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.

Clip on glasses case tutorial

image-1

I recently upgraded my glasses and the case they came with doesn’t fit in my small bag so I made a case for them I can take with me and clip on my bag or my iPad carry case. This is a quick project that needed a bit of creative thinking but I’m quite pleased with the results.

Materials

  • 5 x 5 in charm squares
    • 3 for the body
    • 1 for the tabs
    • 1 for the top border
  • 4 inch shrapnel purse frame
  • 2 hair clips
  • velcro
  • batting scraps: 2 pieces of 6 in x 4 1/2 in
  • fabric scraps for the lining: 2 pieces of 6 1/2 in x 4 1/2 in

Take 3 charm squares and cut them in half and in half again to obtain 4 x 2 1/2 inch squares  per square.

Cut another charm square in half. Then place all the pieces as per picture below.   Stitch.

Cut the batting and pin to the patchwork as per picture. Notice the fold on the top border. Fold in and pin.

Now quilt any way you like. Stitch along the seam on the top border.

Fold the top by 1 inch.

Stitch along the seam leaving 1/4 inch allowance.

 

Do the same with both sides.

Now place both pieces right sides together and sew together from one edge to the batting to the other. Clip the corners.

Now let’s make the tabs. Cut a charm square in half.

Fold in half and stitch along two sides leaving the other narrow side open to turn inside out.

Turn inside out and then fold the opening in and stitch along the seam. Do two tabs in this way.

Now attach a small piece of velcro to each end as per picture.

Place on one of the slipcase sides. Ignore how both pieces are stitched on one side. I made a mistake. We’ll stitch the bag later.

When well centred pin the tab.

Now stitch from the middle of the tab all around.

The tabs are added.

Now make a small incision to insert the hair pin. Make sure the incision is in the right location as both ends of the velcro  need to reach to form a closure.

Insert the pin.

Now fold over the tab to cover the hair pin.

Do the same for both tabs.

Place both panels with right sides facing together and stitch all around from the top border seam on one side to the other.

To add the lining, cut both pieces.

Then stitch around 3 sides and clip corners as per picture.

Turn the lining inside out and the exterior inside out as well and place the exterior inside the lining as per picture, wrong sides together.

Fold in the lining and pin.

Slip stitch around the top.

I thought of adding a bit of embroidery along the top, just for fun. But I don’t recommended. My glasses get stuck on the thread all the time.

Now insert the purse frame.

Insert the little metal tube and clip both ends of the frame.

The glasses case is finished.

Clip your case to your bag’s strap. This is how I have been wearing the glasses case.

Free silk slippers pattern

These unisex slippers are light weight and not for heavy use. For more regular use silk is not recommended. Also the sole should be made sturdier by using for instance strong 1/4 in thick felt instead of batting.

Materials

  • Scrap fabric for the instep –  I used hand painted silk sateen
  • Scrap fabric for instep lining and sole
  • Batting for sole and instep
  • Imitation leather for sole
  • Matching bias tape

The slippers on the photo are size 38 European (check Wikipedia for a shoe size comparison).

I recommend you test first if the sole and instep will fit your feet. Print, cut around as per instructions on pattern page and place your foot on the sole. There should be ample room on each side of your foot. Place the instep (A) on your foot. Make sure it overflows the sole (B) by 1/2 inch at least all around.

If you have a different shoe size, just use the pattern to make a larger or smaller pattern bearing mind that you should have about 3/4 inch all around both pieces overflowing.

 Instructions

This is the hand painted silk for the insteps.

Instep (A): cut 2 mirror pieces of each the outside fabric, batting and lining.

Sole (B):  cut 2 mirror pieces of the imitation leather, batting and lining.

To make the sole, place the imitation leather wrong side facing up, then a piece of batting and finally the lining piece  right side up. Pin.

For the inset, place the silk fabric right side up, then place the lining right side down, and the batting on top.

Pin.

Stitch the soles at 1/4 in from edge.

Stitch the instep along the top only at 1/4 in from the edge.

Then turn silk piece over and stitch around the instep.

Top and bottom are ready.

Make small cuts as close to the stitching as possible on the curved side of the instep. This will ensure a smooth curve when turned over.

Pin instep to sole really well, particularly around corners.

Stitch at 1/4 in from the edge.

Now add the bias tape.

Stitch bias tape to the sole of the slipper.

Stitch at 1/4 in from the edge from the instep side so that you can see where stitches go and avoid stitching too much into the instep part.

Trim off any bits that stick out.

Now turn over bias, pin and hand stitch using slip stitch and matching thread.

Done!