It’s Monday morning and it’s time for a pattern release! My Diamond Jubilee quilt is now available for purchase as a PDF download at my Etsy shop.
This modern quilt is throw size, measures 56″ x 72″ and it’s 2 ½” precut strip friendly. The pattern is made up of two distinct blocks, a scrappy star block and a diamond block, set in an alternate layout. And, it’s easy enough for a confident beginner quilter.
Looking to showcase some bright fabric? Download your copy of Diamond Jubilee, have some fun sewing and celebrate an explosion of color!
If you’re on Instagram, share your project #diamondjubileequilt—I’d love to see what you create.
Every year for Christmas I make my family members something handmade. Sometimes it’s a quilt, sometimes it’s something as simple as a pillowcase. I like to start my holiday sewing early after learning my lesson two years ago when I was finishing gifts at the last minute due to a late start.
Last year I made my daughter a quilt for her bed so this year I planned to make something quite a bit smaller. Since she loves whimsical crabs, I’d been looking for a cute pattern and recently found one by Ellis and Higgs. I bought it upon release and started immediately!
The pattern offers two sizes: 6″ square and 12″ square. She wanted the larger one but I thought I’d practice by making the smaller one. I decided on a blue crab and after searching through my scraps I chose two prints from Allison Glass’s Sun Print collection. To set off the vibrant blues, I used a white background.
I’ve got to say—this pattern was so fun! I enjoyed it so much that I made three more crabs and created a little mini quilt for my sewing room door.
A few things to mention about the process—first of all, the fabric pieces are really small, some as small as 1″ x 1″ square and some were as skinny as ¾” wide.
Working with pieces this tiny along with striving to get everything to line up challenged me and I enjoyed the challenge! 🙂
But in all that fun there were a few bumps along the way…for example, when working with such little pieces and keeping them labeled, things got a little heated…
I found my alphabittie melted to my iron! Dang. After that I was a lot more careful. If you make this or any project with small pieces, I have a few recommendations:
I also found that trimming units after sewing made assemby go easier. The pattern gives sizes each sewn unit should measure and having trimmed pieces helps when lining everything up. Plus it eliminates annoying threads along the edges.
I made three tiny crabs using primary colors and green for the fourth. I added a 1 ½” border and my finished mini measures 15 ½” square. I chose a horizontal serpentine stitch for quilting to represent ocean waves. Every time I walk past my sewing room door I smile at their cuteness!
This little project was a great scrap buster, too. While going through my fabric I decided I have too much so I’m now making a controlled scrappy quilt using 2 ½” squares in every variety of color I own. And as far as the Christmas crab mini goes, I can’t post it until after it’s gifted!
To kick off the summer season, I have a newly published mini quilt pattern that gives off a summery vibe. It’s entitled Radiant because, well, the sun just radiates!
I sketched this idea a while back but didn’t get a chance to write the pattern and make it until early spring last year. Right after finishing it, Modern Patchwork put out a call for ‘small’ projects. The timing was perfect so I submitted it for publication consideration. After being accepted, Modern Patchwork was no longer going to be published (sadly) so my mini was moved to the July/August issue of Quiltmaker.
I received my magazine copies yesterday and I have to say I love their layout, it definitely says summer to me! I’m very happy with it. 🙂
There were two things that inspired this design: 1. the sheer heat of the sun 2. fabric. I had purchased a Kona Cotton Citrus Bundle with something else in mind, but it ended being up exactly what I needed for this pattern. I wanted to create an ombre effect using solids ranging from dark to light giving the feeling of warmth radiating from the sun, and it worked. I think any combination of reds, oranges and yellows would do just as well.
I wanted to quilt circles from the sun outward, but before starting I tested my idea. On paper, I drew a circle (from a coaster) in the corner where the sun was on the quilt. I knew that the further out I’d have to sew, the larger the circles would get, and I had to make sure they’d stay round. It looked like it was going to work so I continued on.
Testing showed I needed to start my lines off the quilt edge onto the excess batting area so I would have enough lead into the quilt top in order to keep my circles round. It was a bit of extra quilting but it was necessary to get the results I wanted. I used the edge of my walking foot for distancing apart lines, that way I didn’t have to make any markings.
For quilting, I used Aurifil 2135, giving a nice warm finish.
This little mini is a quick and easy make; consisting of mostly half square triangles. It measures 15″ W x 12″ H, and it would be a nice bright addition to anyone’s space! It’s also a great skill builder for a beginner quilter.
If you don’t subscribe to Quiltmaker, get your copy today and give it a try! If you like oranges and yellows you’re all set…or if you’re feeling adventurous try it out in your favorite color palette.
While I definitely enjoy the quilting process, I sometimes have difficulty motivating myself to cut fabric. It’s not that I dislike that step but it can seem like such a chore. On the other hand, once I do get started I usually go the extra mile and cut leftover fabric into commonly used sizes so they’re ready for other projects later on. This step could be considered as making your own precuts. 🙂
For example, when I made my Petite Hearts Quilt I used only scraps and fat quarters I had on hand. After cutting what I needed for the quilt, I had several odd-sized pieces left over. Since the fabric was certainly worth saving, I cut the leftovers into three different sizes, depending on what I could get out of them. I chose 1 ½” squares, 2 ½” squares or 3″ squares.
Not only does cutting ahead save time on future projects, it helps keep me organized and it helps me to know what I have. It’s a pretty efficient way to go. But how do I keep everything organized? It’s simple and straight-forward—I use clear plastic stackable containers and labels.
Since the fabric squares are on the smaller side, I’ve found that shoe box storage bins work best and they’re affordable (about $1 apiece). I’ve been in the habit of doing this for a few years now and I still haven’t filled one of those containers! However, you may need larger containers depending on how much and what sizes you cut.
Here’s a look at how I have my cut squares organized.
I keep my mini charm packs in the container for the 2 ½” squares so I always know where to find them.
In the past I had consistently cut and stored only 1 ½”, 2 ½” and 3″ squares, but I recently started a box for 2″ squares.
I love how these containers stack nicely, saving on space. And because they’re clear plastic you can easily see what’s inside.
If you’re new to quilting or if you’re looking for tips on how to organize your fabric, this is a great way to get started. Simply choose your size of cuts, make a few labels, get your boxes and you’re ready to go!
There’s no doubt flying geese are essential to quilting and they’re fun to experiment with. They give quilts an interesting perspective and can be addicting to make once you get started.
If you’re new to quilting or having trouble with your flying geese blocks, here’s an easy tutorial on how to sew an accurate flying geese unit that won’t need squaring up.
To get started, cut fabric to the required sizes. You’ll need a rectangular piece for the background and two squares for the sides. The flying geese I made in this tutorial are based on the measurements below.
Once your fabric is cut, draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of both side squares. Place a marked square on the right hand side of the rectangle, as illustrated, lining up the outside edges. Pin together.
NOTE: You can choose to sew the first square on either the left or right hand side, there will be no difference in the outcome.
The next step is sewing the pinned pieces together. But before sewing, be sure to follow this important tip…instead of sewing directly on the drawn line, sew just along side of it.
And here’s why. By having sewn along side of the drawn line, it frees up about a thread’s width of space so when you press the fabric to the corner, the new piece will line up accurately. That small width might seem minor, but it can make all the difference in your finished unit.
Here’s how to set your foot and needle before sewing…
And this is what it looks like sewn just to the right of the line…
A rule of thumb to follow is to sew to the right of the drawn line for the right hand side of the flying geese unit and sew to the left of the line on the left hand side of the unit.
Once you’ve finished sewing, cut ¼” away from the sewn line. Press the square to the corner.
Your results will be a nicely aligned corner. 🙂
To finish your flying geese, repeat the same steps for the opposite side. Place the fabric with the drawn line as shown. Pin.
Sew just along side of the line.
Cut away the corner and press.
And done! A finished flying geese with no trimming required. 🙂
I made my blocks for a Swoon quilt I have in the works. If you’re making several for a project, they can be chain pieced, one side at a time. It’s a great time-saver.
Now that you’ve added the traditional flying geese block to your quilting repertoire it’s time to experiment and have some fun!
I am certainly not one to waste fabric. As a person who loves fabric and knows all too well how expensive it is, I like to save what I can, even really small pieces. If you’re not one for waste either, here’s an easy tip on how you can get the most out of your fabric and money.
We know that most quilting projects will leave us with left over scraps, maybe from trimming away corners or just from the initial cutting. If you don’t want to throw away perfectly good fabric, why not cut it for future use by making your own precuts?
Here’s an example of my latest ‘made myself precuts.’ The quilt pattern I’m currently making requires several flying geese units that leave a lot of cut-away corners. Because the units are pretty large, the cut-away corner triangles (approximately 2″ x 4″) are big enough to allow me to cut out one 1 ½” square from each piece.
After cutting out the 1 ½” squares, there’s barely any fabric left leaving minimal waste. Easy and economical, right?
For me, the biggest challenge with doing this is deciding when to cut the fabric. Because I’m usually excited to keep on sewing the project at hand (it’s hard to take extra time to cut scraps) but I usually do it as I go along so I don’t forget what they’re for, and I know it’ll save time later. It’s personal preference whether you cut as you go, or later on.
Keep in mind that you can make a variety of sizes of your own precuts based on the size of scraps you have left over from your quilting projects. Anything goes…
Since I have been doing this for quite a while, I have saved myself a lot of time and fabric – it’s definitely a win-win situation!
In the fall of 2017 I was fortunate enough to experience my first quilting publication. My project, Sunrise Clock Mug Rugs, was published in the September/October issue of Modern Patchwork. I designed a set of four mug rugs depicting a clock face reading approximately 7:25 a.m. For some reason I really clocks and watches, and years ago I had quite the watch collection so that’s more than likely where my inspiration came from. 🙂
Once I had the idea, I played around with it until the design resembled a clock face as close as possible, even down to the binding which represents a silver casing! Technically, the mug rug can read four different times, depending on how you orient it. 🙂 Unfortunately, Modern Patchwork is no longer published (I was sad to see it go) so I’ve decided to offer my Sunrise Clock Mug Rug pattern as a free PDF download.
I made the original four (in the above photo) with brightly colored hands and a white background but the next time around I experimented quite a bit with color. Since I liked how the quilting design looked, I kept it the same on the others as well.
These mug rugs are a quick and fun project that presents a clean, modern aesthetic. They make great gifts, too. I’d love to see other versions, if on Instagram hashtag #sunriseclockmugrug to share yours!