Antique Lace Quilt Tutorial

Jenny Doan

Antique Lace Quilt Tutorial

Quilt Size: 73" x 73"


Jenny Doan demonstrates how to make a beautiful quilt using a bit of white yardage and 2.5-inch strips of precut fabric (jelly rolls). She used "Fiorella" Pixie Strips by RJR. This quilt was inspired by a single antique block Jenny purchased online. Boy, was she surprised to discover a beautiful secondary block that appeared when she pieced together all her recreated blocks! This quilt is quick and easy with half square triangles cut from strip sets that are then made into pinwheels and other simple units.


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video transcript

Hi everybody, it’s Jenny from the MSQC. And I am really excited about today’s project. Let me show you the inspiration for this. This is an antique block that I actually bought on eBay and I just thought it was so beautiful. And so I bought this block and I thought how can we create this easily. It looks like a lot of work, right? Well, you’re going to see how easy this is to put together. The fun part about this block, this is the block we’re going to make right here is how it fits into this quilt and what happens when they come together. So let’s take a look at this quilt behind me. Isn’t this fun? I’m calling this Antique Lace because of my antique block and to me, it just looks lacy. It just has a really pretty look to it. So this is our block right here. But what happens when they come together is it forms this secondary block right here which I love it when that happens. And that’s one of my favorite things, what happens when you put two blocks together. It makes it really fun.

So to make this quilt what you’re going to need is one roll of 2 ½ inch strips and we have used this beautiful Fiorella line by RJR Studio. And actually, you’re not even going to need a roll. You’re going to need 18 of these. It takes two strips to make each block. And that’s what we’re talking about. You’re also going to need some background yardage. The reason we went with background yardage versus a roll is you need some three-inch strips and some 2 ½ inch strips. And you’re going to need 3 ¾ yards on that. That’s going to include this border right here and all the pieces you need to make this. Your outer border out here is a nice five-inch border. And you’re going to need 1 ¼ yard. For your backing, you’re going to need 4 ½ yards. And look at this backing. This is really fun. I’d like to make myself a shirt out of that. I think it’s really pretty. So 4 ½ yards of that. The quilt is a 73 by 73 quilt so it’s a nice big square quilt. Now the reason I stopped at 18 strips is because these blocks come out really big. And so I have, I’m kind of locked into this space here. You know, I don’t want to make anything too huge and too big. And so feel free to make it bigger if you want. And just know that it takes two strips to make a block. So this block looks like it’s a hard block and it’s not a hard block. It is a little bit more work because you have to pay attention and you have to do a few more cuts and things like that. But we’re going to break it down for you. And you’re going to go, oh I can do that. And because this was so fun for me I just hope it’s fun for you as well.

So the first thing we’re going to do is we’re going to take our 2 ½ inch strip right here and we’re going to sew it to a 2 ½ inch background strip. So you’re going to cut some 2 ½ inch strips off your background piece. And we’re just going to sew right along the edges like. Put them right sides together like this. And we’re going to make a tube. We’re going to sew a quarter of an inch on this side and a quarter of an inch on that side. So let’s go to the sewing machine and do that. So we’re going to line these up. And you want to keep them pretty lined up and you want to keep your quarter of an inch pretty close. Once you get them lined up it’s pretty easy to just sail down. Alright. Oop, I’m getting off a little bit. I’m going to correct here. There we go. Alrighty. Now I’m going to flip it around and I’m going to sew again a quarter of an inch right down the other side. Right here. Here we go. And this is a real easy side because you’ve already got one sewn down. And you just let her go. Alrighty.

Alright now, what we’re going to do is we’re going to cut some triangles out of this. Now I’ve shown you a ton of ways to make half square triangles and this is just one more. So right now we’re going to use our strip right here, this 2 ½ of a print, 2 ½ of a background. And we’re going to use our clearly slotted perfect trimmer. So that comes with these two sizes. And the reason I did this is because I wanted to make. I wanted no waste. So I looked on here to see, you know I was thinking about doing it all 2 ½ and I looked on here like this and it just felt like too much waste up here for me. So I decided to go with a three inch half square triangle. So what you do with the trimmer like this is you’re going to line up your stitch line on their stitch line and we’re going to cut on both sides. Let me show you how this works. So we’re going to cut this way and this way. And you can see I barely got a stitch on the top. And when I open these up it makes a half square triangle. Now the reason we sew on both sides is because you can then just flip your ruler like this and make sure your seam line is lined up on their seam line and you just go ahead and cut. You’re going to flip and cut. And you’re just going to do this to both of your strips because you need 32 half square triangles to make this. So I actually got so good and so comfortable, I guess I should say so comfortable at making these that I actually stacked my, my strips on top of each other and cut out two at a time. Now if you do that you just want to make sure that your seam lines are pretty accurate so that they come out the same size. If they’re not coming out the same size you’ll have to square them. But if, you know, if you get them pretty well lined up they should be able to just come out like this. So let’s iron a few of these and see what we’re looking at here. So I’m just going to press these open like this. And you’re, again you’re going to need 32 of these. And that takes pretty much your two strips. Alright.

So once you get that done and I actually made these a block at a time. So I made, I did, I did my two strips, I cut out all the half square triangles and I put them, I ironed them all and put them in a stack. And then I started making units. Now when you look at a pattern, one of the things that was always confusing to me as a new quilter is that they’ll say, this block and then you need this unit to make this block. A unit is a couple of pieces that you’ve sewn together. And when you add it to the other pieces it becomes a block. So we have a few units in this block. The first thing we’re going to do is we’re going to take four of our half square triangles and we’re going to make a pinwheel for the center. So let me grab those right here. So here’s my four. They measure at three inches. And I’m going to put them together here, let me show you. I was just going to go sew those together and not even show you how. Now when you make a pinwheel, let me scoot this over here. When you make a pinwheel what you’re going to do, is again, all your seams are going to go to the center. And you want them to be light, dark, light, dark, light, dark, light, dark. So for each block, you need four half square triangles like this. And you’re going to make your center pinwheel. So let’s sew that together. And again this isn’t harder, it just takes a little bit more time. And my gosh I love the outcome. I just think it’s so fun to see this. This pretty quilt. It looks so lacy to me. Alright, here we go. Now we’re going to look at these and make sure they’re going the right direction. And if they are we can just tuck them together which we’re going to do. Nest up our center seam. Now if you want to clip off these little dog ears you can. That’s pretty easy. I actually probably do that before I sewed that center seam. As long as it lays flat I don’t worry about those. But we’re going to do, we’re going to press this nice. Give it a good steaming, pressing, make it lay nice and flat. And we’re going to set this aside now.

Alright, so the next one we’re going to do is we need to take and make this unit right here. So this is the unit I’m talking about that we’re going to make like this. So to do that we’re going to sew four sets of these two half square triangles right here. And let me show you where these go on this block. I’m going to move this one down here for now. So these are the pieces right here that we’re talking about. These center blocks right here. We’re going to make this corner block as a whole. So we’re going to make this unit right here. To do that we’re going to take two of our half square triangles and sew them white sides together like this. Alrighty. Now because these are three-inch half square triangles all of our other pieces have to be three inches for this to go. So that’s why we went with the background fabric. Because you do need some 2 ½ but you also need some threes. So then we’re going to cut, this is going to be 5 ½ and we’re going to cut a three by 5 ½ piece to put on either side like this, alright? So we’re just going to sew those on a quarter of an inch. And we’re going to snug that up, there we go. And we’re going to put one on each side top and bottom. And so you can’t really get this wrong. I’m going to make sure this one works. Alright. Now I’m going to press this open right here. And you’re going to do that four times. So you’re going to make four of those. So I’ve done this one and I have my other three right here and I’m going to set those aside.

Now we’re going to do these corner blocks. And this is the corner block right here we’re talking about, this block right here. And, and so to make that you do have to pay attention to this one. So you’re going to want to look at the diagram and you’re going to make sure they go. It’s not harder you just have to pay a little closer attention. So for this, we’re going to need five of our half square triangles and we’re going to make four of these blocks as well. So our half square triangles, we want to make them exactly the same way. Every block gets made the same way. And then when we put it together we turn it. So what we’re going to do is we’re going to line these up. And I’m looking at this to make sure it’s exactly right. And we need some three-inch squares for the middle. So we’re going to cut our three inches, you know our background. We’re going to cut two of those for our block, we’re going to need eight three by 5 ½ and we’re going to need a bunch of these, a bunch of these. So we’ve got, let see, one, two, three, four, times four, 16 of these three-inch squares out of these strips right here. So we’ll cut some strips and we’ll cut them into squares. So then this center right here is two whites and our triangle is pointing up. And then here we have a triangle that is facing down and a plain white square. And the other triangle is facing in. So you’re going to make all four of your corner blocks identical. So let’s go ahead and sew this together.

And what I’m going to do is I’m just going to take this row by row over here because this is really easy. This is the part where I get mixed up. So I have to make sure I do it a little at a time until it makes sense to me. So I open this back up and I’m going to add this one on this side. There’s our first row. Our next row we just have to remember that our little half square triangle points up to the left. And we’re going to put a white block on either side like this. And then one more on this side. Lay that down and then our third row, the two triangles actually face into that center square so that’s easy to remember. So this one goes in like this. And then this one goes in like that. And I’m checking to make sure. I can’t even tell you how many times I looked up at that empty block to make sure that I had it going the right way. It is one you have to pay attention to. So now you have these three rows and we’re going to sew this block together. And I’m going to do that before I press it because I can make my seams go the way I want to. And I’m just going to lay these together. Take a few anchoring stitches and then nest that first seam. I’m going to make my center block on the bottom point in and the top block will point out. And by point I mean the seams will lay out and the bottom one will lay in. And our last row right here goes on this way. And I’m just going to set that in there. Do my little anchoring stitches. And make sure this is going the same way as I had it on the top which is, there we go. I just want to make sure my seam is laying the same way. Alright, now we’re going to press this. And then I”m going to show you how this lays together because I’ve already sewn the other four of these together. And it’s really fun to see how this comes together because every time I did it it was like, oh there it is. You know you see it. Alright, I’m going to move some of these things right here for you because these are big blocks.

Alright here’s our center block. I always like to work from the center out. And so here’s our center. And we’re going to put two of these on either side of our center. And these have to be pointing, the white is point toward the middle. So we’re going to line those up like this. And then we’re going to put them this way as well so they’re all pointing toward the center like this and this. These then go into the corner. When you put these into the corner, this corner block right here that is sticking out by itself, it always goes toward the corner. So you’re going to turn every block so that it goes into the corner like this, like this and like this. One of the camera guys just noticed that this row is flipped. So I’m going to take that off with my seam ripper and I will be right back. So what I did here on the bottom row and, and this is important because these things happen, right? And so what I did on the bottom row was when I sewed it together I actually flipped the row over. So what I’m going to do now that I, we call it frog sewing because it’s rip it, rip it, rip it. We’re going to actually press our seam back open so it will lay nice. And we’re going to pretend that there aren’t any stitch holes in there. And we’re going to sew it again. And so this one right here then I know I have to do it this way. So see the difference is, it’s very subtle but it’s going to change the whole pattern. Well, this could be a whole new quilt pattern. But we’re going to do this one today. And we’re going to sew it on this side. So let me sew that back together for you. And I’m going to line up these rows just like that. We’re going to press it open and we’re going to look at it one more time. And you guys on the camera, you pay attention because that was a big help to me. Alright here we go, right here. Oop no wait. This one goes in. There we go. So the crucial part about this one being turned the right way is this makes the secondary pinwheel block out here. So what we’re going to do now is we’re going to sew these rows together like this. I’m going to sew one of these squares to either side. And how I remember how they go is I put this square right next to my white one. It turns in just like that.

Ok so I fixed my block and I sewed those two blocks to this center unit right here, making sure that my corner blocks turn in on both sides. So I’ve got my rows done. Now I just have to sew my two rows to my center block. So I’m going to lay that over here. I’m going to go to the sewing machine and do that and I’ll meet you right back here. So I’ve got my rows sewn together. Now we’re going to press it open. Doesn’t that look pretty. So pretty. It’s so worth it you guys. Just a little more work but so worth it to make something like this. So here’s your block. And one of the things I love about these kind of blocks is you actually have a checkpoint at every seam to make sure you’re still lined up so nothing gets really out of whack. You know sometimes when you sew a long strip you’re like, whoa, wait what happened, how come I have so much more down here. You won’t have that when you sew these things together. If you line up at every single junction.

Ok so let me show you how these go together. I have four blocks made now that I’ve made this one. And we’re going to put them together. And there’s things you want to watch for to make sure you’ve got your blocks going in the same direction. You’re going to have a flying geese right here that lines up. Actually let me put these other ones on here. These are big blocks. So it’s really fun. Alright, let me see here. Ok. I’ll just take this off for a minute so you can see this right here. Alright. So things you want to look at when you’re laying these together is they just go straight together like normal blocks but you want to make sure they pinwheel. And you want to make sure that these, you have these flying geese on all four sides. That they line up in a geese formation. I had one block set in here when I had them on my design wall that was turned. And I was like, wait something doesn’t look, you know. And you’ll notice that. So just, just go ahead and turn it. But you’ll notice that these blocks are all set going exactly the same direction. So you’re going to sew three together like this. And another row, three rows of three. That gives you nine blocks and it gives you this awesome looking quilt back here and every time the secondary block shows up there’s that sweet little pinwheel right in the center of it. And it makes another square right around it which I just love.

So I hope you’ll take a chance on this one and I hope you enjoyed this Antique Lace tutorial from the MSQC.

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