Friday, May 30, 2014

Super Mario Brothers Quilt Along & BOM - Block #3

This page has moved.



Sunday, May 25, 2014

Spring Sampler Block 6 - Temple Court


Sponsored by:


Welcome back to our Spring Sampler Series! A big thank you goes out to Connecting Threads for sponsoring our quilt along and to Heidi and Cheryl, our incredibly talented pattern testers!

Just a reminder - we have a scheduled break next week, so we won't be sharing a new block in the hopes of giving people a chance to catch up and a chance for those of us making the lap-size sampler to start planning our extra five blocks!

Please join in our quilt along at any time - the patterns will be available on our blog indefinitely!  Visit these pages for help choosing your prints and for fabric requirements for the project.

Share photos of this block below in our linky party or in our flickr group.  Each block shared between now and 7/24/14 is an entry into our prize raffle - US & Canadian residents only, please.






Always be sure to read through the entire set of instructions before beginning, sew with a 1/4" seam, and press seams as directed by the arrows.

Block 6 - Cutting Instructions





From the Background fabric (#2), cut:
        1 - 4 ¼” square

From the Dark Print (#3), cut:
        8 - 3 ½” x 2” rectangles
        4 - 2 ” squares

Choose 3 Vibrant Prints (#1)
    From the first, cut:
        4 - 2” squares

    From the second, cut:
        5 - 3 ½” squares

    From the third, cut:
       4 - 2 ” squares

Choose 1 Neutral Print (#5), and cut:
        8 - 2 ¼” squares, cut in half, diagonally


Set-up: Square-in-Square Block


Make four Square-in-Square blocks, using our tutorial, 4 - 2 ”  Vibrant Print squares, and 16 - 2 ¼” Neutral Print triangles.  Square and trim blocks down to 3 ½".



Set-up: Flying Geese Block


Make a set of four Flying Geese blocks using our tutorial, 1 - 4 ¼” Background square and 4 - 2
Dark Print squares.  




Block Construction



Here we go!

1.  Attach a Square-in-Square block to the top of each of the 4 - Dark Print Flying Geese block.


2.  Attach a 3 ½” x 2” Dark Print rectangle to the right of 4 - 3 ½” Vibrant Print squares.


3.  Attach a 2” Vibrant Print square to the right of the 4 remaining 3 ½” x 2” Dark Print rectangles.


4.  Attach each of the blocks made in step #3 to the bottom of a block made in step #2.

(sorry for the blurry picture!!)

5.  Attach 2 of the blocks made in step #4 to the left and right sides of a block made in step #1; repeat to make a second, identical block.


6.  Attach the remaining 2 blocks made in step #1 to the left and right sides of the 3½” Vibrant Print square.


7.  Attach the 2 blocks made in steps #5 to the top and bottom of the block made in step #6.




Sit back, kick your feet back, and treat yourself to a little something nice for finishing another block - we're pouring Dreaming Tree's Crush at our house this weekend!   ... and then share your photos below in our linky party or in our flickr group!





We're off next week, so see you back in June!!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Meet the Beast - my Brother PQ1500s

I'd like to introduce you to the newest member of the Cora's Quilt team!  He's a Brother PQ1500S and he is a BEAST!


When I first began shopping for a new sewing machine about a year ago, I had no idea where to start.  I read a few blogs and some amazon reviews, but all the information was so overwhelming that I put the decision off for when I had more time to do my research.  At a trade show earlier this year, I had the chance to sit down with a Bernina 840QE and even with the hefty price tag, I almost left with one! {My hubby would interject here that in reality, it was no where near that close to happening ...}

I knew, deep down, though, that I just needed a plain old, straight-stitchin' work horse - something that could piece accurately at the speed of light and something that had a throat space bigger than the eye of a needle, so that I at least had a fighting chance of quilting some of my larger projects at home.

A little more research now that I had an actual direction lead to two top choices in my price range: the Brother PQ1500S and the Juki TL2010Q.  There are a lot of great arguments out there for both machines, but in the end I chose the Brother, purely for the fact that it had four different feed dog positions at the flip of a switch, while the Juki required screwing on an additional face-place to achieve a "lowered" position.


I haven't had a great deal of time to spend with him, but let me tell you: he is awesome ... and he is FAST!  Like, 1500 stitches per minute fast.  Like, so fast that I feel like I lose control of the fabric while I'm sewing!  Half-way through next month's Super Mario QAL Block, I realized that one a seam guide attachment was included in the bundle of feet and attachments!


This thing is much heftier - and much more useful - than the small, foot-attached one used by L'ila Bro!


Now this thing is in place, I  can really fly!  And the knee lift bar (not pictured) is amazing!  How did I sew without this thing before!  It was a little awkward at first, but now it's becoming second nature.

I'm in the process of some "just for fun" quilts ... in between all the quilt along goodness.  Putting the machine through its paces for piecing, quilting, and binding seemed like the best way to get to know one another!  I'm constantly amazed at the quality and precision of the stitches, no matter the {fluctuating} speeds - and I'm sure I'll be singing it's praises even more when I actually get the walking-foot on and settle in for some straight-line quilting.

Until then, I'll leave you with this picture, because it warms my heart.  Getting this not-so-little man to sit still for 30 seconds ... let alone 30 minutes on my lap was priceless!  Granted the sewing took twice as long, but having a mid-morning snuggle buddy has a huge ray of sunshine in a grumpy week!


Oh!  And before I forget, I submitted this quilt and this quilt to the Blogger's Quilt Festival over at Amy's Creative Side.



Be sure to stop by and check out all the beautiful quilts.  The creativity and imaginations of my fellow quilters never ceases to amaze and inspire me!  Voting opens on Saturday!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Square-in-Square Quilty Math - The "Trim-Down" method

Hi Spring Sampler Sewists!  A fellow quilter contacted me last week with the problem that her finished block was coming out a smidge smaller than it was supposed to be.

When one of my pattern testers had a similar issue with her center square-in-square block coming out a smidge too small, I decided to do a bit of investigation.

As a reminder, the math for the Square-in-Square block goes a little something like this:

Refresher - Square-in-Square Math ...



Measure one side of your center square.  Let's say that it's 3.5".  

  1. Divide this number by 1.4142.
  2. Add 3/8" (.375) for a seam allowance.  
  3. Round the final number up to the nearest 1/8".  
  4. Cut two squares using this measurement, and then cut each square in half, diagonally, to get your four outer triangles.

Let's walk through this using the actual numbers:

3.5 / 1.4142 = 2.4749

2.4749 + .375 = 2.8499

2.8499 rounded up to the nearest eighth - 2.875 or 2 7/8"

Cut 2 - 2 7/8" squares and then cut each in half diagonally.



Back to the Issue At Hand ...


I really take my pattern writing and accuracy very seriously.  I want to give you the absolute best pattern I can.  And while the math behind the blocks is sound - we've checked a dozen times and it's completely in line with the correct method of calculation - if you're still having difficulties with blocks coming out a tiny bit too small for what ever reason, try rounding your math up to the nearest quarter (or even half) inch and then squaring and trimming your blocks down to the pattern's required size.

Using the example above, rather than using 2 7/8" squares, try using 3" squares, or even 3 1/4" squares.  Once the block is assembled, you'd trim the excess so that you're left with a 4 3/4" unfinished block.

I'll be adding a note to all the previous and future tutorials if you'll be using the "trim-down" method.  Thanks so much for all of your feedback - I feel like I have the greatest readers!

Enjoy your three day weekend - we'll be posting block #6 Sunday afternoon ... in case you're looking for something to do on Monday's holiday.  Happy sewing!!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Spring Sampler Block 5 - Aztec Jewel


Sponsored by:


Good Gravy!!!  Can you believe we've already made it to Block 5 of our Spring Sampler Quilt Along!  A big thank you goes out to Connecting Threads for sponsoring our quilt along and to Heidi, our incredibly talented pattern tester!  I think my favorite thing about this quilt along is that it's actually forcing me to spend some time with my brand new sewing machine.  He's still doesn't have a name (besides BEAST), but the more time I spend with him, the more I love him!!

Please join in our quilt along at any time - the patterns will be available on our blog indefinitely!  Visit these pages for help choosing your prints and for fabric requirements for the project.

Share photos of this block below in our linky party or in our flickr group.  Each block shared between now and 7/24/14 is an entry into our prize raffle - US & Canadian residents only, please.




Always be sure to read through the entire set of instructions before beginning, sew with a 1/4" seam, and press seams as directed by the arrows.

Block 5 - Cutting Instructions





From the Background fabric (#2), cut:
        8 - 3 ½” x 2” rectangles
        4 - 2 ” squares

From the Dark Print (#3), cut:
        1 - 3 ½” square
        4 - 2 ” squares
        4 - 2” squares

Choose 3 Vibrant Prints (#1)
    From the first, cut:
        2 - 4 ¼” squares

    From the second, cut:
        1 - 4 ¼” squares

    From the third, cut:
       2 - 4” squares

Choose 2 Neutral Prints (#5)
     From the first, cut:
        4 - 2 ” squares

     From the second, cut:
        2 - 4” squares

Set-up: Flying Geese Block


Make a set of four Flying Geese blocks using our tutorial, 1 - 
 ¼" Vibrant Print square and 4 -  Background squares.



Make a set of four Flying Geese blocks using our tutorial, 1 - 4 ¼" Vibrant Print square and 4 -  Neutral squares.



Make a set of four Flying Geese blocks using our tutorial, 1 - 4 ¼” Vibrant Print square and 4 -  Dark Print squares.


This block requires a total of 12 Flying Geese blocks!

Block Construction



Here we go!

1.  With a fabric pencil, draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of each of the 4” Vibrant Print squares.

2.  Pin a 4” Vibrant Print squares right-sides-together with a 4” Neutral Print square; sew a scant 1/4” seam along both sides of the pencil line.


3.  Cut the unit in half along the drawn line and press each of the two resulting; repeat steps #2-#3 to make a total of 4 blocks; square and trim the blocks down to 3 ½”.


4.  Attach a 3 ½” x 2” Background rectangle to the left side of each of the 4 blocks made in steps #2-#3.


5.  Attach a 2” Dark Print square to the left side of each of the 4 remaining 3 ½” x 2” Background rectangles.


6.  Attach a block made in step #5 to the top of each of the 4 blocks made in step #4.


7.  Attach a Vibrant/Background Flying Geese block to the top of each of the 4 - Vibrant/Neutral Print Flying Geese blocks; then attach a Vibrant/Dark Print Flying Geese block to the bottom of each of the blocks.


8.  Attach 2 of the blocks made in step #6 to the left and right sides of 1 of the blocks made in step #7; repeat to make a second block.


9.  Attach the remaining two blocks made in steps #7 to the left and right sides of a 3 ½” Dark Print square.


10.  Attach the blocks made in steps #7 to the top and bottom of the block made in step #9.


Pat yourself on the back for finishing another block ... and then share your photos below in our linky party or in our flickr group!





See you next week!



Saturday, May 17, 2014

Pattern Giveaway Winners!

Happy Saturday!  You'll be happy to know that we're finally chasing the blues away around Casa de CQ!  Dinner with awesome friends and fantastic wine gave us a great start to the weekend - ps ... have you tried Dreaming Tree Wines yet?  Amazing!  As if I didn't love Dave Matthews enough already ...

... anyways ... Mama cat and junior are still camped out in an in-accessible part of the attic, but at least the round-the-clock mewling has stopped and we have an appointment to have them professionally extracted on Monday  The only one more excited about this than we are is the receptionist at the pest company's receptionist who apparently will be adding a kitten to her household.

Top that happy news with two little boys who not only spent the entire night in their respective beds, but woke up laughing ... followed by wonderful Saturday morning 12 mile family bike ride with beautiful weather and scenery ... and a date scheduled with my honey tonight ... and I'm flying high today!



I'm hoping to add some smiles to your weekends too!

First up - did you hear the happy news?  We've decided to host a Fall Aspen Glow Quilt Along! 


We'll be adding fabric requirements for the updated two-tone blocks in the next couple of weeks and we're patiently awaiting our shipment of hot-of-the-press Autumn Woods yardage by Kate & Birdie Co.  As soon as it's in, we'll have kits listed in our shop.



In the meantime, if you're interested in participating, sign-up on the information page and get your copy of the pattern from our etsy or craftsy shops.

And, to sweeten your Saturday, we're having a buy-one-get-one-free patterns sale through the end of the weekend!  Just mention the free pattern {of equal or lesser value} that you'd like to receive in your etsy notes to seller box upon checkout, or email me directly (corasquilts{at}gmail{dot}com) with your choice if purchasing through craftsy.

And ... without further ado ... here are the winners of our pattern giveaway!!







I'll be emailing you directly to get your official pattern choice!  Hope you're having a great weekend too!!

Friday, May 16, 2014

2014 Blogger's Quilt Festival - Large Quilt Entry, Original Design

I'm so excited to finally be joining the Blogger's Quilt Festival, hosted by Amy's Creative Side.  I've admired the festival for years now, and I'm so happy to finally be organized enough to have a couple of entries to share!


The last 18 months have been crazy busy {and crazy} for our family! Hubby switched to a new position at work, we moved, we had a baby, and I actually managed to get a fair amount of sewing and pattern writing accomplished.  The two quilts I've chosen to share this year, though are tied to very special memories of my boys.  You can read about my Small Quilt Entry, Original Design submission here.


My other big finish in the last year was my Flurry quilt and I'd love to share a bit of the story behind its snowy home-coming (excerpts taken from this original post).



I normally photograph my quilts in our backyard, or at the local park, but it just so happened that a few days after I got my Flurry finished quilt top back from my wonderful Long-Arm Quilter, Fran, we were heading up the hill for a weekend in Tahoe with our bestie cousins so that our {combined} four little munchkins could play in the snow.  As I was furious working on the binding in the car while driving up HWY 80, I was getting so excited about getting to photograph the quilt in an actual wintery setting!  But ... as we drove higher and higher ... the scenery wasn't changing at all.  In fact, when we hit Donner Summit, there was not a single patch of snow to be found!

Just to look at the hill top in the background of the photo below!  It looks more like August than January!!



I was sooooo disappointed!  I knew that we were having a record dry year, but deep down I think I expected to see at least a powdered sugar dusting and some snow patches in the shade!  I settled for taking some photos from our townhouse balcony and figured that would be as close as I got to a wintery setting.  Luckily, the following morning, after two hours of driving around, we finally found some snow near the Mt. Rose summit! 


After much goofing around with the kiddos, I was able to sneak in a quick couple of pictures before we headed back to our cabin for lunch!


Satisfied ... I packed the quilt away in the car for the trip home.  But, as we were bundling the kids upstairs for naps, we happened to glance outside and see that we had actual snow flurries!!!



It was so awesome!  After snapping a couple more pictures from our deck, I took the quilt back upstairs and snuggled down under it with my not-so-little son.  Let me tell you, it was the best way to spend an afternoon - cuddled up with a dozing toddler under a warm, cozy quilt, watching the snow softly fall outside.  When we woke up, I had my snow dusted vista ... 


... and the kiddies had their very own snow park in our cul-de-sac.


I loved this quilt before we left, but now it's all wrapped up in snuggly, happy, wintery memories too!


Thank you so much for stopping by and make sure to vote for all your favorite quilts at the Blogger's Quilt Festival - voting is open May 16 - 29.  Happy sewing!!