A Handy Piecing Trick!

by Emily Lang

Use this piecing trick anytime you want perfectly matching patchwork, especially when using small pieces.

What you’ll need:
Scraps, or cut squares
Lightweight fusible interfacing – such as Pellon’s Quilter’s Grid (Pellon 820)
Havel’s Ultra-pro seam ripper

First cut 25 squares paying attention so as to cut as precisely as possible. (for this example I’m using a Rolling Star block, using squares cut at 2 1/2” x 2 1/2”. The block will finish at 10” x 10”)

Arrange the squares in five rows of five with the edges touching, but not overlapping.

Measure the width of these squares laid out. Use this measurement to cut your interfacing. I like to cut my interfacing a smidge shorter than the measurement to prevent getting fusible on my iron.

picture 1

 

Place the fusible interfacing glue side up on your ironing board. Carefully arrange the squares, right side up, on top of the interfacing. Be sure that the edges are touching, but not overlapping.

 

Using a damp pressing cloth, press the blocks to the interfacing. Remove the pressing cloth when it is dry, and allow the block to cool completely before moving.

picture 2

 

Fold over one column of squares so they are right sides together on top of the rest of the squares. Sew 1/4” away from the fold.

 

 

picture 3 (1)Starting at the bottom end of the seam, carefully put the point of the Ultra-pro seam ripper between the two edge squares, within the seam allowance, with the sharp edge facing the interfacing. Gently move the seam ripper blade side to side while pulling it up along the fold. It will easily slice through the interfacing on the fold.

 

picture 4

 

Press the seam open. I use a tailor’s clapper to hold the seam open after pressing. This provides very flat seams.

 

 

Once all the rows in one direction are sewn and pressed, turn the block 90 degrees and continue with the cross rows.

picture 2picture 6

Final block (1)Rotary cutter call to action

Posted in Fabric, Fabric Cutter, How to Make a Quilt, How to Quilt, Quilting, Ultra-Pro Seam Ripper, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Great Gifts for the Grad!

Messenger Bag & iPad Case by Liz Kettle

photo 1(a)

Looking for something more personal than a check or cash for the high school graduate in your life? Why not send them off to college next fall with a stylish messenger bag and iPad case! These projects are so simple and quick that your gift will be ready in time for spring graduation parties!

Supplies:

Multi-Purpose cloth or canvas
Fabrics of choice
Batting (optional) choose a very flat batting such as Thermore
Misty Fuse or other fusible web
Rotary cutter with traditional and skip blades
Embroidery scissors
Hand Needles: 22 or 18 chenille or tapestry or a yarn darner
Machine Needles: size 90 sharp

A note about Multi-purpose cloth: Multi-Purpose Cloth or MPC is a wonderful non-woven canvas that is perfect for bags, totes, home décor and much more. It holds its shape better than canvas and is a dream to stitch through. MPC can also be painted with any type of fabric paint and you can skip the fabric layer all together.i

iPad or Tablet Case

photo 2(a)

Using a rotary cutter, ruler and cutting mat, cut a piece of Multi Purpose Cloth 10 1/2″ x 24″. I prefer the larger 60mm rotary cutter for basic cutting because it cuts through everything so easily and it feels like I am done faster with the bigger blade.
Choose your fabrics. The case is made from just one piece of MPC so if you have a directional print like I do, you may want to cut it and piece it, to ensure the print is the proper direction when
the flap is folded over.
If you don’t have a directional print, simply cut your fabric 10 1/2″ x 24″.
If you do have a directional print, you will want to cut the main piece 10 1/2″ x 17 1/4″ and the piece that is for the front flap 10 1/2″ x 7 1/4″.
Piece the two fabrics together to create a piece that is 10 1/2″ x 24″.
Batting (optional): You may want to skip it for your first case. If you want to add a flat
batting, cut it 10 1/2″ x 24″.
Layer the MPC with a thin piece of batting and your fabric piece. Pin or fuse the layers together with Misty Fuse. I like Misty Fuse because it doesn’t add a lot of weight to the project and stiffen it, and I know the layers won’t shift while I am quilting it.

photo 3(a)

Choose some simple quilting for the surface. I stitched diagonal lines on the lower portion, and stitched around the text printed on the fabric on the flap portion. I use my indispensable 5″ double curved embroidery scissors to snip the threads between each of the layers. I don’t know how I lived without these scissors! They are perfect for snipping threads at the machine. The holes are faced up so they are really fast to pick up and the sharp points easily slide under the tightest thread snarl. Best of all, the gentle curve prevents me from accidently snipping my fabric. When I can’t find my seam ripper (a fairly common occurrence) I even use these to easily un-sew.

photo 4(a)

If you desire, you can also fuse a layer of fabric on the inside of the flap,
but it is perfectly fine to leave the MPC bare on the inside of the case.
If you do decide to line the flap with fabric, cut fabric and Misty Fuse 10 1/2″ x 9″.
Do not add batting to this layer. Double check to make sure you are fusing on to the back of the flap.
If you would like to create a small cut-out in the front panel of the case to make it easier to slip things in and out, do so now. I made a template to make the process easier because I make a lot of these bags. Cut a piece of card stock 10 1/2″ x 3″. Draw a line 1 1/2″ from one edge. Mark in from each edge 1 1/2″ and draw a 30 degree angle to join the lines. Cut out the resulting piece from your template. This is only a guideline you can make your cut out, any size you like, or even curved!

photo 5(a)

photo 6(a)

Mark the opening with a chalk pencil and then cut out with shears.
The micro serrated Havel’s shears help to cut nice sharp turns because
they hold on to the fabric while you turn it.

photo 7(a)

To finish this edge use a zigzag stitch.

photo 8(a)

Load the skip cutting blade into your rotary cutter. Cut along the length of the fabric 1/4″ from each long edge and the front edge. The skip blade will make tiny slits along the edge but not cut off the fabric. Press hard to ensure you go through all layers of fabric. You can not re-cut if you don’t go through all layers. For this reason I suggest that you practice on a scrap of MPC layered with batting and fabric to get the feel of how hard you have to press to go through all the layers.
Next we will lace up the sides of the case. I used ripped strips of fabric for my case but I have also used ribbon, rayon seam tape and thick yarn. The ribbon and seam tape give the most polished look and the ripped fabric the most casual look. Ripped fabric strips, ribbon or seam tape should be between 3/8″ and 1/2″.

photo 9(a)

Fold the bottom half of the case up 8 1/2″. Thread your ribbon or fabric strips onto your large needle. Begin at the very bottom of the case and insert your needle from the inside of the case to bring it out the lowest slit created by the skip blade. Leave a tail, you will tuck this inside as you stitch to
encase it in the seam.

photo 10(a)

Use a simple whip stitch all the way up the side of the case, around the flap edge and down the other side. Simply thread the needle through the slits along the edge. This photo shows me stitching top to bottom but you may find bottom to top easier. When you need to add another strip of fabric simply tie the two pieces in a knot and continue stitching. If you like a neater edge you can work the tails into the seam with the large eye needle or a bodkin.

photo 11(a)

Messenger Bag

Cut a piece of Multi Purpose Cloth 15″ wide by 37″ long.
Cut a piece of Multi Purpose Cloth 2″ wide by 48″ long for the strap.
Cut Misty Fuse to cover both sides of the MPC main piece and the strap.
I did not use batting in this piece because of the bulk it would add to the side seams.

photo 12(a)

With this larger piece it is easier to pre-fuse the Misty Fuse to the MPC before fusing down the fabric. Place the Misty Fuse on the bag fabric, cover with a Teflon pressing sheet and heat with an iron. This is especially helpful if you have a directional print as I did. Once again the bag is made from one piece of MPC so I cut the fabrics into three pieces to keep the text oriented correctly.
If your print is not directional, cut your fabric 15″ wide by 37″ long.
If your print is directional, cut three pieces:
The flap will be 15″ wide by 10 1/2″ long.
The two remaining pieces will be 15″ wide by 13″ long

photo 13(a)

Place the fabrics on the pre-fused Multi-Purpose Cloth and fuse with a hot iron.

photo 14(a)

In this photo you can see the placement of the directional prints.

photo 15(a)

Quilt the piece by stitching as desired. I simply outlined some of the images
using an organic free motion stitch.

photo 16(a)

If desired, use Misty Fuse to fuse fabrics to the back of the Multi-Purpose Cloth.
You can cover the entire back (lining of the bag) or just the flap area.

photo 17(a)

Trim the front flap by cutting a 10 1/4″ x 1 1/2″ strip off of both sides of the flap section.

photo 18(a)

photo 19(a)

Finish the flap edges and the other edge with a satin stitch.

photo 20(a)

With right sides facing, fold the bottom half of the bag up 13″. The end of the bag should be right at the edge of the flap cut outs. Pin the edges. Stitch a 1/4″ seam along each edge. I used a serger for a strong seam. If you don’t have a serger simply stitch a straight stitch and then finish the
inside edge with a zigzag stitch.

photo 21(a)

To create the bottom base of the bag fold the bag as shown
with the seam in the middle of the triangle.

photo 22(a)

Mark a stitch line 1 3/4″ from the point of the triangle.

photo 23(a)

Stitch across this line. Then trim off the remaining triangle leaving a 1/4″ edge.

photo 24(a)

Serge the edge or zigzag stitch. Turn your bag right side out and set aside.

photo 25(a)

To make the strap, fuse fabric to both sides of the Multi-Purpose Cloth. Stitch along the length in straight lines or as desired. Finish the edges with a satin stitch.

photo 26(a)

Center the strap on the side of the bag 2″ from the top edge of the bag.
Stitch around the edges and across the center as shown.
You can find Multi Purpose Cloth, and Havel’s scissors
and skip blades at these on-line stores:
www.ArtisticArtifacts.com
www.BlueTwigStudio.com
Fabrics used in this project are available at Artistic Artifacts.

60mm rotary and liz kettle memory book_cta_400x282


Liz Kettle

Liz Kettle is a mixed media and textile artist living in Colorado. She is co-author of two books, Fabric Embellishing: The Basics and Beyond, and Threads: The Basics and Beyond. Liz loves teaching and sharing the joy of making the things in her articles, classes and at her fabulous retreat, Textile Evolution. Visit her blog and website, www.TextileEvolution.com

For a printable PDF version of Liz’s Messenger Bag and IPad Case, click here.

Posted in craft, Craft to make, Crafting, Embroidery Scissors, Fabric, Fabric Cutter, Fabric Rotary Cutters, Fabric Scissors, Free Craft Projects, Free Sewing Project, Fun Stuff, How To, Liz Kettle, School, Seasonal, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Fun Project For National Serger Month!

I used Havel’s 5-1/2″ curved scissors as the pattern for my appliqué design. By tracing the actual scissors, I can easily identify what’s in the pocket. There are several techniques presented here, some may be new to you or a variation of something you do. This is an interesting and quick little project and the result is sweet.
Fabrics used are 100% cotton. This project uses small amounts of fabric, so instead of telling you yardage amounts, I’ll cut to the chase and give you the cut requirements. I used gorgeous batiks for mine; I think this project will work with vintage prints, hand dyes and novelty prints. The lining fabric is cotton sateen. The finished size is 4 ½ x 7 ½ inches.
Fusible web is used in this project. Choose your favorite (I use a lightweight paper backed fusible web.) Press according to the manufacturer’s directions. 1 yard is more than sufficient for this project. I like to have extra in case I make mistakes.
I use Havel’s Rotary cutter to cut my strips, rectangles and the triangles in this design. This big rotary cutter saves time and its large handle is easy to hold while working.
Cut:
Front piece, back piece and two lining pieces- 5”x 8”
Two 1 1/8” wide x 6” long strips of contrasting fabric for the top of pocket
1 1/8” wide strips from two contrasting fabrics for neck strap (mine is 34” long)
Cut two pieces of fusible web 5”x8”. Fuse to the wrong side of front and back pieces. Fuse the lining to the wrong side of the front and the back pieces.
Appliqué:
There are six fused appliqué pieces in this design. Trace the shapes onto fusible web. Press the shapes to desired fabrics. Cut and fuse them to the front of the pocket according to the drawing.
I use Havel’s 5 ½ inch curved scissors to cut my appliqué shapes. The scissors are very sharp. The curve and point on these scissors help me to get a clean cut in intricate shapes. They are also easy to handle while cutting because they are a perfect size.
Free-Motion Stitching:
I used a free-motion stitch technique to stitch the appliqué pieces to the front of the pocket and to add details. I used three different cotton multi-color threads (Star threads from my own design collection).
If you don’t want to free-motion stitch, you can use a very tiny zigzag or buttonhole stitch on your sewing machine. Other options are to use textile paints along the edges or don’t finish them at all and let the fusible web do its job.
Assemble the Pocket:
Place the front and back pieces of pocket, wrong sides together. Trim the front and back together according to the drawing. I use Havel’s big rotary cutter for this process. You may draw the lines and use big sharp shears instead.
Cut two strips of fusible web 1”x 6”. Fuse to the top contrasting strips. This is the green fabric strip at the top of the pocket. * Fold the strip lengthwise over the top of the front of the pocket. Trim the strip along the width if necessary to the design. Press to fuse the strip over the top pocket edge…pressing and fusing the strip to itself at the ends. Trim the ends to the size of the pocket. Repeat from * for the back piece.
Use an edge stitch to sew the pocket pieces together. You can use a serger for this. I used an overcast stitch with a special edge foot. Use a decorative thread in a contrasting color for a pretty finish.
Neck Strap:
You must determine the length of your strap. Fuse strips of two contrasting fabrics together. This creates a double sided fabric strap which has body and strength. I use Havel’s Pinking Shears to cut a lovely decorative edge as I trim the strap to about ½ inch width.
Use a wide bar tack stitch on your sewing machine to attach the strap.
Double fuse Tag:
Fuse a small rectangle of fusible web to the back of a yellow fabric. Pull the paper off, fold the rectangle to form a square with wrong sides together, then press to fuse.. Trim to the desired size. Write the scissor identification, “5 ½” or your initials with a permanent pen. Use good fabric glue to glue in place according to the drawing.
Enjoy this scissor pocket and make one for your sister! (I did)
Stitch On!
Terry White

Instructions for Artistic Scissors Pocket

by Terry White

Artistic Scissors Pocket

Artistic Scissors Pocket

I used Havel’s 5 ½ inch curved scissors as he pattern for my appliqué design. By tracing the actual scissors, I can easily identify what’s in the pocket. There are several techniques presented here, some may be new to you or a variation of something you do. This is an interesting and quick little project and the result is sweet.

Fabrics used are 100% cotton. This project uses small amounts of fabric, so instead of telling you yardage amounts, I’ll cut to the chase and give you the cut requirements. I used gorgeous batiks for mine; I think this project will work with vintage prints, hand dyes and novelty prints. The lining fabric is cotton sateen. The finished size is 4 ½ x 7 ½ inches.

Fusible web is used in this project. Choose your favorite (I use a lightweight paper backed fusible web.) Press according to the manufacturer’s directions. 1 yard is more than sufficient for this project. I like to have extra in case I make mistakes.

I use Havel’s Rotary cutter to cut my strips, rectangles and the triangles in this design. This big rotary cutter saves time and its large handle is easy to hold while working.

Cut:

Front piece, back piece and two lining pieces- 5”x 8”

Two 1 1/8” wide x 6” long strips of contrasting fabric for the top of pocket

1 1/8” wide strips from two contrasting fabrics for neck strap (mine is 34” long)

Cut two pieces of fusible web 5”x8”. Fuse to the wrong side of front and back pieces. Fuse the lining to the wrong side of the front and the back pieces.

Appliqué:

Using Free Motion Stitching

Using Free Motion Stitching

There are six fused appliqué pieces in this design. Trace the shapes onto fusible web. Press the shapes to desired fabrics. Cut and fuse them to the front of the pocket according to the drawing.

I use Havel’s 5 ½ inch curved scissors to cut my appliqué shapes. The scissors are very sharp. The curve and point on these scissors help me to get a clean cut in intricate shapes. They are also easy to handle while cutting because they are a perfect size.

Free-Motion Stitching:

I used a free-motion stitch technique to stitch the appliqué pieces to the front of the pocket and to add details. I used three different cotton multi-color threads (Star threads from my own design collection).

If you don’t want to free-motion stitch, you can use a very tiny zigzag or buttonhole stitch on your sewing machine. Other options are to use textile paints along the edges or don’t finish them at all and let the fusible web do its job.

Assemble the Pocket:

Place the front and back pieces of pocket, wrong sides together. Trim the front and back together according to the drawing. I use Havel’s big rotary cutter for this process. You may draw the lines and use big sharp shears

Assembling the Pocket and Neck Strap

Assembling the Pocket and Neck Strap

instead.

Cut two strips of fusible web 1”x 6”. Fuse to the top contrasting strips. This is the green fabric strip at the top of the pocket. * Fold the strip lengthwise over the top of the front of the pocket. Trim the strip along the width if necessary to the design. Press to fuse the strip over the top pocket edge…pressing and fusing the strip to itself at the ends. Trim the ends to the size of the pocket. Repeat from * for the back piece.

Use an edge stitch to sew the pocket pieces together. You can use a serger for this. I used an overcast stitch with a special edge foot. Use a decorative thread in a contrasting color for a pretty finish.

Neck Strap:

You must determine the length of your strap. Fuse strips of two contrasting fabrics together. This creates a double sided fabric strap which has body and strength. I use Havel’s Pinking Shears to cut a lovely decorative edge as I trim the strap to about ½ inch width.

Use a wide bar tack stitch on your sewing machine to attach the strap.

30140_terry-white-cta

Posted in art ideas, craft, Craft to make, Crafting, Fabric, Fabric Cutter, Fabric Rotary Cutters, Fabric Scissors, Free Craft Projects, Free Sewing Project, Fun Stuff, Sewing Supplies, Terry White, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Award-Winning Laura Hartrich joins the Havel’s Team!

by Luv2Sew,

Last fall Havel’s Sewing went in search of today’s brightest, young talent in quilting and instantly fell in love with Laura Hartrich’s fresh, innovative quilts. So when she agreed to become one of our newest ambassadors we were over the moon! Lucky for us she went straight to work! She has already created two fun blogs as well as Havel’s Sewing Instagram and Facebook posts.

What better way to get to know someone than to hand them all of your social media for a week 😉 Laura’s posts were so colorful and fun that we decided to put them all together for our readers to enjoy!

Laura Hartrich - Instagram Day 1 - Photo

Hi! I’m Laura. I live just outside Chicago with my husband of almost 15 years, two boys, and two cats. I love designing, piecing, and then quilting with my checkbook, as they say. 😊 Happy to be with you on the Havel’s account this week.

Laura Hartrich - Instagram Day 2 - Good Night Love You Quilt

This huge quilt is probably my favorite creation. I can remember getting this idea and being excited as I sketched it out in my graph paper notebook. I remember being so stoked to collaborate with Nikki Maroon @thegirlwhoquilts for the first time and falling in love with her stitches. I was thrilled when it got accepted into QuiltCon and over the moon when it won People’s Choice and then travelled the world without me. I’m really proud of this quilt and sometimes I joke that I peaked when I made it. I don’t know if I will ever make a widely-recognized, award-winning quilt again. And that’s ok. I try hard to make the quilts I want to make and not worry about how they will be received in the wider world. I’m not going to lie, though. Having all of that happen was really, really fun. 😊

Laura Hatrich Instagram Day 2 - Quilt StoriesOne of the creations I’m most proud of isn’t a quilt, it’s an instagram account called @quiltstories where people share their quilts and the personal stories behind them. I was inspired to start this account one day when I was feeling down on myself for not being good enough, not having amazing enough designs. The online quilt community can be a double-edged sword. It’s wonderful for encouragement, inspiration, and camaraderie, but it can also be so tempting to compare yourself and your work to all the awesome things other folks are making. When I was feeling down on myself that day, I thought about what I really love about quilts, and what I could give back to the quilt community that would make me feel better. It occurred to me that the stories behind quilts are my favorite part, and that I could provide a place for people to share theirs. I try to post one a day. It has quickly grown into a really lovely community. Posting to @quiltstories is always highlight of my day. Join me there! And submit your stories! I post them all, in the order received.

Laura Hatrich Instagram Day 3 - Photo

Day 3 Questions: 1. Cat person or dog person? I didn’t want cats. My husband convinced me. Then it turned out I loved them and adopted the cat motif as one of my personal favorites. C’mon, they are cute. Even if I hate the hair all over everything. Portrait of our cats Lupin and Sirius by Jordan Grace Owens. I’ve never had a dog but can definitely see the appeal. 2. How long have I been quilting? The first quilt I made was for this sweet butterball, Penny. I believe she is seven now! Maybe even eight. Thanks for being born and helping me find my life’s passion, Penny. 😘 3. Favorite Color? Impossible to say! I was really pleased with this palette for my clamshell quilt. I’m drawn to pinks and minty greens. But I don’t feel like I have a favorite color. I love them all and do my best to use them effectively in my quilts. 4. What inspires my creativity? Can I say everything? Shapes, colors, other quilts and quilters, buildings, stories… I’m a too-many-ideas-not-enough-time person, like so many quilters I know. These are just a few inspiration images I have saved on my phone. Perhaps they will work their way into a quilt someday, in some way.

Laura Hartrich - Instagram Day 4 - Photo

What I’m working on at the moment, starting upper left corner and going clockwise: I almost always have a stack of hexies and some Havel’s snips in my bag so I can sew a few while I wait for the kids to get out of school or appointments or whatever! +++ I’m about to finish up a large medallion quilt top. It’s made from 100% cat-themed novelty prints, which makes me seem like more of a crazy cat lady than I really am. 😊 Used my favorite Havel’s scissors and rotary cutter a lot on this project. +++ I just got two quilts back from my fabulous long-armer, @thegirlwhoquilts, so this week I spent time trimming them and attaching bindings that I will finish by hand. Trimming was easy with my large Havel’s cutting mat and ruler. +++ I’m doing big-stitch hand quilting on another piece, which looks great to me but is taking forever. I try to stitch one length of the quilt every night while I watch tv with my husband. At this rate I should be done in a few short years.

Laura Hartrich - Instagram Day 5 - photo

Here I am using maybe my favorite Havel’s tools: the extra large cutting mat and rotary cutter. This mat is the perfect size and I love the way it’s marked. A close second favorite would be all my Havel’s scissors. They are seriously the best and I believed that even before I had the chance to be a Havel’s ambassador. 😊Great to be with you this week! Happy sewing! ❌⭕️🙄😂

60mm-rotary-and-cutting-mat-set_cta

Posted in Fabric Cutter, Fabric Rotary Cutters, Fabric Scissors, Laura Sliger-Hartrich, Quilting, Quilting, Quilting Tools, Reviews, Sewing Supplies, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Simple Strip Blocks Using Havel’s Fabric & Quilt Ruler Cutter

Simple Strip Blocks Using Havel’s Fabric & Quilt Ruler Cutter

by Laura Hartrich

Laura Hartrich - Simple Strip Block

One of my current quilts-in-progress is a medallion quilt made with all cat-themed fabrics. It’s a silly idea but it has actually been a real challenge to consider design, color, and contrast while working under the constraint of all cat fabrics. I find setting boundaries like this, no matter how silly or arbitrary, can really push me creatively and bring out my best work.

Laura Hartrich - Simple Strip Block 3

For the latest border in my medallion, I knew I wanted to use darker colors to contrast with the previous border. I also wanted to do something simple, so it could come together quickly and allow me to focus on the last border, which will be a little more detailed.

Laura Hartrich - Simple Strip Block 4

I settled on simple blocks, small square centers surrounded by strips of the same width. I don’t know if these blocks have an official name. I guess they are a version of square-in-a-square. To construct these blocks, I needed 1.5” strips of the dark fabrics I planned to use. I decided it was the perfect chance to try out the Havel’s Fabric and Quilt Ruler Cutter. I used this awesome tool on my Extra Large Havel’s Cutting Mat. The cutting was smooth and accurate. I felt totally comfortable cutting through 6 layers of fabric. This tool is also easy on the hands/wrists. I would definitely use this again whenever I need to cut strips.

Laura Hartrich - Simple Strip Block 5
I’m excited to have the next border of my all-cat medallion quilt done, with the help of my Havel’s tools.

Laura Hartrich - Simple Strip Block 2

 

fabric cutter_cta_horizontal_600x154

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