Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Christmas in August!? Free pattern and upcoming contest!!

Sadly summer is winding to a close.  With three kids, two of whom are teenagers (shudder), it seems shorter and faster every year.  But the upside is that it's about time to get back to quilting (and blogging)!  And what better way to celebrate a return to quilting than with a contest!  Check back here on Monday, August 25th for a chance to win during Quilters Newsletter's Best Christmas Quilts 2014 blog tour.



In the meantime, here's a little Christmas project to get you in the spirit.


This sweet little quilt (and no, it's not a potholder, don't even think about using it as a potholder!!) measures 7 1/2" square and it's embellished with mini buttons and a bit of embroidery.

To make this scrappy quilt you'll need:

10 red 2" x 2" squares
8 green 2" x 2" squares
18 tan 2" x 2" squares
2 tan 1" x 6 1/2" border strips
2 tan 1" x 7 1/2" border strips
8" x 8" piece of batting
8" x 8" piece of backing fabric
red fabric for binding (I used a single fold binding cut 1 1/4" x 38")
5 green buttons
4 red buttons
green embroidery floss (I used Valdani hand dyed 3 strand floss)


To make the pinwheel blocks:


On the back of each tan 2" x 2" square, draw a line a scant 1/4" from either side of the diagonal.




Pair each tan square with either a red or green square.  Each 2" x 2" square pair will result in 2 half square triangles or half of a pinwheel block, so you'll need to matching sets of pairs for each pinwheel block.  I used only one background fabric and one red or green fabric for each pinwheel block, but feel free to make it scrappier.  Place each tan square on top of each red or green square with right sides together. Stitch on each line.




Using a rotary cutter, cut on the diagonal from one corner to the other in between the stitched lines.





Open and press towards the dark side.  Pause to reflect on your favorite Star Wars quote.




Trim the half square triangle to 1 1/2" x 1 1/2".


Once you have repeated the above steps to make 36 half square triangles, you can make the 9 pinwheel blocks by sewing 4 half square triangles together for each.  But I actually chose to lay out the half square triangles in rows to form the 9 pinwheel blocks (refer to the quilt photo for layout), sewed the half square triangles together in those rows and then sewed the rows together to form the quilt top.  Not sure why I did it this way, but it worked pretty well!  I pressed the seams in alternate directions for each row and then pressed the seams between the rows open.

Now stitch one 1" x 6 1/2" border strip to the left and right sides of your quilt top.  Press towards the border.  Stitch one 1" x 7 1/2" border strip to the top and bottom of the quilt top and, you guessed it, press towards the border.

Once your quilt top is assembled, layer it with batting and sew a button to the center of each pinwheel block.  Let me reassure you that behind each button on my quilt, the pinwheel points meet up perfectly -- of course you'll have to take my word for it (handy buttons!!).




Finally, using a big running stitch and three strands of embroidery floss, stitch around the quilt 1/4" from the inside edge of the borders.  Ta da!  Finished quilt top!  Layer your quilt top with the backing fabric (wrong sides together).  I used spray basting adhesive to hold the sandwich together.  Trim the edges, bind and voilà!  A little bit of Christmas in August.  Hang this little quilt on a wall or from a door knob, display it on a small table, or turn it into a pillow.  But DO NOT use it as a potholder!!

Happy quilting!

1 comment:

irene olsen said...

LOve the little quilt and pattern, thanks! I am trying to finish a couple baby quilts so I can start on Christmas ones! Great ideas here!