Thursday, September 17, 2015

Fanfare {Quilt}

Introducing, or rather, reintroducing my Fanfare quilt pattern.

I made this quilt for our family a while ago and I have had several requests for the pattern. 

 It is such an easy and simple pattern that it is free. 

 I also named it a generic Fanfare name because I actually think it is a wonderful quilt to show off novelty fabrics or showcase your favorite character, superhero, or even a simple symbol.

We love our quilt so much. 

 We take it on our Disney trips and have the characters sign the back with a fabric marker.

You can find the download link on Craftsy HERE or click on image below.

If you have any questions. Please let me know!!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Half Rectangle Triangles {Tutorial}

 Let’s chat about Half Rectangle Triangles or HRT’s.  I promise...a tutorial following.

First off, half rectangle triangles (HRTs) can expand your design world out of the half square triangles (HSTs) corner you may be caged in.  Don't get me wrong, HSTs are fabulous, but this takes you to the next step!
 I designed my Twizzle Pattern with them.

See Michelle's awesome Dancing Horses quilt using HRTs.  She also used the Fat Quarter Shop Jolly Bars like I did with Hello Darling for the same blog hop.  They say great minds think alike!

How can I make these great HRTs, you say?   Let me walk you through a few techniques.

Technique one: Also known as the, What Not to Do Technique. It will be your first instinct after making so many Half Square Triangles (HSTs) in the past.  By placing two rectangles right sides together, drawing a diagonal line and then sewing 1/4” along each side? It is simply NOT going to work.  At all. Unless you had plans for paper airplanes using your coveted fabric?

Technique two: The traditional technique. Cut your right angle triangles from your rectangles.  Sew the cut edges, right sides together, while shifting the two pieces 1/4” each end.  It isn’t a bad technique at all. I just find it to be super sensitive to presser feet mangling and definitely require some squaring up/trimming.

Technique three:  The Accuquilt die cut.  Similar to the one above, but you it takes away the 1/4" shifting. You line up the blunt edges and sew your seam.  The Accuquilt tutorial is HERE

Technique four:  I think it’s my favorite. It's the one I'm sharing below.  I call it the Magic technique.  I find it to be a unique and fun way to make them.  I feel they need less fussing at the sewing machine and require much less trimming.

Designing a quilt with HRTs: 

The other important part of HRTs is the direction you create them.  I will admit, I made the mistake when designing my most recent quilt by assuming that all HRTs were the same.  At first glance, it appears that you can flip them and get two different angled HRTs.

However, your diagonal line will be in the same orientation on both of your finished Half Rectangle Triangles no matter how you turn it.
 Flip the left one?  You can see they are the same orientation.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  I've seen a lot of tutorials where they use the terminology left-right and right left triangles...but to be honest?  It's confusing to me because I spend more time thinking (upper left? lower right? Wait.  Right...Upper? Lower? Wait a minute. Whaaaaat?)

 I've renamed them A-B and B-C blocks to hopefully clear up the confusion when using this in conjuction with my Twizzle pattern (and maybe more in the future).


  Half Rectangle Triangles or HRTs Tutorial 

This particular tutorial will result in 4.5 x 9.75″ final block size for the purpose of my Twizzle Quilt using Fat Quarter Shop Jolly Bars.  You can easily learn this technique using ANY SIZE rectangle as long as you use the same size rectangles. There does not seem to be an exact formula for finished sizes, but I have found that it should be 1/4″ to 1/2″ smaller in either direction. When changing the dimension drastically, I encourage you to make a sample block to test it out.

2 – 5 x 10” pieces of fabric

Fabric Marking 

Rotary Cutter & Mat


A/B HRT Blocks: 

1.  Layout the two rectangles, placing the rectangle print unit
right side up on the left side and the background unit wrong side up on the right side. 

2.  Using the half inch intersection on your ruler draw dots at corners (see step 3 for specific locations)

3. You will place them on the BOTTOM LEFT corners and UPPER RIGHT corners of the face up fabric. Draw dots on the UPPER LEFT corners and BOTTOM RIGHT corners on the back of the face down background fabric. 

4.  Draw line through the dots on each of the pieces of fabric.
 (I used a black sharpie for the purpose of the tutorial.  Even though it would be cut out, I do not recommend it. I would use a quilt marking pencil or a soluble marker)

5.  Lift the face down piece and rotate it to the right, slightly.  Place it on top of the face up piece and match the dots and diagonal lines.

5.  Using the diagonal line as a guide sew a seam 1/4″ on either side of the line. (Red thread is just for the sake of the tutorial.  Use a matching thread)
6. Cut on diagonal line.
7. Open blocks, press, and trim.

You will have two HRTs.  Finished HRT size: 4 1/2” x 9 3/4

C/D HRT Blocks: (opposite of the A/B Blocks)

1. Layout the two rectangles, placing the rectangle print unit right side up on the left side and the background unit wrong side up on the right side.

2. Using the half inch intersection on your ruler draw dots on the UPPER LEFT corners and BOTTOM RIGHT corners of the face down fabric. Draw dots on the BOTTOM LEFT corners and UPPER RIGHT corners of the face up background fabric.

3. Draw line through the dots on each of the pieces of fabric.

4.  Lift the face down piece and rotating to the left slighting, placing it on top of the face up piece and match the dots and diagonal lines.

Complete steps 5-7 from the A/B HRT blocks to yield C-D HRT blocks.

 Just so you can see the comparison, once more.   Not all half rectangle triangles are alike.

AB Blocks                        vs.                   CD blocks

As always, I strive to make sure my tutorials are thorough and helpful.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me and ask questions.  I had a lot of fun designing my Twizzle Pattern using the HRTs and have a few more patterns in the works where I plan on using them.  By changing the dimensions, like all quilt blocks, the possibilities are endless.

Disclaimer: Only old quilting scraps were used for this tutorial.  They were somewhat harmed by the rotary cutter, but appreciated being pieced together.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Twizzle {Quilt Pattern}

 A few months ago, I was contacted by the Fat Quarter Shop to see if I was interested in joining a blog hop at Jolly Jabber that included designing a pattern using Jolly Bars.  Jolly Bars are a Fat Quarter Shop exclusive precut, collections of 42- 5" x 10" cuts of fabric.

 I jumped at the chance to get my hands on Hello Darling by Bonnie & Camille by Moda Fabrics.  I have never had a giant need to get my hands on her lines.....until this one.  It has the perfect amount of my favorite colors.

I had fun playing around with designs and settled on using Half Rectangle Triangles.   They can be tricky to design with and sometimes to sew with, but I've included an unique way to create them.  I love the movement of the colors.

 I really enjoyed quilting this one.  I love the flowers in the Hello Darling prints so much that I wanted the free motion quilting to capture the feeling of a bed of sweet flowers. 

As of late, simple backings have been very appealing to me. 

 The binding was a really tough debate for me, but each colorway seems to have a red pop throughout and the sweet small floral binding seemed to frame the entire quilt.

I have the Twizzle quilt pattern available at my Craftsy shop to make downloading it as simple and easy as possible. As always, I strive to make sure my tutorials and patterns are thorough and helpful.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me and ask questions.

********PATTERN CORRECTION********  

Each of my patterns is read, edited, reread, edited again, and reread and edited again.  Unfortunately, errors happen.  When called to my attention, I will immediately fix the error in any future files/printings and post the corrections.
For the Twizzle pattern: (Craftsy file updated 9/19/15)
Page 1> Cutting Instructions >Background fabric> Cut 6 2.5" x WOF strips, sew them end to end, then subcut them into 3" x 56" and 3" x 54" pieces.

Correction:  Cut 6 2.5" x WOF strips, sew them end to end, then subcut them into 2.5" x 56" and 2.5" x 54" pieces.

If you find any errors, please contact me.  
Thank you!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Precut Primer {Review and Blog Hop}

  Back to school arrived with a bang as soon as we returned from vacation a few weeks ago.  It has been a little more stressful than other years since we just moved to the Salt Lake city area and we also sent of our oldest to college.  

Normally, back to school feels like "back to business" for me.  A time of the year when I hunker down and focus on quilt projects for customers and gifts.  When I was asked to participate in the Precut Primer Blog hop, I knew it would be perfect to kick-start my way back into the studio.  Fat Quarter Shop publishes books that never steer me wrong. 

The book by Me and My Sister Designs is really, really clever.  And I mean. Clever. 
There is a quilt project for each grade. I spent a lot of time flipping through the book saying things like "OOhhhh. I know which jelly roll to use for that one."

Or "Oh!  I've always wondered what to do with that fat quarter bundle that has been collecting dust!" 

Precuts can sometimes be the bane of a quilter's existences. They are hard to resist when they go on sale. We convince ourselves that we can just buy a precut of a new fabric line to appease the need for the pretties without making a huge investment in yardage.  This book hits all the high marks for having options for charm squares, jelly rolls, layer cakes, and fat quarter bundles. 

Just like my academic career, I decided to be an over achiever and start one of the larger quilts, the 8th grade, with a Daysail layer cake by Bonnie & Camille.   I find it fitting since I've just recovered from my second son graduating 8th grade this past spring and now have another 8th grader this year!

Time for my confession.  I just started the project three days ago.  

I am a procrastinator.
 I knew I could do a small project, but I really, really wanted to make the entire quilt.

I am THAT student that burned the midnight oil to get the paper done or study for a test.  The night
before. All night long. 

 I read recently a study that said it is because I'm an eternal optimist.  I don't remember hearing that in my Psych 101 class my freshman year in college, but I'm going to go with it.  Needless to say, I did feel a bit like Button looks up above after I powered through. But I could not have done it without the easy instructions and eager excitement to see the finished project. 

The eight grade quilt top!

 The only reason it isn't quilted yet is that I have another quilt on my longer set of long arm leaders which needs to be completed as soon as possible.  And I would like to really take my time deciding on the pattern I would like to quilt to compliment this beautiful pattern. comes the over achiever  part.  I did sneak in this other project I have been dying to do.

I call it my Inspiration Board. 

I've been wanting to have a board in my studio other than my design boards to pin up quilting plans for current project or my freehand practice sketches to trigger ideas while I'm in front of the longarm.

The 8th grade quilt doesn't use all the layer cakes in the pack, so I grabbed two to make a block and set it in a blank "canvas".  Made a quilt sandwich.  Quilted.  Then I attached it to an insulation board exactly like my portable design boards.

It turned out exactly the way I wanted it to. I swirled. I pebbled. I feathered.  I bloomed.

I went a bit crazy.  I even did a ghost block to mimic the solo block.

The only concern is that I might get sent to detention for breaking the rules and using only one block. 

Maybe if I can convince the principal that I can pin up my inspiration sketches....practice, practice, practice, right??!!!  

I already have the backing and binding fabrics waiting!!!!

If you are just finding about this book, I encourage you to check out the other quilty classmates that have joined in on the fun! Follow the week long blog hop at Fat Quarter Shop to see all of their Precut Primer quilts, and you just might learn a thing or two! 

September 2, 2015
Me and My Sister Designs
Moda Fabrics
Pat Sloan
April Rosenthal

September 3, 2015
Corey Yoder of Little Miss Shabby

September 4, 2015
Amy Ellis of Amy's Creative Side

September 7, 2015
Jane Davidson of Quilt Jane
Heidi Grohs of Buttons & Butterflies

September 8, 2015
Sherri McConnell of A Quilting Life

September 9, 2015
Melissa Corry of Happy Quilting 
Lissa Alexander of Moda Fabrics

There is also a giveaway at Jolly Jabber! They are giving away five copies of Precut Primer to five lucky FQS fans. For a chance to win a copy of GET OVER TO THE Fat Quarter Shop blog before the bell rings (September 9th). 


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