Monday, November 8, 2010

Quilting Block: Tilted Squares

Here is what I am working on with my Crazy Eight Reindeer Panel quilt - tilted squares! It adds a great "twist" to your quilt.

1. Add a border fabric to your middle square. (I added honey bun strips). After adding the border, make sure each block is the same size. In my case, I made all of mine 6 1/2". 

2. On my cutting board, I made a chalk mark where the 1/2" line would be since there is none. Then, I lined my bottom left corner with the 2" mark, and my bottom right corner on the 1/2" chalk mark. 

3. Mark all of your cut lines before cutting. Just remember the goal is to have straight lines even though the square in the middle is becoming tilted! I use my ruler as a guide from the bottom left corner and along the 2" line. See how it creates a straight line? It's also important here to mark before you cut because then you can see how your quilt block will come out before any cutting is done.

4. Below are all of my chalk marks. I put the ruler on the right side to show how you would line it up in order to mark all sides. Basically you start from the corner and go straight! For instance, I used the 2" line on the bottom, the 6 1/2" line on the right side, the 8" line on the top, and the 1/2" line for the left side. 

5. Now cut, and if you started out with a 6 1/2" square like me, you should now have a 6" x 6" finished square. 

These make for very whimsical and cute quilting blocks! You can view them within a quilt here.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Add A Decorative Touch To Your Quilt

I bought this panel (awhile ago) called, "Crazy Eight Reindeer Panel". I saw the quilt put together and LOVED this detail: stitching! As you can see, I added snowflakes falling down from the sky. I also outlined a few items (like the striped blue hat below) to give the panel a 3D affect as well as to help hide the fact that this is indeed a panel! I'm not a huge fan of them, but this one is really cute. You can view the whole panel here. It comes with the large picture with the reindeer, and all of the squares you see with Christmas decor (ie. holly, Christmas tree, snowman, ornament, etc.) I plan to make up my own version of this quilt and have some cute quilting block ideas for you, so check back!

To stitch these falling snowflakes in, along with outlining items on the panel, I used cross stitch thread (all strands) and a needle. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Dish Towel Bib

This bib is quick, easy, and affordable. You can use older dish towels, or buy them brand new (but I would only pay $1 for each one). It's best for kids 6 months or older. I personally like these because they cover the shoulders, are long in the front, and even cover the backside!

1. Take a normal kitchen dish towel, then measure and mark eight inches from the top as well as halfway across. (simply fold it in half to get the halfway mark)

2. Fold the top of the cloth down at the 8" mark.

3. Fold in half (hot dog style)

4. Cut at a 3" angle along the inside fold (where your 8" and halfway marks are will be directly under where my 3" mark is on my measuring tape shown below)

Here is what your towel will look like after cutting:

5. Cut your ribbing. I made mine 14" long. One way to test if it's big enough is to pin the end and where you're thinking of cutting, then see if it fits over your head. Once cut, fold it in half length-wise.

6. Take the two ends of your ribbing - on one side fold it inward so there's no raw edge, then tuck the other end inside of it.

7. Insert four pins total on the top, bottom and sides of your circle.

 8. Pin in ribbing at the four points on the front side of your towel. It stretches so it won't fit on exactly and that's okay!

9. Start on one pin and sew. I have a hemstitch on my sewing machine so that's what I used. If you only have a basic machine do a zig-zag stitch so it will hold better. The best option is to use a serger. 
**You will have to stretch the ribbing to make it fit. Sart at one pin, put your needle in the down position, and stretch your fabric to fit to the next pin. 

You're done! Here's a view of the back:

And the front: