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/

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.
Tutorial Reboot Featuring Guest Amy Ellis

Tutorial Reboot Featuring Guest Amy Ellis

Missouri Star Quilt Co. Tutorial Reboot with Guest Blogger Amy Ellis

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.

Square in a Square MSQC Tutorial Reboot with Guest Blogger Amy Ellis

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.

Square in a Square MSQC Tutorial Reboot with Guest Blogger Amy Ellis

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.

Square in a Square MSQC Tutorial Reboot with Guest Blogger Amy Ellis

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!

Square in a Square MSQC Tutorial Reboot with Guest Blogger Amy Ellis

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.

Square in a Square MSQC Tutorial Reboot with Guest Blogger Amy Ellis

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.

Square in a Square MSQC Tutorial Reboot with Guest Blogger Amy Ellis

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.

Square in a Square MSQC Tutorial Reboot with Guest Blogger Amy Ellis

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 –

Amy

Find me online here:

Amyscreativeside.com

Shop.amyscreativeside.com

instagram.com/amyscreativeside

Tutorial Reboot — The Oversized X’s & O’s Quilt

Tutorial Reboot — The Oversized X’s & O’s Quilt

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.

Make an Oversized X's and O's Quilt with Shannon Cuddle!

Here’s a list of everything you need to make this version of the X’s and O’s quilt.

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.

Make an Oversized X's and O's Quilt with Shannon 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)

Make an Oversized X's and O's Quilt with Shannon Cuddle!

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!

Make an Oversized X's and O's Quilt with Shannon Cuddle!

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!

Make an Oversized X's and O's Quilt with Shannon Cuddle!

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!

Happy quilting!