Category Archives: Quilt Along

Positive Space QAL – Finishing the Quilt

Wow! You did it!  : )

The pattern sets you free here, leaving you to piece the backing and binding with fabrics of your choice.

Here’s the back of my quilt!  I wanted it to stay masculine so I used these fun strips.  I also knew it’d do a nice job of complimenting my white-straight-line quilting.

If you are new to quilt-basting, let me please refer you to these great, free tutorials:

• Spray and Pin-Basting Tutorial from That Girl, That Quilt:

http://www.thatgirlthatquilt.com/2010/12/basting-tutorial.html

• Pin Basting from Red Pepper Quilts:

http://www.redpepperquilts.com/2009/06/basting-and-batting.html

• Spray Basting from Film in the Fridge:

http://www.filminthefridge.com/2011/03/03/spray-adhesive-for-quilt-basting-a-quick-how-to/
I absolutely love spray basting.  I will never, ever go back to pin basting as I have had much better results with this method – not to mention that it is QUICK.    Here’s my quilt all laid out, happily basted on my living room floor.

Think you can’t quilt this on your home machine?  I say hogwash!  For this quilt, you can get a great look by doing simple straight-line quilting.  Here’s what I did:

I carried these lines all the way to the edge of the quilt.  In fact – the only places I marked the quilt-top were in the outside borders, making sure my lines stayed straight.  Other than that, I just used the corners of my pieced squares as guides as I sewed!

Looking at the above diagram, I first sewed the red diagonal lines.  I rolled up my quilt (it’s a Queen-size) from opposite corners so that the middle of the quilt (on a diagonal) was what was left exposed.  I like to start in the middle to tackle the most difficult part first.  Once I get the absolute centers of the quilt done, I know that the bulk in the neck of my machine will just get smaller as I go.  So I do my center “Red” line, and then head to the outside.  I flip the quilt around and do the next center-most “Red” line and head out to the other side.  Then I flip the quilt, re-roll, and do the same method for the “Blue” lines.  Then I re-roll and do the “Green” lines, starting in the center and working to one side, then flipping it around and going from the center to the other side.  I re-roll and do the “Orange” lines doing the same center-out process.  Then I have a glass of wine!

So here’s my quilt!  All quilted!  All square!  It just needs binding.  I’m going to use this fabric – snazzy!

If you are new to binding a quilt, let me please refer you to his great tutorial:

http://crazymomquilts.blogspot.com/2008/10/binding-tutorial.html

or this one!

http://www.redpepperquilts.com/2009/11/binding-tutorial.html
You’ll have to excuse me for not having a finished, binded quilt picture to show you.  I have other deadlines I need to pursue!  But thank you all SO MUCH for following along, regardless of when you’ve found these blog posts.

Please post pictures to the flickr group – or link to your blog in the comments – so I can OOO and AHHH over your beautiful projects!
All the best!

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Positive Space QAL – Finishing the Top!

Choo Choo!  All Aboard!  It’s Finishing the Quilt Top Time! (When I’m excited I capitalize words randomly, like a German!).

The pattern will give you the measurements needed for your border pieces.  But before we attach our border – we first must join our Columns!

Just a sampling of our lovely column pieces!

I know that these Columns are rather long, but don’t be intimidated.  You can easily join these together to create a fabulous quilt-top!

My preference is to join all of the Column B units to the side of each of the Column A units.  When you’re doing this, remember that the center of the little square in the Column B pieces should line up with the center of the big square in the Column As.   If you’re confident in your abilities – you won’t even have to pin these pieces together!  However, if your confidence is delusional – go ahead and pin.

If you’re NOT pinning, I find it easiest to have the bottom layer of the pieces I’m sewing together curled up in my lap (gravity is your enemy!), and the top layer slung over my shoulder.  Go slow.

Once you’ve joined your Column Bs to your As, it’s time to join these A-B units to the other A-B units.

When joining an A-B unit to another A-B unit, the goal is that the horizontal bar units will line-up. Keep an eye on things while you’re pinning or sewing that everything keeps lined-up.

Soon you’ll have a big slab of A-B-A-B-A-B etc!  All that will be left is sewing your last B piece to the remaining A side, and then book-ending the top with your Column Cs.

Wait – and then all that will REALLY be left is adding your border : )

It’s my preference to just start joining my border strips to the quilt-top, one side at a time.  I stop when I’m approaching the end of a strip – sew more border strip to the piece – then continue bordering my quilt.

I border the opposite sides of the quilt first, then press those seams and do the last two remaining sides (like a giant Court House Step block!).

Isn’t is beautiful?  Good work, you!

Please post pictures to the flickr group – or link to your blog in the comments – so I can OOO and AHHH over your beautiful projects!
All the best!

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Positive Space QAL – Column Cs

Okey doke – It’s Column C time.  This is no big deal – we only need two of these!

The pattern will give you the measurements needed for the strips you’ll have to sew together to make you rectangles, from which you’ll slice your 3.5″ x 8″ units.   It’s the same method you’ve used for Column B and the Horizontal Bar units from Column A – Make a big rectangle from sewing together some strips, and then slice that rectangle into your pieces!

Once you have your “Outside Bar Units” – you’ll sew a bunch of them together to make your two Column Cs.   You can so this super quickly by chain-sewing.  Let me show you:

Sewing together some Outside Bar Units.

After sewing the background fabric to the other piece’s plus fabric, slide the plus fabric end toward you right-side-up.

Put your next Outside Bar Unit on top of the previous piece. Right sides together! Background fabric end touching Plus fabric end.

You could use a pin, but you don’t have to! Just pinch the pieces in place and slide them under your presser foot. Whhrrrrr. You don’t have to ever stop sewing to clip threads!

When you’ve sewn all of your Column C Pieces together, you’ll have a funny little bunting to slide out from your machine!

Snip the threads all in one go, press, make sure you add your little end caps, and you’ll have a Column C unit in no time!  Make two of ’em and you’re set.

Please post pictures to the flickr group – or link to your blog in the comments – so I can OOO and AHHH over your beautiful projects!
All the best!

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Positive Space QAL – Making Column Bs

We’re trucking right along!  Making the Column As was a huge step.  The As gave us the horizontal bars for our plus-signs, but now we need the vertical bars! Column Bs come together MUCH faster using convenient strip piecing!

The pattern will give you the measurements needed for these strips, and tell you how many columns you’ll need to make depending on the size of your finished quilt.  I’m working on a Queen Sized blanket, so the pictures here reflect that assembly.

You’ll sew these strips together, alternating between plus fabric and background fabric.

Queen-Sized Instructions.

Then you slicey slice!

Vertical Bar Units! (Queen)

To a couple of these pieces you’ll add the end-cap pieces.  Then sewing together a couple of these skinny strips, you’ll get the Column B pieces!  Ta Da!  I like to press towards the plus fabric.

Please post pictures to the flickr group – or link to your blog in the comments – so I can OOO and AHHH over your beautiful projects!
All the best!

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Positive Space QAL – Making Columns As

The pattern will walk you through this process, but here are some pictures and tips to help you as you finish up your Column As.

Read on!

Continue reading

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Positive Space QAL – Court House Steps Blocks

The pattern shows detailed instructions on how to make these Court House Step blocks, but I’m going to show all you QAL-ers another way with strip-piecing!

Place a 2″ x Width Of (Background) Fabric strip on your sewing machine right-side up. Place one of your 5″ squares right-side down on the strip and sew them together. Once you’ve sewn the square down, simply keep sewing down the strip and place another square down. You should be able to fit 8 of your squares on each 2″ strip. Keep going until you’ve sewn down all of your 5″ squares.

Then you simply do the opposite side of the square using the same method. Always remember to keep your fabrics right-sides together! This can be especially tricky with solid fabrics. Make a choice for which side is the right side and stick to it!

Once you’ve sewn two sides of each square, slice them apart with your rotary cutter, keeping the ends flush with the square.

Press your squares.**

Then use the same method to sew the other two sides of the square unit!

Slice and press and you’ve got your Court House Steps!

Slicey Slice

**I like to press the short sides towards the square and the long sides away from the square.

Isn’t this great? It’s a very fast process using this strip piecing method. Chain-piecing and strip-piecing are your friends!

All the best!

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Positive Space QAL – Cutting fabrics

And we’re off!   If you’re ready, let’s get to cutting our fabrics.  The pattern gives cutting instructions based primarily on conserving yardage.  Following the instructions in the pattern will result in all of the cut pieces you’ll need for making the quilt.

If you’re willing to buy a bit extra of your background fabric, I’ll use this QAL to explain another option.  You can choose to trim your fabrics later and do more of a strip piecing technique for making the Court House Steps blocks similar to THIS TUTORIAL.

If you’d rather do this strip piecing technique for the Court House Blocks, you’ll need to get this amount of your background fabric (rather than the amount listed in the pattern):

  • THROW: 2 and 1/2 yards
  • TWIN: 4 yards
  • FULL: 5 and 1/4 yards
  • QUEEN: 5 and 3/4 yards
  • KING: 6 and 3/4 yards

To prepare for the strip piecing method – INSTEAD of cutting your B and C pieces as explained in the pattern, cut out the following 2″ x WIDTH OF FABRIC Strips:

  • THROW: 20 2″ strips
  • TWIN: 32 2″ strips
  • FULL: 42 2″ strips
  • QUEEN: 48 2″ strips
  • KING: 66 2″ strips

For the QUEEN SIZED PATTERN – I noticed one whoopy thing.  For the “I” pieces, cut one unit 8” x 3” with the 8” side on the fold.  Directly above that, cut another 8” x 6” piece, resulting in three 8” x 6” pieces total.

Okay so there ya go – happy cutting!  I’d love to see photos of fabric stacks, and any other progress you make.  I hope you find this Quilt Along helpful for sorting through any questions, or as a nice, welcoming place to berate me for any confusion resulting from the pattern.

All the best!

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