Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Nifty little gifts for my quilting pals!

Super fun and cute ornaments from your scrap bin.

Are you a saver of the fabric selvages? If so you are in luck as that is what you need for this nifty project.I have a box of them that I had cut off and saved over the years and I knew I wanted to do something quilty with them (not a quilt). This little project was super fun and I cranked out quite a few of them in a couple of evenings.  Due to the death of my dear sister Em I have been doing lots of no brainer things to keep me busy and my mind off how sad I feel.

These have been tucked in Christmas cards and are a nice surprise for a quilting pal and I am also using them as gift tags!

Lets get started.  First you need some simple shapes.  Cookie cutters that are rather large and have simple lines are good options.  If the shape is right but the size is too small just enlarge it.

For each ornament/tag you need a piece of muslin and a backing fabric (preferably cute and or seasonal)

Cut out both pieces making sure to have 1/4" all around the shape.  I have a bell and a stocking shape.  I also used the tri-recs ruler to make a Christmas tree shape. 

FYI:  I made one with a star shape but turning the points proved too bulky and more difficult than I anticipated and it was not worth the effort.

It is important to identify the right and wrong side of the fabric....make sure to add the fabric strips to the "right" side of the fabric so when you go to sew the lining (backing) it is going the correct way.

Start at one edge of the shape - here I started at the toe of the stocking.  Place a piece of the selvage with the printing you want to feature and sew it down.  Lay another one on top and sew along the edge making sure that the second piece covers the raw edge of the first strip. Extend the strips out beyond the muslin shape by a quarter inch or more.  Continue on in this manner until the whole shape is covered. You will note that I did not lay them all down exactly even, I tilted some as the fabric would allow to show more of the color part of the printed fabrics. I also think it makes them more interesting.

When you flip it over it will look like the stocking on the left side.  Stitch around the outer edge just inside the cut edge of the shape. Very important step!

Once you have the edge stitching complete, trim to match the muslin shape.

You need a hanging loop of some sort.  I just folded a piece of the selvage and top stitched it.  I tucked it inside the two fabrics sandwiched right sides together.   I then sewed around the perimeter leaving the top open just beyond the loop.  Clip the curves and turn inside out and tuck in the upper edge, press and then using tacky glue close the opening you made for turning.  If you have a bell or tree shape you need to add a clanger and or a trunk - again I just used more of the strips and made sure I had no raw edges showing.

I chose fun prints for the backing/lining fabrics.  On the tree I used a piece of embroidery floss to make a hanging loop.

Fun funky selvage ornaments and gift tags by Linda M. Thielfoldt

And two gift tags for a couple of my quilting pals - I think they are so adorable.  I just wrote on the back Merry Christmas (their name), the year and then my name.

Hope you enjoyed this fun little project.  Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Quilty hugs,

Linda T.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Getting Ever Closer ~ Just a few more BOM posts

Side Triangles - Oh My!

We are nearing the end of the BOM and there is only one more "block" after this one left to make.  Since I know the holidays are busy for most people I thought I would give you something to work on over the next few weeks and then pick back up in January with the last block and other components that make the quilt.  We should wrap things up in February with the final components and borders.

Please do not assemble the quilt at this point.

Most quilters struggle with half square triangles (HST).  They involve what for many is a dirty word - bias!  Many companies have produced tools and supplies to help quilters with this but I think this is by far the easiest and most accurate method. The beauty of this is you can use it no matter what the size half square triangle you need to make.  The only down side is if you need scrappy HST this is not the method to use since they end up all the same.

So having said that, let's get started!

You will need the following:  

A - 15  squares cut  4  7/8" x  4  7/8" (background) 
and then cut once on the diagonal to yield 30 triangles

B - 4  squares cut 9  3/4" x 9  3/4" (scraps)

B - 4  squares cut 9  3/4" x 9  3/4"  (background)

Here are my B squares.   I am using red for my HST and the squares are all the same.  Since there are so many HST to make I am not making them scrappy.  I figure the blocks are scrappy enough and doing the side triangles the same will bring some continuity to the quilt.

Draw a line 4 of the squares - choose the one that is easiest to see the marking on. Do this on all 4 of that color.  In my case this is the background fabric.

Do the same thing in the opposite direction.

Your square should look like this - a big X.

Pair the square with the other fabric (scraps) making sure right sides are together.

Pin using 4 pins - just to make sure the fabrics do not slip around during the sewing.
Sew 1/4" seam on both sides of BOTH lines.  What you see here is my chalked line and then the stitching lines on either side of that.  

Now you need to take your ruler and cut through the center - place the ruler on the 4 7/8" line on the outer edge of the block. The cutting edge should run right through the middle of the X.  Make certain that your ruler is straight along the outer edge of the block - if not your HST units will not come out to the correct size. If you look on the right side of the block you will see that I also put the vertical line along the right hand edge of the block - sorta under the letter E on my ruler. As long as the bottom 4 7/8" line and that line don't move while cutting, my HST will be perfect.   Do not move the fabric after you make the cut.

You may be wondering how I came up with the cutting measurement.....If you refer back to the cutting instructions above you will see that the square we cut to do them individually measured  4  7/8" - so you just cut on that measurement.   

(NOTE:  If you want all your HST to be scrappy you make them using the measurement listed as A for both A & B but you have a bunch of them to make. LOL)

The cool thing about this method is it works for any size HST you need to make.  Just double the original square you would use to make them individually and then proceed.  4  7/8" x 2 = 9  3/4" square.   The only downside is they are all going to be the same - so if you want a scrappy look you need to make them individually. 

Do the same thing in the opposite direction.  Place the ruler on the 4 7/8" line on the outer edge of the block.  The edge you use to cut should be running right through the center of the big X.  Do not move the fabric.

Next take your ruler and cut on the marked line you drew in the beginning.  Again, do not move the fabric.

Move your ruler to the other line and cut on that marked line. 

This is what you should end up with after all the cutting is completed. Eight half square triangles all in one fell swoop!  I love this method.  Easy, accurate and you don't have to worry too much about the bias. 

Press them all to the dark. 

Your 4 squares will yield 32 HST units - you only need 30 for the side triangles.

Now wasn't that super easy?

You know I always lay out the components of any block I am making so here we go.  Be sure to orient the color to the correct position - it's super easy to get them turned around.

Sew the single triangles to the HST unit in each row. Press so the seams alternate within each row so when you go to sew them together they nest nicely.
Sew the remaining single triangle to the top of the middle HST unit.  Press. Then sew the two units together.  Keep an eye out for those point intersections.

TA DAH!  Triangle Block #14 is go make 9 more.  ☺  Be sure to trim off the little ears.

I hope you found this method easy to do and that all your points come out perfect.  Don't forget to press in between each step!  See you in January!!

May you have a blessed holiday season and thanks for following along - I can't wait to see your Stash Buster BOM quilts!  

Quilty hugs,  


Monday, October 21, 2013

Stash Buster BOM Block #13 ~ Flower Basket

There is just something about Basket blocks....

Basket blocks can be kind of tricky in a quilt layout as most of them are on point so when I designed this quilt with an on-point layout I knew I had to include one.

Flower Basket

12" block - make one

*My version is more scrappy than this layout here but you can do whatever you like.  I used three different red fabrics for the "flowers" but you could make them all different if you wanted a really scrappy look.


 A - 3 7/8" x 3 7/8" Square

 Cut 1 square each of three* red fabrics (scraps)

Cut 4 squares of gold print (background)

Cut 1 square of tan print (scraps)

Cut all squares on the diagonal once.

B - 6 1/2" x 3 1/2" Rectangle

Cut 2 of gold print (background fabric)

C - 6 7/8" x 6 7/8" Square

Cut 1 of tan print (scraps) then cut on the diagonal once.  Note: you will only use one of the triangles.

 Cut 1 of gold print (background) then cut on the diagonal once.  Note: you will only use one of the triangles.

Next up layout all the pieces to make sure you like the fabric choices.  I used three different red prints for the "flowers" and played  around a bit to get the look I was happy with.  You could also make every flower a different fabric if you prefer.  That is the great thing about quilting, we all get to do what we like ☺!

I used a stripe for the basket and so I wanted to make sure I had the triangles going the right way so the stripe would match.   Yes I know, my type A is showing!

 I started with the rectangles and added the small triangles to them.  Note how the "ears" extend beyond the one side - this is what you want.   Press to the dark.

I lay them out again just to make sure things are on track and that I haven't turned something the wrong way.

Then I start on the half square triangles.  Sew them together one row at a time.  Since my layout was particular I needed to make sure I didn't get the red out of order.  Once you have all three rows together, press them so you are alternating the seam direction.  Some will be to the dark and some will be to the red.  

 Once I have the rows completed I sew them together.  Here I have the first and the second rows together.  


Once I have the two rows together I add the large triangle.  I found it easier to press to the large triangle



 Add the last row of half square triangles. 

Add a rectangle unit, press to the rectangle.
Add the last rectangle unit and press toward the rectangle.  All that is left now is to add the final large triangle.  Press to the triangle.

TA DAH!  Stash Buster BOM #13 block is done!  WTG!

Block should measure 12.5" which will give you a 12" finished size block.  Be sure to keep an eye on that scant 1/4" seam allowance, especially at the seam intersections.  Hope you like this block and congratulations - just a few more months for the big reveal!  

Quilty hugs....

Linda T.


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Stash Buster BOM #12 ~ Maple Star

Fall is in the air....

With each month we get closer and closer to the completion of the Stash Buster BOM.  This block is a slight variation on the Maple Star - same look but this version has the star set on point which gives it a fun look.  Lots of opportunity for scraps in this block as well.


A - 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" Square
Cut 4 squares of gold print (background fabric)

B - 4 3/16" x 4 3/16" Square

This is an odd size but you can just eyeball it - it is just 1/16th shy of 4 1/4" - I know it is not marked on the ruler but I just used my ruler and eyeballed it - turned out just fine.  

C - 2 5/8" x 2 5/8" Square
Cut 4 of red print (scraps)

D - 2 5/8" x 4 3/4" Rectangle
Cut 4 of brown print (scraps)

E - 4 3/4" x 4 3/4" Square
Cut 1 of red (scraps)

A note about cutting:

These are two of my favorite rulers I use for cutting.  I like the accuracy and the fine lines on the one and I love the turquoise ink on the other one which is very helpful when cutting dark fabrics. I never use my mat for cutting unless it is a very large piece of fabric and I don't have a ruler big enough.  I find I am much more accurate if I only use the rulers for measurements and cutting.  Often I see students go back and forth using the mat and then the ruler to cut the same piece - not a good idea in my opinion due to the variances that are often in mats.

See how the square is cut exactly halfway between the 4 1/8" line and the 4 1/4" line - that is what you want. 

You only have to cut one of each color so it won't be a problem.  If I were doing a lot of these I would make a template and tape it to my ruler for accuracy.
Same thing only on the dark fabric with the other ruler.


Once you have the squares cut for B you need to cut them twice on the diagonal.  You will end up with 8 star points and 8 background triangles.

As usual, I layout all the pieces to check color placement.  Once I am happy with my choices I decide what needs to be sewn together first. 

In this block I start with the center 9 patch.  Notice I pressed my seams in the opposite direction so when I go to sew the units together they will nest nicely and my intersections will match.


Next up the points of the star.  

This is one where you have to pay attention - notice how the dark fabric is on opposite sides of the tan on 4 of the units - this is important.  

 Now I layout the pieced geese units (star points) to make sure they are orientated the correct direction.  

Then I sew one unit to the corner squares.  See how the ears extend past the square?  

That is what you want if you intend to have that 1/4" seam left so you don't cut your points off when you sew these units to the center.

Once they are all complete, I lay the pieces out in place again to make sure I have things still going in  the correct direction.

This is what the four corner units should look like when you have them together. 

Pay particular attention to how you press them and be sure to keep an eye on that 1/4" intersection I keep talking about.  

Notice how I pressed the star points to the dark background.  This also makes it easy to see the intersection of the star points when I go to set the block in the quilt.  No cut off points for me!!!

Once I have the 4 star point units completed I layout everything one last time and check to make certain I have not missed anything.  
Now it is a simple task to sew the corners to the center unit.

Make sure when you are adding the corner units that the background fabric extends beyond the corners of the nine patch.  You want to see those ears hanging over the edges of the center unit. Notice how my pressed seams are opposite which allows for the 9 patch unit and the corner units to nest together.  

Sew opposite corners - see how those ears hang off - that is a good thing ☺ Press the corners toward the center and repeat the process with the last two corners.  

TA DAH!!!  Stash Buster BOM block #12 is complete!

I hope you have enjoyed this block...just a few more months!  

Love to hear your comments and if you have a question please post it - I will be happy to help in any way I can.  Can't wait to see your blocks!

Quilty hugs,
Linda T.