Re Upholstered Chair Seat With Piping

Re upholstered chair seat with piping

Re upholstered chair seat with piping

My re upholstered chair seat with piping is intended for a very old Parker Knoll chair that belonged to my parents.  The chair must be forty years old, but the frame is still completely solid.  A friend rubbed down the frame and polished it.  Now it’s my turn to replace the upholstery.

The original design was a plain weave fabric but I felt that I wanted something that really makes a statement.  The Fancy Silk Store in Birmingham came to my rescue with the perfect fabric.




Cutting the fabric

Cut the fabric

Cut the fabric

I had to measure lots of times and really psyche myself up to cut into this gorgeous fabric!  The chair seat is 19″ square and 3″ deep.  I managed to find the right sponge in a foam shop.  They cut it to size for me which was helpful.

I’ve allowed for 1/2″ seams so I have cut two 20″ squares.  They are fussy cut so that the stork motif is in the middle.  In order to join the two squares together I cut three 20″ by 4″ strips of the same fabric for three of the sides.  For the fourth side I cut two strips 20″ by 3″ so that I can add a zip to this edge.

Then I sewed around all the edges of all the pieces with zigzag stitch.

Add the zip

Add the zip

Adding the zip

I placed the two 3″ strips with right sides together and marked a line at 1.3/4″ from the bottom.  You can just see the blue line above the zip in the photo.  Then I made a mark at each end of the zip – that’s the ends of the zipper part, not the actual end of the zip.

I machine sewed from the each mark to the end of the fabric along the line.  Between the two marks I basted by hand.  This is where the zip will lie.  First open the two strips and press the seam open.  Place the zip running along the basted part of the seam, right side towards the seam.  Sew in place.

Join all the strips for the sides

Join all the strips for the sides

Join the edges of the seat cushion

Sew the strip containing the zip end to end with the other three strips to make a complete loop.  One edge of this loop will now be sewn to the top square of the seat cushion and the other edge will be sewn to the bottom square.

Add the piping

Lay the piping between the two fabrics

Lay the piping between the two fabrics

I have used ready made piping rather than making my own.  This comes with a round bit (the candy stripe in the photo) which shows on the right side of the cushion and a small flat strip which is how the piping is sewn into the seams.

Place the piping between the fabrics

Place the piping between the fabrics

So place the fabric square with right side up.  Lay the piping along it with the flat section in line with the fabric edge and the round bit away from the edge towards the middle.  Now lay the first section of the side strip along the same edge with right side down.

You now have a sandwich with the piping between the two fabrics.  I find it safest to pin and baste at this stage to avoid the layers slipping apart while you’re sewing.  Sew the three layers together.  For this stage I always use a zipper foot so that my stitching can be right up to the round bit of the piping.

Sewing along the straight edges is simple.  Sewing around the corners is a bit fiddly.  You need to manipulate the piping so that it always faces in away from the edge.  You also need to stop sewing at the corner so that you can lift the foot and turn the fabrics ready to sew the next edge.  At the same time you need to make sure that you don’t catch the fold of fabric from the edge strip in your stitching.  As I said, it’s fiddly!

Top square sewn to one end of the sides

Top square sewn to one end of the sides

Sew the bottom square to the side edges

Once you have sewn the top square to the side edges you need to repeat the process.  First of all open the zip at least half way so that you can pull the cushion through when you’ve finished the seam.  Sew the bottom square right sides together with the remaining edge of the side strips.  I have used piping in this seam as well so that my chair seat will be reversible.

Complete the re upholstered chair seat

My fabric edges were fraying even though I had zigzagged all the edges before I began sewing.  So I zigzagged the seam allowances again when I had finished the sewing.  Turn the seat cushion right side out through the zip opening.  Add the foam square and your re upholstered chair seat is complete.

I have still to re upholster the rest of the chair, so you’ll be seeing a lot more of this lovely fabric!

Here’s the video:

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

Easy Christmas Stocking to Make

Easy Christmas stocking

Easy Christmas stocking

I decided to make an easy Christmas stocking to hold the toys that I’ve been making for my granddaughter.  I haven’t included a template because it’s one of those projects that you can make to any size or design depending on what you want to put in it.

Draw the template

There are no real rules for this:  the leg part of the stocking needs to be the widest point, tapering down as you get to the foot section.  The foot looks best if the toes are lower than the heel. Don’t make the ankle section too thin or you’ll find it difficult to push gifts down into the foot area.




Cut two stockings

Cut two stockings

Cutting the easy Christmas stocking sections

I began by drawing my template on paper, then cut it out and drew round it on two different fabrics – one for the outer stocking and one for the lining.  You need two stockings in each fabric – the way that I’m making this is as two separate stockings so that I can insert the lining stocking into the outer stocking to make a durable stocking with no seam allowances showing.  I hope it will last a long time.

Write the name before sewing

Write the name before sewing

Embroider the name

I’ve chosen to embroider my grandaughter’s name using satin stiitch.  The name needs to go on the top of the lining section – it needs to be upside down so that it will appear right side up when the stocking top is turned over to make a cuff at the top.  I considered using cursive script for the name but then decided against it and just embroidered each letter on its own.

Clip into the seam allowance

Clip into the seam allowance

Sew the two sections together

Place the two stocking sections for each fabric right sides together and sew all round the edge – apart from across the top of the stocking.  Clip into the seam allowance everywhere there’s a curve – mainly the toe and heel sections.  You should now have two stockings.

Turn under a small hem around the top

Turn under a small hem around the top

Turn the outer stocking right side out but leave the lining stocking wrong side out.  Push the lining stocking inside the outer stocking.  Line up the top edges of the two stockings and turn under a small hem.  The two hems should both lie between the two stockings so that no raw edges show.  Top stitch around the top to hold those hems in place.

Turn out the top to make a ruff

Turn out the top to make a ruff

Turn out the top edge of the stocking to make a ruff showing the lining fabric.  The embroidery is now showing upright and the easy Christmas stocking is ready to be filled with toys.

Here’s the video:

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

Baby Soft Toy – Seahorse Rattle

Baby soft toy - seahorse rattle

Baby soft toy – seahorse rattle

I thought that this baby soft toy – seahorse rattle – was truly gorgeous, but it also made a logical step in my progression of basic soft toy making articles.  The seahorse is made with the same basic principles as the two previous soft toys that I have looked at.  The extra steps are the addition of fins on the outside and something to make a noise on the inside.

Cut out the seahorse rattle templates

Cut out the seahorse rattle templates

Where to find the seahorse pattern

You can find the full pattern on the Hobbycraft site:

http://blog.hobbycraft.co.uk/how-to-make-a-little-seahorse-rattle/

They have a great range of projects for you to make in all crafts, not just sewing.

Preparing the seahorse

Cut out two templates of the sea horse and four of the fins.  Sew the four fins together in pairs with right sides together, leaving a gap to turn them right side out.  I found this bit quite fiddly because they were so small – and do remember to backstitch at the beginning and end of each seam.  I forgot on one of the fins and almost all of one side came undone when I was struggling to turn the fin right side out.

Sew the fins to the seahorse

Sew the fins to the seahorse

Sew one fin to each seahorse piece.  I did this by hand.  Then sew the two seahorse sections right sides together, leaving a gap.  Clip all the seam allowances where there’s a curve and turn right side out – I really struggled here with the tail as it was so thin.  I ended up pulling the fabric out with tweezers rather than pushing it out from the inside.

Filling the baby soft toy – seahorse rattle

Put rice in a container for the rattle

Put rice in a container for the rattle

For the rattle they have used a tic tac container in the Hobbycraft pattern.  I found a small round plastic container – the sort that you get when you buy plastic see through bottles to take liquids on a plane.  I used rice to make the noise – don’t put too much in or it won’t make much noise when it is shaken.

Begin filling the seahorse with toy stuffing and add the container to make the rattle.  Pack more stuffing around it so that you can’t feel the rattle and sew up the gap.  Now you just need to embroider eyes and mouth to complete the baby soft toy – seahorse rattle.

Thanks, Hobbycraft for a great toy pattern.

Baby Soft Toy – Teddy Bear – Simple Toy

Baby soft toy - teddy

Baby soft toy – teddy

I’m continuing my hunt for baby patterns on other websites.  After my rabbit, the obvious next choice was going to be a baby soft toy – teddy, but a simple one first.  The one that I have chosen is delightfully simple – it is made in the same way as the rabbit, but this time I have added a face.

My plan is to start with the most simple toys and then gradually move on to more complex patterns step by step.

Where to find the teddy pattern

This particular teddy pattern is from the website of the magazine Prima:

http://www.prima.co.uk/craft/sewing/news/a22006/teddy-sewing-pattern/

Their patterns cover a wide range of crafts – very interesting.

Print the teddy template

Print the teddy template

In order to print the template, I simply right clicked on the image of the template, then copy and pasted it to my photos.  From there I could print it.

Making the baby soft toy – teddy

Clip into the seam allowance

Clip into the seam allowance

Once again I would recommend a lot more clipping in to the seam allowances than most patterns seem to show.  That’s just my personal preference, but I think that it gives you more rounded curves when you turn the project right side out.

Adding the teddy face

Embroider the eyes and nose

Embroider the eyes and nose

I have embroidered the face with just two circles for the eyes and a triangle for the nose.  This takes no time at all and definitely adds something to the toy.  It’s also safer for baby than using buttons or something like that for the face.

Teddy’s right eye is nearly lost in the fabric design, but I didn’t notice that until after I had finished embroidering the face.

It would probably have been easier to do the embroidery if I had chosen to make the face before I sewed the pattern pieces together, but I prefer to add them last of all.  Again that’s just personal preference – I feel that I can better judge where I want the eyes when everything is sewn together.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

Baby Soft Toys to Make – Rabbit

Baby soft toy - rabbit

Baby soft toy – rabbit

I made this baby soft toy – rabbit when I visited my grand daughter last week.  Time had been short and I hadn’t had time to make her anything but I didn’t want to turn up empty handed so I looked for a simple soft toy pattern.  I found a wonderful simple pattern with template for a rabbit soft toy.

I’ve made it in a teddy bear wincyette which is really soft to the touch.  Obviously I should have made a teddy bear, but I had left myself too short of time to manage that:  another thing to add to my to do list!




Tips for making soft toy patterns

When you are making soft toys the simplest ones to make are those that just have a front and a back – it gets more complicated once you start making toys that are three dimensional and have gussets and legs and things.  The beauty of these toys is that you can use your imagination and draw any shape – just make sure that you don’t have any parts of the shape (like legs)  that are very thin as they are more difficult to turn right side out once you’ve sewn the pattern pieces together.

Clip the seam allowances

Clip the seam allowances

Always clip the seam allowance

So in broad principle you need to cut two shapes of whatever toy pattern you’re making.  Cut them out together from folded fabric so that you have a front and a back – as opposed to two fronts or two backs.  With right sides together sew around most of the edge, leaving a gap of several inches so that you can turn the toy right side out.  There are bound to be lots of curves in your animal shape, so make sure that you clip into the seam allowance – I tend to make snips about every 1/4″ or so.  This will make the curves more natural looking when you turn the shape right side out.

Once you have the toy right side out, fill it with stuffing and slip stitch across the gap.  This really is a terribly simple toy to make.  You could also make it with lavender mixed in the stuffing as a gift for an adult.

 

 

Cut the template in paper

Cut the template in paper

The pattern that I used came from

http://craftycupboard.net/2013/03/bunny-softies-with-free-template/

She has an interesting blog with plenty of other tutorials for baby sewing on it.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

Nordic Stocking Advent Calendar

Nordic stocking advent calendar and bunting

Nordic stocking advent calendar and bunting

The Nordic stocking advent calendar is a collection of 24 delightful stockings with a modern design on them.  You could just applique them to a background fabric, but I have chosen to make a traditional advent calendar with the red stockings and a string of bunting with the grey stockings.  You can buy all these fabrics here.

Cutting requirements

One panel of stockings for each project together with about 1 yard of fabric for backing the stockings

To make the bunting you will need  two 2″ strips of fabric cut across the width for the tape.

For the advent calendar you will need a 29.1/2″ square each of wadding and backing fabric, together with a 27″ square of background fabric and 1.1/2″ strips of red fabric for the border:  two at 27″ and two at 29″.  The hanging sleeve is made with a rectangle 3.1/2″ by 26″ of fabric.




Preparing the stockings

Cut the individual stockings out

Cut the individual stockings out

First you need to cut carefully round each stocking shape.  There is a grey seam allowance included on each stocking.  Cut carefully around this.  Place a stocking on the backing fabric and cut twenty four background stocking shapes which are longer at the top than the original stocking.

Clip the seam allowance at the curves

Clip the seam allowance at the curves

Turn the seam allowance at the top of the stocking towards the wrong side and sew in place.  With right sides together, sew each stocking to one of backing fabric, following the stitching line on the stockings.

Trim the seam allowances and clip all the curves through the seam allowance, taking care not to cut the seam itself.

Turn the stockings right side out, gently pushing out the curves and press.

Making the Christmas bunting

Fold the fabric to make tape

Fold the fabric to make tape

Cut a 2″ strip of the fabric to be used for the tape.  I should probably have used a length of fabric cut on the bias, but I have to confess that I just used a straight strip here.

Press the strip in half along its length, giving you a 1″ double strip.  Then fold each raw edge in towards the fold so that you have a 1/2″ strip, four layers of fabric, and all the raw edges tucked away.

Slip the stocking into the tape

Slip the stocking into the tape

Trim the background fabric above the stocking to 1/4″ and slip this background fabric between the layers of the tape.  You want the front of the stocking to be just below the tape so that the stocking can be opened.  Sew the tape across the top of the stocking, then slip the next one between the folds and sew that in place.  I have just put six stockings each to four lengths of tape rather than making one long length of bunting, but you might prefer to make one length with all 24 stockings on it.

Make the background panel

Make the background panel

Preparing the Nordic stocking advent calendar

For the background of this calendar I cut a 27″ square of blue Christmas fabric and sewed a 1.1/2″ strip of red fabric to the edges to frame it.

Layer the advent calendar

Layer the advent calendar

Then I layered it:  a 29.1/2″ square of wadding followed by the same sized square of backing fabric with right side up and then the background panel with right side down.  Sew all round the edges of three and a half sides, leaving a gap to enable you to turn the whole thing right side out.  Trim the seam allowance, clip the corners and turn the calendar right side out.  Slipstitch across the gap.

Assembling the Nordic stocking advent calendar

Arrange the stockings

Arrange the stockings

Prepare the stockings as above.  Trim the backing above the stockings to about 1/2″ and turn this down inside the stocking so that the front and the back of the stockings are at the same level.

Pin them in place on the background fabric.  I would recommend pinning them all in place so that you can check the placement and not run out of space at the end.  I have chosen to use straight rows and to place the stockings in numerical order, but obviously you might prefer a random placement.

Star embroidery looks better on the back

Star embroidery looks better on the back

In order to sew the stockings in place, I was going to use a straight stitch but then decided to use a star embroidery stitch as I thought that this would look better on the back of the calendar – it fits in better with the backing fabric.  It’s a bit fiddly just sewing the backing fabric of the stockings in order to allow the stockings to be opened and filled, but I felt that the result was well worth the effort.

Add a hanging sleeve

Add a hanging sleeve

The reason that I left sewing the stockings on till the last step (rather than sewing them to the panel before I sewed the layers together) was so that the embroidery stitches could form the quilting, holding the three layers together.

Finally I sewed a hanging sleeve on the back of the Nordic stocking advent calendar.  You can get more ideas for hanging wall hangings here.

I hope that this has given you some ideas for your Christmas sewing.

Here’s the video:

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

Bolster Cushion Cover – Free Pattern

Bolster cushion cover

Bolster cushion cover

This bolster cushion cover makes a change from the normal square cushion covers – and it really didn’t take long to make.  I’ve made it to match the quilt that I made for my future grand daughter’s cot.

Cutting requirements for the bolster cushion cover

I used one rectangle, two circles and a zip.  See below for what measurements you need.  Zigzag the edges of the fabric to prevent fraying.




Making the bolster cushion cover

Measure the circumference

Measure the circumference

You need to take three measurements before you can begin making this project:  the circumference of the cushion pad that you are using.  In my case this was 19″.  I added 2″ to this measurement for the seam allowance, so my rectangle will be 21″ long.

Measure the width

Measure the width

The second thing to measure is the width of the cushion pad.  This was 16″.  For this I only need to add 1/2″ for seam allowances, so my rectangle will be 21″ by 16.1/2″.  You can also judge the zip length that you need from this measurement – I am using a 14″ zip, just a bit shorter than the width of the bolster cushion cover.

Measure the height

Measure the height

The only other measurement that you need is the height of the cushion pad.  For this cushion pad the measurement is 6″.  I’ve added an inch to this to allow a fairly generous seam allowance.

Cut circles for the ends

Cut circles for the ends

I’ve cut two circles of 7″ diameter – that’s the length across the circle from edge to edge through the middle of the circle.  I fussy cut these so that I would have a complete panda in each circle.

Add the zip

Mark the seam allowance

Mark the seam allowance

Fold the rectangle in half with right sides together.  Mark a line 1″ from the edge of the fabric.  Place your zip along this line and make a mark at each end, just inside the main zip – you know, the bit where the actual zip begins and ends as opposed to the total length of the zip.

Sew the top seam to create a tube

Sew the top seam to create a tube

With your sewing machine, sew along the 1″ line from the side of the fabric to the zip marker on each side.  Baste the section across the middle between the two markers.  This creates a tube.  Press the seam allowance flat.

Sew the zip in place

Sew the zip in place

Turn the tube right side out and lay the zip on the inside along the seam line.  Pin and baste.  Using your zipper foot, sew each side of the zip in place.  This sounds simple but is actually a bit fiddly – be very careful to catch only the layer that you’re working on and not the other side of the tube.  This means that you have to scrunch the tube up a bit while you’re sewing in order to keep the bottom of the tube away from the needle.

Sew the circles in place

Sew the circles in place

Add the ends to the bolster cushion cover

Remove the basting along the zip and undo the zip at least part way.  This is essential because otherwise you won’t be able to turn the bolster cushion cover right side out after you’ve sewn the ends in place.

With the tube turned wrong side out, place one of the circles at one end of the tube, right sides together.  Carefully sew in place.  This just involves sewing slowly so that you can ease the two edges of fabric together as you go.  Repeat with the other circle at the other end of the tube.

Turn the cushion cover right side out (through the zip opening!) and insert cushion pad.  One bolster cushion cover made in a very short space of time.

Here’s the video:

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

French Braid Quilted Curtain

French braid quilted curtain

French braid quilted curtain

The french braid quilted curtain is intended to hang on the back door in my newly re fitted kitchen.  It’s a bit drafty at the moment!  I had hoped to finish the curtain altogether and be able to show it to you hanging in place, but time ran away with me and I haven’t managed to get that far with it.  For the curtain I have used four columns but the cutting instructions are for a quilt made with ten columns.  This would make it about 91″ by 80″.  The most simple way to make the braids is by using strip piecing but this involves using lengths of fabric cut across the width – so I’ve ended up with far more braids than I need for the curtain.  I’ll use them to make a few matching items for the kitchen and then also for an additional small quilt if I have enough braids left.




Fabric selection

Fabric selection

For the full sized quilt I have used 3/8 yard each of sixteen different fabrics with 3 yards of the accent fabric (this is the fabric for the diamonds up the middle and between the braids).  The sixteen fabrics are selected from two colours – six blues from light to dark with yellow and white together with six reds from light to dark, again with yellow and white.  The reason that I have used yellow and white in both colour selections is because I feel that those two fabrics together seem to give a glow in a french braid quilt.  You can buy these fabrics at a 10% discount in this week’s special offer – but I also have a spring discount of 12% going for just this week.  There is no coupon required to get the discount – it is applied automatically.

Cutting requirements for the french braid quilt

In all sixteen fabrics (that’s counting yellow and white twice) cut two 6″ strips of fabric across the width of fabric.

In the accent fabric cut thirty one 2″ strips across the width of fabric, sixteen 8″ squares for the starting triangles, thirty two 5″ squares for the finishing triangles.

Cut 2" strips of all the fabrics

Cut 2″ strips of all the fabrics

Making the french braids

Sew a 2″ strip of accent fabric to a long edge of one of every colour, so that you have one plain strip of fabric and one strip with accent fabric in each colour.  Press the seam allowances towards the colour fabric rather than the accent fabric.  Cut all these strips at 2″ intervals.  This will give you 6″ by 2″ rectangles of the plain fabrics and 7.1/2″ by 2″ rectangles of the fabrics with accent strips.

Cut the 8″ squares of accent fabric along both diagonals to give four triangles from each square.  Cut the 5″ squares of accent fabric along one diagonal to give two triangles from each square.

Sew the white strips to a starting triangle

Sew the white strips to a starting triangle

Begin with a starting triangle (from an 8″ square) and sew a plain white strip to the right hand side.  Sew a white strip with accent fabric to the left hand side.  This is the foundation of the first braid.

Continue adding strips to both sides

Continue adding strips to both sides

Now sew the yellow plain strip to the right and the accented strip to the left.  Continue adding strips until you have added the dark blue.  This is one blue braid.

One french braid of each colour

One french braid of each colour

For the red french braid add the fabrics to the starting triangle in the reverse order – starting with dark red and finishing with white.

Altogether you should be able to make twenty blue braids and twenty red braids.

Finishing the french braids

The braids need to cut down each edge to straighten them and this is where you could vary the width if you wanted to.

Measure from the middle of the braid

Measure from the middle of the braid

I want braids 8″ wide.  This means measuring 4″ from the middle on each side.  I have a 6″ ruler, so I have placed the ruler so that the 2″ line runs down the middle of the braid, leaving 4″ on the right hand side.

Straighten the edges of the braids

Straighten the edges of the braids

Now I can cut along the right hand edge to straighten the braid.  For the left hand side, move the ruler so that the 2″ line runs down the middle of the braid with the 4″ on the left hand side.  Each braid should now measure 8″ wide by about 20″ long.

Add the finishing triangles

Add the finishing triangles

The top of the braid now needs to be squared off.  This is done using two of the triangles made from 5″ squares.  Place these with the longest edge along the top of the braid.  Sew one to the dark blue strip, press and then sew the second triangle to the other side.

Trim both ends of the braid

Trim both ends of the braid

Finally trim the top and bottom of each braid.

Assembling the French braid quilted curtain

Sew the braids together in pairs

Sew the braids together in pairs

Sew the braids together in pairs so that the two starting triangles are sewn to each other.

Sew two pairs of braids together

Sew two pairs of braids together

Sew two pairs of braids together.  This time it will be the finishing triangles that are sewn together.  You should now have five blue and five red columns, each made of four individual braids, each 8″ wide by about 78.1/2″ long.  The reason I am giving an approximation for the length is that there are a lot of seams in each column and a certain amount of give in the fabric because the edges are cut on the bias.  So your actual length may differ from mine – you need to measure your own braid length.

Sew sashing strips between the braids

Sew sashing strips between the braids

For the sashing, make up eleven strips of accent fabric to whatever length you have – two strips sewn together basically – and sew one to each side and between all the braids, alternating the braid colours across the quilt.

I always use sashing in a french braid quilt – sewing two braids directly on to each other would mean matching up large numbers of seams and I’m afraid that I feel using sashing is a much easier option.

Add sashing to the top and bottom

Add sashing to the top and bottom

I have finished the quilt with a 2″ strip of accent fabric across the top and bottom.  These will be about 91″ long.

That completes the French braid quilt top.  It is now ready for layering, quilting and binding.  Full details of these steps can be found in the beginner quilting section.

I am thrilled with the way that my french braid quilted curtain has turned out and I can’t wait to finish it off and hang it on the back door.  You will definitely see a photo of it when it’s in place!

Here’s the video:

Don’t forget the spring sale:  12% discount across the store.

 

Polar Bear Stacking Quilt

Polar bear stacking quilt

Polar bear stacking quilt

The Polar Bear Stacking quilt is a bit of a fun for the end of the year – it’s really a quilted wall hanging and you could make it with different appliqued animals for the central area.  The idea is that you have a pile of animals piled on top of each other.  The animals often decrease in size as they go up the stack.  Quilters more clever than I am can manage to change the expression on the animals so that they bottom one looks hard done by and the top one looks triumphant.  I’m afraid that I can’t manage that.

The wall hanging measures 22″ by 26″ and I have used 3/4 yard of black fabric with 1/2 yard of white.  Actually the colour is nearer indigo than black, but the main point is to have a strong contrast between the two colours.




Cutting requirements for the polar bear stacking quilt

White fabric:  one rectangle 8″ by 15″, four 1.1/2″ strips cut across the width of fabric

Black fabric:  four 4.1/2″ squares, one rectangle 12.1/2″ by 16.1/2″, seven 1.1/2″ strips cut across the width of fabric.

Cut the polar bear outlines

Cut the polar bear outlines

Making the polar bear stacking quilt

You can download the polar bear templates here: large polar bear, small polar bear.  Print them and cut the outlines of the bears.  Press a fusible interfacing to the back of the white fabric rectangle.  Draw the polar bears on to the right side of the fabric.  You could trace these, or just fill in the face and other lines by looking at the template.

Press the polar bears on to the black fabric

Press the polar bears on to the black fabric

Cut the polar bears out and place them on the black rectangle with the smaller one on top and a slight overlap so that the chin of the top bear rests on the back of the lower bear.  Press to fuse these in place.

Sew the bears in place with satin stitch

Sew the bears in place with satin stitch

Using a small satin stich (I used stitch width 2 on my machine), sew the outline of the bears, the markings for the backs and legs and the outline of the faces.  I chose to leave the details of the faces until last.

For the border of the polar bear stacking quilt I have used a piano keys border – quite striking but simple to make.

Sew together strips of black and white

Sew together strips of black and white

Sew together four 1.1/2″ strips of fabric – two black and two white alternating.  Press and then cut at 4.1/2″ intervals to make squares.

Add the piano keys border

Add the piano keys border

Sew together two pairs of these squares and sew them to the top and bottom of the wall hanging.

For the sides you will need a 4.1/2″ black square at either end of a strip of three of the piano keys squares.  Sew these together to make two columns and sew one to each side of the wall hanging.

Add the final border

Add the final border

For the final border I have used 1.1/2″ strips of black.  You’ll need two lengths of 20.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 26.1/2″ for the sides.

Use black shapes first

Use black shapes first

Applique the polar bear faces

For the faces of the polar bears, I used white and black fabric backed with fusible interfacing.

Cut two circles for the noses, four shapes that are roughly eye shaped and two roughly triangular shapes for the ears.

Add white shapes

Add white shapes

Now add smaller white shapes to the eyes and ears to complete the faces.  Press these in place.  They will need sewing in place at some stage (when time allows!).

That completes the polar bear stacking quilt.  It is now ready for layering, quilting and binding.  Full details of these steps can be found in the beginner quilting section.

Here’s the video:

It just remains to wish you and your family a wonderful and joyous Christmas.  I have closed the fabric shop temporarily but rest assured that it will be back soon after Christmas.

Craftsy

House Wall Hanging Pattern

House wall hanging

House wall hanging

Well, what could be more appropriate than a house wall hanging pattern for the week in which I have moved to Birmingham!  There are loads of house quilt block patterns around, but I have made this block as simple as possible.  I’ve used the same colours in each block, but in fact you could use it as a scrappy project and use different colours in each block.  I have used four blocks for the house wall hanging, all 9″ square finished size and the house wall hanging itself measures 23″ square.

House quilt block

House quilt block

Cutting requirements for the house wall hanging

Green:  four 1.1/2″ by 9.1/2″ strips

Cream:  sixteen 1.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ strips, sixteen 1.1/2″ squares

White:  eight 1.1/2″ squares

Brown:  eight 2.1/2″ by 1.1/2″ strips, four 3.1/2″ by 1.1/2″ strips

Red:  four 3.1/2″ by 5.1/2″ rectangles, four 3.7/8″ by 2.7/8″ rectangles

Blue:  four 3.7/8″ by 2.7/8″ rectangles, eight 1.1/2″ by 4.1/2″ strips, four 1.1/2″ by 9.1/2″ strips

Black:  four 1.1/2″ squares, four 2.1/2″ by 1.1/2″ strips

Dark blue:  two 1.1/2″ by 9.1/2″ strips and one 1.1/2″ by 19.1/2″ strip for the sashing.  For the border you will need to cut 2.1/2″ strips of dark blue:  two lengths of 19.1/2″ and two lengths of 23.1/2″.

Make half rectangle triangles

Make half rectangle triangles

Making the blocks for the house wall hanging

Make half rectangle triangles with the blue and red 3.7/8″ rectangles.  Place the rectangles in  pairs with wrong sides together (as they are layered when you buy the fabric) and cut along one diagonal.

Match up red and blue triangles to re form a rectangle.  Flip one triangle over so that you can sew them together along the longest edge of the triangles.  Press the triangles open and trim the corners where the triangle tips stick out.  These half rectangle triangles are now 3.1/2″ by 2.1/2″.

House quilt block layout

House quilt block layout

Lay all the patchwork pieces out to form a house.  At the bottom you have a 9.1/2″ strip of green for the grass.

Above the green strip there are two sections for the windows with one section for the door in between them.  The window sections are made with two 3.1/2″ cream strips above and below the window, and two cream and one white 1.1/2″ squares forming the window itself.

Begin sewing the strips together across the rows

Begin sewing the strips together across the rows

The door section is made with a black 2.1/2″ strip for the door with a 2.1/2″ brown strip on either side and a 3.1/2″ brown strip across the top of the door.

For the roof of the house you’ll need the red rectangle with a half rectangle triangle on either side of it.

The chimney is made using a 1.1/2″ black square with a 4.1/2″ blue strip on either side, and the final strip is a 9.1/2″ blue strip for the sky.

Sew the rows to each other

Sew the rows to each other

Begin sewing the pieces together across the rows.  For the window sections you will need to sew the two lower rows together first so that they are the same size as the door section and then that row can be sewn together.

Finally sew all the rows to each other to complete the house quilt block.  You need to make four of these.

Join the blocks with sashing

Join the blocks with sashing

Assembling the house wall hanging

Sew the house quilt blocks together in pairs with a 9.1/2″ strip of dark blue sashing between them.  Sew the two pairs of blocks together with a 19.1/2″ strip of sashing between them.

House wall hanging border

House wall hanging border

For the border I have used slightly wider 2.1/2″ strips of dark blue.  You’ll need two lengths of 19.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 23.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the house wall hanging.  It can now be layered, quilted and bound as for any quilt.  Unusually for me, I have actually completed this wall hanging.  I used stitch in the ditch quilting between the blocks, cross hatch quilting for the roof in each block and a meander quilting across the sky and for the main body of the house – the cream fabric.  For the binding I have used the same red fabric as that used for the roof.

Here’s the video:

As you have obviously realised, I have moved house now.  We didn’t exchange contracts till 4 o’clock on Monday but were still able to move on Tuesday – well done to my solicitor!  I had hoped to write an article telling you all about my first impressions of Birmingham, but I don’t have a phone or broadband yet, so I’m making do with the free wifi in the library or some cafes.  I hope that by next week I will have plenty of photos for you to see.

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