sew it up sunday {love on a limb}

Sew it up Sunday (formerly known as Make It Monday – a little name change to make the google searching easier for my projects) kits are available HERE.

Each month, I feature a different tutorial and invite you to sew along with me and make something new.  Our February feature – a bit early – is inspired by Valentines Day.

For February, I made a table topper for our dining room table.  You can adapt this to make a doll quilt or a table runner by adjusting the size.  You can also do this in all kinds of bright colors for a spring /Easter table top.

Materials besides the usual sewing machine and other doo-dads:

Doll blanket : 6 qty of 6.5″ squares of varying fabric, 1/4 yard of flannel, 1/4 yard of backing fabric, scraps for applique.  (assemble square to lay 2 x 3).  You can increase the size as needed.

Table Runner: 15 qty of 6.5″ squares of varying fabric, 1/2 of yard of flannel, 1/2 yard of backing fabric, scraps for applique. (assemble squares to lay 3 x 5)  You can increase the size as needed.

Table Topper: 36 qty of 6.5″ squares of varying fabric, 1 yard of flannel, 1 yard of backing fabric, scraps for applique  (assemble squares to lay 6 x 6)  You can increase the size as needed.

If you are quilter, forgive me for what you are about to read.  I fudge all the way through this project.  I’m a mother of 3, a baby who is on the go and my sewing time is limited.  I make no promises with this tutorial…give it your best shot.  I’m just sharing how I do it to get the look without all the work.  Sew at your own risk.

The directions are the same essentially for each item – the doll blanket, table runner or table topper.  You can expect the table topper to take roughly two nap times to complete.  What?  You need that in real time you say?  Sorry…about 4 hours or less.  You can expect the other two to take substantially less time than that.

  1. Cut your squares.  {my sample shown here has used mostly Moda’s french general fabrics with a few others thrown in – I think they are perfect for this “season of love” we are in}
  2. Lay out all your squares until you get them in the design order you like.  If you’ve never “quilted” before…we are going to sew these in rows.
  3. With right sides together sew the square from your top row, far left to the neighboring square with 1/4″ seams.  Press your seams open.

    1/4" seams, press open

  4. With right sides together using 1/4″ seams, sew the next square on and continue until your entire top row has been sewn together with all of your seams pressed open.
  5. Repeat for the rest of your rows.

6.  Take your top row of squares and with right sides together, pin your second row to the top row.  You                 see where we are going with this?

As you sew your rows together, be sure your seams are staying open. It's easy for them to flip closed as you sew. When you get your rows together, you should be able to press your seams open.

7.  Sew each row to the next and so on until your top is completely assembled.

{applying your applique}

Once your top is complete, you are going to sew on your applique picture of the birds with their heart on a limb.  Click here to download a pdf of the applique pattern pieces  Love on a Limb

For the doll blanket, you will cut out 2 birds, 2 beaks, 2 wings, one limb, and 3 hearts of varying sizes.  You can place the scene in the center of your blanket.

For the table runner, cut out 4 birds, 4 beaks, 4 wings, 2 limbs, and 6 hearts – 2 large, 2 medium, 2 small.  You can place them at either end of the runner.

For the table topper, cut out 8 birds, 8 beaks, 4 limbs, and 12 hearts – 4 large, 4 medium, 4 small.

I didn’t really give you the heart pattern – remember from elementary school how you fold your paper (fabric) in half, draw your half a heart and cut?  You can figure out that part, right?

You will also need to cut some ribbon.  One that will loop over your limb and one to tie into a bow.

I use a little stitch witchery to “glue” my applique pieces all down so they don’t move while I’m stitching.  Place your bird beaks a little under your bird to hold them on better.  Place your wing on your bird, birds on their limb and your hearts all together.

Take your one piece of ribbon and BEFORE you “glue” or stitch your limb down, run your ribbon behind the limb.  Stitch all your applique pieces on.  I used both a straight stitch and a zig zag stitch and leave all my edges raw for that vintage look.  I looped my ribbon over the limb, sewed it down and then put a few stitches through the center of the ribbon bow to hold it together.

That’s it.  Be patient.  I found that applying all of these appliques to the table topper took as much time as piecing the top.  If you have any questions – zip me a note!  But, be creative.  This is just the basic idea.

8.  Next, lay your completed top on top of your flannel.  Typically, in quilting, you use quilt batting.  Since I was using this on my table I didn’t actually want all the loft that quilting creates.  I wanted to have some heft to it and lay flat on my table and so I choose to use flannel.  

9.  You want to make sure you have both layers pulled taut and everything smooth.  Pin your layers together and cut your flannel the same size as your top.

10.  Quilters – close your eyes.  You won’t like this a bit.  I didn’t quilt the top at all.  Instead, being lazy and needing to finish quickly, I simply did some decorative random stitching around the top to hold the layers of flannel and the top together.  You will see my random stitches in some of the photos.

11.  Next, the backing.  Being cheap and thrifty – I had a new bed sheet that I bought on clearance for pennies.  I used that for my backing.  This isn’t a blanket (well, for the table top / runner at least) where          you will see both sides because it’s flat on your table so if you can use some inexpensive plain fabric –               that works great for your budget!)  Lay your top onto your backing fabric and cut to size.

12.  Pin all 3 layers right sides together and sew around all sides using a 1/2″ seam allowance.  Leave an opening about 8″ long for turning.  I know, I know…this is not how to quilt.  We are cheating –                         remember?!   Who has time for a binding?  The baby is waking up soon!

13.  Turn your table top right side out.  Press and make your edges all nice and crisp.

14.  Now, our “binding” is really just a top stitched border.  I go around twice.  It’ll do.  Be sure you have your opening securely closed.

Well, there you have it.  A doll blanket, table runner or table topper with some sweet little applique.  Pretty and nobody will know you totally fudged the whole quilting process – well, except for quilters who are cursing my name I imagine after reading this (tee! hee!)

Next month’s {sew it up sunday} project will be some softies.  They are so much fun – I’ve been collecting some great beaded necklaces to adorn mine….you’ll love this little project!

Hope you enjoyed this one – please share and link back to me.  Leave me a comment and let me know so I can come visit you too!  Don’t forget, I do have a few kits available in my etsy shop for this project.

AND when you’ve finished your project – go click over there =>>> in the sidebar on my Flickr page.  I have a group for Sew It Up Sunday projects.  I’d love to see what you come up with!

And check out all the other goodies at Get Your Craft on on Today’s Creative Blog

xoxo,

Trish