April Star Block Bee

Two more star blocks for my Star Block Bee! April’s Queen Bee wanted the Star Crossed Block from Don’t Call Me Betsy. It whipped up fast! It’s a great block if you want something fun, colorful and quick for a gift quilt.  I also enjoyed working in Tula Pink’s Salt Water line. I have had my eye on it for a while!

April 002 April 001I especially like the hegagon print, it cuts up nicely into small pieces and still maintains the movement of color in the print. The seahorses would be great to fussy cut with.

For May we are taking a short break, then it may be my turn in June! I haven’t quite decided what to do. I am going with a fuchsia, chocolate and tangerine color way, mostly inspired by the Citrus colorway of Madrona Road.

I am leaning towards the Swoon Block. It is 24″ finished, but I thought instead of asking for two 12″ blocks, I would ask for one 24″ block and it all works out about even.  It would be 12 blocks big instead of 9, so I might add some large pieced borders and make it a California King for our room. Maybe some feather quilting. We will see.

Up next on my list is the Hoffman Challenge quilt for 2013. It is due in July, so I should really get cracking!

Have yourselves a Quilty Day!

Easy Charm Pack Quilt Tutorial

At the Creative Stitches show last month I picked up a couple charm packs that were on sale for a great price. I was super excited to find a pack of Ten Little Things by Jenn Ski for Moda. I needed to make a little boy quilt, and Ten Little Things is the perfect collection for a little boy, regardless of whether you have the panels or not.

I looked for a pattern or tutorial to make a baby/toddler quilt with just one charm pack and a few fat quarters, Moda Bake Shop has quite a few excellent tutorials and freebies, but I couldn’t find one that seemed just right. I decided it was long past due for a tutorial here and drafted one up.

I drafted out what I wanted in EQ7 and started cutting. I chose Kona Snow for my sashing and borders, mostly because you can get a full 45″ long strip from Kona after you trim it, and push it to 45 1/2″ if you don’t mind a little selvage in your seams.

Its the Ten Little Things Toddler Quilt!

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Materials

1 Charm Pack

10 Fat Quarters for backing, binding and HST’s

1.5 yards Kona Snow (or other Kona Solid) for sashing and border

1.25 yards batting

Layout Sheet

The layout sheet is a good visual reference to have on hand for the placement of your squares, the layout of the diagonal strips and the orientation of the filler triangles.

Cutting Chart

Kona Solid

Cut 14 strips 2.5″xWOF

From the  strips cut the following lengths;

1-5: 9 @ 5″ (45 total from 5 strips)

6: 3 @ 5″, 2 @ 9.5″, 2 @5.5″7: 2@22.5″

8-9: 1@36″

10-13: 1@45″

14: 2@10.5″

Set the sashing strips aside.

Cut 2 Strips 3″xWOF for horizontal borders

Cut 3 Strips 5″xWOF for Vertical Borders. Cut one of the strips in half and sew one half to each of the remaining two strips, sewing so close to the selvedge that the seam allowances are all selvedge. This will give you the most usable non-selvedge fabric in your border possible. ( I sew my seam exactly on the dotted lines)

Set the Border Strips Aside.

Fat Quarters:

From 8 Fat Quarters cut 1 5.5″ Square (8 total). Draw a line from corner to corner an stay stitch 1/4″ from either side of the line.

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This will help keep the quilt from stretching on the bias as it is sewn together. Cut the 8 squares in half to make 16 Half Square Triangles . Set Aside.Ten Little Things Quilt Tutorial 042

Square up the remainder of the 8 fat quarters. Keep all the selvages and scraps.

Charm Pack:

Remove 3 squares from your Charm Pack (or the amount needed to) leaving 39 remaining.  Cut 2 of those in half and set aside as Half Charm Triangles. Keep the last charm square for a fun label background.

Instructions

Make your long sashing pieces as follows:

1. Sew the two 10.5″ strips to two of the 45″ strips to make the 55″ sashes.

2. Sew the two 5.5″ stips to the remaining two 45″ strips to make the 50″ sashes.

Set the 9.5″, 22.5″, 36″, 50″ and 55″ sashes aside.

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Long Sashing Strips

Using the chain piecing technique, sew the 2.5″x5″  strips to one side of the 39 charm squares. Press seams open or towards the darker fabric.

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Using the layout page provided plan the placement of your blocks, or, if you wish, make it random. Start sewing your rows.

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My “design wall” on paper =)

Makes 2 rows of 1 charm square: Sew a 2.5″x5″ strip RST to the charm square on the opposite side of the first sash. Take 2 HST and sew one to either ends of your row so the long angles (hypotenuses) are pointing in the same direction. Trim

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Make 2 rows of 3 charm squares: Sew three charm squares RST, square to sash. Sew a 2.5″x5″ strip to the end of the row. Take 2 HST and sew to the ends of your row as above. Trim

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Make 2

Make 2 rows of 5 charm squares: Sew five charm squares RST, square to sash. Sew a 2.5″x5″ strip to the end of the row. Take 2 HST and sew to the ends of your row as above. Trim

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Make 2

Make 3 rows of 7 charm squares :Sew seven charm squares RST, square to sash. Sew a 2.5″x5″ strip to the end of the rows.To one of the rows of 7 sew a HST to either side, with the long sides pointing in opposite directions. To the remaining two rows sew a HST to one end, making sure that it is the same end on both rows and that the long angle of each is in the same direction. Take a Half Charm Triangle and sew it to the other side of the row, matching the center of the triangle to the center of the row. Trim

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Make 1

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Make 2

Sew the sashing to the ‘top’, or shortest, side of your long rows as follows: untitled4

1. 9.5″ sashes to the 1 square rows

2. 22.5″ sashes to the 3 square rows

3. 36″ sashes tot eh 5 square rows

4. 50″ sashes to the 7 square rows with corner HST’s

5. 55″ sashes to either side of the 7 square row with opposite pointing HST’s.

Press the seams towards the sash.

Sew the remaining Corner HST’s to the 9.5″ sashing, matching centers and pinning. These will be trimmed later.

Fold the HST and strip in half to find the center, pin and sew RST.

Fold the HST and strip in half to find the center, pin and sew RST.

Start sewing your rows together. You can use chain piecing for this.

Sew your 1 and 3 square rows together, and your 5 and 7 square rows together, setting aside the double sashed 7 row. That row is the diagonal center of the quilt.

Find the center of the row by folding it in half and finger pressing down the sash and square. Match the centers, RST and sash to unsashed edge. Pin.

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To make sure that your squares line up correctly in the diagonal, Pin carefully every 5 inches or so, checking that the squares of the row on top match teh squares of the row underneath. Here is a great tutorial from Marje Rhines from AQS newsletter on Aligning Sashed Rows. It is the technique I use and she has some wonderful illustrations to go with her instructions.

Press your seams to the squares. Sew the 3 row to the 5 row in the same manner as above, pressing to the squares. all your seams should be pressed in the same direction, towards the outer corner. You will have two sections of four rows, from corner to corner, and a middle row. Lay them out on the floor so you can get a visual of how the 3 sections will be sewn together, and correctly align the middle row.

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Try to keep it out of “helping” hands……

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Match the middle row to the top section of the quilt as shown. The HST of the middle row will align diagonally with the first square of the adjacent row, and the long edge of the HST will align with the long edge of the Corner HST.  Pin in place RST, using the same technique as above to align on the diagonal. Press towards the squares.

Match the middle row to the top section

Match the middle row to the top section

Sew the bottom section in the same manner to create your finished top.

Trimming and Finishing

The quilt now needs to be trimmed and squared before you can add your borders. By stay-stitching the HST’s before sewing them into the rows you have helped prevent them from stretching too much on the bias.

Start by trimming your corners. Take the largest square ruler you have, mine is 12″x12″, and place it on one corner of your quilt. Arrange it so that the 45 degree line on the ruler is lined up with the center of the squares in the diagonal row, and the edges of the ruler with the edges of the border HSTs. Trim along both sides of the ruler.

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Trim the remainder of the borders, using the corners as your guide.

Lay your quilt flat on the floor after pressing. If the quilt doesn’t lay flat it needs to be eased back into shape using steam.

Before Steam-easing: Border strip matches exactly the long sides

Before Steam-easing: Border strip matches exactly the long sides, but the quilt does not lay flat

After Steam-easing: Border strip extends past the raw edge of the quilt top and the quilt lays flat.

After Steam-easing: Border strip extends past the raw edge of the quilt top and the quilt lays flat.

This next step can be done either on your ironing board or on a iron-safe carpet, depending on how confident you are with your easing. Starting with the top and bottom (shortest sides) take your longest ruler and match the corner of the ruler to the corner of the quilt. The corners are the only edges that are on grain. Using the corners as a guide, ease the raw biased edges under the ruler, pushing towards the corners slightly, so the raw edges are aligned with the edge of the ruler. Remove the ruler, spritz with water, and firmly press using full steam for a few sections.

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Lift and press the iron instead of running it along the raw edge, this will prevent the bias from stretching back out. Repeat the process starting at the opposite corner on the same side (laying out on the floor is good if possible, because you can use 2 rulers and line everything up and steam all at once instead of in sections.) Pin one of the 3″ border strips RST to the freshly eased raw edge of the quilt every couple inches, and sew with the border against the presser foot and the quilt top against the feed dogs (again, to help prevent more stretching). Repeat for the opposite side, press the seams towards the borders, and trim.

Repeat for the long sides, using the 5″ border strips.

Square and trim your quilt once more, checking to make sure the center of the quilt lays flat within the borders. Your quilt should measure approx 45″x60″ depending on your trimming.

Backing

Piece your fat quarters together to make the backing that is  a little bigger than the front. Cut the rest into 2″ strips for your binding. You will need approx 215″ of binding.

Sandwich, baste and quilt as desired!

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Hip Mama Diaper Bag from A Mingled Yarn

Well I Finally made it back from my parents house and had the time to sit down and write =)

The week was great. Relaxing, good food and family, who could ask for more? Well, I did do some sewing, which was great because it was *mostly* uninterrupted.  I had a lovely squishy package of Tula Pink fabrics waiting for me. I LOVE Frog Prince in Indigo, its my favorite print so far, and it went so well with teh laminated cotton I ordered that I decided to make the Hip Mama Diaper Bag using Elizabeth’s tutorial from A Mingled Yarn. She has a whole bunch of great projects on there so definitely head on over there and check it out! Unfortunately she is no longer blogging, but she is leaving her tutorials and projects up for us to use. I will post her full tutorial here just in case something happens! Normally I never EVER take someones tutorial verbatim because they spent all the time on it, I always only link back.

Hip Mama Diaper Bag

Hip Mama Diaper Bag

I made my bag almost to the letter of how she wrote it. The only thing I changed was I fully lined the back zippered pocket, because I like to have the zipper tape hidden and finished. I also made my strap longer and then adjustable using a home made D-ring and slider, and I attached in into the seam allowance instead of on the outside, mostly for aesthetic reasons. It is a great bag, and it holds everything I need.

Lined Zipper Pocket in Frog Prince in Honey

Lined Zipper Pocket in Frog Prince in Honey

Self Made Buckle

Self Made Buckle

I used Joel Dewberry Laminated Cotton for the lining and Frog Prince in Honey for the pocket linings.

I used Joel Dewberry Laminated Cotton for the lining and Frog Prince in Honey for the pocket linings.

Hello Side Froggy!

Hello Side Froggy!

I also decided to make a matching change pad and soother caddy because I like things to be all matchy-matchy. I basically traced my original gear and then used that for a pattern.

Matching Change Pad

Matching Change Pad

Soother Caddy

Soother Caddy

Soother Caddy

Soother Caddy

Here is the tutorial from A Mingled Yarn.

Tutorial: Hip Mama Diaper Bag

This project was frankly inspired by Queen Bee Creations’ diaper bag line. I love the idea of a functional diaper bag that doesn’t look like a diaper bag – and that can also, of course, be used as a regular messenger-style bag if you want.

The bag has a water-resistant vinyl lining to help make cleaning easy – but you can substitute a fabric lining if you want.

This bag’s finished dimensions are: 14″ long, 12″ high, 5″ wide, with a 36″ long strap. You can customize the bag by coming up with your own measurements – just remember to add 1″ for seam allowances.

Materials

1 1/4 yards cotton (44/45″ wide) for the exterior
1 yard water-resistant vinyl (44/45″ wide) for the lining
1 1/2 yards heavy-weight interfacing (unless you are using heavy-weight fabric for the exterior; if so, skip the interfacing)
coordinating thread
12″ coordinating zipper
2 metallic snaps
1/2 yard Velcro
5/8 yard 1/4″ elastic

Pattern

1. Cut out the pieces.

A) Strap: 37″ x 5″. Cut 1 of fabric and 1 of interfacing (I recommend interfacing the strap or adding another layer even if using heavyweight fabric).
B) Front/back/flap piece: 15″ x 13″. Cut 4 of lining, cut 2 of fabric, and cut 2 of interfacing.
C) Side gusset: 6″ x 13″. Cut 2 of fabric, 2 of lining, and 2 of interfacing.
D) Bottom gusset: 6″ x 15″. Cut 1 of fabric, 1 of lining, and 1 of interfacing.
E) Back zippered pocket piece #1: 15″ x 3″. Cut 1 of fabric.
F) Back zippered pocket piece #2: 15″ x 11″. Cut 1 of fabric.
G) Front exterior pocket: 15″ x 9″. Cut 2 from fabric.
H) Side exterior pockets: 6″ x 9″. Cut 4 from fabric.
I) Interior pockets: 17″ x 9″. Cut 2 from lining.

I recommend labeling your pieces with masking tape and marking them with letters corresponding to the list above. This will help you keep track of the pieces.

Also: if you are using a uni-directional fabric (with motifs that all point the same way, as in the fabric I’ve used) take care when laying and cutting your fabric.

2. Apply interfacing (if using).

Fuse or sew interfacing to strap (A), 2 front/back/flap pieces (B), 2 side gusset pieces (C) and 1 bottom gusset piece (D). Attach interfacing to exterior fabric, not lining.

3. Make strap.

Press under 1/2″ on each long side of strap piece (A). Then press under 1/2″ on each short side. Fold strap in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, matching up all pressed edges. Press flat. Keeping all pressed edges even, topstitch a 1/4″ seam on all 4 sides of the strap. Set aside.

4. Make flap.

a) You will need 1 fabric flap piece (B) and 1 lining flap piece (B). On the lining piece, attach smaller halves of metallic snaps to each corner on one long edge. Snaps should be placed so that they are 1″ in from each side of piece.

b) Pin lining piece to fabric piece, right sides together. Sew a 1/2″ seam around three sides, leaving one long edge (the side without the snaps) open. Turn right side out, using turning tool to push out corners. Topstitch a 1/4″ seam around three finished edges. Set aside.

5. Make exterior pockets.

a) Back zippered pocket: Pin piece E to piece F along long edge, right sides together. Using a 1/2″ seam allowance, stitch a 1.5″ long seam at each end. Stitch the remainder of the seam (12″ in the middle) with a long basting stitch. This will be where you insert the zipper. Press seam open. Pin zipper to middle basted section, placing top of zipper and zipper stop close to the ends of the basted section.

Using a zipper foot, attach the zipper. Remove basting thread. Pin wrong side of zippered pocket piece to right side of a back lining piece (B). Topstitch a 1/4″ seam around all four edges. The lining piece will serve as the pocket’s interior.

b) Side pockets: Pin two side exterior pockets (H) together along shorter edge, right sides together. Stitch a 1/2″ seam; trim. Turn, press, and topstitch a 1/4″ seam along edge. Cut a 2″ piece of Velcro. Stitch the fuzzy half to the interior of the pocket, 1/4″ down from the top edge.

Place the pocket piece against one of the interfaced side gusset pieces (C), matching bottom and side edges. Mark placement for other half of Velcro on piece C, then stitch in place. Place pocket piece against gusset piece, with Velcro lined up, and stitch a 1/4″ seam around three edges. Repeat for other side pocket.

c) Front pockets: Pin the two front pocket pieces (G) together along long edge, right sides together. Stitch a 1/2″ seam; trim. Turn, press, and topstitch 1/4″ around all four edges. Attach other halves of metallic snaps to right side of pocket, through both layers. Measure up 5″ from bottom and in 1″ from each side to place snaps. Fold pocket in half width-wise and press, creating a crease down the center. Place the pocket piece against the remaining front fabric piece (B), matching bottom and side edges; pin in place. Topstitch along center crease, to create two front pocket halves. Cut two pieces of Velcro, each 4″ long. Stitch two fuzzy halves to the interior of the pocket, 1/4″ down from top edge, and centering each piece on each side of the center crease. Mark placement for other halves of Velcro on piece B, then stitch in place. Line up Velcro halves and topstitch 1/4″ seam around edges.

6. Assemble bag exterior.

a) Pin interfaced bottom gusset piece (D) to one side gusset piece (C) along short edges, encompassing bottom of side pocket, right sides together. Stitch a 1/2″ seam, beginning and ending 1/2″ from ends. Press open. Repeat for other side gusset piece.

b) Pin back zippered pocket piece to gussets along sides and bottom, through all thicknesses, right sides together, having zipper near the top. Stitch a 1/2″ seam, pinning corners like this:

Repeat for front pocket piece. Turn right side out. You should now have a bag exterior that can stand up on its own. Set exterior aside.

7. Make interior pockets.

a) Turn under 5/8″ on top edge of one interior pocket piece (I) and stitch in place using a 1/2″ seam allowance, forming a casing. Cut a piece of elastic 10″ long, insert it into the casing, and secure at both ends. Repeat for other interior pocket piece (I).

b) Pin wrong side of pocket piece against right side of one lining piece (B), matching bottom and side edges, easing in fullness at bottom by creating pleats or gathers. (It’s pretty much impossible to gather vinyl, so I used pleats across the bottom. If you’re using regular fabric for the lining, do a gathering stitch across the bottom and pull up the threads to fit). Stitch a 1/4″ seam around each side. Repeat for other pocket piece.

c) To create two interior pockets on one piece, fold the whole piece in half width-wise and mark the center line. Topstitch down that center line through all thicknesses.

d) To create three interior pockets on the other piece, measure in 5″ from each side and mark lines. Topstitch down those lines through all thicknesses.

8. Make bag interior.

Follow step 6 to attach side and bottom gussets and assemble the interior of your bag, with one exception: leave a long opening on one of the bottom seams for turning the bag. Do not turn right side out.

9. Finishing the bag.

a) Pin unfinished edge of flap to top edge of back zippered exterior piece, right sides together (lining side facing out). Stitch 1/4″ seam to attach.

b) Slip exterior of bag into lining, right sides together. Pin top edges together through all thicknesses. Stitch a 1/2″ seam. Trim seam.

c) Turn bag right side out by pulling exterior through the opening in lining. Sew up opening in lining. Push lining down into bag. Topstitch 1/4″ seam around top opening edges of bag.

d) Lap each end of strap 1.5″ over sides of bag. Topstitch strap ends to bag in an X pattern to secure.

You’re now ready to rock your new bag!

Crib Rail Cover Tutorial

Those of you that are moms will laugh at me when I say this. I never though H would chew his crib. I figured it was something some babies do when they teethe so I made sure there was always a chew toy in his crib. My little beaver has 6 teeth and likes to hang off the rail waiting for mommy to save him from solitary confinement, so in the space of about a week my crib went from pristine to this….

Beavers AttackAnd not just this section, the whole darn length of the rail! What is he doing in there?? It really can’t taste good. Or be very good for his teeth, though I guess babies need to file those sharp little chompers on something other than Mommy’s hands, or the cat……

Presenting the Crib Rail Cover Tutorial!

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My bumper pads were the inspiration for this project. Its took me a week to get around to it (in which more chewing ensued). I put H down for a nap, sealed the last envelope for the 3×6 Bee blocks, and pulled out this gorgeous Amy Butler Lark print in Gypsy Cobalt I bought a while back with nothing in mind, and a half yard of Kona Black. As I drafted out the sizes, I realized I forgot to measure H’s crib! Yikes! It was either wait until he woke up and try to find time again to sew later, or sneak into his room with a tape measure and be as quick as a bunny! You can guess which option I chose.

Okay, on to the instructions!

You will need a half yard of Print for the cover, a package of bias tape (or make your own), and a scrap of batting at 5 1/2″ wide by 53″ long.

Crib Rail Tutorail

Cut 3 strips 5 1/2″ x WOF (width of Fabric) of the main fabric. Sew them together with a 1/4″ seam, and press. From this long strip cut 2 strips 53″ long. Trim your batting scrap to the same size. Blog 002

Make your ties.

For store bought bias tape: edge stitch the tape closed across the entire length. Cut 4 strips 12″long and 2 strips 25″ long.

For Make Your Own: cut 3 strips 1 1/2″ wide x WOF. Sew raw edges together with a 1/4″ seam. Cut 4 strips 12″long and 2 strips 25″ long, turn right side out using a  turning hook. Press flat.

From here on out the instructions are the same for either.

Fold the raw edges of the tape under 1/4″, then under again. Stitch across to finish the edges of the tape.

*Helpful Hint* take a thick pin and pin straight through the layers of bias tape, just catching the folded edge so the tape lays flat. Use the pin to push the fabric under your presser foot and keep your stitching even.

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Fold the tie in half lengthwise, matching the seam side by side as shown. The fold will form a little triangle. Measure and mark 1″ from the bottom of the triangle. Set ties aside.

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Take your first fabric strip and place it right side up onto the batting, matching the raw edges. Baste the short edges using a 1/4″ seam. Treat this as a single piece, with the print as the right side and the batting as the wrong side. This is the bottom strip.

On the wrong side of the strip mark 14″ in from the ends, making sure to mark evenly on both sides of the long raw edge. Place your folded ties at these marks, with the fold at the top, matching the mark to the raw edge and the seams on either side of the pin. Pin and baste. Repeat for second tie.

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Your strip should look like the picture above.

Now turn the bottom strip right side up. Fold the tie over the raw edge and pin to keep it out of the seam as shown. Be careful not to curl the raw edges of the strip.Blog 018

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Now fold the tails into the center of the bottom panel as well, again taking care not to curl the raw edge of the strip. Pin in place as shown. Repeat both steps for the second tie.

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Take the 12″ ties and pin them to the right side of the bottom panel, raw edges matching the raw edge of the ends, with the seam of the tie 1″ from the corner as shown. Baste them in place and pin the tails to the panel.

*Please note I sewed the seam and forgot to put in my end ties, so there are no pictures for this step. Just make sure the raw edge of the ties match the raw edge of the short end and the long tails are pinned to the center of the bottom panel to keep them out of your final seam. Blog 031

ASIDE:

If your like me and forget to add ties to something you are sewing, instead of ripping everyhtign apart, here is a quick little tip for you. Measure and mark where your ties were supposed to go. Open the seam only as wide as the width of your tie. Take your turning hook and feed it into the center of the tie, gathering at the handle until the hook reaches the seam. Use the hook to push the tie into the seam until the raw edges line up. Remove the hook and stitch over the tie ends! Phew!

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Now take your 2 panels and place them Right Sides Together. Sew a 3/8″ seam all the way around, leaving a 4″ gap for turning. Trim your corners.

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Keep an eye on where your pins are on the inside. I broke 2 needles because I put them too close to the seam allowance!

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Whoops!

Turn the panel right side out. Be careful of the pins, remove them as you find them. Your hands will thank you.

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Push the corners out and press the entire panel flat. Your ties will be through the main seams. This will prevent the ties from ever coming out from the body of the panel and your determined little beavers from pulling all your hard work apart! Genius!

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Stitch 1/8″ around the edge of the panel, closing the gap used for turning. Stitch a second seam 1/4″ to the inside of the first to make a nice finish.

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Voila! Your finished Crib Rail Cover!

To attach, put the cover over the top of the rail so that the loops are to the inside of the crib and lines up with a vertical rail as best as possible. Take the tie tail and pass them through the loop under the horizontal rail (one on either side of a vertical rail if they lined up) then back around the vertical rail and tie. This secures everything. Then tie the ends to the edges of the crib. Again, I forgot to take pictures and I don’t dare while the little guy is sleeping, so you will now all be subjected to my talented Paint diagram. Yay me!

8-bit instructions

You get it right? Good. I will put up full pictures if/when I remember =)

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Enjoy your newly protected crib and as always,

Happy Quilting!

Starburst Quilt-A-Long from Happy Quilting

Many of you know by now that there is nothing I like better than a Quilt-A-Long. Except Maybe another QAL!! This next QAL is from Melissa over at  Happy Quilting. We will be making her Starburst original design in any of the three sizes. So head on over and nab all the details on the Happy Quilting: Starburst Quilt-A-Long!

Starburst

Starburst Pattern from Melissa of Happy Quilting

I have a fat quarter bundle of Pat Bravo’s Rock N’ Romance from Intrepid Thread just waiting for me to cut into it. I purchased it a few months ago specifically for the Starburst quilt and got so busy I never had time to start it. I am still looking for the perfect background. I want to use the AGF Pure Elements, but it is proving hard to find and delivery can take up to three whole weeks! I may cave and either drive 45 minutes to the Fabricana in Richmond and hope they have a similar weight solid, or 45 min to the Point Roberts Border crossing to my mailbox and have it delivered there.  Decisions Decisions.

On a very exciting note, one of my very good friends is getting married this year and she asked me to be a bridesmaid. The wedding is in…..MEXICO!!! Woot woot!! Its not like I need an excuse to go someplace warm and sunny during the cold winter months here in Canada, but now its a for sure instead of “oh, if I find time/not working/place to stay…..” Of course the little Moo Man will be coming with me, I thought about letting him stay with his Grandparents but I might miss him too much! On the other hand an unattached week might be nice and he will be old enough for a long stay….we will see.

Until next time,

Happy Quilting!

Fabric Gift Bag/Scrap Bin Tutorial

After making the toy bins for my little guy’s toy ( and saving my feet from the inevitable midnight toy stomp), one very smart commenter thought that a smaller version would make a great scrap bin! I thought that was a great idea, and took it a step further. Presenting the Fabric Gift Bag……

Fabric Gift Bag

…that turns into a scrap bin!!

Scrap bin!

The bin finishes at 5″x5″x5″ ( who doesn’t like perfect squares!)

 

Supplies

An 8″x20 1/2″ rectangle of the outer fabric and heavy weight woven fusible interfacing

An 11 3/4″x20 1/2″ rectangle for the lining

A square ruler ( no larger than 6 1/2″) or a hard piece of template material 2″x2″ square.

Your various sewing paraphernalia ( scissors, needles, thread, band-aids, coffee…)

Supplies

Instructions

1. Fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the outer fabric.

2. Match the shot raw edges and stitch a 1/4″ seam across, backstitching at either end.  ( all seams will be 1/4″)

3. Sew the bottom raw edge from the fold to the seam, backstitching at either end. Trim your seams to 1/8″ and set aside.

4. On the short side of the lining make a mark 3/4″  and 1 1/2″ from the top. Stitch from the top to the first mark and stop. Move to the second mark and resume stitching your seam to the bottom. Press this seam open.

Leave this open. This is the TOP

5. Stitch the bottom seam of the lining ( furthest from the opening in the seam), backstitching at both ends.

NOW THE FUN PART

6. Take your outer fabric with the interfacing side out. line up the 2″ square line with the stitched seams as shown and mark a line around. If using the template line up the corner of the template to the stitching lines on the inside. Mark your lines. Repeat for the opposite side, lining up the fold  and the stitched line with the 2″ line.

Lined up for marking

Marked Lines

7. Cut on the marked lines. Repeat the steps for the lining. It should look like the picture below

Cut out

8. Bring the raw edges of the cut out squares together on either side, matching the center fold and bottom seam on one side and the bottom seam and side seam on the other. Sew the raw edges and trim the seam allowances. Repeat for the lining.

Match the raw edges of the square

Match the bottom seam to either the fold or the side seam and pin.

Sew a 1/4″ seam along the raw edges

9. Turn the outer bin right sides out and place right sides together inside the lining bin, matching the raw edges and the side seam. Sew all the way around the top, leaving a 2″ gap for turning.

Turn right side out

Place inside the lining, matching seams, and sew 1/4″ seam, leaving a 2″ gap for turning.

10. Turn the bin right side out through the opening. Use your favorite stitch to hand sew the opening closed.

Close the gap

11. Push the lining into the main body of the bin snugly and finger press into the seams. You will have 2″ extra of the lining folded overto the main body of the bin.  Press the top fold of the lining and the inside of the bin.

Extra fabric. Press the top fold all the way around

12. Edgestitch around the seam connecting the lining to the main bin.

13. Insert a ribbon or cording through the opening you left in the seam of the lining. I used a hook to push the ribbon as far in as i could, wrangled it off, then inserted the hook in the other direction, hooked the ribbon and pulled it the rest of the way through. It seemed like a good idea at 11:30 at night. Your best bet is to use a tapestry or cross stitch needle ( one with a dull end), and use it to pull a ribbon through, or thread it and knot the thread, pull the thread through the cording or ribbon, and then feed it through using the needle.

Find the opening

Feed the ribbon through.

14. Tie the ends together in a slipknot close to the opening, leaving about a 1″ tail. This will ensure the ribbon is hidden when in Scrap Bin mode.

Voila! You are finished your Gift Bag/Scrap Bin!!

Gift Bag Mode

Scrap Bin Mode

Gift Bag Mode: Pull on the end of the ribbon and draw up the band of fabric. Tie a bow!

Scrap Bin Mode: Release the bow and pull the edged of the band taught. Fold down over the main body of the bin.

I hope you enjoy making a bunch of these for your friends and yourself! They come together very quickly and the possibilities are endless! You could always fill one with cookies and send it my way! Yum Yum!
As always,

Happy Sewing!!

Phew, what a week! Lots to share!

Hello everyone! It has been a very busy week here, so I haven’t had time to do much blogging. I say week but in reality the last 15 days have been go go go!Between play-dates and appointments and pick ups and drop off I have had time to finish up all my 3×6 bee blocks and get them in the mail, catch up on my Modern Mystery Quilt, keep up with the Cathedral Window QAL, and make/hunt down some props for my little man’s 6 month photo session today. Throw in some grocery shopping and a sudden change in the weather read: from Indian Summer to torrential rain overnight  and voila! Lots of excuses not to vacuum….. =)

I realize that this is the west coast, and normally by the start of October the rain has moved in, but it was so beautiful for so long. Thanksgiving weekend was so warm people were still out in shorts. We were going to go to the Pumpkin Patch and have ourselves a grand old time yesterday, but record rainfall coupled with a rainfall warning quashed that faster than you can say “eh?” I did get to try Harry’s snowsuit. I don’t think it fits quite right yet……but it sure is warm!

Do I look impressed?

Can you tell I don’t like the rain? I’m from Northern Alberta. It may be -40, but at least the sun is shining and your not soaked! Anywho….onwards!

It seems lately that everything I make heads out the door. I feel like I have been sewing like a madwoman but have nothing to show at the guild meeting tonight.

Here, this is my stack of finished blocks that need more to complete whatever I was going to do with them, 1/2 of the checkerboard for a show quilt,  and all the pieces to a mystery quilt that I can’t for the life of me figure out how the end result will look….*chirp chirp*

However, I do have a cute little project that I whipped up last night as a photo prop that I can take with me. If Harry is going to be a dragon for Halloween, he needs a Princess to kidnap (and probably try to eat).

She looks so happy, just wait until the dragon starts gumming her head =)

The dress fabric is my favorite colorway from Treasures of the East by Hoffman. The teal/aqua colorway was the challenge fabric in 2010. I also picked some up in the fuchsia and sunset colorways. I can’t seem to find them anymore, so If anyone comes across either colorway, please let me know! Poppins Quilt Parlour in Penticton, BC still has the challenge fabric for anyone looking to nab some. They do phone orders!

I drew her face on with Sharpie markers. I think she looks suitably princessy!

You can find the pattern here as well as the tutorial. I just winged it with mine.

I was also doing some pinning while watching TV the other night. This is why you don’t leave your pin box where the cat can get to it!

Luckily I found them all (magnets are wonderful wonderful wonderful!) and I have yet to be stuck with a pin! It did inspire a pincushion design however, but more on that to come!

Tomorrow I will be posting my Scrappy Star block pattern, no tutorial yet though, so please be patient with me! I start a temporary job as a nanny for my friend who just welcomes their little boy yesterday morning. I have all the fabrics for her new baby quilt, I just need to get to it!
Happy Quilting!

Cathedral Window QAL- Blocks 2/3

Here are block 2 and block 3 of the Cathedral Window Quilt A Long. This is turning out to be a very fun project, and so far the construction has not been overly taxing. Cathedral Windows are by nature time and fabric consuming because of the pressing and folding involved. You can follow along or join, there are still 6 tutorials left. All you have to do is join the Flickr Group.

Block 2 from My Crafty Crap

Block 3 from Made With Moxie

As I was taking these pictures my husband came over and mentioned how my block reminds him of the Pittsburgh Steelers logo. *sigh* Now that is all I can see when I look at it. I still really like the technique though, and I will be utilizing it in a few different projects . I am still on the lookout for more of that spring green print as well. It is Robert Kaufman Fusions 10 (5574). The only place that has any stock is Fortunes and Fairies in Richmond, NSW, Australia. I ordered 5 meters of Fusions 10 in various colors from them two years ago. It was a real eye opener to fabric costs. In Canada we pay about 30% more for fabric than our neighbors south of the border. In Australia they pay DOUBLE what we do. It was $23.00/meter, plus the international shipping. I still have most of it, but this particular color is no where to be found now! I wrote to Robert Kaufman, so hopefully they will put this blender back in production.

Until next time, Happy Quilting!

Bottled Rainbows Quilt by Maureen Cracknell Handmade

Today I would like to share a quilt from Maureen Cracknell Handmade. Maureen’s blog is one of my favorites. She always has something creative, fun and inspiring to share with us. That she does it with 3 children makes it even more amazing!

Maureen Cracknell Handmade, Bottled Rainbows

Image courtesy of Maureen Cracknell Handmade

The Bottled Rainbows tutorial is one that many modern quilters know. It inspired one of our VMQG Challenges last year, and the resulting quilts are always beautiful and colorful. Maureen took Bottled Rainbows to the next level by using shapes and motifs instead of just squares and rectangles. You can read more about Maureen and her Bottled Rainbows Quilt here : Maureen Cracknell Handmade: My Bottled Rainbows Quilt : :. I love her construction techniques. You can also find the original Bottles Rainbows Post and Tutorial here.

Thank you Maureen for allowing me to share your work!

 

Cathedral Window QAL

Yesterday marked day one of the Cathedral Window Quilt A Long Blog Hop! Sara of Sew Sweetness gave us our first tutorial, the Layered Cathedral Window,  and I love how her block turned out! I have decided to use a consistent color scheme throughout the QAL. I am going to be using Limes, Aquas, Teals and Yellows. There are 9 blocks in this QAL, so I hope I have enough fabric! Ha ha ha, like that’s really a problem for me…

Here is my finished block! I ended up ripping 2 portions apart and placing the fabrics in a different order, but I am so happy with the result. There is some definite movement in this block! I love the lime green! It is an almost impossible to find Robert Kaufman Blender. I ordered it from Australia 2 years ago (the only place I could find it) for $20/meter! But I love it so much! I will use it in all my blocks, though maybe I should have picked a different color, Cathedral Windows do use up a lot of fabrics! There are 5 layers to sew through on each side of this block. I pressed my seams open using my heaviest iron, lowering my board, applying a TON of pressure, and STEAM. The result is a nice flat block with no seam bubbles! Hurray!

A huge thank you goes out to Bree at My Crafty Crap for hosting this QAL, and to all the sponsors for the wonderful prizes! You can find the QAL rules, blog roll, and prizes there.

I can’t wait for the next block!

Happy Sewing!