Friday, June 27, 2014

Mug mats

Seems like mug mats are all the rage now in the quilting realm.  I've wanted to try the selvage technique for a few years and have decided to make mug mats using selvages.   Another new concept for me is to show you step by step through photos.  Usually I am so focused on finishing a project, I forget to take step by step photos so here is my attempt at the process.

MUG MATS - a how to

You will be sewing your selvage strips onto a foundation fabric.  This can be anything light colored like muslin, or a lightweight cotton.  Cut 4 squares 5.5" and set aside.   If you've already cut selvages to use at a later date....bravo!  If not, doesn't matter, go through your stash and choose some yardage that has a good looking selvage edges and cut the entire length about 1-2" from the edge.  This gives you a little bit of the pattern as well as all the writing and coding you want.   I've seen some selvages with ladybug coding that just looked precious.  Don't worry about the imperfections in the selvage, like the pin holes or dodgy print or writings, these things add character and the pin holes will not be noticed when you've completed the mats. 

Choose a strip to start and lay it on the diagonal in one corner of your foundation.  Press lightly, if needed.  I use my walking foot with the needle position on the second dot from the middle (Bernina 440).  Sew a straight stitch close to the edge or on this strip, I stitched on the white line of the selvage where the pattern meets the selvage.  As long as you catch some of the foundation edge, it's fine.  Now choose your second strip.  Lay it down deciding how much of the pattern you want to show, being sure to catch the first strip edge in the seam.  Sew as close to the edge as you can.

Press and turn back the second stip to expose the seam allowance, if there is excessive fabric, trim to just under 1/4" to reduce bulk.  Be sure you don't cut through the foundation square.   Now choose your third strip and place it next to the second, sew down, press, trim, etc... until you've covered the entire foundation square. 
Trim to 1/4" for seam allowance. 
Trim down to 5.25" square.  Choose your backing fabric and cut the same size.  Using Insul-Bright, cut one square 5.25".  Layer the squares to make your quilt sandwich and sew a scant 1/4" around entire edge leaving an opening to turn.
Order of stacking: Insul-Bright, backing fabric (RSU), Selvage front (RSD)

After you've sewn around all edges and before you turn RSO, trim all the edges and clip corners.
Now turn RSO and gently push corners out to make as sharp a point as you can. Press and turn in the open edge and press.  You really don't need to pin, just hold it and align this edge in your machine first.  Sew very close to the edge, about 1/8" all around.

After you've sewn around all outside edges, you can quilt the middle section as desired without stopping.  I just made diagonal lines following the selvage lines. Your finished mat measures 4.75".
Front side
Reverse side
Set of 4 with different reverse sides.
The perfect house warming gift!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Camera Case - How to

I use a small Canon Power Shot camera and want a camera case to keep it from scratching and getting dirty.
Camera cases are a hard thing to shop for.  They always seem to be too large and bulky, not to mention expensive for what they are.  So, I made one.  It only took about an hour to complete and uses scraps of fabric.  

Use an outer fabric and a contrasting fabric measuring just over the size of your camera adding a flap to fold over the top of the case.  Measure your batting or ByAnnies lining the same size.  Mine measured about 10"X6".  With the lining between the two fabrics, place on your machine and quilt as desired to the edges.  I used a basic grid pattern and purple thread.  

Determine where the Velcro will go and pin.  Sew down, one half of the Velcro on the outer fabric edge and the other half of the Velcro on the inside fabric flap edge.  Do not sew too close to the edges.

Next lay the camera on top of your sandwich and trim slightly, remember you will need about 1/2 inch all around for the side seams.  Fold outer fabric to the inside just about 1/2 way so there will be enough for a flap and your camera will fit inside.  Pin and sew up the side seams.  Turn right side out.  Trim  the flap so that the seams from the sides do not curl the flap and when folded it lays flat.  This is just a slight trim.  

Cut your binding on the bias.  I cut strips 2 1/2 inches wide. Sew strips together and iron.  Fold in half length-ways and iron.  Make the handle strap the same way only folding one more time and sewing down the edge to make a smooth fine finish.  Pin the edge of the bias onto the bag and carefully pin all around.  Place the handle strap edge inside the edge of the bias strip.  Sew down carefully.  I hand sewed the inside edge as I thought it was a little fiddly getting the bag in my machine.  Hand sewing can hide a multitude of mistakes, too.  Not that you will have any!  Viola, you're done!