cleverchickadee


Say it Ain’t Sew by quornflour

I was trying to find some photos that go with a recipe I want to post; I did not find them, not yet anyway.

So I figured I would tell you how to make a super adorable pin cushion.

You will need 2 scarps of quilters cotton that you can cut into cut 2 squares (one each) 4½”x4½”

Then cut those down the diagonal into triangles. If you want to make it interesting use 4 different coordinated fabrics.

Sew the triangles back together into squares (right sides together using a ¼” seam allowance), using alternate fabrics.

Using a zig-zag stitch sew the two squares together (right sides together) on three sides.

Turn right side out and hand stitch the edges on the open in so there is only about enough room to fit your finger with stuffing in the hole.

Then stuff it.

Then keep stuffing it until you just can’t stuff it no more. It will fit a lot of stuffing. You can even use bits of scraps too if you want.

Then sew it shut.

Ta-da!

Don’t you feel fancy now?

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Organic Sewing by quornflour

I find that folks often offer up that they have a sewing machine and do not really know how to use it. I am pretty sure they are hoping I will offer them lessons.

Some folks even outright ask, or ask if I know someone, hoping I might offer.

Thing is, unless you want to know how to make a basic quilt; I am not going to teach you.

It is not that I am being snobbish, it is just that well: my sewing skills are crass. I can make stuff, but my process tends to be organic, I just put stuff together until I end up with whatever it was I wanted to make.

I look at the way things are made, where seams are, what the shape of the cuts are and then just wing it.

There are no rules.

Like the other day, I was thinking I needed a tote, but then when I was looking at the fabric, I decided a little overnight bag for an upcoming vacation with matching tote was a much better idea. I dug out some D rings and zippers and started cutting fabric and assembling. In the bag I had this great bag that I can use for my upcoming vacation, but if you want the pattern, well I would have to retrace my steps to figure out what it was I did in the first place.

So if you want to learn to sew, I say just go for it. Unless you plan on going on Project Runway or something, the technique does not really matter, from what I have seen on PR I am not even sure technique always matters. There isn’t a right or wrong, there just is.

Sit back, have fun and go for it!

 



Hostess Gift #1: Sop it up with something fantastical by texaskillet

It might be time to start a series of these. You know those people that invite you over and go to all the effort, pull out all the stops, prepare to entertain YOU.

Well those people deserve a gift, a small token of appreciation, something to show you know the effort they spent and love that they think you are worth it.

Here is a super simple project that is ALL DIY and lets you personalize or neutralize depending on how well you know the recipient.

 

Set of Dish OR Hand towels

All you need:

Sewing machine

Plain towels – I prefer the Costco 6 pack in white, but they sell a few other colors. Obviously this can be as lush or functional as you want.

FABRIC OF YOUR CHOICE! Yes you can totally do this with a fat quarter or scraps from your last quilting project, etc.

Thread

Scissors

Optional: measuring device. J

 

1st – Measure width of the towels of choice, feel free to eyeball it, LOVE that term.

2nd – Cut fabric to a ¼ inch Wider than your towel

3rd – Now cut fabric to get the desired height of the strip you will sew onto the towel

4th – This step is optional: Pin the fabric onto the towel with just 1/8 of an inch hanging over on the sides.

    I say this is optional because I don’t do it. I prefer to just hold everything in place via finger pinning and go for it. Weeeee!

5th – Load your machine with thread that compliments your fabric. Load your bobbin with thread that compliments the towel.

6th – Set your stitch to zigzag and your stitch length to zero. This may be different for some machines, but it should be fairly similar. If you have a satin stitch, you can use that for a nice rounded look.

7th – Run the fabric and towel combo through the sewing machine slowly creating a thick tight zigzag border for your fabric.

8th – Tie off and snip any thread ends for extra security.

What you get in the end should look something like the below. I have fun with this since there are just SOOOO many wonderful fabrics out there. One year I made a whole families worth of gifts with these. It wasn’t super easy because I didn’t know them very well at the time and had to carefully consider what they might want hanging around in their kitchen. But I’ll be honest, that was part of the fun. I hope you enjoy this one and that your friends need towels. 😉 Of course you could just make some towels that will be so much more amazing than anything you’ll find in the store. It’s also a nice way to up-cycle some of those boring towels that you have lying around at the bottom of your linen closet. Oh and if you are nervous about the small ripple effect, just give it a wash and an iron before gifting. It will all work out!

Hint: Be sure to apply the strips to the same side of the same end of each towel. Note where the towel tag is. You don’t want that to be a focal point. YAY!

 

 

 



Jelly Roll Quilt Complete by quornflour
March 19, 2011, 9:30 PM
Filed under: Clever Chickadees, craft, project, quornflour | Tags: , , , , , ,

A while back I got pair of jelly-rolls as a thank you gift. I had never worked with them before so it was a bit of an experiment for me.

I have made quilts with strips before but none that were precut.

I was not really sure where to go with them, so I cut them in half and sewed them together.

That showed me that the strips were not all the same length, so I trimmed off the extra parts then cut each pair into two equal length parts.

I also noticed that some of the strips were ever so slightly different widths.

So I sewed all of the quarter length pieces together and then cut the strips down into squares and sewed them together alternating the directions.

Then, I was reminded of the trouble with jelly-rolls… finding binding fabric that matches in color and pattern.

I stood in front of my stash for at least a half an hour, pulling fabrics and not quite finding the right shade of pink, or blue. Then I asked myself, why pink or blue, why not yellow?

It worked out that I happen to have the perfect shade of yellow that also has a completely complementary pattern!

I still need to do a first wash, though for now it has taken up residency on my couch, for which at about 5’x5′ it is the perfect size.



Fabricday! by quornflour
February 24, 2011, 8:35 PM
Filed under: Clever Chickadees, craft, quornflour, sewing | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

It would only be better if it was Fabric Friday, but Thursday is good too.

Last week I received a box at work which I thought contained tea and freeze dried strawberries. When I opened it I was super psyched to discover that it was a gift bag.

In the bag were the two lovely jelly-rolls and a card that made a lot of noise and a gift certificate for fabric.com. Now given my track record in the past for gift certificates (I somewhat recently found a gift certificate for Pottery Barn from 2003,) I have made an effort to spend them when I get them. So that is what I did.



I must have been reading Young Librarian Old Cowboy when I was shopping, because there is a definite theme there. I love the fabrics! I think I will turn them into a baby quilt.

That said, apparently they did not get the memo with regards to how I like my fabric folded, but whatever, there are worse things.



Binding by quornflour

I am not going to sit here at lie to you and tell you how much I love binging, how easy it is and how I jumped head first into the crocodile pit.

Fact is: I feared it. I let it consume me.

Fear or not, it makes a quilt look so much more finished than one without.

So one day I tried it out. It turned out ok. I learned a lot. I tried different methods, asked people and a lot of trial and error.

That said, the one I just finished was the first after numerous attempts, some better than others that I sat back and said. “Wow that was easy.”

So to spare you all of the failure that I had to endured let me share with you the easiest way to bind.

First. Skip the pre-folded binding you find in the craft store, I still do not understand that stuff. Besides, if you make your own, you can match the fabric with the quilt.

After you have finished piecing, basting and finally quilting or tying off your quilt: trim off all of the uneven edges if there are any and set it aside.

Next with the fabric you want to use to bind, cut it into strips, fabric is usually between 45″-52″ wide so take note of this when you are determining how many strips you will need. Don’t cut the long way, that’s tacky.

I use 3″ strips, it makes a nice thin binging but is also easy to use. For a long time I was using 2″ until I realized that doing that was making me a crazy person.

After you are done cutting get out your iron and iron each piece down the middle (the long way) right side out and then open and iron the sides in so it is ironed into quarters. Fold it up on the ironed seams and re-iron. (I love ironing). You can see the completed ironing in the picture above.

Next you want to attach all of your binding to make one long strip. To do this, take the ends of your binding end to end perpendicular right sides together and sew along the diagonal to make a mitered seam.

Cut off the triangle and open. Repeat this until all of your biding is one piece, if you find that your seams are crooked, take it out and do it again.

Starting in the middle of one side with a tail of about a foot so that you can join the ends when you get near the end, pin If you’re into that) or hold the binding on, and sew in the middle, if you are lined up correctly you will sew both sides at the same time. I like to go around a second time, but that is because it is just sewing straight lines.

To go around the corners fold into triangles and sew, leaving your needle in the down position when turning the corner.

Make sure it is folded evenly on both sides… the back sometimes likes to get a little squirrely.

When you get close to the end, stop about 12″ near where you started. This is the part that gets a little tricky and I forgot to photograph because I was concentrating… basically you are going to overlap the two ends so that they overlap the equivalent length that is the width. If you are using 3″ strips, then it would be a 3 inch overlap. Join the ends the same way you joined the strips earlier. Finish sewing. Easy peasy!

 

 



Quilts to be made…like soon. by texaskillet

Kelli’s Confessional-

Yesterday I went shopping.  Yay for fabric shopping.  I bought an entire quilts worth out of the remnant bin.  With the surfacing of the word Mantique I figured that I might as well contribute to the legacy of Manly items by creating and this time FINISHING a manquilt.  I still have to come up with something coinable as a term but, I’ll get there.  First things first.  The fabrics:

   

 

Now… while I was there, I couldn’t possibly stop at that.  So I decided to perhaps for the first time EVER, make a quilt for my etsy shop.  No intended recipient, no newly hatched babies, no freshly married couples in bliss, no single guy friends that just need a special blanky, no kids who demand personal attention from their mother at every turn.  🙂 Here’s the fabric stack I chose(that I bought a YARD each of).  It was based in brown but for those of you who know me, Zis Iz Nawt a Zurprise!

  

  

  

A few additions that I found while stacking in the store for the quilt… I have opinions and one of them was that I must have these.

  

Ordered the two following beauties from Fabric.com .   This is the first order I have put in with them and I did it through Amazon, mostly for guaranteed easy returns if I hated it.  Interestingly enough I didn’t get what I thought I was getting, but I am still happy with it. 🙂  I blame the ADD and my inability to read anything in a room where there are other goings ons.  My curse, I am okay with it.

   

  THEN THERE’S THIS LIL’ SLICE O’HEAVEN:         

 

And on that note… I shall return with directions on creating the quilt, whichever random brain pattern I decide to go with. Now onto catching up with my programs.




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