Friday 8 May 2020

Big Kiss Quilt tutorial

Welcome dear friends to
the Big Kiss quilt sew along.
My gift to you to keep you present.
This 50 inch quilt is made of 4 IDENTICAL blocks.
This is a tutorial for one block.
Sewing the quilt has now been added below.
The block is basically a 25 inch giant string pattern,
there will be waste fabric,
I do hope you think its worth it.

You can find my secret tip for choosing fabrics on my Instagram Big Kiss highlight.
(you dont need to join instagram to view)
You will need 12 fabrics, all different or alternating.
High contrast fabrics work well as do a mix of solids and patterns
Vintage fabrics, old bedding and unloved yardage can all be useful.
Don't be afraid to stitch fabrics together if you find you dont have enough.
You will need a quilters ruler with a 45 degree line
or the ability to make a square paper template with a 45 degree drawn line.
All measurements are in inches.

All the strips are 3.5 inches wide
with 1/4 inch seam allowance included.
The finished width once sewn will be 3 inches.
The above picture gives you the starting measurements in inches.  
You'll notice they come in pairs.
I like to cut strips in pairs.
Cut the fabric with the grain, cutting on the bias should be avoided.
*I highly recommend cutting one block at a time,
in case you want to tweak anything after sewing your first block.
Fold your strips in half and iron or mark with a water soluble pen

This gives you a temporary guide line for sewing your strips together accurately.
You might like to label your strips at this point or take a photograph for you to reference.

Starting with the two longest strips
pin wrongsides together at the fold/halfway point

You might want to pin the whole strip
depending on your machining skills.

Referring to your photograph or labels
continue pinning at the fold and sewing in the order with strips decreasing in size.
Sew with the usual 1/4 seam.
I always stitch with a 1/4 inch foot.
Do not iron until you've sewn the entire block,
otherwise you will lose your fold markers.
See how the fold lines all match.
Now you can iron your seams.
I pressed my seams open because my machine prefers less bulk.
I'm actually recommending you do that now
as its easier makes sewing the blocks together.

Cutting the block
(Full cutting the block tutorial video is now available
on my Instagram highlight circle
called Block cutting.)
The most important and satisfying part is cutting the block into a square.
The diagonal size of this block is approximately 36 inches
(see above)
You should mark either end before you cut.
I have been overly generous
with the strip lengths,
you could stretch your diagonal to 37"
you will waste less fabric and make a slightly bigger quilt.

Check that your cutting lines will make a square and that there is full coverage either side
and top and bottom of the block.
Do this with the opposite corner too.
Please don't cut until you understand!
This is where the 45 degree ruler is needed.
Line up your ruler with the mark you made before on the diagonal.
Always start with this part of the block.
If you are scared of cutting or are unsure you could mark with a water soluble pen, or pencil.
Line up the 45 degree line on the centre of your block and cut.
Continue lining up the 45 degree line as you cut your way along.

With the first side cut spin your ruler round to cut the next side,
once again lining up the 45 degree line.

Making sure that your cut side is always square with the ruler markings.

Ta dah!
Hopefully you have a beautiful big block that measures 25.5inches.
(or larger)
*Please note that it does not matter if your square isnt exactly 25.5
its only important that its square.
If you had trouble with the cutting you can always resquare your block with your ruler.
I have made this block with quite a generous fabric allowance,
you may find after sewing your first block that you could slightly reduce the lengths of your strips for less waste,
but that is entirely up to you.
All thats left for you to do is make 3 more exactly the same.
Now that you have the idea, you could easily enlarge or reduce this pattern.

I'm really looking forward to seeing your makes
and sewing our blocks together to make the quilt.
Please save all your kisses for me  #bigkissquiltsal

I have now added a full video tutorial on how to cut the block,
find it in my Instagram highlight circle labelled Block Cutting.

Stitching the blocks together

Now that you have four blocks
its time to make a quilt top!

Begin by pinning two blocks together
Place a pin at every seam taking care to match them both sides.
You may find they don't perfectly line up,
you should be able to wriggle the two so they do.

Simply sew together with a 1/4 inch seam
and press open.

Make sure you sew the right two matching sides
Its so east to pick up the blocks and sew the wrong ends together!

When joining the two halves together,
start pinning from the middle and work your way out.
I put a pin through both points to make sure I didnt sew over them.
Sew the halves together and press the final seam.

After pressing you may find your blocks have slight discrepencies
like I have here.

Dont worry!
Line your ruler up with the correct edge and cut off the extra fabric.
DO NOT get carried away with trimming
because if you cut too much you might lose your square
and have to resquare the whole quilt

Another small example.

Hopefully by now you have a finished quilt top
so sit back and admire your work.

Another variation using the same blocks is the Hug quilt
Or I quite like This way up

Thankyou for joining me on this journey
Blowing you lots of kisses.
Please remember to tag your quilts