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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Strap or tie tutorial

I have been making several aprons and tote bags lately....

so here is one of my favorite ways to make matching ties for aprons or handles for bags...

Cut a long piece of your cloth... 3 inches to 5 inches wide. Exact width does not matter with this technique.

Fold in half along the long edge and press a crease.
Open to expose the inside, then fold one edge toward the center, not quite touching the crease. PRESS only the edge.

Re-fold the center crease; raw edge is now inside.

Fold the other raw edge over the strap snugly against the folded edge inside the strap. PRESS.
Open the folds and tuck both raw edges inside. PRESS.

Ready to stitch, from the back side I can see both edges.
How to finish the short ends depends on how they will be used.  If the strap is to be sewn into a seam, the ends will not be seen and need no special treatment. Tie ends need some finishing touches.
These ends could be sewn into a bag.
Here I opened the folds and stitched a small seam in one end of the tie.

Re-folded the pressed creases.
One end with a seam, one end serged.
Finished apron

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Crochet Pot Holder Tutorial-Left handed


Several years ago... actually... decades ago... I was given a pair of crochet pot holders by my cousin.


They are made of acrylic yarn so I was a little tentative about using them for very hot oven items, thinking they might melt.  They have worked well as micro-wave helpers! I inspected their construction and made up a pattern and use cotton yarn for these pot holders.
I am left-handed and taught myself to crochet from a right-handed book so I am showing you my work. It will look backwards to a right handed crocheter...Lefties deal with this all the time!

My daughter, Faith, also crochets right handed... see her chevron afghan here.

This is not a How to Crochet for beginners tutorial, I assume you know how to chain and single crochet.
You can find beginner lessons at Lion brand yarn or Red Heart yarn or look for a book at your library!

Cotton yarn, hook size I; chain 37


In 2nd chain from hook work sc; repeat to end of chain.
sc to end of chain...note green tail yarn.

3 sc in end of chain (actually the beginning)
sc in each chain (down the other side of the chain)

At end of row do not turn work, add 1 sc in end sc and continue around.
continue around the end of the chain

Do not add sc when at the ends from here on.
Viewed from the wrong side you can see how it curves in.
Right side of the work...continue sc around.
As you add rounds it grows like this.

At this point you could re-fold and decide to make a bag instead of a pot holder!
When the edges of your pot holder touch like this it is time to finish off.

Align the outer edge folds so that it is square, slip st in 1 sc at corner.

Chain 12 pulling each loop closed.
Cut yarn leaving a tail about 3 times as long as the seam (this is plenty!)

Using a yarn needle take 1 stitch at the base of the tight chain.

Secure the tight chain for a hanging loop.



Sew the pot holder's seam closed. I prefer to use a ladder stitch, sewing through the loops of each sc.
Seam finished, all but the knot.
Knot in the last stitch (sorry it is blurry!)
Bury the tail,
needle into the work at knot staying between layers, out again over there.

Tail yarn ready to be snipped off

Once cut the tail disappears
Clean corner, no tail

Finished pot holder
Text only version available here.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

"RAG" quilt

I think that the name "rag" quilt is mis-applied to this type of quilt... maybe "ragged" would work...
maybe "rag" is short for ragged edges.

I saw the technique here...Rag quilt basics but had not yet made one until....

my friend, Charlotte gave me a box of flannel scraps that just begged to be made into a quilt.  So I did it!

Squares were cut; top, inner and back

The blue check will be top, white is inner layer, yellow is back.
Lots and lots of squares were cut and paired up like these.

Each group of 3 layers is sewn to a neighbor group with exposed seams on the top side!

The back of the quilt will be smooth.
All the seams will be snipped.
All the snips will be frayed.

An old, clean toothbrush helps remove some of the lint BEFORE the first wash.

To do all those snips you will need the best tools... and these are not it!





 These are the best!




Spring loaded, self opening snips... borrowed from my friend, Sharon, a professional quilter were the best way to snip... but be prepared to do a lot of snipping.

My thank you gift to Sharon... a pouch for her snips.

Several squares sewn together form a row and all the rows sewn together form the quilt.
Back of quilt

Front of quilt after washing and drying once.
Remember to clean your lint screen several times while drying the quilt!