Monday, 2 March 2015

A Little Girl's Layered Skirt

Oops, shame on me - I haven't been here for ages! Just goes to show that I am not much of a writer...I am active on Instagram thou if that's an excuse...

Today I wanted to share this free skirt pattern with you - just in case you haven't already found it on the Tikki or Craftsy web site and happen to know a little girl who would love to swirl around in one.

 

It's really easy to make - enjoy!






Sunday, 30 June 2013

The Essential Little Pouch

I thought I was so organised having made quite a few teacher presents already, but this week it dawned on me that I had totally forgotten my daughter's piano teacher! Ella has recently taken great delight in learning to play the Titanic movie theme song -  a bit of fun now that the grade exams are over. So, this pouch is symbolic for her teacher (note the Titanic theme and the musical notes...)
I hope she will like it.
 
There is a free pouch pattern available on the Tikki Patchwork web site.
 
Tiina x


Monday, 6 May 2013

Pillow talk swap cushion finished!

This is my entry in round #10 of this Flickr swap - it got a good reception,
so hopefully my partner will like it!
 
Claiming my BlogLovin here as well!

Friday, 12 April 2013

New Hottie and quick chain piecing tutorial

It's still Easter school holidays and we are down by the seaside - this is where we come during holidays and many weekends. It's a place to chill out from the hectic life in town and there seem to be more time for sewing - the light here is inspiring. And I love my sewing room! 
One of my recent resolutions was to relocate and reduce my substantial fabric stash to one location to make creative life easier - that place is now at home and not here (I still have a fabric stash at work, but that doesn't count!).  Now a new problem has presented itself . I have to be super organised to pack and bring a stash with me to work on when I am here - it's surprisingly difficult to decide in advance what one might need, so maybe I could allow myself a "small" permanent stash over here after all...
 So, this is the bag full I brought with me this time - lovely but I miss my scarps and some other additions spring to mind...that phrase "the cobbler's children don't have shoes" rings true here.

* * * 
When we arrived the house was freezing, only 10 degrees celcius inside.  The central heating kicks in immediately when turned on, but it takes a long while to heat the whole house.  All hot water bottles were much needed during that first night, but *gasp* one of the covers was dreadful, I am so ashamed to admit!  A new hottie cover was definitely the first thing on my to-do-list, even if it now may only be needed next winter.
A few cuts into the fabric in that bag...but will these colours work?

This is one way of quickly laying out fabric to figure out if they work.
Looks ok, but I am not so fond of the yellows...

There - that's better. Yellow out and aqua in!

Some moments later the fabric is cut into random squares and laid out.

Here's a quick and easy way to keep those squares organised.
Imagine the project as a grid with letters A B C and so on at the top
 and numbers 1 2 3 and so on down the left side - like playing battle ship...
Pin A1 to B1, A2 to B2, A3 to B3 as shown in the picture and continue all the way down.

The lovely Elnora recently posted a link to a similar tutorial here.
I was lucky to learn this method from a quilting friend now some 15 years ago when we lived in Stockholm -  it has served me so well, I can warmly recommend it.
Stack the pairs in the same order with the A1+B1 pair at the top.
 Put a pin or even better a safety pin in the first square (A1) as a reminder where the top is.

Then stack all the squares in column C with #1 at the top.

 
Stack all the columns and keep them in the same order with #1 at the top.

Take all the stacks to the machine - remember to keep the order.
Chain piece the pinned ones. Cut only the last thread after the last piece
 and then take to the ironing board. 
Press seam allowances to alternate sides.
DO NOT CUT THE THREADS (other than the last ones) during this whole process.
It's important and the whole point of this method.
The threads keep the fabric pieces organised. 
Take the next stack and start stitching the squares to the "chain".


Take the chain to the ironing board and press the seam allowances to alternate sides.
Repeat with all the pieces in the same manner.

Here they are - all pieced together into rows - the threads keep it together!


When all the columns are stitched to rows, stitch the rows together.
Yes, the threads are still un-cut and hold the project together.
One side pieced.

It's destined as a hottie cover, so there is no backing, just the wadding, as I want to use a lining.
Both sides of the hottie ready and spray basted ready for quilting.
 
Well, the other thing in addition to my fabric stash and scraps, I miss is the Janome Horizon 7700 sitting at home!  Here is an old work horse called back to quilting duty and she did beautifully.
This machine (sorry it doesn't show much here) has been much loved and even more used - it was bought for me by my late mother exactly 30 years ago! Yikes, that makes me sound old - I got it when I was quite young. 

Quilted and stitched to a bag shape.

Binding and tie added and voila, it's ready.
I love it - and I can say with some certainty that it would have looked different, if I had had a chance to dip into my fabric scraps - for the better or worse, who knows...

The pretty lining.

And whilst I was sewing, my 10 year old daughter conducted some science experiments in her corner of my studio.  That little bottle there contains methylene spirits and it is burning! Nothing exploded today - I'm so not into science lab stuff.  My daughter likes to think she likes sewing, but I think maybe not so much...Murphy's law!

Tiina x


Thursday, 11 April 2013

New banner picture - test

Please don't be put off visiting due to the new not so good banner pic - just practicing with new software...will improve it soon...
Meanwhile I hope you are having a great day!
tx

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Single binding tutorial

How do I attach the binding???
This is the question presented to me almost daily. It is a good question, because a well made binding is the icing on the quilt, whereas a poorly made binding can let the whole quilt down...
There are an abundance of binding tutorials available over the Internet, so this is just my humble addition to the pool.  It's a method that works well for me and I hope it will help you as well.

Q: How do I cut the binding?
A: Straight cut across the width of the bolt or bias; it's a personal preference - I use both depending on the fabric pattern and on the look I want to achieve. When cutting on a fold, be extra careful that the ruler is aligned on the fold - the fabric strips should be straight.

For a single binding, cut 1.25" strips (3.2cm): for small projects
For a double binding, cut 2 3/8" strips (6cm): for cot and bed quilts.

Join the strips together to a long binding.
A diagonal seam is the ideal way of joining, as it reduces bulk.
Stitch and then trim the seam allowances and press open.
Remember - where the fabrics meet, stitch from corner to corner - this is important!

This is the way to join the seams if you are working with stripes or squares, as they are more difficult to match.
I like to leave wider seam allowances and trim the corners off - there will be some bulk, but if the seam allowance is wider it will be more evenly distributed and not so obvious in just one place on the finished binding.


Lay the binding against the edge of the quilt. Make sure that the quilt really is under there, as a hollow binding is no good. Start stitching in the middle of one of the sides - leave a tail at least 5" long and use a 1/4" seam allowance.
Use a longer 3-3.5mm stitch length. Use a walking foot if you have one - I didn't use one here, as this was a very small project, but it really really helps!
Before you come to a corner, flip the binding strip over to the right  matching the corner and finger press.

Bring the strip back down and draw a pencil line on the crease.
Stitch exactly to the crease line and stop!  Take a few back stitches to secure the seam.
Cut threads and take out from the machine.

Stop stitching 1/4" before you come to the end - a method of marking the corner is explained above.

Turn your work so that the you are looking at the next seam ready to go under the presser foot.
Flip the binding up.
 
Turn the binding back down folding it exactly at the edge of the previous seam.
Hold onto the fold, so that it stays in place.

Take a few back stitches to secure the corner.
Stitch and repeat the process before and when you come to the next corner.

Finishing:
When you have a short way to the end (in this case 6", but if this was a larger quilt, I would say about 20"), stop stitching.  Take the quilt from the machine and pin the binding in place.
Where the bindings meet, put them together opposite each other and finger press the ends under.
Draw a pencil line on the wrong side of these crease lines.

Remove pins. Stitch binding ends together matching the pencil lines.
Trim seam allowance and press open. 

 Go back to where you stopped stitching and continue to the end finishing the corner as explained before.
(There are two joins in this picture, as I didn't have a long enough fabric strip to hand!)

From the front, press the binding outwards.
This step is often neglected, but it does make a difference and stitching onto the back will be easier.

Turn the binding under and now the neat front corners are emerging.

Turn the seam allowance under and start stitching from the middle of one of the sides.
Hand stitch using a blind stitch.
For a double binding there is no need to turn anything under, as the there would be a fold to stitch on.

This shows the corner on the back.
Bring the needle from under the corner to the top and take a few tiny stitches to secure the corner in place.
(Sorry, the yellow piece seems to be a stray thread, so pls ignore it!)

Fold the seam allowance under and continue stitching.

Front side - neat!

Back side - also neat - yay!



tx


Saturday, 2 March 2013

Pyramid pencil case encore

Making the "zakka" pyramid  pouch for my daughter was so much fun that I just had to make another one!  We have a birthday party coming up and my daughter wanted to give a similar pouch to her friend who loves blue and yellow, hence the blue binding.
It's as pretty as the first one, but boy did I have trouble getting this one right.
It took three times more effort and time! I realise how lucky I was with the first pouch...
The problem was the zip - I left the seam allowance under the binding too wide,
so the zip is only just caught in the stitching along the binding (but only after having done it three times!)
Note to oneself: the binding seam needs to be under 1/4" next time!



This friend's hobby is sailing, so the seaside bunting made a perfect lining.
You might have noticed the stamped initials as well - perfect present in my mind.
 
The first pouch finally got a sweet zip pull.
 
Tx