Quilted Zip It Up Project Bags

Hi everyone,

Recently, I decided to tackle my first pattern from ByAnnie, the Zip It Up large organizer. I almost only do quilting projects so anything with a zipper seemed to be a good challenge. So instead of making just one organizer, I decided to make two!!

I made one for me using the HomeMade fabric line by Tula Pink. I just love the sewing machines and notions in this line so I thought that it would be perfect for a sewing project bag.

The pattern calls for quilting together the bag outside, Soft and Stable (the material inside that gives the bag its shape), and the bag liner. At first, I thought about quilting it on my domestic sewing machine, but then I thought why not try and quilt it using my HQ Avante? I wasn’t sure how my longarm would like the Soft and Stable project, but it quilting like a dream.

I used Glide thread in Cool Mint, and did some pretty floral swirls.

For the second organizer, I decided to use llama/alpaca themed fabric for my sister. I did straight-line quilting on her bag.

I surprised her with this organizer several weeks ago when we had a mini sewing retreat together.

Here’s a look at her completed organizer, with some alpacas giving it an inspection:

Alpacas inspect a Zip It Up organizer

Inside the organizers, there are 2 separate zippered pouches. One is a clear vinyl pouch, and the other one is a mesh mesh. There is also a second zipped pouch on the outside back of the bag (the pattern has it on the front but I decided to add them to the back instead).

I added some fun goodies to the inside of the organizers including a little cutting mat, stickers, pencils, a notepad, and some Tula Pink ribbon. The zipper pull is a cute fluffy llama that I found at a local craft store.

Zip It Up organizers, a look at the inside

Finished Zip It Up Organizers

I really like how these Zip It Up organizers turned out. These are the large size finishing at about 11.5 inches by 14 inches, which is perfect for taking a little sewing project with me while traveling.

Happy quilting!

Jen

Making a Migraine Relief Headband: A Free Tutorial

Image

Hi everyone,

I’ve experienced migraine headaches my entire life. I’ve tried all sorts of remedies, and I do have prescription medicine to help manage the pain.

I’ve told my husband many times that I wished there was some type of headache wrap that I could wear because I tend to use my hands to press against my forehead for some relief. My hands get tired after a few minutes, ugh!

So, why not make something myself? Although this migraine relief headband won’t cure your achy head, it might help relieve the pain.

Supplies

  • Basic sewing supplies
  • Knit or other stretchy fabric
  • A sewing machine needle suitable for sewing on knit fabric
  • Fabric scissors
  • Measuring tape

Migraine Relief Headband Tutorial

  • Use the measuring tape to measure your head, centering the tape in the middle of your forehead.
  • Subtract 2-inches from the measurement to get your headband length.
  • Cut a piece of fabric to your headband length by 5-inches wide. For example, my head measured at 20-inches. I use a piece of knit fabric that is 18-inches long by 5-inches wide.
  • Fold the fabric in half, right sides together, and hold together with clips or pins.

Fold headband in half, right sides together

  • Sew the long edge using a 1/4-inch seam. Be sure to back stitch at both ends. I like to use a stiletto to help feed the fabric through the machine.
  • Fold one short edge over, wrong sides together.
  • Sew the short edge with a 1/4-inch seam. You only need to fold this seam once.

Fold one short side, wrong sides together

  • Turn the headband inside out. The right side of the fabric should now be on the outside.
  • Insert the raw short edge into the sewn short edge, about 1/4-inch. Use clips to hold the ends together.
  • Sew the two short edges together along the earlier stitching line, and remember to back stitch. You can use the headband now or go to the next step.

Tuck in the raw edge

  • Fold the stitched short seam in half, right sides together.
  • Stitch using a 1/4-inch seam. I like this final step because it gives the headband a nice finish.

Back of headband, short seam folded in half and sewn

Your headband is now finished and ready to wear! It should fit tightly against your forehead so that the compression offers a little relief.

A Completed Headband!

If you do not have allergies to fragrances, you can add a drop or two of your favorite essential oil to the headband.

I’m making a few of these headbands using different knit prints because they can also be used for exercise or hiking headbands. My bangs continue to grow longer and longer during COVID-19, and I’ve decided to let my hair grow out a bit before visiting my hairdresser. These headbands will come in handy during this awkward hair phase!

Happy sewing and I hope these headbands help with your migraine pain.

Best,

Jen

Summer Swatch Service Card from The Confident Stitch

Hi everyone,

Ahhh, June. While it may be a bit rainy currently where I live, summer weather is finally in the forecast for next. Summer is my favorite season, and the bright, saturated colors of the warmest days of the year tend to influence my fabric selection choices.

If you haven’t heard about the Swatch Service from The Confident Stitch, then you are in for a delicious summer treat! When you subscribe, you will receive a quarterly swatch card in the mail, featuring quilting cottons or garment fabrics, depending on your selection. I do receive a small commission if you sign up for the Swatch Service via my link. I use it to help pay the expenses of running this blog.

Each Swatch Service card contains 8 small pieces of fabric that you can touch! I really love being able to see the colors in person and feeling the hand of the fabric before purchasing. Under each fabric swatch, you will find pricing information.

You also get a unique discount code for purchasing the fabrics featured on the card.

Here’s a look at the Summer 2020 Swatch Service card!

Summer 2020 Swatch Service

Summer 2020 Swatch Service, Outside of Card

Summer 2020 Swatch Service, Inside of Card

I’m also pleased to announce that The Confident Stitch is donating 10% of revenue during the month of June to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (naacpldf.org).

Did you sign up for the Swatch Service? Leave me a comment!

Happy quilting!

~Jen

A Finished Tula Pink Jelly Roll Rug!

Hi everyone,

In my post yesterday, I talked about making my first jelly roll rug using the HomeMade fabric line by Tula Pink.

I finished the rug over the weekend, and we had a little bit of sunshine yesterday so I could get some outdoor pictures at lunch.

I absolutely love how this rug turned out! I didn’t experience any waviness or warping that can happen with this rug. I think it may be because my Bernina sits in a cabinet so I have a large, flat surface to support the weight of the rug as I stitch the rope coil rows together. I stitched slowly and carefully, using my widest zigzag stitch with Aurifil 50 weight thread.

I didn’t do any regular pressing, except for pressing each of the beginning tight corners. Those early tight corners were the hardest part for me! I did get a slight bit of puckering, but the pattern did indicate to expect that to happen.

Here’s a look at the finished rug!

 

My completed Tula Pink jelly roll rug!

Of course, as I was taking this picture, my quilt inspector, Cow, came sauntering out from under a bush where he had been napping. He gave the rug a thorough cat scan!

Cow gives the jelly roll rug a cat scan!

I brought the rug back inside where my best girl, Pepper, sat on it. She is a 65-pound mixed shepherd breed dog for scale.

Pepper likes the rug!

I now have the rug in my quilting room. I need to clean up some of my sewing chaos before taking a picture!

I hope that you all have a great day!

Happy quilting,

Jen

Making a Jelly Roll Rug for my Quilt Room

Hi everyone,

This weekend, I made my first ever Jelly Roll Rug using the pattern by RJ Designs. What is a jelly roll rug? It’s a rug that you make using 2.5-inch strips of fabric and batting. This rug is similar to the braided or crocheted types of rugs that quilters and sewists have made for a long time, but updated to use modern materials.

You might notice that not all fabric manufacturers label their 2.5-inch pre-cut fabric strips as jelly rolls. Moda Fabrics uses the term “jelly rolls,” but other manufacturers might call a similar product design rolls, strip sets, or other names.

If you don’t want to purchase 2.5-inch pre-cut rolls, you can always make your own strip sets from yardage.

The batting strips are similar. You can buy pre-cut 2.5″ batting strips by Bosal called Katahdin On-A-Roll in either 25 yard or 50 yard rolls or you can cut your own from batting leftovers.

I used HomeMade Design Roll for my rug. This is an adorable new line of fabric using bright colors and features items that quilters use every day. I thought it would be the perfect collection to use to make a rug for my quilting room. I had purchased 2 rolls of Katahdin back in 2018, but I was waiting for the just the right fabric collection to come along and Tula really delivered!

This pattern takes a ton of bobbin thread! I pre-wound 5 bobbins, but I needed about 7 total. For me, it took the longest to create the fabric “rope,” which is the 2.5-inch fabric and batting strips folded and stitched together. I’d guess that this step took almost 4 hours.

Here’s a look at my jelly roll rug coil. Doesn’t it look fun?

Once I had my jelly roll rug coil finished, I started sewing it to form the rug on my Bernina. I used my widest zigzag stitch, and started going round-and-round.

Look at my rug growing under my needle!

My jelly roll rug is growing!

It took another 2 hours or so to stitch my rug together. I’m planning on taking some pictures of it today in the afternoon sunshine. Come back tomorrow where I will reveal my completed jelly roll rug!

You can purchase all the supplies to make a rug from your local quilt shop or from the Fat Quarter Shop. I get a small percentage of sales from this link to help me with the costs of this blog.

Happy sewing!

~Jen

A Very Special “Caticorn” Fabric Postcard

Hi everyone,

I took a little break recently from sewing fabric face masks and working on quilting projects to make a fabric postcard for a special occasion.

A neighbor girl is turning 9 this week, and she had planned on having a kitty cat themed birthday party with her friends. Unfortunately, she cannot have the party now due to COVID-19 so her mom put out the call to friends and family to mail her cat themed birthday cards.

I decided to make her a fabric postcard using a pink “caticorn” from Riley Blake. The pink and yellow solid pieces are from Cherrywood Fabrics and the striped fabric is from a little leftover piece from my Koala quilt swap.

Caticorn Fabric Postcard

I mount my fabric postcards using Heat n’ Bond Lite onto a firm backing such as Pellon Timtex before quilting. I used a light pink Aurifil thread to add some straight-line quilting around the cat. I also used a heart-shaped decorative stitch on my Bernina along the striped outer border.

On the back side of the card, I adhered a piece of a light-colored, solid fabric using Heat n’ Bond lite. I wrote a “meowtastic” little greeting on the back side of the card for the special birthday girl.

To finish the postcard, I used a zig-zag stitch and went around the postcard twice for durability. Even though I could technically mail this postcard as-is, I will place it into an envelope to protect it. I’d hate for the cute caticorn to get marked up in the postal system!

Quilted Caticorn Fabric Postcard for the Birthday Girl!

I’m really hoping that this simple fabric postcard will cheer her up a bit and make her birthday a little more special.

Happy sewing!

~Jen

Dachshund Themed Face Mask Using the St. Charles Pattern and Jig

Hi everyone,

I tested out another face mask pattern that has a pocket for an optional filter and a pocket for an optional nose wire published by St. Charles Hospital here in Oregon.

I wanted to test this mask because of the optional filter pocket and because I liked the finished look of it with either elastic or fabric ties.

I decided to use a cute dachshund print from my stash mostly because my sister loves these little dogs. She is a nurse practitioner so I’m making masks for her and other providers at her location.

I also used a cardboard jig from an Eggo box and Halloween-themed duct tape, which I had on hand, to speed up the pleat making process. By using a jig, you get consistent pleats without needing to pin them or iron them.The jig instructions are courtesy of a quilter (bendphoto) in Bend, Oregon, and she has the measurements on her YouTube video so go check it out!

Here’s a look at my mask and cardboard jig:

Dachshund Themed Face Mask and Cardboard Jig

Here’s a look at the filter insert on the bottom of the mask. The wearer can insert a disposable or washable filter of their choosing or not.

Optional Filter Opening

Here’s a look at where the optional inserted wire can create a bend to conform to your nose. There is a little channel at the top, and I just used a pipe cleaner.

Optional Wire Pocket

The finished mask:

Two pleated finished mask, pattern from St. Charles

I’m going to make some more of these masks, both with elastic and fabric ties. I prefer the elastic because it fits my face better, and I have a little bit left. Fabric ties take much longer to make, but many people do prefer them.

Happy quilting!

~Jen

Add a Pipe Cleaner to Homemade Face Masks for COVID-19

Hi everyone,

I have made about 30 masks so far for my sister, a nurse practitioner, and her colleagues.

She asked if I could modify the mask to add a pipe cleaner along the top. Pipe cleaners are easy to bend into shape so that you can adjust the mask for a better fit.

I adjusted the Deaconess face mask pattern to allow for a pipe cleaner casing. I also slightly enlarged the pattern. This larger face mask will still fit smaller faces. If you are using elastic, just add a large safety pin to attach the elastic straps to each other around the back of the head. I’m running out of elastic so I made fabric ties instead, which allow you to adapt the mask to fit different sizes of faces easily.

I made a Star Trek themed face mask for my husband with the pipe cleaner casing  and fabric ties. It fits over his larger face with a full beard and mustache nicely.

Star Trek themed homemade mask with pipe cleaner

I put the Star Trek mask on my Tula Pink cat, pattern by Funky Friends Factory.

You can sort of see the shaping along the nose, provided by the pipe cleaner.

Star Trek themed homemade mask on Tula Pink cat!

If you’d like to make this homemade face mask modification, I put my instructions into a free Word document, Adding a Pipe Cleaner to a Homemade Face Mask. 

These instructions are free to use. Let me know if you found them helpful!

Stay safe!

~Jen

2020 Mini Series SAL – Week 2

Hi everyone!

Yesterday, quilters everywhere kicked off week 2 of the 2020 Mini Series hosted by Giucy Giuce and Alison Glass. You can read about my fabric selections and the first block, the Log Cabin, here.

The block this week is called the Courthouse Step, and it is very similar to the Log Cabin block with some minor differences. The Log Cabin took longer for me to sew because each piece slightly overlaps the prior piece, radiating outwards into the classic log cabin shape. Each piece must be pressed and trimmed separately before moving onto the next piece.

The Courthouse Step block sews together much quicker than the Log Cabin block because the little rectangle pieces on each step face each other, enabling me to sew two pieces before pressing and trimming.

For example, in the photo of my Courthouse Step block below, you can see each color is mirrored on the opposite side.

Courthouse Step block with a trillium

I love the look of these two blocks together. You can see the similarity between the blocks, but the differences really make them shine on their own.

Log Cabin and Courthouse Step with a trillium

While I was taking pictures of these blocks in a wooded area near my house, I saw a mama deer and her two fawns! Look closely in the background of this picture where you can see mama and one fawn.

Courthouse Step block with deer in background

Next week, I’ll post my completed Pineapple block. Are you participating in the SAL? It is completely free to join, but you do have to purchase the patterns either from your favorite quilt store or online at Alison’s website.

Happy sewing!

~Jen

Making Face Masks, Assembly Line Style

Hi everyone,

In my previous post, I mentioned that I’m making face masks for my sister, who is a nurse practitioner.

I’m making a few each day after work, and I’m mailing them to her in batches. I’ve made approximately 25 masks so far. I have run out of 1/4-inch elastic, but I do have some 1/8-inch elastic. I think I have enough of the smaller elastic to make another 20 masks or so. After that, I will start making fabric ties for the masks.

I’ve become really efficient at mask making. Initially, I was making complete masks, one at a time as I learned the pattern. Now, I’m making them assembly line style.

After work yesterday, I did the first mask making step upstairs in my sewing room. I stitched, right-sides together, about a dozen masks with the elastic inserts.

Then, I brought the masks downstairs to work on the next step while watching a movie with my husband and son. After turning each mask right side out, I’m use the new Oliso mini iron to press each mask.

This little iron is very portable and gets nice and hot for my smaller quilting and sewing projects. I do use it on a wool pressing mat so that I do not need to have an actual ironing board.

Once I press the masks, I eyeball the 3 pleats and pin them.

I now have a set of 12 masks to take back upstairs and finish the top-stitching.

Pressing Face Masks with an Oliso mini iron

I find that making the masks in batches of 12 goes pretty smoothly for me, and I don’t feel overwhelmed by the project.

I’m very happy to be able to contribute in this small way. My sister is sharing these masks with her colleagues until the medical grade masks are available again.

Stay safe and happy quilting!

~Jen