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Monday, May 12, 2014

FIREWORK STARS - Free Tutorial - Made with all 2.5" Strips!

 31" x 39" 

Hi everyone!  To celebrate Mother's Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and the beginning of Summer, I would like to offer my blog readers this free quilt pattern to try.  This quilt top is made up of nothing but 2.5" strips!  This quilt can be made completely scrappy from your stash, or with a brand new shiny jelly roll!
I am part of a group of fabric swappers called "QuiltvilleSwap" and so the fabrics in this top are all fabrics that I swapped with other quilters from around the world.  Feel free to join us HERE
 This quilt sews up quickly and would be a great weekend project! Feel free to finish this quilt however you choose, but in a separate blog post, I will explain in detail the way I chose to do the quilting for these quilts. 

Instructions are for 3 small wall-hanging quilts.  Divide materials by 3 if you would like to just make ONE quilt.  I give instructions for 3 because it uses 1 whole jelly roll of fabrics without any leftovers.  If you make just one, you will have some leftover strips and pieces.  
You can substitute 1 Jelly Roll and divide the fabrics into LIGHTS/MEDIUMS/DARKS.  
Darks = blue, Mediums = Red, and Lights = Neutrals
Amounts required are approximate, may need more or less depending on fabric
WOF = width of fabric 

FABRIC REQUIRED:  (includes binding)
12 WOF Blue 2.5" Strips
12 WOF Red 2.5" Strips
16 WOF Neutral 2.5" Strips
3 yards fabric for backing  (1 yard for each quilt)
3 pieces of batting 35" x 43" 

Sewing Machine in good working order
Quilting Pins
Spray Starch
Steam Iron 
Red, Cream, and Blue Threads (thread to match fabrics)
Thread for piecing
Rotary Cutter 
Self-Healing Mat

EZ Angle Ruler or Fons and Porter Flying Geese Ruler 


Optional:  Darning Foot, Walking Foot

Cut all of your Full WOF strips in half. 
 We are going to be working with HALF WOF strips throughout this quilt.  
Lay out all of your strips and press with starch.  Make sure you PRESS and not IRON, so that the strips do not bow in the center. 

 1. Pair together a NEUTRAL strip with a Red or Blue strip and lay them RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER on your cutting mat.  Make a stack that is 4 layers-thick.  Red and Neutral strips, right sides together, and then Blue and Neutral strips, right sides together.
Cut Half-Square Triangle Pairs with your Triangle Ruler.  You will need 288 triangle PAIRS for the 3 quilts, or 96 each.   If you have 12 different red fabrics, and 12 different blue fabrics, you will need to make 4 cuts from each stack.  
(Click HERE for a tutorial on how to use the EZ Angle Ruler)
Each triangle stack should give you 1 RED/NEUTRAL pair and 1 BLUE/NEUTRAL pair.  Since they were sewn right-sides together, they are already ready to go through your sewing machine.   

 Sew all of your Triangle Pairs and Press them toward the dark side.
(do as I say not as I do please lol)
 Trim dog ears.  

After cutting triangles.  You will then need to cut 48 2.5" SQUARES from each color. 

 Arrange your sawtooth blocks according to the graph below.  

The combination of Red/Blue/Neutral triangle pairs will not give you an even amount for 1 quilt, so please arrange your star blocks according to the following photo:  

 Start by sewing together the columns of the blocks.

Follow the chart for seam pressing direction

 Once the columns are sewn, sew together the rows.   Press Red block seams to the left, and blue block seams to the right.
 Arrange your blocks the way you want them to appear in your quilt.  If desired, label each row 1, 2, and 3 to stay organized.
 Butt seams together and Pin.  Sew Rows , then columns to complete inner quilt top.


For the borders we are going to take HALF of the blue strips and HALF of the red strips, whatever you have left, and use those for the borders.  The REMAINING half will be used for binding!
 Take HALF of your remaining BLUE strips, cut in half LENGTHwise.  to make 1.25" strips.
 Arrange your strips in an order that will be pleasing to you in the final quilt.
 Pin together the 1.25" strips at the short ends and sew together.   **LOWER your stitch length and/or lock your stitches for this part!     REPEAT THIS STEP FOR HALF THE RED STRIPS

Next, we will go ahead and make the binding.  Take the remaining blue strips and sew together on the diagonal as you would if you were making binding.   REPEAT FOR REMAINING RED STRIPS
Sew together your remaining neutral strips like you would binding.  The neutral strips will be your large scrappy inner border.
Now start assembling your quilt top as shown. 

Border 1
Measure your quilt top horizontally and cut top/bottom border (1.25") and sew.  
Measure your quilt top vertically and cut left/right 1.25" border and sew.  

Border 2
Measure your quilt top horizontally and cut top/bottom Neutral 2.25" border and sew. 
Measure your quilt top vertically and cut left/right 2.25" neutral border and sew.  

Border 3
Measure your quilt top horizontally and cut top/bottom 1.25" border and sew.
Measure your quilt top vertically and cut left/right 1.25" border and sew.  

This is what your 3 quilt tops should look like when finished.  

Layer, Baste, and Quilt your quilt as desired!  Remember we have already sewn our Binding strips so they are ready to be attached to your quilt.  
Please go HERE for quilting tutorial and finished details.   

Thank you so much and I hope you enjoyed this tutorial for "Firework Stars"
If you make this quilt I would LOVEEEE it if you would share it with me so I can share it with my facebook followers!
If you have any questions please feel free to leave me a comment or email me at

This tutorial is for your own personal use please no mass production. 

Hi!  I work very hard and I have a family to support now, so if you buy from amazon or craftsy then please consider clicking through one of MY links so I get a portion of the profits! Thanks so much!

Firework Stars Quilting Tutorial

I wanted to do a separate blog post on how to FINISH your quilt "Firework Stars"
Not everyone is able to quilt their own quilts, but if you are a beginner or would like to learn, this is actually a great starter pattern.  

I want to share with you TWO things:  1.  A one-line quilting motif for the pieced area of this quilt.  and 2.  a free-motion border motif for your quilt called "firework feathers."  

First of all I LOVE piecing patchwork like this.  Especially sawtooth stars. Noone likes a bunch of thread knots on the back of your quilt. . so one-line quilting designs are WONDERFUL.  If you follow do the pattern the way I'm going to show you, then  you can do the whole  patchwork area of your quilt with only ONE line. . . . meaning, if you were to only use one thread color for the whole quilt, you would only have ONE entry point, and one exit point. . . no multiple starting/stopping points.  
The easiest way to do this would be free-motion with a darning foot, but if you are not yet comfortable with a darning foot, then you certainly can use your walking foot and let your machine guide your stitches. This method requires more quilt-turning, but that's okay, you do whatever you are most comfortable with.  I'm going to show you how to do this ONE-LINE quilting motif throughout this quilt, and I hope you try it!   

Looking at the photo below,  My needle is down in the center where 4 blocks meet.  This is where you will begin your quilt motif.  It is helpful to try to work clockwise so you don't lose your place.  

For the one-line quilting motif, you are basically OUTLINE quilting, except more of a curved, flower-like motion.  For this design, we will be outline stitching inside every piece of each block.  This style of quilting accentuates your piecing, is very secure, and looks lovely in your finished piece!
 To start the quilting, just follow along the yellow drawn line.  This example is using just the red thread in the red areas.  

and this next example is quilting the NEUTRAL areas.  Start quilting in the center of one of the 4 blocks, and follow the yellow line.
 1.  Outer Tips of Stars.  2.  Inner pieced 4 patch.  3.  Inner Tips of Stars 4.  Enter next block and do outer edge.  5.  Go back and finish block by doing the inner portion.  (I try to remember to go CLOCKWISE, Outer edges first, and then Inner edges.  Enter the next block at the FIRST available entry point so you don't forget)  6.  Going clockwise, enter next block, but only for one piece of patchwork.  This is just a gateway to the NEXT block we are going to do.  Quilt the Outer tips of stars 7.  Then do the INNER tips of stars.  8.  Inner 4 patch  9.  Finish block, continue on through "gateway" block, and on to the entry way to the next block.  Outer portion of block, and then onto the next block to also do the outer portion.  10.  Inner 4 patch  11.  Inner tips of stars, and on to complete outer portion of previous block 12.  Complete block by doing inner portion and then on to the final block  13.  Outer portion of final block.  14.  Inner portion of final block

Sorry this is so hard to see.  If the photo is any larger it gets cut off my by side bar =c(   You can click on the photo and zoom in if you need to see more closely 

 Once you start quilting and get the hang of it it's not so difficult.  If it helps, you could print off one of the PAINT graphs and practice doing your one-line quilt pattern with a pencil.  Just remember it's not the end of the world if you DO end up having to stop, lock your stitches, and go to another area.  This is just an option for you to try if you like.
 Here is what the back of the quilt will look like once you have finished all of the quilting in the patchwork area.  
Next I would like to share with you the border design called "Firework Feathers"
Start by quilting just the base line or SPINE of your feathers around the middle of the border.  You are going to treat your pieced border as one large border.  You can just free-style stitch a wavy line down the center of your border with neutral-color thread.  However, if you feel more comfortable, you can first draw the line with chalk or a water-soluble marker.  
Next, you will start quilting your feathers on the RIGHT side first.  If your outer border is RED, use RED thread.  If your outer border is BLUE, use BLUE thread.  
Here is a short video clip of me doing the RIGHT side of the quilting design:

After you finish the RIGHT side, you will then do the LEFT side of your feather design.  Here I have included a video of me explaining the quilting design a little bit.  Please forgive me this is my first video tutorial ....... .ever.   ;c)

Once all the quilting is complete.  I highly recommend that you press your whole quilt with a steam iron.
This is especially important since we are using STRAIGHT GRAIN binding(made from our 2.5" scrappy strips or jelly roll!)
 Trim the backing and batting from the quilt, making sure that your corners are an exact 90-degree angle.

Finish your quilt by attaching the binding that you already made!

Hi!  I work very hard and I have a family to support now, so if you buy from amazon or craftsy then please consider clicking through one of MY links so I get a portion of the profits! Thanks so much!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Graduation Memory Quilt

I had the opportunity 2 years ago to be a part of this amazing project.  A private school principal had her students very artfully "draw" their signatures on white cotton fabric and I stitched it up into a quilt!  I just love the creativity the students have.   They are given a "theme" which is a verse from the bible.. . and students stick to that theme.   This year it was all about the stars and heavens.  
The background blue is their school shade of blue, and the kids wanted BRIGHT colors for accents so I use bright scrappy cornerstones!  I love the way these always turn out and hope I get to do more of them in the future.

Here are the white squares of fabric that I cut, and are ready to send off for the kids to "decorate." 
 After I receive the finished squares back from the mail, I pin them on the wall and arrange, rearrange, and arrange some more until I go crazy ;c)
 I got to fill out ONE square this year!!  I used the school name ;c)
 Here is the finished TOP before quilting
 and all the finished quilt photos!