Showing posts with label tutorial. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tutorial. Show all posts

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Not Cool

 It was brought to my attention that someone is selling a pattern on Craftsy that very closely resembles my fabric box tutorial. The pattern is being sold for $6. I am not affiliated with the seller in any way.

 Even if she has made significant improvements to the instructions, her finished product looks just like mine. It might be perfectly legal for her to rewrite a pattern and sell it, but it's not cool.

I have allowed people to use the tutorial at guild workshops and quilting retreats. And if you want to make fabric boxes to sell at boutiques or craft fairs, that's fine with me.

But selling a pattern that is available for free is just not cool. I know this kind of thing happens all the time. Thank you to my eagle-eyed anonymous commenter for letting me know about this. 

I don't want to provide a link to the pattern, but if you'd like to compare for yourself, search Craftsy for Treasure Box. I have sent a notice to Craftsy and will let you know when I receive a response.

If you'd like to see the variety of boxes being made from my FREE tutorial, please visit my Pinterest board. Thank you, quilty friends!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

How to Sew on Scout Patches

As the mother of a Gold Award recipient and an Eagle Scout, I've sewn hundreds of patches on uniforms, blankets and tote bags.

In fact, I stitched 130 patches onto Pete's blanket last weekend. It was time to get the 2010 Jamboree patches out of that shoebox! This is what I learned...

Any scout mom or grandma knows that most patches are backed with a plastic-like stabilizer that seals in all the embroidery threads. That is not fusible web! It is almost impossible to stitch through by hand, so I use my machine. (There are some new iron-on Girl Scout patches, but I've seen many of them fall off. Add some stitches to be safe.)

 I use a mono-filament invisible thread in the needle and a regular thread in the bobbin that matches the color of whatever I'm adding the patches to. You might need to loosen the top tension if you see too much of the bobbin thread coming up through to the front of the patch.

Choosing the right needle is a puzzle! I had Superior 90/14 topstitch needles on hand, but they were not strong enough. I liked the feel of the ballpoint needles on the fleece blanket, but again, the 100/16 needles snapped if I hit something they didn't like. I had the best luck with 110/18 jeans needles. I only broke one of those. It's a good idea to wear glasses or safety goggles to protect your eyes from flying broken needles!

Position the patches and use safety pins to hold them in place. If you can't get the pins through that awful plastic backing, tape them on, removing the tape as you go.

Drop your feed dogs and use your embroidery or free motion quilting presser foot. I bring the bobbin thread to the top so it doesn't make a knotted mess on the back. Start stitching, SLOWLY, around the patch. With the feed dogs dropped, you will need to move the patch/blanket under the needle. This way, you don't have to turn the whole blanket to get around the patch- think hula hoop motion. After you get all the way around, overlap the beginning about an inch before moving to the next patch. Lift the presser foot, slide the blanket over, and start the next patch. I trim all those connecting threads between patches later. If there are two patches abutting each other, you can just keep stitching.

Uniforms are a little easier. (That double layer of polar fleece was not my friend.) By free motion stitching, you can slide the sleeve onto the free arm of the machine and easily stitch around the patches.

In this closeup, you can see that I'm trying to stitch in that ditch where the satin stitching meets the patch fabric. That seems to be the point of least resistance.

I really try to avoid hand stitching, and I have been known to sew pockets shut by machine stitching pocket patches! In this case, I decided it would be nice to do it right, and hand stitched the Eagle Scout badge. That was a tiny pocket, because there is a pen slot on the left side, so it was hard to fit a hand in there to keep the pocket open. If you use something like a credit card or needle case inside the pocket, you can stick the needle in until it hits the plastic, and make your stitch without closing the pocket.

 This is what happens when your son earns a patch at camp and sews it onto his dirty shirt by himself! His friend made fun of him for sewing the pocket shut. Haha!

When you are done, use hair elastics (hair ties, pony tail holders) to keep your thread neatly on the spool. This must have been a Sew Many Ways tip, but I can't find it right now. We'll just give Karen credit for it anyway, because she's awesome!

I hope this helps some scout moms. Enjoy your time in scouting!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

WIP Wednesday

I hope you all had a beautiful Easter weekend. I didn't do any sewing on Sunday(Easter) or Monday (drove Julia back to school). I did get back to the arrowheads yesterday and have more to stitch today.

Fabric Box Tutorial: Check it out!

Arrowhead table runner:  In my frenzy of stitching up batik arrowhead blocks,  I made three pink blocks that didn't have a purpose. So I stitched them together into this quick tablerunner.

Some simple in-the-ditch straight line quilting was all it needed.

In progress:
The main arrowhead project is growing! This layout works, but I decided to add another row in each direction so I won't need to add a border. Not every block is a winner, so I'm making extras to swap out the ones I don't like. I'm hoping to get the top together today and get it quilted tomorrow.

Here's the pile of batik squares waiting for me at the machine. I just noticed that the bobbin door is open on my machine. I almost never close it. Does anyone else do that?

Next on the list:
Quilting Mod Bento
Quilting Swap Soup

New: I'm really tempted to jump in on this quilt along.
Bloom Bloom Pow Quilt-Along at Freshly Pieced

Time for the link up!
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Fabric Box Tutorial

 I hope you enjoy this little fabric box tutorial as much as I do. It is simple enough to complete in about an hour, which makes it perfect for a last minute hostess gift. Fill it with candy and you are ready to go! 

A friend gave me the pattern* a couple of years ago, but after I made the first sample, I lost the pattern! Luckily, I remembered what to do, and wrote up my own instructions. There was no indication of who had designed it, so if you know whose pattern this is, please do let me know. I haven't seen anything else like it online.

*The original was a one page, hand drawn pattern that looked like it had been photocopied a number of times. I interpreted the pattern in a completely different way from my friend.

Let's get started!

You will need:

 (2) squares of fabric, between 8" and 12". My sample was made with 10" squares. 

A piece of batting the same size as the fabric (or a little bigger).

(4) coordinating buttons, optional.

A walking foot, if you have one.

Step 1: Layer the fabric, right sides together, on top of the batting.

Step 2:  Stitch 1/4" seam around perimeter, leaving an opening of about 4" on one side.

Step 3: Trim away the batting from the seam allowances to reduce bulk. Trim as close to the stitching line as you can without clipping into it!

Step 4: Turn right side out and press.

Step 5: Top stitch close to the edge, closing the opening as you go.

Step 6: Quilt as desired. I just kept going around and stitched concentric squares...

... until my bobbin ran out!

Step 7: Fold the quilted square in half, right side in. Mark a 2" triangle in the corners.
(If you started with a different size square, you may want to alter this dimension.)

Stitch the 2 bottom corners, back-tacking at the beginning and end. Since I had used a Frixion pen for marking, I just needed to hit it with an iron to erase the line!

Step 8: Open it up and fold it in the other direction, marking and stitching the remaining 2 corners.

Step 9: Turn the box right side out.

 Step 10: I like mine with the points folded down...

 ... and the inside flaps tacked down.

If you would like to eliminate the inside flaps, try Connie's modification with French Seams!

Step 11: Stitch on some cute buttons, if desired.
(I bought these buttons at Walmart. I think I need to go back and get more in every color!)

Starting with 10" squares, the boxes finish at about 4" x 4" x 3" high.

My original sample was made with Meadowsweet leftovers. I still love that collection so much!

And this is the one I made last weekend for Barbara. This one started with a 12" square, so I made the sides a little higher (2.5" corners in step 7).

Have fun with the tutorial and let me know if you make one!

Edit 4/13/14: I am not affiliated in any way with the pattern being sold on Craftsy for $6.

Edit 5/22/14 for clarification: The pattern I was given did not include any authorship information, or I would have given credit from the start. There were just a few hand drawn diagrams and cryptic text open for interpretation. It was not a copy of the pattern being sold on Craftsy. I wish there was a name on the original drawing, but there was not. I struggled with offering it online, but I felt my finished product was more detailed and my instructions were much clearer. I added the quilting and the buttons that were not included in the original.

The pattern on Craftsy was not offered until after I had posted my free tutorial. I believe the designer used the ideas that I had fleshed out. If she used her own photos and text, there is no copyright infringement. I haven't purchased it, so I don't know that to be true. She claims there are design differences, but her sample in the Craftsy listing looks just like mine. It is even quilted the same way. I don't believe she is the designer of the pattern I was given many years ago.

Because the basis for this fabric box was not my original idea, I struggled with offering the tutorial at all. I did not feel it was right to profit from it by selling the pattern. Again, I wish the person who drew the original diagrams by hand had signed her work.

It is in the spirit of sharing that I offer this free tutorial. They look great filled with candy or a small potted plant. You may use it as a guild or sewing bee project. You may make them to sell for charity fundraisers. If you make them to sell for personal gain, please drop me an email.

Visit my Pinterst board to see how other sewists are interpreting this project.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Album Block a.k.a. Chimney Sweep Block Tutorial

The Chimney Sweep/Album Signature Block is an old favorite. It is a two-color block which is really appealing to me. There is a chimney sweep signature quilt from 1840 in Sue Reich's book Quiltings, Frolicks & Bees, 100 Years of Signature Quilts. Karen and I met Sue at Jackie's show last Fall. I was especially inspired by the wartime signature quilts.

I chose this block for my month in the Modern Stash Bee, so I went searching for a pattern/tutorial to share with my hive mates. There is one that uses paper piecing, one for a 12" block, and one that came really close to what I was looking for, but has some typos. Hmm. Guess I'll have to write my own!

Using the basic information found at Patterns from History, I got started. My cutting instructions allow for larger triangles around the outside edges of the block. I'm not a perfect piecer, so I needed a little extra leeway. 

Cutting Instructions
(Note: Take care to accurately cut the 2-1/4" strips. If desired, you may trim down a jelly roll strip.)

A: (2) 2-1/2" squares, cut across one diagonal = (4) triangles
B: (3) 4" squares, cut across both diagonals = (12) triangles
C: (1) 2-1/4" X 5-3/4" rectangle
D: (2) 2-1/4" squares

C: (2) 2-1/4" X 5-3/4" rectangles
D:  (2) 2-1/4" squares
E: (6) 2-1/4" X 4" rectangles

 Lay out the pieces as indicated below.

 Start piecing the rows. I started in the bottom right corner.
Place a white B triangle on top of a red D square (right sides together if not using a solid), matching one corner. The 45 degree corners of the triangle will be hanging off the square. That's OK. That's the extra leeway I mentioned earlier.

 Stitch 1/4" seam.

 Press away from the red. 

 Repeat with the B triangle on the other end of the row. Press.

If you'd like to neaten things up a bit, trim off those little wings, even with the bottom of the red square.

 To add the white A triangle in the corner, fold and finger press to mark the center of the red square and the center of the white triangle. I stuck a pin in the red so you could see it.

 Match up the edges and centers and stitch. Press.

 Repeat to stitch each row.
You can see how I pressed each row out from the enter.

 Stitch the rows to each other, matching the centers. There are no seams to match up!

On the back, you can see that I pressed the row seams open for a flatter block. Do what works for you.

Trim the block down to 10-1/2" square. You might be able to see that there are spots where there wasn't much to trim.

All trimmed and ready for the dance!

I'm asking the girls in my hive to make one blue block and one red block that I will alternate in the quilt. I'm planning to finish the quilt for my son Pete and present it to him at his Marine Corps recruit training graduation in December. If he's not too embarrassed by me, maybe his platoon buddies and drill instructor can sign it. I'm tearing up just thinking about it!

This is really a fantastic block. It goes together quickly and makes a striking quilt. Please let me know if you give it a try.