Saturday, August 1, 2020

On-Point Flag Made EASY with 2.5" On-point Quiltsmart Grid! FREE Tutorial! Seasonal Shams!

Hi Friends & Family,
I hope YOU are all doing well!  I am going to be making this pillow today - only not in the flag style....but the ONLY difference is how you place the colors. 

"I love using your squares so this will inspire me to use what I have to make rectangular pillows for our patio couch!"
Mariann, Carmel, Indiana

Here we go...sewing in REAL TIME!  LIVEblog!

Note that I am writing the blog as I do the demo - not pre-written, and taking pictures, and maybe eating my oatmeal, so the project itself would go a little bit faster.  I am also attempting to give you every tip I can think of!  Make COMMENTS or ASK QUESTIONS at the bottom of the blog and we will try to get back to you as soon as we can!   Thanks so much!
A little problem to start off - I was not getting emails, which is how I import the pics!  Yikes...took some time, but I fixed it!

Now, here we go... if you are watching this "live", come back later and check it out again, because I do edit it later, so sometimes there are more tips or clarification.


Materials needed:
2 panels of 2.5" On-point Grid.
16 squares. 2.5" blue
47 squares. 2.5" red
80 squares 2.5" white
(2) pieces 20" x 26" for envelope back, coordinate with the front as the edges are seen.
There are a total of 143 squares - if you are making something that is not the flag.  I LOVE getting a little pack of squares - there are typically about 42 in a pack and you get such a nice variety!
If you get the On-Point4 panel PACK, it is a better value per panel (4 panels), so enough for 2 pillow shams of this size - and a little leftover for a smaller pillow or 2.

Shown above is the inside of the finished pillow.  First of all - the size we will use fits a standard size pillow.  EASY!  NOTE: International pillows are different sizes - check first!  

You can see that the blue is reversed.  I used a marker and b put an R in the red spots and a B in the blue spots, from the, from the smooth side of the interfacing.


For the flag, take one panel and on the RIGHT side of the interfacing - the smoother side, mark the "Bs" - 16 of them.  The in between spots will be white.  You could mark on the WRONG side, but it might be harder to draw the lines - but it will be how you look at the finished project.  YOUR CHOICE!

I LOVE Frixion pens, but don't use it in this case, as when you fuse your squares, the mark will go away on surrounding squares that are not yet fused.  If you fuse them all at once, the pen would be ok to use.

Mark the red if you wish, but you might not need to if the Bs are marked.  If you use a different color pen for the R and B, it might help too.
I've marked the Rs, but they are a little light.  You might need to zoom in to see them.
You can see that I used the logo portion of the interfacing.  If you ever need to put a light square on that and the wording shows through, just iron it again, peel the interfacing away and cut out the interfacing.  

For the sham, which is a standard size of 20" x 26", we need 2 panels. They need to be overlapped.  This pic shows overlapping minimalistically.  (I guess I made that word up, as blogger does not like it.)  This is fine if you are trying to conserve interfacing.   It does tend to come apart, even if fused, easier than overlapping a larger portion.  You can also use a glue stick to overlap it.

This is about the amount of overlap that I like.  You could overlap more, but at that point it begins to be a bit overstated.

Note that I am writing the blog as I do the demo - not pre-written, and taking pictures, and maybe eating my oatmeal, so the project itself would go a little bit faster.  I am also attempting to give you every tip I can think of! 

Fuse the 2 panels together.  Remember - when fusing panels together, the ROUGH side of BOTH pieces of interfacing is up.  If not, it will fuse to your ironing board or mat. AND - you will need an applique pressing sheet.  We have one that is a perfect size for this - narrow and long!   Quiltsmart Pressing Sheet

TIP:  Make sure you fuse the ends well...that helps the pieces stay together. If you can pick it up and it does not fall apart, then it is well fused. I've tried to show that on this chair...hmmm.

Complete marking your pattern if you like.

This is still the FLAG INSTRUCTIONS!
What we did so far is have a lesson in the planned design, how to mark the interfacing, and how to extend designs by overlapping & fusing the interfacing.  Now for the FUN part (like working with interfacing and planning aren't fun)!

PLACE SQUARES BETWEEN the dotted lines, centering each fabric square on each interfacing square.
This is the CUSTOMIZABLE part of the title!  I am showing the scrappy pattern for the rest of the demo.  It is placing your squares that is CUSTOMIZABLE - only the color layout matters. The METHOD, number of squares, measurements, etc. is exactly the same!

CUT THE INTERFACING: you will need the outside edges of on-point squares to be filled in to form the half-squares at the edges of the finished pillow. Place squares, using a grid that is10 squares across, and 8 squares down (for a standard size pillow form). Or, design first and then cut.  Later, I will show you how to trim it from the other side.

You DO WANT to use the "HALF-SQUARE" at the ends.

Note the ironing pad.  It has magnets in it designed to go over a standard washer or dryer.  I used it like that at one time, but now just as a pad....  either way, it is a very nice "tool".

TIP:  I liked the way my little bundle of squares (no cutting, yeah!), was arranged, so I am going to see if I like the panel laid out that way.  I'm simply taking each square from the top and laying it down.  Cool part about that is that if I don't like where something is, it can be fused again and peeled up and moved.

When you have a good number of squares down, fuse them using an applique pressing sheet.  The sheet does more than protect your iron - it also holds the squares in place nicely.  Quiltsmart Pressing Sheet

 A large iron fits perfectly over the Quiltsmart pressing sheet.

You don't really have to use the sheet for the middle squares, although it does hold them in place nicely, but make sure you use it at the edges so you don't get fusible on your iron or scrunch up the interfacing.

My little pack was 100 squares.  You need 140 for this project, so I needed to cut a bit extra.  Into the scrap drawer I dived.  It could use some organization - although the rule is "less than a fat quarter", so I guess it is organized.

I found two nice pieces of green batik.  My buddy who will get this LOVES batik and SUNFLOWERS, so those will be perfect.  I am going to put the last row around all the sunflowers....they will be only half-squares, but I think it will be a nice touch.

I had put them behind me on the floor and went to grab them to cut them.  The sunflower fabric was gone.  So, Of course, I think I am going crazy, right. But, no, Bennie apparently LOVES sunflowers, too. That's Bennie for the newbies.

12:00 straight up and still in my jammies!

I LOVE this BlogLive thing!  I hope you do too...let us know at!

Extra squares cut and my shirt says that my friend, Mariann gave me, "Sew on & Sew forth"....

Did you know that if you ever ruin a piece of interfacing, or your dog or cat gets into it, we will replace it free?  All you need to do is email us!  Nicely, of course.
These tips are tidbits you get during a BlogLIVE....well, which lasts forever (I think).  I'm fusing the rest of the squares and my mind is going elsewhere.

I LOVE it!  You don't want to LOVE it too much, because half of those will go away when it is trimmed.  I found it kind of nice to have the, if that works for your design, you could put that on first.  And, if you want a larger border, just fill in the next row.
10 across the top, and 8 across the bottom.

Yeah!  All squares fused!  I switched a fuse squares out and LOVE it now.

Note how much smaller it is when it is all stitched up!

 I like to press again from the backside - make sure you put an applique pressing sheet UNDER the exposed interfacing!

1:36  I took a little break!
Fold diagonal seams right on the DOTTED LINES and stitch using a 1/4" seam allowance.  Be consistent with your seam allowance, and keeping the fold on the dotted lines.  Do all seams in one direction.

One set of diagonal seams sewn!  Took about 20 min!

CHECK your seam allowances to MAKE SURE you caught all the fabrics.

Clip at each intersection - don't worry, you are not cutting fabric, but just in between the squares and only cutting interfacing...unless a square was a bit off, which is generally ok.  I cut at the dotted lines (well, this one is a tiny bit off...that's ok, but aim for the dotted lines!).  :)

2:38  Tip: Sit outside to clip - if the weather pleases you!  It is beautiful here in Bend, Oregon today.  I have the patio door open and the sun is shining in.  So pretty!

Sew the diagonal seams going the other way, pushing the clipped seam allowances in opposite directions.  You can choose to press all these, but I have found that I like to give them a slight tug as I sew and that that works almost better.  Your decision though.

So, one seam allowance up, and the one on the backside down - or  vice versa!  Another good tip is to sew with the last seam up top so you can see it.  That way it is easy to tell which way the top seam goes, and therefore the under seam goes the opposite direction.

Press from the front and the back.  The seams will want to naturally go to the upper right or left corners.  The iron in the picture is between the two middle seams so you can see that.

Remember to cover the exposed fusible area with an applique pressing sheet....  hard to see, but it is in this photo.

You can see now how it is more the size of the completed pillow.

Don't trim it yet.  Next step is to add the pillow back.  I'll be back in a flash when I fish for fabric!

This sham is quick-turned.
Below are two very handy references for when you want to make shams.  These references are in our "Free Download" section along the top bar of the website.  There are a LOT of others...check them out!  I will give you the skinny on it here though. For the "envelope back", cut (2) 20" x 32" pieces.  In the sham references linked below, there is another piece - that is intended to use for the front so you could place an applique.

It's a sham!

Sham Cutting Diagrams

Fold the back pieces into 2 pieces that are 20" (along the folds) x 16" from the fold to the edges meeting. 
Overlap the pieces so that they have a 26" horizontal measurement.  Baste the edges of each side. (red line).

See blog further down for pics of my pillow back.


     You can quick-turn or bind your sham.  A quick turn is pretty fast, and I think nice for a "throw" pillow.  I would bind it for a bed sham - but it is YOUR CHOICE - yeah!  The binding gives it a little more stability.  At this point, decide if you are quilting your front.  If so - go for it!  I am not going to do that or she might never get it! Not that it would take long, but I would fear that it might get stuck on the very tall pile of UFOs. 
     To the left is a quick-turn as I have done for the flag pillow.  I chose to use a tablecloth of my mom's for the back of the flag. It's a great way to use up a linen that is too shabby for use.  This is the flag turned inside-out.

If you want a binding, treat the backing as the quilt backing and place that wrong sides together and baste, then add binding.

As luck would have it, I don't have a large enough piece of fabric for backing.  So...I'm going to piece the fabric (make fabric).  I've got lots of pretty scraps........and I LOVE using my scraps to "make" fabric.  My friend who will get this loves to use what she has for the quilt backs too.


My completed fabric "made" from my scrap bin (the one with bigger pieces in it).  I like to use my serger for making fabric as it is quick and leaves a nice edge.

5:50  Overlap the pieces as in the illustration further up.  Baste along the overlaps. Envelope-back is done.  I'm so happy with the pieced fabric.

NOTE:  In home dec sewing, the cover is typically cut the same size as the pillow form.  After a 1/4" to 1/2" seam allowance is taken, it would be smaller than the pillow form.  This is done intentionally so that the pillow form fills the pillow cover nicely.

Place the back and the front RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER for a quick-turn. Note that the envelope back could be used either side...pick the one you like best for the RIGHT side.
[Wrong sides together for binding (not shown in this blog).]
If one is smaller than the other, put that right side up, and the other center on top.  Since everyone's seam allowances can be a bit different, we are simply centering the pieces together and will sew at the outer points, or somewhere less than that if need be.

Pin.  Turn over and check all edges.  When you sew, you want to catch all seam allowances.  I can see on this one that my top and bottom seam allowances will be right in line with the front, but the side ones will need to come in a bit.  If you have a super stiff pillow form, that might be hard to get that case, maybe switch to a floppier pillow form.  Also, if that is the case and you make another one, use a tiny bit smaller seam allowance.

I sewed 2 edges, then trimmed the other 2 edges off prior to sewing - that might not be the best idea if you are new to this.  Bascically, you want to make sure you have your 1/4" to 1/2" seam allowance, or a little more is okay too.  It was easier for me to see where to sew if I trimmed them.

Sew from the front side, from point to point as much as possible.  Don't worry if you can't hit all your points... I didn't!

Check to make sure you caught all seams, & turn right side out!

Check all edges again.  If they are all stitched, then turn inside out again and zigzag or serge the edges.

Turn, poking out corners with your fingers.  Clip threads and press. It's a little wonky to press - just pull the seams and squiggle that iron in there.  I press from the outside, but you could also press from the inside.

I hope you know this would not take all day if I were not blogging and taking photographs, uploading, downloading, etc!  I'm very happy with the result, and have two more groups of little squares that I'm excited to do soon....maybe some binging netflix and fusing squares is in order!

Line the front with batting & quilt before you put the envelope back on.
Make the whole pillow larger, then after you turn it, sew a "flange" the same amount larger that you made it.  I just thought of this today, so don't have numbers for you, but I think if you made it one row wider and one row longer, that it could be kind of cool!  I'll try it in one of my next ones and let you know.

We welcome comments and questions.  It is easy to get another pic on if we need to clarify something.  I hope you enjoyed our Quiltsmart "Mattie's LIVEblog" from Bend, Oregon.

Take Care & Be Safe!
Love, Mattie
Our next LIVEblog is a really cute Watermelon theme....  Just thinking about it makes me crave watermelon. You can use stash if you have pinks, reds, greens. You might want to get a watermelon too, cause you'll be craving it!


  1. Hi Friends.... commment here! We would love to hear your comments and questions!

  2. I need to try this one. I will need to buy some 2.5 inch on point grid. Love Americana!!

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