Tuesday, November 24, 2009

sewing machine cover tutorial

Ok....here it goes. Keep in mind this is my first time writing up a tutorial, so if you need more info or have questions, just let me know. I am a very visual person, so for the sake of this tutorial, I made a second cover for my daughters sewing machine. She plays with my old Kenmore with the needle removed, and loves every second of it....she doesn't even realize that she isn't really sewing!!

What you need:
-decorative block (if you want to use the flying geese, like mine, the tutorial for that block it here)
-about a 3/4 yard of fabric, you can piece use smaller pieces and just sew them together
-20" wide fusible interfacing (I used SF-101 by Pellon) enough to match the measurements of your sewing machine. I used about a yard.
-thread to match your choice of fabrics
-marking pen/straight pins

First you need to find the circumference of your sewing machine. I would recommend measuring at the bottom of your sewing machine, a lot of them are wider on the bottom. This machine is 40.5" around the bottom.
The second measurement you want is the height of your machine.

Like my son is demonstrating in this picture, you want to measure from one side over the top to the bottom of the other side. This machine's height measures at 25".

The first measurement will be used to determine the width of your fabric. You want to take the circumference of the machine divide it 2 and then add an inch for seam allowance. For example: this machine measured 40.5" divided by two is 20.25", I then added an inch for 21.25" as the final width measurement of my fabric. The height measurement will let you know how long your cover needs to be. I added an inch to this also.

Before cutting your fabric, you need to decide where you want your decorative block to be located. On my daughters cover I decided to center the decorative block, but on my original cover I offset the decorative block to the left. The decorative block is 11.25", each side panel is 5" wide and 26" long. I chose to put 2.75" of fabric underneath my block. Again, my decorative block is 11.25" + 2.75" below+ a 12" panel above the block to equal my needed length of 26".

I attached the top and bottom panels to my block first. Then the side panels.

Once my cover fabric was assembled, I ironed it to my fusible interfacing. I used interfacing to make my cover stiffer, but you could also choose to make an inner lining, if you wanted a softer look.

Then simply fold your cover in half and sew up both of the sides the sides together.

Then while wrong side out, slip the cover over your sewing machine to pin the corners.

Pin your corners down to the top of your sewing machine. Then slip the cover off and mark your sew lines on your two corners.

Once your corners are sewn closed, trim off the excess leaving a .25"seam.

Turn your cover right side out finish of your cover bottom by folding over the raw edge and pining it in place.

You can use any stitch you desire to finish off your edge, I chose decorative stitches to add a little added touch to my covers.

Your cover is now complete and ready to keep all that unwanted dust off of your treasured machine!

As a side note: I was asked for the measurements of the original cover I made. To be honest, when I made my original cover I did it all by eye, so don't have them. I added in the measuring techniques for this tutorial, with my son's help.

Monday, November 23, 2009

one more check off the list

Since I am at a stand still with my HST quilt, I decided to get one of my Christmas list quilts done. I'm having a hard time staying focused on my Christmas sewing list, seeing as it is sunny and warm outside. It's one of the things about living in southern California that I will never get use to, every year I have to force myself to get holiday things done, because it never really feels like the holidays. I think it was all those white Christmas mornings in New York as a child that makes me associate Christmas with snow and cold. I successfully got myself into the mood last week, and am glad to have another check off on my list. A quilt for my sister....who has very different taste than I do. In order to make this quilt a reflection of her style, I had to go outside of my comfort zone and use red. The red fabric used is Kona cotton in Crimson.....and not at all a color I would ever choose to work with. I just kept telling myself "It's not for me, it's not for me". The layout of the quilt was inspired by one of my fellow guild members Terri and that part of the quilt I love. I will have to make one of these large wonky blocks, using only colors that I love, one day. I think it would be a good design for one of my boys.

I had a few request for a tutorial on my machine cover, I am hoping to have that finished and up by tomorrow. It will be my first tutorial and I want to make sure I take my time to do a good job.....I'm a bit nervous, but it is a really easy project, so the tutorial should be easy, right?!?!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

a new cover and some random things

I saw my first "geese in a circle" block the other day on Kerri's blog, Lovely Little Handmades, the other day....and needless to say, I was in awe!! I immediately followed her link to the tutorial by the Sometimes Crafter, and made one of my own. Once made, I had to find a purpose for it...with some quick sewing and about and hour of time, my Bernina had a new cover!!

I was able to make the whole cover using scraps left over from my last quilt, including those wonderful Alexander Henry dots that I am obsessed with.

Now Nina doesn't have to worry about dust anymore!!
As for the rest of my time, I have started a new quilt. That is, I have spent quite a bit of time sewing up some HST squares.

I am waiting on the post man to bring me the last 2 fabrics I ordered for this baby....it will be my first time quilting with HST squares, so I am pretty excited.
On another random note: I have a new obsession....Sulky 100% egyptian cotton blendables thread.

Before getting my Bernina, I always quilted in white....mainly to hide the fact that my old machine never stitched constantly. Now, my stitches are all even, and showing them off has become fun. These Blendables are nice, subtle, and add such a wonderful touch to my quilts. Like all things I become obsessed with, I need them all!!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

in love...

OK, I admit it, I am in love. I didn't really know who I was making this quilt for, I just knew I wanted to make it. I fell in love with all these patterns when I made my daughter's apron, and decided then that I would eventually make a large quilt with them. Now that it is done, I know that it is MINE....ALL MINE!! Yes, I know I should give it to my daughter, but I love it!!

Because of the size of this quilt, 68x72, it was kinda hard to photograph the entire thing alone. Normally I would have that tall husband of mine hold it up, but he is at work, and I just can't wait to share!!

Now, even though this front turned out exactly how I had pictured in my mind, the back is actually my favorite part of this quilt.

Originally I had planned to have a solid backing on this quilt, but at the last minute changed my mind and threw this together. I adore the way it turned out. To top it all off, I had found these wonderful dots at my visit to Purl Soho last week!! They are from Alexander Henry, and are absolutely delicious, not to mention a perfect binding for this quilt.

The only complaint I have is the type of batting I chose to use. I decided to use Quilter's Dream batting for the first time....why I would try a new batting on a quilt like this, I don't know. It is soft, and great to work with, but when washed it crinkles A LOT!! Since this is such a geometrical design, I don't really like the crinkle effect that it has, but alas it is too late to change that!! So just to let all you know who haven't used that batting before, only use it if you want a lot of crinkle, and when I say a lot, I mean A LOT. I pressed it down after washing it so it photograph better, and I still think it is too crinkled.

Friday, November 13, 2009

block party quilt along

These are my first two blocks for the Block Party Quilt Along. This is the first quilt along that I have participated in, and with the first block assignment, I did something new. I haven't done a star block before, or one so traditional. When I first saw it, I wasn't too sure how much I would enjoy making it....but it didn't take me long to figure out a way to make fun and a reflection of me.

I love the fact that even though these two blocks are identical, turning them in different directions really sets them apart from one another. I enjoyed making these blocks so much that I can't wait til the next block assignment!!!

You can see all the blocks being made at the Block Party flickr group.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


This week has been quite a hectic one, football season is coming to an end, and my daughter in discovering the world around her.....so needless to say, there hasn't been much sewing around here. I did manage to squeeze in completing this lovely embroidery pattern that I purchased from Aneela over at Comfortstitching. Her name is Belle, and my daughter fell in love with her while sitting on my lap reading Aneela's blog. Belle had to go blonde, to match my baby, and per my baby's request her dress had to be pink. I am thinking that Belle will find her way into a baby quilt for Izzy as soon as I get a chance to spend some quality time with my sewing machine.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

quick and easy

Yesterday I was feeling the need to finish something. I get a bit antsy when I go to long without feeling that moment of accomplishment that I only get from completing a project. I had seen this cute bag tutorial over at Pink Penguin and decided to give it a whirl. It was the fix I was looking for...fun, easy and best of all quick!! I changed the size dimensions and came up with my own patchwork design to give it that personal touch.
I love it, and so does my baby girl. She snatched it out of my hands as soon as it was done, and claimed it as her own. I was unable to picture it before she confiscated it (and she was not willing to give it up), so you get the in use pictures today...instead of the laid out and made pretty pictures.

For some reason she filled it with all her little dishes that live in her kitchen, and was very pleased to have done so. It gave me the idea of making her cloth shopping bags that she can play with, which went on next weeks list of things to sew!

As for the quilt I am working on right now, well it's coming along very slowly. I decided to stay up late last night, after my family was nicely tucked into bed, and get the basting done. I have to move all the furniture in our living room to do this, so it goes much smoother in the quiet hours of night. Here is a sneak peak, don't mind the bad lighting, as I said, it was late.

Hopefully I will have it all quilted and binded by the weekend.

Monday, November 2, 2009

block party

The girls over at Block Party are turning they're quilting bee into a quilt along! Outside of that, there is a lot of exciting things going on over in that part of the world. Alissa from Handmade by Alissa is co-writing a book with Kristin of Unraveled, in which the blocks and the world of modern quilting will be featured. I had the great pleasure of meeting Alissa last month at our first LA Modern Quilting Guild meeting. Not only is she incredibly talented....but wonderfully inspiring to be around. This book is sure to be a creation full of excitement and love for modern quilting. To kick off the quilt along they are having an incredible give-away full of beautiful fabrics.
Give Away Fat Quarters
I am so excited to see what our first block will be, and what amazing things come from everyone who participates.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


I couldn't resist sharing a picture of the cutest little honey-bee that graced my garden yesterday. She was feeling much better and smelling the flowers before flying off to find candy...

We did finally catch her and put her to bed after hours of flying around the neighborhood spreading cheer and joy!