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Monthly Archives: June 2013

  • Fourth of July Table Runner

    June 25, 2013

    The Fourth is approaching rapidly. So, we need a simple, quick, and easy project to dress up a table or counter top on which you might present some tasty holiday fare or stacks of flatware and plates your guests will use to hold some tasty edibles. Supplies:

    4 – ten inch squares of coordinating fabric (such as the four fabrics shown above) batting backing binding


    1. Stack the fabric squares on  top of each other. If you want your table runner to be straight, carefully align the squares.

    2. Using your ruler and rotary cutter, make a diagonal cut slightly off center so that the resulting fabric pieces are not the same size.  This will give your runner a 'wonky' unique look.

    3. Take the top piece from the right pile and place it at the bottom of the right pile (this is shown in the picture above).  You can take the top piece from the left pile and place it at the bottom of the left pile and get the same results.

    4. Sew, with right-sides together, the top fabric pieces from each of your stacks. Each time you do this you will create a rectangular block 9 1/2” by 10”.

    5. Lay out the 'new' blocks in a row and arrange so no 'joints' between the blocks will be made up of the same original fabric square. Sew the 'new' blocks together with the 10” long edges right-sides together.

    6. Press your assembled runner top.

    7. Add some batting, backing and quilt as desired. See below for one quilting method.

    8.  I stitched in the ditch.

    9. Bind the table runner using your favorite method. 10. The binding technique I used can be found in the December 13, 2011 Mug Rug Blog.

  • Embroidered Straw Hat

    June 20, 2013

    June gloom is over and it is time to take your wide brim straw hat(s) out of storage to protect your face from the summer sun's strong rays. Whether you wear your hat for protection from sun and weather while working in the garden or for those long walks on a beach (if you live near a beach, otherwise any location where you spend a lot of time exposed to the sun's rays), an embroidery design can give your hat a designer touch and maybe even impress some of your friends who frequently ask “What have you been sewing these days?”.

    Supplies: Synthetic-straw floppy brim hat Embroidery design Water soluble stabilizer Water soluble topper Blue painters tape

    Instructions: 1. Locate one of your large embroidery hoops, or maybe your largest hoop.  The hoop shown is an 8” hoop (200mm). This will allow the hat to lay flatter. 2. Hoop water soluble stabilizer.

    3. Flatten the crown of the hat and place the brim towards the machine throat so that the hoop has room to move and the hat does not brush up against the machine. The hat will NOT be crunched INSIDE the throat, which likely would cause distortion of the design and possible damage to the hoop driving mechanism. 4. Tape the edge of the hat brim to the stabilizer with painters tape. I tried temporary spray adhesive to hold the brim, but the adhesive was not strong enough. If your hoop is too small, the hat brim will not remain attached to the stabilizer or the stabilizer may tear. A possible substitute for the straw hat is a 'floppy' fabric hat that is more flexible (or ask a friend with a larger machine and hoops to join you in a collaboration of effort to make at least one straw hat for each of you). 5. Place water soluble topper on top to prevent stitches from sinking into the ridges of the hat weave. Avoiding the area where the design will be sewn, tape down the topper.  6. Sew the design.

    7. After sewing, trim away the excess stabilizer. Any excess topper should pull off easily. 8. A damp sponge will easily remove any remaining stabilizer.

    Depending on the embroidery design, you may want to match the bobbin thread to the top thread because the back of the design will show. This means that you change the bobbin thread at the same time that you change the top thread during the sew out of the design.

  • Auto - Car - Truck Trash Bag

    June 13, 2013

    For many of us, summertime means more time spent riding in the car and more snack wrapper trash. For others, a trash bag with a little 'body' might be easier to use than a weightless plastic, T-shirt style, makeshift trash bag. This trash bag can be made any size that fits your car/truck needs. My car has a hook intended for hanging a bag, so this bag is sized to fit there. Take a look at your car. Decide where you want to hang a bag and what size you want your bag to be. Adjust the measurements of bag parts accordingly. The finished size of mine is 9 1/2” x 10 1/2”

    Supplies: 13” x 22” main fabric 13 1/2” x 22” lining fabric 2 1/2” x length of handle needed


    - Bag:

    1. Note: All seams are 1/4” unless otherwise stated. 2. Fold the main fabric in half, matching the 13” raw edges and creating a rectangle 13” x 11”.

    3. Serge or sew the side seam.

    4. Fold tube so the seam is centered on back. 5. Serge or sew the bottom seam. 6. Form the bottom corners by matching side fold to bottom seam and marking 1 1/2” from point. Repeat on other side. 7. Serge or sew the corners. I used a serger and lined the mark up with the cutting blade. Turn the bag right-side out. 8. Repeat with the lining fabric. Do not turn right-side out. 9. Place the lining fabric inside the main fabric bag so the wrong sides are together. 10. The lining fabric is 1/2” longer than the main fabric and will extend 1/2” above the main fabric bag.

    11. Fold the lining fabric over the main fabric and press. 12. Fold the top edge over again 1” and press. 13. Edge stitch the lower edge of the folded fabric. Set aside.

    - Handle:

    1. Fold the shorter raw edges 1/2” to wrong side of fabric and press or stitch to hold them in place. 2. Fold the longer raw edges to the center line and fold again lengthwise along the centerline.

    3. Edge stitch along both long sides of the handle. 4. Attach the handle to the back of the trash bag. In the photo above, the handle is centered on the rear seam and is intended to hang from a single, narrow hook.  You may have a 'wide' mounting surface or two separated points that need a longer handle with the ends individually sewed to the back of the bag. 5. Don't forget to empty your trash bag contents into an appropriate container to help keep our planet clean!

  • Beach Bag

    June 4, 2013

    Summer Time, so let's try to make living easier. Whether the fish are jumping or not, we can use a cotton or maybe canvas bag, to make an inexpensive custom tote which is good looking when dad, or mom, or the kids need a convenient way to tote some stuff. (I hear some music in my head.......)

    If this bag is going to be a gift for your child’s teacher, how about filling it with a few items for her/his summer break: Sunscreen, magazine, water bottle, snacks.

    You can make or buy a tote bag – your choice.

    Supplies: Canvas tote bag Heat n' Bond Heavy (No sewing needed) Scraps of fabric

    1. I used stencils to create my letters, but you can use a Silhouette Cameo, if you have one, to cut the fabric letters.

    2. Trace your letters onto the Heat n' Bond.  Important – make sure you trace them BACKWARDS. Make sure the Heat n' Bond is the heavy or NO SEW kind so it will have the stronger adhesive. 3. If you are going to use one piece of fabric for all of the letters, you can leave them together on the Heat n' Bond.  Otherwise, group the letters based on the fabric to be used either when you trace them on the Heat n' Bond or before fusing the Heat n' Bond to the backside of the appropriate fabric. 4. Following the instructions on the package – fuse the Heat n' Bond to the backside of the fabric(s).

    5. Cut each letter on the traced outline. DO NOT CUT where there are closely spaced lines from parts that hold the stencil together. Cut and remove all completely inside areas of a letter (if any). For the 'E' above, DO NOT cut off the top and bottom 'legs' of the 'E' even though there are gaps in the top and bottom leg outlines. There is an inside area in the 'R' to remove. B, D, O, P, Q, and R are the letters that typically have inside areas.  If you choose a fancy font, you may encounter a different set of letters with inside areas. If you use lower case letters, don't forget that 'pesky' dot for the 'i' and 'j'. 6. Remove the paper liner from the backside of each letter. 7. Fuse the letters to the tote following the directions on the Heat n' Bond package.

    Your tote is now ready to use.

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