Friday, March 21, 2014

'Heart'felt gift

The past few days I've been working on this sweet little table runner to give as a gift to a young couple who have been active at our church.  We met several years ago through Committee work there.  They will be married later this month.

The pattern is Winter Palace Table  Runner, a free pattern from Maywood Studio.  The center of the pattern is a 9 inch block, and I've used a paper pieced heart block.  This is such a great pattern for using up a UFO block on point!

A lesson learned here was that using two fabrics with relatively the same density of pattern, but in opposite colors, doesn't really give much contrast.  The eye just blends the white-on-navy and the navy-on-white.  I added some bright 1 1/2 inch buttons to bring out the contrasting blocks, and it helped. The runner is quilted with a combination of straight lines, waves and feathers and was a fun little project to make.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Little Shamrock ornament

Really, I'm not much one for working with teeny tiny pieces.  But these little ornament blocks are so cute that I just can't resist!  I tucked one of these heart ornaments into the Valentine cards I sent the 'kids', and just had to come up with one for St. Patrick's day.  I made a larger version too, so check the bottom of the post for that.

Here are the parts you need:
2 inch squares: 3 green and 1 white
3/4 inch squares: 6 white
1 x 2.5 inch strips: 2 white
1 x 3.5 inch strips: 2 white
4 inch square: 1 white (backing)
4 inch square: batting
1/4 1/8 inch wide ribbon: 8.5 inches
pinking shears

Let's get started:
Place a small white square in the corner of a green square.  Stitch across the diagonal.  It's so tiny that I didn't feel I needed to mark it.   Repeat so that all three green squares have white squares on three of the corners.  Flip and press to the corners.  Clip off excess on the corners if you wish.

Stitch a generous 2 inch section of ribbon across the white 2 inch square - starting in one corner and angling slightly to one side - for your shamrock stem. (You could also just zigzag a stem or hand embroider if you prefer.)

Stitch the 2 inch blocks together into a four-patch as shown.  Layer the batting and backing pieces.  Using a quilt-as-you-go method, lay the folded back four-patch with the center edge in the center of the batting and stitch through all layers.  Flip open.

Add white border strips by stitching through all layers and flipping open.  Finger press as you go.  Top-stitch the borders about 1/2 inch from the inside edge, using your machine foot as a guide.  Trim outside your top-stitching with a pinking shears.  With the remaining 6 inches of ribbon, add a loop at the top corner to hang your ornament.

The little shamrock block finishes at 2 inches and the entire ornament finishes at 3 inches square.

But, teeny tiny isn't always what we need.

The same shamrock block can be made to finish at 3 inches, which makes a nice size for lots of small projects.

For this table topper which finished at about 12 inches square I made two 3-inch (finished) shamrock blocks and paired them with two 4-patch blocks made from 2-inch squares.

The shamrock blocks each are made with:
2 inch squares: 3 green and 1 white
1 inch squares: 6 white
1/4   1/8 inch wide ribbon: 2.5 inches

The borders are each cut at 2 inches wide.
Can't wait to quilt this up!

Adding a Friday link-up with Sarah