Grey and Mustard Arrow Quilt

Grey Mustard Quilt

This is my last quilt for 2017 and I wanted to get it posted before the holidays!  I photograph my quilts outside and so this was a real challenge because it was 17° and we were going to get 6 inches of snow that day.  I sort of had one shot to get some pictures. The rest of the week would have too much snow to be able to shoot.  I was freezing, but managed to get decent photos.   I’ve had a few inquiries asking if there is a pattern – no, there isn’t but I’m going to give you my cutting instructions and hope that helps.

Arrow Quilt back and front

I can’t help myself with mustard and greys together – I just love that color combination.  The big reason for making this quilt, though, was that I wanted to experiment with a new type of batting.  I wanted a bigger, heavier quilt but still wanted to machine quilt.  I have used two layers of Warm and Natural in the past, but found that too stiff.  A woman in a quilt shop suggested Quilter’s Dream.  They make several different lofts and I wanted to see if I could use the heaviest loft, Supreme,  and still machine quilt successfully.  The answer was yes, although it takes a little muscle to manipulate the quilt as you are quilting it!  The quilt ended up having a very nice heft to it without being bulky and is perfect for curling up with on the sofa.  Also, I believe the Quilter’s Dream is less stiff than Warm and Natural.  It is more expensive, but worth it if a little more suppleness is important to you.

Arrow Quilt Fabric Pull

The fabrics were all from my stash. Some of the mustard fabrics were from one of my all time favorite lines, Magnolia,  from Camelot Fabrics.  Some of the greys were from Zen Chic for Moda, Robert Kaufman Basketweave and Light and Shade.  Many of these fabrics are no longer available but you can find some from Etsy sellers.

My background color for this was Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton Solid in Snow.

arrow quilt layers binding

The quilt ended up being 48″ x 60″, which I consider about the perfect throw size.  I played around with the arrow blocks and how to lay them out – there were so many good patterns they could make.  I made 80 arrow blocks total.  I used 20 different print fabrics and made 4 arrow blocks for each fabric.

Each arrow block requires:   (1) 3.5″ square print,  (1) 3.5″ square background and (2) Half Square Triangles of the print and the background.

Here is how I did my cutting:
For each different print fabric, I cut (4) 3.5″ squares  (80 print squares total)
I cut (80) 3.5″ squares of the background fabric
I made (8) HSTs of each print fabric  (160 HSTs total)

This is all you need to make the top.  I made the HSTs by doing the eight-at-a-time method, which is fast and perfect for this top, because each different print fabric took just that many HSTs.   I cut (1) 8.25″ square of each print fabric and (1) 8.25″ square of the background fabric.  Then follow the eight-at-a-time method.

Arrow Quilt HSTs

 

 

HST1HST2HST3

For the binding, I used my favorite gingham  – Robert Kaufman Carolina Gingham in silver. This gingham comes in many colors and I love keeping it in my binding stash drawer.  It was also one of the prints in the quilt.   I made 2.5″ binding and used this method to attach it. I keep my walking foot on when I attach the binding now.

arrow quilt top and binding

arrow quilt gingham binding

For the backing fabric, I used an old favorite from the Maker Line by Art Gallery called “Make and Pin”.  I love this fabric and it makes a great backing fabric because of the random pattern.  I used this method to make the backing, avoiding the dreaded cutting and piecing of the backing, which I hate.

Arrow Quilt Back:Front

Arrow Quilt top:back

I machine quilted using Aurifil 40 wt thread in Muslin.  It’s a little heavier than the 50 wt and I like the way it looks on the quilt.  I used a 4.0″ stitch length with a walking foot.

arrow quilt layers

arrow quil top

arroq quilt stacked

I love the way this quilt turned out and I made it just for us, so I’m looking forward to curling up with it in the years to come.

I hope these cutting instructions are helpful to you.  If you have any questions, just e-mail me.

Have a great holiday season and a wonderful New Year.  See you in 2018!
Elaine

Children at Play Baby Quilt

Children at Play Back & Front

This is a custom order baby quilt and pillow that I just finished and wanted to share with you.  I was excited to use this “Children at Play” balloon fabric and had quite a nice time deciding which colors to pull out from it for the quilt.

Many of you contact me with questions about specifics on making quilts, so although this isn’t a pattern, I’m going to try to give you some better cutting details for this quilt.

 

Children at Play Closeup

The finished quilt measures 36″ x 48″.  It is made up of twelve 16-patch blocks. Each patch is 3″ finished.  I have prewashed all fabrics.

Here are the fabrics I used:

Seven different fabrics for the top:
(See cutting instructions below)
Robert Kaufman Kona Solid Pansy  –  3 strips
Robert Kaufman Kona Solid White  –   2 strips
Robert Kaufman Kona Solid Carnation  –  3 strips
Moda Essental Dots  –  3 strips
Michael Miller Children at Play Balloon   –  5 strips
Brother/Sister Design Studio Pink & White Dots  –  3 strips
Pink and White Dots (unidentified)  –  3 strips

Binding:  Michael Miller “Little Stripe” in purple (no longer available)
BackingMichael Miller Children at Play Balloon
 

Children at Play Fabric Pull

Children at Play Detail

To make the 16-patch blocks, I cut (22) 3.5″ strips of fabric from the WOF.    (I cut more strips from the balloon fabric than the solids or dots because I wanted the balloon fabric to repeat more  in the quilt.)  Then I cut these strips down into 16″ lengths. I sewed together four 16″ lengths to get a strip set.   I varied the position of the fabrics as much as I could to get different combinations of fabrics within each strip set for a total of 11 strip sets.  Then I subcut these strip sets into 3.5″ strips.  Four of these subcuts were sewn together randomly to make (11) 16-patch blocks.  I used the leftover fabric from the initial cutting of strips to make the 12th block that I needed.  I didn’t keep strict track, but I believe I used about 2.25 yards of fabric for the top.  I had scraps left over with which to make a pillow top also.

Children at Play Stacked II

 

Children at Play Strip Set I

 

Children At Play Strips

 

Children at Play Block

 

After you have all your blocks sewn, lay the blocks out to see what kind of order you want them in.  Sew them into rows, making sure to press the seams of the blocks all the same way in each row.   Alternate the direction of this for each row so that when you sew the rows together, the seams will nest.

Children At Play Quilt Binding

 

I used Warm and White for the batting.

The binding is a cute stripe from Michael Miller called “It’s a Girl Thing – Little Stripes” in purple.  Sadly, it’s no longer available. I considered a bright pink bias stripe first, but decided the purple was the perfect color for the binding.  I’m really glad I went with it. I cut 2.5″ strips and used this machine binding technique.  To cut 2.5″ strips quickly, I used my trusty Stripology ruler. I do love that thing.  Makes cutting lots of strips so fast.

Children at Play Stacked Binding

For the backing, I used the Michael Miller balloon fabric and was so happy with it.  It’s such a cute backing.  The little whimsical girls and rabbits are so fun.

Children at Play Fabric

I machine stitched the quilt with Aurifil Natural White in 40 wt.  It’s a little heavier than the 50 wt. and I like the way it stands out more for machine quilting.  (I do use the 50 wt. for piecing.)   I quilted this at a 4.0 stitch length with a walking foot.

Children at Play Label

Children at Play Quilt Front

There was also a Reading Pillow made to order to go along with the quilt.

Children at Play Pillow

This quilt is sold.

I do hope these instructions are helpful.  Feel free to contact me with any questions.

Hope you’re making something!

Elaine

 

Safari Baby Quilt

IMG_2437

Michael Miller came out with this cute Safari Friends fabric line and I couldn’t resist it for a quilt for a baby boy.  I love blue and white together, and the grey in the fabric was the perfect third color.  The line also had a really cute dotted fabric and then I pulled some great Kona solids to match the colors in the fabric.

IMG_2304

IMG_2388

I really wanted to highlight the safari fabric on the front of the quilt, but the characters on the fabric were so large that it would not have made sense to cut those into 2″ or 3″ squares – the animals would have been lost.  So I ended up cutting 6.5″ squares of that fabric and then did 6.5″ nine-patch blocks out of the other fabrics.

Safari Quilt Front

I made the nine-patch blocks by cutting 2.5″ strips of fabric, sewing them into 3-strip sets and then subcutting those into 2.5″ segments.  I then mixed them up and sewed three segments together to get the nine-patch blocks.

IMG_2336

The quilt ended up being 36″ x 48″, with 48 blocks total.

I used a different batting with this quilt and I think maybe I have found the perfect batting.  It was Quilter’s Dream Cotton batting and I really liked everything about it.  I use Warm and Natural most of the time, but this batting can be a bit stiff (it does soften up the more you wash your quilt) and can cause creases in a quilt when the quilt is folded for a long time.  I have used Hobbs 80/20, but that batting did not have enough weight for me – it was too light.  The Quilter’s Dream was softer than the Warm and Natural but had more heft to it than the Hobbs.  I can’t wait to try this batting on a larger quilt, where I will use two layers of it (which I’ve been doing lately with my larger quilts).  I’ll keep you posted.

IMG_2366

I used the Safari Friends animal fabric for the backing and I just think it’s so cute. I quilted the whole thing with Aurifil thread – Light Delft Blue – at 4.0 stitches per inch.  I usually do a lot more quilting, but because the front of the quilt was a little busy, I felt I didn’t want to quilt every single line, so I outlined the larger blocks and left it at that.

IMG_2408

IMG_2404

The binding is a striped fabric from Hawthorne Threads.  Have you ever ordered fabric from this online shop?  Not only do they have a great selection of designer fabrics, but they digitally print their own line of fabrics and this stripe is one of those.  If you like stripes, they have a great selection and so many colors.

Safari Quilt binding.jpg

IMG_2374

IMG_2190.JPG

IMG_2413

I used my regular machine binding technique to do the mitered binding.

IMG_2371

And because I think they are so cute, I went ahead and make a reading pillow to go with the quilt!  The front has a pocket where you can slip a couple of books inside.

safari quilt pillow

Thanks for dropping by – I hope you’re making something!

Elaine

Save

Hip Hooray Baby Quilt

Hip Hooray Quilt Front

Pink alert!  Here is a quilt to wrap a baby girl in that is as cute as can be.  I used fabrics from the “Hip Hooray” line from Lizzie Mackay for Blend Fabrics.  This fabric is hard to find now and I’ve had it in my stash for a while, waiting to use it.

This line features a double border fabric with whimsical little animals on both of the borders.  I cut the borders off and used them on either end of the quilt.

I also took some of the border and fussy cut some of the animals out and used them for the patchwork center.  Each square ended up being 3.5″ after being sewn in.

I added a couple of more fabrics for the patchwork center, including a favorite Swiss Dot from Moda’s Essential Dot collection and a Robert Kaufman Carolina Gingham in Pink.

Hip Hooray Quilt Top

I used Warm and White for the batting and did the quilting with Aurifil thread in Pale Pink.

Hip Hooray Pink Thread

I almost never have to mark lines on my quilts. If I do, I usually use a Hera marker, which only makes creases.  But for this quilt, I really did have to mark lines so I used a Clover water soluble felt pen, which required washing the quilt afterwards to remove all the markings. I have used a Clover Chaco marker in the past, but have found that these markers don’t work hardly at all after a while.  Very disappointing!  So I would recommend the felt pen instead.  The lines washed right out nicely.

Hip Hooray Quilt markings.jpg

For the binding, I LOVE bias binding and a lot of fabric lines now are offering stripes on the bias, so you don’t have to actually make bias binding.   This binding fabric is from Moda’s “Dot Dot Dash” line.  I just love the look of this binding.  I cut 2.5″ crossgrain strips and used my machine binding technique.

Hip Hooray Quilt Stacked Binding

Hip Hooray Quilt Hanging

 Hip Hooray Quilt Folded

The finished quilt is 37″ x 46″.   It’s a nice size to cuddle up with, use as a play mat, or just a decorative accent in a child’s room.   I’m listing it in the Shop.     (This quilt has sold)

Thanks for dropping by!
Elaine

Save

Save

Pinwheel Child’s Quilt

Pinwheel Quilt Front

I’ve been getting in as much sewing possible before good weather hits here in Michigan, so I’ve really been putting in the hours on my machine.  Soon there will be lots of yard work and other outdoor activities.  I have so many quilt designs drawn out in my notebook that I want to make – there’s just not enough hours in a day.   I’ve wanted to do this pinwheel quilt for a while and knew I was going to make pinwheels popping out on a white background.  I wasn’t sure about the color scheme at first, but it evolved to become a very colorful quilt!  Stay tuned because I am writing a full pattern for this quilt and hope to have it ready soon.   There’s so many color possibilities for this quilt – I would love to make a navy and white one, too.

Pinwheel Quilt folded

Pinwheel Quilt in Basket

This quilt was made of mostly of Kona solids – White, Orange, Pear, Baby Pink and Bright Pink.  The dotted pinwheels on the front is a fabric I really love – it’s called “Sunkissed” by Michele D’Amore for Benartex Fabrics.  So fun!  I used it as the backing fabric, also. Unfortunately, this is a hard to find fabric now.  I’ve been hoarding it for a while.

Pinwheel Quilt binding copy

Pinwheel quilt backing

I pondered how to quilt this and in the end I ended up doing modern diagonal lines, going in just one direction.  It was tempting to quilt it both ways, but I restrained myself!  Because I followed the pinwheels and went right down the diagonal corner of the squares,  I did not need to mark my quilting lines in any way.   I used a 4.0 inch stitch length on my machine.   The batting was Warm & White from the Warm Company.

Pinwheel Quilt stitching

The binding is a fabric I’ve had in my stash for a while, just waiting for the perfect quilt and this was it!  It’s a pink stripe from the Hi De Ho Collection from Moda.  I made 2.5″ binding and did my usual machine binding method.

Pinwheel Quilt front & back\Pinwheel Quilt Stack

This quilt finished at 40″ x 47″.  It’s a great size for a child to snuggle with or as a great design accent for a room.

I’m listing this quilt in the shop.

Thanks for dropping in – I hope you’re making something!

Elaine

Save

How to Make a Super Easy Quilt Back

The only part of making a quilt that I do not enjoy is sewing the quilt back.  I just hate calculating the dimensions, cutting the pieces and then sewing them together.  There are many, many ways to make a quilt back.  You can even use 108″ wideback fabric, and not have to cut anything – but the fabric choices for those are limited. So, unless it’s a baby quilt, you almost always have to piece a quilt back. I can give you a method to make it a little easier. Instead of cutting two separate pieces of fabric and sewing them together, you cut one long piece, fold it together and then sew right down one side.  You then cut off the little fold line and open the fabric up and you’ve got a quilt back.  It’s very easy.

I get a lot of quilting questions from beginner quilters, so I am going to diagram this method out in a really basic way (I hope).  If you’re more of an advanced quilter, you won’t need such detailed instructions.

Keep in mind when you calculate dimensions for your quilt back, you have to take into account that although fabric width (WOF) is about 42 – 43″, you have to subtract the selvedges and you need to figure in ½” seams in your allowances.  Also, if you want an overage on your quilt back, making it a bit larger than your quilt top, adjust accordingly – I always allow a couple inches all the way around the quilt for an overage. So remember to allow for those in your calculations.  The example below doesn’t include overages – it’s just a example.

Also, I’ve recommended this phone app before and I use it all the time – it calculates how much yardage you will need for your backing.  It’s QuiltingCalc by Robert Kaufman.  Very handy.

This method actually works well for certain directional fabrics, because folding the fabric over on itself lines up the pattern in the same direction.  Also, this method only works on quilt tops which are under 80″ in length.

quilt-back-1quilt-back-2quilt-back-3quilt-back-4quilt-back-5quilt-back-6quilt-back-7quilt-back-8

 

quilt-back-9

Now just trim the length to the size you want.

Tips:

● Cut the selvedges off before you press the seam open – they are tighter and have less give than the fabric itself and can cause a pucker sometimes.  Make a big enough seam so that you can do this.  So make your sewing line ½” away from the selvedge.  Press the seam open so it lays flat.

● Use a walking foot if you can to sew the seam – it will move the fabric along better, so that it is even.

I hope these instructions make sense and that they are helpful.  Do you have a favorite method of piecing a quilt back?

Elaine

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Nine Patch Blues Quilt

Nine Patch Blues back and front

I love this quilt.  I so enjoyed making this quilt and watching it come together.  I love high contrast fabrics so much and putting them together with white solid fabric is so eye catching.  After I finished the Zuzu quilt, I really wanted to do something similar, only with squares.  I knew I wanted patchwork, but I didn’t want the whole quilt to be patterned fabrics, so I broke it up with blocks of white and I think the design is bold because of it.

Nine Patch Blues Quilt Front

I have lots of gorgeous blue fabrics from a block of the month club I joined and decided I did not like.  I didn’t like the blocks, but I loved the fabrics – gorgeous Cotton & Steel, Robert Kaufman, Art Gallery, Carolyn Friedlander, etc.  These were so fun to sort through and select for the quilt.

Nine Patch Blues folded

 

Nine Patch Blues layers

For the construction of this quilt, I made nine-patch blocks by cutting 3″ strips of fabrics from the width of fabric and then cutting those down to 3″ x 10″ strips.  I sewed three strips together, randomly, and then subcut these into 3 strip sets.  Then after I had sewed multiple strip sets, I sewed these randomly together to get nine-patch blocks.  I pressed all the seams one way on all my strip sets, so I could nest the seams together when I did the nine-patch blocks.  Make sure all the seams are pressed the same way on your finished blocks so that you can alternate seams on your rows and nest them together.

 

After your blocks are sewn, trim them to 8″ square.

 

 

After I had all my nine-patch blocks finished, I cut  8″ squares of solid white.  Then I laid out the quilt randomly, alternating nine-patch blocks and white blocks.  I made 46 nine-patch blocks and cut 17 squares of solid white.

Nine Patch Blues Quilt Rolled

I was going to do a scrappy binding, but then decided to use a tiny navy blue and white dress stripe from Dear Stella that I thought went nicely with the quilt.  I did my usual machine binding for extra durability.

I stitched in the ditch for the quilting, because I felt I didn’t want the quilting to interfere with the beautiful patterns in all the fabrics.

Nine Patch Blues Binding

Nine Patch Blues binding detail

Nine Patch Blues stacked

I also used TWO layers of Warm and Natural Warm and White cotton batting again. This makes the quilt extra heavy and extra warm and it has become my favorite way to make a quilt now.  I just love the extra heft and weight that it gives a quilt.  I actually gently prewash my batting because I don’t want it to shrink much when it’s in the quilt and laundered in the future.  Warm and Natural batting actually holds up well in a gently prewash, but other battings I’ve used do not.  I think that shows how well the batting will hold up once it’s in the quilt and going to be washed for years to come.

Nine Patch Blues detail

Nine Patch Blues folds

The backing fabric is an absolute favorite of mine – 108″ wide quiltback “Language of Colors” by Windham Fabrics.  I  just love this fabric and the punch it adds to a quilt, without competing with the front of the quilt.

Nine Patch Blues backing

The finished quilt is 52″ x 67″, a great size to snuggle up with.

This quilt is for sale and I’m listing this in the Shop.

Have a wonderful week!
Elaine

 

 

 

 

Save

This and That

The one great thing about winter for me is that if I’m going to be stuck indoors, I get a lot of sewing done.  And knitting.  I just finished a custom order of the Peachy Keen Quilt and it was so fun to work with these fabrics again:

peachy-keen-quilt-ii

 

And I’ve just finished this cute little baby girl sweater  (during many episodes of This is Us).  It was a fun little pattern and I loved the way it turned out.

I’m currently working on a new quilt, inspired by my Zuzu Quilt.  I love high contrast fabrics with white and this is another design, only using nine-patch blocks.  I’m using fabrics that were from a Block of the Month club that I joined last year and decided I did not like.  Oh well. I ended up with  a lot of gorgeous blue and white fabrics from it.

blue-white-fabrics

nine-patch-blues-quilt

 

Sometimes when I need to buy fabric, I like to search for it by color and it can be tedious to do when using online shops.  Did you know that Hawthorne Threads has a nifty Color Grid tool that makes it easy to search for fabrics of a certain color in all their collections?  I love using it.  Try it sometime!

In all my years of sewing, I have never cut myself with a rotary cutter, but I recently did just that.  I wasn’t necessarily being careless, though – I had been cutting lots of fabric on my regular ruler and then wanted to do a couple of strips using a different specialty ruler.  I was used to the thickness of my regular ruler and the specialty ruler was much thinner.  Well, the rotary cutter went right off the thinner ruler and sliced my left index finger pretty badly.   So it inspired a search for a finger guard and I found this nifty item, which I’m now wearing when I cut fabric – a Cosmo Finger Guard.  It’s actually made for the hair styling industry, to prevent stylists from snipping their fingers but I think it’s terrific for people who sew!  It’s cut resistant and just might be enough protection to prevent a bad mishap.

In my next post, I’m going to talk about a method of sewing a quilt back but I wanted to share with you a phone app that I use all the time to figure out yardages for backing, batting and binding – it’s the Robert Kaufman “Quilter’s Little Helper”.  Have you seen it?  I love it.  (I believe it’s available for Android users, too.)  I simply plug in the width and length of my quilt and the binding width I like to use and it will calculate how many strips of fabric I need to cut for my binding.  Or how many yards I need for my backing.  It calculates borders, too.  Check it out sometime!

rk-app

I can’t believe it’s already March!

Hope you’re making something! 
Elaine

The Zuzu Quilt

rgw-quilt-folds

This quilt all started with the backing fabric.  I saw this fabric and fell in love with it and knew right away I wanted to do a red, grey and white quilt top – a top with stark white fabric. The quilt backing fabric is Zuzu Circles by Alice Kennedy for Timeless Treasures.  Isn’t it just so awesome?

rgw-quilt-back

the-zuzu-quilt-front

I had a lot of fun picking out reds and grey fabrics from my stash.  I tried to only use fabrics that had a lot of high contrast to them.  I used Kona White as the background fabric and wanted the prints to really stand out against that.  I also cut up some of the backing fabric and used a little of that on the front, too.

rgw-blocks

rgw-quilt-olds-and-binding

rgw-quilt-closeup

rgw-quilt-block-c-loseup

The quilt top was made up of one block that looked like this and that I randomly rotated all over the quilt top to get a random scattering of the prints:

rgw-quilt-blocks

The blocks were made up of eight 3″ x 2.5″ rectangles sewn together and then two 2″ x 8.5″ strips of white sewn onto the sides, to make an 8.5″ block.  I used some 8.5″ plain squares of Kona white to make some negative space on the quilt. There were 54 blocks total for the whole quilt, 6 across and 9 blocks down.

rgw-quilt-stacked

rgw-quilt-front-and-back

I used Warm and White cotton batting for this quilt – a must for white quilts where you don’t want the batting to dull the whiteness.  I used TWO layers of batting on this quilt – I wish you could feel how heavy and warm that makes the quilt.  I’ve been doing that a lot lately and really like it.  It still machine quilts up just fine.  If you use two layers of batting, do make sure that you use a heavier needle – a #14 quilting needle, to get through all those layers.

For the binding, I had to go with my favorite gingham binding and it was perfect because I had used some of the gingham in the quilt top.  It’s Robert Kaufman Carolina ⅛” Gingham in Silver.

rgg-quilt-binding-folds

rgw-quilt-stacked-2

This quilt finished at 48″ x 72″, a great size to curl up for a nap with – it’s long enough for just about anyone.  I never make my quilts more than 60″ wide, though, because that is the width of my ping pong table and that is where I baste them!  I can make them as long as I want, though.

rgw-quilt-binding

This quilt top sewed up so quickly – it was done before I knew it.  My least favorite part of quilting is sewing the quilt back together.  I’ve been using a method recently that makes this process a lot easier  ➡︎  I’m going to be posting about it next time, I hope!

Thanks for stopping by!
Elaine

rgw-quilt-stacked-and-folded

Save

Save

Save

Make Eight Half Square Triangles at a Time With This Super Fast Method

8-hst-at-a-time

This is Method #3 in my tutorials on how to make Half Square Triangles.  The first method makes 2 at a time, the second  method makes 4 at a time and this method makes 8 at a time.  It is for sure the fastest way to make HSTs.  And it’s super easy – 2 squares of fabrics, sew 4 seams, make 4 cuts and trim.  You can really crank them out with this method.  And there are no bias edges on these blocks.

You begin with cutting two squares of fabric the same size.  I cut them generously because I like to trim my finished HST to size, so they are perfect.  Here is a chart to give you the sizes.  I have included a cutting size you can use if you don’t want to cut them oversize.

hst-8-at-a-time-chart

 

hst-8xtime-1

hst-8xtime-2

hst-8xtime-3

hst-8xtime-4

hst-8xtime-5

hst-8xtime-6

hst-8xtime-7

hst-8xtime-8

hst-8xtime-9

finished-hst-8-at-a-time