Friday, February 20, 2015

Layer Cake Square Pencil Bag Tutorial

Layer Cake leftovers?  These cute little pencil bags were sewn with 10" layer cake squares - And Mochi Linen by Moda.   We love this strong linen in little bags and totes.    I used a variety of left over layer cake squares or 10" squares.  The ones shown in the tutorial are from Heather Ross's Briar Rose Collection for Windham fabrics.

Have you seen the TOMS pencil bag made from the TOMS flags.  We wanted to make those for our Young Women's 14 year-old Church group this week, but not all of the girls had TOMS flags. So I pulled out the Linen and some left over 10" squares.  Walaaaa.  Cute bags.  They loved them! And they all finished their bags in our hour long meeting.  A perfect way to introduce zippers  to beginning seamstresses.

Actually I love this little bag for much more than pencils.  This will carry all those loose trinkets in my purse.  And you can make it any size you want!

 First cut a 10" square of Mochi Linen.  Here is the link if you are needing to purchase some from our shop.  Match it to a 10" Layer Cake square - with wrong sides together zig zag stitch or serge the outside edges to hold the pieces together and finish off the edges.  I placed a little washable fabric glue (from a glue stick) inside to hold them in place while I stitched around the edges.  This will finish off the edges since this bag will not have a separate lining.

Lay the fabric square down with the outside fabric facing up.  Pin the zipper to the top of the square, matching zipper and fabric edge.  Make sure the zipper is face down - the zipper pull on the underside.  And the zipper pull should be on the left side.  I used a 14" zipper.  You could use a smaller one, but not smaller than 10".
 Note - you can also have the print on the outside-just flip your square.

 Can you see the zipper pull is on the underside?  Very important.  Using your zipper foot, stitch down the zipper.  This is about 1/4" or a titch more from the edge.

 Next, flip the sewn zipper back.  Fold the seam under towards the fabric square.  Top-stitch down the fabric sewing down the seam.  This will keep your fabric from getting caught in the zipper.  I switched the presser foot as you can see.  I did this so that  I have a guide to follow for a straighter top-stitch.  See the finished top-stitching below.  NOTE : For those teaching a youth group, I set up two machines - one with each presser foot.  That way they rotated machines with pinning so there was little wait time.  We finished 8 bags in just a little over an hour.

Click on the picture if you need a close up.  Now we need to do the same stitching on the opposite side of the zipper.

Fold the bottom up to the top of the zipper edge.  Notice the zipper pull is face up and the wrong side of the bag is face up.  Sew along the edge.  This will form a tube when you are finished.

Open up the zipper all the way.  You will need this open to top-stitch this side of the zipper.  Top-stitch the seam down the same distance as your fist top-stitching so they will match when the zipper is closed.

Now you can finish your bag 2 different ways.  For the youth group (and with the TOMS flags) we just needed to sew the seams.  The edges are visible in the inside.  Just follow the next picture.

 If you want to French Seam your bag (raw edges will not show) skip to the French Seam instructions below.

 IMPORTANT Close the Zipper half way.  Next you need to decide if you want a center opening or an opening near to the top.   Center you zipper if you want a center opening.  Pin down edges.  OR...
 if you want a top access opening, position the zipper near the top.  Measure the top and/or bottom of each side to make sure your zipper is straight.
 Pin the zipper edges close together where they are separated.  Did you remember to close your zipper half way?  Stitch about 3/8" from the edge down each side.  Back-stitch at the beginning, the ending, and over the zipper.  I back-stitched over the zipper to strengthen this seam when you turn the bag to the right side.  Trim off excess zipper.

Just turn your bag to the right side.  Push those little corners to a point.  You are Finished!

French Seam Finish Instructions

After closing the zipper part way, turn your bag to the right side.  Position the bag opening where you want it to be.  Stitch a quarter inch seam down each side.  Cut off the excess zipper to be flush with the edges.  Make sure your zipper is close together on the separated side.  As you can see I cut out the zipper coils inside the seam to reduce bulk.  I also clipped the corners so they would be less bulky.

 Turn the bag to the wrong side.  Push out the corners and sides as best you can.  Press the seams flat. Pin where needed.  You are going to stitch a seam down each side.  I recommend 1/2" seam. (3/8" seams are too bulky).

  Just as before, back-stitch the beginning, ending, and over the zipper.  Turn the bag to the right side.

And you are finished.  Can you see the finished seam on the inside?  No raw edges or fraying to deal with.  These little bags should last a long time.

I hope you enjoyed this simple project.   Once you make one, you won't need all the pictures. I love projects that use up scraps of fabric.  If you teach sewing to a youth group, they will love this fun and  easy pencil bag.   Even one of the girls that declared she "didn't sew" loved these bags.

Happy Sewing!  Stay warm!
Kristin and Sandra

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Words to Live By Block 11


Another wonderful design!  I love the Laurel wreath pattern with the berries.   I know I am behind schedule...I apologize.  Hopefully I will be caught up tomorrow with Block 12.   My daughter became engaged over the holidays and we have been wedding planning.  We are all so excited.

If you are just joining us, we are making Lisa Bongean's Words to Live By Quilt  - a block each month.  Lisa is the designer of Primitive Gatherings and has hand selected all of the wool and cottons for this BOM kit.  It is not too late to join.  We still have 4 complete kits left!   We are almost finished, but we will leave the hints and pictures up for you.

Lots of small berries and leaves to trace.  I traced the small wool squares with a pencil on my fusible web.  That way I could fit all of the berries inside the small squares.   As you can see I also made good use of the center of the green circular vine.

So I was so careful with my leaves and circular vine when pressing.   Make sure to  "press in place".   Do not "iron" or your leaves and berries will move.  Even a shot of steam can blow off the berries.
The other hint I have for you (which I didn't do) is to take a quick picture with your phone before pressing.  I see now that a few of the leaves are lying closer to the vine than the others.  Had I noticed that before pressing, I would have moved them out just a little. 
I used a pencil to trace some pattern lines on the fabric - just a side of each leaf and the berries.   Also, trace the stems you will need to embroider.  I did this right after inking in the Courage letters, keeping the pattern and fabric in place.  

Happy Sewing

Thursday, November 27, 2014

And to thank each of you, we are having a 

Black Friday to Cyber Monday Sale

20% off your entire order

Use coupon code givethanks at check out

Sale begins today ends Dec 1st at midnight

Friday, November 21, 2014

Words to Live By Block 10


Passion: a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something...
 I think this may also be another word for work.  Except it is work you LOVE.  I think that is how many of us feel about quilting.
  I had an art teacher in college that used to say great art is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.   He instructed us to get to know our medium until we really understood it.   
  I have learned so much with this project.  
If you are just joining us, we are making Lisa Bongean's Words to Live By Quilt  - a block each month.  Lisa is the designer of Primitive Gatherings and has hand selected all of the wool and cottons for this BOM kit.  It is not too late to join.  We still have 6 kits left!   

I take pictures of these appliques with the fusible web to help you with the placement.  I hope this is helpful since the camera doesn't always capture the difference in color and pattern.  Watch that oval - the fusible web may come apart as you are cutting the pencil pattern out.  Just re-position it when you press it to the wool.

This block has diamond leaves.  I traced the diamonds in two different patterns so that you could see how much space was left on the wool.  Either way is great.  I did like the nice little squares of wool left over on the right and left  pieces.  I thought the center diagram would be best but that just left me with a long scrap of wool.

I traced the vine lines for the embroidered vines with a sharp pencil.  
This is another block I am looking forward to embroidering - I like the larger pieces.  

Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving next week! 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Flying Geese Quilt Tutorial with Layer Cake

Ever since I spotted the Spring House Layer Cake Free Quilt Pattern by Moda Fabrics I have wanted to make this quilt. I loved that all I needed was a Layer Cake and some background yardage.   The design team at Moda Fabrics has some wonderful free patterns. You may download this pattern and use their instructions or follow the ones below.  I made my flying geese blocks a larger size and I used a different method. Here is the link to the Spring House Free Pattern

My son-in-law's sister and her husband climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro.  For a wedding gift I decided to make them a quilt with something to resemble a mountain.  I thought this pattern would be perfect.

I prefer to make my flying geese blocks with the no-waste four-at-a-time method.  The blocks sew up so much faster and more accurate. All seams are 1/4".

First grab your favorite Layer Cake.  I chose Persimmon by BasicGrey for this quilt.
Next - Decide on your finished quilt size.

I always make one block first to make sure the calculations are correct.  Please make one set of flying geese before cutting the remaining squares to make sure the calculations are correct. 

Using the chart above decide on the size you need your print square to be.   I finally decided on a finished flying geese block of 3.5"x 7".   I trimmed my print squares to 8 1/4".
(At first I wanted a larger flying geese block and first trimmed it to 9 1/4".  THEN I calculated how big the quilt would be and decided I needed a smaller finished quilt.  And yes I saved the strips for another project.) 

Also using the guide above, find out what your background squares size needs to be.  With a pencil and ruler draw a diagonal line on each of the 160 squares, from corner to corner.  Yes put on your favorite movie.

Then place 2 of background/white squares on each printed Layer Cake square.  Notice how the pencil lines match up forming one diagonal line across the Layer Cake square.  The background squares will overlap.  Repeat this for all 40 squares.  Set aside the remaining 80 background squares.

I pulled 2 squares to show you the next few steps.  Stitch a 1/4" seam alongside each drawn pencil line.  Stitch a seam line on both sides of the drawn pencil line.

Here is a close up of one of the squares.  Sew all 40 layer cake print squares in this manner.

 Using a rotary cutter, cut each square directly on the pencil line.  Press each triangle open with the seam towards the background triangles.  You will have 2 heart shaped units from each square.

On each of the two heart sections, place a background square with the pencil line running up the center of the triangle.  Stitch 1/4" seams alongside each pencil line.
Rotary cut along the pencil line.  Separate the sections.  You now have 4 flying geese blocks.  Press seams towards the top and trim of those dog ears.  Repeat this process with all 40 Layer Cake squares.  You will have a total of 160 flying geese blocks.
Remember - Your flying geese blocks will be 1/2" wider and taller than your finished block listed in the guide above.  This is for the seam allowance.  Correct any flying geese that may have been a little "wonky".  I always "true up" my blocks before sewing them in rows. 

Now the fun!  Arrange your blocks into the pattern you choose. 8 rows of 20 blocks.  I really liked alternating the direction of the flying geese.  And I liked the idea of having all four of the same prints together creating a stripe effect.  My husband preferred the random arrangement of the blocks - I liked that too.  But since I am making the quilt I get to choose.  :)

  Stitch the flying geese blocks into rows.  I pressed the seams towards the top of each block.  Since I am alternating the direction of each, the seams will nestle up nicely.  Then stitch the rows together, matching up block seams.

I added 5" borders to the sides of this quilt top. Border strip measurements are 5" x 70.5".
 Since the top was already 70" long, I just wanted to make the quilt a little wider.   You may choose to have borders on the top and bottom of the quilt.  Or you may choose arrange the blocks in a different pattern creating a different size for your quilt.

Now off to my favorite quilter Leisha.

 Be creative and have fun.  You can arrange your flying geese blocks in a square pattern.  Remember this Yankee Puzzle block from our Apple Pie Quilt Along:
This would work perfectly with the blocks you have just sewn because each square makes 4 flying geese blocks - exactly what you would need for this Yankee Puzzle Block.   You need 2 prints per block.  You could arrange them 4 rows x 5 blocks and have the same finished quilt measurement.

If you make a flying geese quilt, remember to send us pictures.  We love sharing them on our blog sharing days.

Happy sewing and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Words to Live By Block 9


If you are just joining us, we are making Lisa Bongean's Words to Live By Quilt  - a block each month.  A beautiful Heirloom Quilt.   Lisa is the designer of Primitive Gatherings and has hand selected all of the wool and cottons for this BOM kit.  It is not too late to join.  We still have a few kits just waiting for you!  This is a great project if you have never done embroidery with wool.   We are beginners too!
We have tagged all of our blocks under the Block of the Month tab if you need to catch up.

Block 9 appliques are each separate pieces - no two are the same.  So you will need to trace each one.  Good news - they are all good size pieces except one.    Lisa has all ready grouped them together for you in the pattern.  If you are not sure which pieces to group together, notice in your instructions how the pattern piece numbers are grouped together by the color of wool. 

Notice all of the beautiful texture in the wools.  I love the batik looking these red wool flowers. 
 Remember to use light strokes and then go over what you need to without letting the marker "sit" on the fabric - it will bleed.   I had just a smidgeon of  marker bleeding on my "C" - the end dot. 
This block will be fun to embroidery!

How are you coming on the embroidery?  I am waiting for some pictures!  Please send me some.
I am a little behind.  But - I did finish the Loyalty Block last month.  
I had hoped to have one block embroidered before I applique another block.  Oh well.  I am a little more than half way.  The stems and leaves all get a very light olive green Valdini thread.  It looks a little gold in the picture.  Loving these birds.

This has been a fun project for me.  I am learning so much.  Guess you can teach an old dog new tricks!

Remember to send us some pictures of your finished projects!  Did you see last weeks sharing day?  It was awesome.

Happy Sewing 
Kristin and Sandra

Friday, October 10, 2014

Customer Sharing Days Are My Favorite - With Halloween Ideas!

This wonderful Mr Chillingsworth Quilt was designed by Polly of blog Pieces by Polly. These fun Halloween fabrics were designed by Echo Park Paper Co for Andover. The pattern and instructions are free,on Pollys's blog. This is a fast and easy Halloween Project. We have the kits ready to ship.CLICK HERE

Laura Williams created this wonderful table topper - perfect for the first of Autumn through Thanksgiving.  The pattern is The Pumpkin Patch by Kimberbell Designs.  Laura added some tendrils at the stems of each of her pumpkins.  Love this!  Thank you Laura for sending this picture of your finished project.  We always like to see how our kits turned out.  Beautiful work.

We have 3 more of these kits available.  We are sold out of the Black and Tan Leaf border print but we have another Jo Morton Andover print that will be just as wonderful.  It is black with a gold leaf.  If you click on the link you can see the picture of the new border print.  Click Here to get your kit.

More Halloween Ideas Below..

 Kris Allen's Modern Plus Quilt features the fabrics Simply Style designed by V and Co.  Such a fresh palette! Kris pieces and quilts her quilts.  We love this modern Plus Quilt.  Thanks Kris for sharing this with us.  Very inspirational!  Kris has some great quilt ideas that she shares on her blog.  Here is the link

Kris Allen also created this fun Giraffe and Circus Zoo theme quilt.  What you are seeing is the front and the back of the same quilt.  Kris found two quilt ideas that she loved and made one for each side!   Amazing!  We love this idea Kris.  Great color palette again.  Thank you for send us these pictures.

Ainslie Brunt hand pieced her Hearts, Hearts, Hearts Quilt using the English Paper Piecing Method.   I had to ready that twice - yes hand pieced.  "450-odd triangles, and 10 months of work! I must be crazy" says Ainslie.  No not crazy - this is gorgeous work.  And lots of it.   Perhaps we could all  use a class in Paper Piecing.  Those triangles making up the hearts are only about 4".   Simply Amazing!

  A close up of the fun prints that Ainslie used.  This pattern was created by Sandra Farnsworth.  We have seen this made up in a few colors other than Valentines - Love it.  Ainslie made this quilt for a wedding gift.  Thank you Ainslie for sharing your amazing talents with us!

Alison Shilinsky made this lovely Sweet Sweet Emma Quilt.  Such perfect piecing!  It was made with the Emma fabric collection by Cathy Heck (Which by the way is out of print and Alison had to do some tracking to find the fabrics).   Isn't this a sweet little girl quilt!  We love the bright pink and green mix.  The pattern was designed by Kristin Andersen.  Thank you Alison for sharing this quilt with us.  A perfect quilt for that fun striped wall!

Ilze created this wonderful jacket with the Urban Zoologie lining.  Ilze is a very creative seamstress and has some great childrens clothing items for sale in her Etsy Shop called yellOkids.  You will definitely want to visit her shop and see all of her creations!  Thank you Ilze for sharing your project with us.  It is fabulous! 
One of my favorite items in her shop is a darling striped T-shirt with a fox applique.   Link to yellOkids

Amanda Blythe made sweet cheery quilt called Love Letters - a Missouri Star pattern from their magazine with Fons and Porter- Quilting Quickly.  I love all those cute envelopes.  This would be so darling as a table topper.  Thank you Amanda!  We love it!

Amanda Jo designed and created this T-Shirt Quilt.  All those fun memorable t-shirts are joined together in a random pattern with the Cherry Red Pins print from Pat Sloan's Bobbins and Bits collection.  Amanda is Sandra's daughter.

Here is a close up of some of her fun Tees.  You can also see the swirl quilting pattern done by her sister Leisha Farnsworth of Quilting It.  Great job ladies!  or should I say Sisters!  We love you both!

Leisha has been sewing  some wonderful quilt projects this summer.  This Mod Olives pattern is so striking in the Botanique fabrics by Joel Dewberry.  Isn't this gorgeous?  It was made using the Quick Curve Ruler.  The Quick Curve Ruler and fabrics can be found at Sisters & Quilters! The tutorial is on sewkindofwonderful's blog under Mod Olives.   We will post or link more of this quilt when it is quilted.  Thanks again Leisha!

Sandra finished her beautiful Home is Where the Haunt Is Halloween wall hanging.  This pattern was designed by Kimberbell Designs.  We love all the fund sayings and different textures in this quilt.  Notice the fun broom and mummy.  This quilt makes me happy.  Sandra - we love your choice of colors and fabric prints.  Great combination!

Here is the close up of Leisha's creative quilting.  You can click on the picture for a close up look at all the fun patterns in each block.  Beautiful quilting Leisha!  You can find more of Leisha's work on her facebook page Quilting It.

Scrappy Halloween table toppers are some of our favorites.  We love the mix of patterns and textures. This pattern Pumpkin Patches was a free quilt pattern designed by Renee Nanneman for Andover Fabrics.  Click Here to see the full quilt pattern.
This quilt is just 9 patch blocks but sew 9 of them together - 3 x 3 to form a larger block.  The smaller squares are just 2 1/2"  - could be made from jelly roll strips.  This quilt is made with just 4 large blocks. I love this quilt on my dining table.  So bright and fun!

And if you have even more scraps - here is another easy Halloween Table Runner idea using scraps with black. I used a fun print on the back - so I can use either side.  The printes are charm pack squares cut in half I believe.  Notice the fun spider webs quilted in the black areas by Leisha. Original charm pack friendly pattern by Sweetwater fabrics.  

Remember the Color Block Pouches from the pattern V and Co?  Well we finally made up some kits with the Pattern, Linen, and pellon.  You just need to provide the 10" fabric squares.  These little bags would be awesome for Holiday or Wedding gifts.  Click Here to see the kits

Kristin made this fun little scrappy navy Hugs quilt for Baby Charlotte.   She made just 20 blocks - 4 blocks x 5 rows for a baby size quilt (and one block was the kiss block) .   This quilt is Layer Cake friendly so it is a great way to use up those left over 10" squares.  The Hugs Quilt Pattern was designed by Fig Tree and Company. Click Here
And of course this was quilted by the amazing Leisha Farnsworth. Don't you love the little flower in the kiss block - it mimic's the larger flower in the Hugs block.

What are you sewing for Halloween?  Please send us some of your pictures!