Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Weekly tutorial interruption....

So, I'm not feeling quite up to posting this weeks tutorial just yet, maybe before Sunday... I do have two prepared, I promise!  But minor edits need to be done and little tweaks here and there.  

Recovery is going faster than I expected but it looks like another week before I will be able to re-open the shop and two more weeks before I can sit at the sewing machine.

But here's a little goody....A new pattern that I am SUPER excited about as well!

The Network Nancy!  An easy, quick to make little wristlet to carry your gadgets (cell phone, ipod, iTouch, point and shoot camera, etc.).  Plus, extra pockets for your money, license, etc.  And an outside pocket for your business cards, ear buds, a second gadget.  And LOADS of other options for you to customize this handy wristlet gadget pouch! :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Baby, Let's Fret -- Official Revealing!

So I've been sitting on this project for over 1 year and I am so excited that it is just about done!  The patterns have been tested (a few more testers are still finishing up!).  The layout is almost done and the pieces are being sent off to a professional photographer for a spectacular cover. :)

The idea for this quilt set first came to me when I was remembering my college years.  In college, my awesome sophmore year roommate, Brookiellen, and I had two great wall hangings.  One was a cloth tie-dye material with a picture of Jimmy Hendrix.  And one was a poster of guitar chords.  So I was reflecting on those decorations and thinking, how can I bring my and my husband's love of guitar into my work?

And here it is:


A three part pattern!


These cute little mini-wall hangings and did you see the pillows?  I LOVE the pillows! :) 

Finally, the quilt in a HUGE variety of sizes!  It's all chord blocks! 

Did I mention how much I love this set?  I know it's my design, but I still think it is really rockin'! 



I COULD NOT BE MORE EXCITED! :)  The pdf pattern will be up for sale within the next 2 weeks and then a print pattern in the next month or so.

EDIT:  HERE IS THE PATTERN FOR SALE NOW!!! CLICK HERE! 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Skinny Charm Belt Tutorial

A fun way to show off a lil' bit of your quilting style!




Materials:
  • Charm pack or 5" squares (number needed is determined in step 1)
  • Coordinating Thread
  • 2, 1" or 1= 1/2" D-Rings
  • Cotton or Bamboo Batting (1- 1/2" wide x desired length of belt)
  • Measuring tape or your favorite sized belt

1.  Measure the part of your waist where you want the belt to sit.  An easy way to do this is to put on a pair of pants and pull a string through it to the length you want your belt to be, mark it, take it off and measure to the mark. 

Or, measure your favorite belt. 

To obtain a 20" belt you will need 5 Squares.

21" - 24" = 6 squares
26" - 29" = 7 squares
30" - 34" = 8 squares
35" - 39" = 9 squares
40" - 44" = 10 squares

2.  Sew squares together in desired order using a 1/4" seam allowance for each seam. 


3.  Fold the shorter edge of each end in 1/2" and press. 

4.  Fold the strip in half lengthwise, wrong sides together and press.  Unfold.  Fold the lengthwise sides in to meet at the fold line and press. 

5.  Take the batting and cut it to the length of the current belt. Place the binding under each folded over shorter edge and to one of the sides of the lengthwise center fold line, then under one of the sides. 







6.  Fold the strip in half lengthwise.  Press. 



7.  Using a straight or your choice of decorative stitch, edge stitch along all four edges with 1/8" seam allowance, sealing off all unfinished seams.

8.  String the 2 D-Rings onto one of the ends of the strip, pulling through about 1.5" of the strip.  Fold the edge of the strip over the rings to meet the belt.  Using a zipper foot (or a foot that you have available that allows you to sew close to an item), sew the end of the belt to itself encasing the D-rings. 



That's it!  Fast, simple, cute! :)  I hope you had fun! 


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Tailoring Thursdays™, Tips, Tricks and Techniques for Sewers: Ruffles.

Ruffles are easy!  Here's a walk through to give you a better and easier understanding of how ruffles are created...

MACHINE SET UP

  Set your tension to the highest number.   
  

 Set your stitch length to the highest number.


Use a quilting/piercing foot (if possible, not necessary).  



UNDERSTANDING THE RUFFLE


Ruffles are merely gathered fabric.  Try this first set of instructions to get an idea of how ruffles work:

 Take a scrap of material.  
Straight stitch down the middle.  
Back stitch at the start, but do NOT back stitch at the end...leave at least 3" of thread at the end. 


Separate the top thread from the bottom thread.  Hold the top thread taught in one hand and pinch the material around the threads and scrunch toward the backstitched end.  

Continue scrunching until you reach the desired amount of gather/ruffle.


 When you reach the desired amount of gather, tie both the top and bottom thread into a knot. 

Back:

Front:



CHEATER RUFFLE

 Take a scrap of material.  
Straight stitch down the middle.  
Back stitch at the start, but do NOT back stitch at the end...leave at least 3" of thread at the end.

Starting at the same end as previous stitch line, stitch a second line parallel to the first about 1/8" to 1/4" from the first stitch line (repeat the backstitch just at the top end and leave at least 3" of thread at the end again).

Going to the end of the fabric that is not back stitched, separate the top and bottom threads.  
Hold the top threads taught in one hand, pinch the material around the threads and scrunch toward the backstitched end.  

Continue scrunching until you reach the desired amount of gather/ruffle. 
When you reach the desired amount of gather, tie both the top and bottom threads into a knot. 
  

Back:

Front:





THE OFFICIAL RUFFLE METHOD

Pull threads so that there will be 3 - 4" of thread extending from the start of the stitching.
Straight stitch down the middle without backstitching. 
Leave at least 3" of thread at the end of the stitching line.
Stitch a second line parallel to the first about 1/8" to 1/4" from the first stitch line, leaving the same amount of thread at the start and end as with previous stitch line.

Separate top and bottom threads.  
Knot the bottom threads together on each end of fabric. 
Holding top threads on one end taught scrunch fabric from one end towards the middle, then repeat with the other end.

Once you have reached your desired amount of gather or ruffle, tie a knot with both top and bottom threads on both ends of fabric.


Back:

Front:


From Left to right:

Single thread gather.  Cheater ruffle.  Official ruffle.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Re-usable Produce Bag Tutorial

I have my own collection of "green bags" for groceries.  They are great and I love that my pantry is no longer overflowing with plastic bags stuffed inside of plastic bags. However, I was still using the plastic produce bags.   


So, it was time I went green with my produce bags!


You can make some too!  And the best part is it takes 15 minutes...or less!  

Here's how:




Materials You Will Need:

  • Sheer Fabric, Cut to measure 13" wide by 43" Long. (**see note on size at the end of tutorial)  I like sheer fabric because it is breathable but protects your produce, letting your produce last longer. 
  • Matching Thread
  • 2 - 30" long pieces of ribbon, twine, or other string that can be used as drawstring ties.
  • Serger or machine with a zig-zag stitch *Optional


Step 1. Set your serger to a rolled hem.  Or set your zig-zag stitch to a shorter width (about 3) and length (about 2).  

Serge or stitch the 43" sides of your fabric rectangle.  Or, you can do a 1/4" double rolled hem and straight stitch. 

 


Step 2.  Fold one of the 13" edges over 3/4" and press.  Fold it in the opposite direction another 3/4", like a fan.  The raw edge should still be lined up with the outer edge of the rectangle. 


Step 3: Serge, zig-zag, or straight stitch the outer edge on both sides with a 1/4" seam allowance.  Creating a drawstring pocket on each end. 


Step 4.  Press drawstring pockets so that the seams just sewn in step 3 is on one side and the 13" sides of the rectangle are the tops of the pocket. 


Step 5.  Fold the rectangle in half widthwise so that the pockets line up and the pocket seams are on the outside.   

The pockets will be the top and the folded side will be the bottom.

Starting at the bottom straight stitch each side closed using a 1/4" seam allowance, stopping exactly when you hit the drawstring pocket seams. 


Step 6.  Turn bag right side out. 


Step 7.  String your bag.  The secret to any good drawstring bag is the method of stringing.  Many patterns have you use just one string, but the best way is to use 2!  Here's how: 

Take one of the drawstrings (ribbon, twine, etc) and string it through one of the pockets, then through the next one.  Match up the ends and tie it in a knot. 

Take the other drawstring (ribbon, twine, etc) and start on the opposite end of where you just tied your strings.  String it through one pocket and then through the next one.  Match up the ends and tie in a knot.  

You should end up with a knotted end on each opening side as well as the untied end of each string on the opposite opening. 




Now go be green! ;) 


A Note on Size: Grocery store produce bags that you pull of the roll are 12" wide by 20" Long.  
To get that same size you would need to cut your piece of fabric 13" wide by 43" Long.


To make taking the step by step pictures easier, the bag pictured in this tutorial is 8" wide by 10" tall.  
You can make your bag any size you want.  

To determine the size of material you will need, simply add 1" to the desired finished width and 3" to the desired finished length. 
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