Tag Archive for charm squares

Make a Bunting from Charm Squares

how to make a bunting from fabric squares

What do you do with your extra fabric squares? Nearly a year ago, I collected these fabric charm squares from a couple of swaps on Craft Buds, and I still hadn’t used them. I need a quick and easy sewing project to come to my rescue!

Learn how to cut your own charm squares

To make this bunting, you’ll need:

– 17 fabric charm squares, 5″ x 5″ (I used repeats of each of 9 prints, and used all but 1)
– One 3-yard package of bias tape or quilt binding (I used Wright’s extra wide double fold)
– Pinking shears or a pinking rotary blade
– Sewing pins, thread and sewing machine

First, mark one of of the charm squares by folding it down the center line. Fold from the bottom of that center line to each corner, and press the fold with your fingernail to mark.

If you have a rotary cutter, you may want to purchase a pinking rotary blade. Otherwise, a pair of pinking shears works great. Aside from making your bunting flags very cute, these pinked edges will keep the fabric from fraying!

how to make bunting flags

Cut along the diagonal lines you marked to make a triangle. I stacked and cut through two charm squares at a time to save time.

To cut the rest of your triangles, simply fold the charm squares as described above, or use a previous bunting flag and trace the edges with your fingernail. Remove the top flag and cut along the marked line.

Arrange your bunting flags in the order you’d like.

Open up the bias tape and insert the non-pinked edge of your triangle flags into the fold. Pin each flag in place, leaving a 1/2″ to 1″ gap between each one. I left a few inches of the bias tape empty on each end, for hanging.

Once the flags are trapped inside of the binding, head to your sewing machine. You can sew the bias tape together with a straight stitch or a wide zig-zag stitch, like I used.

how to sew a bunting

Continue to stitch the bunting closed, sewing in the flags while you remove the pins.

how to make a fabric bunting

Ta-da! Admire your festive fabric bunting!

Variations:

– If you don’t like the look of pinked edges, cut the triangles with straight edges, and sew two triangles together on the long sides, with the right sides of each fabric facing. Turn the flags right side out and press. Finish the bunting by placing the raw edges inside the bias tape and sewing shut.

– If you prefer, skip the triangles and just make a bunting from the 5″ x 5″ charm squares. With the right sides facing, stitch together a pair of charm squares on three sides. Turn right side out and press. Placing the raw edges inside the bias tape and sew the bunting shut.

how to make a charm square bunting

I hope you enjoyed this super-easy charm squares tutorial! This is a great sewing project for beginners or for teaching kids to sew.

Charm Madness at Sew Lux Fabric

The Charm Madness Blog Hop Participants & Schedule

Tuesday 3/19 – Jennie at Clover & Violet
Wednesday, 3/20 – Jess at Sew Crafty Jess
Thursday, 3/21 – Rhonda at Quilter in the Gap
Friday, 3/22 – Jenelle at Echinops &Aster
Sunday, 3/24 – Week 1 Giveaway Post @ Sew Lux

Tuesday, 3/26 – Lori at Lori H Designs
Wednesday, 3/27 – Kelsey at Kelsey Sews
Thursday, 3/28 – Lindsay at Craft Buds
Friday – 3/29 – Jennifer at That Girl, ThatQuilt
Saturday, 3/30 – Stacey at The Tilted Quilt
Sunday, 3/31 – Week 2 Giveaway Post @ Sew Lux

Monday, 4/1 – Alyce at Blossom Heart Quilts
Tuesday, 4/2 – Wendi at prsd4tim2
Wednesday, 4/3 – Elizabeth at Don’t Call Me Betsy
Thursday, 4/4 – Ginny at Fish Creek Studio
Saturday, 4/6 – Leona at Leona’s Quilting Adventure
Sunday, 4/7 – Week 3 Giveaway Post @ Sew Lux

Three Ways to Win Prizes

1) Enter the three weekly giveaway drawings on Sundays during the blog hop here at the Sew Lux blog.
2) Link up your own charm project at Sew Lux –  Linky post will be open for entries between 3/23 – 4/6.
3) Enter the Grand Prize Winner Giveaway by counting the total number of charms used in all the blog hop tutorials.  Complete the entry form on 4/7 or 4/8.

Introducing the Charm Madness Blog Hop

Are you ready for March Charm Madness?!

Sew Lux Fabrics is hosting a fun blog hop this March with giveaways each Sunday (3/24, 3/31, and 4/7) and a blog hop with fun tutorials to show you how to use your charm packs to make quilts, gifts, home decor and more! There will also be a linky party for you to share your own charm pack projects. Get the scoop on Charm Madness 2013!

The Charm Madness Blog Hop Participants & Schedule

Tuesday 3/19 – Jennie at Clover & Violet
Wednesday, 3/20 – Jess
at Sew Crafty Jess
Thursday, 3/21 – Rhonda
at Quilter in the Gap
Friday, 3/22 – Jenelle
at Echinops &Aster
Sunday, 3/24 – Week 1 Giveaway Post

Tuesday, 3/26 – Lori at Lori H Designs
Wednesday, 3/27 – Kelsey
at Kelsey Sews
Thursday, 3/28 – Lindsay
at CraftBuds/LindsaySews
Friday – 3/29 – Jennifer
at That Girl, ThatQuilt
Saturday, 3/30 – Stacey
at The Tilted Quilt
Sunday, 3/31 – Week 2 Giveaway Post

Monday, 4/1 – Alyce at Blossom Heart Quilts
Tuesday, 4/2 – Wendi
at prsd4tim2
Wednesday, 4/3 – Elizabeth
at Don’t Call Me Betsy
Thursday, 4/4 – Ginny
at Fish Creek Studio
Saturday, 4/6 – Leona at Leona’s Quilting Adventure

Sunday, 4/7 – Week 3 Giveaway Post


Three Ways to Win Prizes

1) Enter the three weekly giveaway drawings on Sundays during the blog hop here at the Sew Lux blog.

2) Link up your own charm project –  Linky post will be open for entries between 3/23 – 4/6.

3) Enter the Grand Prize Winner Giveaway by counting the total number of charms used in all the blog hop tutorials.  Complete the entry form on 4/7 or 4/8.

    All entry posts for prizes will be on the Sew Lux blog.


    Charm Madness at Sew Lux Fabric

    Save on Charm Packs!

    Save 10% on all charm packs and mini charm packs now through 3/22 at sewluxfabric.com.  Discount will be automatically applied at checkout.

    Jungle Lattice: Free Baby Quilt Pattern

    Lattice - Free Baby Quilt Pattern

    I’ve been on a kick with baby quilts lately. I’ve put together a free baby quilt pattern that’s totally doable for beginners and intermediate quilters, too!

    This baby quilt tutorial uses charm squares (5″ x 5″ precut squares, which you can also cut from other fabric in your stash) and crisp, white sashing, for an effect that looks like a lattice fence, with pops of bright color popping through! I chose “jungle colors” with a pop of brightness to match a baby boy’s nursery, but you can customize this pattern and colors to fit the size and look of your preferred quilt. Bright, monochromatic (all one color) prints look great with this quilt pattern, and the white lattice really brightens up whatever colors you choose.

    I hope you enjoy this free baby quilt pattern! Let’s get started.

    Online Quilting Class

    Lattice - Free Baby Quilt Pattern

    Finished Quilt Size: Approx. 40″ x 48″

    Materials:

    – 40 fabric squares 5″ x 5″ (5 each of 8 assorted prints)
    – 1 3/4 yards of white fabric for sashing, corner and side triangles and border
    – 3/8  yard of binding fabric
    – 1 1/2 yards backing fabric
    – 44″ x 52″ batting

    Cutting Instructions:

    – Cut 10 strips 1 1/2″ x WOF  (width of fabric / selvage to selvage) for sashing (the lattice).
    – Cut 4 white squares 9″, and cut each in half TWICE diagonally to make 16 quarter-square triangles.
    – Cut 1 white square 7 1/2″, and cut in half ONCE diagonally to make 2 half-square triangles.
    – Cut 4 strips 3 1/2″ x WOF for borders.
    – Cut 5 strips 2 1/2″ x WOF for binding.

    All seams are 1/4″ and pressed open, unless otherwise noted.

    1) Chain stitch your charm squares to the white sashing strips, sewing them onto the white strip one after another. Don’t worry about leaving much space between them, because you will later cut them apart. Leave 8 squares without a white strip. You should be able to sew 8 squares each onto 4 strips, for a total of 32 squares with a border, and 8 squares without a border strip.

     

    2) Cut apart the charm squares, trimming the white side borders equal with the sides of the square.

     

    3) Arrange your charm squares on point (like a diamond) in a color arrangement that’s pleasing to you, with the white stripes resting between adjacent blocks. If you used a design wall to arrange the blocks, you can refer to a photo for block orientation. Arrange the squares without the stripes toward the ends of the rows, as pictured.

     

    4) Stitch together the rows as pictured:

    Row 1: 2 squares / 1 strip
    Row 2:
    4 squares / 3 strips
    Row 3: 6 squares / 5 strips
    Row 4:
    8 squares / 7 strips

    * NOTE: In photo above, rows 4 and 5 are shown next to each other, but in the finished quilt they are offset by one block. See the very first photo in the post (also shown here) to see how rows 4 and 5 are sewn together. If you arrange them side by side, you’ll get a square quilt. If you shift them one block length apart, you’ll get a rectangular quilt.

    Row 5: 8 squares / 7 strips
    Row 6:
    6 squares / 5 strips
    Row 7: 4 squares / 3 strips
    Row 8:
    2 squares / 1 strip


    5) Arrange the white half-square triangles at the ends of each row, to make the quilt rectangular in shape. The long side of each triangle should face out toward the border of the quilt top. Stitch the triangles to the rows.

     

    6) Place the larger triangles in opposite corners of the quilt, with the long side of the triangles facing the pairs of two squares. Stitch the triangles to the two wide corners.

     

    7) Trim the sides of the corner triangles even with a ruler and rotary cutter.

     

    8 ) Lay out your remaining sashing strips between each row, and stitch to between neighboring rows to join them. Sew the longer strips first. Trim the excess sashing strips and join them to other strips to get the length you need. (Note: the photo above shows rows 4 and 5 next to each other, rather than offset as they should be for a rectangular quilt.)

     

    9) Continue adding sashing strips to the rows, pressing your seams as you go. I pressed the seams open, which gives this quilt a crisp, clean look with sharp angles.

     

    10) Add a 3 1/2″ border to the left and right sides of your quilt. Trim off the excess. Add a 3 1/2″ border to the top and bottom of your quilt. Trim. Press the seams toward the border.

     

    11) Baste and quilt your baby quilt. Trim the borders even around the edges of the quilt, measuring 3″ from the seam. Sew on binding.

    Lattice Baby Quilt

    I chose wide, wavy lines and a slight woodgrain pattern for quilting this baby quilt. I would have added an extra layer of quilting between each of the wavy lines to make it tighter and more textured, but I ran out of white thread and was on a deadline. I am excited that this quilt gets to stay in the family! It’s fun to sew for people you know, isn’t it?

    Lattice - Free Baby Quilt Pattern

    I hope you enjoyed this free baby quilt pattern and photo tutorial. If you make this or any projects from Craft Buds, we’d love to see them in the Craft Buds Flickr group!

    Fabric Corner Bookmarks

    Corner Bookmarks Tutorial Fabric

    Some friends living in South Korea tipped me off to a trend they’ve seen in stores: the corner bookmark. These slide-on bookmarks can be made from fabric or paper, and I’ve written a tutorial for the fabric version you see here. Wouldn’t these make cool teacher appreciation gifts?

    Since I have a lot of charm squares, I decided to use those for my bookmarks. Each charm square yields one bookmark, or you can use two charm squares to make two bookmarks with different images on the inside and outside.

    Supplies:

    1-2 fabric charm squares (5″x5″)

    2.5″x5″ piece of medium-weight fusible interfacing (I used Pellon 808)

    Iron, sewing machine, thread, sewing pins

    Two charm squares

    Choose two charm squares (or you may use just one if you want the same fabric on the inside and outside of the bookmark).

    Cut charm squares

    Cut squares in half on the 2.5″ mark. Set aside half, which you can use for a second bookmark.

    Fuse interfacing to fabric

    Use your iron to fuse interfacing to the back of your feature fabric.

    Pin fabric right sides together

    Pin fabric with right sides together.

    Stitch 1/4" from edges

    Stitch 1/8″ from edges, leaving a 2″ gap on one long edge for turning.

    Clip corners

    Clip corners, making sure to avoid your stitch line.

    Turn inside out and pin

    Turn inside out and use a pen or turning tool to poke out the corners.  Pin opened edge closed.

    Topstitch 1/8" from edge

    Topstitch 1/8″ from edge around perimeter, and press.

    Fold in half and pin one edge

    Fold rectangle in half and pin one edge perpendicular to the folded edge you just made. Stitch along pinned edge, 1/8″ from edge.

    Open into triangle

    Open fabric into a triangle, with seam you just stitched facing the back. Press.

    Slip bookmark over pages

    Slip bookmark over the corner of pages you would like to mark. These bookmarks can be used to mark two pages at once, depending on how many pages you slip inside.

    Fabric corner bookmark tutorial

    This is a great 10-minute craft for when you don’t have a lot of time, and would be an easy sewing project for beginners. And since we learned from Wednesday’s giveaway question that many of you still prefer paper books to e-readers (giveaway is still open through 5/2), you might even make several to give as gifts!

    If you’ve used the corner bookmarks tutorial, we’d love to see your version in the Craft Buds Flickr pool!

    Polka Dot Charm Swap

    Do you take part in the yellow, aqua gray charm swap? We listened to your feedback, and decided it’s time to polka. Announcing . . .

    Polka-Dot-Charm-Swap

    For this fabric swap, you will choose one yard of modern fabric that features polka dots or circles from Sew Fresh Fabrics.

    They have a wonderful selection of dots fabrics. In fact, Peg and Becca have graciously volunteered to do all of the hard work for swappers, and all you have to do is sit back and wait for your lovely assortment of pre-cut fabric to arrive in the mail! You will receive an assorted charm pack of 2 charms each for all 28 prints in the swap.

    What an easy swap!

    Please read through all rules first, then leave a comment on this post to sign up. This swap will be first come, first served. It is limited to 28 spots. (U.S. and International swappers welcome, but postage is at your own expense.)

    Maybe you’ll turn them into something like this . . .

    Spotted Quilt Top
    Flickr/FilmintheFridge

    Swap Guidelines

    1. Fill out form below to join. Once you’ve been accepted into the swap, we’ll send you confirmation and you can claim your choice of fabric. We’ll post a linky here so you can see the fabrics we have so far and choose a coordinating print.

    2. Fabric MUST BE ORDERED from Sew Fresh Fabrics. There will be a special swap listing for you to purchase one yard of fabric for this swap. Your cost will be equal to the fabric and shipping for one yard.

    3. Deadline for fabric selections: Sunday, Jan. 29. Deadline for fabric purchase at Sew Fresh: Sunday, Feb. 5.

    LSbutton-125

    Join Us!

    This swap is now full.

    Remember, this swap is limited to the first 28 to sign up! Once you have received an e-mail confirming you are “in” you may link up your fabric selection below. Please choose a dot or circle prints from the category Basics, Dots & Blenders at Sew Fresh Fabrics that is not already duplicated below.



    Book Review: Little Bits Quilting Bee

    Little Bits Quilting Bee

    You probably known Aussie crafter and blogger Kathreen Ricketson as the founder of Whipup.net. You might have also seen her book Whip Up Mini Quilts, with 20 smart designs for patchwork wall quilts.

    Her newest book is also for quilt lovers, and it’s all about sewing with pre-cut fabrics. Little Bits Quilting Bee (Chronicle Books) includes 20 quilt designs from Kathreen’s studio, 5 each from the represented types of pre-cuts (charm squares, jelly roll strips, layer cakes and fat quarters).

    The book’s 20 designs range from traditional (with modern fabrics) to whimsical/inventive, with standouts like “Cloud Song,” a bright solids quilt from charm squares with raindrop applique and cloud-shaped quilting.

    Cloud Song Quilt

    “Constructivist” is Kathreen’s answer to sophisticated boy decor, and it has an adult appeal, especially with her woodgrain quilting technique.

    Constructivist Quilt

    “Electric Spectrum” is a take on the classic log cabin, and “Rhombus” uses a strip-piecing technique. The cover quilt, “Dress Circle” is suitable for layer cakes, but isn’t an incredibly new idea. Essentially, it’s a drunkard’s path quilt using appliqued circles instead of set-in circles. Although many designs are takes on classic quilt designs, the projects in this book are beautiful and are likely to inspire new to intermediate quilters.

    Modern quilters who enjoy creating their own designs or stray toward improvisational piecing are likely to become frustrated by this type of book, which is perfect for those who like to quilt from patterns. A pattern pocket in the front of the book includes enlargeable applique patterns for the quilts that require it. The book includes full-color photographs and illustrations. The matte pages give it a bit of a “green” feel.

    5 Flavors

    The book shows off a variety of fabrics, including solids and prints in recent and older lines, like Lush by Erin Michael for Moda. Kathreen also makes up many of her own fabric combos from Japanese prints, polka dots and stripes, which adds a nice variety to the charm pack and fat quarter quilts. The final quilts of the book show off some really innovative designs, including “5 Flavors” (channeling Life Savers candy) and “Summer Sundae,” a delicious take on a quilt for a little girl’s room.

    Community Quilting

    My favorite aspect of this book was Kathreen’s introduction to “Community Quilting,” in which she shares her expertise on virtual quilting bees, quilt swaps, guilds and sewing circles and charity or fundraising quilts. There are resources in the book for quilters who are looking to get more connected with others in their craft, which is a valuable aspect of the online crafting community.

    Little Bits Quilting Bee

    Quilters: Do you prefer to create quilts from pre-cuts or from yardage? Do you use pattern books like Little Bits Quilting Bee or create your own quilt designs?

    How to Cut Charm Squares from Fabric

    Tutorial: How to Cut Charm Squares

    Charm squares are a great cut of fabric to use in quilts and other patchwork projects! One yard of cotton fabric (the normal 45″ width) will produce 56 charm squares (5″x5″).

    To follow along with this tutorial, you’ll need a rotary cutter, self-healing cutting mat and large cutting ruler. I like this 6″ x 24″ one from OLFA (affiliate link). Buying cutting tools is not as much fun as buying fabric, but believe me when I say that having good-quality cutting mats, rotary blades and rulers is a worthwhile investment!

    To get started, take your yard of fabric and make sure the selvage (the white strip with words or colored circles) is straight and ready to be trimmed. I am right-handed, so I made sure the selvage was on the right. Because I am cutting a yard of Spoonflower fabric, it’s a little different because there is white all around the border. I chose to fold the top of my fabric down, and here you can see how I lined up the selvage edges, to make the cutting process quicker.

    Next, I lined up my ruler on the inside of the selvage. Using my rotary cutter in my right hand, I held down the ruler firmly with my left hand. Make sure your body is in a good position to hold the ruler so it doesn’t slip.

    Once your selvage is gone, you’ll want to flip your cutting mat so the fresh edge you just cut is on the opposite side (left for right-handers). Line up your ruler on top of your fabric and measure out a strip that is 5 inches wide. I have a 5-inch ruler, but many rulers are 6 inches wide. Cut along the side of the ruler for the entire length of the fabric. Continue cutting 5 inch strips in this same way until you can cut no more. (Notice that my fabric is still folded, so each strip will have a top and a bottom piece.)

    Take two strips, and line them up on your mat as pictured. Use your ruler to measure out 5 inches again, this time the other way so you will make 5-inch squares. With each cut, you will make 4 squares (2 top, 2 bottom). Repeat this process to cut a total of 56 charm squares.

    I originally shared this tutorial as part of Sewing Back-to-School series at Sew Sweetness. Check out the rest of the series here!

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