Monday, August 6, 2012

Inspiration - Twisted Xmas Wreath Quilt

It all started with an inspiration piece I found on the internet - a Christmas wreath wall hanging made with the Li'l Twister Tool.

It was the last week in July so I still had time to make a 'Christmas in July' quilt.  I ordered the tool from Quilted Works and read their tutorial to familiarize myself with the ruler.  Received it in the mail before the week was out and set to work with a Christmas themed Charm Pack, which had also just arrived.
39% off Benartex Charm Packs (Winterscapes)
Winterscapes Charm Pack

The Li'l Twister Tool makes pinwheels really easy to construct.  All I had to do was sew my 5" charm squares into the required configuration, line up the ruler the same way each time, and cut around each and every intersection.  Then it was a matter of taking that square from cutting table to design wall and placing it in the exact same location as it was in the sewing configuration.
Placement of Li'l Twister
The Li'l Twister is perfect for 5" charms and its sister the Big Twister is meant to be used with 10" layer cake squares.  These rulers are really easy to use because of the teeny tiny feet in the four corners.  They raise the ruler off the fabric so the rulers are steady and don't rock due to the bulk in the seams.

Here are a couple of more pictures of Xmas Wreath quilts made with the Li'l Twister.

See the completed quilt here.


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Thursday's Tutorial

I've just published the third in a series of Quilt-ALongs on Cathedral Windows techniques.  Take a look and leave a comment or any questions you may have.  Any and all suggestions on how I can improve on the content are also welcome!


QAL #3 - Cathedral Windows

The Traditional Cathedral Windows

Finished Size of Quilt = 16”
Finished Size of Block = 4”

For the third technique in this series for constructing Cathedral Windows, we will be making a cushion cover or a small quilt, comprising 16 blocks arranged 4 blocks across by 4 blocks down.

Traditional Cathedral Windows - A Mini Quilt

The components of a Cathedral Window block are the foundation or background fabric, the frame and the window pane.  In this variation, the foundation and frame are made from the same fabric.  The window panes can be as varied as you wish.

Table for Cutting Instructions
1. The cutting instructions will make 1 CW block.
2. The numbers in parentheses in the column descriptions represent the number of squares required for each CW block. 
3. The window pane should be cut 1/4” smaller than the finished size of the frame.  Measure for and cut the window panes after the first frame is constructed.

Block Size
Foundation (1)
Pane (1) approx.
4 ½“
1 ¼“
6½ “
8 ½”
2 1/4”
10 ½“
12 ½ “

For 16 Cathedral Window blocks that will each finish at 4” square, refer to the table above for the 4” block and cut

16 foundations
16 window panes (not shown – cut after 1st frame is constructed)
Cut 16 foundation squares
Make an 8” template from cardboard for pressing a ¼“ seam on 4 sides of each foundation square.
Use a box cutter to cut cardboard template

Place the template in the center of the foundation and press ¼“ seam using the template as a guide.
Press 1/4" seam on 4 sides of foundation around template 
Fold the foundation in half and press.  Fold in half again and press to crease a vertical and horizontal line on the foundation.
Create two folds on foundation 
Using the creases as a guide, fold the 4 corners to the center and press.
Fold 4 corners to center and press
Do this again.  Fold the 4 corners to the center and press.  This is your 4” Cathedral Window block.
4" Cathedral Window block
Repeat this process for all 16 foundation squares.  To join the foundations together, open a flap on two blocks and sew them together on the creases. 
Sew adjacent flaps on two blocks
The sewn flaps make 1 frame.  Measure 1 side of the frame and cut 16 window panes ½“smaller than the size of the frame.  My frame measured 2 ¾“, so my window panes were cut 2 ¼“ square.
Four 4 1/2 " fabric squares cut in 4 = 16 window panes
Join all 16 foundations in this way and there should be 8 pairs.  Join 2 pairs together by sewing the two flaps that are between the 2 sewn flaps. 
1 quadrant with 4 flaps sewn together
Join the 4 quadrants together and tack the corners of the frames down with a cross stitch.  Place a window pane in the center of a frame, roll the bias sides of the frame around it and pin in place.
Pin window panes in place
Sew the bias sides of the frame around each window pane and your 16” quilt is done!

Completed Mini Quilt 16" Square
This quilt does not require batting or a backing.  Sewing the frames down over the window panes serves as the quilting. 

Quilting on Back of Mini Quilt
Follow instructions for How to Assemble A Cushion Cover, keeping the following in mind:

There is no need to make a backing for the cushion cover because the back is already done!
Use a 16" pillow insert.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wednesday's WIP

Cathedral Windows - A Quilt-Along

For the last two weeks, I've been conducting a Quilt-Along for members of Desi Quilters, a group of modern quilters of Indian descent, living in India and abroad.  My aim was to present modern variations of the traditional Cathedral Windows quilt, which is beautiful to behold but pretty tedious to construct.

I began with QAL #1 - an Orange Peel Quilt.
Made by a Desi Quilters member
Take a look at pictures of this QAL on Facebook.

QAL #2 using the 1-Seam Flying Geese technique, was presented last week and I presume is still being worked on by members of our quilt group.  Take a look at the pictures of this QAL currently posted on Facebook.

I begin QAL #3 - Traditional Cathedral Windows today.  I hope to be done with this QAL by the end of this week.

I will return to post pictures and the link to my blog for this QAL when it's complete.  Even though there have been major interruptions to this effort, I've managed to keep on track and schedule and am confident it will be completed successfully