Let’s get started. The first step is preparing the main runner.
TIPS FOR THE MAIN RUNNER
Following the pattern instructions you will cut one or two pieces of the main runner fabric, across the width of your yardage. Whether you have one or two pieces will depend on the size of your table. (Since most tables will require two pieces that is what is shown in the following steps.)
Cut off the selvage edges to insure flat seams.
With the folded fabrics open, place them right sides together matching one of the short sides and sew together as per the pattern instructions. You will have one long piece.
Press the seam open and refold the whole piece in half lengthwise, matching the center seam. Pin and stitch along the length to form a long tube with open ends.
You will next be pressing this long seam open and positioning it in the center of the runner.
To find the center quickly, with your tube flat and the seam to one side, finger press the fold for an inch or two.
This will give you a center mark which you can then match up with the seam on the opposite side.
Center the seam and press it open. At this point your runner will look like the picture on the left.
The next step will be to trim the center runner to the desired length. Following the calculations in your pattern, you will be trimming some from each end. This keeps the seam centered in the middle of your table.
Rather than trim each end separately, fold the runner in half at the seam with the open ends together.
If you are using a rotary cutter and ruler, note the amount to trim and cut through both ends at once.
Now sew across the open ends marking and leaving a 6″ opening in one end to turn it.
Before turning take the time to press the seams open on the ends. This makes things much easier once it is turned, ESPECIALLY for the seam allowance in the opening. To press the seams open on the end of your tube you will need to clip each corner as shown below. Put the scissor tip into the fold and clip down close to the stitching but not TOO close. This will release the seam to fold open.
Start with the seam allowance on one side and press it back. Then turn the whole piece over and press the other seam allowance back towards the runner. Repeat for the opposite end of the runner.
Use the 6″ opening to turn the entire tube right side out. Work the corners out flat and press all around.
To temporarily close the opening I use a WASHABLE WHITE GEL glue stick and run it along the inside edge of the opening. Pressing it lightly with the iron will dry it quickly and keep it in place until it is top stitched down in later steps.
TIPS FOR PREPARING THE BOOTS AND STOCKINGS
The pattern includes one boot pattern. Rather than copying it once or even four times I take it to my printer and make four copies. This preserves the original. Just be sure the printer is not re-sizing the copy. Laying out all four copies at once lets you see that you are allowing enough space between them and they will fit across the width of your folded fabric.
With the patterns pinned in place use a pen to trace around each boot. You may use a thermal erasable pen such as a Pilot Frixon or just an ordinary pen. The thermal erasable pen mark disappears when it is heated by an iron.
This line will be on the inside seam of the boot and so will not show. Pens tend to drag less than a pencil when drawing on fabric and they create a defined dark line that is easy to follow for stitching. If you are concerned that the pen will bleed through and mark the table or mat beneath, just slip a piece of plain paper under the fabric in the area you are working on. If your fabric is too dark for a pen to be clearly visible, use a soap sliver recycled from the shower.
When you are done tracing remove the patterns, pin the two layers together in several places and rough cut the boots out. This means just quickly cut them apart without cutting too close. Notice that the top ONLY is cut along the pattern line.
Sew around the boots using a very short stitch length (1.0-1.5) as instructed in your pattern. Start at the right top and sewing around to the left side leaving the boot open across the top. Repeat for all four boots. When sewing around the toe it is better to round out the point a bit. This will make it easier to turn and still be pointed enough.
Next trim and clip around all sides.
Outside curves are clipped with a wedge and inside curves are clipped with a straight clip – close to the stitching but not too close. Notice how the seam allowance is trimmed to about 1/8″ in the toe area.
Before turning right side out, press down 1/2″ along the top. This is much easier to do before turning than after.
Stuff the stockings lightly starting with a small piece of polyfil worked into the toe area.
A small stick or dowel with a rounded or flat end can be a useful tool. Be careful with sharp ends that can poke through the seams.
Continue working with small pieces until the stocking is lightly stuffed to within about an half inch of the top. Repeat for all four boots.
Prepare the stocking strip as directed in your pattern but sew across ONE END of the tube to close it.
Press the seam open along the side and use a dowel, chop stick or eraser end of a pencil to push the closed end up and through to the other side.
No more safety pins to turn the tube!
Now just trim off the end that was sewn shut.
Press the sock tube with the seam running up the center back. Cut into four equal lengths. Insert one sock into each boot top about 1/2″ and pin in place. Pin carefully matching the tops on the back and front through the fabric so that when you sew from the front you will be catching the top of the boot on the back. Make sure that you have two RIGHT facing boots and two LEFT facing boots. Top stitch through all layers.
TIPS FOR PRAIRIE POINTS
The white triangles on the color band are 4 1/2″ squares folded diagonally twice forming Prairie Points. The 10 needed squares are cut from a fat quarter. Rather than cutting out squares one at a time here is an efficient way to cut them with a minimum of motions.
Note: The following instructions are written for a right-handed person. Reverse the directions for cutting if you are left handed.
Start by folding the fat quarter into thirds. First fold the selvage edge into the middle.
Next fold the single layer side over forming three equal layers. Check to see that the selvage edge is snugged up against the fold on the inside.
Trim a small amount off the right side to create a straight edge as in show on the left below.
Carefully flip this over to the left side keeping the cut edges together. Lining the 4 1/2″ mark along this straight edge cut a strip 4 1/2″ wide through all three layers as in the picture on the right.
Square up one end by cutting off a small amount.
Again taking care not to shift the layers turn this end so it is at your left. Using a 4 1/2″ square up ruler or your larger ruler, sub-cut the strip into 4 – 4 1/2″ squares through all three layers. (You will have two extra squares.) OR you may cut three times through all three layers for 9 squares and cut the last square from a single layer as shown below.
When pressing Prairie Points remember that the diagonal fold is a bias edge and will stretch. Handling it with care will help keep things sharp and square. Bring the opposite corners together and hold securely. Using a hot DRY iron press firmly for several seconds. Do not scrub! There is a difference betweem ironing and PRESSING. Just PRESS.
The triangle should be flat and crisp with the corners meeting exactly. Fold in half again bringing the raw edges together.
Hold the corner points together securely and press as before. There you have a perfect Prairie Point! Flat and crisp!
TIPS FOR COLOR BAND
Cut one WIDTH of FABRIC (WOF) to the required size. Cut off the selvage edges.
Measure the required length and cut through both layers for two bands.
Fold each band in half lengthwise, right sides together and sew across the ends. Before turning right side out fold the seam allowance toward the band and press. Then turn to the right side. This will allow the corner to turn easily and press out flat and crisp.
Mark each color band 1/2″ from the raw edge and put a mark in the center of the band. In this case the dark fabric is best marked with a white soap sliver. Use this guide line and the center mark to position the Prairie Points across each color band as shown in the pattern. Pin in place.
Set your stitch to a longer length (3.0) and baste the Prairie Points down. As you sew, the presser foot tends to push the narrow point out of place. Use a stiletto or other pointed tool to guide the points under the presser foot where your fingers can’t fit.
TIPS FOR ATTACHING THE COLOR BAND
Position the runner over the color band as instructed in the pattern. Top stitch the main runner over the Prairie Points and color band stitching close to the edge of the runner. Draw a line 3/4″ above the edge of the main runner with an erasable pen or marker.
Before stitching on this line turn to the runner to the back and tuck the corners under to be caught in the stitching. This will keep them from ‘peeking’ out to the front.
TIPS FOR THE PLEATED RUFFLE
This is a fun easy ruffle! NO GATHERS!
Mark the center of each ruffle strip. Pin it to the middle of the runner using the your last row of top stitching as the guide for the bottom of the ruffle. Pin each end even with the sides of the runner. The ruffle will be laying floppy between the pins as in the image below.
Starting on the left side as you are looking at it in the picture, fold and pin 6 approximately 1″ pleats on each side of the center. The pleats should lay over toward the left side. This will allow you to sew with the direction of the pleats when they are placed on the machine.
Again, using a long stitch, baste the pleats down by sewing 1/4″ from the raw edge through all layers.
TIPS FOR RIC RAC
Place the ric rac over the top of the pleated ruffle. Center it by positioning it so that the each side of the runner falls in the same part of the ric rac ‘wave’ as shown below. Yours may be in a different part of the ‘wave’ but they should be the same on each side.
The lowest part of the wave on the top of the ric rac should just cover the raw edge of the ruffle and the upper most part of the wave on the bottom should cover the basting stitches. See the arrow in the picture below.
Tuck the ric rac ends to the back and pin in place. To stitch straight down the middle of the ric rac, sew 1/4″ away from the inside waves as shown below.
Attach the elf legs and embellish with bow and bells. You are ready to JINGLE your BOOTS!! HO HO HO! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!
The holiday season is in full swing, and we’ve seen lots of amazing pie recipes on Pinterest and in our favorite cooking magazines lately. The kitchen may be warm with these fragrant treats baking up in the oven, but let’s not forget about the sewing room! Who says the dining table is the only place where a pie belongs? Your sewing table needs dessert too, in the form of these sweet little pincushions.
Ask your local quilt shop for the “Sweet as Pie” Pincushion Pattern by Chitter Chatter Design, or snag your copy straight from Chitter Chatter’s website.
Cori Blunt, the designer behind Chitter Chatter, uses a fat quarter of fabric for the fruit and pie crust, and a “pinch” for the fruit accents on top. Use your favorite “filling” to stuff the inside; Cori recommends crushed walnut shells or Poly-fil.
You’ll also need 4 dishes, 4″ each. Secondhand stores are great for finding fun ramekins. Check out the cute heart-shaped one in the pictures below!
Once your “pie-cushion” is sitting pretty on the sewing table, whip up a few more as holiday gifts for your craftiest friends. They’ll last much longer than real pie, and as Cori says, “it’s a good thing they are fabric”. No calories!
Looking for a little something to brighten up the scene this winter? How about these cheerful headbands from Sew Can Do featuring Rain Basic? Using Dritz notions, these make a great holiday gift for girls, festive for any party!
Make a custom & comfortable headband to complement any outfit or occasion.
Use the plastic template from the button kit to trace and cut out the cover fabric circle. Place metal cover in center and insert them into the silicone, folding the fabric edges inward. Place button shank back over top and use the plastic tool to press it inward until it clicks into place:
Now the custom covered button is made. So simple! Repeat with remaining fabrics. To make flowers, cut out some coordinating felt in a scalloped circle slightly larger than buttons (I used my Cuttlebug die cutter to make this quick & easy):
Snip a small cut in the center of the felt and press the button shank through. Now it’s ready to sew on.
To make the headband, take a length of ruffled elastic several inches longer than the desired head size and push ends through toggle while pushing down toggle button. It’s much easier to “thread” the elastic if the raw ends are taped down like shoelace ends. Remove tape and stitch ends together with a French seam for a nice finish.
Hand sew button flowers onto headband and it’s ready to wear.
To make a petaled flower headband, make a paper pattern in a U shape that is 2″ by 2″. Cut 6 pairs of petals from the fabric. With right sides facing, sew along each petals curved edge with a 1/4 inch seam allowance and trim raw edge. Turn right side out and press. Bring together the open end in a small pleat and baste in place. Fan petals together, overlapping at basted ends and stitch together.
Add a covered button in center and stitch to headband:
Follow the directions for the Heat n Bond to adhere to the owl fabric. Once the fabric cools, take your scissors and cut around each owl you would like to use leaving a small amount of cream as a border (this is where you will stitch).
Fold your napkin how you would like it to be at the dinner table. Peel off the backing paper and position your owl on your napkin.
To keep my napkins uniform I measured 1 inch from the bottom of each one.
Now you will iron your owl to the napkin.
Now you have your owls ready to go to the sewing machine! (Speaking of sewing machines – the fabric on my pressing board is Sew-C1485-Multi.)
I chose to use a very small zig zag stitch to outline each owl. Matching your thread to the cream border of the owl makes it less visible to imperfections as you sew.
And there you go! If you choose to buy napkins this is a very quick project. Making napkins is a very cost effective way and it lets you choose a color that better matches your owls. The instructions I use for napkin making is found here, I modified it a bit to accommodate using 1 yard of fabric – 1 yard yields 4 napkins.
We’re back from Quilt Market! Check out the photo album we shared on Facebook to see all the pictures of the booth.
The highlight of the event was winning the Best Booth Award for Creativity! We are so thrilled! The sharks, custom made by Michele Rosca using Sketch Flannel, were definitely a huge attraction in the booth. Lots of attendees stopped by to pose with them and snap some photos.
This Soho Solids dress by Felix Ciprian was also a big hit. Terial Arts spray was used to shape the fabric petals.
We also had lots of umbrellas made of our basics. Thanks Umbrella Joan!
We had three Judy Niemeyer quilts in the booth!
Left: Summer Solstice pattern by Judy Niemeyer featuring Tonga Mulberry. Quilt made by Beth Safick of Cottonpicker’s Quilt Shop.
Center: Tonga Celebrate in Judy Niemeyer pattern “Total Eclipse”. Quilt made by the staff of Quilting by the Bay.
Right: Prairie Star pattern by Judy Niemeyer. Quilt made by certified Judy Niemeyer instructor Ginny Radloff. Fabrics are assorted Tonga Batiks.
Here’s one of the “Mood Swings” in Wing and a Prayer‘s booth. This is a versatile new fabric collection and pattern program from Wing and a Prayer Design, featuring lots of differently styled projects with just a single collection! Every hour, their booth had a “Mood Swing”, and changed looks. See the rest of the looks in the Facebook album mentioned at the beginning of this post.
One of our favorite parts of Market is walking the show and seeing our fabrics in other designers’ booths as well! Here’s a new pattern called “Zippers” by Mountainpeek Creations hanging in their booth, made from our new Tonga Treat Quarters in Napa.
New pattern “Third Street Neighborhood” using assorted black & white novelties, by Esch House Quilts.
Hoop Sisters new pattern “Rachel”, featuring our Soho Solids, Tonga ZigZag and more.
All the fabrics and projects will be added to our website promptly, and many are already up. Check our Collections page, Fabrics page, and Projects page to stay updated on our latest additions! If you’re a wholesale customer of ours, make sure to use your login to preview & order upcoming collections.
We’re heading to Houston for Quilt Market tomorrow! If you’re attending, make sure to visit us at Booth 1824.
Quilt Market is a twice yearly trade show for businesses in the fabric and quilting industry. It’s where our newest fabrics, and all the incredible quilts and sewing projects that go along with them, get introduced the world. Shop owners from around the globe attend this three day event to keep up with latest innovations in fabric, patterns, books, sewing machines, and notions.
We are so excited to show off all our new and upcoming collections LIVE from the event! We’ll be introducing brand new pre-cuts (the picture below gives you a hint of one of them!), a new basic line for 2014, new OE100 certified Organic fabrics, novelties from designers such as Samarra Khaja and Michael Searle, fabulous new store programs and blocks of the month, and so much more!
We’ll be posting behind-the-scenes photos from Houston on Instagram throughout the show (follow@sewtimeless). Don’t use Instagram? No problem – those pictures will automatically show up on our Facebook and Twitter pages as well, so make sure to Like and Follow! There will be breathtaking quilts, oodles of never-before-seen fabric, and lots more!
Fat quarter of Mini Foxes Flannel
Fat quarter of Fox Flannel
Fat quarter of Sketch Flannel in Coffee
56″ of 3/8″-wide decorative ribbon in white
Wool-blend felt scraps in brown, orange, white, and black
Perle cotton in white, 24″ Poly-Fil stuffing, 1 oz
Coordinating thread Fox Template (Turn off “page scaling” or “fit to page” in your print dialog box to ensure that the templates print at actual size. Or, make sure “page scaling” is set to 100%.)
Small scissors for cutting the felt shapes
Disappearing fabric pen or chalk
Stuffing tool such as a chopstick
To make the felt fox:
Download Fox Template and print using the instructions noted in the materials list above. From brown felt, cut one back, one head, one right ear and one left ear. From white felt, cut one tail tip, one belly, one left eye and one right eye. From black felt, cut one nose, one left leg, one right leg and two eyes. From orange felt cut one body.
Use a glue stick to baste the felt pieces in place before stitching. Choose coordinating thread to stitch each part and make very small, neat stitches.
Whipstitch a black circle eye to the white left and right eyes where indicated, then whipstitch the white eyes to the head. Whipstitch the ears to the top of the head. Embroider the white lines on the fox’s head with several long straight stitches made with a length of white Perle cotton.
Whipstitch the belly to the body, then whipstitch the feet onto the belly (note that the feet extend off the body slightly).
Place the head on the body so that the head overlaps the body by 1/8 inch. Whipstitch the head to the body at the neck. Whipstitch the nose in place.
Place the tail tip on the tail and whipstitch in place along the dotted lines. Embroider the white lines on the fox’s tail with several long straight stitches made with a length of white Perle cotton.
Position the tail on the body as marked and whipstitch in place.
Place the front of the fox’s body on the back and whip stitch them together around the entire outline, changing colors as needed to coordinate with the body colors. Pause to push small bits of stuffing into the tail, head, and body before closing the body up.
To make the blankie:
From the Sketch flannel cut one 6-inch x 4-inch piece for the pocket and one 6-inch x 12-inch strip for the center stripe of the blanket. From Mini Foxes flannel cut one 5-inch x 12-inch strip for the left side of the front of the blanket, and one 6.5-inch x 12-inch strip for the right side of the front of the blanket. From Fox flannel cut one 12.5-inch x 15.5-inch rectangle for the back of the blanket. Cut 14 4-inch lengths of white 3/8 inch ribbon.
Fold the top edge of the pocket piece down 1/4 inch toward the wrong side. Press. Fold down another 1/4 inch toward the wrong side and press again. Stitch across the top of the pocket. Align the pocket with the bottom edge of the brown strip and baste in place.
To piece the skinny Mini Foxes strip to the left side of the brown strip place it on the brown strip, right sides together, and stitch along the edge using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Note that the left edge of the pocket will also be stitched in this seam. Press the seam allowance to one side.
To piece the wide Mini Foxes strip to the right side of the brown strip place it on the brown strip, right sides together, and stitch along the edge using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Note that the right edge of the pocket will also be stitched in this seam. Press the seam allowance to one side. Remove the basting stitches from the pocket.
Fold each 4-inch length of white ribbon in half. Make a mark with a disappearing fabric marker or chalk every three inches all the way around the front of the blanket. Place a length of ribbon at each mark so that the raw edges of the ribbon are aligned with the raw edge of the fabric. Pin each ribbon in place so that the head of the pin extends off of the edge of the fabric.
Place the back of the blanket on the front, right sides together. Pin. Begin stitching 2 1/2 inches in from one side and stitch all the way around the blanket, using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Finish stitching on the same side where you began, leaving a 1 1/2 inch opening. Clip the seam allowances a the corners to reduce bulk, then turn the blanket right side out through the opening.
Fold the raw edges at the opening inward a 1/4 inch and press. Press the entire blankie. Topstitch around the blankie close to the edge, closing up the opening in the process.
Slip the fox into the pocket and enjoy your cuddly new friend and blankie!
About Abby Glassenberg
Abby Glassenberg creates unique patterns for stuffed animals from her home studio in Wellesley, Massachusetts. Since 2005 she has shared her creations and her ideas on design, technique and the online culture of craft through her blog, While She Naps. Abby has a master’s degree in education from Harvard and taught middle school social studies in Mississippi and Massachusetts before becoming a textile artist and the mother of three girls. Today she enjoys teaching people to sew and opening their eyes to the joy of designing their own stuffed animals.
Have you ever wanted to sew up a handbag but weren’t sure where to begin? Then we’ve got a real treat in store for you today!
Sandy Lueth, the designer behind Totes by Sandy, recently whipped up several versions of her popular Janet’s Tote pattern using new Timeless Treasures collections. Learn essential bag-making tips and techniques as Sandy shows us several versions of the bag, all presented in different stages of their creation.
At Spring Market earlier this year, we debuted a version of that same quilt, made entirely from Tonga Batiks. (See a photo of it hanging in our booth here.)
Check out the fabric & yardage requirements on our website here, or click the photo below.