Alter Ego Tutorial Reboot Featuring Simple Simon and Co.

Alter Ego Tutorial Reboot Featuring Simple Simon and Co.

Hello we are Elizabeth Evans and Elizabeth Evans… two girls who married brothers and ended up with the exact same name! We also are the same age, have the same number of children and, are both former school teachers. Together we blog over at Simple Simon and Company where we love to write about sewing, quilting, and the art of homemaking.

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Today it’s me (liZ…short name, short hair) that gets the chance to share some thoughts about quilting with you. And the quilt I’m talking about is one that is a current work in progress that I started after being inspired by Jenny’s Alter Ego Quilt Tutorial.

There are two things that I really love about this quilt top tutorial:

#1. How the finished product looks complicated and time consuming when in actuality it is simple enough to be completed by even a novice quilter! (Over at Simple Simon and Company we love simple, beautiful projects….so this tutorial was right up my alley!)
And…

#2. How versatile this tutorial really is. Just by changing up fabric styles and combinations you could make this top countless times and have an entirely different looking quilt each and every time. (And because most of us who quilt are making quilts for others rather than ourselves I can see this fast becoming a go-to quilt top to make for gifts.)

Alter Ego Full Quilt

So let’s get down to brass tacks…the making of this quilt top.

For this quilt I used 16 fat quarters from RJR’s “Everything But The Kitchen Sink” fat quarter bundle along with 2 yards of plain white fabric and a ½ yard of Riley Blake Design’s basic black and white Swiss Dot.

Everything But the Kitchen Sink by RJR

(I love this fabric. It has such a happy, vintage vibe and working with it is a pure delight. Yes, a pure delight…some fabric just is that fabulous.)
But before I made my first cut into this fantastic fabric I came up with a plan. Even when I am following a pattern or a tutorial I jot down notes or sketch out my plan in a notebook.

Alter Ego Plan

It’s not fancy but it helps me collect my thoughts and gives me a direction for what fabrics I would like to place where. And for this quilt I wanted to try something a little different.

The Alter Ego quilt top is made using alternating 4 Patch and Hourglass quilt blocks. Each of these blocks have 4 different areas or zones. And my idea was to start in the center of the quilt with solid patterns…no white…and slowly add white into the mix until the rows on each end were solid white.

So you can see in my plan where the middle two rows were constructed of solid patterns.

Then the next row on either side of the middle would have ¼ of each block be constructed out of white.

The rows after that would be constructed from blocks where ½ of the area would be made from white.

And finally the two rows on each end would be solid white.

That was my plan but when I got to here I stopped:

Alter Ego Full Quilt Chopped

I’m not sure I feel like only ½ of the blocks done in white gives the quilt enough white space to transition into an all white row.
Which is where you come in…what do you think?
Here is the original plan:

Alter Ego 4 square with 1 fourth

Solid, ¼ white, ½ white, all white.

But here is what I am thinking I should do instead:

Alter Ego 4 square collage with 2 fourths

Solid, ¼ white, ½ white, ¾ white, all white.

So that would mean adding two more rows (one on each end of the quilt before the all white row.)

I think this would make the flow better…and I have exactly enough little squares already cut to make it happen.

But here is what it would do to my quilt size:

If I stick with my original plan the quilt will finish at roughly 72” x 72” (which I like…because I LOVE square quilts). However, if I add the two extra rows it will become about 72” wide and 90” long…kind of a strange size.

Which leads me to my question (and the reason my quilt top construction has come to a halt): Do I go with the better design and weird size or better size and a design that is not as strong?

I am leaning toward the stronger design….what do you think?

Here’s where I am at…and can go either way:

Alter Ego Full Quilt

While you are thinking you can check out Jenny’s terrific tutorial for The Alter Ego quilt and then you can pop on over to Simple Simon and Company and read about a quilt making tip that saved my marriage when making this quilt top!

-liZ

(And when I decide which way to go I will be sure and share photos the finished quilt with you!)

Alter Ego Quilt Step by Step Tutorial

Visit Simple Simon and Company: http://www.simplesimonandco.com/

Read more about this quilt from Simple Simon and Company: http://www.simplesimonandco.com/2017/04/alter-ego-quilt-tutorial-reboot-and-quilting-advice-that-could-save-your-marriage.html/

Jelly Roll Race Tutorial Reboot with Guest Quilter Becky Vandenberg

Jelly Roll Race Tutorial Reboot with Guest Quilter Becky Vandenberg

Jelly Roll Race Tutorial Reboot with Becky Vandenberg

Hi there. I am Becky Vandenberg from Be So Crafty, a blog devoted to all things sewing. Be So Crafty began last year when I wanted to use my fabric stash for a good cause, so I decided to sew 100 skirts in 100 days and donate them to a local charity that helps refugees in Utah.  Sewing skirts everyday for 100 days was a fabulous experience that I plan to write about soon.  Although I have been sewing for years, I only began making quilts abouts 3 years ago and LOVE it. So I was absolutely thrilled to be apart of this Tutorial Reboot series for Missouri Star.  The quilt tutorial I have decided to reboot is Jenny’s Jelly Roll Race because it’s quick and simple and perfectly color coordinated, thanks to the use of precut jelly rolls.

Jelly Roll Race Tutorial Reboot!

I chose a KONA jelly roll with solid colors called Overcast by Robert Kauffman.  It’s a beautiful palette of blues and greys, perfect for the baby boy quilt I had in mind.   I chose a tone-on-tone red dot for the binding and some adorable Cuddle Cloth from Shannon Fabrics for the backing. This airplane design is called “Take Off” licensed from Robert Kaufman.

Jelly Roll Race Tutorial Reboot!

First I unrolled that perfectly beautiful Jelly Roll and snipped off the selvage.

I followed Jenny’s advice in the video tutorial and kept the fabric strips in order; that means some of the same colors were touching and that is okay.

Jelly Roll Race Tutorial Reboot!

IMPORTANT NOTE: With solid fabric strips you have to be super mindful of the front of the strip and the back of the strip when you make the jelly roll quilt.  “Right sides together” takes on a whole new meaning when there is no printed side. One important thing to remember: after you sew the diagonal line, turn the top strip over and then add the next strip.

Jelly Roll Race Tutorial Reboot!

With the beginning and end of the 1600” strip, place them right sides together and sew one LONG ¼” stitch making your 1600 inch strip into an 800 inch double side strip; basically fold the long strip in half (end to end) and sew down one side. Cut the fold to create a new “end” of the 800 inch strips and once again, fold the strips in half (end to end) and sew down one side. Cut along the fold and fold the quilt top end to end and sew down one side. Repeat this step a couple more times until you have the finished quilt top.

Jelly Roll Race Tutorial Reboot!

Follow the Jelly Roll Race video tutorial exactly and you cannot go wrong.  That’s all I did.

Jelly Roll Race Tutorial Reboot!

In order to incorporate the fun airplane backing into the front of the quilt, I grabbed some big scraps from my stash and cut out an airplane applique.

Jelly Roll Race Tutorial Reboot!

Then I sent the backing and the Jelly Roll Race quilt top to the quilter because I wanted it done all fancy.  However, this quilt can easily be quilted with some straight lines or all over stippling with your sewing machine.

Jelly Roll Race Tutorial Reboot!

To create the binding, I cut eight 2 ½ inch strips from the binding fabric and sewed them together exactly like I sewed the Jelly Roll Race fabric.  This made a 240” strip (always make more than you think) which I folded in half and pressed with a hot iron.  (Binding tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vCWpxBRs20)

Jelly Roll Race Tutorial Reboot!

Now I get to hand sew the binding.  I grabbed some clips, red thread, a sharp needle, and a Diet Coke, and found myself a nice spot on the couch to watch a documentary while binding the quilt.

Jelly Roll Race Tutorial Reboot!

I am so happy with how this amazing baby quilt turned out! I love the solid color strips and how they turned out beautifully to look like the sky.

Jelly Roll Race Tutorial Reboot!

I will definitely be making more Jelly Roll Race quilts; this was such a fun project.  Thanks for having me, Missouri Star!

Jelly Roll Race Tutorial Reboot!

Come see me at BeSoCrafty.com and follow me on instagram and facebook for more sewing tutorials.

Summer in the Park Tutorial Reboot Featuring Lee Ann Perry!

Summer in the Park Tutorial Reboot Featuring Lee Ann Perry!

Lee Ann Perry Tutorial Reboot
Hi! My name is Lee Ann. I’m a wife and mother of four. When I was expecting my third child, I saw some rag quilts on Etsy and thought they were adorable—but expensive. I mean, $65 for a little baby blanket?  
So I bought my first sewing machine and a set of fat quarters by Kaffe Fassett. I learned how to make my first rag quilt by watching a tutorial by Vanessa Vargas Wilson on YouTube. I was pretty happy with the result but my husband teased me a bit. ”Why spend $65 on a blanket when you can make it yourself for $300?”
But, I fell in love with sewing!  Putting colors together.  Feeling the fabric run through my fingers. And the finished project was an item that was both USEFUL and beautiful. I made several rag quilts before getting bored and wanting to learn more. That’s when I found the free video tutorials online by MSQC.
One of the first “real” quilts I made was from a pattern called Summer in the Park using a jelly roll, a line by Tula Pink, the Birds and the Bees.
Watching the videos made it easy for me to follow along—or watch a half dozen times if necessary, and sometimes it was! The finished quilt was so worth it.
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But, like many quilters, I don’t ever make the same thing twice! You’ve got to change it up a bit.
Recently I came back to this pattern and changed only two things.
In the tutorial, Natalie uses a brightly colored jelly roll and combines it with a jelly roll of white strips. When sewing them together, she sews two strip sets, 1) white, print, white, and 2) print, white, print.
So to change it up, I chose a jelly roll of Carolyn Friedlander’s Carkai. Instead of white, I used a darker CHAMBRAY fabric.  I also changed how I sewed my strips together. ALL of my 3 strip sets were sewed as: print, chambray, print.
 
The 3-strip-sets are then sewed to each other, right sides facing, into a “tube.”
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Now comes the really fun part—cutting the tubes into squares. You lay your tube down and cut triangles—when you open it up, they will be perfect squares!
The best ruler for this is the Triangle Square Up Ruler, 9 1/2” by Quilt in a Day. I don’t happen to have that ruler (mine only goes up to 6 1/2”), so I had to make do with my big square up ruler for squares. I put the point of my ruler right up to the seam but did not cross it. Then, I made sure both of the 8” marks touched the bottom seam before making a cut.
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Continue cutting the tube, swiveling the ruler around the opposite way to maximize the number of cuts you can make.  I was able to get five finished 8” squares from each “tube.”
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When sewing the squares together, I made sure to nest the seams to make perfect points.
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I sent this quilt off to MSQC for machine quilting.  My local lady is great but she will not back anything with fleece.  MSQC does — Cuddle/minky too!  This is my first quilt backed with fleece and it’s pretty much the best thing EVER.
After it came back, I had to choose binding fabric.  I always “audition” a few colors first.
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After letting this quilt and the different options sit on my table for a few days, I ended up going with the same chambray I used in the quilt blocks.
My favorite binding tutorial is The Ultimate Quilt Binding Tutorial by MSQC.  No binding tool required!  I used to have one but I don’t use it anymore.  This method is the easiest!  But, I must confess, I had to watch this video EVERY SINGLE TIME a quilt needed finishing for at least the first ten quilts I made.
Here’s the finished result of my “reboot”.
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And now that I’ve spent a few years piecing quilts…I’ve decided a $65 rag quilt is more than fair!  A bargain, really! But, I wouldn’t trade learning a new hobby for ANYTHING.  Quilting has become my quiet place and saving grace in my busy life.
lee ann perry pinnable
Thank you, MSQC for asking me to write this blog post and for teaching me how to quilt in the first place!
You can follow my quilty adventures on Instagram at leeannjperry.
Quick and Easy Sewing Projects for the Big Game!

Quick and Easy Sewing Projects for the Big Game!

Go, team, go! I may not be able to tell you the difference between a blitz and a bump-and-run or a guard and a tackle (I Googled those terms…), but I do enjoy the festive atmosphere surrounding a good ol’ game of football. The family gathers around the television, with plenty of snacks at hand, arrayed in their favorite team’s colors. It almost feels like a holiday. I always cook up a batch of my best appetizers and snuggle up in a quilt, right alongside my husband. And if you’re especially full of game-day spirit, a few decorations might be in order as well.

Sewing Projects for the Big Football Game!

This year I went all out and stitched up some accents in classic football prints and colors to make the occasion even more memorable. No matter what team you’re rooting for, enjoy the end of a spectacular football season with a few of your favorite recipes and a couple quick and easy projects to add to the fun.

Sewing Projects for the Big Football Game!

This table runner is so much fun in football fabrics! It’s the Flower Fancy Runners Pattern from Missouri Star Quilt Company. Here are the fabrics that were used for this project:

Footballs & Helmets: https://www.missouriquiltco.com/shop/detail/39169/timeless-treasures/kimberly-knight/sports-football-helmets-black-yardage

Footballs: https://www.missouriquiltco.com/shop/detail/39170/timeless-treasures/kimberly-knight/sports-footballs-black-yardage

Sports – Tossed Footballs Green: https://www.missouriquiltco.com/shop/detail/64782/timeless-treasures/timeless-treasures/sports-tossed-footballs-green-yardage

Football Stripe: https://www.missouriquiltco.com/shop/detail/64783/timeless-treasures/timeless-treasures/sports-football-stripe-black-yardage

All Sports – Team Mascot Black: https://www.missouriquiltco.com/shop/detail/61798/kanvas-studios/maria-kalinowski/all-sports-team-mascot-black-yardage

Sports Life 3 – Grass: https://www.missouriquiltco.com/shop/detail/27044/robert-kaufman/studio-rk/sports-life-3-grass-yardage

Sewing Projects for the Big Football Game!

These Micro-Safe Hot Holders for Indygo Junction are perfect for serving any hot dish, like some delicious queso or little smokies and aren’t they so darling in the football fabrics? What are some of your favorite snacks and appetizers to eat while you’re watching the game? Amy Barickman, the designer of the Micro-Safe Hot Holders, has a go-to recipe called Amy’s Super Bowl Salsa that just looks amazing!

Sewing Projects for the Big Football Game!

Here’s a breakdown of the recipe for Amy’s Super Bowl Salsa.

  • 3 cans corn
  • 3 cans black beans
  • 1 bunch scallions
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 8 oz. feta cheese
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 3/4 c. apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 c. oil

Do you enjoy watching sporting events with family and friends? Do you like to add something quilty to the occasion? Leave a comment and let us know!

Sewing Projects for the Big Football Game!

New Bonus Tutorial: Intro to English Paper Piecing with Sue Daley

New Bonus Tutorial: Intro to English Paper Piecing with Sue Daley

Video Tutorial: Intro to English Paper Piecing with Sue Daley!

Happy English Paper Piecing Week! Jenny has teamed up with English Paper Piecing guru, Sue Daley, to bring you an entire series of helpful tutorials and tips. Tune in all week for great projects and instruction to show you how fun and easy English Paper Piecing can be!

Video Tutorial: Intro to English Paper Piecing with Sue Daley!

First on the docket? An Intro to English Paper Piecing tutorial! Click on the button below to watch!

Watch the Latest Tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Co!