Tuesday, January 30, 2018

MEOW: a Candy Cat Quilt Along Free Pattern/Tutorial

Hello, again! 
As promised, I am back to post my free tutorial for MEOW, a simple patchwork pattern to accompany the Candy Cats from Unicorn Harts. In case you missed it, I am hosting a free Instagram based Quilt Along. Click here all the important information and get ready to join us in making a whole litterful of kitties! There is no sign up required, just jump in and have fun.

To make MEOW, you will need:
-Large scraps of a background fabric and four different coordinating fabrics. 
**I suppose you could  make them all the same, but it might be hard to read, unless you put a background strip in between each letter. Something to consider when choosing your fabrics, right?**
-fabric pen
**although, the pen marks won't be seen so you could use a regular ol' ball point, like me**
-all the usual machine sewing accoutrements

Now, let's get started...

For the M, cut the following from M fabric
-TWO 2 1/2"x9 1/2"
-ONE 5 1/2"x2 1/2"
-FOUR 1 7/8"x1 7/8"
You will need the following from Background fabric:
-ONE 2 1/2" square
-ONE 3 1/4" square

For the E, cut the following from E fabric:
-ONE 2 1/2"x9 1/2"
-ONE 3 1/2"x2 1/2"
-TWO 4 1/2"x2 1/2"
You will need the following from Background fabric:
-TWO 1 1/2"x4 1/2"
-ONE 3 1/2"x 2 1/2"

For the O, cut the following from O fabric:
-FOUR 2 1/2"x2 1/2"
-TWO 2 1/2"x3 1/2"
-TWO 2 1/2"x5 1/2"
You will need the following from Background fabric:
-FOUR 2 1/2"squares
-ONE 2 1/2"x 3 1/2"

For the W, cut the following from W fabric:
-TWO 2 1/2"x9 1/2"
-ONE 2 1/2"x5 1/2"
-FOUR 1 7/8"x 1 7/8"
You will need the following from Background fabric:
-ONE 2 1/2" square
-TWO 1 1/2" squares
-ONE 3 1/4" square

Label your pieces to make it easier to put it all together, if you like. 
I didn't do this, but I do reccomend it!

On the back of the letter M 1 7/8" squares, draw a diagonal line from corner to corner on all four pieces:

To make the flying geese, with right sides together, lay two 1 7/8" squares on top of the 3 1/4" square. 
Sew a scant 1/4" seam on both sides of the line.

Using a rotary cutter, cut on the line you drew:

Press the triangles out, being careful not to stretch the fabric:

Place another square in the corner as shown, sew a scant 1/4" seam on both sides of the line:

 Using your rotary cutter and acrylic ruler, cut along the drawn line and press:

Arrange the M pieces as shown; stitch using a scant 1/4" seam to sew the flying geese to the 5 1/2"x 2 1/2" strip. Press the seam toward the strip for a flatter block. Sew the 2 1/2" square to the bottom of the center strip. Once the center strip is sewn, stitch the 2 1/2"x9 1/2" strip to either side. Press seam away from center strip:

For the letter E, arrange pieces as shown:

Stitch the 1 1/2"x 4 1/2" background pieces to the 2 1/2"x 4 1/2" E pieces, then stitch the 2 1/2"x 3 1/2" background and E pieces together, pressing seams towards the darker fabric. Stitch the sections together, using the photo below as a guide:

For the O, arrange the fabric as shown. Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of the 2 1/2" E squares; place right sides together on the 2 1/2" background squares:
{totally not the right layout in the center, see third photo down for correct representation}

Stitch directly on the line:
(I chain stitch whenever possible!)

If you have one of these handy little thread cutter gadgets, you can quickly separate your blocks without having to put down and pick up your snips a bunch of times. (I HIGHLY RECCOMEND THIS TOOL!) Trim the seam; press the triangle out being careful not to stretch the fabric.

Stitch the pieces you just made to the top and bottom of each 2 1/2"x 5 1/2" piece; press seam toward the center:

Stitch the center as shown, pressing seam toward the darker fabric; stitch the sides to the center, pressing seams toward the center:

For the W, make flying geese as described in letter M. Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of both 1 1/2" background squares, place in the outside bottom corners of the 2 1/2"x9 1/2" W strips; sew directly on the line. Trim seam to 1/4", press towards darker fabric.
 Follow the same instructions for letter M to assemble the W.

Assuming all went well, you now have a finished MEOW! I am waiting to sew mine together until I have made a decision on the quilt layout. Each two letters measures 12"x9" finished, the same measurement as the Candy Cat. Be on the lookout for a possible FPP pattern from Jo of a smaller version of this! 

Don't forget to follow and/or tag us, @unicornharts and @schnitzelandboo and our sponsor @thecottonfarmlongarm on Instagram. 
Stay tuned for more free patterns to accompany this quilt along! 

Happy sewing!

Candy Cat Quilt Along

So, 2018 is here (how crazy is that?) and I find myself in the middle of hosting the Candy Cat Quilt Along on Instagram. I'm totally loving the heck out of it. I was browsing Pinterest one day, as one does, and I came across an adorable little teepee block. I followed the link and discovered Joanna Hart aka Unicorn Harts and a whole bunch of really fabulous foundation paper pieced block patterns, including one called "Candy Cats". To my absolute giddy delight, it was a free pattern (like, for real?? A pattern this cute and it's FREE???) Naturally, I had to have it, so I snapped it-and a bunch of others-right up. I'm not even that into cats! I just had to make this block! And you know how it goes, you make something and you absolutely love it so you have to make a whole bunch more. I decided to contact Jo and see if she'd be interested in letting me host a quilt along using her pattern. Not only did she say yes, she also agreed to creating a few patterns to go along with it! Before I get to that, let me show you my litter of Candy Cats so far:

I'm trying hard not to buy any new fabric. Instead, I'm use some of my favorite pieces and scraps that I have in my stash. My goal is to make about 25 cats, but I haven't quite decided yet. Once we get all the complimentary, complementary patterns out, I'll have to finalize a layout and how many cats to make.

Jo released our first free pattern, Fishy Bones. I absolutely love this block. It has more character than a Disney movie! Here's my first Fishy, his name is Ralph:

Isn't he the best?? Fishy Bones has been out for a week now, which means it's my turn to give you a free pattern. Since I'm not an FPP designer, I am giving you a break from sewing on paper by offering you MEOW, a nice and easy patchwork pattern:

 MEOW is designed to take up some space in your quilt, to add a little more whimsy and to allow you some freedom from being so symmetrical. MEOW can be sewn in a row of four letters, or a square of two by two:

Because this post is already long enough, and I'd like to keep the tutorial page as simple as possible, I will write the instructions for MEOW in a new post as soon as I get home from picking up my daughter from school. Until then, I hope you'll join us and this fun quilt along. The Cats can be made in about 45-60 minutes, and take only scraps and small pieces to make. Every #candycatqal hashtag is an entry to win one of two prizes: a Choose Five pattern bundle from Jo, or a quilty prize pack from me. Every completed quilt top is entered to win FREE LONGARM QUILTING from The Cotton Farm Longarm. (*Winner must pay shipping*) It's not too late to join! Jump in any time! We are trying to post a new, free pattern every Monday but we are busy mom's with busy families, so we'll do our best to notify you if there's a change in the schedule. 

Head on over to Instagram for more information, inspiration and friends to sew along with. 
Be sure to follow me (@schnitzelandboo), 
Joanna (@unicornharts) 
and our sponsor (@thecottonfarmlongarm) for more good stuff throughout the QAL!

Happy FPP'ing!