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

Cherry Pit Hand Warmers Tutorial

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Cherry Pit Hand Warmers

This beginner level sewing project is quick, easy and low cost and would be great for craft sales or little gifts.

Cherry pits are wonderful to use in hand warmers or heat packs because they naturally retain heat and release it slowly.  Their small, round shape helps them to comfortably conform to the shape of your body, and they have a very pleasant light cherry scent.  They can be purchased in bulk, cleaned, dried and ready to use from many sources online.  (I found mine at The Next Door Down on Etsy.)

To make hand warmers:

  • Stack two charm squares (or scraps of fabric cut to 5″ square) right sides together and cut them in half, so that you have two pieces of fabric 2.5″ x 5″.
  • Sew with a quarter inch seam allowance around the outside of the rectangles, leaving an opening along one long side.  (Be sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of your stitches to lock them in place.)
  • Turn right side out and press with a steamy iron.
  • Lightly fill with cherry pits.
  • Sew the opening closed very close to the edge of the fabric.  If you find it’s hard to maneuver under the presser foot, remove a few cherry pits and try again.  You’ll want the cherry pits to be able to move around a little when finished, so don’t over fill.

Cherry Pit Hand Warmers

Mix and match all kinds of fabrics, or make matching sets and tie them up with a little ribbon.  To use, pop them in a microwave for 20-30 seconds.  (Don’t overdo it, scorched cherry pits don’t smell nice.)

The packs are small enough so that they can stay in coat pockets all day without being much in the way, so kids are likely to bring them back home to heat up again before the bus stop wait tomorrow.  If your kids are fidgety like mine (and me!) they’ll probably enjoy the soothing feel of the warm cherry pits rolling around inside the warmers.

Make larger packs with the same method to use as a heating pad, or chill in the freezer to use as an ice pack.

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