Inexpensive Gifts: Small Quilt

Small 16 block quilt with purple border, two extra pink blocks were used in the corners.
This quilt was a gift for my granddaughter.

Need an inexpensive, personal gift you can make yourself? How about making a small quilt.

Take two or three pieces of fabric that coordinate. Cut out a pattern from cardboard in the shape of a five inch square. Trace the square onto the fabric starting at the edge in the corner, so you do not waste fabric.  I traced ten squares and cut them out. I cut ten squares in order to make the border a little different. You may want to cut only eight. Go to the next fabric, again starting in the corner, trace another eight squares and cut them out. Hint: if your fabric is folded in half, you only have to trace four to cut out eight.

From the third fabric I cut out 18 squares. You will need twenty if you did not cut ten from the first fabric. Do you have access to a sewing machine? A sewing machine will make this project go much faster, but you can also sew it by hand. 

Next take one square from the third fabric and two from the other fabrics. Sew a square from the third fabric to a square from the second fabric. Next sew a square from the first fabric to the square from the second fabric. Then sew a square from the second fabric to the square of the first. Once more sew a square from the first to a square from the second. Finally sew on a square from the third fabric. Do the directions for this paragraph twice so you have two identical rows.

Basically you want to sew the squares strips to make the pattern you want. Sew the strips together to make the face of the quilt.

Now take one square from the third fabric and two from the other fabrics. Sew a square from the third fabric to a square from the first fabric. Next sew a square from the second fabric to the edge of the first fabric. Then sew a square from the first fabric to the square of the second fabric. Sew the rows together to complete the face.

The picture is of a pieced and quilted quilt. The backing has extra fabric that is about to be folded over for the border.
The quilt has been pieced and quilted. I left extra on the backing to fold over for a border.

After the face is sewn together, place a piece of batting between the face and the backing. Quilting is sewing through all layers. I made the backing larger than the quilt so I could fold it over to make the border. I used chalk and a yardstick to make a guide for my quilting.

After I quilted the face, I folded the border over and tucked in the cut edge of the fabric. With the sewing machine, I sewed over all the layers to secure the border. Quilt finished.

A small quilt can be used as a wall hanging for an adult. A small quilt is great for a baby to lie on. A small quilt can be a comfort to a small child. There is so much more love enfolded in a homemade gift because someone took their precious time to make a personal gift just for the recipient.

Mashed Potato —-Pancakes—-

Do you have extra mashed potatoes you do not know what to do with, but you do not want to throw them away?  I created a recipe that uses per cup portions so that it is easier for you to use whatever amount of leftovers you have. I recently made a batch using 7 cups of mashed potatoes and the kids really enjoyed them. They put ketchup on them or sour cream. Some of my kids ate them plain. You could make them with eggs or like I did, just make them the whole breakfast like you would with pancakes.

Don’t they look appetizing?
  • 1 cup mashed potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons milk per cup of mashed potatoes
  • 1 egg per cup of mashed potatoes
  • 1/4 cup flour per cup of mashed potatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Butter to fry them in

Mix together the mashed potatoes, milk, flour, and salt.  If the leftover mashed potato are a little dry you may need to add a little more milk. Heat the frying pan. Melt 2 teaspoons of butter in the pan, then drop large spoonfuls into the heated pan. Flip the cakes once they are lightly browned. Brown them on the other side and remove from the pan.

Mixing the ingredients.

Keep adding a little butter to the pan or vegetable oil as the pan dries out, when you remove a batch from the pan. Serve them warm. Using what we have instead of running to the grocery store saves money.