Friday, May 30, 2008

Mexican coin purse

This project was inspired by a coin purse fashioned from a cardboard juice box that my friend Robin brought back from Merida this spring (above). It will also hold business cards, credit cards and/or gift cards.

One 12-1/4 by 7.5-inch piece of lightweight top fabric, such as a cotton print
One 12-1/4 by 7.5-inch piece of lightweight inside fabric (or two pieces of the same fabric, if desired)
One 12-1/4 by 7.5-inch piece of fusable web (such as Heat & Bond Lite iron-on adhesive)
Cut a pattern as indicated in the diagram below.

1. With iron, fuse web to wrong side of top fabric. Peel off paper. Place inside fabric, wrong side down, on top fabric. Fuse. Place pattern on fused fabric. Outline pattern on fused fabric with pencil or chalk. Cut out along marked outline.

2. Top stitch, zig-zag, or decorative stitch, around entire perimeter of fabric.
3. Crease each side flap from top to bottom; press, and topstitch along crease.

4. Using a ruler and X-acto knife, cut a horizontal slit 3/4-inch from the bottom of the center portion of the fabric to within 1/8-inch of the vertical stitching on either side of the center panel. Zig-zag or buttonhole stitch opening. (Alternately, stitch buttonhole type stitching first, then slit the opening with a razor or X-acto knife.)

5. Lap longer wing 1/4-inch over the other, pin, and zig-zag to form a tube of fabric. Be careful not to catch the other side of the purse in the stitching.

6. Fold 3/4-inch pleats on both sides of tube. Press flat.

7. Fold the bottom to meet the top of the purse, directly beneath the flap closure. Press.

8. Stitch along fold through all layers -- stitch two or three times to secure.

9. Pin center sections together to form pockets.

10. Zig-zag stitch center section together to secure.

11. Tuck flap into slit to close purse. Alternately, apply velcro fasteners, snaps, buttons, ribbons or any closure method of your choice.

You can also use this pattern to make the purse out of cardstock or heavy paper. Follow the directions using packing tape instead of stitching to form tube and to secure the pockets.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Labyrinth haircut

Scott Tilley of Lawn Monster (810-923-6217) raised the mower deck up to 5.5-inches and gave the labyrinth a haircut. I had no idea this would be possible and he solved my problem of how to trim the labyrinth up without going down on my hands and knees with a hand clipper. The labyrinth looks very elegant, now. The lawn patch I used to repair the bare spots will come in soon, I hope. I have to water tonight since we haven't had any rain.

Before haircut (above)

Monday, May 5, 2008

Quick "Taylor Made Bag"

I made this shopping tote by simplifying a bag from Cindy Taylor Oates’ Slouchy Bags booklet number TMB-162. This is the "Taylor Made Bag" made quick!

This bag is about 9x12x6-inches when packed. The drop on the handle is about 18-inches making it very easy to pack and unpack.

The booklet has six or seven easy bags with many variations. You have to trace the full-sized patterns provided in the booklet. I thought the directions were pretty good; I’d say you need a little sewing savvy to follow the instructions, but not a lot.

The thing that intrigued me about the bags in this booklet is they are all well-proportioned, useful shapes and the variations and embellishments are interesting. The book cost $15 and was published in 2006 by Oates' company, Taylor Made Designs, P. O. Box 31024, Phoenix, AZ 85046.

I bought the booklet last year while on a shop-hop of southeast Michigan quilt stores at The Quilt Patch , 112 N. Evans’ St., Suite #5, Tecumseh, MI 49286. The shop is very big and has a lot of wonderful fabrics and books and accessories. I really enjoyed my visit there.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Folded-patchwork coasters

This is a very good scrap project courtesy of my sister-in-law, Susan!

1. Cut 4.5-inch square of solid color cotton.

2. Cut 4.5-inch square of thin cotton batt, or old tea-towels or other absorbent fabric.

3. Cut one 4.5-inch square of each of four different cotton prints.

4. Fold each print square in half – wrong sides together -- and press. Set aside.

5. Stitch solid square and batt together – stacked wrong sides together -- with stitching centered vertically and horizontally on the fabric.

6. Stack with batting on the bottom and layer the folded squares on top of the solid square that is already stitched to the batting, as shown below.

7. Layer first folded print with fold running vertically down the center of the solid square/batt and raw edges lined up along the right side of the square. Pin in place.

8. Layer second folded print with fold running horizontally across the center of the solid square/batt and raw edges lined up along the bottom of the square. Pin in place.

9. Layer third folded print with fold running vertically down the center of the solid square/batt and raw edges lined up along the left side of the square. Pin in place.
10. Layer fourth folded print with fold running horizontally across the center of the solid square/batt and raw edges lined up along the top of the square. Lift the top of the first print and tuck the right side of the fourth print under the flap. Pin in place. (See finished appearance of pinned layers in photo below.)

11. Stitch 1/4 –inch seams around all four sides of the fabric stack.

12. Trim each corner diagonally.

13. Turn through the open center of the folded fabrics.

14. Use pointed object to push out corners.

15. Press flat.

You can make a set of four matching coasters with four print cottons, one solid cotton and one batt piece each 4.5 X 18 inches, or 9 X 9 inches square.

My friend, Janet, used this idea to make a hotpad, as well. Janet said: "I thought you'd like to know that I used the coaster pattern, enlarged it to an eight-inch square and made my sister a hotpad for her birthday. I think it turned out quite nice. I added an extra layer of batting between the two bottom layers which I stitched to the inside one so it wouldn't shift. Now that is a project of the length I like!"

Note 12/19/10:
We have recently seen these coasters made with one color of fabric and top-stitched (or decorative stitched) around the edge of the finished coaster. Alisa thought this stitching was a good idea to help make the coaster lay flat, so we wanted to mention it as an option for these coasters, too. Thanks for visiting Appleton Dance!
Note 01/19/12:
Today I have repaired an error in the directions that must have occurred when I entered the note above. The directions should be complete now that I have fixed the problem.