Episode II: The Miles Continue - A Finished T-shirt Quilt!

This is a special one - a repeat of my first "real" customer! Sure, I did some t-shirt quilts for friends and friends of friends, but this was the first person who didn't vaguely know me and trusted me with her shirts, back in 2014. 


So having her back for another round was quite awesome! (Clearly she likes my work.)


She cleared out a bunch of Illinois race shirts - there were about a half dozen Chicago marathon shirts.


And every time I say "I can use almost anything!" someone has to test me. This was a knit beanie hat. I framed it in cotton to make sure it wouldn't get out of shape, but other than that, I had no issues! So keep testing me, people. 


The quilting is a meander, with a couple hidden Mickeys on the Disney shirts.


And the backing! Two funky cat backings in a row! This one is Atomic Tabbies. The border Remix Metallic is  and the binding is Peanuts - yes, as in Charlie Brown.


BOMs Away - SWOK March

This is the first non-star block for the guild's monthly block, and I'm not sure I like that.

greek cross block.jpg

I mean, I like the block fine - it's a Greek cross and perfectly nice. But if everything else is stars and this is not...? Well, I'll just reserve judgement till the end. It's easy enough to add a twelfth star block if I need to. (And make an entire quilt of Greek crosses to use up this one leftover.)

So did anyone else work on their BOM? Or a project broken into {slightly} more manageable monthly pieces? Link up here or at What a Hoot! 

Space Coast: The Final Frontier - a Finished T-Shirt Quilt

For five years in a row, my friend Lori ran the Space Coast half marathon, earning two special medals - the Milky Way Challenge and the Intergalactic Challenge. Then she packed up her shirts and sent them to me to work my magic.


And that's what I did! 

(And she did me the favor of taking all the pictures - woo no editing! Thanks Lori Barbely Photography!)


I used the shirt fronts as usual, and then carefully cut out either the sleeves or the sides for the space shuttle designs. And the shirts always had two, so the other one is hoarded for a pillow for the Dude.


Fun fact: if you ask the Dude what STS-6 is, he can tell you off the top of his head, "first flight of the Challenger." And he doesn't think that's weird!


And then Lori, um, well, I let her pick her own backing. And you should never search "galaxy cats" on Fabric.com. There are more choices than there ought to be.


The quilting is loops and stars and...


...that's no moon. (It's a banana.) (Okay, it's a crescent moon.)


The purple border and binding are Dance of the Dragonfly. The blue (which glows in the dark!) on the front is Star Magic Nite.


The backing is Cat Heads in Space. Seriously. At least it's an honesty in advertising!


Oh, and I'm not sure why she picked the name final because the race is doing another four-year series, and since it's classic space (starting with Project Mercury), the Dude and I will be running it. With her. 


See also: Finish It Up FridayWhoop WhoopTGIFFNeedle & Thread ThursdayFinished or Not FridayShow Off Saturday18 in 2018Finish Along {list}

How to Cut Three Sawtooth Stars from One Fat Quarter - a Tutorial

This is something I sketched out forever ago (for Great Grandma's quilt in summer 2014!) and never got around to sharing. Now, the #StarstruckQAL is starting in a couple weeks on Instagram, so I figured it was about time to make my graph paper sketch a little more solid!

sawtooth star block tutorial

It's not really a tutorial on how to make a sawtooth star - after all, that's a block with a million tutorials dating back to the 1800s. Rather, this is how to cut three 8" sawtooth star blocks from one fat quarter with very little waste, utilizing the "magic flying geese" method.

How to Cut Three Sawtooth Star Blocks

sawtooth star block tutorial

Start by grabbing as many FQs as you want stars, divided by three. These three FQs will make nine total 8" blocks. (Although I don't want them the same, so I made three blocks and I'll mix in more from my QOV stash. And when I say stash, I definitely mean I'm hitting a couple quilt shops on spring break.)

sawtooth star block diagram

Cut (3) 5.25" squares, (3) 4.5" squares, (12) 2.5" squares, and (12) 2.875" squares. (Don't round up. It's easier than trimming, I promise!)

As you can see, your FQ must be at least 20.5x17.25" in order for this to work.


Or, if you're like me and it's easier to visualize in fabric, here you go! 

(And bonus - your biggest scraps are an extra 4.5" square and two extra 2.5" squares, which are good sizes to have in scraps. You could sew sashing around the stars and use those 2.5" squares as cornerstones! You could use the extra 4.5" square to make a few of the blocks scrappier!)

A Brief Magic Flying Geese Demonstration

sawtooth star block tutorial

To make the "magic flying geese," draw a line in the middle of the 2-7/8" squares. Layer right sides together with the 5.25" square. Stitch on either side of the line, cut in half along the line. Press toward the smaller triangle. (Aww, it's a heart!)


Layer right sides together with the rest of the 2-7/8" squares, stitch on either side of the line, cut in half. Press toward the outer triangle and trim the dog ears. And there you have four perfect flying geese!

(For a more detailed tutorial and the formula to calculate different sizes, check out Sew How We Sew.)

sawtooth star block tutorial

And then you just pair them with the coordinating 2.5" squares for the corners, and 4.5" squares for the middles!

I pressed the seams toward the squares (not the geese), then pressed the final seams open.

sawtooth star block tutorial

And I have the stack of leftovers to make six more blocks! I don't think I'm going to make the eighty blocks necessary for proper Quilts of Valor size - rather, I'm going to mix in some 16" stars. Which I haven't figured out how to cut from one fat quarter yet.

I'm really looking forward to the #StarstruckQAL and making a handful of these every week for six weeks! I feel like I've been slacking on my Quilts of Valor (even though the Rail Fence is on-going and will be on-going foreeeeeeever), so it'll be nice to get a donation back to my Washington chapter soon.

If you're also considering Quilts of Valor and you don't want to stop your stash, here's a couple FQ bundle ideas! 

Kaufman Color Source (yields 54 stars)

Riley Blake Lost & Found America (yields 54 stars)

Or for a rainbow of stars:

Tula Pink True Colors (yields 60 stars, and pair 8" squares of the new All Stars!)

Kaufman Kona Cotton Annie Smith Palette (yields 75 stars!)

See also: Let’s Bee SocialWiP on WednesdaysMidweek MakersRainbow Scrap ChallengeOh Scrap!

BOMs Away - Pieceful Swappettes March

This month's bee block was a bit of a tough one. The queen asked for a solid red background, with two coordinating fabrics. Now, one block was easy - red, yellow, and blue are a triad. Second block, hmmm. Well, I generally like red, pink, and aqua together, so maybe...?

pieceful swappettes1.jpg

Maybe...? I think it's nice! Though I definitely like the red/blue/yellow block better.

The block is a chain block designed just for the swap. It had a partial seam, which wasn't hard at all. Other than that, it was a quick piece for this month. Again. Seriously, I'm going to feel bad if I pick something hard!

So did anyone else work on their BOM? Or a project broken into {slightly} more manageable monthly pieces? Link up here or at What a Hoot!