Quilting Gallery : The Learning Center

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. 🙂

Festival of HST ~ Candy Pinwheel

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!

Antique Tile and Nancy Cabot

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!

Solstice Stars Series : Two Colors Star

Welcome to week 5 of the Solstice Stars Series! This is our last star and I really hope everyone has enjoyed the series. Don’t forget you can catch up on all the previous tutorials by clicking on the Solstice Stars Series tab at the top of the page. Later this week I plan on posting some ideas for quilt tops, just to get those creative juices flowing.

Today we will be making the Two Colors Star. This star is from Barbara Brackman’s book The Encyclopedia Of Pieced Quilt Patterns,page 454 and the original source of the design is Comfort, a periodical from Augusta, Maine that was published from the late 1800’s to the mid 1900’s.

I had several thoughts when deciding how to make this star. In the end, I wanted this block to be accessible to all skill levels of quilter, so I opted for half square triangles (HSTs) and squares. I know this adds more seams, but again, I think this was the best method to reach everyone out there, including beginners. Let’s get started!


Two Colors Star Quilt Block Tutorial

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

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

Pattern Piece Fabric
Corners Cut 4 4.5” x 4.5″ White/Background
Background Cut 6 3” x 3”, cut
diagonal
White/Background
Star Color 1 Cut 4 2.5” x 2.5” Color/Print 1
Star Color 1 Cut 4 3” x 3”, cut
diagonal
Color/Print 1
Star Color 2 Cut 4 2.5” x 2.5” Color/Print 2
Star Color 2 Cut 2 3” x 3”, cut
diagonal
Color/Print 2

Step 2. Take your white/background half square triangles (HSTs) and your print HSTs and sew them together into squares.

Step 3. Trim your HSTs to 2.5″ squares. Tip: Use the diagonal line on your quilting ruler as a guide down your seam. This ensures an equal trim on all sides of your square.

Trim first two sides:

Turn and trim other two sides:

Step 4. Layout your star as below:

Step 5. We will now assemble the tiny squares into larger squares, creating a nine patch square. Sew the sets of four, 2.5″ x 2.5″ squares together. This will create 4.5″ x 4.5″ squares as seen below.

Step 6. Sew your blocks together into rows.

Step 7. Sew your rows together. You’re done!

Be sure to post your block photos as well as any questions in the Flickr group.