Friday, March 19, 2021

Pretty Quilt As You Go Placemats From Scraps

 My quilt guilds often make placemats to donate to the Meals On Wheels program which delivers freshly made meals to folks in their homes that may need that extra bit of help.  I think it is a wonderful program and just think how happy those folks are to see the smiling face of the volunteer delivering that meal especially now when everyone is so isolated.  And also the happiness of a bright and cheerful placemat to line their tray and add that personal touch that says someone is thinking of me.  Sometimes these placemats are holiday themed and other times they are just a fun collection of fabrics meant to add some brightness to the day.

Here is a version I like to make as it is quick and pretty!  It also helps me use a bit of my scrap pile.  Actually, it doesn't even put a dent in it but it gives me joy to think it does as well as to make them. 😂

Need to gather our materials.  You will need some 2" strips of fabric in various colors.  You can use variable widths but we'll save those for another project I will show you.  I used batting scraps leftover from quilts, the trim offs after they are quilted.  Also some backing fabric.  Keep in mind that in quilt as you go (QAYG) your bobbin thread will show on the back so make sure it works with your backing fabric.

(1) fabric backing piece cut 14 1/2" x 19 1/2"

(1) batting piece 14 1/2" x 19 1/2"

(5) or (6) strips of fabric 2" x WOF or enough pieces to make the equivalent

(2) strips 2" or 2 1/4" wide x WOF for the binding

(1) 6" x 6" focus block for the center

Smooth out your batting piece and find the center.  Draw a vertical and a horizontal line though this point with a marking pen.  I used a blue water soluble pen but a Frixion would work fine as we won't need the lines after the center is placed. Place your backing fabric wrong side up on a flat surface.  Center the batting piece with the lines facing up on it.

Center your 6" x 6" focus fabric on the batting lining up each point on the drawn lines until the piece is centered. Place a pin or two near the center just to hold it in place.

Lay your first strip right sides together (RST) along one edge of the focus fabric making sure one corner is squared up.  Stitch along the edge using a 1/4" seam allowance.  Stop at the edge of the focus square. Take your scissors and trim off the excess even with the center square. Press the strip open.  I finger pressed as I went to save time or use an iron if convenient.

Place your strip on the opposite side from where you just finished sewing and sew 1/4" from that edge, stopping at the end of the focus block and trimming the excess. Press open.

Next place a strip on one of the sides not yet sewn and repeat the steps (sew, trim, press open).  Trim and repeat for the last side.

Continue working your way around placing the strips on opposite sides, sewing and trimming.

As you get closer to the edges of the placemat, the strips will be shorter and cut off at the edge of the batting.

Once all the strips cover the batting, your placemat should look something like this.

We will now trim down the placemat to it's final size, 14" x 19". Place a ruler that is at least 7" wide on the placemat, lining up the 7" line through the horizontal points on the center focus block.  Trim off the excess.  Flip the ruler and do the bottom the same way.  The height of the placemat should now be 14".

Now trim the width to 19". Place a ruler at least 10" wide on the placemat lining it up the 9 1/2" line to the top and bottom points on the center focus block.  Trim off the excess and repeat for the other side.

Your front and back should now look like this.  Trim any loose threads off of the back that may have been left behind.

Make a double fold binding and sew to the back of the placemat. Be sure to leave a 3" tail not sewn down on each end of the binding and cut on the diagonal.  Fold under about 1/4" on the edge of one of the ends. Tuck the unfolded raw end inside the one folded over and refold the binding neatly. Align to the edge of the placemat, make sure it is nice and tight and finish stitching down.  Fold the binding to the front and secure with wonder clips.  Fold your corners into nice neat miters and hold in place with a clip.  Now top stitch the binding in place.  

Thanks for sewing along with me!  Would love to see what you create.  Post it on the Dragonfly Show and Share on Facebook.

Happy Sewing

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Fun Mug Rugs With A Heart

 I was playing with some of my scraps leftover from the heart themed table runners.  I thought a little mug rug would be just the project!  Small, fast, easy to make and oh so very sweet.  I have two versions here.  The first is Hearts A Flutter with cute little hearts scattered topsy turvy across the surface. The second, My Beating Heart is so simple yet elegant with just some echo quilting to give it it's personality.

So let's gather some materials. The sizes are the same for both mug rugs.

Front and back fabrics:  (2) pieces 6 1/2" x 9 1/2"

Batting:  (1) piece 6 1/2" x 9 1/2"

Binding: 2" x 36" piece, pressed in half length wise

Hearts: Scraps or strips of multiple colors 

Small piece of fusible web that can be sewn (I used Heat N Bond Lite)

You will see the downloads for the heart templates in the sections below. The templates have an optional seam allowance added (outside line) in case someone wishes to hand applique or turn the edges under and use a straight or blanket stitch to attach.  If fusing, trace the inside dark solid line with no seam allowance, then satin or zig zag stitch the edges.  This will quilt your mug rug at the same time.

Download Hearts A Flutter template here.

For Hearts A Flutter, cut 1" strips then sew together along the length to create a strip set. You could also use strips in random widths but not too wide as the hearts are small.  You could also just make each heart a single color of fabric. Press the seams all in the same direction. 

Trace the hearts onto the paper side of the fusible web. rough cut around them and place them on the back of the strip assembly. Press and fuse into place. Cut out the hearts along the drawn lines.

Scatter the hearts onto the top fabric until you find an arrangement you like, then peel the paper backing and fuse into place.  Layer your backing fabric wrong side up, place the batting on top then your top fabric right side up. Secure the layers together with pins or, stitch around the outside, very close to the edge to hold the layers together.  Satin stitch, blanket stitch or zig zag the edges of each heart.  Then echo quilt once around each heart shape.  

Sew your binding on to the front of the mug rug, then fold over to the back.  Machine or hand stitch to the back.

Fabulous and finished!

For My Beating Heart, you will follow all the same steps above except that you will only be fusing on and stitching the one heart.  Download My Beating Heart template here.

The heart is about 3" x 3".  Place it on the mug rug top on the right side centered between the top and bottom with the same distance from the right edge. Fuse or applique into place. Place your layers together, secure then stitch around your heart through all the layers.  Starting at the bottom point of the heart, echo quilt around the heart, equally spacing each round of stitching.  

The echo stitching rounds will eventually start going off the top, bottom and right edges.  As the echo grows larger, you will only be stitching the curves on the left side which goes really fast.  The echo rows should be 1/4" to 3/8" apart.  I just used the width of the foot on my machine.

Finish with binding the same as the Hearts A Flutter mug rug.  That's it, you are done!  So now enjoy your happy little mug rugs this Valentine's Day or any day you wish to share some love with someone special.

Happy Sewing!


PS. Be sure to visit our web site for lots of great quilt, table runner, placemat, home dec and tote bag patterns!

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Heart Themed Quilts With Free Patterns

There are so many fun patterns out on the web that are free!  Great designers share their beautiful designs with us and many also design free projects for the fabric manufacturers to feature a new line of fabric.  Quilt shops love this as they have a great pattern to show you as soon as the fabric arrives.  I was poking around and ran across a few I would like to share.  Of course there are thousands more just through Pinterest alone, but this is a great start!  Some of these certainly could be used for lovely baby quilts any time of year or a fun challenge project to display.

Sandy Gervais (one of my all time favorite fabric designers) created this sweet Candy Hearts table runner for Riley Blake. You can download the PDF here.

We found these adorable hearts designed by Andie Hanna on the Robert Kaufman's site. The quilt is called Chasing Rainbows and would certainly make an adorable nursery or floor quilt for a new arrival.

Robert Kaufman had a lot of free offerings for all seasons but here are a few more of their heart themed quilts.  This lovely quilt called Stars and Hearts Garden Style was made up in batiks but would be awesome in any fabric!

This one is called Sweethearts and also came from the Robert Kaufman site and is so cute in all gingham plaids.

Moda Bake Shop always has a ton of blocks and quilt designs.  I found a few worth noting here.  This one is called Latitude. Would also be fun in batiks with an interesting background print of perhaps grids or maps etc.

This one was also from Moda and used those sweet llama fabrics that were popular.  It is appropriately name Llama Love You.  Of course any small scale print would work.

I love to paper piece and this great heart foundation from Moda could be made in many different sizes and use up a lot of those scraps and small pieces we tend to save.  Would make a  wonderful collage quilt piece using many colors.

This one is called Truffles and looks just like the ooey gooey chocolate centers when you used to stick your finger in the bottom first to see what the filling was before you popped it in your mouth LOL.  Thanks for the memory Moda!

I really loved this one and it is so simple.  Just nine patches set on point.  It is called Stiletto Nine Patch.

And who said diamonds are a girls best friends?  Picture these beautiful pendants in shades of stained glass batiks.  This one was out on the Hoffman site and was simply titled Pendant.

And last but not least is this simple rainbow heart, sunny and bright for any day.

I hope you enjoy making some of these free designs. They certainly translate well in many colors and for many occasions.  I would love to see your creations so be sure to post a pic on my Facebook or Instagram.  Lots of great deals on Dragonfly Fiberart Patterns on the web site, home of the Fast and Fabulous card patterns and we are starting to carry more rulers to make your making easier.  Dragonfly Fiberart Pattern Company

Happy Sewing!

Friday, January 29, 2021

Kissing Hearts Table Runner

Here is another fun Valentine runner to make.  This was a free pattern post a few years ago and a few folks have asked that I bring it back.  The PDF pattern attached is for the original version with the large squares in the middle to show off your quilting.

The PDF download is here.

I thought it would be fun to add some detail to the centers so I updated my 2021 version with fun pinwheels!  Luna decided it would be a lovely place to settle in for a nap when I decided to take the picture.

Here it is without Miss Luna!

If you would like to create the pinwheels for the center, it is super easy.  You will make Half Square Triangles in two coordinating colors.  I used different colors for the 'X' block and the two Heart blocks as I was working from scraps in my stash.

You will need for each center, two 4" light background squares and two 4" contrast color squares.   

Draw a diagonal line on the back of the light background squares.
        Place RST on the contrast fabric squares.
        Sew a scant ¼” to each side of the drawn line then cut on the line.
        Press to the dark.
        Square as needed to 3 1/2"

Now arrange your half square triangles into a pinwheel and sew together.  Your block should be 6 1/2".  Use this block in place of the plain square in the center of the block.


I would love to see pictures of your version!  Be sure to show them them off on social media and join our Dragonfly Fiberart Show & Share Group where you can post all your completed Dragonfly Fiberart Pattern projects and share them with all our friends!

Happy Sewing!

All The Best

Friday, January 22, 2021

Hearts Full of Love Table Runner Part 2

Part 2 of the Hearts Full of Love Table Runner will create the second block which is the string heart.  We will also put the blocks together, add the borders and I can share with you how I quilted it. But certainly do your own thing as my quilting is primitive at best on a domestic machine.


There are a couple of ways you can do this block.  If you wish to piece it (which I did) you can follow the instructions here.  However, if you would rather paper piece it, you can find the foundation here. Because the block is wider than a page, it will tile onto two pages.  Just tape the pages together, lining up the lines.  Be sure your printer is set to full size, no scaling.

Here are the pieces we previously cut:

Light Background: (Tip:  Label your parts to make it easier to identify)
(1) 5 3/4" square and cut twice diagonally (upper heart center)
(4) 5 1/2" squares and cut once diagonally (lower heart corners)
(4) 3 1/2" squares and cut once diagonally (upper heart corners)

From accent 1 (my pink polka dots):
(1) 2" x WOF  (heart blocks)
From accent 2 (my pink with white circle bursts)
(1) 2 1/4" x WOF (heart blocks)
From main fabric (my red floral)
(1) 3 3/4" x WOF (heart block)
From accent 3  (my pink floral)
(1) 2" x WOF (heart blocks)

Create the heart body strip set:

Sew together in order, the 2" accent 3, 2 1/4" accent 2 and the 2" accent 1 strips using a scant quarter inch seam allowance.  Press the seams in the same direction, being careful not to distort your strip set. Your strip set should measure 5 1/4".  From this strip set, cut 4 units that are 8 1/2" wide.

From the main fabric 3 3/4" strip, cut 4 pieces that are 3 3/4" x 5 1/4".  We should now have all our parts.

Sew a center triangle to the short side of the 3 3/4" x 5 1/4" piece.  The tip of the triangle should extend 1/4" beyond the end.  This provides the seam allowance you will need. Press to the dark.

Attach this piece to the strip set.

Press the seam toward the strip set.  Now add the two upper corner triangles.  Press the seams toward the triangles. Remember that the tips of the triangles extend 1/4" beyond the end for the seam allowance.

Now attach the first of the lower triangle corners. The tip of the triangle should extend 1/4" past the edge for your seam allowance.  Press the seam to the triangle.

Next, add the second lower corner in the same manner as the first.

Place a 9 1/2" square up ruler on the block and trim off the excess.  Make 4 blocks.

Now assemble your blocks per the diagram below.  Note the direction of the heart string blocks.  Measure the sides and cut the inner border side strips to length and attach.  Repeat for the top and bottom.  Repeat these steps for the outer border.  Layer the top, batting and backing and quilt as desired. 

From the binding fabric, cut 4 strips 2 1/4" x WOF.  Join the strips with a mitered seam.  Press in half and attach the binding to your quilt.

I am not the greatest free motion quilter (sigh) so I tend to quilt with straight lines.  For this runner, I did stitch in the ditch around each block component then some echo quilting 1/4" from the seams in the triangle areas and on the strings in the heart block.  I traced out hearts in the open blocks of the nine-patch and stitched them using my walking foot.

I hope you had fun making this sweet runner!  Be sure to check out my website for lots of fast and fabulous quilt patterns and Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Sewing!