Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (261)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. Bring along your project(s) and be part of the sharing going on in our Worldwide Quilting Community 🙂 Join in by clicking on the links below and leaving messages in the comment boxes of the blogs you visit. Thank you!

How’s your quilty week been? I’ve enjoyed carving out a bit of sewing time and learning new things along the way. I finished a second Pelican Tote (pattern from Bagstock Designs) and this time around I added a recessed zipper closure. My first time doing this, so I was pleased to achieve a neat finish – the pattern was easy to follow.

I plan to list this bag in my Folksy shop but haven’t been able to put together a collection of product photos – grey clouds are keeping natural light levels far too low for photography.

Last night I took an hour to make the fourth block of the Santa Fe Trail QAL. This block is called Snowflake. It was interesting making the corner Log Cabins and then cutting them in half across the diagonal before stitching the block together. Another new technique for me to try!

I fitted my recently purchased Janome quarter inch foot to Julie the Juki (a 2200 QVP mini) and was not disappointed. The Janome foot gives a perfect scant ¼” seam – very satisfying 🙂 I’ve found the Juki quarter inch foot gives a true ¼” which is just a bit too wide for patchwork piecing.

Here are the first four Santa Fe blocks up on my design wall – each measures 12½” unfinished.

The plan is to create a cohesive quilt using blue scraps from my overflowing blue bin. At the moment the blues I’ve used all seem to be fighting against each other for attention, hopefully my next fabric choices will bring them together. Melva has shared a photo of her finished Santa Fe Trail quilt so we can see how the twelve blocks will fit into a quilt layout. Seeing the finished quilt has made me more determined to stick with this QAL 🙂

A Blog Hop Announcement: This blog, New Every Morning Patchwork & Quilting, will be seven years old in October. My blog is my social media home. The connections I’ve made with other bloggers and with readers mean a lot to me. Now, after all these years I’m actually contributing to a ‘blog hop’! I’ll be posting a tutorial on 7th July linked to ‘The Summer Scrap Elimination 2021’ blog hop organised by Swan Sheridan over at Swan Amity Studios. Swan has kicked off Week 1 of the blog hop by posting an original patchwork block with a detailed tutorial. She’s enlisted seven guest designers – including yours truly – to contribute a scrap-busting tutorial to be published on Thursdays from 17th June ’til 22nd July. I’ll endeavour to include the links to the weekly blog hop posts both here and on Instagram– I can see from the contributors list there will be an exciting variety of projects and techniques to get us in the mood to eliminate our scraps!

I’m still a bit behind in reading blog posts but have been making time to catch up, so slowly but surely my email in-box is emptying and I’m getting closer to being up-to-date (with reading blog posts anyway!). Here are this weeks links, I hope you will be inspired and find new bloggers to follow as you click your way through:

I just love the super bright quilt-as-you-go quilt Elana is sharing over on her blog ‘That Fabric Feeling’. So colourful and there’s a story behind the quilt too. Elana also shares the doll clothes she’s making from novelty fabric. They are bright and cheerful too – all her makes are destined for distribution by charities.

Linda has been making keepsakes for family members using scraps of vintage fabrics found as they were clearing her grandparents Ohio farmhouse. How lovely to have something practical and attractive as a tangible link with past and living family members. And here’s the follow-up post of the bitter sweet reunion of family members for a final visit to the farm and an opportunity to distribute the keepsakes.

‘In The Stars’ is the name of Kirsty’s latest quilt pattern. It is designed to be fat quarter friendly and although it’s full of stars there are no points to match! So a great stash buster and quick to piece – win, win!

Have you been to any sewing workshops via Zoom? Yvonne gives us a behind the scenes look at what it takes to run a successful on-line workshop.

Blue fabrics and square shapes have been calling me through the email notifications this week! First there’s a fascinating pattern called ‘Friendship Quilt’ that adds depth to the appearance of the patchwork – pattern available from Myra at Busy Hands Quilts; secondly this Gingham Quilt, a squirrel project, by Sandra at Musings of a Menopausal Melon. Both have me so tempted to dive into a new project…

Katy has made a kaleidoscope quilt using a large African style print cut down into Hourglass blocks. See the finished quilt here and there’s a link to a previous blog post explaining how to cut and piece the blocks.

Linking with Alycia for Finished or Not Friday as I can celebrate a finished bag and a house full of not finished projects!

Happy Stitching!

Allison

Making a Bag: How Hard Can It Be?

I invite you to join me on a bag making adventure 🙂 This is a self imposed challenge to learn new skills and maybe, maybe add bag making to my repotoire of workshops. I will endeavour to share with you what I learn as I follow the Pelican Tote pattern from Bagstock Designs. I’ve also be posting on Instagram @allisonreid.neweveverymorning using the hashtag #bagmaking🤔

In the past I have made lined tote bags and one or two zippered pouches but have always shied away from making a bag with zippered  pockets or structured interfacing. The Pelican Tote has both and is labelled a beginner level project. I’ll certainly be putting that to the test 😀

Without further ado, here is what I’ve been learning (skip to the end of the post to find links to online bag making tutorials and book recommendations):

Day 1: Cutting out the fabric pieces and applying fusible interfacing.

  • I followed the pattern requirements, purchasing woven iron-on interfacing, Pelon S-F 101. I fused the interfacing to the fabrics before cutting out the shapes using the templates. The woven interfacing gives quilting cottons a lovely feel and weight – they still move and drape like cotton but don’t crumple, they look smooth and feel soft. (Of course, woven interfacing is more expensive than standard interfacing!).
  • I’m amazed by how much fabric I used! Definitely a surprise. The bag pieces took just about all of the 1¼yds of fabric and all of the 2m of 20″ wide interfacing. Homemade bags, not cheap! Who’d have thought it?

Day 2: Making a zippered external pocket.

  • I followed the pattern instructions, applying some of the tips and techniques I remembered from my bag making research – see links at the end of this post.
  • I struggled to use the zipper foot correctly. I even switched to the standard foot a couple of times. My seam ripper came in handy as my top stitching failed to make the grade! In the end I decided to compromise so my topstitching is about 3/8ths from the seam edge rather than the 1/8th prescribed by the pattern but at least it’s reasonably straight.
I really struggled using a zipper foot on a straight stitch machine! I couldn’t figure out which side I should have the needle!
  • Longer stitch length is required for neat topstitching – how many times did I forget to adjust the stitch length on my machine? *sigh*
  • Matching up fabric prints above and below the zipper is tricky! More unpicking!
I got quite a sense of achievement when the external pocket was finally finished!

Day 3: Making an internal pocket and sewing in foam interfacing.

  • I watched a tutorial by Professor Pincushion to pick up a few extra tips about constructing the internal pocket; stitch across ends of zipper to keep it lying straight was one of the tips I applied. I also watched this quick tutorial by So Sew Easy – she used double-sided ‘wonder tape’ rather than pins to position the zip as does Lisa Lam in her Craftsy Class (see link below). I couldn’t get hold of the tape and someone said it can gum-up machine needles (have you experienced this?) so I fiddled about using my Sewline Glue Pen. The glue wasn’t really strong enough to hold the zipper in place but in the end I managed to stitch the zipper into the letter-box like gap.

  • After the zipper trials stitching the foam interlining to the front and back outer panels was an absolute breeze! I used a long basting stitch. Too late I picked up a tip to smooth out and pin the fabric to the interlining before basting to make sure the fabric didn’t shift or pucker. I didn’t have any real issues with this but I could create a slight bubble of fabric against the basting stitches by sweeping my hands across the fabric surface.

Day 4: Making handles, tabs for magnetic clasps and stitching the bag sides together.

  • I followed the pattern to make fabric shoulder straps. I’d run out of woven interlining so cut strips of Bamboo wadding to give the handles a little body.
  • The instructions for making the tabs were straightforward to follow. I used little pieces of the foam interlining as the ‘extra’ layer to add strength and protect the fabric from the metal clasp. 😀 The magnet in the clasp was really strong – I had real trouble separating the two parts before making the tabs!
Tab basted in place to the top edge of the bag lining.
  • I stitched darts in the bottom corners of the bag exterior and lining pieces as per the pattern before stitching them together. The foam interfacing is really easy to stitch through. I remembered to lengthen the machine stitch to about 3 to help keep the thick layers moving under the machine foot. What I forgot to do was widen the lining seam from ½” to 3/8ths so the lining sits a little bit baggy in the bag – if you know what I mean?

Day 5: Turning right-sides out and top-stitching.

  • I followed the pattern which gives instruction for turning the bag right sides out through the bottom of the internal pocket. Of course, despite all the reminders, I forgot to open the zipper before stitching the lining and exterior bag together – what am I like? 😀 So I had to unpick a few inches of stitching to reach inside and open the zipper! Never mind it was mistake that’s quick to correct! It was quite an effort to push all those layers through the gap in the bottom of the pocket but not impossible. (Birthing a bag is one of my favourite things! Many, many years ago I did seriously consider training to be a midwife!). I was pleased to see that all the squishing and tugging didn’t crease the foam interlining.

  • Final touches included hand sewing the open bottom seam in the internal pocket and machine stitching around the top edge of the bag. Julie the Juki stitches through the thick seams with barely a stutter but top stitching around the rim of the bag was a bit awkward as Julie doesn’t have a free arm option. I found turning the bag inside out was the most comfortable way to have the right side of the bag in view as I stitched.

Hurrah! The bag looks like a bag! It’s a finish!

I’m already sorting through my stash to make another. I’ve downloaded the instructions to add a recessed zip next time around – keep adding on the skills 😉

Here are some handy resources for novice bag makers like myself:

If you are mystified by the types of zippers and their uses then I recommend this link: Information about zippers

I watched this ‘Tips for Using Zippers’ tutorial by the Crafty Gemini before zipping (ha!ha!) through this tutorial by Sew Sweetness to find handy tips re. fitting and top stitching zippers.

For an alternative to using a zipper foot and some other tips take a look at Amista Baker’s short tutorial.

I watched a tutorial by Debbie Shore demonstrating how to create a zippered dividing pocket in a tote bag. I like her relaxed but professional style of presentation.

I’ve also been delving into some courses on Craftsy. I took advantage of the offer to take out a one year subscription for $3. This gives access to all the courses but only for the duration of the subscription. A bargain – as long as I remember to cancel the direct debit instruction prior to the $79.99 being removed from my bank account next year!

  • Joan Hawley ‘Zip It Up: Easy Techniques for Zippered Bags‘.
  • Sara Lawson ‘Building Better Bags: Interfacing & Structure‘. This provides a comprehensive look at the different types of interfacings and linings, their uses and how to apply them. Sara demonstrations methods of attaching zippers when interfacings and linings are being used and gives clear tips showing how to use interfacings to strengthen bag fastenings. There’s also a lesson on finishing bags with bias binding and how to add piping. The course notes include a table comparing interfacings by manufacturer which is a great help when trying to select the right product for a project.
  • Lisa Lam ‘20 Essential Techniques for Better Bags‘. I haven’t finished this course yet, learning lots as I watch. I have Lisa’s book, ‘The Bag Making Bible’ and have been dipping in and out of it throughout the process of making the Pelican Tote.

And a final ‘link’ to Samantha Hussey’s book ‘The Complete Bag Making Masterclass’ which has been another handy resource.

I hope this record of my foray into bag making has provided some useful information or provided you with an opportunity for a knowing smile or two as you recall your first bag-making projects.

Linking with Susan for Midweek Makers .

Allison

Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (260)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share 🙂 I hope you will find time over this weekend to relax, bring along a project or two and share in the inspiration filled conversations doing the rounds of our Worldwide Quilting Community.

So a little bit of a catch up. As you may (or may not) have noticed Saturday Quilting Bring & Share took an unscheduled break last week. After the quiet, sheltered, home-centric existence of the past 15 months our little world has unexpectedly gone through some significant changes. Happy things have happened as a result; our short break by the sea and spending lots of time with family (even seeing all three of our children and their partners together – nearly a year since that last happened). The past week has seen the culmination of the changes. We are a tad weary now as our minds continue to process all that’s happened and our emotions settle. We are so thankful we are all well; modern tech is keeping us in touch with family members who have moved away; and, most thankful of all, we know change happens through God’s will and within the hope His eternal plan brings us.

Alongside the personal changes has been the belated and most welcome onset of Summer after one of the coldest, wettest months of May on record. There has been plenty to do outdoors with rapidly maturing seedlings needing re-potting or planting out and many weeds to be composted.

Slowly emptying my greenhouse of plants now the temperatures are rising and the frosts are long gone.

Working outdoors is such good therapy isn’t it? I nearly always feel the reward of spending an hour or two at the allotment – both in seeing the effects of my ‘labours’ and being made aware of muscles benefitting from the workout!

I have been even more scatter-gun than usual in my approach to sewing but remarkably I do have two finishes to share! Neither were planned! First up: I finally added the binding to the Basket of Blooms wall hanging 🙂

I had plenty of the golden yellow gingham in my stash so the binding matches the flange I added with the borders way back when… I hand stitched the binding to the back in time for the piece to be hung for our guests to see. The Basket of Blooms block/cushion cover pattern is a design by Jo Avery available as a pdf from the Quilters’ Guild.

My second finish is a bag.

Lots of new materials and techniques for me to try in this free ‘Pelican Tote’ pattern available from Bagstock Designs. I did mange to keep a record of my progress, along with links to the resources I found helpful, so I will share all the details in a separate blog post – too much to share here 😉

Sorry I’m sharing so few links to inspiring posts this week. I will apply myself to my brim-full email in-box in the coming days and have more to share next week 🙂

Lorna has captured the haughty expression of a camel perfectly in her latest animal patchwork design.

Wahoo! Another way to use up scraps of fabric! Linda shares the braided rug she is making – the spiral pattern is intriguing.

Rachel has shared a comprehensive Economy Block tutorial. She has included a tip to ensure directional prints run in the same direction around the central square. Useful, as I know I can spend ages trying to puzzle this out and still get it wrong!

Yvonne Fuchs is well known for her carefully designed transparency quilts. Here she delves into colour blending theory. It is quite deep but give it a try, Yvonne’s explanations are clear and created with patchwork quilters in mind.

Lot’s of wonderful inspiration in the gallery of the ‘Favourite Finish Monthly Linkup‘ run by Cheryl aka Meadow Mist Designs.

Linking my finishes with Michelle for Beauties Pageant and Wendy for the Peacock Party.

Happy Stitching!

Allison

Table Top Sewing Basket Tutorial

Hand sewing projects have the great advantage over machine sewing of generally being mobile activities. Even if ‘mobile’ only means moving from room to room or sofa to armchair within the home! Which is basically as mobile as sewing projects can be in current Covid restricted circumstances! Of course being mobile, even in this limited sense, does raise the need for some sort of container to carry and store sewing notions.

I had the perfect container hidden away on a shelf in my sewing room – a little fabric basket just the right size for the threads, needles, scissors and other bits and bobs I need for English Paper Piecing and applique projects. As well as being a useful container for carrying all the notions the basket also serves as a way to keep them all safely in one place – rather than thread spools rolling off the coffee table and my scissors getting lost between the sofa cushions!

Realising how useful the fabric basket has been to me over the past few weeks I decided I would make one as a gift for someone who is about to recommence home sewing after a long break. I’m really chuffed with the little basket and matching pincushion I made from a fat quarter and a few smaller scraps.

My word for 2021 is SHARE and in that spirit I thought I’d post a tutorial should you feel inspired to make a Table Top Sewing Basket 🙂 I certainly wouldn’t claim that this is an original idea. I first made a fabric basket back in 2014. I can’t remember the tutorial I followed. If  ‘make a fabric basket tutorial’ is typed into a browser the choice is overwhelming! Overtime I’ve adapted that first tutorial, introduced ideas from other basket tutorials and tried different combinations of materials. So this is a hi-bred of several tutorials and plenty of experience 🙂

To make a basket with a 4½” (11cm) square base that stands 4½” high you will need:

  • One Fat Quarter cut into: one (1) 5¾” x 20″ rectangle; two (2) 4¼” x 7″ rectangles
  • Contrast fabric: one (1) 1¾” x 20″ rectangle.
  • Lining: Two (2) 9½” x 7″ rectangles.
  • Medium weight iron-on interfacing (optional): one (1) 5″ x 19″ rectangle.
  • Wadding: one (1) 9″ x 22″ rectangle.

Step One – Preparing the Outside of the Basket

  • Using a ¼” seam, stitch the contrast fabric rectangle to a long edge of the 5¾” x 20″ rectangle. If either of your fabrics are directional be sure to orientate them correctly with the contrast fabric at the top of the basket! Press seam open.
  • Fuse the iron-on interfacing to the back of the pieced rectangle.
  • Lay the pieced rectangle face up on top of the wadding. Baste the two layers together. Try using masking tape to keep the wadding slightly stretched and in one place whilst lightly pinning the pieced rectangle in place.

  • I could write ‘quilt as desired’ and imagine the howls of frustration 😀 so instead I’ll just say that I generally choose to use a walking foot to stitch gentle wavy lines along the length of the piece. But if you are keen to practice free motion quilting stitches then a project this size is ideal! Keep the stitching lines about ½” – ¾” apart to help give the basket a bit of extra rigidity.
  • Once quilted use a rotary cutter to trim away the excess wadding.
  • Cut the quilted rectangle into two (2) 7½” x 9½” rectangles.

Step 2 – Making Boxed Corners

  • Place the two quilted rectangles right sides together. Use a ruler and pen to mark a 2¼” square in the lower left and right hand corners.

  • Line up the seams and pin. Stitch the two pieces together using ¼” seam. A walking foot is useful for getting through all the layers. Use strengthening back stitching at the start and end of each seam AND over the drawn lines.
  • Use scissors to cut out the marked 2¼” squares.
  • Fold one cut corner so the side and base seams are lying together.

  • Pin in place and sew along the opening using a ¼” seam, back stitch the start and end of the seam.

  • Repeat with the opposite opening.
  • Turn right sides out.

Step 3 – Make the Lining

  • Place the two Lining rectangles right sides together. Use a ruler and pen to mark a 2¼” square in the lower left and right hand corners.

  • Stitch the two pieces together using a 3/8″ seam. Leave a 2″ opening in the bottom seam. Use back stitching at the start and end of each seam AND over the drawn lines.
  • Use scissors to cut out the marked 2¼” squares.
  • Make boxed corners in the same way as for the Outer Basket.
  • Finger press the seams open and leave the lining wrong side out.

Step 4 – Make the Tab Handles

  • Place a 4¼” x 7″ rectangle wrong side up on an ironing board. Fold the shorter sides to the centre. Press to crease the folds. Fold along the centre line to make a 1¾” x 4¼” rectangle. Press the folds.

  • Top stitch close to both long edges of the rectangle.

  • Repeat with the second 4¼” x 7″ rectangle.

Step 5 – Constructing the basket

  • Place the Outer Basket inside the Lining, right sides facing with the side seams against each other.
  • Fold a Tab Handle in half widthways and slip it between the Outer Basket and Lining layers so it is centred on the side seams. Allow the raw edges of the Tab Handle to protrude ¼” above the rim of the basket. Pin securely in place.

  • Repeat with the second Tab Handle on the opposite side of the Basket.
  • Pin the Lining and Outer Basket together all around the rim. (This might be a bit of a tight squeeze as the Lining is shorter than the Outer Basket).
  • Stitch a ¼” seam inside the rim – a walking foot is useful for stitching through all the layers.

  • Use the gap in the bottom seam of the Lining to turn the basket right sides out.
  • Hand or machine stitch closed the gap in the bottom seam of the Lining.
  • Roll and pin/clip the rim of the basket so the seam is uppermost.

  • Top Stitch ¼” below the rim to hold the layers in place and create a neat edge.

I hope you enjoy making, using and/or gifting a Table-Top Sewing Basket. Any questions? Pop them in the Comments box and I’ll do my best to help.

One last tip: Best not to use a bag wadding such as Bosal In-R-Form for a small basket like this one. I did once and turning the bag right side out was very difficult – a bit of a Call the Midwife situation if you know what I mean? :-O

Linking with Alycia for Finished or Not Friday and with Denise for her Put Your Foot Down linky.

Allison