Monday, January 3, 2011

eReader Sleeve -- Take I

Happy New Year! My resolution is to not have picking quilting projects induce a nervous breakdown--or at least have that happen less frequently.

My husband recently got a Sony eReader Touch. It is very fancy! In the interest of project selection, he suggested that I could make a case for it, with a hard side to protect the screen. A few prototypes were constructed with scrap fabric, including a very slippery and stretch fabric that became incredibly frustrating to work with.

Then I was ready to take the plunge with the 'real' fabric. And here are the results:

The lining and outer layer were sewn separately and then pieces were joined, leaving the flap open. I then inserted a piece of heavy paper board in the top, pressed the corners down for the flap, and top stitched it closed. Finally, I attached a snap that is much to heavy for the item.

The eReader should be inserted with the screen toward the hard side, so it is protected and the pressure of the snap is against the back.

There were definitely some lessons learned. First, a more delicate closure (e.g. Velcro) would have been better. Second, it is slightly too big. I have a different technique in mind for a next iteration, which I'm anxious to try out. Nonetheless, this will go in the success column!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Tree Table Topper

My best friend suggested that I make this. It is absolutely adorable, and I was happy to oblige. Rather than make a wall hanging, I opted for a table pad. They are great sized projects, not too big, not too little. Recently, I recently bought some specialty rulers to help with cutting 30 and 60 degree angles, and this seemed like the perfect project to try to them out.

Even with the rulers, I created paper templates for the tree blocks. My intention was to have the blocks be a 6"x 6" when finished, but they ended up being 5.5" x 5.5", which was just fine. I used a selection of fabrics from my stash, which included far more greens than I reaslized.

To make life a bit easier and ensure that all of the seams stayed in the right direction, I used iron-on batting. The backing is a solid dark green, and folded up the edges to make the binding.

To quilt the piece, I sewed 'snowflakes', which three to five stitches arms.

I'm very happy with the final product. It may end up being a gift, or I may end up keeping it...because we don't have enough Christmas stuff already.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Stormy Seas

I have not so much been delinquent in my blogging as my sewing. I have decided to try to make a few kits becuase deciding what to make has proven more difficult than I anticipated. There was a kit on Connecting Threads that I really liked, but it was always out of stock. However, the component fabrics were all in stock, so I ordered the parts.

The pattern is a modified version of the Storm at Sea pattern, using primarily blue and purple batiks. I drew up the paper patterns and set to work on sewing the pieces. After some concentrated work and serious frustration, I have 16 small squares, 24 rectangles, and 9 large squares.

Next week the assembly will begin!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Thanksgiving Table Pad

My best friend and I have coffee together most Tuesdays, one of which happened to be the day I received my Connecting Threads order. She indulged my desire to look at all of the pretty new fabric, including some batiks with a swirl motif, commenting on how nice the orange-gold and turquoise looked together.

I had quite enjoyed making the Christmas table pad, and that type of project seemed like a great option for these fabrics. The pattern is made entirely of half-square triangles arranged to create concentric squares. 32 back to back squares to make 64 half-square triangles. Here are the HST's all stacked up and ready to go:

The back and the binding are an orange-on-orange fabric, also from Connecting Threads. The quilting is about 1/8 inch in the smaller gold squares.

My lack of a walking foot for my sewing machine didn't seem to be much of an obstacle this time.

The finished product is approximately 16" by 16". My hope to have it ready for Thanksgiving Sunday dinner and Michelle and Adam's place didn't quite come together, but better late than never!

Monday, October 4, 2010


After another coaster making excursion, I decided that I wanted to tackle a larger project than I have undertaken so far. Part of my hesitancy to take on something bigger is that I don't have all of the proper attachments for my sewing machine. It turns out that finding a walking foot for my older model Singer isn't as easy as I would have hoped. That I wanted something more ambitious is about the only thing I could settle one.

And thus begun the cycle of search online—find something interesting—pull out various fabrics, none of which seem right—second guess project selection—repeat. It felt like this went on for a very long time. Finally, I settled on a holiday table pad for our coffee table.

Most of the block are made from two long strips of gold and red, cut to the appropriate size.

Once I finished the top, I used some plain red for the binding and the backing.

The finished product was about 18" x 27".

The good news is that my sewing does have a feed dog cover!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Further Adventures in Fasteners -- Snaps

After looking at a few patterns for pouches and clutches, it seemed like a good project to try out. There were a number of good projects, but nothing spot on  with what I had in my head, so this is an amalgamation of approaches. These were very quick projects, once I figured out what I was actually doing.

These projects are made by creating a long top, and then applying fusible interfacing to the wrong side. The piece is then folded and sewn together. There was a mathematical error with my first attempt, resulting in a much longer bag than I intended. This uses three fabric from Connecting Threads.

Another miscalculation resulted in incorrect snap placement for my second try, so this one currently doesn't have any kind of closure. However, I loved the fabric so much, I went back and bought more.

With the final creation of the night, I managed to get everything more or less as I intended.

Of course, I couldn't tell you what these are actually for, but in future versions, I would like to use magnetic snaps, rather than traditional ones. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Experiments with Zippers

I've been trying to work with installing zippers in bag. The first project used the wrong type of zipper (oops!) and I initially cut the strap for the back too short and extended them using scraps, which didn't turn out very neatly. The plan was good, the execution left something to be desired. I will probably try to make something similar in the near future.The pocket fabric is very exciting!

 The cosmetics bag turned out much better! It is 8" by 6", lined with a layer of batting. Next time, I might try just using interfacing, rather than batting.

Also, there was a members sale at Fabricland today, requiring a ridiculous amount of self-control. It's on until Saturday, so who knows what will happen.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Potholder Weekend

This weekend, I set out to find batting to use in potholders. One phone call to a local quilt shop and two Fabriclands later, I had one metre of Solari.

The first Fabricland visit was still a success. The yellow paisley was $3/m. The pattern isn't as pronounced as it appears in the photo.

There were also a few other finds, including the stars and they orange fabric used for the first potholder.

Returning tired, victorious from shopping, I set out to make my first potholder. It is made from another $3/metre Fabricland find. It is quilted at approximately 1 1/4" lines. The binding is the same fabric as the front, since I couldn't find a good coordinating fabric in my stash. It was my first experience with a mitred binding, well any binding really. There were definitely some lessons learned.

I found the photos on this site were a good illustration of how to do the binding. You won't see photos of the back because it looks pretty rough. In an effort to not slip stitch the whole edge, I decided to fold the back edge over and stitch-in-the-ditch on the front around the binding. The result was not very polished, not helped by the fact that I cut the binding fabric too short, but it certainly didn't take very long.

Potholder II fed my growing addition to paper piecing. Made from four fabrics from Connecting Threads and some black that I already had, the pattern is called TripleStar from Ulas Quiltpage.

The centre area is 5 1/2" square, and I added strips of the cream for a finished size of 9 1/2" square, which is a bit large. Here again, I used a mitred binding using the stitch-in-the-ditch approach. The back doesn't look that nice, but it's better than the first one.

I also stitched along the lines of the extra strips. The layers are in order backing, reflective batting, normal batting, top.