Saturday, August 22, 2015

Green Valley HS Quilt...

I have plans to quilt my Twinkle2 QAL quilt this weekend, but I MUST get this charity quilt done for Ryan's Pasta Dinner and Silent Auction fundraiser.  The dinner is the first week of October and I made a quilt and gift basket last year that made a few hundred dollars, so I'm doing the same this year....

I pulled my coveted shirts out of the closet and started cutting squares.  I'm going with a simple layout since it needs to be boy/girl friendly.  Let me show you the school logo with our emerald green/blue color scheme...

There will be 1" strips between the squares so it will look like a GVHS checkerboard!! is our 25th anniversary at GVHS as well, so a green/blue color scheme might appeal to a former Gator student...who knows??  I'll show you more as I progress...

We start school on Monday the 24th, so I'll try to post when I can, but the year is busy again!!

Happy Quilting!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Twinkle2 QAL: Attaching the Borders

It looks like we are to the final instructions in this QAL--attaching the borders!  In order to make the stars appear to "float" on the background, your sashing pieces and borders should be done in the same fabric.  We will be adding 2" (finished) borders to each side of the quilt body.

When looking at your quilt top so far, let's assume the shorter sides are the top and bottom, and the longer sides are the left and right sides.  We will attach the side borders first...

Sew the 2.5" x WOF strips together end to end.  We will cut our border strips from this super long strip.  To determine the length your need for the sides, first measure YOUR quilt sides.  If your blocks turned out 11" (finished) and you add the 1/2" for the seam allowance your sides should measure the following length (depending on how many blocks you have)...

3 side blocks:  33.5"
4 side blocks:  44.5"
5 side blocks:  55.5"
6 side blocks:  66.5"
7 side blocks:  77.5"

But if your sides aren't quite exact, cut the borders to match YOUR quilt!!  Pin the borders to the sides of your quilt and sew...pressing the seams outward toward the border.

Next, we will attach the top and bottom borders.  Once again, measure YOUR quilt top to get the length, but if the blocks turned out 11" (finished), and you added 2" for each side border, and the 1/2" for the seam allowance, your top and bottom should measure the following length...

3 top/bottom blocks:  37.5"
4 top/bottom blocks:  48.5"
5 top/bottom blocks:  59.5"
6 top/bottom blocks:  70.5"

But if your top and bottom aren't quite exact, cut the borders to match YOUR quilt!!  Pin the borders to the top and bottom of your quilt and sew...pressing the seams outward toward the border.

Woohooo!  You have another quilt top to quilt!!  Some of you might quilt your own on DSM, or send out to a longarmer, or tie off, or hand quilt--whatever works for you!!  I'd love for you to send me pics of your finished tops so that I can post them on my blog.  I'll get this one quilted and post up a pretty pic in the next week or so...hopefully!

I really hope you enjoyed the QAL (which ended up being more of a tutorial due to the warp speed).  I think I need to do more of these in the future, but at a slower pace...LOL.

Happy Quilting!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Twinkle2 QAL: Sashings and Top Assembly....

Wow, this has been going fast, right??  But I have to start work on the 19th so I've got to get this written!!!  Don't worry if you can't keep up, this might be more of a QA (Quilt After) than a QAL (Quilt ALong)...Here are my star blocks (I'm doing the 12 block quilt).

I love including the sashing in my block.  First, I don't like sewing sashings after I've finished by block (just takes too long) and I like the staggered, sort of drunk, look of the blocks with uneven sashings.  If you haven't tried this method, you might find you like it!!  We will be adding sashings, and the cornerstone, to two adjacent sides of the block (this keeps the block square!)...not the two opposite sides like traditional sashings.

First, sew your cornerstones to the short side of half of your sashing strips.  Press the seams toward the sashings.  At the same time, sew a sashing strip to one side of all of your blocks, pressing the seam toward the sashing.  This should use up all of your sashings.

Now, attach one of your sashing/cornerstone units to the adjacent side of one of your blocks, pressing the seams out toward the sashing.  The block should be square and measure 11.5" x 11.5".

Finally, we will lay out the rows for the quilt body.  Pay close attention to where the cornerstone is located (that determines if your block is set correctly).

Odd Rows (1, 3, 5, 7...):  Cornerstone upper left, lower left, upper left, lower left....

Even Rows (2, 4, 6, 8...):  Cornerstone upper right, lower right, upper right, lower right...

Lay out all of your blocks and sew first into rows, then sew the rows together.   I pressed the seams of my rows towards the sashings, then I pressed the rows together, once again, pressing toward the sashings.  At the block corners, I sort of pressed it open/swirled it to reduce the bulk.

Disclaimer:  Because I longarm my own quilts, I find thick bumps from pressing too many seams together to be hazardous.  It is easy to break a needle, or have the machine seize up, or drift off to the side to avoid the bump, so I've taken to pressing bulky seams open in the last few years.  If you'd prefer to press a different direction, go for it!  No worries, it will all quilt up in the end.

  The stars should look like they are twinkling in the sky!!  Yeah....almost done...

Here is a black and white diagram if that helps....

In the next post we will attach the border strips.  Check back on the 17th for the final installment.

Happy Quilting!!

ps...I did hang my quilt in my classroom today and I LOVE IT!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Finished Rainbow Twinkle Quilt...

I got it bound and a hanging sleeve applied to the back...yeah!!  This is going to hang in my classroom for a while this year (to remind me of why I quilt!!).

I think this quilt shows that scrappy is super fun and wonderful when it is finished.  During the making, I suspected in was going to be as nasty as a dumpster fire, but it all turned out OK.  Keep plugging along on your own quilt.  Tomorrow I will post up the directions for the sashings and putting the quilt top together.

I'd better get busy...I've been slacking taking naps and doing housework!!  ;-)

Happy Quilting!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Twinkle2 QAL: Outer star tips and block assembly

Wow...hopefully you're ready for the next step--the star tips!!  Grab your "A" pieces (2.5" x 3.5" rectangles) and "D" pieces (2.5" x 4.5" background rectangles) and let's get going...

With right sides together, place the "A" piece (going vertically) on top of the "D" pieces (going horizontally, and draw a line from upper corner of the background piece to the bottom corner of the star tip piece.  See the picture to get an accurate idea of what I'm talking about....Then stitch on the that line, cut 1/4" in from the line to trim the excess fabric, and press the seam open.

Next, we will sew on the left-side star tip.  Once again, with right sides together, with the "A" piece going vertically and the finished unit going horizontally, draw a line from the top left corner of the background piece to the bottom right corner of the star tip piece.  Sew on the line and cut off the corner 1/4" away from the seam.  Finally, press the seam open to reduce the bulk.  Make sure that when you press your piece you keep it rectangular...don't let it curve like a boomerang when you are pressing!!

It is now time to assemble the block.  Grab a center four-patch unit, your star tip units, and four 2.5" x 2.5" background "E" squares.  Lay our your pieces like below... Sew the two "E" pieces to the sides of each star tip unit, and two star tip units to the sides of the four-patch unit.  Press the seams open to reduce the bulk...

Now, attach the top unit and bottom unit to the center, pressing the seams open.  

You are finished with this part of the should measure 10.5" x 10.5".  ;-)  Yeah!!

But what if yours isn't quite 10.5" square??  If it is a bit big, square it up to the correct size.  

If it is a bit too small, square them up to the same 10.25" x 10.25".  This will mean that you will also have trim your sashing pieces down to 10.25" from 10.5", but no biggie!!  Easy peasy!!

Ok, come back on August 13th for the next step--the sashings and the center quilt assembly!!  See ya then....keep sewing!

Happy QAL...

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Twinkle2 QAL: Four-patch units and background

Wow...hopefully you got all of your fabric cut and you're ready for some sewing time!!  Grab your stack of 2.5" x 2.5" squares ("B" pieces) for the center four patch.  First, pair up and sew all of the squares together to get little 2.5" x 4.5" rectangle units.  I pressed the seams open since my color scheme didn't really have a "dark" side to press towards...

Then I paired up two rectangles and sewed them together, carefully matching the seams in the center, to make a four-patch unit.  I also pressed the seams open on this part as well....

They should measure approximately 4.5" x 4.5"...but honestly, will will trim down the whole center part when done so if you're a bit off, it won't be a bother at all....

Next, grab the background pieces for these...the "C" pieces.  If you turn your four-patch unit, it will get a diamond shape and become the center among the background half-square triangles.  Because mine were directional, I separated my pieces into the four different corners so I'd sew the correct one on the correct corner.  If your fabric was non-directional (lucky you!!) this step isn't necessary.

First, we will sew a triangle to each of the opposite sides of our four-patch unit.  With right sides together, center the triangle's longest side (the hypotenuse) on the side of the four patch unit--make sure the tip of the triangle aligns with the seam to ensure it is accurately centered.  Sew on the the first triangle, then do the same thing to the other side of the four-patch unit... Press the seams outward (or open) if you prefer...

Trim the tips from the sides of the background triangle by aligning a ruler along the edge of the four-patch unit and cutting.  Next, we will attach the other two triangles to the the unit.  Remember to align the tip of the triangle to the seam in the four-patch unit to ensure that the triangle is centered correctly.  Press the seams outward....

Now to square this baby up!!  Grab a 6.5" x 6.5" square ruler (if you have one, if not, you can use a bigger one)...Lay the ruler on top of the square, aligning the corners of the four-patch unit with the 3.25" marks on the ruler.  All four corners should be at 3.25" (or as close as you can get).  Trim outside of the ruler to get your 6.5" x 6.5" square.

Voila!!  You have the center part of the block done...there will be (in all likelihood) more than 1/4" of background fabric beyond the tips of the four-patch unit.  That is how it is supposed to be..the four-patch will sort of "float" (though not very noticeably) in the middle of the 6.5" x 6.5" square.  See, there really is room for a bit of error if you aren't very exact ;-)  Yeah!!

On August 9th, we will learn to make the star tips and get the basic block done (without the sashings)...get working!!  I'll see you back soon....

Monday, August 3, 2015

Rainbow Twinkle2 Quilt...

I got it stippled (panto'd) and here are few pics, prior to binding...I really love everything about this quilt and I can't believe how much I procrastinated finishing the blocks.  I didn't mention that before, did I???  LOL...

I'm binding it in the blue Spa fabric that you see in the bottom right corner...sort of a "cool" binding.  I'm usually not a blue person at all, but this quilt might have changed my mind!!

Get on your QAL cutting...assembly starts in two days!  Happy Cutting!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Twinkle QAL: Cutting Your Fabric

Hopefully you were able to cobble together some scraps, or you made a mad dash to the quilt shop, and you are ready for some cutting!!  I love cutting, really I we go...

Star Tips and Four-Patch Units (A and B)

Each block requires (8) 2.5" x 3.5" rectangles and (4) 2.5" x 2.5" squares.  These can come from a variety of fabric pieces...or your scrap collection!

You will need the following number of strips/squares/FQ for each size:
Baby:  9
Toddler:  12
Wall Hanging: 16
Lap Quilt:  20
Large Lap Quilt:  30

Jelly Roll Strips (2.5" x WOF)
With the strip folded in half, trim the selvedges off and cut (4) rectangles 2.5" x 3.5".  Then cut (3) 2.5" x 2.5" squares.  Because the strip is folded in half, you will actually get double the number of pieces that you cut.  Easy peasy!

Layer Cake Squares (10" x 10")
Cut four strips 2.5" wide, then subcut each strip into (2) 2.5" x 3.5" rectangles and (1) 2.5" x 2.5" square.  Since you have four strips, I'd stack them on top of each other to make subcutting faster.  Or you can turn the cutting mat, without disturbing the square, and make (3) 3.5" cuts and (1) 2.5" cut across all four strips...

Fat Quarters (18" x 21")
With the 18" side at the bottom (be sure you have this right prior to cutting), cut (2) vertical strips 2.5" x 21".  Stack the two strips on top of one another, trim the selvedges off and cut (4) rectangles 2.5" x 3.5".  Then cut (2) 2.5" x 2.5" squares.

Background of Four-Patch Units (C)

Each block will require (2) 4.5" x 4.5" squares, cut in half diagonally.  So for each size quilt you would need:
Baby:  18--(3) 4.5" x WOF strips
Toddler: 24--(3) 4.5" x WOF strips
Wall Hanging:  32--(4) 4.5" x WOF strips
Lap Quilt:  40--(5) 4.5" x WOF strips
Large Lap Quilt: 60--(8) 4.5" x WOF strips

You should be able to get (8) 4.5" x 4.5" squares from each strip. Cut the required number of strips for your quilt size and then subcut into 4.5" squares.  Cut your squares diagonally to make (2) half square triangles.

If your background fabric is non-directional, you can make the diagonal cut the same direction for all of below....

But if your fabric is directional, like mine is, you will need to split your squares in half, right sides up, and cut half one direction, and the other half the other direction.  Then, when you attach these pieces to the four-patch units, the direction will all be running the same direction...If you are unsure about this right now, just don't make the diagonal cuts yet and wait until we get to that part later in the QAL.  Maybe it will make more sense at that time...

Because mine were directional, after I made the cuts, I sorted them into four stacks (one for each corner)....if they aren't directional, just make one pile because they are all the same ;-)

Background of Star Tips (D and E)

Each star will require (4) 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles and (4) 2.5" x 2.5" squares.  You should be able to get (8) rectangles from a 2.5" WOF strip of fabric, and (16) squares from a 2.5" x WOF strip.  You will need to cut the following number of 2.5" x WOF strips for your quilt size:

Baby:  (8) strips, (5) for rectangles and (3) for squares
Toddler:  (9) strips, (6) for rectangles and (3) for squares
Wall Hanging:  (12) strips, (8) for rectangles, and (4) for squares
Lap Quilt:  (15) strips, (10) for rectangles, and (5) for squares
Large Lap Quilt:  (23) strips, (15) for rectangles and (8) for squares

Separate your strips into a pile for squares and a pile for rectangles.  With the strip still folded in half, subcut the squares strips into 2.5" x 2.5" squares and the rectangle strips in 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles.

Sashings and Borders (F)

Each block will require (2) 1.5" x 10.5" sashing pieces.  I found that I could efficiently get the pieces by cutting a 10.5" x WOF strip, rotating it sideways, then subcutting 1.5" x 10.5" pieces.  I could get (26) "F" pieces from each 10.5" strip.  If a quilt needed more than (26) pieces, I tried to determine if it was more efficient to cut another 10.5" strip, or just a few 1.5" strips and subcut into 1.5" x 10.5" strips.  Each quilt size will require the following:

Baby:  (1) 10.5" x WOF strip for "F" pieces, subcut into (18) 1.5" x 10.5" rectangles
            (4) 2.5" x WOF strips for the border

Toddler:   (1) 10.5" x WOF strip for "F" pieces, subcut into (24) 1.5" x 10.5" rectangles
                 (5) 2.5" x WOF strips for the border

Wall Hanging:   (1) 10.5" x WOF strip for "F" pieces, and (2) 1.5" x WOF strips,
                           subcut into (32) 1.5" x 10.5" rectangles
                           (5) 2.5" x WOF strips for the border

Lap Quilt:   (1) 10.5" x WOF strip for "F" pieces, and (5) 1.5" x WOF strips,
                     subcut into (40) 1.5" x 10.5" rectangles
                     (6) 2.5" x WOF strips for the border

Large Lap Quilt:  (2) 10.5" x WOF strip for "F" pieces, and (3) 1.5" x WOF strips,
                              subcut into (60) 1.5" x 10.5" rectangles
                              (7) 2.5" x WOF strips for the border

All quilts require at least one 10.5" x WOF strip, but yours might require a second (the large lap quilt) or extra 1.5" x WOF strips.  Just refer to the cutting directions above and cut what you need....

Subcutting your 10.5" strips looks like this...but only cut what you need!  I only needed (24) so I made twelve cuts...then you have a bigger scrap left for another project!

If your quilt required 1.5" x WOF strips, just subcut those strips into 1.5" x 10.5" rectangles.  You should be able to get (3) 1.5" x 10.5" rectangles from each 1.5" strip.

Cornerstones (G)

Wow, I thought I'd never get to the end....the cornerstones are 1.5" x 1.5" squares and you need one per block.  You can get all of your cornerstones from (1) strip 1.5" x WOF, unless you are making the Large Lap Quilt, then you will need (2) 1.5" x WOF strips.  Subcut into the number of squares indicted below...

Baby:  9
Toddler:  12
Wall Hanging:  16
Lap Quilt:  20
Large Lap Quilt:  30

Only make half the number of cuts as squares you need, because the strip is doubled over.  I needed 12 cornerstones, so I made six cuts.  ;-)

Whew...we got it all cut!!  Yeah....On August 5th we will assemble the four-patch units and the background behind them...get ready!!

Happy Cutting!