Saturday, July 30, 2011

Let’s “Gather” Together…

I have always wanted to make a quilted slipcover for my black leather sewing chair.  So, that’s exactly what I did!  I can’t give you measurements for this as all chairs will be different, but I can explain my process! 


I will admit first off, that I have never been taught  how to make slipcovers, so it was not second nature to me!  But, I figured if I was logical about it, I could figure it out!  First thing, I took measurements of the chair, and selected the fabrics to use…which is always time consuming for me!  But my sewing room curtains and decor is all Mary Engelbreit, so I chose her fabrics for the chair cover, too!  I cut out two large pieces for the front/seat and back of the chair, added batting and backing and quilted those two pieces first!


I rounded the top corners and after measuring how far down the sides the seam should go, with right sides together, I sewed that seam from one side around the top and down the other side.


I left it wrong side out and slipped it over the chair back.  I was then able to adjust those top corners to fit the chair better.  I pinned them and slipped the cover off and sewed right on that pinned line!  I trimmed the seams to 3/8” and zigzagged the raw edges. 


Next, I put the cover back on the chair and used pins to mark the places on the sides that need to be cut out to fit around the arm rests.  I slit those areas and rolled the excess fabric to the inside and stitched them down.  I also sewed on a long thin piece of matching ribbon at the line where the back meets the seat which will be wrapped under the chair and tied in a bow to secure the seat cover.


Time to make the ruffle!  So, how do you gather fabric when making a ruffle?  I have used this same method for years and believe me, when you make country dolls, you are making ruffles on every one!!  So I’ve made zillions of ruffles- large and small!


First thing I do is make two rows of stitching with a very long stitch length and leave long thread tails at both ends.  The rows are 1/4” apart.  Then I mark the middle of the ruffle and the middle of where it is being sewn onto and put a pin securing the two centers.


Next, I firmly hold the top thread tail of the first line of stitching and the bottom thread tail of the second line of stitching together in my right hand and slowly move the fabric into gathers with my left hand by pushing it to the left- toward the center which is secured with that pin… straightening gathers as I go.  Once I have it gathered enough for the ruffle end to fit perfectly to the length you need, pin it all down, adjusting the gathers to your taste.


When the ruffle is all gathered and pinned, sew right down the middle of the space between the two rows of stitching with a small stitch length. If you want to zigzag the raw edges together, you can do that, too. 


Then you can very easily pull out the row of gathering stitches that are outside the seam allowance and showing on the right side of the project by grasping the LONGEST thread of that gathering line and pulling it right out.


I hope this is easy to picture and understand.  I’ve found this to be such an easy method to make perfect gathers on any sewn project. 


And the rule of thumb for how long a ruffle should be is double!  Take the measurement of where the ruffle is to be sewn and double that and that is how long to cut the ruffle.


I sewed ruffles onto the bottom of the slip cover and added black and white checkered wide ribbon to each end around the arm rests and where the back meets the front.  Isn’t this old Mary Engelbreit sewing theme fabric just too cute?

After putting it on the chair, I decided I wanted a sash to tie in the back, so I took it off and made two black print sashes and sewed one to each side, put it back on the chair and voila!!!  A fun and girly sewing chair!!


So?? What are you working on today??


Thursday, July 28, 2011

AccuQuilt GO Baby Winner!!

Thank you to all you new followers for your entries for the givaway!  And a bigger THANK YOU for my longtime loyal followers!! You all keep me going!!


SOOOOOOOOOOO, tired of waiting???  The winner of the GO Baby selected by random drawing issssss-


CONGRATULATIONS, Kim!!  Make  sure you reply to the email I sent you with your snail mail address!!  Woo hoo!!  Make sure we all get to see photos of the first thing you make with your new BABY!!  Get GO!-ing!!  :-) 


Natural Beauty

While I am not fond of spiders, I do admire their skill and dedication to their craft!


With all this heat, I’m having to water my potted plants out on my deck everyday.  And MAN, does the painted wooden deck boards get HOT!!  Even Yogi comes right in when I go inside…no lollygagging out there these days!!

yogi sunning

Anyhoo, look at the skill of this spider!! I think she must be a


come on, you know that was funny!!  Of course, my very arachnophobic husband and grown sons immediately swept this web down when I showed it to them…sigh…


P.S. Check back here tomorrow morning to see who won the AccuQuilt GO Baby!  Who knows??  Maybe YOU!!


Friday, July 22, 2011

Enter Here To Win a Go Baby!


With a big thanks to AccuQuilt, I am able to give away an AccuQuilt GO! Baby cutter and 3 dies of your choice! 


Here are the rules:

1. This givaway is only open to my followers, so if you are not yet following my blog, you must do so first and must mention being a follower in your comment!

2. Go to the AccuQuilt website - here and pick your 3 favorite Go Baby dies.

3.  Come back here and leave a comment to THIS BLOG POST ONLY with your name, the 3 dies you want if you're the winner, and a way to contact you in case you are the winner.  If you don't have your email showing on your blog or if you don't have a blog, then you must leave your email address.   If your name is drawn and I can’t contact you, then another winner will be chosen.

4. For a second entry to win - post about this givaway on your blog and provide a URL for your post in a second comment here on THIS BLOG POST ONLY!

Only comments here on THIS BLOG POST will be included in this giveaway so please DON’T leave a comment on the AccuQuilt Facebook page.

The Giveaway will end at 9:00pm (eastern standard time) on Wednesday, July 27th and the winner will be announced on Friday, July 29th!

Good luck to everyone who enters!!


Thursday, July 21, 2011

GO!-ing, GO!-ing, DONE!!


I quilted and bound the tumbler Halloween quilt I showed in earlier posts.  I cut out all the tumblers using my Accuquilt GO! 6 1/2” tumbler die.  And boy, was it quick and easy and TOTALLY pain-free!  I HATE cutting out quilts, so what a joy it was to cut out this quilt!!


I started with 8 fat quarters then added tumblers from stash yardage, and my Halloween scrap bin.  What a good way to use up scraps!!  :-)


It’s only 110 degrees outside here today in the DC area, so photographing this out on the deck is burning my bare feet!!  YIKES!!


And Yogi was quick to go inside this time…the heck with squirrel watching in this heat!!


I do love the backing fabric, too!  I cut out a goofy Jack O’Lantern from my stash and used it for the label!  Gotta love that grin, right?


SOOOOOOOO… ya think you might like to see how easy it is to cut out a quilt on a GO Baby?


Stick around…’cause Accuquilt has given me one to give away! And, three dies, too!!   So, Stay tuned!!


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Still GO!-ing Over Here!!

Yogi and I spent a good part of the day in my sewing room working on my Halloween tumbler quilt cut out entirely last week on my Accuquilt Go!


Very easy to assemble! 


Sew the tumblers into rows.


Then sew the rows together!


Just doesn’t get any easier!!


When it was all sewn together, I just trimmed the side to be straight with a ruler!


This is the cool fabric I am using for the backing.  When I saw it online last year, I just HAD to have it!  One of our favorite old Halloween cartoons is “The Halloween Tree” based on a Ray Bradbury book. 

halloween tree

It explains all about Halloween and how it came to involve witches and skeletons and monsters…very cool!!  My students through the years always loved that movie, too!  So the backing fabric reminds me of years of bringing up my sons and students at Halloween time!


I pinned the top and batting together and it is ready to be quilted!!  Hopefully tomorrow!!


Guess what Yogi was doing while I was sewing?



Love My GO!!

I’ve had my Accuquilt GO! for quite a while but have not posted a tutorial or project as there are a zillion around…tons on the wonderful Accuquilt site and even more on YouTube!  And although I don’t do video, I hope you’ll find this tut of still photos instructional!  :-)


Those of you who are teachers or have worked or volunteered in a school- especially an elementary school in the last 10 years or so, have seen and used an Ellison Letter Machine.  And if you have, then you know how to use the Accuquilt GO! and Baby.  It works exactly the same but you use fabric instead of construction paper!

Ok, so meet my GO! and all her dies!  I have three die racks full and already need a fourth.


I keep the die instruction guides that come with the die in a big binder along with some printed out charts from the Accuquilt website


and the Block of the Month instruction sheets that you can get when you sign up for their newletter on the web site.


So, it’s summer and I’m dyin’ to make a new quilt using my Halloween fat quarters and scraps.  And what it realllly HOT right now in quilting???  Tumbler quilts!  And I have the 6 1/2” tumbler die for my GO!


So, I’m starting with one packet of 8 FQ’s.  I press each FQ flat then fold it into thirds and then fold it again into half and cut across the last fold giving me two folded pieces that will make 6 tumblers in two batches of three. Accuquilt suggests cutting no more than 4 layers or less at one time depending on the fabric thickness.  And, to make it easier to see the cutting edges, they suggest you trace the die cutting outline on the rubber with a permanent Sharpie.


I lay one folded piece on the die, making sure the edges completely cover the die cutting marks.


Cover it with the thick opaque plastic cutting mat.


Roll it under the center bar using the handle 


and when it comes out on the other side, remove the plastic mat and VOILA!!!


The three tumblers are all cut out 


and you can either throw away the leftover scraps or toss them in your scrap bin.


So, I cut out 6 tumblers from the 8 FQ’s, then I used a few pieces of scrap yardage from my stash to cut some more…


and this is what I’ve got up on the design wall so far!


I want to make it bigger, so will now get out my Halloween scrap bin and use all the pieces big enough to cover the die!!


So, now I’ve got it the size I want- 13 tumblers across by 10 tumblers down.

I hope to sew them all together today, then I will trim the outside edges straight.  I’ll be back soon with the finished quilt!!   Time to sew!!

What are you sewing this weekend??