Monday, April 28, 2014

Color Block

This is a short tutorial for a block for some fellow quilters - you know who you are!
Use 1/4" seam allowance, use light colored thread.  

Sew the 2 - 5 1/2" white strips to opposite side of your color square

Add the 7 1/2" white strips to the other sides of the color square, set this aside

Sew the 6" white strip between the two gray pieces

Sub cut this into 4 ea 1 1/2" x 9 1/2" strips

Cut 1" off both ends of 2 strips

Add the shorter 2 pieces to opposite sides of your color square

Add the other 2 gray strips to your color square

And you're done!  
Thank you so much for helping!  

Keep Calm and Quilt On!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Studio Organization

I'm working up the nerve to go in my studio for a massive clean up.  I thought I would share some recent fabric photos and studio photos.  

Sometimes I have a clean sewing table and this happens

My sewing table does not look like that right now, it's covered with projects and fabric that needs to be put away.  Apparently my cutting table looks like this underneath the massive amount of fabrics that need folded and put away

I did recently organize all my presser feet into the Bernina storage cases.  I had way more presser feet than I thought

Double and triple of some, due to having various Bernina machines over the years and different sized needle openings.  At least they are all in one place now

In one of my cabinets I keep all my Japanese and other linen fabrics

Another cabinet is full of photos, bag making materials, and some scrapbooking supplies.  That is about to change today.  I need that cabinet space for my solids which are currently homeless.  At one point they were nicely living in this cabinet, but this side of the cutting table is now against wall and impossible to get at without moving everything.  

I have plenty of boards on hand for all the folding that is about to commence

This stack already folded needs a home somewhere in the fabric closet

This post is mostly to motivate me to get my studio back in shape.  This past week I was finding it harder and harder to get in there and sew, which happens when I've worked on projects and left out the scraps, extras, discards and progress pieces.  

I have big plans!  
What are your plans for the day?

Keep Calm and Quilt On!

Friday, April 25, 2014

More Divided Baskets

Making custom ordered Divided Basket has been fun lately.  
I like to see what others pick for colors or focal fabric, it isn't always what I would chose, but it opens up color possibilities.  

This one was a personalized Easter basket, but she picked colors that her daughter could use beyond Easter.

This one was for a mermaid themed nursery

And one from my hoarded Hello Kitty fabric for a swap partner at Sew South

One for my VBMQG sewing room swap partner, she wanted aqua and red colors

And another custom ordered nursery basket

These were all made in the last month or two.  I precut the interfacing that I use for the baskets, and cut enough for 4 or 5, so that when I'm ready to make one I only need to cut fabric.  
If you would like to order a Divided Basket please contact me via email

I hope you all are having a great sewing week.

Keep Calm and Quilt On!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Feathers Quilt

It's WIP (Work in Progress) Wednesday!  I could basically show you my entire sewing studio here, because I have so many WIPs going right now.  Bee blocks, divided baskets, quilts, binding, pouches, you name it, it's happening.  

Still working on some 'me' things, I hope to finish more of the 'me' pile and not just get these started.

I went in on the Feathers Quilt along, pattern by Alison Glass.  Alison has written fantastic instructions with this pattern, telling you how many pieces to cut and what size for each block.  This is a paper pieced pattern.  

I started with these fabrics, based on a Design Seeds palette.  I love Design Seeds for color inspiration!

I needed a large print for the background, and I decided on this, which went perfectly with my original colors.  I added a few more solids based on the print.  

I am so excited to use this fabric!  It is Lush Uptown by Erin Michael for Moda, and also solids, mostly Kona but some others in there too.  

Making Feathers:

 I and J were pretty tricky

My blocks so far, not in particular order.  

Of course, I didn't actually 'go along' on the 'quilt along', the schedule was not right for me at the time.  I'm happy to do these at my pace, and I still have blocks to make, but not as many as I have done already.  
I'm loving the colors and can't wait for this to be on my sofa.  Hoping for more time to work on this soon.  

Linking up with Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.

Keep Calm and Quilt On!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Tote Bag Tutorial

I have made 3 of these totes, the first two were given away in swaps. With this last one I took progress photos and wrote down measurements, and I'm going to keep this one.

Photo heavy post! And some photos were taken at night, sorry about that - but that is when I can sew and when the progress photos get taken.  
Here are the other two totes I made with the same process
This is the front of one 

This is the back of another

The front of the one above

Here is the finished tote for the tutorial

This tutorial is for the tote only - I will do a post later in the week on the thread painting.

The finished tote measurements are approximately 17" h X 15" w X 5" d with a 14-15" handle drop.

Start with a selection of fabrics cut 4 1/2" square.  For this tote I used Wee Wander by Sarah Jane for Michael Miller fabrics.  I loved the whimsical springtime feeling of these fabrics.  I added some Botanics by Carolyn Friedlander for Robert Kaufman and a few solids.
You will need 25 squares for the back and 25 for the front (if your front does not have a focal block in the center)

Sew together squares for the back exterior of the tote 
5 rows of 5 
If your front is the same, you can sew together those squares also
Back of tote before quilting

Front of tote before quilting- if you want a focal block, this one is 12 1/2" unfinished, and it will fit perfectly in the center of the 4 1/2" squares to make the 20" x 20" sized front

I lined my back and front exterior pieces with Pellon SF-101, I like this bit of lining for totes and bags.

Layer the back and front  exterior with batting (no need for a backing layer before quilting as there will be a lining in the finished tote) and quilt as desired.  If you have a focal block for the front, you will need a 20"x 20" quilted front, make this as you desire, and cut to the same size as back.  

I matchstick quilted - which looks fabulous and helps hold the shape of the bag, but takes quite awhile so be prepared to spend some time at your machine doing this.  

Cut two lining pieces the same size as your exterior pieces, 20" X 20"

You can add to this tote slip pockets, swivel hook for keys, closures.  For this tote I added a slip pocket for my phone and a swivel hook for my keys.  This is a deep tote, I don't want to dig for the little things.

To add a slip pocket, cut a piece of fabric 7" x 8 1/2" ( you can change to any size your desire), line this piece with Pellon SF-101 for a finished look inside the slip pocket.  Press each side under 1/4" and top stitch along the top only (long side)

Attach to one side of lining approximately 3 1/2" down from the top edge and 6" from each side.  Stitch along 3 sides (not the top), creating a slip pocket.

Sew together the two lining pieces, right sides together, along two sides and bottom with a 1/2" seam allowance.  Fold over the top edge 1/2" all the way around and press, toward the wrong side.  Press your seams as you desire, I pressed open.  You will box the bottom corners, I have photos of this with the exterior of the bag, it is the same process for the lining of the bag.  

For the exterior pieces, right sides together, sew together along 3 sides - the bottom and 2 sides with a 1/2" seam allowance.  Press the seams open and now you will box the bottom.  With right sides together, lay the exterior pieces so that the seams line up, going out from the corner, measure 3" along the seam and draw a stitch line across the exterior, all the way across.

Stitch across drawn line, back stitching at beginning and end
then cut off the corner 1/2"  from the stitched line.  Do this to both bottom corners of exterior and repeat for the lining.  

For handles you have several options, you can use cotton web and just attach, leather straps or lined cotton web.  I chose the lined cotton web for this tote.  This tote has an approximate 15" handle drop, so the cotton web pieces should be cut 30" each (not 15" as I did the first time!).  My cotton web was 1 1/2" wide, I cut a piece of fabric 3" X 30" to line the web.  

Fold under each long edge of fabric 1/4" and press.  Lay the cotton web centered down the fabric piece (wrong side of fabric), fold fabric over edge of cotton web, and glue baste each side, then top stitch.  If you do not glue baste, you can clip with wonder clips.
In this photo the green strap has been edge stitched and the peach one has been glue basted.

Turn exterior right sides out, and attach the handles to the top edge of the exterior with a 1/4" from edge stitch.  Line up the handles how you desire, make sure both sides are equal.  When placing the handles, and before sewing down, roll the handle back up as if you are holding the tote to verify the handles will be facing the correct direction and won't be twisted when you have a finished bag.  

This is where I also attached my swivel hook, along the edge close to the corner.  

With the exterior of the tote turned right sides out, press under along the top edge 1/2".  Place the lining inside the exterior with wrong sides facing, pull out the handles, and the swivel hook if you have it attached, and clip the lining to the exterior all the way around, lining up the side seams.  

I changed to my walking foot to edge stitch around the perimeter of the tote at 1/4".  Make sure to catch the handles and the swivel piece.  

And now you should be able to take a deep breath and have a large tote to carry all your miscellaneous to your next meeting, play date, road trip or just walking around to show off our skills

Keep Calm and Quilt On!