The Splendid Sampler: Family Affair

The Splendid Sampler, A Family Affair Block by Better Off Thread

I’d like to welcome everyone visiting my blog from The Splendid Sampler.  Take a look around and stay awhile. If you haven’t heard of The Splendid Sampler yet (is there anyone who hasn’t?!), go check it out and prepare to be sucked in.

•••

Are you ready to try your hand at paper-piecing? If you are new to piecing on paper, take it slow and try not to get frustrated. If you can count to four and sew a straight line, you can make this block!

Here are a few of my paper-piecing tips:

If you are new to paper-piecing, cut your fabrics larger at first: It always helps to have a big more wiggle room when you are just learning!

Use light-weight paper: I use basic copy/printer paper (20lb).  You can also use newsprint, which would be even easier to tear off the back of your block.  Don’t use fancy, heavy printer paper.  You will NOT be happy!

 Decrease the stitch length on your machine: When I am paper-piecing I set my stitch a bit below a 2.  You want your stitches to be tight enough that they don’t rip out when you tear your papers, but you want it large enough that if you make a mistake you can use a seam ripper.

Press and trim after each seam: your block will turn out much smoother if you press liberally and trim your seam allowances.  You can set up your iron right next to your machine, so you don’t have to get up.

Place your fabric on the UN-printed side of the paper and sew on the printed side.

•••

Let’s get started!

IMG_0181

Your templates should already be printed (at 100%, please check, because there is nothing worse than making an entire block the wrong size…I’ve been there). Cut the templates out along the seam allowance line and cut your fabrics out according to the directions.  Next, place your #1 piece RIGHT-SIDE-UP on the UNPRINTED side of the paper so that it completely covers space #1 and 1/4″ over on all sides.  I glue the first pieces to the paper with a dot of glue stick.

I like to sew all of my templates at the same time (as pictured above).

IMG_0185

Place piece #2 WRONG-SIDE-UP on top of piece #1 so that it is 1/4″ over the line between section 1 & 2.  The first time you do this, pin your fabric along the sewing line and flip it, so you can be sure it will completely cover space 2 and the seam allowances around it.   Remove the pin before you sew ( I generally don’t pin when I am paper piecing.  The fabrics usually grab together well enough).

IMG_0186

Flip your template over, so the printed lines are up, and stitch along the first line.  You will be using a shortened stitch length and you will back-stitch at the beginning and end of each seam.  Trim the seam allowance to 1/4″ and press the pieces flat.

IMG_0187

Fold and crease the line between space #2 & #3.  This will allow you to see your sewing line from the top.  Place piece #3 along and 1/4″ over the crease and sew from the printed side.  Trim the seam allowances and press flat.

IMG_0196

The last piece is quite skinny, and it’s difficult to make a crease, so I just lay the pieces together under the presser foot as accurately as possible.  There is plenty of extra width, if you aren’t exact.

IMG_0193

Now you will have templates that look like this (doesn’t look like much yet, does it?).

IMG_0198 copy

Trim all around the paper, leaving 1/4″ seam allowance.  I like to line my ruler up with the black line, not with the outer edge of the paper.  It’s more accurate.

IMG_0199

Peek under the last strip and make sure you have trimmed the seam allowance to 1/4″ under there.  I still need to trim the mustard colored fabric on this template.

IMG_0201

At this point (if you’ve been working on all your templates at the same time), you will have 8 completed templates (yay!).  Do not remove your papers yet, I repeat, DO NOT REMOVE YOUR PAPERS!

IMG_0202

Now, take a center strip and finger crease it in half (short ends together), to mark the center.  Line that center up with the tick mark on a completed template.  The layers are thick so don’t even try to pin it, just sew it on!

IMG_0206

Repeat with the opposite side.  Match up the center, hold with a finger and sew.

IMG_0210

Press the seam allowances toward the center strip.  I like to press gently from the wrong side and then flip and press (with steam) on the front, giving the square a light tug as I press (as pictured above).

IMG_0212

Trim (again, line the ruler up with the black line, not the outer edge of the paper).

You may now GENTLY remove the papers.

IMG_0213

Now you are just going to sew the squares together. You know how to do that!

IMG_0215

One last tip: If you are worried about the center matching up, machine baste the very center and check to see if it all lines up.  If it does, go back and sew the entire seam.  If it doesn’t, try again!

IMG_0217

Your block is complete!

IMG_8658

Here is my version of the block using the Splendid Sampler fabrics.

IMG_0247

And here are a few of my blocks.  I have more done, but I forgot to take a photo of them in the sunlight.

•••

I hope you enjoy making the block!

If you have any questions, leave a comment, email me or flag me in the Facebook group.  I’ll do my best to get back to you quickly.

 

Making a Right Round Medallion: A Sort of Tutorial

IMG_7420

I promised that I would share the measurements for making my Right Round Medallion, so here they are!  These are very basic instructions.  If you don’t know how to make a particular block (HST, Economy Block and Drunkard’s Path), you will need to look up a tutorial.  Let me know if something is really unclear!

ALL MEASUREMENTS INCLUDE SEAM ALLOWANCE!

Finished Quilt measures about 73″ x 73″

•••

Center Medallion

You will need to begin with a center medallion that is 24-1/2″ x 24-1/2″ (that’s including seam allowance).  You can use my Right Round pattern, my New York Beauty pattern, or any other pattern, as long as it is 24-1/2″ x 24-1/2″.  If it isn’t quite measuring up, just add a border around it, to bring it to size.

•••

Border 1

This is a plain border.  Cut two strips 4-1/2″ x 24-1/2″ and two strips 4-1/2″ x 32-1/2″.  I would actually cut them each a bit longer and trim as you sew them on.  When you sew borders to your center ALWAYS lay the pieces flat on the table or floor and pin.  If you don’t, your edges will stretch and you will end up with a warped, concave medallion.

Alternate Suggestion:  If you like, you could make this border from twenty-eight 4-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ blocks.  YOU pick the block!

•••

Border 2 (Economy Blocks)

border2a
Border 2 top and bottom: make 2
border2b
Border 2 Sides: Make 2

Make twenty 8-1/2″ x 8-1/2″ Economy Blocks.

I included a paper-piecing template here, but if you’d like to rotary cut and free piece them (save a tree), here are the cutting measurements (Per 8-1/2″ x 8-1/2″ Block):

economy

Once you make the blocks, sew them into border strips.  The sides borders have four blocks each and the top and bottom border have six blocks each.

•••

Border 3: Drunkard’s Path Blocks

Border3a
Border 3 Top and Bottom: make 2
Border3b
Border 3 sides: make 2

 

Make forty-eight 4-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ Drunkard’s Path Blocks and four 5-1/2″ x 5-1/2″ Corner Blocks

Use this template to cut the pieces for both types of block.  You will also need to cut four strips from the background fabric measuring 1-1/2″ x 48-1/2″ (piece the strips to make them long enough and as with border 1, I like to leave extra length)

job_928 RightRoundMedallion
Corner Block: make 4

The corner blocks go together like the diagram on the right.

Once you have your blocks made, sew the drunkard’s path blocks into four border strips of twelve blocks each.  Then sew a 1-1/2″ x 48-1/2″ strip to the top of each border.  Trim the excess fabric from the sides.  Sew the corner blocks to two of the border strips (use the Border 3 images above as reference).

•••

Border 4

This is another plain border (woo-hoo!)

You will need to cut two strips 1-1/2″ x 58-1/2″ and two strips 1-1/2″ x 60-1/2″ (again, piece as needed and cut them longer than needed. Trim as you sew them on).

•••

Border 5: Half-Square Triangles (HSTs)

border5
Border 5: Make 4

This is the tricky border!  You will need to start by making sixty 3-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ HSTs.  To do this, cut thirty 4″ x 4″ background squares and thirty 4″ x 4″ squares from your main fabrics and make those HSTs!

Next, cut twenty-eight more 4″ x 4″ background squares and cut them in half diagonally and cut thirty-two more 4″ x 4″ main fabric squares and cut those in half diagonally too.

You are going to very carefully piece each border like this:

border5con

Sew diagonal strips with a HST in the middle and triangle on the top and bottom, then sew the strips into a border. I did another pattern with a border very much like this and you can download it for free here for more information.

Once the borders are made, sew them on, stopping 1/4″ before the end of each seam.  You are sewing bias, so the border is going to look too long, but it will ease in.  Pin the middle of the border to the quilt top, pin the ends and then gently ease the rest in with it laying flat.

Once you sew the borders to the quilt top, then sew the mitered sides.

•••

Border 6

You almost made it!  This is another plain border.

Cut two strips 3-1/2″ x 69″ and two strips 3-1/2″ x 75″.  You’ll obviously need to piece them to make them long enough.  I would cut them longer, but mark the exact length on each strip.  Border 5 was all bias, so you want to make sure you don’t stretch it when you sew the Border 6 on.  Lay your quilt top flat, pin the middle and each end and then ease in any excess fabric.

•••

You did it!!!

Below is a diagram of how the entire quilt goes together.  You can print it out, if you like, here. assembly

Do not be surprised if your last border is a little wavy, or your center is a little concave.  Once you quilt the top, you won’t notice.  I also had you cut Border 6 extra wide, so you can true the quilt up once quilted.

Enjoy your quilt and if you post photos on Instagram use the hashtag #rightroundmedallion and tag me (@betteroffthread) so I see it!

For reference:

Economy Block Templates

Drunkard’s Path Templates

Assembly Diagram

If you want more information on making Medallions, check out my book: The Modern Medallion Workbook.

Candy Corn Table Runner and Bunting Tutorial

candy-corn

When Jo-Ann asked if I’d like to be a part of their Celebrate the Season Campaign, I jumped at the chance!  I love creating holiday crafts and the kids get really excited about seeing the decorations.

IMG_5435

Our neighborhood gets pretty crazy on Halloween and my husband does up the entire outside of the house.  I had abolutely no decorations for the inside, though, so I decided to create some festive decor for the mantle and coffee table. My kids are 2 and 4 and don’t really like spooky, so I decided to play it safe and use candy corn as my inspiration.  This table runner and bunting are super easy to make and customizable to any size table and mantle.

IMG_5409

•••

Candy Corn Table Runner and Bunting Tutorial

(All amounts and measurements are for a table runner that is 17 1/2″x 40″ and bunting that is 6′ long.  You can modify the patterns by adding more, or less, candy corn triangles.)

photo 2-3

Materials Needed:

All seam allowances are 1/4″

Step one: Cut fabrics

(Fold all fabrics in half, selvage to selvage.  Tutorial assumes your fabric is 44″ wide.  If your fabric is several inches narrower, you may need extra strips.)

White Fabric
– Cut 3 strips 2 1/2″ x 44″ for strip sets

Gold Fabric
– Cut 3 strips 2 1/2″ x 44″ for strip sets

Orange Fabric
– Cut 3 strips 2 1/2″ x 44″ for strip sets
-Cut 3 strips 2 1/4″ x 44″ for binding

Black Fabric
-Cut 3 strips 6 1/2″ x 44″ For background
-Cut 3 strips 3″ x 44″ for border

Step 2: Sew and Cut Triangles

Take your 2 1/2″ strips, and sew a white, orange and yellow strip together lengthwise (orange will always be in the middle). Press seams open.

photo 3-3

You will now have three sets of 3 sewn strips that match the photo above.

photo 1-3

Line your Pyramid Ruler (or your printed template) up with the top and bottom edge of your strip set and cut out your first triangle.  (Don’t worry if your strips are wider or narrower than the template, just line your template up with the top edge.)

photo 2-4

Flip your template and cut your next triangle.  Repeat until you have 21 triangles.

 Next, take your 3 black 6 1/2″ wide strips and cut them the same way you just cut your strip sets.  Cut 21 triangles.

Step 3: Sew Triangles for Table Runner

 

Untitled-1 copy copy

Sew triangles together using the diagram above as a guide.

photo 1-1

Triangles are sewn right sides together using a 1/4″ seam allowance.  Press all seams the same direction.

photo 3-1-2

photo 3-1

You’ll now have two strips of triangles.

Step 4: Assemble your table runner

photo 1-2

Sew the two strips of triangles together, matching the point of the candy corn triangle with the center of the black triangle. Press seam open.

photo 2-1

As an alternate layout, you can match your triangles point to point to create diamonds.

photo 2-2

Trim  sides of table runner, so they are even, as pictured above.

photo 3-2

For the border, sew the black 3″ wide strips to the sides of the runner, trim,  then  sew to the top and bottom.  Press all seams towards border.

Most of my readers are quilters, so I am not going to bore you with instructions on quilting and binding (plus it would get really long!), but here is a list of my favorite tutorials, if you need help:

– Making a “Quilt Sandwich” at Oh Fransson: that’s quilter speak for layering the top, batting and backing.

Straight line quilting tutorial at Amy’s Creative Side.

Double Fold Binding Tutorial at Canoe Ridge Creations.

Step 5: Make your bunting!

You should have 10 orange and 10 black triangles left over.  Feel free to cut more and make longer bunting.

photo 4-2

With right sides together, sew an orange and a black triangle along two sides.

photo 5-2

Clip point, turn and press flat.  Repeat to make 9 more triangles.

Clip off those tiny seam allowance points that are sticking out of the raw edge.

photo 1

Open bias tape up,  align with raw edge of a triangle and sew.  Butt next triangle up to first and sew to the same piece of bias tape.  Continue for all triangles.

photo 3

Fold bias tape around to orange side of bunting and press.  Sew just inside the edge of the bias tape.

You are done!

Happy Halloween and enjoy your new decorations.

For more craft and sewing ideas, check out Jo-Ann Fabric’s Celebrate the Season website.  There are tons of project ideas from very talented craft and sewing bloggers. You can also search #spookyspaces on Instagram and Twitter.

 As an added bonus to you, I have a 50% coupon to get you started on your holiday projects!

JF13_Halloween_Coupon

This tutorial is part of the Jo­‐Ann Fabric and Craft Stores® Celebrate the Season campaign. I was given a gift card to create a unique holiday projects, but all views, opinions and designs are my own.

Reverse Applique Tutorial

spiral copy

This tutorial is step two in the photo tutorial for making my Spiral Geese Mini Quilt Pattern.  If you aren’t making the pattern, but you are interested in learning my method for reverse appliqué, read on!

Step one: Paper-piecing Curved Geese is here.

photo 1-5

Start by sewing your paper-pieced geese together in numerical order.  You will create one large spiral.

photo 2-5

Take your second set of patterns that you had set aside and cut them out along the black line (you will be cutting off the seam allowance).

photo 3-4

Tape your paper templates together into one spiral.

photo 2-4

Lay your paper spiral face-down onto your background fabric. Pin.

photo 4-3

Using a water-soluable fabric marker, trace the edge of your paper template and mark the seams where your templates have been taped together.

photo 1-23

Mark a second line (cutting line) about 1/4″ INSIDE your original line.  This can get tricky.  Don’t draw your cutting line on the wrong side.

Don’t worry if your seam allowance isn’t exactly 1/4″. It just needs to be about that.

photo 3-1

 Cut along the inside line (your cutting line) the entire way around the spiral.

photo 5-1

Now you have a spiral!

photo 2-3

Lay your background on top of your paper-pieced spiral and match the tick marks you made on the background to the seams where you sewed your templates together.

photo 3-2

Here is a close-up. Those blue tick marks are lined up with the template seams and the outer point of the triangle.

photo 4-2

 Fold your seam allowance under, matching the fold of your fabric to the points on the triangles.

photo 5-21

You’ll need to clip the corners at the inner-most triangle, so you can fold the fabric under.

photo

All pinned!  At this point, you could hand-stitch the edge with a slip-stitch, but I prefer to do a quick basting stitch, so that I am not constantly sticking myself with pins, and getting my thread caught on them.

photo 2-6

Here it is basted. You now have two choices: you can hand-stitch the edge down using a slip-stitch, or you can machine stitch right next to the edge.

photo 3-5

I machine stitched this one.  My original rainbow mini was slip-stitched by hand.  Whichever you choose will probably blend in with your quilting in the end.

photo 4-5

Here is a close-up of the machine stitched edge.

You can press out the wrinkles in the triangles by placing the batting under it and pressing each triangle lightly with a dry iron.  

spiral copy

You did it!

Don’t forget to check out my Craftsy pattern if you are interested in making this mini!

Paper-piecing Curved Geese: A Tutorial

This tutorial is step one in the photo tutorial for making my Spiral Geese Mini Quilt Pattern.  You can also use this tutorial for piecing the geese in my New York Beauty Circle of Flying Geese Pattern.

•••

Before you begin:

  • Cut all your fabrics out according to the pattern.  The smaller squares are for templates A & H and the larger squares are for templates B-G.
  • Shorten your stitch length to about a 1.5.
  • Print out your paper templates at 100%.
  • Please read through the entire tutorial before beginning (or at least read the tips at the bottom!).

I will be referring to the geese fabric as the “red fabric” (yours will probably be a color or a print) and I will be referring to the background fabric as the “white fabric”.

photo 1

1. Cut all your paper templates out along the gray seam allowance line.

step1

2. On the BACK (unprinted) side of template A, place a red square (right-side-up) over triangle #1.  The fabric square should completely cover the entire triangle and there will be at least 1/4″ extra on all sides.

(I superimposed the template lines, so you can see the placement.)

step2

3. Next, place a white square (wrong-side-up), so that edge is about 1/4″ over your first stitching line. (It doesn’t matter if you choose to sew the left or the right side first.) Pin through all layers.

step3

4. Turn your template over and sew along your first stitching line.  Make sure you extend your seam about 1/4″ on either end and back-stitch.

step2.1

5. Trim the seam allowance down to 1/4″.  You can use either scissors or a rotary cutter, but make sure you fold your paper template out of the way!

step4

6. Flip your white square so the right side is out and gently press with a dry iron.

step5

7. Next, place another white square (wrong-side-up) so that the edge is 1/4″ over the 2nd stitching line.   Pin.

step6

8. Flip your template and sew along 2nd stitching line.

step7

9. Trim seam allowance to 1/4″, flip and press.  Look, it’s a flying geese(or is that a goose?).

step8

10. Now, place a red square (wrong side up), so that the edge is about 1/4″ over your next stitching line. Pin.

step9

11. Sew it, trim the seam allowance, press it and continue repeating your steps until you have sewn all the geese.  Repeat for all templates.

photo 2

Trim the excess fabric off along the seam allowances.

You have completed step one!

Tips:

  • If you have never paper-pieced before, I suggest you begin with template D, E or F. They are the largest and least curved.
  • Paper-piecing will feel very backwards at first.  I promise that it will get faster, as you get used to it.
  • Always make sure your fabric square will entirely cover the area you want it to, once it is flipped over. If you are worried, sew with a basting stitch first, check the fabrics and then sew it again on the small stitch.

step10

On your curviest templates, you will want to make sure you end your stitches in the seam allowance. If you sew too far, you’ll sew right back into the geese.

step11

You can see how I trimmed the seam allowance, so that it doesn’t extend too far.

I hope this is all clear!  Email or comment, if you have any questions.

Next up is Part 2: Reverse Appliqué (which will be the final step in completing the  Spiral Geese Quilt Top).

 

Ultra-Wavy Quilting Tutorial

 

IMG_4425

A few people asked me for more information on how I quilted my “Geese in the Forest Quilt“, so I thought it would be easiest to do a little tutorial.  I drew my method out on paper, so you can see my thought process.

I was originally inspired by this quilt and I used it as a model to quilt the “Science Fair” quilt for Robert Kaufman.

photo2

My suggestions for doing ultra-wavy line quilting:

• Use the walking foot on your machine

• Spray baste your layers together. I spray basted “Science Fair” and it turned out much smoother than “Geese in the Forest”, which I pin basted. I normally pin baste, but I won’t if I use this method again.

• My lines were between 1/2″-1″ apart.  Variety in width is encouraged and creates more interest, so don’t worry about your lines all being an exact width apart.

• Take lots of breaks!  You are really using your upper body with this type of quilting, since you need to move and turn the entire quilt through the machine.

• If you are hesitant to get started, draw your pattern out on paper first.

•••

Below is an example of how I might quilt with wavy lines.  Each time will be different, but you can get an idea of steps to take.

photo 1

Start by sewing a somewhat wavy line near the center of your quilt.

photo 2

Echo quilt your wavy line several times.

photo 3

Start echo quilting your original line again, but this time veer off in an different direction partway through.

photo 4

Fill in the negative space you created by sewing lines going in a different direction than the original lines.

photo 5

Draw a really wavy line below your first set of lines.

photo 6

Fill in the left side with lines echoing the new line and ending at the old line.

photo 7

Echo your lines on the right side, but this time turn your quilt before you intersect the old line and sew back out to the edge, making a wood-grain effect.

You are aiming for variety in your waves and lines, so you don’t want to fill in spaces the same way every time.

photo 8

Now, echo quilt your arched line several times, working your way towards the lower edge.

photo 9

Fill-in the space that is left with shorter lines that intersect with your arch.

photo 10

Sew another wavy line near the center of your quilt.

photo 11

Echo the line several times.

I always like each line to be echoed several times to give it weight.  You never want a single lone line in your quilt with no echoing.

photo 12

Start to echo your original line and then split the negative space in half.

photo 13

Fill-in the inner half of the negative space with echoing lines.

photo 14

Fill in the outer half of the negative space with wood grain lines.

photo 15

Sew a wavy line that stars by echoing and then veers off in a different direction.

photo 16

Fill in the space created with echo lines.

photo 17

You have a single lone line, so make sure you echo it several times to give it more weight.

photo 18

Divide your negative space again by sewing a line that starts off as an echo and then veers off in another direction.

photo 19

Fill in the negative space with echo quilting.

photo 20

Continue to fill in the remaining space with echo quilting.

You are done!  Bind, wash and enjoy after soaking your aching back and arms in a hot bath. Oh, and send me a photo!

 

Easy-peasy Thomas the Train Costume (Applique Tutorial)

easy thomas the train costume

Halloween is in just over a month!  It’s time to start thinking about costumes for the kids (or yourself, if you have a fun party on your calendar).  My son needed a quick costume in August for “Fantasy Day” at preschool.  Of course, he decided he wanted to be Thomas the Train.  How was I going to make a quick Thomas the Train that was comfortable and cool enough to play in all day?

I ended up brainstorming and making a quick trip to Michael’s and Kohl’s for some supplies.

Continue reading “Easy-peasy Thomas the Train Costume (Applique Tutorial)”

How To Make Your Images Searchable in Google Image Search

I’m posting today as part of Plum and June’s “Let’s Figure it Out Together” series.   Beth has collected a lot of great advice from craft bloggers on ways to improve your blogging experience. I encourage you to check out the entire series.

Image SEO for Blogs

I’m going to give you a few easy tips on how to get more traffic to your blog, so you can share your craft with more people.

Have you ever done a Google Image search to find quilt inspiration?  I do it all the time.  Craft and quilt blogs are very visual in nature and having great photos is important.  You want people to be able to find your photos when they do a Google search, which will in turn lead them to your awesome, inspiring blog.

There are 3 very simple steps you can do to make your images searchable:

1. Resize giant images.
2. Appropriately name your files.
3. Describe your image in the Alt Text box.

Resize Your Image

I tend to take HUGE photos on my fancy-schmancy camera and then upload them as is.  This is a big no-no, because my 3000 x 3000 pixel photo will take way too long to load on many computers.  Before you upload your photos to your blog, resize them to fit on your blog.  Every blog has different proportions, but you generally want to keep your image size under 600 x 600.

You should be able to resize the images right on your desktop.  I use Photoshop, or Preview on my Mac.  You can also do it on PicMonkey.  Just upload your image and click on “resize”.

resizing an image for seo

Insert your new numbers in the “Change size to” boxes and click on “Apply”.  That’s it!

Appropriately Name Your File

Image seo for blogs

 I am very guilty of being in such a hurry to get my blog post done that I just upload my photos without changing the file name to be descriptive.  DO not upload “IMG_2066.jpg”.  Upload the retitled “mod-mosaic-block.jpg”.

A couple of rules:

1. Do not use spaces, use hyphens between your words.
2. Keep it short, like 3 words.
3. Format your image in .jpg and include it at the end of the filename.

Describe Your Image in the “Alt Text” box

(see photos below for help in finding your “alt text” box)

Using the Alt Text box is the MOST important step you can take to make your images searchable.  Search engines (like Google) can’t tell what your image is unless you fill in the Alt Text.  Add a clear, simple, description of what the photo is.  Think about how you would describe your photo to someone who is blind. Instead of saying “My latest quilt”, you would say something more descriptive like “Blue and Green Elephant Baby Quilt”.   You are trying to get keywords in there, but don’t be spammy with it and make it 20 words long.  I try to stick with about 5 descriptive words.

Below is what my image editing box looks like on WordPress.  In the top image I simply uploaded the photo without changing the file name and I left the Alt Text box blank.  Don’t do that! In the bottom image, I have appropriately titled my image and I have described it in the Alt Text box.

image seo for blogs

 Most of the quilting blogs I read use Blogger as their platform, so I will show you that, too.

 Click on the image you want to edit and a menu will open at the bottom of the image.  Click on “Properties”.

A box will pop up titled “Image Properties”.  This is where you fill in your image name and alt text.

 Fill in your file name (using hyphens) and your descriptive Alt Text, click “ok” and you are done!

Now let’s all get busy and optimize our images!

Scrappy Lone Star Tutorial: Part II

Lone Star Quilt Tutorial

Here it is!  The second part to making your very own Scrappy Lone Star!  You can find Part I here.

Lay your 8 diamond panels from Part I out, admire your work, and decide where you want each panel to go.  You can place a pin at the inner point of each panel, so you don’t accidentally sew one the wrong way.

scrappy Lone Star Quilt tutorial

Now you will need to cut 16 1″x 12″ strips out of your border fabric.

scrappy lone star quilt tutorial

Pin a 1″ strip to one side of a diamond panel and sew.

scrappy lone star quilt tutorial

Press your seam allowances towards the 1″ strip and true up the point.

scrappy lone star quilt tutorial

Next, sew a second 1″ strip to the other side of your star panel.  Press seam allowances towards strip and true up again.

scrappy lone star quilt tutorial

Your panel will now look like this.

Repeat for your other 7 panels.

Now, take your background fabric and cut 8 11″ squares.

scrappy lone star quilt tutorial

Cut each square diagonally down the middle.

Here is where it really helps to lay your star out again like the photo above.

scrappy lone star quilt tutorial

Pin the short edge of an 11″ triangle to your star panel like the photo above and sew.  Press seams open.

scrappy lone star quilt tutorial

Pin the long edge of an 11″ triangle to the other side of the panel and sew.  Press seam allowances open.

scrappy lone star quilt tutorial

Repeat with your other 7 star panels.  Be very sure to sew each triangle to the correct side of your panel.  It helps to have all your pieces laid out so you can see where each one goes.

Once you have all your triangles sewn to your panels, you will begin to sew your panels togethers.

Sew your diagonal seams first taking care to match your points.  Be careful not to stretch your seams, since they are on the bias. Press seams open.

scrappy Lone star quilt tutorial

Now you will have 4 blocks.  Sew your top blocks to your bottom blocks.  Press seams open.

scrappy Lone Star quilt tutorial

Next, sew your two halves together. Press seams open.

Look, you have a Lone Star!  Yours will looks a lot more complete than mine.

scrappy Lone Star quilt tutorial

Lastly, true up your edges, leaving at least a 1/4″ seam allowance from your points.

Congrats!  You made a Lone Star!  If you make one using this tutorial, I would love to see it.

• • •

Stay tuned, because in the near future I am going to give you a quick tutorial on how to size this Scrappy Lone Star up or down to make various sizes.