Learning Re-Learning

Learning & Re-Learning

Generally speaking, I can be more of a hand-sewer than a machine-sewer. Getting frustrated with a machine, to me, isn’t the most difficult task, so stepping back from one can be a fairly easy decision. What I’ve found in stepping away is that I actually like hand-sewing. Sure, the process might take longer, but there’s something relaxing about going one stitch at a time with my own hands.

And, believe it or not, I might actually be more likely to sew a straight-ish line by hand than I am with a machine! Weird? Maybe!

But stepping away from the machine has led to me trying to re-acquaint myself with my sewing machine, and what I found is that the time away caused me to potentially forget things—maybe keep me from fully learning all things—about my machine. Had I had (or kept) those things in mind, I suspect my sewing-machine-experiences might’ve gone a bit better—and a bit quicker.

Brother LX2500

Brother LX2500

Now, don’t get me wrong! I’ve completed projects on my sewing machine. But I was potentially setting myself up for frustration by not really understanding or memorizing the details of this machine (Brother LX2500):

Imagine how far I could be with machine-sewing if I would’ve taken the time to learn more details and commit them to memory! So, for today, I’m going to give you that bit of information: Get to know your sewing machine! Even something as simple as realizing the thread-holder lifts higher could prevent grief, since you might not have as much issue with the thread falling off while you’re sewing or threading your bobbin. And, yes! That happened to me!

For me, figuring out the need-to-know details and letting the rest go might’ve been tempting. Do yourself a favor, and don’t keep that thought process. There might be aspects of your machine that make for easier sewing, or that advance your capabilities in a way that a basic “Hey! I can thread the needle and bobbin!” don’t quite cover. Possible examples: Apparently, I have a reverse button on my machine I maybe never knew about, and a way to alter the tension. Who knew?! And if you don’t get to know your machine, by the way, don’t be surprised if you come out with stitches that look like these:

If you buy your sewing machine brand new, check out any instruction manual that comes with it. The reading might seem tedious, but that tedious task could be worth it when you don’t hate your sewing machine, like, twelve times per use (Am I exaggerating??? You decide!). If you buy yours used, don’t have a manual, or lose the manual, try looking online. I think I threw mine away (don’t do that!), but luckily there are videos available on Youtube that show the basics of running my model. I can’t encourage you enough to look into such information to learn what you can about your sewing machine! Doing so could extend your possibilities and preserve your nerves!

Your sewing machine is only as good as your ability to use it, so don’t hold yourself back by not learning about it properly.

And even if you did know all there is to know about your machine, forgetting details after a limited amount of use isn’t out of the realm of possibility. Think about all the math classes you had over the years. Even though you might’ve had formulas in your head for a time—like, for an exam—how many do you still remember? After a while, your sewing machine’s details might be so burrowed into your thought process that you can be away for a time and remember them, but don’t be too embarrassed to rediscover those details if you can’t bring them to mind. Something like which way your bobbin’s thread goes could be so small that you don’t remember it, but not knowing could complicate your sewing.

So that’s lesson number two, one I had to learn when I came back to my sewing machine after time away: Don’t be afraid to admit you don’t remember, or be too proud to look into how to do these things again. Your sewing machine is only as good as your ability to use it, so don’t hold yourself back by not learning about it properly—even if it isn’t the first time you’re learning about it! Don’t stop until you know what every button, knob, or contraption does!

Luxury Textiles in Italy

Luxury Textiles in Italy

 

Buongiorno from Italy! I am writing the second of my posts about my Fabric Frenzy this time in Italy!

Walking along the shops of Roma and Florence, each window brought new and unusual surprises.

My focus was to look for Italian cloth and textiles to compare to those at home. The lace articles were lovely, but I found a few exquisite and expensive treasures as well.  As I admired them, I thought about how they belonged here in the midst of people of high culture and class.  So many curtains in the windows were lace in even smaller villages I saw, a common elegance for many.

I wanted so much to buy yards and yards of the Hermes fabric and turn our home into one of Italian distinction.  I knew, however, it was only something I could dream about for that moment like the wonderful taste of the gelato I was eating as I strolled by the shops.

Only once did I come upon a shop that made curtains. It was a small establishment with racks of special order designs and a small loft above where the owner did the sewing. I was curious to ask what he charged to make drapes for the home, but my Italian was slight compared to his. So I just admired and appreciated his capability to create many yards of fabric into personal tastes for his clients.  Sewing is certainly not just a hobby here. It can be a “life line” for many.

Paper N’ Plastic

Paper N’ Plastic

I don’t know about you, but I love to save time and room, especially when it comes to my sewing space. One of the best ways to save time when you are preparing or working on a sewing project is organization. I find it so much easier to move from one step to next when everything is not scattered all over the place. With that being said, I have a helpful organization tip about storing your pattern pieces.

I prefer the slider bags, but the snap bags work just as well.

I prefer the slider bags, but the snap bags work just as well.

Have you ever opened your sewing pattern and taken out the beautiful folded paper pattern inside of it? Doesn’t look it look neat and tidy?! Well, have you tried to refold the paper pattern once it has been unfolded and put it back into that same pattern pack? Or even worse, have you tried to refold it once you have cut out the pattern pieces you need for project? Those of you who have successfully refolded your paper pattern and neatly placed it back into its package…well done!!! I think you are amazing magicians with wonderful refolding powers.

Sadly, for the rest of us (me included), it is a painful and tedious task (say that three times fast) to get the paper back into the pack. However, I have a found a solution that works great. All you need are permanent markers and plastic storage or freezer bags. I prefer the slider bags (see photo 1), but the snap bags work just as well. For one of my patterns, I used a 2.5-gallon jumbo slider bag because the pattern pieces were very large. You can adjust the size of your storage or freezer bag based on the size of your pattern pieces.

Place the pattern package in the bag with the paper pattern pieces (photo 2) in order to keep them all together.

Place the pattern package in the bag with the paper pattern pieces (photo 2) in order to keep them all together.

There are two ways that you can store your pattern pieces. The first way is to only cut out the pieces from the paper pattern that you will use for your sewing project. Then with remaining pattern paper, you can simply fold it to make it smaller and put it into the storage or freezer bag without having to make the shape precise in order to fit into the bag. The second way is to cut out all of the pieces found on the paper pattern and store them in the slider or snap plastic bag. The second way will also save you cutting time later should you decide to use the additional pattern pieces from the same sewing pattern for a future project. I also like to place the pattern package in the bag with the paper pattern pieces (photo 2) in order to keep them all together, especially because the pattern package contains fabric measurements and finished garment measurements that you may need to refer to in order to prepare for your sewing project.

Once you have your paper pattern and package in the bag, I would suggest using a permanent marker to label the bag with the corresponding pattern number (photo 3).

Use a permanent marker to label the bag with the corresponding pattern number.

Use a permanent marker to label the bag with the corresponding pattern number.

Side note: If the paper pattern pieces do not have the pattern number printed on it, mark the number on the pieces themselves so you will know to which pattern package and bag they belong. Write the number in a place on the pattern pieces that does not interfere with the pattern markings.

The bonus of using the storage or freezer bag is that it also provides you with space to make notes right on the bag. If you have, for example, a fabric idea or found an easier way to put the pattern together why you were sewing, you can simply put a note or reminder on the bag without having to mark all over the pattern or the pattern package. So there you have it…a simple and inexpensive way to organize your paper pieces without all that refolding hassle. Sewing is fun so do not let refolding and refitting take the joy away from you.

The Final Touches (And Reinforced Lessons)

The Final Touches (And Reinforced Lessons)

Remember on my last blog post when I proclaimed that sewing isn’t baking? In the latest stages of my quilt, I’ve once again found myself facing similar details and thoughts as the ones I experienced earlier. Why? Because — as I said before — guesstimations and “until-it-looks-right” attitudes don’t necessarily spill over from the kitchen to the sewing area.

My homemade backing.

My homemade backing.

You see, I completed all the main lines of a nearly-finished quilt. What that meant, to me, was that it was time to sew on some kind of backing. My tactic for doing so? Getting a flat sheet, cutting it *very* generically around the exterior of the quilt, and trying to fold the excess material down in an appealing manner for the outer edges of the quilt. I ended up with a mess that looked something like this:

Not good, right? And I couldn’t seem to fix the issue with the backing/quilt this way. Whenever I would try to re-pin something so that the massive/slanted corner was more size-and-style-similar to the line leading up to it, the material would twist unpleasantly (like you can see). This blatant issue led me to undoing most of my pin-and-sew work connecting the backing to the actual quilt, in hopes that the lines and corners would better match up.

The process this go-round was a bit more precise, in that the original wrinkles in the sheet had fallen out, and the overall quilt was more carefully positioned under the sheet for more accurate results. That’s right. Under the sheet. Rather than focusing on exactly where the backing would overlap on the front, I concerned myself with making sure that the back portion was somewhat smooth against the quilt blocks. My rationale was that if I could get that territory as it should be, I could flip it over and fold over the ends with more confidence that what I couldn’t see on the back was proficient enough to allow my focus to safely fall on what I could see. Basically, if the backing was smooth, I could do things, like better decide how much material needed to be beyond the quilt blocks to fold over and work with, without worrying so much that the material on the underside was bunched or wrong in some way:

Pins, pins and more pins!

Pins, pins and more pins!

Once I flipped it over, I cut off a bit of the backing material, and I took out the pins from one side (and admittedly—accidentally—a number more!). Some of the quilt had already been sewn (I’m currently thinking of redoing that section, by the way), but beyond that stopping point, I could fold over the excess material, tuck it under itself, and pin it back down so it would create a more pleasing line and corner:

Progress is progress for an early quilter, right?

Progress is progress for an early quilter, right?

Perfect? Eh. But progress is progress for an early quilter, right? And, perfect or not, this strategy seems to have helped.

Still, knowing if the strategy will prove effective throughout the rest of the process might be something I judge later. After all, I’m less than one line into it, and there are over three sides to go (not to mention inner attachments).

In any event, this particular dilemma has led me to another tactic in learning to quilt better, and that’s to look for answers online. I’ve looked at a quilting video before, but a number of things that I’ve attempted to do are details I could’ve found assistance for online. There are charts, for instance, about how big to cut blocks, or how large a certain size of quilt should be. I might’ve literally been the girl who measured a bed with measuring tape (not sewing tape!) to see how big I should make a quilt, which I wouldn’t have had to do if I’d looked at a chart! I wouldn’t be too surprised if I took more of my sewing/quilting concerns online to try and find answers for them in the future!

Hopefully, this quilt will be finished soon, and I’ll be able to move on to another project with the skills and lessons I’ve learned up to this point. And maybe one day, I can become the quilter I want to be!

Sewing My Heart Out

Sewing My Heart Out

Sewing brings back the unique, the personalized, the imagination, the heart. Everything you can imagine is on the market now. When I was a kid, hand-made gifts were common, and often better than anything store-bought. Now, I see my kids wearing what every other kid is wearing, carrying around the same backpacks and purses with brand names. Nothing seems to be unique anymore.

My passion for sewing started the usual way. My mom sewed household items for our use when I was a kid. She taught me well. But I grew up, got busy, and my sewing machine collected dust for about a decade. When I became a stay-at-home mom, I started sewing again to save money. And I started sewing gifts to friends and family, again for the same reason. I discovered something amazing. They loved my gifts. Really loved them! Before I knew it requests started pouring in. They used them or wore them and someone would say, “Where did you get that?” Pretty soon I was swamped.

They feel loved and truly special because of the effort put into a home-made gift rather than store-bought generics.

Requests kept me busy for several years now. I still don’t sell any of my creations despite much encouragement to do so. Every item I make is designed by me, usually with a particular person or use in mind. Therefore, every single item gets my time, attention, and a lot of love for each person I create something for. My friends love what I do. They feel loved and truly special because of the effort put into a home-made gift rather than store-bought generics.

Sewing expresses an amazing amount of heart. Whether in a business or as a hobby, sewing is done with love. Love for sewing, love for imagination, love for creating something unique and special for unique and special people.

Sew your heart out, and you’ll be amazed by the results!

“Pin”ny Time Savers

“Pin”ny Time Savers

All you need are clothes hangers, clothespins, and a marker or pen (not pictured).

All you need are clothes hangers, clothespins, and a marker or pen (not pictured).

Whether you are new to sewing and quilting or just love to follow commercial patterns, you quickly find out that once you cut out your pattern pieces, they are EVERYWHERE. Along your pattern cutting journey, you may get a little lost, especially trying to keep track of “which piece goes where” and “what label is this piece?” After all your cutting is done and it is time to reach for your cut pattern pieces to begin sewing or quilting, you find you find yourself spending even more time figuring out which one is “A, B, C” or “1, 2, 3”. Here is a handy solution to help you organize your fabric pattern pieces with items you probably already have at home.

First, use a marker or pen to label the clothespins based on the labels found on the pattern pieces or the pattern guide.

First, use a marker or pen to label the clothespins based on the labels found on the pattern pieces or the pattern guide.

All you need are clothes hangers, clothespins, and a marker or pen (not pictured). First, use a marker or pen to label the clothespins based on the labels found on the pattern pieces or the pattern guide. Using a permanent marker may make it easier to write on the clothespin, especially if it is made out of plastic. When choosing the marker and pen, make sure that you choose an ink that will be very easy and quick to see on the clothespin. (The goal is to make find your pattern pieces easier.)

Second, once you have labeled the clothespins, clip them on the hanger. To make finding the pins easier, place the labeled clothespin in alphabetical and numerical order. Continue clipping the pins onto the hanger until you have all your pins in a row. If you run out of space, use additional hangers until you have all of our labeled clothespins on a hanger.

Once you have labeled the clothespins, clip them on the hanger. Finally, attach the cut fabric pieces to their corresponding labeled clothespin by clipping the fabric to the hanger.

Once you have labeled the clothespins, clip them on the hanger. Finally, attach the cut fabric pieces to their corresponding labeled clothespin by clipping the fabric to the hanger.

Finally, attach the cut fabric pieces to their corresponding labeled clothespin by clipping the fabric to the hanger. For quilting patterns, there may be many pieces that same labels (for example, a repeating quilting pattern). In those cases, clip several pieces with the same label on the same pin. If there are a large amount of pieces with the same label and the clothespin get too bulky, create several clothespins with the same label. Organize the clothespins with identical labels next to each other for convenient and quick access.

Now you can hang the hanger on a door handle, a rod, or a rack. Place your fabric pattern hanger in a location this close to your project a quick reach to start your sewing and quilting. This idea not only helps to organize your pattern pieces, but it also helps to organize your sewing process. It can be such a distraction to have pattern pieces scattered all over your sewing and quilting workspace. A great sewing and quilting project takes focus and time. Organization around you in the workshop help you focus on project and saves you the time of having to search for your pattern pieces and figure out which piece it is.

The beauty of sewing and quilting is its creativity, attention to detail, and precision. Let this handy solution give you the freedom to put all of your time and energy into those things. So check out your closets or laundry rooms for the clothespins and hangers that will save you sewing and quilting time. But, just in case you want to go a purchase new one just for your sewing and quilting space, have fun with colors, prints, textiles, and more. From hardware stores to houseware stores, the possibilities are endless. Spruce up your creative environment with fashionable hangers and fancy clothespins to create a simple gadget that will help to make your sewing and quilting experience less frustrating and more exciting.

How Many Sewing Machines Do you Need?

How Many Sewing Machines Do you Need?

A subjective question, perhaps. In the cycling world, of which I am part, the number of bicycles is defined as x + 1 where x = the number of bikes you currently own. I suppose the same formula could be applied to sewing machine ownership. I’m continually fascinated by the scope and design of new machines and confess that, if I could, I would adopt one of virtually every machine I see.
Everyone I know in the film business owns at least one Bernina. For many, their Bernina is their prime machine, the one they use most often.

As a professional tailor and pattern maker in the film and television industry for about 25 years, I’m always on the lookout for a something that can make my job easier and more efficient. I, as I suspect most tailors do, have a small collection of machines that I consider my ‘go-to’s’, that I can’t imagine doing my job without.

1. Juki High Speed Single Needle Straight Lockstitch Industrial Sewing Machine

I have an old model of this machine, the DDL-555-4. The beauty of this machine is that it only does one thing: sew in a straight line. And it does it exceptionally well. Even my old model is smoother and more sensitive than many domestic machines. Five layers of denim or a single layer of chiffon emerge from the presser foot with no complaint and straight, even, stitches. I rarely even have to adjust the tension. And the Juki is fast. The newer models have a speed adjustment on the motors so if you want to start out a little slower you can.

Check out the current models, the DDL 8700 and the DDL 5550 N and go test drive one if you can. I think you’ll be able to tell right away that it’s a machine that will quickly pay for itself.

2. Brother lightweight Portable Machine

My SC 9500, which is similar to the CS-5055, is the most incredible inexpensive machine I’ve come across in my twenty some years of sewing. Not only is it lightweight enough to put in a tote bag and carry on your shoulder but it also sews like a champ. I use it most often for its pre programmed buttonholes and stretch stitching. In my experience, a lot of domestic machines produce less than ideal buttonholes. The Brother never falters: each buttonhole is perfect and akin in quality to those in manufactured clothing (where they use a machine that does nothing but buttonholes).

3. Bernina

Everyone I know in the film business owns at least one Bernina. For many, their Bernina is their prime machine, the one they use most often. I’ve yet to find a model, or hear of one, that doesn’t work well. I have an old mechanical model, which is still made in the form of a 1008. The advantages of a mechanical sewing machine lie in its durability and ease of use. I keep my old school Bernina mechanical on the wardrobe truck of whatever show I’m currently working on. I’ve had the same one for twenty years and its never ever failed me – despite years of being knocked around and asked to do impossible things like sewing through three layers of glued leather in an inordinate short amount of time.

4. Reliable Blind Hem Machine

A good blind hemmer that doesn’t snag or pull and is easily adjusted for varying fabric weights is essential to my tailoring work. The Reliable is just that, reliable. The setup is easy and the machine, though technically not a portable, does pack up nicely and can be transported to a work site.

5. Serger

There are so very many sergers to choose from. The first question to answer when choosing which one to buy is: what you will mainly be using the machine for? Do you need something to efficiently finish seams? Or will you be sewing entire garments with it? Do you want a machine that also does a cover stitch?

My favorite is the Juki Garnet Line MO-623 1 needle 2/3 thread Serger. The machine is dependable, smooth, easy to thread, and fast. The automatic rolled hem feature is game changing. As opposed to many machines where you need to change the presser foot, with the Juki, you manipulate the fabric with built in fingertip control.

Country Kitchen Mug Rug

DIY – Country Kitchen Mug Rug

Country Kitchen Mug Rug.

Country Kitchen Mug Rug.

Mug rugs are extremely popular in the sewing world. They are usually fairly easy to sew and are generally easy to customize. Mug rugs make quick, easy, fabulous personalized gifts. I made a bunch of them personalized to the tastes and colors of each individual for friends and family. It wasn’t long before the requests for a second for work or for a child or friend of theirs came in. I absolutely love designing these. They don’t take long to make and I get to play with all sorts of fabric designs. They’re a wonderful project to add personality and flare to.

“Okay,” you say, “this sounds wonderful, fabulous, awesome. But what in the world is a mug rug?”

What is a Mug Rug? A Mug Rug is a cross between a full size place mat and a coaster. Smaller than a place mat, there is usually just enough room for a coffee or tea mug and a snack. They work perfectly for that breakfast coffee or an afternoon snack of tea and cookies. Typically the front side is the focus of designs and decals. The back is usually just one piece of decent fabric. The back fabric can match the colors or design on the front or can be completely different. If spills occur, just flip it over and finish your cup before tossing it in the dirty laundry.

Country Kitchen Mug Rug

Level: Beginner

Time to Complete: In an Hour

Sewn by: Machine-1/4 in. straight stitch except where indicated

**Tip** Wash all new materials prior to use to avoid shrinkage when you wash it later on.

**Tip** Iron cut pieces before sewing and in between each step. This helps in the sewing process and the end results will look more professional.

Country Kitchen Mug Rug.

Country Kitchen Mug Rug.

Materials:

  • 2 – 12″ L x 8″ W  Front/Back
  • 1 – 12″ L x 8″ W Cotton Batting
  • 2 –   7″ L x 2 1/2″ W Farm Animals

**Tip** I used material in my massive fabric collection. I always get new ideas every time I dig into my stash. It’s a great way to dream up new projects.

  1. Cut out fabric.
  2. Place front piece and batting together, right sides out.
  3. Pin farm animals to front and batting pieces and sew with 1/8 in. seam allowance. Any stitch is fine. I like to get creative and use the more decorative stitches when attaching smaller pieces to the overall product. I used a basic zig zag stitch.

    Panel of common stitches.

    Panel of common stitches.

  4. **Tip** I’ve been experimenting with decorative stitches I’ve never used. My Singer Advance has tons of decorative stitches. The owner’s manual describes the use of each stitch. I’ve also gone online to research stitches and to see how and for what projects others used them. Pay attention to the manual for any adjustments to stitch length or tension. Some stitches require adjustment changes. And, don’t forget to change settings back to auto when moving back to a straight stitch.  
  5. I used a basic zig zag stitch.
  6. Place front and back right sides together. Make sure to mark a 3 in. to 4 in. opening to pull the fabric right side out. I place pins vertical instead of horizontal pins at the opening so I know where to stop.

    Mark area to be left open.

    Mark area to be left open.

  7.  At this stage the cotton batting should be on the outside. We need it inside when we pull the fabric right side out.
  8. Sew with 1/4 in. seam allowance, leaving the open space.
  9. Cut corners. Turn fabric right side out. Shape mug rug and push out       corners.
  10. ** Tip** Cutting a small amount off the corners before turning material right side out allows for better-shaped corners when turned right side out. I use a pencil to shape the corners.

    Cut corners close to stitching.

    Cut corners close to stitching.

  11. Iron. Ironing at this stage is important to flatten material and inside seams before top stitching.
  12. Top stitch with 1/8 in. allowance around entire front side to give it a finished look as well as hold down your seams on the inside. Also make sure to stitch over the opening used to pull the fabric right side out. Iron.
  13. Viola! Finished!

Time to celebrate. Take a well-deserved break, make some coffee or tea, sit back and ENJOY!

Coffee break!

Coffee break!

I hope you enjoyed this project. If you have any questions or comments, please share! Any ideas, shortcuts, or other contributions are welcome.

I would love receiving picture posts showcasing your Country Kitchen Mug Rug creations 🙂

You are more than welcome to suggest project ideas. What would you like to see and learn? Let’s journey together!

Dashing Dish Mat

DIY – Dashing Dish Mat

Dishes everywhere! I’ve been learning how to cook from scratch. I also made the wonderful journey into the world of baking bread. Yay, so much fun! Boo, so many dishes that must be hand-washed. Oh no, can’t just throw them in the dishwasher!  My beloved husband’s coffee pot may only be moved upon threat of death, so I created a dish mat to fit our small, unique space.

Viola! The Dashing Dish Mat!

Before:

Impossible dish counter space.

Impossible dish counter space.

After:

Beautiful organization, bright space.

Beautiful organization, bright space.

Level: Beginner

Time to Complete: In an hour

Sewn By Machine: 1/4 in. straight stitch except where indicated

**Tip: Wash all new materials prior to use to avoid shrinkage when you wash it later on.

**Tip: Iron cut pieces before sewing and in between each step. This helps in the sewing process and the end results will look more professional.

Materials.

Materials.

Materials:

1 – 26 1/2″ L x 14 1/2″ W     Terry Cloth long part of L- for back side

1 – 13″ L x 17″ W                 Terry Cloth short part of L- for back side

3 – 27″ L x  5″ W                  Colorful fabric strips

3 – 5″ L x 17″ W                   Colorful fabric strips

  1. Measure the area where the dish mat will be. My dish mat will be L-shaped so I had to take measurements for each side. Final measurements – For lengthwise section, 26 1/2″ L x 14 1/2″ W. For L piece, 13″ L x 17″ W. I always use measuring tape instead of a ruler when measuring spaces. Measuring tape is flexible and much longer than most rulers. I add an 1/2″ to 1″ in. depending on the project to account for the material that will be used for seams. Otherwise the end project will be shorter than I want.
  2. Cut the terry cloth for the back side. Cut fabric strips.
  3. Sew two pieces of terry cloth together, right side together 1/4″ with regular straight stitch.
    • **Tip: Make sure you have the smaller L portion of the terry cloth on the correct side. This can be tricky. When you match right side together with terry cloth and fabric sides, make sure they are both on the correct side. I had to rip stitches and sew the terry cloth on the other side. I use a seam ripper with a safety ball so I cut only what I want and don’t end up ripping other areas of the fabric. 
    • **Tip: Don’t let mistakes discourage you. I make mistakes all the time, as is obvious with my terry cloth L error. Rip stitches, go back a step, start from scratch. Sewing is an adventure, and sometimes those mistakes turn into great ideas!

      Example of strip stitching.

      Example of strip stitching.

  4. Sew the vertical strips together, right sides together. Sew the horizontal strips together, right sides together. Then sew the vertical strips and horizontal strips together, on the right side.
  5. Sew the terry cloth back and the striped front together right sides together. Leave one end open to pull the fabric through.

    Outside pieces facing together.

    Outside pieces facing together.

  6. Cut off the corners before pulling the fabric through.
  7. Pull the fabric through. Iron.
  8. Top stitch all the seams for the strips. This adds a professional look as well as making sure the seams don’t cause problems later. Iron.
  9. Top stitch all around the outside. Make sure to sew the side that was left open to pull the fabric through. Iron.
    Top stitching seams.

    Top stitching seams.

    • **Tip: A creative use of thread colors can really make a project pop. Top stitching any of the seams in different colors or in a color that would really stand out against the fabric can be that “extra touch” that makes everyone say “Wow, you made that? Could you make one for me?”
    • Place on your kitchen counter and enjoy washing dishes!

I hope you enjoyed this project. If you have any questions or comments, please share! Any ideas, shortcuts, or other contributions are welcome.

I would love receiving picture posts from you showcasing your dish mat creations 🙂