Why You Need a Portable Design Board and How to Make One!

It is Scrap Happy Time and I have just the project for you!

Moving cut scraps from the cutting board to the sewing table can be a bit tricky. The pieces can shift and move or even fall to the floor! I like to place my pieces on a fabric covered board as I cut and design my block.

The batting makes it so I can design my block and move it with ease. How cool is that?!

I have been using my old design boards for over five years and they are still going strong. They have quite a few strings attached, but that just shows that they are well used and well loved.

A reader of mine asked me about them a day or so ago and I thought that maybe a few more of you might be interested in learning how to make one or two of these fantastic boards for yourself. Plus, I was just thinking I could use a few more boards. They are so quick and easy!

The items needed are probably all just lying around your house anyway, so why don’t you gather them up and let’s get started? 🙂

  • A large cardboard box
  • Scraps of leftover fabric and batting
  • A marker
  • A razor blade
  • Clear packing tape
  • Spray glue

Now that’s not much, is it? This is going to be EASY!

  • First choose a box with a piece that is large enough to cut a square from.
  • Mark the size of square you would like. I cut two. One is 12.5″ and the smaller one is 7.5
  • With a ruler and a razor blade, cut your squares out
  • Next we will be using the packing tape

  • Cover one entire side of the square with packing tape. This is so you can layer them on top of each other without the fabric sticking to the cardboard back of the board above.

  • Now we are going to be using our scraps of batting and spray glue.
  • Cut your batting the size of your boards
  • Lay a piece of scrap paper down to cover your work area
  • Spray the non shiny side of your board with glue

  • place your batting on top of the glue on the board

They will look like this. Now it is time to make some binding from your fabric scraps

  • Cut 2″ strips the width of the fabric.

  • Sew the strips together by placing the fabric together as shown above and sewing from corner to corner.

  • Fold the edges to meet in the middle and press.

  • Fold the strip in half and press to make binding.

Next we are going to be sewing the binding to the boards. You will be sewing through the cardboard. Don’t worry, it will work! 🙂

  • Set your machine to a wide zig zag stitch and starting in the middle of one side, fold the fabric over the board. Stitch through the fabric and board. If the left side of your stitch is at the edge of your binding, it should easily catch the back of the binding as well.
  • Stitch just to the edge of the board. Back stitch and cut your thread
  • Pictures 3 and 4 go together. Lift the board and pull the fabric down on the next side making a miter. You may want to add a drop of glue to hold the corner in place. I just held mine. Sew the next side down . Repeat for all four sides.

  • When you come to the end, cut the binding about 1.5″ over the starting point. Fold the binding back on itself and stitch to the end.

Yea! You are finished! Don’t they look great?!

I can’t wait to use them with my next Delilah project. There are always so many pieces to cut and carry!

And how do I store all of these boards? I have a fun Totally Tipster tip for you today as well. SWEET!

I have a letter holder next to my wall that holds my favorite rulers and these boards.

It takes very little space and they are all ready to be used at any time. I just love multipurpose objects!

I hope you will make a few of these boards for yourself. I would love to hear about it if you do:)

Here is a list of the other Scrap happy sewers.

Kate,Gun, Titti, Heléne, Eva, Sue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,

Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,

Karen, Moira, Sandra, Linda, Chris and Nancy

Until tomorrow!

A Hooded Towel for Christmas!

It has finally come, that time to put away the other projects and focus on my Christmas sewing. Yea! I love Christmas!

When my oldest son was born, a beautiful lady from my church made a hooded towel for him. That towel was WONDERFUL! It was large enough to wrap him up in and absorbent enough to really get him dry. I just LOVED it!

As I was thinking about gifts for my grandsons this year, I knew that I wanted to make a large, soft, hooded towel for them too. I wish I had kept that old towel to use as a pattern, but it has been long, long gone. I searched the internet and Pinterest for patterns that were similar or that I liked, but I couldn’t find one that gave clear enough instructions. So… to make this long story short — I just designed my own!

The pattern is EASY!! And the tutorial makes sewing the towel a breeze :). If you have any babies or toddlers on your Christmas list, you might want to try your hand at sewing them a Hooded Towel. 🙂

Supply List:

  • One Bath Towel
  • One Hand Towel
  • Matching Thread

Instructions:

  • If you want to add embroidery or ribbon or appliquĂ© etc., add it to your hand towel first. Make sure that the embellishments are between 6” – 9” from the bottom of the towel. You can add bows and buttons or more after the towel is sewn.

  • With the right side of the towel facing down, fold the bottom of the towel up about 5”. If you are adding embellishments, Check to make sure that the fold covers the whole thing. If not, make the fold larger.
  • On the front of the towel, sew a top stitch close to the fold.
  • On the back of the towel, sew the top of the folded flap down.

The front will now look like this.

  • With the right side facing up, fold the edge you just sewed back on itself 6.5”
  • Sew these sides closed

  • Find the center of the towel on the fold and place a pin there.
  • With a ruler, place the 3’ mark at the pin and mark 3” on either side with a pin.

  • Sew from the pin to the end of the flipped edge.Back stitch and secure this edge quite a bit. I have marked in chalk your sewing line from the pin to the end of the flipped edge. You do not need to mark your towel

  • Cut the corners of folded edge next to the angled stitching.
  • Cut the free edge of the towel 3” from the fold as in the above picture.

This next step is the only somewhat tricky part, but it really just feels a bit awkward. It’s not hard. You can do it!:)

  • Mark the center of the folded, top of the hood with a pin.
  • Fold the back of the towel lengthwise starting at the pin. Fold the hood evenly in half lengthwise pinning as needed.
  • Sew from the top pin down to the bottom about 1” over. I have marked in chalk your sewing line

You will have a hood with a dart on the back when you are done . Yea! You did it:)

  • Finish all of your cut edges with a serger or with a zig zag stitch.

  • Sew the side wings down that are barely below the hood

  • Find the center of the long or wide side of your towel.
  • Pin the hood to the towel
  • Sew the hood down making sure to really back stitch and the beginning and end for added strength. You may even want to sew this seam twice.

Oh my goodness! You are done! Isn’t it the cutest thing?

And since I blog about my creative journeys, there are rarely any real homemade surprises under our Christmas tree. I figure it gives added anticipation. Lol:)! Here are the three towels that I made. After the initial embroidery, which took forever, these towels whipped up in no time!

And of course I had to grab my SWEET grandson and take quick photo to show you how truly adorable this towel really is! Just look how snuggly he is:).

I will not be posting the rest of the week due to the Thanksgiving holiday. I hope those of you in the States have a wonderful holiday filled with family and delicious food. I am Thankful for all of you, my online friends.

“Tying” Up a Scrappy Quilt

Good Morning to you!  It is Scrap Happy time again:).  I always look forward to linking up with Kate over at Tall Tales from Chiconia each month.  

This month’s project is one that I actually feel guilty about.  My sister-in-law’s father passed away back in 2015.  She gave me his ties and asked if I could make a quilt from them for her.

I carefully deconstructed them,  lightly pressed them and placed them in a box to work on after Christmas presents and wedding preparations, and then more quilts, and then they just kind of got forgotten.  I feel so bad!

I was cleaning through things and looked in the box,  and uh oh! I knew that now was the time.  No more waiting for this one!

  • I took the piles of deconstructed ties and cut them into  1.5″ to 2.5″ strips.  I didn’t care how many.  I just cut until I had cut the whole tie.
  • I cut 30 – 8.5″ Scrap fabric from some of my sub quality fabrics.  They really do make great stabilizers!
  • I started sewing strips from the center corner out on both sides.   I didn’t care at all about what width of strip I was using. 

  • When I was finished sewing strips to a block, the whole base was covered as in the top left photo.
  • I turned the block over and trimmed the block nice and square.
  • I then sewed around the edges to keep the ties from shifting.


Here is a picture of my neatly stacked blocks.  Aren’t they pretty?

  • Next I cut 36- 2.5″x8.5″ strips from a complimentary brown fabric (manly of course!) 
  • Then I laid out my blocks going in opposite directions.  A beautiful diamond design magically appeared!
  • I labeled each row with tape to make sewing the rows easier.   I could easily take them all piled together by row to my sewing machine and not get mixed up as I sewed along:)
  • I measured the length of the strips and cut 7 more 2.5″ strips that length and sewed the quilt together.

Here it is all pieced and ready for quilting.


While it looks nice before quilting, it looks especially fantastic after quilting!


The added texture and binding really help to “tie” it all together.  Lol:)!


I backed this quilt with an olive green plaid flannel.   I was surprised with how much I liked it:)


Now it is time to fold it up and get it to my sister-in-law, FINALLY!  I know she is going to be overjoyed❤️


Thank you for dropping by today.  I hope you have SWEET, Scrap Happy day!

Granny Star Potholders Pattern and Tutorial

I love buying yarn and fabric on a trip and then coming home and stitching  something up to always remind me of the fun times we had on our adventures.  Maybe you do too!

I bought this bright and crazy “Hippie” yarn at Mendels on Haight Street in San Francisco.  I love the groovy colors!   For my memory project,  I designed a set of  easy, fun potholders.   Here is the pattern if you would like to stitch up a set of your own .


Granny Square PotholdersPattern designed by Tracy @It’s a T-Sweets Day!

Materials Needed:

  • 2 skeins of worsted weight coordinating yarn  (cotton makes the best yarn for Potholders, but I don’t mind a some what toasted yarn pot holder, so I am using acrylic)
  • Size G or 4.5mm hook
  • Large eyed yarn needle
  • Scissors 
  • 8 stitch markers 

These instructions have you change colors at the end of  Round 4 but you can change the colors on as many rounds as you like. Just use the same technique 

Instructions:

Make two squares for each pot holder.

Start by making a magic circle.

Round 1 – Working in magic circle, Ch 3, counts as first dc, 2 dc, ch 2, *3 dc, ch2, repeat from* 2 more times, close your magic circle, join with a sl stitch to the 3rd chain of the beg. Ch3. 

  You now have 4 cluster stitches and 4 ch2 corners.

Round 2 – Ch3, counts as first dc, dc in next 2 st, (2dc, ch2, 2dc) in corner ch 2 sp, 

*dc in next 3 st, (2dc, ch2, 2dc) in corner ch2 sp, repeat from * 2 more times, join with a sl st to the 3rd ch of the beg. ch3.  You now have 7dc on each side

Round 3 – Ch3, dc in next 4st, (2dc, ch2, 2dc) in corner ch 2 sp, *dc in next 7st, (2dc, ch2, 2dc) in corner ch 2 sp, repeat from * 2 more times, dc in next 2st, join with a sl st to the 3rd ch of the beg. ch3. You now have 11dc on each side

Round 4 – Ch3, dc in next 6st, (2dc, ch2, 2dc) in corner ch 2 sp, *dc in next 11st, (2dc, ch2, 2dc) in corner ch 2 sp, repeat from * 2 more times, dc in next 4st, Change color– to change color, cut the main color leaving a 6″ tail, insert your hook into the the 3rd ch of the beg ch3, pull the new color through and PUL the hanging yarns tight on the back (You now have 15dc on each side)

Round 5- Ch3, dc in next 8st, (2dc, ch2, 2dc) in corner ch 2 sp, *dc in next 15st, (2dc, ch2, 2dc) in corner ch 2 sp, repeat from * 2 more times, dc in next 6st, join with a sl st to the 3rd ch of the beg. ch3. (You now have 19dc on each side)

Round 6– Ch3, dc in next 10st, (2dc, ch2, 2dc) in corner ch 2 sp, *dc in next 19st, (2dc, ch2, 2dc) in corner ch 2 sp, repeat from * 2 more times, dc in next 8st, join with a sl st to the 3rd ch of the beg. ch3, cut yarn leaving a 6″ tail and pull through to finish. (You should have 23dc on each side)


On the back side of the square, thread a yarn tail into a large eyed needle and weave the tail in by sewing up a few stitches and back down a few stitches two or three times. Cut the thread close to the square. Weave in all of the yarn tails.

Optional flower:  Make one for each pot holder

Round 1 – Make a magic circle. Ch 1, does not count as a st, 16sc in the circle, join to the first sc. Close the magic circle by pulling on the back thread.  


Round 2- ch6, counts as dc and 3ch, *sk next st, dc, ch3, repeat around., join with a sl sr to the 3rd ch of beg ch st. You will have 8 posts and 8 ch3 spaces.

Round 3- sl st into ch3 sp, ch1, *(sc, dc, 2trc, dc, sc) in ch 3 sp, sk next post dc st, repeat from * around. Join with a sl st and fasten off  leaving a 24″ tail. You will have 8 petals.  

Weave the magic circle tail thread into the back of the flower.

Thread the long 24″ tail thread onto your needle. Place your flower in the center of your granny square.  Sew a small st in the valley and the tip of each petal to attach the flower to the square. Weave the remaining thread into the back to finish off.
Constructing Your Pot Holder– 

Block your squares by pinning the squares the same size and steam with an iron. DO NOT PRESS OR TOUCH THE IRON TO THE YARN!   You want it to look fresh and pretty for gift giving or for a photo shoot:)

Put the put holders together with the back sides together. Place one square at a diagonal and the other straight like a square.–place a stitch marker in the 6th dc from the corner of each square and connect them in the “valley” of the star. Place a stitch marker in all of the valleys. There will be 8 markers holding your two blocks together.

–with the color of your choice, attach your yarn in any stitch marker stitch. Place your hook through both the top square and bottom square stitches and pull a loop through. Be sure to leave a 6″ tail on the back to weave in at the end.

–ch1, sc in the same valley st, *sc in next 5st, 3sc in the corner chain, sc in the marked stitch going through BOTH squares, sc in the next 5st of the BOTTOM square, 3sc in the corner chain sp, sc in next 5 st, sc in in the next marked st going through both squares, repeat from * around, join with a slip st to the beg sc and fasten off leaving a 6″ tail. Weave in your tails.


Finished!   Far out and Groovy!!  But if you use soft, light colors the words, Fresh and SWEET, might be more appropriate:)


Here are the fronts of my two pot holders.


And here are the backs.  I absolutely LOVE them!  I am sure I will get years of use out of them.  And each time I use them, I will have happy memories of my trip to San Francisco!


I hope you will give this pattern a try.  If you do, please let me know how it goes;).  Until next time!!

Scrap Happy Needle Case

Hello and Happy Tuesday!   Today is a fun day because it is Kate’s Scrap Happy round up day:).  For my Scrappy project I would like to share with you my beautiful  Scrap Happy needle case. 

I  am part of a shoebox swap Christmas gift exchange. I have been getting ready all year.   My swap friend said she needed a needle case.   Sew…I made her one!  Isn’t it cute?

For my inspiration I used a pattern from Nana Company that can be found here. I didn’t really follow her instructions as much as I just kind of looked at them for inspiration. It measures 7″x4″.

I sewed my tiny 1 1/2″  scraps to make the front.  I  drew a free hand Needles on it and stitched it using an easy back stitch with double the thread.

The back is just a single piece of fabric with quilting and a button closure:). But the really fun part is the inside.

I made a little pocket to hold scissors and needle threaders:).  The pages are made from a soft, yummy wool.

Each page has a bit of lace for embellishment.  Isn’t it pretty?  

I found this lace as I was rummaging through my ribbon and lace scrap drawer for embellishments.  I knew it would be perfect!

I cut around the flowers and then sprayed them on the back with Scotch permanent fabric adhesive.  I did this on top of a paper towel to keep my table clean.  Then I glued them to the wool page.  Easy!!

I just loved making this SWEET little needle case!  I think I might have to make another for me:)

I hope you have a Happy Scrappy Day!

Down the Rabbit Hole at Last!

I am FINALLY starting my Down the Rabbit Hole Quilt by Sarah Fielke.  This is a monthly Quilt Along program that started back in January.  At first I thought I didn’t need another Quilt Along and I really don’t.  Also, I wasn’t overly enthused by this sketch of the quilt.

I mean, really it looks kind of plain in its sketched form.   Sarah is quilting along with us so there isn’t even a picture of the finished Quilt yet.  But as the months got going and beautiful pictures started coming up on my Instagram account, I knew I had to join along.  

I ordered the program back in April, but life has happened and the Long Time Gone, Splendid Sampler, and Delilah quilts were already going.  But now things are calming down, and I am heading Down the Rabbit Hole at last!

I was excited to try out my wedge cutting skills and start my Rabbit Hole center.

I sewed the wedges into four arcs and then joined them to make one wild circle

Isn’t it so cool?  Now you see why I HAD to join along. 

It is so SWEET!!   

Next I started working on my 1/4″ bias tape.  Yep, you heard me right, 1/4″!  Luckily I have a 1/4″ bias tape maker.


Have you used one of these before?  They are great!  I have several in different sizes. I have a totally Tipster Tip for these that I will share with you later this week:)


I folded my fabric to make a bias edge and cut 1/2″ bias strips.  They were so small!

  1. I brought the strip to the ironing board
  2. I stared feeding my strip into the bias tool with the right side facing down
  3. On the bottom of the tool is a slot to pull the fabric down
  4. With a pin I pulled the fabric out

Now that isn’t too hard is it?

Now for the fun part:)

  1. Pin the fabric to the board with the right side facing down.  Do this at the far end of the board so you have lots of room to press.
  2. Place the tip of your iron right against the tool and start to slowly pull the tool against the fabric.  Move the iron along with the tool.
  3. Yea!  A beautiful 1/4″ piece of bias tape. Easy!!

And, what did I do with this teeny bias tape?  Here is a sneak peak!  

I can’t wait to share it with you!  But it is going to have to wait until later though because tomorrow is Scrap Happy day:)!

Until then I hope your day is filled with SWEET creative adventures:)

Learn to Quilt – Lesson 7 -Finish and Photo Shoot!

It’s a wonderful day because today is the finishing of our Pins and Stripes quilting lessons!  Yea!!   This lesson is going to take you several days or even longer.  Don’t stress.  Just enjoy the journey and take it one step at a time.  It’s all good:)


In our last lesson, we finished the borders all around out quilt top.  It looks so pretty, but really, it isn’t a quilt yet.  We need to prepare a back, gather our batting, sew it together, and bind it. Wow! There is a lot to a quilt!

First, let’s talk about our backing. Your backing should measure at least 8″ wider and longer than your top.  This is  to make sure that it still covers the whole quilt after quilting.

You can buy 108″ backing fabric at your local fabric store.  Or you can piece together fabric until it large enough to be bigger than your top.


This is my backing.  I didn’t have enough of the checked fabric in my stash so I added the stripe.  I really like how it looks.  Quilters make do!

  • If you are using  42″ wide fabric, you will need to have 5 yards of fabric.
  • Cut this piece in half making two pieces of fabric 2.5 yards each
  • Sew them together lengthwise making sure to cover the entire selvedge in your seam. You will need to make a 5/8″ seam to do this instead of our normal 1/4″.
  • Iron out all of the wrinkles and press your seam open.

Now for the quilting.  I highly, highly, highly recommend taking your beautiful quilt to a longarm quilter in your area and having them quilt it .

You will get a perfectly backed, fun stitched, no headache quilt in return.  Once again, your local quilt shop can direct you to several quilters in your area.

But if you want to save the money or the packing up of your stuff and heading to the store again, I get it, I have been there too:).   Here is how you can quilt it at home.  You are going to need a lot of safety pins or fabric spray glue.

  • Lay your backing with the right side down or the wrong side facing up on a large hard surfaced floor.
  • With your masking tape, tape it down all the way around
  • Lay your batting on top.  If you are spray basting, spray the backing first and then lay the batting down on top
  • Lay the quilt top on top of the batting.  Once again, spray the batting first if you are spray basting.
  • If you are pinning, now pin through all three layers at the center of every block.
  • Lift your quilt off of the floor and take it to your machine
  • Stitch in the ditch around all of the squares.  Sew one straight line all the way down
  • Repeat for all of the rows, go one direction, then other.

You can add as much quilting as you like.  Just keep sewing in all of the seams:)


Now that our quilt is quilted, the final step is the binding.   Don’t worry, it isn’t hard.  This method is easy! Just remember to take it slow, one step at a time:)

When you get your quilt back, it will look like this:

  • Cut the batting and the backing even with the top.
  • Use your ruler to square up the corners and straighten the edges.
  • Sew 1/4″ all the way around your quilt to keep the edges together as we bind.  Nothing is more frustrating than a shifty bottomed quilt that doesn’t get caught in the binding.
  • From the remaining blues or color #2, cut 8 strips 2.5″ wide.  If you are using smaller lengths, you need 310″ or so.
  • Take all of these strips to your machine.
  • Place one strip horizontally on your table. Place a second strip on top going vertically.  Be sure to match the edges.
  • Sew from the top left corner to the bottom right corner.  Use your masking tape from before as your sewing guide.
  • Chain sew the next piece and the next in the same manner
  • Keep sewing them all together until you have one REALLY long  2.5″ strip.
  • Trim all of the extra fabric at the seam down to 1/4″
  • Press the seams open and cut off all of the little dog ear pieces hanging below the edges.
  • Press your entire strip in half
  • Starting sewing in the middle of a long edge on the back side of your quilt.  Place your folded fabric strip on the edge with the raw edges together. Leave a 12″ tail at the top.  Start sewing with your 1/4″ foot where I have marked with the pin.
  • Sew all the way down the side of the quilt until a little before  1/4″ of the end.  Your presser foot should have a 1/4″ mark on it like in the above picture. Stop sewing a little before that mark reaches the edge of your quilt.
  • Cut your threads and raise your presser foot,
  • Place the edge of your quilt on a straight lined surface.  I use the edge of my machine.  You may need to use your cutting mat if you have a round edged machine.
  • Fold the binding back so it is also on the straight edge of your surface going the opposite direction creating a perfect 45 degree angle fold as in the top left picture above
  • Hold that angled piece as you fold the binding back on itself.  Hold it tight and turn it so you can start sewing down the next side.
  • Sew about 3 inches down, cut your threads and check your corner by flipping it over. It should be nice and crisp. If it isn’t, take out the stitching and start again.  3″ isn’t too hard to fix:).
  • If it looks good,  continue to sew and repeat the same process on the remaining three sides
  • Sew until you are about 12″ away from your beginning stitch.  Back stitch and cut your threads.
  • Take your quilt to a large flat surface like your cutting mat.
  • Fold both ends of your binding back on themselves leaving about 1/4″ space between them.
  • Cut the left piece at this fold
  • Open the piece you just cut and lay it on top of the right piece.
  • Use this as your measurement to cut the top folded part of the right binding. Do not cut through all four pieces of fabric. Only cut the top two pieces leaving a folded piece of binding.
  • Fold the left side of the binding on an angle as in the top left picture.  Really finger press that angle.
  • Place the right binding on to the left side
  • Open the right binding and really hold it there.
  • This next part feels a little awkward, but it’s not too hard, you can do this:)! — while holding the edges together, lift both pieces of binding up and pin them together.
  • Your quilt will feel heavy, but hold that pinned piece together and bring it back to your machine.
  • Bunch your quilt up to the left and sew on the mark you created by finger pressing.   Sew from the top left to the bottom right corner. Use your tape as your guide:)
  • Check to make sure your binding now fits your quilt, and then trim the excess corner off with your scissors.
  • Sew the final 12″ of your binding down to your quilt.
  • Change your threads.  The bobbin thread should match your backing fabric and the top thread should match your binding.   They might be two different colors.  Mine are.
  • Starting in the middle of one side, fold your binding over to the right side of your quilt.  You do not have to fold the entire binding over, just a few inches.
  • Make sure the binding is covering the stitching, and start to sew.  Use the left inside edge of your presser foot as the guide for the placement of the edge of your binding.
  • As you sew, the top of the binding will have a cute little edge stitch and the bottom of your quilt will have stitching that blends into the backing fabric.  Easy!
  • Sew all the way to the edge of your quilt.  Stop right at the edge.
  • Fold the binding up to make a perfect mitered corner.  Just look at your pretty corner ! And how simple was that?!
  • Continue sewing all the way around your quilt repeating the corner technique.

DONE!!  You have finished your quilt!!!  Isn’t it beautiful?!  You deserve a fun photo shoot! And how about a picnic?   SWEET!!

Thank you so much for joining in on this quilting journey.  You are now equipped with the necessary tools and skills to make many more quilts.  I warn you, quilting is quite addictive:)!

If any of you are just joining us, you can find the previous lessons here:

I hate to say goodbye to this fun adventure, but I am sure we will sew together again.

Until next time,

Don’t forget to post your finished Quilt on Instagram #pinsandstripesqal I will be giving away a jelly roll to someone who posts a picture from all seven lessons and a picture of themselves with their new quilt by the end of July 2017!!  Be sure to check that all of your pictures are in the file:)

Learn to Quilt -Lesson #6 – Borders

It has been so fun watching this quilt come together.  I am absolutely LOVING it!  I hope you are too:)

Last time we ended with all of our blocks all sewn together. Those pinwheels are just the cutest things!

Today we are going to add a border all around.  Gather your leftover blue or color #2 fabric.  We are going to cut 3.5″ strips out of it.  At first I used the lighter blue as in the above picture, but took it out because it detracted from the pins.  So word of advice, keep your border dark or all the same color:)

You can cut your 3.5″ strips all from one color, or make your border scrappy by using what you have.  That’s what I did.  Cut 8 – 3.5″ strips if you are cutting the full width of the fabric, or about 300″ if you are using scraps .  Take them to your sewing area.

We are going to sew them all together into one long strip.  Sew them together by butting the ends together for a straight join.

Just sew the short end of two pieces right sides together, and press

Now we need to measure our quilt. — Please don’t ever skip the measuring part of adding a border.  If you just start sewing your long border strip around your quilt, you will end up with a wavy border and a wavy edged quilt.

Ok. The pictures I took of the folding of the fabric didn’t look like anything but a piece of fabric. So I will try to be clear with directions

  1. Fold your quilt in half.
  2. With a tape measure or your ruler measure the folded part of your quilt.  In other words, measure the length of the fold, this is the middle of the short side or the long side of your quilt.
  3. Cut two pieces of your long fabric strip to this size
  4. Fold one strip in half and place a pin to mark the center. Fold it in half again and place pins to mark those centers as well.  So… we are dividing our strip into quarters.  Do the same with the other strip.
  5. Now divide the edges of your quilt into quarters the same way.   Make sure you are working with the sides that you measured your strips for — long sides or short sides. Fold the edge your quilt in half and then in half again.  Mark  the quarters with a pin.
  6. Place your border strip on your quilt with the right sides together.
  7.  Pin them together where you marked the quarters.  This is VERY important!  If you don’t match these points, your edges will not match in the end.  Believe me, I know from experience, and then you have to become well acquainted with your seam ripper!
  8. Sew the pieces together using your 1/4″ foot.  Hold the pins and remove them just before they get to the foot.  You may need to pull slightly on the pin as you sew if your fabric is a little longer in the bottom than the top.   The feed dogs will do the work of taking up the extra ease.
  9. Press the border strip open and repeat for the other side.  Yea! Now we have two of our borders sewn on!
  10. Repeat steps 1-9 for the other sides of the quilt.


Woo hoo!!!  Our quilt top is finished!!!  Aren’t you proud of yourself?  You should be:)

I am excited for our quilting, binding, and grand finish next time along with a SWEET photo shoot!

Until then:)

If any of you are just joining us, you can find the previous lessons here:

Don’t forget to post pictures of your fabric and progress on Instagram #pinsandstripesqal I will be giving away a jelly roll to someone who posts a picture from all seven lessons and a picture of themselves with their new quilt by the end of July 2017!!

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Patio Chair Make-Over Scrap Happy Style!

It a Scrap Happy day around my house today:). Each month Kate @ Tall Tales from Chiconia hosts a use your scraps party called Scrap Happy.  It has been a great motivator for me to use what I have.   Waste not, want not is always a good idea:)

I have been working on my backyard lately.  Every now and then I do get out of the sewing room believe it or not!:).  Our patio table was in extreme need of replacement.

The cushions were destroyed by the sun, the webbing felt a bit weak, and the color was dated.  Yep, time to go!

I wanted an all metal table and chairs with large pillows. I started looking online, around stores and on Craigslist for new or almost new sets in the burnt orange-red and greens that are a bit more trendy.  But wow, they were pricey!  Some were as high as $4,000.00!

Nope, that’s not my way.   I will not spend full price on something I can make almost as nice myself.   I bought 8 wrought iron chairs on Craig’s List with two extra tables for $500.00.  

These chairs are never going to weaken in the Arizona sun and heat:)!  They gently rock and are comfortable to sit in even without the cushions.  Yea!  


I scrubbed and cleaned them up, and bought 10 cans of Rust-Oleum. $60.00  I spray painted everything, including my old table with this lovely hammered bronze.  I love it!

Now, on to the pillows.  Thick chair covers were anywhere from $35-50  each.  Ouch!  Nope.  Not gunna do it!  I found these large Solarium pillows at Costco.

They were two for $15.00.  Now we’re talking!  I stuck eight of them in my cart and smiled all the way home:).  $60.00 for eight!  The only thing they needed to make them into chair cushions was ties in two corners to keep them from blowing away in the wind.  I can do that!

Scrap Happy to the rescue!!   I have a bunch of old orange fabric that I have used to make pioneer skirts and quilts out of.  It is the fabric that never reduces no matter how often I use it.  Here it is in the quilt I made for my niece.  Remember?

I cut a bunch, well really ripped a bunch of 3″ strips.

I cut them in half.  Then I  folded them in half lengthwise and sewed them into a tube


Next I took out my handy Turn-it All.   

This is a wonderful little tool.  

You place the plastic tube into your fabric tube and sew the fabric tube end closed.

Next, you use the dowel to push the sewn end into the tube and pushed it through.  The fabric magically turns!  You can use the dowel to push out the edges.  How easy is that?!


I made 16 of these.  I then pushed in the open edges, and edge stitched all the way around.

 

Pretty!

Now I just had to sew them to my pillow cushions.

I folded the ties in half and sewed them to corners of the pillow.  They were easy and turned out PERFECT!


I promptly ran outside and tied them to my chairs.  They look great!

Woo hoo!!  So for a total of $620.00 I now have an all metal table with 8 rocking chairs and large squishy cushions.  I saved up to $3500.00!   That’s what I’m talking about!!:)

From this–

To this–

It was definitely worth the elbow grease:). I know we will be enjoying this new set for many many years to come.   

I think I may have to eat my pizza from the Fantastic Bake Along pizza party out here on the patio!  SWEET!!

Long Time Gone QAL

I have been looking at and drooling over Jen Kingwell’s designs and patterns for a while now.  Her wild colors and adventurous techniques just tickle my fancy.  

This is the Delilah Quilt that Jen made. Isn’t it amazing?

So when she announced that she came out with a new pattern called Delilah and that it would be a template block of the month, I signed up!  One block a month, I can sew do that:)

Well,  I signed up back in February and am expecting my first installment any day now, but now there is another QAL going on over at Angel Gnome for Jen’s Long Time Gone Quilt. 

This QAL is one block a week which is a little harder, but I already have the pattern and I am so excited to get started on my Delilah quilt……OK!  I’ll join in!!  How about you? Shall we do it together?:)

I looked through my fabric and was happy to find this Cotton and Steele fabric that I had bought a while back and folded up.  Remember? It is perfect!  I have enough scraps lying around that I can add to the mix that this should be plenty.  Yea!

I am a week behind so I made two blocks this week.  Here they are:

Bow Ties– made 2

  • I gathered my lights and darks and cut them into the specified size squares.
  • Then came the fun stitch and flip.  Easy easy!
  • Place a small dark square in the corner of  a light square and sew from corner to corner. Tiger tape is so helpful here, no marking the line needed!
  • Cut the chain apart, flip the small square over and press.  Woo hoo!
  • Lay the bow ties out for easy, organized sewing.  Be sure those seams kiss or nest together by pressing the seams toward the dark square.
  • Sew them all together and done!  I am excited:)

Square in a Square– made one


This block was a little harder because of all of the bulk.  It is also a stitch and flip block, but there are a lot of seams here, so be sure to trim away the under side of the flip.  

  1. Sew two small squares on opposites corners of a larger square and sew each square from corner to corner
  2. Trim the seams to 1/4″. Flip and press
  3. Sew two squares to the opposite corners in the same manner.  
  4. Trim, flip, and press.

It’s looking good! 

I look forward to making these two quilts.  I ask myself if I am crazy because I just have a little way to go on my Splendid Sampler…..”press on!” I say!!!

I hope your Friday is SWEET.  Really, if you are at all interested in making this quilt, I hope you will join me.  I will post along with Angel Gnome, so it really should be a breeze:)