FREE Pattern: Tree Quilt (Baby Quilt)

Recently, I was asked to assist with projects created at a young friend’s baby shower (more on that in another post) – and that got me to thinking about baby quilts and projects.  So when I was asked to create a project for Olfa’s website, I decided to make it a baby quilt.  I didn’t want to make a quilt that was just for a girl, or just for a boy – so I decided on a simple color scheme of soft blue and green, with some brown for the tree.  The tree is made with large rounded leafy sections, rather than individual leaves – which makes it simpler for baby’s eyes.

Olfa Circle Cutter

Olfa Circle Cutter

This project is made easy when you use the Olfa Circle Cutter – which makes perfect circles of whatever diameter you want (within the limits of the cutter of course).  The current model of the cutter will make circles ranging from 1 7/8″ to 8 1/2″, quite versatile.  The circles I used for this project ranged from 1 7/8″ to 5 1/2″.

Finished quilt size: Approximately 45″ x 60″
Difficulty level: Intermediate

Materials

  • 2 yards fusible web for appliqués
  • 3/4 yard blue background fabric (Cut 25 1/2″ X 41 1/2″)
  • 1/4 yard each of 4 different green fabrics for round leaves
  • 1 yd brown (tree, 1st border, and binding)
  • 1⅓ yard of 2nd border fabric (blue fabric with dot pattern used in my example)
  • Scraps of gold and black fabric for birds
  • Batting
  • Backing

Construction –

  1. Enlarge the following pattern 300%. Tree Pattern
  2. Iron 9″ strips of fusible web onto each of the green fabrics for leaves. This is done before you cut the circles for the leaves.
  3. Using the pattern as a guide, use your Olfa Circle Cutter to cut circles in different sizes. (Find out how easily and accurately you can cut circles with this tool!) My circles ranged in sizes from 1 7/8″ to 5 1/2″ in diameter.
  4. Cut binding from brown fabric: 5 strips 2.5” x the WOF (width of fabric), or if you are not comfortable with this method, purchase a binding that will complement the fabrics in the pattern.
  5. Cut 2nd border fabric: 2 strips 43.5” x 9”, 2 strips 44.5” x 9”
  6. Cut blue background fabric 25.5” x 41.5”
  7. Cut brown border fabric: 2 strips 41.5” x 1.5”, 2 strips 27.5” x 1.5”
  8. Draw tree and bird appliqué designs onto the fusible web. Iron web on to back of the appropriate fabrics (brown for tree, gold for birds). Cut on drawn line. Peel paper off of web and fuse to quilt top.
  9. Applique the design using your favorite method.

You can see from this closeup, I used a zig-zag stitch to stitch down the appliques, with threads that matched the fabrics.  If you want your applique to stand out more, you could use a blanket stitch as we did in the recent Easter Placemat project.

Baby 2Just remember, any time you are making a project to give to someone else – like a baby’s quilt, you don’t know how they will use it.  This quilt may become a wall-hanging, or it may be used in the crib.  So make sure that you construct it in a safe manner.

For those of you that may have never used a circle cutter, don’t let it scare you off.  The cutter itself is easy to use – with a guide to set the size of the circles, a rotary head to do the cutting, and a handle to use when spining the tool to make the circle.  If you ever used a compass in math class – you can use a circle cutter.

And if you want to personalize this quilt even further, considering turning the tree into a family tree – embroider the names of the baby’s family onto the leaves of the tree!

Just a quick reminder on the pictures in this post – all pictures are clickable, and in most cases have been sized down for inserting into the blog.  If you want to see a larger view of any of the pictures, just click!

Sheila Reinke, Heart of Sewing
Sheila

FREE Pattern – Easter Placemat #2

Well it’s March, spring is coming (or so we are told, but I know that’s hard to believe in some parts of the country), and Easter is just around the corner. You all seemed to enjoy my Easter placemats with the fabric yo-yos so much, that I thought you might like a different idea to use this Easter.

Easter often means family, and plenty of young children. And what do young children mean? Messes!
Here are some placemats that the kids will love to use, and that will help you contain the mess. The silverware pocket will be a fun added element for the small ones, who can help to set their own place at the table. You may even continue to use these throughout the spring!

Easter Placemats

Materials (will yield set of four placemats):

  • 2/3 yds – center fabric (bunny print)
  • 1 fat quarter – accent fabric one (green polka dot)
  • 1 fat quarter – accent fabric two (yellow stripe)
  • 1/8 yd – muslin (to make bunny faces)
  • 1/8 yd – green fabric (carrot stems)
  • ¼ yd – orange fabric (carrots)
  • 1 yd – fusible web
  • 1 yd – fabric backing
  • 1 yd – batting
  • Optional: Scrap pink fabric (inside ears), Scrap black fabric (eyes and nose)

As usual with any project where you are uncertain of the fabric contents, wash and dry all of your fabrics before you get started – this will help prevent shrinkage later on.

Construction:

For each of the four placemats you will need, 11”x 13” piece of center fabric (bunny print), 4½” x 13” piece of each of the two accent fabrics (green polka dot and yellow stripe).
These three pieces are sewn together using a ¼” seam allowance, the accent fabrics are on either side of the center fabric.  Note: If you want, you could use a single accent fabric – and sew it on either side of the center fabric.

You will also need to cut two bunny faces, one carrot top, and two carrots for each placemat. Please see the attached pattern for the bunny faces and carrots.  Pattern Link & Placemat Line Drawing

Draw the carrot top and bunny faces onto the paper backing of your fusible webbing, then attach to the appropriate fabric (muslin for bunnies and green for carrot top), before cutting the fabric to size.

For carrots, draw the shape directly onto your orange fabric, and stack two pieces of fabric with right sides together. You will sew the two carrot pieces together all the way around the shape, then cut a slit in the center of one carrot, trim the excess fabric away (leaving 1/8” all the way around), and turn the piece right side out. This will finish the edges of the carrot and make it very slightly 3-D in appearance.

Fuse bunny faces and carrot tops to the placemats, using the instructions for your fusible webbing. Then stitch around each element with black embroidery thread in a decorative blanket stitch. Stitch the carrots onto the placemat backing in the same manner – except for the TOP of the carrot. Leave the top of the carrot open to make this into a pocket for silverware. Note: to complete the look of this, I blanket-stitched that area too, but did not sew through to the back of the placemat – just through the carrot.
You might be tempted to skip the blanket stitch and just sew down the appliqué pieces with your sewing machine – but looking at this picture, you can see how much the blanket stitch really finishes this project off.


Complete the accents for the bunnies with fabric (pink for inside ears and a small bit of black fabric for eyes and nose) or you can embroider these elements on. I used a small bit of fabric paint to add blush to the bunnies’ cheeks. You could use buttons for the eyes and nose if you wanted (and don’t mind a slightly lumpy placemat). Another fun idea would be to add a bow-tie to one bunny, and a bow on the ear of the other (Mr. & Mrs. Bunny). After finishing this project, it occurred to me that a green napkin would make a great carrot top! What other personal touches come to your mind?

spacespace

After you have finished all your appliqué and embellishments, it’s time to finish off the project – with batting, backing and binding. I used the same fabric as the center of my placemat as the binding, but if you wanted to use a coordinating purchased binding that would be fine as well.

How Fun!

How Fun!

Have fun with this, and if you make one, send me a picture – I love showing different ideas for the same project!
Sheila Reinke, Heart of Sewing
Sheila

Chenille Heart Table Toppers

Spring? We’re still looking at snow on the ground here in the midwest, so I can’t exactly say that spring is in the air – but Valentine’s day is coming and that does tend to give people a ‘spring’ feeling for a few days.

With that in mind – I thought this might be a good time for a new valentine project. So here it is, and I hope you enjoy it!

Chenille Valentine Table Toppers and Hot Pads

In addition to your sewing machine, you will need:

  • 2 yards of a pink/red plaid homespun fabric
  • 2 yards of a solid pink or red fabric (I used pink)
  • 1 Olfa Chenille Cutter
  • 1 acrylic ruler
  • Erasable fabric marker/pencil
  • Heart Template (I made a free-hand template that measured 13”x 18”)

Cut the solid fabric into two one-yard pieces.

Cut one of the yards of solid fabric in half (so it becomes two pieces, each 45” x 18”), set the other one-yard piece aside to make the bias tape later.

Cut your homespun plaid into 4 pieces, each 45” x 18”.

Layer the fabrics as follows: 2 layers of solid pink, with 4 layers of plaid homespun on top. Remember to keep your right sides up on all these fabrics.

For those who have not read my blog post on dealing with prints when making a chenilled fabric, I suggest checking that post out now: Chenille Baby Blanket.  If you want the plaid to show properly, you need to stack the plaid fabric pieces so the print will match.

Once all fabrics are stacked to your satisfaction, pin the layers in place and using the acrylic ruler, mark your first stitching line for your channels. If you are making your first piece of chenilled fabric, please see this link for more information on stitching channels: Make Your Own Chenille.   Make your channel stitches ½” apart for this project.

Channel Stitches

Channel Stitches

Chenille Cutter

Chenille Cutter

Once all your channels have been stitched, select the foot of your chenille cutter that best fits into the channels (not too tightly or loosely) and cut through the top four layers of fabric in each channel. (In other words, you are only cutting through the four pieces of plaid, not the solid.)

Cut out your two hearts – mine measured 13”x 18”.

You should also have enough fabric to make two potholders – I made mine 8”x 9”, but they can be square if you want.

Using the layer of solid pink that was set aside previously, make a bias-cut seam binding and bind each of the pieces, you may want to leave a loop on the pot holders to hang them.

Finally, wash and dry your projects to allow the chenille to ‘bloom’.

Interested in more about making chenille fabrics?  Check out these posts:

Sheila Reinke, Heart of Sewing
Sheila