ABC’s Quilt



Let me start by saying that I never intended to do quilt tutorials on this fabulous Moda blog that I feel very lucky to be a part of. You get plenty of quilt ideas and patterns and instructions elsewhere (and here, too) from quilters more capable than me. But I have a few TIPS and IDEAS that I wanted to share, so follow along, make a quilt, and maybe add something new to your quilt making idea file.

From the Basic Grey Sultry line:
One honey bun
One charm pack
1 yard Fandango Grunge
1 yard Fandango Elite
1 yard Citron Swell
1 yard Friar Swell
1 yard Citron Classy

From the Citron Classy cut 25 six inch blocks. These are what you will set your letters on.
From the Fandango Elite cut 18 1.5″ strips in the 45″ selvage to selvage direction (commonly known as wof for width of fabric)..
From the Friar Swell cut 12 1.5″ strips in the 45″ wof.
From the Citron Swell cut nine 8-inch blocks. Cut these in half on the diagonal for 18 triangles.

Cut your ABC set. There are many ways to do this. You may already have your own method of choice. You may use the method I described here on the Happy Birthday banner I posted a few months ago. You could even make things a whole lot easier and just buy a set here.

TIP: I drew a 6″ square (the size of my block) on a piece of paper, and then drew intersecting lines through it as shown. This gives you a dead center visual on the block so you aren’t left solely dependent on *eyeballing* the center placement for each letter. When you’ve got a lock on the placement, just lift a corner of the block, gently slide out the paper, and then press your letter down (assuming you’ve backed it with iron-on fabric adhesive). Of course, this wouldn’t work so well if using a dark fabric. The TIP for getting all 26 letters in a square is to put two letters on one block. For these on point blocks the I and J fit well together. On regular set blocks I typically put the Y and Z together.

Once all your letters are pressed on the blocks, stitch them down according to your preference. I just LOVE a good blanket stitch, so that’s what I always use now. But for years of course I used a tight zigzag. You can use coordinating or contrasting thread. Depends on the look you’re going for.

Next attach the Fandango Elite (pink print) strips on all four sides of each block. Using a clear square quilter’s rule, square up the ABC blocks to 7.5″ (I’ll show pics of these two steps on the next block).

Now assemble the 16 pieced “in-between” blocks. Pick 16 five inch squares from the charm pack. Pick random strips from the honey bun and sew to charms as follows


Sew one honey bun strip down one side of a charm square. Trim off flush to edge of square. Fold right side over and then sew a different honey bun strip down the next side. Trim off excess.


Sew the Friar Swell (dark brown) strips around all four edges

Then square it up to 7.5 inches with the help of a square quilter’s ruler

If you do the math, or if you just have a really good eye, you’ll see that the blocks and their borders aren’t identical in size to each other, even tho they are (most importantly) the same 7.5 inches around. I ended up having to cut the 25 letter blocks six inches (before borders) to accommodate the letters I have. The 16 in-between blocks are only 5.5 inches before adding the border, but in the end it all trims out and I think it just adds one more level of interest by being slightly different.
Moving on…
This may be a TIP someone hasn’t considered. I wrap a pair of sliding closet doors in inexpensive white fleece. Flannel would work too. This works as my design space. Much cleaner and easier to visualize on than the floor I used for years! I stapled mine on permanently as it’s in my own dedicated space but you could make a temporary installation with the use of velcro.

I put all the blocks up on the wall and just take them down one row at a time to sew together. Then just sew each row one to the other. You’ll see that two of the green 8 inch triangles were cut in half again, for the four corners.

Now, using an 18 or 24 inch long quilter’s ruler, trim the edges down to 1/4 inch from points as shown above. Edge the entire quilt in a one inch border of the dark brown (Friar Swell) after 1/4″ seams it will be half an inch). Then edge the entire quilt in a 3.5 inch border of the green (Citron Swell).

(Oh look! It’s back on the floor. Old habits…) It looks pretty good as is, right? Well, I have an IDEA that will take it up a notch in an easy and whimsical way. Scallops!
Measure the inner (dark brown) border. This one is just about 50 inches so I thought I’d make it easy on myself and draw ten 5″ half circles on each edge. The math was the easy part. Finding a five inch circle (at my house) was the hard part. I finally found a single serving cake pan that worked well. 🙂

Try not to approach this part with precision (using a cake pan helps!). An imperfect “sketchy” look really works best. Once you’ve traced the half circles all the way around, you take it to the sewing machine and sew in a contrasting thread. TIP: use a quilting or darning foot with the feed dogs DOWN. It’ll go way faster. Here’s what one go around looks like

eh..nothin‘ to write home about. Here’s how it looks after sewing three times around

Getting better! Three is actually about all I do on smaller quilts, but these scallops are rather large so I sewed five times around.


You can see that I make a point to sew each line close to each other, but not exactly right on top of each other. Then take your favorite sharp tipped scissors and trim very close to the outermost stitching. Then I wash and dry it to fluff up the raw edge and trim off the resultant loose threads.
Here is a good close-up of the fabrics used and the finished edge.

One final IDEA I want to share is a way to incorporate your label with a hanging sleeve. Just last year I finally realized the importance of labeling one’s quilts, so now I label just about everything I make. On this quilt I figured out the font size I needed for the width of the quilt and printed out the title on iron-on t-shirt transfer paper (buy at any office supply store). I put my name, town and year in a much smaller font at the end of the title.

Wow! You can tell by the glimpse that the back is pretty busy, huh? I threw every leftover bit I had in with two additional yards of brown fabric and worked at piecing it all for a couple of days! Of course it’s terribly busy and took a lot of time, but now that I’ve done it I won’t wonder “what if?” anymore. I cropped this tight so you can just look at the labeled hanging sleeve. 🙂 OH. One more way I’ve done it in the past is to again figure out what size font is appropriate and then print the text on printer fabric. I then pieced the 11 inch (size of paper) runs of text together and appliqued this onto a larger fabric sleeve.


One 55″ square ABC quilt.

I hope I’ve inspired you to make your own ABC quilt, and given you an idea or two that maybe you hadn’t thought of before. I think every home with children ought to have at least one of these! It would be a super gift to make, too. I’ve created a gallery of ABC quilt ideas on my blog, and still have many ideas I’ll be adding as they get made. Have fun with your creativity!
jen duncan

PS: THANK YOU! to PamKittyMorning for helping me figure out how to upload these pics so that you can click them and see the enlarged versions. whew! Sometimes it just takes someone to say it just the right way. 🙂 (hint: html)

His and Her Scrappy Christmas Stockings

– One Figgy Pudding Jelly Roll by Basic Grey

– Two, 1/2 yard pieces of coordinating fabric.
– One 20′ x 20″ piece of light weight batting.
(I used warm and natural)

This is the pattern I used. I took it to a copy shop and blew it up so that the stocking measures approx. 7″ x 15 1/2″. I also added an extra 1 1/2″ inches to the top because I wanted it a little

longer.

Step 1 – Pick out 10 of your favorite strips of fabric from your Jelly Roll. Cut them in half length wise so you have ten 2 1/2 x 18″ pieces.


Step 2 – Cut your strips so that one end measures approx 1″ in width and the other the full 2 1/2″. This will give you the scrappy look that were going for.

Step 3 – Sew all strips together (1/4″ seam allowance), starting with the 1″ end of the strip being at the left end (start), and then next time the 2 1/2″ strip being at the left end. Do this with all ten strips. Then using your favorite stitch, sew the fabric onto the batting by sewing in the ditch of each seam. Note: Make sure you start at the bottom left edge so the the extra batting will be at the top of the stocking.

Step 4 – Cut the quilted fabric in half like in the picture below. One will be for the red stocking and one for the green.

Step 5 – Cut the coordinating pieces of fabric. I tried to show how to lay out your pieces to cut them, but I’m definitely not a photo shop expert so hopefully if will make some sense. The diagram below shows how the stockings should be laid out on a 18″ x 45 ” piece of fabric with the left edge folded over enough to cut two. The first stocking needs to be cut on the folded fabric, these two will be used for the lining so you can set them aside for later. Go ahead and cut out the rest of the pieces as explained. You will also need to do this out of the 2nd piece of coordinating fabric for the 2nd stocking. I sure hope this makes sense.

Step 6 – Sew the 9 x 3 1/4″ piece of coordinating fabric onto the top of stocking. Do this by placing the coordinating piece right side down and facing right side of stocking with the edge lined up with the edge of your last strip of fabric. Sew along top using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Open and press.

Step 7 – Lay your pattern on top of your stocking fabric so that the stocking pattern is at the top of the red fabric. Mine doesn’t look that way, I put a large piece of red because I wasn’t sure how long to make it, but 3″ of the red fabric on top seems to be about right.

Step 8 – Layer fabric as show below and then cut out stocking.

Step 9 – Explained in picture.


Step 10 – Sew around stocking using a 1/4″ seam allowance, then trim. Turn stocking right side out so the batting is in the middle. Also sew around the two stockings pieces that were cut on the folded fabric, place right sides together and sew – leave about a 2″ opening on the straight side of stocking so you can turn it later.


Step 11 – Making the loop/hook – Take your 2 1/2 x 6″ piece of fabric and iron in half width wise. Unfold and fold outer edges into the middle crease, then fold entire piece in half width wise and sew along outer two edges using about 1/8″ seam allowance.

Step 12 – Make the band around your stocking – Take your 7 x 13″ piece of fabric and fold in half lengthwise with right sides together. Sew up the edge and then turn. Iron piece of fabric in half width wise. Place raw edges at the top of stocking (pictured below) and pin with the seam in back or on the side. Next fold loop fabric in half, center it over the side seam on the left and then pin. Next place the quilted stocking inside of the red lining stocking. Pin at the top and sew around top.

Step 13 – Pull the quilted stocking out through the opening of the lining stocking. Sorry, now it’s green.
Step 14 – Sew up the space in the side and then tuck lining down into the stocking, and fold fabric band down. Repeat steps 5 – 14 for your coordinating stocking.

Two Super Cute His and Her Scrappy Christmas Stockings. The finished size of this stocking is approximately 6″ x 15″. This is a smaller stocking (that’s just what I grew up with) so, if you like big ones you will need to adjust the pattern accordingly. You may need more like 3/4 of a yard of coordinating fabric and a few extra strips of the Jelly Roll. If you used your whole jelly roll, you can actually get 16 stockings because you can get 4 our of every ten strips. Just remember that you need a half yard of coordinating fabric for each stocking. If you don’t want to sew any, these two will be up for sale in my etsy shop.

Charmed Gift Bag


My newest project for Moda Bake Shop is a quick & easy gift bag. Just fill it up with a matching charm pack and maybe even a cute teddy bear too. You could also add any quilt notions and more fat quarters if you like. What a fun gift to give to your quiltie peeps.

Other ideas:

  • I’ve also made the gift bag as a birthday present for my daughter’s friends and filled it with things like make-up, nail polish, jewelry and candy. I’ve even put a Webkinz inside the bag along with other treats. The girls are crazy about these bags.
  • Give it as a party favor filled with treats at your child’s birthday party.
  • You could also fill the bag and give it as a gift to your quilt group.

So Let’s Begin:


  • 4 fat quarters from the Snippets Collection by American Jane
  • 1 Snippets Charm Pack by American Jane (this will be put inside the bag as a gift)
  • Cereal Box Cardboard (to put in bottom of bag for stability)
  • Cardstock (to cover cereal box cardboard)
  • Double-stick Tape (to stick fabric to cereal box cardboard)

Cutting Instructions:

The picture below shows the pieces you will have when you’re done cutting your fabric, cereal box cardboard, and cardstock according to the list below.

  • Red Floral Fabric (outside of bag): Cut 2 pieces @ 7″ x 8″
  • Paper Doll Fabric (bag lining): Cut 2 pieces @ 7″ x 8″
  • Red Plaid (Handles): Cut 2 pieces @ 2″ x 10″
  • Red Polka Dot (Pleated Edge): Cut 2 pieces @ 4″ x 12″
  • Cereal Box Cardboard: Cut 1 piece @ approx. 2 1/4″ x 5 1/8″ (trim to fit if needed)
  • Cardstock: Cut 1 piece @ 2: x 5″
All Seams are sewn using a 1/4″ seam allowance.


Let’s Get Started:

1. Take the Red Floral Fabric with right sides together and sew the two (7″) sides and the (8″) bottom of the bag. Clip corners.

2. Take the Paper Doll Fabric with right sides together and sew the two (7″) sides and the (8″) bottom of the bag. Clip corners.

3. Take the Red Plaid fold with right sides together and sew. Then turn right sides out, press, and sew two lines of top stitching on both sides of each handle. Then sew a wavy line down the middle if you desire.


4. Take the inside and outside pieces and press the seams open as seen below.


5. This is a view of the open seams looking into the bottom corner of the bag.


NOTE:
The next steps are kinda tricky to explain so you will want to look closely at the pictures to help you follow along.

6. You will take the side seams and match them up while moving your fingers down the bag. This will create the bottom of the bag when you’re done. Repeat for the outside of the bag too. Let the top edge of the bag fall to the right (see picture below).


7. Turn the outside and the lining pieces over so it looks like the picture below.


8. Now you are going to place the outside bag on top of the inside of the bag as seen below. Lay the top edge of the bag down so it mirrors the (lining) bag below it.


9. Measure 2″ across the pointed edge (as seen below) and draw a line.


10. Sew on the pencil line and then cut off the points.


11. It’s time to pull the outside up and around the inside lining.



12. Set aside the bag while you make the pleated trim.


13. Take the red polka dot fabric for the pleated trim and sew the side seams then press the seams open as seen below.


14. Fold the fabric in half making sure the seams match, then press the fold. Mark the center for each side of the pleat (in between the side seams). You will also make a mark at 1″ and 2″ on each side of the center.


15. Fold and pinch the fabric at the two inch mark and bring it to the center mark. Press and repeat for the other side. Baste the pleats in place.


16. Make a pencil mark at 1 3/4″ in from each side of the back and then pin the handles in place. You may stitch them down to keep them from moving.


17. Now take the pleat and make sure that the pleated side is facing the inside of the bag. Match the side seams and then pin in place. Now sew around the top of the bag.


18. Pull the pleat upward and fold over the top of the bag. Pull the handles out too. Then press the top edge.

19. Now you will make the bottom insert by taking your cardboard and covering it with a piece of fabric. I used heavy duty double-stick tape. Then I place the cardstock over the back of the fabric to finish it off. Now place it into the bottom of your bag for stability.


20. This is what the inside of the bag will look like.


21. You’re DONE! Now you can fill it up and give it away.

ENJOY!!

  • 3 Charmed Gift Bags out of 4 fat quarters.

Exciting News!!!

I’m giving away ONE Charmed Gift Bag on my BLOG.

The giveaway will END on Friday, July 31st at Midnight.
I will then pick a WINNER on Saturday, August 1st.

Giant Pincushions


These are super simple to make and adorable! They come in handy around your sewing room and work as great gifts for sewing friends.

honeybun or jelly roll strips
hand sewing needle & matching thread
pincushion filler of your choice

Patisserie by Fig Tree – Neptune by Tula Pink

1. Pick 3 honeybun strips that look good together and have some contrast.
2. Sew them together into a strip set. Offset the start of your strips like this.

3. Press seams. This can be in any direction.
4. Measure your strip to make sure it is 3 ½” wide. If it is not it is ok if it is smaller (your ¼ is bigger) but not larger (you are sewing too scant) Correct if needed and write down what the width of your strip is.
5. Cut a 45 degree angle at the one end of your strip.

6. Turn your ruler so you can cut a diamond. Cut it to be 3 ½” or the width of your strip set.
Repeat for a total of 8 diamonds.


7. Place diamonds RST into 4 sets making sure that the top points are the same fabrics.


8. Pin & Sew along 2 sides from top to bottom pivoting in the center. (repeat 3 times for 4 sets)




9. Open and press towards solid strip. (not the part with 2 seams) (repeat 3 times.)


10. Similar to step # 7 place diamond sets RST and pin. The ironing from step #9 should help you interlock the seams at the top and bottom. Sew 2 sides from top to bottom, repeat for 2nd set, and iron again.




11. Now you have 2 halves of your pincushion.


12. Put one half inside the other RST. Pin all the way around and sew leaving a 1 ½” opening.


13. Turn right side out. Fill with stuffing or filling of choice.


14. Hand sew opening closed and you are done!

See how easy that was!

Red White & Bold by Sandy Gervais – Neptune by Tula Pink

1. Pick 2 jelly roll strips that look good together and have some contrast.
2. Sew them together into a strip set. Offset the start of your strips.
3. Press seams. This can be in any direction. (since i had a light color solid here i pressed toward the blue print)
4. Measure your strip to make sure it is 4 ½” wide. If it is not it is ok, just write down what the width of your strip is.
5. Cut a 60 degree angle at the one end of your strip.
6. Turn your ruler so you can cut a diamond. Cut it to be 4 ½” or the width of your strip set.
Repeat for a total of 6 diamonds.

7. Place diamonds RST into 2 sets making sure that the top points are the same fabrics. You will have 2 leftover at this point.
8. Pin & Sew along 2 sides from top to bottom pivoting in the center. (repeat 1 time.)
9. Open and press towards solid strip. (not the part with 1 seam) (repeat 1 time.)

10. Similar to step # 7 place a diamond set RST with a loose diamond and pin. Sew 2 sides from top to bottom, repeat for 2nd set, and iron again.


11. Now you have 2 halves of your pincushion.


12. Put one half inside the other RST. Pin all the way around and sew leaving a 1 ½” opening.

13. Turn right side out. Fill with stuffing or filling of choice.
14. Hand sew opening closed and you are done!


see just as easy!!

you probably noticed that one of my pincushions has a lot of fabrics… this is achieved by cutting your diamonds from different strip sets… it makes a nice scrappy look and can help you use up leftover strip sets so you can go buy more fabric!

another option is to flip every other diamond… instead of a star you’ll end up with more of a pinwheel…

the possibilities are endless!!

Super cute pincushions.. you won’t be able to make just one!
3 Honeybun strips = 6 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ x 3″
2 Jelly Roll strips = 8″ x 7″ x 3″

Enjoy!
by Julie of jaybirdquilts!

Christmas Table Ensemble


A Table Topper, Table Runner and Pillow Cover

1 Winter Song Turnover
1 Yd. of Moda Bella Solid White
Batting
Backing
Binding

Yep! I used 1 Turnover to make all 3 of these projects!
Now how cool is that.


Cut your turnovers in half as shownCut your white fabric into 4 1/2 ” strips
Cut your strips into 4 1/2″ squares.

You will need 72 – 4 1/2″ squares (for all three projects)

Cut in half diagonally

To help speed things up while I was sewing,
I put a white triangle with a print triangle ready to sew.
Now start sewing.
Queen Elna and I sped right along.

Sew the longest side of the triangle,
and don’t worry if the white piece is a little bigger
than your print piece. It’ll be fine, you’ll see…
Iron the triangles to make a square
I ironed my seam towards the print side.

Now trim/square up your blocks to 3 3/4″
You’ll have plenty of room to trim and make a perfect square block.

for some reason I felt the need to take a picture
of all the scraps. Aren’t they pretty.

Lay out your blocks for your pillow
4 across and 4 down

Lay out your blocks for your Table Topper
10 across and 10 down.
Do the same thing for your Table Runner
9 across and 3 down.

Sew your blocks together to form rows.
Sew your rows together

I love using a blue Mark-B-Gone pen and my quilt ruler to mark
my quilting lines. So very cool.
For the pillow I quilted the top to a layer of batting first.

To make the pillow cover, Kim has a great set of instructions HERE for making a pillow “envelope”. My pillow comes out at 12-13″ square. Kim’s is for a 16″ square pillow, so you’ll need to do a little adjusting. I make all my pillow covers with the envelope style back.
Easy Peasy.

Bat, Back, Quilt and Bind your Table Topper and Table Runner as desired. And pat yourself on the back for getting a Christmas project done way early! What a good feeling. Yes?

1 Table Topper @ approx. 32″ square 1 Table Runner @ approx. 10″ x 29″ 1 Pillow @ approx. 12″ square
Happy Christmas in July!
ooxx`jodi of {pleasant-home.com}

Quilt-n-Bee featured MBS

Quilt-n-Bee
1425-C South Airport Road
WestTraverse City, MI 49686
Quilt-n-Bee is this month’s moda bake shop featured store. They sent us
in pictures of their moda bake shop displays. Adorable!

Sharon wrote in to us the following: Our shop is in Traverse City, Michigan, the cherry capital of the world! We are currently celebrating National Cherry Festival and of course
Moda fits in perfectly for our cherry display.
They featured Me & My Sisters, Oh Cherry Oh! collection of fabrics.

Moda Bake Shop is a great idea, we save time by using these cuts for lots of samples.
We tell our customers that Moda has given them the extra time they need
to create by doing the boring part for them with pre-cut fabric.
If you are going to Traverse City, be sure and visit their store.
bring me back some cherry pie!

Fabric Strawberries


these summer strawberries can be enjoyed all year long…perfect in a play kitchen set or to be given as gifts to the crafters in your life as a perfect little pincushion.


*one “crazy 8” by sandy gervais turnover
*filling (i used crushed clam shells, but you can use sand or crushed walnut shells or just polyfil fulff if you like)
*thread (mettler red, and green)
*needle (regular sewing size)
*pinking shears

*hot glue gun

take the reds, pinks, and greens out of the pack.

the reds and pinks will be what we will be working with first.

on the wrong side of the fabric measure from middle “point” 4 inches and make a marking.

again from the middle “ponit” measure 4 inches up and make a mark on either side of your first mark in the middle. (you can make as little or as many marks, this is just a guideline to make your “arch”)

using your marks on the fabric make an “arch” by connecting the dots if you will.

cut out your arch

fold down like so, to match up your sides.


sew down (1/4 in seam allowance) your open side, make sure you back stitch at the top.

this is what you should have now.

from the bottom point, measure up 1 inch.

draw a line where your 1 inch mark is.

sew across your one inch line (make sure you back stitch)

turn inside out. and you should have the base of your strawberry now.

fill up your strawberry base with filling. (i used crushed clam shells because i wanted the option to maybe use these as pincushions) i filled mine up pretty full because i wanted a really tight and full strawberry. i left approx 1/2 inch off the top unfilled.

now with your red mettler thread you are going to seal off the top of your strawberry.

sew the top shut like so. sew around the whole strawberry top. and gently pull shut.

this is what your should end up having.

this is the template for your strawberry top.

cut it out.
fold your green triangle in half wrong sides together.and trace your template of the top onto the right side of your fabricwith your green mettler thread in your sewing machine… using your drawn on strawberry top as a guideline, sew on top of your lines. make sure you back stitch
cut out with pinking shears just outside your sewn strawberry top.

with a hot glue gun you are going to put hot glue on your strawberry top

i made sure i put the hot glue on the side that i drew on so that my drawing would not show in the final product.
here’s my lovely finished strawberry.

a plateful of lovely fabric play strawberries (approx 12 from this particular line):

another idea for these strawberries would be making them into lovely little gifts for the crafters in your life:

as sweet little pincushions.