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11/05/2013

Today's Sewing

I worked on some Christmas items for a craft show I will be at in 2 weeks. They are soft triangle "boxes" for gifts, table favors, etc. 



They are easy to make and I thought I would post a tutorial on how I make these. 

I layer a piece of batting between two pieces of fabric (right sides facing out).





I trim all three layers at once to 8-1/2" wide by whatever length the fabric measures. 


I use the Kaye Wood's Starmaker 6 ruler to cut equilateral triangles from the fabric. But any 60 degree triangle ruler would work.


The number of triangles I get depends on the length of the fabric strip. And sometimes I get one smaller triangle (the one on the left) but I can still use it!


Using the walking foot, I sew a running stitch through all layers along one edge of the triangle. The stitching is less than a 1/4" from the edge.  


When I get to the corner, I sew off the end, turn the triangle, reset the needle to sew the next edge layers. Sometime I find the fabric shifts a bit, so I line up the edge of the top fabric with the foot. It will be trimmed after all 3 sides have been stitched, so not a concern.


Trim all the edges to no less than 1/8" from stitching line.


When I am making many of the same item, I try time-saving steps. I made a template to mark the corner fold lines. The purple triangle template measures 2" from tip to base. As you can see, I lay the template on the corner, mark the fold line, then pin each corner down to show the fold.




I am ready to sew the buttons (or whatever other decoration) on the smaller, folded triangles. I use some basting tape under the button to hold it in place. (It is water soluble and will wash away if soaked in water for a bit.)


I take only the foot off my sewing machine, not the shank. When the presser foot is lowered, the shank holds the button. I put the feed dogs down and set a zig-zag stitch that sews back and forth through the button holes. **It is important to use the hand wheel to see that the needle fits in the holes properly, or the needle will break.**


If there are 4 button holes, I raise the needle, raise the presser foot, turn the piece a 1/4 turn and test the needle zig-zag in the unsewn holes before I begin sewing in the last 2 holes. 


If I can bring the top threads to the back side and tie all 4 threads on the back, I do. If not, the zig-zag is usually secure enough to hold the threads and I cut the top threads before the under threads. Here is my piece with all the buttons on it. 


Now I fold the sides and sew them. (Excuse the stained thumb, I did a half bushel of apples for applesauce this morning.)


I sew from the folded edge, using a reverse stitch (backing up) to secure the beginning stitches. I end with reverse stitches where the small triangles begin. 



It is almost done. I need to clip the threads.


And, finally, it is done! They are cute for any season or reason. I hope you will try to make a few. I suppose on could sew a decorative edge rather that straight stitching. If you find another edge finish, let me know. I'd love to here or see a photo of what you did. 
















2 comments:

OPQuilt said...

Great idea for those billions of holiday meals we go to--and the people could carry away the decorations for a favor. I also use the footless shank on my sewing machine to sew on my buttons (I thought everyone did!).

Heather said...

I like your triangle box. It would be nice with a bit of gold bias covering the seam edges. (is gold bias tape even available?)