Shuffling To A Finish

This is the second small quilt recently returned from Tara, the quilter.  It is also a tutorial from about a year ago: Spool Shuffle.

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I LOVE the quilting.  Tara only had a sketch to go by, but she transformed those scribblings into exactly what I had hoped for.

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Anyway, it is done.  It may hang on the wall of my laundry/sewing room.  In the meantime it is on the bed in the guest room to make me smile every time I walk by.

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YAY for another little finish.

CALICO ROSE QUILTALONG: Top Assembly And Borders

Wow!  This has gone so quickly!  If you have been with us from the beginning, I hope you are pleased with your progress so far.  If you are new, welcome.  You can find all past posts and information HERE.

Remember that this quiltalong is offered in three sizes. SMALL–a throw that uses 5 stars and four alternating blocks. Finished size about 48″ square; MEDIUM–This is the size I am making this time. It uses 13 stars and 12 alternating blocks. Finished size about 72″ square; LARGE: This is the size of the original Calico Rose. It uses 25 star and 24 alternating blocks. Finished size 96″ square.

This month we are assembling the top and adding all those beautiful pieced borders.  If this is your first experience with pieced borders, never fear.  They are not any harder than blocks and give a great look to a quilt.

Ready?  Let’s put this thing together!

NOTE:  All dimensions have been added for all three sizes.  Please let me know how it works out for you.  Particularly if there are errors! 🙂

ASSEMBLY: 

1. Lay out the star and alternating blocks in a five-by-five arrangement for a MEDIUM.  There should be 13 star and 12 alternating blocks.  If you are building a SMALL the layout will be three-by-three with 5 star and four alternating blocks.  If a LARGE (seven-by-seven) you will have 25 star blocks and 24 alternating blocks.  NOTE:  There is a star block in each corner regardless of size.

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2. Assemble rows first then stitch the rows to one another.  The finished 5×5 center should be 60-1/2″ square.  If you are making a SMALL the 3 x 3 layout will be 36-1/2″ square.  If a LARGE, the 7 x 7 layout will be 84-1/2″ square.  Whew!

CUTTING:

1. From the background fabric cut 14 WOF strips 2″ wide for a MEDIUM quilt.  For a SMALL you will need 9 strips.  For a LARGE 19 WOF strips.

2. From the background fabric cut 178 2″ squares for a medium quilt.  For a SMALL you will need 112 and for a LARGE 240.

3. From the colored scraps cut at least 178 2″ squares for a MEDIUM quilt.  If a SMALL you need to cut at least 112.  For a LARGE, more like 240.  I usually cut a few extra for careful color distribution and as seed for the next project.

CONSTRUCTION:

1. We will first attach a narrow background border all the way around.  Sew all of your WOF strips together end to end (after removing selvages, of course). For a MEDIUM size cut two strips 60-1/2″ long.  Attach to the sides of your center.  If a SMALL  you will need strips 36-1/2″ and for a LARGE two strips 84-1/2″.

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2. For a MEDIUM cut two strips 63-1/2″  long.  Attach to the top and bottom of your center. For a SMALL cut them 39-1/2″ and for a LARGE  87-1/2″.

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3. Now for the tricky part.  You are going to create the middle border with pairs of alternating clored and background squares.  For a MEDIUM size quilt, you will need to make 178 pairs.  Once made, stitch these into four strips.  One should be 42 pairs long, two should be 44 pairs long and one should be 46 pairs long.

For a SMALL size quilt, you will need to make 112 pairs.  Once made, stitch these into four strips.  One should be 26 pairs long, two should be 28 pairs long and one should be 30 pairs long.

For a LARGE size quilt, you will need to make 240 pairs.  Once made, stitch these into four strips.  One should be 58 pairs long, two should be 60 pairs long and one should be 62 pairs long.

4. To be sure your alternating pieces will alternate ALL the way around, I suggest attaching one strip at a time and rotating rather than the usual method of 2 side and two sides that we used on the inner border.  So, choose a side (they are all the same length at this point) at attach the strip that has 42  pairs first (if you are making a MEDIUM quilt) .  Then rotate 90 degrees and, making sure you are alternating in the corner to give a smooth appearance, attach strip number 2 with 44 pairs.  Turn again and attach number 3 with 44  pairs.  One more turn and your final strip (46 pairs) should attach with all pieces alternating.

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For the SMALL quilt, start with your 26 pair strip, then the two 28’s and finally the 30.

For the LARGE quilt, start with the 58 pair strip, then the two 60’s and finally the 62.

5.  To finish attach a  final narrow background border to the outside.  For a MEDIUM, you will cut two strips 69-1/2″  long.  Attach to the sides of your center.  Now two more strips each 72-1/2″  long for the top and bottom of your center.

For a SMALL, you will cut two strips 45-1/2″  long.  Attach to the sides of your center.  Now two more strips each 48-1/2″  long for the top and bottom of your center.

For a LARGE, you will cut two strips 93-1/2″  long.  Attach to the sides of your center.  Now two more strips each 96-1/2″  long for the top and bottom of your center.

6. Ta-dah!  You have a finished top.  Now, that may have been a lot of pieces, but it really wasn’t that hard, was it?!  Well done!

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7. Thank you so much for quilting along. As you finish your tops, please send along pictures with links to a blog post if you have one, or just the story of your quilt if you don’t.  Either is OK.  I’ll see you here on August 10 for a tremendous Show and Tell.

Mixed Blessings

For a long time I have thought about making a quilt using multiple sizes of small squares.  This isn’t what I had in mind originally, but it does use variety and has its own appeal.

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Meet Mixed Blessings.

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I am not doing a full tutorial, but here is my original sketch that you can use as a guide should you want to mix your own blessings. 🙂

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It finished up just fine and someone who loves orange will enjoy this iteration for their baby, I’m sure.

TUTORIAL: Quarter Turn Quilt

While fat quarters are justifiably popular, this baby quilt takes a straight cut quarter yard and creates a quilt around it.

QUARTER TURN BABY QUILT

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37 or 38″ x 40-1/2″

MATERIALS

1/4 yard straight cut Width Of Fabric (WOF)

8 assorted  coordinating 2-1/2″ WOF strips

16 assorted coordinating 5″ squares

1/2 yard background fabric

1 yard backing fabric (or as required for quilting technique)

batting suitable

1/3 yard binding fabric

CUTTING DIRECTIONS

1.  Take a good look at your 1/4 yard cut.  Mine was probably end of bolt and not square cut.  So I had to trim a little off.  Do what you must but leave it as wide as possible.  Mine ended up 8-1/4″.  That is why I show a variable finished size for the quilt.  Just leave all you can.

2.  From the background fabric cut 16 5″ squares.

3. From the background fabric cut 4 1-1/2″ strips WOF.

4. Cut ALL WOF strips to 40-1/2″ wide.  This includes the quarter yard, 8 2-1/2″ strips, 4 1-1/2″ strips.

CONSTRUCTION

1. Create the pinwheel blocks.  I used a quick technique that I first found HERE.  Lay a background and a colored square face to face and stitch all the way around.

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Then cut them diagonally twice.

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Iron open and lay out in a pinwheel shape and stitch the block together.

WARNING:  This technique is quick and effective but results in all the outer seams being BIAS.  Starch helps.  Very gentle handling also helps.  While there are other ways of creating these pinwheel blocks, you might want to try this one if it is new to you.  She doesn’t trim the “ears” off the edge.  I am not sure why because it adds so much bulk.  Take a minute and do that.

These should be 5-1/2″  square.

2. Arrange the pinwheel blocks (all 16 of them) into two rows of 8 each and assemble.

3. Lay out the entire top following the guide picture below.  You have 2-1/2″ colored strips, 1-1/2″ background strips, two pinwheel rows and the original quarter yard.

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4. Sew it all together.

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5. Quilt and bind as desired.

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6. Ta-dah! A quarter yard has turned into a quilt!

I can see myself making more of these.  It is quick, satisfying and can use a lot of those “good” pieces I have had sitting around waiting for the right idea to come along.  This  quilt  is part of our 52 in 2015 project.  Instead of fabric waiting for an idea, it is now a quilt waiting for a baby.  I call that an improvement!

Quarter Turn Gallery

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We hope these will find a set of twins.

…Your beautiful creation featured here!

CALICO ROSE QUILTALONG: Alternating Blocks

Thank you so much for being here!  After all, you have persisted and we are already to month four.  If you are just joining this quiltalong adventure, Welcome! You can check HERE for directions and more information.

Remember that this quiltalong is offered in three sizes. SMALL–a throw that uses 5 stars and four alternating blocks. Finished size about 48″ square; MEDIUM–This is the size I am making this time. It uses 13 stars and 12 alternating blocks. Finished size about 72″ square; LARGE: This is the size of the original Calico Rose. It uses 25 star and 24 alternating blocks. Finished size 96″ square.

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This month we are building the alternating blocks.  These are not complicated but they do give the quilt the lacey look and also the illusion that the star blocks are larger and more complex than they really are.  More and more I like the part alternating blocks can play in a quilt.

CUTTING:

1. For each block you need 32 colored 2″ squares.  So, if you are making a small you will need 128.  If a medium, 384.  And, for a large, 768.  Hopefully, you have many of these cut already, but, if not, that is your first job this month.

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2. From background fabric you will need the following, again, for each block:  8 2″ squares, 4 3-1/2″ x 5″ rectangles.  Just do the math.  For a small 32 2″ squares and 16 rectangles.  For a medium, 96 squares  and 48 rectangles.  For a large, 192 squares and 96 rectangles.  Go ahead and cut those now.

CONSTRUCTION:

1. This alternating block consists of 4 nine patches, 1 four patch and 4 rectangles.  It assembles like a large, uneven, nine patch.

2. First, using 4 colored squares, create your center four patch.

3. Then, create four nine patches.  Notice that each of these uses 7 colored squares and two background squares.  The background squares are located in diagonal corners.

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4. Lay out the large block using the four patch, nine patches and background rectangles as shown below.

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5. Assemble into an alternating block.  Stand back and admire your progress.

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6. Repeat as necessary depending on the size of quilt you have chosen. Ta-dah, you have completed 4, 12, or 24 blocks.  Good job!

As you finish your blocks you might want to explore layouts for the top.  You’d think that something scrappy would be completely random and it wouldn’t matter, but you know how quilters can be…maybe…just a little…obsessive!  Have fun admiring your blocks and seeking out the perfect arrangement.  Plus, it will help the time pass more quickly while you wait for the next installment.

Come back again July 10 for the borders…

CALICO ROSE QUILTALONG: Star Blocks

Congratulations, you have made it to month three.  If you are just joining this quiltalong adventure, Welcome! You can check HERE for directions and more information.

By now, most of the rest of you should have chosen a size to make. SMALL–a throw that uses 5 stars and four alternating blocks. Finished size about 48″ square; MEDIUM–This is the size I am making this time. It uses 13 stars and 12 alternating blocks. Finished size about 72″ square; LARGE: This is the size of the original Calico Rose. It uses 25 star and 24 alternating blocks. Finished size 96″ square.

Let’s get started on this month’s adventure:  The Star Blocks.

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Last month we made the 16-patch centers.  We’ll add star points to those and assemble the blocks.  Ready?!

CUTTING:

1. You will need to cut background fabric into squares.  Some are for the corners of the blocks and some are for the half square triangles.  You will cut four of each size per block.

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If you are making a small quilt, cut 20 4″ background squares and 20 3-1/2″ background squares.  You will also need 20 4″ colored squares.

If you are making a medium quilt, cut 52 4″ background squares and 52 3-1/2″ background squares.  You will also need 52 4″ colored squares.

If you are making a large  quilt, cut 100 4″ background squares and 100 3-1/2″ background squares.  You will also need 100 4″ colored squares.

SPECIAL NOTE:  If you are using 2-1/2″ squares in your centers, you will need the same number of squares, but the sizes will be 5″ and 4-1/2″.

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Note that I have tried to spread the colors about equally through my chosen color scheme.  You don’t have to be obsessive-compulsive (who me?) but I believe it gives a balance to your quilt if you are.

CONSTRUCTION:

1. Match a 4″ background square to a 4″ colored square and create half square triangles.  I like to mark the diagonal, sew 1/4″ away from both sides and cut up the middle.  You can get details on that method HERE.

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2. Repeat for all 4″ squares.

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3. I hate to say this, but you really do need to square up.  No one really likes doing it, but it does make a difference.  Get details HERE.

4. Lay out your star blocks.  They consist of the pieced 16-patch centers you made last month, 8 half square triangle blocks and four 3-1/2″ background squares.

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5. Assemble.

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6. Repeat as needed depending on your quilt size. If you are making a small quilt, five times.  If a medium, 13.  If a large, 25 is the magic number.

Yay you!  Stand back and admire your finished blocks.  Don’t they look nice!

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How is this going for you? Let me know.  Send pictures.  Add suggestions.  I love to hear from you, even when I am not good about getting back.  Only a little more school left (even though I love my job, it does interfere with my sewing life. 🙂 ) and then I will be more able to answer all e-mails.

We’ll be back on June 10 for the next set of directions:  Setting Blocks.

CALICO ROSE QUILTALONG: Star Block Centers

After all that cutting it is time to reward yourself with some sewing.  This month we are making the star block centers–those 16 patches.

Again, depending on the size of quilt you are making, you will need to choose your preferred number of blocks and get stitching!

If you are just joining us, check HERE for directions and information on this quiltalong.

The rest of you should have chosen a size to make. SMALL–a throw that uses 5 stars and four alternating blocks. Finished size about 48″ square; MEDIUM–This is the size I am making this time. It uses 13 stars and 12 alternating blocks. Finished size about 72″ square; LARGE: This is the size of the original Calico Rose. It uses 25 star and 24 alternating blocks. Finished size 96″ square.

FABRIC NEEDS:

1. This time all you need are 2″ squares.  All that cutting from last month is being put to use.

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CONSTRUCTION:

1. We are making the centers of the star blocks.  They are 16 patches.  Simple construction.  Just choose 16 squares.  Depending on your color scheme, you might just grab and stitch, or you might want to lay them out first.

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Being slightly obsessive (who? me?) I lay out.

2. Sew them together.  I like to join squares into rows and then (after making sure my seam allowances go in opposite directions) sew the rows together.

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3.  Press everything out nice and flat and congratuate yourself on a finished square.

4. Repeat as necessary.  If you are making a small quilt, build five of these.  If a medium, you will need 13.  If a large, 25 is the magic number.

Well done!  Let me know how your quilt is coming along.  The next set of directions (cutting AND sewing this time) will be out about May 10.

Thanks for joining in.