Hearts Roundup

Heart Blocks  with Tutorial

After seeing so many adorable heart quilts over the past couple of years I finally started my own this week.  I have so many random sized pieces of reds and pinks that I’m ready to use up…so a heart quilt was calling my name.  

Heart Quilt Block Tutorial

I’m making the 8″ finished blocks (tutorial here!).  I figure if I make a handful each day I’ll have enough to make a nice big throw size without sashing within a week or two.  

If you ever make these big hearts remember to use this tip here….and make an extra scrap HST you can use later!  

Scrap saving HST trick!!!

Since we still have a month until Valentines day, here’s a quick roundup of my past heart projects/tutorials!  

Heart Blocks in Multiple Sizes

Making Heart Blocks in Multiple Sizes

I Heart You free mini quilt pattern

I Heart You Free Mini Quilt Pattern

Heart Pillow How To

Red Hearts Pillow 

Simple Heart Quilt Tutorial

Simple Heart Baby Quilt

Bring on all the hearts.  Have a great weekend! 

 

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Jelly Strip Stash Buster Quilt and Tutorial

Jelly Strip Stash Buster Quilt Tutorial

Thank you for all of your great responses to my last Quilting on a Budget post!   It is good motivation for me try to save some money and use what I have…so I don’t feel guilty buying some of the new cute lines coming out this year!  😉

Ashley posted this fabulous tutorial called two by four  last year and I’ve been itching to use it, but the blocks are bigger than I needed and I wanted to use my leftover jelly roll strips.  Her tutorial uses fat quarters and makes a great bed quilt size since the blocks are big!  

Jelly Strip Stash Buster Quilt Tutorial

So this is basically a jelly roll strip version of Ashley’s tutorial, posted with her permission.  Instead of writing out a fancy tutorial I took pictures…so this is the quick version.  

Finished Quilt Size:  56″ x 63″ , or 56″ x 64″ if laying the blocks on their side (see bottom of post)

Finished Block size: 7″ x 8″

Material Requirements:  63 strips 2 1/2″ x width of fabric, or 64 strips if laying the blocks on their side. 1 strip = 1 block

I made 63 blocks and laid them out like this, 9 rows and 7 blocks in each row, 63 blocks, 56″ x 63″: 

Jelly Strip Stash Buster Quilt

Or you can set the blocks the other way and do 8 rows of 8 blocks each, 64 blocks, 56″ x 64″: 

Jelly Strip Stash Buster Quilt

You can rotate the blocks so that the seams nest if you’re really a go-getter.  🙂  

Jelly Strip Stash Buster Quilt

 I feel like I’m missing something (don’t you hate that feeling?) so if you see something I missed stick it in the comments below and I’ll answer it there.  Happy stash/scrap busting! 

Jelly Strip Stash Buster Quilt Tutorial

 

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Quilting on a Budget

5 ways to Quilt on a Budget

Happy New Year!   I hope your Holidays were wonderful!

I read somewhere last week that saving money is one of the 3 most popular resolutions people make…and since I’m always trying to save money where I can, I thought I’d jot down some ways I save money while still being able to enjoy quilting.  

Here are 5 simple ways you can spend less and quilt within your budget: 

1. Don’t read blogs or Instagram!  I probably shouldn’t tell you this since I’m a blogger…but it’s 100% truth.  How many times have you purchased something you saw on a blog or Instagram?  Some of my best purchases have come from recommendations I saw on blogs/Instagram….but when I’m trying to save money and not spend (or want), it’s best to take a break from sites that might tempt me.  It’s hard but a biggie!

2.  Keep it simple.  I have some fancy notions and fun tools…and I hardly ever touch them.  Instead I use my good quality basic tools that have lasted me years.  When you need to upgrade something…invest in a quality product that will last, and try to avoid buying the latest and greatest of everything!  Here’s my basics I can’t live without: 

Basic Quilting Tools

3.  Use what you’ve got.  It’s like the saying “Make do and Mend”, use what you already have and use it up before you buy something new.  

  • Fabric: I have a lot of unused fabric sitting on my shelves…and sometimes instead of bringing me joy it brings me guilt!   If you know you will regret not buying a new fabric line before it’s gone, then do it…just make a plan to use it before the “next” new fabric line you have to have comes out!  😉  Keep and use your scraps!  Here and here are great posts about storing and saving scraps.  Some of my favorite scrap projects can be found here, here, here, here, here, or here.  Bonnie has TONS of great free ideas here

Scrappy Summer Free Quilt Tutorial

  • Batting:  Save your batting scraps!  When my pile of batting scraps gets big, I cut my scraps into a manageable size and straighten the edges, then I sew them together using a zig zag stitch.  I sew my scraps together to make the size of a baby-crib quilt, and I use them in my baby quilts.  You can save yourself an easy $10 or more by using scrap batting in a baby quilt.   I also use my batting scraps to dust…they work so good!  I buy my batting on a large roll when it’s 50% and I have coupon for free shipping, so it’s cheaper and lasts me a long time.  Split if with a friend if that’s way too much batting for you. 

Zig Zag stitch batting scraps together to save money

  4.  Use your fabric money wisely.  

  • Buy smaller cuts of fabric.  I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve purchased a half yard of a whole bunch of fabrics and used a 6″ strip from each half yard to make a quilt, and the rest of it sat on my shelf forever and ever.   When I started quilting I only bought 1/4 yards, because I had a tiny budget, and loved a lot of fabrics.  I also shopped in person (before online quilt shops!) so it was easier to buy smaller cuts.  When you can, buy a smaller cut, but be wary of fat quarters if you’re on a budget (a $3 fat quarter = $12 a yard).  It’s worth buying quality (quilt shop) fabric…as fabric from chain stores has much lower quality.  When you find a sale, buy good quality basics that you can use over and over!

Choosing and Using Solids

  • Don’t waste money on the back.  Years ago after I made my first large Twin size quilt, I spent a whopping $68 dollars on the fabric for the backing.  Do you know how many times I’ve looked at that backing since then?  Twice…maybe?  Was it worth $68 dollars?  No way.  I learned my lesson.  Now I use 108″ wide backing yardage, regular yardage on sale,  wide minky, or even cotton sheets.  I spend more on backings for quilts I know we will use everyday, like quilts for our beds, and the throw on the couch. 

5.  Learn to quilt on your own sewing machine.  I love love love having quilts quilted on a long arm (I’ve sent mine to Kathy for years, and I’ve also recently sent quilts to Kaitlyn, and Melissa), and having a great long arm quilter is invaluable, but also can get expensive if you make a lot of quilts.  I try to quilt everything under a Twin myself.   Lately a lot more of mine are long arm quilted because they are for shows or a quilt shop…but when it’s just for us or a gift, I quilt them.  I’ll do a post more about this in the future.  Leah is a great resource for free motion quilting here, and there is great straight line tips here, and here

I could go on and on and on about ways to save money…but there are a few for extra motivation.  Feel free to add anything to the comments that I missed or great fabric resources (or shops that will cut a 1/4 yard).  

Happy quilting!  

 

 


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