Thursday, October 30, 2014

Stair Steps–quilt pattern tutorial

In the past couple of days I've received a lot of questions about how I made my bonus project from the Fat Quarter Shop's Fat Eighth Frenzy quilt pattern.  So I wrote up a quick tutorial to show you how I did it.  

The technique is a pretty handy one to keep in your toolbox of quilty ideas!  I remember a little over a year ago I was admiring an intricate-looking quilt top at a local shop and the woman who made it kindly explained this technique to me.  I've been itching to use it ever since.

Stair Steps quilt tutorial

Stair Steps quilt tutorial 
47" x 48"

You will need:
leftover triangles from the Fat Eighth Frenzy quilt pattern (at least 60 triangles)
1/3 yard for the inner border
3/4 yard for the outer border
3/8 yard for binding
3-1/4 yards backing

First of all, take all of the leftover triangles from the Fat Eighth Frenzy quilt.  Pair them together so there is good contrast between the two (i.e. light / dark or solid / print).  Sew the two triangles together and press open to make one half square triangle. 

Stair Steps quilt tutorial

Trim the half square triangles.  Mine were all about 8” (give or take a bit) so I trimmed them down to all be 7.5”.  My big Bloc Loc ruler makes quick work out of trimming HSTs!

Stair Steps quilt tutorial

You’ll need 30 trimmed HSTs for this project.  If you have fewer HSTS, you could make a smaller quilt, a table runner version or even a throw pillow. 

Stair Steps quilt tutorial

Next, cut each HST into three equal strips of 2.5” each.  Keep in mind that the direction of the HST will matter in the end!  Cut half of the HSTs facing in one direction and the other half facing the other direction, as shown in the diagram below. 

cutting diagram

Now working with the strips from just one of the sliced up HSTs, leave the center strip where it is and swap the two end strips.

Stair Steps quilt tutorial

Stair Steps quilt tutorial

Using a 1/4” seam, sew them back together.  This block should measure 6.5” x 7.6”.  Repeat these steps to make all 30 blocks. 

Stair Steps quilt tutorial

Layout all of the blocks as you would like them.  This was one layout that I considered, but in the end I went with this one below (five blocks in each row, six rows, blocks laid horizontally with peaks and valleys matching up.)

Stair Steps quilt tutorial

Sew the blocks together into rows, and then sew the rows together. 

Time for borders!  Measure the length of two sides and the length through the center of the quilt.  Find the average of that number and cut two inner border strips to be 2.5” by the average length.  Sew those to the sides of the quilt top.  Next measure the top and bottom of the quilt as before, cut inner border strips to that length (and 2.5” wide) and sew to the top and bottom of the quilt top. 

Repeat to add the outer border.  The outer border should be cut at 5” x average length.  Baste, quilt and bind as desired!

Stair Steps quilt tutorial

If you make your own Stair Steps quilt I’d love to see it!  Tag me on Instagram (abrightcorner), shoot me an email or add your photo to the Sewing with A Bright Corner flickr group.

Stair Steps quilt tutorial

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Fat Eighth Frenzy–free quilt pattern!

Wow – what a weekend!  I just returned home from Fall quilt market and once I get a chance to unpack my bags and take a nap or two I’ll share some photos of all the pretty things with you.

Today I have a free quilt pattern to show you!  The Fat Quarter Shop has created this Fat Eighth Frenzy quilt pattern and asked if I would make a Fat Eighth Frenzy quilt using a bundle of Elementary (by Sweetwater for Moda).  I love this line, but let’s be honest… I love pretty much everything that Sweetwater does.

Fat Eighth Frenzy

This pattern is a fun, quick way to use those fat eighth bundles!  Really – all you need is one fat eighth bundle (one with at least 30 F8 pieces) and a bit of yardage for the binding and backing.  The quilt finished at 48” x 56” which is a great size to throw over the arm of a chair or the back of a sofa.  If you need smaller or larger sizes, the pattern has them, from baby size to king!

Fat Eighth Frenzy

The Fat Eighth Frenzy pattern even comes with a free bonus project – which makes a cute half square triangle quilt that measures 34” x 41”.  The video for the bonus project is here.  I decided to use my leftover triangles in a little different way!

Here is my “bonus project”  -

Fat Eighth Frenzy

The center portion of the quilt is made using the leftover triangles from the Fat Eighth Frenzy quilt.  I then added a 2” inner border and a 5” outer border to frame it up and I had myself two quilts from one F8 bundle.  Nice!  This quilt measures 47” x 48” and I think for now it will live here as a wall hanging.

Fat Eighth Frenzy

It feels so good to use up leftover bits instead of throwing them away, doesn’t it? 


Friday, October 24, 2014

Scrappy Pumpkin table runner

Halloween is just a week away!  Every year I tell myself I’m going to pull out my Halloween décor the first week of October but then when the time comes, I don’t.  I just can’t bring myself to admit that it’s fall.  So here we are, on Oct 24th and not a bit of Halloween to be seen in my house!  Well, we do have two pumpkins on our front porch but that’s about it. 

So because of my Halloween décor procrastination, I decided to make a table runner that will work for both Halloween and Thanksgiving.  That way, I can use it now and leave it for another month.  Win/win.

Scrappy Pumpkin table runner tutorial

This Scrappy Pumpkin table runner is a tutorial today over on the Therm O Web Blog (click on the photo to go to the tutorial).  It’s a great way to use up some of those scraps!  My orange scrap bin was a little lacking so I had to cut into my orange stash too.

To make the pumpkins there is a printable page as a part of the tutorial and you can just print that on to three sheets of HeatnBond EZ Print sheets straight from your computer’s printer.  Pretty nifty.  You CAN use regular HeatnBond Lite, but by using the EZ Print sheets you can skip the tracing step – my least favorite part of using fusible webbing. 

Scrappy Pumpkin Table Runner tutorial

I made this to fit on my little blue bookcase in my dining room.  I have a hard time deciding just what to put there sometimes. 

Scrappy binding

I think my favorite part of the runner is the scrappy binding!

scrappy pumpkin art

As I was first designing the table runner, I made one test block with a print as the background instead of the solid white.  I loved it so much I put it in a frame!  That background print is from the Flutter line of fabric designed by The Quilted Fish for Riley Blake.

Well, I guess I’d better go and get the rest of my Halloween decorations and just admit that it’s the end of October!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Orange + Giveaway Winner

I’ve decided that the color of the week this week must be orange.  I've had my fill of orange for awhile!  First of all it was fall break for our local schools so our family headed down to Moab and Arches National Park for a few days.  Arches is one of our family's most favorite spots on earth. 

  Arches National Park

We spent two days exploring all of the arches, hikes, and vistas.

Arches National Park

And the gorgeous, soft orange sand got everywhere.  But that’s part of the fun, right?  Here I am walking through one of the narrow slot canyons to get to a spot appropriately named Sand Dune Arch.

Arches National Park

And this is the view as you drive from Arches down into Moab.  I mean come on.  How can you not love a view like that?  After the two days of camping here, my youngest son asked if we could just move to Moab.  I said yes, because they do after all have a quilt shop!

Moab Utah

In addition to all of the orange rocks, sand, and views from this week, I’ve also been sewing with my orange fabrics.  Care to guess why?  Yep.  I’m doing just a bit of Halloween sewing.  I was hoping to maybe get a cute Halloween quilt done this year but that just didn’t happen.  Instead I pulled out my stack of oranges…

Stack of orange fabrics

…and then decided I didn’t have enough so I bought more. 

Stack of orange fabrics

I did end up making something Halloween-ish, and I’ll show you the finished project on Friday, along with a tutorial.  In the meantime, here’s the winner of the Cascade fat quarter stack giveaway!

giveaway winner
Comment #10 – Kristi who blogs at A Nest in the Making.  Congratulations Kristi!  I’ll be emailing you with more information.  And thank you to everyone who entered.  It was so fun to read about your favorite rivers, lakes and oceans and waterfalls.  I’m happy to know that I’ve seen a few of them too!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Division–a new quilt pattern

Happy, happy Friday!  Is anyone else celebrating the fact that it’s Friday, or is it just me?  Good heavens this was a long week!  First of all I just want to remind everyone to enter the Cascade fat quarter stack giveaway if you haven't yet.  You have until Monday to enter!

So today I have something exciting to share!  I’d like to introduce you to Division – one of my newest quilt patterns!  (Wow - I’ve only written 7 sentences and I’ve already used 5 exclamation points.  I’m super enthusiastic today, aren’t I?)

Division quilt pattern from A Bright Corner

Division is a jelly roll friendly quilt pattern, but doesn’t require you to have jelly rolls.  The fabric requirements are also given in yardage for those of you that prefer to choose fabrics that way.  And with the largest width of fabric required being just 2.5”, this makes it a great pattern to use up those fabric scraps!

Division has instructions for four different sizes – baby, throw, twin & queen.

Division quilt pattern from A Bright Corner

The quilt that I made for the pattern cover (in the image above) is the throw size and is made using some of my favorite fabrics from my stash. 

As I’m designing each pattern I like to go in to EQ7 and create a few different versions.  This one below is also a throw size, but using fabrics from Color Theory (a yet to be released line from Vanessa of V and Co.)

Division quilt pattern from A Bright Corner

and this version is the baby size with fabrics from a line called Moxi by Studio M for Moda.

Division quilt pattern from A Bright Corner

Printed patterns will be on their way soon, but the pattern is available now as a PDF instant download from my pattern shop here, my Craftsy shop, and on Etsy here

If you are a quilt shop and are interested in a wholesale order of this or any of my other patterns, please email me

Division quilt pattern from A Bright Corner

Division quilt pattern

As always, thanks for stopping by!  I thoroughly enjoy reading your sweet comments and emails.  Enjoy your Friday!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Cascade Blog Tour + a giveaway!

Hi friends, and welcome to those new readers that are visiting from the Cascade Blog Tour! 

Cascade blog hop

I’m happy to be a part of the Blog Hop for Jessica Levitt’s new fabric line called Cascade (Windham Fabrics).  Jessica’s inspiration for this line was the many colors and forms of water.  The name of it instantly reminded me of the Pacific Northwest where I grew up.  The Cascade mountain range is filled with such beauty- vast forests, rivers, waterfalls, lakes- and many, many bodies of water!   

Cascade color ways

You can read more about Jessica’s inspiration as she created this line here on her blog.  I really enjoy hearing every designer’s inspiration and thought process as they create a new line.  So interesting!

I had the chance to work with some of the fabrics to create a table runner for Jessica’s quilt market booth.  Aren’t these lovely? 

cascade fabric

The table runner I created is made up of just four blocks from one of my newest patterns.  The quilt pattern is called “Division” and will be available for purchase later this week.  I’ll be talking more about Division in my next blog post.

Cascade Table Topper

Ok confession time.  I actually made two table toppers.  The topper in these photos was version #1, with soft, wavy (water-like) quilting lines.  I wasn’t happy with the result however, so instead of unpicking all of that quilting, I just made another one and gave it the straight line quilting treatment.  Much better!  So that’s the one that I sent off to Jessica!  You can see a little of the wavy quilting lines in this photo below -

Cascade Table Topper

Here’s a pic of the second topper with the straight line quilting.  This photo below is from the Cascade look book, where you can get a good look at more projects using Cascade fabrics!  To see the whole collection, visit the Windham Fabrics site here

Cascade Table Topper

Be sure to visit the other stops along the blog hop and check out the fun projects that others have made with Cascade!

Monday October 13th - Jessica Levitt - Juicy Bits / Windham Fabrics
Tuesday October 14th - Julie Herman - Jaybird Quilts / Jenn Nevitt -knit ’n lit
Wednesday October 15th - Amanda Kattner - What the Bobbin / Andy Knowlton – A Bright Corner
Thursday October 16th - Marci Debataz - Marci Girl Designs / Jennifer Auh Chon - Sunny in Cal
Friday October 17th - Angela Walters - Quilting is my Therapy / Rachel Gander - Imagine Gnats
Saturday October 18th - Elizabeth Timmons - and pins / Andrea Taddicken - knitty bitties
Sunday October 19th - Erin Erickson - Dog Under my Desk / Jessica Skultety - Quilty Habitt
Monday October 20th  - Caroline Press - Trillium Design / Karin Jordan - Leigh Laurel Studios

Giveaway time!  Windham fabrics is giving a fat quarter bundle of Cascade to one of my lucky readers!  To enter simply leave a comment below - just one!.  I’d love to hear what your favorite body of water is.  Do you have a favorite local lake or river?  My current favorite is a spot called Bridal Veil Falls here in Utah.  Simply gorgeous – all year ‘round!  The giveaway will close at midnight (MST) on Tuesday, October 21st.  If you’re a no-reply blogger be sure to leave an email so I have a way to contact you if you win!  I'll draw the winner using a random number generator and announce it here on Oct 22nd.

 Good luck!  And thanks for stopping by!

edited to add:  Giveaway is now closed - thanks for entering!

Friday, October 10, 2014


 I think I might have just set a personal record.  I just did a quick count and realized that I’ve made 8 complete quilts and 3 quilt tops in just under 4 weeks.  Oi vey.  I need a vacation!

The quilts do make for a pretty stack on my cutting table though!  I can’t wait to share them all with you!

Whirled Quilt by A Bright Corner

This quilt was my most recent finish.  It’s made from my Whirled quilt pattern and I used that cute retro alarm clock print from Lori Holt’s Gracie Girl line as the jump off point for choosing the rest of the fabrics.  I’ve been waiting for the chance to use that print in a way that would let it be the star and I’m really happy with how it turned out. 

Retro Alarm Clocks

The Whirled pattern has instructions for three sizes - crib, throw, & twin.  The one I made here is the crib size, which I think also makes a decent lap or small throw size quilt  I guess everyone has their own idea of what a “throw” or “lap” size is right?  This one measures 50” x 64” so what would you call that?  It’s just the right size to throw over my lap while I watch tv or read, so I give it a thumbs up! 

Whirled Quilt pattern from A Bright Corner

The pattern is available for now just as a PDF, but soon I’ll have printed patterns available as well.  You can find it for purchase in my pattern shop here, in my Craftsy shop here, and on Etsy here.  In all three shops the PDF is available as an instant download once payment is complete.  Pretty nifty!

Thanks for stopping by!  Hope you have a wonderful Friday.  We’re celebrating my oldest son’s birthday today – I now am officially the mom of a teenager!  Yikes! 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

University of Utah quilt

I feel like I need to begin with a brief disclaimer.  I am not a University of Utah Alum.  In fact, I attended their rival school, BYU.  At least they were rivals WAAAY back when I went to school.  Are they even rivals anymore?  I guess it depends on who you ask. 

University of Utah quilt

Anyway, my local quilt shop needed this quilt made as a display quilt and I had time so I volunteered.   It's a quick pattern - I think I had the quilt done in just a few days!  The quilt finished at 55" x 64" and I quilted it in an easy meandering pattern with some loops thrown in.  

University of Utah quilt

I’m not usually a fan of the red / black / white color combo, but once this quilt was finished I had to admit that it is quite striking.  In fact, my oldest son came in and proclaimed “I LOVE this quilt!  Can I have it?”  My response: “NO!  This quilt doesn't belong in our house.  I’ll make you another red / black / white quilt that has no affiliation with any University.”  Ha!  

[Quilt details:  A friend of mine wrote the pattern and the quilt shop has kits available now for both the U of U quilts and the BYU version.  If you're not local you can call the shop and order one over the phone: 801-225-3123]

Friday, October 3, 2014

Working Away

new quilt patterns

Happy Friday!  I've spent the last 8 days (feels like 16 days!) fighting off an awful cold and I just can't seem to get my energy back.  Meanwhile, deadlines approach so I keep working when I can.  I have three (THREE!) new quilt patterns ready for printing and a new cover photo for an older pattern.  It's really fun to take quilts out for photos this time of year - everything is just SO gorgeous.

I thought I'd give you a sneak peek at two of the patterns - they're the photos on the left.  I'll be showing more of those in the upcoming weeks.  Have a fantastic weekend everyone and thanks for stopping by!

(You have just three more days to download the free Irish Chain quilt pattern!  I decided to leave it as a free download for one more weekend.  So come Monday morning the pattern will still be available, but for purchase.)
You can find the pattern here in my Craftsy shop.

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