• How To Make Patchwork Key Chains

    Patchwork Keychains
    by Rhonda Woodsmall

    One of my favorite things to make are the key chains. I'd like to share with you some of the ways you can make these. They can be 2" to 4" in size depending on what you choose to do. I often use a 1" for these but you can use a 1 1/2" or a 1 1/4".

    You will need:

    • Basic sewing supplies
    • Fabric for swatches or strips
    • A shoestring loop and a keychain ring
    • A template 1 1/2" or 1 1/4"
    • 1 1/2" free -- send a SASE to Rhonda Woodsmall PO box 163 Salem Iowa 52649
    • 1 1/4" is available on www.patchworkbyrhonda.com

    Making Half Square Triangle Squares (HSTs) with the cut down method

    Making a 1 1/2" square

    1. Cut a 2" x 9"strip of two different fabrics. Or you can use swatches.

    2. Lay them face to face and sew them together on one long side.

    3. Open and iron the seam open.

    4. Lay the joined strips on a mini cutting mat.

    5. Lay the template on the seam with two opposite corners on the seam.

    6. Hold the template firmly on the mat and cut one side with your rotary cutter. Continue to hold the template firmly -- don't let go -- and with your left hand turn the mat one turn as you can continue to cut the other sides.

    7. After you have cut out all you can on that side -- pull apart the strips and sew them together on the other side.

    8. Continue to cut out the squares on that side.

    If you want to make scrappy squares just use swatches instead of strips.

    Tip: I use 1 1/2" for the nine patch designs (3x3), and I use 1 1/4" for the 4x4 designs.

    How to make a loop:

    Making the keychain

    1. Make however many HSTs you need. If you need plain squares for your design cut those as well.

    2. Lay out your blocks and sew them into a quilt block.

    3. Add borders if you wish- this is optional.

    4. Sew a loop at the top of your quilt top.

    5. Lay your quilt top face down onto a back fabric. Trim the back to match the top.

    6. Sew around the quilt top leaving an opening to turn it right side out.

    7. Turn your top right side out. And iron it flat.

    8. Starting at the bottom sew around the edge closing the opening as you sew. This gives it a finishing look.

    If you use a 1 1/2" template this one will turn out approximately 3 1/2".

    If you use a 1 1/4" it will turn out to be approximately 3".

    Here are some other designs you could use for the key chains.

    Half Square Triangles 3 blocks x 3 blocks (9 patch)

    Half Square Triangles 4 blocks x 4 blocks

    Boston Blocks and HSTs 3 blocks x 3 blocks (9 patch)

    These are made with Boston Blocks -- directions to make the Boston Blocks can be found in the Playing with Boston Blocks e-book.

    Hope you find something you like among the designs I have shared with you. This is a great way to use up some of your leftover scraps and make something memorable for yourself or you friends and family.

    • • •

    About the author:

    Rhonda has been a quilter for 30 years. She writes tutorials for the Quilted Paradise Newsletter and is a member of the Quilting Message Board. She offers templates in hard-to-find sizes that will help you make beautiful miniatures or full-size quilt blocks. She authored the following e-books: Playing with Boston Blocks, Dresden Kaleidoscopes, Star Point Blocks, The Wings Block. Be sure to check them out, you won't be disappointed.
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