Scrap Quilt Ideas: Blue Bayou by Keri Blankenship

 

kericropped2 Scrap Quilt Ideas: Blue Bayou by Keri Blankenship

Keri Blankenship

By Keri Blankenship, QM Scrap Squad 2015

Quiltmaker’s Scrap Squad is a select group of reader-sewers who make scrap quilts from the patterns in regular issues of QM. They’re a talented bunch who revel in diving into their stashes and wowing us with their creations.

 QM scrap squadB3 Scrap Quilt Ideas: Blue Bayou by Keri Blankenship

Have you ever seen a piece of clothing and knew that it was truly meant to be a quilt? I found this skirt at a local thrift shop. The chambray material called to me and I knew it would be part of my next Scrap Squad assignment even before I had the pattern.

Keri BlueBayou Skirt Scrap Quilt Ideas: Blue Bayou by Keri Blankenship

My grandmothers used worn or outgrown clothing for quilts. They were experts on going green: reuse, repurpose, recycle.

The skirt yielded about 4 yards of fabric. It paired perfectly with vintage fabrics in my stash, a white with the same brocade pattern, the butterfly print used in an early 80s quilt, and a print leftover from the 70s. Recycling and stash busting combined.

Keri BlueBayou Fabric Scrap Quilt Ideas: Blue Bayou by Keri Blankenship

Thrift skirt deconstructed paired with vintage pieces from my stash

Originally, I planned one double sized quilt using the Blue Bayou pattern by Kate Colleran from Quiltmaker’s September/October ’15 issue. Two things changed my mind: all the many combinations I found with Electric Quilt 7, and the news that twins are expected to grace our family this winter. Why not make two quilts using the same basic pattern and fabric, but with different outcomes?

When I was accepted to the Scrap Squad, I determined to try as many new or different techniques as possible. I took advantage of that opportunity in these two quilts. I settled on this design from EQ7 planning to turn the blocks and change the focus of the Pinwheel for each quilt.

Keri BlueBayou Design11 Scrap Quilt Ideas: Blue Bayou by Keri Blankenship

EQ 7 design based on original Blue Bayou quilt pattern. Take time to twist and turn the blocks. The results could surprise you.

I started by constructing all the Four Patch and triangle sections. Thinking to err on the side of caution, I squared the sections individually as I sewed the big blocks and then put them together, each quilt individually.

Quilt #1 came together just like the original plan. Perfect! Big smile!

Keri BlueBayou Quilt1 Scrap Quilt Ideas: Blue Bayou by Keri Blankenship

Version 1 came together just like the EQ7 plan.

Quilt #2 was different story. As I trimmed the sections for the final block, my brain must have disconnected. I trimmed them 6 inches instead of 6 1/2 inches. Huge oops!

Keri BlueBayou Oops Scrap Quilt Ideas: Blue Bayou by Keri Blankenship

Big Oops! I miscut 4 of them before I caught myself.

A trimming mistake can be costly when you have limited fabric. Usually miscuts can be  rectified by dropping in new scraps of the same colorway, a big reason to go totally scrappy. As it was, I had to get creative. Design board to the rescue. I pondered and turned the remaining sections, finally adding a new design for the center block.

Keri BlueBayou CtrBlock2 Scrap Quilt Ideas: Blue Bayou by Keri Blankenship

New center block for Quilt 2 using miss cut 4 patches to form the mock flying geese corners.

Smaller quilts also give one the opportunity to try different quilting styles. Quilt #1 is free motion quilted with a variegated thread. I traced the design on quilt paper over the fabric to audition my ideas, then sewed it first on a practice piece. It looked good; however, I forgot two important things – each batting and thread combination works differently in free motion.

Keri BlueBayou FreeMotion1 Scrap Quilt Ideas: Blue Bayou by Keri Blankenship

Transparent quilt paper used to view free motion options on the quilt. There are lots of alternative ways to do this.

My sample was 100% cotton batting quilted with cotton thread and a pre-filled bobbin. On the quilt, I used a variegated thread in the top and bobbin with an 80/20 cotton blend fusible batting. The initial results were not as smooth as I liked and there was much un-sewing involved.

Moral: Test using the same fabric, thread, and batting combination that you plan for the original quilt. Overall, I’m satisfied with the final result. It just took some tweaking to get there.

Keri BlueBayou FreeMo1 Scrap Quilt Ideas: Blue Bayou by Keri Blankenship

Free motion quilting – Quilt 1

For Quilt #2, I chose straight stitching using a walking foot with a 100% cotton batting and a neutral beige thread top and bobbin combination. Quilt templates were used to plot the design marked with a washable color marker meant for kids’ coloring books. You can see the clear marking in the center block picture above. It’s the best marker that I’ve found and washes out completely with no worries of residue ink popping out in the cold. This method is for washable quilts only. Perfect for baby quilts that will be loved and washed often.

*Always test any marker before using it on your quilt.*

Keri BlueBayou Quilt2 washed Scrap Quilt Ideas: Blue Bayou by Keri Blankenship

Yellow markings removed by washing in cold water with clear detergent and dried on a low setting.

In keeping with the “same but different” theme, I also used two different binding applications.

Keri BlueBayou MachineStitchBind1 Scrap Quilt Ideas: Blue Bayou by Keri Blankenship

The binding on Quilt 1 is straight stitched using and edge stitch foot.

I didn’t have enough of any one fabric left to bind Quilt #2 so I got scrappy. Using leftover bits and a couple of scrap fabrics, I strip-pieced a section the width of fabric by about 13″ and cut it into bias strips.

Keri BlueBayou PiecedBias2 Scrap Quilt Ideas: Blue Bayou by Keri Blankenship

Pieced strata of leftover strips cut on bias for double binding

Keri BlueBayou HandStitchBind2 Scrap Quilt Ideas: Blue Bayou by Keri Blankenship

Hand stitching helps keep bias bindings from stretching.

This was a fun project and will make a warm cuddly addition to the twin layettes. . . if they are girls, that is. Better get to work on a set for boys, just in case.

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The Same, But Different – Two variations of the Blue Bayou pattern

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DPQMP1616 Scrap Quilt Ideas: Blue Bayou by Keri Blankenship

Blue Bayou quilt pattern by Kate Colleran

The original Blue Bayou pattern by Kate Colleran is from Quiltmaker’s September/October ’15 issue, on newsstands now. You can also get it directly from us in print or digital format.

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QM Bitty Blocks: September’s Sawtooth Stars

Welcome back to QM Bitty Blocks!

I’m happy to share September’s free quilt block pattern with you all—a 4″ Sawtooth Star. These are so adorable that once I started making them, I just couldn’t stop. I have made about 40 in the past few days and I have many more cut.

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Like so many other traditional quilt blocks, this design is known by other names too, such as Variable Star and Simple Star, among others.

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This month’s QM Bitty Block is a 4″ Sawtooth Star.

There are many ways to play with it. I’ll show you my favorites after we go through the construction.

Printer-friendly instructions for September’s Bitty Sawtooth Star

You’ll need two fabrics. One is for the star and one is for the background. I used lighter backgrounds and darker star fabrics but you could certainly reverse the values if you like.

Cutting:

Background Fabric (shown white below)

4 rectangles 1.5″ x 2.5″
4 squares 1.5″ x 1.5″

Star Fabric (shown blue below)

1 square 2.5″ x 2.5″
8 squares 1.5″ x 1.5″

bittystars1 QM Bitty Blocks: Septembers Sawtooth Stars

These are the patches needed for one Bitty Star quilt block.

The first thing we’ll do is make 4 Flying Geese units using Stitch-and-Flip. I used to hate this technique but I learned some things to make it work.

bittystars2 QM Bitty Blocks: Septembers Sawtooth Stars

Stitch-and-Flip

Layer a blue square on a white rectangle with right sides together. You’re going to sew diagonally, from corner to corner, across the blue square. It works best if you start at the corner where the red dot is above. If you start sewing at this inside corner, the little points don’t get pulled down into the needle hole.

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Sew across the blue square and then trim as shown.

Sew across the blue square and then trim only the blue square away to leave a 1/4″ seam allowance as shown. Flip the blue patch open and press. The white rectangle remains in place. If the blue patch comes up a little short, it’s no problem.

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Repeat the stitch-and-flip on the other end of the rectangle.

Repeat the stitch-and-flip process with another blue square on the other end of the rectangle. This gives you a Flying Geese unit.

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Make 4 Flying Geese.

Make 4 Flying Geese with this method.

Now it’s time to sew the Flying Geese and the patches together.

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Arrange the Flying Geese and the patches as shown, and sew them together in rows. Sew the rows together.

Arrange the Flying Geese and the patches as shown, and sew them together in rows. Sew the rows together.

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One 4″ Sawtooth Star block completed!

One adorable little Sawtooth Star quilt block is complete!

Let’s talk about ways to change it up if you wish. In the block above, I used the same fabric for the middle 2.5″ square and the 1.5″ star points. But look what happens if you use a different fabric in the center.

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Using a different fabric in the center gives a different and more interesting look to this quilt block.

It adds a lot of interest, doesn’t it? Another thing I often do is to use several different fabrics for the star points. The quilt block below is an example.

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You can use more than one fabric for the star points if you like.

In this block, I kept the color and the value (darkness) similar. I did it because I didn’t have quite enough of any of the fabrics—I was working out of my scrap pile. This block works just fine with its scrappy assortment of purples.

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These are the backgrounds I’d have used in the past. Pretty safe choices.

Let’s talk about backgrounds. The photo above shows the background fabrics I’d have used in the past, when I was playing it safe. All really predictable choices. Nothing wrong with them, but not terribly interesting.

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These are the background fabrics I use now. Braver and more interesting!

This photo shows the backgrounds I use now. Much braver and much more interesting. Now before you write me off as nuts, look at the quilt blocks below, where I’ve actually used these fabrics.

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Aren’t they interesting? Here’s a bunch of my Sawtooth Star blocks together. You can see that I have all types and that it’s a very interesting mix. It’s not too wild because I have some very calm backgrounds, too.

bittystarsgrouped QM Bitty Blocks: Septembers Sawtooth Stars

Mix it up but keep it sane.

I made all of these quilt blocks and quite a few more out of my scrap bin. And just to keep it real…

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My scrap playground

…this is my scrap playground. It’s a mess but it’s oh-s0-much-fun! Never underestimate the power of your leftovers!

bittystarsscattered QM Bitty Blocks: Septembers Sawtooth Stars

#qmbittyblocks

Paula (the Bitty Blocks queen) made some Sawtooth Stars too. Aren’t they wonderful?

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Paula’s Bitty Stars

You’ll find all of the Bitty Blocks free quilt block patterns on our Bitty Blocks homepage, along with layouts for the row quilts in a variety of sizes.

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Quiltmaker Scrap Squad: Julie Huffman’s Asian Quilt

Quiltmaker’s Scrap Squad is a select group of readers who make scrappy quilts from the patterns in our regular issues. Their goal is to inspire you to create by using the fabrics you already own!

QM scrap squadB3 Quiltmaker Scrap Squad: Julie Huffmans Asian Quilt

Today’s quilt is the first one featured from a pattern in the Sept/Oct issue of QM, just out. You’ll find it on newsstands now or at quiltandsewshop.com. You can see all of the quilts in this issue in our online table of contents.

QM10915 Quiltmaker Scrap Squad: Julie Huffmans Asian Quilt

Today’s featured quilt is a variation of Boxing Match by our friend Nancy Mahoney. Nancy’s version is fresh and modern in fabrics from Northcott. We have kits for this version of Boxing Match.

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Boxing Match by Nancy Mahoney in fabrics from Northcott; kits available.

I think you’ll enjoy Julie Huffman’s version, too. Julie tells her quilt story below.

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Juliecropped Quiltmaker Scrap Squad: Julie Huffmans Asian Quilt

Julie Huffman

My assignment for the Scrap Squad this time, the Boxing Match quilt, appealed to my love of strong graphics. I really liked how the sashings showed a secondary design, along with the more prominent design of the dark blue accent.

For my quilt I immediately thought of using florals. I have many older florals in my collection, but then I remembered my collection of Asian prints. I have never used them and several of them I inherited from my friend Deb.

I decided I was going to make the quilt longer than the original and determined that if I cut one larger square and one smaller square from each fabric, I needed 24 prints.

I gathered all of the Asian prints with purple in them because purple is my favorite color.

August fabric Quiltmaker Scrap Squad: Julie Huffmans Asian Quilt

My selection of 24 Asian prints with sashings and background

I had a gold metallic fabric, also inherited from Deb, that I thought would be a great accent. I also chose a green that blended and the background was also from Deb, just waiting patiently in my stash. It has wonderful colors in it that blended perfectly.

I initially planned to use the green in the place of the dark blue, but realized I didn’t have quite enough yardage. I also thought the gold might blend in too much right next to the prints which all featured gold metallic.

I started sewing and realized some of the prints were directional but I didn’t worry about that in the end. Using the gold as the prominent color ended up working pretty well.

August sample Quiltmaker Scrap Squad: Julie Huffmans Asian Quilt

My piles of blocks ready to be sewn together

I assembled the quilt and pieced a backing to fit it, and then I remembered there were supposed to be borders! I had even cut the borders, but that’s the way it goes. I think it works okay like this.

August backing Quiltmaker Scrap Squad: Julie Huffmans Asian Quilt

Old Hoffman challenge fabric for the quilt backing

I used an old Hoffman Challenge fabric for the backing. I have had this in my stash for years and even though the colors aren’t the same as on the front of the quilt, I had enough so that’s what I used.

For quilting I chose two free motion designs, one for the larger square and one for the smaller square. I quilted straight lines around all the sashings. I did a random loop design in the wider white areas.

August quilt Quiltmaker Scrap Squad: Julie Huffmans Asian Quilt

My finished quilt on my design wall.

I quilt on a domestic sewing machine so it’s challenging at times. I used a variegated gold Superior King Tut thread and it really doesn’t show much. I used a solid yellow thread on the back. I used one of the prints for the binding.

August finish Quiltmaker Scrap Squad: Julie Huffmans Asian Quilt

Finished quilt in memory of my friend Deb

I named the quilt Deb’s Oriental Garden in memory of my friend.

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Bravo! What a great departure from the original! Please help me congratulate Julie by leaving a comment below.

Get the Sept/Oct issue.

Get a digital pattern for Boxing Match instantly.

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Gudrun Erla online course

If you’re like me, the time I find to squeeze quilting into my life is precious. Given a choice, I’d spend all day, every day happily sewing away in my studio. Unfortunately, that’s not reality! I’m always on the lookout for tips, tricks and tools to let me be more efficient and save time.

I met Gudrun Erla of GE Quilt Designs many years ago and fell in love with her patterns, especially her patterns using pre-cut strips. She has designed a Stripology ruler to make cutting your own strips, as well as 5″ squares, 10″ squares and more, quick, easy and accurate! I had to try it out.

First, I folded the fabric in half (selvage to selvage) and then in half again. I started cutting strips – 2 1/2″ and 1 1/2″ – easy peasy! What I like about the ruler is that you can straighten the fabric edge and cut the strips without having to reposition the fabric or the ruler. Just move your rotary cutter to the correct line on the ruler and cut away.

Stripology 1 300x199 Gudrun Erla online course

2 1/2″ and 1 1/2″ strips cut.

I went a step further with the 2 1/2″ strips. By turning the ruler and positioning on a strip, I cut 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ bricks.

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2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ bricks

Next, I wanted to try cutting 10″ x 10″ squares. There are guidelines on the ruler for this shape.

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Two sides cut. I’ve turned the ruler to cut the remaining two sides.

 

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Four 10″ squares cut from the folded fabric.

The possibilities are endless with this ruler! It’s a great tool for her strip quilt patterns, plus it would make the cutting for her Spin Cycle block in Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, vol. 9 a breeze.

Gudrun is teaching an online course where you’ll not only learn how to use the ruler with tips and tricks from Gudrun, but you’ll also learn how to make four unique quilt projects! The course starts August 31st, so hurry on over to CraftU, craftonlineuniversity.com to check it out.

Here are a couple shots from her course:

 

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From Gudrun’s course

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From Gudrun’s course

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From Gudrun’s course

 

Happy Stripping!

 

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Bonnie Hunter’s Log Cabin Love by Sheri Wonderling

Our Addicted to Scraps gals have been at it again with still more amazing scrap quilts from Bonnie Hunter’s block patterns in Quiltmaker.

bonnieaddicted Bonnie Hunters Log Cabin Love by Sheri Wonderling
Today I have a quilt from Sheri Wonderling who lives in Pennsylvania, and it’s a beauty!

QM10715 Bonnie Hunters Log Cabin Love by Sheri WonderlingToday’s quilt is made from the Log Cabin Love quilt block which appears in QM’s July/August issue. (Print and digital issues available.)

sheri7 Bonnie Hunters Log Cabin Love by Sheri Wonderling

Log Cabin Love quilt block from QM’s July/August issue

Sheri decided to use bright spring colors for this project because she already had “bonus” half-square triangles. She’s a devoted user of Bonnie Hunter’s Scrap User’s System.

sheri1 Bonnie Hunters Log Cabin Love by Sheri Wonderling

Leftover strips were put to good use.

And the last few quilts she made also used strips, so she had some of those left over, too.

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Lots and lots of strips were needed!

Sheri dug into her scraps and started cutting colorful strips—she thought she had plenty but soon learned that many more were needed.

sheri3 Bonnie Hunters Log Cabin Love by Sheri Wonderling

Sheri made a “kit” for each block by grouping all the parts and pieces together.

Sheri made a “kit” for each block by grouping all the parts and pieces together. This made them easy to grab and go—which is exactly what she did before heading on a camping trip.

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Featherweight goes camping!

She took her trusty Featherweight along.

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Uninterrupted sewing time!

“My very wonderful husband took kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews and anyone else fishing so that I could have a peaceful day at the camper doing what I love without being interrupted,” she says. (He sounds like a keeper, doesn’t he?)

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Blocks and more blocks

She also spent time sewing with her mom, her sister and her niece, who offered their thoughts on layout options.

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Barn Raising?

Sheri says they weren’t shy about sharing their opinions.

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Straight Furrows?

Barn Raising or Straight Furrows?

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Streak of Lightning?

Maybe Streak of Lightning?

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This layout was the winner.

Eventually Sheri settled on the layout above. Everyone agreed it had the most movement and tremendous interest.

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The completed top

Sheri stayed up to the wee hours of the morning to finish the quilt top. Isn’t it lovely?

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Sheri’s finished Log Cabin Love quilt

Back at home, Sheri added a piano key border and quilted with an all-over ribbon design from edge to edge.

One of the things that makes Sheri’s quilt work so well is her fearless use of many, many fabrics in values from very light to very dark. It’s easy to get stuck in The Land of Too Many Mediums, but when you’re brave enough to use very lights and very darks as well, it really pays off.

Quiltmaker extends its thanks and congratulations
to Sheri on a job well done!

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To get started making your own scrappy quilts Bonnie Hunter-style, check out our Addicted to Scraps bundles and starter packs. So much fabric and so much inspiration!

QMATSL1 Bonnie Hunters Log Cabin Love by Sheri Wonderling    QMATSB Bonnie Hunters Log Cabin Love by Sheri Wonderling    QMATSD3 Bonnie Hunters Log Cabin Love by Sheri Wonderling

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A New Cover Quilt Giveaway

The cover of our Sept/Oct issue is a beauty, and the maker of the lovely autumn quilt on the cover wrote a nice blog post about her design and its inspiration. She’s hosting a giveaway of the issue too, so please head on over there to hear what Janice Averill has to say. I think you’ll enjoy it!

QMMP 15100 covers 500px A New Cover Quilt Giveaway

Quiltmaker’s Sept/Oct ’15 issue

Get this issue now in print or digital.

Get the digital pattern for this cover quilt called Rudeneja.

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QM Scrap Squad: Melva’s Log Cabin Quilt Saga

We didn’t have any trouble rounding up a few quilters to be part of our Addicted to Scraps sewing team this year. Their job is to take Bonnie Hunter’s blocks for Quiltmaker and turn them into unforgettable quilts.

bonnieaddicted QM Scrap Squad: Melvas Log Cabin Quilt Saga

Every regular issue has a block from Bonnie in a column called Addicted to Scraps. See all of the past blocks. The summer issue features Log Cabin Love, a nifty little Log Cabin quilt block with a creative twist: its center is a half-square triangle.

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Melva Nolan from Trinidad, Colorado made a quilt using Log Cabin Love blocks. And it turned out to be no small matter.

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A photo Melva had saved for years served as inspiration.

Melva began with the intention to make a throw-size quilt in blues and browns, but about 20 blocks in, changed her mind. She’d been musing over a couple of things in her “save” box, including the layouts above and below.

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This Log Cabin quilt also influenced Melva’s design.

To pull it off, Melva made 108 blocks using her scraps, supplemented by her Addicted to Scraps friends when she worried about running short. Soon it was on her design wall and then it was ready for quilting.

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Ready for quilting

Melva used wool batting and loved the results. She snapped a picture of the finished quilt.

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OH NO!

OH NO!

Look carefully at the left side of the quilt. There are a couple of blocks out of sync. She didn’t see them until she looked at the photo, and Melva was not a happy quilter. She says, “I tossed it aside in disappointment.” I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t feel the same.

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Melva decided to take everything apart and fix the mistakes.

Melva is a better woman than I am, because she was determined to fix the quilt. Keep in mind that she was sewing on a deadline for Quiltmaker—and deadlines always add more stress to sewing. She took out the quilting, unsewed the blocks, rotated them properly, sewed them back in by hand, and replaced the quilting.

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The blocks were carefully handsewn back into the quilt.

Here is her second “finish.”

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Melva’s second finish

She apologized for the rays across the top, but personally, I think that God just decided to bless her persistence. You can kind of hear angels singing the Hallelujah Chorus.

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Melva’s quilt label

 

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Itty Bitty Quilt Block Pendant Necklaces

Headshot Itty Bitty Quilt Block Pendant NecklacesBy Shayla Wolf, QM Associate Editor

We may think our Bitty Blocks are small until we get a closer look at these stunning necklaces! I get the pleasure of scouring the internet for new and exciting products to feature in our Inspirations column of each issue. It is really fun to find new quilting notions, books and gifts and share them with our readers!

I stumbled upon these beautiful necklaces on Etsy and was completely mesmerized! Jennifer Heminway opened her online shop, Snippets N Bits, in 2014 and has been creating and selling these beautiful pendant necklaces ever since!

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Assorted Necklaces made by Jennifer Heminway

Many of Jennifer’s necklaces are custom made for individuals. She has made a necklace for a recent high school grad out of her ragged childhood baby quilt and a 90th birthday gift out of the recipient’s treasured and fragile christening gown. Each necklace has a story behind it and is truly treasured!

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Color Wheel Pineapple Quilt Block Pendant Necklace

This is the first necklace that caught my eye. The colors and tiny pieces are absolutely stunning. Jennifer encloses the finished blocks into a locket and permanently seals them shut. The block is protected by glass so it will stand the test of time.

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Tiny Sheep on a Pasture Landscape Quilt Block Pendant Necklace

These little sheep make me swoon! Look how tiny and adorable they are! This appliqué block features itty bitty stitching to create sheep, flowers and a fence. How amazing is that? The necklaces come with or without bling and the chain length can be adjusted.

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Blue and Purple Log Cabin Triangle Quilt Block Necklace

This necklace now lives with me! I love the elongated triangle shape and subtle color gradation. Jennifer has a variety of pendant shapes including squares, rectangles, triangles and diamonds. Each necklace is approximately 1″ to 1.5″ wide.

QMMS 150046 INSP 0313 Itty Bitty Quilt Block Pendant Necklaces

Assorted Necklaces made by Jennifer Heminway

Each necklace is unique and uses snippets and bits of fabrics (Jennifer’s shop name is cute and clever!). There is a variety of styles to choose from, whether you are looking for modern, traditional, whimsical or elegant.

QMMS 150046 INSP 0315 Itty Bitty Quilt Block Pendant Necklaces

Assorted Necklaces made by Jennifer Heminway

Be sure to check out her shop, Snippets N Bits, on Etsy. It is full of more beauties such as daffodils, birds, houses, trees, hearts, teacups and lots of traditional quilt blocks!

Happy Shopping!
Shayla

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QM Bitty Blocks: August Log Cabin

QMMP BLOG KELLY small QM Bitty Blocks: August Log CabinBy Kelly Eisinger
QM Editorial Assistant
#qmbittyblocks

QM Bitty Blocks: August Log Cabin

Happy Monday and new Bitty Block day! QM Bitty Blocks are small quilt blocks that we’re presenting monthly during 2015. Each of these free quilt blocks is 3″ or 4″ finished and works up nicely in quilt scraps. We’ve had so much fun with them. You’ll want to check out all the past quilt block designs and patchwork ideas on our Bitty Blocks page.

BittyBlockLogo 300px1 QM Bitty Blocks: August Log Cabin

The August Bitty Block is a versatile 4″ Log Cabin. It can be traditionally pieced or foundation pieced, your choice. The Log Cabin block is also a great scrap buster for precut strips. Log Cabin is traditionally made with lights on one side and darks on the other.

Printer Friendly Version here.

BB LC copy QM Bitty Blocks: August Log Cabin

The August QM Bitty Block is a 4″ Log Cabin.

Getting Started: The fabrics used in my examples came from larger scraps. I chose light neutral batiks, a variety of warm and cool prints and a variety of focus fabrics for the center square. You can change color combinations as you see fit. Keep in mind the fabrics need to have enough contrast to stand apart from each other.

Fabrics QM Bitty Blocks: August Log Cabin

Fabric choices: center square, lights and darks.

The block is simple to piece together. I found that marking the foundation with my color choices helped to keep me organized.

It is very important to watch your seam allowance when working with these small pieces. I found using a scant ¼” seam allowance worked best. I also recommend making at least one complete test block first, before you start chain piecing away. Getting a bit warmed up helps when working with so many small pieces.

Template QM Bitty Blocks: August Log Cabin

This template is found in the printer friendly version.

I also tried foundation piecing the block because I’m not the best at getting small pieces together without being a bit wonky. The foundation worked wonders for me in keeping the block square. To foundation piece the block, it is best to cut your patches slightly larger than the dimensions below.

Temp Color QM Bitty Blocks: August Log Cabin

Marking your template helps to keep consistency when sewing.

Determine the layout of your fabrics according to the foundation, and cut your fabrics accordingly.

Cutting:

  •  1 (A) 1.5″ x 1.5″
  • 1 (B) 1″ x 1.5″
  • 2 (C) 1″ x 2″
  • 2 (D) 1″ x 2.5″
  • 2 (E) 1″ x 3″
  • 2 (F) 1″ x 3.5″
  • 2 (G) 1″ x 4″
  • 1 (H) 1″ x 4.5″

I do not have very much quiet/alone/distraction-free time to sew, because my one-year-old is usually around, or actually ALL OVER EVERYTHING, ALL THE TIME. Therefore I am all about using many quick tricks to get my prep and sewing completed.

Holden QM Bitty Blocks: August Log Cabin

Holden is always everywhere on everything!

Instead of sorting through small scraps to determine which are useable and which are not, I have used my larger scraps (precut strips work great too). It was much quicker and easier for me to layer a few large scraps together and cut 1″-wide strips, and then cut the necessary lengths.

strips QM Bitty Blocks: August Log Cabin

Cut sections from 1″ strips. The pieces on the left hand side are scraps.

To organize my pieces, I lay them out on a large piece of paper and label each group. Use any organization method you find works best. Once your strips are organized you are ready to sew!

ORG Fabric QM Bitty Blocks: August Log Cabin

Keeping the strips organized helps a lot.

This block is assembled in alphabetical order, following the above diagram. Start by aligning the edges of pieces A and B right sides together.

Sew B to A with a scant ¼” seam.
Add C to A/B
Add another C, then D, another D, then E, another E, and so on.

AB1 QM Bitty Blocks: August Log Cabin

A and B right sides together. Sew a scant ¼” seam.

Check your piecing after joining A and B, it should measure 1.5″ x 2″. If you are off it is best to adjust the seam allowance now or the next pieces will not align correctly. Gently press the seam toward the B (the smaller piece).

AB2 QM Bitty Blocks: August Log Cabin

Gently press the seam toward the outer fabric.

Continue in alphabetical order. Note that two of the same letter are sewn consecutively. Measure as you go and adjust the seam allowance as needed.

ABC QM Bitty Blocks: August Log Cabin

Continue  until the block is complete.

Before you know it you will have a plethora of Bitty Log Cabins!

LGBB group QM Bitty Blocks: August Log Cabin

A bunch of Bitty Log Cabins!

Have fun making your Bitty Blocks and remember to visit our Bitty Blocks homepage for all the patterns and more ideas. Use #qmbittyblocks to help us find your work on social media!

BittyBlockLogo 506px1 QM Bitty Blocks: August Log Cabin

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A Heartwarming Quilt Story

dianeharris A Heartwarming Quilt StoryBy Diane Harris
QM Associate Editor

 

 

About two years ago I wandered into a Catholic Social Services thrift store in Hastings, Nebraska. I do this occasionally because you just never know what treasures you may find. And as it turned out, that summer morning in 2013 was my lucky day.

jean2 A Heartwarming Quilt Story

The quilt was wrapped with tape and marked $3. at a Catholic thrift store.

I found a quilt, bundled backing-side out and wrapped with tape, marked $3. I could tell it was hand quilted, had bluework embroidery, and was fairly small. The fabric was definitely vintage, and what I could see of the quilt appeared to be in good condition. I didn’t bat an eye. I bought it.

jean1 A Heartwarming Quilt Story

The quilt I purchased for $3 at a thrift store

When I unrolled the quilt at home, a few surprises appeared. The quilt featured hand embroidered nursery rhymes and was in pristine condition. The hand quilting was nicely done and the overall effect was pleasing. But the biggest surprise took my breath away.

jean8 A Heartwarming Quilt Story

There was a full name embroidered on the quilt: first, middle and last.

There was a full name embroidered on the quilt: first, middle and last. This had been someone’s baby quilt.

I knew at once that it did not belong to me.

Many thoughts were racing through my mind: How did the quilt get away from its owner? Was there no one left who would treasure it? What had happened to the person whose name the quilt bore?

Almost on impulse, I sat down and did what any 21st century person would do: I Googled. I typed in the first, middle and last name from the quilt, and then at the last second decided to tack on “Hastings,” the name of the small city where I’d found the quilt.

obituary A Heartwarming Quilt Story

This obituary appeared. (Blurred to protect the family’s privacy.)

With an eerie suddenness, an obituary appeared. Just weeks earlier, a woman in the city had died. Her last name matched the one on the quilt. She had a daughter with the first name on the quilt. Her mother’s name had been Anne, which was the middle name on the quilt. And all donations were directed to Catholic Social Services—same place I bought the quilt.

jean3 A Heartwarming Quilt Story

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall…

My heart beat quickly as I pieced it together. I was excited and heartbroken, and I still didn’t know anything for sure.

A quick check of whitepages.com and I had a home address and a phone number in another city nearby. The internet is a wonderful tool and I couldn’t believe my good luck—but I was also spooked at how easily I had gotten the information.

jean4 A Heartwarming Quilt Story

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe…

I spent the next days, weeks and months pondering what to do. I felt certain I’d found a link to the quilt, but I wasn’t sure how to proceed. It took me two years to work up the courage to go forward.

jean7 A Heartwarming Quilt Story

The Three Bears…

About two weeks ago, I wrote a letter to the daughter named in the obituary, whose name I thought was embroidered on the quilt. I explained who I was and how I’d come to have the quilt. I apologized for contacting her out of the blue and assured her that I only wanted to return the quilt to her if she wanted it, or to know more of its history if she did not want it. I gave her my phone number and my email.

jean6 A Heartwarming Quilt Story

Mother Goose herself

I arrived home one Sunday night to a message. The emotion in her voice was unmistakable. She was the person named on the quilt. The quilt had been lost to her, and she was very anxious to connect.

When I called her back, she felt like an old friend. She believes that her grandmother made the quilt or perhaps hired someone to make it. After her mother had died, several family members had emptied the house, and she surmises that the quilt was accidentally given away. We made plans to meet for lunch. When we hung up, I had a good long cry—for lost mothers, for babies grown up, for quilts that leave home.

jean10 A Heartwarming Quilt Story

I got the quilt ready for its new/old owner.

And then I looked the quilt over once more. I took a few photos. I put it in a gift bag and wrote her name on it. On Tuesday, July 28, we sat down together for lunch in the city, and once more it felt like I’d known her forever. I got to hear the story of her family—her mother, her four daughters, and much more. We talked about the things women talk about. It was delightful.

I didn’t take photos as she opened the quilt. It was emotional, and I wanted to be in the moment. She clutched it to herself like a long lost treasure. For me, she was the long lost treasure. I could not believe I had found her.

jean11 A Heartwarming Quilt Story

This quilt has come home.

The note I put with the quilt said simply, “I’m so happy to know this quilt has come home.”

 

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