Thank you so much for giving my blog a look! I know I’m very inconsistent in posting, but I have some really great things planned so you should start to see more things in the coming weeks. It has been raining cats & dogs here this weekend thanks in part to Hurricane Patricia so it has given me more of an excuse to be inside working on projects.
Are y’all excited for this one? I know the recipient (baby Wyatt) loves it…or so his mom says ;). I do know, however, that his mom liked it and that’s really what matters. What do ya say? Let’s get started! (PS sorry for the parking lot photo…I spaced taking a photo before mailing!)
Here’s what you need:
- 2 Stackers or 1 layer cake or 40 – 10” squares
- Backing fabric (1 1/4 yards for above pictured or 1 1/2 yards for all 20 squares) I like a little extra for overage.
- Binding fabric (I prefer 2 1/4″ binding. I find it comes together better. Above quilt took approximately 1/4 yard of fabric for the larger 4×5 quilt it will take 1/3 Yard)
- Same size as backing fabric
- Spray for batting (highly recommended)
- Curved Safety Pins
Step 1 –
The first thing you will want to do is pair your stackers for the quilt. Pair them up 2×2 (yes, just like the Arc). You will get two squares out of four stackers and you will end up with 20 squares total. I chose to make two ‘mirrored’ squares because it was easier for me to keep them all straight, but if you want to go crazy and mix and match all of them go for it! I know it will turn out fantastic!! Here are a couple pictures of the pairs I chose. (Don’t mind Baxter…he was feeling very possessive of the fabric squares and their placement.)
Step 2: Take the first 10″ square of your pair and cut it into 4 – 5″ squares. That’s in half vertically and horizontally. I saved time by cutting two at a time. I placed mine right sides together since they were the matching pair from my mirrored squares. If you aren’t mirroring you don’t need to match right sides together. Repeat this for all of your squares. If you follow my blog regularly you know that I am a HUGE fan of the assembly line (might be my degree in Ops Management or my OCD..we have yet to nail that one down). I do each step of the squares all at once as apposed to completing one square and moving on to the next. This is all personal preference, but I find that in my busy world the assembly line (and yes chain stitching) approaches allow me to get more done in less time which equals more blog posts for you.
Have I mentioned recently how much I love my rotating mat? If not I LOVE LOVE LOVE it and you should ask for one for the holidays if you haven’t already gotten yourself one!
Step 3: Next, place your square pairs right sides together (this right side situation is not optional). We will be cutting these after stitching so make sure you have 4 pairs of like combinations together. It makes a little more sense why I cut them right sides together now doesn’t it?
Here’s a shot of all of my pairs and their other 10″ square counterparts. This is how I kept all of the pairings straight throughout the process.
Step 4: Chain stitch your 5″ square pairs together. All four sides; right sides together. I did one side on all then came back and did all of side two, then all of side 3, etc. You get the chain stitching picture…I like to avoid the stop and pivot as much as possible. I just feel that it starts to interfere with your 1/4″ accuracy. Press your seams to set them.
Step 5: Using your rotary cutter & rotating mat (tee hee), cut diagonally across so you have four separate half square completed triangles. Line up your ruler between your crossed seams from chain stitching (See Below).
Once you’ve finished cutting you should have four separate smaller blocks.
Step 6: Press them all open & trim dog ears. You will have 16 half square triangle pairs per 2 square pairs or 8 per square if you are an adventurous one. Set these aside; it’s time to cut the remaining 10″ squares that have been looking lonely while you’ve been doing all this sewing.
Step 7: Let’s cut the remaining pieces for our block, shall we? A word of caution…pay attention! If you accidentally get cocky (not saying this happened to me but….yes, yes it did) you may accidentally cut a 10″ square incorrectly and then your quilt has to go from a 4×5 square styling to a 4×4…did any of you catch that above in the photo? So moral of the story…pay attention here.
Again, measure twice…cut once! (okay I’m off my soap box).
Lay out your 10″ squares. I recommend cutting these in their pairs to save time and keep consistency. In the end we will end up with these cuts:
4 – 3″x 5 3/4″ rectangles
Yes you will have some remnant pieces – 1-4 1/4″x4 1/4″ square and 2-1×5 3/4″ rectangle (I plan to use these remnants for maybe a carseat quilt or maybe some fun bibs, but they are not considered waste in my book)
First cut is 5 3/4″ from the left side:
Next cut 3-3″ strips from that 5 3/4″ piece:
Now, on the remaining large pice cut 5 3/4″ form the bottom as illustrated below:
Finally, cut that 5 3/4″ piece to it’s final 3″x 5 3/4″ piece by taking 1″ off of the side:
Here’s how your pieces will look with the remnants gone yet still in their 10″ shaping:
Step 8: Time to put these babies together! Gather your first pairs and lay them out how you want them to look. I recommend using like pairs so they have similar cuts. Here’s a picture to show you what I mean. Look at the fabric pattern and notice the cuts through the design.
Here’s a layout of one of the block pairings prior to final stitching. You can see why I chose to mirror. You basically get two different blocks, but you’ve controlled cuts, etc.
Start with the center diamond block first. Stitch right sides together matching half-squares together. Feel free to chain stitch the two. Press your seams.
Nest your seams (below) and stitch the triangle block together. (Pin if you don’t feel comfortable with nesting.)
Now you have a finished diamond block or the center of one of your squares.
Due to the method your edges may be a little jagged. This was the compromise I made with the method, but squaring them up proved to work out just find and the quilt didn’t suffer in the slightest. (ps, I am not sure why I don’t have a pic with a perfectly matched center. tsk tsk…yes, I fixed it)
Now we’ll add the border and wrap up the block. You can see the difference from quilting. Make sure you line up from the top (by the fox). That way when you square up your block your cutting on the outside. Attach the half square triangles to the center rectangle. Notice the placement; this is what creates the donut’s circle.
Here are the two border rows completed:
Next, add the other two border pieces to your diamond block:
Finally, sew the three rows together:
In the end you may want to square off your block. Make sure you don’t take any of the seam allowance, but you can use your rotary cutter to clean it up a bit. I just aligned my ruler with the 3″ vertical strip and it provided a guide. Why don’t I have a photo? No clue!
Here’s a photo of some of the finished blocks –
Step 9: Finish ‘er up! If you have specific questions on batting, pinning, quilting and binding please let me know and I’ll direct you to the appropriate tutorials. I hope y’all like it! Thank you SO much for taking the time to read the tutorial; I truly appreciate it!
Next Up….Falling Banners Quilt (hopefully)!