Sunday, July 17, 2011

T-Shirt Dress

I made this T-shirt Dress yesterday on a whim. It was pretty easy and it's super cute. I'm going to make another one with a few adjustments and post a tutorial.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

How to Make a Quilt for Beginners Part 3: Laying out the Squares, Sewing blocks, and Making the Top

Layout- Now that you have all the fabric prepped and ready to go it's time to lay out the squares and decide how you want your quilt top to look. I divided my squares into 5 piles since I have 5x each print.  (I also had a few extra squares that I separated out and will use if I need to). Normally I would lay mine out on the floor but since I am in a hotel room and floor space is very, very limited I used the bed and a little bit of the floor.

Sewing the Top- Once you have that all figured out it's time to sew them together (The moment you have been waiting for!). It's really important that you keep all your seams the same size.  I make all my seams 1/4 inch (as do most people in the quilting community) I use the side of my presser foot as my guide since that is where the 1/4 inch mark is on my machine.  It is very important to make sure we keep all the rows in the same order and the seams going the same way.  I always take a picture of the layout as a reference so I won't forget the order of my squares.
I used the first 2 rows of the quilt
Here I have the first 2 rows of the quilt since my quilt is huge and I don't have floor space in my hotel room. Next I place the first row on top of the 2nd row right sides together (the right side of the fabric is the side with the print (if it's solid it doesn't matter which side it is). Then I stack the rows in order so that they overlap each other most of the way and keep them in that order when I sew them.  Then I make sure that the 1st row square and the 2nd row square are lined up nicely and sew my 1/4 inch seam.


Place the 1st Row on top of the 2nd Row also the order in which I will sew the squares.

Right Sides (The side with the prints) facing each other

Where to sew the 1/4 inch seam


















Graphical Explanation

 Once you have sewn the rows together you need to press the seam with the iron and press open the seam.
Top of square is where the seam is sewn


Press the seam with the iron
Then lift the top fabric up and press open the seam

You now have your first row squares sewn to the corresponding square in the second row.
Do this to the 3rd/4th, 5th/6th, 7th/8th, 9/10th rows (I only have 10 rows in my quilt you may have more or less depending on how big you decided to make your quilt and squares).
Four Patch:
Now we will take our first two pieces to make a four patch.
 Sandwich them right sides together:

 You'll want the seams to nest each other (one seam is going towards the right the other towards the left)

Close up of the seams nested together
I usually place a pin in the middle so I can open it up and make sure that the corner will be perfect
With pin in the fabric I can see if the corner's are nested to make a perfect corner.  This will also help you see if you are going to be sewing the fabric in the correct order.  (Remember to take out the pin once you get to it on your sewing machine, it can damage your machine to sew over pins)

Sew a 1/4 inch seam along the edge where my finger is pointing (just be sure to check that you are sewing the fabric in the correct order you laid it out. Check twice sew once!)

The edge of my presser foot gives me a quarter inch seam

Sew seam

Use iron on cotton setting and press along the seam then as you open it up press the seam open

Now you have a Four Patch!
 Continue to sew together four patches in the order you placed your top. Once all your four patches are done you can then sew a row of four patches together.  Remember to pin as you go and only use 1/4 inch seams. Once you have all your rows sewn you can start sewing the larger strips together until you have sewn all the squares together (It's ok to not have all your corners perfect, a few of mine were off center but that's all part of quilt making, this is the reason that all the seams need to be 1/4 so you can get as many perfect corners as possible).
Here's an explanation with drawings for those of you that are visual like me!

 Sit back and admire your finished quilt top!
Finished Quilt Top
Stay Tuned for Part 4: Borders, Backing, and Sandwiching it All Together

Skirt Week

I'm super excited about skirt week! You can win some amazing prizes for entering any skirt that you have created in the last year into the contest.  Check it out here and have fun entering! Deadline is June 17th!

P.S. I'm working on finishing Part 3 of the quilt tutorial.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Being Honest

I love reading the discussions going on in the wide world of blogging right now about being honest with your readers. Here are a few I have read:
http://whipstitchfabrics.com/blog/you-can-sew/
http://www.stitchedincolor.com/2011/04/there-are-things-i-dont-say.html

On that note I want you, my readers, to understand where I am coming from.  I am NOT an awesome sewer.  I see so many beautiful sewing projects out there and wonder if I will ever be able to sew those things.  I started sewing when one of my mom's friends offered to teach me how to sew in exchange for some babysitting/ being a mother's helper.  I made my mom a pair of oven mitts for Christmas. They were terrible.  I didn't have very much patience for sewing and got frustrated easily.  My next sewing project was making a skirt for a church event.  That project was more successful and was pretty simple to accomplish.  I had one big rectangular piece of fabric and elastic for the waistband (my hem was crooked and sewing in the elastic was no picnic but it worked).  My third project was a purse and this time I had a pattern and wanted to figure out how to sew it on my own.  I ended up getting super frustrated after assembling it incorrectly and having to pick out the stitches several times.  I wanted the purse to be perfect, it eventually looked like a purse.  My fourth project was a pair of pajama pants.  I had help with this one and some very wise ladies from church to teach me.  I learned a lot from them about how to read a pattern and selecting fabrics.  The pants turned out pretty well and I still own them.  While sewing them I had numerous frustrations about where to sew and how the pattern fit together. I did end up picking out my stitches several times.  I came to the realization that I can NOT sew when I am frustrated, irritated, in a hurry or upset.  I tend to take it out on my sewing machine and the project I'm working on which results in me picking out stitches, which also frustrates me further.  I have learned to just walk away from my project and come back to it later.  Yesterday while sewing the quilt top for the beginners quilt tutorial my husband started to bug me and I got really frustrated.  The corners where the fabric meets were off center and I had to stop, pick out the stitches and put my project away. (Not to mention we were packing our hotel room that we called "home" for the last 2 months). 
If you want to sew and don't know how the best way to learn would be to ask someone that knows how to sew (and that has a sewing machine) to teach you. Pick a simple project and go for it.  If you are a little shy you can try and teach yourself. Patience is a must!
When I made my first quilt I had to ask a friend for help.  I'm so glad I did because I got to talk with her and get to know her better. I just want you to know that I am not a perfect sewer, nor am I super talented.  I pick a project, hope it turns out and try to have fun doing it.
So don't be discouraged there is hope and lots of people willing to help. And who knows you might make a friend along the way.

Happy Sewing!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Skirt

I made this really cute skirt with Amy Butler Midwest Modern and Lotus.  I was inspired by Disney from Ruffles and Stuff and used her tutorial. I made my ruffles a little bit longer because I wanted my skirt to be a little bit longer.  Patients is definitely a must for this skirt and lots of marking and pinning. It turned out really cute!


Friday, April 22, 2011

Quilting Terms Explained

I will be working on my quilt again tomorrow (finally!). I've been super busy with school work these last few months and I'm so excited that the semester is finally winding down.  I'm working on the tutorials for making a quilt and came across these videos that I watched when I made my first quilt.  Here are a few helpful videos of quilting terms explained.

Charm Packs
Jelly Rolls
Layer Cakes
Fat Quarter

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Birthday Present!

 I got enough money for my birthday to buy what I wanted! My Silhouette arrived last week and I can't wait to get crafting with it. School has been keeping me busy with lots of tests lately but it's finally winding down and I won't have any tests until finals at the beginning of May. So I'm hoping to do a few side projects and finish my skirt I started awhile ago.  And don't fret I'll be working on that quilt too!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Pretty Fabrics

I found some really pretty fabrics on other blogs I've discovered and it makes me want to buy bolts of fabric just so I can have it on hand to use when I have time to sew.

Joel Dewberry- Modern Meadow
Alexander Henry- Heath
Heather Bailey- Nicey Jane
Dena Fishben- Kumari Garden
Patricia Bravo- Paradise
Laura Gunn- Magnolia Lane
Robert Kaufmann- Metro Living
Robert Kaufmann- Kona Solids

Here's what inspired me: http://www.bijoulovelydesigns.com/2011/02/shopping-spree.html

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Silhouette

Nothing terribly exciting going on in the world of crafting for me right now. School and David are taking up all of my time right now. I hope that once I get settled in TX for the 2 months that I am there I will be able to work on and finish my quilt.  I will be finishing a skirt I've been working on this Friday and will post pictures when it is complete. For now I just wanted to post about this cool crafty tool that I have been wanting since before Christmas: a Silhouette SD digital cutting tool.
Taken from: www.silhouetteamerica.com
I've decided I must have this for my birthday since I didn't get it for Christmas like I wanted.  It has some pretty cool features and they just came out with some new products to use with fabrics.  I can't wait to get my hands on this thing and try it out.  It is expensive but I have found it on Amazon for a great price.  I only  wish I had purchased it when I saw it for $160 on Amazon in the Fall.  Here's to hoping it will drop in price again.

One of my favorite bloggers uses it to make all kinds of cute things: http://homemadebyjill.blogspot.com/search/label/Silhouette

Friday, January 28, 2011

Skirt

 This is a skirt a made out of the same pattern as the last one. I made it at the end of Dec. beginning of Jan. and finally got a chance to wear it and take a few pictures.  It turned out a little differently than I wanted it to as far as which pattern went where but I still love the beautiful springy colors.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

How to Make a Quilt for Beginners Part 2: Preparing Fabric

I now have all of my fabric to start the quilt blocks! I love getting mail!






Wash- Now that all your fabric has been purchased and is in your possession what do you do now? Well you have to wash it! The reason you should wash your fabric is that it may shrink. How terrible would it be for you to go through the entire process of making a quilt only to wash it and have it shrink and warp on . Believe me you don't want the experience of making something and having it shrink on you, I've done it before and I was not a happy camper. Always wash your fabrics before you make something (unless of course it's dry clean only).

Dry- Next you have to dry your fabrics. It's just like doing laundry! Once they are dry be sure to take them out of the dryer ASAP, we don't want wrinkles to set in.

Iron- Do I really have to iron my fabric? The answer is YES! I hate ironing but in order to have your fabric lay flat while you are cutting and get the correct amount of fabric per square you must iron your fabric. The first thing I do when I purchase new material is wash, dry, and iron all the fabric. If I am not using the fabric right away I fold it neatly and sometimes I have to iron it again if it sits for a long time. PLEASE IRON YOUR FABRIC even if you hate ironing. You'll thank me later. (well maybe not but you'll be happy your quilt turned out nice!)

Stash of freshly ironed fabric












Tools- Now that all your fabric is prepped here comes the tricky part we need to cut out the squares. The easiest way to do this is by using a mat, rotary cutter, and ruler. You can use scissors but it will be difficult to get your squares even and be very time consuming. I purchased my tools at Joanns when they had a huge sale and I was able to use a coupon for an extra 10% off. You can also try Amazon.com Here are my tools that I use:









Cutting the squares: Now that we have the right tools and fabric prepped we need to straighten and cut out the fabric. You might be asking yourself: "Straighten? What is that?". It means that you have to pull the threads across the top of the fabric to make sure that it goes all the way across and the fabric is straight.  When you purchase the fabric from the store they cut it but it usually has a jagged edge and isn't perfectly straight. It is another tedious task but it's so important for your fabric to be straight or else it won't site properly.  It's more important when you make clothing because the fabric won't hang properly (don't believe me read this info from a very talented blogger/sewer).  Just start pulling the threads at one end until you get one thread to go all the way across.  Once the fabric is straight it is now ready for cutting.  I folded my fabric selvage to selvage.  Line the straight edge along one of the lines on the cutting mat.  I then measured 10.5inches lined my ruler up and cut the fabric using the rotary cutter.  I then had a strip of fabric 10.5 inches wide.  I took the fabric and made sure it was lined up with the lines and I then measured 10.5 inches across with the ruler and cut the fabric again making a square.  Since the fabric was folded over I ended up making 2 squares.  I repeated the whole process with all of my fabrics so that I had at least 5 squares from each fabric. (Here's another site with some great tips)
Hanging Threads
Measuring
Straight Fabric

Measure again to make a squares
Cut Strip










Fabric square



Stack of Squares