Saturday, May 26, 2012

Quilt a motif

I’d like to share how I got a quilting stencil onto a felt Kindle cover that I recently made from items in my stash.  I love when everything I need to create and finish an item is located in my already-on-hand sewing supplies!
First thing you have to have is a motif.  You can trace them, you can draw them or can get one my favorite way – from Electric Quilt’s QuiltMaker Stencils.  I have Volume 3, a stand-alone program. You don’t have to have a version of Electric Quilt to use it.  But, if you have a version of Electric Quilt, you can position the motif in EQ on a drawing of your creation.
Even though I am not making a quilt, I made a “quilt layout” in EQ the size of the area that I had to put the motif in.
2115aWhen I need to place a motif in a certain area, I like to work on  a “grid”, makes it much easier to center.  In the Block Worktable, I drew a 7.5” x 5” grid and placed it in Layer 1(in the Quilt Worktable) and placed the butterfly in Layer 2.  I could size the butterfly and move it all around that area until I was pleased with the placement.  It was easy to get the placement on the actual article cuz I had that grid to reference to.
That is one of the butterflies from the “Animals & Bugs” section. 
I determined that I needed a butterfly motif that was 4” x 3” and that is what I printed out from EQ.  I traced that image onto some “Stitch & Ditch Stabilizer by ThreadPro”.  It is heavier than tissue paper, very pliable and the back of the paper is soft & grippy so it doesn’t slide around the fabric.
2116 Looks like a lot of pins. There are pins to mark horizontal and vertical centers and pins to hold the stabilizer in place.  I also drew lines on the stabilizer, for the horizontal & vertical centers – and matched those to the pins marking the horizontal & vertical centers of the fabric.  I then stitched the butterfly thru the stabilizer & fabric.  Tore the stabilizer away when stitching was complete.
The fabric is a textured felt square that I found at Joann’s a couple of years ago.
2118 And here’s the finished Kindle Cover --
2122I decided to have the seam allowances on the outside of the Kindle Cover.  It was easy to construct that way and then found out it gave extra protection to the edges of the Kindle.
2124I had to make the inside of regular felt, cuz I had made 2 other Kindle Covers and ran out of the Brown Textured Felt.  Maybe one day I’ll make a more durable cover, but, I think this one will last a long time and I like it.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Zipped bag for all those chargers

It’s been a long while since my last Blogger post.  Life gave me some twists and turns and changes.  I hope that I can come up with some things to share with you – I enjoy doing that.

On a recent trip, I realized that a light-weight zippered pouch/bag would be just the thing to keep all those chargers together.  You know – one for the cellphone, iPad, Kindle, camera, etc.  I had used an old pouch that I found in a drawer & knew that I could make a better one.

Why do pouches always have a zipper at the top?  I thought a zipper in the middle of the pouch/bag would make the contents more accessible.  And here’s what I came up with --



100_2142aWhen I make pouches/bags, I like to encase the ends of the zipper in fabric tubes so then I don’t have to deal with zipper teeth or the heavy zipper tape in the seamlines of the bag.


100_2134Fabric Tubes for ends of zipper:
Cut each rectangle for tube 2-1/2” wide (this allows for 1/4” seam & goes around the zipper)
Length to cut – 2-1/4” is enough to allow for clearing ends of zipper tape and will be enough for a seam allowance of 5/8” on the bag.
So, for the Fabric Tubes on my zipper –-
I cut two rectangles -- 2-1/2” wide x 2-1/4” long

100_2134a Right sides together, stitch the ends of the fabric tube(s) in 1/4” seam, down the 2-1/4” length.  Do not turn right side out, yet.


100_2133a Slip the zipper end into the “unturned” Fabric Tube - that would be right side of zipper to right side of Fabric Tube.


100_2133Above pic shows the Fabric Tubes pinned to each end of zipper.


The orange dotted line shows the stitching line of the Fabric Tube to the zipper.


100_2135aAfter sewing Fabric Tubes in place, pull the Fabric Tube over the end of the zipper tape; the right side of Fabric Tube is now showing and the end of zipper tape is encased in the Fabric Tube – no raw edges showing. Press.
This would now be called a “Zipper Unit”.

100_2136Now you can take that Zipper Unit and sew it into the bag, treating it just like a zipper.

There are so many tutorials on the web for making pouches/bags, I’ll leave the rest of the construction up to you.  And most of them will show you how to insert a zipper and you would just follow those directions and insert a Zipper Unit, which is just a zipper with covered ends.  I just wanted to show you how I did my zippers.

Before the sides are sewn, the zipper can be located anywhere on the bag
Towards top/bottom.
At top/bottom
or, centered on bag front – which is what I did with mine.


I chose to use French Seams on the sides of the bag, with the final stitching of the French Seam on the outside of pouch/bag, so I could have something to hold on to when opening or closing the zipper. For the 1st stitching of the French Seam, I use 1/4” seam allowance and then for the 2nd stitching, I used a 3/8” seam allowance.  That way, I did not have to trim the 1st seam.

100_2144 Uh-oh, looks like there’s room in that pouch/bag!