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 22 Comments
Just a quick note to let you know that today, over at the Quilting Gallery Learning Center, I am the guest blogger! Pat asked me to do a write up for beginner quilters on Piecing and Pressing. So if you are new to quilting, this is for you! If you are self taught and want to see how someone else pieces, this is for you too! Even if you are super experienced, go check it out. There is a link to a giveaway at the end.
April 12, 2012 4 Comments
I’m happy to have you visit my blog today as part of the Festival of Half Square Triangles! Today I’m going to share a tutorial for a new quilt block and then talk about some ideas for what you can do with it.
I almost titled this post “When a Square isn’t a Square”. Because those are the words that were constantly in my mind as I was creating this quilt block and the quilt that will follow it on Friday. When I’m designing quilts, I think I tend to fall into the mindset that I have to make blocks that are square. But when I sit down and really think about quilts that catch my eye, a lot of the time they are quilts don’t use basic squares – whether it be stars or hexies or any number of things.
So today’s block is a rectangular hexagon. This block can be used on it’s own – I actually think it would make an adorable pillow. I could see a bunch of them in different colors all over my daughter’s bed. Or it can be combined with many more blocks to make a quilt. I will share tips for making it into a quilt at the end of the block tutorial.
Let’s get started on the single block tutorial!
Candy Pinwheel Quilt Block Tutorial
All seam allowances are 1/4″
Step 1. Cut your fabric.
|Color/Print 1||Cut 3||5″ x 5″|
|Color/Print 2||Cut 3||5″ x 5″|
Step 2. Cut all 6 squares along the diagonal, resulting in 12 half square triangles (HST).
Step 3. Pair 8 of your HSTs together as shown. Sew together along the diagonal creating 4 squares.
Step 4. Trim your squares to 4.5″ x 4.5″.
Step 5. Sew your 4 squares together to form a pinwheel.
Step 6. Take your 4 remaining HST. Lay out as shown below.
Step 7. Sew together along the short edge, forming a larger triangle as shown below.
Step 8. Place these larger triangles on each side of your pinwheel square. Line up the middle seams and sew together.
Step 9. Using a quilting ruler, trim the sides of the resulting block if necessary, so they line up with the edges of the pinwheel section of the block.
Congratulations! You’ve made a Candy Pinwheel quilt block!
As I mentioned earlier, I think a block like this would make an adorable pillow. But what if you want a quilt? There are a few options. First, let’s talk color and layout. These blocks are staggered to “fit” together.
I followed a few color rules when designing this quilt mockup. Almost all my blocks were made using all warm (pink, red, orange, yellow) or all cool (blue, turquoise, green, purple) colors. I think this gives a bit of order to a quilt that is actually scrappy.
As for quilt top assembly, there are a couple options. First, you could make individual blocks (rectangular hexagons) and sew them together using the Y-Seam method. I’m sure most people just fainted.
But there is another easier option. If you plan your quilt ahead, you can actually sew your quilt together in rows. Simply lay out your entire quilt top on the floor or design wall, and rather than making one block at a time, you make one row at a time.
You will need some space to make your quilt this way, but I found it to be very easy. I hope that gives you some ideas for making an eye catching half square triangle quilt. I will post my finished Candy Pinwheel quilt on Friday. Here’s a sneak peek!
April 4, 2012 29 Comments
As I wrap up work on more UFOs (hopefully to share with you soon!), I am letting myself cut into new projects with much less guilt. This week I added a few more fabrics to one of the stacks I posted last month.
And added in those adorable typewriters from Melody Miller’s Ruby Star Shining line.
This block is actually a traditional design called Antique Tile by Nancy Cabot. Some of you probably know that I have a
weird obsession interest in Nancy Cabot. I don’t know why, but it seems that so many times when I see a traditional block I think would look great in a modern quilt, it’s by Nancy Cabot. It’s also cool that she was from Chicago and wrote a column for the Chicago Tribune…fun to think of someone like her so close to where I live. Anyway, I like her so much that I made a Flickr group called Nancy Cabot Made Modern full of blocks attributed to her.
I even bought an index with hundreds of Nancy Cabot blocks. It is great! Similar to The Encyclopedia Of Pieced Quilt Patterns, as it shows drawings of the blocks but you need to figure out how to make them.
I really love this Antique Tile block, and it was quite simple to figure out the dimensions. I’ve posted the sizes to cut below for you to create a 12.5″ unfinished block. If you make any of these blocks, be sure to post them to the Fresh Lemons Flickr group as well as the Nancy Cabot Made Modern group!
March 14, 2012 22 Comments