I am working on the first pattern now:
I am currently working on a pattern, which will be great for Valentine's or weddings. So, start saving up a variety of fabrics for a scrappy string style quilt (finished size will be about 72" square).
There will be a great little surprise to this one! This surprise area requires a light colored fabric that is 26" square. Oh, and you will really have a chance to get creative in this area of your quilt and let your artistic side shine!
I am currently making this quilt for a wedding to be held on 10/1/11. Once it is done (sadly, it won't be done before the wedding), I will photo it, and write up all the instructions to share with you!
OOO, I am so excited! See the post of 11/7/11 for more hints!
Here is the first step:
This pattern is not only for Valentine’s Day, or a Wedding, but would be great to have on your bed year round!
This pattern will be great for even beginning quilters. The Heart Strings blocks are very simple (and fun) to make. They will be surrounded by some setting triangles, and the center square (remember that is where the real fun will be!).
The quilt will be finished off in a quilt as you go style, so it can easily be done on your domestic sewing machine. But, if you want, you can assemble the entire top and do it on your long arm too!
You should have a variety of fabrics, some light, some dark, some medium. Enough different colors/prints to make a pretty String block. If you don’t want a scrappy quilt, you may use only 2 different fabrics for your String blocks, alternating the fabrics to get the “strings”. Since the strings are fairly narrow, you probably will want smaller prints, but sometimes, just seeing a portion of a big print can be really fun. So, play with your scraps and decide what you like best!
String blocks are little strips sewn to a foundation (background) piece. They will be done in a Flip and Sew style, so that you don’t need worry about sewing on the bias of the fabric, or that the pieces won’t fit together after you have cut them.
Step one – making the String blocks.
We will be making a quilt, that will have 12 string blocks. There will be four sets of 3 String blocks. It is your choice if the four sets are the same, or if each set is a different set of fabrics. Each block within the set should use the same fabrics, so that when the 3 blocks are placed together, they coordinate.
This is a chance to use up some little scraps you have left over from another project, or to buy a Jelly Roll in a line you have been wanting to try out! What every you decide, just remember that you will want some good contrast so each fabric can shine!
Each block will finish at 12” square. The fabric strips will be set on the diagonal of the foundation, so the individual strips will vary from 18” long to as small as a couple inches.
You can be creative, and make the strips different widths (I suggest no smaller than 1 ½” cut width, and no wider than 4”), or make them all from the Jelly Roll so they finish at 2”. It is completely up to you.
On my quilt, I did vary the width of the strings, and had each heart a different color way. I had one Gold, one Red, one Green and the last one was Blue. Since the couple was married in the fall, I made all the fabrics either a fall print, or fall colors.
I can picture this done with beautiful wedding patterned fabrics, Valentine hearts and roses, or maybe choose fabric of things you love – fishing, sewing, nature, etc. Or if you make this quilt for a child – do some really bright and fun Valentine fabrics like Conversation Heart prints or stick people handing out Valentine cards all in a neon pink and glow in the dark orange!
You need to cut 12 foundation pieces to sew the String blocks on. Muslin would be a good choice for this. You also could use an old bed sheet. This fabric will not show, but be a base on which you will sew your other fabrics, and it will end up against the batting on the top of your quilt.
Cut this foundation piece at 13” square. We will trim it to the right size later, but this will make it easy to get started.
If the foundation fabric is standard width you would get 3 pieces from one width of foundation (3X13=39”). You would need 1 ½ yards to get 4 pieces (4X13=52”).
Use a washable glue stick to attach the first strip (right side up) from one corner, diagonally to the other corner. Simply rub a line of glue along the center of your strip. I suggest this first strip is the widest strip you have. This is so that you won’t have a bunch of seam layers in your final quilt block seam. It will be a pain if it is too bulky! So, make it easy on yourself, and make this wide enough that even after trimming to the correct size, there won’t be any seams close to the corner.
|Crease the strip, place crease on tip of foundation square, then use glue to secure.|
To help you line up the strip, make a slight crease in the center (by folding edge to edge along the long sides), and line this crease up with the outside tips of your corners. Slightly pull the length of the strip before pressing down the glued strip, to ensure it is straight. Only this first strip of each foundation piece will be glued. It just helps the block get started right.
Now, take your next strip (remember to have something that contrasts with your first strip), and lay it face down on the first strip. Do not glue this or any later strips.
Line up the left sides of the first and second strips. Sew along the left outside edge with a ¼” seam.
|Align the second strip face down with left sides matching.|
Flip the second strip so it is face up and press the seam flat. Take care not to stretch your fabrics.
You now have two face up strings on your foundation piece.
The third strip will be laid face down on top the first strip, lining up the right edges. Sew along that right side. Again, flip it open and press.
|Align the third stip with right sides matching.|
Continue adding fabrics left and right, aligning the outside edges, until the entire foundation block is covered. As you lay the new strip on the prior one, you may trim the strip so not a lot is wasted, but do not cut it to the exact length of the foundation piece quite yet. We will trim the piece to the correct size later.
You will end up with a jagged edge with all the strips hanging out past the edge of the foundation.
|Ends of strips will be hanging over. We will trim later.|
Remember you want four sets of three blocks in each of your chosen fabrics. We want to be able to put the 3 blocks together and have them match each other in color and fabrics. Also remember that the 4 sets do not have to match each other. If you want them to all be the same, you most certainly can do that = it is YOUR quilt, have fun!
I will be back soon with the next step, but in the mean time, you can start on the String Blocks! After you have sewn your four sets of three blocks, you can trim them all to 12 ½” square.
|Block trimmed to 12 1/2".|
|Back side of trimmed block - see the seams.|
While you are waiting for the next step, make another four sets of blocks, and you will be ahead of the game for your second Heart Strings Quilt! Maybe make one for you to keep!
Step Two will be making the setting triangles. There are 3 different sizes, but it is so easy to cut them right - don't worry!
Step Three will be the center panel. I will give you the basic heart design, then explain how to get the portrait onto the fabric. We will be using colored pencils! This was a great fun technique to learn.
Step Four will be the quilting (I created several new designs - all heart themes to make this quilt really special). Here is Heart Feathers:
Step Five will be putting it all together. We are doing this in a Quilt As You Go style, so it is easy to do, even on your domestic machine!
Step Six will be up to you - either cuddle up in the quilt, or give it away! Woo, hoo!
Wanna see the completed quilt? I can show you now that it has been given to the bride & groom!