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12/17/2017

Gift Card Holder Tutorial

Last week I made gift card holders for the holidays. See the post HERE.
I used a coaster design from EmbroideryIt.com 
I wanted to share the steps I took to make a pocket on the back of the coaster to hold a gift card. I wanted them to be used as ornaments in the future, so I included a ribbon for hanging.

The photos show the steps I took to make these.
1. Finish the front of the coaster embroidery. Leave it in the hoop.

   
2. Cut the felt backing piece about 1/3 of the way from one edge.
   
3. Turn the hoop over to see the back side.
  
4. Place the ribbon ends into the embroidered area, below the stitching line. Place tape over the ribbon, 1/2 inch above the stitched line on the stabilizer (see larger image). Line up the larger felt backing piece along the bow line.

   
5. Align the top 1/3 of the felt backing to the bottom section and tape them together in the middle so there is no gap between them. Then tape the sides where the cut lines meet. Finally, tape down the corners.
  
6. Place the hoop back into the embroidery machine to finish the final edge stitch that holds the front and back together. Remove the embroidery from the hoop and carefully remove the tear-away stabilizer.
  
7. Trim the sides and bottom 1/4 inch from the stitched border. Trim the top back edge, without cutting the ribbon, by folding the front piece of felt and the ribbon down to the front of the embroidery. Trim 1/4 inch beyond the stitched edge. 
  
8. Trim the front piece of felt 1/4 inch from the stitching, making sure to fold the ribbon down to the back keeping it away from the scissors. 
  
9. That's it. Finished and ready for gifting. 

  















12/11/2017

Gift Card Holders

A short post to show the test embroidery I sewed today.

I am going to give gift cards to some people this season. Embroidery_It is having a Live Facebook embroider along tomorrow at 2 PM EST to make these pretty coasters. I wanted to try one today. It was my test. The Floriani threads are lovely and the stitching around the applique pieces is very nice.
 As you might notice, I used red thread for the first edge stitch. The final edge stitch I used green. Not a good look. I'll correct it with the gift batch.

When I taped the back felt pieces, I put it over the stitching area and it is stitched in, not to be moved!

That's why I make a test piece.
I test quilt blocks before I make the actual blocks, too. I want to be sure that size and pattern work out properly.
Do you make tests on your projects before going too far with the final project?

12/07/2017

Using Scraps

I save scraps! I have for years: I guess I'm a scrap addict. I wish I didn't save so many. I have a tough time parting with those pretty little scraps. Those trimmed triangles obtained after sewing on the drawn, diagonal line to create a triangle corner on a block unit are maybe the most prolific! (Perhaps that sewing shortcut should not have been developed.)  While tidying up after sewing the mystery block units the other night, I decided I would sew the triangles together and make something. (It is a mindless task and there were only re-runs on TV that night.)

I chain-pieced these tiny triangular corners with 1/8" seam allowances and smaller stitch length. The chained triangles could have decorated the Christmas tree! But I really wanted to do something creative that came from my mind's eye. I decided to see where I could go with what I had.

Piled on the cutting mat:

I pressed them open but did not trim them. I cut 2-1/2" strips (of some lovely dark blue fabric I had near me) on a 45 degree diagonal (so the dark blue fabric edges would be on the straight of grain). I sewed the triangle units to that (green lines)
as in the photo below:

I cut along the red lines below and pressed the units open (toward the dark fabric).

I trimmed them all to 2 inches square. I got 72 little blocks to work with. Sewing the units together with some sashing strips and cornerstones gave me this 26 inch by 14 inch table topper that I will quilt another day. 

I plan to gift it to someone.
Thanks for visiting. What do you do with your scraps? Do you save only a certain size? How do you store them?

12/05/2017

Mystery Quilt Progress

Today was a sewing day with my friend Teri. It was a productive day for both of us. Teri completed an 16" origami pillow using Christmas fabrics. I found a smaller sized block like it HERE, at Sewn Up, where there is a video tutorial. Teri's was so cute, I want to try one. By changing the size of the pieces, it could be made in any size.

As for my accomplishment, I caught up on the first 3 steps to the Magnolia Mystery Quilt at Meadow Mist Designs. I will be ready for the December 7th clue release! Cheryl's Mystery Quilt designs have been so  has interesting and appealing in the past years that I joined the Meadow Mist Design Facebook group. The photos others have posted showing their progress made me decide to get started on my quilt. My finish for a good long day of sewing is shown below. (The photo was taken in the evening; I apologize for the lack of vibrancy.)

If I keep up with this quilt, I will be prepared to work on the Merry Mayhem Mystery quilt on New Year's Day. I have participated for 4 years. I enjoy getting the clues each hour and working on the quilt while my husband watches football.

Have you made a mystery quilt  in a class or online? How did you like the process?

12/03/2017

Unplanned Hiatus

The last few weeks have been void of sewing. I want to get back to sewing. I think I am somewhat prepared to begin again.

As my heading states, I was on an unplanned hiatus. The definition being "a pause or gap in a sequence, series, or process."

Beaquilter posted about her re-organizing achievement. I have needed to organize my sewing area for, can I say years? So I began with a room that accumulated too many things. And I am embarrassed to show this' but all the more to encourage me to organize. 


I know my short-comings: too many ideas and projects bouncing around in my head, as well as in my sewing area! I save scraps--those will be going, since every project creates scraps! I have a bit more to tidy up and some boxes to go through, but this is what it looks like now. I am fairly happy that I can sew again. 

I knew I would have to stop sewing for a week, or maybe more? Yes, it turned into a longer time than I thought. I did have a week's worth of interruption which was also unplanned. Our daughter and son-in-law signed the final papers to become new home owners. They went to the house 30 minutes after signing to find 2 inches of water filled the basement! I packed the car with all I could think we would need for a clean-up and drove the 2.5 hours to get there. My husband came the next day with more tools to help remedy the situation. 

This began 2 days before Thanksgiving. She was planning on having both sets of parents for a dinner after they moved out of the apartment. We worked moving them, and on the basement, taking time for a very tasty dinner that our daughter cooked on Thursday. The sump pump had failed before they got the paper signed and they had to discover it! A new pump was put in on Thanksgiving. We were all grateful a store was open that they could purchase it. The guys put it in and it was working well. Here are a few photos of the clean-up. My husband and I stayed until Monday, almost a week.

They vacuumed the water that covered the floor. 
They had to take out the carpet and padding in this one room. Even after they vacuumed it twice, it was still soaking wet.
They cut 24 inches of the wallboard out from the floor up because 12 inches had soaked up the water. Opening the walls up helped it dry. They had fans and a small heater to help dry it. 

I did get  some sewing done now that I am home. I had some orders for potholders and some reindeer candy holders. 



I hope you are having a good week and month!