Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Having Fun With Another Fat Eighth Frenzy!


Hey everybody. Hope you have spring where you live. I'm afraid it's going to be a while before we see spring in Chicago. It's gloomy and rainy out today so I decided to make something quick, easy and fun. I made one of my very favorite patterns, Fat Eighth Frenzy from Fat Quarter Shop. Click on the link above and it will take you directly to FQS's pattern. 

I've made a few of these quilts because they're quick, easy and are a great way to showcase fabric. Plus, you get two quilts out of your fat eighth pack! 

I have one little trick I'd like to share about the second small quilt. When I sew each row together for the lap size quilt I actually sew two seams each time, 1/2" apart.  



The pattern calls for you to sew just the one seam. After you trim that leaves you with 2 triangles.  What I've done below that's different is I sew a second seam. When I cut between them I have my triangles for my second smaller quilt already sewn together.  All I have to do is square them and sew them together to make the smaller quilt top. 






Take a look at the cute bonus pattern the comes with the free pattern download. Sometimes I'll do something a little different. Today I trimmed and squared my HSTs and then designed this quilt (below on the left.) I think it will make a cute baby quilt! In fact, I plan to gift the lap quilt and baby quilt to a new mom and her little one. It's such an easy way to make two quick quilts with one fat eighth pack!




Above is the baby quilt (35" x 42" finished) ready to be pieced and to the right is mom's lap quilt (48" x 56" finished) ready to be quilted!  



Here are two more I made using this pattern:





The lap quilt was gifted to my nephew and the smaller quilt I made for my little guy, our mini doxie Duncan. 

Try this free pattern from Fat Quarter Shop - it's quick, easy and fun!


What are you working on today? I hope you're inspired!
Julie



Follow me on Instagram - julieqquilts  - there you'll see lots of photos of my contemporary quilting adventures!


Sunday, April 3, 2016

Feather Freak Out

How do you quilt your quilts? My husband gave me the Grace SR-2 for Christmas and I love it! 

My youngest daughter and I set it up by ourselves. I was so glad she was still home for Christmas break because there is no way I could've set this frame up by myself.  I consider myself to be a wiz at assembling IKEA furniture. But this frame? Forget about it! There's no way I could've done this without help. 

Once my frame was assembled I put my Juki 2010 Q on the frame carriage. My Juki is a mid-arm so at best I have about 6 1/2 inches in depth of quilting space.  I ordered some leader cloths from Nancy's notions, installed them and then I was ready to go!

I have to say that my productivity has gone way up. I have finished more than 10 quilts since I got my frame. And I love the fact that I don't have to pin baste any more - hooray!!

For a short time I thought I would need to invest in a full-size quilting machine but now I've gotten used to working with my Juki and it really does everything I needed it to do. The only thing missing on my Juki is a ruler foot. I have been told by my local dealer that Juki will be releasing a ruler foot for the 2010 sometime soon. I would really like to be able to do straight-line quilting and some ruler work so I'm anxiously awaiting the ruler foot.  

For most of the quilts I've been doing simple stippling or loopy loops. 







I made the Missouri Star Quilt Company Half Hexie quilt and decided that it was time to bite the bullet and try some feathering on the borders. I think I have spend hundreds of hours, or at least it seems like hundreds of hours, practicing feathers. It was time to jump in with both feet and try it on a real quilt top. It was really hard. It doesn't look great , I used the wrong color thread for the borders. But you know what? It's OK, in the end it turned out OK. My feathering still needs a lot of  work but I'm going to keep trying a new technique on each quilt. 






What I've learned: 
*Make sure your borders are on straight, not wavy! 
*Make sure your quilt top and backing are squared up. It makes a huge difference when you're loading it on the frame. 
*And make sure you have 3 to 4 extra inches of batt and backing on every side. You'll need it for pinning.

I hope you're inspired today!

Follow me on Instagram - julieqquilts  - there you'll see lots of photos of my contemporary quilting adventures!

Monday, March 14, 2016

My Baby Quilt Version of The Friendship Star Sashing Quilt from Missouri Star Quilt Company...Easy Peasy!

Wow! It's been a long time since I've written a post. I'll try to be better going forward. You know how it goes, sometimes life, and sewing, just get in the way. 

Today I thought I'd tell you a bit about a new baby quilt I'm working on. Jenny Doan from Missouri Star Quilt Company has her fabulous quilting tutorials that she posts every week. I've become addicted to these posts and I've made lots of the quilts Jenny shares.


This past Friday Jenny posted on the Friendship Star Sashing quilt. I love it. Jenny’s sample is based on a layer cake but I shrimped it down and made one using 5” charms from my stash.

You know me, I collect charm packs, layer cakes, fat quarter bundles and, every once in a while, a jelly roll. I'm always looking for something new and different to make using my pre-cuts. Jenny’s quilt this week was the perfect chance to use one of my charm packs.

Want to sew along with me? Grab one of your charm packs with 42 pieces. You'll also need 10½” of fabric for your friendship stars and 13½” for the white sashing strips. You probably have enough fabric in your stash to make the sashing and cornerstones because it doesn't require a lot of yardage. I had just over a quarter yard of a deep blue Moda Marble left over and I had nine white Moda jellyroll strips left to use for the sashing. Here is how I figured out the math for the quilt using charm squares:

You need one charm pack with 42 squares. You can also use 42 scraps cut to 5” square.

You need a total of 172 1½” squares for the corner stones and the corners of the friendship stars. I was able to get 26 1½” squares from each 1½” x WOF strip. I needed 7 strips to cut the 172 squares, so that’s 10½”. 

I needed 71 5” x 1½” white sashing strips. To get them I used 9 2½” Moda white jelly roll strips and cut them down to 1½” wide, and then subcut them to 5” lengths. If you’re using a cut of fabric you’ll need 13½” x WOF to make your 71 white sashing units.

I laid out my charm squares on my design wall and fiddled around with them until I liked the layout. 




I cut all of the pieces I would need for the sashing and the cornerstones and pieced them. Because I was working with 1½” x 5" strips and 1½” squares, which I sewed on the diagonal to make the friendship star points, I decided I would cut away the extra fabric only on the triangle. I did not trim the white background so each 1½” x 5” piece I used remained the correct size. By doing this I didn't have to worry about any squaring up.

Then I did something that's really unusual for me. I follow directions, I tend to be a good little quilter that way. This time I actually made my sashing rows first. Then I sewed the charm squares to the sashing strips, row by row.  



I then sewed a sashing strip to six of the rows at the bottom edge. In my little mind this seemed to make putting the top together quicker. Probably didn't take less time, I just thought it did.  I sewed together the bottom two rows, then the next two rows, and then sewed those two finished units together. Next I sewed row 2 to row 3, and then sewed that unit to the top row. To finish I sewed the top unit to the bottom unit and voila! I was done. 

This was a quick and simple quilt to put together. Try it, you’ll like it!

And by the way if you're looking for a fun new podcast, listen to “Quilt Your Heart Out” with Marianne Fons and Mary Fons.  It’s great info, fun talk and good advice.  I think you'll enjoy it! You can catch it at www.quiltyourheartout.com  and it's also on iTunes.

I hope you’re inspired today!
Julie



Follow me on Instagram - julieqquilts  - there you'll see lots of photos of my contemporary quilting adventures!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Starburst Pattern

Greetings from Chicago! I've been busy working on another Starburst quilt top and I finally have the time to write out the directions and even take a few photos.  So many of you have asked me for the pattern, thank you! Truly, I do appreciate it.




Here's what you'll need to make a Starburst quilt:

1 print fabric jelly roll (or 27 - 2 1/2" WOF strips)
1 solid jelly roll, or 11 WOF strips measuring 2 1/2" wide
batting measuring 46" x 46"
2 7/8 yards backing fabric (this is sewing a backing with one center seam. You'll have plenty of backing fabric left over to use as binding, if it matches your quilt top.)
1/2 yard fabric for binding, or 5 left over strips for a scrappy binding

For this Starburst I am using an Amy Butler jelly roll and a Moda Bella white solid jelly roll. Remember, you can always make your own 2 1/2" strips. It takes 27 print strips and 11 solid strips to make nine blocks for a three by three setting. Your finished blocks will measure 14" and the finished quilt will measure 42" square. Let's get started!

First, choose 3 print strips for each block. Two of the strips should be duplicates or blend well together, and the third strip should contrast. You'll use the third strip for the center squares and you really want that square to pop. Amy's jelly roll has a lot of duplicates so I'm going to use duplicate strips for the first two strips and a contrasting strip for the center squares.

I have six blue color sets, three teal and three green, along with lots of single strips so I've decided to use three from each color way. I've organized them into the sewing sets for each block, but don't hold me to these sets.  I may end up changing my mind as I start sewing them together. Take a few minutes to play with your strips and organize them for cutting.




For each block you'll need to cut:
8 white 2.5" squares
8 fabric 2.5" x 3.25" rectangles
8 white 2.5" x 3.25" rectangles
17 fabric 2.5" squares
8 fabric 2.5" squares from the contrasting strip.

First, make your half square triangles. I have a Sizzix Fabi and use that to cut my half square triangles (see below.) If you don't have a cutting machine, here's a quick and easy way to make half square triangles.  

After some research I found a way to make 2.5" half square triangles using 2 1/2" strips. To do this I cut rectangles from the fabric strip in 3.25" in lengths and pair them with a solid fabric the same size.  Using the 45 degree line on my ruler I placed the 45 degree line along the bottom of the rectangle and slid it until I could draw a sewing line from the upper left corner to the bottom of the rectangle.  




I then slid the ruler further along the fabric until the corner of my ruler was at the end of the fabric.  Keeping the 45 degree line along the bottom of the strip I drew a second sewing line.








I sewed along the lines and had a 1/2" seam between each half square triangle. 
Voila! Two 2.5" half square triangles were born! Snip off the little dog ears and you're ready to sew. 







Once you've sewn your half square triangles together it's time to lay out your block.  


I sew each row together, from left to right. Press seams to the left in the top row, to the right in the next row, and continue the pattern so the rows will nest together.  





Next, sew the first row to the second, the third to the fourth, the fifth to the sixth and add the seventh to the sixth. When I sew the rows together I press the seams open. I find that my blocks lie flatter when I do this. Next, sew the first two rows to the second two and, finally, add the last group of the bottom three rows. Each block should measure 14 1/2" squared at this point.



Once you've made your nine blocks, put them on your design wall and play around with the layout.  When you're satisfied with the layout sew the blocks in the first row together, from left to right.  Do the same with the second and third rows. Then sew the first row to the center row and, finally, add the bottom row.    When your quilt is finished it should measure 42" square, perfect for a baby quilt or a wall hanging. You can add a border if you want to make the quilt larger, or add more rows!

This is my Starburst using a Kaffe jelly roll. 



Layer your quilt top, batt and backing and quilt as desired.  I like circular quilting on my Starburst tops. The circles give the quilt a unique texture and complement all the points and straight lines in the pattern. When you've finished quilting, square the top and bind. I like a scrappy binding. 

Below is my Starburst that I made for the Sewtopia Chicago Michael Miller fabric challenge. Circular quilting is very easy once you get past the first two or three rounds. Check out Jacquie Gering's class on Craftsy, "Creative Quilting With Your Walking Foot." It's fabulous!




As soon as I finish my Starburst Amy Butler top I'll post it in a new blog.  Watch for it on Instagram too, where I post often as @julieqquilts.  

If you make a quilt using my Starburst pattern please share a photo or two. And let me know if you enjoyed making the quilt! Feel free to share your feedback anytime. 

I hope you’re inspired today!  
Julie



Follow me on Instagramjulieqquilts  - there you'll see lots of photos of my contemporary quilting adventures!


* I have a Sizzix Fabi and I use that to cut my half square triangles.  I have never had to square a block after cutting it with my Fabi and sewing it together.  I have to say it does cut the time it takes to make a block! You put right sides together, feed the strips through the Fabi and your blocks come out ready to sew together. It's as simple as that!





A perfect half square triangle every time!


Starburst © 2015  by Julia Quigley,  julieqquilts™  All rights reserved.  This pattern is meant for your personal use only. Please do not reproduce, resell or reproduce for commercial use without express written consent from Julia Quigley. 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

My Starburst Quilt - A Fun Pattern to Make!

In April I attended Sewtopia in Chicago. It was great! One of the activities was the Michael Miller Fabric challenge.  I couldn't wait to cut into this fun fabric to make my Starburst quilt. I used the fat quarters and added some Michael Miller white solid and a package of Cotton Couture solids 5" squares.

If you follow my blog you know I love precuts and I like to take a conventional block or pattern and make it with precuts.  Sometimes that means "unconventional" block sizes and sewing seam sizes.   Since I usually make my Starburst using jelly rolls, I went ahead and cut my fat quarters into 2 1/2" strips. The blocks I made called for several half square triangles.  After some research I found a way to make 2.5" half square triangles using 2 1/2" strips.

To do this I cut rectangles from the fabric strip into 3 1/4" in lengths and pair them with a solid fabric the same size.  Using the 45 degree line on my ruler I placed the 45 degree line along the bottom of the rectangle and slid it until a drawn line went from the upper left corner to the bottom of the rectangle.  




I then slid the ruler further along the fabric until it was at the end of the fabric.  Keeping the 45 degree line along the bottom of the strip I drew a second line.








I sewed along the lines and cut between them.  Voila! 2.5" half square triangles were born!






For each block I cut 8 white 2.5" squares, 8 fabric 2.5 x 3.25" rectangles to pair with the white 3.25" rectangles, 17 fabric 2.5" squares  and 8 fabric 2.5" squares from a different strip (These 8 squares are the center squares and should be a different colorway.)  

Here is my Starburst block, ready to be sewn, row by row.



I pressed my seams to one side so they would nest when sewing rows together.  I like a flat block so I press seams open when sewing rows together.  




Voila - here's what you end up with.  I love this quilt pattern.  I like to use circular quilting, following the edge of my walking foot.

 If you make one please share your photo - I'd love to see your quilt top!

How do you use your precuts? What’s your favorite precut?

I hope you’re inspired today!  
Julie

Follow me on Instagram - julieqquilts  - there you'll see lots of photos of my contemporary quilting adventures!

Starburst copyright 2015 Julia Quigley,  julieqquilts. All rights reserved.  Please do not reproduce, resell or reproduce for commercial use without express written consent from Julia Quigley. 






Friday, January 2, 2015

“You made that with a layer cake???”

I Love Layer Cakes!


“Dwell”by Camille Roskelley, using Sandy Gervais’ Soho Chic

All my quilting friends know I love a good layer cake.  There’s so much you can do with a layer cake. Why do we buy precuts? If you’re like me you probably like the fact that you have the entire fabric collection.

When you see a pattern that you like take a few minutes to read the fabric requirements and see if you can substitute a precut collection for the yardage.  It works! I’ve become quite adept at converting pattern yardage into a layer cake when ever I can. 

Camille Roskelley’s Dwell quilt, from her book Simply Retro, is one recent example.  I love Camille’s book and after I picked up Sandy Gervais’ Soho Chic layer cake last year I knew Dwell would be the perfect quilt to use this layer cake fabric.  It took a little bit of tinkering to make it work. I didn't have enough of some squares to follow the directions calling for houses with a matching roof and walls. So I used a coordinating roof fabric to the walls and you know what? It looks fine! I really like how this quilt top turned out.

When you think about using a layer cake, think out of the box.  There are lots of different ways you can use your precuts.

How do you use your precuts? What’s your favorite precut?

I hope you’re inspired today!  
Julie

Follow me on Instagram - julieqquilts  - there you'll see lots of photos of my contemporary quilting adventures!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Quick and Easy Wine Coasters

These wine coasters are the perfect Christmas, birthday or house warming gift for family and friends. And of course it never hurts to include a nice bottle of wine too! These coasters are also a great way to use your fabric scraps, left over charm squares and layer cake squares.

To make each coaster you'll need five 5" squares of coordinating fabrics.  I use the same fabric for the top four squares and a coordinating fabric for the bottom square. 


To begin, press each of the four top squares in half, creating a 2 1/2" x 5" rectangle.  Draw a circle on the wrong side of your bottom square. I use a 4 1/2" inch diameter circle.


Next, place your four top rectangles on top of your backing square following the photos here:




Turn down rectangle #1 to place the left half of rectangle #4 beneath it.

Pin at each fold, you'll only need 4 pins.  Sew around, following your drawn line on the backing square.  Remember, slow and steady wins the race when sewing these circles.  Take your time and your circles will be fine. I used my walking foot to keep the layers from shifting as I sewed. Some sewing machine companies make a circular embroidery attachment which will move the fabric around in a perfect circle. 


When you're finished trim as close to the stitching as you can, being careful to not cut the stitches. 

Clip around the circle. If you have pinking shears these will also work and will save you from clipping around the edge of each coaster.


Turn your coaster inside out, use a stylus to gently shape and push out the outer curve of each coaster and voila! You're done!




Cheers!

If you make a set of wine coasters please tag me, @julieqquilts, on Instagram so I can see what you've made. Follow me on Instagram - julieqquilts - there you'll see lots of photos of my quilting adventures.

I hope you're inspired today!
Julie