If you would like more detailed instructions on assembling this quilt, read on...
Once we had picked out the sashing, the quilt came together quickly. I assembled this in a modified log cabin style by creating rectangles that were then sewn to each other in an outward spiral. I made things harder on myself by not using set measurements or having the blocks cut to a uniform size. I wanted a random effect without too many vertical or horizontal lines running across the quilt but I did have to settle for one at the bottom. All that remains to do is the border and then I can cut the backing and take it to a quilt shop for quilting!
If you would like more detailed instructions on assembling this quilt, read on...
Still slogging along on a T shirt quilt for one of my boys. Day 1 was selecting the shirts, and cutting out the logo parts I wanted used. The next day (or 3 or 5) was spent ironing on interfacing to stabilize the knit fabrics. I didn't actually do these steps - my closest friend was in town and she graciously did these steps for me. Funny that, because she doesn't really sew or craft!
OK, I'm up for the challenge to get a quilt top made in one week amidst all the other busy-ness of running a business, doing errands and all of the other day to day work of our lives.
We started on Pinterest and found a picture of a quilt in a style we both liked. We both had to like it since Karen plans to do a few of these quilts herself - if for no other reason than to tame the crazy piles of commemorative t-shirts at her house (come on, confess, you have one of these piles too!)
On the left is the look we are hoping to achieve when we are done, and on the right is the layout we finally achieved on Day 760. The next step was selecting a color for the sashing (frames) around each block. We went to several fabric stores and looked at a LOT of options and got very frustrated. How do we pull together this many colors without matching any one of them and still have a nice look?!?
Surprisingly this incredibly ugly fabric was "just right."
By the end of day 762 we had assembled the first few sections of the quilt with the sashing (yes, spellcheck, that is a word) and attached them together. We did not take into account just how much work it is to cut blocks to size from worn out shirts that are stretched and stained AND have the designs centered on each. I'm guessing 10-15 minutes to cut the 4 sides of each shirt block.
It's pretty slow going. Will we get it done??
So you have made a bag, now what should you use for a drawstring? You can really use just about anything, but some things are truly better than others. What you select frequently is just a matter of what you have on hand, but there are many things you can and should consider.
First, how big is the opening for inserting the drawstring? How big is the overall casing? Are you using a drawstring tool or a safety pin? What size? Make sure both the tool and the drawstring are not too big for the opening!
Most of my bags have a 1/2" to 3/4" casing, and the openings are all 1/2" or larger. This means that the ideal size drawstring is less than 1/2", so I can use any drawstring up to 3/8" wide. Pictured above are a variety of types of drawstring varying from braided cords, shoelaces, twisted cottons and ribbons. I did not include elastic or any other materials that stretch since they don't work well.
I prefer to use the rounded cords, but I'm not a fan of either the braided or twisted cords shown above. It is difficult to get a good tight knot on the ends of the braided cords - especially the heavy ones such as parachute cord. Yes, you could solve this using a cord lock, but if you are using the bag for knitting or other fiber crafts then the cord lock can tangle in your yarn! Also, the ends of braided cord will unravel unless you have access to the type of equipment that puts the plastic ends on shoelaces :)
The twisted cords knot well and are a good all-purpose cord, but the ends will really fray and the cord will untwist.
I love the smooth gliding action of satin ribbon in my bags and my strong preference is to use Satin Rattail which is available in a variety of thicknesses. Unfortunately some of my customers don't care for it because either the knot has come undone - or their cats like to chew on it! Because rattail is round rather than flat it doesn't twist inside the casing. I've tried the flat satin ribbon as an alternative but in my experience it is a bit limp. Currently I am using grosgrain ribbon for all drawstring top bags. It is a bit sturdier than satin ribbon and bags stay cinched closed. It is easy to knot and if you cut the ends at an angle and melt them a tiny bit they don't fray. The 3/8" width is perfect for most bags, though I will use the 1/4" width on smaller bags.
Oh, and what do I use to insert the drawstring? I use a bodkin. I like to joke that you shouldn't work at a fabric store if you don't know what a bodkin is!
Repair! Last year I had a request from a customer to repair a well-loved bag so that it was usable. The pictures above are of the successful repairs to the bag. The corners of the base were worn through and the straps had frayed to the point that there weren't usable. To compound the problem, a repair of the straps had been attempted as a gift - but although the sentiment was there, the results were awful to say the least. She wrote, "I adore this bag and it kills me that I haven't been able to repurpose it. "
These are some pictures of the bag before the repairs. If you look closely you can see the fraying along the top edges. And the last picture is of the previous handle "repair." Ugh!
I found a coordinating solid material, removed and restitched the seams and added a new base and new handles in the coordinate. Overall the bag became just a bit smaller, but I really loved the overall results - and so did the bag owner!
This project can be made using small pieces of fabric to create a zip pouch that can be used as a coin purse, cosmetics bag, or for your crafting notions. In this tutorial we will be using the scraps left over from the previous two Fat Quarter Fun posts to make three scrappy zip pouches, but you can use any fabric you have available.
You will need the following:
Free Small Zipper Pouch Pattern
7"-10" zippers (1 per pouch)
Fusible Fleece (6 pieces around 5" x 6")
Fabric scraps from previous projects, or 6 pieces approximately 5" x 6 1/2"
After making the three drawstring bags from previous posts, I had the pieces shown above remaining. The solid pink is around 12" x 20" and each of the pieces sewn together as strips measures 6 1/2" x 14". I decided to use the 6 1/2" as the width of each pouch and to make them 5" high.
Now you should have the necessary pieces to sew two pouches following the Small Zipper Pouch pattern. I used the remaining pieces of the pink lining fabric to make the side tabs by cutting a piece 2" by 12". Press this piece in half lengthwise (1" x 12"). Unfold and press each raw edge to the center crease and then fold and press the center crease again (1/2" x 12"). Sew close to both long edges and cut into 6 equal pieces.
Enjoy your finished projects!
This is a fun project to make using scraps, jelly rolls, or the leftovers you saved from following the previous Fun with Fat Quarters blog post and the free Reversible Drawstring Top Bag pattern. After making your two bags from the six fat quarters, you should have the pieces shown below (two full size pieces, and four pieces approximately 6" by 21".)
The four strips of fabric should be approximately 6" by 21". It doesn't matter for this project if they are bigger or smaller. Cut two 2 1/2" strips from each of these four fabrics. If your remaining bits of fabric are at least 1", put them aside to play with next time.
Cut two 2 1/2" by 21" strips from each of the two remaining fat quarters. Select two groups of three fabrics and arrange them however you please. I like to see how the groupings will look in the finished project by laying the groups out as shown below.
Once you have an arrangement that is pleasing, sew the strips together into the groups of three and press both seams to one side. One set of fabrics will be called group A and the other group B.
Cut three pieces measuring 6 1/2" x 6 1/2" from one of the Group A fabrics and one piece the same size from the remaining Group A fabric. Hold the remaining large piece (approximately 6 1/2" by 14") in reserve for the zippered pouches. Repeat this with the Group B fabrics.
Using two fabric squares from Group A and two from Group B, arrange the fabrics as shown below (think of a pinwheel as you arrange them).
Now we are going to follow the pattern for the Reversible Drawstring Bag. Cut one of the remaining large pieces of fabric into two pieces approximately 10 1/2" x 12" (or larger if you have enough fabric). The piece of the fabric with green circles that I have remaining measures 13" x 21" and my scrappy square is 12 1/2" X 12 1/2", so I cut my green circle fabric into two pieces measuring 10 1/2" x 12 1/2".
Assemble the bag following the pattern directions, beginning at Step 2. Before you know it, you are done! I love using these bags for small knitting project such as hats, socks and shawls. How will you use yours?
Now that the fabric is pressed, select 4 fabrics - 2 for the first bag, and 2 for the second bag. The remaining two fabrics we will be using later. My fabric was just barely 21" wide and around 18" tall. This means that the bags can only be 10 1/2" wide. I want to reserve some excess fabrics to use later in the "scrappy" bag so I'm going to start with pieces cut to 10 1/2" wide by 12" high. I cut both pieces of fabric at the same time to ensure they were the same size. First I cut the fabric to 12" x 21" and but the 6" x 21" inch strips aside for the scrappy bag. Then I trimmed the bottom and sides to clean them up and make them straight. The resulting piece was still close to 12" x 21"which I cut into 2 pieces measuring 10 1/2" x 12" . Repeat this process with the other pair of fabrics.
I must have watched too many episodes of Captain Planet with my kids, or perhaps it was the Woodsy Owl campaign from the 70's (anyone remember "give a hoot - don't pollute"?) One year after the gifts had been opened and I looked at the mounds of torn wrapping paper, I was really dismayed. At that moment I decided to stop wrapping gifts and find ways to package gifts that didn't lead to a stuffed garbage can.
I found a set of nesting holiday boxes at Costco and I bought a few gift boxes and bags. Each year these get carefully folded and put away to use again and again. Now I have also started using the various sizes and shapes of our Project Bags and Sock Bags as gift wrap as well. I love that these can be dual-duty as both the wrapping AND part of the gift! I'm looking forward to using the newest size bags, the Cake Bags, to wrap ornaments I'll be handing down to my kids this year now that they each have their own homes.
Christmas cards are also recycled around here to become gift tags. I think this was a craft project I did with my Grandma Grace when I was a child and I love thinking of her while I make new tags out of the cards we received in previous years (that, and I get to look at more cards from loved ones)! I never could make tags out of the cards from Uncle Wesley because he used the cards to hand write messages that covered every inch of usable space. I miss receiving those cards.
I use a variety of methods to make the tags. The simplest is to just cut around images on the cards with regular scissors, use a hole punch to make a hole to insert a piece of ribbon, and then tie the finished tag to the package. Since so many gifts are to/from the same people each year I can also recycle the tags (from Mom to Jon, from Mom to Dad, etc.). I also use an old pair of pinking shears to cut some tags with decorative edges. You can also use scrapbooking scissors for even more edging options.
Most knitters have tried many different brands of interchangeable needles and all of the available cable lengths to find the ones that are "just right." And while we are adding more and more to our tool collections the cables are secretly breeding when we are not looking. The result is a tangled mess! Here are some ways you can double the storage space in any size Grace's Cases needlecase:
The first and easiest method is to store two different size cables in the same cable pocket just by combining lengths that you won't be able to confuse (like 40" cables and 24" cables) and then listing both sizes on the included label. And if you need new labels, you can make replacements out of any heavy weight paper cut to 1/4" by 1".
Another option is to make plastic sleeves to hold each size or brand of cables. With these you can store multiple brands and sizes in each pocket - doubling or tripling your storage space!
I like the CD and DVD Keepers from Memorex because they have the little tab lock to keep the sleeve closed.
To make the cable sleeves you will need:
Washi or similar tape,
permanent marking pen,
a ruler or measuring tape.
The sleeves should already be the correct width to fit into the cable pockets of a full size needlecase (either a Deluxe or Standard case). If the sleeve is too wide, follow the directions below for sizing a sleeve to fit into the smaller needlecases.
In the front pocket of this Deluxe case, the sleeve is too tall to allow the pocket to snap closed. But since the sleeve fits snug from side to side, I don't really need to do anything further. But if I want to snap the pocket closed, I will need to shorten the sleeve 1".
If you would like to make these sleeves for the smaller size cases, you will also need to trim and seal one of the sides of the cable sleeve. Begin by measuring the width of the cable pocket and subtract 1/8". Open the sleeve flap and mark a line at the desired width. In the picture below the width is 4 3/4", so the sleeve should be cut to 4 5/8" wide.
Test fit the new width. When it is as wide as you want it, check the depth as described above and trim so that the sleeve is located below the snap if desired. Then, seal the side and bottom cut edges. Add size labels and you are done!
I've been crafting my entire life, thanks to my wonderful Grandma Grace. I'm an avid needleworker and reader, who's been knitting, crocheting & sewing since the age of 9 - and I won't say how many years ago that was! Welcome to my blog where you'll find out more about the creation of our products and the people that love them!