Make a Gator Quilt with Rob!


My brain is still exploding with new designs
for the burst block template I created recently. And I’m loving it. This is a fabulous two fabric design on the
twist. Let’s get started. I know thousands of you already have your
own personal burst block template. And if you don’t, you can get it right out
of the description below. There’s a link for you. Now today I am using yardage because I wanted
to use two of my favorite fabrics, solid and batik. And sometimes batiks are hard to get in pre
cut with the same fabric over and over again. So the quilt behind me, you’re going to
see batik and solid. Very easy. And you’re going to need three yards of
each fabric plus a half a yard of whatever fabric you choose to use for your binding. It is really that simple. Before we start making the blocks themselves
though let’s take our yardage and strip it down into ten inch wide strips. And then make ten inch squares because the
template itself is designed to work as you can see right off of ten inch squares. When it’s all done you’ll have piles and
piles or 40 each of your batik and of your solid squares. And then we’re going to trim them all down
at one time so we can just get started at the machine. So your batik you’re going to take your
burst block template as you know and we’re going to cut it to form three pieces: a wedge
and two triangles. These triangles are not equal sided triangles. This side is longer than this side so we want
to keep the orientation proper. When you take your solid piece, you can see,
this was just cut with a standard ruler to form two triangles. And those triangles are the same size. So if you were to mix them and match them
it wouldn’t be a problem, right? Now we’re only going to need the template
for the rest of the sewing and trimming. And we’re going to sew and trim as we go. And the first step is to slide those batik
triangles up and out of the way keeping the orientation as you need. And then your next step is going to be to
prepare for sewing. Now when you sew on your strip, excuse me,
I should say your triangles to your wedge, I want you to start with about a quarter of
an inch of overlap down the small end of the wedge shape. So you’re going to stitch those on. And I’ve got one done to show you. And when you’re finished it’s going to
come out just like this. Now one of things I find is easiest is to
run my iron down the center to press these away from the center wedge. So that’s something that I do through all
of the steps. And then from here we’re going to simply
use our template to make all of the cuts. Now what we’ve got, is we have a wedge shape
on the template and that always lays on the wedge shape in your fabric piece. I have lines. They have a dot one, dot two and dot three. So the first one we’re using that as the
first seam allowance. The seam allowance runs right through here. And then the last little trick I do to make
these accurate, now I’ve got to tell you, the secret in the quilt behind me though. They don’t have to be very accurate. None of our points are going to match up in
the twisting version. We’ve actually called this quilt Gator. But Gator is very fluid and very freeing. But the good way to construct your blocks
is to also watch the tip of your template right back here. And it’s always going to line up somewhere
on the back of that wedge as well. It helps you keep all of your angles straight. It’s a mouthful. Let’s start cutting, ok? Now what we’re going to do is we’re going
to come in here. And I cut first the triangle off. I’m going to save my scraps for later. Then what I’m going to do here is I have
the 90 degree mark also on my template. Line it up across the top, ok? I’m going to cut off the long side. I’m not going to cut across the small side,
ok? Now some of you may find that you want to
spin, so a lazy susan mat comes in very handy. Your wedge will be on the wedge. Your first stripe will be on that seam allowance
or that first line. I’m also lining up the tips so it doesn’t
matter if I’m coming in forward or backward. Coming in here and I’m going to slice. I’m going to take that and 90 degree like
I said I want to line it up, up here on the top. In a second I’m going to show you a very
cool trick that I learned from one of my students, ok? I don’t need those little pieces. I will need the big triangles later. Now I’m going to rotate this back around
one last time. I need to trim this small edge. And here’s the trick with trimming the small
edge. I’m actually going to take my big wedge
from the ruler and I’m going to line it up here. Then I line up the skinny tip up on the tip
of the part of the wedge. I know Dr. Seuss wrote today’s tutorial
right? And then I’m going to trim off both pieces
at once and the reason I do it that way is I have a very nice crisp 90 degree down here
and up here and the block will come out as square as we can possibly get it, we will
still trim it down at the end. Ok so I know that was a lot of info on the
cut. We’re going to do those steps over and over
again. I’m going to start to speed up the process
though. So I have the wedges, the wedge and the triangle. Now I’m bringing these back in. This is also crucial. Remember I told you, you have a long edge. It lines up to the short side. You have the shorter edge. It lines up to the long side. We’re going to stitch these on also with
about a quarter inch seam allowance running long down here. And when those are finished they’re going
to look just like this, ok? We’ll take those, like I said earlier, and
we’re going to press them. So again I’m just pressing out of the center
wedge out and out like yay. Then I’m going to drop that back on the
lazy susan, grab my template and we’re going to start going through the steps pretty quick. Hang on, seat belts buckled. Wedge on the wedge. Second line, second seam allowance. I line up the tip back here as I’m getting
ready to slice. And yes it will line up on the opposite side
for the next cut that still gives us a good accurate. Go to my 90, trim it away. If you don’t want to rotate you can do it
this way too. Wedge on wedge, second line, second seam,
tip on tip. And then what I do for this cut though if
I’m not going to rotate, hold with my right hand. Slow down so I don’t push away from the
wedge and the template. I’ve got what I need. And now we’re going to start cutting off
this using the 90. And on the bottom end we can also use the
bottom end the same way now. I’ve got the 90 down here, lining it up
because I had a good cut from that first start. And again, oop, like that. And we’re going to rotate and repeat, rotate
and repeat, bringing on the new triangles. The new triangles are also no longer equal
sided. So you want to make sure you’re lining up
the long side to your short corners, stitch those on with the tip hanging loose and guess
what. We’re going to have yet another piece come
right out of the sewing machine looking just like that. Isn’t that great? Now let me take a second and iron it because
I want to use these blocks when I’m all finished. Ok? Like this, beautiful. So we’re now on our third cut. I’ve got my wedge on the wedge. I’ve got my three dots lines for my seam
allowance. The tip I’m still looking at here. Oop I slipped a little bit so I’m just going
to take a time and reset. 90 up here. Now when I was working on this I also was
able to start doing what I consider chain piecing so I was able to take each of the
40 blocks and do one step at a time but to all 40. And it does definitely work especially when
you’re using all of the same fabrics because you are not worried about accidentally inter-mixing
different fabrics or different colors. So as a fun way to make a very efficient and
quick project as well.. And now I’m chatting and not paying attention
to my cutting so let’s get those last little tails. Now one last thing I want to point out for
construction, I’m actually going to show you as we sew on this last piece, right? I’m going to get my little wedge down here. This bottom end, we have kind of an interesting
seam allowance starting to form. So look really close here. It’s not through the entire light green
solid fabric, it’s just from here to here. So when I go to mount on this last piece like
this I want to make sure that I’m stitching through, but when I open it up we’ll have
the bit of the light green down there showing. And I believe I actually have that prepped
out for us like this, ok. Now let me press that as well so I can show
you the last cut because the last cut you’re just going to square. And I normally use the burst block template
itself for squaring things up but I have been teaching this workshop to a lot of different
folks out there in person. And it’s wonderful when you’re teaching
in person because we bounce and share ideas back and forth, right? So what I’m trying to say is I normally
will use my template like this to continue to continue to square, just cut at the line,
very easy. But some folks are more precise and more accurate
than I am, I guarantee it. And so I also watched a lot of folks starting
to square with a big square. Now I want to teach you this trick just because
it’s something new I can show. When you’re squaring with a big square like
this, I’m going to find my most obvious 90 degree corner, the one we created and started
with, ok? And then I’m going to come back here and
I’m looking at the number ten. And then I’m going to slide it down and
I’m also looking here at 1010 so that I can actually make what would be two cuts at
once. That’s the best way to get it nice and square. I’m kind of looking at my outside edge but
I’m really mostly watching down in here. And now that I have it squared this way I
can come across and cut here and I can cut here. Ok so I’ve done all of that trim work and
then have I rotated all the way around, I’m going to find that same 1010 mark down on
the bottom corner. But I can also now, that was the part I trimmed
off earlier when I was talking about using the template, right? See trim that off. And then you’re going to have four of these
perfect burst block blocks. Now the fun of this quilt is like I said earlier
you don’t have to be accurate in your work, ok. If you’ve had fabric that’s shifted or
the bias got in front of you or something like that you don’t have to be concerned. An original burst block goes together with
all of those wedges coming in like this, ok? And this is where that accuracy used to matter
but for this we don’t have to worry at all. So I take one burst and I rotate, and I rotate,
and I rotate, rotate and I rotate like this until I have this awesome twisting design
just like you saw on that free printable. And then I bring it back over to the quilt
and I start to lay them out. Now what I had was some fun with this one,
two, I kind of got some interesting odd numbers going. I started with 40 blocks but I ended up with
a five by eight layout. So if you look over here I’ve got kind of
a bursting twist and over here I have more of the circular twisting twist and opposites
in the corner. So it’s really fun as you go through the
project that way. So all of the blocks I built the four twists
and I set them in there and perimetered them with the extra two. You can design it any way you’d like, right? It will work however. Then the fun came in the free motion machine
quilting. In this particular project I have a couple
of different motifs, a straight line motif and just a simple curved motif. And as a matter of fact let me bring this
quilt to the back so you can see it. I never show the back but we’re going to
show the back right now. You can see the high contrast with the thread
and everything, really fun and really exciting you can even see the stitches better. But what I wanted to point out was to keep
it straight in my brain I basically did straight line style quilting in the solid and curve
style quilting in the batik. And what that allowed me to do was still start
in the middle like a good quilter would but radiate outward using two different motifs
with never losing track of where I was. It was the most gratifying and simplistic
approach to not marking a quilt that I’ve experienced thus far. So give it a try. And I think the burst block thing is getting
to be a bit addictive so I’m going to make more and more and more and more and we’ll
catch you next time at Man Sewing.