Saturday, December 31, 2011

Two birds with one stone (or needle?)

Thanks to my bright idea of moving my floor lamp into the front lounge room, I've been able to enjoy my recent habit of watching TV with hubby AND make progress on some of my hand sewing.  That's how I caught up with my hexagons the other week.

So the last few days I've been concentrating on my Birdie Stitches blocks.  I've now finished October and December.
I haven't done November as it is based around Thanksgiving, and being an Australian, this means nothing to me.  I've also rearranged the block order because a lot of them match up with the Northern Hemisphere seasons and I want them to match ours.  This means that my 'missing' month may not be November.  Hoping that I can work with hubby to design an extra block and then it will be all ready to put together.  I had decided that I wanted to finish these blocks (minus November) this year, and I put the star on the tree last night!

I'm not planning on starting any BOMs next year, but I have signed up for the Free Motion Quilt Challenge, which is a once a month task, so that should be enough to keep me busy.  I've still got all those Civil War blocks to catch up on too!!!

Last week I received my December hexies, I just kept forgetting to photograph them.  I love the cute little owls, and the sunflowers actually remind me of some underwear I used to own, would you believe!!  LOL

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I'm not dead

I promise.

I just haven't done much crafting of late.  I seem to be spending my evenings sitting on the couch watching TV with my hubby.  Which is great for relaxation and togetherness, but not so good for sewing projects!

It does mean that I have managed to finish my overdue November hexies and December hexies for the Inchy Hexagon Flower Swap.  Here is a sneak peak since I know some of the recipients follow my blog.  Hopefully they will be in the post tomorrow.
I also received my November hexies but I forgot to take a photo of them tonight, so that gives me something else to do in the next few days!

This week I received my order of Woodland fabric by Natalie of Cinderberry Stitches.  I don't know what I'm going to do with it yet, but I love her work so much I just had to have some.

And I've done a little bit of cutting out of Civil War blocks.  Trying to catch up!

I don't really get a 'break' over Christmas so I can't say that I'll have more time to catch up, but here's hoping.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Quick Santa Sack - Tutorial

As promised, here is a tutorial for the Santa Sack I made on the weekend.
Mine came out about the size of a regular pillow case, but you can of course make it any size you want.  The sack has french seams so there are no raw edges and you don't need an overlocker/serger to create a nice finish.

It might seem like a lot of steps, but they're all very simple and quick.  All the images can be clicked to see a larger version.

Materials needed to make the same size as mine:
1/2 yard of main fabric
fat 1/4 of trim fabric

1.  Cut your half yard of fabric (if it isn't already cut) and trim the selvedges.  Lay it on the table folded in half with WRONG sides together.  In the photo below, the fold is on the left side and the edges where the selvedges were are on the right.

2. Cut two pieces of your trim fabric to be the same width as the main fabric and as deep as you'd like, plus 1" for seam allowance.  My rectangles were 18" x 6-1/2".

3. Sew the long side seams of your main fabric with a 1/4" seam.

4. Turn your sack inside out and push out your corners.  Press the seam flat ensuring the stitches are rolled out as far as they go. You should be able to see the stitches in between the two layers of fabric.

5. Stitch the side seam again, this time using a seam allowance large enough to enclose the previous seam allowance.  In my case this was 3/8" but you can make it bigger if you need.  Do not turn your bag inside out again.  It should now be right-side on the inside.

6. Join the two rectangles of your trim fabric together.  To work out the seam allowance you need to add together your seam allowance from step 3 and step 5, then add a tiny bit.  In my case this is 5/8" and I lined my fabric up just over the 5/8" mark on my machine to add the tiny bit.

7.  Press the seams open and press under 1/2" along the bottom edge.

8. Pin the trim fabric to the outside of the sack at the top.  This means that you are matching the RIGHT side of the trim fabric with the WRONG side of the sack.  Match up the side seams and pin in place then stitch around with a 1/2" seam allowance.

9. Pull up the trim fabric, and press the seam allowance down into your sack.

10. On what is currently the outside of the sack, do a row of understitching along the sack edge, close to the join with the trim fabric.  This should be sewn through all layers (including the seam allowance at the back).

11. Turn your sack out the right way and fold the trim fabric over the top.  Press well to make a neat edge.

12. Topstitch down the trim fabric along the bottom edge, close to the fold.  (I actually turned my sack inside-out again to do this step as I couldn't be bothered to set up the free-arm)

13. Give it all a good press, and you have a Santa Sack ready to be filled with surprises.

Let me know if you make one, I'd love to see the finished products!

Finally some Christmas sewing

Following on from my November Challenge.... I did none of the things on my list last month.  You may have noticed that I didn't even bother setting a December Challenge.  Well this weekend I found a small hint of my sewing mojo and made the santa sack I've been wanting to do for my daughter.
It's about the size of a regular pillow slip, uses half a yard of fabric plus a fat quarter and was made up one night after dinner.

I had originally thought about putting her name on it but then decided I didn't want to spend the time at the moment.  To save confusion with later children, I'll just make them in different colours.

Stay tuned for a tutorial on how to make one, hopefully I'll post it this evening.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Window Dressing

I think my sewing mojo is starting to return, slowly. I've had some design ideas lately, and that motivates me to finish jobs in progress so I can start on something new. Not that I always finish one project before starting something new... more like I can only have so many projects on the go at once so I have to finish at least one before I can start another. Anyway.... today I finally got around to hemming the curtains in the nursery.

I made the curtains about a year ago and hung them up to see how they looked, and to make sure they dropped before I hemmed them.  My curtain making book says to hang them for a week, but I thought I'd leave them a little longer just to make sure.  Well that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

I had run into some trouble though, which held up the process a little.  I've added a separate lining to the curtains, even though the fabric is backed.  This is a westerly facing window and so will get the direct afternoon sun.  I don't want the room to heat up too much in the summer since bub has to sleep there, and especially considering that she goes to bed before the sun goes down.  My first attempt at adding the lining didn't sit very well.  I'd tried to make the lining the width of the window (like I'd seen a picture in my book) but it never really worked, it pulled away at the sides etc.  So I re-did the lining with 1 1/2 times the width of the window.  It seems to work much better now.  The curtains themselves are about 2 1/2 times the width.

I might head into the sewing room now and see what else I can find some of my missing mojo.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Free Pattern - Christmas Decoration 6 - Angel

Number 6 you ask?  Back in 2009 when I first started my blog, I published some free patterns for Christmas decorations.  I was going to do one a week till Christmas but somehow the last one never got finished, so here it is!

And since most of you weren't around when I put up the original patterns, here are links for the rest of them:


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