Turnabout Quilt Assembly Part 2

Taking advantage of the fact that I am using the same fabric for all the sashing pieces and inner border, I decided to piece together sections of the sashing fabric and cornerstone fabric. I will then cut it into strips; fast and efficient!

If making the quilt yourself, here is the information you need:

From the sashing fabric cut 2 pieces that measure 13″ x 12″

And 6 pieces that measure 7 1/2″ x 12″

From the cornerstone fabric cut 5 pieces that measure 1 1/2″ x 12″

Sew the pieces together with the 13″ x 12″ pieces on the outside.

Sections for sashing rows

Cut this pieced section into 7 segments that are 1 1/2″ wide. In the picture below I have folded the pieced section into thirds before cutting.

Strip cut sections for sashing

Now, sew these sashing rows between each of the block rows.

Sections pieced together with sashing rows

Add a 2″ wide inner border piece to the top and bottom pieced border rows.

Inner border added to top and bottom pieced borders

Sew the pieced border rows onto the top and bottom of the quilt and your quilt top is done!

Top is done

I love this quilt! And what’s really fun to realize is that most of the fabrics in this quilt are ten to twenty years old! This quilt makes great use of those fabrics and I know many quilters have stashes like mine that span a few decades!  I’m giving this to charity and I also think it would be a good charity quilt project for quilt guilds and individuals.  This quilt measures 58 1/2″ x 74 1/2″, and because of how it is constructed if you want to make it in a different size it’s very easy to do.

Now it’s time to load this on the machine and get it quilted!

To find all the blog posts relating to the Turnabout quilt, simply type “Turnabout” in the search box that is located on the black bar near the top right of each blog page. 

If you belong to a quilt guild let your program chairperson know it’s time for a Nickel Quilt workshop where I teach many fun quilts and techniques!


Thrifting for Plaids and Denim

I’m a bargain shopper, an expert thrifter. Who doesn’t love getting a great deal and reusing things instead of just always buying new!? Well this mindset can certainly be applied to fabric shopping. With cotton prices sky-rocketing, maybe you’ll head to Goodwill for your next fabric fix like I do! Naturally, there are certain kinds of fabric that you can only find at quilt shops, but some types thrift stores have an abundance of- like plaids and denim!

I’m talking about cutting up shirts or dresses. I look for the largest sizes I can, to get the most fabric for the cost. Typically I also only buy the color tag that happens to be on sale that week. In Iowa, years ago when I first started buying plaid shirts and denim dresses from Goodwill I would go there on quarter days! I was getting beautiful plaid shirts (which I planned to cut up into 5″ squares) for a quarter!

Now this may seem crazy to you- cutting up a perfectly good shirt- but believe me, I am saving them! After being clearanced out at Goodwill they would have likely been donated and used as rags. This way, these lovely plaids get to be showcased in a quilt! In my last book, Nickel Quilts & Borders, I included a quilt made out of completely recycled plaids and denims- Hickory Hills (shown above).

Large panels are the easiest to cut up, which makes the back of the shirt most “valuable.” I simply cut around the seams with a scissors or rotary cutter and then cut it into squares or strips- a lot like cutting up a fat quarter. The front panels are also useful, but can be a little tricky. I usually cut around the pocket and save the buttons- you never know, they might come in handy some time.

And also, while you’re hunting through thrift stores for good plaids, you might even find something you want to wear! A few years ago when vintage western shirts (the kind with the pearl snaps) started becoming popular, my daughter Roxie asked me to start looking for them while thrifting. I’ve found loads of them, and can’t use them in quilts since they all tend to be polyster blends, but I’ve made Roxie and her friends very happy- supplying them with vintage shirts that cost only a fraction of what they would if bought elsewhere!

Now, don’t go sifting through your husband’s wardrobe looking for shirts to cut up- go save those ones from your local thrift store! Just think of it as Green Quilting!

Fat Quarter Cutting Diagrams

For those of you that have many fat quarters in your life and are having fun making Nickel Quilts this is how I cut up my fat quarters to make the best use of them. You are able to get twelve 5″ squares from every fat quarter and a 2 1/2″ strip.

And for those of you who might have projects in mind that use more 2 1/2″ strips you can certainly cut more strips than 5″ squares – my feelings won’t be hurt!

Don’t forget those layer cake (10″ square) ideas – yes you can do that also.  What a great use of fat quarters; 10″ squares, 5″ squares and 2 1/2″ strips in many combinations- I am showing just one below.

So tackle that stash – but don’t feel like you have to take it on all at once.  You will be amazed at how fast your 5″ square collection can grow by just cutting a few fat quarters everyday.  This is something you can even do after working all day, whether it’s outside the home at a job or at home taking care of your family. Trust me I know what it’s like trying to juggle a job, family, and a house.  Take time for yourself and your creative hobby even if it’s just 15 minutes a day, you deserve it!