Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Fat Quarter Apron Tutorial

I've been a bad blogger! Wow, it's been a while!

I'm finally getting around to that Fat Quarter apron I've been telling you about...these are like SO last month, haha! I've since accumulated several sacks full of fat quarters and have been making all kinds of things - curtains, car organizers, you name it!

But this, THIS is my very first fat quarter project...and I'm sharing it with you:)

You need 2 fat quarters and a 2 1/2 yard pack of coordinating hem facing (the 1 7/8" wide kind) OR make your own with strips of fabric, but that takes a lot longer.


Lay your fabrics together, wrong sides together, and trim to straighten up all 4 sides of the fabric - you want your rectangle to have nice parallel sides! Then decide if you want a 7 or 9 inch tall pocket - or any other measurement, for that matter (the taller the pocket, the shorter the apron). Measure your desired pocket height off one of the short ends and trim it off, as shown.

Get your hem tape ready by ironing it in half (the two edges will already be pressed in for you).

Take your two pocket pieces, still with wrong sides together, and make sure they are completely lined up with each other. Sandwich these pieces inside the hem tape fold (cut a piece to fit) and stitch it down.


Lay your pocket piece on top of the front of your apron (lay it down how you want it to look when you're done. If you don't want your pocket division lines to go all the way through all the apron layers, you'll want to sew them now - just sew straight vertical lines from the bottom edge of your pocket to the top, wherever you need a smaller pocket. Now lay the back apron piece on TOP of the front, right sides together. Pin and sew along the two sides and bottom - NOT the top.


Flip her inside-out, press and top-stitch along the same 3 edges.

If you haven't already, sew division lines from the bottom of your apron up through the top edge of the pocket to divide it into smaller pockets. These can be any size, but I like to put at least one 1" pocket for pens in mine.


Find the center of your apron, and the center of your hem tape. Matching centers, sandwich the top of your apron in between the two layers of your hem tape, butting the fabric edge against the fold you ironed into the hem tape. Starting at one edge of the top of the apron, sew about 1/4" from the lower edge of the hem tape, sewing it to your apron. When you reach the opposite side, keep sewing along the hem tape, all the way down to the end (tuck in the ends and sew down). Flip it around and sew along the top edge of the hem tape, then back around the bottom edge to where you started.


Add a fun embellishment! For this one, I looped some ribbon together to make a flower, sewed it down, then added a button to the center. You can sew about anything onto these - a bow, a silk flower, a charm - anything!

Here are a few more aprons I've made:

Once you get the hang of it, you can totally whip one out in under an hour!
Have fun sewing!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Show and Tell!

I know you've been DYING to see what else I did with my Moda fabric, right? (The nice thing about cyberspace is that I can pretend to be as popular as I want...)

As I've mentioned before...after spending several months cooped up in my huse with an RSV baby...and staring at all of my walls and belongings for days on end...I decided that my college-era couches and free/nearly free ugly slipcovers were not worthy of my new living room and began an overhaul. I supressed my inner-cheapskate and SureFitted my couches with new slipcovers (okay - I guess I was still being a cheapskate...the slipcovers were like a bajillion times cheaper than whole new couches!) and set to work on the new throw pillows.

Because I'm a little dorky (okay, a lot), I decided that I would make my living room match a wall hanging I'd made for MemoryWorks last fall. I liked it so much, I kept it around all year (except during Halloween and Christmas, because that would have just been weird, right?).

Luckily Moda came to the rescue and I found that the Tranquility and Cottom Blossoms lines were pretty close to what I wanted.

I had a great time making them...then found that I didn't have quite enough fiberfill to do the job...and that I sewed some of the seam allowances too small and some were coming open...but by that time I'd already sewed them shut. Luckily I had a stash of felt flowers and buttons in my scrapbooking hutch (as I frequently tell my husband, SCRAPBOOKING is for EVERYTHING) that I sewed on to cover my boo-boos. So now you know.:) And I'll also admit that I closed up a couple of the tiny holes in the seams with fabric glue...I know, professional.

Then I decided to make a table runner. I need to back up and tell you that I have made 3 quilting projects in my life. The first was a Halloween wall-hanging I found in a magazine 5 years ago or so. I didn't really follow the directions...and didn't really have any clue how to quilt, bind, piece, etc. so its a bit lumpy and a lot lopsided. But I still proudly display it every Halloween and in a few years I'll just say the KIDS MADE IT, haha! The second two projects were quilts for my kids' beds - also loosely based on patterns I bought - they were cute, as long as viewed from several feet away. Moral of the story: I am not a quilter.

BUT, the Moda fabric deserved better (the other projects were done with WalMart fabric, which I think is breaking some sort of cardinal rule of quilting), so I really tried to actually figure out what I was doing on this one. I found a couple of tutorials (Thanks, Camille Roskelley!) and made myself a top from a Cotton Blossoms charmpack and a Sugar jellyroll. No cutting or measuring - I may be able to like this style of quilting!!

I used a walking foot to quilt it - whoa! Huge difference! - and actually bound it like I'm supposed to. Surprise, surprise - it actually worked out! Who knew? Just like finding out that butter actually DOES bake better than margarine! Whoa!

But, of course, I had to Sandy-fy it, (Sandy-fy: 1.) not completely follow the directions, 2.) Be cheap, 3.) Save time and effort later), so I made it reversible!

Now I want to make table runners for all the different seasons and holidays (all reversible to save me some backing fabric and time). Next time I won't use polyester batting, though - this one turned out a little too puffy.

I'll let you in on my dirty little secret. I've become a bit of a cool fabric junky lately... The internet is just too accessible...

So I have my Moda charm pack collection:

My Amy Butler will-be-an-apron fabric:

Sandi Henderson Farmer's Market fabric to make my daughters' Easter Dresses out of:

And then there is that teensy, weensy little obsession with Fat Quarter Friday at our local fabric store - last Friday of the month is 10 for $15. I never went to it...until last month...and this month...and YIKES. It's a lot of fun. They even have a little Moda, haha!

Anyway...there you go. All caught up on my fabric projects the past few months (except those pesky apron tutorials that I haven't posted yet). This month I need to get cracking on some scrapbooking things, too, so be watching for that!

And don't even think about asking me for a picture of my whole living room, because I won't do it until I'm done. So there.