Quick Quilt for the Birthday Boy

I love quilting but I have really only ever hand quilted – a long, slow and very rewarding process.

When I decided a quilt would be the perfect keep-sake gift for my son’s 10th birthday I had only days to make it, so it was going to have to be quilted with the machine.

I decided on a red and navy theme and got to sewing stripes of fabric.

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This quilt introduced me to a lot of new techniques. The first being spray basting.

This process is so simple and quick!!! As long as everything is well pressed and lying flat it really is quite easy.

I ironed my backing fabric and then lay it out on my table-tennis table. I used masking tape to keep the fabric stable on the table and then carefully placed the wadding on top of it. The fabric was a little bigger than the table so I had some overhang on one side. To start the gluing process I folded the wadding back over itself perfectly evenly on the long edge. I then carefully sprayed the first half of the wadding with glue following the manufacturers instructions. I then lifted it back and pressed it evenly onto the fabric to ensure it was smooth, starting in the centre and working out. I then repeated the process with the other side. I first needed to move the overhanging fabric onto the table and secure it with tape. I then folded the wadding back onto the glued side and repeated spraying it with glue and smoothing it over the fabric.

Next I pressed my top fabric so all the striped seams were facing in the same direction. I repeated the spray gluing process, this time with the fabric on top of the wadding. I spray glued on the floor rather than the table-tennis table this time.

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Once the top fabric was securely attached I started machine quilting, in the ditch. This was my first time doing this and it wasn’t as hard as I expected. I sewed up in one direction and then back in the other direction to ensure the fabric was evenly spread and didn’t start twisting. I rolled the fabric into a big tube so I could more easily manage it as I sewed.

Once I finished I trimmed the overhang of the backing leaving a 4cm seam around the outside.

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This overhanging fabric then became my binding. I folded it in and hand sewed it in place.

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It’s not perfect but I’m really happy with how it looks. Here’s a view of the back.

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My son loves it! I hope it is in his life for many years to come.

Black and White ‘Left Over’ Skirt

Eight months back I posted a maxi skirt ‘how to‘ using 2 metres of black and white knit fabric to make this…

I mentioned at the end of the post that I had 55 centimeter width of the 2 metres of fabric left to make a short version of the skirt. Well I finally got around to doing just that, following the same simple steps I followed for the maxi skirt.

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I sewed the right sides together bringing the narrowest edges together to create a seam and then sewed a casing at the top for the elastic and a hem at the bottom. I’m really happy with the finished product.

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This is a little project any novice sewer could take on.

Tablecloth and Skirt

A week back I asked my readers whether I should turn my tablecloth into a skirt…

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…after noticing how similar the skirt below was to my tablecloth.

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The votes were split so, when I saw a roll of the same fabric at Spotlight reduced to $6 per metre I took the plunge and bought a metre. I cut the fabric up the middle to make one big narrow rectangle.

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Then I simply sewed a single seam to turn the rectangle into a circle of fabric.

For the waistband, I folded over the fabric at the top to allow enough space to insert the elastic in a casing with an additional 1.5cm of fabric above this to create the ruffle effect you can see on the waist of the skirt that I was originally inspired by.

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I then sewed this band in place, sewing a second seam in the centre of this waist band to create the casing and ultimately the ruffle.

Last step is to sew the hem. So easy!!!

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The hardest part for me was asking my photographer (9 year old son) to get my face and the skirt in the photo together!

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Vintage DKNY Skirt Pattern

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I’m not quite sure if I can really classify this as ‘vintage’, but 1991 (when this pattern was printed) was over 20 years ago! Infact back in 1991 I made this skirt in a Karkey fabric that I think was called shark skin. This black fabric is very similar…purchased from the discount table at Spotlight late last year.

This skirt is very high waisted and, from the front sits quite beautifully, but at the back the zipper is a little puckered and despite having hand sewn, machine sewn, unpicked and then repeated two or three times it is still bubbly!

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But, being black it’s not all together obvious when I’m actually wearing it.

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I really like this pattern (Vogue 2747), but I’m still not quite sure how to deal with that puckering zip!

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Tablecloth or Skirt?

Some time back I posted on this blog a ‘how to’ for making a simple round table cloth. Well, I’ve been at it again! My breakfast table is so little that even narrow dress fabrics are wide enough to turn into a cloth. Here is my latest creation.

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But then I saw this skirt on shopbop.com and thought maybe I could re-purpose my new tablecloth!

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What do you think? Tablecloth or skirt?

Bean Bags for the Boys

Bean Bag for the boys by LisaCreated
Bean Bag for the boys, a photo by LisaCreated on Flickr.

The boys have been very keen gamers since they received an X-Box for Christmas so I’ve made them some bean bags to slump into in front of the TV. It’s been years since I’ve made a bean bag and I’m constantly surprised at how many bags of beans are needed to fill them. This medium sized bean bag took 3 x 500g bags. At $12.95 per bag it certainly makes this little project quite expensive. BUT…I’m proud to say that all of the fabric used was from my existing stash!

I used the bean bag pattern on the Lincraft Website. Their instructions state that you will need one 500g bag of beans. Don’t believe them!!! I adjusted the pattern to be halfway between a child’s and an adult’s sized bean bag.

The boys are very happy with their new chairs!

School Library Bag

Hamish has well and truly outgrown his first grade library bag…

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This afternoon I FINALLY found some time to make him a new one using fabric from the stash. (You see…I haven’t bought any new fabric this year and I’m going to try to make it until at least June before I do.)

Here’s what I came up with. Not sure that I love it…but it got the nod from Hamish.

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If you’re in the market for a new library bag for your little one it was quite easy to make,

I cut three rectangles:

1. For the main body: 76cm x 42cm.
2. For the strap: 78cm x 8cm.
3. For the gingham closure: 10cm x 12cm.

The first step was to fold the largest rectangle in half joining the shortest (42cm) edges together, then sewing down this edge and across the bottom to make the bag. Next I hemmed the top edge of the bag.

To make the strap I folded the rectangle in half lengthwise and sewed all the way up the 78cm. I then cut a length of ribbon 80cm long and threaded this down the strip holding one end of the ribbon at the top and sewing it in place across the narrow opening. This ribbon will help you to turn the strap through the right way. Now hold the ribbon at the other end (I normally slip it under my foot) and then, starting at the top where you attached the ribbon in the seam, start turning the fabric through. Keep shortening the ribbon under your foot as you turn the fabric through. Once fully turned through cut the edge where the ribbon was attached to remove the ribbon. Now fold the cut edges in to create a neat seam. Sew the strap in place.

Next fold the smallest rectangle in half with the slightly shorter edges together. Sew the side and bottom and then turn through the right way. Again, fold the unsewn edge in to create a neat edge before sewing to the centre back of the bag. Sew a buttonhole into this flap, and finally a button onto the bag.

I hope this all makes sense. It would have helped greatly if I had taken photos as I was making this to accompany the description. Please let me know if you have any questions.