Tuesday Tutorials: How to Make Continuous Bias

Patterson Kathy 70px Tuesday Tutorials: How to Make Continuous BiasBias-cut fabric strips are super useful in quilt making. Curving vines in appliqué quilt patterns wouldn’t exist without them. And bias-cut quilt binding strips are a must for quilts with curved edges, like scallops, and a cute plus for certain binding fabrics like stripes. But most applications take a lot of bias-cut strips, and cutting on the bias can be tricky since the bias grain of fabric is very stretchy. So what’s a quilter to do?

There is a very cool method for making as long a bias-cut strip as you need, in 1 continuous strip. I’m not exaggerating when I say…it’s almost like magic! If you haven’t tried it yet, grab a square of fabric, fabric marker, rotary cutter, and a nice long ruler and watch our free how-to video by editor-in-chief emeritus Beth Hayes. You can also refer to the instructions below, but you definitely want to watch the video to get the hang of this technique.

Beth 350px Tuesday Tutorials: How to Make Continuous Bias

 Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1. Determine how many inches of bias-cut strip you need. If using for quilt binding, allow 10″ extra for turning corners and the closure. The equation is: [(height of quilt + width of quilt) x 2] + 10. Refer to chart to find the size fabric square needed.

Size Fabric Square to Cut
Length
Needed
1½˝-Wide
Bias Strip
2˝-Wide
Bias Strip
2½˝-Wide
Bias Strip
3˝-Wide
Bias Strip
110˝ 14˝ square 16˝ square 18˝ square 20˝ square
220˝ 19˝ square 23˝ square 26˝ square 28˝ square
340˝ 23˝ square 28˝ square 32˝ square 35˝ square
480˝ 28˝ square 33″ square 37˝ square 40˝ square

Step 2. Cut the square in half diagonally (Diagram I).

7469 fund diagrone Tuesday Tutorials: How to Make Continuous Bias

Step 3. With right sides together, sew the triangles together with a 1/4″ seam and press open (Diagram II).

On fabric wrong side long edges, draw lines to make strips of your chosen width. Use a clear acrylic rotary ruler and a pencil or fine-point permanent pen to draw the lines.

7470 fund diagrtwo Tuesday Tutorials: How to Make Continuous Bias

Step 4. Bring the short diagonal edges together, forming a tube (Diagram III). Offset the drawn lines by one strip. With right sides together, match lines with pins at the 1/4″ seamline and stitch seam; press open.

With scissors, cut along continuously drawn line.

7471 fund diagrthr Tuesday Tutorials: How to Make Continuous Bias

 

That’s all there is to it! Presto change-o, you have yards of continuous bias-cut strip.

Remember, you can watch any of our free MQU how-to-quilt video lessons any time day or night—click here to see the full selection.

And don’t miss any of our Tuesday Tutorials—access them all right here!

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I Love This Quilt! A Banner Day

Deb 100px I Love This Quilt! A Banner DayHi, I’m Deb McDonald, Administrative Editor for McCall’s Quilting. I am excited to share my thoughts and ideas on my choice, A Banner Day, for the I Love This Quilt! feature in the March/April 2015 issue of the magazine. Just look at this super wall quilt pattern!

I Love This Quilt 300px I Love This Quilt! A Banner Day

The A Banner Day pattern finishes 20″ x 35″

McCall’s Quilting has published so many amazing quilts over the years it was hard to choose just one. I narrowed my search to a smaller project that would be very versatile and that could easily be made in a day or a weekend.

While taking down Christmas decorations I thought about this feature. Our front door looked so bare without the Christmas quilt that I decided Ellie Brown’s A Banner Day, originally published in McCall’s Quilting July/August 2012, could be adapted to fit many holidays, seasons and special occasions.

Ellie’s design calls for thirteen 2” x 35” strips.

100 1077 300x224 I Love This Quilt! A Banner Day

Piecing the strips together

Instead of using yardage I pulled two fat quarters from my stash and cut them into 2” strips. Then I reduced the number of strips to eleven to keep the overall size of the banner in balance. I chain pieced light green and medium green strips together and trimmed the ends even. So quick!

100 1079 224x300 I Love This Quilt! A Banner Day

The finished background

 

 

 

 

 

Now it was audition time. You may have already guessed this banner will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. What would St. Patrick’s Day be without shamrocks, but how do I want to arrange them?

100 1083 224x300 I Love This Quilt! A Banner Day

Applique placed similar to the original quilt

Like this, roughly following Ellie’s original layout? Maybe, but let’s look at a few more options.

100 1084 224x300 I Love This Quilt! A Banner Day

How about this? Booo-ring! I don’t care for this at all.

100 1085 224x300 I Love This Quilt! A Banner Day

Not thrilled with this one either

100 1087 224x300 I Love This Quilt! A Banner Day

How about seven lucky shamrocks in a circle?

100 1088 224x300 I Love This Quilt! A Banner Day

Adding an extra big dose of luck in the center here. Nope, this is too much.

100 1091 224x300 I Love This Quilt! A Banner Day

Shamrocks scattered right to left?

100 1093 224x300 I Love This Quilt! A Banner Day

Going back to the original layout, but with a four-leaf clover thrown in for fun. Yes, this is a keeper.

I plan to make several more banners and will blog about them throughout the year. Here are some hints.

100 1095 224x300 I Love This Quilt! A Banner Day100 1105 300x224 I Love This Quilt! A Banner Day

 

 

 

 

What do you think is coming next? How could you adapt this pattern to fit into your home? Pull out some fabric and have fun!

Download the A Banner Day wall quilt pattern here.

You may also enjoy our Friday Free Quilt Patterns and Tuesday Tutorials.

 

 

 

 

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Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Twisted Craze Wall Quilt

Patterson Kathy 70px Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Twisted Craze Wall QuiltWall quilt patterns are favorites among our readers. Quilters enjoy a smaller project, one that can brighten a room without a huge time investment. This week’s Friday Free Quilt Pattern certainly fills that bill…here is Twisted Craze by McCall’s Quilting graphic designer Tracee Doran:

Twisted Craze WB 300px Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Twisted Craze Wall Quilt

The Twisted Craze wall quilt pattern finishes 44″ square.

It’s easy to imagine this wall quilt made in any 2 favorite fabrics, to customize it to your needs. And if you fall under its spell and want to make a bigger quilt, the pattern for the bed size version is in the March/April 2015 issue of McCall’s Quilting, just now headed to newsstands and subscriber mailboxes. Cover 500px 246x300 Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Twisted Craze Wall QuiltConstruction is made simple and fast for both quilts thanks to clever strip piecing. The graphic impact is seriously awesome and very on-trend! Labyrinth-style quilts are enjoying a wave of popularity right now.

Download the FREE Twisted Craze wall quilt pattern now…it’s a Friday FREEbie.

Have you missed any of our previous Friday Freebies? Click here to find them all!

And here are some more inspiring wall quilt patterns. Enjoy!

Chocolate Pinwheels 125px Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Twisted Craze Wall QuiltCeltic Circle FLAT 125px Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Twisted Craze Wall Quilt      Sarasota Sun 125px Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Twisted Craze Wall Quilt

 

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Customizing Baby Quilt Patterns

Patterson Kathy 70px Customizing Baby Quilt PatternsBaby quilts are so very special. In the McCall’s Quilting office, we sometimes refer to baby quilt patterns as the gateway drug…a baby quilt is often the very first quilt someone attempts, and it also often leads to many more, bigger, even better quilts! But whether your next baby quilt is your very first or your hundredth, there are lots of fun ways to customize baby quilt patterns and since it’s for baby, customizing is definitely worth the effort.

Now, I’m not recommending you make a Feathered Star to make your baby quilt a special one. Baby quilts should be simple enough that the parents won’t look at them and think “we are NEVER GETTING THIS DIRTY”. We want our quilts to be used, every day if possible, and loved to within an inch of their lives.

But there are some easy things you can do with basic baby quilt patterns to make them extra special. How about:

Selecting fabrics that represent something special to the new parents. When my animals composite Customizing Baby Quilt Patternsniece Alysia was expecting, I found fabrics featuring animals from around the world and incorporated them into my baby quilt design, since she and her husband are both intrepid travelers and animal lovers. It made the quilt really personal with no extra fuss at all.

 

 

Warm Fuzzies 300px Customizing Baby Quilt Patterns

Using extra-cuddly fabrics. Flannel and plush fleece are both good options, and with just a bit of special handling they can add loads of comfort to a simple pieced baby quilt pattern.

 

 

 

 

 

Adding a label with baby’s date and time of birth and height/weight statistics. A quilt label only takes a few minutes to put together, and gift quilts should definitely have labels anyway, so why not personalize?

Making the entire quilt a custom piece! I’m working on a quilt like this right now, adding a giant appliquéd initial to a simple pieced background. E1 289x300 Customizing Baby Quilt Patterns

No matter how you decide to customize your next baby quilt, I hope it brings joy to you, the new parents, and that adorable baby as well.

Here are more inspiring baby quilt ideas!

ebook Customizing Baby Quilt Patternsbig block Customizing Baby Quilt Patterns      modern  Customizing Baby Quilt Patterns

 

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Tuesday Tutorial: Lining Light Applique Shapes to Avoid Show-Through

Patterson Kathy 70px Tuesday Tutorial: Lining Light Applique Shapes to Avoid Show ThroughWhen fusing light-value appliqué shapes to darker shapes beneath, sometimes the darker fabric will show through, detracting from the appearance of the appliqué.

Cover 200px 1026 Tuesday Tutorial: Lining Light Applique Shapes to Avoid Show ThroughIn the Cake & Ice Cream quilted banner pattern published in the June/July 2012 issue of McCall’s Quick Quilts (and featured on the cover…what a yummy cupcake!), I made samples for some extra photographs to show how to prevent this. Let’s see how it’s done:

A Cropped Tuesday Tutorial: Lining Light Applique Shapes to Avoid Show Through
Trace template shape needed of the light-colored appliqué fabric onto paper side of paper-backed fusible web. Cut out, leaving small margin beyond drawn lines. Cut a piece of white solid lining fabric slightly larger than the traced fusible web piece. Cut 2nd piece of fusible web slightly larger than the white solid piece. Cut a piece of the light-value appliqué fabric slightly larger than the 2nd fusible web piece.

 

B Tuesday Tutorial: Lining Light Applique Shapes to Avoid Show Through

 

Fuse the larger, untraced piece of fusible web to wrong side of light-value appliqué fabric. Remove paper backing.

 

 

 

C Tuesday Tutorial: Lining Light Applique Shapes to Avoid Show Through

 

Fuse white solid fabric piece to wrong side of light-value fabric, protecting iron with parchment paper or Teflon® pressing sheet.

 

 

D Tuesday Tutorial: Lining Light Applique Shapes to Avoid Show Through

 

 

 

Fuse smaller, traced piece of fusible web to wrong side of white solid fabric (again, protecting iron).

 

 

 

 

E Tuesday Tutorial: Lining Light Applique Shapes to Avoid Show Through

Cut out shape on marked lines. Remove paper backing.

 

 

 

 

 

F Tuesday Tutorial: Lining Light Applique Shapes to Avoid Show Through

 

Your lined appliqué shape is ready to fuse to the quilt! In this case, no chocolate cupcake shadows through the light-value striped cupcake base.

 

 

 

Simple, but it’s a technique anyone working with fusible appliqué should have in their bag of tricks. Give it a try!

And if you’re interested in the cupcake wall hanging pattern by Diane Nagle, you can get an instant digital download of the June/July 2012 issue of McCall’s Quick Quilts here. Happy Tuesday Tutorial!

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Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Splendor in the Scraps

Patterson Kathy 70px Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Splendor in the ScrapsScrap quilts are the best quilts, in my humble opinion. Although quilts made with manufacturer fabric collections can be beautiful, nothing tells a story like a scrap quilt, and each one is totally unique. So I’m always on the look-out for great scrap quilt patterns.

Cover 165px Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Splendor in the ScrapsThe Winter 2014/15 issue of America Loves Scrap Quilts is packed with 18 exclusive scrap quilt patterns, of all skill levels. From traditional to trendy, this issue has scrap quilt patterns no quilter should be without. And we’re thrilled to share 1 of them with you as a Friday Freebie! Here’s Splendor in the Scraps, by Marcie Patch:

 

Splendor in the Scraps FLAT 600px Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Splendor in the Scraps

Splendor in the Scraps finishes 76 1/2″ x 84 1/2″, a nice size for a twin or full bed.

I love the way the value placement (darks vs. lights) of the scrap fabrics creates stars that seem to twinkle and lead the eye across the quilt. There are 2 simple block types in the quilt, neither of which are stars. Those pop out as a secondary pattern when the quilt top is assembled…super fun!

Download the FREE Splendor in the Scraps scrap quilt pattern now…it’s a Friday FREEbie.

Have you missed any of our previous Friday Freebies? Click here to find them all!

And here’s more inspiration for scrap quilt lovers, all currently ON SALE!

ALSQ 11.12 Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Splendor in the ScrapsALSQ 12.13 Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Splendor in the Scraps      ALSQ 13.14 Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Splendor in the Scraps

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Tuesday Tutorial: Layering and Basting a Quilt

Patterson Kathy 70px Tuesday Tutorial: Layering and Basting a QuiltOne of the most popular of the McCall’s Quilting University (MQU) quilting video series is our Quilting 101 group. These are quilting videos demonstrating basic quilt making techniques for beginners who want to learn how to make a quilt, or for anyone wanting to refresh a skill.

title screen 400px 300x171 Tuesday Tutorial: Layering and Basting a QuiltIn our newest Quilting 101 quilting video, McCall’s Quilting editors Sherri Bain Driver and Valerie Uland demonstrate the simple but essential process of layering and basting a quilt top in preparation for machine quilting.

These tips make this step of the quilt making adventure easy and fun. This video is super-short but covers all the basics of preparing for machine quilting…watch and learn!Layering 400px Tuesday Tutorial: Layering and Basting a Quilt
Remember, you can watch any of our free MQU how-to-quilt video lessons any time day or night—click here to see the full selection.

Don’t miss any of our Tuesday Tutorials—access them all right here!

You might also enjoy:

DPMQV1407B Tuesday Tutorial: Layering and Basting a QuiltDPMQB1402 Tuesday Tutorial: Layering and Basting a Quilt    DPMQB1401 Tuesday Tutorial: Layering and Basting a Quilt

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Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Warm Breeze Queen Size Quilt

Patterson Kathy 70px Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Warm Breeze Queen Size QuiltBeautiful warm colors and an easy, fast quilt pattern…that’s what my winter-weary heart is longing for this week. My part of the world is in the deep freeze, and queen size quilt patterns are on my mind. Wouldn’t it be lovely to treat ourselves to a bright, colorful bed quilt about now? That’s why this week’s Friday Freebie is the queen size quilt pattern for Warm Breeze:

Warm Breeze 300px Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Warm Breeze Queen Size Quilt

The queen size version of the Warm Breeze quilt pattern finishes 91″ x 102 1/2″.

The lap size original, featured in the February/March 2015 issue of McCall’s Quick Quilts, was designed by Sarah Maxwell and Dolores Smith of Homestead Hearth, and we liked it so well we also resized the pattern to fit a queen bed. Even if you’re not ready to start a new quilt just now, you’ll want to download this pattern for your personal library so it’s handy whenever you’re in the mood to stitch!

Download the FREE Warm Breeze queen size quilt pattern now…it’s a Friday FREEbie.

Have you missed any of our previous Friday Freebies? Click here to find them all!

And here are more colorful quilt patterns to brighten your days and nights!

DPMQP150207 Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Warm Breeze Queen Size QuiltDPMQP150203 Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Warm Breeze Queen Size Quilt      DPQQP150106 Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Warm Breeze Queen Size Quilt

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Tuesday Tutorial: Modern Quilt As You Go Technique

Patterson Kathy 70px Tuesday Tutorial: Modern Quilt As You Go TechniqueTips, techniques, tutorials, tools, trends…Tuesday seems a good day to focus on the basics of how to quilt, if only for alliterative reasons! This week’s featured Tuesday Tutorial is Jera Brandvig‘s modern spin on the quilt-as-you-go technique. Jera’s throw pillow project Berries & Cream is featured in the February/March 2015 issue of McCall’s Quick Quilts, now on newsstands, and it’s a super fast and fun way to play with fabric. Let’s take a look!

Berries Cream SILO 600px Tuesday Tutorial: Modern Quilt As You Go Technique

The Berries & Cream pillow is 14″ square.

As you can see in the photo, not only are the strips quilted as you go on the seam lines (old-school style), there is also quilting on the strips themselves to add more texture and interest, and that extra quilting is also done as you go. Note that the piecing is rather free-form, using varying widths of strips cut to size as you put the pillow top together.

how to 400px Tuesday Tutorial: Modern Quilt As You Go TechniqueThe magazine pillow pattern includes all the step-by-step photos you’ll need for Jera’s technique. It’s also covered in her new book, Quilt As-You-Go Made Modern (C&T Publishing/Stash Books, 2014).

 

CONTEST HAS ENDED…THANKS TO ALL WHO ENTERED. Winners are Charlotte Villiers of Mexico, Missouri; Sandy Feldman of Tampa, Florida, and Vivian Farrar of Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. Congratulations! -Kathy-

So, let’s do a giveaway! Leave a comment below about Book 250px Tuesday Tutorial: Modern Quilt As You Go Techniqueyour experience with the quilt-as-you-go technique (even if it’s just “I never tried it!”), and you’ll be entered in a random drawing for 1 of 3 copies of Jera’s book. Contest ends at midnight January 11, 2015, and is open to all US and Canadian residents (excluding Quebec).

And grab your copy of the February/March issue of McCall’s Quick Quilts to try this technique and the pillow pattern. Not a subscriber? You can order an instant digital or print copy online now! Enjoy.

 

 

 

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Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Sweater Weather Bed Runner

Patterson Kathy 70px Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Sweater Weather Bed RunnerWhen your toes are so cold you just can’t get to sleep, a quilted bed runner draped over your feet may be the remedy you need. Bed runners are also a wonderful way to switch out the décor in any bedroom without the time investment of making a new complete quilt. In honor of toasty toes, this week’s Friday FREEbie is Sweater Weather, a quilted bed runner pattern based on a quilt designed by Bea Lee!

Sweater Weather WB bed runner 300px Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Sweater Weather Bed Runner

The Sweater Weather bed runner finishes 26 1/2″ x 62 1/2″.

Isn’t the design fun? Bea was inspired to create her design by a favorite ski sweater, and you can definitely see the Nordic influence in the bed runner as well. The pattern uses strip piecing to speed construction, and has a Beginner difficulty rating. Wouldn’t this look great at the foot of a twin or full size bed in your home?

Download the FREE Sweater Weather quilted bed runner pattern now…it’s a Friday FREEbie.

Have you missed any of our previous Friday Freebies? Click here to find them all!

We’ve got more fun Bea Lee projects available, too!

DPMQP150205 Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Sweater Weather Bed RunnerQQK14112 Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Sweater Weather Bed Runner  DPODW072914 Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Sweater Weather Bed Runner

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