Posted on Leave a comment

My Secret Valentine Exchange swap 2108.

2018sve-graphic-e1514840330163

Time has really run away from me just lately and I have just realised that I did not blog about my Secret Valentine Swap experience last month.

So, for those who are unfamiliar, this is a friendly crafting swap, organised by the amazing Sanae and Ute and I understand that this is the fifth year of it taking place.

The idea is that you secretly make a handmade gift for your assigned partner, to be sent out in time for Valentines Day. You will also receive a handmade gift from another partner. Such a lovely idea.

I chose to sew my items, but any craft that you are into is acceptable. Some knit, some paint, some crochet, some wood turn and others have made jewellery, to name but a few.  I imagine pretty much every craft has been covered by this exchange.

In order to help you make something for somebody who is essentially a stranger, you answer a couple of short questions regarding your taste and style, and this information will be passed to your partner. You will also be given their social media information so that you can take a little peek to see if this helps you make up your mind on what to make for them. I think the idea is to use bits and pieces that you already have where possible, to try to keep your costs down. Ooh and it is an International event so you may receive or have to send your item abroad.

This is the second year that I have taken part and I loved it so much last year that I couldn’t wait to take part again this time.

They lady who I made for lives in the U.K. I will not link her here, as I have not asked for her permission, but I had a little peek over at her Instagram to see if this would give me any clues as to what she might find useful. I must admit, nothing jumped out at me, so to play it safe I decided to make her a fabric basket, as I have made a couple of these for myself before and I think they are super cute as well as very useful. I knew that her colour preferences were blue ( which is lucky as anybody who knows me will know that I wear lots of blue – therefore meaning I have lots of spare blue fabric), and I made a large quilted basket.

thumbnail_C4CCF5F2-7DD7-4E69-88FE-697E97C556B3

This was pretty quick to make, and I felt like I could do more. So I also decided to make a smaller bag, made up with small patchwork pieces to add to gift her too. Again it is a bag that I have made before and I use it to keep my Clover Wonder Clips in. The bag came together really nicely and I also bought some Wonder Clips for her in case she might like to keep some in her bag too!

thumbnail_E31271F6-AD2D-4ABC-95B4-0E2E277B034E

Finally I raided my felt stash, and cut several different shades of blue felt into circles to stitch together to make some felt bunting.

thumbnail_27073CD9-31F7-429E-A22C-C77EBC6C70C6

I was excited to package it up and send it off to London in time for Valentines Day.

                                          **************************************

So the gift that I received bowled me over!  Again I won’t mention her as I haven’t her permission, but I received the most beautiful Seamwork Almada robe from my lovely partner.

thumbnail_04014B9A-55F2-4324-8A5D-62EBC14CC13F

I cannot tell you how beautiful it is. My clever partner has chosen something that I will treasure and truly love wearing. The fabric is super soft and the colours are right up my street. I cannot believe that somebody would make something so lovely for me, and am truly moved by such kindness.

If you are active on Instagram, you might want to take a look at the hashtag #2018sve and check out all the wonderful items that were given and made during this wonderful exchange. I believe that there were 576 participants worldwide this year which is incredible!

I think this is a great way to share your love of craft, with like-minded individuals. Thank you so much to Sanae and Ute for organising such a huge event. It really is fabulous. It is also a great way to make new friends. I now have two new sewing friends (alongside the two new sewing friends that I made with last years swap).

Belated Happy Valentines/Galentines day to you all. Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

 

Posted on 2 Comments

Quilted Fabric Thread Catcher Tutorial

thread-catcher-1

I’m so pleased to share this make with you all. Such a pretty little fabric basket that could be used for a number of other uses, and as usual with me – fairly quick to make using small pieces of fabric.

You will need:

  • 2  coordinating pieces of  fabric. Out of each piece of fabric you will cut 2 rectangles measuring 8″ x 10″
  • Quilting wadding (batting), or medium to heavy weight interfacing. From this you will cut 2 rectangles measuring 8″ x 10″
  • Pins
  • Fabric scissors or a rotary cutter and mat
  • Fabric pen (not essential you could use an ordinary pen or pencil if you are careful).
  • Ruler
  • Needle and thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron and ironing board

Before you start it is always a good idea to iron your fabric. This ensures that your fabric pieces are going to be nice and neat and a perfect size.

Cut out the 2 pieces of fabric which you have chosen to be your outer bag, the 2 pieces of fabric which you have chosen for your lining fabric and the 2 pieces of wadding or interfacing.

To make your quilting stitches neat, you will need to take your 2 pieces of wadding and mark out a diagonal grid pattern. I started by marking this out using a vanishing fabric marker pen, however my lines disappeared more quickly than I wanted so I decided to use a regular pen for this. Take care if you choose this method that your pen lines will not visible through the fabric.

You will also notice that I marked out these lines using an 45 degree angle. Do not just draw them corner to corner as this will result in uneven and wonky diamond shapes when you stitch it. I marked one line first and then used the width of my ruler to make even parallel rows of lines thereafter.

If you are using iron on interfacing, you will not need to do this. Simply iron your interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric pieces which are going to be the outer bag pieces.

thread-catcher-2

Take one of the wadding pieces and place it on top of the wrong side of one of the fabric pieces which will be the outside bag. Pin in place. Repeat for the other wadding piece and outside bag piece.

thread-catcher-3

Take these pieces to your machine and stitch along all of these lines. Take care not to miss any out!

thread-catcher-4

Continuing with these pieces, place them right sides together and stitch around both sides and along the bottom edge (leaving the top edge open). I used a 3/8″ seam allowance. Take care if you are using a directional fabric that you are sewing it the right way up!

thread-catcher-5

Press the seams open as well as you can. This is a bit awkward and I used my tailors ham/sleeve pressing roll for this. Next you need to pinch the bottom corners in order to make your bag stand up nicely. Pinch each bottom corner to make a triangular shape and pin. Measure 1.5″ from the point and draw a line across at this point. Repeat this for the other corner. This is hard to explain, I hope the photographs help you to understand this.

thread-catcher-6right-way-up

Take to the sewing machine and sew along the lines you have marked. Cut away the excess, leaving a small seam allowance.

 

thread-catcher-8

Great! Then you can turn the bag right sides out.

To make the lining bag, place the two lining pieces right sides together and sew along both sides and along the bottom edge – but this time leave a gap of approximately 3″ along the bottom edge. This gap should be large enough for you to pull your bag through at the end. Again be careful if your fabric is directional – think about how it will lay when it is made up and which way up it will sit when the lining is rolled over to the outside, and choose what will be your top edge and bottom edge accordingly. If your fabric has no directional print you don’t need to worry about this.

When you have done this you need to pinch both bottom corners just like you did with the outer bag, pin, stitch and trim excess. Again if you can press the seams open at this stage it will look neater when it is finished.

Place the outer bag inside the lining bag. The right sides of each bag should be facing each other. Pin all the way around the top edge and take it to the machine and stitch all the way around this edge.

thread-catcher-9

Turn the bag over and you will see the 3″ gap that you left open when you made the lining bag. Gently turn the bag ‘right side out’ by pulling the outer bag through this hole.

thread-catcher-10thread-catcher-11

Now it’s time to close the opening in the lining bag. Pin the opening closed and either machine stitch the opening as close to the edge as you can, or hand sew it closed. I chose to machine sew it because I was feeling lazy however this will create a little ‘ridge’ along where you have sewn. It is not particularly noticeable but if you want a neater finish I would suggest you hand sew it using a ladder/slip stitch.

thread-catcher-13

Push the lining bag inside the outer bag now and you’re almost there. Pin all the way around the top edge and machine stitch all around this edge. This will stop your outer or inner bag slipping and looking messy. This is the finishing touch and as well as serving a purpose it really gives the bag a professional finish.

There you go, you’re all done! You can leave it as it is or roll the top over to expose the pretty lining fabric which is what I will do with mine.

thread-catcher-14thread-catcher-15thread-catcher-16

I made this basket from 2 fat quarters. There is enough left to make another basket, so if you were using 2 fat quarters maybe you could make one for yourself and one for a friend – after all it doesn’t have to be used for threads only!

thread-catcher-17

Thanks for reading! I would love to know if you are going to have a go at making one of these, and what you are going to use it for.

Take care and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x