Superhero Teacher Pouches

This year for Teacher Appreciation Week, we made Superhero pouches. Ok, there was no we. It was me…

Does this look familiar? I started using this printed fabric that I designed when the kiddo was in preschool, and I’ve used it every year since. We started with totebags back in 2015…

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What a silly little kid! You can find the tutorial and the printable gift tag here. Then a couple of years ago we made a one hour basket using the same superhero fabric! I designed the fabric when then whole tradition started. You can even order it here from Spoonflower. It’s sized to make the fold over pocket on the totebag.

This year I changed it again and went with quilt as you go pouches!

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I just happened to have a large pile of colorful 7″ zippers, so the pouches became about 5×7 inch pouches. Perfect for holding a gift card. I didn’t add a tag, but I’ll have to come up with something clever for when I do this again next year! Stay tuned!

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The front has a little quilt as you go. Then you turn them over and there’s more quilt as you go! To make the pouches there are a million tutorials out there to use. I went with Sotak Handmade’s QAYG pouch tutorial for a reminder. I’ve made pouches a million times (ok, maybe slightly less than that), but I always like to skim over a tutorial before I do it to make sure I remember how. ha! Not sure why, but I do!

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These are my two favorite backs. The funny thing is, they are QAYG, but I didn’t add any quilting on top on either of these. I did on all the others. So I think it’s funny that my favorites don’t’ have quilting to show. and just like my quilts, sometimes I like the backs better!

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I also order my quilt labels and my ‘everything else’ labels from Spoonflower. The little ones are slightly hard to read. But I’m using them anyway!

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The Teacher’s are Superheros fabric has so many more options than just tote bag pockets. It was fun moving outside the ‘bag’ (Ha! Get it…) and trying something else with the labels. Teacher Appreciation week has passed, but it also works for end of the year thank you gifts and holiday gifts.

Should I make pouches again next year? Or try something new?

Begonia Quilt Leftovers- Pillows and Potholders!

I just shared my Begonia Quilt that I finished last year and now to show you what I did with the leftovers!

To make the Begonia Quilt there was a lot (A LOT) of HST action. Too much for me to make another one. But apparently, I made a few extras without realizing it! When I finished the quilt top, I was like, ‘uh, oh… Did I forget a row or two somewhere???’ Kinda like when you take something apart and put it back together but you still have pieces left over!

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I used some of the leftover HST’s on the back of the quilt. Then I used the rest to make these two pillows.

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For the little pillow I used only HST’s. And I tried out a more detailed quilting pattern. I love how it turned out!

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And for the large pillow I made a row of HST’s with negative space around it. This one I went for a simpler quilting pattern!

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For the backs I just used a plain piece of grey. One of the grey’s from the quilt top design. For my pillow backs, I always use two pieces of fabric and then serge the edges. I feel like it gives it a more sturdy, professional feel than just one layer of quilting cotton.

And then, you know I love an invisible zipper!!

These pillows are coming in super handy now that I am pretty much stuck in my bedroom due to this stupid broken leg I have! The big one is perfect to prop me up to work on hand work projects and the small one is just right for knee exercises! Who knew how much I’d need these things!!!

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And then when I ran out of HST’s I used the other scraps! I was starting to wonder if I would ever run out of HST’s or if they were duplicating on their own…. But I still had a few extra rectangles cut and some scraps, so I made those into potholders.

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I basically made quilt as you go blocks, added the binding and then added little leather straps on the corners. Easy Peasy!

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And like the pillows, I used a solid grey for the back.

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What do you do with you quilt scraps? Usually, I just through them in the scrap bins. But I love it when I use them right away to make something else. I wish I did this more often!

Yellow and Grey Improv Complete

This little lovely is the 2016 Seattle Modern Quilt Guild Block of the Month! Yep, 2016. It took me four years to finish it for some reason… No idea why… It wasn’t hard.

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Each month there was a different block or ‘slab’ as the designer, Matt, described it. Each month he’d give us a type of block. Since it’s improv, there weren’t many directions rather a type of block.

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One reason it probably took me longer was that I did it as QAYG (quilt as you go). Which in theory, should make it go faster, but it didn’t seem to be that way for me. When I do these as QAYG, I do it slightly differently than a traditional QAYG. I start the blocks with quilting the middle blocks on the batting. Then I combine the blocks with a 3/4″ seam allowance. then once two blocks are combined, I continue to quilt the blocks, sewing over the seam allowance. At the end I add the quilt back and sew it on by adding more quilting, including some stitch in the ditch.

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I even took my friend, Debbie’s improv class to get some blocks done. And this was back in July of 2017. I got to hang out with her, learn some improv tricks and also get some more blocks done!

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I think that center block is my favorite block in the whole quilt! I could make a couple of quilts from that layout! Right now I’m thinking Christmas placemat and a whole quilt.

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Second favorites are probably all the triangle blocks!

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And the back is made up of all the scraps, extra blocks and extra fabric left over from the front.

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One thing I’ve done this year is finish my stack of SMQG BOM quilts! I need to share the others soon!

Koala Cross Stitch Storage Bin

I actually made a cross stitch project and turned it into something all in less than a year! Maybe even less than a month start to finish!

Remember back when we were worried about the fires in Australia? It seems like a lifetime ago with everything going on in the world these days. Way back then in January, I think, I bought a bunch of koala patterns. And I’ve made a couple of them!

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Including this sweet one by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery, With Love!

It went faster than cross stitch usually does! I wanted to do something with it besides hang it on a wall and decided to make a storage bin.

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First I sewed the cross stitch to the fabric with the circle cutout, like usually do, using this tutorial.

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For the storage bin I decided to use the Faithwell Storage Bin pattern by Sew Sweetness. It’s a free pattern with a video tutorial. Super simple. And I made it more simple by eliminating the open hole handles. I picked my fabric and laid it out on the foam interfacing and did a quilt as you go before turning it into the storage bin.

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With the quilting I did, it doesn’t stand up in a perfect circle, but I’ve learned that the more stuff you put into, the circular shape starts to show better!

I was going to take it to work for a pencil holder. I obviously didn’t pay much attention to the directions and the finished size, because it’s a bit big for a pencil jar! So now it sits on my sewing table holding the pieces to my temperature quilt that I’m working on.

What’s your favorite thing to do with cross-stitch projects?

A New Christmas Tree Skirt

I finished with a day to spare!

I started this project in January. I started it but then put it away to work on other things. The thought was to start back up after the early in the year so that it would be ready in plenty of time for Christmas. Well, that didn’t happen! so of course, I was cramming to get it done for this Christmas. And I did!

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It is so beautiful (if I do say so myself)! It would make a beautiful real skirt! My Christmas colors are white, bright pink, bright green and teal. And I’m excited to say, it’s all made from my stash! I saw the project in Issue 66 of Love Patchwork and Quilting and knew I wanted to make it. The pattern is by Evie of EVQuilts and is the Starburst Tree Skirt.

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Then when I realized I had all the fabric I needed, I was even more excited! The pink raw silk was a scrap I had been given ages ago. I don’t know where the teal satin and bright green came from. I did use the bright green for our handmade Elf on the Shelf.

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All the other fabrics were from my wedding! The white raw silk look alike (it’s not actually raw silk, but looks like it) was from my wedding. The beaded white raw silk was from the cake table at my wedding. And the green, but not bright green, was from extra fabric I bought to match the bridesmaids dresses. I ran out of that fabric and had some of the darker fabric from their dresses that I used to finish off the binding in the back. I didn’t make thier dresses, but we used a company that I picked the fabric, the bridesmaids picked the dress style. You can buy extra fabric to use on other projects for your wedding. Perfect use of stash, IMO! I also used the beaded white fabric from our Chirstmas stockings I made ages ago! Nine years ago, actually! (excuse the horrible pictures if you click back…) 

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For years, we’ve been using these fleece tree skirt. It went better with the tree when we used to get a live, green tree. It’s literally a piece of fleece cut into a circle with a split in the back. Since we got the white tree I have not liked it anymore!

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But man! Check out how much better the new skirt looks!! I’m actually gleeful with how this turned out!

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The tree skirt is quilt as you go. You start with a really long piece of batting, like 60″ long, and sew the strips on at angle. Over and over and over! Then you do it again with the strips going in the opposite direction! So, needless to say it took me longer that I had anticpiated. I was planning on quilting just the white. But then decided, nope.

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I did hand sew on the binding. You can see the two fabrics from the bridesmaids dresses here.

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I’m just so excited about it! I almost hated to cover it in presents! But we did, of course! And now it’s empty again and I can enjoy the tree skirt again before it has to go away until next year.

 

Skirting the Issue with a QAYG Row by Row Tutorial

I’m honored to have been invited by Simple Simon to participate in their yearly series, Skirting The Issue! Skirting the Issue is a  month long event every July where you are invited to sew along with us to make skirts (and quilts)  to donate to local Foster Care centers for the girls to receive just in time for back to school.

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Of course, I was excited that quilts are now included in their series. As most of you know that I also participate in a quilting bee that used to donate our quilts to a foster child organization. We no longer do, which is another reason I was excited to make another quilt for foster kids. Can you imagine not having anything? Not even a blanket? That’s what so many of these foster kids move from house to house with. Nothing. I’m hoping I can change that for at least one kiddo! And hoping I’ll inspire others to also participate and help another kiddo!

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This quilt started as a office meeting doodle. I doodle so that I don’t day dream in meetings! I think some people think I’m not paying attention, but really the doodling helps me focus on the meeting…. So I doodled this and a co-worker asked if it was going to be another quilt design. No…. I mean YES! That would make a cool quilt! I had grand plans of piecing each block with strips of fabric… Then I came to my senses and realized, they make striped fabric! Hello!

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I wanted to make an easy quilt for new quilters to be able to make and share with the kids! This quilt uses blocks cut from striped fabric using a modified Quilt As You Go method. There are many QAYG tutorials out there. But my biggest thing with QAYG is the bulk at the seam allowance. I found a way to get around that and I’ll show you how I do it. So here’s how I do QAYG….

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First, I cut all the pieces. This fabric has 1″ stripes. And a shout out to It’s Just Sewing for the awesome fabric! I want 8″ blocks for this quilt to really show off the stripes. So cute your blocks to be 8 3/4″ blocks. Here’s my biggest QAYG secret…. I don’t use 1/4″ seam allowances. I use 3/8″ seam allowances! Why? I’ll tell you… It’s hard to iron flat 1/4″ seams when you have both the fabric and the batting to be ironing open. And if it’s not ironed flat, it’s hard to catch the seam allowance when you’re quilting….

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Next I quilt the batting to the fabric, but not a full QAYG style! I chain pieced each row with just one row of quilting. Just enough to hold the fabric to the batting. I’ll tell you why later!

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Combine the blocks into rows. Are you wondering why I have quilted yet??? Hold on… Keep with me!

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Then combine the first two rows….

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NOW QUILT the top row only! I know it’s hard to see in this picture, but the top row is actually quilted.

Now here’s the thing. You could combine all the rows and then quilt the whole thing. But… For me, with all the quilting in this quilt and all the moving around of the quilt, it is easier to me to quilt a row, then another row, etc…. I’m avoiding stuffing my whole quilt through the machine over and over and over each time I change directions.

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I’m doing this same technique with my SMQG BOM quilt. So this may look familiar to you… (Of course, I forgot to take a picture of the backside of this blue and green quilt once I started quilting it!) So this is what the back will look like.

As you are quilting the lines, you will be stitching in the ditch between each quilt line and then quilting over the seam allowance as you continue quilting the stripes.

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Now we continue on. Top row is quilted and combined with the second row. Then add another row. Quilt the second row. And on and on.

This quilt has 8 rows. So again to eliminate a lot of quilt being moved around and stuffed through my sewing machine, I did four rows. Then started again with the bottom row and worked my way up. Then I combined the two pieces and quilted down the middle.

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And you end up with this! Yea!

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Add your back and quilt in the ditch. and you don’t have the bulk of the seam allowances!

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Another way to do it would be to quilt all the lines on your blocks. Combine them all and then not quilt in the ditch, but do your quilting over the seam allowances. Easy Peasy…

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So why didn’t I do it this way? The plain and simple reason…. Aesthetics. I didn’t want the straight lines at the seam allowance to be quilted over the quilting of each stripe. Make sense?

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My son asked why I take pictures of the labels… Because I do! ha!

Recap:

So the two things I do a little different with quilt as you go.

1. 3/8 seam allowances.

2. I don’t ‘quilt as you go’ prior to combining blocks. I quilt as I go, row by row. (or as with the SMQG BOM, block by block.) I don’t do the quilting until at least a couple of the blocks are joined  so that I can quilt over the seam allowance.

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Where is this quilt going? I haven’t figured that out yet. There’s a great organization, My Very Own Blanket, in Ohio that organizing matching quilts with foster kids. I’m looking for a local group here in Seattle that does the same thing.

Here’s another secret… I got the fabric for this quilt Friday night. Then I marathon quilted all weekend to get it done by Sunday night. I thought I had until August 26th to share my project with the Skirting the Issue series…. So I’m a bit behind on finding the right home for this quilt….

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And this is also a finish on my Quarter 3 Finish Along!

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Quilt as You Go Tablet Cover Tutorial

Wow! It’s been a while! I’ve been super busy and excited about getting my etsy shop more organized and getting more parties to put in it! More to come on that soon… In the meantime, do you want to see another Christmas present I made and never showed off?

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I made this tablet cover from my Step Mom for Christmas! Some people are probably already making CHristmas presents for this year, but I’m just showing you a present I made for last year!

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I don’t actually have a tablet, but I do have a model (AKA a book) that fits in the cover quite nicely…. hehehe….

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I started with two pieces of this angel fabric I’ve had. One main piece for the front.

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And one main angel piece for the front.

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What do you think? Would you want to make one? Well, just in case I took pictures all along the way to show you how I did it….

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First cut the batting. So to get the right size… For the width, take the width of the tablet + the thickness of the tablet + 1″ for seam allowances + 1/4″ for a little extra. For the length, you want to take the length of the tablet + the thickness of the tablet + 4″. But wait! Don’t cut yet! I cut my batting about an inch wider and longer!

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Then quilt as you go the cover! I’m not going to do a full quilt as you tutorial today, but start with you accent block, then start quilting around it and around it until you’ve quilted the whole top.

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Trim the top piece to the right dimensions that you came up with earlier.

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Cut the shape of the flap. I used a couple of spools of thread to make the curves. The curve is 3.5 inches. Fold the top in half and cut. Do this for the lining and the top.

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Fold legthwise, right sides together. Bring the bottom up, but hold it off 4 inches from the top. Then sew along the edges. With the lining, leave a hole to pull through later.

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Pull the corners together with seams together. Sew along the triangle.

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Add velcro to the lining.

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Insert the lining into the top, right sides together. And sew along the top using a 1/2″ seam.

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After you pull the whole cover through the hole so right sides are out, topstitch along the top edge and flap.

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Sew the hole closed!

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Add the velcro to the top. And you’re ready to add that tablet!

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And then give it away of keep it for yourself! I broke it down into a bunch of steps, but it’s really quite a quick project. The quilt as you go part took the longest! The rest was quick, quick! And since I used a book to model the cover, you could use it for more than just a tablet… What would you use it for?