Modern Quilts, Home Decor, and Handcrafted Clothing

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:

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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).

Sewing:

Finished:

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

October 13, 2011   90 Comments

12 Gifts of Christmas Blog Hop

Hi everyone! I’ve very excited this year to be participating in a Christmas Blog Hop. “Christmas already?!!?” you say? I know it’s not even Halloween yet, but I also know that if you want to make some fabulous handmade gifts for your family and friends, you better get started now!

For 12 days, starting this Friday, you will find a tutorial for a great handmade gift on the blogs below.

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

In addition to a free gift tutorial, each blog will also have a giveaway from a great sponsor on their post during the 12 days. And Jennifer of Ellison Lane Quilts will have a grand prize on her blog’s tutorial of a $250 gift certificate to Fabricworm! Think of all the fabric you could buy for gifts with that!

Fabricworm is also offering a generous 15% off discount during the 12 days of the blog hop with the coupon code fw12days.

There is a Flickr group set up to join and share what you make. So there you have it, very exciting. Stop by Monday for my tutorial!

October 12, 2011   19 Comments

Summer Sampler Series : Kansas Dust Storm

Wow, today is the last block of the Summer Sampler Series! Head on over the Lee’s blog for a tutorial on block twelve, the Kansas Dust Storm quilt block. As always, feel free to post your photos and any questions in the Flickr group.

I want to thank everyone for quilting along with us. I have really appreciated your wonderful comments and emails over the last 4 weeks. So many people, myself included, learned new skills and accomplished things they never would have tried before.

I had a great time cohosting this quilt along with Katie and Lee. We have never met in person and tackling something as big as a quilt along, with a lot of people depending on you, is no small task. We were all required to figure out the block construction on our own – quite the challenge at times. They both have worked so hard, been so dependable, I can’t say enough good things about teaming up with them. Big thanks to you Katie and Lee!

I do plan on assembling my quilt top soon. I just need to decide if I want to do sashing, cornerstones, etc. Lee plans on having her top done by next Friday, so check back then for more details!

Updated: Here’s my last block! Now to think about the top…

Summer Sampler Series : Kansas Dust Storm Quilt Block

August 5, 2011   8 Comments

Summer Sampler Series : Rocky Road to Kansas

Our eleventh quilt block for the Summer Sampler Series is the Rocky Road to Kansas. It can be found in Chapter 16, Page 361, Block 2979 of Barbara Brackman’s The Encyclopedia Of Pieced Quilt Patterns.

Some quilt blocks are named after the time or event when they first appeared. The Rocky Road to Kansas is such a block, referring to the period of early settlers in late 1800′s and their difficult traveling conditions.

I loved this block as soon as I saw it. One of the first quilts I made was a string quilt, and it felt so “modern” and “hip” to me. Well this quilt block just shows that strip and string quilts are not a new design, but have been around for a long time. They were used as a way to use up leftover fabric scraps, let nothing go to waste. So go ahead, channel your inner pioneer, and let’s get started on the Rocky Road to Kansas!


Rocky Road to Kansas 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 1.5 stitch length.

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

Rocky Road to Kansas Paper Piecing Template

Prepare the templates. Cut out the templates around the seam allowance line.

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 Color
1 – Star Cut 4 6″ x 7.5” Strips sewn together to required size* -or- single piece of fabric cut to size
2 – Background Cut 4 4” x 7.5” White
3 – Background Cut 4 4” x 7.5″ White
4 – Center Square Cut 4 3.5” x 5.5” Purple

* I decided to go for the scrappy look, so I cut strips 6″ long, and random widths ranging from 1.25″ and 2″.

Step 2. If you cut strips for your star, sew the strips together until they are 7.5″ tall.

Step 3. Take your fabric cut for Piece 1 and place it right side out on the back of your template, making sure to cover the entire template space 1. Pin into place.

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

Step 5. Sew along the seam line on the template between pieces 1 and 2. Remove your pins.

Step 6. Flip your block over. This is what your seam will look like.

Trim your seam allowance to 1/4″.

Press your fabric open.

Step 7. Repeat this process and sew background piece 3 and center square piece 4 into place.

Step 8. Turn your block over and trim the excess fabric from around the template. Before trim:

After trim:

Step 9. Now repeat these steps for the other 3 templates. Once you have all four squares pieced, remove the paper from the back. This should perforate easily as long as you remembered to shorten your stitch length before sewing.

Step 10. Sew your squares together to create your quilt block. You’re done!

August 3, 2011   15 Comments