Sunday, March 15, 2015

Clip-on Cover

It's a frustration when you wear glasses that you can't buy cute sunglasses off the rack. You can get prescription ones, but when you have super strong prescriptions, changing between glasses isn't that simple. It's difficult to adjust and usually just easier to do without. However, sun glare is still a problem.

Wanting to spare my eyesight, but unwilling to wear those wrap around glasses as seen on TV, I found some updated clip ons. These work pretty well, but are pretty fragile. You have to keep them in a case when you aren't wearing them or risk them snapping in two (I know this from experience).

This brand comes with a plastic case attached to cardboard. The plastic is like a magnet for dust, hair and anything else that happens to be hanging around in my purse - not pretty. I thought it would be nice to make a cover for the cover.

I removed the cardboard, measured the case and cut a piece of laminated cotton a little longer and wider than I thought I needed.

Folding a bit of the fabric to cover the inside of the flap, I marked and cut out a small circle to accommodate the snap.

I then wrapped the fabric up to cover the front of the case and forced the snap through.

I had to trim a bit of the fabric to make it line up with the edge of the case. Then I used a pen to make a mark on the inside of the fabric where the front case ended.

I then removed the fabric from the case and folded it, right sides together, matching the edge of the fabric to the pen mark.

I sewed a narrow seam on both sides, creating a pocket that will cover the bottom of the case.

Unrolling the fabric from the case, but leaving the snap in place, I traced on the wrong side to mark the curve of the flap.

I then removed the case, folded the fabric back on itself at the line, and sewed along the curve.

I wanted the bottom to be a bit wider, so I boxed the corners by lining up the seam with the folded bottom edge and sewing across the tip. I did this on both sides.

Turning the fabric right sides out, I had the basic case cover. Now all I needed to do was to insert the plastic case.

I slipped the flap in first and adjusted the fabric around the snap.

Then I folded the case back until I was able to insert it into the cover bottom.

Voila! A cute cover for my clip on sunglasses.

I plan to make another with a thin quilted fabric.

Saturday, January 31, 2015


I was rummaging through some old fabric and came across a UFO. A UFO, in quilt-speak, is an unfinished object. In this case it was a table topper that I had pieced together a year or two ago but then was having trouble quilting. It got set aside, was found by the cat, and then spent the past year stuffed in a bag.

Table topper, design by Thimble Blossoms

Needing to feel that sense of sewing accomplishment, I grabbed the topper, backing, and batting and vowed to finish this mini quilt.

First, I threw it in the washer to get rid of any cat hairs that might still be clinging to the fabric. It seemed like a good idea, but when I took it out of the dryer, it had frayed along the seams and edges and I needed to do some clean up before I could do any quilting.

This did alter the size of the piece, but since it was just a table topper it didn't hurt to be a bit smaller.

Then I got out the instruction manual for my sewing machine. I wanted to do some free-motion quilting and had to look up how to do this. I've watched people do this on TV shows, but I've not had much experience with free-motion and I haven't tried it at all with my new machine.

I made all the correct settings on the machine, disengaged the feed dog, and attached the free-motion quilting foot. Decision making time - how was I going to quilt this?

Looking at the quilt, I decided to do a spiral design on the circles. This is definitely something that I need more practice with. My spirals aren't perfect, but I'm happy with them and that's all that really matters.

The hardest part is to keep the sewing speed and the movement of the fabric coordinated so that your stitch length is the same throughout. Since the feed dog is lowered, the fabric doesn't move through the machine unless you move it yourself. So you are stepping on the foot pedal to make the machine go, holding and moving the fabric, eyeballing your design as you go, and trying to make it fit in a pleasant manner. As you can see, it's a little wonky but not so much that I feel the need to rip it out and start over.

Then I had to decide what to do in the squares. I felt that having a template would help me to achieve better results so I drew a simple pattern on freezer paper, cut it out and then ironed it in place on the fabric.  This gave me a guide for my quilting. For the center square I made this design with four hearts coming together like a clover.

My mistake with this was that at some places I had to sew over the paper and that made the stitches loose when I removed the template. I should have separated the hearts and given enough room for me to create the design without hitting the paper. I also could have used a disappearing marking pen, but I was afraid that would be harder for me to follow. Also, this design, although simple, was hard for me to keep my speed and move the fabric so I had a lot of different sized stitches which is not that pretty, but I decided to keep it as is.

For the corner squares, I cut apart the center design and then aligned three hearts in a diagonal. This was easier to sew and gave me better results.

One decision I made was to do this quilting with just the top and the batting. When I had tried to quilt this before I had trouble with the backing fabric bunching up, which is how it became a UFO. It was much easier to quilt knowing that the back wouldn't show.

At this point, however, I did need to add the backing. I also decided that I needed to quilt through all the layers at least in some areas. I chose to quilt around the middle square and the four corner squares. I also then quilted around the border close to the stitching and also close to the edge.

My backing fabric was much larger than the finished project, so after I finished quilting, I cut the backing about one inch larger than the front. I then folded the extra fabric in half towards the front, then folded this over the front to form the binding. This worked out well. It's kind of hard to see in the photo because my ironing board cover is a print.

The hardest part was mitering the corners. I stitched this in place with my machine, stitching as  close to the edge as I could. I was able to complete my UFO in an afternoon. I'm pleased with how it turned out.

Wouldn't this be fun for a picnic on the living room floor? The circles could be like placemats.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Door Draft Doodad

It's 10 degrees outside and the wind is blowing in just the right direction to cause a draft around my door. I felt inspired to create a door snake, draft dodger, or whatever you want to call it to help keep the warm in and the cold out.

Not wanting to venture out in the cold for supplies, I raided my fabric stash and found about half a yard of this great home dec fabric.

I evened up the edge and cut strips from selvage to selvage at about 8 inches each. My plan was to make several as I have more than one door  

My doors are about 36 inches, but I wanted the Doodad a bit longer for my front door so I cut that at 42 inches. The others I cut at 38 inches. I was giving an inch at each end for the hem.  

I took one strip and folded it in half lengthwise and sewed a half inch seam down the long side and one of the short sides. I repeated this for the other tubes.

Then I turned the tubes right side out and pressed to get out the wrinkles from turning.

Now the fun part! From other DIY sites I visited, I saw that people used rice or beans to fill the tube. I didn't have enough of either, and not wanting to venture out into the cold, I decided to use something I had on hand.

Buckwheat hulls!

I had purchased one of those sobakawa pillows but neither my husband nor I could sleep on it so it has been just taking up space on a shelf. It had a zippered end so that you could remove some of the hulls to make it more comfortable (ha!).  I opened it up and carefully filled the tubes, which was a tedious process as the hulls are lightweight and floated about and clogged the funnel. 

When full, I tucked in half an inch of the fabric and topstitched.  I did the same topstitch design on the other end of the tube to match. You can add the topstitching to the closed end either before or after the tube is filled.  If you do it after, just make sure to close and topstitch the open end, then shake all the buckwheat (or rice or whatever you use) out of the way first.

I'm happy with the result!

Here's one already in use at the front door.

This was a fun easy project. If I make any other Door Draft Doodads, I think I will make them a bit wider.  My back door is raised up a little and I had to fuss a bit to get coverage. 

In addition to my two doors, I also made one to put in the track of the sliding door.