Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Kaleidoscope Mini-Quilt {or Pillow Sham} Tutorial

I just had the privilege of participating in my first quilt swap, and boy was it fun!  It was all top secret, so the lovely lady I was assigned to as my swap partner had no idea that I was sending this to her - all the way to Australia, no less!  Samantha (@aqua_paisley) received it today, so we're in the clear now, to share this little tutorial. 
This tutorial uses the Kaleidoscope Smart Plate Ruler
However, if you don't have this Kaleidoscope ruler (and don't want to shell out the cash right now), you could use this free paper piecing kaleidoscope pattern on Craftsy, by Rita of Red Pepper Quilts, and it's the exact size you need for this project!  (Note: If you choose to paper piece instead, make 25 (4") blocks, and skip to step 8)
Pillow Sham:
To make this into a pillow sham, follow the steps for piecing and quilting the front.  You can make the back with an envelope closure, or follow my preferred method, with a hidden zipper.  A zipper just seams to keep the pillows more fluffy (and stops them from fluffing out the back opening!)  I follow this fabulous tutorial from Pile 'O Fabric.
Kaleidoscope Mini Quilt (or 20" pillow sham) 
20.5" finished
(37) 5” charm squares
(18) 5” background squares (I used low-volume fabrics)
22” square for backing
22” square batting
Binding – 90” length
Kaleidoscope Smart Plate Ruler

General Information:
4” finished block
¼” seam allowance
HST: Half Square Triangle
“A” Block: pinwheel with background fabric
“B” Block: colored pinwheel with background fabric corners

(37) 5” squares – print fabric
(18) 5” squares – background fabric
                1 - Set aside (13) squares
                2 - Sub-cut (6) into 2 1/8” squares (4 per square) – for a total of 24 small squares.
                3 - Now cut each of these small squares on the diagonal, making 48 triangles.
Now let's get started!
Step 1 - Pair up your squares as follows:
13 prints with 13 background squares ("A" blocks)
12 prints with 12 more prints ("B" blocks)
Step 2 - Sew around the entire outside edge of a 5” block set. (repeat for all A & B sets)
Step 3 - Cut each square set diagonally (both directions), from corner to corner.  Press open.
(Note: Don’t worry about trimming the corners of the HST’s now – you will trim them in a later step)
Step 4 - Pair up your HST’s into groups of 4. (for your 13 “A” pinwheels, and 12 “B” pinwheels) 
Step 5 - Sew your sets into pinwheels,  by sewing each group of 4 HST's together.  Repeat this step, to make (13) “A” blocks and (12) “B” blocks.
*Tip: to reduce bulk in the center of each pinwheel and get your middle seams to lay flat, unpick the 2-3 stitches outside the seam allowance. 
It will create a little "twist" in the center when you press the seams in opposite directions.  Isn't that neat?!
Step 6 – Trim your blocks to a 4” block size.
Tip:  Before you start, place a piece of painters tape right below the line on your ruler that you are using (in this project, the 4" line), so you don't have to re-find it each time. (I learned this about half-way through and it sped things up remarkably!) 

Ok - now for the "A" blocks...
Use the narrow wedge on the ruler, and line up your 4" block line with one of the background fabrics on your pinwheel.  Trim along both edges.
Repeat on all 4 sides
"B" blocks are up next:
Step 7 – for your “B” blocks, sew 4 of your 2 1/8” triangles onto the 4 corners of each B block.  
Press & trim tips off.
 And now you're ready to start sewing these blocks together!
Step 8 – Lay out your blocks (5 blocks across, and 5 down). 
Your first row will be (L to R):  block A-B-A-B-A. 
Alternate layout for each additional row. (5 rows total)
Step 9 – Sew all 5 rows together. Press.
Step 10 – If you are making a mini-quilt, baste & quilt as desired.  Bind.
If you are making a pillow sham, baste & quilt as desired.  And follow this tutorial (click here) for making the back.  Remember, your finished pillow sham size will be 20.5"! 
Good luck!
And there you go!  You've got a fabulous Mini-Quilt, or a 20" pillow cover.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

:: Reversible Headbands - for sale now!

Just a heads up, my new Reversible Headbands are now for sale, in my shop! (click here)
They are available in Women's and Girl's sizes, but quantities are limited, so hurry over...
(Also - there are multiple-item discounts available - see store for more details)

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The start of an Etsy Shop and Grand Opening Discount!

I know I've been talking about opening an Etsy shop for quite some time.  And since it doesn't make sense to just look at this gorgeous stack of quilts forever (though I'd love to!), today's the day to share this handmade wealth, and let these quilts make other homes happy and cozy.   Feel free to head on over if you want to take a look. 
Etsy Shop: RedRainbootsHandmade
(Update:  I switched from Etsy to Bigcartel.  My new shop is:)
Also, to celebrate the grand opening of my shop (yay!), I'm offering $15 off your purchase, with the code "HAPPYDAY15".
(through Tuesday 9/2/14)

(here's a peek)
:: twin size 
:: throw size

:: crib size
Aren't they fun?

Friday, June 27, 2014

Paper-Piecing for a friend

Have you ever tried paper piecing?  I just recently tried it - and surprisingly - it's so fun!  (I don't know why I thought it wouldn't be.)
I might have enjoyed it even more, due to how good it felt to sit down at my machine, since I was able to finally put down my paintbrush.  =)
I watched a few how-to videos, but when I tried it, I would get so confused with which direction the fabric would be facing, and how to figure out (from the back) if the paper was over the correct spot, and if it would cover the desired area once it was flipped backwards!  But then I watched a tutorial  (here) from Ellison Lane, it made perfect sense to me!  Loved her method!  And it made me fall in love with paper piecing.  Well - that, and this fabulous "70's Geese" pattern by Diane at From Blank Pages (available here on Craftsy).
I made it specifically for this friend I've gotten to know on Instagram.  She's the kind of person who is always doing thoughtful, giving things for others.  And yet sometimes I wonder how much is given back to her?  You know the type - devoted wife and mother, and faithful friend who's always there for you - always making and doing for others.  Ashley just moved into a new house which has a room just for her sewing stuff - and it has lots of bare walls.  I figured she needed to know how much she is appreciated (couldn't we all use more of that?).  And...she needed some help filling up all those fabulous bare walls.  =)

This pattern comes in several sizes.  I used the 18" pattern for this - and made it up into a mini-quilt. 
However, I'm thinking this would make a fabulous throw pillow, as well. 
I may or may not be making another one sometime soon.  You take a guess.  =)
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