Monday, August 13, 2018

More Aprons For TwoFish Bakery

It was time to make some more aprons for the wonderful bakers and workers over at TwoFish Bakery.  I gathered my fabrics and started preparations.  I planned to make seven aprons.  So I needed 14 different fabrics.  I put them into pairs--two that play fairly well together.  I use one fabric for the outside and its "friend" on the inside.  And the aprons are therefore reversible.

Most of these fabrics had been bought with aprons in mind when I found them on sale for $3.00 per yard.  (What a deal, right!?!)

Here you can see that I traced the paper pattern onto interfacing.  I've used it enough times that it is getting very worn.  Making this copy was a very good idea.  You can see that it is Kwik Sew pattern #2311.  It takes one yard of fabric for each side of the apron.

I worked on this project assembly-line style.  First I cut out the two fabrics at once (4 layers of fabric, with the pattern laid on the fold.)  

I took all of the pocket pieces and pinned them together. Then sewed them all together.  Then turned them all right side out.  Then pressed all of them.  Then pinned them all onto the apron pieces.  This worked way better than making one apron all the way through at one time.

Here are all the straps laying together.

And here is the big pile of finished aprons before they got ironed.

 And here they all are, one at a time.  This might be a little boring, so you can go through them quickly if you want!

Beautiful Kaffe Fassett fabric!

A pretty, "retro" fabric.

This "garden" fabric is leftover from BabyStitches quilt.

The beautiful Kaffe fabric again, paired with a different print.

A light and pretty floral. 

This paisley and check are both rust colors--almost brown.  They go together so well.

And this bold black floral print.
Here all seven are draped over the chair at once!

And stacked up. . .

. . . and showing the contrasting pockets.

A good job finished.  It is very rewarding to make these aprons, because the recipients like them so much!

Monday, August 6, 2018

How Long Does It Take To Make A Potholder?

Why It Seems I Never Finish Anything
This first photo shows what I started with this morning.  A quilt sandwich for a potholder, all cut and pin-basted together.  Ready for a little free motion stitching, and then finishing up.  Oh, and I also had the binding strips already cut.  Not sewn together, but at least cut out.

So why did it take so #(%&;@"?#*{$@ long to finish?!?

First, of course, I got a practice quilting square.  And I changed my sewing machine foot to a quilting foot.  I tried a few designs, checked my thread colors, etc.  Eventually, I decided I'm not very good at free-motion designs this morning; think I'll use some straight-line quilting.  So I changed back to a regular quarter-inch foot and engaged my walking foot.

I was having a few thread issues, so I decided it was time to clean and oil the machine, and replace the needle.  Boy, was I right on this one!!  Lots of linty fuzz came out of the machine.  Necessary, but more time spent.
I got the binding strips sewn together and pressed in half with no problem.  I decided I needed to make a loop on the potholder, but wasn't sure what size to make it.  I ended up cutting a strip 1 1/2" wide, folded it in half, then folded the sides in to the center and stitched it.  These are the leftover pieces.  It was a good size!

I decided to do cross-hatching on the potholder, one inch apart.  So I made a chalk mark from one corner to the other, then used a handy drawing guide to draw one-inch lines all across.

I sewed all the diagonal lines, then realized that I'd forgotten the hanging loop!  So I sneaked it in on a corner where I hadn't done too much stitching yet.  All is good.  Then I marked the crosswise diagonal lines and sewed them.

"Back side" of the pot holder.

Next I was left wondering how I would put the binding on, with that loop sticking out???  Okay.  Ripped out the loop, and realized I need to sew it on as part of the binding, not before the binding.

Now, finishing the other side of the binding.
My little Clover clips seemed like the perfect thing for the job, so I grabbed my little triangular container (thank you, SisterStitches!).  Where are all my clips?  Must be in some project bag somewhere.  Fortunately, there are enough for my use today. 

And finally, several hours later (I'm embarrassed to say how many hours), I have an approximation of a pot holder finished.  Even the little loop looks close to right! The photo is at an angle, which is why it resembles a parallelogram, not a square.  But I swear, it really is square!

Oh, and yes, that is marijuana fabric.  It's a POT-holder.  Get it!?!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Hand Stitching On A Scarf

Way back here I talked about the scarf I started with a piece of shibori dyed silk.  I decided that I finally had enough of the sashiko-style stitching on it, and was ready to finish it.

I used a quilt binding to enclose the ends.  However, I cut the two strips only 1 1/8" wide, because I neither needed nor desired a sturdier binding.  I ironed over 1/4" along the long side, and folded over the short ends.  

Then I sewed the unpressed side of the strip to the end of the scarf. . . 

. . . and ironed it over the cut edges.

Then I simply folded the binding over the raw edge and hand-sewed it down.

All finished! 

I am fortunate enough to have GranddaughterStitches here to model the scarf for me!

 The final dimensions are 21" wide by 64" long, a pretty good size for a scarf.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Hexagons Everywhere!

These colorful cups caught my eye a few weeks ago, as I was walking through a store.  They reminded so much of the hexagons, and other geometric shapes being used lately in quilting.  Aren't they pretty!
(Notice the cute little "flower" edging around the inside of the cup?!  Cute!!)

Here's another shot--very pretty colors and shapes.  This could very easily be translated into a quilted piece.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

In a previous post (here) I showed you some of my handwork preparations for a road trip.  Then as it turned out, the road trip didn't happen, but it's always good to have some hand work ready to go.

I showed you the applique pattern I was using and preparing for.

The pattern for placement of the stem, petals, and leaf. 

Here is a portion of one of the blocks, edges turned under and pinned in place, all ready to go, except for the green circle in the flower center.

And this is where I stored those fabric squares!  An unused pizza box, courtesy of TwoFish Baking Company, a local bakery and pizza shop (on Friday nights).  You've heard me talk about TwoFish Bakery before, because I periodically sew aprons for them to wear.

I didn't want the fabric squares to shift around inside the box, so I took some small batting pieces and used long stitches to attach the batting to the bottom of the pizza box.  

Here are all the squares lying nicely inside the pizza box, staying put with no shifting about!

I also needed a way to transport my sewing implements, so I used this little metal box.  I honestly can't remember what came inside this box, and the label is not helpful!  It could have been tea, or it could have been cookies, I'm just not sure.

This is an inside view of the implement box, with threads, pins and needles, thread snipper, and needle threader.  I've chosen nice, fine threads for the applique.  Some (like the yellow and red spools) are Masterpiece and Bottom Line (from Superior threads), and some (like the skinnier spools) are ultra-fine Invisifil threads.  I really like sewing with very fine threads, especially for applique work.  I'm really not quite sure why that wine cork is in the box--who knows!

Here is a close-up of a sewn flower, still waiting for its green center!

Here is a finished block.  This batik fabric has a few different prints, all of the same colors.  The other half of the pieced blocks are various yellow fabrics that I had in my stash.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

How to Rip/Make a Scarf

Directions for Making a Scarf

1.  First, acquire at least 2 yards of fabric.  Up to 2 1/2 yards.  Maybe 3 yards if you are very tall.  I've never used that much fabric.  This will make two scarves.

Caveat one:  The type of fabric bought really makes a difference.  Usually regular quilting weight cotton won't work real well because it doesn't drape very nicely.  Finer, softer cottons work much better.  Those are the fabrics that feel ultra-soft/smooth when you caress them.  (We all caress fabric, don't we?  I hope I'm not the only one?)  It's because they have a higher thread count than quilting cotton.  Some fabrics from Italy, and as you'll see, London are made like this.  The downside is that they usually cost more than regular quilting cotton.  But the good thing about this method is that two scarves are made in the process.  One for you and one for a friend.  Also, it is really a plus if there is very little color difference between the front and back sides.  Because both sides will be showing in this scarf.

Caveat two:  Caveat one is not a hard and fast rule.  I have made a few scarves, as you will see below, that were made from slightly heavier-weight fabric.  Sometimes one gets lucky!!

Now, continuing with the "sewing" instructions:

2.  Make a small snip with a scissors and rip off each of the selvedges.

3.  Make one more rip down the exact center, in the same direction (lengthwise), which will rip the fabric in half.

4.  Now there are two scarves.  To add the finishing touch, wash and dry on normal settings.  Do NOT iron.  Any slight wrinkles will just look natural, like they belong.  Usually the long edges will curl a little bit around on themselves and the short ends will fray slightly.  Remove any long threads remaining.

This scarf is a very lightweight, soft cotton.  You can see below how nicely the ends have frayed.

And here you see how the lengthwise edge has created folds on itself.

This scarf is an exception.  It is a solid, quilting-weight cotton.  But I wanted to try it because it was such a great fabric!  Those little squares are sewn onto the black fabric, not merely printed on.

The edges folded over nicely. . .

and the ends frayed well, too.

This is a Liberty cotton lawn fabric.  Its basic gray/white color scheme really appealed to me.

And it drapes very nicely.

This is the first scarf that I ripped!  I remember buying it, though it was quite a few years ago.  I was in Britex Fabrics, and I really wanted some orange fabric so I could make a scarf to wear to Giants games.  (San Francisco Giants colors are orange and black.)  I was incredibly lucky to find this in the remnant section.  

This fabric is kind of gauzy, and was rippled when I first bought it.  It rippled even more after I washed it.

This lovely blue print is an Italian cotton, I believe.  It has a higher thread count than regular quilting cotton.

I was lucky that there is very little color difference between the front and back sides.  The front side of the fabric is shown on the left side of the photo below, and the back side is showing on the right side.

This is another fabric where I was lucky!  I think it might be called a shot cotton.  Not sure, but it's a fabric with the design woven in, rather than printed, so the colors are usually the same on both sides. And this is a regular quilting weight fabric, but it worked well.

The edges folded over--kind of wonky, but it's ok!!  There are always a few threads needing to be pulled/gotten rid of after it is washed.

And the ends look great, too!

Here is another gauzy fabric--I really like them for scarves!

I'm afraid the colors are a little washed out in my photos, but there are nice, soft pinks in this scarf.

This final scarf is a shear fabric, purchased again at Britex Fabric.  I'm not sure of the fabric content, but it sure has made a nice scarf.

It is very wide; my "half-scarf" is over a yard wide!

The ends (above) frayed nicely, and the long edges (below) frayed well also.