Twinkling Stars Quilt Tutorial

Twinkling Stars Quilt Tutorial

Twinkle, twinkle, beautiful quilt… I can’t believe how quickly you were built!

Ask a scientist, and she’ll tell you exactly what the stars are: burning-hot gases like hydrogen and helium. (Not quite as romantic as diamonds in the sky.)

But if you ask Jenny, she’ll show you how to make your own twinkling stars out of the simplest quilting ingredients: half-square triangles and 4-patches.

Isn’t it darling? Which fabrics will you use to create this adorable star?

Click on the button to pick out your supplies and watch the video!
Watch the Latest Tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Co!

Amy Smart’s Patchwork Forest Using 10″ Squares and Fat Quarters

Amy Smart’s Patchwork Forest Using 10″ Squares and Fat Quarters

CLICK HERE to watch the Facebook Live video that teaches this project!

A few years ago, our friend Amy Smart (Diary of a Quilter) came out with a free Patchwork Forest Wall Hanging Tutorial that people are still talking about and making in every which way they can imagine! We love it, especially the free improv method she uses for creating the tree shapes! Every tree is slightly different and that’s what makes it so fun to make and such a cute finished project! So, we’ve collaborated with Amy and are excited to be able to share these new cutting instructions so that you can make the same great Patchwork Forest blocks using precuts! We’re focusing specifically on 10″ squares and fat quarters and hope this makes you even more excited to try out this fun, improv pattern!

First, let’s start with the 10″ squares.

Supplies Needed:

  • 1 Pack Holiday Themed 10″ squares (42 squares)
  • 1/4 yard Brown/Gray fabric for tree stumps
  • Backing Fabric
  • Binding Fabric

If you think about the ultimate shape of your blocks, they are not square, but are taller than they are wide. so, if you start with 10″ squares, you will cut off a 2.5″ strip to save for border, binding, or another project. Once you’ve done that, you will cut another 2.5″ off the bottom and then divide those into 2 parts, which makes your fabric look like this.

Patchwork Forest with 10" Squares

These cutting instructions feature The Cat in the Hat Christmas Ten Squares by Dr. Seuss for Robert Kaufman. Isn’t it adorable?

At this point you will want to divide your fabrics into complementary pairs.

When you start to cut your trees, you will stack your 2 fabrics together first, then cut out your tree shape.

Patchwork Forest with 10" Squares

When you create your tree shapes, make sure to leave enough room for seams on the sides and at the top. Once you’ve cut your desired tree shape, swap the center fabrics so it looks something like this (Each pair should be cut slightly differently to achieve the improv effect).

Patchwork Forest with 10" Squares

To make the tree stump (1.25″ x 2.5″), you will want to sew it to the (2) 2.5″ x 3.75″ rectangles as shown. Here are some great fabric options for your tree stumps:

In Amy’s original tutorial, she shows that you should sew your tree to the short side of the background fabric first, then to the long side. Make sure to place your point past the edge to allow for the 1/4″ seam allowance. There will be some trimming required, but I like to wait until I’ve sewn all the blocks to make sure I’m trimming them all to the same size!

Finished Block Size: Approximately 6.75″ x 9″

If you use your entire pack of 10″ squares, you can make a wall hanging or small quilt that is 7 blocks across and 6 blocks down (42 total). That will make your finished project approximately 43″ X 60.5″ (or bigger if you want to use your leftover 2.5″ strips to make a piano key border! The result is so fun!

You can see that this project makes a really adorable, whimsical project, but I want to assure you that it can also be very elegant and beautiful with different fabrics!

Now, let’s talk about the cutting instructions when you’re making this project out of Fat Quarters!

I whipped up a table runner using a few fat quarters that has a completely different feel to it! I used this Holiday Flourish 10 Holiday Metallic Fat Quarter Bundle for Robert Kaufman.

Supplies Needed

  • 3-6 Fat Quarters (depending on the variety you would like in your design)
  • Brown Scrap Fabric measuring 2.25″ x7.5″ (divide into 6 strips that are 1.25″ x 2.25″)
  • Backing Fabric
  • Binding Fabric (1 Fat Quarter cut into 2.5″ strips is plenty)

Cut each fat quarter into (4) 8″ x 10.25″ rectangles (If you’re only going to make one table runner, then you can just use half of each fat quarter and cut TWO of the 8″ x 10.25″ rectangles. If you cut it in half lengthwise to get the two, then you could use the remaining fabric for binding or even a pieced backing)

Finished Block Size: Approximately 7.25″ x 9.25″

The table runner is made up of 12 blocks. The Finished Table Runner size is approximately 17″ by 39.5″

Patchwork Forest Christmas Trees Table Topper

Using 6 fat quarters, I was able to make 24 blocks (I wanted the variety of 6 different fabrics), so in addition to the finished table runner shown, I have 12 more blocks ready to make a second table runner for a gift! Or, of course, you could certainly make a larger wall hanging with your 24 blocks. With some of the remaining fat quarters, I cut them into long strips to make a scrappy backing. This is a fun, carefree, improve project, so have fun with it and make it your own! #holidaypatchworkforest

Watch the Replay of Jenny’s Live Q&A on 7/11/2017!

Watch the Replay of Jenny’s Live Q&A on 7/11/2017!

Every Tuesday afternoon at about 3:30pm, on our Quilting Deals – Missouri Star Quilt Co. Facebook page, we do a Facebook Live video! This week we had the opportunity to visit Jenny in her sewing studio and she was so generous to sit with us and answer some questions! We had a great time with her (as always) and learned some new things!

To watch Jenny’s video and find out what happens to bread when it’s cast upon the water… click HERE.

Live Q and A with Quilter Jenny Doan

In the video, we talked about this gorgeous quilt that hangs behind Jenny’s desk in her studio. Here’s a photo so you can really see what all the fuss is about. Have you ever inherited any antique quilts from friends or family? These quilts can be so inspiring and hold so much history and meaning in every stitch. Did you know that Jenny collects antique sewing machines? Check out the adorable mini sewing machines on the shelf above the quilt!

Jenny Doan's Sewing Studio

Make sure to follow our Facebook page, so you don’t miss any of our upcoming Live videos! If there’s something you’d like to see in a future video, leave a comment here and let us know!

Are you planning a trip to Hamilton, MO?  If you want to make sure you get to meet Jenny, the best way to do that is to attend one of her trunk shows (if you’ve never experienced it before, it’s a must!) Find the schedule HERE!

 

DIY Fabric Flag Holiday Decoration with Easy Gathering Technique – Step by Step Tutorial

DIY Fabric Flag Holiday Decoration with Easy Gathering Technique – Step by Step Tutorial

During a recent Facebook Live video, we taught a simple technique for gathering fabric. It’s great if you don’t have a lot of time (or patience). You also have the option to find a gathering foot for your machine, but this way is my favorite! We featured a cute project we came up with just in time for Independence Day, so here are the step by step instructions to make it!

Let’s start with the fun part! Pick your fabric! We used fabrics from Freedom by Sweetwater for Moda (Picnic Apple Red Yardage and Bandana Vanilla Yardage) and Lost and Found America by Jen Allyson for Riley Blake Designs (Americana Mini Stars Blue Yardage)

You will need 1/4 yard of Blue, 3/4 yard of white, and 3/4 yard of red.

Additional Supplies:

  • 1 Fat Quarter (I used a neutral color that blends with my fabric choices)
  • Thread (& Sewing Machine)
  • Pins/Wonder Clips
  • Heavy Weight Thread (12wt would work great) or String or Dental Floss or Fishing Line (whatever you prefer)
  • Ruler/Cutting Mat/Rotary Cutter
  • Hot Iron

First, you will start by cutting your fabrics into 3.5″ strips! You need 7 red, 6 white, and 2 blue.

Set aside your red and white strips, and grab the blue strips. Stack the 2 strips and cut them them into thirds, so you get 6 strips that are approximately 3.5″ x 14.3″ (this does not have to be exact).

Take 3 of the red strips and 2 of the white. Trim off 14 inches from each strip. These will be the first 5 strips at the top of the project to show the stars and first 5 stripes. Put them right sides together and sew a 1/4″ seam to attach the 2 fabrics. Press the seams open (as pictured below).

Fold in about 1/4″ on each end and press (as shown).

At this point, you would fold the fabric in half lengthwise and press so the right side is facing out. At that point you will have 5 strips that look like this.

Repeat the previous step with the remaining red and white strips, so that they are all folded lengthwise with the raw edges folded in.

Once all of your strips are prepped like in the photo above, it’s time to add a top stitch to the ends! This will just give you a clean, finished look, so that your raw edges don’t show! Just like you would do a top stitch, get close to the edge and I like to backstitch for some extra security.

This is where the magic begins! It’s time to begin the gathering process! Set your machine to a loose zig zag (these are my settings).

For this next part, you need some kind of string. I used crochet cotton because I had it on hand, but a heavier thread would be great for this, like this Sulky 12 weight thread! You can also use dental floss, fishing line… anything strong that won’t get caught in your zig zag!

Line up the raw edges of your folded strips so that your zig zag won’t come off the edge, and line up the string with the small center marker on your foot. That will help you keep the string nice and centered, so it doesn’t get caught in your zig zag. You do not need to back stitch! Here’s how it should look.

Tip: Think about which side of your strip is the back and which is the front. If you put the zig zag on the back, it will make it harder for the string to accidentally show on your project!

Then, you just pull on one side of the string and gather your fabric together! It’ll twist and turn at first, but don’t let that worry you! That’s what pins and wonder clips are for! 🙂

Once all of your strips are prepped, you can work on the background fabric. I used a neutral colored fat quarter. Square it up to approximately 16×20. Use your iron to double fold each edge (except the top edge) toward the back. That means, fold 1/4″ inch in and press, then fold over and press a 2nd time. Top stitch over the left, right, and bottom edges (left and right sides first, then the bottom) and this will conceal your raw edges. On the top edge, you’re going to fold your edge toward the front side, press, and stitch down the edge. This will be important at the end, once you’ve stitched down all of your gathered strips.

To space your strips evenly, draw straight lines every 1.25″ starting from the bottom of your base fabric.. This is the line you will use to pin your gathered strips to the base fabric.

Tip: Use wonderclips to anchor the strips on each end, then pull your gather string to get even spacing in your gathering. Pin ever 2-4″. Notice that my gathering string is on the underside of the strip to make sure it’s nice and hidden.

To sew your gathered strips down, you will want to set your machine to a smaller/tighter zig zag than the one we used before. I set my stitch length at a 2 and my zig zag width at a 2.5.

Once you get all your strips sewn on, you will want to take the top loop of your background fabric and loop it forward over the raw edge of your top gathered fabric strip. Pin it in place and stitch over it to finish the top edge and create a loop for hanging your finished project!

Happy National Sewing Machine Day!

Happy National Sewing Machine Day!

Happy National Sewing Machine Day! A world without sewing machines… I don’t even want to think of it.

Picking out a sewing machine is like buying a new car. There are endless options with varying features and details, all of them will get you from A to B, but the best part is the ride. If you’re going  to log a solid 12 hours on the sewing machine, you better enjoy the ride because everyone knows that the best sewing machine is the one being used!

Which brings us to today’s subject, the Baby Lock Jazz Sewing Machine! Baby Lock Sewing has so graciously offered a machine for us to give away, so we just had to choose the Jazz! It is fast, smooth, and easy to operate.

Here are some of the reasons we love it:

  • 12 inch workspace to the right of the needle… plenty of room for maneuvering large projects
  • Sews up to 1,000 stitches per minute… super fast and super accurate!
  • 28 unique stitches… well-equipped to take your creativity to new heights
  • 9 feet attachments
  • Needle Threader
  • Knee Lifter
  • …and so many more features!

Choose how you want to enter below and we will choose one winner for the sewing machine on Monday, June 19th, at 5pm! We will also choose 6 people to each win two yards of a sewing-themed fabric!

a Rafflecopter giveaway