Category Archives: free pattern

Improv / free form quilt blocks series – block 5 – tutorial

This is the fifth block in a series of 6. The blocks will be used to make a quilted bedhead (or wall hanging).

See

This block was done based on my earlier improv mini quilt.

The following is roughly the method I used to achieve this result.

I started the construction by cutting a long strip and then I cut it in sections at irregular intervals.

Then I cut small strips to insert them in between the larger strip sections. Make each strip at least 11 inches long.

I stiched all bits together as per (this very bad) photo.

I ironed the strip and cut another white fabric strip.

I stitched the white strip to the colour strip just completed and then I constructed another colour strip and attached it to the other side of the white strip.

For the current block I used the same colour strips and white strips in between.

I continued to add strips.

I ironed the pieces flat.

Then trim the block to 10 inches square.

Love is the answer… patchwork hot water bottle cozy tutorial

Whatever the question love is the answer hot water bottle cozy to give your loved one on Saint Valentine’s Day.

Hot water bottle size

This hot water bottle cozy is for a 15 in x 8 in hot water bottle and sizes are given accordingly.

If your hot water bottle is a different size, you can still calculate the rectangles you need by adding adding one inch around the whole bottle.

Materials

  • 16 pink 4½ in squares (10 for the back panels, 6 for the front)
  • 16 floral 4½ in squares (10 for the back panels, 6 for the front)
  • 3 dark brown strips for the middle:
    • 16¾ in x 1 in
    • 12 in x 1 in
    • 10 in x 1 in
  • 54 in ribbon
  • Calico or plain cream fabric for appliqué
  • Pink embroidery floss
  • Enough bias tape to cover all exposed hems
  • Love is the answer whatever the question appliqué (pdf)
Making the patchwork panels
The patchwork is constructed using half square triangle (HST) units placed in a zig zag pattern.
Cut all the required squares and place one of each colour right sides together.

Stitch all around each pair of squares.

Now cut on the diagonal as per photo below.

Without moving the fabric, cut on the other diagonal. You will end up with 4 HST.

Open the squares and press.

Place the half square triangles in a zig zag pattern.

  • The front has 7 rows
  • The top back panet has 5 rows
  • The bottom back panel has 4 rows
The bottom panel will be trimmed after quilting so that the overlapping is not as wide.
Stitch in pairs.

Iron seams before stitching each column together.

Now cut the strips for the middle:

  • 16¾ in x 1 in
  • 12 in x 1 in
  • 10 in x 1 in

Stitch together and iron.

The front panel is ready for the appliqué. Love is the answer whatever the question appliqué (pdf) if you haven’t already.

Adding the appliqué

Transfer the appliqué to the cream fabric and embroider the lettering.

Cut around the heart leaving ¼ seam allowance and pin to the front panel.

Ensure the placement is symmetric.

Then turn hems inside and baste in place.

Adding the ruffled ribbon

Cut the ribbon.

Using a strong thread and needle start gathering the ribbon.

Then baste the gathered ribbon around the heart.

Use a different colour for the basting so you can remove it easily after you stitch the ribbon permanently to the panel.

Using a sewing machine, topstitch on the ribbon’s edge.

To remove some bulk cut out the fabric at the back leaving ¼ seam allowance.

Keep the heart shape and make a heart pincushion with it following my heart pincushion tutorial.

The  appliqué is done.

You have now the three panels ready for quilting.

Quilting the patchwork panels

Cut three triangles of batting and lining fabric a bit larger than the patchwork panels, make a quilt sandwich and pin in place.

Stipple quilt the panels or choose your preferred quilting method. When finished trim the batting and lining as per picture below.

You will end up with three quilted panels.

Trimming the quilted panels

Place the bottle on the lining side.

Mark the bottom corner.

Also mark around the top side leaving about 1 to 1½ inches around the bottle.

Fold the panel in half and pin.

Cut around the marked lines.

The front panel now will be used to cut the back panel.

But first the bottom back panel needs to be trimmed a bit.

Cut 1¾ in off the bottom panel as per picture below.

Now place both sides lining side together and making the top back panel overlap the bottom panel as per picture below.

Turn around.

Pin in place and cut using the front panel as a guide.

Do the same with the top part.

Both panels are now ready to be stitched together.

But first we need some bias tape to hide the edges. Cut 2 strips of bias tape as long as the panels and 1½ wide. Fold in half and then turn in the sides and pin in place.

Topstitch bias tape.

Now stitch the bias tape around the cozy leaving ¼ seam allowance. Sew the other side of the bias tape by hand for a neater finish.

Front of cozy

Back of cozy.

Now you can make a heart pincushion with the heart shape left from this project.

Improv / free form quilt blocks series – block 4 – tutorial


This is the fourth block in a series of 6. The blocks will be used to make a quilted bedhead.

See

Materials

Matching fabrics in 4 solid colours plus some white. Choose colours with good contrast.

Block size

The finished block measures 10 ½ in.

Instructions

Start creating wonky log cabin mini blocks.

Choose a colour for the centre and cream for the surrounding pieces.

Make interesting pieces with different angles and trim after you get one complete row.

Once you finish the mini block, you will need to trim again.

Trim like below.

Continue to make mini log cabin blocks in the same fashion using different centre colours.

Then cut a 12 and a half inch square and p lace your mini log cabin blocks on the square in a kind of row so when we will be able to cut a strip following the position of the mini blocks.

Pin them in place.

Using the rotary cutter start cutting strips following the placement of the mini blocks.

Then, using each mini block, cut a piece of green fabric which is the size of the mini block width minus one half inch to make up for the seam allowances.

Stitch the mini log cabin blocks to the green fabric.

Place the  strips next to each other to see if you need to trim any of the strips to match the next strip before sewing.

Sew all strips together and you’ve completed the fourth block.

Improv / free form quilt blocks series – block 3 – tutorial

This is the third block in a series of 6. The blocks will be used to make a quilted bedhead.

See improv / free form quilt block number 1 and improv / free form quilt block number 2.

Materials

Matching fabrics in 4 solid colours plus some white. Choose colours with good contrast.

Block size

The finished block measures 10 ½ in.

Instructions

Start with two 12 ½ inch squares in contrasting colours.

Using the rotary cutter, cut both triangles in half in a curve like below.

Then cut the white piece into strips again using the rotary cutter or a pair of scissors.

Now start adding strips in other colours in between the white strips. To cut wavy pieces and sew them neatly, place the colour piece underneath the white strip and cut the colour strip along the white strip edge.

Important: Make sure the colour strips you cut are at least one quarter inch longer than the previous white strip.

Sew strips together.

I ended up with a shorter piece so I added an extra green strip at the end.

The width of the bottom piece now matches the top’s. Now we need to trim the curved top edge.

Place the bottom piece just under the top piece like in the picture and cut along the colour edge using a rotary cutter.

Now you are ready to pin both pieces and sew them together.

Pin both pieces.

Stitch along the edge and then make some cuts along the seam like in the picture so that when you iron it flat, seams to one side, the block will lay flat along the seam.

Iron flat and then trim it to 10 ½ inches square.

Here is the trimmed block!

Improv / free form quilt blocks series – block 2 – tutorial

This is the second block in a series of 6. The blocks will be used to make a quilted bedhead.

See improv / free form quilt block number 1.

Materials

Matching fabrics in 4 solid colours plus some white. Choose colours with good contrast.

Block size

The finished block measures 10 ½ in.

Instructions

Cut a rectangle at least 12 ½ long by 11 ½ or even a 12 ½ square. I started with a smaller piece and I had to add some fabric around the block to make it up at the end.

Now, using a rotary cutter cut the rectangle or square into strips. Wavy strips make for a nicer effect.

Then make some cuts along the strips.

Now make a cut next to the first cut to obtain a small rectangle or square and put aside.

Use the triangles you cut out to cut another piece of fabric. See picture below for an example. Here I added just ¼ seam allowance though I should in fact have added ½ allowance. If you add ½ allowance on each side your initial rectangle doesn’t need to be bigger.

Do this for each white piece to be replaced.

Place each piece where it will be stitched.

Mix the colours a bit.

Now start stitching each strip individually. And then all strips together.

I added an insert in a different colour between two strips to break the even design a bit.

Continue to stitch all strips and iron flat.

My seam allowance errors I made earlier made the block too small so I added an extra strip at the top and squared the block on the left.

The block is complete.

Now you just need to square it.