Friday, March 27, 2015

Bird's Eye View Quilt - Free Pattern

BIRD'S EYE VIEW
Designed by Theresa Litz c2015
Lap Quilt 50" x 62"

SUPPLIES:
20 - 8 1/2" squares of a mixture of focal fabrics (equals approx. 1 yard)
9 - 2 1/2" x WOF strips of solid Black (equals approx. 3/4 yard)
                            (5 strips will be used in the quilt block assemble and 4 strips will be used in the                                       inner border)
5 - 2 1/2" x WOF strips of solid Grey (equals approx. 1/2 yard)
6 - 4 1/2" x WOF strips of Border Fabric (equals approx. 1 yard)

My quilting buddy Marianne gave me a gift for Christmas that contained 20 pre-cut  8 1/2" squares of five different Bird prints (4 of each print).....

Using one of the 2 1/2" x WOF Grey strips and one of the 2 1/2" x WOF Black strips, placed together face to face and using an Easy Angle Ruler, cut 20 sets of triangles....

First cut....  line up your ruler on the 2 1/2" markings.....

Second cut....   flip your ruler for the second cut and line up once again on the 2 1/2" markings.... continue until you have the needed 20 sets

Using four of your BLACK - 2 1/2" x WOF strips and the remaining four GREY - 2 1/2" x WOF strips....cut a total of 20 - 2 1/2" x 8 1/2" rectangles of EACH COLOR.....

Using a 1/4" seam, sew one black triangle and one grey triangle together.  Your finished black & grey HST block should measure 2 1/2" square at this point.  Trim the dog ears.....

To get an idea of how your blocks will go together and keep everything in order, you may want to arrange your work area as I have below.....

Sew one Black 2 1/2" x 8 1/2" rectangle to the LEFT side of your 8 1/2" square focal block, right sides together......this is a perfect "chain sewing" project....go ahead and sew all of the black rectangles to the left side of all 20 focal fabric squares....

Press seams toward the black rectangles....

Now sew one Black & Grey 2 1/2" square to the LEFT end of the Grey 2 1/2" x 8 1/2" rectangle. Once again go ahead and sew all of the Black & Grey 2 1/2" squares to the Grey rectangles.

Make sure the GREY side of the TRIANGLE block is sewn to the left side of the GREY rectangle....see below....

Press seams toward the grey rectangles....

Now, sew the grey section to the bottom edge of your focal fabric black...right sides together.

Nest your seams together where the black/gray HST block meets the black rectangle.....

Lay your blocks out 4 across x 5 down....sew blocks to form the rows....then sew rows together to complete the center section of your quilt top.

Attach black inner border to RIGHT Side ONLY....

NOTE THAT THE BLOCKS HAVE ALREADY FORMED THE APPEARANCE OF A LEFT BLACK INNER BORDER.

Attach black inner border to TOP and BOTTOM

Attach outer border to both the LEFT and RIGHT Sides...

Last but not least, attach outer border to both the TOP and BOTTOM....

I apologize for taking longer than anticipated to share this pattern with you.  If you like this and decide to make one of your own, please share a photo of your project.  I'd love to see what you do with it! Use your imagination, especially concerning the focal fabrics you choose.  The possibilities are endless! 

In fact, I whipped up a new version of this over the weekend using Moda's new collection called 'On The Wing'.  The only thing I did different was to add a second inner border.  How do you like it?


Until next time!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Serene Garden - Free Pattern - Designed by Theresa Litz

I'm thrilled to share this pattern for a quilt I designed recently.  It does require The Learning Curve Ruler designed by Linda Warren.  If you cannot find it in your local shop, you can purchase it directly from the designer at this LINK.


Serene Garden – 72” x 72”
Designed by Theresa Litz – c2014
REQUIRED FABRICS
3 yds – Focal Fabric (Asian Inspired Floral) – blocks, outer          
               border
1 ¾ yds – Light Blue background – blocks
1 ½ yds – Light Cream background – blocks
1 yd -  Dark Teal – blocks, inner border

SPECIAL TOOLS

CUTTING CHART
Focal Fabric – Asian Inspired Floral
     100 -  3 ¼” x 5 ½” rectangles for blocks
               (cut 9 – 5 ½” wide x WOF strips, then sub-cut into 100     
                  Rectangles)
     25 -  4 ½” squares for center of each block (cut 3 – 4 ½” x WOF strips, sub-cut into 25 squares)
      7  -  4 ½” x WOF strips – for outer border

Light Blue –
     52 – 3 ¼” x 5 ½” rectangles for blocks -  (cut 5 – 5 ½” wide x WOF strips, then sub-cut into 52                    rectangles)
     52 – 4 ½” squares for blocks – (cut 6 – 4 ½” x WOF strips, sub-cut into 52 4 ½” squares)

Light Cream –
     48 – 3 ¼” x 5 ½” rectangles for blocks – (cut 4 – 5 ½” wide x WOF strips, then sub-cut into 48                     rectangles)
     48 – 4 ½” squares for blocks – (cut 6 – 4 ½” x WOF strips, sub-cut into 48 4 ½” squares)

Dark Teal –
     100 – 2 ½” squares for blocks – (cut 7 – 2 ½” x WOF strips, sub-cut into 100 squares)
     6  - 2 ½” x WOF strips – for inner border

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
USING THE LEARNING CURVE RULER
(Reference Method 2 on Ruler Instruction Pamphlet)

You will use The Learning Curve Ruler, to trim all 100 - 3 ¼” x 5 ½” FOCAL FABRIC rectangles.


As photo below demonstrates, line up the left edge of the rectangle with the “A” Line of the ruler and carefully trim along the curved edge of the ruler.

 All FOCAL FABRIC rectangles should now look like this. 


 Next, trim the 52 light blue 3 ¼” x 5 ½” rectangles AND the 48 light cream 3 ¼” x 5 ½” rectangles.

As photo demonstrates, line up the left edge of the rectangle with the “C” Line of the ruler and carefully trim along the curved edge of the ruler.

 All light blue AND light cream rectangles should now look like this.

 We are now finished using The Learning Curve Ruler.

Now we just need to sew all the Focal Fabric curved pieces to the Light Blue and Light Cream curved pieces.

LINK to my tutorial showing how to sew these two pieces together.

Use the instruction sheet that came with your ruler for Method 2 to trim your curved square down to 4 1/2" - or use my past blog tutorials to view detailed photos for using the ruler to trim these units.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
STITCH AND FLIP

Draw a diagonal line on the back of all 100 Dark Teal 2 ½” squares.

Place a 2 ½” square, face to face in ONE corner of all 52 – 4 ½” light blue squares and all 48 – 4 ½” light cream squares.


Sew along the center diagonal pencil line. 

Trim approximately a ¼” from seam, flip the Dark Teal triangle face up and press with iron.

****Side note:  You may notice in the photo above that I have drawn two lines rather than just one down the center.  I am very frugal and enjoy getting "bonus triangles" that can be used in a future project rather than to throw away the corners we don't need for this quilt.  I learned how to obtain a usable, 2" unfinished Half-Square Triangle from the well-known Quilt Designer, Instructor (and too many other titles to list), Bonnie K. Hunter of Quiltville.  You can view and learn this method for Bonus Triangles at this LINK. 

 You should now have 52 – 4 ½” light blue squares that look like this:

 And 48 – 4 ½” light cream squares that look like this:

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
ASSEMBLE BLOCKS
Blocks should measure 12 ½” unfinished

Assemble 13 light blue blocks using photo below as a guide.

 Assemble 12 light cream blocks using photo below as a guide.

  
Blocks should measure 12 1/2" once sewn together at this point.

Sew blocks into rows using quilt photo as a guide, for a total of five rows of five blocks each.

Sew rows together.  In a perfect world, if all your seams are an accurate 1/4", the center of your quilt top should measure 60 1/2" x 60 1/2" at this point.


Add Dark Teal Inner Border 

Add Focal Fabric Outer Border


If you make your own Serene Garden Lap Quilt, please share a photo!  Not only would I love to see it but I'll add the photo to this post so others can enjoy it as well!   (With your permission of course.) :)

Until next time!  By the way, I hope to be sharing the pattern for another quilt top within the next few days.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Snow, Snow and More Snow


To say I'm tired of snow doesn't even begin to explain just how 'over it' I truly am of this cold, white stuff!  This photo was taken a week ago and we've had more snow every day since.

I've been keeping myself busy with odds and ends.

First, the quilt for my uncle is not only finished but is already in his hands in Tennessee.

The label on back......

Next, one night I decided to pull out four orphan blocks (6 1/2") left over from a past project. It was fun using them to make a couple of chicken pin cushions for my boss and co-worker.

I just followed the instructional video on YouTube made by Jenny Doan of Missouri Star Quilt Company to make them.

Another small project I'm working on......

My friend Maryanne gave me a packet of 20 squares consisting of five different bird themed fabrics.  The fabric is precious and I didn't want to chop up the squares any smaller for fear of losing the pretty birds.  After some playing around, this is what I came up with and will share the directions with you soon.  I need to figure out how best to finish it, then will post a tutorial.

What's been keeping you busy lately?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Infinity Scarf Tutorial

A very popular item this past year or two has been the Infinity Scarf.  Now that my friend Lisa FINALLY opened her Christmas gift (yes, in mid-January), I am now free to share how I make them.  As tends to be my habit, I took basic ideas from several different methods of construction and came up with my personal favorite, a combination of many ideas.

I didn't have make-up on the day I took the photo below so I'm sparing you from seeing my face! :) :)



Supplies Needed - TO MAKE THREE

1 yard of Minky (60" wide)

Minky is SO VERY SOFT and cuddly and since it comes in a 60" width, one yard is perfect for making yourself a scarf and two others to use as gifts.

1)  Cut your yard of Minky into 3 equal 12" wide strips.

2)  Take one strip (12" x 60") and fold in half, right sides together, to make a long tube (approx. 6" x 60").

Pin the edges together along the 60" side tube.  

3)  Although you can use a regular sewing machine, if you own a serger, this project is PERFECT for putting that serger to good use.

Serge or sew along the 60" long side.

You will need to leave about a 4" wide opening (for turning) towards one end of the tube.  


I chose to sew approximately 8" down one side, left a 4" opening, then continued to sew the rest of the approx. 50" remaining on the tube.

4)  Gently pull the longest side of the tube through the 4" opening......now the long end is "right side out" with the pretty Minky showing.....the short end still has the wrong side showing.

5)  Now pick up the end of the tube (long side with Minky right side out) and gently insert this end BACK INTO the opening.  This will create a natural "twist" in the tube which will allow your scarf to hang nicely once finished.


6)  NOTE in picture below that the serged/sewn edge of the inside tube is aligned with the folded edge of outside tube....and vice-versa....the outside serged/sewn edge is aligned with the folded edge of the inside tube.  The tube ends themselves are now facing each other (right sides together).  

7) If your serger or sewing machine offers a free-arm option....now is the perfect time to take advantage of it.

8)  Pin the two ends of the tube together, all around the circle, so it doesn't slip and slide while you are sewing.  The free-arm makes life so much easier when sewing the edges of a round tube (or sleeve, neckline, etc.) together.

TA-DA....the ends of the tube are now together.....

9)  Now you just need to gently continue pulling the long side of the scarf (that is right side out), through the opening.....

10)  Your Infinity Scarf should now be entirely right side out.....time to close up the 4" opening.....

11)  Fold the edges of the opening over toward the inside of the scarf.....pin together....then hand sew the opening closed.

12)  Model your scarf.  :)  

For a dressier version to compliment an outfit, a knit fabric works great.  I've not used cotton yet, but will probably give that a try one of these days also.

If you decide to make a scarf.....please email a picture so I can share it on this page.  You can send it to:  grandmaspromise@yahoo.com

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Im Stuck

Frustration, frustration, frustration.....I'm working on a quilt top for my uncle who was recently diagnosed with cancer.  Budget forced me to shop from my stash which is made more difficult when trying to make a "manly" quilt.

Two nights ago I made it this far before needing to sleep.  This is pretty much all of the blocks except for the top, title block.....

I was happy with it when I went to bed but when I looked at it yesterday morning I was unhappy with the uneven layout of the "two strip blocks".  If only the quilt was going to have more blocks to make it wider and allow the blocks to be more symmetrical....but this was it....per the instruction diagram that came with the word panel.

Then I moved blocks around to make it look even in my eyes....plus I finished the top title block/row and added that to the design wall....

I know I'm crazy but the top row looked smooshed together in relation to the rest of the rows beneath.....like a head attached to a body with no neck to balance it out.

So I pulled out a light strip to see if it looked better....

Then I switched the light strip to a dark brown.....

At this point I'm really confused and frustrated.  It shouldn't be this difficult! Hahaha

I THINK I like the dark strip of fabric best.  I need to keep looking at it for a little while.  Of course to add to my dilemma, I realize that I don't have enough of the fabrics used so far to do what I had thought about doing to enlarge the quilt.  It truly needs to be larger than it would finish at this point (only 42 x 56).

Any suggestions?

As I ponder this problem, I'm hoping to start loading my friend Marianne's Easy Street quilt on my longarm frame.

Stay warm and keep sewing!