Thursday, October 1, 2015

Chequers Pillows

Or, as we call them here, cushions!

After great success with the Q2 list (and even winning a prize) I am failing miserably, despite all my good intentions, to complete my Finish Along Q3 list (life just gets in the way of good intentions sometimes, as well as the fact I've been distracted by some new projects eg pillowcases and tote bags and a couple of other WIPs that weren't actually on my list!)

But I HAVE got this goal done (now that it is school holidays so I can fit in a bit of down-time in between preparing for next term)...I had these squares left over from my 50c Mixture baby quilt ...

The panels were only 12" in size and the smallest inserts I could buy at Spotlight were 14" so I used some of my precious leftovers of the Remix Ovals by Anne Kelle for Robert Kaufman, to make 1 inch borders around the panels, with a lovely grey spotty print to make the envelope backings.

Big "hi" to visitors from Kelly's Needle and Thread Thursday or Amanda Jean's Finish It Up Friday linky parties!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Tote Bag tutorial

For a quick, basic, lined bag, with a feature fabric on one side and strips of prints on the other, this is what I do:

1. Cut one panel of 16" x 18"

2. Cut 16" length strips of even width, or mixed widths depending on the effect I wish to create, eg between 1.5"-4", cutting enough to make a 16" x 18" panel when sewn together. 

3. Layer each panel with batting (and a muslin backing if wish) and quilt as you like.


4. Trim both panels to 15" x 17". Place right sides together and stitch 1/4" or 1/2" seam around the sides and bottom. 

5. Make a gusset so the bag has a flat base: flatten the sides of the bag so that the side seam rests against the base seam and form a triangle.  Sew 1 and 1/4" across the point (I usually do it three times) then trim the point off. Repeat on other seam. 

6. Cut lining fabric 17.5" x 15.5" (two pieces or cut on the fold). With right sides together, sew the side seams and bottom, leaving a four inch gap in the bottom for turning the bag later.  

7. Make a gusset in the lining, as in steps 5 and 6.  

8. Make handles for the bag, choose desired length - mine is usually about 28" (pre-sewing). For two-colour handles: cut two strips of each colour, 2.5" x 28". Press a 1/4" fold along the length of both sides, of each strip. 

9.  Cut batting of 1.5" x 28". Wrap first colour around the batting, then layer other colour on top to make a sandwich. Sew 1/8" along each edge (or closer if possible) and also sew a strip right down the middle of each handle. 

10. Attach handles to the outside of the bag and pin in place, keeping the pins away from the upper edge). Stitch 1/4" from the top edge, triple stitching for reinforcing. 

11. Insert the bag outer into the lining so that the right sides are together and the handles are tucked down out of the way.  Stitch 1/4" around the top, reinforcing over the handles and side seams. 

12. Carefully pull the quilted bag through from the inside by using the gap in the base of the lining. Fold the top down and slip-stitch the gap closed. 

13.  Top stitch around the upper hem of the bag, holding handles up out of the way. 

The bag is finished, remember to date/label it somewhere! 

Pillowcases x3

Double-banded pillowcases (a.k.a. what you do when you realise you have cut your main fabric too short!)  I used my favourite roll-it-up method for hidden French seams to attach the bands and then create the pillowcase by using this APQ pattern that I have used many times before.
Unicorn fabric from Spotlight...

If buying fabric for pillowcases I usually buy a metre of each fabric and then I can make an alternating pair as that gives me enough for the main body of one case and a band on the other.

Crown princess pillow - fabric also picked up at Spotlight...did not muck up the cutting on this one, but did have to spend time working out HOW to cut it as wanted the crowns to be the right way around, which meant opening up the fabric and cutting it differently...
Joining up with my international quilting friends via Amanda Jean's  Finish It Up Friday  linky party!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Reversible Headbands - super easy!

This is definitely going on my to-do list - these will be perfect for a crafty sales-table...

Karen suggests, when making a batch of headbands, attaching all the strips to the interfacing before cutting the pieces, to save time later - great tip!