Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Pro-Tip Tuesday - Sewing Stretchy Fabrics

Hello there and welcome to the very first Pro-Tip Tuesday!

My goal is to bring you a tip or trick that I've discovered over the last 8 years that helps me be more efficient with my time and sewing.  I know there are lots of ways to do things, so I'm not saying these are the only way to do them...or even that they're the best...but rather, these are things that help me.  My hope is that I can help YOU make the most of your sewing time. <3

This series will be done in video (talk about scary!), so I'd love it if you'd subscribe to my Summer Lee Quilts Youtube Channel!  Not only will I have the weekly Pro-Tip Tuesday videos coming up, but I'm creating a Beginner Quilting Series as well, AND I'll be posting random fun videos of stuff going on in my corner of the quilting world.

For this first Pro-Tip Tuesday, I'm going to talk about working with those tricky stretchy fabrics.

I hope this will be a help for you!

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Julie's quilt

Hi guys!  Aren't Fridays great?  I especially love the Friday quilting community, seeing everyone's finishes and making connections. <3

I've got a fun quilt to share with you today!  This is Julie's quilt...it's based on the tutorial by Christie at Lemon Squeezy Home.  I just expanded it to make it a twin-sized quilt.

We decided on Ethereal Fusion by Art Gallery Fabrics, and since I didn't think I could lay this one out on a whim...I broke out my EQ7 and planned it digitally.  It was a lot of fun!

I show you that, because, I don't know about you...but for me, seeing something go from paper into "being" is soooo satisfying.  So, here's the finished product.

I free-motion quilted swirls over the entire quilt, although I did consider doing some fancy custom quilting...the swirls just make everything extra special.

Finally, I chose a light pink solid for the binding.

*sigh*  I just love this one...I may need to make another for keeping.

Anywho, thanks for stopping by today!  Have a great one!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Custom T-Shirt Quilt - WIP Wednesday

Hello there and happy Wednesday!  I love Wednesdays, because I get to share what I'm currently working on without feeling like it has to be all finished and perfect yet.

Over the last week, I've had the pleasure to start working on another custom T-shirt quilt.  This one is especially fun, because it's using all child-sized shirts...and lots of them!  I have 51 designs going into this one to make a generous twin-sized quilt.

As always, I start my T-shirt/memory quilts on paper.  I measure out the designs and the width of each shirt to give me the range of size I can use for each design.  Then I break out the graph paper and start figuring out the math....it's like playing a game of tetris.  I usually erase lots, and often it takes a couple days before I can make it "click".  I love this part, even though it's probably the hardest part.

Once that's done, I only cut and sew one column or row at a time, marking them off on both of my sheets as I go.  It may seem redundant, and time-consuming, but if I don't do it like that...I'm bound to either mix something up, or lose my place.

It seems like I always have at least one column that needs to be all the same width.  This quilt will have 2, but here's the first one completed.

Then here's where I left off yesterday...2 Columns down!

So, that's what I'm working on right now!  I'd love to hear if you're working on anything or if you start your T-shirt quilts with a different method.

Have a great day!

I'm linking up today with Let's Bee Social, WOW, and Wednesday Wait Loss!

Friday, January 26, 2018

Butler T-shirt Quilt - Finished

Hi there!  I have a finished t-shirt quilt to share with you all today.  I really do love t-shirt quilts, because of how they celebrate a past and carry so many memories.  <3

I shared the story and process of this particular quilt on this post.

I went back and forth about the border (with the help of those of you who sent me messages), and I finally decided on the gray because I thought the ombre effect would be especially striking with the gray sashing.  Thank you all who helped me pick. <3

I did something different with the quilting on this one, than I have in the past.  I quilted through the designs, instead of around them, which the exception of a couple that had designs that were particularly thick.  I was afraid that my machine might skip and leave holes in those.  But I'm pleased with the overall quilting effect, and it was easier to quilt over the designs than I thought.

Thanks so much for stopping by today!

I'm linking up today with Finish it up Friday!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Almost Plaid Placemats Tutorial

Hello there! I'm excited to share my latest set of placements today! I made a set of these at Christmas, and I just loved them and had to make them again with different fabric...so, I thought I'd put together a quick tutorial to share with you.

Material Requirements:

30 – 5” squares of coordinating prints
5/8 yard solid fabric for stripes and binding
1 yard fabric for backing
4 – 14” x 16” rectangles of batting

Cutting Instructions:

1. Cut each 5” square into four (4) 2.5” squares. Put each of the four (4) 2.5” squares into a separate stack, so that you will have 4 stacks that consist of 1 square from each of the original 5” squares.

2. From the Solid fabric, cut 3 strips 1.5” x width of fabric. From those strips, cut:
  • 4 rectangles 1.5” x 10.5” 
  • 4 rectangles 1.5” x 11.5” 
  • 4 rectangles 1.5” x 2.5” 
3. From the backing fabric, cut 4 rectangles 14” x 16”.

Sewing Instructions: 

**all seam allowances are 1/4”

1. For the first placemat, you'll need one stack of 2.5” squares and 1 of each length of the 1.5” wide strips.

2. Lay your squares out like the image below. If you have any prints that are very close in color to the solid, avoid placing them in the rows/columns on either side of the solid fabric. I did this with my prints that had navy backgrounds.

3. Sew together each row on the left side of the 11.5” rectangle. Press the seams in each row all one direction, but alternate the direction you press each row so that your seams will nest together.

4. Sew the rows you created together, including the 10.5” strip.

5. Sew the blocks together that form the column on the far right.

6. Sew the 11.5” strip onto the column you just made.

7. Finally, sew the 2 pieces together to finish the top.

8. Repeat steps 1-7 to finish the other 3 placemat tops.

9. Baste, quilt, and bind in your preferred method. I stitched in the ditch on either side of the navy stripes, then did stippling/meandering over all the patchwork.

Finished Placemats are approximately 13.5” x 11.5”.

I'd love to see what you make with this or any of my tutorials and patterns! Connect with me on Instagram @summerleequilts (use #summerleequilts) or on Facebook at http://facebook.com/summerleequilts.

If you'd like to print this, you can find the whole pattern for free in my Craftsy Pattern Shop.

Thanks so much for stopping by today! Have a great day!

I'm linking up today with:
Let's Bee Social
WIPS on Wednesdays!
Needle & Thread Thursday
Can I get Whoop Whoop?
Finish it up Friday

Friday, January 19, 2018

Crossing Paths Finished Quilt Top

Hi there!  I'm so glad it's Friday, and I get to share a finish with you!  

I've been holding onto this Rolie Polie of High Adventure by Design by Dani for Riley Blake for over a year, waiting for the perfect pattern or inspiration to come across my path.  Well, Missouri Star did it!  I saw the Crossing Paths tutorial and fell in love.

It's been years since I've done strip piecing, but the blocks were so easy to make.

Here they are laid out on my sewing room floor.

Now, up to this point, the quilt was smooth sailing.  However, once the rows were sewn together...I started running into to trouble.  I inadvertently turn blocks around.  I sewed rows together on the wrong side.  At one point, in one row, I had the two center blocks rotated the wrong way but the rest of the row was right.  I haven't used a seam ripper so much on a project in a long time!

I didn't give up on it and finally...this happened!

I considered putting a navy border on it with little 4-path corners, but I really like the edge to edge design on this one.  I think I'll save the navy for the binding instead.  

I haven't decided how I'll quilt it yet.  I really don't like doing straight-line quilting, but I think maybe diagonals would be pretty.  We'll see. :)

Thanks so much for stopping by today!  Have a great one!

I'm linking up with all the Friday finishes at Finish it up Friday, Finished or Not Friday, TGIFF, and Can I get a Whoop Whoop?!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Introducing...Scrappy Star Placemats!

Hello!!  I am so excited this morning to finally be able to share this!

I've been dreaming about offering patterns for years, but I just never did it for lots of silly reasons.  Well, this year, I've made it a goal to stop listening to those silly excuses and reasons, and to just do what my heart wants to do!

So...this morning, I get to formally introduce you to Scrappy Star Placemats!

These placemats are so super fun, using simple techniques, with a stunning result.  They are charm pack friendly.  One charm pack with 36+ squares will give you 4 placemats.

As a homeschooling mama, I know that everyone learns in different ways.  So, I wrote detailed descriptions on how to make these, but I also included lots of full color pictures for the detailed learners.

Materials Needed:
36 - 5” squares of coordinating prints (or ¾ yard total)
1 ¾ yard solid fabric for top, backing, and binding
4 – 13.5” x 17.5” rectangles of batting

You can find it now here: Scrappy Stars Placemats