Road Trip Kentucky Portion

I’m on an extended teaching road trip and my first stop was the Bluegrass Quilt Festival in Shepherdsville, KY.  One of the workshops I taught there was the “Small Wonders” workshop, in which seven different quilts can be made.  And guess what quilt (along with 30 others) is traveling with me on this trip?  Turnabout!  I’m having so much fun sharing it with other quilters before I send it off to a charity this winter.  The Turnabout quilt is also constructed with what I refer to as the “Small Wonders” technique so I offered it as an additional option for this workshop.


This is South Dakota Star, just one of the quilts being worked on in this workshop.

S D Star

Now I’m leaving Kentucky behind and heading to Pennsylvania, with an overnight stop in Maryland.  The leaves are starting to turn!  I was worried that it might be a little too early in the season to see the Fall foliage but Mother Nature is already putting on the show!

Turning Leaves MD

Fall, such a great time of year! Many quilt guilds schedule retreats at this time- If you’re not sure what to pack up and take to your retreat, work on a Nickel Quilt! Grab those stash fabrics, charm packs and fat quarters, and make a scrap quilt that will be loved for years to come!


Putting Binding on the Turnabout Quilt

I’m home for two weeks this time between teaching trips so I had time to get the Turnabout quilt ready for binding.  Here is the quilt off of the longarm machine, the extra backing and batting has been trimmed away.

ready for binding

I already had the binding sewn together and pressed.


I’ve sewn the binding on by machine and now I’ve started on the handwork.  It’s a perfect project for me to work in the evening especially since the temperatures in Saint Paul have been getting down into the 50’s at night!

binding in progress

Here is a look at the fun backing I picked out to go on this quilt.


This quilt has been so fun to make and guess what? I’ve already started on my next one!


Turnabout is on the Longarm

I have loaded the Turnabout quilt onto the longarm machine and it’s in the process of being quilted.  This first picture shows the quilt top attached to one of the rollers. Note the fabric on the side and bottom edge of the quilt, this is not border fabric but leaders that I always attach on all edges of the quilt with a machine basting stitch.  With the first quilt I ever loaded on a longarm machine I decided I did not like the way the edges of the quilt could be distorted or all the pinning I had to do along the edges.  This is the method I have used ever since and what works for me.

Leader Strips

In the process of quilting.

On longarm C

A couple of pictures showing the quilting.  I’m using an all over edge to edge simple swirl.

on longarm

on longarm B

It’s about half quilted and won’t take long to finish I just have to work it in between everything else on my to do list!


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!


Turnabout Quilt Assembly

I’m assembling the Turnabout quilt in rows including the pieced border.  I’ve started referring to this method of assembly as “Carefree Borders.”

I used one fabric for the sashing, inner border and binding. If doing the same you will need  2 1/4 yards of fabric.

For the block rows I simply added a 1 1/2″ x 7 1/2″ sashing piece between each block.

Sashing sewn to block

I immediately put the block rows back up on the design wall to admire the view!

Blocks rows sashed

Now I audition the placement of the border blocks.

Placement of the pieced border blocks

Next I sew the side border blocks onto the rows using an inner border piece that measures 2″ x 7 1/2″.

Border Blocks added to rows

For the top and bottom border assembly I used sashing pieces between the border blocks that measure 1 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ and inner border pieces that measure 2″ x 4 1/2″ to join the corner units to the rows.


The corner units are simply a 4 1/2″ squares with a 2 1/4″ connecting-corner added.

Corner unit

Next I will prepare the sashing rows.

If you think this quilt and its pieced borders are fun your guild would love my Fabulous Nickel Borders lecture!


Turnabout Pieced Border Blocks

I’ve made the big decision on which border blocks to use on the Turnabout quilt and the winner is:

four border blocks

To make these border blocks I started with Half-Square-Triangles that are squared up to 4 1/2″ and before sub-cutting I arranged them in this orientation.

two half square triangles

Measure over 2 1/4″ and cut each unit in half.

Units cut in half

Arrange the units as shown below and sew together.

Arranged into blocks

I pressed the seam in these units open to reduce the bulk.


My border blocks are all done!

All the border blocks done

Turnabout blocks are done, border blocks are done, and now it’s time to get this quilt assembled!


Turnabout Quilt Sashing Audition

All the blocks are done for my Turnabout quilt!  Now it’s time to go to the design wall and play with the layout of the quilt.  First, I’m setting the blocks just block-to-block and row-to-row.  Before I even do that with these blocks I have a pretty good idea that this is not going to be the best option, but you never know so I always give it a try.

Block to block

Now, I could love this quilt but I think sashing might make it even better; so let’s give a light sashing a chance.

Light Sashing

This sashing was maybe a little too busy with the dots of color in the fabric but I think the light value itself does not add anything to these blocks. So, next I audition black sashing.

Black sashing

I like the way the black sets off the blocks and this might be my choice but I just have to see what a plaid sashing might do.


Interesting, not for these blocks right now but I will have to try the plaid sashing again on another quilt.

So the winner this time around is the black sashing.  Next I’m going to play around with some pieced border ideas for this quilt.