22 April 2013

Woven Fabric Panel Tutorial

I saw a quick video from the show Fons & Porter Love of Quilting in which they made woven fabric for a wall hanging. It looked beautiful! I knew I had to try it, so the hunt for a tutorial began. But as usual, nothing could be found. So I made one. You can make this into any size of a panel you want. 

The finished size of these panels is 7.5" x 10". They will eventually be the backs of zippered pouches, but you really could make it any size and use this for anything! 

Let's begin. First you need to cut a lightweight interfacing to help your woven fabric not go all willy-nilly later. Cut this to whatever size suits your project. Most interfacing is 20" wide, so I cut one strip that was 7.5" wide.

Then I cut that strip in half.

This results in two identical pieces with a dimension of 7.5" x 10". Set these aside for now.

Next we are going to built a strip set. Pick two fabrics. You will cut half as many strips of the primary fabric. I am using this batik for the primary fabric.

Cut 1.25" strips. To cover one 7.5" x 10" panel, I needed 3 strips of this fabric.

From the secondary fabric, I cut 6 strips that also measured 1.25".

Then you are going to sew your strip sets together using a 1/4" seam. If you sew a little bigger or smaller than 1/4", that is okay here, as long as you are consistent.

I like to strip piece these because it saves thread and feels like it goes faster. You will be sewing a strip of secondary fabric on both sides of the primary fabric.

Once all the strip sets are sewn together, you need to set the seams. You do this by pressing with a hot iron while the fold is still closed. Do this on both sides. It helps to keep everything straight and prevents puckering!

Once all the seams are set, you are going to press the seams away from the middle. I like to press from the front as much as possible, which again avoids puckering.

This is what it should look like from the back. If you had already set the seams, you could totally press the seams to the side from the back.

Next we need to make the edges pretty since they will be woven, not sewn together. On the back, you will fold the outer layer in to the stitch line.

I hold them in a few inches ahead of the iron and press both sides at once.

Then you just iron away until all of your strip sets are done!

Go ahead and bring back the pieces of interfacing. Then go ahead and trim the strips to the correct length. You are going to cover the interfacing in one direction first. The bumpy side of the interfacing should be up and facing towards the fabric.

**Note** It helps to do the weaving either on your ironing board or on a piece of fabric so that you don't have to risk dropping it and messing up all your hard weaving work.

Then you are going to start weaving the strips in the other direction. Remember, you are shooting for an under, over, under, over pattern. I fold back every other strip.

Make sure you push the strips together so there are no gaps. Also make sure the whole piece of interfacing is covered.

Once the weave is to your liking, you will carefully carry it to the ironing board and press the weave to the lightweight fusible interfacing. 

From the front, it might be difficult to get the interfacing completely fused, so I had luck with carefully flipping it over and ironing from the back. Whatever you do, just make sure you fuse at least a teeny bit of each piece so they don't slip out.

At this point, you are basically done. Because I am paranoid, before trimming the edges, I stitched 1/4" from the edge of the interfacing all around. This just makes sure no part of the weave is going to slide out.

Then all you have left is to trim off the excess fabric. I just used my rotary cutter and ruler to cut around the interfacing.

And that's it!

Now you have a super fun piece of woven fabric that you can hide trinkets in.

Mmm, and the texture! I love it!

You could definitely quilt the panel, or leave it as is. The possibilities are seemingly endless! Apparently I am really into the juxtaposition of a colorful print with texty fabric.

Thanks for reading my tutorial! Let me know if something is unclear. Sometimes I type so fast that my brain can't keep up. I would love to see what you come up with using this technique!

16 April 2013

Craft Fair Prep

Woot! I was finally approved to have a booth at the Corpus Christi Farmers' Market Craft Fair. This is great news because it will give me a chance to sell some of the stuff I have been making that either hasn't made it to my Etsy or made it and didn't sell. The best part is that I don't have to worry about shipping the stuff if I can sell it here! Double bonus.

I have the interiors and exteriors of 20 tote bags made, so they only need handles and finishing. I can bust that out in no time.

I also made a few super fun potholders. They feature the family motto my dad and I decided upon when I was little. We pulled it from one of our favorite old sci-fi movies, This Island Earth. He and I used to watch it together all the time. We put the quote on my dad's headstone and I have a giiiiiiant tattoo of it that covers the entire right side of my torso.

So yeah, these are the potholders! I love the way they came out! If I make some to keep, I might add more doodles. These will probably not make it to the craft fair. Friends are claiming them left and right, and because of the sentimentality and time invested, I would rather see them go to people I care about.

I have also finished the paper pieced tips of 16 arrows for a quilt I am working on. I am going to put them randomly all around the quilt. The middle sections are done too, but those are boring. Now I just have to finish the feathery ends of the arrows and I can start laying it out. Hopefully this will be done in time to sell at the craft fair (even if I just have to do a boring old stitch in the ditch).

Speaking of quilts, I have started hand stitching the back of the binding down on the spiral table runner I made. This will for sure be up for sale at the craft fair!

I have also started making some cute little clutches with bows on the front. The pattern is so easy to follow and with coupons and sales, the total cost is: $1.50 for exterior linen fabric + $0.99 for zipper + $0.55 for interfacing + $0.35 for lining fabric, which comes to a grand total of $3.39 in supplies, per bag! Woo! Also, they are incredibly adorable!

Last but not least, here are a few non-crafty photos. This first one is a totally underwhelming salad that was my dinner last night. What makes this salad overwhelming is that the greens were all grown in my garden!! Yesss!

This final photo shows one of my Hoya plants that happens to be blooming right now! Yay! I have three of these plants in different varieties and I just love them. Their blooms are so peculiar.

So, here is my plan for the craft fair: Since I have only been sporadically making things over the past few months, I have forced myself into mad sewing mode. It feels like a stinking sweatshop at my house! I did not give myself a set quota. Let's be honest, if I told myself to make 20 reusable tote bags, I would rebel, make 7 and go do something else. So my plan is to just make as much of everything as I can. When I get bored making one particular thing, I switch to something else. It has been going fairly well.

08 April 2013

Spicy Spiral Table Runner: Front

Let me preface this post by saying that assembling the front of this quilt table runner was SO. Much. Fun. I am actually sad that I am out of town for work this weekend which prevents me from finishing this one or starting another one. Ooookay, so that is not the only reason I am sad to be out of town for work this weekend... but whatevs. Let me put it this way, you need 8 fat quarters to make this, and my most recent trip to my LQS was spent counting fabrics to see if I could find 8 coordinating bolts to make another of these. (Sadly, I couldn't.)

This ruler right here is the secret to this amazing pattern. You absolutely could not make this pattern without a 9 or 10 degree wedge ruler. The pattern calls for 9 degree wedge, but claims 10 degree would also work. I found 9 degree at the store, so 9 degree it was. Woo.

This ruler might be my new bff (IDK, my bff Rose?) because it was SO SIMPLE TO USE! Oddly enough though, the ruler is sort of a liar. Okay, liar might be a stretch, but this is what confused me about the pattern until I had the wedge ruler in my hands.. cutting a 21" strip is actually only 18.25" long! The pointy end stops at 2.75" so that you never have to sew awkward points! Yess! Here are two pictures that illustrate it. The first has wonderful lighting but a horrible background while the second has a wonderful background and horrible lighting. You get the idea though...

So on with the finished product itself... I am going to start giving spoiler pictures. In this first photo, it really just looks like I am the absolute worst at matching up seams. If that were the case (I'm not arguing) at least I am consistent.

Now in this second photo you can maybe start to see it wasn't a total accident. Also, you can see a lot more of the Honey, Honey line here. Mmmm. This might be my favorite fabric line at the moment. It is just so fun.

Then you get to the third photo and it is all ooo, that's a curve. What in the world? How the? And of course, a little "ohhh, the seams are supposed to be like that. I get it!"

Then viola! An amazing curvey and spiraly table runner that has a bargelloesque vibe to it.

In case you want to make one of these bad boys yourself, I used the Spicy Spiral Table Runner pattern, but have had no luck tracking it down online. I bought it from my LQS and would gladly buy one from my LQS and mail it to you if you pay me for the pattern because I love supporting local businesses. I also used a 9 degree ruler. The pattern itself said to use 9, but said you could sub a 10.

Now I just need to quilt and bind this bad boy and it will be ready to gift or sell! Woo!

***EDIT!!*** Patty, the author of this amazing pattern sent me an email with info on where to buy the pattern in case your local quilt shop doesn't carry it. It is available online through Phillips Fiber Art. Weee! It looks like they also sell the 10 degree wedge rulers. I used a 9 degree, but the pattern says a 10 will totally work. So yay! Buy away and enjoy this amazing and fun pattern! Thanks for the info, Patty!

03 April 2013

Rainbow Ahoy!

There really hasn't been too much sewing going on for me lately. Work is really getting in the way of my hobbies! I have been out of town for the past 2 weekends, thanks to job number 2 (scuba dive leader). I will also be out of town stuck in training for 8 hours a day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Definitely not looking forward to that. I will be drinking so much coffee.

Anyways, I finally assembled the Dresden plates into something useful. They are potholders! I kind of made them for Potholder Pass, but they definitely did not come out how I wanted them to, so I can share them without fear of my partner putting the pieces together. I believe the perfect home for these bad boys will be with my friends Heathur and Jake in Colorado.

Oh! Oh! When I was out scuba diving last weekend, we had 46 divers out with us. Since I was in charge of this diving event, I decided to make snacks. Apparently these are my typical diving snacks to bake. They are bacon cheddar scones and pecan sandies.

I am still trying to narrow down my 500+ GoPro photos into one manageable post of photos. Two of our divers even got engaged underwater and I filmed it!! How exciting!

I also finished the final block for 3x6 Quarter 1. I even managed to sneak away to the post office and get them mailed today! Score! This one is for Nicole.

Today I was naughty. I stopped by the Singer store to play with their long-arm quilter. I practiced my pebbles and stippling. Then I realized their Hemingworth thread was on clearance. They had it for $3.99 a spool! I have never used this particular type of thread, but all the samples looked nice. Does anyone have experience with it? I hope to try it out soon so that I can go buy all of it should I like it. Today I only bought a few colors that spoke to me. I have no idea why I bought neon colors. I never use neon colors! Oh well!