Tuesday Tutorials: Making Fast Accurate Quarter-Square Triangle Units

Patterson Kathy 70px Tuesday Tutorials: Making Fast Accurate Quarter Square Triangle UnitsMany patchwork quilt patterns include triangles as part of their designs. Two basic types of triangles are half-square triangles (essentially what you’d get if you cut a square of fabric in half diagonally to make 2 triangles) and quarter-square triangles (what you’d get if you cut a square of fabric in half diagonally twice). But actually creating your patchwork units by cutting and sewing fabric on the diagonal grain can be a tricky business. The diagonal, or bias, grain of fabric is stretchy, and making units this way generally requires pinning, slow careful sewing, and the occasional prayer (or swear word).

Final Units 267px Tuesday Tutorials: Making Fast Accurate Quarter Square Triangle Units

No worries! There are several ways of making triangle units without cutting or sewing any loose bias edges. Today’s Tuesday Tutorial is a short free video I taped awhile back demonstrating my favorite way to make quarter-square triangle units like those at left.

This is a technique video, not a pattern, so there are no measurements given. But all you need to know is to start with 2 fabric squares cut to the finished size unit you want PLUS 1 1/4″. For example, if you want a 3″ finished quarter-square unit (also called an Hourglass Block), start with 2 fabric squares each cut to 3″ + 1 1/4″ or 4 1/4″

Pressing Tuesday Tutorials: Making Fast Accurate Quarter Square Triangle UnitsNow, on to the technique. Watch the free video now and get all my tips for making and pressing perfect hourglass units every time!

 

 

 

 

Remember you can access any of our free how-to-quilt lessons any time day or night—click here to see the full selectionAnd don’t miss any of our Tuesday Tutorials—see them all right here!

Want to know more about quilt making with triangles? Visit our online shop for Thangles and other triangle foundation papers, specialty rulers and templates, how-to web seminars, quilt patterns, and all kinds of other helpful triangle-related products!

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Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Polka Tot Twin Size Quilt

Patterson Kathy 70px Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Polka Tot Twin Size QuiltQuilters love baby quilt patterns! So it’s no surprise that Abigail Dolinger’s Polka Tot baby quilt in the new August/September 2015 issue of McCall’s Quick Quilts is proving to be a quilter favorite already. With its simple blocks, adorable polka dot fabrics, and fun border treatment it’s a real winner. You can read Aby’s guest blog about making this quilt, and enter for a chance to win free fabric, right here.

Polka Tot 600px 300x300 Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Polka Tot Twin Size QuiltBut  what could be even bigger and better than a baby quilt full of polka dots? How about a twin size version of the same design? This week’s Friday Freebie is the twin size Polka Tot quilt pattern!

 

 

 

 

 

Polka Tot WB 500px Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Polka Tot Twin Size Quilt

Download the FREE Polka Tot twin size quilt pattern now…it’s a Friday FREEbie.

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

Want to make the Polka Tot baby quilt?
If you’d like to make the baby quilt size of the Polka Tot design and don’t already have a copy of our August/September issue, you can order print and digital magazines in our online shop. The Polka Tot baby quilt pattern is also available separately as an instant digital download.

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Polka Tot: A Visit with Abigail Dolinger

Welcome guest blogger, quilt designer, and teacher Abigail Dolinger of AbyQuilts! Read on and don’t miss the fabric giveaway contest at the bottom of the article.

Aby Dolinger 250px Polka Tot: A Visit with Abigail DolingerHello fellow quilting enthusiasts. I am so excited to be McCall’s guest blogger today, sharing about my inspiration for “Polka Tot” featured in the August/September 2015 issue of McCall’s Quick Quilts.

Polka Tot 600px 150x150 Polka Tot: A Visit with Abigail DolingerWhat inspires you to begin a quilt? Colors, fabric, architectural motifs, elements in nature? All these sights inspire me, and another inspirational resource is my local quilt shop. When I open the quilt shop door, I’m like a kid in a candy store. All the delicious colors and bolts of fabric swirl around me as I gaze at quilt samples on display. Hunting inspiration in a tastefully decorated quilt shop never disappoints. On a trip to New York with several quilting friends last fall, I spied a “Bowtie” quilt in bright colors hanging high on a quilt shop’s wall. It called out, “Make me!” Oddly enough, I didn’t purchase fabric for the quilt that day. Instead, I purchased a Layer Cake and border fabric for another quilt I had in mind. But that quilt of perky bowties stayed in my memory.

After returning home from my trip, I saw a fat quarter pack of polka dot prints at a local shop. They reminded me of that “Bowtie” quilt I wanted to make. After purchasing the small pack, I rummaged in my stash and found several more prints with dots of various sizes. block arrangement 400px Polka Tot: A Visit with Abigail DolingerAfter making 5 or 6 “Bowtie” blocks of each print, I decided to place them in diagonal rows by color. And then I experimented with alternating red and orange in a row and blue and green in another row. I liked the result; the shading variation adds interest to the quilt. Two yellow fabrics alternate in the yellow rows.

 

 

 

border layout 400 Polka Tot: A Visit with Abigail DolingerAfter arranging the blocks on my design wall, I felt that adding black would help the colors pop. I wanted a “fun” black rather than a stark black, and a trip to my local quilt shop yielded the perfect black polka dot fabric. Incidentally, the advantage of this style of inner border is that the blocks in the outer border can be the same size as the blocks in the interior of the quilt, no matter the width of the inner border.

 

 

Polka Tot FLAT 600px 300x300 Polka Tot: A Visit with Abigail Dolinger

Polka Tot finishes 38 1/2″ square

“Polka Tot” looks vastly different than the “Bowtie” quilt I saw in the quilt shop in New York. I often find inspiration in a quilt shop; sometimes I purchase the pattern or book along with fabric and make the quilt exactly like the sample. Other times, the sample that calls out to me serves as a springboard for design. I’ll change, tweak, subtract or add to make a new quilt design that is my own.

This quick and easy “Bowtie” quilt would look fantastic in various color ways. How about Red and Blue “Bowties” on a tan background? Civil War reproduction fabrics with shirtings for backgrounds would be equally pleasing. I enlarged the block to 8” and used homespun plaids to make a manly version of “Polka Tot.” See photos and read all about it on my blog. I’m also giving away copies of the magazine and a little extra fabric!

Aby

Thanks, Aby! And don’t forget we’re offering a FREE web bonus pattern for a twin size version of this design. Download your free pattern now!

fabric 300px Polka Tot: A Visit with Abigail DolingerThanks to the folks at Timeless Treasures, we are also giving away 2 prize packages of 7 bright fat quarters each to get a couple of readers started on their own Polka Tot quilts! Leave a comment below before midnight July 23, 2015 and you’ll be entered into our random drawing. Two names will be drawn on July 24 and notified by email.

This contest is open to US and Canadian residents, excluding Quebec.

We have our winners! Congratulations to Kristine Ream of Columbus, Ohio and Mhairi Murray of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Your fabric is on the way!

If you’d like to make Polka Tot and don’t already have a copy of our August/September issue, you can order print and digital magazines in our online shop. The Polka Tot baby quilt pattern is also available separately as an instant digital download.

 

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Win Big With The “Fabric For Life” Sweepstakes!

Patterson Kathy 70px Win Big With The Fabric For Life Sweepstakes!What will you do with your share of over $15,000 in fabric and other amazing prizes? The 2015 Keepsake Quilting “Fabric for Life” contest is now under way, and you can enter every day through December 31 to improve your chances of taking home some of this wonderful quilter’s booty!

FFL 550px Win Big With The Fabric For Life Sweepstakes!I, however, cannot. McCall’s Quilting and Keepsake share a parent company, so I’m not eligible to enter. But that doesn’t mean I can’t dream! The Grand Prize is 52 yards of free fabric every year for 20 years. The mind boggles…I’d be almost 80 by the time that free fabric stopped rolling in every year! I’ve done a little window shopping, and here are some things that would definitely be on my list for the first year of free fabric:

2408A 4 Win Big With The Fabric For Life Sweepstakes! I LOVE these bright sewing-themed fabrics from Moda. I think the tape measure print would make a super border fabric, and the color range means I could use lots of different colors in the piecing or appliqué. I also like the snaps print (turquoise, below) and the thread spools print, so I’d throw some of those into the mix, too. After all…this is FREE fabric we’re talking about!

 

2408C 4 Win Big With The Fabric For Life Sweepstakes! 2408B 4 Win Big With The Fabric For Life Sweepstakes!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1000196A Win Big With The Fabric For Life Sweepstakes! 1000196B Win Big With The Fabric For Life Sweepstakes! 1000196D Win Big With The Fabric For Life Sweepstakes! 1000196E Win Big With The Fabric For Life Sweepstakes! 1000196Y Win Big With The Fabric For Life Sweepstakes!How about this group of Henry Glass fabrics for a fall-themed quilt? This would make a fabulous project for the raffle at my next family reunion. I love the little corn print, and the sunflowers are just so cheerful. The wicker basket print would be perfect for appliquéd or pieced baskets. I’m pretty sure I could make one of the best raffle quilts ever! And all the fabric would be free…

 

 

 

This is just a tiny taste of the shopping fun you’ll have if you win the Grand Prize. But even if you don’t, there are many other super prizes in this contest. A Lyric machine from Baby Lock, an AccuQuilt starter pack, and 5 fabric collection bundles…there are many ways to win. Start entering today and best of luck to all the quilters out there!

Official rules are available here.

The 2015 Keepsake Quilting Fabric for Life contest is sponsored by the following companies, and we thank them all!

Babylock Stacked BWTag Beveled 1  pdf Win Big With The Fabric For Life Sweepstakes!

 

 

 

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Moda Win Big With The Fabric For Life Sweepstakes!clothworks 1  Win Big With The Fabric For Life Sweepstakes!

 

 

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Tuesday Tutorials: Pressing Patchwork Flat

Patterson Kathy 70px Tuesday Tutorials: Pressing Patchwork FlatPart of learning to make quilts is learning to press patchwork seam allowances in a way that creates the most attractive results. Patchwork that lies as flat as possible and has no dark fabrics showing through light patches is much prettier than work with seam allowance lumps or lots of fabric shadowing. Proper pressing can also help seams line up correctly, keeping star points sharp and intersections straight.

planning pressing Tuesday Tutorials: Pressing Patchwork FlatAlthough it sounds simple, pressing is actually a pretty advanced quilt making skill, and something that even experienced quilters make a conscious effort to get right. It’s best to develop a new pressing plan for every project, following certain tried and true rules of thumb, and breaking the rules where needed.

avoid doubling seam allowances Tuesday Tutorials: Pressing Patchwork FlatSince pressing is something you really need to SEE to understand, our free online library includes a video by Laura Stone Roberts that demonstrates lots of tips for patchwork pressing, including how to plan and press opposing seams. This week’s Tuesday Tutorial is this very helpful video. Watch now, and then give Laura’s tips a try!

Remember you can access any of our free how-to-quilt lessons any time day or night—click here to see the full selectionAnd don’t miss any of our Tuesday Tutorials—see them all right here!

And check out these tools and notions to help take your pressing to the next level!

awl Tuesday Tutorials: Pressing Patchwork Flat ironing pad Tuesday Tutorials: Pressing Patchwork Flat glass head pins Tuesday Tutorials: Pressing Patchwork Flat Little wooden iron Tuesday Tutorials: Pressing Patchwork Flat pressing sheet Tuesday Tutorials: Pressing Patchwork Flat

 

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Friday Free Quilt Patterns: 54-40 Or Fight Lap Quilt

Patterson Kathy 70px Friday Free Quilt Patterns: 54 40 Or Fight Lap QuiltThis week’s Friday Freebie is appropriately patriotic, and comes with a bonus (very short) history lesson. The story goes that in 1844, a relative unknown named James Polk ran in the Presidential election against Henry Clay, a powerful man with an illustrious career. Yet Polk won the election, thanks in large part to a blood-stirring campaign slogan…54-40 or fight!

images Friday Free Quilt Patterns: 54 40 Or Fight Lap Quilt

If 54-40 had prevailed, the US would own part of Canada!

54-40 was the latitude line marking the northern reach of the proposed Oregon territory, a line that was in dispute with the British government at the time. Polk won the election on his platform of holding out for the US to claim all of Oregon, but once elected he compromised with the British and the dividing line between the western US and Canada became the 49th parallel, where it is today. I should note that this story is in some dispute; the slogan may have appeared in popular use after the election when the time to decide on a boundary neared. History is hard to nail down!

images 1 Friday Free Quilt Patterns: 54 40 Or Fight Lap QuiltThis quilt block design was already known and in use before the 1840s. Patterns had already been published in women’s magazines, and during this era one of them decided to name a quilt with this block after the popular slogan and a piece of quilting history was born. Many 54-40 or Fight quilts have been made in the over 150 years since.

So on to the free quilt pattern! Our version of 54-40 or Fight is a lap quilt pattern with eight 12″ blocks set on point to give a firecracker effect. There is a bit of template piecing, but the quilt goes together quickly and would make a gorgeous gift for a veteran or member of the Armed Services.

54 40 or Fight 550px Friday Free Quilt Patterns: 54 40 Or Fight Lap Quilt

Download the FREE 54-40 or Fight lap quilt pattern now…it’s a Friday FREEbie. And happy 4th of July weekend!

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

Need more red, white, and blue (or any other color) for your fabric stash? Keepsake Quilting is having a Firecracker of a Sale through July 5. Click the image to shop!

KQ FireCracker 1200x518 1024x442 Friday Free Quilt Patterns: 54 40 Or Fight Lap Quilt

 

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I’ve Got a Notion: A Visit with Kate Colleran

Colleran Kate 200 Ive Got a Notion: A Visit with Kate ColleranWelcome back guest blogger, quilt designer, and author Kate Colleran of Seams Like a Dream Quilt Designs! Read on and don’t miss the fabric giveaway contest at the bottom of the article.

Hi everyone! I am Kate Colleran and I am so happy to be visiting with you all again!

Today I want to tell you about my quilt in the August/September 2015 issue McCall’s Quick Quilts, called I’ve Got a Notion. But let me back up a minute; are you ever asked if you are a modern or a traditional quilter? I have such a hard time with that question.

Ive Got A Notion FLAT 500px Ive Got a Notion: A Visit with Kate ColleranI love traditional quilts. I tend towards brighter colors in my personal quilts, but I love a good reproduction- ooh, especially that double pink! I have a quilt in 30’s fabrics on my bed. One of my favorite blocks is a log cabin. Or is it the sawtooth star? Hmmm, so hard to choose just one favorite! I also love modern quilts; I love the designs, especially the ones with open space and the opportunity to break a rule or two.

These days we do hear a lot about quilters putting a modern spin on a traditional design. I tend to describe my personal style as Traditional with a Twist. I like small patches and bright, fun modern prints.

When I was designing I’ve Got a Notion, it was not with any particular fabric line in mind. I just wanted to try a quilt with a more modern feel using some bigger blocks. I had a few ideas about fabric but nothing seemed to gel until I played with the Home Seweet Home line by Dan Morris for RJR. What fun! This line with its domestic-theme prints seemed like the perfect fit to my design.

A traditional twist on modern, as opposed to a modern twist on traditional!

fabric 525px Ive Got a Notion: A Visit with Kate ColleranHave you looked closely at some of the fabrics? I love the cats! And the sewing machine! And cupcakes! Makes me want to snuggle in my sewing room with a quilt, my cat and a cupcake. Yum! Looks like Lily is ready!

Lily on quilt 400px Ive Got a Notion: A Visit with Kate Colleran

And this quilt, while a good size for snuggling at 66” x 78”, is super easy and quick to put together. The bigger blocks really let you see all the fun elements in the different prints.

 

 

 

If you like I’ve Got a Notion, McCall’s has put together some kits so you can make your own sweet, modern with a traditional twist quilt! As an added bonus, RJR has donated some fun fabric stacks for you to play with as well, so be sure to enter below for a chance to win some groovy fabrics!

Happy quilting!
Kate

prizes 350 Ive Got a Notion: A Visit with Kate ColleranThanks, Kate! And thanks to the folks at RJR Fabrics, we are giving away 2 prize packages of the entire Home Seweet Home fabric collection, 19 fat quarters each!  Leave a comment below before midnight July 31, 2015 and you’ll be entered into our random drawing. Two names will be drawn on August 1 and notified by email.

This contest is open to US and Canadian residents, excluding Quebec.

We have our winners! Congratulations to Marie Atkinson of Augusta, Georgia and Kathleen Kingsbury of West Seneca, New York.

If you’d like to make I’ve Got a Notion, there are still some quilt kits available as well as cute backing fabric. If you don’t already have a copy of our August/September issue, you can order print and digital magazines in our online shop. The I’ve Got a Notion quilt pattern is also available separately as an instant digital download.

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Tuesday Tutorials: Machine Quilting A Breeze

Patterson Kathy 70px Tuesday Tutorials: Machine Quilting A BreezeWith temperatures rising and flags flying high for the 4th of July, breeze is having a moment. Have you ever machine quilted a breeze? Erin Russek taped a short video awhile back demonstrating how to do just that, and I’d like to share it with you as this week’s Tuesday Tutorial.

Breeze Tuesday Tutorials: Machine Quilting A Breeze

Wavy lines and swirls combine to give this quilting design the feeling of a windy day.

This is an easy (even breezy!) quilting design to execute on a home sewing machine, and it’s perfect for any quilt with flag blocks, balloons, butterflies, birds, or anything that would naturally be in a breezy sky. Watch the video, and then give it a try!

Remember you can access any of our free how-to-quilt lessons any time day or night—click here to see the full selectionAnd don’t miss any of our Tuesday Tutorials—see them all right here!

Love the Flag Block in the video? The pattern for it is in this magazine, available in our online shop:

QQ10614 Tuesday Tutorials: Machine Quilting A Breeze

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Book Review: The Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt

Patterson Kathy 70px Book Review: The Farmers Wife 1930s Sampler QuiltHere’s a cure for the common quilt…a sampler quilt book with 99 unusual quilt block patterns and so much more. Forgive me for gushing, but this book is truly blowing me away! The Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt: Inspiring Letters from Farm Women of the Great Depression and 99 Quilt Blocks That Honor Them by Laurie Aaron Hird (Fons & Porter/F+W, 2015; $28.99) is flying off bookstore shelves and I totally understand why. The combination of great quilt blocks, clear quilt setting instructions, and unbelievably moving letters written by farm women during the Great Depression makes this a must-have book for any quilter’s library.

Cover 500px1 Book Review: The Farmers Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt

A word of warning: this is not a fast, easy collection of quilt blocks, nor would a quilt made with these blocks be a fast, easy project. Most of the blocks are pieced from template-cut patches, old-school style.Aimee 300px Book Review: The Farmers Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt And that’s part of the beauty of this book. Not only do we get a glimpse of the daily lives of quilters in the 1930s, we have an opportunity to join them in the kind of patchwork they may well have worked on, using feed sack fabrics or any other cloth that came to hand. This book gives a fully immersive experience, and I can’t wait to dig into my 1930s repro stash and lose myself in the process.Mrs. Anderson 300px Book Review: The Farmers Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt

Best news of all…the book and its accompanying pattern disc are on sale in our online shop, for even less than you’d pay on Amazon! Visit QuiltAndSewShop.com to check out this super thrifty deal. You can bet those farm ladies would approve!

The Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt gets two big thumbs up from me. Now I’m off to sort through my 30s repros!

 

 

 

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4026 3 Book Review: The Farmers Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt8629 2 Book Review: The Farmers Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt4130 3 Book Review: The Farmers Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt5951 Book Review: The Farmers Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt

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Hot Off The Press: McCall’s Quick Quilts August/September 2015!

Are you ready to make a fresh, fun, fast, and fabulous quilt? The August/September 2015 issue of McCall’s Quick Quilts has 13 easy, original quilt patterns to inspire your next project. And it’s arriving in subscriber mailboxes and on newsstands now, so let’s take a look!

Cover 500px Hot Off The Press: McCalls Quick Quilts August/September 2015!The quilt sizes in this colorful magazine range from baby to king bed with every size in between, so there’s something here for everyone. And since we know our readers love to shop for fabric online, we’ve got kits available for several of these stunning projects.

Polka Tot 300px Hot Off The Press: McCalls Quick Quilts August/September 2015!Baby quilt patterns are always favorites, and Polka Tot by Abigail Dolinger is sure to inspire  lots of cherished cuddlies. We’re working on a free twin size quilt pattern for this design, too, so you can make a coordinated nursery ensemble with a crib quilt and quilt for a daybed or twin bed to match.

Ive Got A Notion 300px Hot Off The Press: McCalls Quick Quilts August/September 2015!I’ve Got A Notion by Kate Colleran is all about the adorable sewing-themed prints from the Home Seweet Home collection designed by Dan Morris for RJR Fabrics. If you fall in love with this quilt, you’ll want the exact fabrics, so kits and backing fabric are available!

Lots of Boxes 300px Hot Off The Press: McCalls Quick Quilts August/September 2015!Sandra Clemons’ new design, Lots of Boxes, is fun to piece and a wonderful way to showcase lots of bright, modern fabrics. We have kits and backing fabric available for this one, too!

You can preview all the quilts in this issue on our website, or in a short issue-highlights video we hope you enjoy. Don’t forget to download all of this issue’s FREE web bonus quilt patterns for your personal pattern library. And browse ALL the lovely kits available for projects in this issue right here!

This issue is available on newsstands no later than June 30, and may also be purchased online in print or instant digital download format at our Quilt and Sew Shop.

Take our short survey to let us know what you think of the projects in this issue and you may win an exclusive McCall’s Quilting travel tote!

Subscription Information
Digital subscribers can access this issue now.
Print subscription issues are arriving at doorsteps now.
Not a print or digital subscriber yet? Click here for information!

Here are links to some of the great products featured in this issue:
MQB11101 Hot Off The Press: McCalls Quick Quilts August/September 2015!
MQPPMS1 Hot Off The Press: McCalls Quick Quilts August/September 2015!MQN4831 Hot Off The Press: McCalls Quick Quilts August/September 2015!MQK15QA10 Hot Off The Press: McCalls Quick Quilts August/September 2015!

 

fabric Hot Off The Press: McCalls Quick Quilts August/September 2015!     MQKSS15 Hot Off The Press: McCalls Quick Quilts August/September 2015!

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