A Christmas Eve Surprise and a New Years Day 2019 Mystery

If you have been following this blog for a while, you know that my birthday is Christmas Eve.   Lest you think that’s a terrible day for a birthday child, it wasn’t really.  My mother made sure she got everything Christmas done ahead of time, and we actually had a birthday celebration for me.

It wasn’t until I became a mother myself that I realized how inconvenient that all was.  Holy cow, I could barely keep up with Christmas, never mind adding MY birthday to the mix!  People wanted to “treat” me, not realizing I had a million other things to do that didn’t involve taking time off.

So I started the tradition of giving out presents to other people on my birthday, and yes, you have one coming!

OK, I cheated a little bit today. It’s actually the cutting directions for the quilt mystery 2019 that starts at 9AM Eastern on January 1st.   The introduction that included the fabric requirements is here: /announcing-the-new-years-day-mystery-dutch-delight/

Just as an FYI, the BOM directions will go out December 29 so they won’t clash with this mystery.

Without further ado, here it is:

Dutch Delight Cutting Directions

Don’t forget to send me your pictures!   Yes, even your fabric choices or your steps.  As a thank you, I will send you the entire professional pattern at the end of the mystery.

Enjoy your holidays!

Crocheted Christmas Tree

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How to Add a Faux Piped Border to Your Quilt

Do you remember the Swing Your Partner Quilt that I made a few months ago?  I did a Snail Trail block tutorial here.  The pattern was picked up by Connecting Threads (you can see a picture below.)

Swing Your Partner Quilt Kit offered by Connecting Threads

If you like that quilt, you can order a kit from Connecting Threads. They also sell the pattern.  If you would prefer to order it from your local quilt shop, they can order the pattern wholesale at QuiltWoman.

I did make a sample and it turned out wonderfully!  I wanted to do something special for the binding, so I asked my Facebook group for a little help.  They suggest a faux piped binding, also known as a flange.

I didn’t want to commit to the entire quilt without trying it out first, so I did a practice piece first.  You can see what I did in the pictures below.

I knew I wanted the outer binding to be red and the accent to be white, so I cut the red binding 1-3/4″ wide and the white binding 1-1/4″ wide.  My thinking was that when they were sewn together, the binding would be 2-1/2″ wide.

For the purposes of the practice piece, I only made a small section.  I liked what I saw, but if I hadn’t, I could have changed the size of the outer binding or the accent strip.  When I decided to do the entire quilt, I cut all the strips first and then mitered them end to end.  I cut off a 6″ piece of the white before I mitered those strips so that the miters for the two colors wouldn’t end up right next to each other.

I would recommend that you use a walking foot when sewing the two pieces of the binding strips together.  These are long, long seams and your feed dogs will tend to sew the bottom layer a touch faster.  That doesn’t usually matter, but on strips this long, you will be able to tell.

Here is my finished practice piece – it was a little larger than 2-1/2″ wide because I wasn’t very careful with my 1/4″ seam.  I cut it down to be exact.  I pressed the seam to the binding color, although I suppose you could open it if you preferred.

If you decide to press the seam to the accent color, your little flange will look more like piping as it will be filled with the seam allowance.   Try it both ways like I did so you can see what you like better.

A faux piped binding is sewn to the back, then flipped to the front to be secured.  Make sure you place the color you want on the outside along the cut edge of the quilt.  In my case, it was the red as shown above.

In the picture above, I have folded the accent piece up so it is along the cut edge and the seam is in the middle.   I sewed that section….

then flipped it up to look at it.

It looked good, so I wrapped it around the outside of the quilt.

I stitched in the ditch to hold it down.

It looked good!  I did experiment with using a specialty stitch from my machine on the white part, but I didn’t like it.  I suppose a double needle would have made an interesting effect, but I didn’t try it.

Sewing on a pieced binding  is the same as sewing on any binding.  Using a walking foot, you start sewing your 1/4″ seam roughly in the middle, leaving six inches or so of your binding strip unattached to the quilt.

When you get to the corner of the quilt stop stitching a 1/4″ from the edge.  Take your quilt off of your machine and flip the binding up.  Fold it back down on itself and keep sewing.

If you are going to add a hanging sleeve, now is the time to pin it in place.  You can sew the upper edge into the binding, making one seam do the work of two.  The bottom edge of the sleeve can be hand stitched in place.

Here is how you finish the binding (from a previous article)
1. Start by crossing the two binding ends over each other.  Cut one one end of the binding the width of the binding longer than the the other end. In my case, it was 2-1/2″.
2.Cross those two ends right sides together and draw a diagonal line. Try to do that in the middle of the two bindings so you have room to work.  Sew on the diagonal line.
3. AFTER you have checked to make sure you did it correctly, cut a 1/4″ seam.
4. Your binding will fit perfectly on your top.
5.  The Binding Miter Tool will help you finish this edge. (Amazon link)

And in my case…

Step One above

Step two above

Testing the seam before trimming.  (above) Sew it down, then trim the corner.  Don’t cut the seam!  (below)

Fold the binding around to the front of the quilt and pin it down.  Again using your walking foot, stitch in the ditch between the accent fabric and the binding fabric. In the picture below, I have pinned the folded border.  This part is always tricky.

Take your time and you will have a marvelous edge to your quilt!

Here is what the Swing Your Partner quilt looks like in our camping trailer.  (That is the Wreath and Garland on the wall.) Because the bed is king size, I turned it sideways and put it on top of a quilt that is upside down. I didn’t really plan on this being a Christmas quilt, but it does look festive, doesn’t it?

Red and Green quilt on a king sized bed

What you can’t really tell is that I sewed the binding down along the outer edge, so it didn’t have a three dimensional flange.  Here is a picture of one I did a while ago with a loose edge.  I think I like that one better.

Quilt Piped Binding Edges

Have you tried this method?  Which one did you like better?

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Blast from the past: A holiday gift from December 2008

Spinning Stars Table Runner

This 23″ x 46″ table runner was inspired by a class on the various ways to make Flying Geese blocks. All you need is a 6-1/2″ square ruler!

Please note that the rectangles are cut slightly oversize in the pattern below. That’s to give you a chance to experiment and make mistakes without ruining the block. You are welcome to cut them smaller (or use strips) if you prefer.

Fabric requirements (cross off my colors and write in yours)

1/2 yard Background
(1) 5-1/4″ wide strip by the WOF (width of fabric) cut into (6) 5-1/4″ x 5-1/4″ squares and ( 1) 4-3/4″ x 4-3/4″ square.
(3) 2-1/2″ x WOF strips for the floating border.
(1) 3-1/2” wide strip by the WOF, cut into (12) 3-1/2” x 3-1/2” squares

3/4 yard Red
(3) 5-1/4″ strips, cut into (16) 3″ x 5-1/4″ rectangles and (3) 4-3/4″ x 4-3/4″ squares. Cut down any leftover strip to 3-1/2″ wide so you can use it in the border.
(3) 3-1/2″ x WOF (width of fabric) for the borders

1/3 yard Green
(2) 5-1/4″ wide strips, cut into (24) 3″ x 5-1/4″ rectangles

Step One: Making the center of the stars:

Spinning Stars Table Runner Tutorial Step OneSew a 3″ x 5-1/4″ green rectangle to either side of the three red squares. (picture to the left) You can chain stitch these if you like. Press out toward the rectangle.





Spinning Stars Table Runner Tutorial Step TwoThen sew a green rectangle to the other sides of the block. Note that it doesn’t reach all the way to both sides. It doesn’t have to! (picture to the left)





Lay the block on your cutting board face up. Center a 6-1/2″ square ruler on the block so the point of the seam is 1/4″ inside the ruler as shown in the graphic below.

Square in a Square Tutorial

Make your cuts on opposite sides of the block, then rotate the mat (or walk around to the other side of the table) and cut the other two sides. If you have a rotating mat you will find this a very helpful thing:-))



Step Two: Making the HSTs (half square triangles)

Just as you did in Step One, center a 6-1/2″ ruler on the block. This time you don’t need to worry about the seam allowance – in fact, you WANT to cut it off. Make your cuts on opposite sides of the block, then rotate the mat (or walk around to the other side of the table) and cut the other two sides.

Spinning Stars TutorialCut all four sides with no seam allowance, the cut the resulting block into quarters. (below) You should have four perfect 2 1/2″ square HSTs.  These will be used in in the first border of the tablerunner, to make the inside corners.

Spinning Stars TutorialStep Three: Making the Flying Geese

Spinning Stars TutorialStart by sewing a green rectangle to either side of the
(6) 5-1/4″ background squares. (Picture to the left shows the chain stitching) This time, instead of sewing on another green rectangle as you did above, you will be sewing on a red rectangle.





Spinning Stars TutorialMake 6 blocks like the ones at the top of the picture to the right. This time, when you cut them, you will be cutting two sides with a 1/4″ seam allowance (like you did in step one) and two without (like you did in step two.) Cut these blocks in half through the center that has no seam allowance. You will get two flying geese blocks from each square in a square block.


Do you notice something odd about the picture? Yes, I was careless when I positioned the ruler to cut off the seam allowance. I should have been careful and always kept the green to the right. Because I didn’t, I now have four flying geese blocks with the green side on the left and eight flying geese blocks with the green on the right. Bummer, dude. I guess I will just have to make one block with the stars spinning in the other direction. I will put it in the middle so it looks like I *meant* to do that.

Step Four: Putting the blocks together

I didn’t take a picture of this step, but you can see from the final step that I sewed a flying goose block to both sides of the square in a square block. (Press to the goose.) Then I sewed a 3-1/2″ background square to both sides of the flying goose blocks that matched the two sides (press to the goose again) and sewed that unit to the top and bottom of the block. Because of the way you pressed your block, those seams should just nestle together, giving you a perfect intersection. Use pins and encouragement if it doesn’t work out perfectly. Your block should measure 12-1/2″ unfinished.

Now sew the blocks in a line of three as shown in the final picture. Remember I made a mistake in my sample – I put the “wrong” one in the center. It looks kinda nice, doesn’t it? If I hadn’t told you, you wouldn’t have known.

Step Five: The borders

If all has gone well, you should have a strip of three stars that measures
36-1/2″ unfinished. Cut two of the 2-1/2″ background strips to this length and sew them to the top and bottom of the block. Press to the border.

Spinning Stars TutorialCut two more of the 2-1/2″ wide background strips 12-1/2″ long. Sew a HST to both sides of this strip, matching the picture above. Press to the border again. Sew this strip to both ends of the tablerunner.

Measure your new quilt top horizontally through the center. It should be 40 1/2″, but if it is not, use YOUR measurement. Cut two of the 3 1/2″ wide border strips to this length and sew to the top and bottom. Press to the border. Measure again, this time vertically. It should be 16 1/2″ but again, use your measurement. Cut two strips to this length, and sew to the two sides. Press to the border – and – you are done!

Here’s what it was supposed to look like:

Spinning Stars Tutorial

If you make a Spinning Stars Tablerunner, please send a picture to [email protected]!  I would love to brag about you.

Ultimate Quilt Package - FREE Quilt Kit + $25 For Kits & Supplies included with annual Bluprint subscription at myBluprint.com 12/15-12/26/18.

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