Hi there, everyone! It’s Natalie Barnes, here. Proprietor of beyond the reef pattern company, licensed designer for Windham Fabrics, and author of A Modern Twist (Martingale/TPP).
I’m just so excited to be here at Missouri Star Quilt Co.’s blog! This year, I had the great opportunity to participate in the Missouri Star Quilt Co. Birthday Bash with Windham Fabrics. I just fell in love with the work that MSQCo. has done with Hamilton, Missouri! Every detail you could possibly want or imagine is available for your visit. They have beautifully organized each and every one of the different shops, provided great dining and food options, and even created a retreat center! For me, with a background in interior design/architecture, I loved seeing the buildings being restored to their original grandeur, and it was fascinating to hear about the local history that MSQCo. is keeping alive! Thank you, Jenny, for making all of this a reality.
There’s no getting around it. As quilters, we are precise. And we are organized. Each and every one of us, organized. Well. In our own way.
Personally, I fall into the “controlled chaos” method of organization. If you look at Amy Ellis’ charts and graphs manner of calculating yardage, you’ll see another way. Or Angela Walters’ ribbon candy quilting. Precise. Organized.
We know exactly where a 1/4″ seam lies on any sewing machine we come across. We always know where our sewing scissors are and where we keep (read: hide) the rotary cutters. We know how much yardage we need for binding, and like Mama Jenny, we know that there are twelve (12) 5″ squares in a fat quarter, and fifty six (56) 2-1/2″ square “snowballs” or “dog ears” in a fat quarter, as well.
Precise and Organized.
That’s what I’m going with.
Until someone calls and says, “You’re hosting Tuesday’s luncheon”, and we go into a sort of….well….you know the drill. How many 10″ square napkins can I get out of two yards of fabric? What is the standard size of a placemat? Can I just turn them right sides out and quilt? Will anyone notice they’re not bound? I need something to go with the runner I have on the dining room table!!! Oh. Wait. Food. She said luncheon, didn’t she
Jill Marie Landis, writer, best girlfriend, and inspiration for my pattern company, beyond the reef, would say, “If I walked in to Natalie’s house before a party, and didn’t find her just stepping out of the shower, I’d think I was in the wrong home.”
“But the placemats are done”, I would reply, “and they match the runner”!
One day it hit me. Make the table runners in pairs, run them along the short side of the table, and voila! The table is coordinated. Table runner as placemat. Two for one!
And with the amount of resources that Missouri Star Quilt Co. gives us, a quick review of the youTube channel is all we need to select a fool proof block large enough to use for our runners doubling as placemats.
Once the fabrics are chosen, create a “color recipe” for the project.
The Blossoms will be made using the three medium value prints.
The Leaves will be the bright/dark prints, and they are scrappy – the more the merrier.
The Center of the Blossom will be the grey print, and the snowballs will be a mottled solid. (Palette by Marcia Derse for Windham Fabrics)
Select a favorite print from Hand Maker for the backing – and use a contrasting binding. This will give you two runner “looks” from one set of runners!
For the two 13-1/2″ x 67-1/2″ runners, 1 x 5 blocks each, cut a total of:
Blossoms: (40) 5″ squares
Leaves: (40) 5″ squares
Centers: (10) 5″ squares
Snowballs: (160) 2-1/2″ squares
Remember, your piecing accuracy is only as good as your cutting accuracy. Here’s my first hint – – take time with this step, and enjoy the process. Using the 2-1/2″ ruler and the 5″ ruler from the MSQCo. shop is really time efficient. There’s no stopping to confirm the dimension is 5″ not 6″ (admit it, you know you’ve done it. I’ve also cut tons of 3″ squares, thinking they were 2-1/2″, too. Precise 3″ squares. I’ll admit it….)
Snowballs: 1 yard mottled solid
Binding: 2-1/4″ straight binding / 2/3 yard
(10) 40″ x 2-1/4″ strips
Backing: 2-1/8 yards
(leaving 4″ top and bottom for machine quilting / placing two runners
side by side when machine quilting)
Use Mama Jenny’s proven method of ironing the snow balls from corner to corner, and settle in with a good wholesome “lots of dialog” movie and start stitching until all of the snow ball corners complete.
Here is Jenny’s full tutorial:
Here’s another little hint – press open your snow balls and be sure they align with the corners of the 5″ square BEFORE trimming the fabric from the back. This will help keep your 5″ squares “square”.
Once all of your pieces are completed, head to your design wall, or other flat surface, and lay out the pieces, until you are satisfied with the look of your runners, and the colors are dispersed evenly throughout your project.
Finally, it’s time to pop in the second movie, and begin sewing your 5″ squares together to form your runners.
Now that the tops are complete, it’s time to let Angela Walters do her magic. Angela is an author, instructor, lecturer, Robert Kaufman Fabrics licensed designer and Owner of Quilting is My Therapy in Liberty Missouri. If you’re looking for a private long arm quilting lesson, or even want to purchase your own Handi – Quilter long arm machine, head to Quilting is My Therapy. Having a machine quilter is the closest I can come to having four hands! It gives me time to cut, sew, and prepare the binding for the quilt as it’s being quilted. Thank you Angela, for taking time to quilt this project!
Once the quilts have returned, I like to reconnect with my project. So, I use “natalie’s quilted binding” – by sewing the binding on to the wrong side, and turning it to the front. Then I use a pearle 8 cotton and a running or quilting stitch close to the folded edge of the binding to attach or “quilt it’ on to the front of the quilt. Finally, I look for a consistent area in each block to add in some big stitch pearle cotton quilting. It adds a different texture, and, well, it’s just my “finishing touch”.
Precise and Organized, I say. That’s how Hand Makers get things done.
So, give me a call. Schedule a luncheon. The table will be set, and I’ll be ready!
And if you’re looking for a new recipe, here’s my mother’s version of Waldorf Salad….just in case it’s your turn to host next month’s luncheon…
Many many thanks again to Missouri Star Quilt Co. for letting me stop by today and visit with all of you!
Here’s where you can find out more information about Natalie Barnes / beyond the reef
please post your projects using Hand Maker fabrics by Windham Fabrics using
we’d love to see what YOU make!!
Hi there! I’m Amy Ellis, first a wife and mom to four kids, second a quilt and fabric designer, with five books to my name, most recently Modern Heritage Quilts! I learned to sew garments as a girl, and taught myself to quilt as I became a mom. By the time our fourth came, I realized how much I needed the creative outlet for my sanity, and was piecing and quilting on a daily basis! I’m so blessed to MAKE and inspire others everyday.
I had so much fun making the Square in a Square quilt, with my new Adventures fabric (get your’s HERE)! The colors are rich and take me back to where I grew up in the Pacific Northwest.
The Square in a Square tutorial is a fun and simple project, that I think most quilters would enjoy! I cut all of my pieces from the precuts to the size that I needed, then enjoyed the chain piecing marathon.
Mixing and matching the different prints from the charm pack and jelly roll is always fun, I try to stay organized as I work so that there’s no repeat or confusion in my blocks. I like to look for a contrasting color and a print that is different in scale from the center, for the most visually pleasing arrangement. That’s a bonus when working with a fabric collection, everything works together!
Are you “one with needle” while stitching, or do you like to listen to music/podcasts or watch tv? I do all of the above, it just depends on the day!
While piecing this one, I pretty much worked the same way as Jenny – she’s already so efficient! Working on the opposite sides, pressing, then working on the remaining sides for that round of piecing. I trimmed the edges as needed and once the blocks were complete to have nice square edges for quilt top construction.
This quilt block is very forgiving, meaning even if you sew too wide a seam, it will most likely work out, but one thing that always helps with any quilt construction is double checking your ¼” seam allowance. I like to verify every couple of weeks, so that I know I’m piecing accurately, while you are at it – change your needle. I typically change mine once a week, but occasionally will forget and this is the perfect time to get it done.
One of my favorite parts of the quilt making process, is layering texture over the top of my quilts. I love finding the pattern that works best and shows off the piecing too. For this quilt I added an arrow with circles, it fits the quilt, and is just the right amount of quilting to make it great for snuggling with.
I can’t wait to see your interpretation of the Square in a Square quilt! It’s a great project to make and enjoy!
Happy quilting –
Find me online here:
When it comes to quilting, we like to think that Jenny Doan is the go-to guru for quick and easy quilting with precuts! Sometimes it’s hard to keep track of all the amazing inspiration that comes from her tutorials each week, which is why we’ve brought you the Tutorial Reboot series on the first Monday of every month, so we can revisit some of our favorite tutorials from the past!
This month we’re taking a new look at the X’s and O’s Quilt. This is a tutorial that was first released five years ago, but it is a simple block that serves as a beautiful foundation for some of our favorite quilt patterns.
Here’s a list of everything you need to make this version of the X’s and O’s quilt.
- 2 –Dark De Lux Cuddle Cakes (10″ Squares)
- 4 – Dark De Lux Cuddle Charms (5″ Squares)
- 1.75 yards – Navy 90″ Shannon Cuddle Yardage (includes yardage needed for binding)
There’s no fabric cozier and more forgiving than Shannon Cuddle fabric and since we’re getting into the season of holiday gift-giving, I thought it would be the perfect choice for this oversized X’s and O’s pattern. All you need to do is follow Jenny’s original tutorial, but instead of using 5″ squares and 2.5″ square snowballs, use 10″ squares with 5″ squares to snowball the corners. Since Cuddle isn’t as stiff as quilting cotton, the larger squares will be easier to handle.
You can find some excellent tips on working with Shannon Cuddle HERE. The walking foot is extremely helpful with this project and make sure to lengthen your stitch to 3-3.5mm. The finished size of this quilt is approximately 54×54 inches (I used a .5″ seam allowance). I chose to leave out the black pieces in the precut set, since I had 40 squares and only needed 36 to create the quilt top.
I decided to have this quilt machine quilted using Missouri Star’s Machine Quilting Services and I am so glad that I did! I just love how it turned out (I chose a Simple Stipple quilting pattern)! If you want to add a little bit of extra weight to the quilt, you can use batting, but you actually don’t have to use batting when you’re working Cuddle.
When it comes to binding with Cuddle, you may not know that Jenny has a tutorial that tells you everything you need to know!
Instead of the typical 2.5″ strips for binding, you only need your strips to be 1.75″ – 2″ when you’re working with Cuddle! (Side note: I LOVE using Wonder Clips when I’m doing binding! They’re so much easier to handle than pins)
I used the serpentine stitch for my binding, just as Jenny recommends in the tutorial. Cuddle fabric really is very forgiving, so you can’t even tell what color the thread is. It just creates a fun finished edge!
The result is an extremely cozy Cuddle quilt, which is a perfect gift for the holidays! I love the colors in this particular precut because they’re just perfect for the men in your life!
Whether you use Cuddle or your favorite quilting cotton prints, I hope you’ll give this Oversized X’s and O’s Quilt pattern a try! It comes together so quickly and the result is just beautiful!
Hi! I’m Amy Barickman, founder of Indygo Junction. I am so excited for this opportunity to reboot one of Jenny’s tutorials. I am lucky enough to be a neighbor of Missouri Star. My hometown, Kansas City, is about an hour from Hamilton. I have enjoyed collaborating with the MSQC team over the last year. Jenny invited me to film a tutorial on quilting with my Crossroads Denim. I have also been a guest on Man Sewing, creating a recycled denim messenger bag from jeans and recently Rob released our I LOVE My Mummy pattern pillow tutorial. If you get a chance to visit the wonderful “Quilt Town” of Hamilton you will see a trunk show of our Indygo Junction apparel patterns in the main street stores. Yesterday my Missouri Star catalog arrived and our Fabriflair Radiant Star made the cover!!!
For the reboot I decided to combine the Love Notes block with our popular Indygo Junction Banded Baskets pattern. Since the body of the basket is pieced in sections, it was very simple to add patchwork- a perfect canvas to showcase blocks. The fabric we chose was my new RJR line Vintage Made Modern Stitcher’s Garden combined with Crossroads Denim Eggplant. Customize your basket with colors and fabrics to make a great gift or useful storage basket for your home!
To make the basket, I used both florals and a ginghams from my Stitcher’s Garden line, and my Crossroads Denim in Eggplant for the top band, bottom section and handles. You will also need a stiff interfacing, batting or stabilizer to give the basket some structure. Choose a coordinating thread for the topstitching.
Using Jenny’s tutorial, cut eight 5” squares of both the gingham and the floral for the blocks, and sew all around with a quarter inch seam. Then cut them diagonally to create four half square triangles and sew them together in a four-patch to create a ‘love note’.
Arrange all the blocks with the ‘envelope flap’ in the upper right corner and pressed the center seam up in half the blocks and the opposite way in the other half to nest the seams. The pattern uses 3/8” seams, you don’t want to lose the points in the blocks so use a quarter inch. Press the seams toward the denim and top stitch close to the seam on the denim side, just for a little more reinforcement.
After sewing the blocks together in a row, it measured 5.75” x 44”. Since the pattern calls for a 44” long body of the basket, it worked perfectly without adjustment.
If your seams are a bit scant or more generous than a quarter inch, your measurement may be a bit more or less. If you need to, you can add a bit of sashing at the end to bring it up to size, or adjust the other pieces to whatever your length is. (Just remember to adjust the lining dimensions, too!)
Based on the height of your block row, you will need to do a bit of math to determine how wide to cut the strip for the bottom of the basket body. In making the large basket, the piece below the band (the pattern refers to it as the bottom) needs to be 12” tall. Since my block is 5.75, I need a strip 6.25 plus a half-inch for seam allowance to have a 12” piece after I sew them together.
Sew the basket band onto the top of the row of blocks and the basket bottom onto the bottom of the pieced row to complete the outer basket body!
Follow the directions as written in the pattern to construct the rest of the basket.
Just for fun, I decided to miniaturize the block by starting with a 2.5” square to make the patchwork inset in the small basket. (Pin for scale in the photo).
I love this combination of Stitcher’s Garden Prints! Also note that the fabric line has a signature collage print, “cheater” type fabric.
Eleven blocks was exactly the correct length when sewn together. Again, border the print fabric with strips of Crossroads Denim and add a print fabric to bring the total to the correct height for the outer basket.
This is a fun & easy way to add a new dimension of quilting to your home. I love the idea of making a basket to companion a quilt for gift giving and Chloe our cat does too!! Keep in mind you can use almost any block along this border in this versatile Banded Baskets pattern! Enjoy.
Here’s where you can find me on the web:
IndygoJunction.com (Subscribe to our eNewsletter to learn about new products, receive special offers, discounts, videos and to receive a FREE monthly pattern!)
Or join our Facebook group at www.Facebook.com/groups/indygojunctionpatterngroup