Posts Tagged ‘one yard wonders’

My cats have lodged a complaint with their union representative, their charge is cat abuse!

Exhibit A: A brand new puppy bed made for the newest member of the household.

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The cats firmly believe that dogs should always come second to them and are highly offended that we would invest time and effort into a project for the dog before creating something for them.

Exhibit B: While the dog can stretch out on a comfy, fluffy and large bed. The cats are stuck in a tray that barely fits one of them much less both of them together.

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In our defense the tray is padded with a couple layers of fleece left over from various quilts. The cats, however, organized a strike in accordance with union rules. There will be no lap sitting or leg rubbing until their demands have been met.

With an empty, cold lap and a sad sad heart I set to work on making their royal highnesses happy.

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The pattern is the better than a box pet bed from “One Yard Wonders” and the fabric is “Sew Now, Sew Wow” from Alexander Henry. I love this fabric and knew to make my cats happy I’d have to part with one of my favorite prints. I think the large design and bright colors are perfect for this project. The bed is my favorite project so far from “One Yard Wonders.” It’s unique design and functionality make it a perfect project. The most time consuming part was drawing the pattern pieces out on the fabric, the sewing itself is a breeze, then you stuff it and your done! The entire thing took less than an hour to make.

Of course the true test is the cats. I went and got Bear, thinking at best he would sniff it and move on (he hates to be put some place and usually runs off on principle alone). But he must really love this bed because he immediately laid down

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and stayed there all afternoon.

For photgraphing purposes I put the bed on our kitchen table but the bed will permanently reside on a corner of my sewing table hopefully preventing my cats from feeling the need to lay down on one of my in progress piles of fabric. As I write this, Maggie, is currently napping on it 🙂 So I guess they both approve. it’s a good thing too, now that it is getting cold I’ll need a sweet kitty to curl up with me on the couch.


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The more projects I complete from “One Yard Wonders” the more I love it. I fall in love with so many fabrics and then they end up lanquishing on a shelf. Some prints are simply to busy or to unlike anything else in my stash to be used in a quilt. And even those that can be used in a quilt may not make it into one for years because it takes so long to make quilts and my inspiration for quilts varies so frequently. I may buy a floral fabric because “I have to have it” but be really inspired by simple and graphic prints and make a quilt out of those. I buy fabric because I love it and want to be surrounded by it, not have it sitting on a shelf waiting for months or years to be used. This book is filled with everyday items that you can make out of fabric so you can finally take those well loved prints off the shelf, put them to use, and be surrounded by them all the time!

This isn’t my favorite project from this book but it comes pretty close. The book calls this a “collapsible shopping tote” but I call it the ninja tote.

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Look how small it gets!

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This one is for my mother in laws birthday. Originally it and the umbrella mini quilt were going to be Christmas gifts but TH wants to make her a cutting board for Christmas so we’ll give her these in a couple weeks for her birthday. The quilt will be “wrapped” in the bag. Now that she and her husband are retired they spend a lot of time traveling in their fifth wheel so I’m hoping that both the quilt and ninja bag will fit well into their downsized, on-the-go lifestyle.

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This one is for me! I fell in love with this print by Paintbrush Studio and bought it knowing I could never use it in a quilt but “needing” it nonetheless. Now I can easily carry this in my purse for trips to the fabric store, drugstore, etc.

Since they are made with quilting weight cotton I wouldn’t load this bag up with a bunch of groceries, or at least not a gallon of milk, but it’s handy for just about any other shopping needs. And it’s small size and portability mean I won’t find myself in a store accepting a plastic shopping bag as I kick myself for forgetting one of my reusable bags.

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I don’t know about you but sometimes I need a fast and easy project to give me a sense of accomplishment and skill. This pet bed from “One Yard Wonders” is the perfect project for it. I mean how hard can any project be that involves six rectangles and some piping?

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I used “Leo” by Alexander Henry.

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I picked this fabric up a couple years ago in a quilt shop not knowing what I would use it for but also knowing I couldn’t leave it behind! I decided to use it for this project to add a little color and whimsy to our living room and because it coordinates with my favorite piece of art that we own.

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It took me about 30-45 minutes to put the whole thing together. I stuffed it with two bags of organic bamboo fiberfill and the stuffing from an old pillow (we are all about reusing things around here) and I think our puppy, Pearl, approves.

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Pearl is about fifteen pounds now and won’t get much bigger, she’s a silver beagle, so this bed will be used for a very long time. If you’ve got a small dog the bed is the canine equivalent of a king sized bed but if you’ve got a medium sized dog it’s more of a canine twin sized bed (it works but there isn’t a lot of room to stretch out). If you’ve got a medium to large breed dog this would work when they are little but you’d have to increase the size if they are going to use it when they grow up.

So far our cats haven’t tried the bed out but they could both comfortably fit on it if the dog would ever move 🙂

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I needed to take a break from quilt making and I decided a quick and easy project was in order. Since I plan on giving aprons as Christmas gifts to a couple individuals I decided to give the Kitschy Kitchen Apron from One Yard Wonders a try.

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The fabric is from Joel Dewberry’s Deer Valley fabric collection in persimmon. I can’t remember why I bought them but since one of my goals for my Christmas crafting is to use fabric from my stash I thought these two prints would be perfect. While the goal of the book is to use a single yard of fabric almost every example of this I’ve seen has used at least two different prints except for the one in the book.

The pattern is simple to cut and sew together. There aren’t any pattern pieces to print off, you draw the pieces directly onto the fabric using the dimensions provided. My only complaint with this is the assumption that you can get a full 36 inches from the selvedge edge of a yard of fabric. I don’t know about you but after I’ve squared everything up I’ve got 35- 35 1/2 inches. In this case I had 35 1/2 inches but you ruffle this down to 21 inches anyway so it’s not a big deal. However I’ve used patterns where this has been a big deal so I think pattern writers should be aware of this issue and take it into account when dictating measurements and writing patterns.

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Whenever a pattern calls for topstitching close to the edge I cringe a little, I’m just not that great at getting a precise line of stitches so instead I make every everything 1/4 inch and it works just fine and looks a lot better.

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Janome makes a ruffle foot but it’s a little expensive and I’d rarely use it so I did this the old fashioned way with a large basting stitch and hand gathering it. I use a lot of pins when sewing a ruffled or gathered piece of fabric to a straight piece to ensure the edges stay lined up.

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It was on step 5, attaching the waistband, that I got completely confused. Did you ever read a pattern step over and over again waiting for comprehension to hit? You know it should make sense, but you just don’t get it? That’s what happened to me. The directions say:

“Press one long raw dge of the waistband under 1/2 inch to the wrong side of the fabric” Okay that’s easy enough I get that.

“With right sides together, align the raw edges of the waistband to the raw edge of the apron/ruffle, and stitch.” Stitch what? Stitch how far from the edge? Baste?

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So I did another 1/4 inch seam along the raw edge sewing the three pieces together (the ruffle, the skirt, and the waistband) and “Press(ed) the seam allowances toward the waistband.”

But then it says “With right sides together, fold the waistband in half lengthwise, and stitch across the short ends. Clip the corners, turn the waistband right side out, and press.” I don’t get it… If the waistband is sewn to the rest of the apron how could you turn it “right side out” So after reading it about twenty times, googling to see if anyone else faced the problem and still feeling lost I decided to veer away from the directions and do my own thing.

I folded the raw edge of both short sides under 1/2 inch to the wrong side of the fabric.

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Then I folded the waistband over so that the unsewn edge covered the stitching from attaching the apron, ruffle, and waistband together.

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While I was at it I decided to go ahead and put the apron ties into the waistband 1/2 inch and then sew a 1/4 inch all the way around the back of the waistband.

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I love how it turned out but I still don’t understand the directions….

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The whole project only took a couple of hours and is a great Christmas, birthday, housewarming or hostess gift that can be completely customized for the recipient. It’s so quick and easy in fact making these could easily become addictive. For a minute or two I contemplated giving everyone one of these for Christmas 🙂

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fabric 010, originally uploaded by Indie House.

“One Yard Wonders” was a must have on my Christmas list this year and thankfully Santa was kind enought to oblige me. Of course the danger in getting any crafting book is that after the first perusal it will sit gathering dust on the bookshelf.

To prevent this I’ve decided to make at least five projects from this book in the next six months. It may not seem like a lot when you consider that there are 101 projects in the book but well here’s the deal. Like any other crafting/sewing book 1/3-2/3 of the projects are repeats of projects you can find in any other crafting/sewing book or find free instructions for online. There are slight variations of course but at some point an apron is an apron and a bag for laundry is just a laundry bag. When you buy a book like this you have to go into it realizing that and either the author’s style/concept or a few more original projects make the book worthwhile. For me it was the concept, I buy a lot of fabric that doesn’t match any other fabric I have because I’ve “fallen in love” with it. My default purchase is one yard because anything less seams like it won’t go very far.

My first project is the laptop sleeve. I’m traveling to Switzerland and Germany for work in a couple weeks and I want to protect my laptop for the journey.

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I wanted something somewhat professional since this is a work trip so I used this bold black and white home decorate weight fabric from Alexander Henry. I don’t usually waste good fabric for the lining of a project and this was no exception, instead I used a purple/berry kona cotton. It’s jewel tone a nice counter point to the black and white print.

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As I mentioned the concept of the book is a collection of projects using one yard of fabric but this project only took about 1/2 yard depending on the size of your laptop. I skipped the applique piece, which is what makes their laptop sleeve different but I didn’t really want a wiener dog decorating my work laptop sleeve.

The instructions in the pattern are concise and for the most part easy to follow. I got a bit tripped up trying to figure out if I was putting the right or wrong sides together but it’s easy enough to figure out.

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This project was the first time I’ve ever dropped my feed dogs. I know it’s not a big deal to some people but for me it was a bit scary. I’ve always kept my feed dogs firmly in place and stuck to straight line quilting. My stitches are far from perfect but I can see improvement even over the course of this small project. Honestly, you can’t even see the quilting on the outside so it doesn’t really matter.

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The only tricky part of this project for me was the double fold bias tape.

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I don’t use it that often and the instructions in the book are sadly lacking. Most of these books have a small section at the front going into more detail about the specifc techniques used in the projects. I realize space is a premium and they can’t explain everything in detail in any book but I still think they could have done a better job. At a loss for guidance from the book I went to the internet and my favorite double fold bias tape tutorial from the Angry Chicken.

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That accomplished my laptop sleeve was done!

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The whole project only took a couple hours and I’m quite happy with my new laptop sleeve. It fits my computer nice and snuggly and will certainly protect it from getting banged around during my world travels. Next up I’m going to make a small drawstring pouch for the cord so it doesn’t get lost or tangled in my bag.

Don’t have the book but want to make a laptop sleeve? You can find free instructions from Sew, Mama, Sew here.

Want one but don’t want to make it yourself? You can buy one here.

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