Sunday, June 12, 2011

Stack and Slash Tutorial with Kate...

I don't know about you... But I'm loving the Featured Bloggers part of Quilt Class.. They are so so talented and I am amazed and in awe of what they come up with and share with us.

I'm excited to introduce Kate from Kate Conklin Designs as the featured blogger for this week.
Kate and her 'Extreme Quilting'
Kate is extra special for so many reasons. She married my cousin Todd and we quickly became really great friends. A few years ago we got free tickets to a craft show in Sydney and decided we would go together.. AHHHH!! I don't think we had any idea what we were getting ourselves into ( i don't think our hubby's did either!!) .. Neither of us had been to a craft show before. We had both dabbled in different crafts.. But when we saw the fabrics available.... we fell in love. Kate and I bought a couple of fabric bundles each are decided we would make our first quilts. Since then our passion has snowballed from sewing, quilting and handmade projects to designing and writing patterns for Quilts, blogging and squeezing it all in around our families. Kate is amazingly talented, her quilt designs and patterns are brilliant,  AND she ROCKS when it comes to her Stack and Slash technique.. So today, She is going to teach us how to make this Gorgeous Quilt!! Thanks Kate, Your the Greatest!!

Hi, I'm Kate, I love the "Stack and Slash" method of creating quilts. For those of you who aren't familiar with this term, it's basically where you stack up some fabric, make some cuts, move them around and sew them back together. It's fun, easy and gives a great improvisational look without cutting lots of individual strips or wasting fabric. I have used this method in many of my quilt patterns. It's actually what started me writing patterns. I felt that the "Stack and Slash" method hadn't been fully explored in modern quilt patterns and I had some fun ideas that I could share with others. Some of my patterns which employ this method of cutting and piecing are...
As you can see, this method is useful in creating very diverse quilts.
I wanted to share with you a really easy 'Stack and Slash' tutorial. This isn't one of my original designs - I've seen similar quilts around on the Internet, but it is my own method. It uses 8 Fat quarters of patterned fabric and 8 Fat quarters of solid fabric, and it's super easy.
Cut 8 rectangles, 20 1/2" wide x 17 1/2" tall of patterned fabric and another 8 rectangles (20 1/2" x 17 1/2") of a plain solid. Divide them into two piles. Each pile will contain 4 patterned rectangles and 4 solid rectangles. Take one pile and stack the fabric on top of each other, ensuring the edges are carefully aligned. Alternate the plain and patterned fabric, ironing as you go (this will help them stay together as you cut them).

I've used Cloud 9's Nature Walk range and a natural solid.
I've folded back the fabric for instructional purposes only. The fabric should be lying flat.

Using  your rotary cutter and ruler, cut through the stack of fabric 7 times,  so you have 8 strips. My strips were approximately 2 1/2" wide. Cut on a slight angle - about 1/2 inch difference  from top to bottom. You can vary the angle and the width of the strips. 
Leave the strip on the far left hand side as it is.
Now go to the strip next to it and move the top fabric to the bottom of its pile leaving a solid strip at the top.

From the third pile of strips, move the top 2 fabrics to the bottom of its pile.

From the fourth pile, move the top 3 fabrics to the bottom. Continue in this manner until all of the fabrics are represented at the top (as shown in the picture).
Sew the top strips together using a 1/4 inch seam. Press seams towards the patterned fabric.
Then sew the next set of top strips together ...
...and so on until you have sewn 8 blocks of 8 strips.

Take  your other stack of 8 rectangles that you set aside earlier. Repeat the  above instructions to make another 8 blocks, yielding 16 blocks altogether. Trim your blocks so they are all the same size (about 17 1/4" square).

Arrange your blocks by laying them on a flat surface (4 across and 4 down), alternating the first set of blocks with the second (see photo of the quilt). Move and rotate the blocks so that those in the first and third row start with a plain strip and the blocks in the second and fourth row start with a patterned strip. Move the blocks around until you are happy with the colour design and balance.  Sew 4 blocks together across the row. Make a total of 4 rows, and then sew these rows together.
Your completed quilt should measure approximately 67" (170cm) square - perfect for a picnic or to throw over the back of the couch.
Now, how easy is that! You can find more of my patterns here.
Thanks so much Becky, for having me on your blog!

See, I told you she was awesome!! I want to make one for a picnic rug....Thanks Kate!!



  1. That's so clever. The quilts are beautifu and the technique clever. I'll be looking more at the others more closely.

  2. What a great design!! I've got a friend who was looking at making a quilt similar to this - so this is very timely! I'm off to e-mail her the link!! Thanks for sharing and hosting, Bec!

  3. Thanks for the fantastic intro Becky! I just love that we've been able to enjoy this quilting journey together - right from the start, when we had no idea about quilting at all! Thank goodness for those free tickets :)

  4. If nothing else, I love this post just for the fact that you have a 'Wonky Donkey' quilt actually on a donkey, ROFL

    Anywho, I love the techniques. While I'm not a quilter, I think this technique would be fab to try on a pathwork skirt, will have to add it to my to do list :o)

  5. What a great technique and such awesome results. Got to try this one! THANKS!

  6. such a pretty quilt with a fun way of making it :) thanks for your tutorial!

  7. What a great quilt. I am going to have to try her technique.

  8. Thanks for this, can I just check. When you cut the 2nd pile of fabrics do you need to cut them the same way as the first pile?

  9. I love the tutorial. I am in the process of making There's a Square in There and having a great time. Just need to do the sashing and borders. I am enjoying the patterns from both of you. Keep it up.

  10. Great tutorial!! The first quilt I made was a stack'n'slash one - it was a great way to get started in quilting!

  11. Super Dooper that is great. My 2 favourite quilt designers in one place.
    Lucky you being related to Kate!!!

  12. Love stack and slash! No one but us needs to know how easy it is!

  13. Oh! and I never knew how you two fabulous gals were related. That's fun!

  14. Such a neat trick! I think this should be a quick one to complete...a must try...thanks for the instructions!

  15. I love Kate and all her designs! This is such a cool design. Thanks for sharing!

    Jennifer :)

  16. Love this tutorial so much that I have featured it on my blog today. Thanks for sharing it!

  17. Thanks for sharing. I have posted about this tutorial on Freebies for Crafters...hope it was okay to use your photo...hugs Khris

  18. I have been making quilts using this method for years esp. in my art quilts. When using only two fabrics you can get a great postive/negative piece.

  19. Great post. Love all of the quilts and will surely try the tutorial! Thanks!!

  20. fantastic quilt! Am going to try it with some batiks I have just bought..

  21. Thanks for a great tutorial!


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