I just had to have another project to get going on the Standard. Sew….. I happened to find some cute sock monkey fabric and decided to find some complimentary fabrics for a baby shower quilt. The sock monkey fabric will be the backing.
The pattern I chose is Hunters Star – the same pattern I used for the parents wedding quilt. Jenny Doan from the Missouri Star Quilt Company, has a fantastic tutorial on YouTube for creating a Hunters Star quilt using half square triangles. Here is the link: http://youtu.be/Y7KtiLK_xJk
It all starts with 5 inch strips- some will turn into 4 patches, and some will be sewn into half square triangles.
You can see how the arrow appears when the star and 4 patch are lined up correctly.
It takes 16 half square triangles to make one star, and that has been the most time consuming part of this project.
I plan to do the quilting for this one myself, and with the deadline two weeks from now- I better get back to business on my day off!
I am venturing into the land of Modern Quilting with fabric choices in bright polka-dots, set with solids. I have also chosen to make a modern design for this new quilt top.
I found these great polka dot prints in a jelly roll, and thought immediately that they would look fantastic set with some solids – like grey and yellow for a modern quilt.
The Chevron is still trending, so I decided to create a “fat” and “thin” chevron using the grey for the wider chevron shape and the 2 1/2 inch strips from the jelly roll for the more narrow chevron shape. As you can see there are many 1/2 square triangles involved in this project. and I have found an EASY way to make them.
It starts with two 2 1/2 in strips sewn right sides together on both edges. See a future post for details.
I am happy with the first two blocks, what do you think???
This finished size is a rectangle – GASP- so, non-traditional of me!
Stay tuned as I will be finishing this (hopefully) in the next week or 2 or so………
So, this is how I attach binding to a quilt – it is pretty easy after you have done it a couple of times –
I started with using the extra backing fabric from the two antique quilts I had sent out to the long arm quilter. They always give you the remaining backing and batting from the project to use on another project or for doing a binding in the same fabric as the backing – that is if you bought enough!
After organizing the backing remnants, I am ready for the first step.
The first step is ironing to get the fabric free of wrinkles before cutting with the rotary cutter.
After ironing on a cotton setting with steam, I fold then cut off the rough edge about 1/4 inch so that all of the cuts from that point will be square.
I first cut a 5 inch strip, then sub-cut 2.5 inch strips.
The 2.5 inch strips are then sewn right-sides together at the ends in order to make one long strip that is 2.5 inches wide.
This long strip is then folded in half length-wise and ironed before joining to the top side of the quilt.
I like to start sewing the binding onto the quilt about halfway down one of the sides. I leave about 5 inches or so of binding unstitched as this will be necessary for joining the end of the binding in the last step.
I sew the binding on without pinning- EEK! To do this, I just lay the ironed binding flat on the quilt top with the fold to the inside of the quilt top and the edges lined up with the finished edge of the quilt and sew away. I use the regular foot and a “heavy” setting for fabric on my machine with a stitch length of 2.5.
When I get to the end of a side of the quilt, I stop about 1/4 inch away from the corner, lift the needle, and cut the thread.
I then fold the long (not sewn on yet!)end of the binding strip up perpendicular to the current side, and then fold back down again along the new edge with a fold at the top of the new side.
This technique leaves a fold at the top of the new side with a corner of fabric tucked into the fold which will allow you to get perfect mitered edges on both the front and the back of the quilt at each corner when you turn the binding to the back for hand stitching.
The last step is a little tricky, but thanks some excellent online tutorials, I think I have gotten the hang of it. Go ahead and click on the link!!!! it really helps!
As I am sewing down the last side of the quilt (back to when I started) I stop with about 5 to 7 inches of edge unsewn, then leave 10 inches of folded binding material unstitched. I find a place between the two ends of the binding edge where I would like them to meet! – Say hello to the beginning and the end of the binding strip!
At the point where they meet, take the extra binding from the starting edge and fold it back on itself – this is on the right side in the photo above. I take the extra binding from the left side (where I just stopped) and fold it too, with the folds of both sides meeting in the middle of the 5-7 inches of un-sewn edge. See the picture above for this step.
I cut the fabric on the right at the fold, then measure 2.5 inches from the fold on the left and cut there. If your binding width is different, then add that amount to the end of the binding strip before you cut. I just use the unfolded binding as a tool for measuring here. I will cut the long end of the binding one binding width from the fold. In the picture below, I would cut the bottom fabric at the point where it meets the right edge of the top fabric where my index finger is pointing. This gives me the perfect measure of fabric for an exact fit along the edge. See the picture below.
Now, take the right sides of the two binding edges UNFOLDED and place them perpendicular to each other and sew diagonally across the “T” to make a single piece that is the perfect length for your quilt. I would sew these two pieces together as they are placed below, starting at the bottom and sewing diagonally up. Click here for a tutorial.
Once you have sewn this seam, trim away excess fabric ( the triangle on the right in the picture below) and re-fold the binding strip in half length-wise again and press that piece. This length should fit exactly along the side of the quilt if you have measured carefully.
Now, just place the last bit of binding on your quilt top edge to finish attaching the machine stitched top edge of the binding – see below.
– BUT we’re not done yet! It’s time to hand stitch the binding to the back of the quilt.
I fold over the binding from the front of the quilt to the back and use a matching thread with tiny stitches that won’t be too easy to see. One of my favorite brands of thread is Gutermann.
This part takes awhile, so grab a cup of tea and sit down with your favorite music or TV show on – I can generally get this step done in an evening.
This is the folded binding at the corner. I stitched to the end, and then fold the binding down on the next side, keeping a fold of fabric in the corner again. This fold then makes a perfect 45 degree miter.
Now, I stitch up the fold and then work down the next side of the quilt – attaching the binding to the back using small stitches with thread that matches the binding.
This is a close up of the hand-stitched binding edge on the back. This piece is now complete –
– Let me know your thoughts about your favorite binding techniques and if you are a 1930’s fabric fan like me.
The first border is a yellow print from the 1930’s retro pack of fat quarters, but the quilt was not quite big enough yet – so a trip to the local quilt shop for some matching or close to matching border and backing.
I selected the green print for a 5 inch border all of the way around making a 60 inch by 40 inch finished size. I think this will work out nicely for someone -don’t you?
Time has flown and I have not had a chance to blog or sew in ages! The dust is collecting on my dining room table and it is time to clear the dust and get ready for Thanksgiving! The blocks were all stacked and just waiting for the right time…….
the next steps……. putting the squares into rows and adding borders – sew quick and easy!
I chose the fat quarter pack of 1930’s style prints for this first online tutorial. I think that you will agree the fresh, floral and cheerful look of the prints should put a smile on someone’s face when they receive this nice gift from you – or maybe you’ll like it so much you’ll keep it for yourself!
Let’s start with the rail fence quilt pattern for this first tutorial. It is easy enough for beginners and will be a cinch to piece together.
According to some online posts this pattern was used as a signal on the underground railroad to let escaping slaves know that they were on the right path.
The fence rails in each block are made of 3 color choices – this is a variation of the Roman Stripe quilt block made from 4 fabric strips.
A pieced quilt top is pieced together after making blocks or quilt squares. Each quilt square is made from strips of fabric. Since my pack of fabrics has prints in the same color family, I will use three color families to make my quilt blocks; pink, yellow and green. I am also using a light fabric in each block which will visually link the squares.
Now that I have chosen the fabric, it is time to cut the strips for the quilt blocks. A fat quarter is 18 inches, so I’ll cut strips 2 1/2 inches wide by 6 inches long from each fat quarter . I stack and iron color sets( 1 light, 1 medium and 1 dark fabric) together before cutting so that the pieces that will be sewn together are cut together. I end up with about 16 sets of each color set. You can see the pink, yellow, and green sets here.
After the strips are cut, it is time to sew the squares! Set out your cut strips with one dark, one medium and one light strip together. Sew these three pieces together making sure to sew right sides together and in the correct order 🙂 light, medium and dark – this is important to the look of the finished square.
I use a method called chain piecing to make this step run a little bit faster.
Once the strips from each color family are sewn together, you will have 16 blocks made up of three fabric strips from each color family – 16 pink blocks, 16 yellow blocks and 16 green blocks. At this point in time it is important to square up. I make sure each square measures 6 inches by 6 inches and use a great little 6 1/2 inch ruler along with my rotary cutter on a cutting mat.
The squares are made! It is time to lay out the squares into a pattern that suits your taste. I think I like the way this looks – play around with the orientation of the squares until you find a layout that you like.
If you have a design wall or a large piece of felt, it will help hold the squares in place while you move them to just the right spot.
I am happy with this layout, so I will stack up the squares in each row, making sure that the rows are labeled and the squares are stacked in the same order for each row. I stacked the squares from left to right across. If you are afraid that you will make a mistake, and you have a place to keep your squares in place during the whole process, just leave them – and sew one row at a time.
here are some links I found with information on rail fence patterns: