Friday, October 11, 2013

Playing the Scales - A Tutorial

I am just thrilled to share my newest finish with you today :)  I call it, Playing the Scales and oh I am just so excited with how it turned out.   Isn't it just great when the image in your head comes out just like you hoped it would :)  So let me tell you a bit about how that image came about :)

 A few weeks ago I was contacted by the wonderful staff at Art Gallery Fabrics. I was thrilled when they asked if I would be interested in playing with some of their fabrics.  Of course!!!  The fabrics I choose to work with are Bijoux by Bari J and they are so beautiful and such a pleasure to work with.  You can visit Art Gallery Fabrics here to find out more about these glorious fabrics :)



As soon as I saw Bijoux, I knew I wanted to design a low volume idea into the quilt.  Bijoux has so many wonderful bold prints and so many soft beautiful prints.  It is almost half and half really :)  So with that in mind, I started working on a design. I have always loved piano key borders on quilts because the thin strips give such a striking look. Then,  I was talking to my son, who just started piano 2 months ago, and he was telling me how important practicing his scales was.  And it hit, Piano Keys in a Scale with the high volume/low volume prints alternating to make the scales appear.  I quickly drew up a sketch, and then put the sketch in EQ7 and it was love!!


This quilt goes together quick as it is made entirely of chain stitching which saves oh so much time ;)   The quilt is all straight seams and none of them match up, so really, you don't even need pins :)  Super friendly for beginners and experts alike and a great way to make a stunning finish in a minimal amount of time.  So . . . Let's get to how to make it shall we :)


To start you will need 20 Fat Quarters of Bijoux 
     Divide the Fat Quarters into piles of 10 low volume and 10 high volume (Probably not a  real term, but it is opposite and just seems to work in my mind :)


From your 10 high volume prints cut (124) 2 1/2" x 8 1/2" strips.  I cut 13 from each print and then had 6 left over for the scrap bin :)  Set 93 in one pile and the remaining 31 in another pile.


From your low volume prints cut (105) 2 1/2" x 8 1/2" strips.  I cut 11 from each print and had 5 left over.  Set 93 in one pile and the remaining 12 in another pile.  From the remaining pieces of Fat Quarters cut (12) 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" squares, (12) 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" rectangles, (12) 2 1/2" x 6 1/2" rectangles, and (7) 2 1/2" x 10 1/2" strips.  Be sure to cut from all your remaining fat quarters so you have lots of variety.  Set these in piles with your (12) 8 1/2" strips and set them aside for the time being.


Gather your 93 high volume and low volume 8 1/2" strips.  Place a high volume strip onto a low volume with right sides together and stitch a 1/4" seam along the end.


Continue chain stitching to make 93 sets total.  (Chain stitching just means not clipping threads between each set sewn, just keep feeding them through your machine.)  Be sure to mix up your prints randomly as you go, don't sew all the save low volume prints to the same high volume print.  Once you have sewn all 93 set, clip your threads and press all of your sets towards the high volume print.


Divide your strip sets into 3 piles of 31 sets.  Grab that extra pile of 31 high volume 2 1/2" x 8 1/2" rectangles.


Now, you will be chain stitching your sets together.  Take the first 2 sets of 31 and place them with right sides together matching a high and low volume end.  Stitch a 1/4" seam. along the edge.  Chain stitch all 31 sets.  Now, take the third set of 31 and the high volume pile of 31 strips and place them with right sides together matching a high volume and low volume end.  Stitch a 1/4" seam along the edge.  Chain stitch all 31 sets.   Clip your threads and press all of your strips towards the high volume print.


And now, you guessed it.  Take the 2 strip sets you just created.  Place them with right sides together matching a high and low volume end.  Stitch a 1/4" seam along the edge.  Chain stitch all the strips to make a total of 31 sets.  Press the seams towards the high volume print.


Divide your strips randomly into 3 piles.  One of 7, and 2 of 12.  Grab those low volume pieces that you set aside earlier.  Chain stitch all these additions using a 1/4" seam.  To the pile of 7, add a 10 1/2" low volume strip to the end of each strip.  To the first pile of 12, add a 2 1/2"x 2 1/2" square to the beginning of each strip and then add a 2 1/2" x 8 1/2" rectangle to the end of each strip.  Finally, to the second pile of 12, add a 4 1/2" rectangle to the beginning of each strip and then add a 6 1/2" rectangle to the end of each strip.  Press all seams towards the high volume print.


Lay 10 strips out as shown below. Take care to mix up your prints until it is pleasing to the eye.


Using a 1/4" seam, Sew the 10 strips into one section.  I find the easiest way to do this is to first sew the strips into groups of 2.    I just aligned the strips as I went and had no problem with stretching.  (Art Gallery fabrics have a great weave so that isn't a problem.)  But if you are worried about stretching or not lining up, go ahead and use a few pins to secure your strips in place ;)  Press the seams.


Lay the sets of 2 strips back out to make sure you don't mix up the orientation (easy to do).  Then sew the first 2 strip sets together, press, and then add on the third strip set and so on until the section is complete.


Your section should look like this.  Repeat to make a total of 3 strip sets in the same layout.


And now you have 3 large strip sets and one little lonely strip.  Lay out as shown below creating the quilt top.  Using a 1/4" seam, sew the lonely strip to the large strip set,  and the two strip sets together.  Press.  Finally, using a 1/4" seam, sew the top and bottom together.  Press.


And your quilt top is done.  Don't you just love the scale effect.  So fun!!!  I like my scale going side to side so I rotated the top in this picture ;)


And now, all you have left is to finish you quilt.  So . . . Baste it, quilt it, and bind it.  I know that's a lot of work to put into one sentence.  If you are new to quilting and need some pointers on how to finish your quilt you can see my video tutorials going over basting, quilting, and binding in detail.  


And you are done!!! Now sit back and enjoy snuggling up with your 62" x 66" Playing the Scales Quilt!!!  


If you make your own, I would love to see a picture of it.  You can email it to me or add it to my Inspired by Happy Quilting Flickr Group.

That's it for today.  I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial :)  Have a Happy Quilting Weekend!!

**  Note - This quilt would also work with Jelly Rolls.  If you are interested in making this quilt using Jelly Roll strips you will need 25 High Volume Jelly Roll Strips and 28 Low Volume Jelly Roll Strips.  This calculation assumes you can get (5) 8 1/2" rectangles from each strip which means 42 1/2" so cut close to those selvages :)

Linking this new finish up to Sarah's and Amanda's :).
Pin It!

69 comments:

  1. it's wonderful and I wold a quilt that uses fat qtrs

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  2. Love this one - the contrast between the high and low volume fabrics works brilliantly :-)

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  3. Very sweet! Thanks for sharing this cute tute!

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  4. Me encanta el efecto de volumen de tu diseño. Gracias por el tutorial!!

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  5. Love it. Thanks for your tutorial.

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  6. Thank you! I am imagining this in patriotic fabrics for a QOV!

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  7. What a fun design! Thanks for the tutorial!

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  8. Seriously girl - when do you sleep??

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  9. Fun, Fun, Fun! Great, easy design! Thanks for the inspiration!

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  10. I love your color/fabric choices! This is just gorgeous! Great job. Thanks for sharing so many details!

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  11. I absolutely love this quilt! Such a beautiful use of this fabric collection!

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  12. I. Love. This. Quilt. THANK YOU for the tutorial!

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  13. How fun! This is such a great quilt. Love how it relates to your son's piano playing, too. That is a beautiful moment when it all clicks, isn't it?

    Thanks for linking up to finish it up Friday!

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  14. Your quilt is beautiful! Thanks for the tutorial!

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  15. Brilliant idea, lovely choice of fabrics, and I just love the inspiration behind the project!

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  16. Gorgeous fabric, gorgeous quilt! I love it Melissa! I'm going to put this one on my want-to-do-if-I-ever-have-time list :)

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  17. Really like this. What a good way to use a jelly roll that has obvious lights and darks but all play well together.

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  18. awesome as usual ;) AGF feels different than other fabrics eh. my star surround was a mix of AGF their colors are great. thanks for all your hard work on the pattern, i'm going to try it for sure.

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  19. Beautiful! I recently won some of Anna Marie Horner fat quarters that would be lovely in this quilt. Thanks for the tutorial.

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  20. This is so beautiful. Can't wait to make it.

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  21. It looks great....thanks for sharing this tutorial.

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  22. very pretty! Love the colors too.

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  23. No wonder you are thrilled that is a great quilt..I love the colours too.

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  24. Gorgeous quilt for gorgeous line of fabrics! Fantastic tutorial too, i'll be trying this one for sure!

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  25. Stunning! Absolutely STUNNING. I pinned it immediately!

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  26. I love your quilt! :o)
    Fabulous tutorial!

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  27. What a wonderful quilt and tutorial. Thank you so much for sharing!

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  28. Very nicely done tutorial! Thanks so much for sharing it! I love those fabrics too!

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  29. Love your quilt. The colours are vibrant. This quilt just dances!

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  30. It's a wonderful quilt---love those fabrics! Thanks so much for sharing the tutorial with us.

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  31. It is gorgeous. Thanks for the tutorial

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  32. WOW! im continually amazed by your talent! I recently found some bijox for 40% off, so i purchased a whole lot of it! Its amazingly beautiful fabric! (I wish art gallery would offer me some fabric to play with!)
    This is a lovely quilt! Is EQ7 worth it? I have thought about it, but dont really know anyone in australia who has it to ask them?

    Thanks for the lovely tutorial!
    Jessica

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  33. Your quilt came out so pretty! Great tutorial too, thanks :)

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  35. Hi Melissa...This quilt looks like it could be jelly roll/2 1/2" strip friendly! Any idea how many strips it would be? I would love to do a scrappy style one..

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    1. I was also thinking I could do this with jelly roll strips but haven't sat down to figure out the math,

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  36. Great quilt! Thanks for the tutorial.

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  37. I think I just found my next 'to do' quilt! Lovely quilt, great tutorial!

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  38. Very pretty quilt. I love the fabrics. Thank you for the tutorial. I will be making this quilt.

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  39. What a really cool looking quilt. I am going to make this quilt after the first of the year. I hope it looks half as good as yours. Thanks for the tutorial.

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  40. This is just great! I recently purchased a bundle of Bijoux because it is so beautiful and yet it has a bohemian vibe. Now I know exactly what I am going to do with it! Thanks for the tutorial! Can't wait to make it!

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  41. I was in love from the picture before I read the post. :)

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  42. Gorgeous quilt, Melissa!! I love how you used Bijoux.

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  43. Absolutely fabulous quilt. I just love the fabrics and colors in this one.

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  44. That's a great quilt, Melissa. It shows off those beautiful fabrics. It reminds me of rain. It would be pretty in blues and greens too. Hmm... :)

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  45. Thank you for the tutorial. It gave me a wonderful idea. I have made 11 memory quilts (4 baby and 7 lap) for a customer who lost her mother. She gave me two bags of her shirts and pants and I created the quilts for her. I have leftovers that would work great with this pattern. I plan to make a surprise quilt for her out of the leftovers with this pattern to use up all of the clothing. Thank you again for the pattern!

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  46. Thanks very much for this beautiful pattern! I just got my Bijoux fat quarters in the mail and they are even more GORGEOUS in person! This quilt will be a wedding gift and I'm so excited to get started. Thanks again!

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  48. Thanks for sharing this easy, beautiful quilt. It is amazing & just what I've been looking for, even though I didn't know it at the time. LOL

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  49. Oh, I love this! I can see it done in lots of different colorways. Thanks for sharing!

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  50. Love this quilt, can't wait to make one and share it:)

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  51. Love this quilt pattern can't wait to try it and share:))

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  52. It's beautiful; I just love it and the colours! Well Done!
    oxo

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  53. Thanks for sharing this pretty quilt:)

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  54. Thanks for sharing! This is just the inspiration I needed to start a new quilt. I love everything about it....I ordered the fabric, and started cutting it yesterday.

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  55. I love how your quilt pattern turned out, and as someone who loves music and plays the piano, I love the idea behind it! This may be the next quilt I plan to make! Thanks!

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  56. TFS and doing such a good tutorial! I love this pattern and have 20 fat quarters that will be just right for it :-)

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Thank you so much for your sweet comments. I just love hearing from each and every one of you!!
Have a Happy Quilting Day :)

Melissa