Finally Bound

These projects waited on binding for some time. Both applique patterns are by Carolyn Friedlander. The first is from Creativebug, a website that offers amazing tutorials.

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This project is from Savor Each Stitch, but this is the backside. Check out the front here.

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US Passport Cover Tutorial

Completing this pattern has been an exciting process, but highlighted the challenges of communication. I hope this tutorial/pattern is easy to navigate and helps the user make a passport cover. This is a fun project! The covers make great gifts to your friends that travel or are perfect for making yourself a personalized cover.

Tutorial & PDF: Passport Cover by Brambleton Threads

Materials:
Fabric: scraps or 1 Fat Quarter or 2 Fat Eighth of different colors.
Woven Fusible Interfacing
Thread
Sewing Machine
Rotary Cutter
Self-Healing Mat
Fabric Pen
Scissors
Iron
Spray Starch

  1. Measure and cut
    Shell: 1) 5 3/4” x 11 3/4”
    Lining: 1) 5 3/4” x 11 3/4”
    Fusible Fabric: 1) 5” x 7 1/2”

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2. Using the instructions provided by the manufacturer, iron interfacing to the center of the wrong side of the shell fabric. IMG_5724

 

3. Place right sides of the shell and lining together and pin all sides.IMG_5721

 

4. Using a fabric pen and ruler, mark 1/4” at each corner. Use scissors to clip all corners 1/4”.IMG_5758

 

5. With a 1/4” seam allowance sew three sides, both lengths and one width (two longs & a short), leaving one side open. Backstitch the start and beginnings of each edge.  Set stitches by pressing with hot iron.IMG_5723

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6. Pull the fabric right-side out through the open edge. Press edges.

7. Fold the short-side’s open seam under a 1/4” and press using fingers or iron. Pin.IMG_5730

 

8. Sew shut the open seam with an 1/8” top-stitch. Set stitches. Trim thread. IMG_5737

 

9. Fold the piece in half and press, creating a crease in the middle. Reopen the piece flat.IMG_5741

 

10. To create the flaps, fold each width in towards the middle crease 1 3/4” and press. Pin in the middle of the creased edge and flap edges. Do this on each side.IMG_5764IMG_5762

 

11. With an 1/8” top-stitch sew the entire length of the top of the piece, backstitching at each corner of the flaps. Repeat this on the bottom edge.IMG_5766

 

12. Set stitches. Trim. Add passport & admire! The fabric will soften with time & travel. IMG_5852IMG_5850

Please share your results and comments! Thanks for stopping by.

Easy Passport Cover

I always travel with a passport, but I never found the perfect case.  I first wrote and made this easy passport pattern last Fall to solve my passport case woes. I’ve made a few demos in the process of pattern writing and I love the final product. Later this week I’ll share the pattern and tutorial!

I was traveling this early part of April and I’m looking forward to catching up with everyone. Thanks for stopping by!

Arcs + Free Motion Quilting

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The Free-Motion quilting bug caught me! Carolyn Friedlander’s awesome pattern Arcs  waited patiently to be quilted and with the new Janome now here I was more than happy to start quilting. The sun came out strong yesterday, perfect to sit down and sew by.

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Speed and stitch length are two of the things I am thinking about while quilting. It takes strong hands and arms to move the layers quickly under the needle. Sometimes I have a gap, but others I don’t move enough and the stitches are tiny. I am staying present! If my mind wands the needle wiggles! Quilting gloves may be helpful in this department by making sure for a more steady grip. Have you tried quilting gloves?

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The design translated prettily from the front to the back. My husband said it looks like an ancient calendar, and it certainly does! The scale was an easy and the most fun shape for me to make, with a swoop-away-and-back towards me. The thread is gold Aurifil, and didn’t break at all. For the background fabric I used Sarah Watts’ Honeymoon. Earlier I mentioned the front of the piece felt like a sunrise to me and this background fabric felt like night and how light time feels around those hours.

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The trees are blooming. Awhile ago I noticed this tree was shaped like a heart from growing around the powerlines and thought it would be magnificent in Spring. Here it is! The blooms aren’t in entirely, but this is a sneak peak.

What is blooming near you? Have a great weekend!

 

Free-motion for the First Time

Yesterday held firsts. The Janome serger and sewing machine arrived! I’ve been waiting all month and it flew by. After  returning home safely, I wasted no time switching over needle plate, threading up, and trying out free-motion quilting; Lori Smith’s appliqued piece was my first choice.

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Complete satisfaction: I loved every second I spent trying out this new skill. The hours flew by while I stitched. I’m nowhere near steady, but am enthused to keep practicing; I want to quilt everything and am quickly on that path. Free-motion work is what drew me in to quilting for good: Fabric doodling! I was captivated by the work of other artists/quilters, and I couldn’t wait to join.

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Doodling is an activity I love. I wasn’t sure how I wanted to transfer my ideas from brain-to-fabric. Many draw with friction pens or use an overlay, but I was so excited to try out the machine and an eyeball worked best for me. The endless options are incredible!  Before I knew it, I had a sweet little table accented by a window. This stitching made easy with Aurifil thread.

The table was a little hard to see, and I wanted to play with texture, so in came some thicker thread paired with hand stitching and a great outline formed. All of the applique practice has paid off in the stitch regularity category.

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Happy Spring! It has been a busy and exciting March. The spring peepers are out and the trees are pushing to bloom. Have you been working on anything exciting?

Thanks for stopping by!

Easy Kid’s Apron

The School of Sewing is a book I return to again and again since being recommended it by my seamstress aunt. A lot of people are worried about using a sewing machine, and I was no exception. The School of Sewing helped demystify my machine and got me comfortable using a variety of sewing schools. It’s a great book for those looking for a book to help them with beginning sewing. The apron, project three, is a great one and well fitting.

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Pattern Source: The School of Sewing    

 

This is the child’s size and is a gift for a friend. The dinosaur fabric is Lizzy House’s Natural History for Andover fabrics. Lizzy House is one of my favorite fabric designers. She is playful and vibrant and sweet. These are great prints to work with.

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Fabric: Natural History

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I picked solids for the rest of the apron because it seemed to balance out the print. This apron is for a boy, and I wanted it to have a more stark appearance. The apron is already on its way in the mail to the recipient and I couldn’t be happier. Making a gift for another has always been such a pleasant experience for me.

How have you been sharpening your sewing skills? Thanks for stopping by!

 

Tiny Cards & Applique Arcs

Valentine’s Day is fun. This is a sweet time of year, and I love to send out cards. For previous Valentine’s Days I’ve sent out postcards, embroidered hearts, glitter cards (and those turned in to glitter bombs after being processed through the mail!), and now these old school grade school valentines I found about a year and a half ago when helping a relative move.

These sweet animal cards were perfect. Time has been a bit crunched the past two weeks, but I still wanted to send out cards.

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The other evening I sat down with some Winsor & Newton Designer Gouache in Gold and set to drawing. It’s been about eight months since I used a calligraphy pen and nib, so there were some rusty moments and valentines were limited, but I was able to ease up on the amount of pressure my fingers wanted to apply to the pen and the cards turned out cute. The sun came out just as I was taking pictures, and the gold really sparkles.

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How and why colors coming together are constantly on my mind. I want to tell a story with each piece I make, and it should not be a story that leaves one wondering why it was created. The story should be steady enough to enter and fresh enough to the eye each time that one keeps returning; I’m thinking a lot about it! After trying many other combinations, these two were my final contenders.

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Chain-piecing was one of my favorite skills I learned in beginner quilting. The product makes me want to hang garlands all around the house.

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A new sewing machine is close to being a part of my life, but I still love my little Janome. It is doing a great job sewing up those seams!

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I decided to nestle the clouds between the solid purple and blue Arcs to give this more of a sunrise feeling. Catching the sunrise everyday is one of the most amazing times of the day, and the sun pushes the pinks, purples, and dark reds against the blue sky. With this much print, I felt it was important to create a balance within the already chosen colors, and then find the most cohesive union between these rows. I’ve been contemplating a border the entire week and have yet to settle on any one idea.

Any tips on how you decide on borders?

Happy Valentine’s Day! What are you doing to mark the day?