Monday, March 28, 2011

Quilt in a Weekend: Pinwheel Crib Quilt, or Wall Hanging

    As my siblings, cousins, and I all get a little older there has been a lull in the births in the family, so we were very excited to learn of a new little bundle of joy on the way. One of the things I just love to make is a baby quilt. It's a quick project and when else can you use those cutesy fabrics?

  Since cousin A. is expecting a little lad, I delved into my blues and greens and decided to put together a pinwheel quilt.

Pinwheel blocks are a good way to use up scraps, and they can be whimsical or even kind of posh. I've used this pattern to make a previous baby quilt, as well as a pillow and a couch throw.

   Here is the fabric pallet I chose:

1.) What makes this an easy block is a simple trick to making Half Square Triangles. So to start, cut your squares 7/8 of an inch larger than you want your finished square to be. I am cutting mine 4 7/8 inches, 12 squares each of 4 fabrics.

3.) Lay one square on top of the other (right sides together) and mark the center from corner to corner.

3.) Use this mark as a guideline to sew 1/4 inch away on either side.

By the way, this is a great time to use chain piecing.

4.) When all the pieces are sewn on both sides of the center line, cut on that center line, press open, and you will have two half Square Triangles.

5.) Arrange your pieces in the pinwheel pattern.

(Tun the pieces a little and you could also make the Broken Dishes pattern.)

6.) Sew your pieces together in sets (top, and bottom two) and press.

7.) Then sew these two sets together, press, and trim up the sides. As we learned with the Valentine's Heart Pillow: sloppy sides make for sloppy projects.

8.) Arrange in the order you desire.

9.) Cut the short sashing, 3 inches wide by the length of your blocks (3in.X8in. for mine), and sew to the bottom of the blocks **except for the bottom row**.

10.) Cut long sashing strips to go between the rows, 3in. wide by the length of the row. I like to cut the strips a couple of inches longer than the row just to make sure I have enough.

11.) Using the same method, cut and sew 3in.-wide strips to frame in the blocks:

First the top and bottom

Then the long sides

12.) Then layer with your batting and backing, and baste or pin together (more on the layers and basting).

13.) Quilt or Tie

14.) Then finish off with the binding.

View of the back

I can't tell you how much I love this one. I'm not bragging, I just get a kick out of seeing it all come together and imagining the joy and warmth it will bring.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Quick Gift Bag Idea

I recently attended the 14th birthday of my nephew. Seriously... what do boys want!? Well cash is pretty much the answer, but I also threw in a package of candy bars and a bottle of his favorite soda. It's not glamorous but he liked it.

However, there was the little problem of presentation. Wrapping paper wasn't really going to cut it, and the gift bags I had on hand were Christmas themed. What's a gal to do?

Fortunately I spotted a bag given to me by a local business, some fun Duct Tape, and the hamster wheels of the mind started turning.
Check out these pretty designs and other colors at

Perhaps you have seen the Duct tape in funky colors and patterns. I found mine at a local craft store. (Really, how can you resist Zebra striped tape?)

The gift bag really couldn't be much easier.

Gifts on the Right, Gift Bag Materials on the Left

Step One: Apply Duct Tape to the outsides of the bag, covering the logo (and beautifying at the same time).

Step Two: Put Gifts in bag.

The end.

This was so fun and quick! I will be on the look out of other items to Ductally Enhance. ;)