the basic supplies you’ll need to make the Cricut Maker Quilt:

If you want detailed supply information, check out the expanded supply list.

The Cricut Maker Machine: on the Cricut site or on Amazon
Fabric bundle (either the Cricut bundle or 5 pieces of fabric, each 1/3 yard): on the Cricut site  or on Amazon
Cricut Fabric mat, you’ll need a 12×24″ mat, and a 12×12″ mat: on the Cricut site
Cricut Fabric pen: on the Cricut site or on Amazon
Printable Vinyl: on the Cricut site
Sewing Machine
Thread

Iron & Ironing Board
Device with Cricut Design Space installed
Tweezers (optional)

If you’d like to watch the video, you can watch it here:

 

Preparing the fabrics:

The quilt is made using blocks that are combined with sashing, and has a border around the outside. In the videos, I’m using the Garden Girl Fabric. Here on the site, I’m showing the quilt made with the Rockstar collection.

If you’re using the fabric I’m showing, you can just follow along and use the same fabrics. But if you’re using a different set of fabric, or your own fabric, you’ll want to label each fabric so that you know which is which. I created a set of colored stickers that coordinates with the colors on the pieces in Cricut Design Space. So, if you see yellow and white pieces, you know to use the fabrics you’ve labeled as yellow and white. Use the print then cut label file, and print it onto Cricut Printable Vinyl.

Add labels

Here are the stickers on the fabric, identifying which fabric belongs with which color in Design Space.

fabric labels

Remove the protective cover from your 12×24″ mat. While working in the mat, try not to touch the adhesive. The oils in your fingers can reduce the tacky-ness of the mat.

Place the border fabric (marked with a purple sticker) right side DOWN on the mat. The raw edge of the fabric should be across the top of the mat. Make sure to press down the fabric securely, especially along the sides. This is where the rollers feed the mat into the machine, and could potentially move the fabric. Having these sides pressed down securely is key. Set aside until you are ready to load the mat into the machine

Cutting the Borders

Open up the Cricut Maker BOTW Border file in Design Space.

quilt border file in Cricut Design Space

It will tell you that you need the larger, 12×24″ mat. Click OK. You’ll see two longer pieces and two shorter pieces. The light blue lines show the seam allowance that will be marked with the blue fabric pen.

send to maker

Press “continue” in the bottom right hand corner. Then it takes you to a screen where you set the material. The fabric we are using is “Cotton”. Press on “Fabric – Cotton” on the bottom right.

select material

The next screen will prompt you to install your fabric pen and rotary blade before loading the mat. The fabric pen is inserted by opening the lever on side A, uncapping the pen, inserting it into the housing, then closing the housing. I like to put the cap on the back of the pen so that I can find it easily later.

If your rotary blade is not already installed, open side B. Remove the existing blade, and install the rotary blade. Close the lever.

Hold the mat up to the rollers, guiding the sides between the two white tabs on the sides, then press the arrow key. The machine will load the mat. Press the blinking Cricut “C”, and the machine will do its magic! First, it will mark the borders with the pen. Then it will cut with the rotary blade. When you’re done, it will prompt you to unload the mat using the arrow button. Make sure to remove the pen, and replace the cap. This will keep it from drying out.

Take the mat to your table, and remove the extra fabric by lifting from one corner, and pulling up. You can trim off the small strings, then set the rest aside. We will be using this for one of the blocks, and the binding. Use tweezers to gently lift off the border pieces. Go slow, and pull up any fraying threads to keep fraying to a minimum.

If you have threads left on the mat, you can use tweezers to pick them up. A piece of strong grip transfer tape works well, too. Don’t use a scraper tool, don’t use your fingers… and don’t worry if there are a few stray threads left. It will not hurt to use a mat with a few threads left on.

Cutting the Sashing

Repeat these steps, this time for the Sashing Fabric (the aqua/teal color sticker), using the Sashing File in Cricut Design Space.

send sashing to maker

When you are done cutting, make sure to remove the pen and put the cap back on, so it doesn’t dry out.

Gently remove these strips, and set aside with the border strips.

cut pieces

 

Originally, this was all I had planned for today. But I knew that some people would be sad they didn’t get to do any sewing! So, later today I’ll be sharing the first block both here and on YouTube!

 

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