Month: December 2016

Beginner Sewing Projects: Easy Quilts, Rugs and Throws

Once you learn to sew it’s a wonderful thing! You can look at clothing and other catalogs, see something you like, then go and make it yourself! Not only do you save a ton of money but you can create the exact colors and patterns you want, plus you get the joy of seeing the finished item. It’s a lot of fun; you can make gifts, home decor items and all your own clothing for a fraction of what others are paying. Since you are new to sewing, the first thing you need to do is find a best sewing machine for beginners. This is the essential tool for all your sewing projects.

When you’re creating a sewn project the stitching isn’t the only thing of concern. It’s always imperative that you make each cut exactly as specified. With fabric pieces that are cut wrong you’ll end up with anything from off-center buttons to a sleeve that’s longer than the other. Measuring and cutting are very important. Once you think you have that down pat, and you’ve learned the basics of sewing, you’re ready to move on to huge quilt and rug projects! Don’t think so? Read more and you’ll see that you have just what it takes to make the easy decor items.

Surely you’ve seen quilting blocks, finished quilts and shows about quilting that display gorgeous works of art that others have made. Most of these are done by skilled seamstresses who have years of experience. You can make similar items, with just the skills you have now, and give any room in your home an instant make-over. Using quilt block techniques you’ll easily create rugs for the kids’ rooms or for stepping out of the tub; quilts for your bed or a throw for the couch. Just make sure each block is cut to perfection and you’re well on your way to creating gifts and decor.

A quick lesson about quilting blocks: small ones are more tedious and will take a longer time to assemble; large blocks go together much more quickly. No matter if you’re making a rug or a quilt you’ll decide how large you want the squares to be, and how large you want the finished item to be, then you’ll cut the appropriate amount of squares. Although there are techniques for creating a quilt that ends with blocks which aren’t the same size as the others, for now, you’ll keep everything simple. So, choose a rug or quilt size that is easily divisible by other numbers. For example, make a rug that is 4’x 12′ rather than one that is 3’x11′. With a 4×12′ rug you can make squares that are one foot by one foot or six inches by six inches. With these dimensions everything will work out evenly. If you’re not that great at math it can be helpful to draw a rectangular diagram, section it off into blocks, then count how many you will need.

After cutting all the blocks to the proper size, and deciding on your pattern, you will then begin to assemble the rug, throw or quilt. The materials you use will depend on the item you are making. For instance, if you’re making a rug you might want to choose heavy felt. For a throw velour is a good choice. Make each block from the same fabric or use alternating colors and designs to make a more interesting arrangement.

To start, lay one square on top of the other making sure the right sides are together. Stitch down the right side. Open these squares up and lay the third square on top of the second one, with right sides together. Stitch down the right side. Continue doing this until you have stitched all the squares you need to make the width of the item. Now make another row, and another, just as you did with the first row. When each row is as long as you need it to be you will then stitch the rows together.

To stitch the rows together lay one row on top of the other and make sure the right sides are together. Stitch all the way down the length of the row aligning the squares so that they line up perfectly. After the second row is stitched to the first you’ll continue adding each row until you have the entire length finished. Cut off many loose threads and trim away excess fabric where you’ve sewn the squares together. Trim it so that there is a mere quarter-inch of excess fabric at each stitch line.

Although a felt rug doesn’t need hemmed a quilt from blocks might. If needed, hem all the way around the perimeter. It can be helpful to make the top hem a little larger than the sides and bottom. This will make it easier to see which way is up when you’re making the bed. If you want the hem in place, but you don’t want the rows to be smaller squares because of the hem, you’ll have to cut top, bottom and side squares larger than the others. If you do this, keep the larger blocks in a separate stack, then select one when needed.

You’ll love showing off the new rugs, throws and quilts you’ve made for your home. And, you’ll love seeing the look on a recipient’s face when you give him or her one of your beautiful gifts. They’ll cherish it forever and think of you every time they see it. Learning to sew can be somewhat challenging but don’t be intimidated! You’ll easily be able to make new decor pieces yourself then move on to even harder projects!

Free Sewing Patterns and Projects for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a fun time to get creative to decorate your own house or to give gifts to family and friends you are celebrating Thanksgiving with. Here are some great sewing patterns and projects to get you started, and best of all they are free patterns!

A Grand Gobbler

The finished project looks like a turkey with two rows of feathers behind it. The turkey is also wearing a bow tie, and has three buttons running down the center like a button up suit.

Harvest Table Runner

This makes a great piece on your table for Thanksgiving. You choose the pumpkin pattern you want and solid colors. You could use this from Halloween through the end of November. You can find this pattern and instructions also at

Reversible Placemats

This is a great to make placemats that can be used for Halloween on one side, then turn it over for Thanksgiving. You choose your own autumn fabric, two types, and Halloween fabric for this sewing project. You can find the instructions at

Styrofoam Pilgrims

This project uses Styrofoam for the bodies of two cute little pilgrims. You can find this craft pattern at

Pilgrim Hat Thanksgiving Cup

This cut hat can be used as a little gift for your guests. Set the finished hat in their places with a little treat inside. You can find this project also at

Turkey Pin Name Tag

Are you having a party or planning a work event? Make these cute little Turkey Pin Name Tags to make it more festive and fun. You can find this cut project at

Fall Harvest Fabric Candle Ring

This would make a great center piece on any table or shelve for Thanksgiving. You pick a harvest fabric and make a fabric ring for your candle or candles. You can find this project at

Harvest Quilted Leaves

These leaves are a cute way to quickly decorate for Thanksgiving. You can use them all fall if you like. You can find the pattern for this project at

Harvest Raggedy Coasters

These coasters make a great addition to the table for your guests. You can find this pattern at

Pumpkin Yo-Yo Doily

This would be great to put out all fall. This pumpkin doily features little round yo-yo shapes of green and various orange colors that go together to make a pumpkin.

These projects should help get you started on making decorations or gifts. Have fun!

Simple Sewing Project: Make Your Own Backpacks

Nowadays, many people have had to put restrictions on things they love simply because the prices of everything are through the roof. What used to be a big to-do on a Friday or Saturday night is now a night at home in front of the tv for most people. One thing that has always cost little money, though, is camping or hiking. It’s a lot of fun and many people bring things from home to use during the trip. Things related to hiking and camping can be quite expensive, however. Camping gear can cost hundreds of dollars and leave you little money for anything else. But, there are many camping things you can make yourself and save all that money.

There are things you have at home that can help you create the perfect backpacks for your family. One of these things is an ordinary towel. They can be fancy for the ladies in the group or can be plain and solid-colored for the guys. Large, thick towels are perfect for making the backpacks. Place the towel on a table so that the length runs vertically in front of you. Take the short end of the towel which is facing you and fold it up towards the other short end. Stop when you have the towel about two-thirds of the way up. The folded towel area forms the backpack and the excess towel creates a flap to cover it.

Before doing any sewing decide on the pockets and other accessories you want on the backpack. You can make pockets from wash cloths or you can stitch on pockets from old garments. You might even want to add some loops of cloth for carrying other items. Wide ribbon pieces or even pieces of shoestrings work great. Fold the ribbon or string in half, then place the ends between the two towel edges. Make sure that the loop is facing the right side of the towel. Pin and stitch loops and pockets before continuing. Stitch the towel down the sides, turn it right-side out, and you’re almost done!

Use wide ribbon or wide binding to make the backpack straps. Many people will find it easier to sew these on as well, before stitching the side seams. Cut the straps to the length you need then pin them in place on the backpack. Fold the ends of each strap over once, hiding the raw edge, before stitching the straps onto the backpack. Sew on a velcro square, in the center of the towel “flap”, so you can fold it over and secure the backpack. Instead of velcro you can use a button and buttonhole or button and piece of elastic.

You don’t have to be great at sewing to make a backpack out of a pillowcase. Lay the case on a table so that the opening is facing you. Cut off a piece of the top area of the front of the pillowcase. Start by placing the scissors a couple inches away from the side seam. Cut down several inches, cut to a few inches away from the other side seam, then cut straight up. This cutout will allow room to stuff the bag and the uncut edge of the opening will become the flap for the backpack.

Use 3/4″ ribbon, lace or other trim to cover the cut area of the pillowcase. Start by folding a piece of the ribbon over the cut bottom area. Leave the side areas alone for now. Stitch the ribbon across the edge then remove and trim threads. Now fold the ribbon over one side edge of the cutout and stitch down. Do the same to the opposite side. These three ribbon pieces will hide the cut edge and give a finished look to the backpack.

Since you can’t lay the pillowcase backpack flat to sew on pockets you’ll have to pin them and sew them onto the pillowcase as a whole. Position pockets, velcro for the flap, and straps for the back, then pin them in place. Stitch them on the front, sides and other areas of the backpack. The straps for the back should be folded on the ends, then sewn, to hide the raw edges and give the straps more strength.

Make a stronger backpack by placing one pillowcase inside another. Stitch them together, all the way around the top, then create your rectangular cutout. Finish with ribbon, then add the straps and pockets. Embellish by adding monograms done with fabric paint, sewing on tassels, or adding similar enhancements. The finished backpacks are very easy to make and will save you lots of money!