Monday, September 1, 2014

Labor Day!!? Already???

Where did my the summer go? Well technically it's got another 3 weeks or so but you know what I mean.
So what has been going on with Sew Much Good in the last three month?

Lots, actually.

First I finished a quilt kit that I bought in . . . cough . . . cough. . . well, a while ago.
I bought it because I loved it the minute I saw it and I still love it!

It's now ready to take a place of honor in my sewing room.


Finishing this quilt was good on many levels. First it was one of those Unfinished Projects that is continually nagging. Done! No more nag! 

Then I really wanted it . . . not the kit in a box but the quilt. And now I have it!
It was my first actual quilt with needle-turn applique. I did it and I got better as I went along. Learn something. Honed a skill.


I still love colors after all these years. Very affirming. I'm glad I waited to finish it because the little paper template in the kit for the basket blades wasn't very accurate and now the Easy Dresden Ruler makes it a snap to get it right!


Kaylene Parry quilted it for me and I love what she did. You just gotta love the attention to detail that a good quilter gives.


I'm a big fan of quilted "feather" motifs.


Last, I love, love piping. Love it on smocked garments, collars, sleeve edges, button bands, pockets . . . everywhere . . . and quilt bindings!! Yay!


So much fun. This quilt just makes me feel good. Can you tell I am keeping it? It is actually the only finished quilt I own. All the quilts I have made have found homes with other people. Gifts of love. This is the one gift to me. :)

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Cutting Squares Fast!

I teach quilting at Just Sew in Highland, Utah.
The quilt one of my classes is making needs 160 - 2 1/2" white squares. The squares sewn on as half square triangles shape the petals in this Pretty Posies quilt.


That's a lot of squares.
So let's cut them as fast as we can.
Start by cutting 2 1/2" strips across the width of the fabric. You can cut 16 -  2 1/2" squares from 42" of fabric. If you need 160 squares it will require 10 strips.

Please note: For this tutorial I will only be cutting 24 squares for a smaller quilt.

After straightening the edge of the fabric I begin cutting the 2 1/2" strips.


Here I have cut two strips which is all I need for my small quilt. Continue cutting as many as you need for your pattern.

 

Without unfolding them, layer the strips with the selvage edges together.
You may layer as many as three strips on top of each other for 6 layers of fabric. If your rotary cutter is not sharp you may find 2 strips for 4 layers is better but not as fast. :(


Make sure your cut edges are exactly even. Don't fuss if the selvage edges on your folded fabric are not even. Keep the fabric folded as it came off the bolt. You have some 'wiggle' room on this one.


Holding your ruler down tight to keep the layers from being 'pushed' by the rotary cutter trim off the selvage edges.


 Now flip your stack of strips over so that your cut end in on the left and begin cutting your squares.


Here I have two strips in my stack so I am cutting 4 squares at a time.


Continue cutting toward the fold. Six cuts gives me the 24 squares I need.
If you are cutting more, when you cut the final stack of 4 squares from the layered strips, open up the folded ends and see if they are big enough for one more cut. If so, stack up these unfolded ends from the layered strips and cut them all at once


Squares cut fast!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Sister Dresses!

I finished these sister dresses about 3 weeks ago
so it's time to show them off.
Both the dresses and the sisters!


These are my two youngest granddaughters, Allison and Hannah, in matching dresses and corduroy jackets.


The dress pattern is Annika and the jacket pattern is Blair, both by Maja's Heirlooms.



I had so much fun with these that I found an 18" doll that reminded me of Hannah. . . .

Well, you can see what I did . . . 


Stay tuned for the jacket. . .

Monday, February 24, 2014

As promised the pattern for O'Halloran's Heels, a whimsical, two-sided Irish table runner is ready. You can click on over to the Sew Much Good Etsy Shop and down load a .pdf file for printing.

The .pdf is for sale at an introductory price of $7.  So don't miss out. March is upon us!

While you are at the Sew Much Good Etsy Shop check out all the other patterns for sale. You may want to make an Easter Apron or two.

As soon as it comes back from the printer it will also be available in a paper pattern for shipping.


Happy Sewing!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Wearin' O' the Green

Valentine's Day is over and St. Patrick's Day is fast approaching!
GOING GREEN is so PC these days, how about a couple of fun GREEN projects.

O'Halloran's Heels is my most recent whimsical table runner pattern.
It will be ready to ship the last week of February.
Here's a sneak preview.


Whether or not you are Irish, who doesn't love to wear GREEN on St. Patrick's Day?!
After all, Spring is just around the corner and everything will be turning green soon.
Today I am bringing you a whimsical apron that is as easy to make as it is fun to wear!
The pattern I am using Strawberry Licorice featuring GIANT RIC RAC trim.
The pattern is available right on my blog or you can pick one up from my Etsy Shop.

PLEASE NOTE: This picture tutorial is meant to be used with the pattern instructions. Not all steps are shown here.

I am using three fabrics from Timeless Treasures:
Sharocks & Clovers by Gail Cadden
Sketch Basic in Grass green
Mini Series Shamrocks


The fun part of this apron is the GIANT RIC RAC made easy with iron-on fusible. If you have not used iron-on fusible before you are in for a treat. It is simple, quick and fun.

For this pattern you would use a light weight fusible such as Heat-N-Bond Lite.
I have followed the pattern instructions for preparing the apron for the RIC RAC. I have sewn the upper and lower pocket pieces together, attached the lower skirt band and basted the upper bib accent in place. Now the apron is ready for the RIC RAC.

I start by tracing the three RIC RAC patterns onto the paper side of the iron-on fusible.


Next I cut out the three pieces leaving about 1/2" on all sides.

 

Following the manufacturer's recommendations I arrange and fuse the pieces to the WRONG SIDE of the Sketch Basic Green fabric. The iron is typically set to a 'wool' setting and pressed down for just a few seconds. NOTE: Using too much heat and pressing too long at this stage will melt the adhesive into the fabric so that it will not fuse successfully to another piece of fabric.  


When I begin to see the fabric through the paper as in the picture below I know that it is pressed enough.


With the paper side of my fusible up, I quickly cut the pieces apart..


Now I carefully cut right on the traced lines removing all the excess fabric and paper.


You can see my pocket has been prepared by sewing the upper pocket and lower pocket together.


When I peel the paper from the back of the pocket RIC RAC the iron-on adhesive stays on the wrong side of the fabric. See how shiny it looks.


 With the paper off I center the RIC RAC on the pocket covering up the seam. The ends of the RIC RAC might extend slightly passed the pocket edge.


 I always place a pressing cloth on the ironing board to protect the cover from any of the fusible adhesive. Again I follow the manufacturer's recommendations for heat and pressing time. A typical pressing for this step is 10-15 seconds. I avoid scrubbing the iron around but rather place the iron down for the 10-15 seconds, raise, re-position and press again.


Next you can see the bottom of the apron with the band sewn on. Notice that the seam is on the right side of the fabric. The RIC RAC will cover this seam completely.


I remove the paper as before.


I use the 1/2" seam allowance as the guide for positioning the RIC RAC straight across the apron. The 'valley' on the top of the RIC RAC will just cover the top of the seam allowance and the reverse 'valley' on the bottom of the RIC RAC will just cover the bottom of the seam allowance as shown in the two pictures below.



The skirt RIC RAC is ironed and fused down as with the pocket.

Here is the bib accent band sewn to the apron with basting stitches across the top and bottom.


I position the bib RIC RAC using the side shape for reference and making sure to cover the bottom of the bib accent band.

 The shape of the RIC RAC ends serve as a guide for correct placement.


The bib RIC RAC is ironed and fused down the same way I did the pocket and skirt RIC RAC.


The last step in applying the RIC RAC is sewing it down. For a casual look a straight stitch 1/4" from the edge will do. In this case I choose a blanket stitch in white to give more definition to the edge of the RIC RAC. (The stitch width is 3.5 and the stitch length is 3.0.) Using the center line on my presser foot as the guide, I sew along the edge of the RIC RAC on both sides.

To sew the curves successfully, stop with the needle in the fabric and raise the presser foot to re-position every stitch or two. Sew slowly on the curves. This is not a race! Sew up to speed on the straight parts.


From this point the apron quickly goes together and here she is!
Do I hear, "Top 'o the mornin'!" ?


Happy Sewing and Happy St. Patrick's Day from Sew Much Good!

Monday, January 6, 2014

New Year . . . Time to learn New Skills!

Announcing the Quilting Skill Builder Series at Just Sew in Highland, Utah.
Each time I teach this series it is so gratifying to see quilters grow in confidence as they learn and learn it RIGHT!

The 6 class series will begin on Wednesday, January 22. One class will go from 10 am to Noon and the second class from 7-9 pm. 

Hopefully offering a morning and evening class will accommodate most schedules.

In the 6 classes you will complete this table runner with the solid color of your choosing.



  The sign up is available in the store at Just Sew today. Below is the class description:

Skill Builder Series
All morning classes meet 10am – Noon
All Evening Classes meet 7-9 pm

#1 Precision Piecing                                       Wednesday    Jan 22
#2 Make Friends with Triangles                  Wednesday    Jan 29
#3 Happy to Applique by Machine             Wednesday    Feb 5
#4 Paper Piecing Primer                               Wednesday    Feb 12
#5 Curved Piecing                                          Wednesday    Feb 19
#6 Great Ending: Bindings                           Wednesday    March 12*

  Class fee: All 6 classes $75 +required kit

#1 Precision Piecing                                           1/22
Learn to cut and sew accurately with confidence.  Find your perfect ¼” and make those points match. Learn about how thread and needle choices make a difference. Among other things learn the finer points of pressing.

#2 Make Friends with Triangles                    1/29
Triangles are everywhere from flying geese, to stars and pinwheels. You can’t get away from them so make friends with them. Explore methods of cutting and sewing triangles accurately!!
#3 Happy to Applique by Machine                2/5
Raw edge or turned under- machine applique is here to stay! Never avoid applique again.  Learn to make your machine applique smooth and your stitches invisible!
#4 Paper Piecing Primer                                   2/12
Who was the crazy person that thought you could sew a block from the back side on paper??!! Have you had trouble seeing it in the past? Just can’t wrap your head around it? This class will clear it all up once and for all! With a few tips and tricks and a little practice you can do this and even learn to like it!
#5 Curved piecing                                               2/19
You have the basics down now – your ¼” is perfect, your points match and your triangles are ‘square.’ With a few tips and a little practice you can move to a new level.  Think piecing a curve is next to impossible? Think again. It’s really fool proof and easy with this innovative technique.
#6 Great Ending: Binding                                 3/12
Binding is the finishing touch for your work of art. Learn a great looking machine applied technique.

*The two week break between classes 5 & 6 will allow time to finish and quilt the table runner and prepare it for binding.

Happy New Year! Happy Quilting, Sewing and Smocking!