Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Super Quick Tip!

Now that I'm finished and about to actually post this I realize I may not be the first person to have discovered this quick tip.

Large paper clips to hold your quilt binding in place:
I feel like it's GENIUS. Maybe that's just because I like to think I came up with this technique... ha. But I'm sure if I googled it I'd find someone else who has done this... so for now I won't google it...

But seriously, I usually don't even bother pinning my binding (I HATE PINNING ANYTHING) but I was trying really hard to get this binding as close to perfect as I could get since I'm planning on selling these mug rugs so I needed something to hold the binding in place (other than pins). I wasn't gonna run out to the store and buy binding clips, so I looked around and found I had a box of large paper clips and thought 'why not?".

Well it worked, so I'm sharing! Happy binding!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Waving Flag - Scrap Wall Hanging

I first started this waving flag in February. It's been sitting on a shelf waiting to be finished. I never remember to pick up fabric for it... until last week.

(Now that I've gone back and read that old post, I see I was intending to use red bias tape... ha, I ended up making my own brown bias tape for it)
I am actually really happy with the way this came out! And the way I added the tabs for hanging (not too bad for my first time making tabs for hanging!)
Next time I make this (as a gift for someone perhaps) I'm not going to go scrappy with it, I think I'll buy various shades of each color and build from there. This truly was a SCRAP project...

The pattern came from a Better Homes & Gardens book called "Teach Yourself to Hand Applique". I bought it last year at Big Lots for a whopping $3. Yes... I said THREE.... dollars. Love the book section of Big Lots, also got the Martha Stewart Sewing Encyclopedia for $7. Ha.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Stripes Quilted Mug Rug tutorial

Remember the rainbow quilted mug rug I shared last week? I thought I'd share a quick tutorial with you about how I made it.

First you're going to start with 2 pieces of regular ol' printer paper that are 6 1/2" x 6 1/2" square.

You will also need 2 strips each of five different colors measuring 2 1/4" wide by 9 1/4" tall. Note that you CAN use smaller scraps on the corner pieces that are only 2 1/4" wide by 3" tall.

You'll want a piece of batting and backing that is at least 8" x 14".

Also some double-fold bias tape or make your own.

First take your center color {green} and lay it diagonally RIGHT side up on your paper. Stitch down both long raw edges attaching it to the paper:
Take your next piece and place it RIGHT side DOWN on top of the first strip matching raw edges. Sew the edge.
Fold the second strip {red} back and dry iron the seam. Take your third strip {orange} and place it RIGHT side DOWN on top of the red strip, matching raw edges. Sew in place.
Open and iron. Continue in this manner until your whole paper is covered:
Next, take your 6 1/2" square measuring thingamajig and place it over your block. Trim.
Next make a second block using the remaining strips and remaining piece of paper. Once you are finished trimming the second block, carefully remove the paper from the back of the blocks.

Twist and turn your blocks next to each other until you're happy with the way it is and then sew your two block together.

Cut a piece of backing and batting that are 1" bigger than your finished rectangle on each side. It should be backing RIGHT side DOWN, batting, quilt RIGHT side UP. Pin your layers together.
Using a quilter's marker, which is washable, draw a line on a test piece of the lightest color fabric you have, then get a wet cloth and make sure it washes off. If it does, draw some lines and squiggles where you want them on your mug rug quilt top:
Top stitch with your machine over your drawn lines using a stitch length slightly longer than the standard length (my standard on my machine is 2.5 and I changed it to 3.5). Your quilt top might stretch... that's okay. Your lines won't be perfect if you're using a regular sewing machine foot (which I did) but that's okay. It doesn't have to be perfect to look good!! Top stitch right off the edge of the quilt top.

After quilting the mug rug, square it. What I mean is cut off the excess and make sure your sides are straight, if you've had fabric stretching this is where we fix that:
Next, we're going to attach our store purchased pre-made double fold bias tape binding using this tutorial (click the "continuous quilt binding tutorial" link), which is a printable PDF... She has us hand-stitching but I did not hand stitch, I machine stitched all the way. Just make sure when you're machine stitching on the front side that your seam allowance is slightly smaller than it was on the back so that your stitches are all on the binding material, and make sure your thread is the same color as the binding.

note though - I searched and searched and searched for how to do binding, because I am horrible at it, and the tutorial I link to has awesome diagrams and explains the process really well.

Of course you could always make your own binding and use coordinating thread. Or even hand sew like the pdf directions specify, but I am not a hand-sewer, I avoid it whenever I can.... so there you go.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Mini Clutch!

I'm not sure exactly when it happened.... but after making a few of these and seeing them sitting in my pile of gifts to give I suddenly decided that these would not make very good keychains. They're super cute and all that, but they are rather large for keychains.

So I went and removed the keychain part and now I'm just calling them mini clutches. Throw them in your purse, keep your chapstick in there, some change... a few dollar bills... things you normally lose in the bottom of your purse.
I think when people ask me what they are, I'm going to say they are "Purse Organizing Mini Clutches".

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Zip Pouch Keychain.

Here it is. My first zip pouch keychain. Which I had made quite a few mistakes on before I figured out how to get it to work (use a longer zipper so you can unzip it all the way). I was recycling a zipper for this one, so my zip was the exact same size as my project and this is incredibly difficult to sew.

Once this was finished I went on to make the pink and blue one and used that to write the Zip Pouch Keychain tutorial.

It's almost always trial and error for me. I don't think anything I ever make comes out perfect or great. But I like the things I make anyway.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Hexie Mug Rug?

To make the "hexie" mug rug, which comes together quickly... (until you get to the quilting part), just sew your scraps randomly together until they are the size you want your mug rug to be:
Then trim:
Piece and sew your back {minus the quilting part, just ignore that part of the photo}:

Cut your batting then layer: back, R side up, front, R side down, batting on top. Sew around leaving a 4" opening. Turn and iron.

Cut your hexie and pin where you want it on your mug rug {mine is off-center on purpose}:
Stitch around the hexie as close to the paper as you can get. Remove the hexie paper. Now stitch around your top-stitched hexie with the edge of your presser foot against the first top-stitched hexie line. Keep going around. There will be some areas where you will stop at the edge, not completing a full hexie shape.

Of course this mug rug was made to match the hexie table mat I made.
I think next time I probably won't go into the middle like I did to make such a tiny hexie? I don't know, I'm not sure I like that part. Otherwise I'm pretty happy with it.

Oh!!! Here is a site that has a printable hexagon shape. I got mine from the Quilts & More Fall 2012 Magazine {and it's pretty large}. So I googled because I want to try smaller hexie project and I found this printable, I figure you can print, then scan and resize??? I'm hoping.

Monday, September 17, 2012

This is me - QUILTING!

Okay... this is my first time really really quilting. And by quilting I mean... not following directions like on my hexie table mat, but actually drawing a design freehand and quilting it.

I am so happy with this and happy with myself. The binding came out great considering this is my first time binding properly with mitered corners and all that. I'm working on another quilted mug rug now.
It was pretty smooth to begin with, I did not pre-wash the fabrics. After I was done I ran the mug rug under water in the kitchen sink to remove the drawing marks, then since I was doing laundry anyway, I wrung out the mug rug and threw it in the dryer with the rest of the laundry. When it came out it was... well... crinkly. Not in a bad way, I really like it. And now I understand more why some people choose to pre-wash fabrics and why others prefer not to, they like the crinkle look.

I did take many pics along the way so I can share how I did this. Not just the quilting but the piecing of the top and the binding and everything.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Quilts & More Hexie Table Mat

I love the Quilts & More magazines!! I usually buy them and just look repeatedly, this is the first time I've made a project from one of them. I had to make the hexie table mat because I see hexie everywhere and I've been dying to try it.

I didn't do the Autumn embroidery, and I didn't exactly do the hexies they way the instructions said to make them {by cutting 19 pieces of paper then hand basting them all? yeah right! I cut one piece of cardstock then ironed them all}

I used scraps I had that were large enough {5" x 5"} so the pattern says use Charm squares.

I think it came out really cute! I'm happy with it. the ironing of the hexies took forever, but the actual sewing and quilting went pretty quickly.
I didn't have a matching scrap large enough for the back so I pieced the back:
All in all I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out. I also made a matching {sort of} mug rug, which I'll be posting in a day or two, as a tutorial.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Mini Quilted Magnets.

The idea for these mini quilted magnets came from Zakka Style. Only I didn't do the same quilt designs and I used different magnets and inserted them differently.

My first set didn't come out quite right... they're all supposed to be the same size but... as you can see, they're not. Plus my hand stitching isn't that great here.
But my second set came out cute! And I was much more careful with the hand stitching. And they're actually all the same size. I'm really not sure what happened with the first set to make them different sized.
This was also an upcycle project for me because the magnets I used were cut out of the bottom of shower curtains.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Zip Pouch Keychain .:. Tutorial

This super cute and small zip pouch keychain, which is perfect for change or your chapstick, is made easily with just a few materials and a little bit of time.

You will need:
7" Polyester Zipper
8" x 4 1/2" Outer Fabric
8" x 4 1/2" Lining Fabric
8" x 2" Strip of Lining Fabric
2" x 2" Square of Lining Fabric
8" x 4 1/2" Fusible Interfacing
Follow the manufacturer's instructions and apply your fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the main (outer) fabric.

With the wrong side of the 8" x 2" strip of lining facing toward you, fold the two long raw edges to the center and iron. Turn right side up and pin about 1 1/4" from the left side of the main fabric. Topstitch each long edge using a decorative stitch.
With wrong sides together and matching raw edges, baste stitch the lining and the main panel together along the 8" sides about 1/8" from the raw edges.

Open your zipper all the way. Lay your fabric with the Outer fabric facing up. Place the zipper with the right side of the zip DOWN along the top short edge. Try to make sure zipper is centered so that there is an equal amount of zipper overhanging each side of the fabric. Pin and stitch.
Now fold your fabric and iron. The zipper should be facing up (see photo below). Top stitch along the edge of the fabric fold near the zipper.
Then topstitch another line of stitches below that line so that the raw edges of the zipper pull are secure.
Next, with your outer fabric facing up and the sewn zipper closest to you, fold the fabric up and line up the zipper with the short raw edge. Your zipper should be closed and right side down. Pin and stitch.
Unzip the zipper and with the outer fabric facing up topstitch along the edge near the zipper then topstitch just below that again (same as above).

Flip your pouch so that it is inside out again. Next, take your 2" square and fold two raw edges toward the center. Iron. Fold in half to hide the raw edges. Topstitch down both long edges.
Take your pouch and zip the zipper half way closed. The wrong side of the pouch should be out. With about 1/2" - 3/4" inches at the top above the zipper, pin down one side.
On the other side, fold your keychain loop in half and place it between the layers at one end of the zipper. The fold should be inside the pouch and the raw edges should be lined up with the raw edges of your pouch. Pin all this in place and stitch along both short edges.
Backstitch several times over the zipper. Now zig zag stitch on both edges an trim close, also trimming the zipper.
Flip your zipper pouch right side out. Use something with a dull tip to push out the corners. Iron. Attach the keychain to the keychain loop.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

New Posting Schedule.

I'm really writing this for myself...

From now on I'm going to try to stick to a blog posting schedule. I'm hoping it will be less overwhelming than the way that I do it now. Which is basically to sew my butt off as quickly as I can so I have things to post on the blog.

Yeah... I know. Bad idea.

So from now on I'm going to try to stick to the following posting schedule:

Sunday: undecided

Monday: undecided

Tuesday: Tutorial Tuesday... I will post a tutorial (you can always find past tutorials here). If I don't have a tutorial I will point you in the direction of a tutorial online that I have used and found to be useful.

Wednesday: undecided

Thursday: I'm hoping to do guest posts on Thursday's... when I have guest posts that is! If you're interested in guest posting (to introduce your blog, or share a project or tutorial, please let me know your idea using the contact form).

Friday: I will (hopefully) find projects that I love on Flickr, or blogs, or Pinterest and share those with you, share the bloggy love, if you will.

Saturday: undecided

Undecided.... for now means I will share my projects I've sewn. I may add a specific thing on any unused days if I can think of anything. Unless you have an idea or two?

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Another Notebook Holder

I don't know what it is about these, but I really really love these notepad holder thing-a-ma-bob-ers. LOVE THEM. Unlike the last one I made, which used small buttons, I used some big ol' buttons here.

The inside has pockets for business cards or papers or what have you.

These go together so quickly... They don't use an obnoxious amount of fabric either. I'm giving them out as Christmas gift.
{I really need to learn how to take a photo of these without making them look odd shaped... because they really are not oddly shaped at all... or oddly elongated.}

Thursday, September 6, 2012

A stripped Mug Rug.

Here we go, this is my first attempt to actually "quilt" something with batting.
Cute little stripped mug rug using scrap strips of fabric. It's not heavily quilted, I just top stitched on each side of each seam {woah, does that make sense?}. I think with my next one I might try closer top stitching or something... I don't know. Maybe some binding.

I am happy with the way this turned out though, it's cute.

Monday, September 3, 2012

a Zakka Style mishap.

I was so excited when my copy of Zakka Style arrived, so many beautiful projects in there to sew! I started with the zippered wallet/clutch.
Looks good right??? Oh yeah baby. Well... actually... take a closer look:
I am... not at all proud of that! That's what I get for trying to attach the binding with my sewing machine... instead of doing it by hand like the book says. OOPS. And of course because of my mistake THERE and around the fabric is too close to the zipper and the zipper sticks. Ugh.

I was so excited about this project! And I ruined it.

The instructions were easy to follow, the only problem I had was one part says to cut 2 interfacings a certain size but there was no fabric that size and the interfacing sizes didn't match up with all the pieces that needed to be interfaced...

Here is the inside, which doesn't look too bad:
I just royally screwed up the binding... and it's my own fault. My next one will be better. This was supposed to be a gift but because of my mistakes I'll keep it for myself probably.