Announcing the Quilty 5k!

I am super excited to announce a new quilting series that I’m starting here, and on my YouTube Channel!

It is called the Quilty 5k! There are 7 blocks in a mile, and 3.1 miles in a 5k. So for the quilty 5k, we’ll be completing 22 blocks. Each will have instructions for stitching it in 3 different sizes, as well as different coloring options and a coloring sheet so you can design your own quilts using the quilt blocks!

Check out all the details in the intro video!

I hope you’ll join in!


Free Motion Quilting II

One of my most popular videos on YouTube is a simple video where I teach 8 simple free-motion quilting designs. Recently, I hit 10,000 subscribers on my YouTube channel, and decided to celebrate by following up on that popular video.

This video is a sequel of sorts to the first video. I show you 8+ more free motion quilting designs that you can make that expand on that same swirl motion that I taught in the first video.

I hope you enjoy learning a little more about free motion quilting!

Fortnite Party

For my son’s birthday, he wanted to celebrate with a Fortnite Party! My kids love playing Fortnite, but I didn’t want the party to be a bunch of kids just staring at a screen watching each other play. So we changed it up a bunch! In fact, the actual Fortnite game wasn’t on in the house at all during the party. Instead, the kids were active – which is this mom’s favorite kind of party!

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For favor boxes, I made simple boxes on the Cricut Machine, that I customized for the party. These Fortnite Drop Boxes were cut on the Cricut, and the lines were drawn on the Cricut as well. I had the Cricut cut a stencil that I used to stencil on the sides with yellow paint. Then I glued the boxes together, tied on a balloon, and DONE! Honestly, these Fortnite Favor Boxes are some of the easier favor boxes I’ve made. You can use my Fortnite Favor Box File for the Cricut if you like.

I found Fortnite Stickers online that I placed on the coffee table for kids to choose from. The set I purchased is no longer available online.

Of course for a Fortnite Party we had to have a loot llama as a pinata.

When I looked online, the loot llama pinatas were very expensive! So I bought a unicorn pinata at the dollar store, and transformed it into a loot llama pinata. You can see the how-to in this video.

The main activity was laser tag. We collected cardboard boxes and sheets of cardboard, randomly sprayed them with leftover spray paint we had in the garage, and left them around for the kids (and adults) to hide behind. I found a great deal on laser tag sets online (for 8 vests I paid less than half of what it would have cost us to rent a laser tag arena). They are no longer on sale, but you can find the laser tag sets we bought here.

My son requested that I make a drop bus as party decor. I bought a cheap bus online, painted it, opened it up and disconnected the speaker (I still wanted it to light up when turned on, but the noise was too much), and created a hot air balloon above it using a styrofoam ball and air-dry clay.

I found these great Chug Jug Can Koozies online, but the price is for a single can cover. So I made my own using vinyl and these plain grey Can Koozies.

The party was a great hit with all the kiddos.


Quilting made easy with Riley Blake and Cricut – Part 3 of 3

Welcome to the 3rd part of this video and quilting series! Over the past weeks I have been working on making a Christmas Quilt using Riley Blake Fabrics and the Cricut Maker. In Part One I showed you how I selected the fabric and pattern. In Part Two I showed you how all the pieces were cut. And today… today we are piecing the Half Log Cabin Throw quilt top!

Quilting Made Easy with Riley Blake and Cricut PArt 3 - Learn how to piece the quarter log cabin quilt pattern!

 

To finish up this series I’ve created another video. This video is long, but oh-so-comprehensive! I’ll be holding your hand and taking you step-by-step through how to make this quilt. It is always more fun to make a project with a friend, and I hope you’ll stitch along side me as we make this quilt together!

We’ll make the units, put together the blocks, build the rows, and stitch up this quilt top. When we get to adding the borders, I’ll give you some tips on how to get a nice smooth border with no ruffles!


If you’d rather read along, I’ll lay out the basics of making the quilt here. Remember that a full set of PDF instructions is in Design Space that will also help you in making the quilt.

We’re going to start by laying out all of our fabrics. The inner border, outer border, and binding fabric can be put aside. Label the other fabrics by fabric number to make it easier to grab the right fabric as you lay out the block units.

label your fabrics when quilting

Using the PDF instructions, grab a square of fabric one and the smallest rectangle in fabric 8. Place them right sides together and stitch.

(BTW – all seams in this quilt are 1/4″.)

stitch first two pieces

Then press your seam towards the dark.

press first stitch

Add the next size up of fabric 8. Stitch and press. Repeat with the same size of fabric 1, and then the largest strip of fabric 1. You’ll have your first block unit complete!

finished first block

Repeat the process for all the block units – you’ll be making 6 of each. Check the PDF for all the fabric combinations. If you watch the video, I’ll show you how you can save time making these units by strip piecing.

next block

Once you have all your block units, lay out block A. Stitch the top and bottom units together. Press the seam to the right. Repeat with the bottom two units, pressing the seam in the opposite direction. Then stitch the top and bottom together. You can press the middle seam up, down, or spin the seam (watch the video and I’ll show you this technique)! Make 6 of this block (Block A).

putting it together

Now you’ll follow the same steps as Block A, but to make Block B. Which is the same, but with different fabrics.

Block B

Once your blocks are done, stitch them into rows! You’ll have 4 rows, each with 3 blocks. 2 of the rows have a block A flanked by block B on either side. The other 2 rows are block B flanked by Block A on either side. Press the seams of the first row in one direction, and the seams on the other row in the other direction.stitch the rowsThen stitch your rows together (alternating the A row with the B row), and press all the seams in one direction. Your blocks are all together! Now it is time to add the borders! I want to share my special border-adding tip with you.

First we’ll be adding the side borders. Measure both sides of your quilt, then measure the center of your quilt from top to bottom. This tells you the height of your quilt on both sides and in the middle. Add these 3 numbers together then divide by 3. That is the size you should cut your side borders. This will keep you from having wavy borders.

Pin the border in place. First by pinning each end. Then pinning the middle. Then pinning along each half so that the border is smoothly in place. Once it is pinned, you can stitch.

pin on border

Repeat the process of measuring the top, bottom, and middle to cut the top and bottom borders to size. Pin them the same way, then stitch. Repeat all these steps to cut, pin, and stitch on your outer borders. Once your borders are on, your quilt is done!

stitch on borders

This quilt has been so much fun to put together – I hope you enjoyed it, too! I’m considering putting together a bonus video to show you how to quilt this lap sized quilt on a domestic sewing machine. But if you prefer, you can absolutely have a long-arm quilter do the quilting, and then you just have to bind it. You can search this site for lots of tips on quilting your quilt, and binding it!

Thanks to Cricut and Riley Blake for asking me to put together this series! I can’t wait to show you more quilting and crafting fun!

 

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

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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.

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 11 – Adding Borders

Welcome to week 11 of the Cricut Maker Block of the Week! This week we’re going to finish the quilt top by adding the borders that we cut in Week 1: Intro. Adding the borders means that the quilt top is complete, but our quilt isn’t finished yet. Next week I’ll show you how to quilt your quilt top, and the next week I’ll show you the final step: Binding. I promised you 14 weeks of making this quilt. In week 1 I shared both the into and the first block because I knew you wouldn’t want to wait to start sewing. So in the final week, I’ll share a fun bonus project with you!

If you have just found 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.

Adding Borders

You can follow the written steps below, or you can watch this video as I show you how to put on the borders:

Start by laying out the borders. There are two long strips and two short strips.

lay out borders

Stitch the short borders to the top and bottom of the quilt top. In the video I show you how to pin the strip to the quilt top to keep them even. Here are the basic steps:

Place the border piece on top of the quilt. Line up the top edge and corners. Pin at the corners.

Find the middle of the border and quilt edge. Add a crease if needed. Pin to secure the centers together.

Add more pins as needed on each side. Often, either the quilt is slightly bigger than the border, or the border is slightly bigger than the quilt. Pinning allows you to ease the extra fabric into the seam without ripples or puckers.

Press. The seam allowance should go towards the border.

press borders

Now it is time to add the other borders.

add side borders

Follow the same steps to pin the borders to the quilt. Press again, and your quilt is complete!

finished quilt top

Come back next week as I show you how to quilt the quilt top!

 

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

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

 

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 8 – Whirligig

It is time for Block 8 of our Cricut Maker Block of the Week! Just one more block, and then we will start to put the whole quilt together! WHEE! I can’t wait! I will be showing you every step of the quilting process, all the way through binding the quilt. When we finish, you will have a completed quilt that you made yourself! This week, for Blcok 8, we are making the Whirligig block! This block is different than other blocks we have done in the past, because the units that make up the block are not square. We are making triangular units, then stitching those together.

If you’re just joining in, check out the Cricut Maker Block of the Week Reference Page. It has everything you need to make this quilt from the very beginning, so you can get all caught up!

Cricut Maker Block of the Week Quilt Week 8 - Whirligig

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

 

You can watch the video as I take you through the steps of making this fun block, or you can read below for written instructions and step-by-step photos.


Start by opening the Whirligig Block file in Cricut Design Space. Cut out the pieces and lay them out so you can visualize the block.

lay out pieces

Place the triangle right-sides-together with the larger piece.

make quarters

 

Stitch the triangles onto the larger pieces to make larger triangles.

stitch pieces

Press.

press

Lay the pieces back out. Stitch pairs together to make two halves. Press.

line up quarters

two halves

Stitch the two halves together to make a whole. Press.

finished whirligig

One more block to go!!