Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (246)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share 🙂 Bring along your project(s) and enjoy sharing in what’s been inspiring and occupying other members of our Worldwide Quilting Community. Do use the links to click and visit other blog sites. Please do leave messages to encourage those who are sharing and add your thoughts and knowledge to the discussions – I learn so much from reading through the discussion comments at the end of an interesting blog post.

In our garden Primulas are basking in the sun.

Well! The over-riding theme of life here in the UK continues to be ‘waiting’. Thankfully the waiting is now tinged with a sense of anticipation. On the pandemic front we have a ‘roadmap’ out of restrictions with a caveat to not rush ahead of the timings set in place. On the day to day, Spring is showing itself in all sorts of ways now. We are enjoying a succession of dry, sunlit days and frosty nights. Flowers are much in evidence – yesterday I saw a hedgerow full of the white blossoms of Blackthorn – birds are loudly proclaiming their territories, some are gathering nesting materials and the hours of daylight are lengthening rapidly. We have been waiting for the soil in our garden and allotment to dry out enough to be workable, perhaps this afternoon we may be able to start the digging and weeding? (Added to post – ground still heavy and not quite ready for weeding by hand – still waiting in hope). Yesterday we bought some garden supplies including new poles in anticipation of the beans we haven’t even sown. Yes! Waiting is definitely being combined with a sense of hope after some very dark months.

My big sewing news this week is the release of my latest pattern. The ‘Use it all up 9 Fat Quarter Quilt’ pattern arose from my attempt to tackle one of those attractive but difficult to use FQ packs on several fronts: 1. To actually lift it off the shelf and break into it; 2. To make maximum use of the FQs- minimal left overs for the scrap bins; 3. to make a reasonable sized quilt from a minimal number of FQs and additional yardage. I made a quilt top measuring 67″ square using nine FQs with 2¼yds of extra fabric. I gave the

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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

Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (244)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share 🙂 Bring along your projects(s) and be part of the sharing going on in our Worldwide Quilting Community. Join in by leaving encouraging comments for the blog writers you visit via the links below.

How has your week been? We had very little snow here just a freezing East wind that made facemasks a practical outdoor accessory! Brrr! A good week for getting on with projects indoors. Yesterday I shared my first attempt at adding a flange into a border seam. I’m pleased with how it turned out. The Basket of Blooms applique block plus borders now measures 24″ square. I think that makes it a wall hanging rather than a cushion cover! I’ve cut backing fabric and a piece of wadding to size, ready to baste into a mini quilt sandwich. The plan is to hand quilt the background. I’m not sure how to fix it as a hanging… I don’t think I’ll add loops to hang it from a pole… So I’ll have to investigate other options. Do you have a favourite method for fixing fabric wall hangings to the wall?

I’ve received some happy post this week 🙂 Several spools of 60wt Mettler thread to add to my small collection of applique/EPP threads and a copy of Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine. I took out the subscription when one of those ‘too good to miss’ deals flashed up on my Instagram feed. I have a vested interest in this title as one of my designs will feature in a forthcoming edition 🙂 Should I take a bow? 😀

Thread buying was prompted by participation in the English Country Garden QAL. Today I settled down in front of my laptop with my basted EPP shapes and stitched along with Alison as she live-streamed her regular Saturday morning programme, Hexadoodle Quilts, on Twitch TV.

My EPP poppy.

Alison demonstrated how to whip stitch the pieces together and later showed how to use a printed template to accurately place the pieces on the background square. I’ve appliqued four leaves in place so far… This is a quilt-as-you-go project so once the shapes are stitched in position it will be time to make a sandwich and quilt the block. I haven’t decided on backing fabric yet…

My projects for this weekend are to baste the Basket of Blooms wall hanging and continue working on the applique stage of the English Country Garden Poppy block.

Here are the links to the patchwork quilting community, I hope you’ll be learning and finding inspiration with each click:

Melva’s long running series linking the letters of 2nd World War POWs to patchwork blocks is coming to a close. It has been fascinating to read about the aftermath of war described by first hand witnesses. In this post Melva shares a letter from a German ex-POW who returned to Germany longing to be reunited with his family only to end up in a Russian labour camp. All these letters shared by Melva are a raw reminder that the deprivations of war last many decades beyond the signing of a peace treaty.

The Happy Scrappy quilt pattern was shared by Alyce at the start of the pandemic as a way of uniting quilters from around the world. It was a gentle scrappy QAL designed for short bursts of stress-free piecing without the need to go out fabric shopping. Over 400 quilters took part! In this gallery post Alyce shares a few of the quilts and flimsies that have been completed – so many colour schemes and pattern adjustments to compare and enjoy 🙂

Jayne has put in a sustained effort to de-clutter her sewing space. The results are striking and maybe an encouragement if you are thinking it’s time to tackle clutter around your sewing machine!

Lately I’ve been paying particular attention to applique projects and how they are quilted. Gretchen’s quilt top looks stunning. I especially like the way her quilted feathers weave behind the applique flowers. I’ve definitely been inspired!

Flying Geese are such a staple of patchwork and yet piecing these blocks can be quite a frustrating process. Yvonne Fuchs is into precision and her beautifully photographed No-Waste Flying Geese tutorial is full of tips to ensure the production of uniform, on-size Flying Geese. Well worth a careful read and a save to Pinterest!

Sandra hosts the monthly squirrel link up and of course she does this because she is prone to more than an occasional squirrel project! Her latest was inspired by a holiday photo – such as amazing beach scene – using a machine applique technique. Her mini-quilt clearly depicts the beach glass Sandra loves to collect. I wonder if anyone else will be inspired to try this technique taught by Allie @exhaustedoctupus?

Patchwork clothing is definitely ‘a thing’ right now. Lissa has cut into an old quilt to make a new jacket. That was brave but so much better than the intended destination for the quilt!

Linking with Alycia for Finished or Not Friday which has a heart theme in keeping with Valentines Day weekend.

Happy Stitching!

Allison

Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (239)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. Bring along your project(s) and share in the inspiration and kindness generously provided by members of our Worldwide Quilting Community. There are links to blog posts further down this page. Please do click on the links and leave comments on the pages you visit – those will be such an encouragement to the page owners 🙂

Well! This isn’t a very inspiring photo is it?

Sadly it sums up my sewing activities this past week. I did press all the pink strips I sorted from my string scraps (using a Christmas gift – a wool pressing mat) but I haven’t yet lifted the cover off my sewing machine or done any of the hand applique I’d intended to resume. Instead I have filled the time fiddling around designing a table runner and listing quilts in my Etsy shop. I’ve also been out walking quite a lot despite the grey skies and low temperatures. In truth I think all the depressing news this week has stolen my sew-jo. I know I just need to ‘push through’ and get started. Maybe later today I’ll fire up Julie the Juki and we’ll bash out a few string blocks together 🙂

How’s your sew-jo been this week?

A welcome occupation for me has been catching up on reading blog posts. I hope the links below prove inspiring and a welcome distraction from the relentless nature of this pandemic. Dive in 🙂

Irish Chain patterns are very versatile. Allison Harris has stamped this one with her own style and it made a beautiful finish just in time for Christmas.

Leanne* is running a series of ‘Let’s Get to Know…’ interviews on her blog site. First up is HollyAnne Knight of String & Story. I hadn’t come across Holly-Anne before reading the interview. I’ll definitely be watching out for the monthly ‘Let’s Get to Know’ posts as a great way of well… getting to know more quilters from our Worldwide Community 🙂 And Leanne has asked for suggestions for interviewees so why not put a few names her way?

Amy Friend ran a house block BOM last year. She has now provided the twelve house styles as individual paper pieced blocks in her shop. You may just find the perfect house to use in a quilt to remind you of home or to use in a new home gift quilt.

Christa Watson has just started a nine part series over on her blog. ‘Machine Quilting Tips and Tricks‘ is bound to be a great source of advice and inspiration 🙂

I had to laugh in sympathy with Rebecca as she described the ins and outs of adjusting a quilt pattern and the complications that ensue when the project is put to one side for a while! Trying to remember all the changes and the recalculations re. fabric requirements etc. can be a bit like trying to solve an intricate plot line in a crime novel! But Rebecca’s done it and has her One Monthly Goal project up and running!

Several bloggers I follow make ‘temperature quilts’, recording the high and low temperatures for each day of the year by making simple colour-coded patchwork blocks that grow into a quilt. Patty has her 2020 Temperature quilt top finished and explains how she keeps the fabrics organised through the year.

Back to Leanne* who designs and makes terrific quilts. She’s a child-minder by day and this week she’s used her experiences of teaching little children to dress themselves as an illustration for her regular devotional post. There are no photos but her words have painted clear pictures in my mind 🙂

Whilst playing catch-up with blog reading I found this gem… A blog post from Rachel posted al the way back on 11th December! It’s all about choosing fabrics for English Paper Piecing. Well worth a read especially as there are lots of example photos which really help to show how fussy cutting, colour, contrast and placement can affect the look of a block.

Jayne’s careful use of colour has created a really interesting quilt top from just two block designs – Churn Dash and Half Square Triangles. Definitely one to save to Pinterest!

Reading Bernie’s latest blog post over at Needle & Foot led me to a brand new link up called ‘Stitch Sew & Show 2021‘, hosted by Life in the Scrapatch. The link up runs from Wednesday to Tuesday and is described as follows, ‘This is a very informal party … no stress, no prizes, no finish needed. This is just a place to share what you are working on with others and enjoy their inspiration. Think of it as sitting at home while stitching with a group of friends. I have always enjoyed sharing with others and have received much kindness in return. This is a way for me to say thank you and to encourage others.’

Linking this post with Scrapatch for the first Stitch Sew & Show of 2021 and Alycia for Finished or Not Friday.

Happy Stitching!

Allison