Monday, July 25, 2011

zig zag quilt

I picked up 2 charm packs of this really colorful and fun fabric a while back, with intentions of a little quilt for my daughter. 
 I also have been wanting to make a zig zag quit for some time.  So this was a perfect match! 
I learned about a technique where you sew you white square right sides with your printed square.  Draw or iron a diagonal line or fold and sew 1/4" on each side of the line, you then cut on the line and you have two squares complete.  Its a genius quilting trick.  So I got going on cutting and piecing arranging my layout with my 5 year old input on how the colors should go.  She did not like the mixed up look like the quilts online, she wanted the 4 block that matched to stay together so I did as she asked and we put together a very color pleasing quilt.  I used a polkadot flat sheet for the backing and black and white dot for the binding.  I quilted along the zigzag and was able to complete the machine quilting in a few hours.
Here is the method I used for the blocks, you can arrange theese triangles in a number of ways to get so many different patterns, 4 finished blocks make one zig zag

Next on the list to finish this bed off is a pillow that requires some hand embroidery. Inspired by this lovely shop. To be done in the car on our family vacation. Coming soon!

Friday, July 22, 2011

picnic blanket in a bag

I have a picnic blanket that I bought for I think $7, about 10 years ago. You fold it up and there is a zipper that goes around it and then it has a strap.  Great idea....ugly colors AND toooo small for my family of 7.  So a few years ago I was commissioned by an etsy customer to create "the ultimate picnic blanket" as she so lovingly referred to it.  This blanket started as a small project but got big real fast.  Her blanket ended up measuring almost the size of a king blanket.  The top was created from reproduction vintage prints and the back of a fabric called cordura, most commonly used for backpacks.  She chose this fabric because of its durability and waterproofness.  She lives in NY and wanted to keep all the muddy yucky street germs on the outside of her lovely fabric...who can blame her.  Well here is what I ended up creating for her....I did not want to give it up!

So I decided that I would eventually make one for our family since I had the practice on this one! Well that was spring 2008.......anyways I have been collecting jeans for many years now with the intentions of a big blanket some is the day!  I cut and cut and cut....there was a massive pile of denim squares and still had enough jeans left to make a few more blankets.  I also had an old duvet cover that I planned for the backing and binding.
cutting denim is very messy to say the least!

So maybe someday I will share a tutorial on how to add gussets and a zipper to a blanket.  It actually is quite simple just takes some thinking and SILENCE....I had to send the kids outside for this one.  Here is a picture of how it is applied. I used a 48" plastic zipper, a 4" strip of jeans and a nylon strap from an old duffel bag.

we have already used it ALOT!

Friday, July 15, 2011

easy summer dress BURDA just in case you didn't know! Well they always have fashion that does not look homemade, easy patterns and great tips and advise.  Most sizes are European so you have to figure that out but I have purchased a number of PDF patterns and have had great luck so far.  Well I got the newsletter with new summer patterns and had to have this dress.  BUT....pattern did not come in my size.  Most pattern makers on BURDA only make patterns in one size lot, anyways I was looking at it and thought it was a simple idea, and I knew I could copy a neckline from a shirt I liked, so I got out the pattern paper and got started.  I wanted to have side seam pockets so I used this tutorial from BURDA as well, I am a big fan of binding so I used a simple binding technique added some gathers at the neckline and it was done! I decided not to add the gathered waist, but I might change my mind later.  Without a belt or gathering it looks like a shepherds costume, my daughter and I were laughing about it calling it my shepherd dress, so it definitely need a belt or gathering.  Dress in a day! LOVE THAT.  I purchased this linen like stripe at a fabric warehouse, it was easy to sew with and is very comfy...I might need some more of it.  I used about 1 2/3 yards, the bias binding cut into the last bit of the 2 yards.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

tuttie tute: bike basket linner/tote bag

Bike basket liner and tote! Ok I know I went on and on about my old Schwinn bike and the cover was cute and easy but a cute seat cover can only do so much for a sad little bike.  It looked good but rode bad :( I need to be able to go for long rides with my kids and pull a few kids behind me from time to time.   I needed a new bike.  So With my new bike I needed a cute basket liner.  After some etsy surfing on what people are making I got a general idea of what my needs were and what I wanted to create.  My basket is the quick release by wald.  The quick release mechanism prevents the liner from going around the top in a continuous piece so I had to adapt the top, more about that later.  Here is the list of likes and wants for my bag.
zipper pocket
key fob
water bottle holder
ability to take out and carry
pocket for phone and glasses
AND to be CUTE!

Ok so I started,  here is what I did.  Spread out all my fabric scraps to decide my fabric combination, I wanted the bag to compliment my bike colors and I found I had enough of these wonderful Amy Butler prints. Gathered some other supplies like yellow webbing for the straps, a zipper for pocket and a clasp from an old duffel bag.  So I got to work.  First by measuring the basket and drawing a rough picture with dimensions to go from.  If you have not discovered pattern paper, you need to if you like to make your own patterns...its a must.  The pattern paper has marks in inch squares so it helps you keep things straight and it has a wax paper backing that you can iron onto your fabric to help cut it out. 

So I created my pattern.

The top was 2" larger than the bottom so I created by patterns

Here is a picture of the pattern paper ironed onto the fabric.  This is also helpful if you want to line up your patterns and center the fabric.  This takes time and uses more fabric sometimes but it makes the difference between homemade and boutique, if you ask me.

Here are my lining pieces ready to add inside details of your choice.

I made a simple pocket on the top peice, placed elastic on the left for a drink, key fob on the right and a zipper pocket.  I have been wanting to learn how to insert a zipper pocket so this was the perfect project to test it out.  Found this tutorial and its perfect. I made my pocket 8x8.
My pocket is not perfect and a little puckery on the corner but a good first try and good enough for the lining of this project.
I assembled the lining sewing the side seams first, being careful to sew only  a 1/2 from the bottom in each side seam.  Cut my bottom piece and then attached the bottom.  There are many tutorials out there about basic tote bag construction if this is your first time.  I will skip alot of the basic construction steps and only tell about the different things I did to customize the bag for a basket.
I then added the straps.

This picture is an example of where I put a dot on the bottom for where to stop sewing to get your bottom to come out square.

Now repeat for the outer minus the pockets and extras.

I like to press my seams out and them top stitch on both sides of the seam, this adds strength and structure to the bag as wall as a nice decorative touch.

I made my casing in two pieces to the handle is able to go up and sown and not interfere with the bag.
Sew the casing to the outer and turn the outer bag inside out and insert in the lining, right sides together.  Stitch around the top, I prefer to rip open a piece of my lining rather than have the top opening left.  So then rip a lining side seam and turn bag right side out. 
I inserted a piece of template plastic for my bottom to have a bit of sturdiness in the side seam opening and then stitched shut.  Iron seams and top stitch again under the casing.
Thread you tie through the casing
cant wait to test it out!