March 31, 2009

A Placemat Tutorial....

This is a quick project you can whip up for yourself or a friend. I used some fat quarters I had lying around but you could also piece together the top of your placemat with scraps if you wanted to. The possibilities are quite endless but the best part is that they are super easy. So beginners and novices get your rotary cutters and sewing machines ready to go.

First thing you need to do is cut out your fabric and batting. It is pretty easy to do because all you need is 1-14 x 18 inch piece of batting and 2-14 x 18 inch pieces of fabric for each placemat you want to make.

Then you are going to sew around the entire perimeter of the placemat (with a 1/2 inch seam allowance) leaving a few inches on one of the long sides open for turning. Remember to leave your needle down when you have reached a corner before lifting up your foot on the machine. This will ensure that you get a nice clean corner.

Next you have to cut the corners off so that when you turn it inside out there isn't a whole lot of bulk.

Then I like to trim away the batting that is left in the seam allowance. This also helps to keep the bulk to a minimum. As you can see in the picture I did leave the part where the opening is alone. This is because I have found it easier to close the hole later on.

Now it is time to turn your placemat inside out through the hole.

It will end up looking like this.

Pin the opening closed.

Sew all around the placemat 1/8 of an inch from the edge. Take pins out as you sew shut the opening.

Here you can see the corner of my placemat with the 1/8 inch border sewn in.

Next comes the quilting! You can quilt how every you desire. I wanted to stipple mine (meaning just an overall random quilting). You will need a darning foot. Mine has a metal loop though I know they also come with plastic see through loops. Remember to lower your feed dogs as well so that you are the one moving the placemat around underneath the needle.

* An alternative way to quilt your placemat could be to leave a walking foot on your machine and sew in a rectangular spiral. It gives a different look but also can have a pretty effect.

Here is a glimps of a corner all quilted up.

Here are all 4 placemants that I created for this set. Easy peasy!! Hope you like creating your own placemats. Please let me know if I can make anything more clear for you.

Purple Charm Quilt Tree....

Hi everyone!! I got word of this cute idea and wanted to see who wanted to participate with me.  I need to send out 4 letters to friends.  Here is how it works.  You send out a few purple charm squares of fabric to a few people and receive a LOT in return to put into a quilt.  It's really quite easy.  If you could like to participate please let me know by leaving a comment and leave me your e-mail so that I can contact you.  

I know my charms look bluish for some reason but they are totally purple :)

Take care mucho!

March 29, 2009

it's been a while...

So I realized that I haven't posted in a while, but I have been a little busy with some projects.  I am actually working on getting some tutorials up to help with all the sharing that goes on in this blogy world.  These pictures are a sneak peak of what is to hopefully come :)

Take care mucho!
- Natalie 

March 18, 2009

Baby things.....

Every once in a while my sister will "put in an order" for stuff for friends who are having babies.  These are a few things I made for her to pick from.

a few bibs

and a ruffled edge receiving blanket.
Hopefully her friends will like them.

Take Care Mucho,

March 17, 2009

Bee inspired....

I have been meaning to focus on these blocks that I had to make for the quilting bee group I joined, Bee Inspired.  I had to make some test blocks which I am so happy that I did since I had to tweek sizes  tiny bit.  

These are my practice blocks in black & white.  My goal is to make everyone's block in b&w first for practice and put them all together to a cool b&w quilt in the end.  We'll see how I progress with that one.  At least I have the first 2 done :)

this one is for Dianah... a cute batik vacation home.

This one is for Rachel... our pinwheel gal.

I hope the girls like their blocks.  I am dropping them off at the post office tomorrow to get to their final destination.  

Take care mucho,

March 10, 2009

Catch up day....

It has been a while since I have posted.  I just haven't had the time to take pictures and sit at my computer to post.  I wasn't going to allow myself to go to bed until I posted.  

so on to the post...
First I want to show the squares I finally sat down and got done for the brushfire quilt project .  I hope that when I go to the post office tomorrow that it wont cost too much to send them half way around the world and get there before the end of the month.  

Fabrics from all of my swaps have come in.  A few weeks ago I joined the Spring FQ swap, Sew,Mama,Sew FQ swap and We the People Scrap Mini Swap.  Thank you to all my swap partners

Sandra, Linda, Mona, Nancy , & Monica!!!!

I LOVE my fabrics.  They are all so different yet I know I will find some fun projects to make out of them. 

The last thing I want to share with you guys is my finished OP (orange pile) quilt.  I really do love they way this one has turned out.  
This is the front

this is the back

All that is left to do is put it in the wash and get it crinkly! 

Take Care Mucho!!!

March 4, 2009

Finally some progress...

So I have finally made some progress on my friend, Sarah's quilt!  I had put the quilt on the back burner for a bit... other small projects just got in the way :)

I added another row of 5 squares to the top of the front to give it a bit more length.  

Then I started working on the back of the quilt.  I LOVE the way this has come out.  It totally looks like it could be a cape for "Super Sarah" hahahaha

 I knew I wanted to make a small square boarder with the left over scarps but, originally I thought I would make a smaller "S" appliqued on the bottom right corner.  Then after piecing together what was left of the patterned fabric it was much bigger than I though so I made a bigger "S" and started playing around with placement.  When I put it in the middle it made me laugh and I knew my friend would also find it amusing so it was a winner.  

All that is left is to sandwich, pin baste, quilt and bind.  My goal is to have all of that done within two weeks.  We will see though....

take care mucho!

March 1, 2009

A small tutorial.....

So I love the idea of sharing and I love seeing peoples tutorials on projects.... so I am taking a stab at it with my first tutorial. 
Woo Hoo!!

  I decided to show everyone how I make coasters. They are a quick project and makes an awesome gift.  So here goes...

The first step is to cut your fabric.  If you already have a charm pack this step is basically done for you.  You need 5 inch squares- 2 out of fabric and one out of batting for each coaster.
In my picture I cut out enough for 4 coasters.

layer your fabric squares as pictures- fabric right side up, fabric wrong side up, batting

Sew all the way around the perimeter of the square making sure to leave at least a two inch hole on one side to turn.  When you hit the corners make sure you leave your needle in the "down" position before lifting up the foot and pivoting.  (you can use either a 1/4 inch or 1/2 inch seam here, whatever you prefer)

It should look like this after sewing all around.

Then with a good pair of scissors cut the batting only  as close to the seam as possible.  This minimizes the bulk. I recommend leaving the batting alone where you have your opening. It makes closing the seam easier later on.
Next, cut the corners to make turning easier.

This is what your coaster should look like now.

Now you get to turn the coaster right side out and it actually starts taking shape.  I usually use the tip of my scissors to help push out the corners.

I like to pin the opening used for turning closed to make quilting in the next step easier.

Here is the FUN part! You get to quilt the coaster however you would like.  I do recommend starting by doing a row of stitching around the perimeter before anything else to make sure the open seam that was left for turning is closed.  

On these coasters I used my walking foot and sewed straight around the coaster 1/4 inch from the edge. 

Remember to put your needle in the "down" position before lifting the foot and pivoting.

 Before I completed my first round I stopped 1/4 inch before the sewing line.  Pivoted and started sewing 1/4 from the previous sewing line I created.  This makes it one continuous spiral quilting line.  For these I stopped after three rows of sewing.
Viola!! Finished coaster! 
Repeat the same procedure for as many coasters as you like. 
You can see the quilting on this coaster the best. 

There are LOTS Of variations you can do with coasters.  You can piece together the 5 inch squares, you can make them circular, you can enhance it by the way you quilt them too.

  No matter how you do them though I am sure you will LOVE the results! 

I hope this was helpful.  This is my first tutorial so any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

Take care mucho!!!