Cooking is fun, messy, and can be very delicious. Gardening is quite rewarding because its fun to watch things grow. Sewing, however, is my main jam! I love making bags, gifts for others, clothes, and so much more. Sewing is definitely my most beloved hobby. However, I was never a fan of quilting. To me, quilting and sewing are two different hobbies. Are you team sewing or quilting?
I never loved making those strip pieced table runners, or small quilts. Too many rules to follow. Too many tiny pieces of fabric to cut. Cutting all of those small pieces to then sew them together again, is my absolute nightmare. But, something wild and crazy happened during this past Fall. A Halloween quilt came to life! I don't remember what planet I was visiting, but I decided to make a quilt. Spoiler alert, I made a Christmas one too. And, I loved every minute of it. It was so fun! Why did I change my mind? Well, I didn't follow a pattern. I did my own thing entirely and loved the process and final result.
If you're not a quilty fan, I beg you to try making a quilt following your own rules. Read along for some easy tips to create your first (or next) quilt. Am I a quilter now? I don't think so. But, I did enjoy making both of the holiday lap throws. As you read, you'll notice more of the Halloween quilt. I took more process photos of that one but, there are some Christmas ones too.
Disclaimer: I am not a professional quilter. I probably do some cringe-worthy things here but, this is how I made my two quilts. The best part? I didn't want to set them on fire in the process. Sewing is supposed to be fun and not stressful. And, after all, it's just fabric and we all own a seam ripper or two. Let's get quilting!
All The Fabric Pieces
A quilt is a fabric sandwich, more or less. You have a top, which is all the pretty pieces. The middle is the batting layer. The bottom or backing is the fabric on the back. It is usually a solid or printed piece. If you make a larger quilt, you'll need to have a seam or two running along the back.
*For reference, I'm going to use my lap sized quilts I made, which were roughly 4'x6'.
The Magical Layout
This, in my opinion, is the most important part. Yes, crooked seams want to be avoided along with wonky stitching but, the fabrics need to look pretty. So, this step is very important.
Most machines come with a quarter-inch sewing foot, have marks on the machine plate, and some might even have a quilting guide bar. Make use of one or all of these.
After the middle portion is completed and you're standing in shock and awe at the small sized quilt, you might want to make it bigger. I know I did! Ha! I still can't believe how much it shrinks after sewing all the pieces together.
If you'd like to make it bigger, you can sew a few extra strips to add to the sides, top, and bottom. In that order. My Halloween quilt shrank after I sewed the middle area together. I didn't realize how much a tiny 1/4" seam allowance would eat the fabric.
Sewing the Pieces Together
Love is in the air. I can feel it, and I can smell the chocolate. Now, I know Valentine's Day isn't for everyone. But it's for me! Is it for you, too? Pulling out the pink and red decorations is the highlight of my February. Or, sometimes late January. I love DIYing the next few holidays that are coming up too. I'm excited for Easter, St. Paddy's Day, and even 4th of July.
Valentine's Day is all about hearts, hearts, hearts. But, you don't necessarily need heart themed fabric to sew Valentine's projects. You'll see some heart fabrics were used in these projects, but anything red or pink will do just fine. Sift through your stash and scrap bin to give those red and pink fabrics some new life.
If you have little ones, they can help with decorating the house and making their Valentine's gifts too. I wanted to share some quick and easy things that you can sew for Valentine's Day, that shouldn't take a whole day. A few of these were made in previous years, and some were made this year.
Let's get our love on!
Gift Card Holder
Sew up some cute gift card holders for teachers, neighbors, or friends. We know everyone could use a little extra love these days. Grab a $10 coffee, fast food, or bookstore gift card and slip one inside.
If you have kids, stick a fro-yo, makeup store, online gaming, or other gift card inside.
The gift card holder isn't my pattern. It's by Anne at OrangeBettie.com, and I found it here. Print the free sewing pattern and follow her directions on how to make your own. I skipped the snaps because I was lazy. But, add the snaps or a button or not. Make it your own.
Make a simple fabric basket as part of the gift. Fill it with candy, bath salts and a candle, toy cars, a small lego set, some tiny dolls, a plant, or something else. These really make your gift extra special when paired with something.
This fabric basket is super simple. It doesn't require interfacing, only two layers of fabric. If you'd like something a little more stable, grab my tutorial here. But, if you just want a quick basket, keep reading.
Easy Fabric Basket
The basket takes about 30 min from start to finish. Less if you're a speedy sewer. Gather your pink and red fabrics.
Cut your fabric into one long rectangle, the length, and width you want. I folded a piece of fabric I had in half and trued up the sides. Don't overthink this, it's supposed to be quick and easy. Read: last minute gift ;)
For example, I cut mine about 16" long by 9" wide.
The leaves are starting to fall, the mornings are crisp, and evenings are getting chilly. It's almost sweater weather! If you love fall, I bet you're dreaming of warm mugs filled with cocoa, hot tea, fancy coffees, or hot toddies. I know I am. Cue the cat mat, rug mug, or coffee coaster; you decide the name of it. I want to share a cute kitty mug rug pattern with you all. Here is an easy, beginner friendly sewing project that you can whip up in an hour. Its a great for scrap buster project too.
A mug rug will help protect your kitchen table from the heat of a hot beverage. With the holidays approaching, these would even make perfect gifts. Neighbors, moms, uncles, friends, and teachers will love them. They can also be great for kids. Add a hot cocoa packet inside a cute mug for an easy holiday gift.
I kept this post simple and short. Less time reading, more time for sewing. Let's go!
The finished size is approximately 6.5" wide by 6.25" tall.
Cut Pattern and Trace
Pinning Layers Together
Place the batting onto the table. Then, place the wrong side of fabric onto the batting. Take the second fabric and place it right side facing down. You'll have a fabric sandwich now. The 2 pieces of cotton will be facing right sides together. Pin or clip the 3 layers together.
Batting, fabric, fabric.
A note on batting: if you use Insul-bright or fleece, do not put your mug rug in the microwave. Fleece is polyester and will melt. Insul-bright has metal and will spark. If you plan on putting your coaster in the microwave, use cotton quilting batting or Wrap n Zap only.
Sew it Together
You'll sew the mug rug using a 1/4" seam allowance. Start sewing at one of the marked spots on the bottom, don't forget to backstitch. Sew all the way around. Go slow around the cat ears, it can get tight. Backstitch when you get to the other marking. You should have a small opening for turning out.
Clip your threads.
Clip and Turn out
Tip: Use the chopstick in one hand to push the seam out, while using the iron in the other hand to press. This is the same pressing method I use to make my wide Rockabilly headbands.
Give the whole mat a good press. Top stitch the opening closed, be sure to backstitch at the beginning and end. Or, you can top stitch around the whole coaster. Stitch using 1/8"- 1/4" from the edge.
You're all done! Now go brew a cup of something warm and tasty, and sip in style. Make one for each holiday or day of the week.
Extras + Sewing Tips
A word of caution, these mats are made for beverages that are usually dark in color and can stain. I wouldn't recommend using white or really light colored fabrics. Fabrics that are dark or heavily patterned work the best. Think of fabrics that will hide stains easily.
Wash your cat coasters with cool water, gentle cycle, tumble dry low or air dry. Give them a good press if needed. I keep one near the coffee pot as a spoon rest, too.
Enjoy the pattern! And, enjoy sipping a cup of something delicious while you use this cute cat mug rug on your desk or table.
As always, thanks for stopping by and happy sewing!
Re-cover your ironing board with in a few simple steps
Spruce up your dingy ironing board, it's simple and quick. There's one thing almost every sewist says, "I only iron when I sew." That rings true for me 95% of the time. I'm not a big fan of wrinkles so, I do iron the occasional laundry basket of clothes. However, my ironing board lives in my sewing space. Unless we have people over, it hangs out in sewing land.
There's nothing fun about pressing open seams on a musty crusty ironing board, amiright? I've bought countless pads for my board over the years. They've worked fine enough until they flatten and get ugly. It was time to make my own cover.
After going down the rabbit hole that is Google, I discovered people using felt blankets on their boards or Insul-Bright. You're going to use both for your new cover! No more wimpy covers that leaves board indents on your project or, dare I say, laundry.
Your new board will be thick and lofty, oh and it'll look cute too. Yay for pretty things. :D
Are you ready to re-cover your ironing board? Let's do this.
Items You'll Need:
Ironing boards come in all shapes and sizes. 2 yards for the fabrics should be more than enough. Measure your board length to be sure, don't forget you'll need extra for the seam allowances.
This whole project takes about an hour. You'll be pressing those seams open on a pretty new cover in no time.
Let's get Started
Start by removing your old cover and after you've washed it, stuff it inside this floor pillow. ;)
Use the thin foam piece as a cutting guide for the wool and Insul-Bright layers. If you don't have one, just eyeball it. This is an easy project, and it's all about winging it here.
Are you a fabric scrap saver? Do you have dreams of using them up for something? Yes, of course you are. Maybe you don't save them all but, you do save pieces big enough to use for something special. My rule is if its big enough to use for a pocket, it gets saved.
I've discovered the best fabric-busting project of all time. It uses all your fabric scraps up. Okay, it doesn't technically "use" them but, it does put them to use. You're going to sew a simple floor cushion and store all your scraps inside!
You'll want to plow through that list of sewing projects so you can cut into fabric and have more scraps to fill the floor cushion. Whew! Trust me, I'm speaking from experience. ;)
Cozy Meets Functional
The floor cushion itself is not a good scrap buster. You might need to buy fabric to make it. But, it'll free up space in your sewing area, I promise.
I was lucky enough to have leftover grey chenille from my pop-up trailer makeover, so I used that. You'll want to use an upholstery weight fabric or something similar. This cushion is going to take a beating.
If you have upholstery thread, you can use it here. If you don't, good ole polyester thread works fine. This whole project takes 2hrs give or take. It's a quick sew and gives a huge reward!
Hi there, I'm Annette and I love eating and sewing. I usually have a cup of coffee or tea with me, but not next to my machine because I'd probably spill it. I am the reason we can't have nice things.
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