New Year, New Challenges: The Psychology of Sewing

New Year, New Challenges: The Psychology of Sewing

How many times do we seriously plan things, and within days or hours, our plans change. I used to think I prefer knowing what will happen ahead of time so I can grasp the idea, plan it to my specifications, and control the outcome. Not very many things happen that way.

So last time I wrote, I had a nice New Year’s Resolution list made up for myself. I was ready to learn new things, implement new creative expressions, and sew a rug made of scraps. That was a few days before New Year’s Day.

Now, the middle of January, about 2 days ago, I was able to sit and sew a project I have been thinking about. Sewing is so therapeutic, you forget where you are and the daily chores of life. But now, my Resolutions have been pretty much scrapped. Time changes things so quickly.

Turn that frown upside down

Now, I’m finding myself in a position to decide how to decorate a new home we are building. “Wonderful, you say! Congratulations!” Blushing but thankful, I tell you, “Thank you, but the downside is I’m losing my room for sewing.” For now, I have a countertop that wraps around half the room where I can cut, sew, press, lay out patterns, and holds my computer. Plus tons of shelves for fabric, ribbon, thread, and many other non-sewing related supplies. What will I do?

We determined that I will use the large guest room upstairs for my sewing projects, but it will be deemed a guest bedroom as well. So, gone are the days, of leaving my projects in different stages, and not worrying about things left out. I have to be neat and organized ie. (no thread on the floor) so if we should get company, (my daughter visits frequently) that room will be presentable. OMG, such pressure! I’m already stressed. I can’t even get away and be creative because my room has to be in picture perfect order and stay that way (much like the rest of the house by the way, as my in-laws will be living with us).

So, I need your help! I will explain later. I’m making a checklist of some things, I need to purchase if I am going to continue my psychological sewing retreat. At least I have until late July to decide.

Making a list – checking it twice

First is a desk. I like this one. Nice and neat!

See it here:

Fashion Sewing Cabinets of America 8300 Cloud 9

Or:

Sylvia Design Model 1520 Quilters Work Station

Then a rolling bag to store the sewing machine out of sight while my guest suite is being occupied.

Bluefig TB 23Travel Bag 23″ Julie

Also a box of Aerofil Incredible Threadable Quilt Box Maderia Thread so I can keep the thread bobbins and thread and neatly put away.

Then there’s the fabric and trims, buttons and numerous other collections. That worries me most. I would love to hear your suggestions on how to scale back and organize and still have the ability to retreat to my passion in my changing lifestyle. I hope all will not be lost even with a more spacious house and elder care ahead. One never knows! As for you, my advice is:

Keep sewing, it’s good for the soul! Until next time.

New Year Resolutions

New Year Resolutions

New Year Resolutions

Where has the time gone? This year is almost over, and has gone by so fast. The last week of the year is my time to regroup, reduce (stuff) and reorganize for the coming year. A fresh start, another chance, a new agenda and personal growth. What a great idea! Moving forward in positive movement to find ways I can inspire people to continue their love of sewing by finding interesting facts and ideas to share. I am EXCITED!!

Take scraps and make a woven rag rug with a wonderful and colorful texture!

Take scraps and make a woven rag rug with a wonderful and colorful texture!

My Plan is the following:

  1. Research textiles and discover ways they are used in various applications in sewing and other art forms. My favorite is mixed media using sewing, quilting, tie dying plain fabric and other ways to create 3D artwork.
  2. Make new curtains for my sewing studio using drapery fabric. Choosing one is the hardest task!
  3. Experiment with different types of sewing feet like the Narrow Hem Foot to make professionally stitched napkins, table cloths and handmade scarves that will make people think you bought them from expensive designers! And some are very expensive!
  4. Use the wide variety of stitches on my machine to create interesting embroidery on quilt squares to piece together to create a scene or story. It is amazing how many things you can do. It may be a great time to upgrade your sewing machine to a designer model next year! Check this website for your choices! Sewingmachinesplus.com is the best place to buy. They offer many great choices!!
  5. Reduce scraps, and pieces of fabric that can be made into a crazy quilt, or used for small projects for a children’s class project. (This is difficult for me because I always think of something I can make from them.
  6. Design fresh ideas for NaturaDomani, my online Etsy Store. I hope to make a difference in the interest of organic fabrics, bamboo, hemp, and other eco-friendly textiles to save trees, water conservation and hazardous working conditions and to preserve beautiful things of Nature.
  7. Find outlets for charitable giving to pay forward Etsy sales and products.
  8. MOST IMPORTANT! Inspire my readers to use your creativity in sewing, and in life, to find happiness in yourself by learning new things and enjoying your achievements. Also, to embrace love and the love of others so that 2017 will become one of your very BEST YEARS!
I find it fun to share my sewing experiences with you as I am building an online presence at Etsy.com. While I sew, I realize that as careful as I stitch, handmade things are never perfect. It’s the challenge and effort that counts.

I find it fun to share my sewing experiences with you as I am building an online presence at Etsy.com. While I sew, I realize that as careful as I stitch, handmade things are never perfect. It’s the challenge and effort that counts.

HAPPY NEW YEAR AND BEST WISHES FOR 2017

A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol

LET ME SEW!! LET ME SEW! LET ME SEW!!

LET ME SEW!! LET ME SEW! LET ME SEW!!

The Holiday Season is here. Traffic is fearful! The malls are busy. The wine I just drank is making me dizzy. I’m stressing about the time, it is getting too near. What on earth can I give to my “people” this year?

The house is a mess with all the sewing I’ve done, scraps and pins on the floor, dozens of threads on the chairs. It is too overwhelming, sometimes I want to run!

The tree is not up, the cookies not done. I’m afraid this Christmas will not be any FUN!

The “walking” foot broke, and I cried, “OH GREAT”! Now, I have to be careful to sew these dang top-stitches super, super straight. It HAD to break now, it was truly my fate!

A little more Vin Brulee, and I start reviewing my stash. I got to find some things I can take to this family Christmas bash!

Gina wants napkins, roosters and hens, I have to make 4 more, and I’ll be finished with them.

Gina wants napkins, Roosters and hens, I have to make 4 more, And I’ll be finished with them.

UNPAPER TOWELS SEEM TO BE A BIG HIT!

These Cotton Organic Tiny Towels would be a great fit, for the all the girls in the family, for make up and noses, especially for Robyn, when her man proposes!

These Cotton Organic Tiny Towels would be a great fit, for the all the girls in the family, for make up and noses, especially for Robyn, when her man proposes!

Now, I hear a baby crying. I think its next door. This young girl had twins, I hope there won’t be more.

Great! I found some wipes for the GUYS. Soft Organic cotton jersey as well, so very well made, for noses, and devices, I’ll give them a pair, to carry in their pocket for even their sunwear!

Great! I found some wipes for the GUYS. Soft Organic cotton jersey as well, so very well made, for noses, and devices, I’ll give them a pair, to carry in their pocket for even their sunwear!

I am sure by now, she is needing a break. So what do I have here that she would gladly take? Not just a blanket, or a quilt that she would put away. Something useful, and helpful and durable too.

Cute little gingerbread wipes for  tiny, tiny fingers, and nice thirsty burp cloths to pat out the bubbles, if the milk still lingers!

I still have more presents to make, so, let me bid you adieu.

My very best wishes and the Merriest of Holidays from my house to you!

My Feet Were Made for Walking

My Feet Were Made for Walking

Hi Everyone and Happy Thanksgiving Weekend!

Using the walking foot, means taking off the shank that supports the regular feet and inserting the walking foot unit and the backwards “C” clamp to the screw that holds the needle. Also, the bar inserted behind this walking foot holds down the fabric while the walking foot moves over the fabric as it sews.

Using the walking foot, means taking off the shank that supports the regular feet and inserting the walking foot unit and the backwards “C” clamp to the screw that holds the needle. Also, the bar inserted behind this walking foot holds down the fabric while the walking foot moves over the fabric as it sews.

Perhaps you have had the challenge of trying to sew stretch and non-stretch fabric together? I used to agonize over the idea when I can get two pieces of fabric, one a stretch bamboo and the other quilting cotton, and cut them perfectly the same measurements with my acrylic ruler, and rotary blade cutter, and pin them together matching all sides. When I put them in my machine, it always turns out, the stretch fabric is larger than the non-stretch when I have completed the seam. So, to resolve that, I have to measure the seam line with my ruler, and trim the stretch fabric to 1/4 inch seam line that matches the quilting cotton.

Just keep trimming

I have found that trimming that seam on the inside as perfectly even as possible results in great guide to top-stitch the outside after it has been turned. I also round off the corners rather than cut them straight before turning to the right side of the fabric.

I have sewn the first top-stitch row just using a Type A foot. The row (in progress) close to the edge is done with my walking foot. Using this, if I watch the edge of the sides, as they line up when stitched, my top-stitching turns nice and straight. SLOW AND EASY STITCHING! The bar on the left that stabilizes the fabric is adjustable as well.

I have sewn the first top-stitch row just using a Type A foot. The row (in progress) close to the edge is done with my walking foot. Using this, if I watch the edge of the sides, as they line up when stitched, my top-stitching turns nice and straight. SLOW AND EASY STITCHING! The bar on the left that stabilizes the fabric is adjustable as well.

Many of my projects are top-stitched either with a decorative stitch which is overcast or something that blends with the fabric design. Now with embroidery machines so popular, I seldom see people utilizing the great automatic stitches like those on my Husqvarna Viking 670. With 200 stitches available, one’s creativity can soar! Why not take advantage of it?

Top-notch-stitching

Top-stitching is tricky! To be perfect, it takes a consistent eye to guide the machine in the same place all the way around the project usually very close to the edge. Possibly, an edging foot for quilting may work well for ¼ inch spacing, (although I have not tried that). I most often use that foot to piece guilts. What I have found that does a great job is a walking foot. I use it to sew seams with the different stretch and non-stretch fabric. Again, I trim the seam before turning to the right side.

I also like to make wider stitches for top-stitching using a beautiful premium thread. My favorite is Cotton Mako Auriful, an Egyptian cotton made in Italy. It makes top-stitching look very professional.

I also like to make wider stitches for top-stitching using a beautiful premium thread. My favorite is Cotton Mako Auriful, an Egyptian cotton made in Italy. It makes top-stitching look very professional.

So, I hope you enjoyed learning about the “Walking Foot” today. I enjoy knowing that my products have the professional finishes that make handmade sewing equal to expensive alternatives. I would be happy to hear your comments or things you have discovered on your walk of sewing and fabrics!

Pojagi - The Art Form of Korean Quilting

Pojagi – The Art Form of Korean Quilting

I have always had a fascination with brightly colored things. The beauty of the sun shining through the trees, through the clouds, and even through the window gives such a warm feeling and the appreciation of nature and our surroundings. I especially love the beauty of stained glass windows in the ancient churches and buildings in Germany and Italy. The sun shining through the color seemed to draw me into the grace of the house built so long ago and so carefully maintained as to not disrupt the aura it was intended to project.

One time, not so long ago, I was intrigued by some pictures that were like stained glass, but made with mostly irregular blocks and random shapes of fabric.

Pojagi

Sometimes referred to as “Bojagi”, this is a highly improvisational project to do what you feel!

Sometimes referred to as “Bojagi”, this is a highly improvisational project to do what you feel!

Light can be seen through the block which shows outlines of the seams around them, as well as diffused color of the fabric in each block. The interesting part is some were made with one color or neutral colors, and as I researched, I found many others were pleasing to the eye with multiple colors.

The art form I was seeing was called “Pojagi”, which was started about 2000 years ago in Ancient Korea. Pojagi was made by hand stitching fabrics like ramie (which is similar to hemp or (linen), cotton, and silk formed into 14” squares to wrap and carry things. Even today, it is said the Korean parliament uses Pojagi to transport documents.

Tools of the trade

Women took old clothes and repurposed them into these wrapping cloths. It was a highly creative way to do improvisational designs from old clothes, scraps, and multiple fabrics, using only what was available to them. They would turn down the fabric from the top ¼ inch and crease it with a Clover Hera Tool.

I was interested to learn that a Hera tool was a sharp piece of hard plastic, that when pressed on fabric, makes a visible crease on both front and back of the fabric. How convenient would that be rather than measuring with a ruler and ironing that edge?

The left side is machine stitched with an Overcast stitch. The right side is hand stitched. Both have no raw edges showing on either side.

The left side is machine stitched with an Overcast stitch. The right side is hand stitched. Both have no raw edges showing on either side.

This example is a “work in progress” of mine. I started making panels to cover a closet opening, and quickly decided I needed more fabric than I have. So it is one more thing I have on my project list to complete.

This example is a “work in progress” of mine. I started making panels to cover a closet opening, and quickly decided I needed more fabric than I have. So it is one more thing I have on my project list to complete.

When the crease was made all the way across the fabric piece, the top is picked up folded inward and hand stitched. Then hand-stitching is done along that fold. From the side, the seam is folded down toward each other. The result is what we call “Flat Fell Seams”. The best way to describe them is they are a row of 2 seams with no fraying edges, finished both inside and outside. (Like the seams on your jeans!)

Although it was used by all economic classes in Korean history, Pojagi had categories based on the fabric and who the recipient of the cloth would be. For instance, a princess would receive a lined Pojagi possibly made with silk, where as a commoner may be something coarser like ramie or hemp. They were called different names by type as well.

Modern use

This is a portion of my closet screen hung in the window. I love that you can see the flat fell seams like outlines around the fabric, and the soft colors showing the fiber. There is lace behind that panel so it is makes it interesting!

This is a portion of my closet screen hung in the window. I love that you can see the flat fell seams like outlines around the fabric, and the soft colors showing the fiber. There is lace behind that panel so it is makes it interesting!

Today, pojagi is used as screens, curtains, wall hangings, or sometimes fabric sewn on top of each other, irregular shapes and sizes, even repurposed clothing. Pojagi is a great improv project to do whatever design appeals to you.

No measuring and using scraps, even sometimes fabric sewn on top of each other, irregular shapes and sizes, pojagi truly brings out your creativity.

No measuring and using scraps, even sometimes fabric sewn on top of each other, irregular shapes and sizes, pojagi truly brings out your creativity. It takes time to sew by hand, however, sewing by machine made me feel that I was cheating myself of the real Korean experience. I did complete this one panel for my closet, however. It is lined at the back with cotton duck type material for strength.

I hope you will be inspired to research this unusual art form and make a square or two. You may decide the freedom of expression is something you were missing all along.

I would love to hear your comments or see your designs in Pogaji!

Sew It Straight and Square

Sew It Straight and Square

I wanted to take an opportunity to tell you about something I learned very early in my sewing experience. Hopefully, it will help when you have to square off fabric for blocks or other things.

When I resumed by sewing hobby after being away for several years, I found many things have changed. Well, me for one, because I started out thinking I would make a few things, have a sewing machine available for mending, and leave it at that. I wanted to make a shirt or two.

But, never, in my wildest dreams, I thought I would have an interest in quilting. Being able to buy many different fabrics, mix them up, find harmony between them, and create an awesome piece of art was exciting!

So my first fabric obsession started with “fat quarters”. You know, they are bundles of one designer’s collection, or curated by someone else mostly sold in online fabric stores offering 10, 15, 20 or more pieces that have the same colors or coordinating fabrics! Oh… shopping online!! A whole other obsession!! Sorry. I got distracted!

But, I knew right off, I couldn’t cut them with fabric shears or pinking shears. It would take years off my life.

So, today I want to share how I learned to share how to cut “ fat quarters” for multiple precise pieces all at once.

Three tools necessary for straight and square pieces:

  1. Rotary cutter
  2. Acrylic ruler – my favorite 24 x 6 inches, but I also love 14 x 8 inches. Another handy one is 12 x 6 inches. I use them all.
  3. A self-healing cutting mat, measured in centimeters and inches. One with measurements is the KEY here.

Most Important!

RULE #1 – Never Cut Toward Yourself or Sideways with a Rotary Cutter – Always Away from Your Body

RULE #2 – Measure Twice and Cut Once

  1. Open 21 x 18 inch piece. Press with iron flattening fold creases. It makes a difference, you will see!
  2. Cut away selvage edge. You will have the longest part on the mat. Do not double the fabric and trim as close to the edge of the selvage as possible.
  3. Refold the length piece in half by taking the left side and match the edges on the right side where the selvage was.
  4. Square right hand edge with ruler and mat. Take off just a little sliver. Then trim the opposite side for threads. Not much to do there if it is square.
    • Now, the left has a fold, the top is folded two times giving you 4 layers of fabric. The top folded pieces have to be shaved too and the left side so you will still have exactly 9 inches on those two sides if you are careful.
    • Are you still here? Almost done!
  5. Line up the longer piece with the ruler, and trim off the small 2 inch piece to have 4 perfectly squared 9 x 9 pieces. The best part is you only lose about 1 ½” of the fabric by cutting it this way.

However, if you are feeling bold… and you put:

Beautiful 8 x 8 inch napkins ready for your next meal or party.

Beautiful 8 x 8 inch napkins ready for your next meal or party.

Right sides together, sew up the sides at ¼ inch leaving an inch or two (somewhere close to the end but not the corner) to turn them to their right sides, press seams, pin opening closed and top-stitch around all sides.

Then you have:

Beautiful 8 x 8 inch napkins ready for your next meal or party.

I would love to hear your comments or questions. Stop by and see me again soon!

Organic Fabric for the Future

Organic Fabric for the Future

What a beautiful day!

What a beautiful day!

Last time, I described how excited I was to begin working on some conservationist ideas I have about designing items with organic fabric for baby items, for newborns and small children. I named my article, Natura Domani which means “ Nature Tomorrow” in Italian.

Then, I came to realize quickly that everyone, the whole family, can be using products that replace paper and use natural products for everyday living. If everyone just thought for a moment, how many paper products we use on a daily basis, it would be overwhelming. Think of the negative effect this has on our forests.

Think of the trees we could save, like these in Connecticut. They were so beautiful and green.

Think of the trees we could save, like these in Connecticut. They were so beautiful and green.

Then, think of the trees we could save, like these in Connecticut. They were so beautiful and green.

So, I started brainstorming the products I could make to make a difference on our carbon footprint. The first was to save the trees, and replace paper with fabric, specifically bamboo fabric.

I have begun using organic thread to ensure a pure, safer product for babies and children.

I have begun using organic thread to ensure a pure, safer product for babies and children.

Then, I thought about the chemically-intensive production of cotton. Harsh pesticides are used, and in some foreign countries where cotton is produced, the water sources are getting polluted as the chemical waste is dumped into the water and also the environment, plus causing a work hazard as well. An alternative to this nature-depleting production is the farming of organic cotton.

An alternative to this nature-depleting production is the farming of organic cotton.

An alternative to this nature-depleting production is the farming of organic cotton.

I have begun using organic thread as well to ensure a pure, safer product not only for babies and children, but for today’s and tomorrow’s generations.

The most exciting part of my message is that I feel compelled to share information about organic fabrics and sustainability of our environment to others. Many people talk about going green, eco-conservation, toxic chemicals, and water pollution. They just talk, and not act. So join me in making “baby steps” to make a difference. Replace paper with reusable organic fabric, softer, quick-drying and safer for the environment.

Natura Domani on Etsy.com.

Natura Domani on Etsy.com.

About two weeks ago, I made a big step toward doing something. It has been on my “bucket” list for quite some time, but since my visit to Italy where the country has preserved so much of their surroundings and natural beauty, I had this strong inclination to put it into action. My desire to spread the word is my new shop called “Natura Domani” on Etsy.com.

So reflect about what I have said here, and comment about what un-paper articles would help you save Nature for Tomorrow. For us, and for our children, and their children.

NATURA DOMANI…NATURE TOMORROW We all can make a difference. Until we meet again!

Nature Tomorrow – NATURA DOMANI

Nature Tomorrow – NATURA DOMANI

I am so happy you stopped by. In my last post, “Nature Babe” I discussed finding different types of fabric to construct some little things for babies. Since then, I have been working on Bamboo Baby Wash Cloths as well as using Organic Cotton products.

I have been working on Bamboo Baby Wash Cloths as well as using Organic Cotton products

Bamboo. It’s Not Just Panda Food

I am always looking for ways I can trim things with lace or ribbon.

I am always looking for ways I can trim things with lace or ribbon.

Can you see and feel the softness? It is tiny baby loop Bamboo. I edged it with an overcast stitch on my machine, so it gives the finished product a spa-quality look rather than serged edges. I prefer sewing a seam right sides together and reversing the fabric for larger articles, then I top-stitch for durability rather than using a serger. Plus, I am always looking for ways I can trim things with lace or ribbon. I should have lived in the Victorian era!

Research shows these products are becoming popular as there are many things that are being made in these environmental friendly fabrics. For instance, the softness of bamboo is exceptional for making burp cloths, diaper inserts, blankets, mattress covers and plush animals. Many companies that sell bamboo have great information on this fabric. According to the Bamboo Clothing website (a clothing line in the UK) there are many good points about using bamboo fabric.

Bamboo Fabric Facts:

  • Good for sensitive skin
  • Antibacterial – bacteria does not live well on the fabric
  • It acts as moisture wicking
  • It is 100% bio-degradable
  • Is the fastest growing plant and yield the same volume as cotton in only 10% of the land
  • Bamboo requires very little water or rain

Did you know bamboo is a species of the grass family?

And Now for Something Completely Different…

Tiny Towels.

Tiny Towels.

Next, I did something quite different. I used Organic Cotton knit and made what I call “Tiny Towels”. These itty-bitty towelettes are 5 x 4 inch wipes perfect for small messes. They could be used for washing baby faces, freshen up wipes or makeup application. I used a few myself and they are a wonderful change from shredding cotton balls or pads – and the great thing is these dry quickly!

Thinking of the Future

The reason I titled this blog post Nature Tomorrow is that while traveling in Italy and on a recent trip to Connecticut, I came to realize that there are just so many different ways to conserve our environment. Unfortunately, I just don’t think enough people are doing everything they can. Our beautiful green Earth is fill with so many beautiful forests, lakes and streams. So much waste and harmful chemicals drain into water from the production of products for our world. My only hope is that there will be Nature Tomorrow for our changing world. NATURA DOMANI… IN ITALIAN.

Back to Baby Basics

Diamond Soaker Thermal.

Diamond Soaker Thermal.

Next, I made a pad that provides extra protection for baby in the crib or just relaxing playing on the floor. It is made from Diamond Soaker Thermal. It is extremely soft as well and has three thin layers for warmth. It is made so that if water drops on it, it stays on top, however, pressure makes it absorb into the top – just not so much on the bottom. Its wicking quality is very good for under layers of clothing. The fabric is definitely water holding but not waterproof. Back in the day, I used a rubberized type of pad with a flannel top to keep the crib sheets and mattress from becoming wet. This is so much softer. I believe it would be good for diaper inserts as well, but I am not ready for a diaper business just yet. Baby steps to start!

I would love to hear your comments about bamboo and organic materials at the bottom of my blog. Ciao, Ciao!!

All natural fabric babe

Nature Babe

My first blog here explained my passion for finding fabric and developing an idea to use it. Yes, I am truly crazy about fabric and color. I think about each piece and decide if it is something I want to work on. That being said, I find it is very overwhelming because there are so many different types of textiles, and also so many uses. With each new discovery, I find myself designing projects I can sew with respect to supplying a handmade market online. My inclination at this time is to develop a shop on Etsy.com or similar platform where I can design baby articles. I love baby prints, blankets, snuggles and soft fabric and so soft Minky to adorn the tiny hands and feet of God’s most precious gift. Therefore, the fabric must be of good quality and purity.

Sewing is a process…

With all the buzz about eco-friendly products and natural products for the environment, more and more people are realizing the importance of chemical free goods for their homes and families. It certainly makes sense to me to be very particular about what is used for newborns and children. As far as my focus right now, Bamboo Terry and French Terry as well as Swaddle Gauze is popular for new or soon to be moms because of its pure qualities, minimum stretch and softness of the fabric.

Organic cotton.

Organic cotton.

Equally sought after is Organic Cotton.

I know many people have a problem with buying products that are labeled “organic”, partly because they tend to be more expensive. But in the case of the world’s production of cotton, it has been said that cotton crops are one of the most chemical intensive. Among the most toxic chemicals used in farming, as sited by the EPA, they affect our health and have a very negative impact on the environment.

Quality fabricsNot to drift off the subject of sewing and into eco-environmental issues, I am searching for bamboo and organic cotton to design some lightweight blankets and swaddles. Hopefully, I will be able to find good quality “organics” which are non-fading and durable so the they will last more than less expensive cuts. I have also learned that if I am taking the time to design something I want to sell, I will buy the best quality of fabric I can afford. It pays off in the long run.

Recently, I asked for an opinion about a design I made regarding fabric selections. They told me the quality of the fabric, the design of the print, and the quality of the construction are the most important parts of sewing. Sewing is a process, and learning the techniques, practicing different stitches, quilting, serging thread and other things make a finished piece a work of art.

Its time for me to order a walking foot and some ball point needles so I can practice quilting for my new baby goods. By the way, SewingMachinesPlus.com has quilting and Walking Feet especially made for Singer, Baby Lock and Janome among other brands. Check their website and find the one you need.

Beginner's Guide to Bed Runners

Beginner’s Guide to Bed Runners

Mystic Connecticut on a Saturday Afternoon

Good morning from Connecticut.

Good morning from Connecticut.

Good morning from Connecticut;

I am so enjoying cool and sometimes rainy weather in this beautiful forest laden state! The history and rolling scenery and fine Colonial homes makes me think of the coziness of fall as the leaves will change color soon.

As I think of the weather change, I wanted to share with you a great way to add style and elegance to your bedroom by making a quilt to cover the bottom of your bed. When it’s not cold enough for a blanket, and a smaller cover may take off the chill, a bed runner is a great idea.

When it’s not cold enough for a blanket, and a smaller cover may take off the chill, a bed runner is a great idea.

When it’s not cold enough for a blanket, and a smaller cover may take off the chill, a bed runner is a great idea.

I have noticed a new wave of interest for bed runners has appeared in high end boutique hotels, and staging properties for sale. The look can be casual or classic depending on your style.

They are also good to change the look of the time of year using neutral spreads and decors.

They are also good to change the look of the time of year using neutral spreads and decors.

They are also good to change the look of the time of year using neutral spreads and decors.

HOWEVER, I have always enjoyed picking out fabric to coordinate with my décor, so I prefer to be inspired by personally designed articles. So to start, measure the top of the bed width-wise.

Then add 24 to 26 inches for the drop on the sides. Then measure 18 to 24 inches for the width plus seam allowances. View many options from patterns to discern your favorites so your bed runner is uniquely YOU. Proceed using the piecing method, batting and backing and of course binding to complete the project.

Pre-cuts are great for patchwork projects or take yardage where you make a one piece cover and perhaps make coordinating pillows for a classic look.

Bed runners also add protection against soil or hair from our 4 legged family members that occupy that space at the end of our beds.

Bed runners also add protection against soil or hair from our 4 legged family members that occupy that space at the end of our beds.

Another idea is make a headboard from your bed runner to add comfort and warmth to your tranquil area for rest and relaxation.

The size of a bed runner quilt can be a versatile addition to your décor. It could be used as a wall hanging, a sofa throw or a sophisticated mantle drape. Also for quick and the more casual type, a method of protection from soil or hair from our 4 legged family members that occupy space at the end of the bed.

One final thought is that I can use my Husquvarna Opal 670 machine, as well as the new Japanese Juki machines. A great addition to any quilters workroom is a machine designed for quilting as well as sewing. Quilting machines that have extended tables make quilting so enjoyable.

SEWINGMACHINESPLUS.com features these as well as other machines that will fit your sewing and quilting needs as well as your budget.

Think of it! You can have a beautiful bed runner ready for those chilly days before the leaves fall!

I would love to hear your comments as soon as I get back from the Fabric store. COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME on my blog, HAPPY SEWING UNTIL next time!

The quilts pictured above come as kits from Annie’s E-patternsCentral.com where patterns can be purchased and sewn. So many beautiful options to choose.