Everything you want to know about Pre Cut Fabrics!

If you’re a quilter or have shopped for quilting fabrics, you’ve probably come across pre-cut fabrics. They are fabulous curated bundles of fabric that are so incredibly handy when quilting! Learn all about the most common pre-cut fabrics here.

Half yard bundles, Fat Quarters, 10″ squares, 5″ squares, and 2 1/2″ strips are the most commonly used pre-cut shapes. There are other shapes that some manufacturers cut (though they don’t generally cut these specialty shapes for all their lines). These include 1 1/2″ strips, 6″ hexagons, 2 1/2″ squares, and triangles. Not every fabric manufacturer cuts every shape for their fabric lines, so it can be handy to learn how to cut your own “pre-cut” fabrics. I show you how to cut the most common sizes in this video:

If you’d like to get my simple “cheat sheet” on standard pre-cut sizes, you can get the download link by subscribing to my newsletter here:

 
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In most fabric stores, you’ll find fabric sold as “yardage” off the bolt. You select your bolts of fabric, bring them to the counter, and have an employee cut off the amount of fabric you require. Many quilters have a preferred yardage amount for any fabric they are going to add to their fabric stash – usually somewhere between 1/2 yard and 3 yards, depending on the expected use of the fabric.

Fabric off the bolt measures at least 40″ from selvedge to selvedge. Different manufacturers have different WOF (Width of Fabric). A yard is 36″. Therefore, a yard of fabric off the bolt measures 36″ by at least 40″. And a half yard will measure 18 by at least 40″.

A fat quarter is a very common cut of fabric. A quarter yard is 9″ x at least 40″. A 9″ strip is not a very usable piece of fabric, because you can’t cut a 10″ or 12″ square from it, and you can only cut 8 5″ squares, leaving a large amount of scrap behind. That is why most quilters prefer a fat quarter. A fat quarter is a half yard of fabric that has been cut in half perpendicular to the width of fabric – generally on the fold in the middle. This results in a piece of fabric that is 18″ x 20″, and a much more usable cut of fabric. You can cut a 12″ square, two 10″ squares, or twelve 5″ squares from a fat quarter. It is called a “fat” quarter because it is wider than a quarter yard that is cut right off the bolt – therefore it is “fatter.” Some people mistakenly call a fat quarter a “flat quarter.” This is a fairly common mispronunciation. Likely because “fat” and “flat” sound so similar, but also because fat quarters are often folded into sixteenths, making a flat, square-ish piece of fabric.

Fat Quarters are often sold in curated bundles. Usually these bundles are all fabrics from the same manufacturer and the same line of fabric. But, some quilt shops curate their own custom Fat Quarter bundles. And many quilt shops sell individual fat quarters – a very cost-effective way for a quilter to add favorite fabrics to their collection.

10″ squares and 5″ squares are common pre-cuts. They generally are cut and packaged by the manufacturer, and include fabrics from a single line. 42 is a common number of fabrics in a 10″ or 5″ stack, but this is not an industry standard. Packs often have repeats of different fabrics, depending on the total number of fabrics in the line.

2 1/2″ strips are a very popular pre-cut. They are used in many pre-cut friendly quilts, and a single set of 2 1/2″ strips can be used to make a quick lap-sized quilt. These strips are 2 1/2″ wide, and the length is the entire length of the fabric. 2 1/2″ strips can also make great sashing, or binding for finished quilts.

Harlequin Quilt

If you’re looking for a simple quilt pattern to use with novelty prints or large focal prints, then the Harlequin Quilt is perfect! It makes a nice long lap quilt, can be made in a day, and has large piecing that allows focal prints and novelty prints to really shine.

This post contains affiliate links. These provide a commission to this site at no extra cost to you.

The Harlequin Quilt uses the Folded Corner Clipper to make the stitch-and-flip corners a breeze! No need to draw lines on the back of every square, the Folded Corner Clipper by Creative Grids lets you trim up each corner to 1/4″, which essentially marks and trims the corner all at once! You can get the Folded Corner Clipper here in my shop. Or you can purchase the Folded Corner Clipper at the Fat Quarter Shop.

You can see how easy it is to use the Folded Corner Clipper to make Snowball blocks, Flying Geese, and Half-Square Triangles in this video:

Get the Harlequin Quilt pattern free for a limited time by joining the email list:

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Scrappy Pumpkin Table Runner

When summer turns to fall, all the candles and pumpkins come out. If you’re ready to put out all the fall decor, add this Scrappy Pumpkin Table Runner to your fall decor this year! Fun to make using all of your harvest-toned scraps, this Scrappy Pumpkin Table Runner can be stitched up in a day. It is simple enough to quilt on your domestic machine, bind, and get on your table the same day you start!How to use the Curvy Log Cabin Trim Tool

Curvy Log Cabin Trim Tool

This Scrappy Pumpkin Table Runner is part of my Ruler of the Month series. Each month I pick a ruler, show you how to use it, and offer a free pattern so you can try out your new ruler skills! This month I’ve done something different. The ruler I chose is a ruler I have featured as the Ruler of the Month before – it is the Curvy Log Cabin Trim Tool.

The Curvy Log Cabin Trim Tool makes faux-curved blocks. You still do all straight cutting and piecing. But, because of the way that the pieces are stitched together, it makes a curved-looking design. A great way to make curved shapes without sewing any curved blocks. And, this is a fabulous way to use your favorite scraps to make a new project!

We’re using the 4″ Curvy Log Cabin Trim Tool. If you don’t already own it, you can buy the Curvy Log Cabin Trim Tool in my shop – and I offer free shipping in the US on all orders!

If you’ve never seen the Creative Grids Curvy Log Cabin Ruler in action, you can watch this video to see how easy it is to make these “curvy” blocks that go together as easily as a Log Cabin block!

Scrappy Pumpkin Table Runner Pattern

This pattern is beginner-friendly. All the steps for making the pattern are broken down in this full-color pattern with lots of diagrams. If you prefer to read the text of a pattern, look at the images, or a combination of the two, you will enjoy the Scrappy Table Runner Pattern.

You can buy the scrappy pumpkin table runner pattern in my shop:

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.

Quilt as you Go Basics

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

Quilt as you go basics

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

 

World’s Best Turkey Cheeseburger

I am a member of the Collective Bias Social Fabric Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser.

World's best turkey cheeseburger recipe

Summer is in full swing! For me, this means lots of time in the sun, and of course, grilling! We love grilling meats around here, and one of our favorite things to throw on the grill is a great burger. I’m a fan of turkey burgers, which are easy to add tons of flavor to! I set out to make the World’s Best Turkey Cheeseburger, so I headed to Walmart to pick up my ingredients.

While I was shopping, I used the Blippar App. It is a fun, free app that gives you bonus information on participating products. When I scanned my Kraft cheese, I had access to some great cheeseburger recipes, and I could take a photo with Brad Paisley! Hey look! Brad Paisley is shopping with me! You can also register to get Paisely Points and win some sweet Brad Paisley Swag.

Brad paisley in cart

Then I headed home to make some cheeseburgers. Yum!

make a turkey cheeseburger

You can find the full recipe at the bottom of this post. My burger patties included the basics – ground turkey, salt and pepper, egg and breadcrumbs (as binding agents), and then lots of flavor – I added Kraft Barbeque sauce, Kraft Cheese shreds, and minced garlic – yum!

Everything was tossed into a bowl, and thoroughly mixed. I pulled off my rings, washed my hands, and mixed it all in with my hands.

mix ingredients

Once my meat was mixed, I divided it into 4 sections for my patties. You could also make 6 smaller patties.

split up meat

Each section was first rolled into a ball, then pressed flat. To keep your patties from puffing up into meatballs on the grill, make a crater in the center of the burger. This way, the burger will be an even thickness when cooked. I put the patties onto squares of parchment paper, making them easy to transfer to the grill. This also makes them easy to stack in a container if you’re taking them to the park or to the beach to grill.

make burger patties

While the burgers were grilling, I prepared my fixings. First I chopped up some onions to caramelize.

onions to caramelize

Then I chopped up my avocado and tomato. Tear the lettuce to prevent the edges from browning. I like a little salt on my avocado and pepper on my tomatoes.

burger fixings

The it is time to toast the buns…

toasted buns

And then build the burger!

delicious turkey cheeseburger

Some people like to put the cheese on their cheeseburger while it is still on the grill. I like to put the cheese on RIGHT after it comes off the grill. It still gets melty, and none of it gets lost to the flames.

To make it a little easier to eat, I cut my cheeseburger in half.

cheeseburger with a side of cheeseburger

Hey, look who is hanging out in my cheeseburger!

brad paisley burger

Why yes, I’ll have my cheeseburger with a side of Brad Paisely, thankyouverymuch.

World’s Best Turkey Cheeseburger Recipe

Burger:
1/5 lb ground turkey
3/4 c Kraft Barbeque Sauce
1/2 c cheese shreds
1 c breadcrumbs
1 egg
1 tbsp minced garlic
salt & pepper to taste

Fixings:
Hamburger bun
Kraft Naturals cheese slices
Kraft Miracle Whip
Lettuce
Tomato
Avocado
Caramelized Onions

Mix all ingredients in a bowl until thoroughly combined. Divide into 4 large patties or 6 small patties. Grill until done. Add Kraft naturals cheese slices, and your choice of fixings on a toasted bun, and enjoy!

#SayCheeseburger #CollectiveBias

Spring Staircase Decor

Spring Banister

I don’t have a mantel. I don’t mind not having a fireplace, but not having a mantel does bug me. Especially when I see so many adorable mantels done up. My next house will need a fireplace, just so I can have a mantel. In the meantime, I’ve come up with some mantel substitutes. I used to use my banister to hang stockings. After we bought our china hutch, it made the perfect place to hang stockings. Though I still love banister decor.

This year, I’m having fun bringing spring into the house, so I thought that a Springy staircase would be fun! It was super simple to put together, and it adds just a little bit of color. If you pick brighter birdhouses or flowers, you could add a whole lot of color!

supplies for banister

To decorate your banister like this, you need:

Wide Burlap Ribbon
Large Gerber Daises
Mini Clothespins
Krazy Glue
Mini Birdhouses – WITH LOOPS (I had mine already painted)
Ribbon

 

 

Start by prepping the daisies. I pulled them off the stems, pulled up the green bit, added a little Krazy glue, and stuck my clothespin between the petals and green.

glue clothespins

They were done in no time.

attach clothespins

While they dried, I wrapped the bannister in burlap.

wrap burlap around banister

Twice. Just big loops around the railing. Nothing fancy.

wrap banister

To add a little color, and tie it all together a bit, I criss-crossed ribbon down and back up the bannister.

wrap ribbon around

Then I tied on the birdhouses. I used about 8″ of ribbon, and just tied them on the railing, threading the ribbon through the loop at the top of the birdhouse. If your birdhouses don’t have loops, glue the ribbon on.

add birdhouses

By now, my daises were dry, so I clipped them on the burlap.

simple spring banister

They make a great backdrop to my Easter Tree – that I haven’t shared here yet!

spring decor

Are you having fun decorating your house for Spring?

Sight Word Board Game

Erasable Sight Word Board Game

My Kindergartener loves playing board games. There is something about rolling the dice, and moving his playing piece that he just loves. Since we are working on sight words, I thought I’d make a sight word board game. The problem is – depending on which list you pick, there are hundreds of sight words! This game is great for working on just 6 sight words at a time. Once your child has mastered those six, you can erase the words and write in new ones. You don’t have to re-make the game for each set of words, just use a wet-erase marker and in a few minutes, the game has been re-made with new words! Let me show you how…

Supplies:
supplies for sight word board gameFoam Core
Duck Tape Deco Dry Erase Laminate
Solid Color Duck Tape (I chose red)
Wooden Block
Scissors
Craft Knife
Pencil
Permanent Marker
Wet-Erase Markers (Vis-a-vis)
Favorite candy (to use as playing pieces – my son’s favorite are red Mentos)

Start by cutting the foam-core into a board-game-ish size. You don’t have to be super perfect, just two pieces that are the same size will do.

Stack the two pieces, and tape together with a piece of Duck Tape along one long edge. Trim the excess.

tape pieces together

Cut a piece of the Duck Tape Deco Dry Erase Laminate that is roughly the size of the entire board when open. Open up the taped together foam core, carefully peel off the backing paper, and cover the inside of the board with the Dry Erase Laminate. Then cover all the edges with the duck tape. Before folding over the edges, clip the tape at the fold.

tape edges of board

The board is all put together!

board ready for game

Using your permanent marker, draw a big squiggle on the board, then a second line about 1.5″ from the first. Segment off the lines into boxes. I drew a star at the end to represent the finish.

draw board game

I counted the number of squares, then divided by 6. I wrote the numbers 1-6 randomly this number of times in the boxes. This helps when changing out the sight words.

Now to make the dice! Wooden blocks are inexpensive, so you can buy several, and write a sight word on each face of all the die, using different die when you want to practice different sight words. Or you can make erasable die to go with your erasable board. Start by cutting 6 squares slightly larger than the face of the block.

cut six squares

Peel back the paper and put a square on each face, trimming away the excess.

trim off excess

Cut twelve 1/4″ strips of Duck Tape.

quarter inch strips of Duck Tape

Put the strips along each of the edges of the dice. This will make sure all the edges stay in place through lots and lots of sight word practice!

finished erasable dice

To play, select 6 sight words. Write one on each side of the dice. Pick one side, write that word in all the boxes labeled with 1. Pick a second side, write that word in all the boxes labeled with 2. Repeat with all 6 sides.

write in words

Grab your favorite candy.

Use favorite candies to play a sight word game

Assign each player a piece, and start playing!

Sight Word Board Game played with Candy

Help your young learner out. Make sure all the words are facing their direction to make them easy to read. After the die is rolled, turn it to make it easy for them to read each time.

Each player takes turns rolling, then advances their candy to the next matching word on the board. When they get to the end and roll a word that there are no more of, they put their candy on the star, and win! When each player reaches the end, they get to eat their candy – everyone is a winner!

If you’re playing with a child who has sticky or sweaty fingers, you might need to keep your marker handy so you can re-write in the words as you play.

sight word dice after playing

Organizing 2014: Simple Expense Sheet

Happy New Year! I’m ringing in the New Year with something super thrilling – expenses. Okay, maybe not super thrilling, but very much needed. Last year, I had little slips of paper spilling out of my wallet, my purse, glovebox… all over the place! I decided to fix this problem for 2014, and while I’m at it I thought I’d share my solution with you. Because all this week Angie from The Country Chic Cottage, Gina from The Shabby Creek Cottage and I are sharing cleaning and organizing tips!

Simple Expense Sheet

The expense sheet is super simple to use. Just tape it to the front of a 9×12 envelope. Tuck the Envelope in your purse. Each receipt gets recorded on the front, then tucked in the envelope. I can quickly enter all the receipts for a month, trip, or other time period into my bookkeeping software, and all my little slips of paper stay put!

If you want to print off your own simple expense sheet, you can find it here.

Come back tomorrow for another great tip to make 2014 your most organized year yet… I promise it’ll be a whole lot more fun than this one!

Organizing 2014: A Thoughtful Kit

About 4 years before I had my first kiddo, a co-worker told me that I was going to be a great mom. She had three little boys, and judged my mom-ness on my ability to focus on the details – baking Halloween cookies from scratch (and frosting them with scratch-made frosting), sending out cards and notes for special occasions big and small, and always wearing a clean shirt. As she said it I remember thinking that I had time for all of these things because I wasn’t a mom. And I was right. Although I get the clean-shirt thing down most days, I don’t have the time to do all the little things I used to. And I want to fix that. This Thoughtful Kit is one step towards a more organized 2014. And since I’m getting together with Angie from The Country Chic Cottage and Gina from The Shabby Creek Cottage this week to share cleaning and organizing tips, I thought I’d share this with you today.

Make a Thoughtful Kit

Before Facebook and Twitter, I actually sent out notes to people. Fun cards with a little note inside – nothing fancy, but always appreciated. Just because we have the electronic means to greet our friends doesn’t mean we have to forget the personal touches, right? This little bag has everything in it to whip out a quick note to a friend, celebrating a success, sharing a fun thought, or just because.

Here’s what goes into a Thoughtful Kit:

1. Some kind of folder or pouch to hold everything. Once filled, this will get tucked in the car so I can easily write a note while waiting at school to pick up the kiddo, or if the baby has fallen asleep on the way to the grocery store. Being organized will help me take advantage of these formerly lost moments.
2. Cards. I have a wide variety here, but the basics are Thank You notes, Birthday Cards, and cards that are blank inside.
3. Pens. Because you never have one handy when you need one.
4. Extra envelopes. Each of my cards has a corresponding envelope, but sometimes you find a magazine article that you want to tear out and mail, or find something at the store you want to send, or you want to mail off some photos (there is something awesome about printing off and mailing a photo versus texting it, don’t you think?).
5. Stamps. Because you can’t mail without them, and having them handy is key.
6. Address Book. If you have all your addresses saved in your phone, you can skip this part. I’m not that fancy. I keep an old-school address book. Actually, I have more than one. This mini one fits perfectly in my Thoughtful Kit.

TIP: Grab all the envelopes from the Christmas Cards you were sent, and double-check the return addresses for any updates so you can have an updated Address Book. If any of the cards you sent out come back returned, update the address in your address book right away so you never have to second-guess yourself when sending out a card!

7. Optional Stuff. I like to have fancy seals or stickers for sealing envelopes. If you use return address labels, tuck those in. Maybe you like sparkly pens or tucking a little confetti inside your cards… tuck that stuff all inside your Thoughtful Kit so you’ll have it ready to go!

What to put in a thoughtfulness kit

Now I’m organized and ready for a super-thoughtful 2014!

Oh, and in case you’re stuck for how to write a thank you note, I wrote a little post on how to write a thank you note that should help you out!