Saturday, September 2, 2017

Simple Donation Quilt Pattern

Seeing footage ofthe hurricane devastation in Texas these past couple of weeks is nothing short of heartbreaking. As a sewer with a healthy stash of fabric and thread, I thought of a way I can help. By making youth or lap quilts to donate! 

These quilts can be made bigger by adding more rows but this pattern is keeping quantity completion in mind. You can easily finish several a day. I think my record was 10 in one weekend. 

The lap size is nice for toddlers at home or in the car, or for adults to wrap around their legs or shoulders. Add a matching burp cloth with it and the set is even more useful for a baby!


Basically, the top is an exploded 9-patch. I sized it to fit nicely on a piece of flannel as the backing so you don't need to add batting. Sew down some lines to keep it together and you are done. Sasha likes them!

Let's get sewing!

Supply list:
Enough cotton fabric of 2 or more colors to cut nine 12-1/2" squares. If using 2 colors, you'll need enough to cut 5 of the main color and 4 of the contrasting color. 

Pre-washed flannel at least 45"x 40" to use as the backing fabric. Trim off selvedge edges. You could use fleece, minky or any other thick fabric. (No batting us needed for this quilt but you can add it if desired.) 

A sewing machine and thread. 

Rotary cutter, ruler, and cutting mat. 

Optional: a 12-1/2" square cutting template. 

How to make the quilt:
Cut 9 12-1/2" squares out of the cotton fabrics. Use the template if you have it. You can stack the fabrics to cut several at a time. 

Set up the squares in a checkerboard pattern. Sew together into one huge block and press. 


Cut the block down the center both horizontally and vertically to make four smaller blocks. 


Turn the blocks around until you have a look that you like. Sew the blocks together in the new layout. Press. This is the completed top. 

Set the top onto the flannel, wrong sides together. Turn the edges over twice, covering the raw edges of the top. Pin in place and sew around the entire top. 

Sew down some lines to hold the layers together. This can be simple, straight lines or FMQ stitches. Your choice! I kept mine straight in order to get them done quicker. 

That's it! They are ready to be packed and sent to those in need. Contact your local quilt shops or charities to get them where they need to go. 

Friday, August 11, 2017

The Material Gripper

Thank you for coming to my Fashion Accessory Skill Series! There are thousands of us who love our little 221s but need or want a little more "know-how" on using them to their fullest potential. I hope my posts and videos will help you get more know-how and confidence in using various sewing accessories with your beautiful Featherweight. This series will be different since I will be showing parts that may not even need a 221! Enjoy the classes!

Class #2 - Material Gripper


Class supply list:
The material gripper and fabric. 

Let's get sewing!

The material gripper clamps into the edge of a table in order to give you that extra hand when you need one! 

Set the fabrics that you want held into the clamp and lightly press down on the lever to hold them for you. Now both hands are free to pin, pick, cut or measure!


This accessory sold for 50 cents back in the 50's. Check out this instruction paper from 1935!

Keep an eye out for the material gripper in your travels!

I hope you have been encouraged to use your amazing sewing machine accessories.  Please share your pics on our Facebook group page, Featherweight Skill Series, so we can see your creations! 

If you like the series, share the link with your friends, pin it to Pinterest, join my Facebook group... Most importantly, "Let's get sewing!"

See you next time!

Monday, July 31, 2017

The Hand Pinker

Fashion Accessory Skill Series - 

Thank you for coming to my Fashion Accessory Skill Series! There are thousands of us who love our little 221s but need or want a little more "know-how" on using them to their fullest potential. I hope my posts and videos will help you get more know-how and confidence in using various sewing accessories with your beautiful Featherweight. This series will be different since I will be showing parts that may not even need a 221! Enjoy the classes!

Class #1 - Hand Pinker



Class supply list:
The hand pinker and a strips of fabric. 

Let's get sewing!

The hand pinker clamps into the edge of a table and cuts through all types of fabric leaving a gently pinked edge. This accessory was priced at a whopping $5 back in its hay day. It was also included in the Singer Fashion Aids box. If you love ric rac, this is the must-have accessory for you!

Let's take a better look at it. The base is cast iron with a cutting mechanism on the left side, a crank on the right to make the cutter turn. There is an adjustable width guide on the front of the unit so you can get evenly cut strips to the size you want. There's an oil hole on the center of the unit and one on the crank.

This unit must have a clamp to hold it steady as you turn the crank. Mine had the original crank with it but if yours doesn't have one, you could buy one since that design hasn't changed. The arrow tells you which was to turn the crank.

Set the base near the table edge, put the clamp as far in as it goes and tighten it firmly. There's a lot of movement in the upper part of the unit while cranking, so you don't want it to loosen as you're turning the crank.

Determine how much of a width you want for your finished strip. The lines on the guide are 1/8" apart. Tighten the set screw gently. If it's too tight, the arm of the guide near the cutter will lift and your fabric will slide under it causing uneven edges.

Line up the edge of fabric along the arm of the guide and slowly start to turn the crank. Use your left hand to keep the fabric from wobbling around or straying away from the guide. I found it was best if I didn't rush through the cutting.

After a few turns, take a look at your pinked edge!
If you run the fabric through the cutter twice, you have ric rac!

It's helpful to do practice cuts so you know how wide the finished results will be. The green strip was cut with the guide set on the 2nd line from the right. The strip on the right was with the guide fully opened up.

There was an "electric" version of the pinker that would attach to the motor belt of your sewing machine. Do you have one?

Homework: Take your fabric and pink them into strips! If you don't own a pinker, be on the look out for one. You never know where you might find it!

I hope you have been encouraged to use your amazing sewing machine accessories.  Please share your pics on our Facebook group page, Featherweight Skill Series, so we can see your creations! 

If you like the series, share the link with your friends, pin it to Pinterest, join my Facebook group... Most importantly, "Let's get sewing!"

See you next time!