Monday, August 18, 2014

100 Quilts for Kids: Sponsor Highlight

This is the last of our sponsor highlights. I have to admit that I'm so envious that I can't win some of these prizes, too! I hope this serves as some motivation and inspiration to keep quilting!

Jennifer Mathis, owner and founder of Sew South is donating this awesome prize pack.
Fabrics N Quilts is donating a $25 gift card to their online shop.
Faith of Fresh Lemons is donating a four-pack of her quilt patterns.

Interweave is donating a prize pack of three of their recent book publications, including a Quilter's Mixology, New Classic Patchwork, and the Quilter's Applique Workshop and a bundle of magazine publications.
Jeni of In Color Order is donating 6 patterns from her shop.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

100 Quilts for Kids Charity Quilt Ideas: Charm Squares

We're a couple weeks in to 100 Quilts for Kids, and I've loved seeing the quilts that have already been linked up here. If you're planning to donate a quilt, and need some ideas for quick quilts that would be great for kids, I've started a Pinterest page here, and I also link to it from the main 100 Quilts for Kids page (see tab at right above). These quilts feature simple designs, or use scraps so you don't have to invest in new fabric. I'll continue to add quilts to that board as I come across ideas, so please check back or follow the board on Pinterest.

In addition to the Pinterest board, I'm planning to do a few post featuring some of these designs, and thought we'd start of with some charm square quilts. If you are like me, you might buy charm packs without a plan in mind - they are a minimal investment in a fabric line you love, but don't need all the prints from. Or perhaps you've been in a charm swap and collected a variety of charms that way. In any case, these little pre-cuts are a great jumping off point for some quick kid-sized quilts.

Of course, you can use them for simple patchwork, like I did here. These were charms from a rainbow swap that I arranged in a color wheel for a bright, vibrant quilt. This quilt is an eight by eight layout, so 36 inches square, and could be made from about one and a half charm packs.

Rainbow Night Night Quilt
Another fun thing to do with charms is an I-Spy quilt. Take some of your favorite fussy-cut-able fabrics and pair them with fun solids. Here's a quilt I made a couple years ago based on a Moda Bake Shop quilt that Katie designed.

I-Spy Quilt
Finally, here's a quilt I did for my first 100 Quilts for Kids entry in 2011. It was based on this pattern by Made by Rae.

Sugar Pop Quilt

Hopefully this has given you some ideas to kick off your charity quilting in this 100 Quilts for Kids season!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

WIP Wednesday: Friendship Supernova Quilt

Late Night Quilter

Hard to believe, but I'm actually here to post about something other than 100 Quilts for Kids! If you still need your charity quilt fix, the DC Modern Quilt Guild is hosting a little blog hop to show off some of the charity quilts we're donating as part of this year's drive, so please pop by to see Meli at Munchkin Quilts and Lynne at Tinking Along.

This year, I'm participating in the Friendship Supernova Block Swap hosted by Stephanie at Late Night Quilter. Each month, my partner Rachel and I make two Supernova blocks - one for our partner and an identical one for ourselves - and share a little story or something about ourselves in a handwritten note. It's been fun so far, and I really like where our blocks are going.

Here are our blocks together from June and July. Mine are the two on the left and Rachel's are the two on the right.

Supernova Blocks June and July

It's been interesting to me to see how we interpret our color palette a bit differently but that the blocks still look good together.

Here's my block for this month:

Supernova Block for August

When I send this block to Rachel I'll write about a favorite childhood memory. I'm not sure yet which one I'll choose...

Linking up with WIP Wednesday and Needle and Thread Thursday.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Waves QAL: Piecing the Blocks

Waves QAL

Welcome back to the Waves QAL. Are you quilting along with me? If so, I'd love to see your progress on Instagram with #wavesqal and #100quilts4kids or in the 100 Quilts for Kids Flickr group. All the posts in the QAL can be found here.

We'll take the next two weeks to piece all of our half rectangle triangle (HRT) units. This will be the bulk of the work and will allow for some breaks from trimming the blocks if you need it. If you are using the (HRT) method that makes two units at a time, per Latifah's tutorial, please refer to this post and meet us back here in two weeks. For those who have cut their rectangles into triangles and are piecing one at a time, see below.

Note: Although my quilt is all solids, this tutorial uses patterned fabric as I think it better illustrates some of the concepts.

First, select a pair of triangles. Remember that you cut triangles from two rectangles stacked on top of one another, and one triangle stacked on it's match is a pair.

half rectangle triangle tutorial

Next, place the triangles side-by-side, then rotate one around to form the rectangle shape we are trying to achieve.

half rectangle triangle tutorial
half rectangle triangle tutorial

I know this will be fairly obvious if you are using two print fabrics, but you should employ the same concept with solid fabrics since there is no "right side" and if you don't pay attention to this, you could end up with the wrong number of units of a certain orientation. We need units with opposite orientations to make the chevron pattern.

Next, flip one triangle on top of another as shown in the photo, with approximately 1/4 inch extending beyond the edge of the other triangle to account for the seam allowance. It's ok to eyeball this, since you left room to trim when you were cutting.

half rectangle triangle tutorial

Sew your scant 1/4 inch seam and press your block. If you are using a Bloc Loc ruler, you need to press your seam to one side.

Now to trim. Following are directions for both Bloc Loc and conventional rulers.

If you are using the Bloc Loc ruler, you might want to watch the video here to get the hang of it. Basically, you need to select the A or B ruler as appropriate for your unit (this will be very obvious) and align the groove of the ruler with the seam through the block.

half rectangle triangle tutorial

The ruler tells you which side your seam allowance needs to be on (again, press to one side).

Half Rectangle Triangle tutorial

Align the ruler so you have a bit more than 3.5 inch width and 6.5 inch length and trim the excess. The width will likely be close, but you should have room to trim a bit.

half rectangle tutorial

Now slide the Bloc Loc ruler down the seam line until your trimmed edge exactly matches the 3.5inch line at width and 6.5 inch line for length. It helps to have a rotating cutting surface here so you can spin the block 180 degrees and then trim. Your unit is ready to be pieced into the quilt top!

half rectangle triangle tutorial

You don't need a fancy ruler to trim your unit to perfect (thought it helps!). If you are using a conventional ruler, start here with your pieced unit. First trim the long sides so they are straight, and to achieve a 3.5 inch width. I had to trim mine about 1/8 of an inch each.

half rectangle triangle tutorial

Now, take you block and line the top of your ruler with one of the long sides of the block. Find the point where 1/4 inch length and 1/4 inch width on your ruler intersect. Position the ruler so this point is on top of the seam. I hope the photo below illustrates this clearly. Trim. Turn the block around and do the same on the other side - your block should be 6.5 inches long. Don't worry that the seam doesn't go through the corner of the rectangle as it would for a half square triangle - lining the seam up with the 1/4 x 1/4 inch mark on your ruler ensures that once you account for seam allowance, the seam will end in the corner of the block.

half rectangle triangle tutorial

Once you have a row or two, add them to your design wall (or design floor, as I sometimes use!) and see your waves starting to take shape!

half rectangle triangle tutorial

Thanks for following along with the post. Please leave comments if you have any questions or need clarification on one or more of the steps.

Monday, August 11, 2014

100 Quilts for Kids: Sponsor Highlight

Melissa of Happy Quilting is donating a set of 3 PDF patterns. My favorite is Starburst!
Dana of Old Red Barn Co. is donating a copy of Modern Baby and her new book, Imagine Quilts. I own both of these books and they are full of color and inspiration!
Pink Chalk Fabrics is donating a $25 gift certificate to their shop. With so many gorgeous fabrics (and amazing customer service) how will you choose?
Rachael of Imagine Gnats is donating a $25 gift certificate to her shop. Rachael has great taste because the fabrics in her shop are unique and beautifully curated. You should check it out!
Rachel of PS I Quilt is donating three of her PDF patterns. My favorite is Finesse!
Sara of Sew Sweetness is donating six of her newest print patterns: Aragon, Lapin Noir, Lilium, Park West, Peas and Corn, Soda Pop.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sunday Stash

I've never done a Sunday Stash post, but I have a few recent acquisitions that I'm pretty excited about and wanted to share. The first is this fat quarter bundle of the Far Far Away reprint that I got from Pink Castle Fabrics. I pre-ordered this as soon as I heard about it, even though I was on a pretty strict fabric diet at the time. You see, my oldest niece loves unicorns, and her favorite color is blue. I guess I figured while I was at it I might as well get the entire set. I think I'm going to use it to make her and her sister Road Trip Cases for our family trip to Disney World next month.

Next is the charm pack of Cotton + Steel Basics that I picked up from Fat Quarter Shop. While I feel in general that there's a bit too much hype around Cotton + Steel (brilliant marketing, though!) I do like the Basics, and in particular was interested to see the metallic prints in person. Last year I wanted to make a Christmas tree skirt and wanted some fabric with gold in it. Not too surprisingly, I didn't find anything that I liked. They were all a bit to garish for me. I think I found a few prints in this bunch that will work and am planning to order some yardage soon.

Finally, below is my haul from when I went to visit my family in Maine last month. There is an amazing/scary chain of stores in Maine called Mardens. Think TJ Maxx but with furniture, building supplies, household appliances, and an entire fabric department. They must get cast offs from manufacturers or shops that go out of businesses, but in any case it's quilt shop quality (from what I've seen) and a lot of great modern fabric if you are willing to dig a little bit. I've never found that they have any flaws or any reason for being in a discount store, and the best part? This was all between $4 and $5 a yard. Yes, that would be 12 yards of fabric for $52! Below from left to right we have Geekly Chic, Flea Market Fancy, Chicopee, Parisville, and Prince Charming (I bought out the rest of the bolt)!

Fabric acquisitions from Mardens

Linking up with Molli Sparkles.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Waves QAL: Cutting and Half-Rectangle Triangle Tutorials

Waves QAL

Welcome back to the Waves QAL. All the posts in the QAL can be found here. This week we'll cut our fabric, and I'll discuss a couple methods for making the half-rectangle triangle units. Before we start, though, just a quick note to say that #39 Cheryl, is the winner of the kick-off giveaway sponsored by Knotted Threads. Remember, you can use the code QUILTSFORKIDS10 throughout the even to get 10% off in Jennifer's Etsy shop.

The first time I made a chevron quilt I used this tutorial by Latifah for the Modern Quilt Guild. The tutorial makes two half-rectangle triangles at a time, but honestly I didn't find it all that time saving due to the time it took to line up the two pieces. It is a well-written and thorough tutorial, however, so I suggest you check it out as an option for this quilt along. If you do use this method I suggest using rectangles that are 4 inches by 8 inches so you'll have some room to trim them to the perfect size. When I made my Saltwater quilt I didn't leave enough room to trim and lost some of my points.  That's part of the reason I decide to try the Bloc Loc half-rectangle triangle rulers this time around.

You can also make a single unit at a time from two triangle units (with or without Bloc Loc rulers), which is what I will be doing.

The cutting directions will be the same for either option you choose. Before you start chopping, I suggest you lay out your fabric in the order you'd like it to appear in the quilt, and then take a picture. It doesn't need to be the best photo ever - just a quick reference photo on your smartphone will work. Here are my fabrics:

Fabric for Waves QAL
I'm using American Made Brand solids donated by Clothworks. The colors are: light grey, periwinkle, purple, dark purple, and dark indigo.

If you are cutting from fat quarters, use this diagram to cut eight 4" x 8" rectangles from each fat quarter.

Cutting diagram

If you are cutting from yardage, cut four strips of 8" by width of fabric (WOF) from four of the five yards. For the fifth yard, you will only need three strips of 8" by WOF.

Cutting Instructions

From each strip cut eight rectangles of 4" each. Note: depending on the width of your fabric/selvages you can likely get more than eight rectangles from each strip, in which case, adjust accordingly. In the end, you want 32 rectangles of four of the fabrics and 24 of the fifth. If you are using the tutorial from the Modern Quilt Guild site, you are done!

Otherwise, you have a couple more steps. First, take four of the rectangles from each of the first and second fabrics in your layout (from above).

Layout strips

Then layer each in pairs, one on top of the other and separate into two sets. You need to cut each set in opposite directions. Note: this doesn't really matter with solids, like I am using, but it will if you are using prints.

Cutting for Waves QAL

If you have the Bloc Loc ruler, you can use it as a reminder of which direction to cut the rectangle either from top left to bottom right or top right to bottom left.

Cutting for Waves QAL

After you've made the cuts both ways, you have the first row done. I suggest you mark it in some way, or put the pieces in a plastic zipper bag, which is what I did. Next, take four rectangles from color two and four from color three and so on. Finally, take four of the final color in your progression and four of the first color.

final match up

Now you're ready for next week when we start stitching blocks!

Let me know if you have any questions.