Sweet Christmas tray cover

This is a tutorial for a pot holder or tray cover.

Materials

  • White linen fabric
  • Variegated embroidery floss for the lettering
  • Embroidery floss in pastel colours
  • Bias tape. Mine is homemade and is 1 7/8 in wide

Embroidery pattern

I used one of the 300 embroidery motifs in the last Aimee Ray’s last book: Doodle Stitching: The holiday motif collection. The words Sweet Christmas (pdf) are mine.
Embroidery stitch: stem stitch (watch video).

Measure your tray
All the measurements are for my tray. Yours will likely be different so you will have to measure it in the following way.
First measure the inside width and length.

The measurements of my tray are 12 1/4 x 16 1/4 inches for the base.

Cut a 13 in x 17 in rectangle from the linen fabric.

Trace the embroidery on the fabric.

Stitch using stem stitch and back stitch.

 

Trim the rectangle to the size of your tray base + 1/4 in.

 

Now cut the backing fabric using the embroidery piece as a measure and add 1 inch all around.

 

Use the backing piece to cut the batting roughly.

 

Pin the three pieces together and with the help of something round such as a bowl or a glass draw around each corner.

 

Quilt as desired. I used stipple quilting.

 

Then cut the round corners.

 

I made my own bias tape but you can use store bought bias tape. Make sure you measure all around your piece and cut enough tape to cover all sides plus 2 extra inches.

 

I will be stitching the bias tape by machine on both sides so I’ll start by pinning the bias tape on the backing side of the quilted piece.

 

You will need to use lots of pins for the corners.

 

Stitch all around and turn over.

Now pin the binding to the right side.

 

Use your machine to finish.

 

Done!

 

This binding method can look very neat.

Gathered coin purse pattern

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This is my third coin purse. I saw this purse on a Russian site and I wanted to try it. I made my first purse using the pattern on the Russian site but then I wanted to change it a bit to make the opening a bit larger so I made a new pattern that you can download below:

Materials

  • 2 1/5 to 2 3/4 inch round purse frame.
  • fabric scraps for exterior, lining and gather
  • fusible interfacing

Instructions

Seam allowances are 1/4 inch.

Cut the pieces using the pattern provided. To cut the side panel fold the fabric and place the paper shape aligned with the fabric fold.

Lining

With right side together stitch the lining pieces along the curved side. Leave top open.

Leave a 1 1/5 inch opening on the bottom to turn purse inside out.

Press the fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the exterior pieces.

Now, using a basting stitch on your machine, stitch along both sides of the panel piece.

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Take the thread below and hold, then take the thread on top and pull to produce a gather effect.

Do on both sides and make sure that all gathers align nicely. This will avoid a twisted gather like the one I had in my first purse. The panel piece should measure 8 3/4 inches at the end of the gathering exercise.

Now baste the side panel to one side of the purse starting at the marking on the pattern. If your panel piece measures 8 3/4 both ends will finish at the pattern markings.

Do the same with the other side.

Now stitch from marking to marking on the machine.

Turn inside out.

Now place the exterior purse piece inside the lining piece as per picture below.

Align the top edges and pin.

Stitch all along the top edge.

Now turn the purse inside out through the opening in the lining.

Close the opening using a ladder stitch.

This time I had a purse frame that needed to be glued. It was a bit fiddly and felt I had less control than with the other type of frame I’ve used before.

But it worked!

So this is my third purse.

And maybe the cutest.

The purse I made using the Russian website pattern. It is not as high and the opening is smaller but the differences are minimal. You could use either pattern.

Tiny foundation piecing pincushions with free template

I am not very experienced with foundation piecing but last time I made some foundation piecing blocks I quite enjoyed the process and discovered a handful of its benefits, one of them being that your blocks look perfect or almost. With that in mind I thought that foundation piecing would also be a good way to make rather small blocks with little fuss and have them look really good.

Having finished my Farmer’s wife quilt sampler recently I thought I would just reduce some nice blocks to about 5 inches square and try them out. So I went to the Yahoo! FWQS group where you can get all the foundation piecing templates for this quilt under Files, got the template for Windmill and Waste not, reduced them to about 5 inch squares and put them into a page for you to download.

For this project you need small fabric scraps big enough to cover each individual piece and have at least 1/4 in around each of them, including the outer edges. For the pincushion use polyfill or batting scraps.

Foundation piecing

I made a foundation piecing tutorial a while ago but I will go through the process again.

Cut your template leaving 1/4 inch around the edges.

Then fold along the printed lines. Use a piece of plastic or thin cardboard to help you.

Now cut the pieces. To waste as little fabric as possible measure each piece on the largest sides as well as the length. You will end up with squares or rectangles. Sometimes like in this case you can cut a square and then use it in both triangles. My squares, pink and orange, were around 3 1/2 inches square. Then I cut both squares on the diagonal.

The process is always the same. Start with your piece number 1.

Place it on the wrong side making sure that you have 1/4 inch seam allowance all around.

Pin the piece.

Now trim the piece. To do that, fold along the line you pressed earlier and then cut leaving 1/4 inch allowance.

Now the stitching starts between piece 1 and 2.

Align both pieces, right sides together, and pin together and to the paper.

Turn paper around and stitch between piece 1 and 2 along the line.

Time to trim piece 2.

Turn over and fold the paper between piece 2 and 3.

Trim leaving 1/4 inch allowance.

Add piece 3 aligning your piece with the previous trimmed piece.

And so on. The process is the same. Trim, add next piece, align, stitch, trim, and so on.

You place on the back of the paper and stitch following the lines on the front.

Once you have both pieces, stitch them together using a 1/4 inch allowance.

And there you have it, a 5 inch block.

Press well.

Pincushion

After making the block what to do with it. I always do something with my samples, be a potholder, a pincushion, even a quilt! At 5 inch square I chose a pincushion design I can donate for a good cause or give as a gift.

Cut the back of the pincushion using the block.

Stitch around all sides leaving a 1 inch opening to turn inside out.

Trim the corners.

Fill the pincushion with polyfill or some batting scraps.

Close the opening using a ladder stitch.

There you have it!

This is the second block on the pattern sheet.