Monday, August 25, 2014

Vintage Bowties Tutorial

Part of the fun of going away on a sewing retreat is that there is a lot of time to sew! I am not good about following directions or cutting in a group situation, so I try to pre-cut all my fabric and I can start sewing as soon as possible.
The fabrics shown are 9 of my favorite vintage fabrics. Most of them were bought in 5" squares or charm square size so I had to be careful cutting them, there was no room for error.
I thought I would give you the measurements in case you wanted to make one for yourself. They are super easy and would use up a good bit of your scrap basket.

These directions make one unfinished block, that measures 4 1/2"
Print fabric cut 2 @ 2 1/2" squares
                  cut 2 @ 1 3/4" squares

Background fabric cut 2 @ 2 1/2" squares

2 1/2" background squares
My vintage fabrics are in the mid to light values. I am using a lot of different backgrounds and want to make sure there is some contrast.

I am laying them out to check before I sew.

I know that some of them will not have a lot of contrast but I am ok with it. I like how vintage quilts have fabrics that fade in and out.

1 3/4" squares
Once you are happy with your fabric selections, draw a diagonal line on the back of the 1 3/4" print squares. If you use a mechanical pencil, it makes a very accurate line.

Lay the fabric  across the edge of a 2 1/2" square.

Sew on the line. This is a good project to chain stitch. You could get a lot made in a short amount of time.

Press and check to make sure it covers the square. If not rip it out and do it again......

Once it is perfect, trim off the inside pieces, leaving a 1/4" seam allowance. If it isn't perfect you will not have a square, which will not make the block square, so take the time. You will be happy you did!

Lay out the block, sewing the top 2 together and the bottom 2 together. Again you could chain piece these.
Press the seam with the fabric going towards the print fabric. Next sew the 2 halves together.

I pressed my seam open because it made it flatter, which is my preference, and it is a small block!

There you go, 1 bowtie block only 96 more to go!

Saturday was our monthly, Meanix Family Fun Night held at my son Colin and his wife Jenny's home. It was freezing but we had a good time anyway.

Jenny always comes up with something fun. How about donuts filled with ice cream!!! The Krispy Cremes were a hit. I think there will be more of these in the future.....



  1. and how did you know I was making bow ties too! but I love, love, love your fabrics. oh I can't wait to see more of this quilt
    will this quilt be for YOU?????
    thanks for sharing the tutorial.

  2. Are you prepping for the Poconos?

  3. This is one of my favourite blocks.
    Looks like a fun get together again.

  4. That is how I do my bow ties - so fast and fun and always turn out great.
    What a fun family get together - freezing? wow.
    I ADORE krispy cremes!

  5. Hi Kelly,
    I have a question, from the photo it looks like your using you walking foot.
    Do you always piece with your walking foot?
    Put me down for a ice cream donut, looks yummy.

  6. I so love your fabrics and how you put them together. Those little bow ties are so cute. Hopefully we will see more of this quilt.

  7. I'm happy for you to have gone on a quilt retreat. They're always a rush... feeling like you've accomplished a lot, and picked up tips and ideas from other quilts. I loves me a quilt retreat! Your bow tie block is cute, but I'm absolutely gushing over those ice cream-filled donuts! I could eat six of them! It's hard to believe it was cold. In August? Come for a 94 degree day visit to me here in Florida!

  8. This was the pattern, years ago, that I first saw the sew and flip method of creating HST. I still remember how clever that I thought it was...and still do!!


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