Create experiences that leave you in awe, for these will be the highlights of your life. ~Ryan Blair

Friday, August 1, 2014

Blue Moon Tutorial

Need a quick and easy mini quilt to make for someone?
Would you like to try something new? 
How about this 'pieced-fabric' applique project? 



Select a random range of colors and let's begin....

  • Eleven different colors for the quilt block. And two different fabrics in black for the border. 
  • All strips are 1-1/4" wide. (And taken from my strings collection drawer.)
  • Once the string block was made, I dug into my miscellaneous applique leftovers to find: 
    • three orange stars, 
    • a blue circle; 
    • and a black pieced butterfly.
  • Then, I tossed them on the block to see how they would fit, and liked how they looked. 
  • As the appliques had already been fused to fabric, it was a quick job to add them to the block.
  • Stitching around each applique in black thread using a pin stitch was quick and easy. ( I layered the batting and quilt top together for this step.)
  • Then, the backing fabric was added to complete the quilt sandwich. Using a straight stitch to outline each applique finishes the quilt off quite neatly. 
  • And, finally; a quick job of adding the binding, and it is ready to enjoy!

Sure.. it will be similar; however, because your scrap basket and strings are different then mine; your mini quilt will be unique to your own treasured stash. So... why not try one today?


The blue circle ... on the quilt made me think of that phrase we hear sometimes: 'Once in a Blue Moon'so I have decided to call this one: "Blue Moon". 

“Every once in a blue moon, something new comes along that 
scrambles your preconceptions.” ~Author unknown

(10-1/2" x 10-1/2")


Front : 11 fabric strips (1-¼” wide x 9-½” long)
Border: 4 strips (1-¼” wide x length of side)
Back – 11” x 11” piece
Applique Design –                                      
                                          STARS: 2” x 5” piece              
                     MOON: 4-½” x 4-½” piece                                           
                                          BUTTERFLY: 3-½” x 4” piece; or pieced-fabric section: 5 strings x 4” wide
Binding – 1 piece: approx. 58” long x 2-¼” wide  (extra 6” included in measurement)


Fusible web – 6” X 8” piece
Batting – 11” x 11” piece
Sewing thread – colors of your choice



1.   If you do not have prepared strings, then cut 11 strips each 1-¼” wide by approximately 9-½” long. (The block will be trimmed, once pressed.)
2.   Sew these 11 strips together to make your pieced-fabric block.
3.   Press seams carefully. (You may press them open or towards one side.)
4.   Then trim so block is 9” wide. Cut only the two sides so ends of strips are even. (Strips run horizontally.)
5.   Block should now be 9” x 9”. (If not, adjust the measurements when cutting border strips.)
6.   Measure block to ensure correct lengths are cut for each border strip. In total, cut four strips, 1-¼” wide. (I’ve used strings the same width as were used in my block.)
7.   This project uses these measurements for the border: (Sides: 9” long. Top/Bottom: 10-½” long.)
8.   Add side strips first; and then measure again, and cut strips for the top and bottom borders.
9.   Press these seam allowances towards the border.
10. Cut batting layer and backing fabric each approximately 11” square. (Make these at least ½” larger than the top layer.) Set backing fabric aside, until ready to add.
11. Take your front fabric block (right side facing up) and place on top of your batting piece. Pin or use spray adhesive to hold them in place.
12. Add appliques to the batting/quilt top layers, using your favorite stitches and thread colors. This is my preferred method, as it creates a neater finish on the back of this mini quilt. (If you prefer, you can place all three layers together and do your fancy stitching around the applique design, all in one step.)
13. Now add the backing fabric. You may use pins or adhesive spray to hold layers together. Place batting on wrong side of backing fabric and stitch through all three layers. (Use a 2.5 or 3.0 length straight stitch to outline each applique.)
14. Lastly, add your binding. And if desired, finish with a label.

Note: If making your block larger; than adjust the lengths for the border strips. If desired, you may also use a wider width for the border. 

  1. Trace applique pieces onto paper-backed fusible web and follow manufacturers’ instructions for attaching to fabric.  (Patterns have been reversed for you.)
  2. Set pieces aside, until ready to add to the quilt block.
  3. When applique pieces are ready to stitch down, select your stitch type and thread color(s). This project uses only black thread on all applique pieces. You may choose to match the thread color to the fabric, if desired. 
If you wish to make the butterfly with a string pieced section, prepare the fabric section by sewing together 5 strings that are at least 4” in length. Once section is complete, press seams OPEN. Then continue with the fusible web instructions.


Pattern Download: Please join as a follower... if you like this design and are interested in seeing more free projects on this blog. As I do plan on adding more; however, am curious to see how effective doing both a tutorial and a downloadable pattern will be for me. Or, if I should concentrate more on providing these designs through my Craftsy store. Thanks for your feedback.

Bring that 'once in a blue moon' feeling just a bit closer with this delightful project. Happy stitching...


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