Friday, 9 December 2016

Sudoku Mini Quilt Tutorial

Here's a quick and easy project when you have an hour or two and want to finish in one sewing session. I'm assuming you have basic knowledge of sewing and piecing a quilt top. Pressing as you do each step is expected but not mentioned! Have fun!
Sudoku Mini Quilt
Fabric Requirements:

You will need nine different fabrics, minimum 4.5" x 4.5" (I used nine 5" charm squares from the same fabric line)
Plus 1" wide strips for sashing. You will need six pieces 1" x 3.5", and two pieces 1" x 10.5". I usually do NOT cut them until I am ready to sew them on and use the actual measurements of the blocks I am sewing them to as sometimes my 1/4" seams are not as accurate as they could be.

And 1.25" wide strips for borders. If you are really accurate, you will need two at 10.5" long and two at 12" long. Again, I don't cut these until I've measured - it makes the difference between a quilt that has wavy, uneven borders or a quilt that lays flat, with no bubbling fabric.

Before you begin, find a completed Sudoku puzzle or solve one. You can probably do this just with your fabric pieces, but I found it easier to arrange the fabrics with a completed puzzle for a guide.

How to Make a Sudoku Mini Quilt

Cut your nine fabrics into nine 1.5" squares.
Nine fabrics 4.5"x4.5"

Cut into nine 1.5" squares

Can't resist the photo of a pile of little fabric squares!

Give each of your fabrics a number from 1-9.
Number your fabrics from 1 to 9
 Using your completed Sudoku puzzle, arrange your fabrics in nine groups of nine fabrics. My fabrics are pretty similar in color and value, but if you have more contrast, the Sudoku will show up better.
Arrange in the pattern of a completed Sudoku (yours will be different!)
Sew each group of nine together. Here's where things can get messed up, so no shortcuts here. Use a method that works for you. For me it was working on one group at a time, leaving the rest where they were placed. When you are done this step, you will have nine squares pieced from nine different fabrics. (Sorry, no photo of this step!)

Because miniature quilts tend to have a lot of seams in a small area, a small variation on a 1/4" seam allowance adds up quickly. Measure your little nine patches across the centres in both directions. If your seam allowance is an accurate 1/4", they should measure 3.5". (Mine were 3.25")

Cut six pieces of your 1" strip to the length you've measured. Sew your little 9-patch blocks into rows with your sashing pieces in between.

Measure each of these rows through the centre and cut two pieces of 1" strip to that length (10.5" if your seam allowance is accurate.)
Completed Sudoku mini quilt top
 Measure your piece across the centre in both directions. With accurate piecing, this should measure 10.5". Cut two pieces from your 1.25" wide fabric this measured length. Sew to two opposite sides of your quilt.

Measure the width of the quilt (including the borders you just added) and cut two more pieces from your 1.25" wide fabric this length. (With accurate piecing, this should be 12")
Add borders and quilt and finish as desired
Quilt and finish as desired.

Feel free to share & use this tutorial and be sure to tag #magpiequilts and #Sudokuquilt on your social media if you make your own version!

--Ann

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Homemade Christmas Ornaments

Many of the ornaments on my tree have been handmade by me over the years. In 2015, I added two more to my collection. The first is made from layered strips with a piece of cardstock sandwiched between two contrasting pieces of fabrics. I chose a red print for the one side and a gold print for the other. I may make these again, but maybe with some of the great decorative paper available on either side rather than the fabric.
Snowflake Ornament from Fabric & cardstock
 The second handmade ornament was this wreath from tiny (3/4") hexagons. I had originally thought to leave it just plain, but I just needed to add some embellishment.
Wreath ornament from little hexagons
 So I looked through my button box and found some little red buttons. It looked better, but was still missing something!
Hexagon Wreath with buttons added
And I dug into my embroidery floss bin for some red floss and outlined each hexagon with a running stitch.
Hexagon Wreath with buttons & embroidery floss detail
I love the way it turned out & it looked great on our tree!

What about you? Do you make your own Christmas decorations?

--Ann