Florabelle Bloom - A New Finish and Quilt Tutorial
I have been sharing some sneak peeks of this quilt over the last little bit, and today I am super excited to share the finish and tutorial!!! When the gals at Free Spirit Fabrics asked if I would be interested in playing with Joel Dewberry's newest line, Florabelle, I was all over it!!!! I absolutely love everything Joel designs ;)
The colors and prints of Florabelle are just so rich and wonderful and I had so much fun making up a design for this Florabelle Bloom quilt that I think really highlights those stunning prints and beautiful colors :) And now I get to share that design with all of you as well :) So let's get right to the tutorial!!!
The Flroabelle Quilt finishes at 66" x 82" so it is a great size quilt and here is what you will need to make it up :)
(1) Florabelle Fat Quarter Bundle - 21 Fat Quarters
3 1/2" Yards of White Solid for Background
2 /3 Yard of Dark Grey (I used Manatee) Solid for Binding
4 Yards of Backing of your favorite Florabelle Print
**The gals at Free Spirit were so sweet to send me these fabrics for making this tutorial and I thank them. They also sent along some Dual Duty Coats and Clark thread that was perfect for piecing ;)
STEP 1 - CUTTING
Start by first pressing all your fabrics :) It really helps for accuracy in cutting and piecing. Then from your 21 pressed Fat Quarters, choose 1 (I choose the Floral Gem in Tucson print) to be your sashing corner stones. The other 20 Fat Quarters will be your blocks. And now, you are ready to start cutting.
From each of the 20 Fat Quarters cut:
4 squares 4 1/2" x 4 1/2"
6 squares 3" x 3"
5 squares 2 1/2" x 2 1/2"
* I layer a 3-5 fat quarters at a time on my cutting mat for this to speed things up.
From your 1 Sashing Corner Stone Fat Quarter cut:
30 squares 2 1/2" x 2 1/2"
From the White Yardage cut:
5 Strips 4 1/2" x WOF - Subcut into 80 rectangles 2 1/2" x 4 1/2"
9 Strips 3" x WOF - Subcut into 120 squares 3" x 3"
10 Strips 2 1/2" x WOF - Subcut into 160 squares 2 1/2" x 2 1/2"
3 Strips 14 1/2" x WOF - Subcut into 49 rectangles 2 1/2" x 14 1/2"
From your Grey Solid cut 8 Strips 2 1/2" x Width of Fabric for your binding.
STEP 2 - MAKING HST UNITS
We will start with making a whole bunch of Half Square Triangle units. To do this, grab your 3" x 3" print squares and on the back of each one (there should be 120 total) draw a diagonal line from corner to corner.
Now grab your stack of 3" x 3" white background squares. Place a marked print square on a background square with right sides together. We will be sewing a 1/4" seam on either side of the drawn line. But to save time, we will chain stitch these.
If you haven't chain stitched before, it's super easy and saves time and thread. Just begin sewing the first square 1/4" from the drawn line, but when you get to the end of the square, don't cut your threads. Simply feed the next square through your machine, continuing on until all 120 squares are sewn on the left hand side of the drawn line and you have a giant train of small squares. Then go ahead and clip the threads between each square.
Then once again, begin feeding your squares through your machine on the other side of the drawn line, stitching a 1/4" seam from drawn line on all 120 sets. Then once again, clip your threads between each of the squares. This chain stitching is going to save you so much time and is a great mindless sewing task so listed to a book or favorite tunes while your at it!! (And speaking of saving time, if you have a 1/4" marked guide on your machine like that green one shown, or you can just mark it with tape on your sewing table, then you can skip drawing all the lines on the back of your print squares :)
Align a ruler along the drawn line and cut your square into two triangle pieces. Then press the seam allowance of each piece towards the print fabric. You will now have 240 HST's.
And they all need to be trimmed ;) Aligning the diagonal line of your square ruler with the seam of your half square triangle trim your HST to 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" square. If your ruler is larger than 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" square trim the right hand side and top of your units first and then rotate them to trim the remaining 2 sides. If your ruler is 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" you can simply trim all 4 sides. If you need a more detailed description on trimming HST's you can see this tutorial that goes into it with more depth.
You should now have 240 Half Square Triangle units that are all perfectly 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" square. I know the trimming takes a bit, but trust me it's totally worth it. It really helps to get those perfect points later on when you are building your blocks ;)
STEP 3 - MAKING SIDE UNITS
And now we can make the next units in our block, the Side Units. You will need your pile of white background 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" rectangles and (4) of each of your print 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" squares. This should leave you with 1 print square 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" of each fabric, 20 total, that can be set aside until later.
Place a print square on the end of the 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" rectangle with right sides together and sew a 1/4" seam along the end. Chain stitch all 80 sets, again this will save time and thread. Then clip your threads and press the seam allowance towards the Print square.
STEP 4 - MAKING POINT UNITS
And now, we are going to make some Point units using some of our HST's. We will be making a Side Point Unit and a Top Point unit which are essentially mirror images of each other so play close attention to the alignment of your HST. And we will make 4 of each unit from each of the 20 print fabrics. (Which will leave you 4 HST's from each print, so don't worry that there are extra's hanging out ;)
- For the Top Point Unit, place a HST triangle onto a 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" background square with right sides together as shown in the first box and stitch a 1/4" seam along the edge. Again, if you stack up all your sets and chain stitch all 4 sets of each print, so 80 total, this wills save time and thread.
- For the Side Point Unit, place a background 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" square onto a HST triangle with right sides together as shown in the second box and stitch a 1/4" seam along the edge. Chain stitch all 80 units.
- Then for both sets of units, press the seam allowances towards the Background square.
You should now have 80 Side Point units that are 2 1/2" x 4 1/2", 4 units of each of your 20 prints. And you also have 80 Top Point units that are 2 1/2" x 4 1/2", 4 units of each of your 20 prints.
STEP 5 - MAKING CORNER UNITS
And now with those units made, we are ready to make up the Corner Units. Layout a Top Point Unit, a Side Point Unit, and a 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" Print square all of the same Print fabric. Then add one HST of a different fabric. Stack up 4 sets of these units on top of one another so you can chain stitch all 4 Corner Units at the same time. (And if you are really organized, you can stack up all 4 sets of all 20 print fabrics, and do some serious chain stitching, just be sure to clip your threads in order so everything stays matched ;)
Place the right hand units onto the left hand units in each row with right sides together and edges aligned. Sew a 1/4" seam along all your edges (however much you are chain stitching).
Then clip your threads and I like to press these open so they lay nice and flat, but if you prefer, you can press the top row and bottom rows in opposite directions so they will nest. You will just have to press one side to the seams :)
Now lay the top row onto the bottom row and align and pin the seam. Then sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge, again chain stitching all your sets.
Again, I like to Press that last seam open, but you can choose to press it to one side if you prefer. You should have 4 Total Corner Units measuring 6 1/2" x 6 1/2" square.
Repeat this Corner Unit step for all 20 sets of your Print Fabrics if you didn't already chain stitch the. And I am sorry, I forgot to take a picture of them all laid out, but just think this times 20 :)
STEP 6 - MAKING THE BLOCK
And now you are ready to make the block. Layout 4 Corner Units of the same fabrics, 4 Side Units of a different fabric, and one print 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" print square (the one left over from earlier) that fabric matches the HST's in the corner of your Corner Units as shown below.
And if you are feeling confident in your chain stitching at this point, go ahead and stack all of your block layouts on top of each other so you can chain stitch all 20 blocks at the same time. If that scares you, no worries, just make up 1 block at a time and then rise and repeat ;)
Place the center unit in all three rows onto the left hand unit with right sides together. Sew a 1/4" seam along the edge of all three sets. Then clip your threads and lay your pieces back out on your mat making sure everything is still aligned.
Then place your right hand units onto the center units with right sides together. Sew a 1/4" seam along the edge of all three sets and then clip your threads. Press the Top and Bottom rows towards the center and Press the Middle row away from the center.
Lay your Block out again and make sure everything is still lined up. Then place the Middle Row onto the Top Row with right sides together. Align and Pin the seams and edges and then sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge.
Once again, layout your pieces on your mat and double check alignment. Then place your Bottom Row onto your Middle Row with right sides together and align and pin your seams and ends. Sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge and then clip your threads.
Press the seam allowances towards the Center and you are done with your block!!! If you chain stitched you can just press all 20 and if you are making 1 block at a time, repeat the Making a Block step for a 20 blocks :)
You now have 20 Blocks measuring 141/2" x 14 1/2" and they just look so pretty!!! And if your blocks are a tiny bit off no worries, you don't have to square them up or anything. In fact, I really don't recommend squaring up your blocks as it is super easy to chop off your seam allowances on those corner points if you do and that's no fun :)
STEP 7 - MAKING THE SASHING
And now with your blocks all made, we can move onto the sashing and be that much closer to getting this done!!! We will be using the 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" Print Sashing Corner Stone squares and the background 2 1/2" x 14 1/2" rectangles. Place two Print square on either end of the background rectangle. Sew a 1/4" seam along the edge. You will be making 6 sets so you can chain stitch 6 sides on the left, and then clip threads and chain stitch 6 sets on the right. Then clip your threads and press the seam allowances towards the background sashing strip.
Now for the other sashing strips, place one Print square on the end of the background rectangle. Sew a 1/4" seam along the edge. You will be making 18 sets so you can chain stitch all 18 sets at once. Clip your threads and press the seam allowances towards the background sashing strip. (You will still have more background rectangles, well use those in a bit ;)
And now, we can make the sashing row. Place 1 Sashing Strip that has a corner stone on both ends, and 3 Sashing Strips that have a corner stone on one end in a row as shown below in the first row. Place the second unit onto the first with right sides together and stitch a 1/4" seam along the end as shown below int he second row. Then place the third unit in the row onto the second unit with right sides together and stitch a 1/4" seam along the edge as shown in the third row. Repeat for the last unit s shown in the fourth row. Press the seam allowances towards the background sashing as shown in the fifth row. You will make 6 Rows total and once again can chain stitch them to save time ;)
STEP 8 - SEWING THE QUILT TOP
And now is where it all comes together!!! Layout your blocks in 4 rows of 5. Play around with the placement of the prints in your blocks until it is pleasing to the eye. Once you like it, take a picture of it so your can refer back to it (it also helps to take a picture to make sure all your colors are balanced as that is much easier to see if your eyes don't have to move ;) Now, layout your Sashing Rows between each row of blocks and layout a Background 2 1/2" x 14 1/2" rectangle in between each of your blocks and and at the beginning and end of each block row.
And now you can start sewing it all together. Start by placing the Background 2 1/2" x 14 1/2" rectangles onto the blocks with right sides together. There will be 2 strips on either side of the first block in each row. Sew a 1/4" seam along the edge of all. Again, you can chain stitch these to save time.
Press the seam allowances towards the sashing strips and then use the picture you took to lay your blocks back out in the order you had them ;)
Now you can sew the block row together. This is just like sewing the sashing rows together but on a larger scale. Place the second block onto the first block with right sides together and stitch a 1/4" seam along the edge as shown in the first row. Then place the third block on the second block with right sides together and sew a 1/4" seam along the edge as shown in the second row. Repeat for the last block as shown in the third row. Press the seam allowances towards the sashings and Repeat to sew all 5 Block Rows together or you can always chain stitch them again as I know that is your favorite by now ;) (Again, use your picture to lay your rows back out once they are all sewn together)
And now, it is simply sewing all the rows together. Start by sewing the Sashing rows to the Block rows. Lay the Sashing rows onto the Block rows with right sides together. Align and Pin the seams and then sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edges.
Press the seam allowances towards the Sashing Rows and again, refer back to the picture you took if you need help remembering what order the rows go in ;)
And now it's just sewing the Sashed Block rows together. Place the Second row onto the First row with right sides together. Align and Pin the seam allowances. Then stitch a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge and then press the seam allowance towards the sashing.
Then place the Third row onto the Second row with right sides together, align and pin the seams, and then stitch a 1/4" seam allowance along the pinned edge. Again, press towards the sashing. Repeat the process for the Forth and Fifth row.
STEP 9 - FINISHING THE QUILT
So now it is time to turn that finished quilt top into a finished Quilt ;) Time to Baste It, Quilt It, and Bind It!!! Which is a whole lot in one little sentence. If you are new to quilting, you can see my Finishing Your Quilt Series of video tutorials that will walk you through Basting, Quilting, and Binding step by step ;)
When it came time to quilt mine I decided on an all over medium size feathered swirl. I think this is such a fancy design that really adds to those gorgeous prints. And I just love how much wonderful movement it creates. I used a favorite 402 Pearl thread that blends perfectly with the white and all the prints.
And it also makes for some gorgeous texture!!! Doesn't that just make you want to snuggle up with it and a good book :) All that is left now is to use the (8) 2 1/2"x 42" grey solid binding strips you cut at the beginning to create a binding and add it to the quilt. And your Done!!!
STEP 10 - ENJOY QUILT
And now, just sit back and enjoy your beautiful Florabelle Bloom Quilt!!! It finishes at 66" x 82" so it is a great lap size quilt just perfect for snuggling in. And as you can see, with all that chain stitching it will go together super fast and is so much fun to make!!!
I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and if you make your own Florabelle Bloom Quilt I would love to see it!! You can email me a picture at firstname.lastname@example.org or add it to my flickr group here or post it to social media with the hashtag #happyquiltingwithmc ;) I can't wait to see your Florabelle Bloom Quilts!!!
Thank you so much to Free Spirit Fabrics for letting me play with these beautiful new Florabelle Fabrics by Joel Dewberry and Thank you so much for stopping in today to share this tutorial. And thanks for popping in each and every day. I am just so grateful to have this space to share my love of quilting!!!
Have a very Happy Quilting Day!!!