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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Christmas in July?

Hi Boys and Girls!

Is it too early to start Christmas presents? I think not! If you have even two things going on at the same time (and who doesn't?) you will be wise to start gift-making projects.

Do you like Moda fabric? http://www.unitednotions.com/un_main.nsf/modahome Moda is one of many fabric manufacturers that produces quality fabric and irrisistible choices. Moda makes what is called "charm packs." There are 42 5-inch squares in each charm pack. They are precision cut and the edges are pinked to prevent fraying. Moda also makes Layer Cakes (10") and Jelly Rolls ) 2 1/2"). Most of the time you can purchase fabric yardage that matches. However, there are books published devoted to projects using these smaller cuts of fabric. Layer Cake, Jelly Roll & Charm Quilts amazon.com has "recipes" (directions) for using these smaller cuts of fabric.

Green Fairy Quilts has a large selection of Moda charm packs at reduced prices.
http://greenfairyquilts.com/catalog.php?category=49 I am going to stock up! There are lots of cute projects at www.modabakeshop.com

The charm pack I am using for my Christmas project is called Nature's Gift.

The pattern I am using is called "Disappearing 4-Patch or the 4 to 9-Patch. Directions will appear in this post. This starts out as a 4-patch block. Use 1/4" seam allowances. Very important.
This pattern is for the beginner quilter or someone like me who is lazy and/or rushed for time!

The charm packs come with an assortment of all the fabrics in the entire line. For instance, Nature's Gift has 42 squares with repeats of the entire line. For this pattern to really be dramatic it is best to use only lights and darks. I am not that picky about that for the Christmas quilt will still be lovely. It is meant to be used a lot and will be washed a lot. So, the dramatic look takes a back seat. But, if you are going to use this pattern and want to use Charm Packs, buy a charm pack with only lights so you can mix them up.

The Disappearing 4-Patch or 4 to 9-Patch starts with a 4-patch block with good contrast in colors or shades and tones. The picture below was made with 5 inch squares and it will finish to a 8.5 block from raw edge to raw edge if accurate scant 1/4 inch seams are used. I am using my quarter inch foot on the Bernina. I can move my needle over if I want a scant 1/4" seam. http://www.berninausa.com/

Next, make 4 cuts without moving the block or the cut pieces. Use a small mat so you can turn the block without disturing it. Using the center seams as the reference point, measure out 1 inch and make a cut; then make a cut on the other side of the seam. Rotate and repeat measuring 1 inch from the center seam for each cut.

Next, rotate only the center outside sections 180 degrees. This will be more obvious  when using two contrasting colors. You do not want same colors next to each other.
Sew the sections together to complete the block.
You can see that this is a little busy compared to using contrasting light and dark. However, I think it will work.
My main objective was to reduce the amount of cutting I had to do. If this is not a problem for you, use yardage. You can choose your lights and darks and have a more dramatic block.

 If you use a 7" square of fabric, make your cut at the center 2".
This pattern would look terrific done up in pastels for a baby quilt. So, what do you think? Check out some of these sites. Go to You Tube for video demonstrations. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEjZOXxPazg
Or just type in disappearing nine patch and see all the videos demonstrating this easy block.
Have fun! Remember to let me know how you like this block and PLEASE send pictures!

Until next time, kiss your kitty and hug your dog. They love you so!