Friday, August 24, 2018

Kwik Sparklers Binder Cover


Do you remember the smell of freshly sharpened pencils, brand new school supplies, and fresh book covers made from brown paper bags? Oops....I think I just dated myself! Notebooks ready to be doodled on? This is a project perfect for students and teachers alike... a fresh new way to doodle with thread! It is packed with Sulky products because they have EVERYTHING!!!!

I designed this notebook cover around the mini 7” size of my new EPP pattern Kwik Sparklers so that it would look like any teenage girl could have doodled it. Since my ability to doodle is VERY limited, I used my Alison Glass Iron on transfers that I made copies of to make up some of the doodles. I used the same technique described in my previous post to copy the designs onto my sheet of Sulky Stick ‘n Stitch. 
So.... here is everything I used and how I assembled it . 

1” binder
1 Kwik Sparklers Mini Block
1 Kona mini charm pack (or your choice of fabric) 

2 - 13 x 34 fabric
1 - 3.5 x 11 fabric
1 -13x34 batting
1 - 3.5x11 fabric 

Assemble your Kwik Sparkler Block using the fabrics of your choice. I used 60wt Polylite to stitch the Kwik Sparkler block.
Starch and remove the EPP papers.
To figure out where to place the block and embroidery designs, fit the outer fabric around your 1” Binder. Mark where the binding of the binder will be and where the fabric will fold around the front and back flap. Iron these registration marks in place and then center the Kwik Sparkler Block in the area that will be the front flap and pin in place. Sew block down with Sulky invisible thread in clear.  

Figure out the doodles you want to use for the binder. If you are using premade designs like the ones I used you can copy them onto your Stick 'n Stitch or you can use a thin tip sharpie to draw your own doodle.

Cut apart the Stick ‘n Stitch to figure out where you want the designs. I recommend that you only stick one design in place to embroider at a time so that the other pieces don’t lose their sticky.


Iron Fuse ‘n Stitch to the wrong side of the outside fabric and then spray baste the batting to the Fuse 'n Stitch side.  Iron the Soft 'n Sheer to the inside fabric.  Right sides together, layer the inside and outside fabrics and sew 3/8" all the way around but leave an opening about 5"-6" on one end.

Clip corners so that the bulk is removed and turn right side out.  Poke out corners, smooth and press well.  Use the glue stick to glue the opening closed.

QUILTING : Outline the Kwik Sparkler and then quilt with assorted Sulky 30 and 50 weight thread with 1/4"straight line quilting.

Fold the cover around the binder lining up the spine of the notebook with your embroidery and folding the extra around the flap. Mark and press the fold well (remove the binder first though!)

Pocket on inside front flap: Iron Fuse 'n Stitch to wrong side of the 3 1/2" x 11" piece of fabric. Fold in half, right sides together, stitch with 1/4" seam allowance leaving an opening to turn right side out.

Press and topstitch along the folded edge.

Center on the front flap between the ironed crease and the edge, with the topstitched side facing up. Stitch in place on the other 3 sides. Make sure the flap is unfolded so you don't sew the flap closed when adding the pocket. Reinforce the beginning and end of the pocket since it will get a lot of stress.

Sew the flaps in place by hand. I tack where the flap ends and then turn the cover inside out and whip stitch it closed.  Repeat for all 4 edges.


Friday, July 13, 2018

Stick’n Stitch by Sulky

This just a quick post on how I used Alison Glass embroidery transfers to build a design to use in the center of one of my Kwik Sparklers EPP blocks using Sulky Stick’n Stitch product.

As soon as I saw Alison’s iron on transfers I knew I would want to use them more than once.
I was introduced to Stick’n Stitch at Fall Market when Sulky’s educational instructor Kelly Nagel was sitting next to me on Demo Alley. I have long been a fan of Sulky Blendables for quilting because I love how it changes colors but I was unfamiliar with this product so Kelly showed me how it works. It is a product that you can print your embroidery design on and when you are done stitching, you run your piece under cold water and it will completely wash away.... no worries about stitching over every line in your design because it is there permanently and no tracing the image with a water soluble pen that keeps reappearing after you THOUGHT you washed it all away. 

I scanned Alison’s design into my computer as a pdf. PSA: Remember that you should not share this with your friends, it is for your personal use only. 
Since Alison’s designs are printed as a transfer, the image is reversed. It does not need to be reversed for the Stick’n Stitch so I needed to reverse the image in my computer. I used Alison's Road Trip designs because I am using her new fabric line by Andover Fabrics

Note that I am NOT a computer person, I am a quilter, so there may be an easier way to do this. I also have a Mac... I was proud of myself for actually achieving what I wanted... so this is how I did it. 

FILE  and selected EXPORT

 In the box I converted it to a PNG file

select the PNG file and open it.


Save it and you now have things facing the correct way.

Now, it is time to play....I printed one copy to play with the designs and see what would fit in the space I had.

There were a couple designs that would work but I chose this one because it was a perfect “V” shaped design that fit like it was made to go there.

 Since there was only one per page I printed 3 more copies. With my 4 pieces I wanted to make it so it is exactly the shape I needed so I traced the arc pieces and taped the designs in place.

 I checked again to make sure it would look right. My Sparkler logo fits perfectly in the center left so of course it needed to go there. I could have also selected any other design Alison offers as well. Shrink or enlarge any image on  your copier to fit the space you want. This is my new English Paper Piecing Pattern Kwik Sparklers 

Once you have built the design you like put in a sheet of Stick’nStitch in the paper tray and copy the image you built. 

Now you are ready to Stick’n Stitch away. I am using a piece of Alison Glass Insignia 2018 and I centered the very center over one of the designs! Now it is time to start doing my embroidery with my Sulky 12 wt Petites 

Friday, May 25, 2018

Jade Top

Jade Top by Made By Rae

Jade is a fitted top with negative ease....that means it is supposed to be a tight fit.  I love the shape of this top on Rae but since I'm not shaped quite like she is,  I decided to make a 2x at the shoulder and a 3x along the sides. 

I wear a size 20 and to be honest, this was still tighter around the middle than I am comfortable wearing in public. I decided to "kick out" the side seam a bit more starting where the line is to shorten or lengthen the pattern. I added a 1 3/4" to the side on the front and the back. This adds a total of 5-6" when you sew your side seams. Not everyone is as self conscious as I am and you may not feel he need to add the extra ease but if you do, it is an easy adjustment.  

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Mister Domestic

Mister Domestic

I was over the moon to work with Mister Domestic's new line Loved To Pieces with Art Gallery Fabrics. Since his line is designed with English Paper Piecing in mind I decided to use my Kwik Whirligig EPP pattern. 
I was done with my other market sewing projects and knew this one had to be in the mail quickly in order to be there in time so I got to work immediately as soon as I drooled over all of the gorgeous fabrics in this line and the best way to highlight them. 
It took just 3 days of non-stop work to finish it. 

I quilted the front with Aurifil monofilament in a circular design. 

The back was quilted with Sulky Blendables 30wt thread in a plaid design. 

I used a decorative flower stitch on my Pfaff 2056 to do the binding using 60wt PolyLite by Sulky

It was displayed in Matthew's booth for Spring Market with all of his other gorgeous pillows, quilts and clothing. 

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Drafting a pattern from your favorite t-shirt.

I dusted off the blog to give you a look at how you can draft a knit fabric pattern from something you already know fits and looks good on you. I am a plus size (about a 20) so most things I try on, I don’t like on me. I have however, found a T-shirt style that I love. I got it from a popular clothing company but getting something in a certain color is not easy so I figured out how to draft several of my favorite knit pieces that I KNOW look good on me. This takes out the stress of making something that you spent time and money on but don’t like on you well enough to actually wear. 

First throw your fabric into the washer and dryer so it will be ready to use. I am using this fabulous It's A Plus by Rashida Coleman Hale from Cotton and Steel. 

I prefer to use freezer paper to draft on for a couple reasons. It is sturdier than tissue paper and because the wax side can be ironed and will stay in place. This is especially helpful on knit so it doesn’t shift around. The wax side does not leave any residue on your fabric and it is easy to find at the grocery store or even at Walmart. You will also want a pencil, a sharpie, a long ruler, a small ruler and a flexible measuring tape. I also recommend Eloflex stretch thread for your regular machine in your top and Bobbin. 

I will show you how to do your favorite t-shirt but the drafting can easily be done on a pencil skirt or maxi skirt as well.  

With the wrong side out, (yes I know my picture shows it right side out, but I did add a little extra seam allowance to account for my mistake) fold the t-shirt in half, matching the shoulder and side seams. The first section will be the BACK so fold it so that you “see” the back of the t-shirt.

Place the center fold along the long edge of the paper. If your t-shirt is larger than your paper, add paper where needed. 

Smooth the sides of the t-shirt flat and make dash marks along the shape of the side and along the hem. Move the sleeve out of the way enough to mark the shoulder as well as where the sleeve will be set in.  

Move the t-shirt and connect the marks. (Finessing the marks into curves where necessary) Make sure to add seam allowances adequate for serging the seams. I use a small ruler for this because it is easier to handle. Mark your seam allowance you prefer to sew with. I use 3/8”. Connect your marks with a sharpie so you can see your final lines. Indicate where the fold  and mark the pattern piece as the BACK is along the straight edge. 

Repeat with the t-shirt folded the other way (so you “see” the front side of the t-shirt). Put the fold along the straight edge and smooth the side seams and mark as you did the back piece. Move the sleeve out of the way to mark the shoulder and where the sleeve will be sewn in. Mark where the neckline starts in the center and the top of the shoulder is. Fold back the layers, so that you can mark the curve. Connect the marks (finessing the marks into a curve where necessary) and add seam allowances. Note the fold along the straight edge and that it is the FRONT 

For the sleeve.... smooth the sleeve (long or short) so that the fold extends from the top of the shoulder. The fold will go along the straight edge of the paper. Mark the curve of the sleeve and connect the marks. (You will have to finesse the marks into a curve) Note the fold on the pattern piece. 
If you want a longer sleeve, find another top that you like the fit of, trace the width of the bottom of the sleeve. Add the seam allowance and then use the long ruler to connect the line. I have marked 3/4 length as well as long sleeve option. 

Measure the neckline with a flexible tape measure. Subtract 2-3” from that number. That is how long you need to make your neck band. 1” x _____

Cut out your pattern pieces and iron them to the fabric with the straight edge marked along the fold. If the fabric is not directional then you may use less fabric if you add a seam along the fold of the back piece instead of putting it on the fold.( this is what i have done in this photo) just add a seam allowance. The empty section will be used for cutting the sleeve. because the freezer paper sticks to the fabric, it can easily be cut with a rotary cutter. 

 Time to sew. I use a cheap serger that I got for about $200.00 and it works great for for what I need but knits don’t have to be served so don’t feel like you HAVE to have one to sew knits. If you are using your regular machine I recommend using the Eloflex thread in the top and in the bobbin so your seams won’t break. 

If you added a back seam, sew that seam first. 
Next sew the shoulder seams. If they are not exactly the same size, do not stretch it. you can trim it. 

Then fit your shoulder in (RST)  If you are using a serger remember not to use pins. I use binding clips to hold things in place instead. Find the center of the sleeve and match it to the shoulder seam. Sew from the shoulder seam to one edge of the sleeve then sew from the shoulder seam to the other side of the sleeve. Repeat for other sleeve.

Match the seam where the side and the sleeve meet. Sew the long sleeve from the bottom edge of the sleeve to the bottom edge of the t-shirt in one long seam. Repeat for the other side.

The neckline is all that is left. Sew the ends of the neck  band together and match one edge to the center back, RST. Use a clip and find the center of the neck band and match it to the center of the front. You will need to slightly stretch the neck band to make it fit. (This will actually make the neckline lay flat in the end.) 

Serge the edge of  the neck band, sleeves, and the bottom of the t-shirt if you have a serger. 
Top stitch the neck by folding the neck band to the inside. The hems are sewn on your regular machine with Ecoflex in the top and bobbin. I use the regular sewing foot for my machine (not my quilting foot) and I move the needle all the way to the left because this is the size i prefer for my top stitching. With the Eloflex in the top and bobbin I can hem from the "wrong" side and keep my hem the same size (width of my foot). 

 You are done with the exception of branding your work....add your sewing label wherever you desire. My personal favorite spot is along the hem for all to see! shown is a long and a short sleeve version of the same top.

Here are a few other tops I have finished this week 

I leave you with a photo of one of my BFF's in her new top.....clearly she is not happy with it at all! 
Thanks Elizabeth Soukup for letting me use your photo!