Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sit Quilty

The due date for Challenge 2 of Project Quilting Challenge is upon me! Here I sit (yet again), late Sunday morning, still trying to pry my eyes open, anxiously awaiting the slowest-coffee-pot-in-the-world to finish producing one of the world's most beloved drugs - so that I can get my entry in just under the deadline. Procrastination-station. That is my motto.

I admit to being slightly stumped when this challenge was posted last Sunday. I knew immediately what I would use for fabrics, though. A plastic bin full of plaid and striped button-up shirts has been staring at me from the corner of the shop since the end of yard-sale-season last summer/fall. That was about the time I finally came to grips with the fact that these types of store-bought shirts just don't fit a 5'10.5" (and not a decimal taller!!) gal. The waist rides somewhere nearer my bust, and I try to hide the short arms by rolling up the sleeves, but let's be honest: I'm not fooling anybody. So I finally gave in, ridded my closet of those ill-fitting items, and proceeded to buy more at a couple yard-sales with the idea that I'd make something patchy out of them.

Ok, enough blather. Here it is in all its patchy glory:

The "Sit Quilty" Chair

"Sit Quilty" - Patchwork Folding Chair
The used shirts satisfied the former-life fabric requirements of the challenge. My two ingredients that were never meant for a quilt or clothing are the chair and the staples. (The chair was also used - has been kicking around the shop for a while.) 

I got the idea to cover the chair cushions from a fellow MadModQuiltGuild member and quilt shop owner, Judy. Her shop, Bungalow Quilting & Yarn in Rippon, WI is adorable. She carries a ton of great modern fabrics. Check it out if you're ever in the area!

Want to know how I did it? It's so easy and fun! Here's a run-down:

First I removed the cushions from the chair by taking out the screws in the back.

Then I cut the sleeves off of the shirts, because I knew I was only going to use 4.5" squares, so I used the smallest portions of the shirt that would work. 

I pressed the sleeves and cut out my squares with my 4.5" square ruler, rotary cutter, and rotating mat. These three tools make the job fast and easy, but they are not absolutely necessary.

After cutting, I arranged the squares into columns and rows the way I wanted, and then sewed them together.
Before quilting, I checked to make sure the patchwork panel was plenty big enough to cover the cushion and to pull back and staple underneath.

When the panel was large enough, I used a scrap piece of batting a little larger than the panel, basted with safety pins, and then quilted the panels with 1/4" offset seams.

 After trimming the excess batting, out came my new favorite tool: the staple gun!

I laid out the cushions (right side down) on top of the wrong side (batting) of the panels, pulled the panel edges up over the wrong side of the cushions, and stapled those suckers down. *While doing this step, be careful not to cover the screw-holes on the back of the cushion.

Trim the excess fabric close to the staples, making sure to expose the screw-holes.

All that is left to do now is to screw the cushions back onto the chair!

You'll notice that I left the old foam and cover on the cushions. This is because I wanted the extra padding. You could remove these (or just the old fabric cover) if you wanted.

Here's an action shot:

This project was so fun and easy! I had never done any kind of upholstery before. I suspect that (armed with my new staple gun and plenty of scrap fabric), Mr. Sexy Pants might come home one day and find every piece of cushioned furniture in the house covered in patchwork. :)

I hope you will check out the Project Quilting Challenge hosted by Kim at Persimon Dreams! It's not too late to join in the fun. The next challenge will be posted on February 2nd.


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Pillow Cover with Zipper Tutorial

Here is the (long over-due) pillow cover with easy zipper tutorial that I promised would follow my pillow form tutorial. I hope this helps at least one person get over his/her fear of zippers!!

© 2014 Trina Peterson

To view/print this tutorial in PDF format, please click here.

This is home-dec fabric from Ikea. Cheap and fun!

Tools & Supplies:

  • Fabric (measuring & cutting instructions in Step 1)
  • One Zipper - at least as long as your pillow form (no metal teeth, as you will be sewing across them)
  • Sewing Machine with all-purpose foot and zipper foot
  • Thread & Marking Pen
  • Scissors & Tape Measure (or Rotary Cutter, Mat & Gridded Ruler)
  • Iron & Board
  • Optional: Pinking Shears or Serger
Seam Allowances are identified within pattern.

Step 1: Measure across the fullest part of the pillow from side seam to side seam, and then from top seam to bottom seam. Add 1" to each of these measurements. These are the measurements for your two main panels: cut 2 of these. Also cut 2 zipper tabs: 2" x 3" (regardless of pillow size).

Step 2 (Optional): Serge, Zigzag, or Pink all raw edges of fabric.

Step 3: Place zipper alongside bottom edge of one main panel. Measure in 1.5" from each side of panel and make a mark on the zipper tape. Cut off zipper at mark. Be sure not to cut off the pull!

Step 4:
 Fold zipper tab (right sides together) over end of zipper, lining up edges of tab and end of zipper to make a sandwich (zipper tab is 2" x 1.5" folded). Sew 1/4" seam from edge. Turn tab right sides out and press. Repeat with other tab and zipper end.

Step 5: Lay one panel right side and bottom up (if you want zipper to be at the bottom of pillow). Pin zipper unit with pull facing down (right sides together) to panel, lining up edges of tabs with panel. The zipper tape should be approximately 1/4" below panel edge.

Step 6: With zipper foot, sew from edge to edge, close to zipper, stopping to move zipper pull out of the way. Backstitch at both ends.

Step 7: Turn and press panel away from zipper. Topstitch close to seam.

Repeat Steps 5-7 with second panel and other edge of zipper.

Step 8: Open zipper before continuing!

Step 9: Place panels right sides together, lining up the three remaining edges and pinning. Sew 1/2" seam all the way around the three edges. Backstitch at both ends.

Step 10: Clip corners, turn right sides out, and press.

You are finished. HOORAY! Cover your pillow form and admire. :) 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Rainbow Runner - Project Quilting Challenge #1

It's been too long friends! I feel like the holiday season hit like a hurricane, and now I'm left dazed and confused, spun dizzy, drenched, and picking the leaves out of my hair.

But alas! It's a whole new year!

At the first 2014 meeting of the MadModQuiltGuild this week, a fellow member introduced us all to an ongoing phenomenon known as "Project Quilting". Apparently this is a wonderful challenge set forth by Kim at Persimon Dreams. The 5th season of said challenge kicked off this week, and I'm just barely squeaking in my entry at almost the last second. Click here to go to the Project Quilting Challenge page.

This challenge revolves around strings. To enter, a string quilt must be produced (start to finish) within this week of the challenge and submitted by noon today. Eek! I better get typing.

So here she is, henceforth and forever more called: Rainbow Runner.

Finished size: 59" x 11.5"

All of the colors in this project came from my scrap bin, and all are strings measuring 2.5" wide or less. I foundation pieced them onto 8.5" muslin squares. I had just purchased some Robert Kaufman Essex Linen this week, so I thought that would be great to use since I love the stuff. The sashing/border is all from 2" (1.5" finished) strings. The binding is a straight-grain 2.5" double-fold, and hand-stitched to the back. The backing is also made with the Essex Linen.

I'm slightly embarrassed to admit that this was the first time I've free-motion-quilted with my Juki 2010Q. The process just reinforced how much I LOVE HER! Not a single thread break.
Best. Machine. Ever.

Made and Photographed (in the snow) here in lovely Sun Prairie, Wisconsin

I'm already excited about the next challenge! I hope some of you will join in on the fun. Have a great week my friends. :)