On the Bubble Quilt Tutorial

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On the Bubble Quilt Tutorial Title

Making an On the Bubble quilt is a lot of fun because you get to combine solids and scrappiness all in one visually interesting quilt.  I named it “On the Bubble” because of the appliqued circles, but also because the placement of the color values of the squares builds an illusion of a curve where none exists.  I made mine with shades of gray, but you could easily convert this to an ombre selection of fabrics, or for a different look you could switch the solids and prints to have a layer of solid bubbles floating over colorful scrappy squares.  This will make a lap sized quilt about 67.5″ square.

I purchased a yard each of Robert Kaufman’s Kona cotton solids as listed below.  Beside them I’ll list the number of five inch squares you’ll need of each:

  1.  White  13
  2.  Silver  24
  3.  Shadow  28
  4.  Medium Gray  36
  5.  Coal  44
  6.  Charcoal  52
  7. Pepper  28

You’ll also need 225 circles cut from various scraps.

On the Bubble Quilt: Cutting Circles and Squares

I used a 2.75″ diameter circle template.  I’ve made a circle template and a placement template that you can download and print on cardstock: On The Bubble Templates from CoopCrafts_20150206_0001.  I traced 225 circles onto the paper side of Heat n Bond Light.  (Numbering the circles as you trace will help you keep track.)  Then roughly cut them out, leaving a little space around the edge of each circle.  Follow package directions to attach the circles to the back side of your fabric scraps, then trim carefully around each circle.  You can use the placement template provided (cut out the center square) to help you center the circles, or if you have one, you can add washi tape to your five inch square ruler as I did below.  Then, following package directions, attach the circles to your squares.

On the Bubble Quilt: Circle Placement

The next step is to stitch around your circles.  If you want to keep your edges neat and free from fraying, use a zigzag stitch that encloses the edge of the circle.  For my quilt, I’ve used a vintage hand crank machine that only makes straight stitches (and doesn’t stitch in reverse), so the edges of my circles will lift over time to give ruffly, textural interest.  For whichever method you choose, I recommend this trick to keep your applique from unraveling.  If using straight stitches, complete about three rounds, as seen below.  Try not to stitch over the edges if you’re going to let them ravel, but let the circles “drift” a bit as you sew, kind of like the first few rounds of a Spirograph drawing.

On the Bubble Quilt: Detail of Top Stitching

The backs will look like this, with the thread ends neatly tied:

On the Bubble Quilt: Back of Stitching

Once all your circles have been appliqued, it’s time to lay out your squares.  Here’s the fancy grid I used, direct from my sketchbook, with the color numbers from above to help with placement.

On the Bubble Quilt Layout Guide

It may help to start in one corner.  Once you approach the middle, it’ll be easier to see and follow the pattern.

On the Bubble Quilt: Laying Out the Blocks

Mine looked like this, with a couple squares needing to be remade because my hand crank machine gets grouchy as her bobbin runs low.

On the Bubble Quilt in Progress

Begin stitching your rows together, taking time to admire your favorite fabrics as you go.  This was a gift from a friend and I love it!

On the Bubble Quilt in Progress

And although it’s not even quilted yet, I’m sharing the tutorial because several Instagram friends are eager to start bubble quilts of their own.

On the Bubble Quilt Top A

On the Bubble Quilt Top B

If you make one, I’d love to see it!

On the Bubble Quilt

sarahsigres

Ways I Kept Myself Busy in 2014

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2014 CoopCrafts Projects

Looking forward to a creative and productive 2015!

sarahsigres

A WIP: 24th Anniversary Quilt

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24th Anniversary Quilt

24th Anniversary Quilt

24th Anniversary Quilt

24th Anniversary Quilt

24th Anniversary Quilt

24th Anniversary Quilt

24th Anniversary Quilt

24th Anniversary Quilt

My latest project is a half square triangle quilt.  I’ll be adding a wiiiide border so it will fit our king size bed, and may possibly add a date or a phrase or something along an edge.  (Even though I’m actively working on it, it’s still in the planning stages and I’m still undecided.  I’m like that sometimes.)  I’m throwing in 24 squares to represent the 24 years we’ve been married so far.

I’ve been slow about updating my blog, so if you’d like to see how this quilt is going please feel free to follow me on Instagram.  (I’m CoopCrafts there, too.)

sarahsigres

Little Stars Quilts

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Lately I’ve been seeing stars. Lots of stars! Star quilts, specifically.

Seeing Stars

This one is to keep, made from gorgeous Japanese fabrics sent to me from my friend Kaori, who lives in Chiba.

Japanese Star Quilt

The star shape was a great compliment to the fabrics,  and simple hand stitching really defined it.  Oh, I love it!

Hand Quilting Detail, Japanese Star Quilt

I enjoyed making it so much that as soon as I was done, I started on one for my little sister in law.  She asked for orange, brown and red.  I threw in teal and black.

Alison's Star Quilt

Rows of ombre stitches make a halo effect, so that the star almost twinkles.

Hand Quilting Detail, Star Quilt

And now I’m working on one that will go back to Japan, to Kaori’s daughter, Anna.  Hers is getting the same “twinkle treatment”.

Anna's Star Hand Quilting

Two Star Quilts

Which kind of brings me back to where I started.  :)  Mine will eventually go up on the quilt wall.

Little Quilt Book

If you’d like to make your own, you can find the Drawn Together foundation paper piecing star pattern in the Little Quilts Book by Sarah Fielke and Amy Lobsiger.  (It’s a great book, I plan to make a few more little quilts from it!)

sarahsigres

Starting a Quilt Wall

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It’s been too long since I posted, but I have been sewing, even if I haven’t been sharing it here.  I’ve started on a little wall of quilts in my dining room, opposite my herringbone stenciled wall.

Two Mini Wall Quilts

The Wine/Whiskey quilt was made using the My First Alphabet and My First Alphabet: Numbers and Punctuation foundation paper piecing patterns by From Blank Pages on Etsy.  I accented it with leftovers from the American Made Brand License Plate Tour, so that it reminds me of how nice it felt to be asked to participate.  (And aren’t those colors gorgeous?  LOVE them!)

My husband doesn’t listen to country music, so even though he loves Blake Shelton from The Voice, he doesn’t hear the song in his head when he reads the quilt.  He does know why I chose it for us, though.  :)

Wine and Whiskey Mini Quilt

Oh, those S’s are HARD!  I’m only really pleased with one of them, but I let them ride.  I’ve learned that over time, the imperfections in a quilt kind of become endearing to the creator.  It’s weird, but mostly true.  It’s what you’ll look for, part of how you know it’s yours.  It’s good to learn to forgive yourself and move on.

The hashtag quilt was a very simple pattern I found in Fons & Porter’s Scrap Quilts magazine Spring 2014 issue.  You can make the top from just a charm pack of solids and less than two yards of white fabric.  I think this would make a great baby quilt, boy or girl.

Hashtag Quilt

I have a third little quilt made, but it won’t be hung up until I have a couple more done, just for proper placement.  For now I’ll just enjoy these, and the process of making the ones to come!

sarahsigres