Get ready to take a charming fall!

Are you all ready to start our next quilt? I know I am. It is snowing today in Denver; yes snowing on Mother’s day.  There is something inherently wrong with that.  I mean, shouldn’t Mother nature want it to be nice on a day that celebrates her name sake? Hmm, just doesn’t make sense.  Speaking of Mother’s day, I would be remiss if I didn’t give a little shout to my Mother and my late Grandmother!  Because let’s face it without the two of them I would not be here right now about ready to start our 6th quilt since August.   Man how time flies! Here’s to you mom and grandma!

 

Circa 2011imageCirca 2009

These photos were from a few years back, but they make me smile.  My mom and I ran a Halloween 5k (want to guess who what we were? lol) The next is with my grandma on a spring visit home from Colorado.


Ready, Set, Gather your materials and put on some music…It’s show time!

Here’s what you need for our ‘Op Art’ Falling Charms Quilt:

  • 4 Charm Packs
  • 1 Jelly Roll
    • We may need a little extra black, but I’m hoping it will just take one jelly
  • Batting
  • Binding
  • Backing
    • Also known from here in out as the three standard B’s…as in you can’t complete a quilt without them.
  • Thread
    • I’m using black on this quilt.

Falling Charms - Step 1


Step 1 – Attaching Charms to the Jelly Roll [Phase 1]

I am saying that there are two phases to attaching the charm pack to the jelly roll because, well, there are.  I want to show you both steps because they are slightly different.  We are all fans of chain stitching and I know I am a fan of the assembly line when it comes to quilting so here we go. 

Start by sewing all, yes ALL of your charms that’s 168 if anyone is counting to your jelly roll in a chain stitch.  Start by laying the right side up on your jelly then attaching the first charm to it (right sides together).  I am going to have the jelly roll on the bottom since it is the longer piece of fabric and you will want to add charms as you go.  Put on some good music or an hour long TV show (reality or baseball are my top two choices for quilting, because let’s face it…do I really care if I can’t hear every piece of dialog…nope.)

Let the chain stitch begin!

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Step 2 – Cutting apart your attached charms

The next step is to use your rotary cutter and cut apart your chain piecing. Be careful not to cut your charm, but line up the ruler with the edge of the charm and slice along your chain.  For non-ambidextrous people like me you may want to cut all of the right sides first and then go back and do the left sides by flipping them over.  

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Snapshot 3 (5-11-2014 2-09 PM)
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Step 3 – Setting & Pressing Seams.

Remember that you will want to set your seams by ironing on the stitching side first and then opening them up. If you leave the jelly roll side up you will press to the dark side each time.  Since this fabric is dark all around I’m not really worried about which side it goes to, but I am into being consistent so pressing towards the jelly rolls just feels right. (Man, I really need a different ironing board…okay I’m on it!)

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So far so good, right? I hope so! If not, leave me a comment below.  Next week we’ll add the second round of jelly roll strips and look at final layout. Yes, this one is going to be THAT quick!

Until next week, quilt away my friends, quilt away!

-Crystal

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Disappearing Four Patch–Creating the Basic 4-Patch

First off, I must say a Happy Happy Birthday to my younger and only brother and only sibling for that matter.  We are 19 months apart almost to the day (technically 19 months and 5 days apart).  Today then begins the 6 months out of the year when his age is exactly 1 year below mine.  Happy 31st DJ, you are the best brother a girl could have!

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Alrighty down to business who is ready for our next project? I know I am!  I’ve listed the materials below; let’s do this!

Disappearing 4-patch featuring Dori by Mitzi Powers for Benartex

Disappearing 4-patch

Materials:

  • 2 Printed Charm Packs
  • 2 Solid Charm Packs
    • Keep in mind white or black will have the most impact.
  • Border Fabric (optional)
  • Backing Fabric
  • Binding Fabric
    • I prefer backing and binding fabric that matches

Steps:

1) Layout all of your blocks.

Whether you choose to use the Dori charm pack or a different print you should have two printed charm packs and two solid charm packs.  Taking the printed charm pack lay out all of your squares keeping in mind that they will be a 4-patch later.  Notice that I didn’t lay out any of the the white charm pack.  That is a step that isn’t necessary since every other square will be solid. 

Disappearing 4-patch

I decided that I didn’t want to go super random on this quilt.  I like the idea of having similar prints together, but not matching.  It will give it dimension without turning into a hot mess.  We’ve all seen them right? The girls that had a great style going, but added that one accessory that took it from cool to ‘oh honey!’.  That is what I am trying to avoid here.  There is such a thing as too random.  Anyway, I digress. Note, these are just for initial block lay out; no need to decide where the final blocks need to go yet. 

Yes, you caught me…I did a couple of the blocks ahead of schedule, but hey I really wanted to see what they looked like!

Take your photo! Time to get sewing…

2) Chain stitching 2×2.

I found it easiest to lay out both charm packs and just chain stitch them together. Honestly you can skip step 1 if you don’t want to match them up yet as you can do it after these are completed as well.  I just love seeing all of the fabrics laid out before I begin.  As always we are using a 1/4” seam (per your individual machine’s specifications).  This step goes pretty quickly even though you have ~80 pairs to get together.

Disappearing 4-patch

3) Step 3 – Setting & Pressing.

Time to set your seams and press.  Make sure you are always pressing away from the solid fabric.  This will allow us to ‘nest’ the seams and will almost always ensure a perfectly matched block. Nifty right? I fell in love with this tip when I learned it too!

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4) Step 4 – Matching Seams & Completing the Basic 4-Patch

Once you have all of your seams pressed you will want to consult your photo or lay out all of your blocks on your work surface wall, carpet, spare bed…you know the drill.  (here’s just a few…)

Disappearing 4-patch

Then, gather them all up in corresponding tops and bottoms. I made one pile of tops and one pile of bottoms like the photo below.  You should be able to pull one top and one bottom from each pile, match them and stitch.

Disappearing 4-patch

You guessed it, we are going to chain stitch these as well. The beauty of pressing to the dark side above means that in this particular 4-patch we are able to ‘nest’ out seams. What this allows you to do is match your 4-patch centers with little to no effort.  All you need to do is nest the seams  by rubbing them together and they will settle into their natural place which also happens to be where the seams line up perfectly.  Just remember to stitch the correct side.  You will read in the outtake below that it is easy to stitch the wrong side and then things get a little off kilter if you know what I mean.

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Alright, we are down to sewing 40 blocks.  Let’s meet back here next week (sorry for the couple week hiatus, back on track now) to cut and assemble the final blocks. Exciting! Check out the center matching using ‘nesting’, ah perfection! One thing to note when pressing.  Usually you would split the center seam and press both to their consecutive dark side, but since we will be cutting this block up and moving pieces around just choose the darker of the two printed squares and press to that side. (it will make more sense next week)

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Oh! Before I forget;  I have been working on something really great that I think will take this blog to the next level (also another reason why you haven’t seen a post in a week or so). Stay tuned! I can’t wait to reveal it…hopefully next week & hopefully you like it!


Outtake:

I thought I would show you that, yes, I have to rip out too. I started pressing some of my blocks and realized something was off. You see I was trying to line up straight edges and lost the block integrity.  I think those vines are supposed to run up and down?! I had to not only take out 1, but 10 different blocks, but it didn’t take too long. Winking smile

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Have a great week!

Introducing! Life in the Jungle–Jelly Roll Race!

Hello Fellow Quilters!

Now that the My Sunshine quilt is completed are you ready to move on to our next project? Pay attention this one goes fast!

There is a fun trend out there called Jelly Roll Racing. What is it? Well, it is a way to create a quilt front in less than an hour.  The basic idea is that you will open a jelly roll and then just sew all the strips together.  This is what Roxy’s first quilt will be, but more on that in a bit.

While this quilt is fairly simple it can get confusing if you skip a step.  Have your jelly roll handy? Let’s get started!

What are we using? Life in the Jungle by Doohikey Designs for Riley Blake!

Life in the Jungle

Step 1:  Sew the Jelly Roll Together –

Simply sew one strip to the next. Don’t worry about the order of the strips it will make sense as we go. Just take the top one and work your way to the bottom.   The method for stitching these together is exactly the same way we connect binding strips.  Place the right sides together and stitch at a 45 degree angle. Make sure the small ends are facing to the right as we will be trimming these next.  Alright time to stitch!

Life in the Jungle–Jelly Roll Race! (notmygrandmasquilts.com)

Life in the Jungle–Jelly Roll Race! (notmygrandmasquilts.com)

The idea is to chain stitch the bottom of one strip to the top of the next one.

Life in the Jungle–Jelly Roll Race! (notmygrandmasquilts.com)

Life in the Jungle–Jelly Roll Race! (notmygrandmasquilts.com)Life in the Jungle–Jelly Roll Race! (notmygrandmasquilts.com)

Yes, you will have a lot of strips! Please excuse all the fuzzies.  I would recommend a lint roller as well. I know we made good use out of it.

Step 2: Trim and Press –

Now that all of your strips are sewn together we need to trim them apart and cut the very large ‘dog ears’. Once you do this you should have one long ‘binding’ strip of fabric.

Life in the Jungle–Jelly Roll Race! (notmygrandmasquilts.com)

I know Baxter enjoyed the ‘dog ear’ confetti party.

Life in the Jungle–Jelly Roll Race! (notmygrandmasquilts.com)

Here is how the strip should look once they are pressed.

Life in the Jungle–Jelly Roll Race! (notmygrandmasquilts.com)

Step 4: Race Away, Connecting the Strip Together –

Pick one end and trim 18” or so.  If you don’t do this all the angled seams will start to line up and it will not give you the variegated look desired.  With right sides together you are going to sew the two ends of the strips together. Careful not to get any twists.  Once you reach the end, (don’t panic, this is going to take a while) you will need to trim the loop part to create two flat ends.  (See Roxy’s photos below for an example. Now, don’t get all up in arms the photo was purely for show. We laid it out and used a rotary cutter to make sure the edges were straight. Smile)

Then, guess what? Yes, put the right sides together from the trimmed end and the other end you started and start sewing again!  Note: YOU ARE MATCHING SHORT END TO SHORT END AND STITCHING LENGTHWISE. Don’t make a long tube, one side should always be open.

With each round you will repeat the trim and the ends together until you have your desired width of quilt.  Each time gets half as long so the strips get shorter and shorter.  Here is a rough video to show you:

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You may want to wind a few bobbins ahead of time and watch every so often to make sure that you haven’t ran out of thread.  It will happen my friends, just you wait.

After you have hit the desired width (the one below is ~48×60)you want you can proceed to spraying, pinning, quilting and binding or you can add a border, etc.  It is completely up to you.  But, let’s just take a moment shall we?! I mean how easy is this?! You don’t even have to decide how to arrange the fabric.

Life in the Jungle–Jelly Roll Race! (notmygrandmasquilts.com)

Now, I am making mine into a baby quilt for my dear friend Audra who got to say hello to her super healthy baby 3 weeks early!  As you can see time is of the essence, but this quilt is too big for an everyday baby quilt.

After much deliberation with Roxy we decided that I could make three out of this one quilt, but how?!  That, my friends, is next week’s post, but until then I will leave you with Roxy’s first ever quilting experience in slide show form!  Seriously, how awesome is she! High-five first timer!

We almost did this entire quilt in a day too! (with only 1 or 2 sweat shop references…Winking smile)

Until next week my friends! Have fun quilting!

-Crystal

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