Man Sewing: Krystal Mandala Quilt Tutorial

with
Rob Appell

Man Sewing: Krystal Mandala Quilt Tutorial

Rob demonstrates how to make a Krystal Mandala Quilt using the wedge-shaped Man Sewing Burst Block Template for 10" Squares, Ombre - Teal Yardage by V & Co. for Moda Fabrics, and Heat N Bond Feather Lite Fusible Web. Learn how to finish the project with straight-line quilting.
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video transcript

Hey the votes are in everybody and you wanted to see my second version of a mandala. This one we’re calling Kryptonite and I cannot wait to show you how it’s all done. Let’s get started.

So today’s project, I’m going to build us another mandala quilt using fusible applique and this awesome template I’ve created for a patchwork quilt called the Burst Block. But check this out, look, these wedge shapes are the exact wedge shapes here and again right here just flipped upside down. So we’re going to be able to have a lot of fun using this burst block. We’re going to need 16 of these wedges. And I’m cutting them out of Moda’s Ombre fabric, right? In this beautiful with the green. That’s where the quilt gets its name, Kryptonite. And you’re going to need a yard and a half of that. And then I’m also using some fun wide backing, I’ve been playing a lot with the wide backing fabrics because I like so much the way they feel. And I like what I can get done. So this was a yard and a quarter but it was 108 wide so my yard and a quarter was enough for the front and the back of the quilt.

So what we’re going to do before we even start talking about the background and the cutting is we need to make sure that we’ve removed five strips, 2 ½ inches wide of the ombre so that we have enough left over for the binding. You might get carried away making applique shapes. So pre cut your binding now so you don’t end up in trouble looking for that later, right? Ok now we need to clear off our design table. And while I’m doing that I want you to bounce down into the description below. We’ve got a free printable PDF for you that’s going to show you how I laid out my mandala or my Kryptonite quilt. But I want you to remember you can do this any way you want as well. So we’ve got an easy template to show you how to do that today, ok? And as you can see I’ve got my prep work or my chores done almost.

But I want to talk about cutting with that template a little bit more. So my ombre fabric, I took that entire piece that was leftover after I cut my binding off. I put my Heat N Bond featherlight which is a fusible web. It’s paper backed. And if you look really carefully I knew I was only going to be using the selvedge up so I didn’t put it down the middle here so I just have 18 inch wide and 18 inch wide, that’s how it comes on the roll. So I have those on both selvedge sides because I want that dark green. Somewhere in here is my rotary cutter and my template I’ve already buried. And you can see I’ve been cutting, cutting, cutting. And we, like I said, need 16 of these shapes. And from here what I want to do is I want to make sure that when I’m cutting these that my template is laying straight up and down, kind of perpendicular to my selvedge down there. And then I’m just going to real carefully cut. And I’ve been learning when cutting with these templates like this that if I kind of lean my rotary cutter away from the template I’m not as tempted to shift it, ok? And then I can trim this away here like this. I am definitely trying to protect my hands. And you’ll notice I’m at the end of my cut so I can start to whittle away the bottom. I just kept it all in one piece so I could show you that I had literally cut all of those from one piece of fabric here. And it looks like I am done. So I”m going to have two. That’s why we double folded it. So you’ll have eight cuts for 16 wedges to create my design back there. And now as I’m tidying this up I’m getting us ready with a flat design surface. I’ll be right back.

Many of you know I enjoy designing flat. That way I can make all my adjustments as I need. Sometimes you’ve got to make sure you can look at it from a distance to get everything proportional the way you want. So I use a camera at the end. But right now we’re working flat. And I’ve got a nice piece of board down, some batting on it so I”m going to be able to iron right in place. Because we are using fusible applique. My background is roughly 45 inches square. There was one other trick and I’m not even sure if you can see it in the camera or not. But then I folded it in quarters and I ironed a crease through here this way and a crease through here this way. And the reason I did that is the first four pieces that go in are going to be perfectly squared out on those lines. And it’s going to make all the manipulation that much easier, ok? Before we start going through the layout let’s talk about our fusible web a little bit.

So on the back of each wedge you should still have your paper. But I like to do is take all the paper off at once so I can really play and design in this kind of work because I’m not going to cut these at all anymore. Leaving the paper on helps you cut more later if you need. Then I like to go to my big corner. And this one is going to come off nice like so I’m just going to grab it and peel like that. I’m going to try to make it so you can see the sheen is the glue on the back of the fabric itself. If the sheen wasn’t there then what I would do is either hit it with the iron, try from another spot. Sometimes we’ll score it with a straight pin to help us remove it. But this is coming off very nicely like that. And you can see that I now have the glue on the back of all my wedges, right? I’ve got my whole stack of wedges over here already prepped out to go.

Now let’s come to the back wall, look at the quilt real carefully. I want to talk about the layout as we go through. So as I was saying originally we have our first four that actually are what I”m considering upside down. And there going to layout with about a 2 ½ inch distance between those points. And then the rest of them are going to go the opposite direction. And that gives us this wonderful secondary element of design as they go in there. So on top of every one major upside down wedge we’re going to have two laying on top and two laying on the side, ok? So now back at our design where here we have it. I’ve put in my first one. And if you can see the creases, this tip and this tip is right on that crease that I pressed into my background fabric. So remember the first four go in what I’m calling upside down.

And for now I’m just going to eyeball this. Let’s pretend like that distance is 2 ½ inches. It might be. Take my next two. And I’m going to lay those in at about a 2 ½ inch distance. And I’m also looking at that distance right there. For my eyeball. Sometimes in the construction world we refer to that as the reveal or the distance between the two of them. It looks about equal to me, right? And that could also just be a radical quilt. You’re done, ok we’ll see you next time. No, just kidding we’ll finish this out for you, ok?

So now let’s focus on these wedges here. These wedges that are going to fall in between. And you’ll notice that they lay right almost on top of the other wedge, ok? Now that one is going to be heading the opposite direction. So that’s going to come in here like this. Oop, this is a great point. Come in real close. Check this out. Did you see that? That’s a little bit of the glue that just came out from underneath the piece, ok? Now I’m not going to stress over it but I’m certainly not going to let my iron touch that because that would soil my fabric. So that we’re just going to slide right out of the way. And it was at this point, see my little overlap, ok? I started to notice that I could do some neat things with a star shape starting to form in there. So we are going to pay attention to that. So here’s another one. And I’m trying to make the legs of those stars equal. And the third and the fourth. Ok, now I’m going pretty fast, I know. Before we iron any of this we’ll readjust it all and make sure it’s perfect. But see there’s that star that started to form. And as I pull this one out that probably looks about perfect at home for you. At least it does to my eye from this angle, ok? Now the next two wedges are going to fit right into this area same orientation. So we’re just going to play this one down here and here. And oh look, I’ve kind of run out of space. So what am I going to do? How am I going to work this in? So on the quilt on the back I believe I had these touch like this and like this because that forms that new like six-pointed triangle? What is that? I don’t even know the name of that shape. Half a star maybe. Ok, so that’s how that part comes together. We’re just going to do this one here. And this one here. Need to back that up a little, don’t I? There we go. One of the last steps we’ll do in eyeballing it before we press anything down, will be to make sure that all of the wedges are appropriately spaced on the outer edges. I’m going to show you that here in just a second. But that should start to look like that fantastic green crystal that we all know as Kryptonite.

Ok, now let’s see. I’m not sure the easiest place to see this but I see one already. Look at the distance here. This is narrow and this is wide right here, ok? This is also wide over here so what I probably need to do is start looking at those adjustments. Ok it doesn’t affect my half stars but it does affect the, what we’ll call the negative space out here. You could take a ruler and go through and measure if you really wanted to. I don’t think I”m going to worry that much about it. And I’m just going to take a moment and I’m going to step back and I’m looking at it. A couple of last checks. I want to make sure none of these tips are too close to the edge, right? We are right in the middle of our project. I’m loving the way it looks. At this point, I’m doing this live I’m going to really going to iron it down right now. Do you see anything wrong at home? Let me know. Nope, ok. Here we go. We’re ready to go.

So what I’m going to do. I have a dry iron. I’m going to start in the middle because I have some batting underneath me so I can press down. Heat N Bond featherlite about three seconds. I’m going to move the iron. I’m not going to slide the iron. I do not want to shift any of my shapes. And now what I’m going to do is I’m going to go through and heat all of this to bond all of this. And once it’s all bonded we’re going to go ahead and talk about how the machine quilted this. I did another video on a mandala where I used an orange peel template and it was round and soft and smooth. And I did satin stitching on the edge of my applique pieces. And then I quilted in the background what looked to be like those same orange peel shapes. If you’re looking at the quilt behind me you’ll see that I’ve done straight line quilting. That was one of the challenges I wanted to do for this workshop or this tutorial. Is I wanted to come up with another way to quilt the same style quilt. So for today’s quilting we’re actually not doing free motion. I know, I know. I hope you didn’t pass out when I said that. I love my free motion. But we’re going to leave our feed dogs up. We’re going to leave our standard presser foot on and we’re going to straight line quilt this but I’m going to do it through all of my layers. So after this ironing process I’m going to baste the quilt onto its batting and its backing with some safety pins. And then once all that’s done I’m going to mark it all out like I’m going to show you here in just a second. But I just want to get these edges ironed down good because I’m going to machine quilt this thing on my lunch break today I think. I’m so excited about this project. Ok so this will just take me a moment. I tell you what, why don’t you all run, grab yourself a fresh cup of coffee and I’ll be back in just a second.

The Heat N Bond Featherlite is such a lightweight fusible web that you want to make sure you get it to bond perfectly the first time because I don’t really want you to try to bond it a second time. So I spent a while. I got everything cooked down nice and tight here with that iron. And now let’s start talking about what we’re going to do for our free motion work, right? Well excuse me, I should call it quilting work because it’s not free motion at all. I’m using my standard presser foot and the standard presser foot is literally going to be running right along the edge of all of my wedges. That’s right. We need to stitch around all the edges of the wedges first so nothing moves around. But I was thinking to myself how am I going to do that. How am I going to see that. So the presser foot is in about a thickness of two needles, maybe I’m going to say 1/16 to ⅛ of an inch. And so first of all what I did is I looked at the way that I wanted to chalk all of these out and so I just knew that I would be sewing along that edge. And so then I just took and I extended my line from my template all the way out.

So I just came in here and I just knew that I would sew that whole line out that way. And I would sew this whole line out this way. But what’s fun is I’m actually accounting for where my needle is going to be landing. So that when I come right off of that block it just extends right through basically. Ok, so I just drew myself lines across the entire project first so I knew, just with my little chalk pencil, I knew exactly where to go with my stitching. Then after all those major lines were done then I began to start to create the other lines. And those come off of my wedges themselves, right? And so these would come this way. These would come this way. But follow me to the quilt. I want you to see how it really comes together here. So if you can see the stitching, it is basically just around the perimeter of the wedges themselves but the line also does continue out to the edge or the border of the quilt. And that makes for really fun secondary element of design. The one thing I want to point out is you’re only stitching around the perimeter of the wedges. You’re not sewing any lines through the wedges. And I think that gives it some cool character. And then at the center I came in and added that fun little plus because I love the way the arrows and the blue and the green and the ombre fabric all come together to make this an exciting, exciting project. And I’ve got to tell you with that straight line sewing it was incredibly fast and very accurate and looks terrific when it’s finished because I did use my feed dogs.

So I’m feeling super excited about my Kryptonite quilt, right? This stuff can’t get me down. I’m feeling heroic about it. But I’ve got to know now, we’ve got two mandala projects. Should we come up with a third? I don’t think so but you could probably talk me into it. So why don’t you drop your feedback in the comments below. I love my fans. I love the fact that you’re all following along. Thanks for encouraging me to do this second mandala project. We’ll catch you all next time right here at Man Sewing.

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