Tuesday, June 7, 2011

String it....

Thank you so much for you kind comments. I will pick a scrap winner sometime on Tuesday.
The winner of the scraps is
"The One and Only!"
is not me or Mdm Samm
it is a person. just don't know her name

Pot Holder Scrap Buster......Hi, My name is Jane and my blog is Jane’s Fabrics and Quilts. I am thrilled to be able to post a scrap project for you today. Thank you Madame Samm for this privilege.

The inspiration that we receive from the blog is unimaginable. I see such talent come pouring forth from these pages and from the guests. I only hope that I can “at least” hold your attention for a few minutes!!

I know we all love fabric but I just adore scraps!! If someone is selling a bag of scraps, I am there!! I think sometimes fabrics can be over looked; the print is too big, the color is not right; the print is too small, too geometric, too modern, to vintage, etc! But, just a small scrap of that fabric can work wonders!!
I love to paper piece and I love to make string blocks. The technique I use is not mine, it is not unusual, it is just what I find works for me. You may make them another way and that is super! The idea is for you to use your fabrics and have fun!

I decided to make a pot holder with a paper piecing method.

Now I know there are special papers made for paper piecing but I just use my good old printer/copy paper. Make sure you set your machine to sew a very small stitch length. This will make it easy peasy to take the paper off after sewing. I also use the same needle in my machine for paper piecing, as it can become dull. So change your needle too!
This block can be made with muslin as the foundation, but I do not like the extra fabric, especially if you plan on making a quilt. I would find it hard “for me” to hand quilt through all the layers. As I do not machine quilt, I can only speak for myself.

OK let’s get started…..

Decide how large you would like your pot holder, I decided on 7 inches. I cut my paper 7 ½ by 7 ½, a little larger so I could trim it to the exact size I wanted.

Next get out your scraps!!!!

I thought it would be fun to just reach in and grab a piece of fabric and begin to sew!
Grab one, do not look or match or fuss, if it is not long enough attach two together for the desired length.

For this Piece ONLY lay it right side up diagonal in the middle on your paper. If you want you may use a touch of a washable glue stick to hold it in place, or a pin. I however, wing it!!

Next GRAB another strip and place it right sides together with the first strip, sew your ¼ inch seam as usual going through all the layers.

On to the ironing board and iron the piece to one side.

Keep adding pieces of scraps

until you have one half finished. This is how it will look.

Now we will do the same to the other side, you will have to flip it around!

Start from the middle again, by putting a strip right sides together and sewing.

Iron each piece as you did before.

Fill the second half and your block will look like this one.

Now flip it over

and trim the fabric from all four sides

Here is your block!!

Remove the paper; it is easier to remove it if you give the block a little tug from corner to corner. The paper will come right off!

Next step….
For a pot-holder I use insule-bright batting. It is made for pot holders, placemats table-runners anything that will be exposed to a hot item.

There are many foods of thought as to how many layers to use for a pot-holder, I do two layers. The choice is yours. You can also use regular batting, but I would then do more than one layer.

Cut two squares of batting 8 by 8, set aside.

Now cut a background for your pot-holder 8 by 8 set aside.

You could also make another string block for the back!!
Reversible, how fun would that be!!!

Layer your pieces

Backing WRONG side up.
2 layers of batting
Top RIGHT side up.

Prepare this for quilting as you would a quilt. I baste with small safety pins, but with this being a small project, and not knowing how to machine quilt, I am going to use straight pins.
I hope you wonderful machine quilters do not think less of me!!!

Quilt as desired! Again, I do not machine quilt but thought this would be a great time to give it a whirl. I started in the middle and just straight stitched from one corner to the other. The opposite direction of the way I made the block, I quilted the width of the foot on the machine! to the corner, flipped it and did the same to the other side.
Not to bad for a hand quilter, if I may say so myself!!

Trim it to size.

Next binding.

I am not going to even attempt to show you how to bind, to be honest I still have to check myself. I really just do not get it!! I have a wonderful friend who puts my binding on for me! This is how it looks when I do it!!

Maybe we could get someone to show us some different ways to add the binding.

Or a tutorial on adding grommets!

Anyway!!! Here she is in all her glory!!

Last idea; this is a 12 inch block I made for a swap; it was made using four 6 inch pieces of paper. You could make a potholder using four 4 inch squares and it would be really scrappy.

I am also working on a string quilt. I made quite a few string blocks then asked the gals in one of my bees to make some for me. I used white for each of the middle strips, to give it a secondary pattern. Looks like I will need to make a few more to get this quilt to a super nice picnic size. Oh nuts, I will have to make more!!!!

The whole point to this post is never; ever throw away your scraps!! Or if you do not want them, I will send you my address!!!!

Giveaway…I thought it would be fun to giveaway a “pile” of my scraps (just in case you do not have enough fabric) so you could start to make some string blocks yourself.
Hop over to my blog and leave here and on my blog...and I will be happy to pick a name.
International comments are always welcome!

Have fun!Grab the Sew We Quilt @ Stash Manicure June button for your blog, it is a beauty!
And thank you for reading my post!!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Framing With Fabric and a Thread, Dots, and PATTERN giveaway

This is Sharon from Vroomansquilts here again. Thank you Madame Samm for my return appearance. Today I would like to share a tutorial on how you can fabric frame your stitcheries. I evolved into this method when professional framing got costly and good wooden frames became hard to find. And as quilters, you have all the materials necessary - fabric, thread, bindings, and scrap batting.

Your stitcheries are probably wrinkled (hand held)or have hoop marks. Your hands have oils that do get left in the fibers and it does pick up dust, so it needs a bath.

A little bit of a mild soap in tepid water - a little hand swishing, let set 5-10 minutes, and then run under cold water to rinse.

Lay your piece out flat (DO NOT WRING OUT) on a nice clean,absorbant towel and roll up loosly. Set aside in a warm area to dry.

Place a thick towel or double fold bath towel on your ironing board. Place your stitchery FACE DOWN and press from the back. The towel protects your stitches - we don't want to flatten them. Or if you have used beading or metalic threads - this prevents damage from a direct iron.

The fun part - pull those scraps and select a backing, audition border fabrics, and maybe there is enough of a scrap binding to use. Hmmm - this all sounds familiar - like making a quilt?

Layout your basics - backing fabric, batting, stitchery. I go over every piece with my lint roller to pick up loose threads and fabric bits. It would be a shame to have a 'red' thread show thru the stitchery background. Then I draw out my framing for the first border. Yes, pencil right on from edge to edge as it is where I am laying my strip and will be covered.

As you can see, I lay my first inner border strips using the pencil line for a guide. Sew from edge to edge and use your 1/4" seam quide, catch your strip, and continue on. I used a purple thread to hopefully show you the 1'4".

After lightly pressing the first strips back, just like making a quilt block, our second inner border strip is sewn, using the same edge to edge using the pencil line for the guide and our 1/4" seam. This is the 'flip-and-sew' method - some of you may be familiar with.

Again lightly press your inner border back. You will need to mark your sewing guide line edge-to-edge again for the next border.

Rinse and repeat - we add our first strips for the second border using the same edge to edge and 1/4" seam.

I usually 'eye-ball' the edge over laps - but if you feel you need the quide - redraw your line.

Just like a quilt block - we need to square up and trim. You can leave your edges or if you feel better in keeping things together, you can use a long baste stitch around the piece.

Now it is time for the binding. Use your method of binding - just like a quilt. If you are adding a hanger sleeve - it can be attached with the binding. Remember - these are smaller projects, so start your binding close to the corner and end just after the last corner to give you room to handle splicing your binding ends.

This is a candle mat, so no hanger. I use metallic thread to 'tie' the Celtic Knot centers for a little 'quilting' in the center.

This is the back - to show why I sew edge to edge when applying the borders. You have quilted your entire piece.

So take your cross stitch, hand or machine embroidery, a pretty orphan block, even a section of a pre-printed panel and use this same flip and sew method. Table matts, tote pockets or backs, notebook covers, or simple wallhangings - experiment and have fun with fabric framing.

Sewingly Yours,

Editors note... OHHH LOOK A GIVEAWAY

This is positively inspiring Sharon...goodness knows we could  all do more of it this way....
and on that note..why not a giveaway today?

Jill from Jillily Studio sent along this summery pattern, called Summery Slices.... and dots...and I thought since green seems to be a theme here, why not a giveaway...Thanks to Jill for her pattern and DOTS which I used all weekend long and not surprising they were a gem....and some  Presencia Threads from Jane's Fabrics ( she is having a sale on these threads). ( She thought some red and green would be befitting...( and of course I always throw in a few extras to make it exciting...ask around they know wink) here is.her blog

Sew go and visit our sponsors...leave them a thank you, and leave a wonderful comment for Sharon here
and visit her too...She always leaves the most amazing notes for us all...NOW is your chance to let her know 
she matters too...

Winner announced tomorrow....

And our winner is from the Netherlands, Kspotle ( another newbie) YEAH.
sent you notice by email...You will also be getting 10 layers cakes in red and greens...
To all those who entered, ohhh come back again, we always have surprise giveaways....
Congrats Kspotle

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Friday, June 3, 2011

What is better than 1 guest, 2 guests, 3 guests? YOU tell me?

Editors note:

I thought what a wonderful FRIDAY this could be. I invited 3 guests...count them 1, 2, 3...YES, thank you for obliging. Our First guest is suesue, our second guest is Jules and our third guest is Karen. All of them have something in common....They LOVE SELVAGES. ( me too, but I don't have enough yet to make what they did) Sew follow along. leave some delightful comments for our guests...and REMEMBER, someones selvages can make B U T full things...

Welcome suesue

Good morning! My name is suesue and I am an artist. I say that because I believe that all of us who make beautiful items (whether it’s through quilting, sewing, painting or any other creative medium) are artists. I am so appreciative to be here with you all today!
Madame Samm contacted me a few weeks ago when I had featured my selvedge chair on my blog. She was so sweet and encouraged me to share the “how to” with you all. Plus she gave me the advantage of adding another wonderful blog to my reading list!

The blogging world really inspires me. One of my favorites on my “never ending list” is Karen at the Selvage blog. (I had always spelled my selvedge this way so I looked it up and found out that both ways are acceptable.) She features quilts and items made from the selvedge edges of fabric. I have seen some fabulous creations there. I’ve been saving my edges for quite a while now and accumulated enough to finish my project. 
My old sewing machine chair had definitely seen better days! I had it since 1987 when I bought my Bernina and was going to replace it until I had the idea to recover it with selvedge fabric. So appropriate for my studio space!!
Since I had made some other items with some of these pieces, I knew that I needed a good overlap so the raw edge doesn’t sneak out. 
Now when I cut my selvedges I always leave a good inch or so on them. The picture below shows three selvedges. The first doesn’t have enough fabric left to overlap. The second is okay but the third is the best!

The first thing I did was trace my top and seat around onto a muslin piece of fabric. Then simply keep adding selvedges by overlapping the finished edge of one piece on top the raw edge of the next piece and sew down each row with a straight stitch. You can sew from either side depending on your comfort.

Sometimes my piece wasn’t long enough so I placed two or three selvedges to get the desired length. 
After filling the whole area with selvedges and a few polka dot fabric strips for even more color, I stitched around the whole perimeter of the top and the seat. Since I was able to take the top of the chair apart, I folded, tucked and hot glued the top selvedge fabric and then snapped it back together. 

I couldn’t undo the seat so I lifted it up with  my pliers as I went around tucking my fabric into it. I did put some hot glue into a few places there as well where I could reach. If you wanted to you could simply make a cushion cover or slip cover for your chair instead.

A few pictures of some of my favorite pieces:

As you can see from the last piece I didn't overlap it quite enough so I had to undo it and fix it.

To celebrate this honor I’d like to host a little lagniappe giveaway of a selvedge cuff bracelet. 

Simply pop on over to my blog and leave a comment and I’ll pick a random number next week and email you!  Ohhh and please leave me a comment here too...love to hear from you.

Thank you again Madame Samm and all your readers!!

And our next Guest Selvage Blogger...is Jules, welcome my dear...

Hi. I'm Jules of From Three to Insanity. I've been sewing for 4 or 5 years and started quilting two years ago. I love to browse Flickr for sewing inspiration. I remember seeing this one day and just *swooning* for it. It was so unique and beautiful and I instantly wanted to make one. I'm not sure exactly why I thought I could amass enough selvages to make a quilt, but I figured I'd ask around on the online community and would be able to collect enough of them at some point in the distant future. But through the generosity of Flickr swappers, I was able collect more than enough selvages in 6 months to make a twin sized quilt.

The finished size of this quilt is 68"x85" and is made out of more than 1,100 selvages. Oh, how I love to look at each one. They all tell a story - sometimes they'll remind me of a project I finished long ago. Or maybe I'll remember who sent me a particular selvage. Either way, they are just so pretty.

I figured that by the time I was finished with the quilt, I'd never want to see another selvage again in my life, but I was so wrong. I still can't get enough of them. I love the way Moda selvages have the same font and can be lined up just so.
I love all of the little color dots - so bright and cheery.

And I love that sometimes selvedges don't need pretty fonts or pretty dots to have an impact - sometimes it's all about how that plain strip of white breaks up an ordinary patchwork. I totally groove on how the bands of white separate the all of the colors in this rainbow pouch for an even stronger visual impact.

They just speak to me. Each little scrap, once destined for the trash bin, can find new life in projects big and small.

If you find yourself *swooning* for selvages too, stop by my blog for a giveaway. Thanks so much to Madame Samm for having me today! Happy crafting to you all!

and yet another guest.... Karen from the Selvage Blog..welcome Karen.

How to Make the Red Zinger!

Starting with a solid red square (this one is about 9") lay the selvages as shown, and sew along the bound edge of each.

Continue as shown, being careful to overlap each raw edge with your next bound edge. Add some interesting selvages and patterns.

Add selvages to the third corner. This is so much fun. Finally, trim back to the original red square size.
Sew your blocks together and enjoy the secondary patterns! This is the pattern that I made for Quilter's Home magazine. It was in the September/October issue. I wanted to come up with a design that looked dazzling, but wasn't hard to do, and I'm delighted with this one!
Some quilters have made this quilt with strips (not selvages) and they came out great. Since there's no bound edge, you simply "stitch and flip."
I hope you have a blast with this idea. Happy quilting.