Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Technique Tuesday: Knitty Sheep Does Crochet

We're here with Debby Kratovil of Debby Kratovil Quilts for Technique Tuesday! Today Debby is playing with Greta Lynn's Knitty Sheep line for Kanvas while showing how to make Hourglass blocks and offering suggestions on how to best use fussy cut sheep "stripes."

It's natural for sheep to want to knit or crochet, right?

Knitty Sheep, Knitty Sheep: can you knit with wool?
No, ma'am. No, ma'am. I never learned in school!

What! That sounds so crazy. Did you skip classes just to play?
No, ma'am, I took a class to learn how to crochet!

Whew! Now that's what I'm talking about! I can't knit and can only crochet. It's refreshing to find wool bearing sheep who know what to do with their hair!

Debby, why did you want to work with this collection?
Debby: I loved working with the Knitty Kitty collection a few months ago and made a few items for my crochet supplies (see post here). And now the fabrics are also in flannels. I can think of some cozy things to make for my little grandsons using those.

And some flannels to stay cozy and warm . . .
Knitty Sheep flannels
How long did it take for you to come up with your idea for our Technique Tuesday?
Debby: Well,  it usually only takes a day or two for the fabrics to convince me of what they want. Yes, they actually do start whispering once I rescue them from the mailing box. Then they get louder and louder until they convince me. But this time I think they were exhausted from their trip and it took over a week for them to talk to me.

And can we see what you did?
Debby: Why not? Isn't that what we're all here for?
I wanted so badly to capture the sheep in a horizontal strippy type quilt. I measured and figured that I would be able to cut 4" strips without lopping off any important sheep body parts! I allowed 1/4" from the tips of their little sheep heads.  I was given 38" (basically a yard) to work with and the strip looks like this:

4" strip, allowing for 1/4" from the tops of their heads
(Important note: the line of sheep runs parallel to the selvedge. For a longer strip you need more yardage.)

Then I dug through my files and found a tried and true pattern for an Hourglass block using my quick piecing and cutting using a 45˚ ruler (NOT a kaleidoscope ruler).

I used Judy Martin's 45 Shapemaker:

Judy Martin's 45 Shapemaker
Omnigrid side setting triangle
 I'm able to get two full blocks from two contrasting fabrics cut 2-3/4" x wof. Always press toward the "solid" reading color so the seams will nestle when units are joined together.

Two strips cut 2-3/4" x wof. Off-set them by 2-1/2" as shown
I selected 3 companion fabrics from the Knitty Sheep/Kitty Collection and the perfect blue from a Benartex batik. 

I wanted to make 12 - 16 blocks, so I cut:

** 2 strips EACH of 4 colors: 2-3/4" x wof (will yield four blocks)
** 8 strips 2-3/4" x wof of the novelty print from Knitty Kitty/Sheep as shown above

From the Knitty Sheep panel fabric, cut:
** Four strips 4" x 36/38". Take care to measure 1/4" from the tips of the sheep heads. This way you won't "intrude" on the heads in the next panel. Two strips are used for the quilt center and two are used for the side borders.
** Cut two wider borders from the two ends at the selvedges. Note that there is more of the gray background fabric on each of the ends. This makes them a natural for the top and bottom borders.

Use the ruler to cut perfect triangles, always aligning the ruler tip at the top of the strip set
Flip flop the ruler across the strip set until you get to the end. Notice that by offsetting the strips as we did at the beginning, it allows us to get ONE MORE cut, thus enough for two blocks per strip set.

Squeezing one more cut from the strip set
Let's see the block units:
8 triangle cuts from each strip set, enough for 2 blocks
And how do you arrange them?

Pretty nifty, huh?
Pair two together and sew the two block halves:
Two block halves. Always press in the same direction
You need for the seams to go in opposite directions from each other, so always press toward the same center triangle. Then you press the center seam open to reduce bulk.

Hourglass block with center seam pressed open

Now, can we see the other colors you used?

Four happy blocks in bright colors
 Now, let's see how you put the rows together. (Sorry. The lighting in my sewing studio is not good)

Rows of 4 blocks stitched together. Then joined to a horizontal sheep row.
Don't you love these two sheep from Poland? And that awesome wool with crochet hook?
Here are all the blocks and borders
Because I didn't have the length I needed to cover the entire length of the sides, I cut rectangles from the gray background companion print (like the one used in the blocks). The patches were the size of the side borders (4") and the top/bottom borders (5-1/4" - 6"). Worked perfectly!

Quilt Size: 43" x 44"

Love these colors. And aren't they such happy looking sheep?
This is a very quick -and fun - block to make. And look at those Knitty Sheep in their rows. Love them all!

Thanks Debby!

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  1. Hah! I was looking at this block the other day and wondering what is the easy way to cut it... thanks for the turorial. I love that sheep fabric - too sweet!!

  2. OMG those are just too cute. I just love those sheep and now we have a way to use them

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  4. Yep, these will knock your little chrocheted socks right off! Waaayy cute. Love the little sheep props.

  5. I looooooove that fabric! Thanks for the tutorial - you made it so easy.
    Debby E
    samtaylorcjsmimi at yahoo dot com

  6. Oh my gosh! Those sheep are just too cute. Great tutorial also. Thank you Debby

  7. Awesome sheep!!! & LOOOOVE the Fabrics & the Blocks..& lil' Quilt!!

  8. Just gorgeous, Debby. Thanks for the tutorial.

  9. Beautifully done. I will have to try your method out. I have a lot of new fabrics coming that would be beautiful with your tutorial. Thank you for showing an easy way to create this one.