Out the Door Charm Quilt

Out the Door - Cover photo

When Lisa told me that Moda Bake Shop was doing a series of texty projects, I instantly knew what I wanted to make.  My boys had been telling me for months that I needed to make it. 

Out the Door
A mock-up of my idea done in PB&J by Basic Grey
I showed this picture to them….they loved the idea….then informed me that I got it wrong.  It seems that this is NOT the order in which I whisper my instructions to them as they head out the door.  They assured me that “BE GOOD” comes first….every time.
Out the Door

My boys have gotten big.  I have three, ages 20, 17, and 14 1/2 (yes, you have to include that half).  They are the best thing that ever happened to me.  I know it sounds like a cliche.  I’d wager, if you have children you know exactly what I am talking about.  Every day they get a little bit older and every day they grow a little bit further away from needing me at arms reach.   Even so, there will never be a day when I won’t pray these parting words over them as they head out the door. 

Out the Door 

  • 4 charm packs
    • I used Round Robin by Kathy Schmitz
  • 1 1/2 yards for outer border
    • I used #6046 11 little birds on  poppy red from Round Robin
  • 1/3 yard for inner border 
    • I used #5746 73 golden rod crackle from Round Robin
  • 5/8 yard for lettering
    • I used #5746 73 golden rod crackle from Round Robin
  • 1/2 yard for binding
    • I used #6043 18 black with golden pin dots from Round Robin
  • 4 yards for backing
    • I used #6046 14 little birds on golden rod from Round Robin
Tools – these were used to make the letters.  I chose to reverse applique them by hand.  These are the tools I used.  If you want to applique the letters using a different method, alter your supplies accordingly.
  • 9 pieces of regular printer paper
  • black Sharpie marker (for use on the paper only)
  • fabric marker  – I tried several different ones to see which I liked best for this project.
    •  My Frixion pen was great….although hard to see on dark fabrics as it is red. 
    •  I also tried a Clover white marking pen….I had a hard time seeing what I was doing, but it worked well.
    • I ended up using a Sewline mechanical pencil with white led.  I love this product!
  • Fray Check – I chose to reverse applique my letters by hand.  This product is great for keeping the little pieces from fraying at the corners.
  • Light box – If you do not have one don’t worry.  You can use a roll of masking tape and a window. 
  • Small pair of very pointy, sharp fabric scissors.
  • Applique pins – these are very short – 3/4″ long.  They are big enough to hold the applique pieces in place while you sew without getting in the way.  Normal pins will work too; however, I am not responsible for any words learned by your children while you are using them for this project.
  • pearl cotton
  • fusible web
Out the Door is made from 154, 5″ blocks set in a grid of 11 x 14.  32 of those blocks have letters on them.  It has NO sashing and two simple borders.  The finished quilt measures 66″ x 80″, perfect for tossing on the couch and snuggling under.
Cutting Instructions:

Out the Door

  • For letters
    • cut 4, 5″ x width of fabric (WOF) strips
    • sub cut strips into 8, 5″ x 5″ squares each for a total of 32 squares
  • For inner border
    • cut 6, 1 1/2″ x WOF strips
  • For outer border
    • cut 7, 7 1/2″ x WOF strips
  • For binding
    • cut 7, 2 1/2″ x WOF strips

Out the Door
Lettering Instructions:  This is the most difficult step in Out the Door , and by difficult I really mean time consuming.  There is nothing hard about it.  The following instructions tell you how I did the lettering.  I wanted the words to appear in negative space…so the fabric line could shine, but my words would still be visible.  I did this by reverse appliqueing.  In this process the lettering fabric is hidden behind the background fabric and revealed as the background is cut out of the way.
You can get a better idea by looking at my sampler (also a Moda Bake Shop pattern L.O.V.E.).
Made using 4,  slices of layer cake from Marmalade by Bonnie & Camille
The letter O was drawn to the striped fabric.  I then layered that patch atop the floral.  I snipped the top fabric about 1/4″ from the drawn line (starting with the center, else it would fall away.) flipped the edge under and hand sewed along the tracing line (now at the edge of the patch.)  I continued that process until the whole letter had been revealed.
You can follow a similar process by machine….
The letter L was drawn onto the floral fabric.  I then layered the patch atop a striped charm and machine sewed a scant 1/4″ to the outside of my traced line.  Once the L was completely traced with stitches I carefully trimmed away the top layer (leaving about 1/8″ raw edge) and fray checked the loose edges. 

I am a long arm quilter and have found that loose edges can cause problems.   To minimize the floppiness I went back and hand embellished the edges with pearl cotton.  You could do the same thing with this project. (although the pearl cotton is not listed in the ingredients and I have no idea how much it would take.)  Another option would be to use your machine and do some decorative stitching to hold the edges down.

It would be perfectly acceptable, and probably a lot easier to fuse the letters.  If you choose to do it this way, the templates can do double duty.  Use the box around each letter to help center the letters on each charm.

Out the Door
Getting down to business
  • Select 32 charms that highly contrast to your lettering fabric.  Set them aside.
  • Print letter templates from the Printer Friendly Version at the end of this blog post.
    • There are 16 different letters, and one shape used in this quilt.
    • There are 2 templates per page.
    Reverse Applique
    •  Each template is drawn in 5″ square.  When you print them, make sure that the square measures 5″.
    • Trace letter/shape with sharpie marker.
    •  You need to be able to see the outlines of the letters/shape through the fabric.  I found the lines printed by my printer to be insufficient to this task.
    •  To fix the problem I drew on them with a sharpie marker.
    • WARNING – be careful of your writing surface, you don’t want to ruin your cutting mat with Sharpie bleed through.
  • Using light box, or masking tape and a window, trace letters onto the right side of charm squares.  One on each of the 32 squares that you set aside.
    Reverse Applique
    • The following chart shows how many of each letter/shape you will need.

  • Layer each charm square atop one letter fabric square. 
Reverse Applique
    • Layer them so that both right sides are up….like pages in a note pad.
    Reverse Applique
    • Using large basting stitches, sew 1/8″ from each edge.
      • This will hold your pieces together while you are working with the fabric in the middle to reveal the letters.
      • The smaller than normal “seam allowance” will ensure that the stitching doesn’t show when you put all of the blocks together.
  • Applique letters onto blocks.
    • If you are continuing by hand –
      Reverse Applique
      • Snip the top fabric about 1/4″ from the drawn line (starting with the center if you are working on something with a floating piece like an O or R.)  Make your cut only about an inch or two long so that you are only cutting what you are working on at the moment. Clip curves, and corners to make flipping under the edge easier.
      • Flip the edge under
      • Pin in place as needed.
      • Sew along the tracing line (now at the edge of the patch.) with a hidden stitch like you would use if you were binding your quilt or hemming something.  Continued that process until the whole letter is revealed.
    • If you are continuing by machine –
      • Sew a scant 1/4″ to the outside of the tracing lines.
      • Trim the fabric on the tracing lines
      • Secure edges as desired.
    • If you are continuing by some other method –
      • Have a great time!  Don’t burn yourself on the iron.
  • Sew letters into words.  Be careful to get the letters right side up and spelled correctly.
    • You need,
      • 3, BE
      • SAFE
      • SMART
      • GOOD
      • HAVE
      • FUN
      • LOVE
  • Sew words into sentences.
    • Using remaining charm squares, (represented below by an X)
      • X BE X GOOD X X X
      • X BE X SAFE X X X
      • X BE X SMART X X
      • X HAVE X FUN X X
      • X X HEART X LOVE X U X
    • Sew  9 additional  rows of 11 blocks each.  
    • You should now have 14 rows of 11 blocks each.
    • Sew rows together to make center of quilt.
  • Add borders
    • Gather
      • 6, 1 1/2″ x WOF inner border strips
      • 7, 7 1/2″ x WOF outer border strips
    • Sew Inner border
      • Long ends
        • Sew two sets of two strips together at the skinny end
        • Iron seams open
        • Attach to long ends of top
        • Trim excess and set aside.
        • Iron towards inner border
      • Narrow ends
        • Sew one remnant to each remaining strip at skinny end.
        • Iron seams open
        • Attach to narrow edges of top
        • Iron towards inner border
    • Sew Outer border
      • Narrow ends
        • Cut one strip in half.
        • Sew two sets of one half strip and one full strip together at the skinny end.
        • Iron seams open
        • Attach to narrow ends of top
        • Trim excess
        • Iron towards outer border
      • Long ends
        • Sew two sets of two strips together at the skinny end
        • Iron seams open
        • Attach to the long edges of top
        • Trim excess
        • Iron towards outer border.

Sandwich layers and quilt as desired.
Don’t forget to take a photo of your finished quilt an add them to the Tops to Treasures Flickr group.

A memory, stitched with love, and etched into the soul of your kids.  This stuff is important.
WARNING:  This quilt may be requested by each of your children.  Be prepared to make it more than once.
Out the Door
Don’t ever miss an opportunity to say it.  You never know when it might be the last chance you get.

Cindy Sharp

Holly Jolly Snowmen

I know ! No groaning out there.
I can hear you! LOL
Yes I’ve made a Christmas Project.

Peoples it’s June already!
Only 205 days until Christmas!

I said I was going to make one Christmas Gift each month this year.
Starting in January.
{It hasn’t happened} Until this month! I just finished my first Christmas Gift! A Super Fun and Pretty Simple Table Runner And the Holly Jolly Snowmen Fabric by Kathy Schmitz is PERFECT for this pattern.

So go ahead! I give you permission to make your first Christmas Gift of the year! It will feel totally awesome to have one thing checked off your Christmas List already!

1 Charm Pack of Holly Jolly Snowmen
1/4 yd. Sashing / Featured: snowflakes from Holly Jolly Snowmen Collection

1/4 yd. Binding & Stars / Featured: red from Holly Jolly Snowmen Collection
1/2 yd. Backing / Featured: navy snowmen from Holly Jolly Snowmen Collection

All seams are 1/4″
Pick out 10 Charm Squares for inside of Table Runner

Pick out 12 Charm Squares for Outside Border

Cut from 12 Charm Squares (outside border): 48 – 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ squares

Cut from 1/4 yd. Sashing: 13 – 2 1/2″ x 5″ rectangles and 3 – 1 1/4″ x 44″ strips

Cut from 1/4yd. Binding and Stars: 4 – 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ squares and 32 – 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ squares (for points) and 3 – 2 1/4″ x 44″ for binding.

Sew 2 1/2″ squares from 12 charm squares picked out
You will need 2 strips of 8 squares (top and bottom or width of Table Runner)

and 2 strips of 16 squares (sides or length of Table Runner)

Sew 1 1/2″ squares to the 2 1/2″ x 5″ rectangles as shown
Trim ends and press point of star away from rectangle piece
Repeat for other side (see photo below)
You will have 10 rectangles with points on one end and 3 rectangles with points on both ends. Piece Table Runner as shown in photo’s;
Refer to photo of finished Table Runner for placement of the rectangles w/ points on both ends.

Sew 1 1/4″ Inner Border, short ends first, and then sides. Trim. Now sew Outer Border; sides (16 square strips) first.
Then bottom (8 square strips)
Quilt and Bind with method you prefer

Wrap it Up and have your first Christmas Gift finished and ready to give!
Approx. Finished Size is 35″ x 16″