Monthly Archives: February 2016

Don’t Throw Out Those Scraps!

  
I am not a pack rat by nature…well…except when it comes to any of my art quilting supplies 😉. When I am finished with a big project, I often have scraps of hand-dyed pieces that are just too lovely to waste.

A very fast and fun solution is to turn them into mini-wallets that can be used for a number of purposes, and make great little gifts.

  • Cut out a roughly-postcard-sized piece (I like to aim for finished size 4 1/4 x 6 1/2…plenty of room inside the finished piece and enough length) of the fabric in question, as well as Peltex II (or other super-stiff fusible) and a backing/interior fabric.  Fuse.
  • Choose a decorative thread…I love Superior Threads’ Mettalics but have used all sorts.  (You will need a matching thread in the bobbin.)

 

  • Have fun stitching the sandwich, following the lines of the fabric artist’s dye or creating your own pattern.
  • When finished with the surface, switch from free-motion to a wide, dense zig-zag.  Stitch along one of the short ends and trim. 

 

  • Fold the piece so that about a half-inch of the interior is visible, and give it a blast with your iron to help keep it folded.  (This can be helpful if the fabrics are thick!)
  • Begin the zigzag or satin stitch at one folded corner, continue to the top side, and down the other side of the pieces.  (Now you’ll see why you finished the one short side first!). I like to get to the end of the zigzag, switch to a straight stitch, and stitch back along the inside of the the zigzag to secure the thread.

 
  
Done…and on to the next one!  A perfect project if you are very short on time but crave a burst of creativity and a super-useful result :).

  

Studio Renovation, Part 2: Rolling Pressing/Storage Station 🛠

  
Part one covered the layout changes to make my studio space more functional. The next- and most important- step was the construction of a rolling pressing station with shelves to replace this sad sight:

  
Step 1- Measure, Measure, Measure. 

I was happy with the length of the ironing board, but not the width…and could only go so big given the size of my studio. So, roughly 4feet long…and ideally the width of a fat quarter.  If you have a larger studio, you could opt for more length- although this size feels mighty spacious.

Step 2- order the components!

  1. Metro shelving units are very strong and adjustable; you find them online from a number of sources.  They come in certain increments- we ordered the 48″ x 18″ size: 3 shelves plus wheels. 18″ is the typical width, you can choose longer shelves if you like.
  2. Plywood for the top is very sturdy; we bought two 3/4″ boards, long enough and wide enough to have a small overhang on each side when placed on top. (Remember, you need to plan for a margin around the poles.)
  3. White fiberboard to set into the shelf destined for books (a solid surface is preferable to the wire)
  4. Batting to wrap around the wood…that is the easy part for any quilter!  I used a queen-sized batting so that there would be 4 layers of padding.
  5. A heat-resistant layer of fabric is optional…I have seen quilters use a favorite decorative fabric, but I went for the traditional ironing board surface, available as yardage.

 

Step 3- Construction!

Before assembling the shelving base, my sweetie glued the two boards together, clamped them, and placed some screws in to secure them. We left them to dry for a day.

  

Next, he routed holes in one layer of wood to fit the poles so that the top would set down firmly (and the top surface of wood would not be compromised).

   

Assemble the shelving units and put the wheels on…

  

Then, place the board top-side down onto the batting…wrap tightly!…staple…and carefully cut holes in the batting at the locations of the holes in the wood.

 

Repeat process with heat-resistant fabric:

  
Lift top, invert onto poles, tap into place…ta da!

  
Step 4- get organized 😍.  As this photo shows, this rolling pressing station is sturdy enough to hold my backup Bernina on the bottom shelf.

Time to have fun deciding which space will be books versus drawers for notions and art supplies!

  
One last side of the studio was still, hmm, suboptimal…

  
Part 3 will complete the tale :)!