Did you know that Sewing has it's own month set aside by official proclamation? Officially named by President Ronald Reagan. If you are interested in the history, check out this link to read all about it!
I truly believe that sewing has many benefits for the crafter and receiver of finished projects. If you have read my blog articles, you will find out that I have an ongoing sewing journey and my knowledge continues to grow each year. There seems to be no end to the different ways you can use and incorporate sewing. It is the one thing in my life that I have never gotten bored with. If I get a little low, I can always count on feeling better once a new project is begun. Gifting my completed items to someone in my family or my community makes me feel better also.
Are you ready to lift someone up with your sewing or embroidery skills? Read through my past blogs and you will find so many ideas for sewing, embroidery, and quilting projects. Visit my page with FREE project downloads to get started. Click on the graphic above or this link. My link page has a button at the bottom of the page that takes you to all of my free project downloads. As always.......I hope you enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
I had a lot of fabric yardage to press for a new quilt I am currently working on. Instead of cutting all of my pieces right off the bolt, I washed my fabric and after folding, this is what it looked like. I have several pressing areas in my studio but I thought why not create a larger one that would hopefully make it easier to wrangle all of this.
So here is my new pressing real estate. It looks like a runway doesn't it? My table top is a full sheet of plywood and I love having all of that area to work on. My new pad on the opposite end came together pretty quickly. I had everything I needed and after using it I think it is going to become a well loved tool. Now I can keep the fabric on this end and pull it toward the other end.
Here is a close up view. I worried that the quilted channels would be a problem but they compressed after using the pad. This photo was taken right after I finished installing it so after several passes with my iron and pressure, they flattened nicely.
I used a 24 x 48 piece of thin finished wood that was already sanded. This can be found in the finishing woodwork section of your hardware store. It is similar to wood used in cabinetry. In my stash, I had a yard of printed canvas fabric. I did have to do some cutting and seaming of the yard so it added length to one end. Elastic and batting were the final items I used. The batting is polyester and I did use a double layer just to help with the heat. I wanted to make sure it would not travel through the fabric and wood to my table top.
I layered the canvas, batting and a plain backing fabric and quilted lines one inch apart.
Then I trimmed around the edges of the perimeter and used my Serger with a four thread overlock to finish everything.
I did a dry fit on the piece of wood with the elastic and pinned everything to the tightness I wanted and sewed five pieces evenly spaced.
Here you can see that it just folds underneath and the ends extend. So it is very basic in the construction.
Once ready to install you just need to slip the elastic over the wood and pull into place. The whole thing is very light and you could put it behind a door in your studio.
I put mine behind my Serger on the table top and it isn't in the way at all. It also gives my studio some bright color to look at and a new place to pin things I am working on.
Here is my inspiration block for my next quilt project. I was able to get through all of the pressing and cutting my pieces.
Here is everything laid out and ready to piece. Doesn't that feel better when you get to this point?
I usually use an ironing board for my larger yardage and this is a great solution to lay out the fabric flat. I actually enjoyed pressing over an afternoon. Has this inspired you to make a larger pressing surface for your yardage? I am so glad I made mine. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what your create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
My love for sewing is a constant in my life. I never get bored and I am certain it is because of my evolution. When I look back at my early blogs and YouTube videos, I am amazed at how far I have come. I try not to compare myself to others who will always be farther ahead and you shouldn't either. We are always exactly where we are supposed to be and we move forward when it is time. Now I will say that I have had to put effort into my sewing craft by taking classes, going to conventions and purchasing upgraded tools as I have become more proficient. My latest tool is a Grace Cutie Frame.
The Grace Company has many different solutions if you are interested in quilting. Most people I have spoken to at quilt shows love the idea of having a Long Arm Quilting machine but there are always hurdles to overcome. Usually size of your sewing space and the price tag will hold most people back. If you have followed my blog or watched my videos, you will know that my space is not very large. I am set up in our dining room and I have several different machines and a large cutting table that I don't want to give up. So this Grace Cutie Frame helped me move forward with my quilting journey while fitting into my space. The price tag was much more comfortable as well. My plan was to use my Babylock Destiny 2 that has the largest throat space in my machine collection.
Setting up the Cutie frame took a couple of hours. It was not difficult as everything was very well labeled. It's amazing how many things fit into that box.
When I researched the Cutie Frame, I wasn't sure if my machine would fit on the carriage because of the large screen on the right side. You can see in the picture that it does fit and is able to lock down securely. It has 11 inches of throat space. That means there is 11 inches between the needle and the right side of the machine. That sewing area will be reduced by several inches once on the frame. So keep that in mind if you are thinking of purchasing a frame. My vertical sewing space winds up being 7 1/2 inches. That doesn't bother me because I am used to doing machine embroidery and being defined by hoop size. The horizontal or side to side sewing space is roughly 30 inches with my machine on the frame. So it is like sewing with a large embroidery hoop that is 7 1/2 x 30 inches. Compared to a 4x4, 5x7 or even a 6x10, it is quite a different feeling.
I have seen many longarm machines and frames at quilt shows, but I was not familiar with the mechanics. Working with this smaller frame, I now have a better understanding of how they work and where all of the wires need to go. I was concerned that my cords would get caught once the carriage started moving. There are plenty of places to tuck everything close to the machine so it stays safe.
The way I set up my frame and my electrical outlet situation caused some head scratching. I did move my battery back up so I could plug in my machine. You can see my cord draped across my table here. I also purchased an extra extension cable for my sewing pedal. There are several in the Cutie Box but you can see my table doesn't have legs so my cable machine placement for the pedal was challenging.
My plug for the sewing pedal has a standard audio cord end so I was able to visit my local Best Buy and purchase an extension cord about 6 feet long. My pedal had plenty of extra reach room to move around on the floor but I did improve on that a little more once I began my quilting.
This diagram shows how you accomplish your quilting with a standard sewing pedal. As you sew, you are standing on one foot working your pedal. Your hands guide the sewing machine back and forth, side to side with the carriage. You are looking at your quilt, trying to follow whatever quilting design and as you move balanced on one foot, you get tired. My best fix was to move from right to left foot with my pedal. I also found that I was rushing to get areas quilted because I was not comfortable. Needless to say, my stitches were not even at all. Now this isn't the frame's fault. It worked great, but with my machine set up, I knew I could improve on my situation.
My machine came with a large pedal and I looked up replacement options. I found I already had a smaller pedal from a Brother sewing machine that was perfect to use. I measured it and went shopping.
My local Wal Mart has a nice bike section and they carry this cell phone bike mount that worked perfectly.
It is spring loaded on the sides so the sewing pedal fits securely and then I could attach it to the handle bars. Since it has 360 degrees of motion, I can move it any direction I need to. Now I can use my hands to squeeze the pedal as I quilt. It has been much easier to control my stitches and keep them more regulated. This could be put on the left side also if you are left handed. It gets all of the cords off the floor so they don't get tangled. I was afraid I would accidentally step on my pedal while advancing my quilt and cause some damage to the machine or quilt. As long as I have strength in my hands I can use this option. I have also read that a lighter spring can be installed in pedals to make them easier to press. I would get a technician to help with that if possible. Another upgrade would be to install some kind of small block to the pedal so it stops at a certain point like a governor on an engine. Then you could fully depress the pedal to a certain stopping point while moving the carriage. I find that if I place my machine speed at the highest setting, my hand operation goes very quickly and evenly. In the beginning I was moving slowly and my stitching was not consistent. Again, lack of comfort played a big role in that.
This might look like a mess, but it has really helped me to install two tape measures across the frame top. I have a hard time judging space and once I got started quilting, I would get excited. Before you knew it, I was out of sewing area and wasn't in great spots to advance my quilt. These two tape measures keep me focused so I can look ahead and judge how much space I have left or go back to areas I have missed. They are installed with magnets so nothing is permanent. I used L brackets from Lowe's and put ceramic magnets between the frame and the brackets. Harbor Freight also had magnetic tool bars. That is the black metal bar you see running across the brackets. Then the small clips holding the tape are magnetic also. Bungee cords keep everything secure so it doesn't move around. I also added a small paper bag with a spring loaded clamp for my thread clippings. You can see it hanging from the table edge.
The tape measures really define my sewing area. It reminds me so much of doing embroidery and helps my expectations. Since I know my sewing area size, I can do some simple math and calculate how many times I will be able to move my quilt side to side and advance forward. This helps me figure out time to complete. This and moving that sewing pedal up were game changers. Once I had the pedal upright, I was able to move forward standing on both feet while completely balanced. The tape measures can be loosened when advancing the quilt or moving it side to side.
Another view of my small thread bag. Harbor Freight has so many options for magnets and clamps. I love browsing there.
Now this tip is something I realized once I started quilting. I installed a large 90/14 needle in my machine and broke two of them. Once that happened, I used one of these Top Stitch 110/16 needles and was able to finish my quilt. There is a lot of needle deflection as you move the material in doing free motion quilting. You may even see your needle bend. This is probably my fault because I did get excited once everything started working better and my movements were fast. So try to keep your movements in time with your sewing pedal and smooth. A larger needle may help you avoid breaking but it will put larger needles holes in your quilt so keep that in mind. As you practice it will get easier and your technique will improve. I just wanted to quilt so I had to keep reminding myself that I needed to hold back a bit.
My first quilt was a panel. I did free motion quilting all over it. My hope is that I will keep learning new ways to quilt including some ruler work. I did buy a ruler foot and some Westalee rulers. My advice to you is to keep your first quilt simple. I tried doing straight lines and following shapes before I did this quilt and I got frustrated. Not at the Cutie quilt frame but at myself because it is a new task. So don't put that perfectly pieced quilt on your frame for your first try. Pick plain easy things that you can use for practice. Get your Cutie Frame set up as best you can for comfort. It was hard work doing the quilting, watching my movements and advancing the quilt. I got a great upper and lower body workout and slept like a log that night; with a smile on my face I might add.
My finished quilt is roughly 45 x 45 inches so just about right for a lap throw. It took me an afternoon to finish the quilting and I did the binding the next day. I do have a video you can watch below that shows all of my set up ideas and where I purchased everything. So far I have had fun using my Grace Cutie Frame and I am glad I made the decision to purchase. I have several new quilts in mind and a special one ready to quilt as soon as I am comfortable in my skill level. Remember you can visit my You tube channel by clicking on the video below. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
Recently I was commissioned to sew a dice bag. There were a few requests for the finished product. The dice were currently being carried in a Ziploc bag because the previous bag had failed. Pink was the desired color and woodland creatures needed to be incorporated into embroidery. Finally strength was very important due to the weight and type of metal dice in the collection. My client plays tabletop games and carries the dice to gaming locations. Other than those requests, I had free reign which I love. It really opens up my creativity.
My first task was measuring a large ziploc bag so I could make sure the finished size was large enough. I also asked my client if the bag needed to be flat or have a round flat bottom which they stated was preferable. So I knew having the round bottom would add girth to the bag.
I went into my stash and found these cloth napkins. When I am shopping I always look in clearance sections and these were marked down when seasons were changing. The Ric Rac on the seam edges was something I wanted to incorporate also.
The first thing I did was digitize a woodland scene with cute creatures. I used my Winter Tree Design to build the embroidery. I love to use designs merged together to make something brand new and this tree design is perfect for that.
I digitized the animals in my software and layered them throughout the Winter Tree design. I also changed the outer square straight stich to a motif. Embroidery software is a lot of fun to play in. Once I had everything to my liking, I stitched it on a cloth napkin.
This dice bag uses casings on the outside instead of the top of the edge. So when I cut the front and back bag pieces, I also used remnants from those cuts for the casings. I thought keeping the Ric Rac would be a nice detail. The edges with the trim are already finished so I would only need to turn a hem on one long edge.
Not wanting to waste anything, I used the Ric Rac trim to frame the embroidery. I love to look at framed artwork that has been matted. You can make a simple picture look more expensive by using multiple layers of matting. I think sewing can accomplish the same thing.
The weight and volume of my client's dice was a concern for the life of the bag. I used a fusible fleece on the lining fabric and quilted a dense grid pattern. This gives great structure. You can see the fabric before and after here. I used the width of my sewing foot to quilt.
I did have to cut circles of outer fabric and lining fabric. Quilting the lining and adding interfacing to the outer fabric added more structure.
I used my Circle template to help me figure out the size circle I would need to cut out. If you would like to see how to figure out circles for your sewing projects, I have a blog post and video. Visit the link here.
Gingham fabric although beautiful does have a tendency to ravel. Throughout the project once I was finished with straight seams, I went back and did a zigzag seam everywhere. Here I am using it on the trim around the embroidery design. The zig zag helps add more strength to those straight seams.
The casings on the outer fabric are an easy way to add drawstrings to a bag. Some casings are created by folding down the top of the fabric like an elastic waist band. These are formed by folding under the ends of the casing along with the top and bottom and topstitching directly to the fabric. The only concern is keeping the ends well away from the side seams allowances. You can see here my side seams are narrow but I used a 1/4 inch seam allowance and made sure those casings were not sewn shut.
Once the side seams were sewn I added the circle bottom. Clips held everything in place during the stitching. Sewing the side seams and the bottom were the same for the lining fabric with the exception of leaving an opening in the side for turning later.
Here is the lining side seams showing that opening. It only has to be large enough to pull all of the fabric through later to turn everything right side out.
Sewing the bottom circle to the lining is accomplished the same as the outer fabric. So you are basically sewing two of the same bags. One for the outside and one for the inside. Then you are ready to put it together.
This is the tricky part. You want your lining to be WRONG Side Out. Your Outer bag to be RIGHT Side Out. Then you slip your outer bag INTO the Lining.
Make sure the right sides are facing. Match the side seams. Clip and sew around the top.
Remember the open side seam on the lining? That is where you will turn the entire bag right side out. Sew that opening shut with either your machine or by hand.
Then the lining can be pushed down into the bag and you can press well and secure it with a topstitch around the top edge.
Your dice bag should stand up by itself pretty well with that quilted inner lining. You are ready to add your cord.
I usually measure 4 times the bag width and add about 12 inches. This should give you more than enough to cut the cord in half and have two. I like a cord on both sides with cord locks to pull everything tight. You thread the first cord from one side all the way around and come back to the starting point.
Then go to the other side with your second cord and do the same thing. You can see the previous cord underneath the pin here. Go all the way around and come back to your starting point.
Masking tape will help thread the cord through the locks. If you don't have cord locks you can tie knots.
Once installed you can trim off any extra cord length and seal the ends with a lighter so they don't fray.
This bag will be perfect for dice, but I can think of other ways to use it. How about for cosmetics, or kid's toys on a road trip? How would you use it?
So how did I do? This is a one of a kind custom dice bag. There is only one in the world like it. Much better than a Ziploc bag don't you think? I accomplished all of the tasks. A good size, pink fabric, woodland creatures and strong enough for the metal dice.
Such a cute finished project that started as discounted cloth napkins. When you are browsing your local stores, keep an eye out for gems like these. You never know when inspiration will strike to upcycle.
This blog post is meant to inspire you and I know you might be interested in having some measurements to sew your own bag. That is why I created a video you can watch below. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
Accessibility in clothing is something most of us don't think about until we have to deal with it directly. There are so many different scenarios that can make it difficult to put on a pair of pants or shirt. We might think of disabled individuals in wheelchairs needing assistance in dressing. How about someone who is home or bedbound? Or someone who is failing in their capacities due to a stroke or dementia? A caregiver usually assists with dressing and personal needs and it can be a tough situation. This blog post will hopefully help someone out there who is looking for a way to alter a pair of pajama pants. Although I do not have each step here on my website, I do have a video tutorial you can watch down below.
I purchased a pair of fleece pajama bottoms from a local big box retailer and altered it to have tab tops with snaps at the waist.
The inside waist has another tab that is secured with velcro. This will add extra support.
The side seams fully open with velcro. This will make it easier to accommodate dressing someone who might not be able to lift their legs or move in the usual way. This pair of pants did have pockets and a drawstring that fully function after the alterations.
All of these adjustments were done with straight seams and a few added materials.
I added a long strip of fabric that was interfaced and folded to the side seam after it was taken apart. This is where one side of the velcro was attached.
I created the tabs with fabric that was interfaced for added stability. You can see here I sewed and turned them right side out.
90/14 needles were used because the fleece and interfaced material were thick in areas.
This picture shows the second side of velcro ready to be sewn.
Along With The Snap Tab and the Velcro at the waistband, you could add one extra piece of security. If you look closely, there is a hook and eye sewn at the join. This won't interfere with the closures you add and just in case one of them comes loose, the hook and eye will hold tight. Now that I have shown you a few pictures of the process, are you curious to see how the alteration was done? Just click the play button on the video. It will take you through one entire side of pants and several of the steps could be used on other types of clothing. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
Sewing circles can be accomplished several different ways. You can physically draw a circle on your fabric and then carefully follow that line in a freehand style with your sewing machine. You can also use an attachment for your machine that is usually screwed to the bed around the sewing foot. These range in price and can really stretch your wallet. I did a brief search and here are a few examples I found.
Another option is to use a template. I have designed one that will allow you to sew circles from 2 inches up to 20 inches. The concept isn't something I invented. In fact it has been around for quite some time, but I think you will like the simplicity of creating and using this one. The digital download is available in my store here.
One of the hardest things to do when sewing circles is getting them equally spaced; especially if you want to sew concentric circles that get bigger each round. A template and marking your center will make that a lot easier.
Here is the magic piece of equipment. A small tack or lapel pin and some masking tape. You can sew circles right now if you have these two tools. Just push the tack through the tape making sure the sticky side is facing the machine bed. Put the fabric over the tack and sew. One other important thing is to either interface your fabric or use a light tear away stabilizer. If your fabric is very soft or stretchy, it will tend to get pulled and distorted by the feed dogs. Then your circles won't be very symmetrical.
Why is the Sew Circles Template helpful if you know the tack and tape will work? Exact measurements and placement of your circles. Let's say you are sewing a quilt and you want to put circles in just the right spot. In fact you want to quilt the top using circles. Knowing where those will land and how big they need to be will make your finished project so much better.
You can also do applique on top of a project using a template. Just layer the base fabric and the applique fabric. Sew a circle, trim the fabric away then satin stitch around the edges all without removing the fabric from the machine. The template makes exact size and placement easier and quicker. In fact you can sew almost hands free.
Moving the tack to new size locations on the template is very easy with the masking tape. You can see I am lifting the template here, inserting the pin and then it will be placed on the machine bed for sewing. All you need to know is how big you want to sew your circle. Push the pin through the appropriate hole in the template and stitch. I bet you would enjoy sewing round pillows this way over trying to do them freehand. Just layer the two fabrics right sides together and sew around. Leave a small opening for turning. You could really get some projects done quickly.
If you are interested in how the Sew Circles Template is made, I have an instruction video below. It shows you all of the steps, how to calibrate the template to your particular machine foot, and a few sewing tips. Your creativity with it is unlimited. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
My latest project was quick, easy and fun. Yesterday was Christmas and I usually receive at least one gift with great smelling lotions, bath salts and perfume. My favorites for sure. If you have read many of my other posts, I am a saver of things that can be used again, recycled or repurposed. Well, you know that means the bag that contained all of the toiletry items will become something I plan on using instead of throwing away. I even save the hard paper inserts. They are perfect for gift tags. Look at the deep purple color inside that bag. I can cut that apart and use it for lots of projects. The plastic bag could be taken apart and used for in the hoop applique projects and there is also a perfectly good zipper. So how much would those items cost if you purchased them separately? Or what would this bag cost you if purchased? Not to mention it would be a shame to toss it in a landfill.
There aren't too many things that need to be covered up once the paper and tags have been removed. Just the top band has writing and that will be easy to disguise. So, if you have something like this from your gifts, hang on to them and maybe try this project..
How cute is this? It took me less than an hour to do everything on this bag. So how did I get it done?
First I measured the area on the top of the bag that I wanted to cover and found some ribbon in my stash. I used my computer and Microsoft Publisher to design the artwork. If you are using this program, you can find these images by inserting pictures from the internet inside the program. Just click on the Creative Commons area for free pictures. I grouped everything together and then saved it as a picture. This is important in Publisher because you can only mirror print items that it sees as graphics. I inserted the saved image back into the software, rotated it and printed to my Sublimation printer.
The ribbon I chose is 100% polyester satin. Since I used white, I could print anything I wanted on it. I did print it slightly larger than the ribbon so there would be some bleed around the edges and the artwork would fill up the ribbon. A few pieces of heat tape allowed everything to stay in place for pressing.
I set my heat press to 380 degrees and 60 seconds. Then all I had to do was wait.
I also used my iron to press the ribbon under on each edge so it would not unravel. My sewing machine was set up for regular sewing with a zipper foot.
A few pins and some masking tape held the ribbon in place while I did the sewing.
I added a small piece of grosgrain ribbon to the zipper pull with some beads. Now I have a new make up bag that is just the color I wanted. It really makes me feel good to reuse, upcycle things and be crafty. If you would like to see more details on this project, watch the video below. I hope I have inspired you to upcycle something today, share something you learn and be generous with what you create. Someone, especially our planet, will thank you for your hard work.
If you have visited my site in the past you may have noticed that my projects are varied and unique according to the materials I have on hand. That is because I have a habit of shopping in the remnant bins and clearance sections. I love to find items that are on are their way out because of season changes. In fact, if you use your creativity, you can save some money and sew projects to donate. This solves problems. First, those items will become something brand new and usable. Second, you will be giving back to your community which is always positive. Third, you can lift your own spirits if you suffer from feelings of depression or getting low. It is true that doing for others always makes you feel better. The hardest part is getting started. This Felt Crayon Pouch is a great project for accomplishing all of those things.
So this picture might pique your interest a bit. A 9x12 piece of felt is the main part of the Crayon pouches. I was walking in my local Hobby Lobby and in the rear corners, they usually have the clearance section. Sometimes you find gold there. The felt pieces are usually .99 cents each. I found these for .19 cents. There were others for .24 cents. There is nothing wrong with them. The store was restocking to move in their fall merchandise and these were from the previous season. Now you may have thoughts of Pumpkin Spice and Falling leaves in your head right now, BUT.... the receiver would love these bright colors and cute designs ALL YEAR ROUND. So when you are feeling low, drive to your local store and just walk, look and keep an open mind. When you find a great deal, buy the materials bring them home, sew then give it away. You will feel better.
This project really lends itself to assembly line production. I was able to mark pin and sew several of these then move on to each step in the pattern. I finished 36 of them in two sewing sessions of about 4 hours each. It is all straight sewing so beginner friendly too. Do you belong to a sewing guild or lead a scouting group? Your members could whip these out quickly for Christmas shoebox giving.
I wanted to include crayons and a small tablet in each of the pouches so I calculated the cheapest crayons I could find locally. Right now school supplies are marked down in most stores and you will probably be able to find them cheaper than these. I went to Walmart and the usual price on a 24 pack of Crayola crayons are. 50 cents each. If you have ever purchased them you will notice they have duplicates of several colors in these boxes. You will have multiples of blues, reds, oranges, greens and purples in one box. Weird but true. So these are perfect to split up and use.
The small tablets came from the Dollar Tree. These composition books are usually in packs of three for $1.00. The size is perfect to slide into the crayon pouches.
When you download the pattern you will also receive this cost breakdown sheet. I wanted to show each unit cost including the crayons and tablets. Also, this will make it easy for you to buy enough materials for 36 pouches. Where I got everything, yardage amounts for the Velcro closures, ribbon for the loops, Felt squares, crayons and tablets. It assumes you will have thread and free labor also. But if you are looking for a service project for your organization, you could print this page off and take it shopping. It also shows three different price ranges depending on whether you are able to find the felt at a discounted price. If you pay full price, each unit would be around $1.55. If you are able to find the felt for .19 cents, each unit will cost around .80 cents. WOW! Kind of fun to see what you can do with materials that might be overlooked and a little bit of creativity.
Wouldn't you love to get something this cute for free? I can think of so many places these would be appreciated. How about, classrooms, libraries, doctor's offices, shelters, retirement centers, adult daycares, cancer treatment centers, police and firemen, counselors? Have I got your creative side sparked? GO HERE to get the FREE Pattern. Watch the video demonstration below to get even more inspired. Better yet, September is National Sewing Month. What a great way to celebrate by sewing and donating.
I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
Ironing or Pressing is something that should become second nature when you are doing any kind of sewing project. I can admit that when I began sewing as a child, it was my least favorite part and I couldn't understand why I had to do it. There were many projects I completed without pressing between steps but they didn't turn out exactly as I hoped. As I practiced more, I saw that using my iron to create flat surfaces and hem openings made fitting pattern pieces so much easier. Now, it really has become just a habit to heat my iron when I am starting to sew. My board surface shows the use so I have been thinking about updating the cover with a bright piece of fabric.
This is the before picture. It might be a little hard to see, but it had become stained with the steam and spray starch over time.
I really had never looked at how it was attached to the board until I decided to update it. When I looked closely, I realized the manufacturer had used just an overlock seam and some heavy duty string to gather the fabric around the edges.
The string that had been passed through the overlock seam was tied off on the end and there was a small piece of plastic that held the wrapped string in place.
This is a picture of the piece of plastic. The document below is a good resource if you would like to replicate the plastic piece. I scanned the piece on my printer and it should print off in a good size.
I used a piece of plastic cutting board from the Dollar Tree to trace over and it worked just as good as the original.
My fabric is canvas that I found in a remnant bin at Hobby Lobby. When I purchased it, I wondered what I could do with 18 inches of fabric. Well, you can always think of something creative. I used a heat away marker to trace 2 inches wider than the ironing board and cut around it. That extra 2 inches was enough to come up and around the board.
2 layers of quilt batting made the board extra fluffy so I will have padding now when I press projects. I just cut the batting to the size of the wooden top.
On my serger, I set up my seam for a four thread wide overlock. I finished the entire edge around the perimeter and then finished the thread tail with a needle so it wouldn't unravel.
I used a large needle with 6 strand embroider floss underneath the seam leaving extra length on the ends. This is the part that did take the longest to complete. It would be good TV time sewing. My best advice is to use a large blunt needle so it doesn't get caught on the fabric as you are passing it underneath the seam. I tied the ends with a knot and a bow so I could grab them and pull to gather.
The fabric was put face down then the batting and finally the board. When I pulled on the string, the cover began to gather.
The edges cupped around the board just right and then I used the plastic piece to wrap the string around and lock the position. All of the ends pieces were neatly tucked under the material.
Here is the newly covered ironing board ready for use. I love the bright color.
BEFORE AND AFTER
I have a video you can watch below that shows the entire project. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
I had a unique project to work on this week. One of our friends purchased seat covers for their vehicle and they wanted patches sewn to the headrest portion.
Here are the patches sewn on and you can see what the covers looked like before. They were made of a stretchy material backed with foam on the front. The back was a thin polyester knit and the bottom had elastic. Once I looked at the construction, I knew that taking the side seam apart would make it much easier.
The patches were actually a gift I made for my friends. I sent them in the mail as a surprise to Texas and thought they would be able to have them installed there. Well, I recently made a trip to Texas and the patches travelled back with me along with the seat covers. Life is weird sometimes isn't it? NO worries. I really enjoyed doing the project because I got to see how good they looked with the bright blue color they chose.
When I was looking at the covers I did however notice that the foam material although stretchy was fragile. You can see it beginning to split in several areas. So I knew I needed to be extra gentle as I took the outer seam apart.
A Seam ripper was the best tool to use and after I started with the point, I switched to the ball so the material would not become more damaged.
I only opened the seam enough to fit under the foot of my sewing machine. Pins helped place the patches and I used a ruler to ensure even placement.
I used a 75/11 needle in my sewing machine and made sure to start with the needle down. The seam was sewn inside the satin edge with matching thread and bobbin all around the perimeter.
Here is a close up of the seam. It is barely visible as long as you use the matching thread colors.
Once I had the patch sewn to the cover, I used some clips to hold the fabric edges together so I could repair the opened seam.
I set my Serger up for a four thread overlock and stitched along the edge. I was very careful to keep the trimming to a minimum along the knife edge. My bamboo skewer helped me guide the fabric also.
I used a large needle to run the thread tails through the seam also. This will help it keep from raveling.
Here are the completed covers ready to be installed.
I had to try them out so I could send pictures along before they were shipped back to Texas. I think someone got a car ride as well.
I have a video you can watch below that shows all of the steps. Maybe it will inspire you to sew a patch to a seat cover as well. This method will work for just about anything as long as you can fit it under your sewing foot and your machine will sew it. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
This project has been on my mind for a long time. I have a small loveseat that sits at the end of my bed. Our household is VERY dog friendly. They are allowed to lay on the furniture and pretty much go anywhere they like. The only place that I want them to stay off is my bed. I am a person that makes her bed every morning. I love to wash my sheets and crawl in to sweet smelling linens. For me, it is very difficult to watch two boy dogs coming in and out of the house and jumping on the comforter. We also have a tick problem in our area this time of year. Even though we treat our dogs with medicine, I have found critters and that is not fun. So I have been using a baby gate with pillows stuffed around it to block their path from the loveseat. If I am not careful and the pillows are not tall enough to create a visual barrier, my dogs will walk right through them.
So, here is my new dog barrier. It was an easy project with all straight lines to sew. I just had to take some measurements.
I measured the space in between the posts and then around the bottom and top. I wanted to have a height that would allow TV viewing even when you were laying in bed but tall enough to keep the dogs from jumping across. So it is a rectangle panel with webbing that wraps around each post and secures with snaps. I did add one inch to my overall measurement of the panel to allow for a 1/2 inch hem around the perimeter. I also cut the webbing extra long so it would wrap around the posts and give me enough to pull it taut while I installed the snaps.
The fabric I chose is Screen mesh from Lowe's. I had some extra from a previous project where I sewed a Screen Door cover. I am still using that screen and it is one of my best home upgrades. The screen is very easy to see through and lightweight. Since my dogs are used to the baby gate, I figured they would understand this was just a "NEW" gate and would stay off as usual. If your dog isn't used to a gate, you might want to try something a little sturdier at first and then transition to the screen. If they push with their nails, they could puncture the screen.
I had a large spool of webbing in my stash. It is one of those materials I found at a local sale and I purchased it knowing one day inspiration would hit.
The snaps made installing the panel easy. If you are using heavy duty webbing, you may need stronger snaps.
I used polyester thread and matching bobbin as well as a 90/14 needle. This helped pierce the webbing. A zigzag stitch worked great. I did use a small amount of sewing glue on the reverse side of the webbing along with a few pins.
Here you can see three vertical pieces of webbing. They made the screen much easier to handle after attaching and gave structure. Using the cutting mats helped me mark everything nice and straight with my chalk marker.
I did fold over a 1/2 inch hem on both sides before I laid the webbing on top and then sewed it with the same zigzag stitch.
When I was ready to sew the horizontal pieces of webbing for the top and bottom with a 1/2 inch hem, I made sure to cut enough to wrap around the posts with some extra. My webbing was thick and I did have to do some hand stitching on the overlaps as I didn't want to damage my machine.
The snaps were installed with the panel on the bed. I used my clips to hold it in place. You will also notice I added a piece of webbing in the middle because I thought my dogs might try to push around the side of the panel. Once I had the snaps installed, I trimmed the extra web and heat sealed with a lighter.
Here is a close up of the snaps. They make installation very easy. If I need to take it down for cleaning or flipping the mattress, it shouldn't be a problem.
Someone has been blocked! Looks like a successful project! I have a video of the project as it was being sewn below to give you more inspiration. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
This project has been finished for a couple of months and I am excited to be able to share it. I was commissioned to create two Latch hook Pillows that would be gifted for Mother's Day this year. Needless to say, I couldn't show any pictures until the reveal happened. That day has passed and I am happy to say the pillows were well received.
This is where I started. I had a picture of the two latch hook rugs and the design process began. The client and I had several emails back and forth with color choices and possible embroidery designs that could be added to the pillow back.
At this point, I had not actually seen the Latch hooks but I did know the size and that they had been created over 20 years ago by my client's mother. When you insert Heirloom quality into a project, the anxiety level increases a couple of notches. These were one of a kind creations and if I made any mistakes, I could ruin them, but we decided to move forward and in a few days I received the rugs in the mail.
While I waited for the rugs to arrive, I did start working on the embroidery portion. My client decided on a quote and sentiment. She also had a picture of her children with their grandmother that she wanted to be included. I digitized all of the text for the cover first. Then I prepared an applique design in my software for the picture.
I used Duck Canvas fabric and embroidered all of the elements to the pillow back. Here is a finished view. The picture was sublimated onto 100% polyester fabric so it has great detail.
The latch hooks were bound around the edges and here you see me carefully taking it apart.
Here are the two finished pillows. The process is not hard and instead of making this a long blog post, I filmed a video that you can watch below. I really delve deeply into every step and give all of my machine settings. I show taking the binding off, preparing to sew, creating a pillow form, stuffing and finishing the pillow with hand stitching.
This... is why I do what I do. I love to see happy people using something I have created. I hope you enjoy this post and the video, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
Bicycles are perfect for springtime sewing projects. Today I have four brand new bicycle embroidery designs being released and a bonus pillow project to give you some inspiration. Links to each design are below.
The Bike With Balloons Embroidery Design has so much going on. There is a colorful bike with balloons and a puppy. Customize this one any way you like and it will be perfect.
The Bike With Floral Basket Embroidery is a standout design that would be so sweet on towels or linens.
The Bike With Heart Basket Embroidery is a whimsical design that could be used in Springtime or Valentine's Day.
The Bike With Ribbon Bow Embroidery Design has a basket and flowing ribbon Customize all of these designs by changing colors. An Interesting look might be using the same design with different colors for your project.
Or you can get all four bike designs and sew a patchwork pillow which is what I decided to do. I usually have many embroidery samples in my studio and I am always looking for easy quick projects that can incorporate them. I think you'll love this one.
Sewing a pillow is a great beginner project because you can determine how large or small you want it to be without a pattern. I even sewed my own pillow insert and made my project into a removable cover so I can launder it.
I cut my pre sewn embroidery designs into squares that were the same size. I left a nice one inch border around the designs. Then I used some scraps that were 2 1/2 inches wide. I cut those slightly longer than the embroidery squares. A 1/4 inch seam allowance was used and I attached them with right sides facing. I used my iron to press after piecing the seams together so everything stayed straight and crisp.
When I had the short pieces sewn together, I trimmed them with my rotary cutter and then added the center strip using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Be careful here to line up the design squares so they are not skewed. A few pins helped hold them in place.
I sewed more strips to the top, bottom and then the sides. Then I found the center of the strips and embroidered a cute saying in the middle. You could use the built-in fonts in your embroidery machine for this part. Now you have a large piece of fabric with cute designs that can become more than a pillow. Another great idea would be a wall hanging or create more blocks for a quilt.
Using two pieces of fabric for the back, I folded the ends over and sewed to create a 1/4 inch hem on each. Then I made sure to over lap these hemmed ends by about two inches. Placing the two pieces right side down on the center of the embroidered fabric pieces with the hem running vertically, I lined up the sides and top. If you have to trim the sides of your front piece to accommodate the width, it will be just fine. I had to because I was using leftover scraps. Everything was right sides together at this point and all of the edges lined up. A seam all the way around the perimeter held everything in place. You could add a Velcro closure if you wanted to also. My center overlap was wide enough to keep my cover closed once the pillow insert was installed.
The cover was trimmed at the corners and turned right side out. I pressed it well and measured for my pillow insert using some left over fabric in my stash.
The pillow insert was pinned right sides together leaving an opening for turning. After stitching around the perimeter and clipping the corners, it was turned, stuffed and hand sewn closed. Then it was placed inside the pillow cover. So cute.
This project would be great for an outdoor space especially if you are using canvas or duck fabrics. Since my cover is removable, I can change my pillow seasonally. Or you may want to update a small space inside your house like I decided to do. Here is my new pillow on an entry chair.
Now when I come in my door, a fresh new look greets me. Amazing how something small can give you such a lift in spirit. This was a fun project and I enjoyed watching it unfold using my latest embroidery designs and leftover fabric materials that were in my stash. Are you inspired to try a project like this? I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
This year's Christmas gifts for family were all about quilts. I finally feel safe writing about them because they have all received their gifts and I no longer have to worry they might see them online. I consider myself an experienced seamstress in that I have "experienced" sewing a lot of different projects. That is how I keep my creative mojo, but I wouldn't call myself an expert in quilting just yet. It fascinates me to see complex quilt designs and try to figure out how they were put together but I have found the designing and following patterns to be a little out of my reach. I have several quilting books and I absolutely love to read quilting magazines so the desire is strong. I purchase beautiful pre cut fabrics and wait for inspiration. In fact that is what happened with the three quilts above. I had purchased several 2 1/2 inch fabric rolls and stashed them in my studio for the spark of creativity that I knew would happen. For me that is the key. I always have a selection of materials in my reach so I can immediately move toward working on a project. Getting in the car and driving to shop only causes me to quickly lose interest so if you have similar feelings, you might want to buy your beautiful fabrics long before you have a project in mind and just wait. It will come to you.
This was the beginning fabric roll. It contained 40 pieces of fabric. They were cut 2 1/2 inches by 42 inches or the width of the fabric. If you are an experienced quilter you know this already, but I'm going to aim toward those beginners like me because just holding this little roll and trying to figure out how big it would wind up becoming, how much batting I would need, and back fabric to finish it was a huge problem for me. Think "Word Problem" and feel the headache begin.
I did have yardage in my stash that I thought would be perfect for the back. I purchased this piece from a second hand store. I love finding those pieces of fabric that are hidden and creating something lovely. It makes me feel like a treasure hunter. I always bring them home and immediately wash and dry so they are ready for me. It was a light cotton and I thought there should be enough to make a lap quilt. By this time, I had done some research on pre cut fabric quilts and found several blogs on 1600 or Race Quilts. Quilt guilds or groups use the pre cut rolls as a competition to quickly and easily piece quilt tops. This is a great way to sew many quilts for donation. There is very little preparation or cutting and within a short time you can have your top pieced. That was exactly what I was looking for because I had three quilts in mind and about two weeks to get them ready. Yes you read that right. I pieced, quilted and bound all three quilts within a two week period.
Here is my set up. I had my sewing machine of course with a regular sewing foot. I also put my folding table to my right. This little table is one from the camping section of Academy Sports. I love it because it folds away flat and I keep it out of the way unless I need it. I also had my wool pressing mat and a small travel iron just because it is easier to work with while sitting..
The first thing I did was unroll my fabric strips. I did not prewash them. When I did my research on the 1600 quilts, every blog stated not to think too much on laying out your different fabric strips. It is very difficult to plan or determine any kind of placement due to the construction. The whole point of this type of quilt is ease and speed. By the way if you are wondering why they call it a 1600 quilt, it is because by the time you have sewn all of the fabric lengths together, you should have roughly a 1600 inch length. So I just placed my similar strips together and put them on top of my table so I could reach for them as I sewed.
Piecing the strips together can be done two different ways. On my first quilt I placed the ends of the pieces right sides together and sewed a diagonal line just like I would for binding. As I worked, I did not cut any of the stitching. I chain pieced. This will create a quilt top that has a diagonal look to the sewn pieces. On the subsequent two quilts, I laid the ends of the fabric right on top of each other and pieced straight across. If you will look at the finished picture below, you can see the lavender quilt has diagonal seam lines. The other two quilts have straight seam lines. I think it is personal preference and it didn't make sewing any harder on either option. I did however have an extra step of trimming the diagonal fabric ends. The straight ends were just sewn with a 1/4 inch seam allowance with no trimming needed after.
All of those little triangles are trimmed and expect a lot of fluff to come away from the precut strips as you sew. My lap was covered along with my studio floor from manipulating the strips. A good sweeping was necessary several times. I also had to pull out my vacuum wand to clean around my machine.
As you continue to sew the strip ends together you will begin to have quite a pile of fabric, so make sure you have room around your sewing space to keep all of it out of the way.
After my chain piecing, I used my small scissors to clip the threads
What was a neat row of strips becomes a long pile of fabric. There is no rhyme or reason to the placement of color. That is the fun part. You just grab piece after piece and sew them together. It can get hypnotic to sew like this and my best advice would be to make sure you are placing your right sides together before you sew the ends. Also VERY IMPORTANT, go through these strips before you move to the next step one more time and make sure the right sides are sewn together and you don't have any flipped or a right and wrong side sewn together. Make your corrections as it is easier to pick out a short seam now before you begin to sew the top together. Ask me how I know?
You will cut 18 inches from one of the ends. This will ensure that your seams do not line up throughout the quilt.
Now that you have your long strip of fabric, you are going to find both ends. Take one end and place it on top of the other end right sides together. Then using a 1/4 inch seam, you will sew the sides of those strips until you can't sew any more. I changed from my regular sewing foot to a piecing foot here. Once you get to the end, you will cut the u shaped fabric piece straight across. I have to tell you that even though I had my pressing station all set up, I didn't make use of it much while piecing. I did once complete with the top, press all of the seams
The first length of sewing will seem like forever until you get to the end. Once you do you will see that you can't go any further and you have to use your scissors to release the ends and make them lay flat. It is difficult to do it exactly straight and you don't need to stress about that. There will be some fabric trimming and squaring before you do your quilting.
Now that you have finished your first long seam, you will find the two ends again and do another long seam the same way. This process will be done FIVE times in total. As you find the ends each time, the piece will get wider and wider and your seam will get shorter and shorter. I did read blogs that stated not to worry about un winding the long lengths of fabric between each long seam as this saves time. I will tell you that on my first quilt, I must have been doing something right because each time I got to the end of the seam and did my trimming and then picked up the two ends to begin sewing, I did not come to much of a fabric twist at the end of my seam. It was fairly easy to cut the U shape of the fabric. When I did my second quilt. I had some confidence and I just sewed really fast to see how long it would take to finish. I didn't even bother to make sure my long length of fabric wasn't twisted and I did have some repercussions from that. When I had the final seam to sew and I was ready to cut that final U shape at the end, the fabric was twisted so much, that I couldn't get a very straight cut. So my top was wider on one end when I squared it off. I lost about six inches of fabric. I had to piece the two ends with additional fabric to keep the size I wanted. So my second piece of advice to you is unless you are doing a race and you don't mind how big the finished quilt will be, make sure to unwind the long fabric piece and make sure there is no twist in it before you place the right sides together to begin sewing.
Here is the top on one of the final seams and you can see it is getting wider and wider and look at the bottom of the fabric where it forms a U Shape. This is what needs to be cut across to release the fabric so it will lay flat. As you can see if the fabric is twisted, cutting would be difficult. Again ask me how I know? I feel confident, I could have gotten these three quilts done sooner if that event had not happened. I lost about two days because I was so mad at myself for rushing through the second quilt and then knowing I was going to have to do some Quilt Math to figure out a solution.
Oh the beauty of a finished quilt top. Is there any site more beautiful to behold? Except a quilted and bound quilt top of course. Which by the time you get to this point you will begin to think about. Now you get to trim up any edges that are not straight and decide what kind of batting you want to use, what kind of quilting designs and how you want to finish the edges.
So I don't think there is an easy way to prepare one of these for quilting except dive right in and know that you will need to flip it a couple of times to make sure there are no areas that will cause puckers. Aggravating I know but worth it. The batting was larger than the top to ensure I would have enough for shrinkage while quilting. I used some adhesive spray and safety pins to layer my back fabric, batting and top. The batting I used is 100 % cotton which I chose because my recipients all live in climates with humidity. I envisioned them using their lap quilts to snuggle on the couch watching tv. Even in summer you can use a 100% cotton quilt and not get too hot. Polyester batting is wonderful for extra warmth in very cold climates. I have several different quilts that I swap on my bed each season and in the summer months, cotton is my favorite.
I did install my walking foot on my machine to help keep all of those layers together as I quilted along.
Once I had everything pinned and ready to go I rolled up one end and you can see that it went to the right side so I could begin my quilting in the center. I decided to keep it simple and just sewed in the ditch along each seam line. I worked from the center to the right side then rotated the quilt and did the same from the center to the left side.
I made my own binding for the quilt by cutting 2 1/2 inch strips on the bias. I only did bias binding on the first quilt. I did make my binding for the other two quilts but the binding was made with straight ends. If you are making a quilt with straight edges, there is no need to go around curves which is the purpose of bias binding. Try straight edge binding for your next quilt and you will see that it works great on those right edges. You will have less trimming of fabric on the straight seams. Once everything was sewn together I pressed the seams open and then I did press the binding in half with the wrong sides together. Some people do not press their binding but my finish seam worked better with a very crisp edge.
I sewed my binding to all three quilts along the back with a 1/4 inch seam allowance and then pulled the binding to the front of the quilt and held it in place with clips.
My finish stitch of choice was a serpentine. If you look online, you will see an infinity of ways to attach binding. I wanted something very quick and with a utilitarian quality. I wanted my recipients to use these quilts. The finish size makes that extremely likely because they are large enough to give lap coverage and small enough to clean in a standard washer and dryer. I wash my quilts regularly so very firm stitching is in order. This serpentine stitch also is VERY forgiving. If you go off a little, it is hard to detect but the coverage and grip of your binding width is a great choice for an everyday quilt.
I think it looks extra pretty. This is what you see from the front. I like to sew it from the front so I can see exactly where those stiches are landing.
Here is the back. Everything is attached with sound stitching and I know if they wash and dry their quilts, there will be no broken stitches or sad surprises. I also love this stitch to give myself a break from trying to get perfectly straight stitches in the ditch from one side and ensuring I have "captured" the binding from the other side that you don't see while sewing.
Pretty isn't it? Also notice the strips that touch may be the same due to the construction. Even though I picked up each color individually as I connected the fabric pieces, the long seams will cause similar strip colors to be side by side on your top.
Here are some roundabout measurements in case you are wondering how large it is. This will vary depending on your end cuts of course.
Here is the second quilt. Remember the difficult one? Look at the two sides and you will see a navy border. That is what I had to add to keep the finished size I wanted due to the fabric twisting. So if you do have a smaller finished top than you planned, you can add fabric to it. Not sure why I couldn't think of that when I lost those two days, but when you get deep into a project with a deadline in mind, tunnel vision can occur. Take a break and breath, It's ok.
By the time I got to my third one, I was very sure of myself which usually happens when you practice something. For this top, I wasn't sure what color to use for the back and I did have to make a shopping trip to purchase fabric. I bought a 4 yard fabric cut from Wal-Mart in this bright sunny yellow.
This is how I pieced that back from that fabric cut. It shows my top final measurement. The fabric is 44 inches wide so I cut two lengths 55 inches long and pieced them together with a 1/2 inch seam allowance for strength. The width needed to be cut off on either side at 10 inches. This gave me a extra fabric when creating my quilt sandwich. After everything was quilted, I did some squaring up. I had extra fabric left over for my binding and even some more for future projects. These fabric cuts from Walmart are usually a great price also. They are a polyester blend so if you want 100% cotton just make sure you look for that on the label. Or visit your local quilt shop for your fabric where you will have a great selection that is wide enough for quilt backs and 100% cotton.
Just a few more pictures of that serpentine stitch for you to see. Nice work on that binding corner don't you think? Very crisp. Using your iron to press that binding edge makes that happen.
I love that bright sunny back. I enjoyed making each one of these quilts because they were all straight seams and I was able to finish them within a short timeframe. If you are not in a rush, this project would be very easy to lay down and come back to at a later date without having to think too much on where you left off.
Here is the best part. A picture from my family member underneath his quilt with the caption "MY BLANKET IS PERFECT". Now THIS is the goal accomplished. Exactly what I envisioned coming to fruition. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
The New Year is approaching and once again I have steered myself back into my studio. This project won't take too much time and it would make a wonderful gift for someone in your life.
I had this drying mat in my stash and I thought it would be perfect to upcycle into a wine bag. If you have a Dollar Tree in your town, they usually have a good selection of colors and for One Dollar you can create a personalized item. Maybe you aren't going to attend your normal New Year's Eve party but you still want to celebrate with family, friends or neighbors? How about delivering a bottle of wine to them as a surprise? Leave it on their front porch or hang the bag on their doorknob?
This project really is just a few seams. The padded material of the drying mat is great to protect the glass bottle. Maybe customize yours with embroidery. I used my latest New Year Balloons design that you can find here. Some pretty satin ribbon is an easy handle.
I used a 4x4 hoop with tear away stabilizer and floated my drying mat in the embroidery hoop with temporary adhesive spray.
After doing the embroidery, I placed right sides together with clips and sewed along the bottom and side of the mat. Make sure you lengthen your stitch and use a larger needle.
I created boxed corners with zig zag stitching on the bottom. This makes it flat once you turn it inside out. You can trim these away but I left mine as they give a little more structure to the bag.
The satin ribbon is folded under on each end and stitched to the outer sides. The box and cross stitching will give extra security to the wine bottle in the bag.
Now you are ready to add the wine or any other libation of your choosing. I filmed a short You tube video that you can watch below that will take you through the entire process. I hope you are well in your part of the world and that you have enjoyed this along with my other posts, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
This project is an oldie but goodie and I thought it needed to be brought back. I found it in one of my old sewing books from the eighties. Just looking at it reminds me of that Heirloom trend we were all decorating with back then. It can be sewn or if you have some fabric glue, you should be able to make one as long as you dry your glue in between steps.
Here is the secret ingredient that keeps the wreath shape. These book rings were purchased from Dollar Tree and they have a hinged side with a lock. A package of eight means you can make a lot of wreaths
Here is a view of the ring being opened. You can see that makes it easy to slide your fabric on and then close up to secure everything.
You will need a piece of fabric cut 18 inches long and 2 1/2 inches wide. Also, any kind of lace, ribbon or ric rac will dress up the wreath.
A tube turner really comes in handy also and if you have never used one of these tools, you might want to give it a try. A long narrow tube of fabric is sometimes difficult to turn right side out but one of these makes it effortless.
Here is an abbreviated version of how they go together. The lace or ribbon is pinned to the right side along one edge. I like to baste it on first. Then sew the edges together along that length. Use the tube turner and turn right side out. Then press flat so the lace is one one side and the fabric tube is on the other.
Then you take it back to your machine and sew a seam right in the middle down the length. This creates a smaller casing. If you are using fabric glue, this part won't be possible but you will already have a wide casing that will work just fine. Thread the material on the book ring and snap closed. I make a hanger with 1/4 inch ribbon and a simple bow. Both are attached with a needle or thread. If you are using glue, you should be able to attach both.
I made two versions so you could see by decreasing the fabric width to two inches, the ornament has a slightly different look. As a final creative idea, you could place a small picture behind each wreath with hot glue. This project would be easy for kids to design with their favorite fabric pieces. If you are like me, you probably have some remnants that would work great for this.
I have a complete video tutorial that you can watch below as you are sewing your wreath ornaments. Handmade projects are on my Christmas list this year. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work! Have A Merry Christmas!
My latest embroidery designs are close to my heart because they were requested by a family member. When the pandemic started, I set to work on drafting a face mask design that you can find here. Then I went to work sewing many masks and mailing them to my family in South Louisiana. I put them in individual polybags and asked that they distribute as they saw fit to anyone in need. At that time when everything was new, supplies were short so everyone was looking for any kind of face covering. I sewed a mask for my uncle that is a Navy veteran and the fabric had ships and compasses all over it. Last week he was filling up at a gas station and a man came across the parking lot to talk to him. He saw the fabric, commented on the mask and said he wished someone could make him one that had his Shrimping profession on it. That is all it took for me to get to work on sewing a new batch of masks and getting them mailed to my family again. So Mr. Reuben or "T-Reub" this is for you. I hope you love your custom mask.
The Trawler Embroidery design is perfect alone or you can add custom text like a personal or business name above or below. The boat design is less than 2 inches square so it will work great on masks, caps or hats. See the inspiration pictures below for some gift ideas.
The Compass Embroidery Design is also less than two inches square so it will work on masks, caps or hats. You know any person that fishes as a profession or hobby uses compasses and maps to navigate the waters. This design looks great by itself but the addition of a name will make it really special. Campers, hikers or scouts would love this also. See the inspiration pictures below.
The Shrimp Embroidery Design is one of my new favorites. I love how simple and clean it looks stitched in the white thread against the navy fabric. If you have a shrimper or chef in your life they will love this stitched on their favorite items, like masks, hats, towels and shirts. Add their name and they might cook up a nice meal for you. See the inspiration photos below.
This picture shows the piece of fabric in my hoop after it has been embroidered. If you are making custom masks, just draw the outline of the mask pattern with chalk and you can place the design right where you need it before you sew up the masks.
Here are just a few of the custom masks ready to send out. I did sew a special one for my uncle with the Navy veteran logo embroidered on it. Sadly I don't offer this embroidery design, because the Navy logo is trademarked by the Naval Department, so without their permission, I would only sew this for family members as gifts. I think my uncle will love it though.
I do have one more embroidery design that was just released a few days ago and it ties in with my South Louisiana Heritage. This Sportsman Paradise design has a Pelican sitting on a log which is something that you will see if you are ever visiting along the Gulf Of Mexico. It is perfect for those outdoorsman or anyone that loves Louisiana culture. Check out some Inspiring photos below.
So that brief meeting at a gas station started all of this. Mr. Reuben did you know when you walked across that parking lot and spoke to my uncle that you would inspire these embroidery designs? I loved creating all of them and making masks which I hope the receivers will enjoy wearing. Maybe the embroidery will spark conversations like the one you had with my uncle and give a moment of normalcy to this time in our lives. We from South Louisiana love to talk and visit after all. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
Nothing makes your heart stop like an error message in the middle of a sewing or embroidery project. When I have an error I usually pull out my manual first because the answer will more than likely be found there. The manufacturers are usually very good about knowing what might come up and giving you various scenarios to try. In sewing the most common will be your needle, bobbin and thread. In this error, I went through the checklist from my manual but my error still occurred. As I would sew I was able to get through 10-15 stitches and the machine would stop with the above error. I initially thought it might be the tension discs and some thread or debris so I cleaned those out by taking the top covers off, but the problem persisted. Of course I made sure my machine was powered OFF to do these checks.
So after some online searches, I found a couple of other people with similar problems and even though they have a different machine, I thought I would try looking in the same area they were indicating, so I removed my cover from the side of the machine. I have to thank generous people on You Tube and Blogs because isn't it great to be able to figure out those small maintenance repairs during the pandemic? Usually I wouldn't think twice about bringing my machine to the shop but now that isn't always an easy option.
I traced myself to the 3rd position in the flow of tension on the front. There is a very small spring located behind this front cover that helps the machine tension the thread. It is a moving part and when you couple that movement with thread, debris, moisture and dirt; the spring can become immobile and the thread is no longer in the correct placement so the machine will issue the error.
Look in the picture above and follow the thread down to the point where it passes under that straight bar. Directly underneath you will see the very small curved tip of the spring. That piece is where my problems were happening. I used a small picking instrument like a dentist would use and I VERY CAREFULLY cleaned around the spring. I also made sure the spring could move up and down and was not immobile. As I did that I saw a piece of thread remnant fall out.
You can also see the other very tiny bits of debris I was able to clean out. I put everything back together to test the machine. As a side note, this error did occur right after I had been trying out a brand new metallic thread. I can't say for certain if that caused the problem but it was a different material than I sew with on a daily basis.
The final thing I did was remove the thread and re thread it through all of the tension areas. If you don't do this, the thread placement is the same as before the repair and the error will probably show up still. Now my machine sews just fine. I will say that this is a minor adjustment and I would only recommend doing this to get you back to sewing; especially if you are in a production setting like me. I use my machine to test embroidery designs every day. It doesn't replace my usual maintenance schedule where the machine is taken apart, cleaned, oiled and tested. I will still get that done per the manufacturer's suggestions which is normally at least once a year. I filmed a short video below that will show you the error as it was happening, removing the covers and where that spring is located. If you are having similar issues with your machine, this might help. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
If you have read many of my blog posts, you might guess my creative projects follow the seasons and what I see in my life. So right now, my yard is a priority as I continue getting it in order for winter. I really do love little yard trinkets, signs, hanging decorations etc. So you will find Shepherd Garden Stakes in many of my flower beds. They come in a lot of different sizes and styles and usually I use them to hang bird feeders or plants. Since cold weather is coming, I am looking at them to see if they need any maintenance like rust removal or cleaning out the bird feeders.
This flag project just came about because I realized I had never tried to sew something decorative for one of these shepherd hooks. I thought it would be a great project to move between seasons. Right now, my trees still have leaves on them and they are just turning beautiful shades of yellow and orange. After a few cold snaps, I will look outside and they will all be gone and then our skies will be gray for several months. This makes my yard a little depressing, but these flags might help that this winter. My intention is to sew some for those cold winter months and when I look outside my windows, it just might cheer me up and keep me excited for upcoming spring gardening.
So the first thing I did was digitize a special embroidery design for this flag. I had my husband in mind and thought he would get a kick out of seeing this in our yard. If you are interested in the An Old Fisherman design it is available here. You will need at least a 6x10 embroidery hoop. The size of the flag I was sewing demanded a larger design to fill up the space.
Here is a view of the Old Fisherman embroidery design with a different background color so you can see the details. I used canvas duck fabric for the flag and grosgrain ribbon for the casing. I didn't do a written pattern for this project but I did a full video tutorial that you can watch below. I think a beginner could sew this project as there are mostly straight seams, The long curve and adding the ribbon casing is a nice skill to practice as well as clipping along curves. All of this can be done sewing a flag like this. The tutorial will show you how to draft your own flag depending on the shepherd hook you have so it is not specific just to the type I used. In any case, I am wishing you will have fun watching the video and dreaming up ways to decorate your outdoor space year round with these flags. You know these would be awesome for yard sale signs or business advertisements also.
Check out the video below. I have assembled a playlist of several garden flag projects together. Look for that in the description of the video and you can have a creative watch party! I Hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
I have been buttoning up my yard in preparation for winter. My garden plot has been mowed down, all of my flower beds have been successfully weeded and my flower pots are host to new pansies. This time of year I tend to change a few things around on my front porch and I like to maintain some color as I watch the leaves turn and fall. In honor of this beautiful time of year, I am releasing my latest design Falling Leaves Flag Pattern. This embroidery design is really simple in it's concept and it only has 6,645 stitches but it has a really big impact with the addition of artificial leaves.
You can see here that the stitching includes cute seasonal text and a smiling puppy. He is watching all of the beautiful leaves falling around him. My dogs love to do that and they have so much fun chasing the leaves as they fall to the ground. I purchased a small bag of leaves from my local Dollar Tree store and it had 50 of them so I have a lot of extra ones for future projects.
There are several different fabrics that you can use for garden flags. On this one, I used OLY FUN fabric which is the same material you will find in reusable grocery bags. I have done other flag projects using this material and I like it for the price, weight and non fraying qualities. I will tell you that your flag won't have UV protection and might only last one season if you use OLY FUN Fabric. I don't mind that because I love to change regularly. Also, if I look closely at flags I have purchased they will usually fade pretty quickly and I tend to avoid putting them back up more than two seasons.
The embroidery instructions will take you through the placement of the leaves. I have included a flag pattern with the design that will help you prepare your fabric and cut the bottom portion.
You will see how to add the ribbon on the top and sides and sew the trim to the bottom of the flag.
This would be a great project for a beginner as it includes many techniques that can be used for future sewing and embroidery projects. If you have a sewing and embroidery machine or combination of the two and feel like you want to do something creative but not too difficult, give this a try. I think you will love seeing your flag in your yard. I have created a video you can watch below that shows the entire project also so if you are a more advanced seamstress, you should be able to make your own garden flag just by following along.
I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
Lagniappe Peddler believes that the process of working with our hands can be one of the best forms of healing the hurts in our lives and welcomes all who visit this safe little corner of the world.
What is a Lagniappe Peddler?
ˌlanˈyap,ˈlanˌyap - something given as a bonus or extra gift
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