Saturday, August 29, 2015

Ribbons of Love - Clue 1


Oh my gosh -- the day is finally here!  Can you believe it?  Me either?  Part of me thinks it took forever and the other part wants to know where the summer went.  Either way -- today is the day and I could not be more excited.

I am THRILLED with the way my quilt top turned out!!!  I AM doing a second one with all of you and doing it in constants to see the difference).  The only thing I might change on mine is to STAY with tone on tones for the neutral and/or and use a constant here.  You are absolutely free to join my scrappy madness, but if you want a place for your eye to rest -- tone it down a bit in this one area.  This quilt also lends itself beautifully to using 4 constant fabrics which is what I am going to do with the second one.  After seeing the finished product, this second time I will be using the darkest purple, the palest blue and one of the middle greens along with my constant tone on tone neutral.  If you are using all the colors on the cards, as we are sewing try and keep two really darks from being together and two really lights --- we don't want the darks to cancel each other out and the lights would blend with the neutral too much.

This is being posted in both Our Quilt World and From the Studio Facebook groups.  If you are a member of another SMALL group, please feel free to post the link there.  The more, the merrier but 40k is just too dang many.

First though -- I have to  set a few ground rules.  I know -- everyone hates rules -- but it will make it oh so much more fun for everyone involved, including me.

Rule Number 1:  Please DO post your steps.  I dearly want to see how you are doing and so does everyone else.   

Rule Number 2:  This is probably the MOST IMPORTANT rule.  HAVE FUN!  Take it slow or fast but no worries.  Enjoy the process and breathe.  This is easy peasy.  I promise.  Please remember that this is my first foray into this arena.  There are bound to be questions.  My email is and I would love to hear a bit of good too.  I NEED your input.  It is the only way I can learn to do this better.  You are a test group. And I thank you from the bottom of my heart for being willing to do this.

Okay -------- Get those rotary or Accuquilt cutters out.  It's time to cut.  Yes, this clue involves cutting strips, strips, and more strips.  Remember, I said easy peasy.

I am giving the number of strips to cut in FQ counts.  If you are using yardage, I have simply divided the number of strips in half and will place those amounts in parenthesis () on each clue.  For those cutting from strictly scraps --- I used the 22" side of the FQ to cut on.  Kind of estimate your scraps to that length.

Now here is a hint that works for me to get wonderfully scrappy quilts if you are following that method.  I count the number of fabrics that I have pulled and divide my total strips by that to determine how many to cut of each color.  For example:  IF the number of neutral strips was 100 and I had pulled 20 fabrics, I would cut 5 strips of each neutral.  Got it?  Accordingly, if you have a mix of FQ and yardage, just do the math - one yardage strip equals 2 FQ strips.

Let's go.  Don't cringe --- just smile, settle in, and cut.  (Note: since I am cutting scrappy and using FQ's, my amounts might be low for those of  you doing yardage.  You may wind up needing to cut extra strips but this is a good start.  Just make sure you don't use your extra fabric in anything else in the meantime.)

Neutrals - 120 - 2" FW (60 WOF) strips
Blue - 64 - 2"  (32 WOF) strips
Green - 100 - 2" ( 50 WOF) strips
Purple - 44 - 2" (22 WOF) strips

ALL pictures will be shown with FQ's on the cutting table as that is what I used.

For those of you who don't have an Accuquilt fabric cutter, here is how I power cut my strips.  I lay 4 FQ's (2 WOF yardage with fold on bottom can do the same thing) on top of each other with my left sides lining up as close as possible.  (Don't  you LOVE my sunglasses?)

Trim the left edge so that it is straight and clean.  See the little bit off to the side of the ruler?

The amount of trimmings should be minimal.  We don't want to waste any usable fabric do we?

Now, since there are several new quilters tackling this not only as their first mystery, but as their first quilt ever, I am going to go over a few ruler basics.

I use the lines on my cutting mat ONLY when I am getting a straight edge to begin with.  That's it.  From that moment forward, it doesn't matter which direction your fabric lays for we will use the lines on the ruler only.

Lay your ruler on the fabric so that the 2" line is ON THE LEFT EDGE.  Not beside it.  See how  you can see the little bits of white showing by the hash marks on the 2" line --- that is exactly what we want.  Now cut those strips.

When you have finished this part of the clue you will have the same thing I do:  a box of beauty waiting to see what will happen to it next.  I could make you wait another week to sew after all that cutting, but I know that would not bring many smiles.  Therefore, keep reading.

Now, before we start, please make sure that you have something to label your stack of units with.  I cannot stress this enough.  When each unit is finished, please, please, mark them with the corresponding alphabetic character.

Next:  FIND YOUR PERFECT 1/4" mark or needle position that will net you 3 1/2" when you sew 2 2" squares or strips together.  Find it now and save yourself the agony later.  Things have to fit.

Okay, one last thing:  I realize that many of you will be doing things in the way that makes you most comfortable.  Please do exactly that.  I will give a couple of options on ways to do the units and you can decide which one will give you the result that you crave.  Keep in mind that the pictures may not always show "constant" fabrics as I am sewing scrappy, but you should be able to just follow the color.  Are you ready?

FROM THIS POINT FORWARD -- USE THE STRIPS YOU HAVE ALREADY CUT.  Do not go back to your  yardage unless directed to, run out of strips, or, if for some reason you do like I did and miscount your original cut.  I was off by 32 green strips.  How did that happen?

Unit A -- Make 20  Unit A-1 -- Make 8   READ ALL THE WAY through the clue before starting so that you can decide which option you are using -- then stay consistent.
                                           A                                                                                A-1
                                      Make 20                                                                                         Make 8

Everyone Do This:  From your neutral strips:  You will need 48 bricks that are 2" x 5" each.  Since I am going scrappy and have 40 neutral  fabrics that means 1 from each strip and an extra from 8 strips to give me my 48.  Yardage users, just simply cut 48 bricks from 6 neutral strips.  SET ASIDE those extras at the end, we have pieces that will use them later unless they are smaller than 2".  
For the next part here are the options:

1) True Scrappy:  Cut your neutrals from your strips as above and then cut/grab 216 - 2" squares from your scraps or scrap users system (a.k.a. Bonnie Hunter).  Oh heck, if you are truly converted you may already have a stack of 2 x 5 neutral bricks too.  You also need 108 - 2" blue squares.

2)  Scrappy:  While  you are cutting the neutral bricks, also cut 216  - 2" squares (216 divided by the # of different strips - for me, since I have 40 - I cut 5 from all strips and a 6th one from 16 of them).  Just slide the ruler over and grab those additional squares.  Then cut 108  - 2" squares from your blue strips - again, divide the 108 by the number of different strips you have to get the total needed from each fabric.  
This is the option I am using.  I lay 3 sets of 4 strips on the mat together and then cut.  First the 5' bricks - 

Then the 2" squares in neutral and then blue.  Here are my stacks.

3) Controlled Scrappy:  You will need 11 (5.5 WOF) blue strips and 22 (11 WOF) neutral strips.  Mix 'em up.  Then follow directions for options 3 and 4 below.

4)  Constant Colors (1 fabric for each color):  You will need 5.5 WOF blue strips and 11 WOF neutral strips.  Then follow directions  for options 3 and 4 below.  

For Options 1 and 2:  take those neutral and blue squares and create mixed up Neutral/Blue/Neutral (NBN) "threesies"  -- You will need 108 of them.   Press your seams towards the blue.  Your unit should measure 2" x 5".  See - that 1/4" seam comes into play already.  These will need to match up with our bricks. 

 For Options 3 and 4:  Place three strips together as pictured below and sew long seams.  Since I find 44" seams to be challenging, I would suggest that you cut these in half (especially if doing controlled scrappy) and then sew with the 22" length but feel free to do whatever works best for you.

Once you have sewn all of the specified number of strips into sets of 3, subcut into 108 - 2" "threesies".  See, everyone gets to cut.

From this point forward, everyone is together again. 

We will now use 28 of those NBN "threesies" and set aside the remaining 80 for future use.

Layout Unit A-1 as pictured here:

 Sew a 2 x 5 neutral brick to each side of 20 NBN "threesies" to get this unit.  MAKE 20

Does it measure 5" square?  YAY!!!!

Now for Unit A-1:  Make 8:

Take the remaining 8 - 2" x 5" neutral bricks and sew them to a "threesie" to get 2/3 of a Unit A as pictured here:

Stack each set, LABEL, and or clip together.

That's it for this week.  Here is what you should have now:
One heck of a lot of cut strips
20 Unit A's together and clearly labeled "A"
8 Unit A-1's together and clearly labeled "A-1"
80 reserved NBN threesies

There is a Print Friendly button at the bottom of this post if you wish to have a paper copy.

I can't wait to see what you have created.  Please post and share on Our Quilt World or From The Studio Facebook groups.  I will add a link to this page on the Ribbons of Love Summary page (which can be found by clicking the tab at the top of the blog) as soon as I am up.  Ha ha --- getting my beauty sleep.

Until next week, keep on creating,



  1. YAY!!! Thanks for posting early! I'll be upstairs cutting my strips. GREAT directions and you did all the math for us with options depending on what we have and may want to do. Hugs, Allison

    1. Thank you so much Allison. Coming from you , that means a ton to me. You are awesome.

  2. Deb: Thank you so much for doing this, love mysteries. So excited.

    1. Emma --- you are so very welcome. I am having such a good time getting it ready for everyone. Each day has just been a joy while I work on it.

  3. Getting a tad late start, but for some reason I'm bit getting my notifications.... Not sure what to do.. Had to find out in settings!

    1. Hopefully it is all working now for you. Can't wait to see your units.