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 4-Patch–Creating the Final Block

Happy Day Fellow Quilters!

It is gorgeous here in Denver and I can’t wait to show you what I have been working on.  Without further ado I would like to introduce you to ‘Seam to Seam’!  What is ‘Seam to Seam’? They are short (~2 minute) videos showing each step along the way.  This way you can watch the next step, complete it and move on to the next set of instructions without having to rewind and find your place in a tutorial to see something over again. 

Photos and written instructions will still be there to help so if you don’t want to watch the videos you don’t have to.  Feel free to let me know what you think.

Let’s get started, today we are creating the final block.  This is the first of two big TA-DA moments for this quilt; I’m excited to show you!

Steps:

1) Cutting the four patch

Time to get cutting. First things first you will want to get your cutting mat and a ruler that is larger than the block and can measure in 1” increments. Oh, you need your rotary cutter too! Next, line up your square so it is aligned on the cutting mat.

Helpful Hint: A rotating cutting mat will make this process 100% easier.  If you don’t have one you can walk around your table or move your big mat very (and I mean very) gingerly.  DO NOT MOVE THE BLOCK.

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Now align your ruler at the 1” mark along the center of your block.  Use your rotary cutter and cut all the way through the block.

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  Carefully pick up your ruler, rotate the mat and line it up again.

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Same process as before. Align 1”, cut and rotate.  You will want to do this all the way around the block; 4 cuts total.

2) Arranging the four patch

Now it is time to rotate the cut pieces of the block.  It should go solid, printed, solid printed all the way around.  Just flip the center pieces around.  The easiest way to look at it is the before & after below.

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3) Sewing the block back together – Rows

We are going to work in rows when assembling this block.  It is very important to have you seam allowances accurate because we will be matching ~ 8 seams per block.  Yes, this block is a little more labor intensive than some of these others we’ve tackled, but we have already saved ourselves a ton of work just by cutting the four patch.  Wow, can you imagine cutting and sewing all of the little squares; talk about exponential room for error!   (…sorry for the ‘perfectly’ overuse…that word is officially off limits Smile)

Here is how to put the first row together. This may seem a little unorthodox, but we want to press to one side for this top row. I know, I know some may not be to the dark side, but trust me it will be worth it in the end. Lets press them all towards the large patterned block like shown in the photo below. Sew the next row the same way, EXCEPT you will press the opposite way.  In this example below you will press towards the teal strip.  Okay final row same as the first, but press towards the large white block this time.

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4) Sewing the block together – Final Assembly

Let’s match up some seams shall we? I think you know where this is going. Attach the top row to the middle and the middle to the bottom.  Do you see why we pressed our seams the way we did? Yep, this way we can nest and life will be so much easier.  Feel free to pin if you’d like or try it with just the nesting if you feel like you are becoming one with your machine. 

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5) Finished Block

Voila! Here is your finished block.  Let’s meet back next week and we can work on layout of this fantastic quilt.  In the mean time I have a ton of blocks to cut and assemble…and you do too! Smile

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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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