Monday, January 24, 2011


Have you tried Pintrerest yet? No? What are you waiting for?

Pinterest is a website for visual bookmarks with an added bonus of being social. Instead of having a million folders of bookmarks and a folder on my desktop for photos of inspiration I can now organize all my favorite things in neat little boards.

You can browse others virtual bulletin boards and repin their ideas. You can follow your friends and have their inspirations guide you in gift giving. You can create a virtual recipe box complete with drool worthy pictures. But a warning- you can also get lost in this awesome little eye candy world for hours!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Quilt Along: Step 2

After the left step you should be left with a bunch of paper squares with a strip of fabric glued across the diagonal.

Lay one of your strips over your constant strip right side down. Sew along the edge using a 1/4th" seam allowance.

REDUCE YOUR STITCH LENGTH!! I normally keep my machine at a 2 or 3. For paper piecing you should reduce it to somewhere between 1 and 2. You'll need to play around with your machine to see what works best for you. You want your stitches to be small enough to perforate the paper and make it easy to tear away yet if its too small the paper tears away on its own when you are sewing.

Finger press the seam open and repeat on the other side of the strip.

Press both sides open.

I'm a big fan of not pressing my seams but its necessary with this method. If you absolutely can not stand the thought of ironing at least make sure to hold your strips taunt when you apply the next strip.

Work your way out until you cover your entire square. It should look something like this:

Press your block a final time and then flip your square over and use your paper as a template for trimming up your block.

That's it! You completed your first block!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Quilt Along: Step 1

Ok! So several of you are having mini panic attacks over this.

Stop! Take a deep breath. This is fun, remember?

I know the unknown is always a bit panic educing but you're making it harder than it needs to be, I promise!

I'm making a large throw size. I've worked out that I want my blocks to be 8.5". I will arrange them in a 6x9 fashion so that my finished size before boarders will be 48" x 72".

I selected my square size based on the paper I have on hand and based my dimensions off of that. Remember, you will lose 0.5" of each block due to seam allowance.

Step One: Cut your squares. Pages out of a phone book work extremely well. The thinner the paper, the better. I used regular printer paper because that is what I have on hand.
If you use printer paper you will be cutting a 2.5" strip off of the top of each page. (save that strip, perfect for hexagons!)

Step Two: Cut your 1" constant strips. If you're using an 8.5" square these strips will be 12" long. If you are not using a constant you can just pull from your scrap pile and cut one 1" x 12" strip for each block.

Step Three: Using your glue stick attach the constant fabric across the diagonal of your paper square. I use just a spot of glue at each end. They should look like this:

Tomorrow we will work on construction of the rest of the block!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Hopefully you've started to gather your fabric for our quilt along! Here is a list of supplies that you will need.

  • A quilting ruler and rotary cutter will be extremely helpful when you're trimming up your blocks.
  • Paper or muslin for piecing. You would need one square for each square of your fabric. The thinner the paper, the easier it will be to rip off. I suggest using an old phone book.
  • glue stick
  • Thread- for piecing I generally just use white. You'll want a coordinating color for your quilting.
  • Batting- I prefer Warm & White or Warm & Natural for cotton batting. You may also use bamboo or a polyester if you choose.
  • Basting pins (safety pins will work!) or an adhesive spray.
  • Either a walking foot or free motion quilting foot is highly recommended. If you would like to do simple straight line stitching you can make it through without a walking foot if you don't want to make the investment. A walking foot just makes things easier.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Welcome to the quilt along!

Welcome to our very first quilt along!

Some of you are seasoned quilt makers, some are pretty new and some have never even attempted a quilt! That's okay! This is a simple pattern and you can go at your own pace. You can start and stop at any time and rejoin again when life allows. You do not need to be a Fabric Fans member to participate! The more the merrier so invite your friends! There is no need to officially sign up, just jump right in to our Flickr group.

We have selected a string block as our design for this round. It's great to use up scraps or you can achieve a more pulled together look by using only a certain collection or color scheme.

Sizing of the quilt is completely dependent on you and your fabric supply. As a guideline common sizes for quilts is as follows:

Baby Quilt: 36" x 54"
Lap Quilt: 54" x 72"
Twin Quilt: 54" x 90"
Double Quilt: 72" x 90"
Queen Quilt: 90" x 108"
King Quilt: 108" x 108"

If you are new to quilting I suggest starting with a smaller quilt and not going above a Twin size. Wrangling all the fabric through your machine when quilt can be a bit challenging. Of course it IS possible and I can successfully quilt up to a Queen on my standard machine.

Fabric requirements:
You will need strips from 1"-2.5" inches wide (These can be uniform or of varying widths depending on your desired looked). As I said before this can be completely from scraps or you can cut from yardage. You will also need a 1" strip of one constant fabric for each block. I love the look of a solid, but I have also seen people use a pattern and it looks great.

How much you need is based on the quilt size. To be safe, I like to take the surface area of the quilt and multiply that by 1.75. This allows for a scrappy binding, seam allowance and error.

For example, if you were making a lap size quilt (54" x 72") the surface area would be 3,888". Multiply that by 1.75 and you have 6,804". This means you would need 4.5 yards for the front of your quilt.

You will also need enough fabric for the back of your quilt and if you choose not to do a scrappy binding you will need enough fabric for the binding. (For a lap size you would need a little less than a half yard.)

Up next will be a complete supply list. This is just enough to get you started pulling fabric choices! And don't forget to upload a pic of your fabric to the Flickr Group!