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Chevron With a Twist Quilt

Chevron With a Twist Quilt

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Greetings Moda Bake Shop readers - it's Karen Miller from Redbird Quilt Co and Karen's Quilt's, Crows and Cardinals blog here to share  "Chevron with a Twist". This unique little quilt can be made from a single layer cake and a bit of yardage.  Keep it scrappy, skip the applique, and you can put it together in a weekend. Alternatively, add the applique accents (the Twist!) and you'll create a unique and decorative wall quilt for all to admire. We'll use half square triangles to make the chevrons and learn how to make the neatest faux ruched flowers!!  Once you see how simple, fun and beautiful they are, you'll want to include them in all of your applique!! A_MBS_A_FullCenter_WM_Warmer_IMG_5449 For the sample I used the beautiful Heart's Content fabric by Laundry Basket Quilts - but you can use any number of the latest Moda fabric layer cakes to prepare Chevron with a Twist. Let's get started. 8cb62-title_ingredients A_MBS_Ingredients_IMG_4855 Quilt as Shown: (single background fabric)

  • 1 Layer Cake Heart's Content (42181LC)
  • 2-1/8 yards Heart's Content Tan Dot (42185-11)  (Half Square Triangles (HST) and applique background)
  • 1/2 yard Heart's Content Heart Warm Red Wheat  (42182-14)  (binding)
  • 4 yards Heart's Content First Kiss Wheat (42182-12)  (backing)
  • 1/3 yard Heart's Content Heart Warm Red Paisley (Optional -- extra HST fabric)
  • 65" square piece of batting (I used 100% wool)

With a Twist (Applique):

  • (14) 5" - 10" Scraps of Hearts Content Fabrics in Red/Blue (faux ruched flowers and applique bird/wing)
  • 1/4 yard of Hearts Content Candlelight or Chocolate (bias stems)
  • Clover #6 Bias Tape Maker (1/4" bias stems)
  • Size 11 Straw Needle
  • Marking tool(s)  (Sewline lead pencil, soapstone, colored pencils)

A_MBS_Optional_IMG_144 Other:

  • Aurifil 50 Wt Mako Cotton Color #2314  (quilting the background)
  • Aurifil 50Wt Mako Cotton Color # 2370 (piecing and quilting the chevrons)
  • 6.5" square ruler (makes trimming easy - completely optional)
  • Rotating rotary cutting mat (completely optional but an awesome tool)
  • Sandpaper board (comes in handy when marking applique pieces)

96b91-title_instructions Unless otherwise noted,  use a scant 1/4" seam allowance

First up: Half Square Triangles (HST)

With A Twist (Applique) :  If you're making the quilt as shown, prepare 84 HST from 21 layer cake "slices" and (21) 10" background squares (layer cake or yardage). Without A Twist (No Applique) :  Skipping the applique?  Prepare 96 HST using  (24) 10" layer cake "slices" and background fabric.  Note:  there are a total of (42) slices in a layer cake - keep this in mind if you're skipping the Twist. The following recipe details how to make Chevron with a Twist (as shown above). **** Of the 42 layer cake slices, choose 21 dark slices to make your HST's. For a scrappy look you can use the light colored slices for the HST backgrounds.  I chose to use the Heart's Content Tan Dot yardage for the sample background. To use yardage for your background, cut (21) 10" squares from the yardage (24 if you are making Chevron without a Twist). Additionally & Optionally:   I purchased a little "extra" yardage of Heart's Content Warm Red Paisley so I could fold a little more red into the quilt.  I replaced 4 layer cake slices with (4) 10" squares of Warm Red Paisley.  So pretty. A_MBS_ChooseDark_IMG_4858

The Half Square Triangle Perimeter Method:

Prepare 84 Half Square Triangles using the "perimeter" method described below: Layer a dark colored layer cake slice with a tan dot background slice (or light-colored layer cake slice). A_MBS_LayerLightDarkClose_IMG_4860 Don't worry if they don't align exactly - I cut my 10" dot backgrounds by hand, so they were slightly smaller than the layer cake slices.  Just center the smaller piece on the larger piece. A_MBS_LayerLightDark_IMG_4861 Sew a 1/4" seam around the entire layered square (around the perimeter). A_MBS_StitchPerim_IMG_4863 Pivot in the corners and continue to stitch the entire perimeter of the fabric layers. When you return to where you started stitching, take a couple of extra (overlap) stitches and trim threads. A_MBS_StitchPerim3_IMG_4867 It's not necessary to leave an opening while stitching the perimeter of the fabric. A_MBS_StitchPerim2_IMG_4866 Prepare to make two diagonal cuts through the sewn square (resulting in 4 pieces) If you have one of those nifty rotating rotary cutting mats,  NOW is the time to dig it out and use it!! Place the sewn block on a rotary mat and align a ruler on point from sewn corner to sewn corner A_MBS_DiagAlign_IMG_4868 With a rotary cutter, make a straight-line cut from point to point. Without moving the fabric, align the ruler on the other points and make a second rotary cut from point to point. A_MBS_DiagCut2_IMG_4870 Woohoo!  You now have 4 Half Square Triangles Note: when working with the HST's be aware that they are cut on the bias -- so handle them with care to avoid distorting the shape of the fabric. A_MBS_DiagCut2Finish_IMG_4871 Press each HST to the dark-side. Begin by positioning the HST dark-side fabric up on an ironing surface. Before opening,  press to set the seam. A_MBS_HSTPress_IMG_4872 Open the seam by flipping the dark colored fabric open - finger press and then press open with an iron. A_MBS_HSTPress1_IMG_4873 Repeat those steps for the other 3 HST's from this layer cake slice - press all seams toward the dark fabric. A_MBS_HSTPress2_IMG_4878 From each layer cake pair you will yield (4) 6.75" Half Square Triangles (HST) Next - use a 6.5" square ruler and "square-up" each HST to 6.5".   If you don't have a 6.5" square ruler, use any rotary cutting ruler that is at least 6.5" wide. Remember that rotating cutting mat that I mentioned in the step above?  It works great for this step too! A_MBS_HSTTrim_IMG_4874 Be sure to align the 45 degree mark of the ruler on the HST diagonal seam before trimming. A_MBS_HSTTrim1_IMG_4875 Once the 6.5" ruler is aligned properly, trim as needed to achieve 6.5" square. A_MBS_HSTTrim2_IMG_4877 Repeat the trimming step for the other 3 HST's. A_MBS_HSTTrim3_IMG_4880 Repeat the sewing, pressing and trimming process for the remaining 20 layer cake pairs. No Twist? If you're skipping the applique use a total of 24 layer cake pairs and prepare 96 HST's. A_MBS_RepeatHST_IMG_4882 I grouped each activity to "get in the groove" with each of the steps above.  First sewing the perimeter of the layer cake pairs, then cutting all of them twice on the diagonal, then pressing each HST open.  The steps move along pretty quickly. A_MBS_Quilting_IMG_4900 Now comes the fun part !! Once all the HST's are prepared, position them in your favorite layout.  After you've fussed and found a final design you like,  take a picture of it before you collect-up HST's to be sewn. A_MBS_LayoutRough_IMG_4907 When preparing the sample, I stitched the HST's into rows, and then sewed the rows together. Sewing rows allows you to chain stitch AND press directionally so your seams row-to-row will nest. In this quilt design you will have a total of 10 rows of 10 Half Square Triangles (except where the applique block interferes).

From floor to sewing machine (my approach)...

My approach for collecting blocks to sew begins with the top row where I take the 2nd HST from the left and flip it to its left, right-sides together, on top of the left-most HST. Put a pin in the stitching edge of the pair  (to avoid confusion about which edge to stitch). Repeat for HST 4, flipping it to the left onto HST 3, and 6 onto 5, etc. working across the top of the quilt so you end up with 5 pair of HST's with a pin in the stitching edge. Make a stack of the 5 pair of HST's with the top pair in the stack being the top left corner of the quilt. A_MBS_Row_IMG_4910 Take this stack of 5 pair to your machine and stitch each pair, chain feeding the next pair without cutting the thread. A_MBS_ChainStitch_IMG_4911 Once you have these 5 pair sewn, cut the threads and sew the first pair to the 2nd pair (check your picture to make sure you're sewing the correct edges together). The seams won't always nest.  Take a minute to pin so your points align once sewn. A_MBS_ChevronSeam_IMG_4913 Not all of my points come out this nice - I thought I'd show you a good one ;)  (After pressing) A_MBS_Points_IMG_4921 No need to press seams while you are sewing a row - save some time and get the row sewn first... then move it to the ironing area. A_MBS_ChevronRow_IMG_4914 Once you have a row sewn together, move to pressing area, set each seam and then press all seams of the same row in one direction (alternate the direction of the seams for each row -- so when you sew your rows together the seams will nest). A_MBS_ChevronRowPress_IMG_4917   A_MBS_ChevronRowPress1_IMG_4918   A_MBS_ChevronRowPress2_IMG_4920 When you're ready to sew rows together, most of the seams will nest, making life a bit easier. It's very important to sew with a scant 1/4 seam allowance to preserve your chevron points.  If your seam allowance is too large the points of the blocks will get sewn off.

With a Twist Sewing Order:

Piece 4 individual Sections of Half Square Triangles and set aside while you prepare the applique block (the applique block is easier to handle before it's sewn to the surrounding sections). We'll be attaching the applique block to the Sections later in the recipe. Sections to Sew and Set Aside:

Section 1:  The top 4 rows of 10 HST's

Section 2: The middle left 4 rows of 2 HST's

Section 3: The middle right 4 rows by 4 HST's

Section 4: The bottom 2 rows of 10 HST's

This diagram gives you a visual of the sections to be prepared and the pressing direction for each row. A_MBS_Sections_IMG_4942

Moving on to the Twist!!

Prepare Applique Background:

Cut a piece of background fabric 25.5" square (we'll square it to 24.5" once the applique is complete)

Prepare Applique Vase and Bird:

Use the applique template in the printer friendly PDF (at end of recipe) or by downloading from here ==> Chevron with A Twist Applique Template Cut out and stage the vase, bird body, and bird wing using your favorite fabrics and applique method (bird and wing are not reversed - if you're using fusible you'll need to reverse them). ChevronWTwistAppliqueShapes Note:  The sample was completed using Needle Turn applique.  For an in-depth needle turn applique tutorial, visit my blog by here ==> Needle Turn Applique Tutorial.

Prepare Bias Stems:

Use a Clover #6 Bias Tape Maker to prepare and stage (11) 1/4" bias stems ranging from 5" to 12" in length. A_MBS_Stems_IMG_5710 Note:  For a refresher on how to prepare bias stems, refer to the Moda Bake Shop Redbird and Berries Recipe or review the Bias Stem tutorial on my blog here ==>  Preparing Bias Stem Tutorial.

Prepare Faux Ruched Flowers:

The faux ruched flowers shown in the sample are not difficult to create, but they do require a few important steps.  I've outlined the steps below: Start with a square of fabric between 5" and 6" square. A_MBS_FRF1_IMG_4961 Find something round to use as a guide to mark a circle 1" smaller than the fabric square.  I used a small kitchen bowl. A_MBS_FRF2_IMG_4963 Using a marking tool (I used a Sewline Pencil Lead in PINK) - trace the circle on the fabric square.  (If your fabric is 6" square, use a 5" circle... trace a 4" circle if you're starting with a 5" square.) A_MBS_FRF3_IMG_4965 Next you'll mark two concentric circles of dots on the fabric.  The first set of dots will be made on the marked line.  A 2nd set of dots will be made appx 1/2" inside of the marked line. The circles in neon green below highlight the first set of evenly spaced dots on the marked line.   Don't fuss too much about how far apart they are or that there is the same number left and right, just rough them in.  The camera didn't pickup the pink marks very well -- so use the neon green color to follow the marks. A_MBS_FRF4New_IMG_4967 Next, mark the 2nd set of dots appx 1/2" inside the marked line and first set of dots.  Center each of the 2nd set of dots between the 1st set (see below). A_MBS_FRF5_IMG_4967 Next step - Cut the square piece of fabric into a circle leaving appx 1/2" of excess fabric outside of the line you marked in Step 3. A_MBS_FRF6_IMG_4968 Thread and knot a needle with a generous length (12-18") of strong thread - use a complimentary color as some of the threads will show.   I used Aurifil 50Wt Mako Cotton Color #2370 and a #11 Straw Needle. A_MBS_FRF7_IMG_4970 Bring the needle and thread up from the wrong side of the fabric on one of the 1st set of dots (on the marked line). A_MBS_FRF8_IMG_4971 Fold under the excess 1/2" of fabric on the marked line (wrong sides together) - you'll fold as you go, just take one fold to start.  Your starter knot will be buried in the fold. Now sew a running stitch from an outside dot to an inside dot (1/2 of a "V" shape).   You'll take about 2 stitches between the two dots -- don't stitch too small, you'll need to gather this running stitch to make the outside of the flower (the faux ruched edge). A_MBS_FRF9_IMG_4973 Follow the "V" pattern in your dots with a running stitch, folding the excess 1/2" under as you go and catching it with the running stitch. A_MBS_FRF10_IMG_4974 Continue to sew a running stitch, connecting the dots in a "V" shaped pattern. A_MBS_FRF11_IMG_4975 Now and then, gather the fabric within the running stitch.  You'll see the ruched (scalloped) edge take shape as you go. Don't pull too tight, you don't want to break the thread else you'll need to start over. A_MBS_FRF12_IMG_4976 This is what it looks like from the back -- be sure to "catch" the excess fabric with the running stitch as you go. A_MBS_FRFBack_IMG_4977 Continue to stitch and draw the thread taut to form the ruched edge (or scallop). A_MBS_FRF13_IMG_4979 After you've stitched the "V" pattern around the perimeter, drawn the threads taut,  AND you're happy with the size and shape of the perimeter of the flower, put a knot in the area of the last stitch - this will secure your scalloped (ruched) edge so it won't come loose. Note: You can vary the size of your flower considerably by how tight you draw the thread before you knot it. Note: Don't worry that the center of your flower is "puffy" - we'll tack that down later. A_MBS_FRFFrontDone_IMG_4982 If you have thread remaining after knotting, leave it attached, you can use it when you attach the flower to the background fabric. Image of the back of the ruched flower: A_MBS_FRFBackDone_IMG_4980 Once you're happy with the size.... Prepare a total of 13 ruched flowers in varying colors and sizes.   The faux ruched flowers on the sample quilt ranged from 2" to 2-3/4" in diameter.  They don't need to be exact ;) A_MBS_FRFGroup_IMG_4946 OK - we've prepared the vase, the bird and the flowers...

Now - lets get to the applique!!

You begin the applique by attaching the vase to the background fabric appx 3" from the bottom edge of the background fabric and centered left to right.  Leave the top edge of the vase open to tuck the stems under it as you go. Stitch it closed later. A_MBS_Vase_IMG_4951 I used needle turn applique to attach the vase using Aurifil 50wt Mako Cotton thread.  I love doing hand work with this fine, yet strong thread. A_MBS_VaseBaste_IMG_4944 Once the vase is attached, use the diagram below to position and mark where the stems and flowers will be sewn. I don't recommend pinning or basting all of the stems and flowers at this point, just position them in a manner that is pleasing to your eye and use a marking tool to mark their positions for future placement.   I used a water soluble blue pen to mark - it worked perfectly. Leave roughly 2" to 3" of blank space around the outside edges of the applique block. A_MBS_Placement_IMG_4986 Now lets get some of these things appliqued.  I started with the stem and flower nearest the vase.  Use pins to secure the applique stem to the background prior to stitching.  This method (pinning across the stem but not through it (below)) allows the stem to float as necessary while you stitch.  You may also choose to thread baste or glue baste the stems in place for stitching. A_MBS_Stem_IMG_5008 Once arranged, use an invisible stitch (similar to the stitch used for needle turn applique) to attach the stem to the background.   You can see more about applique invisible stitch here.

Stitching the flower:

Appliqueing the faux ruched flowers require two steps:

  1. Securing the flower edges (scallops) to the background
  2. Tacking the center fabric to the background

Step 1: If you have the running stitch thread still attached to the flower, you can use it for this step.  Else, prepare a new length of thread with a knotted end.  You're going to take small tack stitches through the folds and divots of the scallops to secure the outer edge of the flower to the background fabric (take care to NOT pucker, gather or wrinkle the background fabric). Start with your needle and thread on the wrong side of the background fabric, come up in a scallop fold/divot, travel less than 1/8" and go back down.  On the back side, travel to the next scallop (or next stitch same scallop) and repeat the tack stitch process. Work your way around the flower scallops taking one or two stitches per scallop.  It takes a little time - but it's important to secure the outside edge of the flower to the background. A_MBS_Flower_IMG_5023 Showing the wrong side of the background fabric after the flower scallops are secured (a stem is shown too) A_MBS_FlowerBack_IMG_5027 Step 2. Once the scallops are secure you'll again use tack stitches to knock down the center section of fabric and complete your faux ruched flower.  You'll take anywhere from 15-30 tack stitches inside the flower center for this step. Start with a new length of thread (knotted).  Pull the center fabric up/away from the background fabric (so you can find the middle). With your needle, come up through the background fabric and directly through the middle of the flower.   Take a small stitch and go back down through the middle and all the way through the background (drawing the center fabric down to the background). A_MBS_FlowerCenter_IMG_5034 Showing after the 1st tack stitch is taken: A_MBS_FlowerCenter2_IMG_5037 Now pull another section of the fabric away from the background, travel and repeat this step, taking tack stitches here and there in the center fabric. A_MBS_FlowerCenter3_IMG_5039 Each time you go through the background, fluff up the flower center and take another tack stitch to draw that area down. A_MBS_FlowerCenter4_IMG_5041 Doing this tacking repeatedly will shape the center of the flower. A_MBS_FlowerCenter5_IMG_5045 Here's a look at the back at this stage: A_MBS_FlowerCenter6_IMG_5046 The more tacking you do, the more folds or dimension will be created.  It's quite a fun process but requires patience #slowstitching. A_MBS_FlowerCenter7_IMG_5047 The back of the completed flower: A_MBS_FlowerCenter8_IMG_5048 So now you know how to get through a faux ruched flower!!   WOW -- that was a big step but the payoff is great! Now cycle through the remaining stems and flowers.  Use the placement diagram above and attach one or two stems and flowers at a time -- until you've completed all 13! A_MBS_FlowerCenter9_IMG_4997 Take your time and enjoy the process -- it's got to be something you find relaxing, else it's no fun!! A_MBS_FlowerCenter10_IMG_5021 Once all your stems are placed, be sure and stitch the top of the vase closed. Next up - use the placement diagram (above) to position and applique the bird body and wing (using the applique method of your choice).  The image below shows the pieces prepared for Needle Turn Applique. A_MBS_Bird_IMG_5010 Applique the bird body first, then layer and applique the bird wing. A_MBS_Bird1_IMG_5065 Woohoo! Now lets square-up the applique background to 24.5" square.  This may be a little tricky because the applique stitching tends to gather the fabric.  First, press the block from the backside while it is resting on a fluffy bath towel.  The towel will keep the applique from being pressed flat while allowing you to get the background fabric prepared to be squared.  Do the best you can. Now you're ready to sew your sections together.  First sew the A seam (Section 2 to the Applique Block), then the B seam (Section 3 to the Applique Block).  Seam C is next, attaching the bottom rows to the piece you just created.  Lastly, attach the top (Section 1) to the rest of the quilt (Seam D). This diagram shows the sewing order next to the seams to be sewn: A_MBS_SectionsFinal_IMG_5054 Yippee -- the quilt top is prepared!!  This calls for a happy dance!!

Prepare for Quilting:

You'll need to piece a 65" square backing and gather your batting to prepare for quilting.  The sample was layered with 100% Wool batting and pin-basted. A_MBS_Basted_IMG_5076_WM The quilting was done free motion on my home sewing machine using Aurifil 50Wt Mako Cotton (my favorite thread for machine quilting) and experimenting with some awesome new curved acrylic rulers. A_MBS_A_FullBatting_WM_IMG_5429 If you're interested in learning more about the quilting process or design, be sure to hop over to my blog and follow along.  I plan to share more images and a few insights into the quilting details over the next few weeks. A_MBS_A_QuiltingCenter_IMG_5502_WM


After the quilting is completed you'll need to square-up the quilt.  The quilting shrunk the quilt a little - -it squared up at 58-1/2" wide and tall.  When you are squaring up - take into consideration your points, and be sure to leave at least a 1/4" of fabric outside of the points - it will be covered with the binding. A_MBS_ASquareUp_IMG_5440 Once you've finished squaring up, prepare 6 width of fabric lengths of 2-1/4" wide binding strips.   If you need a binding refresher, refer to this Moda Bake Shop Basics Binding tutorial ==> MBS Binding Basics  (however, don't use a 3/8" seam as the Binding Basics tutorial suggests, it will be too wide for this quilt). When attaching the binding, use a 1/4 seam allowance so your points are not cut off. A_MBS_ABinding_IMG_5455 Once the binding is attached, sit back and admire your new quilt. A_MBS_Feature_IMG_5499_WWM Congratulations!    It was fun creating and sharing this recipe with you. 4b2da-title_yield One 60" x 60" decorative quilt A_MBS_Header_Barn_Cropped_149 Thank you so much for joining in the fun.    I'd love to know if YOU plan to Twist or if you have other ideas for the techniques shared in this recipe.  Any questions?   Please leave a comment - I'd be happy to try to answer them. Be sure to hop over to my blog, say hello, and stay tuned for upcoming details about free motion quilting Chevron with a Twist.  See links below to follow me on Instagram and Facebook too!! As always, thanks for your support! Karen Miller {}