Saturday, July 6, 2013

Adrianne's Non-Slip Sewing Machine Mat - a 2013 FAL tutorial

she can quilt

Today we have a lovely tutorial from Adrianne, who blogs at On the Windy Side. Her clever oven mitt tutorial was a well received part of the tutorial series for Q1 and I am so pleased that she is back again. Adrianne's sewing mat is cute and a really quick project. Besides keeping your sewing machine from sliding in your usual sewing spot, it would be a great thing to take along if you were sewing at a friend's house, at a class or a retreat. Here's Adrianne:

I'm really thrilled to be sharing this tutorial with you today.  I came up with this idea after I got annoyed with my sewing machine sliding around on the table, especially when I was sewing quickly or free-motion quilting.  It makes such a difference to have a sewing machine that stays where you want it to!  It also adds a lovely personalised touch to your sewing space.

Non-Slip Sewing Machine Mat Tutorial

What you will need:

- feature fabric
- low loft cotton batting
- backing fabric
- non-slip matting
- fabric for binding
- basting pins (curved safety pins)
- sewing machine with walking foot

- usual notions like thread, rotary cutter and ruler, scissors, etc.

Tips before you start:

It's a good idea to read the full tutorial all the way through before you start.

The thing that makes this mat non-slip is this non-slip matting.  It's the type of thing you might put in a cupboard or drawer to stop things sliding around. These pictures are intended to give you a good idea of what it's like.

Non-Slip Sewing Machine Mat Tutorial Non-Slip Sewing Machine Mat Tutorial 

I bought mine at Spotlight (essentially the equivalent to Joann's), but you can also find it at hardware stores and big box homeware stores.  You can find the exact brand I bought here, and this is a version which looks pretty much the same which I found on amazon.  The colour doesn't really matter, because you won't see it once your mat is finished.

Step 1 - Create the top of your mat

First, measure your sewing machine to work out how big your mat should be. I would recommend measuring the base of your sewing machine and then adding at least 2" on each side.  I have a fairly small sewing machine and I made mine 12" by 18".

Choose the fabric you will use for the top of your sewing mat.  I used a single cheater print fabric, but you could definitely piece something if you prefer. Make a quilt sandwich with your feature fabric, the low loft cotton batting, and your backing fabric, using your preferred method.  Quilt as desired.  I simply followed the lines of my cheater print fabric.

Non-Slip Sewing Machine Mat Tutorial

Step 2 - Mark your quilting lines

You are going to baste the non-slip matting to your quilt top, and stitch through all the layers to securely  attach it.  You don't need to quilt it densely, just enough to make sure it doesn't bubble or move around too much.  Once you have decided on your quilting lines, use your favourite method to mark them on the quilt top.

Non-Slip Sewing Machine Mat

You can see that I used a hera marker - it's absolutely my favourite way to mark quilting lines.  This is the one I have and I love it.

Step 3 - Baste on the non-slip matting

Use the curved safety pins to base the non-slip matting to your quilt top.  Place them not more than 4" apart, and if possible, avoid placing them on your quilting lines.

Non-Slip Sewing Machine Mat Tutorial

Step 4 - Quilting

This part is a little tricky, and you will really need a walking foot, because the non-slip matting is going to want to stick to your sewing machine.  Get your quilt set up and ready to go, and drop the needle down.  You may need to lengthen the stitch length beyond what you would normally use for straight-line quilting - I set mine at about 3.75 (the maximum stitch length on my machine is 4).

Non-Slip Sewing Machine Mat Tutorial

I would normally use a flat hand to gently guide the fabric through the machine.  This will not work, because putting any pressure on the quilt will cause it to stick to the sewing machine.  What you need to do is lift the quilt up around the presser foot, and let the feed dogs and your walking foot do their job.  It will feel really strange, but if you go slowly and carefully, it will work.

Step 5 - Binding

This project is a great candidate for machine stitching the binding.  I learned from Rita at Red Pepper Quilts, and I still think her tutorial is the best.  If you do decide to hand stitch the binding, I would recommend attaching it to the back first and hand stitching it to the front.

Non-Slip Sewing Machine Mat Tutorial

Ta da - you're finished!  Now you just need to test drive your new sewing machine mat - a perfect excuse to sew something new!

Non-Slip Sewing Machine Mat Tutorial

P.S. You will have a fair bit of the non-slip matting left over - try putting a piece under your sewing machine pedal.  It will stop creeping away from you as you sew!

And thank you Adrianne

Don't forget to link up your Q2 finishes - the Q2 post-quarter link is open and it will close at midnight MST, July 7, 2013. And if you still have some UFOs I hope you will join us for Q3 of the FAL, Q3 FAL lists can be posted starting on July 8.


Marit said...

Very clever idea! I definately have issues with a sliding machine when I quilt. And don't even get me started on that foot pedal!

Susan said...

She is a clever girl, that Adrianne! I love the idea of putting it under the sewing foot too! I'm forever losing it under the table! Thanks for sharing this idea!

Mary said...

Great idea. My machine stays where it's supposed to but not the foot pedal. I'm making one of these for that wandering pedal thanks!

elle said...

oh, goodness. This appeals to my form over function character. I was using an old rubber bath mat under my foot pedal. Time to get some better form! thanks!!!

Di said...

Brilliant idea. Also like the thought of putting some non slip grippy stuff under the foot pedal. I won't have to grow longer legs to reach the foot pedal as I sew! Di x

Liz said...

I'm blown away by the foot pedal light bulb moment! Thanks!!

Kirsten said...

Fabulous idea Adrianne!

Patricia said...

It might be helpful to put paper between the machine and the project so it would not stick and then tear it away after stitching. Good idea for slippery machines.

mathea said...

Nice project, and your idea of putting some of that non-slip stuff under the pedal is definitely worth trying. I swear my right foot has grown longer than the other because of trying to stay on that wandering pedal! LOL

Tonya said...

Very nice tutorial. I would suggest using tissue paper on the non-slip stuff against the sewing will keep it from gripping and works great. Easy to remove later!

Archie The Wonder Dog said...

Great tutorial, thank you!! If you have carpet in your sewing room then a bit of Velcro on the underside of your machine pedal also works wonders!

Katy Cameron said...

Great idea :o) I use an old cutting mat under mine

Fiona @ Poppy Makes said...

What a brilliant idea! This is going on my list :) thanks for such a great tutorial