Friday, June 28, 2013

Freezer Paper Shrinks!

Who knew!? No, Seriously who knew!?  Well, not me and I had to learn the hard way…let me tell you how it happened…

I’ve recently been hand-piecing a sampler quilt for a class I’m teaching in the autumn.  I’ve hand-pieced before, mainly Dear Jane blocks, but this is the first time I’ve pieced larger blocks measuring 12” finished.  As I’ve always used freezer paper as my templates with great success I have gone about the procedure in the same fashion…tracing the template shapes to freezer paper and then ironing them to the back of the fabric, marking the stitching line etc… 

Most of the blocks I’ve done up to now have been simple enough, but last night I pieced a more complicated block and left it on the ironing board to be checked over in the morning.  Imagine my surprise when I measured the block this morning and realized it wasn’t 12” finished…how could it be?  After scratching my head for a bit, DD1 and I surmised that it might have something to do with the templates.  So I got my templates out and compared them to the original pattern and to my horror some of the 6” edges were no longer 6” but 5 7/8”!  Could the freezer paper have shrunk? YES!  After a quick google search I discovered that heat and steam can drastically shrink freezer paper particularly in one direction. 

So I did a test and cut a 7” square of freezer paper and got the iron on it and wouldn’t you know one side had shrunk by 1/8”.  So what is the solution?

Well, from what I can work out..if you preshrink* the paper before drawing your templates and keep to a dry iron it should all be ok.  I’ve done that and have another block prepped, so I’ll let you know how that works. 

*Lisa asked a good question in the comments…how do you preshrink freezer paper?

  • Place your freezer paper, shiny side down, on your ironing surface or applique pressing sheet.
  • Press each section of the freezer paper with the iron for 5-10 seconds using the Cotton setting with a dry iron (no steam).
  • Lift the freezer paper from the ironing surface and then set it back down. Press a second time.
Until next time...♥

Friday, June 21, 2013

Lunch Bags… well, sort of…

Do you save patterns waiting for the perfect reason to make them?  I do and I have been sitting on Pink Penguin’s pattern for her lunch bag with a drawstring since she posted about it back in 2010.  Since then I have seen several variations on the web, but I was still waiting until I had the perfect reason to make one… Finally the occasion arrived and I have, in fact, made 2.  The first one will hold clothes pegs and the other…

Well, have a guess?!"

Just what can be found under the drawstrings?

Mugs all tucked up in elastic holders! (did you guess that?!)

When we go camping we like to drink from “real” mugs but there is always the issue of getting the mugs from point A to B in one piece.  So I altered the dimensions of the lunch bag and made little elasticated pouches for each of the not only do they travel safely, but they travel in style! :o)

Until next time...♥

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Little moments…

Quietly in the early hours on a Oxfordshire campsite I found myself able to stitch silently for an hour as DH and DD2 slept in...Bliss!

I had seen Lynda’s Kansas Sunflower and decided to have a go…so far so good :o)

There is still time to enter the Giveaway for the Craftsy Class… I’ll pick a winner tomorrow!

Also…In case you have been under a rock…Google Reader ends on July 1st.  It would seem the two most popular readers are Feedly or Bloglovin … time to choose!

Until next time...♥

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Giveaway! Craftsy Class…

It's been awhile since I've run a giveaway and I've been waiting until my followers toppled over 400 but with my birthday around the corner I’m using that as an excuse to jump ahead and give you the chance to win a Craftsy Class.   I joined Craftsy earlier this year when I wanted to make the Sew Together Bag… and think the site is pretty fab.  Not only do you have access to patterns and forums where you can share what you’ve made, but they have great online quilting classes too.  And today you can enter to win one of those classes…

Craftsy have generously offered one reader the chance to win the Quilt-as-You-Go Patchwork Bag class with Tara Rebman.  (She has a lovely blog too…)

“Learn the theory behind the quilt-as-you-go technique by working your way through a charming potholder before creating the “Tinker” patchwork bag from blocks you create on the fly. Tara shows you how to use scraps from your stash to build out from a single square using a freehanded approach that celebrates the uniqueness of each quilted bag. Whether you prefer straight-line or free-motion quilting, your extemporaneous blocks will blossom as your bag comes to life. Add a simple pocket or follow Tara’s instruction for a painless hidden zipper pocket. Learn how to add material to the bottom of your bag for extra durability and box corners for extra stability. Finish off your quilted bag with a magnetic closure and eye-catching bias binding. Or hand-sew an invisible binding for extra sophistication.”

What You'll Learn

  • How to make a log cabin potholder using the quilt-as-you-go technique
  • How to make a straight-line or free-motion patchwork “Tinker” tote bag from the included pattern
  • How to construct a leather-bottomed bag
  • How to add a simple, divided or zippered pocket
  • How to attach a magnetic bag flap
  • How to sew box corners to add a wide bottom to your bag
  • How to assemble the lining and outer shell of the bag
  • How to place a beautiful accent binding or invisible binding

What You'll Make

  • A stunning tote bag made in the quilt-as-you-go technique
  • A log cabin potholder that will make a great gift

How to enter:

Good luck, everyone! And a big thank-you to Craftsy for offering Sew Create It readers the chance to win a free class!

Update:  The winner is Nanette from Freda’s Hive!  Congratulations!

Until next time...♥

Monday, June 10, 2013

Duck, duck… Well actually it’s a goose…

You are going to think I've gone all goosy loosy what with two goose posts back to back...but when you see these pictures you'll forgive me. :o) A couple of weekends ago we went for a day trip to visit DD1 in Nottingham and spent a glorious morning at the Attenborough Nature Centre. It was only a short distance away from the university but provided a wonderful venue to catch up with DD1 and have a picnic. Being a nature reserve there were an abundance of birds, but the one that caught my attention were these peculiar Egyptian Geese.

Upon closer inspection I realized that with them was a baby and lucky me I got close enough for a couple of cute pictures...Enjoy!

Isn’t that a bird with attitude!  Check out his toe on the rock!

And those little legs….ooooh adorable!

Until next time...♥

Friday, June 07, 2013

Rainbow Migrating Geese –Tutorial

As promised a tutorial for my latest finish...the Rainbow Quilt. The daughter of a dear friend of my mom's had a baby boy in May and in my book babies = quilt. So I got to work on this little quilt..I hope she likes it!  As the mother is a school teacher I thought what better than a quilt with all the colours of the rainbow...ah yes, you bright spark at the back might notice I forgot indigo...well creative license I'm afraid as a) indigo isn't a easy colour to source and b) having 7 colours messed up the maths for a square quilt.

For a square quilt measuring finished 46" x 46"

18 geese per panel and 6 panels (colours across)

You need:

5 - 6 1/4" squares per colour (total of 30 squares) cut in half across the diagonal. (you will end up with an extra 1/2 at the end)

54 - 5 7/8" squares for background (white in my case)

3 - 3 1/2" squares in background for ends (white in my case) cut in half across the diagonal.

This method does rely on accurate cutting and sewing so take your time and the results will be worth it :o)

Take one colour triangle and match it right sides together with a square of background. Match up the corners and let the dog ears of the triangle hang over the edge. Sew 1/4" seam down the 2 legs of the triangle.

With a ruler cut the sewn unit in half across the diagonal as shown.

Carefully press open the 2 triangles creating a left and right unit.

You can start to see how they will fit together…

Repeat for all the colours.

Unpick one unit of each colour making sure they are all the same either a left or a right. (put background pieces to one side)

Starting with the triangle that you just unpicked sew to a unit (below is a video by Deb Tucker that clearly shows this step at about 4 minutes in)

You are sewing from the bottom up. Now mixing up the placement of each colour as you go sew the left and right units as shown.

Make sure to match the pointy triangles ends for accurate piecing.

When you get to the top you use the extra background piece that you had from the start to sew to one side and then the HST made from the 3 1/2" squares for the other side to square off the end.

Repeat for all the colours and sew the panels together.

Quilt as my case I did a meander in the white and left the colours to pop.


Bind with snazzy coloured binding!

*you can do different sizes of migrating geese...the difference between the goose and the background is the background is always 3/8" smaller

Here’s Deb Tucker’s Video (please note that Deb uses different sizes than I did and the chart she is referring to can be found on her site Studio 180 Design)  I’ve included this video just to share the method for those than might want more than pictures :o)

Until next time...♥