November 07, 2018

Thanksgiving Table Runner Day 2


I am making a quilted table runner for our Thanksgiving table, and sharing with you how to make it as easily as possible.  Table runners are always fun to make and don't take a lot of time to sew and quilt.  They make great gifts too.



How to Use the Honeysew 1/4" Patchwork Quilting foot for Pfaff from Susan Vaughn on Vimeo.

Before we get started, I'd like to share with you a trick to get your 1/4" seams to perfection.  No matter what sewing machine you use, if you are going to quilt, you will want to invest in a 1/4" presser foot for your machine.  I have a Pfaff Creative 2124 that is 13 years old and runs like a charm.  I purchased this Honeysew 1/4" presser foot for my machine through Amazon.  The value in having a 1/4" presser foot is that it takes the guess work out of getting your seam allowance perfect.  Any deviation from the 1/4" seam will throw off everything else in the piecing of your quilt.  It really is very important.



Yesterday we cut out the pieces to our table runner pattern.  Some of those pieces require that you use an erasable fabric marker to indicate a diagonal line as shown.  Make sure your marker line is drawn from one corner point to the other.



When you are done, set them aside.  These markings are very important.  There was a time I didn't want to take the time to mark the squares with these diagonal lines.  I used to think I could "eye-ball" it and be done with it.  Not.  These marker lines are as important as everything else in making your quilt top.



After you have marked all the squares that you are supposed to mark - indicated in the pattern - you will be placing certain squares together.  When placing these cut squares "right sides together," make sure that each piece is the exact size it should be!  For instance, the red and white checkered fabric is 2 7/8" square.  The brown fabric is also 2 7/8" square.  I began putting them together and noticed that a few of the brown squares were not matching up to the red & white squares.  I took them all over to my Olfa cutting mat and measured them on both sides.  There were a few brown squares that were 2 7/8" by 3".  My bad.  I corrected the mistake and then they all matched up.  I have no idea how I ended up cutting those squares wrong, but it happens, even if you do check it twice. 

The important lesson here is to take your time and make sure your cuts and pieces are accurate.  If you make a mistake, it is better to correct it as soon as you see the error.  If you don't, the whole quilt top will be wrong.  Believe me, I know.  Impatience is not your friend when quilting or sewing.  Take each step slowly and focus.  It can be tedious, but it's worth the effort.



See that blue marker line on the back side of this square piece?  I told you you would need it there!  Line up the edge of your 1/4" presser foot with the marker line and sew a 1/4" seam on either side of the marker line.



There are tricks to getting your piecing done efficiently.  For instance, just before you complete sewing a 1/4" seam to the left of the marker line, line up the point edge of another square and keep sewing until all the square piecing is complete.



When you are done, you will have a train of pieces sewn together.  Trim them apart.



Turn the pieces around and you will be sewing another 1/4" seam on the other side of the marker line.  When you are done, use your rotary cutter and trim each square in half along the marker line as shown.  You now have a bunch of triangles.



Press each triangle open



Your finished triangles will look like this.  Trim the corner triangles off the edge.



Following the instructions in your pattern, you will be sewing your pieces together to make a pinwheel.  And there is something I want you to notice ... the points and how they meet in the middle in the pinwheel.  Perfection.  That is because I corrected the measuring mistake of the brown fabric pieces before I sewed them together.  The end result proves worth it.



In this next step we will be working with 12 rectangles and 24 squares.  Set them aside and ready to piece together in the next set of instructions.



 The next set of instructions are a bit trickier.  But you can do it!  You will be working with a rectangle piece and a square piece.  You can barely see it, but if you look closely, you can see the diagonal marker line on the back of the square piece.  Looking at the image in the instructions, I made sure I was placing the square correctly on the rectangle.  Sew ON THE the marker line.  Do this for all 12 rectangles and 12 of the 24 squares. 



Trim a 1/4" seam in the seam allowance.  Be careful to make the cut in the right place!



 When you are done with the first piecing, press open as shown



With the remaining squares, you are going to place them on the other side of the rectangle pieces, and making sure your diagonal marker line is correctly placed on the rectangle piece, sew on the marker line as shown.



When you are finished sewing the red squares onto the other side of the rectangle, trim a 1/4" seam as shown.



Press open and your rectangles should now look like this, and they should be 2 1/2" x 4 1/2"

That's it for today!  Come back tomorrow for more piecing!





For those that don't know, I am making the"Adelaide" table runner kit offered by "Connecting Threads" .  This is a sew-a-long with me project.  You can order your kit online, and when you get it, just pop on back here and we can sew together.






November 06, 2018

Thanksgiving Table Runner How-To

This Thanksgiving, I wanted to add a special element to our family table - and a quilted table runner was just the thing I had in mind.  And if time permits, I might even order some more of this fabric collection to make quilted placemats and napkins too!  But to start, I go straight to "Connecting Threads" and search through their kits.  I love their quilting kits.  They come with easy to understand instructions and all the fabric you will need to make the quilt top.  Then you choose the fabric you would like for your backing.  That's extra.



For this project, I ordered the "Adelaide" table runner kit.  The finished table runner will be 18" x 42", and Chester helped me open the bag of goodies.



The first thing you want to do when you get your kit of instructions and fabric, is to make sure you received all the fabric you need to complete your project, and label each piece of fabric.  There are names for each fabric design, but also numbers identifying each individual piece of fabric.  I tear off a piece of paper, write the # of the fabric from the instructions, and pin it on the fabric that it coordinates with.  I don't like mistakes.  I've learned from years of sewing that taking your time, reading the instructions completely first (imagining what you are doing in your head while reading), is the best way NOT to make any mistakes.



After you label your fabric pieces in the kit, set them aside.  Starting with Fabric #1, pull it from the pile and press it.  The best way to avoid mistakes in cutting your fabric for quilts is to begin with pressed fabric.  Before cutting your fabric into pieces, square up all 4 sides on your cutting mat and then press again. You want all edges to be a perfect right angle.



Following the instructions carefully, measure twice - cut once.



And ... label each of the pieces accordingly and set aside.



Press, square up the edges, measure twice, and cut once, for each of fabrics until they are all cut, labeled, and set aside.



And now the fun begins!  Tomorrow I'll be piecing the table runner top together!  Personally, I think cutting out the pieces from the fabric is the hardest part.  Any deviation from an exact measurement will throw off all the piecing.  Think of it like a puzzle.  You want all the points to be sharp and all the squares and triangles perfect.  Measurements and cutting is so important!  I can't imagine how women did this before cutting mats and rotary cutters!

This project is courtesy of Kristin Gassaway of Thrilled to Pieces!

I hope you will order the kit!  It's on sale too!  And then we can make this together!






October 26, 2018

New Pillows - New Look


There are times we all get sick of looking at the same old pillows on our sofa.  We need a pick-me-up for our home.  Sometimes, change is good.  As for me, I was tired of looking at the pillows I had purchased 5 years ago at Homegoods, not to mention, they were not comfortable.  I find that many of the decorative pillows I have purchased in the past are hard and uncomfortable.  Which brings me to this post.  I found some nice fabric that goes well on my sofa and in our family room and decided to make some easy envelope pillow covers for the pillow forms I purchased at JoAnn Fabrics.  They were on sale too!  So all the better!



Begin with a Poly-fil Premiere Pillow insert.  You can purchase them at JoAnn's Fabrics or any fabric store I would think.  I like this brand because they are soft and keep their shape.  I purchased 2 - 22" and 2 - 18" pillow inserts.



I had just finished making these 22" pillows when I thought "I should do a post on how easy these are to make.  So, I took pictures of the process of the 2 - 18" pillows I made to follow.



It is probably a good idea to choose a fabric that is washable and heavy/durable.



For 2 - 18" pillows, I purchased 1 yard of 45" fabric.  My pillow form is 18" square, so I want to cut out 2 - 19" squares.  These 19" squares are for the front of each pillow - or one side.  For the back of the pillow, I want to cut out 2 - 14" x 19" rectangles and 2 - 13" x 19" rectangles. These 4 rectangles will make up the back of the two pillows, making it easy to get the pillow form in and out of the cover so you can wash and press the cover as needed.



Set the two 19" square fabric pillow fronts aside for now.



On the 19" side (long side) of each of the four rectangular fabric pieces, press 1/4", then press over another 1/4" - pin if you like.  After you press the long side of only ONE side of each rectangle, stitch that hem as shown in the image above.



With right sides together, pin the 1 large and 1 small rectangle to one of the 19" square rectangles.  The two rectangles will form a pocket in which to place your pillow form.  Make sure that the raw edges are around the perimeter of the 19" square.  You want the edges that you pressed and stitched to be in the middle - check the image above.



Stitch 1/2" seam allowance around the entire 19" square.



After stitching around the entire 19" square pillow case, you will want to do a zig-zag stitch just inside the seam allowance.  You can also serge the raw edge of the seam allowance.  What this does is prevents the seam from fraying and coming apart over time and with washings.  I have a new serger, but I haven't learned to use it yet.  Ugh.  Intimidating - at least at the moment.



Clip your corners making sure you do not clip the stitched corner.  This makes the corners look cleaner and sharper when you turn the pillow case right side out.



Turn your pillow cover right side out and use your finger to push out the point of the corners



Looking good so far!



Press your pillow cover, especially the edges where the seam is located.  Use your finger to "roll" the seam out as far as you can to the edge while pressing.



Place your pillow form inside the beautiful pillow cover you just made!



And there you go!  A beautiful new pillow for your sofa, or chair, or bedroom decor.



I think it looks pretty great!



These 4 pillows brightened up my family room sofa and I made all four in a matter of a few hours.  See how easy that was?!!  I'm going to make some pillow covers from my Big Bears old dress shirts, using the side with the buttons as the envelope side.  I saw that trick on Martha Stewart a couple years ago. 

I hope you enjoyed this pillow tutorial!






December 11, 2014

A Festive Time of Year


It's that time of year again, that time when we all look at our bank accounts and cringe just before we cry.  LOL.  Seriously though, I am cringing.  Big time.



But the holidays bring much to be thankful for - for instance, Bob is gainfully employed, and I have had a wonderful year with commissions!  Sarah is doing wonderful in college, Matthew and Glen are both doing great in high school.  Yes, there is a lot to be thankful for.  I've had another year of blessings and memories with my family, and my mother just turned 90y/o!



We have 2 trees this year.  A live tree in our family room ...



And an artificial tree in our living room.  Matthew loves decorating the artificial tree in the living room, so it's all his handiwork.



The wreath is hung in the front window and the candle lights are in each window.  Makes me happy to see all the decorations and lights throughout our home.



Matthew also set up the village on our piano. 



Wishing all my friends, family, and Raisin Toast readers a blessed Christmas and Holiday Season.  Saying a little prayer for you that the new year brings happiness, health, prosperity, security, and wonderful memories.

Blessings to you, my friend ...



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