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!

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!

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


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**

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.



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 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!

Y-Seams Tutorial

Two days ago I was looking in the book Material Obsession 2 and I reeeeally wanted to make a block from the Jazz Hands quilt. But…it had Y-Seams. A lot of Y-Seams. I decided to suck it up and try it out. There were a couple handdrawn diagrams for instruction and it took me a bit of time to really figure it out. But I did and then posted about my success on Twitter. Well, as many as three people were interested in a tutorial, so here it is. Ha!

Disclaimer! This is how I personally figured out how to make Y-Seams. I am self taught, I’m sure there are a thousand ways to do this. This is mine.

Y-Seams Tutorial

What is a Y-Seam? Sometimes in sewing, you have three pieces of fabric that need to be sewn together in the shape of a “Y”. Like this:


1. Start by taking the bottom 2 pieces and place them right sides together.

Stitch from the bottom up to the dot in the photo. That dot is a little closer than 1/4″ from the edge of the fabric. If you want you can backstitch a bit at the end (I didn’t).



2. Press the seam open. See where you have a bit that you didn’t sew.

3. Now the top portion of the “Y”. We need to sew the top piece to the bottom piece.

Take the top piece of fabric and fold it down right side together with the left portion of the bottom fabric.

4. Stitch down the fabric along the red line above. With your needle in the down position, stop at the red dot on the diagram above. This is the seam line from step 1!

5. Now is where it gets a bit tricky. Leaving your needle in the down position, lift your presser foot. Turn the top fabric so the seam now lines up with the second half of the “Y” you need to sew.

Continue sewing down the rest of the fabric to complete the “Y”.

6. Press the fabric down towards the bottom of the “Y”.

Congratulations! You made a Y-Seam!

And now you can go ahead and make something really cool like this!

Pattern is Jazz Hands from Material Obsession 2