May 15, 2020

Cut your blocks faster than ever with my Quick Block Calculator



After I had been quilting for a while, I discovered there were formulas for making certain quilt blocks faster. I thought this was amazing and proceeded to find all the formulas I could. This was great but they had to be calculated properly to work.  Sometimes I would enter a number wrong or add a number when I was supposed to divide. Then there was the problem with cheat sheets. They could be cumbersome and didn’t include the block assembly instructions.

After a while, I tried finding a quilting app that would do the formulas for me but with no luck. I considered making my own app but that would be too expensive. Then, I discovered an online calculator builder where I could create my own calculators. I created calculators for ten quilt block formulas. The formulas could now be calculated instantly and each one included assembly diagrams. 

I'm now sharing my Quick Block Calculators with the quilting community free of charge. I hope they help those of you who may have been as frustrated as me with block formulas. Enjoy!

USING THE CALCULATORS

NOTES
•  All calculations have been tested for accuracy.
•  All measurements are in inches.
•  All instructions assume a basic knowledge of rotary cutting.
•  The formula for each block is included with each calculator.

DEFINITIONS
Finished Block
•  Block dimensions after it has been sewn into a quilt.

Unfinished Block
•  Block dimensions before it has been sewn into a quilt i.e. finished block dimensions plus seam allowance.

Parent Squares
•  The squares you make using the formula. These squares are used to build your block.

Square Up
•  Trimming a block to its correct size.

TIPS FOR MAKING PERFECT BLOCKS
•  Round up uneven results to the nearest even fraction or round number.
I use this handy decimal to a fraction conversion table.
•  Double-check your results before cutting your parent squares.
•  Make a test-run block before cutting your good fabric.
•  Cut the parent squares accurately.
•  Use a scant ¼ inch seam allowance to make the block slightly larger and easier to square up.

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Scroll down to find the block you want to make.
2. Depending on the formula, enter the finished or unfinished block size you need.
3. Find the parent square size(s) in the orange box. If required, round up the result.
4. Cut the number of parent squares required.
5. Follow the assembly diagrams provided to make the block.
6. Square up block if necessary.


April 23, 2020

Moroccan Mini Quilt: New Pattern Launch!



I used to do mosaic art years ago and still appreciate this beautiful art form. Moroccan mosaic tilework is my favourite type of mosaic art because it reminds me of elaborate quilts. I've always wanted to replicate this art style in fabric and this year I finally did. The result is my newest pattern, Moroccan Tile Mini Quilt. This pattern may look a bit complicated but it is all straight cuts and no templates are required!

MOROCCAN TILE MINI QUILT PATTERN

Buy now at my PATTERN STORE

February 07, 2020

My Precious Bundle Baby Quilt Pattern is now Charm Pack friendly!

One of the first quilt patterns I ever designed was the Precious Bundle baby quilt. That was five years ago. But, for whatever reason, I didn't design it for precuts. I'll chalk that up to inexperience.

For 2020, I redesigned this gorgeous baby quilt for charm packs. I'm hoping this will make it easier for even the most novice quilter. The only fabrics you will now need to make the Precious Bundle quilt top is one print charm pack, one solid white charm pack, and 1¼ yard white. How simple is that?!


Charm Pack Friendly Baby Quilt | Precious Bundle by Monica Curry

Charm Pack Friendly Baby Quilt | Precious Bundle by Monica Curry

Charm Pack Friendly Baby Quilt | Precious Bundle by Monica Curry


November 13, 2019

Make Your Own Best Press Citrus Spray Starch


Best Press Spray Starch Recipe - Monica Curry Quilt Designs


I love Mary Ellen's Best Press Spray. It helps my blocks press crisp and there's no starchy residue. The only downside is that it's way too expensive, especially here in Canada. Also, I don't like the smell of most of their scents; the lavender-scented spray smells like cheap men's cologne. I thought of using the scent-free Best Press, but it costs more than the scented. So, I decided to try making the homemade version of Best Press and I was pleased with the results.

I wanted my spray to have a nice scent but most of the recipes I found called for lavender essential oil and I didn't care for it. So, I tried the citrus essential oils (i.e. lemon, lemongrass, bergamot, orange, etc.) and loved the fresh citrusy scent. I use bergamot exclusively now. Bergamot is a fresh, uplifting Italian orange oil used for cosmetics and perfumes. Below is the recipe for the DIY Citrus Best Press that works just as well as the real deal.



DIY CITRUS BEST PRESS (Makes 1 quart/1L)
  • 3 cups distilled water (it must be distilled because some tap waters can stain your fabric).
  • 1/2 cup vodka (*vodka is made from fermented potatoes which are a natural starch).
  • 1/4 tsp. citrus essential oil (I use bergamot but any citrus will work).

Combine the essential oil and vodka then add all ingredients to a 1 L/1 qt. container with a lid. Replace the lid of the container and shake the solution well. Pour into a spray bottle. Shake well before each use.

*UPDATE: The truth about vodka. After more research, I found that most vodkas are NOT made from potatoes. Most are made from cereal grains. I use unflavoured Smirnoff  which is made from corn. Conclusion, just use the cheapest unflavoured vodka you can find.

FREE PRINTABLES:  Pretty labels for your 1 Litre/1 quart spray starch bottle plus a handy recipe card (Download HERE)



Front Label

Back Label

Recipe Card



September 11, 2019

How to Square Up Hourglass & Pinwheel Blocks: No special ruler required!



This post is a supplementary tutorial for the Quick Block Calculator.

When using the shortcut methods to make Hourglass and Pinwheel blocks, you often have to "square up" the block to the correct size you need. If these blocks are not squared up properly, you will end up with very wonky looking squares that will only be good for the scrap pile.

In this post, I'll show you a simple method for squaring up Hourglass and Pinwheel blocks that doesn't require a special ruler.

MATERIALS
•  Square quilt ruler at least 8" x 8".
•  Rotary cutter
•  Masking tape or transparent quilt ruler tape.

INSTRUCTIONS
1.  Divide the desired block size in half, e.g. 4½"÷ 2 = 2¼"
2.  Find this number on the ruler.
3.  Place a piece of tape horizontally and vertically on the ruler to mark the center of the block.
4.  Line up intersecting point of the tape with the center of the block.
5.  Line up the 45º angle with angle of the block.


6.  With a rotary cutter, cut off the exposed ends of the block.


7.  Turn the ruler and block 180º.
8.  Once again, line up the halfway point with the center of the block.


9.  With a rotary cutter, cut off the exposed ends of the block.


Follow these same steps with the Pinwheel and Half Square Triangle.