Sewing Tutorial: Christmas Patchwork Striped Stocking

Getting ready for Christmas with the first of a few new stockings – don’t think my old ones would survive another year! 

I have just finished a tutorial for a patchwork stocking which is over on The Craft Cotton Company blog, really simple to make and perfect for hanging out on Christmas Eve!

Fabric was gifted by The Craft Cotton Company.

Halloween Patchwork Spider Tutorial: Part 1 – Quilted Giant Patchwork Spider

Halloween will soon be upon us so it’s time for a bit of a spooky Halloween craft takeover, scuttling in first is a quilted patchwork spider!

I started my Halloween makes a little later than normal this year, I normally like to get started nice and early as I have quite a few to do each year. This year however I have lost track of time – the year is just going by so fast I am loosing track of what month we are in. So I now that I am late starting I need to get cracking on my makes to get them finished in time, although as they say better late than never!

The first make this year is a quilted patchwork spider, I love having spiders around the house as decorations for Halloween and wanted one which would last a bit longer than just a paper or card one. I made this one quite large but you could do it as small or big as you like, also you don’t have to put the quilting details on you could just do it as a plain patchwork one.


I was very lucky to receive some of The Craft Cotton Company fabric to make this (a big thank you to The Craft Cotton Company), I do love this fabric I am always able to find a fat quarter set that is just perfect for the make I have in mind, and I really like making things using the fabric. The fat quarter bundle which was ideal for this was Classic Black.


As with any make where you make the pattern yourself I was a bit nervous whether the spider would be a full success or whether I would need to tweak the pattern a bit, but I think I have got it just right – so so happy! A house of spooky makes won’t to too far away now!


There are some lovely makes and tutorials over on the The Craft Cotton Company blog:


I always love to see what other people are making using the fat quarter bundle sets, there are lots of great ideas on there along with all their lovely fabrics!


Quilted halloween patchwork spider instructions:

Materials:

  • Classic Black fat quarter set by The Craft Cotton Company.
  • Batting.
  • Toy Stuffing.
  • Thread.
  • Needle.
  • Scissors.
  • Paper.
  • Pencil.
  • Pins.
  • White felt.
  • Black felt.

Making the Body Template:

  • Draw around a plate the size you want the spider to be, for spider I used a small dinner plate as I wanted it to be a good size, but you could do it as small or as big as you wanted. Draw around the plate and cut out.
  • Next fold this piece of paper in half and draw a curved line starting from the top right down to the bottom. I wanted my spider to be quite squat rather than ball like so I made the curve quite wide in the middle section.
  • Cut along this line to create the body pattern piece.
  • Next take this body pattern piece and draw around it and cut out another, now cut this second pattern piece in half – this give you two halves of the leg section pattern piece.


Cutting the fabric:

  • For the body I selected to use 3 of the 6 different fabrics from the fat quarter set, this meant each fabric would appear twice on the body, once on the front and once on the back. You will need to use the body pattern piece twice (one for the front and one for the back) and the leg section pieces 4 times (two for the front and two for the back – with one pair each side of the large pattern piece).
  • When cutting out the fabrics ensure you add a 5mm seam allowance.



Adding the quilted detail:

  • Cut out a piece of batting the same size of each of the fabric pieces along with a piece of lining fabric.
  • Now take one of your fabric pieces and its corresponding batting and fabric pin together to stop any movement and start to quilt – you can choose what pattern you like to do this, I decided to do a free hand swirling pattern.
  • Repeat this on all of the pieces. Trim down if needed afterwards so that the wadding and backing fabric are the same size as the front fabric piece.

Making the legs:

  • Cut 8 long strips of fabric, 30cm long and 8cm wide (this includes a 5mm seam allowance). I cut a template out for this first to make cutting out much easier. I used a selection of the 3 fabrics used for the body for these legs.
  • Fold the shortest ends of the strip in half with right sides facing each other, pin to secure and sew down the side and along the bottom, leaving the top unsewn.
  • Next turn the legs to right way out, and stuff lightly, this isn’t the easiest but using a long ruler of knitting needle will help! Leave 2cm from the top unstuffed.
  • Now 11 cm from the top sew across the leg and fasten off – this creates the joint in the leg.
  • Repeat until all 8 legs are made.

Attaching the Legs:

  • Take two of the leg section pieces (a top and bottom piece) and place 2 of the legs to the left hand side of the bottom piece, do not place it too close to the edge seam otherwise it will get caught up in that seam when sewing together. Also, when placing these together ensure the leg pieces are laid at least 1cm over the top edge of the fabric otherwise they will not be sealed in the seam, then lay the top piece on top of the bottom piece right sides facing together.
  • Now sew along the straight edge to seal the legs into the seam of the two pieces.
  • This give you a joined front leg piece. Repeat once more.

  • Now repeat this process with another two of the leg section pieces (a top and bottom piece), but instead of placing the legs to the left hand side, place them to the right hand side of the bottom piece.
  • This gives you a joined back leg piece – This means when the front and back joined leg pieces are sewn together the legs will all be next to each other without a large gap. Repeat once more.

Assembly:

  • Take one of the front joined leg section pieces and a back joined leg section piece and place right sides together, making sure the legs are lined up on top of each other (this means once you open it back it the legs will match). Sew down the side seam on the left to join the pieces together ensuring the legs do not get caught in the seam!. Repeat with the remaining two joined leg section pieces.
  • Join the remaining pieces:
    • Take a body piece and place right sides together with the previous joined leg pieces and sew down the side seam to attach.
    • Take the second set of joined leg section pieces and place right sides together with the previous body piece and sew down the side seam to attach.
    • Take the final body piece, place right sides together with the previous joined leg section pieces and sew down the side seam to attach.
  • Once you reach the final seam to join, only sew half way down the final seam, turn the spider the right way around and stuff. Once stuffed, hand sew this opening closed.
  • If you would like a loop for hanging, then before fully sewing closed the top place a piece of ribbon 30cm in length folded in half and sew into the seam at the top of the spider as you sew it all closed. I used the ribbon that tied the fat bundle together – perfect!

Eyes:

  • In white felt cut out two round eyes, I drew around a kitchen roll tube to get the size I wanted.
  • In black cut out 2 circles, I drew around a small cotton reel for this size.
  • Next place the black pupils in the White eyes – position then in a place you like best – its a great way of getting different expressions depending on where you put the pupils!
  • Next sew the eyes onto the head, I put mine on the seam on each side of the middle section, but again different expressions can be made depending on where you place the eyes so you can choose to put them wherever you like the look best.


Happy sewing!

Sewing Patchwork Dashingly Cute Dachshunds! 

I’m slowly starting to make a bit of a dent into my to do list – it maybe only a small dent but it’s all progress! The number of animal makes I have completed and have still yet to do is just insane, although finally they are starting to reduce in number and I have resisted adding any more – for now! I’ve managed to squeeze in this animal make before starting quite a big project I have been putting off for quite a while. I’m quite excited for this next make and surprisingly it’s not going to be animal related, although I have a feeling it’s going to be one of my biggest challenges I have taken on so far! However, back to this post and all of its animal cuteness!


I saw a pattern for these patchwork dachshunds in Love Patchwork and Quilting Magazine (Issue 8) – it’s actually the reason I bought the magazine! I have been looking forward to doing them for a while and after the success of the patchwork rabbits I was confident I could give them a go! I made one with pinks, blues and biege, and the other in blues, greens, and biege. These were small pieces of some of my favourite fabrics I have had leftover from other projects so was very happy to be able to use them.  

  
I think doing the rabbits first helped me a lot with doing these as I kind of knew what I was doing, rather than the unknown I experienced with the rabbits! I had no real problems at all, well until I sewed a head piece on upside down! But luckily I realised and got it sorted out without any trouble – the joys of unpicking! 

I knew these dogs would look cute, but I really couldn’t believe how cute they have come out, I know they are going to be very well lived in their new homes – although they will have a little wait until they go as these are part of my ridiculous number of Christmas makes! 

Sewing Two Very Smiley Patchwork Rabbits

      
I am starting to think I may have a slight obsession with animal makes, they seem to be taking over and I still have quite a few left on my list! 

I saw these in Love Patchwork and Quilting Magazine issue 12 a while ago and they looked so cute I really wanted to make them. However, I haven’t really made much patchwork apart from quilts and a couple of Easter eggs so I wasn’t too sure how well I would fair making them, especially as I had no idea what the markings and descriptions on the pattern for cutting out the fabric even meant! Luckily after a few frantic phone calls to my mum – who I would love to be as good as at sewing one day (but am a long long way off!), I knew roughly what I was doing and felt confident enough that I might be able to at least get started and see how I got on.  


I wanted to make two of these rabbits, one in a cream with red tartan, and the other in a duck egg with flowery fabric. I set about cutting out all the fabric – making sure to cut out the triangle marking points too – good thing I checked about these as I would have just cut straight over then otherwise! Took me a little while to get it all cut out – I didn’t want to rush it and mess it up but I got there eventually with no disasters! 

  
Now it was time to follow the instructions to make the rabbit, and I could believe how easy the instructions were to follow and the diagrams made anything I was a bit unsure of completely clear, and as a result I had no problems at all in sewing any part of the rabbits together – even the little fiddly bits!.  I was pretty shocked to be honest, I thought I might have come across at least one or two problems, but no I managed to get them all put together without anything going wrong! I was beyond happy with myself, I really should have more confidence in my sewing! 

      
Once I added the embroidered detail to the faces it really bought them to life, and I have also added the name of the recipients onto the back of one of the legs to make them a little more personalised. I really wanted to keep one of these for myself they are just so lovely! But it will soon be time for them to go to their new homes, at least I will get to see them again when I go and visit! 

Sewing Tutorial: Quilted Ipad Case – Great Gift Idea For Fathers Day

My friend absolutely loved the case I made for her for her iPad (along with many of my other friends who have now put in a request for one to be made for their birthdays!) and asked if I could make one for her dad for Father’s Day, no problem I said, the only catch was that this was for a iPad mini so I needed a different pattern. As I was already doing a different sized pattern than I have previously I decided to change it slightly and make a case with a flap fastening.  

I had some spare fabric by the Cotton Craft Company from my octopuses and thought it would be great for this make so I checked with my friend who loved it and thought it would be perfect. I love this fabric – I will be getting some more when I see it next, you don’t often see fabrics which are perfect for male makes, most are too flowery or are not the right colours!
I hope they like it as much as me!


Ipad case pattern:

Materials:

  • For main case one piece of fabric 13 by 9 1/2 inches.
  • Contrasting flap fabric piece, 13 inches by 2 1/2 inches.
  • Button.
  • Lining piece for quilting and piece of batting 13 by 9 1/2 inches.
  • Lining for pocket – one piece of fabric 13 by 12 inches.
  • Piece of ribbon 6 inches long.
  • Pins.
  • Scissors.

Method:

  • Lie the flap piece along the top of the main pocket piece right sides together and sew along to attach.
  • Layer the lining piece for quilting and batting on top of the main pocket piece – avoiding the contrasting flap piece. Pin to secure then complete quilting in pattern desired, I did diagonal lines for this one, following the line in the gap between the anchors.
  • Place right sides together, pin and sew along the longest side at the bottom and up the side right to the top of the flap, but leaving the top flap side unstitched.
  • Turn right side out, it’s now ready for lining.
  • Take lining piece, place right sides together and sew down the side (the 11 1/2 inch side) and along the bottom (the 12 2/2 inch side), leaving the top unworked. Do not turn the lining, and place into the pocket.
  • Fold the top of the pocket in 1/4 of an inch and fold the lining 1/4 out so that the two folds meet on the inside, repeat the whole way around pinning as you go, Making sure in the centre of the back you also insert the two ends from the piece of ribbon making the loop for going over the button, then sew around close to the edge with the machine.
  • Sew buttons onto front of the fabric lining up with the location of the ribbon.

Sewing Tutorial: Perfect Last Minute Gift Make: Quick Quilted IPad Case

A friend of mine had a birthday coming up and I had been trying to think of something to make for her – she always likes to receive the gifts I have made for her and I try and do something a bit different each year. Then I found out she was receiving an iPad as a surprise gift, perfect I thought, I could make her a lovely case to keep it in (her birthday was last week so don’t worry I won’t be spoiling the surprise on here!). 

What made this idea even better was that I had got some fabric a few weeks ago which was just perfect for it. I got this fabric from IKEA and I love the colours and the pattern and I knew she would like it to! For the quilting pattern I decided to sew around the edges of the flowers and leaves to make them really stand out. It took me a little while to get round them all, at one point I didn’t think I was ever going to get there but I eventually made it and I think it looks pretty good! 

I decided to make my own pattern to make this and am so happy it worked out – nothing worse than making something from your own pattern and it doesn’t come out as you want, I’m pretty new to making patterns and sewing more than just a cushion cover and I’ve unfortunately ended up with a few of these recently – I refer to these disasters when they occur as bin projects and once they become a bin project they are never to be spoken about again!! So glad this hasn’t become one! 

iPad case pattern

Materials:

  • Main Case – One piece of fabric 19 inches by 11 inches. 
  • Two pieces of ribbon 6 inches long.
  • Two buttons.
  • Wadding and lining for quilting – one piece of each measure of 18 1/2 by 11 inches.
  • Lining for case – one piece of fabric 18 1/4 inches by 11 inches. 

Method:

  • Cut out all fabric and wadding.
  • Lay together the lining for quilting, wadding and case, leaving a 1/2 inch space at the top without any wadding and quilting lining, pin and quilt to the pattern of your choice.
  • Fold fabric wrong sides together on the longest side, pin and sew down the side and along the bottom leaving the top unworked. 
  • Turn right way around, time now for lining.
  • Take the lining piece fold in half and sew down side and along bottom. Do not turn but place inside pocket, turn out edge 1/4 inch and turn in pocket by 1/4 inch and pin, making sure in two places at the back you also insert the two ends from the pieces of ribbon making the two loops for going over the button, then sew around edge. 
  • Sew buttons onto front of the fabric lining up with the location of the ribbon.