Friday, 16 September 2016

Spin the Bottle Block and Lap Quilt Tutorial

Who remembers playing "spin the bottle" when they were younger? (I do!) Luckily you don't have to take any dares with this spin the bottle.

Here's a quick tutorial for the Spin the Bottle Block:

To make this block you will need my Wine Bottle Block pattern which is available on Etsy ($5.00 CDN) and Craftsy ($4.00 US).

To make a spin the bottle block you need four wine bottle blocks.

You need about a half yard of background fabric per spin the bottle block and fat eighths or scraps for the bottles.

The wine bottle blocks measure 4 1/2 inches x 12 1/2 inches unfinished. Once you have sewn four wine bottles you simply sew an 8 1/2 x 12 1/2 inch background rectangle to the right side of each wine bottle and set them into the block by spinning the bottles in the four directions as shown in the photo above. Piece the block as you would a four patch. Sew the centre seam on the top two and bottom two blocks. Press the seams in opposite directions to create a nesting seam at the middle and then sew the top and bottom sections together. This makes a 24" block. This in itself would be great as a table topper but I plan to make a lap quilt.

To make a 60" x 60" lap quilt you need 3 1/2 yards of background fabric. Make four "spin the bottle blocks" as above and piece them together into a quilt top by sewing 4 1/2" sashing strips between the blocks.

Cut 6 - 4 1/2" x 24 1/2" sashing strips and sew them to the vertical edges of your spin the bottle blocks. You will have from left to right: sashing, block, sashing, block, sashing. Make two. Then sew the two rows together with a 4 1/2" x 60 1/2" sashing strip running horizontally across the middle of the quilt. Then add a 4 1/2" x 60 1/2" sashing strip across the top and the bottom edges of your quilt top. You are finished and ready to baste, quilt and bind your quilt.

I am sewing mine scrappy using various half yards of low volume background fabrics but if you want all of your background to be the same then cut the sashing strips first before you cut the rectangles and wine bottle background pieces.

I hope you like this fun block idea! :) To learn more about the wine bottle block pattern you can read this post.

Monday, 12 September 2016

The "Feel Better" Quilt

I have a friend who has been ill and in the hospital. I wanted to do something helpful for him so I set to work sewing a "feel better quilt". I wanted to get it finished quickly so I drew up a simple block in EQ7. This quilt took me four days to finish and I also worked 26 hours at work in those four days so you may be able to get it done in even less time if you have a weekend off. This quilt measures 60" x 72" and the blocks are 12" finished.

Here is the block diagram:

To make the blocks here is what you do:

Fussy cut a centre square that is 2 1/2 inches square. I used a 2 1/2" square ruler so I could get my fussy cuts centred as best I could by looking at the print through the clear plastic ruler.

For the first round in light grey cut 2 - 2 1/2 inch squares and 2 - 2 1/2 inch by 6 1/2 inch rectangles.

For the second round in dark grey cut 2 - 3 1/2 inch by 6 1/2 inch rectangles and 2 - 2 1/2 inch by 12 1/2 inch rectangles.

Sew the light grey squares to either side of the fussy cut square and press towards the light grey. Sew the two light grey rectangles to the top and bottom and press towards the rectangles. Then sew the 3 1/2 by 6 1/2 inch dark grey rectangles to either side and press towards the dark grey. Sew the 3 1/2 by 12 1/2 inch dark grey rectangles to the top and bottom and press towards the dark grey.

Make 20 blocks.

Layout your blocks in five rows of four blocks each. I added a pop of orange into my quilt so you could consider doing something like that to add a bit of interest to the quilt.

Once your quilt top is sewn together you just need to add the borders if you wish to have them.

Originally I planned to have 3 two inch borders but in the end I went with a two inch inner border, a one inch middle border and a three inch outer border. These borders added a foot to the width and length of the quilt to get it up to the size I needed but you could leave them off or sew more blocks if you wish.

So there you have it! A simple and fast quilt to make quickly when you find out someone needs a "feel better quilt."

You can see more photos and close ups of this quilt in my Instagram feed.

I fussy cut dogs (and one spooky fish) for the centre of the blocks.

I put in one block that was different from the rest to add interest and a pop of colour.

Spooky the fish!

If you are a newsletter subscriber this tutorial was also sent out in last week's newsletter Issue 27. :)

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Ornamental Quilt

Hello! The summer is winding down and I haven't yet shared one of my quilt finishes this summer. This is the "Ornamental Quilt" from Angela Pingel's book "A Quilter's Mixology."

My Mom was given a large piece of fabric as a gift and she wanted me to use it as a quilt back. We decided on the Ornamental Quilt because its ornament shapes mimic the shapes on the quilt backing. (Plus, it was on my quilty bucket list!)

I quilted the quilt from the back following the shapes on the backing fabric. It was tricky and I did have to use my seam ripper a few times but in the end I am very happy with how it turned out. It took 75 times pushing the quilt through my Juki to quilt it. (Yes, I counted.) I broke it up over a few days and did the dance of joy when the quilting was finished. ;)

I added an extra vertical row to make the quilt double bed sized for my parents' bed. You can see close ups of the blocks on Instagram by clicking here, here and here. :)

This was a fun quilt to make. I really enjoyed choosing the fabric for the blocks from my stash. The background fabric is Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in Espresso. The binding is an orange Michael Miller solid.