Category Archives: Sewing Projects

Working with Wonder Woman

I just finished up a really fun project. I haven’t made a custom Chemex Cozy for a while and received this note from a customer about a week ago. She asked….”do you have one that is more Wonder WOMAN and less super Man?”  Clearly she wanted some female superheroes to grace her kitchen. After a very quick search, I found this fabric.

My customer thought it was perfect so I placed an order and waited for it to arrive from an Etsy shop in Texas.  As soon as I got it, I cut into it.  I must have been terribly excited because I cut these girls out upside down. Not once, but twice. Considering I only had one yard of fabric (it takes about 1/2 yard to make a set) I was seriously frustrated. It didn’t take me long to decide to try some improv work to save the fabric.

I started cutting out Wonder Woman (she was the key player for my customer) and laying out pieces with black fabric framing off the individual pieces.  I was really liking the way she looked and felt like the black fabric calmed the craziness of the fabric down a bit.

 

Once I got one cozy put together, I sent off a progress picture to my customer. I was honest and told her what had happened. Asking for her honest opinion, I explained I would be happy to purchase more fabric. She immediately responded that she missed all of the action and  wasn’t too wild about the black in between the clips of Wonder Woman. She suggested I take the fabric scraps and just sew them back together ‘like a patchwork’. Ok then, on to round two. (I was not at all disappointed that she was unhappy with my first rendition as I knew I could list it for sale in the shop.)

Drawing on my practice with making fabric Victoria Findlay Wolfe style, I played with the scraps I had. Luckily, I still had a lot of scraps.

I only needed to have enough for the outside as I planned to line it with a solid fabric. Again, I tried to keep Wonder Woman as the main super hero and began laying pieces next to each other. I needed to end up with a wide strip of pieced fabric, enough for the large curve I cut for these cozies.

It came together so fast!  I showed Judy another progress picture and she was thrilled.  Having both a bright yellow solid and a deep purple solid, I let my customer choose her lining. She went with purple and I finished everything up soon thereafter.

I think it was a great lesson for me. Where I wanted to calm everything down and add the drama of the black frames, she wanted the chaos that DC Comic shows on most of their licensed fabric.

I suppose what I am trying to say is, it is such a trick to stock my shop with items (both handmade and fabrics) for my shoppers. I buy and make with my personal tastes reflected in my choices. I need to keep perspective on what the customer is going to like as well. At any rate, I loved creating both of these pieces and have no doubt the other one will sell swiftly.

If you make for others or for customers, how do you get that perspective? It is only natural to have a bias toward the styles, colors and themes you as the maker prefers, but we need to be able to figure out what the customer wants. Any input??

 

Linking up to a few places this week. Please take a look at the choices I have listed at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

 

Projects with Vintage Sheets

It is no secret that I have this crazy love of vintage everything.  I have posted many times about different thrifting trips where I have found little vintage treasures. It is fun to find uses for some of these little pieces. My sisters know of this passion of mine. Last month my youngest sister was cleaning out her in-laws house as they prepared to sell it.  She set these measuring cups aside for me, knowing I would want them. They are worn, bent and dented and I love them.

My collection of vintage sheets is quite large at this point. I often cut them into fat quarters and bundle them for sale in my shop. Last summer I made a queen size quilt and two throw pillows for the sewing room/guest room.

Two weeks ago I was cutting fat quarters and bundling them up for the shop when I realized I was amassing quite a stack of sheets. In an effort to use some of the scraps, I thought it would be fun to make a bunting with torn strips of the scraps I have from my sheets.  My plan was to hang it somewhere in the booth at the quilt show I worked earlier this month. I am not sure if you noticed it but I had it hanging around the table I used for cutting and transacting sales. Look at the table on the left in the picture below.

After cleaning up everything from the show I hung the bunting from a little shelf above the guest bed in my sewing room. Doesn’t it look cute with the quilt on the bed??

At about the same time, I decided to make a pair of pajama pants with one of the yellow sheets. The sheets are usually very soft as they have been used and laundered. I used a simple pattern, Simplicity 3935, to make them. It takes about as long to pin the pattern and cut the two pieces as it does to stitch them together. They are so, so comfortable. Here is the front – yes, they are a little wrinkled. I am not much for ironing my pj pants.  😉

Now the back side – which looks much like the front!  I put a little label on the inside of the back waistband so I would know which was which.  Otherwise, you don’t know until you put them on backward and wonder why they don’t fit right. Ha!

Mostly I like to lay on the guest bed and marvel that my pj’s match the quilt. Not really though…

I do love the soft colors and patterns in these sheets. While I only list fat quarter bundles in my shop, I do sell whole sheets if someone wants one to back a quilt or make something like my really cool pajama pants.  If you are ever of a mind to do this, email me and I will send you pictures of what I have available.

I want to show you a fun gift I received for Mother’s Day. My daughter somehow downloaded the logo to my business and had coffee mugs made for me. What a great surprise.

Aren’t these cute?? I just love them!

Just one more thing.  I have been following a series that my friend Mari is publishing over at Academic Quilter. She is on a tear organizing her sewing room, purging unused books, patterns and tools, and going through her stash and getting rid of fabrics she doesn’t want. She has been publishing these wonderfully inspiring posts with all kinds of suggestions for taking this project on. The posts are well written and divide the projects into manageable segments. I have to be honest and admit that to this point, I have only read the posts and wished I was doing the work. It has been so crazy lately and I haven’t spent the time to implement her ideas and suggestions. However, maybe you will have the time to take some of the ideas and put them to good use! Go check it out, if you haven’t already joined in.

Linking to some of my favorites – check out the list at the top of the page, under Link Ups!

Getting Ready

I spent quite a bit of time over the weekend preparing for a quilt show coming up this weekend. I decided to attend the show as a vendor and several months ago, I bought a booth for the vendor area. I got the smallest size booth they have and will give it a go.  My wonderful sister is coming to help me – this way if it is busy I will have help and if it is slow, she will commiserate with me.  Win-win for me!  She has great ideas and is very talented as a decorator so she has been a huge help as I collect what I need for the booth.

I used some green Ta Dot fabric (Michael Miller) and a piece of Crescent Bloom by Anna Maria Horner to make two work aprons for Patti and I to wear.   (Both of these fabrics are still available in my shop, though there is very little left.) The aprons were really a quick project and I just sort of made them up as I went. Check out the measuring tape twill that I used for the waist and the apron strings.  So cute! (Have to say the apron looks a whole lot cuter on my model than on me!!  🙂  )

Using the same fabrics, I made a bunting to hang across the front of one of the tables. Love these colors and they coordinate well with my logo.

Because this is my first time, I am trying not to spend tons of money. I did have to get a few things though. I am going for a bright, colorful look which will hopefully invite those shoppers to come and browse. You probably remember the banner I posted a few weeks ago.  My husband made me a frame with PVC pipe yesterday to hang it from.   People will definitely see that banner!

Pricing, oh my gosh — all the pricing that needed to be done. I have a small assortment of stitchery kits and a few projects for kids to make. Summer is coming and I thought it might be fun for some of the women to work on simpler projects with their grandchildren or children, as the case may be.  I made up a sample of this little pincushion kit. Isn’t it sweet? The kit includes everything needed so I think a young person could be quite successful making this. I have also marked a large assortment of fat quarter bundles and had to put pricing on the bolts (something I don’t normally do since it is just me down here in my little shop.)

Fat quarters! I have cut all sorts of fat quarters. This is a gamble because I have no idea how many will sell. I hesitate to cut too many because than my fabric is chopped up. But I have a good size collection. I think I would rather run out than bring home a billion fat quarters. If you are a local reader, I hope you will come by and say hi on Saturday or Sunday at the quilt show.  Members of the Pine Tree Quilt Guild will enjoy a 15% discount this weekend. Hurray for being in the guild!

Finally, let’s all congratulate Sally! Her name was pulled as the winner of the giveaway of a copy of No Scrap Left Behind. Sally, I have sent you an email.  Please respond in the next day or two. If I don’t hear from you, I will pull another name on Wednesday. Thanks so much for all of the comments and ideas on scrap storage. So many of us do keep scraps but there were a handful of honest quilters out there who don’t choose to keep them. It’s all good!  Those that don’t want them seem to give them to their guild members or other quilty friends. Sounds like a good idea to me! There are still more bloggers sharing their projects on the blog hop this week. Keep checking them out and maybe you will still add a copy of the book to your library!

I doubt I will post again this week. I still have quite a bit to do in preparation for the show. Hopefully, I will be back to tell you of a successful experience after the show!

Linking these finishes up to my favorite linky parties. Check out the tab Link Ups at the top of the page.

 

Sweet Tweets Blocks and a Quilt Top

Yesterday I had the pleasure of introducing you to Kim Schaefer in my third Meet the Designer post. I hope you enjoyed getting to know her.  I have been playing with the fabrics in her Sweet Tweets line and have a few things to share with you.

First off, I have been making these cute stuffed blocks. I have shared a couple of photos on Instagram so you probably have seen these in process. I used a simple tutorial provided by Abby Glassenberg at While She Naps.

Cutting the panel into blocks, I used four critters and two black and white squares from the Cheerios fabric for each block. I experimented a bit with the blocks. I made two of them bigger, utilizing the full size of the critter block and for the third one, I cut it down a bit so the block would be smaller. Two of the blocks are lined with fusible interfacing. It was only because I forgot that I didn’t line the third one. As a result, it is a bit on the mushy side – I like the result much better when the fabric was fused to the interfacing to give it some body.

Also, I only put one noisemaker rattle in each block and now I wish I had put two. (Actually, as I type this, I realize it would be so simple to open up the block again and add another rattle. I will do this because I think they don’t make enough noise with just the one rattle.)

On one of the blocks, I lined one side with a clean piece of a potato chip bag. Abby had a list of suggestions for variations to try and I thought this sounded fun. It gives that block a crackly sound when it is manipulated. It was very simple to just wipe down the bag, cut a square and baste it to one of the sides. I did put the print side facing inward to the center of the block, just in case in might have shown through the fabric.

After making the blocks, I was on a tear and decided to make a baby quilt with some of the critter blocks from the panel. I started this on Tuesday afternoon this week and it came together quickly. I didn’t have a pattern in mind and decided to just put borders around each critter and sash them in one of the brighter prints from the Sweet Tweets line. I think it is just adorable! Panels can sometimes be difficult to utilize but this one lends itself to a number of projects.

Each critter block was cut to a 6″ square and I bordered it with the black and white Cheerio print. That brought the blocks up to 8″. Next I sashed them with the Hip to be Square print in Rainbow. Like I said in my previous post, I love the bright colors with the black and white print. With just the rainbow sashing, the quilt top is a bit too small for a baby quilt. It currently measures 24″ x 36″. Adding the rainbow sashing print around the outer edge of the quilt will help grow it just a bit.

I have a bolt of this adorable border print coming in. I didn’t buy it with the first shipment of the line and think it is a great addition to this collection. I am not sure how I will cut it up but it will make a cute border and then hopefully the quilt top will be big enough.

I think this line is great for kids. However the black and white prints and the rainbow prints are versatile in their own right.  Great stash builders, for sure.  Reminder that they are on sale in my shop through this Sunday, April 23rd.

Hope you all have a great weekend.  Julia is finally getting her piglets this weekend. She is so excited. That is what we have planned, how about you??

Linking to my usual favorites, including Finish it Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Finishes

I have two little projects to share with you. These were both gifted at Christmas and I thought I would wait to post until after they had been given to their intended owners. First is a small, fabric book that I made for my soon-to-be-born grand daughter.

I have several of these panels, in two different flavors, that I purchased when a local fabric store was closing out, maybe four or five years ago? I thought it would be good to have them on hand as a fun gift to give. Then somehow I lost track of them or they went to the bottom of the pile in that closet of mine. After some digging, I found them.

I think it is a sweet way to introduce baby to books. The pages are thick and easily grasped, bright colors and not a whole lot in the way of a plot. Plus it is washable which might come in handy.  😉

If you haven’t made one of these before, it is basically a panel of rectangles. Once you cut them out, the panels are paired up to be sewn in a certain order so the pages are in the correct order. (This is crucial when the plot is as deep as these are!) The instructions said to fuse a mid-weight interfacing to one page of each pair. I chose to use fusible batting instead. It makes the book a bit softer. Each pair of pages is sewn, right sides together and then turned right side out. Press and sew up the little opening that was left to turn the book right sides out. Stack the pages and sew down the center to hold them together. Ta da! Your book is complete.

I didn’t put her name on the book because it hasn’t been shared yet. (Actually, I am not certain they have truly decided on one yet.)

The other gift I made is a scrappy Christmas pillow. I had cut lots of rectangles from a bag of Christmas scraps and decided to use a few of them. I stitched the rows and then when I sewed the rows together I offset the seams. It makes things a little bit more interesting. I love some of the vintage Christmas scraps in this pillow (especially the candy cane fabric).

It looked too busy with the patchwork rows right next to each other so I took a solid khaki color scrap and cut some strips that were 1.5″ finished. At first I quilted the scrappy rows with my walking foot and a variegated Mettler thread in Christmas colors of red and green. That looked boring. I added the big stitch quilting on the solid rows and liked the way that was looking. (You may have seen some of this on Instagram – I shared a few pictures there along the way.

After doing the straight lines of big stitches (using Perle cotton thread) I added the phrasing. I think that finished it off nicely. A simple envelope backing and it was complete.

I didn’t give as many handmade gifts as I sometimes do. Time doesn’t always allow for these things! But these were very simple and fun to make.

I have been reading lots of great posts about everyone’s plans for the new year. I am hoping to get to that soon. I didn’t get it done ahead of time and now we are in the middle of lots of family time. Maybe next week when things settle down again. I do have some fun ideas for 2017 and am excited to share them. Stay tuned!

Happy New Year everyone! Wishing you all the best in 2017.

 

Linking to my usuals – find the links at the top of the page, under Link Ups. Additionally, I linked to Frontier Dream’s linky party, Keep Calm and Craft On.

 

Stocking the Shop

It is all about Christmas prep this week. I feel like an elf in Santa’s workshop except rather than making toys, I have been creating items for my shop. This is the biggest shopping time of the year and I try to take full advantage of it with regard to my Etsy shop.

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A friend asked me to make a set of burp cloths to gift to a friend at her work. It gave me a push to add some new baby items to my shop. Sewing with these soft flannels is a blast. Putting on a little music and creating little cuties for babies makes for a lovely afternoon. If I had to pick a favorite, it might just be the duck and dots print. I love yellow and gray together.

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Here are a few of the Chemex Cozies I have recently listed. It is a challenge to be sure that I have lots of colors and choices available. The upcycled burlap pieces sell very quickly but they are a beast to create. There is always so much mess from cutting and stitching burlap; it just flies around the sewing room and fills my sewing machine with debris. As for colors, it feels like deep colors and basic patterns sell best. Also batiks – those are usually snapped up quite often.

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French press cozies are another strong seller in my shop. (Remember I wrote up a tutorial if you would like to make some for Christmas gifts – they are a fast project for the coffee lover in your family.)

I am also working on a baby quilt — I cut into a bundle of Maureen Cracknell’s Fleet & Flourish line. It is going to be adorable. I think I may soon share this as a finish. We will see. Our house has been passing this winter germ fest to anyone who enters. Julia had it and then I caught it and it turned into pneumonia. Now Ray has it. Ick.  Don’t come near Grass Valley or we might infect you! Hoping you all are staying healthy this season and enjoying whatever time you can find in your sewing room!

Remember, I am hosting a giveaway where one lucky person will win a copy of the 2017 Quilter’s Planner. Be sure you have entered as this is one very cool prize! The giveaway will remain open through Wednesday Evening (tomorrow). Good luck! I will post the winner on Thursday morning.

 

 

 

Holiday Scrappy Project

Thanksgiving was a wonderful day for our family. I hope it was the same for yours.  There is much to be grateful for, not the least of which is our on-line quilting community.  Now there will be the transition into the Christmas holiday season. I am hoping I can convince Ray to put up our outdoor lights this weekend. I think, of all the holiday decorations, the outdoor lights are my favorite. I like to get them up as early as possible so we can enjoy them for as long as possible.

I have a new toy to share with you! The back story is that my father-in-law shares my love of thrift stores. We both enjoy the hunt as one never really knows what might be found on any given day. In October, my father-in-law called me and said he was at a thrift store and was looking at a sewing machine. He said he didn’t really know what it did but it looked interesting and was in great shape. I asked a few questions and figured out it was a vintage Baby Lock EA-605 serger. I think the model was made in the late 1970’s. It is a heavy little guy, being made of metal rather than plastic. When he said the machine was priced at $25, I asked him to grab it for me. He brought it over a few weeks ago when we were celebrating my birthday. (This was a mighty fine quilty birthday!)

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Actually, the serger won’t be used for quilting. In case you aren’t familiar, sergers are used to create a finished seam. There is a blade and four lines of thread. There are threads entering from above and below, though there is no bobbin. As the seam is created, the blade trims the excess fabric close to the finished edge. It is oh-so-cool! Having never used one, I signed up for a basic serger class at a little fabric shop in town. That helped me figure out some of the basics but there is still much to be learned. This particular machine is designed for woven fabrics, not knit fabrics. However my serger class instructor thinks I might be able to get a decent result with knits, so I will have to give it a try.

Because the machine needed a few adjustments I took it to our local sewing repair genius. Deby was able to clean and adjust everything and it runs so smoothly now.

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I wanted to practice on something simple so I made some Christmas themed drawstring bags. I have made a few each year for the past two years and have quite a collection now. I love not having as much paper to throw out come Christmas morning. I had a stack of vintage Christmas fabrics to use as well as loads of ribbon for the drawstrings.

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I think the tiny ones are just adorable.

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I turned this one inside out to show you the finished seam from the serger. I didn’t use the serger for the casing that the ribbons threads through. I switched over to the regular machine for that. Check out the clean finish on that seam. So great! I will practice a bit more and then try something simple like pajama pants.

If by chance you also have a serger, I would love to hear about any resources, blogs or uTube videos you might have found helpful for learning to use a serger.  Leave details in the comments.

 

craftsy-black-friday

Finally – Craftsy has gone all out for Black Friday this year. Beginning on Thursday, 11/24/16 classes are $17.99 each. Fabric and notions are all on sale as well. I am quite curious about the Boundless line of solids. I took a look and the prices are amazing. Solids, in a rainbow of thirty different colors, are available in pre-cuts such as layer cakes and jelly rolls, as well as yardage.

This is an affiliate link, meaning if you make a purchase after clicking over from my blog, I will receive a stipend.

I am linking up with a few favorites this week, including the Elm Street Quilts ‘Bag It’ event. Find out all about them at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

Tiny Baby Projects

A few posts back, I mentioned that our family will grow by three great-grandchildren in the first part of 2017? Guess what? One of those babies will be my first grandbaby. Does that make sense?? It sounds weird. Probably because I have been patiently waiting  for this for a long time. No, not really all that patiently. Sometimes Ray has to give me the stink-eye, reminding me to quit asking my kids about grandbabies. Finally, it’s going to happen– yahoo!! I get to be a Grandma, or Grammy. Probably Grammy, I like that better. My oldest and his wife are expecting their first baby, a sweet little girl, the first week of March!! Awesome news, this is.

I have sent a few little things to them for the baby. (They live in Vermont – Clearly, it’s not going to be all that convenient to play with my granddaughter.) Last weekend I really wanted to make something for her. It was raining like crazy though, making a trip to the store somewhat unappealing.  (Seriously, it was raining that hard.) I dug around in my closet of more-fabric-than-anyone-could-need and pulled some flannel scraps. These were scraps in every sense of the word. They didn’t really go with anything and were not very big. Certainly I could turn them into something. Babies start out small – these were small scraps, I didn’t need to make anything huge, right?

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I also found a reasonably sized piece of white flannel and a tiny piece of white terrycloth. After an afternoon of playing around, this is where I ended up.

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I squeaked one bib out of terrycloth and flannel and the other bib is backed with white flannel and trimmed with white rick-rack. I used velcro closures because I was out of the little gripper snaps and it was raining….. remember?

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Joy (baby girl’s other Grammy), if you are reading this, the “I Love Grandma” bib is for both of us. This girl is going to have two really cool grandmas.

img_7962I also made three burp cloths. These are definitely scrappy. The elephant fabric was just a few bits so I mixed it with white flannel strips to get a large enough rectangle.  The lime green stripe was a narrow rectangle so I sewed it to a larger rectangle of white flannel, causing the white to wrap around to the front and create a large enough rectangle. That pink polka dot is adorable and I even had coordinating ribbon to embellish with. Fancy schmancy burp cloths for my special girl.  I sent them off to the kids with a note telling them that three burp cloths was not nearly sufficient but this would at least get them started. 😉

When I first started blogging, I posted a tutorial for burp clothes that wrap the backing to the front, like the green one.  If you want to check it out, click here.

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I can’t wait for this baby’s arrival. My son and DIL are so good about keeping all of us posted with ultrasound pictures and baby bump photos. She is clearly adorable already. For my birthday last week they sent me a lovely frame that says granddaughter on it and this TGIF mug. It is the perfect mug for me – holds a huge cup of coffee and reminds me I am soon to be a Grammy.

Linking to lots of fun places – check them out at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

Tutorial – French Press Cozy

Today I want to share a quick and easy project with you. I have a bit of an obsession with coffee. Currently I have five different methods of coffee brewing in my kitchen. I am always trying out some coffee gadget or method to look for the best cup. I have a Chemex pot, a Keurig, a regular drip coffee maker, a Pour-over, and a French Press. I like all of them and they each have a place in my very deep and sustaining relationship with coffee.

Is there such a thing as too much coffee??

Is there such a thing as too much coffee??

If you asked most coffee lovers, the problem with the French Press and the Chemex is the coffee tends to cool off quickly. I like my coffee near the boiling point, really hot, so I use a cozy wrapped around the pot to insulate it. I have been making cozies for both French Press pots and Chemex pots for a while now and selling them in my Etsy shop. I thought it would be fun to share a tutorial for making a cozy for a French Press with you today.  If you are a user of a French Press this will keep your coffee much warmer. Or, you could make one as a gift for the French Press lover in your family.

Let’s get started.

Materials List:

  • 1 Fat Quarter
  • 1 Batting scrap, at least 7″ x 13″
  • 1 Insul Bright scrap, at least 7″ x 13″
  • 1 scrap batting or Insul Bright, 3.5″ x 3″
  • Velcro, coordinating color, 1.5″ x 1″

Notes:

  • Use a 3/8″ seam allowance unless said otherwise.
  • Right sides together means to put the print part of the fabrics (the good side, the outside) against each other – so the you can see the wrong side of the fabric on the outside.

Cut three pieces from the fat quarters. Two at 7″ by 13″ and one piece that is 3″ x 7″.

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From your batting and Insul Bright scraps, cut one piece of each at 7″ x 13″ and one (you may use either batting or Insul Bright for this one) at 3″ x 3.5″.

If you aren’t familiar with Insul Bright, it is a batting made with polyester fibers that insulates items to stay warm. It is used for things like hot pads, trivets, cozies and can actually be used to line clothing. It is washable but is not microwave safe. There are strands of a metallic, mylar substance in it for the insulative properties.

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Let’s begin by making the tab.

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Take the smaller rectangle and fold it in half, right sides together. Then place your small rectangle of batting on top of this and pin.

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Stitch along both long sides, leaving the short end open. Trim the corners at the end where the fabric is folded – not the open end. This will make your corners less bulky when you turn it right side out.

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After turning it right side out, use a wooden chopstick or the round end of a pencil to poke the corners out – be gentle here so you don’t make a hole.  Top stitch around the edge at 1/4″ allowance.

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Use a fabric marker to make a tiny dot at the center of the short, open end of the tab. Set this aside for a moment.

Take a look at your piece of Insul Bright. You will see that there is one side that is a bit shinier than the other, where the metallic bits show – in the photo below, the shinier side is on the right. When using Insul Bright, that side should be placed so that it is touching the inside of the fabric. We will be layering fabric, batting and Insul Bright. For better insulation, the shiny side should be in contact with the fabric, not the cotton batting. This isn’t hugely important though. The manufacturer states that it will only provide slightly better insulation.

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Let’s assemble the layers for the cozy. Place the Insul Bright on the bottom side with the metallic, shiny side facing down on the mat. Next place your cotton batting on the Insul Bright. Finally place your two fabric rectangles, right sides together, on top of the cotton batting.

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Pin the edges tightly so the layers don’t shift. Next mark a small dot at one of the short ends center point. You will match that dot to the center dot on the tab.

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Fold back the top layer of fabric a few inches and insert the tab between the two fabric layers matching the center points on the large rectangle and the tab.Once you slip the tab between the layers of fabric, make sure you have that raw edge of the tab aligned with the short side of the cozy, NOT the finished end. You will stitch the tab to the bottom layers (which would be both battings and one fabric layer). Stitch it with 1/4″ seam allowance so this seam won’t show later on.

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Unfold that top layer so it is now covering the tab. Pin securely.

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Starting on one of the long edges, stitch all layers together, around all four edges with a 3/8″ seam allowance. Leave one 3″ opening on one of the long sides. Remember when you are beginning and ending this seam to stop at the opening with your needle down, pivot the fabric and sew off the edge. Reverse stitch about three stitches so that your seam holds while you turn your project right side out.

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Very carefully, take your scissors and make a small cut in the Insul Bright. It should be only as deep at those stitches you just made. Clip each side and then trim that piece off. This will remove some of the bulk from that seam when you close it up. You will also need to trim each of the four corners, just like we did with the tab, taking care not to snip too closely to the stitching.

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Now turn everything right side out by gently pulling the piece through that opening. It takes some patience but just work it through the opening.  Then use your fingers to slide the batting layers into place and flatten them. Sometimes they get a wave or lumpy feel from turning it right side out but you can just massage everything flat.  To have nice crisp corners, use your chopstick, or the round end of a pencil, and push the corners out.  I roll the finished edges between my fingers a bit to get a nice flat edge. Then press everything with steam. Carefully fold in the opening seam and hand stitch it closed. Use a hidden stitch, such as the ladder stitch. (If you need a tutorial on the ladder stitch, click here.)

Using your walking foot, quilt a few lines through all layers to hold everything in place. The quilting can be as you like; this piece was quilted with three seams across the rectangle.

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Finally – last thing to be done is to add that small piece of velcro to the tab and the body of the cozy. You will see the velcro is on one side of the tab and the opposite side of the body. The velcro cannot be on the same sides or the closure won’t work! Usually, I sew the piece to the tab first and then line up the body to mark where the second piece goes.

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See how the two pieces line up correctly?

That’s it – easy, peasy. I hope I covered each step without going into too much detail. The finished cozy should measure about 6″ x 12″ (without the tab) depending on your seam allowance. I sized this to fit the 8 cup Bodum French Press. If you have a different model, you will need to measure the height of your carafe to get the height of the cozy. Then measure the circumference of the carafe to get the finished length of the rectangle. (This is easily done by using a cloth measuring tape and measuring around the body of the carafe.) If you carafe is narrower, or skinnier, than the Bodum, adjust accordingly.

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Should you have any questions, leave them in the comments and I will help you figure it out. If you get a chance to make one, I would love to see it. Post it on IG with #needleandfootcozies. Enjoy your coffee hot, as it is meant to be enjoyed!

Linking to my usuals – see the list of linky parties at the top of the page, under Link Ups!

 

 

Mini Charm Pack Finish

I have a quick finish to share with you today. It also means I can check one thing off of my aforementioned Q4 FAL list! Yahoo for checking things off the list. (I derive great satisfaction from such things.)

I made a zip pouch with a packet of mini charms. These were the Chic Neutral charms by Amy Ellis. I showed a peek at this project in an earlier post. My sister and I have birthdays that are just three days apart. Actually, three years and three days but who’s keeping track? Um, I am, she’s older. 😉  She sent me the Nani Iro scarf for my birthday and I sent her the zip pouch. It was really simple to make. I used this tutorial by Julie Hirt, published on Moda Bake Shop.

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The pattern is clear and quite easy. I lined it with a deep yellow print that was in the yellow stack in my closet. I used a neutral, tan zipper because I had one available.

img_7873This is the first time I finished off the ends of the zipper with a fabric covering. It adds a nice touch but the resulting thickness made it a challenge to turn it tight side out.

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It is such a cute finish. Hopefully Cathy will finds all sorts of really important things to keep in it!

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Also, I wanted to tell you that today I received Vinegar Girl, the Summer Book Share, back. This was the first, of many I hope, book that I shared with Needle and Foot readers. I sent it off to Tami in Wisconsin in July. From there, this little book traveled from to Idaho to West Virginia to Durham in the UK, to South Carolina and back to California! That makes me smile. Each person to read the book added a few fat quarters for the next person when the book was sent on. We tried to related the FQ’s to the story. Barbara chose the floral print because the main characters receive a Peony plant for a wedding gift. The print with the city on it represents Baltimore, where the story takes place. What a lovely selection of fat quarters. I will really enjoy using these pieces of fabric! Thanks Barbara! I enjoyed these notes that we left each other on the inside cover of the book.

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The Fall Book Share has already made it’s way from California to Minnesota to North Carolina to Wisconsin. From there it goes to Missouri and New York before coming back to me. Looking at the upcoming season of holidays, I think the next book share will begin in January.  It would be all too easy for the book to be set aside as busy at this time of year gets. So, look for a new book in January.

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Linking to my usuals. Find the links at the top of the page, under Link Ups.  Outside of the usually, I am linking up with Elm Street’s Bag It event! Have you checked this out yet? Also checking this project off of my Q4-FAL list for the event over at She Can Quilt!

See you all on Monday for the start of the Autumn Abundance Blog Hop!!