Charming Chevrons Followup #3

I’m getting a great response from my Charming Chevrons quilt tutorial. With the easy to piece blocks they are going together very quickly.  Several blog readers are making it in alternate sizes, too.

Chevron Blocks

I was very happy to find a larger seam roller to use in pressing my blocks. I started off using a narrow roller. But when I took Deb Karasik’s workshop she recommended using one with a wider roll, sort of like a wallpaper roller.

Narrow Seam Roller

Wide Seam RollerYou can order one directly from Deb’s store.

I hope to carry them too!

By the way, here’s a picture of Kathie’s quilt in progress using coordinated fabrics and larger blocks cut 8.5 inches instead of 5 inches. The graphic colorscheme is rockin’!!

Kathie's ChevronsKathie is thinking of using Minkee on the back. I think that would be fabulous and she could even skip the batting if she wants!

You’ll notice that Kathie folded and pressed her blocks to get the diagonal registration lines rather than marking them with a pen. This works, too!

Fold and Press HSTThe beauty of this pattern is that it will work in ANY size because the blocks are all the same size. You can also use fewer blocks or make your quilt larger by adding borders. Remember, this is YOUR quilt so I give you blanket permission to change it any way YOU want! Now, wasn’t that fun??

Christa’s Quilt Along 3.4 – Charming Chevrons Block Tutorial

This is the week where our Charming Chevrons quilts really start coming together! We will sew all of the blocks and start laying them out so that the top can get finished by next week. Be sure to scroll to the end of this post for the complete tutorial schedule.

It took me a total of 2 hours, 15 minutes to sew and press all 42 of my Chevron blocks.Chevron Blocks

Step 1 – Sewing the Half-V’s (1 Hour)

Each chevron looks like a V and each half of the block is a mirror image so keep that in mind while assembling your units.

Block UnitsFirst, separate all of your triangle squares from last week  into 4 equal piles, orienting them to form a V.

Note that each half of the V is made from two triangle squares of the same fabric. You should have a total of 42 sewn triangle squares per pile.

Since each half of the block is a mirror image,  I will be sewing one half at a time.

Starting with the left half of the block – the left V – I laid a stack of units next to my sewing machine. They are oriented in the direction I will sew them. Chain piece all left V units.

Chain Piece the VsStacked Units Chain Piecing means sewing pairs of blocks with no stops.

After sewing all of your left V stacks, finger press (or use a wooden seam roller) from the back and then again from the front. Press them all to the same side and repeat for all halves.

Press Front SidePress Back Side

You should have a total of 42 left V units.

Now, repeat the steps above for the other half of the blocks, the right V units. Be sure to press the right halves in the opposite direction so they nestle when sewing the blocks.

Press OppositeRight V Units

 

Repeat for a total of 42 right V units.

Step 2 – Joining the Halves (1 Hour, 15 Minutes)

Pin the two halves of each block together. If desired, you can flip over any seams so that they will nestle with the other side of the block – look at the pin on the far right below.

Pin the Chevron Halves

The key to sewing crisp points on these blocks  is to hit the “sweet spot” when sewing your seams. Sew from the side where you can see a little “x” made by previous seams. This is right where my pin intersects the block below.

Sew Through the X

When you have sewn all of the blocks together, press or seam-roll them again on both front and back. When finished, you will have a total of 42 blocks.

Finished Chevron BlockPress the Chevrons

Because of the way this quilt is laid out, you will want the major seams in your blocks to alternate. To do this make sure you press 18 blocks in one direction and 24 blocks the opposite direction. You’ll have 3 rows of block seams one way and 4 going the other way.

Seams Pressed Opposite

Once your blocks are complete, you can start laying them out in a pleasing color arrangement on your design wall (watch which way you pressed the seams).

Kona Solids Kit

Kona Solids Kit

You’ll notice that in my original drawings I started with the  Chevrons pointing up first. But now that I’ve laid them out, I think I prefer them as shown in the photo above with the points starting down. It’s your choice! I have kits available for all 3 colorways shown.

American Jane Kit

American Jane Kit

Coquette Kit

Coquette Kit


Sewing Schedule (All links will be active once each step has been completed.)

Charming Chevrons Followup #2

Here are a this week’s questions I received about my  Charming Chevrons quilt tutorial.

Ivy asked if I was sitting down while rotary cutting.

Yes, for part of the time I was, when trimming all of those triangle squares! I keep a medium sized mat next to my sewing machine while piecing so that I can trim as necessary. (Then I just move it out of the way when I’m machine quilting or need more sewing surface area.)

Medium Mat

Medium Mat

Large Mat

Large Mat

For smaller pieces like the triangle squares I can comfortably trim while sitting. However, for larger chunks of fabric, or for rotary cutting lots of individual units, I will stand to cut. I have a larger rotary cutting mat that I keep on my large utility tables (which are the same tables I use for basting – with the emphasis on the word UTILITY!)

Aggie & Kathie are both making their quilts with double the amount of squares cut from Layer Cakes. They need to know the new dimensions.

Their layout will use almost twice as many triangles squares, a total of 320 to be exact (with 16 leftover). This size quilt will finish at 64″ x 80″ and the setting will be 16 triangle squares across by 20 triangles squares down. But we are getting ahead of ourselves since that will be part of next week’s homework!  See last Thursday’s follow-up post for another way to use a Layer Cake for this quilt.

Layer Cake Chevrons

Layer Cake Chevrons

I enjoy answering your questions while making this quilt, so keep them coming! You can either post them here on my blog or email me directly at christa@christaquilts.com. I’ll respond with updates each week.

If you are just now joining us – this quilt is super fun and simple to make. It just requires 2 charm packs of color or print and 2 charm packs of background. Kits are available, too.

Be sure to email me pictures of your progress so I can share them during sew and tell!

Christa’s Quilt Along 3.3 – Trimming the Triangle Squares

I am very glad I decided to take some time putting together my Charming Chevrons Do-It-Yourself Quilt Tutorial, and spread it out over several weeks. This week’s step of making the triangle squares is a very simple process; however it was a little time consuming.

It took a total of 3 hours to complete the steps below. That’s not bad considering I’m giving you a whole week to complete it, but I suggest you break it up over a few cutting sessions. It’s too tedious to do all at once! Scroll down to the end for the complete schedule.

Step 1 – Cutting the Squares in Half (20 Minutes)

With your ruler, rotary cutter and mat, slice each pair of sewn squares in half on the diagonal, down the middle on your previously drawn line. You may use scissors instead, but rotary cutting them is definitely faster.

Line up Your Ruler

Cut the Squares ApartEach pair of squares has been sewn together 1/4 inch away from the drawn line, yielding 2 half square triangles per each pair of charm squares (following last week’s instructions).

I like to stack them up as I cut, keeping the same pairs of colors together. They look like little fabric sandwiches. Yummy!

Sewn Triangle Stacks

Step 2 – Pressing the Triangle Squares (1 Hour)

It took me longer then normal to press the squares because I starched each block first.

Press the BlocksI am not sure if I’m happy with the results so I mention this with caution – test on the back side or some scrap fabric first or just skip it.

I got starch marks on the front sides of several of the blocks.

I had to soak them in water to get the marks out.

And yes, I used Mary Ellen’s Best Press which was not supposed to leave any residue.

So I’m not sure if I had my iron on too high of a setting, or perhaps it doesn’t work well with solids?

Press Seams to the Darker SideIs anyone else familiar with this? I’m still a starching newbie.

This is why I’m making this quilt in real time – so I can learn these things!

So if you just press your squares without worrying about starch or sizing, it will be quicker!

I pressed all of my seams toward the darker fabric.

Once my stacks were all pressed, it was time to trim them to size!

Step 3 – Trimming the Triangles (1 Hour 40 Minutes)

This was the tedious part because you will be trimming a total of 168 squares 1 at a time! So set aside a few afternoons and enjoy the process!

With a square ruler and a sharp cutter, trim the blocks so that they measure 4 1/2 inches. Line up the diagonal line of your ruler on the seam of the blocks.

Trim the Blocks

Then trim the sides. You may be able to trim only on 2 sides, or you may need to trim all four sides depending on where you need to slide your ruler so that the diagonal line stays in the center of the block.

Half Square Triangle Blocks

Block TrimmingsWhen you are all finished trimming, you will have a leftover pile of cuttings.

I think it looks rather pretty, don’t you?

You can use it as colorful stuffing or confetti.

Or how about wrapping up used needles or rotary blades with these scraps, put them in a bag, and safely throw away these sharp objects!

Sewing Schedule (All links will be active once each step has been completed.)

UFO Weekend

This weekend was the first time in awhile that I didn’t have to go anywhere or do anything but sew! (And take care of the kids and do laundry and clean the house and cook and work…)

I didn’t finish anything, but I worked a little bit on a bunch of projects I have going on right now so I feel very accomplished!

I finished a couple more paper-pieced units from my Deb Karasik workshop:

Paper Pieced Units

I sewed together all of my half-square triangles for my Charming Chevrons quilt tutorial later this week:

Half Square Triangles

I hand-sewed (yes-by hand!) another chunk of my Winding Ways quilt:

Hand Pieced Winding Ways

And I machine quilted a couple more squares of my Busy Hands quilt.

Busy Hands FMQ

All in all, it was a productive weekend!

Charming Chevrons Follow Up Questions #1

I am starting something new with my Charming Chevrons quilt-along. Each week or so I will post follow-up questions and answers the day after that week’s tutorial is posted. This will be so that I can answer any questions, or follow up on any suggestions while making your quilt.

Charming Chevrons Original Size

Charming Chevrons Original Size 48″ x 56″

You can either ask your questions on any of my blog posts, or email me directly and I’ll answer them here on the blog.

The first question is from JennyWren in Tx. She asked about which day will I be posting the weekly tutorials.

That’s an easy one to answer!

Usually on Wednesdays, depending on when I get that week’s step finished. My goal is to be about a week ahead of you guys but sometimes life gets in the way. If I get really behind, I’ll post no later than Thursday of that week, but I’ll really try to get it up as early on Wednesday morning as I can. How’s that for an answer?

Kathie asked if it was ok to use a Layer Cake to make the quilt larger.

Absolutely! I have two ideas on how to do this:

1. Use one layer cake of print/color fabric and one layer cake of background. Cut each piece into four – 5″ squares, yielding 168 per layer cake. This is twice as many squares as I have listed for my pattern (mine calls for 2 charm packs of print, 2 packs of background or about 1/2 a layer cake’s worth each). This will make a larger quilt measuring 64″ x 80″.

Charming Chevrons More Squares

Charming Chevrons More Squares

2. Still use a total of 2 Layer Cakes, but treat each one as an oversized charm square and follow the same pattern, making adjustments for the size of the blocks. This will still yield a larger quilt but with bigger blocks, rather than more smaller blocks as in answer number 1 above. It would measure about 72″ x 90″ (less waste lost to seams yielding bigger blocks).

Charming Chevrons with Layer Cake Blocks

Charming Chevrons with Layer Cake Blocks

Here’s another way to think of it. If you can find a layer cake with an even amount of light/dark pieces, you can get 2 of the same layer cake. Then separate the lights from the darks and treat them as two separate cakes!

Great questions! Keep ’em comin’!

Christa’s Quilt Along 3.2 – Marking and Sewing the Charm Squares

Welcome to week 2 of my do-it-yourself quilt along, Charming Chevrons. Last week we gathered our supplies. This week we will mark and sew our charm squares. Scroll down to the end of this post for a link to last week’s supply list and a schedule for the entire tutorial. Three versions below are available as quilt kits on my website; you can also make your own.

Solid ChevronsAmerican Jane ChevronsCoquette Chevrons

You can work at your own pace and I will start posting how long it takes me to complete each step. This will give you a general idea of how long my quilts will take to make. Today’s tutorial took me a total of one hour, 15 minutes to mark and sew.

Step 1 – Mark the Background Squares (15 minutes)

I chose 2 charm packs of Kona Ash grey and 2 packs of Kona Classics Solids (new palette). My pattern calls for 84 – 5″ squares of color and 84 – 5″ squares of background. The Kona color solids only came in 41 pieces per pack, so I had to add an extra charm to each set to ensure I had enough. (I made sure to add extra charms to the kits using this fabric, too!)

Straight Edge with Pen for MarkingMark all Backgrounds

Using a straight edge and marking pen of your choice, draw a diagonal line down the back of each background square. (Kona Solids don’t have a right or wrong side so just pick one. )

After several tries with different marking tools,  I had great success with the Frixion pen because it drew dark smooth lines on the fabric with no snagging or bleeding.

Step 2 – Sew the Seam Lines (1/2 hour each side, 1 hour total)

My favorite method for making half-square triangles is to sew 1/4 inch on either side of your marked lines. This goes really fast and you can sew for a few minutes at a time.

Sew 1/4 inch away from the line.

Grab one background charm and one color charm at random. Flip it over so that the background (grey) square is on top. Starting off of the sewing machine, sew 1/4″ in away from the marked line.

Chain Piece Your Blocks

Do not clip your threads at the end. Rather,  “chain piece” the next pair of charms. Continue sewing together pairs of charms (background/color) until you have sewn a total of 84 pairs, all on one side.

Pile of Colorful Blocks

Now, gather your long chain and this time sew on the other side of the line, again using 1/4″ seams. If they get tangled up, it’s ok to cut a few sections apart. If your seams are not exactly perfect, that’s ok, too. We will trim the blocks next week so they are all the same size.

Sew the other side.

Once all of your pairs are sewn, clip the threads between the blocks, stack them into a pile, and set aside for the next step. Now, give yourself a pat on the back! Wasn’t that fun??

Stacks of Colorful Blocks

If you are now just joining us, here is the complete schedule for making this quilt from start to finish, including quilting and binding. You’ll have a finished quilt in just a few weeks!

Sewing Schedule (All links will be active once each step has been completed.)

Christa’s Quilt Along 3.1 – Charming Chevrons Supply List

Free Quilt Pattern

New to my blog? Be sure to sign up for my email newsletter to get a free pattern!

Charming Chevrons

I am so excited to start my next quilt along! I’m having a blast designing new quilt patterns and breaking them down into easy to follow step-by-step tutorials.

To purchase a PDF download of this pattern, click here.

What do you get when you combine a couple of charm packs with a fun geometric design made from triangles? The answer is Charming Chevrons (48″ x 56″), shown below:

Charming Chevrons

I designed my quilt using Kona Cotton charm packs in their new classic palette.

I have put together quilt kits using the exact fabrics shown above, plus a couple of variations using these Moda charm packs shown below.

American Jane School Days

American Jane School Days

Chez Moi Coquette

Chez Moi Coquette

Supply List

Important! If you’d like to pick your own charms, make sure that each pack contains at least 42 – 5 inch squares. Be sure to purchase or cut extra charms if needed.

Fabric

  • 2 of the same charm packs in darks or prints – 84 charms total (Kona colors above)
  • 2 of the same charm packs in lights or neutral solids – 84 charms total (Grey above)
  • 1/2 yard for the binding (can be same as the background or something else)
  • 3 yards for backing split into 2 equal pieces if using all the same fabric. If you prefer a scrappy backing like I do, collect assorted chunks and scraps to total this amount.
  • Batting piece measuring at least 54″ x 62″ – (why not piece together some leftovers?)

Supplies

  • Basic sewing equipment in good working order
  • Rotary cutting mat and equipment
  • Iron and/or pressing tool
  • A variety of acrylic plastic ruler sizes including a 6 inch square up ruler (or larger)
  • Brand new sewing machine needles (I always start with a fresh needle on a new project!)
  • Frixion marking pen for drawing straight piecing lines (or your favorite marking pen)
  • Neutral cotton thread for piecing
  • Decorative thread to match fabrics for quilting
  • Walking foot for straight line quilting
  • Optional – darning foot for free-motion quilting (FMQ)
  • Optional – design wall or large space to lay out your design
  • Optional – blue water soluble marking pen for marking quilting lines
  • Optional – pinmoors and pins for easy basting
  • Optional – supreme slider, machingers gloves, bobbin washers for smooth FMQ

Sewing Schedule (All links will be active once each step has been completed.)

Based on past tutorials, I am allowing plenty of time to sew the quilt together so no one feels rushed. You are always welcome to work ahead or slow it down. That’s the beauty of this quilt along – you can sew and quilt at your own pace!

Sharing is Caring

Please share your work in progress in my facebook group: Quilt With Christa . 🙂