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Hello everyone! I hope you are all doing well and getting lots of sewing done! If you haven’t entered into my blog hop give-away, go check it out here! You have until September 6th to enter.

I have recently started my fall semester at college this year, and I found a lanyard at the bookstore with the school’s name on it for 25$! As much as I would love to demonstrate my school pride, I was not interested in paying so much for such a simple device. (especially with the large amount of money I just spent on my school books!) I went home, and dug through my scrap bag and after a few failed attempts, I came up with a unique style that is perfect for the quilter in me.

The finished project will be 1″ wide. Adjusting the length of your strip can give you longer or shorter lanyards. I had some scraps left over so I also made a few keychain size ones! (** please forgive me for switching between different colored pieces in my tutorial, It was hard to keep track while making them all! All of the strips in these pictures are the same length and width.)

You will need:

Scraps, 4″ wide (to make a solid color, you just need a 4″ wide strip as long as your measurement from the first step in “Assembly”)
1″ Key ring or other hardware of your choosing (I got a grab bag of findings from Hobby Lobby for about 1$)
Matching thread
Tape measure
Iron and ironing board

Assembly:

1. Take a tape measure, pretend it is a lanyard and use it to measure how long you would like your finished piece to be.  From the point where the end meets, add 3″. (ex, my measurement was 44″, add 3, your final measurement is 47″)

This is how the 47″ finished piece falls on me.

2. Seam your 4″ scraps together until you have a strip as long as your measurement. Press your seams open. (pressing to one side will add lots of bulk and make it difficult to sew together)

3. Press your strip in half lengthwise.

4. Open your strip, and press each side into the middle using your pressed line as a guide.

5. Press again down your strip with both of the sides folded in together.

6. Now head over to the sewing machine. Sew as close as you can to the edge (approx. 1/8″) all the way down the open side of your strip. (***make sure your edges are together!) I like to use a zipper foot for this step so I can see exactly where I am sewing. Once you finish the open side, turn your strip around and sew down the other side the same way, as close to the edge as you can.

7. Take your lanyard and lay it out flat. Put the ends together and flip one side so your lanyard lays like this. This will allow your lanyard to lay flat against your chest while wearing it.  Put a pin about 7 inches up from the bottom to hold it together in this position.

sewn on both sides

Finishing your lanyard:

1. Pull your hardware through one of the ends of your lanyard and fold the fabric up over it, about 1.5″ to 2″.

2. Fold the other side up, and stagger it slightly so it does not fold over where the hardware is.

Make sure your raw edges are even.

3. At your sewing machine, switch back to your normal presser foot if you switched and lay your lanyard underneath. Sew a square to secure your edges together, back stitch a few times at the beginning and the end. (***Please be careful and go slowly, you don’t want to accidentally sew over your hardware and break your needle.) When you come to an edge, leave your needle down and pick up your presser foot. Pivot your lanyard and sew again.

 

4. Trim your threads and you are finished!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. If you have any questions feel free to ask here in the comments or contact me through my email. Until next time, Happy Quilting everyone!

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Here is a quick and easy idea for a custom cover for your sewing machine! This can be adapted for almost anything, but this example is for my sisters Brother sewing machine. How cute is that?

You will need:

  • either a jelly roll, a fat quarter bundle, or assorted scraps, (as long as they can be cut into 2 1/2″ strips. Your strips need to be as wide as your width measurement for you machine.)
  • yardage for the backing
  • yardage of thin batting, same size as your backing
  • thread
  • either extra scraps or a coordinating fabric for the binding.
  • 24″ of ribbon in a coordinating color. (I used the ribbon that was tied around my FQ bundle)
  • temporary basting spray (you can use pins if you do not have any )

Measuring your machine:

Measure all the way around the widest part of your machine, usually the base. Add 5″ to this measurement. This is your WIDTH.
Now measure from the bottom of your machine over the top at the highest point and down the back to the base again.  This is your LENGTH.

Assembly:

1. Take your yardage and batting and cut a piece of each in the size of your LENGTH x WIDTH. Spray the batting with your basting spray and lightly lay your backing fabric wrong side to the batting. Using the basting spray really helps hold your “sandwich” together as you quilt!

2. If your fabric is not already cut into 2 1/2″ strips (like a jelly roll) cut your fabric. It is easiest to cut strips using a long ruler with a rotary blade. Trim the strips to the measurement of your WIDTH.

3. Lay your strips out on top of your “sandwich” in a pattern you like. Some options are light to dark, random or maybe a repeating pattern. For this one, we used 5 different patterns from a fat quarter bundle and used a repeating pattern. Place your strips aside except for the strip on the farthest right.

4. Lay your first strip down about a 1/4 away from the edge of your “sandwich”. Pin your strip down along the right side. Sew 1/4″ seam down the strip.

Sew your seam on the edge, 1/4″

5. Lay your next strip directly on top of the first, right sides together and pin. Sew a 1/4″ seam starting from the opposite side you sewed from on the first strip. **Alternating the direction you sew from on each strip will minimize the pulling on your backing fabric.

Right sides together, pin and sew!

6. Repeat adding strips until you have reached the end of your “sandwich.” Sew a 1/4″ seam on the last strip’s edge to fasten the last side to the back.

7. Lay your cover over your machine and trim it to your liking. This one touches the table surface on both sides. You may make yours shorter if you like!

Finishing your cover:

1. Cut your ribbon into 6″ pieces. Sew your binding to the back of the quilt, placing your ribbon pieces under the binding about  5″ up from the bottom and top on the LENGTH sides. Use a 1/4″ seam.

Sew your ribbons into the binding on the backing side.

2. Once you have finished sewing your binding onto the back, turn the binding to the front and stitch it down with a zig-zag (or any decorative stitch you like!) When you come to where your ribbons are, pull them so they stick out to the sides. This helps the ribbons always stay out where they can be easily reached.

Finished binding with zig-zag from the back.

You’re all finished! Lay your cover over you machine and tie the ribbons. How easy was that?

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! Let me know in the comments if you have any questions, and please let me know if you make this! I would love to see pictures.  Happy sewing everyone!

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My sister came for a visit this past week, and we decided to make a tube quilt together, I this specific one is sometimes called ‘summer in the park’ or ‘walk in the park’ but i’m not entirely sure. Lots of pictures for this one, here goes!

We used 4 jelly rolls for this quilt with a 5″ border and it ended up just shy of king size. If you dont have jelly rolls to use, you can make your own by cutting 2 and 1/2″  strips of fabric along the width (typically 45″). These can be any colors you like. For this quilt we picked a mix of blues and greens. You will also need:

A large square or rectangle rotary ruler with a 45 degree angle marked

Rotary mat and cutter

 

 

Take your strips and match them up in groups of four, in color orders you like. Sew these in pairs together with a 1/4″ seam and press open to one side.

 

Guest appearance by my sister Mindy holding the pressed open two strip pair.

Take your two pairs and lay them right sides together. Sew them together on both sides, keeping the 1/4″ seam down one side, then turn the tube and go the opposite direction on the other side to prevent bulges from stress on the fabric.

 

Head over to your cutting mat, and lay the tube flat. Trim the edge.

Lay the ruler’s 45 degree angle on the seam. Not on the edge of the fabric. Cut along the edge.

Move the ruler to the opposite seam in the same manner, 45 degree angle line on the seam. If you have a perfect square ruler, you can just slide it up. If you are using along rectangle ruler like me, flip the ruler so you can line up your guide line. Your ruler should line up with the seam on both sides. (where my fingers are pointing! 🙂 )

Cut along the ruler edge. This is your first finished piece!

Once you open your triangle, you have your finished square!

Continue cutting, keeping your ruler on the 45 degree mark! You should get 10 pieces from a 45″ width of fabric. Each single tube will make 2 different patterns, creating a huge range of possibilities for  how to lay out your design.

Lay your squares out how you like in 4 piece blocks. You can keep the patterns the same, or make it totally random. Sew 1 to 2, and 3 to 4. Press, then sew these together, matching the seams from the middle of the block.

 

Press all your blocks flat and lay them out in the pattern you like. Sew these blocks together in rows, then sew the rows together to finish your quilt top!

 

Here is the finished product, we added a 5″ border around the entire outside in a nice blue and green sort of gumdrop print on white. We also added any left over half triangles we had to the bottom to make a snazzy edge.

 

Due to time constraints we didnt get to finish this one, but as soon as its finished I will definitely post some pictures up!  Feel free to ask any questions through email or here in the comments. Also if you do make one of these, let me know! I would love to see your results.

Happy Quilting everyone!

 

 

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I think the dresden plate is one of my favorite things to create, and I hope that I can help ease the cringes most people I know make when they imagine making one. They really aren’t as difficult as they look! So here goes a (fairly) simple tutorial from beginning to end to make a dresden plate of your own. Lots of pictures to try and help make it easier!

(If you dont have a template, you can make one by drawing two horizontal lines 5″ apart from each other, connecting them with a perpendicular line. On one end draw a line 2 and 3/4″ [1 and 7/16″ on each side of the vertical line] and on the other end a line 1/2″ [1/4″ on each side of the line”] then connect the lines creating a triangle with the top cut off, then cut this out of some strong cardboard. Yay cheap template!)

**updated to add a diagram of drawing your own template, I hope that this will help you! 🙂

Lets get started!

Your template should look like this!

First take your template and cut your fabric, using a long straight edge ruler will help out alot. If you dont have a rotary cutter, draw then template design on the fabric and cut it out that way. Otherwise lay the ruler over the template and the fabric and cut away. Be careful, always try to remember to close the guard on your cutter when you’re not using it. If you are using my template, cut 16 strips of assorted (or whatever you prefer!) colors per block.

Once you’ve cut out your strips, head over to the sewing machine. Fold the longer half of the strip in half like this.

Sew a 1/4″ hem across this top fold.

You can chain-piece these together once you’re comfortable with them to make large amounts and to save time and thread!

Trim the seam off, and turn the seam over inside the strip, making a point. Try and line the seam up in the center of the strip as best you can.

Press this lightly, and you have made a piece that doesn’t need turning under when appliqueing!

Perfect finished edge!

Head back to the sewing machine, and place your pieces out next to you in a circle to decide how you want your dresden to look. Take two neighboring pieces and place them right sides together, and sew a 1/4″  hem (as exact as you can) down the side. Always sew from the top finished point to the bottom. Don’t worry if your edges on the bottom do not meet exactly, they will be covered by the center in the end.

Press the seam open to one side with your fingers, I do this to avoid going to the ironing board a million times but you may use an iron if you prefer. As you piece I find its easier to keep pressing the seams to the same side.

Seam pressed to one side.

Continue adding your pieces until you have completed your ‘flower’. Now I would take this completed piece over to the ironing board and give it a quick light press.

Dont worry if you have a few raised places or "bumpy parts" at first. This is easy to smooth down when you applique onto your block. It will get better them more you do it and the more comfortable you get!

Now cut out a circle about 2 3/4″ wide in a light cardboard or plastic. I like to use the paper from coke boxes, its easy to cut and we always seem to have them around! If you arent sure about drawing a circle and you dont have a compass to help, you can use something round to trace one. Look at your flower and imagine how large you want your center circle to be and find something that size. An air freshener can, a coke can, soup can, etc. It is important that your circle is round and even.

Now take your circle and place it on your fabric that you want for your center. draw a light line and cut this out, leaving a 1/2″ hem around the outside. This does not have to be exact, but try to keep it uniform. Take a running stitch around the outside of this hem. Place the circle inside, center it and pull the running stitch tight.

Press this with your iron while holding the thread taught. When you let go, it should keep its shape. Gently pull the cardboard circle out of the fabric and use your fingers to press your circle back out to its shape. You may press again if you like, but its not necessary. I find its very easy to distort your center at this point, so just be careful if you do.

Now you have your finished center and your finished ‘flower’, all you need to do is applique them on a block! If you are using my template, cut a piece of fabric for your background 12 1/2″ square.  Fold this in half,

and then in half again.

Press the folded corner lightly with an iron.

This will form a small cross in the exact center of your block.

Lay your background out and line up your ‘flower’ on the center.

Pin, and applique this onto the block. There is a great tutorial from Connecting Threads (new window) on youtube for hand applique, you can find that here (new window).  If you aren’t a fan of applique, you can use a fancy stitch on your sewing machine around the edges, just make sure you pin lots and lots to keep it steady, but don’t sew the pins! Once you’ve got your flower on, add your center and you have a beautiful dresden plate. Finished, this block is 12″ square with a 1/4″ hem on all sides, ready to be added into your quilt.

I hope this helped ease some fears, and that anyone who tries this comes out with a fabulous result. Please feel free to ask any questions, either in the comments or as a message. I will get back as soon as possible.  Good luck!

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