With the kids in school, it’s been a remarkably productive couple of days over here. The house is clean, dinner has been planned ahead each night, I’ve actually gone to the gym (shocking!!) and I’ve even spent busy chunks of time in my sewing room.
This week I also received a great package in the mail. Last week I ordered Moda Fabric’s Modern Building Blocks pattern and kit. I remember seeing this quilt at market and it was one of those stop-you-in-your-tracks moments for me. I love Moda’s Bella Solids and the colors in this quilt, along with the layout of the blocks, really spoke to me. I cannot wait to make this (even if it will have to wait in line a bit until I’m done with other commitments).
Also, I love the packaging of this kit. I was joking on Instagram that whoever came up with it deserves a promotion! Wouldn’t this make a beautiful birthday or Christmas gift for a quilter? (Husbands…hint hint!)
The inside has all the fabrics, layout and assembly directions, as well as this handy set of double sided cards with all the block patterns.
You can buy this kit at a few of my sponsors:
The Loopy Ewe (fabric kit with pattern)
Fat Quarter Shop (fabric kit with pattern)
Fat Quarter Shop (fabric kit with pattern – PREORDER if link above sold out)
Fat Quarter Shop (pattern only, no fabric)
So, besides drooling over this kit for the last few days, I’ve also been working on my sadly neglected Arkansas Traveler quilt! I basted it yesterday while watching Call the Midwife on Netflix. Wow, what a great show (even if it does make me cry at every episode!).
I started quilting in the blue fabric areas using a coordinating blue thread I had on hand – Aurifil’s Color Me Happy by V & Co’s set. It’s #2775 in a 50wt (orange spool). I’m still debating whether or not to quilt the cream fabrics (with an off white thread) or leave them unquilted, giving it a slightly poofy look.
I’m using my Bernina Stitch Regulator (BSR) which I just realized I’ve been using for 5 years! Obviously I’ve had a lot of time to practice with it. I’ve had some people ask for tips on using it.
• I don’t go too slow or too fast. I try to find a nice, middle of the road speed and stick to it. It might help to get some music (not too crazy now!) with a consistent rhythm and play that while you sew, to get in a nice groove.
• I use Bernina’s single hole stitch plate when stitching straight lines.
• For a while I found that when I was stopping stitching (like to remove a pin), I was taking my foot off the pedal while still moving the fabric slightly. Not good, this leads to messed up stitches. Stop completely before taking your foot off the pedal. When you stop moving the fabric, the stitching will stop as well. (At least does when I use BSR 2).
• If you are feeling like your fabric is getting stuck and you have to pull it (leading to messed up stitches), lessen your pressure foot setting. I’ve had to do this with some fabrics that just didn’t seem to slide well under my foot. Other’s swear by using something called the Supreme Slider on their machine. I don’t have one though.
• And then just practice, practice, practice. When I first sat down to use the BSR I thought I would turn my machine on and suddenly my quilting would be perfect. Um, it wasn’t. lol I needed to still practice. If you still aren’t getting the results you think you should be getting, ask if you can bring your machine into your dealer and have them watch you quilt on your machine. I’m sure they will have tips as well.
I’m halfway finished with the blue and about to go upstairs and get cracking again. I can’t wait to (finally!) share this completed quilt with you soon!
August 27, 2014 27 Comments
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