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Friday, 8 April 2011

Patchwork Tidy Tray©

Here's a fun little project just in time for a special Easter gift. This Patchwork Tidy Tray © does double duty as a shallow Easter basket. The addition of a quilt block on the inside bottom is a happy surprise. This is a great item for traveling as it will lay flat in the suitcase and can be easily tied to form a nightstand tray for small items like earrings that may otherwise get left behind.
The block I chose is called Grandma’s Favourite and directions follow for this block. You may choose a different 5” block for your tray bottom, or even just a pretty print.
Patchwork Tidy Tray Directions
Finished Size: 5” square x 2” high Finished Block Size: 5”
Please read through entire directions before beginning project. ¼” seam allowance used throughout.
Materials Required:
4, 2-1/2” squares green (generous measure -see note below*)
4, 2-1/2” squares ecru (generous measure) *
4, 1-1/2”squares pink
4, 1-1/2” squares ecru 1, 1-1/2” square yellow
4 pieces ecru 5” x 11-1/2” (for sides of tray)
5” square heavy weight fusible interfacing (like Décor Bond)
9” square fusible batting
15” square backing fabric (this is what shows as the outside of your basket)
48”, ¼” wide satin ribbon
Thread to match
Easter grass, chocolate eggs and Lindt Chocolate Bunny (optional…but tasty )

*To make the Grandma’s Favourite block, I used a quick method for sewing HST (Half Square Triangles). I happen to like this lazy method as I don’t have to trim (directions follow). You can use your own preferred method for making the HST. To cut a generous 2-1/2” square, you want to be just a thread over 2-1/2”. If you are used to cutting on the inside of your ruler line, cut on the outside. This will ensure you don’t have to trim your block. If you are unsure, cut your squares 2-5/8” and trim your finished HST to measure 1-1/2” UF (Unfinished). Place ecru 2-1/2” squares on top of green 2-1/2” squares. Sew together completely around all 4 sides ¼” in from edge. Cut diagonally corner to corner.
Press your squares open to yield 16 HST which measure 1-1/2” (UF). Layout as shown, alternating HST with plain squares, and sew together in rows. Press seam allowance in alternating directions in each row. Join rows. Press seam allowances for the rows all in same direction. Your block should measure now 5-1/2” (UF) To Add Mitred Border: Mark and match the centre of your patchwork to the centre of one border strip. Pin in place. Sew, beginning and ending stitching ¼” from each end; leave the ends hanging loose. Repeat for all 4 borders.
Press seam allowances towards borders. Working on one corner at a time, lay one border strip on top of another.Fold under the end of the top strip on a 45° angle. Check that the fold is lined up with the corner of the block (blue pin in photo). To ensure the corner stays true, line up the excess ends of the meeting border strips to the right of the corner (red pins in photo)Verify your angle with the 45° line on your ruler.When you are satisfied with the angle, bring the hot iron down directly on top of your mitre and press.Pin the borders together to the right of the seam.Fold quilt back so that the top borders line up. Pin along your pressed line.Stitch along this pressed line beginning at the inside corner where the stitching ended when adding the border strip to the patchwork.Trim seam allowance to ¼”. Press seam open. Sew remaining 3 corners in the same way.
Fuse 5” square of Décor Bond (or any heavy weight interfacing) to the back of patchwork block to give a firm bottom to the tray.Cut your ribbon into 8, 6" lengths and stitch to your backing fabric 1-3/4” from each corner.
Iron fusible batting to backing square. Right sides together, stitch this square to the patchwork top leaving an opening along one edge for turning. Turn right side out; poke out corners (a chopstick works well for this). Press lightly. Pin open edges together and topstitch around perimeter. Using a walking foot, quilt around the patchwork square and though each mitred corner seam. With patchwork side facing up, tie ribbons in a bow in each corner. Isn't it cute?


  1. What a sweet project. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Oh, this is lovely, Karen! I like that it goes flat so easily.

  3. Great tutorial! Thanks!
    I love the perfect fabric you chose for the outside.♥

  4. I love it - thanks!! I especially love the method of doing the HST's - brilliant!

  5. Just sweet Karen. I'll be home next week, and this is definitely going on my to do list. I've seen these baskets before, but never with the great quilt block in the bottom. What a nice quilty surprise! Gail M.