two by four – a quilt block tutorial

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So, it seems there’s interest in the measurements for this block (It wasn’t actually a trick question – I really did want to make sure there was enough interest before taking the time to put together a tutorial! And, well, it got a lot of you to comment, so there’s that…)

I hope you’ll enjoy this tutorial and will pull out some fat quarters to give this block a try! It’s fun to make and goes together quite quickly!

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Block size: 9″ x 10 1/2″ (unfinished)

A few points to keep in mind:

*measurements provided are ideal for fat quarters, but yardage could be used as well
*non-directional prints work best — directional prints can be used of course, though keep in mind that the design will be upside down on half the block
*each pair of fat quarters yields 6 blocks (I used 18 fat quarters included in Melissa Ybarra’s Blush & Bloom line, along with a few extra solid strips, for a total of 56 blocks arranged in a 7 block by 8 block layout)

ready, set, go!

From each fat quarter, cut 3″ strips along the long (22″) edge of the fat quarter. You can cut 6 – 3″ x 22″ strips from each fat quarter.

tutorial
Pair each strip with a strip of a different fabric (I think they look great when they’re coordinating, but have different values so you can see the checkerboard look – I mostly paired a print fabric with a solid or near solid, but play around with it to see what you like best!)

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Sew the two strips together along the length and press the seam

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Cut in half – I cut my pieces into roughly two 10 1/2″ sections.

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Sew these two pieces together, repeating the pattern (print, solid, print, solid, for example) and press

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Trim one edge, then cut two sections measuring 4 3/4″ (look – very little waste!)

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Flip one section and sew together. Pin at each seam, or keep an eye on the seams as you’re sewing to make sure they’re aligning correctly.

Note: Keep in mind that how you flip and sew your sections will determine the look of the final block – above you’ll note that I kept the print at the top left, and if you were making a quilt with alternating prints and solids and wanted to keep that pattern across the quilt, you’d want to make sure to keep it the same for each block (ie – always keep the print in the top left when sewing these sections together).

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If you flip it the other way, the solid will be in the top left.

[In my quilt I decided to sew my blocks randomly, so you’ll see sections where the blocks are put together and prints are aligned with other prints, rather than always alternating with a solid]

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Sew together and press, and ta da, block #1. Repeat for as many blocks as you need for your desired quilt size.

To speed up the process, make several blocks at once and chain piece. You’ll be amazed at how quickly this top will come together!

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Posted in Fabric, Posts about Quilts, Quilt Blocks, Tutorials | Tagged , , , , , , , | 40 Comments

800 flowers

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It started to feel like Spring here recently, but then yesterday morning there was snow in the air again, so who knows. I do know that it’s been looking Spring-like in the sewing room though. This great group of fabrics is a new line for Windham called Blush & Blooms by Melissa Ybarra, due out in May. As soon as this bundle arrived I knew I wanted to make a quilt out of it, but I wasn’t sure of the design. A few months later I saw this photo on Instagram of Gina’s vintage quilt, and immediately thought of this collection.

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I think this line is ideal for this design what with its mix of florals and semi-solids. And I like that the rectangles make it feel a bit different than a quilt made up of squares.

A few weeks later I finally found some time to pull out the bundle and come up with some measurements to recreate this vintage quilt.

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I generally don’t enjoy patterns and figuring out the math in advance, but for whatever reason, this one was strangely satisfying to sew! It was the perfect project to work on while hanging out with Henry – lots of chain piecing and ironing and cutting that could be done in batches, quick to put together, and as a bonus, the measurements I came up with used the fat quarters with very little waste. (Anyone want those measurements?)

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Even thought it may still be frosty outside, at least I can admire this quilt and dream of Spring!

Posted in Fabric, Posts about Quilts | Tagged , , , , | 56 Comments

january quilt

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I’m still trying to work my way through the older unfinished quilts. I pulled this one out as the next to finish mainly because I had this great Anna Maria Horner velveteen that was the perfect size (and color!) for a backing.

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You may not even remember this quilt, as I wasn’t too thrilled with it immediately after making it (I can’t even find it on my blog, though I know there’s a photo there somewhere! Ah ha! found it!). It had less to do with the quilt top and more to do with the fact that it wasn’t what I had in mind when I pulled out my initial fabric selections. Luckily, the year it spent hanging in the closet helped me forget what I disliked, and I was actually quite pleased to see it again. I no longer really remember what my original vision was, so I could just appreciate the top for what it was.

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I went with straight lines on the diagonal for the quilting, though initially started with some horizontal lines that I didn’t like (and spent forever ripping out! Ugh!). I added one section with quilting lines going diagonally in the opposite direction, which creates a fun crosshatch design in one section.

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The regular cotton batting along with the lovely velveteen backing makes this quilt nice and heavy as well as really soft. Combined with all the textures on the front – double gauze, flannel, linen, etc – it’s certainly a fun one to touch! Despite my desire to wash it up and snuggle under it, I’ve decided to list it instead (we can’t use all the quilts that currently reside in this house!). You can find this one along with a couple others over on my instagram destash account. I do hope someone will want to give one of these a loving home!

Posted in [search] String Quilts, Finished Quilts, Quilts | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments