TQ Patterns

Season’s Greetings

Christmas is coming on like a bobsled, and I still have gifts to finish, but I stopped today to whip up a little something for you.

Surprise…it’s a quilt block! :0)  It’s a 10″ (finished) block, and I called it “A Christmas Wreath”.

Here’s the recipe:

GE DIGITAL CAMERAFor each block you will need:

One 6-1/2″ square novelty print

Three 3.5″ red squares

Three 3.5″ light green squares

Four 3.5″ dark green squares

Six 3.5″ white squares

Four 2.5″ white squares

I used a Tucker Trimmer® to make the half-square triangles (HSTs) and quarter-square triangles (QSTs). If you’re not familiar with this tool, CLICK HERE for a previous post that goes into more detail on its use.

Step 1a

Step 1a

The first step is to put white corners on the novelty print square.

Draw a diagonal line on the back of each of your 2.5″ white squares. Lay a square on a corner of the 6.5″ novelty print square and sew on the line, then trim 1/4″ outside the line. Repeat with all four corners.

Step 1b

Step 1b

Press the corners open. Set this center section aside.

Step 2a

Step 2a

Step 2b

Step 2b

Step 2 is to make four red and white HSTs. Cut two of the red 3.5″ squares and two 3.5″ white squares in half diagonally, and sew the red and white halves together. I press my seams open, but you can press to the dark side if you prefer. Use the Tucker Trimmer® to trim the HSTs to 2.5″ as illustrated. above.

Step 3a

Step 3a

For Step 3, we need to make QSTs. Cut all of the remaining 3.5″ squares diagonally twice.

Step 3b

Step 3c

Step 3b

Step 3b

Sew eight QSTs, each with two dark green triangles, one light green triangle and one white triangle, then use the Tucker Trimmer® to square them to 2.5″ as illustrated above.

You will also need four QSTs, each with two white triangles, one red triangle and one light green triangle. Square them to 2.5″ as well.

Step 4a

Step 4a

Sew the QSTs into four units as pictured above.

Step 4b

Step 4b

Sew two of the QST strips to the sides of the center unit.

Step 4c

Step 4c

To finish your block, sew the HSTs to the remaining QST strips as shown, and sew to the top and bottom of the center unit.

Of course, just because I called it a wreath and used red and green fabrics, that doesn’t mean you have to.

Merry Christmas!

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Categories: 10" TQ Blocks, HST's, Scrap Quilts, The Thrifty Quilter System, TQ Patterns, Tucket Trimmer (Studio 180 Designs) | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Scrap Quilt Challenge – 2014

scrapquiltchallenge4

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!

scrapquiltchallenge4

 

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!

QMMS-140044-cover_200

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

The Alberta Clipper

We’re bracing for another winter storm on Montana’s Hi-Line today. Looks like an Alberta Clipper, a fast-moving cold front, is headed our direction. The wind is shifting from the southwest to the northwest and the temperature has dropped from 46 degrees (f) to 29 already. By tomorrow night, we should be below zero.

I keep reminding myself it’s going to be much colder and snowier farther east.

A member of my Facebook group, Thrifty Quilters, has pointed out that one of the blocks pictured in my Base 4 Sampler quilt on Page 16 of my book, The Thrifty Quilter: Make (Nearly) Free Quilts from Leftover Fabricdidn’t actually make it into the book. Oops. So for her, and for you, here is the Alberta Clipper block:

To make an 8″ finished block, all of your squares will be 2.5″, and your rectangles are cut 2.5″ x 4.5″. For a 12″ finished block, use 3.5″ squares and 3.5″ x 6.5″ rectangles.

GE DIGITAL CAMERATo make one Alberta Clipper block, you will need:

4 background squares (white)

4 light squares (blue)

4 medium-light squares (green)

8 medium squares (orange)

4 dark rectangles (purple)

GE DIGITAL CAMERAStep 1: use the four background (white) squares and four of the medium (orange) squares to make four half-square triangles (HSTs). Draw a diagonal line on the back of the lighter squares and sew on that line, then trim 1/4″ to one side of that seam.

GE DIGITAL CAMERAStep 2: Sew the HSTs to the medium-light (green) squares. Be sure that they look just like the photo, with the darker triangle on the lower left and the background triangle on the upper right. Set these four units aside.

GE DIGITAL CAMERAStep 3, use the same technique to put a medium (orange) corner on the lower right of your dark (purple) rectangles.

GE DIGITAL CAMERAStep 4: Now add the light (blue) corners to the upper left of your rectangles.

GE DIGITAL CAMERAStep 5: Now you can sew the two units into a quarter-section. Make four of these.

GE DIGITAL CAMERAStep 6: Sew the four quarter-sections together with the light (blue) corners in the center to complete your Alberta Clipper block.

TQ-_Square_Sampler.148163441_largeI don’t happen to have a copy of the Base 4 Sampler photo from the book, but I also used the Alberta Clipper (center top) in this workshop sampler that mixes Base 3, Base 4 and  Base 6 blocks.

Categories: 12" TQ Blocks, 8" TQ Blocks, HST's, Scrap Quilts, Thrifty Quilter Blocks & Patterns, TQ Patterns | 2 Comments

Getting to the (Star)Point

Necessity truly is the mother of invention.

The other day I was playing with a Thrifty Quilter (TQ) pattern idea using a variation of the Sawtooth Star. This block requires eight 2.5″ squares for the star points. Unfortunately, I didn’t have very many sets of eight matching squares left in my 2.5″ bin.

Now, my self-imposed rule is that I can only buy one fabric for any TQ quilt I make, and for this one, that fabric was for the setting triangles and binding. What to do?

I thought about cutting up a few fat quarters that I had been saving for some project I haven’t thought of yet. That’s how stashes get out of hand, by the way. “Oh, I can’t use that piece. I’m saving that for a special project” is just one of the excuses I’ve used to justify a trip to the fabric store for “just a little bit” of the “right” color. Of course, I never take the fabric I’m trying to match along, so I come home with several “little bits” in various shades. Hence, my one-fabric rule. Okay, back to the point.

I happened to come across a small stack of 6″ squares left over from a guild exchange. Then I remembered my bin of 6.5″ TQ pieces.

A-ha!

In the Thrifty Quilter book, we use flying geese units for the  star points. I can only cut four 2.5″ squares from a 6″ or 6.5″ square, which would leave me four squares short. However, I can make eight half-square triangles (HSTs) from two 6″ or 6.5″ squares. Here’s how:

GE DIGITAL CAMERAStep 1: Pair  light and  dark 6″ or 6.5″ squares, right sides together. Draw two diagonal lines on the back of the lighter square and sew 1/4″ on each side of both lines.

GE DIGITAL CAMERACut the square in half vertically, and horizontally. Note: The photos show a 6″ square being cut into 3″ squares. If you start with 6.5″ squares, you would cut them into 3.25″ squares.

GE DIGITAL CAMERANow cut each of the small squares on the drawn diagonal line. I like to press my seams open. You can press to the darker fabric if you want to.

GE DIGITAL CAMERABecause these HST’s are larger than we need, we will trim them down to 2.5″. We did this in the “Overflowing Scrap Basket” blog post. Click HERE to go to that post.

GE DIGITAL CAMERANow we can sew pairs of these HST’s together to make the four flying geese units we need for the sawtooth stars!

GE DIGITAL CAMERATo complete each block, you will need a 4.5″ square for the center, and four more HST’s for the corners. Notice I have four HST’s leftover from this second pair of 6″ squares.

GE DIGITAL CAMERAThose four HST’s went into a second block!

So two 4.5″ squares and six 6″ (or 6.5″) squares will give me two 8″ star blocks.

The quilt I have in mind for these blocks will require 32 blocks for a crib-size quilt. You would need 59 blocks for a generous throw-size quilt – with a border it could be twin-size.

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Here are two more ways to make 2.5″ HST’s from TQ pieces:

GE DIGITAL CAMERAIf you need just a couple of matching HST’s, you can pair two 2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangles. Draw a diagonal line from the top left corner to a point 2.5″ in from the left on the bottom edge. Flip the piece around and repeat. Sew on these diagonal lines and trim 1/4″ from the seams. This gives you two matching HST’s.

GE DIGITAL CAMERANeed four matching HST’s? Cut two 3″ squares from two 3.5″ x 6.5″ rectangles. Draw a diagonal line on the back of the lighter squares, sew 1/4″ from the lines and trim on the lines. Now you can trim these HST’s down to 2.5″.

If you haven’t already done so, I invite you to join the Thrifty Quilter group on Facebook, and “Like” my Facebook page, Sweetgrass Creative Designs.

Categories: 8" TQ Blocks, HST's, Thrifty Quilter Blocks & Patterns, TQ Patterns | 3 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.”

GE DIGITAL CAMERA

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

A Bountiful Table

It’s harvest time in Montana’s Golden Triangle, and from the accounts I’ve heard, it’s a bountiful harvest. Nature’s “white combine” -hail- did claim a share, but as I drove home the 60 miles from Inverness to Shelby (after a day of quilting with friends), I saw dozens of combines hard at work, and a parade of trucks hauling wheat to the big elevator in Chester. A lot of hard work is paying off.

My overflowing scrap basket is a testament to hard work, too, and as I was picking out fabric bits and sewing this tablerunner project, I was reminded of dozens of projects these scraps came from…a quilt for a new family menber and Project Linus and for a service member returning from overseas, samples for classes, patterns and demonstrations at my local quilt shops and guilds. So many memories, that will now be right there on the table, reminding me to give thanks for a full plate, and a full life.

In the previous blog, I showed you how to make an Overflowing Scrap Basket block. To complete this tablerunner you will need:

70 2.5″ Half Square Triangles (HSTs) that have two prints.

4 2.5″ HSTs that are half white and half print

7 4.25″ white squares – Cut each diagonally twice for 28 triangles

2  2.5″ x 8.5″ white strips

2 2.5″ x 10.5″ white strips

4 2.25″ x WOF strips for binding

(Total 5/8 yard white)

We will be building this tablerunner by making two end units and a middle unit.

Let’s start with the two end units:

This tablerunner will have two Overflowing Scrap Basket blocks, one at each end. To make the trim pieces, sew two strips. The first is three print/print HSTs, a print/white HSt and a white triangle. Sew the is strip to the lower right side of the basket block as illustrated. The second strip is four print/print HSTs, one print/white HST and a white triangle. Sew this strip to the lower left side of the basket block. Do this for both blocks.

This tablerunner will have two Overflowing Scrap Basket blocks, one at each end. To make the trim pieces, sew two strips. The first is three print/print HSTs, a print/white HST and a white triangle. Sew the is strip to the lower right side of the basket block as illustrated. The second strip is four print/print HSTs, one print/white HST and a white triangle. Sew this strip to the lower left side of the basket block. Do this for both blocks.

Next we need to piece a triangle unit. You will make two of these units.

Build this triangle by sewing two white triangles to adjoining sides of one HST. Then sew two HST's together and add a white triangle. The third row has three HSTs and a white triangle, and the fourth row is the 2.5" x 8.5" white strip with a white triangle at one end. Sew these four rows together to make the large triangle unit shown. Make two of these triangle units, and sew them to the LEFT side of your blocks.

Build this triangle by sewing two white triangles to adjoining sides of one HST. Then sew two HST’s together and add a white triangle. The third row has three HSTs and a white triangle, and the fourth row is the 2.5″ x 8.5″ white strip with a white triangle at one end. Sew these four rows together to make the large triangle unit shown. Make two of these triangle units, and sew them to the LEFT side of your blocks.

Next, we add a strip to the right side of each block:

Sew four HSTs together and add a white triangle at one end. Sew the 2.5" x 10.5" white strip to the HST's and finish with another white triangle. Sew this strip to the RIGHT side of the basket block.

Sew four HSTs together and add a white triangle at one end. Sew the 2.5″ x 10.5″ white strip to the HST’s and finish with another white triangle. Sew this strip to the RIGHT side of the basket block.

The two end units are complete. Set them aside while we make the center unit.

Sew four strips with nine HST's in each strip. Add a white triangle to each end of all four strips. Sew the strips together as shown.

Sew four strips with nine HST’s in each strip. Add a white triangle to each end of all four strips. Sew the strips together as shown.

Just two seams to go now…

Lay out your center and end sections as shown and sew together to complete your tablerunner top.

Lay out your center and end sections as shown and sew together to complete your tablerunner top.

The piece should measure approximately 15″ x 54″.

If you looked closely at my finished top, you may notice that all of the HST’s are sewn do that their center seams run the same direction. You do not have to worry about that if you don’t want to…I did a fair amount of “frog stitching” (rippit) because it is easy to get those HST’s turned around.

You may also notice that I mixed in just a few full 2.5″ squares. I admit it…I got bored making HSTs! In fact, if you wanted to, you could do the whole thing (except the baskets) with 2.5″ squares.

"A Bountiful Table" by Anne Wiens, Sweetgrass Creative Designs  2013

“A Bountiful Table” by Anne Wiens, Sweetgrass Creative Designs 2013

I’d love to see a photo of your tablerunner.

You can email it to me at: anne@sweetgrassdesigns.com.

Categories: 10" TQ Blocks, HST's, Scrap Quilts, Tablerunners, Thrifty Quilter Blocks & Patterns, TQ Patterns | 1 Comment

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