Posts Tagged ‘Quilting’

Yes, another baby blanket. (And be prepared, there’s actually one more squeezed into the Nikki, In Stitches Top 10!)  This one looks complicated, but is made using Tunisian crochet.  If you have yet to experiment with Tunisian crochet, now is the time to start.  It’s super simple, just like crocheting, but you can make much more intricate stitches, just like knitting!


Nikki, In Stitches

PS…This is my last post on the old site! A new Nikki, In Stitches is debuting very soon.  Unfortunately, if you are currently a subscriber, your email address will not be carried over to the new mailing list.  If your inbox starts to get quiet, head over to www.NikkiInStitches.com and subscribe on the new site!


********ORIGINAL POST********

March 18th, 2010

Tunisian Crochet Entrelac Style Baby Blanket


I love the look of Entrelac, but let’s be honest, it’s not the quickest thing to knit up, and, for a beginner knitter, all of the turning can be a little intimidating.  That’s just another reason why I fell in love with Tunisian Crochet.  This blanket works up in a third of the time, is so easy to make, and looks just as great as its knit counterpart.  The pattern for the top follows below, and you can find instructions for backing and binding it here: A Knitted and Quilted Baby Blanket.  I have just one small, yet very important, note before you get started.  Please be mindful of your tension!  It is extremely easy to end up with a very wonky blanket!

Questions and comments are always welcome!  If you’re new to Tunisian Crochet, check out my previous two posts.  They contain links and tutorials for all of the basic stitches you will need for this project.

Tunisian Crochet – I’m Bringing It Back

Tunisian Crochet – Cabled Scarf

Also, this project was partly inspired by the cover project on the Winter issue of Crochet Magazine.  Check it out for more creative ideas!


Nikki, In Stitches


Plymouth Baby Bunny Yarn in White – 500 yards

Plymouth Baby Bunny Yarn in Blue – 500 yards

Size 10Tunisian Crochet Hook


1.  For this pattern only, Return Pass is worked in the following way: *Yo, draw through 2 loops, rep from * across.

2.  To bind off: Insert hook from front to back between 2 strands of vertical bar as if to knit, yo, pull up a loop.  Yo, and draw through both loops on hook.

3.  To pick up loops of bind-off row: Insert hook through both loops of bind-off chain, yo, pull up a loop.

4.  To M1 (make one stitch): Insert hook in space between next 2 vertical bars, yo, pull up a loop


White white, chain 74 loosely.

Starting Tier (12 Base Triangles):

Row 1: Insert hook in second ch from hook (next ch for successive triangles), yo, pull up a loop. (2 loops on hook)  RetP.

Row 2: M1, TKS in next vertical bar.  Insert hook in next ch and pull up a loop.  (4 loops on hook) RetP.

Row 3: TKS in next 2 vertical bars, M1 between last vertical bar and selvedge edge of last row.  Insert hook in next ch, pull up a loop.  (5 loops on hook) RetP.

Row 4: TKS in next 3 vertical bars, M1 between last vertical bar and selvedge edge of last row.  Insert hook in next ch, pull up a loop.  (6 loops on hook) RetP.

Row 5: TKS in next 4 vertical bars, M1 between last vertical bar and selvedge edge of last row.  Insert hook in next ch, pull up a loop.  (7 loops on hook) RetP.

Row 6: TKS in next 5 vertical bars, M1 between last vertical bar and selvedge edge of last row.  Insert hook in next ch, pull up a loop.  (8 loops on hook) RetP.

Row 7: BO 6 stitches.  Sl st in same ch as last stitch from last row. (One triangle complete.)

Repeat Rows 1 – 7 11 more times, to give 12 base triangles total.  For last triangle, sl st in last free chain.  Fasten off.

Tier A (1 Right-Edge Triangle, 11 Squares, 1 Left-Edge Triangle):

Using blue yarn, join in bottom corner of first base triangle made (or in last edge stitch of previous right-edge triangle for successive tiers).

Right-Edge Triangle:

Row 1: Ch 2, pull up a loop in 2nd ch from hook and in edge of first row of last tier. (3 loops on hook) RetP.

Row 2: M1, TKS in next vertical bar and in edge of 2nd row of last tier. (4 loops on hook) RetP.

Row 3: M1, TKS in next 2 vertical bars and in edge of 3rd row of last tier. (5 loops on hook) RetP.

Row 4: M1, TKS in next 3 vertical bars and in edge of 4th row of last tier. (6 loops on hook) RetP.

Row 5: M1, TKS in next 4 vertical bars and in edge of 5th row of last tier. (7 loops on hook) RetP.

Row 6: M1, TKS in next 5 vertical bars and in edge of 6th row of last tier. (8 loops on hook) RetP.

Row 7: BO 6 stitches.  Sl st in next stitch from last tier.


Row 1: Pick up 7 stitches along edge of previous tier. (8 loops on hook) RetP.

Rows 2 – 6: TKS in next 6 vertical bars and in edge of next row of last tier. (8 loops on hook) RetP.

Row 7: BO 6 stitches.  Sl st in next stitch from last tier.

Repeat Rows 1 – 7 of the square 10 more times, to give 11 squares total.

Left-Edge Triangle:

Row 1: Pick up 7 stitches long edge of previous tier. (8 loops on hook) RetP.

Row 2: TKS across. (7 loops on hook) RetP.

Row 3: TKS across. (6 loops on hook) RetP.

Row 4: TKS across. (5 loops on hook) RetP.

Row 5: TKS across. (4 loops on hook) RetP.

Row 6: TKS across. (3 loops on hook) RetP.

Row 7: BO 1 stitch.  Fasten off.

Tier B (12 Squares):

Using white yarn, join in first stitch of last tier and work 12 squares as for Tier A.

Repeat Tiers A, then B, 8 times more, then Tier A one more time.

Finishing Tier (12 Finishing Triangles):

With white yarn, join in first stitch of last tier.

Row 1: Pick up 7 stitches long edge of previous tier. (8 loops on hook) RetP.

Row 2: Skip next vertical bar, TKS in next 5 vertical bars and in edge of next row of last tier.  (7 loops on hook) RetP.

Row 3: Skip next vertical bar, TKS in next 4 vertical bars and in edge of next row of last tier. (6 loops on hook) RetP.

Row 4: Skip next vertical bar, TKS in next 3 vertical bars and in edge of next row of last tier. (5 loops on hook) RetP.

Row 5: Skip next vertical bar, TKS in next 2 vertical bars and in edge of next row of last tier.  (4 loops on hook) RetP.

Row 6: Skip next vertical bar, TKS in next vertical bar and in edge of next row of last tier.  (3 loops on hook) RetP.

Row 7: Skip next vertical bar, sl st in next stitch of last tier.  (One triangle complete.)

Repeat Rows 1 – 7 11 times more, to give 12 finishing triangles total.  Fasten off.


Weave in all loose ends.


yo…yarn over

RetP…Return Pass


sl st…slip stitch

bo…bind off

M1…Make one

TKS…Tunisian Knit Stitch

Possibly Related Posts from Nikki, In Stitches:

Tunisian Crochet – Cabled Scarf

A Knitted and Quilted Baby Blanket

You Asked For It (Knitted Entrelac Baby Blanket)


Read Full Post »

This super easy blanket is a fan fave, and still one of my go-to gifts for friends having little ones.  In fact, I literally just finished up this blanket (white crocheted front, blue backing, and yellow border) and shipped it out this morning!  Be warned, the rest of the Nikki, In Stitches Top 10 Countdown is very knit/crochet heavy.  However, even if you aren’t a yarn lover, stay tuned!  I’ve got a super fun giveaway coming up, and of course, all of this is leading up to the launch of the new Nikki, In Stitches site!


Nikki, In Stitches


********ORIGINAL POST********

July 28th, 2009

Crocheted “Quilt”…Sorry for the Delay!

Crocheted Quilted Baby Blanket 2It just dawned on me that I never put up the pattern for the crochet blanket pictured in my Knitted and Quilted Baby Blanket post.  No offense to all of my crochet readers!  I apologize!  As always, if something doesn’t look quite right, please let me know.  And if anyone has questions or comments, feel free to leave me a message!

I am headed to the beach for some much needed rest and relaxation.  Look for a giveaway when I get back!  Hint: I’ll be just a few blocks from my favorite needlepoint shop!


Nikki, In Stitches



*5 skeins of White Lion Brand Microspun yarn

Size G Crochet Hook

Tapestry needle

*Any of your favorite yarns can be used for this project. I used the microspun yarn because I had it, but a super soft baby yarn would also be perfect! Just keep in mind that baby items may need to be washed on a regular basis, so something that can make its way through the laundry and hold up is important.

Ch 120.

Row 1:

Single crochet in second ch from hook and in each ch across.

Row 2:

Ch 3 (counts as first dc), turn; *skip next st, dc in next st, dc in skipped st (working over dc just made). Repeat from * across to last sc, dc in last sc. (This stitch design is often referred to “cross stitch,” “back cross stitch,” or “front cross stitch” depending on if you prefer to go behind or in front of the stitch made when you go back to the skipped stitch. For this blanket, whichever personal preference you have is fine. I found a great online reference for a multitude of stitches patterns with illustrated pictures for some designs, and very well written instructions for all: http://www.crochetnmore.com/123basics.htm)

Row 3:

Ch 1, turn; sc in each dc across.

Repeat Rows 2 and 3 until desired width of blanket is achieved. End with Row 3.


Weave in all loose ends.

Directions for backing and binding your blanket can be found in the post, A Knitted and Quilted Baby Blanket??




sc…….……..single crochet

dc..…….……double crochet

Added Later: If you’re interested in the Entrelac Knitted Baby Blanket shown in my Knitted and Quilted Baby Blanket post, please see my You Asked For It post.

Read Full Post »

I’m having so much fun with the Nikki, In Stitches Top 10 Countdown.  Each time I look at the list to see what’s next, I think about how much I loved each of these projects.  These backed and quilted blankets are still so popular, here on my blog and on Ravelry.  When people inquire about handmade baby items, this is the first place I lead them.  The blankets themselves are so easy to knit or crochet, and the backing and binding just somehow give them that something special.  Maybe they look more finished or polished?  Maybe it’s the combination of the knit/crochet fabric with the soft minky and silky smooth satin?  I’m not sure, but they are my favorite thing to give to friends that are welcoming new babies into their lives!


Nikki, In Stitches


********ORIGINAL POST********

A Knitted and Quilted Baby Blanket??

June 16th, 2009

Knitted Quilted Baby Blanket 3I love making baby quilts for my friends when they are expecting a new arrival, but sometimes there is just not enough time. I have so many projects that are unfinished, so many ideas for crafts I could do to decorate my new house, not to mention chasing my son and dog around most of the day, that making a quilt sometimes just isn’t in the cards, but I still want to make something special. There is something about receiving a homemade gift that is different. You can feel the time and love that went into it. And, I want my friends to know that I cherish them enough to make them something from my heart.

My solution was to crochet or knit a blanket. It went faster, baby yarn was relatively inexpensive, and it was more portable than a quilt. I could take my project on road trips with me, and I could sit in front of the TV and work on it when I wanted to spend time with my husband. But, no offense to any crocheters or knitters out there…it was just missing something.

I think I found an even better solution.

I turned my knitted or crocheted blankets into “quilt tops.” First, the “top” needs to be blocked. Depending on which stitch type you use, this is more or less important. The knitted, Entrelac blanket shown above needs to be blocked very well. Crocheted Quilted Baby Blanket 2The tendency of the Entrelac stitch is to stretch rather easily and you will notice your backing will pucker a lot, and your quilt will not be anything close to square, if you don’t take the time to block it. The crocheted blanket pictured here needed minimal blocking just to square it up. I then back them and bind them just like they are a quilt. There is no need for batting. The heaviness of your knitted or crocheted top usually ensures the blanket will be warm enough. I use minky fabric for the backing, and flannel lined satin for the binding. These are the perfect combination for a baby to snuggle up with. I do tack the backing and top together in a few spots just by hand with a needle and thread. I cut my binding very wide (sometimes up to 10”), which makes it quite difficult to work with, but I like the look of the wider binding, and it gives the babies more to hang on to. I attach it exactly like a typical quilt binding.

Problem solved! These blankets are quicker to make than quilts, they are less expensive (although in the Entrelac example I did splurge and buy very nice, but kind of pricey, yarn), they are easier for a beginner crafter or nonquilter, and they still have the same something special about a homemade gift. The perfect quick weekend “quilt”!

Questions and comments are welcome as usual. I’d love some feedback on these blankets. Also, if the demand is out there, I’m considering putting together a tutorial on Entrelac knitting. Let me know what you think!


Nikki, In Stitches


Added Later:   When I wrote this post, I thought the “quilted” aspect of these projects would be the main focus.  I am so happy so many of you like this idea.  Thank you for all of your emails and comments.  I am surprised by the overwhelmingly large number of requests for patterns for these blankets.  It means a lot to me that so many of you enjoy my projects.  Please check back for them soon.  I am starting the pattern writing process within the next few days, and hope to get the instructions up soon after.

Added Later:  If you’d like the pattern to knit the Entrelac Blanket shown above, it can be found in the following post:  You Asked For It.  The crocheted blanket pattern can be found in:  Crocheted “Quilt”…Sorry for the Delay!

Read Full Post »

It’s perfect that our “Nikki, In Stitches Top 10″ should start with a quilting post, since being at my sewing machine is really my favorite place to be (next to the beach, of course!).  I cringed when I first went back through this post because my pictures taking skills were certainly NOT very good two years ago.  I apologize…profusely!  But, if you are a beginning quilter, or someone considering jumping into the world of quilting, this is actually a really good place to start.  This is the first of nine simple quilt blocks.  Links to all the others are at the bottom of the post.  There are also links to my posts on assembling them into a quilt top, as well as how to back and bind your quilt.  It’s pretty much a “Quilting 101” class!


Nikki, In Stitches

********ORIGINAL POST********

Churn Dash – Your First Quilt Block

March 28th, 2009

Are you ready?  At this point, you’ve practiced cutting your fabric, and you’ve mastered the quarter inch seam.  The only thing left to do is just do it!  I tried to pick a block that was easy, yet also visually interesting.  Churn Dash is this block’s traditional name, but depending on your fabric choices, this block can certainly look modern.  I have included some tips along the way.  They appear in italics.  If you’re new to quilting, you should take the time to read them.  If you are an experienced quilter, you are probably to the point where the suggestions I provide  just come naturally.  This is my first attempt at teaching quilting via my blog, so if there are suggestions for improvements, feel free to speak up.  I plan to do at least eight more of these, and I’d like them to be as user friendly as possible.  As always, questions and comments are welcome!


Nikki, In Stitches

White tonal:
Cut 4 rectangles 4 1/2″ x 2 1/2″
Brown Paisley:
Cut 4 rectangles 4 1/2″ x 2 1/2″
White Paisley:
Cut 2 large squares 4 7/8″ x 4 7/8″
Cut 1 small square 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″
Green Houndstooth:
Cut 2 large squares 4 7/8″ x 4 7/8″
churn-dash-step-11. With right sides together, sew 1 white tonal rectangle and 1 brown paisley rectangle together to make Unit A. Press to the darker fabric. Make 4 Unit A’s.

A note on pressing: “Pressing” and “Ironing” are very different, especially to a quilter. Quilters press. They use an up and down motion, not the typical back and forth motion of ironing. After a piece has been sewn, set your seam by placing the piece dark side up on your ironing surface. Put the iron down on the seam, then bring the iron straight up. Next, lift the top layer up, and moving from right to left, run the iron along the seam with the body of the iron parallel to your sewing. Good pressing skills make quilting easier, so take the time to carefully press your pieces.

churn-dash-step-22. Draw a diagonal line on the back of each green houndstooth square from corner to corner. With right sides together, place 1 green houndstooth square on top of 1 white paisley square. Stitch 1/4″ on each side of the drawn line. Cut the square into two triangles by cutting on the drawn diagonal line. Press to the houndstooth fabric.


When triangle units are made, there are always “dog ears” that stick out from your seams after they are pressed. Cut these little triangles off before attaching another piece to prevent bulk in your seams.



3. Sew a houndstooth triangle unit to each side of Unit A. Press towards the houndstooth triangle unit. Repeat this with the other two remaining houndstooth triangle units.


4. Sew the remaining two Unit A’s to each side of the small paisley square. Press toward the paisley square.


5. Sew Rows 1 and 2 together, pressing towards Row 2. Sew Row 3 on to the bottom, pressing towards Row 2 again.


The importance of which direction you press your seams should now become apparent. If you have pressed your seams in the directions that were recommended above, they should abut to each other nicely as you sew your rows churn-dash-pressing-seamstogether. With practice, you will be able to judge which direction to press, but most patterns offer suggestions. When in doubt, press to the darker fabric to avoid any color showing through your finished quilt.


For other posts from Nikki, In Stitches related to the Relay Quilt, please see the following:

Let’s Start at the Very Beginning

Cheap Trick

And For Your Second Block…A Card Trick

Third Times a Charm, or a Sawtooth Patchwork

Back to Blocks…4th: Gentleman’s Fancy?

Block Five: A Dove in the Window

Block Six: A Flower Pot…My Fave So Far

7th Block: Crow’s Foot…And You Can Actually See the Feet!

Block 8: Pinwheel and Squares…Don’t Be Afraid!

Rosebud: The 9th and FINAL Block!

The End is in Sight!

A Quilt Sambo

Bound and Determined

Tagged and Ready for the Relay

Relay Results

Read Full Post »

I’ve seen crafters get excited about many things, but never have I ever witnessed the kind of commotion that this little peephole caused last week.

In my “3 Craft Gadgets You Really Don’t Need, But You Can’t Live Without!” post, I invited all of you to share your must-have gadget.  This little comment set the craft world on fire:

I instantly started getting emails.

Craft Gossip featured the gadget post, and they started getting emails!

So, what did I do?

Went out and bought a peephole!

And let me tell you….I’m hooked!

So, here’s how the peephole works…

As all of you know, auditioning fabrics (and even yarns, according to Nancy…who, by the way has a cute little blog, Needles, Hooks, and Books) can sometimes be difficult.  Colors that appear to work well together, may look different when viewed from a distance.  And, getting that distance can be hard when you’re in a quilt shop, fabric store, or even your craft room.  Enter the peephole.  By looking at your fabrics through the peephole, they appear to be much, much farther away.  In fact, it almost feels like you are across the room, when really, you are just a few feet away.  It’s a great way to get a better perspective of your fabrics, and feel more confident that they will work well together in your quilt, or whatever you’re planning to make with them.


I purchased my peephole at my local large chain home improvement store.  There were two to choose from.  One provided a 120 degree view, and was about $6.  The other gave a view of 190 degrees, and was about $11.  Depending on how large of an object you are looking at, you may want to go with the more expensive one, but if you’re sticking to fabrics and yarns, I’m pretty sure the 120 degree view is sufficient.

An inside tip…

Someone also suggested that using the viewfinder of your camera will also give you this same effect.  However, as I’m typing this, I’m realizing that most digital cameras these days do not have viewfinders, and I am suddenly feeling very old!

So, give it a try!  Let all of us know how it goes!  And if you can think of any more “must-have” gadgets, please leave them in the comments below!


Nikki, In Stitches

Read Full Post »

Got your coffee?

Ok, let’s catch up on everything!

1.  Let’s get to the big thing, first…I know you’re dying to know who won the giveaway, and….


Congratulations, Wendy!  The pattern will be emailed to you ASAP, and the fabric is going out in the mail tomorrow.

By the way, Wendy has the cutest little blog, Wendy Darling, Ltd., and from there you can check out her adorable Etsy shop, follow her on Twitter, all that fun stuff!

2.  Don’t be sad if you didn’t win the apron!  The pattern is available on NikkiInStitches.com for only $4! Remember, you can make it in under an hour, and if you’re like me, and have the world’s largest stash of fabric, you probably don’t need to even leave your house for supplies!

3.  I want to give one huge thank you to my dear friend Kristen at 3 Little Birds Boutique for writing the sweetest post about my on her blog.  Please go take a peek.

PS…Kristen is also having an amazing giveaway right now!  Take a look…you will definitely want to enter!!

4. Did everyone see my first Berlin Patch Piece?  Those wooden blocks were a hit! My next piece should go up early next week.  And thank you to all of you that did go over to take a look, and especially to all of you that commented!  It was such an amazingly warm welcome to the world of newspaper writing!

5. All of you know that I have a serious crush on hand applique, and I just wanted to let you know that we are still madly in love! I’ve been very slowly working on my Halloween quilt, and (I’m embarrassed to say this because Santa gave me this as a gift, Christmas 2009) I just finished the first block.  Here’s a peek, but he still needs some finishing touches, buttons for eyes and on his vest, beads for the spiders eyes, etc.  If you’d like to see the entire quilt, or get information on ordering it yourself, it’s available on Keepsake Quilting.

PS…Thank you to all of my Facebook fans that gave me tips on the Bullion Stitch used for the owl’s feet!  At first, they were not looking so good!

Read Full Post »

It’s amazing the memories that one T-shirt can hold.

Pick it up, touch it, smell it…before you know it, you’re reliving a lifetime.

I made this quilt as a gift for friends who had recently lost a loved one, and it truly was an honor.  And as I pieced it together, I knew it would be more than a quilt.  It would be a way to remember and cherish the memories behind these simple T-shirts.

The pattern for the quilt is now available on my website for only $3, www.NikkiInStitches.com.  With each purchase, $1 will be donated to help fight cancer and help find its cure.

Cancer has touched my life, as well as many of yours, and how lucky are we that we can do something we love, and make something that we will cherish for a liftetime, while at the same helping our friends, family and others that need our love and support?

Nikki, In Stitches

Possibly Related Posts from Nikki, In Stitches:

My First Attempt At A T-Shirt Quilt

A Quilt Sambo! (How to layer, baste, and “quilt” your quilt!)

Bound And Determined (How to bind your finished quilt!)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »