New Bed Mate

New Bed Mate

It’s not what you think!!!!!

I love my husband dearly.

It’s about my new diagonal stitch guide set up!

How many HSTs do you supose you make in a year?
When you consider every snoballball [aka “stitch and flip”], plus every binding you do is the same corner to corner technique, it adds up to alot.

Now, I realise many people have only one [gasp] sewing machine, but I have been blessed to find quite a few. Which is great because having a Butterfly brain, I often flit from project to project. Mostly because some projects get moved up into the que due to some event – like babies. Yeah, lets blame other people!

With my last project, I decided I needed a better diagonal seam sewing set up.

Baby_Kisses_NotReallyWorking

I tried to “finger press” a fold to follow, [unsucessfully] but I ended up just drawing the line corner to corner. Then I decided I didn’t want to waste all those corners, so I sewed a 1/2″ away. You can see where I had to draw another line 1/2″ away from the first line of stitches. I use dissapearing ink, so I have to sew quickly. This is probably why so many people toss these corners after clipping them.

Since my Rocketeer was handy, and I’d been doing my binding on it for awhile now, I decided to use that.  It’s really too awesome of a machine to completely dedicate it to such a menial task, plus having a top loading bobbin, I needed a way to make it removable, that wouldn’t take a bunch of time to set back up.
I already had “The Angler II” but it hangs over the bed of the machine, and you need to use the “key” to align the needle every time you place it on the bed. The bobbin lies under it, so we know what’s going to happen, right?
If I had the kind of patience required to line up the needle every time I changed the bobbin, I could just draw lines on every single piece I wanted to sew like everybody else.
but I am not like everybody else. When I get bored, I start thinking about ways to make my tasks simpler, or at least easier.

I got some cardboard, and traced around the bed. I included the back for more space for the pieces to land, and to make it a tight fit, so I wouldn’t have to line the needle up each time I used it. I then placed The Angler on the bed, and measured how far I wanted my Bed-Mate to extend, and gave that template to my wonderful husband. I can make stuff with wood, and have for years, but in my experience, men like to feel useful and loved, so I “let” him make me stuff.

Rocketeer_BedMate_NeedleSetting_02

After he made it, I used the key to line up the needle, and taped The Angler down with painters tape.

Rocketeer_BedMate_Setup

and you know what?

It’s as wonderful as I thought it would be!

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Even sewing binding is easier.

Rocketeer_Binding_SetUp_01

When I ran out of bobbin thread, I simply removed the Bed-Mate by sliding it out, filled the bobbin, slid the Bed-Mate back into place, and alakazam! Back to sewing! Just like magic!

Rocketeer_BedMate

Not only does The Angler have diagonal stitch lines, it has 1/4 stitch lines on each side of the needle!
I added pink glo tape to get a half inch mark, for sewing the other side of Snoballs, and get some FREE HST’s.

Rocketeer_Snoballs_TinyHSTs

The first project, and inspiration for this, was a lot of snoballs, and even though these were only made from 2.5 squares, I had to test it, I stitched another line a half inch away, and made tiny HST’s!

Rocketeer_Snoballs_TinyHSTs_02

Really tiny HST’s

Baby_Kisses_Tiny_HST

So tiny that I bought the 1.5 Bloc-Loc for them.

Cuz if you think I’m gonna try to line up the seams to trim all those tiny squares, . . . then it’s like you don’t know me at all!

Tiny_HSTs

Now what am I gonna do with all those tiny HST’s?

Well . . . another problem I seam to have is that I go to these all-day-sew events every couple of months. I love looking at other peoples projects, machines, fabrics, all of it.
but . . . I never know what to bring with me to sew. I often think as I go, sewing a bit, standing back and looking at it, stopping to do some figuring, having a look-see at my stash, check out my quilty friends on facebook, ect. All of which, I secretly fear would make me look like a lunatic to the other ladies at the sew-in. I need a project that is portable, and planned out, or at least that doesn’t require thinking.

I may have just the thing!

 

#Bedmate #TinyHSTs #WhatToDoWithTinyTriangles

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Bag Of Kisses

Bag Of Kisses

What do you do with 2 left over blocks?

Bag_Baby_Kisses_Block1

Make a bag full of kisses of course!

This bag will hold the Baby Kisses Quilt when I gift it. Yeah, some people buy gift bags.

Bag_Baby_Kisses_Finished

You will need 2 blocks, of course, some batting, backing, and some left over strips to make it bigger.
The poka dot sashing will actually be the sides when I stitch the bottom corners of the bag to make it square-ish.
3 strips for handles and trim for the top of the bag.
Scraps for a pocket.

I also used some HeatnBond, and some of that sticky stuff for applique since I bought a bolt of it before I discovered I don’t like it.

To start, I sashed the blocks, then quilted them with some extra orange fabric.

I squared the blocks to 19″x19″ and made a large pocket 19″ wide and 15″ tall, but I recommend only 14″ tall after having sewn it.

Bag_Baby_Kisses_Block1_square

For the pocket, I used 2 more 10″ pieces of the fabric line that I didn’t use in the quilt, and added sashing to bring it out to the width of the bag pieces.

Bag_Baby_Kisses_Pieces
There are many ways to make a pocket, and for this one, I used heavy interfacing [to help the bag stand up] and made both sides pretty. Then I quilted it, and finish trimed both top and bottom eges.
Turns out I made mine about 1/2 inch too tall. 5 inches shorter than your bag blocks is best.
* If your machine can’t sew through the pocket, bag, and trim, then you want to sew the top and bottom of the two pieces right sides together, [like a tube] turn them wrong side in, press at the seams, insert your interfacing into the tube, then quilt it. This will eliminate the added finish trim pieces, and lessen the bulk.
*You could also make the pocket less wide, finish all 4 edges, and stitch it on the sides and bottom to the inside of the bag. Then you won’t have to stitch through both sides of the bag pieces and the pocket as well.

Bag_Baby_Kisses_Pocket

After adding trim to the bottom of the pocket,  I placed it 2″ above the bottom of the bag piece, on the inside sewed along the bottom of the pocket. The sides of the pocket get sewn along with the sides of the bag.  Then I zig zag the edges.  I could have trimmed the inside of the bag seams with binding after, but I didn’t. It’s just a simple bag, right?

 

After sewing the sides and bottom of the bag, I flattened out the corners, pinned and stitched across them to make the bottom square.

Bag_Baby_Kisses_Handles_27in

Handles – two 2.5″ strips cut 27″ long each.
I used a 1 inch strip of 2 sided sticky stuff [for applique] to stick down a 1″ strip of cotton quilt batting right down the middle. I hate that stuff, and am trying to use it up. I just don’t have the patience to peel the paper backing  that often.

Bag_Baby_Kisses_Handles_27in_02
Then I ironed over one side, and before ironing the other side, I turned the edge under about a quarter inch. Then I stitched down the middle with a decorative stitch plus once down each side with a straight stitch.

Trim piece for the top of the bag is also a 2 1/2″ strip.

Bag_Baby_Kisses_Top_Edge

With the bag right sides out, wrap the top trim around the bag, and mark where it meets. Then do a diagonal [or straight] seam to make a ring. Make it a tight fit because it will stretch when you sew it.

Press a 1/4 down on one side, and use a strip of HeatnBond [3/8 size] sliced in half [make it skinnier] tucked under, then press to make it stay.

Bag_Baby_Kisses_Top_Edge_Pin

Center and pin the handles on leaving an inch sticking up. Then place your trim ring on and pin it. Sew around the trim ring at 1/2 inch. Then zig zag around it to make the handles more secure.

Bag_Baby_Kisses_Top_Edge_Sewn

With the bag inside out, turn the ring to outside, pin or clip it, and sew it around the top and then around the bottom edge, and if you do it right, the bottom stitch line should catch the bottom of the handles.

 

Bag_Baby_Kisses_Top_Edge_Invert_Flip_Clip

There’s a few things I would change when I make another one, but I like that I can quilt the outside to the lining and have a nice invisable handle attatchment.

Bag_Baby_Kisses_Top_Edge_Topstitchedx2
I hated the thought of sewing the handles to the bag, and having those stitches visable. and if I made the pocket smaller, I could french seam the sides of the bag, too. but this one’s done, and I’ve moved on!

So that’s my tip on sewing a simple quilted bag without having the handles messing up the look of the quilted blocks.

#BagOfKisses

Baby Kisses Quilt

Baby Kisses Quilt

I started out with a quilt that looks like flowers in my mind and made a drawing in EQ.

I am sure this isn’t completely unique, but I called it Baby kisses, cuz it’s sweet, and has that X design often referred to as Kisses. Who doesn’t love kissing a baby?

Baby_Kisses
MSQC fueled my imagination with a Daily Deal for a lovely 10″square pack with large florals by Snow Leopard Designs aka Philip Jacobs, who is one of the Kaffe Fasset Collective designers. There are colorways of both pinks and blues, and this was to be for twins. I planned on using Kona’s color of the year [Flamingo Pink] strip roll for the sashing. Easy, peasey.

Baby_Kisses_Start
When it arrived, the Flamingo just didn’t work. I continued on with the plan for the time being, and selected 12 pieces of each of the colorways I was to use.

Baby_Kisses_Fabric_Selection

I sliced them into four 5″ squares, and began snoballing them in 2 oposite corners.

I would think about the sashings later.


When the idea of different quilts occurred to me, I put this project aside to bring with me when I had an all day sew event to go to, and began making the twins very different quilts. I finished those last summer.

Oh well. Life goes on.

and new life begins. Another lady at work was due in Jan, so after my return from the Christmas party crashing at my Sisters, I got out the blocks I had started, and began some serious testing of my newly manufactured Bed-Mate.

My minds eye wanted poka dots with big floral prints. I love poka dots! They are just so bright and happy looking.

After all the snoballs were done, I sewed 24 of the poka dot pieces to pair up all the units.

Baby_Kisses1_Block_Audition

There seemed to be too much pink, so I auditioned some other fabrics for the cornerstones and borders. I wanted lots of color, so I chose orange.

Baby_Kisses1_Block_Audition02

 

I sewed the remaining 24 poka dot pieces to each side of 2.5″ square orange pieces.

I sewed the pairs together to finish the blocks, and arranged them on my portable design wall.

Baby_Kisses1_Layout

I will use some more pink in with the sashing, and use up some FQ’s. I don’t know why I have so many. I rarely use them. I guess I liked this color when I bought 4 of them.

Baby_Kisses1_Finished_02

The quilting was a bit of stitch in the ditch, and a lot of serpentine. The serpentine stitch works well with the poka dots.

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I don’t know what the baby’s room looks like, but I think I nailed every color!

 

Baby_Kisses1_Finished_01

The result was 41.5 wide by 52″ long.

The backing was a 1 1/2 yard cut of fabric. No seams, but no huge overhang either. That’s why I used only 2.5″ for the top and bottom borders.

The recipie:
12 Floral Layer Cake Pieces [or 10″ squares] cut into 4 – 5″ square pieces each [48 – 5″ squares total]
1/2 yard White background sliced into 6 -2.5″ WOF strips, then subcut into 96 – 2.5″ square pieces
1/2 yard Poka Dot sliced into 6 – 2.5″ WOF strips then subcut into 48 – 5″ long pieces
1 yard pink floral for sashing and binding. I used 4 FQ’s sliced into 2.5″ strips and pieced them diagonally end to end. Yes, even for the binding. I don’t use a lot of FQ’s [yet] and it was a way to get rid of them.
1/2 yard* of Orange sliced into:
3 – 3.5″ WOF strips for side borders.
2 – 2.5″ WOF strips for top and bottom border.
1 – 2.5″ WOF Strip subcut into 12 – 2.5″ square pieces
* The orange must be EXACTLY 18″ wide after squaring it up. If you’re a bit short, you can make your borders all 2.5″ or buy 5/8 yard.

One baby gets a kiss, and one UFO has moved on!

There is [if you’re counting] another colorway to be stitched up yet, and the units are all snoballed, just waiting on another amorous couple.

#KissTheBaby