Monday, November 29, 2010

Machine Reverse Applique Tutorial

This is a very long post, but it was necessary for this tutorial.
Here is the design that I am using.  I made it in Photoshop and then printed it out.

You can lay the printed design under the tear-away embroidery stabilizer to transfer the design to the stabilizer.  I am using Aqua Tear (biodegradable) by oesd.  I purchased it from one of my local quilt shops.  This stabilizer can also go through your printer.

I traced the amount that I needed on the tear away stabilizer.

Then cut out around each design.

Your fabric needs to be starched.  You can starch it once or twice.  I have two 8.5" squared fabrics on top of each other, facing down.  With the batik on the bottom, it doesn't really matter which side is up or down because there is no real "back" to it.  If you are using a light and dark fabric, it is best to put the dark fabric where my blue one is and your light fabric where my green fabric is.  

*For those in my quilt guild, you have already been assigned which fabric goes where.*

Next center / place your design on the back of the two fabrics, and pin in place.

There are your tools.  Cotton thread will blend well with the fabric and not stand out.  It is best to use a color thread that matches the fabric that will be on top (my top fabric is blue).  You will also need an open toe foot for your sewing machine, and scissors that curve up at the end.

Just a quick note about loading your thread: If your thread forms diagonals on the spool, then it is best to lay it sideways/horizontal on your machine (like the above picture).  If your thread makes horizontal / straight lines on the spool, then it should be vertical on your machine.  I also like to have the thread running from the back to the front (coming off of the spool).

The first machine setting: A tight straight stitch, length is 1, and needle should be in the down position (so when you stop sewing the needle is in the fabric).

Then sew over your design lines on top of the stabilizer (on the back of the fabrics).
*Take your time sewing.*

All 3 circles are sewn.

The front of the fabric.

Next take out your scissors with the curve at the tip, and cut through the top layer of fabric.  

Butt the scissors up against the sewn line, and cut around that first line/circle.
The stitches are close together so that they don't break during this part.

For this design, cut out the first ring.  Be careful which side of the sewn line that you are cutting on.

Here is the first ring cut out.
Leave the second ring intact.  Then cut out the center circle.

Here it is with all of the parts cut out.
*For my quilt guild: Some of you will have the green on the outside, and some will have the blue on the outside (like me).  To help you remember where to cut, mark the cut areas with chalk.*

The next stitch is a satin stitch.  I have 2 stain stitched on my machine, so I used the cut out center circle to play around with which one looked best.  I also played with the length and width of the stitch to see which one I liked the best.

I have a Bernina 220.  I used satin stitch #9 on my machine, length 0.5, and width 2.  The needle is in the down position once again.

Then sew around the circles with a satin stitch.  The main part of your stitches should be on top of your top fabric (my top fabric is blue).  That means that just a little bit of your stitches goes over the straight stitch and cut edge.  This helps to insure that your top fabric stays on.

Take your time sewing around your design!

I do a back stitch a little at the beginning and end of each round.

Here are all of my edges sewn down with a satin stitch.

Here is the back.

Take out your pins and tear away the stabilizer.  You can use a pin to help tear and lift up the stabilizer where needed.

Here is the back, stabilizer free.

Next cut away some of the back fabric to decrease the bulk of your square.
Leave about a quarter to a half of an inch from the first circle.  
Make sure not to cut your top fabric (the blue one pictured here).

The back.

Voila!  The front.  It is now ready to be pieced to the other squares.

You can also see a felt version of this here.  I do not know what happened to my video version of it, but I will be re-uploading that soon.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday

This is one of the rare years that I went shopping on this day.  I usually avoid it like the plague, but those Jo Anns coupons were just begging me to go shopping.  I bought a Christmas present for my toddler, a little over 9 yards of fabric (5 different patterns), and several fat quarters.  One yard of fabric and the fat quarters are in the washing machine right now.  The other four fabrics have been cut and partially sewn.  I'm making reusable shopping bags out of them.  They will serve the double duty of being gift wrap and a present all in one.  All four fabrics are red and white Christmas patterns.  Hopefully I'll post pictures tomorrow.  I saved a good bit of money today with a 50% coupon for 1 non-sale item, 20% off of my entire purchase, and a $5 gift card that they gave me as I walked in the door.  Also the real treat was that I went to my local Jo Anns and not the one in the mega shopping area.  I avoided the crowds and the craziness.

Now to relax and sew more.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Juice Pouches, A Tutorial, and a Thanksgiving Snapshot

Yesterday I cleaned over 100 juice pouches.  When I say cleaned, I mean the sticky straw part on the outside.  The insides are cleaned asap in my home.

As promised, I am going to show how I make juice pouch change purses.  First you sew the zipper on one side of one pouch.  Then you line up the pouches along the zipper and sew a 2nd pouch to the other half of the zipper.

Next I zip it half way.  Then I match up the 2 pouches and sew around the 3 remaining sides.

I tuck in the tail of the zipper on one side.  As I sew, I catch the tail so that it is hidden and doesn't get in the way.

Its that easy to make a change purse.  I made 4 yesterday.

Here are 3 bags in progress.  All of them are Christmas gifts.

Here is a big present for myself.  I love my large juice pouch tote bag, so I decided to make myself another one.  The inspiration for this came from my husband telling me to relax, take it easy, and only craft for myself for a week.  I still need to clean more juice pouches before I can assemble this bag.

Here is the smaller tote bag that I made for myself yesterday.  I bought the ribbon a long time ago with a lemonade juice pouch bag in mind.  The ribbon has lemons on it and say lemon meringue. 

Now here is when a mistake turns into a happy accident.  I sewed in the pocket upside down.  Looking on the bright side, the slits that I make when cleaning the inside of the pouches will make great pencil pockets in addition to the deeper pocket.  My husband was funny, he said something about marking it as half priced.  Thank goodness its for me. 

This picture and the next one were taken at 4 p.m. today (as part of the snapshots of life link party).  I was cleaning my craft area in the basement at this time.  I got that green siamese twin notebook last year for Christmas.  It was made from a hardback book.  I thought that this book really represented me today.  I'm a Gemini, which is represented by twins.  My evil twin showed itself today, because every time I turned around my 3 year old was reeking havoc and testing my patience.  It started with the mischief that he got into while everyone else was asleep (with a whole bottle of glue). Ok, so maybe my evil twin wasn't really evil, just the side of me that has less patience than normal.  So to take a break from it all, I put on my headphones, went into the basement, and cleaned.  Its still very messy (I refuse to show how messy here), but at least I made a dent.  

I thought that today would have been a very relaxing Thanksgiving, but instead I was putting out toddler fires.  That being said, it was nice cooking a simple meal that everyone loved, putting my youngest to bed early, and watching a movie with my oldest son and my husband with my cat sleeping on my lap.  I hope that all of you had a nice and relaxing Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Getting back in the swing of things

It has been one long work filled month for me.  I had worked really hard to prepare for the craft fair last Saturday.  The Tuesday before that I led a workshop, and I led another workshop this past Monday.  On Saturday night it was really weird watching t.v. and not making soda tab bracelets.  When I said this to my husband, he immediately proclaimed that I was not allowed to make anything that was not for myself for the next week.  He wants me to relax this week.  So on Sunday I pretty much crashed on the couch for the whole day, catching up on sleep.  I did have to get ready for the workshop in Monday, but I told him that starting Tuesday I would chill out.  Saturday through Tuesday I did not create anything.  I did iron, starch, and cut fabric for the workshop, but it was work without a finished product.  But basically I went 4 days without making anything!

Last night I started to feel the creative itch again.  Maybe I would start knitting something for my mom for Christmas.  Knitting is relaxing, so in a way it was doing something for myself.  However I could not find the magazine with the right pattern in it.  So instead I worked on my extremely hard suduko puzzle in pen.  I couldn't find a pencil sharpener, so a pen it was.  I say extremely hard, because hard is fairly easy for me.

This morning I felt the creative itch again.  I grabbed some bags of clean juice pouches and began removing the sticky straw part from the outside of them.  I do have another craft fair coming up in a week, and I need to make more juice pouch change purses for it.  My table will be in the children's room, so everything needs to be $5 or less.  Then I hear my husband in the back of my head telling me not to make anything for anyone else but mysef during this week.  What would I like for myself?  Can you see the lightbulb go on over my head?  Tote bags!  I LOVE my juice pouch tote bags.  Sometimes I wish that I had more.  So thats exactly what I started making today.  Ok, so I wasn't completely selfish in my crafting.  I also started making a Christmas present for my sister-in-law, and I do plan on making some change purses.  Why not?  I need more and they are super easy to make.

One of the bags that I am making is the same size as this one: 2 juice pouches high x 4 long x 2 deep.  I'm using Capri Sun Lemonade pouches for it.  I plan on finishing it tonight.  It will also have a 2 x 2 pocket on the inside.  The other one that I am making is large.  If you have taken one of my classes or workshops, or if you have seen me at a craft fair, then you may have seen my very large yellow and purple juice pouch tote bag.  I'm making another one that size: 3 high x 5 long x 3 deep with pockets.  My current one is made from 4 flavors of Capri Sun Waves.  Since then, Capri Sun has completely changed the look of these same juice pouches.  The new tote bag is made of the new ones.  It is going to be great having another large tote bag to carry things in.  

Anyway...  I just thought that I would share what has been going on with me.  I also have a homework assignment this week to make a machine reverse applique tutorial on my blog.  That is the workshop that I taught Monday night, and I did not have time to write the information down for the ladies.  

I hope that everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving.  Mine will be very laid back.  No extended family coming over, no big meal to cook, and no stress.  We are vegetarians, so I'm making my family's favorite dish with a few sides and apple pie and ice cream for dessert (no turkey).  Then we'll probably crowd in on the couch under lots of blankets and watch a movie.  A nice and relaxing day.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Gifts & Auction Items

I'm involved in a secret December Holiday swap in my ravelry group, From Trash To Treasure (link on the right side of my blog).  The point of the swap was to not spend money on anything except the shipping.  Our group is all about using what we have and upcycling / recycling / reusing things to make something new.  My package arrived last week, and I was told that I could open it right away.  The first thing that I noticed was that the Mickey Mouse package that it came in was the same one that I mailed a brown and blue plarn bag in.  Thats right, my secret swap partner was the same person that I mailed the plarn bag to (for a trade).  I love that she reused the packaging.  The box was packed full of goodies: a Tigger doll, a Scooby Doo doll/key ring, lots of yarn (I think that the blue is hand dyed), some plastic to fuse, fabric, sponge letters (my 3 year old has been eyeing these), tea, a very cute little crochet cupcake pincushion,  and a nice Winnie the Pooh card.

There was also this apron that was made out of a table cloth.

I forgot to mention that this package came on Friday, the day before the craft fair.  I really needed a special treat on that day.  I had worked really hard that day, that week, and for the last month.  So it was perfect timing.

This is my favorite gift of all.  It is a felted sweater bag.

It is going to get a lot of use from me.  Isn't it beautiful!
Thank you Amy!

Last night was my quilt guild meeting.  I arrived early to teach a reverse applique class to those who were interested.  Then it was time for the ufo auction.  I wasn't going to bid on anything, but I ended up winning 3 sets of things.  I couldn't help myself.  I won this small quilt top in the auction.  I just love the pattern.  

This one was a funny story.  I was helping to collect things to bring up to the stage to be auctioned off.  I grabbed these pre-quilted fabrics and 5 quilting books.  As I hand them to the auctioneer I tell her that the fabrics would make great oven mitts.  She starts the bidding at $10.  No takers.  It goes to $5.  No takers.  It goes to $2.  No takers.  It goes to $1.  I raise my paddle, because seriously!  I couldn't believe that no one would want this, and I know that I could make some cute oven mitts or hot pads out of them.  Lets also not forget about the books that came with it.  So I won the bid for $1.  It was extra funny, because I was the one who carried it to the stage.  

I also took home these 3 fabrics that are 4 yard each.  They will make great backing fabric, reusable shopping bags, linings, etc.  The ziplock bag contains a lot of binding for quilts.

Its been a crazy week, but its nice to get some fun things as a bonus.  Thank you again Amy for the great gifts!  The person who I sent a swap present to received her package this month as well (in Australia).  Since she is not allowed to open some things until Christmas, I will be waiting to post pictures until then.