FNSI Tonight

Tonight (or tomorrow) is the Friday Night Sew In (FNSI), organized and hosted by Wendy of Sugarlane Designs.

Get your projects together, put on the comfy clothes, and get sewing.

I plan for a big push on my North Star State Quilt

And more progress on the Two and Four Quiltalong.

See you soon with an update.

Two And Four Quiltalong: Fence Rail

How are your 4-patches coming? I hope very well. They are both endlessly interesting and a little mindless. Just chain piecing along…

This week we go to work on the rectangles. Make two piles–all the colored ones and all the backgrounds.

Piece one of each together. Repeat 160 times. Press towards the colored rectangle.

TIP: In case you didn’t know, pressing the seam flat, then pressing it open, helps prevent distortion. If you have noticed that your seams are a little wavy when you just open them up and press down, try this. It helps.

It is such a satisfying pile once you are finished.

Be sure to visit Katy and see how hers is coming along.

And feel free, too, to share our badge, created by a lovely person stitching along with us.

Join us again next week for the next step. And, feel free to ask questions. I’m right here.

Second Chance Quilt: HST Cast-Offs to Pinwheel Lap Quilt

A hand-me-down bag had a lot of fairly large half-square triangles in it. They weren’t all the same size, but the colors looked nice together. Some were already stitched across the diagonal, some weren’t.

First, I stitched the diagonals as needed, then pressed the blocks open and trimmed them to 4″, the largest size that would fit the blocks.

TIP: When working with Half Square Triangle blocks (HSTs), it is completely worth your time to trim and square up the blocks. There are many good tutorials out there and a variety of methods. Try a few and decide what works for you, but DO NOT skip this step.

I decided that this one would be a simple lap size quilt. I didn’t have any background fabric that really worked with the lighter color in the HSTs, and there was enough to make good size top using only the fabric I had.

Pinwheel time! All the pinwheels were made with a single fabric for the colored sections. Except two, where I mixed similar colors to fill out the needed 48 blocks.

Stitch them together and, ta-dah!, a 42″ x 56″ quilt. Good for a young child or anyone needing a snuggle. This isn’t anything special, I guess, but it is fabric that has found a purpose instead of a bag of guilt. That is a win in my book.

Do you have HSTs lying around, or charm squares that could be paired up with a background fabric? Give it a go!


Let me know how it works out for you, or if you have questions that I might be able to help with.

This post first appeared in the Online Quilt Magazine. Consider subscribing. There is a FREE version, or get the paid upgrade for a GREAT price (totally worth it!)

ps–It took a lot of trial and error to come up with that binding, but the final result was worth it.

Two And Four Quiltalong: Four Patches

After all that cutting you are probably itching to get stitching. I know I am!

First we’ll make 4-patches.

To create each 4-patch you need two colored pieces and two background pieces.

Stitch each colored square to a background square. Pause a moment and press the seam allowances towards the colored piece. It really does make a difference.

Next stitch the pairs together, putting the colored pieces on opposite ends and nesting the seams.

The next step of pressing has many options. I prefer to press this seam open. It gives the benefit of reduced bulk without the fussiness of pinwheeling the seams. If you haven’t tried this technique, you might want to on this quilt and see how it works for you.

Repeat over and over, watching your finished pile rise higher and higher until you have 140 4-patch blocks. YAY YOU!

We will be back next week to stitch together those rectangles.

Be sure to visit KatyQuilts and see her version using larger pieces. Enjoy!

Two And Four Quiltalong: Cutting Directions

Have you got your scraps gathered? YAY! Let’s get going!

These directions are for a quilt finishing at approximately 60″ x 80″. Useful on a twin size bed, as a throw or couch quilt, or as a donation quilt. Or, you can make it exclusively because it is beautiful and makes you happy. That might be the best reason of all.

  1. Divide your scraps into two piles: Colored and Background. My Colored is all red/blue. My Background is cream or coordinating low volume prints.

TIP: Generally, when cutting scraps, cut the largest piece you can/need first, then work down to smaller ones.

2. From the Colored fabrics, cut 160 2-1/2″x4-1/2″ rectangles. Also from the Colored fabrics, cut 280 2-1/2″x2-1/2″ squares. NOTE: It is nice to have some kind of color balance, but several possibilities will work. On Katy’s original quilt she cut all the rectangles from blue and all the squares from red. I am mixing my colors to match the fabric I had available. You can use more colors if you like.

3. From the Background fabrics, cut 160 2-1/2″x4-/2″ rectangles. Also from the Background fabrics, cut 280 2-1/2″x2-1/2″ squares.

4. Look at what you have accomplished and feel really great about it.

Thank you for quilting along with us. Visit Katy to see her progress on the quilt she is building. It is a similar size but uses larger pieces. Goodness, you might have enough scraps to do both! Now, that would be fun!

We’ll be back on September 7 with the first stitching step. Feel free to ask questions between now and then. See you soon!

Couch Quilt Top Finished

Our front room needs updating generally, and a quilt seemed a great way to get started.

Inspired by THIS TUTORIAL, I used a different layout.

In some ways it is different for me with a neutral palate and relatively large pieces.

But still scrappy all the way with nearly 100 different fabrics represented.

Visible Progress

With four quilts active and all more or less in the same piece-till-doomsday phase, it was encouraging to push one forward a complete step.

With only 8 blocks to do, it became my main project for the weekend, and I informed Husband there would be extra sewing time (He is such a good sport).

The blocks were not only finished, but started layout.

And decided on one I am happy with. A few more adjustments and I hope to have a finished top to share by the end of the week.

PS–Here is the link to the tutorial: https://angelapingel.com/2011/09/cracker-scraps.html

Exciting Announcement: QUILTALONG!

Earlier this year, Katy shared a picture of this wonderful quilt.

I thought it was a great idea! A few weeks ago I cut out pieces to make a similar quilt. Katy and I got to talking and decided it was just too much fun to keep to ourselves, so we are inviting you to join us and build a Two And Four quilt of your very own.

I am building a version similar to the one above (based on 2-1/2″ squares and strips) and Katy will share directions for making a very similar quilt, but using larger (and therefore, fewer) pieces. 

You will have 1-2 weeks to complete each step before we move onto the next. This will run at a fairly leisurely pace. We plan to have tops finished and ready to share via a linky party by mid October. 

Your first assignment is to gather your scraps! You will need half light and half dark. Any color you would like! I’m using red, cream, and blue. Cutting directions will be posted August 24.

I hope you will join us for this Two And Four QAL. It’s a great way to clear out those scrap buckets!

And, Ta-dah! A Quilt Kit

Since I already have FOUR quilts in progress, I really should have used my extended sewing time today to work on them. And I did. A little.

But then I heard the call of the scraps. I received these beauties recently and even had an idea of what I wanted to do with them.

A whole lot of cutting later I had a pile of small pieces that will be thrown away.

And an entire quilt kit, ready to use. As soon as I finish at least one of the four. Probably…