Modern Quilts, Home Decor, and Handcrafted Clothing

Partial Seams Tutorial

Partial Seams Tutorial by Fresh Lemons Quilts

This tutorial is a long time coming. Last year at the Sewing Summit, I taught some of you how to sew partial seams. I’ve been using this technique quite a bit lately, between writing the Starfall quilt pattern and my upcoming book. I hope you will find this tutorial helpful – if not today, then in the future when you run across a block needing this technique.

My usual disclaimer…this is how I personally sew partial seams. I am self taught, I’m sure there are a thousand ways to do this. This is mine.


Partial Seams Tutorial

The partial seams technique allows you to partially sew one piece of fabric to another, and then come back at a later point to finish the seam.

For example, at first glance this block looks like a log cabin. But upon closer inspection, you see that each of the “logs” is the same length (and longer than the center piece). Using partial seams, you can easily sew this together.

Partial Seams Tutorial by Fresh Lemons Quilts

If you’d like to work along with this tutorial, cut 1 square and 4 strips as listed below. (These are the cut sizes, not the finished sizes.)

Center Square – Cut (1) 4-1/2″ x 4-1/2″
Side Rectangles – Cut (4) 1-1/4″ x 5-1/4″

Partial Seams Tutorial by Fresh Lemons Quilts

1. You can start on any side of the block. I started on the left side and worked clockwise. Place your left strip, right side together with the center block. Align the top edges. As you can see, the strip will hang off the bottom of the block.

Partial Seams Tutorial by Fresh Lemons Quilts

2. Sew your seam down the block, stopping and backstitching about 1″ before the end of the square.

Partial Seams Tutorial by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Your block should look like this so far:

Partial Seams Tutorial by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Press your seams as desired.

3. When you lay your top rectangle against the top edge of the block, you should notice it is now the exact length of the block.

Partial Seams Tutorial by Fresh Lemons Quilts

4. Right sides together, sew the top strip on as normal.

Partial Seams Tutorial by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Press your seams.

Partial Seams Tutorial by Fresh Lemons Quilts

5. Repeat this usual piecing process for the right and bottom strips.

Partial Seams Tutorial by Fresh Lemons Quilts

6. Now we are ready to finish the original seam. Fold your unsewn left rectangle back over the sewn block, aligning the unsewn edge. Pin into place.

Partial Seams Tutorial by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Starting where you backstitched in Step 2, finish sewing down the seam to complete it. Press your seams.

Partial Seams Tutorial by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Congratulations! You just finished your first partial seam block!

May 8, 2013   43 Comments

Sewing for Boston

To Boston With Love and Quilts for Boston

I spent most of last week, like the rest of America, watching the news and thinking what.the.heck. The bombings at the Boston Marathon were just, well, unbelievable. I think when bad things happen, many of us are left wondering what we can do to help. I know I personally feel pretty small and insignificant in such moments.

Boston Quilting Donations

I was really grateful when I saw the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild organizing To Boston with Love ~ a call for flag bunting that will fly somewhere in Boston this summer (location to be determined).


Applique pattern from the book Scandinavian Stitches

Amy from During Quilt Time is working on flag collecting – so individuals and guilds in the USA won’t have to worry about shipping to Canada. Shipping details are here.


B is for Boston

I made 3 flags today. It was fun and therapeutic.


Liberated Heart

The Boston Modern Quilt Guild is also working on giving comfort to those who truly need it after the bombings through Quilts for Boston. They are making quilts and need us to send them blocks. You can find all those details on their blog. I also made a block for this initiative, and hope to make a few more before mailing them off.


Improvisational Log Cabin

A little summary if you want to help out:
Flag Bunting organized by Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild
(Mailing address is in the USA)
Details: http://vancouvermodernquiltguild.ca/blog/
Flickr Group: http://www.flickr.com/groups/tobostonwithlove/
Due Date: May 31st, 2013 Changed to May 21st

Quilt Blocks for Quilts for Boston organized by Boston Modern Quilt Guild
Details: http://bostonmqg.blogspot.com/
Flickr Group: http://www.flickr.com/groups/quiltsforboston/
Due Date: May 24th, 2013

I’ve made a little PDF file if you’d like to print some out and hand them out at your next guild meetings. The more people we can get to help, the bigger the impact. Thanks everyone!

April 25, 2013   12 Comments

Full Moon Lagoon and a New Quilt Beginning

FullMoonLagoon1

Last week I received a very fun package in the mail compliments of Andover Fabrics ~ Full Moon Lagoon by designer Mo Beddell. I have been so excited about this line ever since the little promotion logo thingy popped up on Pinterest (which I guess was 29 weeks ago!). If I could pick my favorite colors for one fabric line, these would be them.

FullMoonLagoon2

Great bold designs…

FullMoonLagoon3

FullMoonLagoon5

Must-have blenders as well…

FullMoonLagoon6

FullMoonLagoon4

When the fabric arrived, I knew I wanted to use it to make a baby quilt. I spent a bit of time flipping through one of my favorite quilt block references, Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia Of Pieced Quilt Patterns. I’m so bummed this book is out of print now. You can still get used copies, but they are pricey. That said, I use the book all the time. You can see my original post about it here.

I selected a classic block that has historically had many names: Octagons, The Windmill, Will of the Wisp, and Kaleidoscope.

Block1

I’m using a variety of low volume prints for the background.

Block2

As you can see, I stained our deck between the first block photo and the second one. Although I like the color for my deck, I’m not sure about it for quilt block pictures. These are the things a quilt blogger obsesses about I guess?

I am paper piecing these blocks and thanks to chain piecing, I’m making swift progress. I can’t wait to share the top next week!

You can find Full Moon Lagoon arriving in stores now, currently in stock at:


Westwood Acres
Stash Fabric

Happy sewing everyone!

April 10, 2013   32 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