Monday, April 28, 2014

cash zipper wallet

My friend has been using the cash envelope system for years now and still uses paper envelopes in her purse, this doesn't bother her but for some reason it bothers me.....haha.   So in my search for my perfect wallet, in the previous post, I found this tutorial for exactly what I needed to make!
I couldn't find the fabric I liked in laminated cotton so I bought the iron on vinyl and it worked out fine, although it seemed I spent more time ironing than any other step, but it was worth it to have a wipe-able surface.  I used different color zippers to color code the envelopes i.e. pink is for clothing/accessories and green is for grocery shopping......  I hope she likes it as much as I do!

Monday, March 24, 2014

project in the works........zipper wallet

I have been looking for a wallet for some time, the one I have I like the design but have found it to be very heavy in my purse and it all adds up to neck pain for me while shopping so I decided to sew one out of my favorite fabrics in my stash, so its "free"  with the exception of the PDF pattern that I purchased here from a fellow etsian.
No I didn't have to buy a pattern but I just wanted all the thinking to be already done for me this time. The pattern designer had a great idea of buying home dec fabric swatches to make the wallet,  this way you get a group of coordinating fabrics and just the right amount, plus I've seen them at joanns for .99
So here is my first days work:

I am loving how its turning out!   Now I am waiting on my zippers and lobster clasp to come in the mail so I can finish.   

Supply buying tip:
I like to buy my hardware on esty. There is a great selection and they have items that are hard to find in the fabric store also at better prices.   I bought 5 zippers with a cute pull for $5.  and a set of clasps for $3.   I know that would have been per item in the store.

I will post my new wallet hopefully by the end of the week!

UPDATE:   Well I would have been done sooner but when I finished and went to put my cards in I discovered that I didnt sew the bottoms of the pockets in the first step and had to take the whole thing apart!!!!! ewwww!   I just got around to finishing it and I had a bit of trouble with the zipper and the binding, which is rare for me because those are two things I love to do.    I am really picky when it comes to detail stitching and small details that this pattern did not walk you through so for my pickyness I am not 100% in love with the end result, but it is still pretty and functional.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

vintage love....double-sided napkin tutorial

I LOVE my Jadeite......and any excuse to use it! When I was asked to set a table at a Valentines banquet I knew I needed to figure out a way to pull in the lovely vintage color.  So off to my favorite fabric store to find some vintage looking fabric that had mint and red as the primary colors, I was hoping for a variety of 4 fabrics so I could make 2 of each.  Well... they didn't let me down,  I found this great set of fabrics. SCRUMTIOUS by Moda fabrics. grabbed some red rick-rack and red Kona cotton. Let me take a moment to brag about quality fabrics.  I come across people everyday that choke when they ask me about what fabrics I like and how much they are per yard....but no matter what others may think quality fabric is an absolute must!  ONLY IF you want your projects to turn out professional looking, if you want to enjoy your sewing process, if you want a product that will last the test of time.... I could go on!
I have wasted too many hours and projects on cheap fabric.  I also only use cloth napkins and have purchased as well as made them and there is nothing worse than a bad napkin.  I have already washed this set 3 times and they have come out beautiful with minimal ironing...which is appreciated, and while we are talking about cloth napkins I thought I would share my latest napkin organizing find.....over the door shoe organizer is perfect for storing your cloth napkins, you can see what you have, access them easily without digging through a pile and they are out of the way to free up space for other dining accessories. I spent around $40 on supplies and if you compare to customized napkins at a boutique they usually run $24+ for a set of 2.  So I think I did pretty good for a set of 8 costing $8. each.

So here's what you need for 8 double-sided napkins:
You need 1/2 yard print for 2 napkins or 2 yards for 8
2 yards solid fabric
14 yards rickrack...yes 14 :)
matching thread

Square up your fabric and cut 2- 18x18 squares from each print

then fold in quarters to round the edges

I like to use a saucer (here you can see how the fabric matches the jadeite perfect, but the camera doesn't show its true color)

trim up all pieces (16)

now we are ready to add the rick-rack
I like to add it to my front piece first - line up the zig zag with the edge of the right side, stitch on and then stitch the backing fabric right sides together.  Run both ends of the rick-rack off the edge so the ends get caught in the seam when finished.

after you piece front to the back, turn your piece and press all around and opening so it is ready for top stitching

once all your napkins are turned, and pressed run a top stitch all around as close to the edge as you like, this is decorative, and functional as it will keep the pieces together after washing and it will close your gap where you turned your piece.

and voila! your set of beautiful custom napkins is complete! 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

picnic quilt tote

Ok BMQG Ladies this is for you, I will be demonstrating this at the November meeting, I will be referring you back to my blog for picture details if you are a visual learner.  I have now made 4 of these quilt totes starting with this lovely quilt commissioned by an etsian, those 2 quilts blogged both have gussets, this sounds complicated but it just a matter of adding 2-4" strip of fabric to your zipper before you apply it to the quilt.  This is necessary if your quilt is fluffy or large, which both of those were.  The plus quilts I am demonstrating are only 67" square and fairly thin so they fit with just the zipper.  Speaking of must use a zipper that is heavy duty and sturdy for it will be getting some wear and tug, you want to shop for one that is also wide because the wider the zipper edge the more space for your folded up quilt and a much easier zip when folding up.  The purchasing of the zipper will be your most challenging part of this project!  If you are lucky enough to happen upon a "sleeping bag " zipper at the fabric store grab it, they are 100" long, which is too big but the are wide and sturdy, otherwise you need to head over to the upholstery section and buy a zipper by the yard or an upholstery cushion zip.   You will probably need somewhere around 48" It is a good idea to finish your quilt and fold it and measure before you buy your zipper...unless you strike gold with the sleeping bag one.  

7 Easy Steps and 21 Pictures to your Quilt Tote!  
  1. Your quilt: If making a new quilt you may bind three sides if you wish and leave the binding free for the side with the zipper or wait until the last step to bind.  If you are using an existing quilt, on one side pull out the stitching and free the binding from the quilt as below

2. How to measure for the zipper: Lay quilt out and depending on size you will fold in half or thirds (A.) Then bring the ends to the middle (B.) At this point you will measure from your fold in the middle around the outside edge, down the fold and back to the middle edge.  That is the length of your zip, when you open up the zipper to apply it will then go around all 4 sides. Another way to think about measuring the zip is to measure the circumference of the folded quilt and divide by 2.


3. Prepare straps: Flip the folded quilt over and you will have your working surface for applying the handle(s) and zip.  You will have to determine the length of your own strap to your preferences and if you would like 1 or 2, or if you want to get fancy with an adjustable strap (if you cut them off of duffel bags before you toss them like I do then you can cheat a bit) or embellish any ribbing, jute webbing, nylon strapping, make your own with fabric and a stabilizer....get creative.
If using one strap, take measurements of the top of the tote (along the binding) find the middle and then center for one side and evenly space the straps, do the same for the second strap.  Stitch them on by going over stitching multiple times, making sure the ends don't fray you may zigzag too. You may then bind your quilt, keeping in mind you need an open place for zipper ends but I would rather rip out an inch of stitching later to keep the flow nice and smooth. Then refold the quilt to have (C) facing up to continue.



4. Prepare Zipper: Lay zipper out on folded quilt (D.) leaving a few inches hanging off the end, measure around 3 sides and add 2" for safety. Cut zipper at top (make sure the pull is below cut) 
Cut a piece of fabric 2 1/2" X 2x the width of zipper plus seam allowance
i.e. my zipper is 1 1/4 wide so I will cut fabric 2.5 X 3"
you will then fold right sides over the end of your measured zipper (E.), stitch along the bottom edge encasing the zipper, be aware of the zip part and use the wheel to lower your needle one stitch at a time so you don't break a needle, then run a stitch as close to the zip side without catching the zipper. Pull stitched fabric right side out (F) trim if too long and fold raw edges in and top stitch (G)





5. Attaching Zipper: (H) Open zipper up and lay right side down, this part is too tricky to explain so I will refer you to the pictures. (I) starting in the center of your folded quilt start pinning the zip with the teeth facing inward. (J) run the zip over your straps along the edge of the binding. Being careful at the corners to round them out and pin well but do not lip corners,( it will seem tight for now but will be perfect later)
(K) Pull the stitching now from your binding and insert the top ends of the zipper, I pin one side at a time and then make sure its all even then insert the tips into the binding (K) (L,M) is the pinned zip ready to stitch.




6. Stitch the Zip: Open the quilt flat and attach your walking foot, insert the quilt and align the needle to the outer edge of the zipper and position the teeth on the left outer side of your foot,(N) slowly stitch. When you have stitched the zipper all the way around, replace the top stitching over your zip ends. (P)



7. How to fold and zip:
Depending upon your quilt size if you folded in thirds or in half twice its still the same basic fold, (Q)Lay flat with handles at top, fold up (R,S) and fold into the center (T) then zip (U)





Wednesday, April 24, 2013

scrappy log cabin finished!

This little quilt that I started a few weeks ago as a scrap buster was so fast and fun.  Being able to use scraps and not have to fuss over size allowed me to play with colors and enjoy my block as it grew.  Follow Red Pepper Quilts Tutorial to find out how!

I found the perfect backing to complement my multi-colored top called Modern by Robin Zingone for Robert Kaufman Fabrics o used black and white polka-dot for the binding.
AND.......its up for sale in my re-opened etsy shop, featuring "little quilts"

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


April Modern Block of the Month Pattern

Thursday, April 11, 2013

little bits finished quilt pictures

 As I was going through my old blog list I realized that I never posted a finished picture of my little bits quilt.  One of my first projects on this blog.  Well its been a few years and the boys have changed a little but as you can see they still are excited about their quilts, even little boys like to have nice things and they feel special when its made by mommy...

this is the quilt with the emphasis on "blue", the backing and the binding have more blue details

This quilt has the emphasis on "red", with a red backing and red details in the binding

It may not seem like much of a difference, but when you have twins you learn you have to color code things and so for quite a while we have stuck to it, but lately Mr. Red has been wearing and asking for blue and its confusing everyone, so now its just whatever color you like, its a new phase and the color coding has served its purpose.

This next photo is of the backing and a label I made, it was really cute when I put the quilts on their bed for the first time, I showed them the label and their name and they hugged it and like to sleep holding that corner because it says love cute are these little guys?


So I have to say that I am happy with this fabric, it has not faded much, through all the washing's  and believe me they have been washed!