Monday, March 17, 2014

Design Challenge: Embroidered Baby Blocks Tutorial

Sew Lux Fabric Designer Challenge: Baby Blocks

Happy St. Paddy's Day! I have a fun tutorial for you but it's not green!

With a baby on the way, choosing a project for my Design Challenge for Sew Lux Fabric wasn't too difficult. Since I'm having a boy I thought some Red, White & Blue blocks would be fun. When I spotted the Sailboat print in their inventory, I knew that was the theme and pulled other fabrics to match. 

To read my fun Q&A's for the Challenge Click here!

Sew Lux Fabric Design Challenge

If you're interested in purchasing these prints, please visit Sew Lux Fabric to grab the bundle here! The red prints pictured above are substitutes for what I used but still really fun!

Here's what you need to get started:

  • 6 Fat Quarters (There will be plenty of fabric left over)
  • Pins
  • Polyfil
  • Hand Sewing Needle
  • Hand Quilting Thread
  • Perle Cotton (optional)
  • Regular Writing Pen for drawing pattern on paper
  • Water-Soluble Fabric Pen or Frixion Pen for drawing embroidery design on block

Let's get started!

First you need to draw the patterns for your embroidered letter squares. We'll be paper-piecing these so if you're not familiar with paper-piecing. Now's the time to learn!

***These do NOT have a 1/4" seam allowance as drawn. When we trim the blocks we will add all seam allowances.

Sew Lux Fabric Design Challenge

I cut a 4" square of paper. I lined it up with the grid on my cutting mat and drew a line from the 2" mark across to the 2" mark on the other side. Repeat on all four sides until you have a diamond shape as pictured below. Make sure you mark these with a regular pen and not the Frixion Pen because the ink will disappear when you iron your fabric seams open if so.
Sew Lux Fabric Design Challenge

Now we need to decide which fabrics to use for these blocks. You'll need a 3.5" square for the center and two 3.5" squares for the triangle corners.

You're going to cut the two 3.5" squares that you'll use for the triangle corners in half diagonally. My cutting mat is super old and gross huh? Haha...I've actually replaced it since doing this project :) 

Now it's time to sew these pieces together. Place the 3.5" square for the center and line it up and center it underneath the pattern we drew on the paper. Pin in place to prevent shifting when sewing.

This is what the front will look like when you flip it over

Grab a triangle piece and line up the long triangle edge and the edge of the center square right sides together. This will be your seam.

Time to sew! Shorten your stitch length on your machine to 1.5 or 2. Sew on the line you drew earlier. Try not to shift the fabric around or your triangle will be crooked.

Repeat the same step for the opposite triangle side as shown in the picture below. You can take your pin out now.

Press open your seams.

Now sew the other two triangles on in the same manner and press open your seams. This is what you should have now.

Now we need to square up this block and get rid of the dog ears. Flip your block over and line it up on your cutting mat.

Square up the edges with a 1/4" seam allowance all the way around the block as shown. Sorry for the blurring pic.

This is what your block should look like now. Nice and square and neat. If you plan to embroider a letter, number or motif this is the time to do it. Be sure to rip the paper carefully off the back first. I drew an "A" on mine with the frixion pen and hand stitched it in Perle Cotton. When you iron over it the ink will disappear.

Moving on to making the actually baby block. From your fat quarters cut a 4.5" block from each you want to use. There are six sides and I'm using the paper pieced block we just made as one side.

Line up your squares upside down in the form of a cross. It really doesn't matter where the paper pieced block is or what direction it's facing. You're going to sew the all the pieces together. Important: Start 1/4" from the edge of each piece and leave 1/4" at the end of each seam. I like to sew the 4 squares down the middle first then add the 2 side squares. Leave 1 seam open so we can stuff the block with Polyfil.

After you're down sewing up all the edges but one you'll have an inside out block. Flip it inside out and stuff it with Polyfil now.

Hand sew the opening closed and you're done! Yay!

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  1. Those are so stinking cute! Great tutorial!!

  2. Oh Stephanie, these are so cute! Thank you so much for the great tut.

  3. SO stinking adorable! Your new picture is adorable too! Love the red, white, and blue. Lucky boy!

  4. These are adorable Stephanie!! The embroidery really adds a lot! Thanks for sharing! Freemotion by the River Linky Party Tuesday

  5. This is sooooooooooo beautiful !!


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