Thursday, September 7, 2017

Technique Thursday: Mitered Corners with A Wildflower Meadow

Debby Kratovil is back with a Technique Thursday post! We sent her a charm pack of Jackie's A Wildflower Meadow collection, along with yardage of that great stripe. She's here today to show you how to convert those charm squares into triangles (not HSTs!), and then how to create a perfect mitered border using her Magical Mitering Method. 

Here's Debby!
What can you do with a charm pack of fabrics, Debby?

Well, let me entertain you!

First, let's see this A Wildflower Meadow collection by Jackie Robinson. I chose these for the lovely flowers on black with the companion mini prints.

Just a little stack of 5" squares has so much potential! (really?) There were two of each print in the pack. I didn't use the two striped squares. I think you'll see why as I go along.

Wildflower Meadows stack of 5" squares 
This is a pattern I developed several years ago based on a technique I have used for 20 years. My Thousand Pyramids quilt (published in Modern Patchwork magazine in 2014) was made using a charm pack of solid fabrics. This was the result of a blog challenge and I thought long and hard about how to use 42 squares in a creative way.

I mixed the solid colors with a cream solid.

Thousand Pyramids quilt (22" x 22") made with a charm pack of solid fabrics

Now, let me tell you what I thought up!

I wanted to use my 60 degree ruler. I know you have one. I'll just wait a few minutes while you go dig around in your sewing room. Are you back? Let's go!

I stacked a few at a time and sliced a 1-1/2" x 5" strip off one end. I did this to all of the charms.

Cut a 1-1/2" strip from one end of the squares

All charms cut as described above. Aren't they so pretty? The larger rectangles are 3-1/2" x 5".

Stacks of strips and rectangles

 OK. I know what you're thinking. What is this crazy quilter up to?

Pair up two of the 3-1/2" x 5-1/2" rectangles and sew along BOTH of the long sides

Rectangles are paired and sewn as shown above. I used my multi-sized 60 degree ruler at the 3-1/2" line and sliced off a triangle wedge. I have plans for those leftovers on the side, but that's not part of this tutorial. I waste NOTHING!

Slice a 3-1/2" triangle from each rectangle pair

 I cut all pairs this way.
All pairs cut and stacked

 Open up the pairs and you have sets of two triangles joined.
Pairs of triangles are joined

I sewed four sets of two triangles into each of five rows. I used some of the little cutaways to square up the sides as shown below. Then I joined the rows together into the little quilt center.
Two rows of four sets of triangles

Hey! Look at those little 1-1/2" x 3-1/2" strips from those first cuts! Isn't that wow? I trimmed these to fit the sides (1-1/2" x 3-1/2") and then added the top and bottom row. This is where I stopped in my first quilt at the top of this post using the solids.

Quilt center

Benartex sent me 1/3 yard of that fabulous stripe. Now it's time for me to show you my Magical Mitering Method. I cut four 3" strips from the striped fabric. I added 3" + 3" to the quilt center measurement for a total of 23". Four strips cut 3" x 23" so that they extend 3" beyond the center on each side as shown below.

Sew with 1/4" to the first side, extending 1/2" beyond so that you can see the stitching. Press seam TOWARD the center. (Yes, I know, this is NOT a typical mitering technique where you begin and end EACH seam at the 1/4" mark. But, that's why I call this magical!)

First 3" border strip sewn. Notice that I sewed 1/2" beyond the border side

Sew the opposite side border on next. Now it's time for the magic!

Being able to see the stitches from the first two border seams helps you drop your needle in exactly at that 1/4". I also back stitched. I stopped at the other end exactly where the stitching shows from that first seam. Press the seams of these two sides AWAY from the center.

Adding the last two sides

 Fold the corners as shown below. Because you pressed the border strips as you did, this will behave nicely (and we certainly want nicely behaved borders, now don't we?)

Press the corners as shown and pin

 Stitch from inside corner to the outside (this avoids a fabric bump). I used a short, narrow zig zag.

Top stitch with monofilament thread from inside corner out

Repeat for all four corners. Turn work over and trim away excess fabric. You can see my zig zag stitches here a little better.

Trim away excess fabric

 And this is what you get!
My Wildflower Meadow Thousand Pyramids quilt

And, yes, I didn't forget about those cutaways. I will share what I did with these another time. But they are usable and I created another WHOLE quilt using them. Here are the ones from this project:
Usable triangle cutaways for another day

Thanks, Debby!
Head over to Debby's blog for a chance to win a charm pack of A Wildflower Meadow by Jackie Robinson.
Click here to see the entire A Wildflower Meadow collection. 
Stop by tomorrow to see Jackie's quilts featuring her new fabric line. 
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  1. Love those great ideas. Definitely going to give the quilt AND magical mitered corners a try

  2. Great way to use such a pretty charm pack.

  3. Debbie you are just so amazing. Thank you for the tutorial using these pretty prints.

  4. Loved how you shared how to cut the fabrics..and especially how to BIND the lil quilt!! Its Gorgeous! Thank you for the Tutorial..and for chance to win your give-a-way too! :D

  5. Fabulous! Beautiful fabrics and a great quiltlet.

  6. Debby, Thank you so much for sharing your superb tutorials on this quilt and mitered corners! I can not wait to give them both a try! Plus, these fabrics are so gorgeous; it is a spectacular give away! Thank you all for sharing!

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