Positive Queen Quilt Tutorial

I had an inquiry about making a custom quilt for a lady.  I'd seen the quilt she wanted on Pinterest, but the original quilter didn't mention a pattern or a tutorial, so it was up to me to do the math and come with with a plan for making my customers' quilt.  I was only interested in making the queen size, so I made a trial quilt, based on my math.  This is the quilt she wanted, in queen size.

deux petites souris: Positivity...

She wants the same colors with a solid light yellow binding, not pieced.  It appears to me that this quilt is much smaller that queen size and the pieces are squares.  In doing my math, I discovered that square units for the solid color fabric wouldn't work, the quilt would not be a queen size.  I made the necessary adjustments to keep my customers' quilt, true to the original image, but the size she wants.

If you follow along, you'll end up with a Positive Queen Size Quilt Top, 85" x 94".


1/2 yard of twelve different fabrics
2.5 to 3 yards of background fabric, the extra half yard is for just in case.

Cutting Instructions

Fabric for the pluses:

From each 1/2 yard of fabric, cut (2) 9" pieces WOF.  From these strips cut (1) 29" piece and (2) 10" pieces; giving you (1) 9" x 29" rectangle and (2) 9" x 10" rectangles.  Press these pieces, fold in half along the longest side and press a halfway mark.

Background Fabric, cut (10) 9" strips WOF.

From these strips, cut
(6) 9" x 15.25" pieces - rows B
(16) 9" x 5" pieces - rows C
(8) 9" x 10.5" pieces - rows C
(2) 9" x 19.5" pieces - rows A
(4) 9"x 25.5" pieces - rows A

I recommend cutting the larger pieces, first.


This quilt has eleven rows, but it's made up of only four different rows, repeated using different fabrics.  All the rows should be 85" long when joined.

Join the (2) rows D.
Join the (3) rows B.
Working one at a time, join the (4) rows C, making sure you've got the proper top and bottom "arms", going together.  I laid out the necessary rows B and D to help.
Join the (2) rows A.

Now you're ready to stitch the entire quilt top together.  This is when you'll use those halfway press marks, to keep every thing even.  I recommend joining the rows in groups of three, plus one set of two rows; then join two sets together, giving you two halves of the quilt.  When you join the two halves, you'll have a finished Positive Queen Size Quilt Top.  Do your final "truing-up" and you'll be ready to make your quilt back.

May your bobbins always be full

Double Circle of Squares, 25 Patch Block Tutorial

Through Pinterest, I found a great block called Circle of Squares, posted by Geoff of the ToeFeather blog. He also posted a great tutorial, over 2 1/2 years ago.   I thought I'd make it my own, by making a Double Circle of  Squares.  I'm really happy with the result.  I used left over bits from the Dolce quilt I just finished.

Here's how I made mine.

You'll need (24) 2.5" x 2.5" squares.  This is a great time to fussy cut if you want.

Strip-piece (12) of the squares to 2.5" WOF, strips.

Cut the units apart and press toward the print.

Still stip-piecsing, attach a 2.5" strip to the side, and cut apart and press.  In the original block, these were 4 patches, I change them up because it was more logical, to me.

Take the four remaining units, still using the strip-piecing method, attach a 1.5" strip to the right and left.

Cut apart, and press to the center.  These units were not in the original block, but I thought they were necessary to keep the movement going for the outer circle.

You're almost to the end of the strip-piecing.  For the remaining units, attach a 1.5" strip to all four sides.  Do this a step at a time.  Attach a strip, cut apart, press, and repeat three more times.  Left, right, top, then bottom.

Lay the blocks out for final assembly.  I first put down the inner circle, 9 patch, then the outer circle, making it a 25 patch.  You can see there was one more patch, a plain 4.5" x 4.5" square, for the center.

A couple of more photos  of the block.  The block measures 21" x 21", so it will finish 20.5" square.

May your bobbins always be full

12.5" Churn Dash Block

I looked at how other tutorials for a 12.5" Churn Dash Block were written, and I knew I wouldn't follow them.  I followed the idea of the other tutorials and did my own thing.  I thought I'd share it with you.

Refrain from trueing up the four HSTs. 

Join a 2.5x4.5" print piece with a matching background piece on one side.  Do this for all four units.  I used a 12.5" square ruler to transport my pieces between the cutting board, sewing machine and ironing board.

Lay out the center pieces, like a cross, then add the four HSTs.

Sew the three pieces of the top row together, follow with the middle row, then the bottom row.  Press the seams.  Now, join the three rows together, press the seams, and true up the block to 12.5 inches square.

 There you have it.
May your bobbins always be full

Appliqué Stem Tutorial

I had a few questions about how I did the stems on the Maple Leaf Quilt Blocks.  I did a little tutorial, and thought I'd transfer it over here to the Tutorial blog.

Four more Autumn Leaf blocks finished.  I want to thank everyone for the nice comments on yesterday's post.  A couple of people wanted to know how I'd done my stems.  The answer is applique!  I've never done appliqué, before, but I'm willing to share my technique.

The first thing I did was get some of Heat n Bond; there're two kinds, get this one, so you'll be able to stitch.

I also noodled around the internet and found an English language PDF for this quilt, Maple Leaf Quilt from France.  It's from Cindy Carter, and I highly recommend it, with two exceptions.  I had to "improve" on the template for the point at the center of the leaf, see below.

I'm making two blocks at a time, that's working for me, color-wise; so I cut out two of the stem pieces, and found a scrap large enough to accommodate two stems.

I then cut a piece of the Heat n Bond, the same size.

Remove the templates, and position the Heat n Bond, on the wrong side of your fabric, with the nubby side facing the wrong side of the fabric.  Cover with a pressing cloth, and follow the directions on the package to bond the two pieces together.

Position the stem pattern pieces on the fabric - cut out the stems.  Position on the 5.5" x 5.5" background squares.  This is the other change I made to the tutorial, I appliquéd the stem before joining the quilt block.  (The tutorial calls for appliquéing, after assembly.  I wanted the top portion of the stem to be part of the seam.  I hope that makes sense.)

Set your machine for a very small, narrow zig zag, not as small as a satin stitch, but pretty small.

Be sure to change your pressure-foot, so you can see what's going on, as you stitch.

Just keep going, and going until you have all four sides of the stem appliqued to the background fabric.

This is all the block pieces positioned before assembly.  You can see that after they're sewn together, there's a lot of truing-up involved.  After adding the outer pieces the blocks are trued-up, again.

I sure hope this all made sense.

May your bobbins always be full,
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