The Zuzu Quilt

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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?

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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

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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.

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Ombre Half Square Triangle Quilt

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This is my last quilt for 2016.  It’s something I wanted to make for a while – a quilt that matches our bedroom colors.  It’s a nice throw size for when you want to take a nap back in the bedroom.  And I made it with one of my favorite fabrics, Ombre, from V&Co.  This quilt was made with just one color of Ombre!  It’s a gradiated fabric and it gives the appearance that you used several different fabrics.

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I made this quilt entirely from half square triangles.  I made them using an eight-at-a-time method, which I’m going to write about in my next post.  It’s a super fast way to make eight HSTs, sewing only two seams together and making 4 cuts.  I made the blocks 4.5″ and I made a total of 192 blocks.

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I also did something that I did in my last quilt, which was to use two layers of batting.  I liked it so much in my Dotted Flying Geese quilt that I thought I would try it again.  It makes a very warm quilt.  I used one layer of Warm and Natural 100% cotton batting and one layer of Hobb’s 80/20 batting.  I was still able to machine quilt with no puckering or tucks.  I made sure to lower the tension on my machine.  I quilted with Aurifil 50 wt thread at a 4.0 stitch length.

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For the backing, I used a favorite fabric – Modern Background Notes by Zen Chic. I love the writing on this fabric and thought it was perfect for this quilt.

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I used a very simple binding, because I didn’t want the quilt to be too busy.  I cut 2.5″ strips for the binding and sewed it on by machine using this method.

The finished quilt measures 64″ x 48″.   I love the way it turned out and it looks so nice at the foot of our bed.

Thanks for stopping by and here’s wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season!

Elaine

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Four-at-a-Time No Waste Flying Geese Blocks

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I used to avoid making Flying Geese blocks because of all the wasted corners of fabrics you have to cut off.  I couldn’t bring myself to do that.  But did you know you can make Flying Geese blocks with no wasted fabric?  This was a game changer for me and now I love this block.

I’m showing you how to make these blocks four at a time. I like to make these a little oversize, so I can trim them to perfect sizes.  You cut one large square of fabric from the fabric you want for your Flying Geese (your main fabric).  Then you cut four small squares from your background fabric.  This chart shows you what to cut for various sizes.  Remember – the finished Flying Geese Size in the chart is after being sewn into your project.  After you trim them (before they are sewn in) they will be ½” larger than your desired finished size, so that you have ¼” seam allowance to work with.

I hope this tutorial is helpful.  Some Flying Geese tutorials are complicated and don’t seem to explain the technique very well – I hoped to make one that is very simple to follow.   Happy Sewing!

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With this method, you will end up with four Flying Geese blocks.

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I like to trim my blocks  with Bloc Loc Rulersflying-geese-tutorial-16

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Dotted Flying Geese Quilt

 

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I always had a vision for this quilt – using only dotted fabrics of all sizes and only in black and white.  I used great big dots and pin dots and everything in between.  It made a very modern, bold quilt. Normally, I don’t like to make flying geese blocks because there’s so much wasted fabric but in a future post, I’m going to show you how to make them using a no-waste method. 

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I thought about putting these flying geese on a white background but it seemed a little too stark.  I then pulled out one of my all time favorite fabrics from Zen Chic – Ink Modern Background in Grey.  I paired this with Robert Kaufman Kona Solid in Silver and randomly made all the backgrounds in the blocks from these two fabrics.

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The flying geese themselves were made of many different dotted fabrics from my stash.  I wasn’t able to identify every single dotted fabric but here are some that I know and are a favorite, in case you are wondering what some of them are:  Jumbo Dots by Loralie Harris – if you don’t know her line of dotted fabrics, check them out!  So very fun and inspirational.  Another dotted fabric I really love is Hello Bear Firefly in Whisper, an Art Gallery Fabric.

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The finished quilt is  55″ x 61′.  Each flying geese block was 3″ x 6″.  I made 180 blocks.  I made them using Bloc Loc rulers, which I’m going to write about in a future post.  This method made these blocks very easy to make and very accurate.

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For the backing fabric, I wanted to keep the dot theme going so I chose a fabric from Robert Kaufman’s Spot On collection in Steel.  It’s  a 108″ wide fabric, perfect for a quilt backing. It was the perfect color and complement to the front, I thought.

For the batting, I did something very different.  For this quilt, I pictured a heavy, warmer quilt than just the regular layer of cotton batting.  But I didn’t want a tied quilt.  So I took a chance and used two layers of batting and machine quilted it.  It worked great!  And I ended up with a nice, heavy, more substantial quilt.  Very warm. I used two layers of The Warm Company’s “Warm Bond” quilt batting.  It’s an 80/20 batting, which they are actually discontinuing.  But I heard from The Warm Company and they say they are working on a new 80/20 batting, which should be available this November.

I ditch stitched the whole quilt because I just couldn’t picture a good quilting pattern that would look right on the flying geese.  I used a light gray Aurifil 50 wt thread on the top and a darker gray in the bottom, to match the backing fabric.

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For the binding, I just had to give the quilt a little pop of color with all that grey, white and black.  And the binding had to be a solid – no stripes or patterns.  There is just way too much going on with the quilt itself.  But which color?  After trying several possibilities, I ended up with the Kona Cotton Solid in Caramel.  I just love how it looks on the quilt.

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I’ll be putting this quilt in the Shop.

Have a great weekend, everyone!
Elaine

I’m linking up to Free Motion by the RiverSew Cute Tuesday and  Let’s Bee Social over at Sew Fresh Quilts!  Check it out!

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Half Square Triangle Tutorial, Method II, Four at a Time

Half Square Triangle Tutorial Four at a TIme

I promised you way back when that I would post about how to make Half Square Triangles using a different method, making four at a time.  The HST continues to be the most fun block to design with, because of the endless combinations  you can make with it.  In my first tutorial, I showed you how to make one at a time.  This second method, making four at a time, is super easy and very fast.  The only drawback to this method is that you will end up with edges that are bias edges – which just means they can stretch a little bit.  So, when pressing these blocks, be extra careful not to iron them and stretch them out – just press them.

The advantage to this method is that it is super fast – you just place two squares of fabric, right sides together, sew a quarter inch seam around the entire outside edge, cut an “X” corner to corner and you have four HSTs.  All you need to do is press them open and trim off the little dog ear corners.  You don’t even need to draw any lines with a pencil on your fabric with this method.

In order to figure out how big to cut the two squares of fabric, the calculation is very easy. Do not be scared of the following math! Figure out how big you want your HSTs – and that means the size of your “unfinished” HSTs, before you sew them together into your quilt – and divide by .64, which is easy to do on your calculator.  For instance, if I wanted finished 3″ blocks in my quilt, I would need 3.5″ unfinished HSTs.   So I just take 3.5 and divide by .64 and I get 5.468, which I will then round up to 5.5″ squares of fabric.

3.5 ÷ .64 = 5.46875  so I will round this up to 5.5
I will cut 5.5″ squares of fabric to make 3.5″ “unfinished” HSTs,
which will end up being 3″ finished HSTs in my quilt

When using this calculation, keep in mind that this is not an oversized HST that you will trim. If you like to make your HSTs oversized and then trim them, down, just calculate a little bigger and then you can do that.  To trim them down to a perfect HST, this technique is my favorite for trimming.

In my next tutorial on the HST, I will show you Method III – how to make eight at a time!

I hope this tutorial is helpful!

Elaine

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HST II fabric squares together

HST II clipping fabric squares

HST II sewing perimeter

(Above: I flipped the square over to the dark side so you can see the stitching)

HST II cutting line on square

tip: the cutting is easier to do on a small little cutting mat, if you have one, because you can make the first cut, spin the whole mat around and make the second cut.

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HST II cut squares

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HST II trimming squares

1930’s Style Diamond Scrap Quilt

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30's Scrap Quilt folded

I had such fun using these 1930’s vintage reproduction fabrics for this quilt.  They remind me of when I was young and my great grandmother died and I was given a large tin of her fabrics that she had cut out for quilting.  These fabrics remind me so much of those.

30's Scrap Quilt Full

I designed this quilt using Half Square Triangles, placed so that they looked like diamonds. Each HST had a vintage style fabric on one side and a low volume fabric on the other.  I’ve already received quite a few inquiries about the low volume prints, so I’m going to try to list as many as I can in this post with lots of links.

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The finished block size (after sewing into the quilt) was 4″.  I cut 5.5″ strips and then cut these into 5.5″ squares.  From these, I made my HSTs and then trimmed them down to a working size of 4.5″.  There were 180 total HSTs.

Most of the low volume prints I used in this quilt were from the AWESOME Robert Kaufman collection called “Hints in Prints”. I purchased these fabrics from Pink Castle Fabrics in Ann Arbor. Finding this kind of tiny low volume print isn’t easy and this collection is so great.  Pink Castle has fat quarters of this collection and yardage.  These tiny prints were the perfect complement to the vintage style fabrics.

30's Scrap Quilt detail

The 1930’s style fabrics were some of my old favorites from Marcus Fabrics’ Aunt Grace line:  this cute blue, this awesome pink , this classic blue and this sweet old fashioned yellow.  I also used some cute fabrics from Penny Rose’s Milk, Sugar, Flower line that I love so much.  Then I used this sweet pink fabric from Windham’s Storybook Vacation line.

30's Scrap Quilt back

The backing is a special fabric from Japanese designer Atsuko Matsuyama for Yuwa.  It’s called “Language of Flowers” and it’s from the 1930’s collection – how appropriate.  It features lots of flower information and old fashioned classic recipes.  It looked like it fit this quilt just right.  I purchased this fabric also from Pink Castle Fabrics .

30's Scrap Quilt Back & Front

30's Scrap Quilt detail back

GSB Detail WIP

30's Scrap Quilt corner

The batting I used was Warm and Natural 100% cotton batting, my usual batting choice.

When I decided on how to quilt this project, I wanted to emphasize the diamonds, so I quilted on the diagonal, outlining the diamond shapes and then I did a vertical quilting down the rows and also stitched in the ditch.  I used Aurifil Natural White #2021, 50 wt. thread for the top and Light Sand #2000 in the bottom, to match the backing fabric.  The Natural White thread is a really nice soft white, not as stark white as the regular Aurifil White. I just thought it was perfect for the top.  I quilted at a 3.5 stitch length.

30's Scrap Quilt stacked

30's Scrap Quilt Hangin

The binding is one of the fabrics I used in this quilt –  Toy Chest Floral Field in Red – and when I was trying to decide on a binding, this fabric seemed like it gave the perfect pop to the quilt.  I love it. This fabric is just one of the line of sweet vintage fabrics designed by Sara Morgan called Toy Chest.

30's Scrap Quilt Binding

When I attached the binding, I used Aurifil #2260 Red Wine in the bobbin, to match the binding fabric on the back of the quilt.  I had the Natural White in the top thread.  I used my usual method of sewing the binding on the front, wrapping it to the back and then stitching in the ditch on the front to attach the binding to the back of the quilt.

30's Scrap Quilt rolled

The finished quilt is about 50″ x 60″.  It’s  just a great size for snuggling up with on the sofa and has a nice, soft drape to it.  It has such a sweet, vintage look to it.  I’m listing it in the Shop.         (This quilt has now SOLD)

Thanks for stopping in!
Elaine

I’m linking up to Crazy Mom QuiltsSew Fresh QuiltsFree Motion by the River and Blossom Heart Quilts.

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