Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Tool Time with Christine and her DIY Supersized Ironing Board

If you would like to be able to lay a ½ yard of fabric out and iron it all at one time without having to move the fabric; you are going to LOVE THIS TUTORIAL!  I ran across an ironing board similar to this and thought “WOW that would be awesome to have...I bet I can  make one of those.”  It is one of my favorite tool/items in my sewing room.  You can make one of these too, and you'll be surprised how easy it all comes together.  Easy peasy! *wink*

(Yes, that's a 15 inch ruler laying on that ironing board with room
all around it)

First, before we get started... I want to give Madame Samm a Big THANK YOU, for having me on Sew We Quilt.  I have learned so much from all the instructors on her blog.  We are so lucky to have this site, and all need to give Madame Samm a Big SHOUT OUT, WHOOp WHOOp!!!! 

A quick little bit about me...My name is Christine,  I am married to my best friend.  My husband and I are proud parents to three furry children 
(2 cats and a boxer puppy - they all make cameo apperances in my quilt pictures).   When you don't find me at my sewing machine or computer, you will find me flower gardening in my yard or camping somewhere in the wonderful Pacific Northwest.  

I am fairly new to blogging and my blog is called, Quilt Monster in my Closet
Please visit anytime...I’d love to have you stop by, share ideas,  or just say Hi!  I am excited to be here at Sew We Quilt and share this tutorial, it is my first time
 guest blogging. :) 
If any questions come up… Please let me know. I'll answer them ASAP. 

Here is a list of supplies you need: 
                    *Your existing Ironing board
(with old cover removed)

*Tape Measure, pencil, saw, drill with smaller than wood screw drill bit, staple gun w/staples and a screw driver, hammer and/or brad nail gun.

*A piece of ¾ inch plywood cut 20 inches wide and  6 inches beyond the length of your ironing board CLOSED. 
(my example is for a standard ironing board and it’s cut 63 inches x 20inches)

*7 fender washers & 7 wood screws

*2 (10 ft) sticks of
¾ by ¾ inch wood (for finishing)
*100% Cotton Batting    (I used scraps I already had)
*2 yards of fabric (You can choose whatever color you want…Dress it up or dress it down)
*Finishing Nails 1 ½ long amount varies.  (fyi..I used a brad nailer instead)

Okay Let’s begin assembly. First mark the top of your board and lay it face down.

Lay ironing board face down on top of the plywood. 
Center ironing board on plywood and mark where you will be 
mounting the wood screws to the ironing board.
(I marked 7 total-  one at the tip…and 3 along each side of ironing board) 

(Mark the ironing board also,... a lot easier to realign later.)
         Now remove ironing board and pre-drill your holes…
this step makes securing it easier to at the end.

(if you drill all the way thru..no worries, you will be
covering it up with fabric)

Next … Take your  ¾ x ¾ inch sticks of wood, measure and cut the lengths to match the plywood length.   From the left over cuts, measure and cut for the short lengths to fit in between the long sides… IMPORTANT >> DO NOT ATTACH YET!  Put aside for finishing! 
(Sorry I forgot to take a picture of this step.)

Next…Cut 4 layers of batting an inch or so larger than the
size of your plywood.  
The extra will wrap over the sides and give a cushion along
the edge of your ironing board

(I notched the corners of two layers so that I wouldn’t have super bulky corners.  I hope you can see that in the picture… it was a sunny day)   

Now…Clear off your table and lay your fabric so that the
Right Side is facing DOWN.
 (WARNING…*Wink*.. there is going to be a bit of fabric waste, I know...I hate waste too, but you’ll want enough fabric to hold onto  when pulling and stapling.  That way you will get a tight fit across the board..I did trim 15 inches off the length of fabric before doing this.  A good size scrap for later. *wink*)

Next lay your batting layers on top of the fabric…
 lay your plywood so that the side marked TOP is face DOWN.

Pull the fabric over the plywood just like you are upholstering
a chair and staple.
(Be careful to not shift your batting)

Staple the fabric about ¾ of an inch from the edge. 
Remember you will be covering the staples with
the sticks you cut previously. 

 When you work into a corner, fold the fabric like you are wrapping a present. 
Once you have the fabric securely stapled, trim excess off. 
(Be sure to not trim too close to staples)  

When all the fabric is trimmed, go thru with a hammer and give each
staple an extra tap to ensure that each staple lays as flat as possible. 

Now you are ready to attach the ¾ inch by ¾ inch pieces. 
Lay the sticks on top of the staples. 
Be careful not to hit a staple when finishing. 
 I happen to have a brad nailer and it was quick and simple,
but if you don't...
use finishing nails and tack the sticks’s down with a hammer. 

Now that the edges are attached...
You are ready for the last step.  (Are you excited yet??)

Position the ironing board over the pre drilled
holes that were made earlier.

Secure your new cover to the ironing board with a wood screw
and fender washer in each of the pre-drilled holes.

You are now ready to flip over your ironing board and enjoy
how much bigger it is. 

You now have an awesome "Supersized" Ironing Board that
everyone you know - who sews - will be jealous of. 
Be careful...you may have to make one of these for a friend, I did.

I hope you enjoyed my first guest tutorial.   In honor of the special occasion, I am having a giveaway over at my Blog... One lucky winner will win a bottle of Mary Ellen's Best Press to start their new ironing adventures. 

 Check out Quilt Monster in my Closet to see what the
giveaway question is...  
 Leave a comment here for an extra chance to win :)
Winner will be randomly selected.

Again, Thank you Madame Samm for having me on Sew We Quilt, and I look forward to more sharing and learning with all my new internet friends.

Happy Quilting…and...Happy Ironing ;) 

Christine L

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Behind the Seams with our January Banner Winners...sadly goodbye December and 2011

Yes there was
  Christine and Nan, Marsha and Anne Marie
and by far one of my most favorite Banners of the YEAR.
YOU  made our December sparkle with delight...
Thank YOU for making it a very special month...
will miss you !
Hope to see you all again!

And now for our JANUARY Winners
Oh look at them all...

Our theme was January Blues...but this
collection will do nothing of the sort...
This month  will actually lift you up in their stories
and their creativity...
( there were 243 entries and all of them were unique,
striking, sew thank you for sharing a bit of YOU with me...
Please keep entering- love to see your quilt here someday
 BTW I never know which
one is YOURS...I just blend till I find a match..this is what
I came up with for our January...)

There is 
Sandra, Kathy, Cynthia and Mary...
* in this order
and here are their..

Here is Sandra's

I want to thank Madame Samm for picking my quilt for the January banner.
I am very honored and excited to be chosen.
My quilt was made in June 2011 for my beautiful niece
 Courtney as a high school graduation present. A special event like that deserves a special quilt.
 Her school colors were blue and white and the school's mascot is a pirate.
Most of the fabric was purchased at the Sew So Shop in Yuba City, California. The dark blue has white polka dots and the white has swirls that remind me of wind. The bright blue I had been saving in my stash especially for Courtney. It has pirate ships, mariner's compass', and topographical maps of the world all over it. The backing has little pirate skulls and I pieced the label and two paper pieced blocks into it. One block is a graduation cap and the other is a sports jersey with her #12 on it.
I stitched in the ditch around all of the blue and stipple quilted in the white. In the thin white border I quilted "softball, volleyball, cheerleading" over and over with a heart between each word. These were the sports she did throughout school. The quilt measures 54"x54".
Thanks again for the honor! =)

 ( Kathy is MIA, not sure what happened there...)
Hers was the snowflake... kept sending gentle reminders
right till yesterday...it was then too late to change the banner!

NEXT is Cynthia's..

Hi Madame Samm,
Thank you for choosing my humble quilt for the January banner. Here is the quilt story...
This quilt started with a very humble center block. I called my friend after returning from a trip. She informed me that we were going to start a round robin challenge at our local quilt guild at our next meeting---in two days! In order to participate, all I had to do was bring a 12-15 inch block to be my center block. I was blue because I didn't think I had enough time to get a respectable block pieced. My friend said to look through my projects. She said that I would probably find a block that would work. This is the block that I found--a humble churn dash.
There were 7 participants. We did one row on each quilt, then passed it on to the next person. At every meeting, we got the guidlines for the next row. We drew a size and a technique out of a hat. Row one was 2" wide- plain. Row two was 3" wide-applique. Row three was 4" wide-plain. Row four was 3" wide-rectangles. Row five was 5" wide-diamonds. Row six was 6" wide-squares. We were not allowed to show the quilts until they were completely pieced.
What a lovely surprise it was when I finally saw my humble churn dash block again. It had grown into a beautiful quilt, pieced just for me by some of my best and most talented friends. I will cherish it always. I know that Round Robin challenges sometimes get a bad rap, but our experience was a very successful one. We had 7 really beautiful quilts come from this challenge.
We each quilted our quilts ourselves, then showed them again at another guild meeting.
I haven't given this quilt a name. The label on the back says...
Prairie Quilters Guild Round Robin Challenge 2010
Then I listed the Rows with the technique and the name of the special friend who did that row. The label was made on my embroidery sewing machine.
I am not able to supply a link to my blog because I am not a blogger--although I am a blog follower. I thank each and every one of you for your interest in my quilt. If I could leave you with one thought it would be this...
Do not be afraid to do a round robin challenge with some of your very best quilting friends. No matter what the finished product looks like you will have something made just for you by those who think you are special. And you may just get a real gem, like I did. I wish all of you a very blessed and happy new year!!
Cynthia in Illinois
Thank you again Madame Samm!

And now Mary's 

 Hello Madame Samm

 I just happen to have a Booklet that I wrote all the details of my Quilts in last year.
It is a great reference for filling out registrations for Quilt Show entries and times like this.  
This quilt was made as a TEST for a Blogging friend (Pam Avara, aka:Knitoid) Her Blog link is: her link
I had two grandson's due in March and April and this cute fabric that screamed BOY with V-room, V-room written all over it.  I used Kona Blue and white for the other colors to go with it.  It was started on February 1st 2011 and the top was completed February 5th. It was done sooner but when I e-mailed Pam the photo she noticed I'd assembled it wrong- I failed the Test..LOL.  I quickly un-sewed the blocks and put them back the right way and sent her the corrected picture. She designed the pattern for a Retreat she attends each year.  My Daughter from Arizona was home visiting while I was working on it and claimed it for her little one. There's a sneak peek of it at this post-post here
The finished size  is 40"x40".  It was quilted and totally finished March 21st.  I tacked down the binding while travelling to meet the new little boys in Idaho and Arizona.  I quilted a simple meander on it to look like roads to drive cars on.  The backing fabric is a red flannel with Matchbox cars on it. 

I call it "V-room, V-room for Jacob". The label is a triangle of fabric folded to a triangle and sewn into the corner.  It has the date and the Name of the quilt and Made with "Heart" by G-ma Mary Crowther. I write the pattern and source of it on the backside of the triangle.
This is where I first showed it on the BLOG.  
It was displayed at the Krazy Horse Quilt show in May 2011 also. I attatched two photos of the quilt, one with the baby on it.  Use the one you prefer.
Thanks so much for choosing my quilt for the banner. My Birthday is in January and this is a great B-day Gift to me!  I can hardly wait to tell DD #2 that her son's quilt is "famous".
Mary Crowther - Quiltingrandma

"To quilt or not to quilt, DUH!"
Thank you Mary~!

SEW here is to a beautiful month
for many reasons...
Thank you Ladies for adding your spark...

This week we begin a month of TOOL TIME....see you then

Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Year ....

Imagine the possibilities of another year together?...I can ....lol

Happy New Year...

BEHIND the SEAMS stories will be posted on Jan 1st...2012

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Comfort and JOY with Kd of KdQuilts and her Crystal Angel

Merry Christmas a few days after the fact!
Hey, this is Kd from KdQuilts
and I sincerely hope you are enjoying the
holidays this year and being super crafty. Once again, huge thanks
and appreciation go out to Madame Samm for hosting
Comfort and Joy on the SewWeQuilt blog.
She is so talented at organizing wonderful
events to satisfy the creativity in all of us!

When I read the suggestions for this December quilty marathon there
seemed to be quite a bit of interest in embroidery, so that is when
the idea began to form in my mind for this little piece. Unfortunately,
it isn’t a five minute project. But I think you’ll really enjoy stitching
my Crystal Angel and displaying her into the New Year. She might
even become a new Angel Series! Stay tuned in the future on
Here’s a photo of the finished Crystal Angel
wall hanging so you know where we’re headed.
Select a light colored fabric for the embroidery background.
A fat quarter or 1/3 of a yard will do because the piece you
need to cut is 9” x 11”. I chose a fabric with a silver fleck in it
to add interest and sparkle, but you don’t have to use anything
that fancy. It’s a good idea to zigzag the edges to prevent raveling,
but not totally necessary. For the pattern go over to my blog at
sign up to be a follower and then you can
download the PDF file for the embroidery.
Using a light table or window secure the pattern with masking tape and 
center the fabric over the pattern. The pink "+" on the Angel's hand
on the pattern marks the center of the design. Then trace all the lines
with a fine brown 005 Micron Pigma pen. Just make a small dot to 
show the placement of the French knots.
I like to use Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils. I bought the 24 count 
tin and used half of the colors. I love all of the colors, and can’t imagine 
what it would be like to own the entire set of 150 in a neat 
organized tin. Maybe someday! But I digress.
 Mount the fabric backwards in a large hoop so that the fabric is held
securely but you can place it on a hard surface to be able to apply the colors.
With your colored pencils shade the Angel as shown in the picture below.
 Here are a couple of close-ups for more detail. The top half...
...and the bottom including the star basket and red shoes! 
 The colors I used are listed in the following table. Most of my 
coloring was just around the edges to accent the embroidery we will
be doing soon like the light green around the edges of the dress.
When using colored pencils in your quilting and embroidery, 
a textile setting medium must be applied, allowed to dry, and 
then heat set to make the color a permanent part of the fabric. 
I like to use Jacquard Textile Color #100 Colorless Extender. 
This product can be found in art supply stores, or you can use 
Plaid brand FolkArt Textile Medium available at most craft stores.
The Jacquard Textile Colorless Extender is a milky white in the jar, 
but dries clear. Again, it helps to secure the background fabric in a
large hoop for this step of the process, so remount the fabric in the 
hoop in the normal manner. With a paintbrush apply the extender to all 
areas of the fabric that are colored. Note: if using FolkArt Textile Medium 
be careful to rinse your brush in between different colors and do not 
paint any areas that are not colored as they will be stained. With the 
Jacquard brand I didn’t have to be that careful as it worked beautifully 
right out of the jar. Rinse your brush in water to clean the bristles.
Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendation on the back 
of the jar for this step. Jacquard says to allow the extender to air dry 
for a couple of hours, remove the hoop and from the wrong side of
the fabric, carefully heat set the colored areas with a medium hot iron
for about 30 seconds, watching that you do not scorch the fabric.

Now cut a 9” x 11” piece of light to medium weight fusible interfacing 
and iron it onto the back of the background fabric according to the 
manufacturer’s instructions. I used medium weight Pellon 911FF 
fusible interfacing for this step. Using an added layer of interfacing 
helps prevent shadowing of the crossovers and knots (if you use them) 
on the backside of your embroidered piece. Some people believe in 
using knots to begin and end their floss ends and some don’t. 
It is up to you how you wish to secure your floss ends.
The handy embroidery supplies pictured above (from top 
to bottom) include a 4” hoop, a Clover needle threader, 
Gingher 4” embroidery scissors, a pack of size 7 Bohin crewel 
embroidery needles, and a brown 005 Micron Pigma pen.

We’ll keep it simple and only use 2 different embroidery stitches: 
1) the Back Stitch and 2) the French Knot. 
If you are confident with your embroidery skills feel 
free to commence stitching. Otherwise we’ll review 
the steps you’ll need to know now.
This is pretty simple. Mount the fabric in the hoop, thread a needle with 
2 strands of floss, and knot the end if you wish. Holding the hoop 
right-side up poke the threaded needle up from the backside at 
Point #1 and pull the thread all the way through. Insert the needle 
from the top side of the fabric down at Point #2 and back up
at Point #3 and again pull the needle and thread all
the way through to complete the back stitch. 

I like to keep the length of each of the stitches about 1/8”
or less depending on how tight the curve is I am stitching.
The smaller the stitches the sharper the curve you can nicely stitch.
Repeat inserting the needle in the fabric at Point #2 and bringing it up 
at Point #3 following the line you wish to stitch. Be careful to not pull 
the thread too tightly as you stitch. Keeping a nice even tension is best.
A lot of embroiderers hate French Knots. I think the key to making 
them is controlling the tension on the thread at all times. 
Remember, practice makes perfect. So here we go.

STEP 1: Again, have your fabric mounted in the hoop, thread a 
needle with 2 strands of floss, and knot the end if you wish. 
Holding the hoop right-side up poke the threaded needle up from 
the backside at Point A and pull the thread all the way 
through. Hold the thread taut with your left hand 
(if you are right handed) as shown above.
STEP 2: With the needle pointed away from the fabric wrap the thread 
around the needle the required number of wraps around the taut thread.
STEP 3: Without losing the thread wraps, carefully poke the needle 
back down into the fabric close to Point A. Continue to control 
the thread tension with your other hand as you pull the 
remainder of the thread through to the back side.
STEP 4: Admire your beautifully stitched French Knot!
So now we are ready to hand stitch the angel. You can see all 
of the colors of DMC 6-strand embroidery floss I used in this 
project. DMC #5282 is a metallic floss, but it's really not that
hard to work with and adds a nice touch to the embroidery.
The floss table below
is a guide to the colors to use for the different
parts of the Angel including the number of strands and the 
number of wraps for the French Knots wherever they occur.
Stitch the parts of the Angel in any order you wish, but just have 
fun with it! It is very rewarding to watch the progress 
of a project like this and see it through to the end.
Back stitch all the lines and stitch French Knots on all of the dots.
Once your hand stitching is complete, remove the hoop and carefully 
press the embroidery from the wrong side. You may gently hand 
wash the piece if you wish, then towel blot and iron it dry.
With a rotary cutter and ruler, center and trim the design to 
5.5” wide by 7.5” high. 
We’re going to do a quick-finish now, 
flip-quilting it so the completed piece will measure 
8” x 10” with a hanging pocket on the back. You’ll need a
small piece of thin batting and a couple of fat quarters of 
coordinating cotton fabric to complement the colors 
in the finished Crystal Angel embroidery.

Cut the batting 8.5” x 10.5”
Cut backing fabric 8.5” x 10.5”
Cut 4 squares 2.75” x 2.75” for corners
Cut 2 – 2” x 9.5” strips for side sashing
Cut 2 – 2” x 8.5” strips for top and bottom sashing
Cut 1 – 2.5” x 7.75” for hanging pocket
Place backing right side down with batting centered on the top. 
Center the embroidery on top of the batting and pin in place.
Press each of the four 2.75” squares in half diagonally.
Place one on each corner of the embroidery and pin as shown.
Pin each of the 2” x 9.5” strips with their right sides down 
along long side edges of embroidery and sew with a ¼” seam. 
You will be sewing through the side piece, triangle, 
embroidery, batting and backing all in one step.
Press each side fabric piece away from the 
embroidery and pin in place along outer side edges.
In the same manner, pin each of the 2” x 8.5” strips with their right 
sides down along the short top and bottom edges of the embroidery
and sew with a ¼” seam (as shown below). Wait on pressing these strips
in place until the hanging pocket is sewn in place in the next step.
On both of the short edges of the 3” x 7.75” hanging 
pocket piece turn under edges ¼” twice.
Stitch close to first fold to hem on both edges.
With pencil lightly mark a line centered down the length of this strip 
(1.25” from each edge). Center this pocket piece right 
sides together on the top edge of the back.
Sew along this center line through all three layers (pocket strip, 
backing, and batting). Press bottom edge of pocket along 
sewing toward the top, matching edges. Pin in place.
Now press the 2” x 8.5” strips on the front away from the
embroidery toward the top and bottom edges and pin in place.
Lightly press the entire piece. Evenly rotary trim the edges
so that the piece measures 8” wide by 10” tall.
Bind all edges as desired. This is how I did my binding:
For the binding fabric cut bias strips 2” wide and at least 38” 
long (piece together strips if necessary). Sew binding right sides 
together onto front of quilt with a 3/8” seam mitering corners as 
you go. Turn binding to back and hand whip stitch in place.
Turn the four bias triangles away from embroidery and 
lightly press as pictured above. Hand sew a decorative 
button, as shown in photo below, on each one.
Insert wire hanger into pocket, hang on your wall and enjoy!
Thanks for “hanging” in there with me 
through these lengthy instructions. 
Happy New Year and a blessed 2012 to you and yours!