Sunday, May 8, 2016

Hands2Help - Meet Guest Blogger, Joanne!!

Hi, all!

Sunday has returned once again, and with it, another great guest blogger for the Hands2Help Challenge!  I hope you'll join me in welcoming Joanne, who blogs at Everyone Deserves A Quilt.  She had a special set of challenges this week while creating her blogpost and tutorial, but she's done an awesome job - you're going to love this quilt!  So without further delay, I'll turn the blog over to her!!

Happy Mothers' Day!
Hi! I'm Joanne and I blog over at Everyone Deserves a Quilt.

I'm thrilled that Sarah has allowed me to share a tutorial again this year. Below are instructions for my version of a nine patch quilt - After the Rain.

A while back, I was given a pack of 100 Fossil Fern charm squares by Benartex.  I fell in love with the fabrics and simply could not decide how to use it. I did not put that charm pack away because I wanted to see it often, in the hope that I'd be inspired by looking at it and find just the right project. While I was deciding on a grey to use for another quilt, I laid the charm squares on top of a piece of fabric that I had rejected for the first project and I liked how they looked together.

I still wasn't sure what pattern I wanted to follow, but it didn't take long to decide that I wanted to keep the squares intact and not cut them up. I quickly decided on a new version of the Black and White Charm quilt that I made last year. It's a simple quilt to make, but it can have a stunning impact. Also, with just 12 blocks, the quilt will measure 59" x 77". Decision made!!  :-) 

As for the name, I thought that the wonderful colors of the 5" squares against the grey reminded me of the rainbow I see after a long rain. Even though this isn't quilted yet, I plan to quilt raindrops on it, just because it works. Yippee!

Now for the tutorial...

Here are the fabrics I used.

And here are the fabric requirements:

96 - 5" squares (You can have more so you have a greater variety from which to choose.)

2 3/4 yards of background fabric (grey in my quilt)

2/3 yards for binding (or 8 - 2 1/2" x WOF strips for a scrappy binding)

Cutting Instructions for the Background Fabric
To get the most economical use of your fabric, cut it in the following order:

1) Cut 1 piece of fabric 63" x WOF (width of fabric) This will be trimmed later.       FYI - 63" = 1 3/4 yards
     **Sub-cut this into 8 strips - 5" x 63"
          **Set aside 5 of these strips for the horizontal sashing)
          **From the remaining 3 strips, cut 12 - 5" x 14" rectangles (each strip should yield 4 rectangles)

2) Cut 3 strips 5" x WOF
          **From 1 strip, cut 3 - 5" x 14" rectangles (each strip should yield 3 rectangles)
          **From 1 strip, cut 1 - 5" x 14" rectangles   AND   5 - 5" x 5" squares
          **From the remaining strip, cut 7 - 5" x 5" squares

Here's a picture of my cut background fabric.

This picture includes the 96 - 5" charm pack squares with the background fabric

Block Construction - You will be sewing a simple scrappy nine patch block, but keeping the center square consistent with the background fabric. Make 12 nine patch blocks

For each block, follow the picture below to lay out 8 print squares and 1 background squares.

Using a 1/4" seam allowance, sew each row of the block and press the center row away from the center square, and press to top and bottom rows in towards the center square.

Here is a picture of the block from the back so you see the pressing. 

Sew the block rows together. If you pressed as suggested above, the seams should "nest" and match perfectly. Press towards the outside rows, away from the center row.

Here is a freshly pressed block. Isn't it pretty?  :-)

And here it is from the back.

Row Construction
Lay out the blocks in a pleasing order before adding the vertical sashing strips. Once you are happy with the layout, sew the 5" x 14" rectangle to the blocks as pictured below. Sew with the sashing rectangle on the bottom, next to the feed dogs so you can "control" the seam allowance. Press all seams to the sashing rectangles.

Adding the Horizontal Sashing Strips
The horizontal sashing strips were purposely cut over-sized and it is now time to trim them to the correct size.

Measure the rows. They should measure approximately 59" x 14". Mine came out exactly 59."  WooHoo!!

Using the 5" x 63" strips set aside earlier, cut each strip to the row length measurement.

Sew the horizontal sashing strips between the block rows in the same manner you would add a border.
     **Find the center of the sashing strip.
     **Find the center of the block strip.
     **Pin the row and sashing strip at the center point.
     **Pin each end of the sashing strip to the ends of the block row.
     **Pin and ease as needed for the area between the pins. 
               Be sure to check for proper alignment of the vertical sashing strip.

Just like when you sewed the vertical sashing strips to the blocks, sew with the block rows on top (horizontal sashing close to the feed dogs) to "control" the seam allowances.

Tip:  When sewing strip sets together, pinning will help ensure accuracy when you are combining a lot of strips. Not only do I pin along the long edges, I also pin the bottom short edge. This helps to avoid the ends of slipping apart. See the pictures below.


Press to the sashing, away from the blocks.

Here it is - all ready for quilting.

Thanks Sarah!
This was fun and I sure hope it helps others decide how to use some of those charm packs they've been collecting.


Wow!  Great tutorial - and I don't know about you, but I've got piles of charm packs hanging around that could be used for a quilt like this - and it looks like it will make up quickly, which makes it perfect for a charity quilt!  Thanks so much for sharing this with us, Joanne - you've hit a home run once again!!

And now I want to give you another chance to check in and show what you've been working on for the H2H Challenge.  I just checked my calendar, and our final link-up week begins in just two weeks, on May 22nd - so if you haven't started yet, it's time to choose a simple quilt and get cracking!  I know many of you have emailed me for mailing addresses recently, so those quilts have already started winging their way to their eventual homes - good work!  So link up below to show your progress and cheer each other on, too!  The linky will stay open until next Saturday night (5/14) at midnight, so there's plenty of time.

See you next Sunday when we'll meet our final guest blogger, Julie!




  1. fossil ferns are great to work with - I am almost done making a queen size with charm packs of the same you show

  2. Thanks for the easy to follow tutorial! Looks like a great one to make!

  3. What a great way to use a charm pack Joanne! The Fossil Fern fabrics look beautiful against the grey background. It really does bring to mind a rainbow after the rain.


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