Jenny Lane Quilt Tutorial

Jenny Doan

Jenny Lane Quilt Tutorial

Quilt Size: 71" x 82"
Jenny Doan demonstrates how to make a darling house quilt using 10 inch squares of precut fabric (layer cakes). For this quick and easy project, Jenny chose Hummingbird Lane Artisan Batiks 10" Squares by Lunn Studios for Robert Kaufman Fabrics. This house quilt pattern includes traditional small houses, two-story houses, big houses, and even trees made out of the leftover half square triangles!
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video transcript

Hi everybody, it’s Jenny from the MSQC. And take a look at this quilt behind me. Isn’t this great? Our little neighborhood quilt with all of our houses. Now you guys know how much I love the tiny house. And we actually did the tiny house in Block magazine here. This is volume seven issue one. And I’ve actually made a whole quilt of these but I actually did a little table runner using the houses that are in this block. So it shows you how to make it in there. But then in Best of Block which is our new big hardbound book, we did a house quilt and we made the little houses into two story houses as well. So we have this great quilt that has these small and the two story houses in there but no video. So of course I thought that I want to do a video on these tall houses but then we decided to throw in a big house and a tree as well. So you’re getting the whole kitten kaboodle today and we’re going to show you how to make that quilt.

So to make this quilt you’re going to need one packet of ten inch squares. And we have used Hummingbird Lane by Lynn Studios for Robert Kaufman. And the Hummingbird Lane actually is how this quilt got its name because it made me hum Penny Lane which is an old Beatles tune and all of a sudden I thought Penny Lane, why don’t we call this Jenny Lane. And so that’s how the quilt got its name. You never know how a quilt is going to get its name. But it has this beautiful hummingbird fabric on it that we used in the border. And also you’re going to need some background fabric. You’re going to need about 2 ¾ yards. And that will take care of this inner border out here. And then for your outer border you’re going to need 1 ¼ yards and this backing back here. Isn’t that gorgeous? We used five yards of backing and, you know, so just two 2 ½ yards pieces sewn together vertically. And we also used a hummingbird quilting pattern. Isn’t that just gorgeous? Can you see that little hummingbird right there? It’s just so cute. And so it just makes a beautiful quilt. The quilt is 71 by 82. So it makes a really nice size quilt.

So the first thing we’re going to do is we’re going to make our tiny house first. And since we’re dealing with ten inch squares we’re going to cut those in half both directions to give us four five inch squares. And so we’re just going to lay our ruler on the edge both ways. And I have two pieces stacked up here that are contrasting. You want some contrast between your squares because you want, we’re going to swap them out, you know, one’s going to be the roof, one’s going to be the door. We want them to look differently. Alright so we’re going to set two of these aside and we are going to make our cuts out of these two. And what I’m going to do is I’m going to cut a half an inch right off the end because our houses end up 4 ½. And this will just make it easier so that I don’t forget that. So I’m going to move these off to the side. Then I’m going to turn these because my house is going to be 4 ½ width wise. So the first thing I’m going to do is I’m going to cut my 1 ½ inch header piece off of my, it should be 1 ½ by 4 ½ so just measure it to make sure that you’re cutting on the right side. And set that aside. That’s the header board. And then we’re going to do our two side walls. And the side walls are three by two. So I’m going to cut this down to three, just cut a three inch strip on here. And then I’m going to cut two inches, two by three like this. And then one more little side wall. So right here you’ll see I’m building the house. And then two by three right here. And we’re building the house. Now we need the roof and the door. And so our roof is going to be 4 ½ by 2 ½ and so again lay your ruler on and make sure it is the right size and that you’re cutting it the right direction. That can be a really easy mistake to make.

So here’s our roof up here. And I actually cut several houses and put all my roofs into an area because I like to swap them out. I like all my roofs to be different. Then we need to cut our little doorway. And our little doorway is 1 ½ by three. And you guys know when I made the big house quilt of this one I put all kinds of fun things looking out these doors so don’t be afraid to do that as well. So 1 ½ by three is our door. And it’s going to go here. And we are going to swap it out like this so now our house has the two walls with a different door. And that will make it look really cute. So we’re going to sew these together. And then I’m going to put a little different roof on it and put my little door here. Make sure I have all my pieces. And we’re just going to sew these together.

And first I’m going to sew the bottom half of my house and it’s going to be a quarter of an inch and I’m putting my side walls next to my door like this. And then I’m just going to finger press this open and do another side wall. And this should measure, at the end of it, it should measure 4 ½. And then we’re going to add our header piece right here. So I’m going to put that on the top. And go ahead and stitch that down. And we are going to put these right together. And then what we’re going to do is we’re going to add our roof piece to this. And let me grab my iron so I can press this down. So I’m going to press this. Now normally I would have a bunch of little roofs cut. I don’t, I just have the one that I cut for this one. So I’m going to add that roof right here. And it’s the blue roof. And I’m going to add it directly to the top and then I’m going to snowball both of the corners with a 2 ½ inch square that I’ve cut from the background. You can also use the little 2 ½ inch squares that are pre cut. Those are really super handy but that’s what we’re going to do for this little house. So I’m going to set my roof on here like this, sew right across. And then because this is batik it is so easy to finger press back. It just lays down so nice. And then what I’m going to do is I’m going to take these little squares and I’m going to put them on the side like this and snowball each side like this. And we’re going to sew corner to corner. Now you can draw the line, press the line or you can use the diagonal seam tape which is what I’m going to do. I’m going to put mine right here and sew corner to corner on the red line and sew directly on that line like that. We are just going to trim this off and press it back. So I’m laying my ruler about a quarter of an inch over that seam, past that seam I mean. And then we’re just going to press this down. And then I’m going to add my other square to the other corner again sewing diagonally corner to corner. And that’s going to make our little house and it’s just as easy as that. They’re so quick and fun. Because I do so much sewing for work this is one of those little projects that I’ll make a couple of these in the morning when I get to work and it just feels like I’ve done something fun for myself and I just love these little houses. Alright so here’s our first little house.

So now we’re going to talk about the tall house. And this is our tall house, it’s a two story house. And we’re going to do the same thing. We’re going to cut our two layer cakes. I have two that have high contrast and we’re going to cut those into four. And you don’t have to do this, it just makes it easier for my brain. But I’m going to cut these into fourths like this. And you can see right here on our tall house we have a roof that is 2 ½ by 4 ½. We have a header board that’s 2 ½ by 4 ½ and we have another header border that is 2 ½ by 4 ½. So we’re going to have to cut three of those first which means one of these we’re going to cut off our half inch so it’s 4 ½ right here. And then I’m just going to cut it in half. I’m going to turn it and cut it 2 ½ by 4 ½. And we’ll get two rectangles. Those are our header boards. We need to cut one more because that’s our roof. And again our roofs, all the roofs go in a pile and I swap them out one with another. So I’ve cut a half an inch off of this one. I’m turning it, making sure that it’s 4 ½ by 2 ½. And I’m going to cut one of those off of there so now we have our three big middle pieces and we’re going to set those aside over there.

So the next thing we’re going to cut is we’re going to cut our little window right here, see our little window in the middle . So that’s a 2 ½ inch piece which we have right here already cut. And again we have these layered so we’re making two houses. So the window is 2 ½ by two. So I’ve got a 2 ½ piece on here like this. And I”m going to turn that and trim down to two. So 2 ½ by two is our window. Alright so we’ve got our three wall pieces and our window cut and my next cut I’m going to cut my doorway. So I’m going to cut a three inch strip off of this next square there. And my doorway is going to be 1 ½ by three. So I’m just going to put my ruler right there, 1 ½ by three. And then I need a wall. Now you can see on this house we’ve staggered our doorway to the side so we need another 1 ½ by three for the wall. And then we need a 2 ½ by three for our other wall which we’re going to get out of this other square. So let’s go ahead and cut a 2 ½ inch strip off of here. And then I’m going to turn that and get a 2 ½ by three right here. So those are our walls. Now all we have left are the little side pieces on our window. And those pieces are 1 ½ by two. So take a look at the little pieces you have left and we’re going to go ahead and we’re going to cut 1 ½ by two out of these little scraps. So we’ve got, I’m going to have to cut that way and then I’m going to cut this a little way. 1 ½ by two. And then I’ll cut this one over here also 1 ½ by two. And it is two inches wide so we’re just going to cut that right there. And that one is almost the right width. You could probably get two out of that one little scrap but my cutting wasn’t exact so I couldn’t. So you actually have this piece leftover which also you can add to your roof pile.

Alright so let’s layout this house so we can see how it goes together. Alright so the first thing we’re going to do is we are going to take, separate our pieces and we’re going to put our blue window in and put the blues over here. And our pink, the outside of this house is the pink and red print. And then we are going to put our walls down here so everything is going to be pink on this except the window and the door. So here’s our bottom piece and then here is our middle piece. And then here’s our window, another middle piece. And now I’m going to grab from my pile of roofs that I had over here earlier and put a different colored roof on here.

Alright so now I have another piece that’s contrasting for my roof and we’re just going to sew all of these together. Now over here you can see we have another house that looks just like it. It’s just all going to be in blue with a pink door. And we’ll add that. And we’ll add our little windows here with our pink window. And we’ll add this top piece and then we’ve got a roof up here like this and that’s, so you can see how you can get two houses out of one square. So let’s go ahead and sew our bottom squares together. Foundation is the most important. Now on some of mine I noticed that I have my door to the left and some to the right. That’s not going to matter at all. You just do whatever you want. Also as I’ve been making these a lot and not this particular house but the little houses, sometimes I have a little guy who’s looking out my door and he’s a little bit wider so I made my door a little wider and my walls a little narrow because that’s the what if factor because I wanted to show more of who was peeking out the door. And as long as the house uniformly stays 4 ½ inches wide you can, you know, you can play with those measurements a little bit if you want to. Alright so now we’re going to add our first header piece right here. We’ve got our doorway sewn together with our walls. And there’s the header and this is the first story of our house right here. And so now we’re going to go ahead and sew our window pieces. Now you’ll know right away if you have these going the wrong direction because they’re not going to match. So the two goes to the two and your window goes long way in there. We like a nice big picture window for our house. And we’re going to go ahead and sew this on. And then we’ll sew our other side. And then we can add this to the bottom of our house. We have our header on here so we’re going to add this next to the bottom and then add our header to the top of that as well. So these are all, they go together so nicely because we’ve cut them all correctly, with any luck, right? Alright so now we’re going to add the other header and then I’m going to press this real good before I add my roof piece. Now on your roof piece you can actually snowball the corners before you put them on or you can snowball them after. I’m going to add my roof and snowball my corners after. Now because this is still a 4 ½ inch piece, those corner squares that we used are going to be 2 ½ square. The same as on the little house because it’s only 4 ½ wide. So again I’m going to do this roof just like I did the little house roof. And we’re just going to add a corner here and sew diagonally corner to corner using this diagonal seam tape. So I have a little confession about the diagonal seam tape to make. So I love the diagonal seam tape and my sewing machine in my studio is set into a desk and I can move it in and out of there. And so because my tape couldn’t go across the crack I actually drew a sharpie line from the bottom of my tape on my desk so that I still had a middle line and I thought I was pretty clever, you know, but it just kind of cracked me up thinking about it. So whatever works for you guys. My little tape could only go so far before the edge of my table. Alright so now I’ve got both of these sides on and our little house, how cute is that? So next I’m going to show you how to make the big house.

So now I’m going to show you how to make the big house. Now the big house is made identically to the little house but the pieces are obviously a little bit bigger. So the first thing we’re going to do is we again going to stack two ten inch squares together that have good contrast. And I’m going to start by cutting a 3 ½ inch strip right off the side. Now what that should give me, this is going to be my header board. And what that should give me is, it should give me a 6 ½ inch piece. And my side walls and my doors I should be able to get out of that. So I’ve got two 3 ½ so here’s one. 3 ½ by 6 ½, look at it and make sure it’s right. There’s one, there’s two, 3 ½ by 6 ½. And then you should be left with a piece that is three by 6 ½. That’s going to be your door. So now what we’re going to do is we are going to sew this together and we are going to swap out the doorway so that we have a different door just like this.

So now we have our two 3 ½ inch pieces for our walls and our three inch piece for the door and we’re going to sew the bottom of this together. We’re just going to sew a quarter of an inch right down the side. And because these pieces are so close in size make sure that you look to make sure that you have the right pieces because this block we want to end up nine inches. Alright so here is our top piece, I mean our other wall. Here is our wall piece. Now we’re going to press these. And I like to press the way they want to go. These want to go to the outside. So I’m going to press them out. They’re not going to line up with anything so it doesn’t really matter. Now this block should measure nine so our header piece has to measure nine which means we need to take an inch off of this. So we’re just going to cut an inch off the end right here. And then we’re going to take our same, the same header board as our walls and we’re going to sew it to these. So just like this. Alright so now we have our header board sewn on and we are going to press that. Now out of another layer cake you’re going to cut two roofs out of another layer cake. And the roofs are going to be five by nine. So you cut one layer cake in half and just cut that inch off. That’s what we have here, five by nine piece. This is going to be our roof. We’re going to put it on here, sew it on. And then just like the little house we are going to add our corners that give it that peaked roof look. And out of your background fabric you’re going to cut some squares that are five inches. And so this is what it looks like now. We’re going to grab our five inch squares over here and we are going to put them on here, and again sew diagonally just like they did. But this is so much to waste out here so I sewed it diagonally and then I came back and sewed it again. And with those very triangles I’m going to show you how to make the tree that appears in the houses. And that’s kind of fun I think. I love the no waste part. So I’m going to start right here and so line up my edge to edge on my red line of my diagonal seam tape. And then I am just going to kind of eyeball it, come around and sew about a ½ an inch out. Alright, then what we’re going to do is we’re going to trim this in between the two stitch lines right here, in between. And then we’re going to press this roof back and add the other side right here. Now I am pressing, I just let this go the way it wanted to go, you know, and so it is not to the dark side. So if you have a fabric that shows through you may want to alter the way you press that. I’m ok with mine going that way. I don’t worry about the pressing too much as long as I can’t see it through the front and it’s nice and flat. Alright so we’re going to sew straight across this block and then turn around and come back up about a half an inch just like that. And then we’re going to cut in between the two stitch lines again. And press this back. Alright, so this is our big house. How easy was that? Alright so now I’m going to show you how to use these leftover triangles to make the tree.

So now I’m going to show you how to make the tree. We’re making the tree with our leftover half square triangles that we cut off the roof. And when you cut two roofs from a square, you’re going to cut that in half five by nine, remember is the measurement. So you’re going to get actually two sets of these and it takes two sets to make the tree. So one set from each house, two houses makes one tree. And so what we’re going to do now is we’re going to press these open and I’m going to press to the dark side. And because there’s an overlap in the middle, one of our squares will have a little bit of the white on it like this. So what I did with that was I decided that I wanted to make sure that that was never caught in the seam. And so I squared them down to four. Now that gives us a little bit of waste but it makes a great little size tree and it eliminates this problem up here. So I’m laying my ruler on here at the four line. And I’m going to trim both sides, I’m using the bloc loc ruler for this. You can use any squaring tool that you’d like. And I’m going to trim off both sides so that it’s exactly square. So one here and one here. And then we’ll show you one more time. We’ll do it on this one too. This one, one of them will have that little piece of extra white in the corner and one of them doesn’t so you’re home free on one and the other one you just have to watch that edge so you make sure you don’t catch it in. Alright so now we’re at four. My four is lining up exactly on one side so I only need to trim off this side right here. And that is what we’re going to use for our tree.

So we’re going to sew two of these together like this. I have my other two already done and ready for you. Then the bottom of our tree, this trunk is 2 ½ by five. And so it’s going to go right here. And our side pieces from our background fabric are going to be three by five and we’re going to put those together just like that. So let’s start by sewing our half square triangles together. And I’m just going to lay them over like this. And we’re just going to sew. I’m, on a half square triangle when I have the choice I like to sew from the bottom to the top because there’s no seams there. And so I’m going to start these from the bottom to the top and just sew straight up a quarter of an inch. And the top is where all the seams come together and so that’s what I’m calling the top. So the bottom, it’s just nothing is there. And I’m going to make sure the top lines up with each other, sew a quarter of an inch up the side. Then what we’re going to do is we’re going to press these open. And I’m just pressing my seams to one side and this one too. And then we’re just going to stack them on top of each other like this to make our two tiered tree. So I’m going to put this up here and sew straight across. Now I want to make sure that these seams are nested. And so one seam is going this way, one seam is going that way. And they just nest right up next to each other. And that will help with the bulk in that seam right there. Alright so sew a few, open it up and make sure your seams are nice and nested. You can put a pin in there if you want. And then our top is ready. And I’m going to go ahead and press this seam back to this side so it lays down nice and flat. And then I’m going to open it up, press these two open. It gives you a nice tree top. And then we’re going to sew the trunk which is just two quarter inch seams with our trunk in the center like that. Open it up. I’ve actually made some of these test blocks in different fabrics and it looks cute in so many fabrics. You know, it can be a Halloween village or a Christmas village or you know, I mean just, I just think it’s so cute how you can customize it. Alright so I’ve pressed that open. Now we’re just going to sew this to the top and it should fit exactly and it does. And so we’re just going to sew this to the top, the trunk to the top of the tree right here. Make sure it’s all lined up. Your seam on your half square triangles just centers up in the middle of your trunk and so you can do that with a pin if you’d like. Because my block fits exactly, I know the tree is ending up in the center or at least I’m very hopeful. So here let’s look at it. Alright there it is and there’s your little tree from the little leftover half square triangles and it just is so cute.

So once you have all your pieces made you get to put them together. And how I did it was obviously these shorter guys have to have a piece of fabric above them to make this row all the same height all along the top. So the piece you’re going to add to your little four inch houses is going to be 4 ½. And for all these are 4 ½ by 8 ½ up here. Our big house is perfect. Our trees need a 2 ½ inch strip on the top of it. And again another big house. And then our two story house needs a four inch by 4 ½ again they’re 4 ½. So in laying this out that’s kind of the trick of this quilt. We had two big houses in each row and we just staggered them around. One tree in each row. And then these little houses, there was a combination because they’re all the same width, there’s a combination of eight in every row. So you can play with it. You can move them around. You can do whatever you want to do to make them work and to make them fit. And then basically once you get your top pieces sewn on and you sew all these little pieces together you’re just sewing together big rows. So we have one, two, three, four, five rows of houses in our Jenny Lane housing development. I hope this is fun for you. I hope you mix it up. I hope you try some new things, try some different fabrics. I can’t wait to see what you do. So we hope you enjoyed this tutorial on the Jenny Lane quilt from the MSQC.

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