A blog showcasing quilt patterns by Monica Curry. Get free patterns, quilting tutorials, and printables. Quilt patterns for every skill level are featured.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Three Ways to Resize a Quilt Pattern: Step-by-Step

This month's studio tour is actually a post I did awhile back. I felt it was important enough information to re-post.

Quilt patterns can come in many sizes. But what if the size of the pattern isn't the size you want? Maybe you want a throw instead of a mini quilt or a baby quilt instead of a king size. To resize your pattern, you need to know the percentage to reduce or enlarge the blocks. Read below to learn three easy ways to get the percentage you need to resize your blocks and templates.




1. Do the Math
Below is the standard formula for reducing or enlarging.

Enlarging:
  1. What is the original block size? e.g. 6 inches
  2. What size do you want the new block to be? e.g. 8 inches
  3. Divide the new size by the original size, e.g. 8 ÷ 6 = 1.33. 
  4. Move the decimal point two steps to the right to get your percentage = 133%.
  5. Enter 133% into the copy machine to enlarge your 6-inch block to an 8-inch block.
Reducing:
  1. Do the opposite of above. 
  2. Divide the small size (e.g. 6") by the large size (e.g. 8") to get your reduction percentage, e.g. 6 ÷ 8 = 0.75 = 75% reduction.
2.  Proportional Scale
Proportional Scales may look a bit intimidating at first but they're easy to use. You can buy a Proportional Scale especially for quilters HERE.


How to use a proportional scale:
  1. On the bottom wheel, find the original size of your block (e.g. 6"), [Fig 1].
  2. Line up this number with the new size (e.g. 8") on the top wheel, [Fig 1].
  3. In the window, you'll see the percentage of the reduction or enlargement you need to resize your block, [Fig 2].
Note: The math formula and proportional scale results may be off a tiny bit. This is okay.

Figure 1

Figure 2

3.  Proportion Measurements Chart
Download my enlargement and reduction charts to find the percentages you need at a glance. Download PDF.
  1. Find the original measurement on the left side of the chart. 
  2. Go along that row until you get to the measurement you want on the top row. 
  3. The number in the intersecting box is the percentage you'll need to reduce or enlarge your block.



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Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Halloween Decor 2017: Beautiful Halloween wreath

A couple of years ago I posted a Halloween floral arrangement that I made for my home. This year, I made a Halloween wreath for my front door. I turn 60 this October and I love Halloween, so I'm having a birthday/Halloween party for my big day. I wanted a pretty wreath on the door to greet my guests. I saw some beautiful wreaths on Pinterest with skulls and ghoulish stuff, but I wanted a floral wreath. Everything I used to make this wreath is from the dollar store. It cost about $15 to make which proves you don't need a lot of money to pretty up your home for Halloween.  Happy Halloween one and all!


Floral Halloween wreath by Monica Curry

Friday, 29 September 2017

New Pattern for Halloween: Witchy Boots

Halloween is almost here again. This is my favourite time of year. Costume parties, treats, tricks, and spooky stuff of all kinds...I love it all. Today, I'm launching my new Halloween pattern Witchy Boots for 2017. This mini quilt is a simple applique pattern that's perfect for a confident beginner. The finished size is 13" x 15" (32.5cm x 37.5cm).

Witch Boots Mini Quilt Pattern
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Witch Boots  and Black Crow Halloween Mini Quilt


Friday, 15 September 2017

September Studio Tour: Pin Cushions

Welcome to my first monthly quilting studio tour. We spend a lot of time making our quilt projects, so I think it's important to have an inviting and functional space to work in. There are many different types of quilting studios. Some are cottages in the yard while others are in the corner of the dining room. But no matter what type or size of the space, we have to make our studios work for us. I started my studio tours to share items and ideas from my quilting studio that keep it comfortable, functional and inspiring. Whether it’s the latest ruler, furniture hack, storage idea, or décor item, posts will include things like tutorials, free printables, free patterns, etc. So, come on in! Welcome to my quilting studio!

Pin Cushions


Pin cushions are an absolute necessity in any sewing studio. You usually don't realize this until you don't have one around when you need it. If you go online or on Pinterest, you'll see hundreds of different variations of a pin cushion. There was, however, one pin cushion I fell in love with. It's the vintage planter pin cushion.

How to Make a Vintage Planter Pin Cushion


I came across these little cuties at Lovely Little Handmaids and knew I had to make one. I picked up a vintage planter at the flower shop and, in no time, I made this adorable little pin cushion. See the instructions below to make your own. I think they would make great gifts for your sewist friends.

Vintage Planter Pin Cushion Tutorial

INSTRUCTIONS

You can probably find one of these little planters at a thrift shop or rummage sale for a few cents. You may also want to check out your local florist shop to see if they have any kicking around from days gone by.

Step One
To give the pin cushion extra weight, glue pebbles to the bottom of the container with a glue gun.

Step Two
Measure the diameter of the opening of the container and cut a circular piece of fabric two inches larger than this measurement.

Step Three
With a strong thread, stitch around the edge of the fabric. Pull the thread to gather the fabric leaving an opening large enough to insert the filler.

Step Four
Stuff the fabric with lots of filler then tighten the thread and secure it with a knot.

Step Five
With a glue gun, apply hot glue around the inner edge of the container. Place the "fabric ball" into the container making sure it adheres to the glue.


How to Make a Juki 2010Q Wrap-Around Pin Cushion


I recently made this pin cushion for my new Juki 2010Q. I can't work unless this is wrapped around my machine. Don't you love the thread spools fabric? It's from the Cute As a Button fabric line by Delphine Cubitt. NOTE: This pattern can be customized to fit any sewing machine by adjusting the length of the end straps.

Free pattern | Wrap around pin cushion for large sewing machine.

MATERIALS 
  • [2] 4" x 24" strips of fabric of your choice. 
  • 2" piece of hook and loop tape (Velcro®). 
  • Toy stuffing or leftover quilt batting. 
  • Download pin cushion pattern HERE

INSTRUCTIONS

1.  Layer the two fabrics and fold in half at the center.


2.  Pin the pattern on the fold and cut out the pieces.


3.  With right sides facing, stitch a 1/4 inch seam from end to end as seen below. Leave the ends open, and leave a 3 inch opening on one side.


4.  Turn stitched piece right side out and press.


5.  Fold the piece in half vertically and place the template on it.
6.  With a fabric marker or pencil, mark on the fabric the vertical lines on the template.
7.  Stitch both vertical lines.


8.  Stuff the pin cushion tightly with filler then hand or machine stitch closed.
9.  Fold in both ends 1/2 inch and stitch closed.
10.  Stitch on the hook and loop tape at each end.


The Classic Mason Jar Pin Cushion


This is my go-to pin cushion for small mending jobs. The Mason jar (mine is a Gem jar) pin cushion is an all-time classic. You can find hundreds of these on Pinterest. There's that cute thread spool fabric again.

Mason jar pin cushion


How to Make a Picture Frame Pin Cushion


Here is another pin cushion idea I used for my Pfaff machine. If you don't have any buttons on the front of your sewing machine, this pin cushion works great and looks ultra stylish.


Tutorial | picture frame pin cushion for sewing machine

INSTRUCTIONS 
  1. Get a small pretty frame and remove the backing and glass.
  2. Cut a piece of thin cardboard the size of the backing.
  3. Cut a piece of fabric one inch larger than the cardboard piece.
  4. Glue some stuffing to the cardboard.
  5. Wrap and glue the fabric edges 3/4 of the way around the stuffing and the cardboard and let dry.
  6. Add more stuffing as needed and finish gluing fabric edges to the cardboard.
  7. Put the stuffed cardboard through the frame.
  8. Re-attach the frame backing to hold cushion in place.
  9. Use sticky-back Velcro® to adhere the finished pin cushion to the front of the sewing machine.
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Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Little Puppy Placemat Pattern

Last week I launched my cute Kitty Kat placemat pattern. This week I'm introducing its partner, my new Little Puppy placemat. Both placemats are great for kids or grand-kids, but could also be used as hot pads in the kitchen. They are simple to make with basic fusible appliquè. This pattern is perfect for the confident beginner who wants to learn bias binding and fusible appliquè.

Little Puppy Placemat Pattern
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Little Puppy Quilted Placemat Pattern by Monica Curry

Little Puppy Quilted Placemat Pattern by Monica Curry

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Kitty Kat quilted placemat

My favourite cat is the orange tabby. I had an orange tabby when I was a young. Her name was Abby; Abby the tabby! I loved her, and it broke my heart when she didn't come home one day. Later in life, I developed an allergy to cats, but I still love them to pieces. I designed this cute Kitty Kat placemat pattern for a child, but a real cat lover could also use it in the kitchen as a hot pad.

Kitty Kat Placemat Pattern

Kitty Kat Quilted Placemat Pattern by Monica Curry


Kitty Kat Quilted Placemat Pattern by Monica Curry


Wednesday, 16 August 2017

A Taste of Honey Placemat Pattern: honoring our precious pollinators

Who doesn't love the sweet taste of honey? These stylish and modern hexagon placemats showcase the Bee Creative and Bee Inspired fabric collections by Deb Strain. But no matter what colours you use, these placemats are sure to make a statement.

A Taste of Honey Quilted Placemats
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A Taste of Honey Quilted Placemat Pattern


A Taste of Honey Placemat Pattern - detail

I love the quilting on the back. It reminds me of sacred geometry.

A Taste of Honey placemat back quilting

OUR PRECIOUS POLLINATORS


The honey bees are in danger. After being here for thousands of years, their population is declining and one species of bee is on the endangered list. It’s scary to imagine what would happen if all our honey bees were gone. Most of our non-grain foods are dependent on honey bee pollination. There are 90 different food plants that depend almost exclusively on the honey bee. When my husband and I heard several years ago that the bee population was declining, we planted more flowers and plants that would attract and feed them. Also, we use only non-toxic, natural pesticides.


honey bee on blanket flower
Photo by Monica Curry



Here are five things you can do in your garden to help the bees:

  • Plant bee-friendly flowers and flowering plants in your garden and yard.
  • Honey bees love weeds, i.e. clover, dandelions, so leave a few in your yard.
  • Don't use chemicals and pesticides to treat your lawn or garden.
  • Buy local, raw honey.
  • Bees are thirsty; leave a tray of stones and water to give them a place to drink.

Here are three good websites with information about honey bees and honey bee populations:


http://www.panna.org/our-campaigns/save-our-bees

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/u-s-lists-a-bumble-bee-species-as-endangered-for-first-time/

http://foecanada.org/en/

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Four summer mug rugs you'll love . . .

Summer is finally here! Now, check out these cute summer themed mug rugs. These would be great for drinks on the deck, around the pool, or hostess gifts for your next BBQ. The book includes instructions and templates for all four mug rugs shown below.

For a limited time, you can get the 4 Summer Fun Mug Rugs pattern book for 10% OFF. Use coupon code SUMMERFUN17 at the checkout.

Summer Fun Mug Rug Pattern Book
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four summer mug rug patterns book

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Wooden Scissors Pattern Now Available!

About a year ago I posted my wooden scissors project that my husband and I worked on (see post HERE). This was such a popular post, I decided to make the pattern available for sale in my quilt pattern store.

These would be a great gift for the sewist or quilter in your life. They would be a wonderful addition to any sewing studio. I think it would also be a great project for a woodworking student learning the basics of using a scroll saw.

Wooden Scissors Wall Art
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wooden scissor pattern

wooden scissors pattern detail

wooden scissors pattern on the wall

Sunday, 4 June 2017

BLUE DIAMOND Mini Quilt

Who doesn't love a little bling? This cute blue diamond mini quilt designed in facet art style would brighten up any area of your home or office.

Blue Diamond Mini Quilt
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blue diamond mini quilt pattern

 While designing my diamond I soon realised that the facet colours had to make sense. The biggest challenge in doing faceted art is positioning the colours so that they look just right.

blue diamond mini quilt pattern detail


Below is the inspiration for my little diamond quilt. This stunning quilt titled Bling was designed, pieced, and quilted by Katherine Jones. Bling won Best in Show at the 2017 QuiltCon Quilt Show, and you can sure see why. The details in this quilt are stunning! 

bling by katherine jones
Bling by Katherine Jones

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Hexagon Colour Wheel Mug Rugs Patterns

I'm introducing three new mug rug patterns to brighten your home for spring. The bright primary colours against white, black,  and grey is a crisp combination. You could use these as pot holders as well as mug rugs. They would look lovely in a modern kitchen. They would also be a great gift for an artist or art student. This is a good project for quilters just learning to foundation piece. Instructions assume basic knowledge in foundation piecing. The pattern includes instructions for all three mug rugs.

Hexagon Colour Wheel Mug Rugs
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hexagon color wheel mug rug pattern

hexagon color wheel mug rug one

hexagon color wheel mug rug two

hexagon color wheel mug rug three

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Phone book foundation piecing

use phone book paper for foundation piecing

Earlier this year, I was able to get my hands on a Layer Cake of With Glowing Hearts by Grace Noel before it was sold out from pretty much everywhere. I'm using this gorgeous line of fabric to create a commemorative quilted throw to mark Canada's 150th birthday this year.

with glowing hearts fabric colletion

I decided to make my quilt using the Hunter's Star quilt block because I love the block and it ties in with Canada's fur trade history. Hunting and trapping, especially beaver, was how Canada began.

hunters star glowing hearts collection

There are several ways to make a Hunter's Star block. It's a matter of choosing which one you use. I chose to use foundation piecing because it's the technique I'm most comfortable with. However, this left me with a dilemma. I needed 48 blocks to make the quilt, but I didn't want to use 48 expensive sheets of foundation paper for the project. I know phone book paper is used for strip piecing, so I thought I'd try using it for foundation piecing. I was very pleased with the results. The phone book paper printed beautifully with my inkjet printer. If this were a complicated template, it might be hard to read, but it was perfect for this block. This paper is very light but doesn't curl up with normal iron heat and it tears away easily. Honestly, if I could get my hands on some of this paper not printed I'd buy a box of it.

The pros and cons of using phone book paper for paper piecing:

PROS
  • Very light but strong enough to be handled.
  • Prints very well in an inkjet (not tested on a laser printer).
  • Tears away with no effort at all.
  • Doesn't curl up with heat.
CONS
  • Somewhat difficult to read template
  • Not a nice 8½" x 11" sheet of paper.
  • Can't see through it.
How to make your phone book foundation piecing templates:
  1. Photocopy your templates onto an 8½" x 11" sheet of paper.
  2. Cut out phone book pages to about 7¾ " to 8" wide.
  3. Cut a piece of white paper to the same size as your phone book paper.
  4. Cut out templates and paste or tape them down onto the smaller white piece of paper. 
  5. Place phone book paper in your printer paper tray and adjust the paper width bars to the width of your paper.
  6. Center the template page on the printer bed and photocopy it onto the phone book paper.
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Monday, 17 April 2017

Pixel Beach Mini Quilt Pattern

Inspired by a day at the beach, Pixel Beach is a simple and elegant quilted wall hanging in a checkerboard of neutral tones. A lovely addition to your summer beach house. Think warm summer sand, collecting pretty stones and sea glass on the shore while the gulls singing overhead. These were my inspirations for my new mini quilt pattern Pixel Beach.

Pixel Beach Mini Quilt
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pixel beach mini quilt pattern

Pixel Beach Mini Quilt Pattern - Detail 1

Pixel Beach Mini Quilt Pattern - Detail 2

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

How to Recycle your Batting Scraps


how to recycle batting scraps

Over time, like most quilters, I wind up with a lot of spare quilt batting pieces in all kinds of sizes. I keep these in a batting scrap box. These pieces come in handy when I don't want to cut up a large piece when doing a small project.

I used to zig-zag stitch my pieces together but in a rush one day, I used a quicker method that I now prefer. I now recycle my batting bits by joining them together with fusible interfacing. It's so much faster than stitching them together, and they hold together very well this way. I hope this little tutorial will encourage you to save your batting scraps and find a use for them.

You Will need

  • batting chunks you want to join 
  • rotary cutter 
  • quilting ruler or regular ruler 
  • strips of fusible interfacing. I used Pellon Sheerweight interfacing, but a medium weight interfacing will work just as well. I'm also pretty sure there is such a thing as batting tape but the interfacing does the trick. 

Instructions


1. Get your batting pieces and check if they are jagged on the edge or not (these are pretty jagged).

recycle batting scraps step 1


2. If the batting edges are jagged, trim a little off to make both edges straight.

recycle batting scraps step 2


3. Butt the two edges together as shown; don't overlap them.

recycle batting scraps step 3


4. Following the manufacture's instructions press the fusible interfacing securely to the batting.

recycle batting scraps step 4


5. This is something like what your batting will look like. Any puckers are not an issue because you won't see them once you sandwich your quilt.

recycle batting scraps step 5


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