Modern Quilts, Home Decor, and Handcrafted Clothing

Category — Blocks

A Little Sewing Progress

Log Cabin2

I have a few works in progress that have been occupying my time this week. The Naperville Modern Quilt Guild is currently doing a “log cabin challenge”, due at the end of March. All the quilts have to be 36″ x 36″ finished and use log cabins in some way. I was throwing a few idea around in my head, but in the end decided to make white log cabins with pops of color throughout them. I had a vision in my mind….they probably won’t be ALL white in the end. But I’ll wait to share the finished quilt in a couple weeks.

Log Cabin3

And if you are on Instagram, you probably know about my very, very sad moment with one of these blocks. The biggest one. (of course!) When I started sewing, I pulled some whites out of my scrap bin, before I continued to sew the block with white yardage off a bolt. Horrible idea!

Log Cabin1
Mistake block, before it got bigger

I brought my block down into natural light yesterday and discovered there are 4 logs in the center that don’t match the rest of the blocks. I think the scrap bin white was a Free Spirit White and the yardage is Moda Bella Solid White. And although many on Instagram suggested I leave it or work some other whites into the blocks, it wasn’t in my vision, so I’m going to attempt to rip it out. And if that doesn’t work, I’m just going to remake the whole thing. You’ll probably hear me crying all the way from my sewing room to yours!

Arkansas Traveler

I’ve also been working on my special-quilt-gift-project. Remember this stack of fabric? They’ve been cut and are in the middle of piecing.

Arkansas Traveler2

Someone guessed correctly that I’m making Arkansas Traveler blocks.

Arkansas Traveler3

I’ll leave the final layout as a surprise! Ok, now off to shovel the driveway for the 4th time in less than 24 hours. Please someone tell me Spring is coming soon!

March 6, 2013   33 Comments

The Traveling Quilts ~ Round Six

Rubik Cube

Last week I finished my latest round of The Traveling Quilts Bee. This iteration, I had Elizabeth of Oh, Fransson’s quilt. No pressure, right? ;)

Elizabeth’s quilt is 80′s themed. She found some really, really bright fabrics to send along with the quilt. I’m talking neon! This is how the quilt looked when I received it.

The Traveling Quilts for Elizabeth - Before

So many people had already added amazing things to the quilt. Check out the Pac Man by Monica! Genius.

I was going back and forth on a few ideas. MTV logo, Cindy Lauper silhouette. In the end, I’m not that good of a sewist for those. :) But I knew I could do a Rubik cube! I did a little searching on Google Images and found a nice Rubik graphic. I opened it up in Photoshop and traced the lines to come up with a bit of a paper piecing template.

I printed the image out and cut it into sections based on each side of the Rubik Cube. Then I cut those sides into strips and paper pieced each strip.

Rubik Cube

Once I had the strips sewn together to form each side, I pieced them together as I would any Y-Seam. That was a little trickier than anything I’ve done, as I not only had to line up the y-seam, but also the seams of the color squares on the Rubik Cube.

Rubik Cube

Elizabeth’s quilt also uses some black and white prints. I dug around in my stash and found this older Seagull print (Alexander Henry I think?). Since this is an 80′s themed quilt, I thought it was a bit clever and reminded me of the band Flock of Seagulls. Hopefully you don’t hate the band Elizabeth!

Rubik Cube

I’ve mailed the quilt on to Ashley and am excited to see what she adds!

The Traveling Quilts for Elizabeth - After

February 6, 2013   40 Comments

Summer Sampler Series Anthology

Many of you probably remember the Summer Sampler Series quilt along I hosted along with Lee of Freshly Pieced and Katie of Swim, Bike, Quilt in the summer of 2011. Was it really that long ago? We created the series because all three of us love Modern Traditionalism and we really felt it was just such a great skill builder. I have read many success stories from quilters that learned various new techniques while making the quilt: half-square triangles, flying geese, bias piecing, paper-piecing, piecing equilateral triangles and diamonds, hourglass units, and string piecing.

Summer Sampler Series Sashing

Lee, Katie and I often get emails and comments about the availability of a printable PDF version of the tutorials for this series. Today I’m excited to announce that we now that have available! Lee has put together a fantastic anthology of the blocks, patterns, tips, templates and almost 150 pictures. They are all in one convenient 86 page PDF document.

You can buy the entire thing for $9.99 in our pattern shops:

Craftsy
Faith’s Pattern Shop
Lee’s Pattern Shop
Katie’s Pattern Shop

Teachers, shop owners, and guilds: Would you like to teach the Summer Sampler Series as a class, or run it as a block-of-the-month series? Purchasing copies of the Summer Sampler Series Anthology for all of your participants gives you full permission to teach the series publicly, and we offer discount pricing on the purchase of four or more copies. Email Lee, Katie, or myself for more information.

And no worries, these tutorials will continue to be available on our websites. The Summer Sampler Series Anthology is simply for those that appreciate the convenience of the entire pattern in one printable document.

January 31, 2013   11 Comments

Glorious Autumn: Autumn Star

Welcome to my stop of Quilting Gallery’s Glorious Autumn Block Hop!

Today I’m very excited to be sharing a new quilt block tutorial with you, the Autumn Star. The Autumn Star is a 12.5″ x 12.5″ (unfinished) quilt square. The background consists of a variety of neutrals, starting from light at the top of the block and working their way darker as you go to the bottom of the block. (Scroll to the bottom of the post to see what I made with my star.) Let’s get started!


Autumn Star Quilt Block Tutorial

Please note, all seams are 1/4″; Final block size 12.5″ unfinished

Step 1: Cut your fabric. I decided to make my quilt block scrappy which meant cutting extra print fabrics so none of my HST (half square triangles) per size were the same. You don’t have to do this, I just liked the look. The below chart shows the minimum requirements for cut fabric. If you’d like your star to be extra scrappy like mine, you will need to cut extra prints per size.

Pattern Piece Color/Print Size Number to Cut
Background Tan/Neutral 1 4.5″ x 4.5″ 1
3.5″ x 3.5″ 2
Background Tan/Neutral 2 4.5″ x 4.5″ 1
Background Tan/Neutral 3 4.5″ x 4.5″ 1
Background Tan/Neutral 4 4.5″ x 4.5″ 1
3.5″ x 3.5″ 2
Background Cream/Text Print 2.5″ x 2.5″ 4
4.25″ x 4.25″ 4
Center Brown/Crosshatch 2.5″ x 2.5″ 1
Outer Star Points Various Prints 4.5″ x 4.5″ 4
Inner Star Points Various Prints 4.25″ x 4.25″ 4

Step 2: We will first assemble the inner star. Take your (4) 4.25″ x 4.25″ inner star point fabric and your (4) 4.25″ x 4.25″ cream/text print background fabric and cut them diagonally into HSTs. Pair up 1 of each print HST to 1 of the cream/text HSTs.

Step 3: Sew, right sides together, down the long end of the HSTs.

You should now have 8 squares.

Step 4: Trim your (8) squares to 3.5″ x 3.5″.

Step 5: Using your quilting ruler, cut your squares diagonally in the opposite direction as your sewn seam, as shown below. You will now have (16) HSTs. Set aside 8 of these to use, and 8 for the scrap bin.

Step 6: Because I wanted a scrappy look, I decided to lay out my inner star points until I was pleased with the colors.

Once you are happy with the look, sew each of your HSTs together to form hourglasses as shown below.

Step 7: Trim your blocks to 2.5″ x 2.5″.

Step 8: Take your (4) 2.5″ x 2.5″ Cream/Text Print squares, your 2.5″ x 2.5″ Center Square and your (4) Hourglass squares and lay them out like a 9 patch, as shown below.

Step 9: Sew the squares together into rows.

Step 10: Sew the rows together to form a 6.5″ x 6.5″ square.

Step 11: Now we will make the star points for the outer star. Take your (4) 4.5″ x 4.5″ outer star point fabrics and cut them diagonally into HSTs.

Take each of your 4.5″ x 4.5″ tan background fabrics (you should have 1 of each of your shades of tan) and cut them diagonally into HSTs too.

Again, I wanted my block to be scrappy so I laid out my fabrics until they were just right.

If you are doing the varied shades of tan like me, keep in mind that your top row is your lightest fabric and work your way down to the bottom row, your darkest fabric.

Step 12: Sew each of your print HSTs to your tan HSTs, resulting in 8 squares.

Step 13: Trim your squares to 3.5″ x 3.5″.

Step 14: Layout your block using your sewn components and the remaining 3.5″ x 3.5″ tan background squares.

Step 15: Sew the top 4 squares together into a row. Sew the bottom 4 square together into a row. Sew the side 2 squares together into columns.

Step 16: Sew the left and right columns to the inner star you made in the first half of the tutorial.

Step 17: Sew your top and bottom rows to the middle rows.

You’re done! Enjoy your beautiful star!

I decided to add a bit of sashing to my block and turn it into a Fall pillow for my couch.

I free motion quilted the star portion (not the dark sashing) it in a nice meandering design. The backing is a great text print from Sweetwater’s Mama Said Sew line.

I hope you enjoy making your very own Autumn Star. Be sure to check out Quilting Gallery’s Glorious Autumn page for more tutorials, coupons and giveaways!

November 1, 2012   48 Comments