Free project ideas

12 Days of Ruby Star | Melody’s Signature Headscarf

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Happy Christmas Eve!  On this 12th day of Ruby Star, I’m going to show you how to make a classic Melody Miller headscarf out of Ruby Star fabric.

First, download and print your template.  Be sure to print at full scale!  Now, cut along the diagonal line that best describes your head (pixie, melody size, or big hair!)

Fold your fabric in half and align the short end of the triangle with your fold.  Use a straight edge and rotary cutter to cut 1/4″ outside the 2 long edges of the triangle.  (Sadly, the 8.5″ x 11″ paper template isn’t big enough for my seam allowances. You have no idea how this disappoints me:)

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The next part is the easiest ever. For heavier-weight fabrics from my fall lines, simply fold and iron all three edges back toward the wrong side of the fabric by 1/4″. A little starch will give you nice crisp edges. Trim away any wonky points. Then do a nice wide zig-zag stitch with a 1/4″ seam allowance around all three edges capturing the folded edge on the back.

Alternately, you can first zig-zag stitch or serge the three edges and then fold back by 1/4″.  If you do this, you can stitch the folds down with a decorative stitch.  See… fancy!

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Now all you have to do is attach a ribbon.  You’ll need about 40″ for this project. For some reason I seem to have a lot of sheer ribbon (probably because it’s always in the dollar bin at Michael’s), so that’s what I like to use.  I would recommend avoiding slippery satin ribbons because it may come untied and awkward social situations will ensue.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Fold your ribbon in half and pinch a crease in the center. Line up this crease with the center of your scarf. Stitch the ribbon down along the longest edge of the triangle, as close to the edge of the fabric as you can get it. I like to stitch both long sides of the ribbon down to the fabric.

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You can see the design of the fabric through the ribbon.  Isn’t that pretty?

And… voila!  You have a classic Melody Miller headscarf!

Okay, I’m gonna show you one more thing: how to make a reversible scarf with a pretty trim. It’s easy-peasy. Cut out 2 fabrics using your template. If you have a pretty piece of trim, pin it to the long side of one of the triangles, about 1/2″ away from the edge.

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Sew the trim down. Put this triangle right-sides-together with the other, and sew all the way around with a 1/4″ seam allowance.  Leave a 4″ opening on one of the short sides.  Turn the scarf right side out, and press. Topstitch along all 3 sides with a 1/8″ seam allowance, closing the 4″ opening.  Attach ribbon to the opposite side from the trim according to the instructions above.
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Now, let’s talk about the most important part of this project: how to wear your scarf.  I have many years of experience under my belt, and I’m willing to share some of my best tips here.

1) Do your ears poke out? Mine do. Make sure the scarf sits on top of your ears. See? Problem solved.

2) Does pulling baby hairs out of the back of your neck not sound like a good time?  Pin your hair up quickly before you tie the scarf on.  Then you can tie it happily with all your hair out of the way.  Do you look extra-awesome now? Leave your hair pinned up!  Not so much? Let it back down.

3) Do you look like you’re ready for a day of yard work?  Well, change your clothes, lady. Wear a cute outfit with your scarf… hello.

4) Having weird face or hair shape issues? (We never said this was effortless).  Push the scarf back so the front of your hair will show.  Don’t tie it too tight unless that flatters you, whereupon tie it tighter! Move your hair around until it has the right shape in combo with your scarf.  There, that’s better.

I hope to see lots of pics of people sporting their new scarves… Happy Holidays!

12 Days of Ruby Star | Shruti’s Samosa Wristlet

I am Shruti and I live on the other side of the world (well, from most of you), in India. I blog at 13 Woodhouse Road.I was awed when I opened my blue envelope from Melody. I think its the most awesome-st (is that even a word?) fabric I have laid my hands on… And guess what? Its not even on the market yet!

Yeah, I received 2 wonderful generous fabric cuts of Ruby Star Shining!

Here’s my simple recipe for making some fun “Samosa” wristlets!

Step # 1 : Cut your fabric

You’ll need
Two  6.5″ squares from the outer fabric – I have fussy cut the typewriters
Two 6.5″ squares from the lining fabric – I used the floral fabric
Two 2.5″ x 3.5″ for the zipper ends
One 2″ x 12.5″ strip for the loop
One 7″ zipper – I used a larger one and trimmed it down.

Step # 2 : Pressing

Fold all the 4 squares 1/4″ and press along one edge. If you are using a directional print like me, make sure you press the TOP edge.

Also press two of the opposite edges of the 3″ squares 1/4″

Step # 3 : Zipper

Pin and sew the 2.5″ x 3.5″ strip to the end of the zipper as shown.

Lay the zipper on the 6.5″ square as shown and trim it down to size.

Attach the other 2.5″ x 3.5″ fabric to the other side. And trim it to the zipper width.

Now it looks nice, doesn’t it?

Now attach your zipper foot to the machine and sew the zipper to the lining and outer fabric in that order. Now you’ll know why I pressed that 1/4″ on one side. I just align it with the zipper and sew!

Dont worry if your pouch does not stay flat! It wont matter.

Repeat on the other side.

You do not need to trim the ends of the zipper, but if you must, trim them at least 1/2″ beyond the edge of the fabric.

Step # 4 : Making the loop

Make the loop as you like. I just folded the selvedge over and stitched it. You can use a ribbon or even left over binding!

Step # 5 : Finish the pouch!

OPEN the zipper. (You’ll thank me for saying this)

Lay the pouch as shown (both lining pieces RIGHT side together and both outer fabric Right Side Together) and sew the BOTTOM edges of the lining fabric together leaving a 2.5″ opening to turn out the pouch.

Repeat with the outer fabric without the opening.

Insert the loop one one SIDE and baste it between the two outer fabric pieces.

Sew along the side starting from the bottom edge towards the zipper. Sew as close to the zipper as you can, backstitching at both ends and over the loop.

DO NOT stitch OVER the zipper.
Now fold the other side of the pouch such that the zipper is at the center of the fold

Pin in place and stitch along the edges backstitching at both ends.

Now turn your pouch inside out. Poke the corners out and topstitch the opening.

Your Samosa is ready!

You can even make a coin pouch from 4 charm squares and a few scraps. Or you can use scraps to make a block of your choice and trim it down to 6.5″ square for the outer fabric!
Go ahead! Make those lovely samosas for your dear ones. Once you get the hang of it, you can make one in about 15 minutes!!! And dont you worry about making it perfect… As Takashi Nakamura says, “If you ever come across a piece of pottery that is perfect, you can be confident that it was produced by a machine. With pottery, you must seek near perfection. If you look carefully enough, you will always find some slight blemish that serves to remind us that the piece was crafted by a human hand. The longer you have to search, the greater the craftman, for it was only Giotto who was able to draw the perfect circle.”
Now dont go scratching your brains about who Nakamura was, he is a character in Jeffrey Archer’s False Impression! I just finished reading it!
Merry Christmas!!!

12 Days of Ruby Star | Sha’s iPad Case

Surprise, Fat Quarterly readers!  Today is our second double project day in the 12 Days of Ruby Star, with Sharon’s take on an iPad case to complement the one from Amber posted earlier today.  Between the two tutorials, we hope you can find one to best meet your favorite sewing styles.  Enjoy!

Hi Everyone! I am thrilled to be here on FatQuarterly! My name is Sha and I blog at Craizee Corners.

Here’s a little fact about me…I am ’Craizee’ about zippered bags. I make them in all different shapes and sizes. One of the my favorite bags to make is for my IPad, I like to change the case like I change purses, in other words to fit my mood and maybe to match my outfit. I am going to show you how I make IPad cases.

Materials needed:

  • 1 zipper at least 12“
  • 1 – 1 ½” x 8” piece of fabric to match the zipper
  • Thread to match the zipper
  • 1 – 22″ x 26”pieces of fabric for the inside of the bag
  • 1 – 9 ½” x 11 ½” piece of fabric for the outside back (Piece B)
  • 1 – 22” x 26” batting
  • 1 – 9 ½” x 11 ½” front. This can be pieced however you want, but the end piece must be 9 ½” x 11 ½” (Piece A)
Assembly:
1. Take each 22” x 26” piece of batting and top with the 22” x 26” inside fabric with the right side of the fabric facing up. Cut 2 – 10” x 12”pieces.
2. Turn the pieces you just cut over and put the outside front piece (Piece A) face up on the batting side. Do the same with the second piece, but use the 9 ½” x 11 ½” outside back piece (piece B). You will have two 3 layered piece, with the batting in the middle and the right sides of the fabric facing out. The top piece will be slightly smaller than the batting and inside piece.
Quilt the 2 sandwiches anyway you would like, leaving at least ½” from the outside un-quilted.

Now you should have 2 pieces that look like this:

Note: some of the pics I took with the Ruby Star fabric didn’t turn out well, so I am using other photos for some of the steps.

Trim the top piece (with the fussy cut frame) to 9 ½” x 11” 1/2”. Then place the trimmed piece on top of other quilted piece and trim to match.
Preparing the Zipper:

Take the 1 ½” x 8” piece that matches the color of the zipper and press it in half width wise. Then open it up and press the sides to the center. This will be a double folded piece of bias tape. Cut into 2 – 4” pieces.



Sew across the zipper to keep the 2 pieces in place and then trim the close to the seam you just sewed. Then nestle the cut zipper piece inside the bias tape you just made and sew very close to the left side of the fold. No need for a zipper foot here. Trim the bias tape even with the edges of the zipper.


Measure across the top of the bag pieces, it should be 9 ½”, but measure to be sure. You want to cut the zipper 1” smaller than that measurement.

Note – Make sure the zipper pull is inside the zipper before you sew.

Repeat the steps above to prepare the zipper with the other side. Your zipper should now look like this:

Adding the zipper:

Note – you do not need a zipper foot for this but I do recommend you use your all purpose foot and not your ¼” foot. You will be doing a zig zag stitch and the  ¼”  foot might not be able to do a zig zag stitch.

Lay the front of the bag outside piece up on your surface. Put the zipper with the pull side down along the top edge of the front of your bag. Make sure the zipper is centered along the top (about ½” in from the sides).

Sew along the top edge halfway between the zipper teeth and the edge. Backstitch a few stitches at the beginning and end of the seam.

Now it’s time to finish that raw edge. Set your machine to the zig-zag stitch and sew. The left side of the stitch will be on the fabric and the right side will be right past the fabric so the entire raw edge will be covered. When done select the straight stitch again.


Flip the zipper up so it is above the front of the bag and with a straight stitch sew a line right below the zipper, making sure to catch the finished edge of the zipper underneath.

Repeat with the other side of the bag, being sure to attach the zipper to the outside part.
You will then have a piece that looks like this:
Finishing the bag:
Before you go any further make sure the zipper is at least ½” opened.
With the insides of the bag facing out (or right sides together) pin along the sides and bottom of the bag. At the bottom 2 corners measure ½” from each side of the corner. Draw a diagonal line between those 2 lines. Sew along the side, then along the diagonal, then along the bottom, other diagonal and the other side. Backstitch a few stitches at the start and finish. Trim along the diagonal lines.

Finish these raw edges with a zig zag stitch just like before.

Turn the bag right side out and you have a quilted IPad case.

Craizee Corners to see other tutorials, patterns and some fun giveaways, and tell me that Fat Quarterly sent you!

12 Days of Ruby Star | Wynn’s Handsewn Organizer Boxes

Hi! I’m Wynn from zakkaArt and it’s my pleasure to share a really easy Christmas gift idea here at 12 days of Ruby Star FQ challenge.

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What you need (for 10cm x 10cm x 10cm box):

-        A fat quarter exterior fabric (or more if you are making bigger boxes)

-        A fat quarter interior/lining fabric (or more if you are making bigger boxes)

-        Batting/Fleece (light or medium weight)

-        Needle and coordinating thread (for handsewing)

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(*Note: 1cm seam allowance is included in the all measurements given)

First of all, cut out 12cm x 12cm squares from both the exterior and interior fabrics as well as the fleece batting. Five pieces each.

Now we’ll make the first wall of the box.

Lay the batting down first followed by the exterior fabric (right side up) and then the interior fabric (wrong side up).

Pin the three layers in place.

Then sew the three layers together using backstitch throughout, leaving a small gap (about 4-5cm).  Trim the corners.

Turn inside out. Make sure to take care of the corners too. Press with hot dry iron.

Stitch close the gap using ladder stitch.

Repeat the same procedure for the other four walls of the box.

Now that you have all the five walls nicely done, the only thing you need to do is to sew connect them together using ladder stitch.

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There you go! You have completed your very own organizer box! There are many sizes you can make and many ways you can jazz up your box such as adding embellishments (i.e. lace, beads, buttons).

Hope you will enjoy making these organizer boxes for your loved ones this Christmas. Thank you Fat Quarterly and Melody Miller for this awesome chance to share this tutorial with you!

Merry Christmas!

12 Days of Ruby Star | Michelle’s Body Pillow Cover

Hello Fat Quarterly readers from sunny, cold, and snowy York Region! :) My name is Michelle Southern and I’m the gal behind Kinetic Quilts. I’m so glad to be writing this tutorial for you today and hope you’ll be inspired to make a project of your own using Melody Miller’s awesome Ruby Star fabric.

Body Pillow - cross-stitch bee panel as sent

I adore my long, comfy body pillow. They are a blessing to moms, people with joint pain, and anyone who likes to lounge around with a novel. The only trouble with mine is that when I bought it the only available pillow case was a polyester fabric that got quite static-y in the wash and wasn’t as pleasant as the crisp, cotton fabrics I use when quilting. I’d planned on making a new one but body pillows are long, and I didn’t want to “waste” the fabric that could be used in a quilt! However, when the opportunity came to use Melody Miller’s Ruby Star fabric in a project – any project I wanted – I jumped at the chance to showcase the big, bold, colourful prints in a quick and easy pattern that is suitable for the holiday gift-giving season.

Body Pillow - sewing a batik to Ruby Star

Pillows have different standard sizes, but body pillows vary in length and fluffability. It’s best to measure your pillow to get correct measurements for yours, and decide on how tight or loose you want the fabric to be around it. Loose is better because the pillows do not slip into the cases as easy as regular pillows, but if it’s too loose (and I say this from experience) your legs will feel wrapped up in the excess. It’s up to you to decide; you’ll get a feel for it when measuring, depending on how loose the current pillowcase is. My pillow measured 53” x 16” but the old case was several inches more on all sides. To make the case I wanted, I would need to use the original pillow measurements, add in a 1/4″ (or more) seam allowance, plus a few extra inches on the sides – and factor in the “hang” of the pillowcase opening.

Body Pillow - slash and sew!

To re-create this pillowcase for yourself, piece together a rectangle that is 2” wider than your pillow and several inches longer with scraps and slices of your favourite fabrics. I used the fabrics graciously sent to me by Melody Miller plus a green cotton from Daisy Janie and a dark purple and black marbled batik. Lay out the stitched panels often to see how they look. Use a matching single panel of fabric for the back of the pillowcase to save time (or do a quick slice and add as I did). Use a single piece for the pillowcase opening if possible because you will be folding it back inside and top-stitching it in place. The best tip I can give you is this: add a long strip about 2″ wide to the bottom of the entire front panel, because when you set the pillow on its side this strip is hidden and your pieced fabrics are visible and centred as you meant them to be.

Body Pillow - layout wherever there's space

Put completed sections over pillow and check for drape, size:

 Put completed sections over pillow and check for drape, size

Add strip along bottom, where pillow will rest

Body Pillow - finishing (top-stitching opening)

This project took about 5 hours to make, and that includes the cutting, planning, and sewing (the scrappier your panels, the longer it will take). If you have a few hours to spare you can make a gorgeous, lounge-worthy body pillowcase that is easily whipped up for special occasions, as a gift, or an anytime treat for yourself. The Ruby Star fabrics, with their cross-stitch motifs and coffee pots and cheerful flowers, could also be used to make a wonderful bench pillow for your kitchen, or a cushion for a bay window reading nook. And you can also use it as a long super-sized gift bag if you need to! Just insert the item and tie a ribbon at the top. May you have a joyful holiday season and a safe, prosperous new year!

Body Pillow - Back panel (opening is on right side)

Body Pillow - Natural habitat

Thanks so much for the great project idea, Michelle!  Michelle Southern is a writer and composer, and the quilter behind Kinetic Quilts and its innovative online quilt label system. She likes most of the same stuff you do and has a dog named Quincy. Visit one or both of them at http://kineticquilts.com

12 Days of Ruby Star | Cindy’s All-Star Stockings

Hey there. My name is Cindy Wright. I’m the owner of Pattern Patti Sewing Patterns and I’m so pleased to have the opportunity to participate in the 12 days of Ruby Star FQ challenge. I’ve had such fun coming up with a great way to use Melody Miller’s fabulous fabric. This is what I’ve got for you.

All-Star Stockings in two sizes

together

The All-Star is a tube sock style stocking designed for the athlete or anyone who grew up in the 70’s or 80’s and wore tube socks with everything, like matching shorts or a bathing suit, perhaps. I have at least two acquaintances who match that description. I’m sure you do too. There’s no better fabric for such a project than Melody’s Ruby Star Rising. Very cool stuff!

Well, let’s get started. By the way, all seam allowances are ¼” and are included in the pattern pieces.

Materials needed:

Small amounts of fabric and fusible web, also called wonder under, for applying the applique.

Directions:

Print your pattern pages (found here) and cut out the patterns that you choose to use.

pattern pages printed cut

Using the patterns, cut out the fabric and fusible web. Cut 2 pieces of fabric for the exterior and 2 pieces of fabric for the liner. Follow the instructions on the applique pattern pieces for cutting the fabric and fusible web. Make sure you cut the fusible web so that the glue side is the right side. You’ll also need to cut a loop piece: 2”x5” for the small pattern and 3”x5” for the larger pattern.

cut

Press your applique pieces to the fusible web. Once they have cooled to the touch, peel the paper from the back and arrange your applique pieces on the stocking the way you like. Press the pieces to the stocking.

Note: For my example today, I’ve only cut enough applique pieces for one side of the stocking. The instructions printed on the applique pieces tell you to cut enough for both sides of the stocking.

applique pieces

Use your favorite stitch and sew the applique pieces to your stocking. A straight stitch would work. A zig-zag stitch would be nice. I like the blanket stitch. It makes the applique pop.

stitch applique

Next, we need to make the loop. Take your loop piece to your ironing board. We’re going to fold this like a bias binding. Fold the loop in half lengthwise, wrong sides together. Open to show the center fold line. Fold the bottom of the loop toward the center, matching the raw edge to the center fold line. Fold the top of the loop toward the center, matching the raw edge to the center fold line. Fold both halves together. Your loop piece is ready for stitching.

steps of loop

Using a 1/8” seam allowance, stitch along both long edges of the loop. This will keep it closed and make it pretty.

stitch loop

Now we’re ready to construct the stocking. Place your stocking exterior pieces together and liner pieces together, right sides together. Stitch around the perimeter of the stocking exterior, using a ¼” seam allowance. Be sure to leave the top open. Repeat with the liner, only this time, you’re also going to leave an opening on the back side that is about 2” long. After stitching together, clip the inside curve of the foot close to the stitches a few times and trim the toe and heel seam allowance to about 1/8”. Do this for the exterior and the liner. This allows for nice, smooth curves.

stocking construction

Turn your liner right side out. Slide the liner into the exterior piece so that right sides are together.

liner turned and in

Make your loop piece into a loop by folding it. We’ll put it in place by sliding it between the exterior and the liner, folded end down, matching the raw edges of the loop and the liner/exterior. I placed mine on the back of the stocking, next to the back seam. Pin the loop in place.

loop placement

Sew your liner and exterior together by stitching around the opening.

stitch layers together

Pull your stocking liner out. Then, pull the exterior through the opening in the liner. Push out the toe and heel and make sure all of your curves are neat.

pulling stocking through

Fold the raw edges of the opening of the liner in and press them. Stitch the opening closed by hand for the neatest seam, or by machine for the lazy girl. That’s me.

opening

Push the liner into the exterior. Press the stocking very neatly, especially the opening. Topstitch around the opening to finish it up.

top

Yay! You’re finished. These stockings will be great for small gifts like gift cards, iPods, candy and other yummy goodies.

finished

Have fun and thanks so much to Fat Quarterly and Melody Miller for including me in the project. Be sure to pop by Patternpatti.com for more patterns perfect for gifts. Merry Christmas all!

12 Days of Ruby Star | Lu’s No-Sew Ker-istmas Ker-ackers

No English Christmas dinner table is complete without the Christmas Cracker – it’s a delightful combination of the tacky and ridiculous – complete with terrible joke, nasty plastic gift and tissue paper paper hat. Using this festive item as inspiration, I wanted to come up with a simple fabric version that could be used in the traditional way, or as an fun way of wrapping a special Christmas or birthday gift…and Melody’s fabulous fabrics are the cherries on the top for this quick and easy make. And the other bonus? They can be used over and over again, so they’re eco friendly as well as cute!

You will need:

  • 2 pieces of fabric 8.5 inches wide by 11.75 inches
  • 2 pieces of cardboard tube (i used the inside of a kitchen towel) 4 inches long
  • Several pieces of ribbon for ties in pretty colours – around 16 inches long
  • Spray starch
  • Iron
  • Rotary cutter and ruler
  • Scissors for cutting cardboard
  • Tape
  • Small amount of fusible web cut into strips
  • Pencil
  • Strong double sided tape
  • Pinking shears or decorative scissors (optional)

Instructions:

1. Take one of the cardboard tubes and cut through it lengthways. Cut around half an inch off then tape back together to make a smaller tube. (See figure 1) Put aside for later.

crackers

crackers2

figure1

figure2

figure3

figure4

figure5

figure6

figure7

2. Spray starch the fabric.

3. Put one of the pieces of fabric in front of you with the wrong side facing upwards and with the short sides top and bottom. Fold the top over by 3 inches and press. Use the fusible web to secure into place. Do the same to the other piece of fabric.

4. With the pencil, draw a line 1/2 an inch underneath the raw edge.

5. Draw another line on the opposite edge, 1 inch from the bottom.

6. Use this as a guide to fold the bottom edge up by 1/2 an inch. Press and secure with fusible web. Repeat on other piece of fabric. (See figure 2)

7. Trim the left hand side of the long edge using pinking shears or decorative scissors if required.

8. Place strips of doubled sided tape all over the fabric, making sure 1 piece is close to the ‘hem’ of the bottom edge, and 1 piece is close to the ‘decorative’ raw edge. (See figure 3)

9. Place one of the cardboard tubes on the edge of the fabric, lining it up exactly with the ‘hemmed’ edge and roll to wrap the tube completely in the fabric, ensuring a smooth finish. (See figure 4) Repeat with the other tube. (See figure 5)

10. Slot the thinner tube into the fatter one to ensure the fit. It should be snug but not tight.

11. Use the ribbons to tie one end fairly tightly. (See figure 6)

12. Tie the other end and admire your handiwork! (See figure 7)

13. Now fill your cracker with treats – and add a paper hat, terrible joke and a cracker snap if desired ;)

TIPS:

You can decorate the top of the cracker any way you please – use fabric flowers, or wide ribbons to add extra embellishments!

Depending on the thickness of the fabric, you may find your cracker ends are a bit floppy – you can either add extra interfacing, or place a screwed up piece of tissue paper in the ends to help keep the shape on the festive table setting.

Thanks, Lu!  You can find Lucie Summers, one of Moda Fabrics’ exciting new designers, at her blog, Summersville, and browse her adorable handmade wares at her Etsy shop of the same name.

12 Days of Ruby Star | Caitlin’s Log Cabin Napkins

Greetings, Fat Quarterly readers! I’m Caitlin, a quilter and crafter, who blogs over at Salty Oat. I’m so excited to be here today to share a project with you as part of The Twelve Days of Ruby Star!

I’ve had log cabin blocks on my mind lately (I’m currently working on a queen-size log cabin quilt!), so when Melody’s gorgeous fabric arrived, I immediately began thinking about ways to use it in a log cabin block. To highlight Melody’s prints, I decided to use coordinating solids for all of my logs, with strips of white to frame everything.

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Rather than making an entire quilt, I decided to make napkins, since they’re great for either gift giving or dressing up your own holiday table. I plan on using mine this Christmas.

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Here’s how to make your own log cabin napkins:

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1. Select a focus fabric (in this case, one of Melody’s awesome prints) and two coordinating solids. For the Ruby Star Shining floral print, I chose Kona Berry and Kona Curry, and for the Ruby Star Spring Flower Dots, I used Kona Coral and Kona Candy Green.

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2. Cut the following:
-one 5 ½” x 5 ½” square of your focus fabric
-two 1 ½” x Width of Fabric (WOF) strip of white
-one 2 ½” x WOF strip of color 1 (the middle log)
-two 2 ½” x WOF strip of color 2 (the outer log)
-one 17” x 17” square of a print or solid for napkin back (not pictured here)

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3. After you trim your selvages, you’re ready to start building your block. First, pin one of the white strips to your center block. Sew the white strip to the block, using a ¼” seam (the same seam you’ll use throughout the project), trim the excess strip of white, and press toward the print (I always pressed away from the white strip, to avoid having it show through to the front of the napkin).

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4. Continue building your block by adding the white strip all around the center print. You can add the strips in either a clockwise or counterclockwise direction—just make sure you add them in the same order each time, for each row. In my case, the strip that I had just added was always furthest away from me as I sewed on the next strip.

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5. Once your center block is completely framed in white, you’re ready to add the rest of your logs, using the same technique. Add each row in the following order: color 1, white, and color 2. Be sure to always press away from the white strips.

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6. Once your napkin top is complete, give it a good press and then pin it to the napkin back, with the right sides together. For these napkins, I pulled a plain, natural linen from my stash to use as a backing, since it coordinated beautifully with Melody’s linen-cotton fabric.

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7. Sew all around the edge of the block, leaving a 3”-4” opening in the middle of one side.

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8. Clip your corners and turn your napkin inside out, using a pointy tool (like a knitting needle) to poke out each corner.

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9. Iron the edges flat, pin (to help avoid puckering and folds while you top stitch), and top stitch around the edge of the napkin with matching thread, being sure to catch both sides of the fabric, especially at the opening where you turned the napkin inside out.

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And that’s it! Make a set with all of the same fabrics or mix it up. I alternated the order of my colors, so each of my napkins are unique. If you make a napkin, or eight, please share photos in the Fat Quarterly Flickr pool—I’d love to see them!

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12 Days of Ruby Star | Heather’s Patchwork Scarf

O
Hi everyone! I’m Heather Jones and I blog over at olive and ollie. I’m thrilled to be a part of the 12 Days of Ruby here at Fat Quarterly! Today, I’m sharing with you a tutorial for an easy patchwork scarf. My little girl is modeling the scarf for me in this photo, but this pattern is for an adult sized scarf; to make a child’s size, you can easily modify the pattern by shortening the finished length. These goodies whip up very quickly and they make a great gift for everyone on your holiday list, or as a special treat for yourself. Let’s get started!

finished scarf

yummy fabrics + velveteen

{ materials }

  • a variety of assorted cotton fabrics, all at least 6” wide { I used three gorgeous prints from Melody Miller’s Ruby Star Spring and Ruby Star Shining }
  • 6” x 72” piece of velveteen
  • thread
  • sewing supplies and notions of your choice

{ directions –please use a ¼” seam allowance throughout }

fussy cut, leave room for seam allowance

1. Cut fabrics for the patchwork front of the scarf. Make sure all of the pieces measure 6” wide; they can be any length you’d like. You can make it as scrappy as you’d like by making lots of different cuts of fabrics in a variety of lengths. Feel free to incorporate areas that are fussy cut and even the selvedge of your fabric. If you fussy cut the fabric, be sure to leave room for the seam allowances so that your image remains how you’d like it.

fold 2 yards of velveteen and cut along lenght

2. From a two-yard length of cotton velveteen, cut a piece that is 6” wide. You can make this cut easily by folding the fabric in half, and in half again, being sure to keep the selvege lined up as neatly as possible. Use a rotary cutter and straight edge to cut through all four layers. This will become the back of the scarf.

layout patchwork pieces to come up with a good layout

3. Lay out the patchwork pieces for the front of the scarf, in any design that you like. As you’re laying out the fabric, keep in mind that the finished length of the scarf is approximately 72” so you’ll need to line up enough pieces to create a strip that is that long out of the fabric.

sew the pieces together, right sides together

4. Sew the patchwork pieces, right sides together, to create the front of the scarf.

press seams open

Press seams open with an iron.

Note: depending on the orientation of the print on your fabrics, you may want to align half of them in one direction and the other half in the opposite direction, so they’ll face the correct way when the scarf is worn.

Voila! The front of your patchwork scarf is done!

add label if you'd like

5. If you’d like to add a tag to the back of the scarf, sew it to the velveteen now. You can find the center of the fabric by folding it in half and pressing it with your finger. Center the tag on the velveteen and sew it on, making sure to backstitch to lock the seam.

sew right sides together

6. Sew the front of the scarf and velveteen, right sides together.

use lots of pins and keep 3-4 inches open for tunring

Be sure to use a lot of pins! The plush texture of the velveteen can be a little tricky to work with, so it’s a good idea to use plenty of pins in this step to keep your fabrics from sliding apart while sewing.

sew together

Backstitch at the beginning and end of your seam to lock the threads together. Leave 3-4 inches on one side open for turning the scarf right side out.

clip corners near seam allowances

7. Remove pins. Trim the four corners of the scarf very close to the seam line, being careful to not cut your stitches. This will give the ends of your scarf nice, square edges.


opening to turn

8. Use the opening to pull the scarf through and turn it right side out.

chop sticks make great turning tools

You can use a turning stick (a chopstick works really well too) to help get the corners nice and even.

opening

9. Tuck in the seam allowances of the opening, being careful to line them up along the edge of the scarf.

press with hot iron

Press scarf with an iron.

top stitch

9. Top stitch along the entire perimeter of the scarf, about 1/8″ from the edge. Backstitch at the end of your sewing to lock the stitches.

finished scarf

You’re done! Now you have a super cute and warm patchwork scarf to keep for yourself, or to give as a handmade gift. If you make one, I’d love to see photos of your finished scarf!

detail

Wow, we love that scarf — and we know several people who would love receiving one this Christmas!  Thanks for the great idea, Heather.

Heather Jones is a designer, seamstress, and modern quilter from Ohio who, quite impressively, has won 3 of the first 4 Modern Quilt Guild Project Modern challenges.  Learn more about Heather, her family, and her creative pursuits on her blog, olive & ollie.

12 Days of Ruby Star | Katy’s Piped Pillows

Happy Holidays everyone! It’s starting to look and feel a lot like Christmas here in our house, lots of last minute panic shopping and making for emergency hostess and teacher gifts. These piped pillows make a lovely hostess gift simply tied with a ribbon and you can whip one up in no time at all. Adding piping adds a professional look to a pillow and is so much faster than binding.

piped pillows!

The beauty of Melody’s fabrics is that you really don’t need to do anything extra to the prints to make them beautiful. I added a simple felt snowflake and a few buttons to jazz up this panel from Melody’s new collection, Ruby Star Shining….

Ruby Star Shining Pillow

For this pillow I let the fabric (Bloom Springtime from Ruby Star Spring) sing and do it’s own thing…

Ruby Star Shining Pillow

I just wish I was faster at cross stitching, because once this bee is all stitched up it’s going to look pretty cool as a pillow, I think!

Ruby Star Spring - stitching up a bee

Want to make a piped pillow? Here’s how you do it:

Decide how big you want your pillow to be and cut a square of Ruby Star fabric to that size, plus ½ inch (I wanted 18” pillows so I cut 18 ½” squares for my pillow fronts)

You will also need:

  • A pillow form
  • A fat quarter of fabric for the piping (I used Lizzy House Outfoxed in jewel and coral – they match perfectly!)
  • Piping cord (this is easily available at most craft stores or haberdashery departments and is really cheap)
  • A zipper foot
  • Your sewing machine

First up, cut your fat quarter into bias strips and sew into one long length – do this by cutting diagonally across the FQ – not straight. You can find a great tip for cutting continuous bias strips by following this link to SewMamaSew.

To make the piping cord fold the bias strip wrong sides together and pop the cord as tightly as you can get it into the fold. Pinning helps keep it in place. Leave a little tail of bias strip at the start of around 2 or 3 inches. Start sewing with your zipper foot on and your needle position as far to the left as possible. Keep your foot cozied up right next to the cord.

step 1

Once you have your piping all stitched, pin it to the right side of your pillow front, raw edges together. Ease it around the corners, and pin pin pin all the way round.
Using the zipper foot in the same far left needle position stitch the piping onto the pillow front and try to hit the same line of stitches again. If you can get on those same stitches your piping will look much neater at the end.

step 2

Finish a couple of inches from where you started and fold the end of the tail under and tuck the other end of the piping into it. Trim down if necessary. Pin and finish stitching round, until you get to where you started.

step 4

Layer your choice of pillow back (I used an envelope back) and pillow front right sides together and stitch all the way round, still using your zipper foot with the needle in the same far left position and sewing right on the same line of stitching as before.

step 3

Flip right sides out and stuff with a pillow form and admire your handiwork!

a sneaky peek

Many thanks to Melody for designing these wonderful fabrics and also to Kate from M is for Make for providing Ruby Star Spring Bee fabric (which is available for sale in her shop along with a selection of other Ruby Star fabrics!)