Luggage Tags

Find your case quickly and easily on the luggage carousel and make sure it finds its way back to you should it decide to take a trip on a different plane with this quick and easy DIY luggage tag.

This makes a great gift, especially if you pick the fabric to suit the recipient.

You will need:

  • 2 pieces of cotton fabric 6″ x 3 3/4″
  • 1 piece of cotton fabric 14″ x 2″ for loop
  • 2 pieces of heavy interfacing 5.5″ x 3.25″ (I used an extra heavy pelmet interfacing)
  • Scrap of clear vinyl 2.25″ x 3.5″
  • PVA glue and small brush
  • Clothes Pins
  1. Press both long edges of fabric for loop to the centre then fold in half so that the raw edges are hidden.  Top stitch along both long edges (Fig 1)

Fig 1:Top Stitch Fabric Loop

2. Fold and press the rectangles of fabric over the pieces of interfacing.  (Fig 2)

Fig 2: Fabric folded and pressed over interfacing

3. Zig zag machine stitch 3 sides of the piece of clear vinyl onto the front of one of the rectangles

Fig 3: Zig zag vinyl on 3 sides and put tag together

4. Using a small brush paint a thin layer of PVA glue around the inside 4 edges of one of the fabric and interfacing rectangles.

5. Lay the fabric loop on top of one of the short edges of the bottom rectangle (Fig 3) then place the piece with the vinyl pocket on top so that right sides are out and the loop short, raw edges are completely enclosed. Press and hold together with clothes pins until dry.

6. Top stitch around all 4 edges of the luggage tag with a heavy duty machine needle and add a piece of card to the vinyl pocket for name/phone number/ flight details.

 

DIY Anna Costume for a 3 year old

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Birthday season is fast approaching in our family and our granddaughter has requested an Anna outfit.  I nearly bought one but then decided that I had enough time to make one as long as I could get all the bits for it from my stash or quickly online.

I started with the skirt:

Anna Skirt

Luckily, I had a piece of silk in my stash.  It was 1 metre square and near enough in colour for Anna’s skirt.

I folded it in half and stitched the long side together.  Then I folded it over twice to make a casing for the elastic at the top and hemmed along the bottom.  To make the flower decorations along the bottom I drew a simple tulip pattern onto Bondaweb and transferred this onto fabric.

Tulip pattern for Anna's skirt

The leaves and stem I used some green satin type fabric that I had and for the flower a fuchsia coloured felt.  If I was doing it again I would definitely get some green felt for the stem as the felt was much easier to attach to the silk.  At this point my sewing machine decided not to cooperate!  It kept sticking as I was appliqueing the stem to the skirt.  It didn’t look good at all so I put the rest of the stems and flowers on by hand. I found that 5 flowers of 16cm x 8cm (bottom of stem to top of flower) did the job.  I then threaded 1.5cm wide elastic, 2cm longer than our soon to be 3 year old’s waist through the casing.  Skirt finished.

The top was much easier than I thought it would be.  I followed a brilliant pattern by Lifeasmom.com. You can find it here.

I didn’t have enough black felt but did have some black cotton twill which worked great but needed a bit of hemming to hide the raw edges.

Once again I drew the decoration for the front onto Bondaweb which I transferred to green, fuchsia, marigold and purple felt before stitching onto the bodice.

Anna Top

I then bound the neckline and bottom edge with some gold coloured ribbon.

I closed the back with velcro.

The T shirt came from this eBay shop and was just under £5.  Top done!

For the cape I used a piece of fuchsia coloured fleece from Lady Sew and Sew I had some in my stash but .5 m should do it.  I used a fabulous pattern by Danamadeit.com  pattern for a circle skirt but only cut out half a skirt for the cape. I measured around the top and cut and folded a piece of black felt to make a stand up collar.

The frog fastening and the trim also came from eBay.

Frog fastener

1m Jumbo pom pom trim in burgundy

Anna Cape

I metre wasn’t quite enough for the cape so I curved the front edges.  If I was to make again, I’d have bought 2metres.

Anna Outfit 2

Outfit complete!

 

 

A Couple of Baby Quilts

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I’ve just completed another couple of Baby Quilts.  One for a boy and one for a girl:

These were very simple and quick to piece and a good way use up scraps.

Baby Buds Quilt

Baby Buds Quilt

Sail Boats Quilt

Sail Boats Quilt

 

 

 

 

 

 

Both quilts are made up of 6 x 12″ squares (blocks). Here are the instructions for the Sailboat Quilt.

Sailboat Quilt

For each 12″ block you will need:

White Fabric:

  • 4 x 3½” squares
  • 3 x 3⅞ squares

Yellow Fabric:

  • 2 x 3⅞ squares
  • 2″ x 156″ (approx) for binding

Orange Fabric:

  • 2 x 3½” squares
  • 1 x 3⅞ square

Turquoise Fabric:

  • 4 x 3½” squares

To complete the quilt you will need:

Navy Fabric:

  • 9 strips 3½” x 12″
  • 4 strips 3½” x 33″

Backing Fabric:

  • 36″ x 48″

Wadding/Batting:

  • 36″x 48″

Use a ¼” seam allowance and press your seams open as you sew.

Start by joining 2 white 3⅞ squares to 2 yellow 3⅞ squares. Then cut on the diagonal to create 4 squares of one white and one yellow triangle.

Then do the same with one orange and one white 3⅞ square. There are many sites with detailed Instructions on how to do this.  Here’s one of them.

The blocks are constructed by piecing 4 rows of 4 squares then stitching the rows together in the following pattern:

Piecing instructions for Sailboat Quilt

Piecing instructions for Sailboat Quilt

Once you have made 6 blocks, stitch one 12″ navy strip to each side of 3 blocks and one 12″ strip to only the right hand side of 3 blocks.

Now stitch the rows together in 3 groups of 2 blocks by adding one 33″ navy strip to the top and bottom of one group of 2 blocks and then add blocks and strips, working your way down the piece until you have 3 groups of 2 blocks enclosed in navy strips.

Place the backing fabric right side down on a large table, top this with the wadding then lay the pieced sailboats right side up on top of the wadding.  Pin all 3 layers together with large safety pins or tack/baste starting at the middle and working out towards each side.

3 layers

3 layers

Quilt  with wavy lines to represent the sea.

Fold binding strip in half and press so you have 4 long pieces each 1″ wide. Machine each piece to each side of your quilt with raw edges together.  There is a great tutorial on how to do this here. (You’ll find the whole binding process much simpler and easier if you use a walking foot on your sewing machine.)

Either embroider or use an indelible marker to add your name, the date and who the quilt is for to a scrap of fabric and sew it to the back of the quilt.

Now you are ready to give a truly unique and personal gift.

Baby Buds Quilt

For each 12″ block you will need:

White Fabric:

  • 1 x 4½” squares
  • 3 x 4⅞ squares
  • 4 strips 4½” x 36″
  • 9 strips 4½” x 12″

Centre Square Fabric:

  • 1 x 4½ square
  • 2″ x 156″ (approx) for binding

Pink Pattern 1 Fabric:

  • 1 x 4½” squares
  • 2 x 4⅞ square

Pink Pattern 2 Fabric:

  • 1 x 4⅞ squares

To complete the quilt you will need:

Backing Fabric:

  • 36″ x 54″

Wadding/Batting:

  • 36″x 54″

Use a ¼” seam allowance and press your seams open as you sew.

Start by joining 1 white 4⅞ squares to 1 pink (pattern 1) 4⅞ square. Then cut on the diagonal to create 4 squares of one white and one yellow triangle.

Then do the same with 2 white 4⅞ squares and 2 pink (pattern 2) 4⅞ squares. There are many sites with detailed Instructions on how to do this.  Here’s one of them.

The blocks are constructed by piecing 3 rows of 3 squares.  Piece each row then stitch the rows together in the following pattern:

Piecing instructions Baby Bud Quilt

Piecing instructions Baby Bud Quilt

Once you have made 6 blocks, stitch one 12″ white strip to each side of 3 blocks and one 12″ strip to only the right hand side of 3 blocks.

Now stitch the rows together in 3 groups of 2 blocks by adding one 36″ white strip to the top and bottom of one group of 2 blocks and then add blocks and strips, working your way down the piece until you have 3 groups of 2 blocks enclosed in white strips.

Place the backing fabric right side down on a large table, top this with the wadding then lay the pieced baby buds right side up on top of the wadding.  Pin all 3 layers together with large safety pins or tack/baste starting at the middle and working out towards each side.

Quilt.

Fold binding strip in half and press so you have 4 long pieces each 1″ wide. Machine each piece to each side of your quilt with raw edges together.  There is a great tutorial on how to do this here. (You’ll find the whole binding process much simpler and easier if you use a walking foot on your sewing machine.)

Either embroider or use an indelible marker to add your name, the date and who the quilt is for to a scrap of fabric and sew it to the back of the quilt.

Baby Buds Quilt

Baby Buds Quilt

Hillarys’ Craft Competition 2015 – 4 Kitchen Accessories from Under 1 Metre

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I had an email a couple of weeks ago inviting me to enter the 2015 Hillarys Craft Competition.  You might remember the Cathedral Windows Cushion I made for last year’s competition.

It was very difficult to choose a fabric this year as they were all so beautiful. In the end, I requested a piece of Rayna Apple.

Craft -Comp -4-part -montageMy kitchen is decorated in these colours so I thought I would make something with a culinary theme. The obvious choice for me was to make an apron as mine has seen better days. However, an apron would have taken up nearly all of the fabric and I wanted to use it to better effect. So, I’ve been very thrifty with it and used it to make 4 kitchen accessories and still have a little left over.

Oven Mitts, Apron,TowelI bought a plain black cotton twill apron from eBay for under £2 and have jazzed it up with the Rayna Apple fabric. This is very quick and easy, just follow the steps below:

Hillary's fabricTo add a band of fabric across the top:

Adding piece to topCut out a strip of fabric, 12cm by 27cm.  Turn the raw edges under.  How much will depend on the size of your apron. When you are happy with the size, press well. Pin the piece of fabric to the top of the apron being careful to line it up with the top so it is straight. Then top stitch.   I used black cotton in the bobbin and white for the top.

Top stitchingI also made a pocket on top of the original apron pocket. For this you will need something to mark the fabric with and a piece of plain cotton slightly larger than the original apron pocket. (I made my top pocket slightly shorter in height than the original pocket.)

First, lay the Hillarys’ fabric right side down on top of the original apron pocket and copy the shape of the original pocket with tailors’ chalk or Frixion pen on to the wrong side of the Hillarys fabric.  Repeat this step using the piece of plain cotton.

Cut the fabric pieces out about 1cm bigger than the chalked line all the way around. Place the two pieces of fabric that you have just cut out, right sides together, stitch on the chalked line leaving a gap of about 5cm at the bottom.  Turn the pocket right side out through the gap and press.

User comments

Pocket pinned in placePin the pressed pocket onto the front of the original apron pocket and top stitch around 3 sides leaving the top open.

I still had quite a bit of fabric left so on to the next item – a double oven glove.

I made quite a few of these a few years ago as gifts but didn’t make one for myself.

For the full instructions on how to make the oven glove, please click and download:

Oven Gloves Pattern

Here’s how I put this version together:

There are 4 layers to this oven glove and 2 pattern pieces.

  1. Main fabric
  2. Lining
  3. Wadding/Batting
  4. Insul-bright (Heat proof interfacing)

4 Layers of Fabric

And this is the order to put them in:

Pieces in order

Lining right side down; Wadding; Insulbright; Main fabric right side up

Adding Bias Binding

Adding Bias Binding

Finishing bias binding on reverse side

Finishing bias binding on reverse side

Next step is to quilt these mitt parts:

Machine quilt mitt parts

Machine quilt mitt parts

Then get the larger part of the oven glove ready:

Oven Glove main piece in order

Oven Glove main piece in order

Pin and quilt in the same way you did the smaller pieces.

Then attach the 3 parts:

Add a mitt part to either end of the main piece

Add a mitt part to either end of the main piece

And sew bias binding around the whole thing, remembering to add a loop of binding so you can hang the glove up:

Remember to add a loop for hanging

Remember to add a loop for hanging

OG finished

Finished oven glove

I still had some fabric left!  So I embellished a hand towel:

Cut out a piece of fabric slightly larger than the finished strip

Cut out a piece of fabric slightly larger than the finished strip

Add bias binding to the 4 sides

Add bias binding to the 4 sides

Fold the binding over, press, pin to towel and top stitch in place

Fold the binding over, press and pin to towel

And still there is fabric leftover.  Enough for a kitchen utensil holder:

Kitchen Utensil Holder

Kitchen Utensil Holder

For this make I used a coffee container.  To prepare the tin,  give it at least one coat of Gesso.

Cut a piece of fabric allowing for a 1cm hem at top and bottom and an overlap of 3cm. Press all the hems.

Spray the tin with craft adhesive, then carefully but quickly roll the fabric around the tin.

And I still have some fabric left!

Oven Mitts, Apron,Towel

 

 

Patchwork & Quilting – Foundation Paper Piecing

I’ve been trying to puzzle out how quilters make tiny, intricate quilts so precisely since one of my daughters was given a sweatshirt with this heart on it many years ago:

Quilted heart from sweatshirt I loved it so much, I kept it in my sewing box always intending to put it on another sweatshirt for her.  One of these days I’ll get around to it.

Many things came together to bring me to Foundation Paper Piecing.  1) We went to a lecture by Linda Seward at Lady Sew and Sew in Henley where I bought her excellent new book.  Having seen Linda’s quilts, I was inspired to try something new. 2) I had a bag of fabric scraps that were too good to throw away but too small to use for regular patchwork pieces. 3) I found this wonderful video by Karen Johnson of Connecting Threads that explains the whole process of Foundation Paper Piecing and gave me the confidence to give it a go.

There seem to be many different versions of Foundation Piecing some using calico but I followed Karen’s instructions using tracing paper which worked for me.  She also uses an ‘Add-A-Quarter’ ruler that makes the whole process very easy.

Add a quarter rulerAfter gathering all the supplies together, the next step was to find a pattern.  I used one by Carol Doak that looked easy enough for a beginner and chose my fabric.

foundation paper piecingAt this point I started Karen’s youtube video and paused it after every step.

folding paperThe secret to this method of Foundation Paper Piecing is to keep the fabric on the wrong side of the tracing paper and sew with the paper uppermost in the machine. Place the first piece of fabric under the tracing paper so you can see the wrong side through the paper. Then add each subsequent piece of fabric right sides together.

Paper uppermost in machineKaren’s instructions are so easy to follow, I don’t have anything else to add except that I added a backing by putting right sides together and stitching around 3 and a half sides. Turn right way out and press.  The gap left for turning can be used to stuff with lavender and adding a ribbon.

adding backingfoundation pieced lavender bag