Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Q4 FAL - join us, Link up your list of things to finish now!

Its time to link up your list of unfinished projects that you propose to finish in Q4 of the Finish-A-Long. We are hoping that the FAL community will inspire you to work on your unfinished projects this quarter and to get them finished before the end of the year!

The 2018 FAL is hosted by a community of bloggers across the world. Our hosts are:

For those of you who are new to the FAL, it is a place to find motivation and encouragement to complete those unfinished projects that are hanging around. At the start of the quarter you post and link up a list of projects you hope to finish in the next three months, and then at the end of the quarter you link up each successful finish from your original list.

Each linked up finish is an entry into the draw for wonderful prizes from our sponsors. There is no penalty for not finishing a listed project, so feel free to make your list as long or short as you wish. The 2018 Schedule and Rules for the FAL are on my permanent 2018 FAL page, let me know if you have any questions.

Here are the fantastic and generous sponsors for Q4 of the Finish-A-Long, you can see each of their prizes listed under their logo. Please think about visiting them and saying thank you for their support of the FAL.

Fat Quarter Shop Logo
$50 Gift Certificate
During Quiet Side Logo
3 PDF Patterns
Sew Sisters Quilt Shop Logo
$25 Gift Certificate
Quilting Jetgirl Logo
2 PDF Patterns
Sew Me a Song Logo
$20 Gift Certificate
Happy Quilting Logo
3 PDF Patterns
Charm About You Logo
2 PDF Patterns
Make Modern Magazine Logo
3 Six Month Subscr.
Studio 39 Fabrics Logo
$25 Gift Certificate
Tartankiwi Logo
$25 Gift Certificate
Sew Sweetness Logo
A Minikins Bundle
Mad About Patchwork Logo
$50 Gift Certificate
Blossom Hearts Logo
2 PDF Patterns
Clover & Violet Logo
$30 Gift Certificate
Bunny's Designs Logo
$40 Gift Certificate 

So now it is time to round up those projects that you want to finish over the next three months! Take a photo of each one and make your list. Please ensure that you have at least started your projects - pulled fabric with a pattern is considered a UFO - and remember it is only finished projects that will get you an entry toward the above listed prizes. So while we love to see your bee blocks, the "finish" is when they are a completed, usable project.

If posting on social media (Flickr & Instagram), it will be very helpful if you tag your list with #2018FALQ4yourname (where yourname is unique to you). Using the same hashtag over the quarter when sharing project progress or finishes helps the host to make the connection to your original list quickly and easily.
IMPORTANT: Don't forget to link up your finishes when the quarter closes!

The 2018 Q4 list for your list of proposed finishes is now open, below, on my blog and each of the hosting blogs. You need only link your list once, on one host blog, and the link will show up on all the host blogs. If you are using Flickr or Instagram, post a photo mosaic of your projects and put your list in the description. Don't forget to include your unique hashtag. Katy of The Littlest Thistle has a great tutorial on how to link up if you need it, or Marci of Marci Girl Designs has a tutorial to link up an Instagram post specifically.

We also ask that you become part of the FAL community. Please check out the links of others - visit and comment on their lists. We all need encouragement to get those finishes done, so please share some of your own too.

If you want you can follow us on Facebook, Finish-A-Long and/or on Instagram, @finishalong, too. We'll post encouragement during the quarter and reminders when the finishes link up opens at the end of the quarter.

When creating your list there is one thing to remember - No deductions for not completing something so - Aim High! Nothing to lose!! Well now, get your list together and get linked up.

Feel free to use and share the FAL button above and this one too:

The Q4 proposed finish linky party will stay open until 11 pm EST, Thursday, October 18, 2018 - as we are global, you might want to check your time zone to determine your last possible time to link (you can also see how much time is left below the linked up images on the right.)
Remember: you only need to link up at ONE hosting blog and it will automatically show up on all hosting blogs.

Best,

Leanne

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Q3 FAL - don't forget to add your finishes!


Popping in today for a quick reminder that the Quarter 3 Link Up for all your finishes closes on Tuesday, October 9, 2018, 11 pm EST. So you still have a few more days to finish a project or two and link them up to be eligible for prizes. The link up can be found HERE or on the blog of any of our current hosts.

A few reminders for linking up:
  • Please only one finished project for each post that you link up, so that each finish can be an entry in the (random) prize draw. 
  • Please include a link to your original list in each post of your finishes (on Instagram the link is the unique tag #2018FALQ3yourname to be used in the Q3 list post, and in any Q3 finish post).
  • Please visit some of the other participants and leave a friendly comment, we all love to get those!

If you didn't have a chance to visit the tutorials that were posted as part of Finish-A-Long Tutorials Week, here is the schedule once more:
  • October 4, 2018 - Izzy of Dizzy Quilts                                                                                            
  • October 5, 2018 - Karen of Capitola Quilter
They are well worth a visit!

Finally, we hope you will be joining us for Quarter 4 to do it all over again!! So get your list ready, the link up for Q4 Lists will open on October 10, 2018.

Best,

Leanne

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Holiday Pillowcase Tutorial - Three Styles - A FAL Tutorial



I was thinking that I wanted to make pillowcases for my family for the holidays - a nice sort of early present to give or send along to make folks smile and enjoy the weeks before the holidays start. And then I remembered that it was my turn to do a tutorial for the FAL so maybe you too would enjoy adding a little holiday cheer to your pillows.

So I started by making tutorials for 2 styles of the pillowcases for the pillows on your bed. Then it seemed that maybe we should have a quick and easy option for our throw pillows too, so I have three options for you. And since your pillows and mine might be different, I will give you the math to make these pillowcases any size.

TIPS FOR ALL PILLOWCASE STYLES

fabric choices and fabric orientation:

  • Take a good look at the pictures on your fabric and make sure you have sufficient fabric to cut it so that the picture faces the way you prefer on your pillow.
  • Quilting fabric is generally printed so that the design is perpendicular, rather than horizontal to the selvages. Quilting fabric is also generally 40 - 44" wide - selvage to selvage edge. 
  • If you cut a single piece of fabric for the front and the back, rather than two separate pieces of fabric, the picture will be upside down on the back if the pillow is flipped. This is why I use two separate pieces for the front and the back.
  • If you want people to feel comfortable sleeping on your pillowcases, consider using very smooth fabrics for the main pieces. On the second style, consider more textured fabrics for the Edge piece and the Accent strip, even lace or corduroy or silk, this is your place to play.
  •  If you want the pillowcase to have a longer use than the holidays, you can put something less seasonal on the back of it.

before you cut your fabric:

  • Like garments, pre-washing is recommended for these pillowcases which use larger pieces of fabric with no quilting and which you will want to wash regularly. Wash the fabric as you will wash your bedding, using the same temperature water and dryer. Iron the dry fabric before you start cutting it. At this point, if you don't think the fabric will be nice and smooth to sleep on, use it for another project and try another fabric.



1. THE ENVELOPE CLOSURE PILLOWCASE

fabric measurements:


  • My fabric pieces are:
    1. Front: 19" x 30.5" (see above information about cutting to properly orient the fabric's design)
    2. Back: 19" x 38" (see above information about cutting to properly orient the fabric's design)
  • My pillow is 27" x 19", measuring along the seams, not around the bulk of the stuffing.
  • Customize to the size of your pillow: : Measure your pillow and use your horizontal (longer) measurement plus 3.5" for the long side of the front fabric piece. For a tighter stuffed pillow use your vertical (shorter) pillow measurement for the front fabric piece, if you want the pillowcase to be looser, add an inch. For the back fabric, you want to add 7.5" to the longer edge and use the same size as you used for the front fabric for the shorter edge. 
  • Buying fabric:
  1. Minimum: 2/3 yard for Front fabric 
  2. Minimum: 2/3 yard for Back fabric
  3. If you prefer the front to match the back, buy more of a single fabric.
steps to make the pillowcase:



1. Cut the fabric using the measurements set out above or as customized for the intended pillow. Remember to remove the selvages before you measure the fabric.

2. Orient the Front and Back fabrics as you want the designs to appear when the pillow is on the bed. Decide which side of the pillow you want the open side of the pillowcase to be on. This is a matter of preference, I like the open edges to open to the outside of the bed but do as you like. (Now that photo above actually shows my fabrics upside down, which is confusing. I identified the left edge - which I had decided was the open edge of the pillowcase - of each of my fabrics.)


3. Press the edge that is to be on the open end of each fabric under 1/4" and then under 1/4" again. Topstitch along the pressed edge.

4. Sew the Front and Back fabrics together with the envelop flap turned inward and with a French seam (as explained below):

  • First fold the envelop closure on the back fabric to the wrong side: On the edge that you have topstitched, fold that end to back side of the back piece.
  • Place the front and back fabrics right sides facing out, wrong sides together, with the envelop fold on the back fabric in place. Adjust the envelop fold as necessary so that the two fabrics pieces line up to be the same size. Starting on one of the long edges beside the end you have decided will be the open end, stitch, on the right side of the fabric, around the long side, the short end that will be closed, and the second long size with a 1/4" seam allowance.
            note: It is counter-intuitive to sew the first seam with the right sides facing outward. I often mess this up the first time I use French seams and have to rip it out and do it again. 


  • Turn the pillow case "outside in" so that the right side of the fabrics and the seam face inwards and the wrong sides of the fabric face out. Press the seam open and then press it over so that the right sides are lined up and are facing each other. 


  • Sew the same three sides again, with a 3/8" seam allowance. You are using 3/8" seam allowance to encase the first seam inside of the second seam. Press.

5. Turn the pillow case right sides out, press. If your sewing is like mine, you will have little bits of threads sticking out of the French seams. Trim off the thread ends. 


6. Insert your pillow into the pillowcase. Tuck the pillow into the envelop fold.


7. Admire your new pillowcase. These are really very fast to make once you have made one, so make some more.

*****************************************************************



2. THE FANCY PILLOWCASE

fabric measurements:

  • My fabric pieces are:
    1. Front: 27" x 20" (see above about cutting to properly orient the fabric's design)
    2. Back: 27" x 20" (see above about cutting to properly orient the fabric's design)
    3. Edge: 40" x 9" (this can be pieced to get the 40" length)
    4. Accent strip: 40" x 2" (this can be pieced to get the 40" length) The Accent strip is entirely decorative, you can omit it if you like.
  • My pillow is 27" x 19", measuring along the seams, not around the bulk of the stuffing.
  • Customize to the size of your pillow: : Measure your pillow and use your horizontal (longer) measurement and 1" more than your vertical (shorter) measurement for the front and back fabric pieces. The Edge is generally fine at 9" wide and the Accent strip is generally fine at 2" wide and make sure both are least as long as two times the vertical (short) side of your pillow. 
  • Buying fabric:
    1. Minimum: 2/3 yard for Front fabric 
    2. Minimum: 2/3 yard for Back fabric
    3. Minimum 1/2 yard for the Edge fabric
    4. For the Accent strip: Buy a 1/4 yard but not a fat quarter. You need a 2" strip for the Accent strip - this can be wider or skinnier, or can be a piece of 1" wide or wider lace. You might have many options in your stash.
steps to make the pillowcase:


1. Cut the fabric using the measurements set out above or as customized for the intended pillow. Remember to remove the selvages before you measure the fabric.


2. If you need to, piece the Edge and Accent strip fabrics to achieve the required length. Iron the Edge and Accent strip fabrics together along their long lengths, wrong sides together.

3. Orient the Front and Back fabrics as you want the designs to appear when the pillow is on the bed. 

4. Sew the Front and Back fabrics together along one long, horizontal edge with a French seam, as outlined below. You are only joining one long side of the pillowcase at this point. (also see the envelop pillowcase instructions for photos of the process to make French seams):
  • Place the fabrics right sides facing out, wrong sides together, and sew along one horizontal edge with a 1/4" seam allowance.   note: It is counter-intuitive to sew the first seam with the right sides facing outward. I often mess this up the first time I use French seams and have to rip it out and do it again. 
  • Press the seam open and then fold it over so that the right sides are facing each other. Sew the same horizontal seam again, with a 3/8" seam allowance. The 3/8" seam allowance allows you to encase the first seam allowance inside the second seam allowance.
  • Press the seam. The raw edges are encased in the seam.
3. Decide which side of the pillow you want the accent edge to be on. This is a matter of preference, I like the accent edges to open to the outside of the bed but do as you like. 


4. With the right side of the fabric facing up, pin the folded Accent strip, raw edge to raw edge, to the side of the pillowcase you have decided that the opening should be on. 


5. Place the Edge strip on top of the Accent Strip, raw edge to raw edges. Open the Edge strip and pin one layer in place. You now have several layers, on the bottom is the Front and Back fabric, right side up, next is the Accent strip both sides, next is one side of Edge piece right side facing down.  Sew along the pinned edge with a 1/4" seam.


6. Press the seam toward the Edge fabric, with the Accent strip away from the Edge piece. 



7. Press the unsewn side of the Edge piece under 1/4", (be careful to also retain the original press line that pressed the Edge piece in half earlier). Bring the newly pressed Edge piece over the seam you just sewed. Top stitch the Edge strip down, close to the fold  sewing through all the layers. Basically you are encasing the seam from step 5 inside the Edge piece. This is a step where the photo above will help you visualize the process.


8. Press. The photo above is of the front after pressing. Trim any excess fabric at the edges of the Accent and Edge strip to match the edges of the Front and Back pieces. 

9. Sew the front and the back of the pillowcase together along the remaining long side and bottom, creating a French seam:
  • Place the fabrics right sides facing out, wrong sides together and pin. For the nicest finish, starting sewing at the Edge piece and make sure that the seams on the Edge pieces and the Accent strip line up. Sew along the horizontal edge and across the bottom of the pillowcase with a 1/4" seam allowance.
  • Press the seam open, turn the pillowcase "outsides in" so that the right sides are facing each other inside the case. On the wrong sides, sew the same horizontal and bottom seam again, with a 3/8" seam allowance.
  • Press the seam. The raw edges are encased in the seam. Turn the pillowcase right side out. 

10. You will see that there are little bits of threads poking out of the French seams, so take a few minutes to trim them. Press and admire your pillowcase.


11. Admire your pillowcase with your pillow inside.

*****************************************************************

3. QUICK, UNQUILTED, ENVELOP BACK, THROW PILLOW COVERS


fabric measurements:
  • My fabric pieces are:
    1. Front: 20" x 20" 
    2. Two Back Pieces: 14" x 20" 
  • If your fabric design has an pattern with a right side up, be sure to orient the fabrics to take that into account.
  • My pillow is 20" x 20", measuring along the seams, not around the bulk of the stuffing.
  • Customize to the size of your pillow: : Measure your pillow. Cut the front piece the same size as the pillow. Cut two back pieces the same width of the pillow and half the height plus 4" (in my case 20" by (20/2 + 4 = 10 + 4 = 14").
  • Buying fabric:
    1.  A yard of the fabric will give you enough to make a cover that is 20" x 20" provided you don't need to keep the fabrics in one direction for the print. If you have a directional print you will need a 40" wide x width of fabric, piece of fabric. Or you can use different prints for the front and the back if you prefer.
steps to make the pillow cover:




1. Cut the fabric using the measurements set out above or as customized for the intended pillow. Remember to remove the selvages before you measure the fabric.

2. Orient the Front and Back fabrics as you want the designs to appear.



3. Press the long (20") edge that will overlap on the two back pieces of the cover under 1/4" and then under 1/4" again. Topstitch along the pressed edge on both back pieces.

4. Sew the Front and Back fabrics together with the envelop flap overlapping and with a French seam, as explained below:


  • Place the front and back fabrics right sides facing out, wrong sides together. On the back you will have one fabric overlapping the other, both back pieces with right side facing out. Sew around all four sides with a 1/4" seam allowance. (you have that envelop opening for turning the pillow cover so you can sew all four sides at once).

  • Turn the pillow case "outside in" so that the right side of the fabrics and the seam face inwards and the wrong sides of the fabric face out. Press the seam open and then press it over so that the right sides lined up and are facing each other. Sew around all four sides with a 3/8" seam allowance. You are using 3/8" seam allowance to encase the first seam inside of it. Press.

5. Turn the pillow case right sides out, press. If your sewing is like mine, you will have little bits of threads sticking out of the French seams. Trim off the thread ends. 


6. Carefully insert your pillow into the cover, being careful to not pop open the seams on the back envelop cover. We have intentionally made this cover tight, so take your time inserting the pillow.  Gently adjust the pillow and the envelop fold so the pillow reaches all four corners and the back cover does not gape open.


7. Admire your new pillowcase. These are really very fast to make once you have made one, so make some more.

8. If you want to use a quilted piece for the front of the pillow cover, go ahead and do that. You can also use quilted pieces for the back envelop cover if you prefer.

*****************************************************************
I hope you have enjoyed these tutorials and let me know if you have any questions.

Best,

Leanne

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Q3 FAL Tutorial schedule


Today kicks off "Tutorial Week," which has been part of the Finish-A-Long since it's inception.  While the link up for Finishes is open, we share some tutorials for you all to enjoy. They are varied, interesting, and usually helpful, so take some time to investigate and visit the blogs below on their scheduled day!
  • October 3, 2018 - Leanne of She Can Quilt - Christmas Pillow Cases - that's me!
The Quarter 3 Finishes link up opened yesterday, you can find the link up HERE or on any of the hosting blogs. There is still plenty of time to link up or finish those projects as the link up does not close until October 9, 2018, 11 pm EST.

And whether you had a lot of finishes, or none at all this quarter, or you missed Finish-A-Long Q3 altogether, you can always join in for Quarter 4 which is taking off on October 10th, with the link up opening for your List of Proposed Finishes. We hope you will join us!

Best,

Leanne