I am so excited to be guest blogging here today at Sew We Quilt!! My name is Melissa Corry from Happy Quilting. And I have to say, that I am so excited to share this tutorial.
I have always wanted to make a "Whirly Gig" quilt (is that the technical name??) but always figured I would do it "someday" because cutting individual pieces with templates and then sewing on lots of angels just sounded like a project to put off. And it continued to get put off. That is until a few weeks ago when I was at my Local Quilt Shop and found the greatest little tool that in two days changed my "Whirly Gig" quilt from the "someday" back shelf to the Display Shelf.
And since I know there are many of you out there that probably would love to have your own "Whirly Gig" quilt that is fast and fun to put together, I decided to do a tutorial along the way :) So let's get to it!!
2 Charm Packs or 80 5" Squares
1/3 Yard Print for the Whirly Gig Border cut into four 3" x WOF strips
1 Yard Print for Backing
1/3 Yard Print for for Binding (I used the same print that was used for my Border)
A Lil' Twister Cutting Tool by CS Designs
STEP 1 - MAKING A SQUARE QUILT GRID
Ironically enough, you start to make this quilt by making a basic 8 x 8 square quilt. Now since this is the Wantobe Quilters campaign, I will be going through the individual steps of making a basic 8 x 8 square quilt. If you are already familiar with how to do this, please feel free to skip down to Step 2.
Choose 64 of your 5" squares and lay them out in an 8 rows by 8 columns grid, as shown below. Go ahead and play around with the placement until you get a layout that is pleasing to the eye. This won't be the final layout but it will help to keep good color separation
Once you have the prints in the placement you like stack the rows up individually making sure to keep the first block in the row at the top of the stack. (see below) Now label each row with a number 1 through 8. I just use a scrap piece a paper with a pin stuck in it for this :)
And now you are ready to start sewing your top together. Start with your row 1 stack and the first two squares in the stack.
Lay your first square onto your second square in the stack with right sides together. You can pin these if you like but it is not necessary. Sew a 1/4" seam along the edge of your two squares. There is no need to get up and run to the iron just yet, we will get to that.
Open your now pieced together squares 1 and 2. Lay square three onto square 1 with right sides together. Once again pin if you like. Sew a 1/4" seam along the edge of squares 2 and 3. Just keep repeating this process until you have sewn all 8 squares in the row.
Your row should look like this. Now go ahead and repeat the process for all 8 rows.
Now you are ready to head to the ironing board. You want to press your rows in opposite directions so it makes it easier to match seams in the next step. So go ahead and press all of the seams in your odd numbered rows to the left and all of your seams in the even numbered rows to the right. (or vice versa, just keep the odd rows and even rows going in opposite directions :)
Now you are ready to start sewing the completed rows together. Find your Row 1 and Row 2 from your pressed pile. You will know the start square in each row because it will have the label in it. (hence, why the labels are important :)
Lay your Row 1 onto your Row 2 with right sides together. Now it is very important to pin and to pin properly. Start by matching the seams in your two pieces. Remember, they are pressed in opposite directions so they should lay perfectly next to each other. When you have "nested" (the term for having the seams lie next to each other" a seam put a pin in it. Do this will all of your seams and then pin the edges of the rows. It is okay if you have a little bubble here or there, that will work itself out. It is far more important to make sure your seams are lined up then it is to make sure it lays perfectly flat.
When it is all pinned sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge, remembering to remove the pins as you sew. It is a bad habit to sew over pins (I say this because I am still working on breaking it). Once you have finished sewing go ahead and press your seam. (I like to press this one open but you do what feels comfortable :)
Now Row 1 and 2 are sewn together and you are ready to move onto Row 3. This is the same process as before. Just lay Row 3 onto Row 2 with right sides together, pin your seams, sew your 1/4" and press.
And continue repeating that process until you have sewn all 8 rows together. Yippee Skippee!!! Your 8 x 8 Quilt Grid is now done and now you just have to add a border.
STEP 2 - ADDING BORDERS TO THE SQUARE QUILT GRID
Grab two of your "Whirly Gig" Border strips that you have already pre-cut. Lay them along the sides of the quilt with right sides together and the excess overhanging the edge. Once again, it isn't necessary to pin, you can just align as you go, but if you prefer to go right ahead. Sew a 1/4" seam along the edge of the two sides and then trim the excess.
Now grab your remaining 2 strips and repeat the same process, this time adding the borders to the top and bottom of the quilt. Give the entire quilt top a good pressing.
And your top is done and you are ready to cut it all up!! Yup, that's right, you sewed this quilt together just to cut it up. But trust me, it is a lot of fun to cut it up!!!
STEP 3 - MAKING IT "WHIRLY-GIG"
Get out your Lil' Twister Cutting tool. These can be found at just about every local quilt shop or on-line at just about any on-line quilt store. They are super popular right now so it shouldn't be hard to track one down :)
Start up in the top corner of your 8 x 8 square grid quilt. Lay your Lil Twister cutting tool so that the cross bars on the tool match up with the intersecting seams of your quilt top. (as seen below) Now using your rotary cutter, simply cut around the tool. (you have a little leway around each seam so it is okay if you go over each edge 1/4" but not much more than that)
Lay your square just above your cutting area. It is important to keep them in the same order that you are cutting them out :) Now align your cutting tool onto the next intersection and once again, cut around the tool.
Continue this process across the entire first row. You will have 9 squares when you are finished. Now you can move onto cutting out a second row. Once again, align the cross bars on the tool with the intersecting seams on your quilt and cut out around the tool.
Continue until you have cut all 9 squares out of the second intersection row. You can trim off the little remaining center squares and toss them or scrap them. (Depending on how small of scraps you like to keep.) Now go ahead and set your grid quilt aside for a minute. (I found it best not to get to far ahead in the cutting so as not to create confusion on aligning my blocks.)
And you are ready to align your rows. Simply twist each square about 45 degrees so that your whirly-gig's line up and the color prints all match. Super easy and oh so super cute!!!!
Once you have your first two rows lined up it is just like quilting our square grid from before. Start with Row 1 and lay square 1 onto square 2 with right sides together. Pin if you like, and then sew a 1/4" seam along the edge.
Continue adding square by square until all 9 blocks are sewn together creating your New Row 1. Now just repeat with the other 9 squares to create your New Row 2. And now you are ready to sew the two rows together.
Lay your Row 1 onto your Row 2. Once again, make sure to align each of the seam sets and pin them so they "nest". Once all the seams are pinned, sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge removing pins as you go. And lastly press.
Now you can just continue to repeat the process over and over. Cut a row, Sew a row together, and then sew it on your "Whirly Gig" top.
And when you no longer have any of your 8 x 8 Quilt Grid top left you should have a top that looks similar to this!! Yippee Skippee!!! Wasn't that just so fun, and so very easy!!
STEP 4 - ADDING THE FINAL BORDER
Just about all done. Personally, I like to use up most of my charms in a charm pack so I added one more border. So . . . grab 15 more charm or 5" squares and cut them in half so they are 2 1/2" x 5".
Now we are simply going to sew them into a long line. Just start with two pieces laid with right sides together and sew a 1/4" seam along the short edge. Just keep adding pieces on to the end until all the rectangles are sewn into 1 long line.
Now, lay your border strip along the edge of the quilt. (It doesn't matter which side you start with, just pick any old one :) Measure the length needed to be equal to the length of the top and trim at the edge.
Now, lay the border along the edge of the quilt with right sides together. Pin along the edge and then sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge. Go ahead and press your new seam.
Now grab your border strip once again and this time you are going to align it up along the next side of your quilt. So it will start aligning up along the border you just sewed on. Once again, measure the length you need for that side of the quilt and trim the excess. Then lay your border with right sides together along the edge of the quilt, pin, sew 1/4" seam, and press. You get the idea right. Repeat for the final 2 sides.
And TaDa!!! Your Whirly-Gig Top is complete!!! Now just finish it up, whether you like to tie it, free motion quilt it, or sent it off to be done. Wasn't that just so much fun!! Seriously, I had a blast making mine and I hope that you have an equally wonderful time putting your own "Whirly-Gig" quilt together :)
This completed top measures 30" x 30" and works perfect for a wall hanging or a quilt for a new little wee-one. And the great thing about the Lil' Twister is you can make any size you want, just start with a smaller or larger Quilt Grid :) Oh, and one last thing . . . If you want larger Whirly-Gig's you can use the big brother of the Lil'Twister called the Twister. It uses the exact same method it just starts with 10" squares instead of 5" squares.
So that is is from Me :) I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and it inspires you to make your own Whirly-Gig Masterpiece. If it does, I would love for you to add it to my Flickr Tutorial group. I always love seeing people's projects :) Thank you again to Madam Samm for having me and have a Happy Quilting Day!!!
Funny thing about Melissa's post today....
the day she wrote it- it was from a hospital room
delivering her 5th child ( a girl). She said it was likely
the only time she would have time to to do this....Listen, with
5 children now, I don't think I would have my mind on
tutorials. But are we glad she accomplished such a feat...
Being a MUMM and a great designer.... so in your honor
Giveaway today is for our Wantobes
( not available till Dec 2011)
But we have some to giveaway....
along with some Presencia Finca #8 threads
from Colonial Needle
and can found here at Janes Fabrics
Ohhh and for our Blog Sponsor look...
An Angled Ruler and we have some fabric for you too..
This specialty ruler is from Creative Grid
( you never have to look anywhere else for RULERS-
they have the ones that never slip, accurate...and MY STAMP
and designed by
SEW would you like brand new collection?
Please go and visit Melissa
and follow her...you will be
sew inspired by all that she does
with 5 children...5 ....
And yes follow here....
Big thanks goes out to Melissa, Robert Kaufman,
Colonial Needle, Joan Hawley, Creative Grid...
and YOU, for being part of this campaign
that has only 3 weeks left...
YOU can still win, but you must
leave a comment to win...do that
and I will cross my fingers and toes
( I can do that) for YOU!
I just returned home...we were with the in-laws
...thank you for everyone who shared Melissa's address..
HOW nice of you all..