Free Triangles Tutorial: Claire’s Quilt

I’ve convinced Mom to start quilting.  She finished her first quilt a few weeks ago, and now she’s hooked.  We are partnering to make my sister, Claire, a quilt.

Claire picked this as a model:

Claire Quilt inspiration

(Source: Creative Chicks)

We’re using a grey scale with splashes of colour and patterns for hers.  Our base colours are those in the Kona Cotton Storm bundle.  Then we added a few patterned fabrics for fun.

Claire Quilt fabric

I’ve been playing with them for a couple hours and this is the result:

Claire Quilt start

These blocks are really fun to asseble, because other than cutting out the background, there isn’t any measuring.

Based on this tutorial, here is how I’m making my blocks.

First cut out the background fabric squares.  Mine are 4 1/2″.

Sew the patterned right side down on the background fabric like so:

Claire Quilt 1The white triangle space on the right will be replaced by the patterned fabric.

Press the seam flat towards patterned fabric.

Claire Quilt 2

Using the background square as a guide, trim the patterned fabric.

Claire Quilt 3

Cut off excess background fabric 1/4″ from seam line.

Claire Quilt 4
Flip patterned fabric back, and voila.
Claire Quilt 5
Repeat.  We are making a queen size quilt (84″ x 88″) so that means we need 462 blocks.

Scarf Rack

In 2007 I went to Barcelona.  One day I was browsing a store that sold pashmina type shawls and scarves.  They were beautiful. And expensive.  I didn’t leave the store with a new scarf, but I left with an idea. An idea as to how to display the many, many, scarves I already owned.

You see, I love scarves.  I’ve loved them since I was a little girl.

Silk, wool, cotton, long, narrow, square, handkerchieves, bright, patterned,anse neutral.  I love them all.

I started going to thrift shops when I was barely a teen and would buy so many cashiers would ask me “What’s with all the scarves?”.

So many, in fact, that displaying and organizing them became an issue.

My Barcelonian-inspired scarf rack solved that problem.

(I love hats too.)

My dad, who is a carpenter-extraordinaire, helped me to make this rack in 2007 (just to be clear, this simple rack is no accurate testament to his abilities).

About two years later I moved to Quebec City and eventually met Julia from À l’allure garconniere.

We have become fast friends (and colleagues to boot).

She loves scarves too.

Whenever she came over she commented on my scarf rack.  So, for her birthday, I decided to make her one to go in her dressing room.  That’s right, her dressing ROOM.

Her birthday is December 26th, so I made it using my dad’s tools and know-how over the holidays.

I also had lots of help from D.

Here are some loose instructions on how to make a scarf rack. If you want to make one too and have questions, please, ask away!

As always, gather your materials.

Steel rods (3/16″ in diameter), a piece of 1″x 4″, and a 2″x 2″ or a branch (not shown) and 4 screws (not shown).

For tools, you’ll need a metal saw, a wood saw, a measuring tape, marker and pencil, drill, drill bits, mallet, hammer, a file, and a vice.

The latter is very handy.

Cut your steel rods, and file the ends to make sure they aren’t sharp. I cut the rods into foot-long lengths.

Once your rods are cut, you’ve got to bend them.  That’s where the vice is particularly helpful.  We held an inch of the rod in the vice and used a metal mallet to bend them.

I used a 2″x 2″ for my scarf rack, but for Julia’s I decided cut down a birch sapling and use a piece of it.

Once the 1″x4″, and birch section were cut to length, and rods were cut and bent, I attached the branch to the back.  I figured out where the brach touched the 1″x 4″ and screwed them together through the back of the 1″x4″ using 1.5″ screws.

I then drilled holes with a 3/16″ bit about 1.5″ apart on the top of the branch..

The rods fit tightly into the holes so I had to hammer them in.

I then drilled two holes at each extremity to attach the rack to the wall and provided Julia with little plugs to hide the screws.  And voila!

I presented Julia with her gift at a dinner party.  As soon as Julia walked in the door, she pointed at my scarf rack and told her husband “See, that’s what I would like you to make me!”

I couldn’t help but smile, as it turns out Julia’s gift saved Simon some work too.


Fabric Covered Cork

My sister came to visit this weekend.  Knowing I was getting such great company helped me get through a particularly grueling week at work.  Keeping me happy meant thinking about the projects we could do together.

On Monday we texted back and forth to come up with some crafting ideas. She suggested making these:

It’s an easy-peasy project.

First gather your materials.

A round cork “board”. These are actually hotplates from Ikea.

Something round and solid that is at least 2″ wider in diameter than the cork.  I used the bottom or a spring-form baking pan.


Thumb tacks.

A cutting mat.

A roller-cutter.  If you like to make fabric crafts and you don’t have one of these, you should consider spending the money (about $35) to buy one.  They are incredibly sharp and very useful.  Using a cutting mat and quilters’ rulers you can cut long straight lines in seconds.  They help save a lot of time.  If you don’t have a roller cutter trace the circle onto the fabric and cut using scissors.

If you are using a roller cutter, mind your fingers and go slowly.

You end up with a perfect circle.

Normally I would centre the cork in the middle of the fabric, but because of the pattern I had to have it a little off-centre.

Use your fingers to pleat the fabric.  Pin with flat-headed thumb tacks every inch or so.



We initially thought we could just hammer the cork into the wall with a finishing nail, but I decided to add a little ribbon.

I arranged my brooches, hung a couple pairs of earrings from pins and now I have a pretty display.

One Way to Make a Nine-Patch Block

Over the Christmas holidays I went to my parents place for a few days.  I packed a few (nine) fat quarters and decided to haul out my mom’s machine start making a new quilt top.

At first, I planned to go to a quilt shop nearby to buy enough fabric to finish a project.  Unfortunately the store was closed for two weeks.

But that didn’t stop me.  I started making a nine-patch quilt using the fabric I did have.

The plan is to make a quilt that looks something like this. But much bigger, with different colours, and a wider boarder.

The more I quilting I do, the more I realize it is all about shortcuts.  That may make me a lazy quilter, but means I generally finish projects rather than get annoyed or tired of them.

Here are the shortcuts I took in making my nine-patch block.  I have no idea if this is how most people make nine-patches, but as I’ve learned to quilt on youtube, a couple books, and by asking a lot of pesky questions to nice ladies in Cape Breton, I’m pretty happy I figured this out by myself.

First I cut strips (2.5″ by 10″) and (2.5″) squares.

For any given square I would pick two strips.

Sew. Press seams flat.  In some quits you press seams to one side or another.  Generally you always press towards the darker fabric (so you don’t see it through a light fabric).  Having both layers of the seam to one side can make it easier when it comes to hand quilting, as you want to have to push your needle through the least amound of fabric (resistance) as possible.

Once the 10″ strips are sewn together, cut into four 2.5″ sections.

Arrange three sections horizontally so the colours alternate.  The fourth section is placed vertically.  Pick one of the 2.5″ squares to complete the nine-patch.

Depending what square you use to complete the block, the fabric in the centre will change. Like so:

I liked this one, so I sewed the three sections on the left together, as well as the section on the right to the square.

One more seam to go:

With the nine fat quarters I had, I made 54 blocks.  I’m going to need 90.  I ordered the rest of the fabric I need for this quilt and it arrived this weekend.

I opted for a jelly roll rather than more fat quarters so I would have a greater variety of fabrics.  The other fabrics from bottom to top will be for the batting, sashing, borders, and binding.

Once I finish machine-quilting (or need a break from quilting) my stacked coins quilt I started in May, I’ll work on this one.  I’m trying very hard not to have too many WIP on the go at once.

Thanks for stopping by.