Jacob’s Ladder Block

This is a quick tutorial for a vintage block with lots of possibilities!

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These blocks finish at 8 inches (AKA- jellyroll scrap friendly). Also, I made more than one block at a time so that I could switch around my HSTs (half square tringles) blocks to get a scrappy look.

 

For each block you will need:

4 – 2 1/2 in squares color A (warm colors in photo)

4 – 2 1/2 in squares background (low volume in photo)

2 – 5 1/2 in squares one color B and one background (color B is cool color)

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First, I made the HSTs. To do this, draw a line diagonally across the back of the background (low volume) square that is 5 1/2 in. Then, sew 1/4 in away along both sides of the line you just drew.

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Then, cut along the line, and press the HSTs towards the dark fabric. Trim each HST to 4 1/2 in square.

Next, make two 4 square blocks using the 2 1/2 in squares. Press. Here’s what things should look like:

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Next, just sew these 4 smaller blocks together to get your finished Jacob’s Ladder block.

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This is a great block to burn through different sized scraps, so go ahead and ATTACK your scraps!

 

To make a larger block, simply cut the pieces larger using:

4 – 3 1/2 in squares color A

4 – 3 1/2 in squares background

2 – 7 1/2 in squares, one color B and one background.

Using the same instructions as above you will have a finished 12 in block.

Something I can Share!

I’ve been doing lots of secret sewing this year, between swaps, gifts, and getting ready for Christmas, I simply haven’t had much I could share which has been a real bummer.

This has been my leader/ender project for a little while now, and I LOVE it!

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Leader/ender projects are nothing new, just google it and a bunch of really beautiful projects will come up, even a few books.

I simply used 2in squares for the centers, then bordered with 1 1/2in strips, then again with 2 1/2in strips. These are some of the pieces I cut my scraps up into as I am cutting for other projects. I have a box for each different ‘scrap busting’ piece and I just sort everything into it’s box when I’m done cutting for each project. That way I can just grab a box and cut out the pieces for my next leader/ender.

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Here’s what I used for each block: 2in square; and two of each of these rectangles: 1 1/2in x 2in, 1 1/2in x 4in, 2 1/2in x 4in, 2 1/2in x 8in.

I cut everything at once and put all my pieces into a dish. Then, I completed one step for ALL blocks before moving to the next piece to add. It was much much easier for me this way, and easier to stay on track/keep organized.

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These blocks end up at 7 1/2in finished. I did 48, so this quilt is 45in by 60in. It’ll be a great baby quilt!

My next one will just be a postage stamp quilt, there’s a QAL on Instagram #scrappypostagestampQAL (I’m bluestripedroom). I’ll be using my 2in squares, I still have a ton of them after this one.

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Churh Dasher Block Tutorial

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There are a few other names for this block, since it dates back to before 1900. A few others are: Sister’s Choice, Five Point Star, and Father’s Choice. Some of these names have a third color in their design, but we’re just going with the basic 2 color block. I’m thinking a scrappy version would be quite fetching!

This block is nothing new, sorry no reinventing the wheel here. However, while figuring out what fabric to cut per block, quickest way to assemble, and best ways to press, I figured sharing would be nice, so here we go. I did find that this block is rather scrap friendly and only needs roughly 2 fat eighths for the 10″ block, and a little under a FQ for the 13″ block.

 

Fabric Needed:

For the 10″ unfinished block, cut:

Light/Background:

4- 3″ squares
4- 2 1/2″ squares
1- 2 1/2″ x 11″ strip

Dark/Main:

4- 3″ squares
5- 2 1/2″ squares
1- 2 1/2″ x 11″ strip

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For the 13″ unfinished block size, cut:

Light/Background:

4-4″ squares
4-3″ squares
1-3″ x 13″ strip

Dark/Main:

4- 4″ squares
5- 3″ squares
1-3″ x 13″ strip

 

All instructions are for both size options, specifications for the different blocks are included – PLEASE read all the way through before getting started (always a good idea).

To start, sew one of each color strip together and press towards the darker fabric. Then you will cut this strip set into 4- 2 1/2″ sections for the 10″ block, and 4- 3″ sections for the 13″ block, which should look like this:

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Then, take the 4 light squares that are larger and draw a line across the back to use as a guide for making the HSTs (Half Square Triangles*).

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Now, using the larger dark squares put right sides together & sew 1/4″ on both sides of the line, double check you diagonal if you are using a directional fabric.

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Cut down the line that you just used as a guide and press seams towards the darker fabric. Trim each HST to 2 1/2″ square for the 10″ block and 3″ square for the 13″ block.

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Next, sew the middle row, and press seams around the middle square to the center.

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At this point it’s good to lay everything out and get a visual/base to start finishing up with.

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Now, I like to put the corners together individually. Set up all you squares and double check you like the set up, keep in mind directional fabrics.

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Then, sew the top two together, then the bottom two, and press the fabrics towards the plain square (away from the HST). And then sew the rows together. This is just like making a 4 square. Press the seam between rows towards the darker square that will be closest to the center of the block. Make the other three.

Almost there!

Take one of the strip sections from the start and sew it to one of the corner sections. Press towards the smaller strip section. Sew the other corner section to the other side of the strip set. Press towards the smaller strip section again. Do this with the same sections from the other side of the block. You should now have two of these larger parts and the middle row.

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Now, sew each section to the middle row and press towards the center.

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Done!

Then, have fun and make more!

*If you plan to make lots of these blocks in the same colors then I would highly recommend using HST paper. You can make upwards of 20 HSTs in one shot with NO trimming and squaring. I oooed and ahhhed over HST paper here.

Feel free to share photos of your work via Flickr: BlueStripedRoom.

 

Go Your Own Way Pillow

I joined this great online quilting bee this year and I’ve been having tons of fun with it!

For our February blocks, the Queen Bee picked the Darting Bird block in turquoise/aquas, purples, and chartreuses scrappy keeping each block within one color family.

I loved them so much that I made a bunch more blocks up.

Now, what to do with all these great blocks??

Of course, make an awesome pillow:

What do you think?

I’m thinking of making a couple more up, I had so much fun piecing and quilting these. I figured out it’s easier to quilt on the outside rather than the inside of previous stitches (for example, it was easier to work from the right corner towards the left corner with this one.)

I used the hidden zipper idea from S.O.T.A.K. Handmade. I love how easy it went it!

This would be a great project to Attack Your Scraps with too!!

A Wonderful Thread Catcher

I’ve been sewing for only about 22 years now and I’ve never had a thread catcher.

Say WHAT??

I know, right??

So, since I’ve been a good little crafter lately, I decided I just needed one. Something about the resident almost 2 year old loving thread piles….

What do you think??

There are only about 30 free tutorials out in internetland of how to make one, but I just loved the Thread Catcher Bag that Rachel Griffith did.

You should make one, you’ll love it too!

The outer fabric is a Robert Kaufman print, the lining is a Denise Schmit Free Market Fancy print, and the accent/base was a scrap of something I’m not sure of.

This is a great Attack Your Scraps project since the largest piece is only 6 1/2″ by 17 1/2″. It also utilizes fusible fleece, which is one of my most favorite products!

What’s that in the background you ask? Just a little pattern testing, post coming soon.

Sawtooth Start QAYG Tutorial – Mini!

For the project I’m working on my first thought was to go with a QAYG (Quilt As You Go) block since I was aiming for a more structured piece. How many of you have done QAYG? You should try it if you haven’t, it’s way fun. Although, I think almost all of quilting is way fun, so maybe that’s a biased statement. 😉

Since this is a small block, it can very easily use up scraps without looking scrappy if you stick to a color theme. So, go ahead and Attack Your Scraps!

Either way, here’s one way to to it:

Supplies:
– 5 inch square of batting (cotton is the easiest to QAYG)
– 2 1/2 inch square for center
– 1 1/2 inch squares for star points, 8 total
– 2 1/2 inch by 1 1/2 inch rectangles of background fabric, 4 total
– 1 1/2 inch squares of background fabric, 4 total

For the background fabric you will need at least 16 inches total of a 1 1/2 inch strip.

The very fist thing we need to do is make flying geese for the points of your star. They are in the bottom center of the photo above.

To make a flying geese, you take one 1 1/2 inch by 2 1/2 inch rectangle and sew one of the 1 1/2 inch squares on both ends of the rectangle. Your seam will go diagonally across the star square (the white in my block). I did not trim the excess fabric off the back of the flying geese since I want more structure, but that is totally up to you! For a photo tutorial check out: Fat Quarterly. All you need to make from this tutorial is the basic flying geese block unit.

Take 2 of your flying geese blocks and sew a 1 1/2 inch background square to both ends. You will now have 2 lone flying geese, and 2 strips that have: one 1 1/2 inch square, flying geese in the center, then another 1 1/2 inch square.

Next you take the 2 1/2 inch center square and place it in the center of your piece of batting. Take one of the lone flying geese blocks and lay it right side down on one side of the center square and stitch if down like so:

Take the other lone flying geese block and it to the opposite side of the 2 1/2 inch center block. It will now look like this:

At this point you want to stitch down the flying geese that you’ve attached. I simply echo stitched 1/8 inch below the V seam in the flying geese block. No way did I eyeball this, there was a little notch on my sewing machine foot that I just lined up with the seam. Gotta love a helping tool! Feel free to stitch it down how ever you prefer as long as you sew down the outer corners down (that’s the only goal for now, we will fill in the rest of the quilting later). Here’s what it will look like. Also in the photo below are the flying geese strips you already sewed simply placed on either side of what you’re progress should look like at this point.

Next you want to sew the strips with the flying geese in the center to the other sides of your center square. I just sewed both of them on one right after another. See:

Here’s what it looks like pinned open.

Next I simply echo quilted 1/8 inch below the V seam in the last 2 flying geese blocks, just like I did before. I love how this looks, and because of the scale you could definitely stop here if you wanted. I, however, love love extra quilting on smaller items, so do what your heart desires!

I continued the echo quilting 1/4 inch from the quilting that was already done, and a 1/4 inch from the seams of the corner blocks. Don’t worry about filing the blocks completely with quilting to the edges, there is still a 1/4 inch seam allowance all the way around. With that being said, definitely continue any quilting lines completely onto the batting. It was cut a little larger for that reason!

Here’s my set of finished (untrimmed) blocks:

I would LOVE to see any blocks/projects you create with this tutorial! Feel free to share in my Flickr group: Inspired by BlueStripedRoom.

Disappearing 4-Patch Tutorial – Attack Your Scraps

I’m not gonna lie, I’ve been in a funk for quite some time now, months really. You would think that spending so much time with family over all the holidays would’ve helped pull me out of it. I have been so very blessed to spend a lot of time with family lately!!

Truth be told, I was simply on a medication to help manage nerve pain and it turned me into a Zombie. I’m thinking I’ll just have an advantage when the Zombie Apocalypse comes. Hahaha….

Today was the very first time I’ve woken up at 5am and gotten out of bed (for something other than just to pee) since about August. When you have 5 kids that’s usually one of the only times you have to sew: when the little people sleep.

I wanted to play with something simply, but that would also have an awesome end product. I think I hit the nail on the head!

This is simply a version of a disappearing 4-patch:

Being lazy, uhh I mean being productive to use leftover 5 inch charm squares, I ended up with an 8 inch block.

I love how it turned out!

Want to make some?? It’s super super easy, I mean 5 am easy.

Start with a 4 patch, or two if you’re going for super scrappy:

Using your ruler, cut 1 inch from the center 4 times. After I cut the first time, I just turned my mat (or ruler) and cut the next one, etc. It was very very helpful to have a small mat to cut on & rotate. Like so:

Swap around the parts however you like. For example:

Before swap:

After swap:

I picked up the triangle parts in the middle of the sides and swapped those between the 2 blocks. Then I grabbed the center piece, turned it 180 degrees, and swapped it between blocks also. (I love love how they turned out.)

Then sew and press and ta-da!

See, SUPER easy!! And, you can start with any size squares for the 4 patch, you’ll just end up with a different size finished block. Can we say pre-cut AND scrap friendly! Oh Yea!

One of the reasons I find scrappy quilts so cool is the juxtaposition of modern prints next to vintage-y florals and such, like that green log print next to the brown floral. I just love it!

Edited to add:  I would LOVE to see any blocks/projects you create with this tutorial! Feel free to join & share in my Flickr group: Inspired by BlueStripedRoom.

2+2=5? Free Quilt Pattern

I had this really cute charm pack sitting around for, oh, what felt like forever. It was the Nicey Jane charm pack by Heather Bailey. These prints cried out vintage goodness to me!

Without cutting them up too much, I whipped up this quick block.

And this quilt, for sale here.

Then this one, for sale here.

I just couldn’t stop, they came together so quickly. Without further ado, here’s the pattern:

2+2=5? Pattern:

For each block you need:
2 – 5″ squares (charm squares)
1 – 2 1/2″ x 5″ rectangle (cut a charm square in half)
2 – 3 3/4″ x 11 1/2″ rectangles

To assemble, sew the 2 1/2″ x 5″ rectangle in the middle of the 2 5″ squares. This makes the center ‘column’. Then sew one 3 3/4″ x 11 1/2″ rectangle to either side of the center. You will have a 11 1/2″ block.

Lay out all your blocks and switch them around until you like how the second background fabric is spaced. Then sew together the blocks and your done.

To make a baby size quilt (44″ square) you need a total of 16 blocks.
Materials:
1 charm pack of 40 squares*
1 yard background fabric
1 FQ second background fabric
1 1/2 yards backing fabric
batting for 44″ by 44″ top

To make a twin size quilt (66″ by 88″) you need a total of 48 blocks.
Materials:
3 charm packs of 40 squares each*
3 yards background fabric
3/4 yard second background
5 yards backing fabric
twin size batting

*Any 5″ squares will work for this, you don’t have to use charm packs. I do a 5″ swap with the guild I attend and those squares would work great in this too.

For the ‘All Things Boy’ quilt I used 5 inch I-spy blocks I’ve collected.

Edited to add: I would LOVE to see any blocks/projects you create with this pattern! Feel free to join & share in my Flickr group: BlueStripedRoom.

The Brick Wall Quilt Pattern

It all started with a 3 pound cotton assortment from Fabric.com that contained much more browns than I was ready for. I had no idea what to do with them.

I was thinking about things outside that I like. I live in Dover, DE, so we have a pretty ample supply of very old buildings. Among my most favorites are brick buildings.

Hmm, lots of brown fabric, and a liking to bricks… not too tough, right?!

Next step, the drawing board:

I don’t really sketch in any particular order, but the amount of fabric needed is almost always the last thing to be figured out.

Thanks to Wikipedia, the standard U.S. brick size is:  8″ wide, 4″ high, and 2 1/4″ deep.

I went with that measurement and created this quilt.

Here’s the tutorial:

Materials:
– 16 Fat Quarters
– 3 yards backing fabric, or material cut/pieced to measure 48″ by 68″
– batting measuring at least 48″ by 68″
– 1/2 yard for binding

Cut:
– 94 rectangles measuring 8 1/2″ by 4 1/2″
– 16 squares measuring 4 1/2″ by 4 1/2″
– 6 strips of binding, 2 1/2″ wide by the width of fabric for the length

Sew 9 rows as follows: one 4 1/2″ square, then five 8 1/2″ by 4 1/2″ rectangles, then one 4 1/2″ square.

Sew 8 rows of six 8 1/2″ by 4 1/2″ rectangles.

You should now have 17 rows measuring 48″ by 4 1/2″.

Figure out the order you want the rows to be in, alternating the rows to stagger the blocks. I made sure that none of the blocks touched another block of the same fabric. Sew the rows together horizontally. Your top is done!

(This is not that great of a pic, but it got the true colors the best of the couple I took.)

Now, lay your backing right side down, lay the batting on top, then place the top on top of these 2 layers, pin all layers together, and quilt as desired. When I pin my quilt, I try to think about where I am going to quilt it so that I don’t put the pins there. It goes a LOT faster if you aren’t taking pins out every 5 seconds.

Attach binding, and your done. I recently found a GREAT tutorial for doing the binding, which is my absolute least favorite part of quilting. But, Rita over at Red Pepper Quilts has the right idea about binding!

Just look how great it turned out:

Edited to add: I would LOVE to see any blocks/projects you create with this pattern! Feel free to join & share in my Flickr group: Inspired by BlueStripedRoom.  

Just a reminder, my patterns are for your personal use and enjoyment only. They have not been tested, so if you find an error feel free to let me know at lyannajeandesigns(at)gmail(dot)com.
 
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