I love how this quilt is coming out. So does my husband, which means he has requested I add more borders to make it large enough to go on our bed.
For my pattern however, this is where I stop. To make it fit our bed I will be adding an 8" grey border all around and then a 9" dark blue border to give me a finished size of 97" x 97" which will fit our queen size bed with the drape on the sides we like. (92x96 is the dimension I normally shoot for to get a 16" drop.) At the end of this post I will share some options I came up with to enlarge the size of this quilt for a bed.
It is especially important when cutting long border strips to start with a fabric that has been squared up. The photo below shows what happens when I fold my fabric in half and it is not squared-see those wrinkles along the bottom folded edge? I do not want to see that or I will end up with a strip of fabric that is not straight.
The dark blue fabric is pretty wonky because I did not square up the fabric before cutting my strip. The grey is nice and straight just like I want. So how do we achieve that?
I hold the two top edges of the fabric I am working with between my thumb and index finger, separating the two sides between those fingers. Now I can slide them independently until that bottom fold edge is nice and smooth. My fabric is now squared up. (I cannot take the photo and hold the fabric so I have laid it out on my ironing board, lol)
Leah Day has a video that demonstrates this pretty well.
Another tip that will help as you add those long borders: I place pins about every five inches or so and sew with the border strip on top. Whenever I add a border strip I find the middle of the strip and the middle of my quilt then match them up and place my first pin. Next I pin the ends as I have already cut the strips to the correct length. From there I ease everything to fit and pin from the center working my way to the outer edges.
Cutting your border strips to length before adding them is a great way to keep your quilt square as you go. I find the length I need by measuring down the middle of the quilt rather than along the edge and I cut my strips to that measurement. I give you the lengths in my pattern, but if your blocks did not come out to the dimensions that I have given for each block you will need to make some adjustments to those measurements.
For my quilt I managed to find a grey snowflake material that goes nicely with what I already had and I had plenty of my dark blue to work with as it was going to be the backing and I will just find something else for the back. You could also frame it with completely different fabrics as option 3 shows. Option 4 replaces the last Dark Blue border in the original pattern with a wider blue border to continue the blue and white theme.
My pattern testers have shared their progress and what they are doing with their borders.
I think they are looking great!
I am looking forward to seeing what all of your finished quilts look like. I will be taking a break over the summer so will come back to quilt mine in September so that I can hopefully have it completed before winter arrives.
You can find the directions for finishing HERE. Scroll down the page to the directions for the Snowman quilt.
Happy June 15th! I don't know about you, but growing up in Portland, Oregon I associated the month of June with three things: the end of the school year, the Rose Festival, and strawberries. It is no surprise then that I have chosen Strawberry Shortcake for this month's block.
The link for this month's free pdf is at the end of this post.
I have some pretty awesome pattern testers whose blocks will further inspire you.
This month we will be doing a little Skill Building. Normally I avoid working with triangles if it all possible. This time the best way to make the block means that we will be using triangles. We can do this! You will see in my directions that there are some added steps for cutting some of the fabrics. I have cut them in a way that minimizes sewing on those stretchy, easily distorted bias edges as much as possible. I highly recommend that you starch your fabric before cutting. Having the fabric triangles a little stiffer will make them much easier to work with.
My tip for cutting those squares that need two diagonal cuts to yield four triangles? Use either a rotary mat or a small mat. With my small mat (I tend to flip them so that I do not see all of the markings on them) I line up my ruler on the square for the first cut, and then rotate the mat without disturbing the square. That makes it is easy to line up the ruler and make my second cut. Cutting is important here, you want those cuts to be centered on the square so all of your triangles are equal. As always I am making my units larger and will be trimming them down to size so there is a little leeway built in.
The Quarter-square Triangles needed for this block use three different fabrics. We will start with the two smaller triangles which are joined along a straight edge, rather than on the bias.
Working with triangles it is especially important to press and not iron. That means no moving your iron back and forth on the fabric, lift it up and set it down where needed. I actually use a towel on my ironing board. It serves two purposes: easy to toss in the wash when I have been using spray starch, and the extra fluff seams to help the seams lay a bit flatter. I also leave my iron just sitting on the seam for a few seconds, about 5-7 when I want an expecially flat seam.
There is no way to get around sewing on the bias with the larger triangle. My theory is it is helped by the fact that it is being sewn to the straightgrain of the triangles underneath...that's my theory and I'm sticking too it. I sew with the large triangle on top, being careful not to pull on it as I sew. Sewing a little slower can help in this process of not wanting that edge to stretch out of shape.
Once pressed it is time to trim these down to size. We need to know two things, the size we need to trim to (T) and one-half of that measurement (M). My mathematician husband would be so proud of me; I am writing a formula, lol. So our formula is: M=T divided by 2. In this case 4 1/2 divided by 2 which equals 2 1/4. I need to know where the exact middle is to place my ruler for trimming. I first line up the diagonal line on my ruler with that long seam line. Then I make sure that the 2 1/4" mark (the arrow is pointing it out) is right at the center intersection where the two smaller triangles meet. I trim the first two sides then rotate the unit and line everything up again to trim the second two sides. This time I only focus on that diagonal line and the outer measurements of 4 1/2".
Now I have 4 identical Quarter-square Triangles.
The corner units will have us working with triangles as well. We start off by attaching the two smaller triangles to the square.
When sewing the larger triangle in place it can be helpful to use a stiletto to keep the points at the end from wiggling out of place.
And there we have our Corner Units.
We will have a chance to use these techniques again in later blocks.
Soon you will be an expert!
I have enjoyed sharing recipes with you to go along with our blocks. How many of you made Chocolate Chip Cookies last month. I made the Chocolate Chocolate Chip version after one of the quilters in my Facebook Sew Along group shared a photo of the cookies she made and enjoyed. They were a hit at my house too.
My mom always made homemade biscuits with good ole' Bisquik to serve our berries on so that is what I think of first. There were a lot of recipes out there and this recipe by Sally's Baking Addiction sounded really good and had wonderful reviews. She also provided step-bystep directions that were very well written. To visit her blog for the recipe click HERE.
For the pdf of my quilt block pattern click on the image below.
Have fun and Happy Quilting!
Well, here it is. The final block in our snowman quilt. This one breaks out of the 12" mold and will finish at 16". This was the first block that I designed in this series and I wanted it to express how quilting has brought us together. This month I give you "Quilting Friends". This block will be the center of our quilt, unless you have elected to do the optional setting with just the 12" blocks.
My pattern testers shared photos of their blocks for added inspiration.
I have been working on putting the borders on my quilt and will share the directions a little later later in the month. This is a glimpse with all of the borders added to mine. My beloved husband likes it so much he wants me to add more borders so we can use it on our bed. I have enough of my dark blue and gray snowflake fabric to do that so we will see...
I am looking forward to seeing all of your finished blocks on my Facebook page!
For Block 13 pdf pattern click here.
To purchase previous blocks visit my Shop.
Please note: The Snowman BOM started June 2018 and will run through June 2019. Blocks are released the first Monday of each month.
The 2019 BOM Just Desserts begins February 15th and each new block will be released on the 15th of each month.
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