It’s done!! Last week, I finished up hand stitching the binding of the Arkansas Traveler quilt. I am in love with how it turned out. (For those that are new to the blog, you can find previous posts about this quilt here, here and here.)
A little backstory on this quilt…my aunt asked me to make something for my cousin and his wife who were married late last year. The design and colors were all left up to me (yes!) I have loved the Arkansas Traveler block ever since we made them in the Summer Sampler Series. They are a bit of work with the diamonds and the paper piecing, but they are just beautiful blocks.
When I was brainstorming layout ideas, I was inspired by the fact that this quilt was for a newly married couple, so symbolizing the bond of marriage was important to me. This layout is a nod to more traditional wedding quilts like a Double Wedding Ring or Irish Chain.
Measuring 72″ x 96″, I’m not sure if this is the largest quilt I’ve ever made, but it is close. It’s definitely the heaviest. Usually I use Quilter’s Dream Request Loft batting (the lowest loft), but for this one I used a slightly loftier batting, the Select Loft. The quilt is headed to Montana and I figured it was colder there so a thicker quilt would be nice.
The size and weight did make for a challenge when quilting. There were more than a few moments when I wondered if I should have sent it out to a long arm. I stitched horizontal lines, spaced randomly between 1/4″ and 3/4″ apart. I went through 12 bobbins and each of the 8 rows of blocks took about 1 hour, 15 minutes. I tried to quilt 2 rows each day. It was quite a workout!
The diamonds are all scrappy fabrics from my stash, but the neutral is Free Spirit Designer Solid in Sand Dune and the backing and binding is Submarines and Seaweed in Aqua from Tula Pink’s Saltwater line.
I’m heading to ship it out today. It’s hard to say goodbye but I’m really happy to have created something special for someone in my family.
April 22, 2013 75 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 41 Comments
A couple weeks ago I received a fat eighth bundle of Oakshott Cottons to play with from Michael Oakshott. I’m going to guess that many of you have maybe seen some of these fabrics around in blogland but haven’t had a chance to work with them yet. That was the case for me at least.
Oakshott Cottons is a family run British business which ethically manufacturers their fabrics in India. They have a photo story on their website that was really fascinating for me. I highly encourage you to check it out!
I sort of assumed Oakshott cottons were similar to the Kaffe Fasset shot cottons or Moda Crossweaves. This is partially true – however these have proven so much easier to work with from a quilter’s point of view. While the others seemed to slide and stretch a lot, these just seem much sturdier when piecing. And that’s in a good way. This color bundle is Lipari – Fat 8ths Pack. This bundle has been shot with black to create beautiful jewel tones.
I decided to pair some of the fabrics with Tula Pink’s Nightshade fabric for Halloween. I’m actually not sure I will get this quilt done for Halloween (this year) – I’ve been so busy prepping for the Sewing Summit! But I have started cutting. I’m using my Prism quilt pattern, but I decreased the block size down to 6″.
I’ve had a lot of people ask me on Flickr and Instagram where they can get these fabrics. Oakshott does deliver to the US via FedEx from their website. Of course international shipping can be pricey. It might be a good idea to pair up with a couple friends and place and order and have them all shipped together. Happy sewing everyone!
October 8, 2012 13 Comments
I received some beautiful fabric in the mail this week – The Birds and the Bees by designer Tula Pink. This fabric was sent to me generously by one of my sponsors, Westwood Acres (you can see all their The Birds and the Bees bundles here). Amanda asked if I wanted to play around with some of this new line and I didn’t really have to think very long before saying yes!
From the first time I saw this fabric online, I thought it would be perfect for a string quilt. I decided for a bit of a less traditional string quilt however. Yesterday I started making blocks that had random amounts of strings on them and I thought I would share a little tutorial for how I made these blocks. They look like butterfly wings to me so….here is my Butterfly Strands Quilt Block tutorial!
Butterfly Strands Quilt Block
Background – Cut squares from your background fabric. These can be any size, as long as you are consistent for all your blocks. We will be trimming the blocks down a bit to square them up, so cut a bit larger than you’d like your final block. I cut mine to 8.5″ x 8.5″ and squared to 8.25″ x 8.25″.
Strings/Strips – Cut random size strips from your fabric, measuring from 1.5″ to 2.25″.
1. Take your background square and cut a 45 degree angle (diagonal) from the square, using either the 45 degree line on your cutting mat or your quilting ruler. Each block should have the diagonal cut in a slightly different location, cutting more off some blocks and less off other blocks.
This is what your block should now look like:
2. Layout your stripes for your block. Don’t trim these yet, just get an idea of what colors you want to use for your block.
3. Right sides together, sew your first strip to the 45 degree diagonal of your background fabric.
Press your seams.
4. Using your quilting ruler, trim the ends of your strip.
5. Repeat with your remaining strips.
6. Square your block. As I said in the cutting directions, I squared my blocks to 8.25″ x 8.25″.
You’re done! Layout your blocks as below by alternating the direction of the string sections.
July 19, 2012 20 Comments