Tissue Box Cover Tutorial


By Judith on August 20, 2018
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It’s about time I posted another tutorial here, don’t you think?

 

Tissue Box Cover Tutorial

 

Before all the sniffles and colds get going, how about pretty, quilted tissue box covers.  I’d much rather see pretty fabric sitting in my room, than a functional cardboard box!

 

Tissue Box Cover Tutorial

 

And this tutorial will explain how to cover a box of any size, so let’s get started!

 

You Will Need:

 

Exterior Fabric

Lining Fabric

Wadding

Heavy Sew-In Vilene

Non-permanent fabric marker

Cardboard or template plastic

 

Measure your box:

 

Tissue Box Cover Tutorial

 

Take measurements A (short side), B (long side) and C (top).  Then add 3/4″ (0.75″) to each measurement (1/2″ for seam allowances, 1/4″ for ease) to get the cutting out sizes.

 

You can see my measurements in the example below:

 

Tissue Box Cover Tutorial

 

Cutting Out:

 

So now that you have the cutting out measurements you can either ….

 

apply all measurements to your exterior fabrics, lining fabric, wadding and heavy sew-in vilene

 

Tissue Box Cover Tutorial

 

OR

 

instead of cutting out the sides, cut and baste an 11″ x 12″ piece of exterior fabric, wadding and sew-in vilene.  Once quilted, this is big enough to cut out all 4 sides.

 

 

You will also need this template for the openings.  I use the larger shape for rectangular boxes and the smaller shape for cube boxes.  Cut out the openings and transfer them to card or template plastic.

 

Make It:

 

Use 1/4″ seams

 

1  If you haven’t already done so, spray baste the exterior fabrics, wadding and vilene together.

 

2 Quilt as desired (I marked and quilted a 1.5″ diagonal grid, see photo above).

 

 

3 Pin an exterior short side (A) right sides together with the exterior top (C). With a pen, mark 1/4″ in from each corner on the short side (wrong side).

 

 

4 Sew from marker to marker, starting and finishing with a reverse stitch. Repeat for the other short side.

 

 

5 Press the short ends out before attaching the long sides in the same way (remember to mark your 1/4″ points).

 

 

6 Repeat steps 3-5 for the lining pieces.

 

 

7 Find the middle of the lining top piece (I simply folded it in half lengthways and widthways and finger pressed).

 

 

8 Centre your chosen template opening onto the wrong side of the lining top piece and draw around it.

 

 

9 Pin the exterior and lining pieces right sides together. Sew along the drawn line, starting and finishing with a reverse stitch.

 

 

10 Carefully cut out the opening, leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance. Snip at 1cm intervals all the way around the opening, taking care not to cut into the stitches.

 

 

11 Push the lining through the opening and all the way round to the back of the exterior. Iron around the opening to neaten.

 

 

12 Top stitch around the opening, 1/8″ from the edge.

 

 

13 Pin the exterior sides right sides together. Sew adjacent exterior sides together, sewing from the top down to the 1/4″ marker (fold the top piece out of the way so you can get right down to the 1/4″ marker). Start and finish with a reverse stitch.

 

Tissue Box Cover Tutorial

 

14 Repeat step 13 for the lining pieces.

 

 

15 Turn the exterior right side out, by folding it out over the lining. On the inside you should be able to see the right side of the lining.

 

16 Push the lining well into the corners of the exterior cover.  Pop in the tissue box and trim off any excess cover and lining level with the edge of the box.

 

 

17 Machine tack (large stitch) around the raw edges 1/8″ from the edge.

 

 

18 Make enough double fold quilt binding to get around the bottom edges with a couple of inches overlap.  Attach, join and finish the binding as you would for a quilt.

 

Pop in the tissue box and adorn your bedside table!

 

Tissue Box Cover Tutorial

 

Or how about a scrappy tissue box cover ….

 

QAYG Tissue box cover

 

…. or have some free motion sketching fun!

 

Tissue Box Cover Tutorial

 

Whatever shape or design you choose for your cover, have lots of fun!

 

Happy sewing!

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Improv. Curved Placemats Tutorial


By Judith on May 4, 2018
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In keeping with our ‘curves’ theme this term, my monthly ‘5 minute lesson’ in classes this week was all about Improv. (improvisational) curves.

 

As the name suggests ‘improv.’ means you pretty much go with the flow and make up the curves as you go.  No two curves are the same, and there are much fewer rules to abide by than with standard pieced curves. You don’t even have to worry about an even seam allowance (gasp!).

 

You can imagine how well this technique went down with all my rebellious non-conformists (you know who you are!!).

 

There are many examples of improv. curves on Pinterest (see my Curves Pinterest Board here).  And to give an example of these in class, I made some improv. curved placemats, in the lovely coastal Beachcomber fabrics by Makower.

 

Improv Curves Placemat tutorial (2)

 

Here is the tutorial on how to make my Improv. Curved Placemats (makes 4 x 15 1/4″ diameter mats).

 

You will need:

Between Nine and Twelve 10″ squares (I used Beachcomber by Makower)

50cm of Wadding or Insul Bright Heat Resistant Wadding

50cm of calico

1 metre of Heat Resistant Non-Slip Table Protector (at least 35″ wide)

4.5 metres of 3/4″ wide bias binding

Co-ordinating threads

505 Basting Spray

 

Method: Assume 1/4″ seams

1 Place 2 squares of fabric on the cutting mat, right sides facing up, and overlapping.  The wider the overlap, the deeper the curves can be.  I usually overlap by 2-3″ (I am using up a smaller piece of fabric here to overlap the 10″ square).

 

 

2 Using a rotary cutter, cut a curve up through the overlapped section.

 

 

3 Remove the excess pieces (this will be the smaller piece of the right hand fabric and the smaller/underneath piece of the left hand fabric). The remaining pieces should fit neatly together.

 

 

4 Sew the 2 pieces right sides together.  It is easier to do this by straightening the underneath piece with your right hand and lifting up the top piece with your left hand.  Don’t worry if your seam allowance isn’t even the whole way down, just make sure there are no tucks.

 

 

5 Press the seam to the darkest fabric.

 

 

6 Repeat steps 2-5 for a third piece of fabric, over lapping the left hand edge of the first piece.

 

 

7 Spray baste the curved pieces, wadding and calico together (tutorial on spray basting available here).

 

 

8 Quilt the mats, starting centrally and working towards the outer edges.  I quilted in the ditches and then’echo’ quilted the curved seams 1/2″ apart.

 

 

9 Place a round plate or bowl on top and draw around it.  Cut along the line and remove the excess.  Put to one side.

 

 

10 Place the same plate/bowl onto the felted side of the non-slip table protector.  Draw around it and cut out.

 

 

11 Machine tack the table protector to the wrong side of the mat, making sure the felted side is on the inside. Machine tacking means using a large stitch on your machine, and stitching close to the edges.  If you find the rubberised table protector resisting or sticking to your sewing machine, make sure the rubberised side is facing up and engage the dual feed/walking foot on your machine.  If you don’t have these, stick some matt scotch tape to the underside of your presser foot keeping clear of the needle opening.

 

 

12 Open out the bias binding, and leaving a few inches unsewn at the start, attach the binding around the edge of the mat using a scant 1/4″ seam allowance, stopping a few inches short at the end (remember to use a quilting size stitch length here, not a tacking stitch).

 

 

13 Place the end of the bias binding over the start and measure and mark 1/2″ overlap.  Trim off the excess.

 

 

14 Open out the binding and sew the short ends together using 1/4″ seam allowance.

 

 

15 Finger press the seam open and finish sewing down the remaining binding to the mat.

16 Snip all around the edge of the mat at 1cm intervals, taking care not to cut the stitches.

 

 

17 Push the binding over to the back of the mat.  Pin in the ditch from the front, making sure the binding is caught at the back.

 

 

18 Stitch in the ditch from the front side finishing with a reverse stitch.

 

 

And you’re finished!

Improv Curves Placemats

 

Adorn your table with your beautiful mats and wait for the compliments!

 

Improv Curves Placemats

 

So why not have a go at this organic and fun technique!

 

I hope you enjoy your venture into improv. curves!

 

Happy curving!

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Mats!


By Judith on October 16, 2017
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Hello everyone!

 

I hope you are all safe after storm Ophelia made her presence known here today!  Perhaps you got to stay inside and sew!

 

Yesterday I had a little free time and got to play with some scraps.

 

Scrappy Tilda Mat

 

I define scraps as leftovers from another project.  These Tilda strips were the leftover cuts from a quilt I made recently.  Waaaaay to pretty to chuck!

 

I had no real plan, other than my need for a couple of mats for my new kitchen.

 

Scrappy Tilda Mat

 

There’s something so satisfying about sewing strips together and just seeing where they take you.

 

Scrappy Tilda Mat

 

A little addition of Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (Flax) and ‘Oven Glove’ wadding turned this mat into a trivet style hot pad.  I love the texture the extra thick wadding gives when quilted!

 

Scrappy Tilda Mat

 

With the leftover strips I had pieced, I just quilted them in the same way with standard wadding and voila!  I now have a handy mat for my Tea, Coffee and Sugar canisters to sit on.

 

Scrappy Tilda Mat

Scrappy Tilda Mat

 

Oh and there’s one more to show you!

 

EPP Mat

 

I turned a little EPP (English Paper Piecing) class sample into another hot mat (there’s oven glove wadding inside this one too!).

 

EPP Mat

 

A mixture of Tilda and non-Tilda scraps in this one, on a background of more Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (Flax).

 

So now I have a choice of pretty mats to choose from!

 

No better way to spend a relaxing few hours!

 

Happy quilting!

 

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Tilda Table Cloth


By Judith on May 29, 2017
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Hello everyone! I hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend!

 

I had a fun few days with my best quilty buddies, up a mountain, with glorious sunshine and sheep for company (there may also have been lots of cake and buns)!

 

Threads Across the Sea Retreat May17
L-R: Me, Trudi, Sarah, Di aka ‘Threads Across the Sea’ 

 

Threads Across the Sea Retreat May17

Threads Across the Sea Retreat May17

Threads Across the Sea Retreat May17

 

There was lots of sewing done too, but alas I can’t show you that just yet.

 

What I can show you is a summery table cloth I made for the May issue of Pretty Patches magazine.

 

P1130492

 

The clever peeps at Tilda Fabrics came up with a beautiful collection earlier this year called Bumblebee.

 

 

If you are a regular visitor here, you will know how much I adore Tilda fabrics.  And this collection is no exception. Ditsy flowers and some of my all time favourite colours together – what’s not to love!

 

Tilda Table Cloth (Pretty Patches May17)

 

So when Pretty Patches offered me a bundle of Bumblebee to work with, I jumped at the chance!

 

I wanted to keep the design large scale to let the fabrics do all the talking.

 

Tilda Table Cloth (Pretty Patches May17)

 

Also, to maintain some drape, I didn’t use wadding, but simply ‘bagged’ the top and backing together.

 

One of the reasons why I love Tilda fabrics so much is because of their vintage vibe (and I love all things vintagey!).  So a lacey trim around the edge seemed a fitting finish.

 

P1130343

 

All I need now is for the summer sunshine to return for a little al fresco dining on my new table cloth!

 

Tilda Table Cloth (Pretty Patches May17)

 

Happy sewing!

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Mother’s Day Pot Holder!


By Judith on April 11, 2017
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I realise Mother’s Day is a while ago now, but I haven’t told you about a wee make I made my mum!

 

Pot Holder
I have made mum pot holders before, and was pleased to see them put to good use in her kitchen recently.

 

But continuous use means they get a little ‘worse for wear’ over time. So I thought a replacement was in order.

 

I mainly store my scraps in colour order, in a tall drawer stacker! But when I have leftovers from a particular collection, I will keep them together.

 

I had one such little bag of small 2″ squares leftover from a quilt project a few years ago. I can’t remember which fabric collection these are from, but I had just enough to create 9″ square pot holder.

 

 

Instead of using Insul Bright Heat Resistant wadding, I tried an extra thick compressed wadding (sold in the shop where I teach as ‘oven glove wadding’!).

 

I increased the stitch length and was able to quilt through it no problem.  I love the firmness and texture from the thicker wadding.

 

Pot Holder

 

Curving the corners and adding co-ordinating bias binding & a loop finished this quick little gift.  It only took an afternoon!

 

Pot Holder

 

I love how this pot holder has turned out!  Can you believe I don’t have a single one in my own kitchen!  I really must make myself a few, especially as they don’t take long, and let’s face it, I have oodles of scraps to choose from!

 

Linking up this hot pot holder with the Scraptastic Tuesday queens, Nicky and Leanne!

 

Happy sewing!

 

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Folksy Tea Cosy


By Judith on September 23, 2016
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Sewing World asked me to make a Scandi inspired Tea Cosy for their October issue.

After much deliberation I broke with tradition and chose felt to best illustrate my design.

Folksy Tea Cosy

I used my trusty Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (Flax) for the background.  I think the rustic linen gives a lovely foundation for the tactile felt.

I bondawebbed the shapes down (took quite a bit of heat to adhere) and then had to decide on how to applique them.

Folksy Tea Cosy

 

I haven’t free motion sketched on felt before so wasn’t sure if my risky decision would pay off.  But I’m really pleased with the added texture it gives to the felt.

Folksy Tea Cosy

I hope you like my cute cosy, and my nod to all things Folksy!

(The October issue of Sewing World is in the shops now.)
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