Monday, October 20, 2008

Bookbinding with the kuties

Made this at the kaotic kraft kuties. The cover is an old record cover, Louis Moreau Gottschalk Symphony - A Night in the Tropics.

Cool eh!

Ooh, just googled the album title and found it for sale here. Now I'm wondering if my copy was worth anything!!

Cushion cover tutorial

ETA: I made some more of these and revised a couple of things here.

I made these cushion covers and liked em so much I wrote down the steps in case anyone else is interested. Some of the photos have "notes" on them in Flickr so click on them to see the notes.
Start by cutting out your fabric. I am making a 50cm square cover with 2cm seam allowance so I've cut two 54cm squares.

Overlock (serger) the edges.
Put your front and back pieces right sides together.

Draw a line 2cm from the bottom edge of your cover (the zip will go in this edge).

Put a mark 8cm from each edge. This will be where your zipper starts end ends.
Now we're going to sew along this line and then unpick part of it after we've put the zip in. Doing it this way ensures that the fabric closes over the zipper really neatly.

Using your normal stitch length sew from the edge to the first mark 8cm along.

Stitch backwards for 3 or 4 stitches and then forwards to the mark again.

Change your stitch length to the longest you have and continue sewing to the next mark 8cm from the other edge.

Change your stitch length back to your usual setting and sew forwards 3 or 4 stitches then back to the marker and then forwards again to the end of the fabric.

Press the seam open. The better you press it at this point the better it'll look when it's finished.

Now with the right side down, line your zip up along the stitching line and pin it in place.
Now we're going to sew the zip in place with the right side up (because the stitches on top always look a bit nicer than those on the bottom). You can either baste the zip in place or you can leave the pins in but it could be a bit fiddly taking them out coz they'll be on the underside.
I basted my zip in place by hand.
Now put your zipper foot on your machine and get ready to sew at the edge with the zipper pull.
Now we're going to sew along both sides of the zip and across the ends of it so the stitching line will make a long skinny box around the zip.

Mark your fabric on the right side 8cm from each edge.

Starting at the first mark, sew down one side to the other mark. You should sew quite close to the zip but not super close.
When you get to the second mark, with the needle down, lift the foot and pivot your fabric 90 degrees and sew across the zip. Sew back and forth across the zip again to reinforce it.

Then pivot the fabric again and sew along the other side of the zip to the mark.
Now you need to move the zipper pull before you sew across the zip otherwise you won't be able to open it, disaster!

So, put the needle down and lift the foot and using your unpicker unpick some of the basting stitches and 5cm or so of the stitches that cover the zipper. (see note)
Now push and pull the the zipper pull until it is behind the foot.
Then pivot the fabric and sew across the zip as before.
And that's the zipper done! Give it a nice press to make it sit flat.
Now with the right sides together sew the other 3 seams 2cm from the edge. Pivot the fabric at the corners rather than sewing all the way to the end, it'll make the next bit easier.

Press all the seams open. Go on, I know it's a pain but it'll give you a better finish.
I sewed across the open end of the zip just to hold it together a bit better as it felt like the other seam might need some reinforcement.

Chop off the excess zip at both ends.
Now you could call it a day and your cover would be finished but I didn't like the pointy corners on mine so I sewed across the corners to give the cover a bit of volume.

Here's how I get it nice and square.

Arrange your cover so it's in roughly this shape then stick a pin into the seam and check that it comes out right in the seam at the bottom. Push it back up through the seam again. This should line them up perfectly. If you have a cutting mat with a grid (or graph paper) you can check that it's all square by putting the point on the darker 5cm mark and then making sure the sides cross the 5cm intersections. Umm that's kinda hard to explain, see the notes on the photo.
Now draw your stitching line across the corner. You can make it as deep as you like. I drew my line 3cm from the tip which makes it 6cm long.

Mark all the corners this way then stitch along the lines.
Then overlock (serger) the tips off and you're done!

Give it a really good press and then put your cushion inside it!

I'm using the 50cm feather cushions from Ikea. They're only about $8 (AUD) each and very comfy.

Note that if you can get a zip with a zipper pull that sits really flat and which locks down into place it'll look even better.
Make a whole set!

Fabric from Amitie

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Stitching weekend over

I've finished sewing my quilt blocks (by hand) and now I just have to sew them all together, quilt it and bind it, phew!

I stitched most of these blocks at the annual Amitie stitching weekend. Three days of hard stitching, chatting and eating lots! All meals were provided and they were very good and very generous serves so I feel like I might've put on 5 kilos. This week I'm going to have to be extra good, gym every day and no cake, chocolate, chips etc. I was good last night, I declined the apple pie and ice-cream I could've had.

It was a great weekend but I'm glad to be home too, I was exhausted yesterday! Strange given that I was sitting on my butt the whole time!

More on the weekend on Justine, Fi and (probably) Jenny's blogs.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Weekend away

I'm having a long weekend with 18 other ladies (including Fi and Justine) on a quilting weekend! We arrived last night and got some stitching in before bed. It's such a lovely day today, we're planning on working outside later on.

Gotta run, brekkie's ready.