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Mar 28, 2011

Grocery Bag Dispenser Tutorial

Mar 28, 2011
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My husband is always throwing away all my spare grocery bags because they are in disarray in my pantry.  I need those for dirty diapers!  I finally got around to making this cute dispenser bag and thought I'd share it with you...

**If you prefer to print out your patterns, a downloadable PDF file is available for just $1.00.** 

1 fat quarter (18" x 22") print
1/4 yard coordinating solid
2 - 1" x 20" strips interfacing
22" x 29" batting
22" x 29" muslin for backing
11" of 3/4" wide elastic
2 - 1/4" eyelets

1.  Cut the print fat quarter down to 18" x 20".  Save the leftover strip for the bag's handle.

2.  Cut the coordinating solid into the following sizes:
                 2 - 5" x 20" rectangles
                 1 - 2 1/2" x 20" strip (for binding the top)

3.  Sew one 5" x 20" rectangle to the top of the 18" x 20" print and one to the bottom using a 1/4" seam allowance.

4.  Before sewing the decorative stitching on the red solid, we will add interfacing to give the material extra support.  Pin the 1" x 20" strip interfacing to the wrong side of the red solid along the seam you sewed in step 3.  Do this at both the top and bottom seams.

5.  Sew a decorative stitch about a 1/4" from the seam on top of the interfacing.  Use the seam as your guide. I chose a little leafy stitch to pick up the leaves in the apples.  Sew decorative stitching at both the top and bottom seam on the red solid.

6.  Now make your quilt sandwich.  Muslin backing on the bottom, then batting, and quilt top on top, making sure to center the quilt top over the larger layers underneath.  Baste with pins.

7.  Now it's time to quilt.  Important!  Only quilt the top red solid and the print portion of your quilt.  Leave the bottom red portion unquilted.  It will be much easier to make the casing for the elastic and gather it all up if  the bottom is left unquilted.  In addition to stippling an all over pattern on the top two portions of the quilt, I also stitched-in-the-ditch using a walking foot at the seam where the print meets the bottom portion of the red solid.

8.  Trim the excess batting and muslin from all sides of your quilt.

9.  Trim with scissors the unquilted batting and muslin from the bottom portion of the quilt to reduce bulk.

10.  The top of the quilt is finished with binding.  The bottom has elastic casing to keep the grocery bags in.  The next step is to make the binding.  Using the 2 1/2" x 20" strip of red solid cut in the beginning, fold it in half widthwise, wrong sides together.  Place the raw edges of your folded strip against the raw edges of the top of the quilt and sew across the entire length of the strip, 1/4" from the edge.

11.  Fold the binding strip over and sew the entire length of  the strip to the back of the quilt, using a top stitch (about 1/8" from the edge) to secure the binding.

Here's what the binding looks like from the front.

12.  Now we turn our attention to the bottom of the quilt to make the casing for the elastic.  Fold the bottom edge under 1/4" and press.

13.  Fold again, this time 3/4" to create the casing for the elastic.  Slip your elastic strip in there just to make sure it fits.  Press.

14.  Stitch a topstitch (about 1/8") from the edge of the casing along the entire width of the quilt.

15.  Use a safety pin, threaded through the end of your elastic to feed the elastic through the casing.  Make sure to hold on to the other end of the elastic so it doesn't disappear into the middle of your casing sleeve!

16.  Fold the quilt in half with right sides together.  Match the seams where the red solid meets the print and pin in place.  Also make sure to match the elastic and casing sleeve.  Then sew along the length of the open edge to create a cylinder with one gathered end.

Turn it right side out, and it looks like this!

17.  Next we'll make the handle.  Grab the leftover strip of print you cut off earlier.  It should be about 2" x 18".  To have finished looking ends on the handle, fold under (wrong sides together) about 1/4" on each short edge and press.

18.  Fold the strip in half widthwise, right sides together.  Then sew along the entire length of the strip about 1/8" from the edge.  Turn the strip right sides out.

19.  Using a pen, mark the desired location for the eyelet hole.  I placed my eyelets about 1/2" down from the binding.  If you are looking at your cylinder from the top (with the gather at the bottom), place the lengthwise seam at 12 o'clock or at the back.  The front of your bag, the part you'll see is now at 6 o'clock.  Ideally, you should place the eyelets at 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock.

20.  Follow the manufacturer's instructions for the eyelet press to install the eyelets at the locations you have marked.  Thread the handle through the eyelet and tie a simple knot on the end.

Done!  And now you have a beautiful way to store these bags for recycling!

{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations

Fresh Poppy Design

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Mar 26, 2011

Guess what?

Mar 26, 2011
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My bed quilt is being featured over at Lilac Lane!  Stop by Melissa's blog to check out her weekly feature "What's on your bed Friday?"

Thanks for the feature Melissa!
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Mar 24, 2011

Rainbow Eggs Pillow and a New Look!

Mar 24, 2011
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Before I chat about my springy pillow, I just wanted to show off GXQ's new look!!  (Hop on over from Google Reader if you need to...)  Lee has been so awesome to help me out when she's got a million things (and a quilt along!) going on over there at Freshly Pieced.  THANK YOU ten times over Lee.  Wonderful job!

And don't forget to enter the Crafty Girls Giveaway here..

---we now return you to your regularly scheduled program---

Does this pillow make you happy?  I can't help but be cheerful when I look at this pillow.  

I've had this pillow in my mind since I received my It's A Hoot charm pack in the mail from Sew Delightful Fabrics in December.  I couldn't get past all the egg fabrics and my need for an Easter pillow.  Sure makes me feel like spring!

There are 16 eggs, raw-edge appliqued on the solid bone background.  I stippled all over, but avoided the eggs.  Then (and this is the crazy part), I cut a bunch more charms into 1.5" x 5" strips and made a strip long enough to pipe the pillow all around!  I wasn't sure if this part would look good or disasterous, but in the end, I love the hodge podge of colors it's creates!

Now, I'm off to make an Easter wall hanging with the rest of the charm pack to match.

I'm entering it in the Pillow Party!

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Mar 19, 2011

Raiding Harbor Freight for Quilting Supplies

Mar 19, 2011
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About a month ago, I read this post over at KarrieLyne's.  Then later I read this post at Erin's.  

Everyone talking about Harbor Freight Tools....
 it dawned on me that there is one right next to the Joann's near me.

So yesterday I decided to check it out.  Yep!  I'm on the bandwagon.  The blades (I bought 6 packs of two @ $1.79 each) fit my Dritz rotary cutter.  I wasn't sure if they would fit since all the online talk concerned Olfa's.  Aaaaand - grippy quilting gloves for $1.59.  This should be a BIG improvement for me since I've never used gloves.

Before the toddler got too squirmy (nobody needs him running around in a store with SO many power tools, blades, and hazards), I managed to find these mini clamps for $1.99.

They are perfect for clamping my quilts to the back yard fence I use for a lot of photo shoots!

Check it out!  It's absolutely worth it for the rotary cutter blades alone.
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Mar 16, 2011

Kona Your World 2 Fabric Swap

Mar 16, 2011
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Ok, so hosting this swap again seems to be a no-brainer....  I've already worked through this once, so all the kinks are worked out  AND those who participated the last time seem happy with what they received!

Let's do it all again, shall we?

Gen X Quilters' Kona Your World 2 Fabric Swap

This is an opportunity to join a  centralized swap to receive a rainbow of new Kona colors to expand your stash of solids.

 Fabric Details:

1.  Each swap member will send 12 Fat Quarters of Kona Cotton Solid fabric to me.

Fabric must be cut into Fat Quarters (18" x22").  12 FQs = 3 yds total

2.  Each FQ must be labeled with both your name AND the Kona Color Shade.  (Make sure to put your name, so you don't receive your own fabric back!)

You may send any combination of colors you like - all one color or several shades.  It's entirely up to you!  Kona Solid Fabric must be new and unwashed.

3.  *NEW*  Send a 3" x 5" index card with your name printed at the top.  Next list the Kona colors of your FQs.  Third, if you desire certain colors back from the swap, list them last.

Shipping Details:

1.  Your package of 12 Kona FQs (labeled with your name and the Kona Shade) should be placed in a ziploc bag to protect the fabric.  The fabric fits into a 9 1/2" x 12 1/2" mailing envelope.  I recommend using the USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelope, which costs $4.90 for shipping in the U.S.

2.  Included inside your package, please put another Self-Addressed USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelope for me to mail the swapped fabric back to you.  Postage is paid on these packages at the time of shipment.

3.  There will be a shipping and handling charge of $6.00 to have the swap sent back to you.  (This is the $4.90 return shipment, plus $1.10 to help cover the P.O. Box rental fee.)  I will request the payment via PayPal.  Payment must be complete prior to the shipment of your package!

Once I receive every one's FQs, I will sort them out and give you back an array of 12 beautiful new colors for you to try!

This swap will be limited to 25 participants.  Sign ups start today and end 04/01/2011 or until the cap is reached.

FQs must be mailed to me by Fri. Apr. 22, 2011.

I hope to have the packages back to you within 2 weeks!

(Participants must be in the U.S. or Canada please.)

To Sign up for the Kona Your World 2 Swap:

Fill out the form here.

KYW2 is full!

 grab a button (in my right side bar) and leave a comment so we can see who's in!

Oh, and I just wanted to mention GXQ's sponsor, Sew Fresh Fabrics
is currently listing their plentiful

yardage of Kona at $5.25 per yard.  

Go back and read it again - that's right!  Now click away!

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Mar 15, 2011

SuperNova Quilt Along at Freshly Pieced

Mar 15, 2011
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Have you seen this quilt??

If you haven't seen it before, it's the Supernova Quilt by my friend Lee of Freshly Pieced and she just announced a new Quilt-Along to make it!

I'm in.....are you?

Supernova Quilt-Along with Freshly Pieced
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Mar 12, 2011

Eyelet Pliers and My Name Tag

Mar 12, 2011
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A while back, I mentioned to all the CMQG members that everyone should make a name tag.  Our group has about 25 regulars and it would be really helpful in learning names.  I forgot to make one for the last meeting, and I thought I'd better make sure to have it for the meeting this week since I'm leading the whole shindig!

I ordered a label with my first name on it from my favorite label ladies over at Sweetwater, of course!  Add a little Heather Bailey Mod Beads and good to go!  (I did actually quilt/bind this tiny tot too.)

Recently, I bought this eyelet plier kit and am wondering why I never had one before.  It's wonderful and easy to use for bags, etc.  I used 2 of the small eyelets at the top of the name tag and made the strap with some ribbon I had in my stash.

A tiny finish for the weekend!
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Mar 3, 2011

Embroidery Hoop Clock Tutorial at a-squared(w)

Mar 3, 2011
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You know all those lovely collections of embroidery hoops people are displaying in their sewing space? 

Well, Ali of a-squared(w) has a really cute take on this little piece of art.....turn it into a clock

Love it!  What a cute idea and great way to personalize your space! 

Ali even gives some suggestions for where to find some of the non-fabric craft supplies, as I know most of us can find good fabric blindfolded, but may need a little direction in other areas.

Stop by and check out her tutorial...
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Mar 2, 2011

wip wednesday - 03/02/2011

Mar 2, 2011
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Well, here we are again!  What seems to be my monthly wip post.....  I only seem to be able to get my act together at the beginning of the month.... but honestly, that's okay with me because I don't get enough done to warrant weekly updates.  As you can see, I'm still working on the same projects anyway.  I swear, I could get so much more done if I stopped goofing around in blogland and just sat down at my machine!

(BTW, speaking of goofing around in quilty blogs, did you see the March Modern Fabric Madness brackets on Fat Quarterly?  I love it!  I got a nice eyeroll from the hubby too when he figured out it was quilting related, and not the basketball brackets!  Ha!)

CMQG Mug Rug Swap

I have no idea if my partner from the CMQG Mug Rug Swap ever checks here....I hope I'm not ruining the surprise, but I was really happy with how this turned out and couldn't wait to show it.  She gave me a fantastic baggie of green and orange scraps to start with, so all I did was add a little Kona White.  Can you tell I'd recently finished a drunk love block for the {Sew} Beautiful Bee?

(Ahem, I am finally getting the hang of FMQ on my home machine.  Somehow I think learning on the long-arm really helped me at home too.  So happpppy.)

EQ Learning Quilt

Okay, I admit it.  I'm stalling on this one.  But it's for a good reason.  This quilt makes me happy.  I love the feel of this fabric and handling with these bright and cheerful colors (the yellows especially)....I can't help but smile.  It's great winter therapy honestly.  So, similar to that feeling of being smack dab in the middle of a good book, I don't want working on this quilt to end.  So I've been taking my good ol' sweet time...

12 of 16 done.  I've realize I have tons of extra fabric too.  I'm a prewasher, so when I used EQ7 to estimate fabric requirements, I used 42" WOF.  I've had some issues before with not having enough after washing.  This was not one of those cases.  I think I have double.  So I may end up making this quilt bedsize?  We'll see how things progress....

Here's a Q:  This pic was taken on my new design wall in my basement where I sew.  No daylight comes from that teeny tiny window across the room.  Any suggestions for affordable lighting?

Sliced Coins Quilt-Along

Yaaay!  This quilt top for Elizabeth's Sliced Coins Quilt Along is finished!  I've already made my appointment to quilt this bad boy on the Avante next weekend.  I'm intending on using this as our family picnik blanket and I can't wait to get some outside shots of this when it's finished.  Everything except the Kona White (including the backing) is from my stash.  It feels good to use some of that up.

Sewing with My Son

I think I've mentioned Mr. Lightning McQueen before.  He used to be known as my son.  Now he's race car obsessed, toting those cars everywhere, and constantly asking to watch the movie or Nascar. 

I picked up a scrap of fabric called a straw (6" x 24") for 60 cents at a LQS with these cars on them.  We cut them out together, he helped peel off the paper backing on the fusible web, and he placed them in the correct positions on the $1 sweatshirt from Kroger.  I fused them on and raw edge appliqued each shape. 

For a mom with 2 boys, this is more than I could ask for!!  Sewing + race cars + time together = happy mom and boy!

In the cue

2 patterns - final editing

{Sew} Beautiful Bee block - spiderweb

Name Tag for CMQG

Birdie Stitches BOM - indefinitely on hold

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
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