Saturday, April 16, 2011

Little Zipper makeup bags - tutorial and I am not the zipper queen

The other day some one asked me if zippers in the pouches was easy, I think it is. I imagine there a million ways to add zippers, right now this is the best way I know. Keep in mind I am not the zipper queen, in fact I am pretty sure I an not even a zipper princess. I have sewn maybe a couple of hundred zippers, which means I have a few thousand to go before I am an expert.

My finished pouches are available on my web site
Iron a piece of fabric this one os roughly 14" by 16"

Add a pice of batting! 

Free motion quilt. You can do anything you want.
This is a great way to practice new free motion quilting ideas on a small surface.

I am using brown corduroy for my lining. Once it is quilted fold the piece in half , which you place on top of your lining fabric.

I trim the folded edge first! 

Folded edge.

Trim the folded edge first.

Use the trimmed folded side to square from, then trim the edges.

Second edge.

Now use the squared edges to trim the other side.

Back, front and lining.

Fold the front in half, right sides together to find the center line.

Cut 3" off one side of the lining and the back of your bag.

Just like this.

Open the zipper, it is easier to sew!

Place the zipper along the fold, upside down.
Really at this part there is no wrong way.
The zipper may open the opposite way from what you intended, or what you meant to have for the front may now become the inside.  Don't worry about it, this is a practice bag.

Ready to sew.

Zipper foot on the machine, the needle is moved all the way to the left.

I am using the first line on the right for a guide. The needle should be as near the  zipper-zip as possible.

One side of the zipper done! See how easy that is?

I do a couple of lines of top stitching at this point. I do the top stitching with the zipper closed.

Top stitching done and ready to go.

Unzip the zipper again.

The zipper goes between the two 3" pieces now. 

Top stitch with the zipper closed. 

The front is done including the lining.

Now add the back lining. I fold up the front of the bag and trim back  1/4" off the  two sides of the lining.
This helps the lining fit nicely in the bag.

1/4" trimmed

Front of bag, zipper open about 3/4 of the way.

The back is ready to sew now!

I double check that all the sides match.
I sew  the lining side TOP together,  in an inch or two, from each edge, be sure to back stitch , this is where you will be turning the bag right side out.

Now sew all the way around.

Take extra back stitches at the zipper. I do 3 or 4, because this is a heavy use area.

Now you are ready to turn the the bag right side to.


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Ode to my Grandmother II - how to make a confetti scrap piece

Ode to my Grandmother II, Florence Vande Sandt, February 4, 1905 - April 26, 2001, spent her whole life in north central Montana, 5 miles south of the Canadian border, 25 miles north of Gildford,  it really is the middle of no where. She saved everything, including but not limited to used nails, screws, bits of wire, feed sacks, paper, worn out socks, gadgets, do hickeys, and all things fabric. She loved quilts and she made hundreds of them, of all kinds, she was not particular. All of her quilts were tied, the batting layer could have been a worn blanket or a new one, maybe batting. The guts of the quilt were whatever was inexpensive and what she had on hand, no running to the store for every little thing! My Grandmother would love this confetti concept, because nothing is wasted, anything sewable can be used.

For this tutorial I have chosen poppy flower petals for my theme, you do not need flower petals. I have had these around for a couple of years waiting to be used. I happen to have lots of angelina fiber and a strong affinity for organza, so those are where I start in my selection.
I have chosen a few silky fabrics, yarns, multiple colors or organza, velvet, and ribbon. The rest is explained in the pictures.
You can save all those threads you usually throw away as part of your confetti as well as the cotton from quilts scraps. Everything you can sew through is fair game.
This is my starting point, the fake flowers, blue silky fabric and black tulle.
I prefer black tulle because it allows you to see the colors underneath.
I have used other colors of tulle to contain the confetti, but I personally do not like them.

I choose a stabilizer, this can be anything with a bit of stiffness.
You want to be able to sew through it.
Decor Bond is a good example of perfect weight, if you use it it does not need to be fused to the fabric .

This fabric can be used wrong side or right side.
I am using the wrong side.

I am only trimming one side even, I will worry about the rest of it later.


For added texture I am adding a layer of wool batting.
I love wool batting, especially Dream Wool.

Now may layers are together.
Blue on the bottom.
Blue on the top.

My pallet ready to paint with bits of fabric confetti!

I want to add a light layer of angelina fiber.
I love the shinny sparkle it adds.

I've thrown down a bit more.

Covered with my protect my iron cloth.
I do have the teflon sheets for this as well.

Not enough heat yet for this project.
Angelina is bondable only to itself  and to the bottom of my iron - your iron as well., so be careful.

I have added more heat.
The amount of heat changes the color and texture of the angelina.
Play with it, it is fun.
You do not need very much.

I found a piece of weird lacy stuff so I  laid that down under the angelina.
I also threw a small bit of loose angelina on my pallet.

I am making bits out of lace and organza.
I love organza and velvet for confetti projects.
You can make your pallet velvet.


Free motion quilting foot is on the machine
and the feed dogs have been dropped.

Ready to cut.

Bits of green silky fabric.

Blue velvet.
This I have tried to place right side up.
I have also added a small section of just purple lavender in one corner.
My Grandmother loved purple and lavender as well as lilacs!

Organza selection.
I randomly whack this off in a variety if sizes all over the pallet.

Now I add the poppy petals.
You can use any kind of cloth flower or none at all.
Place the tulle on top.

Check to be sure you layers are in order.

I pin the even sides first then work around the edges.
The pinning is to keep the tulle even and the confetti contained!
I want to be sure I have the bottom and top layers pinned. I always leave extra tulle hanging over the edges.
I also do not worry about all the edges matching at this point.
In all my my experimenting I have found it best to not worry about the edges being perfectly matched up, they are not going to stay matched.
I pin the flowers in place, in this piece I want them to stay.

I am using two spools of thread at the same time.
I have chosen two similar but different colors.

Free motion foot on!
Feed Dogs down!
Size 14 needle or one with a big eye!

I pull both threads through the needle at the same time.
For my finicky machine, when I bring the thread down from the top I am pulling these threads even the whole way.
Your machine may have a different set up for two threads simultaneously. 

I am taking one stitch to bring the bobbin thread to the top.

Bobbin thread is up.

Needle is now Down and all the threads are pulled to the edge.

I take a couple of stitches, leave the needle down and trim threads
I do not want the dangling thread in my way!

Now I loosely sew around the petal so it stays where I want it.

I have removed the pin.
I will sew around the edges of the petal.
Then add lines from the outside in.

This is petal one.
Part of the texture comes from two threads.

Starting flower 2.
Remember to bring the bobbing thread to the top each time you start!

I recommend sewing the flowers first, to get rid of the pins.

Done with fabric flowers.

Two shades of purple!
Remember to bring the bobbin thread to the top.

I am using the bits of purple organza to guide my shapes using purple thread.

Random purple lines!

Two shades of green.

Notice the puffy, don't worry about it, sew around it then through it, or through it then around it.
This is confetti and the puffy adds texture! 

Flattened puffy! 
Just keep quilting it, a little extra texture is fun.

Huge puffy close to the end.

Free motion quilting is finished.
I am ready to trim the edges.

Pick a side any side and trim so the back and top edges are even.

Trim the second side!

Finish trimming the other two sides even.
Now you can decide what you want to make from your finished piece.

The back!

A coat with a matching bag using shades of blue, with black tulle.

Ugly blue background fabric with bits of golds, greens and blues.
I used a white or shimmery tulle on this one.

Orange check fabric with turquoise golds, greens and bright orange.

This is a yellow fabric with various shades of red, yellow and green confetti.

Close up.
There are other ideas for confetti on my etsy site.
I have used it in some of my bags, checkbook covers and some pieces were nice enough to mount on black suede matt board so they can be hung.
You can use the finished piece in whatever way you want.
Remember there are no rules!

Finished and ready to frame or hang.
A link
Ode to Grandmother 1