Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Batiks Gone Modern {Making Wonky Crosses In Bulk}

It's time for Batiks Gone Modern, Episode 2: Attack of the Wonky Crosses!

To recap, I'm making a abstract Mount Everest out of wonky crosses, using 5 shades of purple batiks.

First the winner of my batik giveaway:

Congrats, Rachel! A fun bundle of your favorite colors will be on its way to you soon!

Today I'm going to talk about my process of making wonky cross blocks in bulk. I will preface this post with the disclaimer that I am not the wonky-est blogger on the block. I think that most people will tend to call my blocks "controlled wonky" but this is who I am as a person. I'm also slightly limited because of the small size of my cross blocks -- these will finish at 3 inches square, which is the same size as a Post-It note, for scale.

Now onto the sewing!

For the purposes of this tutorial, I'm going to be working with fabrics #3 and #4. For these blocks my darker fabric will always be my "cross" and the lighter fabric is the background.

To make approximately 6 blocks, cut the following
1 - 3.5 inches x 22 inch (half width of fabric) rectangle of your background fabric
2 - 1.5 inches x WOF strip of your cross fabric -- cut one strip in half

Lay your 3.5 inch x 20 inch rectangle on your cutting mat. Using a long ruler, cut a diagonal cut lengthwise through the rectangle, creating two halves. The start and end of your cut should be at least 1 inch from the corner so that your cross doesn't end up too close to the edge of the block (which I learned the hard way!)

Sew both halves of the background fabric to your shorter 1.5 inch strip, pressing toward your darker fabric, aware of potential stretch along the bias.

Measure the length of your new unit, and cut 5 or 6 sections of equal width. For mine, my piece was 22.25 inches long so I cut sections 3.75 inches wide. You do not need to worry a lot about the "rough ends" since we'll be trimming our blocks at the end!

At this point, you can slice your block in half in any direction of your choice to create the space for the second half of your cross. I varied the angle at which my second piece crossed the first piece. I sewed all of my first half of each block to the same 1.5 inch strip, then cut the strip apart and pressed. I then added the second half of each block and pressed.

Now it's time to trim all of our blocks to our desired size - 3.5 inches. You can also use this step to vary the angles of your crosses within the blocks. Most of my untrimmed blocks were about 4 inches square so I had some wiggle room in determining how I wanted my final blocks to look.

And we just made 6 wonky cross blocks and saved a little bit of time by being able to strip piece and chain piece our blocks (at least part of the time!)

For this project, I made a total of 59 wonky cross units in four different fabric pairs for my ombre Everest:
16 - dark dot print fabric + dark tonal
16 - dark tonal + medium tonal
12 - medium tonal + medium burst print (shown above)
15 - medium burst print + light tonal

Next week, I'll be posting about putting the top together and the final product! I've already planned my quilting idea out and am excited to see if it will work or not!

Sharing at Tips and Tutorials Tuesday at Quilting Jet GirlLet's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts, and NTT at My Quilt Infatuation!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Christine's Kitchen QAL {Week 10}

Welcome back to Week 10 of the Christine's Kitchen QAL! Today we're making the pieced border for our quilt!

The most important thing about making pieced borders is making sure that you've accurately made your quilt center and that you accurately make your pieced border -- size matters, cutting accuracy matters, seam allowance matters.

You'll need a total of 92 background and 92 print fabric squares to make 46 four patches for your pieced border. I strip pieced my pairs of background and print fabrics (always pressing to the print fabric) from the large scraps I had from piecing my blocks. I did mine randomly, but Amanda did hers in just two colors, which gives her a totally different look! Click on over to Craftsy to download the directions.

You can also see that Amanda added in a few extra flowers to her quilt too! Make sure that your four patch sections "pair up" at the corners -- take a few minutes to make sure that your rows start and end with the correct pattern.

No giveaway this week, and next week is our off week, but we will have multiple giveaways for those who send in finished quilt pictures for the quilt parade! Once you've finished your quilt top and/or quilted and bound your quilt, email me a picture of your finished quilt or finished top at to be entered to win some wrap up prizes! Prizes include but are not limited to layer cakes, charm packs, fat quarter bundles, and potentially a KIT for one of our other patterns!

Thinking about joining in late? There is still a lot of time to catch up before the final quilt parade in June! Download all of the directions in one place on Craftsy!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

May Stash Bee Blocks

This month our Queen Bee was Bethany and she requested Converging Corners blocks. For her quilt, she wanted purple and coral fabrics with low volumes as the background. She also requested that we make 16 inch blocks instead of 12.5 inch blocks.

I didn't end up having a lot of fabrics in the colors she requested, but still enough to make two blocks for her, both slightly larger than the 16 inches she requested so that she can trim them down as she chooses.

I can't wait to see how her quilt comes together! Happy Sunday to you! Sharing at Oh Scrap!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Coast to Coast Traveling Bee {Month #3}

It occurs to me again that naming each edition of this quilt bee as a "month" is a misnomer, but it still is the easiest way to track my progress.

Karen asked for individual blocks rather than blocks added to a quilt center so that she can build the quilt as she sees fit. For some reason, this has actually been harder for me, since I didn't have a center to pin to the wall and stare at for a few weeks.

After reading through Karen's requests and ideas again, and flipping through the blocks made thus far, I decided that the thing I should do is make filler blocks -- lots of them in lots of different sizes -- and the best way to accomplish that was to make a lot of flying geese blocks.

I spent about three innings of a baseball game (yes, that is how I measure time!) cutting squares upon squares for fast flying geese units. Here is the first batch of flying geese that I made:

Unfortunately, I really only have the one teal print and I have a LOT of it (it is the leftover backing fabric from this quilt), but luckily when Karen saw these blocks she loved both the piles of flying geese and the teal fabric!

The first batch of geese were mainly teal/black, and the second batch used nearly the entirety of the white and black print fat quarter.

I made 56 flying geese units in four different sizes. I decided not to sew any of the units together so that Karen can manipulate them however she chooses.

This will be going in the mail to Audrey today! Karen will actually be visiting Audrey while the quilt is in Pennsylvania, so they will be working on starting to assemble part of the quilt!

Next up is working on Chelsea's quilt! This will be another round of making blocks rather than adding borders to a quilt center, so we'll see what I come up with!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Anything Goes Mini {Blog Hop + Giveaway}

(Update: the giveaway is now closed, thanks to all who entered! Winner noted below.)

I am happy to be back over at Benartex's blog Sew In Love With Fabric to share a tutorial for a quick and fun mini quilt made from the new line Anything Goes by Ann Lauer!

Here's a sampling of some of the fabrics in this line:

I used mainly the green and blue prints in this mini, which finishes at 20 inches square. I used one of my favorite blocks -- the Ohio Star -- and used partial blocks to give the design a little more pizzazz. Hop on over to the post to see the full tutorial!

If you have a Quilter's Planner, you might recognize the quilting motif as the design of the week from last week! I decided to go with a swirly and round design to contrast with the graphic prints in this line.

I used the blue dot print and white dot print to piece together a backing for this mini. I realized that after I designed this mini to be 20 inches square that it was a little to large to use a single fat quarter for the backing, which was my original plan. Piecing the leftovers from those two fabrics into a four patch worked perfectly.

I used the black squares print for both the hanging pockets and the bias binding. This tutorial is essentially the same as what I do when making non-continuous bias binding. Since I was working with a fat quarter, I needed four bias strips total for binding. I use this method to add hanging pockets to the mini quilts that I make. For this mini, I believe that my pocket squares were cut to 6.5 inches.

Now for the giveaway! Two entries:

1. Leave one comment and tell me your favorite summer picnic food.
2. Followers (Facebook, Instagram, Bloglovin, or any other method) can leave a second comment for a second chance to win.

Congrats to our winner, Monica! I will contact you shortly!

Happy Wednesday! Sharing at Let's Bee Social and Needle and Thread Thursday!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Christine's Kitchen QAL {Week 9}

Welcome back to Week 9 of the Christine's Kitchen QAL! Today we're assembling the center of our quilt top! Hooray!

This is a short and simple week -- connect your four rows together and then add sashing to all four sides! The skinny sashing goes on the sides and the wider sashing goes at the top and bottom so that your top will now be ready for the pieced border we will make next week!

Here's my sashed quilt top:

Our winner from last week is Tracy! It seems like quite a few of our "regular participants" didn't post finished blocks from last week yet (frown!) so hopefully this quick week will allow you time to catch up! Here's Tracy's applique blocks!

No giveaways for the next two weeks, but we will have multiple giveaways for those who send in finished quilt pictures for the quilt parade!

Thinking about joining in late? There is still a lot of time to catch up before the final quilt parade in June! 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Pinwheel Pals {Moda Bake Shop}

Today I'm back at Moda Bake Shop sharing a brand new pattern -- Pinwheel Pals -- which allows you to make two baby quilts out of a single layer cake!

I'm honestly not much of a layer cake person but this pattern is a good way to use one up (or at least most of one!) and stretch the fabric a little bit further. These quilts use Lily and Will Revisited, a new spin on their original Lily and Will fabrics -- both of which I absolutely love because they include bunnies in the fabrics! I mean, my blog is Little Bunny Quilts -- could there be a better fabric match?

I separated out the mainly pink and mainly blue fabrics from one another and then split the grey fabrics between the two quilts. The backing of both quilts is the same grey and white print.

With the quilts being the same pattern, I decided to quilt each one slightly differently. For the pink quilt, the center sashing is squiggles, the pinwheel blocks are loops, the middle border is curls, and the outermost pieced border is loops.

For the blue quilt, the center sashing is loops, the pinwheel blocks have meandering only in the print fabric, the middle border is loops, and the outermost pieced border is squiggles only in the print fabric.

For each quilt I used the plaid fabric in that particular color for the binding. These quilts finish at 48 inches, but you skipped the outermost pieced border, the quilt would be 40 inches square.

For the first time in a long time, I actually don't have a list of babies to make quilts for currently! Hopefully that means I can work on WIPs for a while and use these two quilts for the next boy and next girl that come along.

Hop on over to Moda Bake Shop to check out the full tutorial for this pattern!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Christine's Kitchen QAL {Week 8}

Welcome back to Week 8 of the Christine's Kitchen QAL! Now that we're done paper piecing, we're in the sprint to the finish line to finish the quilts!

It's applique week! We're making two applique blocks to add to Row #2. Here are my applique tips for this week! Click over to Craftsy for the pattern!
  • If you plan to hand applique, don't forget to add your seam allowance to the templates in this week's pattern.
  • I machine appliqued my blocks -- my stems are 1/4 inch strips (see below) and my flowers are pink and purple. 
  • Before machine appliqueing, test your stitch tension. I keep a scrap nearby to test my tension, much like testing tension for machine quilting.
  • Stitch slow and steady until you get the hang of keeping your stitches at/on the edge. I used a zig zag stitch for my stems, leaves, and flower petals.
  • When adding my fusible applique pieces, I added my flower centers first, then my stems and leaves, and finally the flower petals.
  • Don't forget to trace your shapes onto your fusible web before you iron it to your fabric!
Let's take a peak into my machine applique process:

Here are my flower centers and a section of petals traced and ironed onto my fabrics:

For the stems, I ironed a larger piece of fusible web onto my green fabric and then cut 1/4 inch strips from that section.

Here are my applique pieces added step by step:

For my machine applique I used two different variegated threads from Superior threads on the top with off-white in the bottom. Don't forget to trim your blocks to 8 inches!

Here are Amanda's blocks:

Once your blocks are complete, you can add them to either side of Row #2! 

Since we've finished a row this week, we'll be doing another giveaway! This week will be another two pattern giveaway! Don't forget to post your finished rows on Instagram with #ChristinesKitchenQuilt! 

Our winner from last week is Alice! Check out here entire china collection:

Thinking about joining in late? There is still a lot of time to catch up before the final quilt parade in June! Click on over to Craftsy to download the entire pattern! Sharing at Let's Bee Social too!

March 20th: Blocks 1 and 2; sashing

March 27th: Blocks 3 and 4; building Row #1
April 3rd: Block 5; sashing
April 10th: Blocks 6 and 7
April 17th: Blocks 8 and 9; building Row #3
April 24th: Blocks 10 and 11; sashing
May 1st: Block 12; sashing, building Row #4
May 8th: Applique blocks, building Row #2 (you are here!)
May 15th: Setting 
May 22nd: Border and finishing
May 29th: Memorial Day break
June 5th: Show off your quilt!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Gathering Mystery {Week 4}

Despite the fact that the Week 7 (!!!) directions come out today, I have only just finished Week 4 which seemed to take forever, mainly owing to the fact that I am a crazy person and decided to make the Queen sized quilt.

For Week 4, our assignment was to make two different square-in-a-square units. I had to make 64 of one of the units and 40 of the other. I spent a lot of evenings pressing and trimming dog ears while I watched baseball. And of course, LOTS of chain piecing.

Another thing that took quite a while was meticulously keeping all of my directional prints in the same direction. While it didn't really matter for my blocks on the left because all of the side triangles are my background fabric, the blocks on the right were a different story.

All of the units have the green zig zag fabric going in the same direction as well as the day lily print going from upper left to lower right. That took a bit of planning and made me glad that I didn't cut my green squares into triangles until I knew what I was doing with them.

Even though this was a little fussy, I am EXTREMELY glad that I swapped the green zig zag and the orange day lily from their original assignments in my fabric pull because these units are definitely better as a result. The orange day lily print would have gotten SO chopped up and wouldn't get to shine like it does in these units.

For Week 5 we are making "half snowball units" -- meaning that we're starting with squares and adding stitch and flip corners to two of the four corners. I have all of my diagonal lines drawn on my squares, but I need to just find the time to do the stitching.

For Week 6, we are making "house units" which is essentially a half square-in-a-square unit. I haven't drawn the lines on these fabrics yet.

And of course Week 7 gets published today!

Want to join in with me? Pop on over to Cora's Quilts to find out more! Don't forget to pop on over to my last post to enter to win some yummy Island Batik fabrics!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Batiks Gone Modern {Introduction + Giveaway}

This is the project that I am MOST excited about as an Island Batik Ambassador -- our modern quilt month!

Some people think that modern quilting and batiks don't mix -- those people would be wrong.

To me, modern quilting is dominated more by design aesthetics rather than the type of fabric. Obviously, some fabrics lend themselves more readily to a modern aesthetic than others but let's take a stroll on the wild side and let me convince you that batiks can be totally modern.

1. Any quilt in all solids is easily translated into batik "near-solids" or blenders.
I would consider this as a "jumping off point" for any modern quilter wanting to work with batiks.

2. Batiks and ombre are a match made in quilter's heaven.
Batiks have a built in "blend" within themselves -- making them a perfect choice for an ombre quilt.

3. You can cut batik fabric into the same shapes and sew it together using any modern-styled pattern.
Alternate gridwork? Totally an option. Wonky piecing? Yep, you can do that. Paper piecing? Sure! (I think you get the picture.)

Before you go buy 30 yards of batiks, let's bring you back to earth and note a few caveats and limitations with batiks:

1. More than likely, you're not going to mix prints and batiks.
One exception is using a blender batik as your background, but most of the time you'll lean toward making all batik projects.

2. The larger scale prints might not be as easily used in modern-style pieces.
The high color contrast larger scale prints might not be as easy to use in a modern quilt project as things with blender batiks or smaller scale prints that read as a solid or blender at a distance.

3. Be prepared for the texture difference.
As a whole, I find that batiks can be slightly thinner but also slightly stiffer than a comparable print or solid fabric. (And ps. expect to pay a few dollars more for batiks as your LQS!)

So let's dive into what I'm going to be making this month. For this project I decided to design around the fabric that I had, rather than starting with a basic design. Once you see the fabric you'll understand why:

I saw it and it screamed "Make us into something ombre-gorgeous, Alison!" and I complied.

Ombre on its own certainly isn't modern (look at the traditional bargello quilts from the last 20 years) so I wanted to use a distinctly modern block and/or block arrangement so that if you saw this quilt from 10 yards, you would say, "A modern mini!" and be very excited. Here's my mock-up design:

Yes. Everest made from a mountain of ombre wonky crosses. For some reason Blogger turned the diagram magenta rather than the lovely shades of purple and lavender that I made it in, but I think you get the point. All of my fabric cuts are half yards, so the outermost border will depend on how much I have left of it at the end. My design ends up at approximately 32 inches square.

My goal is to have this mini quilt as a free pattern at the end of the month, but if you want to make along with me, I'll be putting the directions up here on the blog as I go along. This doesn't have any sort of set schedule since I'm already hosting one quilt along, but expect 2-4 more posts about this project with lots of pictures and details.

What would you have made with this bundle? Tell me and you'll be entered to win some Island Batik fabric in your choice of colors!

Sharing at Let's Bee Social!