Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I Have a Tutorial!

I made a simple cover for my sewing machine.  I have also made a couple as gifts so I thought I would show you all how I made them. 





1/2 yard each of fabric for front, lining, and trim

Fusible web- 1/2 yard (18” wide) for pocket, small piece for applique

Ric-rac or piping  (optional)

1 1/4 yards ribbon for ties (I used 1/4 “ wide satin)

Let’s start!

First measure your sewing machine.  You need to measure across the widest part of the machine.  Then using a tape measure, measure around the sewing machine, front to back.

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The measurements on my machine were 16” x 30”.  Add 1/2 inch to each measurement.  Cut one front and one lining using your measurements (ex. 16 1/2'’ x 30 1/2’’).

From trim fabric cut one piece 8 1/2” x 16 1/2” (front trim) and one piece 12 1/2” x 16 1/2” (back pocket).

From fusible web, cut one piece 8 1/2” x 16 1/2” (for pocket).

1.  Front trim:  Fold fabric in half wrong sides together and press.  Piece will measure 4 1/4” x 16 1/2”. Add trim if desired.  Pin to the front fabric along one lower edge with the folded edge of the trim fabric facing up (hard to describe, easy to do!)  Sew close to the top edge of the trim and baste trim to the sides.





2.  Applique:  For a gift I appliqued 4 hearts about two inches above the front trim.  For the tutorial, I just cut a circle from the trim fabric, fused it to the front above the trim.  And then I zig-zagged around the circle.  If you are a real over-achiever, feel free to add your trim to the applique!



3. Back Pocket:  Apply fusible web to fabric for back pocket.


Note-The reason I did this was because I wanted the pocket to be firmer (more firm?).  If this does not matter to you or you  are using a heavier fabric, feel free to skip this step)

Fold pocket in half wrong sides together and fuse.  Pocket should measure 6 1/4” x 16 1/2”.  Apply trim (optional).  Baste to the front fabric at the side edges opposite the front trim and applique. (Again, easy to do, hard to explain!).  You will have a long piece of fabric with the trim and applique at one edge and the pocket at the other edge.  Clear as mud?  Make sure the folded edge of the pocket is facing UP.



1. Cut 4 pieces of ribbon 10” long. Measure up 6” on the front and back sides of the cover and pin ribbon in place.  Note position of pins and ribbon.


2.  Place front and lining pieces right sides together.  Sew with a 1/4 “ seam around the cover leaving a 4”-5” opening along one side for turning.(See my pin trick-I always put 2 pins together to remind me to stop sewing so I will HAVE an opening.)


Note-I sew perpendicular at the start and end of my sewing to the edge of my fabric.  It helps to make a sharp fold when I press and sew the opening closed.


3. Trim corners, turn right side out and give the cover a good press,  Top stitch around, close to the edge.  If your are careful, you will not have to hand sew the opening closed.


4.  Finish pocket.  I chose to put a seam down the center of the pocket and then again about 4” away to make 3 sections on the pocket.  Doing it now attaches the front of the cover to the lining.


You are done! Congratulations!




Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Quilt for my Bed

I have been practicing on my new Juki and Grace Quilt Frame.  When we first got everything set up I was afraid to even use it.  Then I got my nerve up and threaded the machine and wound a few bobbins.  I found a panel and put it on the frame.

First mistake-not enough backing at the top and bottom.  You really need at least 6-8” more(at the top AND bottom)  to attach the quilt comfortably although the directions say 10-12”.

Second mistake- and this is a biggy- do not use unfused fusible batting.  I know, a rookie mistake but it was just a practice piece and I did not want to go out and buy more, blah, blah, blah.  What a mess-it really dulled and junked up the needle.  I don’t even care for fusible when I use it the right way, what possessed me to use it the wrong way?

This piece came out so bad that I just chucked it.  How embarrassing-and a waste of time. 

Lesson learned again? Trying to save time usually wastes time.

My next experiment was a piece of cheater cloth that looked like a bunch of pieced diamonds.  This time I loaded it correctly and used a good batting.  I stitched rows of quilting using a different quilting pattern on each pass.  I learned what I liked to do, what I was good at, and what I needed to practice.  This piece I put a binding on and gave to my grandson as a play quilt.  My daughter has it on her couch so I guess it is not that bad.

I finally felt confident enough to work on a REAL quilt so I pulled out a top that I said I would quilt for a friend.  I just did an over all meander and it looks OK!

So of course I felt I was ready for a queen sized quilt.  It is a log cabin that I pieced about 5 years ago and it measures 84” x 108”.  It took two large spools of thread and 22 bobbins (from another spool).  I quilted 2-3 hours every day and it took me 5 days.  I did a close meander over the whole quilt.

I have forgotten how bulky a large quilt is to attach a binding completely by machine.  And of course I did not clear off my sewing table properly (although it was completely cleaned off when I finished!).  My arms ached when I was done!

And here it is!


Here is a close-up of the quilting:


I am pleased at how well it turned out.  I have a few more quilts to do(of course!!) and maybe I will actually get caught up.  Maybe….

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sew Many Pictures!

It has been so long since I have blogged.  I have been busy with family, working a little and, of course, sewing. All wonderful excuses for being lazy aren’t they?  So now I can catch up with some pictures.

A couple of weeks ago Michael and I went to the apple farm with Katie’s family.  I forgot my camera but here are some pictures that Katie sent me:



I participated in this year’s Angel Swap organized by Helen Stubbings from Hugs From Helen.  My partner was Veronica Donoso from Chile.  While I  can’t show you the finished gifts (I mailed them out today), I will show you the wrapped goodies:


I made 4 gifts and then I added some extras to the package.

Finally, last night we went to Katie’s house to carve pumpkins:DSC01144








I have been practicing on my new Juki and quilt frame.  It is getting a little bit easier although I still have more to learn.  More on that in my next post……