Friday, July 1, 2011

Tube Quilting - The Karen Way

Hey Y'all! I promised you'd learn how to make a gorgeous quilt top on Monday, and here it is!

This tutorial is courtesy of our friend Karen - for those of you that missed Julie's story of how we met, I'll link the post with the back story. Karen is also from our baby board. Her little dude is a few days younger than Bug and Kid. She's got the quilting bug right alongside us!

Without further ado.... Karen!

This is a fairly easy technique that comes together pretty quickly. It looks pretty impressive as well.
Fabric Requirements Needed for a large throw quilt (64 ish by 72 ish):

• 36 2 ½ inch strips WOF of patterned fabric (a jelly roll works very nicely here)
• 2 ½ yards of solid fabric. This is the exact amount needed, you may want to get a bit more to account for cutting oopsies and squaring up fabric.
• 4 yards for backing of your choice
• ½ yard for binding

You will also need your standard rotary cutting tools, mat, etc, and a square ruler at least 9 ½ inches.

1. Cut into your solid fabric. I trust I don't need to show pictures of this. You will need 36 2 ½ inch strips cut WOF (width of fabric). If you are changing up your quilt size, you will need an equal number of solid strips as you have patterned strips.
Making the strip sets:
(all seams will be ¼ inch throughout)
There are two different strip sets, we'll call them set A and set B. The first set will be patterned fabric, solid, patterned fabric like so:

The second strip set, set B, will be solid, patterned, solid like so:

You will need to sew 12 of each of these strip sets, pressing your seams as desired. I always press mine to the patterned fabric.
Take one strip set from the A pile and one strip set from the B pile.

Lay them right sides together, matching the seams.

Try to line up the ends of the patterned fabric together. You'll need the entire length of these strips when we get to cutting later on.

Sew ¼ inch seam along both long sides of the strip sets, forming a long tube.

Helloooooo in there:

You will end up with 12 tubes.

Making the Magic Happen:

This is so easy once you get the first couple of cuts down. Bear with me and read all the way through before you start cutting.
Take your newly minted tubes over to the cutting table now. Grab your square ruler and your cutter.

Line the 45 degree line on your ruler on your seam. NOT on the edge of your fabric. I'm not sure what will happen if you line it up on the edge of your fabric, but trust me, no good can come of it. Make sure to leave room for your selvage ends, but not too much. Trust me, you'll need every bit of this tube.

Closer shot. Yes, folks, it is that important.

Take a deep breath.

Cut. Along the edge of that ruler, going all the way up your tube. This bit is waste. (gasp, but throw it in your scrap basket.)

Slide your ruler up the the upper seam now, lining the 45 degree line up that that seam.

Make another cut. TA-DA! That handy little right angle triangle you just cut is, in fact, your first square! Yay! Go ahead, don't believe me, open that puppy up. Smile like you just invented the wheel. Or sliced bread. Or something equally as awesome.

Keep cutting in this fashion all the way down your tube. You'll end up, if you are lucky, with 6 squares per tube.

Aren't they fantastic? Isn't it crazy how easy that is?

Notice that you have two different blocks here, the ones with the yellow fabric in the corner and the ones with green in the corner.
Some notes about layout you might want to consider: The fabric that is in your solid, patterned, solid strip set (B) will never be in one of the small corner blocks, only the fabric that is in set A.

Here is the layout I prefer. I am sure you can find some equally awesome layouts:

After you are done cutting all your tubes up, you will end up with 72 squares. That's a lot of squares.

I always resquare mine. Its a sickness, I have to do it. My squares ended up being right around 8 ½ inches and I resquared them to 8 ¼ inches. I should have resquared them to 8 ½, but I realized that about ½ way through my pile of squares. Doh!

As far as layout for the quilt top is concerned, I did a 8 by 9 square layout. I did not border it. Unfortunately, this top is still in the “UFO” pile because of upcoming nuptials and births that are requiring my attention at the moment. I did finally get the back put together, I just need to find the time to baste it and quilt it.

Here it is hanging in front of my sliding glass door. I love the “stained glass” effect that it gives my tops.

I'm thoroughly excited to give this one a try. I envision it in some manly colors for the husband, no?


Pieces to Love said...

I love it Karen. Thanks for sharing.

Jo said...

Thanks for showing me how you did this I think the quilt is just great!

Andrea said...

thanks for sharing, it is a very nice quilt

Lynne said...

Thanks for sharing that.

I, too, love looking at the light shining through my quilts.

Evelene S said...

Oh my gosh you saved us so much time with your method, I Love It!

Maribel said...

Oh I love how this one looks. I just finished an Origins Quilt and have about 38 Jelly Rolls Strips left. Maybe this would be a great way to use them!

Jaya Pratheesh said...

oh that is amazing! lovely quilt. looks so easy! thank you for the tutorial :)

jeifner said...

That is the best idea! I've never even heard of this tube block building. This is so exciting, thanks for sharing.

Cindy said...

Great tutorial! Thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...

Wow you make this look so easy, what a great tutorial you did, thank you very much.

Donnza said...

this is the easiest to follow tutorial. thanks!

Unknown said...

Any ideas of how to use the scrap ends. I like the tube quilt squares but I hate the 'waste'

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