Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sewn Spaces Swap

Okay, Okay,  I know.  I shouldn't join to many swaps, but this one is for a sewing machine cover.  I've always wanted one.  I've even designed one for me and one for my daughter.  Life got in the way and they never got made.  So I thought I could use that design for this swap and maybe make myself one.  Go figure, my partner likes a different kind of quilting then I do.  This made me stretch my expertise.  I used EQ7 to design this paper pieced raccoon. Then I posted him to Sewn Spaces Swap on Flickr as a tease for my partner.  He was a big hit.

I haven't sewn him together but I think he will work.  I didn't want him to be alone in the center front of the sewing machine cover.  It's way to wide for that.  So today I went back to the EQ7 and used Custom Set for the first time.  First I had to design a square block for part of the tree I wanted.  I then completed the tree after I had started the layout design.  Because the designs over lap I needed to make part of the tree outside a normal square design.  Here is the results.

Now to pick out fabrics and get it sewn.  I still have to do something for the back.  Any suggestions.  I was thinking of maybe doing the same scene with a fall tree.  But maybe some smalls birds flying would be right.  I have until May 13th to get this finished and  in the mail.  I still need to design and exicute two Anything But Square potholders for Potholders Pass, another swap group on Flickr.  That is due by May 13th also.

Then there is the Bitty Block Committee.  This group exchanges in groups of 12 bitty blocks with a theme.  I joined the Sweets exchange.  The blocks are 3.5" unfinished.  This maybe too small for me. I felt I owed it to my BFF in Texas because she joined like the other 3 groups because I did.  LOL  This group is due on May 10th.  Come back soon to see what I am doing on these three groups.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Square Pincushion with out a Sewn in Gusset

Yesterday I spent an hour or so, sewing my Argentine Hexies together. Belief it or not, after over 25 years in quilting I have never done this before. My BFF in Texas helped me find a website that shows how to do this. I wasn’t smart enough to save the address, but have noticed several good ones listed. Just pick one. Anyway, here is the results.

I then decided to make a square pincushion and applique this to the top. Problem here, I don’t like to sew in gussets. I will do almost anything to not have to sew one in. All the patterns available show gussets. Then I remembered that when making a bag, you can make square bottoms with out a gusset. I talked it over with BFF in Texas. She’s not a big bag maker so wasn’t familiar with this technique but told me to go for it. So I just dug in and made a try at it. Here it is

Okay, it’s square but too small and too tall. But my technique worked to make a box. You can see the cross seams that make a flat square into a box. Now I’ll show you a step by step guide on how to do this.
With the experiment I started with two 5” squares both interfaced with a light interfacing. I sewed the cross seams ¾” from the corner. The experiment ended up to be 3” across and 1¾” tall. So I started the same 5” with the final one. Had a problem with that because the upholstery fabric I was using shrunk while pressing. So I added some of the camel fabric to fill it out then topstitched in blue to match the upholstery fabric.
You can see that I had to do this twice in order to make my 5”. Here is how I did the interfacing after the fact.
Here is the first step to making the pincushion, sew together the top and bottom fabrics leaving a 1” opening. Don’t worry about the corners because they will be cut off during the next step. In a corner pull the front away from the back.

Then reposition so that the seams are together with the allowance going in opposite directions. Using a ruler mark a line where the pincushion equals 1”. I used a line on the ruler above my stitching to keep the ruler straight with the pincushion. Repeat for all 4 corners, backstitching at the stop and start of each. Cut each corner ¼” from stitching.
Have you noticed yet that I forgot to interface the backing fabric. I had 3 corners sewn before I noticed this. Undid them and redid them. Ugh!!!
Here is the little pillow I created using this technique. Notice the corners have already been cut.
Time to stuff it with you favorite stuffing. I used crushed walnut shells. This is available at your local pet store in the bird or lizard section. It is commonly used as liter. This will weight the pincushion so that it won’t tip over and is cheaper than the emery we have been taught to use. Be careful some people are allergic to nuts and this stuffing can be hazardous to them. One of the ladies in our pincushion swap bought a bag and stuffed her giveaway pincushion just to have her eyes start watering and her nose running She also started swelling all over. She had to ask a friend to sew the pincushion closed so she could mail it on time.
I like to stuff mine so that nothing else fits into the cushion. Here’s mine:
The finished size on the second one ended up to be 3 ½” square by 1½” tall.
Well I’ll have to do something else with those hexies. They just didn’t look right on this pincushion so I just put a button on the top and bottom and called it finished. I also have the prototype to use yet. Oh well maybe the next swap.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hedgehog from Buenos Aires/Scrappy Pincushion Swap

Look who flew in today all the way from Buenos Aires. You guested it, it's from Sandy in Buenos Aires, my partner in the Scrappy Pincushion Swap.  I didn't know who she was or what she was sending me until he flew in.  Isn't he cute? I also recieved a little pouch filled to the brim with little, hexies. Can't wait to make something with them.

I was worried that he was lost. But he told me it's a long ways from Argentina!! I'll bet it is. Thank you Sandy!!! I love him!! He's well worth the wait. I will use that little pouch for my thimble. 

Isn't he cute? He's resting now from his long, long journey. Then I will put is a place of honor, where I can see him every day. Thanks again, Sandy.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sewing Room/Studio

I have joined another swap. Bad Girl, Bad Girl!!! These swaps keep me honest. They help to keep me motivated and working everyday. This swap is Sewn Places Swap and we have secret partners we are supposed to make a sewing machine cover for. They have given us our partners likes and dislikes but they have also asked that we take pictures of our sewing room and post a link to them. This should be very fun. So here we go, I’ll explain what you are seeing as I go along.
South Wall: This is my cutting table. It adjusts to any height and can even be on a slant for a drawing board. This table can also be made smaller. It has 3 sizes, this is the full size. I have yet to put anything on this wall. Well, I’ve only been here since last September. Still settling in. Notice the rolling drawers. I have them everywhere so my supplies are always within reaching distance. I have them in my computer room too.

West Wall: My design wall is behind the door. LOL It’s pretty large though. This is the start of the Rudolfo quilt. I need to get back to that. Notice you can see the edge of the ironing board and the cutting table. This room is about 12x10 and I came from a room that was 20x20. Most of my stuff is stored in another room. My computer is now across the house in another room. Couldn’t be helped. This is a small house built in 1952 which has several added on rooms. Lots of rooms but all of them are small.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Blooming Bag Finished!!!!

Here is the finished bag/purse with attached phone caddy. Isn’t it grand?!!! I just love it. It stands on it’s own because of all the interfacing and batting I used. Can’t wait to put it to use. I’ll keep it for special places.  I also may make one in a different color and let the shape of the bag show better. Maybe some gromments this time.

Blooming Bag work continues......

I have sewn together the front and back of the bag/purse along with the lining. Then I sewed the lining to the purse leaving a gap which to turn with. That was a chore, but doable. Isn’t it a unique shape? The flaps on each side are going to be turned down around a square ring. Then the shoulder strap will also be wrapped around that ring.

Next step is to tackle the problem of the magnetic snaps. They are nice on the side the snap shows but have to be covered over on the other if showing. So….the snap on the front of the purse is ok because the ugly side is inside the purse. I want to put 3D flowers on the front of the bag as shown. A button can’t be sewn over the snap, it’s too big. So I made a 13” tube, interfaced of course. Folded one end so that it was pleasing it to eye. Leaving one fold open, then inserted the snap. Finished folding the strap and topstitched the folds down. I then inserted the other end into the back where I had left the opening for turning. Pinned it in place and topstitched around the entire purse opening. Viola!!!! I now have a nice decorative closure and the snaps are covered up.

I had some angst over the shoulder straps. Should I do as planned and fold over the rings or should I add gromments and tie the strap to the purse. Then where would I attach my phone caddy? Back to the original idea but dropped the idea of a fancy strap. The flowers dress it up enough. Time to stop!! Next the finished purse!!!!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Phone Caddy Clasps

I used magnetic snaps for the flap’s closer, then hid the snap back with a 3D flower. How I love 3D flowers. LOL Yes this is the same flower that I put on my partner’s pincushion in the Scrappy Pincushion Swap. I originally intended them for the Blooming purse but couldn’t resist using them on the pincushion too.

The second picture is of the way I intend to attach the caddy to my purse. It is a lobster claw strap attachment. The purse will use square rings to attach the strap and I will attach the caddy onto that ring.

Blooming Bag’s Phone Caddy Finished!!!

Ta Da!!! The finished phone caddy!!! This picture has my phone in it with my phone fob attached. That great cat bead was purchased from She has a great selection of glass beads, especially animals. You can even email her a picture of your favorite animal and she will try to duplicate it.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Romance Series Free Applique Pattern

I have created a series of applique patterns to offer here as a free giveaway.  Below is a picture of the first block offered.  It is done in 8" format but has directions to increase the size to 12" blocks.  For a PDF file click here.
Come back on the 10th of every month and download another pattern.  Hope to see you here.

Blooming Bag Continues

I have spent the morning trying to come up with a name for my new purse. Just to name it the simple name of Blooming Bag. Was it frustration that made me choose this name? Yes, yes, yes!!!! I’m not very good with naming my work. Well, back to the bag.

I don’t know about you but I hate shopping. It means I have to get dressed in better clothes and drive to the store. Ugh!!! I needed a metal zipper for the hidden pocket on this bag/purse. I have several used zippers I have gotten from my mom, all too long. So I went online and found this site here that had a tutorial of how to shorten a zipper. It took only minutes to shorten the zipper from 18” to 7”. I will save the extra zipper pieces for another project. I’m going green.
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