Monday, February 28, 2011

Sew Scrappy Sew Happy Bee Block

I've mentioned before that I moderate an online quilting bee called Sew Scrappy Sew Happy.  The month of March belongs to Beth, and I received her fabrics on Friday.  After reading and rereading the instructions, I figured it was best to just jump right in.

She asked all of us to make blocks based off of this Simple Insanity quilt from Chawne.  Essentially you sew strips of scraps together, then sew those strips together making a "new" fabric. 

Here's what my "new" fabric looked like.  Actually it in itself was pretty cool and could be a block all it's own.


I'm also showing you the back so you can see the crazy amount of seams.


I don't know what the below block is called; but this is what she wanted.


Some of those pieces are super-dooper tiny (like 1/4" wide).  While I had alot of fun making this block, I can't imagine doing this for an entire quilt.  Yet, that's what block swaps are for...get 11 other crazy people to make the blocks for you.
Saturday, February 26, 2011

3rd Floor Fabric Basket Tutorial "Ride-Along"

Welcome to the tutorial for my 3rd Floor Fabric Basket.  In order to complete this tutorial, you'll need to have a basic understanding of sewing techniques.

This fabric basket has 3 layers.  You can choose to make it out of 3 different fabrics for a really-cool pieced look, or you can use 1 fabric.  The link below is for the 3 fabric pieced look.


Here are my pieces all cut and ready to go.


Once all your pieces are cut out, separate them into 2 identical stacks. 
Stack 1 (A,B,C)
Stack 2 (A,B,C)

Now before you begin sewing, please note that this pattern includes 1/2" seam allowances throughout.  I'm using 1/2", because it gives you a bigger seam to work with and I feel it is better with handbag, basket, etc construction.

Sew Piece A to B (right sides together).  Press seams open
Sew Piece A/B to Piece C (right sides together).  Press seams open

 
Do the same process with Stack 2.

You should now have 2 pieces (front/back...or left/right, however you want to think of it) that look like the below photo.


Now this is where you need to decide if you need to use interfacing or not.  Interfacing will give your fabric basket some structure/support so it doesn't collapse.  If you are using quilting-weight cottons, I would highly suggest using a mid-weight interfacing.  If you are using a slightly heavier upholestry fabric, you'll want to consider using a light-weight interfacing.  If you are using a canvas/twill/denim...no need for interfacing.

Make sure your seams for the Front & Back are pressed open and following the manufacturer's instructions, marry the interfacing and pieces together.  The interfacing is purposely cut a 1/2" smaller (around all edges), so try and center it accordingly.

***This is where I did some topstitching along the seam lines (1/4" on the top and bottom) of piece A,B,C.  Unfortunately I don't have a picture to show you this.  Not only did the topstitching add some extra interest; but it helped secure the interfacing to the Front & Back pieces. 

Next step is to sew the Front & Back together along the edges.  Put right sides together, matching the seam lines, and sew down one edge.


This is what you should have when you unfold your piece.

Match up the other side and do the same thing.  Make sure that you press your seams open when finished.  If you want you can do the same 1/4" topstitching along the side seams...it's entirely up to you.

Next, with right sides together, match your two bottom seams and sew.


This next part is a little hard to describe; but I'm going to try.

Remember those (4"x4") squares that you cut out of the lower corners.  By removing them, you have allowed the basket to create a 3D shape.

When looking at your flattened shape (right sides still together), it should look something like the below illustration.  The next step is to sew the 2 corners together (as marked Point OO below).

Your bag will look something like this when pinned.



Make sure you match Points OO and have the basket right sides together.

Sew your 1/2" seam from edge to edge. 
Do the same to the other corner.

It should now look something like this  **Note that in the below pic, my interfacing was cut too short (ignore that).


Now turn your basket right sides out, and you should see something that resembles this.


If you haven't ever tried something like this, pat yourself on the back.  You're almost to the end.
Now onto the lining.  Bring out your lining pieces that you previously cut.


With right sides together, you'll sew the right and left seams.

Next, you'll sew the bottom seam; but make sure to leave about a 4" gap at the center.  Otherwise you won't be able to turn your basket inside out.


Sew your (Point OO) corners together.  Don't turn the bag, leave the right side (on the inside).

Next....
Along the top of the lining, you'll want to make sure you find the center.  You can pull out your ruler, or do like I did and just fold the basket in half.  Mark it with a pencil, pen, or even a little cut.

Open up the Lining and place the the exterior bag inside of it.  Right sides together. 
It should look something like this.


It's important to match up side seam to side seam.  Or you can do like me and match side seam to the center pencil, pen, slice you made.  If you don't match one or the other together, your basket won't work.

Pin the top edges together (Lining and Basket Exterior). 


Put the basket on your sewing machine and sew along the top edge.  Make sure you are still using your 1/2" seam allowance.

Clip all extra threads.

Remember that 4" gap at the bottom the basket lining.  Go find it and carefully turn the basket right sides out, pulling 1 through the other.  When you have done that, it should look something like this.


Find that 4" gap again and sew it closed.  You can hand-sew it, or for speeds-sake, put it on your sewing machine and use a 1/4" seam allowance. 


Gently push the lining inside the basket, trying to make a clean sharp edge along the top.  Press with an iron and pin.


To finish the top edge and make sure that the lining doesn't move, you'll need to do a 1/4" topstitching.


Your 3rd Floor Fabric Basket is almost done. 

I knew that I needed to tack the lining to the basket bottom, just so it wouldn't move around when you started using the basket.  So I came up with a cute idea.

Go find 2 small buttons and some thread that will coordinate with your basket. 


Make sure your lining is just how you want it inside the basket.  Place your buttons where you want them and sew.  Some examples include in the corners, along the center seam, wherever.  The key is that you are using them to tack the lining to the bottom.


You are now 100% done.  YAY!!!  Admire your work, and I highly encourage you to take a photo.


Thanks for playing along with me, as I try to show you how to make a fairly simple fabric basket.  If you use my tutorial to make a basket, please link back to it to let everyone know.

And don't forget to share some photos or comments below. 

Thanks!!!



3rd Floor Fabric Basket Tutorial "Ride-Along"

I'm participating in the {Urban} Home Goods Swap and wanted to come up with something clever for my partner to use in their home.  I decided on a fabric basket, as it could be a cute addition to nearly every room and could hold alot of great stuff.

As I have previous experience with pattern work, I figured I'd try my hand at making this from scratch...no pattern, except the one in the head...and you know what, it turned out pretty great. 
I'm calling this the 3rd Floor Fabric Basket, because of it's 3 striped layers.  I've posted a Tutorial / "Ride-Along" of my progress.



-----Tutorial Here-----
Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sewing Space Focus - Guest Post

Just wanted to send a quick little note to let you know that you can find me over at
13 Woodhouse Road, where Shruti was kind enough to let me
participate in her Sewing Space Focus 7-Week Series.

I'm sharing some pics of my studio and the cool details that I love about it.

Kristy's Special Studio
I also encourage you to check out some of the earlier guest posts too.






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If you are a new visitor to my St. Louis Folk Victorian blog, Welcome !!
I hope you'll take a few minutes to stroll around, read some earlier posts and
if you found me because of the above guest post on 13 Woodhouse Road, please leave me a comment telling me so.

If you like what you see, I hope you'll consider visiting me again.

Thanks!!!
Sunday, February 20, 2011

Spicing Up the Kitchen Swap

One of the swaps I'm in is called the Spicing Up the Kitchen Swap.  The participants are supposed to make their partner something for the Kitchen, Dining Room, etc.  The groups Flickr pool is filled with sneak peeks of towels, table runners, potholders, etc. 

I knew right away what item I was going to make (centerpiece for the Dining Room table); but how it was going to look did a complete 180.  I started off with a Dresden Plate idea; but after working with it for a while, I wasn't loving where it was headed so I scrapped it.

I immediately started on Plan B and LOVED it right away.

Now this is a secret swap after all, so I can't tell you where it's going; but I want to share some photos with you.




I did have a few doubts, like when I used a washable pencil to mark the quilting lines on the white fabric.  The whole time I'm praying that the lines would come out...and of course was the reason why I had to wash this little puppy right away.  They did wash out thankfully, and an added bonus was that I got to see the nice wrinklely goodness.

As a small companion item, I made 2 coordinating Mug Rugs...adorable Mug not included.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Pincushion Swap

This past Saturday's meeting of the STLMQG (St. Louis Modern Quilt Guild) was filled with alot of information, inspiration and even some thievery.

Did I really just say thievery?  Yes, I did.

We started off with a Panel Discussion on "What is Modern Quilting?" which sparked alot of questions and debate on how Modern Quilting differs from Traditional and even Contemporary Quilting.  In the end, I think our membership had a greater understanding of the differences and I look forward to seeing how this translates into Show & Tells, Challenges, etc down the road.

Next up was our usual Show & Tell; which is always filled with tons of inspiration.  Unfortunately, I always neglect to have my camera present.

Finally, the meeting wrapped up with a good ol' Rob Your Neighbor-style swap.  All of the members were challenged with creating a modern style pincushion and instantly you could tell that there was going to be some heavy competition and stealing going on...the stuff was just too darn cute.

As you may remember in an earlier post, I shared with you the pincushion that I was bringing.  It was a round, soccer-ball looking pinnie that I created.  Since I couldn't find a tutorial for it anywhere online, I made a "Ride-Along" tutorial for it.


During the swap, each pincushion that I selected (and had hoped I'd get to take home) was stolen several times...of course I wasn't the only one that was a victim. 

In the end, I finally was able to get my hands on this cutie and he is now happily hanging out in my studio.


I can't remember the name that Tracy gave to this little mouse...maybe Pinkie, because of Valentine's Day.

Regardless, as you can see he found his way onto some Moda BasicGrey fabric that I bought the other day.  It looks like notebook paper and would be perfect for some embroidery.

Here is a mosaic that Mary Claire, the Guild VP, put together of some of the other pincushions swapped that day.