Quilt Block “Hope”

Back in February, I told you about the Quilt Block of the Month program that is being done in Hancock Fabrics stores around the country. Today, I would like to share with you my tips on the creation of the second block in that program (for those of you who missed the first block post, it can be found here).

First, I have to tell you, if you are still interested in joining the Quilt Block of the Month program at your local Hancock Fabrics, you are welcome to do so. Stores will be glad to help you catch up with the program, and as you can see in this link: Journey Quilt, you will have a beautiful quilt when you complete the program.

All stores have free demonstrations of the block, and a quilter on hand to assist with any questions you might have with the current or past blocks. Generally the free demonstration is on the third Saturday of the month, but some stores have chosen alternate dates, so make sure you check with your location before you plan to show up!

Now, on to the block itself! This block was actually the March block (I’ve been so busy with my running around that I just got it stitched up for you), but as I said it’s never to late to get started.

The quilt this year was designed by Laura Jones who did a great job coming up with the ideas for our “Journey” quilt. The block from the first month was called “Treasure” and this block is titled “Hope” Laura choose to use a sun for this block. What a great choice – doesn’t the sun have that effect on us and our hopes and dreams? And particularly this time of year when so many of us are looking at rainy skies and ‘hoping’ for the sun to chase out the clouds.

This block is an appliqué block. I suggest that you draw the sun flames and sun center onto the fusible web – I used wonder under from Pellon.

Next,iron the rough side (the side with the glue on it) to the fabric you will be using to create the appliqué. Make sure your iron is applied only to the paper, and not to the fabric – that way you won’t get any glue on the surface of your iron! After the paper and fabric have completely cooled, cut our your shapes. Here I am working on the sun’s flames.

Once you have finished cutting out your appliqué shapes, it’s time to apply them to the block. Peel the paper off the back of the appliques. Place the design on the block and iron again. This will join the applique with the quilt block. When you are finishing off the edges around the sun you can appliqué in many ways: blanket stitch by hand or on your machine using a choice of decorative stitches. I decided to use a satin stitch fairly tight. Whenever you pile a lot of stitches in a small space (which is what I did using the zig zag stitch or satin stitch) you need to use a stabilizer on the back so that your fabric doesn’t stretch out. I used the stabilizer – Totally Stable from Sulky. Totally Stable is a tear away stabilizer. Pin it to the back of your project, then I iron over it and it clings to my project – this gives your fabric some extra body for the stitching you are about to do. Finish up with your satin stitch design and than simply tear the stabilizer away. Here are pictures of the stabilizer package (so you can find it yourself), and the back of my project after I have finished the satin stitching and as I am tearing the stabilizer away (the section I have removed is in the upper left corner of the project).


You now have a sun palette to finish anyway you choose for the center of the sun. You can add yarn, trim, beads, satin stitch in a swirl, or leave and quilt the design later.

Here are some of the ideas I’ve seen used to finish the center of the sun. As you can see, a swirl is what the pattern calls for.

Finished with a dress trim

A dark tan yarn in the center

A variegated yarn to finish, this yarn is heavier than the one that uses the dark tan.

As you can see, this is a quilt that will include a lot of the quilter’s personality, which is perfect because it truly is a ‘journey’ that we will all go through as we complete this quilt. Are you ready to join the Journey?
Sheila Reinke, Heart of Sewing

FREE Pattern – Easter Placemat

Yesterday, I promised a placemat to go with your new Easter table-runner, and even better, this is my own pattern (with the exception of the appliqué in the center), so I can offer this as a free pattern to you!

You will need the following supplies to make 4 placemats –

  • white cotton fabric – 1 yard
  • colorful accent fabric – ½ yard
  • fabric for appliqué of your choice – depends on design chosen
  • small fabric squares for yo-yo embellishments
  • buttons
  • neutral fabric for backing – 1 yard
  • a strong, flat batting (I recommend using Warm & Natural, or Pellon Fleece) – 1 yard
  • coordinating seam binding – 8 yards

Pattern Image A Instructions that follow will walk you through the creation of ONE placemat, repeat as needed to complete your set.

  1. Cut a white square 12½” x 12½”
  2. Apply your applique to the center of the white square
  3. Cut the accent fabric 6½” x 12½”
  4. Sew accent fabric to left side of white square, using a ¼” seam allowance.
  5. Sandwich together design fabric (top of placemat), batting, and backing fabric.
  6. Using a ¼” seam allowance, sew around the placemat, trim edges, and add seam binding.
  7. Quilt, using a simple design that will not detract from your center appliqué.
  8. Your finished placemat will be approximately 12″ x 18″.

Image Pattern BMy placemat also included some embellishements – the yo-yos that run down the seam between the accent fabric and the white fabric, as well as buttons to secure the yo-yos. I recommend adding any embellishments such as these after step 4, but before you continue on to step 5. This way all of your stitches will be inside of the quilted placemat. You will need to take care in quilting the finished product to avoid any damage to the yo-yos. The image to the left shows how the yo-yos were placed, and the approximate placement of the egg appliqué I used from the book “Quilted Holiday Accents”.

The sky is the limit with a pattern of this type, you can add multiple small appliqués, or just put in one large one as I did for my Easter placemat.   The Easter Egg applique used on this sample you will find in the book “Quilted Holiday Accents” featured in the blog yesterday.  Pick a copy of that book at Hancock Fabrics in the quilting department. The accent fabric down the left side could be a space to embroider the name of the person sitting at that place – turning your placemats into name cards. (What a fun way to make a guest feel special for a holiday dinner.)

You can also use your imagination when embellishing, just remember that if you want to use the placemats at the table with food, you need to keep things fairly simple. But with that in mind, imagine making special placemats up for your own little princess – using a marabou boa to trim the side of the placemat. These would make a fun party favor for the guests to take home with them as well as a great memento for your little princess of her special day.

Well, now you’ve seen the pattern, and seen a few suggestions for ways to make your own unique placemats. Below is the image of the finished piece. I think it will look great with the table-runner – don’t you?

Finished Placemat

What’s your inspiration? I’d love to see what types of ideas you can come up with for this fun pattern! Enjoy!
Sheila Reinke, Heart of Sewing

Book Review – Sunbonnet Sue Visits “Quilt in a Day”

This review will cover the title Sunbonnet Sue Visits “Quilt in a Day” – from the Quilt in a Day series by Eleanor Burns.
force space

First, I need to stress – the quilt shown here is NOT a quilt that can be made in a day. The publisher of the series is called ‘Quilt in a Day’. I thought of this book because we are talking about appliqué this week – and what is more traditional in appliqué than Sunbonnet Sue?
When I made the towels yesterday, we used Pellon Wonder Under to apply the appliqués. For the Sunbonnet Sue quilt, we will use lightweight Pellon interfacing.
force space

  1. Draw the mirror image of your appliqué design onto the interfacing. Make certain the glue side is down.
  2. If you are using more than one appliqué, you may draw them all onto the same piece – but be sure you leave at least ½” between images so you have room to trim around them.
  3. If you have drawn more than one design on your interfacing, and you will be using different fabrics – you need to cut the designs apart.
  4. Next, place the glue side of the interfacing down against the top side of fabric you are using to create the appliqué.
  5. Stitch (do not press) the interfacing to the fabric – stitching over the lines you used to draw your design.
  6. Cut a small slit in the center of the interfacing (be careful not to cut into your design fabric), and use that to turn the piece right side out. Now your stitching will be to the inside, and the interfacing will have the glue side facing out.

Single Sue

After you have turned each piece of Sunbonnet Sue for one block, lay out the design elements onto the block. I have found it helpful to make a dark copy of the appliqué placement from the book, and place that under my block as I arrange the appliqués. This helps to ensure that each block comes out the same. When it comes time to iron the appliqués into place, I use the Singer Steam Press, which works great for this type of ironing.

For my quilt, I used a blanket stitch (I did mine by hand, but you could use a machine if you prefer). I never added any other embellishment to mine, but if you look at the book, it recommends items like lace, buttons, ribbons, etc. The book has instructions for sizes from a Springtime Wallhanging to Double Coverlet size. This book can be picked up at any Hancock Fabrics store in the quilting department.

This quilt has become quite a favorite in my home, anytime my granddaughter comes to visit, she insists on sleeping with the ‘dolly’ quilt.

Book image and information posted with permission from Eleanor Burns
Sheila Reinke, Heart of Sewing