Sunday, May 29, 2016

Quilt Sale

Hey friends! Just a quick post to share that all my quilts are on sale now through Monday night (may 30) at midnight!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

A Nine Patch Cross Quilt Tutorial ISH. A tutorialish.

Hey friends. I took a couple pictures while making my latest Summer Bouquet quilt because I have had a couple friends who have asked me about a good, somewhat easy quilt to start with, and I was thinking maybe this is the design that would be fun!

I usually say a log cabin quilt is a good start because you can just keep piecing until you get to the size that you need, but if you are wanting something involving a block design, a nine patch is pretty easy, too.

First, the basics of a nine patch. Basically just 9 squares all the same size, arranged in 3 rows of 3 squares each.

For this quilt, I cut squares to 4 1/2 inches each, 4 low volume background squares, and 5 squares in the patterned fabric you are wanting to showcase. You can see the layout above, but top row is background square, main print, background square, middle row is 3 of the patterned fabric squares, bottom row is background square , main print, background square.

How you sew each square together is preference but I am a chain piecing fool when it comes to patchwork squares. So I feed the top row square 1 and 2, right sides together, and as soon as I leave the end of the square I am feeding row 2's squares 4 and 5 through, and then the same thing with row 3's squares 7 and 8. I pull them out, snip the threads, and then do the end square on each row. Only after all rows have been stitched together do I press the seams.....but see my rule #2 on how I press each row. :)

(p.s. -- the nine patch block offer SOOOOO many variations, and if you're looking to make a fun block style quilt, it is so easy and fun and  by switching things up you can create a completely different look. not to mention, you can make them as big or as small as you like, just as long as each of the 9 squares are the same size, you are good to go. some examples of nine patch block options are here!)

The only real trick to a nine patch is getting the squares to line up as much as possible. And after making lots and lots of blocks, I have found 3 things to be especially important in making this happen.

1- using a quarter inch seam foot!!! seriously, I use this for all piecing and it is SOOO good. It maintains a consistent seam allowance, which is so important for accurate piecing!!

Just find out which foot fits your machine and you are good to go!

2- This is something I just learned a couple years ago-- when pressing rows, press each rows seams in alternating directions. For example, for rows 1 and 3 of your 9 patch, press the seams to the left, and for row 2, press seams to the right. This is a good tutorial on that.  Doing this allows you to sort of LOCK the seams into place, or nest the seams, because they abut one another, when you sew the rows together. It's hard to describe until you do it and then you'll be like AAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!! 

See, there? The seam allowances are going in opposite directions, allowing me to butt them against one another when I stitch them together, making them line up perfectly. As you can see, most often, when I use this method, I do not pin, I just go slow and hold with my fingers. I know this is a preference thing and some people are probably thinking I have lost my mind, but this is what works for me. Stopping to pull out pins or sewing over pins isn't really my jam when I am piecing a bunch of squares together. 

Anyway, I simply stitch each row together and then press each rows seams to one side. 

3- Finally, this is something I just discovered this past fall-- STARCH!!! Some people are ehhh about starch, but not this girl!! I love it. It really makes my patchwork lie flat, which is even more important when you are stitching a seam-allowance heavy block together, like one using HSTs for example. I spray a mist of starch and then I PRESS (not iron), I just press my iron down firmly to set the seams flat and lay the blocks open.

I'm telling you-- game changer! Once I press the seams in the back to set them, I flip the block over right side up, spray, and press. It makes everything better. And then, for this quilt, I repeated that process 11 more times :)

So, that, in a nut shell is it! A quarter inch seam foot, pressing seams to side in alternating directions, and starch and press! 

All that said, though, there are still times when I don't get things to line up perfectly. Thankfully, there is grace and forgiveness in the quilting, and I need much of both grace and forgiveness, and not just in regards to quilting. 

So, that is how I make one block. My squares were each 4.5 inches, making the finished block 12 inches. I used strips in between each block, and above and can make the blocks line up directly against, or make strips in between, and adjusting the strip size allows you to make the quilt as big or small as you want!

I did 3 blocks per row, 4 rows, and did a wider border on the top, bottom, and outer sides, which created a quilt that measures 43.5 inches by 62 inches. 

I used pieces of the fabric I made the quilt top with to piece a back together. I added in solids to make it big enough. I really like the way the back turned out, probably just because I love these fabrics and I love seeing them all blown up :)

If you did 4.5 inch squares with 4 blocks per row, and 5 rows, you would roughly have a quilt measuring 48 x 60.

Maybe a super easy, fun way to start would be to make a huge block, with just one cross being the focal point. If each square measures 10.5 inches, it would result in a finished 30 square inch block that you could border with white, making a super cute, super easy baby quilt!! I bet that would be lovely!!! Great. Now I want to go make that. Ugh....quilter ADD probs. It's a legit thing.

Y'all-- I just shared a sort of, not really, kind of tutorial. ISH. A tutorialish. I think I am growing up!!!!

Linking up here:
Fort Worth Fabric Studio

And HERE!!!

happiness and hurting back

Hi there! It's Saturday morning, my husband is home (!!!!!), my coffee is hot, and I am well rested. I feel like the only thing missing is a showering of glitter from the sky!! haha. jk, because that's just another mess I'd have to clean up.....or walk over and bribe my kids with candy to clean up.

Jeremiah was gone for a few weeks and the best way I know how to deal with his absence is to keep busy. My work schedule and the kids baseball games/practices certainly did their part in making that happen. But at night, when it was quiet and my kids were fading off to sleep (or fighting it and begging for cupcakes, if you're Declan), I grabbed my fabric and got to making.

Here is a look at some of the things I made.

A few of these have already sold, and some are still available in my etsy shop I clearly have a thing for plus/cross quilts. I also have a thing for log cabin style blocks and overall quilt designs. 

That lavender one and the one with navy and sky blue, though, those 2 might be my new favorite designs and I have been toying with making that design a customizable quilt. Customs make me nervous because I don't think what I see in my head and what the customer might see in their head will always mesh. Also, I don't want to make anything I don't really love, because I really want to maintain the kind of sacredness that is my creating/quilting time. Meaning, basically, that if I am making a quilt I don't like and it feels like "work", it will lessen my love for quilting. And aint nobody got time for that.

I am curious if anyone has dealt with this, and found a way to still offer custom work while maintaining their creative identity? Anyone, anyone? I'd love to hear about it. 

I just finished another quilt that maybe I will write a separate post for (as if you're all just begging for more!!). While I was sewing, I took a few pictures that sort of spot-lighted some of my favorite tools when it comes to patchwork and piecing! Here is a look at the finished quilt:

Y'all, this Nicey Jane fabric by Heather Bailey-- it is an all time FAVORITE!!! I literally cannot even!

I quilted it minimally, so just to frame each block. It gave it a good amount of texture without detracting from the overall least that was my hope.

I mean seriously!!! look at those florals.

That quilt is listed in my shop  but honestly, if this one doesn't sell, I won't cry. She is my favorite. 

Okay, I need to get my act together and go fold some laundry, and eventually head to joanns to get some more Kona white.....I am ALWAYS running out of white, and I just went a week ago and got  yards!! Maybe I need to start buying a bolt. haha! 

Happy weekend folks!!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...