Christmas in July: Christmas Scraps

Christmas in July – I really love that. It shows that we quilters begin to think about and work for Christmas at this time of the year (with that comforting feeling that there is still enough time for everything).

Today I have this great scrap quilt for you in white, red and green – radiating Christmas spirit in every direction. It’s a lot of cutting, sewing and quilting but that’s the reason why we start in July, isn’t it? So get out your red, green, white and creme-colored scraps and let’s start.

The quilt shown is 60 x 72 inches (150 x 180 cm) but can easily be done in any size you wish simply by adding or omitting blocks. Each block is 6 x 6 inches (15 x 15 cm).

For the quilt in the above mentioned size you need
240 green squares 2½ x 2½ inches (6,5 x 6,5 cm)
240 red squares 2½ x 2½ inches (6,5 x 6,5 cm)
360 white squares 2½ x 2½ inches (6,5 x 6,5 cm)
120 white squares 2 x 2 inches (7,5 x 7,5 cm) cut diagonally
64 red squares 2 x 2 inches (7,5 x 7,5 cm) cut diagonally
56 green squares 2 x 2 inches (7,5 x 7,5 cm) cut diagonally.
All these measurements include a ¼ inch (7,5 mm) seam allowance.

Join each red and each green triangle with a white triangle along the long side (chain-piecing is perfect for this). Press and cut off the dog ears.

Now join a red and a green square (chain-piecing as well) – you get 240 pairs.

Now let’s sew the blocks together.

For block 1 sew these three rows


and join them to block 1.

You need 64 blocks.

For block 2 sew these three rows


and join them to block 2.

You need 56 blocks.

Now it’s time to puzzle the quilt together. Lay out the blocks (referring to the picture of the quilt) – 10 blocks per row, 12 rows.

Sew all the blocks together.

Sandwich the quilt, quilt it and bind it with a narrow red or green binding.

Give the quilt to someone you really love for Christmas or – even better – keep it for yourself and spend the coming holiday season under it.

 

BOM 2021: Star #6

Another month – another star!

Cutting
All the measurements include a ¼ inch (7,5 mm) seam allowance.

From the blue fabric cut
6 squares 2⅜ x 2⅜ inches (6,5 x 6,5 cm) cut once diagonally
4 squares 2 x 2 inches (5,25 x 5,25 cm) cut once diagonally

From the pink fabric cut
8 squares 2⅜ x 2⅜ inches (6,5 x 6,5 cm) cut once diagonally

From the darkblue background fabric cut
10 squares 2⅜ x 2⅜ inches (6,5 x 6,5 cm) cut once diagonally
4 squares 2 x 2 inches (5,25 x 5,25 cm) cut once diagonally
8 squares 2 x 2 inches (5,5 x 5,5 cm)

Sewing
Join the larger blue triangles along the long side with darkblue triangles to make 12 squares. Press and cut off the dog ears.

Join 8 pink triangles along the long side with darkblue triangles to make 8 squares. Press and cut off the dog ears.

Join the small blue and darkblue triangles exactely as shown in the picture below. The result is four pieces and four mirrored pieces. Press.

Join the blue-darkblue triangles along the long side with a pink triangle – you get 8 squares. Press and cut off the dog ears.

Now you have only squares. Lay them out (near your sewing machine) as shown in the picture below. Double check that everything is exactely as it should be.

Sew the squares into rows.

Sew the rows together to get the finished block.

Take 4 of the strips 11 x 1 inches (28 x 2,5 cm) that you cut from the background fabric previously (see introduction to the BOM here) and sew 2 of them to opposite sides of your block. They are a little bit too long – shorten them to the block size. Sew the 2 remaining strips to the other sides of the block and shorten if necessary. Finished!

I would love to see your finished star-blocks. Please post them in the comments at TheQuiltingSpace’s Facebook page, tag me on Instagram @thequiltingspace and/or use the hashtag #thequiltingspace.

See you in July for star #7.

I’m linking this to Off the Wall Friday, Can I get a Whoop Whoop and to Brag about your Beauties.

 

Improv Art Deco Roses

May and June are the months for roses in abundance – gardens and parks are full of fragrant blooms and there are even wild roses in the meadows around the city. In honor of all the roses around town I made those Art Deco Roses.

The flowers are easy and fast to sew. Make three panels like I did or make just one or make only the flower and no stem and join four or nine in a grid, make a pillow, … – there are many possibilities. And you can even diminish your stash as all you need are scraps.

The roses are made in the crazy sewing technique and here is how it goes:

1. Cut an irregular piece of fabric for the middle. Irregular but with straight edges.

2. Sew a scrap on one side of the middle. Right sides together, line up the edges and sew with 1/4 inch seam allowance. Open up the two pieces and iron the seam (as with Log Cabin blocks I pressed all the seam allowances to the outside of the block). Cut away the rest of the scrap aligning your ruler with one edge of the middle piece.

3. Sew another scrap on the edge you just cut. Open up, press the seam, cut away the rest of the scrap.

4. Sew scraps all around the middle.

5. With your ruler cut the piece of fabric you just created into another irregular piece with straight edges. The piece should not resemble the middle piece of step 1. Cut other angles.

6. Sew another round of scraps.

7. Cut into an irregular shape that should by now resemble the flower.

8. Sew another round of scraps. This time using green scraps for half of the round …

… and scraps of your background fabric for the other half. Use larger pieces of scraps for this round.

9. Cut the piece into a rectangle or a square (your choice).

10. Voilá! The finished rose.

The rose looks even better if you embellish the seamlines with decorative stitches by hand or by machine. You can do this now or quilt the rose this way.

11. For the leaves take a green scrap, cut it into the form of the leaf and sew some background fabric around it (like you did on the first round of the rose). Cut the piece into a rectangle and sew background fabric above and below the leaf – so you get half of the background. Make two of them and join them with a green strip for the bottom part of the quilt.

Or – and this is faster and easier – fuse a freehand cut leaf to the background.

12. Make a quilt sandwich, quilt and bind.

Have fun sewing your own rose garden!

 

I’m linking this to Off the Wall Friday, Can I get a Whoop Whoop and to Brag about your Beauties. And when you are there check out the “Things I wish I Knew when I started quilting” at Off the Wall Friday – interesting points there and in the comments as well.

 

BOM 2021: Star #5

The last two stars of the BOM 2021 were fast and easy to sew. This one not so. This is partly due to its 57 pieces in a 10 x 10 inches (26 x 26 cm) block. Because of this many pieces you have to cut and sew really precisely to get a good result. But the resulting star is worth all the efforts.

Cutting
All the measurements include a ¼ inch (7,5 mm) seam allowance.

From the yellow fabric cut
3 squares 2½ x 2½ inches (7 x 7 cm)
2 squares 2 x 2 inches (5,5 x 5,5 cm)
Cut all 5 squares diagonally.

From the blue fabric cut
3 squares 3⅛ x 3⅛ inches (8,5 x 8,5 cm)
2 squares 2 x 2 inches (5,5 x 5,5 cm)
Cut these 5 squares diagonally.
Furthermore cut
2 squares 1⅝ x 1⅝ inches (4,5 x 4,5 cm)

From the orange fabric cut
4 squares 2 x 2 inches (5,5 x 5,5 cm), cut diagonally
In addition cut
4 squares 1⅝ x 1⅝ inches (4,5 x 4,5 cm)

From the darkblue background fabric cut
2 squares 2½ x 2½ inches (7 x 7 cm)
4 squares 2 x 2 inches (5,5 x 5,5 cm)
Cut these 6 squares diagonally.
And cut
4 squares 2¾ x 2¾ inches (7,5 x 7,5 cm)
8 squares 1⅝ x 1⅝ inches (4,5 x 4,5 cm)

Sewing
With all the triangles you have a lot of sewing on the bias. Be careful not to stretch the fabric. Press the units but be careful not to distort the fabric.

Join a small yellow and a small darkblue triangle along the long side. Make 4 units. Press. I personally cut off the dog ears.

Sew a small darkblue square to each unit. Refer to the picture for the right orientation. Press.

Join a small orange and a small darkblue triangle along the long side. Make 4 units. Press.

Sew a small darkblue square to each unit. Refer to the picture for the right orientation. Press.

Join a small orange and a small blue triangle along the long side. Make 2 units. Press.

Sew a blue square to each unit. Refer to the picture below for the right orientation.

Join a large yellow and a large darkblue triangle, exactely as shown in the picture below. Make 4 units. Press.

Join the yellow-darkblue triangle and a large blue triangle along the long side. Make 4 units. Press.

Join a small orange and a small blue triangle, exactely as shown in the picture below. Make 2 units. Press.

Join a large yellow triangle to the orange-blue triangle, exactely as shown in the picture below. Make 2 units. Press.

Sew together one of these triangles (orange-blue-yellow) with a large blue triangle, along the long side. Make 2 units. Press.

Now you have sewn all the necessay parts. Let’s put the block together. Lay out all the pieces as shown in the picture below. Lay them right beside your sewing machine so you can put them back when sewn as not to mix up the parts.

Sew together the 5 vertical rows. Be careful not to mix up the pieces and check with the picture above for the orientation of the pieces. It’s easy to make a mistake here (ask why I know).

I pressed the seam allowances between the different parts in one direction so that they will „nest“ together with the next row. As a reference for me the pin in each row indicates in which direction the seam allowances should be pressed.

This is your finished block.

Take 4 of the strips 11 x 1 inches (28 x 2,5 cm) that you cut from the background fabric previously (see introduction to the BOM here) and sew 2 of them to opposite sides of your block. They are a little bit too long – shorten them to the block size. Sew the 2 remaining strips to the other sides of the block and shorten if necessary. Finished!

I would love to see your finished star-blocks. Please post them in the comments at TheQuiltingSpace’s Facebook page, tag me on Instagram @thequiltingspace and/or use the hashtag #thequiltingspace.

See you in June for star #6.

I’m linking this to Off the Wall Friday, Can I get a Whoop Whoop and to Brag about your Beauties.

 

Sewing Shopping Bags

How about your New Year Resolutions? I believe that many of them got lost during the days of January – I definitely know that mine did (more or less). Except of one.

I decided to use less plastic and paper bags this year. To say “no, thank you” to plastic bags in the bookstore, in the drugstore and even when doing the groceries. That’s when I get out my “homemade” fabric bag to store the goodies I’ve bought.

Sewing these bags don’t take a lot of time (half an hour to be precise) and you can use any fabric in your stash. Although I confess that I did choose my fabrics carefully. I’ve got a bag for vegetables (that means groceries in general), I’ve got one for everything (the black and white one) and sometimes my bags just reflect the season. I am still searching for a fabric with books – yes, I do go to the bookstore rather often.

If you also want to avoid all those plastic and paper bags that fill up your home and the dumpsters – here is the pattern:

You need
2 pieces of fabric (might be different fabric) 18 x 20 inches (46 x 51 cm) for the bag and
2 pieces of fabric (should be the same fabric) 18 x 4 inches (46 x 10 cm) for the handles.

Take one piece of fabric for the handle and fold it in half lengthwise, right sides out. Iron and open up again. Bring each side of the fabric to the ironed line in the middle, iron again.

Fold the fabric again in the middle along the line you ironed in the beginning, iron once more.

Stitch the open sides of the handle together. Make the second one.

Take your two pieces of fabric for the bag and lay one on top of the other. If the design on your fabric has an up- and a down-side check that it runs in the same direction on both pieces. Fold over approx. 1 inch (2 cm) at the top of the fabric and iron, doing this with both fabrics at the same time. No need to fold exactly 1 inch (2 cm) as it will automatically be the same width on both fabrics.

Now work with one piece of fabric at a time. Pin one handle to the left side of your fabric 4 inches (10 cm) away from the edges of the fabric. The handle lies exactly on the folded part. Pin from the right side of the fabric.

Fold the upper edge of the fabric (with the handle) once again, same width as the first fold. Pin.

Fold the handle outward and pin it in place. Stitch this hem close to the fold and close to the upper edge. Make the second part of the bag in the same way.

Put the two sides of the bag together, right sides out (yes, that’s correct). Stitch the three sides of the bag together using a seam allowance of only 1/8 inch (4 mm). Backstitch at the beginning and at the end of the seam. Turn the bag left sides out and stitch the three sides again, this time using a “normal” seam allowance of 1/4 inch (7,5 mm). Turn right sides out.

See – it’s really easy. And fast. So why not make a few more bags? For yourself or as a gift. Or even as a gift wrap. Choose fabric you like or find the perfect novelty print if it is a gift.

Have fun and enjoy the feeling that you create something beautiful that helps the environment as well.

I’m linking this to Off the Wall Friday, Can I get a Whoop Whoop and to Brag about your Beauties.

 

Patchwork Pillow for Mother’s Day

Next Sunday is Mother’s Day. I hope you already have your present and the card for your  mother’s special day ready. But if not – don’t despair. Here’s a lovely throw pillow that can easily be done over the weekend. Get out your rotary cutter and raid your stash and soon you will have a pretty and self-made gift for your mom.

The finished pillow will measure 22 x 22 inches (50 x 50 cm).

All the measurements include a seam allowance of ¼ inch (0,75 cm).

If you are working in centimeters don’t compare to the measurements in inches (and vice versa). They are not the same because of the different pillow sizes available in the US and in Europe.

For the ninepatches you need
25 squares 2½ x 2½ inches (6 x 6 cm) in red and
20 squares 2½ x 2½ inches (6 x 6 cm) in green (or in whatever colors you choose).

For the flower patches you need
4 squares 6½ x 6½ inches (15 x 15 cm),
scraps in red, yellow and green for the flowers and
some fusible web if fusing is your preferred way of appliqué.

4 border strips (green for my pillow) 2½ x 23 inches (6 x 53 cm).

1 square 23 x 23 inches (55 x 55 cm) of thin batting
1 square 23 x 23 inches (55 x 55 cm) of thin cotton fabric

For the backside of the pillow 2 pieces 23 x 17 inches (55 x 42 cm).

And of course you need a pillow insert 22 x 22 inches (50 x 50 cm).

Make 5 ninepatches.

Download the pattern for the flower by clicking on the picture of the flower (left) and print it out. Check that your printer prints at ‘actual size’. Check that you like the size of the flower on your 6 ½ inch (15 cm) square but don’t forget that there’s a seam allowance all around the fabric. If you don’t like the size draw the flower a little bit smaller or larger (you might even add a leaf). Appliqué the flower in your favorite method.

Join the ninepatches and the flower blocks as seen in the picture above.

Sew two border strips on opposite sides of the pillow and shorten them to the right length. Join the other two border strips and shorten them as well.

Make a quilt sandwich out of the top, the thin batting and the thin cotton fabric. Quilt by hand or by machine (depending on your favorite method and even more so on the time available). I suggest to quilt at least in the ditch around the ninepatches and at the inside of the border strips. Cut the batting and the thin cotton fabric to the size of the top.

For the backside of the pillow measure your top and cut the 2 pieces 23 x 17 inches (55 x 42 cm) to the width of the top (that should be 22½ inches or 51 cm – a little bit smaller or bigger is ok as well).

On one 22½ inches (51 cm) side turn the edge ½ inch (1,5 cm) to the left side of the fabric, iron, turn another ½ inch (1,5 cm) and iron again. Machinstitch this seam. Do this on both backside pieces.

Layer top with right side up and the 2 pieces of the the backside left side up on top of it. Align the edges of the top and the backside pieces. The backside pieces will overlap in the middle – that’s where the seams are. Sew all around the outside of the pillow, backstitching at the beginning and the end. Turn the cushion right side out und put your pillow into your beautiful cover. Done!

I hope you like this idea for a perfect Mother’s Day gift.

I would love to see your finished pillow. Please post them in the comments at TheQuiltingSpace’s Facebook page, tag me on Instagram @thequiltingspace and/or use the hashtag #thequiltingspace.

I’m linking this to Off the Wall Friday, Can I get a Whoop Whoop and to Brag about your Beauties.

 

Crazy Chicken Quilt

This is one of my favorite quilts – displayed in my home only a few weeks before and after Easter. The weird chicken make me smile every time I pass by.

The quilt is really easy and fast to sew and you can make it in any size you want.

Make the pattern: Draw a rectangle in the height and width you want your chicken to be. On the upper side of the rectangle mark the middle and draw a triangle as shown in my sketch. Mark the pieces A, B and C. Cut the pattern into the three pieces.

Sewing a chicken: Lay the pattern piece A onto the backside of your fabric and trace around it. Cut out with a ¼ inch seam allowance. Do the same for the B and C pieces. Carefully pin B to A. Pin the corner points together, than add one or two pins in between. Sew B to A. Do the same with C. Sew as many chicken as you like.

Sew the chicken together. I added strips between the blocks but you can also sew them side by side. Add borders on all sides.

For the comb of the chicken lay a piece of tracing paper on the quilttop and trace a comb, don’t forget to trace the top of the chicken (the triangle) as well. This is your pattern for the comb, to be placed on the right side of the fabric (you have to mirror it if you place it on the left side of your fabric). Cut out with a seam allowance if you want to hand appliqué it or with no seam allowance and satin-stitch it in place.

Add two black dots for the eyes, a triangle for the beak and two small pieces formed like waterdrops for the wattles (as the hanging flaps of skin on either side under the beak are called as I just learned on Wikipedia). I fused all of these pieces.

Make a quilt sandwich, quilt, bind and hang on the wall so that you can have your daily chuckle too.

I’m linking this to Off the Wall Friday, Can I get a Whoop Whoop and to Brag about your Beauties.