April 17, 2015

Flannel bag

I checked out my stash of flannels and found these leftover rectangles from a quilt I made for myself a while ago (see it here and here). Since I really like those Woolies, I decided to use them all in a tote for yours truly.

This is the back side. I stitched all the pieces in a big rectangle, marked the pleates with a pin and stitched 1/8" from the edge to secure them. I then chose a lining fabric, cut a rectangle of it with matching size, marked and secured the pleats.

I added a large pocket to the lining, made with flannel on the outside and lined with lining fabric. The picture above is not too clear, but you can see the belt I used for handles - how convenient that its colors matched the colors of my tote! I stitched the sides of both the shell and the lining.

I made sure the shell of the tote had its wrong side out. I placed the lining right side out inside the shell (I did cut a 3" slit on the bottom of the lining). I placed the 'belt' handles in between the shell and lining, pinned them in place, and stitched around the opening. Then, I pulled the bag through the 3" opening I had cut in the lining. Next, I pressed the seam where the shell was stitched to the lining, stuck lining inside the shell, and topstitched the opening. Done!

And this is my finish for today. I did not add any batting - it is a light, soft bag. I can't wait to go somewhere with it.

Speaking of going places, have you seen block 12 of the City Girl Sew Along, called The Commons? Check it out before you leave. In the meantime, I am linking to Crazy Mom Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Quilt Shop Gal, Forth Worth Fabric Studio, Sew Fresh Quilts, and My Quilt Infatuation...

Enjoy your weekend!

April 16, 2015

City Girl Sew Along Block #12

Would you like to go for a walk at the park? Here is The Commons, block #12 of our City Girl Sew Along. This applique block won't take you any time at all to put together. I made two templates: one for placement and one with the applique shapes, already reversed to make it easier for you.

What you will need:
(1) 8-1/2" sq of background fabric (shown here is Halle Rose C4184 by Riley Blake Designs)
(1) 5" x 4" rectangle of dark gray for lamp post and bench legs (shown is RBD Blenders C200)
(1) 3" x 1-1/2" rectangle of white fabric for light bulb
(1) 6" x 3" rectangle of gray print for bench
HeatnBond Lite fusible web
sharp scissors
Applique thread (I used Aurifil 50 wt in gray and dark gray)

Trace applique shapes onto smooth side of HeatnBond Lite (or fusible web of your choice). Cut around the shapes as shown on picture above, and iron them to back of fabrics. For more information about how to work with fusible web, click here.

One note about the light bulb: since the background fabric would show through the white, fuse a piece of fusible web to the wrong side of the white fabric. Once it cools, remove the paper, fold the fabric rectangle in half WST, and press. Then, fuse the lamp shape to the white fabric, and cut around it. Now, the double layer of white will not allow the background fabric to show through.

Fuse all applique shapes to background (for placement and shape templates, click here). Applique them with thread that matches each applique piece using: straight stitch on the lamp post, then blanket stitch on the lamp, light bulb and bench. You are done!

I am delighted to show you Annmarie's progress:

Annmarie, these are wonderful! I can't wait to see your next blocks! Although this is a scrappy quilt, notice how Annmarie and I repeat fabrics in our blocks which, in the end, will bring harmony into the quilt.

Block #13 will involve applique... but I will wait until next Thursday to show it to you. In the meantime, enjoy any time you have to quilt, sew, and make other crafts. Crafting brings piece to one's soul and body!

April 10, 2015

Wash Day

Yeah! The quilt top is finished! Isn't it awesome? Here are some more pictures:

Oh, I don't think I will give this quilt away!

It was a lot of fun appliqueing the clothes, which I did using Aurifil monofilament (easy to use because it does not keep breaking!) and a very small zigzag stitch.

I am still trying to decide which outfit I like the best. My stash of 1930s fabric is not too large, yet the combinations seem to have worked.

Oh, it looks like I still need to applique the clothespins, but that will not take long at all.

The pattern is called Wash Day by Coach House Designs. As usual, I modified it a little bit: I opted to use a white background, and only used the four-patch block as opposed to three different blocks as the patterns. I used HeatnBond Lite to fuse the shapes. I will not add a border; instead, will quilt and bind it.

I am pretty giddy with this finish. I will link it to Crazy Mom Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Quilt Shop Gal, Forth Worth Fabric Studio, Sew Fresh Quilts, and My Quilt Infatuation...

Before you go, don't forget to check block 11 of our City Girl Sew Along! Then, enjoy the weekend,

April 9, 2015

City Girl Sew Along Block #11

A swimming pool has interesting tiles all around its edge. These are my bright Pool Tiles, block #11 for the City Girl Sew Along. I used 2 Riley Blake Designs fabrics for this block. The dots at the center of the top right and bottom left blocks were fused and machine appliqued using blanket stitch.

What you will need:
Blue fabric: (1) 3-3/8" x 23" rectangle (above: RBD Mini Quatrefoil C345)
Orange fabric: (1) 4-1/2" x 17" rectangle (above: RBD Honeycomb Dots C800)
Sewing thread (Aurifil 50wt)
Applique thread (Aurifil 40 wt)
HeatnBond fusible web (or the one you currently use)
Erasable fabric marker

Cutting instructions:
Cut from blue:
(2) 3-3/8" squares
(8) 1-1/2" squares
(2) 1-1/8" circles (template included)
Cut from orange:
(4) 3-3/8" squares, then cut these in half diagonally to make 8 triangles
(2) 4-1/2" squares

How to make the block:
(Always use a 1/4" seam)

Trace template (click here to download template) onto the smooth side of the HeatnBond fusible web (for more details about working with fusible web, click here). Press it to the wrong side of the leftover scrap of blue fabric. Using sharp scissors, cut the circles, peel fusible web paper, and fuse them onto the center of each 4-1/2" orange square.

Using the erasable fabric marker, trace a diagonal line on the wrong side of each of the 8 1-1/2" blue squares. Place one of them, RST, on one of the corners of a 4-1/2" orange square. Pin and stitch (I usually stitch a couple of 'threads' to the right of the diagonal line to ensure that, when I flip the blue square, it will extend so the resulting square will still measure 4-1/2". Repeat for the other 3 corners, and the other orange rectangle. Press.

This is what your tiles should look like. At this point, go ahead and machine applique the circles.

Place one triangle, RST, over a 3-3/8" blue square and stitch them together (I fold the square to find the center of the edge where I am going to stitch the triangle, then I fold the longest side of the triangle to find its center; finally, I match the lines and stitch). Repeat by stitching another triangle to the opposite side. Press.

Repeat the same steps to add the triangles to the remaining sides. Do the same with the other blue square. Press.

To square this block, place the 1/4" line of your rule flush with the tip of the blue on-point square and trim. Repeat for the other sides and the other block.

If you can imagine a few of these blocks in a row, the alternating blue and orange squares would make a nice pool edge. Huhmm... another project for my list!

How are your blocks coming along? Send me photos and I will post them here next week. In the meantime, tomorrow I will show you a quilt top which is ready to be quilted. Until then, enjoy the evening.

April 3, 2015

Xmas in April

Yeah, maybe I am crazy but I wanted to show you this table runner I just finished. I had these Christmas panels which I did not want to cut. So...

I stitched the panels together, assembled the sandwich and went to work. I was really in the mood to FMQ but it took me hours and hours to do the stipple around the blocks with the tiny motif.  I used larger stipple inside each block and put the hollies on each corner. I did not draw the leaves, just FMQed them as I went along. The table runner measures 18-1/2" x 64".

For the backing I used this gorgeous fabric, which I also did not want to chop. My plan is to place the table runner backing side up during the whole winter, flipping to the front only during the month of December.

Look what I found when I went outside to take these pictures! I wish there were some itty bitty eggs in this very small nest. I will go back and take a sharper picture of the nest as soon as I am done with this post.

I am linking to Crazy Mom Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict. Before you go, don't forget the check out the latest block of the City Girl Sew Along. I think you will like it!

Happy Easter, everyone!

April 2, 2015

City Girl Sew Along - Block 10

Block #10 of the City Girl Sew Along is called "Garden Gate". The background fabric is Halle Rose by Riley Blake Designs - isn't it fantastic? I used Riley Blenders for the wrought iron gate applique. This block comes together easily so the tutorial is very brief. Are you ready?

What you will need:
(1) 8-1/2" square of background fabric
(1) 8-1/2" square of dark gray fabric for the gate
(1) 9" square of HeatnBond Lite (or other fusible web)
Sharp scissors
Matching thread for applique (this time I used dark monofilament)

How to do it:

Trace gate template (click here to download template) onto fusible web. Iron it to the back of the dark gray fabric (for more details on how to use fusible web, click here). Using sharp scissors, carefully cut template (I save all the fused fabric cut outs for other projects!).

Remove paper backing from wrought iron gate, place it over background fabric as shown above, and press it according to fusible web manufacturer's instructions. Trim pieces of gate that extend beyond background.

Using the dark monofilament and a small zigzag stitch, applique the gate onto background fabric. Since the applique shape had thinner lines, I opted for the small zigzag stitch instead of my go-to blanket stitch.

The first wall hanging I ever made using a much larger version of this template (see snippet of that quilt on the very top left corner of this page) was done differently: I prepared the background by gluing fabrics together to form my garden, fused the gate onto background, layered the quilt sandwich, then used monofilament and straight stitch to applique and quilt the gate at the same time.

Quick, huh? I think it looks great... Today the sky is gray so working with these gorgeous colors was a delight.

Don't forget to send me pictures of your blocks as you finish them. See ya!

March 31, 2015

Easy label for quilts

Today my son Christopher is turning 15. You read my post about the mini quilt I made for him (click here to see the post). What I did not share with you is how I labeled this beauty:

This is an iron-on patch made by STKR.IT. You may have used this on scrapbook projects, but you will love it on your quilted projects. I don't know about you, but when I bind a project, I am ready to be done with it. Wait, now I have to sew on (or finish stitching if I stitched two sides of it at the same time as the binding) the label!
 Iron-on StoryPatches for fabric crafts
With StoryPatches by STKR.IT I just had to iron the patch on (they also make a sew-on patch), then went to their website and clicked on the Play/Create tab. I was then prompted with two options: play a message (containing audio, video, photos) by entering the code at the bottom of the patch, or create a message by, again, entering a code. Since I wanted just a voice message (remember, this is for a teenager!), I actually recorded the message using my iPhone, emailed it to myself and saved it on my laptop. Once I clicked on the Play/Create tab and entered the patch code on the 'Create' box, it was easy to just add the message.

Do you want to try it? Go to www.stkrit.com, click on the Play/Create tab and enter the code shown on the photo above on the Play box: BFSQLBFWHK. This is the message that Chris heard this morning when I gave him the quilt. How cool is that? THE perfect way to label a gift for a tech-savvy teenager!

When I use the StoryPatches on my grandson's next quilt I will actually include a video message - he will see and hear me, as he does when we use Facetime or Skype. Otherwise, we will have to wait until he can read to be able to understand the scribbles on a quilt label. Finishing my quilt projects have just become easier. Yeah!

Here's hoping you are having a bright day,


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