Welcome to the Strip-Pieced Diagonal Quilt Tutorial!
If you follow the blog, you’ll know my 13 year old son has recently approached me about “summer volunteer hours.” We decided to work on quilts for charity. Needing a simple quilt pattern, this quilt was born. The tutorial was tested by this kiddo who has never stitched before. The design is created by sewing sets of strips, then chopping up the sets. It is quick and super easy. Finished Size: 36″ x 48″
The quilt is created from one block:
The quilt finishes at 36″ x 48″, a baby size quilt. If you want to make this bigger, 72″ x 96″ (large enough for a bed) simply make this tutorial size 4 times and stitch the quadrants together.
- 2/3 yard medium color fabric
- 2/3 yard medium color fabric
- 5/8 yard dark fabric (diagonal squares and binding)
From EACH medium fabric:
- One strip 3-1/2″ x width of fabric
- One strip 6-1/2″ x width of fabric
- One strip 9-1/2″ x width of fabric
From the dark fabric:
- Four strips 3-1/2″ x width of fabric
- Four strips 2-1/2″ x width of fabric (binding)
Join the following rows using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Use the Seamingly Accurate Seam Guide to ensure the 1/4″ is accurate before the fabric hits the presser foot. The seam guide is great for “training” beginning sewist’s eyes.
Make a total of FOUR strip sets for one baby quilt.
Press seam allowances towards the dark fabric.
With each strip set, first “even up” the ends trimming a small amount of fabric.
Once the end is square, cut 12 columns from each set, 3-1/2″ wide.
To really make this quilt FAST, we layered all four sets, staggering them 1″ so the seams wouldn’t lay on each other, and rotary cut all twelve columns at once.
Arrange the 3-1/2″ cut columns so one column from each strip set is represented in the block, as described below:
Join the four columns using a 1/4″ seam allowance and the Seamingly Accurate Seam Guide.
Arrange the 12 identical blocks into a 3 x 4 grid.
We created a diagonal grid with our blocks, but with color and block arrangement, you can make this quilt look really unique.
Join the blocks using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Press.
Finish the quilt by making a quilt sandwich, quilting and applying the matching, cut binding.
My son will be donating his quilt to the Bright Hopes Committee at the Greater San Antonio Quilt Guild. After he quilts it, he should have met his volunteer hour requirement. The real question, though, will be: Did he catch the quilt bug?!?! I’ll keep you posted!
See Jen Eskridge at the 2015 Wisconsin Quilt Expo
Guess where I will be on September 10-12th? WISCONSIN!
The Quilt Expo has 10 categories of shows, over 200 classes/lectures and boasts an 85,000 vendor hall. Oh my gosh! I’m going to need a backpack for all the quilty-shopping. The show is put on by Wisconsin Public Television with Nancy Zieman.
See you there!
Clearly, I’m going through a Plus Quilt phase. More accurately, I want to use up some of my fat quarter stacks in a fast, efficient way ->
Batik Plus Quilts
Each Plus Quilt uses 12 Fat Quarters. I use the Plus Quilt Worksheet to plan and organize the quilt without using a design wall. I have started to sort my cut pieces onto my ironing board.
After trimming the column ends of my quilt top. It is ready to head to the longarm quilter.
But wait – We aren’t sending it out!! Since my mom has the long arm at her house and my son is working on summer volunteer hours we thought it’d be a great idea to let him quilt the two batik quilt tops.
He was able to quilt “horizontal wavy lines” which really looked like water waves when the quilts were done. Of course, he did wind loads of bobbins and was tasked with changing them out, too.
Here’s the second quilt top. It has much more blues and greens and is quilted in the same horizontal-wavy-line motif.
Lots of concentration on that dude’s face. =)
Of course, our quilt needed a label, so here is his first hand-sewing event.
He’ll be going a quilt guild meeting with me to present the tops to the outreach committee.
He did a great job at the guild presentation/ show’n’ tell portion and LOVED going up on stage. Updated to add this photo:
The new Random Circles Workshop is finally here! Hooray! Hooray! Hooray!
This wall-hanging or baby size quilt will be offered with my traveling lectures. The pattern supports the title Learn to Sew Easy Curves.
The workshop is only 3 hours long and requires only 8 Fat Quarters (or assorted fabric scraps), interfacing, and 1-1/2″ yard of background fabric. I am currently researching fabric companies to be able to provide the best Random Circle Workshop kits, too! The class sample is created using Windham Fabrics designed by Lotta J.
I’m so thrilled that the project will not only feature techniques in the book but will also include a “donut” or reversible-applique technique, as well.
Since the workshop is only 3-hours long or half-day, it can easily be combined with the Hexagons Made Easy Workshop, which is also a half-day workshop.
Find out more about pricing and student numbers on my Lectures and Workshop page. I look forward to hearing from your guild/shop!
Fun Colorful Quilts by Leisure Arts
Late last year I was contacted with a note that one of my projects would be used in a new book from Leisure Arts. Well, folks, I’m here to tell you Fun Colorful Quilts has arrived!
From the Leisure Arts website:
“Vibrant fabrics in a medley of popular shapes, from circles and stars to squares and triangles, make eye-catching quilts with a frivolous touch. In Fun Colorful Quilts, designs for patchwork and appliqué techniques include Petal Pushers by Me and My Sister Designs (Barbara Groves and Mary Jacobson), On a Roll by Tammy Tadd, Dragon’s Tooth by Sue Marsh for Whistlepig Creek Productions, Spinning Stars by Linda Sullivan, and Stacked Circles by Jen Eskridge.”
Now that is fun! In fact, one of my favorite projects is in this book. It is called Stacked Circles and features military uniforms and Anna Maria Horner fabrics. The color combo is dreamy… because it has EVERY color.
If you like the circles in the project above, you might also like my other projects in my book Learn to Sew Easy Curves, also published by Leisure Arts.
Knit Tights ala The Crafty Gemini
Vanessa, of the Crafty Gemini, said “You can never have enough tights.” and my 14yo agrees. With that simply quip, I watched her excellent tutorial and set out to create more tights based on a pair my 14yo already owned.
I have a serious amount of grey jersey knit fabric. Let me tell you why: Thrift Store!! I bought this giant grey jersey flat sheet with the intent of making a maxi dress or maxi skirt. Sure, it was bedding, but at the end of the day it was still a super soft jersey knit. I think I might have paid $5-$7 for the huge sheet. I heart thrift stores!
If you cannot find a jersey flat sheet at the thrift, you can always grab jersey knit sheets here.
Vanessa walks you through all the steps on her video. I sorta skipped a step though… I didn’t trace it onto paper first. As it turns you, you should totally do that! No worries. I’ll do that for the next pair.
Instead, I just grabbed a ruler and rotary cutter and set forth to cut out a piece 5/8″ larger than the folded tights.
That worked out.
Back in college, I made my brother about 25-30 pair of shorts from various woven cottons and flannels. Do you guys remember “jams” from the 80’s? We’ll we were rockin’ those well into the 90’s. I can whip up a pair of shorts, pj pants or… as it turns out… leggings in no time at all. Fun fact.
The serger made the construction even faster and is perfect for stitching knits.
Vanessa uses a great technique for the waistband. I had actually never tried this technique before, but I can tell you, it will be my go-to from now on. Holy smokes it was super fast, super easy AND I didn’t have to look for safety pins or create a waist band casing to hold the elastic. Her method is the bomb!
The elastic is serged (or zigzag stitched) to the fabric’s cut edge at the waist.
Fold down and zigzag it into place. Very cool.
Last step should be the leg hems. Those are also zigzag’d.
But then my sweet 14yo tried on the pants. Turns out, I should definitely have created a “front” and a “back” pattern template. (which is why next time I’ll definitely be tracing the pattern onto paper first.) The front had way too much pooch, so I had to take that in a couple inches.
So, take in center front seam and lower the waistband, as it fits on the body, by about two inches. Done and done.
I think I’m going to need to hit the thrift shop for more fabric!!
Craftsy is rolling out a “test” on fabric kits for FREE patterns. I have a couple freebie download patterns that slip in and out of the Top 20 Free Quilt Patterns (Plus Quilt and Disappearing 9-Patch with Layer Cakes). Since they are Craftsy-popular patterns, they were selected to run the test program.
Oh my gosh! I’m loving the fat quarter bundle in this digital mock-up of the Plus Quilt. The bundle is Cotton + Steel Fat Quarter Bundle, Playful by Melody Miller. You’ll have all the fabric you need (12 fat quarters are required) for the quilt top and binding, right there on one screen. It is a pretty neat set-up. Go Craftsy, Go!
You’ll probably start to see the cross-promotion on more patterns as the program grows.
This is a small little Christmas Quilt made using the Missouri Star Quilt Company Double Slice Layer Cake pattern. It is a rockin fast quilt tutorial over on youtube. The pattern is already designed to be quickly chain-pieced, but guess what? I serged it; making it in record time, using my Kate Spain Jingle fabric layer cake.*
*This wasn’t a whole layer cake. I had to supplement a few tone-on-tone white fabrics, since the other pieces of the cake are being used in a special project. More info on that later in the year.
I convinced myself that I should try to learn more about longarm “ruler work” with my new Quilted Pineapple curved rulers.
Rulers seem to be the ANTI Free Motion Quilting. The design is very methodical and measured with exact placements and calculated moves. Turns out… I’m not that calculated. I think people who enjoy spreadsheets would probably be insane with these rulers. I’m not a spreadsheet girl, either.
I’m going to name this quilt, in spite of the fabric’s holiday theme, The Learning Curve. I have curves all over the dang place. It seemed like I was on the right track and then noticed the arches were all sorts of varied widths. They overlap. They jumble up. They are chubby and slim. Le’sigh. On the upside, by the last pass on that longarm, the arches started to look alot better.
Practice, practice, practice. Ha, and I’m sure a class couldn’t hurt, right? I’m not going to swear off rulers, but they definitely seem to be used with the logical side of the brain. I’ll have to think like that on my next ruler-based quilt design.
I have a copy of almost every thing where my name has been published. It is a small box, but still exciting. I was missing at least two magazines. Sampler Quilts is one of them. The one above is the very first quilt magazine to include one of my quilts. My closest friend had a copy!!! Can you believe that? She bought the copy of Sampler Quilts when it came out and made her very first quilt from the block patterns. When I visited her, I grabbed these pictures and will keep it in the virtual log of the articles here on the PRESS page.
This was published in Fall of 2001, I think. The quilt was finished by December 2000. Phew, Throw Back Thursday #tbt on a SUNDAY!
If you’ve seen my lecture, you’ll recognize this as the Lion King Quilt. It was a painful sampler to make. Every block was cut and designed individually. A couple blocks are originals and the rest are from patterns/internet.
The directions to make each block are on newsprint in the back of the magazine, but the page where I’m featured actually is a quilting glossary of sorts.
I don’t think I’d make blue, brown and yellow sampler quilt on-point these days, in 2015, but you never know.
I’m happy to report that I’m stitching along in the Nancy Zieman Knit Dress Sew Along! #NZKnitDressSAL
When I showed the dress and sew along to my daughter she seemed pretty excited to have one of her own. I was a bit surprised. She says, “Yeah, I’d totally wear that, but make it red at the top with a black bottom.” That was really really specific and a very fast answer from a 14 year old. After talking to her a bit more… this is what she had in mind…
Pretty great, right? Hello- STAR TREK inspiration!!!
The sew along is making Nancy Zieman’s pattern M7152 from McCall’s.
I found some black ponte knit and red matte jersey knit and set out to sew where now woman has sewn before… wait, they have, but still… The red jersey was lighter weight than the black ponte knit, but since the red will have a facing, I thought it would be ok to use the lighter weight. Only time will tell if I’m right. =)
The sew along is spread out over 3 days in May: Cutting, construction and finishing.
Unfortunately, my local shop didn’t have the fusible tricot interfacing to be used with knit fabrics, but the woven fabric I purchased felt like it had a little give in it. In hindsight, if I was going to use a woven interfacing, I probably should have cut my interfacing pieces on the bias, so I’d be certain they’d have stretch in them.
Grading seam allowances. Clipping corners. Notching curves. It was all really fast construction. In fact, the “hardest” part is remembering that the top is asymmetrical and pieces have to be, with certainty, face up or face down.