Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Easy Magnetic Scrap Fabric Bookmark Tutorial

I heard about magnetic bookmarks and wanted to make a couple for gifts. I looked for a tutorial online but couldn't find a simple one that used the materials I had at hand, mainly fabric scraps and old magnetic business cards stuck on the side of my fridge. :-)

Right after I figured out an easy way to make them I read on Patchwork Times that Judy is having a Hand Made Gifts contest.

I want a chance to win so I decided to write a new tutorial for these neat little bookmarks. They will be great tucked in a gift book or with a bookstore gift card. My first two are going to my Halloween loving daughter as a "just because" gift.

Here's what you need:

Two 2" X 3" pieces of 2-sided fusible stabilizer (I used Peltex)
1/2 of a magnetic business card cut into 2 pieces
Two strips of fabric at least 2" X 7"
Glue to stick the magnets on
Sewing machine


Place the two pieces of stabilizer (rough side facing up) on your ironing board about 1/4 inch apart

Cover with fabric strip and fuse

Turn over,  remove cellophane, cover with second fabric strip and fuse

Trim extra fabric off the ends and trim the sides if needed

Zigzag  or decorative stitch around the edge.  Glue the magnets on each end so they stick together when the bookmark is folded in half

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Back of the Door Organizer

My new cutting table is made of four base cabinets fastened together in a 2 X 2 grid and topped with a piece of plywood. Each cabinet has a drawer. When I started unpacking my sewing supplies I filled one drawer with my stash of fusible interfacing, freezer paper, craft fuse etc. It seemed like a waste of drawer space. I remembered seeing a picture of a door mounted organizer online in a picture of someone's sewing room and decided I would try to make one.

The door holder I sized it for ended up being too weak and I had to swap with another so the hanging tabs don't fit quite right.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

New Sewing Room & Fabric Art Postcard Display

I have a new sewing room. It seems like it has taken forever but I am almost through putting things away and organizing it. It isn't very big but it is all mine for my quilting stuff. I have used it for a few small projects and it is absolutely wonderful to be able to leave work out instead of packing it away at dinner time. The time saved is amazing!

I have participated in a few postcard swaps and enjoy making and receiving the cards. Up until now, they were displayed for awhile on the shelf above my desk, then tucked away in a drawer. I had a wall space in my new room that looked very bare but wasn't good for shelving. I came up with this idea for a postcard display.

We had to buy the wood and my husband painted it for me, we stapled the fabric strips on the back, the postcards are held in place with thumbtacks so they are removable. The thumbtacks are secured with tie tack clutches on the back. I bought a bunch of the clutches on eBay. I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out. I might glue some old buttons to the thumbtacks......

I am looking forward to the next postcard exchange!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Rag Rug Update - After Washing

I promised I would post an update to my Rag Rug Tutorial after I washed the rug.

Here's a picture after one washing in a top loading washer.

It was on the floor in front of the sink for about 3 months before I washed it so it received heavy wear.

This is easily my favorite of all the different kinds of rag rugs I have made. It stays flat, and is very cushy to stand on. It traps dirt and pet fur and is easily shaken out in between washings.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Look What Was In My Mailbox Today!

I don't buy too many new quilting books but I have wanted Liberated Quilting for what seems like forever. Unfortunately, it has been out of print for some time and used copies are very expensive. I was ecstatic when I saw Liberated Quilting II was available for pre-order. It came today! As soon as I finish the chores I have on my list I am going to settle in for a good read.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Tissue Holder Purse Pouch Tutorial

I was spending too much time rummaging through the contents of my purse trying to find hand sanitizer or wipes. The idea came to me that if I grouped similar items together in fabric pouches I would be able to find what I wanted faster. I made one pouch and dumped out the contents of my purse to see what else might fit in there with the hand sanitizer. Lip balm, small tin of Advil, bandaids all seemed good choices. Then I saw my fabric tissue holder and realized my newly made pouch was already obsolete. To make the pouch truly useful I needed to incorporate a tissue holder. Here is what I finally ended up with.

I made about 25 of these to use up the batiks I love so much but don't really want to make a quilt with. I will be giving a bunch away as Valentine's day gifts.

To make one, you only need a 6" WOF strip and a small scrap for the trim. You can make one out of a FQ too, with plenty of scraps left over for your next scrappy quilt. The tissue holder also forms a pocket on the front of the pouch.

If anyone decides to make one, let me know if the instructions were clear.

Tissue Holder Purse Pouch

Use 1/4" seams

Materials needed:

6" WOF strip main fabric (selvedge removed)
Scrap piece for trim 3 3/4" X 6" 
28" of cord for the drawstrings

Cutting The 6” Strip

With the 6" WOF strip folded in half, make a cut 5 3/4" from end to make two 5 3/4” X 6" pieces 

Cut the doubled strip again at 14" to make two 5" X 14 " pouch pieces 

Out of the remainder cut 1 piece 2 1/2" X 6"

Sew the 3 3/4" X 6" trim piece to 2 1/2" X 6" main fabric piece, right sides together along 6" side

Press seam to main fabric side and fold in half. Fold 5 3/4" X 6" piece in half with wrong side together. Press both pieces.

Place rectangle with trim on 5" X 6" piece right sides together and aligning the raw edges ( Folded side is in the middle)

Place the other rectangle on the opposite side with raw edges together. The two rectangles overlap in the middle.

Sew 1/4" seam on the 5" side

Press open.

Fold side without trim down, matching the bottom corner.

Fold trim side down, matching the bottom corner. Press

Place on a 5" X 14" piece with raw edges together at the bottom. Right sides face up on both pieces.

Place the other 5"X14 " piece on top, right side together. Pin with a few pins.

Sew around 3 sides leaving top open.

Turn right side out and use a pointy object to push out the corners.

Turn under about 1/4" on top and sew shut.

Push liner into pouch, use pointy object to match corners at the bottom. Press

Top stitch around top edge and again about 3/8" to 1/2" down to form casing for drawstrings.

Using a seam ripper remove the stitching between the casing on both side seams. Use a small safety pin, thread the 14" cords through for the drawstrings. The cord goes in and out the same hole. One cord for each side.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Rag Rug Tutorial Using 2" Squares

A few people wanted to know how to make one of these rugs.

I started with a piece of upholstery fabric that measured about 20" by 28". Other people have mentioned that denim is often used for the base and I think that is a very good idea.

I put a piece of striped cotton fabric on top to eliminate the need to draw lines. The lines on the striped fabric are a tad more than 1/2" apart. You might be able to avoid using lines by butting the presser foot up to the previous row but needed the lines to keep me going fairly straight and would either use a striped fabric as a guide or take the time to draw lines.

I sewed the two fabrics together by stay stitching around the edge.

I started in the middle, but would not do that again. Next time, I will start with the empty fabric to the right.

Fold a 2" square in half to form a triangle. Put the fold at the top and the tip on the line and stitch a few stitches. Put your next triangle on top. They are about a 1/4" apart but I didn't measure when I made the rug, just sewed a few stitches and added the next triangle.

I found it easiest to use my machine's knee lift for the presser foot and the stop/go button instead of the foot pedal.

My rug used about 4000 two inch squares. I cut them using a regular rotary cutter blade but someone suggested a pinking blade and I think that is a very good idea.

Other people said they have used double knits for this type of rug.

I am not sure how this will hold up after being washed and will post a report here after it has been washed.

UPDATE: Here is a picture of the rug after 1 wash

Monday, January 18, 2010

My Rag Rug is Finally Finished!

I have been working on this rag rug on and off for at least two weeks. I started it to thin out the scrap bin. It was bulging with fabric so I took out everything that was of lesser quality and also every fabric I was sick of looking at. I cut it all into 2 inch squares, I had a very large shoebox full.

I cut a piece of upholstery fabric about 20" by 28" and sewed a piece of striped cotton on top so I wouldn't need to draw lines. One by one, I folded the squares in half to form a triangle and sewed them on the backing in rows. It took about 50 rows to cover the base with about 80 squares in each row. That's about 4000 squares, approximately ten yards of fabric.

Hopefully it will wash well and last a long time.

Finally now I can get back to quilting!

Sunday, January 3, 2010


It's cold, really cold. 10 degrees but feels like 12 below with the wind chill. Our weather is supposed to stay like this for a week, then it is going to get colder. Guess it could be worse, we only got a little snow.