Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Nature reinterpreted in a wonderful way - Wednesday Inspiration

You can found inspiration everywhere, but these people  almost blocked me in an endless admiration.
I can only look in silence at their wonderful creations and let the ideas mixing in peace. It seems to me that words are too poor to describe the emotions aroused by them.

From here:

...and from here :

Have a beautiful and creative day!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Spiral Quilt - the first test

I started to design the layout of a new quilt.
Now I'm  testing one of the drawings. There will not be these colors and fabrics, but they will be somewhere close.

It's only a fragment. I stopped the cutting and sewing only to take these pictures. I keep working on it.

I have some problems to solve for assembling it. I don't know yet if I thought well all the steps. That's why I started this test at the 1:1 scale.
Back to it, then!

Have a beautiful week!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

When Summer comes - Elastic Headband/Bandana Tutorial

In the summer hot days when I have to work in the garden or I am on holiday, I like to wear headbands or bandanas.
Usually I buy them but yesterday I decided to try to make one. It was the end of the day and I didn't have patience to start a new long-term project.
I took two pieces of fabric and one piece of elastic and within less than one hour I had a new headband/bandana.

Elastic Headband/Bandana Tutorial

First of all measure your head circumference. Mine is 21".

For the main piece of fabric (the red one in the photo above) you may consider the length that cover your head from behind one ear to another. Mine is 15". 

The elastic length = Head Circumference - Bandana length. Mine is 6".
Add to these lengths 1/2" seam allowances. 

So, for 21" head circumference we need:
- one piece of fabric measuring 16" x 7" for the headband/bandana;
- one piece of fabric measuring 12" x 2 3/4" for the elastic's tube;
- one piece of elastic measuring 7" x 1".
We need also a safety pin or a loop turner.

Overcast the raw edges of the two fabric pieces.

1. The Elastic's Tube
Fold the piece of fabric lengthwise wrong side out. Sew the long edges together with a 1/4" seam allowance. Back stitch at the beginning and end of the seam.

The Elastic Tube
2. Turn it right side out.
Press so that seam line is positioned at the center.
3. Insert the elastic inside the tube using a safety pin.
The tube's seam line should have the same centered position when we insert the elastic.
Pin the tube ends with the elastic to keep them in place.
Sew the tube and elastic ends together with 1/2" seam allowances. Back stitch at the beginning and end of the seam.
Set the tube aside.
This will be the center back of the tube.
4. Take the piece of fabric for the headband/bandana.
Place it right side down. 
On the short sides trace marks at every inch.

Starting from one long side, fold the fabric piece like an accordion, finger-pressing the creases. The marks from the left and right sides should be guides to obtaining pleats with equal width (1").


Pin the folded piece and iron it to keep the folds in place.

5. Place the folded headband and the tube like in the photo below.
The tube's centered stitch line should be up.
 6. Fold the two exterior sides of the folded headband over the tube. Pin them in place.
Sew them together with 1/2" seam allowance. Back stitch at the starting and ending points.

7. Turn the headband right side out.

8. Repeat the step 6 with the other ends of the tube and headband.

9. Turn the headband/bandana right side out.

Ready to be wear folded as headband...
...and unfolded as bandana

If you don't like to see the overcast edges, you may hem them. In this case you need to know from the beginning how wide will be, in order to adjust the measures of the fabric piece. 

Have a beautiful day!

I am linking to Finish it up Friday.  

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Happy pouches for summer travel bags

Last days, among other things, I managed to sew a few pouches for my friends travel bags.

For two of them I used again one of Geta's patterns but with some twists: rounded corners and a squarish shape.

The third one has two different sides:

I made all three taller than usual. One reason was to make them roomy, as they are used especially for toiletry. Another reason was to break out the usual more or less rectangular shape of such kind of pouches.

The weekend is here, but it's rainy and cold. 
Let's hope that things will be better till Monday and I will have real reasons to continue to sew summer things!

Have a beautiful weekend!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Walnut Kernel Block Tutorial

About a month ago I made this block, most of the time figuring out how to cut and stitch its units. As you may see, my inspiration is still in the needle points world.
After I made a quick table runner from three test-blocks I set the problem aside because I had other deadlines on the horizon.
These days I brought it back. This second attempt to work on this patchwork block has been occasioned by the participation in a Round Robin which just started these days.
I made some research work to gather information about similar blocks. I found one version of it in Judy Hopkins book, named "Whirling Five Patch". But I didn't want this setting. I wanted the setting of the original needle point from Basarabia, which might be included in the traditional motif known as "Walnut Kernel".
But I was again pushed from the back by the time. I stopped searching and started to do it how I thought it was right. One thing was sure: the name of this block.
If somewhere in the World there is a tween brother of my block, I'll be happy to meet the author! 

So today I share with you the tutorial I made for sewing it.
The May newsletter which is about to be sent, has as main subject a few free quilt designs I made based on this block.
So, here it is

Walnut Kernel Block Tutorial



Seam allowances are 1.4" unless otherwise stated.

1. Cut  the B square in half diagonally. We have 2 Half Square Triangles (HST).

2. Center the longest side of one HST over the D strip, right sides together.
Sew them together.
Handle this side of the HST carefully to avoid stretching it out of shape. It is a bias cut.
Press toward the strip.

3. Center the longest side of the other HST over the other edge of the strip,
right sides together.
Sew them together. Press toward the strip.

4. Sew the 1 ½ " A square between the two E rectangles.
Press toward the rectangles. Set the pieced strip aside.

5. Cut the resulting block in half on the other diagonal.
We have two HSTs again.

6. Sew the strip containing the yellow square between the  two HSTs.
Press toward the pieced strip.

7. Trim the excess. Take care to have the meeting points of the  block's perpendicular
sides  placed in the middle of the corresponding strips ends (see the red arrow).

If you worked accurately the central block should measure 7" x 7" (seam allowance included).
Set it aside.

8. Place one F piece vertically over the left half of one C piece, right sides together.

On C piece draw or fold and crease one diagonal line from up left to down right and sew together F+C pieces. Cut the excess to 1/4 " seam allowance.
Press toward F piece.

9. Take another F piece and place it over the right half of the pieced unit, right sides together.
Repeat Step 8 changing the direction of the diagonal.

10. Make one more F+C+F unit and two G+C+G units.
The four pieced units in place, before sewing them to the central block.

After trimming them you should have two short pieced units measuring 2 1/4" x 7 1/2" and two long pieced units measuring 2 1/4" x 11".

11. Take the central block and fold it in half. Finger press to leave creases
in the middle of each side.

 Center the two F+C+F units on the block, right sides together and sew them to the top and bottom edges.

Press the seam allowances outward.
Trim the excess.

Do the same with the G+C+G units for the left and right edges.
Press the final block. 
The finished block should measure 11" (seam allowance included).

The block ready with the pieced border added

It's important to keep the accuracy of the cutting and sewing in order to not alter the design.


It's possible that at your first attempt to come to a smaller central block, trying to get the middle point of the diagonal in the trimming step. In this case you will have to adjust the exterior pieced units length, after sewing them to the central block. In consequence your final block will get smaller than 11".
In this case you should verify if the exterior triangles long sides measure 1 1/2" less than the interior triangles long sides.    
If they have about the same length, take the ruler and do these:
- measure one interior triangle long side; from this number subtract 1 1/2" and you have the exterior triangle long side length.
- place the ruler on the block and keeping it parallel to the block exterior side, glide it  inward until you reach the desired length of  the exterior triangle side. Cut along  the ruler. Do the same with the other three sides.
This way, even the block is smaller than it should be, the design is not altered.

I hope this tutorial is intelligible and useful.

Have a beautiful weekend!

I am linking to Linky Tuesday.