Friday, February 7, 2014

Crafting- A Valentines Quilt Block Potholder

This week I really felt like sprucing up the whole house, but couldn’t find anything in the shops I liked for the kitchen. I’ve had these charm packs of red fabric that haven’t wanted to be made into anything for a few years now- but today they marched themselves straight up to the sewing table for some piecing and quilting and voila! Valentine Hearts Potholders!

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They are easy to make- just a bit fiddly and time consuming to do. Start with one and a quarter inch strips:

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Piece together one pattern and one solid- red and white are classic, but you could do red and light blue, or pink and red, too. (The dimensions can also be changed to make a larger block. Each block is made up of square units, so if you increase your strip size, just cut your units as wide as your individual strips. See the picture above to illustrate. ). Cut a one inch unit off the patterned and solid strip and join to a 2 inch patterned strip- you’ll end up with a four-quare unit. Tilt it on it’s side and voila! A red and white heart!

Now, make four more- you ‘ll need five for every block you want.

I chain pieced this, so I cut a strip of white two and a quarter inches wide and sewed all the heart units on at the same time, then cut them apart. 

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Make sure all the hearts are facing the same direction, then sew all three strips together.

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Add some borders- I just used white again so the hearts would really pop!

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Backing the quilt with a sold layer allows you to quilt it without the hassle of fitting bulky layers through your sewing machine- woohoo, a sewing win! Just leave an opening to turn it right-side-to…ahem. (voice of experience- picking stitches kind of ruins the “look what I made!” experience, doesn’t it?) I just stitched-in-the-ditch around the outside of the block- it’s sturdy enough if you be sure to iron every seam while sewing the individual blocks together, and I don’t intend to send this through the washer very often (it’s more of a decoration than utility piece). You could certainly quilt every seam, or do little X’s through each square, or squiggly free-hand, or- heavens, the options are quite limitless with such a small project as this!

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Here are the components of your quilt “sandwich”: two layers of batting; the quilt block; the handle; and the backing. This is also the order of layering to use: batting, then the quilt block face up with the handle on top with the loop facing inside, and finally the backing on top of the sandwich, facing down.

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Pin it all together and mark your seamlines. I couldn’t see the quilt block seamline where I tacked the pre-backing on for the quilting step, so I just marked a line with a dry erase pen lightly- it worked like a charm, and made this final sewing step really easy! Grade your seams, turn right side to, slip stitch the opening closed and press. I didn’t edge seam this piece as again I don’t see it getting heavy use, but I would if it’s for a utility piece, so I can throw it into the washer and dryer without having to iron it out if I don’t want to.

Voila! Happy Valentine’s Day, Kitchen!

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(The Kitchen Faeries are convinced it’s a quilt, and are competing with the Bedroom Faeries  over whom has the best one- the Bedroom Faeries appear to be winning, as theirs is about ten times larger…)

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