Tuesday, April 10, 2018

All Stars by Tula Pink Pillow

Tied with a Ribbon 

Read all pattern instructions before starting
¼ inch seam allowance included
Pillow Size - 20½in x 20½in

Requirements -      ½yd (45cm) Background fabric (Glacier)
                                Fat ¼ or 20cm each of 4 Prints
                                Fat ¼ or 20cm each of 4 Solids (Cornflour, Sweet Pea, Taffy, Agean)    
6in (15cm) Binding
                                24in x 24in of Batting
                                ½yd (45cm) Backing fabric
                                Machine sewing thread
                                Erasable marking pen
                                Rotary Cutter, ruler and mat
                                General sewing supplies
                                Size 20 Cushion Insert
Cutting Fabric
1.     From the Background fabric, cut 16 – 3in x 3in squares and 16 – 3½in x 3½in squares
2.     From each Print cut 4 – 3½in x 3½in squares
3.     From each Solid fabric colour cut 4 - 3½in x 3½in squares
4.     From the Binding fabric cut 2 – 2½in strips for the binding
5.     From the Backing Fabric cut 2 – 16½in x 20½in rectangles

1.     Cut Fabrics as per cutting instructions.
2.     To make 1 Star Block you will need the following – 4 Background fabric 3in squares, 4 Background fabric 3½in squares, 4 – 3½in fabrics squares from 1 print and 4 – 3½in fabrics from a solid fabric.
2.    To make the centre pinwheel block - draw a diagonal line from corner to corner on the wrong side of 2 of the same 3.5in square prints using your erasable marker. Place a marked square on top of the solid print with right sides together. Pin to hold
3.    Sew down each side of the marked line using a ¼in seam.  Cut through the diagonal of the square on the marked line and press seam towards the darker fabric.  Repeat for the other pair of squares.

4.    Trim these squares to 3in.  This will make 4 HST (Half Square Triangles) units in total.

5.    To make the outside star points – take the 2 remaining squares from print 1, the 2 remaining squares from the solid print and the 4 – 3½in Background fabric squares.  Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner on each of the fabric prints.  Pair each up with a Background fabric square and pin to hold.
6.    Sew down each side of the marked line using a ¼in seam.  Cut through the diagonal of the square on the marked line and press seam towards the darker fabric.  Repeat for the other 3 squares.  This will make 8 – HST units in total.

7.    Layout the following fabrics to make the rows
Row 1 – Background fabric 3in square, Solid/ Background fabric HST, Background fabric /Print HST, Background fabric 3in square.
Row 2 – Background fabric /Print HST, Print/Solid HST, Print/Solid HST, Solid/ Background fabric HST
Row 3 - Background fabric /Solid HST, Solid/Print HST, Solid/Print HST, Print/ Background fabric HST
Row 4 - Background fabric 3in square, Print/ Background fabric HST, Background fabric/Solid HST, Background fabric 3in square.
Arrange the star so that the same colour print matches up at the points.

8.    Sew each of the 4 squares in each row together pressing alternate rows in the opposite direction.  This will mean that when you sew up each row the seams will “nest” and lay nice and flat.  Press rows downwards.  Your block will measure 10.5in (unfinished)

9.    Repeat steps 2-8 to make a total of 4 star blocks.
10.  Sew up the squares of your pillow by sewing each of the 2 Blocks together the make a row.  Press the seams in the same direction.  Sew each of the rows together pressing alternate rows in the same direction. 

11.   Baste and Quilt your Pillow top – centre the pillow top over the batting, pin to baste then Machine quilt your pillow top.  Trim Batting to size
12.  To make the Envelope Back – take the backing rectangles, fold down the backing fabric ½in down from the 20½in end.  Press in place.  Now turn over and pin this folded edge down 1in, pin and press in place.   Machine stitch down both the folded edges to hold in place.  Repeat this for the second backing piece. Take your completed cushion top and the completed back envelope panels.  Place the Front of your cushion down onto the bench (so you can see the wadding), place your first back panel on top of the wadding facing you, matching the raw edges of the side of your cushion front and the raw short edge of your backing.  Then lay your second backing piece down along the opposite raw edge also so that the right side is facing you.  Pin around the outside edges and sew these three layers together by sewing just in from the raw edges to hold in place to make it easier to sew on your binding.  

13.  Take the binding strips and join them end to end.  Press the seam open.  Then press the entire strip in half lengthways with wrong sides facing.  Start about half of the way along one side of the pillow, sew the binding strip to the right side of the pillow, mitring the corners as you go.  Stop about 6in from where you started.  Join the ends and cut off excess.  Continue sewing the binding to the pillow top.  Fold over the binding and slip stitch into place along the back-seam line.

Thank you from Jemima Flendt, Tied with a Ribbon 
Instagram - @tiedwitharibbon
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Tiedwitharibbon/

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Monday, April 02, 2018

Meet Miss Mustard Seed; mom, accidental entrepreneur, textile and paint expert and now a FreeSpirit!

Miss Mustard Seed, Marian Parsons, joins the ranks
of FreeSpirit Designers!

Her story is like yours or mine.  Young mom, looking to supplement her families income to help cover the cost of diapers and groceries; $200 a month would suffice. What started out as a one-woman-show decorative painting and mural business, evolved into an antiques business that tripped into a blog and blossomed into a entire brand.   Now, you can find Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint Line in over 300 retail locations in the US, Canada, Europe and Australia. Plus, her followers, over 150,000+ in all Social Media channels, love absorbing her talent, inspiration and joy as she guides you to making your home beautiful all on a DIY budget!

To add to her DIY and maker reproitoire, you can now partner all this love of love antiques, decorating on a budget, and giving old pieces of furniture new life with beautiful FreeSpirit Fabrics.  Introducing FreeSpirit Bunnies, Birds and Blooms! 

FreeSpirit Bunnies, Birds & Blooms by Miss Mustard Seed in the
Mustard Seed (top) and Enamel colorways. Each features
Solids which mimic her Milk Paint line, a perfect combo for your
DIY pleasures.

To welcome her in true FreeSpirit style, we have called upon a few friends who love fabric and more importantly are loving the designs from Miss Mustard Seed. Please plan to follow our Instagram Tour where some of your favorite "experts" will give you plenty of reason to want to touch, feel, sew and create along with Miss Mustard Seed!  Here is the schedule:

My Bear Paw, April 19
Lish Dorset, May 10

Along the journey, please share the work of these instagrammers using #MissMustardSeedinstagramtour and perhaps you may be chosen to win some of your own Bunnies, Birds and Blooms!!!!!!


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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Easy Steps to new skills from Sugar Bowl Crafts using Horizons by Kathy Doughty

Hello! Amanda and I (Mel) are thrilled to be sharing some fun beginner projects to build new skills for 2018. We love playing with FreeSpirit Fabrics because of the rich colours, the diversity of patterns and the amazing designers. We’re going to be showing you the way to build confidence using bold prints, fussy cutting, and some traditional skills creating Dresden plates and Yo-yos. So enjoy! These small beginnings will give you the basics to add elements to your designs.

Making a lampshade

Circles have been a big trend in the quilting world over the last few months but they seem daunting to many. They really needn’t be. There are wonderful templates available to make life easier, whether you are sewing a curve by machine or hand. We’ve chosen to show you how to create a wheel using the Dresden plate. We’re a big believer in taking bite size chunks when you start out, so using these skills we’re going to embellish a lampshade.

Fabric and Other Supplies
 Kathy Doughty’s Horizon collection: 9 fat quarters and a Fat quarter in ‘Blowing Away’

·        Lampshade Kits (We chose Need Craft Uk 30cm diameter kit)

·        Dresden plate template

·        15cm Metal Sewing Measuring Gauge Ruler (optional)

·        Scissors, rotary blade and mat

·        Plastic acrylic rule (optional)

·        Thread

·        fusible interlining (preferred but not essential)

·        white craft glue

·        Sewing Machine optional

Press! Iron your fabrics. I would keep steam off on this one. You want the fabrics as crease free as possible.
Step 2
Open the lampshade kit and familiarise yourself with the materials involved. You need to draw an outline on the fabric. Take the large sticky back plastic and place it onto your 50cm long strip of shot cotton fabric. We used our acrylic ruler to help hold the plastic in place and to measure out the extra needed on the ends. You will need to allow extra fabric than the kit suggests as it will shrink in size when you applique onto it. Use a pencil and sketch around the plastic to create an outline. On one end allow an extra 5 cms. Allow and extra 4 cm top and bottom. Place a pin to mark out the horizontals. Your plates must not exceed these pins.

Step 3
Measure and cut the Dresden Plates. Now you can cut your own template, but we use the EZ Quilt Dresden template. Acrylic templates make life so much easier and we use this little one all the time. On the template it clearly marks out different measurements to cut to. For the purposes of this project, we are using the 5” line. Place over your fat quarter and adjust so that you can highlight a particular image. Fussy cutting can be so much fun. From the detailed ‘Boab Plains’ pattern, we focused on the birds and the trees.

Top Tip: Use a blank piece of paper either side of the template to block out the outside fabric. This simple trick will help you to focus on what you want to cut.

Once you are happy, cut. We used 3 pieces each from 5 of the fabrics and 10 pieces from one main fabric – which in our case was the ‘Boab Plains’.

Top Tip: The larger the print the bigger variety of views you can create.

Step 4
Once cut, lay out the templates onto the background fabric within the outline you created earlier. Play with the order until you are satisfied with the colour placement.
Step 5
Time to sew! We use a quarter inch seam and sew 9 plates together. Make sure you back stitch at each end. Once sewn time to press. We chose to press the seams open to help the fabrics lie as flat as possible to the lampshade. Repeat the process two more times, but remove one of the Boab Plains templates so there is only 8 plates on each.

Note: To make the full wheel, just keep sewing more plates until you have the full circle. The process is the same.
Step 6
Pressing. Your lovely half moons need to be pressed. Use a ruler to mark out when you need to fold too. We love a measuring gauge ruler. Simply set to the quarter inch and use that as a guide. Using a pencil we’ve marked the back of the fabric on the seams where the quarter inch falls.  Use this pencil mark as a guide and press from seam to seam. Check again with ruler to check accuracy.

Step 7
Cut the centre circle. For the purpose of this project we are going to the use the brilliant pattern ‘Blowing Away’ because the pattern has larger circles that are the perfect fit. At this point you have a choice.
1 – You could cut 1cm extra around the large circle and press under and applique, or
2 – As this is a lampshade and never going to be washed, we chose to use fuseable interlining and a raw edge for the circle. We will use a decorative zig zag stitch to join the circle to the plates and to the background fabric.

So we need 3 of the larger circles for the centre pieces. Rough cut outside the outer line of the circles, approx a 1cm out from the last line. Place fabric onto the fuseable interlining. The back of the fabric and the glue side should face each other.

Tip: If you have never used the fuseable kind before, feel both sides. One side will feel slightly fuzzy and one side will feel a bit bobbly. Those little bumps are the glue.

Press with a hot iron. Make sure there is no steam. You will want to press the circle itself, the excess fabric will help give your iron a little room so that you are not gluing the interfacing onto your iron. When pressed, Allow to cool and cut out the perfect circle, using the pattern as a guide.
Step 8
Laying out and pinning time. Lay the three half moons out onto the background fabric. Ensure you leave at least 3 centimetre gap from the top and bottom. Pin onto the background fabric. We used about 14 pins on each one to really make sure it stayed put!

Top Tip: Place your pins through the fold. Pinning the corners flat and to the background will keep the seam as flat as possible.

When pinning the centre circle, a minimum quarter inch is advised. We used 1cm to make sure the top of the plates were secured under the circle.
Step 9
Sewing the plates onto the fabric. Thread choice is up to you depending if you would like it to disappear or become part of the detail. We chose a soft lilac which worked with the collection and disappeared slightly into the background colour. At this point you have a choice how to sew the plates onto the fabric. You could
a-     Hand sew using a stitch like a ‘slip stitch’. Stitching then disappears in the fabric and your plates will look like they float on the background or
b-     Machine sew. You can use a basic top stitch to secure it, or do as we did and choose a zig zag for a bit of detailing.

We chose to zig zag onto the plates itself and not cross over onto the background fabric. This helps keep the background fabric flat with no fear of any bunching underneath. We love the effect and when the light bulb is lit behind it, the light will show off the stitching.

Top Tip: Practice your stitching first. Moving from the regular cotton to the shot cotton, the texture is different, and it took a couple of go’s to be happy with the stitch length and effect.

Step 10
Now to fix the finished sewn item onto the plastic. Most kits will have instructions so familiarise yourself with the specific instructions. The best tip for this next process is to take it slow.

Now please remember we had extra fabric. You will use the extra on one end to turn and form a hem, thereby hiding any raw edge. Line up your pencil outline to the sticky backed plastic. Cut away excess fabric on the top and bottom and leave extra on one end. Stick one end to the plastic and slowly remove the paper backing. Brush out any creases as you go along. It will try to curl on you, so you may find your acrylic ruler may be of some help to flatten as you go along.

Fold the excess fabric on the one end and form a hem. Click the perferated edges of the plastic and remove the small strips. Do this slowly to minimise fraying of the fabric.

Fold the hem onto the back of the plastic (which will be the inside of the lampshade.Use the double sided tape provided to stick down. When the fabric has been fully placed onto the plastic it is fixed, no waiting required.

Layout the ‘shell’ of the lampshade. Use weights or a ruler to lie it flat as possible.

Use the double sided tape provided and stick onto the rings. Remove the backing of the tap from both rings. This is fiddly and sticky, but perservere! If you have some that can help you at this point great, but it’s the tape is so sticky you can do this on your own.

You are going to roll the rings across the plastic and the tape with stick and carry the plastic along as you go. Start on the end with the raw edge as this will be covered in the finished product. Both rings should stick on their own if you have them balanced right. Then slowly roll the rings forward and adjust both, keeping them close to the edge. When fully rolled. Use more tape on the vertical edge to secure the hemmed end for a neat finish.

You now have a nice taught drum. Take the lose fabric on the top and bottom and roll around the rings, tucking the fabric behind the metal ring. When in place and stuck, you may wish to use some PVA glue to permantly fix and keep any lose threads in place. A thin bead around the rim, and finger press away any fraying or lose strands. Leave to dry. 

For a video tutorial,  of the lampshade process,  the Need Craft instructions… https://youtu.be/DBx3Wh9UwAA.

And you now have a lampshade! You’ll never want a store bought one again!

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