Modern Quilts, Home Decor, and Handcrafted Clothing

Solstice Stars Series : Whirling Star

Welcome to week 2 of the Solstice Stars Series! Today we will be making the Whirling Star. This star is from Barbara Brackman’s book The Encyclopedia Of Pieced Quilt Patterns,page 310 and the original source of the design is attributed to Nancy Cabot.

This block will be our first paper pieced block of the series. Some of you may now need to take a few deep calming breaths. I promise you, YOU can do it! I have taken lots of photos for the tutorial and we will be going through every step.

If you are completely new to paper piecing, I recommend reading through this tutorial and even making the sample block. It will really give you a basic understanding. And hopefully put your mind at ease. Second, I recommend reading through the entire tutorial for today’s block before starting. And finally, take your time making this one. We will be paper piecing 6 small blocks and then piecing those together.


Whirling Star Quilt Block Tutorial

Please note, all seams are 1/4″; Final block size 12.5″ unfinished
Reduce your stitch length so that the paper template will perforate easily. I used 1.4 stitch length.

Paper Piecing Templates
Print 2 of Template A below and print 4 of Template B below. Be sure to print them at 100% and check the scale icon with a ruler before starting.

Template A Template B

Prepare the templates. Cut out the templates around the seam allowance line. Here is a visual of what we are going to make with our templates:


Note: I updated the templates a bit after taking the photos. Your templates specify “A” and “B” on them, which will help you out during the directions.

Step 1. Cut your fabric. When cutting fabric for paper piecing, you will be cutting rectangles that will be larger than needed.

I recommend cutting 1 of each piece below, making a block, and ensuring it is enough fabric for your sewing style. Then you can make adjustments later for the rest of your blocks. These are the fabric sizes I used for my paper piecing.

Pattern Piece Fabric
1A Cut 2 4.5″ x 5.5” Print/Color
2A Cut 2 4.5” x 5.5” White/Background
3A Cut 2 4.5″ x 5.5” Print/Color
4A Cut 2 4.5” x 5.5” White/Background
5A Cut 1 4” x 4″,
then cut
diagonal
Print/Color
6A Cut 1 4″ x 4”,
then cut
diagonal
Print/Color
1B Cut 4 4.5” x 5.5” Print/Color
2B Cut 4 3.5” x 7″ White/Background
3B Cut 4 3.5” x 7″ White/Background

Tip: I like to write the fabric color name on the template pieces so I don’t get confused as I’m sewing. Yes, I’m easily confused.

Step 2: Let’s start with Template A. Take your fabric cut for Piece 1A and place it right side out on the back of your template, making sure to cover the entire template space 1A. Pin into place.

Step 3: Take your fabric cut for Piece 2A. Place it right side together to Piece 1A which you pinned into place in Step 2. Hold your template up to the light and make sure at least 1/4″ of the fabric overlaps into template space 2A. This will probably feel backwards and wrong the first few times you do it. Pin into place.

Step 4: Sew along the seam line on the template between pieces 1A and 2A. Be sure to also sew into the grey seam allowance. Remove your pins.

Step 5: Flip your block over. This is what your seam will look like.

Trim your seam allowance to 1/4″.

Your block should now look like this:

Press your fabric open.

Step 6: Take your fabric cut for Piece 3A. Place it right side together to Piece 1A and 2A which you have sewn into place. Hold your template up to the light and make sure at least 1/4″ of the fabric overlaps into template space 3A. Pin into place.

Step 7: Sew along the seam line on the template.

Step 8: Trim along seam allowance:

And press:

Step 9: Using the same technique, continue and sew on pieces 4A, 5A, 6A, in that order. Your paper piecing template should now look like this:

Step 10: Turn your block over and trim the excess fabric from around the template.

Before:

After:

You can see that some of my fabric was a bit too short. Ideally your fabric will cover the entire template. :)

Congratulations! You’ve made your first paper pieced block!

Step 11: Now repeat these steps for the second Template A.

Step 12: Let’s move on to Template B. I will do a quick walk through to get you started. Take your fabric cut for Piece 1B and place it right side out on the back of your template, making sure to cover the entire template space 1B. Pin into place.

Step 13: Take your fabric cut for Piece 2B. Place it right side together to Piece 1B which you pinned into place in Step 12. Hold your template up to the light and make sure at least 1/4″ of the fabric overlaps into template space 2B. Again, this will probably feel backwards and wrong the first few times you do it. Pin into place.

Step 14: Sew along the seam line on the template between pieces 1B and 2B. Be sure to sew a bit into the seam allowance. Remove your pins.

Step 15: Press your fabric open. Continue paper piecing piece 3B.

Step 16: Press your fabric open. Trim your template, just as you did with Template A.

Step 17: Repeat and create the other 3 Template B’s.

Step 18: You now have all 6 templates pieced you need to create the star! Here’s the layout:

Remove the paper from the back. This should perforate easily as long as you remembered to shorten your stitch length before sewing.

Step 19: Sew your 2 Template A’s together. Align the middle seam to ensure the center points align when you sew the block together.

Resulting Block:

Step 20: Now we will sew the 4 Template B’s to the corners to finish the block. Line up your seams again.

After sewing all the corners to the center block, you’re done! You should have a beautiful Whirling Star!

January 25, 2012   53 Comments

Solstice Stars Series : Ribbon Star

Welcome to the Solstice Stars Series! Today is the first week of a series of five star quilt block tutorials. Our first block is the Ribbon Star. This star is from Barbara Brackman’s book The Encyclopedia Of Pieced Quilt Patterns,page 160 and the original source of the design is unknown.


Ribbon Star Quilt Block Tutorial

Please note, all seams are 1/4″; Final block size 12.5″ unfinished

Step 1. Cut your fabric:

Pattern Piece Fabric Color
Background Corners Cut 4 3.5” x 3.5” White
Background Half Square Triangles Cut 6 4” x 4” White
Top Left Points Cut 2 4” x 4” Blue
Top Right Points Cut 2 4” x 4” Purple
Bottom Left Points Cut 2 4” x 4” Red
Bottom Right Points Cut 2 4” x 4” Green

Take all of your 4″ x 4″ squares and cut them diagonally into half square triangles. Set aside one of each of your blue, purple, red and green half square triangles. You will only need 3 of each color for your star.

Step 2. Sew each of your remaining 12 colored half square triangles to your 12 background/white half square triangles, creating 12 squares.

Step 3. Trim your squares to 3.5″.

Tip: I like to use a small quilting ruler with a diagonal line, and line that up with the seam. I then trim the top and right of the block. Turn the block 180 degrees and line up the seam again. Trim the remaining sides of the square to 3.5″.

Lay out your resulting squares into the design of the quilt block, using your 3.5″ background/white fabric for the corners.

Step 4. Sew your squares together. You’re done!

Don’t forget to post pictures of your finished blocks, as well as any questions, in the Flickr group!

January 18, 2012   37 Comments

Solstice Stars ~ A Series of Quilt Block Tutorials

Solstice Stars Series

Last week I asked for suggestions as to what you would like to see more of on my blog this year. There were lots of great suggestions: quilting basics, color/fabric selection process, smaller projects, sewing with kids. But I think the most requested idea was more quilt-alongs and tutorials.

I have had it in my head for quite some time to make a quilt out of various stars. I decided to incorporate this idea into a series of tutorials so we can all learn together! Over the next five weeks, I will be posting five star quilt block tutorials. Maybe you want to just use this as a skill builder? (There will be paper piecing and probably even some y-seams…both of which are not as scary as they sound and you can find tutorials for them here.) Maybe you want to make a quilt out of one of the stars, repeating? Maybe you want to use all five in a quilt? Maybe you want to add these to other star blocks tutorials online and create a star sampler quilt?

Lots of options! I hope you will join me and we can all learn something new. The “Solstice Stars Series” tab at the top of the blog will contain links to all the tutorials as well as buttons for you to grab for your blogs.

Tutorials will be posted everyday Wednesday, beginning January 18th and ending on February 15th. Finished blocks can be added to the Fresh Lemons Quilts Flickr Group. I will also use the discussion in the Flickr group for any questions. I hope you are as excited as I am!

January 12, 2012   60 Comments

12 Gifts of Christmas Blog Hop – iPad Case Tutorial + Giveaway

Welcome to day 4 of the 12 Gifts of Christmas Blog Hop!

I hope everyone is having fun and getting some great ideas for holiday gifts this year. Today I am going to teach you how to make an iPad case. This tutorial can also be used to make a Kindle case (or Nook or any other tablet device), you will just need to measure your device and add about 1-1/4″ to the width and length to figure out your cut fabric sizes.

For example, the iPad I used for this tutorial was 7.5″ x 9.5″. And my cut fabric pieces below are 8.75″ x 10.75″. So yep Kindle users, you will need to break out the calculator!

Another note, I have an iPad 1 which is a bit thicker than an iPad 2. So iPad 2 users, you may want to cut your pieces 1/4″ (total) smaller to account for your sleeker design. :)

Let’s get started.


iPad Case Tutorial


Supplies

9″ zipper
2″ of Velcro
Fabric (see amounts below)
Batting or Interfacing, depending on how poofy you want it (see amounts below)

Cut the following pieces:

Outer Case Fabric Back – 8.75″ x 10.75″
Front Top Portion – 3.75″ x 8.75″
Front Bottom Portion – 7.25″ x 8.75″
Pocket Lining Fabric Cut 1 – 3.75″ x 8.75″
Cut 1 – 7.25″ x 8.75″
Cut 1 – 8.75″ x 10.75″
Inner Lining Fabric Cut 2 – 8.75″ x 10.75″
Strap Fabric Cut 2 – 3.5″ x 3.5″
Zipper Ends Fabric Cut 2 – 1.5″ x 2.5″
Batting or Interfacing Cut 2 – 8.75″ x 10.75″
Cut 1 – 3.5″ x 3.5″

(Adding a note: Lots of people are curious as to what the fabric is that I used for the cover. It is Ruby Star Rising Transistor Radios and I bought it from Alice at Fresh Modern Fabric.)

**Please note: 1/4″ seam allowances for this project**

Assembly
1. Let’s start with the strap. Place your 2 pieces of 3.5″ x 3.5″ fabrics right sides together. Place the batting or interfacing on the bottom of the fabric sandwich (see photo). Stitch together around 3 of the 4 sides.

Flip right side out and press.

2. Trim your zipper to 8.75″.

3. Let’s make your zipper ends. I learned this technique from the talented Anna of Noodlehead. Not to sound too much like Oprah, but learning to do these zipper ends was a life changing moment for me…well, as far as nice looking zippers are concerned! :)

Take your zipper ends and press the sides towards the center as shown in the photo below.

4. Place the zipper ends on the each end of the zipper like this:

Top stitch the zipper ends to both ends of the zipper. This give it a nice finished look.

5. Now let’s assemble the front outer portion of the case. Take your 3.75″ x 8.75″ piece of outer fabric and your 3.75″ x 8.75″ piece of pocket lining fabric. Place them right sides together and place the zipper in the middle of the fabric sandwich. See photo.

Pin in place.

6. Using your zipper foot, stitch down the fabric-zipper-fabric sandwich.

7. Open your sandwich and press.

8. Take your 7.25″ x 8.75″ piece of out fabric and your 7.25″ x 8.75″ piece of pocket lining fabric. We are going to repeat the previous step, but on the other side of the zipper. Place the fabric right sides together and place the zipper in the middle of the fabric sandwich. See photo.

Pin in place.

9. Using your zipper foot, stitch down the fabric-zipper-fabric sandwich.

10. Open your sandwich and press.

Front:

Back:

Top stitch down both sides of the zipper for a nice, finished look.

11. If you are like me, things may be *slightly* crooked now. Take this opportunity to trim your zipper front piece now to 8.75″ x 10.75″. Set this piece aside.

12. Let’s make the outer back of the case. Take the strap you assembled in Step 1. Take the 8.75″ x 10.75″ outer back piece of fabric. Center the strap on the top as shown in the photo below (Unfinished ends together) with a slight bit of overhang.

13. Baste into place with less than a 1/4″ seam allowance.

14. Let’s finish the assembly of the outer portion of the case. Make a fabric sandwich as follows:
8.75″ x 10.75″ outer back right side up – 8.75″ x 10.75″ assembled zipper front right side down – 8.75″ x 10.75″ pocket lining piece right side down

15. Stitch around sides and bottom, leaving the top open. Flip right side out and press.

16. Now let’s assemble the inner lining. Place the 8.75″ x 10.75″ inner lining pieces right sides together. Place an 8.75″ x 10.75″ piece of batting or interfacing on the top and bottom of the fabric sandwich.

Stitch around sides and bottom, leaving the top open. Do not flip right side out.

17. Time to put it together! With the exterior of the case right side out and the lining of the case wrong side out, place the exterior inside the lining and pin the tops together. Make sure the strap is tucked in.

18. Stitch around the top of the case, leaving about 4″ open to flip the case right side out.

19. Flip the case right side out and tuck the inner lining into the outer shell. Press. Top stitch around the top to close the opening and give the case a nice, finished look.

20. Add velcro to the back of the strap and the case. Stitch in place.

Congratulations! You’re done! Don’t forget to add your photos to the Flickr group.

Now for the giveaway!

Enter to win a $25 gift certificate to Fat Quarter Shop by leaving one comment on this post. I will choose one winner via Random.org on Oct. 26th.

Also, please visit Ellison Lane Quilts and leave one comment on her tutorial to be entered to win the GRAND PRIZE of a $250 gift certificate to Fabricworm!

And just for stopping by, you can take advantage of a generous 15% off discount at Fabricworm with the coupon code fw12days through the end of the blog hop.

Don’t forget to keep checking out the tutorials over the next week and a half!

Friday, October 14- Jennifer @ Ellison Lane Quilts
Saturday, October 15- Ayumi/Pink Penguin
Sunday, October 16- Amy/ Lots of Pink Here
Monday, October 17- Faith/Fresh Lemons Quilts
Tuesday, October 18- Penny/Sew Take a Hike
Wednesday, October 19- Kati/From the Blue Chair
Thursday, October 20- Lee/Freshly Pieced
Friday, October 21- Elizabeth/Don’t Call Me Betsy
Saturday, October 22- Melanie/Texas Freckles
Sunday, October 23- Lindsay/Craft Buds
Monday, October 24- Amanda/A Crafty Fox
Tuesday, October 25-Vanessa/Little Big Girl Studio

******** UPDATE ********
I’m closing comments and picking a winner for the Fat Quarter Shop gift certificate! If you have any questions or comments in the future on this tutorial, feel free to email me. My email address is at the top of this page by my photo. Thanks everyone, be right back with the winner!
************************
The lucky winner is Mary on Lake Pulaski. Mary said “Great tutorial! I’ll be making one tomorrow! Thank you.”

Congratulations Mary! I will send your email address off to Jennifer who is coordinating the prizes!

October 17, 2011   508 Comments