Sunday, March 16, 2014

Self-Bordered Receiving Blanket

Cozy Flannel

 

Start by buying the best flannel you can find!  Buy 3/4 yard for the center square and a square of the back/border. So, if the flannel is 42" wide, then buy 42" (or 43" so you can square it up properly).

I used two coordinating flannels, the cute elephant one is 'Fanfare' by rae hoekstra from Cloud 9 Fabrics, a yummy 100% organic cotton. The yellow, 100% cotton is 'Dimples' by Gail Kessler from Andover Fabrics.  I pre-washed the fabrics.

Cut both fabrics into squares. The measurements aren't super important, just that each is square.
 Fold diagonally and cut for a square  

Cut both squares
Mark the middles of each square and pin right sides together. Pin from the middle out to each end.

Sew a 1/4" seam starting and stopping 1/4" from the ends of the smaller, center square. Back stitch at your stops and starts.
Mark the middles of the next side (just one rotation, not across), pin from the middle, then stitch, starting and stopping 1/4" from the ends of the smaller square. Be sure to keep the floppy corners out of the way of your stitching. The closer you can get to the previous side's stitches the better. Nice right angle seams are good!
Rotate and sew the next side in the same way. Sew the fourth side by leaving about six inches open in the middle for turning, be sure and back stitch on the open ends.
Lay the sewn piece on your ironing board. Gently flatten the fabric out and move it until the center square is perfectly in the center. You'll know it's right when the border sides all lay flat. When it's good, then iron with your seams out towards the border.
Iron the corner 'wings' flat
Iron the corners so that there is a nice crease at a 45 degree angle from the corner of the center square out (on the border fabric). Put a couple of pins parallel to the crease. Open out the fabric so only two layers are together, then pin across the crease.
Pin over the mitered crease
 Start at the upper side (in the picture) which is next to the center square and sew out to the end along the ironed fold. If you can't see it, use a fabric marker (that comes out) or a pencil to draw the line in darker. Be sure all the rest of the fabric is out of the way of your seam. 
Trim to 1/4" seam allowance
Sew all four corners. Turn right side out and press. Find a pretty top stitch on your machine and use a coordinating (or matching, or contrasting, or variegated...) thread to top stitch over the seam. No need to close the opening before top-stitching, so no hand work.
A wavy stitch in yellow over the seam
Finished at 34 inches square
I bought extra fabric and plan to make matching burp cloths (with a terry cloth back) and a small drawstring bag to put it all in. Great gift of course.

Find my entry for June 2013, Easy Bordered Napkins. I did this same thing, only smaller.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Crop Circles

111cm X 162cm (43" X 63")
On-line I saw an aerial photo of crop circles. I've always enjoyed seeing them on a flight myself and I thought it would make an interesting quilt. I had a lot of greens left over from a quilt I made for my daughter and then started collecting some mustard/saffron colored prints along with browns. I tend to like scrap quilts with a color theme. I'll usually buy only a half a yard of any one fabric.
from buzzfeed.com


Hand applique is great for a take-a-long hand work project. For this one, I cut out the mustard squares (larger than their finished cut size would be) and used freezer paper circles for the greens. I always had something to applique (did a lot of them during my 30 minute lunch break at work). I put the finished ones on the design wall, then re-trimmed the squares and sewed them together with the narrow brown sashing, all this by machine. 
The reason for the 'larger than their finished cut size' and 're-trimmed squares', is because after handling the fabric to applique fraying can occur. I cut out the back of the appliqued circle, remove the freezer paper, then press and trim.
Close-up. 15cm blocks, .75cm sashing
I chose a random angle for the whole quilt to be. I didn't want a 45 degree placement. 
The border is random strips of the browns sewn together in .75cm and 1.5cm widths. I threw in some mustard pieces too. The strips are joined together with 45 degree seams. I carefully mitered the corners.

Back view
For the back I bought some extra wide high-quality muslin, (so no piecing) and hand dyed it with fiber reactive procion dye. I got lucky and picked the color I wanted without having to mix it.

I'm a hand quilter so after several months of quilting, it's done! I usually quilt in the evenings with a good light and the TV on. This quilt was small enough to take along to guild meetings to quilt there too.