Make a “Basic Basket Weave” Quilt with Rob!

Often quilts are all about the perfect fabric
choice. That’s right this basic basket weave with these ombre fabrics. I don’t think
could be more attractive. I’m going to show you how to do this super simple quilt. Let’s
get started. Vanessa and Co. added some confetti dots to
their already fantastic palette of ombre fabrics for Moda recently. And so that’s what we’re
using today. I have an entire one of these 2 ½ inch jelly roll strips which features
two strips of each of the 20 colors. I love it, love it, love it. But I also am going
to use the little honey bun, the 1 ½ inch strip. And I used 1 ½ of these packets because
I’m simply going to lay in strip set fashion a skinny strip in between every wide strip.
That’s all we need to do, right? So I’ve got skinny, wide, skinny, wide, skinny. And
it’s going to be super simple. But there’s a couple of fun design engineering choices.
Why don’t you join me at the design wall and I’ll show you where we’re really heading
today, right? So as you can see here at the design wall I have gotten a head start on
making our samples for today’s project. But I just wanted to remind you what you’re
looking at here, there are two of each and every strip up on the wall already. And what
I really did is I”ve unpacked them in the order in which they were sent to me. So starting
from the black all the way down to the yellow strips that I have built. Maybe you can see
them down here. We’re going to come back to that in a second. What we’re going to
do to make our first strip set rows is I want to go ahead and take and make with both the
exact same fabric. So these are the same piece of fabric. I”m going to make a strip set
row here. Again skinny, wide, skinny, wide and so forth. And then I’m going to match
this in its row to its companion fabric. So we’re going to work on both of these colors
right now. I”m going to grab these to head over to the sewing machine to get started. Now one of the things I often do is I like
to organize myself. And I’m going to sew all of our strips all in one direction. So
what I really want you to be listening for right now are some of the hopefully new tips
and techniques I can be giving you which will give you the ability to sew your strips all
in one direction and end up with a fantastic piece when you’re all done. My first thing
I actually do when I start is I’m always looking at the second piece of fabric so I’m
grabbing the two of them as I’m going to sew them in order. I’m always looking at
my add on piece so right now, yes my larger piece is on top of my smaller piece. But that’s
ok because later on they’re going to add up. I’m going to backstitch here. And I’m
just going to go ahead and I’m going to sew these at a nice medium pace. And then
I stop and I reorganize. I’m constantly making sure my fabrics are down here in a
nice fashion. I often like to keep the weight up here on the table. And I’ve also set
my seam allowance to a shorter stitch length. So a lot of times we have a digital machines
that have a number like a 2.5, I would be doing a 2.0. What I’m looking at is my edge
guide and I have the peaks for the little pinked edges, the tops of those are hitting
right up against the edge guide which is giving me a nice consistent seam allowance. And every
time I need to readjust my hands I’m stopping the machine to adjust. I’m stopping to adjust.
And the reason I like to do this is if I start with all my fabrics on one side and if I sew
proper I’m not going to get a veer or a curve. I’ve heard people recently call it
a smile in my fabric. And what it does allow me to is it maximizes the amount of fabric
I’m using. So I should have pointed out I’ve actually even left my selvedges on
as I’m sewing. Now as I come to my ironing station that’s the next key we’re going
to need to do is as I prepare to press, the piece that I was just looking at is still
in the up position. And I”m going to take and make sure my iron is nice and hot. And
I”ve got kind of a steam function going in here too. And now what I’m doing is I’m
setting the iron and you can kind of see how it’s kind of bulging right over that thread.
So that’s actually setting that seam. And then I’m just going to flatten that over
and hit again like this. And then I’ve got a little bit of a shorter ironing surface
for myself so that I’ve got a nice cutting space. So I’m just going to go ahead and
move this down and do it again. And so far, so good. I”ve got both pieces looking sharp. Now we’re going to go ahead and this piece
was sitting right here in my assembly. So now as I line those selvedges up at the top
again, as I was stating I’m now looking at the add-on piece. I’m actually looking
at the new piece. And the reason that’s so important is I believe that as we build
our quilt squares the weight to that square or the weight of the strip sets or whatever
we’re doing, it needs to ride on your feed dogs, your feed teeth. So the heavier piece
just like when you’re going through the airport and your luggage, the heavier piece
should be below and your lighter piece of fabric should be on the top. And I know I
broke my rules in the first seam but those were just two pieces coming together. Let’s
go ahead and stop and reorganize a little bit making sure. Another fun thing I like
to do is in this hand I’ll have both of my fingers kind of splitting over the fabrics
and that allows them to be traveling together without a stretch in this back area here.
. Ok so I’m going to speed up the camera work for you but not speed up my pace. We’re
going to jump into caffeinated mode but that doesn’t mean I’m going any faster. It
just means it will look faster and I’ll be back with all of this put together for
you. Show you how nice it turned out. Ok so let’s slow it down a little bit here. And
I just again really wanted you to have the confidence to know that you can sew all of
your strips in one direction if you just take a little bit of time and a little bit of fabric
management. You’re going to get a really nice crisp strip set row. Now I want to explain the rest of the construction.
So let’s go to the quilt first so you can really see what we’re doing here. We’re
going to be making squares. And with the squares in this quilt here I just want you to see
as we’re going across I’m actually using both color families in like this yellow or
in the peach or in the pink colorways. So I’m going to have to make a whole other
strip set to fill in here. And I’m also really trying to focus on the dark fabrics
generating the dark from the center out. And having the lighter on the edges and the dark
in the middle which is kind of unlike what I normally do. So in order to do that we’re
going to need to cut squares. And in cutting the squares as I looked at my fabric here
because I wanted the dark focus, I wanted the ability to use the wonderful confetti
dots which are more on the edges, I’m going to cut each strip starting at the selvedge.
Now what you need to do is you need to measure your strips from bottom to top in whatever
this distance is is the size you’re going to make your squares. Now mine are all measured
at 7 ¾ and yours should be pretty darn close as well. And the next thing I’ve done, I”m
not even sure if you can see it here. But with a dry erase marker I’ve already marked
just on the other side of my 7 ¾ line so that while I’m using that line later on
I continually make the same cuts because I do not have extra fabric the way I made my
strips so if I make a mistake in my cutting size it’s going to be an issue. So I’m
going to slow down and focus. I”m going to trim off this first edge right there. Now
that that’s been trimmed I”m going to rotate it over. And then now I’ve got my
line that is just past the 7 ¾ because I’m cutting 7 ¾. And I’m also looking at the
lines here in my strip sets to make a really nice and square cut. So I’m going to cut
one here. And because of that dark coloring format is important I’m going to keep them
in the same order. I’m going to slide that down. I’m using that same line for my success
there. Making sure everything is lined up. And I’m going to cut again. And just to
reiterate, what we need to be able to do later on is rotate those and have them be the same
size. So this is a dark, dark edge over there, dark edge over here. I’m going to now slide
my strip set down. I want to trim this edge. And again I’m just taking those selvedges
off. So trimming that edge there. And then I’m going to go ahead and spin this and
I”m going to cut two more squares and I’m going to talk about what happens in the center.
And this is why I love having that line because you’re going to make 20 strip sets, right?
So you’re going to have a lot of pieces. Still laying my dark on that far side. Ok. Now the last little design element I want
to talk about for you is something that you can do but I didn’t do it in my quilt so
this is where your creativity can go wild. Look what you have here. You have one more
square that’s a possibility but to make it symmetrical I’m going to want to somehow
find that square out of the center. So you could trim off either side and create a fifth
square out of each strip set. But for the quilt I have behind, and I’m just going
to cheat and check my notes, yes I’m correct. It’s 58 by 74 inches. I’ve used four squares
from each strip set. So I have this left over for later for other projects or if you wanted
to use borders or something like that. But I just wanted two nice dark squares from each
one stacked up here. And as a matter of fact I’m going to run over to my design wall.
And while I”m here I’m going to grab that other strip set I made which was actually
the lighter of the two families. And remember the lightness and the darkness is really important
in my work in this particular project. So I”m going to come on back over here. And
I going to go ahead and ask you to grab yourself a quick cup of coffee while I take my time
and cut down these squares proper. And I”ll be back with everything to show you how to
arrange them. Oh boy that coffee is smelling good. I certainly
hope you brought me a cup. That’s alright, I won’t need it. It won’t take us long
to get through the rest of the steps for construction. Actually what I really want you to do is make
all of your strip set rows first. Then cut them all into squares. And keep them stacked
up. And remember we’re using two different pieces of fabric as a family. So I”m even
keeping in my stack my lights on top of my darks. But as I get ready to build a row I’m
going to use four blocks from the lighter version and the darker version of those families.
And I’m going to show you, I’ve actually already built this yellow row that you see
across the top in the quilt so that you can understand the way we’re going to manipulate.
So please do all of your layout first before you do any of your construction. So your design
wall will just have these blocks all separate still. Now what I was talking about earlier
is I want the darkest fabrics in the middle of my rows. And therefore I’m going to try
to kind of keep all my lightest pieces of each family on the edges. So this one here
was my lightest of the families and the lightest of that group. So now I’m going to bring
it over here and I’m going to rotate it into position so that my stripes are heading
in opposite directions, right? And so here’s my darker edge of the fabric pushing toward
the light that way. And then I just kind of work in a family. So this one is pointing
up. This one was pointing up. So I”m going to take this one here and I’m going to rotate
it so it’s also going sideways.And here this is the dark because it’s pointing towards
the middle. And then on the opposite side I”m going to do the same but now the dark
is pointing back. So this is kind of the middle here in the project. And then I move this
one out to the edge but not to the far corner. I don’t know if I should maybe move this
if this will help us a little bit to see here like that. So now as I get ready to drop in
the next pieces of these families I come in here and I look. And I can see oh my goodness,
this is much lighter than this one. So I”m going to bring it over here. And now it is
running in opposite directions here and opposite directions here. And that’s how we get our
basket weave happening. . Drop this in. Dark at the bottom. And then I”m going to take
this one here, whoops that one goes out at the further edge because it was the lighter
of the two. And then this one goes in here. So the darks in the bottom row. And again
just build your entire design on your design wall that way. And it’s very simple assembly where I’ll
just go ahead and take each and go ahead and do a quarter inch seam allowance. Now be careful.
You’re going to have you know your seams heading one direction on one side. And then
you have your nice flat pieces. But just keep sewing block by block by block until you’ve
created a row. Once your rows are all built you’re going to sew your rows together to
form up the quilt. And once the quilt is all done as a quilt top at that point it’s a
fantastic place for you to practice some of your free motion machine quilting or if you’re
like me and you were planning on the super fast and easy side of the quilt project today,
I actually shipped mine out to the MSQC and I had them use their longarm quilting service.
And they did this really fun champagne bubbles all over it. And again you know I love the
circular motifs on the straight line quilts. Just to add a little more character and texture
in the thing we love called textiles. Now I hope you love the simplicity and the fun
in this basic basket weave. You know me, I’m always trying to stay one step ahead of you
in the creative side right here at Man Sewing. Thanks for being a Man Sewing fan. It’s
great to have you out there encouraging me to create fantastic new content. If you’ve
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