Sock Monkeys


By Judith on October 4, 2019
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This term in class we have been running a soft toys theme.  And in keeping with this theme, this week I have been demo-ing the hugely affectionate Sock Monkey!

 

Sock Monkeys
Large & Medium monkey

 

This pattern is by Craft Passion and includes 3 sizes – Adult, Toddler & Baby!

 

You need one pair of socks to make 1 monkey. The pattern suggests using crew length socks (approx 8″ from heel to cuff) however I adapted knee length socks for my large monkey and used a pair of ladies ankle socks (approx 5″ from heel to cuff) for the medium monkey.

 

Sock Monkeys

 

I found these monkeys surprisingly easy to sew, especially as the pattern directs you to mark and sew the limbs and features on the complete sock first, before cutting out! Genuis!

 

Sock Monkeys

 

And there is a nifty way of getting stuffing into that narrow channel of a tail!! (It’s so clever!)

 

Sock Monkeys

 

The toys we have been making in class require lots and lots of stuffing, really well packed in to achieve the finished shape.  However, that is not the case with these little fellows!

Because socks are made from a stretchy knit fabric, the more you stuff, the more it will stretch! So my advice is not to over stuff, just enough for maximum cuddle factor!

 

Sock Monkeys

 

A little hand sewing brings all the features together. Don’t worry if you’re not that neat a hand sewer like me. The stitches just seem to get absorbed into the knit fabric! Magic!

 

Sock Monkeys

 

Aren’t they cute!  And great gift ideas for little (& big) kids (I recommend using safety eyes instead of buttons if gifting to small children).

 

So no need to discard those old or odd socks!  Get sewing your very own troop of monkeys!

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Triple Porthole Tutorial


By Judith on January 31, 2019
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Hi there, the ‘5 minute demo’ in my classes for this month was all about Portholes!

 

Porthole Dumpling Pouch

 

I first learned how to do this nifty technique from Lu Summers at the 2012 Fat Quarterly Retreat.

 

Porthole Water Bottle Covers

 

It was so much fun, and one of those techniques that is deceptively easy!

 

Porthole Journal Covers/Quilt Now Nov15

 

You can pretty much porthole any shape, and show off some patchwork, feature fabric or pretty vintage embroidery. But my advice is not to get too intricate with the shape otherwise the outline may not keep its definition.

 

Spring Rain Quilt

 

At the Retreat I was sitting beside this talented lady, and inspired by her triple porthole cushions, I’ve made my own 18″ version and written up the tutorial for you here.

 

Triple Porthole Tutorial

 

You Will need:

Fabric 1 (centre): 7″ square

Fabric 2: 12.5″ square

Fabric 3: 16.5″ square

Fabric 4: 18.5″ square

5.5″ diameter bowl or plate to draw around (alternatively use template plastic and compass)

9″ diameter bowl or plate to draw around

13″ diameter bowl or plate to draw around

Calico: Same 3 cuts as Fabrics 2-4 above

 

Method:

Use 1/4″ seam allowance

 

1  Press the 12.5″ calico square in half both ways to find the centre.

 

 

2  Centre the 5.5″ diameter bowl (or template plastic) onto the calico and draw round the circle.

 

 

3  Place the calico onto the RIGHT side of Fabric 2, with the circle facing up.  Pin the layers together and stitch on the circle.

 

 

4  Carefully cut away the fabric in the middle of the circle leaving an 1/8″ seam allowance.

 

 

5  Push the calico through the hole and round to the back. Press well so there is no calico showing from the front side.

 

 

6  Position and centre Fabric 1 (feature fabric) behind the calico, before pinning and sewing around the hole, 1/8″ from the edge.

 

 

7  Peel back the top fabric from the calico and feature fabric laying behind.  Carefully trim away all the excess calico and feature fabric leaving 1/8″ seam allowance.  Do not cut through Fabric 2!  Put to one side.

 

 

8  Repeat steps 1-5 for the 16.5″ piece of calico and 9″ diameter bowl/plate.

 

 

9  Pin the first porthole (with feature fabric) behind this porthole.  Sew around the 2nd porthole 1/8″ from the edge, as before.

 

 

10 Peel back the top fabric from the calico and feature fabric laying behind.  Carefully trim away all the excess calico and feature fabric leaving 1/8″ seam allowance.  Do not cut through Fabric 3!  Put to one side.

 

 

11 Repeat steps 8-10 for Fabric 4 and 13″ diameter bowl/plate.

 

 

Tip:   If you want to turn your piece into a cushion, I recommend not trimming away the last layer of calico and excess feature fabric.  This will add more stability to the outer edges.

 

Now you have your triple porthole piece, you can turn it into a pretty cushion!

 

Triple Porthole Cushion

 

I spray basted wadding and calico behind the cushion front, hand ‘echo’ quilted the portholes, before adding some mini pompoms and an envelope back!

 

Triple Porthole Cushion

 

I hope you enjoyed my tutorial and have lots of fun giving portholes a go!

 

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Infinity Scarf Tutorial


By Judith on September 28, 2018
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My 5 minute demo in class this month was how to make these super easy infinity scarfs.

 

DSC_0020

 

You can use anything between 1 and 4 pieces of fabric for your scarf.

 

Infinity Scarfs

 

The sumptuous softness of Art Gallery fabrics  or Liberty Lawns work particularly well, but you can also use quilting cotton, or for a more cosy scarf, try brushed cotton or snuggly fleece.

 

Would you like to know how to make them? My tutorial shows you how to make a scarf from 4 fabrics.

 

Infinity scarf tutorial

 

You will need:

Scarf made from 1 fabric: 1 x (20″ x 60″) or

Scarf made from 2 fabrics: 2 x (10.5″ x 60″) or

Scarf made from 3 fabrics: 2 x (10.5″ x 30″) & 1 x (10.5″ x 60″) or

Scarf made from 4 fabrics: 4 x (10.5″ x 30″)

3 metres mini pom pom trim (optional)

Adjustable zipper foot

 

Use 1/4″ seam allowance

 

1  Sew 2 panels right sides together  along the short edges. Press the seam open.  Repeat for the other 2 panels.

 

 

2 On the right side of one of the pairs, pin and machine tack 2 x 60″ lengths of mini pom pom trim down both long sides. The pom poms should be facing away from the outer edges.  I used my zipper foot for this part so I could sew past the pom poms.

 

 

3 Place both paired panels right sides together and sew down both long sides.  Again, I used my zipper foot here.

 

 

4 Turn the scarf right side out.

 

5  Iron under the raw edges of one short end by 1/4″.

 

 

6  Take the other short end and twist the scarf once before tucking it into the ironed under short end.

 

 

7 Even out the short ends, pin and sew them together, 1/8″ from the folded edge. You are only sewing through the 2 short ends here.

 

 

And there you have it!  A beautifully soft infinity scarf.

 

Infinity Scarfs

 

You can of course lengthen and widen the measurements here to suit your needs or style!

 

Have fun making these versatile and practical scarves. But be warned!

 

EVERYONE will want one!!!

 

Happy sewing!

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