Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Fabricworm Giveaway: Happy Campers by Timeless Treasures

Hello Fabricworms! We know how much you all love your fair share of bears, owls, bees, and foxes.  Well have no fear fellow lovers of all that is adorable in this world, this week's giveaway is a free fat  quarter bundle of Happy Campers by Timeless Treasures! Enter to win now!

These woodland critters are ready to spend the day frolicking through the forest. From precious little bumblebees to sweet all-over animal portraits, we simply cannot get enough of these furry – and feathered – friends.

Use the Gleam widget below to enter the giveaway.

This giveaway ends on Sunday 10/4 @ 12 am PST.  The winner will be contacted shortly after by email.  The winner will be chosen randomly by Gleam.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015



A Sew-Along with Melissa Bailey

The girls asked me to make something to show off our fabulous new Birch Organic Solid Canvas and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to try out a pattern company I had never used before. 

 Enter TILLY AND THE BUTTONS!  I have to say that I am a sucker for modern, minimalist packaging and clean, slightly retro designs, so I was really excited to get the chance to make one of their patterns.  I chose the ARIELLE skirt because it would show off the canvas nicely and look amazing on our resident model Arleen!  I had a great time making it, but I thought I would give you all a few tips for those of you who are new to apparel sewing.  I know it can be intimidating to move from quilts to darts and buttons!  But it’s fun and not scary, I promise you’ll enjoy the challenge.

So gather all of your supplies, grab a copy of TILLY AND THE BUTTONS – ARIELLE skirt pattern and get started!

First off, if you are new to sewing garments, TILLY has a great “JARGON BUSTER” glossary of terms on the very first page of their instruction booklet.  This is a super helpful page and will let you know your topstitch from your understitch, helping you avoid any embarrassing stitchy mistakes.  

This is a really good time to point out that you should always READ ALL THE INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE BEGINNING AN APPAREL PROJECT!!!!  I can’t stress this enough.  You don’t want to get to the end and realize that your piece A and piece B were sewn together backwards.  You also need to MEASURE YOURSELF CAREFULLY!!!  For this skirt in particular this is extremely important, just due to the fitted nature of the skirt, your measurements need to be accurate.  

 Tip #1:  I like to cut out my pattern pieces a little bigger than the actual size I’m planning on making (in the above photo I will be using size 3, but rough cut to size 4), then pin the pattern to the fabric and THEN cut right on the line for the size I want.  I feel like this allows my fabric cut to be much more accurate.

I chose to follow the mini skirt pattern and gave it a cute lining, however the lining is not required.  Cut your pattern pieces out according to the length and size you have selected. 

The pattern starts out with the darts, which can be a little scary for those who have not ventured into the world of darts before.  Have no fear!  Darts aren’t that bad!  

TIP #2:  On a pattern like this, I will cut out the dart, leaving a negative space where the dart is on the pattern piece.  I then trace this shape onto my fabric.  When I remove the pattern paper, I am left with a wonky triangle shape drawn on my fabric that I can then line up and sew ON THE LINE!  Takes the scary guess work right out of it, super easy!  

TIP #3:  The darts in the lining are small, these can be done the same way as the larger darts on the outside of the skirt, but are not as critical in ensuring that they are all exactly the same length.  It is okay here to just place a dot on one side, a dot on the other and a dot at the bottom of the dart and sew. 

 TIP #4:  I like to tack my darts down so that they are lying the right way and there is no chance for me messing them up on accident.  The pattern mentions this in the instructions for the lined version and I really do think it’s helpful for the outer shell and the lining.  

TIP #5: Be sure to iron the seams open flat.  This can be tricky due to the curve of the hip.  Use the pointed end of your ironing board and do small sections at a time to maintain the shape of the curve while pressing the seam.  

TIP #6: Be sure to mark your original notches with pins so that they are easy to match up. 

The trickiest part of the whole process is attaching the lining to the skirt facing.  If you follow the instructions and go VERY SLOWLY it will be tricky, but doable.  
 Pin the top first, then pin down the sides.  When sewing, go very slowly and work around the corners.  

Then, there are really good tips in the instructions about how to create even under-stitching to finish off the lining.  As they say, it’s all downhill from here!  The rest of the skirt is pretty simple and the directions are straightforward.  

Now, the BUTTONS!!!

I would recommend practicing making button holes on a scrap piece of fabric if you are not comfortable with them or have never done them before.  Using a button hole foot makes this process SUPER easy!  

TIP #7: I transferred the button hole marks on my fabric from the pattern, but I measured from the edge of the fabric to the edge of the button hole all the way up the skirt, just to confirm that they were all even.  

TIP #8:  After you put in the button holes, try on the skirt and pin the skirt closed so that it is comfortable on you.  Then using a pencil or tailor’s chalk, mark a point through the button hole for your button placement.  Take off the skirt, hand sew the buttons on and you’re done!  Give yourself a pat on the back and show off that skirt with the hashtag #fabricworm on Instagram.

Fabricworm Giveaway: The Lovely Hunt in Faerie

Hello Fabricworms! I'm sorry to announce that today is the last day of summer :(. I know that you are all sad, but we are hoping to make it just a tad bit better with this week's bright and colorful giveaway. 
Lizzy House has always been one of our most favorite designers and every time she comes out with a new collection we can't seem to stop drooling. This week we will be giving away a free fat quarter bundle of Lizzy House's The Lovely Hunt in Faerie. Enter to win now!

Also be sure to check out The Lovely Hunt in the Mermaid colorway:

Use the Gleam widget below to enter the giveaway.

This giveaway ends on Sunday 9/27 @ 12 am PST.  The winner will be contacted shortly after by email.  The winner will be chosen randomly by Gleam.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Melissa’s 2 Hour Bound Whole Cloth Quilt

Melissa’s 2 Hour Bound Whole Cloth Quilt

Made with Tiger Lily by Heather Ross

It’s time for another tutorial!  Recently, I had one weekend to make three (you read that right, 3!) baby quilts for a tri-mom baby shower extravaganza.  Thus, the super quick, super cute whole cloth quilt was born!  So if you are a procrastinator who needs a last minute gift, a new quilter who needs a confidence building project to get started, or you just don’t have the time to make a pieced quilt for that cute little one in your life – this tutorial is for you!  

**Disclaimer***  This quilt will take an intermediate quilter an hour and a half to two hours total.  Those newer to sewing may find this takes a little longer, so please do not start this project two hours before you need a completed quilt.  Allow at least an evening, okay? 

You will need:

1 ¼ yard of a front fabric

1 ¼ yard of a backing fabric

¾ yard of binding fabric

1 ¼ yard of batting or a crib sized package of batting

Coordinating thread

Straight Pins 

Curved quilting safety pins (they do not need to be curved, but it helps A LOT)

First, I always wash, dry and iron all fabric before starting the project.  This helps especially if you are using different substrates – you wouldn't want the front poplin to shrink up if the back flannel doesn’t!  

Now that your fabric is ready to go, start with your binding fabric.  You can do your binding any way that you prefer.  The way I describe here is my favorite fast, easy method, but feel free to use any method you prefer.  I cut my binding into 3 inch strips (44 x 3 inches).  After cutting, you will sew all these strips into one long length.

Place one strip, right- side up and pin another strip, wrong-side up at a 90 degree angle making a nice corner as shown below.  You will sew the two together at a 45 degree angle, going from corner to corner.  If you are unsure how this will work or if you are concerned that you are pinning the wrong corners, fold back the fabric to see that the strip will not jog one way or the other at the seam.  If it does, simply shift your seam a bit and try folding back again. Do this until your two binding strips are sewn together with minimal jog at the seam.  It is not critical that they are exact, but it will be important that they are close.

Sew all binding strips together in the manner described above, making one very long strip of binding.  Now is the time to check and make sure that your binding will fit around your quilt.  

Once you have made sure it’s long enough (it should be a little too long, don’t trim it yet), iron all seams open.  Then, fold the entire strip in half down the length of the binding and iron.  Tada!  You have binding tape!  Carefully lay off to the side until needed.

Now for the quilt itself.  Lay the backing piece of fabric face down on your work surface.  It will help if you have a place to work that is large enough for you to lay this out flat (a clean floor works well for this part).  

Next, carefully lay the batting down and take your time smoothing it out. Your goal here is to have no wrinkles between the backing fabric and your batting.

Finally, place your front fabric, right-side up on top of the batting.  This part is a little tricky because you want to be sure that the backing fabric and the front fabric come close to lining up.  Do this by rolling or folding the top fabric so that you can peek under the batting and line up just the top edge, corner to corner.  

Now you can slowly unroll/unfold your front fabric, smoothing as you go.  Your front and back fabrics should be fairly lined up.  Again, you want to carefully smooth your fabric so that you have a nice, wrinkle-free quilt sandwich. Cut off any huge excess of batting, I used a crib size pre-cut which was a lot larger than my fabric on one side.  This will just get in the way, so away it goes.

It’s time for basting!  I like to use these curved basting safety pins.  They make it really easy.  If you don’t have these pins, you can use regular safety pins, just be very careful not to move your fabric too much while pinning.  

Baste the quilt by pinning through all layers, starting in the middle and working out.  Place a safety pin about every 6 or 7 inches in a grid pattern.  I use the width of my hand as a guide.  It doesn’t have to be exact, but it’s nice to keep your lines pretty straight so that you can quilt between the rows of pins easily.

Take your basted quilt to your machine because it’s time to quilt!  You do not need any special machine, special foot or special tools.  This quilt is small enough that any machine can handle it.  I prefer to change the stitch length on my machine.  The default length on my machine is 2.2, for quilting I bump it up to 3.0.  I also up the speed a bit, but you do not have to do either of these things.  I like to do free-form  lines, so I don’t need to be exact.  If you’d like to, you can quilt along stripes or around boxes, and this type of fussy quilting may require a slower pace.  

The most effective way to reduce wrinkling while quilting, is to start in the center and work out.  Roll one side of the quilt so that it will fit in your machine.  Starting close to the center of the sandwich, quilt in a hilly, wave-like motion from one edge to the other.  Cut your threads, unroll a little and do it again.  I like to place one line of stitching between each row of safety pins the first time around. 

Continue quilting in this manner until you have quilted between each row of pins on the rolled side of the sandwich.  When you finish the last row, turn the quilt around, roll the opposite side to the center and repeat.  You should now have the entire sandwich quilted one time between each row of safety pins in one direction.

Remove all safety pins.

Now you can play around and make this your own!  Add more lines, quilt in the other direction, anything you want.  You can even call it done, just the way it is!  It’s really up to you.  Move on to the next step when you have it just the way you like.

Once you are done quilting, it’s time to add the binding tape.  But first, you need to trim the quilt up.  I like to lay the quilt right-side up and trim, following the edge of the fabric.  Then I turn the quilt over and make sure that the back is pretty well trimmed too.  The back can be ¼ inch off, but no more, otherwise the shortage will show from under your binding.  If you end up with a shortage on the back larger than ¼ inch, simply trim that side to the size of the back fabric.  No big deal!  The great thing about a baby quilt is that the size really doesn’t matter!  A half an inch here or there isn’t going to hurt anything.

Go grab the binding you made at the beginning of this tutorial.  Got it?  Now lay out your quilt, right-side up and pin your binding tape to the front of the quilt.  I prefer to start at the bottom, near one corner so that the join will be kind of hidden, but you can really start anywhere.  Line up the raw edge of the binding with the raw edge of the quilt and pin all the way around.  

When you get to a corner, pin to the corner, fold and pin to the corner.  Then go down the other side.  

When you get to the end, leave about 2 inches of overlap for the binding.  Trim any excess.  Open the end of the binding tape and fold it back on itself so that no raw edge is showing.  Now take that and fold it around the binding tape you started with and pin.  What you should end up with is a raw end tucked into a hemmed end and that unit pinned to the quilt.  

Now take the whole thing back to your machine and sew the binding on the quilt.  I use the width of my presser foot as the guide.  Be sure to back stitch and start just before your binding start/stop.  Remove pins as you go.

To finish your quilt, you need to fold the binding tape around the quilt and onto the back.  Pick a spot anywhere on the quilt and fold the binding tape over the edge of the quilt.  Be sure that it covers the row of stitching you can see on the back of the quilt that secured the binding tape to the front of the quilt.

Pin the binding tape down around the entire quilt, wiggling here and there to get the seam line hidden.  As long as the seam line is hidden, the next step will be a breeze.  Pin well so that there is very little movement once you are at the machine.

Finally, take your quilt back to the machine and sew on the binding.  I go very slowly and carefully at this step, because I want this last seam line to be hidden from the front which means that I have to stitch in the ditch.  This means that you want to hide your stitches in the seam or “ditch” where the binding was sewn onto the quilt.

Again be sure to back stitch!  Sew the binding on around the entire quilt, back stitch and you are done!  One quilt for baby, handmade by you in just a few hours!  Yippee!

You can also follow the same steps to make a quilt backed with minky!  I prefer my minky quilts without batting – I live in a hot climate and it is just never cold enough to need minky AND batting.  If you’d like a quilt like the one below, follow all of the steps above, omitting only the addition of the batting.  You can find our selection of minky here and the rest of the fabric used for these quilts come from Heather Ross’ Tiger Lily collection found here.

Don’t forget to post pictures of your projects and tag us on Facebook and Instagram!