Easy Patchwork: Triangle Corner made with a Square, or “Snowball” Corners

Easy Patchwork: Triangle Corner made with a Square, or “Snowball” Corners

It’s easy to make a triangle on the corner of a block, no math involved. I first heard of this technique from an amazing quilt teacher, Mary Ellen Hopkins, who wrote groundbreaking quilting books like “It’s OK if You Sit on My Quilt”, and “Connecting Triangles” among others. Mary Ellen was probably best known for creating the connector and perfect piecing triangles concepts. I was so lucky to have the opportunity to see her at her lecture in Milwaukee just a few years before she passed away (in 2013). Not only did she make quilting fun, her sense of humor and showmanship shined during what I would call her “performance” instead of her lecture.

Here’s how to do this technique. In this example, I’ll add a triangle to the top of a rectangle. I cut a square the same width as the rectangle. On the wrong side of the square, I drew a line from one corner to the opposite corner. Since I’ll be sewing on this line, I like to use a very fine point sharpie or a mechanical pencil with a light hand—just dark enough to see.

Draw a line corner to corner.

Place the rectangle right side up and the marked square right side down on top of it (right sides together) paying attention to the orientation of the angle.

Then sew on the drawn line.

If I’m making more than one I like to sew one after the other (chain piecing) without having to cut the threads in-between until I’m finished.

Then I take it to the ironing board (love my wool pressing surface by the way) and I give it a good press as is to set the seam.

Then I gently open the seam by folding the edge of the square to meet the opposite corner.

Press, then lift the top layer up to reveal the two layers beneath it…
Trim bottom 2 layers with 1/4” seam.
You’ll end up with a beautiful triangle…no math necessary.

This video might make it easier to understand…just hit the play button below.

These corner triangles (made with marked squares) are sometimes referred to as “snowball” corners, or “snowballed”. You can use them to make all sorts of blocks: snowball, flying geese, or star points. Let me show you a few examples.

By adding a second triangle (same angle orientation) to the bottom, I’ve made a simple parallelogram.

Or by adding them to four corners of a square, I can make a snowball block. Here’s one of my baby quilts featuring the snowball. I’ve added color triangles to the white squares & white triangles to the color blocks.

But look what happens when

I added the triangles to only opposite sides of the squares. I sewed grey to opposite sides of each square and it’s the arrangement of the squares that makes the Xs & Os design.
This is the exact same idea, but they form stretched stars in my lap quilt made with red and white scraps. It’s all in the colors & block arrangement that gives the illusion of stars.
And by adding the “snowballed” corners to 2 corners on the same side of some squares it creates these adorable stars on my baby quilt made with 30s reproduction fabrics and bleached muslin,

So give this technique a try. And play with different sizes and shapes. The sky’s the limit! Have fun.

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

How to Use Corner Triangles to Hang a Quilted Wall Hanging

How to Use Corner Triangles to Hang a Quilted Wall Hanging

I have found an easy way to hang smaller quilted wall hangings or art quilts on your wall…hanging corner triangles. They’re so easy to incorporate into your binding. Here’s how.

After you’ve finished quilting your wall hanging and have trimmed the edges to prepare it for binding, you can add these corner hanging triangles to the back.

Cut two 5” squares. I like to use the same fabric as the backing, but if you don’t have enough, any fabric scraps will work. I like to try to match the background so they will blend in and you don’t notice them when you look at the back. This is especially nice if you’ve made a wall hanging that you might want to use as a table topper too. It looks nice and won’t interfere. But if your item will only be hung on a wall, matching the fabric really doesn’t matter. You can even use leftover charm squares, or muslin.

Cut two squares approximately 5” each.

Fold each of the squares wrong sides together corner to corner and give them a good press with a hot iron.

Pin each triangle to the top corners of the back of your wall hanging, with the raw edges of the triangle matching the raw edges of your quilt.

With your sewing machine baste the triangle edges to the quilt using a walking foot and a scant quarter inch seam.

The raw edges are on the outer edges & the folded edge is towards the inside.

Bind your wall hanging in the usual manner, incorporating the basted triangle edges with the edges of the quilt. Once bound, all you need is a thin wooden dowel cut slightly shorter than the quilt. The thickness depends on how heavy the wall hanging is. This particular wall hanging is 20 x 20 inches square. I used a quarter-inch dowel, but even a thinner one would have been substantial enough to carry the weight.

Just slip both ends of the wooden dowel inside both triangle corners and you’re ready to hang it on your wall with a nail, or hook.

This wall hanging pattern will be available at my Etsy Shop soon!

For smaller art quilts or wall hangings I start with smaller squares (4”) and use thinner wooden dowels. I’ve even found wooden skewers to be long and thick enough for small projects. Experiment to see what size works best for your quilt.

This mini is 13 inches wide.
…so I used smaller squares & inserted a wooden skewer (cut to fit).

Keep in mind, this technique won’t work for large or heavy quilts/wall hangings. They might need more support in the center. It will all depend on the width and weight of the wall hanging.

For larger items, I use sew in a “hanging sleeve” that goes all the way across the top of the quilt back, so the quilt’s weight is more evenly distributed.

If you’re interested in making a full length hanging sleeve, see my blog on hanging quilts.

I hope this was helpful. Until next time,

HAPPY QUILTING,

Jane, Mulberry Patch Quilts

Bright Poppy Table Topper for Vibrant & Vivacious

Bright Poppy Table Topper for Vibrant & Vivacious

It’s the very last challenge week for Project Quilting Season 11 (2020). A big shout out to Kim Lapecek (Persimmons Dreams);and her cohort Trisha Franklin (AKA Quilt Chicken) for making this challenge possible, and for cheering us up during a very unusual and difficult time.

They couldn’t have chosen a better challenge theme “Vibrant and Vivacious”. Working with bright colors was just what we all need to distract us from all that’s going on and to help cheer us on.

I chose a border print of red poppies from my stash. So bright and cheerful, the red and orange really pop against the black background. I used a 60 degree triangle ruler to make this pieced table topper.

Loved making it so much, I plan to make a table runner as well.

So what are you doing during this unprecedented time at home to keep your spirits up? A walk in the park? Cooking up a new recipe? Reading a new book? Why not get some colorful fabrics out of your stash and create something fun and cheerful.

Until next time, Happy Quilting!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

Easy Preemie Baby Quilt from Jelly Roll Strips

I’m participating again this year in Project Quilting, and this week’s Season 11.5 challenge is “Give It Away”. TRISH we must be on the same wavelength (LOL)!! Just the week before the challenge I made ten baby quilts for one of my favorite charities, Mikayla’s Grace! What are the chances? See that blog post here.

BUT those quilts won’t count for entry into this week’s challenge. The rules clearly state the quilt has to be made–beginning to end–during the challenge week. That’s not a problem… I see by their website that Mikayla’s Grace is still in need of baby quilts in their “large preemie” size. So I made two more quilts during the challenge this week.

Last time I used leftover blocks to make the quilts. This week I thought I’d change it up by using leftover jelly roll strips from a recent quilting project. I gathered up all the 30s reproduction strips I could find in my stash and started sewing them together.

If each strip has been 42″ (WOF), this would have gone faster–but most of the strips I had left were only 10″ …but it still worked just fine.

My “plan” (and I use the term loosely) was to make two similar baby quilts, each about 22″ square. Why two quilts? Because Mikayla’s Grace requests that donated items be made in sets of two. I also knew I wanted them to look “scrappy”, so I grabbed strips randomly and sewing them together until I had strip sets 11 strips wide (my simple math plan was 2″ finished x 11 =22″)… at least it sounds like a plan.

Once several strip sets were made (and I’d exhausted my pile of strips), I sub-cut them into 2-1/2″ strips and joined the edges together to make four identical really, really long strips.

I laid the subcut strips side by side and offset them by one square–“un-sewing” the last square from the bottom (see photo above) & re-sewing it to the top (see photo below).

I did the same thing with the third long strip, only offsetting it by taking two squares off the bottom & resewing them at the top… etc etc.

You get the idea!

If I had begun with full size (WOF) strips, or if I had more strips left to plan it all out perfectly, I could have figured out the exact size I needed to make the two quilts…but of course I didn’t have quite enough strips, so once I sewed all four long strips together, I simply un-sewed them into four sections and then combined two sections into each quilt…make sense? You can see in the photos how the diagonal stripes change color at their centers. But I don’t think it matters. It makes them more interesting.

I didn’t have quite enough subcut strips to make them square, so I added a strip to each side.

Both quilts are backed with the softest cotton flannel, sewn right sides together, then turned right side out, with just enough quilting in the ditch to hold the layers together nicely.

Off these go in the mail to Mikayla’s Grace in McFarland, WI. I hope they’ll bring comfort to a little one in the NICU of one of our area’s hospital, and that these quilts will offer love, hope, and comfort to their families as well.

Do you have some jelly roll strips left over? Why not consider making a baby quilt for Mikayla’s Grace, or a charity near and dear to your heart? I hope this blog has inspired you to give it a try!

Need more ideas? Check my blog on using your leftover blocks here. Or click “Charity Quilting” under “Categories” on the right side of this blog to see even more ideas.

Enjoy! I’d love to see what YOU create.

And I’m excited to see all the charities supported and ideas by the wonderfully generous and talented quilters make for Project Quilting this week.

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

Twister Heart Wallhanging—Put a Heart on It

Twister Heart Wallhanging—Put a Heart on It

So this week’s challenge for Project Quilting is “Put a Heart on It”. I’ve been wanting to do another Lil’ Twister tool quilt AND break into a beautiful Moda charm pack I just got by American Jane called “Merry Go Round”. I love the bright & pastel spring flower-like colors.

So here goes! How do you make a Twister heart? First position all the 5 inch squares into a large patchwork quilt top, kind of in the shape of a heart. This one is 7 x 7 squares.

Sew it altogether, then add a border out of the same background fabric and start cutting with the Lil’ Twister tool, lining the marks on the tool up with the seam lines.

This is the fun part! … it’s fun to see it change.

The hardest part is that first cut… then you line them up into a whole new “twisted” design and sew up the rows and columns again. So cute.

I was able to square up the fabric left between the cuts to use as a 2-1/2 inch square scrap border. There were just enough.

I decided to do a faux piping binding in green and red for a quick finish.

And did simple straight stitch quilting around the pinwheel shape, the border, and a zig zag through the scrappy border. I may go back at a later date to add free motion quilted “petals” in each pinwheel shape and more quilting in the background–either straight stitching or free motion meandering.

So here’s this week’s entry in Project Quilting Season 11 (2020). There’s no voting this year, but come see the entries here.

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!

Janr

Mulberry Patch Quilts

PS: Since it’s snowing like crazy here this morning in Wisconsin, I decided to hunker down at home and added some more free motion quilting to it.

Project Quilting -Team Colors

Project Quilting -Team Colors

So as you’ve heard me talk about before, Project Quilting is similar to Project Runway–you’re given a challenge & a limited period of time to make it, start to finish…but no one is voted off! It’s the creation of Kim Lapicek with her friend, Trish (AKA Quilt Chicken), and helps take the “cabin fever” out of the middle of winter here…although they have quilters from all over the world entering!

This is Season 11, Challenge 2: And the phrase is “Team Colors”. Well, I’m from Wisconsin, so of course (being football season) it’s either the Green Bay Packers or UW Badgers. I happened to have green & “gold” fabric in my stash & a technique I wanted to try…a perfect combination.

So info my stash I dove & cut strips of varying widths…even some with curves.

I layed them on a square of fusible interfacing (slightly overlapping) & just ironed them in place. Then I turned it upside down (photo above & below), and re-trimmed to size.

Then comes the fun part! I added yarns, ripped twisted thin strips of fabric, and zigzagged it all down.

Here’s a close up…

Then I simply put four squares together, and added the border on top of tge batting/backing and bound it.

I love the texture it creates. Fun!

It’s posted for this week’s challenge. There’s no voting, but check the Project Quilting website to see how other quilters have interpreted it. And give this fun technique a try.

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

Project Quilting…Advent Calendar

Project Quilting…Advent Calendar

When I found out the theme of this week’s Project Quilting challenge: NOTABLY NUMERIC, absolutely nothing came to mind. Then I remembered a kit I bought at the Madison Quilt Expo a couple years ago. It’s for an advent calendar wallhanging designed by Leanne & Kaytlyn Anderson of Whole Country Caboodle.

Everything I need is in the box (except for the batting & backing).

I loved this fabric and pattern, but every year around Christmas I never seemed to get around to it. Well, now’s my chance! …even if the holidays have come and gone, I don’t mind. At least it’ll be done before NEXT Christmas. Yay!

The only problem…can I get it cut, stitched, quilted & bound (beginning to end) by the PQ deadline, in only one week? We’ll see.

It comes with this pre-printed panel (see above) to make the cute numbered pockets. And inside each pocket is a tag. The idea is to take out a tag each day in December and do a kind act that’s written on it… Don’t you love that idea?

Here the labels are… all fused & ready to put in the pockets. Or you could make up your own labels with your own ideas written on them to put in the pockets.

It’s so much fun sewing on all the cute little pockets.

Here’s the layout. After making the pockets & topstitching them to the center of the quilt, she has you surround it with borders of her cute fabrics. It has a Glad Tidings banner at the top, and pieced pinwheels at the corners.

I did simple straight stitch quilting with my walking foot so I can get it done in time to upload for the challenge. But I can always go back and embellish more later if I want. But I don’t think it needs much.

All done.

And Beagle approved!

I love the concept of doing an act of kindness each day.

I was so happy to get to actually meet the designer, Leanne Anderson, at the Quilt Expo in Madison. Her fabrics (Henry Glass & Co) and patterns are all so cute. She’s an amazing artist. She looks great (that’s her on the right). I, on the other hand, look a bit exhausted by all the shopping at the Quilt Expo…lol.

So I’m done in time to enter it in Project Quilting. There’s no voting this year, but if you’d like, follow the link above, you can see what everyone created for the first week’s challenge: Notably Numeric.

Until next time, Happy Quilting!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

Quilt Studio Makeover: Design Wall

Quilt Studio Makeover: Design Wall

It’s so nice to be able to place your fabric pieces on the wall when you’re piecing or designing your quilt. I had a small design wall in my tiny quilt studio at our old house. But after gaining a little square footage at our new location (and more wall space), I decided that a larger design wall was in order.

It’s easy to do-it-yourself! Here’s how I did it.

Insulation board— I headed off to my local home improvement store to pick up some insulation board. Since I have a small car, we can’t fit the standard six feet sheets into it, But I was able to find some the perfect size … 2 x 2 foot.

Measuring the space available on my largest wall, I found making my design wall 6 feet x 6 feet would use the 2×2 boards most efficiently, and still be enough space for most of the quilts I do. So I bought 9. If you’ve got the space in your car, it’s a little cheaper to buy the 6 foot boards. But this was ideal for me.

Next I taped the boards together using heavy duty strapping tape. I did both the fronts and the backs of each seam. Duct tape will work, but it’ll show more easily through the flannel covering. The hardest part was finding an area on our floor large enough to lay them all out. A carpeted surface isn’t ideal, it’s best to do this step on a hard surface.

I found it easiest to tape my insulation board pieces in columns & then tape the columns together by rows. Hmmm…kind of like putting together a quilt.

Here it is (above) all taped together on both the front and the back sides.

FLANNEL– You’ll need a soft material (like cotton flannel) that fabric pieces will cling to to cover your insulation board. White or a soft light neutral are the best choices of color. I headed off to my local big box fabric store thinking I could find some inexpensive white wide flannel by the yard. Nope! Any other color or pattern BUT not white! Ugh!

So instead I found these white flannel sheets at a nearby Kohl’s…on sale!…perfect! This one was full size & I only used the flat sheet so the fitted sheet can be cut up and used in another project(s), like my charity baby quilts.

Sorry, I forgot to take a photo–but I laid the flannel sheet on the floor, placed the best looking (& smoothest) side of the taped insulation board on top of it, and worked folded the flannel over, trimming it as needed, and taping it to the back with duct tape. I worked the wrinkles out (taught but not too tight) as I went. You could also use a staple gun, but be sure your staples are short enough that they don’t go all the way through the board.

All that’s left to do is to mount it on your wall. How? There are a few options. You could try heavy duty sticky-back Velcro. Or picture hangers. But I chose to use drywall screws with washers. The insulation board is light weight, so I only needed about ten. They’re not pretty, but I hardly notice them. And it’s very sturdy.

You’ll notice in the photo above that I used a couple of boxes to hold it up so I could stand back and judge the placement on the wall before I committed to it and screwed it to the wall.

Here’s a closeup of the washer & screw. The washer needs a hole large enough for the screw to fit through, but small enough to keep the screw head from going through. I imagine you could camouflage it with a dab of white paint.

I can’t tell you how helpful having a larger design wall is. I love it. Most fabric pieces stay put without assistance, but I have the option to stick pins in the fabric to insure they don’t fall off before I get the chance to sew them all together. And it only took an afternoon to do make it.

So get going and give it a try. I’m sure you’ll love yours too.

You can make yours as small or as large as you like. You’re only limited by the size of your wall and your flannel covering.

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

PS: I’ve been asked about the project on the design wall in the photos. It’s a pattern by The Pattern Basket called “Star Drops” and it’s alot of fun to make. It’s made of layer cake (10″ squares) and mine is a Moda fabric by Robin Pickens called “Dandi-Annie”. Love it!💕

Tuesdays Tips -Quilting: HST Tip Tool

Tuesdays Tips -Quilting: HST Tip Tool

Hi! Thought you might enjoy a quick tip when you need to join half square triangles (HST) the traditional way–by sewing two triangles together.

I’m working on a Christmas quilt, and the pattern calls for cutting squares in half (corner to corner) and sewing them together.

I usually make my HST by cutting squares a bit larger, stacking them right sides together, drawing a line from corner to corner, sewing 1/4″ on either side of the line, cutting between the lines, pressing and squaring them up to size. You know the drill.

Or (if I have the right size die) I’ll use my Accuquilt to cut perfect triangles with the dog ears pre-trimmed. But for this pattern, I didn’t have the right size die.

So…I happened to remember a sweet little tool I got at the Quilt Expo quite awhile back (and amazingly was able to find it)! It’s a Porter & Fons Triangle Trimmer. It made the job so much easier.

Just line it up with the corner and trim!

Why? Because it makes the triangles easier to line up, and easier to feed through the machine (easier to get the trimmed edge under to needle than that tiny point).

And because once they’re opened up and pressed, there are no dog ears to trim.

I was lucky…these HST finished up right on target, so there was no need to spend time squaring.

So if you’re into a project that calls for sewing HST the old fashioned way…take a look in your tool stash. You just might have forgot about this great little tool.

Hope this tip was helpful. Until next time,

HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

Project Quilting Challenge 10.5 Words

Project Quilting Challenge 10.5 Words

This week our PQ challenge designer, Trish, came up with a word about words that I’ve never heard before… abecedarius. …what? My spellchecker can’t even find it (lol).

The word “abecedarius” means “an alphabet primer.” Literally, the word itself is made up of a+b+c+d! It can refer to a form of poetry where the first letter of each line or verse is the next letter of the alphabet, or it can be a book where each letter is defined (A is for … B is for …).

Lucky for me I can interpret this challenge very loosely, and make it into an opportunity to make a paper pieced wallhanging with a background made up of fabric with words!

I found this in amazing Moda fabric in my stash. It features dozens and dozens of actual quilt store names. Do you recognize any of the shop names? I recognize a few. They’re from all over the US.

Trees8The pattern I’m using is paper pieced. Don’t you just love paper piecing? I think it’s relaxing…no stress, no seams to worry about matching. And somehow, by using the lines on the paper as sewing guides, it all comes out nicely in the end.

Here are some of the pattern pieces on the design wall. I think the hardest part was choosing which fabrics go where.

A light box really helps with the paper piecing process. My new Cutterpillar came with a translucent self-healing cutting mat so I can actually rotary cut the fabric right on top of it.

It doesn’t take long for the trees to magically emerge on the back side of all the papet piecing patterns.

And here the little trees are…ready to square up and quilt.

I chose to quilt straight lines with my walking foot…outlining the trees and then filling in the background with rows of horizontal stitching..

Trees6

And here’s the result: I’m calling it “Whispering Pines” because they seem to be whispering the names of all those quilt shops in the background … all calling my name to come shop (lol).

Trees4Very simple, but sweet.  The wall hanging has hanging triangles on the back top corners to make it easy to hang on the wall.  It’ll soon be in my Etsy Shop for sale.

Trees5a

COME JOIN IN THE FUN…go to the Project Quilting website to see this week’s entries and to vote for you favorites (hope one of them is mine, #14 “Whispering Pines” …hint, hint). Voting starts Sunday afternoon, March 10 and runs through Friday, March 15, 2019.

HOW TO VOTE: Just go to the link above, scroll down to the bottom until you see the thumbnail photos of the quilts. Then click on the heart in the upper right hand side of the photo of the entry you want to vote for ❤️ and it’ll fill the heart in & tell you how many votes you have left. If there are over a hundred entries, you’ll get 10 votes. Enjoy!

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts