Sunday, August 24, 2014

Friendship Star Cornhole Bags

My niece asked me to make cornhole bags in her wedding colors.  I decided to make them using the friendship star quilt block.  Each block contains nine squares, eight of which consist of half triangles.

Making Eight Half Triangle Squares at Once:

STEP 1:  Stack the two fabrics right sides together.

STEP 2:  Draw corner-to-corner diagonals.

STEP 3:  Stitch a quarter inch to either side of the drawn line.

STEP 4:  Cut along the drawn lines and also vertically and horizontally through the center.

STEP 5:  Press open.

STEP 6:  Trim and square up the patches by lining the corners and trimming them to a perfect square (in this case 2.5 inches).

Assembling the Square Into Blocks:

 STEP 1:  Sew the rows together first. Press the seams of the top and bottom rows toward the middle. Press the seams of the middle row away from the center. This way you create a 'notch' that allows you to align the corners when sewing the rows together.

STEP 2:  Sew the rows together. Press the in rotating directions (I described this 'four patch trick' in detail in this blog post).

Assembling the Bags

STEP 1:  Fuse the block to backing fabric cut on bias.  I used cheap broadcloth that I have spare bolts of.  The color doesn't need to match as long as it doesn't show through.  By cutting the backing fabric on bias, it helps stabilize the block (which is on grain).

NOTE:  You will also need to fuse an additional separate whole cloth block as well to be the back side of the bag.

STEP 2:  Stack the fused friendship star block to the fused whole cloth block (right sides together). Using the triple stitch feature on you machine, sew almost all the way around, leaving approximately 2 inches so you can turn your bag right side out.

STEP 3:  Fill your bag with 14-16 oz. of either feed corn or plastic pellets.  Serious cornhole players will insist on feed corn, but these bags were not for competitive players, so I used plastic pellets because corn will disintegrate with time, may attract rodents, and can't get wet.

TIP:  Thread your needle and sew a few a stitches of the next step before you fill the bag.  It's easier to start when the bag is empty.

STEP 4:  Using heavy duty upholstery thread, hand sew the last 2 inches closed.  Double back and sew back to your starting point for extra security.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Penrose Tile Quilt: Christmas Tree Skirt - Construction Phase

The trick with this design is the combination of machine piecing with paper piecing.  Instead of paper piecing each patch, I machine piece the patches that make up each rhombus and paper piece the rhombi.

Here's how I machine pieced the fat rhombi:

This is a good way to make 40 thin rhombi at one time:

Once all the rhombi have been machine pieced, they are ready to be basted onto the paper and hand assembled.

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