Saturday, August 27, 2011

Make a Sassy, Classy Cell Phone Cover... Part 1

When I first started fooling around with quilting, about two years ago, I got on a Crazy Quilt phase. I practiced on 10" squares and then wondered what to do with the finished squares besides making quilts. Well... I came up with this classy little cell phone holder. Here's what they look like:

Mine is the one on the left with the phone and the cute orange cat fabric. My blog tomorrow is going to explain how to put the cell phone covers together. 

Today I'm going to explain how to make the crazy quilt piece 
you're going to need to make the cover.

So, here we go... First you need three 10" squares of fabric. When you're finished with all the steps you will actually have 3 crazy quilt pieces that will be enough to make three cell phone covers. 

Stack the three squares so that all edges are aligned perfectly, and then using a rotary cutter, cut a diagonal line through the stack. You do not need a plan or a chalk line. Just place your straight edge on a angle and let the rotary cutter go!

Next you take the top piece of the pile on the right hand side and put it at the bottom of that same pile. It will look something like this...

Pick up those top two pieces from the left and the right pile, and sew them together using a quarter inch seam allowance. You need to press the seams in one direction when finished. Then I will go back to the stack and get the next two top pieces and do the same thing until I have 3 new squares of fabric. Line the seam up the best you can. We will be re-squaring the pieces when we're finished. Your fabric should look similar to the picture below. You now have three squares made up of two fabrics each.

Re-stack and align your fabric squares. Rotate it so that the seam is going across as shown in the picture below.

Make another diagonal cut as shown below.

Take the piece that is on the top of the right pile and put it on the bottom of that same pile. It should look like the example below.

Pick up the top two pieces from each pile, and sew them together with a quarter inch seam allowance. Press the seam closed. Continue with the two remaining squares. When you are finished you will have three squares with 4 pieces of fabric in each square.

Again, you are going to re-align the squares and do another diagonal cut. After cutting take the top piece on the right and put it on the bottom of that stack. It should be similar to the example below. 

Pick up the top pieces from both stacks and sew them together with the quarter inch seam. Don't forget to press the seams.  This is the what it will look like when your are finished. You have now made 3 diagonal cuts and have 6 sections of fabric in each square. I think by now you are getting the hang of this process.

Re-stack and align your squares and make one more diagonal cut. Don't forget to take the top of the right stack and put that one on the bottom of the right stack. Sew and press the seams... You should have something similar to what's pictured below. That's it. You now know how to crazy quilt!

You're ready to move on to tomorrow's steps for making the Classy Cell Phone Cover!

As a side note... I've used this same technique to make place mats. Here's one that is part of a set of 8. I loved being able to use the fancy stitches on my machine. I used 4 coordinating fabrics. I cut two of each fabric into 16" squares giving me a total of 8 for eight place mats. I then stacked 4 of the different fabrics and began making the diagonal cuts, re-stacking, sewing and pressing as I explained above. Then I did the same thing with the next 4 fabrics. Doing all of this in stacks of 8 would have overloaded the rotary cutter and my arm. Once I had all the Crazy Quilt pieces done, I added the borders to make it place mat size. I then built the sandwich of backing, batting and the top. I used my decorative stitches and then bound each placemat. Done!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sweet Mom

I'm just thinking today about my mom and how lucky my sister and I were to have her. You see, she was a very talented Home Economics teacher at Bolsa Grande HS in Garden Grove, CA and she taught tailoring at CSU, Fullerton. All that talent had to rub off on us -- and it did. My sister, Georgia, is a first class seamstress and has the tedious skills necessary to do beautiful garments and quilts. I'm the younger sister who tagged along and sometimes paid attention to what was going on. Probably, because of that,  I am much more free spirit, spur of the moment, go where the fabric takes me,  and love the way fabrics can fit together in art quilts.

What in the world brought on all this deep heavy thinking???  My daughter asked me to make a quilt... just a twin size quilt, but never the less a real quilt. OMG - I guess corners and points really do have to fit together. What's with that? Talk about confinement..(Mom... help, I should have listened.)  I had to follow a pattern. Wow, I'm like brain dead from that adventure! Luckily I found a great book with shortcuts :-) In fact it's called Crazy Shortcut Quilts by Marguerita McManus and Sarah Raffuse. You quilt as you go! Imagine that. They have a great technique for binding all the quilted squares together as you're making them. Their recommendation is to crazy quilt each square and then bind. However I used a different method for each square. I used Turning Twenty by Tricia Cribbs. You use a variety of fat quarters that are cut a specific way and then sewn back together to make colorful and interesting new squares.

Now for the drum roll... well at least move your pinkies... Here's my quilt... Okay, before you see it I cheated. Where ever the corners didn't line up perfectly I fused flowers at the joints! :-) BUT,... my mitered corners on the binding happen to be perfect, beautiful... Mom, are you looking from heaven? Your goofy daughter actually learned to do mitered corners. Imagine that! Wonders never cease!

Love you Mom, and thanks for all the help and tutorials. All of you who still have a mom helping you, give them big hugs and sloppy kisses. (Gosh, do you think my daughter is reading this?)
Keep stitchin for the ones you love,
Hugs from Mary