Sorry folks, I have been away for a few days because of recent trunk shows in New Market (Region of York Quilters Guild) and Cambridge- Busy Hands. I was also teaching in Barrie, completing some custom quilts and some wedding prep for our family (my daughters) wedding June 24 (Yikes).
Also, I just recently I found out I have a pinched nerve in my neck.
The good news is I will survive, albeit I have been told to take it easy !!
I am finding that this is not an easy thing to do! Just not in my nature!!
Remember these pens I spoke about in the previous post and the Maple Leaf satin stitch block I did with them?
As you can see above I made them into a simple tote. I thought I would share how I made it ....
and a great technique for making ultra simple and strong handles for all bags!
Simple Tote Tutorial
What you will need:
Front of bag:
10 3/4" square, orphan block or make the Maple Leaf Block shown above from blog post 05/02/2017
2 Strips 3 1/2" x width of fabric for sashings around block
Back of Bag:
16 3/8 x 16 3/8" square of fabric for back of bag
34 x 18" piece of batting
32 3/8" x 16 3/8" rectangle of fabric
2- 3 1/2 x 20" rectangles of fabric
2 Pieces of webbing (nylon or cotton) 1" x 20"
How to make this simple tote:
Cut your 2- 3 1/2" strips for block sashing as follows:
Cut 2 strips 16 1/2 x 3 1/2", cut 2- 10 3/4" x 3 1/2"
Sew the 2- 10 3/4" strips to the vertical sides of the block, see below:
Sew the 16 1/2" strips to the top and bottom of your block, see below:
Your front of bag is completed, square it up to 16 3/8" x 16 3/8"
Sew your back square fabric to the bottom of the front square right sides together. See below:
Quilt your top only to the batting with any pattern you desire, I just meandered mine. You could also just use fusible interfacing if your do not want to quilt it. Interfacing will give it body as well. See below:
Fold your quilted/interfaced bag front in 1/2, right sides together and sew up the side seams. See below:
To box the bottom of your bag, mark a line 1" Up from the bottom corners of your bag on both sides. Sew on these lines and clip corners. See below:
Fold your lining piece right sides together and sew up one side. On the other side sew, leaving a 3" gap for turning. Box the bottom corners as you did for the outside of the bag. See below:
To make your handles, pin your webbing piece in the centre of your 3 1/2" x 20" handle fabric (wrong side) and sew it down the centre. See below:
Press one side down 1/4", see above photo:
Press the raw edge over the webbing, See below:
Press the 1/4" folded edge on top of the raw edge as below:
Top stitch to catch folded edge and alternate side (about 1/8" from edge). See below:
I was able to machine stitch through all layers like butter. If you have any issues with the thickness, change your needle to a top stitch or jeans needle as they will be stronger than quilting needles. Make 2 handles this way. You now have 2 very strong handles and it's a simple method for all bags. These handles are also very flexible.
Pin and sew your bag handles onto the right side of your bag front and back 5" in from the corner on the right and left side & 1/8" from the top of the bag. Make sure your handles do not get twisted. See below:
Insert the outside of your bag (right side facing out) inside the lining with right sides together. This will seem weird but trust me it works. See below:
Make sure the handles are facing down and pin all side seams to match, pin around the top edge of the bag and sew. See below:
Using the gap you left in the lining pull your outside of the bag through the opening. See below:
Once you have the entire bag out, tuck the lining back inside the bag, it's permanent home! Sew the gap closed on the lining inside by hand or by machine, your choice.
Press the lining down towards the inside and top stitch all around the top edge of the bag to finish your bag.
Admire your efforts!
🍁You now have a sturdy bag to go to the beach, holiday or celebrate Canada Day!
I sincerely hope you enjoyed this simple tote tutorial and that you will try my handle method!
Happy Friday! Enjoy some lovely weather this holiday weekend!
Want/need to know what to do with Fat Quarters? Read all about it and feast your eyes on 5 great,easy and inspiring projects here.
Quilters are crazy about fat quarters! That is a fact!! There should be a National Fat Quarter Day! Yes, I am getting carried away!
If you are reading this and don't know what a "FQ" is, they are 18 x 22" cuts of fabric- a wide 1/4 yard. As apposed to buying a 1/4 yard 9 x 45" piece of fabric. Now when you go to a quilt shop, you will shop "informed".
Essentially, if you are piecing, fat quarters provide the perfect size for a variety of quilting and sewing patterns because you are getting a wider piece of gorgeous fabric!
Quilters sometimes build their stash on fat quarters so that they can have a small and relatively inexpensive sampling of pretty awesome fabrics.
If you are a FQ collector, you know they multiply like rabbits!
This is the time to put them to good use and bust your stash!!
So what to do with FQ's? Hmmmmm .........
1. Make tote bags, 18 x 22" is a great size for one side of a tote bag, use another FQ for the other side and some yardage for handles and lining and you have used up some great fabric! Who doesn't need more bags?
or ....Check out this "Strip Happy Fat Quarter Tote" from Connecting Threads
2. Make Aprons, they are useful, great gifts for young and old and you can personalize them with fabric that suits your cook! Craftsy.com has a whole bunch of cute and free pattern links here.
3. Make large quilts, yes many FQ's make light work of a large quilt! So if you purchased a variety of Fat Quarters from the same designer or similar colour way, they make beautiful quilts. See the pretty floral quilt below from www.allpeoplequilt.com and get the free pattern for "Flower Show" here
4. Make place mats, place mats are a great way to dress up your table, make it seasonally beautiful, create a warm atmosphere and use up those FQ's! You can make them reversible like the ones below, The FQ fabric is on the back and featured in the hexies on the front.
The below place mats I made as class samples for a free motion quilting class that I taught at Simcoe Sew and Quilt in Barrie, Ontario (2015). There is a free download for the "Easy Piped Binding" that I sewed on them here or check out my shop page under free PDF patterns :)
5. Make baby quilts, they require smaller pieces of fabric and can "feature" your fat quarters. I don't know about you but I love cute baby prints, farm animals, zoo animals, baby elephants, dump trucks, cute girly flowers etc.
Drumroll please....... Introducing my Newest Pattern to feature baby FQ's...... It is called "Featuring Baby"
My "Featuring Baby" Quilt Pattern features the use of just one FQ and shows you how to incorporate that one pretty baby FQ you have in your stash into a cute, modern and easy baby quilt!
The pattern shows you how to make easy 4 patches, pinwheels and square in a square blocks and the measurements to use up all of one FQ!
I have made the quilt samples up into 2 colour ways to inspire you. Look at your FQ stash of baby prints, pick out one FQ you love and download my "Featuring Baby" Quilt Pattern here
I'm thinking you know what to do with FQ's, let your imagination do it's work and use up that fabric in 2017. Make room for more, there are so many great designers of fabric out there, creating and producing more of that luscious fabric. Almost as good as a box of chocolate covered caramels! Less calories that's for sure!
FYI, more great news!
I am now accepting payments through the below payment options for my customers at check out in the shop at the top on the menu above.
Have a great Wednesday! 😊
This super easy "ornament" shaped hot pad makes an affordable gift for all the cooks on your list this Christmas!
At this time of the year we all have the Christmas parties to go to, last minute gifts to give to hostesses, teachers, neighbours, hair stylest etc.
This project is perfect because: 1) It takes very little time to make 2) It takes very little fabric 3) It provides immediate gratification 4) It is reversible 5) It is very practical and ..... 6) It is a holiday oriented project by virtue of the fact that it looks like a Christmas ornament.
If you are an experienced sewist, this is a half hour project. If you are a beginner and have an hour to spare, that's all the time it will take to finish one! The more you make, the faster you get it done!!
How to Make a Christmas Ornament Hot Pad:
You will need:
1) Sandwich your backing wrong side up with the batting and insulbright on top facing towards you (you can baste this sandwich with pins or 505 basting spray if you wish)
2) Press layers together with an iron
3) If adding strips audition your layout
4) Lay #1 strip 2" down from the top edge of your quilt sandwich right side facing up, lay #2 strip on top of #1 right sides together with top edge matching, quilt through all layers 1/4" . (For experienced sewists- you are strip quilting as you go the entire 10 x 11" piece leaving a 2" space at one end)
5) Press # 2 strip up and away from #1, continue with the rest of the strips until the rest of the 11" length is filled with strips of fabric
*** You can also use just an entire piece of Christmas fabric that is 10 x 11" if you do not want a striped ornament***
6) Add the silver or gold ornament hanger fabric by first ironing one 3 1/2" edge under towards the wrong side 1/4". Lay the raw edge of the non ironed side flush with the top strip right sides together and sew with a 1/4" seam allowance through all layers as you did all the other coloured strips.
7) Press towards the top and away from all the other strips
8) Fold this silver/gold fabric over the remaining batting and tug on the fabric so that the folded edge lays beyond the sewing line on the back that you created in 6). Pin along the pressed edge to hold in place and sew through all layers, stitch in the ditch from the front seam on the silver/gold fabric seam you just created. (you should catch the pressed edge all the way along to secure)
9) Using the free pattern PDF pattern download found here (also found in the Free PDF pattern download section of the "SHOP" tab above) Trace out your ornament shape using a frixion or erasible fabric pen and start cutting it out thoough all layers
10) It is time to bind your project now. Bind as you would a quilt starting with the bias binding sewn to the right side of your bulb and sew slowly to allow for the curve and a 1/4" seam allowance, sewing and stopping at the top of your silver fabric. Tack a few stitches back and forth.
11) You now need to make a 6" loop for the top of your ornament (also useful to hang on a nob or hook in your kitchen)
To make this loop with your right side of your project facing you and the binding folded edge tucked towards the back of your fabric, you will fold the raw edge of the binding toward the center of the binding for 6" beyond the top of the grey fabric and press. See photo below.
12. Fold again to create a finished edge that looks like the photo below, fold and press for 6"
13) Pin and top stitch the loop close to the edge with matching thread, stopping at the 6" mark
14) Resume the sewing of your binding onto the other side of your silver section making sure the fabric is not twisted and laying the raw edge of the binding against the right side edge of your project. Finish of your binding as you would on a quilt.
15) Wrap the folded edge of your binding to the back and sew by hand or machine as you wish to complete your binding and......TA DA!
Admire your efforts!
Happy Tuesday, Happy Christmas Sewing!🌲🌲🌲
Over the next few weeks I will be sharing with you projects which are oriented to gift giving, getting ready for the holiday season and utilizing ric rac as a trim.
You are probably thinking, ric rac is a bit too retro?
I think it's fun to incorporate this trim on projects! That's my story and I am sticking to it!! It is a trim that can appear modern and fun or vintage... you choose.
The story of ric rac (also spelled rickrack & ricrac) goes back to the 1800's.
Ric rac has been described as a flat narrow zig zag shaped braided trim used for clothing and curtains. Before the popularity and availability of sewing machines and sergers it was used to conveniently finish the edges of fabric.
This trim became popular and peaked in use in the 1970's, at the time of "Little House in the Prairie" and likely as I surmise, along with the increased use of the home sewing machine.
Any way I cut it, ha ha pardon the pun! I like it for the following reasons:
Now on to the project at hand......
Double Ended Oven Mitts, so handy to hang conveniently on your oven. No need to hide these beauties away!
A great gift for the chef/baker in your family or keep to use for your kitchen!
I am keeping mine, I need it for upcoming Christmas decor and baking.
What you will need:
How to make your double ended oven mitts:
mitten front rounded areas.
5. Baste at the edge of 2 of the mitten fronts, the 2 pieces of ric rac to the
straight edge of the mitten. See below:
6. Attach the trim piece (3 x7") right side down to the ric rac and sew
with a 1/8" seam allowance
7. Repeat for the other pocket as in 6 above.
8. Sew the back of the front pocket to the other side of the trim (green) as
shown below (right sides together). Make 2 of these
9. Applique or embellish if you wish now on the ric rac side of the front
pocket. See below:
I cut out some owls, fused them with fusible web
and used invisible thread to appliqué them.
10. Fold your mitten fronts over the 7 x 8 1/4" pieces of batting. (Batting
sandwiched on the inside of the mitten) Trim if necessary.
Stitch in the seam ditch between the trim and the ric rac and sew all
around the outside edge of the pocket to hold together- 1/8" in from
the edge. Repeat for the second pocket.
12. Bind with pre-prepared bias, 2 1/2 double fold binding using a 1/4" seam allowance. Bind as you would a quilt! See below:
You are now ready to put your double sided oven mitts to great use or save them for someone special this Christmas.
Doesn't that ric rac look adorable!!
Happy Baking and Happy Tuesday!
FYI everyone, Connecting Threads has been sending out emails with the slogan "52 weeks of Free Exclusive Patterns".
So...... I went to their website to see what it is all about and there are absolutely free wonderful patterns to download including the ones below.
Click here to look at the free patterns and simply download them to your computer and use at a later date.
Each week this year they will be introducing a new free pattern, you cannot get better than free and be inspired weekly. So mark your calendar to remember to check back often.
They also currently have a vast array of quilting colouring books at 20 to 35% off! Check them out if you are interested.
Have a great week everyone and Happy Monday!😊
It's the month of LOVE so of course I'm thinking Valentines Day Projects. This one I am calling Crayon Applique! For real!
I love doing seasonal projects and I attended a mini workshop at my Elmira Needle Sisters Group last week and one of our members demo'd how to use crayons on fabric. I had done this years ago as a demo and it was a pleasant reminder of a very nice technique, so I thought I would share it with my followers.
1) The first thing you do is find a black line image you like, colouring books an the internet are great resources for this. Raid your grandchildren's colouring books ha, ha (I'm sure they would be happy to share). Or buy one of those new therapeutic adult colouring books.
My image is below:
2) IronFreezer paper wax side down on the wrong side of the fabric as it helps to keep your fabric firm as you colour.
3) Once your fabric has cooled, with a Frixion pen (this pen disappears with heat and is wonderful for quilting/sewing projects), trace the image onto light coloured fabric, you can use a light box if you wish. I traced only the areas that were going to receive the crayon first.
4) Colour in your letters/images with Prang Crayons (Prang are recommended as their pigment is excellent and works well with fabric). I used them at the demo last week and then ordered them and used them on this project and they are wonderful. The colour intensity is great and the fabric still feels soft after you colour with them. You can also use crayola, but do not use any other brands as the pigment may not be permanent. See below they are only $2.59 Cdn for a box of 24!
5) Turn your iron on cotton setting and turn image crayon side down onto 2-3 layers of paper towel (this will protect your ironing board and iron and absorb the wax). Press for about 20 seconds all over the crayoned area. The excess wax will melt into the paper towel and the heat will seal the pigment into your fabric.
6) You may also wish to stabilize your fabric at this point prior to tracing any more items. I stabilized my image and satin stitched around my letters and free motion stitched my branches and birdies
7) Make into a pillow, stretch over a canvas, make a wall hanging, quilt as desired, add buttons or embellish, it's ready for gift giving ( would be a cute shower gift too!)
Hi Everyone, I got many requests for the pattern for my 8 Pointed Star Quilt I posted in Saturday Jan 30th, I taught this as a beginner class many years ago in Windsor. It was not a copyrighted pattern at the time, but I cannot locate it, so I have just drawn in up inEQ 7 (Electric Quilt 7) and am providing the layout below.
This quilt is made up simply of squares and 1/2 square triangles including the border! Very easy to make and suitable for a beginner. Give it a try!!
How to make it:
1/2 Square Triangles
Make 1/2 Square triangles by placing a 5 7/8" light fabric square with a dark fabric square right sides together, draw a line diagonally through the centre, pin and sew 1/4" out on either side of the line, cut down the centre only.
This tool below makes marking so easy and highly recommended:
Half-square and quarter-square triangle blocks are quick and easy with the Quick Quarter tool. Use the Quick Quarter II for marking multi-stitched triangle-squares. Simply place fabric squares right side together, mark center cut line and 1/4" seam allowances, sew and cut. Have a look at where to get it here
Once all your blocks are cut and pressed lay them out on a flat surface to audition the lay out and then pin each square and 1/2 square triangle together from left to right and sew in horizontal rows (including the border) from the top down and quilt and bind as desired. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and that you can make use of this pattern. Enjoy
I drew this up in Electric Quilt Today on my Mac, its available for PC's as well, it's wonderful and affordable software for quilt designing! If you think it would help you have a look at it below:
Happy Monday Everyone, January is done!!
Have a fantastic week :)
Hi everyone, I'm sure you are all busy with the last minute preparations that this time of the year brings.
I will be brief today, I Just wanted to share this with you. Beverly from Alabama USA sent me a lovely email thanking me for sharing my free pattern through Craftsy.com, you can check it out here or download it for free in my shop area on this website. Beverly made the table runner above for her daughter but decided not to do the quilt as you go method. I am honoured that she was inspired by my pattern. Her colours are vivid and really pretty. Her daughter is certainly a lucky lady!
Great job Beverly and thanks so much for sharing your photo and efforts!!
I encourage everyone who follows my blog to send me photo's of anything they have made as a result of following www.quiltingintheloft.com over the past year, I am happy to post and share as it too inspires others.
Also check out www.craftsy.com for their classes, they are wonderful!
Happy Monday! Only 4 more sleeps!!
What tools do you use to help you to make things? I use classes that I take, quilting and sewing tools, a sewing machine of course, my own purchased patterns and free ones available on the internet of course etc. etc. etc.
Craftsy.com has an article about 7 Free patterns for DIY hostess gifts and in my opinion, gifts in general.
Craftsy.com is very supportive of artists who write their own patterns and encourage them to share their patterns on their website.
Although Craftsy is a business, in addition to making $ via their website and through artists who contribute to it, their support serves to assist up and coming crafters and artists who make their living via their talents to achieve success!
I encourage you to check out this blog post where ironically they have my free pattern as their #1 DIY hostess gift. WOW I feel special!
Thank you Craftsy.com and check out this blog post, you may find some last minute ideas to make this Christmas season. Check out the post here
Craftsy also has a deep discounts on classes, a great last minute gift! Check it out here
Isn't that an unusual and very precise block? I thought it was appropriate at this time of the year as it has a significant star in the centre and this is the month of the significant star!
Yes it is English Paper Pieced. Did you know that most blocks can be English Paper Pieced? Because they are shapes, card stock templates can be made from them and then the fabric can be wrapped around the shape to baste it in place.
So..... if you like something to keep your hands busy in the evening while watching TV or listening to music, English Paper Piecing is wonderful. Hexi piecing is all the rage right now and this is the same "EPP" technique. Check out the photos below to see how I put it together:
After the pieces are slip stitched together, the entire block will be pressed well and the basting will be removed once it is sewn into a project. This "project" will be revealed to followers of www.quiltingintheloft.com blog at a later date.
Wouldn't this be great with corners added for a pretty pot holder or made larger for a centre piece or candle mat ... or an entire quilt, the possibilities are endless and that is what is great about making blocks :)
Want to give it a try? Download the free PDF pattern in the shop/free PDF patterns section of this web site, use the menu above to navigate to it. Print the pattern out on card stock. Cut your fabric pieces out a scant 1/4" bigger than your card stock. Baste the fabric to the card stock and slip stitch the pieces together. If you need help with the piecing there are many tutorials about EPP on the Internet. I recommend you make use of these tutorials if you are unsure. I sewed the block above together in an evening while watching "The Voice" - that means you can do it too!
Enjoy and Happy Wednesday!
Hi I'm Robin and I am a professional long arm quilter, pattern designer and teacher. I am passionate about all things quilty!
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