Sunday, October 12, 2014

Notes on Piping

My latest project involves making piping for some bags. I found cotton 1/4" filler cord in the upholstery department as shown in the photo below. The sales clerk rolled it up loosely and placed in a shopping bag, as normal. However, when I got home and unrolled it, the cord had developed bulges here and there--it was no longer uniform as it had appeared on the spool. Cotton filler shown on right in the photo. 

Determined to produce a better end result, I started hunting for alternatives for the filler and found a 3/16" diameter nylon braided rope in the marine department at the local big box store. 

The rope is washable, uniform the length of the rope, flexible, and stable. I also had less problem with twisting of fabric. (See photo below). Cotton filler cord piping is on the left below, nylon on the right.

 I used 1 1/4" wide strips of bias cut (on 45 degree angle) fabric strips to make the piping. 

Moral of the story--use your imagination and consider alternatives for your creative work. Poke around the craft section and even the hardware section of department stores--you never know when you might spot something that you can work into a project! 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Novelty Print Cosmetic Bag

Who can resist those fun novelty aka conversational print fabrics? No resistance to buying them, but much resistance to cutting them up into pieces! Follows is one idea to lessen the guilt of owning and not using them, and while it won't use up a lot of yardage, it does allow you to show off one of your babies. These little vignettes were cut from a Robert Kaufman print (Who's That Girl), 9 1/2" x 5 1/2" and lined, adding some leftover heart appliques (see Valentine Treat Sacks) for embellishment. I used 9" x 5" Pellon 987 fusible fleece to add body, and threw in a 7" zipper. The 2 very small pieces of fabric shown in the photo were used to make a tab ending on each end of the zipper, to finish it before sewing into the black and white stripe/lining.  The zipper bling is a string of crewel yarn, I think--not sure as I do not do embroidery work of any kind--I just collect bits of stuff and use it whenever. The small oak and maple leaves on the zipper pull dangle are resin and purchased at  Hope you enjoyed the sharing!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Hand Piecing a Lone Star Table Pad

For those of you who are thinking you might like to try the therapeutic delights of hand piecing, I'm sharing some thoughts of my latest effort, a Lone Star design table pad. There are easier methods to construct a Lone Star, but since I wanted to use my CherryWood fabric, and since it would be a small piece, I wanted to use the best workmanship. Actually, the real reason is that I'm very vain. I knew folks could get a real good view as tot whether or not the points were meeting at that close angle! (Tee-hee). Seriously, sometimes I just long to sit and do some handwork, so this is my project.

I first cut strips of fabric, 2 3/4" wide, then cut 60 degree diamonds from the strips. I then cut a template from plastic to draw around (yes, I drew the seam lines on each diamond, Virginia) and it measures 2 1/8" between parallel sides. Not sure how I came up with those measurements in the beginning, but it is what it is!

To get exacting piecing, I first stabbed a pin at one seam line end through the pencil line, then down to the under layer. Repeat for the other end of the seam line. After the two ends were positioned, I pinned on the seam line a couple of pins, again pinning through the pencil lines on both layers.

After joining pairs in this manner, I used the same basic technique to join multiple pieces together, by stabbing pins through the end points and pinning the seam lines in between. I did save most pressing for last--it is helpful that once you begin pressing to alternate the direction you press the seams so you don't wind up with a wad of fabric layers in one spot due to multiple layers of seam allowances.

The backing is constructed of 6 large diamonds
rather than a whole cloth piece. Since I intended to quilt almost to the edge, then turn under the edge to the back instead of binding, I foresaw that a wholecloth piece of fabric was going to be a problem and the inside "V's" of the outer edge. By piecing the backing, the seam allowances of the backing provided the solution of how to handle that area. Finished table top is about 42" wide at tip to tip of start.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Square Hole from a Round Peg

This two sided wall quilt makes use of a circular block whose edges are folded inward (to the front side or back side) to form square blocks. All curved shapes on the quilt are a result of this technique. In addition to the use of the block shape as a design element, some of the individual circular blocks are strip-pieced for added interest. There are no additional, separately pieced borders--all border effects are built into the piecing of the blocks. Quilt uses Timeless Treasures fabrics and is 36" x 36".