Sew Inspired Quilt Tutorial

Jenny Doan

Sew Inspired Quilt Tutorial

Quilt Size: 86" x 94"
Jenny demonstrates how to make an adorable sewing machine quilt block using 2.5 inch strips of precut fabric (jelly roll). For this project, Jenny chose "Punch Batiks Strips" by Kathy Engle for Island Batik. She long arm machine quilted this project with an adorable sewing notion stitch motif. Watch all the way to the end to see 3 bonus sewing machine block projects: a decorative pillow, a custom sewing machine cover, AND a table runner or bench pillow!
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video transcript

Hi everybody, it’s Jenny from the Missouri Star Quilt Company. And it is our birthday. Today is our birthday; we are 12 years old. Look at this. Happy Birthday to Missouri Star. So you know I wanted to be like Oprah and I wanted to give everybody in the whole world a sewing machine but I couldn’t do that. So I decided to teach you how to make a cute little sewing machine. . So take a look at this quilt behind me. Isn’t this fun? I love these little sewing machines and this tiny little needle. And I’m going to show you how to do this. So to make this quilt you’re going to need one roll of 2 ½ inch strips. And we have used Punch Batiks by Kathy Engle for Island Batiks. You’re also going to need a roll of white 2 ½ inch background fabric or you know whatever you choose for background fabric. Plus of that same fabric you are going to need 1 ¼ yards extra. So the 2 ½ inch strips is for your convenience. There’s about three yards in that roll. If you want to buy all yardage you can. But I love when something is already cut for me. Our border is 1 ¾ yards and it’s a nice big six inch border. Our backing back here, look how pretty this back is. It’s 8 ½ yards because this is a giant quilt. Now I want you to notice this quilting on here. So this quilting on here is called Notion to Sew. And you can see there’s little rotary cutters. There’s scissors, little thimbles. There’s all kinds of fun sewing notions on here and I just thought it was perfect and went perfectly with the sewing machine block. So the only other thing you’re going to need is a little tiny bit of accent fabric, a quarter of a yard and it’s for these tiny needles. And I promise you, you will not use that quarter of a yard. So if you have some scraps it’s going to work perfect. Alright so let me show you how to make this.

So first we’re going to take our 2 ½ inch strip and we’re going to leave it folded together. And each strip is going to make two sewing machines. So the first thing I want to do, there’s not really a selvedge on a batik strip but I’m going to straighten up this edge right here, just straighten that up. And my first cut is 2 ½ by five. And so I’m going to come right here like this and cut 2 ½ by five. And set those aside. Remember we’re cutting two. So you probably should make two piles because it’s going to be two machines. Alright this next one here is 2 ½ by 5 ½ over here. And we’ll put those in two piles. And then our last cut is 2 ½ by nine. And so I’m going to count over one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine inches. And I’m going to cut this right here. And then I’m going to put these into two piles. And you’re just left with, you’re just left with this little piece right here. But don’t throw that away. Do not throw that away. Alright so from your background strips you’re going to cut a 2 ½ inch strip, you’re going to cut a 3 ½ inch strip and you’re going to cut a 1 ½ inch strip. And those are going to make all your blocks to make the sewing machine.

And so first we’re going to start with the needle. Now for the needle I’ve just used the scraps that I have. And so I have a little 2 ½ inch square and I have a little piece of a 2 ½ inch strip. And I’m going to cut those one inch wide, one inch. I know it feels a little scary. So out of a little 2 ½ inch block I’m actually going to get two needles like this. And so here’s our little tiny blocks. We have a black and a white. What we’re going to do now is we’re going to put our black one on the bottom and we’re going to put our white one across it like this and we are going to sew it exactly how we sew binding. So we’re going to sew from the right to the left straight down here like this. What that will do is it will open it up like this and it will make it look like our needle has a point. So I’m going to take this over to the sewing machine like this. And when I did these machines, you know, of course I did one to figure out if it would work. And then I went ahead and I actually sewed like a whole bunch of needles. And so that’s what you want to do. Now right here before I start, right here. Lay your ruler right across there. And then you can just draw a little line. I tend to just eyeball these because I do them all the time. But this will help you get it nice and straight. And so what I’m going to do now is I’m going to sew right on this line. And because it’s a tiny piece you probably want to shorten your stitch just a little bit because you don’t want this to come out. And so I’m just going to go across here.. And now I’m going to open this up and I’m going to make sure that it actually is straight. So now this looks like it is going to be a nice straight needle. And what I’m going to do is I’m just going to take my ruler and trim this edge off right here. And then I’m just going to finger press this so it’s nice and flat. Just like that. And this is going to be my needle. Now this piece needs to be one by 3 ½. And I always measure from the black. I want the needle part to be the long part. So 1 ½ by 3 ½. And I’m coming across here and laying this on here. And I’m just going to trim this little chunk right here. Now to the left side of our needle we need to put a 1 ½ by 3 ½ inch strip. And so I’m going to cut that. And I’m just going to trim off my little selvedge right here. And then I’m going to come over here and I’m going to cut 3 ½ right here. And then you also need a 3 ½ inch square. And so this strip is cut 3 ½ and so now I’m just going to trim my selvedge right here. And then I’m going to pull this over to the inch line and I’m going to count one, two, three and a half right here. And if you leave your strips folded in half you’ll get two cuts every time. Actually when I start cutting out my pieces I will stack them even four to six to get as many as I can.

Alright so now let’s sew this together. We’re sewing the 1 ½ inch strip on the side where the needle points down. And so I’m going to lay this on here and I’m going to stitch a quarter of an inch and we’re just going to stitch right down the side. It’s just like, you know, it’s not a scant quarter or anything like that. It’s just a straight little seam. It just feels very tiny. Alright and now what I’m going to do is I’m going to fold this back and finger press it and then I’m going to sew one of these three inch squares on the other side. So right here. And just by sewing straight seams, this is what’s amazing to me about these little things. Alright so you can see, just by taking those seams this needle gets tiny really fast. And all you had to do was sew a seam. So what I’m going to do is I’m actually, I know, don’t be shocked, I’m going to press away from the dark side. This fabric, because there’s more bulk on the sides, it naturally wants to lay out to the sides. And so we’re going to let it do that. Especially because it’s such a tiny area and we’re going to press this out.

So this block should measure 3 ½ by five. And ours does which means we can now add our five inch piece to it. So the five inch piece is going to go on the top just like this. 2 ½ by five right across the top. And then I’m going to stitch this a quarter inch seam right down the side. And then I’m just going to press this back right here. And we’re back to pressing to the dark side. Now this side should fit on the side and it does. And so I’m going to sew this down right here, line it up real nice. And press this one back. Now you can tell right away that this is not going to equal nine which means I’m going to put a 2 ½ inch strip right here on this side. So my 2 ½ inch strip is cut the same as the 2 ½ by the 5 ½. They’re the same measurement. It’s just you have a colored one on one side and the white one on the other. And so I’m going to trim this off. And probably when you make these you’ll want to do all this cutting ahead of time, you know, so that you are ready to go with your stacks of cuts. I just kind of do it as I go along. And mostly, especially on this because I want to show you exactly how to make them. So on this side right here we’re going to go ahead and sew the 2 ½ by 5 ½. Whew I remembered, 2 ½ by 5 ½. And we’re going to sew that down over here. And then we’re going to add our nine inch one to the bottom. And I’m going to finger press this back and then I can just fit this bottom piece on here just like that. And just like that we get the cutest little sewing machine you’ve ever seen. Alright so here we go. A quarter of an inch all the way down. And we’re going to press it back. And we’re still pressing to the dark side keeping those seams laying back. And look at this. If this isn’t the cutest thing you’ve ever seen.

Now I started, oh and made a little strip set for a wheel. And I made a little strip set for a spool. And I put a little dial on here. And it started getting really complicated. Now you are welcome to do that if you want. But for me when I started putting these together it just brought me pure joy. Now one of the things I have to tell you, you can see this quilt is kind of folded out on the sides right here. This is a big quilt, 86 by 94. And here’s the thing, look across the top here, we have one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, by one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine. Seven times nine is 63. Now this roll will make 80 sewing machine blocks. And I have only used 63 and you can see how enormous it is. Well of course I couldn’t stop making these sewing machines.

So I had a bunch more and I just kept making them so I came up with, because it’s our birthday after all and want to give you more presents. I came up with three other fun ideas that you could use for your sewing machine. Alright so the first one, look at this. So we just took our sewing machine, put a little border around the top and bottom. These are all free PDFs to you. You’ll be able to download them and do them. I took some of my little extra pieces, remember you have this little extra piece and I put them around the outside and just made this cute little pillow. Just sewed a little envelope pillow back to it. So quick and easy. Also I made this right here. I wasn’t sure if this was going to be a table runner or a bench pillow. How cute would this be as a bench pillow? And so I just actually finished it and bound it and I thought I’d leave that up to you. You guys can decide what it is you want to make. But if you want to make a bench pillow it’s made exactly the same as the little pillow, you know, with the envelope fold in the back. But it would be so cute to hang up in your sewing room too. A little wall hanging. Or you could just hang this up above a window or some place where you have a narrow space. I thought that was really cute. Of course I still have more sewing machines. And so I decided that I would make a sewing machine cover. Now there’s a lot of covers out there. There’s a lot of sewing machines out there so this has to be made to fit your machine. And so what I did was I took my two blocks, just my little sewing machine block like this. And I measured my machine up and over the top and around. And basically I made it like a table runner. You know, and so it’s the length of my machine with a sewing machine at either side. I cut this piece of fabric right here wide enough so that it would come over the edge and then I put a piece in the middle that was wide enough so that my machines would hang equally in the front and in the back. And then I just put some ties. You know, there’s no corners on this one, there’s no, you know, all that worry, you know, all that stuff we can do. But this actually, if you just want to keep some dust off, this is super cute. Oop let me fix this. We’ve got to keep the party going over here. And so it can just go like this. You can just tie these little ties on here, you know. And it’s just going to make a cute little dust cover. And so you’ll just want to make that to fit your thing. Also I thought what a cute bag. You know, it would be such a cute, like a sewing bag, you know, to go to a retreat. You could even put like four of them together and make a cute thing. So there’s loads of ideas with this. And I can’t wait to see what you do with your free little sewing machine.

But one more thing I want to touch on before we finish. Every sewing machine in here is sashed. So all the little extra pieces that we had leftover, all these little extra pieces, these are 2 ½ inch squares and this sashing is the size of your block. So we have a sewing machine and a sash, a sewing machine, and a sash. The sash is a 2 ½ inch strip by the length of your block which is 7 ½. And then we’re just going to sew a row together like that. Now this row right here, this little sashing row, it’s its own row. And so these are going to be nine inches, 2 ½ inch square, nine inches, 2 ½ inch square, nine inches and you’re going to do that. And I kept them going all the way out to the edge. And so it just makes a great quilt. It’s so fun. I love it. It just made me feel like, the colors made me feel like it was a party quilt, a sewing machine party quilt. We’re calling it Sew Inspired.And we hope that you are sew inspired to make some fun things with this sewing machine block. And we hope you enjoyed this tutorial from the Missouri Star Quilt Company.

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