Category Archives: Quilting and Sewing

10 Minute Scarf

I discovered something amazing the other day, something I’d never heard of before (but probably should have) and which just opened up a world of possibilities in my brain.

It’s called elastic thread.  I was able to purchase it at a little fabric store in town.  It came on a spool of 30 yards for $1.15.  You can find it with the elastic in your store.  I like it when I can find something I like this much for so little.

Thanks to this tutorial from Hope Studios, I learned how to use it to make a scarf in 10 minutes.

I’m not kidding you.  Ten minutes.  Two seams.

Here’s what you do.  You need elastic thread (I only found it in black and white), matching regular thread, and material.  Your fabric needs to be something that won’t fray or unravel since you won’t be finishing the edges.

I bought this black stretchy fabric that has a lace-like pattern cut all over it.  In the tutorial they used knit fabric.  I liked this better.

The big key is length, because the elastic thread makes it half as long when you’re finished.  I bought everything that was left on the bolt, which was 1 2/3 yards (60 inches).  The first scarf I made with that length was too short.  It now belongs to my 11 year old daughter.  I’ve since made one that was twice as long (I cut 2 lengths and sewed them together end to end for 120 inches in length) and one that was 1 1/2 times that long (90 inches).  I liked both of them.  So, basically you need at least two yards of fabric, but I would probably go for 2 1/2 or 3.

Cut a strip of fabric that is 2 1/2 yards long by 8 or 10 inches wide.  I’ve tried both 10 inches and 8 inches wide and they were both really cute.  (You’ll be able to make several of these scarves, but that’s a good thing because you’ll be so excited that you’ll want to make one for all your friends!)  From my fabric I was able to make 5 scarves.  Not bad for a $10.00 investment.

After you cut your fabric (or piece a couple of strips together if you need to), take one end of your strip, and make a straight cut into the fabric up the middle for about 16 inches.  Do this on each end of the fabric.  This will make kind of a tail on the scarf.

Now for the elastic thread.  You’ll need to wind it onto the bobbin by hand, and then put it in your machine.  Use regular thread on the top.

Now, working from one end of the fabric, pick one of your little tails and start sewing about 1.5 inches in from the cut you made.  BE SURE TO BACK STITCH AT THE BEGINNING AND END OF YOUR SEAM!!!!

Sew down the entire length of your scarf.  See how the elastic thread makes it gather as you sew?

Then you just do the same thing down the other half of the scarf!  Trim your thread and you’re finished.  That’s it.  I also made a long skinny one (4 inches wide) with my last piece of cloth.   It’s really cute as well.

Now you can do what Jennifer at Hope Studios said to do:  “Prance around all giddy-like with your new scarf.”

Super cute, super fun, super cheap, and super fast!  I love it!

Seriously, go make one.  As in, right now.

Hopeful Homemaker

Baby Stocking

At about 11:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve, I addressed the problem of having no stocking for my 4 month old baby.  The fabric I purchased to make one that matches the family was still sitting on my sewing table, and I didn’t have time to make it then because it requires embroidering her name on it by hand.  I was already tired, and still had breakfast to make and gifts to wrap.

I remembered this sweater, sitting in my bag to go to goodwill.

 

Well, it’s not going there anymore.  I cut the back of it out to make a stocking, and I’m saving the rest for another project.  I took about 30 seconds to draw a stocking shape on it with my fabric marking pen.

 

Then I cut it out, folded it with the right sides together, and sewed around the edges.  I used the cable design around the original collar for the top of the stocking.  Simple and beautiful.  (And just for the record, yes, I know it’s crazy to start a project like this at a time like that.  But sometimes your mother’s heart just needs to do something.  I’ve learned that when I listen to those feelings I feel happy.)

 

I took a strip from the sleeve to make a little tab to hang it with.

 

It needed a little something more, so I cut a strip of silk fabric and made a rosette to embellish it with.  I used another piece from the sleeve as a sort of leaf, and then added a paper tag cut from vintage sheet music to write “first Christmas” on it.

 

Just a little bit of time, and my little bundle has a special first Christmas stocking!

 

Merry Christmas mini quilt

My youngest sister graduated from college last weekend.  Way to go Kris!
I made her an adorable Christmas mini quilt as a graduation gift, to go along with the rag quilt that we made in November.

The pattern is from Nancy Halvorsen’s book,  I Believe.  I spotted the pattern back in July and loved it.  I had planned to make several of them for my mom, sisters and some close friends, but it’s looking like this will be the lone quilt made this holiday season.  The book also has patterns to make a Christmas card holder and an apron using these same Merry Christmas letters.  I’d like to make one of each!

I changed the color combination to the traditional green, red and white and am very happy with it.

 

The project really wasn’t hard.  I began by tracing the letters onto interfacing.

 

Then I cut them out, but not on the line.  I cut about 1/4 inch outside the lines, and then ironed the letters onto the back of a variety of fabrics.  After this, I cut them out of the fabric by cutting on the lines I’d traced.

I used a black and white background because we did that in her other quilt, and just arranged the letters until they were all in place.  Then I peeled the paper off the backs and ironed them in place.  (Sorry about the poor lighting; it was around 1 a.m. and I obviously didn’t have any natural light.)

IMG_8882 (Large) IMG_8883 (Large)

When they’re all ironed in place, stand back and ooh and aah a little bit at how cute it is!

 

Next came the borders, simple and straightforward.

 

Ta, da!  The top is completed.

 

I decided to piece a backing so I could put in a strip of my favorite Christmas fabric.

 

I cut my batting the same size as the backing, and since the quilt is so little I decided to use basting spray to hold it together while I quilted it.

 

I laid some paper on the floor to protect my floor from the overspray.  Then I put my batting down and sprayed half of it.

 

I carefully placed my backing, right side up, on the batting, working from the middle to smooth it out really well.  Then I sprayed the other half of the batting and did the same thing.  Next I turned it over and sprayed the other side of the batting and put the top of the quilt on the same way.

Then came the only real time consuming part:  quilting around every one of those letters!  I most certainly didn’t do a perfect job, but I think it turned out fine.

 

When that was done, I used some leftover striped binding from a quilt I made a couple of years ago, and bound it.

Finished!  The quilt measures approximately 24 by 30 inches.

 

I love this pattern.  I think it’s one I will end up making several of (hopefully, next year!) because it’s just so happy and festive.  I’m really glad that she liked it.

Merry Christmas!

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