Tuesday, April 30, 2013

WIP Wednesday

I have been focused on two projects for the past couple of weeks:

BP MS 150 Quilt Progress

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced1) BP MS 150 Quilt - My husband rode the BP MS 150 this year. The BP MS 150 is a two-day fundraising cycling ride organized by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. The ride is a 180-mile journey for MS from Houston, TX to Austin, TX. He trained really hard this year and I am really proud of him! About a week before the ride, I started thinking it would be nice to make him a congratulations/memory quilt. Actually the original idea was a pillow, but once I started brainstorming the project spiraled completely out of control!

The quilt will be Texas & cycling themed. I am using colors from both the BP MS 150 logo and the BP logo. I have no idea how this quilt is going to look in the end, but I am having a lot of fun figuring out what blocks I want to use for it! So far we have a cow, Trail of Geese, bluebonnets, Texas, a patchwork heart and letters. :)

(2) Mystery quilt - (from my FAL list) I am about 40% done with the top. I really want to keep working on it right now, but I have reached the point in the night where my mistakes outnumber my successes!

I hope you all are having a great week!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tablet Pillow Stand Tutorial - Girl Friday Sews

Welcome visitors from SewCanShe.com! This post was originally part of the Girl Friday Sews Blog Hop. Thank you for stopping by!
ipad tablet pillow pattern
Pillow Tablet Stand: This pillow stand is usable with electronic tablets or paper tablets.

Fabric Mutt
Welcome to my stop on the Girl Friday Sews Blog Hop! I hope you have been following along. There have been some fantastic projects on this hop!

The project I am sharing with you today is a tablet pillow stand. When I'm working from an online tutorial or a PDF pattern, I usually set up our iPad in my sewing room. The problem is that I lay it flat on the table and it is constantly getting lost amongst everything else that is on top of my sewing table! It is only a matter of time before I destroy it! I have always loved the idea of the tablet pillow stands at Levenger, but they are expensive and not very pretty. I decided to make a tablet pillow stand of my own, using the triangular prism shape instead of pyramid.

This project features a Mini Charm Pack of Glamping by Mary Jane Butters and Essex Yard Dyed Linen in Flax, plus a few coordinating fabrics. The HSTs and the side triangles used 46 mini charms, so I only had to cut 4 extra 2.5" blocks.

Despite the length of the tutorial (I'm wordy), this project really doesn't take a long time. I made a few plain triangular prism pillows from a single fabric and they each took less than an hour to complete, including cutting time. This tutorial focuses on the the pillow form, but I made some general construction notes (downloadable PDF) about the patchwork designs for anyone who is curious.

I used many different pieces of fabric for this project. If you go with one type of fabric, 1 yard of fabric and 1 yard of interfacing should be more than enough.

Other: One 7" Zipper (I cut a 14" Zipper down to 7.5"),  Bean Bag Filling and a little bit of Poly-fil. 

There is piping in the picture, but I did not include it on this tutorial. I'd love to make this again sometime with piping and/or side pockets!

Triangle Template (PDF Download
Print with no scaling. 11" Equilateral Triangle (each side measures 10.5" with clipped corners).

A. Main Body + Pocket
2 - 9"x11"  Fabric 
1- 9"x8.5" Fabric

B. Bottom of Main Body
2- 9"x6" Fabric
C. Tablet Shelf
1 - 7"x6" Fabric

D. Pillow Sides
2 - Triangle Template cuts

2 - 9"x11" 
1 - 9"x8.5" 
2- 9"x6" 
1 - 7"x6" 
2 - Triangle Template Cuts

Before you begin: Apply all interfacing to the wrong side of the appropriate piece. I used Pellon fusible Medium Weight and I was really happy with the results. It gave the pillow more body than my interface-less prototypes. I think fusible fleece might work well too!

Let's start putting the pieces for the main body together.

This zipper creates the opening through which you will stick the bean bag filling. It is on the bottom of the pillow, so it will not be visible.

1) For this part you need the two 9"x 6" Rectangles & a 7.5" zipper. A 7" zipper would be fine as well. Since I cut a larger zipper down to size, I sewed a tiny zig-zag stitch across the zipper (Figure 2). I stitched over the area several times. The zig-zag stitch is 1/2" away from the end of the zipper.

2) Lay your two rectangles right sides together. The 9" sides are the top and bottom. Center your zipper on the 9" top. Using a fabric pen, mark a line at the first zipper stopper and at the second zipper stopper. This is to remind you that you will change your stitching length between the lines. Set the zipper to the side and pin the two pieces together at the 9" top. 

 3) Take your two rectangles to the sewing machine. Make sure the side with the markings is still on top! You will sew a 1/2" seam. From A to B(the first marked line) you will sew with your regular stitch, backstitching at both ends. From B to C (the second marked line) use the longest stitch that your machine has. From C to D you will sew with your regular stitch, backstitching at both ends. (Later, you will be opening up the area between B & C). Press the seam open.

4) Center zipper on the open seam. The zipper track needs to be on the seam. The area between the stoppers should be aligned with the basting stitches. Use a fabric glue pen or basting stitches to keep the zipper in place. Sew around the zipper on all sides (Figure 4). The stitching will be visible on the visible side. I sewed 1/4" away from the center line and 1/4" away from the stoppers.

5) Now that the zipper is stitched in, it is time for the fun part! Use your seam ripper to take out the basting stitches. I cleaned up the tiny little threads that were left behind with some painter's tape.

6) The zipper is now exposed. It feels like magic every time :D. Keep the zipper closed for now. The bottom piece should be 9"x11."

 1) For this part you need one of the 9"x11" rectangles (the one you intend for the non-stand side) and the 9"x8.5" rectangle that you want to use for the pocket. . Fold the 9"x8.5" pocket in half by matching the two 8.5" sides, wrong sides together. Press. The pocket should now be 9"x4.25".

2) Align the raw edges of your pocket with the raw edges on the bottom 9" side of the main 9"x11" rectangle. The folded part should be on top. Baste the pocket on to the main rectangle. I stitched 1/8" away from both the left and right sides (Figure 2). This just keep the pocket in place. It is one less thing to think about when you are sewing the side triangles on!

If you want to add dividers to the pocket, this is the time to do it.

1) For this part you need the 7"x6" piece for the tablet shelf. Fold this piece in half by matching the two 6" sides, right sides together. The piece should now be 7"x3".

2) Stitch a 1/4" seam on both 3" sides. Clip the corners and turn inside out. Use a turning tool or a knitting needle to poke the corners out. Press.

3) With a fabric pen, I drew a line 1.5" away from the folded edge. This just assisted me in figuring out how much Poly-fil to put in & later on when stitching.

4) Stuff with Poly-fil. I finger pressed the drawn line to see if I needed to check the appearance. I originally tried to use the bean bag filling on this part and it did not work out well! It was frustrating to work & sew with and the result was lumpy!

5) Pin along the drawn line to keep batting in place for sewing.

6) Using a zipper foot to stay as close to the batting as possible. Sew along the drawn line.

7) Note: I just wanted to nest the tablet in the little crevice between the main pillow and the tablet shelf. If you want more of a ramp between the main pillow and the tablet shelf, make your adjustment here by moving the tablet shelf up 1/4" or more so there will be a bit of fabric between it and the main pillow. I definitely recommend a larger ramp if you want to use thicker items on it.

Attach the tablet shelf to the main piece (the one without the pocket). This is a little tricky to work with if you leave the correct seam allowance, so I left a huge seam allowance on the tablet shelf. With a fabric pen, I drew a line on the main piece 1/4" inch away from the bottom. Then, I lined up the stitching on the tablet shelf with that line.  Pin in place. Sew a 1/4" seam. The stitching on the tablet shelf will not be visible.

Now that all the pieces are complete, it is time to put together the body of the iPad stand!

1) Place zipper piece on top of the tablet shelf piece, right sides together. Align the bottom edge of the zipper piece with the bottom edge of the tablet shelf piece (not with the bottom edge of the actual tablet shelf).

2) Pin the bottom edge in place.

3) Sew a 1/4" seam.

4) Trim the excess fabric from the tablet shelf.

5) Figure 5 shows what  it should look like now!

6) Place pocket piece on top of tablet shelf piece, right sides together. Align the top edge of the pocket piece with the top edge of the tablet shelf piece. The pocket will lie on top of the tablet shelf.  Pin the top edge. Sew a 1/4" seam on the top edge (Figure 6).

7) You should have a REALLY long rectangle at this point!

8) Fold the zipper piece on top of the pocket piece, right sides together. Align the bottom edges and pin. Sew a 1/4" seam.

9) You should now have a big fabric loop..

10) Turn it right side out for pressing.

11) I folded the fabric and pressed at each new seam. This really helps it keep the proper shape.

12) Important: Open the zipper at this time. This will be where you turn it in the end. Turn the whole piece wrong side out.

Time to add the sides. This is the trickiest part, but not because it is difficult! It is just a little tricky keeping all the excess fabric out of the way. Please excuse the change in fabric on this part, my first set of pictures did not turn out well...and I was naughty and didn't pin the first time around. :)

This part is a little hard to photograph, so I drew this little illustration to help out a little.

1) Pin the triangle to the main pillow body. This is integral to keeping everything in place!

2) You'll need to remove a few pins at this point and again as you get to each angle. Starting 1/4" away from the main body seam, sew a 1/4" seam until you are 1/4" away from the next main body seam (Figure 3) Don't forget to backstitch at the beginning of the seam.

3) Make sure your needle is down and pivot the piece so the next side of the triangle is straight in front of sewing foot.

4A) As you are turning the fabric, push the excess pillow body fabric to the left so it is out of the way. There will be a little excess fabric at the angles and you will need to straighten that out or it will get caught in the seam (Figure 4). I used a pair of tweezers, so I wouldn't poke my finger! Once all of the excess fabric is out of the way and the fabric is lined up correctly, sew a 1/4" seam.

Repeat steps 2-4 until the triangle is completely attached. I also pivoted around to sew a couple of stitches & backstitch over the first seam again to make sure there weren't any gaps.

4B) Repeat steps 1-4A on the other side.

5) Press the seams.  Yay! It is a triangular prism!

6) Clip the corners. This is important for a good point

1) Turn the pillow right side out. Use a turning tool or knitting needle to poke out all six corners.

2) Yay! It is almost ready. It just needs some pressing at the seams.

3) Fold at each seam and press. The creasing really helps it keep the proper shape.

4) This part is a mess! Fill the pillow with bean bag filling. 

5) Zip it up and you are ready to go! I felt like some of the seams needed a bit more creasing, so I moved the filling out of the way and I used my flat iron on some of them. I'm not sure if that is advisable or not, but it worked!

In use with paper tablet.
ipad tablet pillow pattern

Let me know if you have any questions, recommendations or comments! I'll update any corrections or answers to questions on this page.

Fabric Mutt
The blog hop is still going on for a few more days! Here is the blog schedule so you can check out anything you missed or find the future stops!

Mon., March 11 -- Blog Hop Launch @ Fabric Mutt 
Mon., March 18 -- Blog Hop Promo @ From Pixels to Patchwork
Mon., March 25 -- Blog Hop Promo with Tutorial @ Fabric Mutt
Mon., April 1 -- Heidi Staples @ Fabric Mutt
Tue., April 2 -- Kristy @ Quiet Play
Wed., April 3 -- Becca Bryan @ Bryan House Quilts
Thur., April 4 -- Amanda Woodruff @ A Crafty Fox
Fri., April 5 -- Lee Heinrich @ Freshly Pieced
Mon., April 8 -- Svetlana Sotak @ SOTAK Handmade
Tue., April 9 -- Beth @ Plum and June  (Sew Me a Song giveaway: fabric bundle)
You are here ----->Wed., April 10 -- Taryn @ From Pixels to Patchwork 
Thur., April 11 -- Lori Hartman @ Lori H. Designs  (Fabricworm giveaway: Robotic fabric bundle)
Fri., April 12 -- Leanne @ She Can Quilt
Mon., April 15 -- Blog Hop Recap at Fabric Mutt

 Thank you for stopping by!

Monday, April 8, 2013

2013 Finish-A-Long Q2 List

she can quiltIt's time for my 2013 Finish-A-Long Q2 Update! I only finished one out of five projects from my list last quarter, the Starburst quilt. I made progress on the Scrappy TAL, but the other three projects are still sitting in plastic bins. I didn't start any other major projects though, so I count that as progress! The four unfinished projects, plus one new item are on my list for Q2.

  1. Scrappy TAL - I assembled the quilt top, basted and started quilting last quarter.
    Current Status: Need to finish quilting. Target finish date: End of April 2013
  2. Swoon: I was supposed to have to done by Christmas 2012.
    Current Status: Blocks are cut & ready to be pieced.  Target finish date: End of June 2013
  3. Looking Back: All the applique pieces have been cut since the beginning of December. I was also supposed to have this one done by Christmas 2012!
    Current Status: I just need to get to hand sewing! Target finish date: End of June 2013
  4. Flower Girl Quilt: The fabric is washed, ironed, starched & cut.
    Current Status: Need to get to sewing! Target finish date: End of May 2013
  5. Mystery Quilt - This quilt is only a mystery, because I am not sure if it is going to turn out as well as my drawing! I am ready to get this one done, because I have been working on it on and off for almost a year now. Not because it's hard, but I'm easily distracted. :)
    Current Status: All my chain-piecing is done. I need to get to the blocks ready and sew the top. Target finish date: End of April 2013

In other news:
  • The winners of the Pay it Forward contest were #5 & #7 which is Jennifer from Knotted Thread and Rachel from Sew Happily Ever After. Congratulations! You'll be getting a little surprise from me sometime in the next year. Thank you to everyone who entered! I wish I could make something for each of you! 
  • My Girl Friday Sews tutorial will be up on Wednesday, April 10! Be sure to check Fabric Mutt for the blog hop schedule, so you can see all the great tutorials that have already been featured!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Pay it Forward [CLOSED]

Last year, I was lucky enough to win a "Pay It Forward" giveaway from the very talented Lee at Freshly Pieced. She had one year to send me a handmade gift. In turn I agreed to pay it forward to someone else, within a year of receiving her gift. When I checked my mailbox last week, this gorgeous jumbo floor pillowcase & a generous stack of Carnaby St.scraps was waiting for me! It was such a fun surprise!

Isn't it beautiful? It really brightens up my living room. I can't wait to use the scraps. Thank you Lee!

So of course, now it is my turn to pay it forward!

The rules: I have one year to make the winner a handmade gift. In turn, the winner agrees to pay it forward to someone else. The winner has one year to complete this challenge, starting the day the winner receives a gift from me. It may or may not take me a whole year :D!

If you would like to receive a handmade item from me and you agree to pay it forward, just leave one comment on this post.  If you like, you can tell me your favorite handmade gift to give. I'll use Random Number Generator to choose two winners on Saturday, April 6th at 12pm CST.
 International entries welcome. Be sure to leave an email!

Thank you to everyone who entered! I wish I could make something for each of you! The winners of the contest are #5 & #7 which is Jennifer from Knotted Thread and Rachel from Sew Happily Ever After. Congratulations! You'll be getting a little surprise from me sometime in the next year!

Also: Thank you to everyone who linked up to the Let's Get Acquainted Monday Link Up! I enjoyed seeing everyone's projects this week!
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