Tag Archives: Patchwork Please

Fussy cutting is too fussy for me!

My Polka Dot Cafe Apron. Week 4 of the Zakka 2.0 sew along.

My Polka Dot Cafe Apron.
Week 4 of the Zakka 2.0 sew along.

I like this definition by the Nerdy Sewist – “Fussy cutting” is the phrase used, generally by quilters, to describe cutting a detail or particular piece of a pattern from the fabric, as opposed to just cutting a strip from the fold to the selvedge. Fussy cutting is particularly common when it comes to novelty printed fabrics…”

Polka Dot Cafe Apron - photo from the book Patchwork Please by Ayumi Takahashi

Polka Dot Cafe Apron – photo from the book Patchwork Please by Ayumi Takahashi

This week’s Zakka 2.0 sew along project from the book Patchwork Please is the Polka Dot Cafe Apron.  This apron involves making up 3 patchwork squares sewn together to form a pocket for the apron.

Patchwork squares by Angela Pingel of Cut to Pieces.

Great example of fussy cutting by Angela Pingel of Cut to Pieces.

As you can see, both Ayumi and Angela meticulously cut their fabric in order to place these little bits of fabric exactly where they wanted them in their patchwork squares which are only 6 inches square! Their aprons really look fabulous and show all the work they did.

Cafe Apron by Angela Pingel

Cafe Apron by Angela Pingel

Angela is the guest blogger this week for the sew along and has a wonderful post here of making this apron with lots of tips and pictures.

The book comes with templates for these little patchwork squares and triangles and suggests you position them on your fabric and cut around them. This already seemed too fussy for me but I gave it a try.  Basically I turned a perfectly good piece of fabric into this:

How I tried to fussy cut some of these kitchen motifs.

How I tried to fussy cut some of these kitchen motifs.

And the result was not wonderful due to the size and spacing of the objects on the fabric. Not to mention the fact that they are all on the diagonal!

My attempt at fussy cutting

My attempt at fussy cutting

For the other 2 blocks I decided to flat out paper piece them and not worry about fussy cutting. It was not difficult to turn the template in the book to a paper pieced pattern.

Paper pieced pattern

Paper pieced pattern

This piecing went rather quickly once I decided on the fabrics to use.

Paper pieces ready for joining

Paper pieces ready for joining

I tried to use as many polka dot-like fabrics as possible.

Polka dots!

Polka dots!

I had bought some dishtowels for the week 2 project that I did not end up using and they seemed the perfect size for this cafe apron. So I simply sewed my finished pocket onto this pale yellow dishtowel and then added the sash as described in the book (by folding the top over an inch and catching the sash in the sides).

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Finished cafe apron.

I am very happy with the result. In the future, I may try to fussy cut a piece here or there, but I will never be able to cut every major piece this way. I just love the sewing too much to spend that much time on the cutting!

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Filed under Pattern review, Zakka Style sew along

Teabag Pouch – Zakka 2.0 Week 3

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3 teabag pouches

This week the Zakka 2.0 sew along has us sewing a tea cozy and/or teabag pouch. I thought long and hard about making the cozy because I do have a small 2 cup ceramic teapot that I could use a cozy for, but in the end I decided to make only the pouch. My 3 daughters all drink tea and I thought a pouch would be handy for them to take their favorite tea to work or keep in their purse – so I made 3.

Here are the materials all cut for one pouch.

Here are the materials all cut for one pouch.

Pockets ready to be sewn in place.

Pockets ready to be sewn in place.

Once the pockets are in place, sewing up this project is just a matter of placing the outside piece and the pocket piece right sides together and sewing around the edge except for a small opening to turn it right side out.

Outside

Outside

Inside

Inside

Teabags places within pockets and pouch folded up and button sewn in place.

Teabags placed within pockets and pouch folded up. Button sewn in place.

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Another quick and easy project done.

Take a look at the Flickr group here to see what other sewers have done this week. Everyone is doing such a great job of personalizing these projects to fit their own use and style. Instead of a tea cozy with the word TEA pieced on it, Lindsey of LR Stitched made a toaster cover with the word EAT on it and . . .

Toaster cover by Lindsey Rhodes

Toaster cover by Lindsey Rhodes

Diane of Random thoughts. . do or “di” made a mixer cover for her Mixmaster.

Mixer cover by Diane Stanley

Mixer cover by Diane Stanley

Such clever sewers!

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Filed under Gifts, Pattern review

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Towels – Zakka 2.0

 

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This is the second week and second project in the Zakka  2.0 sew along of Ayumi Takahashi’s book Patchwork Please. The project is a set of adorable dish towels. I bought some pretty eggplant colored towels at a quilting store this week and when I was looking for some fabrics for the appliquéd letters, I happened upon this garden fabric in my stash that I thought would be perfect.

Garden fabric

Garden fabric

I cut my letters out of the different vegetables and here is the finished towel.

Dish towel - Zakka 2.0

Dish towel – Zakka 2.0

I considered edging it with the same fabric, but decided I wouldn’t use it as much if I did that. I would like to use the towel rather than just hang it up to be pretty. That is just the size and situation that is my kitchen!

 

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Filed under Zakka Style sew along

And “sew” it begins again . . . Zakka 2.0!

First project from new zakka sew along!

First project from new zakka sew along!

Last year, just as I started blogging, I learned of a sew along for the book Zakka Style which I had just bought at my favorite quilt store. The sew along involved starting at the beginning of the book and sewing a project each week through the entire book. It was hosted by Lindsey Rhodes of LR Stitched who each week introduced a different blogger who shared her experience of making up that week’s project. If you made the item and blogged or posted a picture of it on Flickr, you could link up and have a chance at winning a sewing related “prize”. More fun than the chance to win something, was following the links and seeing all of the similar but different projects that everyone made that week.

Zakka 2.0 started this week and we are going to sew through Ayumi Takahashi’s book called Patchwork, Please.

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The book starts with a nice list of Tools and Materials and then a chapter on Techniques. A lot of helpful information is given.

The first project chapter is “for the kitchen” and project #1 is the Bell Pepper Coaster. This week’s blogger is Penny from Sew Take a Hike. She decided to enlarge the pattern and make a hot pad instead of a coaster. I felt that this would be more useful as well. So here is my finished bell pepper hot pad:

Front of pepper hot pad.

Front of pepper hot pad.

Back of pepper hot pad.

Back of pepper.

I love it! When I started thinking about making it today, I knew exactly which fabric I was going to use. I had just bought a bundle of yellow fabrics from Del Ray Fabrics.

Fabric bundle from Del Ray Fabrics

Fabric bundle from Del Ray Fabrics

These fabrics came wrapped together in that pretty brown ribbon that was perfect to use for the pepper stem!

This pattern went together very easily. I took Penny’s advice and enlarged the coaster pattern by 180%. The final hot pad is about 9 inches tall and wide. There are step by step directions in the book for sewing this, but NO pictures of the process. So I had to really read carefully. I guess I must be more of a visual learner because I really missed having pictures of the steps.

After enlarging my pattern and picking the 3 fabrics for the front and 1 for the back, I cut the fabric to fit the pattern pieces.

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Fabric and paper pattern

First step was to sew that middle pepper piece (I used polka dot fabric for this). I had already read through quite a few blog posts from those who had made their peppers and linked them to LR Stitched. Amy from Amy made that! . . .  by eamylove said she used freezer paper to make her templates. She ironed them on the fabric and sewed around them and this allowed her to use the same pattern for each of the pepper coasters she made instead of tracing the shape on each fabric. This sounded like genius to me, even though I was only making one today. I just pinned the pattern piece on my fabric and carefully sewed around it.

With right sides together, I sewed all the way around the paper pattern.

With right sides together, I sewed all the way around the paper pattern.

Middle piece trimmed and a slit cut in one side for turning.

Middle piece trimmed and a slit cut in one side for turning.

Since this piece is going to be sewn on top of the larger piece, that hole will never show!

Turned

Turned and set aside

Next is to sew the two other fabrics together with a straight seam, press seam open and place the pattern on top with the seam down the middle.

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Oops! I almost cut that fabric too small.

Under this I layered the background fabric and 2 pieces of Insul-bright which is a thermal batting. One piece would probably be enough, but when I set something hot on a pad on my table, I want to make sure it’s not going to hurt the table.

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Again, I sewed around the paper pattern.

I trimmed the whole piece to about 1/8 inch and then trimmed that Insul-Bright as close as I could get it to get rid of the bulk in the seam. (I knew it would be topstitched after turning and if some of it pulled free of the stitching on the inside, it would get caught in the top stitching.)

Trimmed close!

Trimmed close!

Seam opened.

Seam partially opened.

Turned.

Turned.

To finish the pepper, I topstitched around the edges and then covered the middle opening in the seam with the pepper middle (hole side down) and topstitched around that, catching the ribbon for the stem in the top.

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I love this new hot pad! I’m visiting my daughter in Chicago this weekend and will be gifting it to her. I guess I’ll know if she read to the end of this blog post by whether she expects it or not.

To join in the fun, grab a copy of the book and get sewing. Besides sewing “for the kitchen”, there is sewing. . . for kids, for the home, for going places and for crafting. Lindsey from LR Stitched and Debbie from A Quilter’s Table are the awesome hostesses. I had the pleasure of meeting Lindsey at the Sew South  retreat this past spring.

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Filed under Pattern review, Sew South Modern Sewing Retreat, Uncategorized, Zakka Style sew along