Welcome to the kick off of the Simply Charmed Blog Hop!!!! So glad you will be joining us for what is sure to be a lot of fun. In the next 2 weeks you will get to hop to 10 different Valentines tutorials all using a single charm pack. You can find all of the Hop Stops here and they will be updated daily with the links to each of the tutorials.
And don't forget to enter the giveaway at the end of each tutorial. Including the $200 Grand Prize Gift Certificate to Fat Quarter Shop at the end of this tutorial!!!! I mean, who doesn't want to win some awesome fabric cash??? Speaking of Fabric Cash, I want to send out a huge THANK YOU to Kimberly and Fat Quarter Shop, Leah and Burgundy Buttons, Julie and The Intrepid Thread, and Judi and Green Fairy Quilts. This blog hop would not be near as fun without your wonderful generosity and support. Thank You!!!
So let's get to it!!!!! I am so happy to share with you this first tutorial for a super cute Valentines project that I like to call . . .
(Do you get it, there are knots in the ties, hence the Knotty Little Apron, tee hee hee
To make your own Knotty Little Apron you will need :
1 Charm Pack (I used Always and Forever by Deb Strain)
20" of Lining Fabric (I found an old Valentines print that had been laying around in my stash for a long time)
7 1/2" of Binding Fabric (A solid is best here so the charms stand out more)
and lastly, a medium size grommet kit and grommet tool if the kit doesn't come with those accessories
STEP 1 - PIECING THE APRON TOP
Start by selecting 30 charms from your charm pack. Take 2 squares and with right sides together sew a 1/4" seam along any edge. (you won't need pins). Repeat this process to make 15 sets of 2. Don't clip your threads between each set, just keep feeding through the pairs until you have done all 15. This is called Chain Stitching and it saves a ton of time :) Once all are stitched you can then clip the threads between the 15 sets. Don't press yet :)
Now select 10 sets of 2. Take two sets of 2 and place them with right sides together, lining up the raw edges of your seam side. Now sew a 1/4" seam along the edge. (Once again, I didn't use pins). Continue chain stitching until you have made 5 sets of 4. Clip your threads and you can still wait to press.
Now select 4 sets of 4 and 4 sets of 2. Take a set of 2 and place it onto the set of 4 with right sides together, lining up the raw edges of your seam side. Sew a 1/4" seam along the edge. Continue chain stitching until you have made 4 sets of 6. Clip your threads and your almost ready to press.
You should now have 1 set of 2, 1 set of 4, and 4 sets of 6. Lay them out as follows. Once you have a layout you like go ahead and press making sure to press all of the odd rows to the left and all of the even rows to the right. This will just help everything to nest when sewing the rows together :)
Now to sew all of the rows together. Lay Row 1 onto Row 2 with right sides together taking care to match the center seams. Pin the nested seam and the 2 side seams. Sew a 1/4" seam starting and finishing at the raw edges of row 1. Lay Row 3 onto Row 4 with right sides together nesting and pinning the seams and do the same for Row 5 and 6. Sew a 1/4" seam along both pinned sets of rows. Press your 3 seams.
Now simply repeat the process sewing your now sewn together Row 1 and 2 onto your now sewn together Row 3 and 4. Once again, you will be starting and finishing the sewing at the raw edges of the Row 2 piece. Lastly, Sew the 4 rows onto the remaining Row 5 and 6. Press your seams. And Wha La!!! You have the basis of your apron.
Now to give it a little curve :) Fold your apron in half with wrong sides together. Draw a gentle curve across the last block in the second row. Cut along the curve through both layers of fabric. Now you can set your apron top aside for a bit as we move onto the lining.
STEP 2 - PIECING THE APRON LINING
From your 20" lining piece cut a 15" section off of the top. Now you have 2 pieces. One 15 x 20 and one 27ish x 20.
Place your 15" piece along top of the 27" piece as follows. You don't have to center it perfectly just approximate. Now lay your 15" piece onto your 27" piece with right sides together and sew a 1/4" seam starting and finishing along the raw edge of the 15" piece. Press the seam. And now your lining is done :)
STEP 3- QUILTING THE APRON
You knew I couldn't do a project without having some quilting in it. So, to add a little strength and mostly a little decoration we are going to quilt this apron, but with no batting :) To do this, lay your pieced apron top onto your back lining piece with wrong sides together. The lining will be larger than the apron top :) Now baste the 2 pieces by pinning (I just used straight pins for speed sake) your apron top to your lining every few inches.
Now simply quilt away in whatever desired stitch your prefer. I did a wavy stitch along the seam lines in a bright pink for a little pop :) Make sure you also quilt around the entire edge of the apron just to secure your front and back :) (I just did the same wavy stitch about a 1/4" in from the edge)
Once the quilting is done, remove the pins and then cut away the excess lining fabric using the top of the apron as a guide. And now it is ready to bind :)
STEP 4 - ADDING THE BINDING
If you have never done binding before see this tutorial for more details. It will really help :) Start by cutting your binding fabric into three 2 1/2" x WOF strips. Sew these three strips into your binding strip and press it in half.
Attach your binding strip to the back of your apron first aligning the raw edges of the binding strip and the raw edges of your apron.
Go ahead and miter the corners like you would a quilt and then on the curves just gently try to keep the raw edges together adding a little slack where necessary to keep it lined up. Add the binding strip around the entire apron and then sew the 2 ends of the binding strip together.
Now you can attach the binding to the front. I used the same wavy stitch I quilted with to attach the binding. Just fold your binding strip over the raw edge and stitch down along the folded edge. Once again, miter the corners and gently work in the curves. (This was my first time binding curves and I will tell you they aren't perfect but they will do :)
And now your apron should look a little something like this and you are ready to move on and make the ties :)
STEP 6 - MAKING THE TIES
Take your remaining 12 charms and sew them into one row. (You can use the same chain stitching sets of 2 methods that we did at the beginning to save some time :) Press your seams.
Now fold your row in 1/2 and cut down the center of your seams making 2 long rows of 2 1/2" wide strips. (I had to use 2 rulers lined up to be long enough :) Then go ahead and sew the 2 long strips together to make one very long strip. (Make sure not to sew the same print ends together :)
Now, fold your strip over so that right sides are together and the raw edges line up. Sew a 1/4" seam along the raw edge of the entire strip. Press.
Now you are ready to cut a neck tie and 2 waist ties. I cut my 3 pieces at the following dimensions. But I like my neckline high and a big bow in the back. So if you prefer a longer neck line cut it a little larger and the waist ties smaller.
Now everyone's least favorite part. Turning the ties right side in. To do this, attach a safety pin on the end of the tie through one side. (If you go through both you are going to have a hard time turning it inside out.) Now feed the safety pin through the hole that the fabric tunnel creates. Keep feeding it through until the entire tie is right side out. (This takes a bit of finagling but stick with it, it will get easier with each one :) Repeat for all 3 ties. Now go ahead and press the 3 ties so that the seam is along the center back of the tie :)
Lastly, turn the 6 raw edges in and sew along the edge to close the ties :)
STEP 7 - ADDING THE TIES
Now is the fun part where we get to make this apron a little knotty :) Using your grommet kit and the instructions with it, insert a grommet into the 4 locations shown.
Now simply feed your neck tie through the top 2 grommets and tie a knot in the front. If you like a little knot keep it single, if you want a larger knot you can double it up :) Insert a waist tie into a side grommet and tie a knot. Then tie a knot at the end of the waist tie just for a little decoration and symmetry :) Repeat for the other waist tie :)
And all of the sudden, you are finished and have a super cute Knotty Little Apron!!!! I hope you have a ton of fun making your Knotty Little Apron either for yourself or for someone special. If you have any questions on this tutorial please do not hesitate to email me at happyquiltingmelissa (at) gmail (dot) com. And when you are all done I would love it if you added your pictures of your fabulous Knotty Little Apron to our Simply Charmed Blog Hop Flickr Group and my Happy Quilting Tutorials Group.
And now onto the super fun part . . . It's your chance to win the
GRAND PRIZE GIVEAWAY!!!!!!
Fat Quarter Shop has graciously sponsored our Grand Prize Giveaway of a $200.00 gift certificate!!!!!
Do you know how much fabric you can buy with that??? Oh, I get giddy just thinking about it!!
GIVEAWAY CLOSED :)
So to enter to win this totally amazing Grand Prize, simply leave a comment telling me your favorite love song.
For one extra entry, become or already be a follower of Happy Quilting and leave a comment saying so.
And that's it :) International entries welcome and please leave an email address if you are a no-reply blogger :) The Grand Prize winner will be announced on Valentines Day!!!
Make sure each day to hop on over to the next stop. Each stop has an awesome tutorial and a great giveaway. Here is the schedule :)
February 14 - Happy Valentines Day and the Grand Prize Winner Announcement!!!!