Kit is available here
Hi, it’s Jenny, from the Missouri Star Quilt Company!
I want you to take a look at this quilt behind me. This is a gorgeous quilt, it is made by Bonnie Blue quilts with Marcus Brothers fabric and we found it at Market last year! We just fell in love with it it’s so pretty.
Looks hard doesn’t it? Looks like a lot of work? Well, you know I’ve always done precuts and I like to do the quick and easy. So, you know if I’m going to teach you how to do this, it’s gonna be quick and easy, and you’re gonna love it!
So if you’ve never tried a pattern before, what I’m going to do is we’re going to go through that pattern. I’m going to show you all the ins and outs, how to read it, and how to make this quilt. What I want you to look at right now is this whole quilt is based on one block. It’s just one block! It’s so easy I know you’re going to love it! We’re going to do it together. So let’s get into that right now.
Section 1 – Getting Ready
So this is the pattern. It’s made by Bonnie Blue Quilts, It’s called “Tavern Blues” and it’s a civil war inspired quilt. Which, I love that time period anyway, they’re just such fun rich colors and the girls over at Bonnie Blue I’m finding make really, really fun patterns. So, let me show you that. Everything you are going to get is going to come in a kit. It’s going to include even the backing. Here’s this big kit like this, all the fabric you need to complete this whole quilt is going to be in here. You’ll have your choice over here of blue or brown backing, so that will be fun, a little bit of your own personal taste in there. But I love that it includes the backing. That is awesome. When you’re making a quilt, sometimes you get everything done and “Well, what do I put on the back?” This even includes the backing. So let’s go ahead and open up this kit and see what you get.
First you’re going to get the pattern. Her patterns are really nice. They really are. They’re great. They’re easy to read and understand. I’ll walk through all of that with you so you can get it. OOO, it’s just like Christmas! We get to unwrap this fun thing. There we go. So here’s the pattern. Here’s your backing. Then when you get into your pattern, you’re going to open it up, it will tell you, on the back it has all of the requirements. So when you get into your pattern, on the back, it will have all the fabric requirements that you need to make this. And it will tell you that you’re going to get your border fabric, this is your border fabric, how gorgeous is that! This is going to be a sashing piece or a block piece, and this is going to be your setting squares. See these are the setting squares over here. That’s that piece. This is the piece for your sashing strips inbetween your blocks. That’s all these pieces here. So it says on the back of the pattern that you’ll get 13 darks and 6 lights. So don’t be surprised if you only see 5 because they’re supposed to be half yard cuts, and if it calls for the fabric in a larger quantity, like if it’ll say we want a yard of this AND a half yard cut, they’ve left it in one big piece. The reason for that is it’ll probably save you a little bit of fabric and you’ll have more for your stash, so that’s kind of fun. So let’s get right into this and see how they do it.
Section 2 – Prep and Cutting
This is the block we’re going to be making. You can see it’s going to fit right in here in one of these. It looks so hard. People are going to be praising you for years, because this is a piece of cake. You’re going to love it. So let’s take a look at this pattern. The first thing you hit on here is the cutting instructions. It’s really important to cut everything first. You’re going to want to go through and cut every block, and one of the reasons you’re going to want to do that is because this quilt has a scrappy look to it, and by that I mean when you start looking closely at this quilt, all of these little triangles, every little one is different. Everyone has its own unique look, and the reason for that is that in the civil war, and in any old antique quilt, you’ll find a lot of scrappyness, and they used a lot of their clothing and a lot of those extra pieces they had of this and extra pieces they had of that to put together to make a useable, beautiful quilt, so it has that scrappy look to that, which I love. So it says right here at the top, From each of the 13 dark prints, you’re going to cut, and then it has a list of letters. So you’ll find A right there. And you’re going to come over here, and you’ll see that it corresponds with this A right here on the pattern. Each letter will have a corresponding shape or cut of the pattern, so you’ll be able to see where that square is actually going. Now on this one it says “A” is 10- 3 and a half inch squares. Now remember you’re going to cut these 3.5 inch squares from every single one of your darks, so you’re going to cut 10 squares. So it doesn’t matter which one you pick, you’re just going to grab your hunk of fabric and you’re just going to start from each piece you’re going to cut 10. So let me show you really quick, I have a trick for that. You’re going to get them in half yard cuts. This is a little smaller than a half yard cut. I’ve been cutting on this, but it’s cut the width of the fabric, which is all the way long this way, it’s folded in half and in half again, and one of the reasons I like to do that is because it gives you better ruler control. So for me, what do is always make sure my edge is straight and really cleaned up. So we’re going to go right along here and just clean up that edge. Make sure that that is nice and straight. That didn’t work very well did it. Let me straighten it up a little further in. There we go. You want to be careful when you cut a little bit more. This is only 4 layers, so it should be really pretty easy to cut through. Make sure you have a sharp blade on your rotary cutter so that it will cut easily through them. Then we’re going to come over here and again, and one of the things that I always do when I’m cutting, and cutting makes me a little bit nervous, that’s one of the reasons I like pre-cuts, you just don’t want to make a mistake. So when I get my ruler ready to go and my hand on here, I will glance back over at my pattern, and I will go, “Letter A, I am cutting 3 and a half”, and make sure that it’s 3 and a half. So we’re going to cut a whole strip of 3 and a half, and what we need is squares. So I’m going to turn this strip like this, and I’m going to take my ruler, and I’m going to cut off this salvage right here- the salvage is the bound edge, the woven edge on the fabric. And then I know again I need 3 and a half inch squares and I’ll glace over again to make sure. Then I’ll come in just like this, and I’ll make a cut. And right away, I have four. And I only need 10, so I’m going to put them over here and make another cut, and then I’m going to scoot this down a little bit. It looks like I can make one more cut, and I’m going to have to open this up because there’s a fold right there. So I’ll lay this back out here again like this. And I’m going to go in 3 and a half and make that cut, and then I will have my first 10 squares. So those are going to be set apart for a couple of blocks in the quilt. Basically when you put these together, you’ll have 5 squares that are identical, and then the 4 squares that look smaller but they’re really not smaller, they’re a square in a square, so they’re also 3 and a half, so you’ll have 5 of one color for a block, and 4 of another. So when you get all these cut up, they’ll be in a big pile here, you’ll be able to separate them up and say, “I want to use these with these” and then all of your corner squares are scrappy. So for the scrappy 2 inch ones, I have some cut here, but I do the same thing, I just take my little strips, and you’ll see if you go down here, you cut all the stuff that you need from your darks. And then it will say “From each of the 6 different light prints, cut 140- 2 inch squares. That’s a lot of little squares, so if we can do it quicker or easier, that’s what we’re going to do. So again, we’re going to straighten up our edge, and let me just make sure this edge is good and straight here. I make sure my fold on top is matching up with the salvage. This is running along the same line down here. Then I just make sure that when I cut this that it cuts it really clean. And then I’m going to come in and I’m at the 3 and a half. OOPS. Not supposed to be at the 3 and a half. Remember: you’re going to go back and check that pattern. From all of the light cuts you’re cutting 2 inch squares. It’s a good thing I looked. So I’m going to come back over here 2 inches. So 2 inch squares. I look again, and I’m going to cut a strip. Now I’m going to cut a couple of these strips like this because I know I’m going to need a lot. I know I’m going to need 140 of them. So let me just take these over here now. If I were to stack these together, that would be too thick. That would be way too many. So I’m going to stick with my one strip of 4 and I’m going to cut my salvage off I’m just going, and I’m just going to come in here and make a stack of them. This is going to take you a little bit of time because there are a lot of these to cut, but the benefit is that it’s just so gorgeous when you get them all on there all scrappy. And when you get all of this cutting done first, then when you actually sit down at your sewing machine, you really just sew. And you’re going to make like 25 of these blocks. Actually, they have you making 26, but that’s one extra block. So once you actually get to sit down and sew, you’re going to be able to just sit down and sew through it.
Ok, so let’s get to the sewing part of it. I have some of my other pieces cut out here, so I’m going to show you exactly how to make a block. This is going to go together really easily and quickly. Don’t be afraid to go ahead and cut into this fabric, you’ve just got to do it. The only thing I wouldn’t cut beforehand, I would probably go back later and cut my sashing strips and cut my setting squares and cut my border. I would save that until after I have my blocks made. Then I’d go back and recut that. That’s just personal preference, you really can go along and cut. They have you cutting them right here at the beginning, and that’s totally fine.
Section 3- Making the Flying Geese
So this is page 2, and the first thing they have you doing is to make flying geese units. Now a flying geese unit is very simply this little unit right here. It’s got the rectangle in the middle and the two little corner pieces. It looks like a lot of work but it’s a piece of cake. Here’s one you can see close up. It’s just a grey little unit. So what you’re going to need is a little rectangle you cut out of you dark from the page before. It’s 3.5 by 2 inch rectangle, and that is letter D. Then your corner squares are you two inch light squares that you cut ….(lots) of. Now you’re ready to use them. So we’re going to start putting them in from the corner. You can see I’ve pressed a little line on there. You can draw the line or you can press it with your iron. I prefer to press it, I think it’s quicker, but a lot of people like to draw. And still, others can just eyeball it straight from corner to corner. So we’re going to go over to our machine, we’re going to sew that down. Let’s just sew this now. We go corner to corner, we went right on that pressed line. Ok, so then what I do right away is I go ahead and clip off this. I’m cutting a quarter inch out from my seam line. I just clip that off because I’m going to iron it back. So we come over here to the iron and we press set our seam, then we roll that back, and then we have the first side of our flying geese.
So let’s pick another fabric, a random fabric, you want a different one, we’re going for the scrappy look here. Again we’re going to lay that on the corner. We’re going to match up our corners to make sure ….Uh-oh, no ironed seam, no sew line. Let me go to the iron real quick. Remember, when we iron these seams like this, we’re just going to fold them in half and press a line so we get that nice stitch line right there. Then we will lay that on here again. Make sure it matches up on your sides. And we’re going to sew that straight across. Corner to corner, and again, I’m just going to pull this out, clip off that seam, and then we’re going to iron it open. There we go. Now for this block, you’re going to need…. Only 8!!! You’ll need 8 of these. And you can just woosh those through. You can chain piece these so that you can do a whole bunch of them all at once. Get your corners pressed. You’re just going to lay them in here. You’re just going to do one after the other on one side like this. You will clip off this edge. Iron it open. But you can just do one after the other after the other and chain piece them. That’ll really speed it up and make it go faster. Then I’m just going to finish this other side over here. Make sure it’s all lined up. Remember that you can iron that line or draw the line or eyeball it. Don’t eyeball it unless you’re really confident with yourself because you don’t want to pick out. Ok, so here’s the next one. So they have you making 200 for the whole quilt. If you get all of these done you are so much ahead of the game. So just go ahead. Chain piece those rectangles through and it’ll be over before you know it. Then they have you put them together in units. So you’re going to put two of these together like this with the one rectangle. So what you’re going to do is you’re going to lay this piece on the top of your flying geese and make sure everything is a quarter of an inch just like we always quilt, it’s always a quarter of an inch. We’re going to clip that, and we’re going to put this on the other side right here. We’ll just put that on top. Now you’ll notice when I did the other one the rectangle was on top, but on this one the flying geese is on top. In these little short areas it really doesn’t matter. Either way will work. Now when I iron these- whenever I have a piece to iron that has a little more fabric in it, I try to push that to the center because if you try to iron it the other way, it’s going to fight you a little bit because there’s more fabric to fold the other way. So here we go. So that’s what you get, and you are going to make a bunch of those because you’ll need 4 for each block and they’ll go around. So let’s get to the next page.
Section 4- Square in a Square
OK, now we’re on page 3. On page three you are going to learn to make a square in a square which is this little block right here. It starts out the same size as the block next to it, which is the 3 and a half, which we cut in the beginning, only you’re going to put 2 and a half inch squares on every corner to make it a square in a square. So here’s how you do that. Again you’re going to draw the line or crease so you have a line to sew on, so I’ll go ahead and do that. You just need a little bit of a crease, and you just line it up with a corner. You can choose any corner you’d like, and you’re going to line up both sides, and you’re going to sew that down right on the crease line. So you get that sewn and you need to trim it off about a quarter of an inch. Then we’re going to iron that back right here and we’re going to add another corner. So remember these are all going to look scrappy so we want to just pick a different one, and we’re going to line it up on that corner again. Make sure your two side pieces match, and we’re going to sew corner to corner. You can iron all of your little blocks ahead of time if you’d like or draw your lines ahead of time. Either way will work. Any you just do the same thing, and we’re going to do this all around this square. So you can see what’s happening here. I’m going to go ahead and set this and press it back. Get some steam on there. Then we’re going to add the 3rd corner. I need a different one. I’ll use this stripe. Stripes really add some texture to a quilt. I like stripes on a quilt. We’re going to go corner to corner. There’s your third one on. Press that back. And now we have to add one more. Again, we’re lining it up. And we’ll trim that off, cut these threads. They’re from the other side. Now we’ll iron this back. And this is the square in a square. Now really, once you’ve made the square in a square and the flying geese that is the whole block, pretty much.
Section 5- Putting it all together
Now what we’re going to do is we’re going to lay out our pieces. You’re going to make 4 of those actually. I have some made here. You can see the way they go together, they’re going to go inbetween your solid blocks. Here’s this one right here. This one will go here and this one will go here. Then we’re going to add those solid blocks, and I’ll show you how we put these together. This is our block right here, nothings been sewn on it, it’s just straight cutting. And we’re going to lay these down. Now I’ve got a really important tip for you when you sew these together. You can see how this is going to look. That’s going to be a gorgous little block in and of itself. A square in a square set every other one. It just looks great. We’re going to put these together in rows. 3 separate rows. I’m going to put this on the bottom. I want this square in a square block on the top. The reason I do is because when go to sew these 2 together, you see right here where the threads cross. You want to make sure that you do not sew on this side of that cross. You want to stay on the cross or to the right of it. You don’t want to go over. That’s what gives you those nice clean points. So let’s sew one of these together. Make sure they’re in here good. Your points should line up so they’re a quarter of an inch. Most of these do, but if you need to fudge it a little bit, this is a great tip to know because you can just slide that over a hair so you have a nice point. Look at that point. That’s a perfect little point. So let’s do this one of the other side. I’m going to press this so it lays a little flatter. Sometimes your squares will get wrinkled when they’re all bunched up, and it’s just easy to press them. I’m just going to sew my quarter of an inch, and I’m going to watch as I’m coming to this one. I either want to go right through the cross of that fabric. There we go. See, I just had to fudge a little bit and come in just a hair. You don’t want to go on the other side of that cross. It’ll pretty much work itself out as we quilt it along. You know what, I don’t like how this is looking. Take a look at this stripe. See how it wanders. I think I’ll pull that one little side of that out and straighten that out a little bit. We never like to do frog sewing. I call it frog sewing because we “rip-it, rip-it.” (joke) But we don’t really like to do the frog sewing because it takes time, but in the end, if we have something like that, I’m very linear, so I like to see the lines straight, so it just takes a few seconds. I pick a few threads on the top, then pull the bottom thread and they come right out just really fast. I’m just going to go ahead and sew this down again. I’m going to watch that line a little better to make sure that I’m doing a little straighter stitch. Let me see how that looks inside. We’ll open that up. See that’s a lot better. Sometimes those little things really bother me, so if you can catch them before the block is all sewn together, it’s so better. So we’re going to do the same thing on this one. We’re going to lay this on here, and again, I’m going to turn it so I can see my X. And we’re going to zip along here, and I went right through the cross, so that should be a great little seam on that one. Let’s go put it on the other side. We’re going to lay this square in a square block on top of this other one, right sides together, and we’re going to stitch along where these 2 stitch lines come together and form an X. We’re going to go right along there, either on the X or just to the side of it, but NEVER on this side. If you come this side, you will lose your point, and you do not want to lose your point. Those points are important. So let’s go ahead sew it. Comes down here. Make sure this is straight there. There we go right across that X. See how we sewed right across this X right here? It’s just perfect. It goes right across there. Here’s the X, and the stitch line just goes right across there. Makes for perfect points. So here you can see. Let me open this up. Look how perfect. Isn’t that awesome? Good job! So let’s iron this. When I have pieces like this where it’s a lot of extra fabric, I like to iron those so that they lay the way they want to lay. I’m not going to fight them. (She’s a lover, not a fighter) We want to let them lay that way.
People ask me a lot of questions about pressing. And this one because of the way it’s lined up is going to lay perfectly. But a lot of times if you have a seam that wants to lay a certain way, just let it lay that way even though it may not quite match up with the other ones. I don’t stress about that because all of the seams are inside, so as long as it lays flat on the top, if they’re not going in the same direction, we’re just not going to die over it, it’s really OK. So now we have all of our rows together and we’re going to sew the rows. Get them lined up so we get them on there right. We’re going to sew the rows together to form a block. Now I like to make sure that these points match. Because these seams are ironed outward, and these ones are ironed inward, these seams right here should nest together perfectly. I’m going to feel right here. I can feel these two seams lay together just perfectly. I’m going to go ahead and sew that. Again this is one you want to watch because you’re sewing over the square in a square, the little X’s, you want to make sure that they go, you cannot see the first ones because they’re on the bottom one, so you want to go back and check that and make sure. Most of these, the way you sew them together, the quarter of an inch comes out really good. Let me finish this up right here. Let’s see how we did. Let’s look on this side at our thread. We’re good here. We weren’t exactly on the X, but our points are still going to be good because they were on the other side. See how those look? That came out nice. Let’s add this last row up here, and we’ll be done with the center of our block. Make sure if you want to to go ahead and pin because I do not love to pin, but for some people it makes them a lot more at ease with their sewing. Don’t be afraid to do that at all. Let’s check these. We did good on these 2 as well. So we have a great center of our block. Let me show you how we’re going to finish this up. First we’re going to come over here and iron it so it’s nice and flat. I’m going to set that seam and roll it back, and set this seam and roll it back too. This makes for a nice flat middle of our block. Now we’ve got all of our little flying geese, we’ve already sewn all of those together. I’m going to clip these threads to clean it up a little bit.
Section 6- Adding the Flying Geese
Let’s flip the page in our pattern and see what’s coming up next. Here’s our rows that we put together and we’ve made the center of our block. Now we need to add our outside pieces. That’s your flying geese row. We’re just going to lay the whole thing out so you can see how it’s going to look, and then we’ll sew it together. We’ve got one of these on all four sides. You want to make sure the tops of your flying geese up here are against the block. These make legs of stars. These are actually little stars and you just want to make sure they are together. Then you have your little 2 inch squares that match your rectangle, and those go in the corners. Doesn’t that look amazing? Let’s go ahead and sew that together. The first thing that we’re going to do is sew our cornerstones onto our flying geese strip. We’re going to put both corners on this strip. You’ll have 2 strips that have no corners and 2 strips that have corners on them. That will form the whole block. We’ve got our two corners on here and we’re going to press those open. You’ll want to set those seams. I didn’t set that one, but you’ll want to. Everything lays so much nicer when it’s all pressed. Then we’re going to go up here to this top one and we’re going to put the corner block tops on it. We’ll press those open. These are ready to put on, but before we do that, we have to sew these 2 side pieces on. We’re going to put them with our block right here. Again you want to make sure that where your blocks come together the seams match so your points are nice and crisp. We’re going to go ahead and sew this. I can feel one of my seams is going in one direction and one is going the other, so I can feel them nesting together, but do not hesitate to put in a pin. And again, watch as your sewing your geese on. Your geese have that same chris-cross of stitching so that you can make sure that the points of your geese stay pointed as well. So we did pretty good on those points as well. This one is a little tight, but it’s there. So that’s alright. Let’s iron this. Roll it back. And then we’re going to put this other side one on right here. I think you will be amazed at how quickly this goes together and how proud of yourself you are. This is an amazing looking quilt, and it’s so much fun to accomplish something like this on a grand scale. This is a big deal. There are a lot of us civil war fans out there. We love this kind of fabric, the warm blues and golds and grays. We just love them. That looks great. Now to finish our block. So here we have our 3 pieces. We have our middle piece and the top and bottom piece. You can see we put the side pieces on here, and now it’s going to match up perfectly. Now that we’ve got the strips on the sides, it’s going to match up perfectly. Again, make sure that where your blocks come together they are lined up and folding in the right place so that your points match up. These points are going to be important for the look of your quilt. This one right here feels a little squirrely, so I’m going to put a pin in there. This one is going to line up real nice. This one is a little bit squirrely to, so I’m going to put a pin in these 2 outside ones. I’m going to make sure that the seam is nesting really tightly. Stick a little pin in there, and then when I sew, I just have to remember about my chris-cross of threads right here and I’ll have one on the back that I’ll kind of have to watch, and then I’ll just be able to lay this in here and sew because I do have it pinned down on the parts I’m worried about. I just check to make sure everything is lined up. Oh, and you do want to take your pins out before you get to them. Today has lessons on what you should AND shouldn’t do. Let’s see how we did. I know we did good on these points because we saw them. This point looks good also, so we can open that up. Before we press that, I think I’ll go ahead and put this top on because I’m getting very excited about seeing this finished block. This is going to match up ok. Let’s see how this one goes. This one feels a little more together. Sometimes you just have to make that fabric behave. That’s not a bad thing. It happens more often than not. One more little seam here. I’m going to take this to my ironing board and set these two seams. This is such a pretty block. Such a pretty quilt. I’m going to give this a shot of steam. I like steam. You have to be careful not to move your iron around too much because you don’t want to stretch your fabric, but I sure like the way that looks. Here we are, the finished block. Isn’t that gorgeous? We’ve really completed something here. You’re going to make 25 of these blocks for this quilt. A lot of them, but they’re going to go together quickly and easily.
Let me quickly walk you through the rest of the quilt. The rest of the quilt is really going to be easy. It’s just about putting them together in a way that sets the block on point. This is called on point when it stands on the point and the point goes this way. Instead of them being straight this way, they’re on point, and you will put your sashings together. Now you’ll notice on this one, when you do it, your sashing is going to go on either side of your block with a strip in between. It will show you just how to do that in here. That part goes together so easily. The only thing I feel like I need to make you aware of is that this is a striped fabric right here, so you want to make sure when you’re cutting it that you’re cutting a single layer and making sure that it lines up ok. That’s another one of those things that would drive me crazy. Same thing with the border. The border is a directional stripe. On the border, you’re going to have quite a bit of extra fabric left because you’re going to want to cut it long ways because you don’t want any cuts in your border as it goes all the way along the side of your quilt. You want that to be one solid piece. You have like 3 yards of border fabric. They have mitered the corners. On page 5 and 6, it tell you how to set it together. This is the beginning of how to set it and how to miter your borders. It gives you really good instructions on mitering your borders. It shows here putting your ruler along the edge of your quilt. DON’T FORGET to leave that quarter of an inch though so that you have room for your stitch when you put your border on. They have you putting your ruler up. Draw a pencil line on that, and then you’re going to move that ruler over and cut a quarter of an inch. You want to make sure you get that.
Section 7- Conclusion
We’ve just finished our first pattern. It’s so exciting. It’s so much fun to take a step further and challenge yourself a little more. I can’t wait to hear your comments and see if you’ve enjoyed it. I’m anxious to see pictures. If you’d like to ask a question, you can just leave it in the comment box. The girls and I are excited to help you with anything. Maybe you can read through the comments. There may be others who have struggled with some of the same things. Either way, we’re looking forward to hearing from you. We hope you enjoyed this tutorial from the Missouri Star Quilt Company.