Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Star Cluster Quilt-a-Long Week #7

KT Winner

Congrats to the winner this week of a 3 1/2" sq. Quilter's Select ruler -

Denise - Love this - doing good so far! My sampler class is also using KT fabrics this year - so excited! This ruler would be awesome - haven't seen it before but would love it!!!

Thanks to everyone who's been quilting a long and commenting. I love to hear your feedback.

Week #7 - HST & Settings

I added simple half square triangles (HST) and tan squares or rectangles to fill in spaces between the various sized churn dash and star blocks.Cut the squares for the HST an 1/8" larger to allow room to trim, if desired. As I cut squares for both sizes of HST, I also cut all the squares for the HST border for next week. That way, I knew how much fabric I had available in each color/print.

As usual for HST, draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of the darker fabric. Stitch a scant 1/4" on both sides of the line; cut on the line. Press seams open.

 I use my small Quilter's Select ruler to trim my HST to size.

Sew the (16) small HST section in two rows with 8 HST in each, as shown.
Piece the (15) large HST in 3 sections, as shown.

Next, I laid out all of my pieced blocks, plus HST and tan setting squares/rectangles, on my current "flannel board" (which happens to be a flannel sheet on the floor of the living room until my new studio is completed this summer). The lighting isn't good, but you can see the sections I pieced together at this point. Follow the assembly guide in the pattern (note the inset seam just left of the center).

I'll finish sewing the sections together tomorrow, then start on HST for borders. We'll finish up next week with borders and quilting. We're so close!

I'm so glad you've all pushed me with this quilt-a-long to make a second Star Cluster quilt in Sweet Holly fabrics. I'm loving it! Please comment if you have any questions.

Monday, June 1, 2020

KT June Special

Shine Bright America

We've finally made it to summer! After a few long months of quarantine and rain, the sun is out and I'm delighted to be outside again. Aleece (grandaughter 15yrs old) and I have been working in the garden, decorating the porch, grilling, and relaxing with a cool drink as we wait for Robert to come home from work each evening. (My choice - black raspberry ICE; hers - Boylan's Cream Soda.)

To celebrate the beginning of summer, we're offering our Shine Bright pattern featured with my new Christmas fabric, Sweet Holly (see it HERE). I loved the design so much, I also made it in traditional red, tan and blue. It's an easy-to-piece Jelly Roll project for a picnic or porch quilt, perfect for summer gatherings. I'm made mine without batting, just a flannel backing, for super cuddly softness and lightweight warmth on cool summer evenings.

Our kit starts with an exclusive 20-strip Jelly Roll of KT Favorites III tans for easy piecing. We'll add in an assortment of reds, blues and golds from several lines for scrappy fun.

The Shine Bright America lap quilt (62" x 70"), pattern and shipping is over a $100 retail value. Our KT June Special price is only $69.95 with FREE SHIPPING! That's a savings of over 30%! Find our KT June Special HERE.

Quantities are limited, so order your Shine Bright kit today!

Would you like to win a Shine Bright Digital PDF pattern?
Comment by Friday, June 5th to win.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

20 Years of KTQ BOM Block #10

Block #10 - Ten Plus

We're half way through our quilt commemorating 20 years of fabric design with Moda. The Ten Plus block arrives at the perfect time to celebrate the first ten years of KTQ. I remember feeling so grateful - and a little overwhelmed - that I had been doing what I love for a decade. The quilt, Kansas Troubles - 10 Years & Counting, was created to represent a milestone in my quilting/design career. It featured a block or applique design for each fabric collection to that date. The pieced border is a quarter of the Kansas Troubles block. It's still one of my all-time favorite quilts.

Kansas Troubles - 10 Years & Counting BOM

But I digress. This week's block is a simple 9-patch with double half square triangle corners. I made mine in two different colors - red/tan and black/tan - with a center accent fabric.

My tip for this block is to press carefully when adding the D setting triangles. The instructions say to press toward the D's, but I've had better luck pressing the seams open so the DB pieced triangle unit lays flatter. After pressing, I lay the large A triangle under the pressed DB unit to check for size/distortion, and repress, if needed, to match. This extra step will help make your double HST corner blocks square and the perfect size.

These fun and easy Ten Plus blocks should go together quickly so you can get back outside and enjoy this lovely early summer weather.

Here's what the Ten Plus block looks like in a two color quilt. Love it! If you're enrolled in KT's BOM program, you'll receive this 20 Plus pattern FREE. If you'd like to order it, find it HERE at ktquilts.com.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

KT Winners

Congratulations to the winners of our KT giveaways!

The winner of (4) Sweet Holly Christmas patterns is...

 Judi Smith - My LQS always has a Christmas in July event! They have lots of new fabric lines, patterns, samples and little make and takes. It’s always so much fun that it gets me in the mood for Christmas sewing. But this year I think “Evergreen” is going to be top on my list! 

The winner of a Sweet Holly charm and mini charm pack is... 

Bonita - I am using from my stash and loving it. I would go to my local quilt store if in need of something. I am not ready to attend a retreat in the near future. I understand the Wisconsin Quilt Expo in September will be virtual this year so if they don't think we are ready for large crowds I am ok with that.
Judi and Bonita, please email me at lynne@ktquilts.com with your mailing address to claim your goodies. Robert will ship them out as soon as possible.

I hope you checked out all the Moda designers' videos posted on the Moda Cutting Table Blog from May 1-16th with the upcoming fabric lines arriving at stores in May and June. Mine was posted the 16th, introducing Sweet Holly. It's the first video Robert and I (along with our director, Aleece) have done ourselves. I hope to do more in the future, utilizing all we've learned.

What do you like to see in a video? A short overview or more explanation? I'd like to know your thoughts as we work on more virtual fabric introductions this year.  

I loved hearing from all of you that responded to my informal poll. I'm happy to hear you're utilizing your stashes, but please keep your local quilt shops in mind, too. Small businesses are struggling trying to make it through this financially uncertain time and your support is vital for their future success. If you want a quilt shop in your area to stay open, please check with them before ordering from a big box store online. 
Unfortunately, I think the health and safety forecast for this summer is still so uncertain that a large gathering of quilters is not a good idea. I'm glad to hear most of you are willing to make the sacrifice to stay home and stay safe. as well. We'll all get together and party even bigger next year!  

Watch my blog over the next few weeks for lots of Sweet Holly previews. See the fabric & projects and, of course, more giveaways. Anyone up for another quilt-a-long this summer?

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Star Cluster Quilt-a-Long Week #6

Week #6 - Mini Churn Dash

How did you get along with the mini stars last week? They're a challenge, for sure, but now you're totally ready for the mini churn dash blocks! They're easier to piece and press, so the worst is over. Let's get started...

Half Square Triangles (HST) 

Technically, the half square triangles (HST) for the mini churn dash blocks are cut 1 5/8", but I usually add an 1/8" to the cutting dimensions to allow for trimming. I cut my HST squares 1 3/4" to have a little wiggle room to easily trim down to 1 1/4" for a 3/4" finished HST. The steps are the same, just on a smaller scale. Draw a chalk line diagonally on the wrong side of the darker square; layer right sides together with the tan square. Stitch on both sides of the drawn line. I line the right toe of my presser foot up with the line when stitching in both directions. When the stitched squares are cut in half on the line, I have a smaller seam allowance which works better for a small block.

I finger press the center seam open, and press with my iron. Then I spray with sizing and press again to set the seam. 

Now, it's time to trim. Line up the 45degree diagonal line on your square ruler with the seam line, allowing excess fabric on both sides of the 1 1/4" square lines. Trim the right side and top, turn the block 180degrees, and trim again for a perfect 1 1/4" HST.

Assembly is a breeze - it's just a little 9-patch. Press toward the C-tan rectangles for opposing seams. Here are a few of my mini churn dash blocks using the new Sweet Holly fabric plus a couple other tans.

Over the long weekend, I laid out the center of the quilt and am ready for the HST filler blocks for next week. This is a chance for me to use some of the larger Christmas prints that will shine in bigger pieces.

We're on the home stretch now. After next week's filler blocks, we'll talk about the HST border and assembly. See you next Tuesday!

Remember, the KT Quilt Shop is reopening next Tuesday, June 2nd by appointment. Please wear a mask and adhere to social distancing practices. We're eager to welcome quilters back to the store safely. Call 785-488-2120 to let Robert know you're coming.

How is your quilt coming along? My Quilter's Select square rulers in several different sizes have been such a great help trimming all the HST in this quilt. Comment here to win a Quilter's Select 3 1/2" square ruler. I'll post the winner next Tuesday.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

KT Winner, KT Reopening & a Poll

KT Winner

The winner of my A Few Little Extras pattern is...

 Beth -You've spread a lot of happiness in twenty years, and been a part of many quilters's stories. That is quite a legacy.
Thanks, Beth! And thanks to everyone who commented. I loved reading each one. Your support and encouragement at this time means more than ever. I'm able to sew more because I can't travel and teach or hold retreats, but I really miss the feedback at a trunk show or workshop. Your comments help me know if I'm on the right track or need to change course in the future, whether designing fabric or quilts. Please don't hesitate to comment anytime, or email me directly at lynne@ktquilts.com if you have a question. We love hearing from you. 

The Poll

In fact, I have a couple questions for you:

If you're at home now, sewing more than ever, are you using your stash? Or buying fabric online?

When do you plan to venture out to a quilt shop? In the next couple weeks, or later?

Would you feel comfortable going to a quilting retreat with a large group in August if conditions improve? Or do you plan to stay home through the summer?

Comment on these questions and have a chance to win a new Sweet Holly Charm and mini charm. 


KT Quilt Shop to Reopen by Appt. June 2nd

Beginning Tuesday, June 2nd, Robert and Joy will be available by appointment at the KT Quilt Shop. Hours are Tuesday thru Friday 10-5, and Saturday 10-3. We're starting with a "slow" opening to ensure everyone's health and safety and make sure our precautions are working. 

Here are a few guidelines if you wish to come visit the KT Quilt Shop:

1. Please call ahead 785-488-2120. 

2. Please wear a mask.

3. Please follow social distancing guidelines while in the store. We are limiting our shoppers to 6 in the store at a time.

We will have hand sanitizer available, and will clean surfaces between customers. 

We hope to see you all soon! If you can't come to the store, check out everything KTQ at ktquilts.com. Follow me on Instagram at @lynnektq.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Star Cluster Quilt-a-Long #5

Block #5 - Mini Stars

We're well over halfway to completing our Star Cluster blocks! This week and next, we'll be piecing mini stars and churn dash blocks that measure 3" square and finish 2 1/2" square. I don't usually work with blocks this small, but I've enjoyed challenging myself and have learned a couple of tricks along the way.

As with any star point units, large or small, follow these simple rules.

Step #1 - When making connecting corners (CC) for star points, lay a square on the end of a rectangle, right sides together. For a perfectly straight stitching line, mark a line diagonally from corner to corner with a chalk marker (or your favorite marking tool) on the wrong side of the dark star point square. Follow the line to stitch. Or line up the outer corner with the "0" line on your sewing machine tray, as shown below, and stitch toward the corner. Use the method you're most comfortable with that delivers the best results for you. My tip is: Always begin stitching from the inside corner, not the outside corner. If you begin stitching on the outside corner, there is more chance your fabric will bunch as it's pushed by your presser foot and not stitch as smoothly. 

 Step #2 - After trimming the excess tan and dark triangles 1/8" away from your stitching line, press the seam open, beginning in the center, not on the corner. At this point, you're pressing across bias edges. This helps prevent stretching and distortion of the star point connecting corner and the background rectangle. I open the seam and finger press it open first, then follow up with just a touch of spray of sizing and press again for a nice, crisp finish.

Step #3 - Layered Trimming - After sewing the corners onto the star point units, trim the seam of the corner squares ONLY to 1/8". I left the star point unit seam at 1/4" so both edges weren't at the same place. Much like layering a haircut, this offers less bulk and a smoother transition when joining seams. I like to press toward the corners and toward the center square for opposing seams. It was surprising how much less bulk there was when pinning/stitching across the intersections.

More Layered Trimming - After sewing the three rows of the block together, trim one seam to 1/8" seam, leaving the remaining seam at 1/4". This is the block before pressing the final seams.

Mini Star Block 3" x 3" - Here's the unvarnished truth - my block is pretty darn close, but not perfect. I can adjust in the seam allowance, if needed, but I have a true 1/4" beyond the star points, so it's all good. It's funny how noticeable a thread's width on these mini blocks is, where it would be almost insignificant on a 6" block. Do your best, breathe... and enjoy the process.

I'll see you next week for the final block, Mini Churn Dash. The last week of the quilt-a-long, we'll make the spacer blocks and half square triangles for the borders and put it all together. I can't wait!