Friday, January 31, 2014

I Heart Hexagons!

 Just in time for Valentine's Day, Love Patchwork and Quilting Magazine came out with this adorable issue that includes the CUTEST heart pins I've ever seen!
So, after I got my hands on a copy, I decided I really needed a way to store these little gems.  I have been in dire need of a pinchusion for a while and so I figure with my new pin collection, now is the time!

 So, let me show you how to make this lovely little cushion!
Materials Needed:
- 4 charm sqaures (5" x 5"): 1 for the outer print, 1 for the backside of the outer print, 1 for the heart, and 1 for the back.
- rotarty cutter
- cutting mat
- ruler
- water-soluble marker or pencil
- needle and thread
- filler (I used rice)
- fabric scissors
- hexagon template (download link)
First, you will want to lay all of your squares down, one on top of the other, onto your cutting mat.  Place your hexagon template on top of your fabric, making sure that the template does not hang over the edge of the fabric.
Line up your ruler with the template's edges and cut your hexagons.


Next, you will be using the 2 hexagons that you want for your outer-print.  I used 2 different fabrics in this case, but you can use the same prints if you want.

Put them right sides together, place the template on top, and trace the heart with your marker or pencil.
I then fold my hexagons in half vertically and pin in place.  By doing this, it ensures that your hearts will match up perfectly!

Cut out your hearts.

Head over to your sewing machine and stitch around the heart outline, using an 1/8" seem allowance.  Make sure to backstitch at your start and stop!
Your hexagon will look like this . . . 

You will now need to flip the fabric so that the hexagons are wrong-sides together.

Press your hexagons as flat as possible.

Pin in place.

Topstitch around the heart outline.

Grab the back hexagon piece and place it face down on top of the front piece so that the right sides are together.

Stitch all sides but one, using a 1/4" seem allowance. Turn the pouch inside out.

Now you will want to fill your pincushion with your desired filling.  I used rice because it was what I had on hand.  Other suggestions for filling are polyfill or crushed walnut shells. 
You are now ready to hand stitch the last side closed.
Thread your needle and knot the bottom of the thread together.  Hide your knot in the fabric by starting a little to the side of where your machine stitches ended and stitching upwards from the inside of the cushion.

Flip the bag over so that you are stitching right to left.  Fold the fabric down towards the inside and hold together. I just kind of wiggle my needle back and forth between the two layers, catching a few fibers of the cotton each time.  Tie a square knot when you reach the end and hide the knot by stitching towards the inside of the bag and pulling the thread tight until the knot pulls inside the fabric.

Now you have an adorable little pincushion!

I hate wasting fabric, so I took the little heart that I cut out of my hexagons and decided to make a little mini cushion.

Put the right sides of the hearts together and stitch around the perimeter using a 1/8" seem allowance leaving a couple inches unstitched on one of the sides  Make sure to back stitch at your start and stop!

Flip your heart inside-out.

Fill your heart with your desired filling.

Hand stitch the side closed and you have a cute little cushion.

If you don't need another pincushion, you can also use these as cute little Valentine's Day decorations.  I am thinking of embroidering little sayings on these hearts like "Be Mine" and "I Love You", kind of like candy hearts, and giving them to my kids as valentines!
What will you use your Heart Hexies for?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

How to Make Custom Washcloths

Okay, so a couple weeks ago my sister-in-law, who is nearing the end of her pregnancy, told me she was in need of some bath essentials for baby. Of course, whenever I am giving a gift, my first thought is, "What can I make them?"  So I figured, I would make some custom washcloths for baby Gemma.  Here's what you will need to make six 6" x 6" washcloths:


- 1/4 yard terry cloth
- 6 strips of 100% cotton fabric cut 2 1/2" x 24 3/4" (1 for each washcloth)


Make sure to square up your terry cloth by lining up the selvages with any horizontal line on your cutting mat.  I fold my fabric in half so both selvages are at the top.  Now cut the left side of your fabric to make it straight. Keeping the selvage at the top, cut a strip that is 6" x width of the fabric. Subcut this strip into 6" squares. 

Now cut your cotton strips. Since my board is only 24" wide I lined up the left edge of my strip so that it overlaps the 0" line by 3/4" on the left.  I then cut the strip on the 24" line. 

Now, take your strip over to your ironing board and press it in half with wrong sides together. 

Take that freshly pressed strip and pin it to your terry cloth square so that the raw edges are aligned at about the middle of one of the sides. 

To get a really nice mitered corner, you will want to fold the strip up at the corner so that it creates a 45 degree angle and the raw edges are now lined up with the next side. 

Next, fold the strip downwards so that the fold aligns with the top side and the strip's raw edge now lines up with the next side. 

Pin the corner in place and then place a pin about halfway down the side. This is where you will begin your stitch. 

Head on over to your sewing machine and start sewing along this edge using a 1/4" seem allowance. Make sure to backstitch at your starts and stops. Stop stitching precisely 1/4" from the end of this side and backstitch.  

Now, fold your strip up again and make your mitered corner, just like before, this time starting your stitch at the top of the terry cloth's side. 

Sew until you get to 1/4" from the bottom of the side. Repeat until you come to the third corner. Do not miter your corner quite yet. You are now going to piece your tails of the strip together. Unpin the tail at the beginning of your strip and place the edges of the tails right sides together. 

Sew a 1/4" seem and then press the seem open. Now miter your corner and continue until you have come back to where you first started stitching. Your washcloth should look like this:

You will now fold the binding over to the back side and hand stitch it in place.   First of all, you will want to thread your needle so that you have two even threads.  Place a knot in the bottom.
Hide that knot in the binding by threading it through the terry cloth ABOVE your seem line on the back side.

Thread the needle just below your seem line.

Now you will thread the needle through the very bottom of the folded binding about 1/4"-1/2" to the left, like so:

HINT:  Every time I thread my needle through the terry cloth, I look at the front of the washcloth and make sure I can not see the needle poking out.  If this happens, your thread will show on the front side and believe me, you do not want that!
Oops needle showing through!
Now that's more like it!
Continue to blind stitch the binding until you get to a corner.  You will want to stitch all the way to the edge of the terry cloth.
Fold the corner down, so that the binding's fold is lined up with your stitched seem and thread the needle through the corner downwards.
Now you will want to thread a stitch just below your seem and continue your blind stitch.

Once you get back to where you started, knot your thread and hide it under you binding.
Ta Da!!! You have a cute washcloth that is stylish and unique!

Now put those washcloths in a basket with some baby wash and a bath towel and you have a custom gift that any mother-to-be will LOVE!