Modern Quilts, Home Decor, and Handcrafted Clothing

Celebrate Christmas: Starry Night Quilt Block Tutorial

Starry Night Quilt Block

For the last several weeks, Michele (Mishka) over at Quilting Gallery has been featuring a Celebrate Christmas blog party.

Celebrate Christmas Quilt-Along and Super Deals for Quilters

Each week three bloggers share tutorials for new quilt blocks. And today is my day! You can read my interview here. I’d like to welcome all the new visitors to my blog, I hope you enjoy my block, Starry Night.

This quilt block is a paper pieced. For those of you that participated in the Summer Sampler Series, you are old pros! If you are new to paper piecing, do not fear. First, I recommend reading through this tutorial and even making the sample block. It will really give you a basic understanding of paper piecing. And hopefully put your mind at ease. Second, I recommend reading through the entire tutorial for today’s block before starting. And finally, take your time making this one. We will be paper piecing 4 small blocks and then piecing those together. Ready? Let’s get started!


Starry Night Quilt Block Tutorial

Please note, all seams are 1/4″; Final block size 12.5″ unfinished
Reduce your stitch length so that the paper template will perforate easily. I used 1.5 stitch length.

Paper Piecing Templates
Print 4 of the Paper Piecing Template below. Be sure to print them at 100% and check the scale icon with a ruler before starting.

Starry Night Paper Piecing Template

Prepare the templates. Cut the templates out around the seam allowance line.

Step 1. Cut your fabric. When cutting fabric for paper piecing, you will be cutting fabric that will be larger than needed. (You can save your scraps for later quilt squares.)

I recommend cutting 1 of each piece below, making a block, and ensuring it is enough fabric for your sewing style. Then you can make adjustments later for the rest of your blocks. These are the fabric sizes I used for my paper piecing.

Pattern Piece
1 Cut 4 5″ x 4″
2 Cut 4 5″ x 4″
3 Cut 4 5″ x 3″
4 Cut 4 5″ x 3″
5 Cut 4 10″ x 2″
6 Cut 4 7″ x 4″

Tip: I like to write the fabric color name I’m planning on the template pieces so I don’t get confused as I’m sewing. Yes, I’m easily confused.

Step 2: Take your fabric cut for Piece 1 and place it right side out on the back of your template, making sure to cover the entire template space 1. Pin into place.

Step 3: Take your fabric cut for Piece 2. Place it right side together to Piece 1 which you pinned into place in Step 2. Hold your template up to the light and make sure at least 1/4″ of the fabric overlaps into template space 2. This will probably feel backwards and wrong the first few times you do it. :) Pin into place.

Step 4: Sew along the seam line on the template between pieces 1 and 2. Be sure to sew a bit into the seam allowance. I also like to backstitch at the beginning and end. Remove your pins.

Step 5: Flip your block over. Press your fabric open. Your square will look like this:

Back:

Step 6: Turn your block over and trim the excess fabric from around the template.

Looking better already, right?

Step 7: Take your fabric cut for Piece 3. Place it right side together to Piece 1 which you have sewn into place. Hold your template up to the light and make sure at least 1/4″ of the fabric overlaps into template space 3. Pin into place.

Step 8: Sew along the seam line on the template remembering again to sew a bit into the seam allowance.

Step 9: Trim seam allowance.

Before:

After:

And press.

Step 10: Repeat the same process for Piece 4.

Turn your block over and trim the excess fabric from around the template again.

Step 11: Take your fabric cut for Piece 5. Place it right side together to Piece 3 and 4 which you have sewn into place. Hold your template up to the light and make sure at least 1/4″ of the fabric overlaps into template space 5. Pin into place.

Step 12: Once again, sew along seam line…

Trim…

and Press…

Step 13: Repeat for the final Piece 6. Line up…

Sew, press and trim the block to size:

Congratulations! You’ve made your first paper pieced block quadrant!

Step 14: Now repeat these steps for the remaining three templates.

**TIP: To achieve the look of my block, you will want to reverse the location of the blue fabrics on two of the four templates. **

Step 15: Once you have all four templates pieced, remove the paper from the back. This should perforate easily as long as you remembered to shorten your stitch length before sewing.

Step 16: Sew the 4 quadrants together to create your quilt block.

Starry Night Quilt Block

You’re done!

Mock up of what entire quilt top would look like:

Starry Night Quilt Top Mock Up

November 2, 2011   60 Comments

Secret Garden

Sandi Henderson Secret Garden

This week I received some of Sandi Henderson’s new line, Secret Garden, in the mail. I purchased this Fat Quarter set from Fresh Squeezed Fabrics. Isn’t it beautiful? This the the midnight colorway.

Free Spirit Designer Solids Color Card

I also received a Free Spirit Designer Solids color card in the mail today! This was purchased from Hawthorne Threads. I think they sold out about 24 hours after they sent their newsletter out announcing they were in stock. Keep an eye out for more! I recently worked with these fabrics for the first time and I really liked them (more than Kona solids). You’ll be seeing more of them on my blog!

September 24, 2011   11 Comments

ABC 123 – Mini Quilt Monday

ABC 123

Welcome to our third Mini Quilt Monday! This week I decided to dive right into the book Word Play Quilts by Tonya Ricucci. I recently discovered Tonya’s blog, and wow, there is a lot of inspiration on there!

I have future plans to make a quilt with some words on it, but I was a bit intimidated when it came to making letters. I’m *pretty* sure I’ve mentioned that geometry and I don’t exactly get along. And this style of letters looked like you needed to know something about that. Tonya’s book makes it SO easy! She has step-by-step instructions for all letters and numbers.

ABC 123

I also followed tips that I learned during Malka Dubrawsky’s Improvisational Piecing class:
1. I followed basic color rules when making my letters. Each letter/number is made with either warm or cool fabrics. I alternated warm/cool/warm/cool/etc.

2. I didn’t use my ruler once when making this mini quilt. I freehand cut all pieces with my rotary cutter. If a piece had a slight curve to it, I incorporated that curve into the next piece I sewed on.

3. When sewing letters together, if one letter was smaller than the next, I added fabric to the smaller piece rather than trimming fabric from the larger piece.

4. I used mostly solid fabrics, but incorporated a few prints to add a bit of interest.

I know this improvisational style of sewing makes some of you break out into a cold sweat. I won’t name names. You know who you are. LOL But I just love how it turned out!

ABC 123

I quilted this mini using straight lines in varying directions on the background portions of the letters. As for the fabric, I used a selection of solids from my stash: Kona cottons, Kaffe Fassett shot cottons, Moda crossweaves, Free Spirit Designer Solids and Pat Bravo’s Pure Elements solids. Phew! The binding is a Kei Honeycomb. The final size is 14″ x 12.5″. This is one mini quilt I think would look great hanging up in a nursery with little clothes pins. I’ve added it to my shop.

So let’s see what you made this week. Link ‘em up!



September 19, 2011   19 Comments

Summer Sampler Series Complete!

Summer Sampler Series

It’s done! I finally finished up my Summer Sampler Series quilt. I am *so* happy with how it turned out.

Summer Sampler Series Detail 1

Honestly I never thought I would make a Sampler quilt. They are definitely beautiful and a lot of work goes into them…but I always thought they were too traditional to peak my interest. I guess that just goes to show that you should never say never. Although these blocks all have traditional roots, I feel like the fabrics and sashing give this quilt a distinctly modern feel. Even my husband likes it! (And that is saying something. :))

Summer Sampler Series Detail 2

For those that didn’t follow along, the solids I used for the quilt blocks were from Pat Bravo’s Pure Elements collection. I am very much in love with the fabric – the colors, the silkiness. I plan on keeping some permanently in my stash. The 2″ wide grey sashing is Free Spirit Designer Solids Nugray. I also am really happy with their solids and plan to order more. I need a swatch card!

Summer Sampler Series Back

For the backing I used a print from Tanya Whelan’s Dolce Fabric collection. I had been saving this fabric to make some clothing, but….well, that never happened! And in the spirit of using what I have, I decided it would make a great quilt backing. There is also a dark purple stripe which is from the Pat Bravo Pure Elements line that I used on the front.

Summer Sampler Series Detail 3

I decided to quilt this one in a free motion meandering style. There are a *lot* of seams on this quilt and I wanted to do some heavy quilting to make sure it all stays in place for a long time.

Summer Sampler Series Back Detail

The binding is Free Spirit Designer Solids Manatee. The final quilt measures around 44″ x 58″.

I have really enjoyed watching so many of these quilts come together in the Flickr group. If you haven’t checked it out, be sure to stop by and be inspired. Also, if you weren’t able to quilt along with us, don’t worry. The tutorials will be up indefinitely, so you can always make yours at a future date.

September 14, 2011   59 Comments