UCAB Small Front Pocket Tutorial pt.2

I know these tutorials are taking forever, but they also take a long time to write. Doing them in smaller chunks fits my schedule better. Hopefully, the smaller chunks makes the bag more doable as well.

Finished Small Interior Front Pocket
Finished Small Interior Front Pocket

Today we are going to make the Clippy Pockets (type 1) used on the sides of the small, interior pocket instead of using the badge holders. The other day, we made the center zipper section. These Clippy Pockets will be placed on either side of the center zipper section. The pleats hold your WonderClips. The Clippy Pocket is not part of Quiltessa Natalie’s original pattern.

You can find the original pincushion instructions, from which this tutorial evolved, in Love of Patchwork & Quilting, issue 39. It is available digitally in the Apple and Google Play stores. The same pincushion pattern is available in the book 50 Little Gifts** from Lucky Spool.

Additional Supplies:

Notes:

  • Use a quarter inch seam allowance
  • Pay attention to the flaps and pin them back if necessary so you don’t sew them down

Tutorial:

Side front interior pocket with clip holder
Side front interior pocket with clip holder

The front pockets needs two of these side pockets. They will go on each side of the center zipper/mesh pocket.

You can make four and put more Clippy Pockets on the back, if you want. We won’t do this in this tutorial, but it is an option.

You will need P4 and all the pieces for the Clippy Pocket, v.2.

The Clippy Pocket section is inserted on the bottom of pattern pg.13. I made the Clippy Pocket instead of vinyl badge holders.

UCAB: Pieces You need
UCAB: Pieces You need

Yes, I am using different fabrics. I am sure you can manage.

Directions:

1. Cut the following:

A – cut 1 -1 1/4”x5” for edge
B- cut 5 – 2”x4” for Clippy tabs/flaps
C – cut 5 – 1”x5” for between the flaps
D – cut 1 – 3 ¾”x5 for back
Shapeflex – cut 1 piece 19 ¾” x 3 ½”

  1. Sew flaps: fold B pieces RST and sew short sides. One long side will remain open
  2. Turn sewn B pieces right sides out
  3. Press B pieces. Fold will have a crisp seam. B pieces are now flaps
  4. Lay A piece right side up
  5.  
Layer and center a sewn B piece (flap) on top of the A piece
Layer and center a sewn B piece (flap) on top of the A piece

Layer and center a sewn B piece (flap) on top of the A piece

 

  1. Layer and center a sewn B piece (flap) on top of the A piece
    Layer and center a sewn B piece (flap) on top of the A piece

Layer a C piece on top of the A and B pieces WS up

  1.  

Sew 3 pieces together along the long side where the raw edge of the flap will be sewn shut

 

  1. Press Piece
    Press Piece

    Press C piece away from the other two pieces

  2.  
Layer another flap (B piece) on top of your sewn pieces
Layer another flap (B piece) on top of your sewn pieces

Layer another flap (B piece) on top of your sewn pieces

 

  1. Follow steps until you are out of flaps (B pieces) and C pieces

 

Finished top
20200113_162045-sm

You will end up with a piece comprised of strips and flaps that is approximately 3 ¾” x 5”. This piece looks like a ‘flap ladder’. The sides of this ‘flap ladder’ should reach the sides of your P4 strip

Press ShapeFlex to P4
Press ShapeFlex to P4

Press Shapflex on to your P4 piece

Layer your ‘flap ladder’ RST with piece D and sew along the short sides

  • Carefully press seams open without creasing piece D or the ‘Flap ladder’
Now you have a loop
Now you have a loop

Now you have a loop.

Turn your loop right sides out

Press flat

Place 2" from the bottom of P4
Place 2″ from the bottom of P4

Place your sewn piece 2” from the bottom of your P4 strip.

  • Pin in place with the raw edges at the side
  • Fit your machine with your matching or top stitching thread
  • Pin and sew across the bottom using matching or top stitching thread

Sew across the bottom. N.B. : I used a contrasting thread so you could see it. For my final bag, I will use a matching thread.

Finished Clippy Pocket ready to add to small front pocket
Finished Clippy Pocket ready to add to small front pocket
  1. Continue with the directions on the Ultimate Carry All Bag pattern, pg.14, starting with “then fold the pocket fabric in half…”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next time we will work on the Exterior front pocket

Previous Tutorials:

 

 

 

 

**I use affiliate links and may be paid for your purchase of an item when you click on an item link in my post. There is no additional cost to you for clicking or purchasing items I recommend. I appreciate your clicks and purchases as it helps support this blog.

STB Hidden Zipper Tab Tutorial

The Sew Together Bag pattern tells you to put the binding on the bag, then sew the zipper tabs over it. With a little effort, you can hide the ends of the zipper tabs under the binding, which is what I did with my recent Sew Together Bags. My hack takes place after you sew the binding on to the sides.

Extra Supplies

First, I sew the side bindings on to the exterior. The pattern says to sew it to the interior, but trust me. This will work.

Mark where to stop sewing
Mark where to stop sewing

Second,  I mark where to stop sewing. The goal is to leave that section of the binding under the middle fold open so I can insert the zipper tab. My regular practice is to use 2 pins. That is a sign to me that I need to stop sewing. use whatever method works for you. A Chakoner** or a Sewline Air Erase** pen can also work.

Wrap biding around
Wrap biding around

Next, I wrap the binding around to the top. In this case, I have to switch to WonderClips to mark where to stop sewing. because that whole area is WAY TOO thick. Ask me how I know. Note: my clips are in the same place as the two pins and I deliberately used pink only to mark the stopping point. The clips on the rest of that edge were different colors. Do whatever you need to do to mark your stopping point.

Sew, leaving a space open
Sew, leaving a space open

Finally, I sew. I stop halfway between the folds of the bag’s side on each side of the center fold.

After following the directions in the pattern to sew the binding to the long, top zipper, I sew the zipper tabs to the ends of the zipper.

It occurred to me while I was doing this that next time I would cut the zipper tabs the same size as the binding. It would make wrapping the zipper tabs around the zipper ends a little easier.

Sew in Zipper Tab
Sew in Zipper Tab

Once the zipper tabs are sewn to the end of the zipper, I insert the end of the zipper tab into the space in the binding. Then I connect the stitching lines from where I stopped sewing to where I started sewing.

Zipper tabs sewn under binding
Zipper tabs sewn under binding

After that I sink the threads and the side bindings are done. I suppose you can backstitch, but I don’t like the look. It takes more time to tie knots, but I think it looks more finished.

 

Here is the first Sew Together Bag I made according to the directions (left). See how the zipper tab is just sewn to the top of the binding after the fact? One from the most recent batch is on the right. See how much better the end of the zipper looks tucked in? Is it a pain to sew it this way? Yes, it is an extra step, but it looks so much better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

**I use affiliate links and may be paid for your purchase of an item when you click on an item link in my post. There is no additional cost to you for clicking or purchasing items I recommend. I appreciate your clicks and purchases as it helps support this blog.

UCAB Small Front Pocket Tutorial pt.1

Recently, I posted the tutorial for the second Large Pocket. That is one of the pockets needed to complete the Ultimate Carry All Bag by Natalie Patton. Next we are going to work on the first part of the small, interior front pocket

In order to sew along, you will need to:

You can find more information at the following links:

Additional Supplies**

Finished Small Interior Front Pocket
Finished Small Interior Front Pocket

The directions for the small interior, front pocket start the bottom of pg. 12 in the pattern.

N. B.: My version of this Small Front Pocket eliminates the vinyl/badge holder pockets and includes a second type of Clippy pocket that I developed from a pincushion pattern.

N.B.2: put a Post-it note on pg.9 to remind you where her zipper instructions can be found. She refers back to them in a non-specific way and marking them is helpful for quick access.

N.B.3: I am using a couple of different versions of the front pocket for this tutorial. Ignore the differences in fabric and pay attention to the location of the parts as well as the piece numbers.

Tutorial:

UCAB - Front, small pocket
UCAB – Front, small pocket

This pocket is made in 3 parts.

Center Zipper Pocket

UCAB -layer fabrics to insert zipper
UCAB -layer fabrics to insert zipper

First, we will make the center zipper pocket. If you haven’t already done so, fuse SF101 (or similar) to the pieces that make up the zipper pocket.

We need to add a zipper to the center part of the pocket. Full directions for adding a zipper start on pg.9. We also talked about this in the Large Pocket Tutorial.

First, lay L5 down face up/right side up.

Lay zipper on top of L5 with zipper pull facing up.

On top of L5 and the zipper, lay P5 on top of zipper face down/right side down. The layers should be  L5 and P3 RST with the zipper in between.

Pinning Zipper ends
Pinning Zipper ends

As I said before, Natalie Patton does something really clever with her zipper. She folds the zipper tape at a 45 degree angle and pins it. This makes it look really neat and tidy. Do this, as shown in detail in the Large Pocket Tutorial. Sew the layers including the zipper, being careful to move the zipper pull out of the way as needed. The last photo above shows how to sew (green line) and reminder to stop half way (red line) in order to readjust the zipper pull.

Turn over and press. Top stitch next to the zipper.

Wait to sew second side of zipper until later.

The center pocket has mesh, so cut the mesh and the double-fold elastic. The pattern doesn’t say, but you need to cover both long edges of the mesh with double-fold elastic or twill tape. I prefer the double-fold elastic.

Add mesh pocket to center zip pocket
Add mesh pocket to center zip pocket

In order to attach the mesh pocket to the center zipper pocket, first mesh 2″ down from the zipper.

Move L5 out of the way (right photo above).

Clip the mesh pocket to P3/partly sewn zipper section.

Sew around the mesh pocket
Sew around the mesh pocket

Leaving the top open (opening/top is closest to the zipper), sew around 3 sides of the mesh pocket. If you want to divide the pocket, mark as many divisions as you want with painter’s tape and sew very close to the painter’s tape without sewing through it.

After you finish sewing the mesh pocket, finish the center section by layering the other sides of P3 and L5 with the zipper the way you did before and sew. You will be sewing more of a roll this time.

Almost finished center zipper pocket
Almost finished center zipper pocket

Your finished center pocket will look like the above photo. You still need to make the pleat so you can add 3D items to the pocket.

use ruler to measure for pleat
use ruler to measure for pleat

Stick your ruler 1/2in into the bottom of the mesh/zipper pocket to create the right sized pleat.

Clip and sew
Clip and sew

Use Wonder Clips on the sides and the bottom to keep everything in place, especially on the top double-fold elastic. I didn’t take a photo, but you do want to put clips on the top double-fold elastic, because it tends to curl in from the mesh pocket wanting to curl.

Sew up the sides. These seams will be sewn again later, so you just need to sew enough to hold them in place until final assembly.

Finished interior center zipper pocket
Finished interior center zipper pocket

Your center section is finished.

Next time we will work on the side Clippy pockets.

Previous Tutorials:

 

 

 

 

 

 

**I use affiliate links and may be paid for your purchase of an item when you click on an item link in my post. There is no additional cost to you for clicking or purchasing items I recommend. I appreciate your clicks and purchases as it helps support this blog.

UCAB Large Pocket #2 Tutorial – pt.2

Recently, I posted the first part of the tutorial for the Large Pocket #2. That tutorial included a pocket that would help you organize your WonderClips.

In order to sew along, you will need:

You can find more information at the following links:

Additional Supplies**

UCAB: Large Pocket #2
UCAB: Large Pocket #2

Today we will finish putting together the second large pocket. As I said in the previous tutorial, the Clippy pocket is not part of the original pattern, but using that tutorial, you can easily add it to P1 and still have enough space for other tools.

The pattern calls for a mesh pocket on the back of P1. You can add slip pockets instead, if you want. Follow the general directions in the tutorial for the first large pocket. To add the mesh pocket, follow these directions:

Seal the edges of the mesh
Seal the edges of the mesh

Seal the edges of the mesh with doublefold elastic like you did on Large Pocket #1.

UCAB Bind Mesh Pocket
UCAB Bind Mesh Pocket

The first step is to bind the top of the mesh pocket. Take the fold over elastic and fold it in half. Use WonderClips to hold the elastic in place.

Using matching thread, sew along the edge of the binding closest to the mesh. I used a straight stitch.

Add Mesh pocket
Add Mesh pocket

Mark 3” down from the other side of the right side of P1.

Tip: Make sure, before sewing that both pockets (Clippy & Mesh) have their openings in the same direction up. When the two raw edges are held WST, both pockets should have their openings up, closest to where the zipper will be sewed.

Line up top of mesh with 3” line.

Sew bottom of mesh pocket to P1.

Mark with blue tape
Mark with blue tape

Mark your pocket divisions with blue tape – make however many you want. I have two, separated by one line of stitching

Sew NEXT to blue tape.

Add Zipper

You can also look at the zipper instructions from the first large pocket tutorial.

Lay L1 down face up/right side up.

Lay zipper on top of L1 with zipper pull facing up.

Line up P1 with Clippy Pocket on top of zipper right side down.

Natalie Patton does something really clever with her zipper. She folds the ends of the zipper tape at a 45 degree angle and pins it. This makes it look really neat and tidy once the zipper is sewn in.

Zipper's 45 degree angle
Zipper’s 45 degree angle

In the pattern (pg.10), she talks a lot about pinning, horizontal pins, etc. I found it to be kind of confusing.

The photo (left) shows how I interpret her instructions. I tried it and it worked for me. Sotak Handmade has a video where she adds the zipper using a similar method.

Once you have the zipper tape folded and pinned, continuing layering the last piece of fabric on top.

Three layers waiting to sew in zipper
Three layers waiting to sew in zipper

The edges of the folded zipper tabs stick out a little bit from the side of the piece where you will be sewing. This is ok and how it is supposed to look.

Sew along clipped edge to secure zipper. I use my quarter inch foot, but you can use your zipper foot, if it works for you. Make sure you move the zipper out of the way as you sew so it doesn’t interfere with your seam.

Layer second side of zipper
Layer second side of zipper

Open up three layers.

Top stitch near zipper. Follow the same directions for the second side of the zipper.

Measure pleat on the bottom
Measure pleat on the bottom

Pleat the bottom.

I use the ½” marking on a ruler to mark the ½”. Push it into the bottom.

Clip to keep it in place and sew along the edges using the seam allowance noted in the pattern.

UCAB: Large Pocket #2
UCAB: Large Pocket #2

Your pocket will look something like this.

Previous Tutorials:/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

**I use affiliate links and may be paid for your purchase of an item when you click on an item link in my post. There is no additional cost to you for clicking or purchasing items I recommend. I appreciate your clicks and purchases as it helps support this blog.

UCAB Large Pocket #2 Tutorial – Clippy Pocket

A few days ago, I posted the second part of the tutorial for the first Large Pocket needed to complete the Ultimate Carry All Bag by Natalie Patton. This is the tutorial for the second Large pocket.

In order to sew along, you will need:

You can find more information at the following links:

Additional Supplies**

UCAB: Large Pocket #2
UCAB: Large Pocket #2

Today we will start the second of the large pockets. The directions for this step in the pattern start on page 8, step 2 of your pattern.

My version of this Large Pocket #2 includes a type of Clippy pocket that I added. The elastic holds your WonderClips and the pocket holds a rotary cutter.

Fabric and supplies layout
Fabric and supplies layout

This Clippy Pocket is not part of the pattern, but I will share how to make it.

The picture shows all the pieces with which we will be working. If you want to omit my Clippy pocket, skip those parts of this tutorial. If you want to include it, make this Clippy Pocket before starting on the bulk of Large Pocket #2, but after you have cut all the pieces. Having the small bits and bobs ready makes the assembly of Large Pocket #2 easier.

    1. Cut the pocket fabric 4.5 x 12.5”
    2. Cut the SF101 interfacing 4×12
    3. Apply SF101 to wrong side of fabric
    4. Cut double fold elastic (you can also use a strip of fabric) 4.5” long. You can add two strips if you want more space for WonderClips
    5. Clippy Pocket Fabric folded, finger pressed
      Clippy Pocket Fabric folded, finger pressed

      Fold pocket fabric in half and finger press. You want the short edges to touch when you fold and finger press. The folded piece will be 4.5”x6.25 (approx.)

    6. Pin RST with Elastic
      Pin RST with Elastic

      Unfold and pin elastic to piece 1/3 down from the fold or 1 ¾” down from finger pressed center

    7. Sew around edge
      Sew around edge

      Sew around edge, leaving an opening the bottom to turn and avoiding the top with the fold.

    8. Press Clippy Pocket
      Press Clippy Pocket

      Press.

    9. Clip corners          Tip: try to press the opening seam allowances as straight as possible
    10. Turn RS out
      Turn RS out

      Turn RS out, push out seams, especially corners. Make sure seams are crisp, the press again.

    11. Place Clippy Pocket in place on P1 by:
      1. Measure 9” down from top
      2. Measure ½” over
      3. Place Clippy Pocket
      4. Pin in place
    12. Cut an additional piece of double fold elastic 9 1/8 – 9 ¼”
    13. Measure down 3” from the top of P1. Place elastic in this location.
    14. Tuck one end of the elastic under the Clippy pocket to hide the raw edge
    15. Pin in place
    16. Mark the elastic so that your tools will fit. At some point prior to this, I looked at all the tools I thought I would use and measured them to make sure they would fit.
    17. Attach Clippy Pocket and divide elastic
      Attach Clippy Pocket and divide elastic

      Sew around 3 sides of the Clippy Pocket (not the top), ensuring that you catch the elastic in your seam.

    18. Sew on your marks in the elastic
    19. Add D-ring using a scrap of double-fold elastic or some fabric. Sew it in the seam allowance. I backstitch or go over the stitching a few times. This helps prevent the D-ring from becoming unsewn.
    20. Leave long tails at the start and end of your seams, pull threads to the back and tie off with knots

If you are not adding the Clippy Pocket, cut your elastic 20″, mark and sew, following the directions on the pattern.

Check back in a few days for the rest of the tutorial for putting the large pocket #2 together.

UCAB Large Pocket Tutorial #1 pt.2

A few days ago, I posted the first part of the tutorial for the first Large Pocket needed to complete the Ultimate Carry All Bag by Natalie Patton.

In order to sew along, you will need:

You can find more information at the following links:

Additional Supplies**

Finished Ultimate Carry All Large Pocket #1
Finished Ultimate Carry All Large Pocket #1

Today we will finish the first of the large pockets.The directions for this step int he pattern start on page 8.

In the first part of this tutorial, we made the P2 pocket. We will continue from where we left off.

Tutorial:

Sew P2 to P1

Take your P1 fabric piece and your P2 pocket.

Lay P1 Face Up and Mark
Lay P1 Face Up and Mark

Measure line 9” down from the top of P1.

Draw a light line with a Sewline** pencil. You can leave the ruler in place and adjust the placement of the pocket using the ruler, if you don’t want to mark your fabric.

Place P2 upside down on top P1. Line up the bottom of P2 with the 9″ line.

Pin the pocket in place.

Remove the ruler, if you haven’t already.

Sew across bottom of pocket
Sew across bottom of pocket

Using a 1/4″ seam allowance, stitch (see red line) across the bottom of the pocket ONLY. You may want to backstitch carefully or tie knots and sink your threads to secure.

N.B. In this picture (right), the pocket is unfinished. On your pocket, you will not need or being using the small clips show on the bottom of the pocket, which is in the middle of P1 in the picture.

Sew to secure P2
Sew to secure P2

Flip the pocket up so you can see the mesh pocket. Clip or pin in place.

Sew down the center of P2 (red line), going over the mesh pocket to secure everything and make the final division in the center of the mesh pocket.

Sew down the sides of the pocket (blue lines). Leave long thread tails at the beginning and end of these securing seams. Pull the threads to the back of the piece and tie the threads off with knots. You can use a backstitch, but tying off the threads will look better in your finished bag.

Add Zipper to Pocket

Layer fabric with zipper
Layer fabric with zipper

Lay L1 down face up/right side up.

Lay zipper on top of L1 with zipper pull facing up.

Line up P1 on top of zipper face down/right side down.

Natalie Patton does something really clever with her zipper. She folds the zipper tape at a 45 degree angle and pins it. This makes it look really neat and tidy.

Zipper's 45 degree angle
Zipper’s 45 degree angle

In the pattern (pg.10), she talks a lot about pinning, horizontal pins, etc. I found it to be kind of confusing.

The photo (left) shows how I interpret her instructions. I tried it and it worked for me.

Once you have the zipper tape folded and pinned, continuing layering the last piece of fabric on top.

Three layers waiting to sew in zipper
Three layers waiting to sew in zipper

The edges of the folded zipper tabs stick out a little bit from the side of the piece where you will be sewing. This is ok and how it is supposed to look.

Sew along clipped edge to secure zipper. I use my quarter inch foot, but you can use your zipper foot, if it works for you. Make sure you move the zipper out of the way as you sew so it doesn’t interfere with your seam.

Open up three layers

Top stitch near zipper.

Episode 4  of Natalie’s video is actually pretty good. I like the way she shows installing the zipper.

"Butterfly effect"
“Butterfly effect”
Layer second side of zipper
Layer second side of zipper

The confusing part is putting the pieces you have already sewn together with the other side of the zipper. The photo above shows kind of how this looks. This is the step where Natalie talks about opening up the first sewn side like a butterfly (pattern pg.10).

L1 face up/right side up.

Zipper on top of L1 face up/right side up.

P1 on top of zipper face down.

Sew along clipped edge to secure zipper. I use my quarter inch foot, but you can use your zipper foot, if it works for you. Make sure you move the zipper -See red line in the middle of the second side? – out of the way as you sew so it doesn’t interfere with your seam.

Top stitch near zipper.

Make Pleated Bottom

The pleated bottom allows you to more easily store items that are 3 dimensional

Measure pleat on the bottom
Measure pleat on the bottom

Use 1/2″ marking on my Creative Grids ruler, stick the side with 1/2″ marking into the pleat to measure it.

Clip the sides (the ruler should not interfere) to hold it in place.

Remove the ruler.

This is where I add D-rings. In this case, I used leftover bits of doublefold elastic to stand in for a loop.

Sew up the sides. Make sure to catch the loop/D-ring.

Finished Ultimate Carry All Large Pocket #1
Finished Ultimate Carry All Large Pocket #1

Your pocket is now finished.

 

 

 

 

Resources:

  • UCAB episode 1 : preparing for sewing pockets
  • UCAB episode 2 : sewing pockets, discusses thickness of pockets
  • UCAB episode 3 :badge holder pocket technique
  • UCAB episode 4 : Large pocket, installing zipper
  • UCAB episode 5 : installing a swivel hook, front and back of bag, front and back pockets
  • UCAB episode 6 : insert pockets into side panels
  • UCAB episode 7 : very brief video showing how the piece looks after installing the pockets in the side panels
  • UCAB episode 8 :Brief video showing the finished bag. No sewing

 

 

 

 

 

 

**I use affiliate links and may be paid for your purchase of an item when you click on an item link in my post. There is no additional cost to you for clicking or purchasing items I recommend. I appreciate your clicks and purchases as it helps support this blog.

UCAB Large Pocket Tutorial pt.1

Last year at the guild Lynette and I started leading a sew-along with the Ultimate Carryall Bag pattern from Natalie Patton. The pandemic kind of blew the idea out of the water in the sense that we had thought about it. I decided that we needed to get back on track, because people had bought the pattern and cut out the pieces. On Sew Day earlier this month, I went into a Zoom breakout room and gave people a tutorial on making one of the large pockets.

In order to sew along, you will need:

You can find more information at the following links:

Ultimate Carry All large Pocket #1
Ultimate Carry All large Pocket #1

Today we are starting to make one of the large pockets. We will work on the front pocket.

Tutorial:

First, mark all of your pieces using the tags that Lynette made.

Next, go through your pattern and mark all references to cut pieces with the numbers Lynette created. If you don’t do this, you will have no idea which pieces I am talking about.

N.B. I am using two different pockets, which use different fabrics, to illustrate this tutorial.

Supplies for this step:

  • Basic Sewing Kit
  • Foldover elastic / double fold elastic
  • Mesh
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread to match mesh binding
  • WonderClips
  • 12″ Zipper

Note: I am just calling out a few supplies. You will need to check the pattern for a full list of supplies

UCAB Large Pocket 1 Outline
UCAB Large Pocket 1 Outline

With everything assembled, you should be ready to sew.

N.B.: instead of twill tape, I use ByAnnie’s double fold elastic (AKA fold over elastic). I like the way it matches the mesh and I like the way it folds over exactly in half so I can machine stitch it. If you are using Twill Tape, you will have to bind the mesh in best way you know.

UCAB Bind Mesh Pocket
UCAB Bind Mesh Pocket

Mesh Pocket

The first step is to bind the top of the mesh pocket. Take the fold over elastic and fold it in half. Use WonderClips to hold the elastic in place.

Using matching thread, sew along the edge of the binding closest to the mesh. I used a straight stitch.

Mark Mesh Pocket in halves and quarters
Mark Mesh Pocket in halves and quarters

Once that is done, mark the pocket in half and in quarters. I used pins.

N.B.: In the picture on the left, I have marked the mesh pocket in halves and quarters with pins, but I have not yet bound the mesh with the fold over elastic. Ignore the clips in this photo.

Add Mesh Pocket to P2

Clip bound mesh pocket to P2
Clip bound mesh pocket to P2

Clip the bound mesh pocket to the bottom of P2.

You will need to ease the excess mesh fabric into pleats at the bottom of P2.

I used as many WonderClips as I needed to keep the mesh in place. It is a little bit challenging to keep in place. It isn’t exactly slippery, but it doesn’t stick to the quilting cotton like another quilting cotton would. Sew the bottom of the mesh pocket to P2, sewing the pleats you clipped in place as you remove the clips.

Mesh Pleats
Mesh Pleats

After you sew the bottom of the mesh pocket to P2, you will notice that the mesh will look like the picture on the left on the bottom where you have pleated the mesh. This was a little bit of a challenging concept for me to understand. I don’t make many garments, as you know, which may be the reason. Also I had to figure out why to pleat. The pleats give the pocket dimension so you can use it for things that are not flat. You could also make this pocket with vinyl instead of mesh, if you want. I don’t really talk about that in this tutorial, but make the pocket the same width as P2 as bind it with quilting cotton rather than fold over elastic.

Fold top of P2 down RST
Fold top of P2 down RST

Fold P2 down towards the bottom RST. The top of P2 will cover the mesh pocket.

Clip or pin the sides in place to secure. Watch out for the other Wonder clips that you used for the mesh pocket. It would probably be bad if you sewed over them.

Sew Down Sides of P2
Sew Down Sides of P2

Sew down sides of P2 only. The orange lines in the image on the right indicate where to sew.

Backstitch at the top and bottom to secure.

Before turning, I pressed the seams on the sides open, being careful about the mesh. I was also careful not to press the top fold yet.

Turn P2 right sides out.

Press again, watching out for the mesh. ByAnnies mesh doesn’t seem to melt when pressed, but I was still careful.

Also, now press the top fold.

I pressed the bottom seam allowance inside the P2 pocket and sewed it closed when I sewed P2 to P1, which I will talk about in the next tutorial.

UCAB P2 pocket sewed to P1
UCAB P2 pocket sewed to P1

P2 is now finished. In the photo, I have already sewn it to P1, but I will talk about that next time.

Use the seam allowance indicated in the pattern. Tip: Natalie, the designer, sometimes switches seam allowance sizes so pay attention to those directions.

I made two of the P2 pockets and put them on both sides of this large pocket, using the same directions. In the next tutorial, we will sew the P2 pocket to P1 and add the zipper.

Simple Folded Corners Ruler

I bought Doug Leko’s Folded Corners Ruler** awhile ago but didn’t have a reason to use it until Saturday. I started working on the X Quilt last week. I was really struggling with the way the pattern was written. After reading a Bonnie Hunter post about Valentine’s Day where she mentioned this ruler**, I dug it out. I watched a video, started using it which resulted in the X quilt process moving along. I also felt happier.

Folded corners are often referred to as “flippy corners”. This ruler makes them easy. I was amazed to find that they sew up perfectly. I watched the Fat Quarter Shop video demo to get me started.

Two squares to join
Two squares to join

First you need the two squares indicated in your pattern. I used a 6.5 inch square and a 3.5 inch square. These sizes came straight from the pattern. These sizes were one of three pairs of sizes I needed to make the quilt. I used the same process on all the sizes and it worked perfectly regardless of size.

My smallest sizes were 3.5 inch square and 1.5 inch square (for the corner). I was concerned that the 1.5 incher would be too small, but it worked just as well as the others. N.B. I did have to make sure that the small pieces did not get caught in my machine, but it was made easier because there were no dog ears. Doug Leko does have a mini version of the ruler** I mentioned, but I don’t have it and didn’t’ investigate the differences. I also noticed that Creative Grids has a ruler that purports to do the same thing**.

Line up two squares
Line up two squares

Make sure right sides are together. Line up your squares so the corners are straight. You do not want to see the bottom square on the top or right when the pieces are lined up.

The above step requires fairly accurate cutting. By that I mean your square should be square.

Line up ruler
Line up ruler

Place the ruler** on the two squares. Line up the solid line on the left and the XX line on the bottom with your top square.

Lines to use
Lines to use

When you line up the ruler, there is a solid line on the left. It is the first solid line on the left and connects with the diagonal line. This is the line you place on the left side of the smaller square. The diagonal line should be corner to corner.

 

Cut on the diagonal
Cut on the diagonal

Cut on the diagonal. The ruler includes the diagonal seam allowance. This is a great feature of the ruler so you don’t have to guess where to sew like you do when drawing a diagonal line. Also! No drawing of diagonal lines. I have a lot of corners to add for the X quilt so this is a bonus. It saves me a little time.

 

 

Pin then sew
Pin then sew

I like to pin, then I sewed along the diagonal.

Press.

 

 

 

 

Perfect corner!
Perfect corner!

Perfect! You might think that I picked the most perfect one, but I didn’t. First, I didn’t know what was going to happen when I started taking photos for the tutorial. With very few exceptions all the corners came out lined up perfectly. Where they didn’t (1 or 2 only), I think it was because I didn’t press the fabric properly or didn’t cut accurately.

 

Whole Lozenge Block
Whole Lozenge Block

The whole block came out really well, too.

I love the idea of specialty rulers. I often buy them with hope and don’t take the time to learn to use them. Or they turn out to be not as promised- not as helpful, hard to use, etc. This ruler works really well. I am super pleased not to have to draw 2 zillion diagonal lines!

 

 

 

 

**I use affiliate links and may be paid for your purchase of an item
when you click on an item link in my post. There is no additional cost
to you for clicking or purchasing items I recommend. I appreciate your
clicks and purchases as it helps support this blog.

Quilt Class: Setting the Blocks Together

I am using a different quilt for this tutorial, but I have faith that that won’t make a difference to all of you intelligent readers and students who have been following along with my various sampler class tutorials.

Supply List:

  • blocks
  • fabric for sashing
  • fabric cornerstones (I used scraps, but my cornerstones were only 1.5 inches square)
  • calculator
  • sewing machine
  • thread
  • measuring tools
  • basic rotary cutting kit
  • scissors or snips
  • seam ripper (I use a Clover ergonomic seam ripper)
  • pins
  • iron
  • ironing board
  • Mary Ellen’s Best Press (optional)
  • stiletto (optional)
  • design wall (optional, but super helpful)

Please note that we are only talking about sashing in this tutorial. We are not talking about borders. I will do a separate tutorial for borders in the future.

Red Strip Donation Blocks
Red Strip Donation Blocks

I started out with the above group of donation blocks. I have been setting these with plain blocks of the same size. I decided that I wanted to do something different with these blocks. Sashing is the answer. Having something between these blocks prevents the seams from getting too thick and hard to sew. Also, it allows each block to shine a little bit rather than being part of a mass. Adding sashing or plain borders or nothing is a design choice. For any quilt, it is important to decide on the look and feel you want.

Even if you put the same sized plain blocks between these blocks, the method I will show you works the same way.

Blocks with Sashing & Cornerstones
Blocks with Sashing & Cornerstones

The first step is to cut sashing and cornerstones. The photo above shows all the sashing and cornerstones cut and laid out on my design wall.

If you don’t want cornerstones, cut your top sashing the same size as your block + side sashing –  1/2 inch seam allowance (1/4 inch + 1/4 inch = half inch). The formula is:

Block size + vertical sashing – 1/2 inch seam allowance = finished size of top sashing without cornerstones

I can’t tell you the exact size, because I don’t have your blocks in front of me. Use a calculator. I do.

Also, notice that my top and side rows are different. I plan to put a straight strip of fabric across the top and sides as a border, which means I don’t need sashing for the top or sides.

Once you have all of your sashing and cornerstones cut, it is time to sew. I like to start in the bottom left hand corner. I start there because it is closer to my sewing machine when all the blocks are on my design wall. As I sew, the blocks shrink (because of the taken up seam allowance) and get closer to where I am sitting.

Sew vertical sashing to right side of block
Sew vertical sashing to right side of block

First, sew one vertical sashing piece to the right side of your block.

Press to the red.

Sew top sashing to cornerstone
Sew top sashing to cornerstone

Next, sew one piece of the top sashing to a cornerstone. In the above photo the sashing is white and the cornerstone is a red flower fabric.

Take your new little sashing + cornerstone piece to the ironing board and press to the red.

Now, nest the seams and pin the top sashing/cornerstone piece to the block with vertical sashing.

The top sashing should be on the top of the block  as it moves through the sewing machine. Sew the top sashing to the block. 

Top sashing sewn to block with vertical sashing
Top sashing sewn to block with vertical sashing

Sew the side sashing and the top sashing/cornerstone to all the blocks as described above.

IMPORTANT: The top row, as mentioned above, in my quilt, is different, so just sew the vertical sashing to the blocks in the top row and the top sashing to the blocks on the right edge.

All of the blocks have sashing/cornerstones sewn to their correct side
All of the blocks have sashing/cornerstones sewn to their correct side

Once you have sewn all the sashing on to the blocks, you will begin to sew the blocks together. This is chunking. I have talked about it before. I ‘chunk’ because 1) I don’t like sewing long rows together and 2) it keeps my piecing more precise.

Take two blocks with sashing & sew them together
Take two blocks with sashing & sew them together
Pin blocks together, matching seams and sew
Pin blocks together, matching seams and sew

First take the two blocks in the bottom left hand corner, pin them with matched points and nested seams. You will pin them together so that the top white sashing is sewn to the red cornerstone. The white vertical sashing will be sewn to the red block.

Sew them together. I pin in the seam allowance so that i have a better chance at the seams matching up. When I take the pins out as I am sewing, chances increase that the seams won’t match.  In general, to increase my chances of perfectly matching seams, I try to sew towards the seam allowance, but that didn’t work on this quilt, because I pressed towards the red. Use a stiletto to keep the seams in place for as long as possible.

Two blocks with sashing sewn together
Two blocks with sashing sewn together

Now you have a block with sashing on two sides.

 

 

Once you have sewn all of the sashing and cornerstones to the blocks, you will have completed the first step in putting your quilt top together.

Sew sashing to top of blocks on the right edge only
Sew sashing to top of blocks on the right edge only

On the right edge of the quilt, you will only sew the top sashing to the blocks. As mentioned before, there will be a border without cornerstones in my quilt, so I don’t need vertical sashing or cornerstones on the edges. If you want cornerstones in your border, follow the directions above for all blocks.

One long seam left
One long seam left

After you have sewn the various blocks together, you will have one long seam left.

Finished Center with sashing
Finished Center with sashing

Once you sew that seam, the center of your quilt top is done.

I know that the common way of sewing a quilt together is sewing it together in rows then sewing all the rows together. Using the row method is easier to explain than ‘chunking’, but, as I said above, my method is more precise.

 

 

 

**I use affiliate links and may be paid for your purchase of an item when you click on an item link in my post. There is no additional cost to you for clicking or purchasing items I recommend. I appreciate your clicks and purchases as it helps support this blog.

Spiky 16 Patch Tutorial

This is more of a guideline than a tutorial. It will teach you how to make the Spiky 16 Patch block in a general way. You will need to review the Studio180 video and know how to do basic piecing.

This block is my own design and uses Half Rectangle Triangles (HRTs) and 2.5 inch squares to make a 16 inch (finished) block. I have used these blocks to make a number of donation quilts.

Supplies:

  • Fabric:
    • 16-2.5 inch squares
    • 8 -2.5 inch squares for foreground
    • 8-2.5 inch squares for background
    • 5 inch strip of foreground – you’ll have to work through what width you need. I use scraps, so I don’t know the exact length
    • 5 inch strip of background fabric
    • Background fabric for corner squares
  • rotary cutter
  • rotary cutting ruler large enough to cut 5 inch strips
  •  Split Recs ruler** (By Deb Tucker)
  • Optional: 4.5 x 8.5 inch Creative Grids ruler** to cut smaller squares
  • Optional: Mary Ellen’s Best Press (or similar)
  • Optional: pins
  • sharp trimmers or scissors
  • thread for piecing
  • Iron
  • ironing surface
  • sewing machine in good working order
  • Computer or other device capable of viewing YouTube
  • Internet connection

Fabric Units Needed

This is a repeat of above, but with, perhaps, some additional information

  • 8 – 2.5 inch squares (unfinished) from background fabrics
  • 8 – 2.5 inch squares (unfinished) from foreground fabrics
  • 8 – 2 inch x 4 inch (finished) left facing half rectangle triangles (half foreground and half background)
  • 8 – 2 inch x 4 inch (finished) right facing half rectangle triangles (half foreground and half background)
  • 4 – 4.5 inch (unfinished)  squares from background fabrics

Center of block:

Take your 2.5 inch squares and sew them into 4- 4 patches

Blue Square Donation Block
Blue Square Donation Block

Sew your 4 patches together into a 16 patch as shown above.

I start with 5″ strips for the 2 in x 4 in (finished) HRTs. Remember: I am using the Split Recs ruler and it uses that size strip for the HRTs. You can make your HRTs using whatever method is convenient. Make sure they end up 2 inch x 4 inch finished.

It is really important to take the time to look at the Studio180 Split Recs video. It will make your life a lot easier.

Cut and trim HRTs using Split Recs ruler
Cut and trim HRTs using Split Recs ruler

Following the directions in the video, cut, sew and trim your HRT pieces:

  • 8 right facing triangles
  • 8 left facing triangles
Spiky Star in progress
Spiky Star in progress

Once you have sewn and trimmed your HRTs place them with your 16 patch, like the photo above. Note: until you sew the HRTs together, the laid out block will look uneven as my example above shows. The bottom left hand HRTs are already sewn together and you can see how they fit nicely next to the squares in the 16 patch.

Spiky Star laid out
Spiky Star laid out

Cut 4 corner squares from background fabric 4.5 inches by 4.5 inches. Sometimes I use a variety of background fabrics when I am cutting from scraps. It adds interest to the block. Just make sure you have enough contrast.

Group of 4 HRTs
Group of 4 HRTs

Start sewing your HRTs together into groups of 4.

 

Sew HRT units to center 16 Patch
Sew HRT units to center 16 Patch

Once I have the four HRT units, I sew one to each side, starting with the sides. Above shows the center block with two HRT groups of 4 sewn to the sides.

Group of 4 HRTs with background squares
Group of 4 HRTs with background squares

Once part of the block is made, I start making the last two sections, the top and the bottom.

Take one HRT section and sew it to a 4.5 x 4.5 background square. Sew the second background square to the other side of the HRT section. Do this step again for the top.

Spiky Star - 3 sections
Spiky Star – 3 sections

You will end up with 3 sections.

Complete Spiky Star block
Complete Spiky Star block

Sew one HRT/background square section to the top and then sew the second section to the bottom of the center section.  Once you have done this, press and your block is complete.

There are other ways to make the HRTs for this block. This is the method I use. Take a look at the Spiky 16 Patch blocks and quilts I have made using this technique.

 

 

 

**I use affiliate links and may be paid for your purchase of an item when you click on an item link in my post. There is no additional cost to you for clicking or purchasing items I recommend. I appreciate your clicks and purchases as it helps support this blog.

How to Make an Altoids Tin Sewing Kit

DH, apparently, has an Altoids habit. I had no idea until he came home and started to work remotely. I asked him to save me a couple of tins and suddenly I had 8 to work with. I wanted to make small sewing kits for the guild officers. I looked for tutorials. The one I liked was DIY Felt Magnet. It turned out, however, that I mostly fumbled along on my own during Craft Nights.

One key was letting everything dry thoroughly after I glued it.

Finished Altoids Sewing Kits
Finished Altoids Sewing Kits

Supply List:

  • Altoids tins – you can use different tins by adjusting the size of the various pieces.
  • cardboard (I used a cereal box)
  •  a few colors of felt**
    • a small band 3/8 inch by 2 1/4 inches
    • rectangle 2 inches x 2 inches
  • stuffing – use wool roving** if you want a really good pincushion or just regular poly Fiberfill** if you won’t use the pincushion that often
  • scissors
  • sewing machine
  • sewing machine thread** which matches your contrasting felt or is a neutral color
  • quilting** or other relatively thick thread
  • Aleene’s glue** – I am sure other glues, like school glue, will work. I found the Aleene’s to be really great. It stuck fast.
  • 3/4 inch bias tape maker**
  • fabric
    • strip 1-1/2 inches wide x 12 inches long
    • rectangle 5.5″ x 8″
  • wax paper**
  • WonderClips**
  • Perl cotton**
  • Hand embroidery needle**

Lining

I wanted to cover all the advertising and nutritional information with fabric. I used felt so I wouldn’t have to worry about the raw edges.

First, I made a cardboard template.  To make the template, I traced around the bottom of the Altoids tin. Then I cut out the template and made sure it fit in the following places:

  • bottom
  • inside bottom
  • inside top

I wanted full coverage in all of those places.

Next, I cut out pieces of felt for the inside top, the inside bottom and the bottom. Set aside the pieces for the inside top and 

Put down some waxed paper to protect your work surface. On the waxed paper, I glued the other two pieces to the the inside bottom and the bottom.

Set the tin aside and let the pieces dry thoroughly.

Trim

Cut a strip of fabric 1-1/2 inches wide x 12 inches long. Use your bias tape maker to make some trim. This piece does not have to be on the bias.

Set aside.

WonderClip Band and Needle Holder

Check to be sure your other pieces are glued securely to the tin and the glue is dry.

Inside of Altoids Sewing Kit
Inside of Altoids Sewing Kit

You will need the piece you cut from the template and set aside.

Third, I cut two pieces of contrasting colored felt (if you want these pieces to show). I cut a small band 3/8 inch by 2 1/4 inches (or the width of your tin) and a rectangle 2 inches x 2 inches.

Fourth, sew the band 1/2 inch up from the bottom of your set aside piece.

Fifth, center your 2×2 rectangle 3/8 inch down from the top and sew the rectangle to your set aside piece. Sew very close to the top edge of the felt rectangle. You may have to adjust it, so you don’t cover the WonderClip band.

Next, put down some waxed paper to protect your work surface. Glue your section with the WonderClip band and needle holder to the inside top of your tin.

Set the tin aside and let it dry thoroughly.

Pincushion

Seventh, take your 5.5″ x 8″ fabric rectangle and baste by hand with large stitches a shape that approximates the shape of the Altoids tin top (rectangle with round corners). 

Next, tighten the basting to the approximate shape of the top of the tin.

Side view of Altoids tin Sewing Kit
Side view of Altoids tin Sewing Kit

Ninth, stuff the fabric with wool roving or Fiber Fill, keeping it in the shape of the top of the tin, but puffy.

Tenth, fold the excess fabric on the bottom so the wool roving stays inside. You may need to trim the fabric if it overlaps too much. Make sure the shape fits the top of the Altoids tin.

Next, put down some waxed paper to protect your work surface. Apply glue to the top of the tin and apply the pincushion. Adjust the shape to fit as needed. Press and hold for a few moments so it stays in place.

Set the tin aside and let it dry thoroughly.

Applying Trim

Check to be sure your pincushion is glued securely to the top of the tin and the glue is dry.

Put down some waxed paper to protect your work surface.

Dot glue on one short end of the tin along the bottom of the lid only.  Press the bottom of the trim piece on the glue. Secure to the pincushion with a pin.

Set the tin aside and let it dry thoroughly.

After the end is dry, dot glue around the rest of the bottom of the tin and press the trim to the glue. Pull tight as you press.

End of Altoids tin
End of Altoids tin

Overlap the end and cut the end of the trim strip so you have piece of the top of the trim that you can fold under to cover the raw edge of the beginning of the strip. Pin in place to allow the glue to dry.

Set the tin aside and let the glue dry thoroughly.

Finishing

Side view of Altoids tin Sewing Kit
Side view of Altoids tin Sewing Kit

Take your Perl Cotton and stitch along the edge of your trim. Use a basic running stitch or some kind of fancy stitch, if you want. Start away from the hem of the trim. Stitch all the way around, catching the pincushion fabric in the stitch as you sew.  You may need to tuck bits of the pincushion under the trim. Finish near the hemmed section and bury the thread as you would in a quilt.

If this is a gift, put a pin and a WonderClip into the tin to show your recipient how the features work.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

**I use affiliate links and may be paid for your purchase of an item when you click on an item link in my post. There is no additional cost to you for clicking or purchasing items I recommend. I appreciate your clicks and purchases as it helps support this blog.

Quilt Class: Accurate Seam Allowance

 

An accurate 1/4 inch seam allowance on your sewing machine (hand work is different) is imperative for most quilt projects. Still some quiltmakers struggle. Below are some tips and, even further below, are some resources.

Supplies:

  • sewing machine
  • your usual thread
  • Seam guide or quarter inch foot
  • fabric
  • Ruler
  • Optional: blue painter’s tape or masking tape

Mostly, I will provide tips and tricks. You can watch the videos below to set up and test your machine to sew an accurate quarter inch seam.

First, decide if you care. If you don’t care, move on with your life. I am not saying that flippantly. We are all busy and if sewing an accurate 1/4 inch seam allowance is something you don’t care about, then go sew something.

Second, be prepared to play around. You’ll have to do some testing. Think of it as playtime.

Janome quarter inch foot
Janome quarter inch foot

Third, you will need some kind of seam guide. A foot included with your sewing machine (or available for purchase separately) is an option.

I use the Janome quarter inch foot and interchange the same foot with both of my machines. I have 2-3 of them, but any one of them works on both of my machines. When I had a Singer, I stacked up layers of tape to make a ‘stop’ or wall at the quarter inch mark.

Dritz has a magnetic seam guide*. I used one of these and found that, when it stayed in place, it worked.

For Juki machines, Jen Carlton Bailly recommends, a “T” gauge*. This screws into the needle plate somehow. I have seen this in use, but have not used it myself.

These are a few of the many, many products available. Check around with your friends and ask your machine dealer what they recommend.

Try different methods to see what works for you.

Using a seam guide
Using a seam guide

Tip #1: If you use a seam guide, use the seam guide

It is easy to allow your attention to wander away from what you are doing. If you are using a seam guide, keep the fabric right next to the guide.

I don’t find this difficult, though I did notice the YM not attending to his project and the fabric zooming off to the left nowhere near the seam guide.

Improv piecing is a problem
Improv piecing is a problem

Tip #2: Improv piecing is a problem

In general improv piecing is not a problem, but if you are attempting to go through many layers AND sticking to a quarter inch seam allowance, it is difficult. I ran into this when sewing the Red Strip Donation Top #2.

You can see the seam line wanders in the photo (left). When I am sewing tiny pieces together, the layers add up. This is what happens to me using my machine when I am trying to go through too many layers. This can also happen with blocks when a lot of layers come together in the center of a block.

Tip #3: Press open to reduce bulk

I don’t believe in pressing my seams open as a general rule. However, if you have a lot of bulk that is interfering with your seam allowance, pressing open can help. Have a reason to press open separate from “that’s what modern quiltmakers do.” I also press my seams open on the backs of quilts to reduce the bulk, which is the problem with accurate seam allowance and problems with longarm quilting. If you press open, you need to backstitch every seam that will not be crossed by another. That means that every improv quilt I make gets a line of stitching around the outside of the quilt. Every quilt without a border also gets a line of stitching around the outside. If you don’t, seams can unravel. On the edges both open seams and closed seams can unravel.

Tip #4: Machine markings

The measurement markings on your needle plate can help you keep your seam allowance accurate. While not a panacea, it is another aid when you are struggling to keep your piecing straight.

Tip #5: Adjust your needle

Many machine default to a 3/8ths or 5/8ths inch seam. Even pretty basic machines allow the maker to move the needle. If your machine has this feature, it is an easy way to get an accurate quarter inch seam. You just have to remember to do it when you turn on the machine!

Go through the process of testing your machine for an accurate quarter inch seam. Once you have it and have your system for sewing the accurate quarter inch seam, your patchwork will be better.

Tip #6: Use thin thread

Thread takes up space in the seam. If you are off my just a bit, then use thinner thread, like Aurifil 50 wt. Bottomline is a thin thread as well.

 

Resources:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*I use affiliate links and may be paid for your purchase of an item you click on. There is no additional cost to you for clicking or purchasing items I recommend. I appreciate your clicks and purchases as it helps support this blog.

Vinyl Tips & Tricks

Vinyl is often used in bagmaking. I have talked about it in general a number of times, including last week when I talked about marking vinyl for sewing. I thought I would gather some of what I have written before into one post for your convenience.

Supplies to use for sewing with vinyl:

  • SewTites – both dots and rectangle shapes are available. These act like pins without poking holes in your project
  • Tissue paper
  • Blue tape
  • Scissors: I don’t use my good Ginghers, but I also don’t use paper scissors. I use middle of the road Fiskars
  • Thread: I used my regular thread. It shows up, though, so make sure you use a color you don’t mind looking at.
  • Optional: Teflon foot
  • Optional: Roller foot – see post about using the roller foot

Do:

  • Use fabric for making handles, if you are making a bag. You can combine fabric and vinyl with no problem and the handles will be much more comfortable make out of fabric.
  • Use quilting thread, if you want, to sew vinyl bags together. It is a little thicker than regular Aurifil 50 wt. It gave me a little more of a feeling of security when I made the clear vinyl bag.
  • Use a blowdryer to get folds or wrinkles out. Test on a low heat farther away from the vinyl and gradually increase the heat. Move the blowdryer closer and closer until you find the sweet spot.
  • Sew in creases. Pressing them (see below) doesn’t work, so sewing an 1/8th of an inch from the edge puts in a nice, permanent crease.

Don’t:

  • Press. Pressing is not an option. The vinyl will melt all over your iron, your ironing board, everything and make a huge mess. You can use a blowdryer if there are folds.
  • Don’t use pins. Once you prick vinyl, the hole does not ‘heal’ like it does with cotton quilting fabric
  • No ripping. Jack-the-Ripper is not your friend with this material. Again, the holes do not heal, so if you need to rip, you will need to re-cut the piece or sew in exactly the same holes.
  • Add a vinyl pocket to a bag in a location that might be near a heat source, e.g. an integrated pressing mat.

The big thing is to use tissue on top and bottom of the vinyl so that the vinyl is not in contact with your sewing machine bed or presser foot. The vinyl will stick to the bed of the machine and the foot. The tissue paper buffers both from the vinyl and allows you to sew.

Clear Tote in Transit
Clear Tote in Transit

Pen leaks, water spills and other messes are easy to clean up with paper towel and some Simply Green or a cleaning wipe. Sometimes, I can’t avoid putting the vinyl bag I made down in something that someone else has spilled simply because I didn’t see the mess. The vinyl also protects my stuff quite well in the rain.

Some of the things that I like about this bag are also disadvantages. It is great for me to be able to see inside the bag, but I don’t want other people to see my phone, tablet or digital camera. I definitely cannot use this bag to hold a table at a cafe’.

Using vinyl as a bag in hot weather is iffy. The vinyl becomes very soft and pliable. I think the handles might stretch if the weather becomes hot enough.

Marking vinyl
Marking vinyl

While working on my project, I had to develop some tips/tricks of my own.

The Running with Scissors pattern, in general, is really good. It says, however, in the vinyl pocket part of the pattern, to mark the vinyl to make smaller pockets. The pattern didn’t say how to mark the vinyl. I didn’t have access to the video at the time, which may have some tips. I didn’t want to use a Micron pen, though I know that ink can be washed off of vinyl pretty easily. I also don’t have one of those wash away pens, so I decided to use blue tape. I used tape to mark the lines I needed to sew along.

Sew along the tape
Sew along the tape

I sewed right next to the tape. I didn’t want to sew through it, because that would create a mess. I knew my needle would cake with the adhesive. This was a tricky operation, because I also needed to sew with the vinyl covered by tissue. I didn’t bring specific tissue, so I used the wrapper from the vinyl. You don’t need much, but you do need longish strips. The only issue was that there was a little residue left on the vinyl from the tape. I’ll clean it off later.

 

Other Useful Resources:

Chunking Again

Periodically I like to updated and post this tutorial. Check out the previous tutorial.

I was taught this method of putting quilts together and have found it to be more accurate that putting rows together. I use it for block-based and similar quilts. Very occasionally I’ll sew on a long border after the center of the quilt is complete, but otherwise I try to avoid the long seams required to put quilts together in rows.

Using this method, usually I have only one really long seam to sew at the very end and 1-2 mid sized seams.

This technique improves accuracy when you have sashing and cornerstones, but also improves accuracy with sashing and blocks or just blocks. If you have no sashing, then the pieces are much easier to handle.

Occasionally you will have a quilt where chunking is not appropriate for one reason or another, which is why it is good to know many techniques. Knowing a variety of techniques enables you to choose the best method for achieving your creative vision.

First, lay out your blocks and pieces on a design wall (or design floor) so you can see what you have to work with and the order in which you want them to end up.

Blocks Laid Out Waiting to be Put Together
Blocks Laid Out Waiting to be Put Together

The quilt starts out as a bunch of pieces waiting to be put together. In the example above:

Blocks: grey and black
Sashing: red
Cornerstones: grey

The basic idea is to put the quilt top together as you would a block: sew smaller patches together to create larger sections. I avoid sewing the quilt together in rows as chunking keeps the quilt is more square. Also, my intersections line up much more accurately.

In the example above, the border is incorporated into the construction of the quilt top. If you sew it as you sew the rest of the top you won’t need to put it on at the end. Putting the border on as you put the whole top together will also help line up the cornerstones with the sashing more accurately.

Nota bene: The picture below is numbered, so it will be easier for you to follow the tutorial. You may need to click on the image to enlarge the picture to see the numbers.

Numbered Photo
Numbered Photo
Sew patch 2 to 7
Sew patch 2 to 7

First, sew #2 to #7, the top piece of sashing to the first left hand block. Press to the red piece of sashing. I press to the red, because there are fewer seams to get in the way.

Sew patch 1 to 6
Sew patch 1 to 6

Next, sew #1 to #6, the first grey cornerstone (upper left hand corner) to the first side piece of red sashing.

Sew first 2 sections together
Sew first 2 sections together

Now you have two sections which you should sew together. This is how you sew the border on. If you had a second border, you could also incorporate that into the piece, but this technique works best when the border is broken up into pieces (e.g. sashing and cornerstone). You can always put additional long borders on later.

First two sections sewn together
First two sections sewn together

You now have your first ‘chunk’! Hooray!

Sew bottom cornerstone and sashing to block chunk
Sew bottom cornerstone and sashing to block chunk

Now sew patch #10 to #11, the bottom cornerstone to the bottom piece of sashing. Then sew that 10-11 cornerstone-sashing bottom pieces combination to the first chunk.

Almost fully bordered block
Almost fully bordered block

Voila! You have a chunk fully sashed!

Pin sashing piece #15 to block #16. Now sew the sashing to the block.

Side sashing sewn to 2d chunk
Side sashing sewn to 2d chunk

Generally, there will be a piece of sashing that needs to be sewn to a block alone before you can sew a sashing-cornerstone combo to a chunk. You make the ‘chunk’ by sewing a piece of sashing alone to the block.

Sew bottom cornerstone and sashing to 2d block chunk
Sew bottom cornerstone and sashing to 2d block chunk
2d chunk
2d chunk

The center ‘chunks’ are just comprised of one cornerstone, 2 pieces of sashing, and a block. Sew the side sashing to the block. Sew the cornerstone to the bottom sashing, then sew the bottom cornerstone-sashing combo to the sashing-block combo for another chunk.

Sew two chunks together
Sew two chunks together

At this point, you can sew your two chunks together.

Now that you have two chunks sewn into a larger chunk, the next step is to prepare your next chunk. You do it the same way you prepared the two chunks above.

Pin sashing piece #25 to block #26
Pin sashing piece #25 to block #26

Pin sashing piece #25 to block #26. Now sew the sashing to the block.

Patch #30 sewn to #31
Patch #30 sewn to #31

Now sew patch #30 to #31, the bottom cornerstone to the bottom piece of sashing. Then sew that 10-11 cornerstone-sashing bottom pieces combination to the first chunk.

Third chunk
Third chunk
Two chunks
Two chunks

With two pieces of sashing and a cornerstone sewed to block #26, you have your third chunk. You could sew the #25-#26-#30-#31 combo to the chunk you sewed together before, but I suggest you wait until you have more pieces sewed together.

Sew piece #3 to piece #4
Sew piece #3 to piece #4

Refer to the drawing of your pieces in Step 1. Now we move up to the top of the section again and sew #3 to #4.

Sew sashing #8 to block #8
Sew sashing #8 to block #8

Sew piece #8 to block #8**. This puts a piece of red sashing on your block #8.

Next, sew cornerstone/sashing #3-4 to sashing/block #8.
Next, sew cornerstone/sashing #3-4 to sashing/block #8.

Next, sew cornerstone/sashing #3-4 to sashing/block #8.

 Sew cornerstone #12 to sashing #13 and then to the block
Sew cornerstone #12 to sashing #13 and then to the block

Sew cornerstone #12 to sashing #13 and then to the block. I don’t have a picture of the two pieces sewn together before I attached them to the block, but you do have to sew them together before you sew them on the block. Now, sew that combination to the block.

Follow the same steps for block #18.
Follow the same steps for block #18.

Follow the same steps for block #18 as you did for block #8. Sew sashing #17 to block #18. Press. Next, sew cornerstone #22 to sashing #23 and then to the block.

You will have two new chunks, one with sashing on three sides and another chunk with sashing along two sides.

Sew cornerstone #5 to sashing #9
Sew cornerstone #5 to sashing #9

Sew cornerstone #5 to sashing #9 (upper right).

Sew cornerstone #14 to cornerstone/sashing piece #5-9
Sew cornerstone #14 to cornerstone/sashing piece #5-9

Sew cornerstone #14 to cornerstone/sashing piece #5-9. You will have a piece made from three patches.

When you press, press the cornerstone seams in the opposite direction as you have pressed the other sashing already applied to block #8. This will allow you to piece your seams more precisely.

Sew the long thin piece made up of three patches to block #8
Sew the long thin piece made up of three patches to block #8

Sew the long thin piece made up of three patches (2 cornerstones and a piece of sashing) to block #8, which already has sashing on three sides.

Sew sashing/cornerstone piece #19-24 to block #18
Sew sashing/cornerstone piece #19-24 to block #18

Sew cornerstone #24 to sashing #19. I don’t have a picture of the two pieces sewn together before I attached them to the block, but you do have to sew them together before you sew them on the block. Now, sew sashing/cornerstone piece #19-24 to block #18 (middle right).

Sew sashing #27 to block #28
Sew sashing #27 to block #28

Sew sashing #27 to block #28.

Sew cornerstone #32 to sashing #33. Now sew combined piece #32-33 to block #28.
Sew cornerstone #32 to sashing #33. Now sew combined piece #32-33 to block #28.

Sew cornerstone #32 to sashing #33. Now sew combined piece #32-33 to block #28. This will give you a chunk that is sashed on two sides (left and bottom).

wpid-wp-1420348408792.jpeg

Sew sashing #29 to cornerstone #34, then sew that combined strip to block #28. Pay attention to seams so you can line them up.

You now have five chunks and are ready to sew them together.

Sew the two blocks on the upper right side together.
Sew the two blocks on the upper right side together.

Sew the two blocks on the upper right side together.

Sew the two bottom blocks together.
Sew the two bottom blocks together.

Sew the two bottom blocks together. Now you have three chunks.

Sew the top two chunks together
Sew the top two chunks together

Sew the top two chunks together, which is four blocks.

Sew the bottom chunk, made up of two blocks to the top chunk
Sew the bottom chunk, made up of two blocks to the top chunk

Sew the bottom chunk, made up of two blocks to the top chunk, which is made up of four blocks.

I have used a small piece as an example, but the same principles apply to a larger piece. I start in the upper left hand corner and work my way to the lower right hand corner, making chunks and eventually sewing them together into larger chunks until the quilt is finished.

Let me know if you have questions.

You will have easy access to this tutorial via the link on the navigation bar to tutorials.

**Nota bene: I accidentally labeled two pieces of fabric with the number 8 in Step 1. Note that one is a piece of red sashing and the other is a block. Please look at the photos to assist you with the correct sequence of piecing.

Making HSTs

Some time ago, I wrote a tutorial on making HSTs called The Triangle Technique. After working on my Flying Geese quilt, I decided it was time to update the tutorial.

This tutorial started out after I watched an episode of Love of Quilting where Jo Morton was a guest. Based on what I saw Marianne and Jo do on the show, I tried the technique and was pleased with the results.

For the Flying Geese quilt, I needed 2.5″ finished HSTs, so according to the chart I made after DH did a bunch of math for me, I started with 6.25″ squares. All of the sizes on the chart make 8 HSTs.
Cut 2 pieces of fabric[/caption]

Cut 2 pieces of fabric
Cut 2 pieces of fabric

First, I cut two pieces of fabric,foreground and background, the correct size. Again, you need to download the chart and look at it. I cut my squares a bit larger, because I like to trim my HSTs just to make sure they are exactly the right size. The chart does not take trimming into account. You need to make the starting squares larger if you want to be able to trim.

Next, I drew an X, corner to corner, on the lighter square. Then I put the 2 squares right sides together and pressed them.  I securely pinned the two squares together.

Next, I sewed on both sides of each of the lines of the X, 1/4 inch away from each line.

After sewing, I measured to the center of the X from the side of the square. This measurement is the PLUS cut.

Cut the square in a PLUS configuration.

Cut diagonal lines
Cut diagonal lines

After you cut the PLUS, you will have four squares, each with a line drawn diagonally across the middle. Cut the squares in half diagonally. You can use the line as a guide. It is more important to line your ruler up corner to corner.

The result is 8 2″ half square triangles. You still need to press them carefully open.

Move the unpressed HSTs to the ironing board and press carefully. Use a stiletto to keep your fingers from getting burned.

Lay out HSTs to trim
Lay out HSTs to trim

Next, I trim. Layout your pressed and untrimmed HSTs.

Line up diagonal lines
Line up diagonal lines

Line up the center diagonal line with the 45 degree line on your ruler.

Edges trimmed
Edges trimmed

Trim the edges.

Line up just cut edges
Line up just cut edges

Once you trim the first two sides, line up the 2.5 inch line on your ruler with the just cut edges. Trim the second two sides.

8 beautiful HSTs
8 beautiful HSTs

Now you have 8 beautiful HSTs.

N.B. : The bias edges shouldn’t be scary for you on the regular method, but this method makes HSTs much easier. I think this would be a fabulous method to make a lot of HSTs in a short amount of time. It is similar to a tutorial that p.s. i quilt posted, but times 4. I am planning to try out different sized beginning squares to see what sized HSTs I come up with.

I talked over the math with my DH and came up with a chart showing the different sizes you can make with this technique. This is the updated version and you need this chart to use this method.

This is a great technique to use as leaders & enders.

Links:

  1. Jo Morton website
  2. Jo Morton blog
  3. Jo Morton on Andover
  4. Wet Canvas tutorial
  5. Carole’s Quilting Adventures tutorial
  6. B’s Modern Quilting Fish Tutorial
  7. p.s. i quilt HST tutorial
  8. Previous AQ HST Size Chart