Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Cutting fabric scraps for 9-patch blocks

A year ago, I posted a tutorial for sorting fabric scraps. I decided to supplement that post with a quick tutorial for cutting fabric scrap squares for 9-patch blocks. Because of their versatility, 9-patch blocks are great for making scrap quilts.  Below are only a few 9-patch blocks you can make with scraps. 


INSTRUCTIONS FOR CUTTING 9-PATCH SQUARES FROM SCRAPS

YOU WILL NEED


  • A good collection of quilt cotton scraps. 
  • Iron and ironing board. 
  • Rotary cutter (have fresh blades available). 
  • 6" x 12" and/or 8" x 8" quilt ruler. 

SORTING and CUTTING YOUR SCRAP STASH

1. Instructions are for cutting square sizes 5", 3.5" and 2". (Optional squares sizes are 1.5" and 2.5").

2. Separate your scraps into individual colours: yellow, orange, purple, red, etc. This is a very important step. You don't want to have to sort little 2-inch squares by colour, trust me!

3. Sort scraps by size. Smallest scraps for 2" squares. Medium scraps for 3-1/2" squares. Large scraps for 5" squares.




4.  Press all the scraps before cutting. A quick way to do this is to layer about 4 to 6 pieces and steam press.



5.  Before cutting squares, stack several pieces and line up the top right corner.



6.  Line up your ruler about 1/4" away from the top right corner of the fabrics and trim.




7.  Rotate the fresh cut corner to the lower left. Line up your square size at the corner and trim. If some of the offcuts are large enough, cut squares from these as well.




STORING SQUARES

Store your squares neatly according to colour. Over time you'll accumulate a lot of squares, so finding the right box for them is a good idea. I normally use plastic bins from Dollarama. The container below is a cookie tray from Costco. Use whatever works.

2-inch squares storage option

A variety of square sizes neatly stored, but not colour sorted :(


MAKING SPECIALTY BLOCKS FOR A NINE PATCH QUILT

Nine patch scrap quilts don't have to be made from only squares. Below are simple techniques for making additional blocks from your squares that will jazz up your scrap quilt.

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Quilting room storage idea: Small dressers can hold a lot of stuff!

This is a great storage idea that I wanted to share. I can't afford much for storage furniture so I normally have to think outside the box to furnish my sewing room. I picked this little mid-century modern dresser at a thrift store. I desperately needed more storage for my batting, backing and those miscellaneous things that needed a home. 


I forgot to take the before picture but, basically, it was sprayed in a dark stain and had super ugly drawer handles. After combing over ideas in Pinterest, I came up with this. I really love how it turned out. I can keep an amazing amount of quilting stuff in it!


Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Vintage Sewing Machine Mini Quilt Pattern

This is my most recent foundation pieced pattern, Vintage Sewing Machine mini quilt pattern.

I have this up in my studio and love the bright colours. It measures 15" x 15" (37.5cm x 37.5cm) and would make a perfect little project for your sewing room.

Buy now in my PATTERN STORE






Tuesday, 11 September 2018

NEW Pattern! Feather Your Nest Table Runner


I had a great summer! I finished up some UFOs and I have some beautiful new patterns to launch in the next few months. I'm sure you'll love them as much as I do.

My new pattern launch for this month is my Feather Your Nest table runner pattern. I had been seeing the feather block all over the internet and had to make my own pattern for it. My method for making the feathers is simple. My instructions are thorough and easy to follow, so don't be afraid to jump right in and give it a try. This pattern is great for using up your scraps. The finished table runner is 38" x 14".

Buy now in my PATTERN STORE




The pattern also includes instructions for making a single 12" x 12" block for people wanting to make a feather quilt.


While I was taking pictures my little Sophie decided to take center stage. She's such a ham.

Monday, 27 August 2018

AUGUST STUDIO TOUR Part 2: 10 rotary cutting shortcuts

Click HERE for Part One


NOTES

  • All calculations have been tested for accuracy.
  • Finished block = block after piecing. Unfinished block = finished block plus 1/2 inch
  • All instructions assume a basic knowledge of rotary cutting and patchwork piecing.
INSTRUCTIONS
  1.  Read the calculations carefully then cut the required pieces needed to make the block. 
  2.  Once the pieces are cut, use the step-by-step diagrams to assemble the block. 
  3.  Several calculations might make a slightly larger block. Square these up to the correct size.
     Find instructions HERE for squaring up a quilt block. 
    YOU'LL NEED
    • Rotary cutter with a sharp blade 
    • Cutting mat
    • Quilting ruler 
    • Calculator 
    • Seam ripper 
    • Iron 
    • Light colour fabric 
    • Medium colour fabric 
    • Dark colour fabric 







      Download your FREE Modern Baby Quilt pattern HERE

      This cute little quilt uses nine of the ten blocks you've learned in Part 1 and Part 2. It measures 36" x 36" and the block size is 8" square. This is a perfect pattern for beginners.


      Print Friendly and PDF

      Sunday, 12 August 2018

      AUGUST STUDIO TOUR Part 1: 10 rotary cutting shortcuts

      Click HERE to see Part 2

      When I bought my first rotary cutter in the 1990s it opened up a whole new world for me as a quilter. Not long after this, I started to learn about block cutting shortcuts. Block cutting shortcuts are calculations that are used to cut quilt blocks with a rotary cutter quicker and eliminate the need for templates.

      The first shortcut I learned was for the Half Square Triangle (HST). It was like magic. With a simple calculation, I was able to cut my HST without templates. After trying my first quick HST, I began looking for other block cutting shortcuts. I now use ten shortcuts that have helped speed up my quilting immensely.

      In this Studio Tour, I will show you my ten favourite rotary cutting shortcuts in two parts starting with the five simpler ones. Also, to give you some practise using these shortcuts, I'm giving away a Modern Baby Quilt pattern available for download at the end of both parts one and two.

      NOTES
      • All calculations have been tested for accuracy.
      • Finished block = block after piecing. Unfinished block = finished block plus 1/2 inch
      • All instructions assume a basic knowledge of rotary cutting and patchwork piecing.
      INSTRUCTIONS
      1.  Read the calculations carefully then cut the required pieces needed to make the block. 
      2.  Once the pieces are cut, use the step-by-step diagrams to assemble the block. 
      3.  Several calculations might make a slightly larger block. Square these up to the correct size.
         Find instructions HERE for squaring up a quilt block. 
        YOU'LL NEED
        • Rotary cutter with a sharp blade 
        • Cutting mat
        • Quilting ruler 
        • Calculator 
        • Seam ripper 
        • Iron 
        • Light colour fabric 
        • Medium colour fabric 
        • Dark colour fabric 








            Download your FREE Modern Baby Quilt pattern HERE

            This cute little quilt uses nine of the ten blocks you've learned in Part 1 and Part 2. It measures 36" x 36" and the block size is 8" square. This is a perfect pattern for beginners.



            Print Friendly and PDF

            Monday, 16 July 2018

            JULY STUDIO TOUR: Tips for finally finishing those UFOs


            For the past few weeks, I've been working on my unfinished quilt projects aka UFOs. I gave myself an official UFO challenge.

            For July's Studio Tour, I decided to share some of my tips for starting your own UFO challenge and finally getting your unfinished projects done.

            1. Get everything out in the open.

            Pull out all of your UFOs, and I mean all of them! Lay them out and review exactly what you're dealing with.

            2. Weed out the rejects.

            Look at each UFO and decide which ones you'll keep and which ones you can part with. Some UFOs are UFOs for a reason. Maybe the colours are wrong, the pattern is boring, or the workmanship is poor. Don't spend precious sewing time on projects that don't thrill you. If a project doesn't make the grade, let it go. Use it for a scrap quilt or give it away.

            3. Store each UFO where you can see it.

            After you've sorted out your projects, store them where you can see them. I use clear plastic 12" x 12" scrapbook bins that I buy at Michael's. I prefer to use see-through bins so I can see my project at a glance. You could also use those clear bags that you get with new sheets. Also, Ziploc makes a really nice storage bag that would be perfect for storing projects.


            Project bins for my UFOs (12" x 12" scrapbooking bins from Michaels)

            4. Buy what you need to finish each project.

            Write down a list of items that you'll need to complete each UFO. Check if you need thread, fabric, quilt backing, etc. and take a shopping trip to pick these things up. After you get your supplies put them in the project bins. If you get your supplies ahead of time everything will be ready for you when you start. You also won't be tempted to put the project aside again until you get to the fabric store.

            5. Start with easiest first.

            Start with the easy projects first and work your way up to the ones that need more attention. I find starting with the less demanding UFOs keeps me motivated.

            Spools mini quilt for my studio | 14" x 14"


            6. Do a little each day.

            Even if it's only 15 or 30 minutes, work on your project every day. You'll be amazed at how much you can get done in a short time. Try setting goals for yourself to finish something each day.

            Binding made and ready to quilt.


            Download my free checklist HERE to keep your progress on track.


            Free UFO quilt block HERE




            If you have your own tips for getting your UFOs finished, please leave a comment.

            Tuesday, 19 June 2018

            JUNE STUDIO TOUR: Colour Wheel Combinations for Quilters

            The fabrics you choose for your quilt can really make or break your project. I prefer not to stumble blinding when picking my colours but choosing from all the beautiful fabrics out there can be overwhelming. There are many wonderful pre-cuts that make most of the colour decisions for you, but it's still good to know at least the basics of colour theory.



            Purchase a colour wheel by Dritz that is specifically for quilters. The colour wheel will help you choose colours a little more easily. Buy the Dritz quilting colour wheel HERE



            COLOUR WHEEL COMBINATIONS

            Below are the basic five colour combinations you can get from the colour wheel. I use one of these as a starting point when planning quilt colours. With practice, choosing fabrics will become easier starting with just these five combinations. Get a FREE PDF download with all these combinations HERE.

            1. MONOCHROMATIC are different shades and tints of the same colour.


            2. COMPLEMENTARY are those colours that are across from each other on the colour wheel.


            3. ANALOGOUS are colours that are beside each other on the colour wheel.


            4. SPLIT COMPLEMENTARY The base colour (e.g. red) and the colours that are adjacent to that colour's complement (e.g. green).


            5. TRIAD are three colours that are evenly spaced on the colour wheel.

            01 09 10