Each month, learn a fun trick or tip to make your quilting easier and more polished! This month, learn how to add texture to your quilt with dimensional flying geese units!
August 2013 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting.)
To make one dimensional Flying Geese unit, gather two 2″ squares and one 2×3-1/2″ rectangle. Lay the rectangle vertically on your work surface. Fold the rectangle in half with wrong side inside to make a folded unit. Place the folded unit on the right side of one square, aligning side and bottom edges; pin. Place remaining square right side down on top of folded unit; sew through all layers with a scant 1/4″ seam allowance. Open stitched unit and press seam in one direction. Refold rectangle so that the center crease aligns with the seam, forming a triangle, to make a Flying Geese unit. Press well and, if desired, baste bottom edges. The unit should be 3-1/2×2″ including seam allowances.
Design: inspired by a design by Taryn Boyd
Wiggle your toes in this oh-so-soft rug. It’s hard to believe it’s made of cast-off T-shirts. Sew knit strips to a canvas backing; the strips flop over each other for a plush effect. This project is courtesy of our sewing blog, howtosew.com. Visit daily for new sewing projects and easy home decor.
- Canvas (available by the yard in fabrics stores)
- Ruler or yard stick
- Heavy-duty sewing machine needle
- T-shirts (number needed depends on desired size of rug)
- Rotary cutter, mat, and acrylic ruler (optional)
- Rug gripper or non-skid carpet tape
Determine desired finished size of rug. Rug shown is 18×24″ (takes about 10 adult-size T-shirts).
- Cut canvas 1″ larger on all sides than desired finished size. (The canvas for an 18×24″ rug is cut 20×26″.)
- Cut T-shirts into 2×6″ strips (see Step 6)
Assemble the Rug:
1. Zigzag-stitch cut edges of canvas. (Dark thread is used in photos; for your project, use thread to match T-shirts.)
2. Fold edges of canvas under 1″; pin.
3. Sew folded edges in place, using a straight stitch about 1/8″ from the first stich line. (Shown is the view of the top after sewing.)
4. Using water-soluble marker or a chalk marker, draw parallel lines across the top of the hemmed canvas (long edge to long edge), 3/4″ to 1″ apart.
5. Fold canvas so four or five lines show; pin. (You will work from left to right across the marked canvas, keeping the unstitched canvas to the right of the needle and the bulk of the covered canvas to the left.)
6. Cut T-shirt into 2×6″ strips. Due to large quantity of strips needed for this project, we recommend cutting strips with a rotary cutter and an acrylic ruler.
7. Fold one T-shirt strip in half so it measures 1×6″.
8. Starting at top left edge of marked canvas, place center of folded T-shirt strip atop first drawn line, just inside the canvas edge. Sew across the center of the strip to secure the strip to thecanvas. (It doesn’t matter if you sew across folded edge or cut edge first.)
9. Without lifting the presser foot, add a second folded strip in the same manner, butting it up close to thefirst strip.
10. Continue adding and sewing strips in the same manner to cover drawn line. (Each line on our marked canvas required 18 T-shirt strips.)
11. Move to the next drawn line and continue adding strips in the same fashion until the canvas is covered. Repeat all the way across marked canvas. Adjust folded and pinned canvas as you proceed from left edge to right.
When the entire canvas is covered, shake the rug and use your hand to brush strips outwards over the rug edges.
12. Place a layer of rug gripper or strips of double-sided carpet tape between completed rug and hard surface floor.
Design: Monica Rodriguez for Dear Stella
Fabric: Confetti Dot by Dear Stella
Only 1/4 yard of fabric will get you three of these cute spring baskets! Use them for Easter baskets, sewing room decorations, or gifts for your friends and family. This project is courtesy of our sewing blog, howtosew.com. Visit daily for new sewing projects and easy home decor.
Materials for One Basket:
- 2—6-1/2×9″ rectangles polka dot fabric (matching or contrasting)
- 1—6-1/2×9″ rectangle thin batting (cotton or polyester)
- Water-soluble marking pen
Finished basket: about 3×2-1/2×3″
Sew this project with 1/4″ seams. (Note: For easy viewing in this tutorial we used lavender polka dot for outer basket, pink polka dot for basket lining, and dark thread for stitching.)
1. Stitching about 1/8″ from edges, machine-baste 6-1/2×9″ batting rectangle to wrong side of 6-1/2×9″ lavender rectangle.
2. With right side inside, fold Step 1 rectangle in half matching short edges; pin.
3. Sew sides of folded rectangle; press.
4. Clip seam allowance at fold.
5. Press seam open.
6. Shape a flat bottom. At one corner, match seam line with pressed fold, creating a flattened triangle. Measuring 1-1/2″ from point of triangle, draw a line across triangle.
7. Sew on drawn line. Trim 1/4″ from stitching. Repeat with remaining bottom corner.
8. Turn right side out to make basket body.
9. Repeat steps 2–8 with matching or contrasting polka dot rectangle, leaving a 1-1/2–2″ opening along one side to make basket lining. Do not turn basket lining right side out.
10. Insert basket body inside basket lining with right sides together.
11. Align top edges and side seams; pin together top edges of basket body and basket lining.
12. Using a 1/4″ seam, sew together top edges of basket body and lining.
13. Turn right side out through opening in lining.
14. Hand-stitch opening closed.
15. Insert lining back into basket body and press top edge.
16. Topstitch 1/4″ from top edge through all layers to complete basket.
17. Turn top edge over at basket top to make narrow cuff to complete basket.
Each month, learn a fun trick or tip to make your quilting easier and more polished! This month, learn how to prep your quilt layers for taking them to the long-armer (or quilting them yourself!).
1. Both the batting and the backing should be 6″–8″ wider and longer than the quilt top. Confirm this measurement with your quilter if you’re sending a quilt out for finishing.
2. Make sure the quilt top lays flat by using consistent ¼” seams, pressing seams to one side, and watching for seams that twist and cause a bump. Give a finished quilt top a final press to ensure it is ready to be quilted.
3. Clip all loose threads and fabric, and trim dog-ears. Any of these can cause a shadow behind lighter fabrics if not removed. Loose fabric can bulk up in a quilt sandwich and make it look bumpy.
4. Repair raveling seams and stay-stitch quilt top edges. Especially if you have a pieced border, it’s a good idea to stay-stitch a scant ¼” from quilt top edges to secure unintersected seams. It prevents them from popping open when the quilt layers are loaded onto the machine.
Once a month, we highlight our favorite free quilt and sewing patterns around the web!
Scalloped Hand Towel from Fat Quarter Shop
Freshen your home this spring with a simple project. Whip up some cute and quick hand towels with a scalloped edge. They look great in any prints, so you can use your scraps or pull out your new favorite fabric!
This duffle is practical and super cute! It makes the perfect bag for the gym or for traveling. It’s roomy, has pockets and zippers, and is topped with ruffles for a stylish touch.
Your favorite fat quarters can be used to create these pretty baskets! At 7″ wide, they’re perfect for holding small sewing notions, little candies, or for a fun Easter basket.