Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Sewing Machine Mini Quilt

Tuesday, December 5, 2017
mini quilt featuring sewing machine
The fabric for this project was provided to me by Riley Blake Designs. The project and opinions are my own.

You probably don't know this, but I have been pulled out of depression twice in the last two years by sewing. Through being creative, putting things together in a unique fun way, and taking time to do something just for me, I have found my happiness any joy renewed. So creating, and specifically sewing, have a very special place in my heart and in my life. When I was given the opportunity to participate in the blog tour for this new Happiness is Handmade line by Lori Whitlock, I jumped at the chance. The colors, theme and feel of this line just speaks right to my heart. I've been wanting to make some new mini quilts for a while now and this seemed like the perfect time to start.
I started with this sewing machine block from The Fat Quarter shop. It was a good size and I loved the shape. I had a blast putting it together. *Now, before we go any further, I need to add a disclaimer that I am a novice quilter. I have not done many quilts and my technique is sketchy at best. But, I'm learning, I forgive myself as I go for not being great at it, and I enjoy the process enough to do it anyway. So, don't zoom in- okay?
I added a small border under the sewing machine and then added two rows of hearts to the top and bottom. I purposely offset the two rows of hearts to give the quilt just a bit of movement. I really love how it turned out.
If you are interested in making this exact mini yourself, this heart tutorial by Cluck Cluck, Sew is the process I used to create my hearts. I cut the color rectangles at 2 1/4" X 3 1/2", the tops of the hearts were created with 1" squares and the bottom of the heart used 2 1/4" squares. They are a bit shorter than the ones in the tutorial, but I like this shape a little better. The border between the sewing machine and the heart row is 1 1/2" X 16 1/2" and the borders on the heart row were 1 1/2" X 3 1/2" and 2" X 3 1/2". If there are any questions, please let me know and I can write it up a bit clearer. :)
Happiness for me is indeed creating handmade and I'm so happy I will have a bit of this line hanging out with me for a long time in my sewing space.
Happy creating everyone!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Shine Bright Tote tutorial

Monday, December 4, 2017
Shine Bright fabric tote
The fabric for this post was provided by Riley Blake Designs, the project and opinions are my own.

I absolutely loved this fabric and the message the ladies from Simple Simon and Company incorporated into it. They dedicated this line to their daughters and wanted them to know what they hope for and think of the sweet girls in their lives. I want my girls to know that I think the same things about them, so I knew I wanted to make something they would see and use often. I decided on a tote bag that they could use to hold their coloring supplies, or even use for library books if they want. It's a simple bag, made a bit more fun with the addition of a pleated ruffle on the front.
Shine Bright fabric totes
I made two totes for a couple of my daughters, so in the tutorial I will be alternating between them.

Shine Bright Tote Tutorial
This pattern is fat quarter friendly. You will need one for the exterior and one for the lining. If you want to add additional interest or colors, you will want a few more fabrics.

  • from lining fabric cut 2- 11" X 13" rectangles
  • from exterior fabric cut 1- 11" X 13" rectangle
  • from exterior fabric cut 1- 3" X 11" rectangle
  • from exterior fabric cut 1- 10 1/2" X 11" rectangle
  • cut one 3 1/2" X 20" strip for ruffle
  • cut one 4" X WOF strip for handles (if using Fat Quarters, cut 2 4"X 21" strips)
  • Cut 2-  3 1/2" X 11" strips for accent pieces on bottom of tote (optional- skip if using a dark color for main exterior fabric)
  • From Fusible Fleece cut 2- 10 1/2" X 12 1/2" rectangles
  • from Fusible Fleece cut 1- 7/8" X 42" strip (or 2- 7/8" X 21" strips if using fat quarters)
 Take the 3 1/2" X 20" ruffle piece and press in half along the length.
Attach strip to the top of the 10 1/2" X 11" main exterior piece, creating pleats as you go. Use a scant 1/4" seam allowance. *tip: if you are concerned about the pleats being evenly distributed along the tote, use pins to put the pleats in first.
Then add the 3" X 11" piece on top of the ruffle- this time use a full 1/4" seam allowance.
Press small piece up and away from ruffle.
Fuse the fleece to the exterior front and back pieces.
Measure 3" up from bottom of each of the exterior pieces and pin the 3 1/2" X 11" accent piece in place.
Stitch down using 1/4" s.a.
Press the accent piece down toward the bottom of the exterior pieces.
Add top stitching above the ruffle, at the top of the ruffle and on the top of both bottom accent pieces.
Take the lining pieces and place them right sides together.
Sew around the two sides and bottom using 1/4" s.a.- Leave a 3-4" opening on bottom seam!!
Mark a 3/4" square on the two bottom corners and cut out using scissors.
Repeat all steps for the exterior of the bag except DO NOT leave an opening on the bottom seam.
Line up the side and bottom seams, pulling the cut out square into a straight line. Pin the seams together.
Sew along the straight line you created using a 1/4" s.a.
Repeat for both lining and exterior of the bag.
Turn the exterior of the bag right side out.
Take your handle strip and press in half along the length.
Open up that seam and press the outer edges of the strip so they line up with the center pressed line.
Place the fusible fleece along the center pressed line to one side or the other.
Fold the outsides back into the center and then fold again along the center fold- this should capture the long raw edges inside the strap.
Press to fuse the fleece to the fabric.
Top stitch along both sides of the strip to create the handles
Cut long strip in half (if using a WOF cut)
Pin handles to front and back of bag exterior.
Line up the outer edge of the handles 2 1/4" in from the side seams.
Pin or baste in place
Slide the exterior of the bag inside of the lining.
Make sure side seams nestle- that they are going in opposite directions.
Line up the side seams and top raw edge of the lining and exterior of bag.
Pin around the entire top opening of bag.
Sew around top of bag using 1/4" seam allowance.
Pull the exterior of the bag through the opening in the bottom of the lining, turn entire bag right side out.
Stitch the opening of lining closed.
Push the lining into the exterior of the bag.
Press the top seam and top stitch around the opening of the tote.
Now your tote is finished! All that is left is to fill it with goodies- like coloring books, pencils and a matching zipper pouch and you have a delightful gift perfect for birthdays, Christmas or any occasion!
As always, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Ruffle Notebook Cover Tutorial

Wednesday, November 8, 2017
*I was given fabric to participate in the This and That blog tour. All opinions and projects are my own.
Notebook cover with ruffle accent
I love the florals in the main print of the This and That fabric line, but what I love even more, is the accent of black that runs throughout this line. It's such a fun contrast to the bright colors. That element of contrast is what led me to create this ruffle notebook cover. The pleated ruffle on the front is a fun element, made even more fun with the contrast of the black fabric. This tutorial will show you how to create your own, so that you can dress up your composition notebooks for doodling, bullet journaling or keeping track of your sewing projects, which is what I use mine for!
Ruffle Notebook Cover
4 fat quarters
1/3 yard for lining
1/3 yard for front accent (less if not directional)
1/3 yard for back of cover
2 1/2" strip of accent fabric, or 1" wide ribbon

decorative elastic if desired for closure

ruffle notebook cover cutting requirements

1-10 1/2" X 16"  Lining fabric (stripe)
3- 5" X 10 1/2" front feature fabric and cover flaps (floral)
1- 2 1/2" X 10 1/2" front feature fabric (floral)
1- 2 1/2" X 20" strip ruffle fabric (black)
1- 9 1/2" X 10 1/2" back cover fabric (red)

pleated ruffle to front accent piece of cover
  • Press ruffle strip in half along the length
  • line up raw edges of the ruffle strip with the right side of the 5" front accent piece. Pin pleats into the accent strip so that it covers the length of the 10 1/2" side.
  • baste into place 
  • Place 2 1/2" front accent piece on top of ruffle, right side down, lining up right sides. 
  • Sew in place using 1/4" seam allowance
ruffle notebook front cover assembly
  •  press the ruffle toward the 2 1/2" accent piece
  • top stitch on both sides of the seam a scant 1/8"
  • line up the left side of the accent piece with the right side of the back cover piece- right sides together
  • Sew the accent piece to the back, using 1/4" seam allowance
  • press toward the darker piece (in this case, the red side)
  • add top stitching if desired
add elastic for closure

  • if using decorative elastic for closure, line up the elastic 2 1/4" from left edge of front cover
  • pin in place
put the notebook cover together
  •  press the cover flap pieces in half along the length (5" X 10 1/2" pieces pressed to create 2 1/2" X 10 1/2" pieces)
  • line up raw edges of flap pieces with both sides of the notebook cover front. *tip: pay attention to the direction of the print on the fabrics at this point
  • place the cover lining right side down on top of the cover front.
  • pin in place
  • Sew around the entire cover using a 1/4" seam allowance, leaving a 3-4" opening on the bottom for turning
  • clip all four corners and turn right side out
  • press
  • stitch opening in bottom closed
tutorial to create ruffle notebook cover
 Slide your composition notebook into the flaps and bring the elastic around to the front to keep closed.
ruffle accent cover for composition notebook
Now you have a beautiful new cover for your composition notebook! I use mine all the time to keep track of the projects I am making, adjustments to patterns and ideas for future projects. I LOVE having one in my sewing room (or two or three!!).
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