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!
I recently attended a sewing and quilting event and saw the below amazing IRON ON Transfer Pens being demonstrated and decided I "NEED" them!
LOL, yes I definitely can use them.
Wow I am so excited about what I can do with them. Check out a picture of them below:
The above are pens I purchased, yes in all different packages because I wanted all of the colours the store had and therefore I had to settle for new and old packaging but they are by Sulky. (All are working great even older packaging).
Now you are wondering .... What to do with these??
I will show you below how they work first and in future posts, what I will be doing with them.
1. Draw out a black line design. There is a free PDF download of a maple leaf in the Shop/ Free PDF Patterns section of this website here. This is the design I am using first. You could use any design or stencil you already have as well. I have a project planned for the maple leaf so this is why I am using it. See below traced out black line design:
2. Cut out a piece of fabric you would like to transfer your design to. I am just going to use a piece of white fabric because I will later insert it into a project. See below:
3. Shake up your pen and draw over your black line design with a sulky iron-on transfer pen ( I used red for the first maple leaf).
4. Heat set your fabric with an iron. Simply iron over it to warm it up to prepare it to take the ink.
5. Press your image ink side down to right side of your fabric and press. Do not slide your image or iron, press in all areas of the design with a cotton heat setting (if using cotton). Works best with cotton and cotton/poly fabrics per instructions on package
6. Check it out below! The ink is vivid and red and lovely, I am really impressed.
7. So I pressed 2 more with the same inked image (inked only once!). The instructions states you can use the inked image 3-4 times.
8. I decided to use the pens as a marking tool only with this project. See how I satin stitched these leafs below:
Another wee project idea... use your quilting/scrap booking/craft stencils, ink the design directly onto paper (no black line drawing needed as the stencil is your guide) and then transfer to fabric. See below photos where I am using the ink purposely to make it be the design element. Its easy as 1, 2, 3
There are many possibilities with both of the leaf and blossom image, I could use them as quilt blocks, embellish something with them ... a pocket, a bag front, pillows, make quilt labels, home dec etc. The sky is the limit!
The important thing is these Sulky Iron-on Transfer Pens allow you to transfer images with ease and no printer required unless you want to search for images on line and use them. They are awesome!
Check back over the next few weeks to see what I do with the above images.
I hope I have inspired you today in some way!
Happy Tuesday ☀️Hoping for sun!
Need to make many "make ahead gifts" for Canada's 150th birthday celebrations? It's coming fast and furious this July 1- don't let the snow here is Canada fool you! Time has a crazy way of getting away from us.
This is a quick idea, a heat resistant pot holder. Tie on an authentically Canadian recipe, add food, decorations and activities and your party is planned!
I made these 10 pot holders for an upcoming ladies event I will be attending where we will be entertaining another group of ladies and the theme is Canada Day. The pot holders will be their take away gift. There is a free PDF download of the maple leaf appliqué available here.
To make the pot holders:
1. Cut a piece of backing fabric, Insul-Bright and front fabric - 9 x 9",
Cut one strip of binding fabric 2 1/2" x width of fabric
What is Insul-Bright?
Insul~Bright is a needle-punched, insulated material ideal for crafters. ... The needled material is breathable and won't break down with washing. The polyester fibers resist conduction while the reflective metalized polyester film reflects radiant energy, hot or cold, back to its source.
I know I have talked about this product before (ad nauseum!) but it is wonderful for use on pot holders, trivets, oven mitts etc. Anything where you need to protect your hands from heat. It is also relatively inexpensive and quilts just like quilt batting. I would never be without it!
If you follow my blog, this is what I used for my double ended oven mitts.
See what it looks like below:
2. Download my free maple leaf appliqué here or get it by clicking on the
"shop" in the menu above and look for free PDF patterns. Appliqué this with your method of choice to the front right side of your pot holder.
3. Sandwich all 3 layers together as cut, baste and quilt (mine are just wavy lines).
4. Add a binding and I added a loop with 6" of extra binding fabric (folded in 1/2) and integrated into one corner.
5. Attach a "Canadian" recipe with curling ribbon to the loop and you have a unisex gift ready! (Or make a Canadian Apron for those Macho men!)
I hope you enjoyed this wee tutorial!
Send in pics of your Canada gift ideas, July is coming (we hope after this Noreaster we are about to experience) and I will be happy to post and share!!
Happy Tuesday! 🍁
I hope you are enjoying your day!
I have been looking at my stash of kids and baby fabric lately and realize I need to use up some of this fabric just sitting around waiting for it to be used. So I am on to another "stash busting" project!
What better way than pillow cases? A pillow case uses up about 1 yard (close to 1 meter) of fabric and it's an easy way to have a gift ready for family. It does not have to be made out of "kids' only fabric. It can be made for people of all ages and you can personalize it with a name appliqued or embroidered on it if you like.
Todays tutorial is simply how to make the basic pillow case. This "tube" method is so fast and easy, I will never make a pillow case any other way!
This is the fabric I chose to get started with:
How to make the pillow case:
1) Chose 3 coordinating fabrics and cut 27"x width of fabric of main fabric (dinosaurs), 9" x width of fabric for a cuff, 2" x width of fabric of piping.
2) Lay the fabric on top of each other matching fold lines and cut off selvages through all layers so that you know that all 3 fabrics are exactly the same size.
3) Fold the 2" piping piece and the 9" cuff piece in 1/2 on the long side and press well with wrong sides together.
4) Open up your 9" cuff piece and lay it on a flat surface right side facing towards you.
5) Open up and lay your 27" main fabric right side facing up on top of the cuff fabric (I know this seems wierd with wrong side facing right but bear with me!). Match your raw edges.
6) Keep your 2" piping fabric folded and lay this piece on top of the other fabrics matching raw edges
7) Start to roll the bottom edge of your main fabric up from the bottom towards the top edge of all fabrics until you can see the cuff fabric showing underneath your fabric roll.
8) Carefully pick up the bottom edge of the cuff fabric and bring it over top the main fabric roll and piping fabric and pin this bottom edge through all 5 raw edges of the piping main and cuff fabric. You will have a "Tube"
9) Sew 1/4" from the pinned raw edge of the "TUBE"
10) You will now turn/pull your fabric through the tube to the right side
11) When it is all pulled out it should look like this:
12) Fold your pillow case now right sides together so that piping and cuff match at the sides and pin to secure.
13) Sew down the side and across the bottom with a 1/4" seam allowance (you could also serge it at this stage as well if you have a serger). If you sew, you may also want to zig zag your raw edges to avoid fraying after sewing.
14) Turn your pillow to the right side and you are done!
Admire your efforts!
Some Show and Tell:
Mabsy makes these frequently as gifts and now that I have discovered this method, I will too! (I know now why she loves to make them!!)
Using quality quilting cotton (boutique,quilt shop cotton) makes an even longer lasting pillowcase than a purchased one.
Choose fabric that is personality specific, embroider it and you have a wonderful gift and you have started to use up your stash!
Have a great Tuesday! Stay Warm⛄️😊
Starting my year off right with one of my resolutions....a reused/recycled project. This is a scissor/tool organizer from reused hot chocolate containers.
Read more to see the versatility of this project.
We are in the "thick" of hot chocolate season and there is no better beverage than a cup of steamy,sweet,delicious hot chocolate after all that snow shovelling! The City of Waterloo experienced the most snowfall in December 2016 compared to many years before. I now consider myself an authority on hot chocolate consumption!
If you have kids or grandkids, you may even go through more hot chocolate than we do.
This project is a way to start of the year gently with a project that is easy, very useful and involves reusing and recycling and there is no sewing required!
This project is a no brainer and I can thank my sister Alison for the idea. Thanks Alison!
Originally, Alison gave me the idea of making an eye glass organizer with these empty containers. If you are like us and at an age when we have multiple drug store glasses everywhere, then you would find this idea useful.
See the picture below:
The above eye glass organizer is made with an empty hot chocolate container, 4 toilet paper rolls and decorative "Duck" brand tape. It sits on the desk in my kitchen at all times and I have found it to be a great go to spot to keep my many pairs of classes (I actually think I need one in every room in the house and I am working on it).
There are some cool craft projects on the Duck brand website check it out here
Don't you just love the above "quilty" pattern? I am truly obsessed! Sorry, I cannot find the source for this but I think I purchased it at Walmart?
To make the striped scissor/tool organizer shown you will need:
A hot chocolate container 12 1/2" (32 cm) diameter and 5" (13cm) tall, strips of fabric 14" long (cut with a pinking shear or wavy rotary blade), 4 toilet paper rolls and...
Cheap school glue and a paint brush to apply the glue.
The inspiration for the colours in this hot chocolate container/organizer was fabric for roman shades I am making for my sewing studio see the fabric below:
How to make it:
1) Tear the label off your hot chocolate container and recycle the paper! If you cannot get the paper off thats ok as it will get covered. The fabric nd glue will just adhere better to the matte cardboard.
2) Start adding the strips by putting a dab of glue on the back center of your container and on the top of the strip and wrap it around over lapping it slightly, hold the fabric for a minute until it starts to feel like its holding.
It is that simple!
3) Keep adding strips until your container is covered with fabric
4) Insert 4 toilet rolls inside- they will fit tightly and may distort somewhat but thats ok, they are just there to support your tools and will not show once you have your container filled.
5) Fill it with tools such as scissors, rotary cutters, small rulers, pens, pencils, markers, craft supplies etc.
(*What to do with the plastic lid? It makes a great round plastic template for a circular applique or cut it up into shapes as a piecing template*
You have now recycled something, avoided the landfill and made a new purpose for it!
Make this in colours to suit your sewing room.
I hope you enjoy this quick and easy project.
Happy Tuesday! 😊
This just in! (10:24 am Tuesday January 10th) Mabsy has sent me 2 picture of recycle containers she made with dollar store sparkle gems! See below:
Way to go Mabsy! These are beautiful with the "bling" on them. Another unique way to look at this project. Thanks For Sharing!
Happy New Year and Happy January!
I am writing this post at the request of a friend nearby who saw my pouch sitting about in my studio and she said: "Why don't you do a blog post on that?"
This is for you Joan!
I am sure everyone will find it useful and lets face it totes, bags, pouches.... you can never have enough as they are so useful!
It also just happens to be that time of the year to get organized and these little totes are very helpful.
What you will need:
Note: your fabric can be any size you wish, pencil case sized, make up bag or a simple tissue tote size. You choose.
You will also need......
A zipper foot
Thread to match
How to make it:
3. Lay the right side of the other main fabric on the other right side of
the zipper and sew it with a zipper foot
4. Flip the whole project over and place the right side of the lining flush with the wrong side of the zipper and tape or pin in place. Sew on the previously sewn line with a zipper foot.
5. Do the same as in 4 with the other right side of lining fabric on the
other wrong side of the zipper.
6. Trim your zipper if necessary and make a new zipper stop by
zigzagging over the zipper end. Zigzag stitch all raw edges.
7. Press the lining and main fabric away from the zipper so that they look
like the pictures below, trim all edges so your project is now square:
8. With your zipper open, line up the project with right sides (main fabric
to main fabric and lining to lining together) and sew down the sides
and bottom with a ¼” seam allowance. Zig Zag stitch your raw
edges if you like. Your opening for turning will be your open zipper.
9. Turn your project to the right side through the zipper, tuck your lining inside the zipper.
10. Admire your efforts! Store pencils, pens, quilt markers, scissors,
makeup, nail polish, toiletries art supplies etc.
Get a head start on Christmas and gift giving in 2017 and make many of these handy pouches!!
Happy Tuesday, I hope the rainy weather (here in Waterloo, Ontario) is not affecting your creativity! 😊
Need a hostess gift? There is no time left for an elaborate project?
Christmas is coming upon us rapidly. Yikes!
The below project is super easy, a very useful gift and it will cost you very little. 4 wee coasters and a nice candle votive wrapped in basket wrap.
All you need is:
Scraps of Batting 4.5 x 4.5
Scraps of Fabric 4.5 x 4.5" square (8 of them for 4 coasters)
A piece of card board 3.75 x 3.75" square
One small votive candle holder ( I got mine at a gift shop for $3.00)
One small votive candle (to match your fabric)
A sewing machine
Thread to match your fabric
How to make them:
1. Make Littte Quilt Sandwiches: Lay batting down on a hard surface, lay fabric on top of the batting with the top fabric and backing fabric right sides together on top of the batting
2. Sew 1/4" around the perimeter of your quilt sandwich, leaving a 1.5" opening for turning.
3. Clip corners and turn your coaster to the right side.
4. Press and top stitch 1/8" from the edge to close your opening and make your square look finished. You can also quilt in the center if you like.
5. Make 3 more
6. Pile all 4 coasters on top of your card board neatly and place a votive candle holder and candle on top (this will support your votive candle)
7. Wrap with basket wrap and secure with curling ribbon
Voila! A very useful and pretty hostess gift made in the "Nick" of time!
Happy Tuesday! Merry Christmas Preparations!🌲
It has snowed and snowed in Waterloo! I have not been as inspired to make snowflake decor for some reason ( I think it is because I am shovelling exhausted!!)
My daughter Katie on the other had has completed a blog post about crochet'ed Snow Flakes she made as part of her window decor. She is currently residing in Kitimat, BC Canada. See photos below:
Recently, It had snowed there a lot!
The link on how to make these gorgeous hand crocheted snow flakes is here
We don't have to "dream of a white Christmas" in Waterloo this year, it will definitely be white!
Stay Warm Everyone!⛄️
Hi everyone, I just wanted to share with you a post from a talented little lady! My daughter! Katie is in BC as some of you know and has no family there so she and her fiance are trying to create some of their own little family of 2 traditions.
The photo below shows the advent calendar she created to enjoy the season with her partner.
Such a great idea. Little gift bags with goodies and each day of December's date on them until Christmas. Also very ambitious, but as she tells me some of the gifts are notes with activities in them -so not so expensive.
I know we only have a few weeks left but would this not be fun for the days until Christmas when you have visitors?
Or use this idea next year for sure!!
Romantic, ambitious, creative, yes that is my Katie.
Enjoy! the link to her website is here
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!🌲🌲🌲
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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