Quilts

Twinkle, Twinkle, Scrappy Star….

My, how colorful you are!

      Recently I was cutting some fabric leftovers and discovered I was winding up with a lot of 4.5″ and 2.5″ squares. a few months ago, I finished a quilt with Sawtooth Star blocks made with fabrics from each of the projects I’ve made over the past couple of years.

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“My Colorful Life” 2016 by Anne Wiens

      After I finish a project, I cut up any leftover strips of fabric less than a quarter-yard into Thrifty Quilter pieces for use later in scrap quilts. I decided to go ahead and make up an 8″ Sawtooth Star or two, and set them aside, adding to the stack until I had enough for a quilt. All the rest of the pieces went into my TQ bins. I was surprised at how quickly I collected the 35 blocks I needed for this 44″ x 60″ quilt!

     I like this little quilt. It’s really a material diary of my projects for 2015 and 2016!

     I decided to do another star quilt “diary” for this year’s projects, which will include class samples, demo samples, a challenge project, and charity quilts.

     Looking at my growing collection of 2.5″ squares and 4.5″ squares, I decided on a variation of the classic “Ohio Star” block. I’m thinking this quilt will become a class for the Tucker Trimmer® rotary cutting tool, because I’ll be making a lot of half-square triangles (HSTs) and quarter-square triangles (QSTs).

For each block you will need:IMG_1356

Two 4.5″ sq for background (White-not shown)

Two 4.5″ sq for star points (Dk Teal)

Three 4.5″ sq for star background (Lt Teal)

One  4.5″ sq for accent diamond (Lt Orange)

One 3.5″ sq for star center (Red)

Four 2.5″ sq for optional corner accent (Dk Orange)

Let’s begin construction by making the HST. For this, you need the two 4.5″ background (white) squares, and two of the 4.5″ star background (light teal) squares. Cut each square diagonally and sew into two HSTs.

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Step 1. Lay the Tucker Trimmer® on the HST, aligning the diagonal line with the seam line. Be sure the HST extends beyond the 3.5″ vertical and horizontal dashed lines on the tool.

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Step 2. Trim the right and top edges.

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Step 3. Rotate the HST, line the diagonal line up on the seam again. This time the cut edges snug right up to the 3.5″ vertical and horizontal dashed lines. Trim the right and top edges.

You now have four perfect 3.5″ HSTs. To be honest, you can do this with any small ruler that has a diagonal line in the corner.

IMG_1360The Tucker Trimmer® earns its keep when we make QSTs, and we’ll do that now. Cut the remaining 4.5″ star background (light teal) square, the 4.5″ accent diamond (light orange) square, and two star point (dark teal) squares diagonally twice, and sew into four QSTs as shown.

When you look at the tucker trimmer, you’ll notice that in addition to the solid diagonal line from corner to corner, there are dashed diagonal lines running in the opposite direction.

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When making QSTs, you line the solid diagonal line with one diagonal seam, and the appropriate (3.5″ in our case) dashed diagonal line with the other seam. Trim two sides, rotate and trim the other two sides, as you did before.

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Ohio Star – Variation 1

Lay out your center square, star point units and corner units as shown at right. This would be one variation of this block, and you may decide this is the look you want.

I’m going to set my blocks side-by-side, which will leave large white diamonds in the corners where the blocks come together. If I were going to send this quilt to a certain longarm artist I know, I’d leave that as a canvas for her to show off her mad skills. Instead, I’m going to add accent triangles to those white corners.

We’ll use the stitch-and-flip method for these accent triangles.

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Step 1. Draw a diagonal line on the back of the 2.5″ accent (dark orange) squares. Align the square with the white corner on the HST, and sew on the drawn line.

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Step 2. Trim 1/4″ outside the seam line.

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Step 3. Press the corner into place.

Now you can lay out the center square, corner units and star point units. Sew into rows and sew the rows together to complete your Ohio Star block.

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Ohio Star Variation 2 – 2016 by Anne Wiens

My plan is to make and collect these Ohio Star blocks until I have about twenty. I have a pretty interesting border treatment in mind that would be kind of traditional, but kind of modern. In my mind, it’s a great quilt. Time will tell if it translates to fabric!

 

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Categories: 9" TQ Blocks, Quilts, Scrap Quilts, The Thrifty Quilter System, Thrifty Quilter Blocks & Patterns, Tucket Trimmer (Studio 180 Designs) | 4 Comments

Scrap Quilt Challenge – 2014

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One of my favorite Facebook groups is Scrap Quilt Challenge, run by Shannon, whose day job is running a quilt shop – Fabrics N Quilts in Jamestown, Tennessee. The 4th annual Scrap Quilt Challenge kicks off this week, and Shannon has asked several of her designer friends to help provide inspiration to the challenged by posting a scrap quilt pattern on our blogs. No problem. After all, scrap quilt patterns are what I do!

If this is your first visit to “Seams Like a Plan”, I hope you’ll take a few minutes to look back over my previous posts. My first post explains the basics of my Thrifty Quilter scrap management system and how I came to write my book, The Thrifty Quilter:Make (Nearly) Free Quilts from Leftover Fabric Another post from this January goes into a little more detail. In between, you’ll find a few block and project patterns and tutorials.

Now, on to the Scrap Challenge block you were promised.

“Quarter Star”

For each 12″ (finished) block, you will need:

Scrap pieces for one 12" block

Scrap pieces for one 12″ block

Four sets of four matching 3.5″ print squares

Eight 3.5″ white squares

Four 2.5″ white squares

Making HST's

Making HST’s

Step 1: Make two Print/white half-square triangles…HST’s in Quilterspeak… from each of your four print colors. The method illustrated here is to draw a diagonal line on the back side of your white 3.5″ squares, pair each square with a print square (right sides facing), sew on the line and trim 1/4″ from the seam line.

I press my seams open, but you can press to the dark side if you prefer.

Note- Don’t toss those “waste” triangles. The can make 2.5″ HST’s for another project.

Make the corner squares

Make the corner squares

Step 2: Use the same technique and the 2.5″ white squares to put a white corner on one of each color of 3.5″ squares.

You should have one 3.5″ square of each color left.

Lay out the corner unit

Lay out the corner unit

Step 3A: Lay out the four matching squares as shown.

Sew the unit together

Sew the unit together

Step 3B: Sew the squares together to make a quarter-unit. Make one from each color.

 

Complete the block

Complete the block

Step 4: Sew the four quarter-units together to complete your block.

So once you’ve made a stack of blocks, the challenge becomes what to do with them.

You can set them side-by-side, of course. A row of three or four blocks with a 3″ white border would make an 18″ x 42″ or 18″ x 54″ table runner. Bed runners are popular, too. Two rows of five blocks with a 3″ border would make a cheerful twin-size (30″ x 66″) bed runner. You’d want two 6-block rows for a full-size bed, and two 7 block rows for a queen.

To make a solid set quilt with a 3″ border, you would need:

Crib  (42” x 54”)   4 rows of 3 blocks = 12 blocks
Lap (54” x 66”)   5 rows of 4 blocks = 20 blocks
Twin (66” x 90”)  7 rows of  5 blocks =  35 blocks
Full (78” x 90”)   7 rows of  6 blocks =  42 blocks
Queen (90” x 102”)  8 rows of  7 blocks =  56 blocks
King* (108” x 120”) 9 rows of  8 blocks = 72 blocks
*use a 6″ border for king size quilt.

So there’s one idea to start you on the 2014 Scrap Quilt Challenge.

Be sure to visit “Seams Like a Plan” often for more scrappy ideas!

If you click the blue “Follow” button at the top of the page, you’ll be notified by email whenever there’s a new blog post.

Or “Like” the Sweetgrass Creative Designs page on Facebook for updates.

Ready to meet the Scrap Quilt Challenge?

Click on the logo for full details!

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Categories: 12" TQ Blocks, HST's, Quilts, Scrap Quilts, Tablerunners, The Thrifty Quilter System, Thrifty Quilter Blocks & Patterns, TQ Patterns | 8 Comments

Bits & Pieces

"Bits & Pieces" by Anne Wiens 2009

“Bits & Pieces” by Anne Wiens 2009

In May 2010, my local quilt shop, The Creative Needle, hosted a launch party for The Thrifty Quilter: Make (Nearly Free Quilts from Leftover Fabric. This little quilt was not in the book, but it was in the shop window display, draped over an antique treadle sewing machine. All of the quilts from the book were on display in the shop, but it seemed everyone was interested in this one. I blame the frogs. They’re just too cute.

Recently I posted this photo on the Thrifty Quilters group page on Facebook, and had many requests for the pattern So here you go:

Here's what you need to make this quilt in various sizes.

Here’s what you need to make this quilt in various sizes.

Lots of charts and numbers here. As you notice from the chart above, the crib and lap size quilts use the “small set” of Thrifty Quilter pieces, and the Twin, Full and Queen sizes use the “large set” of pieces. Choose the quilt size, and cut your scraps accordingly.

You noticed that I gave you piece counts instead of yardage amounts for everything but the sashing and binding. This is a true scrap quilt.

Step 1

Step 1Step 2

BnP 2

Step 3

BnP 5

Step 4

BnP 3

Step 5

BnP 6

Step 6

BnP 4

Step 7

BnP 8

“Bits and Pieces” is a great way to use up….well, bits and pieces of scrap fabrics!

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Join me here tomorrow morning for a sneak peek at my “Common Thread” block from the upcoming Quiltmaker Magazine  special edition, 100 Blocks, Vol. 9!

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Categories: Other Blocks & Patterns, Quilts, Quilts, Scrap Quilts, The Thrifty Quilter System, Thrifty Quilter Blocks & Patterns, TQ Patterns | 2 Comments

The Finishing Touch

We’ve seen our first snowfall of the season, so I suppose we’d better wrap up work on this Tulip Garden quilt and let the bulbs settle in for the winter.

Because I had a solid white border on this quilt, I wanted to add a little something to the edge, so I finished this one off with a flange binding. GE DIGITAL CAMERAI like to sew my bindings on the front of my quilt, then hand-stitch it down on the backside, hiding the machine seamline. Normally I use a 2.25″ wide binding strip, folded in half. As usual, I sewed the strips end-to-end and pressed the binding in half lengthwise.

The lime green strips are cut 1″ wide. Instead of making one long strip, I trimmed or pieced them into two strips just a little longer than the length of the quilt, and two that were just a little longer than the width of the quilt.

GE DIGITAL CAMERAI pinned one of the light green folded strips along one side edge. Then I started adding the dark green binding strip as I normally do. I begin about 1/3 of the way up from the bottom edge. I usually don’t need to pin my bindings before sewing, but all those raw edges to keep in line, it helped here.

GE DIGITAL CAMERAWhen I got to the corner, I had to lay in the beginning of the next lime green strip. At this point I went back and sewed the first section of binding, beginning 6-8″ from the end of the dark green strip, and ending with a back-stitch 1/4″ from the corner. Go ahead an pin the lime green strip to that second edge.

Time to mitre that first dark green corner. If you’ve never done this, it’s a little tricky, but after two or three quilts’ worth, it’s a piece of cake.

GE DIGITAL CAMERAFirst, fold the binding strip so that you have a 45° angle. Use your thumb to hold that folded edge down so you don’t lose that angle.

GE DIGITAL CAMERANow fold the binding strip back on itself.  I’m sorry this shot is blurred. I was trying to get a real close-up so you can see that the fold I just made is even with the edge of the quilt (Ignore the lime green tails.). The raw edge should now line up with the second side of the quilt. Pin ‘er down and back to the machine we go. Back-stitch the beginning and sew to 1/4″ from the next corner. Repeat for all the remaining corners.

When you get back around to the side you started on, stop stitching  a good 10-12″ from your first stitching. Backstitch. It’s time to join those ends. This is a little tricky, too.

GE DIGITAL CAMERAOverlap the ends of your binding…the beginning end is on the bottom. Set your seam gauge to 2.25″ (or whatever the cut width of your binding is). Lay your gauge on the binding with the marker at the end of the bottom strip and trim the top strip at the end of the ruler. Do not cut the bottom strip.

GE DIGITAL CAMERAOpen the top strip and fold the top corn toward you, and pinch or press to make a 45° crease. Open the piece back up. This is where it gets tricky:

GE DIGITAL CAMERAHold the end you just creased in your left hand, wrong side of the fabric facing you. Now with your right hand, pick up the other end of the binding strip, opening it out so that the right side faces you. Be careful not to twist either strip. Place the ends right-sides together, at at 90° angle to each other and pin. Adjust your quilt pile so that you can lay the pinned binding flat on your machine, and sew on the diagonal crease.

Wait! Don’t touch those scissors yet!

GE DIGITAL CAMERABefore you trim that seam, lay your work out flat to be sure you didn’t get a twist in the binding. Trust me. If you skip this little check-step, and you do have a twist, it is not an easy fix, and I reserve the right to say “I told you so.”

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Once you’re sure it’s straight, go ahead and trim the excess from that seam. Finger-press the seam, lay the binding out flat, and finish sewing the binding down, overlapping your stitches about 1″ at the beginning and end of the seam.

We’re finished with the machine work. Trim the ends of the lime green strips flush with the edge of the quilt, and clip the tips off the corners of the quilt body. Now you can flip the dark green binding to the back of the quilt and hand-stitch down.

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joinforblogtour8_200Remember, Quiltmaker Magazine’s 100 Blocks blog tour begins Monday. Check back here to see my block and a few of the patterns I have designed using it!

Categories: Bindings, Quilts, Scrap Quilts, Thrifty Quilter Blocks & Patterns, TQ Patterns, Tutorials | 5 Comments

My Tulip Garden

It’s been just over a month since I posted the tutorial for a tulip block made from Thrifty Quilter pieces. (click HERE to re-read that post.) Today seems like a good time to plant My Tulip Garden:

"My Tulip Garden" was my answer to my quilt guild's 5" charm square challenge a few years ago, however, it can also be made with Thrifty Quilter pieces. "My Tulip Garden" by Anne Wiens, 2011

“My Tulip Garden”
by Anne Wiens, 2011

This quilt, which measures 44″ x 60″. was designed and made for my quilt guild’s 5″ charm square challenge a couple of years ago, however, I keep it in my Thrifty Quilter (TQ) collection because those 5″ squares were trimmed down to 2.5″ squares, 4.5″ squares and 2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangles.

Here are the materials required to make this quilt:

1.5 yards white fabric for background:

Cut six 4.5″ x width-of-fabric (WOF) strips and cut eight 4.5″ squares from each strip.

Cut three 2.5″ x WOF strips and cut sixteen 2.5″ squares from each.

Cut one 1.5″ x WOF strip and cut into eight 1.5″ squares and eight 1.5″ x 2.5″.

Cut six 2.5″ x WOF strips and set aside for borders.

Scraps:

110 assorted 4.5″ squares

Eight 5″ squares for tulips – cut each square into three 2.5″ squares and one 1.5″ square.

Eight green 5″ squares for leaves – cut each into two 2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangles.

Sixteen assorted 5″ squares – Cut one 2.5″ square and one 2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangle from each.

Construction:

First you will need to make eight Tulip blocks, following the instructions I gave you in a previous post. (See the link above.)

Make 8 Tulip blocks

Make 8 Tulip blocks

Use 42 of your 4.5″ scrap squares and 42 of the 4.5″ white squares to make 4.5″ Half Square Triangles (HST’s). Don’t toss the cutaway triangles. We’ll use those in another project.

Make six blocks that have four Half-Square Triangles (HST's).

Make six blocks that have four Half-Square Triangles (HST’s).

Make six blocks that have three HST's and one 4.5" white square.

Make six blocks that have three HST’s and one 4.5″ white square.

Make 15  4-Patch blocks.

Make 15 4-Patch blocks.

You should have a total of 35 blocks. Lay them out in seven rows with five blocks per row, like this:

Layout for My Tulip Garden.

Layout for My Tulip Garden.

Sew the blocks into rows, then sew the rows together. Measure the length of your top and use the white 2.5″ x WOF strips  to piece two border strips of this length (it should be about 56.5″ long). Sew to the sides of the piece. Measure the width, including the side borders (should be about 44.5″) and make your top and bottom borders.

The backing for this quilt should be about 48″ x 64″ and the batting should be about the same size.

Layer your top, batting and backing and quilt as desired.

In the next blog, I’ll show you how to make the flanged binding I used for My Tulip Garden.

Categories: 8" TQ Blocks, HST's, Quilts, Thrifty Quilter Blocks & Patterns | 2 Comments

Thinking of (Next) Spring

I love tulips.

It seems so optimistic to plant tulip bulbs in the face of an oncoming winter as if to remind ourselves that as cold and snowy as the next few months might be, spring is waiting on the other side.

Today I’d like to share a tulip block that I used in a quilt I made a couple of years ago for my guild’s Charm Square Challenge. A Charm Square is 5″ x 5″. As it happens, this block, and the quilt I’ll show you in the next blog, can also be made with Thrifty Quilter pieces.

The tulip block has four sections – the flower, two leaf sections, and a square.

Let’s begin with the flower section:

GE DIGITAL CAMERAStep 1: sew a 1.5″ colored  to a 1.5″ white square, then add a 1.5″ x 2.5″ rectangle.

GE DIGITAL CAMERAStep 2: You will also need two 2.5″ colored & white half-square triangles, and one 2.5″ colored square. Lay the pieces out as shown and sew together to make a tulip flower. Set aside.

GE DIGITAL CAMERAStep 3: You will need to make two leaf sections. For each one you need one 2.5″ x 4.5″ green rectangle and two 2.5″ white squares. You also need two matching pieces, one a 2.5″ square and the other a 2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangle.

GE DIGITAL CAMERAStep 4: Use the “sew and flip” method to make the units shown. Notice that the triangle slant “upward” in the purple units and “downward” in the red units.  Sew the center seams to complete these units.

GE DIGITAL CAMERAStep 5: Lay the flower section, the leaf sections and a 4.5″ square out as shown and sew together to complete your tulip block.

Next time I will show you the quilt I made with these tulip blocks. To make your own, you will need eight tulip blocks.

GE DIGITAL CAMERAYou will also need fifteen 4-patch blocks made with 4.5″ squares.

My quilt is 44″ x 60″.

To make it, you need:

3 yards white for backgrounds. Cut 48 2.5″ squares, 8 1.5″ squares, 8 1.5″ x 2.5″ rectangles, 48 4.5″ squares (or 21 5″ squares & 6 4.5″ squares), 5 2.5″ x width of fabric strips for borders.

Scraps: 2 sets of 5 2.5″ squares for flowers, 8 pairs of 2.5″ x 4.5″ green rectangles for leaves, 16 sets of matching 2.5″ squares and 2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangles for the tulip blocks, 60 4.5″ assorted 4.5″ squares for 4-patches. Your will also need 42 more assorted 4.5″ squares or 21 assorted 5″ squares for half-square triangle blocks, which we will make next time.

Categories: 8" TQ Blocks, HST's, Quilts, Scrap Quilts, Thrifty Quilter Blocks & Patterns | 1 Comment

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