Way back in 2006 I wrote one of my very first sewing patterns, a little quilted pot holder. The idea was good, but even back then it didn’t turn out quite right. So, as I’ve been poking around in the archive, I came across it and decided to remake it how I had always pictured it in my mind. That and I need some new pot holders around the house!
1 – 9×9″ heat resistant fabric (silver fabric, thinner than you’d think sold in the utility fabric section).
Keep the tension loose when quilting all the layers together or it will pinch the fabric too much
An earlier version of this pattern was published in November of 2006 on the Craft Leftovers Blog. Here I’ve remade it, updated the pattern instructions, and added more photos of course!
Step One: If you are working from a pile of scraps, piece them all together so you have two 9×9″ squares. Now don’t be lazy and go ahead and press those seams as you go. You won’t be able to show off that pot holder with pride if it’s all lumpy.
Step Two: Layer all your pieces together like so: Contrasting fabric right side down, batting, heat resistant fabric right side up, main fabric right side up.
Step Three: Pin layers and stitch two intersecting lines. Sew two more sets of intersecting lines like so:
It’s helpful to do a basting stitch (long straight stitch) around all four sides to hold all the layers in place.
Mark out the second set of lines by measuring 3″ from the center line. I used a quilting ruler that just happened to be 6″ wide. Lucky me!
Step Four: Sew on the bias tape. Now you’ll do this just like the edging of the quilt:
A: Pin to one side, right sides together, and stitch.
Just make a little pleat to turn the corner.
Flip the bias tape right side out and it will naturally want to wrap around the edge.
B: Turn over the edge, pin in place, and stitch again. Done.
I opted to stitch this last step up by hand, but you can use a machine just as easily.
C.L. Tice is a writer, poet, crafter, and mom. Her writing and creating adventures are inspired by the world around her. She can be found at her blog, Mused.
Recently, my workplace changed to having swipe card access rather than the punch codes we had been using. We’ve never required ID badges for employees and I’ve never worked anywhere where we had badges or cards. So this is a new experience for me.
If it was only the door to get into the building, it wouldn’t be much of a problem and I would leave my card in my work bag. But, to get to the restrooms and common area, there is another locked door. I can see myself forgetting my card and getting locked out. It’s not like I can put the card in my phone like I did the numbers.
I thought a good solution might be a lanyard that everyone else seems to like so well. They give them out everywhere – parades, fairs, promotional tables. But wouldn’t you know, the only one I had in my house when I went looking was the one my son uses for his key.
What is a crafter supposed to do?
My sister came over earlier in the day and went through my stash of fabric so I had a pile of scraps right on top. With the sewing machine already threaded from an ealier project, piecing them together didn’t take much time at all. The most time consuming part was picking out the fabrics – and at one point I decided it didn’t matter if they really matched. It is patchwork after all and should
I cut the strips to 3” wide and between 1” and 2.5” long based on what I had for scrap. I cut three pieces of each fabric and ironed them.
Once they were sewn together, I ironed the seams flat and folded the long piece in half. Then, I opened it up and folded each side in to the middle point and ironed again. Folding it back up, I sewed along both edges.
I didn’t have any D rings in my house but I did find a key ring and re-purposed it for my lanyard. Putting the ends of the length together, I slipped the ring onto the fabric. I folded up the end about half an inch and then another inch, settling the ring into place and sewing the fabric to itself.
Tadaa! I now have a nifty, and one of a kind, work accessory.
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When we got Jak last month, I thought I was being oh so smart by getting a dog bed with a removable cover. The theory was that I could just take off the cover, give it a wash, and be good to go again. Well, that’s true except in the case of accidents where the whole thing gets soaked through. Next time I’ll make sure to get a cover that’s water proof as well as removable. Ah well. Hopefully we have dealt with the last of the pee issues.
We’ve found that Jak has some separation anxiety issues starting about a week and a half ago and consistently messes in his crate every time we leave or go to sleep for the night. Usually within 15 minutes of us leaving too. Gross.
I had to toss the whole inside filler because there was no way to clean it, it was soaked through. I did actually try, but it just shredded the “fabric” that the stuffing was contained in. Bah.
It was surprisingly easy, so I thought I would share this with you, just in case you have a pet with a bed that needs a new inside.
First: Measure your dog bed cover. Mine is 36″ x 60″. (Jak is a huge dog.) Add 8″ to the length and width to allow for the stuffing. I honestly skipped the width part because I didn’t want to sew on a panel of fabric. My fabric was exactly 36″ wide.
Second: Cut two pieces of fabric that size. The seam allowances will make it slightly smaller so it fits well. Prewash and dry them so they don’t shrink if you have to ever wash the inside. (I used muslin because I have a bolt of it and it’s cheap.)
Third: Round up a pile of polyfil. I have a whole box that I had purchased wholesale years ago. I was on a knit plush kick and was going through bags of the stuff. Of course as soon as I got the 5 lb box, (just think about how much polyfil it takes to measure 5 lbs!) I stopped. Ha. Anyway, it took about 2 pounds to fill Jak’s bed. But it’s pretty huge.
Forth: Sew it. It’s a big rectangle, so just stitch around the entire thing, leaving one side open. I used 1/2″ seam allowances and did a straight stitch and then a zig zag stitch over that. Extra sturdy was the idea. Turn the whole thing right sides out and stuff with chunks of polyfil. You only need to fill it loosely, don’t pack it.
Last: Tuck the open edges under and sew shut. Make sure to lock the stitches at the beginning and end so it doesn’t unravel. Shove into the freshly washed cover, zip it shut, and give back to your pup.
Oh and happily, after figuring out that it’s not a house training issue, we’ve been able to work on it. We’ve figured it’s a combo of three things – schedule change, irritable bowel syndrome (I kid you not), and separation anxiety. Poor guy. But hey we are on day 2 of no messes, whew! Yeah Jak! That’s a good dog!
One of the things I wanted to work on this year was reading. And I have. In fact, I’ve worked on it a lot. It seemed only right to make a new bookmark to mark my place. I’ve already read more books this year than I did in all of last year! It started when I got sick and didn’t have anything to do but read. It’s like I caught the reading bug.
And that’s it, all finished. These are so easy to whip together too. I’m sure you will like making it just as much as you enjoy tucking yourself in with your favorite read.
What have I been reading? Well, I tend to read a lot of non-fiction, usually pertaining to whatever I’m currently interested in. Right now I’m reading a book on dog training. Before that, I read about having an The Urban Homestead: Your Guide to Self-sufficient Living in the Heart of the City (Process Self-reliance Series)and getting my finances in order with The Simple Dollar. And, of course, just about any book on herbalism I can get my hands on because I’m taking a year long course: The Herbal Medicine-Maker’s Handbook, Healing Wise, The Herbalist’s Way and a few others I can’t remember off the top of my head.
How do I find time to read? Well, have you ever read Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham? That’s pretty much my approach to reading–in a house, with a mouse, on a train, in the rain, here and there and on the roof. Seriously, I find I get the most reading done right in the morning while eating breakfast, on my lunch break, and any other odd chance I get–while cycling at the gym, while waiting for a train to go by in the car, I just make sure to have a book on hand so I’m ready to go.
Happy crafting and bookishness!
While the ironing board is a great craft room tool, it’s often a bit big and cumbersome. Sometimes I just need to press a little something while sewing–all nice and quick. I keep my cutting mat on my sewing table, so I wanted to make an ironing mat that would fit right over it and protect its rubbery surface.
Cut all your pieces and layer them: muslin, muslin, fleece, heavy fabric
Sew around three edges using a 3/8″ seam allowance. Turn right sides out.
Tuck the open edge into itself and pin in place. Press if you need to.
Top stitch 1/2″ from the edge all the way around and that’s it. You’re done!
Since it’s turned dreadfully cold here in Central Iowa, I’ve been on the look out for a good hat to wear under my bike helmet. (Safety first, right?) I found a few, but they are, well, expensive. So I decided to do a quick search around for a winter cycling cap pattern and while I didn’t find a winter one, I did find one I could easily alter.
Flickr user PandaFace was nice enough to post a template for the hats he’s been whipping together + I made my own template up for the back flap. It worked perfectly. Especially after 5 rounds of tweeking.
This project definitely did not go as planned. I thought from the start that I would “whip” one together no problem. But I made the classic mistake of not checking my “gauge.” He indicated the size it was supposed to be printed out and I just got so excited that I whipped it together without thinking about it. The result was a humorously too small really cute cycling cap. No worries. I’m making these things with fabric I dug out of my leftovers bin, so no fretting here. There’s plenty of this cheap-o fleece left.
Ironing is key. King. King Key.
The next one was too big.
Then the next was a box instead of a dome.
The forth was a dome, but way too short.
It was a combination of getting the angles, length, seams, and everything just right and it was all going wrong. I was determined. I prevailed.
By the end of it, I only had little scraps left. I had to map out the placement of each piece just so because any waste would have resulted in not making a hat. The fifth was just right!
I was so excited about my hat, and rightly so. I did use my only night off for the week to binge sew for 8 hours straight or so. Anyway, so I wear it to the sewing group on Saturday afternoon. My friend (who has been going on Sunday rides with me in this crazy cold weather) liked it so much that she asked me to make her one too. We agreed on a price and I finished up her hat and delivered it (by bicycle) yesterday afternoon. She wore it on our ride and said it really helped keep her ears and everything else warm. Excellent. Definitely has the wheels turning (along with a few other events). I’ll tell you more about that in another post at a later date though.
What determined crafting adventures have you had lately? Do you ever just get a bug in your bonnet about a project you can’t figure out and hammer away at it until you finally get it?
I’m off to go ride my bike!
Happy crafting (and cycling!)
Last weekend I spent Saturday sewing with my friend Judy, we made all sorts of fleecy things and my favorite were these super quick to make fleece mittens. She gave me permission to share this classic mitten pattern with all of you. I made the small size for myself, but it’s easy to scale the pattern up and down – add a 1/4″ on all sides for a medium and a 1/2″ for a large mitten (Jason’s size). Jason liked mine so much that he requested a pair of his own. I was of course happy to comply since whipping a pair together takes less than a half hour.
Step One: Cut all the pieces from the templates, two of each, on folded fabric.
Step Two: Sew the bottom and top of the inside of the mitten right sides together.
Step Three: Sew the back of the mitten and the inside together, turn right sides out.
Step Four: Fold the cuff in half and sew the short side together. Fold in half lengthwise and fit over the mitten body with the raw edges together. Sew together. Turn right sides out. Top stitch along the seam to finish it.
Repeat for the second mitten.
Two weeks ago, I trimmed down my bamboo shades and realized that I had in my hands the most wonderful leftover–bamboo sticks!
Well, okay, maybe not THE most wonderful but pretty excellent. My mind started spinning with all the things I could do with these piles and piles of sticks that are connected.
And then I realized something tragic. They were unraveling. The leftover section of bamboo blinds were slipping apart one stick at a time.
Well, hmm. That seems like a pain in the ass. Instead of being able to easily make them into coasters, place mats, little boxes, and a million other fun, rustic looking projects, I now was faced with the dilemma of how to string them back together.
Twining. Oh twining, I love you. This, my friends, is a wonderful way to “weave” multiple things together.
To demonstrate it’s power I give you:
Materials – makes 1 coaster
Cut the bamboo down to size. I used an X-acto knife, but you can use scissors.
To start twining, fold your string in half.
Place the first bamboo in the fold of the string.
Give the string a half twist.
Then place another bamboo piece after the twist and give another twist.
Keep repeating until you have twined all 30 bamboo pieces.
Tie a double knot at the end.
Repeat the steps above for the other side. It helps to hold it over the edge, just twist the string and slip it around the end of the bamboo.
Tie it off at the end. You can straighten out the bamboo a bit by pulling each piece one way or the other + tapping it on the table. If they are still a little jagged you can trim them up with an X-acto knife or scissors.
Dab a little hot glue on the back side of string and fold the knotted ends over so they won’t come loose or show. Don’t use too much glue though or it will come through to the other side.
Put a bead of hot glue along each row of twining and press the fabric over the back. I like to use a nice piled upholstery fabric, but felt would do nicely too. Use some Fray Check on the edges of the fabric if NOT using felt.
This took me about 10 minutes to make once the logistics were worked out – that included taking photos too! You can use twining to make all sorts of things. Next on my list is some:
And the list of neat stuff that you can make by twining bamboo sticks together is unending. What would you make?
Jason knew as soon as we moved into our new house that we needed some blinds fast for the master bedroom and main bath. We just needed a little more privacy so we would stop having to get dressed in the closet, haha.
We went to Lowes and were absolutely shocked (we are newbies to all this after all) the blinds and shades range from $4 to $400. Of course the ones yours truly picked out were on the $400 end. Well crud. We just don’t roll that way.
After browsing around the internet, I found these great shades that were almost identical to the ones at Lowes for 1/10 the price. And you can’t beat the $3 for shipping from Overstock.
When they arrived we promptly hung them up and realized they were near transparent–ah ha. I remember this now. Bamboo shades are pretty and great at filtering light, but not so great on privacy unless you spend that $400. And you want to know why? They aren’t backed with fabric.
The other issue is that the shortest they had were 72″ long and our windows are just 36″. That’s a whole lot of excess bundled up. A trim was in order and good thing for me it looks like what they used to “finish” the shades on the bottom was a touch of hot glue.
The bathroom shades are a whole other issue, they are 1/2″ too wide! Annoying! Our window in the bathroom is 26 1/2″ inches. Our doorway is 27 3/4. What is up with this fraction fetish! Anyway, so I decided to trim them shorter, trim them thinner, and back them with some fabric so we can pee without peepers peeping in.
I have hot glue. I have fabric. Totally doable.
First things first, trimming. Why make myself by back a 72″ shade when I was going to cut it down to half that length. I decided on a length os half + 1″ for a “glue allowance”–where I’ll fold it over and hot glue it.
Note: I thought I would be able to trim down the width with scissors or garden shears, but that was not the case at all. I was thinking about using some kind of saw, but I was coming up blank.
I should mention Sarah is an engineer and worked at NASA for a term. She is an AMAZING problem solver (thanks for coming over yesterday, I had fun). So that’s what we did.
I should also mention that since Sarah has turned her engineering sights on home repair, she’s become a home repair goddess. I love consulting with her on all my projects – from knitting to the best way to remove paint from the window tracks. You should check out her new home repair blog Building Expectations – love the name she picked for it.
Then it was time for my favorite part–hot glue!
If you butcher the edges of the blinds while cutting like I did. No worries, you can even them out with sand paper and a jigsaw.
And that’s it! All finished!
And since I used muslin to back the shades, they still let quite a bit of light in. But not so much that you can see me taking a shower or getting dressed.
Now that I’ve worked out all the steps on my little shades, backing and trimming the bedroom shades will be a snap. I’ll take pictures and post them to flickr when I get them finished up.
Winter is always the season of weaving for me. With my overly large floor room, it’s the only time of year that I’m okay being tucked into my basement studio for hours shuttling back and forth. I turn on the space heater, bring down a pot of tea and put it on my candle warmer. [...]