My quilting thoughts and inspirations sprinkled with a glimpse of life down on the farm

Monday, January 20, 2014

A Scrappy Project

(A post where I use a (small) ufo, sew some scraps AND make a Christmas gift!)
We all know Raewyn likes a challenge, so when SewCalGal announced she had some for us this year I was keen to learn more :-)
[You may remember the Free Motion Quilting challenges she has run the past 2 years, I had a lot of fun with them].
One of her 2014 challenges is the  "Handmade Christmas Challenge" which really appealed to me - oh to be more organised for Christmas time! As I was already hoping for more of a Handmade Christmas this year, I was sold! 

We are asked to make a Christmas gift or Christmas decorating item, to share it, and some tips, hints or even a tutorial to inspire others. 
Easy enough, you may think, but where to start?!!

Blocks from Flirting with Flowers by Vicki Tucek, now called the
Pickledish Patch.
These little blocks were part of a free block of the month project which Vicki Tucek (The Pickledish Patch) offered during 2010. (They are still available, for a small charge, on her site). It was one of my first forays into needleturn applique and I really enjoyed making them. As is often the way, I never quite finished the project and the blocks have sat forgotten, but not unloved, waiting for attention for a while now.
I pulled one block out recently and have given it a new life. I decided it was the perfect size for a book cover.
I have a formula I use when making book covers. Close the book and measure the full size of it; that is, run the tape measure across the front, around the spine and then across the back. Add 9" to this measurement. Then measure the height of the book and add 1" to that.
Then it is a matter of joining your fabric pieces until you get to this size. Approx. 4 1/2" at each end will be inside flaps so I usually keep those unpieced, but for the rest of the cover I play around until the fabrics that I want to use all fit together.
Then I back it with a light iron-on pellon, or similar, and lightly quilt it. The quilting may not be necessary but I like the finish it gives. For this one, I stitched in all the ditches and then free motioned around the applique pieces.
Once I've joined the lining to the front at each end only, I make the flaps by tucking the side seam in. [If you don't know this method, let me know and I will share that, I didn't take a photo at the time and it is easiest to illustrate by a photo]. [Explanantion for lack of detail further on in post].
The ladybird is too cute!
Quite by accident I discovered a good way to do the lining; rather than starting with one large piece the size of my cover, I join two pieces together so there is a seam down the centre. Leave an opening in that join - you can pull the cover through it to turn it right side out...I find it a lot neater than leaving an opening in one of the outside edges.
Finished cover 
Internal shot!
Without too much fuss, we have a book cover!!
I hope you've found these points useful and maybe they will inspire you to pull out a lonely block and turn it into something new.

Apologies for the lack of photos for this tutorial/post. While I was finishing it off yesterday afternoon I was mentally distracted by a bushfire raging across the road. Devastating and heartbreaking. Some of our beautiful bush across the road has gone, as well as some Reserve Land and the neighbour's bush and pines. Apparently the gulleys of big trees are still intact but the ridges are burnt out. There were some huge flames. Helicopters were working into the night and are back there this morning. I'm not looking forward to having to face facts and actually see the damage myself.
No-one was hurt, no stock were harmed, no buildings or vehicles were 'in the way' and rain is forecast so I guess we have plenty to feel thankful for.

To see more Christmas sewing projects click *here*
To go to Scrap Basket Sunday, hosted by Kim's Big Quilting Adventures, click *here*
Thank you to both lovely ladies for inspiring and motivating us yet again :-)
Happy stitching everyone,
Have a great day,

32 comments:

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

I remember Flirting with Flowers. Love what you did. You sure used some lovely scraps.

Carrie P. said...

Glad you are safe!
great way to use orphan blocks. thanks for sharing.

Just Ramblin' said...

I still have my flowers from Vicki and seeing your idea and instructions for a journal cover, think that is one way to put them to good use. Thank you for sharing. Nola

Lesley said...

Your journal cover is so sweet! Nicely done. So sorry to hear about the fires...take care and stay safe...

Julie said...

Hi Raewyn, gosh thanks for sharing about the journal cover as I had been thinking of doing some & your tips are great. I love your fabrics & colours :-)
So very sorry to read of the fires across the road,hope you are getting some rain today as we are. Julie x0x

Sheila said...

I love your journal cover , I have those appliqué patterns saved for someday . So sorry to hear about the fires , take care ,

Barbara said...

Wow working on Christmas projects already. You sure are on the ball Raewyn. I love the journal cover. So sorry to read about the bush fire, hope all is well now. I know how scary they can be and the damage they cause.

Anita said...

What a great way to use up scraps and that little lady bird is a bit special.
Cheers, Anita.

Leeanne said...

Gee the fire would have been scary! Glad no one was hurt....or animals.
Cool book cover.

margaret said...

bush fires so close, that must have been pretty frightening, wondering if they would cross the road to you and you are quietly posting on your blog, how laid back is that.

A great tutorial, thank you I can now attempt to cover a book and having a seam in the lining makes it all so much easier and neater

Julia said...

I love your journal cover...you given me a few ideas for mine!

Janet O. said...

Very cute blocks--I like the repurposing you have done to make such a pretty little gift item. Sweet!

shez said...

Love these blocks Raewyn and making a journal cover was a great idea,well done on such beautiful work.xx

Brigitte said...

Your book/journal cover looks gorgeous and the instructions you give are very clear. No pictures needed. Love that little ladybird very much.
Hopefully these bushfires will soon come to an end when the rain comes. What we see on TV about them looks so very scary and the damages are devastating.

ms lottie said...

Yikes! thinking about Christmas already?! Makes sense though. And it always pays to have some gifts tucked away.
I'm glad there was no one in the way of the bushfire and I'm extra glad NZ doesn't get them that often like Aus or USA - scary.

canuckquilter said...

Thanks for the tips on making a book cover. Yours turned out quite lovely. Sorry to hear about the bush fire.

sigisart said...

Dear Raewyn,
your book cover looks lovely and great. I never did a book cover, but when I see yours I want to go to my sewing room and start...
Hugs
sigisart

Connie said...

This project is wonderful and I am head-over-heels in love with that little ladybug.
You are SEW talented :)
I'm having another Give-A-Way come visit and put your name in the hat :)
Your blogging sister, Connie :)

Sharon said...

What a great idea. I love journals, love those applique blocks. Love this idea thanks.

Michelle Ridgway said...

Such pretty blocks from Vicki. I love your cover and all your hints..thank you. Seems to be fires everywhere at present...stay safe x

Peg - Happy In Quilting said...

Your journal is gorgeous...

Connie said...

What a beautiful notebook cover! I hope you and your property stay safe from the fires.

Maureen said...

Hope the devastation from the fire isn't as bad as you fear. Your book cover is charming. Your explanation was very thorough.

Shirley said...

Glad you are safe Raewyn but these things are pretty scary and shake you up a bit. When the going gets tough the tough get sewing. Love the book cover and perfectly understood. Xx

Patty D from NC said...

Beautiful project. Sorry to hear about the brush fire.

Kwilty Pleasures said...

Lovely cover....ladybugs and flowers...luv!

Library Gal Quilts said...

Just stopped by from Lori's tell us about your blog post :) Love your project, and that was a clever way to do the finishing. I would be very worried about a fire, and am sorry for the devastation. I live in Northern California where we have had absolutely no rain or snow this winter and we are very concerned about the upcoming summer. Even now we have had winter fires. Take care Raewyn! hugs! Pam

Rose Marie said...

I need to make some book covers and will heed your tips. Love your cover.
Australia has had an awful fire season this year. Hope it ends soon.

Ulla's Quilt World said...

So lovely! :)
Greetings from Finland!
Hugs, Ulla

Nicky said...

This is beautiful Raewyn, and the Christmas challenge looks fun. What a horrible, frightening time with the fire so close. I hope there isn't too much damage...

Tatkis said...

Lovely blocks, and this ladybug cover is soooo cute!

Hugs,
Tatyana

Sue W said...

Beautiful way to us odd blocks worked and sitting in the odds and ends basket......Thank you I've made a note!