Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Bear Paw Quilt :: Blogger's Quilt Festival


I'm so excited to join in the Blogger's Quilt Festival this fall, hosted by Amy Ellis of Amy's Creative Side. This is my first time joining the festival, but I'm already so excited to check out the quilts and blogs of all who have entered.

Those who know me know that I'm a big fan of traditional blocks. I've always admired bear paw quilts, but it wasn't until my Instagram friend, Lori (@islandtimequilting), starting making one with these Bread and Butter prints, that I decided to jump on board.

I constructed my blocks using 2" (finished) squares and 1" sashings. At some point soon, I'll post a tutorial for the block. The quilt finishes at 82" square and will eventually go on the bed in our guest room.






I'm a sucker for a beautiful quilt hanging on a country fence.

Quilt design: Kairle Oaks
Fabric: Bread and Butter by Sandy Klop for Moda Fabrics
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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

How to Spin Seams


Last week I posted a picture on Instagram of an hourglass block for a quilt that I am currently working on and asked if there were others, like me, who "spin" their seams. I had several people ask me how it is done, so I decided to share a step-by-step tutorial.

The reason that I like to spin my seams is that it creates less bulk at the intersections. I will be making a four patch block for this example, but the same technique works for hourglass blocks, pinwheels, and many more.


1. Start with the four pieces of fabric that you will be using for your four patch. I'm using these 3 1/2" squares from my stash.


2. Sew them together in pairs. One light and one dark in each set.


3. Press to the dark side.


4. Flip one set around...


...and layer on top of the other set.

Make sure that your seams "nest," meaning that they butt up next to each other. This is a critical step; if your seams overlap or do not touch, then the spinning technique will not work. Pin if necessary.


5. Sew the two sets together.

When sewing the sets, I always have the seam on top going toward the presser foot, as shown by the arrow above.

If you are making several sets that will be sewn together in a light, dark, light, dark, pattern, it is important that you sew them in the identical direction. That will insure that all of your blocks will nest. 


This is where the magic happens!

6. Turn your block over and hold the two unpressed seams between your fingers and thumbs, as shown above. It may be a little hard to tell from the picture, but I'm holding the block with both hands, thumbs on top, forefinger underneath.

Now, with a little pressure, give the seams a twist in opposite directions until there is a little "pop." One or two stitches will pop open so that the intersection will lay flat.

For all of you who are worried that your block and/or quilt will fall apart, fear not! I have been using this technique for almost 20 years and I haven't had a single issue. As a matter of fact, I suggest you do a sample block and give it a tug in all directions, just to see that your pieces are still secure.


7. Finger press the center and guide your seams in a spinning direction, as shown above.


8. Turn it over and press from the top. You're finished!!!


Turn it back over and marvel at how the spinning seams create a little four patch in the center of your block.


Here's a close up of the back...


...and the front. See how nicely the seams match when you nest them correctly. Pure joy!


Now, if you're sewing several blocks together, stitch them all together in identical fashion, as explained above. Flip them right sides together and stitch.

One important thing to note: When you are sewing two blocks together, the seam going toward your pressure foot will now be facing the opposite direction. (See Step 5.)


Below are examples using the same technique when making an hourglass block.




This quilt was made by Holly of Bits of Everything. Isn't it beautiful? Holly was working on this quilt at a retreat we were at when I shared this technique with her. By using the spinning method, she was able to get all of her four patches to nest perfectly.

I hope that this tutorial was helpful. If you have any questions, please leave a comment and I will try to answer your question a soon as possible.

If you try this out and post a picture on Instagram, please tag with #spinningseams

Friday, September 8, 2017

Open Wide Zippered Pouch


This Open Wide Zippered Pouch, by Noodlehead, has become one of my favorite "go-to" bags when I want to make something quick, yet useful. It's perfect for gathering all of the small items that you need when you're on the go.


This weekend I'm heading off to the mountain for a few days of sewing and laughter with my daughter and her sister-in-law, so I'm throwing in my thread, extra needles, snips, and a few sweet treats.


I love adding fun details like this little flower zipper charm.

Tutorial by: Noodlehead
Fabric: Flower Shop by Alexia Marcelle Abegg for Cotton + Steel

Lady of the Lake :: Classic and Vintage by Fat Quarter Shop


I've made a couple of quilts using Fat Quarter Shop's Classic and Vintage blocks, and love the timelessness of them. So, when I was asked to join the quilt along for the Lady of the Lake block, I jumped on board. This block is easier than it may appear, and to make it even easier, Kimberly gives a great demonstration on their YouTube Channel.

Hop on over to the Jolly Jabber for more information on this Classic and Vintage pattern.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Fun and Funky Christmas


Earlier this summer, Jen (Heritage Threads) and I hosted an Christmas in July quilt along on Instagram, using the Modern Christmas Tree tutorial by Amy Smart, Diary of a Quilter. We wanted to get a jump on the busy holiday season and make a Christmas quilt when there was less stress...if that's even possible. We were so impressed with the number of Instagram friends that decided to quilt along with us. Many of the quilters used the Cotton + Steel holiday lines, like Jen and I did, others used more traditional Christmas fabrics in reds and greens, and there were even one or two who switched things up and modified that pattern to makes witch hats with Halloween fabrics.


These little trees that I used for the backing make me smile. Particularly the randomly decorated trees.


Picking the right binding was a hard choice, but I'm so happy that I ended up choosing this hot pink solid. I love the way it frames the quilt.

If you would like to see more quilts using this pattern, check out #holidaypatchworkinjulyqal and #holidaypatchworkforest on Instagram.

Holiday Patchwork Forest Tutorial: Diary of a Quilter