Wednesday, March 20, 2013

hourglass block baby quilt

Have you missed me?

Life has been crazy in this household... the wonders of a newborn have combined with the challenges of a still sick Momma, so blogging has definitely taken a backseat to life. Sorry!

I'm hoping to seriously start back up again because I've missed you, oh faithful readers, and I still see my page views climb even as my sabbatical continues... so my absence will not do.

I'm back today with a quick tutorial and lots of pictures. I made a quilt for a dear friend of mine this past weekend. She is due with her fourth (FOURTH!!) baby this May, a boy, rounding out her beautiful broad with an even two boys and two girls. In celebration, we all "sprinkled" her and baby James with love and gifts.

I love giving homemade gifts to people. I spend a lot of time on the things I make, both in the actual construction of the project as well as the brainstorming part... Simply making something with my hands doesn't amount to much if the gift isn't a reflection of both me and the person I am giving the gift to.

I decided on a baby quilt for little James. I love to sew, and am rather good at it (ahem, horn toot). As I said, James is due in May, so I didn't want something too super heavy to last him through the summer months. I decided on flannel for the material for two reasons. One: It's sooooooooft. Two: my local Jo Ann's has a pretty poor selection of cotton baby material, so if I wanted variety, I had to go with flannel (get with it Jo Ann's!!)
Instead of doing a traditional quilt batting middle, I simply did a patchwork quilt front and a solid back. No middle at all. This kept the otherwise super warm and heavy flannel quilt to a manageable thickness. I know from experience that babies cant really be wrapped in something thick...

Here are some pictures on how to put together an hourglass block. At the end I brag with how lovely it came out. I really am super pleased with it. LOVE

What you'll need:

For this quilt, my blocks were 9" unfinished (like you see in the first picture below). To follow my pattern, you need:
  • one yard of solid flannel for the front (this will be cut into squares)
  • one yard of coordinating solid flannel for the back (this will be one solid piece)
  • 1/4 yard of 4 different prints (for a total of one full yard... make sense?)
  • 2 packages of quilt binding. You can make your own, and there are lots of great tutorials for that floating around the blogosphere.
  • Coordinating thread... you will see your thread, so make sure you pick a color that goes with the front and the back. I used grey. 
  • sewing tools: ruler/quilting tile, scissors/rotary cutter, self healing mat
How to do it:
  • Cut 9" square blocks out of both your solid front flannel and all of your print flannel. You should have 12 solid squares and 12 print squares.

  • Grab all your solid squares. Draw a line diagonally down the center on the wrong side of the fabric. Grab your print squares. Lay a print and a solid right sides together (making sure the line you just drew is on the outside)

CANNOT get this picture to flip! Oh well, you get the idea?

  • After hours (literally) of the two previous steps, now you can sew. Pin your two squares together and sew 1/4 on EITHER side of the line. Cut down your line, but don't take apart your square. Next, cut diaganally from the other two corners to make 4 small triangles. Iron your seams towards the print fabric.

again, what the HECK Blogspot? What are you doing to my pictures??

  •  Open your triangles and lay them out:
You will get two of these blocks from each original square. 

  • Center your seams and pin. Sew your large triangles together to create one hourglass block. Do this to the rest of your squares.

  • Square up your blocks (cut them to make perfect squares... sewing will make them kind of wonky) Lay out your squares in a pattern you like. I did a perfect square, but you could do a rectangle, too. Stitch your squares into strips, then sew the strips together. Lay out your solid back and your quilt front right sides out (wrong sides on the inside together) and zigzag stitch down each strip of blocks to secure the back to the front. Bind.

Now fold it and wrap it up pretty! Add a tag, and you're all set for gift giving!

I've been thinking about starting a mini business. Nothing too formal... I don't want to pay rent on an Etsy space or anything. I've been thinking about it for a while, but have basically been lacking the confidence to put myself out there. I get stopped all the time for my ring sling and car seat cover, and people have always seemed to like the blankets I make... What do you think? Go for it?