Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Country Cabin | a free pattern!


Allow me to go back a few months to my time in Minneapolis. The first session of the first day of my very first quilt market was a "schoolhouse" session by none other than designer extraordinaire Bari J. Bari was debuting her new fabric line "Country Lane" and, though I had already been following Bari for a bit on Twitter, we hadn't really connected personally before market. Fortunately, I was sitting with Scott Hansen who was already a Bari-buddy, and he brokered an introduction.

Country Lane really made an impression upon me upon first sight. I was really drawn to the classic combination of navy blue and red, and the touches of aqua, violet, and gray lent the collection a traditional yet unique personality. So imagine my delight when Bari asked me if I would like to sew something up made from the line to share with all of you.

I have to admit, I had something totally different in mind when I received the fabric -- namely, a doll quilt with some raw edge applique. However, with the fabrics in hand, I decided to go in a different direction. They begged for something more cozy, traditional, and comfortable. I decided to make a doll quilt constructed as one giant log cabin block.

But why stop at a mini quilt? I had enough fabric to keep going and make a nice-sized lap quilt. This 40" x 44" quilt would also be a perfect size for a baby quilt, or even a wall hanging. (Mrs. QD and I are considering hanging this over our bed!)

And I wrote this tutorial with all of you beginning sewers in mind. With no matching seams and very forgiving measurements, it doesn't get any easier than this.

Here's a shot of the final quilt:


And here's the pieced back that I made. I actually love the back of this quilt nearly as much as the front!


So, do you want to make a Country Cabin quilt with me? You'll need a few cuts of fabric that span the full 44" width of a bolt of fabric. (In other words, fat quarters wouldn't work too well here.) Depending on how many different fabrics you want to use, 4-6 1/2 yard cuts of fabric should suffice. A few 1/4 or 1/3 yard cuts would work, too. Again, just be sure you have at least a few cuts that have the full 44" width of the fabric intact.

The quilt is constructed of a single center square and 32 strips, or "logs". I cut my fabrics as I went, but I know that some people like to cut all of their fabrics up front. If that is the case, here are all of the cutting directions:

Center square: 4.5" square

A1: 2.5" x 4.5"
A2: 2.5" x 6.5"
A3: 2.5" x 6.5"
A4: 2.5" x 8.5"

B1: 3.5" x 8.5"
B2: 3.5" x 11.5"
B3: 3.5" x 11.5"
B4: 3.5" x 14.5"

C1: 1.5" x 14.5"
C2: 2.5" x 15.5"
C3: 1.5" x 16.5"
C4: 2.5" x 16.5"

D1: 2.5" x 18.5"
D2: 3.5" x 18.5"
D3: 2.5" x 21.5"
D4: 3.5" x 20.5"

E1: 4.5" x 24.5"
E2: 4.5" x 24.5"
E3: 4.5" x 28.5"
E4: 4.5" x 28.5"

F1: 2.5" x 32.5"
F2: 2.5" x 30.5"
F3: 2.5" x 34.5"
F4: 2.5" x 32.5"

G1: 1.5" x 36.5"
G2: 1.5" x 33.5"
G3: 1.5" x 37.5"
G4: 1.5" x 34.5"

H1: 3.5" x 38.5"
H2: 3.5" x 37.5"
H3: 3.5" x 41.5"
H4: 3.5" x 40.5"

Quilt assembly:


Starting with your center square, attach piece A1 to the right side of the square. Sew the pieces together with a 1/4" seam.


Once the pieces are sewn together, press the seam away from the center square. For the remainder of the quilt, you will always press the seam towards the piece that you just added.


Moving counter-clockwise around the center square, add piece A2 next. It should be sewn to the top of the center square, with the seam pressed towards piece A2.


Moving counter-clockwise again, piece A3 should be sewn on to the center square next.


Piece A4 should complete the first round of logs. Now you can see that the 'A' pieces represent the first round of logs, the 'B' pieces represent the second round of logs, etc.


Here is the quilt top with the second ('B') round of logs attached:


With the third ('C') round added:


You get the idea! Here's a picture of my completed quilt top, before the basting, quilting, and binding steps:


I free-motion quilted the entire quilt in an all-over meandering stipple. I am a huge fan of using striped fabrics as binding, so I made sure I had set aside enough of Bari's stripe print to bind my quilt.

As I mentioned earlier, I joined a few of my leftover 44" wide pieces of fabric to create a really nice pieced backing. This quilt has already been claimed by my 6 year-old daughters as a cuddly movie-watching blanket.

Country Cottage Lap Quilt

So what do you think? Interested in making a Country Cabin quilt? If so, please let me know -- I'd love to see it. And a BIG THANKS to Bari J. for letting me create something with her beautiful new line, Country Lane!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Lalli's Baby Quilt

A few months back, a local blog reader of mine here in Cary reached out to me with a question I've never been asked before. Lalli, who blogs at Passion2Sew, asked me if I would be interested and available to teach her how to quilt. Lalli is an accomplished garment sewer who happens to be 7 months pregnant, and she wanted to learn how to make a baby quilt for her daughter-on-the-way before her impending arrival.

Lalli first called around to several of our local shops but alas, none were offering their beginner classes anytime this past summer. So, on a whim, she reached out to me to see if I'd be willing to help her out.

On my end, I was pretty shocked that someone would be interested in having me teach them anything about sewing! In so many ways I still consider myself very much a beginner. And looking at the complex pieces of clothing that Lalli is already so skilled at making, I questioned what in the world she'd be hoping to learn from me. But I'm a sucker for a pregnant woman asking for help, so I agreed!

We had 4 classes over a 3-week period or so, all in Lalli's sewing studio (which is to die for!) We (roughly) broke the classes out like this:

Class 1: Intro to block construction (including some essential pieces, like flying geese and HST's), seam allowances, tools (e.g. rulers, cutting mats, etc.), fabric selection, and determining what type of quilt to make

Class 2: The basics of cutting for quilts, finalizing a quilt design, and starting block construction

Class 3: Continued block construction, final layout, assembling quilt top, and making binding

Class 4: Basting, quilting, and binding the quilt

Here is Lalli with the quilt that she made in just four classes!:

Quilting with Lalli

Lalli was a bit shy to take too many pictures, but I convinced her to let me get a couple.

As you can see, we made a basic sampler quilt of 12" blocks in a 3x3 layout. BIG THANKS go out to Amanda Jean, because we primarily used block tutorials from her first two quilt-alongs. (Hey, making those blocks was basically how I learned to quilt, so why not share the love?)

Throughout, I tried to emphasize not just how to make this quilt, but also the basics of quilting that can be applied to any design she might pick in the future.

Quilting with Lalli

Here's a picture of the back. Lalli selected a soft flannel print because she wants her new baby to actually use this quilt, so she wanted it to be as warm and snuggly as possible. As you can see, the binding isn't hand-sewn down yet. We both thought that was something Lalli could do in the final stages of her pregnancy!

The best part? Lalli free-motion stippled this quilt all by herself, with only a cursory overview from me. I know that the actual quilting step is something that scares a lot of people, so it was great to see Lalli jump right in with a determination to finish it herself.

Lalli insisted that she take a picture of me with the quilt as well:

Quilting with Lalli

Lalli has blogged about her quilt, too! Want to hear what she had to say about our class? Check out her blog post.

I had a lot of fun with this experience. I think I'd like to do more teaching in the future, and have considered proposing a few class ideas to my local shops. What do you think? Have you seen anything on my blog that you think would be good material for a quilting or sewing class?

By the way, are you a beginning quilter like Lalli? Looking for good easy project ideas to help you build your confidence? In my next post, I will be sharing a free, tutorial that is great for both a brand-new quilter as well as an easy-to-complete project for someone with a bit more experience. Stay tuned!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

QD Giveaway at Qubee Quilts

Hello and Happy Saturday, all!

I'm happy to be hosting a giveaway over on Charlie's blog, Qubee Quilts. Charlie is another guy who quilts and he's hosting a whole week full of giveaways, culminating in the grand prize of an AccuQuilt GO cutting machine. Charlie and my other friend Ryan (from I'm Just a Guy Who Quilts), are also celebrating the launch of their new venture: patchwork squared. Check it out!

Back to the giveaway. Want to see my contribution to Charlie's party? Here they are -- two fabulous Moda jelly rolls. The first is a Bella Solids jelly roll in the "Warm" colorway:

Giveaway prizes

The second is a Moda Marbles jelly roll:

Giveaway prizes

Want to know how to enter to win these great jelly rolls? Click over to Charlie's post for more information. Be sure to tell him that Quilt Dad sent'cha!

Giveaway prizes

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

August Bee Blocks

Until I have some bigger things to show, I thought I'd share some pictures of my recent quilting bee block creations.

In the {Bee} Imaginative group, Kate asked for large square-in-square blocks. She is going to cut all of her blocks into quarters and then rearrange them to make a modern bento box quilt. I can't wait to see how it turns out!

{Bee} Imaginative | August

And in my other bee, Buzz Cuts, Kathy asked for blocks to make her 19 year-old son a green, blue and black quilt. I found these fabrics in my stash that fit the bill perfectly.

Buzz Cuts | August

I'm finding it much easier to keep up with my bees now that I've cut back to just two of them. I even have time to work on fun little projects like this one: an itty-bitty mini quilt for Kim (aka meangirlie), the VP of our Triangle Modern Quilt Guild.

Mini for meangirlie

Why? Just because. We worked a booth together at Maker Faire a few months back, and we were both pulling these little scraps out of the giant scrap bin we had in the booth. I stuck them in my bag and decided to surprise her with a little homemade gift.

Have you made anything lately, "just because"?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Coming soon!

I'm here! I'm here! Hang on while I brush a few cobwebs away. I know I've been quiet for a bit, but it's not because I haven't been busy. Au contraire, mon frère. I've actually been quite busy, just unable to show a whole lot just yet. Want a hint?


But that's all you're getting out of me! Well, for now, anyway ... ... ...