Posted in Miscellaneous, Miscellaneous, Quilt Blocks, Quilting, tagged free tutorial, hamper, hamper bag, hamper rack, household, Ikea, log cabin, quilt block, recycled, repurposed, Sewing, storage, tutorial on May 1, 2013 |
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I have a hamper rack on which the hamper portion wore out very quickly. I wanted to recycle the rack as well as use up a lot of fabric scraps, so I drafted a very simple pattern and used a Log Cabin variation to make the front and back. The lining is from some old home dec curtains.
The only repair I did on the rack was to replace two side straps. I cut two pieces 7 x ½ inch of scrap leather (could be from an old purse) and cut a small hole ½ inch from the ends on each piece. I removed the screws on the broken straps and screwed them through the holes on each end to affix the replacement straps.
The rack measures about 16 inches wide x 25 inches high with ½ inch diameter legs – similar to the hamper racks sold by Ikea.
I used pieced blocks for my hamper, but, of course, any kind of fabric could be used. Here is what you will need.
- Hamper rack approx. 16 inches wide x 25 inches tall.
- 2 pieces of fabric 28-1/4 inches wide x 24-¼ inches long for hamper bag
- 2 pieces of fabric 28-¼ inches wide x 24-¼ inches long for bag lining
- 10 pieces of fabric 4 inches wide x 6 inches long for tabs
- 10 pieces of Velcro ¾ inch wide for tabs
- Place hamper bag fabric right sides together and sew with ¼ inch seams along two sides and bottom.
- Keeping right sides together, at each side seam on the bottom edge, mark and cut out a 2-½ inch square.
- Fold the cutout portion of the bag together, placing the seam in the center …..
…and sew a ¼ inch seam.
- Repeat for the other corner. Turn and press.
- Use the same procedure to sew the lining.
- Make a mark at the top center front of bag. Then mark 3-3/4 inches two places on either side of the center. Repeat with back of bag.
- Pin a square of each set of Velcro pieces centered over each mark with the top of the Velcro patch ¾ inch from top raw edge. Stitch in place. Repeat for back of bag.
- Along 4 inch edge of the tab fabric, press edge ¼ inch to wrong side of fabric.
- Fold piece in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, and press.
- Open fabric and fold each side to meet at the center fold. Press.
- Fold in half lengthwise and press. Top stitch around sides and bottom of piece. Repeat with remaining 4×6 pieces of fabric.
- On the finished edge of each strap, sew a ¾ x ¾ inch piece of Velcro.
- On the wrong side of each tab, mark 1-½ inches from the raw edge. Place tab inside bag at top edge, wrong sides together, matching 1-½ inch mark with top pressed edge and aligning with the matching piece of Velcro below. Pin. Repeat with remaining tabs.
- Place lining inside the bag, wrong sides together, matching corners.
- Pin every two inches along the top edge.
- Top- stitch 1/8 inch from top edge, being sure to catch the 1/4 inch of fabric turned under on the bag and lining.
- Place on rack, looping tabs over the rack and securing with the Velcro patches.
The hamper can be folded for storage.
This makes a nice storage unit for lightweight toys (think stuffed animals), sewing, clothing, towels, etc.
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Every year, I try to come up with a handmade original Christmas card for my two daughters and two youngest grandchildren. These have been in many forms in past years and this time, I decided on fabric cards. I started by choosing the four envelopes and cut the fabrics so they would fit.
For the two daughters, I made small Dresden plates from Christmas fabrics, sewed non-woven fusible interfacing to them, trimmed, turned and appliquéd the plates onto a piece of 4×5 fabric which would fit my envelopes well. I cut a backing the same size, sewed right sides together with an opening for turning, then top stitched. I included a panel on the backing with my handwritten “to-from” information. A button or other embellishments can be added.
I always include a dollar bill with the grandchildren’s cards, so in this case I made a pocket big enough to hold a bill or check or gift card and appliquéd it to a 4×5 piece of fabric. Then I added the backing as I did for the Dresden plate cards. It made a nice little holder for their dollar and is something their mother will save for them as a keepsake.
The most time I spent was in doing the piecing, but a cute piece of fabric would work just as well. A quick, easy project.
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This past year I participated in a secret Santa gift exchange hosted by Susan at Desert Sky Quilts. The idea was to fill a shoebox with two fat quarters per month (two color choices of the recipient) and a homemade ornament. It was up to the sender to include any other goodies.
My box arrived yesterday from Candi at Quilts N Things. What a wonderful box of treasures it is. First of all, there are the 24 beautiful fat quarters. How did she know my favorite shades of red and green?
The handmade ornament is simply exquisite with tiny embroidery stitches and little jewels.
Also in the box was a Roma Scentsy Warmer with a beautiful base. I couldn’t wait to plug it in and try out some of the Huckleberry Sage wax. There’s a heavenly aroma in my living room right now.
But, wait – there’s more. There are two containers of wax for the Scentsy, Huckleberry Sage and Mandarin Moon, a very cool pair of holiday socks, a cute gingerbread girl ornament and two little gold boxes of See’s Candies. I’ve heard of See’s chocolate but have never seen it in the Cincinnati area. Confession: These are two empty boxes – my daughter and I sampled the chocolates right away.
Thank you to Susan for hosting this fun exchange and thank you, Candi, for such a wonderful shoebox – I’ll never see a shoebox again that I won’t think of you.
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Posted in Miscellaneous, My Sketches, Quilt Blocks, Quilting, Quilts, Summer, Wall Hangings, tagged 4th of July, acrylic, decorative painting, holiday, July 4th, mini-quilt, patriotic, quilt, quilted, Quilting, tri-stand on July 1, 2012 |
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In the 1990s, my oldest daughter and I had a booth in a large craft mall in Cincinnati. My contributions were mainly decorative art painted on vintage wood pieces and enamelware. We had the booth for over 4 years and I made and sold countless pieces with designs sometimes from pattern books but mostly from my own sketches. I’m not painterly at all and just did my thing with pen and ink accentuated with acrylic painting.
Although I haven’t painted anything since 1998, I kept all of my sketches and designs and thought I might be able to incorporate some of them into pieces for wall hangings or my mini-quilt racks. First, I scanned the sketch which was bigger than I wanted for this project ….
…and then, using a light box, I went over the basic elements of the sketch with pencil. I then scanned this sketch, made it the size I wanted and printed it onto June Tailor Colorfast Fabric Sheets for Ink Jet Printers.
I left the paper backing on the printed panel and painted the design with acrylic paint thinned with water. When the piece was dry, I went over it and added details with an ultra-fine point Sharpie pen. Then, the piece was pressed to set the colors and the paper backing was removed.
These panels were combined with strips of fabric to make them the correct size for my Tri-Stand table topper. I added batting, binding, a sleeve and a label to complete the panels. I also added a patriotic button to each that I found half-price at Joann’s.
I was pleased with how the panels turned out and since I don’t intend to wash them, the colors should stay vibrant for a long time. It made me happy to be able to use an old familiar sketch again and to be able to do a little painting.
This particular design was used for 5 different projects which were sold from our booth.
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Posted in Miscellaneous, Miscellaneous, Quilting, Sewing, Small Items, tagged card holders, Cathedral Window, gifts, pincushion, quilt, Quilt Blocks, quilted, Quilting, Sewing, small projects, tutorial on May 16, 2012 |
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Deanna at Wedding Dress Blue posted five days of small projects last week, along with links to tutorials. I made two of the projects and was very pleased with them.
These card holders were easy and fast to make. I like to have something handmade to hold gift cards and these were perfect. I chose to use snaps as closures and I thought they turned out very cute.
I also made the Cathedral Windows pincushion. I had tried a Cathedral Windows block years ago without much success, but this one turned out pretty well.
It was fun to check in each day to see what Deanna had for us. Here are the other three projects she posted:
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Posted in Miscellaneous, Quilt Blocks, Quilting, tagged envelope bag, gift bag, orphan block, quilt, quilt block, quilted, Quilting, tutorial on April 29, 2012 |
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I enjoy trying pieced blocks just for the experience and many of them are never used in a quilt. I have a stack of various sizes and developed this envelope-style lined gift bag to hold small, flat gifts and then be useful for storing sewing, cosmetic and other small items. Each bag uses two orphan blocks of the same size. Of course, scraps could also be used.
Here is how I make the bags:
- Choose two quilt blocks of the same size, one for the outside bag and one for the lining (my blocks in this example are 12-½ inches)
- Place the two blocks right sides together and stitch a ¼ inch seam on all sides, LEAVING A 3 INCH OPENING ON WHAT WOULD BE THE BOTTOM SIDE OF THE BAG. Back stitch at the beginning and ending.
- …and turn the bag right-side-out. Press and tuck in the opening fabric. Top stitch 1/8 inch from the edge on all four sides.
This is all of the machine sewing you’ll be doing on this project. A bit of hand sewing will complete the bag.
- Place the finished piece on point right-side-up on a mat and fold the bottom point to meet the left hand point.
- Pin together so that the sewn edges meet but do not overlap.
- Using needle and thread and beginning at the top edge, join the two pieces, catching just the edges of the lining fabric so the stitches don‘t show on the outside of the bag and so the edges abut.
- Fold the right hand point over to meet the center and join together.
- Sew a small snap on the back flap and center.
- If desired, add a button or other embellishment to the back and/or front.
The 12-½ inch block makes a bag approximately 7 x 8 inches. It would be a good size for a small journal or paperback book.
A 9-½ inch block makes a bag about 5-3/4 inches square.
An 8-½ inch block makes a bag about 5-¼ inches square – good for a CD or DVD
A 6-1/2 inch block makes a bag 3-½ inches square – just right for a gift card.
These bags are very fast and easy to assemble, make nice holders for gifts and reduce the stack of orphan blocks.
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Posted in Miscellaneous, Quilt Blocks, Quilting, Quilts, St. Patrick, tagged mini-quilt, quilt, Quilt Blocks, quilted, Quilting, table cover, tutorial on February 5, 2012 |
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Deanna at Wedding Dress Blue has a really nice tutorial for a “Sew Small Sampler Quilt” with 3-½ inch unfinished blocks. She has directions for 12 old favorites plus measurements for background blocks to set the quilt on point. The blocks are not difficult and Deanna offers to help anyone who needs a little more direction in making the quilt.
I decided to add borders and size the piece to fit my 1930s era sewing table.
I chose to use up a lot of green scraps to steer this piece in the direction of St. Patrick’s Day.
I did very simple stitch-in-the-ditch quilting along with a free-hand pinwheel motif in each block…
…and decorative stitching in the borders.
As I was piecing the blocks, I used 1-¼ inch scrap blocks as leaders and enders, and by adding a few extra strips of fabric, had enough to make the backing.
The piece measures 26x 16 inches and will be nice for my March sewing table cover.
Check out Deanna’s tutorial for a good project.
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Posted in Miscellaneous, Quilt Blocks, Quilting, Seasonal, Valentine, Wall Hangings, tagged 1930s, greeting card, Judy Martin, quilt, quilted, Quilting, scottie, scotty, State Fair block, Valentine, Valentine's Day, wall hanging on February 2, 2012 |
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Scotties are perfect for silhouettes and Scottie silhouettes are perfect for Valentine’s Day decorations.
I made this wall hanging with a vintage Christmas card as my inspiration. I drew the various pieces on Steam-A-Seam Double Stick Lite Fusible Web, then fused them to the bits of fabric. I cut out the various pieces of the design and arranged them on an applique mat before fusing them to the background fabric. They were stitched in place with invisible thread and a narrow zigzag stitch. I added some strips and borders to complete the piece and did some very simple quilting.
A few years ago, I made this wall hanging for the kitchen.
The background of the heart is a pretty scene from a calendar that was scanned and then printed on June Tailor Sew In Colorfast Fabric. The Scottie also was inspired by a greeting card and was fused onto the piece and stitched with invisible thread. The block is STATE FAIR from Judy Martin’s Stars and Sets software.
Last year, I made a hanging using a pineapple block with a center showing a silhouette of a 1930s era woman and her Scottie.
This was scanned from a vintage reverse painting on glass.
Scottie silhouettes are also good on greeting cards. My daughter made these two cards for me on past Valentine’s Days.
I love Scotties, I love silhouettes and I love Valentine’s Day!
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Posted in Miscellaneous, Quilt Blocks, Quilting, tagged beginners and enders, leaders and enders, Nine-Patch, quilt, quilt block, Quilt Blocks, Quilting, scraps, Sewing on January 19, 2012 |
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For years, I’ve heard about leaders and enders (little scraps of fabric inserted at the beginning and ending of a seam to avoid tangled threads and to save thread), but my attempts to do this were always distracting and I’d give up on it. Lately, though, eye problems have made it difficult to thread the needle and I re-evaluated the leader and ender pieces of fabric. I know a lot of quilters keep a box of scraps near the sewing machine to use in this manner and eventually have enough scraps sewn together to make a quilt. Anything that will use up small scraps appeals to me and I got out my jars of scraps which are sorted by color and cut several colors into 2-inch squares. This size accommodates a lot of my fabric pieces and is easy to stitch together. I carried it another step further and put the pieces together to make a 9-patch rather than having another box full of 2-inch patches to put together – SOME DAY.
Before I begin to sew, I put two 2-inch squares right-sides-together and stitch them. Then, without breaking thread, I sew the seam on my current project. At the end of this seam, I insert another two squares and stitch them together. I cut the thread on the first set of 2-inch squares, add another square to make a row and this becomes my “leader” or “ender” as needed. I keep the rows for one block on the ironing board beside me until a 9-patch is completed – then it goes into a basket and I start another set of patches.
I used this technique on a recent mini-quilt project and when I had finished the quilt, I had made 19 five-inch blocks They are all in coordinating colors so they can be put together easily as needed for a pillow backing, small quilt or wall hanging backing, gift bags, etc.
Now, I’m so accustomed to putting 2-inch scraps together as I’m sewing that I use the process for any project, including making clothes. No more birds’ nests at the beginning of the seam, no more wasted thread and a minimum amount of needle-threading – plus, I’ve used up some scraps and have nice blocks on hand to use with other projects.
I was able to use some of the blocks recently to make a lining for a small bag I made to give to some friends with jars of pickles and blackberry jam. I used 1-1/2 inch sashing between the 5-inch blocks. The lining is pretty enough to make the bag reversible.
For the outside of the bag, I used two orphan blocks.
All I had to do was add straps and facing around the top to make a nice little gift bag.
I also have strips cut 1-1/4 inches wide which I like to use for log cabin blocks and pieces cut in 1-1/2 inch squares. I make sure my basket is full of scrap leaders and enders before I begin any project.
P.S. My friends liked the bag and the home-canned goods.
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Posted in Christmas, Miscellaneous, Miscellaneous, Quilting, Seasonal, Sewing, Small Items, tagged Christmas, ornament, paper piecing, Quilting, Santa Claus ornament on December 9, 2011 |
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This is a very easy paper-pieced Santa ornament. If you’re familiar with paper piecing, it will be a breeze to make and if you’re not, this is a good introduction. For the pattern and complete instructions, go to
There is also a link on that post to a good paper piecing tutorial.
The pattern called for small black buttons and a red pompom which I didn’t have. Instead, I removed the paper backing after doing the paper piecing and embroidered two French-knot eyes and some red lines for the mouth.
Luckily, I did have some small bells for the hat. A small white pompom would also work well.
On the Pinwheel Ponders blog, there are several examples of different fabrics used on the ornaments.
I chose to hand stitch a wire hook to the ornament for hanging.
Although not required, I have these tools on hand for paper piecing and turning small items.
The 1/4 inch paper piecing ruler, the hemostat and the point turner have been useful so many times on past projects. I bought the hemostat (item 3022) and the point turner (item 3009) at Quilt-in-a-Day. These items are sometimes at your local quilt shop.
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