Thursday, January 22, 2015

Infinity Scarf Tutorial

A very popular item this past year or two has been the Infinity Scarf.  Now that my friend Lisa FINALLY opened her Christmas gift (yes, in mid-January), I am now free to share how I make them.  As tends to be my habit, I took basic ideas from several different methods of construction and came up with my personal favorite, a combination of many ideas.

I didn't have make-up on the day I took the photo below so I'm sparing you from seeing my face! :) :)



Supplies Needed - TO MAKE THREE

1 yard of Minky (60" wide)

Minky is SO VERY SOFT and cuddly and since it comes in a 60" width, one yard is perfect for making yourself a scarf and two others to use as gifts.

1)  Cut your yard of Minky into 3 equal 12" wide strips.

2)  Take one strip (12" x 60") and fold in half, right sides together, to make a long tube (approx. 6" x 60").

Pin the edges together along the 60" side tube.  

3)  Although you can use a regular sewing machine, if you own a serger, this project is PERFECT for putting that serger to good use.

Serge or sew along the 60" long side.

You will need to leave about a 4" wide opening (for turning) towards one end of the tube.  


I chose to sew approximately 8" down one side, left a 4" opening, then continued to sew the rest of the approx. 50" remaining on the tube.

4)  Gently pull the longest side of the tube through the 4" opening......now the long end is "right side out" with the pretty Minky showing.....the short end still has the wrong side showing.

5)  Now pick up the end of the tube (long side with Minky right side out) and gently insert this end BACK INTO the opening.  This will create a natural "twist" in the tube which will allow your scarf to hang nicely once finished.


6)  NOTE in picture below that the serged/sewn edge of the inside tube is aligned with the folded edge of outside tube....and vice-versa....the outside serged/sewn edge is aligned with the folded edge of the inside tube.  The tube ends themselves are now facing each other (right sides together).  

7) If your serger or sewing machine offers a free-arm option....now is the perfect time to take advantage of it.

8)  Pin the two ends of the tube together, all around the circle, so it doesn't slip and slide while you are sewing.  The free-arm makes life so much easier when sewing the edges of a round tube (or sleeve, neckline, etc.) together.

TA-DA....the ends of the tube are now together.....

9)  Now you just need to gently continue pulling the long side of the scarf (that is right side out), through the opening.....

10)  Your Infinity Scarf should now be entirely right side out.....time to close up the 4" opening.....

11)  Fold the edges of the opening over toward the inside of the scarf.....pin together....then hand sew the opening closed.

12)  Model your scarf.  :)  

For a dressier version to compliment an outfit, a knit fabric works great.  I've not used cotton yet, but will probably give that a try one of these days also.

If you decide to make a scarf.....please email a picture so I can share it on this page.  You can send it to:  grandmaspromise@yahoo.com

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Im Stuck

Frustration, frustration, frustration.....I'm working on a quilt top for my uncle who was recently diagnosed with cancer.  Budget forced me to shop from my stash which is made more difficult when trying to make a "manly" quilt.

Two nights ago I made it this far before needing to sleep.  This is pretty much all of the blocks except for the top, title block.....

I was happy with it when I went to bed but when I looked at it yesterday morning I was unhappy with the uneven layout of the "two strip blocks".  If only the quilt was going to have more blocks to make it wider and allow the blocks to be more symmetrical....but this was it....per the instruction diagram that came with the word panel.

Then I moved blocks around to make it look even in my eyes....plus I finished the top title block/row and added that to the design wall....

I know I'm crazy but the top row looked smooshed together in relation to the rest of the rows beneath.....like a head attached to a body with no neck to balance it out.

So I pulled out a light strip to see if it looked better....

Then I switched the light strip to a dark brown.....

At this point I'm really confused and frustrated.  It shouldn't be this difficult! Hahaha

I THINK I like the dark strip of fabric best.  I need to keep looking at it for a little while.  Of course to add to my dilemma, I realize that I don't have enough of the fabrics used so far to do what I had thought about doing to enlarge the quilt.  It truly needs to be larger than it would finish at this point (only 42 x 56).

Any suggestions?

As I ponder this problem, I'm hoping to start loading my friend Marianne's Easy Street quilt on my longarm frame.

Stay warm and keep sewing!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Stuffed Animal Surgery and Quilt of Love

Meet Stevie, a stuffed duck belonging to my daughter.....my 17 year old daughter!  I find it very funny and endearing to witness those rare times when your teenager shows that they still have a child's heart, at least towards certain items dear to them.  Stevie has been around for years. He isn't an expensive stuffed animal but he holds special memories. I believe Stevie was a prize awarded at an amusement park...won and given to Kirsten by her daddy.  She has ALWAYS been daddy's little girl.

Stevie required emergency surgery today to repair some ripped stitches on his leg and foot....a result of strong shaking by our Mini-Schnauzer Scamp.  I did what any mom would do, I stopped what I was doing and repaired Stevie.  I believe he will be okay now. :)

Earlier this morning I decided to look through my fabric stash in hopes of finding suitable fabrics to make a special quilt for one of my uncles who was recently diagnosed with cancer.  I have this panel with phrases stating what cancer cannot do that was purchased in December when I heard about the diagnosis.

I found a few fat quarters and a few 1 yard pieces of batiks in neutral colors in my stash. He is a huge University of Tennessee Fan so I figure that he will like the splash of orange thrown in with all the neutrals.

Hopefully this will come together quickly. There is a pattern that was included with the panel but I'm sure I will want to enlarge it somewhat.  I will share my progress with you over the next couple of days.  He started treatment this week and it is very hard on him.  I want to get this quilt made and finished as quick as possible to send to him.

On a side note, I DID finish adding the borders to my Serene Garden quilt top and it is now temporarily hanging in the quilt shop for class sign-ups this Saturday.  I will need to finish quilting and binding it soon but didn't have time to do everything by Saturday. :)

What have you been up to these last few days?

Monday, January 5, 2015

New Year, New Projects, New Furniture

Hopefully everyone had a wonderful New Year's Day. We had a nice, low-key day....a much needed restful day.

Did you make any resolutions?  I'm not typically someone who declares specific resolutions but I do find myself thinking of some ideas I'd like to see take place in the new year.

1.  Completely finish more UFO's.  To tell the truth, I'm impressed with all the projects I DID finish completely during 2014, both brand new projects and UFO's that have been piling up waiting on a few (or many) final touches.  I hope to continue this trend in 2015.  It really is a good feeling to see your projects completed and ready to use or gift to that special loved one.

2.  Shop more from my own stash.  In a perfect world I'd like to only buy what is needed to finish a project (and really limit those "gotta have additions to my existing stash").  I didn't do a terrible job of this in 2014 but there is definitely room for improvement.  I really do need to limit my spending this new year. :)

3. I'd like to keep track of what I buy plus keep a count of yardage that is used.  The goal is to use more than I buy and if I use my stash more, then the numbers should look good at the end of 2015.

The first project for this year is something I designed myself using the Learning Curve Ruler.  I'm calling it Serene Garden and it will be offered as a one day class at the shop where I now work part-time.  Prior to the new year, I only had 6 blocks made. Since Jan. 1st, I've finished the 25 needed blocks for a lap size quilt.

Here it is on my design wall prior to borders....

I'm currently in the process of adding two borders to make a finished size of 72" x 72". Details, including instructions will be shared in a future post.

Now to switch topics to furniture. Since the new year, we have added some much needed furniture.  We have been making do with very little for quite some time and I've been dreaming of one day having enough seats for our local "living close enough to drop by" family of five to sit in the same room at the same time. We have a local "scratch and dent" store that often has quality furniture offered at deep discounts. With a house full of dogs we know better than to spend a fortune on furniture. For New Year's they advertised a BOGO sale.  Although we didn't have room or really need two sofas....that's what my husband insisted on buying.  They don't match, but nothing in my home does anyway.  He first decided on this one for "him"....it has two manual recliners.  Not bad for $500 when it retailed in perfect condition for $1,800.

Now we were eligible for something FREE.  Ray then picks this one out for ME...because it has electric recliners....controlled with the touch of a button.

Remember me saying there really wasn't room for two sofas?  Remember Ray insisting there WAS room?

Well, technically there was room......just as long as we never use both of the recliners in MY sofa.  Hahaha. Oh well, they are both nice and comfortable regardless.

I better scoot and finish those borders.....until next time....

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Displayed At Local Quilt Shop

I'm not accustomed to seeing my own quilts displayed anywhere except in my home so I was very excited to see them hanging at our local quilt shop.  I will be teaching a handful of classes from January through April, and these are samples for a couple of the upcoming classes.

The quilt above is my own design that I'm calling Concentric Illusion.  It is 70" x 70".  The walls at the shop are VERY tall.

Closer view....

The second quilt is called Mesmerize and will be nice for new quilters.  I didn't design it of course so students will need to purchase this pattern.

I also have a set of placemats on display for another class using a published pattern called Take Four.   I didn't take a picture of them. :)

Currently I'm hard at work trying to complete a new design of my own using the Learning Curve Ruler that I'm calling Serene Garden for a fourth class to be offered.  Once I have the quilt put together I'll share it with you.  The open house, meet the teachers/sign up for classes day will be in early January so I've got a deadline. The holidays have made it difficult to keep up with all I need to finish.

Last but not least, I've also designed a block of the month that will be demonstrated the first Saturday of each month beginning in February.  I think I will call it the Saturday Sawtooth Sampler since all the blocks will be a different variation of the sawtooth block.

Have you ever heard the saying "the faster I go, the behinder I get"?  Well, that's exactly how I'm feeling right now.

Thankfully we did get our little Christmas tree put up last week.  Here are a few pictures of my youngest and her best friend (her 11 year old Miniature Schnauzer) having fun posing....


Wishing you plenty of time to finish those Christmas gifts!  Some of mine are going to be late this year.  Some how I lost all track of time and December was here before I was ready.

Until next time....

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Lazy Sunday and Other Things

Ta Da!  The quilting and binding is completely finished on my Mom's Lazy Sunday that she made for her granddaughter (my youngest).  Can you tell by the photo that Kirsten loves her new quilt?  :)

It really is adorable!  Lazy Sunday is a Bonnie Hunter design that was published as a mystery quilt in several editions of Quiltmaker magazine in 2013.

I'm happy to be able to finish it in time to take with us to Tennessee over Thanksgiving so Mama can see her own handiwork.  I'm certain Kirsten won't let us forget to bring it back home to go back on her bed.

I'll also be taking these Christmas ornaments to give to my oldest daughter, son-in-law, and 3 grandchildren.  Since I made each of them a quilt over the past year, I kept scraps from each quilt to fill up a clear ornament as a remembrance for years to come.

I was also able to load up one of my Dad's quilt tops this week and finish quilting it.  Isn't it precious?

Some close ups of the actual quilting.....


Would you like to guess what I will be doing on the 11 hour drive to Tennessee?  Hand sewing binding to the back of this quilt.  :)

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. I'm excited to see family I don't get to see often enough.

When I return, I plan to share another easy, extra nice gift idea with you.

Until then, keep sewing and stay warm!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Chenille Trivit Tutorial

So much fun was had this weekend as I played with my fabric and experimented with a new gift idea.  I recall seeing this idea months ago, maybe on the Moda website, and have been waiting for a good time to try it out....Chenille Trivits (aka hot pads).

So I pulled out a mixture of fun fat quarters and larger scrap pieces and let the fun begin.

Materials Needed:
5 - 10"squares using 5 different fabrics
1 - 10" square 100% Cotton batting
1 - 2 1/2" x width of coordinating fabric (approx. 43") for binding

Choose a piece for the back side of your trivit and place it face down on your work table...

Then place batting on top of backing fabric square.....

Next layer remaining 4 fabric squares face up.....

Draw a line diagonally in the center, from one corner to another.  Use a few pins to keep your 6 layer sandwich together. Because of the many layers, it will be best if your use a walking foot (or if you own a Pfaff, you already have the integrated walking foot feature built in).  Sew the first diagonal seam using the drawn line as your guide....

The next step will take a little time. Continue to sew diagonal lines approximately 3/8" apart, using the previous seam as your guide.  I was excited to have an opportunity to use a pressure foot called "adjustable guide foot" that I purchased years ago. Most machines come with a guide bar you can attach for this purpose, or you can just eyeball it if your pretty talented at sewing straight lines on your own. :)


The back of my Trivit......

Time to square it up....either to 9 or 9 1/2" square....your choice....

Now the fun, yet scary part.....cutting between the seams to make the chenille.  

IMPORTANT....MAKE SURE YOU ONLY CUT THROUGH THE TOP 3 LAYERS OF FABRIC! DON'T ACCIDENTALLY CUT THE 4TH LAYER THAT IS AGAINST THE BATTING!!!!!

You can use a Chenille cutter, or you can use sharp small scissors.  I did it both ways to make sure it could be done. :)  

In my case, I placed the lime green fabric on top of the batting, so it's my 4th layer and I don't want to cut through it....on this one I used my Olfa Chenille cutter....placing the plastic guard between the 3rd and 4th fabric layers....

Continue cutting between all diagonal seams....

For the second Trivit, I used a small, sharp pair of Fiskers scissors.....Again.....place blades between the 3rd and 4th fabric layers......

After cutting between all seams, it's time to bind your trivit.  I chose to machine sew binding to the BACK of the trivit first......

Then I machine sewed the front side of the binding.....

I'm certain you can attach the binding using your favorite method. :)

Since I was having fun, I cut more fabric and batting to make a couple more....

ALMOST finished...but still one more step required before my four trivits are completely done.

Time for the last and best part.......to get the full effect of the chenille process the trivits need to be thrown in the washing machine with a load of towels and machine dried.

Just look how they fluff up and the different colored fabrics create a unique design.  Aren't they just the cutest things? 

A view of the back....

Are you planning to make a few yourself now?  Make them in any size your choose, larger or smaller, you can't make a mistake.