Paper pieced leaves make great table runner

If you’ve never tried paper piecing, I urge you to give it a go. It’s a lot of fun. I wanted a challenge so I bought this leaf pattern from Quiltworx. It was expensive. When I opened it and saw the instruction booklet, I let it sit for a few months. It was so intimidating. When I finally urged myself to create it, I was thrilled with the result.IMG_0251

The pattern calls for enough fabric and paper to make the two leaves. I made both at once, knowing I wouldn’t want to go back and do all that cutting again. Take your time, read all the instructions first, and follow them thoroughly. You’ll learn to sew curves, and glue baste. I had never done either before and I was so pleased how these leaves turned out.

I had a few questions during the binding portion. I emailed Judy Niemeyer, who owns Quiltworx and created all the gorgeous, intricate patterns. She responded immediately and helped me stay on track.

I stitched in the ditch around the veins so it wouldn’t take away from the beauty of the finished product.

IMG_0253I love the way these leaves came out. Don’t you?

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Fabric box DIY

This fabric box was so much fun to make. I used scraps and this excellent free tutorial I found at Seaside Stitches. I use it to keep my notions in next to my sewing room.

The fabric box was a quick, easy to make project, and allowed me to brush up on my straight line quilting skills that I learned from this Craftsy class. It’s titled Creative Quilting with Your Walking Foot. Jacquie Gering is a great teacher. I would definitely take more of her classes.
IMG_3013-0.JPGThat’s my ironing board underneath. Another free tutorial. I used a Batik Jelly Roll called Over the Rainbow. Here’s the tutorial from Moda Bake Shop.

Happy sewing!

 

Quilted laptop sleeve tutorial

IMG_2396Is it a clutch? No, it’s a quilted sleeve for my cute little mac air laptop. I love carrying it to meetings, and slipping out my laptop. Here’s how I made it.

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First, get yourself a jelly roll. I used Moda Dreamcatcher batiks, which I purchased from my local quilt store. Any jelly roll will do.

Using a tape measure, measure the length of the front of your laptop, around, and up to the back, then halfway down the front again. Add two inches. This will be the full length of your project. Next, measure the width and depth of your laptop. Again, add two inches to be safe and allow for your seam allowances.

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I wanted to be fancy, so I cut some of my jelly roll strips in half. I also alternated their lengths. You can see what I mean here. I thought it would make the piece a little more interesting. You can choose to cut all your jelly roll strips the length of your project, or make them different widths and lengths as I did. The choice is yours.

Sew them together, and quilt as desired onto batting. I did a simple straight line along the vertical and horizontal lines of my jelly rolls. Test it around your laptop. Does it fit? Trim the top to make the curve, as I’ve done with the flap that will fold over the laptop.

IMG_2401Choose the fabric you will line the piece with and cut to fit your finished piece with curved top. With right sides facing each other, sew together, leaving about two inches open along the bottom or a side. Pull the fabric through so that right sides now face out.

Pin the opening closed using a 1/4-inch seam allowance. You will sew this together when you add the top stitching.

With your laptop inside to make sure it fits, bring the bottom up so that it just about covers your laptop. Remove the laptop, pin to hold in place, then top stitch around the entire sides, top and bottom to give it a nice finished look.

I purchased velcro fasteners and used fabric glue to hold them in place. What do you think?

IMG_2398Please share photos in the comments below if you decide to make one yourself!

 

 

DIY Patriotic wreath

I admire anyone who’s crafty, and that includes my husband, who has turned his artistic abilities into a career. I want to be crafty too, and love the feeling of accomplishment and pride I get when I create something with my own two hands. All it takes is practice, I always remind myself. So, if it doesn’t come out great the first time, I will not give up. The more I create, the better I will be.

When I saw this beautiful patriotic wreath on Positively Spendid’s blog, I was inspired to give it a try. She made it look so simple. My version is not nearly as nice as hers, but it ain’t half bad.

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I couldn’t find the exact same ribbons she used, so went with what A.C. Moore had in the store. I didn’t realize my red was transparent, but I think it worked well when I wrapped the whole wreath.

And, I skipped gluing on the wooden stars in favor of a preprinted blue ribbon. I just wish it was thicker. I think mine was about 1.25 inches, as opposed to the 2 inches that was recommended. I just could not find the 2-inch ribbon in the store.

What do you think? Will you take a stab at creating your own patriotic wreath? If you do, please share a photo! I’d love to see it.