Friday, December 23, 2011

Manly Linen Bookmarks – A Tutorial, Too

I wanted easy and easy they were. I wanted them to be simple enough that they wouldn’t be too fussy for the men in my life.   Just in case anyone else is looking for some easy peasy bookmarks, here’s directions.

1) First, I searched the internet for vintage images that reflected my guys –  so, vintage race cars, bicycles, owls, hedgehogs, rhinos.  I think the bookmarks would be fun with family photos as well. 

2)  I created a page of images in Word, sized the images at 1 1/2" wide, and printed them off – I used Electric Quilt’s pre-treated printable fabric.

3) I was aiming for speed, so I just took a sheet of Steam-a-Seam 2 Lite and fused it onto linen.  You could cut rectangles of the linen and the fusible separately, but this way was nice and fast.

4) From the fused linen, cut rectangles 2 1/4" by 8".

5) Trim 1/4" around the image and then measure the size of the image itself (not counting the quarter-inch seam allowance).

6) Draw the image size onto the back of a linen rectangle (paper still on).  I finger pressed a fold in it to help me center the rectangle.

7)  Cut out the window.

8) Peel the paper off the linen with the window and a non-window linen rectangle as well.  Lay the uncut (no window) linen rectangle on an ironing surface with the fused side up.  Lay the rectangle with the window on top with the fused side down.  After they are neatly lined up, carefully peel back the window area so that you can line up your image.  Then iron to fuse them together.


9)  Stitch around the window.  Then stitch 1/4" in around the outer edges of the bookmark. 

10)  Use a rotary cutter with a wave blade to trim the edges.  Line up the 1/8" inch mark on the ruler with the stitching that is 1/4" in from the outer edges of the bookmark.

11)  Trim around all four edges and you’re done. 

Gosh, I love quick little projects! 

I’m not done with my Christmas sewing yet.  Are you?  I’m still burning up my Bernina finishing up another couple projects.

You might be smarter than that.

I’m considering it part of my yearly  Christmas tradition.

So, whatever your traditions,  I wish the best of  Happy Holidays to you and yours!

Linen Bookmarks – A Tutorial

Two ways, no less.  The slightly more involved and the pleasingly easy.  This:

Or this:

Because either way you have linen, vintage lace, and vintage buttons.  What’s not to love?


  • linen
  • bits of lace and pretty buttons
  • fusible interfacing  – I used Décor Bond or Craft Bond or something like that.  You could probably go lighter and that would be fine, too.  With hindsight, if I was making more of these up, I’d go for a lighter interfacing – just enough to add a little body and to curtail linen’s inclination to stretch like mad.
  • For the easier version: Steam-a-Seam 2 Lite or other fusible product

Slightly More Involved First

I rooted through my button box and my bits of lace to create a little pile to play with.  You could always use new, of course.  If you want to create a vintage look, you can tea die the lace (buttons, too, for that matter).

1.  Cut your interfacing 2" by 8" – one for each bookmark.

2.  Cut two linen rectangles 2 1/2" by 8 1/2"

3.  Fuse the interfacing onto the back of one of your rectangles, leaving a quarter inch seam allowance on all four sides of the fusible.

4.  Try out a couple bits of lace across the right side of the interfaced rectangle.

5.  Sew the lace down along the top and bottom. 

6.  Add a button to the top.  (oops – forgot to take a picture).

7.  Place the two linen rectangles right sides together and sew along all four edges, leave an opening along the top edge for turning  (the arrows indicate how far in I sewed along the top edge).  Trim the four corners.

7.  Turn inside out.  This can be a bit tricky.  You can push in the top edge and then grap it with forceps.  I used the Dritz Quick Turn tool (because I love my gadgets).

Started.  It’s a little stiff but it’s working.

Still going.

8.  Once it’s all turned right side out, push out the corners, and press, folding in the top edges.

9.  I put the edge foot on my sewing machine and top stitch all around.

10.  And it’s done!  Isn’t that pretty?

The Easy Version

Very pretty, but I’ll grant, the turning inside out business does slow things down.  So if you want to avoid that step, try this instead. 

  • two linen rectangles 2" by 8"
  • one fusible interfacing 2" by 8"
  • one Steam-a-Seam 2 Lite 2" by 8"

1.  Fuse the interfacing and the Steam-a-Seam to the linen pieces.

2.  Once again, sew the lace and button onto the linen piece with the fused interfacing.

3.  Place the two linen rectangles with right sides out and fuse them together.

4.  Stitch 1/4" around all four sides.  If you want, you could stop there.  It would look like this.

5.  I trimmed the edges with my wave blade rotary cutter.  I put the 1/8 inch mark of the ruler on the stitching and trimmed the wee excess.

6.  Easy and still very pretty.

A close-up.

Is that not enough?

Well, no.  A while back a quilt buddy of mine gave me a bag of batik scraps, leftovers from a quilt she had made for a grand-daughter.  For an added bonus, some of those leftovers were from border strips that included piecing.  So I took those border strips and using this tutorial, made these guys.   The only difference is that I fused mine together. 

And I’m not quite done.  Because all of these strike me as fairly feminine and I’ve got a husband, two sons, and a brother-in-law to account for as well.  So, just a handful more – and I have to say, I’m getting a little bookmarked out, so I see  sew easy in my future.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Huffin and Puffin and Almost There

Grading, grading, grading . .  .  keep those finals moving . . .  (think theme to Rawhide, for those of you – ahem – vintage enough to remember the theme to Rawhide).  I wound up with finals on Thursday and Friday of finals week, so it’s been a grading weekend.  Still, if I can get my brain (“this is your brain on vacation; this is your brain during finals” – sizzle . .  .) to cohere long enough, I just might finish it all up tomorrow. 

Just in time to make a bunch of bookmarks for Christmas.  I hope.

Meanwhile, Shez has won the GO! ornaments.  Congratulations!

Earlier in the week, as I was waiting for the finals to roll around, I made up a few more Kindle sleeves. I really will put some up on Etsy.  (I’ve been trying to come up with a shop name.  Daisy Fair is my latest thought).  Making them has been kind of addictive – kind of? – and I don’t really need a lifetime supply.  But, really, aren’t they sweet?

Using the leaves from AccuQuilt GO! Rose of Sharon die:

And the leaves and flowers from the Rose of Sharon die:

And while the red, black, and whites are out, another spotted puppy:

With pretty inside fabric, too:

For anyone who missed, I have the tutorial for making up these sleeves here.

I also have an Xmas table runner to finish which really has to be done this week, so I should have pictures soon.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

GO! Ornaments Tutorial and Giveaway

Last year I made up a snowflake ornament using snippets and the GO! Holiday die. This year, I decided I needed more than just one! And a number of dies work well for these pretty ornaments.

The Holiday die is good for both the tree and the snowflake.

1 Xmas tree in tree cropped

1 snowflake in tree cropped

The Dove die is also very pretty.

1 Dove in Tree cropped

I’m sure other dies would work well also – the cardinal, the snowflakes, the deer . . . .

Supplies – makes up 4 ornaments

  • Eight cream and gold fabrics cut 7 inches square (I like a little holiday glitter so I made sure half of my fabrics included gold metallic)
  • One 11" square of backing fabric
  • One 11" square of batiste or lightweight muslin
  • Eight 7" squares of Steam-a-Seam or other fusible
  • One 11" square of Steam-a-Seam or other fusible
  • One 11" square of heavier fusible interfacing, such as Décor Bond
  • Four buttons
  • Ribbon – four pieces, approximately 7 inches each
  • gold metallic thread

Making the Snippet Fabric and Ornament

1. Fuse the Steam-a-Seam onto the backs of the 7" square fabrics

(I was having a Goldilocks moment: the picture shows ten fabrics that were 5 inch squares. That was just a little shy of what I needed. With my next set I used 8 fabrics 8 inch square, which was more than I needed, so this number is the final thought. The lesson here is that you have wiggle room: if you want more fabrics, cut a few more and just use a smaller size square).

2. Peel the paper off the fusible and lay the fabric square (one at a time) right side up on a cutting mat. Free cut narrow strips across the square.

3. Then cross cut more strips so that you wind up with little squares. Repeat with all your 7" squares and fill a bowl with little fused snippets.

4. Layout the 11" square of batiste. Begin to randomly place snippets (fused side down). (Tip: I like to work on an ironing surface so that I don’t have to move the layered snippets in order to stabilize them).

5. Keep going until you have all of the batiste covered. You will do a lot of layering as you go.

Tip: It helps to place a pressing sheet over your snippets before you iron them in place – just in case any of those snippets got placed fused side up instead of down. You don’t want little pieces fused to your iron!

Tip: to ensure that you have fully covered the batiste, iron and then hold your fused fabric up to a light source. Any snippet free spots will show right up.

6. Fuse the 11" square of heavier interfacing to the back of the fused snippet section. First, free motion quilt fairly densely using a cream colored thread. Secondly, free motion more lightly using the gold metallic thread. (Using a metallic needle will help but, honestly, even with a metallic needle, I had a fair amount of thread ravel and breakage. Patience helps).

A close-up of the stitching:

7. Fuse the 11" square of Steam-a-Seam onto the wrong side of the backing fabric. Then fuse the backing fabric onto the back on the snippet fabric square.

8. Cut the 11" square into four 5 1/2" squares.

9. I like to mark my dies with a quarter inch line around the outer edge of the cutting blade so that I can line up my fabric easily.

10. Run the snippet fabric through the GO!

11. Use the button to attach the ribbon to the ornament and you’re done. Now, aren't they pretty?

And Let’s Not Forget the Giveaway!

In order to be eligible for these two ornaments, just leave a comment here (be sure you are not a Do Not Reply blogger). I’ll use our old friend the random number generator to choose a winner on Sunday, December 18.

Remember to visit these other bloggers in our AccuQuilt Christmas Theme Blog Hop. AccuQuilt is giving away a GO! Baby so visit SewCalGal for more on that!

Monday, December 12th

Tuesday, December 13th
Leona’s Quilting Adventure

Cherry (Cherry Bossoms)

Wednesday, December 14th
Terrie (Bits & Pieces)
Nancy (Tattered Garden)

Thursday, December 15th
Katrina (Sunflower Quilts)

Jacque (Lily Pad Quilting)

Friday, December 16th
Paulette (Sweet P Quilting and Creations)