2018 Finish Along Q1 – Goals

Does anyone¬†visit this blog anymore? I’m going to continue anyway, It’s a good record for me to look back on, but I’m not sure if anyone else is here. I’ve had some issues with it being hacked, and maybe that’s why. Good news though, a new site is on the way imminently! I was going to host a sew along for the Delightful Desert quilt by Elizabeth Hartman, but there seems to be a ton of other EH pattern sewalongs, so many people had the same idea at once! So I decided to bow out, but I will make scrappy blocks monthly and run a video series, just without any obligation on your part.

The Finish Along has opened up again for what must be at least year 4, so I’m going to keep on with it.

First up is the Trellis quilt. All the blocks are done, I’m piecing together rows right now (all the ones with blue have been pieced), and I have a slim wooden border to add, then the top will be done. I was aiming to finish by the end of December. Ooops!

Next up- I have a pattern I designed, I have fabric, but I haven’t got further than that. It’s also for a magazine.

After that I’m free to make stuff for myself (which will include the Bag of the Month club), and I’d like to actually make some progress on my Canada quilt. I designed a layout but it needs adjusting to accommodate more panels. I actually have a plan – it could hang on my stair well. Now I have an incentive!

I didn’t get any further piecing all the blocks together on this top, but I do have the backing. Maybe I’ll find some time to work on this.

I also have a final Blanche cut out ready to go. I have one last class at the end of this month, so I’m hoping to put it together then, but if it doesn’t run, I still want to get it together.

That will do I think. I could put so much more on this list, but I don’t want to get overwhelmed!


A final Finish Along contribution – the reupholstered chairs!

Happy New Year!

I really didn’t want to take out all those staples and fight with the crappy paint again, but I did. New Year’s Day was the day for me, so still technically sneaking it in before the cut off for the 2017 Finish Along! While Alex watched Rogue One and Hank had peanut butter in his Kong, I ripped out the staples, attached the patchwork I had done months ago, and painted the chair three times. I think the paint job on this one is worse than the others, I sanded, I touched up, I sighed as it still looked drippy and bad. It’s a bit dusty still so I may add a bit more varnish to the areas that you grab onto – like the top of the chair – but it’s done. It’s DONE! They’re done!

So now I have all three rescue chairs pieced. I would really like this chair from Ikea to replace my swivel sewing chair and tie everything up, but we have been to Ikea twice in the last month and it’s been sold out both times because it’s half price until Sunday. I guess it’s not to be.

Original goals post.

I’ve decided to keep the vlog videos separate from the blog from now on. I’m having a website facelift, and there will be a link to my YouTube channel directly. I urge you to subscribe if you want to follow along with those as well as the blog.

Two finishes this quarter. Looking forward to tackling Finish Along 2018!

Upgrade your tabletop ironing board!

I hope you are having a nice peaceful holiday season! I’ve been back at work since Boxing Day, but trying to get back into the swing of things, blog wise and all.

If you’re anything like me, an ironing board takes up too much real estate in a sewing room, so I have a little tabletop one set up right next to my machine. It’s a little Ikea one, with irregular sized covers, but it works out cheaper to just replace the whole thing than make a bespoke cover for it, plus they’re not PLUSH enough. Here’s what I did to mine recently.

I bought a new one, but I wanted it to last a little longer. I took off the cover and removed the heat proof batting. I took a large batting scrap, folded it in half and put the original batting on top as a guide. Then I used it to cut around, making a total of 3 pieces of batting, including the original.

Put it back under the fabric cover. Layer it so that the original batting is up against the fabric, then the two batting pieces. It’s a bit of a squeeze, but you can get that cover back on tightly!

So far this is doing great for me. I also bought a new iron because I broke my red one, it stopped getting hot. I borrowed the household one for a month or so (the one in the picture) but I am pleased to have my own back again!

I also have a Tula Pink scissors and rotary cutter review over on YouTube today, with instructions on how to change the blade. If you think this might be of interest, please check it out!

PennyDog Vlog #22 – December 18 2017 – Lots of Fabric!

Oh I went shopping this weekend! I’ve also discovered what a godsend the 36 inch wide cutting mats are… plus I actually found ORIGINAL Tula Pink Bird and the Bees fabric here in Calgary!

And yes, that weird hair flick is in the whole video…. just so you know it was shot before 7am!

How to prepare curved edge shapes for applique – with turned edges!

If you have an applique pattern that needs circle, ovals or petals, I have a favourite way of turning those edges under for turned edge applique. Then you’re ready to sew by machine or by hand – you choose.

Here I show you how it’s done – with tin foil / aluminum foil! Guest appearance by Hank…

Pattern Hack : Squiffy Crossbody Bag by Mrs H in directional fabric

This is a really gentle hack, but essential if you have prints that are one direction- that is there’s nothing upside down or on it’s side, fabrics that you definitely have to use a certain way up. Here’s my video tutorial, but if you prefer photos and text, just scroll a little further down.

When it comes to making the Squiffy as it currently stands, would mean the motifs on the flap would be upside down. So here’s how to fix that- and it’s really simple!

Take your exterior pattern piece and fold* it as shown, to turn what will be the flap to the reverse of the pattern. Make where the flap starts and ends.

Draw around the main body pattern piece, but when you get to the flap area, add 1/4″ extra fabric in the space between the marks for a seam allowance.

For the flap, I marked where the grain should be straight. I figured this out by folding the pattern so the cutouts at the bottom meet to create my side fold (which you can see just to the left of the ruler). I then drew a parrell line to the fold on the flap.

Unfold the pattern and draw around the flap only onto the right side of the fabric but with the narrower end of the flap pointing down. When you get to where it will join the body, take away the pattern, get your ruler and draw a straight line across for the top of the flap – up 1/4″ from where you could draw up to around the pattern. This gives this piece a 1/4″ seam allowance too.

Cut out your pieces and then line up the flap with the body and sew together with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Press the seam open, and then fuse the interfacing on the back. You’re ready now to follow the pattern exactly as Mrs H has it!

*Of course, you could also cut the flap piece off separately instead of folding it, but if you do that, make sure you have your interfacing and foam, etc cut out first, otherwise you’ll have to tape it back together again.

PennyDog Vlog #22: Craft fair display and pricing

A little lecture on pricing your goods, three new bags (I show you two a little closer) plus a look at what my stand at the craft fair on Saturday will look like!

Pattern Hack : Adding a flap to secure cards on the Boon Wallet

I apologise for only making a video tutorial on this, I have another hack or two up my sleeve, and I promise to do a photo and text version of the tutorial only.

You will need the Boon Wallet by XOXO Lauren to make this, I’m just going to show you how I added a flap on the inside the secure the cards a bit better, using vinyl and a snap. Here we go!

So to summarise, this step comes before you attach the lining with all of the parts attached, to the exterior:

  1. You’re going to make a template out of card or sew in Peltex or whatever you have to hand. It will measure 1 1/2″ wide and 8″ long, with the corners rounded off. There will also be a centralised dot 1/2″ from the bottom of the curve.
  2. Use this template to draw out your shape on vinyl. Cut out 2 layers roughly.
  3. Topstitch the vinyl wrong sides together about 1/8″ from your marked line, missing off the short straight edge.
  4. Cut out along your marked line.
  5. Add the domed side of the snap to the vinyl flap, using the dot on the template for placement.
  6. Add the second half of the snap to the lining, 1 1/2″ from the bottom and centralised between the card holder pieces. Go through at least the first card holder to the inside of the card holder part, don’t fix it all the way through to the back of the lining so that you can still use the note holder section.
  7. Set the snaps properly with a setting tool, and then fasten the snap together. Align the short end with the top edge. You can trim if you need to and you can also choose to baste it in place close to the edge if you wish.
  8. Sew the exterior and lining together in accordance to the pattern.

Vlog #21 – Craft Fair Boons

Things didn’t quite go to plan as I booked on to do a craft fair before Christmas and needed to make stock! I’m now making for a craft fair in under two weeks!

Vlog #20 – November 13 2017 – OK, Enough With The Bags

I’ve made more bags! Don’t worry, I plan to start making a quilt this week!