Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Block for a Beginner!

A couple of months ago I ran across a great sale on a fat quarter bundle of American Jane's School Days fabrics.  I love American Jane's fabrics because she uses such fun vibrant colors with a feel of vintage to them. This fabric line was perfect for making quilts for my kids elementary school teachers for their birthdays. I love getting a deal on a fat quarter bundle because you can really make quite a bit of quilt out of one bundle, depending on how many fat quarters are included. From this bundle, I have made two quilts so far, and I have plenty still left for a third. I wanted to show you a fun block I used for both of the quilts, and I feel it would be so easy for a beginner quilter. I threw both these quilt tops together in about two days of work and then machine quilted them at home on my machine and hand stitched the bindings. They both ended up around 50" square which is a really nice size for a throw quilt. Best of all both teachers loved them and seeing the excitement on my kids faces when they gave them to them, priceless!!

To start off you begin by cutting your fabrics into 5" squares. If you want to simplify this even further you could figure of the number of 5"squares you would need for your finished desired quilt size and buy the appropriate number of charm packs (remember these are packs of 5" squares.)

Next you will sew 9 of your 5" blocks together as shown in the picture. You sew 3 rows of three and then sew the rows together on top of one another.

Now the easy part, you line up your new large block (made up of your 9 squares) and cut directly down the middle horizontally as well as vertically. You now have 4 super scrappy blocks that look like you spent hours on them!! (Don't look too closely or you might notice I forgot to take a picture to show you how to cut them until after I had already sewn some together. For this reason, the top block doesn't exactly match, but I hope you can understand what I am trying to show you here.)

You can make so many different looking quilts with this form of block, and I love a neat scrappy quilt! The first quilt I made I used all these type of scrappy blocks and mixed and matched and then just sewed them all together. For the next quilt I sewed 9 of my 9 square blocks together for the center, added a border, and then used the scrappy blocks for the outside border, as shown in the pictures.

Have some fun getting creative and let me know if you have any questions or if this block works for some of your quilts!!


Monday, November 5, 2012

What do you get after 25 years of marriage.....Why a quilt of course!

I knew I had wanted to make my amazing aunt and uncle a quilt for their 25th year anniversary from their 24th year anniversary. When did I start working on it? A month before.... That's usually how things go in this household so I have become very accustomed to tight time frames. I had been looking for the perfect fabrics for their quilt for some time, but I just hadn't found anything that struck me. Therefore, it was time to get scrappy! I pulled out two different Moda scrap bags (I love these, yet they really can be hit or miss) and started matching other fabrics to them from my scrap bin. I love the colors in this quilt because some of them don't go together at all, but then they do in just the perfect way. I used over eighty different fabrics in this quilt and have mainly warm cozy colors, but them an occasional turquoise thrown in and even a hint of pink! Fun!!

Now that I had my fabric what to do next? Well, I have yet to ever follow a pattern for any quilt so why start now. First I just started cutting them all into even strips. Then I sewed these strips together to make blocks. When I laid it all out I just didn't love it yet. So I sat down and cut each of my blocks into an "X" making four triangles. Then I mixed all the triangles together and sewed them into new blocks, added some borders to offset the new squares, and the quilt top was complete!

I then went back to the fabric store for yet another fabric for the backing. I used a few leftover scraps from the front running through the back to give it a little "pop." I then machine quilted the quilt with an all over stippling pattern, bound it with yet another fabric from my stash, and hand stitched the back.  My favorite part of every quilt is getting to wash it for the first time. I love the way the fabric puckers together in just the perfect way to make it perfectly cozy. The quilt finished out at about 62 inches square, a perfect size for cuddling up on the couch! I love it!!