Monday, June 16, 2014

Sweet Sixteen Tutorial



"The Sweet 16" baby quilt is a quick and easy project made from sixteen quilt blocks. Each block begins with a 10"x10" square so this quilt sews together quickly. Sweet! Once the half-square triangle blocks are sewn together they can be arranged to form a variety of familiar patterns. The quilt finishes out at 37"x37" making it the perfect size for a donation quilt. So let's get started!


For this project you will need:

8 - white/neutral 10"x10" squares 
8 - print 10"x10" squares
Backing - 1 1/4 yd cotton fabric cut 42"x45"
Binding - 1/3 yd cotton fabric cut (4) 2 1/2" strips. (Please note there will only 
                be a few inches to spare, so plan accordingly.)
Batting - cotton quilt batting cut 41"x41"

Finished size of quilt: 37"x37" square




Step 1: Draw a diagonal line across each of the 8 white squares with a marking pen/pencil. Match each white square with a print square. Pin right sides together. 



 Step 2: Stitch a scant 1/4" seam on both sides of the marked line. You may want to double check your machine to be certain the 1/4" seam allowance is accurate.


Step 3: To ensure stability, press seam with spray starch before cutting.



Step 4: Place ruler on marked line, between the two rows of stitching, and cut apart.



Step 5: On each block, press toward the darker fabric.



Step 6: Trim bunny ears from the corners.

Step 7: This is where it gets fun! Lay the blocks in a pattern that pleases you. Here are a few ideas to get you started...


The Windmill




The Chevron



The Half-Square Triangle



Step 8: The following instructions are the same regardless of the layout you choose.



Step 9: Fold row 2 back on top of row 1, placing right sides together. Pin blocks. Stitch 1/4" seam.
If you chain piece each block and do not cut the connecting threads, it may help keep your blocks in order as the rows are sewn together.


Step 10: Lay row 3 on top of row 2, placing right sides together. Pin blocks and stitch seam.



Step 11: Lay row 4 on top of row 3, placing right sides together. Pin blocks and stitch seams.



Step 12: At this point all the rows are horizontally sewn together and connected by the chain stitching threads.


Step 13: Drape quilt over ironing board and alternately press rows to right or left. This will allow the seams to nestle together and form a crisp seam. Pin rows together and stitch each seams with a 1/4" seam allowance.


Step 14: Press final three seams open to reduce bulk.



Step 15: Square up quilt top. Using your favorite method, to baste quilt top to batting and backing. 



Step 16: Use your favorite method to quilt the top. The examples above were quilted by using painter's tape as a guideline.

Step 17: Trim away excess backing and batting. Use your favorite method to attach binding. Enjoy!




If you end up making a quilt with this tutorial I'd love to hear from you:)


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May you always Sew in Peace!


Monday, April 21, 2014

Soft N Comfy Blankie Tutorial




Here is a quick and easy project that is sure to be a favorite with the little ones. Featuring Soft N Comfy fabric from JoAnn Fabrics which is sold off the bolt at 64" wide. One yard of Soft N Comfy can be cut into two pieces to make two blankies with this tutorial. If you decide to make one, be sure to use a coupon and save even more:)



For this project you will need:

30" x 36" Soft N Comfy fabric from JoAnn's
1 yard flannel - prewashed and ironed
1/3 yard cotton quilting fabric cut into (4) 2 1/2" strips
walking foot (suggested)
painter's tape
curved safety pins

Finished size: 30" x 36"


Step 1: Tape flannel right side down to a hard surface such as a table top or floor. Be careful to secure fabric, but not to distort it in any direction.



Step 2: Place Soft N Comfy fabric right side up in the center of flannel. Secure with tape.

Step 3: Pin two layers together using curved safety pins. Place pins a hand's width apart and also pin along outside edge of Soft N Comfy fabric.



Step 4: Beginning at one edge of quilt, center walking foot between "bumps" and stitch a straight line to opposite edge of quilt. Take time to evenly feed the fabric as it passes under the needle.




Step 5: Stitch lines every four "bumps" till top is quilted.




Step 6: When sewing is completed, square up edges of quilt by trimming away excess fabric.


Binding

Step 7: Press binding strips and trim off selvedge edges.



Step 8: Place 3 binding strips right side down and press top edge at a 45 degree angle to form a crease.




Step 9: Place two strips right sides together like a plus sign and sew diagonally across the ironed crease, backstitching at both ends. Trim to a 1/4" seam allowance and press seams open.

Step 10: Fold binding strip in half lengthwise with wrong sides together. Press. You may want to use spray starch for this step. Binding is now ready to be attached to the quilt. 




Step 11: Pin raw edges of binding to raw edge of back of quilt. Begin pinning the first side with 8 inch tail left unattached.




Step 12: At end of the first side, place a pin 1/4" away from edge. 




Step 13: Begin sewing a 1/4" seam leaving the first 8 inches of binding unattached. At end of side, pivot 1/4" from edge of fabric and sew to corner at angle. 




Step 14: Fold binding, matching raw edges and pin down side two. Begin sewing at edge of top corner. At end of side, pivot 1/4" from edge of fabric and sew to corner at angle. Repeat process for remaining sides, stopping 8 inches from original starting point.




Step 15:  Place beginning of binding (left side) in center of unsewn space and cut. Overlap right side of binding. Since we are using a 2 1/2" width of binding, we will measure a 2 1/2" overlap. Cut right side of binding.



Step 16: Place an "x" on the bottom edge of the left binding.



Step 17: Place left binding on top of right binding right sides together  to form a plus sign. The "x" should now be in the bottom left hand corner. Draw a line across the binding to identify the sewing line. Pin, and stitch on top of line joining two binding pieces together.




Step 18: Trim to a 1/4" seam allowance and press open. Press and finish attaching binding to quilt top.





Step 19: Fold binding to front of quilt and secure with pins or clips being careful to evenly distribute fabric on both sides of quilt. At corners, form a crease.




Step 20: An extra pin placed in corners will help hold binding in place.



Step 21: Carefully topstitch around perimeter of quilt with a narrow seam allowance. The photo above shows both front and back of quilt edges. As you can see, my stitching isn't totally perfect but I'm not going to lose any sleep over it.




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May you always Sew in Peace!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Flexi Strip Quilt Show



It has been a great blessing for me to be involved in Sew*Quilt*Share at our local church. Our group meets monthly to sew projects that benefit several charitable organizations within our community. It is a wonderful time of fellowship!

During the months of January and February we focused on sewing baby quilts. The quilts were made based on this free tutorial if you would like to make one for yourself. Depending on your skill level, it can be sewn together in a few hours.























Some Sew*Quilt*Share members excel in other fiber arts. The quilts below were hand woven on a loom by one of our members. Such beautiful colors and workmanship!  





This lovely hourglass quilt was also made by one of our members who as promised, 
shall remain anonymous:)




We were blessed to receive the following quilt all the way from New Jersey! Edith, a friend of one of the ladies in our group, wanted to join us in blessing a young mother with the gift of a handmade quilt. Thank you so much Edith!


The quilts will be donated here.

We hope you enjoyed our little display of quilts by the ladies of Sew*Quilt*Share, and that you will be inspired to serve others in your community. If you are looking for place to donate quilts, we are accepting baby quilts and/or cotton quilting fabric. We would love to hear from you!


May you always Sew in Peace!
Sandra
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