Thursday, July 18, 2013

Bugs in a Jar Quilt

Finished the borders on the bugs in a jar quilt today.

Here is the finished twin bed sized quilt top.  I was planning to make the blue border look like a book (jar) case.  The blue I finally found to match a few days ago has too much stretch to it and so I decided to use the border I did, because it has almost no stretch and was a little bit heavier cotton.

The fabric that started this idea is the outside border and the bug fabric between the rows of jars.  It was one piece of fabric that alternated strips of the yellow bug and flower design' then the crawling bugs design.  I bought it about 6 years ago and finally my mom and sister found the last 7 bug fabrics for me a few months ago.

I found many jar pattern, but nothing that was just what I wanted, so I drew my own.

The most time consuming part was folding all of the 1 1/2" squares and pressing them.  Sew them to the bug fabric just a tiny bit to the right of the fold line.  Look closely and you can see the red line of the foot on the crease and the needle just to the right.  Pressing the corner to the top uses a tiny bit of fabric to roll over the seam and if you stitch right on the crease the new triangle piece won't come to the outer corner.  Trim off the extra fabric in the corner so you have 1/4 inch seam.

Sew the four corners on.  Then the long sides.  Next sew the jar lid and the piece above the lid together.  Sew on the two background pieces to the lid sides.  The next time consuming part was pinning the lid to the top of the bottle so the seams matched perfectly (well almost).

Finding a jar lid fabric that I liked took a lot of time also.  I used muslin as the background fabric and sewed everything with a scant 1/4" seam.
I'm happy with the results and hope to have it quilted this month using my mom's quilting machine.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tote Bags for Kids

Today I made two tote bags for the grandkids to have as quiet bags for church.  They are really easy to make.

 Here are the fabrics.  1/2 yard for each bag.  Cut the top and bottom edges so they are even.

Cut a strip of fabric 3" wide and the entire width of the fabric for the handles.  Use the remaining piece of fabric and cut off the selvage edges and then a piece about 26" wide.  Folded in half will be a piece of fabric about 13" wide and 14 1/2" long.

Sewing shows up better on this fabric.  Stitch the side and bottom.  I used the edge of the presser foot as a guide, so the seam is about 3/8" wide.  Zigzag the seam allowance to help with raveling.  Use a short stitch length.  I used  1.0.

Match the side seam to the bottom seam on one side and the side fold line to the bottom seam line on the other side.  Stitch across the corner to make a bag with a box corner.  I used the stitch plate as the guide to line the point to for sewing and I alined the cut edge of the fabric with the front edge of the stitch plate so to  get the correct angle to sew.

Stitch across this line several times to reinforce the corner.  No need to trim off the excess fabric.  If you do remove it then zigzag that edge also.

Here is the finished corner.

Fold the top edge down 1/4" and then down again 1".  Press folds in place.  No need to stitch yet.

Remove the selvage edges from the 3" wide strip of fabric and cut it in half.  You will now have two pieces for the handles that are about 3" X 22".

Fold the handles in half lengthwise and stitch along one short edge and the long edge.  Clip the corner for easier turning.  Use your favorite method to turn right side out and press.  Fold about 1/4 " of the other short edge to the inside of the tube of fabric and press again.

Measure 4" in from each side and place the enter of the handle at that point.  Match the end of each handle to the fold line.  The handles from the two sides of the bag should match perfectly behind each other.

Start stitching from the side seam.  When you get to the handle, stitch across the bottom, up the side, back across just below the top of the bag, down the other side and across the bottom again.  Handles will be sewn on and the top edge hemmed when you get back to the side seam.

Here are the finished bags.  Now the grandkids and carry their own snacks, water bottles, color books, crayons, and whatever else I pack for them each Sunday.  I think it took longer to blog about these bags then it did to make them.

Remake a Unisex T-Shirt Feminine

Find a T-Shirt that you really like the fit of.  To me for a more feminine shirt, the cap of the sleeve (where the sleeve and shoulder seam meet) should be at the shoulder and not down your arm a ways.

Turn the shirt inside out.  Press the sleeve flat.

Fold some pattern making paper or whatever you can see somewhat see through and trace the sleeve. Match the pattern fold line and the sleeve fold line together. I left 1 1/2" at the bottom of the sleeve pattern for a hem allowance if needed.

Add 1/4" seam allowance to the underarm an sleeve top. The bottom line is the hem line.

The body of the shirt is easier to do if you lay it on the pattern making paper and trace around it.  Make sure the pattern making paper is folded in half for this too.  Match the fold lines of paper and shirt together. My T-Shirt was slightly out of shape at the shoulder. Just make sure you draw a straight shoulder line from neck to sleeve top.  Add 1/4 inch seam allowance if needed.

Fold back all but the one layer of the neckline front and trace along that line.

Cut out your pattern and lay it on the shirt you want to remake.  I did unstitch part of the sleeve at the top, so the new pattern would fit.  Cut it out.  This sleeve was slightly wider, so I decided to just ease the extra fabric into the shirt.

Now lay the body of the shirt pattern on the body of the T-Shirt.  I find the unixex T-Shirts to be long too.  Match the hem line of the pattern with the hem line of the shirt.  Pin to one half of the shirt and cut it out.

Open the shirt so the front neckline can be cut.  Carefully cut along the line you drew for the front of the shirt.  BE CAREFUL TO CUT ONLY THE FRONT LAYER OF THE SHIRT.   Save the piece that is the back of the shirt cutting line for future remakes.

Sew the new shoulder seams back together.  If your shirt was really big and you had to cut the sides then sew them together too.  Fold the neckline in half matching shoulder seams and all neck edges. Mark the center front and center back.

Now match the center front and back marks and and all the neck edges and mark at the fold lines.  These fold points will not be at the shoulder seams since the neck opening is lower in the front.

No picture for the next steps.  Sorry I forgot to take them.  Unstitch the neck ribbing and slightly stretch it. Fold it in half at the seam line and mark it at  the two folded edges.  Now refold with the marks together and mark the new fold lines.  You are actually dividing the ribbing into 4 even sections.  Now match each of the four ribbing marks with the four shirt neckline marks.  Make sure the seam in the ribbing is at the center back mark of the neck.  The ribbing should be a little smaller.  Sew the ribbing on with 1/4" seams.  The ribbing should be on top.  Stretch between pins when sewing.  If the ribbing  does not stretch enough it will flop down instead of stand up on the shirt.  Ribbing should never be larger than 3/4 of the neck opening.

A finished somewhat baggy and comfy T-Shirt that looks more feminine.

My Scrap Happy Quilt

Here is the quilt top of a scrappy quilt.  Sorry I forgot to take pictures.  Please let me know if my directions don't make sense.  I will make some samples if needed.

This is a twin bed size that is going to be for my granddaughter.
I thought I took pictures of how to make it, but I guess I didn't.
So here are the directions:
Everything was pieced onto foundation fabric.  I bought a queen size sheet from the thrift store and cut it into my foundation pieces.
The squares were cut 12 1/2" X 12 1/2".  The strips between the squares were cut 3 1/2" wide and the width of the sheet.  All seams are 1/4"
Fold the squares into a triangle and press the fold line.  This is used as a guide.  Lay a piece of fabric on one corner with the crease in it and center the crease below the corner fabric.  Add the next strip with right sides together and sew.  The strips I used are not all the same width on both ends of that strip of fabric.  If you look closely you will see how the angle slightly changes.  Some strips are pieced before sewing to the foundation fabric also.  After the foundation square is covered turn it over and trim off all excess fabric.
Piece the 3 1/2" strips of fabric the same way (no crease line needed).  Just be sure to change the angle of the strips every so often and piece some little pieces together before sewing to the foundation strip.
Cut the long strip into as many 12 1/2" strips as needed and sew them to the squares.  Add the long strips that connect each row.  Sew the foundation strips together if needed before adding the scraps.

 The following pictures are from a different project, but the concept is the same.

 Right sides together.  Sew it 1/4 inch seams.

 Flip the strip over and press.  Continue until all strips are added.  Don't skip the pressing.  This is where my TV tray pressing board came in very handy.

Trim off excess fabric to match foundation piece.