Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tuna Can Hexagon Flowers Tutorial


This technique was taught to me by Broach Winsley, a fellow member of the Cherokee Rose Quilter’s Guild of Douglasville, Georgia. Many thanks, Broach!

First, get a tuna can – can be empty (well washed!) or full. In fact, as long as the object is a circle, it does not matter what size nor what object you use – the idea is to use something you have on hand around the house all the time. The reason for this is that when you put the project up and don’t get back to it for some time, you’ll know where your “template” is!

Trace around your can on the back side of your fabric and then cut it out. You will need one (1) circle for the center and then six (6) circles for the petals for each flower.

You take your circle and fold it in half and then in half again like so and then finger-press the edges.
Open up your circle and bring one edge up to the middle, matching your lines, and finger-press your new edge.
Then, take the newly former corner and bring it to your center, but do not overlap. As you make these folds, take a stitch to keep everything in place, being careful not to stitch thru to the front of your hexagon. Finger-press your new edge.

Repeat until you come to the last newly-formed corner, which if you have done everything right, will come to a nice point – better than the point in the following picture, but I think you get idea!

Then, fold this last point down and tack into place

Then, sew the petals together. I like to sew three (3) petals together in an “arc” formation. Make two (2) arcs. *Sorry I did have a picture of my arcs, but I accidentally deleted it from my camera before saving to my computer for this tutorial.*
Then, sew your flower together! My flowers measure 5” across at the widest point using a standard size tuna can.

Here is a picture of the two (2) flowers I have completed at this time. The one on the left is the one I made at guild meeting last week. Not yet sure what color hexagons will surround my flowers, but that inspiration will come soon enough!

Thank you!
Cindy Prince
Princely Sewsations
Douglasville, Georgia

Thursday, July 16, 2009

"Quilt as You Go" Placemats Tutorial

"Quilt as You Go" Placemats—13”x19”

by Jessica Smith

Materials (for 4 placemats):

10 FQ's to make strips
1 yard backing fabric (or 4 FQ's)
1 yard low-loft batting
4-3”x22” strips to cover your center line on front


· Cut a 14”x20” rectangle from your batting and backing fabrics.

· Place your backing fabric right side down, and lay your batting squarely on top of it. Secure the two together with a few pins or a basting stitch with water soluble thread. (You will take the pins out as you go or wash the basting stitch out when the project is complete.)

· Draw a center line horizontally or vertically across the batting. (This can be centered or off center, whichever you prefer.)

· Use your ruler to draw a line at a 45 degree angle from the center line to the edge, on both sides. This should make a V. (OR you can use a sharper or more slight angle if you desire.)

· Measure each leg of your V and add 2 inches to each measurement to determine the length of the strips you will need for either side of your center line.

· Cut strips (using the length determined above) out of your FQ’s at varying widths, from 1” to 3”. (OR you can choose to make all of your strips the same width.)

· Put your strips into paper bags, keeping the two different lengths in separate bags. When sewing down the strips, you will draw them randomly from the bags. (OR you can plan your color order.)

· Choose your thread carefully—remember, this is the quilting color that will show up on the back of your finished placemat.

· Draw a strip from your bag of long strips, and sew it right side up on your sandwich along the long leg of your V, backstitching at your center line. Use a quarter inch seam allowance. — Make sure and backstitch in the middle of the placemat, or your stitches will come out!

· Choose another strip from your bag of long strips. Place it on top of the loose edge of the first strip, right sides together. Make sure you leave enough room at the edge of the strip that it covers the batting all the way to the edge and to the center line, even when it is turned over right side up.

· Turn the strip right side up and finger press the seam.

· Trim the edges at the center line and at the edge of the sandwich. (Do not trim edges until after you have turned the new piece right side up.)

· Continue adding strips in this direction until the batting is completely covered, then start adding strips to the other side of your original strip.

· Once your batting is completely covered on the long side of your center line, repeat the process on the short side of your center line.

· Remember to make sure each strip will cover both the edge and the center line after it is flipped right side up; this works a bit differently when you start going in a new direction, so be very careful.

· Take one of your 3”x22” strips to cover the center line, and fold it in half. Finger press or iron it.

· Place the raw edge of your folded strip along your center line. Make sure that your quarter inch seam will cover all of your ugly edges. Stitch it down with a matching thread, using a 1/4” seam allowance. (Remember that this strip is there to cover the beginnings of each of your stitch lines on your V.)

· Fold over the strip at the seam to cover the raw edges and center line. Use a decorative stitch and a high contrast thread when sewing down the second side. (You can go in and add this decorative stitch down the first side of your strip as well, or just leave the one decorative stitch.)

· Next, you are ready to square up the project. Turn it over, and trim it down (squaring it up) to 13” by 19”.

· Bind your placemats. I use 2” wide strips for the binding, and do continuous binding. You can use all one color for the binding or piece together several of your colors to make a colorful binding. You can also play with decorative stitches when putting on the binding. Have fun with it, this is your last chance to add extra design and color!

· Repeat to make 4 placemats.

Be creative with this design; do your own thing! You can adjust this pattern in a thousand different ways and never have the exact same placemat as someone else. As always, I encourage you to find your own inner diva designer!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Summer Quilts

Howdy Folks, hope you are all enjoying a nice Summer. Here in Northern California we are starting to get some heat. And that got me thinking on light, Summer quilts. With the temperatures between 95 and 110, no blankets are really needed on the bed, just a sheet will do.... but I enjoy the look of a quilt on my bed :)

On our forum,, many of us are exchanging squares for making hexagons with. Many of our members are using the 'tuna can' method of putting their hexagons together. You can find a tutorial for this, and some other great tutorials, here:

With the tuna can method of making hexagons, you end up with no seams on the back. So it makes the perfect, light, Summer quilt! You can put them together like our friend Sally did, making some beautiful flowers.

Here is a close up of the back of a hexagon, you can see the seam lines are all closed up, so there will be no fraying.

But not all hexagons are destined to be flowers. There are some other great things to do with them. You can make a watercolor quilt, or do a an I Spy quilt. Make coasters, table runners and wall quilts using the hexagon pieces for a different design, like it this wall hanging:

Another great Summer quilt would be a Yo-Yo quilt. It's very similar to the folded hexagons, and would require no backing or batting. You can find a tutorial here:

The quiltandneedle Gals haven't even talked about making Yo-Yo quilts, hmmm...maybe that would make another good swap!

We love swapping fabric and will find just about any reason too. So come on over and join us. You can find lots more talk on hexagons and other quilt related subjects on our forum, we love making new friends and sharing ideas. And now that Jess has remnants and end-of bolt fabrics on sale, you can stock up and make your own hexagon quilts....or yo-yo quilts!

Till next time....

Have a wonderful day, and go get creative!


Wednesday, July 1, 2009


A Snowball Fight just got started over at the Quilt & Needle! Come join in the fun here! The rules are easy, just make a few Snowballs from Winter-theme fabrics with bright white fabrics for your corners and you are ready for action! You can find everything you need to know to arm your fort here. I've started my pile of snowballs:

Until next time, friends, remember: When all else fails, just fondle the fabric!

Cindy, a/k/a MisisipiMenace, a/k/a Ms. Tassels