Sunday, August 29, 2010

Lily & Will Quilt

I was lucky enough to get a layer cake and a charm pack of the new Lily & Will by Bunny Hill Designs from Moda, ahead of when it lands in stores. I saw this fabric and just fell in love...with all of the colorways in the line too, not just the pink that I ended up with.

I sat on this layer cake for a while as I knew I would be making this into something for my duaghter when she moves into a regular bed. This meant that it needs to be not only nice, but it needs to be bigger than any quilt I've made to date. Scary contemplation, that. How on earth am I going to get something that large quilted on my machine? Hmmm. I'll think about that tomorrow (just call me Scarlet).

I wanted this to be simple, without taking away too much from the patterns of the fabric. So, I went with a simple idea, and a quick one too! Here is the tempalte I made while planning this quilt (yep, this is what I do on my lunch breaks. Walk? Fresh air? No, I Excel.).

Originally I was going to add another edge beyond the pink in a dark brown polka dot material - but I decided I liked it just like this, so watch for brown polka dots in upcoming projects!

You will need:
1 layer cake
2.1 metres (sashing)
Batting (queen sized)
Backing 4 yards/4 metres
If you want to go bigger an add another sashing beyond the pink, you will need 1.1 metres, cut into 5" strips.

Take each piece of the layer cake and pair it with an opposing (or complimentary, depending on your preference) piece. You will have 21 pairs total.

Lay them one on top of the other.

Cut 2" off each side.

Keep the pieces together. Repeat with all pieces of your layer cake.

You will have a pile that looks like this:

Take the 2" pieces that you cut off and sew each onto the opposing fabric from the pair.

You will have two new squares that look something like this.

Complete with all your pairs and iron down all your seams.

Your squares are now 10" x 9". We need them to be perfect squares, so trim 1" off the long side to square them up to 9"x9"

You will have two new piles that look something like this.

Yes, I'm keeping the 1" trimmings. And yes, I plan to do something with them.

As I don't have a design wall (yet...but boy are my craft room plans getting bigger every day!), I lay all my squares out on the floor to choose where I want all my squares to go.

You want to put together 6 sets of 4 squares and 3 sets of 6 squares, like below.

Sew your squares together (remember to sew them in rows, iron down the seams, and then sew the rows together).

Now for the sashing. From your material, cut it into 5" strips (across the width). I sewed all mine together into one long strip and ironed down the seams.

You will need:

6 x 18" lengths
4 x 72" lengths
2 x 73" lenghts

Begin by sewing the sashing between a 4-square and a 6-square, then add another piece of sashing and add on your last 4-square. It will look a little like this:

Trim any overhanging pieces.

Note: be smart about this, unlike me, and pin these pieces together before you sew them. I just sewed them all together and then realized they didn't actually line up properly. Seam ripping ensued, plus a fair amount of muttered swearing, followed by pinning.

Sew your three sections together with one piece of the 72" sashing in between each. Sew your other two pieces on the outside. Trim all your edges.

Sew your final two pieces of sashing across the top and bottom.

Iron your seams.
Layer, quilt, and bind.
Quilt top (unquilted):  69" x 78"


P.S. I would normally have waited until I quilted this to post it, but that's a big quilt for's going to take a while!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Half Square Triangle Tutorial

As I missed out on taking pics during my last project, I did up a quick tutorial on HSTs (Half Square Triangles). These are such versatile squares in quilting - if you learned to do nothing else, you could still make hundreds of different styles of quilts with just this technique.

All squares need to be the same size. Take your two squares.

Place them right sides together.

Using tailors chalk, a pencil, etc. (I use a disappearing marker made specifically for material), draw a striaght line with your ruler from one corner to the other. If you have a cutting mat with lines, this is where it will come in handy.

Sew 1/4" one either side of the line you've drawn. Note: you can, and should, use the chain piecing method if you have a lot of these to do - simply sew up one side of all your squares then turn around and sew up all the other sides.

Cut along the line.

Iron seams down.

Done. Okay, you are supposed to trim off those dog ears so it's a perfect square, but I just don't have the patience for that.


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Pillowcases For A Great Cause

A few days ago I became acquainted with the Craft Hope website and I immediately became a huge fan of theirs. This website allows people who love to craft to use their skills to help others in need. And for me, this was fantastic. I often feel the need to help others, but don't always have the finances available to do much good. Now, I know I can do something, physically DO something, to help make even a small difference in another's life. I was so excited that I wanted to share it here as well.

Their current project (Project 9) is making pillowcases for chronically ill children in hospital, in support of ConKerr Cancer. Read all about it here. You mail (or drop off) your pillowcases to your nearest ConKerr coordinator - find the listing here.

The ConKerr Cancer website has instructions on how to make a basic pillowcase, but if you need something with a picture included (or would like to make something a little more intricate), the All People Quilt website supports the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge program and they have included several pillowcase patterns for free on their website here.

If you are looking for a way to use up your leftover material (100% cotton only!), maybe this is the way! Here are the pillowcases I've made so far. And all four only took two hours...from fabric store bag to complete!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Zig Zag Quilt

I finally got a little time to work on this during the long weekend and got on a roll since then! The quilt is finally done and I really do love it - especially the contrast between white and colours - I love that clean, crisp look. Alas, this one is going to my goddaughter for her birthday. Which is in October. That's a while from now. Maybe she'll get it sooner. Like next week.

So, what do you need to complete this lovely lap quilt?

2 Moda charm packs (I used Boutique by Chez Moi)
70 white 5" quilting squares (or if you want to cut your own you will need 1.5 yards/1.2 metres of material)
45" x 60" batting (use your Michael's coupon and get the Heirloom in Crib size!)
1.75 yards/1.6 metres of backing material
matching bias tape
matching thread

To get started - choose 70 charms from your two packages. For mine, I chose not to use the red charms that came in my package as I didn't have enough to complete a solid line, which helped to narrow it down.

Once you have those chosen, you will be making 140 Half Square Triangles. Not as daunting as it sounds, I promise, and incredibly versatile as well.

Take one white square and one charm square. Place them right sides together. Draw a line from one corner to the opposite. Sew 1/4" away from this line on both sides. Cut down the line. Open and iron seam towards the dark side. You now have two Half Square Triangles. Now just finish up the rest.

I neglected to take any pictures at all while I was doing this, so if you need a visual on this, try visiting here. And then check out the rest of the tips and tricks for cutting charm squares while you're there!

NEW: completed a quick tutorial on Half Square Triangles that you can check out here!

Once you're done, iron all the seams away from the white side. You will have a stack that looks a little something like this:

Now lay your squares out so they reflect the pattern you want to make. I did this one stripe at a time so I could try not to have two of the same pattern close together, etc., etc. This also helps to make sure you're sewing them together the right way.

Once you have your pattern sorted out, sew the top row of squares together, right sides facing, until the top row is done. Now sew the bottom row the same.

Iron all your seams for the top row in one direction. Then iron your seams for the bottom row in the opposite direction (this will allow your seams to nest together when you iron the two together and make for a smoother lie of the material). When top and bottom are sewn together, it should look something like this at the back:

Sew top and bottom row together, right sides facing.

Iron the seam down.

Complete the same for the remaining 6 rows.

Once they are all done try them out in different positions to see what you like best. I decided that as there was only enough of the yellow to make one stripe it would go in the middle and the colours would radiate out from it. I couldn't decide if I liked the blue beside the yellow or the pink...
And then I started thinking about colour wheels, which made me think of my Grade 9 art class, which made me think of the teacher, which made me want to drink a bottle of wine...I made a snap decision right then to go with pink and save my liver.

Sew all your rows together and iron your seams down. How easy was that?

Layer, quilt, and bind!

Finished quilt size: 41" x 58"

For my quilting I chose to do a simple stitch in the ditch for this one and follow the zig zag pattern, which I think looks really nice on the white backing.

As you can see, I took the easy binding way out on this one...but it does match the pattern of the quilt itself, so let's just pretend I did it intentionally, ok?

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