The Splendid Sampler

The Splendid Sampler

It’s no secret that I like samplers. Last year I was lucky enough to be invited to design a block for The Splendid Sampler quilt along. For those of you who are new to this project, The Splendid Sampler is a year long quilt along hosted by Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson. The 100, 6″ blocks cover techniques like precision piecing, embroidery, appliqué, english paper piecing and foundation paper piecing. Two block patterns are released each week.

Today is my special day for the quilt along. 🙂 I designed a block called Whim. This block finishes up at 6″. Whim was inspired by improvisational quilts, but this little guy is made using a very precise method ~ foundation paper piecing. It’s like faux-improv. 😉 If you have never foundation paper pieced before, check out my tutorial!

The Splendid Sampler ~ Whim block by Faith Jones of Fresh Lemons Quilts

My two Whim blocks were stitched up using a monochromatic color scheme, but feel free to go crazy with your fabrics. I can’t wait to see your finished blocks. Happy stitching everyone!

Elementary Tote ~ A Tutorial

Elementary Tote : Fresh Lemons Quilts

My son is going to a music camp this year at School of Rock. It’s the same camp my daughter attended a couple years ago – she loved it. Before she went, I made her a little tote bag that she could use to bring her ear plugs, notepad and snacks each day. My son has not forgotten about this, and told me that he cannot wait to see his bag for class.

I whipped up a little bag for him and I thought I’d share the tutorial with you. I think of it as “Elementary” sized – great for 5 to 10 year olds. (If you are looking for a mom-sized bag, check out my Farmer’s Market Tote tutorial.)

I personalized his tote bag with his name using my Cricut Explore Air (affiliate link). After much trial and error, I finally am successfully cutting fusible fabric with it! I plan on sharing a tutorial later this week with my tips. See my tips in this post!


Elementary Tote

Approximate size: 11-1/2″ x 11-1/2″

Elementary Tote Supplies : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Supplies
Cut (12) 3″ x 13″ rectangles for outer tote bag
Cut (2) 13″ x 15-1/2″ rectangles for lining
Cut (2) 13″ x 15-1/2″ rectangles from fusible interfacing, such as Pellon SF101
Cut (2) 20″ strips of cotton webbing, around 1″ wide

1. Lay out your 3” x 13” rectangles in 2 groups – 6 rectangles for the front of the tote and 6 rectangles for the back of the tote.

Note: The bottom rectangle on each side will end up being on bottom/underside of the tote bag, so you probably don’t want to use your favorite fabric in this location.

2. Using a 1/4″ seam allowance, sew each set of the 3″ x 13″ rectangles together along the long sides, resulting in (2) 13″ x 15-1/2″ outer tote panels. Press your seams as desired.

Elementary Tote : Fresh Lemons Quilts

3. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, fuse your Pellon SF101 interfacing to the back of the outer tote panels.

4. Cut 2″ squares out of the bottom left and right corners of your outer tote panels, as well as your (2) 13″ x 15-1/2″ lining pieces. This is for your gusset later.

Elementary Tote : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Elementary Tote : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Elementary Tote : Fresh Lemons Quilts

5. Place your outer tote panels right sides together. Using a 1/2″ seam allowance, sew down the sides and bottom of the fabric. ** Do NOT sew the cut out squares! **

Elementary Tote : Fresh Lemons Quilts

6. Now it’s time to sew the gussets. If you have never done this before, this is probably the trickiest step.

“Open” up your bag in the corner where you cut the squares, and place the fabric back together matching up the side and bottom sewn seam, as shown.

Elementary Tote : Fresh Lemons Quilts

7. Pin as shown.

Elementary Tote : Fresh Lemons Quilts

8. Sew using a 1/2″ seam allowance.

Elementary Tote : Fresh Lemons Quilts

9. Repeat on the other side to make the second gusset.

Elementary Tote : Fresh Lemons Quilts

10. Flip your outer tote shell so the right sides are facing out.

Elementary Tote : Fresh Lemons Quilts

11. Repeat steps 5 – 9 with your lining pieces, with the exception of leaving approximately 5″ open/unsewn along the bottom, for flipping the bag right side out later. Leave the lining wrong sides out.

12. Personalize your bag! (Circuit Explore Air Tutorial will be posted on Thursday ~ Stay tuned!) I posted my tips, just click over to this post!

Elementary Tote : Fresh Lemons Quilts

13. Measure and mark the top center of the outer tote shell. Pin your cotton webbing straps approximately 2” to each side of the center marking. Take care not to twist your straps. Baste in place using a 1/4” seam allowance.

Elementary Tote : Fresh Lemons Quilts

14. Place your outer tote shell right side out, into the lining wrong side out, as shown.

Elementary Tote : Fresh Lemons Quilts

15. Pin along the top of the bag, and sew together along the entire top, using a 1/2″ seam allowance.

Elementary Tote : Fresh Lemons Quilts

16. Flip your bag right side out through the opening in the bottom of the lining. Stitch the bottom of your lining closed.

Elementary Tote : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Push the lining into the outer tote shell.

17. Press your bag and top stitch around the top.

Elementary Tote : Fresh Lemons Quilts

You are finished! Gift your bag to your favorite person. 🙂

Elementary Tote : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Scrapbox Frames ~ A Quilt Block Tutorial

Scrapbox Frames Quilt Block Tutorial

Remember earlier this week when I said that my next post would be my finished Picnic Point quilt? Well, I *did* finish the quilt on Wednesday ~ yay! But then I realized it’s way too big for me to take a picture of without my husband’s help. So! We will have to snap those photos this weekend.

Yesterday, I decided I just needed a bit of a sewing cleanse. No pattern, no plan, just tackle some scraps and sew them together. It was quite therapeutic. I ended up with these quilt improvy blocks that I decided to call Scrapbox Frames. I thought I would share my process in case anyone else wanted to make their own.

My scrap baskets are a bit out of control.

Scrapbox Frames Quilt Block Tutorial

I decided to make warm (pink, red, yellow, orange) blocks and cool (blue, green, purple) blocks. I grabbed some warm scraps…

Scrapbox Frames Quilt Block Tutorial

Stacked them…

Scrapbox Frames Quilt Block Tutorial

And stitched them together.

Scrapbox Frames Quilt Block Tutorial

Then I used my rotary cutter without a ruler and freehand cut them into columns.

Scrapbox Frames Quilt Block Tutorial

I repeated this many times for lots of different scrappy strips. Next I guesstimated the size of a center square, cutting it a bit larger than I thought I needed.

Scrapbox Frames Quilt Block Tutorial

I picked a side and stitched the scrappy improv strip to the solid center.

Scrapbox Frames Quilt Block Tutorial

I worked my way around the center, trimming the gray and adding to the strips if needed.

Scrapbox Frames Quilt Block Tutorial

Scrapbox Frames Quilt Block Tutorial

Scrapbox Frames Quilt Block Tutorial

Voilà! Scrappy little quilt blocks!

Scrapbox Frames Quilt Block Tutorial

These are fun, they all turn out different sizes and are great scrap busters. You could nest one inside another. Lots of possibilities and a chance to sew without a pattern.

Crosses and Losses ~ A Block Tutorial

Crosses and Losses Block Tutorial : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Thank you for all the kind words on my finished Crosses and Losses quilt! I have had a few requests for a pattern or tutorial for this vintage block. I thought I’d whip one up and share it with you today.

Crosses and Losses is a quilt block from the late 1800s and was published in the Ladies Art Company quilt pattern booklets.

Crosses and Losses
Quilt Block Tutorial

Finished Size : 8″ x 8″

Notes: All seam allowances are 1/4″; HST = Half Square Triangle

Step 1. Cut your fabric.

Focal/Print Fabric:
Cut (2) 3″ x 3″ squares; then cut diagonally resulting in (4) HSTs
Cut (1) 5″ x 5″ square; then cut diagonally resulting in (2) HSTs

Background Fabric:
Cut (2) 3″ x 3″ squares; then cut diagonally resulting in (4) HSTs
Cut (4) 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ squares
Cut (1) 5″ x 5″ square; then cut diagonally resulting in (2) HSTs

Crosses and Losses Block Tutorial : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 2. Pair each of your 3″ print HSTs with a 3″ background HSTs. Stitch together down the diagonal edge of the fabric. Press your seams as desired. I pressed mine open.

Crosses and Losses Block Tutorial : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 3. Trim your resulting blocks to 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″.

Crosses and Losses Block Tutorial : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Crosses and Losses Block Tutorial : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 4. Pair each of your 5″ print HSTs with a 5″ background HSTs. Stitch together down the diagonal edge of the fabric. Press your seams as desired. I pressed mine open.

Crosses and Losses Block Tutorial : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 5. Trim your resulting blocks to 4-1/2″ x 4-1/2″.

Crosses and Losses Block Tutorial : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Crosses and Losses Block Tutorial : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 6. Lay out your trimmed squares and your (4) 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ background squares, as shown.

Crosses and Losses Block Tutorial : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 7. Stitch the 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ squares into rows, resulting in 2-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ rectangles as shown. Press your seams towards the background squares.

Crosses and Losses Block Tutorial : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 8. Stitch your 2-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ rectangles together, as shown. Press your seams as desired. I pressed mine open.

Crosses and Losses Block Tutorial : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 9. Stitch your top (2) block segments together, resulting in (2) large rectangles.

Crosses and Losses Block Tutorial : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 10. Stitch your (2) large rectangles together.

Crosses and Losses Block Tutorial : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Congratulations! You’ve made your Crosses and Losses block!