Craft Room De-Stash Challenge – Valentine’s Heart

Valentine's Heart scrappy quilt block

From the Sewing Room – Valentine’s Heart Quilt Block and a De-Stash Challenge

Do you want ideas and motivation to use up some stash and/or scraps from your craft room? You are not alone! Come join us in the Craft Room De-Stash Challenge – a group of bloggers committed to turning some of the craft supply lovelies we have hoarded into finished items. Of course, my projects are likely to all be fabric related, but this is a diverse group of crafters. So there will be lots of ideas in this hop to deal with whatever crafty skeletons you have hiding in your  closet!

De-stash logo

Every month a group of bloggers are challenged by C’mon Get Crafty to create a new craft or project from their own stash of goodies! Check out some awesome creations you might be able to make from your own stash! #CraftRoomDestashChallenge

Really Dione, another project?!

Well, yes….. and no…… 

At the beginning of the year I stated that one of my goals was to reclaim my sewing space. And I have come to realise that part of that goal is going to have to be using up or moving on some of  my stash. Like lots of quilters, I have a significant fabric stash, and a similarly rampant collection of scraps. So, joining in with this monthly hop (when I can) is actually one of the tools I am using to make this happen.

I suppose there are faster ways to reduce my stash…… But I bought and collected my resources because I like them. So I’d really rather take things to their intended conclusion and use them. What better way than to make some projects with the mentality of ONLY using stash?

Valentine’s Heart Quilt Block

For my first De-Stash Challenge project, I have decided to make a scrappy-heart quilt block. With Saint Valentine’s Day still a month away, you have time to make this block and turn it into a small Valentine’s Day project…. a pillow perhaps, or a lap quilt. This block with a border added would be a good size for a throw pillow. Or a dozen of these with a little sashing would make a nice lap quilt for someone you hold dear. I intend to eventually make a quilt with at least 12 of these, and probably some scrappy pieced blocks in between, so that the project uses a noticeable amount of stash! Probably not by Valentine’s Day 2018 though…..

Perhaps you’ve got red scraps left over from your red bear or other January Colour Challenge project? Now’s your chance to deal with them.

What you will need to make a Valentine’s Heart block:

  • a variety of small red fabric scraps
  • fabric for the background, 11 inches square or greater (depending on your intended use of this block)
  • fusible adhesive, 10″ square
  • sewing machine and general sewing supplies such as scissors and thread
  • printed heart-shape template (you can download mine here) Pleas make sure your printer isn’t scaling the printout before you print.
butterfly batik fabric
Here’s the fabric I am using for my block background. I have just enough in my stash for 12 pieces of 11 inches square.

How to create your Scrappy Valentine’s Heart Block

red fabric scraps

Step 1

Iron your red fabric scraps. Choose two scraps with straight edges (or trim to straight edges) and sew them together with a 1/4″ seam. Press.

Trim the joined pieces so that you have at least one new straight edge. It doesn’t matter which edge. The less you think about the crazy improv piecing the better!

Step 2

Choose a third scrap of red fabric and sew to the trimmed edge of the previously joined fabrics.

red crazy patchwork
Three red scraps pieced together

Again, press and trim off excess to create a new straight edge. Continue this crazy patchwork piecing until you have a piece large enough to cover the appliqué template. 

red crazy patchwork
The red crazy patchwork is growing
red crazy patchwork
The red crazy patchwork is still growing
enough red crazy patchwork
Enough red crazy patchwork cover the Valentine’s Heart template.

Note: you can build the crazy patchwork in several smaller pieces and join these together to get the final larger piece if you wish.

Step 3

Trace the heart shape onto the paper side of the fusible adhesive. Cut out with a little to spare around the outside of the shape.

To keep your appliqué from being stiff, remove most of the fusible adhesive from the centre of the heart shape. Leave about 1 inch around the outside edge of the heart.

Step 4

Fuse the heart-shape adhesive ring to the back of your crazy patchwork as per manufacturer’s instructions. Trim your heart to the outline.

Heart appliqué
Heart appliqué with fusible adhesive around the edge of the shape but not in the middle to keep the project soft.

Remove the paper backing and fuse your Valentine’s Heart to the centre of your backing fabric square. The minimum size for the backing square is 11 inches square, but you are welcome to make your blocks larger with more negative space around the heart.

Fused Valentine's Heart
Scrappy Valentine’s Heart fused to background fabric

Step 5

Use your favourite appliqué stitch to secure the heart to the backing.

Finished Valentine's Heart block
Finished Valentine’s Heart Block

One scrappy Valentine’s Heart block done. 

I have enough of the butterflies batik background fabric in my stash for 12 heart blocks. I may vary the appliqué heart pattern between some of my blocks. Then, as I mentioned above, the rest of the quilt top will be scrappy squares. 

The backing will also come from stash, and I also intend to use my growing pile of batting offcuts. It will be a bit of a Franken-quilt, but it should be sweet, and very usable, and require no new purchases (with the possible exception of binding, which I can probably obtain within the $10 limit).

You are invited…. Join us in De-Stashing your Craft Room.

If you’d like to join in the Craft Room De-Stash Challenge, you can request to join our Facebook group here!

And have a look at what everyone else has made! Perhaps there is the perfect project here for you to use up some stash…..

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P.S. Linking up with Cooking up Quilts, The Quilting Room with Mel, Love Laugh Quilt, Sew Fresh Quilts, Quilt Fabrication, The Inquiring Quilter, My Quilt Infatuation, Confessions of a Fabric Addict., Crazy Mum Quilts

The Beary Colourful BOM: Beginners Tips

bear with button eyes

Tips to help with the Beary Colourful BOM if you are a Beginner or don’t FMQ

Red bearThis will be the last Beary Colourful post for a while (I hope). A few days ago I touched on the question of whether you can do the Beary Colourful BOM if you are a beginner.

Let’s start by saying two important things.

  1. You can do whatever you want! Just because I wouldn’t consider the bears to be a beginner pattern, doesn’t mean that you can’t give it a crack. You won’t know what you can do until you try. 
  2. But…. don’t fall out of love with appliqué if the bear poses too much of a challenge at the moment. There are parts of the bear that call for some experience and quilting is definitely not meant to be frustrating.

So, I have come up with a short list of adjustments/tips that you can make if there are parts of the bear that might frustrate you.

Beginners Tips for the Red Bear

Use Batiks

Use batik fabrics for the applique pieces. Batiks have a tighter, finer weave than most quilting cottons and this means they are more fray resistant. They also are dyed right through, which means that any stray threads are less noticeable. Printed fabrics are usually white on the back, so frayed edges show this white and are more obvious. Using batik for raw edge appliqué is a good idea even if you are not a beginner. I have been appliquéing for much of my quilting career, and I only ever compromise on this point for one thing – if I can’t get a batik in the colour I want! Batiks reign supreme for raw edge appliqué. And I would have said this even  if I had been refused for the 2018 Island Batik team!

batik fabrics
Batiks will give you the edge….. boom, boom! 🙂

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Don’t do the tiny details. Delete the butterfly’s spots, and the shine on the nose. Or add them with a few hand stitches instead.

Simplify the Bear

Remove the bear’s spiky hairstyle.  You can find an altered pdf here that will allow you to make a bear with a smooth head (you will still need the original pdf file as well – available on this post).

Change the Eyes

Substitute the appliquéd eyes for felt circles or buttons. Just promise me you won’t do this if you plan to gift the quilt to a child under 3 years old. Choking hazards should always be a primary consideration if you are making quilts for young children and babies. And always sew buttons on very securely and check them periodically. Drawing the eyes on with a permanent fabric texta is a good option if the quilt is for a very young child and you wish to avoid appliquéing the eyes. I have provided a positioning guide for the eyes in the beginners’ pdf if you choose to use buttons (or safety eyes).

buttons for eyes
I don’t have any really suitable buttons on hand today, but you could explore the huge variety of buttons out there for fantastic bear eyes.

Use a Normal Sewing Stitch, not Free Motion Stitching

Sew the appliqué down with a wide sewing machine stitch such as zigzag or blanket stitch. This should be relatively straightforward if you have removed the hair spikes and eliminated the impossibly small pieces. And sew slowly.

blanket stitch
A sample of blanket stitch around raw edge appliqué

Take a deep breath and believe you can!

I think they are all the suggestions I want to make. If you can think of more beginner’s tips please add them in the comments – that would be very helpful. 🙂

If you haven’t done a lot of raw edge appliqué before I hope you will still give the bears a go. It’s going to be a very fun quilt.