Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Bye Baby Bunting...Hello 2014

Well hello 2014...where did you come from? Sneaking up on me like should be ashamed of yourself! You're here to stay you say? Ok I'll have to make the best of  it then!

I did say that my next post would be about making mini-bunting, and even if it has taken 3 months, here it is!

Just to recap, the bunting postcard was made for the Great Big Stitched Postcard Swap #6 . It made it into the round-up post, which was a bit of a buzz!

So, if you've ever felt like making minuscule bunting you've come to the right place...

Gather your supplies:

  • scraps of fabric - smallest size is 1 1/4" squares.. I had quite a few 2 1/2" squares that I cut in half and then used one of the halves to make two small squares, keep the other 1 1/4" x 2 1/2" rectangle for the bunting "string".
  • quilters awl or unpicker or even a small skewer ( helps with holding and folding)
  • tweezers (ditto ) 
  • usual sewing supplies, sewing machine etc...(you're not silly I shouldn't have to point out the obvious!)
pretty scraps
Cut 1 1/4" squares from your scraps.
1.25" scrap squares
If you are using 2 1/2" squares, cut them in half, and make two small squares and one rectangle.
cut 2.5" squares in half
Here's my finished pile of 1 1/2" squares and the leftover rectangles...make mine rainbow thanks!
scrap squares and rectangles
(I didn't realise how bad these photos were but if I wait to take them again in better light this tutorial might get posted sometime in 2014! ha ha ha guess what? It does get posted in 2014 and the pics didn't get retaken!)

Take one square and fold it in half to form a rectangle:
fold square in half

Fold the bottom right hand corner of the folded edge up to about 1/3 in from the left hand edge

Then take the other folders corner and bring it up to lap over to the right hand side - you've basically folded the rectangle into 3. Make sure you have a nice sharp point at the bottom.
Turn it over - tweezers are a big help here- so the "pointy" bits and fold are at the back.

As you fold each one, feed them through the machine with the aid of your unpicker/awl/skewer.

Don't separate them, leave them in one long line.
Hard to tire of looking at all that cuteness!
Now you've done the bunting, sew those rectangles together into one long strip, open out the seams and iron them flat. 
Then fold them in half down the length, iron well...starch is your friend with this mini out the fold,  and then fold each long side into the centre and iron well again (see picture below), just like you are making binding, which of course is exactly what you are doing!
Start inserting the first little triangle and clip in place. See how they are all chained together - you just shove and peg, shove and peg, till you get the arrangement you want.

I made two strips as they fitted the layout of the 6" x 4" postcard.
The binding hides the stitches and keeps those pesky tails that may not quite get sewn, hidden away too!
Snip off the tips of the prominent pointy bits if they didn't fit neatly, but be careful not to cut your stitches.
I sewed slowly over each piece and it fed through the machine fine.
I tried my zipper foot but the results were pretty ordinary, so I went back to the general sewing foot. I also lengthened the stitches which gave a nice effect

And here's the finished product again:

I hope you have fun making mini wasn't that worth the wait?

Thanks for taking a peek over the fence...

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Making not missing...

So I've been just a bit lax on the blogging side, but I haven't been idle...

I bought the Noodlehead basket pattern to make for my partner for the Sewing Room Swap, then I wished I had the social tote pattern instead.
So I forged ahead and made my own version of a project carry tote for carting various sewing projects far as the lounge while watching Sherlock or Elementary, my usual Sunday night treat before the week begins in earnest! I based it on the tote I made for this swap earlier in the year.

Project tote

This is what I ended up making for my partner in that swap...I had a hard time parting with this sewing machine cover for the, but it went to a home where it's loved to bits  ..."linda lawsons place".
sewing machine cover-back

sewing machine cover-front with pocket

I had promised myself that I'd do two "block of the months" this year (surely I could find two days a month to sew...ha ha ha ha ha, what was I thinking?)  I've only managed to get two Doctor Who paper pieced blocks made...The T.A.R.D.I.S.
and The Time Lord
Time Lord block
I'd really like to get caught up with these by the end of the year...(see above laugh!)

The Great Big stitched Postcard Swap is back for round #6. The theme is celebrate and I've made the cutest little bunting...the card size is just over 6" x 4" so the bunting is fairly tiny. Next post I'll run a few tutorial pictures so you can make your know, just in case you get the urge to make miniature, cutesy bunting of your own!
"Celebration" themed fabric postcard

thanks for taking a peek over the fence... 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Pop-Up Scrap/Thread Bin Tutorial

I'm always looking for quick small gifts to add to swap parcels.

Scrap Thread Bin - opened upScrap Thread Bin - folded
This little portable thread/scrap bin was inspired by the Thread Catcher tutorial on Red Hen Fabric's quick projects page. That tutorial uses a 4" wooden inner from an embroidery hoop.

I wanted to be able to machine finish most of the project - there is still hand sewing...but nothing like the stand out dodgy running stitches I did to keep the hoop in place.

This tutorial makes a casing where you can push in a stiffening piece instead of the wooden hoop. I used rigilene for this tutorial and in one prototype, I used the plastic strapping that comes off packages!

  • Fat quarter of fabric 
  • Cardboard
  • Scrap of batting
  • Rigilene (or plastic strapping) - 1/2" or 12mm wide
  • Matching thread
  • 4" diameter circle template/saucer/bowl/compass...or whatever you have handy
  • General sewing supplies

From the
CARDBOARD cut 2 x 4" circles.

FABRIC: One rectangle of fabric 11" x 14"
             Trace two circles onto fabric then cut out 1" bigger all around.

BATTING: Cut one piece of batting the exact size of the cardboard.

RIGILENE: Cut one strip of rigilene 15 ½" long. 

The finished size is approximately 4 1/2" high and 4" in diameter.


On one 11" edge of the fabric, mark the halfway point - at 5½", then another point 5/8" away. (note: if your rigilene/plastic strapping is wider than 1/2" you MUST leave a larger gap...add approximately 1/8" to the width of whatever you are using).
Fold your fabric in half, short sides together and sew the side seam, using a 1/2" seam allowance, up to the first pencil mark, back stitch a few times, lift your needle out and move to the next pencil mark and commence sewing again - backstitch here too. Sew to the end.
 When you're done there will be a small unsewn gap in the seam.
Press the seam open and then fold the fabric tube in half  WRONG SIDES TO THE INSIDE.
The gap for the casing should be facing you.
Each of those raw edges need to be hemmed with a 1/4" turn up seam.
To sew the casing, mark a line 5/8" away from the fold, sew all around and you have the finished casing.
Then thread the rigilene/plastic strapping through the gap and push the tails inside behind one another. The fabric tube will keep the round shape nicely. (It's just occurred to me that if you want a firmer top, just cut a much longer length and feed around twice).
*handsewing alert! Sew the gap together with small whip stitch or ladder stitch...don't groan it's only 5/8" long!

The rest of the tutorial is pretty much the same technique that the original Red Hen Fabric's tutorial.
Making the base:
Take one of your fabric circles, one of the cardboard circles and the batting piece. Layer as shown in the photo, then gather the fabric up like you are making a large yo-yo. Pull up firmly and tie off.
Do the same for the second circle - only there will be NO BATTING layer
*handsewing alert! Then whipstitch your two circles together.
*handsewing alert! Now you need to sew the base to one end of the fabric tube.
Move the inner layer out of the way and stitch the finished base - batting side out, to the hemmed edge. There is a little bit of give in the fabric tube, so just ease onto the base as neatly as you can.
That is the first side done.
In the photo below you will see the sewn base on the left and the loose end on the right.
Push the base all the way through, past the rigilene rim, to meet up with the unsewn fabric on the right.
The picture below shows what you will end up with, it's just photographed from the other side.
As long as you've pushed the base through and can see where you need to attach the lining you are doing the right thing. Pushing it through creates the "lip" of the bin too. The batting side will be inside the bin and the flat base with no batting will be on the outside so it will stand up flat.
*handsewing alert! More hand sewing, but you're only a circle away from finishing!
Sew the flat base to the other hemmed edge.
Now you see it...
Now you don't!

These are great little swap gifts and are lighter using the rigilene for posting overseas.
I hope you have fun making lots of them!
I encourage you to go and look at the Red Hen Fabrics tutorial page too.

If you have any problems with any part of the tutorial just email or leave a comment.

thanks for taking a peek over the fence...

Monday, July 1, 2013

May Catch-up

The only way I am going to catch up with blog news is to do a couple of bulk posts…I’ll call them MAY and JUNE, but there will be a bit of an overlap, so don’t hold me to correct dates!
and there’s nothing like a life in pictures to say it all…
But first I can happily say that the sewing machine cover (pictures in the previous post) I made for the Modern She Made Swap was a huge hit! Here’s the link to Cathy’s photostream and comments.

I'd signed up for a fabric basket swap on flickr, so I drafted a pattern for a rectangle kaleidoscope, based on the tutorial from Narcoleptic in a cupboard
Red sideorange sideOne rainbow side completed
and set about making a perfect basket, along the way picking up the perfect lining from one of the two GWSMQG Sunday Sewalongs that have been on in the past two months.
striped lining and rainbow basket - what a great pairCool side and end panelWarm side and end panel
Just as an aside, our Modern Quilt guild has incorportated and now we are all official …just to prove it…here’s the badge!

What was I saying..oh yes the basket…well that descended into more angst because those beautiful panels were so darn thick at the ends that I couldn’t send it to anyone…let alone the blogger/designer I was partnered with!
I should have cut off the wing bit on the end
Horrible bulky cornerhorrible sad bobbin thread
So what’s a desperate, deadline-dodging, damsel do? Grab a cuppa tea, and go cut some hexagons and triangles in orange and grey FMF – luckily another of my partners “likes” and quickly whip up another basket.
FMF hexagons and triangles
Orange hexies and grey trianglesGrey hexies and orange trianglesLook how those clever triangles made themselves into diamonds too!Extra goodies sent
I also sent off this little organiser wallet (I was sending off very late),which was made from more GWSMQG fabric that was being de-stashed by one person only to be re-stashed by me.Organiser wallet from this tutorial closed with elastic
I was truly happy happy happy with the parcel I sent…and so was Lori
(It might seem like I’m trumpeting my own horn – but after all angst and inner turmoil I went through with these swaps, you’d understand my relief in knowing that they were a hit.)
And just to prove that nothing runs smoothly, …I thought I’d be smart and cut and sew the lining a tad smaller so it wouldn’t be too loose…
too small orange lining
now I have a basket lining in search of a skinny basket!

More catch-up tomorrow!
thanks for taking a peek over the fence…


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