I am still new to the sewing machine crafts hobby so when my brother asked me to make him some church bizarre items I was honored. He is leaving the items up to me but did mention coaster sets. Since those can be big sellers at craft fairs I decided to make that my first item. As the bizarre is in October a quilted Christmas coaster set seemed the way to go.
Since I had used the fabric box tutorial in another project I already knew it would work to hold the coasters. The squares I cut were 13 inches and I used a 1/2 inch seam allowance. The side flaps are tacked down and accessorized with snowflake buttons. Also I tacked down the inside flaps with some fabric glue.
I made the coasters using the instructions from the Fold ‘n Stitch pattern. I cut them to have a 4 1/2 inch finished size after my 1/2 inch seam allowance. The appliques were done by way of fussy cut. As a result I was able to get the matched look I wanted.
Some people like to keep their coasters in a holder unless in use making the box perfect. If you are someone that likes to use the coasters for decoration you can still use the box for something else. I would probably use it as a matching candy holder. This was a fun project and I might make a few sets as gifts.
About three months ago I decided to buy a sewing machine to start a sewing hobby. While waiting for the machine to get here I went to the fabric store to buy some supplies . Wow….does kid in a candy store ring a bell…..I decided my first goal would be to build up my courage to make a lap quilt.
I was in the quilting section and saw a bunch of fat quarters….hmmmm what are fat quarters? It had been thirty years since I had a sewing machine. I had never heard of fat quarters. there was a bundle that was gray and teal prints and I fell in love with it. Perfect for a lap quilt.
I searched for small quilt tutorials that would work with fat quarters and decided on this one…. Heirloom Quilt Tutorial This pattern is perfect for fat quarters and with straight line quilting a basic sewing machine is all you need.
First off I did all my cutting of the fabric. Since all the fabric pieces were fat quarters they were easy to manage for a beginner. Cutting, piecing and cutting again seemed like fun rather than work. Getting my points to match up was sometimes a chore. My resident quilter Kathy warned me about that therefore I was semi prepared for it.
Once I had all my squares ready I spread them out on my bed. I arranged and rearranged them until I was satisfied with the look. It took two and a half days. Woman’s prerogative came in to play several times. I did not do the alternating triangle blocks and plain blocks like the tutorial. I just went with what appealed to my eyes since it would lay across the back of my chair.
Now that the top was sewn and ready it was time to think about a backing. I decided to go with something in a light gray since the front had some nice bright colors.
The straight line quilting would be great since the color pattern on the front is already busy enough. I wanted something to enhance the look of the backing. Being very inexperienced I knew my best bet was something straight so I could just follow my seam lines. Even so it was tough for me to maneuver all the bulk through my sewing machine. I did baste it with safety pens so there was not too much shifting but I was glad I cut the batting and backing extra large.
I had said that I knew my first quilt would not be perfect. I just wanted it good enough to be proud of. I am very satisfied with my first real quilt.
I was looking for something quick to make to fill some time. I had never made a quilted oven mitt so decided to do a search for a tutorial. There are lots of different ways to make one. More than I would have thought possible. I finally settled on this one…. 25-Patch Oven Mitts It looked pretty straight forward. I like the fact that there is a link to download an actual printable template.
As you can see I left my outer panels solid fabric instead of piecing them. There are four layers to this project. I used basting spray but my top layer still shifted. Next time I will try my walking foot. I have not tried using it yet and this small project should be a good time to give it a try. I had to trim my shifted edges to match up before stitching together. I was afraid that would make it too small. It still came out a good size for me and my husband. Make one in sports team fabric for the grill-master in the family!!
I mentioned to my brother that I had made a lined drawstring bag. He got excited about it because he thought I was talking about the backpack style. He has been looking high and low for one made with Minion fabric. As always I turned to the internet to look for a lined drawstring backpack tutorial. I settled on this one….. Drawstring Backpack Tutorial The fact that you could make it out of two fat quarters grabbed my attention. The instructions are so clear and easy that I could change the size if I need to and it would still fall right into place.
I love how this bag went together. It was so easy and only took about two hours from cutting to finishing. The grommets gave me the most trouble but it was my first time installing them.
You could make this bag for things like charity fundraising sales since they are quick and inexpensive to put together.
Now it is time to order some Minion fabric since it is almost time for my brother’s birthday. Happy Birthday brother dear!!!
I had finished my last project and had leftover strips and blocks. I wanted to put them to good use. How about a quilted coaster set to match the table runner. Quilted Table Runner
Time to decide how I wanted to do it. I had previously made a quilted box found here…. Little Fabric Box Because I was going to put coasters in it the 10 inch squares I used in the last one would not be big enough. Since I am not as good at winging it as my mother was I decided to just take a wild stab at it. Hoping that 13 inch squares would work I got busy cutting.
Following the same tutorial the box part was done in no time. For the coasters I cut the blocks to 5 inch square. Fusible fleece was added along with some backing. I put them wrong sides together and stitched. A couple inches were left open on one side for turning. After turning, top stitching was added all around the outer edge. Then I just did simple line quilting along my piece seams.
As a result of my size adjustment the box is a little bigger than I was hoping for. It is almost big enough to fit the standard paper napkin flat in the bottom. Since it has lots of room I can make lots of coasters. I will probably make about 8 or 10.
When it comes to sewing my mother was one of those talented people that could just look at something and figure out a way to make it. She made most of our clothes when we were growing up. As a result we were the envy of many of our friends. I think I was the first girl in our town to have a pair of pink five pocket jeans. I am not as talented as she was so I am very thankful that the internet is full of tutorials and patterns. Many that are even free. I wanted to try my hand at a quilted table runner so I did some surfing.
I had several fat quarters of red, white and blue prints. I decided I wanted to make a patriotic table runner. The 4th of July is coming up. My inspiration for the pattern I used came from the Hobo Rails pattern. The pattern can be purchased here…. Hobo Rails Table Runner
First of all I had to get my strips cut. I have an Accuquilt Go and purchased a 2 1/2 inch strip die since it might be my most used pre-cut. I love jelly rolls!! The Go made quick work of cutting all my strips out and I was ready to start my piecing.
I used the same strip die to cut my border out of the blue and white stars fabric. By the way the back is also the blue and white stars fabric. Our resident quilter Kathy complimented me on my choice. She said due to the darker color the other colors popped out more. I really am pleased with the effect. My binding was also cut from fat quarters using the same strip die. I went with a lighter color on the binding hoping to tie it all together. Again I am pleased with the final look.
Finally it was time to do the quilting. That is the skill that gives me the most trouble. I decided to go with what I was hoping would look like splashes of fireworks. It turned out looking more like spiders hanging from webs… Oh well I still like it and most of all I feel very accomplished.
This was fun to make. It can be made in a day if you spent all day working on it. It took me 2 days because I had things to do. The Pattern came from Primitive Gatherings, “My Twisted Heart”. This one measures 35″x37″. I used a charm pack to make this. All that was needed besides the charm pack was the background fabric and border. Inexpensive and easy to make. I chose these colors so the heart would stand out. Now to decide how I want to quilt this.
I Made this quick wall hanging this morning. It was a pattern for placemats. I thought i could use the codfee mug and make a coaster but the block was too big. I decided to make a wall hanging instead. I like the way it turned out.
I was internet surfing and admiring fabric for projects when I ran across some chalkboard fabric. I had never heard of it before so I did a google search for projects using it. The first one to catch my attention was a portable chalkboard. Some of my grandsons love to write and doodle so this project seemed perfect for them. The tutorial can be found here…… Chalk Fabric Travel Chalkboard
I already knew that sewing with plastic or vinyl can present challenges so back to the internet to search for tips. Here is one of the places that helped me prepare for the challenges….. 10 Sewing Tips for Using Chalkboard Fabric I did get a teflon presser foot and was impressed with it. This is the one I bought….. Distinctive non-stick presser foot. With this project you can avoid having the presser foot on the chalkboard top so I probably could have done without it. I will be using my leftovers for other things so I am sure it will be needed at a later date.
I did follow the tutorial without making any changes. When I turned it right side out the chalkboard did get a few crinkles. I put a cotton cloth (I use an old pillowcase) on top of the chalkboard, set my iron to low and ran it across to warm it up. That seemed to smooth it out but I did have to do the ironing process three times before I was satisfied.
The chalkboard fabric has no give and the cotton fabric I used does. While sewing them together the cotton did stretch to bigger than the chalkboard. I just trimmed off the excess before going to the next step. I might try a walking foot next time to see if that helps. This portable chalkboard will be great in the car to help keep the kids from getting bored.
One final tip … Do make sure you condition the chalkbaord fabric. Run a piece of chalk on it’s side over the whole surface. Run it horizontally and vertically. Wipe that off and repeat. This should make it ready to write on. I have used plain drawing chalk but have not tried chalk markers.
If you are looking for a really neat race track set, this is one to get for your collection. I own a few different sets of this same brand. It comes with 2 cars that take AAA batteries (not included), 2 track switches, about 12 feet total of track and a bag to put it all in.
The track is easy to put together, it snaps together, and you can make it as big or little as you want. The cars go pretty fast on the track and have a little bumper wheel in the front that will allow them to bump and go while you have them running on the bare floor. I don’t recommend running them on carpet or in an area that has a lot of hair like from pets. the fibers and hair get tangled in the wheel axels.
There are many ways that the track can be put together. You can make it a little circle, large oval and any twists in between.
One of my Grandsons like to make the family put his together just so he can watch them go round and round.
The bag I have been carrying to work was getting ready to fall apart. I was going to go buy another one then thought hmmmm I have lots of fabric. So on with a search for a large zippered bag. Missouri Star Quilt Company is the first place I go to for tutorials. They did not disappoint me. I fell in love with this bag…. Tumbler Bag
I have to go through a screening process to get into work so the button flap would not work. My stuff would spill out on the x-ray belt if the bag tipped over. It was back to a tutorial search. This time I was searching for a recessed zipper tutorial. I had never attempted one but thought since this was for me I would forgive any mistakes and carry it anyway. I settled on this one….. Recessed Zipper Tutorial
The tutorial for the bag is so easy to follow. Since the pieced panels are used as the pattern for the interfacing and lining I hoped it would be easy to adjust for the zipper. I was right. It was a simple matter of cutting the lining and interfacing pieces just like the bag pieces before adding the top strip. That way I was able to insert the zipper section in when I pieced the main lining to the top strip.
It was not as hard as I thought it would be. As a matter of fact the zipper went in very easy. I left the long ends and was able to move the pull out of the way during the whole process. I had my outer panels ready. Now my zipper was in my lining and ready. The rest was done by following the tutorial. I was pleasantly surprised when the zipper panel fit perfectly.
I did change a few other things. On one side I stitched down the pocket to divide it into two smaller ones. On the other I added a velcro closure to keep my stuff secure. I also made two tabs with D rings. I attached them to each inside top right under the zipper panel using velcro.
I use these rings to hang my keys so I don’t have to dig for them.
I was in between projects and looking for something quick to whip up. I admit I am hooked on sewing. While chatting with Kathy she recommended a little fabric box project. She had made several and advised me to try the tutorial…. Fabric Box Tutorial
I have some pre-cut 10 inch squares that made this the perfect project for me. I did follow the tutorial and had a lot of fun with it.
I will be trying some more of these using 2.5 inch squares and some piece work. I can come up with lots of uses for these in all kinds of sizes. This one is done in a fun print. I plan on using it at my sewing machine to hold small objects that I don’t want stored away in a drawer. You could also use some fancy floral print to make it perfect for the top of a ladies dresser or vanity. It can hold things like bobbie pins and barrettes on the bathroom counter. How about turning it into a potpourri holder. They would be great for the desktop to hold things like paperclips.
I wanted to make something to send to my aunt. She is my mother’s sister and I not only wanted to send her something but I wanted it to be something I made. My mother was very talented when it came to all kinds of crafts but most especially when it was made by sewing. So in honor of my mother I wanted to make her something special. After talking to her I decided on a small tote bag. She wanted something to carry her tablet in. After a search for patterns I decided on this one…. Tablet Bag
I did change it up a little when it came to the straps. I made my own and did not run them the length of the bag. I just inserted them between the outer body and the lining.
In order to do it this way I did have to finish off the pocket sides as the tutorial had the straps on top of the raw pocket edges. I just ran some bias tape around. The button tab was added for an easy way to secure her tablet inside. I wanted a quick in and out so decided against a zipper. I was pleased with the finished look. I used Mickey Mouse fabric because my aunt and my mother both love him. I had fabric left so decided to make a matching zipper pouch and sun glass holder. To make those I read many different tutorials and combined the parts I liked to make it easiest for my inexperience.
I was so pleased with the ease of this project that I decided to make one to send to a long distance friend.
I wanted some practice with cutting and piecing so I decided to start with a rag quilt. They require a lot of cutting as you need to cut the top, back and middle layers all into squares. Traditional quilts have piecing for the top but the back is typically all one piece.
Once my mind was made up I consulted Kathy from our Kathy’s Quilting Corner. She guided me through the process. She gave me some pointers and sent me this link…Baby Rag Quilt I did a search to see if there were different ways of making the quilt and discovered the only true difference between methods was the center layer. Some use batting and some use cloth.
I made a decision to use flannel for all three layers. So now it was time to cut and cut and cut.
I ended up cutting 300 squares. 100 per layer. With my inexperience that was an all day job. Whew glad that was done!
Now to make my sandwiches. Yes all that cutting did make me hungry but I was referring to the quilting sandwiches. I layered the three together and sewed an X to hold them together. Not hard but tedious.
Now it was time to start sewing the squares together. Making the rows was not hard. But then when it came time to sew the rows together I discovered that being off even a hair in your seam allowance is not good. For the most part I was able to match up my seams. Not too bad for a first try.
My grandson was turning 2 in a week and loves dinosaurs so I had to get it finised in time for his surprise. Once all the rows are together some real work begins. You have to snip all the seam allowances to get the rag look.
This is the before …………….
And this is all snipped and washed …….
I decided to add his name to the back and make a matching pillow case. I just measured the pillow and made a tube with a hemmed top.
I finally did it, I made my first quilt. Its not big (3′ by 3 1/2′) but its not to shabby for my first one. I did wide strips instead of squares. I wanted to try something kind of easy to put together, just to see what it entails, before taking on a detailed one. I am not really into the flower or swirl patterns so I chose the basic plain colors for the quilt side and the Husband picked the material for the backing. It’s not your eyes deceiving you, I did goof and the lines don’t line up from side to side (ooops). I think my next try will be squares, maybe 8″ or so but not sure of the pattern.