Friday, June 24, 2011

Baby quilts

The Gals and I on the forum love making baby quilts. They are small, lovely and fun to do together. If a member is expecting a Grandchild, or niece/nephew/etc. then we all pitch in and make a quilt. We have volunteers to make blocks, send in backing/batting/binding and border fabric, one for piecing, one for quilting.

This is one of my favorite patterns to put together. It is SO CUTE. Especially the soft pastels on the white.

We got the free pattern from quiltpox, thank you!

The pattern is simple, just these two blocks.

I have to add the small white border, then I can ship it off to another member for quilting.

Do you like to make baby quilts too? What is your favorite pattern?

Have a great day,

Thanks for stopping by,


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Octagonal table topper, part 2

Hello out there! You are all so quiet, hope you're enjoying the Summer.

I've finished my topper, although I made the large outer border with some applique in mind. I think it just 'screams' for some applique or embroidery. But I am not up to it right now.

For your backing and batting, cut a square that extends about an inch beyond the sides, and center your block on it. Smoothing and pinning as normal (sorry, forgot to take a picture). Quilt and trim.

Do you see my mistake? That fold there . It's from not mitering that corner (the one with the pin in it) at the right angle. I was off a smidge. And didn't realize it till it was quilted. No, I am NOT going to take it out. LOL, I thought about it, but decided that since this was just for me, I will leave it.

Ok, on to the binding. This particular binding is 2" wide. I usually use 2.5", but this one was already made and seemed to fit fine.

Start in the middle of one straight side. When you get to the corner, take a back stitch and snip your thread. You noticed I stopped right at the corner, not 1/4" away from it.

Fold your binding back on itself, matching the fold along the seam.

Hold that fold, and unfold the rest the binding and fit it to the next side. Using a pin to keep that fold in place.

Sew that side, stop at corner, repeat all the way around. Sewing the ends together as you normally would.

Turn your piece over. Fold the binding down, making sure you go OVER the seam line. Put a pin on either side of a corner.

Fold the corner, tucking under the right side, and folding the left over it. Making  a nice corner seam. Pin.

After it's all pinned on, sew it down. Either by hand or machine.

Here is my front and back, yes, I machine sew the back of my binding down. You can read how I do it here.

Close up of my quilting. I'm getting good at straight lines...practice, practice! :)

And my finished topper.

Hope you enjoyed my little tute. I love comments, so feel free to jabber away ;) If there is something you would like to see me post about, let me know.

Have a great day!

Thanks for stopping by,


Monday, June 13, 2011

Octagonal table topper, part 1

Well Summer has arrived finally. We are having some partly cloudy, partly sunny days in the 70s, perfect weather!

So I thought I'd do a tutorial on my hexagon table topper. This is a great thing to show case some of those large prints, or those that you are having trouble cutting up.

Start out with a nice sized square, mine is 10"x10".

You want your corners to be cut, so that all 8 of your 'sides', or strait edges are roughly the same size. So  you want to cut your square at close to the third mark. I placed my ruler so that I was cutting 3" up and over.

Cut all your corners the same way, the same length. Now all my straight sides are roughly 4".

Pick your border fabric. I chose some red strips that are 2" wide. Cut four of those strips 2" longer than one straight side. So I cut mine 6". Fold one hexagon side in half and pinch, to mark the middle. Do the same for your border strip. Pin at the pinch, and sew with a 1/4" seam.

Add your four 6" border like this.

Take your ruler, place the corner of it right along the edge of one side, and lay the ruler down along the diagonal corner to the outside edge of the other strip. Add an inch, and cut four more strips. Mine are 10" long.

Place one 10" strip on diagonal corner. And sew a 1/4" seam.  Place ruler along side it and cut off the ears.

Now to make your hexagon a hexagon, and not a square at this point, place your ruler from one side to the other along the corner strip edge. Making sure you cut off the same length on each side (just like you did your first square).

Cut off all your corners. 

Now all my straight sides are now 5.5". My next border is 4.5" in width, and I am going to show you how to miter the corners. So to the 5.5", add twice the width, so 9". Cut eight strips that are 14" long.

Fold one side of the hexagon, and the strip you are going to add to it, pinch to find your middle. And pin together. Sew 1/4" seam, making sure you START and STOP 1/4" from the corner. You can even put a dot at each corner, so you remember to stop/start there. Sewing with the octagon on top.

This time you can add your strips straight around, you don't have to add them on opposite sides and then the corners. Pin back the first strip, so it doesn't get in your way.

When adding your next strips, make sure you start EXACTLY at the end of your previous seam. Not on it, not in front or behind it. Right on the end.

When you have all your border strips on, it will look like this.

These corners are a smidge over 60 degrees. If you have a ruler that measures exact degrees, you can use that to make your miters.

I don't have a ruler like that, so this is what I do. Fold your topper so that two sides are right sides together, matching up all sides.

 Lay your ruler along the fold of your topper, making sure the edge is right at the end of the seam on your border.

Draw a line from that tip of the seam, to the bottom of your strip.

Pin and sew RIGHT on that line. Making sure you start at the very end of that seam, not on it, before it or after it.

Cut off the end, leaving a 1/4" seam.

Do that for all your corners. It's so important to get that degree just right. Or your topper wont lay flat (as this one will once I iron it ;)

I'll be back in a few days, to talk about quilting this and adding some embelishments. 
Thanks for stopping by!

©Copyright D. Lucas, 2011 This is my tutorial. You are welcome to use any of my tutorials for personal use. You are not permitted to use my pictures or my words without linking back to the original and giving me credit for them.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Summer place mats

Place mats are fun to make. You can take almost any block you like, add a bit to it, and make a place mat out of it. And quilting them as you go, just makes it quicker.

I start out with pencil and paper. Here is about how big I want my middle square.

Then I mark my block out (you would think, us being a home schooling family, that I could find an eraser in this house!! LOL)
 I wanted to use the last of my Nicey Jane, showing off the print. But I didn't measure how much of it I had left, so ended up making mine just a little smaller than what the block up above shows.

  Pieces all cut and ready to sew.

If you're quilting as you go, you want to make the smaller pieces into bigger ones. Ones that make up rows or columns, or in this case, triangles.

Figure out the rest of the place mat.

Then cut your backing and batting. I like to cut mine about an inch or so larger than what the finished front piece will be. A note here about batting. This is a great time to use those small pieces, just whip stitch them together (or use zigzag on your machine) and cut to the right dimensions.

Layer your batting and backing out (backing, right side DOWN) and smooth it. Then you want to  mark the center.

And place your middle piece evenly. Pinning it down. I also like to pin the batting to the backing in a few places (taking them out when I lay pieces down if need be).

I marked the center of all the sides on the square. Then laid my first piece down, pinning the middle of it to the middle of the square. (I am not much of a pinner, but when you quilt as you go especially, pinning helps keep things in place. As you can't do a lot of fudging to make sure things line up right.)

Go around your square, pinning and sewing with a 1/4" seam.

Make sure the pieces you have sewn first, get opened up so that the next pieces are laid on properly.

And now you can iron these flat too. It's important to get your sizes just right, as it's much harder to trim this way.

 You can use a small pair of scissor's to cut the dog ears.

Add your sides, pinning really helps with the longer pieces. You can use your scissors to cut off the yellow ends there. But I do it after the top and bottom piece are put on, so that it's more accurate.

Add top and bottom.

Add the next two pieces. Now do you see why I say to make your backing and batting a bit bigger than you need? It's easy to trim this up.

And then add your binding. Can you believe, I forgot to take a picture of it all trimmed and pretty??! LOL. I'll do that when the sun comes up and post it.

Hope you've enjoy my little Summer mat. This is a  nice way to use up the last of your little pretty.

Have a great day, thanks for stopping by.

©Copyright D. Lucas, 2011 This is my tutorial. You are welcome to use any of my tutorials for personal use. You are not permitted to use my pictures or my words without linking back to the original and giving me credit for them.