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Archive for the ‘Contemporary Quilts’ Category

Psalm 139:17-18

This quilt was a delight to make from start to finish.  Constructing the blocks proved the most fun since they consisted of such beautiful, colorful fabrics (many of them by Michael Miller).

Cheery Oh Quilt

Once my center section was complete, I added a 1 ½-inch print border to frame it.

Added Print Border

Next, I added a 3-inch outer white border.  I used the same print fabric for the binding as I used for the inner framing border.

Added White Outer Border

To make my first quilting lines, I used a Hera marker.  This is a handy little tool to have around since it creates a very visible path without leaving any residual effects.  I find it works best on solid or solid reading fabrics.

Hera Marker Quilting Lines

Hera Marker

Hera Produced Marking

Since the blocks were placed on point, I quilted the top with a close horizontal and vertical grid pattern using a small wave stitch.

Here’s a close up of the quilting.

Grid Quilting

And so another happy ending that leaves me with the question of what quilt I want to make next.

Cheery Oh Quilt Folded

Joyful quilting!

Nancy

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Psalm 121:1-2

In part one of this tutorial, I demonstrated how to construct the Cheery Oh quilt block.  It’s a very simple as well as fun quilt block to make. Although you could use print fabrics for the background units of the “O” shape, I really like the pristine appearance of solid white surrounding the focus points of these colorful blocks.

I made the design choice of setting the blocks on point.  That means there is a need for setting triangles and corner triangles in order to complete the quilt top.  If you’re new to the on point design setting for your quilt blocks, the diagram below may help.  Of course, you can always choose a horizontal block setting and still produce a beautiful quilt with the Cheery Oh blocks.

Setting and Corner Triangles

Setting triangles (sometimes called side triangles) and corner triangles do add more complexity to the construction of a quilt, but setting blocks on point can really introduce variety to your quilt designs and produce increased visual interest.

Yes, there’s math involved unless you purchase a specialty ruler sold for this purpose.  But it’s similar to doing the math for half-square and quarter-square triangles, with a little multiplication and division added.  In fact, I prefer the math method for making setting triangles over the ruler method, but I’m getting ahead of myself.  Grab your calculator for the following steps.

You will be using the calculation below to arrive at the size square you need to produce two corner triangles.

Formula for Corner Triangles

Size of finished block  ÷  1.414  +  0.875″

Round up the number this calculation gives you to the nearest 1/8″ (0.125) and cut a square this size. For example, my finished block measures 7 1/2″.   7.5 ÷ 1.414 = 5.304 + 0.875= 6.179.  Rounding it up gives me 6.30 so I will cut my square about 6 3/8″.

Divide the square in half by cutting it diagonally, corner to corner.  Repeat this step for the remaining two corner triangles needed.  Rounding up is important because it adds a comfort zone to the size of the triangles, taking care of the rollover effect at the seam allowance.

If math is a scary thing for you, there are rulers on the market that simplify this step.  I have the Diagonal Set Triangle Ruler by Marti Mitchell.  I prefer it over the math method for corner triangles.  You simply find the size marking on the edge of the ruler for your finished square and cut the triangles needed.  It’s a handy tool not only for on point quilt settings but also for Square in a Square blocks.

Diagonal Set Triangle Ruler

Formula for Setting Triangles

Size of finished block × 1.414  +  1.25″

Round up the number this calculation gives you to the nearest 1/8″ (0.125) and cut a square this size.  For example,  7.5  x 1.414 = 10.605 + 1.25 = 11.855.  I rounded the number to 12″ for my square.  In the case of these triangles, better a little larger than too small.

Cut Square for Setting Triangles

Now position a ruler diagonally from corner to corner and cut the square in half.

Cut Square in Half Diagonally

Without moving the two triangles, reposition the ruler diagonally at opposite corners and cut in half again.

Cut in Half Again

You now have four setting triangles.  Repeat this step until you have as many triangles as your quilt top requires.

Four Setting Triangles

I mentioned earlier that I prefer the math method for this step.  The ruler method is fine; you just cut one side of the triangle and then flip the ruler over to cut the other side.  Personally, I find quartering the square easier.  Which method you use is entirely up to you.

Now take all your blocks and triangles and place them in sewing order.  I usually do this on my bed.  You have a couple of choices to make at this point—sew the rows together diagonally or sew the four corner units and then sew the center blocks together.  I like the second choice and that is how I constructed the quilt top.

Position Quilt Units in Sewing Order

Sewing the corner units together first for this particular quilt takes care of all the setting and corner triangles.  I find the units of the quilt are easier to manage this way.

First, sew the two setting triangles to the corner block.  Second, fold the corner triangle in half and finger press a small crease line at the center edge.  Do the same with the block unit.  Pin the corner unit to the block unit at the center point, right sides together.

Crease and Pin Center

It’s now easy to sew the corner triangle to the block unit with it perfectly centered.

Sewing the Corner Triangle to Corner Unit

After you’ve constructed all four corner units, begin sewing the center quilt blocks together in groups of three.  Match up and pin each of the seam intersections.  Next, sew the three rows together in the same manner.

Sew Blocks in Groups of Three

Position all of the sewn quilt units in order.  Sew each corner unit to the center quilt block unit, pinning at seam intersection.

Sew Corner Units to Quilt Top

You now have the main section of your quilt top completed.  Notice the secondary square and diamond shapes that the on point design has produced.  I love this setting!

Cheery Oh Quilt Center

If you’ve never attempted to place your quilt blocks on point, I hope you’ll take a deep breath and give it a try.  Like so many first-time experiences, you’ll feel a little unsure of yourself as you‘re cutting all those triangles, but soon you’ll be right at home with the process.

I’m now ready to work on the quilt borders so off I go.

Happy quilt designing,

Nancy

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Psalm 119:89-90

With a quilt like Monkey See, the fabric served as the focus.  All that was required was a simple design that accentuated the cute little monkey faces.   I can foresee some little boy or girl adopting this “blankie” as their best bedtime buddy.
Monkey See Quilt

I grid quilted using a 5.0mm tight wavy stitch.  Valdani cotton quilting thread (50 wt.) was used on the front and back.  I really like the diamond pattern that this produced.

Grid Machine Quilting

It’s going to be difficult letting this one go!  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed keeping company with all those sweet little smiling faces.

Monkey See Folded Quilt

However, the fabrics are already pulled from the shelves for my next quilt.  I’ve even drawn the design in my quilt software.  Hopefully, I’ll have a rotary cutter in hand by this evening.

Happy quilting.

Nancy

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Psalm 144:8-9

If you’ve followed some of my tutorials, the method for constructing these Monkey See blocks will be familiar.  They are super easy and fast to make.  You will need a novelty fabric that you can fussy cut for the center of the blocks.  This tutorial makes nine blocks, enough for a baby, wall, or lap quilt.

Monkey See Blocks
First, fussy cut eight 4 ½” center blocks.

Fussy Cut Centers

Cut eight rectangles 4 ½” x 5” from contrasting fabrics.  I used four fabrics so I cut two rectangles from each one.

Beginning with the 4 ½” squares, sew a contrasting fabric (right sides together) to each one by sewing down two sides.  The rectangles will be a little larger than the squares as you are sewing.

Sew Two Sides

Shift the tubes you’ve created and quickly match up the seams.  Finger press a fold line in the contrasting rectangle.  Cut along the fold line and finger press open.

Cut Fold Line

Cut eight 5” x 8 ½” rectangles from the same contrasting fabrics.  Place each rectangle on top of the previously sewn units, matching the contrasting fabrics.  Sew down the two sides perpendicular to the previous seams.

Sew Sides Perpendicular to Seams

Shift the tubes and match the seams.  Finger press a fold line in the contrasting rectangle and cut as shown.  Press.

Cut Fold Line

Your blocks should measure 8 ½” square.

Measure Blocks

Cut eight strips 1 ½” x 42” (the approximate cross grain measurement) from the same four contrasting fabrics.  Sew strips around each of the four blocks, using one of the contrasting fabrics that doesn‘t match the particular block you’re sewing it to.

Sew Strips Around Four Sides

Press open.

Press Strips Open

Your finished blocks should measure 10 ½” square.  Square up if necessary.

Now cut one 8 ½” square from your novelty fabric.  Cut one more strip 1 ½” x 42”.  (I used a fifth fabric that I will be using for the borders.)  Sew the strip around the block and press.  This will be your center block as you arrange your blocks in rows of three.

Sew Strips Around Center Block

Sew your blocks together and then sew your rows together.

Sew Blocks Together

Here is my quilt top so far.  I plan on adding a 5” border.  Aren’t those little monkeys cute as can be?
Monkey See Sewn Blocks

Have a great weekend,

Nancy

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Psalm 144:3-4

I really enjoyed piecing this quilt.  The little Crossroads blocks are fun to make and offer the opportunity to use a large number of fabrics, giving the quilt a scrappy look.

Crossroad's Pieced Blocks

Don’t you love looking at all the various fabrics in a scrap quilt?  This one has a sampling from shopping trips that cover at least a decade or two.

Crossroads Scrap Quilt

I added a 1 ½” dark blue frame around the center and then a 5-inch red border.  Using Valdani Vibrant Reds cotton quilting thread (50 wt.), I grid quilted the center block section.  Next, I quilted small scallops on the edges of the blue frame along with a wavy stitch in the center.  On the red border, I quilted a larger scallop pattern around the inner edges and then finished the border with overlapping “peaks.”

Crossroads Quilting and Borders

For the binding, I cut multiple strips from some of the dark blue fabrics I had used in the blocks.  A multi-fabric binding usually works well with scrap quilts.

Crossroads Quilt Binding

I made my first cuts into the monkey fabric early this morning.  Yes, a little painful but fun all the same.

Hope your week is filled with quilting.

Nancy

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Psalm 119:89-90

The Crossroads quilt block is a super simple little block that can stand on its own in a scrap quilt, join other units to form a framed block or whirly-pinwheel design, or serve as the core of various log cabin blocks.  Crossroads can probably do even more than I’ve listed, but that’s as far as my thinking has taken me this week.

Crossroads Scrap Quilt

The block is comprised of a rectangle and two squares, certainly nothing unique.  However, my sew and cut method of constructing it is a little different and makes the process fast, accurate, and enjoyable.  This is the perfect quilt block for using up all those scraps you have saved.

Crossroads Whirl Quilt

First, cut two 4 ½” squares from different fabrics.

Cut Two Squares

Place the squares right sides together and sew two parallel sides, using a quarter-inch seam allowance.

Sew Two Parallel Sides

Cut the unit in half.

Cut Unit in Half

Finger press the two units open.  The units measure 4” x 4 ½”.

Finger Press Units Open

Cut two 4” x 4 ½” rectangles from contrasting fabrics.

Cut Contrasting Rectangles

Place the rectangles on top of the units, right sides together.  Sew down two sides, perpendicular to the seam.

Sew Sides Perpendicular to the Seam

Cut the units in half and finger press open.  You now have two Crossroads blocks that are mirror images of each other.  The blocks should measure 4” square.

Cut in Half Again

For a scrap quilt, I position my blocks with the rectangles in the center.  This isn’t necessary, but I like the effect.

Position of Blocks

For a whirly-pinwheel quilt, I make all my rectangles the same color and position them in the center as well.

Position of Blocks for Whirly Design

In part two of this tutorial, I’ll show you how to use the Crossroads block as the core of a Courthouse Steps block along with my super simple way of constructing this traditional log cabin block.  I love log cabins!  The third quilt I made as a new quilter was a queen size log cabin quilt that I still snuggle under while hibernating in the winter time.  For me, it’s the equivalent of comfort food.

Happy piecing,

Nancy

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Psalm 119:1-2

I spent last week enjoying the company of my two oldest grandchildren, ages 5 and 6.  My granddaughter loves dressing dolls, including paper dolls, which gave me an idea for a quilt.

While working on the Quarter Turn blocks the week before, I also had another block idea pop into my head and got a little side-tracked with it during the quilting process.  All that to say, I missed posting last week.  But I’m pleased to report that I finished the Quarter Turn quilt this morning.

Quarter Turn Quilt

After sewing all the Quarter Turn blocks together, I added a small framing border and then a larger pink border with corner squares.  I used Valdani variegated Baby Joy cotton thread (50 wt.) on the front of the quilt and a solid pink cotton thread on the back.

Valdani Baby Joy Cotton Thread

I alternated the turquoise and green prints for the binding.

Quilt Binding

Here’s a close-up of the quilting.

Wave Stitch Diagonal Grid Quilting

I love this quilt and know it will make some little girl very happy.

Hope your week is filled with quilting.

Nancy

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