Friday, December 29, 2017

Dacha Quilt :: What Shade Are You?

I'm so excited to finally be able to share my Dacha quilt. It was made for the RJR Quilt With Love blog and features their beautiful Cotton Supreme Solids. For more photos and information, you can find the original blog post HERE.

I've also written a tutorial for this fun quilt made of simple house blocks. Click HERE for the tutorial.

Quilted by Utah Valley Quilting.

Dacha Quilt Tutorial

It was such a privilege to make this Dacha quilt for RJR's "What Shade Are You?" blog. Working with all of these bright fabrics was so much fun! Don't you just love the way that they stand out against the freshly fallen snow? You can find the original blog post HERE on the Quilt With Love blog.

I've had several people ask me if I was going to make a pattern for this quilt. That wasn't my original plan, but I decided to throw together a quick tutorial, for those who might be interested in making something similar.

Although I love this quilt in solids, I can also imagine this as a scrappy quilt, so I'll give directions for an individual house block, and will also include basic guidelines for making the quilt as it is shown.

For each house block you will need the following pieces:

  • One (1) - 3.5" x 6.5"
  • One (1) - 2" x 2.5"
  • Two (2) - 5.5" x 2.5"
  • One (1) - 4" x 2.5"
  • Two (2) - 3.5" x 3.5"

To make the roof, draw a diagonal line on the back of each background square. Sew on the line, as shown below. Press back to make sure your blocks is square, then trim. Repeat on the other side to make one flying geese...or is the one flying goose? Haha.

Sew the small house piece to the top of the door piece.

Assemble the block as shown below. Block size is 6" x 8" (finished).

You will need 49 blocks to make the quilt as shown. It measures approximately 57" x 72".

For this design, I selected the 12 house colors from primary, secondary, and tertiary colors of the color wheel, in deep saturated shades. I used RJR Cotton Supreme Solids, which are listed on the Quilt With Love blog.

IMPORTANT: You will need 1/4 yard of each fabric. Please note that 1/4 yard will allow enough to make 4 houses. If you do the math, you'll realize that only gives you 48 houses, so make sure that you have a little extra of one of the colors to make the 49th house.

The cutting requirements for the house fabrics are pretty tight, so be mindful that you have a full nine (9) inches from which to cut.


HOUSE FABRICS - 1/4 yard - 12 different colors 

From each solid, cut the following.

One (1) 3.5" strip, subcut into:

  •  Four (4) 6.5" x 3.5" (roof)

Two (2) 2.5" strips, subcut into:
  • Eight (8) 5.5" x 2.5" (house)
  • Four (4) 2" x 2.5" (house)
  • Four (4) 4" x 2.5" (door)


Nine (9) 3.5" strips, subcut into:
  • Ninety-eight (98) 3.5" squares
Nine (9) 1.5" strips, subcut into:
  • Forty-nine (49) 6.5" x 1.5" (horizontal sashing)
Eight (8) 1.5" strips (vertical sashing)

Note: you may be able to get by with only seven (7) cuts, if you use leftovers from the horizontal sashing.
  • Cut and piece together to fit
Seven (7) 4" strips (borders)

BINDING - 1/2 yard

I hope that you find this tutorial helpful. If you make your own Dacha quilt, please use the hashtag #dachaquilt and tag me on Instagram (@kairleoaks). I'd love to see your work!

Quilted by Utah Valley Quilting.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Kitty Caddy Clutch :: Fat Quarter Shop

I love when I have the opportunity to refresh new skills and learn new ones. This Kitty Caddy Clutch by Fat Quarter Shop and Stacy Iest Hsu gave me all sorts of opportunities! It's been a long time since I've made my own bias tape, and even longer since I've done hand embroidery. It was nice to discover that, with a little bit of practice, my abilities came back nicely.

Rather than using velcro or a traditional snap, which the pattern calls for, I knew that I wanted to use a magnetic snap for a more professional look. I was surprised how easy they were to use. The most important part is making sure that you have everything lined up correctly, because once you make those little cuts into the fabric for the brad attachment to go through, there is no going back!

Although the pattern was originally designed as a sewing caddy, with a sweet little mouse that acts as a pin cushion, I made mine to use as a wallet. It's just the right size to hold all of the necessities when you're on the go. I have "feline" that my cat obsessed daughter is going to love it!

You can find the Kitty Caddy Clutch pattern on the Fat Quarter Shop blog.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

En Pointe Bag :: Moda Bake Shop

Who doesn't love a great fall bag? This one is made using those adorable mini charms that we simply can't resist. Hop on over to Moda Bake Shop for the tutorial. You'll be happy you did!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Mini Charm Chocolates Quilt :: Fat Quarter Shop Shortcut Quilt

It's always so much fun to test out a new pattern. This Mini Charm Chocolates by Fat Quarter Shop was quick and easy to make. I love how the Moda Bella Solids gives a modern feel to this baby quilt.

I went with straight line quilting, which is easy to do on your home machine, especially on a quilt this size. This baby size finishes at 30"x38".

This is the first time I've ever used purple for binding, but I think it was the perfect choice for this quilt.

I'm happy with how quickly this quilt went together, and I know I'll be using this pattern again when I need a baby gift in a hurry.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Fat Quarter Cobblestone :: Fat Quarter Shop Shortcut Quilt

Today I'm happy to share my Fat Quarter Cobblestone quilt, which is part of the Shortcut series by Fat Quarter Shop. This quilt is great for those of us who enjoy instant satisfaction from time to time. The blocks are big, which showcases your fabrics, the pattern is precise, and all of the pieces go together quickly.

When I chose my fabrics back in August, I wanted to add to my Christmas quilt collection. This MerryBerry line by BasicGrey for Moda Fabrics was the perfect selection. This fabric line combines updated prints with traditional color and feel.

And the stripes from MerryBerry are perfect for binding!

I absolutely love this holly and berry quilt motif, done by Utah Valley Quilting, which really adds to the charm of the quilt.

If you're looking for a fun and simple quilt that looks great and goes together quickly, look no farther. This is the pattern for you! Pop on over to the Jolly Jabber for more information on this quilt along.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Maypole Quilt :: Blogger's Quilt Festival

This quilt is another submission into the Blogger's Quilt Festival, hosted by Amy Ellis of Amy's Creative Side.

From the first time I saw the Maypole quilt by Suzy Quilts, I knew that there was one in my future. I love the modern look of this quilt made in solids, but this one is for my new granddaughter and I wanted to add some fun prints. The Lil' Red line by Stacy Iest Hsu for Moda is a favorite of mine. I used one print on the front and another for the backing.

This red plaid fabric that I used for the binding is by Lori Hold for Riley Blake. I've used this fabrics for several different bindings, and it never disappoints.

I'm happy for a quilt tester who is always willing to help me out in a pinch. Bruno's definitely my guy!

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

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