Don't you love a free pattern that is quick and fun? This Patriotic Wall Hanging designed by Kaye Collins from Oh, Kaye Quilting is perfect for this time of year. We have several patriotic holidays coming up and if you like to decorate I think this might become a new favorite. I took a longarm class with Kaye at the Sewing And Quilt Expo In Atlanta. She is a Handi Quilter educator. I really enjoyed the class and now receive her newsletter emails. This project was in one of the emails and I printed it off thinking I really want to make that.
I like the pattern because it doesn't require much fabric and you have lots of options. The fabric requirements are easy especially if you have scraps. She has two different finishing options. One has a binding and the other is envelope style. I chose the latter because I didn't want to fuss with a binding. I also altered the stars a bit. On the pattern, she has you do raw edge applique.
Instead, I used some wash away stabilizer and traced the included pattern with a heat away Frixion pen. Then I layered the stabilizer on top of the right side up fabric, sewed around the traced star and trimmed away the excess. I cut a small hole in the stabilizer and turned the star right side out carefully poking out all of the corners. This is an easy way to get a hem finish around those edges. I used a zig zag seam to attach the stars on the pieced panel. A small amount of fiberfill made the stars puffy. I finished with some hand sewing.
I did the quilting on my domestic machine with variegated patriotic thread. I used one of my specialty stitches and the edge of my presser foot to guide me around each star.
All of the other quilting was simple straight lines. I matched the bobbin to my back fabric.
Here is a close up of my other fabrics. Stars everywhere! You could really make this wall hanging your own by using different fabrics. How about using camo or subdued military fabric? Maybe the Army prints for one strip and a solid khaki grunge with black stars? I see your creative wheels turning now.
Look how pretty my front porch looks with my wall hanging. I love the size of the finished project because you can really see it from the road. Those dimensional stars pop! Are you inspired to make your own wall hanging? You have time before Memorial Day and then use your hanging to decorate through the Fourth Of July! Check out Kaye's website here. She has lots of great content. 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 is the time of year for all things patriotic and I have a brand new FREE Quilt Of Valor Pattern. I am calling this a One Block Picket because the angled pieces remind me of picket fences. Every block is sewn exactly the same way and when they are rotated, a star will show up from the light fabrics.
Here is a view of the block and how they are rotated. See the beautiful star along with a secondary pattern that is formed. The best part is you can use light colored prints or solids for those star areas. You can also use medium to medium dark prints for the other end of the pieced block.
Much like my last Quilt Of Valor Free Pattern, we grabbed leftover fabrics from our Quilt Guild stash and designed this pattern around what was available. We did also have a sweet fabric donation that arrived in our mailbox from Texas. Some of those were used in this quilt also.
Here is a view of some of the many different scraps we used. Our long strips were blue and we used what we had so they are two slightly different colors. This was a fun project to sew together. There is not much to match up when sewing the blocks.
The top has two borders and finishes to 70x78 inches. A nice size for a Quilt Of Valor. The free pattern is available here. It's easy to add to your cart and then you will receive an emailed link to download the PDF. I did film an instruction video that will show you how the block is sewn together along with the quilting I chose on my longarm. Download, sew and donate one today! 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 Travel To Mobile Alabama
My current bucket list includes more travel and finding interesting sewing exhibits. I did go to the Houston Quilt Show at the end of last year and I attended a Sewing expo in Atlanta this month. I decided to visit Mobile Alabama as my son was on spring break. He is a history buff so a historic destination would suit both of us. Mobile is the oldest city in Alabama and although we only spent two days there, we were not disappointed.
The city of Mobile has a great website that can point you in the right direction if you are thinking of visiting.
Now you might not expect to find examples of sewing on the USS Alabama Battleship, but you would be mistaken. This is an awesome military park. It does not receive any state or federal funding and when you see the sheer size and number of exhibits, you will be amazed by that fact.
You can tour all levels of the battleship. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Daily life of the enlisted men is on display and of course if they were living on this ship they would have need of garment care.
Here is one pressing area available to the soldiers. I can't imagine how busy this would have been given the number of humans on this battleship. The requirements of their uniform code and the fabric types made this a daily task.
This was another pressing area on the ship. Look at the foot pedals on the bottom of the machine. Wouldn't you love to give this a try?
Here is a sleeping area and you can see there would have been a lack of privacy.
That makes this area more appealing to me. It is a room for a pressman. He would have worked on pressing the clothes and also slept in this room. So he was always next to his work but he did have a little more privacy.
Here is another example of sewing on the battleship. This soldier was a tailor. He would have done major and minor repairs to clothing and other items on the ship. Again he would have worked in this room and slept there. That rack is high off the floor isn't it?
The History Museum of Mobile was another stop on our trip. This is in downtown Mobile. If you have always wanted to visit New Orleans but are a little intimidated, Mobile would be a great alternative. It has the vibe of New Orleans with the old buildings and southern hospitality. I found it a little easier to navigate with less traffic.
When I found out that this exhibit was at the Museum, it kind of made my decision to travel there. I have wanted to see this and have been close on other trips or just missed it. I wasn't disappointed.
The Museum of History covers 4 acres. It is absolutely beautiful. You would have a difficult time building something of this magnitude today given the marble floors and high ceilings. The exhibits are large scale with horse and buggies, maritime fixtures, local history of Mobile and a wonderful trip through the decades of women's clothing.
Looking at the clothing that is on display really reminds you of the craftmanship that we don't see today in our clothing. These examples are not only fitted, but the fabrics are exemplary. Everything you see is natural fibers like silk. The lace is not the polyester lace we are accustomed to seeing today.
Just look at the back of this dress. This lucky lady looked gorgeous coming and going. I wanted to stand here all day admiring but there was so much more to see. I also had to keep my fingers away from the displays. You know you would want to touch it too!
The city of Mobile has a colorful past and it has survived many hard times. This photo shows women working in the garment factory. I love seeing their sewing machines and how they dressed for a day of work. I imagine this was a hot, loud place to work every day.
This display is part of Dressing The Abbey. If you have watched Downton Abbey you will love seeing this in person. The skill of the seamstresses who made these costumes is enviable. Of course all of the garments were sewn using real silk and velvets. There were some coats that had fur trim on them and I am happy to say those were faux.
Each of the garments were staged using furnishings from the appropriate era or time period. It made the exhibition all the more authentic.
We stayed at a very nice Hilton Garden Inn hotel. I chose the small town of Daphne on the east side of the Bay Of Mobile. It is right off Interstate 10. There are choices of shopping and restaurants close to this location so if you are planning a trip, I think you might like to stay there.
I have a lot more to show you and instead of making this a very long blog post, there is a vlog you can watch below. More sewing travel will hopefully be in my future and you can see the trips with me. 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 2023 Sewing & Quilting Show season has begun. I have made it a tradition to attend the Original Sewing & Quilting Expo in Atlanta (Duluth) every year if at all possible. It is one of my favorite events because there is so much to see and do. If you want to take classes, learn new techniques, try out a certain machine, look at pretty quilts, meet new friends or just get away for a trip- this might be it.
Now don't get upset that this Atlanta event has already passed because it travels around the United States all year. So you have many more chances to attend.
You can visit https://www.sewingexpo.com/Events/Atlanta-GA
and get to their website. There you will be able to see upcoming locations. Some advice for you would be if you think you will be attending, don't wait to book your classes. They fill up fast. Especially anything quilting related. Also, book your hotel as close as possible so you can get to and from the Expo easily. Then it won't matter what time those classes are being held. Some of mine were at 8:30am, so I had to get to the parking garage early. In years past there were night classes and I did have to go to my car in the evening. So an Uber might be a better choice for you. If they are scheduled after dark, you may feel more comfortable having someone drive you.
Make sure you check out the dining options at your hotel. I was very lucky that breakfast was offered at mine. Every morning I knew I would have a full tummy and coffee of course to fuel my day.
I was so tired and hungry from my classes and staying busy the first day that I ordered room service. That was a fantastic hamburger.
You will need to print all of your tickets before you arrive and then immediately go to the check in desk. This is where you can pick up your arm band that allows you to enter each day. You also get one entry for the daily prizes. Remember to drop your ticket in and stay until the end of the day. If you aren't present someone else gets the prize!
Sewing machine dealerships sponsor these events and the classrooms are full of brand new machines. The instructors teach lessons so you can try everything out. Then you can purchase the machines at a special show discount. The vendors also have booths with just about everything you could want or need.
There is a main stage that has something happening throughout each day. You can watch demonstrations, fashion shows or special distinctions like this Quilt of Valor being awarded.
Some of the classes will have special gifts that you get to take home with you. Here is all of my loot.
Of course there are so many beautiful quilts to see. Here is a small sample.
You will also probably find several non profit sewing organizations. This was one that I found.
I really enjoyed looking at all of the purses they had on display that had been donated. You may be able to find a local chapter you can donate to. They have free patterns on their website. Click the picture to be taken to their site.
There are so many other things to list. I am glad I planned this getaway for myself. I met new friends, learned some new skills and had a great experience. I filmed my trip and have a video you can watch below to see all of the quilts. I also show you my hotel, the parking and give you a tour of the event. Just in case you want to make plans to attend. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
So how have you been? Is winter messing with your "SEWJO"? I will be honest and say it has put a slight damper on my creative flow. That is not unusual for me and if I just admit it, I can move past it with a few tricks and tips. Tip #1 is to give myself permission to feel uninspired. Once I am settled in to acceptance, I lose the guilt that I have all of these tools, beautiful fabric and a wonderful studio just sitting there and going unused. It's going to be ok because the urge to create always comes back. You just have to give it time.
Here is my backyard view. We always say that our area turns GRAY in the wintertime. The days begin to roll into each other and it's hard to imagine that the sun will ever come back. Even my dogs get a little forlorn. So once we have admitted we are not in a creative mood, what's next? TIP #2, Look for something EASY to do. Don't try that multi step project with brand new complicated techniques. I reached for a couple of hand towels that I wanted to do some embroidery on. SIMPLE and basic. It's not rocket science for me because I have done so many towels but once I got started, the creative bug bit me. I went to Google Fonts and found a free font file called Lovers Quarrel. Once downloaded, I just digitized the letter S in my embroidery software with a butterfly. These towels are going to be a gift for my mom. That's Tip #3. Make something for someone ELSE. It really is better to give and the thought of how much the receiver is going to love your gift will make you want to finish.
The font is really pretty with all of the extra scroll work. Downloading these Google fonts is easy. Once on your computer you extract them and there is an install button. Your programs that use text or fonts should now pull them up as True Type fonts. You can use them in any thing you choose. Be sure to look at the licensing info before you do commercial variations though. There will usually be a text file in the download that tells you how you can use the free fonts. Once I had the design digitized, I stitched it out on two separate towels.
Pretty right? Both have peach thread on the global underlay. This pulls that towel pile down so you can really see the stitching of the letter S. The towel on the right used white thread on the satin stitching. On the left, I chose a variegated thread and let it do all the heavy lifting. Some simple trim pieces sewn on with zig zag stitches and two custom gifts are made. These didn't take much time to finish. It was nice to do the straight trim sewing with zig zagging. No pressure here. Just easy sewing that can be done with minimal thinking and planning. A beautiful result though.
Tip #4 is to let those companies that have you on their email list help to inspire you. Now this one can be dangerous because if you look through all of their free patterns, tips, ideas, you may get ANALYSIS PARALYSIS. It's easy to do my friend so remember, stay simple. Don't compare yourself with them or worry that they are better at coming up with cute ideas than you are. We have all been there. My husband who usually listens to me gripe has some great advice which is, "You are one person while they have lots of people in different departments working to come up with all of these ideas" He is exactly on point. So Tip #5 is to Listen to Your Husband, loved one or friend who cares about you. Stop comparing yourself and grab the easiest free pattern you can find. Or the one cute pattern that will make you so happy to finish. There is no reason to reinvent the wheel. It's OK to make those short easy projects. I chose the Bucket Hat from Superior Threads.
I downloaded the free pattern, chose my fabric from my stash and turned on the tutorial video. I watch it through one time fully. Then I sat my phone right next to my sewing machine and got to work. This was so much fun because Amy the presenter did every step and within a couple of hours, I had a finished hat.
I did make sure to sew the circles on the crown to add structure. Amy mentions this in the video and I found it helped firm the hat up a bit.
The fabric I used is linen on one side and quilters cotton on the other. You can see that it is reversible which I love. The linen has some good weight to it and I used this interfacing. I really like the feel of the finished product.
I added a cute flower embellishment to the front of the hat. This is two pieces of marine vinyl just cut into a flower shape. Then I stacked two buttons and sewed the whole assembly together. A small safety pin was sewn to the back of the vinyl pieces so I could attach to the hat and remove later if desired.
Here is a view of that safety pin. You could make two different flowers and swap them out if you wear the hat on the other side. That would be a cute addition.
This bucket hat is going to be a gift for my mom as well as the towels and I know her head is slightly smaller than mine. When cutting out the pattern I used the larger size because most hats do not fit my head well. I assumed this one would be tight. With my hair my head measures about 24 inches around. This pattern is much more generous than that so once I had completed it, the size kind of floated around on my head. I decided to try adding elastic which you can see above. I sewed one extra seam right above the brim around the entire hat that created a casing. Then I opened the side seam carefully with a seam ripper and pulled narrow elastic through.
The elastic doesn't have to be really tight. Just cut it about 2-3 inches shorter than your head measurement. You don't want it to be so taut that it gives you a headache. Once you put on the bucket hat, the elastic will pull out the gathers a little smoother and with the flower on the front, the shape really is attractive.
Look how precious that is.
Here is a back view. Such a cute pattern and it can be made using any style of fabric for anyone. You don't have to add the flower. You could put a snap on it instead to turn up the brim.
The final Tip #6 is to get out, relax and have some fun. Creativity is always present when we are NOT worrying. Adding stress to yourself is the best way to strangle those projects waiting to be created. Even if being a creative is your job, you know that mundane life can keep you from seeing the potential in your tools and materials. So allow yourself to take a step back. Go do something fun like take a walk with your dogs, see a funny movie, walk through your favorite craft store without purchasing anything. Notice all of these things get you out of your creative space. Then when you come back, you will see it with fresh eyes.
I'm ready for my close up Mr. Demille. There is a Studio Vlog you can watch below that shows me working on these projects. I hope you have been inspired by this blog post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
New Year New Needle
We are one week into 2023. How are you doing with your resolutions? Have you made any plans for change this year? Do you have a new focus? Maybe you are ready for a change but not sure where to start? I have a simple one for you that will make all the difference in your sewing and embroidery world at least.
Your sewing needle is one of the easiest things to change. They are inexpensive but can make or break your stitching. My last blog was all about bobbin cases and when to change them. I would say that 90 percent of my problems with tension in my embroidery machine are usually related to my bobbin. The other 10 percent can be attributed to my hooping, stabilizer, fabric choice and needle. Now I don't know if you realize this but a brand new needle out of the package can have flaws. I recently tried a new brand from a local big box store and every machine needle in the pack was off center. By that I mean the flat part of the needle back and the eye were not struck the same. When sewing, my thread kept shredding if it picked up at all. Have you seen a lowering of quality in your sewing needles lately? Maybe other notions you usually purchase are not up to the norm? Buying your supplies from the cheapest outlet will sometimes lead to disappointment. I know I won't buy that brand anymore.
Here is another sign that the needle needs to be changed. You are sewing along and you start to see the bobbin thread. Normally on my flatbed machine, I don't need to adjust the bobbin tension at all. On my multi needle, I usually check the tension at each bobbin change. When my flatbed single needle starts acting up like the picture above it is usually an indication that the needle has become dull. Instead of piercing the fabric and moving in between the thread fibers, it will pound the top thread down. It may look like white space or poorly digitized fill shapes at the join areas. You may even hear a distinct sound change in your machine as this happens.
Here is a second stitch out after a needle change. Look how much smoother the fill is with no separation of thread at the junctions. Everything is the same except the needle. I used the same design, kept the original hooping, original stabilizer, bobbin and thread. When you change one thing at a time, you can isolate the problem more easily.
This was the needle I changed to. I have a local sewing machine dealership and the owner has been repairing sewing machines for longer than most people in my age group have been alive. He has seen it all. On a recent trip to his store and in speaking to him about my needle woes he recommended I keep these in my studio. They did the trick on my flatbed machine. Like a knife through hot butter. Just a plug for your local dealership or quilt shop. They have so much knowledge and training. It is worth it to drop by and talk to them. They love helping you with sewing and embroidery.
So here is that stitch out comparison again. What a difference a new needle can make. What does all of this have to do with resolutions? If you need a New Year change and aren't sure where to start, here it is. Change your needle. You can do this one. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
October is breast cancer awareness month and I love to dedicate some time to sewing and donating. I recently finished a large T Shirt quilt and I have an entire plastic tote filled with leftover material. Throwing it away is not an option for me because I can't let all of that soft worn in material go to waste. So I thought why not create a project that recycles and goes to a great cause. The Free Beanie Pattern is here to download in my store.
Cancer patients get cold. That is just a fact. The first time I donated to my local treatment center, they actually let me tour the area where the patients receive their medication. That was an eye opening day for me. It was a large room with chairs and IV equipment. Several nurses were present and the people waited in the lobby until everything was set up for them to enter. A small area was set aside for donations. You would not believe how many crafts, magazine snacks, blankets and other wonderful things were stacked neatly and with care. So if you are unsure about your donated items being used, forget your fears! It will be loved and is most welcome. That is where this beanie comes in.
The T Shirt material is perfect for beanies because it is usually a good weight is buttery soft and has some stretch retention. This a great item to have readily available for patients to grab. The tag on the front is made using 100% polyester Grosgrain ribbon 1 1/2 inches wide. There is a graphic in the download ready to print and sublimate then heat press. Set your press to 380 degrees F for 60 seconds. The graphic is part of the Creative Commons images from Microsoft Publisher. I thought it was most appropriate for the project and month of October.
Maybe you don't want to use the graphic or you don't have a heat press and sublimation printer? No worries, Just find some cute pre printed ribbon like these above and you will have a captive audience for sure.
You will also receive a full sheet of these in the download for gift cards. Just print on card stock and attach with a small safety pin. This would be an excellent service project for your quilt guild.
How cute is this? Simple easy sewing even though it is knit. Just use a ballpoint needle and some zig zag or stretch stitching. You can also use a serger for the construction. I used my regular sewing machine and had no problems.
So use up that pile of leftover T Shirt material for a great cause. My month of October will be dedicated to this project in between other crafting. I have an instruction video below you can watch to see how easy everything comes together. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
September is National Sewing Month!
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. 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.
Tips From A New Grace Cutie Frame Owner
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.
Upcycle Cloth Napkins Into A Dice Bag
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.
Sew Circles Using A Template
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.
Sew A Felt Crayon Pouch
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!
Sew A Tabletop Ironing Board Cover
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!
Sew A Patch To An Automobile Seat Cover
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.
Sew A Dog Barricade For Your Bed
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!
Sew A Custom Latch hook Pillow
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.
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
This website uses marketing and tracking technologies. Opting out of this will opt you out of all cookies, except for those needed to run the website. Note that some products may not work as well without tracking cookies.Opt Out of Cookies