Tag Archives: tutorial

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This morning I shared a tutorial of this block with a few dozen fellow guild members of SCVQA during our virtual meeting. We miss having meetings and are enjoying the Virtual Coffee Break Zoom meetings that Mel and Geri have been hosting. Have your local quilt groups been meeting virtually?

Also, this is your final reminder to link up your improv projects by the end of the month for Show Me Something Improv. :-)

 

Split Complementary

My color palette for this block grew out of some color play with my Kona fabric chips. Analogous Colors are a group of three colors that are adjacent on the color wheel. For example, yellow, yellow-green, and green. Complementary Colors are opposite each other on the color wheel. For example, yellow and violet, or yellow-green and red-violet. A Split Complementary color palette uses one color, combined with the neighbors of its complement. I've chosen red-violet with yellow and green.

Scrappy Slab*

I used a scrappy slab for the center of my block. This "made fabric" can be built from any scraps on hand and can be used alone, in a design of your own, or in any position in a traditional block or pattern you already own. The possibilities are truly endless.

I don't concern myself with starting pieces being square or seams being parallel and perpendicular. I simply sew together pieces of scrap fabric choosing mates that have edges that are roughly the same length. If necessary, I trim the edge of the fabric (with scissors) so I am sewing straight seams, and I attach them with 1/4" seam allowance, same as if I were doing precise piecing (though this is more forgiving in that sense). I press my seams open (having used a reduced stitch length during sewing) which is my personal preference. If necessary I trim off any overhanging fabric to give me a new straight edge for the next seam.

Generally, I start numerous scrappy slabs at once that can be pieced together as my project grows. Smaller slabs can be used just like individual pieces of fabric, combined with single or pieced chunks*. I find once slabs get large enough to be unwieldy that I have an easier time trimming edges with a rotary cutter and ruler.

Keep building to the size necessary for your project.

*I use the words slab and chunk to describe a pieced unit that is not a specific "block" size. Blocks are a predetermined, specific size. Slabs are what they are. You can trim down to a specific unit or block size as needed for a project.

16" Sawtooth Star Block

Color 1 (green): Using monochromatic scraps, piece a slab large enough to cut one (1) 8 1/2” x 8 1/2” square. 

Color 2 (yellow): Cut eight (8) 4 1/2” x 4 1/2" squares. 

Background/Color 3 (red-violet): Cut four (4) 8 1/2” x 4 1/2” rectangles and four (4) 4 1/2” x 4 1/2”  squares. 

Construct four one-at-a-time Flying Geese units.

Step 1: Aligning the edges, place a 4 1/2” x 4 1/2" yellow square on top of an 8 1/2” x 4 1/2” red-violet rectangle, right sides together. With your favorite marking tool, mark the stitching line corner to corner on the yellow square.

Step 2: Stitch on the marked line. Optionally, sew a second line of stitching 1/2" from your first line as shown. This will create a bonus HST when you trim 1/4" from your marked line.

Step 3: Trim 1/4" from your marked line as shown (or halfway between your two lines of stitching).

Step 4: Press your seam.

Step 5: Repeat on the second side.

Unit finishes at 8 1/2" x 4 1/2". Make 4.

Layout your nine pieces as shown. Sew each row together and combine rows for the finished block. Unfinished dimensions are 16 1/2" x 16 1/2".

Three blocks would make a 16" x 48" table runner. Sixteen blocks (or 9 blocks with an 8" border) would make a 64" x 64" lap quilt. These could all be identical color placement, a variety of placements of the same three colors, a variety of different split complementary combinations, or anything you'd like!

P.S. Here's another Sawtooth Star where I used my scrappy slab in the background and binding.

Happy quilting!

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It’s nearing the end of the year. If you’re a wall calendar user, it’s almost time to swap for 2020. Here’s an idea to upcycle and repurpose the 2019 calendar you’ve enjoyed this year.

I used my Curated Quilts wall calendar, which is perfect for these simple cards since they are one sided pages on white cardstock and blank on the back. Scroll to the bottom for an adaptation for other types of calendars.

I started by removing the days of the month section by the perforations.

Then I trimmed the page to 8 1/2" x 5 1/2" using my rotary cutter and straight acrylic ruler. I didn’t center the quilt. Instead I shifted to show as much of the quilt as I could on the front of the card (the left side in the image above). I was mindful to keep the name of the quilt and artist on the card. This one is It's My Birthday! by Evie Jespersen.

Once trimmed, I simply folded the cards in half. You can purchase A2 size envelopes (4 3/8" x 5 3/4") wherever you purchase office supplies.

Here are my dozen new cards, blank inside to use for any occasion.

 

If you have a calendar with thinner pages or it’s printed on both sides, a simple option is to adhere your calendar images to a folded piece of cardstock. Use 8 1/2" x 11" cardstock, cut into two 8 1/2" x 5 1/2" pieces. Fold each piece in half to make 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" cards. Then cut your calendar images down to 4" x 5 1/4" and adhere to the front of a card with glue stick or sewing machine stitching.

I'm participating in the 31 Day Blog Writing Challenge with Cheryl of muppin.com.

Welcome to my stop on Tutorial Week with Finish-a-Long. I'm sharing my process for using scraps to create pumpkin blocks.

 

Grab your orange (or yellow or white or whatever color you want your pumpkins to be) scraps. Depending on the size of your scraps and the size of your desired pumpkins you can use your scraps as is (which I've done with my single fabric pumpkins) or you can piece together your smaller scraps to form a scrappy slab (as shown in the large pumpkin) before constructing your pumpkin. You'll also want fabric for a stem and a contrasting background fabric.

Pumpkins come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Cut the largest rectangle (can be square or not) from your orange fabric.

Background is attached to the pumpkin by adding snowball corners to each corner. To determine the size of these background triangles I recommend cutting squares that are 1/5 to 1/3 the length of your pumpkin's shortest side. Make these calculations using finished dimensions. For example, for my 5" x 6" orange rectangle, subtract 1/2" in each dimension for finished size: 4 1/2" x 5 1/2". Next, calculate 1/3, 1/4, or 1/5 of the shortest length, in this case 4 1/2".

1/3 of 4 1/2" (4.5 divided by 3) is 1.5" or 1 1/2"

1/4 of 4 1/2" (4.5 divided by 4) is 1.125" or 1 1/8"

1/5 of 4 1/2" (4.5 divided by 5) is 0.9"

There isn't anything super precise about the choice you make here. The range of these calculations in this example is roughly 1" to 1 1/2". You can round to the nearest 1/4" for friendlier measurements. Then add 1/2" to your choice to get the dimensions of the unfinished square. Cut 4 squares in these dimensions. I used 1" finished (since it is between 0.9 and 1.125), so I cut four 1 1/2" squares for my corners on this pumpkin.

Use your preferred marking tool to mark the diagonal on the back of each of your four background squares, align pumpkin and background fabrics right sides together and sew on the marked diagonal line.

Trim 1/4" from stitching line and press open. (Tip: if you are working with larger pieces, you can sew a second line of stitching 1/2" from the first so that the remnant you trim off is a finished HST as shown in this previous tutorial.)

The simplest stem option is to include a rectangle of brown fabric on the top edge of the pumpkin. (You can experiment with different shaped stems and even add leaves!) For my stems I cut a brown rectangle the same width as the background square above and 1/2" taller. In this case I cut a 1 1/2" x 2" brown rectangle and two 2" strips of background each approximately half the width of the pumpkin. Piece the strip with two background pieces and one stem piece, trim to same width as pumpkin, and attach. You can center the stem on the pumpkin by folding each part to find the centers and align to attach the stem. I just eyeballed it since in nature the stems aren't necessarily perfectly centered.

Add background fabric to bring up to your desired block or mini quilt size.

Here's a glimpse of all the pieces (except for background strips).

 

Bet ya can't make just one!

This mini pumpkin is made from a 2" x 2 1/2" scrap of orange fabric, with 1 3/8" corner squares. The stem is 1 3/8" x 1 7/8".

 

This scrappy version is made from a 6 3/4" x 7 3/4" scrap of orange fabric, with 1 3/4" corner squares. The stem is 1 3/4" x 2 1/4".

Happy Sewing!