9-Patch Big Block Quilt Tutorial

This has been such a fun week of quilt tutorials!  
 I made this quilt with lots and lots of love.  It’s for a friend who is battling cancer.  Sometimes only a hand-made quilt can express how you truly feel about a person.
I love this pattern because it showcases larger print fabrics which I am always drawn to!

 This quilt is made up of 9-patch blocks and plain blocks.
Quilt blocks measure 12″ finished
Make (10) 9-patch blocks
Cut (10) 12.5″ squares of theme print

Select your fabrics and lay them out how you want them in the 9-patch.  Cut them in strips of 4.5″x WOF

Sew them together in 3-strip sets: row 1, row 2, and row 3

 Press seams so they alternate for easy intersection pinning.  Cut in increments of 4.5″

 Do this with each of the strip sets until you have stacks that look like this:

Pin at seams
Here you can see how I did my pressing:

 Lay out your 9-patch blocks with your 12 1/2″ squares alternating.  Sew them in rows and join rows together.  This quilt is 4 squares across and 5 squares down.

I put flannel on the back and free-motion quilted it – it’s so cuddly!! 


Perfectly Polished Quilt Block {Contributor}

Hi! I’m Nikki, and I blog over at The Girl Who Quilts! I’m so excited to be a part of tutorial week, it’s always fun to share a sliver of my quilting world with others! Today I’m going to explain a bit of how the design process works for me and follow that up with a tutorial for the block that I’ve designed!
I’m a scientist by training and although I’ve always been a crafter, designing doesn’t always come easily to me. In fact, my favorite projects are typically the product of a simple idea (or a mistake! Ha!). While I was working on an idea for my tutorial I decided to take a break and skim facebook for a bit. That’s when I saw this advertisement pop up:
Perfectly Polished Block Tut
I instantly knew that I had to create a quilt block based on the photo. I started out by drawing on graph paper (technically this is engineering paper, for fellow nerds and nerd spouses out there!). I like to start with graph paper because it’s easier and faster for me than using the computer. I also pulled out my own bottle of Essie nail polish and measured it (1″ wide by 1.5″ tall) so that I could keep those proportions in my design.
Perfectly Polished Block Tut
My first drawing was quite basic. Based on the actual bottle size, I had decided on a finished size of 3″x4.5″ for the colored blocks. I liked my first drawing (top drawing above), but I wanted to include the narrow spacing that the glass bottles naturally create between the blocks of color. My second drawing incorporated the spacing. This is also the point when I started to think about the easiest way to piece the block and draw in my piecing lines. If I wasn’t quite satisfied with my design I would have continued to tweak my drawings and redraw them as needed until I was happy with the design. In this instance I didn’t stray much from my inspiration. Sometimes the inspiration is barely recognizable in the final design and other times it’s a near replica. Don’t be afraid to play with different ideas!
(Reality check: sometimes my drawings end up in the recycling bin or a binder, only to be see months later. And other times they turn into great quilt designs!)
I had a few math errors in my second drawing, so I made a third drawing but didn’t include a photo here. I never start drafting on the computer until AFTER I work out all of the math on paper. For me, it’s easier to calculate everything on paper. And don’t forget to include seam allowances (I don’t draw them in, but keep them in mind when writing out cutting directions!). Once I had my block design worked out on paper I moved over to the computer. I use Adobe Illustrator for my graphics (I wish I could provide a tut on that, but alas, I am still a young Illustrator grasshopper!).
Perfectly Polished Block Tut
I’m calling this block “Perfectly Polished”!
Now, let’s sew up the block!
For starters, here are the supplies:
6 scraps for the color blocks, at least 4″ x 5.5″
1/4 yd background fabric*
To create a 19″ square mini quilt, the following are needed:
1/3 yd background in place of the 1/4 yd listed above*
22″ square batting
2/3 yd backing
1/4 yd binding
Cut your fabric as follows:
6 color blocks: 3.5″ x 5″
Perfectly Polished Block Tut
Background (it’s helpful to label the individual pieces here):
A:  2.5″ x 6″
B:  1.5″ x 3.5″
C:  3.5″ x 4.5″
D:  1.5″ x 5″
E:  1″ x 5″
F:  1″ x 3.5″
G:  1″ x 5″
H:  1.5″ x 5″
I:  1″ x 5.5″
J:  1″ x 3.5″
K:  3.5″ x 4.5″
L:  3.5″ x 4.5″
Refer back to the illustration above whenever needed during the piecing.
For this block I find it especially helpful to lay out my design on a design wall or a nearby table. As I sew and press my seams I place the sections back in the appropriate places within the design.
Press all seams as you go. I prefer to press open, especially when using a light colored background fabric such as in this project.
Start by sewing piece B to the bottom of color 1.
Perfectly Polished Block Tut
Sew piece C to the top of color 4; sew piece J to the bottom of color 4.
Perfectly Polished Block Tut
Sew piece D to the top of color 2; sew piece E to the bottom of color 2.
Perfectly Polished Block Tut
Sew piece F to the right side of color 3.
Perfectly Polished Block Tut
Sew piece G to the left side of color 5; sew piece H to the right side of color 5.
Perfectly Polished Block Tut
Sew piece K to the left side of color 6; sew piece L to the right side of color 6.
Perfectly Polished Block Tut
Now sew piece A to the left side of the color 1 section.
Perfectly Polished Block Tut
Sew piece I to the bottom of the color 3 section.
Perfectly Polished Block Tut
Now it’s time to start piecing the colors together! Begin by sewing the color 1 section to the top of the color 3 section.
Perfectly Polished Block Tut
Sew the color 2 section to the top of the color 5 section.
Perfectly Polished Block Tut
Sew the color 4 section to the left side of the color 2+color 5 section.
Perfectly Polished Block Tut
Now piece the color4+color 2+color 5 section to the right side of the color 1+color3 section.
Perfectly Polished Block Tut
Finally, piece the color 6 section to the bottom of the block!
Perfectly Polished Block Tut
Your block should now measure 12.5″ long and 13″ across.
To create the 19.5″ mini quilt, continue below.
If you’d rather square up the block for another use, simply sew a 1″x13″ background strip to either the top or bottom edge of the block. This will give you a 13″ square block which will finish as a 12.5″ square block.
To create the mini quilt, do not add the 1″ strip to square up the block.
Cut the following borders from your background fabric:
2″ x 12.5″
2″ x 14.5″
5.5″ x 14″
6″ x 19.5″
Sew the 2″ x 12.5″ strip to the left side of the block.
Sew the 2″x14.5″ strip to the top of the block.
Sew the 5.5″x14″ strip to the right side of the block.
Sew the 6″ x 19.5″ strip to the bottom of the block.
Perfectly Polished Block Tut
Baste, quilt and bind!
Perfectly Polished Block Tut
Thanks so much to Amanda for having me over for tutorial week! I would love to see any projects that you create from this tutorial. You can always contact me through my blog or post in my Flickr Group!


Mitered Corners Tutorial {Contributor}

I am loving all the quilt tutorials this week!  I am learning a lot and being totally inspired!!!  Today’s post is from Candace at Salt Water Quilts.

Hello!  I am Candace and I am so excited to be apart of Amanda’s Week of Quilt Tutorials.  You can find me at SaltwaterQuilts.com where I regularly share my quilting adventures and projects.  Today I going to share my Mitered Corners Quilt Tutorial.  It takes a complicated task and makes it really simple.  Mitered corners are a quick and easy way to add a polished look to your quilting projects.  They are often avoided because they can look intimidating, but my tutorial makes it so easy!  Give it a try! 
Tutorial: Mitered Corners

A mitered corner may look complicated, but it is actually really easy.  It can be added as a border to just about any center design to spruce up your quilt or thrown into your overall quilt design.  There are a few examples at the end of the tutorial.


Width of Border Fabric:
Choose the width of your border.  For example, the chevron border above is 6″ wide.

The Length of the Border Fabric: 
length of the side of the quilt top (green section below)
+ 2 times the width of the border
+ 10 extra inches (for seam allowance, mitering, and extra) 

For example, the side of the quilt center above is 55″.  The length of the chevron fabric cut for the border would be 55 + 6 + 6 + 10 = 77″.

1.  Center the border with the body of the quilt top.

2.  Place them together with the right sides facing each other.  Sew the two together with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  The quilt center should be on top and the border on bottom (so you will be looking at the back of your quilt top as you stitch).  Make sure you start and stop stitching 1/4 inch from the edge of the main body of your quilt (sew the pink line in the green section above).  This is an important part of getting the corner points and seams in the right place. 

3.  Repeat step 2 for the next side.  Be sure and pull the extra from the first border out of the way (the grey section above).  Pin it back if it helps.  Remember to start and stop 1/4 inch from the edge (where the seam from the other sides ends). Continue repeating these steps until all four sides are completed.  The seams will meet up 1/4 inch from each corner, but will not cross over each other.

4.  After sewing all four borders on, iron and press the seams.  For the corner seams, fold the top in half to form a triangle.  Make sure all the seams and edges match up neatly. Spread the borders out and line them up with right sides facing each other.

(Here is an example)

5.  Line up a ruler with the folded edge of the quilt straight out through the borders.  Draw a line using a pencil or a quilt marker.

6.  This is where you will stitch your seam.  Place a couple of pins along the line to hold everything in place.  Remember to stop where the previous stitching stopped (Where the arrow on the farthest right is pointing.  This will ensure that you end up with a neat pretty corner.  Be sure and back stitch here to lock in the stitches.

 (close up of where to stop and back stitch)

7.  Flatten out the quilt top and make sure everything looks accurate.  If you are happy with the results, press and trim the seam allowance to 1/4 inch.

Here is a larger view of the finished product (I Spy Quilt)…
You can also use this technique on a smaller scale.  Here are a few quilted pillows where I used mitered corners…

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and I hope it has inspired you to add mitered corners to your designs.  A BIG thank you to Amanda for inviting me to join her week of tutorials!!


Simple Strips and Scrappy Herringbone {Contributor Tutorial}

Hello! My name is Kat and I am thrilled to have been invited to be a part of Amanda’s week of tutorials.  I blog over at Kat and Cat Quilts where I talk about quilting and my cat-allergic cat, mostly 😉

Simple Strips on left and Scrappy Modern Herringbone on right.

Amanda asked my to share my tutorials for a couple of my favorite scrap quilts, the Simple Strip Quilt and the Scrappy Modern Herringbone.  I am the consummate scrap quilter, so nothing makes me happier than being able to dig into my scraps and make something usable!  While both of these quilts could easily be made in larger sizes, baby quilts provide instant satisfaction because they take so little time to make.

Scrap management in action

Step 1 for both of these quilts is to organize your scraps.  No, really!  Amanda Jean talks about it in Sunday Morning Quilts and it really is true, it’s really hard to use your scraps when they’re just in one big bin. Besides, I find all the pretty colored piles really inspiring.  I sort my scraps by color and shape. The jars hold strings, triangles, and crumbs, the larger pieces are kept in small piles on the shelves. I usually look at whichever color pile is tallest to decide what the color scheme of my next scrap quilt will be.

Simple Strips

First up is the Simple Strips quilt. I have made a few quilts of this type and it’s one of my favorite ways to make a quick baby quilt, use up a lot of scraps, and get a great effect.

Step 2 (after you get organized) is to decide on a common width to cut all your scraps to.  I chose 3.5″ because I figured I’d be able to find plenty of scraps at least that size (I tend not to consider fabric a scrap until it gets under 5″).  Whatever you decide on, that will be the unfinished height of the rows in your finished quilt.  Go through you chosen scrap pile and cut your fabrics to measure your common dimension in at least one direction.  (So for example, my fabrics were 3.5″x2″, 3.5″x6″, 3.5″x4″… etc.  3.5″x Whatever. You get the idea.)

I don’t have step-by-step pictures, so these will have to do

Step 3 is to begin sewing the scraps together into one looooooong strip.  Start by sewing them into pairs, then sew the pairs together, and continue sewing the scraps together into longer and longer sections until you have joined all your scraps into one long strip several hundred inches long.

Step 4 is to do some math.  If you’d rather avoid math at all costs, trial and error is also a fine method.  There are a couple of ways to go about this.  What I usually do is decide on the width I’d like my final quilt to be (in this case I chose 36″). I put something like a yard stick on the floor and begin folding my long strip back and forth in sections the width I’d like my quilt to be.  However many folds you can make, that’s how many rows of strips you’ll have for the finished quilt. Multiply that by the height of your finished strip (3″ for me) and you’ll have the height of your finished quilt.  If it’s enough, move on to step 5, if not, add some more scraps to the end of your strip.

Alternatively, you can determine how many linear inches of strip you need to make a quilt of certain dimensions, then compare it to how many you have so far.  Say I want to make a quilt 36″ wide and 42″ long and my strip will finish at 3″ tall.

42″ long/3″ per row= 14 rows of scraps needed
14 rows x 36″ wide = 504 linear inches of scraps

So once my long strip of scraps reaches at least 504″ long I have enough.

My scraps even included some pieced pieces!

Step 5 is to subcut the long strip into the rows of your quilt.  Whatever you have decided on as the total width of your quilt (in my case, 36″) cut the strip into sections that long.  My scrappy strip made (13) 36″ long rows.  I can’t tell you enough how easy and fast this technique is.  You can literally make an entire quilt in an evening.

Step 6 is to stack the rows up on your design wall and decide what order they should go in. When you are happy with the arrangement start sewing the rows together into the finished top.  Square up the edges and ta-dah, you’re done!

This quilt, blogged here, is another made using the same technique with a few tweaks.  First, instead of using just one common dimension I used three, so I had strips that finished at 3″ tall, 4″ and 5″.  I subcut the strips to a common length and arranged them just like in the steps above. Then, before sewing the rows together, I added a thin sashing between the rows.

You could also easily add a vertical sashing between each of the scraps as you sewed them into your long strip for a sort of crooked bricks look. There are endless variations you could make with this same technique!

(You can view the original version of this post here. You can also view the “finish” post for the pink Simple Strips quilt here, which includes details about the spiral quilting.)

Scrappy Modern Herringbone
Second up is the the scrappy modern herringbone. I have been seeing these quits pop up every where in the modern blogging world and just had to make one.  It makes a perfect quick, scrappy baby quilt AND a great scrap buster!

Just like I said up there at the top of the page, before you start sewing, really pre-quilting step one, is to organize your scraps.  Having your scraps organized makes them sooo much easier to use and be inspired by.  So, scraps organized? Good! On to the sewing!
Step 2 is to pick two contrasting colors (or color groups) for your quilt. I chose muslin and blue with a bit of green.  Pick a size of square to start with.  A 5″ square will yield finished half square triangles of about 4″ square.  It doesn’t really matter what size you choose to start, as long as they are all the same.  You will need half as many squares of each color as the total number of HST blocks the finished quilt will have. (So for an 8×8 layout, that’s 64 blocks, meaning I need to cut 32 squares from each of my colors.)

Step 3 is to go through your scraps cutting squares of your chosen size until you have enough.  If you start running out of scraps large enough to get a square from, you can also cut triangles half the size of your chosen square. 2 triangles = 1 square.

(Method #2 here details the technique we are using to make our HSTs)

Step 4 is to begin sewing your HSTs.  Use a pencil and your ruler to mark a line from corner to corner on the back side of all the squares of one color.  Then pair up the fabrics with the opposite color, right sides together, and sew 1/4″ to either side of the line.  Cut the blocks in half along the marked line to yield 2 HSTs per pair. Press and trim if desired (I hate trimming, and since this is a scrap quilt anyway, I just let it go.)

Step 5 is to arrange your blocks on the design wall.  In retrospect, I wish I had tried more to keep the blues similar where they touch. Oh well, just an excuse to make this design again!  When you are happy with your arrangement begin sewing the top together. I prefer to sew this type of quilt together by grouping the small blocks into larger and larger blocks, rather than rows.  It makes it so much easier to make those points match!

That’s it! There are plenty of potential variations to this design. Try going for rainbow colors, or creating a gradation across the quilt.

(If you wish you can view the original version of this tutorial here or the “finish” post for this quilt here.)

If you enjoy this tutorials please comment and let me know. I love to hear your feedback! You can find more of my tutorials on my blog under the “Tutorials” tab.  Thanks to Amanda for inviting me to participate this week!


Chevron Doll Quilt Tutorial {Contributor}

Fabric Mutt

My name is Heidi, and you can find me at Fabric Mutt where I blog about fabric, family, and lots of happy sewing! With a full house and busy schedule, a lot of my sewing normally happens on the run, so I love projects that are quick and easy. This chevron quilt block has been my favorite lately. It’s so simple to cut and sew, and I love the way it looks at any size. This tutorial is for a doll quilt, but you can easily adjust the size to make it larger. I also love sprinkling a few low volume prints among the white ones to give the quilt a little variety. You can see my other two versions of this pattern here and here. Okay, let’s get sewing!

(1) 3″ square and (1) 2.5″ square from each of nine different prints
(9) 3″ squares and (9) 2.5″ squares from a white solid
(1) 13″ square for backing (not pictured)
(1) 2.5 x 52″ strip for binding (not pictured)

Step 1: Pair each 3″ print square with a 3″ white square and place them right sides together. Use a pencil to draw a diagonal line across each one. Sew 1/8″ from either side of the line, and then cut the square in half along the line itself, making two half square triangle units. Press and trim each unit to make it a 2.5″ square.

Step 2: Lay out your quilt using the photo above to guide you in making the chevron block. Each block has two of the half square triangle units, one print square, and one white square.

Step 3: Sew the blocks together. I like to sew the top and bottom pairs of each block together first, then sew the pairs together to make all the blocks. Then I sew the blocks across in rows of three, and then I join the rows. Doing it this way really helps me match up the seams for neat piecing.

Step 4: Quilt as desired, bind the edges, and you’re done!

Thanks so much for letting me share this little quilt with you today, and my thanks to Amanda for letting me join in on a great blog hop!


Disappearing Four Patch Tutorial {Contributor}

 Today’s quilt tutorial comes from fabulous quilter, Amanda, at Material Girls Quilts.  Her quilts are beautiful and she is very talented!!!

My name is Amanda and I’m a fabric addict!  I love to sew, craft and most importantly quilt.  I enjoy sharing handmade items and ideas with others and hope to never stop finding new things to create :P

I have opened a shop on Etsy www.materialgirlquilts.com  that sells gorgeous fabrics, patterns and quilts (with a dream to some day open a brick and mortar shop near me).”
Thanks Amanda for sharing this great tutorial with us!!

 “I have to admit that when I posted this tutorial, I had no idea how popular it would be.  A day has not gone by without a visitor who found my blog by searching for a tutorial on the disappearing four patch…crazy!”
Click HERE to go to the tutorial.


A Week of Quilt Tutorials {Meet the Contributors}

Monday begins “A Week of Quilt Tutorials”!!! 
 I am so excited to share this week with 5 amazing quilters.  
Fabric Mutt
Heidi from Fabric Mutt

Candace from Saltwater Quilts
The Girl Who Quilts
Get out your sewing machines, every day next week these fabulous ladies will be sharing a quilt tutorial you won’t want to miss!!!