Search Results for: tutorial


Aug 2011

Tutorial: How to make a perfect four-patch quilt block.

Piecing a perfect four-patch block is just one of those things a quilter should have under their belt, if you know what I mean. Luckily, it’s a quick and easy process (nevermind that it took me about a billion pictures to show how easy it is…). Once you get the hang of it, you can crank these babies out in no time flat, and you’ll want to, they’re in a TON of patterns. I apologize in advance for these colors. They’re pretty much clashing with everything else here…

Start with 4 squares of fabric, all the same size.

Take the squares on the left and flip them over so they are face down on top of the fabrics on the right. The “right sides” of the squares should be facing each other. In quilting terms, this is called “right sides together”. I know, we’re a creative bunch. Pin, if necessary. My squares are only 2½” square, so it’s not needed in my case, but if you’re working with squares bigger than about 3″, I suggest pins.

Using a 1/4″ seam allowance, sew both sets of two squares together using a straight stitch. To make things easier later, do NOT take a double stitch or backstitch on the first and last stitches.

They’ll look like this. Only with your fabrics, of course.

Put your sewn squares on your ironing board without opening them.

Press the seam allowance with a hot iron. I know this seems weird, but it’s called “setting” the seams. It makes the thread lay more flat so that when you open up the block and press it, it lays, well, more flat.

See? Looking flatter already.

Now, open up your pieces and lay them face down.

Decide which way you will press your seam allowance. Ideally, you will press in opposite directions, toward the darker fabric. So, see how the block on top is being pressed to the left, while the block on the bottom is being pressed to the right? This makes it really easy, later on, to make a perfectly aligned intersection. To make sure you don’t “lose” any fabric in the seam, gently pull both sides of the block away from the seam while using your fingers to press and hold the seam allowance the direction you will press it with the iron. Work slowly and carefully so you don’t skew or stretch your blocks.

Press with hot iron.

Now, place the right sides together again. You will notice that your seam allowances are facing different directions, directly opposite each other. You will also notice, that if you use your fingers to gently slide the blocks against each other, you can feel when the block “clicks” into place. This is usually called “butting” or “nesting” your seams, and is a great way to not only get precise intersections, but also to distribute bulk.

Pin. Usually, I will pin at the top, at each intersection, and at the bottom. If there is more than 3 inches or so between, I will pin there, too.

Using a 1/4″ seam allowance, sew. Be sure to remove your pins before they go under your presser foot.

Lay flat on your ironing board, and set the seam.

Open up the block, face down on your ironing board. Push the seam allowance in opposite directions on the top and bottom.

Since you didn’t take any backstitches before, pushing the seam allowances will loosen those middle stitches, allowing them to come out and open up, like this. Isn’t it cute? Besides being cute, it is also much flatter than pressing your seam allowance all to one side. (There ARE situations where that is a better option, though, so follow your pattern’s instructions.)

Press it. (And when I say press it, I mean pick up your iron, and place it on the block. Straight down. Don’t move it around. That will just stretch and warp your block.)

Now, flip it over, and give it one more press. Voila! A perfect four-patch block!

I knew you could do it.

Any questions? Tips or tricks? Share!


Aug 2015

Goody Goody Binding Kit

gg4I made this adorable pouch in a few hours one night two weeks ago. Literally, it came together super fast, the instructions are nice and clear, and hey, it turned out adorable, so that’s a plus. gg7I used Meadowbloom to make it, and I love that I got to use a big enough piece of the text print, that I can actually read the text!gg6Miss Vanessa Goertzen of Lella Boutique fame designed this little pattern, and lucky for all of us, it’s a FREE tutorial on her blog. She did a little collaboration with the Fat Quarter Shop, and filmed a video or two of some techniques in case you’re, for example, afraid of zippers. :) Also, check out #goodygoodybindingkit and #goodygoodysewalong on Instagram to see along or see other people’s kits. There are some darling ones out there!
gg3Let me be clear: this was SUPER EASY. As in, I’ll be making these for basically everyone for Christmas. If you’re my mom, mother-in-law, sisters, craft night ladies, or other sew-y type friends….pretend you didn’t read that.
gg1You should make this, because it’s fun, it’s cute, and gosh darn it, you need to sew for yourself sometimes.
gg8Plus, it has a pocket for treats.gg2Another thing: how nice is it to have all the supplies for binding in one place, that ISN’T a ziploc bag? (<—Guilty.)
gg5Tutorial is here. Head on over. :)




Sep 2014

Best. Day. EVER! Free Appliqué Pattern


As promised in my Moda LOVE post, here’s the fun appliqué pattern I used on the back of my quilt! The pattern is formatted for fuseable web appliqué, and measures a whopping 13” x 32”. It’s pretty big, but I thought it was fun for the back of my quilt. Of course, if you want to take on some tiny appliqué, you could always reduce it by 50% and make a really fun pillow for your couch! (If you do that, send me pictures, I want to see.) If you’re new to appliqué, check out my tutorial here. It will help, I promise. :)

Click here to download the free pattern.

And remember! The Moda LOVE blog tour is still going strong, with a giveaway at every stop! Be sure to follow along and enter. I’ll announce my winner(S) on the 13th.

Happy Wednesday!




Feb 2014

Pillow Collective: Beautiful Bolster Pillow



Today I get to be a part of the Pillow Collective!


Amy and I thought it would be fun to highlight some fun, fast projects that you can use to spruce up your living space during these cold dreary months before spring comes.


I’ve been wanting to make a bolster pillow for some time, and I always have need to use up my leftover Half Square Triangles, so I figure a bolster made from HST’s is perfect, right?

Now, I know we’re supposed to share a tutorial for our pillow, but in this case I’m going to have to give you rough instructions, because so much about this pillow depends on your pillow form. Sorry for the lack of pictures, it was late when I was sewing and the pictures didn’t turn out at all. I’ll snag you some as soon as I can.


So, HST bolster pillow…here we come!

First off, snag a bolster pillow form. Mine was pretty big, but I’m sure they come in all different sizes.


Measure the length and the circumference of the pillow, write those numbers down.


Then, trace the end of the pillow on a sheet of paper.


Make (70) Half Square triangles by cutting (35) 3″ colored squares, and (35) background squares. Using my quick HST method, make (2) HSTs with one colored and one white square, by sewing two season either side of the midline, and cutting the pieces apart. Press toward darker fabric.

Cut (6) 2 1/2″ strips and (2) 6″ strips th

at are an inch or two longer than the bolster.

Lay out your half square triangles in your desired pattern, using 2 1/2″ strips in between the rows. Place 6″ sashing on the top and bottom of the rows. Stitch blocks together in rows, pressing seams open. Stitch rows to sashing, press toward sashing. Finished panel should be large enough to cover the bolster with about 6 inches of overlap. (Remember when you measured the circumference and length, those will come in handy here.)

Layer quilted panel with batting and backing and quilt as desired. I used metallic thread and quilted it in a wavy line.

Hem the 6″ top and bottom sashing strips by folding under 3/4″, and then folding 3.4″ again. Press and topstitch in place.

Cut out 2 circles for the ends of the pillow, using the traced circle from the end of the pillow. Layer circles with batting and backing and quilt as desired.

Pin panel to the circle, right sides together, allowing the panel to overlap about 3 inches.

On my bolster, I placed a few pleats in my panel, to help it lay more smoothly.


Stitch around the circle. Repeat on opposite side.


Turn pillow cover right side out, and place pillow form inside. It should be snug.


On my pillow, I finished with a large button, which helps the envelope style closure from gaping open.


Plus, who needs an excuse to use a 2″ button?


Hope you love my bolster as much as I do!


Have so much fun on the rest of the Pillow Collective stops today, and throughout the week!



PS Visit the other stops on the Pillow Collective today and throughout the rest of the week!



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