Thursday, December 26, 2019

UFO Complete

by Alisa

Back in June of 2013 I went with my Mom, Aunt Sue and several friends to the Shipshewana Quilt Festival in Indiana.

This is the only non-quilt photo I have from the trip!

I wasn't much of a quilter back then, but I fell in love with the charm pack from the Comma by Brigitte Heitland for Zen Chic for Moda collection.  I picked up a Bosal preprinted grid (1" Craft & Quilt Grid On Point 1 yard) to use with the charm pack to make a wall hanging for my living room.

I don't remember much else about this project until last week when I found it stashed in a project box in my closet.  I didn't want it for my living room any longer, but thought that it might brighten up my office, so I decided to finish it up since it was nearly done and all the materials were at hand.

The top was complete and the sandwich was fused using June Tailor Low Loft polyester Quilter's Fusible Batting.  The back was cut from orange yardage which I assume was from the Moda Bella Solids line.  I also had yardage of a medium grey from Moda Bella Solids that the edge triangles were cut from and a yard of one of the prints from the collection.

The top looked really good, nicely sewn and ironed but the sandwich needed re-fusing and I wasn't happy with the orange backing so I pulled it apart, ironed the top, cut a new back from the grey solid and re-fused the sandwich.

I fired up my Janome Skyline S3 with the Convertible Even Feed Foot and did some straight-line quilting using Gutermann Natural Cotton thread - yellow in the top and grey in the bobbin.

I wanted a thin unobtrusive binding, so I bound it with 1.5" straight-cut binding in the same fabric as the back.  I should have gone for at least 2", the small size was hard to attach neatly.

To finish, I added my 'Alisa Theil Handmade' tag to the front...since it is an art piece... and hung it up in my office.  I love it!

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Advent Calendar Wall Hanging

by Alisa

I found this Makower UK 'Wrap It Up' advent calendar panel on Etsy when I was searching for another Makower UK fabric earlier this year.  I bought it and began planning to make it for my nephew and two nieces this Christmas.

The instructions for the calendar are printed at the top of the panel.  I found this video tutorial from Makower UK very helpful in putting it together.  They demo a different panel but the assembly is the same.

I started by cutting the panel and the pocket strips on the solid lines.   I then used my mini iron to prep the pocket strips - creating the hems and box pleats and then sewing them to the calendar panel.

After I had finished sewing all the pockets to the top, I played around with the fancy stitch options on my new machine and added some stars and a 'Merry Christmas' greeting to the borders.

I used coordinating fabric from the same line (ordered from Needle In A Fabric Stash on Etsy) for the backing.  

I added a sleeve of that fabric to the backing for hanging.  They demoed this technique on the video tutorial.  My sleeve was about 12" long by 3" wide.   One helpful tip on the video was to sew the 2nd side of the open sleeve close to the first seam to create a tunnel for the dowel. Make sure to sew the sleeve close to the top of the backing.

I layered the backing (right side up), batting and then the top (right side down) and used my even-feed foot from Janome to sew around all 4 sides, leaving about 6 inches open at the bottom for turning.

I turned it, ironed the unsewn hem at the bottom, and then top-stitched all four sides using the even-feed foot.  I then ironed the entire wall hanging to fuse the batting to the top and back.

I added a .5" dowel cut to size and a ribbon for hanging.  Once I added the candy to the pockets the Advent Calendar was complete.

This was my first project on my new Janome Skyline S3 and I just love it; the machine and the advent calendar!

I can't find this panel, but Makower UK has several other advent panels available that are very cute.  

This is a fun project and it was very well received by my nieces and nephew.  They love it!

Saturday, August 31, 2019

More Memory Games!

by Alisa

I'm still going strong on memory games as gifts for babies and little kids. I've made two more sets in last year or so - the first is an update on the 'jolly jungle' set with a cute little pouch and the 2nd is no-sew!

Jolly Jungle Memory Game v2.0

I had enough flannel left over from the previous version of the Jolly Jungle memory game to make a set for a baby shower last December. I followed my original tutorial for the game and added in a pouch and a card with the game instructions. 

The pouch is from the design demonstrated by Sew Very Easy in their "Fat-Quarter Friendly Draw String Bags" video tutorial. The bag is great for this use because it has a handy pocket to hold a card with the instructions for the memory game.  

The instructions for play were adapted from rules for playing Memory.

No-Sew Memory Game

I wanted to make a new memory game for a friend's two-year-old granddaughter so I went looking for fabric and found the "Windy Day" collection from Makower UK. I purchased a yard of the Teal Circles from NovartCreative on Etsy. I purchased the 'foxglove' wool blend felt from Benzie Design on Etsy for the backs.

After some trial-and error in deciding between square or round pieces and whether to stitch or not, I decided to simply fuse the fabric to the felt using Steam-A-Seam 2 fusible webbing sheets and then cutting out squares. I think they will hold up fine and it was simpler than trying to cut and stitch circles!

I wanted a simple pouch to hold the game pieces and after digging around in my stash and not finding anything I purchased a pack of multicolor 5" x 7" organza pouches from Amazon and picked out the pink color to use.

The last time I made this game, I included the instructions on a card I tucked into the pouch pocket, this time I thought I would make another game piece that listed the instructions.  I printed the instructions onto an inkjet fabric sheet that I had on hand and then fused that to the felt and cut to the same size as the pieces. It turned out great!


Saturday, July 13, 2019

Moda PB&J lap quilt

By Alisa

We are finishing up a 5 year project at work and I have been thinking of making something to commemorate the completion. I ended up making the small quilt below for one of my teammates. It came together really easily and I love how it turned out.

Back in April I was rummaging around looking for something else and came across this single PB&J by BasicGrey for Moda charm pack. I don't remember where or how I got it, but I opened it up and really liked the washed out floral prints so I went on a hunt for more.

The only place I found with any of the fabric was Kammie LouLou. Honestly, I wasn't even sure what I was buying as the site only listed 'quantity'. I crossed my fingers that I was getting three yards of fabric and waited for the package to arrive. When I opened it, I had one yard each of three floral coordinates from the line: Aqua 'Fluffer Nutter'; Red 'Jelly' and Navy 'Picnic'. And, the red was 60" wide!

I wanted to do something simple with the charm pack so I googled around and settled on half-square triangles. I matched up all the charms and sewed 42 blocks. I then laid them out on my design wall in various 5x7 variations until I came up with one I liked.

I ended up with layout with a secondary diamond pattern off-center.

Since I had the most red, I added a 2" red floral border and then a 1.5" navy floral and then started trying out different border/backing combinations to finish off the quilt.

A final 6" border of the red floral was added, the back was cut from the red floral and my mom quilted it for me using Hobbs Heirloom Fusible Crib Size.

She finished it up with the aqua floral binding and a custom tag by Border City Quilts on Etsy.  And, she made a sweet pillowcase to go along with it!

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Summer tote using preprinted batting

Summer tote using "Alexandra" pre-printed batting by June Taylor Co.
by Linda Theil

I made this quick-and-easy summer tote bag using quilt-as-you-go preprinted batting by June Taylor Co. that I got on sale from Missouri Star Quilt Co. The finished bag is 15 x 14 x 4-inches.

As with most purse/tote/wallet patterns, working with a heavy-duty sewing machine is very useful. 

To make this tote you will need backing fabric and batting 21 x 32-inches or approximately 5/8-yard of material. You will need the same sized piece of fabric or patchwork for the outer surface of your tote.

For this project I pulled a selection of fabrics from the "Strawberry Fields Revisited" collection by Fig Tree & Co. for Moda Fabrics, also cuts from Three Sisters Favorites: Lemon & Sea Grass collection also for Moda. If you wish to replicate the look of the tote in this blog post you can evaluate fabrics similar to this collection at Fig Tree & Company.

Auditioning fabrics on the pre-printed batting 
Begin the project by attaching the preprinted batting with spray adhesive to the wrong side of backing fabric. The backing fabric will be the inside of your quilted tote. I chose a half-yard piece of solid coral from my stash for the backing. After gluing the batting to the backing, sew around outside edges of the pattern to secure backing to batting.

This is a drawing of the printed batting, showing placing of the fabric pieces used in the quilt-as-you-go pattern for this tote.

Using the quilt-as-you-go method sew 2.5-inch strips of varying length to the numbered spaces on the pre-printed batting, beginning with number one in the center of the batting -- the cream-colored floral in the center of the photo below. (For more information on quilt-as-you-go technique, see "Quilt-as-you-go placemats" on Appleton Dance weblog.) Also, the purchased pre-printed batting comes with complete directions for making the tote.

Completed 2.5-inch fabric strips added 
quilt-as-you-go method to preprinted batting
 and backing fabric.
Add all fabric strips to batting using the quilt-as-you-go method until the batting is completely quilted.

This is what the backing looks like when it is quilted using the quilt-as-you-go method. The white stitching shows the outline of the bag pattern.


Fold completely quilted fabric in half with right-sides-together and stitch up both sides of tote. (I French seamed my side seams, but you can finish your seams by  overstitching with zig-zag stitches if you prefer.)

Fold cut-outs on bottom of tote so that you can stitch straight across open section to make flat bottom on tote. Zig-zag stitch to finish.

Turn tote right-side-out.

Pin handles to tote, five-inches from side seams. Repeat on both sides of tote.

Fold one yard of 2.5-inch-wide binding in half.

Pin raw edges of binding to raw edges of tote top on the inside of the tote. If you want to add a swivel clasp for your keys, unpin one handle and slip swivel clasp over the end of the handle. Re-pin handle, and push clasp out of the way. Using one-quarter-inch seam allowance, sew the binding onto the top of the tote all around, triming to length and overlapping ends before finishing.

Fold binding over raw edges and top-stitch in place, enclosing all handle ends in binding. This is different than the directions that come with the pre-printed batting, which simply apply the handles to the top of the tote after the binding has been applied.

Fold tote handles upward, and zig-zag-stitch in place. Catch swivel clasp between fold and line of zig-zag-stitch to secure. See detail on right. Repeat for all four handle ends.

I enjoyed this project, and thought the preprinted batting was very useful and fun to work with.

UPDATE June 29, 2019:

Quilt-as-you-go tote, reversable
I made Alisa a French-seamed reversible "Strawberry Tote" because she liked the "Strawberry Fields Revisited" fabric by Fig Tree & Co. for Moda Fabrics.

I drew the quilt-as-you-go pattern on a piece of leftover batting, based the design in a Missouri Star Quilt Co. video titled "Make a Quilt as You Go 'Sophie Tote' with Misty from Missouri Star Quilt Co." 

This June Taylor Co. "Sophie Tote" design on pre-printed batting in a is also available as a kit -- like the "Alexandra Tote" shown above.

Here is a photo of the patchwork side of the reversable, quilt-as-you-go "Strawberry Tote".

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

First Birthday Quilt

Zoe's quilt and pillowcase finished April 2019

by Alisa

Mom and I made a quilt for my niece Zoe's first birthday. It features Love You! fabrics from Sandy Gervais for Moda and a sweet custom tag from Border City Quilts. I designed and pieced the top and turned it over to Grammy for sashing, custom machine quilting, binding and a matching pillowcase!

The quilt is a  modification of the free Criss Cross Quilt pattern by Monique Jacobs for Bluprint in the Crib/Lap size. There is a great video tutorial available from Angela Waters of The Midnight Quilt Show. I really enjoyed making this pattern, it was very forgiving. I had to trim the columns a bit narrower than recommended, but it didn't impact the overall design at all.

For the top, I used a jelly roll from Love You! by Sandy Gervais for Moda along with 1 extra 2 1/2" strip from each of Love You Arrows Aqua and Love You Arrows Multi yardage. The top and bottom borders and the backing are 2 yards of Bella Solids yardage in White Bleached. The binding is cut from a yard of Love You Small Hearts Lipstick yardage. Batting is Warm and Natural from Warm Company.

Mom made the coordinating pillowcase from her Burrito-style holiday pillowcases tutorial using the Love You collection fabrics: Arrows Aqua, Arrows Multi and Small Hearts Lipstick.

Zoe turns one in May, we hope she likes her quilt!