Granny Square Quilt Block Tutorial

Well, you may have heard about it, but Rachel over at Stitched in Color is having another party!  (she's good at those!)  This time it's all about scraps!  It's called the Scrap Attack Quiltalong and you can read more about it over here.

Anyways, I'm very happy that she asked me to write a tutorial on this scrappy Granny Square block because it gave me the incentive to finish up the whole quilt!

You can read about my original inspiration for this block here.  Of course when I made the first few blocks I had no idea how they would look in a finished quilt.  I'm quite happy with the results though!  Sort of a mix of old-fashioned and modern, which is exactly what I love!

The final size of my quilt after being quilted and washed, is about 50"x60", which is an nice lap size quilt.  I'll give you instructions how to make one block, but will also give you fabric amounts for making a quilt the same size as mine.  

 For one block, here's what you'll need:  
12 - 2.5" squares of background color (I used Kona Snow)
8 - 2.5" squares of print or solid scraps in your chosen color for the outer ring
5 - 2.5" squares of print or solid scraps in your chosen color for the inner ring 

To make a quilt like mine, you'll need about 2 yards of solid background fabric (I used Kona Snow) This includes enough for sashing and border.

You'll also need 260 - 2.5" squares for your blocks.  I would definitely cut more than this exact amount so that you can play around with color placement when you put your blocks together.  They're just scraps anyways, right!?

Now lay them out like this next to your sewing machine and sew them together into rows.

Once you've sewed all the rows they should look like the photo above.  Notice that the two lonely white corner pieces have not been attached to anything yet.  That's how it should be.  I suggest pressing these seams open.

Now take and sew these rows together,  adding those lonely corner squares on to the ends where they belong.

You should now have a completed block that looks like this.  Those little arrows are my crude way of showing you how these seams should be pressed.  Although I generally like to press my seams open, these ones work best if pressed to one side in the direction I've shown above.

Now you just need to trim your block!  You'll want to cut a quarter inch away from the point in your colored squares, so that the point doesn't get lost in your seam allowance.

Mine ended up needing to be trimmed to 9 1/8" square.  This may vary slightly, depending how scant/generously you sew your 1/4" seams. It won't really matter, just so your blocks are all square, and all the same size.

I made 20 blocks for my quilt, and sashed it with 2.5" wide strips.  I made my outside borders 6" wide.

I decided to hand quilt this one, using an orange perle cotton.  If you don't tell anyone, I'll let you in on my little secret.  I don't use any type of hoop or frame.  I just layer and baste my quilt with safety pins the same way I do for machine quilting.

Then I plop myself down on a soft chair and begin to quilt.  I've done a couple of quilts this way, and have had no problems at all, with any puckering or any type of bad things that I would imagine should happen to me by using this lazy method.

I'm not guaranteeing anything, just sayin...:)

Here's the back.  I had fun pairing these black and jewel tone prints with the daintier colors on the front of the quilt.

So are any of you inspired to make a block or three or twenty?  If you are, make sure to add it to the Scrap Attack Flickr group.  I'd love to see your variation.

*Edited to Add*  I have a new tutorial available for this quilt block.  It uses strip sewing, which is perfect for a jelly roll or 2 1/2" strips.  Find the blog post here.

just wondering...

(i'll be showing the rest of this quilt tomorrow, with a little tutorial)

anyways, on to my question.

here's my problem:  so many times I can't reply to comments or questions on my blog, because either your account is set to no-reply, or you're commenting from a different blogging platform.  i really haven't a clue why or how this is, but i do know that it's a bit frustrating.

a lot of times you folks are leaving lovely comments that i'd like to reply to, or asking a question that i'd be happy to answer.  but because of 'whatever-it-is'  (yah, I'm really techy and smart:) i'm not able to reply! grrrrr....

so i've been wondering if i should start replying in the comments.  i've never done that before cause it seemed like who would ever go back to a blog where they had left a comment or asked a question to see if the blog author had posted a reply.

but, it does seem nice from the standpoint that anyone could see the answer to a question, and maybe it would seem more like i'm hanging around my blog and chatting.

what do you think?  i'd love to hear how you all do it on your blogs....

do.Good Stitches quilt

Every other Thursday during winter, my church has "Sewing".  It's a day where we're all welcome to come together and do a variety of sewing related activities, all for charity.  I normally enjoy going, but this last Thursday, my four-year-old had the sniffles, so I stayed at home and declared it the day to finish up this quilt for do. Good Stitches.

For those of you unfamiliar with this name, it's an online quilting bee group that makes quilts for charity. You can find out more about it here.

So for my month (which was way back in September, oops!) I asked the members of my quilting circle to make  green blocks with any design they wished.  The only requirements were the size (12.5" square) and that they include one 'jewel' scrap of another color in each block.

I received back some wonderful blocks, and although I've had them all sewed together in a top since before Christmas,  now was the time to finish this thing up!

As you can see, I decided to tie this one.  I've been falling in love with this method, due to the lovely quilts over at PosieGetsCozy.

And I can say that I LOVE it and will be doing it again!  I used a crochet cotton, so the ties are not that bulky.  It's really fast, and makes for a veeeerrryyyy soft and squishy blanket.

I pieced together a bunch of blue fabrics for the backing, and used  orange for the binding.

Does this photo convey the softness of this quilt/blanket?  It's tempting to keep it for my children, but they obviously aren't in need of more quilts!

It will be going to My Very Own Blanket, an organization that gives quilts to kids in foster care.

Hand quilting? I'm Smitten!

Yes, I'm hand quilting again.  I had absolutely no intention of hand quilting this baby.  I mean, this quilt has a deadline.  BUT, I made just a teeny little mistake, just a small oversight.  One of those blonde moments that I have when I haven't had a certain problem for, say... 6 months, I then forget that this problem exists, and go on my merry way, and bumble right into this mistake again.  So I'm hand quilting!

Explanation?  Yes.  Here it is.  When the top of your quilt is predominantly white or very light colored, DON'T use black or a really dark color as a backing fabric!  I mean, you can if you want, but getting your machine quilting to look nice on both sides?  Tricky!  Hairpulling!  No fun at all!

So I realized this too late, but I didn't want to unbaste the whole thing and make a new backing, so we're going with the flow.  Besides, I really do love the contrast of the blackish backing and the white and scrappy sort of vintagey looking front.  And then hand quilted with a yellowy orange perle cotton?  Yumm!!

I'll be showing you the full quilt soon, together with a tutorial...

After Christmas, and taking some time off the relax with my little family,  I'm back with a big mental backlog of quilty stuff to talk about!  Not sure where to start, and usually what happens is that it all floats away into the ether without being mentioned at all!

I did actually manage to snap a quick pic of that dolly above.  It's the ONE gift I made this year for Christmas.  (just a minute, I did make two cell phone covers)  Last year I got really stressed out around Christmas, and my big list of gifts to make didn't really help.   So I decided this year that I wouldn't make any AT ALL.

Then I saw that cute book, Wee Wonderfuls by Hillary Lang, and thought of my mom who is a huge doll lover.  So I gave her the book and had to make one of the projects from the book to go with it.

It was actually kind of fun, although I still prefer making quilts.  (and don't laugh too hard at her funny hair!  I didn't have any yarn!)

and my two blocks for the December quilt for do.Good Stitches.  I think this quilt is going to make some little boy veeeeerrrryyy happy!

Just a little side note - I signed up for Rachel of Stitched In Color's Curves Class.  You've probably heard about it, but if not, go here to check it out.  I didn't plan to join, since I feel somewhat confident with curves, but after seeing this and this, I was totally sucked in.  I wish I could have mentioned it last week when it was on sale, but I still think it's a great value, since you're sure to get lots of great project patterns, and anyways, circles and curves in quilts are just THE best!