Modern Quilts, Home Decor, and Handcrafted Clothing

Lighthouse Quilt Along Week 4: Quilt Top Assembly

Lighthouse Quilt Along

This is the last “official” week of the Lighthouse Quilt Along, but do not worry if you are still working on piecing your blocks. I know I posted at a quick pace in order to have the information available to everyone as needed. I hope you have enjoyed making your blocks, maybe learning something new about design, color, calculating fabric requirements or paper piecing.

Lighthouse Quilt Top : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Today we are going to focus on sewing your blocks together to make your quilt top. This is really very simple. I lay my quilt blocks out on the floor or a design wall. (Let’s be honest, usually the floor.) I start at the top and sew the blocks together row by row. The most important thing for me involves pressing the seams.

Lighthouse Quilt Top : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I like to press my seams in alternating directions per row. For example, I will press all my seams in the first row to the right. Then I will press all my seams in the second row to the left. Then continue, right – left – right – left. These alternating pressed seams become “locked” together when you sew your rows to each other, forming the finished quilt top.

Lighthouse Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

And that’s it! Finish your quilt as usual. I’d love to see pictures of your completed Lighthouse Quilts (or quilt tops), so feel free to post links in the comments as you finish your projects!

November 20, 2013   12 Comments

Lighthouse Quilt Along Week 3: Assemble Those Blocks!

Hello everyone! We are now at Week 3 of the Lighthouse Quilt Along. So how did your test blog assembly and fabric calculations go? I received some emails and Instagram photos of paper piecing and blocks, and it’s been really exciting to see everyone at work. I always smile when I hear first time paper piecing success stories.

Lighthouse Quilt Along : Fresh Lemons Quilts

This week is really just a check in – everyone should (hopefully) have their fabric now, and have at least 1 block successfully assembled. Now it’s time to make the rest. I like to do mine assembly-line style. All the cutting, then all the paper piecing, then all the trimming, and then all the block assembly.

Lighthouse Quilt Along : Fresh Lemons Quilts

We will do one final check in next week and talk about who is ready to sew their blocks together and complete their quilt top. (No hurry if you are taking it slow) Happy sewing everyone!

November 13, 2013   No Comments

Lighthouse Quilt Along Week 2: Test Block Assembly

Lighthouse Quilt Along by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Welcome to Week 2 of the Lighthouse Quilt Along! Today we are going to make our first quilt block, which I usually think of as a test block. I always like to make 1 quilt block (or even just sew 1 of each template in a foundation paper piecing pattern) before ordering and cutting all my fabric.

Why? When paper piecing a block, people have different comfort levels with the amount of fabric needed. Those that are very experienced with paper piecing may need less fabric to achieve their finished block. Those that are new to the process might require a little more. I always try to write my patterns and tutorials with beginners in mind though, so hopefully these fabric cuts will work for everyone. But again, I like to make 1 block first before cutting into fabric for an entire quilt.

After we make our first block, we will talk about determining how much fabric you need for your quilt.

Let’s get started!


Lighthouse Quilt Block Tutorial

Please note, all seams are 1/4″; Final block size 8 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ unfinished
Reduce your stitch length so that the paper template will perforate easily. I used 1.4 stitch length.

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

Lighthouse Foundation Paper Piecing Template

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

Step 1. Cut your fabric. When cutting fabric for paper piecing, you will be cutting pieces that are slightly larger than needed. These are the cutting amounts for completing one Lighthouse Quilt Block.

Lighthouse Quilt Along by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Pattern Piece Fabric Color
A1 Cut 4 2 1/2” x 3” Green/Print
A2 Cut 4 4 1/2” x 4 1/2” White/Background
B1 Cut 4 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ Turquoise/Print
B2 Cut 4 2 1/2″ x 3″ White/Background

Tip: It can be helpful to write the fabric color name on the paper template pieces.

Lighthouse Quilt Along by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 2: Let’s start with Template A. Take your fabric cuts for Template A and place them right sides together. Center the 2 1/2” x 3” Green Fabric rectangle along the edge of the 4 1/2” x 4 1/2” White Fabric square, as shown.

Lighthouse Quilt Along by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 3: Place your fabric on the unprinted side of the paper piecing template, covering the entire space of A1 with your Green Fabric rectangle as shown.

Lighthouse Quilt Along by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Take your fabric and template and hold them up to the light. I like to use a nearby (um, very dirty) window. Make sure at least 1/4″ of the fabric overlaps into template space A2. This overhang will be your seam allowance. This will probably feel backwards and wrong the first few times you do it. Pin into place.

Lighthouse Quilt Along by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 4: Make sure your stitch length is now shortened to something around 1.4.

Lighthouse Quilt Along by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Sew along the seam line on the template between pieces A1 and A2. I also like to backstitch at the beginning and end. Remove your pin.

Lighthouse Quilt Along by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Lighthouse Quilt Along by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Your block should now look like this:

Lighthouse Quilt Along by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Lighthouse Quilt Along by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 5: Turn your template over, open the fabric, and press your seam.

Lighthouse Quilt Along by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 6: Using a quilting ruler and rotary cutter, trim your block around the template. I like to line up the 1/4″ markings on my quilting ruler with the lines on the template as shown.

Lighthouse Quilt Along by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Lighthouse Quilt Along by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Lighthouse Quilt Along by Fresh LemonsQuilts

Lighthouse Quilt Along by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Congratulations! You’ve just finished your first paper piecing template! Next we are going to follow the same process and paper piece Template B.

Step 7: Take your fabric cuts for Template B and place them right sides together. Center the 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ Turquoise Fabric rectangle along the edge of the 2 1/2” x 3” White Fabric rectangle, as shown.

Lighthouse Quilt Along by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 8: Place your fabric on the unprinted side of the paper piecing template, covering the entire space of B1 with your Turquoise Fabric rectangle as shown.

Lighthouse Quilt Along by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Take your fabric and template and hold them up to the light. Make sure at least 1/4″ of the fabric overlaps into template space B2. This overhang will be your seam allowance. Pin into place.

Lighthouse Quilt Along by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 9: Sew along the seam line on the template between pieces B1 and B2. Remove your pin.

Lighthouse Quilt Along by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 10: Press your fabric open and trim as you did with Template A.

Lighthouse Quilt Along by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Lighthouse Quilt Along by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 11: You now have completed Template A and Template B. Next we will sew these together to make 1 quadrant of the finished quilt block. Carefully remove the paper from the back of your paper pieced pieces.

Layout your components as shown.

Lighthouse Quilt Along by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 12: We are done paper piecing, so you can now change your stitch length back to it’s usual setting. Place the pieces right sides together. As you can see, when you fold down your fabric 1/4″, your seams will match. Pin in place.

Lighthouse Quilt Along by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Lighthouse Quilt Along by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 13: Stitch together and press.

Lighthouse Quilt Along by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Lighthouse Quilt Along by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 14: Congratulations, you’ve finished your first block quadrant! Repeat these steps to piece the other 3 block quadrants.

Step 15: Once you have all 4 block quadrants pieced, it’s time to sew them together. Please disregard the change of color in my fabrics. I took the photos for this step at a later point in making my finished quilt.

Layout your 4 block quadrants as shown.

Lighthouse Quilt Along by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 16: Place 2 block quadrants right sides together. Match your seams and pin. Stitch together and press. Repeat for remaining 2 quadrants.

Lighthouse Quilt Along by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Lighthouse Quilt Along by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 17: Place 2 block halves right sides together. Match your seams and pin. Stitch together and press.

Lighthouse Quilt Along by Fresh Lemons Quilts

You’re done! Admire your finished Lighthouse Quilt Block

Lighthouse Quilt Along by Fresh Lemons Quilts


Determining Fabric Required

Now that you’ve made your test block, you should know what size cut fabrics you need for your quilt. We will be determining the fabric requirements based on the tutorial above. Adjust accordingly if you found you needed larger cut sizes for your blocks.

Yep, here comes the math. Brace yourself!

NOTE: My quilt math assumes a yard of fabric is 36″ x 42″ width of fabric (WOF)

Step 1. Determine the number of pieces you need to cut for your quilt. For each block, you need to cut (4) of each A1, A2, B1 and B2. To determine the number of pieces to cut for your quilt, use the following equation:

Number of Blocks x 4 = A1 Cuts
Number of Blocks x 4 = A2 Cuts
Number of Blocks x 4 = B1 Cuts
Number of Blocks x 4 = B2 Cuts

I’ve gone ahead and done the math for you for the sizes we discussed in last week’s quilt along post.

Baby Quilt / 25 blocks / 40″ x 40″ Finished / Print 100 Copies of Templates
A1 Cut 100 2 1/2” x 3” Focal Fabric
A2 Cut 100 4 1/2” x 4 1/2” Background Fabric
B1 Cut 100 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ Focal Fabric
B2 Cut 100 2 1/2″ x 3″ Background Fabric
 
Lap Quilt / 63 blocks / 56″ x 72″ Finished / Print 252 Copies of Templates
A1 Cut 252 2 1/2” x 3” Focal Fabric
A2 Cut 252 4 1/2” x 4 1/2” Background Fabric
B1 Cut 252 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ Focal Fabric
B2 Cut 252 2 1/2″ x 3″ Background Fabric
 
Twin Quilt / 88 blocks / 64″ x 88″ Finished / Print 352 Copies of Templates
A1 Cut 352 2 1/2” x 3” Focal Fabric
A2 Cut 352 4 1/2” x 4 1/2” Background Fabric
B1 Cut 352 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ Focal Fabric
B2 Cut 352 2 1/2″ x 3″ Background Fabric
 
Queen Quilt / 132 blocks / 88″ x 96″ Finished / Print 528 Copies of Templates
A1 Cut 528 2 1/2” x 3” Focal Fabric
A2 Cut 528 4 1/2” x 4 1/2” Background Fabric
B1 Cut 528 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ Focal Fabric
B2 Cut 528 2 1/2″ x 3″ Background Fabric
 
King Quilt / 156 blocks / 104″ x 96″ Finished / Print 624 Copies of Templates
A1 Cut 624 2 1/2” x 3” Focal Fabric
A2 Cut 624 4 1/2” x 4 1/2” Background Fabric
B1 Cut 624 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ Focal Fabric
B2 Cut 624 2 1/2″ x 3″ Background Fabric
 

Step 2. Next it’s time to calculate how much fabric we need for the focal and background of the quilt. This if where the width of fabric (WOF) measurement of 42″ comes in to play.

For each template piece (A1, A2, B1, B2), you need to calculate how many pieces you can cut per WOF strip.

For example, template piece A1 is cut 2 1/2” x 3”. To calculate how many can be cut per WOF strip, use the following equation:

WOF / Length of Template Piece = Number that Fit in WOF
42″ / 3″ = 14 pieces

Because I know I need 100 cuts of Template A1 for my baby quilt, I need to calculate how many 14 piece strips I need to cut.

100 / 14 = 7.14 (round up to 8)

Now I know I need to cut 8 strips that are each the width of Template Piece A1 (2 1/2″) to account for all 100 A1 cuts.

8 strips x 2 1/2″ = 20″

This means I need a total of 20″ x 42″ (WOF) to account for all A1 pieces in my Baby Sized quilt. If I am using a scrappy layout, or multiple colors, that is the amount of fabric I need in TOTAL.

Using these equations, I’ve determined the amount of TOTAL fabric needed for the basic sizes of quilts that we covered last week.

Baby Quilt / 25 blocks / 40″ x 40″ Finished / Print 100 Copies of Templates
A1 20″ x 42″ (WOF) Focal Fabric
A2 54″ x 42″ (WOF) Background Fabric
B1 30″ x 42″ (WOF) Focal Fabric
B2 20″ x 42″ (WOF) Background Fabric
 
Lap Quilt / 63 blocks / 56″ x 72″ Finished / Print 252 Copies of Templates
A1 45″ x 42″ (WOF) Focal Fabric
A2 126″ x 42″ (WOF) Background Fabric
B1 70″ x 42″ (WOF) Focal Fabric
B2 45″ x 42″ (WOF) Background Fabric
 
Twin Quilt / 88 blocks / 64″ x 88″ Finished / Print 352 Copies of Templates
A1 65″ x 42″ (WOF) Focal Fabric
A2 180″ x 42″ (WOF) Background Fabric
B1 100″ x 42″ (WOF) Focal Fabric
B2 65″ x 42″ (WOF) Background Fabric
 
Queen Quilt / 132 blocks / 88″ x 96″ Finished / Print 528 Copies of Templates
A1 92 1/2” x 42” (WOF) Focal Fabric
A2 265 1/2″ x 42″ (WOF) Background Fabric
B1 147 1/2″ x 42″ (WOF) Focal Fabric
B2 92 1/2” x 42” (WOF) Background Fabric
 
King Quilt / 156 blocks / 104″ x 96″ Finished / Print 624 Copies of Templates
A1 112 1/2” x 32” (WOF) Focal Fabric
A2 315” x 42” (WOF) Background Fabric
B1 175″ x 42″ (WOF) Focal Fabric
B2 112 1/2” x 32” (WOF) Background Fabric
 

To determine yardage for the above amounts, simply divide the first number by 36″. For example, if the required fabric amount is 20″ x 42″ (WOF):

20″ / 36″ = .555 yards

In which case, I would round up and buy 2/3 yard of fabric.

Now chances are, you are not using the same focal fabric throughout your entire quilt for A1 and B1. That’s ok. Now that you know the TOTAL amount needed, you can buy fat quarters, fat eights, etc. Just make sure it adds up to the TOTAL amount of fabric required for each template piece.

You probably are just as exhausted as me after all that math! Don’t worry if it takes a bit of time to let it all absorb. Spend the next week determining how much fabric you need for your planned quilt. Go shopping! (Or hunt in your stash). Feel free to get going on the blocks for your quilt top and we will check back in next week.

Happy Sewing Everyone!

November 6, 2013   23 Comments

Lighthouse Quilt Along Week 1: Quilt Top Design

Welcome everyone to the first day of the Lighthouse Quilt Along! I’m so excited to share the process of making this fun and beautiful quilt with you. And finally share my finished quilt photos with you as well!

Lighthouse Quilt by Fresh Lemons Quilts : Faith

I’m really pleased with how the quilt turned out. I enjoyed working with the new Palette line by Marcia Derse so much. (More on the exact fabrics I used later in the post.)

Lighthouse Quilt by Fresh Lemons Quilts : Faith

So let’s get started!


Lighthouse QAL Week 1: Quilt Top Design

This week we are going to start out the quilt along by focusing on Quilt Top Design. This is when you are going to make 2 very important decisions:

1. Size of the quilt you’d like to make.
2. Color of your quilt blocks/top.

The blocks in the Lighthouse quilt are 8” x 8” finished. My quilt is 5 blocks x 5 blocks, meaning my quilt measure 40” x 40” finished. This is a baby size or wall hanging size. Some of you may want to make this quilt larger.

Type Blocks Finished Size
Baby 5 blocks by 5 blocks = 25 blocks 40″ x 40″
Lap 7 blocks by 9 blocks = 63 blocks 56″ x 72″
Twin 8 blocks by 11 blocks = 88 blocks 64″ x 88″
Queen 11 blocks by 12 blocks = 132 blocks 88″ x 96″
King 13 blocks by 12 blocks = 156 blocks 104″ x 96″

Tip: Keep in mind, each finished block is going to require paper piecing 8 templates. (Easy templates, but still 8 each). So if you are new to quilting, you *may* not want to jump right into a King Sized quilt with 156 blocks, which equates to 1248 paper pieced templates. I’m sure it would be stunning though!

Once you decide on what size you’d like to make, it’s time to plan your colors.

Below I’ve provided PDF download links to coloring page worksheets. Simply download the size quilt you’d like to make, grab some colored pencils and start designing.

Baby PDFLap PDFTwin PDFQueen PDFKing PDF

I’ve shaded in the background with a light grey – but this can be any color you’d like to use as the background of your blocks. (Please understand I am not able to provide all possible combinations of quilt block layouts as PDF coloring pages. If you’d like a different size quilt, you can cut and tape the templates.)

And just to get those creative juices flowing….here are some ideas. You could make a complete rainbow gradient quilt just like mine.

Lighthouse Quilt Along Design by Fresh Lemons Quilts : Faith

Or have a common color component that appears consistently throughout the quilt blocks and ties them all together.

Lighthouse Quilt Along Design by Fresh Lemons Quilts : Faith

And maybe that common color is really several shades of a color (in this case, brown).

Lighthouse Quilt Along Design by Fresh Lemons Quilts : Faith

Or maybe you just have a fabric collection that you want to use in a scrappy way as the focal fabrics in the quilt. That’s great too!

For those interested in making a quilt like mine, I used Marcia Derse’s Palette Fabric line. I just found out that the release date was pushed back a little to January 2014. If you happen to want to wait until then, or stumbled across this quilt along at a later date, do not worry. These posts and directions will live on my blog for as long as my blog is around.

Palette by Marcia Derse for Windham Fabrics

The following are the exact fabrics I used in my quilt (baby sized) and I did have fabric left over. All fabrics are from Marcia Derse – Palette for Windham Fabrics, January 2014.

Quilt Top:
1-1/2 yards of 37098-12 Chalk
1/4 yard each of: 37098-6 Mustard, 37098-13 Saffron, 37098-14 Duckling, 37098-15 Salmon, 37098-16 Cherry, 37098-17 Papaya, 37098-19 Pumpkin, 37098-21 Wine, 37098-20 Cranberry, 37098-22 Cardinal, 37098-25 Concord Grape, 37098-26 Lavender, 37098-27 Blueberry, 37098-28 Dark Teal, 37098-29 Curacao, 37098-30 Mediterranean, 37098-31 Caribbean, 37098-33 Ocean, 37098-34 Spruce, 37098-35 Mint, 37098-36 Grass, 37098-37 Olive, 37098-38 Everglade, 37098-40 Chartreuse
Backing: 2 yards of 37098-98 Taupe
Binding: 2/3 yard of 37098-10 Burnt Umber

NOTE: We will talk more in depth about fabric requirements next week.

As you can tell based on the amount of information and time put into this post, I feel very strongly that good planning going into a project will lead to a beautiful and successful end quilt. I hope you all will enjoy your week of planning and designing.

Next Wednesday we will be making a test block so that we know exactly how much fabric we will need for the paper piecing of the quilt.

October 30, 2013   32 Comments