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:

Who Wore it Better

I’m so excited to announce the “Who Wore it Better” quilt as the latest in the Ruler of the Month Series! If you’re new here, each month I make a quilt using a new ruler and teach you how to use that ruler in a video! These quilts are perfect for trying something new and adding a new ruler to your collection! This month’s ruler is the Creative Grids 4, 5, 6″ Pineapple Trim Tool.

This post contains affiliate links. Making purchases through these links helps support this site.

A big reason I’m so excited to share this pattern with you is that it means the quilt is now DONE!! And this quilt was not my favorite to make. Any of my friends can tell you how close I was to naming this quilt “The Stupid Pineapple Quilt.” Because in the process of making this quilt I discovered that I really, really, really hate making pineapple blocks. They are like a log cabin block that needs constant trimming, and never ends. So, quilter beware – the pineapple block is not for the feint of heart!

However, the good news is that this pineapple quilt comes together faster than an all-pineapple quilt. It only requires half as many pineapples to make because we’re alternating the pieced pineapples with fussy-cut fabrics. I went with pineapples from Katie Skoog’s latest line for Art Gallery Fabrics – Hello Sunshine. This fabric is so bright and sunny and perfect!!

Also, all the pineapples (both pieced and fussy cut) are framed. Which also makes the quilt come together faster. I really did all I could to help us non-pineapple-lovers make a pineapple quilt.

The good news is that now that it is complete, I can move on to my next quilt! I’ve learned that my favorite quilt is always the next one I’m planning, and my least favorite quilt is always the one I’m working on right now! HA!

Here is a quick video that shows you how the pineapple quilt comes together:

I encourage you to purchase your ruler and supplies at your local quilt shop. However, if you need to purchase online, here are affiliate links which give me a small commission when you make purchases by clicking these links:
On Amazon: https://amzn.to/2YeX9Jb
At Fat Quarter Shop: http://shrsl.com/29307

Head over to my pattern shop to purchase the Who Wore it Better Quilt Pattern!

Quilt Candy Live Trunk Show!

Are you at home looking for some Quilty Inspiration? Or a little bit of interaction with the “real world”? Well, some designers came up with a fun idea for some Facebook Live Trunk Shows where designers come together and share what we’re up to, as well as some fabulous “Quilt Candy” for you to check out!

If you missed my live, you can still catch it on my Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/alwaysexpectmoore/

And here are some of the links I mention during my live session:
Learn How to English Paper Piece
Spot on Dot
Ruler of the Month
Gallery Wall Quilt Along
Cricut Maker Block of the Week
Quilty 5k
Carolina Moore Pattern Shop

And because you know I like to “keep it real” here is a photo of me laughing it off as my ribbon is falling off my wall at the beginning of the video! Because live video is always unpredictable!

And if you want to see any of these other fabulous Facebook Lives, check out these links!

April 1

12pm EST Andi Stanfield
1pm EST Nancy Scott
2pm EST Becky Jorgensen
3pm EST Carolina Moore
4pm EST Jackie Kunkel
5pm EST Connie Jonson Sayler
6pm EST Laura Piland/Slice of Pi Quilts
7pm EST Sandra Starley
8pm EST Swan Sheridan

April 2

12pm EST Lisa Ruble
1pm EST Beth Helfter EvaPaige Quilt Designs
2pm EST Diane Bohn/From Blank Pages
3pm EST Deb Eggers/The Cottage Rose
4pm EST Heidi Pridemore/The Whimsical Workshop
5pm EST Kate Colleran
6pm EST Tammy Silvers/Tamarinis

April 3

12pm EST Darcy Hunter
1pm EST Teresa Weaver
2pm EST Annette Ornelas
3pm EST Jo Westfoot – The Crafty Nomad
4pm EST Lynn Kane
5pm EST Geeky Bobbin
7pm EST Laura Strickland
8pm EST Jen Frost

April 4

12pm EST Sherry Shish – Powered By Quilting
1pm EST Bill Locke – Bill Locke Designs
2pm EST Toni Smith/Quiltoni
3pm EST Tammy Silvers/Tamarinis
4pm EST Jennifer Fulton
5pm EST Jessica Caldwell/ Desert Bloom Quilting
6pm EST Monique Kleinhans / Ladybug’s Cabin
7pm EST Heather Long / Coffee and Quilts
8pm EST Marija Vujcic, Mara Quilt Designs

April 5

12pm EST Ebony Love
1pm EST Bill Locke 
2pm EST Marlene Oddie
3pm EST Sandy Fitzpatrick
4pm EST Reed Johnson
5pm EST Diane Harris
7pm EST Kathryn LeBlanc/Dragonfly’s Quilting Design Studio

April 6

12pm EST Becca Fenstermaker
1pm EST Cherry Guidry
2pm EST Cheryl Lynch
3pm EST Annie Smith
5pm EST Reeze Hanson
7pm EST Melissa Marginet

April 7

12pm EST Margaret Willingham/ Eye of the Beholder Quilt Design
1pm EST Kate Colleran/Seams Like A Dream Design
2pm EST Barbara Cline
3pm EST Barbara Persing
4pm EST Ms P Designs USA/ Sharon Andersen
6pm EST Sandra Starley  
7pm EST Diane Harris
8pm EST Christa Watson

April 8

12pm EST Tina Dillard/Quilting Affection Designs
1pm EST Raija Salomaa/Quilters’ Treasure Chest
2pm EST Robin Koehler//NESTLINGS by Robin
3pm EST Terri Vanden Bosch
4pm EST Jackie Kunkel
5pm EST Leanne Parsons
6pm EST Laura Piland/Slice of Pi Quilts 
7pm EST Ebony Love
8pm EST Tammy Silvers/Tamarinis

April 9

1pm EST Nancy Scott
2pm EST Jayme Crow/ Bella Nonna Design Studio
4pm EST Jen Frost
5pm EST  Annie Smith
6pm EST Karen L. Miller / Redbird Quilt Co.
7pm EST Kathryn LeBlanc/Dragonfly’s Quilting Design Studio
8pm EST Monique Kleinhans / Ladybug’s Cabin

April 10

12pm  Sarah Maxwell
1pm  Teresa Weaver
2pm  Karen Overton
3pm Alison Stothard
5pm Pat Sloan
6pm Cherry Guidry
7pm Toni Smith/Quiltoni
8pm Marija Vujcic/ Mara Quilt Designs

I hope you enjoy the series! Stay safe, and hopefully one day soon we’ll get to do these live and in person!

Log Cabin Heart Quilt

Who doesn’t love a simple heart quilt? And if you ask me, a scrappy heart quilt is even better! This Log Cabin Heart Quilt is quick to stitch up with the help of the Curvy Log Cabin Trim Tool to get those fabulous curved-looking top blocks! All you need is the ruler, 3/4 yard of assorted heart-colored fabrics, and a yard of background fabrics … oh, and the Log Cabin Heart Quilt pattern!

Of course I went through my stash of Art Gallery Fabrics for this heart mini quilt. You’ll find assorted Art Gallery Fabrics Prints including Matchmade, Meriwether, Maara, and Elements collections. For the background fabric I chose this fabulous Art Gallery Fabrics Denim in Soft Sand. YES! I went with Denim for the background, and it gives this quilt fabulous texture!

The Log Cabin Heart Quilt is also special because it is the first Ruler of the Month pattern! What is the Ruler of the Month? I’m so glad you asked!!

Each month, I’ll be sharing a new fun ruler with you, as well as a quilt or other project that you can make with the ruler! For the first month the pattern will be free. Once the next month’s pattern and video are released, the previous pattern will get moved to my pattern shop for you to purchase.

This month, I’m sharing the Creative Grids 4″ Curvy Log Cabin Trim Tool. This ruler guides you through the process of trimming up a mini log cabin block that looks like a curve!

This is a super fun ruler, and I’ve made a video to show you how to use it to make your Curvy Log Cabin Blocks.

And, of course I show you how the Spot on Dot works with this ruler. Lines on quilting rulers are even more fabulous when you can see them clearly!

I encourage you to purchase the ruler at your local quilt shop. However, if you need to purchase it online, here are affiliate links to purchase the Curvy Log Cabin Trim Tool at The Fat Quarter Shop: http://shrsl.com/23l6y or on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2vLMnOs

This pattern was free to newsletter subscribers in February of 2020. If you missed the free download period, you can purchase the pattern in my shop:

Buy the Log Cabin Heart Quilt Pattern here.

I can’t wait to see your fabulous and scrappy Log Cabin Hear quilts!

Introducing the Spot on Dot

Several months ago, I had an idea. Why can’t we magnify right on our quilting rulers? I don’t know about you, but my eyesight certainly hasn’t gotten any better the older I’ve gotten, and my eye doctor say I should expect it to continue to get worse.

Since more accurate cuts lead to more precise piecing and perfect points, I wanted to find a way to get the most accurate cuts possible. Which is how the Spot on Dot was born!

Watch the video here to get all the details on how the Spot on Dot makes accurate cutting so much easier!

I’m so excited to be able to share this product with you! It is currently available for order by retailers – so let your local quilt shop know they need to put in their orders for the Spot on Dot! We’re expecting it will be on your store’s shelves by February 1st of 2020.

The Spot on Dot comes with its own case, and the adhesive rings are easy to clean with mild soap and water. A gentle cleaning will remove any lint that has built up on the adhesive, and your Spot on Dot will start sticking like it was new again!

You’re going to wonder how you managed quilting without your Spot on Dot!

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!

Cricut Maker Block of the Week: The Sequel

It has been long-awaited, and I’ve finally shared the second set of 9 blocks for the sequel of the Cricut Maker Block of the Week!

If you’re not familiar with the series, the Cricut Maker Block of the Week is a 14-week long series I developed to teach people new to quilting, new to Cricut, or new to both Cricut and Quilting, how to make a mini quilt using their Cricut Maker.

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

The results were amazing! I loved seeing all the fabulous quilts that everyone made using these tutorials. And some people asked if I could make even more blocks. And so I did! I created 9 more quilt blocks, filmed all the videos for them, and then had technical issues that delayed the launch of the series.

Finally, I sat down for two days and went through all the tech issues. I re-stitched each block to make sure that everything was correct. And then I launched the Cricut Maker Block of the Week: The Sequel. Here are all the videos for you to enjoy!

Each of these 9 blocks works with the original 9. So, you can use the same tutorials on sashing, borders, quilting, and binding to go along with these if you like.

Cricut Maker Block of the Week The Sequel: Intro

If you plan to make all 9 blocks, I’ve made it easy to do all the cutting at once. You can use this cut file to cut all the pieces for all the blocks now. There are numbers on this file that numbers each piece to let you know which block it belongs to. Cut file for all 9 blocks (sorted by color): http://shrsl.com/1dlh5

Here are links to supplies mentioned in the video. I’ve tried to give you two different places to find the supplies, so you can compare pricing. Cricut Maker Machine: http://shrsl.com/1e722 (on the Cricut site) http://amzn.to/2wWOPjf (on Amazon) Fabric: http://shrsl.com/1e71vhttp://shrsl.com/jv99 (on the Cricut site) http://amzn.to/2f1AKuS (on Amazon) Fabric mat: http://shrsl.com/1e71s (on the Cricut site) Fabric pen: http://shrsl.com/1e71o (on the Cricut site) http://amzn.to/2xsaGAR (on Amazon)

Block 1: Plus Block

Cut file for the plus block: http://shrsl.com/1dmu4

Block 2: Windmill Block

Cut file for the windmill block: http://shrsl.com/1doau

Block 3: Quarter Log Cabin

Cut file for the quarter log cabin block: http://shrsl.com/1drti

Block 4: Friendship Star

Cut file for the Friendship Star block: http://shrsl.com/1dwif

Block 5: Modified Pinwheel

Cut file for the Modified Pinwheel block: http://shrsl.com/1dz94

Block 6: Star Quilt Block

Cut file for the Star Quilt Block: http://shrsl.com/1e71g

Block 7: Dutch Puzzle

Cut file for the Dutch Puzzle Quilt Block: http://shrsl.com/1e9t0

Block 8: Card Trick

Cut file for the Card Trick Quilt Block: http://shrsl.com/1ebn3

Block 9: Heart Block

Cut file for the Heart Quilt Block: http://shrsl.com/1ebnm

Go to the original Cricut Maker Block of the Week to get all the details on sashing, borders, quilting, and binding!


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!

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

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.