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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I belong to a quilting forum called Quilting Haven and have joined some swaps there.  Our latest pin cushion swap had a holiday theme.  I collect snowmen and thought that would be a great thing to design but there was a lot of chatter about snowmen so instead I designed a Christmas Mouse.  You know, like in.......not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse!

I ended up making 8 of them for various friends.  I put sand in them instead of walnut shells to weight them. 
I love the holidays and I tend to go overboard with gift and decorating ideas.  Here is my latest tabletop idea.  It uses the Less Than Traditional method created by "Charlie" about 40 years ago. 

Christmas Countdown 2012 - Find out how many days until Christmas 2012

Christmas Countdown 2012 - Find out how many days until Christmas 2012

Monday, December 26, 2011

This is a really cute bag that is super easy to make. You need two 18 inch squares of fabric, 1 1/2 yards of cording, and your normal sewing supplies.

Try to pick contrasting fabrics. You want the pocket to be a noticeable surprise! FQs work well and waste less fabric since you are making an 18 inch square.

You want a nice 18 inch square for this tutorial but you can increase or decrease the size of your bag. You just need to do the math on where to measure on the sides. That will make more sense later.
Place the squares right sides together and stitch around using 1/4 inch seam allowance. You will leave an opening for turning, about 3or 4 inches.

The next step is simple. You are going to clip the corners, turn it right sides out making sure you get your points nice and "pointy". Then you are going to slip stitch the opening closed and give it a good pressing.

Don't try to rush the process and skip the ironing. It is the key to the folding process later.

Now you are going to measure down 6 inches on both sides of one corner. Do the same for the opposite side corner.


Pin but don't catch the bottom piece in!!

Stitch the piece that you just pinned.

Now you are ready for the center stitch line. I know this looks strange but it is necessary. It forms the bottom of the two pockets and keeps the fabrics together.
Draw a line straight across in the center. I used a frixion pen.  Stitch this line. 

Now you are ready to make the casing for the cording.

Fold down 1 inch on each side. You are going to draw a line from edge to edge. Then mark another line 5/8 inch from that one (closer to the fold).

Stitch the two marked lines on both sides of your bag.

Next, sew the sides together. It is easier than it sounds or looks so don't get discouraged!

Fold the right sides together. The right side is the side with the pocket. So you are folding the pockets together. You want to be sure and pull the pocket flaps out of the way so that you don't accidentally catch them in the stitching.

Pin from the one inch line all the way to the bottom on both sides. Stitch very close to the edge. You don't want any seam allowance or any extra bulk. Just make sure that you catch both sides or you will have a hole in the side of your bag.

Now you are going to make the bottom of the bag by folding the inside edge and stitching 1 inch from the corner.

You can play around with different measurements but be careful that your pocket flaps don't extend too far down.

Stitch/tack the corner into the side seam, then turn right side out.

Here is your hidden pocket. There will be one on each side!

Almost finished!

Take your cording and cut it in half. Make sure you tape the ends so that it doesn't unravel. Using a safety pin, run the cording through the casing.

And your bag is finished!

Have you worked with the Tessellating Star? Recently it has been called a "twister". I love coming up with new ways to use it. This is a mixture of green scraps on a white background.

I am not a fan of using panels, but I love snowmen and I couldn't resist making this one. It is called Making Friends. Those checkerboard blocks are 3/4 inch squares. Boy did that take a long time to make. Now I just need to get the top quilted.

I just love working on Wintery projects. Here is my latest quilt top using a modified log cabin block, one of my favorites.