April 3, 2018

Scrappy Rope Coaster Tutorial

I've been making rope coaster for an upcoming fundraiser.  My quilt guild is going to to have a table at a boutique and we were asked to make small items to sell.  I make 3 sets of coasters before I found the prototype that made me happy.  The first photo shows the winning attempt.

One of my blog friends, from across the Pond, asked for a tutorial.  So here it is and there are way too many photos, but that's the breaks.

For supplies, you need some clothes-line rope, fabric scraps, thread and a glue stick.  Using a glue stick on the ends of your fabric will save your sanity.

First, cut a length of rope about 65 inches long.  Loop about 5" of rope, back on its self so you have a 2.5" loop. 

Use a piece of thread, about 30" long, to wrap the loose end of the rope loop.  (It doesn't matter what color thread because it will be covered up.)  I start in the middle and work toward the frayed end of the rope.  Wind it good and tight.  Other tutorials say to burn the ends of the rope with a lighter.  I don't even own a lighter, and I like this solution; no burnt ends!

Now you're ready to hide the thread wrapping with the first piece of fabric scrap.  The scrap I used is about 2" x 3".  Run a line of glue on both of the short ends of the scrap, and wrap the loop as shown above.  This will be the end of the rope that gets stitched last.

The fabric scraps I used for decorative wrap are about 1 1/4" wide, some were 4" long and some as long as 10", it just depends on your scrap bin.

For the start of the rope coaster, we also need to hide the fraying end.  Pick a long fabric scrap and apply glue to the end.  Lay the rope so that there's excess fabric to tuck under when we start stitching.

Wrap the rope, until the first scrap is all used.

Use the glue stick to secure the fabric scrap end to the rope.

Now, we're ready to start coiling the rope.  Curl it up like a Snail and stick a couple of straight pins in to hold the shape for the beginning.

Sorry about the dusty machine!

Using a wide zig-zag stitch, follow the Snail shape.  The beginning is a little arduous because the shape is so small at that point.  It gets better really fast.

Once I reach the end of the fabric, I like to continue on, stitching the bare rope.  I think it gives the eye a break.

Once there's a round of just rope, another fabric strip is called for.  Apply glue to the end of the strip, then wrap the strip.

Continue, then apply glue to the end of the strip to secure it; then resume stitching.  For this example, I used two long long fabric scraps and one shorter scrap, in addition to the first piece I used on the ending loop.

When you get to the loop, stitch just as you've been doing, until the end of the fabric wrap.

Then pivot the coaster to stitch over both pieces of rope; pivot again and stitch back to the beginning of the scrap.

I go back and forth, a couple of times, to be sure the rope is laying nice and flat.

These coasters are fun to make, they are useful and casual.  Some would say rustic, and that's OK with me!  Hope you enjoyed this tutorial.
May your bobbins always be full

February 4, 2018

Lap size layout for 12 inch blocks (The Giving Quilt)

I had twelve 12.5-inch square blocks that I wanted to make into a lap-size quilt.  I saw the above photo on the Boulder MQG blog and decided this would be a great way to accomplish my goal.

(This tutorial assumes you already have (12) 12.5-inch blocks that you've already made.)

The first thing I did was figure out the math.

Below are my cutting instructions.

From 1.75 yards of Background Fabric (BG) cut

A = (1) 24.5" x 12.5" BG
       (1) 18.5" x 12.5" BG

B = (4) 12.5" x 12.5" BG

C = (1) 18.5" x 12.5" BG

D = (6)  6.5" x 12.5" BG

E = (1)  6.5" x 18.5" BG

From 2.5" x WOF cut

Orange = (2) 2.5" x 12.5"
                (2) 2.5" x  6.5"

Green  = (2) 2.5" x 12.5"
               (2) 2.5" x  6.5"
               (6) 2.5" x  2.5" for cornerstones

Yellow = (1) 2.5" x 12.5"
                (1) 2.5" x  6.5"

White  = (17) 2.5" x 12.5"

Assemble the rows.  Row 8 requires special attention; first, assemble the middle sections, then add the gray C and E sections.

Now stitch all the rows together.  Your finished quilt should be about 58 x 72 inches.

May your bobbins always be full

August 29, 2016

How I made the Wonky Improv-Curve Quilt Top

This is a photo of the instructions that were given on making a Wonky Curves block.  I started with smaller squares because most of the fabric I pulled was half yard cuts, so no 20-inch squares.  But, hey, it's improv!

This is the link to the original instructions.

This is how I made my quilt top:

First I cut a 16.6 inch square from each fabric.  Then I stacked them and drew a curved line on the top fabric.  The stack was too thick to use a rotary cutter, so I cut the curve the old fashioned way and using scissors.  Then I stitched together pairs of mismatched fabric.

Next, I drew the second curve and repeated the process.  You can see that the blocks were not laying absolutely flat, but that wasn't a problem until the third curve was stitched in.

I thought of a couple of solutions but decided to "sleep" on it.  I've always been able to problem solve while sleeping.  I work up this morning with my solution.  I did a trial to make sure I'd be happy with the result.

First I sliced two blocks in two.  You can see that the cut edges ended up curved!  I used the top and bottom of each piece to make a straight line and get rid of the curve.  Then I joined one-half of each block, to make two new blocks.  I trued them up to 13.75 inches square, to get rid of all those jagged edges.

And these two blocks are the result.

I performed the slicing, trimming and re-joining process on the remainder of the blocks, but this time, I didn't work with two blocks at a time, so the placement was more random.  Above isn't the final layout, but it's close.

May your bobbins always be full