Nordic Mini QAL, Row 2

Are you ready for row 2 of the Nordic Mini QAL?  I’m so glad that many of you have decided to join me for this project.  It’s much more fun to sew with friends!  If you’re just finding out about this quilt along, you can find all of the details for row 1 here.

Nordic Mini QAL at The Crafty Quilter

Row 2 is going to be much simpler than the first row.  We’re making flying geese this week to create a zig zag to add to our mini quilt.

Nordic Mini QAL at The Crafty Quilter

These flying geese measure 1 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ unfinished.  You’re going to need a total of 14 flying geese, seven in each color combo.

Cutting instructions:

  • Red:  (7) 1 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ rectangles, and (14) 1 1/2″ squares
  • White:  (7) 1 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ rectangles, and (14) 1 1/2″ squares

Nordic Mini QAL at The Crafty Quilter

Make Flying Geese Units:

  1. Draw a diagonal line on all 1 1/2″ squares.
  2. Place a white 1 1/2″ square (right sides together) on the red 1 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ rectangle, matching raw edges.   Stitch on the diagonal line.
  3. Trim and press corner out.
  4. Repeat for the opposite side.  The flying geese unit should measure 1 1/2″ x 2 1/2″.
  5. Make 7 red with white triangles, and 7 white with red triangles.

Nordic Mini QAL at The Crafty Quilter

Just a note about flying geese units.  There are many different ways to make them.  Use whatever way works best for you, but you may need to change the cutting instructions depending on your method.  I happen to have a Bloc_Loc ruler for this size flying geese unit, so that’s what I used.  I cut the pieces slightly larger (1 3/4″ x 2 3/4″ rectangles and 1 3/4″ squares) and assemble the same way.  Then I trim them down using the ruler:

Nordic Mini QAL at The Crafty Quilter - using the Bloc_Loc ruler I’m not trying to sell you on these rulers and Bloc_Loc is not a sponsor of my blog.  I’m just letting you know what works for me.  I’m always a fan of over-sizing a block when possible and trimming it down to the exact size.  This ruler is a little pricey, but it was given to me for free and I happen to like it.

Assembly Instructions:

To create the zig zag, arrange your flying geese units as shown below:

Nordic Mini QAL at The Crafty Quilter

I found it easiest to sew them into pairs and then sew the pairs together.  I also pressed the seams open:

Nordic Mini QAL at The Crafty Quilter

Pay attention to where the triangles come together at the “valleys” and pin carefully before stitching.  You could also use washable glue to baste this section first.

Nordic Mini QAL at The Crafty Quilter

Once all of your flying geese units are sewn together, your row should measure 2 1/2″ x 14 1/2″ (unfinished).  Don’t they look nice together?

Nordic Mini QAL at The Crafty Quilter

I have also made the flying geese units into a larger size, for those of you who are not ready to join the “mini” club.  (Don’t worry, you’ll come around eventually).  To make 2″ x 4″ finished flying geese, you’ll need to cut (1) 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ rectangle and (2) 2 1/2″ squares for EACH flying geese unit.  The assembly method is the same, but you may not need as many (depending on how you use them).  Here is how the two sizes compare:

Nordic Mini QAL at The Crafty Quilter

Please note:  I don’t have a solid plan for these larger blocks.  I’m just giving them to you as an extra option.  If you have any ideas, please share!  I am considering a square layout of two blocks x two blocks.  These larger flying geese may end up being a border around the quilt.

The rest of the QAL schedule looks like this:  Row 3, November 26 and Row 4, November 29.  Remember, if you’re on Instagram use the hashtag #nordicminiqal and show us your progress.  Does Flickr use hashtags too?  If so, same for Flickr!

Thanks for joining me today and enjoy your weekend!



Nordic Mini Quilt Along, Row 1

Welcome to the Nordic Mini Quilt Along, Row 1!  I appreciate everyone’s response to my query about participating in a quilt along.  This will be a little casual in style, and evolving as it goes along.  At the moment, I have the rows planned out but only two of them are finished. So it’s a little bit mystery and a little bit mini!  I’ll be giving instructions for at least one row each week, with a total of 4 rows.  The final quilt will definitely be mini at 14 1/2″ square!

Nordic Mini QAL by Julie Cefalu @ The Crafty Quilter

For the entire mini-quilt, you will need 1/4 yard of white fabric, 1/4 yard of red fabric, 1/4 yard of red print fabric and 1/8 yard of gray.  You can also make this scrappy with an assortment of reds and whites.  A fat quarter will do for the backing.

We’re starting out with my favorite row which is the Nordic Star.  It’s fairly simple to make, but because the components are so small it will take a little bit of patience.  I know you can do it!

A note about pressing:  It goes against my religion, but I suggest pressing most (if not all) of your seams open for this block (see my post on pressing seams for more information).  Pressing seams open is advantageous for such a small block with narrow/small pieces.  Your seams will lay flatter and reduce bulk.  Shorten your stitch length when pressing seams open (I use 1.8).

Cutting Instructions for EACH Nordic Star Block.  There are a total of 3 stars:

  • Red Fabric:  (4) 2″ squares, (1) 3/4″ square, (1) 1″ x 5″ rectangle
  • Red Print Fabric:  (4) 2″ squares
  • White Fabric:  (4) 2″ squares, (4) 1″ x 1 1/2″ rectangle, (4) 3/4″ x 2 1/2″ rectangle, (1) 1″ x 5″ rectangle.

Nordic Star Cutting Instructions for Nordic Mini QAL by Julie Cefalu @ The Crafty Quilter

1.  Make half-square triangle (hst) units.  Draw a diagonal line through half of the 2″ squares.  With right sides together, pair them as follows:  red/white, red/red-print, white/red-print .  Stitch 1/4″ on each side of drawn line.  Cut apart on drawn line and press seams open.  Trim to 1 1/2″ square.

Nordic Mini QAL by Julie Cefalu @ The Crafty Quilter

2.  Make corner units.  Stitch the red 1″ x 5″ rectangle to the white 1″ x 5″ rectangle.  Press open or towards red.  Sub-cut into 1″ wide segments.

corner unit 2

Join these units to the white 1″ x 1 1/2″ rectangles.

corner unit 3 plus

3.  Make the star corners.  Arrange the hst’s and corner units as shown in the photo below:

corner combined

Press seams open.  The resulting unit should measure 2 1/2″.

corner assembled

4.  Assemble block.  Arrange the star corners, the white 3/4″ x 2 1/2″ rectangles and the red 3/4″ square as shown below:

Nordic Mini QAL by Julie Cefalu @ The Crafty Quilter

Stitch the units together and press open.  Your star should measure 4 3/4″ square.

Nordic Mini QAL by Julie Cefalu @ The Crafty Quilter

5.  Create the first row.  Make 3 stars.  Join them together with two sashing strips that measure 1 1/8″ x 4 3/4″.  The row should measure 14 1/2″ long.

Nordic Mini QAL by Julie Cefalu @ The Crafty Quilter

I have a bonus for you.  I made this block bigger for those of you who aren’t ready to try such small piecing.

Large Nordic Star @ The Crafty Quilter


I took a picture of all of them together so you can see the size difference:

Nordic Stars, mini and large @ The Crafty Quilter Below are the cutting instructions for a 13″ (unfinished) Nordic Star.  Assembly is the same, but you can press your seams to the side instead of open!  When you make the corner units (step 2), you will sub-cut your strip into 2″ units.  The hst’s need to be trimmed to 3 1/2″.

  • Red Fabric:  (4) 4″ squares, (1) 1″ square, (1) 2″ x 9″ rectangle
  • Red Print Fabric:  (4) 4″ squares
  • White Fabric:  (4) 4″ squares, (4) 2″ x 3 1/2″ rectangles, (4) 1″ x 6 1/2″ rectangles, (1) 2″ x 9″ rectangle.

Are you curious to see what I’ll do with this larger star block?  I’ll be showing pictures as I go along on Instagram, so be sure to follow me there (thecraftyquilter) and use the hashtag #nordicminiqal to post your own pictures.

Have a great weekend!


A Nordic mini quilt and other stuff

Hello everyone!  I keep being reminded that there are only so many weeks left until Christmas and that means I have lots to do!  Among them is a Nordic mini quilt and some other stuff such as BOM’s and QAL’s.  I’m so good at starting new projects but terrible at finishing them.  I know I’m not the only one (right?).

So, is anyone interested in a Nordic Mini-Quilt Along?  I think the only way I might get this one finished is if I include you all in it!  Here’s what one block looks like:

nordic sample block

I love that little star!  And by little, I mean 4 1/4″ finished!  That center red square is 1/4″.  I am enjoying the challenge of working with such a small scale, but the pressing of seams is driving me crazy!  It’s not easy to press 1/2″ of seam allowance into a 1/4″ of space.

I’ve decided to work in a miniature scale, and I am going to make this a row-style quilt. I’ll post the instructions for each row as I go along.  This will be pretty informal, but the plan is to have it finished by December 1.  Are you with me?

Some of the other stuff I’ve been working on is the finishing of El’s Kitchen BOM.  I’ve got one more block to make and then I will put the sashing on.

el kitchen design copy

I couldn’t resist the Sew Sweet Simplicity Block of the Month by Jacquelynne Steves.  I’m using up some old Bonnie & Camille fabric which will be perfect for a little baby girl:

Sew Sweetness block 1 copy

I decided to add my own applique center and I’m going to keep it the same for each block.  I loved making this one!

I also made a quick gift for a baby shower, a portable changing pad.

changing pad open copy

It has flannel on the inside and a pocket to hold a few diapers and wipes.  It folds up into a cute little clutch.

changing pad folded copy

I used fusible fleece and waterproof lining (Pul) in between the layers.  It fastens shut with a little Velcro.  Super easy to make!

changing pad fold opened copy

A little bit of bias binding around the edges finishes it off.

changing pad folded edge copy

I’ve already had a request for a tutorial for this one, so I’ll add that to my list.  For now, I’m working on the Nordic mini quilt.  I’ll be back soon with more on that one.

Have a great day!


The Mug Rug Crumb Catcher

I’m happy to introduce the Mug Rug Crumb Catcher.  It’s small but mighty!

Mug Rug Crumb Catcher @ The Crafty Quilter

It’s the perfect size to hold a cup of tea and your favorite cookie(s).

Mug Rug Crumb Catcher @ The Crafty Quilter

This mug rug is the smaller version of my Cookie Plate Crumb Catcher that I made last year.

Mug Rug Crumb Catcher @ The Crafty Quilter


The finished size of the mug rug is 8 1/2″ in diameter.  It would also make a nice candle mat or vase pad, but I like the mug rug idea myself.

Mug Rug Crumb Catcher @ The Crafty Quilter

It was easy to make this mini version.  I just reduced the size of the units from 5 1/2″ (unfinished) to 3 1/2″ (unfinished).  Here are the sizes that you’ll need to cut for the mug rug version.  You can find the updated pdf version here:  Cookie Plate Crumb Catcher

Mug Rug Crumb Catcher @ The Crafty Quilter

The other change I made is the way I finished the smaller version.  Instead of binding around all of those corners (8!), I layered, then stitched around the outside edges and left an opening on one side for turning right side out.

Here is how I layered the pieces:

Mug Rug Crumb Catcher @ The Crafty Quilter

Then I stitched 1/4″ from the raw edges (pivoting at the corners), leaving an opening on one side.

Mug Rug Crumb Catcher @ The Crafty Quilter

Turn right side out and then top stitch near the edge all the way around.

Mug Rug Crumb Catcher @ The Crafty Quilter

Next, I stitched in the ditch along the main seams.  It was quick and added a little stability to the finished product.  Here’s what it looks like on the back:

Mug Rug Crumb Catcher @ The Crafty Quilter

I love that star shape!  This is a quick project and makes for a great gift for the holidays.  Plus is keeps those Oreos from making a mess!

Mug Rug Crumb Catcher @ The Crafty Quilter

I hope you get a chance to make some of your own.  It’s always nice to see what others create, so use the hashtag #mugrugcrumbcatcher on Instagram so we can all see!


A Few More Things

I have a few more things to share with you that I didn’t include in Sunday’s Sew Thankful post.

I wanted to let you know about a few things happening at the Fat Quarter Shop.  First of all, they have 20% OFF ALL ART GALLERY FABRICS with coupon code: AG2014. This offer will continue until SUNDAY November 9th, at 11:59 PM CST.  I happen to love anything AGF and so I’m excited to pass this news on to you!

AGSale2014 - SM banner-01 Fat Quarter shop is almost at the end of their 2014 Wishes Quilt Along benefiting the Make-A-Wish Foundation.  This has been a donation-type QAL, and they are almost to their goal of $10,000!  They are auctioning their Wishes Quilt and 100% of the total proceeds will go towards this goal. You can go here for more information.


2014 Wishes Quilt by Fat Quarter Shop

Looking ahead to next year, Fat Quarter Shop has just introduced their 2015 Snapshots Quilt Along benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. This quilt has 12 traditionally pieced picturesque (novelty) blocks that capture and celebrate moments of happiness in our lives.  The Quilt Along officially starts January 15th, 2015 and they will release the first block pattern on the 15th of each month for the rest of 2015. All they ask from their  participants is to donate to St. Jude every time they download one of their patterns.


I don’t think I can resist this one!

Snapshots angled


I was just introduced to a new (and free) block of the month, Sew Sweet Simplicity, from the talented designer and artist Jacquelynne Steves. I’m just a little bit smitten with everything Jackquelynne does, and I’m sure you will be too!


This BOM just started and will run for five months with 1 or 2 blocks per month (total of 6 blocks) for four months, then borders and finishing for the fifth month. So in addition to choosing which techniques you’d like to do, you can also choose the smaller quilt with just 4 blocks, or the larger quilt with 6 blocks.


Sew Mama Sew is always full of great inspiration and they recently featured a wool applique technique tutorial by Alison Glass (who just released her new fabric line, Handcrafted, and has a new book coming out soon, Alison Glass Appliqué).  This is slow sewing at its finest!

Wool applique

Wool Applique Technique Tutorial by Alison Glass for Sew Mama Sew


Also being featured at Sew Mama Sew, is this Pacific Northwestern Messenger Bag by Cheryl Kuczek of Paradiso Designs.  You can get the free pattern at Sew Mama Sew here.


Pacific Northwestern Messenger Bag by Cheryl Kuczek


O.K. that’s it for now.  I just needed to get that out of my system (and into yours)!  I hope you enjoy!