Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Disappearing 9 Patch

This is one of my favorite quick quilts and a great beginner quilt to learn on. This quilt finished at 36" x 48", but can be made different sizes very easily.

You will need 9 charm squares (5' x 5" squares) per 4 - 6" blocks. I made 12 - 9 patch blocks. which was 108 charm squares. When the 9 patches are cut up and resewed together the blocks will finish at 12".

1. Sew your charm squares together into a 9 patch (3 x 3). The corners will be the whole squares so if you have big prints you want to showcase that where to put them. Press the seams open, a little Best Press wouldn't hurt since these blocks are going to be cut up again. This 9 Patch will measure 14" x 14".

2. Cut the block in half both horizontally and vertically. Use the seams as guides to get the exact center (thanks to my friend Gail for the reminder), measuring 2.25" from each of the center seams. Cut into 4 pieces.

3. You will have 4 - 6.5" squares that look like this

4. Now comes the fun part. Once you have all of your blocks cut lay them out in a pleasing manner and remember to mix them up (meaning you don't have to keep the pieces cut from the same 9 patch together), the skies the limit here. 

You can have them all going the same direction like this

Or so that no seams have to match (this is a great layout to learn on)

Or in a different pattern such as this. It's called top right, bottom left (for lack of better words). This is how I learned.

5. Then simply sew your blocks together in rows and then the rows together.

6. Quilt and bind and you have a quick and easy quilt!

Here's a pic of another Disappearing 9 Patch quilt that I made.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sewing strips together with a bias seam

There's lots of times in quilting that you will have to sew 2 strips of fabric together with a bias seam. These seams are much less bulky and are hidden much better than straight seams. And luckily they are very easy to make.

1. Cut your strips whatever size you need. For this project I am making 6.5" strips for borders on a quilt. Trim off your selvages.
2. Layout 1 strip, right side up with the short edge on the right side and the rest of the strip going towards the left.

3. Take your second strip and place it right side down perpendicular with the short side lines up with the top and right edge of the bottom strip.

4. I know I try to never ever have to draw a sewing line on the fabric, but with a strip this large it is unavoidable. However with a thinner strip you can use your 1/4" tape line to get the diagonal line to sew on. I like to pin the top and right side of the strips so nothing slips.

5. Put a tiny mark on the top strip where the bottom right part of the bottom strip is. Now draw a line from the top left corner of the top piece to tiny mark you just made. This is your sewing line. I used a dark pen for you to see it, but I usually use one of the blue marking pen that goes away in water.

6. Sew along that line. When you are done unpin and open the seam up to make sure the sides match up.

7. Trim the excess off 1/4" away from the seam.

8. Press the seams open for less bulk and there you go. If you are making a longer piece (such as for binding) keep adding strips in the same way. The bottom strip will be the part you just sewed on and the top strip will be the new one you are adding.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Making a 36 Patch

Here's a quick tutorial on how to make a 36 patch that is used in the Twist Along With Sha QAL.

1. Decide on your layout. 6 rows of 6 squares. All the squares have to be the same size.

2. Now sew the rows together using a 1/4" seam allowance. Make sure the top and bottom of the squares match up.

3. Press the rows in opposite directions. Rows 1, 3 and 5 press towards the left and 2, 4 and 6 towards the right. This is when looking at the rows.

4. Sew row 1 to row 2. Make sure to butt the seams against each other so they fit together. The picture on the left is of a seam that didn't fit together correctly and the pic on the right is the correct way it should look. I find it best to pin the seam and flip it over to make sure they match.  

5. Continue adding rows until all the rows are sewn together. Press these seams open. You will be glad that you did when we start cutting the twister blocks later.

Here's what my 36 patch looks like.